Light in Darkness

Step lightly and tread a gentle path

You never know what you are walking on

Until you are mindful of it as you go

Listen and see with watchful eyes

Your heart will speak the truth

Be open to seeing more than others

Tell you is around you because

There is always much more than

Your eyes can see if you rush

Breath in your surroundings to perceive

Without biases , without assuming

Things are what you are expecting

If you assume what is there…then

That is what you will see….

Presupposition can murder the senses

And dull your ability to see truth

Sometimes more beautiful than

The others can perceive it to be

And other times darker and more sinister

But see what you are able to see

Never allow others to do your seeing for you

Or give meaning to things without your consent

Your perception becomes your reality for the time you are perceiving it to be

You must see what you need to

And not let others influence you in a way that distorts your truth

Or tarnishes your vision

Walk gently and look freely

Choose your own meaning and feel your emotions

Your spirit is resilient but the mind can be interfered with …

If you are not mindful

Walk gently for you know not where you are walking

Or what you are stepping on

Unless you are aware as you go

Create your own manifestations, and build your own bridges to walk over the water

Until you can walk upon the water with faith…

And without fear

Do not bury your feelings or let others minimize them

Do not allow others to discount what you feel and what you know

Walk softly but speak the truth loudly when it is necessary

And speak the truth gently if it is harsh o

Have compassion when no one around you does

Believe in what is right when others turn their back

Always believe in yourself especially when others shun you

Believe in your intentions when others try to shut you down

What you see and what you feel is yours …and yours to value

Stand up when others have fallen

Stand up when others try to make you stay down

Live with kindness and speak with truth and light

If you let the darkness make you hard to see

The ones who need your light cannot find you

Your light is very important to the ones lost in the dark

Let fear be comforted by truth …

Not the truth of darkness…

But the truth of the light that is within you..

The light that sometimes barely breathes and flickers in the dark

But cannot be extinguished

By anyone

Let your light comfort and inspire

Allow it to flicker like a flame…

Next to fear and sadness

To give them hope

Your light is always within you

Even in the darkest of times

When it is hard to see

No matter how small it may seem at times

Your light has great power and strength

Compassion will flame the fire

 

Self Love and Restoring Balance

Life needs balance. Our bodies are systems of balance. We need a balanced diet or we become sick.

We need balance between work and play, rest and activity, and focus vs. relaxaxing the mind.

We need balance between socializing and time to ourselves. Too much of any one thing throws off something else that is equally important.

Our physical and mental health are dependent upon this critical balance.

We should not negect nature for technology. Nor should we forget about our family and friends because we become too focused on work.

The reverse of any of these statements is also true. We should not neglect our work, our dreams and our vision for our family.

It is a constant struggle to keep things in balance. Every physical problem has to do with something being neglected for the sake of something else.

On-going, extreme imbalance will cause disease, illness, fatigue, and a lack of wellness.

Ancient Chinese medicine was based on the idea of sickness and disease being the result of imbalance. This was an entire system of trying to connect certain health problems with particular imbalances.

The ancient Chinese medicine developers believed that by identifying imbalances early, you can prevent serious illness and diseases.

There are entire health arts related to identifying imbalances, and restoring imbalance in the body. Acupressure, acupuncture, yoga are all about restoring and maintaining the fine balamces within the body.

These arts also restore balance between the mind and the body. It is clear that physical health is intimately intertwined with mental and emotional health.

At any given time, something is bound to be in an imbalance. Our goal should be to look at imbalances if we feel like something is wrong.

Moderate to severe mental health problems can be your body’s way of communicating to you that it needs something. It could be that something is in starvation.

We can become emotionally starved for love and compassion. We can become starved for physical touch.

Emotional starvation can cause every system in the body to suffer. The mind will suffer as well and cognitive processes will slow down.

We were also made to be able to think and create. Being stuck in a routine job and living on autopilot can cause imbalance in your life.

We were made to have a balance, which includes variety and change, as well as the comfort of some predictability.

Remembering the importance of balance will help you to be able to identify and restore balamce to yourself. It is also something useful to pass down to your children or teach others.

Whenever you feel like you are having trouble keeping up with something in your life, or that something is being neglected, see what might be drinking too much energy and time from you.

If something is being neglected, it is due to something else taking too much of your time and energy. We do not always want to admit what that something is.

Even if you are not ready to make a dramatic change, yoi may be able to make smaller ones. Without change we cannot move forward.

Staying stuck in the same unhealthy routine will slowly starve your body and your mind.

Accept your tre self and nurture yourself without judgement. Restoring balance is not about self judgement. It is about self love.

