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Posts Tagged ‘alcoholism’

 i was going to delete this, but then i pulled back and read the whole thing…i could see my thought process as i was having a “borderline melt down”. even though my focus, in this blog, is on my withdrawal from meds and fibromyalgia, i have lived as a recovering borderline amongst other things. boy can my thoughts bounce around and i spared the laundry list! but watch the process! the fear, resentment, paranoia, blaming…oh what an angry little girl i can still be! (description of BPD below)

feeling well seems to be a blessing and a curse. i haven’t been around to write on this blog for awhile now…and i’m sure, if i continue with the work i’m trying to do, that my time will continue to be restricted but, i’m having a day…well several by now…that is leaving me feeling horrible. i can’t seem to be able to talk with anyone about all that is going on but i’m feeling guilty for having tried to choose a better path for my daughter, surviving several sincere suicide attempts, recovering from alcoholism and getting off addicting meds! yes, sometimes i honestly wish my path had zigged instead of zagged at all of these points. i’m screaming at god and looking at people who i thought were my friends and wondering why there is so much resentment and anger…why does it have to be mine too.

i’m usually fairly good at dodging emotional bullets…my whole life has been made up of that. but when there are just too many bullets in the air…god i wish i were wonder woman with the large amulets. but i’m not. i’m just a person, alone, trying to go with the flow and make the best decisions i can. even best of intentions often seem to be thrown back in your face with added crap.

i can’t apologize for being born into a rich family. that was never the grace that so many people seem to think it was. i’m slowly trying to pull up my boot strings over the fact that my father died and i was the only one not mentioned in his will. (this just happened september of ’07.) he mentioned his dogs, home health aids, brother’s grandchildren, other family members and the remainder to my daughter. this was the end of a bitter, life long struggle for a father’s love. the manipulative act of leaving everything to my daughter just…doesn’t suprise me. he can continue to reach out from the grave and manipulate.  and he’s succeeded. there is nothing more i can ever do and my father’s last efforts on this planet were to let people know just how much he hated me. his decisions have left a continued destruction of what family remains as they take that as a final declaration to what a horrible person i am. loss, loss and more loss compounded with judgement…from friends and family. god can anyone just stop gossiping and talk to me. talk to me about the truth? this world is not fair and i won’t yell “not fair”. that is a law i accepted a long time ago. i never set out looking for justice or fairness…life is not just and redemption is rare. i have never set out to intentionally hurt anyone but my actions are constantly interpreted as having ulterior motives and i can honestly say that i never set out to do good to gain anything other than to set back and see good done. i never want my name attached and i try to do as much anonymously as i can. i flinch if people talk of my good deeds publicly. but i do glow when i see good things happen. why wouldn’t anyone. i guess i try extra hard to those ends. i think it is the effort that offends people. i think it is that, i use my free time and resources to help others when ever i have them…often though to the extent of over extending myself. i don’t do that to martyr or put others to shame…no, i love to share in the efforts when ever possible but if no one else picks up on the work i feel obligated to finish what i start. if i did harm it wasn’t intentional and believe me when i say i live with the consequences and constant, nagging, resurfacing painful reminders. i don’t say this as an excuse…i don’t believe in excuses…but i need to remember that i’ve been a very sick person for most of my life and i’ve been tossed out and alone in trying to manage a very messed up life.  i don’t expect others to carry that burden, but i do wish others could view my decisions with some compassion and a bit of respect. i tried to do the very best i could. this seems to have become some sort of battle cry and i don’t think life should be such a battle. a person needs a resting point…some forgiveness and “you did the best you could”. because…i have addressed my illness and i have worked so, so hard to recover from illnesses most people do not recover from. but when i get slammed from all sides i wish i could still hide behind my illness. but, i don’t want to be forced back into the darkness of borderline, bipolar, eating disorders, alcoholism, addiction…too much. i just want to be and at times i think i just want to be alone. people are too hard for me to navigate. but i’m human and i get lonely. i guess that’s why i turn to writing on here. every once in awhile i peek my head out into the world of the living only to do a hasty retreat from their games. i’m not that savvy…i don’t navigate the game playing world of soap operas. it’s too prevalent in the circles i frequent…and i need to frequent them because my continued recovery depends on it. but, the very help i need is equally capable of undoing and destroying the progress i make. it seems that people only want you around if you’re down and failing but the moment you’re doing well and having some small successes they make a world of controversy over what you’re trying to do. i avoid a lot of group activities because i don’t “play well with others”. i try to grow with this issue…. i may be so much healthier now, but i guess basic human skills continue to elude me. but i have to ask if i’m more plugged in now than i allow the feed back to tell me. maybe that i’m having friction around these sick people (who i thought were healthier people) is a sign that i’m better and maybe i’m swimming in the wrong pool. i’ve invested 11 years of my life trying to live up to certain principles. not perfectly, but consistently.  i get worn down like this often and maybe it’s my depression. no, it’s the borderline thoughts in my head.

