Categories
Family Good Advice

When You Wish Upon A Star Is A Lame Song, Jiminy

This isn’t the first time my family has disapproved of my choice of partner.

Many years ago, I left my first husband for someone else. A woman.

It was a crazy time, and the first in a long line of bad choices which led me down an incredibly rocky and unstable road.

Then, A part of me knew it wasn’t the right choice, but I couldn’t live in my mind unless I acted on it.

Clinically defined, Impulsivity is “an individual’s predisposition toward rapid, unplanned actions without regard to the negative consequences of these actions to [oneself] or others”

I don’t understand why I must act on things when I know deep in my heart, it isn’t good for me. Family & friends can try to steer me right, and I will continue on my destructive path.

The path of least resistance is the direction an object or person moves forward with the least amount of obstacles in the way. When I make a choice, it’s usually, the one my mind can handle at that given moment.

I tend to be on the anxious side. I have been that way as long as I can remember. (see post) For myself, when faced with a difficult choice, I have to do what I can handle. It’s how I have survived for almost 38 years.

Imagine having a conference with your conscience. You’re sitting in Jiminy Cricket’s office, it’s rather small, but comfortable, & Jiminy says, “kid, if you make the choice I am proposing, it’s going to shut you down. You are going to feel like armageddon is here and you are in line to be dipped in molten lava & wait time is 10 minutes & counting.”

I would say “Oh, sweet Jesus!” as I shift uncomfortably in my chair, “I just can’t do that, Jiminy. I mean, won’t my heart explode while I wait? How do you prepare for LAVA?!” I take a deep breath and ask “Got any other options?”

“Well, yeah,” says Jiminy unsurely. “You could go with this series of choices I have outlined here. (hands me a large, heavy book with the sinister title of Easy Now, Pay Later) It’s a really tough read, a lot of sad parts and some of it makes zero sense. If you go this direction, there will be more trouble but smaller bites.”

I set the book in my lap and say, “I’m gonna go with this one Jiminy, thanks. No lava baths for me.”

Then, he starts singing “When You Wish Upon A Star*, and I get the hell out of there. My mind can only handle so much.

Jiminy is an asshole too. He gives me the choices, then when I inevitably pick the hardest choice for the long run, he taunts me. Occasionally I hear, “could have just had one really hot bath and this would all be over. Yep.”

Thanks Jiminy, I know. I got this.

I know what has happened in my relationship with Jason, I haven’t forgotten. He will probably do stupid things that piss me off, but I am going down this road because it’s my choice.

I didn’t make this choice to upset or hurt anyone, and personally I think asking me to choose between Jason and my family is not an option I should have ever been encountered with. It only caused further upset, piling another 1000 degrees to the lava I was waiting in line to dip in.

I couldn’t handle it.

I know my choices don’t make sense to my family, but they are my choices. Ultimately, I am the one having to live with them. With that being said, I must be sensitive to how my relationship affects them. That is why I am proposing to them that from now on I keep my personal life seperate from my family life.

That is a new concept in my family because we have always been close and all up in each other’s business. For the sake of their sanity, I think this idea is a viable option.

As far as I go, I’ll be fine. I’m simply going to keep reading my book and conferencing with Jiminy when he comes at me with something harrowing.

Sometimes, I might say, “what the hell!” and dive into the lava. Sometimes, I won’t. I will be okay though.

I got this.

Categories
Good Advice Thoughts on life

I Need Some Fun In My Life

(This is a revised version of an earlier post from December 2018)


I took a little break from my meds recently. BIG MISTAKE. It always is. 

I felt better without them at first, but that was just the mania. I should have known better. 

The crash was bad. Really fucking bad. I should have been hospitalized a few times, but I rode it out.

When you don’t have insurance, you go to the state-funded hospital. It’s no bueno. So, I basically haven’t left my bedroom in 2 months. I haven’t really left the bed in 2 months. 

I am taking my meds now and feeling much better, I am happy to report.

Now I need to get out of here! The problem is, I have nowhere to go. I don’t really have friends anymore and my family doesn’t really have much to do with me either.

At this point I am desperate to do something.

What I Came up With

  • Play air guitar to all my favorite song
  • Memorize lyrics to my favorite songs
  • Contemplate the meaning of life
  • Organize my closet ( blah )
  • Study quantum physics and try to understand it
  • Paint a picture
  • Read a novel
  • Write a novel
  • Sing
  • Knit something
  • Study the Bible or other fiction 
  • Write a song
  • Play my drums
  • Make jewelry
  • Tie-dye stuff
  • Make prank phone calls from a TextNow number
  • Learn a British accent
  • Write a screenplay
  • Perform the screenplay (for myself)
  • Build a fort
  • Take a Xanax and lay down (my favorite)
  • Bake something
  • Clean something (ugh)
  • Continue doing nothing and complain of boredom (most likely outcome)

All of these are perfectly lovely choices, I just don’t feel like doing any of it. Yet, I want to do something. Are you seeing my dilemma? I probably drive my boyfriend crazy lol, poor guy. 

