Feeling thankful

I am so sorry for not adding to my blog since my last two very dark blog posts.

I’m actually feeling emotionally ok.

The holidays are hard for me every year. Add to that, the one year anniversary of my brother’s demise by suicide and the decision I made to stop contacting my parents and step parents back home, it makes for a not fun season.

My aggravation every Thanksgiving/Christmas is: I miss my biological family get togethers; I evaluate exactly where I’m not; I beat myself up for how much money I haven’t saved; How many presents I have not purchased; How many failed romantic relationships I have; how not fit I am, blah, blah, blah….

Well, let me turn that around, if only as an exercise in thankfulness.

This year a lot went right.

My stepsister and I are again in regular contact after years of not communicating. I’m really happy about that because I really love her and missed her like crazy.

I have a wonderful family around me right here. My children, of course. God, I am so proud of them, I cry positive tears.

My ex-mother and father in law, and my ex-husband have never excluded me from their family. And, I see my youngest daughter daily! So, what have I got to complain about?

Thanks to them, I have the opportunity this year to follow my new career goal of working with dogs. I want to learn how to groom them. Last year I was fortunate enough to be a bather in a local salon and learned a little about how to handle the canine clients. It was wonderful and this area is pretty busy.

My longtime friends are great to me, even at a distance.

I haven’t had a drunken blackout all year. That’s an accomplishment in itself.

I’ve regained my will to live again after spending the first half of 2014 in an emotional fog. I didn’t care about anything. I gave up a long-time job.  I spent all my 401k money (illegal drugs are expensive when you are paying for everybody). I pretty much gave away my home. I left myself vulnerable to theft and abuse. I really didn’t care.

I’m not in that place now.

So, what the hell do I have to complain about? Nada.

I’ll leave today’s blog with that.

Peace.

New Year: do overs, introspection, and giving yourself credit daily

I really laughed when I saw this meme floating around various social media (sorry no attribution).

Every year it’s the same game we play with ourselves:

This year I resolve to (fill in the blank).

It seems that most of my friends, acquaintances and family through the years repeatedly set themselves up to fail.

Whether it’s to quit smoking, lose weight, save money, etc., most people I speak to give up three weeks into the year: then the self beat down begins.

Some important things I’ve learned in my journey to healthy thinking are:

Know myself down to my core capabilities or qualities.

Decide what is important to me and attainable.

Turn off any negative self speak (baggage from childhood, whatever). “Fake it until I make it” is something I have trained myself to do. People I’ve worked with for years didn’t even know I suffered from my disease. They mistakenly label me as cocky, and obnoxiously self-assured.

Make a daily list of what I aim to complete. Be realistic. Give myself credit for what I complete and push some incomplete tasks to the next day.

Limit contact with people who humiliate me and undermine my beautiful self.

Live in the present. Enjoy life as I experience it. Love myself.

Diverting from a planned resolution is realistic. Seriously, life happens and occasionally I just plain have the “fuckits” and I’m ok with that.

If I have a bump in the road, I don’t die. People still live me and the world goes on.

Do-overs are encouraged.

It helps me to do these things as part of cognitive behavioral training. It takes practice.

I listen to my body and feed it what it needs. I exercise moderately daily. Some days hard, some days just stretching.

I am practicing guided meditation  and hypnosis – I have some links about the meditation. There are some really great guided apps you can try free. I listen to them as I fall asleep.

I communicate with my healthcare providers (thank you VA).

All those things take time but we are worth it.

Please don’t feed the self hate! That is what killed my little brother:

Kyle made a lot of mistakes, and ran from his responsibilities. It snowballed until he decided to drink to escape and it escalated until it bit him in the ass.

He lived in the past. He blamed others for his mistakes. He repeatedly went  back to childhood and how hurt he was that we had imperfect parents. Kyle couldn’t progress past that. His depression would be so severe, he would lock himself in a room and sleep for three days straight.

When he was ashamed enough of his failures and pissing people off, he would relocate and change his phone number.

I would like to think that he would still be here if he understood what his strengths and shortcomings were and built himself around what he could do.

Kyle could design and sew costumes and they were awesome! He could draw, he could fight. He was charming. He could teach martial arts or be a personal trainer.