god…i’m blabbering and unraveling here.

i haven’t been able to tend to myself and i’ve become caught up in “friendships”, not of my choosing, that are very sick. some people are seriously disturbed. i should know better than to help people who present as borderlines! yes, they can jump in to call me a “friend” but that’s not what i am…with newly recovering, sick people, that’s how it goes…as a person just beginning on the road, a borderline, isn’t really capable of being a friend to anyone…not even themslevles. when you are struggling with so many inside voices you can’t consider anything going on outside of your mind. i’ve heard it when i’ve suggested helping another as a way towards recovering: “why should i help her…she doesn’t have anything to offer me“. now…i can see what helping another person can do for me…but it’s still a difficult path for me to walk. shoot i know what i was like…and being one doesn’t always leave you better off in seeing one. my heart goes out to people in the throws of this disorder. i grew up in the midst of a borderline family, but i got out…i want to stay out.  borderlines will always try to pull you into that hole with them. while having been a deeply disturbed bpd, i still have to agree that borderlines are the most dangerous population in the mental health world to tangle with. besides my own recovery process, i have read extensively and if you have done your home work then you know that i’m not damning anyone…bpd means seriously sick…

but this disorder is like no other as it is an affliction of the personality and not a “chemical imbalance” or organic brain syndrome. most simply, it is learned and must be unlearned. if you know the difference and where that falls on the nosology…i needn’t say more. i’m not saying that borderlines don’t need help, but you have to be very skilled and armed…set up to do the job. not being able to handle the disorder well is just as destructive, if not maybe more, than not trying at all. what they write about borderlines is true…i lived it and i remember what i was like…

i see what the remnants of borderline are still like in my life. i may have had significant recovery but really, the volume is just turned down very low…i am still borderline, just to a lesser degree…much lesser. i never want to see that volume turned up again. when i get scared and unravel as i’m doing now…the volume seems to want to get louder…that is the process of that disorder. it is a cacophony of destructive voices going off in your head…fighting the whole world and your self.

damnit! busted! ok, i see what’s going on…i was sitting outside, frittering away over a laundry list of resentments and woes. wow can some people throw zingers at me if they want to hurt me…and then i throw in a few myself…that’s it! ok…nothing is really wrong”here. sitting down to write this out when i couldn’t find anyone to talk to, is helping here. my wonderful psychologist walked me down this path, kicking and screaming for over 7 years and now…if i remember her lead…i can, with in reason, navigate that path alone when i must. and…i must do it alone a lot. with borderline…sometimes you get hit with a big one and sometimes small, but the blows can come in rapid succession and the voices can become very athoritarian!LOL in my “down” times, when my reserves are low (and they come as a direct result of neglecting my personal care), i can feel like i’m driving down a road loaded with speed bumps at 50 mph and that is a lot to lay on other people.

that is how us borderlines suck the souls out of others. to compound that…i was trying to give a hand up to another borderline and she grabbed my hand and started the long sustained pull of the borderline. a little is never enough and enough is never enough. we are vacuous, black holes! i know! i need, need, need…and on a bad day i can become a whiny six year old in just moments. thank god i can usually detect that rush of borderline behavior when it begins to seep in. sometimes i can’t be objective and the behavior carries me away.

i have to watch “people, places and things” as they say in my support group. i have to check and recheck my intentions, because i can slide down that darn slippery slope of borderline behavior…which is so much more insidious than my alcoholism (but the two play darn well together). constantly, i have to ask myself “why are you doing this”. it can be exhausting, keeping the disorder in check, but i count my blessings that i was given the insight to do it. it was a lot of sacrifice on the part of my psychologist and a scary road of trust and surrender on mine. i continue to seek guidance from other qualified people. managing this disorder gets easier as we get older…perhaps wiser. life won’t be perfect…but is it for anyone? being honest and realistic are two qualities i try so hard to embrace every day. doubt and those darn voices can try to destroy my serenity but i am the final word on what happens with my thoughts. i don’t have to act on every thought and i can surely just release most of them.

