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

Posts tagged ‘spiritual beings’

Raising children and recreating myself

It is not easy to walk a different path.

We grow up with expectations of what life looks like and how it will look in the future. And then the future happens, and it is unexpected. One decision leads us down a different path than we could have ever imagined.

Our children come to us, with their own path.

We have to step out of our expectations and avoid putting our forgotten desires onto them. We have to forge a new path in the uncharted wilderness of life. We make mistakes and step back and acknowledge our mistakes to ourselves and to our children.

Our example is our greatest lesson for them, even when we aren’t looking.

Reflection is important in every step along the journey. Our children are recreating themselves into who they are and the more we can allow them and not put our expectations onto them, the less digging out they will have to do as adults.

Recreating ourselves while raising children and juggling life responsibilities presents challenges. No matter who we live, life presents challenges. It is how we face the challenge that matters, not the end result.

Being strong means sticking with life even when it seams easier not to.

My faulty coping strategy is avoidance.

disappearing into mindless games, distractions, television, Netflix…

Sleeping

Illness

It is funny because I thought I had moved past the physical illness overtaking me when emotionally I couldn’t cope. I used to have frequent infections and visits the doctor often. Until I found natural health, chiropractic, acupuncture and Eastern medicine, Naturopathy. I moved into going to the doctor less, improved my diet and added supplements. I think this worked well while I was exercising regularly.

I remember even using exercise as an avoidance tool. I used to spend 30-60 minutes walking and then that much time after stretching.

How do I bring that habit back?

I have made effort and have gotten into a morning exercise routine for a short period of time, days, or even weeks of more regular exercise and then it ends.

I think I have lived for so long with the up and down swings that I am finding myself lost knowing how to live without those swings. I think I had come to depend on the upswings to pull me through and propel me forward and so the next downswing, I would still come out ahead of where I was.

I am on a mood stabilizer now and have not had an upswing in some time. About 8 weeks ago, I was just below normal, or that is how I described it to my psychiatrist. She likes to use wave analogy, drawing wavy lines on a board to show my mood swings.

It is really more than mood swings. I would call it, waves of function, dysfunction. Or low function and high function.

So after years of swinging and coping with this pattern, now I have to figure out how to live a different way.

Hmmm…

figuring it out, somehow

One small step at a time

One post at a time

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Today: pushing forward with gratitude

I am grateful for…

Making mistakes

Sticking with my new doctor

Patience

My job

Quiet time alone

Music

My family

My husband, Don, the amazing man he is

Cats and kittens

New things in our life

Supportive people

Friends

Supportive friends

Options

A really yummy salad

New location to have my time

Shifting gears

Trying

Nice spring weather,

A cool breeze

Abby trusts me enough to call me with problems

She reaches out to me when she needs help

Our wonderful veterinarian

Sunshine and Shadow and

The joy those adorable kittens brought to our life… all of us

Thinking about something besides myself

Don helping me when I need it most

Don, taking care of things when I can’t

typing

Writing

Trying

A walk

Fresh air

New yard and working septic system

Shit going where it is supposed to

Opportunities

Business coach who gets what we do

New opportunities

Patience

Doing the work

Moving forward, no matter than pace

Making strides

Opportunities to speak

Planning

Approaching 25 year anniversary

Don in my life for the past 8 years… life could have been so different

Don has been here the past 8 years.

Stopping to really think about that

I can’t really get my head around that fully… what could have been…

Moving forward

Trying

Doing my best

I really am doing my best in each moment

I am doing my best

I am doing my best in each moment

I am doing my best in each moment

I am doing my best in each moment

Focus

Less than an hour to myself

Time to write

What to say?

Ideas swarming like bees yet not landing

…on a particular flower

Just pick a flower

There are so many types of flowers and what is the name of that one kind…

Does it matter?

Am I now writing about flowers?

Maybe…

Carnations, roses, petunias

I like petunias

But have trouble getting them to grow

I love their tubular bloom and all the colors they come in

They grow up and out of the pot like ivy

Spreading their growth out into the world

Chaotic like wildflowers yet the bloom is very defined

Or maybe I am more like a. 4 o’clock

They also grow on vines, wildly, and the bloom only opens late in the day and then closes again

I have my moments when I let myself shine and open my voice to the world and for the rest of the time, I remain closed,

waiting

Holding back my beauty

Holding back. my wisdom

Holding back my inner voice

She’s a late bloomer

Never thought about myself that way before

Yet, maybe it fits

There is so much within me

So many things I want to share

My blog is my stage

the keyboard is my microphone

Music streaming through my wireless earbuds

Music guides me within…

Dreams

I have a reoccurring dream where I struggle to be heard

I literally am trying to speak but my voice is not projecting

No need to dig deep to discover the meaning of that dream

I am a writer

Saying that feels bold

I have always been a writer

From the age of 10 whenI received my first diary

I have pages and pages of the last 39 years of my life

The story of my life is contained in notebooks on my closet shelf

If I could only live my life with my headphones on blasting music

Blasting me back to myself

Loud music quiets the ego voice,

The negative messages

The doubt

The inner naysayer

Music makes me rise to my higher self

I distinctly remember…

..wanting to be a writer and thinking,

“I do not have enough life experience to be a really good writer”

We speak unto the universe and our wish is granted

I was a young adult when I said that

When i had that conscious thought about myself

Not sure if I was yet a mother

I was young and felt my life lacked the chaos that creates good writing

Here I am all these years later

At the age of 49

And now I know

I know

I know that I know that I know

All of these life experiences that have come to me…

The life that i have been living for the past 21 years…

I now have so many experiences to draw from

I don’t know where to begin

Or how to focus on one aspect

And not get lost

Not get lost in the emotion of it all

Step outside of the experiences long enough

Long enough to reflect

To write

To be

Who I truly am

Focus:

I am a writer

Pulling the rug out from under me…And becoming who I am!

