Mental Wellness Challenge –  2021, October 5

Mental Wellness Challenge

2021, October 5

Mine is a struggle lately – that’s a truth…   I hope your journey is smooth sailing, your path is easy and bright and that your rewards many!

Last week my challenge for you was:

  1. Treat others in your life the way you would want them to treat you.
  2. Give more, expect less.
  3. Tell someone you love them. Be intentional about this!

 

I played hermit for a big piece of my last week.  Soooo… pretty much the only folks that were in my experience where my family and some good friends.  I do know that I practiced kindness and patience.. I know this because it was work sometimes to do so.  Not that any of my contacts were nasty or rude, just that my mental space has been on the darker side lately and its easy for me (super easy for me) to be cranky.

 

On giving more and expecting less – I don’t feel like I was as successful with the giving more piece as I maybe should have been.  I did try to do my bit – but I feel like I should have been contributing more…  on the expecting less piece, I am starting to get to a place in my experience where I have very little expectations of any other person… I think that is certainly a defense mechanism of some form or fashion… I don’t really expect a bunch from anyone other than myself… Does that mean that I’ve finally started growing up and that I am more self sufficient or does that mean that I am becoming more of a crotchety old hermit??? Not certain…

I do know that I experience far less disappointment when I simply expect nothing of others…  I know that I tend to be a whole lot less cynical when I expect nothing from or of others…(How’s that old saying go.. Blessed are those who expect nothing – for they shall not be disappointed…)

 

On intentionally expressing love – Oh ya – 100%.  I am making a point of ensuring that the folks in my life, who are close, know that I love them.  I express love through actions and words…  I especially make sure that I tell folks that I love them and that I appreciate them in my life.  I’ve learned – maybe a little vicariously – that giving a gift as a token of appreciation isn’t always accepted with the same certainty that the words “’Thanks for doing that for me’, ‘thanks for taking time out of your life to help me with that’ or even ‘I appreciate the love you’ve shown me through your actions’” have. Kindness IS an expression of love and caring –  but sometimes – the words need to be said…


I’m feeling my depression closing in a little more than I like lately.  I have persistent depressive disorder, and depression has been woven into my world.  When I am feeling lighter, brighter, warmer, “easier” the disorder is less noticeable… I know inside that my depression ebbs and flows, comes and goes all on its own… and I am vigilant in regard to guarding against “being surprised” by it.  I watch for the tell tale signals my mind and body send me that indicate to me that I must work harder to stay out of my darkness.

My depression can be insidious.  If I don’t watch – it will grow and grow and then its stronger than I can manage on my own.  (maybe a little like a fire that starts and smolders and if one isn’t mindful – can smolder on for days and weeks and then burst into flames that can’t be managed by one person)

My depression can also be situational… the start of COVID, for example, gave fuel to my anxiety and depression and I couldn’t beat the darkness back without some support of the pharmaceutical nature… but I am certainly feeling stronger now and I am at a place where I can manage my COVID anxiety…mostly..

Lately I’m experiencing another wave of fuel/s for my anxiety and depression…  I know that some folks would just say that this is just life – and life happens – but my brain doesn’t work like most brains and I internalize lots of “issues” that I have zero control over… (THAT’S ANXIETY)  UNCONTROLLABLE RUMINATIONS

This is a little of what I’m sludging through…

I’ve had more folks in my life pass away.  Zero I can do about it, all of their circumstances are unique and different than mine – other than they were all part of my social circle and relatively close to my age.

and

I’ve been experiencing the reality of getting a little older…  there’s some mechanical pieces of my body that are starting to wear and/or be problematic

and

I’m spending time – looking back at my experience – weighing my accomplishments.  Hmph… and my judge (my internal critic) is giving me some significant static… and that part of me is really hard to ignore sometimes…(This ones been with me for a significant piece of time now)

and

I’m experiencing the reality that there’s a whole lot less sand in the top of my hourglass than there is in the bottom… and that’s freaking me out a bit…

I’m certain that I could go on with this list for a while…  maybe a long while…  I know its important for me to “identify” the fuels and triggers..  For some of the STUFF, I can something about it.. for other pieces of my STUFF – I’m not certain what to do and for other pieces – as I have said – there’s zero I can do to influence any of it…

