Category Archives: mental health

My Grieving Letter

Dear Fellow Sufferer,

I come to you with sad news of the death of my close relative. And while life does go on, I’ll never be the same. I want to say now that fact is accepted. For her life meant so much to me that the loss will forever change how I approach my world. However, I need to recover and eventually arrive to a place where I am thriving. That will take time, effort and help from people such as you.

How can you help? Your tolerance with me when you see me feeling bad, your patience with any unexplained anger I show can help me heal. Seeing you, gives me a chance to lean on your strength. I won’t ask you for advice. But when I of course do ask you, be assured that I won’t heed what you tell me, or even appear to appreciate it. I will appreciate your reaching out to spend time, visits, texts, phone calls. And when I don’t respond, I hope you use that as a sign. Seek me out when that happens because it will probably be when I am most vulnerable and need your help more.

Prayers are always welcome. If you ever feel prompted to share with me how loss has impacted your life I hope that you do. I believe it would benefit both of us. It may not seem like it by the way I look or act, but that’s okay, remember I’m grieving, and that often isn’t comfortable.

Let me close with words of gratitude and appreciation. Because each time you help me this way you will be acting out of love. That gift has more value than every other thing you might provide me. Thank you.

The idea for the grieving letter is from Recovering From Losses In Life by H. Norman Wright, who got the idea from Bob Deits, who wrote Life After Loss.

A Story about Mom

I am in a discussion group for the book Recovering from Loss in Life, by H. Norman Wright.  I believe we have much to benefit from reading and talking ala book club like.  I even created an online book club on Goodreads.com, though it hasn’t yet come to fruition.

Have you experienced good results from book discussion groups?  If so, to what do you attribute their success?  I feel determined to pursue them out of an expectation that the effort will be well rewarded.

At this stage in my current group, I am applying one of the questions in Chapter 2 – healthy things I will do to respond to my next loss – by writing about my mother.  Her late stage dementia is a loss I want to cope with.  So, for my healing, and for her honor, I am remembering some good times that she created in my life.  I’m quite sure some fond memories will be a safe destination.

Once upon a time…

My senior year in high school, we lived far enough away that walking from home would not work.  I had a zero hour (7am) class because I played saxophone in the performance band.  As a member of the cross country and track team for the school, my team workouts wound up anywhere from 5 to 5:30pm before heading home.

We could not afford for me to have car, and I did not have a job.  What did mom do?  I drove her to work by 6:30am for her job that started at 8.  After dropping her off I would head to school in her car.  After work, she would get rides home from co-workers.

This was our routine, done with no fanfare, with no big discussion about sacrifice nor any acknowledgment that anything was special or extraordinary.  It just was.

This example reflects a myriad of the shared experiences which she contributed in our lives.  The nature of how my mother treated life and family can be imagined, I hope, from considering her role in this story.  I love you mom.

Inchworm

Someone you know may face a condition like MS. We can’t know how they feel. But we can listen. Here is something you might hear if you chose to listen. After reading this story, if you are curious to learn more, try positivelivingwithms.com

MonaLisa MS

Inchworm


**Please see the updated content at the end of this post.
This morning, I experienced one of those strange happenings when a song from long ago inexplicably found its way into my brain. People commonly refer to these as “earworms,” so how weird is it that the song was “Inchworm?”
Inchworm, inchworm, measuring the marigolds
You and your arithmetic, you’ll probably go far.
Inchworm, inchworm, measuring the marigolds
Seems to me you’d stop and see how beautiful they are.
(Kids singing: 2 & 2 are 4, 4 & 4 are 8, 8 & 8 are 16, 16 & 16 are 32…)
I have no recollection of seeing the movie, “Hans Christian Anderson,” starring Danny Kaye, who originally recorded the song. I learned it in elementary school, the first time I joined a choir. But whatever triggered my memory of those simple lyrics, I’ve decided this might be…

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Meet the New, Not More Presidential, Even More Senile, ‘Presumptive Nominee’ — RedState

There is just no stopping the Republican primary voters choice to be the GOP’s “presumptive nominee.” Donald Trump, who systematically eliminated all sixteen the most talented field of Republican presidential candidates ever seen, and who claims he can be presidential and also says he is a unifier, just wont quit. Like that stupid bunny in…

via Meet the New, Not More Presidential, Even More Senile, ‘Presumptive Nominee’ — RedState

the semicolon project

A semi-colon is a reminder to pause and then keep going.

hpwritesblogs

FullSizeRender-1FullSizeRender Today I went to a tattoo artist, and for $60 I let a man with a giant Jesus-tattoo on his head ink a semi-colon onto my wrist where it will stay until the day I die. By now, enough people have started asking questions that it made sense for me to start talking, and talking about things that aren’t particularly easy.

We’ll start here: a semi-colon is a place in a sentence where the author has the decision to stop with a period, but chooses not to. A semi-colon is a reminder to pause and then keep going. 

In April I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. By the beginning of May I was popping anti-depressents every morning with a breakfast I could barely stomach. In June, I had to leave a job I’d wanted since I first set foot on this campus as an incoming freshmen because of my mental…

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Is an alcoholic or drug addict making you sick Part 2

Is an alcoholic or drug addict making you sick Part 2.

Today my father would have been 77.  He died from alcoholisim.  I wanted to remember him today with this important message from 800recoveryhubblog.  For family members of addicts.

