Go Play!

As part of the Go Play game, put on by Nerd In The Brain, I started with a

10-point challenge:  Draw or color something.

Share Your World #37

rocksHave you ever owned a rock, pet rock, or gem that is not jewelry?  I used to carry around a Tigers Eye, oh, back in the 80’s I guess.  I loved that stone, and I still do if I happen to see one.  But as far as pet rocks?  I was too old for those (or so I thought).  When I was younger (quite a bit), I used to collect interesting rocks, particularly during the summer of 1989, when I was taking a 2-week Geology class.  We packed up our camping gear, and spent two weeks, roaming through the rocks and geological formations in southern Illinois.  I know, who would have thought there were any kind of hills or canyons in Illinois?  I still have pictures to prove it, but not the rocks.

What is your greatest strength or weakness?  I believe my greatest strength, which is my mind, is also my greatest weakness.  Due to mental illness, even as a young child, my weakness was the mind, and that as I grew into adulthood, was plagued by nightmares, flashbacks, fears of things, real or imagined, which prevented me from living a fulfilling childhood, and caused me to live as an adult, still caught up in the mire of mental illness.  This lead to alcoholism and other behaviors that caused me to lose one job after another.  I believe that my mental illness was caused by both parents, as well as a gene carried by my mother.  My father was a pedophile of the worst kind, not that I’m sure there are varying degrees of pedophilia, and I was his victim – at least the only one I knew about.  My mother was a narcissist, who I believe also carried the gene believed to be needed in order to develop Borderline Personality Disorder.  This form of mental illness continues to plague me even today, causing irrational fears, inappropriate emotional responses to certain triggers, short, highly emotional relationships, fear of abandonment, and many other symptoms.  I also suffer from anxiety and depression.  Combine those with the MS, stomach issues, thyroid, parathyroids, and gall bladder problems and the results of all these problems, and I take 22 medications every day.

But my mind is also my greatest strength.  It got me through school with high grades, and then making the Deans list when I went back to school in the late 1980’s.  It is where my love of music, singing it and playing the guitar, saxophone, clarinet and the piano, originates from.  It is where my creativity stems from, allowing me to take a good look at myself, learning, understanding, and growing from my past.  My creativity has led me to writing, and then writing poetry, but also the ability to sit and look at an abstract design on the page and color it in, never knowing from the starting point where I will end up, but it is almost always something I feel is really good. 

firefliesWhat makes you feel grounded?  I think what makes me feel grounded, is being out in the country, or the woods or a forest, all of which make me more aware of this world that God created, and created me to live in, enjoying the ‘fruits of His bounty’.  Watching the fireflies blink bright green in the darkness of my campsite, or in the back yard when I was growing up (I don’t see them much now, since I’ve become city-fied. I don’t even have a backyard now.).  Or rolling down the bike path in my power chair, with only the sounds of the birds and insects that are all around me, when I am in areas that are overgrown once again with grass and bushes, and in wooded areas that I pass through.  The feel of the sun on my face in the Spring and the Fall, since I can’t be out much during the summer due to the MS, as I sit, stretched out in my chair, talking with others whom have come out to enjoy the nice weather, and the company as well.  Nature is what it is that makes me feel grounded, I guess I’d have to say if I was to put it all in one boring sentence.  😄

 

Would you rather never be able to eat warm food or never be able to eat cold food?  Oh this is an easy one.  You’ve all heard of comfort food?  Well, to me, comfort food is food that makes me feel good, and this is warm food.  Don’t get me wrong – I love my bowl of ice cream in the ice-creamevening, no matter if it is in the middle of summer or the middle of winter.  But cold ice-cream-conefood can get warm, and then definitely loses its appeal so just does not apply when talking about comfort food.  You can reheat a cold dish of chili, but you can’t put melted ice cream back onto the cone.  😬

 

 

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?  From last week, I am grateful for that monthly government check which just plops itself right into my bank account every month.  I’m grateful I was able to pay all my bills for the month, and still have some money left for groceries, as well some to put towards my upcoming trip to San Antonio, TX.  

This week I am looking forward to cooler temperatures, when I will be able to go outside and enjoy myself once again.  I look forward to practicing for the events I will be taking part in, at the Valor Games Southwest, in San Antonio, TX.  The Valor Games are adaptive sports competition for disabled veterans as well as Active Duty members.  It is a time to celebrate old friends and make new ones.  I need to be able to get outside and practice for the air rifle event, find a Senior Center where I can practice my table tennis from a wheelchair, and to just go bowling.  A healthy body is a happy body.

Cee’s Share Your World is a weekly feature and all are welcome to play along.

What’s going on in your world?

 

You Wouldn’t Like Me If You Knew Me

Taboo Word 9/9/16

Mental health is getting more attention today, than it has ever gotten before.  Why?  It affects something like 1 out of 3 Americans today.  More and more soldiers are coming back from war, forever damaged due to what they have seen and experienced during their service for their country.  It affects children, abused children, and these children, once they have grown are affected as well.

