Happy People & Positivity: An Annoying Trend

This post from a friend of mine is spot-on…It’s not that happy or positive people annoy me so much (I’m often one of them) so much as that some people speak as though positive thoughts are the be-all, end-all of healing…while I know how destructive negative thoughts can be as they mount up, it’s not always a *matter* of thoughts. Sometimes it truly is a physical, medical problem. Good thoughts certainly help, but to imply that someone with a medical condition only has the problems they do because they lack faith/don’t think the right way/etc is beyond insulting. Like La Sabrosona states, no one would ever say that about cancer or learning disabilities. It’s really easy to sum something up as being due to “laziness” or “thinking badly” when it doesn’t affect you or someone you love.

Come to think of it, I *do* know of some people who would say that about at least *some* learning disabilities. I’m just glad I’m not their kid.


Sh*t People Say to People with Mental Illness 

A very entertaining but sadly true post.

wehaveapples

“We all get the blues!”

You: Um, so… I can’t function on a daily basis. I’m on the floor right now, unable to move. I’ve been sobbing for so long that I can’t breathe. This is my everyday. This is NOT “the blues.”

“Just be strong and put on a smile.”

You: Obviously I’ve tried that. I’ve gone to the Olive Garden and eaten breadsticks and spaghetti like a champ, talked about the weather, and smiled my best smile (while simultaneously losing it inside) 30 mins at table smiling, 4 mins in bathroom crying, back to table smiling for another 15. “Check please.” I’m trying so hard. Thanks for making me feel worse about myself and like I’m weak. I’m already ashamed.

“My cousin cured her depression by eliminating gluten.”

You: Ya, so you’re making me feel worse. *cries and eats almond flower cookie*

“This will be your new doctor-…

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My Thoughts On Life and a Plug For a Friend

I was reading a devotional book this morning from a pastor friend of mine who has bipolar disorder when something really caught my eye.

The book was Delight In Disorder-Ministry, Madness, Mission by Tony Roberts. Here’s a really cool website about the book and its author: http://awaywithwordsforyou.com/#

Here are some other quotes from his book: http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/40808173-delight-in-disorder-ministry-madness-mission.

Anyway, I was reading one of the devotionals where he talks about his experiences with suicide attempts. In one of them, he says that he felt a strange blend of “both shame and gratitude”-gratitude that his attempt to kill himself didn’t work, but shame that he’d tried it to begin with.

Although I am doing well now, I can relate to him. I myself have never actually tried to commit suicide, but there were times in my life-both as a teenager and as an adult-where I wondered if my life was really worth living. At one point I thought that it would be easier on everyone else if I had died in the accident I got into in 2005-my husband wouldn’t had to go through all of our savings to pay for my medical bills and equipment; we wouldn’t have had to struggle so much financially because of the loss of my (meager) income; I had a lot of other medical bills later on down the line because of some health conditions the doctors couldn’t figure out…do you see a theme here? Yes, I know it’s not about the money, but as someone who’s struggled to the point of having to file bankruptcy because of credit card debt, I know how stressful money problems can be and how it can infect every other area of your life.

I remember saying something about these feelings in 2007 and got a very bad reaction-I was accused of being an attention whore because I was mad that someone else was the center of attention in the group instead of me. Let me pause by telling you one thing: Probably the worst thing you can do to a suicidal friend is accuse them of something like this. They already feel worthless and unwanted; screaming at them and calling them names will only confirm this. It’s one thing if it’s a boyfriend threatening to hurt himself if you break up with him, but another thing altogether when your friend has a known problem that has a tendency to flare up. The people who said this knew I was having problems and, while something much more serious than this had just happened to one of our friends, anyone who knows me at all knows that I would never threaten suicide to get attention. Never. Plus, if I really wanted attention, I’m sure I could find a much more interesting way to get it. Damn, at least give me some credit.

Anyway, about the feelings…a lot of them probably came because my bipolar medication wasn’t working along with/because of the other health problems I’d been having, but a lot of it was feeling worthless because I couldn’t *be* anything-I couldn’t be a mom because of some, um, physical problems the accident caused, nor could I be a career woman like I wanted to be. I’d tried to be several times, but the mental stuff always got in the way. I did not always have these problems; bipolar often sets on in early adulthood, so it’s possible to go through school and set all these goals early on and then not be able to reach them. Ditto my ADHD. I know I talk about this a lot-probably too much. It’s not who I am. It may not run my life, but it definitely has had effects other bloggers can relate to. That’s how I found most of my follow list; they wrote a post I came across on another site and vice versa. They have it much rougher than I do, so my stuff is small potatoes.

A lot of the time you don’t feel depressed so much as numb. You want to reach out to others, but you just can’t find the energy. That’s how it’s been with me for a while now.  Like a friend once said, you’re not depressed so much as bored. That’s one reason you stay in your hidey-hole and don’t talk to people-nothing interesting is going on and you don’t want to drag your friends down. You don’t speak because you don’t have anything to say. It’s not hard to get confused.

