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

Posts tagged ‘depression’

Changes

I sit here listening to my inspiration play list.

The goal is to inspire myself to write. 

Because the reality is I have not been writing and I realized today that the life I choose to live is one in which I write.

The life I choose is one in which I choose to write about what matters to me.

Right now what matters to me is my mental health and if writing is my way back to myself….

then I must write, no matter what

Two weeks ago i came to my cozy spot, sat in my comfy chair and I only felt ready to write when the place was closing.

Tonight, i realized, I needed to facilitate my spark to write much sooner. 

Or maybe i did not realize that consciously but after watching a touching episode of an old TV show,

I took stock in myself and my current situation.

David Bowie played, “Changes”, a fitting title

I have always loved this song and it felt like my song for tonight

Then I looked up the lyrics….

They surprised me

Even though I knew some of the lyrics,

I had not really heard the song as a whole before

Of course, it seams so fitting for me and my struggles

I still don’t know what I was waiting for

And my time was running wild

A million dead-end streets

And every time I thought I’d got it made

It seemed the taste was not so sweet

So I turned myself to face me

But I’ve never caught a glimpse

Of how the others must see the faker

I’m much too fast to take that test

Not sure if I really know what all of it means

I don’t think it matters what David intended in the meaning

I believe all that matters is what it means to me

Sure, I would like to know what the words meant to him

Yet, on a spiritual level, I know I need to just allow it to bring out my own meaning

As a means to help me on my path 

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

(Turn and face the strange)

Face the unknown

Ch-ch-changes

Don’t want to be a richer man

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

(Turn and face the strange)

Face my fears

Ch-ch-changes

Just gonna have to be a different man

Everything in my life. Changes who I am

In each new moment, I am created a new

I can’t go back and be who I was before all my challenges 

I can only be who I am now….

And accept myself in who I am now

Time may change me

But I can’t trace time
I watch the ripples change their size

But never leave the stream

Of warm impermanence and

So the days float through my eyes

But still the days seem the same

Theses lyrics are poetry, as is the entire song

All I gather from it is that I watch life move on and yet feel so stuck in the same low place
The next lines have always been my favorite ranking alongside, “Another brick in the wall”

The message within these next four lines are what compels me to write

The message in these lines is what compels  me to be the parent I choose to be

And to always strive to be a better parent

It is my passion for living my life


And these children that you spit on

As they try to change their worlds

Are immune to your consultations

They’re quite aware of what they’re going through

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

(Turn and face the strange)

Ch-ch-changes

Don’t tell them to grow up and out of it

I almost overlooked this lesser known line

Let children be chicldren

Let them be who they are now

They have value at any age

They will become adults in time

We don’t need to “train them to be adults”

We need to respect  them where they are now and allow them to be children

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

(Turn and face the strange)

Ch-ch-changes

Where’s your shame

You’ve left us up to our necks in it

Time may change me

But you can’t trace time
Strange fascination, fascinating me

Changes are taking the pace

I’m going through
Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes

(Turn and face the strange)

Ch-ch-changes

Oh, look out you rock ‘n rollers

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

(Turn and face the strange)

Ch-ch-changes

Pretty soon now you’re gonna get older

Time may change me

But I can’t trace time

I said that time may change me

But I can’t trace time

I like how these lyrics leave me thoughtful and looking for deeper meaning.

Looking for meaning beyond what I see as the obvious meaning in the words

Searching

Is a good place to be in 

And most certainly so much better and more full of life than in a slump of depression

Avoiding and zoning out and “medicating” with distraction

Thank you
AtoZLyrics

And an enormous burst of gratitude to David Bowie for writing and for singing

Wildflowers 

You belong among the wildflowers
You belong in a boat out at sea

Sail away, kill off the hours

You belong somewhere you feel free
Run away, find you a lover

Go away somewhere all bright and new

I have seen no other

Who compares with you
You belong among the wildflowers

You belong in a boat out at sea

You belong with your love on your arm

You belong somewhere you feel free
Run away, go find a lover

Run away, let your heart be your guide

You deserve the deepest of cover

You belong in that home by and by
You belong among the wildflowers

You belong somewhere close to me

Far away from your trouble and worry

You belong somewhere you feel free

You belong somewhere you feel free

Thank you Tom Petty, your words speak to my spirit. I am forever grateful for the work you put into the world.  

