Odd News, Apparently I’m Stylish

Dear Readers,

 

 

Edgar Allan Poe Collection Vol. 1

You may have noticed the odd news.  Stylish Zahara nominated me as a stylish blogger.  This is one more example about why technology is a form of self-care, because despite it all, Zahara made me feel great!

 

It is also another wonderful example of things never being all about “Me.”  Probably this is because you readers and commenters are so dang stylish!  We should all take a look in the mirror and wink.  I just did and it was a thrill.  (Do stylish people do that sort of thing?  See what I mean?)

The down side of this nomination is the to-do list.  I’ve never been good at to-do lists.  But, I do want to qualify at one of my only chances to be called stylishhhhhh stylish.  Every cuckoo’s egg hopes to get away with this!

Present seven things about yourself:

  1. I don’t enjoy hygiene but I do it.  (You might want me to stop now.)
  2. I loved being the only girl in my family growing up.  Mom didn’t count because she was Mom.  I now know what that is like.
  3. Edgar Allan Poe was my favorite author in high school.  I’ve tried to memorize Annabel Lee several times but settled for just saying I did.
  4. We used to have fourteen cousins living with us in our house when I was a kid.
  5. I binge eat.  Not always, but enough to scare me …and my pants.
  6. My dog is not neutered so I can’t take him to doggy-day-care.
  7. Every day writing this blog surprises me in so many ways.  Don’t let my calm and stylish demeanor fool you.

Here comes the fun part of the to-do list.  Me jumping up and down over you is the highest form of fashion.  Ooo!  Ooh!  Whoop!!!!  Here come my moves.  (Loud crashing sounds assault us.)

Name six other bloggers for the award.  Contact them and link back to the person, (in this case Zahara the wonderful,) and hope that everyone listed pushes this forward:

1.  Joana Johnson in Creating Brains.  Nothing like nepotism, (she’s my sister-in-law.)  But I have to tell you, I’ve always thought Joana was stylish.  I remember my brother describing her the first time he saw her.  It was in the ’80’s and she was rocking the hair bows and lace.  She was his first and last love and I’ve never questioned why.  You can sense it in her writing.  She’s got style.

2.  The best grammarian I’ve ever known, Sarah McGhaugh in Bird in Your Hand.  Sarah brings style to grammar like none other.  And she really likes grammer!  Only that kind of contagion could influence my well-learned bad habits.

3.  XCandyXCane writes well about her fight with mental illness in Moose Lips Sink Ships.  She’s eloquent and real.  That’s classy.

4 and 5.  I have a hankering that won’t go away for both ThysLeRoux and The Only Cin.  They were some of the first to compile my supportive blog community.  They have style.

ThysLeRoux is a marvelous cartoonist and humorist.

Here's Thysleroux's latest work sample

Cindy is an artist of life truisms, ah-ha’s and food, wielding all that using only photographs and words – she’s got one of the hugest vocabularies one person ever demonstrated and a great eye for food.  It’s a pleasure on many levels to read her work.

6.  Kevin Blumer is a living example of what self-care can do for someone who hadn’t been caring for himself.  He is open and he’s available to the world around him – style many of us just don’t wear easily.

7.  I know, seven is too many but I had to list our honorary blog-jacker, Mr. Rick C.

Now you guys do your thing!  Push it forward.  There are sooooo many other lovelies out there with serious style that should be on this too short list.  ….You lovelies know who you are!  Take care of yourselves.

Your Own,

Dr. Q

Work Hard to Take Care of Yourself If You Want An Easier Time Taking Care Of Others

Self-Care Tip #174 – Work hard to take care of yourself if you want an easier time taking care of others.

My marriage has never been better.

Freedom Press (UK)

Image via Wikipedia

Kirsten had good posture.  She made eye contact and she wasn’t fidgeting when she told me about the changes in her life.  I hadn’t seen her in clinic for two years and apparently in that time she had set her husband free.  She was seeing less of him than she ever had and they were both busier than any other time in their lives.  Yet their marriage was at its peak.  I felt like I was getting off the point of why she came and wondered if asking her for details was unprofessional.  I did want to know.  Lucky for me, she wanted to tell and I just let it happen, as if I was doing her a favor.

I admit, sometimes I get something out of my clinicals.  I’m not always the best therapist.  I don’t always keep things about my patient when I let myself receive, or even actively take from them.  None of us are that altruistic.  Therapy is supposed to be one place any of us can go, and know that when we go, we can expect to receive everything except the fee-for-service.  Therapy should be the closest thing to a one way street in this non-altruistic world.

To my rescue, Kirsten said,

He has been meeting with friends, exercising, eating out and working the 12-Steps twice a week.

