Benefits of Play and Imagination

Being a serious, mature adult who works all the time  is over-rated.  

While you have to maintain responsibility for your survival by paying the bills, the perception that you have to “act like a grown up” all the time is simply that…a perception. 

Who made the rule that adults cannot have fun?

You can buy some balloons and pat them up into the air . You can watch a goofy movie and roll on the floor laughing in your room. You can buy toys that you like and have them for your own amusement and comfort. 

If the people in your life would ridicule you for acting like a kid, then maybe you need to meet some new people….ones that think kids are great. The old adage that children should be seen and not heard is ridiculous. 

Who decides what an adult is? Other than keeping up with your responsibilities and not hurting anyone , what are the rules and who wrote them? 

What things did you enjoy doing as a child? Are there really any rules against doing some of them…just for fun?  

Is it childish or irresponsible to enjoy an activity …just because you want to?  Why can’t you allow some time just to be silly or to use your imagination?

When did the word ” childish” come to have negative connotations?

Why is IMAGINATION considered a “childish thing? 

express

Some of the most brilliant contributors to our world have been people will a great ability to IMAGINE. The imagination and playfulness of a child are valuable skills that are under-estimated by most adults. 

Explore new possibilities and play them out in your imagination.

Using imagination and vision can be the way you will come up with very creative solutions to problems that are in your life. Thinking outside the box and being able to imagine possibilities will create new options for  you. 

Taking time to play, in some way which activates your imagination, can benefit you in ways you cannot perceive right now. There are possibilities all around you and new ways to do things that you have not tried because you are not used to them. 

We tend to see what is familiar and what our subconscious brain has been conditioned to see. 

There is a part of your brain called the Reticular Activating System.

It is the part of your brain that filters information from your environment. There is far more information around you at any given time than your conscious brain can process. 

What you tend to think about and believe is what your reticular activating system scans for in the environment. Then what you see becomes proof of what you believe. 

Your brain looks for proof of what you already think is true.

So basically even if you believe something negative about yourself, your brain will scan for proof in the environment that it is true.

If you believe that you are bad in social situations, then your brain looks for proof that people are not responding to you in the way you want them to. You may completely miss the parts of interactions where someone really likes you. 

Take a break to do something fun.

Take some time to play and it will allow your brain and emotions to relax for a little while. When you get back to dealing with life problems again, you will be able to see things with some of your negative filters turned off. 

Play is not just for kids.

Think of what you used to like to do as a kid. There is some activity that you loved then that you can still do now. Use your imagination and let go of preconceptions. 

Imagination and creative thought will allow you to see new possibilities.  Try something different like re-inventing yourself in a way that you picture you would feel more powerful. 

Re-invent yourself. 

What would you be like of you could start all over again as a child? How would you behave and how much confidence would you have? Go to a place where no one knows you and pretend you are that version of yourself. 

You have nothing to lose. The more you can use your imagination, the more you can become more authentic to who you really are.

Let go of the negative labels that other people have put upon you.

Most of the negative beliefs you have about yourself were something that another person told you. If you have ever been exposed to emotionally abusive people then there were some viruses put into your system. 

These viruses tell you that you are not going to be able to achieve great things. These viruses are controlling your feelings about yourself and your potential. 

Start small and see what you can do. The future is written by you …and you control your own story. You can question any beliefs that are keeping you down. 

You can change your mind about what you think is true. 

Taking time to play can bring you back to that magic that children have to be able to explore new ideas. If your old beliefs and behaviors are not getting you where you want to be, then what will it hurt to try something new?

The Art of the Abuse , Bullying Cycle

Just because someone has momentarily stopped tormenting, bullying and abusing you does not mean they are being kind.

It can be easy to confuse the lack of cruelty with kindness. You may even project intentions into someone’s actions, assuming they have changed and now intend to be good to you.

How many times have they “changed” for the better? How many cycles have you lived through?

Don’t deceive yourself about what comes next or think it will be different this time. Selfish, self centered people will repeat the same patterns.

In fact, many abusive, narcissistic people know that a reprieve from the abuse on you will make you suffer more the next time. The act of starting and stopping their bullying tactics is all part of the same cycle.

