Author Topic: mental health  (Read 2540 times)

lighter

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Re: mental health
« Reply #30 on: January 17, 2022, 09:55:26 AM »
That's an amazing update, Hops.  You're helping that family on so many levels of need.  What an amazing act of care..... I'm smiling ear to ear just thinking about it.

I bet getting proper sleep is a balm, top to bottom.  That's huge!

Lighter

 


Hopalong

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Re: mental health
« Reply #31 on: January 17, 2022, 10:21:49 AM »
Thanks, Lighter.

Something that's really connecting for me is that getting my mind off myself with refugee family work is an obvious antidepressant and makes me mentally healthier. We saw the Kabul airport scenes and Taliban viciousness. The kinds of terror and loss these people (so many children) went through to escape are overwhelming. And they all have had to leave loved ones behind they may never see again. Whatever I'm complaining about gets into perspective pronto when I think of them.

The inositol hasn't directly fixed my insomnia, but what it HAS changed is anxiety. That is so physical for me that noticing its absence is overt. I do sleep a bit earlier but unfortunately still need ambien to drop off.  I've added melissa (lemon balm) at bedtime, and the nights I remember to also do chamomile, it's better. But that 2 mg ambien I'm still dependent on for sleep, so I've got a ways to go.

All that said, it's a lot better to be awake a long time but in a relaxed state than to be chewing my own paws off in panic.

Here's to worrying less!
hugs
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Hopalong

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Re: mental health
« Reply #32 on: January 19, 2022, 12:04:54 PM »
On the other hand....LOL....
I sometimes feel a bit as though I'm losing my mind.
Not too dramatically, but as though my mind is changing.
Less resilient than I need it to be.
I'm making nearly zero headway with the home paralysis.
This made the thought pop up the other day: Maybe I'm "unhelpable."

A disagreement with one of the poets in my mini group has come to a head.
My first response is to believe I should drop out. Even though it's two, my psyche registers it as "a group of women" which is always scary to me (except here).
My reaction to the idea of moving on from this mini group is to feel threatened, existentially, by the idea of the loss of a social connection, however small.
So I want to work it through and will talk to my T about it today.

Here's the kicker -- we (myself and the poet I'm uncomfortable with) discovered a while back that we both see the same T.

I'm already worried about whether I'm making the kind of progress with this T that I want to. Not her fault, but I'm just unsure. Our communication styles couldn't be more different, and her slowness defeats me at times. I'm sure my anxious free association and rapidity defeats her too.

So now if I'm honest, I'm feeling that here are TWO situations where I can't get my needs met or feel I can open up all the way. And yet one of the biggest things testing me in my life, is isolation.

I'm hoping I'm wrong. Will find out shortly.

hugs
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Hopalong

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Re: mental health
« Reply #33 on: January 19, 2022, 02:03:51 PM »
Good T session.
Everything (always) goes back to the inner child. She deserves love, compassion and protection. As my present adult self, I can do that, protect her-me while also being calm, assertive as need arises, and trust myself.

Intention (better word than "plan" which sets up more guilt): start journaling about this process again.

hugs
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

lighter

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Re: mental health
« Reply #34 on: January 19, 2022, 02:38:05 PM »
On the other hand....LOL....  Always another hand, ((Hops.))
I sometimes feel a bit as though I'm losing my mind.  Well, that's not just you, I'm sure.
Not too dramatically, but as though my mind is changing.
Less resilient than I need it to be.  Than you need it to be.  If I'm honest, I that belief might be creating more discomfort and anxiety than relaxing into what IS...... would be, IME.  Not sure,  just
I'm making nearly zero headway with the home paralysis.
This made the thought pop up the other day: Maybe I'm "unhelpable."
The belief.... of being unhelpable.... takes up A LOT of emotional energy and real estate, Hops.  Maybe just relax into accepting you won't DO whatever it is you believe you SHOULD be doing and see what's there.  Just.... calm and patient and curious.... ask.  I think we repeat patterns while inching our way forward.  I've seen this edge for myself and for you before.  What will you do to change the pattern up? Are you doing what you've always done?  Do you usually assume your're at fault, not good enough, broken beyond repair?  IS that a belief you want to pop up and take up real estate? Ever?

You've been active with the refugees and the poet group..... wonderful and I hope you hold that alongside the spat and the dissapointment around expectations for yourself..... the home paralysis.  Just accept it IS what it is and drop all judgment for a while.
 


