Checking in and Checking out

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Last week my therapist assigned me to ‘check in’ with my emotions daily.  The reason for this is to be aware of and learn to process my feelings before they accumulate and I have an emotional meltdown (an every so often occurrence).
I’m used to blocking out my feelings. It’s what I did for a large portion of my life to survive. Now, I have to unlearn that pattern and learn a new one.
I bought a small notebook, and checked with myself every morning. By the end of the week I was scribbling in large letters….EXHAUSTED…SENSE OF DOOM…ANGRY. I’m not sure what was making me so anxious,tired or angry; but I didn’t like the way it felt. My therapist had said not to try and figure it out but to just jot it down and then work on it with her.
Tomorrow I see her, and hopefully will gain some insight.  Meanwhile I check in with myself on a need to basis but haven’t been jotting it down, until I can move through the anxiety.
Unfortunately, I kind of shut down in my writing all together.
Today is the last assignment of the Blogging 101 course I’ve been taking. I feel sad and anxious for a few reasons. 1) I have never liked goodbyes 2) I feel I’ve failed because I am so many assignments behind.
If I stop ‘checking in’ so intensely and put the sad feelings aside; then I am able to peacefully check out.
I really don’t have to say goodbye because I am following blogs of many peers I’ve met and they are following me. It’s okay to stop beating myself up for feeling like a failure; because I can still make up the assignments.
Checking in with myself without the sad or anxious feelings; I can feel happy. I can reflect on how challenging and rewarding the past 30 days have been with my new blogging family. I can revel in the fact that I went from zero to hero! I can be proud. I can move forward and continue to commit to myself, my blog and my peers. 
My goal is to ‘check in’ and blog once a week & ‘check out’ what my peers are blogging about.
I thank you all for this wonderfully emotional experience. 

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 See you around the blogosphere! 🙂
 

For My Dream Reader(s)

I’ve been taking the Blogging 101 course here on WordPress. It has been a lot of work; but, a lot of fun. This is an assignment we had, to write a post to our “dream reader.” The person we visualize reading our blog. You are all my Dream Readers!!! Thanks for being here. 🙂

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You are not defined by color, race or religion.

 It matters not if you are male or female, or if you’re healthy or have an illness.

 Whoever and wherever you are in life is alright with me. You are perfect just the way you are.

 You feel for me when I share my pain and struggles, and smile with me through my joys and triumphs.

 My stories sometimes make you cry; but they make you think.

 You begin to understand what it is like for someone with mental illness.

 You double my happiness and half my sorrow.

 I face another day because you are there.

 I reciprocate and will always be there for you.

 You are inspired. I am inspired.

 I am so glad you found me, and I , you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mental Breakdown

 

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The term “mental breakdown” (or nervous breakdown) isn’t an official medical term; but it is often used to describe an acute emotional or psychological collapse. When an  individual has reached a point where they are severely and persistently distraught and are unable to function at a normal level. In extreme cases one can suffer from hallucinations or “catatonic posturing” where the individual is unable to move.

Generally speaking , a nervous breakdown can follow a long period of stress that hasn’t been dealt with appropriately.

What “mental breakdown” meant for me was a complete halt to everything I ever thought I had under control. I had been diagnosed years before with depression and anxiety disorders; but had learned to live with them under the care of my doctor.

I can’t recall a singular incident that I can mark as the moment of my breakdown. Three days after my mother passed, I started a new job. Shock kept me functioning for awhile. I grew increasingly dependent on alcohol because I was too afraid to feel. Then one day, I cried and couldn’t stop. I couldn’t think. I paced frantically for hours. I didn’t sleep for 2-3 days at a time. I just simply could not function, and three months after my mother died I had my mental breakdown.

According to my doctor, it was my mother’s death that triggered a “clinical depression” resulting in a “mental breakdown”. Severe loss and grief compiled with a troubled relationship , pressures of inheriting guardianship of my teenage niece, attending college, working a new job and raising my daughter while financially drowning, finally resulted in hospitalization.

The memory is a big blur. I lay there with tubes in my arms and oxygen in my nose. My asthma had severely exacerbated. My body was so worn and weak. I couldn’t breathe. I had an infection that went through my lungs, sinuses and even my eyes. My mind was blank. I looked around and recognized that I was in the same room my mother had been in. That reality hit me hard. This was rock bottom and I was going to die if I didn’t get help.

After a week and a half in the hospital, my doctor strongly suggested disability. I had to quit my job, end my relationship and move to an apartment that I could afford being on disability. It hurt my pride to be deemed disabled but I was grateful for the opportunity to receive the assistance I needed, both financially and medically, while I learned how to heal.

The truth is, we all need help sometimes. If you ever think you may be breaking down, please get help. It does not go away if you ignore it and it only gets worse.


Symptoms of a breakdown can be mental, emotional &/or physical. You can experience one or more of the following: persistent & uncontrollable crying, disorientation, confusion, feelings of worthlessness, loss of self esteem, agitation, restlessness, mood swings,violent anger, paranoid thoughts and hearing voices, diarrhea, constipation, disrupted menstrual cycle, difficulty breathing, &/or loss of vision or memory.

1-800-273-TALK 
1-800-SUICIDE 

!!!*~The Liebster Award~*!!!

