Tag: BPD

Mental Health Day? YES!

Mental Health Day? YES!

Have you ever just felt like you can’t (or won’t) get out of bed and go to work?  I think we all have been there. We cannot seem to find any exact ailment, but our brain is just tired….tired of dealing with much of anything. We just want to roll over and go back to sleep. Or we want to get up, have a cup of coffee and just BE with our day because we just cannot BE at work.

Do you know what? It is perfectly ok to take a mental health day

If you had a cold, you might decide to power through your workday. But if you had the flu, you’d likely need to stay home and rest — and no one would call you “weak” for getting the flu. In fact, your co-workers would likely thank you for not coming into the office when you’re sick.

Mental health rarely gets the same respect. Instead, people are told to “get over it” when they’re struggling with anxiety, depression, or similar issues. And when those of us try and “power through” a mental health symptom, it can make us feel worse and can potential cause a mental overload that is not so easy to overcome. But mental health is part of your overall health. If you don’t proactively address it, you won’t be able to perform at your best.


One thing  PLEASE try and remember – DON’T FEEL GUILTY FOR TAKING A MENTAL HEALTH DAY!!!!!!  Taking a mental health day doesn’t mean you need to curl up in your bed, unless you think that’s what is going to bring you the most self care;  you may want to go outside, take a drive, take your dogs for a walk, even take yourself out to lunch…that’s all ok as well. Whatever you need to do for YOU is what is important. This might be a good day to schedule a day with your therapist. I have done that in the past. I have spent an hour with him and then spent my day taking care of me. Typically I would walk the dogs and then a late afternoon nap. By the next morning I felt ready to go back to work. Usually!

relax-pillow - mentalhealthday

When was the last time you took a mental health day? Never?  That’s not good. Those of us with mental illnesses have to constantly keep our health a priority. It can be exhausting, but you and I both understand that in order to keep our symptoms to a minimum, we must listen to our innerselves and make sure our brain is running like it should.

Take a mental health day and share with me what you did!!!

Take Care


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unsplash-logoAlisa Anton

unsplash-logoKelly Sikkema

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What’s in a word?

What’s in a word?

Do you have a WORD? I have a word. It’s a word that I can hang on to when times are troubling as well use when times are filled with optimism.

My word is HOPE – no, nothing earth shattering but it means something to me. Hope has carried me through a lot of very challenging years. I have quotes with the word around my desk at work, I have it hiding here and there around the house. I don’t have a tattoo of it…but yes, we will have a tattoo blog someday in the future.

I wish I could remember how I developed this into my “word.” It’s not a safe word for me (I don’t think I have one of those – maybe I should.) but I can feel calm when I can just BE with the word, not the randomness that people talk about hope.

Below are a few pictures of something very special I bought a few years ago. I was on my way to my therapist’s office and had arrived in town pretty early. I really didn’t know what to do with myself, but I did know that I had to pee!!! (After giving birth to four children that is a constant occurence). Anyway, the town where my therapist is at is pretty rural and there is not much to see or do so I ended up at a Pilot gas station/truck stop/gift shop and everything in between. After using the restroom I wandered around the little gift area and there it was….My HOPE!!  It’s a decor item made of glass and mirrors; the colors change depending on how the light is hitting it. Along the center, it reads, “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” Perfect!! I fell in love and it didn’t matter the cost. Being a truck stop I don’t think I paid more than $20 and the cashier wrapped it so carefully and bagged it up.

I arrived at my therapist’s office and decided to bring it in. I never do anything like that. He and I have talked and talked and talked about so much over the years, but I never bring anything to show him (well, wait there was a time I showed him some artwork I had created during a rather dark night). After we talked a bit I unwrapped my treasure to share. He knows how much the word Hope means to me and pleasantly admired my gift that I had bought for myself. We both did laugh at how I could find something so special in a rather “podunk” town.



I encourage you to find a word, or a phrase or a quote to OWN in your mind and in your heart. While I have lots of quotes that I find dear, for me, a word is easier to remember. I know I will be hanging on tight to my words as I work through these weeks of recovery and rehabilitation. I am not 100% certain that I will become pain free, but I do…Hope…

Share with me your word, if you would like.

