Sunday, September 6, 2020

The ABCs of What a Depressive Episode Feels Like

I had quite a few good months. My natural self is optimistic. I could say affirmations like, “I am one day closer to getting … " and really believe it. What, I asked myself, changed or occurred since then? I asked all the usual questions that included, “Is it something I ate?” It is no longer good enough for me to blame hormone changes on my moods. I used to take antidepressants when I fell into these episodes and stayed on them to avoid them all together. Ultimately, while the anti-d helped temporarily, they had their own consequences. At the end of this post, I wrote what the solution turned out to be (for me).

Below is the list of what I experience from A-Z. I’m not kidding, when all of these converge simultaneously, it is extremely uncomfortable (an understatement). It is not uncommon for an episode to occur after experiencing stress… both the good stress of excitement (I found a van and sold my car) and one such as the explosion that went off near my apartment the other day during a thunderstorm. I’m pretty sure something blew up by my apartment when lightning struck. I thought about the people who endure this sound on battlefields on a daily basis. It would have been nice if lightning could fizzle everything on the following list so it doesn’t come up to taunt me ever again.

Change. Many changes came up in front of me all at once. There’s always a day in the fall when all the leaves of most of all the trees fall like rain. Within a week, the following occurred. I found my ideal van -- a 2002 Ford E150 that was converted with a remote-operated lift and power doors, an alternate hand control in addition to foot pedals, and the driver’s seat comes back and swivels to transfer. The seat is comfortable, it is easy to drive, and I can even see over the dashboard. In order to get it, I put my car up for sale. It sold within hours. I am in shock that it is no longer in my parking space. As for the van, it is 18 years old and needs repairs before I can use it. Every day I don’t see it in my parking space feels like an eternity. My beloved attendant gave her notice. I could always depend on her. I feel the pain and grief of empty nest syndrome. The new one I was supposed to get never showed up, so I had to fend for myself last week. Fending for myself involves increased pain, loneliness, and exhaustion. The agency that services me has lousy communication which is quite frustrating. They don’t seem to have a system of notes that all the employees have access to. Frustration mounts as each communication error piles up. Have you ever waited with anticipation for someone to arrive and they never show up?

When things stop working, it’s time to buy a new one. My Epson all-in-one doesn’t scan anymore. I found this out when I decided to scan my songs to upload into Google Drive after someone suggested it would be a good idea to have all my music on hand… just in case I come upon an opportunity I had lost hope in ever manifesting. I felt like the Epson was contributing to killing my dream. I took it personally. Making decisions is not one of the strengths I can boast about. I had no idea what to replace it with. I felt frustrated. Fortunately, a trusted friend came to the rescue and made that decision for me. Now I wait… for it to arrive via Fed Ex… with notifications warning me that due to COVID, shipments are likely to be delayed. I was thinking that with Labor Day sales, it would be a good time to buy a new one and was advised to order one NOW because due to COVID, manufacturing of computers and computer equipment has slowed way down. Ordinarily, I would think this was a high-pressure sales pitch, but another friend had just told me she tried to replace her laptop but everyone was out-of-stock. In my somewhat isolated life, I had forgotten how much COVID had disrupted everyone’s life. I found myself sad about everyone who was affected. Now for the ABCs.

A = Absolute. All or nothing. Amnesia. Achy. Angry. Aggravated. Agitated. Annoyed. Abandoned.

B = Bitter. Bed. Bull s**t. What I feel like saying because I am fed up with (everything). Bumping into everything with my scooter.

C = Change. Catastrophe. Everything is a catastrophe. Claustrophobic. Crabby. Crazy.

D = Desperate Dissociation. Diving into the Deep. Defeated. Disappointed. Dissatisfied. Depressed.

E = Everything is going wrong. Explosive. Exhausted. Envy Everyone.

F = Fatalistic. Fatigued. Forever. Frustrated. Fearful. Flustered.

G = Garbage. Grumpy. Gloomy. Glum. Grieving.

H = Hot flashes, especially during the night. Hungry. Hopeless. Humiliated. Homesick.

I = Irritable. Insomnia. Inconsistency. Impatient. Isolated.

J = Jumpy. Jittery. I seem to drop everything I pick up. Jealous.

K = Knock over. I seem to knock everything over I come close to.

L = Lies. I feel like everyone is lying to me. Lonely. Longing. Letdown.

M = Maybe. Too many maybes. I need to KNOW for SURE.

N = Nothing. Nothing satisfies me. Nobody loves me. Not even me. Neglected. Needy.

O = Oppressed.

P = Printer. The scanner on my printer died. PTSD. Pessimistic.

Q = Quesy.