Wow! I can’t believe I have been nominated for any kind of award, especially an award given to bloggers from bloggers.

It feels extra special being recognized and appreciated by my peers. I love the community here at WordPress!

Sincere thanks to Nicole Davis for nominating me. I think her blog is great! Check it out here: http://triumphantwings.wordpress.com

I am truly honored and maybe a little overwhelmed.

~The first part of the process is to state 11 facts about myself. They just rolled off my fingers; but when I press the publish button, everyone will know 11 very personal things about me. That’s the overwhelming part; but, I guess the whole purpose of my blog is to share. So here goes:

11 Facts about myself

1) I have mental illnesses.

2) I am a child of an alcoholic.

3)  I was physically abused by my grandmother.

4) My mother divorced my father when I was 8 years old.

5)  I survived many different accounts of sexual abuse.

6) I was in a drug rehabilitation/treatment center when I was 15 years old until I was 17.

7) I grew up wanting to be a movie star and super model.

8) I was a showgirl for 13 years.

9) I am a spiritual person; but I am confused about religion.

10) I miss my mom terribly and my life will never be the same without her.

11) I adore my daughter and being a mom is the greatest gift that ever has been granted to me.

~Phew! Okay, now for the second part. I have to answer 11 questions given to me by my lovely nominator.

11 questions for me

1) What is your simple pleasure in life? That one thing that puts a smile on your face.

It’s difficult to name one simple pleasure, as I am a big believer in enjoying every moment possible. Soaking up the simple pleasures in life is my fuel through the darker days. I guess if I have to name just one, and the simplest, it would be listening to the birds. I hang feeders and love to watch them; but just the sound of their songs can lighten my heart.

2) If you could talk to one dead person who would it be? Why?

Well, this one is easy for me. It would be my mom. She was my best friend, my comrade and my soul mate. It’s so hard raising my daughter without advice from my mother. It’s hard living life in general with out her advice, her laugh and her spirit.

3) What is one thing you have lost that you wish you had back?

All the years that I had no self confidence.

4) If you were in your dream home, describe how the view from your back window would differ from your current view.

I am a lot happier now that I have moved into a house with a yard as my back view as opposed to my old beach apartment overlooking the Casino Ballroom (concert hall and arcade). I would love to see a garden, a waterfall and more trees.

5) Do you share your blog with family/friends in real life?

No, not yet. It took me so long to get over what random readers would think of me. I am not ready to expose my deepest self to criticism from family and friends just yet.

6) Do you have any annoying habits?

Smoking cigarettes. Though I quit last April…I relapse and smoke here and there. My mom died of lung cancer. I have asthma. I hate cigarettes and it disgusts me that I give in to those urges at all.

7) What habit do you find the most annoying in other people?

Besides the obvious…smoking cigarettes. It angers me when people are judgmental. We all have room to improve in this area. Like the adage states, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.”

8) What is one life event you never saw coming?

At the risk of sounding redundant, I have to say my mom’s passing. Actually to be more specific, my mom’s diagnosis. When I took her to the emergency room for  diarrhea, I never expected to hear the word tumor.

9) At what age did you truly grow up? If you haven’t yet, what age do you think you will grow up?

I wish to be always growing and never grow up. I hope my inner child never stops learning, loving and playing. I think my 40’s are the wisest years I have had thus far; but, I feel like I have always been grown up in some senses. I had a tough life and grew up fast.

10) If you could go back and tell your younger self one thing, what would it be and why?

Do NOT let life pass you by because you are afraid.

11) Tell us about something that made an impact on your life.

Lots of things impacted my life and shaped me to be who I am today. Though becoming a mom has been the biggest impact on how I live my life everyday, now and forever.

~The third part to being nominated for The Liebster Award is to nominate 11 other bloggers and compose 11 new questions for them.

Here are my nominees. In one set of rules it stated that it should be a blog with under 200 followers. Other sets of rules stated under 1000 followers. I compromised and nominated blogs with under 500 followers.

My 11 nominees:

1) http://triumphantwings.wordpress.com/

2) http://scarredgirlsite.wordpress.com/

3) http://humanrelationshins.wordpress.com/

4) http://livinglearningandlettinggo.wordpress.com/

5) http://lostfouroux.wordpress.com/

6) http://thebrixtonhousewife.com/

7) http://karensamenow.wordpress.com/

8) http://simplymadebyangie.wordpress.com/

9)http://mentalhealthwritersguild.wordpress.com/

10) http://inconsistentlyyours.wordpress.com/

11) http://hellokalykitty.wordpress.com/

The 11 questions for the nominees:

1) What is the number one reason you started blogging?

2) If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

3) What is your biggest fear?

4) Do you have a particular coping skill for stress? What is it?

5) If you had a magical power, what would it be?

6) What do you daydream about?

7) If you could change one thing about your past, what would it be? Why?

8) If there was one thing you could secure in your future, what would it be? Why?

9) What is your favorite pastime?

10) Even though you are a relatively new blogger; what advice do you offer to another newbie?

11) What is the most important thing you want to accomplish with your blog?

I can’t wait to read your responses!! I am so grateful for all my wonderful peers. HappyBlogging! 🙂