Take Care


When the moment sucks!!

When the moment sucks!!

One of the hardest things to live with in life and even more so when we struggle with mental illness is the Moment….living with the Moment with the moment plain and simple sucks!!  I try and be mindful of something within that moment, try to talk myself through that moment, or just try and let the waves of “yuck” go by.  I am not having much luck right now.

I know some of you go through these exact same feelings. I wish you could help me right now!!

So what’s going on?  Well, I have Restless Leg Syndrome. I get so frustrated when I hear people say , “Oh I do too, my leg shakes or sometimes it’s hard to sleep….”  Well, I am sorry for you, but you know what?  I have RLS Like almost nobody does. I have read medical journals only to find out that I have most severe form which affects, my toes my legs, my hips, my torso, my shoulders, my neck , my fingers. UGH!!!!! I have had this since I was a little girl and usually medication keeps it somewhat calm….except when it doesn’t. I can barely type right now because of the massive amount of discomfort…not too much pain…just this horrible uncontrollable need to stretch and move and stretch some more.


I’m sorry to complain…are we allowed to do that on blogs? I’m really not sure.

So along with the disgusting RLS tonight I am still dealing with this hip replacement recovery. I know I am doing better, but I am discouraged because I have a really painful muscle (piriformis) that is causing me to not be able to walk very well. I feel no better than before all of this surgery nightmare. I feel like I am going to have this damn cane forever and I just want to give up.

That’s where I think those of us with mental illness struggle soooo much harder to stay positive than other people with more a more typical response pattern. Everyone is trying to boost me up and I just don’t want to hear it.  Is that rude? I hope not, but it is what IS in my mind. It’s easy to fall into a pit and I think that is what everyone is afraid of. I just need to understand where my mind is in regards to my healing for ME. I need to understand how important it is to continue doing the excercises and I need to maintain HOPE that I will continue to improve so I can walk again without a walker. I have to do this within ME. This is hard work as many of you know, but an important part of my healing to come from within rather than counting on what others may say. Accepting what is going on for our own selves in our own lives is critical.

Christos Tsimaris; Painting, “self- acceptance”

How might you feel about what I have written? What kind of struggles have you had to deal with “in the moment” when the moment seems rather awful?  Have you read about Dialectical Behavior Therapy?  Today’s frustrations would an ideal practice under Radical Acceptance – and yes, my most challenging part of therapy. I would’nt even let my therapist use those words for years!!!! I would get so angry!! Haha, little by little he inched his way there so I so understand the theory or Radical Acceptance, even though often it still irritates me!!  But a lot of DBT really IS about living in the moment.  Maybe I will share with you more about the DBT therapy in a future blog.

Thanks for reading- it helped to get this awfulness out of mind and on to paper. I actually feel a bit calmer.

Take Care


feature Photo by Mike Alonzo on Unsplash

black and white image Photo by Robert Collins on Unsplash

Groceries and Self-Care

Groceries and Self-Care

Hello!  Do you love watching unboxing videos?  How about watching vloggers trying out the latest beauty products or tasty foods?  Do you enjoy reading reviews about a blogger’s favorite recipe that include pictures?  I can say YES to all of those!! I don’t know why it is; do I enjoy taking a peek into someone elses life? I think that may be part of it but there is this feeling that someone is letting us in that feels like a gift they are sharing with their readers/viewers.

I went grocery shopping yesterday.. I know the last time I shared my “food haul,” readers enjoyed seeing what my shopping day was like, so I thought I would do so again. I am so thankful to have my son help me. I am still having to use a scooter through the store, so having him follow me with a cart and loading and unloading the cart is soooo very helpful.

What did I get today?

food 3

Shhhh..you don’t see t hose M&Ms do you? haha I have them in a drawer in my bedroom now for a little sweet treat that teenage boys can’t find!  We are all eating a lot of eggs and sandwiches recently thus the two 18 packs of eggs, lunchmeat, sliced cheese and pickles. The coffee was buy one get one free which is a deal! Probably not the best tasting roast, but when I add my vanilla creamer it all tastes good.

I have this ground sausage which along with the spinach I bought will be part of a recipe that I may try tonight or tomorrow:




Bacon and Spinach Pasta with Parmesan is a quick and flavorful weeknight dinner that only requires a few ingredients.