Your nervous system is more severely interfered with when the abuse starts and stops. It creates a false sense of hope which causes you to be crushed with disappointment, disillusionmant and causes mental instability.

The starting and stopping cycle causes PTSD and other kinds of anxiety disorders. The brain’s system of fight or flight does not know when to turn off because the threat is unpredictable and imminent.

Please send prayers and love to our blogging friend in the ER

Please say your prayers and send a supportive comment if you feel so moved to bipolar for life adventure …she is in the ER after a suicide attempt.  She is blogging from her ER bed right now. Let’s let  her know we are glad she is still with us.

Blessings,

Annie

Chronic Pain, Depression, Isolation and Anxiety Disorder

Today I had a flare up of my chronic pain. Flare up days are not all the same. The pain is not always in the same location or in the same body part.

Most people with chronic pain have several locations where pain occurs.They live with moderate to high levels of pain on a daily basis, even when trying to sleep or trying to get out of bed in the morning.

Living with moderate to severe pain on a daily basis for years and years is truly exhausting. When we say we have to sit or lie down to rest, we really have to. There has to be a break in the level of the pain or we simply cannot go on.

My particular distress today was in the herniated disc in my cervical spine. I have gone to doctors, orthopedic specialists, pain management specialists and physical therapy for this herniated disc.

There are also a couple of other discs in the same area that are “bulging” discs, which is supposed to be one step lower or less bad than a ” slipped” or “herniated” disc.

When the discs slide into certain places they press directly onto nerves, sending pain throughout the neck which radiates up into my jaw and then my head. A moderate to severe headache ensues.

Today I felt pain in my jaw. I also have what they call TMJ in that particular place…left side..right at the place where the bone that hold the upper teeth and the bone that holds the lower teeth meet.

The TMJ usually does not bother my much unless I open my mouth too wide and then it makes a loud popping sound and hurts some. But when the herniated disc acts up and pinches the nerves then the pain radiates upwards and inflames that place where the TMJ is.

Chronic pain can cause depression, grief and anxiety in people. It is often very difficult to keep up with other people and they do not understand or do not believe you that the pain could be that bad. They just say . oh we all have aches and pains. I have to deal with mine so you should just deal with yours”

People do not understand about chronic pain conditions. On a good day for us we have pain that is more than other people’s worst day of aches and pains.

On a bad day the pain can become excrutiating and we feel like we are in a battle with our own bodies that we did not start.

It feels like our own body is destroying our quality of life. We become like aliens trying to survive in a world of humans who are not sympathetic to our pain. They cannot empathize because they have no way to relate to it.

People think that we are lazy, disagreeable and being babies with a low tolerance for pain.

Now, here is thing. Most people with chronic pain did not always have it. We have developed conditions inside of the body that really cause pain that is so bad we cannot function the way we used to.

We remember what it is like to have regular ” aches and pains” like regular people have. We know what they are referring to when people say ” we all have aches and pains so just deal with it and keep up with us”.

We remember just having ” regular” aches and pains and that is not what this is.

Chronic pain rules your daily life. It can be so severe that climbing steps, even with my cane causes extreme pain in my knees….not just a little pain. Going up and down steps is torturous to me because of the arthritic degeneration in the bones and disintigration of the cartilage that is supposed to cushion between the bones grinding togethet on the nerves.

People with chronic pain often become isolated. Friends and family tire of you telling them that you cannot go with them to do certain kinds of activities that you once used to be able to do with them. They get tired of the ups and downs;  good and bad days.

They begin to feel that you are using your supposed ” pain disorder” to get your way and to control what activities you do.

Let me tell you this…People with chronic pain wish we could still do those activities. We wish we could walk around the mall, go to carnivals and yard sales and be able to walk around for two hours. But our bodies won’t allow us too.

We are not wanting to never be able to do anything fun. That does not make any sense.

We are not happy to “get out of”  doing work. We really wish that we could still do those things.