so, thoughts, fly away now…

i should garden and play with my dogs for a bit.

peace out

what is BPD?:

Raising questions, finding answers

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness characterized by pervasive instability in moods, interpersonal relationships, self-image, and behavior. This instability often disrupts family and work life, long-term planning, and the individual’s sense of self-identity. Originally thought to be at the “borderline” of psychosis, people with BPD suffer from a disorder of emotion regulation. While less well known than schizophrenia or bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness), BPD is more common, affecting 2 percent of adults, mostly young women.1 There is a high rate of self-injury without suicide intent, as well as a significant rate of suicide attempts and completed suicide in severe cases.2,3 Patients often need extensive mental health services, and account for 20 percent of psychiatric hospitalizations.4 Yet, with help, many improve over time and are eventually able to lead productive lives.

Symptoms

While a person with depression or bipolar disorder typically endures the same mood for weeks, a person with BPD may experience intense bouts of anger, depression, and anxiety that may last only hours, or at most a day.5 These may be associated with episodes of impulsive aggression, self-injury, and drug or alcohol abuse. Distortions in cognition and sense of self can lead to frequent changes in long-term goals, career plans, jobs, friendships, gender identity, and values. Sometimes people with BPD view themselves as fundamentally bad, or unworthy. They may feel unfairly misunderstood or mistreated, bored, empty, and have little idea who they are. Such symptoms are most acute when people with BPD feel isolated and lacking in social support, and may result in frantic efforts to avoid being alone.

People with BPD often have highly unstable patterns of social relationships. While they can develop intense but stormy attachments, their attitudes towards family, friends, and loved ones may suddenly shift from idealization (great admiration and love) to devaluation (intense anger and dislike). Thus, they may form an immediate attachment and idealize the other person, but when a slight separation or conflict occurs, they switch unexpectedly to the other extreme and angrily accuse the other person of not caring for them at all. Even with family members, individuals with BPD are highly sensitive to rejection, reacting with anger and distress to such mild separations as a vacation, a business trip, or a sudden change in plans. These fears of abandonment seem to be related to difficulties feeling emotionally connected to important persons when they are physically absent, leaving the individual with BPD feeling lost and perhaps worthless. Suicide threats and attempts may occur along with anger at perceived abandonment and disappointments.

People with BPD exhibit other impulsive behaviors, such as excessive spending, binge eating and risky sex. BPD often occurs together with other psychiatric problems, particularly bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and other personality disorders.

Treatment

Treatments for BPD have improved in recent years. Group and individual psychotherapy are at least partially effective for many patients. Within the past 15 years, a new psychosocial treatment termed dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) was developed specifically to treat BPD, and this technique has looked promising in treatment studies.6

read more:  http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/borderline-personality-disorder.shtml

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i thought i’d share a letter i completed. i made a difficult decision, to try to return to my graduate studies in counseling and i’m asking for a second chance after i completely unraveled, unknowingly, from multiple prescription drug addictions and entered into subsequent relapse in my alcoholism.

hi p.,
 
it’s been a couple of years now…after talking with a lot of people for a while, everyone’s input has led me back to the same spot: “go back to work on your degree in counseling”. so…
 
my BVR counselor, c., suggested that, in light of how things ended for me in the department, maybe i should initially contact you to talk about how i might be able to get back into the program to complete my masters degree in counselor education.
 
after all this time has passed and so many things have happened, i can see more clearly, what went wrong my last time around. yes, i wrestled with being very sick, but what i wasn’t fully aware of was that i had developed an addiction to pain medication after being prescribed the drugs for over two years! yes i was working on my counseling degree. yes i was active in AA. i was even counseling and working with so many alcoholics and addicts. but, since i never abused my medication and never got high off of it…drugs were never “my thing”…i didn’t see what was happening to me. at one point i told my doctors that i needed to stop taking the pain meds, but i didn’t realize that i was addicted. my behavior and judgment had gradually been changing and finally, when i did try to stop the meds…well i tailspinned into a total relapse with my drinking. but through it all…i couldn’t see what was happening.
 
