Monday, September 14, 2015

When you feel like giving up, Don't!

Hi all, It’s been a while, but please know that you all have been on my mind and in my heart all along. This blog and the comments my readers have left through out the years have been instrumental in my recovery process and for this I am and will always be grateful.

As for me, presently I am doing very well, my depression has lifted substantially, and I managed to move forward in one piece from a few extreme challenges that I had experienced in the last two years.

After many years of not being able to hold a full time permanent job, I am happy to say that I am currently gainfully employed once again on a full time basis, as well as completely enjoying being back in the work force.

What does this all truly mean to me? Well, it means that there is a lot to be said for “not giving up’’ and taking recovery, treatment and perseverance seriously eventually pays off. 

Working very closely with my mental health providers as well as utilizing my self-care tools has worked tremendously for me. Are things perfect? No, we all know that perfection is unrealistic, but I will tell you this, things have become much better and so has my mental health.

Here are 10 of the many things I am doing for my continued well being.

1.  Staying grateful
2.  Never forgetting who I am, where I came from, and what I need to continue doing.
3. Staying true to others and myself.
4. Knowing my worth.
5. Setting healthy boundaries.
6. Exercising physically and mentally.
7. Setting healthy and realistic goals.
8. Giving myself healthy time outs.
9. Practicing self awareness
10. Still not giving up!

Dear readers, what are some of the things that you do to promote your well-being and good mental health?


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

On finding the good in the bad.


It is so easy to see; feel and experience things falling apart in ones life, yet so hard, almost impossible to notice the good that can come from it. But, if we stop, I mean really stop and look within and around, you can actually see them.

Sounds cheesy I know, like a teaching from some self help guru who probably never experienced hard ship. For me, the challenges can be so daunting that it eats away my energy and creates fear, making it hard to envision how something good can come out of something bad.

But once we begin to practice self care and acceptance, we begin to understand that sometimes things that fall apart were never strong enough in the first place. Keeping it together was all consuming. And although falling apart can be hell, starting over is exciting, a new beginning for things to be done right and feel good, as it should have been all along.

Do you believe that good things can come out of bad experiences?

What’s your take on challenges and hardship?


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Loosing myself along the way - Who am I?

Its about that time for me to do some serious sharing. Every now and then I feel that it is essential for me to just let things out and let things go as a way to start a new within me. Right now seems like a good time.

I feel lost on this Mothers Day. I have spent most of my life doing everything and anything possible so that my children could have all that they need, a roof over their heads, food on the table, clothes on their back, gifts to open on Christmas mornings, gifts to unwrap on birthdays and much more. Mostly, what a caring, loving mother should do. But it seems like that was not enough.

I've hid my fingers, rearrange things as well as my life, so that my sons ocd would not worsen, but it has, through no fault of his own of course and treatments working temporarily, if at all. I've bowed my head in countless apologies with no fault of mine, so that my daughter would feel better about herself only to make myself feel worse.

I've lost many things along the way, including myself.  Looking back, I think I did it this mother thing all wrong. Mostly because I was desperate single mom who lacked guidance and understanding.
Those who said being a mom doesn't come with a hand book are right.
Today, as much as I adore my children, I have to admit, I feel like I don't even know who I am. At least not at this moment.

In recent months I parted ways with my husband, lost my apartment and my dignity. But as they say, "there is good in everything." I'm grateful I can still find the good in my circumstances. One thing I do know is that I'm a  strong cookie for holding on when most times I should have exploded.

You know that saying "You can't make others happy if you're not happy?" damn, I finally got that. It sure took a long time. Instead, I was doing it backwards,  "I'm not happy, if I don't make everyone else around me happy first." Not!

Despite the downward spiral, I have managed to continue to fight for my mental health, my well being, as well as others along the way.

Yet, saying I'm tired would be putting lightly. I'm freaking exhausted, too much that I'm considering cancelling my plans for today. I need a Mother's Year, never mind a day.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Notes to self -- Jotting down general thoughts and sharing them with you.

