Sunday, December 31, 2017

Cleaning the Mind with Journaling

As we end another year, we reflect on the past, and look ahead to the future. I am sad to leave my old planner/journal behind, and am intimidated by the empty pages of my crisp, clear planners.

Every year, I start my new journal with "I wonder if I will be alive at the end of this journal..."

Spent ALL DAY YESTERDAY and the past 4 hours on the new blog.

Very frustrated I have just started my New Year's traditions of intense journaling, goal setting, making a 2017 collage and 2018 Dream Board. My brother and I had a tradition of journaling together every New Year's Eve as far back as middle school. I am irritated that I am behind in my routine. I have to calm down, get before Jesus, and seek His will for me in 2018. Today and tomorrow are definitely days of avoiding interruptions. Besides that... Happy New Year!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Alternative Remedies for Ailments

I used to take 4 Excedrine for migraines per day due to severe migraines. Two months ago, I got a diffuser with Lavender essential oil scent and haven't taken Excedrine since. Sometimes, I put a couple drops of the oil on my eye mask when I feel the migraine coming on, and it works wonders. I never believed in homeopathic remedies. The diffuser relaxes my muscles, calms my anxiety and helps me sleep through the night.
The diffuser helps not only with general health issues, such as using peppermint oil for congestion,  I have seen great improvements in my anxiety, cerebral palsy, and even Crohn's Disease.
When/if I go back into private practice, I will definitely use a diffuser in my office. Now I know why Spas use diffusers.
During the Christmas holidays, my depression spiked, so I bought a salt lamp. What could it hurt, right? From what I researched, salt lamps change the environment by some scientific ways that are over my head (No pun).
Call it the placebo effect, call it science... whatever it is, my depression has definitely lessened since I started using the salt lamp. Of course, everyone is different so you may not feel the same benefits from homeopathic remedies. In fact, I have heard essential oils are harmful to pets, even coming from diffusers. Then I have read the benefits pets get, even people who put drops on dogs pads to decrease anxiety when traveling. My cat and dog have not displayed any significant changes from my diffuser or salt lamp.
At any rate, I no longer take medicine for migraines and have significantly decreased my anxiety medication. That in itself makes me feel better.
Please leave me a comment if you have experience with diffusers or salt lamps.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Hope Forward by Reflecting Back

Working so hard on my blogs, needed a prayer walk. I am so in love with Tallahassee. It's beautiful. I love the culture, the 50 minutes from the ocean, the ambitious ambiance, the friendly people... and the FSU spirit. There is no place I would rather live.

And my Addy cat... she is such a good girl who has been with me through the closing of my private practice, to losing Zoey, to living in my car at a rest area, to getting this 8 week old puppy who was her size when I brought Jireh home, to now Jireh is a 90 lb sister who submits to Addy. If it comes between me or Addy (i.e. giving Addy pills), Jireh takes Addy's side every time, barking at me to leave Addy alone.

And Jireh... I have loved golden retrievers most of my life. Pedigrees are costly. Yet, by the grace of God, I have the most beautiful animal I have ever seen! Her intelligence, beauty and personality astounds me daily. Truly, she feels like a person to me, and we do everything together. She visibly loves me above anything and her loyalty is solid.

I get to spend my days living my dream of writing, spending quality time with Jesus, creating... Loving life.

You know, we get so caught up in day to day problems, we lose sight of God's blessings - I am the worse! As the new year begins, I am making my blog more professional, focusing completely on mental health issues, and launching a new blog which shares all my passions... passions of my heart that have been made reality. Sometimes it helps to look back and see how far we have come. It gives us hope. It's all in perspective - some people are depressed the holidays are ending, while others of us are ECSTATIC at new beginnings.

Either way... we all need hope.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Blogging Benefits

If you've ever considered blogging, now is the perfect time. Platforms are user friendly, Twitter is a great marketing resource, and a new year is upon us.

I will provide details on starting a blog on my new blog... something for you to look forward to if you enjoy writing, thinking, working from where and when you want... this job is for you! It takes hard work and lots of time to launch a blog. You have to do some tedious technical design, write enough posts to generate a brand, thus create an audience.