amazing that with all the resources and experience i had…it happened (well i happened). and of course i can see all the elements of my unraveling now…the most sneaky aspect was that i got so busy working with others (interning)…at the end of a day i would feel that “i’ve been studying, counseling and working with other alcoholics and addicts, facilitating groups…i probably don’t need to get myself to my meetings and continue with the work that supports my continued recovery”. i’ve learned from raising this issue in meetings and while giving leads, that this is a very common cause for addiction and relapse in the helping professions. (you hear about it, but you can feel immune until it knocks on your door.) working in the counseling field can be full of “land mines” we don’t consider until we’ve stepped on one, and it’s not for lack of warning signs. this time around, things got much worse before they started getting better. i got back into AA in september of ’06. it’s been a good and productive 18+ months.
 
i just uncovered recently…and here’s a really good one…that i was addicted to klonopin! after over 11 years on the prescription drug…go figure. it was when i began a titrate off of all my medications and finally approached the detox from klonopin that, all of my addictions became so horribly clear to me. it took going through an intentional and “going into with your eyes open” detox off of meds (and i’ve been this route on alcohol) to understand and see what’s been going on over the years. it’s humbling to look back and think that “someone like me”,  could have become so tangled in so many addictions, for over a decade, even in active recovery, therapy, under doctors’ supervision, and studying to become a counselor!
 
i can’t say that everything is alright now. no, there’s a lot of stuff to continue to learn, clean up and work on. what i’m aware of now is how one can get “lost” in the midst of trying to be a counselor and…in life. there may be no perfect prevention, but there is a lot of “psychosocial insurance” available. i have a valuable past to illustrate what can lurk in the shadows, of even a seemingly together person…as i once thought i was. i’m a firm believer that the wreckage of our past can be our most valuable resource as we try to move forward.
 
with all of that said…am i crazy for wanting to re-enter the counseling program? maybe. i weathered some storms that woke me up and taught me some…great lessons. while i am still me, i can’t help but be changed. i have some good material to bring to the table. so…i’m wondering if i might be able to schedule a time to come in and meet with you to discuss what is going on in the program now and if i may still find a place there.
 
thank you for your time,

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so many of us that have lived with a diagnosis of mental illness or chronic disorders such as fibromyalgia and chronic pain also suffer from a loss of mental acuity and function. it can be the result of long term use of psych meds, pain meds, benzodiazapines, etc….it can also result simply from atrophy, attributed to a lack of use…

in considering the horrible side effects of the drugs we have taken and are now withdrawing from, many of us have turned to suppliments and certain dietary guidelines along with excercise, meditation and various holistic approaches to being well. probably one of the most disconcerting side effects of the medication and withdrawal is what happens to our mental acuity and functioning. we become fuzzy, confused, struggle with memory, have “brain zaps”, our vision is poor, speach is difficult…our hearing, smell and taste is off and coordination is challenged…the list can be lengthy. and while we take various suppliments and eat certain diets, etc. all of which can be expensive, but, important to support healthier functioning of our body…there is another thing we rarely discuss that is free and freeing. exercising our brains!

yes, our neurological system needs a good workout on a regular basis, just as our muscular, skeletal and cardiovascular systems do. when we’re depressed and struggling with the horrible mental side effects our first reaction is to isolate and shut down. were no longer receiving any stimulus or forced to use our neurological system in the way we used to, in day to day living. comming out of “hibernation”, as i call it, is yet another difficult thing to navigate. but how we manage that, determines our whole interaction with the outside world. stop and think about all of the tasks you did or would normally do just in your morning routine. all the interactions being transacted…comming and going, from your system and the world around you! if you’ve shut down and you’re simply going from the bed to the sofa, sleeping all day or watching tv, maybe eating something but not really cooking, avoiding the phone and conversations…just barely existing (like me)…well with all that, (over more than a years time) you can probably see your muscles atrophy…i sure did…and, i lost bone density! i mean, the physical evidence of being sedintary or functioning at a very reduced rate, is overwhelming to look at.

now what do you think has been happening to your brain?

well, not only can the trauma from the meds, but becomming sedintary and barely functioning also, wastes away our brains. and, no wonder we’re foggy, have poor memory, can’t communicate well, etc! i’m struggling with it, as may be evidence in my writing! i’m embarrassed to have to mingle with people, talk on the phone and worst even…speaking in front of large groups! it’s a horrible struggle. few can imagine the mental gymnastics you’re doing to compensate! yes, i have (in the last week and few months) spoken in front of large groups…i’m in AA so even in a regular meeting…it proceeds around the room of 20 or so and it’s soon my turn! gasp! i mess up, loose my train of thought…but i’ve told people what’s going on with my meds and detox. i just get to a point where i’m lost so i laugh, flip my hand up  and pass! BUT I TRIED…that’s the important part of the exercise. simple social gatherings, time with friends and group sessions offer us opportunities to exercise our minds. (sound like a no brainer?) hell, i’ve even woven and stumbled my way through two leads in front of groups 15 and 50! 