You know what’s interesting? I think I always knew I wouldn’t do it…that I always knew that there was always life, that there was a light at the end of the tunnel-I just hadn’t seen it yet. I think I knew that Jesus was still there, I just couldn’t feel Him. It’s weird how I have to remind myself that His existence and care for us is not contingent on our ability to feel Him. I’m happy for people who feel His presence a lot and I certainly have too, but I don’t want to base my entire belief or spiritual “system” on this kind of emotion the way I did before. Sometimes it feels as though I don’t seek Him because I don’t think to the way other people do, but it doesn’t matter because I know He’s always there.

My brain and I are both doing very well now, so there’s no need to be alarmed. All of this happened a long time ago, but reading the devotional made me think about it. Thanks for listening to me ramble on like a freak. Have a good day!


My ‘Children’…Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge

Many people know know me well know I love to take pictures. This is a relatively new finding-I started on a trip to England with some friends and haven’t stopped! Unfortunately the only equipment I have to work with is an iPod and the camera on my phone (or phones I no longer use). Still, I think they turned out pretty damned good. Others, not so much, which is why I might not have published or shown some of the earlier ones. Most of these were taken with my old LG for Verizon, but not all.  Anyway, here are the “weird” photos I’d like to submit to Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge. http://ceenphotography.com/cees-odd-ball-photo-challenge/

Haley and Slater, two of the sweetest cats in the world!

Haley and Slater (from left)
Two of the sweetest cats in the world! They can often be found in various affectionate poses. Slater also likes to run around the house like a madman, chasing after nothing. Maybe he sees something I don’t

Hey, I told Daniel Tiger I’d scan him in if he didn’t move…:)

I miss my Daniel Tiger. 😦

“Mommy, yoo-hoo! I’m waiting!!!!

Missy, c. 6 mos

Now let’s play Find The Kitty!:

Toby is a Manx…this breed of cat is born without a tail. He’s what’s called a ‘rumpy riser’, because he has a little ‘nub’ he moves up and down.  Strangely, though, he is the only one I’ve ever seen chase his ‘tail’….*shakes head*.  Freak!

He’s a total chunk, weighing what feels like 12-15 pounds. Believe it or not, he’s not the fattest cat we know. I know one who weighs 26 pounds. Yes, you read that right. 26. What’s interesting is that he feels pretty solid, although I’m sure there’s some fat under there.

Here are some other photos I just feel like posting:

“Extreme close-up! Whooooooaaahhhh!”

Oscar isn’t our cat; he’s the 26-lb cat mentioned above but, yes, that’s a pickle he’s eating…

Anyway, these are some of my “oddball photos”. I hope you enjoyed them!


My Brain On OCD

(Warning: this post talks about nightmarish thoughts and might be triggering to some people. Plus, I ramble on like an idiot. That’s nothing unusual.)

Sometimes I really hate my brain.

Right now you’re probably thinking that that isn’t possible, that you have to actually have a brain in order to hate it. Sometimes I feel the same way. But right now I’m frustrated and upset when I have no reason to be.

My doctor calls these OCD tendencies. I never would have thought of that before now because when most of us think of OCD tendencies, we think of people who constantly wash their hands and insist on rubbing everything down with hand sanitizer or wet wipes for fear of catching the slightest germ. We might also have the tendency to worry about body odor, which I definitely have. At one point as a teenager I had 14 different kinds of deodorant because I couldn’t find the right one. Hey, you have people in school saying you stink both behind your back and to your face, you’d have a complex too.  To this day I still wash my underarms when I want to go out, even if I’ve had a shower that day. Anyway, that’s not why I’m writing.

I’m writing because I can’t seem to get all these scary thoughts out of my head. The thing is, these thoughts don’t come after watching horror movies or extremely violent shows; they come from completely random things that make no sense whatsoever. For instance, something I heard years ago on a TV show about some kids being on trial for animal abuse came up when I looked at my orange cat. I see him being thrown from a car and hear the lady who owned him (or, if he’s a typical cat, *he* owned *her*) talking about how everyone she loved had died and that that cat was her only companion in the entire world. It scares me to death because, while I don’t see that happening to my cats, I can’t get it out of my head. Also, this show was on probably 15-20 years ago. The tiniest things that most people wouldn’t even remember bother me.

I also remember how I had a dream that my husband and I were homeless and so desperate for food that we had to eat one of our cats, but we couldn’t figure out how to cook him so he died for nothing. That was a dream I had years ago that had me waking up crying, but it came back full force when I heard a news story where a little boy and his mom had to eat their cat because they had been left homeless by a war in their area and didn’t have anything else. It was one blurb in one news story I can barely remember, but I remember that. I’ve thoughts of abusing one of my other cats, of cutting myself, of stabbing my husband.  When I hear certain songs I imagine myself telling my husband I’m leaving him or that I am having an affair. None of these are true, none of these are even remotely in my character, and yet they remain in my mind.

