100th Blog Post !

Liebster Award pinkThe blog that I just posted a few minutes ago was my 100th blog! WordPress put a message up letting me know! That was pretty exciting. It felt like an accomplishment.

I posted my first blog on October 25th  entitled “Doing Nothing”

https://anniemimihall.wordpress.com/2014/10/25/doing-nothing/

My next post was posted October 27th  “Is all this Running Around Really Getting us Anywhere any Faster?

https://anniemimihall.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/is-racing-around-really-getting-us-anywhere-any-faster/

Those were just general opinion blogs about things that were running around in my head. The next one was the first blog I actually did research for. It was also the first blog I wrote on mental health issues. It was OCD and the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale. Posted on October 29th

https://anniemimihall.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/ocd-and-the-yale-brown-obsessive-compulsive-scale/

I realized after the response to this one that I wanted to focus on mental health subjects as well as self-help, spirituality, poetry and individuality.

I have written blogs about OCD, depression, generalized anxiety, social anxiety and domestic abuse. I have learned a lot from doing research for the blogs. I have also learned a lot about myself from writing about my thoughts and feelings.

I have been very surprised about the therapeutic effect of blogging about things that mean something to you. It helps to get things off your chest and it is wonderful to connect with others about mutual interests , thoughts and feelings.

I have come to love the blogging world in the last month. I can hardly believe that i wrote 100 posts in a month and that does not include my poetry at Annie’s poetry

https://gentlekindness.wordpress.com/

If you decide to look at the poetry because I put the link there , please be advised that some of it has trigger warnings and may recreate trauma for people recovering from PTSD and domestic abuse.

I wanted to share my 100th blog moment with all of you. The 100th blog is on Sleep Apnea. I am currently researching sleep disorders and sleep cycles because I have been having a horrendous time with my sleep lately. And i am almost completely non-functional when i wake up.

Thank you all for reading my blogs. I have about 140+ followers . I am happy to connect with all of you. God bless all of you and have a peaceful night.

Namaste,

Annie

Sleep Apnea – Tiredness, Fatigue and Memory Impairment

Sleep Apnea affects 4 % of Americans. About 1 out of 4 middle aged men in America suffer from Sleep Apnea.  Studies suggest that memory impairments can occur from disrupted sleep.

In Sleep Apnea, the sleep cycles are disrupted by periods of difficult breathing. In a new study by  Dr. Andrew Varga,  at the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, subjects had impairments in their spatial memory from disrupted REM sleep cycles.

After a night of improper REM sleep, the subjects had difficulty remembering the placement of items and what they did with things the day before.

The REM stage of sleep is the Rapid Eye Movement stage. This is the deep sleep where we have dreams. The REM stage of sleep is critical for the body to repair any tissue damage from the day, such as muscle microtears. It also has to do with processing memories.

A person with disrupted REM sleep may forget where they placed the car keys the day before and have trouble remembering where they parked their car. Another consequence of  incomplete REM cycles is inability to focus and pay attention.

There are 2 different types of Sleep Apnea. They are Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Central Sleep Apnea. The causes for the 2 types are different but both of them cause difficulty breathing during sleep and periods of waking up in the middle of  sleep cycles.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea has to do with the airway becoming obstructed.  The muscles in the throat becoming too relaxed and causing a narrowing of the airway. The brain will become aware of low oxygen levels and force you awake to reposition yourself.

Usually people do not remember these brief periods of waking. Every time someone wakes up for a few seconds, it disrupts the sleep stage they are in.

The brain and the rest of the body are not able to finish what they are supposed to do, during that cycle. There are certain repairs and regeneration of tissue that naturally occur during REM sleep.

The 2nd type is less common. Central Sleep Apnea is caused by a problem in the brain.  The brain is supposed to send signals to the lungs to breath.

The brain of  person with Central Sleep Apnea, fails to continuously send the signals properly. The lungs will simply stop doing their job.  The body and the brain will fail to get the necessary level of oxygen, which will cause the person to wake up.

