Sunday, July 30, 2017
She recently told me I basically wrote her off! Here I had wondered why she backed away from our friendship. She told me I only wanted to talk to Cathy and for her to back off. I didn't believe her until she showed me texts I had sent her, mean texts, texts that embarrassed me. I honestly had no recollection of my cruelty. To friends reading this, I am so sorry if I hurt you.
Please believe me when I say a decade of taking psychotropic medications have damaged my brain. Recently, I scrapbooked my most recent birthday. I turned 47. Flipping through the pages days later, I was surprised to see I had titled it 'My 37th birthday'! And another day, I was watching my favorite TV show, "In Treatment", which is about the life of a psychotherapist in private practice. I was thinking maybe I could go back to college to study psychology. About 30 minutes later, I remembered I AM a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and I have spent several years in private practice.
Okay, this is scary.
I must remember I don't know what I have told who. Thank You, Lord... for protecting me from painful realities, and for a comfortable environment for me to live with my girls. From now on, I will be adamant about recording everything. Keeping detailed records. Write things down. Journal, journal, journal. And keep moving forward.
Saturday, July 29, 2017
Here is an old blog entry on Asthma... let me say Asthma, menopause, and Tallahassee humidity does not mix...
Asthma. Not many people know I have asthma so I must have an extremely mild case. I was diagnosed with it about ten years ago when I went to an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor, which I can’t even remember why I went to the doctor. To be honest, I think a coworker told me he was handsome and I wanted to see for myself. I called in with ‘possible allergy’ symptoms and left with a nebulizer and asthma diagnosis!
Truly, I think the asthma is related to my Cerebral Palsy. According to the National Institute of Health: The majority of individuals with cerebral palsy will experience some form of premature aging by the time they reach their 40s because of the extra stress and strain the disease puts upon their bodies. The developmental delays that often accompany cerebral palsy keep some organ systems from developing to their full capacity and level of performance. As a consequence, organ systems such as the cardiovascular system (the heart, veins, and arteries) and pulmonary system (lungs) have to work harder and they age prematurely.
So I really don’t feel like an ‘expert’ in asthma. If it’s hot and I overextend myself, I have to rest and focus on catching my breath. If I didn’t know eventually, it will get easier to breathe, it would freak me out, so I have to comfort myself by saying I will be able to find a natural breathing flow again.
Asthma is very scary – I do not know from personal experience except to imagine how I would experience a more severe case.
Yes, I am still writing. Multiple sources are calling my name… I feel God asking me to use the talents and treasures He has given me to touch a variety of audiences. The new season brings opportunities and promises for a new chapter into a bright future.
There are blogs online of me documenting my struggles with severe depression, suicidal ideations, and paralyzing anxiety. Blogs so real and transparent that I pray certain people never read them as they make me uncomfortable processing them. Some sound like I am about to put a gun to my head as soon as I stop writing the blog entry, and looking back, there were days when that idea wasn’t too foreign or outrageous, to tell the truth. My identity was molded by my mental illness, and it consumed my life starting in 2006 when I had a major job switch and my beloved kitty cat died unexpectantly.
The past 11 years have been at minimum a seemingly insurmountable challenge to which I spent many days merely existing by staring at the ceiling, laying in bed all day. One could say I wasted my life back then, when in reality, I was saving my life. More about this later. Then there was my professional life prior to my “mental breakdown’ – yeah, that’s what it was…a mental breakdown. Life before that time was completely opposite from the depressed, anxious, agoraphobic bed-ridden body morph I transpired into… I was a Licensed Mental Health Therapist and Certified Rehabilitation Counselor in Private Practice… the only Med-Waiver mental health therapist in Central Florida. After hanging out my shingle, I had quite a business! I was living the dream. I was reaping the benefits of a hard earned education. Life was good, professionally.
Personally, not so much. Now, I see I needed the forced respite from mental illnesses to discover who I truly am, and to live authentically. The Bible states “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I may learn your decrees…” … no truer words have been spoken.