those opportunities and others are my chance to share this experience with others. i get to show them first hand, what has happened and why.

i have so many encounters now, and i am “hyper-aware” of my neurological processes! (yet another mental obsession…AAs will get that one) facing all these interactions, as i’m trying to make my way back in to the world…well i just take a deep breath when i leave the house every day, and i don’t hold it! i take a lot of deep breaths all day (it slows me down, gives me a pause).

but it’s in the doing that we rehabilitate ourselves. our mental processing will improve if we use it and take it out to exercise too! no, don’t leave your brain behind…it may be a scattered mess and you may feel a shell of yourself…but with increased use you can see parts of you slowly return. it’s really no different than if you received a traumatic brain injury in an accident…consider what persons with TBI go through, to get rehabed. well, we kind of have to follow some of that model, i’m afraid. there is no pill or vitamin that is going to do it all. hell that’s how we got in the trouble we’re in with these meds…someone told us to take this pill and our bipolar, depression, pain….would get better. doesn’t work that way does it?  to even really deal with all of our problems, meds alone could not work. we would have to incorporate such techniques as behaviour modification, thought changing…they all require work….that dirty four letter word…work. we are not lazy people and in fact the majority of us are quite intelligent by all measures. so we’ve been misled and the social and medical communities don’t have enough funds or manpower to assist us 100%. well, if we want to get there…it is evidence to me by observing the blogging community…that the initiative must lie with in…each of us. we must draw upon what we can create and develop ourselves…we can read the research on the wall….”they” are not going to provide extra help for us, and things are getting worse.

so how do we repair our shattered minds. many very good therapies, approaches suggestions have been shared in the bloggesphere, and i’ve picked up on a lot for my own use! i love it…people helping people…awesome. this is how it works!

but back to the mind….i wander and digress (surprised?).  well i’m starting here…a simple search for “brain exercises”: http://www.ask.com/web?qsrc=178&o=0&l=dir&dm=&q=brain%20exercises just look! there’s a lot being marketed to this topic, but you can find resources that are free.

right off i find a simple article from webmd:

Train Your Brain With Exercise

“Exercise is really for the brain, not the body. It affects mood, vitality, alertness, and feelings of well-being.” to read more: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/train-brain-exercise

here is an article that says exactly what i’m trying to convey…but they have some creative and simple exercises you can incorporate into your daily routine:

Reviewer Name: Ferguson, Monica O. M.D.
Date Last Reviewed: 12-06-2005
Published Date: 02-06-2008

Just as cross-training helps you maintain physical fitness, using your brain in a variety of ways can help you keep your mental fitness, strength and flexibility strong.

“Presenting the brain with non-routine or unexpected experiences using combinations of your physical senses — vision, smell, touch, taste and hearing — keeps your thinking and perception active and growing,” says Lawrence C. Katz, Ph.D., professor of neurobiology at Duke University Medical School in Durham, NC, and coauthor of Keep Your Brain Alive. “It stimulates patterns of neural activity that create more connections between different brain areas and causes nerve cells to produce additional brain nutrients.”

Dr. Katz calls these brain-stimulating exercises “neurobics.” “Just like aerobic exercises emphasize different muscle groups to enhance coordination and flexibility, neurobic exercises involve activating many different brain areas to increase the range of mental motion,” he says. “They result in a mind that’s fit to meet various challenges — whether it’s remembering a name, mastering a new computer program or staying creative in your work.” to read more: http://www.healthline.com/sw/wl-neurobics-brain-exercises-for-on-the-job

ok so my formatting skills…don’t have them, but hang with me here…

here’s a blog: “Your window into the emerging field of science-based Brain Fitness, its implications for Health & Wellness, Education, Leadership, and more.”  http://www.sharpbrains.com/blog/ this may give you some interesting links about the brain and how we maintain it and improve it!

now when i mentioned exercising the brain i was talking about using techniques that are like “brain teasers” and other literal “brain exercises”. but this new york times article discusses how regular physical exercise can enhance brain function:

“Scientists have suspected for decades that exercise, particularly regular aerobic exercise, can affect the brain. But they could only speculate as to how. Now an expanding body of research shows that exercise can improve the performance of the brain by boosting memory and cognitive processing speed. Exercise can, in fact, create a stronger, faster brain. “

to read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/19/sports/playmagazine/0819play-brain.html

i checked out AARP (ok, i’m only 44, but who would know better than AARP, about this issue) and when i was talking about simple social interactions as being a good exercise, here goes:

“Social Connections and Brain Health

A major public-health study involving more than 116,000 participants found that people with strong relationships had less mental decline and lived more active, pain-free lives without physical limitations.

