Find Hope When You Otherwise Must Die – Depression

Jane Eyre

Image by madelinetosh via Flickr

Briggs was crying again.  His wife, who came with him to our first appointment, looked like a peeled fruit beside him.  She was undefended, giving her last layer of self without knowing what would be left.  Briggs was one case of serious depression, but his wife; she was heartbreaking.  Both of them in their own ways would not last long.

It is not unusual in a specialty clinic to work with people such as Briggs who have been around the treatment shops.  Then, finally, in Jane Eyre-style, they appear at my door in the company of death.  They have been through therapies, practitioners and churches, but disease resists treatment.  Everywhere they walk, it is as if Hades (or Neptune) were visiting.  Hope-blossoms wilt as they pass by and those of us who share space, feel like the ground is going to open up and suck us under.  It is not uncommon in specialty-care, to be told, “…I have no strength to go further.”  Like Jane Eyre, they plead, “I must die if….”  (By the way, Charlotte Bronte is the bomb.)

As the person on the other side of this exchange, I have worn down the rainbow of “specialty” options available to offer.  And what are they?

I’m going to write more about those options next, but my questions for you today are:

What has worked for you or your loved one?  Is there any treatment you think is too extreme to consider to get brain health?  Please tell me your story.

Self-Care Tip:  Find your specialty care.

Get Your Hunting On – Insight is Empowering

But

Because of

He makes me

Finding insight can often feel like going on a bear hunt. There’s a children’s classic that tells this story about our journey towards self-discovery well with this title. You Tube even has a catalog of animations for it. One of my favorites is by Michael Rosen. This guy has a face made for story-telling.

We’re Going On A Bear Hunthttp://bit.ly/uItL6P YouTube

Sometimes when we venture out on our personal journey, a bit of the spirit of Columbus, a musketeer or a little boy with a stick in his hand. We have courage.

The screenplayer

Image by Darkroom Daze via Flickr

We are made beautiful by the courager; wind in our hair, weapon girded and travel pack filled with trail mix. And then mid-stride, mid-journey or in-process of anything our hand starts to shake. We remember more of our flaws rather than our merits. We remember abuse and encounter more of it. The tall grass becomes tangled around our ankles. We stumble often and start talking about why we cannot. We fear what we find or may find on the great hunt of accountability for our lives.

Words can be part of the tripping power over us. Words that point to all the power outside of us; over us. Words that erase our memories of what we have inside.

I am depressed because I have so much stress at work.

I hit him because he was being so rude.

I’m sorry but I wouldn’t cry all the time if you cared.

All the “reasons why” hover around us like angry weather, darkness or spooky caves.

I’m not forgetting the obvious. Hunting bears is dangerous. It is just a metaphor. Hunting for ourselves is less dangerous and more rewarding. We find that when we find our “bear,” and stay in the space of that fear for long enough over and over, it loses its power over us and our fears dissipate. We are safe and see that we have power.

Self-Care Tip: Get you some bear. You have the power and are not a victim.

Question: What keeps you from insight? How do you get past all the in-between that keeps you from seeing yourself and taking accountability for who you are? Please tell us your story.

A Bit Dull – Update.

Winter the Dolphin

Image by dbr Atl via Flickr

A few more dollars in the Family Money Jar.

My daughter asked me if I’d ever seen moldy boogers.  (We had just “learned” that often cheese she eats is “moldy” or “aged.”  Somehow that brought her round to boogers.)

Spent over $200 on groceries today.

Ate my weight in theater popcorn watching, Dolphin Tale with a crowd of children.  I was all weepy, popcorn imbedded in my sweater and the kids kept asking, “Why did they cut off the dolphin’s tale?”  During the movie I texted my cousin, a specialist in orthotics and prosthetics at Shriners Hospital for Children, and it turns out he provided the first prosthetic for one of the actors in the movie.  He is one of my heroes.  Somehow, I suddenly felt even more intimately connected with that darn dolphin.  (Follow that if you can.)

Some so-so reviews from work-related stuff.

Off to go ride the bike.

Thankful for you.

Adequate – Step Away From The Ledge

Repost.

How does one fight feelings of inadequacy?

With Truth I barricade against my lies that I am not enough.  Of course I am adequate; and I fight to know that in more dimensions than just cognitively.  After all, facts change if you don’t believe them.

Take parenting for example.  Wow!  Sometimes I think that strangers would do better.  That the very parts of my soul those children hold would be better off with more distance from their home in my heart.  Am I inadequate to be a mother?  No, but some days I have to beg not to believe the lie.

In these moments of calamitous thinking, I am reminded of the term “all-or-none” thinking.  I am reminded that feelings of inadequacy drink from them like fat mosquitoes.  Catastrophizing is an egotistical view and nothing could ever be that bad or that good.  Not Me.  Not anyone.

Fighting feelings of inadequacy means being a friend enough to yourself to say, step away from the ledge.  To say,

you aren’t so special that you could be that terrible.

To fight right, you have to slide away from all bad into some of the gray area, and stop before getting to all good.  Because believing you are all of anything is just arrogant.

There are temperaments that do better in gray zones than others, those who feel comfortable grazing between thoughts and situations of life.  There are others, however, also.  People who almost seem wired to self destruct; whose own genetics thrash them towards polarity.  Those people are tortured, familiar with the often lonely fight I speak of.

To fight feelings of inadequacy, perhaps you fight your own design.  Hopeless?  Well no.  That is an extreme word and not to be trusted.  Remember at some level, that the truth is in the gray.

