codependence, life, mental health, people pleaser syndrome, toxic people

People Pleasers, Codependent People and Self Care

Many people that some from abusive backgrounds have forgotten or never learned how to love and care for themselves. What comes naturally to most people does not come naturally to everyone.

If you have a codependent personality, suffer from People Pleaser Syndrome, or just seem to keep ending up putting the needs of others over yours, even to the point of it causing you harm, then you probably never learned how to care for yourself well.

It probably puzzles you how other people seem to have it all together and you always feel behind. You feel like you are always the one who cannot do what other people can do.

One of the reasons for this could be that other people are spending a reasonable amount of time taking care of the things they need to take care of in order to be okay. They make sure that other people do not guilt them into doing things for them, when there are important things they need to do for themselves.

It is not a matter of not helping other people. It is a matter of not putting yourself and your needs last. You have bills to pay just like everyone else. You have a right to eat well, rest and exercise just like everyone else.

When people try to cut into your time that you need to take care of yourself, then you have to practice telling them no. People may be shocked at first, because they are not used to you setting normal boundaries. But think about what they would do of you demanded that they neglect something that they really need to do, in order to take care of something for you that you could take care of yourself.

Many times we agree to do favors for people who could take care of it themselves but they are just making time for themselves to do something extra. In the mean time, you are neglecting something that is much more important that if it were them, they would never even consider allowing you to interfere with by asking for a favor.

Other times they could easily get someone else, who has more time and more ability to do it, but that other person is also busy taking of themselves and they are keeping the free time to do something they want to do.

There should be a fair balance between people. You should not be guilt tripped into doing something that someone else could find another way to get done, at the cost of your basic needs being neglected.

You have to prioritize

1. Sleep

2. Work

3. Exercise and health

4. Nutrition

5. Your money situation

6. Your personal space and time

7. Personal hygiene

8. dr appts

9. Your comfort about situations

10. Your plans

11. Your schedule

12. Your mental health

13. Your physical health

14. the relationships you value

15. the time you need to clean the house or any other chores

16. time to get your errands done

17. your family situation and responsibilities

18. your personal emergencies or urgent situations

19. taking care of your car repairs and maintenance

20. Relax time for you

21. Anything that you feel frustrated about if it does not get done

22. Anything that you feel frustrated about if you do not have enough time to do it properly

People who have People Pleaser Syndrome are easily manipulated into neglecting these very basic needs because they do not really know if it is okay to prioritize themselves. In the mean time everyone else makes sure that they take care of these basics and then they use the extra time to do some extra things  which puts them ahead of you at something.

You are the one who does not get the promotion at work even though you worked harder than everyone else. That is because while you were helping other people with their job, they were using the time to get ahead of you. People will take what they can get a lot of the time.

Everyone is not like you. They will not try to balance out the favor . They will not all cover for you just because you covered for them.

Learn who is taking advantage of you on a regular basis and cut them off. Tell them that you has a certain amount of favors allotted for each person in your life and that they have already used up their lifetime of favors.

Take care of the people who care about you. Look at the actions of people and not just their words. Notice when people are only nice to you when they want something. Notice when people expect you to do something rather than asking you with no expectation.

See what different people do when you say no. The ones who try to guilt trip or shame you are manipulative people. Anyone else would accept and respect your no.

blogging, life

Awards …I haven’t forgotten you ;)

Hi. Just to let anyone know who is wondering, I am behind on my award posts due to being sick with this kidney infection.

I have started posts for each award, and they are saved in Drafts.

I love giving awards to people and kind of have an OCD like process about selecting nominees and writing award posts.

I start the post, save it to drafts and then look through WordPress on different days to see if there are any new blogs that I have not seen yet that the award would be very meaningful and motivating for.

invisible illness

It is probably a crazy process but like I said it is an OCD thing and I am just like that

So, if you nominated me for an award in the last month or two, and you have not seen a post, please do not feel bad.

I have your post saved in drafts. I have actually added to it and updated it a few times already.

When I am physically unwell, my anxiety gets bad and along with the anxiety comes an increased OCD So, I love you and I did not forget you. ❤

missing a piece

Award posts are forthcoming. I did thr Sunshine one. Thank you for that award. The pretty sunny flower is very nice and I added it to my About page today.

I know I have a Versatile blogger post to complete and also one for the Once a Victim now a Survivor. I am searching for bloggers that I know were victims of domestic abuse, a severe life crisis like the death of a child, or severe physical trauma for that award.

versatile-blogger-award-flowers1
Since the Once a Victim now a Survivor award is specific, it is taking me a little longer than the others. That is a very special award to me personally and I had never seen it before.

special
Thank you to everyone who thought of me to give me awards. I always enjoy the badges and I enjoy sending people the notifications that their blog has been awarded.

