Tag: #help

THE HEALING POWER OF LONELINESS

Loneliness is not the absence of connection but the full presence of God and a total experience of the Self.

It is total “isolation” which is not isolation at all from the perspective of Infinitude. Loneliness contains its own cure, if we are willing to dive in, courageously, or without any courage at all. The dive is everything. Loneliness is utterly misunderstood in our culture, or rather, it is only understood on a very superficial psychological level.

Everyone is running from loneliness, keeping busy just to avoid it, never coming to know and taste its sweet and merciful healing nectar.

For many, loneliness is an enemy, something shameful to be avoided or covered up at all costs. We reach outwards, habitually, automatically, unconsciously, just to keep our distance from loneliness, just to avoid the deafening silence at the heart of all creation. We fill our time and senses up, addict ourselves to projects, create false personas on social media, try to stay “connected” as much as we can, never letting ourselves rest, to avoid the “void” and the gaping chasm of loneliness. But in its terrifying depths, loneliness is not harmful or shameful at all; it is a highly misunderstood spiritual experience of Oneness with all creation, a full and life-giving immersion in the staggering beauty – and utter horror – of life itself, a deep and timeless connection to all living things. Loneliness is not an emptiness but a full presence and an abundance of life. It is pure potential and freedom and surrender all at once, but as long as we are running from it we will never know its nourishing, healing and transformative powers.

Loneliness is not a negative state or some mistake in our being or biology, it is inherent in existence itself, built-in ontologically to our very consciousness and it transcends the psychological story. It is connection, not disconnection. It is wholeness, not lack. Loneliness is a naked spiritual state and subsumes all other states. It is an utter letting go, a paradigm of pure receptivity and perfectly tender openness. It is the ground of being itself, and the base of our subjectivity.

We run from it at our peril.

Nobody can experience our joys and sorrows for us. Nobody can live for us and nobody can die for us. Nobody can experience our own subjective reality, see what we see, feel what we feel, experience what we experience, love what we love, heal from what we need to heal from. We can act as witnesses for one another but we cannot enter each other’s subjectivity or breathe for each other or process each other’s pain. We exist in utter aloneness and uniqueness always, and this is true even when we are in deep connection and relationship. Our ability to relate authentically has its roots in our profound loneliness, and this is what makes every connection with another being such a miracle. When we run from our loneliness, we run from the miraculous and we run from ourselves.

Without loneliness, we exist in utter spiritual poverty, no matter how ‘evolved’ we believe we are.

Loneliness is a journey we must take alone. Like falling in love, or like dying, we must fall, without protection and without guarantees. Loneliness is the artist in the midst of creating something utterly new, the scientist on the verge of a breakthrough. Loneliness is the woman crying out on her deathbed, the child being born, the spiritual seeker kneeling prostrate before the ordinary world, the adventurer forging a new path in the dark forest. Loneliness is a risk, but utterly safe. Loneliness is the heart of trauma but it is a loving heart after all. Loneliness feels like shame and total abandonment from the perspective of the mind but for the soul loneliness is a full encounter with the timeless mystery of creation and an utter celebration of all there is.

Loneliness takes us out of our minds. It breaks us, grinds us down to our essence, erodes us back to purity and innocence and beauty, brings us close to death but then rebirths us, stronger and more courageous than ever before. Its terror breaks our defences and, then, vulnerable and soft and open, we re-enter the world, more sensitive to its beauty, more aware of the fragility of form and more tender towards the ache of humanity.

We don’t always know if we can endure loneliness, but we do.

When we are in loneliness, it is total and all-consuming and even time recedes. Everything disappears into loneliness – it is like a black hole, and we don’t know how long we can survive its ferocious embrace. But we are stronger than we know and we endure it beautifully. Through meeting our own loneliness and letting it touch us deeply, and ravage us, and cleanse us, and renew us, we come to know directly the loneliness of all beings, their yearning for the light, their deep ache for God, their search for home. We recognise others more deeply as ourselves. Loneliness makes us look beyond appearances and touch the depths of the world soul. If we have truly plumbed the depths of our own loneliness, we can never again close our hearts to the loneliness of others, to the yearning of their humanity, to the horror and awe of creation itself.

Loneliness breaks us open to a devastating compassion for all things, it matures us spiritually and increases our empathy a thousand-fold. We become more caring, more compassionate, more deeply considerate. We become more able to look into the eyes of another without shame or fear. We become less able to turn away where we see suffering and pain. We value our connections more deeply than ever before. Each friendship is a miracle. Each moment with a family member, or partner, or stranger, takes on a strange new melancholic beauty. We become more fearlessly alive in our dying. We embrace paradox as a lover and a friend.

Loneliness is the gravity of love, a sacred pull into the heart core.

Loneliness brings with it a sense of rest and contentment, a deep inner happiness and satisfaction. It slows us down to a snail’s pace and breaks our addiction to the clock and to second-hand notions of “success”. It makes us less distracted, less restless, less manipulative, more content with the present moment. The black hole in our guts becomes our unexpected church, our solace, our sanctuary and our mother, and the source of all our genuine answers. We listen to our loneliness and it brings unexpected gifts. New creativity and new inspiration pours out of the lonely place inside. New music comes from there, new and unexpected words, new desire and new paths to follow. Loneliness is the source of all great art, music, poetry, dance, and all works touched by authentic loneliness are authentic works filled with truth and humility and the light of life itself. The nectar of God pours through the broken place inside. Loneliness crucifies us yet shows us that we cannot be crucified.