Making Changes for Better Brain Function in Avoidant Personality Disorder and Severe Anxiety

Avoidant Personality disorder comes out of a severe fear and anxiety of the consequences. There is a projection into the future of self destruction or of being destroyed by others.

We avoid doing things that other people just do without thinking so much about them. With avoidant personality disorder there is obsessive thinking.

These fearful obsessive thoughts run through the mind around and around. Pictures of horrible things that will happen to us in the future, dominate our entire brain. They override logical thinking and reduce our ability to function properly.

One of the things that makes avoidant personality symptoms worse, is walking through life in autopilot. If we do the same things over and over it is bad our brains.

If we just go through the motions of repetitive tasks and then get up an repeat the same patterns again the next day, we are shutting down the parts of our brain, that we need to be rational.

All parts of the brain cannot be active at the same time. If the fear centers are on overload, then the rational functional parts of the brain is reduced. If we do not use the creativity and ingenuity that we have, then those skills become weaker.

We need to make changes in our behaviors. Not necessarily dramatic changes, but tiny little changes. Just do something that is different during your day.

Read something new, take a different route to work. eat somewhere different, research something new. Anything that we like, but we do not usually make time for.

If we create variation each day, then our brain will learn that it is needed for learning and problem solving. Once the brain begins to work better, then we can approach the tasks that we always avoid, with a new perspective.

Perception and perspective is everything. If we can see situation from a completely different point of view, it will force our brains to wake up. Our ability to deal with problems and complex situations will become higher.

Namaste

Annie

Snow Plows in the Night

I should have gone to sleep already. 

I don’t know why my brain is so wide awake

Too much excitement and anxiety

All thundering  through my brain

My chest is tight with pressure

breath is shallow like gasping for air

Nerves on fire like electricity is streaming 

through every single part of my spine 

Sounds of the snow plows

Back and forth and back and forth

Used to lull me to sleep, long ago

But what used to be my comfort is now a trigger

that locks my mind and won’t let go

Anxiety Attacks and the Mental Doors that Open in Our Minds

Why do I get such severe anxiety when I have to be somewhere on time, even if I am not really running late? 

This was a question someone posed to me the other day. The first thing I told them was that I do the same thing. Then I tried to picture what happens to me in the same circumstance.

What happens is that we go through a series of “mental doors.” These are doors that will open to something bad on the other side of them. The doors are in succession; if the first one opens, then it is very likely the next door will open. Once that door opens, the next will open and so on.

In the scenario that plays out in our minds, the worst possible thing will happen behind each and every door, ultimately ending in a catastrophic event.  Each of the events  will cause us severe  mental torment and pain and put us in a situation we have no way to save ourselves from.

We are very sure these things will happen basically in the order we picture them. Sometimes we have a very clear picture of the succession of events in our minds, and other times it is more subconscious. If we stopped to write down what is behind each door, we probably could.

Usually what awaits behind the doors are things we have a general fear of happening. They are things that haunt us and control our behavior. We are so afraid of these things happening, that our lives are ruled by these fears.

What am I really afraid of ?

The fears are different for different people. Personally the things I fear are as follows:

losing my job

the house burning down

having my children taken away from me

fear of abandonment

being homeless

losing my mind

You can make your own list. You may share some with me and you may have many of your own. The fear of losing the job is probably the easiest one to use for an example. This one begins with running late for work and has many other nasty doors after it.

I am running late for work.

I will arrive late and the worst possible  supervisor will be there

I will be scolded and humiliated

The confrontation between the supervisor and myself will be overwhelming

I will not be able to deal with the anxiety of it

I will either quit, be fired…  OR …

be too upset to work and screw something up at work to get myself fired… OR ..

.the result of the confrontation will be an unbearable increase in the anxiety level at work from now on that will make me physically ill, more mentally ill, and will end in my losing lob soon

What is the worst thing that could happen?

The loss of my job will be devastating

I will not have enough money to eat or feed my kids, or pay the rent

I will be thrown out of the house by my ex in-laws either with my children or they will keep my children

Any hope for a future will be lost

I will not recover

Where did these fears come from and why do I constantly feel in danger of them?

Most likely these fears have root in our past. There is something about ourselves or things we have experienced that make us believe that these things are chasing us. We are in constant danger of these things happening to us. If we are not careful and always worrying about them, then they will sneak up on us and destroy us.

It could be that some of these fears are due to our present living situation. If we are in a mentally abusive situation, then the fears that other people would consider made up, are actually part of our lives. If we actually have to fear things that other people do not, because of who we are living with, then we are being manipulated by others with fear, which is mental abuse.

