Everything starts and ends with Me ….Still talking about it

You make your own definitions of Me, self, and friendship. This is mine I share because it is friendly to Me. It is not meant to be a template.

I am the bride of Christ. When I speak of Me, I speak as one claimed by Love and in Love. When I speak of Me, I speak of this person I am in that complex union, dynamic and without lines. My self is the same as to say, Me with Christ and Christ with Me.

Using the term, Me, is a general term for that part that remains in each of us that is timeless, unchanged by trauma or indignity. The Me describes who you or I are still in any dimension or medical condition. The Me does not depend on a heart beat.

Being a friend to yourself means believing and treating yourself in ways that are consistent with your belief that although we are victimized in life, being the victim is a free choice. We are free to choose.

Out of this, our friendship grows to include the truth that we accountable to ourselves. We don’t look for nidus of control outside of our friend, Me.

Our friendship grows further to include presence with our personal journey, which in turn heightens our presence with what connections we share with others. These connections naturally require bank to generate and maintain and bank, as in any country, requires hard work. To serve others demands funds, even emotional and behavioral funds, physical funds and sociological.

Everything starts and ends with Me. (Refer to above.)

Question: What is your “Me, self, and friendship?” Please tell us. I’d love love to hear.

Want Life despite the freakishly terrible. It’s really That Good.

Hope

Hope (Photo credit: bitzcelt)

So many of us don’t get much to speak of as a chance at life until we are older.  Raped with penetration by age five and following, traded for favors, fear and more fear, isolated, escaping from one to other places of objectification.  We don’t like closets.  We avoid reminders but since there is no place we don’t remember our traumas, we are, we know, not hidden well enough.

And then one day, Hope gets through the diseased surface of our primitive defense and delivers her message.  The message comes again, as Hope is unchangingly drawn to us.  Hope has been here before, but this time for what ever reason, it might be our age, finally seventeen or twenty-eight or fifty-four, it might be a nosey teacher or a fatal car crash involving one of our victimizers or our home is moved, but this time that Hope comes, we have the fortune of being pierced through.

When there are holes, Light can enter.  When Light enters, Light takes chase to darkness and then, served on a moment-gilded-platter, we have it.

This may not be your story, but is for enough.  Even one, right?  Even one matters.  Things really are that sick in more “homes,” represented by the normally garbed, disguised at school, work, church, stores and behind their computer screens.  We are all invariably fooled.  All of us respond to these disguises with what is available from our biopsychosocial-selves.  We respond by naming them consciously and unconsciously with a name that serves the needs of our biopsychosocial-self.  We could say that the disguises are designed both by them and us.  It is what it is.  We are all fools, this way by different degrees.

But back to those pierced by Hope.  Being a friend to yourself may not occur to us for what seems forever along the line that Time determinably follows in our dimension.  Being a friend to Me finds us now where light enters.  Hope and Light can have their way on our damaged selves.

Hope ports to all new beginnings.  The judgment of what makes living, through such distances, worth it is not for anyone but the individual and God.  However our opinion, served from our biopsychosocial selves is that life is worth living even in the distance before Hope pierces us through.   See Post, Your Pain is Not Special. It Is Normal., to read more on this.

We who have gotten friendly with Me, want Life despite the freakishly terrible.  Either we are masochistic to continue through such horrors, to continue living, or it is true.  What comes with hope, with being a Friend to Yourself, with Love, when experienced cannot be qualified or quantified other than to say, that Love wins.

Questions:  Do you believe Love wins?  If not, why?  What do you say about being a friend to yourself to those who are in the midst of being victimized?  Please tell us your story.

Self-Care Tip:  Want Life despite the freakishly terrible.  It’s true.  It’s that worth it.  Be a friend to yourself.

Medications and Being Chosen by Fear

English: In 1870 he lost an arm, in 1917 he lo...

Many have been hurt by medications.  There are those life ending treatments.  There are accidents.  It doesn’t matter what remote or near number in the chance-line the side effect has to the victim or the survivors.  They happened and they happen.

If you are a survivor of something like this, if your child died or your mother almost did, if you lost your favorite thing in life – lost what you identified yourself by or if you were changed without being asked, you know what I am talking about.