Yes he was sober, but he was also a bunch of other stuff.  Taking care of himself, he became a better husband.  Better body, clearer mind, happier, more attentive, less angry; she could hardly stop listing.

Freedom is useless....

Taking care of himself took a lot of work but it made taking care of her a lot less work.  True, she wasn’t the center of his life, she gave up on some fantasies, she didn’t ask him for more time, but all those in the past had only grown her own point of anger and blame and not the marriage dreams she thought they would – letting them go was a good thing.  Yet, cutting him free still felt risky to her.  She came to me because she was becoming more aware of what that fear was doing.  When she was afraid, she was sabotaging herself.  Bits of herself recognized that she could feel as free as her husband did.

To be free of fear for Kirsten, she needed medical help.  Kirsten’s fear came from nowhere, out of the blue and was not only triggered by suspicions about her husband.  To be free for Kirsten’s husband required other forms of self-care.

Question:  What kind of self-care does your freedom need?  How has your hard work on your own self-care spilled over into less work to care for others?

Courage Not To Presume.

Pony Express

Self-Care Tip #116 – Have courage not to presume.

Courage.  Courage is doing what frightens us.  I heard this definition and as usual I got a little stiff.  Definitions sometimes feel sticky to me and I’m trying to understand why.  Why is my lip curled?

In line the other day for the theater, a grandfather in front of me got talking.  I didn’t get any names; just that he was a grandfather of a 7-year-old girl who owned him.  Naturally he drifted into stories about her, including their most recent vacation to Knott’s Berry Farm.  They rode “The Pony Express” despite his fear and instincts.  I asked him if he was proud of his granddaughter’s courage and he replied, “She wasn’t scared!  So she wasn’t the one with courage.  I was!”  He laughed, and then I laughed, but I walked away to the ticket booth whispering, “What does he know about her thoughts?”

I see so many faces flashing across my mind’s eye.  I see them, and I hear them.  I realize their whispers have become mine because I believe them.  My patients are courageous.  These, who have not told others.  Who have not screamed when they wanted to.  These people who have put on the appearance of calm despite their fears.  They are a study in functional mental illness.

Functional mental illness, although historically refers to mal-behaviors and emotions without medical cause, now after years of increased knowledge and study, it includes their biological organic etiology.

As an example of functional mental illness I’ll tell you about Miranda, a mother of 2.  Miranda says her kids stress her out and she can barely take care of them.  However at her job, she performs adequately and no one would say she seems depressed.  She falls into bed when her kids do between 7 or 8 PM yet never feels refreshed.  Crying while pouring their cereal each day, she packs them dry bread and a pickle for their lunches.  No one would know the courage it takes for her to survive the moment and then the next.  They all presume she is fine.

After teasing apart my thoughts on courage, my lip has uncurled.  I understand that definitions bother me because they can sometimes imply freedom to presume more than one should.  We can never know people’s thoughts, motives, feelings entirely and that bit that we don’t know, may be the bit that changes their story.  If you want to read more, check out this post.

So for now, I can push down my fear of definitions, put on the face of calm, …and what?  Be a friend to myself.

And you?

Question:   Where do you need the most courage to do good for yourself?  How do you deal with your fears?  Please tell me your story.

Taking Care of Yourself Is Not Selfish

The line between self-care and self-centeredness is a thin line.  We are part of the narrative.  We are not the narrative.

I’ve got some heat lately folks for talking about “Me” in a way that excludes the import of “You.”  How does anyone talk about the importance of the self without sounding seriously arrogant, disinterested in others, egocentric, ungrateful and rude?  Clearly it’s a learning process.  That’s something of what I’m hoping will evolve this year as we journey together.  Please let me know what you think on this subject.

I was very excited about having a morning to myself today and had built up a storybook page turning space of time for me.  However my night went bad, and like opening the oven door too soon with the bread still rising, I just didn’t get up well.  Partly in denial that the day was already slipping away, I kept going towards my hopes.  The clock sped up and I finally got out the door with the kids buckled to where they needed to go.  And then I realized I forgot my computer and phone.  Not so easy to work without those.

I live in the hills and although I’m not far from street lights and normal trafficked buildings, getting between me and them takes me through many blind 25 mph corners, steep hills over narrow roads.  Today I felt like I got caught in those hills.  My mom-van felt off-balance and the tight corners treated my tires cruelly.  I went back home to get my computer and back down to town finally.

I had great intentions for today.  However, I got stuck and stuck again.  That is what it can be like when we try to treat ourselves well.  It can feel like the roads swallow us up and we just can’t get there.

As my husband says, “That’s how it rolls!”

Question:  How do you see self-care differently from self-centeredness?  Please tell me your story of friendship.

Self-Care Tip #77 – Don’t get confused.  Taking care of yourself is not selfish.  Be a friend to yourself.