Well, I think I’ll take a nap.

Categories
Good Advice Thoughts on life

Love In A Time Of Pure Craziness


There is a lot I can’t say on this platform for various reasons. The most important reason is that my children have access to my blog and I want their innocence to remain intact as long as possible.

I can say though, that I have had a very full and interesting life with so many stages, twists, turns, heartbreak and a lot of love thrown in the mix.

Everyone has been asked at one time or another, if they could live their life over again if they would change anything. I have heard about fifty percent say yes and fifty percent say no.

I am on the fence about that particular question and have gone back and forth on my opinion of it many times over the years.

I have had the same generic answer everyone usually gives when referring to a life of no regrets. It usually goes something like this… “I have no regrets because my mistakes have helped mold me into the person I am today.”

I’m calling bullshit on that whole thing. Okay, it’s not complete bullshit, but come on. Of course we have regret. Of course we wish our lives had been a little easier or we had taken that vacation last summer. Everyone has regret.

Before you argue or dismiss what I’m saying, think about the last time you said, “I wish I had (fill in blank).” Five minutes after I began writing this piece I said, “Man, I wish I had made coffee before I started this.” Regret.

We all regret something, and if we can regret something as small as the route we took to the mall, it’s safe to say we regret some of our past mistakes.

Where I think the “no regrets” speech sort of applies, is within the lessons we learn. I believe we can regret our choices or how some things have played out while still appreciating what we took away from the experience.

I’ve talked about learning and the evolution of the soul in past posts and this regret thing applies. Why can’t we be all of it? Regretful, yet grateful? It’s ok to have regret. It doesn’t make you a bad person or a weak person. What makes you strong is the presence of gratitude.

You might want to smack the hell out of me right now. I get it. However, in times when we reflect on our lives and feel regret, it’s so important to look at where the choices led you and be grateful you made it through without killing everyone.

It’s ok to regret and wish things had gone differently, just don’t beat yourself up about it. Forgive yourself or others involved, be grateful for what you took away from the experience and move forward. Hopefully not making the same mistake multiple times. Even if you do make the same mistakes again, just know you simply haven’t learned what you’re supposed to yet, so look closer at it. Try something different because the old way doesn’t work, you already know that because of regret.

I choose to be grateful for regret. It reminds me that I’m human and imperfect. It also reminds me that I have a conscience telling me, “Girl, that shit ain’t right.” Embrace your regret and then bury it in the backyard next to your ex-husband. (Just kidding).

I’m going to share my favorite quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson I believe fits well here.

Write it on your heart
that every day is the best day in the year.
He or she is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day
who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.

Finish each day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit
to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

This new day is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on the yesterdays.

Categories
Good Advice Mental Health Resources Mental illness

Intimate Partner Violence & Mental Health


Photo credit: Adobe Spark Post

Statistics and some paragraphs including relevant information from the American Journal Of Preventative Medicine

Click here for the most up to date guide about Domestic Violence & Drug Abuse. Click on links below for the most up to date guides on signs of abuse & addiction of drugs & alcohol.


I began searching the topic of Intimate Partner Violence or IPV, and was surprised to find very few studies of the effects on a person’s mental health.

I figured this was a no brainer. Of course violence inflicted by a partner is incredibly damaging. Your partner should be your safe zone. Trust and respect should reign over control and abuse. Always.

This subject is close to my heart because I have been abused in the past.

I never thought I would be one of those women. Yet there I was. It’s insane how love and fear can keep a woman holding on.

I read an article in the American Journal Of Preventative Medicine, about a study proclaiming that A total of 28.9% of 6790 women and 22.9% of 7122 men had experienced physical, sexual, or psychological IPV during their lifetime.

The article went on to say that for both men and women, physical IPV victimization was associated with increased risk of current poor health; depressive symptoms; substance use; and developing a chronic disease, chronic mental illness, and injury. In general, abuse of power and control was more strongly associated with these health outcomes than was verbal abuse. When physical and psychological IPV scores were both included in logistic regression models, higher psychological IPV scores were more strongly associated with these health outcomes than were physical IPV scores.

The study concluded that both physical and psychological IPV are associated with significant physical and mental health consequences for both male and female victims.

Luckily there are social service programs that help victims, not only with relocating them to safety, but also with therapy and social groups. Another study I read about in the Journal Of Women’s Health and Gender Based Medicine, addresses the positive effects of social service for abused women.