  • 6oz bacon (1/2 12 oz. pkg)
  • 1small onion
  • 2cups chicken broth
  • 1/2lb pasta
  • 1/4lb 3-4 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/3cup grated Parmesan


  1. Cut the bacon across the strips into one-inch pieces. Sauté the bacon in a large skillet until it is brown and crispy (no extra fat needed). Remove the browned bacon to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Carefully pour the fat off into a separate bowl, leaving about one tablespoon in the skillet.
  2. While the bacon cooks, dice the onion. Once the bacon is removed and the fat is drained from the skillet, add the diced onions and sauté until they are soft and transparent. Allow the moisture from the onions to dissolve some of the browned bits off of the bottom of the skillet.
  3. Add two cups of chicken broth to the skillet and dissolve off any remaining browned bits of bacon drippings from the bottom of the skillet.
  4. Finally, add the uncooked pasta to the skillet, place a lid on top, and let the skillet come to a boil over high heat. Once it reaches a boil, give it a quick stir, turn the heat down to low, and let simmer for 10 minutes with the lid in place. Give the skillet a stir to loosen the pasta from the bottom every few minutes or so, replacing the lid quickly each time. After 10 minutes the pasta should be tender and most of the broth absorbed. There should be a little bit of thick, saucy broth remaining in the bottom of the skillet.
  5. Add the fresh spinach to the skillet and stir until it has wilted into the pasta. Turn off the heat, add the cooked bacon back to the skillet, sprinkle the Parmesan over top, stir to combine, and then serve

Yum! Doesn’t that sound good and easy?  The recipe does call for bacon, but I found this sausage at the store on sale and decided to give it a try. Bacon can be so expensive these days. I think sausage is a good alternative – they are both pork, right?

What else did we buy?  I have not tried the Michael Angelo’s veggie lasagna before, but thepicture sure makes it look good. My son wants to cook stir fry in the next night or two so he went off to the produce section and made his picks. As you can see I have bagged spinach and awesome looking parmesan cheese for the recipe above. The steamed clams for $2.99? definitely an impulse buy so we shall see how they taste.  And I have become so enamored with almond milk! I love the taste and how low the calorie content. I’m trying to cut way back on my dairy, so drinking almond milk helps.

I mentioned self-care in my title. We all know that self care is important and those of us with mental illnesses it is even more critical. I have talked about self care in past blogs, but I wanted to share with you something  I buy myself every month. This may not be what we traditionally believe of as self care, but this little treat that comes in the mail makes me happy and that I am treating myself to a gift and products that I can use to care for myself.

Have you heard of an Ipsy glam bag?  If you enjoy skin care or beauty, then is is a great $10 a month to spend to treat yourself ($10 total including shipping). Every month a bright pink shiny delievery bag arrives in your mail box and in it a cute or stylish bag with a variety of 5 products related to skincare or beauty.  Here is what mine looked like this for January:


I know this little Ipsy bag bay not be for everyone, but for me treating myself is important. When I my self esteem is faltering, or I just don’t feel that great, know that it is ok to have a little something sent TO me, FROM me, every month is a positive in managing my mental health.

I hope you have enjoyed today’s blog. It’s a little different from recent topics, but shaking up my blogs  at times is good for me, and I hope for you.

Take Care



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Anxiety, Panic and Vertigo

Anxiety, Panic and Vertigo

Hello! Thanks for stopping by. I want to say right off how much I appreciate my followers and readers. I enjoy writing my blogs, and it really means a lot to me that you continue to read. And to new readers, WELCOME! Enjoy today’s topic and check out some of my previous blogs.

It’s funny how my topics seem to just pop into my mind at times. Today, I was watching the news (oh dear, should I really do that?!?!), and was watching 3 people stand at a podium, 1 in the middle and 2 on either side. I immediately thought, “How can those people stand up there without anything to hold on to? Don’t they feel like they are going to topple over because they are dizzy?  I know I would!” I am always a bit envious of people who can stand up in front of people to speak, or literally, just to stand!


