Tag: #grateful

Yo-yo, and it’s no game

Yo-yo, and it’s no game

Hello All!

I have been having trouble deciding on what to write today. It has been one of those weeks that I am up and down and the yo-yo is not a fun game. Have you ever tried to actually yo-yo? I just realized how easy it is for the yo-yo ball to go down and so much harder to bring it back up again. Interesting analogy about how our brains can work like that little game….easy to feel down and much harder to feel up. Anyway, I am having a tough time on a topic so I checked out a page that has ideas for blog prompts.  82 ideas that are quite interesting and adaptable to blogs.  I decided that writing about the 10 things I am grateful for this week would be a good idea. Sometimes writing those positives can help when a mood is a bit erratic or more on the downside.

So here we go – enjoy and I hope you can find your 10 grateful things for your week. Or if you are struggling, it’s ok if you can only find 1 or two…I’ve been there and its way too easy to be hard on ourselves if we are not feeling particularly grateful, so try to appreciate what comes to mind and maybe next week or next month your list will grow.


1.For this week and what comes to mind first and foremost is I am grateful for my therapist. I saw him yesterday and the feeling of immediate peace, confidentiality and comfort when I sit down in his office is sooo mind-settling. I have been seeing my therapist for about 8 years (hmm maybe longer, I don’t want to think about that right now). I have Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder and there were years when I was getting such intensive therapy and psychiatric help that I was seeing him twice a week and the doctor every other week. Someday I will write more about my time in therapy, but for today I will say that I am so grateful that I had an appointment with him  on Friday (it’s been about 5 weeks since we last met) and for having that place that I can share anything and everything that I want and need to.

2. So this morning I have been working on my budget. Recently my child support was cut in half because my 3rd child turned 18. I am figuring out how my youngest son and I will manage with the change in my bank account. I am trying to remain positive and for today I am grateful that I can sit here in my own home, food on the table, bills paid and even a nice front yard to spend time in. I know I will make the best path for my financial future that I can. It’s just finding that path that can be challenging at times.

3. I am forever grateful for my mom. We do not live close to each other, but we talk on the phone all the time and I just love our conversations and laughter. She has been so very supportive of me for my whole life, through thick and thin. I am 12,305% grateful for my relationship with her. I can’t imagine not having my mom in my life.


4.I am grateful for how flexible my supervisor has been with me during my time of physical healing. She is allowing me to telecommute as well as come into the office when I can. I know in this area that I live there are not many places that would be this accommodating.

5. My 18-year-old son just came in my room to talk. We have had a bit of a yo-yo relationship over the years, but I am so thankful that we still laugh and talk and enjoy a bit of time together. He is moving out of the house in less than two weeks. While I know it is time for him to move (for both of our sakes), I’ll still miss him. Gratefully we will be in the same town so it won’t be toooo hard for me to see him go.

6. This is going to sound ridiculous, but I am grateful for my tv and Dish network. I am a more introverted person and single to boot. It’s nice that I can come home and watch shows that keep me informed (Meet the Press), shows that make me laugh (Ellen), shows that are pure entertainment (Greys Anatomy) and local news to find out the weather!!!!  Silly, but I am grateful!!


7.I am grateful for my fairly stable mind and mental health. Even when I am having days or weeks such as these, I have learned how to monitor myself and not let that yo-yo hit the ground. My mental illness is still part of who I am. Each and every day it is in my mind, but definitely a bit further back than it used to be. I don’t fear every day that I will have a relapse in my health. So that is very good thing.

8.I don’t want to sound cliché, but I truly am grateful for all of my children, each and every day, each and every week. I mentioned my oldest son; My daughters are 24 and 20, my youngest son is 16. They make me smile, of course they can also make me cry. But without a doubt I am so blessed to have 4 such wonderful kids. They are becoming adults and our relationships are changing as they age into something new and wonderful.

9. Hmmmmm making a list like this can be challenging!!! Should I be grateful for this blog? Well of course!! It continues on and I am enjoying sharing parts of who I am with you and it is a healing experience as well.

Well, look here, I only came up with 9. And you know what? That is ok. I will be ok that this is my list for today, for this moment. I am trying to force myself to find #10 and with that comes frustration and a feeling of being angry at myself. Angry because I “should” easily have a list of ten, but I don’t. So rather than heading down that path, I will pull that string up and be ok. Be satisfied with my list and carry on with my day.  I hope you can be satisfied with your list as well.