In Tulsa we have Domestic Violence Intervention Services referred to as DVIS. They provide an amazing service and have an empathetic staff whom many have lived through abuse themselves.

There is help out there if you need it. It’s the hardest part for sure and extremely scary. However, it’s empowering to take control back over your life and make good decisions for yourself. I’m including some links of national resources below. If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, pass these links on. Be safe ladies, you deserve happiness.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline Big plus, they have an option that helps you hide that you visited their website in case your web activity is being monitored.

U.S. Department of Human Services: Office On Women’s Health they are an amazing resource for finding assistance in your state.

Family and Youth Services Bureau

Domesticshelters.org this website helps you browse for help safely. The option is at the top of the page.

HUD Exchange

* There is also a higher chance of IPV with substance abuse. This is a great resource of information to educate the public about the facts of alcohol and drug use, abuse, addiction, and the difference between them. Click here for alcohol facts. Here for drug facts.

 

 

 

Categories
Good Advice Mental Health Resources Mental illness

The ACE’s Quiz


My case manager and I were wrapping up a long session of the dreaded “treatment plan” update, when he exclaimed, “Oh, I almost forgot! There is a new quiz we have to do now!”

He was referring to the ACE’s quiz.

A.C.E is an acronym for “adverse childhood experiences”. The quiz was simple, but the questions were very personal and deep even for us and we are close.

It’s said that the higher your score, the more at risk you are for developing certain adversities later in life.

  • risky health behaviors
  • chronic health conditions
  • low life potential
  • early death

cdc.gov

It’s important to note that the presence of ACEs does not automatically mean you will have any of the aforementioned adversities. It simply means there is a higher risk.

I took the quiz and answered the incredibly personal questions truthfully, ending with a score of 7. I didn’t know what it meant so I looked it up online. A score of 7 is very high. I read with a score higher than 4, things start to get serious.

Click here to read about ACE’s scores and take the quiz.

I began researching deeper into ACEs after a discussion with my mother-in-law over lunch. She informed me she recently began advocating for schools to hire mental health professionals as well as give the ACE quiz to all students. What a fabulous idea. I love it.

My mother-in-law is a force, and I believe she can accomplish this goal. This particular platform means a lot to both of us especially after losing my husband, her son, to suicide. The idea is that the trauma is dealt with instead of sweeping it all under the rug. Not dealing with the issues, is what leads to the problems later.

My husband didn’t have many ACEs at all. In fact, he had a great childhood. He was just sick. With the inclusion of this quiz in schools as well as the presence of mental health professionals, perhaps even the kids who are ” sick” can get help sooner.

The only question I have about the study is why we didn’t have it sooner. I was under the assumption it was common knowledge that abuse and neglect as children affect people later in life. The main point I always heard was that children from abusive homes are more likely to abuse their own kids.

I also thought it was common knowledge children of divorced parents are adversely affected. Bring on the “daddy issues”. If these were statistics widely acknowledged, why in 2019 do we just now have this quiz?

The study actually began in 1995 with the first recorded results becoming available in 1998. I took psychology in college and never had it mentioned. Isn’t that kind of odd?

I am so proud of my mother-in-law for putting herself into this advocacy for our kids. It’s a big deal. She pointed out that since Keith’s death in 2017, me starting my blog about mental health is my way of giving back. I truly hope someone gains insight or simply no longer feels so alone after reading some of my posts. That is my goal.

Do your own research and educate yourselves further regarding this study, as well as take the quiz. I provided a link above.

The world has come a long way in understanding mental health and the effects of trauma. We still have a long way to go, but we have to start somewhere.

 


Categories
Good Advice

Create Your Own Awesome Blog!


I absolutely LOVE WordPress. I always enjoyed writing but I journaled and certainly never let anyone read anything I wrote. I stumbled upon WordPress at the perfect time. It was about a year after my husband’s suicide and I was spiraling downward into a dark, dark place. Right down that proverbial rabbit hole and I needed something to get all of these thoughts and words out of me. I’m crazy enough without words multiplying at a rapid pace inside my manic mind, adding to the chaos of already racing thoughts. WordPress was a beacon of light in my otherwise dark world and I welcomed blogging like a strange but loveable old friend. It’s possibly the best therapeutic tool I have ever encountered. That’s saying something, because baby, I have tried everything.

One of my favorite parts about starting a blog was getting to design my website. WordPress makes it simple for even a beginner to create something beautiful that you can be proud of. I’m still learning about SEO and affiliate marketing and backlinks but WordPress is there for me with answers to my questions.

So seriously, give it a shot. You might stumble upon something life changing and great. Here is my referral link. I dare you to click it.

Unleash the artist in you and create something amazingly you..