How do you come back after that?  How do you endure opening your pill dispenser on Wednesday, on Thursday, every week, every day, how do you take medications when they are prescribed?

On my end as a physician, each prescription is a choice.  Each prescription carries the bit I am allowed to participate in.  Signing my name, I am saying with the informed patient, that the benefits outweigh the risks.

When you take your medications, know that you are not alone.  Know that you are doing this with numbers of other courageous people taking their medications.  Know that your physician, with the research behind this, with the high numbers of other persons generous enough to enroll themselves in those medication trials before the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved it.  Know that the FDA is with you and know that the benefits out weigh the risks for you.  That you decided the benefits are greater than the risks means you know what they are and you are choosing to take care of yourself.

Medication isn’t for everyone.  Medication hurts a lot of us.  Taking medication with this knowledge is still something many of us choose.

If we are not taking our medication because the fear precludes it, we can do better than that for ourselves.  We can choose not to take it without being chosen by fear.  On the flip side, we can choose to take medication without being chose by fear.  Being chosen by fear hurts us too.

Self-Care Tip:  Go into the space of where your fears are and let it lose power over you.

Questions:  How do you claim your freedom to choose when it comes to something as complicated and scary as medication?  Please tell us your story.

Today on Radio in Summary

Amateur radio station with multiple receivers ...

Thank you Michele Rosenthal at HealMyPtsd.com, and to all who listened in on my first radio interview on being a FTY – Friend to Yourself.  What fun.  It was sweet and to the point.

We discussed using the marker of the new year to commit to this and see what 2012 brings differently from before.  This is freeing, as being our own friend is not selfish but rather the most selfless thing we can offer.  How it is done by starting with Me; the starting and ending point of all intentions in our life.  Knowing that we cannot give what we don’t have, that we cannot indulge the pleasures outside of ourselves such as adjustment and coping skills if we don’t have the Me to do it with (preferably a healthy me) and knowing that going where we find shame in our lives can free us up to get friendly with the rest of Me.  This knowledge helps us find the “how.”

To make being a friend to Me an easier process, leave the injustices of our lives alone, leave the sentiment of wanting happiness, of wanting what we should have gotten or been.  To make Me my own friend easier, do what any friend would do – the hard stuff.  The stuff that good-time-Jane won’t stick around for and the stuff that only Love can follow through with – do this.  That’s as easy as it will get and as hard as it will get.

We can do this.

Question:  Looking toward 2012, how would you change the direction of your intention and energy to be more of a friend to yourself?  What do you think you will experience differently if you do?  Please tell us and connect.

Thank you dear Carl d’Agostino for calling in, boosting my confidence and saying without saying it, “You are not alone.”  I’m still smiling.

PTSD and Choosing Not to Be A Victim

click here to view –> Be A Friend To Yourself.

You may remember our wonderful guest post by PTSD survivor and advocate, Michele Rosenthal.

Ms. Rosenthal generously asked me to also post on her blog site. Pretty fun, huh. So here’s the link if you’d like to take a gander over.
Thank you so much Ms. Rosenthal for this opportunity to share space. Keep on folks.

To view post, click above on “Be a friend to yourself.”

When You Are Pushed Down, Push Back

A Push and a Shove

Image via Wikipedia

Self-Care Tip #185 – When you are pushed down, deliberately push back with The Force in  you.  Be a friend to yourself.

So much in life pushes down on us.  I am amazed that we push back – considering how awful some of it is.  After 7 years of private practice in psychiatry, I still get caught off guard by some of the particularly horrible stories I am told.  Blinking my own stinging eyes, I look in amazement at the person in front of me.  What I see is this pushing-back Force.

Last week after diagnosing PTSD in Margie, a mother of a murdered son, I could hardly believe that she still chooses life.  She takes care of herself despite.  That’s how amazing she is.  And I’m her psychiatrist!  It’s such an honor.  And thinking about that straining towards life, that thread in us, all of us – I saw that it was the best description of the brilliance and power that is God.  True, sickness can mute our perception of this beautiful thing in us, whether it’s depression or liver disease.  But all of us have seen some of how hard the thrashing against that loss is.

