Tag: BPD

BEWARE! Blogging and Self Esteem

BEWARE! Blogging and Self Esteem

Hello lovely readers! So I had great intentions when I started writing this blog page. I wanted to offer my knowledge and support and maybe make a buck or two along the way. Granted, I have only been writing for a short time, but those of us with self-esteem issues and if your are just starting to create your blog page:

BEWARE!!!

Writing is a great outlet for me and I believe it can be for anyone. I used to write emails to my therapist; long drawn out details of my life and where I was at and what was going on. We had an agreement that he would not answer my email, but he would read them and we could discuss them at any appointment. Some people might find that cold of him, but I believe it was how he needed to set his boundaries and I have always respected that. Even in the latest hours of the night and darkest moments of my writing, I knew he would read my words, digest them and be prepared to talk about them. And that was enough for me.

Blogging is similar in the fact that I think someone is “out there” reading my words and taking something away from them. The problem is those damn analytical stats that are available to you 24/7. Do you know what I am talking about? No matter what platform you use for blogging (WordPress, which I use, Blogger, Reddit, etc), they all have a page where you can review your readership numbers. Which blogs have been read, how many people have visited your site, on and on. If you are a data person, it’s quite interesting. If you struggle with self-worth or positive self-esteem, this page can be a bit harrowing to look at.

Here is a look at a portion of my current analytics page:

analytics 1.jpg

Have you ever been on a diet and you start obsessing about the scale? You check the scale at least once a day, if not more. It can be depressing to watch the scale go up and you are sooooo happy when it goes down. And when it goes up you beat yourself up because of that last bowl of ice cream you ate or some yummy donut. It can be an emotional rollercoaster. For some of us at least.

I have noticed a similar feeling with watching the analytics page on my blog. I feel great when I see more readers and feel rather a failure when there is hardly anyone looking at the page. I decide that I want to give up and figure nobody wants to hear what I have to say. It is a vicious game being played in my brain. I know I just need to “STOP” and look at the reasons why I am really writing this blog and determine if it’s ok that my readership is small. Am I enjoying the process of writing, creating, finding photos to post and more? The answer is yes! I do enjoy this whole blogging process. It gives me  a focus and gives me pleasure. I just have to throw away that damn “scale!”

scale

So if you are new to blogging or have been around for while, try not to look at the analytics page. At least not so often. Those of us struggling with self esteem or mental illness need whatever help we can give ourselves to stay on track.

So WRITE, CREATE, ENJOY what you are doing. Ultimately, it’s for your own benefit and feel good about what you are doing. At least for this moment.

Jenny

When PAIN gets us down..what to do?

When PAIN gets us down..what to do?

I am stepping away from the blog challenge. While some of the topics are interesting to me, some are not and I would rather write about topics that provide both myself and you some knowledge, laughter, hints, whatever the case may me. I am still trying to define what my niche may be in writing this blog. Mental Illness and managing a mental illness is near and dear to my heart. Having diagnoses of Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder keep me having to always stay on top of my health, mental and otherwise. I hope I can share with you what has worked for me over the years.  It’s can be a struggle, I know.

Have you ever dealt with long-term pain? If so, you know how incredibly hard it can be to “keep your chin up.” Chronic pain can drain every bit of our being, both physically and mentally. We want to be positive, but it’s hard. We appreciate everyone’s concern, but it can be hard to either not complain, or else just let it all out and talk about every single painful twitch. We sleep like crap almost every night and we are sick and tired of feeling totally immobile. Have we been there? YES!

My chronic pain with my hip has been going on for at least 4 years. I had surgery last year and then a hip replacement this year that had serious complications. I am now sitting here wondering if I will be using a walker the rest of my life, I am 51!

So what do we do? I am hopeful, but not convinced that this long-term pain will resolve. I can only imagine how those of you living in chronic pain LIVE at times?  Let’s look at a few ideas.

