Family?

FAMILY – Oh my , you Finally called!! You never take time to call. Your brother calls us every night. Why have you not called us in so long?

ME- Gee, I can’t imagine why…

FAMILY – Well what a shock, you have finally graced us with your presence! The heavens are going to open up and hail!

ME – I wish it would hail. It would give me an excuse to leave.

FAMILY – You seem to be having some issues with anxiety and depression. You should go talk to someone about it. (anyone, as long as it isn’t us…)

ME – Yeah ok , I’ll go get that fixed this week with a therapist, so that when I come back to visit you, you won’t feel uncomfortable with my mood.

FAMILY – Great, do that. Also, you are invited to a family reunion

Insomnia Humor

Insomnia Sucks
I can’t count the ducks
They say to count sheep
It don’t put me to sleep

Imagery is great
But it keeps me up late

Now it’s 6:30
The dishes are dirty
I know I should wash them
But I want to squash them

If this made you smile
Then it was worthwhile

And I know that you know
And you know that I’m so
And that sounded brainless
The sheep are now nameless
My mind is so aimless

Too tired to write stanzas
About what a woman and man does

This poem gets worse
With Each Passing Verse

Or maybe it’s clever
In some profound way
It might change your life
Or just make you say…

“You should go to sleep
You’re brain is not deep
You’re just overtired
And think you’re inspired
But thank you for trying
Your poem I’ll keep”

So now it is time
To count the damn sheep
And if I am able
I’ll fall fast asleep

And while I am sleeping
I’ll dream I’m awake
And when I am waking
I’ll wish I could sleep

The whole silly thing
It just goes round and round
But now I have you
And you know what I mean
When I say…

That I paint the sheep
Red, blue and green
Cause I can’t count them nightly
And sleep so politely

** This was either another incredibly profound poem by Annie, or she has lost her entire mind due to insomnia and sleep deprivation.** LOL

Passionate Kisses

Your kisses
Though far in between
Left traces of sweetness
Invisible, Unseen

Your touches
So painful to miss
Imprinted their memory
A longing for bliss

My body and soul, how they
Ache to be one
With the stroke of your fingers
The taste of your tongue

A break from the fear
Relief from the pain
Passion unbridled
Release like no other

Unbearable aching
To feel your kind touches
Relieving my soul
From the constant pain

To know I am Real
To know I can Feel
To know there is Passion
Still left in my Soul

Emotional expression
Unsurpassed
Truly Understood
And Seen At Last

The Facts Do Not Speak for Themselves

My daughter’s grandfather just called up the stairs to her.
I heard him say, “You Don’t Listen Very Well. Do You?!”
Now this is a question which has no good answer!
The obvious, somewhat ironic, response is “What?”

He then preceded to scold her for leaving her sneakers in the kitchen. Instead of focusing on the issue of the shoes, he felt the need to emphasize her “disobedience” and “lack of paying attention to his rules”.

As the words continued to be exchanged , it came to light that she had NOT, in fact , left her shoes in the kitchen at all. It turns out that her grandmother ( the wife of the person scolding her) had brought them in from the porch and put them in the kitchen.

So, first I would like to remind us all that the Facts Do Not Always Speak for Themselves. Things are not always as they seem and it is better to be patient about gathering the facts before passing judgement.

Secondly, people forget things! It is not usually their intent to make anyone’s life difficult. This is especially true about kids and teenagers.

Most importantly, however is that we should not attack people’s general character and make general sweeping statements to hurt people.

Our words can be used to help or to hurt people. They can raise self-esteem or lower it. We should always choose our words and tone of voice carefully.

Damaging a person’s self-esteem is a way of injuring a person’s mental health. There is no reason to cause someone to feel small because they did something that you do not care for. Especially if it could be easily resolved by talking to the person.

We have a valuable gift and power of the ability to uplift others with words that encourage. Our words should bring out the best in people.