That said:

Life is hard.

Being an adult sucks.

Be proud of what you are good at. Ask for help with what you can’t do.

You are beautiful.

Peace

#depression #self help #cbt #meditation

Will somebody tag these for me? I’m doing this from a Kindle and I can’t see everything. Thank you! I’m a “nube” in gamer speak lol

Still figuring things out on WordPress

I hope I can continue to build a satisfying blog experience for y’all. By reaching out beyond myself I find my day always looks brighter.

My preteen daughter complained to me one afternoon she was feeling “fat,” she wasn’t developing fast enough – other girls in gym locker room made fun, and she felt “ugly.”

She was acting like me. Scary thought.

She was finding reasons to feel unhappy and feeding the beast of despair so it would grow.

I stopped and thought of wise and reassuring words to help this beautiful child get through junior high. This kid needed faith that she was beautiful and one day would have the girl parts she craves. She would also conquer body dysmorphia we girls live with daily.

Pretty certain that I wouldn’t cheer her up telling this 65 pound 12-year-old girl, “look at my boobs! When you are last to get them they still stand long after the early developers’ blessings drop!”

That NEVER works, haha. Sigh.

This is what I said,

“I used to stare at my mirror picking my appearance apart and loathing every feature. ‘Why or why did I not look exactly like ( insert beautiful model or actress here)?’ “

I went on to say that I learned to eat healthier, get active, get clean, get dressed, maybe do a little make-up and neat hair, the GET AWAY FROM THE MIRROR. As far as I know our mirrors don’t have the airbrush feature and we certainly can’t afford a makeup team.

She rolled her eyes, that action saying I absolutely am not getting what she’s saying. (Sighing again as this is fairly routine, “Duh!”)

I shook it off and reminded her: by looking outside yourself, helping someone else even in a small way, you forget your insecurities for a while. 

What is more beautiful that a compassionate person who cares about her fellow classmates, family, old lady who needs a steady hand when she’s wobbly, (ok, yes that’s me…chuckle)

Time will tell if this advice will do what I want it to. At 46 I am comfortable with my appearance, thus the dysmorphia doesn’t hurt me anymore. 

Look outside yourself today – universal message for men, women, and in between – nothing makes you happier than a brief moment of exchanged compassion.

Peace.

first posting

I have finally stopped trying to sleep all day through Christmas. I feel safe to participate in live events again.

Christmas has always been a difficult holiday for me since becoming an adult. Even the allure of watching my Children excited each year is lost to me. As a 46-year-old woman living in poverty level, this time of year seems to make me take stock of all the things I have not done to progress this year.

I suffer from major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder depending on which psychiatrist’s diagnosis I go by. Thankfully, as a Veteran of the US Navy, I get treatment and medication.

December 2, 2013 I received a phone call that shook my weak mental foundation until it fully collapsed into a sinkhole never to be built upon again.

Dramatic? Yes. But to survive myself, I have to get this out.

My 42-year-old sibling was found hanging to death in a storage shed behind his rental home by his room mate.

According to his long time friend, room mate and martial arts sensei, my brother was last seen drinking beer in the yard enjoying a fire.

His friend said goodnight and gone to bed.

The following day, and a day after that, when Kyle wasn’t home, his friend assumed my handsome younger brother had gone off with a lady friend as Kyle sometimes did. Seriously, my brother was ridiculously good looking and girls lost their minds around him.

The sensei was unaware of his roommate’s demise until he walked into their storage shed and found his corpse. I was told there was no doubt Kyle had departed his well-built shell.

That’s enough trauma to send a normal person into bad places. Yet to a clinically depressed person it is magnified by infinity.

I stopped caring about everything. I quit my job of 7 years. I lost my home, I jumped into methamphetamine usage and suffered abuse from people who had long ago lost any remorse they might have had for the things I let them do to me.

Luckily I had a safe place to run to when I got scared enough. I would like to think I have enough self preservation instincts to survive my own self destruction. However, it is a fine line I walk daily.

The funny thing is most people who know the surface me think I’m seriously and obnoxiously positive. I am happiest reaching out to others and making them feel happier, more confident.

I hope this first post helps someone feel like they are not alone. I will try to post helpful resources to help others survive, then thrive.