Other studies suggest that people with the most limited social connections are twice as likely to die over a given period than those with the widest social networks. Many experts believe that social isolation may create a chronically stressful condition that accelerates aging.”

to read more: http://www.aarp.org/health/brain/takingcontrol/stay_socially_connected.html

even if things are not specific…geared towards “off meds and detoxing”…for the most part, with in this topic,  they translate.

if i do too much research on this i take away an important exercise you can do to help your brain rehab from this horrible storm it’s weathered! time to get the fog out…

peace out!

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detoxing off these meds makes it more of a challenge for me to hold on to my serenity. i’m not as agitated as i was a few weeks ago but…got a few good blows to my finances and other things this morning and now i’m kinda pissy. well, i also got extremely boggy and tired part way through the day yesterday which gave way to my eating the last of my candy stash! as soon as i caught myself i threw out any other junk food that might have been around. that stuff is poison for me and will ruin me into the next day. it’s bad…up there with drinking. well, getting agitated is kind of my default mood too.

so…deep belly breaths here…and now i’m going to try to focus on writing something positive for today! i’m hanging steady at .62mg of klonopin. my pain is actually not bad right now. i don’t know if i can attribute that to the lyrica or the fact that i have way fewer drugs circulating in my system. but, i guess i can be grateful for just having a bit less pain today.

now, my focus (focus, focus, focus now), is going to be….ummmm…lets do something about daily meditations or affirmations! sounds good.

my sponsor has told me to do this and i think it’s a great idea: keep a book of daily affirmations or meditations right next to your bed so when you get up in the morning, before you even get out of bed, you do your reading for the day. it kind of sets a tone or theme for the day  before anything has a chance to derail you. (i even like using them at bedtime to help me sleep.) yes, this is just another “nothing new but good to remember” thing. with so many things whirling about us, this is one more thing we can do that is good for us and no matter what…we can do it and it will help. yeah, there are plenty of days that we are just going to feel bad/awful, but using mindfulness we may be able to make a part of ourself feel ok if not, hopefully pretty darn good or….great!

one thing…when things start to get bad, having a list of these little things you can do…..meditate, eat a good meal, walk, laugh, call a friend…taped to your refrigerator or bathroom mirror can help you see if there’s something you haven’t done today that you might give a try.

just remember that you are very brave and driven as it is, if you are detoxing off of meds, drugs, alcohol etc. it takes quite a hardy soul to take on that battle. it’s jumping off into the unknown with out a safety net most of us have relied upon for decades! that’s amazing and awesome. so, even if this is going to really mess with our bodies and minds for awhile while we’re getting healthy we need to “keep our eyes on the prize” and find little nice things that, no matter how we feel, we can do for ourselves. we need to sustain our emotional (and spiritual) well being. we need to keep that little place in us, which is driving us…we need to keep it fueled. so to feed our motivation (and if it’s like mine today…it’s very hungry). today i have some sites that can help you find some positive words and concepts to focus on. and if you start heading off in an uncomfortable direction today, you can use these words or concepts to try to pull yourself back to a better place. no, i’m not all “skippy-just do-it’s easy”…it can take a lot of strenth to pull it off…but you have it!

here’s a link to a section in the “about.com” site: http://quotations.about.com/cs/inspirationquotes/a/OvercomingAd1.htm there are many pages covering about any topic you can think of.

perhaps a subscription to a daily might be helpful…

at beliefnet http://www.beliefnet.com/newsletter/step1.aspx 

they have chicken soup for the soul and:

Inspiration
 
Bible Reading
A daily measure of God’s Word – Daily
Saint of the Day
Keep up to date on today’s Saint – Daily
Prayer of the Day
Inspiring prayers from around the world – Daily
Angel Wisdom
Let angels be your guide – Daily
Jewish Wisdom
Wisdom from ancient sages to modern thinkers – Daily
Buddhist Wisdom
Food for thought from the great Buddhist masters – Daily
Hindu Wisdom
Find more meaning with the Vedas, the Gita and more – Daily
Muslim Wisdom
Thought-provoking Qur’anic quotes and more – Daily

and if you want a real book, go on over to amazon…there are hundreds out there…used, for a few bucks. find something to suite your needs. since i’m in AA i really like “a woman’s spirit” and “each day a new beginning” from hazelden meditations. after a decade of good but not perfect use mine is dog eared.

for a start…amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_b/103-6736159-8733422?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=daily+meditations&x=13&y=13

 keep up the good work!

peace out!