Once you get your blog out there, it will take off. The more time you dedicate to your blog, the faster you can blog for income. A minimum of 3 months, working 30 hours per day should be expected.

As a writer, it won't feel laborious. And knowing the more time you invest, the more you will get in return... it'll be worth it.

Time to get to blogging!

I am starting a new blog site today - in depth Bible theology discussion with research, application and scripture reference. My current blog has started generating income with mental health issues... I have a growing audience, for which I am grateful. To write about interests that stimulate my thinking and use God's gifts to me, all while working from home and seeing extra income deposited into my bank... I am so excited! Launch date is January 1st. I also have 2 blogs under pen names, so this week will be super busy. Living my self-determined quality of life.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Survival

Thanks for all the encouragement in getting through Christmas! Spent 3 hours with Cathy, and had just enough alcohol to make me sleep the rest of the day. Each year will get easier. Merry Christmas - I am so thankful for my friends. The best part- I was a little drunk so Cathy ran Jireh to wear her out, then covered me up with a blanket when she left.
I have only been that drunk once before. Okay,  twice. I don't like it. I like the sleeping part, especially without Xanax. But I don't like being drunk. I knew I was safe with Cathy. Not the most Christian way to celebrate Christmas, still, thankful I did it without pills or suicidal thoughts.
I hope my transparency with mental illness over the years has helped people understand it is neurochemical and not a sign of weakness. Thankfully, I have true friends who support me, and so I will keep sharing my journey. I could never do this life without Christ.

Struggling with Christmas

My Christmas started at midnight with all these texts about what a LIAR I am, wanting people to think I am alone on Christmas, and my Facebook shows me having a great time with friends. I explained that was LAST year, and I am alone except Cathy will be here from noon to 2pm (just long enough for me to get wasted at happy hour). The person went on and on about how I want people to feel sorry for me, I embrace my depression, on and on and on. I took Xanax earlier in the day thinking I couldn't take them today with   Cathy here, so I slept after talking with a couple friends. Because I didn't answer the phone, I was called a coward and liar... yeah, Merry Christmas. Plus, I was told I guilt my friends into kissing my ass. 

No, I share my depression and anxiety because of ignorant people like HIM! And I see all these posts about reaching out for help if you are depressed... HELLO! THIS IS HOW PEOPLE REACT! If I wasn't strong in my relationship with Jesus, his comments would have pushed me over the edge from depression to being actively suicidal.
The best gift I can give anyone who is struggling with the holidays is to isolate and don't tell people. They can't handle it. If they ask how you are, say "I'm fine".

By the way, this IS the day to celebrate the birth of Jesus. My gift to Him is to share His gifts with me. I am starting a Christian devotional blog today, so this blog can focus on mental health and disability issues. For those of you wanting to start an in depth Bible study with easy to understand and applicable posts for each day, I will launch the new blog January 1st. I hope you join me.

Merry Christmas, and take care of yourself.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Christmas Alone

Seems our illnesses really show up during holidays. Isn't it amazing how our mind and body react to external events?
My Service Dog is working full-time, around the clock, watching me and trying to make me laugh (which she does endlessly). She understands my behavior better than anyone and won't let me out of her sight. She stopped eating her food yesterday and will only eat when I eat. I may have to start eating dog kibble so she will eat.
Everytime I woke up last night, she was right there.
Got up, realized I am having Crohn's issues after pooping my pants. Found something to distract Jireh, cleaned up, put on Depends diaper, and back in bed. Merry Christmas. Gonna be a fun weekend!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Working on Manuscripts

Feel like I am standing my readers up when I don't work on my blog, so I just had to check in. Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays. I plan to write an entry on facing the holidays alone. I have no plans and will be completely alone from now until after Christmas. It's going to be tough. Take care of yourself and do whatever you can to get through the next 2 weeks. I will do the same.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Christmas with Crohns Disease

Christmas is almost here - I can tell  without consulting with a calendar.  My Crohn's flare ups are full blast.

