Are we disposable?

Yesterday I wrote about too much stuff and today I am following that thought with this one. Have we truly become a disposable society?

Many places are working to become more earth friendly and recycle some of the waste we create. But we are not there yet. Too often when something grows old we just throw it away.

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When I was a child anything that was broken was taken to be repaired. It was considered too valuable to be just thrown out. Now we not only have too much but also don’t fix things. I know that the racing pace of technology makes keeping old phones, computers etc. impractical and no one wants them. That is where we are.

I do have a concern about where we can be headed and in some cases where we already are. How disposable are people? As a nurse my 20 years visiting the elderly made me lament their current life. So many of them were in nursing homes with no sense of purpose in life. You walk down the halls and they are just sitting in wheelchairs all alone. Many people who walk by do not even acknowledge their existence or see them as too senile to speak to them. This disturbed me greatly. I always spoke and offered a smile or a handshake. They were so grateful to be seen.

Are we putting them away out of sight? Are they disposable? Does their current life have any value?

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Somehow we have to find a better way. Nursing homes are trying to offer programs for stimulation but it is too little too late. We have to begin understanding that we are living longer and, hopefully, in good health. But sometimes we have run out of resources to pay to be in a better place, have better health options, and better care. Sometimes we are struck by illness that leaves us less than ourselves. What to do?

The earth is overcrowded now and we are living longer. Will we start recycling our elderly as food like in Soylent Green?

Up and Down

leunig-up-and-down-lifeThe past week has been up and down. My friend who lost her husband has had some good news….although it hard to have good news after a death. Before his death she planned to move them both to an independent living facility. There was a two year wait that suddenly disappeared and she got called Tuesday that there was space for her. This is an amazing coincidence. Two weeks after her husband’s death and she gets to move to a good place.

This, too me, is the kind of coincidence that I call a miracle. I know! Lots of people don’t believe in miracles but I happen to. We just have to open our eyes to see it. This was the up part.

The down part is that I am struggling again with IBS. A while back I took a new medicine that got me so much better but only lasts a while. It cannot be taken too often so for now I will struggle with my previous normal. My daily schedule will again depend on how my body is functioning. Annoying but I can do it. Of course anxiety was triggered again but I am also dealing with that with lots of ideas from all those who suffer with the same issues. It will all work out in the long run.

life-is-always-up-and-down-so-why-are-you-8796618God did not promise us an easy time but he did promise to hold us up when things are a problem. He has been doing that. If it is one thing that I have learned over the years it is to not stop your life for anxiety. Stopping living just makes it worse. For me, being with people off and on and sharing with friends and writing makes a great deal of difference.

Don’t ever put yourself away in that dark place and just let the world go by. It never helps. Keep pushing, keep trying and keep trusting God.

 

 

When we don’t know how to help

thumb_i-stopped-waiting-for-the-light-at-the-end-of-20625406Today for the first time in forever I feel a sense of accomplishment. I only have one more day of major work to get the vines out of the azaleas. There actually is a light at the end of the tunnel. Then I can get back to routine house and yard work. Seems appropriate since it is now August.

Some of my stressors have eased. My friend, whose husband died, is coping and I will keep close as she grieves. My friend, whose husband in hospitalized, is hanging on but the stress of this long term up and down has stretched her to her limit. Long term anxiety with no let up causes so many physical problems. Staying at an adrenaline high is not good for our body and after the stress is reduced it is a long time recouping. I worry about her and her own health.

She has little time for the things that can hold us together: time out, meditation, time with friends, a break day, or something fun. She is devoted to her husband and spends each morning at the hospital. By the time she leaves to go home (usually around 1 pm) she is exhausted and just wants to rest.

It would not be surprising to experience symptoms of PTSD when faced with unceasing stress. Each of us has struggled with anxiety and know the toll it can take.

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I have tried to find things to help. We invite her to lunch often as she is too tired at night but she is usually tired and just wants to go home. I speak with her every day and have offered to take her place at the hospital. I would like to think of something to help break the monotony of her life and find something to help. I plan to take some art supplies to her as she likes to paint and draw.

If anyone has any suggestions please pass them on.

Seeking calm

are-you-an-authentic-empath-watch-for-these-12-strange-behaviors-2I am tired. I have realized that the tiredness is coming from the emotional roller coaster I have been on lately. When we have done physical work or completed a project we can be tired but it is a satisfying tired. It feels good. This is not that. This tired is totally enervating. It has drained me to my core.

When we are truly empathetic we experience the feelings and aura of those around us.  Recently the strain that my friends have been under and the energy I have expended has taken all the oomph out of me. However I hope we are now on the upswing and that things are getting better.

Tomorrow I will be able to work in the yard. Although this is tiring it is the good kind of tired. It will produce a sense of pleasure and satisfaction. I have complained about the yard work but you can actually see the progress and that is something.

Lately I have taken little time for myself and I will address that in the coming week. I would like to see some “normal” but you never know when you will have to adjust to a “new normal.”

calmFinding things that bring us peace and calm are so important. Reading help me and just sitting on the porch and enjoying the outdoors. Each of us needs to find what can help when things get overwhelming. Not caring for ourselves will bring on anxiety, panic and depression. Not something we want to do.

What helps to bring you some peace and calm?

Beware cultural cloning

Cultural cloning …levels human personality and deifies predictability. When this is the goal, diversity is no longer recognized as a strength in this culture. Sameness becomes the bottom line.  —–Michael Yaconelli in Dangerous Wonder

Are we headed in this direction? It seems that we are but I really hope not. Are we destined to be identical robots? Will we lose the ability to think for ourselves?

1984Just picturing us all being the same reminds me of 1984 and Soylent Green. If anyone thought for themselves they were corrected…that is reprogrammed. In a society such as this anyone with any kind of mental disorder would either be reprogrammed and if this was not successful, eliminated. Aberrance would not be tolerated. Most of us who express our opinions on blogs would be done away with.

And yet, it seems to be that the function of society at this moment appears more likely to create people with emotional distress. The more we separate ourselves from each other the more our mental stability is at risk. We are humans who need others to thrive. Isolation causes emotional distress. We are communal in nature.

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I have noticed there are two types of people. Probably related to introverts and extroverts (but not entirely). Some of us feel better if we can share our emotional distress with someone else. Usually with someone we trust deeply. Then there are those for whom sharing makes things worse. They may have had a bad experience with this in the past. I feel better for sharing.

This is the beauty of these blogs. Even those who feel insecure sharing can share in a community of understanding. It has been a blessing for me to be able to share my anxieties in this format and find support, positive feedback and understanding. I know that occasionally someone will respond in a negative post but I hope that is the exception.

Mental disorders are difficult to cope with and just as difficult to share. Too often the response of the public is one of disdain or, at the least, not understanding. Understanding comes from those who have experienced similar things in their lives. Helping others by sharing is a gift.

God willing there will be no human robots.

Finding church

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Those of us who are Christian have often struggled with finding a place to worship that feels right to us. I think that part of  this disconnect comes from our struggle with Christians themselves…including us. We keep wanting to find a place where Christian behavior fits Christ’s lessons to us. Yet we never find it.

There is a reason for that. Churches are made up of people and people are flawed. Not only are we flawed but each of us has our own beliefs and our own ideas of how to live them out. Probably no two of us would agree on everything. Some of us want to be given rules or directions to follow. We are uncomfortable with uncertainty. Some of us want to think for ourselves and are not afraid of asking questions and doubting answers. Some people are in the middle and expect a blending of both.

All of this makes finding a place where you feel at home more difficult. However, we need to think about a family. Families certainly don’t think alike or function in the same way.

Henri-J-M-Nouwen-Quote-Christian-community-is-the-place-where-weThe conclusion that I have reached is to try and find a place (at least for me) where you feel at least accepted. One where you can be challenged to grow and where you can hear stories of the struggles and journeys of others. We will always agree with some and disagree with others. This is normal. Church is not perfect and never will be. It was created by mankind not by God. God speaks anywhere at any time. Church gives us a place to share our faith and a community of believers even if we don’t agree about everything.

It is very hard to follow the teachings of Christ outside of community.

Change comes…sometimes s–l–o–w-l–y

Healing_Quotes2Down somewhere deep inside we know what we would like/need to do be healed. If we are afraid of social situations we know, on some level, that exposure could help us. If we have anxiety because we spend our time thinking ahead and imagining a dreadful future we know that we have to find ways to shut down that kind of thinking. If we have to count how many steps there are from our kitchen to the dining room in order to eat then we need to find ways to let that go.

We may not know or have the answers but we know that healing is needed. We don’t know how we got this way but we want to change. Sometimes the thought that it may never change can spiral us into a swirling chaos.

The truth is that change is possible. It can happen just a moment at a time. Too slow to even be noticed but it does happen. We have to cling with every ounce of strength we have that hope.

slowlyI am proof that things can be different. I hope that knowing I survive no matter what and move forward to the next day will give someone courage to keep on. After 77 years I am still here and life is worth living!