Daily Archives: April 10, 2015

eCounseling

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I found a very good ecounselor via this website: https://www.betterhelp.com/ She was insightful, easily understood what I was telling her, and reframed many of the things I told her as an obsessive worrier, and made positives out of my negative thinking. I am so glad I set up my account and was fortunate enough to have been matched with this smart, helpful, insightful lady.

I actually found this website advertised on, what else, Facebook! I asked my psychiatrist if ecouseling was a legitimate and helpful thing. He said that in studies that were done to determine exactly that, no difference was found between ecouseling and conventional (you go to the counselor’s office) counseling. So I decided to try it and I am very, very happy that I did.

I made an account with all my info. The first week is free as a tryout. Then you get charged $35/month. This includes one hour long phone session (additional phone sessions are $20/hour) and unlimited texting with the counselor who has been matched with you.They have literally 100’s of counselors and if you don’t like the one with whom you were matched, you can request a change.

They matched mine to me very well. Really happy that I did this and I will be setting up more appointments with her, for sure.


Words

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Some words that have the power to change your thinking, the power to pull you up by your bootstraps, the power to pull you out of the seemingly bottomless hole that is depression and anxiety:

RESILIENCE, that is what we have, what we are to recover over and over again from black depressions, from the mean reds. We get up over and over again and brush ourselves off and go on! How resilient is our spirit, how resilient are we! I marvel at this ability.

PLASTICITY, this is what our brains do in learning or after any experience. An experience leaves a mark on our brains, good or bad. But this is not permanent. Our brains have the ability to form new connections and lose old ones. This happens between neurons. Once it was thought that an adult brain is like a structure made of stone. There is nothing further from the truth, the brain is undergoing changes all the time, whether it be in repair, or neuronal cell growth or growth of axons and dendrites. This all makes our brain very adaptable and repairable and changeable! So if we have undergone bad experiences, our brain can recover from those through plasticity!

HOPE, well what can I say about this word? This is the little, four letter word my world rests on. It is so powerful that even in the darkest of circumstances, just say it and things will get brighter. Your heart will get lighter. You will breathe easier. Take it away and , oh no I can’t even fathom taking it away. Always have hope, as long as you live and breathe!

STRENGTH, we with mental illnesses all have to be strong. We go through hell so many times that the word hell sort of loses its meaning. My muscles are getting stronger because I have a FaceTime personal trainer and that is just fab. But my mind has to be strong, my heart has to be strong, my will has to strong to withstand this sick disease. We all do. And we all are, that is why we are still here. We are strong for our children, for our friends and loved ones and we are strong for ourselves!

OVERCOME, when I am in a very depressed state or manicky phase, I do have lucid moments when I tell myself that I will overcome this too, just like I have been doing since 1985, yes I will overcome.

and a sentence: THIS TOO SHALL PASS, everything passes, good, bad, indifferent things pass. So of course whatever phase you’re in, it will pass.

Take heart my friends and stand tall and strong, easier times are ahead. I am sure of it!


Two Losses in Three Parts #Writing101

As I thought about today’s writing prompt to write about a loss, I kept circling back to two losses – the loss of my maternal grandfather and the loss of my expectations and plans for my future. Now, a third…

The Letter #5

the letter

The night air was cold as I fumbled for my car keys in the parking space. I was in dire need of shoes and I decided to do a little shopping before heading back to my apartment. All of the stores were open late for holiday shoppers. I had a few Christmas gifts to look for myself, and time was always in short supply. Mr. Hamilton and the firm kept a very tight rein on the new attorneys. He felt it was his obligation to “train us up in the right way”. I smiled to myself as I recalled some of the older man’s funny sayings. He was certainly a relic from the legal world past.

Even with the cold weather, I headed to an outdoor upscale shopping mall between my place and the office. The parking lot was incredibly full for the hour and I noticed people waiting around the doors to the many restaurants as I cruised by. Amazing! I found a likely spot and set my car alarm. It was L.A., after all.

The shopkeepers had spared no expense and the holiday lights and decorations were breathtaking. People milled about everywhere but it was comfortably crowded and I made my way to the shoe store. A quick three pairs later and I was on my way. I decided to stop in at the large bookstore to get some coffee at the coffee bar. Some carolers were doing their thing and I thought it was a bit sad there was no snow for them. But then again, I could not envision the freeways in Los Angeles with snow. Scary!

I knew I should head home quickly as there would be a fur ball chicken waiting under the bed. I made good time and headed up to my apartment. Unlocking the door, gathering up the mail, and kicking my shoes off, I silently closed the door behind me. I was not going to scare my scaredy cat. I looked for her. She was always hard to find. I waited quietly for a few seconds and then I saw the soft movement. Nellie.

Nellie was sort of my cat. I mean she was a cat and she was mine I suppose. She had been left behind by other tenants in the complex and I had taken her in a few months earlier. But there wasn’t much to her. She was tiny and gray and when you picked her up there was nothing there but fluff. Her bones were almost weightless. I had originally thought she was a kitten but she hadn’t seemed to grow much more. The vet had assured me of her health and so we had moved in together. But Nellie was painfully shy. She would barely let me touch her and she rarely made noise. Even when hungry, she did not cry. I never heard her purr. The only closeness she showed me was curling up behind my knees. That was her spot. It had taken a while to get her that far and I was proud of it.

“Hey, Nellie.” I put my bags down and knelt to her. She froze as usual. I kept softly talking to her as I moved around the apartment. I started a fire in the tiny fireplace with a pre-made weird log and I made some tea. I grabbed the mail and noticed the three obvious Christmas cards. I opened them first. One from my stockbroker, one from my cousin, and one from….

Dear Rachel,

I know it’s been five years. I’ve thought about this and finally made the jump. I followed you as best I can. I know this will find its way to you. What we had is still here with me. Contact me, please.

I didn’t know a Rachel and didn’t know this Steve, but I did know one thing. I had a law firm at my disposal.

Meet Luke 

Originally posted on Blue Bird:

A fair warning was given when I mentioned my furry son. Meet Luke R. Huynh! I adopted this odd ball at the SPCA almost a year ago. I’m not going to lie, it was a hasty decision. I did very little work into looking for a dog. I was at work, restless, discovering my anxiety, and just said fuck it.. IM GETTING A DOG TODAY! I’m slightly impulsive at times and this impulsive decision, well, it didn’t turn out like I thought. At least in the beginning.

You see the thing with anxiety (at least for me) I was looking for ways to ignore the situation versus accepting it and tackling it head on. I figured Luke was going to help me fight this. Boy was I wrong.

The first two nights I had him I cried a lot. I was overwhelmed with this new responsibility that i impulsively decided…

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And For Those Who Aren’t As Irritated As I Am

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Fleetwood Mac ~ Oh Well (1969 Live Performance & How I Feel Today)

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