Tagged choices

Six Steps to Take Back Our Control: Part Two of Three

Good morning. ūüôā If you are just tuning in, you can find steps one and two written in the previous blog post. 3. Politely listen but don’t necessarily follow well-meaning advice from family and friends.¬†It’s human nature to want to tell someone or share with that person our ideas about what we think should be done in certain situations. In some cases, this helpful advice comes from family members who have heard us sound entirely different than usual. In my case, it was other siblings who heard me on the phone coming off slurred, drugged, or very sleepy. That’s alarming.…

Six Simple Steps to Take Back Our Control: Part One of Three

I’ve been having the most difficult time putting my words down here. It can’t be because I’m afraid I’ll get it wrong. It’s my story, my life. How wrong could I get it? It seems that my most effective/popular blog posts have been when there is a specific list to help change something in one’s life. Hey, who doesn’t like lists, right? Six Simple Steps to Take Back Control 1. Question everything, and don’t be afraid of your doctor.¬†When we lose or think we lose control of our lives, it’s not always with a crash and broken bones. It’s sometimes…

Gaslighted? Five Steps to Help

According to Dictionary.com, the loaded word¬†gaslight¬†means “to¬†cause¬†(a¬†person)¬†to¬†doubt¬†his¬†or¬†her¬†sanity¬†through¬†the¬†use¬†of psychological¬†manipulation.” If you’ve ever seen¬†¬†Gaslight the movie then you might relate to Ingrid Bergman’s character, Paula Alquist Anton.¬† If you¬†have¬†been gaslighted, here are five things that I hope might help: You are not insane. You might¬†feel¬†like you are, but you’re not. Gaslighting is powerful. Do not think of yourself as weak. It takes someone quite strong to overcome such manipulation. If someone says things like: “You’re too sensitive; that’s not what happened; no, that’s not what I said, you must’ve misunderstood; you’re overreacting; I never said that; you must be confused again,”nine times…

Desperation, Tears, Laughter, Hope

This is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I swear on my beloved dog Lucy’s grave in the backyard. Tuesday, my shrink’s nurse notified me that she had called ahead to (hospital), explaining the situation, that I needed to be taken off all the psych meds I was currently on. Then I would be moved to (psych hospital) to start fresh, a clean slate, to see what would work to make me happier. But let me backtrack just a little. My family physician¬†promised¬†me that he would basically look into every nook and cranny until I was…

Self-conscious much? Do something!

Probably each of us has, at one time or another, felt self-conscious about ourselves. I’m sure even actors (John Cusack), and people in high-powered positions have those times when they’d really rather not be there. It’s too hard sometimes to be with other people you’re¬†sure¬†are better than you; a better person, better wife/husband, daughter/son, mother/daughter, people in¬†general.¬† I’ll tell you something about myself, but you have to promise to keep it secret. “Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead.” There are many things I do ritualistically and some things I can’t do at all.¬†IF¬†I go to…

NEW! BOOK POST! Dear Kindle,

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…”–from a sonnet by Elizabeth Barett Browning Oh my goodness, Kindle. My affair with you has been on again/off again. I was highbrow and holier-than-thou. “Kindles? Oh, I rarely read them. I like the feel of the pages as I turn them. I love the smell of new and old books…I love the smell period.” I was that person. Also, I was the kind of person who would “go along to get along,” so when someone would say “Oh dear. I would¬†never¬†dog-ear a book. And cracking¬†the binding of a paperback? You’ve¬†got¬†to…

Social Media CON-nections

So okay. First I want to explain my choice of title for this post. Social media connections have many positive effects on people and individuals. What bothers me is it seems a little – like chocolate (for chocolate lovers). So if you love chocolate, you’d at least want to taste it, right? It would be weird not to. Then suddenly, there is more and more chocolate, as far as the eye can see. And it’s still tasty, sure, but there’s starting to be kind of a chalky after-taste, like the chocolate “mouse” in Rosemary’s Baby. If you ever saw that…

Choices, Choices Everywhere, and Not a One to Make

I just ate an orange. Some¬†choices are easy. I haven’t had much of an appetite lately. The only tough part was peeling it. ūüėõ I also bought one of those Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs, even though I really haven’t had a yen for chocolate much. It’s like — too rich or something. Being indecisive, being unsure of what I want or need is¬†so¬†frustrating. Yesterday on the way home from getting my cast put on, Mom and I settled on a restaurant for brunch. That was also easy: The Honey Tree, within walking distance of our home. Even so, I stared…

How Are You Taking Care of Yourself?

