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Disclaimer: Although I have worked with persons with mental illness for twenty years, I do not have a Master's Degree or a license. This is not meant to be a substitute for mental health care or treatment. Please obtain professional assistance from the resources listed on the right of the page, if needed. And call 911 if you or someone is in immediate danger.
A key word that you will see:
Fragmentation: a mental process where a person becomes intensely emotionally focused on one aspect of themselves, such as “I am angry” or “no one loves me,” to the point where all thoughts, feelings and behavior demonstrate this emotional state, in which, the person does not or is unable to take into account the reality of their environment, others or themselves and their resources. This is a term that my therapist and I use and is on the continuum of dissociation.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
I've been thinking about his life and the relatively short time that I knew him out of his 89 years. He had a tough life, yet was not bitter. He worked hard as a gardener without finishing or evening having any former schooling. At one time, he owned two homes. One rental home was his retirement fund. Smart man! All of his children, were able to go to college.
Besides the more "material" things. I loved him and am thankful that he gave me such a wonderful husband who is much like his father. Everytime, he saw me he would have this wonderful smile on his face. He was smart, observant, funny, giving, fair, honest and had integrity.
Not having much money, my husband tells stories of how he became a collector and "creative." Such was the time he built a dining room table out of material he either had, found or purchased at yard sales (a favorite hobby). He made a table with that was sturdy and functional, but had four different legs!! I always thought of his home as Sanford and Son meets Gillian's Island.
I think that he knew I was "the one" for my husband. He loved baseball; however, during one of my early visits, he changed his routine. He usually would just watch it in the other room while everyone else sat around the dining room table and talked. Well, for me he would turn it off and sit with everyone. The first time this occurred, my husband said, "my Dad likes you." Score!!! I remember how handsome and proud he looked on the day we were married and him lighting the candles. Sorry, it one candle was stubborn.
Right now, all I can do is think of his smile that I will miss so much. I am sad that he is gone and miss him very much.
Friday, April 24, 2009
October 2008 ~ mass removed, possible cancer, benign.
Thanksgiving/Christamas ~ family stress/with just the holidays as usual, but with triggers this time and begin to decompensate.
Jan/Feb 2008 ~ 24 day psychiatric hospitalization
March 2008 ~ not unpacked from hosp yet and have 7 day hosp for very serious pneumonia
March 2008 ~ day after I'm discharged from the hospital my father-in-law is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, hospice in place, given one week to six months.
April 2008 ~ father-in-law not doing well, as of Thursday has 24 hour awake hospice nurse in home.
I feel like I've been rapidly having more difficulties with depression, focusing, making decisions, fragmenting, ridged thinking to no thinking, staying present, feeling disconnected and on the verge of disorganizing.
On Friday, my therapist brought up the idea of hospitalization as is increasingly difficult to find and use my coping skills. However, I am trying to keep it together for my husband as I think his father is going to decline much more rapidly than expected and I want to be there for him.
Also, the hospital that I would go to is no longer a preferred provided as of 4/1/09. The copay is 40% and I really can't go anywhere else. I'm just so confused and don't know what I need or what to do. Maybe, I just needed to say that. Thanks for listening.
Monday, April 20, 2009
I was at being in the hospital for pneumonia
Is something I could not face.
Flashbacks and nightmares increasing
as the month went by all because
it was something I could not embrace.
I’ve already talked enough about it,
the details and even wrote a letter.
But, I continued not to feel emotionally any better.
I lived in fantasy world with everything
twisted, just to survive.
Now, to live there continues to deprive.
This I learned to slowly die as my way of being
To “be” is what I need to do and
fight back the lies I’m slowly seeing.
The lies that tell me “Don’t talk,“
“I’m okay,” “I don’t need anyone” and “I’ll be just fine.”
The constant banter in my head is not benign.
Those and other lies lead to
self-injury and other self-destructive ways
For this therapy sometimes feels like a maze.
Therapy has saved and opened my life to who I really am
Someone that deserved much more than I received
And, too often instead I was betrayed and deceived.
Now, into the Father’s arms I securely belong
In Him and others, I finally find security and comfort
But, learning to do that for myself takes much effort.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Fragmenting, tearful, agitated, defending with everything I have...all to avoid an emptiness that I thought I could hide away forever.
But, it is here...emptiness that hurts all the way to the deepest depths of my soul. A pain that has always been there, but the goal was to hide it away from even me.
But, it is here...emptiness that makes me nauseated, that hurts from the hair on my head to the tips of my toes.
Emptiness that can't be consoled, and that should have been filled by her (but, she didn't). Which I turned into deep self-hatred because I thought it was my fault.
Both emptiness and self-hatred make me want to just go away and not come back...too much pain and too many tears.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Well, scientific researchers are discovering that compassion or kindness meditation practiced by Tibetan Buddhist monks can alter peoples responses to be more compassionate. They measured participants brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
Brain Blogger: Topics from Multidimensional BioPsychoSocial Perspectives had an article entitled, “Meditate to Learn Compassion” by Jennifer Gibson, PharmD. The following is an excerpt from the article "The researchers concluded that the brain can, therefore, be trained to exhibit more powerful responses to empathy. People can learn to regulate thoughts and emotions and promote happiness and compassion through practicing compassion meditation regularly. Techniques for compassion meditation include concentration exercises that train attention, behavioral training such as practicing generosity, and cognitive strategies of self-reflection and visualizing the suffering of others. The long-term goal for practitioners of compassion meditation is to decrease egocentric traits, allowing altruistic behaviors to arise more frequently. Scientists hope that these techniques may be useful for teaching compassion to children and adolescents and decreasing bullying and violence, as well as helping people prone to depression learn compassion for themselves. The researchers are planning a study to examine brain changes over a longer period of time of people who practice compassion meditation. Meditation practices impact physiological pathways that regulate stress and disease-causing processes. Much attention is focused on meditation to improve attention, develop mindfulness, and calm the mind. However, there is now evidence that physiological processes are activated in meditation focused on cultivating compassion. An additional study found that engaging in compassion meditation might reduce stress-induced immune and behavioral responses."