Let’s go for a wander down a “rumination trail”

…in looking at my hourglass.  It happens to everyone – and the best way for me to feel better about the top part is to do things in my experience that give value to the grains that remain.  I know I need to do things that feed me – that give me “joy”.  To use the grains of time I have, to be a person of character, of purpose, of value.  (This sounds so very simple when I write this – and I suppose in a sense it is… my experience is guided or made by the decisions and paths that I take… There’s a piece of the dynamic that is this – I’m not in control of 100% of the grains of sand… – nobody is… stuff happens in everyone’s experience…)  So, I can do the best with what I have…

“What is behind me, is not before me…”  do you remember where that line comes from?  Looking back at what I have managed to accomplish in my life sometimes ‘haunts’ me?  Does it matter?  Do my actions from yesterday have anything to do with my today or my tomorrow?  For me – 100% certain they do.  Using an analogy of an unfinished tapestry – Every breath that I have ever taken is part my who I am today.  The values that I hold dear were forged in my experiences of yesterday.  My values and aspirations are important.  So – again – its up to me to make certain that I take actions that feed me – that bring me joy… cuz… well – there’s that hourglass thing… Perhaps the fact that I’ve lived more days now than I can possibly have coming (this could end tomorrow) should be a freeing kind of thing… (I know that sounds odd…)

I’ve got a few years left to work.  I love my work – or so I’ve been telling myself…  – NO – Sincerely – I love what I do.  I super enjoy watching students “get it”!  Such a rewarding experience.  I really want to make certain that I am getting what I need from my career.  Ya ya… the money is a piece of the puzzle that is there.  I could change jobs and make more money elsewhere, but the money is only a little piece of the rewards I get from my job…  Maybe there’s more that I can get outta my work by doing more?  I don’t know.  It’s the reward piece that drives this…

Some thoughts or maybe filters come to my mind…“WHY AM I DOING WHAT I AM DOING?” AND “WHAT WERE MY CIRCUMSTANCES AT THAT TIME” thought/s…  Blending things back a little – Perhaps, when I am looking back at the accomplishments in my life – I need to look through those two filters… I’ll have to work through this a while… and maybe in the end it won’t matter at all…  The truth of all of this is  –  it doesn’t seem to matter to anyone but me.  I suppose I’m struggling with – “What difference did I make in the world?”  I am seeing now that nobody else – NO ONE – can correlate my experiences and my actions to my circumstances at any time in my life…  I struggle with it myself… “memories are constructive” a good friend taught me… so maybe all of this is a waste of calories…

OK, one last add on to this… Stir all those thoughts round and round, keep all that stuff going in my mind – because that’s what my ADHD does… and what about my boat that got vandalized and what about the myriad of other things that are speeding around on my mind right now…

Maybe I should apologize for being scattered today, last week, whatever… the honest truth is my ADHD is “front and center” lately… there’s a piece of me that says “Your writing the past few posts have been pretty hard to follow” and there’s another piece of me that says “Welcome to my experience…”  so – maybe I won’t apologize…

What comes out of all this:  I know that my depression is bubbling up.  I know there are lots and lots of thought patterns that I need to check, balance, rationalize and validate.  (Self CBT care)  I understand that friends are going to die, and that’s gonna hurt like crazy and make me ponder my own experience and those thoughts are going to bring up issues that I need to check, balance, rationalize and validate.  I know that we are given opportunities to do good in the world and that my “mark”, whatever its going to be – will likely be determined after my ashes are spread… so – I need to do what I can to make certain that I make use of the grains of sand I have left in my glass to make the world a little bit better place, love as much as I can and to try to be happy content…

 

My challenge for you:

  1. Take a look in the mirror and tell the person you see there… that they are incredibly important in the world, that they are loved by many and that the crud they might be experiencing will pass!
  2. Give someone you love a long, long hug. Take some time to feel physically close to someone.
  3. Take note of the wonderful colors of the season before they are gone… cuz… the colors will go…

 

That’s it.

 

I challenge you.

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