I found this great letter on HuffPo via Aaron Flores’ fb page. It’s a letter from a nutritionist to her clients who want their kids put on restrictive diets so they can be thin. Instead of diets she encourages intuitive eating & helping their child develop a healthy relationship with food.
Finally rewriting the About Me page, so I decided to write up my bio. It’s longer than I want on the page, so I shall post it here & link back. 🙂 It feels a little Oliver Twist (before he meets the Artful Dodger), so I would like to say at my core I am a happy person. That is who I believe I truly am. That person just gets overwhelmed sometimes by the other voices waging war inside me. Also, this is meant to outline my mental health experience rather than a full life story. I have lots of funny, happy, good memories. Stick around long enough & I might tell you some!
I was born in the mid-seventies to a couple in rural Alabama, but my story doesn’t start there. I was conceived in drama. I’ll save the details for another time, but even before I knew the truth of my own origin story, I believed we absorb emotions in the womb. Science backs me up, so it seems I was actually born to be sad (& anxious & irritable & angry).
Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live!
~Bob Marley (Brainy Quotes)
After coming out of a years long bout of Depression, I look back on all the years wasted behind me & all I want to do is live. I want everything all at once, & it’s killing me I can’t have it.
People keep telling me to be patient & I am losing my patience with them. There are time-sensitive things I wanted to do, like have a baby, & I’m watching my time slip by me while I can’t even date anyone seriously because I’m not staying here. I’m trying to get out & meet men to at least have some male companionship (winkwinknudgenudge), but it’s so hard when you’ve spent the three years since you had to move home isolated & feeling like a worthless failure. I’m starting from scratch. Being an atheist in the bible belt isn’t helping matters any. Continue reading
New research suggests memory training that helps individuals recall specific events may reduce symptoms of depression.
In a study to be published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science, researchers investigated whether a particular training program, Memory Specificity Training, might improve people’s memory for past events and ameliorate their symptoms of depression.
In Iran, the researchers recruited 23 adolescent Afghani refugees who had lost their fathers in the war in Afghanistan and who showed symptoms of depression.
Twelve of the adolescents were randomly assigned to participate in the memory training program and 11 were randomly assigned to a control group that received no training.
A very interesting study. I can see the merit of this technique. My memories of childhood have always been very spotty. A lot of it wasn’t very happy for me, so have shut much of it out. Over the last several years I have been trying to remember more it, good & bad. It feels important to be able to go back to some of those painful memories of my childhood & get a grown up perspective on them. Most of them have become a lot less scary to me & I feel a little bit of the weight I’ve been carrying around fall away. I’ve also been helped by recapturing some of those happy memories of childhood. Something that has really helped is connecting with my siblings & remembering things. We can laugh & commiserate, & it gives a new, shared perspective on things making them less of a burden.
Reading the entirety of this describing the trainings & how the two groups were measured, I did have one thought: what about the possibility those in the training groups were helped by the group experience? Being with people with a similar experience sharing memories both good & bad? The don’t say if they shared the memories out loud, but if they did it would be a very group therapy type experience. In my experience though, even if they write the memories down rather than share them to the group, people talk.
If given the option, I was definitely participate in this type of training. It also sounds like something that could easily be done on your own.
Where’s the girl I knew that held
A lighter up to the radio,
She’d do anything she wants
Because she can?
~Christian Kane, “Let’s Take A Drive” (House Rules) (Lyrics Gather)
I’ve been listening to Christian Kane’s “Let’s Take A Drive” lately & doing a lot of thinking & feeling. Talking to a friend last night I told her I needed to quit listening to that song because it gives me “all the feels” & makes me think too much. However, as much as it makes me sad, it’s also motivating.
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you probably know the biggest part of my Bipolar Disorder is the Depressions. I have a lot of days where I can’t get out of bed or get motivated to care about anything including myself. This is part of the reason I consider myself a perpetual beginner at running because I have quit so often, going weeks or months without running, that I feel like I am constantly starting over. I’ve been doing much better this year. I have been committed to my running, therapy, taking my meds, & just generally taking better care of myself. All of that has combined to put me in a much better place, which has enabled me to do a much better job of all those things. It’s a cycle of goodness.