"The researchers concluded that the brain can, therefore, be trained to exhibit more powerful responses to empathy. People can learn to regulate thoughts and emotions and promote happiness and compassion through practicing compassion meditation regularly. Techniques for compassion meditation include concentration exercises that train attention, behavioral training such as practicing generosity, and cognitive strategies of self-reflection and visualizing the suffering of others. The long-term goal for practitioners of compassion meditation is to decrease egocentric traits, allowing altruistic behaviors to arise more frequently.
Scientists hope that these techniques may be useful for teaching compassion to children and adolescents and decreasing bullying and violence, as well as helping people prone to depression learn compassion for themselves. The researchers are planning a study to examine brain changes over a longer period of time of people who practice compassion meditation.
Meditation practices impact physiological pathways that regulate stress and disease-causing processes. Much attention is focused on meditation to improve attention, develop mindfulness, and calm the mind. However, there is now evidence that physiological processes are activated in meditation focused on cultivating compassion. An additional study found that engaging in compassion meditation might reduce stress-induced immune and behavioral responses."
The research is at the beginning stages and previous research has shown that any type of meditation or prayer has a positive effect on the brain, but they had not previously studied this area. To me, it has fascinating implications.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Since I've been convalescing, I haven't had the energy to do much writing. This finally gave me the opportunity to share my friend, Arvind Devalia's 7 Keys to make all your Relationships Richer & more Fulfiling! I've provided an excerpt of the article. I've been wanting to share this with you.
"Arvind brings his infectious passion for life and warmth for people to all his business and personal activities. His motto and message to everyone is “make things happen”.
Having just published his latest book “Personal Social Responsibility” (Sep 2008), Arvind is working with independent professionals, organisations and non-profits to bring a greater sense of ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility into the business world.
He is now also becoming established as a professional speaker and speaks passionately about how individuals and businesses can get what they want from life and at the same make a huge difference in the world.
He actively supports various social enterprises and charities – he has been involved with the Nirvana School in Pondicherry, south India for over 10 years now. "
I outlined my 3 Keys to GREAT relationships:-
A key point that we discussed was how the ONLY thing you can ever give anyone else is your love and ACCEPTANCE.
It is incredible that human beings still believe that they can make someone else love them!
To end my talk, I summarised the key relationship learnings as below as a form of positive affirmations:-
1. I accept people totally and completely as they are and I allow others to be as they are. I know that they are perfect teachers for my journey of acceptance and understanding.
2. I look for opportunities to connect with, contribute and make a difference to another person at least once a day. This is what leads to true connection and fulfilment.
3. I am deeply grateful for all the people in my life who make my life so easy and rich. I show my appreciation at every possible opportunity.
4. I take nothing personally and accept that everyone is on their own journey of growth and learning. I forgive and let of any past grievances.
5. I look for the love and goodness in others for love is all that matters.
6. I bring more joy, happiness and love in my life and other people’s lives.
7. I will practice appreciation & gratitude daily and I promise to learn and improve my gratitude dance!!!
So there you are - go forth and apply these 7 keys in all your relationships and see how your life and your world is transformed. "
Remember to go and take a look at Arvind Devalia's blog Make Things Happen: For Yourself and the World. It will inspire your day !!! (Thanks for letting me steal this from you...it is a gem as you are!)
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Friday, April 3, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
With all that being said, I am having difficulty with feeling out of control and overwhelmed. Also, one of the medications that I am taking for pneumonia has a lot of side effects which are freaking me out as it makes me feel even more out of control. I had a meltdown yesterday over it. (Adding to that being hospitalized for pneumonia brought on panic attacks, flashbacks and nightmares.)
For about three weeks, I’ve been taking the maximum dosage of my medication. Side effects usually occur at 20 mg and I’ve been taking 60 mg. Basically, I am experiencing most of the side effects which include tremors, insomnia, water retention, bloating, weight gain, and increased appetite. My psychiatrist said that some with increased appetite become a little manic-like when it comes to food.
Now, remember my eating disorder…well, I am feeling completely out of control. I’ve gained 10-15 pounds in the last week. At least, I’m recovering so I’m wearing loose fitting lounge clothing. I have two pair of pants that I can wear. My “perfect” well-meaning, wouldn’t give up anything for him, honest, loving, caring, sensitive husband took me to the doctor and stated, “You’ve never been that huge.” He has been apologizing profusely about that statement!! (I wonder what I can get out of it?)
Additionally, the rash I had is getting worse in areas. I have episodes of unsteadiness including dizziness, light-headed ness and feeling faint. I lack stamina, am tired and still have some episode of difficulty breathing.
Unfortunately, I have to take the medication for my pneumonia. The only other choice is to not take it and end up in the hospital again because I won't be able to breathe. I am titrating off it, but I won't be completely off until the middle/end of May. Many people have to go through this.
I AM FEELING OUT OF CONTROL OF MY BODY AND I AM FREAKING OUT ABOUT IT!!!!