Also, some of the thoughts aren’t even actions. I’ll look at my husband and hear the “flatline” noise that comes when someone dies.  This is somewhat relevant: he was in the hospital about 7 years ago because of an infection around his heart. Since he has a misshapen valve it was harder to treat; our doctor told us that if the anti-biotics hadn’t taken when they did, he’d have died. I’d be looking at him and think of him being in the Holocaust despite the fact that neither of us were even thought of when that happened-our parents weren’t even born, let alone us. I’ve had thoughts of us being really poor and using our last dollar on a Chinese buffet. I have thoughts of my husband quitting his job and laughing about it while taking me by the hand and us going to a Mexican restaurant and thinking, what have we done? One of the reasons I make up so many romantic stories is so I can keep those thoughts of out of my head enough to go to sleep. The weird thing is that this happens even when I take my sleep medication, but not when I don’t. If that makes sense.  Either way, it doesn’t matter since they usually come when I’m awake. Creepy.

I’m told that that’s the rub about OCD tendencies-that we *know* we would never do the things we think of doing or that these things would never happening, and yet the thoughts persist and come into our heads at completely random and unpredictable times. When I remind myself that that’s what’s going on, I feel better. Sometimes. Sometimes that either does nothing or gets worse. That’s why my doctor put me back on Prozac-apparently that’s the only thing that helps.

I don’t really have an ending for this, so thanks for listening to me rant. I hope I’m not alone in all this.


Love/Hate Challenge

http://justplainolvic.com/2015/06/07/lovehate-challenge/comment-page-1/#comment-2026

I got this idea from “Just Plain ‘Ol Vic”. Basically, we name ten things we love and ten we hate. I’m not that interesting so you might not care one way or another, but here are my lists.

 

Love-

Red Curly Hearts clip art

-God, although I don’t show it well
-My husband
-My cats…animals in general, really. I have five of them. I would take home every homeless little whatever if I could.
-My family and friends
-The joy my friends’ little girls show toward everything. I still think it’s sweet how one of them saw me across her yard and ran to hug me at full speed. That was two years ago, but I still love it.
-Chocolate!
-The sheer beauty of nature, especially flowers and animals.
-Mediterranean food. It’s the main way I get my husband to eat salad.
-Movies, music and TV. I just wish I had a talent or way to get into any of these, particularly music. I can carry a tune in a bucket, but that’s about it.
-Taking pictures. At this time I only use my phone and iPod, which have surprisingly good cameras. Even so, I would love to learn how to take professional-grade pictures with professional-grade equipment. I think there’s a digital camera around here somewhere, but it’s not mine.

 

 I like most people until they give me a reason not to. I think that, aside from earning our salvation  (because that’s just not going to happen), non-perfect humans have the capacity for good and the capacity for evil.  There might be a few on the far ends of the spectrum…I guess the Mother Teresas and Hitlers of the world…but, for most of us, it’s a matter of degrees.  Jesus is the only perfect person who ever lived, but that tends to happen when you’re the son of God.

 

Hate-

Proud Nerd Image clip art

-Snobby people
-People who are racist/sexist/homophobic/etc
-Beer…although there are some hard ciders or flavored beers (i.e. Redd’s Apple Ale) I like
-The smell of fish and liver pudding. Don’t ask.
-The way I get obsessed with things like TV because I don’t have a job or much going on outside the home. I also hate that I’ve not been able to work, so money isn’t our friend either.
-People who go out of their way to make everyone else miserable. They can’t stand to see anyone happy because they want everyone else to be as ill-tempered as they are.
-People who hurt animals
-The way I can be selfish and frustrated sometimes
-The fact that I can get so stuck up my own butt that I don’t catch the things going on with other people around me. I especially hate it if I get a guilt trip about it.
-People who are mean just for the sake of being mean

Wow, I always thought of myself as a positive person, and yet I found it a lot easier to think of things I hated than things I loved. Maybe it’s because I don’t spend as much time thinking about things I love enough to be able to put them into words? No, that’s sad. Maybe it’s because I like most things (or am at least ambivalent toward them), so it’s easier to narrow the things I hate down? I don’t know. I just think that life is too short to go around throwing fits and arguing with people over trifles. Most things like what soda you get, who cleans the catbox or what food you bring to a party aren’t things worth bickering about, especially in front of other people. Some people call this being a doormat, but I call it picking my battles. Most of them aren’t worth fighting.

Now, it’s my turn to “tag” ten other bloggers. Hopefully they won’t mind.
-DA Ugly Duckling http://dauglyducklin.org/
-Express with NeJae http://blog.nejae.com/
-Notes From The UK http://notesfromtheuk.com/
-Cee’s Photography http://ceenphotography.com

 

I’m not as active in the blogging world as some I know. Again, I hope they don’t mind.

 Oh, and, I did think of one other thing I love.
 -A full moon reflecting on a perfectly still tide
I grew up on the beach. I think I’ll always love stuff like that.

Be Gracious, Lord: A Reflection on Psalm 6

Reblogging because Tony Roberts is a very spiritual and generally awesome person…and, well, I was blessed by reading it and perhaps you will be too.


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