Tag Archives: freedom

Thoughtful Thursday #227 – Non Attachment

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I am a bit of a hoarder – there I said it. I hoard stuff and not just a little bit, but a lot of stuff.

I’m trying to find a way around getting unattached to my stuff. But it’s hard. I have books and  clothes and fabric and tools and dishes and antiques and artwork and many memories and furniture and on and on.

One part of me is entwined with a strange comfort of having so much stuff.

And the other part is teary eyed at the thought of losing the comfort I feel surrounded by my stuff.

I did manage to sell one thing online and it was an interesting emotional experience.

I got a little handmade African canister for free and I didn’t “emotionally” want to let it go.  I listed it online to sell it and when the winning bid came in I knew it had to go.

As I wrapped it up to mail it out I was sad. I don’t know exactly why but that little canister made me happy on some level.

One part of me feels efficient, mature, responsible even proud of making a few bucks online.

The other part of me feels sad at the loss of a beautiful object.

Alas, the efficient part of me won out.

Non attachment takes great effort and in my case not all at once.

My non attachment practice is to slowly drop items I don’t really need one at a time.

As I wallow between hollow sadness of letting go of my stuff and losing track of stuff that has been temporarily mine I slowly move more of my stuff on for someone else to enjoy.

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Grounding And Unsettled Thinking

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To ground oneself in an effort to gain healthy mental health is very necessary. It’s not easy because we get caught up stuck in our heads, thinking too much.

Grounding helps us to calm down our minds so we can get clarity. Grounding facilitates that emotional release we need to heal ourselves.

We can’t heal ourselves from unsettled thinking through a cerebral process. It doesn’t work that way. Our unexpressed emotions and unexpressed truths will consume us until they are looked at and this is where grounding comes in.

Here are a few examples of grounding that worked for me:

  1. focusing on the breath gradually working up to about 2 minutes.
  2. paying attention to what you are thinking and write it down.
  3. coming back to the present moment, what are you doing at that moment.
  4. meditation, quiet time, reflection.
  5. do artwork, draw, paint, doodle, sew, knit, woodwork any kind of crafts.
  6. write, even if it is a word, or sentence, write what you hear, write from the heart.
  7. listen to music, any music that you like.
  8. take a walk, breath in deep, look at nature, go to the ocean.
  9. take a different action, redirect your actions.
  10. exercise, any exercise is better than none.

Grounding is an important part of getting in touch with your body where a lot of negativity, hidden memories, and confusion  is stored.

Our mind needs grounding for clarity and our bodies need grounding to get rid of stored negativity, hidden memories and confusion that it holds.

By practicing grounding on a regular basis, even once a week reaps great benefit and help change your thinking by changing your emotional life for the better.

 

Abandonment

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Here’s a list of what abandonment is from Susan Anderson’s book “The Journey from Abandonment to Healing” Pages 5 and 6. Susan Anderson has a blog with tons of information on the serious subject of “Abandonment”.

What is abandonment?

A feeling

A feeling of isolation within a relationship

An intense feeling of devastation when a relationship ends.

A primal fear – the raw element that makes going through heartbreak, divorce, separation or bereavement cut so deep

An aloneness not by choice

An experience from childhood

A baby left on a doorstep

A divorce

A woman left by her husband of twenty years for another woman

A man being left by his fiancée for some “more successful”

A mother leaving her children

A father leaving his children

A friend feeling deserted by a friend

A child whose pet dies

A little girl grieving over the death of her mother

A little boy wanting his mommy to come pick him up from nursery school

A child who feels replaced by the birth of another sibling

A child feeling restless because of his parents emotional unavailability

A boy realizing that he is gay and anticipating the reaction of his parents

A teenager feeling that her heart is actually broken

A teenage boy afraid to approach the girl he loves

A woman who has raised now grown children feeling empty as if she has been deserted

A child stricken with a serious illness watching his friends play while he must use a wheelchair or remain in bed

A woman who has lost her job and with it her professional identity, financial security and status

A man who has been put out to pasture by his company as if he is obsolete

A dying woman who fears being abandoned by loved one as much as or more that she fears pain and death

Abandonment is all of this and more. It’s wound is at the heart of human experience.

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You could add to the list but I think you get the message, the important thing here is to name what the feeling is.

Abandonment is so very painful, it is a feeling we have all experienced at one time or another. There is a PTSD component to abandonment which leaves it victims with shame, low self-esteem, and fear just to name a few of abandonment influences.

There is hope for survival and recovery, it will not be easy, you will have to do the important work of reaching deep within yourself and uncover the pain that is just below the surface of your awareness. Most of the time this work is not done alone. Counseling, or writing or exercising, read books on the subject, mindfulness and finding some way of getting to  the trauma that abandonment left behind.

You have to help yourself just enough to lift you. You are worth the effort. Don’t give up.

Recovery and Resiliency

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If there is one thing wonderful about being human it’s the ability to change. When we experience trauma or other upsetting situations we can recover and bounce back and end up thriving. However, the journey is not an easy one. Even though there is no one path to healing there are some guiding principles to recovery.

  1. there are many pathways to recover.
  2. recovery is self-directed and empowering.
  3. recovery involves a personal recognition of the need for change and transformation.
  4. recovery has cultural dimensions.
  5. recovery is holistic.
  6. recovery exists on a continuum of improved health and wellness.
  7. recovery emerges from hope and gratitude.
  8. recovery involves a process of healing and self redefinition.
  9. recovery is supported by peers and allies.
  10. recovery involves (re)joining and (re)building a life in the community
  11. recovery is reality.

The idea here is to find your way to recover. There is no right or wrong way to recover and it is your journey with lots of helpers along the way. Don’t give up.

Helpful Resources

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry http://www.aacap.org

Child Welfare Information Gateway http://www.childwelfare.gov

American Psychiatric Association Answer Center – 1-888-357-7924

American Psychological Association Public Education Line – 1-800-964-2000

 

This list is from Page 19 of Mental Health First Aid USA – for adults assisting young people. ISBN:  978-0-9885176-0-8.

 

Symptoms of Depression

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To be clinically depressed one would have at least two symptoms almost every day for at least two weeks.

Very sad mood.

Loss of joy and interest in activities that used to be enjoyable.

Lack of energy and tiredness.

Feeling worthless and guilty for no good reason.

Wishing to be dead and thinking about it often.

Can’t concentrate and making decisions.

Unsettled and restless, sometimes too slow sometimes agitated.

Sleep difficulties.

Changes in eating habits.

This list is not all-inclusive and not everyone will exhibit all of these symptoms. Symptoms of depression affection emotion, thoughts, behavior and physical well-being.

The causes of depression are varied. A break up or living in conflict, poverty, unemployment, disability, victimization, victim of a crime, long-term illness, death of an important person, side effects of certain medication, stress of having another mental disorder like schizophrenia, withdrawal from substances, hormonal, there is also bipolar disorder depression, depression following childbirth, seasonal depression.

It is ideal to have early intervention but that is not always possible.

If you are suffering with any of these issues reach out to mental health care providers and if you are involved with someone who needs help remember the Mental Health First Aid Action Plan: ALGEE – Assess the risk of suicide or harm. L – Listen non judgmental. G-Give reassurance and information E-Encourage professional help. E-Encourage self-help and support strategies.

And of course if the situation is dangerous call 911.

Helpful Resources:

http://www.depression-screening.org

http://www.moodgym.anu.edu.au

American Psychiatric Association Answer Center _ 1-888-357-7924

Thoughtful Thursday #210 – Get Out Of Your Head

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Go to therapy – you have to get out of your head.

I was made fun of, threatened, abandoned and booed for going to therapy by those who were threatened by my bravery and their fear of being exposed as addicts and criminals.

