More Steps on my Journey

I am really sorry that I haven’t been posting here lately.  I am doing well still, I have just been busy doing some other things.

I have been doing some other creative things like photography, making memes, art, learning about a vegan lifestyle and cooking vegan.

 

I have been eating plant based vegan for approximately six months and have been sleeping better, have way more energy and am slowly, but steadily losing weight.  I am currently down 14 lbs.

If you are interested in seeing some of what I have been doing, you can follow me at:

http://www.Tsu.co/Susansjourneytowellness

 

Go Fund Me campaign

I have so many ideas for things I want to do still.  I have ideas for YouTube videos, lots more articles to write, more to add to my Facebook page.  And I love my job working with special needs children, but they pay us almost nothing to live on, let alone a real computer or internet connection.  I do everything with my smartphone.  A good friend did give me a used camera, so that will help.

I started a Go Fund Me campaign.  Anything you can contribute will be greatly appreciated.

https://www.gofundme.com/depressionjourney

Sometimes you have to fall on your butt over and over until you succeed

This wonderful video was taken by Tyler Sichelski of Tyler Sichelski Photography at http://www.tyskiphoto.com

Never, never, never give up.

Winston Churchill

It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.

Confucius

I love this You Tube video of this newborn foal.  It shows him trying to stand up after he was born.

It’s a little long, but it is worth watching and to me awe inspiring.

It shows him trying to get on his feet, but he keeps falling back down over and over until he finally stands up and walks and nurses from his mother.

This little newborn foal doesn’t give up.  He gets up on his front legs and then falls back down.  Then he picks his little butt up off the ground, but falls back down.  But he tries again to get up.

He tries and tries again until he succeeds.

His mother encourages him.  The other horses encourage him to get up.

Sometimes we get encouragement.  Sometimes we don’t.

But we have to be like this little foal.  We have to keep trying until we succeed.

We also have to help and encourage others like the mother horse and the other horses in the herd did.

To me this video is awe inspiring.  The way this beautiful, amazing little foal doesn’t give up. It encourages me to never give up.  To never quit working to get better physically, mentally, and spiritually.

I am realizing that failure is part of life.  Mistakes are part of life.  Just because I didn’t succeed the first time doesn’t mean I will never succeed.  Or the second time or the third time.

If I learn something from it about myself and can go forward, then I am a winner.  If I face my fears and go forward, I am a winner.  If I can help others learn something about themselves and face their fears, I am a winner.

We are works in progress.

There are only two ways to live your life.  One is as though nothing is a miracle.  The other is as though everything is a miracle.

Albert Einstein

Don’t run away from grief, O soul.  Look for the remedy inside the pain because the rose comes from the thorn and the ruby came from the stone.

Rumi

My Amazon store has great products to aid you in your recovery

From Suicidal to an Attitude of Gratitude

For the health of my mind, body, and spirit, I choose to walk with:

Gratitude not Envy

Faith not Worry

Confidence not Fear

Kindness not Anger

Charles F. Glassman, M.D.

Three times in my life I have had suicidal thoughts of harming myself. The first time, I was smart enough to check myself into the emergency ward at a local hospital before I actually tried anything to end my life.  And started to see a licensed clinical social worker again after I was released from the hospital.

I have had depression and anxiety since I was a teenager and have seen therapists off and on since my parents sent me to see a child psychologist.  Of course, I now believe we should have gone as a family, as we all fought constantly.

And then more recently, about four years ago, I went through a very bad time with suicidal thoughts and panic attacks, and thought about taking pills to end my life, and checked myself into psychiatric programs twice (which may have been perimenopausal).

And a great deal of the time in my life all I wanted to do was sleep the whole day away or wished I could go to sleep and never wake up.

Thankfully, today I only still feel like sleeping the day away once in a while.  And even more thankfully, I no longer feel like going to sleep and never waking up.

The world is filled with too many beautiful sights, too much music to listen to, road trips to go on, friends to spend time with, purrs from my cat Tigger.  These are just the start.

I recently went to one of my mental health support groups, and we did an exercise on gratitude.  All the members there that night drew three stones from the approximately 100 the leader had in a bowl, and we went around the room  and named one thing we were grateful for and then put one of the stones back in the bowl.  We all went around three times, putting back one stone each time until all three stones were back in the bowl.

Actually, I like the idea of the stones.  It makes the things I am grateful for feel real.  I also think the stones were really pretty, all different kinds of stones, and the stones are from Mother Earth and contain energy.  I just bought some stones online at Amazon, so I can do this exercise at home when I do a gratitude list.  You can get these or similar stones at my Amazon store.  But until I get the stones, I am just going to write a gratitude list here.

