Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Only Way Out is Through

In my last post I talked about migraines, and perceiving life differently. That was about two weeks ago now. In the interim I did see the doctor who has referred me to a neurologist, but as many of us know.... this can take a minute. In the meantime, she wanted to see how I would do on a medication that I have tried before, but possibly this time at a higher dose.

The answer is groggy, irritable and nauseated. Ugh.

Though, I am holding out hope that these side effects might let up a bit after some time passes as often happens with medications. It's too early to know yet if it's helping or not, but it does seem to be at least a little. With the increasing frequency of migraines along with the level of interruption it's bringing to my life even a little relief is welcome.

As I also mentioned in the last post, I am also working toward greater well being and mental health in general. In particular, taking more responsibility for my own well being by being more honest with myself on how effectively I am approaching daunting tasks in my life. As I set out to do this, to apply the ideas I spoke about in the last post I realized something big.

It was hard.

Yeah, I know Captain Obvious, right? Of course making changes to one's behavior is hard. But no, I mean it was hard.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Experiencing a Shift in Perception #SelfAwareness #MentalHealth

Yesterday was a rough day. It began with a migraine as soon as I woke up that by afternoon morphed into the worst one I have ever had in my entire life. That is saying something since I have chronic migraines.

I found myself laying on the couch with a pillow resting over most of my head to provide a blocker for light, and some pressure for my forehead. With nausea and pain building it's way into a vortex of spinning hell, despite trying all meds I had at my disposal I was reduced to laying still as a stone. This is the kind of sickness that renders a person unable to breathe without increasing one's pain. There's nothing to do but lay there and deal. I couldn't even watch TV, and so much of my energy was going toward not vomiting that it was a serious challenge.

There's something kind of dismally sweet about not being able to do any activity besides think for hours on end. When you're laying in a puddle of pain and illness for hours there is nothing else to separate you from your thoughts. Not that I am one to run away from my inner thoughts, but it's entirely different for me when there is nothing to distract my mind from wandering in every which direction it wants. At least for me, these are the times that my inner world becomes exceptionally vivid with thoughts of the past dancing across my mind's eye, and thoughts of the present as well. I suppose due to the heaviness of my emotional state those thoughts aren't always the most pleasant, or the most happy. Small issues that nudge me during usual mind frames that would get pushed away come at me full color with no escape. As I laid there in misery I realized a lot of hard truths that I had been avoiding.

In this place I met some of my fears

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Yes Days

I've always kind of wondered why humans celebrate holidays. I mean, holidays are just days that at some point in history we as humans decided held a special significance. These days become defined by culture, and time. Some holidays are dates we mark with special remembrance of an event or person. Others are about certain times of the year, as we have collaborated with many cultures throughout history to culminate days set aside for celebration.

Humans are a symbolic bunch. We also raise our spirits with celebrating, remembering and observing certain days to be of meaning within our own social context. In other words, I think we create and participate in holiday traditions as a means of social bonding, as well as an positive emotional experience. It gives us something to look forward to, and adds meaning to our lives.

In the same spirit I have created special days for myself. I call them my "Yes Days". There's a lot of different names that could fit, but that one seems straightforward and simple to me. I only need these days to make sense to myself, anyway.

So, what are Yes Days?

Sunday, April 8, 2018

In the Aftermath of My Meltdown

So, I had a meltdown.

Sigh.....

You may have seen my post that I wrote at the tail end of it last night, but have since taken down. It was too personal, and raw to leave up and available to any eyes that came across it. And, there were eyes....Something like a hit a minute was happening. As I watched the stats climb on the post with each refresh I felt more and more exposed until I decided to take it down.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Rediscovering Me

Today is Daylight Savings Time! Yay. or maybe nay? I don't seem to have a strong opinion on it, really. I'm not a morning person, that is for sure. However, I love and need sun. By the time mid-march comes around my body is begging for a dose of vitamin D via the afternoon sun. Where I live the temperature this time of year can vary wildly from below zero to upper 70's. The norm is typically in the 50's and 60's, which without much wind can make for a pleasant afternoon out.

As the blooms on the trees start becoming more and more noticeable so does my overall feeling of optimism. The air is fresh as I inhale deeply under the blue sky, and warm sun. There is still a chill in the air when the breeze brushes my skin, but it's gentle, less crisp than autumn or winter. The green patches of grass and early spring flowers popping up against the brown dead winter ground promises new days ahead. It's enough to get me through the still gray winter sky that pops up here in there until May. As I sit outside and experience these last days of winter I feel a promise of spring that fills my spirit with hope.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Brownie Mistake Cake #Recipe

A couple days ago I was in the kitchen preparing what I meant to be a delicious, light, fluffy white cake. I generally have my own recipe for improving on box mixes, but for whatever reason on this day I mismeasured, or misthought, or... I don't even know. I ended up adding way too much milk. I didn't realize this until I was spooning the mix into the cupcake liners. I noticed that the batter was really runny, and then my mistake dawned on me. Oh no! I didn't have another cake mix on hand. I didn't just want to toss out what I had made, but what could I do with a runny cake batter? I began digging through my pantry and came across a box of brownie mix. Could this work,  I wondered. What else could I do? So, I mixed the brownie mix into the cake batter and hoped for the best.