A large weight was lifting from my shoulders tonight.

I have been trudging through “the hard life”, waiting for the sh#t to hit the fan…

I have been living in fear of the rug being pulled out from underneath me, again!

Life has brought many challenges over the past 10 years leaving me feeling like I was living under a heavy weight of doom and gloom.

I stopped myself at work today.

I found myself thinking, “This is hard. I have to go back and see that patient and I have to walk through this large building and I am still figuring out how to get where I am going.”

I stopped myself and said, “Wait a minute!”

“This is NOT hard. I can do this. They are paying me good money to be here and to help them. I can sit in the comfortable building and walk these pretty halls, in this “palace” with a lap top that makes it easy to do my paperwork. I know how to be an Occupational Therapist and how to work with a variety of people and a variety of conditions and living situations. I know how to read through weeks of notes and write a progress report with one visit with the person. I CAN do this! I can ENJOY this!”

THIS IS THE GOOD LIFE

I AM living the good life!

I can decide how many hours I am working for these companies each week.

I can decide how much time I am spending writing.

I can decide how much time Don and I are spending growing our business and creating videos and pod casts and expanding our program.

I can decide how I spend my time.

It can be easy!

It really can.

I have removed myself from the drama of the hard job

I work PRN- as needed and on my terms.

I get to say, Yes I can work, and NO, I can not work!

I decide.

Don and I can present our introductory workshop to multiple places and people and gain more and more clients.

Life can be that easy.

I can enjoy what I do.

Fully enjoy helping people, without all the drama

Free of the drama of the healthcare- …sick-care system.

I am choosing a new path.

I can work in health care and stay out of the drama.

I can.

I can go in and do my work. And leave work at work.

I can then go home and get on with my life and my other endeavors and other pursuits.

I can work for my employers and do the work and come home and have plenty of time for the rest of my life!

Time to grow a thriving business with Don, helping families.

Empowering families to support their children and be better versions of themselves and improve their communications skills and their relationships, and their lives.

I can bring to other families what Don and I have brought to our family.

I can.

I am.

I am Gina

Here me roar.

I am a writer,

I am a mother.

I am an Occupational Therapist.

I am a facilitator and a coach.

I am a partner, a wife and a friend.

I am Gina.

I am creating my life.

I am.

I AM GINA….One Week Later: Creating a New Life for Myself

I am

Powerful and creative energy

I am

I am ready to take my experience and skills and more to new work.

I am ready to use my skills as an Occupational therapist to begin a business in well- care, instead of sick-care.

Sundays are now writing time and planning time and goal setting time.

I can embrace my new Sundays.

I am also ready to see the $350 I typically earn (or used to earn) each Sunday, showing up in my life in new ways…

..so the bills can be paid.

I am ready universe.

I am open to new possibilities.

I am a writer.

I am Gina.

I wrote that one week ago

Wow

I have experienced so much since I wrote my post last Sunday.

I am home on Sunday and have time alone to myself in my own home.

Jason and Don are at my sister’s house 3 hours away for an agility trial.

I had an interview this week, a job offer and I set up another interview for Monday and got a phone call about another job.

Wow

I am amazed at how fast I am finding other work options. It used to take so long for that process.

Or maybe I was dragging my heels and that is why it took a long time

Now

I am

Creating

A new life for myself

There are many job opportunities in my area and my field right now.

I have found many job opportunities very close to my home!

I am looking for work at higher rate of pay and closer to home.

I am finding that!

I am amazed at how powerful creation is…

I am! Is such a powerful and creative statement to the universe.

I have known this truth, yet experiencing it happen this quickly and strongly in my life right now is just…

Wow

I didn’t realize it until I read my post from last Sunday.

And I read my post after I had written in my journal this morning.

After I have been struggling this week with feelings of “I should have done …” and “I wish I hadn’t done…”

I wrote in my gratitude journal and through writing, embraced the beauty of my mistakes.

I am grateful for this experience…and ALL that happened and unfolded- I have learned from it. It happened and hear I am now so much better Because of it!!!!

I am grateful for the mistakes I have made in my life!

We regret what we don’t do- not what we do.

I spoke up!

I spoke my truth!

I also wrote:

I am grateful- I spoke up for myself!

I am grateful

-I am not perfect

_I make mistakes

I am HUMAN

And being HUMAN is beautiful!

I am so grateful for this experience

I can “let it go”

And release all the “I should have done…”

“I should have not done….”

Blah blah blah

I am so grateful!

I am grateful for

Right Here

Right NOW

I AM GINA

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

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 of “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 wouldn’t have any moment of joy

I always told myself, I wasn’t really depressed because if I was really depressed, I would not be able to go to work, jut like depression is portrayed on television.

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, I see that 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 again and the possibility of Bipolar 2

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

Because I finally took myself to the doctor and told 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 from it.

And then

She declared me cured

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

And I also 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, depression creeping up on me like a shadow in the night

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 happen with bipolar disorder, including bipolar 2

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 the 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

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 error 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 professionals in the first place,

I know I am no t supposed to diagnosis myself and my degree does not allow me to even make such a diagnosis.

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

Yet, most of the time, I fail to do these things or fail to do them more than once or twice in a row. I spend far more time telling myself I should do these things and feeling like a failure for not doing them, calling myself lazy for not doing better.