We do not lose ourselves in loneliness. We find ourselves there more clearly and directly than ever.

Loneliness is the experience of pure intimacy with the senses. It is the erotic experience of being fully alive. It is Jesus on the cross. It is the pulsating ache of a universe longing to be born. It is the end of all things, and a new beginning. It is holding a friend’s hand, not knowing how to help them, not knowing how to take away their suffering, but giving our heart to them totally. It is facing our own death, no promises, no guarantees, no story anymore.

Loneliness is the Beloved beckoning us. Those who have let themselves touch the black hole of loneliness, those who have given themselves up to its relentless pull, who have let the darkness penetrate and infuse and shake and reawaken them, are unmistakable beings. They have a depth and a strength of character that others lack. They radiate genuine warmth and understanding. Their melancholy is the fount of their greatest joy. They are not content with surface things any longer. They have been broken but they are playful too, and full of humour. They love the night-time as much as the day, the shadows as much as the light, the wolf as much as the songbird. Their not-knowing is the source of their wisdom. Their spirituality is simple. They hold no dogma anymore. They have become like little children once more. They are poets and artists and wild lovers of the night.

Loneliness is the experience of being in a body, but not of a body, and knowing that all things will pass, that all loved ones will die, that nothing lasts, that everything is made of the most delicate substance. Loneliness is a deep and unshakeable awareness of the transience and brevity of things, of illness and endings and new beginnings. Loneliness is a love of the night-time, the shadows and the moon. It is present in every moment and saturates every hour of every day. Once you have tasted loneliness, truly sipped from its sacred fount, you cannot run away from it ever again. You are haunted by it, yet you know it is the friendliest of ghosts.

Loneliness opens your heart wider than any other experience ever could. It brings with it youth and innocence. It makes you weep at the sight of sand on the beach, or the sound of a baby crying, or the feel of the morning sunlight on your skin, or upon the contemplation of time itself. Loneliness takes us to our most painful places but helps us fulfil our highest potential. Without loneliness, we are just shells of human beings, frightened skeletons. Loneliness fills us up with warmth from the inside, gives our lives the deepest kind of purpose and direction and meaning. Loneliness makes us realise we are never alone, and we are always loved, despite our imperfections and lack of faith. Loneliness is a religious experience, a lovemaking with the Universe.

Loneliness will save you if you give yourself to it totally. It will not separate you from the world and others but will bind you to them more powerfully. Through the dread and devastation of loneliness you will discover that you are more vast and more capable of love than you ever thought possible. You will be shocked at how much life you can hold.

The more you run from loneliness, the lonelier and lonelier you will feel, and the more you will fear being alone, even if you are surrounded by people. In loneliness is the utter paradox and mystery of creation. It may be last place you want to touch in yourself, and it may sound like madness, what I am saying to you here. But your loneliness may hold all the secrets to your very existence. You may find that your loneliness is not “loneliness” at all, in the end – it is your umbilical cord to God, unbreakable, infinite, death-defying, a cosmic pathway of love and forgiveness and utter, utter humility.

Let your loneliness pierce you, then, and shake you, and nourish you, and let it connect you to the world – and your authentic self – more deeply than ever.

  • Jeff Foster

The Impossibles people

There are people that you will never win with, no matter what you do.

I call them “The Impossibles.” The ones that always leave you feeling bad about yourself. I have known many. Often members of our own family, they are both the ones that we must avoid, and the ones that are the most difficult to avoid.

If we continue to make an effort to connect, we are left feeling terrible
about ourselves.

If we disconnect altogether, we are left feeling guilty, selfish, perhaps responsible for their isolation.

Often we blame ourselves for the state of the relationship, even though we rationally know that we
would have remained heartfully connected with them if they had been respectful.

We would have found a way, if there was a way. We just would have. What gets lost in the shame shuffle is the fact that some people are truly impossible.

Not just difficult, not just requiring healthy boundaries, but impossible to maintain a healthy rapport with. And their impossibility is not lodged in our actions, or choices, or behaviors.

It is not a consequence of our imperfections, decisions, or
missteps. It is lodged in their own issues and limitations. It is lodged in where they are at.

They are simply IMPOSSIBLE.

And the sooner we face that, the sooner we can live a life of unlimited possibility.

Jeff Brown

15 Things People With Chronic Mental Illness Mean When They Say ‘I Don’t Feel Good’

1. “I’ve reached my limit.”

2. “Daily tasks have become too much.”

3. “Every part of my body hurts.”

4. “I’m at my breaking point.”

5. “I’m exhausted.”

6. “I don’t have any mental or physical energy left.”

7. “I’m ‘pangry’ (in pain and angry).”

8. “I feel worse than usual today.”

9. “I don’t want to be judged for explaining how I’m really feeling.”

10. “I need help.”

11. “I need time to recharge.”

12. “I feel like I’m fading away.”

13. “Something’s wrong, but I’m trying to hold it together.”

14. “I’m tired of explaining my chronic illness.”

15. “I can’t hide my pain anymore.”

30 Ways to Improve Your Mood When You’re Feeling Down

By Madison Sonnier The article here

“The secret of joy is the mastery of pain.” ~ Anais Nin

When I was eighteen, I got depressed and stayed depressed for a little over a year. For over a year, every single day was a battle with myself. For over a year, every single day felt heavy and pointless.

I have since made tremendous progress by becoming more self-aware, practicing self-love, and noticing the infinite blessings and possibilities in my life, but I still have days when those familiar old feelings sneak up on me.