I am not looking back anymore. I refuse to allow circumstances to keep me down. The past is the past. When I look in the mirror, I like who I am. I am proud of who I've become. And God isn't finished with me yet. He's the only opinion who matters, and He's okay with me...
Friday, July 28, 2017
Today, I challenge you to think about the great things in your life rather than wallowing in the bad… which, let me add, what YOU perceive as bad may be a hidden blessing of God protecting your from something excruciating! I guess you could sum it up with LIVE IN THE MOMENT.
Right now, I am truly living the life I have dreamed of for fifteen years. All day, every day, I get to read the Bible, create Worship Art, and write. That’s it! I’m writing a devotional, a psychology text on Aging with Cerebral Palsy and a fiction book. Recently, I decided to start writing articles for extra cash. The great thing is I am living my quality of life, not settling, not answering to anyone. And because of technology, I am able to live in my favorite city with its academic culture, determined mindset, extraordinary trees and perfect weather all while keeping in touch with friends like Michele.
I have to say that is definitely AWESOME.
So I challenge each of you, comment below on 3 things you are grateful for today. Can I add that I am grateful for YOU, each of my readers? Because as much as I love to write, the more readers who click on the ads on this page, the more income I generate. How great is that, to get paid for doing my passion?! So share this blog site with others and comment below on what you are grateful for today.
Thursday, July 27, 2017
Qualifying for SSDI can take years due to the number of people who try cheating the system. Between paper work and doctors appointments, the process is tedious enough without having an illness. Going through the process will make a sane person crazy! Once you finally receive the award letter, it`s like winning the lottery! Finally, someone believes you’re too sick to work. Admittedly, though, you have to swallow your pride, too, realizing your fate.
Well, my mind and body cannot seem to cooperate. When my mind is clear, my Crohn’s Disease keeps me constrained to my bathroom, or my muscles are aching from aging with Cerebral Palsy, or I am having trouble catching my breath due to Asthma.
On the rare occasions when I can physically function, I am afraid to leave my home due to PTSD, Agoraphobia, and Anxiety. Or I can’t get out of bed due to Major Clinical Depression. Definitely not the “lucky life” other’s think I have.
So I am writing a couple books in hopes of earning enough money to have a better quality of life. I wrote a children’s book series called, Dillon and Friends, which was published several years ago. Those quarterly commission checks are a beautiful sight in my mailbox.
As long as you are breathing, you still have work to do here on earth. I guess you could say I am in between jobs. Not quite sure what I should be doing. But there is still work to do.
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
But I am trusting God, fighting these additional hurdles. He is a lamp unto my feet and my Guide throughout this journey. So many people and circumstances will try to stop you from reaching your full potential- don’t let them. The world needs your gifts and talents. The world needs YOU.
Let me explain what anxiety feels like (since I am in the middle of an anxiety attack). These symptoms vary from person to person, even from situation to situation. This is what I am feeling right now. I’m scared, yet unsure of what I fear. My heart is racing, stomach is churning and extremities are twitching. I’m writing this on my tablet where I am covered with blankets and my Golden Retriever at my feet. I lived in a couple shady places ten years ago, which is where my PTSD stems from. During those times, I was completely alone with no one to talk with about my fears. I find myself in a similar situation regarding friendships.
Who knows why we go through such hardships? The answer is far beyond our comprehension, and our lives are merely a blip on the infinite screen of life. We must stay the course to make our contribution. Don’t even think of giving up! We become stronger with each challenge defeated, and our confidence significantly increases.
Hang on. Keep fighting… but don’t you dare quit.
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
While our physical health plateaus when we enter adulthood, our psychological health does not. In fact, life events can alter our mental health significantly. Without proper treatment, our physical health can be negatively impacted by things like ulcers, digestive problems, etc..
Life is about growth and change. We need to take regular inventories of ourselves to be sure our actions and decisions align with the person we are becoming. Such questions which need to be asked include-
**What is the mission of my life?
**What are my values, dreams and priorities?
**Am I living authentically?
**Am I using my gifts to better society?
**Do I surround myself with people who positively influence me?
**What practical steps can I take to be more like the person I want to be?
Since these are heavy questions requiring great introspection, it is good to take some quality alone time and brainstorm what truly matters. Don’t limit your dreams- the sky is the limit. You’ll be surprised how resources will appear when you begin living on purpose.
Saturday, July 15, 2017
Good morning! How are we doing today? If you got out of bed, brushed your teeth, took a shower, even left your house… let me congratulate you if you are suffering from depression and/or anxiety! Each of those things are HUGE, and in a world that makes such acts seem ‘mundane’ and normal, they are monumental tasks when in a funk.
If you are reading this from bed, unable to open the curtains and just want to curl up and wither away, hang on. I know it hurts. I know there are no words to comfort you or make you excited to even consider enjoy life, just take it one minute at a time. Maybe all you can do today is stay in bed… celebrate surviving, celebrate not hurting yourself. Celebrate tomorrow you have another chance, tomorrow you may wake up and have some energy and motivation. But hang on. Don’t give up.
You are still on this earth because God isn’t finished with you. He has a purpose for you being here. I know you may not care and may even be mad at God… that’s okay – He is big enough to handle your anger. You see, He knows what you are going through, He sees you struggling. He sees you persevering, and you will be rewarded for hanging on. Revelation 2:2 says, “I know your deeds, your hard work, your perseverance…” and verse 7 continues, “To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” In other words, you fighting and persevering today will result in being rewarded in paradise! Don’t judge by the world’s standards, when in a depression, brushing your teeth is overcoming. Leaving the house is persevering. Not ending your life is being a conqueror! God sees it even if no one else does… and He is all that matters.
Friday, July 14, 2017
Really trying to get back to work. I lost my entire childhood family last week so there is a situational depression going on, along with rediscovering myself without outside influence. I am running the gamut of mental illness from self-injury to addiction relapse. I want to get back into the therapist role as I work on my psychology textbook manuscript, but have been verbally vomiting into my Smashbook. Tomorrow is another day.I am
Take care and love (my new tagline)
Life with Anxiety Disorder
Medical Condition #6 – Anxiety Disorder
For the sake of space and redundancy, I will combine anxiety and PTSD in this final category. There are many forms of anxiety (social phobia, generalized anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc.) and most are characterized by excessive worry about events that are usually unlikely to happen. The anxiety attacks tend to be triggered by past events (hence, soldiers returning from combat have a high likelihood of PTSD, and many would rather not discuss the events). I’ve buried so many events that my personality has been negatively scarred by the events of years ago.
Again, there’s an endless cycle – anxiety leads to depression, leads to paralyzing feelings of staying in bed, leading to more anxiety from missing so much work. The cycle is vicious and merciless.
Speaking of ‘denial’, since I am feeling functional today, I am not going to dwell on the anxiety or other conditions anymore, at least right now. When you can put your dysfunctions aside and live, even ENJOY life… do it. Whatever it takes, live out your life!
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Do you ever waver between having certain relationships in your life? I confess I have spent most of my life doing this with dysfunctional relatives.
I keep laughing at my friend, Cathy. Yesterday was an annual customer event at her job, so she had a super busy day. I called her crying so hard after hanging up from the most painful phone call of my life. I said, "No matter what I do, they will make me the bad guy.. ". Cathy was tired and angry and had NO FILTER as she yelled, "WHO CARES WHAT YOUR RELATIVES SAY? THEY DON'T LIKE YOU ANYWAY!!!"
I cracked up laughing so hard! She was too tired to sugar coat anything. And she pointed out the obvious - none of my relatives have liked me since I went to college. Why was I so surprised at the phone call? I love Cathy. And another friend always says she feels like she's banging her head against the wall every time I call her crying about my relatives hurting me.
I have decided the word "wavering" is now one of my favorite words. The next time I am wavering, I AM WAVING THE NEGATIVE GOODBYE! NO MORE WAVERING - LET IT GO!
Sunday, July 9, 2017
And so today is the day when my writing transitions from a hobby to a career. With God’s strength and power within me, I cannot fail. Besides, anything is better than escaping into sleep, wasting my life. My advice to readers is to push past the self-doubt, and follow the desires in your heart. You deserve to live your full potential.