Self Care Tip #4:  Move away from the edge.  Be a friend to yourself.

You Are Allied, Chosen and Of High Value to Our Efforts In Self-Care

Squirrel

Image by nsavch via Flickr

I remember starting with my research team about eight years ago. Some of the terrain between then and now returns like a welcoming committee every time I consider a team venture.

My research team and I have learned a rhythm and trust in each other’s talents that constitutes much of the travel pleasure experienced. However, knowing that their excellence is “behind” me, in front, and surrounding has been much of my medium for improvement. It has taken a lot for me to get this far, not absconding what we still hope for. What obstruction a colleague is when they lose their interest in growth. I am thankful they allow me multidimensional space to change, know my flaws and relax to know theirs. The ability to gift this to someone takes a lot of bank.

One of the beauties of having had received this type of gift once, is that it improves our vision to know where we might find it again. You readers have chosen me to work with but I have also chosen you and this is why. You have bank. Thank you for being persons of such high value.

When someone wonders about our talents, they are simultaneously wondering about our flaws. Standing under such scrutiny takes courage, I admit, but courage is improved by a sense of safety. Thank you for being safe. That takes bank.

I am a teacher. I am very good at teaching about emotional quotient, emotional and behavioral insight and interpersonal exchange. I am very good at teaching efficiency and perspective to achieve that. I am a Jedi in intuiting emotional milieu and harnessing that information into the goal at hand. I can do this for others, as well, with empathy and speed. I am talented.

Now. Surely when put this course way, and with your growing familiarity with me over the past one and a half years, you have some knowledge about my flaws. I am inspired that you believe more in my brilliance than in my Achilles. I am inspired that you ally yourself with me to make sure that my flaws do not kill me off and thereby kill the self-care work we endeavor together. That takes a lot of bank.

Your bank is more than you were given in your gene-purse. Your inheritance does not account for your long hard work on the continuum of growth. That is from intersecting personal dimensions that include things like in-process God-deposits, choice and more choice.

It is said that wealth begets wealth of which you are a rich example. Your riches are blessed, just as the men who did not bury their gold. I am happy to be with you, who are getting more bank. I am smart enough to know that after the shower, I will find something in my benefit. Ruth knew that of Boaz. Pond fish know that about the rain. I know that about you.

We are at a turning of seasons now, when creation takes stalk. Like so many squirrels, brown bears, tree frogs and you, I am glad when my pantry and borough reflects that I have a team, (allies to my desire and labor to be a friend to myself,) who are safe and rich and want Me. Wow. That is what they call, “Bank.”

Questions: How does it feel to know that you are known as, “Money-Bags?”

How do you choose allies to your self-care venture?

How has your sense of safety affected your ability to invest in yourself?

Please tell me your story.

Self-Care Tip – Remember that you are chosen and of high value.

Secure Connections Allow Us to Feel Safe When Proximate or When Distant From our Other

Your romantic partner just left on a distant work related job.  Inside, two days later, you feel a growing chill.

You are not alone in this type of response. Physical separation can challenge intimacy. (Save the snarky comments on the positive influence physical distance can also have Carl. 🙂 )20111013-114942.jpg

We want safe connections. What and how do we get those?

Secure interpersonal connections allow us when together or apart, in any place we find ourselves, we find that we are still connected.

In contrast, when you and I, he and she, her and she are doubting our own self and/or each other, in crisis and unpaired spirits, when together or apart, in any place we find ourselves, we find that we are not. We are not connected. Connection isn’t only about proximity of person to person.

This can be one of the healing forces in victims of abuse. In the discussion of our last post, Col said:

I have been trying to figure out how to connect back to a part of me kind of lost behind….

…Time to build some trust bonds.

Likewise, Antonia reminded me of this.  Although she came in with “her eyes rolling in her head” – her words weren’t always entirely connected, Antonia’s courage in life was undiminished.  I learned a lot from this survivor who spoke with a Sevillian accent, (including the theta sounds.)

I am so pleathed to meet you, Doctora!

Her teeth were stained and overlapped each other and the right side of her face and right arm I saw were in a ruin of tumbled scars. Story unfolded that she was molested as a child by her brother for years. Her mother had died young and her father had helped her understand that that was what girls were for. Escaping from Spain to France, she married in hopes to be given a “start-over.” Her husband was violent though and finally when he lit her on fire, she was hospitalized long enough to grow some scars; inside and out. She threw herself into another “start-over,” this time including God and three years later, landed in Temecula.

Throughout the progress of her story I was sounding dismay at her suffering. However, I couldn’t for very long at any time before she’d offer me comfort to me!

No no! That was all before….

…I am thankful for my life!

I hab so much! God is really good to me. He sabed me!…  Her scars were tight around her soft smile and eyes.

I know in my boots that Antonia is not all that she is today because of her medications, psychotherapy and life-saving skin grafts.  She is connected.  She is connected to her Me and to her Other.  She has security that is bigger to her than her insecurities.  (Remember yesterday when Suzicate described the friendliness of that?  Thank you Suzicate.)

This ties us in to one of our premises of what it takes to be our own friend – accountability to Me.  Although we are all victimized, being the victim is our choice and we have the power.

Questions: What has grown your sense of safety in your connections? How does your perception of abuse, victimization and maltreatment relate to this? Please tell us your story.

Self-Care Tip:  You have the power to have safe connections to self and others.