R = Remorse. Resentment. Racing mind.

S = Sinking. Suffocating. Starving. Shame. Suffering. Scared. Stressed. Sleepy.

T = Tomorrow. Maybe I will feel better tomorrow. Terrified. Tormented. Teary.

U = Unknown. Uncomfortable. Unhappy.

V = Volatile. Vulnerable. Van. I was all excited about getting a van, but I can’t use it until it is fixed.

W = What is happening to me? Weary. Worried. Weak. Withdrawn.

X = Xcruciating.

Y = Yearning.

Z = Zombie.

Now that I’ve said my ABCs, I will tell you about the wisdom that came through after about two weeks of this.

First, I sat down in front of my committee of little 5-year-old dolls to hear what they had to say. I didn’t get much of an answer. I think they may have been afraid to speak up.

Memory: Ah ha! I did what my doctor advised and stopped taking Vitamin D because my blood levels were nice and high! Didn’t I learn NOT to do what doctors suggested? I felt better than I had in a really long time with the level that high. I pulled out my bottle of Energetix Vitamin D-K2 Lipospray and sprayed some under my tongue.

Memory: Irritability, racing mind, and hot flashes turned out to be symptoms that my hypothalamus needed support. I was irritable about EVERYTHING and hot flashes were depriving me of much-needed sleep. Did you know the hypothalamus controls your body temperature? I put a dropper of Energetix Hypothalmapath under my tongue. 


Memory: Essential oils: of course! I have oils that are supposed to help improve your mood… including a blend called Cheer.

I was absolutely amazed. Within HOURS I felt so much better! I felt like I was ME again. Optimism returned with really believing I am one day closer to getting situations resolved. For you, it may not be your hypothalamus or low Vitamin D levels. It is best to get tested… blood test and bio energetically. The root cause can be anything from food sensitivities, dehydration, not enough sleep or exercise, estrogen dominance, the death of a loved one or situation, loss from a fire-flood-tornado, an illness or accident, or damage to the brain from a head injury or trauma.

I suppose you can also blame it on the full moon.

Meanwhile, in a moment of synchronicity, I just received an email from the Food Revolution Network with this post. Have more time to read? 



Tuesday, August 11, 2020

A Mac Truck in a Small Parking Lot

Have you ever felt like you've been run over by a mac truck?

Have you ever felt like you were trying to get around in a small parking lot in one?

Do you ever wonder how a handicapped person gets around inside their apartment? Or do you take it for granted they just can?

I'm attempting to create humor here as sometimes my patience is thin. It depends on how tired I am. Since people who have fibromyalgia often say they feel like they've been run over by a mac truck; I feel like I am trying to maneuver a mac truck in a small parking lot.

About two months ago, I began using my Drive Scout Mobility Scooter in my apartment. Fortunately, this apartment is wheelchair accessible... mostly. In a manual wheelchair, I could go forward into the bathroom and small kitchen, but couldn't turn around. There is certainly no room to swivel a regular electric wheelchair around. I'd still have to back them in to get certain things done. They are low to the ground, so reaching up over counters is a painful strain.

My scooter has a swivel seat and is higher, so I thought I'd give this mini mac truck a try in my small parking lot... I mean apartment. It's like trying to get into a public restroom that says it is accessible but really isn't. This happened at a Walmart store. I was able to get in, but because of the placement of the door, it was impossible to reach over the handlebars to pull it open to the left and get out. Who engineered these things?

Since I started using the scooter, it has been easier to reach kitchen counters by swiveling the seat. However, when I ride forward into the kitchen, I must back out... around the bend. Tight squeeze. The entrance is not in a very convenient place... the back door to the back patio is. But these apartments are supposedly wheelchair accessible. Ouch, every time I hit a wall, door, corner, or anything else I collide with. Not ouch to me, ouch to the scooter and the things I run into. In order to get into the refrigerator and cabinets on the far end (far for me), I must back in... around the corner. Back, forward, back, forward, until I get lined up enough to get around the bend. There's usually additional forward, back, forward, back to get into position without hugging the cabinets on either side. My kitchen reminds me of the RVs I used to live in.

To the bathroom is around a corner where I park in front of the bathroom door, swivel the seat, transfer to a stool, and scoot across the far end (feels far to me) to the toilet. There's no room to turn around, so I must back out to the other end of the hallway before turning the bend to return to the living area. I don't always calculate this turn without needing to realign and try again. This becomes a major obstacle when I tried doing this in the middle of the night in the dark... but turning on a light was too much shell shock to my senses... and being half asleep didn't help my driving ability. I'd Y turn to get out of the bedroom, steer around the bend into the hallway, pull up the bathroom door, etc. Back out into the living area to turn around and drive back into the bedroom. I finally gave up and put my camping toilet in the bedroom.

