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….

This has been my most brutal holiday Season on record

Just seems like a strange thing to feel in light of past Christmases when actually serious things have happened. Interestingly, I haven’t had my one wrenching Christmas cry this year, rather it has been chopped up between a range of emotions that have made the tears slip from my eyes from pure utter delight to all encompassing rage. I was actually sitting on the floor earlier in the week and thought…oh holy crap…maybe I’m just old and it has caught up to me? Then, I’m really not THAT old.

Fast forward to this morning, when I broke down looking at historical pictures of a shopping mall in the town I lived in for 35 years that had closed down in 1994 and the tears started flowing. This is not normal.

…..and then it hit me. This is the first holiday season in 16 years that I haven’t had anti-depressants numbing me. I’m feeling usual holiday cheer with just a little more delight, I’m feeling nostalgic now in my heart rather than just my head, my sorrow of the absence of past friends and family has hurt me in little bursts rather than all at once producing that sobbing Christmas cry.

I don’t know how or why this realization has given me peace of mind but Understanding seems to have made it reasonable and doable.

Until next time……

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….

Weakening your opponent

Are we just harming ourselves?  I’m not sure yet if I believe in the karma theory but I know in the past from my mental flapping, I’ve entertained lots of negative hopes for those who have been on the other side of my personal battle line.  It is starting to sink in that you are what you think…in other words…negative attitudes and gossip or bad mouthing others is nothing more than a show of your own personal insecurity.  Continually trying to drag someone else down with your words and attempting to incite YOUR jealousies in others really only feeds your own negative agenda.  ESpecially if your opponent is wearing the shield of love and their own personal acceptance and self love.  It’s unflattering and harmful only to the person doing the bashing!

We have no control over how we were treated and loved or not loved as children.  We have no control over how other people treat us.  But we do have total control how we receive the information and more importantly our reaction to negativity.  After a conversation with a friend today AND my own personal experience, I’m convinced sometimes we must just cut ties with those people who hurt us with their words, actions and intentions.  As a people pleaser, it is often hard to stop the cycle of trying to force people to love us and respect us.  For the most part, these relationships bring us pain, sadness and personal retreat in order to save ourselves!  These relationships are not worth the angst experienced in your mind and in your heart!

Until next time….

Six Months 4 Days

This blog has been taking up space in my head for 4 days now.  I’ve been off antidepressants for 6 months and now 4 days.  

  • I no longer feel drugged.  I’m able to function in the real world like everyone else.
  • Now when I look back at those 2 weeks of Hell going cold turkey, I have no regrets.  Kind of like childbirth!
  • I don’t sleep as well…I think I sleep as deep…just not as long.  I seldom get 8 hours now.
  • The anxiety is now manageable.  I have been meditating every day.  It is as important to me as my morning coffee.
  • I finally am able to feel emotion…things make me laugh and I can tear up nearly on demand.
  • My thoughts seem to be more rational.  I credit meditation with opening my subconscious to assist.
  • I have had some moments of irrational anger…or let’s say I’m no longer medicated so I feel the anger.

Every day is a lesson to be learned.  I missed out on a lot using pharmaceuticals for a long as I did 15 years.  I wish a doctor had given me encouragement to try real life!

It is an empowering experience.  

Until next time…..

When we don’t feel happy

3 years ago, we moved away from everything we have ever known which includes some besties.  we moved 4 hours south to a house I love, moving out of the boonies and into a neighborhood which I love (for the most part).  We made this decision because I had to have a new start and get away from the negativity and anxiety in my life and afforded us the opportunity to live close to and love fully our grandchildren.  I do not regret the decision.  With that being said, I miss family celebrations on holidays and birthdays.  It is something I could change if I wanted to take the initiative…and if I were more self aware of how I was going to feel.

With that in mind….I spent my birthday, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day as if it was just any other day in my week.  This week thinking about my daughters birthday coming up, I started feeling some depression settling in.  I decided to try essential oils…I totally am committed to the value of using essential oils for healing…but I was skeptical that just breathing them in could seriously have any impact.  I had tried using a diffuser and I love the scents but I decided to try what I’ve been reading.  I put do terra essential oils…lavender, bergamot, ylang ylang and Roman chamomile in my hands and took whiffs then I rub the mixture on the bottom of my feet and put the mixture in my diffuser.  Within 10 minutes I felt the funk beginning to lift.  I did the same thing this morning.  The change is remarkable.  If you are suffering in your own funk or dealing with your own depression, I encourage you to give it a try!