I’m not always self-aware, I don’t always love myself, and sometimes I agonize over everything I don’t have or haven’t accomplished.

I call these days “zombie days.” I’ll just completely shut down and desperately look for ways to distract myself from my feelings.

I suspect we all have zombie days from time to time. I think it’s important to give ourselves permission to not always be happy, but there are also simple ways to improve our mood when we’re feeling down.

Everybody is different, and everybody has different ways of dealing with pain, but if you’re looking for suggestions, you may find these helpful:

1. Step back and self-reflect. Whenever I start feeling depressed, I try to stop, reflect, and get to the root of my feelings. 

2. Reach out to someone. I used to bottle up my feelings out of fear that I would be judged if I talked about them. I’ve since learned that reaching out to a loving, understanding person is one of the best things I can do.   

3. Listen to music. Music can heal, put you in a better mood, make you feel less alone, or take you on a mental journey.  

4. Cuddle or play with pets. I have really sweet and happy dogs that are always quick to shower me with love whenever they see me. Spending quality time with a loving pet can instantly make your heart and soul feel better. 

5. Go for a walk. Walking always helps me clear my head and shed negative energy. It’s especially therapeutic if you choose to walk at a scenic location.  

6. Drink something healthy and reinvigorating. For some reason, orange juice always puts me in a better mood and makes me feel revitalized and serene. There are many health and mood benefits of drinking orange juice and other fruit juices.   

7. Write. Writing is usually the first thing I do when I’m feeling down. It always helps me get my thoughts and feelings out in front of me.  

8. Take a nap. Sometimes we just need to recharge. I always feel better after getting some rest.  

9. Plan a fun activity. Moping around never helps me feel any better, so it usually helps to plan something fun to do if I’m feeling up to it. It can be something as simple as creating my own vision board or something as big as planning a trip.    

10. Do something spontaneous. Some of my favorite memories entail choices I made spontaneously. We should all learn to let go of routine every now and then and do something exciting and unplanned.    

11. Prioritize. Sometimes I feel depressed when my priorities are out of balance. I try to make sure I’m giving a fair amount of attention to all the priorities in my life, such as work, relationships, health, and personal happiness.

12. Look through old photographs or snap some new ones. Sorting through old memories or capturing new ones usually puts a smile on my face.  

13. Hug someone. I am definitely a hugger. Hugs are such an easy way to express love and care without having to say a word. 

14. Laugh. Watch a funny movie or spend time with someone who has a good sense of humor. Laughing releases tension and has a natural ability to heal. 

15. Cry. I don’t like crying in front of people, but whenever I have an opportunity to slink away and cry by myself, I always feel better afterwards. Crying releases pain. 

16. Read back over old emails or text messages, or listen to old voicemails. Whenever I feel dejected or bad about myself, I like to read kind emails and comments from my blog readers or listen to cute voicemails from my grandmother. Doing so reminds me that I’m loved, thought about, and appreciated. 

17. Reconnect with someone. Get back in touch with an old friend or a family member that you haven’t spoken to in awhile. Reconnecting with people almost always puts me in a good mood and fills my heart up with love.  

18. Write yourself a letter. I try to separate myself from my ego and give myself a pep talk every now and then. Cicero said, “Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself.” 

19. Try a deep breathing exercise. There are all kinds of deep breathing exercises out there. Find one you like and do it whenever you’re feeling stressed or overly emotional. 

20. Cultivate gratitude. Practicing genuine gratitude on a daily basis has been a major source of healing in my life. When I step back and notice everything I have to be grateful for, it makes me feel like I have everything I need and that nothing is lacking. It makes me feel whole.  

21. Re-watch a funny or inspiring YouTube video. I recommend Webcam 101 for Seniors. That video cheers me up every time. There are so many funny and inspiring videos online.  

22. Bake something. Baking has always been therapeutic and entertaining for me. Plus, I can eat whatever I baked and share it with others afterward. 

23. Get out of the house. I work from home, so a large majority of my time is spent indoors, planted in front of my laptop. I have to make a point to get out every now and then, whether it’s to get some fresh air or go out to eat with a friend.   

24. Focus on what truly matters to you. Sometimes I forget what matters to me and what isn’t that important. Some things just aren’t worth getting too upset over. 

25. Take a negative comment or situation and look for something positive about it. If someone says something negative to me or I get stuck in an unpleasant situation, sometimes it helps to look at it from a different angle. Perspective is everything. 

26. Daydream. Take a mental vacation. Let your mind wander for a while.  

27. Let some natural sunlight come in. Opening all the blinds and curtains and letting natural sunlight flood your home can help elevate your mood. 

28. Take a mental health day. Sometimes we just need to take a day to clear our heads and nurture our souls. My mental health has a history of being a bit erratic, so nurturing it is a priority in my life. 

29. Let go. This is a very simple mantra of mine. I usually say it to myself multiple times each day, which has been very liberating and empowering.  

30. Read Tiny Buddha. And of course, you can always read Tiny Buddha! I personally love the quotes section. There is a category for almost every universal theme or emotion.

17 Examples of passive aggressive behaviour

Passive aggressive behaviour can be difficult to recognise at first. It is recognisable by the disconnect between what the person says and what they do. Passive aggressive people tend to express their negative feelings in an indirect manner, rather than state their disapproval directly to the person concerned. There tends to be a great deal of hostility associated with passive aggressive behaviour and a great deal of this tends to be derived from miscommunication, failure to communicate or the assumption that the other person knows what they are thinking or feeling. From a relationship perspective, passive aggressive behaviour can be the most difficult communication style to deal with as you are not quite sure what you are dealing with.What is passive aggressive behaviour?