I found this great slide show article from WebMD that give some advice on easing your pain STRESS:

https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/ss/slideshow-pain-tips

I laughed when the first slide was Excercise!!!! We sure don’t want to exercise when we hurt!! But, I KNOW it helps. It may not help the pain at hand, but it keeps us strong. And for those of us who are not particularly mobile, get some handweights (or ankle weights if your shoulders hurt); do some stretches…just a little is better than nothing. I have an alarm set on my phone at 11:00am and 5:00pm everyday to do my exercises. That keeps me on track.

Relaxation (find at least one or two positions where we can be comfortable), avoid alcohol and cigarettes, give ourselves some down time, journal (or blog), and most important, ASK FOR HELP if we are feeling that dark cloud surround us a little more than normal.

chronic pain.jpg

Pain is NO FUN! It’s hard to deal with and when we are in an extended period of pain it can be even more troubling to handle than “normal”  short term pain.  Remember, we are not alone in our pain, and we are not alone in our healing. It’s ok if we don’t want to talk, but starting to completely withdraw can make our mental health suffer.

Share with me how you live with your pain, chronic or otherwise. Please share any hints you may have. Thanks and take care of YOU!

Jenny

Go Grocery Shopping with Me!!!!

Go Grocery Shopping with Me!!!!

For today I am asked to show you what’s in my refrigerator – EEK!!!!! NOOOOOO!!!! Let’s just say my fridge needs a thorough cleaning and I am not quite wanting to show it to you. So instead I thought I would take you to the grocery store with me, or rather show you what I bought on today’s outing.

It was nice to get outside. The weather here is unusually warm and so a trip to the store with my son was a good thing. I still can’t get used to cruising around the store on one of those scooters. My eye level is so thrown off that I can’t seem to shop correctly. Let’s just hope I don’t HAVE to get used to it – that here soon I will be able to walk once again. So I scootered around, hoping that the battery wouldn’t die and with my son’s help,  picked out a few things from the store.

It’s funny how my shopping has changed over the years. I have 4 children, 2 who are out of the house, one that is almost out and my youngest who is home with me for at least a couple more years. Grocery shopping is  something I have always enjoyed doing. I know, that sounds crazy, but when I was married and my kids were little, I could leave the kids with their dad and spend my time shopping for a family of 6 and take my time. To this day, grocery shopping offers some peace and yes, a bit of stress reduction. I always go when I know I am not in a rush. I guess it’s a tool in my my toolbox for positive mental health.

So yes, my shopping has changed from TONS of food to just small amounts once maybe twice a week. I think back to the huge cartfuls of food and wow, I should have been stressed!!! So today was just a small trip with few items:

fruit.JPG

 

Yum! I like having fresh fruit in the house. Bananas are always a necessity and this time of year little cutie oranges are sooo tasty. Fuji apples happen to be both mine and my son’s favorite, and today a couple of avocados as well. I like having toast and smushing avocado and spreading it on the toast with some salt and pepper. Tasty and healthy.

 

 

 

 

candle pic.JPG

 

Here are just a few non food items. I always like to have a candle lit in winter time and this tropical fruit one smells so good. Time to stock up on deoderant, and this is the hair gel that my son has found that he really likes (for under $10) L’Oreal Out of Bed Texturizer , and you can find it on Amazon for under $5.00!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

food on oven

 

Here is most everything else that we bought today. I think a gallon of milk and a half gallon of mint chocolate chip ice cream was already put away. We enjoy making breakfast burritos, sometimes for dinner as well; eggs, sausage, tortillas, cheese and it tastes so good and is so easy. I don’t really have any dinner type food, but I know our freezer has raviolis, chicken breasts, ground beef and veggies.  And as you can see, cookies, orange chicken, cottage cheese and tortilla chips round up the shopping adventure.

 

 

What do you shop for?  Are you making any health resolutions or changing your eating habits now that we are into 2018?  I don’t feel like I eat UN-healthy. Could I eat better?  Of course. But to be perfectly honest I do treat myself more often right now during my recuperation. It’s rather depressing to not be able to walk without a walker or really go anywhere, so a special sweet treat makes the a day a little brighter.