Again, with this type of Sleep Apnea, the person will awaken just long enough to be able to breath properly again. Someone with Central Sleep Apnea may wake up with  shortness of breath.

Men are twice s likely to get sleep apnea. It is most common in men 60 or more. Being overweight contributes to your risk as well as having a family history of Sleep Apnea.  Certain medications are possible contributing factors, such as excessive use of muscle relaxers.

Central Sleep Apnea can occur with people that have heart disease or have had a stroke. It can also be a co-morbidity with neurological disease like ALS.

People that have Sleep Apnea can have  morning headaches and depression. Some people have an increased frequency of urination.

If you have extreme tiredness and sleepiness during the day along with any of the other symptoms I mentioned, you may want to see your doctor.  There are treatments that would reduce your symptoms.

They also could check you for other types of sleep disorders and medical conditions that could be causing the constant fatigue and tiredness.  There are mental illnesses such as depression that can cause some of these symptoms as well as other physical disorders.

Namaste,

Annie

Accepting Ourselves for Who We Are

GentleKindness

There is a great healing that can come from accepting ourselves just as we are. To accept ourselves as a special person with strengths and weaknesses.

No one is perfect although so many would like you to think so. People act as though they are better than you but they are not.

This does not mean that we cannot strive for improvement. Accepting ourselves with all of our shortcomings and disabilities is ok.

This does not imply complacency. It does not limit us in any way. In fact it opens us up to new possibilities.

It allows us to believe that perhaps we can accomplish great things.

If we see ourselves as others do , we cannot explore new versions of ourselves that we could experience.

If we only see our mistakes, our limitations, then how can we open our own wings and fly?

What accepting ourselves does is allow…

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Are You Being Abused ? Domestic Abuse / Abused Women

We cannot go back in time to prevent the damages we incur in our minds and in our bodies. There is no turning back the clock or hopping into a time machine.

The damage from domestic abuse is severe and eventually deadly. It is not a game to be won. If someone is abusing you, this is not a game you want to play.

It is their game. You think you are a participator in the relationship but you are just a victim of their game. Their game is their sickness. Their addiction.

It is part of their game, to make you feel like you have a chance to win. It is part of their manipulation to make you feel sorry for them, make excuses for them, make exceptions for them.

But there are no exceptions.

Your love will never be enough. Your benevolence will never be enough. Nor will your cooking, your working, your sex, your beauty, your compassion or your suffering.

Your suffering will never be enough.

Your denial won’t save you. Your forgiveness won’t save you. Your strength and courage to stay in the relationship won’t save you.

They hate all of it. They will demand all of it but they hate all of it. They have contempt for you. They have contempt for your devotion to them.

They will never respect you. They will never love you. They will never have compassion for you.

They will never think you have suffered enough. You can tell yourself that they don’t mean to cause your suffering, but it doesn’t make it true.

You can tell yourself that they don’t comprehend the fact that you are suffering, but that does not make it true.

The infliction of suffering upon you is their goal. Make no mistake. It is intentional and deliberate.

You can make excuses for them in your mind but it will not protect you.

The small interludes of “I want to be a better partner to you. I really do love you” are lies. It is all part of the game.

They will tell you “I didn’t really hit you that hard.” They will say “you just bruise easily”

They will say “Well it’s about time you forgave me” Like you had no reason to be upset that they hurt you.

They will convince you that you started it, you deserved it, they could not control themselves.

All lies.

If you are in an abusive relationship, get out.

It is their game. You can’t beat them at their game. Everytime you think you have any control, it is just their way of manipulating you. They will allow you to feel safe for a little while and then they will hurt you more than the last time.

It is never enough. It will never be enough. They will never be satisfied. It is their addiction.

They are addicted to hurting you. Hurting your feelings. Hurting your mental stability. Twisting your mind. Hurting your body. And then doing it again.

And then doing it again. And then doing it again. And again. Again.

