anxiety, insomnia, mental illness, philopsophy

Do We Think too Much ?

So you are lying in bed, ruminating over something that you have gone over again and again.

Is there something in your subconscious that makes you think you will solve it or come up with a whole new way of looking at it?

Do we actually think that going over it for the 99th time will lead to some closure on it? Or that the 100th time is the charm?

I don’t know, and I end up doing it , time and time again. But lately I am thinking that the thinking itself might be counterproductive sometimes.

I heard Ajahn Brahm (a Buddhist monk) say that something is only a problem if it can be solved. You know. a math problem that you can come up with a solution for.

So, if it isn’t something that you can come up with a solution for, then it’s not a problem, by the definition of the word.

So why do we spend our precious time, that could be put to better use (like sleeping) trying to solve the unsolveable?  Are we looking for a way to change the nature of that situation or event,  into a solveable situation ?

If something is not a problem, then what it is?

It’s just the way something is.

It is how things are, even if we don’t like it.

It’s an unfortunate set of circumstances.

It’s something bad that happened

It’s somebody else being who they are, whether we like it or not.

Some things we have no control over, and other things we wish we had control over.

We can’t change other people, or the nature of another person. We can’t change what another person wants, or how they behave.

We can’t change the past, including things we wish we hadn’t done, and things we wish someone else hadn’t done to us.

There are plenty of things that we have no control over, and cannot change. Yet, we go over these things, trying to generate better feelings about them, by trying to find ways to control them.

Then, there is that urge to figure out other people.

Why did they say that?

Why would they do that to me?

What did I ever do to them?

How can they behave that way, or think that way?

Again ….things we have no say in.

We desire to make reality fit into our own paradym. We want things to make some kind of sense and to have an explanation we can live with.

We want other people to behave in a logical manner. We want other people to behave in an ethical manner and valued manner.

That could be why we go over and over the same things, and let the same thoughts play out in a loop, over abd over again.

I think that we need to look at it and ask ourselves, “Can I solve this? Is there a reasonable possibility of a solution?

Or is this a non – problem, and rather a difficulty that just exists with no action needed from me?”

If you have gone over and over it, and no solution you can think of will actually work, then it might need to be tossed into the non – problem pile. And we can move on to actual problems that we have the power to fix and solve…..or better yet we can simply let it go, and sleep.

Ask yourself  “what is more productive?”

Is it to keep repeating this loop of thoughts that I have repeated 100 times? Or to assign this particular loop to its proper box on our mental shelf ?

Then we can use the time in a way that supports us better overall.

After all ww are somewhat logical beings, even though emotion tends to drive our behavior, including our thinking behavior. 

At the very least, we can decide that the thing isn’t going to go anyplace , if we do something more productive or more self supportive right now.

So, since it’s not going to go anywhere, and we can’t come up with any new thoughts about it, what harm will happen if we just set it on that shelf?

Goodnight all ….and pleasant dreams.

Annie ⚘


healing, mental illness

Peaceful Healing of Water

wharton lake pretty

Standing close to the shimmering lake

The ripples in the water have a calming effect

I feel the gentle motion of the water 

Sending flowing energies into me

Filling my mind with calmness

Creating a clarity in the midst of the brain fog

wharton lake ripples

*Photo taken at Wharton Lake in New Jersey on my cell phone camera

free guitar lessons, guitar, guitar lessons, health, health and wellness, internet guitar lessons, life, mental health, mental illness, music for mental illness

New Blog – Guitar With Annie

Guitar with Annie Blog

I have started a new blog. It is Guitar with Annie Blog. This is a blog for people who play guitar or want to learn to play guitar. I will write about topics related to the guitar, learning guitar and guitar styles and music.

The blog is to promote self esteem and confidence in guitar students. I have many years of experience teaching guitar lessons. I have seen the benefits of learning guitar in many of my students.

I have seen teenagers get better self esteem, which carried over into their school work and social interactions.I have worked with adult students who learned guitar because they always wanted to, but never had the chance. The enjoyed being able to play the songs they love and found practicing and learning to be mentally beneficial and an emotional outlet.

Learning guitar can be beneficial for people suffering from mental illness. I always individualize my teaching style, to the individual student

. I go at the pace that is comfortable for the student. How the person feels about what they are doing, is the most important thing. Everyone has their own pace and their own reasons for learning guitar.

I have taught children and adults with special needs. I even one student with Alzhiemer’s disease.

I have taught very gifted musical teenagers that went on to be music major’s in college. I have taught people that were very serious about their music careers and also people that were just learning for enjoyment.

Guitar can be healing for people with mental illness. There are ways to use guitar as a meditative tool, in order to reduce anxiety and help with depression. This is a specialty and most guitar teachers do not know about this aspect of teaching the guitar.

Teaching is about a connection with the student and creating a safe space for them to learn in. I enjoy creating just the right learning, encouraging and healing atmosphere for my students.

Here is the link to the blog. It is new, so there are only a few posts so far.

Free Guitar Lesson Offer

I am looking for a few people to give free guitar lessons to on Skype, so that I can practice teaching over the internet. I have taught hundreds of lessons in people’s homes and in a music store, but I have not taught online before.

If anyone is interested in doing a couple of free trials, while I learn the Skype, please leave me a note in the comments below. I need a few people that already have a guitar and also have Skype access.

I can only accept about 3 people, for 1-3 free lessons a piece, so if you are interested please let me know.

Blessings to all,


arthritis, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, wellness, yoga

What are We Going to do About Getting up Those Steps?

my arthritis

Arthritis is a terribly painful condition. It is basically an inflammation of the joints. Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage, that is supposed to protect the bones from grinding together, to break down.

I have osteoarthritis and I feel like the bones just grind together in my knees and my hips. Going up the steps feels like something is stabbing into my right hip and both of my knees. It is so painful to walk up and down the steps that I lean against the wall and stop every couple of steps to allow the pain to stop for a few seconds.

“Osteoarthritis the cartilage in a joint to become stiff and lose its elasticity, making it more susceptible to damage. Over time, the cartilage may wear away in some areas, greatly decreasing its ability to act as a shock absorber. As the cartilage deteriorates, tendons and ligaments stretch, causing pain. If the condition worsens, the bones could rub against each other.”  Web MD

You can read more about Osteoarthritis here

My arthritis is about 20 years beyond my age, according to the doctors. The reasons for this are something we could speculate about , but some of it is because of the overuse injuries, I constantly sustained at the nursing I worked at, a few years ago.

They forced us to do heavy lifting by ourselves and even violated the law, and the OSHA regulations about lifting. This is typical for nursing homes and many people I know were injured. I saw many back and shoulder injuries.

I also had shoulder injuries and constant microtears to the muscles. I have a herniated disc in my neck which I do not think was cause by the job, but was probably exasperated by the lifting of heavy patients on a regular basis.

There are two huge flights of steps to get up to the top floor where I live, in the house I am renting the space from. It is a huge undertaking for me, everytime I have to take down the trash, take down and bring up the laundry and take up the grocery bags.

Each step is pain and I feel like I cannot survive living with these steps any longer. The next place I live must have a main entrance that I can bring groceries into and do laundry all on that floor.

The other main type of arthritis is Rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis has the same pain and stiffness as Osteoarthritis. In Rheumatoid, there is an inflammation of  the synovial membrane that protects and lubricates joints. You can see pictures of these two main types of arthritis  here

“Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic (long-term) disease. Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms can come and go, and each person with RA is affected differently. Some people have long periods of remission.” Web MD

You can read more about Rheumatoid Arthritis here

Both main types of arthritis are equally painful. Osteoarthritis eventually begins to wear down the bones, which is where I am at now, with certain joints.

There can also be bending of the bones, basically deforming the shape, like I have in my right foot. It is beginning to bend inwards at the top, which causes balance problems in addition to the PTTD (posterior tibial tendon dysfunction – flat foot and ankle collapse) that is continuing to get worse in my right foot. It is very hard to balance, especially on uneven ground.

There are other types of arthritis but they are not as common as the two main types I discussed here. Arthritis is painful and the best treatment I have found is putting heat on the area.

You can use a heating pad or a rice bag, warmed in the microwave.  Here are some pinterest links for making your own rice bag . Links here

You can use ice to reduce inflammation. Limit heavy lifting, which is easier said than done at the job I work at now. I am working on making a change to having my own business, so I will have to lift and cause more injury to the joints.

I also have degenerative disc disease, which can begin with arthritis and mine probably did. They do not really know what comes first. I asked the spine doctor if I had arthritis in the cervical spine first that caused the degenerating discs or if the degenerative disc disease caused the arthritis . He said they often are seen together and there is no way to know which occurred first.

Herniated discs are a typical result of degenerating discs in combination with heavy lifting, which was unfortunately exactly my situation when I was doing the heavy lifting at the nursing home.

The best thing to do is to take care of your spine. If you do yoga and spinal stretches every day, you will reduce your risk for spinal stiffness. You need to keep your spine flexible, the way it was meant to be. It is harder to get mobility back, than it is to maintain it.

You cannot be fully well , unless your spine is in good shape.

Here are some yoga postures that you can do, to help keep your spine supple. If you are already having spinal problems, these exercises can help. Always do yoga postures slowly and carefully. Make sure you are practicing yoga at your level. If unsure , please consult a doctor.  Yoga Postures

Good bones are for happy bodies 🙂

domestic abuse, domestic violence, kindness, life, mental abuse, mental health, mental illness, self-esteem, self-help, women's issues, working mom

Being Mindful About Self Esteem Can Increase Our Mental Wellness

self esteem

Kindness boosts self esteem. That is what the self esteem bunnies say  !

Everyone needs to have good self esteem. It is critical to our mental health. Low self esteem = poor mental wellness.

When we boost another person’s self esteem, we find that they are more efficient at completing tasks and more receptive to working with us.

If you want to work with someone, you need for them to want to work with you. Find out what their self esteem is based on, and then you will have the key to generating a more collaborative situation.

When someone says something that makes your self esteem go down, you will not be as receptive to working with them or helping them. There will be a resentment of their treatment of you and you will feel less worthy and competent.

Once you feel less competent or less worthy, your confidence on your ability to function becomes lower. There may be a feeling of subservience or shame. These feelings are harmful to your mental well being.

In order to become mentally healthier, we need to find ways to boost our self esteem. This involves our activities and also who we surround ourselves with. It is best to surround yourself with people that boost your self esteem, rather than crush it down.

Sometimes it is obvious when someone is being critical of you and other times you cannot even tell that they are using tactics to lower your self esteem.

The way to tell if someone is covertly attacking your self esteem is that you will feel a sense of being confused. If you have a clarity of mind when you are interacting with someone then they are boosting your self esteem. If you have a sense of becoming more confused, then they are doing something to lower your self esteem.

Becoming more aware of ways to raise your self esteem will help you to be more mindful and to increase your mental wellness.

abnormal psychology, alcoholic, anxiety, depression, memory issues, mental disorders, mental health, mental illness, suicude, wellness

Depression Hurts

depression hurts

Depression is real.

Depression really hurts.

Depression is exhausting.

Depression is scary.

Depression is dangerous.

If you have depression, don’t suffer in silence.  Find someone you can tell. If the people that are around you every day will not understand then find another way to talk to someone.

Go through this list until you see an option for you.

1. Family member

2. Friend

3. Teacher

4. Primary care Physician

5. Guidance Counselor

6. Neighbor

7. Online friend

8. Facebook Groups (Closed Groups)  (search on facebook under the key word  ” depression”. There are closed groups you can go to the page of the group. Then request to join. They will add you and then give you the rules of the group. There is always someone on there to talk to. Face book has both public and closed groups on all kinds of mental illnesses. Some are for specific issues and other are for mental health issues in general.

9. Online Groups for depression, because sometimes you just can’t drag yourself out of bed. When it is like that then you probably won’t leave the house to get help. Psych Central has groups for most  mental illnesses. Some are general and some are for specific disorders.

6 pm

If you can’t , you can’t. Some days it gets to be 4pm and then 6pm and we just cannot even get dresses, nevermind leave the house. It happens. It has happened to me. 

10. WordPress Blog (if you have a wordpress blog you can meet other bloggers who have struggled with depression. Search the tags to read their blogs. Once you read other people’s blogs, more and more people will follow you and read your posts. Post under the tag depression and people will connect with you . If this does not work for you, Try one of the other things on this list

11. 12 step groups local

12. local Church ( sometimes they have someone to counsel you, it does not matter what denomination you go to, they should be able to connect you)

13. Helpline

National Suicide Prevention Helpline

Hotline & Helpline Information

24-hour Hotline

National Suicide Prevention Helpline

  • 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK)
Suicide Prevention Services Depression Hotline 630-482-9696

Crisis Help Line – For Any Kind of Crisis 800-233-4357

14. Tumblr has Mental-Health-Advice.Usually someone is available to talk to you 24 hours. It may be worth a try.  They have a therapist o line that will respond to your posts/ questions in a timely manner Just go to your Tumblr account and look for Mental-Health-Advice, then click follow.

15. Internet information and resources

anxiety, depression, mental health, mental illness, self-help

Toxic People / Removing Their Access to Injuring Your Mental Health

Some people are toxic to us. We need to remove them from our lives. It is not a bad thing to do this and we do not have to feel guilty,

It is not for others to  judge us about who we choose to interact with and who we do not. We do not tell other people who to have in their lives, what right do they have to tell us?

Sometimes you want to remove someone who is toxic to us, but we get resistance from other people involved. They usually have no idea how the toxic person affects us. They are not aware of all of the interactions that have occurred between us and the toxic person. Even if we told them, they might not understand the implications of the interactions.

It is for us to know when things are injuring us. Something someone does or says, may injure us but it would not bother someone else as much. It has to do with our background with the person, our personality, our relationship to the person and our personal mental state.

People with mental illnesses like depression and anxiety, tend to be sensitive people. We are sensitive to the feelings of others about us. Words and actions that others inflict upon us are more hurtful to our brains than they may be to other people. We can be easily triggered by demands, and unkind actions and words of others.

We need to be around gentle people. People that are sensitive to our emotional and mental state.

If someone is constantly critical or judgemental of us then they are toxic to our mental health. Anyone who makes us spiral into a depressed state or a state of extreme anxiety, is not good for us. If they are more interested in their own agenda to the point where they do not care if they are triggering us, then they are toxic.

Anyone who lowers our self esteem and does not listen when we try to speak up for ourselves is toxic. Anyone who is angry all the time and aggressive towards us, is toxic. Anyone who forces us to remember things we do not want to remember and does not listen when we try to ask them to stop, is toxic.

Anyone who is mean to us,or makes us look bad  by how they talk about us, is toxic. Anyone who ignores your feelings, when they are clearly triggering you, is toxic. Anyone who makes you feel worthless, stupid, afraid, threatened or  subservient to them is toxic.

People have no right to threaten us with any kind of retaliation for not complying with what they want. People have no right to interfere in our relationships with other people, People have no business doing anything that wields control over us to get things they want. They have no business trying to control our actions and our choices.

Sometimes it is complicated to remove them completely due to mutual people between us. There are other reasons that make it difficult to remove them. We need to limit our interaction with them down to a tiny bit and has boundaries that we set.

Someone may be toxic to us and it does not necessarily mean that they are an awful person. They may be fine for other people. Their actions may be targeted to us and not others. Or their actions may affect us differently than they affect other people.

It is not for them or for other people do decide who is toxic to us and who is not. If you feel terrible after interactions with someone and they are constantly lowering your self esteem and making you feel bad, then they need to be removed . Their access to being allowed to hurt you, should be denied. Access denied !

It is up to us to make as many boundaries as we need. If you look around, you will see that other people set boundaries with us and with others. The very people that are toxic to us, have clear boundaries and decide what they do and do not want.

Other people are used to setting their boundaries but some of us are not used to it. We need help from people and they end up taking advantage of us. We want to be nice to people and they end up sucking the life out of us.

It is terrible if you are currently living with a toxic person (or people). That is the worst situation. We have to tolerate them while we are living with them.  Sometimes they will argue against our need for boundaries and refuse. It is bad and that becomes an abusive situation.

Take care of yourselves and think through your contacts. Even family members need to be removed, if they are very toxic to you. I have gone through having toxic family members. It is a terrible and complex thing .

Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself and raise your self esteem. Your people should make you feel special. They should listen to and accept your feelings. They should respect your thoughts and ideas , even if they do not agree with them. It is about respect and the right to dignity.

Blessing to all of you,


depression, mental health, mental health disorders, mental illness, suicude, wellness

Mental Illness and “Acting ” like we are FINE to the World Outside of our Bed

How many of you find that you are “acting your way” through the day? You know what I mean. You have to mask your mental illness to keep it a secret from others at work and social situations.

You feel depressed and have to go to work. People come by you and say “How are you?”  What do you say? I usually say “well I’m hanging in there” This is my best response even when I do not feel like I am hanging very well. I feel like my fingers are slipping off of whatever I a hanging onto. Someone greased the bar I am hanging onto and I am about to fall off.

But you can’t say that. You have to be FINE. Everyone must be fine to work or they do not trust you and consider you a threat to the status quo.

You act as best as you can that you are fine and try to get away from the conversation as fast as possible. You don’t want to make eye contact with anyone. You don’t want to string too many words together, for fear that you will say something to
“give yourself away.”

Then you get into a triggering situation at work (or in Dunkin Donuts) and you have to still be there. You have to pretend that the thoughts running through your head are not really there.

You try to tell your brain “Be quiet, I am trying to make a living here!” or “Wait until we get outside of the store to the car. I can’t have a mental breakdown right here at the cash register (or in the bank).

I wonder what all this forcing our true feelings down and telling our own brains to “shut up!” is doing to the disorganization of our brains? This must be damaging to the brain. The longer you have to fake things , the more the pressure builds inside. You are hiding like a child who broke a rule.

You feel degraded and invalidated. It is like our body (our mouth and voice) is invalidating our brain. Our minds and bodies are connected.  What happens to the connection when we want to cry but we force ourselves to make a fake laugh at someone’s triggering , stupid joke.

We are around insensitive people who have stigma against mental illness. We can’t let them know. We hide. We hide. We hide.

What is this doing to  further disorganize our brains?

There has to be some relief in between. I would like to hear your ideas about how you find relief from the
“faking it” mode. Pleases post in the comments below.

Mothers that take care of children, like me, also have to fake it. We have to play te role of good mother and have everything under control. I don’t think I do that so well anymore. I am a good mother but I don’t have a great flow mode, like normal brained mothers do.

It is hard to stay organized at work. You forget what someone just told you to do, one minute ago. You forget what needs to be done and sometimes how to do it.

It is  hard to keep track of time. it either feels too short or way way too long. Sometimes the time at work drags and drags and it is almost unbearable because you want to go lie down in your bed.

These things are hard. I go out to my car on my dinner break at work. Even if it is freezing cold outside , i go out and sit in my car. I have to have a break from the acting. I can not sit in the break room and chit chat about dumb stuff with the other girls, like where they bought their new purse.

The break is ok but then you have to go back to acting again. Some days are worse than others.  Are we inflicting our brains with abuse of forcing our emotions down? Just a thought…

How do you all deal with this?