sharing my life experiences, reflections and insights as a mother, a writer, an Occupational Therapist and and a spiritual being having a human experience

Archive for the ‘Learning Through Living’ Category

Writing first thing in the morning: 6 am Dance Party

If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out

Cat Stevens

LYRICS

Well, if you want to sing out, sing out

And if you want to be free, be free

‘Cause there’s a million things to be

You know that there are

I woke up early this morning knowing I did not need to go to work. Yesterday, I found peace with being called off work at 10:15 pm for the next day, when I usually work 6-8 hours on Sunday. The universe was telling me to write!

I gathered all of my supplies: cold water, iPad, Bluetooth keyboard, iPhone, wireless earbuds, my purple bag with journals and other items, made some hot tea, heated up my home made hot packs, and set the lighting and picked my place to sit. I found a play list on Spotify that suited my mood, Inspiration, a playlist I created to inspire me to write.

Walk the Moon began to sing, Shut up and dance with me…

How could I sit and write?

Earlier, I had the thought to exercise before writing, but then decided against it.

Yet, my goal for February is regular exercise. January i got in the routine of regular writing. Now it’s time to take charge of how my body feels.

So I got up at 5:50 with my wireless earbuds blasting awesome music and began to dance!

Early morning dance party in the dark, why not?

(I copied pictures of my Facebook posts to share here. Now if I could only figure out how to insert pictures with the wordpress app here on my iPad. I hope the WordPress 101 will also show me how to use the app. I can usually figure the things out on the regular site but now I’m using the app more since my iPad is essentially my lap top. )

I spent over 40 minutes dancing to my wonderful inspiration playlist that I decided i needed to rename, “inspiration to dance”

I felt energized and alive!

Each time I decided this was the last dancing song, a new wonderful song would come on.

I got a good workout and stretched and drank lots of water.

Then, I finally felt read to sit and write.

My husband came downstairs to do his exercises and stretches and i paused my music and my writing to talk with him. He was watching tv but I put my earbuds back in and resumed writing, until Parks and Rec came on after his show finished.

The first episode of Parks and Rec! I have watched the entire show already. It is even funnier the second time around.

I enjoyed the episode and then realized I needed a new quiet place to return to writing.

My daughter’s top bunk!

I had discovered the magic of her top bunk in my favorite room of our house.

I first discovered this when she was out of town and so I was not disturbing her using her top bunk as my office, as a writing retreat.

Today, just before 8 am, I decided to return to the top bunk. I put all my belongings in my bag and quietly went in her room with my earbuds, my bag and hot packs.

I forgot how much the bunk shakes when you climb to the top!

Are you serious? Don’t mess up my jackets” was how I was greeted by my nearly 16 year old daughter.

I apologized for the noise and promised I would be quiet. I figured she would quickly fall back asleep because when I try to wake her up in the morning, she struggles to wake up and even when she answers me, she falls back asleep.

“Stop cracking your ankles!”

Opps with my ear buds, I didn’t realize the nosies i was making.

“Do you have a hot pack up there because it stinks!”

“At least turn off your notifications!”

“How do I do that?” I asked as i tried to figure it out.

“Never mind!”

I really tried to be quiet and even figured out I needed to also silence the notifications on my iPad in addition to my iPhone.

I reminded her that she always wanted a sister, and now here I am!

I got very distracted for a while on Facebook and sending messages.

It is now 9:42am as I finish this blog. And I have the whole day ahead of me.

I hear my family who are all up now, my daughter included. She gave up trying to fall back to sleep.

I love the sounds of my family, even when they are arguing with each other.

Life is good up here on this top bunk.

I hear the dogs below and yet they don’t disrupt my writing by jumping in my lap like the little one would do if I were still in the living room on the recliner chair.

I have music and my purple bag.

I handled letting my 9 year old know I needed to finish what I was writing before I could listen to the parody song he was telling me about. I handled it respectfully, for him and for me.

I need to respect my writing time and ask my family to respect it as well.

I just need to ask.

They are old enough.

