Monday, April 29, 2013

Tips From Viscott

Some things I don't want to forget after reading David Viscott's "Emotional Resilience."

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Deconstructing Personal Attacks

Enjoyed reading this article and the ideas it brings up. 

I've been reading about "emotional resilience  and this article reminds me of those things I'm working on... how my world is up to me.

More later!

Friday, April 26, 2013

I find it humorous...

That my sink looks like a dump!

Stupid Uterus! And Boys!

Been feeling the downsides of womanhood this week, lots of cramps, grouchiness, and emotions. Thankfully the hubby is understanding and able to say, "You are being such a pill! but I understand." Ha!

This week jolted me out of my routine a bit so I've been tired and a little disoriented.

Monday evening through Wednesday morning I was in Seattle with family for my sister's birthday. The usual anxiety accompanied my preparation for the trip. While I tried to be kind to myself during the visit I found myself numbing, minimizing, and distancing when the all-too-common jabs took place.

In addition to my family drama, the hubby's side of the clan had some unpleasantness as well. Who knows the whole story, but it seems like a classic case of misunderstanding and false expectations on all sides. Family members have been unfriended and blocked on ye olde F-book and whatever progress they thought had been made toward healthy relations has taken a big loogie to the face.

Since our disappointing and frustrating visit last summer I've dreaded stepping into another snake's nest and yet I can't get the drama off my mind. I'm compelled to express my concern yet terrified of the backlash.

I'm not exactly afraid of whatever mean words would be lobbed at me, but more afraid of my capacity to cope with the emotions and ripple effect they would have on my well being. If I were in a more stable, healthy mental state I'd have no problem coping with someone else's coping/defense mechanisms-but at the moment I'm vulnerable.

My impulse is to offer comfort and try to open dialogue and discussion to air out the bad feelings. Hubby's impulse is pick up the phone and bitch somebody out. Fortunately I talked him down off his phone-attack impulse, but we're still stuck in a whirlwind of emotions.

Play it safe and keep quiet? Bite our tongues and bury our distress? Or speak up and risk making the situation even worse? Pipe up and show we care?

Either option seems to leave a bitter taste in my mouth and pangs of anxiety in my chest. It hurts to be quiet, it's scary to speak up. Guess I'll do some more pondering on this...


It's been a few hours since the first half of this posting and the hubby and I have had a chance to talk and go for a walk. I feel like I leave a lot of these pondersome postings out to dry without following up-so here's a follow-up!

After my first post I was inspired to make a card. The hubby got home and said it was a nice card but he didn't want to waste it on a lost cause.

*toot toot* All aboard Hannah's emotional roller coaster!

It was a tough conversation but I think I've learned something very important, hell maybe a few things!

I have been in a "Mrs. Fix-it" role nearly my whole life and I tend to put myself into that role out of bad habit. I was lonely growing up and sad that my extended family wasn't closer and I worry about my family turning out that way-being distant from my siblings and my children not knowing their aunts, uncles, and cousins. 

All that emotional backlog made a snit between my in-laws hit me like a javelin to the gut. 

The hub assured me that things would calm down after a simmering period and eventually relations would regulate themselves and we both came to the conclusion that we don't need to involve ourselves in every family snafu.

Most importantly, I need to resolve my sadness and sense of loss/lacking when it comes to family so I can move on and live the life I have instead of the one I wanted. 

For so many years I was surrounded by shame and disappointment about a family that "wasn't close enough." I don't need to feel that way, and my children won't need to feel that way. 

Families are all different and any sense of lack or disappointment I feel is simply a construct in my mind, a result of certain experiences and conditioning, and I can change that. We will have a fulfilling family life without such hurtful drama if we want to. And I want to.

Guess we'll just have to see where the years take us!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Achievement Out Of Anger

I'm so proud of the hubster and me today.

Yesterday we watched "Braveheart" and I couldn't go to sleep right after so I decided to look up a few things on the computer while I watched some "King of the Hill." Hubby always has trouble sleeping when I don't come to bed right away so it wasn't very long before he stomped out in a grump and asked when I was coming to bed.


I explained I was looking up supplements and before you know it he was plopped down scanning the home computer while I was typing away on the lappy.

Sounds nice, right?


He was launching critiques and questioning the validity of my treatment plan (I went to my first appointment with the Naturopath Friday) and I was feeling horrible. It turned into a fight and I struggled to cope with my feelings and actually express myself.

I ended up writing a journal entry about the hurt feelings and having him read it. That opened up a discussion and we were able to apologize and soothe each other.

It felt so good to work through a rough patch. We both ended up on the same page and felt good about working through our argument.

Now the task is to recreate our achievement when other problems crop up!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Not All Is As It Seems....

Self-Esteem & Self-Confidence

Since I've "liked" certain pages on Facebook I've been getting posts that I actually appreciate!

There was even an intriguing link to an article discussing self-esteem and the difference between self-esteem and self-confidence.

I've definitely struggled with self-esteem for nearly my entire life. Negative self-talk is my near-constant companion and battling down this habit has become an ongoing struggle for me.

My self-confidence isn't nearly as bad but is still horrible!

I can recognize my innate artistic talent and my personable nature yet I resist bolstering any self-confidence for fear of being selfish or stuck-up.

I've been torn down so many times I'm afraid to feel good about myself because it feels like I'm priming myself for an attack.

I have a good sense of humor but I've been teased by my family for so many years about my "old-person" dry humor that I often suppress my expression to avoid potential critiques and sarcastic quips.

Nowadays I'm trying to thicken up my skin and adopt a "screw 'em" attitude about what anybody has to say about me being me-but it's an uphill battle working against decades of bad habits!

