4 things I’m thankful for…

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SO as we’re doing 2 things we’re thankful for for 30 says and I am 1 day late unfortunately. Yesterday was such a mix of things. I had a paper (on communication) due… the irony… and I had to make a couple of dishes for the special Holy Day evening we had as well as something we call “De-leavening” this time of year which symbolises the putting out of sin (Yes, keep reading, this was never meant to be a religious blog but it comes up occasionally). It’s similar to spring cleaning. This all had to be done before sundown. I remember at 6pm it felt so different than what my life was like the first thing that morning. So many things happened in that short amount of time.
However I’ll be honest with you, as much as I like this “being thankful” project today… after skipping a day I had to mentally fight harder against painful and upsetting and angry thoughts. I have been saying in previous posts how I feel a change already and I do… but I can see that I still need more work. I’m not done.

So what am I thankful for?

  1. Honesty. I can’t go into detail with this, but today I felt overwhelmed by some people in my life being disingenuine. I was ready to make war, and through centering myself I was able to work my way through it in reminding me of the honesty that is… and still is.
  2. Peace. There is a friend who I haven’t seen in a few months who just gave me a dose of peace while I was around them. I had just written down some difficult things that were in my mind was working through – one of them was about being in a large group of people I all knew and although I could see many people greeting each other, I felt very alone. I had to wrestle with these thoughts which is why I am doing this project of finding things I am thankful for. I knew it was negative thinking and I was trying to find a way out of it. Thankfully this friend came and found me today and just lifted me up and was so positive – she had no clue what she did for me but I needed it.
  3. My husband, I know I already mentioned we had our anniversary this week but he helped me immensely yesterday so I could get my paper done, as well as many other cleaning projects. I know some women complain their other half does nothing in the way of cleaning – I have a man that is very hands on. I am very thankful for this. (FYI I did get my paper done and turned in).
  4. Harry Potter – I know this sounds silly but my daughter and I are going through the Harry Potter series together (even though she could read them herself. It has opened up so much discussion on what we believe and think and feel and etc. It has been fascinating for me to see her predict what happens next with such accuracy and have an extra subject for us to talk about is. Anyway, we haven’t had a chance to read it very much lately – and tonight we got a chance to get back into it.
    Anyway… it’s silly but it’s been a fun journey even if I’m unhappy with a few outcomes already – we’re on the second last book.

Hope your weekend has turned out splendid, and you are finding things to be thankful for.

 

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When I finally understood Mental Health

 

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I have always been a person who appreciates being fully aware and in full control in my functions. I hate speaking on this, but as I am having another “episode” (for lack of any other word), I am going to be frank.
I am oddly intelligent. I know… what kind of person says that? It hit me later on in life that people did not memorise number plates on the back of a car, or remember almost every thing that has happened to them since the age of two. I have a brilliant memory. I can tell you if my neighbour or people who live down the street or even people who live in my suburb is at the store I’m about to enter because I see their number plate which I have seen once or twice parked at my store. I thought this was normal. Now, you could read this and say automatically that I am autistic or have something similar along those lines. I don’t take that as an insult. I know many amazing autistic people.
I really do not fit hardly any of the autistic checklists. I’ve checked. In fact I remember taking just a “for fun” quiz about “how autistic are you” type test and it said I was negative 10%. I am literally the opposite of autistic and yet I have some strange nuances.

Why I am I writing this? Over 6 years ago my health went down – physical and mental. I know I got angrier and more depressed, thoughts I knew that were not normal for me. It wasn’t just that, I suffered from insomnia, tremors, extra migraines, loss of muscle control etc. Now I cannot fully rule out some conditions – I am unable to get an MRI because of my pacemaker (which is not MRI safe) but there are definitely some conditions that my doctors would like to rule out or confirm. I have been dropping things lately, slurring my words, having difficulty lifting my legs – I know I’m not okay. These are physical but I notice a drop in my mental health too. Don’t get me wrong, I can write better during these days (I am writing academic essays and fictional stories all while going through this).
However as doctors were very clear that they had their suspicions but never could diagnose let alone prescribe me medicine because they cannot do an MRI I am here, alone.

Most people who know me know I am the most competent, in control, reliable people you will ever meet. However, Mental health, REAL MENTAL HEALTH is something that you cannot control. I have my own perception of my emotions and know something is not right.

That’s what I want to talk about. My mother notices I am not myself, but not only can she not understand but she also criticises me not thinking clearly -because she cannot understand why I am thinking and questioning certain things.

The fact is, with mental health, if your brain betrays you, you are questioning if your relationships are solid. You question if your emotions are trustworthy.

Sometimes you question those that you trust most so that you can be sure of what you are feeling. This tires out other people. This causes the “burden effect” which is the worst. Every person who is deeply aware of mental health knows that once you feel like a burden, the suicidal thoughts can appear. This is something I try to resist with all my effort. I have two children and I refuse to go down that road but I battle it.
How difficult is this? I know today that a couple of times I emotionally lost perspective of what angered me and what upset me as a parent. I know my daughter got a few extra words of lecturing than necessary about something that was so stupid. AN hour later I came into her room and apologised for making a big deal out of nothing… but what hurts most is how quickly she forgives me because she deserves better and shouldn’t forgive me that fast. I am not abusive. Yet I still feel guilty over making a big deal out of something that was so not a big deal. My children mean more to me than mistakes. I hate that sometimes for me to deal with my health I have to put them on an ipad because I cannot take them anywhere. The guilt of this doesn’t help.