Passive aggressive behaviour is intended to control the other person e.g. control their emotions. It is then hoped that they can manipulate the other person into doing as they wish. If you have been on the receiving end of passive aggressive behaviour, you will know how easy it is to overreact. And, when you overreact, that is a clear sign that the other person is starting to control you.

Whatever type of passive aggressive behaviour you are experiencing, you need to stay calm and composed, so you can formulate the appropriate response. While it is often hurtful to be on the receiving end of this behaviour, remembering the following points can help you to stay calm:

  • ​Many instances of this behaviour are not actually intended to be hurtful
  • ​They want to control your emotions and behaviour
  • ​You can’t control their behaviour, but you can control your own which stops them from achieving their goal

​​It is worth noting the 2 types of passive aggressive person:

The non-malicious

​​This person is trying to control and manipulate your, but they usually are not trying to be hurtful. Because they don’t want to hurt you, they avoid expressing any message which may be interpreted as being negative. They may pretend that everything is ok but eventually, their true feelings will seep out through their body language and tone of voice. It then becomes frustrating as you try to get them to open up and tell you the truth.

The malicious

The big difference here is that this person is not just trying to control you, they are trying to make you feel bad. They are happy to hurt you. So much so, that it becomes a game whereby every interaction is a contest.

These people are usually angry about something but, rather than express their feelings with the person whom they are angry with; they deal with things by manipulating their victim. They try to get rid of their anger by making the victim angry, through manipulation. This allows them to act like the ‘good guy’ while the victim now appears to be the unreasonable one.

The article here

What Life is Like When Your Mom is BipolarIt’s the only normal you’ve got

Article:https://medium.com/publishous/what-life-is-like-when-your-mom-is-bipolar-bf8fea4d59e3

“Michael, give me a kiss before you go to the bus.”

“Because I’m going to kill myself while you’re at school today.”

The Reality of Life

For me, this was just how life was. I had no frame of reference other than my home. No kid does. Everything their parents do is the right thing because that is the only thing they know.

But some people don’t do that

My dad died at 68 of his third heart attack, while working full time and taking care of my mom, who at that point was an invalid. My mom killed herself at age 63, 6 months after my dad died. My brother died at 43 of a massive heart attack. His son died at 17 of a massive heart attack. My sister has been in and out of mental institutions her entire adult life.

What I do know

Mental illness is a real thing that touches more lives than just the person who has it. If a person is a parent and mentally ill, I can say from experience that a parent’s mental illness changes their kids’ lives. I would guess probably not for the better.

What’s the big deal

I’m reading back through this story and wondering why I wrote it. I think maybe to share my experience in the hope it will help someone.

Conclusion

I’m not manic depressive. But I learned as a child that how my parents acted was how adults behaved in the world. I learned to be dramatic in everyday life. That was cool when I was a performer, but not so cool in any other area of my life.

I am extremely grateful that I did.

How To Be There For Someone Who Is Having A Mental Health Crisis

Link: here

One of the challenging things about a mental health crisis is that often, even the people that care about you aren’t quite sure how to be there for you. After getting diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I lost a lot of friends during a time when I most needed support from them.

In some cases, the real issue wasn’t a lack of caring — I believe that some people simply didn’t know how to respond to what was happening. That’s perfectly understandable, but I truly wish that more people had at least tried to be there for me. Here are a few of the things that friends did that meant a lot to me, as well as some things I wish more people would have done:

You’re breaking the darkness

Me: Hello God.
God: Hello…
Me: I’m falling apart. Can you put me back together?
God: I’d rather not.
Me: Why?
God: Because you’re not a puzzle.
Me: What about all the pieces of my life that fall to the ground?
God: Leave them there for a while. They fell for a reason. Let them be there for a while and then decide if you need to take any of those pieces back.
Me: You don’t understand! I’m breaking!
God: No, you don’t understand. You’re transcending, evolving.
What you feel are growing pains. You’re getting rid of the things and people in your life that are holding you back. The pieces are not falling down. The pieces are being put in place. Relax. Take a deep breath and let those things you no longer need fall down. Stop clinging to pieces that are no longer for you. Let them fall. Let them go.
Me: Once I start doing that, what will I have left?
God: Only the best pieces of yourself.
Me: I’m afraid to change.
God: I keep telling you: YOU’RE NOT CHANGING! YOU’RE BECOMING!
Me: Becoming, Who?
God: Becoming who I created you to be! A person of light, love, charity, hope, courage, joy, mercy, grace and compassion. I made you for so much more than those shallow pieces you decided to adorn yourself with and that you cling to with so much greed and fear. Let those things fall off you. I love you! Don’t change! Become! Don’t change! Become! Become who I want you to be, who I created. I’m gonna keep telling you this until you remember.
Me: There goes another piece.
God: Yes. Let it be like this.
Me: So… I’m not broken?
God: No, but you’re breaking the darkness, like dawn. It’s a new day. Become!! Become who you really are!!”

