Short and Sweet

Okay short for me. I have been sick so I haven’t felt much like blogging.

I’ve noticed when I have a fever I am not like other people who run for the tylenol and thermometers. I don’t care how high it is, and I would rather sink down into it than get rid of it. I crank my heater up, wrap myself in layers and blankets, add fuel to that fire and stoke, stoke, stoke.

It got me to thinking about whether or not I do the same thing with my depression or my anxiety?

Do they feel like a warm cup of cocoa on a cold day to me?

I know there are times when I get up in a foul mood and I give it a big old hug. I speculate it is because on those days I couldn’t care less about anything, including people, or what they think, and this is in stark contrast to how I normally spend my days thanks to my social anxiety, and PTSD.

I overanalyze every aspect of my interactions with others. I study patterns. I look for shifts in peoples body language, eye contact, and even their breathing for clues as to how I am doing in the world today. What am I searching for? Cues on how to behave. Indications of danger. Subtle expressions of like or dislike. Approval. Disproval. Validation.

Yes.

But there is a silver lining. A few actually.

I am accutely aware that these thoughts are happening and so am able to cast them off as need be and focus on validating myself. Additionally, I have used my ability to tune into others throughout my life, and especially in my career. I am a great listener, not just becuase I listen to what is said to me but because I am very intuitive and can read between the lines. My intuition about people, and situations are rarely proven wrong, which has served me well when investigating claims, and interviewing clients.

I also think this has left me more self aware because I am so intimately acquainted with what makes me tick, good and bad. I have learned to accept these quirks and flaws as part of my make up, and also part of what makes me special.

So perhaps when I sink down into the thick of it, and embrace all that negativity I am really striving to learn, and to conquer.

Perhaps that isn’t so bad.

How have your experiences with life, and/or your illnesses shaped you? What unique quirks and flaws have you been left with? How do they make you special? If you have never taken the time to examine your quirks and flaws in a positive light maybe now is the time. Do you have lightning fast reflexes? Super hearing? Can you read lips from across the room? Do you seem to cause people around you to spill all their secrets? Can you navigate really well in the dark? Are you capable of sneaking up on people because of your amazing abilty to stay very quiet? How can these unique flaws be turned into positive skills you use in every day life?

If you feel like sharing, please comment.

Mentally Me – C/P

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Brain Dump – Read at your own Risk

Struggling. Struggling. Struggling.

Struggling to keep up. Struggling to put words to paper.

Struggling to keep it in. Confused by emotions, flooding in from places long since abandoned, memories lost and found.

Today was not a bad day. It was not a horrible day. There were moments of the spilled milk variety. Apathy being the correct response since the deed is done, but more importantly since it cannot be undone.

Taking stock lately, finding myself wanting. Afraid. Afraid of success, immobilized by fear. Hating myself. Feeling weak. Getting angry. Brief moments of sun providing clarity.

Is it the weather? It has been misting a lot lately. Grey, grey, wet days. Wet ankles. Ugly boots abandoned to the spiders in the closet. Let them have at it.

Fog too, covering the mountain, like a scene out of the Hobbit, and I love them all. Mom doesn’t care much for either the fog, or the Hobbit, but I am not sure about the mountain. My body walks away from it in the direction of the bus, toward my responsibilities, toward the life I have carved out for myself, but my orbs linger behind me as long as they can, and my heart longs to walk toward it, into it, disappear, swallow me up. Only to the outside world. Once hidden inside it is sure to be a magical place of exploration, of discovery, of privacy, of solitude.

Struggling. Struggling. Struggling. To define myself. To find my place in this world. I think I want to move to America. Been thinking about it since childhood. Will she have me? What am I? Where am I headed? What do I want to do? What CAN I do? Am I a writer? An advocate? A coach? All of the above? None?

Self doubt is the school yard bully. Finding out you are the school yard bully is a nasty surprise in your peanut butter cup. Can’t really look at it the same way after that. Forever reminded. There is always a hesitation. Of trust.

Take a bite any way. A bite out of life.

Recently I watched a movie. The Book of Life. I received two messages;

1.) “He wasn’t afraid of being a bullfighter, he feared being himself.”
2.) “…anyone can die, it takes courage to live.”

From these I learned that I am afraid to be me, the whole me, and nothing but the me. I also recognized it DOES take courage to live. To put yourself out there, to risk, to love. To speak . To speak up. To speak out. To let yourself slide into those emotions good and bad. Courage to be yourself. To write, to advocate, to coach. To figure it out. Strong enough to try, n’est-ce pas?

Life is challenging. But the beauty of rising up to meet its challenges is discovering who you really are and what you’re made of.

I don’t know if I am late out the gate or not. I only know that it is time.

Mentally Me – C/P

5 Myths about Depression

1. Depression is feeling sad

Depression can mean feeling sad but it is much more than that. It can mean feeling a debilitating hopelessness, desperation, despair, irritability, or sometimes it means being unable to feel anything at all.

2. Depression is constant

Depression is felt at varying degrees of severity and is episodic. This means someone who appeared fine last week can be depressed this week, or in some cases change hour to hour. Although there may be triggers, the symptoms of the illness are by nature unpredictable.

3. Depression is clearly defined

Depression affects every one who experiences it in different ways. While some people have weight gain, others have weight loss, and some find themselves unable to sleep while others can’t seem to get out of bed. Likewise people do not respond to the same treatments in the same way either. What works for one person may not work for another.

4. Depression is limited in scope

Depression affects a person body, mind, and soul and permeates every aspect of their life. Not only is their mood affected, but at times so too are their cognitive functions like their ability to concentrate, to focus and to remember things. Additionally people experience many physical symptoms, such as headaches, fatigue, low energy and even flu like aches and pains. Another often overlooked impact is that chronic lack of self care may eventually wreak havoc on the body in the form of skin infections, dental issues, and diabetes to note a few.

5. Depression cannot be seen

Depression can be seen in the changed behaviour of the person who has it. Their general appearance may be less kept than usual, such as dirty hair, wearing the same clothes over and over, and a general lack of effort in their personal appearance, or that of their home and family. Perhaps you don’t see them any more socially, or they are not as talkative, or punctual. Maybe they have stopped talking about and doing things that interest them. They may have adopted a devil may care attitude, might appear stoic, or blunted emotionally, or alternately have emotional outbursts of anger, or crying. Any negative changes that persist over time could signify a person needs help.

Please feel free to leave your comments, and share.

Mentally Me – C/P