The most dangerous illness of all

I think we learn fear…I really don’t think it’s just natural to be afraid of things, everything, hyper vigilant in our fear, smothering fear. I’m not a disciple of the past life-reincarnation theory. Actually I fall right in the center…some things I hear or experience have me on the right -maybe- side of it. Then I walk along one foot in front of the other thinking naw…don’t believe it…..and with that little tangent about my belief system…there are times that I wonder if my fears “could” be the result of past karma, past life experiences…noticing fur on the ground while looking for nuts and the next thing you know, the saber tooth tiger is chasing me toward my cave entrance.

I was born from, raised by and fought off the fear that seeped from my mother’s pores. As an example, when my first child was born, my mother was standing in my kitchen comforting the crying baby. When I walked into the room, she told me I should take the child to the doctor and have her tested for cyclic fibrosis because her skin tasted salty. My very first reaction was 0 to 60 rage…my mothers terror was always a recognizable shadow…always with her.

Which leads me right into taking your shoes off when you come in the house….inspired by a Facebook share bestowing the fear of what is on the bottom of the shoe…including a bacteria which can lead to nasty infections with symptoms raging from diarrhea to potentially fatal inflammation. OMG and here I was only worried about the China manufactured disease killing hundreds of thousands along with eating hamburger that has been in my fridge for three days….and number one on the list…the mental illness from which I suffer…the fear and disgust of other people’s bare feet…especially when those bare feet are visible to me in my house or close enough to me that I can recognize them as actual human unclothed feet.

It’s no wonder we are a society of fear, hate and discontent..we are afraid of everything. It is contagious and it is the most dangerous Illness of all!

Until next time…

Whatever happened to fearless Nina

For those of us who are open to and studying New Thought, I’m often taken back when I realize that what I “think” I draw to me. I have been experiencing fear pretty often in the last few years. I would explain this fear as being very content to stay at home…in my own little nest…do what I want to do which has a varying range from nothing to being “busy”. I used to love to travel and retirement meant taking off “whenever” and “wherever”. 6 years ago I looked forward to weekend trips perhaps taking a month and traveling across the US, a trip to England and beyond. I just haven’t been able to do it.

It is quite possible that a trip we took to Belize in 2015 began this segment of fear driven life. The Belize trip was not your typical island breeze all inclusive vacation. We chose to rent a car and see the back roads of Belize. During that trip, those backroads scared me to death. We had found the area which contained the block building named the hospital which was across the gravel parking lot of the block building named The Morgue. A couple days later I became very ill but could not see myself seeking medical treatment here. My only viable option was a 45 minute trip up the “road” into Mexico. This was not an option I was going to take. From airport to ER when we touched down in Kansas City uncovered the shocking news that I had an intestinal abscess and by the way we also found a tumor which we believe to be cancer.

Unintentionally, I believe it is this news that changed me…..I just no longer trusted that I was safe. Recently, during story telling among friends, I recognized that the ongoing theme that surfaced was I had been reasonable free and fearless in my adventures. I’ve been building on this recognition recently by stopping myself when I think…no…that’s ok, I don’t want to do that and changing that thought to ……what happened to fearless Nina?

We live so often in our heads with stories of our pasts that ignite our fears rather than living for right now and celebrating life experiences. We only have right now…someday we will watch the finale of our life and I want to feel the gratitude of living a full and fearless life.

Until next time…..

That’s not who you are now!

We all have those experiences with another human that have hurt our feelings, made us feel angry, royally pissed off, sad, knocked off center, unappreciated, embarrassed. For some of us, it fed our belief that we aren’t good enough, smart enough, skinny enough….We attached an emotion to that experience and added dislike, hate, anger, irritation to our list of how we feel about someone….or physical feelings of nausea, headache, stomach pain as a result of the emotional pain we felt.

We start when we are young…I remember being on an elementary school field trip to the Science Center in the 60’s. I was wearing a green and yellow cotton straight dress with a matching belt…a girl in my class told me she didn’t like the color and hated the belt. From that moment on I watched my reflection in the windows we passed and realized in my adolescent mind that she didn’t like the belt because in the window reflection, it made me “look fat”. I took the belt off and after that day refused to wear the dress again. It began a life long habit of body shaming myself and being judgmental of others because I had been emotionally injured in 5th grade.