Every time they hurt you they will want a little more next time. They will not be satisfied the next time, with the same level of hurt they inflicted the last time. it will escalate and escalate and escalate.

It is their game. They are the master. You will lose. You cannot stay with them without bringing out more and more contempt from them.

Contempt cannot co-exist with love.

If you are living in an abusive relationship, please reach out for help. Call a women’s abuse center, a domestic abuse hotline. Get resources from your doctor, therapist, internet (but not from home), but get help.

Your time is running out.

Each explosion of their anger will be worse than the last. They will pull the reigns in tighter and tighter on you.

If they are emotionally and mentally abusing you, that will get worse. It is likely that it will turn into physical abuse. But even if they never physically abuse you, the mental abuse will increase and you will be destroyed.

Read some of the stories of people who stayed too long. You can find them on wordpress and on youtube and lots of other places. They will tell you their story because they don’t want you to end up like them.

Some of the stories cannot be told by the victim. They can only be told by the family and friends of the victim, because the victim is no longer on the earth to tell their story.

Please be careful looking at things like this online. Your history will likely be checked on your computer. Don’t think it won’t. Mine was.

Get help the safest way you can but do it now.

Love,
Annie

Living with Insomnia / The Strange World of the Night

GentleKindness

Insomnia probably sounds like a minor problem to those who do not suffer from it. But for those of us who do, it is like a huge , unclimbable mountain to get over.

People suffer from insomnia for many reasons. Each insomniac could tell you a different story but in the end we all suffer from our sleep being less than normal.

The origin of our insomnia may be different but we all end up having to compete with people during the day that have slept a normal sleep cycle the night before. We feel less than normal and somewhat disabled compared to other people.

We insomniacs usually do not reveal our problem to most people due to the fact that they would not understand. What’s worse, they offer lots of junk help.

By “junk help” I mean unsolicited advise and suggestions that don’t help and make us feel worse…

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Excerpt from – Julianna’s Mental Prison – Short Story by Annie

“It is a truly terrifying thing, watching someone completely break from reality. Watching and listening helplessly as they cross over into a place of complete and utter darkness.

A place so terrifying that the best horror movies just barely scratch the surface,” Roshelle trailed off and stared at her shoes.

Then she continued with emphasis, “To allow someone to bring you inside of their violent, dark, twisted and terrifying delusions is a dangerous mistake.”

“It would be a mistake for anyone. But for someone gifted with compassion and empathy like Julianna, it was a deadly mistake. Terrifying beyond the worst thoughts, the worst nightmares, the worst fears you could possibly imagine.

So terrifying that she used to groan in the middle of the night. Not a normal human groaning but a animal-like howling, sounding from very pits of primal fear. The hellish utterances of complete mental anguish.” Roshelle shivered a little and pulled her knitted wrap  up around her shoulders.

Bruce sat in silence for a few minutes and found himself buttoning up the last few buttons on his overcoat. Finally he stammered, “Poor Julianna. She suffered unfairly.”

Roshelle forgave him for his lack of being able to verbally express his horror at her vivid description of Julianna’s anguish. It was simply unfathomable that Julianna could have endured such suffering and torment for so many years.

Thanksgiving Without a Loved One

At Your Thanksgiving table
Something isn’t right
You are missing someone special
Who would be here tonight

They sat right there
In their special chair
Last year and those before
To make you laugh and tell the tales
Of when you once were young

They loved you every season
You’ll love them many more
But this year’s not the same
Without them coming through the door

Recovering Alcoholics Have to Survive the Holidays

While everyone is having a fun and relaxing time, some people are struggling to survive the holiday season. It is easy for people to forget the recovering alcoholics who are used to drinking on the holidays.

If you are a recovering alcoholic and this is the first year you have not been able to drink to get through the holidays, it will create anxiety for you. You may feel depressed because your usual method of turning off the anxiety is not accessible.

I have not been through this myself. I did however, live with a guy who was recovering. The holidays were hard for him. It was hard to find other tools to get through. It was hard to see that other people were drinking and getting their party on.