Crohn's disease is described by WebMD as a chronic inflammatory disease of the digestive tract. Symptoms include abdominal pain and diarrhea, sometimes bloody, and weight loss. 

Being diagnosed at 16, I know the Crohn's cycle painfully. The following may be too much information for some.. I view it as my intestines form a blockage where food cannot pass, so both vomiting and diarrhea makes me camp out in the bathroom. Because it comes on so quickly, I bring a book into the bathroom, sit on the toilet with a bucket. Yes, the vomiting and diarrhea often occurs concurrently.

Stress is my major culprit, although diet plays a big part. Everyone's different, but I can't eat lettuce, spicy food, iced coffee (can't explain that one), peanuts, and especially sunflower seeds.

Most of the time, I have it under control. I've been hospitalized several times with doctors wanting to cut out the part of my intestines with the blockage, but I decline because blockages can come back at a different spot.

Most times, I just wear Depends anticipating accidents. But flare ups like the one I woke up to has me laying on the floor, curled up in a ball with severe pain.

This is how I have spent every Christmas  (except last Christmas because my friends made it so magical), even hospitalized some years.

Christmas reminds me of my lack of a loving family, and that is expressed through Crohn's.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Prayers Are Not Enough... Diffusers Help

I'm a supporter of using diffusers to help with my health. The oils relax my muscles, calm my anxiety, and help me sleep. A member of an online group asked what oil helps with depression. Someone implied pray to Jesus and the depression will go away. Here's my response -

As a Christian,  the "Jesus Oil" comment deeply offends me. It makes sufferers feel they are. lacking faith. That's wrong. I wrote about this very topic in my blog - Christians and Depression , lavender helps relax me.

Don't let anyone allow you to believe  you lack faith. Hang in there. One day at a time.

Admins. will likely say my comment is inappropriate, and block me for refering to my blog again. But as a person with major clinical depression, people who just say "have more faith" and leave it at that do more damage than good. The citrus oil seems to make me feel healthier. The whole Vitamin C concept.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

That Lure of Xanax

My pharmacy offered me THREE months of Xanax to help get me with the holidays. I said no, thanks.

My friend cried tears of joy when I told him. I cried tears of sorrow because I WANT THEM SO BAD! WHAT WAS I THINKING? 

It's a major step, especially during Christmas. I was first prescribed Xanax in 1993. My first psychiatric hospitalization, a fellow patient told me I should ask for Xanax because it was good stuff. Just like that, I was given Xanax. I only took it during Christmas when I had to be around relatives. In 2008, I began taking it regularly after closing my private practice due to a mental breakdown. Because Xanax is easy to develop a tolerance to, I took more and more since my peers included psychiatrists, so I could get all the pills I wanted. 

To this day, I fantasize about my Xanax days. Taking them give me THE BEST feeling ever! Oh my goodness! It's like being on the edge of general anesthesia... you don't care about ANYTHING! And it kicks in within 20 minutes of taking it. Oh, I miss it. Turning the air conditioner down really low, covering myself in blankets and sleeping. Many of my Christmases were spent in a comatose sleep for 9 hours, I'd wake up, pee, take more Xanax, and be out. All my worries floated away. Gotta tell you,  I long for that kind of Christmas this year.

Things have been going so good for me, I know it's because I am walking in obedience to God. I don't want to mess that up.

What upsets me are people who say, "You quit Xanax years ago. What's the big deal?", ESPECIALLY WHEN IT IS MINIMIZE BY THE PEOPLE I STOPPED  XANAX FOR! *incorrect sentence structure, but I am angry. I didn't quit for me; I quit for others.

You never get over the cravings. It has me thinking, since people minimize it, maybe I will minimize it... No big deal... maybe I will call the pharmacy back and rescind my denial.

Friday, December 15, 2017

My Jireh - (from previous blog)

Shared with my friend telling him I pray all the time I die before Jireh because I will go mentally insane without her. Looking at this picture, he said, "You know dogs were on earth with Jesus. Think about Jesus petting dogs... "
I said, "I bet Noah knew how special dogs are and decided to name them God backwards... Dog. And I bet when Jesus sees Jireh, He will hug her and say, "Good job taking care of My Shelly..."

Thursday, December 14, 2017


610. My blog post was viewed 610 times. I have been researching monetizing my blog, and found out if I can figure out how to set it up on my tablet, I have already earned$100...  and that is before I placed needed links, including Amazon, on my page!

So, posts may not be daily for a week or two as I have two other blogs in fruition - one is for readers wanting psychological information without my faith based comments. I don't want to discourage people from getting insights into health issues from me, a patient AND a professional solely because they are turned off by my faith.

The third blog is all about how to apply specific scripture to your everyday life. It will be excerpts from my book. (Actually, each blog contains excerpts from my books).

Let me end with a sweet story. There's a young boy, (8-ish), who plays with Jireh a couple times per week. I can tell his family doesn't have money, so yesterday, I told him it really helps me by him running with Jireh. I said maybe I could start paying him $10 mth. He said he was happy to just help me, then asked about the thing on my porch. I explained it was a pooper scooper so I can get Jireh's poop off the ground so people don't step in it. I said I needed to buy a new one because it broke. So the boy goes back to throwing a stick for Jireh. I asked, "So what would you buy with $10?". He put his hand under his chin, looked thoughtfully into the sky...  then said with excitement, "I would buy you a new pooper scooper!".
No words.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Christians and Suicide

For people who question my faith when I get depressed, Isaac was one of my top 3 favorite pastors. My friends from Bible Study told me I wasn't trusting God when I was suicidal. Isaac was their pastor, too. The "church" thinks prayer can fix anything, so many of us suffer in silence. On Thanksgiving, I was feeling suicidal and called the only member of my relatives I had contact with. The person who accepted Jesus with me in 1983, and got Baptized in the same water as me. Out of despair and hopelessness, I asked if he would miss me if I died. He yelled at me for making him miss his daughter's reaction to Santa on TV. Then he asked if I was going to church. The ultimate sting was when He asked if I am a Christian.  No wonder Christians commit suicide. Either they keep their mental illness hidden, or members of the "church" push them over the cliff. If you are suicidal, be very cautious with who you tell. My relatives are all dead to me now. I worship Jesus, not "the church". I have a chemical imbalance, not a lack of faith.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Self-Care When Possible

Taking care of oneself is not easy when having mental health issues because you have no energy or interest. When I feel good, I like to tan because I look so much better.

As mentioned, I got a check from my publisher. I did get 2 Christmas presents for myself... I look so much better tan, and on Black Friday, this self-tanner (normally $50 plus tax and shipping), was $23! And I locked in to automatically get it monthly, so that price will stay the same every month!

I am feeling better about myself as my face and neck are tan enough to make me look healthy without foundation. Proves when you (well, I) am able to take care of myself, it helps me feel better.

Then I walked into the crowded post office where the postal workers all greeted me, asking where have I been?! When selling handmade Christmas cards, I went in there several times per week and joked with all of them. Yesterday, I realized I have made another friend as she told me she had missed me, and we started talking about meeting for drinks, her birthday, and would I come to her party? Meanwhile, Jireh was getting lots of love.

I won't change my stance on socializing. But it's nice having options. It's nice taking care of my appearance. It's nice making my apartment my own. (My sheets had holes and rips all over. I found a sale on $60 sheets for $15). My bedding is now ocean themed with dolphins, sea horses, and anchors. God is providing.

So I guess it's not "self-care", it's "God-care" because HE cares.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Suicide Aftermath

Today is the anniversary of a friend's suicide. I understand the pain he must've felt. I'm jealous he is no longer in pain. I'm sure many people are missing him today, but otherwise, his family has adjusted to life without him... and he is at peace. I have no family, but I do have friends who would be heartbroken.

My closest friends would understand. 

I miss you, Isaac. Glad you found peace finally. I'm jealous you are in heaven and I am stuck in this world. Hopefully, not too much longer.