We have trouble cleaning our house. We have trouble getting around in the grocery store and more trouble bringing those groceries inside from the car. It takes me a good 45 minutes to carry 2 bags at a time up two flights of steps to my apartment, as I take two or three steps at a time and have to stop in places on the way up.

Who would want to lose their ability to climb stairs, to tolerate driving for very long even as a passenger, to have trouble exercising and to have to say “no”to social invitations?

We hate having our pain disorder. It may be invisible but it is very real to us.

So this is how people with chronic pain often develop mental illnesses like anxiety and depression. We lose friends and have trouble going out to meet new people.

Family members write us off because they do not want to be around someone who complains about pain. They have no way to know what level of pain we have.

Isolation often comes as a result of the difficulty in going out, driving, sitting for too long, standing, and a variety of other physical actions that are required to have a “normal” day, like other people do.

It is frustrating, depressing, anxiety provoking, sad, exhausting, and causes feelings of hopelessness as well as worthlessness. Sometimes we think “what good are we to anyone?”

So please be kind to any loved one that has a chronic pain condition. They need your support and validation that they are still someone that is worth spending time with.

They are worth a little extra effort on your part to come to visit them, rather than insisting they come to visit you. They are worth minor adjustments in your plans.

No one intentionally stops doing all the activities that they once loved to do. No one intentionally cuts their quality of life in half. We don’t want to have to stay in bed all day on really bad days. We really wish we could go out like other people do and participate in the world and its’  activities.

We grieve for our bodies, our lost abilities, our lost social interactions and our lost dreams of doing these we know we will never be able to.

We are just people like everyone else. We are not trying to make anyone’s life more difficult.

Isolation can have a deteriorating effect on cognitive skills and increase the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.

My thoughts and prayers are with the readers that suffer from chronic pain conditions. More awareness is needed and more empathy is needed.

Comatose

Dark is the night

When all have forsaken you

 and

some

 have mistaken

your intent

For malice

Others

 have seen a glimpse

of your soul

And despised it

Many

have perceived you

As unworthy

And you

 have

Lost yourself

In an ocean

Of torment

Undulating waves

of painful

regrets

Calamity

of confusion

Disorientation

of perception

You have

lost your mind

Lost your reason

Lost

your memory

of what was important

in the first place

You are left

with questions

that

you are afraid

to know the answers to

the Why

the What for

and 

Was the past

just a dream

A nightmare

Or simply

a passing thought

of

a comatose patient

lying motionless

in a hospital bed

Setting Personal Boundaries for Your Mental Health

brainIt’s your mental health and you know yourself best. Even your therapist may sometimes suggest things that are not in the best interest of your brain and it’s health and sanity.

You know what things trigger you and how you feel when you do certain activities. You know how certain people treat you and how you feel when you are around them.

People and situations that lower your self esteem are bad for your mental well being. Situations that trigger severe anxiety are bad for your mental health also. The same goes for things that you know will make you very sad or trigger depression.

We have to be proactive about our mental health and this means knowing ourselves. It means drawing boundaries with ourselves and with other people.

If we know that something is going to give us severe anxiety and we do not have to do it, then that is the time to stand by our no. If people want to argue then let them. We do not have to argue back. We can just tell them that we have made our decision and it is based on what it best for us.

Many people in our lives are more concerned about their own agenda than our mental health. They are not the ones that have to suffer the consequences of a decision that we knew ahead of time that we should have done differently.

Know yourself and protect yourself first. You can care about others and want to help them but you are better for them when your mental health is in good shape. People that care about you will respect what you do and do not want to do.

Circle with your Hand Triangle with your foot…Hmmmmm

This is fun and it helps to create new neuronal pathways in the brain.

I did do some research about neuronal pathways tonight. I even wrote most of an entire post. But the cold med I took is kicking my DUPA ( that is what my Polish grandma used to say….the word..nothing about kicking it)

I am tried too cancan no longer focus my eyes.

Enjoy this little video. I did and I forsee having a silly contest with my daughter tomorrow, where each person adds a new move.

sorry for any typos

Wishes for peasant dreams

Annie .

Privacy and Boundaries in My Life

When I was 17, I had to move in with my father and step mother suddenly, because my mother had a mental breakdown.