Other people I have talked to, have told me that it is hard for them to socialize without the alcohol. The alcohol helps them to feel comfortable in a group. They feel self-conscious or shy otherwise.

There are people that have been sober for 10 years or more that will still feel the pressure and anxiety of the holiday season.

My thoughts are with the people that are on the path that they believe is best for them. I pray for your strength and happiness. I pray for a peaceful holiday season for you.

If you are not an alcoholic and have not thought of these things, please be considerate of others at your office parties and other events.

Namaste
Annie

OCD Germaphobia / Mysophobia – My Thanksgiving Dinner Visiting Horrors

OMG ! I went for Thanksgiving dinner and the hostess really was licking her fingers while finishing tossing the salad for our dinner. Then she spoke to me with this whisper voice because she has laryngitis from being sick.

My last post about germaphobia and the horrors of the holidays came true!
https://anniemimihall.wordpress.com/2014/11/27/top-10-things-that-are-likely-to-occur-on-the-holidays-if-you-have-ocd-or-germophobia/

I brought my own towel in my purse, to dry my hands on. I anticipated she would have everyone washing and then drying their hands on the little kitchen towel hanging under the sink that has been there for two weeks.

I started to open her towel drawer to get out a clean one, because I forgot I had brought one from apartment. She gestured to the yucky one. Uhg! Nonono

I remembered the one I had brought from home. I took it out I dried my hands and then hung it from my back pocket, to have it for the next time I washed my hands. (since I have that OCD frequent hand-washing obsession)

I know, I know, it sounds crazy. Other people would use the same tiny hand towel everyone else was. I was the only person with a big bath towel hanging from their back pocket.

But then…..
During the dinner conversation, one of the guests mentioned that she has hepatitis and yellow jaundice.

My towel from home, hanging from my back pocket, is looking pretty good now, huh?
LOL

True Story
Namaste,
Annie

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference Reinhold Niebuhr

The serenity prayer was written by theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr, sometime during the 1930’s. It was quoted by others a few times during the 1930’s. Niebuhr sometimes used it in his sermons.

The original wording was printed as follows:
God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

This prayer is widely used in alcoholics anonymous meetings and other 12 step programs. Some people think that it was written for alcoholics anonymous but it was not. They adopted it because it is a helpful tool to give recovering alcoholics a frame of reference for what to work to improve in their lives.

I love the first phrase “…accept…the things that cannot be changed” This is a very important concept for healing. It is an idea in Buddhism which is a practice that has a lot of healing benefit to it.

We cannot change everything. We cannot change other people. Peace comes through acceptance of letting go of the things we cannot change.

If we were to make a list of things that are causing us to feel anxiety right now, we might be surprised that there are things on the list that we cannot change. Especially in regards to other adult people.

We can guide and encourage. We can support and comfort. But in the end, we cannot cause other adults to change anything.

Even when someone is in a dangerous situation, like drug addiction, you can only be as supportive as you are able to be without incurring damage to yourself.

There is a point at which you have to protect yourself and draw a line as to how much help is reasonable to give to another adult.

I find the original wording interesting to compare to the updated version.  There is  a difference in the meaning of the second phrase. “courage to change the things that “should” be changed.”

I personally like this version better.

There are times we want to force our desires on other people as far as their choices go. But should we make another adult’s choices for them?  People get self-esteem and confidence from making their own decisions.  

The wisdom to know the difference...”  This may be the ultimate trick. How can we tell the difference between things we can change and things we cannot change. Well, basically we really only have the power to change ourselves. We can improve our mental and physical  health. We can make choices and decisions that will create changes in our lives.

We have some power over the environment around us. We can clean and organize. We can move to a different place or to a different job. We can choose to make changes in behavior, relationship patterns, and habits. We can educate ourselves, learn new talents and create things.

If we can let go of the anxiety of trying to change things we can’t. we have more energy for working on the things we have some control over.

 

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