The middle ground

middle-groundToday I worked in the yard re-potting plants and cleaning up.  I overdid it. By the time I came in I was over-tired and over heated. I know better than this but I got going and didn’t want to stop.

It is so easy to take on more than we can manage. You say yes to one thing and then another and suddenly you are in overload. Then add to that the worries that we all carry and the things we HAVE to do and we are in serious trouble.

It is so hard to stick to the middle ground. The Greeks talked about the Golden Mean….that center place where we have done just enough. If we choose to do too little we end up with a vapid face…if we choose to much we are tired, irritable and overworked.

We face the problem that in today’s work scene many employers expect too much. Since we can be reached at almost any time on our cell phones we are seldom out of touch. We are afraid to turn the thing off because we might miss something. It’s hard to call time when a job is on the line.

balance2There is a balance and we have to try to reach it. It may not be easy but unless we do we are at risk for more anxiety and more stress. None of us need that.

Reach for that center place where peace dwells.

inspiration-peace

God’s dump truck

out_of_the_frying_pan_and_into_the_fire_by_amorous_inc-d5zf87rHave you ever felt that you move out of the frying pan into the fire? Lately I seem to be doing that. I get past one crisis and another arises. I do key into other’s problems and help if I can. At times that can be overwhelming. Sometimes I just need to back away.

Today I have a very open and honest conversation with a friend. I hope that we both came away with a positive feeling. It is in relation to my journey to discover the next place that God is calling me. We will see how it moves forward and I trust God to help me discern what is best.

I have also been with a friend whose husband is ill and has been fighting the medical system. I hope things are getting better.

As we know these kinds of interactions can push the anxiety button. Fortunately it is only hanging in the background and that is where I want to keep it. It is time to use the things I have learned about taking control.

Control is a word that can have positive or negative connotations. Being in control is where we want to be but that is not always possible. It is so difficult to turn loose. I once taught a class where I talked about putting all of our worries and aggravations in a trash bag and handing them over to God. Then we would move on. However, our inclination is to move and drag the bag with us….move and drag the bag. We can do this endlessly. We just can’t seem to turn it over and leave it there. I wonder if it is our lack of trust or maybe the feeling that we should be able to handle it.

garbage truck

No matter what is the reason we have to learn to stop dragging the bag and let the God dump truck take it away forever.

Death comes/ a poem

The following was something that I wrote to clear my mind during my mother’s illness and subsequent death. I was thinking about it today and decided to share it.

death comes

It’s a funny thing. During my mother’s illness grief was present but it was hard to separate it from the other emotions… fear, panic, anxiety, apprehension, sadness, were all present. Grief was one among many. Now the others are resting..they crop up from time to time but not consistently. Only grief is consistent and somehow is easier to bear when there is time to see it by itself.

Illness, uncertainty                                                                                                          Decisions..choices

No time                                                                                                                                          Rushing                                                                                                                                          Home.. hospital.. work.. family

No time                                                                                                                                             Cant’ wait                                                                                                                                        Must go                                                                                                                                                Must do

On and on

So much                                                                                                                                                Feelings crowding                                                                                                                            Pushing                                                                                                                                        Jostling for position

One on top ..                                                                                                                                       For now..                                                                                                                                          Fear

Then shifting                                                                                                                                            Moving                                                                                                                                            Panic wins

No time                                                                                                                                                 To understand                                                                                                                                        Or sort

Weeping                                                                                                                                                  Sadness wins                                                                                                                                    And tears                                                                                                                                         Wipe clean

For one instant

Kindness begins with ourselves

teaYesterday I talked about the importance of touch. There is another side to the idea of needing touch. It is very important that we learn to treat ourselves well. We can get some positive touch from things that we do. What do you like to do to make yourself feel better? I love smells so lighting a candle for the odor makes me happy. Slipping between clean sheets is something that I love. I love to take a walk with the dogs. A wonderful sup of tea. All these things tend to bring me down from whatever stressors are jumping on me.

While at my grandson’s wedding I was feeling stressed (weddings are always stressful for those involved) but really had no way to stop the cycle. I wanted to but I was away from home with other people and couldn’t think of a way to stop.

When I think back I realize that I could have taken five minutes to take a short walk outside and just breathe.  The way that we do nice things for ourselves is a way of giving ourselves soothing touch.

small-actsThe secondary benefit of this is that we are more ready to offer something soothing to someone else. Being kind to ourselves is a step in the direction of being kind to others. We will begin to treat others the way we treat ourselves. Kindness can start at home. Learn to take time to do something for yourself and let yourself pass it on to others.