Because of the sudden factor of them having to take me in, they were not prepared for 2 more people in the small apartment (my Sister 4 Years younger than me and myself )

They had other children and all of the bedrooms were already doubled up. There really was no place to put us, but clearly we could not go back to my mother’s house.

She was not even allowing me to enter the house in order to get a change of clothes. All I had to wear is what was on my back.

Luckily I had my favorite stuffed animal with me and my much needed favorite comfort blanket. When my mother had thrown me out, in a crazy rage, the night before, I had taken those things with me, as I headed out the door into the dark streets.

So, my father rigged up bunk beds in the living room. For a small attempt at privacy, he took a large cabinet or bookshelf (I don’t remember ) and turned it so that it divided the living room in half.

My sister and I slept in the bunk beds on the far side of the dresser. My Dad and step mother watched the tv, which was sitting on the dresser, on their side of the makeshift wall.

My sister was in the bunk bed right above me. I was in the lower one. The tv was right behind my head, and the sound pounded into my head.

No metter how much I begged my father, he would not turn it down to a level that I could tolerate to sleep. Hebdid not want to inconvenience my step mother, I guess, who had already had to deal with her household being disrupted.

They could have gone to watch tv in their room at 10 pm, so I could get enough sleep, but it just did not happen that way.

So, between the tv, my sister’s snoring, anxiety over sleeping in someone’s living room with no privacy and no door close, anxiety over being thrown out of my house with no belongings etc…I could not sleep.

I had to lay there for hours, listening to my brain go around and around, wishing for peace. I have always been very introverted. The lack of my own room with a door that closed, was a terrible trauma to me.

I could not cry, over the sadness about my mother disowning me and throwing me out into the street …because there was no space or privacy in which to cry.

I could not talk on the phone to my friends with any privacy. The only phone that I could use was in the kitchen. There was no way of grieving or attaining any comfort about the trauma of the situation.

I had no clothes, none of my guitars, no books, none of my personal belongings for 2 weeks, at which time my father managed to get into the house to fill up a few boxes with my things.

Of all the simultaneous trauma, the worst thing for me was the lack of privacy. I craved being able to sit alone, behind a locked door, to be allowed to feel what I felt, cry if I wanted to, write songs and poetry about my feelings and to show whatever emotions I wanted to on my face.

My father always forced me to be strong and not to show any strong sadness or anything. It was similar to how guys are taught not to show weakness and emotion or they are told to “suck it up”…”it isnt that bad, don’t be a big baby”

It did not take long before I realized that I could hide out in the bathroom and just come out if someone knocked. I took my guitar in there, sat on top of the closed toilet seat, placed my sheet of music on the edge of the tub, and practiced my guitar in there for hours.

I became very good at the guitar that year. It is probably the most I progressed from one level to another, in that short period of time, as I ever did since.

My high school guitar teacher would praise my progress and I sucked up the complements , encouragement and support like a sponge. It was my only source of anyone telling me I could do anything right.

The guitar room and the music area at the high school was my sanctuary. I went there before school, and during the study hall periods, in addition to guitar class, band ( I played the flute in marching band and the bass guitar in jazz band) and piano class.

I quickly advanced past the other students in piano class, so the teacher allowed me to use one of the practice rooms, to work on my own…all alone! I was in heaven.

I had an entire private room all to myself for 45 minutes 3 times per week.

So, I have always been sensitive about having time to myself and privacy. I am triggered by any living situations that make me flashback to that situation when I was 17 , which went on for many months until my father was finally able to rent us a bigger house.

Every single time I have had to live here with my ex husband’s parents, they have done nothing but cross my boundaries and invade my space. Nothing is sacred and everything and every space belongs to them, including bedroom drawers, medicine cabinets, my trash, and insistence in opening and going through all of my boxes, when I moved in. This was even after asking repeatedly to for ny ex mother in law to please leave the boxes alone, until I was ready to open them . And to let me open certain personal boxes myself and be able to deal with personal items myself.

I had just had to leave an abusive situation with an abusive partner and I was not ready to open certain boxes because there were too many traumatic memories and triggers, in the boxes.