A text from my close friend-

Giving and God's Plan

I admit I have been feeling sorry for myself because I have nothing to look forward to this Christmas, especially compared to last Christmas, which was a dream come true. I wallowed in depression, went through periods of bitterness, sadness... even hatred. It seems God had His own plans...

What a surprise when I found a photo in my timeline of the lady who helped me at the store a year ago when I was shopping for my Christmas Trip to Central Florida. I saw her again for the second time yesterday. She has a daughter with Cerebral Palsy. Since I got the check from my publisher, I wanted to give back in honor of all who gave to me last Christmas. So I bought her a diffuser since it helps relax my muscles, and am giving her my weighted blanket (has bad memories attached to it).

Last Christmas, my friends gave me an all-expensed paid trip to a 5-star hotel! IT WAS TRULY MAGICAL as I have no family and live at the poverty level.

My publisher paid me for the first time in 6 months. I became eligible for $15 month in food stamps and got a retroactive amount, so I have food. I'm safe, warm and my pets are healthy. I have no plans for Christmas and won't go anywhere. I'm working on monetizing my blog and writing a few books. I am determined to get out of poverty, and use my talents to glorify God.

My friend said it sounds like this will be a great Christmas for me as I told him other "surprise" gifts for people who hardly know me. Told him it feels so good to give to others for a change. No feeling like a moocher this year. No feeling like a burden. No. I am sharing the love of Jesus.

That's the Christmas Spirit.

Mark 11- 
The Widow’s Offering
41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

New International Version (NIV) - from Bible Gateway

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Do You Want to Grow?

As we become adults, we are free to make our own unique perceptions of what we were raised to be fact. We can do an intensive questioning over what we believe and why we believe it. Frequently, the answer is because others planted certain beliefs, even lifestyles, in our minds.

Thankfully, I am approaching the holidays differently this year, and I believe this is why my depression has lifted the past several days. Christmas will not be like I was raised... Christmas will be like I design.

Sometimes, we get stuck in the traditions of others, and if those individuals leave our lives, we are lost. We may unknowingly stay victims of the past. After all, those traditions are all we know. Not only do we remain in miserable circumstances, we don't realize we can change the situation.

Change is unfamiliar and scary. Yet change is required for growth.

There was a man in the Bible who had been disabled close to 40 years. Jesus asked him, "Do you want to be healed?". Think about it. For the man to be healed, his comfort zone would be taken away, he would be expected to change, facing the unknown. He would be required to grow to the next step.

And so I ask you... Do you want to grow?

Friday, December 8, 2017

Why I Don't Like Suicidal Hotlines

Yesterday, I woke up feeling the depression had slightly lifted. Knowing depression can hit you at anytime, I didn't tell people because I don't want them thinking I am all better, placing social expectations on me.

I texted a few close friends who know my cycle, and told them details, including my Thanksgiving suicide attempt. They said they had no idea I was so depressed and they would have hospitalized me. My response, "That's why I only told (my best friend)!".

Depressed individuals need someone they fully trust. I completely trust this friend and tell her EVERY THOUGHT... every plan. And by being able to share my darkest days, she has saved my life, rather GOD has used her as a vessel to save my life.

Listen, coming from a fellow psychotherapist and clinically depressed individual, I tell people BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT TELLING PEOPLE WHEN YOU ARE SUICIDAL. The average person just wants you safe, so, with good intentions, they drop you off at a mental hospital, thinking professionals will help. Those professionals pump you with drugs, watch you for 2 weeks, and for me, that started my Xanax addiction.

In conclusion, I cringe when people tell suicidal people to speak out for help. It's not that easy. You need discernment.

Imagine a child victim of incest "reaching out" to an unknown child molester.
Or a drug addict "reaching out" to an unknown drug dealer.

No. Sometimes, it's best not reaching out for help.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Poem ÷ Welcomed Nuisance

Waking to the symphony of rain,
Hidden like the darkness in my brain.
Am unwelcomed nuisance to most,
This uninvited, dominating host.
Keeping potential visitors away...
I beg, "Stay, rain... please, please, stay.
Insulate me from the others-
Releasing me from all that smothers".