I was one of those children, and I was also in the military, and am now diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, PTSD, MST or Military Sexual Trauma, anxiety, and depression.  Including medication for MS, I take like 22 different medications daily, and have been unable to work for two decades now.  

My symptoms, besides those due to the MS, depression and anxiety, include fear of abandonment, intense, unstable emotional responses like anger, anxiety, that are difficult to control, and often inappropriate to the situation, and chronic feelings of emptiness.  

I often have anger, anxiety and feelings of emptiness.  I went through many self-damaging acts such as unsafe sex, substance abuse, self-injurious behavior which includes self-harm, attempted suicides and even excessive spending.  I have caught myself more than once pouring through catalogs or across the Internet, looking for something to buy.  I went through an entire catalog yesterday, before I realized what I was doing and threw it away,

The image I look at in the mirror looks back at me with sallow skin and sunken cheeks.  Sometimes I go for several days, or even a week or two, eating maybe one or two meals a day, and not eating the foods I need to stay healthy.  

After running up several credit cards, hospital bills, and store card bills, I eventually declared bankruptcy in order to survive, financially.  Ten years later, and I was signing paperwork, agreeing to the conditions set forth by the debt-management agency that I turned to, cutting off all my cards and agreeing not to apply for any new ones.  Mounting vet bills led me to apply for a Care Credit card which is used for vet bills, etc, and even dentistry bills for myself.

Now, several years have passed and I have three, active credit cards, a store card and close to $5000 in debt again.  I sacrifice groceries, to pay more than minimum payments for these credit cards, trying to get the balances reduced and eliminate this newly acquired debt.

A service-provider calls in sick, the day of my appointment and I take it personally, which results in chronic fear of abandonment, and inappropriate anger, thinking that the appointment was cancelled because I felt it was because I had an appointment that particular day.  This has happened more than once within even just the last six months.

Relationships are something that are also affected, often very unstable and intense.  I have been through three such relationships, each lasting only five years, before I do something that ends the relationship.  This has happened every time, and I have spent more than 12 years by myself, avoiding another relationship that will inevitably lead to the same, sad end.

Today, we need to look into suspected cases of child abuse, and listen to our friends, partners, spouses and children, listening and looking for signs that all is not right.  I have managed to stay sober 17 years, and I quit smoking nearly nine years ago.  But that doesn’t mean that I am okay, because I am not okay.  

I experience irrational fears, go through sometimes lengthy periods of depression, and live in a constant state of anxiety.  I live alone, and can spend days, not leaving my apartment or seeing anyone.  No one comes to visit and I do not visit others.  I sit here with my laptop for the entire day, then spend all evening listening to the TV, still using the laptop.  It’s a wonder that I haven’t burnt the hard-drive, with all the constant use it gets throughout each day. 

Noises outside my apartment, I take personally, as though someone is deliberately trying to annoy me, and often do get very annoyed.  I get symptoms which suggest my MS is getting worse, that I have forgotten to take a dose of medication, or something has caused my blood pressure to shoot through the roof.  This often causes me to lie awake for hours at night, unable to sleep, with my mind racing a mile a minute.

If I had a choice, I would not choose to live this kind of life.  But I don’t seem to be able to do anything about it myself, so I suffer in silence, with only the words that come racing from the ends of my fingers and onto the keyboard.  This is my main outlet for these feelings I have to excess.  My search for others out there, who are living lives like mine, is something that starts my search through my email, looking for the emails about new posts, by those who are like-minded, and we share our experiences and help support each other through the trials we go through every day.  Yes, I am one of those who suffer from mental illness, and I no longer want to keep it hidden in the closet, the naked secrets I feel would be exposed if you really knew me.

You wouldn’t like me if you knew about all this stuff, and so I keep it hidden.

You can see today’s taboo word below. Visit Eric, author of the All In A Dad’s Work blog and creator of the challenge, for details on participating.

 taboo

Click the blue frog to read others taking part in this fun challenge 

It Is So Difficult

Taboo Word  9/8/16

No one knows the trials I go through
Just to seem normal for another day
Normal is always so easy for you
For me it’s too far away

I struggle each day to get out of bed
To look like I’m really okay
But no one sees what is inside my head
It would cause you to run far away

Evil, put into my soul long ago
I tried to climb into a bottle
Everyone saw all that I know
Too late for my chance at the throttle

After some time I put the booze
Far away from my hand and my head
I knew I had nothing to lose
Keep it up I and would be dead

You can see today’s taboo word below. Visit Eric, author of the All In A Dad’s Work blog and creator of the challenge, for details on participating.

 taboo

Click the blue frog to read others taking part in this fun challenge 

The Man Took Me

Taboo Word 9/7/16

I don’t remember how it began,
It was so very long ago
This was the one certain man
That would not let me go

I was so little at the start
And so my memory fails
The man who had no heart
Prevented my tiny wails

No one heard me cry at night
No one knew my fears
My heart beat fast with so much fright
My face so wet from tears

The man who never let me show
How loudly beat my heart
No one was to ever know
My words, they would not start

The man is gone, for all time
Never again, will cause me pain
The memories now forever mine
I will never be the same

~ van ~

You can see today’s taboo word below. Visit Eric, author of the All In A Dad’s Work blog and creator of the challenge, for details on participating.

 taboo

Click the blue frog to read others taking part in this fun challenge 

Inside My Head

Taboo Word – 9/5/16

Things are rattling inside my head
All the things were never said
But now they’re ready to come out
And shock us all without a doubt.