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by now you may know my story….i’m down to apx. .62 of klonopin, (i am on 300mg of lyrica) and am managing my bipolar, alcoholism, fibromyalgia, pain and withdrawal symptoms best as i can. it’s difficult, and work, but i have my secret weapon!

ok this may not seem medically sound (but it is, very). i’m not promoting or selling anything here. you don’t need any special prescription or expensive supplements. there is no diet to follow and you needn’t exert yourself in moving from your sofa or bed! it’s free! i’ve mentioned it before but…..it’s….laughing!

now,  if you’ve been in a lot of physical discomfort and flattened or tied in knots for weeks you must just want to say “yeah, right”…and i totally get that.  but, when we are in pain, our minds clouded and confused and tired beyond description not to mention hosting a grab bag of symptoms, our mind just can’t possibly go towards smiling let alone laughing. or can it?  there is nothing funny about detox…or can there be? i’ve written about my symptoms and believe me…i’ve definitely been way laid by a slew of withdrawal side effects, depression, bipolar, and fibromyalgia too. i’ve curled up on my sofa, not answering the phone and not even able to focus on what was on tv. i’ve been as angry as a cat with a clothespin on its tail.  no…i was in no mood to laugh.

 well, in-spite of that statement, most days i did manage to pull out at least a smile or happy word or slight laugh thanks to AA,  my friends, and my dogs. many days i look at my dogs and think….they didn’t ask for me to be sitting here so distraught that all i do is let them out, feed them and then stress them out by crying or being in pain. yes it does upset my dogs (and my friends) when i’m in pain. if not for me, for their sake, i have to muster some moments of happiness, some how, because they need me to! and, i need it too.

the times when i can laugh, even if i’m being sarcastic about how i’m feeling or my situation…heck my friends need to hear me lighten up because they’re used to someone who, most of the time, behaves as if she hasn’t a care in the world (far from it)…i need that too. it’s not a facade…that’s how i am…a bit of a pollyanna. i know, go and gag. but the weight of the world, even with out detox, could be unbearable if i didn’t have this little….something, i don’t know what…just this little thing that drives me to laugh, i would have given in to despair years ago. laughter has brought me through so many situations….i’d be lost with out having it in my life. and i just plain love the high! and it’s a high that won’t make me have to pick up another 24 hour chip!

 these days the world is so heavy with gas prices, inflation, elections, horrible shootings, war…god i’m going to stop because i could fill a page or ten and i know you all could add another ten to mine. these are some challenging days that, unfortunately, are here to stay for a good (or not so good) while!

so, we have some decisions to make, and this is a decision

i always refer to victor frankl and his writings about his time in concentration camp. when i think about him, i have to kick myself in the butt and say “even this, that i’m going through, is not worth giving in to total despair”. now the world, detox and victor frankl are nothing to laugh about.

but can they inspire one to try to raise up and try to laugh? hell yes!

laughter is free and laughter is contagious. it does no harm but in fact does a world of good and has many health benefits. it increases our heart rate and exercises our lungs. it engages certain muscles and best of all, releases those happy hormones that can give the best and healthiest high! not to mention, fight pain!

so why do we shy away from something that has no bad side effects and promotes good physical and mental health and makes us feel so darn good? i don’t know…i believe we all want to feel good. isn’t that why we are detoxing off meds, getting sober, and perhaps taking some meds? isn’t that why some of us drank…to feel better? no, being free of meds and sober wouldn’t be of much value if it just left us feeling horrible. that defeats the point of it all, right?

yes, i love laughing and i try to make others laugh when i’m working with them to deal with their life’s issues. laughter may not make a problem go away, but it takes some of the power of that problem away…it can kind of give us a sense of being in control…

 you don’t believe me….read this excerpt and then check out some of the links:

from the MAYO CLINIC:

“The benefits of a belly laugh

Laughter’s benefits on your health are no joke. A sense of humor can’t cure all ailments, but data are mounting about the things that laughter can do.