Take Care


unsplash-logoGlenn Carstens-Peters

Calling a Suicide Hotline

Calling a Suicide Hotline

Many  of us with mental illness have time in our lives when we feel utterly alone, confused and in the dark depths of our illness. We want to cry our for help, but at the same time we don’t want anyone to know how bad we are really feeling.


Have you been there?  I know I have many times.

If you have never called a crisis line, I want to share with you what it’s like – from our side and from the side of the person or agency you are talking with.

I have had several times in my life that I have called the Crisis Hotline. For me, I called the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK). There are many crisis lines in this country that are for set up for a variety of topics. At the time of my first call, I didn’t know who to call so the Lifeline was my choice. I remember it was very late at night, my kids were at their father’s house and I was alone in my despair. I was terrified to call because I thought that they would immediately send someone to my house and take me away. I finally felt brave enough (or desperate enough) to make the call. I was on hold for what was only 10 or 15 seconds, but it felt like an eternity. A calm woman’s voice came on the line and just started “talking me down.”  I know I was very wound up and talking 100 miles per hour, but I held on to her voice. I don’t recall what all we talked about. I do know that I took my phone outside as we continued our conversation (a very useful tool when you are in such distress is to go outside, feel that fresh air, if only for a moment). We talked for maybe a half an hour and she and I together made a plan for me to go to sleep and contact my therapist the next day. The woman on the other end of phone truly was my lifeline and guide that night and I was so grateful.


Of the handful of times that I called in over the years, they were all very positive experiences except for one. On one occasion the woman I was talking to did not jive with what I needed. I remember getting angry with her. I don’t know what it was; was she judging me? Most likely I was judging myself and I projected those feelings on to her. I still feel bad about it all these years laters, but I know that the responders are trained to handle many different situations.

And speaking of that I want to share with you what happens on the responders side when a call comes in. About 4 years ago I decided I wanted to try and volunteer at the call center in my area. I wanted to make a difference and help others like I had been helped. What an absolutely amazing experience. I had over 80 hours of training before I took my first call. I would work a 4 hour shift along with a few others. Our call room was small, about 6 lines, and the center is considered a hub for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (there are several hub cities throughout the country where calls are cycled to). Those first calls I took were a bit scary, but once I got going, I really thought I excelled at working call line, interacting with people in distress and bringing them to a better mental place. I had calls from people who were actively suicidal, to women who were in situations of abuse, to those in crisis of depression, panic or similar. And then you get the oddball calls like someone trying to do their homework and needing information and those who have oversexual tendencies and want to “talk” to the responder.  Very interesting to say the least. I would have like to have volunteered longer, but for me, the drive was an hour each way and with 4 kids and a full time job, I just couldn’t make it work. I hope someday I am able to volunteer again

So what happens when you call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)?  First off there is a short recording that encourages veterans to “push 2” so they can be connected with specially trained veteran responders. Otherwise, you are on a brief hold and your call is going to get cycled to wherever in the country there is the first open line. So most likely, whomever you are talking to will not live anywhere close to you. I had calls from all over the country. The responder has a computer that they are inputting any data they may collect from you (name, sex, diagnoses, immediate issues, etc). This is done partly for data collection reasons (which that data helps in grant applications later as these lines are non-profit), but it is also helpful if a person calls again someday, the responder can bring up some useful information.

The responder has been trained for all types of situations. If a caller is actively suicidal there is an exact protocol that gets followed. If there is some type of active abuse or crime happening, the responder is able to be in contact with local authorities.  Most of the time the responder is there to listen, to offer support, to guide the caller into determining how best they can provide self care, reach out for support, search for resources. If the responder and caller can talk about resources in the callers area, it is very helpful.  The responders use 211.org to locate local resources.

Again, the responder is there to listen – to YOU! It is not a thing to fear and you only tell the responder whatever you want to tell them.  They are not going to force name, address, phone number or anything of the sort from you. This call is your SAFETY NET. And you don’t have to feel actively suicidal to call.  Some states and cities have a general crisis number you can call.


I urge anyone who is feeling any type of mental distress to call. I know it may be scary at first, but you will find that the person on the other end of the line wants to help you, wants to offer comfort, guidance and resources. I am so grateful that these crisis lines exist. And for all of the volunteers out there that work on the lines, I thank you.

Take Care




Photo Credits:

unsplash-logoJames Sutton

unsplash-logoAaron Mello

unsplash-logoMatthew Brodeur

unsplash-logoJessica Castro

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