At this point and age, I realize that I’ve accumulated a lot of emotional garbage and damage and each time I react by saying something hurtful, thinking judgmental thoughts or by being unkind, I’m only really just reliving the experience I had in elementary school when someone didn’t like the belt on my green and yellow dress. I’ve found that these judgmental thoughts, the jealous comments, the unkind words that come out of my mouth are just a result of a story I tell myself about something that happened in my past that I relive again and again….not the actual event but how that event made me feel. I know that by shutting down that non-stop voice narrating my life from behind the scenes, I am a nicer, kinder more loving person.

Namaste

Get off that anxiety train

For the last couple of years, I’ve immersed myself in the study of learning to live in the moment. The past is done. There is nothing that can change it…and the past we recall is our illusion of events and interestingly, every time we try to bring the past back in our thoughts, its probably not the same memory from the last time we thought about it. Regardless…it is the past. It is not who we are or what we are right this moment. The future we agonize over and plan down to the last detail is also an illusion. I’m not referring to the weekly calendar or event future, I’m speaking of the worry and planning of our lives such as what happens if I run out of money, what happens if I get sick, What happens if we lose the house, what happens if all the chickens die…FEAR OF THE FUTURE…These thoughts are just a destructive cycle in our thinking that keep us from living right now.

How many times do we miss what is going on in the pleasant, present moment because we are focused on something from our past or fear of what might happen in the future (usually won’t happen in the future). I’m learning to recognize when I have these life robbing thoughts. I recognize when I’m starting to feel anxiety about “something” and to just STOP and get off that thought train. What are 3 things I see right now, 3 things I hear right now, 3 things I can physically feel right now. This exercise which might take 10 seconds will bring me back to where I am right here and right now.

My anxiety, morbid thinking, fear of the unknown and anger about the past is becoming less likely to ruin my day.

This has been a “lesson” I wanted to share today because I woke up with some fear based thinking and writing it down always helps me to retain the information!

Until next time…..

Fear and Anxiety

I’ve been wanting to do this blog for quite awhile. I don’t know what is stopping me because in the last 11 years this blog has been a witness to world class disfunction. I’ve spilled my guts over the years for two reasons. Quite frankly, I needed it for my own therapy….write it out, Dear Diary, and heal; and the second reason is I always hope that I will connect with someone who needs to know that they are not alone. I’ve heard you!

Just for the record, I’ve been off anti depressants for 1 year and 8 months…but who is counting. I didn’t just go off anti depressants without a labor intensive backup plan! I’ve continued some in depth self healing….reading and meditating and doing positive affirmations, learning about spirituality and immersing myself in the love and acceptance at Unity Village….and I’ve also been doing some therapy with a licensed therapist who uses EMDR. Using the EMDR protocol, I’ve been able to quiet my mind and relieve my intense fear based anxiety. This treatment is used for PTSD and other flight/fight loops that occur in the brain when you don’t deal with your significant negative, fear based ‘stuff’ in a timely manner.

This treatment was foreign to me when it was suggested…and after one especially painful session, I told my therapist that I have no idea how it works but it works. So there it is. tools that are working for me.

Until next time….

When the scar tissue is too thick

I remember the first time I felt bad enough to seek out therapy, I was a well functioning mess! That was many years ago. The nice face and laughing, loving personality was a facade. I should have been in Hollywood….pretty much everything people saw was an act. Therapy helped…I was able to dangle low and could reach the bottom to tie on the knot. I got better and was on anti depressants…I felt like I had seriously dealt with my demons.

A few years later after an anti depressant change, I was going under again so same place, different therapist (a woman this time), I blistered the walls with fire and hate. I unloaded. I discontinued therapy sooner this time because I felt like I had seriously dealt with my demons. But I remained on anti depressants.

If you have read previous blogs, you know that in February 2017 I stopped anti depressants. It was difficult. It was ugly. It was good. But I’ve had to learn to live unmedicated. Mild depression waves in and out….anxiety seems to be my most serious complication. I chose to change my behaviors…I started meditating, living more spiritual and learning to be more mindful. But I also realized that there is sill more crap I need to deal with which I will describe as needing to do plastic surgery on the scarring left behind. It’s different. The scars not the injury is the best way I can describe it. So, I’m back in therapy. I feel good about it. I’m probably not going to share a lot about it. I’m more vulnerable now and not full of hate. It’s called recovery!

Thanks to you who have been along on my journey so far.

