Mental Wellness Challenge – 2021, September 13

Mental Wellness Challenge – 2021, September 13

I’m back, I’m still here…  To be honest – I don’t know if my taking a break from my weekly check ins with myself was a great thing to do or not…

In my July 21 post I challenged you to:

  1. Live your best life. Ups and downs, ins and outs…  Soak up each and every moment with the realization that our time on this rock is limited and we don’t have an infinite number of days to enjoy.
  2. Love your family. Love your friends. Love your community. Love yourself. (See challenge one.)
  3. Write down some of the wonderful and maybe not so wonderful pieces of your experience – journal a little – so that you have something to give you personal perspective.

I sincerely hope that you were able to meet the challenge.  I’ll share how I did on those points…

 

Living my best life.  There are still times where I feel I don’t really know how to do this, but I muddle on.  I found myself resisting lots of the ebb and flow of my experience, my life, these past six weeks or so.  Some parts of my life have been super easy and I was able to soak in them, and extract all that I could from them… other parts of my experience have been more difficult to do that with… I shared the idea of “emotional viscosity” with a friend over a coffee a while back.  Truly, some parts of my experience are just “thicker” to get through, take way more effort and I find myself struggling to see the scenery as it goes by… so I am certainly not living my “best life” during those thick times.  I am not certain, but I think that if I were to stop and try to “soak” in those thick spaces, I might just get stuck in some congealing glob…

 

Love, love, love… Sincerely – this concept of my life is what keeps me going.  Loving my Karen, my kids, my grand babies, my grand pets is so “recharging”.  Loving my friends, community and neighbors fills me too and I find that when I am sincere and mindful, the benefit for me is experience wide.  Its certainly not easy or simple to do.  I am judgmental, quick tempered, opinionated and coarse… so weaving love into the reality of my experience takes effort…

 

Journaling – This is a piece that I should really have done more of over the past six weeks or so.  I need to get my “stuff” out of my head and on to paper.  Journaling really does help me see and be more of the good things in my life and less of the darker things in my life.  Journaling is an active process of filtering out the misconceptions, the undertones, the “internal roommate” that all tend to be more negative.  The other piece that journaling does for me is that it helps me to see things in my experience that I need to have gratitude for.  So bringing focus to the things in my life that I need to acknowledge and be grateful for and helping to filter out the muck, the grit, the sulphury – oily – smelly yuck is a big part of what my writing does…


I’ve been struggling lately… in an emotionally thick and gooey space.  I’m in a space where I feel like I just don’t measure up.  I’m not even certain to what standard it is that I am not measuring up to, but I feel like I’m not “getting it”.  I know that I wrote about this just last post… but this is something that I’m stuck in and it’s a significant part of my experience at this point in time.

These feelings of “being less than”, unworthiness, not measuring up and failure (trying to paint what I am talking about) have been a chunk of my experience my whole life from what I can remember.  These feelings are most certainly the piece of my experience that caused me to seek out praise, positive reinforcement from others…  I can intellectualize this and see that I’ve “DONE OK.”  Even now, just hitting the keys to type that out – I have this battle in my mind – and its not even “yin and yang”… white hat, black hat… the feeling is different than that… Those “colors” permeate my experience…

I know (intellectually) that those are the colors of my journey with ADHD, Anxiety, Depression… (At this point in my life – if I had to hypothesize chicken and egg – I’d say that the first D I had was ADHD, then likely PTSD from childhood experiences and what not and then anxiety disorders and depression popped up like all the mushrooms that are springing up all over the place lately.)

It’s not likely that I am going to 100% conquer all of that… I don’t know how that would ever happen… So – my question to myself is – “What do you need to be enough?”  “What does ‘Being enough’” look like?  I think I have had glimpses of enough at points in my life…  I go round and round with this… maybe its just my mental health boogie or something…  I’m certain lots of other people have the same or similar struggles…

I do know that the only resource where I am going to find a solution to this round and round is my own mind.  I know that for me routine, patterns, consistency, diligence, mindfulness, focus are essential tools in keeping me out of the thick, dark, consuming forest that is my mental illness.

Where am I?  For sure depression is a part of where I am right now… I know this for sure because I have a persistent sense of anxiousness – What this feels like for me is something like the feeling I get when I have been in an intense argument with someone – even if I proved my point… that gut tight feeling during and afterward… Or maybe that pissed on feeling I get when I get scammed on an internet purchase… grrr… however, instead of this emotional loading being specifically situational, its just present – on going – difficult to ignore, impossible to deal with because I don’t really know where its coming from…. That’s the anxiety of (in) my depression…  That’s where I am right now… so I have to be “ON IT”.  I have to watch what I let myself think.  I have to watch the “reality” of where my thoughts go.

That should be easy enough eh?  Just don’t think that way, just snap out of it… Just quit it…

I hear that/those kinds of comments very often… even from my own head… but its not easy.  Its not cut and dry.  This isn’t something that I can just turn off… Even when I strongly, intentionally ignore those sensations – they permeate me… they make it difficult to think, to speak, to be socially even (balanced).

So, getting back at the keyboard is a powerful tool for me… it makes me examine my thoughts more closely… I gain accountability for my thoughts in a way.

Sometimes I think about my mental health and wellness and I see the circles that I go round and round in and I get frustrated that there’s no resolution to my issues… so maybe when people read these pieces of my life that I share… they will see the round and round and round and maybe – they’ll see that mental health for some folks is cyclical – that this is a real challenge, that the ongoing struggle is real…. Maybe?  Or Maybe they see this as the same old story… and I suppose that’s their perspective… the only thing I would rebut about that is… ITS NEVER THE SAME CIRCLE.  Sincerely, if casting off all my Ds were as easy as say – breaking an addiction to tobacco or alcohol – I would have already done it.

So, I am reminded very strongly that being diligent in my efforts, focusing on my values, being persistent with my work on my own mental wellness, taking actions – actually doing the work of getting through the gooey bits, being aware and vigilant regarding reality versus perception, maintaining my mental health supports, staying connected to the important folks in my life, accepting that my life is different than others live and that I have do my life on purpose…  I am reminded very strongly that I have to keep working my wellness model…


This week I challenge you to:

  1. In through your nose, out through your mouth… You don’t need to close your eyes or anything… just take in 5 good breaths and pay attention to the breaths you take…. Because… as simple as this sounds – you can’t retake a breath… so make good on the breath you take.
  2. If you have a photo album or pics on your phone – take a minute or two and browse through some photos… I’ve got a digital picture frame and it plays photos from a whack that I have in a big album. Seeing pictures of my kids, my wife , my grand babies and my friends go by reminds me to smile.
  3. Practice a little gratitude each day.

That’s it – I challenge you.

 

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