And I will finish my blog with the remainder of the lyrics that I used to begin this post…

And if you want to live high, live high

And if you want to live low, live low

‘Cause there’s a million ways to go

You know that there are

You can do what you want

The opportunity’s on

And if you can find a new way

You can do it today

You can make it all true

And you can make it undo

You see, ah ah ah

It’s easy, ah ah ah

You only need to know

Well, if you want to say yes, say yes

And if you want to say no, say no

‘Cause there’s a million ways to go

You know that there are

And if you want to be me, be me

And if you want to be you, be you

‘Cause there’s a million things to do

You know that there are

You can do what you want

The opportunity’s on

And if you can find a new way

You can do it today

You can make it all true

And you can make it undo

You see, ah ah ah

It’s easy, ah ah ah

You only need to know

Well, if you want to sing out, sing out

And if you want to be free, be free

‘Cause there’s a million things to be

You know that there are

You know that there are

You know that there are

You know that there are

You know that there are

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I AM HERE NOW…My 500 Words: January 31, 2018

And entire month of focus on writing,

New habits formed

Writing first thing in the morning

Quiet, reflection time before social media and music

Returning to daily gratitude journal writing

Inner peace

Restless energy

Anxiety

Channeling my energy

To what matters most to me

Priorities

New music

Inspiration

Deep within my soul

Reconnecting

To myself

And to my loved ones

Road trip with Harrison and my parents

My first born

The spirit who initiated me into motherhood

My practice child

I am my own harshest critic

Jan Luther

EFT and The Ego Tamer Academy

New opportunities

To explore

Alongside Don,

My soul mate

United together

With one vision,

Together

We are ten times stronger than

The sum of us alone

Shouldn’t you be in Charlotte?

The magazine spoke to me

Back in 1992

Sitting in my kitchen in Whitehall

Pennsylvania

Our paths

Destined to cross

United

As one

May 14, 1994

Here

I

AM

NOW

Living in the present

Pulled myself up

And out of the muck and mud

Raised my head out of the water

Learned to not just tread but to swim

To cross over to the other side of the lake

Feeling our feelings

Living through the experience

Stronger only after

Having gone through it

And come out on the other side

Many puddles along the way

Some deeper like oceans

With strong currents and…

Waves

Today

I

AM

Here

NOW

the present is a gift

Yesterday a canceled check and tomorrow a promissory note…

All we have is now

Right here,

Right now

What is the name of that Van Halen Song?

Jesus Jones sings Right here, right now

Van Halen sings Right Now

Music

Feeds my soul

Connects me to my inner self

My higher self

My

TRUE

SELF

i can’t stand to fly

I’m not that naive

I’m just out to find

The better part of me

I’m more than a bird, I’m more than a plane

I’m more than some pretty face beside a train

And it’s not easy to be me

Wish that I could cry

Fall upon my knees

Find a way to lie

About a home I’ll never see

It may sound absurd, but don’t be naive

Even heroes have the right to bleed

I may be disturbed, but won’t you concede

Even heroes have the right to dream

And it’s not easy to be me

Up, up and away, away from me

Well, it’s all right, you can all sleep sound tonight

I’m not crazy

Or anything

I can’t stand to fly

I’m not that naive

Men weren’t meant to ride

With clouds between their knees

I’m only a (hu)man in a silly red sheet

Digging for kryptonite on this one way street

Only a (hu)man in a funny red sheet

Looking for special things inside of me

Inside of me

Inside me

Inside me

Inside of me

I’m only a (hu)man

In a funny red sheet

I’m only a (hu)man

Looking for a dream

I’m only a (hu)man

In a funny red sheet

And it’s not easy

It’s not easy to be

Superman (It’s Not Easy)

Five for Fighting

Wonderwoman

I

CAN

FLY

My spirit

Can sour high

I am finding it easier to be me

I am finding comfort

In my own skin

The challenge

Is living in this human body

The challenge is letting my spirit shine while occupying this human space

The challenge has been connecting my true self with my human self

I AM HERE NOW

My 500 Words: Day 11

Habits

I found myself saying this morning, I guess I should write before I get ready for work.

I started this challenge at the beginning of the year, to write 500 words every day.