In dealing with others, especially those closest to me, I am learning and doing. 

Think before I speak, ask yourself is it worth it?

Practice self care, go to support groups, therapy and positive fellowship it is going to help me move forward with more ease.

Remind myself that some are sicker than others, but I have a choice on whether I want to engage in the sickness or stay on the healthy path to recovery.

It is better to ignore with grace than to react with anger which will only create chaos and more conflict.

Remember back then I did not know what I know now.

Things are different, I’m different, my behaviors are different. And it does not matter if those around me are not, I am. And I can make a difference in the outcome.

I will not be the blame. I will not be held responsible. And only I can control that by setting healthy boundaries.

Do not expect, demand or wish for understanding, agreement, nor pity.

Accept things for what they are, have the courage to change the things that I can and look for understanding where others share their experience, strength and hope.

Remove myself from the negative, engage in the positive.

Keep my expectations of others low and mine high and realistically reasonable. But, don't settle for less. 

Never scream, latch out, nor use sarcasm, that only makes things worst.

I have no point to prove because that is nearly impossible to do with toxic people.

Keep the peace. It is better that way.

Go to my support meetings.
Include myself in supportive networks.
Most importantly never give up on myself.



Saturday, December 14, 2013

Holding on to my voice.

When I was battling alcoholism and untreated mental illness my opinions and feelings were not taken seriously or were considered unacceptable. The thing with that is that even when I got sober and began healing, the things I had to say were still not validated. Those around me got use to me not speaking up for myself or when I did, I was shunned and asked “are you okay? Or did you take your medication today?"

Well, apparently some peoples view on me speaking up has not changed much over the years. I still struggle with speaking up and having a voice, difference now is that I still do it anyway.
Sometimes, I am even bold enough to tell them, that "what I say matters and if they don’t like it, it is their opinion, just as I have mine." That’s a shell shocker for them, and by them, I mean those closest to me. Yes, it’s always the one’s who are closest to you.

One of the things that has been difficult for me is to say NO. When asked to do something, go somewhere, contribute to something or maybe even say “no, I don’t agree.” it has always been challenging for me. Although, I still struggle with it, I am getting better at saying “no,” sadly it often comes with a confrontation, another thing I suck at. But, I am saying it more and the end result for me after a bit of anxiety is that I feel proud of myself. 

Bottom line is, I am worthy of having my own opinions and feeling about things. My choices matter, my voice matters, even if it doesn't to anyone else, it matters to me and using it is just as important as anyone else’s.

How comfortable are you when speaking up for yourself?

Do you struggle with finding your voice and expressing what is important to you?

Is it hard for you to say no?


Monday, November 11, 2013

It was a good run, but now it’s back, depression – Chasing it away with self care.

I had a good run, I really did, but now the grayness is once again leaning towards me, leaving me frightened that the darkness will settle. I have not felt this way in quite a while. This past summer was a good one, so was the beginning of fall, lot’s of changes took place which I embraced positively. I even manage to get my laptop fixed and finally purchased internet service, which was a challenging because there were no towers available in my area; low and behold I am plugged in thanks to those hot spot USB devices.

And now, here I am battling this melancholic feeling that I am all too familiar with. Although, I was almost certain it would remain in the past, I see it as a reminder that although it is not who I am, it is still a part of me and will always be.

My depression will come and go, sometimes go for long periods of time to the point where I get comfortable as well as complacent, my usual routines go out the window, self care is placed in the back burner and meditation along with spirituality is a thing of the past. All a big No, No, I may as well have a ticker time bomb attached to me.

I have a plan which I am hoping to implement as soon as possible. I have learned through out the years that although depressive disorder is part of me I don’t have to entertain it; there are things I can do to lessen it and put it to rest.

Exercise for one, is a  part of my dan and when I don’t do it I begin to whittle away, so I will make it a point to re-join the local gym and make use of my membership.

I will also start to practice my prayer and mediation again, along with attending my Ala-non 12 step (family and friends of alcoholics) meetings which sadly I have stopped going.