Unknown

Two Lessons on Blame from Brené Brown

The article here

Here’s how to tell if you’re a blamer: When something goes wrong, do you immediately want to know whose fault it is or do you make room for empathy and accountability? If you’re guilty of the former, you’re probably a bit of a blamer—But take heart, you’re in good company. In this animation by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Brené Brown shares a funny story illustrating the magnitude to which she’s a blamer (spoiler: it ends with her getting hung up on by her husband). Brown goes on to share some research and insights into this toxic behavior—Here are two interesting takeaways:

Check this video : https://www.youtube.com/embed/RZWf2_2L2v8?feature=oembed

Two Lessons on Blame

Blame releases discomfort and pain: We often try to fault others for our mistakes because it makes us feel like we’re still in control. “I’d rather it be my fault than no one’s fault,” says Brown. But leaning into the discomfort of mistakes is how we can learn from them. “Here’s what we know from the research,” says Brown, “blame is simply the discharging of discomfort and pain. It has an inverse relationship with accountability. Blaming is a way that we discharge anger.”

Blame is simply the discharging of discomfort and pain.

Blame is faster than accountability:Accountability is a vulnerable process that takes courage and time. “It means me calling you and saying, hey my feelings were really hurt about this, and talking,” says Brown. “People who blame a lot seldom have the tenacity and grit needed to hold people accountable. Blamers spend all of our energy raging for 15 seconds and figuring out whose fault something is,” adds Brown. It’s difficult to maintain relationships when you’re a blamer, because when something goes wrong, we’re too busy making connections as quickly as we can about whose fault it is, instead of slowing down, listening, and leaving enough space for empathy to arise.

15 Things People With Chronic Illness Mean When They Say ‘I Don’t Feel Good’

Article here

1. “I’ve reached my limit.”

“When I say I don’t feel well it means I’ve reached my limit of what I can handle and my symptoms are becoming overwhelming.” – Laina M.

“What I really mean is, ‘I am in excruciating pain, and I want to go home to curl up in bed and cry because it is so bad.’” – Mattie M.

“It usually means I feel utter exhaustion, overheating, dizziness, and pain. They all sort of bounce off each other. I need to sit, and be cool and still and recover. I cannot give you anymore of me, because I don’t have anything left to give.” – Maria B.

2. “Daily tasks have become too much.”

“I just got diagnosed with MS [multiple sclerosis]. When I say I don’t feel well it means I’m physically and mentally done for the day, and it’s usually because I’ve been fighting just to do normal things like walk or take a shower. It is a completely exhausting and demanding disease.” – Kristen S.

“[It means] don’t give me a task to do.” – Sarah L.

3. “Every part of my body hurts.”

“When I say, ‘I don’t feel good’ I mean, ‘every single part of my body hurts, I haven’t slept, my head is foggy, my abdomen is incredibly tender, I feel nauseous and I want to cry.’” – Kelly C.

“When I tell someone I don’t feel good, it really means: I woke up this morning from feeling pelvic and lower abdominal pain, along with severe nausea that makes me not want to eat anything even though I need to eat, lower back pain that makes me want to sit all day, head or neck pain that forces my head needing support with pillows and an overall feeling of being worn down. Please trust me when I say I don’t feel good and believe me when I feel it’s best to stay in and rest.” – Sara T.

4. “I’m at my breaking point.”

“I don’t usually let people know how I am feeling – so if I say ‘I don’t feel good’ or ‘I am hurting today’ that means currently I am unable to function at all, my pain levels are through the roof, making me nauseous, cranky and unable to focus on much of anything. Even heating up a can of soup is likely more than I am able to handle or if I do push through to do something like that… it will make everything exponentially worse.” – Noelle M.

“When I say, ‘I don’t feel good,’ it means that I have already gone through many levels of pain that will make anyone cry and I’m now about to collapse.” – Sundari L.

5. “I’m exhausted.”

“[It means] that today’s show is cancelled.” – Lauren P.

“[It means] ‘I’m tired and want to be left alone for a while,’ without sounding rude.” – Tracy L.

“I’m beyond exhausted, my disorder is winning today, but I’m a warrior and will rise again.” – Lisa J.

6. “I don’t have any mental or physical energy left.”

“I can’t focus. I’m exhausted. It takes too much energy: mental and physical to even be or feel like a human right now. I want a gold star for just showing up right now.” – Hailey B.

7. “I’m ‘pangry’ (in pain and angry).”

“[It] might really mean… That my pain level has reached the ‘hangry’ stage but it’s pangry: in pain and angry about it and it’s easier to say ‘I don’t feel good’ than to say I’m physically and mentally exhausted, headache, dizzy, fatigue, joint pain and skin pain… Boils down to the shoulder shrug eye roll, ‘I don’t feel good’ (you wouldn’t understand anyways).” – Alyssa J.

8. “I feel worse than usual today.”

“I never really feel ‘well,’ but today I feel much worse than usual.” – Stephanie T.

“I never feel ‘well’ but today is extreme and I don’t have the energy to explain that.” – Kate B.

“If I say this, it means something is wrong beyond my normal everyday fatigue and pain from Sjogren’s syndrome. I say this and ‘I don’t feel right’ for when I need my husband to keep a closer watch on me or I need to go to the ER. It means my pain is beyond a 10, that my heart rate is too high and I can feel my body shutting down. It’s easier for me if I have key phrases that people know mean something is wrong versus I’m sick with the flu or having a flare-up.” – KC F.

9. “I don’t want to be judged for explaining how I’m really feeling.”

“[It means that] I need to lay down and rest my body without feeling guilty about it.” – Charissa K.

“I have a migraine. Or I just don’t want to feel judged/bore you with a true explanation of how I’m feeling.” – Gabrielle M.

“I’m not OK, I’m so utterly exhausted, but I don’t want to be thought of as ‘the complainer,’ so let’s just leave it at that.” – Kelly H.

10. “I need help.”