Do you enjoy any of the items I purchased today?  Let me know!

Jenny

Love to Binge (watch)!

Love to Binge (watch)!

Hello and Happy New Year!! I hope today finds you healthy and filled with Peace. It was a quiet New Year’s for me, though I did hear firecrackers go off around the neighborhood. I am thankful that my dogs don’t suffer from the panic of fireworks. I always feel so sad thinking about dogs that are in this state of fear and they just can’t do anything about it. Even us humans can have a very hard time dealing with certain fears. It takes a lot of mindful thinking to be able to get through moments that we just think are unbearable. And those that have panic attacks….they are horrid. I suffered from them for years and years;  they just happen upon you  when you are least expecting it and you don’t know why. It takes hard work, but you can learn to understand what is going on when you are in such a state of panic and start to calm yourself. So back, to the poor dogs, I wish they could calm themselves in those times of fear.

Here is my Cooper when he was baby…so darn cute I just had to share.

cooper puppy.jpg

I rather digressed from my topic at hand. Today I am asked about TV viewing. Do I binge watch shows? Yes, not all of the time, but yes. I grew up in the days of just plain tv – no Netflix or Hulu or Amazon. Besides being able to watch episodes one after another, the absolute best invention in TV history is that pause button!  To be able to pause live TV!! I was astounded when that feature came to pass – AMAZING!! I can pause to talk to someone, I can pause and skip commercials, I can even rewind from my pause to watch something again!!  When I was recently in the hospital the tv didn’t have a pause button. I realized how much I use it and how awesome it really is.

So what am I watching these days?

1.Grey’s Anatomy – my oldest daughter got me on this show a few years ago. She convinced me to give it a try, and I was hooked!! I spent a whole summer binge watching the seasons – gosh were there 11 at the time?  And she and I were both so excited when it came back to television with new seasons that are just as good.  I am (im)patiently waiting for the next season

greysanatomy

2. Downton Abbey – I never could watch it because it was not on live streaming, or so I thought. I just found it last week on Amazon Prime Video for free! I am so happy because being laid up, I really needed a good long show to watch and this is great! I love the show and the costumes are just beautiful as well as the scenery.

download.jpg

3. MSNBC – this is my go-to news channel to watch when I am not watching local news. I like most of the reporters, but UGH! Can these news channels talk about anything besides politics?  It get’s so very tiring. At least watching my local news and then ABC Nightly News can bring a bit of diversity to the news.  I do enjoy watching Meet The Press with Chuck Todd. Great guests? Great Topics? Interesting Interviews?  Yes that is true, but I mostly watch it because Chuck Todd is so damn cute!!!! Hahahaha, it’s true!

mtp-70th-logo

 

4. San Francisco 49ers – they have been my team for probably 40 years!!! Oh goodness I feel old!  But I love watching them. A few weeks ago, my Dish programming didn’t have them on (see my blog.Who me? Frustrated?. I guess I wasn’t the only person upset because their games are back on my channels. Oh and is it ok to mention cute again? Our new quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo makes our losing season a bit more bearable to watch.

rs-san-francisco-49ers-da4a6223-6fd2-4649-b4fb-f3e224bce847

So that’s about all that I have on my TV these days. Do I like to binge watch?  Yes, it has its positives. What about you?  What shows do you enjoy? Do you have certain genres of shows that you like depending on your mood?  Let me know!

Jenny

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.

trees_road_fog_fence_morning_stakes_26384_1920x1080-450x253

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.

Jenny

 

Life Always Offers You a Second Chance..

Life Always Offers You a Second Chance..