And A-Z Lyrics, I can always find the song I am looking for. Boy,you would have been helpful when I was in middle school taping songs off the radio onto my tape player and then playing them back slowly stopping and rewinding to write down the words to the song.  Even many of the cassettes I bought in the early 80s didn’t have lyrics to the songs included.   And then there were those lyrics that you just couldn’t figure out because you didn’t know what they were saying.  I only found out this year that the ABBA song Dancing  Queen lyrics include ” you’re in the mood to dance” and not what I thought sounded like “you’re at the Hoover damm”.

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/tompettyandtheheartbreakers/wildflowers.html

Tonight I had an amazing meet up with a long time friend and a spiritual soul mate. She has guided me on the journey back to myself.  We were together about 4 hours and we did some deep spiritual work. And she headed home and I remain in this space to write and I pulled up my playlist that I put together a while back with just 4 songs.  The playlist is entitled “writing ideas” and the first song that played on shuffle was the above Tom Petty.  I never realized it before, but apparently Tom is one of my spiritual guides.  Just view my blogs with song lyrics.  And then the following song playethis song expanded on the message to my soul which was so powerful after the time spent with my dear friend, my spiritual guide and soul mate. 

Thank you A Great Big World! I discovered you this past summer just when I needed you and your songs in my life.  Your words have lifted me many times over the past 7 months at a time in my life when I was very low and needed your words to sustain me.  This song is called Rockstar”. 
There’s a girl in the backyard bangin’ on her drum

Sittin’ in a junk pile laughing at the sun

Singin’, “Ah ha ha, I just wanna be a rockstar.”
There’s a boy in the backseat singin’ to the song

Playin’ on the radio, knowing he’s the one

Singin’, “Ah ha ha, I just wanna be a rockstar.”
Singin’, “ah ha ha, I was born to be a rockstar!”
There’s a girl in the tree top looking at the stars

Waiting for a touchdown comin’ in from Mars

Thinkin’, “Is there anybody out there?”
There’s a boy thinking of her playin’ his guitar

Searching for the answer buried in his heart

Thinkin’, “Ah, ha ha, is there anybody out there?”
Singin’, “Ah, ha ha, is there anybody out there?”
If there’s a meaning can you show me a sign?

The more I look it just gets harder to find

The world is spinnin’ and I wanna know why
And we’re all getting older wishin’ we were young

Hangin’ on the memory of what we would become

Singin’, “Ah ha ha, I was born to be a rockstar.”
Singin’, “Ah ha ha, I just wanna be a rockstar.”

Singin’, “Ah ha ha, I was born to be a rockstar!”
If there’s a meaning can you show me a sign?

The more I look it just gets harder to find

The world is spinnin’ and I wanna know why
And maybe we will never figure it out

I got a feelin’ that’s what life’s all about

I’m learning anything is possible now
Take a ticket and get off the line [8x]

Singing, “Ah ha ha I just wanna be a rockstar.” [4x]

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/greatbigworld/rockstar.html

And as I listen to the remainder of my playlist,  I discover another Tom Petty song.  Will save that for another post.

Time to explore the inner workings of my soul. 

I Will Be OK 

Songs can bring me out of my darkest times if only for a moment. Sometimes all I need is that moment to propel myself forward out of my stuck place.

You’ll be okayYou’ll be okay

The sun will rise

To better days
And change will come

It’s on it’s way

Just close your eyes

And let it rain
‘Cause you’re never alone

I will always be there

You just carry on

You will understand
You’ll be okay

You’ll be okay

Just look inside

You know the way
Let it go

Fly away

And say goodbye

To yesterday
‘Cause you’re never alone

And I will always be there

You just carry on

You will understand
And I will be strong

When love is gone

I’ll carry on…
You’ll be okay

You’ll be okay

The sun will rise

To better days
You’ll be okay

You’ll be okay

Just close your eyes

And let it rain
When you need it the most

And all you’ve got is a prayer

You must carry on

You will understand

You will understand

You will understand
You’ll be okay

You’ll be okay

You’ll be okay.
Thank you once again to: A Great Big World

I was so fortunate to hear you live when you opened for Phillip Phillips and Matt Nathanson.

Such a wonderful experience taking my daughter to her first concert. And one of my favorite opening bands of all time that I first discovered at the concert. You have such meaningful lyrics that are simple yet powerful as well as such an upbeat soul to your sound that brings me much joy. Your music has been what I have needed most in such a difficult time in my life. How ironic because I took my daughter to hear Phillip Phillips because of how powerful his music was for us in her most difficult time in her life. I know it helped me through the pain. And it formed a bond between my daughter and myself.