Once we think we might be running late for work, our minds go into the mode of opening all of these mental doors. It is not a clear thing in our minds. There are just flashes of thoughts, pictures, scenarios and overwhelming emotion.  We actually experience the feelings of fear , as if these situations were occuring right now.

We suffer the mental torment of the bad experiences we fear, even though they are not actually happening to us at this time. This is part of the anxiety disorder and we cannot just shut it off. The brain goes into this mode on its own.

The obsessive thoughts running through our heads when we are afraid of being late for work, are all about these doors, we fear opening against our will. It is a fear of the future and our mental / emotional inability to handle it. The thing that would help would be strengthening our general mental state. But we are in the lace we are in at this time.

Blessings,

Annie

Thief …poetry for mental healing

You stole my mind

Just for a time

The things you did

Should be a crime

You tore me down

You crushed my soul

You tortured my brain

With the lies you told

You twisted truth

Till I could not tell

What was up

 what was down

What was normal

What was hell

It lingers still

In the dark of the night

In the edges of my brain

Where you planted your dark light

The doubts of myself

The fear of new pain

There are parts that you broke

In my poor injured brain

I am glad that I left

I wish that you were really gone

But you’re still in my mind

When the lights

Are not on

My Patient with Alzheimer’s disease / dementia is Afraid I will not Find my way Back to Her Again

My sweet lady, I will call her Rosalie, always cries when I leave work for the night. She also gets upset when I leave to go for my dinner break.

I always have known that she likes me there and that she is sad when I leave. But it was not until tonight that I finally realized just why it is so traumatizing for her. Now that I realize it, I can make it better for her.

A visiting nurse came to see Rosalie today. Rosalie took an instant shine to her and  felt very safe with her. The time came for the nurse to leave and poor Rosalie was holding her by her jacket and not letting go. She was crying and begging her to stay.

The nurse and I both tried to reassure Rosalie that she would come back to see her tomorrow. Rosalie said “no she won’t. She has to stay here.”

After the nurse left , I told Rosalie that she would be back tomorrow. Rosalie then said something that has never occurred to me before. She said “No she won’t. How will she find me again? How will she find her way back?”

That is when the realization came over me. Rosalie does not know where she is. She used to have a home and now she does not know how to get back. She does not know where that home is. She could not find it, even if we gave her the car keys and let her go.

She is so lost in time and space that she assumes that everyone else is too. The fact that the nurse happened to find Rosalie today, does not necessarily mean that the nurse can find her tomorrow.

Poor Rosalie feels so lost that she does not think anyone else knows where she is either. She does not understand that other people can find their way home and then back again to find her.

It was a great moment of realization to me. In her world, she is lost. She has no idea how she got to this place where she lives now. As far as she can tell , it is a lost place that no one can find.

Her family does not come to see her, so she must think they are lost and cannot find her too.

So. when she is crying at the end of my shift when I leave, she is truly afraid that I will not be able to find my way back to see her again.

So then, I explained to Rosalie that the nurse and I were good with finding our way home and back to her again. I told her that the nurse had found her way here today on purpose and could find her way home.

I explained to her that I had found my way to see her many times. It was not an accident that I ended up here. I assured her that I know how to get to where she is and that I would never lose my way to her.

This seemed to help.  From now on, I will remind her that I know how to get to where she is.

I will not lose her. I love her very much and will find my way back to her every time.

It reminds me that we all live in different realities. Our experiences form our perceptions and our feelings.

When we try to understand people by looking at their situation from our reality, we cannot truly have full compassion for them.

In order to understand, we have to listen and see that their world is different from ours. That includes the world they perceive in their mind. It is the only reality they know.

People who have been abused, people with PTSD, people with mental disabilities and people who are very poor have a very different reality than others.

It is true for many situations including people who have sick children, people who live with chronic pain, eating disorders, alcoholism and addiction.

In order to have true compassion we have to know that others see and feel things differently than we do.

Namaste,

Annie

Don’t F%#&!! with My Manic Phase / Ode to Bipolar Phases

Monday
Was Filled With
Extreme Anxiety
Uncertainty
Heart Palpitations
Chest Pain
Nervousness
Nausea
Insomnia
Confusion

Tuesday
Was Filled with
Depression
Tears
Sadness
Pain
Regret
Sobbing
Loneliness
Disability
Fogginess

Wednesday
Was filled with
Numbness
Lethargy
Apathy
Inability
Disgust
Solitude
Isolation
Medication
Shame
Disorientation

But Thursday
Is filled with
Illusions of grandeur
Incessant talking
High Self-Esteem
Hyperactivity
Productivity
Intelligence
Empowerment
Energy
Visions
Ideas
Clarity

Don’t F&$!! with my Manic Phase !!!

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