But there she was, digging through the boxes, and putting stuff all over my apt, in prominent places where I did not want it to be. Putting everything in the wrong place, so that it was making more work for me.

I could not throw out items that were triggering to me, because she would scold and reprimand me for being wasteful and ungrateful to have things.

I had throw things out when she was not looking and bury them under other trash so that she would not take them back out and put them on my shelf.

Living with them, is like tormentb to a highly introverted person that likes to keep my personal belongings and business to myself.

On top of that, there are 13 people living in this house, soon to be 14 when the new baby comes.

I had a guessing game a while ago. I asked people to guess, in the comments section of one of my posts to see who could guess how many people lived in my house.

One insightful blogger guessed 14. If she is reading this now, I had a lot of fun with our messages that went back and forth that day…

Anyway, at first I thought this blogger had done really well to come within 1 number of properly guessing the number of people in the house.

Then I remembered that my ex sister in law is pregnant, so if you count the baby in her tummy as a person living in the house, then she had guessed dead on at 14! Very cool!

She and I had some fun messaging back and forth that day. It would not surprise me if she pops up to comment on this post:)

So, what is the moral to this story or the point to this post? …….Aaaahhhhhhhhhh!!!##!!!

TOO many people on top of me. I wish I had money to rent a room or a small apt that I could go to during the day to work out of.

Blessings,
Annie

Who is the Victim and Who is the Abuser?

There are many wonderful, compassionate people in the world. Perhaps you are one of them.

There are people that have qualities like empathy, kindness and patience.

There are people that can be trusted, and would never stab you in the back, or throw others under the bus in order to gain something for themselves.

Sometimes it is hard to tell which are the real people and which are the copies.

There is a small percentage of the population that are people who act like good, caring people but underneath their mask they are the opposite.

These are people that put on a false self, when certain people are watching. They act caring and thoughful of others, when they are in public situations or in front of people that they feel they can get something out of.

While they are being charming, vulnerable or seemingly kind in front of you, inside of their mind they are contemptuous of you. They are only pretending to be the kind of person that you want them to be.

These manipulators are very skilled at acting and at mirroring other people’s emotions. They do not have any empathy or compassion. They just know how to say the right words in order to make you think they are a different person than they really are.

When your back is turned, they will talk about you, criticize you, undermine you and throw you under the bus.

At home with their loved ones, they are cruel and abusive.

Due to their ability to act like other people, everyone tends to believe this false self that they put on. No one believes the wife, girlfriend or children when they try to reveal how this person really is.

These toxic types of people often head their loved ones off at the pass, by telling other people that their loved one is mentally ill, or abusive to them.

The first one to claim abuse is often the one people believe. So, the abuser claims it first. That way when the victim tries to get help, it is already too late. Her credibility has already been damaged by her abusive partner.

This is one of the reasons that it is so difficult for abuse victims to leave the abuser. No one believes them and no one will help them.

It is common for an abuse person to claim that their partner is the real abusive partner in the relationship.

Be careful when you hear both members of a couple claiming abuse. It is very hard to tell, from the outside.

Even the courts, therapists and the police can be duped by an abusive person.

All is not as meets the eye. The initial facts do t

not always speak for themselves.

The Darkness that Blinds Them

Sleep deprived 

Disillusioned

Broken

Darkness

Engulfs his heart

She was Insidious

She twisted his reality

She tortured his mind

Now she is gone

Without a goodbye

Without any closure

Sleep deprived

No appetite

Spiraling down

Deep and deeper…

An angel will come

But not just now…

He has to stand up

And push his way out

Alone

Without any love…

But one day she will some

The angel that is waiting

In a pit of her own

That a monster trapped her in

One day they will climb

Each one in their turn…

Out of the dark tunnels

That the monsters threw them into

That is when they will see

Each other waiting

To comfort and soothe

But only after they move…

Out of their deep darkness

Where No One Can Find Them

Too deep to be heard

Or to hear people calling…

Time will lift them out

Thoughtfulness will bring truth

And vision of light

Beautiful enough to break

Through the darkness

that blankets them

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