The first 2 days, I used the regular wordpress site and it counted my words for me. Then I switched to the app on my iPad and there was no word count, still wonder if there is a way to access it. Yet, I decided that writing regularly was far more important than how many words I write. For me, coming up with 500 words is NOT my issues. I can ramble on for endless amount of words easily. For me, the challenge was getting into the habit. Finding time each day no matter what other things are going on in my life, to write. I had to forgive myself when. After 2 days of consecutive writing, I missed a day (or was it several days?).

Here I am on January 29, 2018 and so proud of myself for writing 11 times, on my blog. That does not even include all the writing I have done in my gratitude journal. I just counted, 13 days writing in my gratitude journal this month and for nearly the past week, I have written every day.

Progress

Consistency

Peace

Writing is my form of medication (I intended to write meditation). It brings me so much peace, as does music.

I have also learned to write in the silence to really hear my, inner voice…

Being in the quiet, no one else around, that was a challenge to sit with my own thoughts without distraction.

I have found peace in the process and have done much writing from that space and I also love writing with music, earbuds in so I am in my own world in my head.

Music

Feeds my soul

Uplifts me

Expresses my mood, my feelings

Allows

Me to feel whatever it is that i am feeling

Acceptance

Of where I am

RIGHT NOW

Sometimes the lyrics of the song really speak to my current emotions, challenges

Often the lyrics speak to me in that way

And today, Elton John singing Tiny Dancer as I wrote

Provided soothing empowering music as I wrote

I didn’t even hear the lyrics until I paused to think halfway through writing

Music

Transports me to a sacred place

Connects me to my soul

Here are those amazing perfectly timed lyrics

Here Comes the Sun…..

Little Darlin’ it’s been a long and cold winter

Little darlin’ it feels like years since it’s been here

Lifting from the depression I have experienced

Home

“Home”

Hold on to me as we go

As we roll down this unfamiliar road

And although this wave, wave is stringing us along

Just know you’re not alone

‘Cause I’m gonna make this place your home

Settle down, it’ll all be clear

Don’t pay no mind to the demons

They fill you with fear

The trouble—it might drag you down

If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone

‘Cause I’m gonna make this place your home

Ooo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo. Oo-oo-oo-oo [2x]

Aaa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa. Aa-aa-aa-aaaaaa [4x]

Settle down, it’ll all be clear

Don’t pay no mind to the demons

They fill you with fear

The trouble—it might drag you down

If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone

‘Cause I’m gonna make this place your home

Come on!

Ooo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo. Ao-oo-oo-oo [4x]

Aaa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa. Aa-aa-aa-aaaaaa [4x]

Thank you azlyrics.

Thank you Phillip Phillips

Thank you Beatles

Thank you Elton John

And now, allowing myself to feel sadness and loss

With Fleetwood Mac:

“Landslide”

I took my love, I took it down

I climbed a mountain and I turned around

And I saw my reflection in the snow-covered hills

‘Till the landslide brought me down

Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?

Can the child within my heart rise above?

Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?

Can I handle the seasons of my life?

Well, I’ve been afraid of changing

‘Cause I’ve built my life around you

But time makes you bolder

Even children get older

And I’m getting older too

Well, I’ve been afraid of changing

‘Cause I’ve built my life around you

But time makes you bolder

Even children get older

And I’m getting older too

Oh, I’m getting older too

Oh, take my love, take it down

Oh, climb a mountain and turn around

And if you see my reflection in the snow-covered hills

Well the landslide will bring it down

And if you see my reflection in the snow-covered hills

Well the landslide will bring it down, oh oh

The landslide will bring it down

My 500 Words: Sunday, January 28, 2018: Reflection and Recharge

The month is coming to a close and I reflect back on the days.

Listening to my inspiring playlist, the one I created for this writing challenge, My 500 Words.

We had a beautiful Christmas Holiday. My children were all in a good place and so was I. It was low stress, something that we have not had the luxury of experiencing over the past 8 years. We kicked off the new year by attending Unity’s Burning Bowl and Letters to God New Year’s Eve Service, a family tradition. This year we all attended along with my son’s girlfriend.

Everyone was able to write their own letter to God, letter to their future self, that Unity holds and mails to you at the end of the year. And also the things we want to release. This year they used flash paper and so instead of proceeding outside to drop our paper in a burning fire pit, we walked to the front of the church and got to light our own flash paper to watch our fears, stressors, burdens disappear in thin air. Flash paper is cool!