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

There's Hope in Depression

It's going to be alright. The dark abyss may be infinite, yet Jesus takes my hand and leads me out into the light. There may be no speck of light in sight, but Jesus will come for me. And He will fill me with joy and strength to follow Him. He will wipe away all the pain, not just wrapping my wounds, but healing them, and using them to show the world how powerful my God is!
Satan will not win. My God reigns, and He is fighting this battle for me.

Severe Depression

None of this helps if your family has disowned you. I am past the point of wanting to go anywhere and talk to anyone. My psychiatrist upped my meds because I am falling so far into the darkness, I don't know if I will find my way out... even when the holidays are over.

Article from Counseling Today

December Depression

I've cancelled all my plans indefinitely, staying away from social media holiday posts and stopped answering my phone. What little energy I have goes to promoting and submitting my writing, and playing with Addy and Jireh.

I spend my days staring into space, wondering if the depression will lift after the holidays, and pleading to God for relief.

No more whining to my friends. No one can help me anyway. No one understands.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Memorizing Scripture

I just started reading this book while in a major clinical depression and paralyzing anxiety. When I finish it, I will write a comprehensive book review. I already know this will be one of my all-time favorite books. It's a small book that I will be carrying in my bag wherever I go.

Closing my eyes, blocking out all thoughts, and repeatedly processing Bible verses.

I am having trouble concentrating, so this book by Tyndale Publishers is balm for my soul.

Stones of Remembrance: Healing Scriptures for Your Mind, Body, and Soul (Memory Rescue Resource)

Depression and Anxiety

Naomi Judd was on the Today Show talking about depression and anxiety.

Please watch this. This is such a precise definition of depression and anxiety. I can't wait to read the book. A friend came up Saturday because I am in a severe depression. I told a few people who I thought were "safe" that I attempted suicide on Thanksgiving. One person told me I do all this for drama, and I should have taken more pills. Awful things were said to me, which I am saving for my book. Right now, I can't get off the couch. And every day that passes, I lose money by not writing. Depression and anxiety are REAL.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Disabilities, Sexual Abuse, and Church

After a great Saturday with a friend, and a social detox day yesterday, I woke up clinically depressed. Depression is like that- showing up out of nowhere. Let me add my left side was hurting last night due to Cerebral Palsy,  so I took a couple muscle relaxants before bed. This led to vivid nightmares of the sexual abuse I experienced in 2010… and, I woke up like this. Cerebral Palsy, sexual abuse, PTSD, now severe depression. I don’t dare eat because my Crohn’s will flare up. Welcome to my life.
There are so many directions I could take this entry… since I am still reeling from the Matt Lauer falling from sexual abuse, I will go that way. While it is refreshing to finally see women speaking up, hearing incidents triggers PTSD.  Sexual abuse happens in churches, too. Here is a recount of my experience-

The church conspired with my mom to institutionalize me. Sent the cops to come get me... the cops said "we can't take you... you're smarter than we are!". The bad part was she got all my friends to believe I was an incompetent drug addict. So I pushed everyone away. Meanwhile, my landlord  (who also attended the church), wouldn't fix my heat unless I gave him oral sex. I refused, and reported him to my pastor. My pastor talked to the landlord who admitted everything, saying he was sexually attracted to me and didn't trust himself alone with me. My pastor told me not to worry about it.  I left everything behind and lived in my car at the rest area. I had been going to him for pastoral counseling for Xanax addiction, and he said he was addicted to pornography and told me all about that and sex with his wife... so two different men from my church were being sexually inappropriate with me while conspiring with my mom and friends to institutionalize me. Was I crazy?

I lost everything except Jesus. 
I don’t go to church anymore.

I have a firm understanding of the Bible, spending an average of 4 to 6 hours of Quiet Time per day. Jesus is very present to me, and I survive, spiritually growing, by being in solitude with the Holy Spirit... fellowshipping with a few friends. Basically, I live like a nun. I am going to be with Him now to cry out to my Prince of Peace... He is waiting.