Still waiting but coping

kind-of-coping-9781507209189_lgAnother day just waiting. The workers who are redoing our bathroom will not be able to work this week so we will just continue toughing it will stuff everywhere. Who know that fixing a bathroom would be such a big deal? We are very lucky that we tore it out since we discovered that a major leak had been occurring under the tile. Before long one of us would have fallen through the floor. I am so glad that we are able to fix this now.

Life is never boring. At least that has been my experience. Life has had nice lulls. Just enough time to think it might continue when something else comes along. This is a pattern I have learned to accept and manage to absorb.

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I am sure that age has something to do with my perspective. I’ve had a long time to learn how to roll with things. There are still things that can wreck my calm but after a short while of acceptance I usually can move on. I wish I had been able to manage this well when I was younger. I hope that my sharing my experiences is helpful to others. It is a major thought in everything I write.

May all those who are threatened by Hurricane Dorian be safe.

You raise me up!

I have always loved this song. It is such a powerful message. I don’t know how you see the meaning…whether it is God you see or someone dear to you. Either way it speaks clearly of being affirmed and loved. I can see my God and my family/friends in it. I have been held up so many times in my life. In any crisis or when I don’t trust myself someone has been there to encourage and lift me up.

It must be so difficult to live without this kind of assurance. I know that I am blessed to have it. Some don’t have family they can count on or the sort of friends who stick through anything.

It has been said that to have this support from others we have to be there when they need support and I have found that to be true for me. Being there through thick and thin is what it is about for me.

I was also blessed to grow up in a family who had God as a core belief. They were not concerned about denomination or intricate doctrine. Just the underlying support of a loving God.

 

Demolish the wall

Sometimes we build walls around ourselves to stay safe. We wall out anything that hurts us…whether physical or mental. An extreme example of how the walls work is the patient written about called Sybil. Dividing yourself into separate people puts up walls between the root person to help her. Another example is Howard Hughes who physically walled himself in.

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Our various forms of mental illness can be walls. Ways that we have adjusted to the world in order to survive. The illnesses seem negative but at some time they may have been essential. (this may not include some types of illness)

The walls are hard to pull down. They are worse than masks. Masks seem more temporary but the walls have been built with bricks and mortar. Our anxiety can cause us to retreat from the world. We only seem safe if we stay under the covers on our beds.

When we are suffering it is very difficult to pull down the walls and move out of our comfort zone. When I am anxious I don’t want to go anywhere or do anything. I curl into a fetal position mentally and physically. I have erected a wall around myself.

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I have been working on the things that help me to remove the wall one stone, one piece of mortar, at a time. Meditation, remembering to breathe, focusing my mind, distraction are all things that help. With persistence these tools help me to keep the wall from growing and even begin to keep sections down. Progress is happening which gives me impetus to keep on keeping on.

Don’t give up. That wall can be knocked down a little at a time. Just keep on!

Face things and move on

Today I decided to bake some bread from a different recipe. It didn’t work. Although the bread rose initially after shaping it just sat there. After a little rise I decided to bake it and it promptly fell. After taking it out the taste was great and the texture wonderful but it only rose the slightest bit. Won’t use that recipe again. Back to my own recipe that works every time.

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Bread baking is so therapeutic. I love kneading it with my hands. The silky feel of it and the smell when it bakes. (even if it doesn’t rise) The house smells so good. I was planning to take some to a neighbor but another day.

Things don’t always work out the way we planned. This was a small thing but when big things happen we have to move on just the way we do with the little ones. Sometimes it helps to fuss and #%^&*+#  some to make us feel better. If it is a truly bad thing it may take some time to get over it. I have a friend who says “take 24 hours for a pity party and then shake it off and get on.” I have actually found this to work for me. After the 24 hours are up I challenge myself to rise up out of the depths, take a deep breath, and move on. I think our minds just need time to absorb whatever new reality is facing us.