Love to all ❤
This relieves my feelings of guilt, which are probably unnecessary. But that Toxic Shame creeps up from the past and then I will feel guilt over silly things.

Like I mentioned, physical illness tends to increase my mental illness struggles on all counts.. OCD, anxiety, depression. feeling of hopelessness and failure. All that stupid crap that I try to rise above. but it bites me hard on the ass when I am not feeling well.
good night yellow

Love and hugs,
Annie ❤

anxiety, chronic pain, depression, life, mental abuse, mental health, mental illness, ptsd

You are Special and Unique in the World

unique

You are unique. There is only one person with your experiences, your talents and your inner light. The people who really see you and value you are the ones to hold close.

Anyone who tries to push down your self esteem does not warrant your giving them the chance to do so.

Your gifts are individual to you and the world is a better place with you in it.

special

You are special and do not let anyone tell you otherwise. Your thoughts and feelings are important. Your voice deserves to be heard. You are gifted to share certain special gifts with others who will appreciate and benefit from them.

Mental illness does not make you less than other people. There have been many great contributors to culture and science that had mental illness.

Most importantly you are important to the ones closest to you… or there is someone waiting just for you to be in their lives. You never know who is in the world that needs you and is waiting to meet you.

Trust in your uniqueness and individuality.

 It is not in the ways that we are alike, but in the ways we are unique that make a difference.

bipolar disorder, chronic illness, chronic pain, depression, mental health, mental illness

The Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino

I just read this article by by Christine Miserandino called The Spoon Theory.

http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com – See more at: http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/#sthash.Z6ekoAKf.dpuf

She describes how and when she came up with this way of communicating to others, what having an invisible illness is like.

Christina has Lupus, which causes a lot of fatigue and pain. It is not something that people can see, but it is very real. She used this spoon theory to allow someone to experience a day of having to make choices, based on a limited amount of energy and ability to do things.

I really love the way she explained this and this article is worth reading, if you struggle with people not understanding your inability to keep up with everyone else, due to an invisible illness.

Invisible illness can be a chronic pain disorder or disease, or it can be a mental / emotional illness , or a neurological disorder.

I think that many of us can use the spoon theory to explain to some people about how we have to do our days and allot our time.

arthritis, chronic pain, fibromyagia, life, pain

Osteoarthritis in the Morning , Chronic Pain , Fibromyalgia, Arthritis and Yoga

Osteoarthritis in the morning.

I saw this search term in my stats page. I decided to write a post about this, because there are other people seeking some validation that they are not the only ones who go through this.

Osteoarthritis is a disease that attacks the joints in the body. It creates inflammation,  which is extremely painful. From my personal experience, the pain is most disabling in the morning. 

When i wake up in the morning, I am afraid to  move.   There is extreme pain upon starting to move my body in the morning. Pain screams from my cervical spine, my lower back, and my shoulders. 

Slowly, I turn myself to the side. I very slowly draw my legs out of the bed and over the edge. Sitting up is difficult, due to the severe stiffness in the body that does not want to  move.

I have to sit for a minute first and I try to do some very slow movements with my neck. I slowly lower my chin towards my chest. I very  very slowly roll my head to the right side and then back to the front again. Then to the left side and back to the front again.

The neck has to move in order to reduce the stiffness and the searing pain coming from my herniated discs. After a few of these, I do complete neck rolls, very slowly all the way around. One way and then the other.

By this time, my bladder is calling to me, so I have to find a way to stand up, in spite of the pain. I have to reach for furniture to hold onto

 I recently got a cane and that was a very good idea. It helps for me to make it ti the bathroom in the morning, without falling.

There have been many times, when I stood onto my feet in the morning, that I actually collapsed into the wall or other furniture, because it was so painful to stand and put pressure on the joints. 

All of the muscles are stiff and reacting to the inflammation in the bones. The bones make creaking noises as they move, The knees sound like rice crispies when you straighten and bend them.

The pain sears in  my foot, with has arthritis and PTTD, which is a kind of tendonitis that deforms and alters the way the foot can stand and hole weight.

I grab my cane for dear life as I make my way to the bathroom. My bathroom is in a dangerous place for me, as far as mornings go. It is right at the top of a huge flight of stairs. As I approach the stairs, from the hallway that leads to them, I feel the fear of falling down them.