 

Medical Maze

monsterAccessing medicine in the USA has become a nightmare. The questions arises “who is in charge?” There are regulations set out by the government. The insurance companies decide what is allowed. Some people have no access because of cost. Instead of getting better the whole system has turned into a monster.

Doctors offices are busy and usually understaffed. Trying to get a question answered is practically impossible. Individuals are lucky if they see the same physician each visit. I have recently gotten in the car and driven to an office to get a response. This is not unusual. People who have little medical knowledge are lost in a maze that has no way out. There is little communication between doctors and patients can be prescribed medications that can’t be taken with other meds they are on. If they are lucky it is caught by the pharmacy.

Doctors are so specialized that they can’t see the whole patient even if they wanted to. Many of them are having to work under a hospital system with requirements that have nothing to do with patient care. The doctor may not be able to order a test the patient needs due to constraints of cost and insurance strictures.

Man-In-MazeToday we have the most sophisticated medical information and treatment that the world has ever seen but something has to be done about the systems that control patient care. The complexity is mind boggling and impossible to understand.

We have been brought to this place where so many illnesses can be cured but frustrated by the systems that have a stranglehold on care.

Delayed anxiety

eustressI am just back from two days away for the wedding of my grandson and a baby shower for my granddaughter. I have always been aware that when families get together whether for a wedding or a funeral there is always tension. Stress is in the air. In nursing we call this Eustress. (Definition of eustress. : a positive form of stress having a beneficial effect on health, motivation, performance, and emotional well-being. … during positive stress) The thing they fail to mention in the definition is that stress is stress. Happy occasions cause stress. The reason for the event is good but just put whole families together and the fur can fly. So family gatherings are a combination of eustress and distress. I can, and does, go both ways.

We were blessed that there were very few negative moments but there were a few. Not to mention the stress involved in putting on an event of this kind and two of them within two days. The rushing around was frantic and although my role was minimal (thank goodness) I ended up with anxiety today. I suppose the combination of travel, excitement, some disagreements, business, completing tasks and I can’t think of what else finally got to me this morning with resulting IBSD issues. I received the blessing of support from family who have similar issues. I appreciate their love and understanding without any flap.

good dogsI am back home, tired, wrung out but better. Now I can pet my dogs and get the extra love they give and relax.

Those of us who deal with mental health issues can be pushed over the edge by major events. It doesn’t matter if they are good or bad. I was glad to be able to meet the expectations of me without alerting anyone to my stress. Instead I managed to help with the stress of others and crash after it was all over. (My usual defense mechanism.) I am grateful that I usually respond that way. I hope it continues to work for me. Maybe it needs to be named delayed anxiety reaction. 

Sorry I have missed blogs over the last few days but will catch up.

There is someone to listen

We-just-need-someone-who-will-listen (1)Yesterday I just didn’t have the energy to write. I am not sure about tonight but I just need to vert. The last few weeks have been so frustrating. Nothing major but it just seems that everything that I have tried to do has been a headache. Things that are usually simple became complicated and it all became more and more annoying. Our medical system has run off the rails.  As a Parish Nurse I helped people navigate the system but it has disappeared on down the track.  Three weeks ago I saw a doctor who prescribed medication that is new. I knew that I had to be authorized but for the last three weeks is just plain disappeared. No one knew what had happened to it.  Today I took the bull by the horns and appeared in the drs office demanding to discover where the vanishing medicine was. This was after multiple calls to the drs office and our insurance provider.

Well guess what…? the drs office is using a new system and sent the rx somewhere in the nebula to get it since it is difficult to approve. I let them know that there is such a thing as COMMUNICATION. Some clear answers and some information at my office visit would have saved much stress and aggravation. (I sitll don’t know where the rx is)

As I said my computer crashed and getting everything up and running has been one aggravation after another. Since I don’t have the medicine I need my IBS has flared again. I could go on and on..

Thank you bloggers for the time to vent. I just needed to get some of the anger and intense feelings out.

god-hears-youOne of the things I have learned in my life is that sometimes all someone needs is to be able to ventilate their feelings. If you have someone that you can do this with you are blessed.

God is there to listen if we just take the time. He will always hear our feelings no matter what they are. Sometimes I imagine being held in the arms of Jesus and my tears being wiped away. There is peace in his care.