 In other words, I will practice self care with the goal of evading the darkness and preventing it from settling.

 Are there any self care routines that you have not practiced lately?  What kind of things do you do that make you feel better?


Monday, August 19, 2013

Resentments - Do we ever truly let them go?

I wonder if we ever truly get rid of resentments or, if we learn how not to let them affect us the way they once did, almost making it seem as if they no longer exist.  That is until something someone say's or does triggers those well kept resentments, and then BOOM! You're floating in an ocean of horrible memories, swimming to save your life once again.

I find for myself this tends to happen more with my mother, as it recently did. And although, I love her, she has a way of bringing out in me things that I was certain, were no longer a hindrance in my mind and heart. Leave it to good ole' mom she can actually make things I crumbled, burned and tossed in the incinerator, come back to life.

It's so darn easy to say "let it go, move on" Hell, I've said that plenty to myself and others. I think it's better to say "practice letting it go." Yes, practice until the pain lessens, and if the resentment comes back, full speed, straight ahead, practice some more.

For we are not perfect, but we can still move positively forward in life, while practicing the art letting go.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Hole Prevention and Slithering Vipers.

My illness is doing push ups this week. Luckily, I have it under control. Ha! "Control" good one!

Do you, we, or I ever really have it under control?

It seems to me, that's when coping skills come into play. I've learned how to cope in a healthy manner, in which I keep myself from spiraling down into a hole. I'll call it "hole prevention" yes, that sounds good for now.

You see, that is the thing about my depression, I just never know. It is like a slithering viper, camouflaged, quietly hissing beneath the dirt and grass, waiting for a vulnerable moment to attack.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Uncertain, resilient with hope.

Uncertainty is a part of life, but for me it has been a defected roller coaster of non stop uncertainties, such as not knowing what's going to happen from one minute to the next. I can't say it's any different now (Well maybe a bit better, a tiny bit) but, what I can say is that unlike the past, I feel more stable in facing them.

What I mean is, I feel more confident and capable of handling what ever comes my way. My level of fear has lessened as my hope continues to rise. Hope of challenges being met with resilience and ultimately overcomed with grace.

Lately, I have been thinking of that young girl staring at the bathroom mirror with a face smeared of lipstick and mascara stained, teared clouded eyes. A lost girl, an angry girl, a hopeless girl. I'm not her anymore and although, the memory pains me, I have grown. That girl was full of expectations that were crushed and certain of outcomes that never came to be.

Today my expectations are realistic and my uncertainties accepted. My faith has broadened and I have a box full of tools that help guide me.

How do you handle uncertainty?

Friday, June 28, 2013

Reflecting, progress - Untreated mental illness.

Tonight, after a well intended bonding afternoon with my daughter turned argumentative, I began  thinking of all the things my mental illness's has taken away from me and even those around me. It has taken relationships, family, jobs, hope, opportunities and more. I sit here on my bed tonight reflecting and a bit saddened by my past, but let me assure you, not defeated.

I've heard it said that its okay to think of our difficult past's just as long as we don't allow it to dictate our present or future, so I guess I'm having a few non dictatorial moment's. In these, I  remember how ill I was, I also grieve for the many loses that my untreated mental illness contributed to. But, these moments also make me stronger, they help me continue fighting and caring for myself.

I've lost enough! Hell, it's even safe to say I've destroyed, but I can also say I am now gaining and creating.
Every single time I attend therapy, take medication as prescribed, talk about mental health related issues, listen and read others experiences, I build a defense against regress.
I remind myself that I cannot change my pass nor the hurt I caused, but I can certainly strive for a better today. 

I am not cured, I have made progress, that is huge, although others will not commend me for it, I must always be proud. I have an illness and when untreated it can be dangerous for me. I am however not my illness, Many don't understand this, but it is extremely important that I do.

As I'm finishing this post, I got a tweet from a fellow blogger Tina, over at  she tweeted " you are strong, remember that."  That was a feel good moment, because that is part of the process for progress, inspiring and supporting one another. :-))

What helps you move forward and continue progress?

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