“It’s always my way of asking for help… I can’t fake it anymore but I’m still trying to. It’s not easy for me to say ‘I need your help’ so I’ll just say ‘I don’t feel good’ and hope you understand.” – Christina B.

“I want someone to acknowledge my pain and baby me for a bit.” – Kim B.

“When I tell people I don’t feel good it means I need a hug. Pain can’t be taken away but a hug makes it feel you aren’t alone.” – Michelle T.

11. “I need time to recharge.”

“I’m stressed or exhausted and need a break. Or I am out of spoons and need to sit for a while and recharge a little.” – Malorie A.

“’I don’t feel well’ can mean I’m just a little lightheaded or it can mean I’m coming up on my limit. Unfortunately, it’s the latter. It means: as much as I want to continue on, this is my subtle way of asking for a break or to relax.” – Becka K.

12. “I feel like I’m fading away.”

“I just feel like I’m decaying from the inside out and still act like it’s nothing.” – Aliciana W.

“I feel like I am decaying. The pain, the fatigue, the shame from not being able to function as I need to in order to be a functioning member of society. My insides are doing flips.” – Alexandria N.

13. “Something’s wrong, but I’m trying to hold it together.”

“I don’t know if I want to throw up or pass out, but I’m just going to pretend everything is OK and hold it together.” – Kim D.

“I’m either in severe pain, on the verge of puking, or too fatigued to take another step, or all of the above. There’s nothing you can do to help me except let me rest and take my meds so I try not to make a big deal out of it.” – Lizzie T.

14. “I’m tired of explaining my chronic illness.”

“I don’t feel well means I’m sick of explaining my chronic illness to people.” – Marlene G.

“[It means] I’m so fatigued and in so much pain I don’t really function. But I can’t say that to most people, so a ‘today, I don’t feel too good’ is what they get.” – Michelle M.

“I don’t feel good, chronic pain translation: I feel like you would feel if you had the flu, started your period and just got hit by a ball bat in every joint of your body simultaneously… Emotional, moody, stiff, fatigued, cramping, headache and body aches.” – Angela D.

15. “I can’t hide my pain anymore.”

“I’m in so much pain that I can no longer hide it from you, I want to fall asleep and never wake up, I feel like I haven’t slept in weeks, I’m probably struggling to stand up right now.” – Chantel T.

If you are struggling with the stress of your chronic illness or if any of this feels very familiar, please reach out to someone you trust. You’re not alone.

Below are some helpful articles from our chronic illness community:

The Chart You Might Need If You Are a Childhood Trauma Survivor

The article: https://themighty.com/2020/02/power-control-wheel-childhood-trauma/?utm_source=Mighty_Page&utm_medium=Facebook

According to ChildHelp, the largest organization dedicated to helping victims of child abuse and neglect, the definition of child abuse is when a parent or caregiver causes (or threatens) injury, death or emotional harm to a child.

Though this definition is accurate, it’s also a bit vague. Like most things, “harm” exists on a spectrum, so it may feel tricky deciding what is “poor parenting” and what constitutes actual abuse. Because the distinction isn’t always clear cut, we wanted to share a tool with you that might help you understand the dynamics of parent/caregiver abuse with more clarity. If you are a survivor of childhood trauma, this chart might aid your healing process.

The Power and Control Wheel for abuse of children, created by Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs (DAIP), is a simple chart that outlines behaviors that constitute abuse. The outer ring of the chart lists acts of physical violence (left side) and acts of sexual violence (right side). Examples of physical violence include: choking, twisting arms, pushing, kicking, hitting, pinching, and the examples of sexual violence include committing incest, sexual touching/kissing and sexualizing children’s behavior.

You can see the chart below, or download your own copy in your preferred language here.

Abuse of Children wheel
via Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs (DAIP)

The inner circle of the chart is divided up into seven parts, and encompasses classic behaviors that constitute psychological violence abusive caregivers can inflict on children. All seven of these power and control tactics can fly under the radar, leaving children feeling confused and powerless to prevent the abuse they experience. We’ve broken down each behavior below.

1. Using Institutions

The first section of the chart talks about the use of institutions to maintain power over a child. This could look like threatening punishment byan outside entity (example: “God will punish you for the sin of disobeying your parent”) or threatening punishment with an institution (example: “If you don’t behave, I will send you to live with your mean Aunt Hilda”). Other examples of institutions an abusive parent might use to control a child include threatening punishment by/with:

  • Police
  • Courts
  • School
  • Juvenile detention
  • Foster homes
  • Relatives

2. Isolation

According to the nonprofit Prevent Child Abuse America, adults who use isolation to control their children cut them off from normal social experiences, prevent them from forming friendships and encourage the child to believe they are alone in the world. This may also include controlling access to the child’s other parent, siblings, grandparents or other adults.

3. Emotional Abuse

Unlike physical and sexual abuse, which are two fairly easy-to-categorize types of abuse, emotional abuse can be a little trickier to define. Essentially, emotional abuse refers to a pattern of behavior that causes psychological harm to another person, usually involving verbal degradation and the exploitation of an unequal power dynamic. Some common examples of emotionally abusive behaviors caregivers may engage in include:

  • Put downs and name-calling
  • Using children as confidants
  • Using children to get or give information to the other parent
  • Being emotionally inconsistent
  • Shaming children

4. Economic Abuse

Economic abuse refers to a caregiver maintaining power and control by exploiting a child’s financial dependence on them. Some behaviors that would fall under the economic abuse category can include:

  • Withholding basic needs from a child like food, clothing, shelter or medication
  • Using money to control behavior
  • Squandering family money
  • Withholding child support
  • Using children as an economic bargaining chip in divorce