It would be easy to lose my balance and fall. I lean into the wall as far as it goes, until there is no more wall there to lean on.

Then I balance myself on my cane and get  to the door of the bathroom. I grab the door knob for balance and open the door. Every morning I make it to the bathroom, I am thankful for not falling down the stairs today.

Then I have to make my way back, with pain searing through my back, my knees , my hips and the balance being very difficult with my bad foot.

 I make my way back to the bedroom. I struggle to get pain med bottles out of the cabinet and open one. I consider what combination might work today

 I take two or three different types of pills, One for inflammation,  Maybe a half of one of the nerve pain meds.  Sometimes a muscle relaxer, but I like to  wait to take that one, because it can make me sleepy.

I lay in the bed and wait for the meds to kick in. After an hour , I asses if they are working well enough and whether or not I need to take another anti-inflammatory pill or if I need the muscle relaxer.

I try to take the minimum that will work, because I need to be able to function to take care of my kids.

I cannot go anywhere for hours, as far as leaving the house. The times that I had to leave within the first hour, were stories of extreme difficulty and probably unsafe driving, due to the pain level.

After the meds kick in a little, I have to walk around slowly and try to do some yoga stretches. I will tell you that yoga stretches can do wonders, once you can move at all.

Here are the Yoga Stretches I Do

1. Mountain pose – standing upright

2. Slowly reach down towards my toes – I repeat this several times. Each time I can get down a little farther

3. squat with feet between hands

4. Cobra – lay flat on stomach on the floor. Press hands to the floor and push with your hands to stretch up the head and upper back, while leaving the hip bones on the floor

5. repeat the cobra as many times as i can, very slowly

6. Twists  of the  hips –  lay on back, Bring knees up to chest. Take the knees to the right and your head and chest to the left. The bring the knees up to the chest and bring the knees to the left while the head and neck go to the right. This twist helps a lot for the lower back and the hips, where i have a lot of pain.

7. Warrior poses –  warrior pose 1 and warrior pose 2. I used to be able to do warrior pose 3, but it is too difficult for the morning. I cannot balance it.

These stretches help. You must do the slowly and with attention being paid to your body, in order to respect any limitation, which can vary from one day to the next.

Once i do the yoga, I sit in the bed and blog for a while, hoping for the pain meds to kick in more. On bad days I have to take more gabapentin (neurontin for nerve pain) or I have to take extra aleve, which I try to keep to a reasonable amount because it can cause other problems. 

Sometimes I have to take the muscle relaxer but I try the yoga first because the tizanidine can make me sleepy or sluggish.

I may make a video of my routine, although I am no expert on yoga. But I do know what helps me.

You can try ice on very painful areas. Ice helps to numb pain and reduce inflammation.

You can try heat, like a heating pad, or a rice bag in the microwave for 2 minutes. You can out regular dry rice into a sock. No more that 2 minutes in the microwave and better to do 1 minute and then 30 second increments.

Wishing you less pain,

Annie

* please note that I have a Go Fund me account. If you are able to donate a small amount, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you. You can connect to the Go Fund me account  HERE.

If you cannot donate, you can help by reposting THIS blog post. Thank you 🙂 ❤

anxiety, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, depression, life, mental health, mental health blog, mental illness, mental illness blog, self isolating, social anxiety

Self-Isolating in Mental Illness, Chronic Illness, Chronic Pain, Invisible Illness

Invisible suffering..Invisible illness…Invisible pain…Chronic illness….Mental suffering…Domestic abuse…Mental abuse..Narcissistic Victim Abuse Syndrome…PTSD…Chronic Pain…

These are things that concern me because the people who are enduring these things are not getting enough support. The lack of people supporting  you…or even believing you …causes retraumatization.

There is the initial trauma of the illness, pain, or abuse and then there is a whole new kind of painful suffering caused by what happens next.

People do not see your suffering and so..

…they do not believe you at all..

…they do not believe that it is that bad..

…they think you can just “shake it off”…

…they do not believe that you cannot do the things that they can easily do.

…they think you are lazy…

…they think you are a big baby…

..they  think you should have gotten better by now..

…they forget that you “still have” that invisible illness…

…they get tired of hearing the same things…

..they lose patience with you..

…you do not want to tell people..

…you lose friends…

..You self isolate…

Yes, that is often what ends up happening.  That is one of the reasons that people with invisible illness and invisible suffering turn to the world of blogging.  We have to be able to talk and to connect with someone.

The only people who really understand are people who have been through it or are going through it.