Short-term benefits
A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn’t just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body, beginning with your face. Laughter can:

  • Stimulate your organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
  • Activate your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response and increases your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.
  • Soothe tension and tummy aches. Laughter can also ease digestion and stimulate circulation, which helps reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.

Long-term effects
Laughter isn’t only good for a quick pick-me-up, though. It’s also good for you over the long haul. Laughter may:

  • Improve your immune system.Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can impact your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. In contrast, positive thoughts actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more serious illnesses. In fact, in one study, people with cancer who watched a humorous video showed less stress and an increase in a particular cell activity that’s beneficial in fighting diseases such as HIV and cancer.
  • Relieve pain. Research increasingly shows that laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers.
  • Increase personal satisfaction. Laughter can also make difficult situations a little bit easier. One study of nurses who work in emergency rooms found that nurses who use humor in dealing with their patients and co-workers experience greater job satisfaction and feelings of personal accomplishment than do those who remain dour during their shifts.”

again, that is from the mayo clinic, and check out their site for more information “how to learn to laugh”. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stress-relief/SR00034

now try some of these or google phrases like “laughter is the best medicine”, the benefits of laughter” etc. you won’t believe what you’ll find. maybe you find that long lost smile and dash that sense of hopelessness. what do you have to loose? feeling miserable? ditch it and find something silly!:

from the MDA site: http://www.mda.org/publications/Quest/q34laughter.html

a silly list of funny dittys: http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Woods/7822/laff.html

laughter is the best medicine: http://www.newfrontier.com/1/beyoo795.htm

these were some good points on laughter: http://www.laughtercoach.com/home_whylaugh.html

here’s my search page on laughter: http://www.ask.com/web?q=Researching+Laughter+the+Best+Medicine&qsrc=6&o=0&l=dir

make a decision, a commitment today, to do this one good thing for yourself and those who love you…even if you think the only one who loves you right now is your cat…your cat needs you to laugh.

peace out!

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so many of us in the mental health and recovery communities are well familiar with the concept of resurrection. are we waiting for that first one, yet another one and perhaps, oh dear god, please…the final one, the mother of all resurrections, the holey grail…full recovery!

well i’m sure we’re grateful for any remission that graces us with some relief and yet several have found a key to continued recovery and amazing quality of life. there are so many stories of hope out there…so many a “phoenix risen from the fire” (or salamander if your swiss!). while we may find we have jumped or been thrown from the skillet into the fire once more, we should be inspired by the good days we’ve found, and inspiration in the continued recovery like the story of jim s. who’s shared his amazing story and gianni (bipolar: a blast from the past), had shared that story with all of us: Jim S. shares his inspiring recovery story.  weather you have been living with depression, bipolar, alcoholism/addictions, etc…you are all precious gifts to this planet, really you are! today is the “christian” day of rebirth and renewal, but i hope we can all grab hope from what ever stories and experiences of remission and resurretion we can find and have.

today i will be concious and praying for remission, recovery and resurrection for all of us!

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i just want to say that writing and reading other people’s blogs has been so inspirational. it is good to read about everyone’s whole experience….the rough spots and successes. reading about the difficulties others are having helps me not feel so alone. when you’re in pain and depressed and dealing with the pharmaceutical issues you can tend to curl up and just feel so isolated. so, even though it’s not so happy-making to read that others are going through the same stuff i am, it gives me a sort of sense of community.

while it’s not a community that, when we were young and thinking of things we’d like to be or do someday…i’m all sure we said “hey i want to grow up and experience mental illness and other chronic conditions and wrestle with big pharma!” no! but there is so much that i’ve learned by going through these things and the amazing people i’ve encountered over the years….that is something i would have wished to do “when i grew up”!

reading the successes and solutions people have discovered inspires me and gives me hope. hope is maybe the most important thing to be able to grasp in life…regardless of the situations were dealing with…good and bad. yes, hope does run through everyone’s blogging all the time. just the mere presence of each person in this blogging community is hope…hope that we can do the seemingly impossible. even when the pharmceutical companies and society can be felt breathing down our necks, there are so many people being proactive and making changes, that years ago, wouldn’t have been possible.

it’s going to be a nice, and today i’m grateful to be able to be in this day. i may not feel the way i’d like to feel. i have pain and my brain is foggy from medication and i still have bipolar, alcoholism and fibromyalgia…, but i’m going to be out in it all, and do my best…

…because all of you are.

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