We then headed to the grocery store to collect yummy treats, this year, natural soda and ice cream, dairy and non-dairy versions. At home, we had fresh baked cookies and soda, sweetened only with stevia, and ice cream and watched a Dr. WHo special before the count down to the new year. I feel asleep around 11pm. In the. Recliner chair only to awaken just in time for the count down to bring in the new year, Happy 2018!

A friend connected me to My 500 Words challenge and it was the perfect opportunity for me to jump back into writing and make daily writing, or at least several times a week writing, a new habit. A good habit.

I have written in my gratitude journal, created blog posts on a variety of topics and lists of gratitude this month. It has been energizing! I released myself from the burden of guilt the first day I missed writing 500 words, and quickly resumed writing, writing on average 3-4 times per week. Empowering! More writing and consistency then I have probably ever had.

My amazing husband has encouraged me to take time for reflection first thing in the morning, before visiting social media. I have even done that. And glad I have and now stop myself from turning to Facebook first thing when I awake, but instead, head downstairs to stretch, sit in the quite, write in my gratitude journal and on several occasions, begin my day with writing a blog,

It still amazes me how jut the perfect songs play on my playlist as I write. I create the playlists and then they are played in random order but they never fail me to play just the perfect songs as I reflect on what to write and then as I delve into my thoughts. The Story of My Life plays now. Beautiful music and beautiful lyrics.

I stop myself from editing now as I write, knowing I can go back later and add italics, links and spell check. The 3 stages of writing: Ideas, writing, and editing. One day of the challenge, we were encouraged to free write. I read that and thought, that is what I usually do, just start writing and allow whatever comes to mind to flow through me and onto the screen in front of me.

Now i recall waking up Friday morning at the hotel in Atlanta, after the funeral for my aunt. It was 5:30 and I did not need to be up until 7am but had gone to sleep at 9:30 the night before and was very rested. I showered so I would be ready and then went downstairs to allow my son to sleep and after getting some water and chatting with my mother who had come down for coffee, I wondered into the exercise room, just intending to check it and and walk around. There was a treadmill and I was wearing sneakers and had my phone and earbuds with me. I hadn’t used a treadmill in so long, since we had a YMCA membership and I used to go weekly with my oldest son on Mondays.

Why not?

I started slowly, as I found the perfect music list to play. As I disappeared into the music, I increased the speed. I had so much energy, anxious energy that I needed to channel. I got my heart rate up to endurance training and maybe above and felt great, paused to stretch and continued, checking the time but realizing I had plenty of time. I enjoyed more than a 30 minute workout along with stretches mid way and at the end. Wow! That felt great. I need to do that often!

A wonderful way to start my day.

I still had time to enjoy some breakfast with my son and get all packed up by 8:30, our planned departure time being 9am. My son had been enjoying driving my mother’s car and was happy doing most of the driving. I got to sit in the back with my father and enjoyed the stories he told me and also time to myself as my father dozed. We stopped for lunch at a PF Changs in Greenville, SC and got back to my parents house about 2pm. We moved our things back to my son’s car and then I got to drive his Subaru back to our house so he could change and head out to work.

Home

Greeted with love and hugs and wagging tails

No place like home

Chilling with my family, the other 3 members who did not go on the trip to Georgia. It felt so good to be home.

It feels so good to be home.

You’re my oasis…. A Great Big World sings in my ears as I type

Aunt Rosemarie

In loving memory of my dear Aunt Rosemarie

December 20, 1953- January 20, 2018

The first thing that comes to mind

Is my first year living on my own in Charlotte

I moved there in November of 1992 from Pennsylvania

I worked at the rehab hospital and only had off on Christmas Day

My parents were in Pa and my sister 3 hours away

So I spent the day with my Aunt Rosemarie, Uncle Stan and his 3 kids

They lived in Greenville, SC just an hour and half away

I was 23 and have fond memories of talking with Stan’s 3 kids, who are all about my age

