Category: Depression

Do you hear what I hear??

Do you hear what I hear??

So I am sitting here at my computer (well a laptop that my work brought me), and realized that it doesn’t have MS Office on it. I started the download and oh my goodness I saw that this was going to take a long time!!!

Rather then jumping up and doing chores around the house (well, let’s be honest I can’t even jump or do much right now, but I did take down my Christmas decor), I decided to do an exercise in mindfulness. I used my sense of hearing and decided to work towards blocking out everything else except what I could hear. I did have to pause a couple of times to write out what I was hearing so I could share it with you, but as the time passed I focused more and more on my practice in mindfulness.


I took time to NOTICE:

1. Little bubbles popping in soda can like little tiny fairies dancing inside.

2. The long sigh of my dog, as if he finally fell deep into sleep.

3. A car driving by – a bit too fast – more annoying than reminding me of anything special.

4. The tap tap on my keyboard as I write this so I don’t forget when I share you. For some reason I enjoy the sounds of a “clicky” keyboard; especially when I am typing with very quickly.

5.The computer makes a soft whirring sound, keeping technology doing what it’s supposed to do.

6. A small creak in the house followed by another and then another….it sounds like the house is trying to rest and cannot get comfortable. I know how that feels.

I come back later to write this and I realized as I engaged in this lesson my breathing became deeper and slower; my busy brain slowed down to just the task at hand….it was quite wonderful the calm I felt:

7.The crack of my shoulder – nothing painful, just a shoulder reminding me that yes, I am 51 years old.

8. A dog barking way off in the distance; I wonder what he is hearing?

9. A jetliner overhead – funny how loud it sounds when one is being mindful of only sounds.


As I opened my eyes and began to bring the rest of my senses back to my Self, I noticed again, that I felt calmer and with introspection.  I looked at the computer and saw that my program was still installing, so here I am , writing my experience to share with you. I hope you all can take a time to practice Being within one sense (sight, hearing taste, touch, smell). Try to let that one sense be in charge and let the others slip away, if only for a moment. Notice how you feel. You may be surprised at the calming effect this practice can be.

Share with your mindfulness skill or questions. Let’s practice and share our ideas.


Fear Grabs Ahold!

Fear Grabs Ahold!

So today’s challenge is to write about my biggest fear. Interesting as I suppose many people have fears that make them stop and become almost immobile: mice (lol I saw one this morning!), spiders, heights, snakes, flying, public speaking,  crowded spaces, enclosed spaces. I could go on and on. It’s rather sad that people have fears that they don’t know how to deal with.

When I read what the blog question for today had to do with fear I immediately knew what I would write about.

My biggest fear is that I turn into the person that I was before. Well,  I have never been a horrid person, but my fear is that I go back to the days where my mental illnesses had taken control of my every breath. I fear that one day I will awaken and my life will have turned upside down in some way and my horrible depression, anxiety, self harm and uncertainty will take the place of how I am living today.  I fear that I will have to be hospitalized again, that I won’t be able to make sense of my life again. I must say it can be a rather crippling fear.


But it doesn’t have to be.

I have been lucky enough to have found a therapist who I have been seeing for many years. He has been my rock when times were hard, he has been able to “bring me off the ledge” when I didn’t think I could. He has guided me through years of therapy and I can see the huge progress I have made in my mental health over these years. With my hard work and his teaching and encouragement, I continue to understand more and more about who I am and accept myself rather than bash myself. I will never forget what he said about fear (probably more than times than I remember!). “Fear can paralyze you or fear can motivate you.”  And yes, he is right. In the darkest days and weeks and months I could have totally given up. I was so scared of what my brain was doing to me  that I could have frozen in place..until the next dark episode. But I didn’t. I was motivated to get healthier and healthier. And I have succeeded.

So for this moment, my fear remains that my mental illness will grab on and have its way with me – take me back to those years of well, darkness and confusion. I will do my best to not let that happen. Every single day I work at positive mental health. Some days are easier than others.. I know how I DON’T want to feel. I know I believe that I will acknowledge my fear and continually work at ways to accept my feelings, but still be able to make positive steps in the right direction.