And thanks once again  to A to Z Lyrics for making it so easy to find the full lyrics.

Dealing and Coping with Mental Illness

One of my biggest challenges in helping my children with their mental health issues, has been doing so while dealing with my own mental health issues.  I have diagnosed myself with Bipolar 2 because the mental health professionals have failed me in that area. They diagnosed me with Major Depression despite my repeated information on my bipolar symptoms. One practioner wanted me to see if my insurance would cover generic testing, in part to see if Bipolar disorder was likely. I don’t need to take a test for that. My brother is diagnosed with Bipolar 2 and has been for a long time. My brother and I share much other genetic similarities. 

I have found in helping my children, that I have been more qualified than the so-called professionals with diagnosing myself and my children. Especially my youngest child who I know has OCD and social anxiety despite failed attempts with professionals to get these diagnoses. I am a health care professional after all and hey, who knows my children better than me? No one. I homeschool/ unschool them based on my knowledge of who they are so I guess we unschool mental health too. 

That being said, we do use professionals for assistance. We have a OCD specialist therapist who has been vital in helping both my daughter and my son.  But we have been unable as of this writing to find a well qualified Psychiatrist who specializes in OCD.  We had one that was competent and who we liked (we liked her even more after we went to other Psychiatrists) but she was self pay only and we already have enough debt from medical expenses. 

Back to my intent of this post….

Helping my children when I myself am suffering my own mental illness. 

When I look back over the years, there are large periods of time that feel like a fog and in those times, just getting through each day was a big challenge for me.  One area that has been a big issues is getting my children help or following through with referrals and other things when they are doing better. 

When your child suffers with mental illness, it is exhausting, emotionally and often physically. When, they are doing better, there is a feeling of relief and wanting life to “just be normal for a while” or more normal.  As an example of this, last spring, my youngest had a severe flare up of OCD, anxiety and behavioral issues.  We went to a hospital ER to get immediate psychiatric help but because he was less than 7, we could only seek a referral to a developmental and behavioral pediatrician or go to the local mental health behavioral unit which would have been at least a 3-5 hour wait without knowing if they could even help us. We opted for the getting referred to the pediatrician specialist which involved going back to our primary for the referral and then I called to follow up but did not receive any information from them for 6 months.  I repeat, it took the Develpomental and behavioral Pediatrician practice, 6 months to send us information in the mail to complete to be seen.  Well, 6 months later, he was doing so much better. We had started OT services as well as going to the therapist we already had for our daughter. I intended to fil out the paperwork.  I must add that about 4 months prior to this visit to the ER, we had taken him to a psychologist for evaluation, but she was unable to complete her evaluation due to his inability to answer all her questions and complete her tests. It took her a couple months to send her results to us which said nothing really that I did not already know. 

Back to the referral to the pediatrician specialist.  I truly intended to fill out this lengthy paperwork to get my son seen.  I even contacted a friend who had taught him in a class situation to help with filling out some of the information. Since we homeschool, we don’t have a teacher to answer things.  He also acts differently with me than with other people, so I thought her input would be helpful. She is also the person who first pointed out the idea that he has “social anxiety”.  Yet, I have yet to begin to complete this paperwork. Now, I want to get my daughter referred to this practice in my hopes that they will have experience with OCD, particularly child-onset OCD. Because, she needs a prescribing doctor to follow her on her medication. Our previous Psychiatrist, who we did not like at all, does not take our current insurance. 

So why did I not fill out the paperwork for my son when they finally send it to me, 6 months after I requested the referral?

The only answer I really have is: my own depression and anxiety. 

My own depression made doing daily activities difficulty and anything extra was really a stretch for me to complete. I just did not have the time nor the energy to do it. I wanted to do it. It bothered me that I did not complete it. I also think that I did not have much faith anymore that these so called “professionals” could help my son.  Having the experience of taking my time to go to the psychologist assessment and gaining nothing from the experience other than frustration with the incompetence of the psychologist with knowing how to handle a kid with severe anxiety and getting help for us, I had little motivation to pursue this next avenue of help.  

So was it my depression and Axiety that prevented me from getting the help for my son?  

Or was it because I no longer believed that the professionals could help my son?

Most likely a little of both. 