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Life is never boring but shakes us up to test our mettle. Those upsets don’t get to me as much as they used to except for life and death issues. Even then I have learned that those things can be faced and accepted even though they hurt. At my age one has to acknowledge that death is inevitable. Doing so brings a kind of peace.

If only we could learn to live each day knowing that it will never come again. Participate in life every moment instead of waiting for tomorrow we would be so blessed.

 

Finding pleasure

bakerI have been cooking a lot lately. Mostly desserts. I have given a great deal of stuff away as we don’t need to be eating everything I make. I have been baking bread for years but am trying to hone my skill and make some different things. Some successes …some just so so. No real failures but I was not thrilled with them.

There is something creative about cooking. Most of my life was spent cooking for a family. Now there is just my husband and I most of the time I am not energized by our dinner menu. Nobody’s fault but mine. Breads and desserts are more fun.

I think this cooking has been therapeutic for me. It is better than just house and yard tending although some of that has suffered from my time in the kitchen. Oh well, it will still be there.. no genie will be coming to clean.

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Finding things that give you pleasure are important for maintaining physical and mental health. Being creative makes me feel good and that is a big plus. You may not find it in a job but find it where you can. Take the time to fit it in. Your demeanor will improve and life will just be better.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

 

Keep fighting

I have been fighting IBSD for several days now. I am on the medication that helped last time. There is two weeks worth to take. I hope it works again. The last 7-8 months have been the best I have had in years. It is wonderful when something actually works.

If it doesn’t then back to the doctor again to see if there is anything else.

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It is so frustrating to have to plan trips and clothing around your physical status but I will keep on doing it as the alternative is to not do anything.

Mental_Disorder_Silhouette2Chronic problems can bite us in the $@#$&**. Aggravating and depressing. I have been free from this (for me) for such a long time that I had hoped it would be a new pattern. Now I have to backtrack and remember how I dealt with it. Life always brings new challenges and asks us to manage them. Here arise the coping skills that I had managed to put in the back of my mind. A stupid thing to do. There are some that I have faithfully continued so at least I am not starting totally over. However, I will increase the concentration on them.

Don’t we all wish that we could wave a magic wand and make ti go away? That is the lazy way out and won’t work. Controlling our thoughts and emotions requires work and energy. The trouble is that when we are down we don’t have a lot of either. We have to drag ourselves up and make do.

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I have done that today and will push myself. I will eat better….I have been really bad lately…exercise….get out doors…meet friends….meditate and anything else that helps. I am determined that I will not be beat by this challenge.

As the Bipolar Writer says:  Keep Fighting!

Make life better

Today I was at the Mediation Center and ran across this list. It is the most comprehensive I have ever seen. Anyone should be able to find something on here that they can do to make their day better. I am appending it to my bulletin board.

We often think there is nothing we can do. Usually because we really don’t want to do anything except feel bad. Sometimes we have to force ourselves to do something to improve things. It may take strength to get going. There is always something that will help. See if you can find some things on this list.

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Soul work

What is is to search for our own soul. (It doesn’t matter what you call it. It is our inner core…our best self.) How do we turn away from the things that our society has led us to believe are the ultimate good? When are we able to grow enough to cast aside the ideas that we have been taught from birth?

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Most of us who have spent our lives in western society have been taught to reach for things that are finite. We look to find joy and peace in things that fade. We want everything taken care of NOW! We are impatient and want pills to cure our ills that work fast. If we feel the slightest bit bored we want entertainment that distracts us from spending time with ourselves. We want to be as beautiful at 80 as we were at 25. The look of youth is the ultimate. We want things to feed our emptiness with…cars, jewelry, clothes, electronics, houses….anything to make us important. We want to seem important, looked up to and emulated. We think that these will be fulfilling. They won’t. Their rewards to us are ephemeral.

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Turning away from these illusions and seeking the soul itself is a challenge. Can we go against society and understand that love and compassion and empathy and generosity are what matters? These are eternal.

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Seek inside yourself for the things that really matter and pursue them.