A gratitude list lifts me up emotionally. l see what I have good in my life, so I can appreciate it more.  And writing a list down also helps me solidify what I have to be grateful for in my mind and spirit.  I don’t always remember to write a gratitude list, but when I do it really helps.

So here is my gratitude list for today.

My cat Tigger.

My brother David.

The food in my refrigerator, freezer, and cupboard.

My comfortable bed, sheets, blankets, and pillows.

Running water to drink, bathe in, and wash clothes.

My car, which gives me freedom.

My bedroom, which is starting to get clean again.

Electricity in my apartment, which turns on at the flip of a switch or turn of a knob.

My thyroid and blood pressure meds.

My body and brain that does what I need it to.

So, please instead of doing something to hurt yourself or end your life, please try a gratitude list instead.  I don’t want you to go anywhere.

Hugs!

My Amazon store where you can buy similar stones

Scars on the inside don’t have to mean scars on the outside

You are not what you’ve done.  You are what you have overcome.

Recover-Together

Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.

Winston Churchill

This post is probably going to be embarrassing for me to share.  I hid it for many years, the fact that I self harmed and still do sometimes, even though the instances are greatly reduced. But the first step for me to stopping or at least stopping 95% was to admit it to someone.  Not just tell them, but to physically show them. There is a saying in the 12 step programs that you are as only as sick as your secrets. The first person I told and showed was a therapist.  The second person I told and showed was a friend of mine.  The third person I told and showed was my brother.  Recently, I started to admit it in my support groups. I tried to stop many times before and did stop for a short period of time, but always went back. I am not going to go into detail of how I self harm.  That is not what is important, and I don’t want to set someone off and self harm themselves.

What is important is why I started self harming and still self harm.  It is much much less, but I still self harm, sometimes every day. I started self harming because I felt physically ugly and because I had incredibly low self esteem.  There are many times I still feel this way.  I also self harm when I am anxious.  I sometimes self harm when I am frustrated or angry.  The weirdest thing is I found myself self harming half asleep.

I am single, have never been married, and I have no children.  Many years ago I decided that I would not have any children, so I would not pass in my depression, anxiety, panic attacks, self harm, etc. on to them.

I have also been thinking that maybe I started self harming to remain out of a male/female relationship to begin with.  I have had relationships before, just very short lived ones.

There was never anything terrible like being molested as a child or raped, but I never saw a healthy relationship between my parents.  There was never any physical abuse at home, just emotional abuse and constant fighting between everyone.  I was teased terribly by my brother about being fat.  I was teased by 2 boys in high school and called grunt because one of my nervous habits was verbal.  And I felt a lot of shame because of this.

So I have been thinking about this and been considering therapy again on this subject.  I am still a fairly young woman and deserve a physical, loving relationship.  And now that I have positive skills I can use, I think it is a good time to figure this all out.

Today I am learning that there are things I can do to not self harm in the first place or to stop before I can tear up my skin too badly.

First, I had to decide what I really wanted.  Like I said before, I don’t want to set anyone off, so I won’t say what I did, but I will say where I did most of my self harm and that was to my legs.

I had to decide I wanted to be able to wear shorts or Capri’s or a swimsuit during the summer.  I live in Arizona, and I didn’t want to have to wear long pants in 115° weather and to be able to go swimming.

So like I said previously, the first thing I did was to tell and show people that were safe, that would not shame me.  I shamed myself enough.  I also had to realize that there is nothing for me to be ashamed of.  That it was how I coped and still sometimes still cope with my feelings.  But I have to realize there are other ways to cope with my feelings.

I never really liked to write before, but I am kind of enjoying writing now.

After I started working with a therapist, I started telling myself my body is perfect just the way it is.  That I am beautiful inside and out.

I then had to throw away the tools I used to self harm, which I have to admit that I am not 100° successful with.  One of them has stayed thrown out, but the other has not.  I have broken it up many times, but have repurchased it each time.  I have never however used it on my legs again.  My legs are now healed, and I now can wear shorts or a swimsuit and do most days.  Actually, one of the tools I cannot throw out because they are attached to me.

Two great friends of mine now are special bandages that heal faster than regular bandages and bio oil that I buy on Amazon and Walgreen’s.  But they are expensive, so I am really glad I don’t need them much anymore.  I do still use them sometimes because self harm is really sneaky and fast.

But I am working on what to do before I even start.

I am working on my thoughts and attitudes.

I tell myself that it is OK to be frustrated. To stay calm and breathe.  It is OK to get angry.  What am I feeling?  Sadness, loneliness, fear, anger, tired.  What can I do about it.  Act, don’t react.

This too shall pass. HALT.  Don’t get too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired.