The isolating process can begin with other people giving up on you, getting tired of you, or not wanting to listen to you anymore. You lose one ot two friends and family members. The you are afraid to lose the rest of them. 

You do not actively go out and seek new people because you fear the pain of rejection from them. “Why should you put yourself through this again”….is what your brain is saying.

The isolating can begin with ourselves, because it is too much effort or too painful to interact with other people, especially if they do not believe or understand what we are going through.

The retraumatization can be severe. When people just simply do not believe you or think you are exaggerating, that is one of the worst things you can go through.

Then, of course,  there are people who are predators, and they prey on the weak ones, who are desperate for understanding and companionship. If you have been set up and abused, because of your invisible condition, then it is very difficult to trust people again…or to trust your own judgement of who is safe and who is not.

We can also be retraumatized by bad therapists, counselors and insensitive doctors and nurses. I have heard horror stories of what people have gone through at treatment facilities, rehab facilities and emergency rooms. I have also experienced insensitive therapists and healthcare workers.

So where does this leave us? In pain…suffering…in need of human compassion…and isolated…

Some people physically isolate themselves in their homes. Other people build walls up around themselves and self isolate by disconnecting from other humans emotionally.

We can be around people all day long, yet be completely alone.

Some people cannot leave their house or apartment.

Other people just leave the house to go to work, and do necessary errands, and then self isolate themselves in their house, the rest of the time. This would be me…

When you have reached your limit of being traumatized and re-traumatized, then your mammalian instinct of self protection is going to kick in. Your brain wants to protect itself from any more trauma and abuse.

At some point, the world appears to be a dark and dangerous place to interact with people in, when you are suffering from an invisible enemy. No one can see your enemy and therefore it feels like you are fighting alone.

You energy is going into fighting against your invisible illness, mental illness, or trauma from abuse. You do not have a whole lot of energy left for reaching out to people who might end up hurting you. You do not have a lot of energy to explain and re-explain to people about your invisible illness.

You do not have energy to make new friends, knowing that at some point you have to explain to them about your invisible enemy. There is no guarantee they will understand you or stick around once they find out, anyway.

Your energy is focused on survival. Your little bit of energy that is left, is focused on just getting through one day at a time. Relationships take time and energy and after a while it can seem like there simply is not enough energy to go around.

I do not have any simple answer for this problem. I wanted to at least validate the people who are nodding their heads up and down, as they are reading this.

You are not alone, in being alone. You may be alone in your house at this moment, feeling isolated and different than everyone else. But there are other people who feel the same way.

The isolating is a normal reaction to being traumatized, suffering mental wounds and suffering pain of any kind. It is an instinct to survive be separating from potential danger.

It is also an instinct to preserve whatever energy is left, in order to use to heal and survive.

If there is any approach to this problem that could work, it would lie in the matter of balance. We have to constantly balance the various aspects of our lives. 

We cannot have the same amount of energy every day. Some days we feel better than other days. On our better days, we can try to reach out a little bit. Go somewhere with people or call someone on the phone. Text someone or send and email. Whatever is in your comfort zone for that particular day.

There will be days when interacting with others is impossible. But some days we might be able to reach out, just a little bit. Do what you can and take advantage of any days that are kind of good.

Who you should reach out to and talk to, depends on what is good for you. Some of you have friends that you can all on the phone. Some people would be able to go out to a place where there are strangers and interact a little bit with them.

On good days, I can go to places like a museum or a farmers market and interact with people that I see.

Another way to get some compassionate human interaction, is to do some volunteer work. Nursing homes will often let you come and visit. You may have to set things up, to be a volunteer ahead of time. The people you visit at places like this, will not judge you in the same ways that you are afraid of your friends or family judging you.

Animals are also great. Pets are good companions. As you know, if you read my blog, I get great joy and comfort from my bunny. I also like to go to places with a animals.  There is a place called Sun High Orchard, near my house. They have bunnies and sheep that you can pet and feed.

Sometimes you can go to speciality stores where the people will talk with you. Some places like that would be: comic book stores, craft stores, tattoo parlors, hobby shops and book stores. Any place where people gather, that have a similar interest.

It is okay. Sometimes we need to self isolate for a while to heal our brains. But if the isolation is becoming a problem for you, then do a little bit of interacting on the good days and just rest in bed on the harder days. Balance is the key to most problems in life.

We are supportive of each other here and WordPress has been a blessing for me. I love hearing from the people that follow my blog and I consider the interactions meaningful.

Blessings to all,

Annie