Reading this post, much of it rang true to me so naturally I wanted to share it here because I’m sure many of you have either struggled with Depression yourself or have someone close to you who has.
The four main points presented & the parts of them I most identified with are:
- Be on their side. “The person may have lost perspective on how big a problem this actually is. They will find it hard to hear that what is insurmountable for them is actually not such a big deal.” HUGE! No faster way to get me to shut you out than to make light of how I’m feeling.
- Give Plenty of reassurance. “Many people suffering with depression feel unworthy of being loved. ” If you live in this state long enough, even post-Depression it is hard to shake the feeling you don’t deserve to be loved.
- Give understanding & sympathy. “People with depression can spend a lot of time ruminating on their situation and feeling sorry for themselves. Pointing it out to them is not helpful.” Depression blots out anything good in your life, so pointing out some new way for them to be wrong is the opposite of helpful.
- Offer to help. “If you ask, ‘What is the best thing I can do to help you right now?’ don’t be offended if the reply is ‘Leave me alone’. Sometimes, that is the most helpful thing you can do at present.” <<THIS
And another snippet that rings true for me:
Well meaning people often attempt to fix the problem. They may say something like, “Have you tried aromatherapy? There was an article about it in the paper…” This kind of comment can come across as trivializing the illness.
(I am probably guilty of this last one since I’m feeling better. Much like a newly recovering addict, you think you have found the answer & you MUST SHARE IT with everyone because it is so awesome & will change their lives, too!)
People don’t want their lives fixed. Nobody wants their problems solved. Their dramas. Their distractions. Their stories resolved. Their messed cleaned up. Because what would they have left? Just the big scary unknown.
~Chuck Palahniuk (Brainy Quotes)
I’m catching up on the back podcasts of the Mental Health Happy Hour & heard something that got me to thinking. It’s the Danielle Koenig interview. I don’t remember what they were talking about, because these words jumped out at me & that’s all I remember from that part of their conversation.
“It’s abusive to keep dumping on your friends when you won’t get help.”
I’ve been turning that idea of in my mind & trying to decide how I feel about it. A part of me agrees with it, but then a part of me knows what it feels like to be stuck in a problem rut either not knowing what to do or being afraid of what I need to do, or (like now) not being a position to change what is wrong. It’s good to have friends who will listen to you endlessly & encourage you to lift yourself up.
Some people do seem to make a lifestyle out of having problems though. They never want to fix anything because they seem to enjoy the attention they get from being sick or put upon or whatever, or they act like they want to fix it but constantly come with excuses why they can’t. I also think there’s an element of control to it, as well as not having to take responsibility for their lives & actions. They never take care of themselves or do anything to improve their lot, & every time you talk to them the conversation revolves around what’s wrong with them. And we can’t forget if you have any problems, their problems are worse. I grew up with family members like that, & those people really try my patience. For my own sanity, I try to distance myself from people like that.
I often find myself wanting to shake them & tell them to either do something about their problems or shut up. What keeps me from doing that is the memory of having someone say that to me. I have had recurrent suicidal thoughts since I was in high school, & it never goes away regardless of meds or therapy or how good my life is. That is what has led to both my hospitalizations & my residential treatment program (which I ended up in because I refused to be hospitalized again).
I was talking to a friend about feeling suicidal one day, & he told me “Either do it or shut up about it.” This was someone I had been friends with for more than a decade. Needless to say we are no longer friends. It wasn’t an immediate end, but I definitely knew I couldn’t talk to him about how I was feeling anymore. That was very hurtful, especially since he basically told me to kill myself. What a jackass.
So that’s what I’m thinking about now, & would love to hear some other opinions about dealing with people stuck in a problem rut.
In other news, I’m still trying to shake off my mood from last week, but I’m going to start working on my 4mi goal today regardless. Getting back out there will be the surest way to work through the lingering emotions. I can only lay in bed for so long before I start feeling like a lumpy turd.