I took some steps today to get my children the help they need.  Despite the utterly inadequate NC government health care system, I soldiered on with 2 different phone calls and even talking to the person who is my “case manager” who I find particularly incompetent and unprofessional.    I know know that I need to do research to find a psychiatrist that takes our current insurance, NC assisted: NC Healthchoscie for Children (when your income is too high for Medicaid). They had Medicaid until the beginning of this year. My husband is self employed and my prn work status does not qualify me for health insurance through my employers. I work 2 jobs. 

I also plan to find that paperwork and fill it out for my son too. Hopefully, I can find it, buried in the piles of paper at my desk. And I do plan to ask my friend to help me fill out the information. She now has seen my son at least weekly in class and might have some valuable insights and opinions to share. 

So this is my affirmation to myself to make these items a priority. 

If you also deal with mental health issues and have other family members with mental health issues, I would love to hear your challenges, thoughts and insights.   Let us help each other. 

Don’t Look Back, Keep Moving Forward: Depression Post 3

I wrote my last post  Twisted Sister on January 13, two and a half weeks ago. It fits into  my my Don’t Look Back, Keep Moving Forward post series -post two as well as the first post written on  December 15, 2015.  I can now see that I have made great progress in the past month.  I personaly feel my last post has alot to do with my recent progress, as well as the actions I am taking for my mental health.  Sure, I would imagine the medicine I am taking helps me to move forward, yet without the other components, I’m not sure how much the medication would really help me.

One huge component has been my participation in the Emerald Live Group which meets montly in person to do personal transformation work on “taming our inner ego”, aka, the negative critical voice in our head which kicks us dowen and prevents us from living up to our full potential.    Not only do I have to show up montly, but there are exercises to do each week. (I will be honest, I haven’t done the exercises in over two months, yet I did them for 6 months prior.)  There is also a Facebook group and montly phone calls.  For me, participating in the Facebook group page along with the in person meet ups has been very helpful to me.  Facebook is my main connection to the outside world because most of my life I am either at work with elderly people or assisting my three children with their homeschool/ life journey.

I am a caregiver at work, with my children, and now to some degree for my parents.  That much caregiving is a certain recipe for burnout and personal depletion.  Or it can be, if I do not take care of myself and give myself vacations from “caregiving”.  No, I can’t ever really stop being a mother, even if I am physically not in the same state as my kids, I am still their mother and because they are minors (well, even my 18 year old needs mom, often via text) I always know, I could get a call or a text about them with something urgent to handle or discuss or some kind of scheduling conflict to solve.   I have to balance thier needs with mine.

Parenting is a juggling act.  I made a plaque for my husband shortly after he first went into business for himself in 1996.  And later in 2002, I added to it.  I titled it “Juggler’s Award” and I drew a pciture of  a clown balancing on a moving board, juggling balls and I and etched around the clown the names of his various roles in life:  “Partner, motivator, husband, friend, business owner, lover, managaer, uncle, son, brother, salesman, listener, home-maker, and father.”

When was the last time you stopped and thought about all of the roles you play in your life?

I have done that exercise of listing my roles, yet, the challenge is really in consciously choosing how we spend our time.  First, we need to look realistically how we ACTUALLY do spend the hours of our days and then compare it to our priorities and values.  Only then, can we make action steps to make changes in our life and better schedule our time. There may be things we need to let go of and say goodbye to, if even just for now.  We might need to spend less time playing games on our iphone and scrolling through Facebook and schedule set times to check emails so important messages are not missed.  We may need to schedule time with our children, maybe even individual time, as well as time with our partner and/ or friends. Most importantly, we may need to schedule time for ourself, to engage in a hobby we enjoy, or make steps forward with something we are passionate about or want to pursue, and time to relax and just be.  Just be who we are, the real you, deep down in your inner soul, the person you are meant to be.  And even though I say, “we” and “you”, I mean “me!” Yet, maybe some of it fits for you.  Take what works for you, find your own way,  and leave the rest.

Once again, Pandora has graced me with an appropriate song as I write.

Thank you Tom Petty and Lyric Find

No, I’ll stand my ground, won’t be turned around

And I’ll keep this world from draggin’me down

Gonna stand my ground and I won’t back down

(I won’t back)

Hey baby, there aint’t no easy way out

(I won’t back down)

Hey I will stand my ground

And I won’t back down

Well I know what’s right, I got just one life

In a world that keeps on pushin’ me around

But I’ll stand my ground and I won’t back down

I Won’t Back Down

Songwriters: Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty