If we were having coffee…


If we were having coffee, we’d be enjoying some Starbucks Holiday flavors because they are almost out of season and I NEED my peppermint mocha fix! Of course we would hit the drive through (or make my husband go for us) so we can stay home in the warm and quiet environment.

If we were having coffee, we’d probably chat about New Years resolutions. My resolution for the new year is the same as the one for the new month, new week, new day, and new moment: Some form of stability. This year has been full of very literal ups and downs as my meds have needed regular readjustments. With minor changes they throw me from being stuck in a depression to being stuck in constant anxiety. I recently switched from a depression episode to an anxiety one and it’s exhausting.

If we were having coffee, we’d keep the aromatherapy diffuser running. This is the first weekend in a while that I’m not baking, so I’ve got some frankincense going for an anxiety reducing scent. It’s a strong scent and can take some getting used to. So if you don’t like it, no worries, Santa put a Merlot scented candle in my husbands stocking and the scent is to die for! We can totally steal that while he buys our coffee 😉

If we were having coffee I’d tell you about the steps I’m taking to induce lucid dreams. I’m actually getting pretty close to lucid dreaming. About once a week now I mention to someone in a dream that it is a dream, but don’t quite gain enough awareness to take control. I’ll start making posts on my dream journey soon. But for now have a very safe and very happy new year! 

Much love ❤️ 

The Borderline Boss

Why I don’t believe in “praying through” mental illness

I remember hearing a story in Sunday School as a kid. It went something like this…

A man was drowning in the middle of the ocean. He cried out to God “Save me! Please save me!” A boat came by and the captain called out “come aboard, I’ll bring you to safety” to which the man replied “No. My God will save me.”

The man called out again “God! Please Save! Send me a miracle!” A large ship came by and saw the man. The people on the ship called to him “come aboard! We’ll bring you to safety!” to which the man replied “No. My God will save me.”

The man called out a third time “God! Please send me a miracle! Please save me Lord!” And then a helicopter flew over. A ladder was lowered for the man and he heard from the helicopter “climb up! We’ll bring you to safety!” But once again the man responded “No. My God will save me.”

The man drowned and upon entering heaven asked “God, why didn’t you save me?” And God answered “I sent you a boat, I sent you a ship, I even sent you a helicopter. Why wouldn’t you take them?”

My sister reminds me of this story. She has more faith than anyone I’ve met. She spends every morning in prayer. She spends as much time as possible helping those in need through volunteer work as she firmly believes in sharing Gods love with everyone. But secretly she struggles with depression. And because depression is an illness based on brain chemicals instead of more obvious things like bones, nerves, or muscles, she refuses treatment and prays through. 

My sister has had 3 suicide attempts. Still she refuses treatment. She struggles (as so many of us with mental illness do) to understand that it is a disease. 

To those who tell us we simply need God, we need more faith, we need to pray through, let me ask you. If you believe God has given everyone a purpose in life, that he gives people the passion, skills, and intellegence they need to follow that path, then why would you deny those who use that passion and intelligence in the field of Psychiatry? Why should those of us with mental illness ignore the psychiatrists, therapists, and medications that God made possible on this earth? Why must we ignore necessary treatment for a medical problem in hopes of seeing a more “obvious” style of miracle?

For those of you choosing faith instead of treatment as my sister does, stop. God is not asking you to do that. Don’t ignore therapy and psychiatry available to you. Don’t let the boat, the ship, and the helicopter pass. Don’t drown in your depression to prove your faith.

I suck at therapy

Therapist- “So how have you been doing?”

Me- “good”

Translation- EVERYTHING SUCKS BUT I MUST HIDE IT!

___________________

Therapist- “how’s work going?”

Me- “it’s fine. Better I think. I mean it’s stressful, but that’s just because there’s a lot going on. That’s not my anxiety or anything, it’s just a busy time. It’s fine.”

Translation- Yeah, my anxiety is going nuts.

__________________

Therapist- “have you been making time for self care?”

Me- “yeah, it’s just not working.”

Translation- I half assed some meditation and gave up.

__________________

Clearly I’m not doing this right, luckily she knows me well enough to move these coversations to the truth. But I’ve decided to start bringing my DBT or CBT worksheets back to therapy in hopes of externalizing my shit better. So which would you recommend I start with? Have you done worksheets from DBT or CBT?