"Y" turns take a lot of practice in a scooter. Forward, back, forward, back, until I can get it lined up to back out without taking the wall with me. Reverse across a larger area takes a lot of practice, too. So does patience. I can back into my work station and swivel to use my computer. Many times, though, this takes multiple tries until I get lined up comfortably. 

I love having the floor of the scooter to put things on for transport... especially heavier items like a gallon jug of water. I love having the basket in front to put things in for transport and carry basic necessities around with like a bottle of water, a pad of paper, lozenges, portable cell phone charger, and more.

I did check into what the two other wheelchair accessible type units are like. They are the same except for no wall between the living area and the kitchen. Not enough improvement to make it worth moving again... not that the people already in those units plan to move anytime soon.

By the way, the first thing I tried was a small salon stool on wheels. It worked great scooting all over the apartment until the wheels got dirty, wouldn't roll easily anymore, and when I elevated the seat to get to the counters, the top came out of the base and nearly spilled me onto the floor. This is the one I use in the bathroom now. It stays in the down position. I then tried a larger one. When I elevated it up, I found out I am not heavy enough to get it back down again. And the seat was too big, so I kept sliding off until I placed a piece of rubber shelf liner on it. It didn't work out, and I gave it away to someone else who needed one... and is a larger, heavier person than I am.

What color is my mac truck? It's black with red trim!


Wednesday, July 22, 2020

New Release!


This is a story I began writing many years ago but had not decided what to do with it. I've written other short stories, but this one wanted to be its own book. I did update the ending to bring it up-to-date. It is about 4,300 words, 34 pages. Available as a paperback (because I wanted one for my bookshelf) and Kindle.

The dreams I recorded in a journal over the years included scenes about World War II, a library I'd never personally visited, a collapsing stairway, and a theme park.

Years later, I was able to see similarities between the dreams and interesting life encounters with the Rabbi I met, the psychic I met, and the interconnectedness of life experiences and people.

The final chapter is my fantasy of being healed by extraterrestrials with advanced technology.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

New Release!


New Release! I've updated the 2020 Edition to include current information about self-publishing your own book (CreateSpace doesn't exist anymore), reorganized content, updated the index and table of contents. I've also made it available for Kindle to use along with a blank journal. You can Look inside from a computer to get a preview. If you purchased an older version of this book and would like a current one, contact me. Some of the pages can be previewed with the Look inside feature from a computer.

Introduction

The purpose of this journal is to assist you with all aspects of your life, beginning with revisiting your childhood and reconnecting to the playful, adventurous part of yourself who dreamed big dreams and had an amazing imagination. I, as the author, encourage you to go on the journey. This isn’t about feeling bad about what happened if bad things did happen. This is about exploring what conclusions you made as a result of your life circumstances and learning to acknowledge, love, accept, forgive, and move the stagnant subconscious energies out of your mind and out of your body.

We all are traveling an amazing journey of self-discovery. There are always new life lessons to learn. Shifting your beliefs about all things earthly can transform your life. We become who we think we will become. We develop beliefs that do not serve us, our higher good, or the good of our planet.

There are many self-help books out there. I know. I’ve read a LOT of them. I even included some of the titles in this book. I wanted something simple with few words but big impact. I wanted a book that could be a companion guide for upcoming workshops when I succeed in putting them together.

For those who are thinking about writing a memoir, this book can help you organize your thoughts and provide a foundation for you to begin.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Bucket Theory

I grew up on the coast of Massachusetts, across the street from a small private beach. We could walk a short distance to get there. No public parking was available. It was PRIVATE. We collected seashells and pretty rocks, along with unintentional grains of sand. We walked along the edge of the ocean, feeling the sensation of waves washing in over our feet and washing out again.


I don't know about you, but I like to collect things. I also collected experiences, stress, worry, memories, toxins, sugar, viruses, and a host of other things that were detrimental to my health... filling up my bucket without the awareness that it could only hold so much before overflowing.

I think it was Bri of Complete Chiropractic and Wellness Center who first told me about the Bucket and explained how one additional grain-of-sand-sized thing can make it overflow, triggering a meltdown of PTSD, fatigue, pain, and illness. A grain of sand can include things like a thought, bad news, indigestion, an argument, an uncomfortable memory, insomnia, a flat tire, an invasion of ants, or a surprise bill.