What worries me is that I know I’m not seeing things in a proper perspective and I have emotions that are not comparable with the situation. I also have no diagnosis as it coincides with physical health too. I hate not being able to grip, or having to concentrate to coordinate my moves. It’s difficult when you can’t put a name to the physical or mental health but have to learn to adjust. I can only pray that my children who are extremely resilient and loving towards me will take their compassion and experience and be able to use it in the future. I also share that I am scared. I am not sure if I will feel better or worse in the next few days – I hope better but my hope has been shattered before and am scared that I am getting worse.

If you have mental health issues (and physical health issues) please get help. See your local GP and be honest – but if you are finding you can’t trust your perception and mental health please see your GP, but if that’s not enough call the hotlines.

US: 1800 273 8255

AU: 13 11 14

What I can control…

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Well, I have hit reality today that I am suffering from my yearly struggle with the weather (here in Australia) turning from Spring into Summer. To be honest I REALLY don’t do well with the weather change. I’ll be fine when the heat evens out but right now it goes from rain to hot as hell and then cold rain again. My body just doesn’t adjust to such inconsistency.

However I am on a “getting fit” kick and I was frustrated with my health setback. I remembered that even though I was in extreme pain, that my doctor told me that for Continue reading “What I can control…”

Beginning Today

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Today is the day I start my journey to becoming more fit and the weight that I want to be.
It hit me that I have done this but given up because I don’t see the progress I have made. I was looking at other weight-loss stories and I saw a woman who said she was glad she took pictures because she didn’t think she had made progress even though she had lost 100 pounds. The pictures showed how obvious it was that she had lost weight but in her head she felt like she hadn’t made progress.
This is why I fully believe that as long as you don’t have any physical health problems Continue reading “Beginning Today”

No More Excuses

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So Many of you know that I have had illness for most of my life.
I am pleased to announce that I have been given the “ALL CLEAR” by my doctor last week. Although, My doctor told me I’m not allowed contact sports which was a big “duh” for me (ha ha).
The problem with being so tired and ill for so long is that I am no longer “fit” (to put it nicely), and all though I’m not obese, I am definitely not in shape.
I have noticed ever since I have recovered from the “spleen-attack”, and the spleen has shrunk by a third – I have recovered more energy than I have ever had before.
I do have minor surgeries in the coming years and tests that involve being put to sleep every year but I am amazed at how much physical resilience I have now and know it would only get better if I was in shape.
I have no more physical reasons why I cannot workout and I’ve been told that as long as I take care of my liver (which includes getting in shape) I could live as long as anyone else despite the physical stress my body has gone through. So I am motivated!

What’s the problem? Now it’s mental. I have been so used to being “too tired” or struggling on the brink of death (little did I realize how sick I was all this time), that my brain is trying to give me more excuses. So I’m here to say that YES! I am doing this, and I plan to work through all those excuses and replacing them with more positive and encouraging thoughts to get through this. So WATCH THIS SPACE – I will be monitoring my progress – I’m holding myself accountable with telling you all my plans. I have to back up what I say!!
(P.S. Okay – my only physical excuse is that I have had a cold for the last week but I’m finally starting to kick that and get more active again – heh heh).

Deep Thought Thursday: Embrace the pain!

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When I was in the hospital for the last couple of weeks, one thing that the doctor told me was that most of his patients would have begged for a spleen removal because they can’t tolerate the pain.
The thing is, I knew how high risk a spleen removal for me was going to be, and I refused to give myself a way out.
I knew this pain was temporary which kept me going.
Before I went into the procedure I listened to this key speech that helped me mentally prepare myself for the pain that I was going to have to endure. I highly recommend listening to it (warning there are a lot of ‘unnecessary’ profanity in this video).
However Navy Seal Veteran David Goggins speech kept playing in my head. Instead of his saying “Embrace the suck” I entered into my head “Embrace the pain”.
Whenever the doctor or head nurse or anyone had to come and tell me “You now have to do this,” or “This will be painful” “This pain is going to last a while” I kept thinking of this speech and telling myself “EMBRACE THE PAIN”

I kept telling my doctor I could get through this… he kept giving me a look of concern – waiting for me to say I had enough, thinking I was all talk… but I assured him that I could handle it. I NEVER GAVE MYSELF AN OUT.

We live in a world where if something makes us uncomfortable, then we don’t do it. We pay too much attention to our feelings and don’t think about strengthening our mental muscle. If there is something you don’t like doing in your life but you have to do it… I highly recommend you watch David Goggin’s Speech, and change the way you think about the things that suck in your life that you need to do. I promise, you will only become stronger and better for it.

Jen

(P.S. Here are some inspirational “Embrace the Pain” Tshirts to get you started)