 

Dear Trump, the presidency is not Reality TV

Dear President-Elect Donald Trump,

Your words have power. The things you say, the things you tweet, the things that pop out of your mouth with or without thought, they have tremendous power.

You spent many years in Reality TV where your words were used to boost ratings. Your attitude helped make money and provide entertainment. In that industry, drama sells, drama makes people watch, drama keeps ratings high and money coming in. I get that, but you are no longer the reality TV star that you were, you are the President-Elect, and your words hold a different kind of power.

I know people who voted for you only because you were the candidate against nuclear weapons. They were willing to look past your many flaws because they feared Clintons stand on nuclear weapons would lead us to war. A war they wanted to avoid. And they are severely disappointed in your recent message. Your words could lead us to a weapons race that leads us to global war.

During the election I feared that your words would increase prejudice. I believe that they did. After the vote I feared your words would lead to further hate crimes against people of color, or relegions that you speak against, or at least don’t speak for. I believe I was right. I continue to fear that your words could push us to a civil war, and with your latest tweets, I now fear global war.

I come from a mixed race family and fear for the safety of my husband and my children, because of your words. Regardless of what you meant, or what good you want to do for this country, your greatest power is in your words and you are using that power in a dangerous way.

Stop fighting the media and random TV shows that hurt your pride. Stop spreading drama as though it’s the best way to stay in the public eye. Stop spreading messages that can lead to further hate crimes. Start taking your job seriously. Start hiring advisors of all different points of view so you can make informed decisions. Start showing a passion for peace and acceptance.

Your words have power. Use that power for good. Before families like mine get attacked for no reason other than the color of their skin, or the religion they practice. I beg you.

If we were having coffee…


If we were having coffee we’d be hanging out on the couch wearing fluffy slippers and sipping hot mochas. Holidays tend to bring out my anxiety and introverted ways, so I’ve been hiding in the house quite a bit. My knitting is keeping me company this holiday season.

If we were having coffee you would have heard me chatting with my kids about holidays. I’m a firm believer in teaching them about different religions so they can be respectful of all people and belief systems. Since it is Christmas Eve I taught them about Christianity and the celebration of Jesus’ birth. They asked if it was his birthday, and I explained no, that he was probably born in the spring. But this is the day Christians choose to celebrate his birth which is pretty cool.

I then explained the history of Hanukkah since tonight is also the first night of Hanukkah. I explained the Jewish people hiding as Greeks tried to force them into their culture instead of letting them worship G-d in their ways. And how they only had one nights oil while they stayed in the temple, but that it lasted them 8 full nights.

If we were having coffee we’d laugh about the crazy lady at Petsmart this morning who explained to me that her nephew had sharks as a kid while we looked at the fish. I can’t decide if she thought “shark” was the name of a different kind of fish, or if she truly believes you can keep sharks as pets.

If we were having coffee we’d be smelling the gingerbread men baking in the oven, and looking forward to a cozy evening with our families (or by ourselves). If you are not with family tonight, snuggle up with a good book, some cocoa, and some music. Enjoy some relaxation, it’s okay to be alone and you deserve to be happpy. If you are with family, try not to stress and enjoy your time with them. Know your limits if anxiety is creeping in, but also rest on the love of your family and friends. They love you and love having you around, even if you’re a bit quiet. 
Many blessings to you all!

Happy Hanukkah 😊🕎

When better is worse

This is why I hate meds. It takes so long to figure out if anything is even working. Not just the time for it to kick in, that’s expected, and the psych always warns you of that waiting game. Not even the addition of the time waiting for side effects to clear, I know my body well enough to expect that too. No I’m talking about the waiting game to see if better really is better. That’s what I’m struggling with right now.

Once the side effects went down I started feeling better, then last week I started feeling worse. At least I think it’s worse. When I hit a rough depression I think the deadness inside is the worst, and desperately want to feel again. But when my emotions take a turn to anger, anxiety, and just plain overwhelming, I long for the depression that shuts it all off. 

Currently I am having more panic attacks, and my anger is hitting hard. My emotions are easier to trigger and harder to control. My sleep and my dreams are out of whack. But on the plus, I am able to more successfully meditate right now so that helps a lot to keep me going. 