Get well soon.

Part one talked about the 12-step fellowship called Al-Anon. As a quick review — Al-Anon is a group that can help a person who is in pain, caused by a loved one’s alcoholism or addiction.

But, what if you have tried five or six meetings and it just does not work for you? Or, what if you like it, but you feel like you need additional help? There are alternatives.

Therapy and counseling

Look for a counselor that has experience with addiction and/or co-dependency. This is especially helpful, if you prefer a one-on-one setting. Some people are shy, and feel more comfortable sharing their feelings in a private environment. But, if you like group support, there are group therapy programs too. If you feel that you have some issues other than co-dependency, individual psychotherapy or psychiatry might be a better fit. This is particularly important for people, suffering in a way that is treated by medication.

Support of Friends and Family

These people may not have a therapeutic background, but they love you and know you best. Confiding in your loved ones can provide tremendous relief. It can be beneficial to talk to people who can be straightforward with you and point out things, that your might have missed. Just make sure you are honest about what is wrong and they will give you that “second pair of eyes” that you need. I find it interesting that many times, you will share your burden with another person, only to find out that they have been through something similar.

Research

By searching for articles, chats or online groups regarding addiction and co-addiction, you can gain a better understanding of your own behavior. One word of caution, take the information in small bites, so you do not get overwhelmed. I particularly like the .gov sites. They are straightforward and typically un-biased.
If you like reading things on paper, rather than a screen, go to the library. Educating yourself with books on co-addiction, co-dependency and addiction, can help you understand the causes of the condition. It’s easier to find a solution when you can fully understand the problem. By educating yourself you can start to put the pieces together and see the big picture.

Change something

Being around an alcoholic or addict (who refused to get help) is like breathing in second-hand smoke. After I while, it is going to bother you. It is hard to feel confident and strong when you are living with someone who does not want to get better. Sometimes space and distance can help you focus on yourself. It’s healthy to get a new perspective and realize that you can live your own life.

Get out of Denial

Many people justify an unhealthy relationship with an addict, because they truly believe that the person is going to die, without their aid. Also, it is easy to get lost in the other person’s problems and focus all of your energies on their addiction. It feels comfortable not having to look at yourself.  From personal experience, any money or support I received while “using” just made me worse. I got help after my family, severed all ties and literally “hid” from me. I’m serious. I am so grateful they had the strength to practice “tough love”. They still feel bad about it, but I thank them all the time, for it was a gift.

Help
Resources to help you. Click on the globe for the list of sources.

Look at the following to test your enabling scale. Do you do any of the following?

  • Failing Responsibilities. Inattention to work, parenting, friends and other responsibilities. Putting your things on the back burner every time the loved one had some drama.
  • Failing Emotions. Do You find yourself becoming anxious with anger, worry, depression, and fear over the other person’s behavior? Your feelings are enmeshed in theirs.
  • Self-Care. Are you neglecting your looks and hygiene. You don’t buy new clothes, put off getting a haircut and constantly eat unhealthy? This is because of all of your energy is spent on the addict/alcoholic. You find little time to shower, brush your hair, teeth, or take care of your personal appearance the way you like or the way you used to.
  • Lying and Keeping Secrets. You find yourself making stories to cover up for the other person’s behavior. You lie, because it is too embarrassing to tell the truth.
  • Not enjoying life. You feel unworthy. You used to play sports, read, dine, and watch movies with friends. You don’t do those things anymore, because they are not enjoyable and/or you do not have the time.
800RecoveryHub.com
Our 800RecoveryHub site offers free and confidential help

If you don’t take care of yourself, you will get mentally and physically ll.  But I have found that when the pain gets bad enough, you will be motivated to find some relief. If you still don’t know where to turn ….simply contact the author at 800 Recovery Hub.

Mental Toughness

By taking a little time each week to apply good advice, we can make life changing progress.

Ajoobacats Blog

There are many ways to get mentally tougher apparently, but according to licensed marriage and family therapist Claire Dorotik-Nana there are five things we can all stop doing right now that will promote our mental robustness:

1. Stop Off Loading Responsibility. Take responsibility for your actions, thoughts and feelings. No one makes us feel or act a certain way, we all make choices.
2. Stop Taking Things Personally. Realise no one is out to get us and that the world is not against us.
3. Stop Forecasting. Stop wasting time thinking about, forecasting or predicting the future.
4. Let Go Of Illusions. Accept there will be good and bad and things will not just work out in your favour always.
5. Stop Holding On To The Past. Letting go of the past means facing losses, but it also means finding opportunities available to us now.

I have taken the time…

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The Time Robin Williams Read Narnia To His Daughter

101 Books

When I heard Robin Williams died the other day, I probably responded the same way as a lot of people. Shock. Surprise. Sadness.

Hardly a day goes by anymore without catching word of some celebrity somewhere who passed away, but this one is different. It’s Robin Williams.

Who doesn’t like Robin Williams?

From all accounts, he was one of the most well-liked actors in Hollywood, just an all-around good guy. The characters he played in Dead Poets Society, Mrs. Doubtfire and Good Will Hunting are some of my all-time favorites.

So I was reading a little more about Williams yesterday when I came across something he said during a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) last year. It’s applicable to this blog, so I thought I’d share.

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