Approximately 28 years ago (I am now 51), I was living as a single young woman, working as a secretary in a healthcare consortium and life was good, I lived on my own with my cats and all in all couldn’t complain about life. One day I was sitting at my desk when a HUGE bout of dizziness (vertigo) just bowled me over in my seat. I didn’t know what was happening and I felt terrible!! My coworkers had me lay down, got me some water and after about a half hour I felt fine. Little did I know this was the first noticeable onset symptom of mental illness. I had my brain scanned, visited various sorts of doctors with no luck. These episodes of vertigo would just hit me without notice and I couldn’t determine a pattern and it was very upsetting living with the unknown. It wasn’t until TWO years later that my brother’s girlfriend witnessed what was happening and she said it was a panic attack. WHAT? NO, that’s not me, I’m just dizzy!

Well, she was right!!

It took a couple of years trying to get better on my own (25 years ago you just didn’t talk about mental illness like you can now…We still live in stigma, but it’s getting better). Long story short I went to see a psychiatrist. Wow, I felt REALLY crazy!!! I didn’t like him at all but he prescribed me an antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication. Thankfully, it helped and the horrid feelings of vertigo and loss of self became a bit easier to live with.

My life and my mental illness have traveled quite the journey over these past 25 years. If you have lived with mental illness for a long period of time, you know that it can be a challenging journey. If you are newly diagnosed, you will learn your own journey and with the right kind of help, you WILL be able to manage.


So, despite all of this, guess what? I STILL HAVE VERTIGO!!! I will not stand in front of a group of people, nor do I like even standing in say a small group of people. My mind gets a bit stressed and I feel like I could just teeter-totter with vertigo and fall on the ground.  I imagine this is a long term effect of my anxiety. I rarely have full-blown panic attacks anymore, but anxiety seems to live with me and reminds me from time to time that he can cause me real problems (anxiety has to be a “he” in my mind!!).

How does anxiety or panic manifest within you?  I would love to have you share some tips on you manage  your anxiety.

Take Care


Indira Active

Borderline, the Chameleon, and Perception

Borderline, the Chameleon, and Perception

Borderline Personality Disorder is a condition which affects approximately 1.6% all the way up to 5.9% of the population (see NAMI). A person with BPD is characterized by  difficulties regulating emotion. This means that people who experience BPD feel emotions intensely and for extended periods of time, and it is harder for them to return to a stable baseline after an emotionally triggering event.

This difficulty can lead to impulsivity, poor self-image, stormy relationships and intense emotional responses to stressors. Struggling with self-regulation can also result in dangerous behaviors such as self-harm (e.g. cutting). (see NAMI)

BPD is very difficult to treat, let alone live with. I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder over 10 years ago (I am now 51), though I know that many of the traits were brewing in the background before I had a terrible turn of life with my mental health in my late 30s, early 40s. I am happy to say that with a lot of hard work and therapy I now am managing my BPD (along with bipolar). For those of you still struggling, know that there is help and there is hope.

For today, I want to write about the Chameleon Effect , BPD and my perception of life at the moment.

Mirroring, or the Chameleon Effect is a challenging aspect of BPD and you may not really be aware it is happening. Your changing colors to adapt to the situation or person may feel natural, but indeed, trying to learn to have your OWN place in YOUR world is so important to positive mental health.  In an excellent article by Sarah Myles, she describes this phenomenon:


One of the biggest and most challenging aspects of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is often ‘The Chameleon Effect’ – or ‘mirroring’. This is the constant, unconscious change in the person’s ‘self’, as they struggle to fit in with their environment, or the people around them. It is, essentially, a fluctuating identity. It is the manifestation of a basic inability or difficulty in establishing a stable sense of self.

The presence of The Chameleon is often one of the main obstacles to effective initial treatment and diagnosis of BPD, as it affects the interaction between patient and doctor, and can mask the disorder itself. It also effects and masks the way in which BPD intersects with other disorders that may have developed in connection with it – creating a complex web of behaviours that can be hard to untangle. The irony is that, without diagnosis and treatment, most are unaware of The Chameleon, and it is only through awareness that The Chameleon can be managed.

