Monday, December 1, 2014

Progress and minor miracles



Success is something I take when I can manage to get it so here is my list thus far:

1. Stayed in a hotel and didn't strip the bed to inspect it prior to laying in it

2. Looked out the window from the 17th floor with no weighing of all that was above or below us.


3.  Managed to focus on the decorations in the lobby not the weight of all those floors above (Ok I did have a minor moment at first but worked my way out of it)

4. Elevators --yup took more than my preferred share and we were packed in a few times      with others luggage, etc.  It still counts right even if my eyes were closed and I held my breath?

5. Parking Garage, HORRIBLE tight overly packed garage oh and we were in the lowest level possible, I swear we saw Glandalf walking around.



6.  NBA game -minus hubby who is usually my focal point and distraction.  



Doesn't look like any major feats but to me they are huge in getting back out there. 
I am thankful that I can see the small gains and appreciate them so on those days when I have to take a picture of the stove (or light switch) to prove to myself later that I DID turn it off, I am able to keep those days in perspective of the overall daily life.

Anyone else want to share their success?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Mental Illness on Primetime t.v.

Tonight on "60 Minutes" rebroadcast a show from January that focused on mental illness and children showing the lack of services available to families.  We all know the system is failing and needs to be fixed but how can that be done?  Emergency rooms are a safety net of sorts that do what they can but it's just temporary, there needs to be more options for places for children to go to for further treatment.  If a parent brings a child in who is suicidal and after being there 14hrs they have become more stable but they still need further treatment with no possible bed availability so the parent is given the option to take the child home to return the next day.  Why should the parent be put in that situation?

I did no see the original broadcast so I was happy I stumbled across it flipping channels.

One mother was asked what the difference is between being a mother to a child with heart disease versus a child with mental illness and her response was.........sympathy.

Then for a parent to be told by a social worker to give up her daughter so she can get coverage to remain in the hospital, otherwise she would be sent home since their insurance company would no longer pay.  How is that even fathomable for a social worker to suggest this? I can imagine that for a few parents this might seem like a last resort option they just might take thinking that their child will at least remain in a safe hospital setting getting the help they need, but then what?  What happens if down the line the need for a hospital setting is no longer required?  Can the parents get the child back?

I am very interested in hearing what others think.  

Here are links to the show:

60 Minutes nowhere to go mentally ill youth

Beloved son turns on father

Stigma

Entire Transcript


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Early Mornings

I've never been a breakfast person and since I am up early around 5:30 am, the thought of eating so early just makes me nauseous.  Then at work by 9 am I am starving!  
I snack on fruit and the usual yogurt and am fairly tired of that same old same.  
Today I tried a new quick breakfast for later -egg and bacon cups.  They came out good and were also a hit with my picky teenager who also is not a breakfast fan.

Anyone else have suggestions for a quick breakfast idea.  
Already have tried breakfast quesadillas, leftovers in a wrap, egg in toast. 
Would like oatmeal bars or good muffins perhaps.
I found a nice old recipe for popovers but they didn't come out very well sad to say and neither did the scones.

In order for the day to go smoothly it will be helpful to have items to make ahead that everyone can take with them so that way  won't fret about whether or not I left the stove, burner, or blender on.  Slow gains are being made but I know with the hustle and bustle of the morning routines I will fuss over the slim possibility that anything may have been left open.









Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Face of Mental Illnes

Hello All,

I am currently working on a Photo Essay "Face of Mental Illness" which I hope will show the human side of illness showing not just the struggles we can have but also the daily joys and success. Anyone interested in discussing or being a part of it please feel free to contact me with any questions send me a message.
There is not requirement to actually have your "face" photographed to tell your story. A silhouette of you in your surroundings or going about the day serves the purpose of telling something about oneself.

My interest in this is personal as I have OCD and my mom has Bipolar/Manic depression. Recently I have started therapy (huge personal step) and through that and meeting others realized that the perception of what society labels "mental" or "crazy" people look like continues to enforce the stigma attached to having a mental illness. When in fact many people who the average person comes in contact with actually have a mental illness diagnosis but do not fit the image greater society has come to believe one should look like.

I want to make it understood that we are just like everyone else, we are you neighbors, friends, family members, teachers, doctors, bus drivers, artists, lawyers and deserve to be allowed to say we have an illness without fear of being shunned.

Please consider getting involved. My hope is if enough people are interested it will get a showing at the library.

Pass this on to anyone you might think would be interested.

Melissa

Monday, September 1, 2014

Finding Me.

It's been awhile since last post and a TON has been going on but mainly I've tried to focus on me and things I like.  Things that relieve the swirl of energy/anxiety and calm me down similar to what hair pulling does but obviously in a more healthier constructive way.

I made a list of various activities that I truly enjoy and began to try and in cooperate a few of them into my day.

-Reading
-Cooking
-Poking around Antique and thrift stores
-listening to music
-walking

Reading has been hit or miss because sometimes I just can't shut my mind off long enough to actually be quiet enough to focus on the words I am reading so I have been doing audio books.  I just miss relaxing with a great book and a cup of tea and a goal is to get to the point that I can do that again daily if I choose to.

Cooking well, let's be honest after awhile "what's for supper" becomes a hassle and personally it haunts me and I obsess about it so the fun in cooking is lost in all the mental lists I go through before I even start to cook.  BUT I've purchased some new cookbooks, (new to me anyhow since I LOVE vintage cookbooks and have a decent collection) and have become inspired by some of the simple yet delicious recipes.  So lets break out the Pyrex casserole dishes!

Thift store, Flea markets, yard sales and antique stores are so much fun since you never know what you will find or learn for that matter.  I have been dragging my son along with me for years and he has his own collection of things from vintage cameras (he is into photography) to various tins and he enjoys it plus I get that time alone with him and learn so much about him (teenagers sometimes they are aliens.  Over the past few weeks we have hit a bunch of sales, fleas and thrifts and found some interesting things.  J scored a vintage Brownie camera in original box and a 8mm working video camera so he is over the moon.
Here are a few of my finds:
Rainbows! Who doesn't love rainbows and a cute Halloween teddy.


I never saw Salty and Peppy shakers before and they are so adorable.

So as I continue to work on me and finding balance I am you also can find your HAPPY! If even for a few minutes.




Saturday, August 9, 2014

Power of Approval


The searching needing to know questions:

Are you mad at me?   Did I do something wrong?  Are you upset?  Why do you sound frustrated?  Tell me the truth is everything O.K.?   What can I do?  Is it going to be alright?  So your not upset with me?  

Followed by the feeler statements:

I'm sorry whatever I did, just don't be mad.
By your tone I know that you are mad at me.
You're not talking so that means I did something wrong.

OVER AND OVER the same pattern happens.  Constantly needing NO having to KNOW that everything is O.K. and no one is mad at me.  Well that is not exactly a true statement since there are only 2 people who I respond to in that way: 1. my husband  2. our son.  Now with our son I am not that bad because let's face it he is a teen and if I am doing this parenting thing correctly he will be mad or upset with me and that sits perfectly fine with me.

On the flip side is my husband whom I have been married to for 17 and a half years but I can put myself in full panic mode worrying he is mad or upset with me and will leave.  Rational reason behind it to make me think this, NONE.    

OCD can have you seeking constant approval and I believe this is a piece of it but I also believe the uncertainty of my mother's bipolar is a bigger piece.  My need to keep things smooth and quiet was such a big part of my childhood and yet at times for no apparent reason she would become angry and withdrawn.  In those moments I truly felt abandoned like I somehow did something so bad that I did not deserve her love or attention until I corrected what ever wrong she felt I did.

Now my husband is a very laid-back guy and knows that I tend to seek reassurance when I am stressed or extremely anxious so he is very patient and makes sure my mind is fully reassured BUT I just want the need for it to be gone. IT'S NOT HEALTHY.

How can I think that not being able to find the iron (he irons, I shower steam) or taking a day for me will cause him to not love me? How is that even a thought process?

A goal will be for me to take a step back when the ripple of panic starts to set in and I fear he may get upset.  Look at the actual situation nothing more.

Here is to hoping that all of this will get worked out in the Anxiety treatment!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bipolar Documentary Movie Review


It is my personal belief that an aspect of mental illness is hereditary,  That's not to say that because a parent, aunt, uncle or grandparent had a mental illness an individual is guaranteed to themselves be diagnosed with one as well.  Instead I view it as a predisposition that should be considered just like any other illness would (diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc).  

In my own family there is a LONG family history of mental illness with my mother having Bipolar and depression.  So when surfing for a movie to watch I was more than intrigued to see HBO had a documentary movie called Boy Interrupted that chronicled the story of Evan Scott Perry who was diagnosed as a child with Bipolar and committed suicide at age 15 in 2005.

The film was made by Evan's parents Dana and Hart Perry who have made documentaries before and follow his life from before diagnosis, diagnosis, treatment, recovery and everything in-between.

Boy Interrupted Synopsis

Watching the movie was very emotional, drawing on many emotions any of has had when someone we love presents with suicidal thoughts.  Never truly knowing what anyone is thinking or feeling plays a strong role in the movie and rings true with all of us. How many times have you put on a happy face, "sucked it up" to make it through the work/school day or tried to not worry family or friends and only relaxed when alone letting your guard down enough to freely feel?
You learn the correct words or actions to say or do that stops people from asking if you are OK or how you are feeling.

cover art
Did I shed some tears watching this!!  Truly heart wrenching and I am waiting to hear what my mother has to say about it since I told her last night to watch it.  Her suicide attempts were proceeded by periods of "recovery" and her masking her true emotions.


There has been questions on the parents "motive" for making the film and how they decided to allow someone to film the funeral when they should be grieving.  Now how anyone can say what they would do in that situation is absurd.  I believe for the Perry's the filming was therapeutic and helped them in their grieving process.  After all there is no ONE way to grieve and we all do it the way we find works for us.

Has anyone else watched the movie?  Would love to hear your thoughts on it.


Suicide is a hard to understand and feel you could have done this or that to stop it but those are questions left for the living to deal with.  If you or someone you know has thoughts of suicide please get help. National suicide hotline:

Call 24/7

1-800-273-8255