In thinking on this amazing force, this thrashing about, this straining against the push of whatever is set at tipping us over, I named it God in us.  And I thought, for all the time I spend on the stuff pushing me around in bad ways, I’m going to more actively team up with the struggle to live.  I’m going to choose to strain and thrash about and move at that chink of space in the dark room as much as I can.  Hopefully I can be brave too, like that mother of a murdered son, Margie.

I can choose to ally myself, with what I want to live for.  I’m going to partner with that Force that keeps me thrashing against the push and be stronger, like you have readers.

After our post on suicide a couple days ago, many of you responded with your own stories about how you were pushed and pushed back.  Karal said,

Like all difficult experiences we face in life, there is the possibility of growth from the ashes.  It requires strength and a willingness to walk through that fire.  Unfortunately for survivors of suicide (i’m referring to those left behind) we’re often chastised into feeling that our grieving, our walking through the fire is both wrong, and  unnecessary.  I totally disagree.  Like you said, caring for people is a choice, and being a friend to yourself means making sense of, or at least peace with, what may never make sense.

Karal is allying herself with that Force to make as much sense of what will always be jumbled.  I’m not going to quote all the rest of the brilliant comments.  Please read them.  They were amazing demonstrations of pushing back in a collaborative way with The Force that makes their lives worth living.  This is active in us at times, and not deliberate at others.  Being better to ourselves, we could more deliberately choose when given the push.  We are not thrashing alone.  Push back.

Question:  How do you deliberately choose your alliances in your life for working against what pushed you down?  How do you define that Force in you that pushes back?  Please tell me your story.

You Are Enough.

Self-Care Tip #119 – Remember that you are enough.  Be a friend to yourself.

Forrest Gump (after watching his girl Jenny throw rocks at her childhood home of abuse,)

Sometimes, I guess there just aren’t enough rocks.

That movie grabbed almost everyone’s heart-strings.  And when I saw my patient Sarah, I kept thinking about Jenny throwing rocks.

Sarah started crying.  I’d never seen her do that in the 8 years we’d worked together.  She was one who talked in spurts.  Sometimes saying nothing for many visits, and then she’d start questioning me about foods, diet questions, or parenting.  Then quiet some more.  Today out of the blue came her tears and words.

When she started on her disclosure, I tensed up thinking, “What am I supposed to say?  She’s never done this before!”  I realized that being a psychiatrist, I should know the answer to that question and got even more insecure because nothing came to mind.

Her lovely face crumpled over the story of her “stupid” father.  He never let her go to school.  He was violent.  Sarah is now teaching herself how to read; and more tears, her lovely face trembling.  She is a mother and there are no books in her home for her children because she is ashamed of herself.  “My dad is an idiot man.”

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can last a lifetime.  The horrors that are relived by the survivor can be unspeakable for them.  We never know what people are going through really inside.  They could be a survivor like Sarah or Jenny.

So far, I hadn’t said other than a few “psychiatry-sounds” like “hmm,” and “Oh.”  Don’t be too impressed but I remembered someone somewhere wiser than me put it this way,

Sometimes it’s better not to say anything.

And I really didn’t.  She did.  And she did it wonderfully.  We ended up talking about authors she hoped to read eventually.  She’d heard of Isabelle Allende and wanted to get to her books some day.  We hadn’t even started talking about medications yet.  Sarah left after saying that when she stopped learning and growing, she would be dead.

What hit me was that Sarah wasn’t looking for more than me.  I searched, wanting to give her more and came up with what I hoped was an appropriate facial expression.  In a way, by not speaking much, I was able to receive and be blessed by her story.  I might have missed that.

My mentor, author of blog CreatingBrains.com, encouraged me when I was unsure about teaching others.  She said, “Look at your life and who you are.  You would be surprised.”

When we are insecure about something, it helps to remember that we are enough for the task at hand.  As individuals.  We have in us all the days that came before, the experiences, the generations that handed us down, the God who made us and as per my belief, never leaves us.  We have so much.  Considering all this, be still and know.

Question:  When have you been amazed at all that was inside you?  Please tell me your story.