I've been learning more about PTSD, an automatic reaction by our brilliantly designed bodies when gasoline is thrown on our internal fire. I purchased Anatomy 360 by Dr. Jamie Roebuck to increase my awareness of just how brilliant my body is. Wow. After looking at all the pictures, I am even more determined to spend time dwelling on all of that vs. what spins non-stop in my mind.

Two new docu-series/summits were released that I have been watching: Overcoming PTSD and Proven: Healing Breakthroughs Backed by Science. While these two are completely separate productions, both have the same basic information: understanding your body and how it reacts when your bucket overflows, along with proven methods of improving and hopefully, recovering.

In the realm of parts, mainstream medicine treats symptoms (with surgery and medications) vs. digging for root causes that include stress, trauma, and nutrition. I've known this for many years now. What I didn't realize is how the integration of 'systems' affects us. I didn't know that trauma (of any kind) resulted in chronic inflammation and auto-immune reactions. I didn't know that our unbelievably efficient immune system can't tell the difference between what type of stress the body is dealing with, it just declares war when it sees the bucket overflow.

Awareness is the key. Now that I am more aware, I can take proactive steps to bring the fires down to embers. For me, getting a handle on the original trauma(s) is the key. There are many modalities and therapies in the industry of trauma recovery out there that cost money. However, with COVID-19, in addition to the information about handling COVID itself, suddenly, there is a wealth of free information on trauma and what you can do about it. It's all about calming down the ANS -- the autonomic nervous system. The definition in Wikipedia is:

"The autonomic nervous system is a control system that acts largely unconsciously and regulates bodily functions, such as the heart rate, digestion, respiratory rate, pupillary response, urination, and sexual arousal. This system is the primary mechanism in control of the fight-or-flight response."

In case you are one of many panicking and going crazy with all the systems that were put into place around COVID, it is the fear and anxiety that drains your immune system and increases your chances of getting sick. If you have other unhealthy habits in addition to fear and anxiety, this is an opportunity to do what is in your control: learn how to treat your body like it is a garden. Put as much love into it as you do with your flowers and plants. Let some of the load out of your bucket.

My personal plan of action includes prioritizing mindfulness (being in the present moment), meditating, drinking adequate amounts of water, avoiding foods and the news I know overflow my bucket, use the collection of essential oils I have, activate my vagus nerve, practice Donna Eden's energy-meridian balancing routines (she even has one for calming anxiety--you can find some on YouTube), and grounding by placing my bare feet on the garden rocks out in front of my apartment.

Rocks. I just discovered I could get grounded by placing my feet on rocks while sitting in my wheelchair. I had been paranoid about being barefoot in the grass due to the high number of fire ants that share space here, so I didn't try it. But when the management company redid the landscape two years ago, they provided areas of river rocks out front. I got my dose this morning. It really worked. I felt the difference in my body... and imagined I was back on that beach again.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Jigsaw Puzzle Therapy

I've been working on improving brain function with jigsaw puzzles and have noticed a significant improvement in even the ability to read faster and comprehend more of what I read. Many articles on aging include the necessity of maintaining your cognitive function. I initially got started as a means to pass the time.

In https://classifieds.usatoday.com/uncategorized/the-surprising-benefits-of-puzzle-solving-for-adults/

"Solving puzzles helps reinforce existing connections between our brain cells. It also increases the generation of new relationships. This, in turn, improves mental speed and thought processes. Jigsaw puzzles are especially good for improving short-term memory. Our short-term memory helps us remember shapes and colors and visualize the bigger picture to figure out which pieces will fit together."

In addition to improved memory, benefits include better problem-solving skills, improved visual-spatial skills, improved mood, keeping your brain active to delay dementia and Alzheimer's, lower stress levels, increased attention to detail, and an increase in productivity.

I had been doing a lot of Word-Find puzzles and even wrote a previous blog post about it. Now I am on jigsaw marathon. Perhaps, I can call it jigsaw meditation. While working on them, I can zone out for hours at a time... which is not necessarily a good thing as I also disconnect from what my body is doing... like slouching. In addition to the few I already owned, I borrowed from the apartment complex community room and from the girl who comes during the week to assist me.

When I first open the box of a new jigsaw puzzle, I scan the pieces. Are they all the same? Are they thick or thin? Do they have drastically different shapes? I wonder whether I will be able to complete it or not. (Self-doubt.) Some have been relatively easy, but some have been especially difficult. The more difficult ones include 3D, watercolor paintings, and ones with mostly backgrounds of a similar color.

How can I compare this with life? When I enter a room full of people, I scan the room. Who is there? Who is not? Who are they sitting with? Who would I like to sit with? People. Relationships. When I first meet someone, I wonder if we will connect or if we will be drastically different. I wonder about their personalities, their life experiences, whether they are simple-minded or complex. How much personal information I can safely share with them. Sometimes, everyone in the room is the same nationality. Sometimes, there is a mix. Sometimes, one person of a different nationality is in a room full of people who are all the same. Since I would feel odd in that situation, I wonder if they do.

