Just wait

home no longer

It is an interesting to discover that you no longer feel at home someplace where you used to. That has happened to me. Lately I have felt disconnected from the church I am attending. There is nothing really wrong just me feeling differently. I suppose spending 20 years working for another church didn’t help but I do want to be back at church with my husband and this is where he is at home.

The church has made major changes over time. Initially there was a minister who seemed right for the church but turned out to not be. Following that mistakes were made in finding someone new (not by the church itself) and now the attendance is down to a very small group. It is really sad.

I love music and for me that is a large part of connecting spiritually. The music is not reaching me. Again may be just me but there it is. I can’t return to the church where I worked so am just puzzling about the whole thing.

I am finding my connections in my writing, reading and prayers but there are things I really miss. Both churches have wonderful people that I love and so I know the questions are mine.

Somehow I will wander through this time of feeling at a loss and come out the other end. It is nothing that I have to solve quickly. In fact I think taking time to sort it all out will help.

sit and wait

Questions about one’s faith are not unusual. In fact I think if we don’t question we don’t grow. I will find ways to fill my soul until some clarification comes. That always happens. Sometimes we just have to sit and wait.

Don’t fear

It is a funny thing about love. We really can’t experience the fullness of it unless we are open to it. Being open, however, puts us at risk of being hurt. That is the trade off.

vulnerableSometimes we choose to love someone and are hurt by that person. It happens to everyone. Sitting back in fear gets us nowhere. I know people who have spent their lives alone because they couldn’t accept the uncertainty. Love is rarely certain.

We take a risk when we choose to love. I have taken that risk more that once and been hurt. I also took that risk 56 years ago when I married my husband. That risk paid off. Not all of them do.

For me, a life without love is a barren life. Yes, I have been hurt by relationships. Sometimes even those we think of as friends can hurt us terribly. It takes time to know a person well and the person we see at the beginning may be wearing a mask. We may not find out until later what is underneath.

I know someone who was married for years only to discover the person she loved was a criminal. We can be fooled.

Is it worth it? Yes, yes and yes! If the love is lost we will experience pain. We learn from the pain and become someone who has more depth. If it lasts it brings joy.

Don’t stay away from love out of fear. It is one of the most fruitful things in life. You can’t afford to not live fully!

How will we cope?

Life can be so demanding. The things that happen not only to us but to others can be devastating. I have friends who have suffered with long term problems that are just there day in and day out. I honestly don’t know how some people manage to keep going.

coping long term

The friends that I know who are struggling still greet me with a smile and a sense that things are ok. I don’t see the stress that I know is under the smile. They are not putting a smiling face on as a false mask. Occasionally they will share the devastation that is part of their lives but they don’t allow it be in charge. I so admire that ability.

positive attitudeAttitude is everything. The ability to assess life and accentuate the positive is a gift and one that I hope I would have in their circumstances. We can be bombed by the things that happen to us but we have to learn to adjust out attitude. Life is for living not for bemoaning. We are entitled to spend some time asking ourselves “why me?” We need time adjusting to a new life but when that is done hopefully we can be like my friends, and no matter the tragedy, have some time for smiles.

Fast money = big interest

Today has been calm and a nice break. The weather is hot but after all it is summer. Today I did another mediation. It is amazing to me the terrible fixes people can get themselves into. Sometimes I just want to say “what were you thinking?”

loans

So many of the mediations are about loans. Not today but I have seen cases where people borrowed money and I’m sure they had no idea how 25% interest would affect them. You can quickly end up owing so much more money than you started out with. Money management is one of those things that should be taught in school. Someone should show them how if you borrow money at that interest rate you will be in trouble fast.

I have heard some educators recently talking about things that should be taught. It seems that people need education on practical matters. I don’t know what happened. Are parents not teaching money management or cooking at home any more. My parents made sure that I understood about life issues. I may not have wanted to hear it but they told me anyway.

life skills

Sometimes I feel so sorry for the people who end up in a legal problem because no one explained the basics to them. Quick money = big interest. It is important to pay attention and know what you are doing.