I was not disappointed! Oh man, ya'll, this cake was good. Like, I'm gonna make it again like this, but on purpose good! So, I thought maybe some of you might like to try it, too.

Notes before you get started: I don't know if you can use another flavor of mix and get the same result. The same goes for using the whole egg. I would surmise that doing one, or both, would change the texture, but I am not sure on that. White cake mix is lighter, and has a different texture to it than other kinds, probably due to the whites being used as opposed to the whole egg.

Brownie Mistake Cake


*1 box white cake mix
*2 1/2 cups of milk
*2/3 cup of butter [softened]
*5 egg whites
*1 box of fudge brownie mix


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Managing Negative Self Talk

If you've been reading my blog for very long you might have sensed a theme of self-empowerment, and an undercurrent of acceptance of what is, even if that's not what I'd wish. But, these things are hard. I know that there are a zillion and one article out there on how to accept yourself, how to be kind to yourself, and more. They give a few steps, and speak about how wonderful it will be to achieve this feat. Thing is, for some of us that have deep ingrained issues that stem from childhood, and mental illness this is not a challenge that can be worked on like a to-do list, crossing each item off in order on this neat notepad of emotional life skills. No. This is an ongoing challenge that requires constant dedication. For myself, I have to re-evaluate my inner talk, my outer talk, and my emotional state frequently, and then adjust accordingly.

For example, recently I was having a lot of work done on my house. This meant a trove of workers coming in and out for several days. I began to fret about what I was doing, how I was presenting myself. My anxiety shot up, and I worried what they were thinking of me. Negative phrases were flowing through my mind. I worried I looked lazy

Monday, February 12, 2018

How to Find a Fitness Routine that Works for You

I'm sure that there are many of you that vowed to get in shape this year, or lose x amount of weight by summer. Here it is, the first week of February and I'd bet that a good amount of people who had a fitness related new year's resolution have given up, or at least felt seriously discouraged. I come across a lot of people that genuinely want to exercise more, and want to lose weight, but somehow they always end up feeling defeated at some point during their journey. A feeling of failure and shame always seems to follow. They can't figure out what they're doing wrong, or how come they can't seem to get it together like everyone else. They secretly feel ashamed for what they perceive as a personal shortcoming to stay motivated. They wonder if they really are just lazy.

With the vast majority of people I feel that none of those apply. If you've tried and failed to stick to a new fitness plan don't beat yourself up. There's so much misinformation out there. Fitness is really trendy right now. It seems really difficult to find a down to earth approach that meets the needs of the everyday person who isn't looking to be a fitness model, but just improve health. We're bombarded with a new, exciting diet, and fitness plan that promises extraordinary results at least every 6 months. The thing is, if they all worked there wouldn't need to be more. Yet, there is, because there's always a market for it.

Truth is, there is no one diet plan, one fitness routine that is going to work universally for everyone. We all are starting out at different place, with different bodies, and have different goals. On top of that, there isn't any shortcuts to success when it comes to health. There are, I suppose, but they aren't long term. There are way, way too many people out there talking about fitness, trying to sell you on their method that are not healthy. Skinny, muscular and built does not necessarily mean that a person is healthy.

So, how does one establish a new fitness routine that fits their needs, and that they can stick with?

Saturday, February 3, 2018

How You Can Overcome the Trials of Being a Single Father




How You Can Overcome the Trials of Being a Single Father

Being a single father is not a simple task. There are highs, lows, and everything in between. The way we eat, drink, love and cope with stress, depression, anxiety and sadness all play a big role in the state our mental health is in. Sometimes, it's necessary to take a step back and ask yourself if you're doing the right thing for you, and not the easiest thing. You may not have asked for this role, but it's yours. Your children need you to do what is best for not only them, but also for yourself.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

How's the Tide?

I'm sure if you have been on the internet, or watched the news in the last week you have heard of the Tide Pod challenge. If somehow you haven't, let me break it down for you. It's a new viral video challenge where kids (mostly teens, or there abouts) eat, or least chew a Tide laundry detergent pod. I have heard a lot of people talking about how kids have gotten so stupid anymore. That kids would have never attempted that sort of thing when they were younger.

Let me tell you a story.

This takes place in the before time. Before Internet. BI There aren't any pictures of it, but it happened.

When I was around middle school age there was a group of girls in the grade above me that decided to try a kind of challenge of their own. I didn't sit at their table, so I wasn't privy to their plan, or specifics. All I know is one day one of them proposed that they sniff laundry detergent. They all agreed, and one of them offered to bring the powdered substance to school the next. A plan was born. The next day at lunch the detergent was brought out of one of their lunchboxes, and distributed among the girls participating. I am not sure if they all did it at once, or if they were taking turns, or if several did it at once. All I know is that suddenly there was a commotion.