You are brave. Just try one tiny thing that will relieve your mind of worry and pressure and trauma. And those irritating recurring problems that seem to never go away.

Find a benign, non religious, knowledgeable therapist. There are tons of therapists who will not be judgmental of you and will be a sounding board for you to make new decisions for a happier life. A therapist is always on your side, your protector, your ally, your cheering section that will help you process those unseen, just under the surface emotions and a therapist will help you think for yourself.

Find a therapist that gets you. If he or she does not get you then move on to a new one. Your very well-being depends on it. Your mental health is very important, perhaps more important than physical health. Learn about yourself, make your mental health a priority.

Will this step be easy. No it won’t because the mind resists change, but the mind has to tag along when you take steps to help yourself.

Thoughtful Thursday #207 – Separation

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Many of us have grown up in either mildly dysfunctional or maddeningly dysfunctional family systems. We could have lived through addictions, violence, mental illness, instability, abandonment and the result was trauma. At some point we have to stop seeking validation from those in our family system who can’t even  validate themselves.

It’s time to separate. It’s time to let go of believing that they will change. It’s more probable that toxic people will always let you down and you deserve so much more. It’s time to miss events with those who are emotionally unavailable and toxic. When we separate we can acknowledge our pain and the depth of our family’s broken and unfit system. When we recognise our pain the healing begins.

When the healing begins you will regain your health, sanity, dignity and wholeness with this important and critical self-care. Will it be easy, nope. But so worth the effort.

It’s time to find out who you are in your own wholeness, separate from the trauma, drama and maladaptive idea of who you are.  It’s time for you to go back to the  unbroken and undamaged person you are meant to be, in one piece, peaceful and confident.

You are worth it.

Thoughtful Thursday #206 – Futility

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Futility=Pointlessness and uselessness.

We can recognize futility by an emptiness, hollowness, inside your body. Maybe an action seems meaningless. Sometimes on certain days we may even feel ineffective and worthless.

Wow, that really sounds painful. That is surely true, that is what futility does, makes you feel really hopeless. No one wants to feel that way.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully feeling futile lasts only for a short time. Here are a few suggestions to lighten you up.

  1. These feelings are not permanent.
  2. What is the message futility is telling you, maybe you are feeling suppressed.
  3. Get some rest.
  4. Take some alone time to get back into alignment.
  5. It’s OK to feel sad and frustrated.
  6. Get professional help if you need it.

The more we learn about how we feel the better our lives will be. Take good care of yourself first.

Thoughtful Thursday #205 – Progress

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We all have something we want to progress toward. A small thing or a large thing it doesn’t matter.

Progress is not all at once. Rather progress comes in bits and pieces, fits and starts, ups and downs, forward and backward.

That is OK and in a way that is how change happens, especially if the change is going to be permanent.

So in your frustration, when your progress is not fast enough,  please remember that progress is not linear, it never will be. Going with the flow and being patient, putting one foot in front of the other will get you where you need to go, in soon enough time.

Thoughtful Thursday #204 – Mental Illness

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Growing up with one of my caregivers being schizophrenic and the other an addict made my childhood a living hell. Mental illness was the elephant in the room that no one talked about. Relatives kept away, no one wanted to get involved and there were not many resources for a child protection back then.

I am here to say that if you are feeling unsafe in your home and you are under 18, reach out to a school counselor or your teacher even a police officer, you can even walk into a criminal court and go to the victim services office for advice.

If you are over 18 and you are feeling unsafe in your home reach out to a therapist, find supportive allies, start creating distance with those who are unsafe.  As an adult you can move around easier than a child can. You can leave your situation.

Being closely involved with those who have serious mental illness can make you feel crazy and unsure of your own sanity. It’s not you. Protect yourself because your very sanity and life depends on it.

You will come up against some who don’t want to get involved, that’s OK. Keep reaching out and you will prevail and regain the peace you deserve.