Today I have not really experienced the day. I am somewhere else….living in what is to come. Monday we go to Mayo Clinic and I hope get some schedule for my husbands knee surgery. I feel as if I am living in limbo. I know I should let the future go and just live each day but today it hasn’t worked. I am tired of not knowing. One of the hardest things to tolerate. So today I lean on this quote.
There is some new information from several studies that is linking high intelligence with mental health issues. It seems that being extra smart sets you up for problems. One study said that the reason highly intelligent people have anxiety is because they can imagine more scenarios….see more bad outcomes….than the average person.
I don’t know if this is good news or bad. If you saw the movie “A Beautiful Mind” it was clear that his genius and his mental issues were connected. A recent blog http://eclipsedwords.com/2018/06/23/inspiration-from-the-mental-health-of-3-famous-leaders/ —talked about three famous people with mental health issues.
The blog talked about the depression experienced by Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt who was potentially bipolar, and Martin Luther King, Jr. who also had depression and attempted suicide as a child. Clearly three very extremely intelligent people.
With tongue-in-cheek I wondered if we are either not very smart and don’t suffer with mental illness or we are extra smart and suffer. Some choice! I guess this is one of life’s little jokes.
I guess we will have to see how this research turns out. Are we blessed or cursed? Who knows?
Eventually we all lose the people we love (or they lose us). We cannot live forever. Life for each us does have an end. Is this a bad thing? Sometimes it is. Sometimes it’s not.
At one time in my life I was angry about a child losing her life in an automobile accident. I railed against her losing her life so young. Her life was cut short. I resented that and was angry at God.
I visited a minister friend to talk about this feeling and I frequently bring to mind what he said. “Each of us has a life span. It is ours and ours alone. It may be long or it may be short. But it is ours. Each life is not cut short. That is the length of their life.”
Whether you agree with this or not it gave me much to think about. I have decided that the idea contains much wisdom. It helps when I can’t understand why someone’s life has ended.
There are some things that are harder to deal with than death. It is so difficult to watch someone we love disappear one piece at a time. This is what Alzheimer’s patients do. Little bits of them fall away. Memories are gone, friends are unknown, family is not recognized. I see this slow fading as worse than death. It is called “the long goodbye.”
There are other times that death comes as a blessing. Agonizing chronic illness can make the person long for death. Having a loved one become weak, disabled with no recovery and slip away day by day is another.
For those who suffer with mental illness especially anxiety and depression there are times when death can feel like an escape from the pain of living. I hope that each of us can find some help, some relief that moves us away from that decision. Life is worth living and things can be better. Never give up life. We only have so much time and each moment, each day is a gift.
I did not intend to write such a sad post but these things do happen. Losing someone is painful no matter how it happens. Losing ourselves also brings grief. When that happens we have to find a new way to be. Find ourselves as a new and different person. One who can move forward each day.
Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained. –———Arthur Somers Roche
Unfortunately this is very true. When anxiety raises its ugly head everything else just disappears. Notice that the quote says “if encouraged.” Yes, we can encourage it by giving in to it.
When it comes I am unable to focus on anything…can’t read, can’t move, can’t find comfort. It is a terrible feeling. What even makes it worse is that the fear of more anxiety adds to the anxiety.
Life is worth living. Anxiety can take the feeling that I am living away. It is like falling down a deep hole with no bottom. You just keep falling thinking all the while about hitting bottom.
This is no way to live. We have to find ways to push anxiety aside and move into the world. It is so much easier to give up but then what is there? No matter how hard it is working to move away from anxiety and depression is critical.
I have learned over the years that literally moving my body helps. Getting up, getting dressed, combing my hair and making myself ready to go out makes a difference. Even if the anxiety goes with me I am better. If it is not possible to be with people then walking outdoors is a good choice. If there are friends who understand then seek their company. For me, friends help.
Whatever we do we must not give up. This can be worked through and a life worth living can be discovered. Don’t ever give up!
Yesterday I didn’t write. I didn’t write because grief slipped up on me. I have been spending time with my friend whose husband is sick and last night she called that her husband wasn’t doing well. He is now ok but it brought back memories of the year and a half that I spent with my friend with lymphoma and her daughter. I haven’t written much about that since it happened before I started my blog.
My friend lost her husband the year before and then was diagnosed with lymphoma. She had spent her life caring for a daughter born with multiple heart defects. Her daughter lived a good life for someone with this serious a problem but her life was a series of ups and downs. My friend put everything into allowing her daughter a “normal” life. She put herself, her money and her other children. Life was difficult. She did the best she could with what life had given her. The last year of her life was filled with pain, hospital visits, anxiety and struggle. She worried what would happen to her daughter. She died in January of 2016. I became the support of her daughter. The daughter’s brother helped and gave up his life to do so. Her heart gave out in the summer of that year.
The point of all of this is last night I felt as if I was reliving that time. Grief comes in waves and we never know when it will show up again. The only thing that we can do is roll with the flow and just ride it out. I have a busy week ahead and life will move on but the sadness lingers. We have to look ahead and know that there are new days coming. Some good and some bad but new and different. Today will move on and a new day is coming.
Well, another day has gone by. Family issues have been there for one day. The things that can’t be fixed are still there. There is nothing to do about them. Obsessing about them doesn’t help. Worrying doesn’t fix them. Life moves on and we have a choice. We can move on with it and solve the things we can solve and or just fall down into the dark hole of depressions and anxiety. That really doesn’t seem like a choice.
This is true of most things in life. We often have a choice and may not want to choose. We don’t want to move away from the things that are causing us pain. We’d rather wallow. Wallowing requires less energy. Staying in place doesn’t call for work.
As I grow older I have done this kind of thing enough that most of the time I realize it is really easier to move on. That’s where the wisdom with age comes in. I used to be the world’s worst procrastinator but over the years I have learned that it is easier to tackle things right up front and get them over with. That leaves you with the easy stuff. It is a win-win.
The prayer from AA sums it up really well: God, grant me the Serenity, to accept the things I can not change, Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference.
The really tricky part is the wisdom to know the difference. May God grant us discernment to do that.
Each moment that we live we deal with feelings. They are part of our everyday life. We are never without them. Our emotions set the tone for our function and how we experience each day. Our emotions influence our lives. There is never a moment when we are emotionless. There are people who have little emotion but they are deemed abnormal.
When I get up in the morning my feelings about the day will influence how the day goes. Even though I may start out feeling down about the day I can help the day get better by consciously deciding to change how I feel.
Usually when I feel down I just want to slop around in my PJ’s and do as little as possible. I have discovered that if I make the effort to take a shower, put on decent clothes and make an effort to look nice that I feel better. It may take work but it is worth it. At least for me how I look with influence how I feel.
When anxiety or depression crop up it is hard to make the effort to do anything. I just want to turn on a TV show and lose myself in it. If I really push myself and get dressed and go out to be with people I can lift myself up out of that mood—-at least for awhile. I can sometimes even forget what had me so down.
Our lives are not only impacted by what we feel but also by what we do. Sometimes it is agony to pull yourself up and get moving but it can help. How we look also influences how others react to us. If I am in sweat pants and have a hangdog expression then that is how I will be perceived. The times when I can make that change have a tremendous impact on my feelings. There are times when we can’t get the oomph needed but we need to keep on trying. Each time we win is a plus and increases the chance that we can do it the next time.