Thursday, August 28, 2014

5 & 5




Laments:
1. Selfish drivers. (I could list this one in varying incarnations on every 5 & 5!)
2. Rude pedestrians. ("You know we're living in a society!" Bonus points if you know where that quote is from.
3. Headaches: big ones, small ones, half head ones, side head ones, front head ones, neck ones...
4. Finances
5. Having to weigh risks (death by rash?) against benefits (no debilitating depression) when you consider medications.

Gratitudes:
1. I have never hit a pedestrian, kid or otherwise. It's one of my worst fears driving around schools especially.
2. My dog. Such a sweet love who wants to hang out & cuddle.
3. I have a reliable car that I like.
4. Friends who are willing to help answer all sorts of questions on topics where my knowledge is limited.
5. My husband is a good, good man. I'm thankful he chooses me every day.

How was your day?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

5 & 5

 


Laments:
1. SO MANY €#%£ BAD DRIVERS! A guy was behind me and started merging into me. Thankfully my HORN told him to stop.
2. Working on the computer makes my hand & wrist hurt, but I have so much work to do involving the computer.
3. Frikken Comcast and their "customer service" -not
4. I'm feeling a big lack of energy.
5. I'm so tired of battling with my weight. 

Gratitudes:
1. I met a neighbor who loves working on vintage stoves and he happily came over to fix a problem with my oven.
2. I'm so thankful for my dog, Nala, everyday. She has brought love & live to our family in lots of situations, and has been therapeutic for my depression.
3. I'm getting to bed before 10 tonight! (We'll see if that really pans out)
4. I'm thankful I have a working washer, dryer and dishwasher.
5. After finishing Community college and earning her AA, My daughter had her first day at the university she's looked forward to for so long. 

Feel free to share things for your day!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Today's 5 & 5


5 & 5

So when I first started blogging 10 years ago, it was an anonymous, but online journal. At the time I was seeing a therapist and we talked about a gratitude journal. But she also recognized the importance of identifying the crappy parts of the day too. So I started the "5 & 5" as a way to list the complaints of the day, and then end with the gratitude. Often then will be related (see #1), but sometimes, they stand alone.  

In time, I began to write more and do less 5 & 5, but I always come back to it. Especially when I find myself lamenting more than being thankful. I want to be able to give each their due, but keep it in balance. So while I've been doing this off & on for a decade, here's my first 5 & 5 to share. 







Today's 5 & 5











Laments:
1. People who leave empty gas tanks for others.
2. I was clearly a dingbat and blocked a driveway (on private property when no one was around) and was reading a text. When I looked up after about 10 seconds, there was a car behind me and in front of me. I wide-eyed said, "I'm so sorry!" and she scowled at me...now she's the dingbat. 
3. My friend is at a memorial supporting her friend. The young adult son accidentally OD'd. It makes me so sad for them all. And made me think of this brilliant blog post by renegademama: We don't start with needles in our arms.

That's about it!  today was a really good day.

Gratitudes:
1. That I have a car to drive.
2. All my family people were home for a lot of the day. I <3 them.
3. I got to talk with a lot of my favorite people today, both in person and via text.
4. I'm really thankful for technology.  I mean, it causes problems, but the fact that I am able to have on the go, through the day, stop and go conversations with friends in Hawaii to Florida is both fascinating and gives me pause to be grateful.
5. My iPhone calendar. I know there are many digital calendar options. I say find the one that works for you and stick with that. But having one that reminds me of the things that are both important and trivial, but require remembering...I am thankful!

How was your day?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Murder or Mania, where does your tragedy rank?

I've read updates from a couple different people saying how Robin William's death is sad, but what about (other horrible world issues)?  

I want to know, why do tragic events need to compete for what's worse? Now there's way more going on internationally than I know about (and frankly, more than I care to know about. There's only so much emotional heaviness I can handle without it negatively affecting me). 

Admittedly, I am awful at keeping up with the news. A few things of which I am aware: kids being kidnapped & sold into sex slavery, people (of many faiths) being tortured, falsely imprisoned and persecuted, and racially motivated violence and oppression - these are all horrible.  AND the suicide of a dearly loved and revered entertainer who suffered from depression is also horrible. He made us laugh, made us feel better, and helped us escape whatever reality we needed a break from. His life was no more valuable than any other person claimed by mental illness, (or "enter tragedy of choice here"), nor was it worth less than any person killed by ISIS.  What his death does offer is a light on a platform that usually remains hidden and dark, for people to speak out about depression and other mental illnesses, and where there hasn't been one like it before. 

When Patty Duke bravely opened up in her book, Call Me Anna, about her bipolar disorder, (then still called "Manic-Depression" it was 27 years agoCarrie Fisher did the same...21 years later. Little by little, more people are opening up about their struggles, but there is still so much shame and stigma that surrounds it.

I was talking with my husband about it and he said, "People still feel so much shame over depression and mental illness, because they are treated with so much shame! No one wants to organize a fun run for depression."

These days, our culture has a short attention span.  One topic gives way to the next, one tragedy for another, one meaningful subject pushed aside for a Kardashian. Even now in light of his Parkinson's diagnosis, I'm reading, "oh that's why" type comments.  I'm sure that contributed to his depression, but rationally thinking people don't commit suicide. And at least in my experience, when you are overtaken with depression, clinical depression, major depression, depressive episodes, whatever you want to call it, all you hear and believe are the lies Depression tells you.

I don't think one important topic bests another, and I don't want this moment to be wasted. I want us to take advantage of the spotlight that depression and mental illness currently has while it still has the attention of the fickle public. 

We need to keep being vocal until people will listen. At minimum, we will identify each other and band together in solidarity.

Friday 5&5

Laments
1. Second night of a nasty headache.
2. Road construction all around my street.
3. TRAFFIC (see #2)
4. Skipped another workout today


Gratitudes
1. I had a blast volunteering at the conference at church this morning.
2. It's FRIDAY!
3. My sweet little pooch that loves me
4. I found reasonably priced GF pizza at Costco!
5. I'm so thankful for our Yukon.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Grieving Robin

I've been just short of obsessing over Robin William's death. I've been teary and on the verge of crying since I read the news at 4:30 this afternoon.
Celebrities die. Why is this hitting me so hard?


I was a fan, but not a superfan. In fact, his ├╝ber fast-paced stand up and out of control interviews sometimes even annoyed me. But I still liked him. His persona.
I never met him in person, but two people I do know posted separate stories about meeting him, and the time he spend talking with each of them. He sounded like a guy who really did care enough to listen, remember and make a connection with people he met. And then it hit me. He did that for everyone, whether we met him or not.
I think I'm feeling this so deeply, because for my generation in particular, we really did grow up with him.  I was only 9 when Mork and Mindy exploded into American pop culture. I remember walking to school my first day of fourth grade with my neighbor friend, Julie Ann, both of us wearing rainbow suspenders, mine complimenting my Mork from Ork t-shirt. (My Dorothy Hamil haircut completed that lovely ensemble.)
He's been a part of film and entertainment practically my whole life. And not just someone out there in Hollywoodland, but an actively working A-lister.
Last year he was my workout buddy. I started recording his TV show "Crazy Ones". I would laugh so much watching it, I decided to save it for when I was on the treadmill. It would save my husband from me waking him up, and it would be a treat for me as incentive. Many times I would do extra time in order to watch another episode.  Every time I would be that person in the gym, laughing outloud as I walked and ran, often having to jump on the rails so I wouldn't fall off.
And then beyond the entertainment is the depression. I battle it myself, and I understand how it can completely envelop you. There are still so many people who think it's just someone being very sad. Depression is real. It's more like sinking into a thick, dark grey mud of self doubt, self-loathing, apathy, sadness and failure that feels as it it's enveloping you slowly, but in reality swallows you up quickly and is reluctant to let you up to gasp for a breath.
I've been glad to see so many Suicide Prevention Hotline posts (1-800-273-8255) and more open talk about depression.  But as I mentioned earlier on Facebook today, depressed people don't reach out.  At least in my experience both personally and with friends I have who battle that lying monster, depressed people withdraw. Reach out to your loved ones. Help them get help. When they don't answer their phone, text them. Again. Drop by with a note, a flower, a treat. Don't expect to stop by & visit - that's for you, not for them. But don't give up. Tell them how they matter. Even if they don't believe it, a part of them will. Eventually you will get through enough to crack through so they can grab onto the lifeline of that text, message or voicemail (yes, that is still a thing). When they do, be gentle but be relentless.  Don't tell them to "let you know" if they need help. Ask how you can help. Offer your own suggestions. And don't be afraid to ask them if they are thinking of hurting themselves. 
Friends, go love each other.