Day three offers me the chance to write about quotes. I love quotes. I really do. There are some that make me feel like I am understood, others that have made me feel less alone, and quotes that I love to share with others so they can take a peek into who I am. Yes, I am one of those people that have a “quote signature” with my email and it’s fun to change it up from time to time. Right now on my personal email the quote it:

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.  -Buddha

And then for my work email, it reads:

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”– Anne Frank

I remember being a little girl and my parents had a giant book of “Bartlett’s Quotations.” I would have a little notebook and write down words that I thought were special or beautiful. I guess this quote love has always been a thing for me!

I do have a favorite quote. It has had a special meaning to me for so many years. I remember one night during my darkest days I came across it. The words were like a beacon of light, a spot of hope.

life life

I must have been in the very perfect spot in my brain function to accept these words and grab on to them and hold them. Living through the tumultuous  moods of Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder can be very challenging. But words can click. They can make you unclick as well and so understanding your inner self as you react to words is very important. It takes practice to understand your reactions, but if and when you can, and the words and feelings click. Hang on to that – if only for a moment.

I offer these words to all of us who are having a tough time. Holidays can sometimes make things harder for people. Be gentle with yourself. And if everything feels bleak, remember that you always have a new day to hang in there for.

Jenny

A wonderful resource for famous quotations – from Amazon

Don’t Hold Me To It!!

Don’t Hold Me To It!!

me polaroid So it seems that many people who start blogs use a 30 day blog challenge to get them into the writing habit. I have looked at a bunch of these challenge lists and I don’t really like all of the questions. Hmmmm, Jenny, you could make your own list?! Grand idea, but I think I will stick with the one I have.

I will start this challenge telling you that there is high likelihood that I will end up on different topics or just not doing the complete challenge all together, but who knows, I may surprise myself!

Day one of this challenge says to introduce myself and use a current photo. So this is me. I am 51 years old and I think I mentioned in another blog that I recently decided to embrace my age (well, that may be an overstatement), and let my hair go gray. Funny how this picture  may hair isn’t particularly gray. Hahaha, I think I need to find some new shampoo to brighten my silver. Any ideas? Anyway, I have 4 wonderful children, 2 girls, 2 boys (23, 20, 18 and 16). I have been truly blessed with 3 grandchildren and am able to see them quite often. Being a mother has been the one “job” in my life that I have loved more than anything. It is what defined me for so many years and for that I am so happy. Now being a grandmother, I have a whole new gift to love.

I am single and have been for over 12 years (wow, more years than I was married!). I have my ups and downs with being single as I suppose many of us do at this point in our lives. There are times when I so wish I could have a close romantic and personal relationship and other times where my life feels fine without having to seek out a relationship such as that. That’s where I am right now in my life and I am content.

My career life has run the gamut from owning a restaurant, working as a special needs aide, managing a garden center and now a grants manager for a non profit. I don’t think I have ever really truly found my “spot” in the work world. I suppose there is still time. For now I have a decent job in an organization that helps others so that is good.

For the physical/mental part of who I am there have been a lot of challenges. My body feels well beyond it’s 51 years which is rather depressing, but I am trying to heal from recent surgeries and become more physically fit. My mental life has been quite tumultuous. Years and years of dealing with a panic disorder and some depression which as I aged popped into over a decade of learning to live a diagnosis of Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder. Multiple hospitalizations and years of therapy and psychiatric care and a lot of work within me has brought me to a place where I am healthier in my mental Self than I have been in years. I have the correct “cocktail” of meds and my self help skills and work in Dialectical Behavior Therapy have been my saving grace.

So there you have it – a little bit about me and Day One on the challenge. Share your blog with me, I would love to read others’ words who are on this challenge.

Jenny

kids n grandkids

Oooohhh it’s dark!

Oooohhh it’s dark!

The clouds are just crazy-ass dark this evening!! I love it!! There are times in my life when I might look at the clouds and relate them to the darkness of life. But not tonight. They are beautiful and show impending weather that might be exciting. I love the weather…well maybe not the 100 degree heat, but all other weather and seasons. I am hopeful that tonight these dark clouds may bring some thunder or more.

The Sierra Club always publishes such beautiful calendars every year: