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Showing posts from July, 2012

July Books 2012

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The Divided Mind: The Epidemic of Mindbody Disorders by John E. Sarno – My psychiatrist wanted me to read this book and we’re going to discuss it the next time I see him. I think it’s pretty cool that I have a doctor who will discuss books with me. I read the whole book, although I really would have been fine reading the first and last chapters. The author is a doctor who believes that fibromyalgia and a host of other painful disorders are actually a disorder called tension myositis syndrome (TMS), which is caused by oxygen deprivation to the circulatory system. He posits that the brain sends the impulse to deprive oxygen to key places in the circulatory system, which causes tender points and other pain, so that one will focus on one’s physical pain and not on their subconscious rage. I liked that even though Dr. Sarno believes that fibromyalgia is a psychosomatic illness, he believes the pain is real. It was the first time that I heard the word “psychosomatic” and not come a

My Recovery Story

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I belong to Ridgeview Institute 's alumni group and we put out a quarterly newsletter with a theme.  This quarter's theme is "Falling Into Recovery" with stories about how one got started living a life of recovery.  If you've been following my blog, then you know that my story has many ups and downs-I don't just go into the hospital once, follow the steps, and then my life is magically cured.  Because I have serious mental illness, I have to continually work on finding new solutions to problems and learning new coping skills, which is probably true for everyone, but not everyone admits it. I don’t really know how to start my recovery story.   I first started seeing a psychiatrist the summer of 2001.   I came home from college and was so depressed that I would spend all day sitting and staring at the wall.   My mom is in recovery from depression herself, so she was able to see the signs and was able to convince me to see her psychiatrist.   I suppose that was

Grateful for a Great Birthday

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I had a rough afternoon today.  I am applying for disability and today I had to talk to a therapist and tell her why I am applying for it.  It sort of reminded me of doing my fifth step, except that I'm telling all my flaws to someone who is going to write about it and share it with the government and then this information is going to help decide if I am severely disabled or not.  Not fun.  I felt embarrassed and anxious and awful. But when I got home, I found out that a person I know died recently, probably due to complications from anorexia.  I used to be nearly anorexic, myself.  My mom and I talked about it and my mom pointed out that while our day may have been rough, we are still very fortunate.  It's true.  My afternoon has not been pleasant, but I am still alive.  I am alive and at times able to truly enjoy life.  I am willing to accept help and I am learning new ways of being.  I am no longer afraid of certain foods and for all of these things, I am very grateful.

Immortality

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We are immortal in the influence and the imprint we leave on those around us. (69, Making a Way Out of No Way by Monica A. Coleman) A lot of people are concerned about immortality.  A lot of Christians are concerned about immortality.  Perhaps concerned isn't the right word-many, many people are afraid of immortality.  We are afraid that we will spend the rest of eternity in Hell and we pray that we believe the right things and that we save enough people, so that we can have an eternal life in Heaven.  Except I don't believe in Heaven or Hell and yet I do believe we all are granted an eternal life. My friend, Monica A. Coleman, writes that "we are immortal in the influence and the imprint we leave on those around us" and so we really do not need to worry about our immortality after all.  I don't believe our earthly actions dictate where we are going after we die and yet, in a way, I do.  You see, I want my legacy to be one of goodness, lovingkindness, and gr

Building Positive Experiences with Miss Mamie

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I have been taking a dialectical behavior therapy class for about four months now and I only started to understand some of the principles of the emotional regulation section just a few days ago.  I was sitting in my family's TV room, when I became aware that I wanted a cup of tea.  I imagined how good the hot cup of tea would feel in my hands, and how calming it would be to breath in the scents of lavender and vanilla. Unfortunately, my black and white thinking almost prevented me from enjoying a cup of tea, because I recognized that I was wanting to do an activity that is self-soothing and I was already feeling good.  But then, I had an epiphany-to help my emotions stay regulated, I should do self-soothing activities throughout the day, even if I am already feeling soothed!  In dialectical behavior therapy this is called "building positive experiences."  One of the goals of DBT is to learn how to regulate one's emotions, so that one stays in a positive frame of mind

Vacation Day IV - Neptune Beach

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Day IV of our dog-cation was our last full day of fun.  We, of course, started it off with a walk and a swim on the beach.  I just love swimming in the waves-if swimming pools had waves, then I would swim a whole lot more often. This is the underside of our umbrella.  Isn't it a happy picture?  I just adore rainbows! This picture may be showing up as the main picture for this blog one of these days! Then, while my mom rested, my dad and I went looking for other beach shops.  We wanted to find another artsy area like the one we had been to the night before, but there wasn't much else in our area, unfortunately. We did find, however, a small shopping center called Cottage by the Seaside Shoppes . "Shabby chic" is actually the style that I would like to decorate my future house in, so it was fun to look around. My dad and I then ate at a local cafe and then went back to the hotel for our own rest.  Let me just say that I am thankful for naps!!! Dinner was at Nipp

Vacation Day III - Neptune Beach

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I hope you like pictures!  On day three of our dog-cation, we as usual took a morning walk on the beach before checking out of our hotel and driving to Neptune/Atlantic/Jacksonville Beach (all three beaches are right together).  We spent most of the afternoon and evening strolling around this artsy area near the beach on Atlantic Ave. I loved the streets lined with palm trees-it's so different from what I'm used to! Here I am, posing with a panther!  Cats are one of my favorite animals and I just love this brightly colored feline, especially the octopus on the butt! Here I am with a tortoise with the yellow submarine on his belly!  I love that he's just my height.  Don't we look like best buds with his arm around my shoulder?  By the way, I am wearing a tank top from Old Navy, a dress from Target, a shirt from Torrid (clearance!), and shoes from Famous Footwear. We ate at a restaurant called Sundog . I didn't know this but a " sundog ," or phantom s

July 2012 Vacation Day II - Fernandina Beach

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We began the day by swimming in the ocean.  The water felt fantastic-just the perfect temperature!  We even took the dogs in!  Sadie didn't like it, but Georgia didn't seem to mind.  I could have stayed in the water all day. This is me wearing my new bathing suit out for the first time.  I love it-I feel cute and comfortable in the mini-dress-like suit.  In fact, yesterday was probably the most comfortable I've ever felt wearing a bathing suit and usually I feel self-conscious when I wear a hat, but fortunately, I've been able to rock an I-don't-care-what-people-think-about-me attitude on this trip.  Life is so much more freeing when I don't pay attention to the self-conscious voice in my head.  The bathing suit is from Target. I'm not going to talk about every meal on this trip-I think I'll just pick out my favorite for the day and yesterday's favorite was lunch at The Surf . It was just me and my dad and we had a nice time eating and discuss

July 2012 Vacation Day I - Fernandina Beach

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Yesterday was our first day on my family's (Mom, Dad, and me) dog-cation! We spent about six and a half hours in the car. The dogs and I were very happy once we arrived at our destination: Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida.  Georgia is the beagle on the left and Sadie is the black lab/chow mix, we think.... (above picture) Both dogs were initially scared of the water, but both still enjoyed a nice afternoon walk on the beach. I enjoyed it too, even though my hips were really hurting.  To help me enjoy the walk and not dwell  solely on my pain, I used one of my DBT skills-mindfulness.  I stayed mindful on everything pleasurable I felt and not the pain.  I paid attention to the grainy sand underneath my feet, the taste of salt on my tongue, and the wild wind whipping through my hair.  Concentrating on these pleasures made my pain much more bearable and my experience was still enjoyable. For dinner, we ate outside with our dogs at a little burger joint, called Tasty&#