I’ve faced this so many times before with med changes that need further tweaking so am quick to blame that. But I also have a lot of stress triggers from actual life right now. So is it life or meds? I can’t tell. How do you even tell the difference? I’m honestly asking, and all advice is welcome! 

I’m stuck right now in a cycle of being on top of the world and then completely hating myself. My self esteem is all over the place. I can snap from joy to anger and back in just minutes. I can panic at the drop of a hat. I don’t want to tell the psych and get overmedicated, but I don’t want to ignore it if it’s not just factors of life. I wish my therapy appointment was before my psychiatrist appointment. I’m so confused.

Hiring anxiety

I have a handful of open positions on my team that I need to fill, so have been doing some interviewing this week. There’s always a touch of nerves for managers as they’re interviewing, and eventually hiring, for open positions. Is this person just good at interviews? Will they really fit in with my team? Did I give them a fair chance to speak? Did I ask the right questions? 

Essentially you’re making a large decision that will impact in some way the life of the person you hired, their family, the people you didn’t hire and their family’s, and all the people that have to work with the new hire. And you’re making this decision based only on a 1-2 page summary the person provided for themself and an hour long conversation. It sucks. (By the way, if your resume is more than 2 pages, it won’t be read. In fact your lucky if the manager does more than a scan of key points on the first page. So please stop giving me 3-4 page resumes. Just saying)

So as I’m scanning through the resumes for my afternoon interviews during lunch, I start making notes on each persons latest job. My 2pm apparently is leaving a job at the psych hospital I was admitted to last December. I nearly choked on my lunch when I read that! Started doing a mental scan of her job description to see if it’s someone I may have seen. How awful would that have been to interview someone for a job reporting to me if they had helped locked my suicidal ass in a mental hospital for their previous work. 😣

Luckily I never had to find out. She didn’t show up for the interview (by the way, hiring managers talk to each other. So not showing up for one interview is basically blacklisting yourself from every potential opportunity in that entire office. Again, just saying). I have never been so relieved to not interview someone in my life!

An interesting path

I have distant roots to the Blackfoot Indian tribe, and so have always loved studying the culture and beliefs of this tribe. That love brought me to study more Native American beliefs as well. As I mentioned in a previous post, I also wanted a spirit animal. Well in my research I discovered that guide animals may be for just a season of your life to help you on a specific path. So I have been opening my mind during meditation to allow a guide animal to come.

While meditating today I took my mind to a favorite place, a grass field during evening, soft earth that you can just sink into, no lights to drown the appearing stars. Then suddenly trees began to appear around my mindful place, and a doe stepped out from one of the trees. 

She nuzzled me for a while and then began to walk toward the other end of the trees. I followed her and as the trees cleared out I discovered that she was leading me towards the Emerald City. But it was much past Dorothy’s time and the green had dulled significantly. I didn’t understand why we were going there and felt a deep anxiety about it. She continued to walk forward, regularly looking back for me to follow. I didn’t follow. I stayed in the safety of my trees.

So now I wonder, is this my guide for this season? Is there symbolism in my Doe and the City? Or is this my imagination? Why was I so afraid of the path? Is this my love of Alice through the Looking Glass, and specifically her walking through the forest with a fawn? My love of the Wizard of OZ? My strong desire for an animal guide that I know may never appear? I’m not sure. I’ll continue to meditate, and be mindful of not making things appear. We’ll see what happens.

Some days you just need to shut off.

So I took an anti-anxiety, which I hate doing because it causes me to dissociate which can sometimes make things worse. But some days I have to. I have to shut off those parts of myself that have overwhelmed me too long. I can’t say I’m feeling better, because the truth is I’m not feeling in general. But I’m coping better and I guess that is something. 

Words can’t describe

Words can’t describe the failure I feel. Something so small and random feels so extreme. One small amount of “bad” news that most people would shrug off has the ability to shut me down completely. These ups and downs are exhausting to the point I would almost prefer to remain down than to fall once again. But if I remain down I will loose myself forever, fully experiencing the failure I so fear. So I will pick myself up again, and once again set myself up for my inevitable fall. Because sometimes I’m just too stupid to know my limitations and when to quit.