5. Threats

Parental abuse isn’t always literal harm, sometimes it looks like the parent creating a climate of fear by threatening to harm the child, others, their pets or even themselves. Some common examples of threats caregivers use to assert power and control over their children include:

  • Threatening to abandon the child
  • Threatening to die by suicide
  • Threatening physical harm, confinement or harm to other loved ones

6. Using Adult Privilege

In all types of abuse, there is an actual or perceived imbalance of power. In the case of parent-child abuse, a parent or caregiver will use their status as an autonomous adult to inappropriately control a child. When questioned by the child, an abusive parent who uses their adult privilege might say something along the lines of, “Because I’m the parent, and you’re the child,” or “Because I said so.” Examples of misuse of adult privilege include:

  • Treating children as servants
  • Punishing a child inappropriately or more often than necessary
  • Bossing around a child
  • Always “winning” arguments
  • Denying a child’s input on visitation and custody decisions
  • Constantly interrupting a child

7. Intimidation

Intimidation is the use of fear to assert power or control over another person. In cases of parental abuse, this might look like:

  • Instilling fear through looks, actions and gestures
  • Destroying a child’s property
  • Using adult size to intimidate (for example, standing over a child)
  • Yelling
  • Being violent to the other parent, pets, etc.

If you are a survivor of childhood trauma and recognize any of the behaviors mentioned above, you’re not alone. The trauma you experienced was not your fault, and you deserved better treatment growing up. The good news is it’s never too late to heal from trauma. With the help of a trauma-informed therapist (check out this helpful tool to find one), you can heal from past childhood wounds.

To connect with other survivors who understand, we encourage you to post on The Mighty with the hashtag #TraumaSurvivors. Whatever you’re facing today, you don’t have to go through it alone.

More ArticlesThe Negativity Bias: Why the Bad Stuff SticksWhat is the negativity bias? How can you overcome it?Article by:Margaret Jaworski

The article:https://www.psycom.net/negativity-bias

How can you overcome the negativity bias?

But there is good news. Despite the evolutionary hand we’ve been dealt, the degree to which we’re able to override our “default” setting and avoid falling into an abyss of self-recrimination, insecurity, sadness, anger, bitterness and other negative emotions depends on a slew of factors including our upbringing, the input we’ve received from those around us whose opinions we value, and how we interpret what we’ve been told. “The single most important underlying factor is….how we talk to ourselves about our experiences,” notes Kenneth Yeager, PhD, director of STAR (Stress, Trauma, and Resilience) Program at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “If you challenge yourself…to be mindful of your daily activities, noticing what’s important [and what isn’t], you are more likely to have positive life experiences,” Dr. Yeager explains. Basically, you need to put effort into truly valuing all the good and positive aspects of your life so that you are not overcome by the negative. Even if you are facing a multitude of objectively negative situations, you can try to appreciate the positive aspects of your life, regardless of how small they may be.

Other ways to counterbalance our proclivity towards negativity? Grant Brenner, MD, Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Mt. Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center (New York), advises:

  • Be poised to gently recognize what is happening when negative patterns start to get activated and practice doing something each and every time—even something very small—to break the pattern. If you are inclined to overanalyze parts of conversations that you assume are negative, figure out a hobby or habit that keeps you from overanalyzing, like reading, going for a run, cleaning your house up, or creating a music playlist that makes you feel happy.
  • Notice your negative self-dialogue and substitute positive approaches. “You idiot!” becomes, “I wish I had made a different choice, but I will remember how I wish I had acted and apply it to future situations.”
  • Another tactic that might feel strange at first, but can help to approach your mean inner voice with kindness, is talking to yourself as you would a friend. When negative thoughts intrude ask yourself, “Are you ok? What’s wrong? Why are you so angry? Are you feeling hurt?” The idea is to good-naturedly interrupt yourself whenever you start to trash talk yourself. It’s kind of like The Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” except it involves treating yourself with the same kindness and compassion that you treat the people you love.
  • Perhaps most important, notes Brenner, is to “cultivate a gentle, curious and patient attitude with yourself. Learn to celebrate small victories [over negativity and self-recrimination] while understanding that you may have days of back-sliding. It’s all a natural part of the learning and growth process.”

The Hierarchy of Mental Health Needs

Article:

https://samsaragear.com/blogs/overcome-ed/the-hierarchy-of-mental-health-needs

Many of us are familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – which are well-known in the world of psychology. These needs include physiological needs, safety needs, love, esteem and more. 

The Hierarchy of Mental Health needs is a more granular look at the top section of this pyramid. Without mental health, our physical and spiritual health will surely decline. That’s why it’s so important to really take a look at all the components of mental health and ask, Am I really taking care of this? 

In our effort to make ED, self-harm and suicide things of the past, 
we hope to empower individuals who are eager to show care and demonstrate compassion toward one another. Part of this empowering is offering awareness to the people that make up our community. 

Given that mental illness can often go undetected, it’s important to bolster that awareness. It’s also dire to engage in difficult yet healing conversations with those in your community who may be feeling isolated. This is the most direct form of support.

When an individual feels supported they may no longer feel alone in this world, and consequently, the hold of their stigma may drastically lessen. That’s how hope is born. And as you can see, hope is really the tip of the mental health iceberg. When someone sees that a solution is possible, they’ll start to take action. They’ll get the proper rest, socialize with others, develop coping strategies, have self compassion, et cetera. 

When you have the chance, run through the elements in this pyramid. See if there are areas where you can improve or help another with their development. 