I got together often with my Aunt who traveled to Charlotte for her work

She adopted Zach in January of 1997

I vividly remember her telling me she was adopting, maybe the month before

I recall thinking, that’s why you bought the mini van…

I found out I was pregnant in March of 1997 and can see myself holding baby Zach

Looking forward to becoming a mother as well, the same year as my aunt

I know she lived in Ohio In the 70s when we also lived there

And I do recall her being around throughout my life

Yet becoming mothers together in 1997 made me feel closer to her than I had ever felt

We met up at my parents house on Lake Murray and Zach called my son, baby Harrison

Then one day, they were nearly the same age

They came to Harrison’s Christening, Zach at just over a year eating everything in sight

My parents took Harrison to Atlanta to go see my cousin Stephen skate, meeting up with Rosemarie and Zach

They played uno with Grammy and stacked the deck when she was not looking

In many ways, Harrison and Zach were two of a kind

Abby came along 4 years later and I remember how tender Zach was with baby Abby

Obviously learning from his mom who loved children dearly

My aunt Rosemarie had 3 careers before becoming a mom, but like me, being a mom was the best

I remember how much energy she poured into becoming a mother and to Zach when he came along

She inspired me in so many ways to be the mother that I am

I remember going to Aunt Rosemarie and Uncle Stan’s wedding in 1988 in Annapolis, MD.

My parents were on a trip far away

But My sister brought my brother from eastern PA and picked me up at Elizabethtown College and then we went to MD

I realize now that my Aunts and uncles have really been more like cousins to me, many of who are so much closer to my age than are my much younger cousins

Aunt Rosemarie was only 16 years older than me, just 5 years older than my husband

It is so bizarre coming to Atlanta and not getting to talk with her

She was the center of family gatherings, hosting 3 family reunions here in Georgia in the summers of 2011, 2013, and 2015

I am so glad I came to all 3 and spent the time with my family

There is a hole without her present

And yet, I feel her close to my heart

Urging me to write and share my truth

I could go on with more memories and yet I will close this post with the inscription from inside her memory card

I’ld like the memory of me

to be a happy one.

I’ld like to leave an echo

whispering softly down the ways…

Of happy times, & laughing times,

and bright and sunny days.

I’ld like the tears of those who grieve

to dry before the Sun,

Of happy memories that I leave behind

when the day is done.

Depression: Trudging through the mud with chains on my back while trying to keep my head above water

Here comes the sun

It’s been a long, cold winter

When I look back to when I have been depressed, I see sadnesses but there is so much more to it then that.

Life becomes a chore, all of it. Getting through each and every day is exhausting

And I look forward most to going to bed at night and sleeping and being in the quiet

But when I wake, I don’t feel refreshed, I feel tired and want to keep sleeping

Getting up is challenging

Getting up and starting my day takes a lot of effort

Leaving me with a half empty tank for the rest of my day

And some days, getting up takes nearly all my tank and so I am left running on fumes all day

Until I can go to bed again.

I manage to do the essentials, feed my children, feed myself

When I am depressed, I eat, too much

Trying to find comfort in food, but the comfort never comes

Leaving me feeling heavy and disappointed further pushing me down

I manage to wash clothes, I like doing laundry, the only cleaning task I truly like

Something about the simplicity of laundry and the reward

Sort the colors, fill the washer, add the soap and turn the dials

I get myself and my kids to the things we must do, are committed to

I get myself to work and get through the day

I don’t enjoy work very much and it feels like WORK

There are moments of pleasure and times where I feel good at work, work gives me a. Feeling of accomplishment

When I am working, I feel competent, because I have been an Occupational Therapist for 25 years

And I know the routine

I complete an eval, setting goals and then reassess them 3-4 weeks later and see the progress, or lack of it

And when they have reached their maximum potential, I complete the discharge paperwork with reassessment again.

It is logical and familiar.

I am a good therapist and I know what I am doing.

Yet, i have many moment so “I don’t want to do this anymore” seeing all the flaws in the system

And the problems that need fixing and it frustrates me beyond belief

Yet while I am at work, I probably am functioning my best

Home

Thinking about it now, recalling how coming home is always challenging when I am depressed,

I think it is because I come home to “disappointment”

Disappointment in myself for all the things I have NOT been doing in my time away from work

You can look at the menu but you just can’t eat

You can feel the cushions but you can’t have a seat

You can dip your foot in the pool, but you can’t have a swim

You’re the fastest runner, but you’re not allowed to win

YOu can see the summit, but you can’t reach it

It’s the last piece of the puzzle but you just cant make it fit

The doctor says you’re cured but you still feel the pain

Aspirations in the clouds but your hopes go down the drain

There are moments of joy, playing with my youngest and engaging with all my kids

Yet there is this dark cloud over my head the whole time

Just when I think I am pulling myself up and out of the muck and mud,

Something happens creating more challenges in my life

Causing me to fall back into the mud

Don is my rock, steady and always by my side

Yet, when I am depressed all I see are his flaws

I expect him to disappoint me and that is what I experience

This is a new reflection, a new realizing that I am just now fully realizing

As I listen to Peter Cetera sing, The Glory of Love

DEPRESSION

Have you ever seen the rain coming down on a sunny day?

I always thought if you were clinically depressed, you wound have any moment of joy

I always told myself, i wasn’t really depressed or i won’t be able to go to work

I wouldn’t be able to function at all, that is real clinical depression

Those people have it bad

I am still functioning.

It wasn’t until I came out of it, that I could look back and see how depressed I was

It didn’t matter that I was still functioning, I was barely functioning

I was barely getting by and it was painful

Often physically painful with aches and pains, throwing my back out to the point of not being able to move

Many trips to the chiropractor and other doctors for a variety of illnesses

And then I would get sick, stay home from work sick and it would take a long time to get better or I would relapse

Looking back this happened in college, often, sinus infections that just wouldn’t go away

Mood swings

All my life I have experienced big mood swings

When I went to college and learned about bipolar disorder

I wondered, Is this me?

Yet, i don’t experience mania

Not full on mania

It was years before I learned about hypomania

I think I learned about it from my brother and his bipolar diagnosis

From that time, i began to wonder about myself

I went to a psychiatrist after I had been on an antidepressant for a long time, 8 months ore so, prescribed by my primary

Because i finally took myself to the doctor and tole them I needed treatment for depression

So by the time I went to the first psychiatrist, i was having nearly all the side effects from the antidepressant and i was in a state of hypomania but beginning to look more like mania

The doctor diagnosed me with depression, removed me from the medicine showing me how I was having all the side effects fro it

And then

She declared me cured

I knew I was not cured but hopefully that I didn’t need the antidepressant anymore

And so worried that I would fall back into the depression again

I was good for a while, for another few months

Until i slowly began sinking again

So slowly, rreeping up on me

Realizing it but naively thinking along the way that

THIS was the low point and surely I would pull back up

Sinking further and further

Finding a doctor again and trying a different antidepressant and going to a new psychiatrist

Because I wanted to make sure the medicine didn’t cause mania because

That can help end with bipolar disorder

I had been reading and researching becoming more and more convinced that this was my proper diagnosis

And going to the psychiatrist, to the expert, to determine if that was the case

Yet, she diagnosed me with depression

And I got tiered of paying twenty dollars cash each visit and not happy with her

Challenged by th noisy fan because the building’s air conditioner was broken and she had a soft voice and an accent

And my hearing is not what it used to be and it was a challenge to hear her words

And a challenge to be there with her asking dumb basic questions

When I had dug so much deeper with all my purists in EFT and alternative modalities and inner work

Luckily, my primary has continued to prescribe my medication and i don’t seam to baving side effects

I wonder about mania vs hypomania

I realize that it would have been good to continue to go to the same psychiatrist so manybe she could have seen the difference in me,

Why?

To diagnosis me properly

Whatever

I have done that for myself

I am more qualified to do it

Which is sad, really sad that the mental health system has failed me

I intended to work in mental health when I was in college studying Occupational therapy

We had an entire semester plus dedicated to mental health and level I and level II fieldwork in a mental health setting

Only finding traumatic brain injury and a acute rehab pulled me way from my interest in pursing a career in mental health

Here I am

All these years later

Discovering that the doctors don’t always do the best job at diagnosis in

The psychologists and psychiatrist with their MDs and PhDs, all those years of school

Didn’t help me

My own personal education, experience, research and inner work and trial and erro with a variety of approaches

Has led me to diagnosis myself

I would have been the last person to say this is valid,

I am biased, this is why i went to the professions in the first place

They were supposed to be the experts

They first failed me with my children, especially my youngest son

In getting him help for his anxiety and challenges that affected his every day life

Yet, I find myself needing to say, I mean no disrespect for these professionals and they are essential in the system

And I KNOW they help many, many children and adults get the help they need.

And yet, there are those who are misdiagnosed and those who fall through the cracks of the system

Those who don’t get the help they need because of costs and insurance, bad insurance or no insurance

Or no qualified providers in their insurance plan

WE MUST ALL TAKE CHARGE OF OUR OWN HEALTH AND BE INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS

As an Occupational Therapist, my role is to facilitate my patient’s return to a higher level of independent functioning.

I facilitate, but I can not do the work for them and if they are not motivated and don’t make the effort, there is nothing I can do to make them better.

“Man, through the use of his hands, can influence the state of his own health”

The quote is from one of the founders of occupational therapy and something I learned in freshman year in a Theory of Occupational Therapy class. I learned about many different theorists yet that one quote is what has stuck with me.

That quote is what motivated me to help my daughter learn to knit and crochet when her OCD was so severe that it crippled here in her daily life. And what drove me to engage her in Sudoku puzzles and other tasks to help calm the anxiety that was rampant in her Brian causing havoc in her life and in ours.

I have learned that I must go to the doctor and get their advice AND do my own research, go to the alternative practitioners and gather all the resources and information and advice

AND then I must decide what to take in and what to discard in order to maximize my level of independent functioning.

BUT WHEN I AM DEPRESSED, IT IS REALLY HARD TO DO THIS!

I KNOW What I need to do much of the time, but making the decisions to do it and taking the action is challenging.

It can be paralyzing to know what I need to do and not be able to make the decisions to do it.

To an outsider it looks so simple, just do it,, just call the doctor and make the appointment, just get up 30 minutes early and walk every morning, just go. Outside once each day and do grounding exercises, just write in your journal daily.

Sure I KNOW I need to do these things and at times, I can do them, once or twice,

Trudging through the mud with chains on my back, while trying to keep my head above water

Depression and Bipolar 2: January 22, 2018

Coming out of depression

I have diagnosed my self with Bipolar 2. I swing from depression to jypomania.

I have seen this tendency throughout my adult life and it became exaggerated after Don’s heart attack.

When I came out of the depression back in 2014, I think that was the year, is when I saw how depressed I had been and for how long. I couldn’t fully see the extend of the depression until I was out of it.

It was quite a realization to look back on years of my life and see how I had been barely functioning slowly sinking further into depression.

So many life challenges had entered my life that had drained my energy and suppressed my true self.

What is depression?

Not being who you truly are

I always think of mud, being stuck in the mud, moving through mud

Slow and difficult, extra work to do everything, to get through each day

Drowning in water, but not quite, trying to keep your head above the water

A continuous doggie paddle

Slipping into the water, unable to breath and then coming up for gasps of air

Just enough air to keep going

Through off your mental chains. (Thank you Howard Jones)

Jacob Marley’s chains

Dragging you down

Then I slipped back into depression, I could see it slowly creeping up on me

I could feel it taking a hold and yet I couldn’t stop it

I couldn’t see how much lower I would sink, Thinking at each stage that “this” is the lowest point

Only to find myself further down the spiral, lost and wondering,

“How the hell did I get here again?”

PRESSURE

Pushing down on me, pushing down on you

These are the days that it never rains, but pours

It is the terror of knowing what this world is about,

Watching good friends scream, let me out

Turned away from it all like a blind man

Insanity laughs

This is our last dance, this is our last dance

This is ourselves, under pressure

Music moves me through the memories of depression and what it feels like

And music helps me move forward and out of the depression

I am way too young and I won’t stop running!

I believe the tables will turn

I won’t stop dreaming

This isn’t over, it’s never over

Facing forward, lights out, I wont stop running

Falling backwards, I won’t stop running

I will take another sunrise….

I am way too young and I won’t stop running

I am living it all

Tearing off the labels….

This isn’t over

This isn’t over

I am way too young and I won’t stop running

Thank You to Queen and lyrics of Under Pressure

Thank You to A Great Big World and lyrics of Won’t Stop Running