And…a friend of mine posted This on FB this morning.  A good read!

Until next time…..

Another life lesson

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I’ve always thought that if I work hard, strive to remove the negative, have a positive mindset and do good things that eventually life will be perfect.  Life is not going to fit my model of perfect.  It is impossible.  Life is life and life happens!  It’s the way we interpret the complications and our mindset that determine if we swim or if we sink!

I think a lot has to do with our personality and the input we have received from childhood into adulthood.

This has been a tough week for me.  Midweek I struggled with the negative.  At one point, while lying in bed, I  felt my anxiety taking over.  I was overwhelmed and there was nothing I could mentally do about any of them; but, I continued to jump from one to the other at mach speed until I was overcome…absolutely overwhelmed.  Then a moment of clarity….STOP.  This is what you always do.  Stop and center yourself.  For 2 minutes just breath in and out….focus on nothing else but your breathing.  It’s not easy and I wasn’t completely successful or was I.  The thoughts kept fighting to get in.  But I felt my jaw relax….and I knew that it wasn’t going to be perfect but this was working.  Right at this moment it is working.  This did not take the multiple problems away but I  knew it was going to work for me right at that moment…..and right now at this moment is all I have.

Until next time…..

What’s going on now?

For those following my anti-depressant journey….tomorrow will be two full weeks since my last anti depressant pill.  I hope the way I feel now means clear sailing ahead.  Last week, I had occasional head movement.  I didn’t keep track because they were so rare!  I know that my brain is probably still adjusting but I’m pretty unaware.  Last week, I had a few episodes of ear ringing…more like tornado whooshing-through type ringing.  My newest inner body change is my temperature.  I have been hot for 20 years.  I know why in general but questioned the hot flashes were continuing and I was not getting any relief.  Well, now I’m cold.  ALL OF THE  TIME.  I’m not more cold when I’m outside….the problem is being cold when I’m inside.  I’ve taken to wearing my 3.99 Walmart fleece hoody 24/7.  I have added a quilt to my side of the bed and now sleep under a sheet and 3 quilts and often my hoody.  My latest Dr Nina diagnosis is the anti depressants had my inner thermostat out of whack and this is just an adjustment.  That and I’m drinking 3 quarts of water a day.  My anxiety has returned several times….the anxiety that comes from nothing I’m aware of.  I’m using breathing and inner refusal strength to keep it in check.  Seems to be working so far!  The other night I was berating myself during one of these anxiety “things” thinking what happens when I actually have something to be anxious about .  STOP….BREATH…right this moment I’ve got this. 

Until next time…..

I can’t make this stuff up!

Today is Day 4 of being off antidepressants.  After the day on Saturday, I chose to just cold turkey the rest of the detox.  I have been still doing mostly fluids but have added in some boiled eggs, saltine crackers and bananas to slowly get my intestinal tract ready to accept more food.  Last night, Katy made me a baked chicken breast with some spices and a scant amount of spinach and tomatoes.  I tolerated it really well….and I swear it was the best chicken breast ever.  Why were we at Kate’s in Iowa last night you might ask?

He and I and Frannie drove up to Iowa Monday morning  for what we thought was going to be just a turnaround trip.  The radiology department had  called saying they needed a couple more pictures after my mammogram a few weeks ago.  Just a couple more pictures they said and maybe an ultrasound….yes definitely an ultrasound….then the doctor comes in and tells me there seems to be a papilloma aka small wart behind the nipple and we need to do a biopsy in the morning.

WHAT?

So at 9am, I was numbed, ultrasounded again, had 3 specimens removed, a titanium seed introduced to mark the work, another mammogram and released.  I laughed a little harder than warranted when the mammo tech told me I could go…she walked me to the hallway…said, do you see the door by those windows…you can exit there….then RUN as fast as you can!  I will never forget this woman for realizing I needed a humor charge for what I had been through!

We are finally back home!  Results from the biopsy should be available tomorrow.  I am virtually painless, no head zings and very little movement feeling in my brain.  I’m better today than yesterday and forward progress and thankfulness is what it is about!

Until next time…..