Have I lived as a chameleon in my life? You bet you!!!  I remember having a good coworker and friend when I was young that before I knew it I wanted to dress similar to her and like similar things; I had a boy friend that smoked, and lived a life I many not typically want to live, when sure enough I picked up his lifestyle; I had a husband that I began to mirror more and more in my life including feelings about where we lived, things we did, thoughts on people and their outlooks that was somewhat degrading; I have been friends with a man for almost 8 years (previously romantic, now just friends) who absolutely cannot stand this area, and so lo an behold my view of where I live got worse and worse. These are just a few examples of the mirroring that I know have happened with me….my list could go on and on.

Is this anyone’s fault? Of course not!! And someone with BPD doesn’t just mirror negative, or positive, sometimes mirroring can have a positive effect.  What’s going on within us can’t be helped, until we learn to NOTICE! I actually didn’t even understand this symptom fully until the past couple of years. Looking back I saw how my chameleon was ever-present.

Now, I am single woman, my kids are either grown or pretty self-sufficient so I am having more and more time to BE. I went for a drive today with my son (I’m not totally independent yet due to my surgeries so I do need my awesome chauffeur). I was telling my son how much I really do

My son…he is not a fan of pictures!

enjoy where we live. He was a bit confused since he says I have always hated it…but no…I don’t hate it. There is a beauty to where I live, the people I run into are kind, I am so close to the mountains that I hope to be able to walk the trails again. For this moment, my 3 kids live in the same town as I do, and my oldest daughter lives in a larger city less than an hour away that is up and coming, bustling with new life and I would even like to move there at some point.  So yes, I am finding my own perceptions of my life, where I live and what I do – for me.  I know that chameleon is always around and may come for a visit. And like I said, is it a bad visit? Not necessarily as long as we can NOTICE what we are feeling and if wer are content with our likes and dislikes…for the moment.



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The Long, Dark Hallway

The Long, Dark Hallway

Oh my goodness, we all have been there – INSOMNIA!!!!  We can’t seem to get to sleep and it can be so unsettling. And then when we do finally fall asleep our mind is still wandering in the darkness of our dreams.


That was me last night. I Could Not fall asleep. While living and managing my Bipolar and BPD diagnoses, I have a combination of medications that works for me. Trust me, it was no easy task to get that combo figured out (that’s another blot topic!), but it does work for me. I can take my meds at around 9:00 pm and by 10:00 pm I am asleep for the night, usually in a dreamless slumber. Recently, due to a couple of surgeries I have not had a good night’s sleep in almost 6 weeks. Trying to get comfortable, taking pain medication, I just never can sleep very well. Last night was different.

I took my meds as usual. 10:00pm I was still laying there with my eyes wide open and not tired at all!!!! I decided to do what I they say is bad – I looked at my phone, checking out the news, Instagram, what have you. That only lasted a few minutes and again I tried to sleep. Sheesh, what was the problem?  My mind was wandering all over the place which didn’t help things. Around midnight I finally was asleep.

My story doesn’t end there.

I don’t dream very much anymore, due to the meds. Sometimes it makes me sad because dreams can be so interesting. But last night a dark dreary dream snuck through my mind. I wish I could remember what was going on (or more likely, I’m glad I Didn’t remember) I do recollect walking, or rather dragging myself down this dark hallway….on and on and on…and on. It was quite terrifying I believe. I couldn’t keep going, but I knew I had to. After what felt like forever, a door opened to a bright light. I was so thankful, and then I heard, “Mom, MOM!”  It was my oldest son, he was waking me up from this terrible dream and I was so grateful. He kept asking me, “are you ok?”  I muttered that I was ok and I was sorry. I was pulling my brain from that fog of dream and sleep and darkness. He said not to be sorry, he was just worried about me. How sweet kids can be…18 year old young man that he is now.

I’m sure you have been in a similar dream state. It Sucks!!! I didn’t want to go back to sleep and end up down that hallway again. But eventually I did, and slept the rest of the night.


We all need sleep, that is true. But if you have a mental illness, sleep is CRITICAL. Especially when moods are all jacked up like mine have been recently. We need our sleep to keep those brain waves functioning properly and to give our body and mind rest. Again, sleep for those of us with a mental illness is a MUST!!!

How do you handle insomnia? Share with me your hints for a good night’s sleep

“Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.”  ~Thomas Dekker