Here's some tips from the article:
  • Think of qualities others say you excel in. Even if you believe them only slightly, this is a step in the right direction.
  • Stop the negative chatter. Shut it up! Start to think of contradictions to these statements.
  • Would you say it to a friend? If not, stop saying these statements to yourself.
  • Make a list of strengths. Think of what you would say about yourself if you were on a job interview.
The first step is to recognize you have a problem! 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Monday, Monday, MAUNDAY!

This actress portrayed our
distracted/disinterested hostess
Weird dream last night/this morning.

I was out to dinner with a group of friends, but it actually felt like a sitcom. Maybe we were actors? Who knows.

We ended up at some Asian restaurant and the hostess was horrible and distracted and for some reason the chef hired me. Oh no, not as a hostess (cuz that would make a little more sense) but as a chef-accomplice.

And to up the oddness-we weren't going to be working at the restaurant. We were working as cafeteria chefs at a massive high school. The cafeteria was a modular, metal building several hundred feet from the cafeteria and the food would be transported to the students in a train of covered carts like the luggage carts at the airport!

Before the first day of cooking could commence there was some attack and hostile take over of the school. I was trapped in the cafeteria with a bunch of delinquents on KP duty and the terrorists/hostage takers had flooded the grounds.

Somehow I swam and escaped to an open park area and had to run across the soggy field to reach a street and contact help. Funnily enough I got the sense that the aggressors had released crocodiles or something in the flooded grounds to keep people out or from escaping.

Funny, funny dream.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Okay-I Screwed Up A Little

I haven't been disciplined in my tapering and (you guessed it) I rushed down to 0 and threw myself under the bus.

Today was so bad I tried popping an anti-nausea pill in addition to drinking tons of water and even that wouldn't settle my system.

So I popped 5 mg of Lexapro.

I have a tendency to beat myself up so I've been battling thoughts of, "you sissy, couldn't you just suck it up and get over this addiction to these meds?" and trying to replace them with nicer thoughts, "just take 5 mg for a week, let your body adjust and then taper some more next week-no biggie!"

With my history of self-abuse it's easy for me to fall back on blaming and belittling myself, but I need to remember that my body is trying to cope with a physical maelstrom and taking it slow isn't being selfish or babying myself, it's being kind and careful.

Yeah. I have a complex about being selfish and babying myself. I'm pretty sure I'm not alone on that one!

Tomorrow I'm going to take the 5 mg right off the bat and hope my system calms down a bit... I could handle bathroom breaks on the hour but this all day nausea is making me miserable! No wonder people give up on tapers!

Thursday, April 4, 2013


In my last post I got a little off-track when I actually meant to talk about withdrawal symptoms.

I did mention the nausea haunting me all day off-and-on. It's the kind of stomach-sick that I feel when my vitamins might be starting to make me ill but with the sensation that vomiting won't resolve the situation.

When my vitamins make me sick (when I haven't drunk enough water or eaten beforehand) throwing everything up makes it better like that *snap* but this sort of nausea isn't easily resolved.

My appetite is sapped and I crave comfort foods but they don't help settle my stomach.

It just won't quit.

I've been trying to drink oodles of water and avoid anything too racy-even cut back my coffee intake.

Equally upsetting is the poo-factor. Happens to me every time I go on or off psychoactive drugs.

There is no real rule about how often people should be going #2-it varies from person to person and depends heavily on diet and individual metabolism. Traditionally, I'm a twice-a-week kinda gal and I don't begin to feel ill until it's been about a week to ten days between movements.

This is my life. The hubster is more of a twice-a-day kinda guy! But I digress...

Lately this has changed to three or more times a day. A DAY. Not pleasant.

All together my body feels like I'm being overtaken by flu although I will say that my energy level is up, not down!

Hopefully all these symptoms will wane in the next couple weeks and I'll be moving forward with different, more natural treatment.

Oh The Woes of Withdrawal

I've been tapering off my meds this week and the tell tale signs are making life much less comfortable.

After reading Maisel's "Rethinking Depression" and looking into naturopathy and learning more about the true efficacy of antidepressants in the long term and their effects on mild depression I've been inspired to try a different approach.

Of course, the all-day-long nausea, headaches, and apparently car sickness is taking its toll.

I've yet to actually toss my cookies but it sure feels like I'm toeing the line a lot lately!

Peter Breggin's work has been a large resource for me and correlates well with Maisel's concept of human unhappiness being misconstrued too often as mental disease. I've also drawn encouragement from documentaries about nutrition and the ability of the body to realign itself without the use of psychoactive drugs.

The hubbo is still a bit skeptical and understandably scared about a relapse. We all know that we don't need to revisit the dark places I've been over the past year!

So far I've been slowly accumulating information and learning more to try and cement my intuitive sense that this the right direction. One of the hardest things to comprehend is the bias of the medical community and power of the Big Pharma.

It's hard to accept such a sad reality and part of me would rather believe that antidepressants are the answer than to acknowledge such a cruel practice and dark streak in humanity.

On the other hand, my gut tells me that leaving drugs behind for natural medicine will not only soothe my soul but help me move past this "disease" and get on with a fulfilling life.

I've broken away from consumerism before and the idea that "the latest cure/product/innovation" is the path to happiness-looks like that trend will continue. I am hoping that I will gain confidence and shed this feeling of timid resistance and embarrassment.

As drawn as I am to this new lifestyle I lack confidence in my innate knowledge and feel ashamed as I vary from my family and the path the majority of American society takes. I fear ridicule and I'm afraid to be wrong in the end for fear of unending criticism.

Although, these are mental pathways I can reroute and avoid and I have been working on just such concepts while reading "Natural Psychology!"

Maybe things are all coming together and I just can't see it yet.