With 3D puzzles, depending on the time of day and the lighting, the colors and images keep changing. Inconsistency. I think of 3D as 3 dimensional. Our 3-dimensional world includes the senses: sight, smell, hearing, tasting, and touching. Yet there is also 4D and 5D that a person must develop the ability to understand in order to believe in those dimensions. In energy medicine, 4D and 5D are included in your overall assessment. Doing a 3D puzzle requires a newer level of patience on my part. Perhaps I am to develop a newer level of patience with people.

I wonder how many new brain synapses are forming as my eyes get accustomed to looking at something that continuously changes. I've noticed how the 3D puzzle stimulates parts of my brain that eventually figures out how the variations of the pieces fit together. I may have to take long breaks between pieces, but then I am enthralled when I return to "know" and remember where new pieces belong.

This is what happens in my life. Perhaps yours, too. The epiphany.

Just over a week ago, someone gifted me with a Thomas Kinkade puzzle... watercolor. I looked at this puzzle being 1,000 pieces of watercolor splotches and felt overwhelmed without even trying it. I am fully aware of how many times I have done this with life. I looked at the entire situation with anxiety vs. the mentality that one piece at a time is all I needed to tackle, and eventually, the project would get done, especially if all the pieces are there, or the situation would work out.

With many watercolor paintings, there are no definitive lines. Life has no definitive lines. The only thing certain is change. After already giving up on a previous watercolor puzzle, I accepted the gift from both the person and the Universe as an opportunity to expand the capacity of my brain. I must rely on fitting shapes together vs. colors. I must take a different approach to solving the problem. I have to take many breaks to give my brain a chance to catch up with the new synapses it is developing.

In my book, Appearances: A Journey of Self-Discovery, I wrote a chapter titled Jigsaw Puzzles.

"My life is a giant jigsaw puzzle, with God the only one who knows what the completed picture looks like. I receive more pieces with each experience. It may take hours, days, weeks, months, or years for me to figure out how they fit, but when I do figure out where the pieces go, and I step back to look at how it is coming together, I am always amazed. Piece by piece, I am formed by the many experiences I have. I wonder how old I will be before it will be finished, whether it's completion will happen as I make my transition to the spirit world, or whether I will have an opportunity to study and observe the completed puzzle when I get old and life slows down."

Well, I sure was surprised when the last piece found its spot. I can't believe my brain managed to process and complete what felt like a monumental task. There were times it seemed like my brain even knew where to find a piece from one of many trays I use to organize them after looking at an empty spot on the board. I decided this one is going up on my bedroom wall to remind me that in life...


...many times, we must rely on and trust our intuition (6th sense) vs. 3D senses. Everything always works out... even if it is very different than what you hope for. 

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Morphing

I’ve gone through so many metamorphoses I’ve lost count. With each ‘phase,’ I have lost interest in what I had previously been interested in and developed an entirely new set of interests. As you can see in this post, I am comparing my experience to insects.

Some insects shed their skin multiple times as they mature. I’m sure it must be a painful process. It was painful each time I had to shed mine. My skins included homes, most everything IN my homes, friends, and jobs; hobbies, what kinds of books I liked to read, and what kind of poetry and songs I have written; health challenges I developed and overcame; beliefs, emotions, and mental states; feeling social and outgoing and wanting to hibernate; foods I liked, no longer like, and now all the new foods I like.

https://www.colonialpest.com/how-insects-grow/

“When an insect is about to molt, it looks for a hidden place. Molting can take hours, during which the insect is not able to protect itself. The old skin splits open down the back. Then the insect works to pull every part of its body, including its antennae and legs, out of the old skin covering. It’s a difficult process and the insect isn’t always successful. Some die during molting.”

I have hidden, isolated, withdrawn, and have even disassociated during molts. The trouble is, I had no idea I was molting. No one taught me that humans molt, too. Each molt was extremely difficult, and I often wondered if I would survive them. I’ve even had a few close calls with death. There were times I felt like I walked completely out of who I was and became someone else.

Then there are butterflies and moths.


http://www.butterflyschool.org/new/meta.html

“Butterflies and moths go through a life cycle known as complete metamorphosis. The stages of their life cycle include egg, larva, pupa, and adult.”

Life cycles. Conception, fetus, birth, infant, toddler, preschool, middle school, high school, 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and now 60’s.

I sincerely hope I don't have to molt again.