Don’t give up

Acceptance. A powerful word. A word that can take time, struggle and sometimes agonizing over. Reaching it can make you go through the storm with no umbrella.

The medicine that worked for my IBSD last time doesn’t seem to be doing the same thing. I will continue to hope that it will at last work but in the meantime I need to think about moving forward where I am.

surfing

To just sit and  bemoan what is happening doesn’t help. It is best to reach an acceptance and go to plan B or Z if that is necessary. Moving on is what has kept me afloat for all these years. Sometimes I enjoy wallowing in misery for a short while but that doesn’t really help.

Sometimes we would just like to get in the bed and pull the covers up but life tends to make us get up. At least if we want to live life we have to get up.

gifts-dont-give-up-pin-1_grande

 

Don’t ever give up and let set backs push you into a hole. Life is better if you take a good breath, fuss about your problems, and go on.

 

Decisions, decisions!

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward. Amelia Earhart

decisions-research

One of my husbands favorite things to say is “no decision is a decision.” He believes that we should gather all the information we can at the time and then move forward. To just do nothing is actually a decision. This thinking makes complete sense when it comes from one who spent two years in combat. No decision could kill you.

Sometimes our decision is right sometimes not. It doesn’t really matter. As they say “hindsight is 20/20”. Most of the time we must just gather as much knowledge as is available and move on. We often blame ourselves later when the choices become clear but remember there were things you didn’t know at the beginning.

The thing we don’t always do is to gather information. Yesterday I wrote about irrational decisions. We are so easily swayed by a bias from our life history. Not considering all the options is heading toward a mistake. To see clearly we must know our own sets of bias and be able to push them into the background. It is so easy to jump to a conclusion and not take the time to see the whole picture.

I often have to stop myself from an “assumption” and you know where that gets us. The word “assume” tells it all.

assume

Decisions are not just about major things but can also be snap judgements.  It is so easy to make up our minds about other people without all the information. We can lose out on some great connections this way.

Decisions may not always be easy and we will make mistakes just don’t beat  yourself up about it. We have to accept our messes and move one. To feel guilty and dwell on them does no good.

Why that decision?

irrational

I have been listening to a most interesting book called  “Sway: the Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior.”

 

 

While talking about the many reasons why people make these kind of decisions he talks about the diagnosing of children with Bipolar Disorder. There was a tremendous rise in the diagnosis from 1993 to 2003. In 1993 there were 20,000 diagnosed with the problem and in 2003 there were 800,000. What happened?

To diagnose it before 1980 most doctors were expected to see someone admitted to the hospital with a manic episode .  The DMS III guide updated in 1980 added less severe symptoms for a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.  The new criteria includes feeling sad, tearful, fatigued, having insomnia, indecision, more talkative, distratibility, and inflated self esteem. Symptoms that are not uncommon in teens.

DSM

At the same time pharmaceutical companies were developing medications they wanted to sell that could be used for this diagnosis.

(He talks about the other reasons we might have seen a rise such as more people seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist and several other reasons that he is able to discard.)

His conclusion for the rise comes under the idea of diagnosis bias. First off the symptoms could be found in most teens and secondly the pharma companies were pushing for drug use.

Whether Ori and Rom Brafman (the authors) are right or not it is an interesting idea. It does make you wonder how many individuals were and are receiving diagnoses because of diagnosis bias. I am not as familiar with the idea in mental health care but I have certainly seen it work with physical symptoms.

There is no easy way to know if a mental illness diagnosis is correct. We certainly understand that once the person is labeled it would be difficult to erase it. As I have said before my physician was hesitant to use the diagnosis of anxiety for me due to the stigma attached. We want no stigma attached to a mental health diagnosis. Doctors also need to be careful about coming up with the right diagnosis.

We all need to rid ourselves of our own bias regarding labeling of any kind and work to reduce labeling due to mental health issues.

Here are some reasons why irrational decisions are made. Not just regarding bipolar disorder but any decision.

irrational-behaviour-list

I am enjoying this book which goes into many different ways that  irrational decisions are made in a wide spectrum of places. A good read.