Even I do not know when
I’ll be ready for this again
I cannot do this all by myself
It will end up on a shelf

Listen close and learn to hear
All things I’ve kept due to fear
Here today I’ve set a goal
Reaching deep inside my soul

I must do this, but no, not fast
Or this chance will not last
Talk, no write it all right down
Before the thoughts do make me frown

Alas, I think, the time slipped by
I cannot say it, I know not why
So what it is I’ll do instead
Keep it tightly in my head

You can see today’s taboo word below. Visit Eric, author of the All In A Dad’s Work blog and creator of the challenge, for details on participating.

 

taboo

Click the blue frog to read others taking part in this fun challenge

Being A Survivor

Taboo Word – Day 2

What is it that you can find, deep within the mind of a survivor? Being a survivor myself, I’d have to say that the answer is not that simple. Some things that remain, are often things that you don’t want to remember, ever. I believe that I have some of these myself.

I have been going to therapy for a good 30 years or more, and I am still working on getting past thoughts and patterns that affect my behavior on a daily basis. Some of the memories that I have recovered, have helped me to understand why I’m the way that I am.

These memories are ones that explain why I have the diagnoses that I have. Some of these memories explain the poor self-image, poor self-worth, or inappropriate emotional responses, causing poor reasoning, avoidance of people or places and exaggerated emotional responses.

They can also cause the impulsiveness that leads me to spending in excess, emotional outbursts, and relationships that are short, and often over emotional. My long-term relationships have lasted for five years each, and I’ve been through and used up three of them.

Now I live alone, and everything that I act on, is still based on exaggerated emotional responses to the stimuli around me. This has been my life for the past 16 years. I take part in outside activities, like Bible studies and wheelchair sporting events, but everything is done (hah!) in a way that protects me from experiencing those emotions that are almost always inappropriate to the situation.

So I spend most of my time alone in my apartment, with only my cat, all the things I take part in on the Internet, and Netflix and my big screen TV. One person that lives in this building, understands a lot of my interactions with others, and the thoughts behind my actions.

But now, my therapist wants me to start relying more on my peers, and less on professionals for support. This is very difficult for me to carry out, but I make it seem to her, that I am changing this behavior. This is not easy for me.  Not at all.

You can see today’s taboo word below. Visit Eric, author of the All In A Dad’s Work blog and creator of the challenge, for details on participating.

 

Click the blue frog to read others taking part in this fun challenge

Ahhh…

All summer I have been, for the most part, confined to my home. I have MS which makes me heat sensitive, and the heat and humidity have kept me inside for most of the summer.

But this week, ahhh…

The temperature has dropped down to high 60’s, lower 70’s during the day. Yesterday, I was able to go outside, adjust my power chair into a comfortable, tilted position, and ahhh. As long as my chair was in the shade, the breeze was nice, as was the conversation. I was able to chat with a few of my neighbors, outside, and enjoy the weather as well.

This was after three days in Chicago, where the heat was up to 90 degrees during the day, and the 80’s at night. It definitely put a smile on my face.

Image result for smiley face

An Alien Among Friends

This came bubbling out again

Through The Clouds

Alien Alien (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I may not look like one,

I may not talk like one.

I may not smell like one,

I may not walk like one,

And I may not eat like one.

But inside me lives an alien.

I am someone,

Who lives my life in pain,

In anger, in shame.

This cannot be seen from the outside,

And no one can see the inside,

Except those who live inside of me,

And those who read my words.

I don’t have a lot of friends,

Afraid to expose myself,

To pain, to shame, to loathing and blame.

So I sit here with my alien,

Day after day,

Knowing that no one,

Will get to me, in that way.

For the shield is great,

And it is strong,

Because of early life,

That went horribly wrong.

~ van ~

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Sitting In The Sun

Through The Clouds

Sitting in the sun,

Wondering if someone,

Will ever come my way

 With something nice to say.

 

For so long now,

I don’t know when,

Someone that I cared for,

We cared for each other.

 

But many things got in the way,

Mental illness gone astray,

Drove away the one I knew,

Felt that love for me too.

 

Now again, it’s been so long,

My head not quite where it belongs,

But most every day I yearn

That someday someone’s head will turn.

 

And see me sitting in the sun,

All my fears are on the run,

But I long for that special day,

When someone’s head will turn my way.

– van –

 

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