In the back of my mind I know that I may have dark or rough or challenging days, or weeks or months. But I have learned so much over the years that I also know I will make it through those times – easier than in the past.



51 is Not Old!! (I don’t think so!)

51 is Not Old!! (I don’t think so!)

So let’s see, is 51 considered old? I’m sure there are the teenagers and young 20’s who would say “YES! Anyone over 50 is getting up there!”  Then there are those of us in our 50’s saying “God, I hope not! I’m not ready to be old.”  And then the group in their 70’s and 80’s who agree that being in your 50’s a far cry from being old.

For me, it depends on the day and the circumstances. I decided to let my hair go gray this year and while I receive a lot of compliments, I look at mySelf and realize HOW gray I am and the feeling of age creeps into my mind. Also, I am a true believer that if your body feels good, your mind feels younger. Unfortunately for me, I have gone through 4-5 years with a body that HURTS…..a LOT!! It makes me feel old, old, and older, but I try to look at the fact that I am doing things to “unhurt” my body. 2 major hip surgeries in the past two weeks is supposed to help. I am waiting patiently to see if that is the case. Pain does terrible things to our mental health and recognizing what toll pain can take on your  mind is good way to shake the cycle of pain vs. age. Understanding how our body, mind and soul function is very important as we look at how we are aging.

I became a grandma 2 ½ years ago to this amazing red-headed little boy who is so very precious to me. Follow that with my little blonde curly-haired sweet granddaughter and a brand new grandson just a couple of months ago. These amazing little children have stolen my heart. I first thought that being a grandma would make me feel older. But it did the exact opposite. When I spend time with them, hear their laughter and see their smiles, have them snuggle  up in my lap or want to show me their latest toy or achievement – I feel so much love, so much joy, and I feel younger! It’s a beautiful thing being a grandparent. I never knew what an impact it would have on me.




So 51, is it old? I really don’t think so. There are times that I look back on my life and see so much that has happened and depending on the moment, I feel sad, but more often filled with melancholy. Rather than looking back  I know that it is time for me to really set some goals or plans for the future. I hope once my body feels better, my mind will feel younger, more often. And while looking at the future is important, looking at the Right Now is just as important. Finding positives in each day and understand that the negatives are ok to have as well.

I would love to know what stage you are in life. Do you plan for the future and if so how do you go about organizing how to achieve your  goals or dreams or desires?

Thanks for reading and have a lovely day


A great read by Dr Andrew Weil and makes for good reference

An awesome gift – for you or someone else!

Yes, I think it will be.

Yes, I think it will be.

No, I am not smoking the marijuana while singing Bob Marley (though I do LOVE the song)!  I woke up this morning and realized that there is hope around the corner of this recovery. I am only 4 days after my second surgery and 16 days out from the actual hip replacement. Considering this, I am happy that I feel the pain lessening and the hope growing. I know there will still be bad days ahead, but for now, for this moment, I feel a bit better.

Have you had to go through a lengthy illness or surgery recovery? It can be difficult to see the forest for the trees. Your body gets sucked into the pain which can affect your mental health at the same time. It’s common for depression to set in and hope to be dismal. People tell you to feel positive, but you know what? We feel how we feel. Our thoughts are our thoughts and if they are negative at times, it’s ok.  Try to practice recognizing even small positives in the day, digging within your mind and heart to see a small spot of happiness…..or hope.

While I spend so much time resting, I think about what makes me happy during the day; texting my daughters, talking to my mom, enjoying a piece of chocolate, or seeing one more thing that I can do for myself that I couldn’t do yesterday. Recognizing those bits of positives during the day help me move forward, and I hope it can help you as well. Remember you may have that one step (or five) backwards after making two steps forward, but it’s ok. Keep moving forward.

And in honor of Bob Marley’s song of hope, here you go:


A bit of  wall decor for your room of rest (from Amazon)