If someone becomes convinced that they can’t do something then they probably won’t do it. So the most likely result of saying “you don’t listen well. Do you?” is that they will not listen well the next time either because you have put the idea that they are a bad listener in their brain.

When something needs to be resolved, we should stick to the specific issue at hand. There is no need to bash someone’s self-esteem and make them feel like they have a tremendous character flaw, just because they forgot to put their sneakers away.

If you really want someone to work with you, then cannot not start off the conversation with aggression and criticism. Especially with a question like “you don’t listen very well , do you?”

This kind of question is not a question at all. It is sarcastic and it backs the person into a corner. There is no way to respond to the question without feeling stupid.

When someone asks a question like that, they should first think about how they would feel if they had to reply to it.

It is better to be slow to anger. It gives you more time to take a better look at the situation and even weather or not it warrants getting angry at all.

I admire all of you who take the time to think and be calm. Let us all be more aware of how our words affect others, even the possible loved one who is listening from the next room.

Namaste
Annie

OCD and the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale

I have felt for a while that I have some OCD issues. My perception has been that my symptoms coincide with times of extreme anxiety. The compulsive behaviors come and go based on what is going on in my life and what is happening during the day.

Prior to taking the test, I was not conscious of any symptoms that continued throughout the day or ones that occurred on a daily basis.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with OCD, it is an anxiety disorder in which certain unwanted thoughts intrude upon your brain in a way that the person has little or no control over.

In addition to the intrusive worries and fearful thoughts, there are coinciding behaviors (compulsions) that the person has a strong need to do. These compulsions are related to an effort to relieve the fears and anxieties caused by the overpowering, panicky, obsessive thoughts.

So there are two parts of the disorder which are obsessive, intrusive thoughts and compulsive, unusual behaviors. I say unusual based on the scale of what the “normal” people would think was usual.

To an OCD sufferer these behaviors may seem normal or they may have done them so many times that they become unsure of what “normal” is.

I put the word “normal” in quotes because I have my own personal beliefs about “normal” being a perception that exists within the particular paradigm of individuals and can be a mass, mutually agreed-upon, reality created by the masses. But that is a blog for another day.

Some examples of OCD symptoms can be Obsessive hand washing, excessive cleaning or excessive checking ( like checking 5 times that the curling iron is unplugged, including going all the way to the car and coming all the way back up the steps to check one more time, every day).

OCD compulsions are time consuming and invade our lives at critical times. The result can be lateness to work or for appointments, which can cause problems in our work and social lives.

It may also cause the OCD sufferer to lie as a habit. After all, “My car would not start,” is a more acceptable excuse than the fact that you walked back into the house five times to make sure the water was shut off.

Often people with OCD are aware of the obsessive thoughts being “too-much”, exaggerated or out of the ordinary. They are also probably aware of at least some of the compulsions to the point where they feel they have become somewhat disabled by them.

I did some research late last night about OCD and I discovered the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale. I took the online version of the test. There are 10 questions in which the test-taker rates the level of severity and level the behavior interferes with daily life. There are 5 questions relating to Obsessive thoughts and 5 questions relating to Compulsive behaviors.

I was surprised that I rated a 32 out of 40 on the scale. This put me in the small group of extremely symptomatic OCD sufferers. In the online poll which was taken by people who have OCD symptoms, the results were put into 5 categories.

The categories are ordered in a list of increasingly more severe symptoms.

The categories are very mild ( 0-7 points) , mild (7-15 points) , moderate (16-23 points), Severe (24-31 points) and extreme (32-40 points).

Out of 2,578 poll takers, the highest number of people (1,029) came out as having moderate OCD. That is 39.9 % of the total.

I have placed a summary of the chart below.

Little or No Symptoms 95 people
Mild symptoms 580 people
Moderate symptoms 1,029 people
Severe Symptoms 732 people
Extreme Symptoms 142 peple

The site I got this information from is psychology-tools.com

So, I am thinking that in light of this new information that I will do some more research on OCD symptoms and management tools. But what would be even better is to come up with some coping skills of our own. I am probably not the only person that discounted many of my feelings and behaviors.

Maybe it will be helpful for myself and those of you with OCD to try to get a better picture of ourselves. This is not to diminish us but perhaps to give ourselves some validation and some pats on the back for the way we are able to survive in spite of this issue.

People who do not suffer from any mental disorder do not understand the difficulty with which we get though the simple tasks and situations. People have methods and skills for dealing with their day that are difficult or impossible for us to access.

Even the simplest tasks can be extremely difficult or even impossible for OCD sufferers to accomplish. Others may interpret this as procrastination , laziness or irresponsibility.

So I will try to address some of these issues and together we will find a way to live our lives with greater ease and not feel so handicapped compared to other people.

Let’s come up with some new ideas, holistic methods, combination methods and other ideas to help ourselves. Give me your experiences and suggestions in the comments below.

Who knows what we can come up with by combining our spiritual and intellectual energies together!

Annie

Is All This Rushing Around Really Getting us Anywhere any Faster ?

Is all this rushing around, as if everything were a dire emergency, actually getting us places any faster?

You see it all the time… People parking in handicapped spaces , customers cutting in front of each other and drivers speeding past you on the streets.

When I was a little girl, my father used to have a “game” he enjoyed playing with these annoying, speeding drivers. He would beep at them at each red light thus letting them know that they were still not any farther ahead.

This served, no doubt, to annoy the speeder. It also provided some well-needed , if slightly twisted, entertainment for Dad.

Recently, at a nursing home I was  volunteering at,  a  supervisor  decided that the workers were not fast enough.

At a nursing home, there is a procedure for transporting a group of residents from one room to another.   You have to make sure that none of the elderly residents are left unattended.

The typical system is the following:
one worker stays in the original room,
the second worker helps people into the new room,  the third worker transports people     (This way , everyone is being supervised).

So the new supervisor  was barking orders.

“Get moving!”  they  called.Everyone should be wheeling them. Go go-go. One two three. ”  “We all must move fast. Fast fast fast!!  One, Two, Three. ” she yelled.

“Get one of them , run  them to the room, then run back fast to get the next one .”  In the meantime, leaving the first room unattended.

We were speeding a group of 90 year women  to a room to do crafts with them for the next two hours. Thus, in fact, SPEEDING ALL OF US TO THE STOP LIGHT.

So why is it,  that so many people are rushing but not thinking? Who is it that sets all these so-called deadlines anyway?

I mean, I understand that certain things  have to have a deadline.  But do we have to assign a deadline to everything?

Maybe some things are just supposed to take as long as they take. Like walking an 85 year old man with a walker and pushing a 97 year old woman in her wheelchair.

So , there you have it.  My RANT about RUSHING.

I mean really! I think I saw three old ladies’ slippers and one old poor old guy’s hat go flying off down the hallway!! LOL

So… faster is more efficient and saves us time…or does it? I don’t think so.

What are we prioritizing? And what are we saving the time to use it for?

Are we… RUSHING TO SAVE TIME For MORE RUSHING, to SAVE MORE TIME??

Had I followed that logic that day,  I never would have had time to listen to 99 year old Daisy tell me the names of her great grandchildren again (For the fifth time, bless her sweet heart, but I listen every time)

I never would have had the time to walk 90 year old, Wilma over to the piano. And patience to respond to her that “yes” she did play piano.

I never would have had the patience to wait, while the music made it’s way into her long , beautiful, fingers that I had so lovingly placed on the keys.

So, slow down a little. If only here and there. Stop and smell the roses. Spend time with a special person. You don’t want to miss the amazing music along the way.

Doing Nothing

We all feel that we have to be doing something every second of the day. This is one of the main causes of anxiety, frustration, depression, high blood pressure, digestive disorders, relationship stress and the list goes on.

By “something” I mean something measurable, something tangible, something that produces something, something that others acknowledge as “something”.

But who has the right to be the judge of what is a productive use of our time? Why do we constantly allow others to be the judge and jury for us? Do any of these people actually understand who we are inside?

How many people actually understand who you are, how you feel and what you really think? After so many years of listening to other people tell you what you should and shouldn’t be doing with your time, do you really know yourself anymore? Do you really know what you feel anymore?

It seems like the pace of life has gotten so fast that we don’t feel like there is time to just stop and do nothing. Sometimes doing “nothing” by other people’s definition is actually a productive use of our time.

Could it be that just stopping for a half an hour and doing nothing could make us more productive during the rest of our day?

Could it be that doing “nothing” is doing “something?”

I propose that each of us take one half hour each day for a week to do absolutely nothing. No internet, no cell phone, no people, no thoughts about work.

No planning for or worrying about the future. No thinking about problems with family or friends. No thoughts about money or health issues. No thoughts about world problems, community issues or neighbors.

Just let go of the past and the future. Sit very still and very quietly with only the sound of your own breath to focus on.

The past will not be injured if we leave it alone for 30 minutes. The future will not be doomed if we stop worrying about it for 30 minutes.

Just let yourself be in the present moment. Not even the whole day, just the very tiny moment that you are in.

For a half an hour let the thoughts come into your mind and just ignore them, do not attach to them, just let them float away because we are not doing “something” right now. We are just doing “nothing”.

Set a timer if you need to to alert you at the end of 30 minutes. And for a glorious, precious half an hour just take a vacation from everything. Imagine there is absolutely nothing to do.
You are on vacation so there are no dishes to do, no bills to pay, no people to please or apologize to. There are no health problems, no finances.

No relationships whatsoever. For 30 minutes, you are not married, you are not single. You are not obligated to anyone but yourself and to the present moment.

Just you and you alone being in touch with the spiritual side of yourself. Focus on life and the gentle flow of your breath.

I challenge each one of us, including myself to give this experiment a try. I have written this out of a feeling and a vision that this half hour will save all of us. It will open New Ideas, New Pathways, New Opportunities and New Solutions for all of us.

As we do this, we will have a connection with each other in a spiritual way and our connectedness will create extra positive energy for all of us and for each of us.

I believe in each and every one of you.

Take a step outside the box.
Take a walk outside the lines.

You and I did not write the lines or make the boxes that society expects us to stay in. Why do we have to stay within them for 24 hours a day? Even when no one is watching?

I challenge us to erase the lines for a half an hour and allow ourselves to let everything go for a time.

Decide that it is okay to take a break. Decide that it is okay to take a half hour vacation. Give yourself permission.

You do not need anyone else’s approval to take a half an hour to stop worrying about what others expect. You do not need anyone else’s approval to think your own thoughts, unaffected by the rules, for a half an hour.

My prayers are with you.

Save yourselves.

Save yourselves from the stress that society tells you is part of being a responsible adult. It is a lie. Being under anxiety and attempting to please those that do not understand you is not the way to be a responsible adult.

I challenge you to be responsible to yourself for a change. Be accountable to yourself.

In the end we are all alone in a way. We were all born alone and will all die alone. No one could share the feelings and thoughts of those life experiences with us. So to take time alone, is natural and more normal than what society tells you “normal” is.

In the end all we have is ourselves. Should we not have a relationship with that person who was with us in birth and will be with us in death?

I have said we are each of us alone, but it is also true that we are all connected with each other. We are all connected through life energy.

When any one of us is injured. it effects all of the rest of us. When any one of us are uplifted, it uplifts all of us even if we are on the other side of the world and consciously unaware of that person.

So as we are alone in many ways , we are intrinsically connected in life.

So as you all take your half an hour vacation each day, I will take mine. We will each have 30 minutes to connect with ourselves and find peace. And at the same time, we will all be connected as we agree together to take care of ourselves and find the truth that is inside of each of us.

Namaste
Annie

Categories