Pets & Bipolar: How Having a Furry Friend Boosts Our Mood


Article:https://www.bphope.com/pets/pets-bipolar-friends-with-benefits/

Whoever coined the phrase “man’s best friend” was on to something. Dogs—and cats and birds and other critters—have well-documented properties for boosting our well-being.

When psychologists from Miami University in Ohio and Saint Louis University in Missouri compared pet owners to people who did not own a pet in three different studies, people with pets scored higher on self-esteem, were more physically fit, and tended to be less lonely, less fearful and less preoccupied.

One of the experiments showed that thinking about a beloved pet is as effective as thinking about a human friend in helping someone feel better after experiencing rejection. In fact, research shows that the bond people have with their dog can be as strong as the bond with their closest relative.

“A third were closer to the pet dog than to any human family member,” says Sandra Baker, PhD, who co-authored that study. “Wherever I speak around the world, dog owners aren’t surprised by that.”

Barker is director of The Center for Human-Animal Interaction at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, where she holds a named chair in psychiatry. She’s been involved in a body of research documenting the power of even 15 minutes with a therapy dog in cutting levels of stress, anxiety and fear for both psychiatric inpatients and hospital staff.

That reduced stress response, whether with therapy dogs in health care settings or pet owners “in the wild,” has been documented across a range of physiological measures, including brain waves, blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol, the so-called “stress hormone.”

Aubrey Fine, PhD, editor of the Handbook on Animal-Assisted Therapy and author of several books on the benefits of human-animal ties, notes that dogs are very attuned to nonverbal behavior and therefore responsive to emotional distress.

In his most recent book, Our Faithful Companions, he writes about how the comforting attachment of a golden retriever named Magic helped his wife through breast cancer. Like many people who study or have companion animals, Fine talks about the emotional boost from a dog’s faithful devotion—the excitement on seeing you, the total acceptance without judgment.

“That unconditional sense of love gives people a sense of hope that they can persevere,” says Fine, a professor at California State Polytechnic University-Pomona. “I remember my wife said, probably a couple months post-treatment, ‘Magic is the hope that I need to get on to the next day.’“

Cats and dogs don’t have exclusive bragging rights, though. Fine first got intrigued by “pet power” in the 1970s when he saw how children he was treating responded to a gerbil named Sasha. Clients in his private practice engage with his cockatoos and other birds, and even his bearded dragon (a type of lizard).

“Fish are very relaxing,” he adds, referring to research that shows watching fish tanks decreases stress hormones.

A goldfish in the cardiac unit was the catalyst for People-Animal Connection, a volunteer program based at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. “People noticed that it had an effect not just on the patients, but on the staff as well,” explains program coordinator Stephen Goldstein.

Now People-Animal Connection has therapy dog-and-owner pairs visiting almost every unit of the hospital, including the psychiatric institution. The organization also arranges for people to spend time with their own pets, which combats loneliness and raises spirits.

“Words can’t quite describe the effect,” muses Goldstein. “The dogs provide something that medicine cannot.”

For his part, Goldstein has a cat waiting in his condo when he gets home after work. He finds solace in stroking Athena’s fur.

“There’s scientific evidence that petting, whether a cat or a dog, reduces blood pressure,” he explains.

However, getting a pet isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Some of us just aren’t “animal people.” Others may have issues with health, time, money, or housing that make having a pet problematic.

“We can’t make a blanket recommendation that everyone should get a dog. It really depends on the family’s circumstances and their ability to care for the animal,” notes Megan Mueller, PhD, a research assistant professor at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.

She also points out that the emotional benefits of animal companionship depend on the quality of the connection between human and animal. In one recent study of children in military families, she found a deep attachment to the family pet is associated with greater resilience when a parent was deployed—“an acute stressor,” she says. The simple presence of an animal in the home wasn’t as important as “what kind of relationship someone has with a pet,” Mueller says.

The deeper the bond, however, the more painful it can be when it’s broken. When we invited readers to share the ways companion animals add to their well-being, several alluded to the destabilizing effects of losing a beloved companion. As with so many triggers, having a coping plan in place can moderate the fallout.

“Most people are surprised and shocked by how intensely they feel grief after the loss of a pet,” says Barker, who is known for her work in supporting bereaved owners. “Pets don’t live as long as humans do. It’s important to remember that and prepare as the pet ages.”

She suggests thinking in advance about ways to commemorate the pet, such as planting a tree or writing a poem.

Of course, we also received many heartfelt and heart-warming accounts of how animals contribute to our lives. We present some of those stories here.

What are the types of depression?When to see a doctor??? V

Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, Ph.D., CRNP on January 7, 2020 — Written by Jayne Leonard
article :https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327429.php

Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions in the United States. There are several different types of depression.

People with depression experience distinct periods — lasting at least 2 weeks — of sadness, low energy, and loss of interest in things that they once enjoyed. People sometimes refer to these periods as depressive episodes.

The experience of depression can vary significantly among individuals. For example, it may cause some people to oversleep and others to sleep very little. Each type of depression can have distinct symptoms and effects.

Read on to learn about some of the more common types of depression.

When to see a doctor

Individuals should see a doctor if they feel depressed, particularly if a low mood persists for 2 weeks or more or if it happens regularly.

People should seek urgent help if they have thoughts of suicide or self-harm.

Anyone who thinks that they have postpartum depression should see a doctor right away, especially if their symptoms make it difficult to care for the baby or if they have thoughts of hurting themselves or the baby.

A doctor can support the person to care for the baby and themselves.

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