mental health

Drive me crazy

There are quite a few things that bother me.  Lately, there have been three “compulsions” or “nervous habits” that I’ve been struggling with.

The first is biting the skin on my fingers.  The hangnails on the side of my fingers, the extra skin peeling from my cuticles, my actual cuticles.  I don’t just bite them, they have to be even, no raised skin left.  I know this doesn’t sound so bad.  But, I have managed to remove the skin until you can see the raw fleshy part underneath or until my finger begins to bleed.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, a few days later when a rough scab has developed, I will start all over again.image

The second is biting the skin from my lips.  You know, like when your lips are chapped?  I will bite and rip the skin off until I have indented craters in my lips.  Once I have removed all of the chapped skin, I apply chapstick.  Why, because I like to feel the stinging on my lips.image

The last thing is rubbing the raised ridge on the side of my right thumb.  This ridge is very noticeable and to me is protruding more than the other ridges.  I sit and rub my finger or my lips across it for long periods of times.  It doesn’t hurt or feel good, it just drives me crazy.  This is now day 6 and I’ve decided I will have to file it until the ridge is gone because it is causing such a distraction.image

mental health

Sleep worker

My husband and I usually take a trip each summer, just the two of us.  This year I was offered a new job, so the trip has been kind of a last minute rush.  We already booked our two night stay on the beach, but a third night would have put us over our budget.  So, we thought we could save money by staying one night off the beach, maybe in a neighboring city.  Wouldn’t you know the prices are just as pricey.  

Being the thrifty spender I am, I have searched every site.  I’ve searched coupon codes, discount rates, and even called the hotels for better prices.  We searched VRBO and AirBNB rentals.  No luck. 

 I gave up and went to bed.  Somehow my overactive brain managed to haunt me in my sleep.  With visions of hotel websites dancing in my head.  Twice I woke up believing I had snagged a great price and the nightmare was over.  

It’s not.

Life lessons

Rescue me 

Yesterday, my husband and I went out to breakfast, just the two of us.  Something we rarely get to do with three children.  But it’s summertime and they are all visiting family.

Above photo obtained from 

So, there we were driving home when we stopped at a red light at a busy intersection.  My husband noticed to the left of us, a large turtle attempting to cross the road.  My husband said to me, “he ain’t gonna make it.”  I asked him if I should hop out and rescue it?  He said, “if you want to, but you better hurry up before the light turns.”  I looked around to make sure no cars were coming.  I opened the car door, jumped out, grabbed the turtle who sucked his body into his shell and ran over to the grassy area on the side of the road with the turtle hissing at me the entire way.  I placed him halfway up the hill and ran back to my car.  

I know they say you’re supposed to carry the turtle to the direction it was heading, but it was not going to be safe for the turtle or I to go in that direction.  There were quite a few other cars sitting and waiting for the light to change.  The turtle was huge and moving quickly for a turtle, trying to get across the road.  I thought, was I the only person who thought to get out and help it?  Surely, everyone could see he was never going to make it across once the light turned, and all those cars started to move.

Some might say that this was a waste of time because the turtle would probably turn back around and end up roadkill later.  But, I just couldn’t sit there and do nothing.  So, this got me thinking.  Aren’t some of us like that turtle?  At times headed down the wrong path, into oncoming traffic, hoping to get across safely?  Don’t we all just need someone to pick us up and turn us in the right direction?  

And aren’t all of us at one time or another asking ourselves if we should jump out and rescue someone who looks like they are struggling?  Only to decide it’s probably a waste of time because they are probably going to turn right back around and head in the same direction?

Ask yourself.  Who will you be?  The person in the car who decides to be brave enough to help a “lost cause” or the other onlookers shaking their heads and thinking, what a waste of time?

mental health

Don’t hate, Medicate!

To say I like things clean, neat, and organized is an understatement.

imageTwo years ago if I walked past a room and it was a mess, I would have a mild panic attack.  It would look a little something like this- view video here.  Complete with the ticks but minus the counting.  I would walk around nagging everyone in the house to clean up, put their clothes away, wash the dishes, and I wanted it done the way I would do it.  If they wouldn’t do it, I would do it for them.  I had a clean house and an amazing work ethic but, I was no fun and a nightmare to live with.

It’s easy for someone who doesn’t understand to tell you to just let the mess go.  For me, it was becoming unbearable to live in my own house.  I would clean and my children would mess it back up within fifteen minutes.  I would wash and fold all the clothes and even put them in everyone’s own basket but, they would just sit in those baskets for a week. I would organize their imagedresser drawers (sock drawer, pants drawer, shirt drawer), to make it easier to find things.  No one seemed to care except for me.  If I lived alone my house would be immaculate but, I don’t live alone.  So what could I do?  Change what I could and work through what I couldn’t.  

I was already in therapy.  I was trying to relax.  Trying to tell myself to pick my battles and just overlook the mess.  It felt impossible.  I eventually gave in and decided to try medication.  It really was trial and error.  They all have side effects but most of the side effects are temporary.  They varied from lack of appetite, upset stomach, sleepiness and dizziness.  To the side effects that I couldn’t handle, such as worsening symptoms.  So, three months and three medications later, I finally found one that seemed to work for me.

I instantly noticed a difference.  My mind and thoughts were quieting.  I felt calmer and I could think clearer.  Score!!  Six months later my decision making and relationships were improving.  I was making quicker progress in therapy.  The things that I was reading started to make more sense.  You see, I use to overanalyze and overthink everything.  

A year later I was more comfortable doing things on my own.  I was trying new things.  I was more independent.  Things that people would say that would normally bother me, no longer bothered me.  I was able to spend more time doing things that I and my family enjoyed doing.   I worked less, worried less about money, and took more family trips.

imageNow, two years later, the results are amazing.  I started this blog.  It still takes me several days to publish it because I’m checking it several times.  Trying to make it perfect. But, everyday I put myself out there.  I’m opening up more and more.  I’m learning about myself and what I like.  And, learning not to care what other people think.  Most importantly, I can walk past my children’s rooms, see the mess, and just keep walking.  

I can’t wait to see where I may be in five years.  So, if you asked me today if I believe in medicating?  I’d say, absolutely, 100% without a doubt.

I saw this on a friends facebook page and thought it appropriate for this post.

“We can’t all look good at the same time.  It’s either me, my kids, or the house.”

mental health

Sibling Rivalry

Genesis Part 2

In this next part of Genesis, Eve has given birth to two sons.  Cain and Abel.  Here we will learn about self-control, wrath, inability to accept responsibility, evil, murder, and sin.

Genesis 4 ERV

Bible:  Eve gives birth first to Cain who became a farmer and then Abel who became a Shepherd.  Each gave an offering to God.  Cain brought food he had grown from the ground and Abel gave the best parts of the best animals from his flock.  God accepted Abel’ gift but not Cain’s.  Cain became angry.  God warns Cain about learning to control his anger.

My thoughts:  Cain resembles borderline personalityemotionally unstable, fear of rejection, ignoring correction, and uncontrolled anger. 

Bible:  Cain lures Abel to a field and murders him out of anger.  God questions Cain about what happened to his brother Abel and Cain denies knowing.  God exiles Cain and punishes him for the rest of his life.  Cain claims the punishment is too harsh and worries that someone may try to kill him, wandering around in a foreign land away from his family.  God reassured him that if anyone tries to harm him, he will punish them much worse.

My thoughts:  Most people, especially those who are not “right with God” would not admit to wrongdoing.  It makes me think of people who are convicted or wrongfully convicted.  Those who know they are innocent will endure the unthinkable, holding out faith that they may one day be free.  Those who are guilty are found dead in their cell blocks or are ready to take anyone out rather than go back to jail or prison.

Genesis 6 ERV 

Bible:  The number of people on earth increased.  God starts to believe his people are increasingly becoming more evil and only think evil things.  He decides he has made a mistake in making them and decides he’s going to destroy them all.

My thoughts:  People always ask, why would a loving God allow this or that?  God has his limits too.  He created people to be good.  Even he has his limits before he decides he’s had enough.

 

mental health, religion

The Serpent

I’m starting a new blog series which will take facts and stories from the bible and show how they relate to mental health issues in today’s world.  I first want to say that everything that I discuss in these series were obtained directly from the bible.  Please see the attached links.  I am in no way discriminating against or Judging any group of people whatsoever.   I have added my own thoughts beneath the verses.

Let’s talk about “Genesis”.  Genesis is the first book of the bible.  It has love, sin, lies, deception, shame, blame and punishment.

Genesis 2 ERV

Bible: God created the world in 6 days.  On the 7th day he rested.  This day was called the sabbath.  God set aside this day as a holy day.

My thoughts: In the Christian culture, our holy day is Sunday.  That is the day we go to church and worship God.  Well, most of us anyway.  Some of us still work on this day.

Bible: God set aside Eden for Adam to live and reign over.  A perfectly beautiful land that had everything Adam could ever want.  The only thing God forbid Adam from doing was to eat from the tree that gave knowledge of good and evil.  He warned Adam that if he ate from this tree he would die.

My thoughts:  Most parents have rules they give their children to protect them from harm.  I think God wanted to protect Adam from knowing evil.  He only wanted him to know of the good.

Bible: God did not believe it to be good for Adam to be alone.  He created the animals to keep him company.  But none were like Adam. So, he created Adam a companion directly from his body.  He called the companion Woman and named her Eve.  The two were made from one, thus becoming one person.  This is why God said when a man took a wife, he would leave his mother and father and become one.  He said they were both naked and not ashamed.

My thoughts: What we learn here is that God didn’t want Adam to be alone.  Why?  Maybe because he knew that Adam would be lonely and bored and get into trouble?  We learn that God did not think animals would make suitable mates for Adam.  He created a woman to be Adam’s suitable mate.  I also think that God is saying that the only true intimacy between a man and a woman is in the form of marriage.  The two became one and were able to be naked, unafraid, and unashamed together.  Isn’t that the ultimate form of trust?

Genesis 3 ERV

Bible:  The serpent deceived Eve by telling her that unlike what God had told her, she would not die from eating from the tree that gives knowledge of good and evil.  He told her that God just told her that because he knew if they ate from the tree they would know everything that he knew.  So, Eve ate from the tree so that she may know everything that God knew and she gave the fruit to Adam to eat.

My thoughts:  This is just like the devil to tempt us.  He lures us into believing the grass is greener.  Even though we know we’re not supposed to do it, there’s something about being a little rebellious that excites us.  

Bible:  Knowing that they had disobeyed God, Adam and Eve covered up their nakedness.  When they heard God coming, they hid.  God called for them.  Adam admits that they were afraid of God and hid from him because they were naked.  God asks how they knew they were naked and if they had eaten from the forbidden tree.

My thoughts:  Even as children when we are disobedient we want to run and hide.  The shame and guilt of what we have done can overpower us.  We always think that somehow we can get away with our crime.  Not realizing the truth is written all over our face.  We don’t look or act the same.  We’re different. We act guilty.

Bible:  Adam blames God for his disobedience, saying it was the woman that he gave to him that made him eat the fruit.  God questions Eve who blames the serpent.

My thoughts:  This is typical.  No one ever wants to take responsibility for their actions.  There is always someone or something to blame.

Bible:  God curses the serpent for deceiving Adam and Eve.  He says life will be harder for him than any other creature.  He will crawl on his belly on the ground.  He will be enemy of all mankind.  God curses Eve by giving her difficulties during pregnancies and pain during delivery.  He tells her that her husband will rule over her.  God also curses Adam.  He tells him that he will have to work hard or everything he has until the day that he dies.  God banishes Adam and Eve from Eden.

My thoughts:  From the earliest times, man was punished severely for his crimes.  The moral of the story is to obey the laws and rules.  You already know there is a punishment set up.  If you should be disobedient, own up to it, ask for forgiveness, and just maybe your punishment won’t be severe.

 

 

 

 

 

mental health

Footprints

It’s nothing like the word of God to re-set your mind.  When I first started this blog, I wanted to share how your mental health could affect your religious beliefs.  Let me explain what I mean.  When I was at my lowest point in my life, I was searching for something.  I was searching for answers.  I was searching for a reason for my hurt, my pain, my unhappiness.  I downloaded books on my kindle.  I did research online.  I talked to friends and family members.  I know that there are people that may be reading this blog that don’t believe in God or the bible.  There have been times in my life when I have had my doubts.  What I can tell you is when you are lonely, hurting, and looking for help, help will find you.

As I was saying.  When I was at my lowest, and searching, praying for help.  God came to me.  No, I didn’t see him.  There was no “Morgan Freeman” voice.  I wasn’t in church.  I had just left work.  I got into my car and buckled my seatbelt.  The first thing that I always do when I get out of my car is turn off the radio.  I have a sensitivity to sound.  There’s nothing worse than getting into the car and starting it up and this noise blaring in your ear.  This particular day, I began to drive, lost in thought and the silence.  I can’t explain it but about 15 seconds later the radio turned on.  Yes, it turned on by itself.  At first I was freaked out.  How did that just happen?  Then I began to listen to what was playing on the radio.  The song playing was One Republic’s, “Feel Again“.  These are the words that I heard.

It’s been a long time coming since I’ve seen your face
I’ve been everywhere and back trying to replace
Everything that I had ’til my feet went numbimage
Praying like a fool that’s been on the run

A smile came upon my face and I realized, He was listening.  I didn’t have to go searching for anyone or anything.  He was right there, waiting for me.

It made me think of the poem by Mary Stevenson,  “Footprints in the Sand”.

The Lord replied:
“My precious child, I love you and would
never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering,
when you see only one set of footprints, it was then
that I carried you.”

I never believed this more than on that day.  And I never doubted again.  I still struggle, I still have bad days.  But, my life is different because of HIM!!!