Control vs victim mode

Are these the ends of the spectrum? Back when I was a young-youngish woman working a full time very demanding job, raising kids, trying to be everything to everybody I was strong. At least I had the illusion that I was strong and in control. I say illusion because really we don’t control anything in our lives…we make decisions and react to things which come our way. I look back and realize that I needed to always be and feel I was in control was out of fear of the unknown. What you don’t control will getcha! For the most part, I didn’t listen to my more rational inner voice…I heard it, but I seldom had a conversation with it. Fear of the unknown and protecting myself and my family was my rally cry. With that in mind, I also had a confidence that I could and would handle everything…..if I was on a deserted island, I would survive.

The day I retired, I began the soul searching and started tearing down my own personal brick wall. With each brick, I found some inner joy, peacefulness and the ability to act on my compassion for others. Awareness of vulnerability made me uncomfortable….but on the flip side I began accepting love and compassion from others. I actually starting depending on others…..and I’m not overly comfortable with this reality. Sometimes I find myself pulling back with no incentive to step out on my own and make a difference. Perhaps circling the victim mode…things happen to me instead of I happen to things.

It’s hard to find center which is my ultimate goal. A lot of understanding, bandaids and axes find their way to the inner me through meditation. I’ve also noticed that if I skip a few days, I start feeling vulnerable. Without listening and understanding my inner self, I cannot find the balance I need which is Finding my true self…not who I want to be, not who others think I am, but ME

Until next time….

Seriously….tomorrow

I’m not very patient….

I’ve often thought the microwave timer is just messed up….when I’m hungry, the minute it takes to nuke my food so it isn’t just refrigerator cold takes forever….much longer than a normal minute.

Getting a doctors appointment when I’m not sure I’ll be alive in the next hour and the soonest I can be seen is “we can work you In late afternoon”?!?!

My hair looked great yesterday but this morning it has grown to that ugly length and I can’t get in for a cut for two weeks 🤭.

The car is so cold that the window fog over just from my body heat but it finally warms up after a 20 minute drive.

But then ….. I finally talk myself into making a dental appointment…..and tomorrow at noon is open. WHAT?!!? Not a month from now? Tomorrow? 🤬

I seriously looked at the clock a few minutes ago and thought…damn, in 12 hours I’ll be in the dentist chair.

Until next time….I suppose it will be a short night too.

Releasing anger

Life lessons are just like peeling an onion, those of us who have finally grown up realize that …. to put it nicely….we just don’t have tolerance anymore. The drama and other people’s bad manners is just not appealing and crowds the emotions and patience inside our heads. I didn’t invent this theory, I’ve heard it over and over. “I just can’t deal with BS anymore”.

My childhood job was as referee for my parents relationship as one and then the other would come to me each bitching about the other. As a child, I realized my parents didn’t like each other very much and I didn’t think I could stand not having both of them living in the house so I spent copious amounts of childhood energy trying to make everything better. I am very good at it! I also learned that kindness was equivalent to a fireman’s hose on a house fire so I learned to be a good girl and shove my emotions down and not let them manifest in anger. I knew what anger felt like and sounded like.

I’m now 61 years old and I’m finally recognizing and peeling that onion of anger in my gut one layer at a time. I’ve learned coping skills for the depression and anxiety that fueled my life and now, now I’m taking on the anger. I’m finding that I have to work through each layer with internal questions…why does this make me angry, what actually is happening when I’m feeling angry, how do I appropriately deal with this anger and then take action to work through it….things past and present must be quieted either by speaking up or cutting off the offending hand.

….as soon as I worked through this plan of action, I felt lighter. My first challenge is to no longer consider myself a victim. I have choices.

Until next time….

I put one foot in front of the other

Made my way into my mind’s rational room where all the figurines are placed in their appropriate place….all in a week where the skies are gloomy and the temps below average.  Every morning, I tried to think of the day’s gloomy weather like wearing an oversized t shirt with my old Walmart sweatpants.  Comfortable, safe and familiar as opposed to having to push myself out the door into warmth and sunshine wearing jeans, boots and a noticeable red shirt!

I’m approaching 9 months of being medication free.  I’ve learned that I no longer have the option of pharm to put me in a stupor in order to not feel anything….I must recognize the signs that anxiety is creeping in day to day or actually just event to event.  Perhaps I’m a slow learner or more likely I just don’t have the discipline yet to work the skills I’ve learned to ease the symptoms when they first appear?

This night time irrational anxiety is a bitch!  but this week, I grabbed it with all of my strength and won again.  Practice makes perfect, right?

Until next time…..