Happy New Year, one and all. I hope you are doing well so far as we approach the half-way mark of January. Did you make any resolutions/promises to yourself? How’s it going? Were they realistic, or did you shoot for the moon? Have you kept them? If not, don’t lose heart. You might need to¬†lower¬†your expectations. For many of us, the word “lower” is negative, and sounds an awful lot like “loser.” Is that how you feel? Well, I haven’t managed to keep my promises to myself, totally, yet. Sometimes I might hit one or two. But I figured out…

B is for Blaming

My sister’s three children, who are grown adults now — the eldest is forty, and the younger two are in their late thirties — like to blame her for the way their lives are now, drawing on countless stories of a “horrific” childhood raised by a sometimes absent practicing alcoholic. This is always heartbreaking for Carol but she has learned to say “Goodbye, I’m hanging up now,” when it gets redundant and too difficult.  I’m sure their childhoods were indeed difficult, but at what point does one say, “What’s happening in my life now is up to me. These are my choices. No one…

How I Survived A Life-Threatening Illness

“Change is inevitable We can depend on that. By letting go of our efforts to influence the future, we become freer to experience the present, to feel all of our feelings while they are happening, and to more fully enjoy those precious moments of joy.” –Courage to Change, One Day at a Time in Al-Anon So, you might think, as you read this, that bringing humor to the situation is insanity. But you know me and my sarcastic wit. Would you recognize me any other way? ūüėČ Besides, the alternative is too stupid to consider, and useless. Plus really, who…

What Could Be Scarier Than a Great White Shark??

Happy ninth day of Twelvetide. I wish you health and prosperity this day, and a modicum of sanity as we go and be with various family and friends that we may have a genuine¬†love it or leave it¬†sort of ambivalence toward. Living with¬†ambivalence¬†is not for sissies. Let’s assume for a bit that you¬†don’t¬†live in or anywhere near¬†Flint, Michigan, and as far as you¬†know¬†it’s safer than it’s ever been (since that great white shark in the 70s) to dip your toe back in the water. I give you three simple words. NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS If your heart beats a little quicker…

20 Ways To Get Yourself Out Of That Rut

All of us get “stuck in a rut” at some point. What we do to get out is the important thing. Here are some¬†suggestions.They’re not researched, or written in stone, or anything like that. They’re just guidelines, from me to you. 1. Change the way you normally workout. 2. When you drive home after work or school, try a different way. 3. Clean out your desk drawers, or your glove box in the car. 4. Wash your car yourself instead of taking it to the car wash. 5. Change up your food choices when you go grocery shopping. 6. Make…

Performance Anxiety Redux

All right. This is not an apology, this is an explanation. There’s a reason I have been so flaky lately with my posts . . . well, this whole entire month, specifically. Last year, when I tried to crochet Christmas presents, I didn’t start working until like October or even November, and of course didn’t get finished in time. I have a large family. So this year I began in January. So far I have two granny square blankets crocheted. I just have to put them together. I’m working on my third (pictured above) which looks like snowflakes! I have…

Follow The Leader

Most of us remember the game “Follow¬†The Leader,”¬†which involves a child being the leader of a line of other children. The children are supposed to copy everything the leader does. Those who fail to do so are out of the line, until one is left standing behind the leader, who then ¬†becomes the new leader. It’s similar to the game Simon Says,¬†¬†which requires a group of at least three children, preferably more. The leader gives directions to the other participants, trying to catch them out. If they follow the directions starting with “Simon says touch your toes,” for instance, they…

The Bystander Effect

According to Wikipedia, the bystander effect, a.k.a. bystander apathy, “is a social psychological phenomenon that refers to cases in which individuals do not offer any means of help to a victim when other people are present. The probability of help is inversely related to the number of bystanders.” The first case that caused research into this “effect” took place in 1964. At that time, 28-yr-old Kitty Genovese¬†was raped and stabbed to death in front of her apartment. The attack lasted over 30 minutes and was witnessed by several dozen people (at least, it was reported, but later found to be…

Positive Psychology

To prepare for this blog post, I read Martin Seligman’s Authentic Happiness¬†in two days. It was a pretty major feat for me, since I’m usually a slow reader, especially when it comes to nonfiction material. This book, minus the index pages, notes, and acknowledgements, came to 260 pp. But I was excited about it, especially since my sister had recently begun therapy again with someone who used only positive psychology techniques. She had recommended this book to Carol, and when I tried to get two copies at B&N, they only had one, so I read it as fast as I…

Yesterday

Although we’ve talked a lot about living in the present moment, the fact is most people with anxiety either live in the future or, more likely, in the past. The future living sounds more like a lot of “What-ifs,” and can get very scary very quickly. Living in yesterday sounds like this: I know I hurt my friend’s feelings when I said that that particular way. She seemed funny after that. It couldn’t have been just because she was dealing with her own issues. I¬†know¬†it was my fault. Or: I looked so stupid buying groceries yesterday. I’m sure everyone could…

Worrying

“Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia.” –Charles Schulz Charles Schulz is great. My dad was a cop, and he had a cop friend who was friend who was friends with Schulz, so for Halloween, instead of passing out candy, my older brother and I would pass out old comic books with the covers torn off. Of course, we always sat around and read them first. It was a sheer blast. I related to both Charlie Brown (with all his worrying) and Linus (with his security blanket–I had one until I…

Managing

`P.S. You‚Äôre not going to die. Here‚Äôs the white-hot truth: if you go bankrupt, you‚Äôll still be okay. If you lose the gig, the lover, the house, you‚Äôll still be okay. If you sing off-key, get beat by the competition, have your heart shattered, get fired‚Ķit‚Äôs not going to kill you. Ask anyone who‚Äôs been through it. —Daneille LaPorte Well, it turns out I’m not the best sort of person to do this sort of thing—-the A-Z Blog Challenge. See, besides writing the blog post itself, we’re supposed to comment on each other’s blogs. But I can barely keep up…