Finding positive quotes and writing them down.  I am using many of them at the beginning of these blogs.

Loving myself, appreciating myself, being kind to myself.

Being grateful.  I work with special needs children.  My job helps me be grateful.  I see their parents being so positive and loving. If they can do it with the challenges their children face, I can be positive.

Joining support groups.  The energy that is created when recovering people get together.

Humor.  Looking for the humor in a situation instead of the frustration or anger.

Music. There are some really great songs and videos on You Tube that resonate with me.

Petting my cat Tigger.  Her fur is so soft, it is very soothing to pet her.

Using DBT (dialectic behavior therapy) skills.  Radical acceptance, wise mind, distraction, self soothing, etc.

Helping others by sharing how I am doing in face to face support groups or Facebook support groups, and here on my blog.

One Day At A Time.

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Laughter is the Best Medicine

Every test in life makes me bitter or better; every problem can break me or make me.  The choice is mine to become victim or victor.  My attitude my choice.

Unknown

Sometimes if I didn’t laugh, I would cry.

My apartment, after having spent a lot of time cleaning it, is a mess again.

Sometimes it is really a bummer having depression and anxiety, being hypothyroid, having sleep apnea, and often times insomnia.  All of the above contributes to being tired so often.

But I really believe the statement about laughter being good medicine.  I have repeated this saying to myself many times in my life and find it absolutely true for me.

I have been thinking some funny things to myself about my messy apartment, and at least giving myself something to chuckle at instead of crying.

Who let the dogs out?  Someone must have let the dogs out, and they messed up my apartment again.  From the song Who Let the Dogs Out by the Baja Men.

Someone must have opened the ecto containment unit and let the ghosts loose, and they messed up my apartment again.  An ecto containment unit is from the Ghostbusters movies where they stored the ghosts after they were caught.

Someone must have gotten the gremlins wet and fed them, and they turned into little monsters, and they messed up my apartment again.  From the Gremlins movies.

Sometimes the thing I need to do is laugh at myself and not take myself too seriously.

Well, it’s time to get out my cell phone and use the countdown function again.  That’s how I got my apartment clean the last time.  I set the countdown function for 20 minutes each day to clean for 20 minutes, many times for longer.  Breaking my apartment cleaning down into smaller bits made it not so overwhelming.

Humor and laughter are infectious.  They draw people together and increase happiness.  When I see and hear someone laughing, I want to join in.

Humor and laughter boost the immune system, boost energy, diminish pain, and protect from stress. Laughter releases endorphins, which are the body’s feel good chemicals.

Even after I have a good laugh, I feel happier for a long time afterwards.

Where do pencils go for vacation?

Pencil-vania

What is it called when a cat wins a dog show?

A cat-has-trophy

What do you call security guards working outside Samsung shops?

Guardians of the Galaxy

Just like Eric Idle says in the song, “Always look on the bright side of life.”

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My Goal: No Complaining

Go 24 hours without complaining.  Not even once…then watch how your life starts changing.

Katrina Mayer

No, it’s not easy.  Especially for a complainer like me.  But maybe it’s worth a try.  Even if I don’t do it perfectly.  Even if it only lasts 12 hours or 4 hours or even 2 hours.

Think how much extra positive quality time that it gives me.  Even one less complaint a day.

It gives me more time to pet my cat Tigger and listen to her purr.  If I am complaining, I can’t maybe even hear her purr.

image

If I am complaining, maybe I don’t notice the beautiful (I’m not sure if it’s a duck or a goose) in front of me.

image

Or if I am complaining, maybe I don’t see the beautiful scenery in front of me.

image

One less complaint gives me more time to hug my brother or my friends.  Or maybe because I am complaining, I don’t even remember to give them a hug.

And maybe that hug would make me feel 100% better.

Actually, sometimes complaining is OK, but only once or twice about the same thing.

Then get in there and solve the problem.

If someone doesn’t treat you with respect, don’t accept it.  Nicely let them know and if they still don’t treat you with respect, you might have to walk out of their life, at least for a little while.

If you see hunger in the world, don’t just complain, volunteer at a food bank.

If you keep complaining about your weight, cook at home more, instead of eating out all the time.

I myself am working on the weight part.  I just finished baking chicken, enough for 4 meals.  And the other day, I made a crock pot Italian chuck roast, which should last me 5 meals.  My goal is to follow a paleo diet, 80% of the time.  By the way, the Italian chuck roast is the recipe in Well Fed 2, substituting the chuck roast for the pork roast.

So, I didn’t last the whole 24 hours without complaining, but even the few hours I did let me see some of the beautiful world around me.

Quack. Quack.

My Amazon store, where you can buy Well Fed 2