A disagreement with one of the poets in my mini group has come to a head.  Remember, it's usually our stuff rubbing up against other people's stuff when this happens.  Not that you don't have a reason to throw fists there, but....... if you think about it being "stuf" and not personal or about each other...... does it take the emotional charge out of it? 
My first response is to believe I should drop out. Even though it's two, my psyche registers it as "a group of women" which is always scary to me (except here).  Stick around or leave the group.  Maybe look at it as practice for whatever comes up around it.  Getting curious and dropping judgment helps me SEE more and react less.  Whatever you're feeling is real and you're certainly a caring person who should honor her feelings.  I just want you to get past any reactivity and be as responsive, to yourself and the situatuation, as you can be.  That's where the growth is, IME.
My reaction to the idea of moving on from this mini group is to feel threatened, existentially, by the idea of the loss of a social connection, however small.  I share your feelings around the threat of losing social connection..... I notice it when I see it now.  I can step back and look at it without feeling I'll be snuffed out and lost without it...... we all need some connection,. but there are times when our survival depend on it.  That's not the case now, so...... if that connection goes away..... what then?

You have more room for other connetions you'll enjoy more.  THAT's a truth, along with putting down whatever is rubbing up against your stuff....... which might not be a bad thing.... it might end up beign a really helpful thing.  I guess you'll discern and make tat decision for yourself, Hops.  Whatever you do, it's OK. 

So I want to work it through and will talk to my T about it today.

Here's the kicker -- we (myself and the poet I'm uncomfortable with) discovered a while back that we both see the same T.

I'm already worried about whether I'm making the kind of progress with this T that I want to. Not her fault, but I'm just unsure. Our communication styles couldn't be more different, and her slowness defeats me at times. I'm sure my anxious free association and rapidity defeats her too.

SOmetimes a T serves their purpose and it's time to move on.... find someone else...... that might be the case with this T.  I can see how putting down the T, the poet group and feeling paralyzed in the house all at once might not feel optimal, for surely it doesn't.  I'm just saying...... if you have to find reasons to justify staying in T or a group, when your gut keeps signaling it's time to make a change..... maybe it's time to make a change.  I guess change can come in many forms, but it feels like ending those two things is on the block.  Just remember..... it makes room for what comes next.  There are other things on your horizon and you have the power to discern.   

So now if I'm honest, I'm feeling that here are TWO situations where I can't get my needs met or feel I can open up all the way. And yet one of the biggest things testing me in my life, is isolation.

I'm hoping I'm wrong. Will find out shortly.


I bet you're journaling through this and I hope you are.   I with to avoid sounding preachy, but want to share lessons helping me get my nose off pebbles.  When I read you want more resilience...... it makes me thing you're judging yourself, forgetting to be compassionate with yourself....... maybe your nose is stuck to a pebble which absolutely limits resilience and creative problem solving abilities, which leads to a cycle of being stuck in old patterns, IME.  The only way to break patterns is to NOTICE them while resting in awareness without judgment, IME.  Changing them is about feeling worthy and competent and you're certainly both those things.

So.....

Acceptance of what IS without fear of what could happen or might happen or BE.
Getting very curious, avoiding ANY judgments and extending buckets of self compassion will help get your nose off those pebbles, Hops.  That gets you to noticing what's really there so you can discern going forward.   

Your brain can work through your COWs more efficiently if it's not worry worry worrying about social connection and your T....and what that means to you (judging it)..... living in the future is terrifying for everyone, I think. 

If all you have to do is be present in this moment, understand the other poet is doing her best and what she can with her trauma, keeping her nose on whatever pebble it's on...... blocking responsiveness....... creating reactivity..... reducing choice...... notice your reactivity, own it....be so very kind to it...... let it belong and share it's lesson with you so you can SEE beyond it...... get your nose off your pebble and see the entire field..... and know you have choices without judging yourself back onto the pebble of fearing loss of social connection. 

I mean..... social connection is a need we all have BUT it shouldn't base the poet decision on the fear.  Rather, base it on what you get out of that connection, weigh the pros and cons and maybe the cons are opportunity, rather than reason to end the connection?

Heck, maybe the cons far outweigh the good and once you drop the fear you'll SEE very clearly..... it's just not working for your anymore and you've grown beyond it....what's upsetting you is your inability to accept you've grown beyond it and your inability to pretend is what you see as lack of resilience?  You know I'm spit balling here, as someone who likes and knows quite a bit about you.... as a friend...... maybe you're trying to make something work that just isn't working any longer. 

Now, fearing you lack the resilience to get through loss of that connection AND the loss of the T is scary, should you see those connections no longer serve.

Getting shut down by fear is likely a pattern for you.  For most of us.... it's human.  We're wired that way.  What we know has kept us alive.  What's unknown might kills us so...... we tend to keep patterns in place, even if we're actively working on identifying and changing the patterns every chance we get......the reactivity muddles things.  Brings up fear which gets reptile brain back in charge and that's a pattern knocking folks off track...... over and over again on a healing journey.

I guess I'm saying...... I'm curious whats really there, for YOU, Hops...... without the fear and old reactivity...... does this group build you up and give you energy?  DOES this T provide enough insight and opportunity for growth to continue seeing her?

Just THOSE two questions, without assuming endings are proof you're broken and beyond repair. 

WIthout assuming you're survival is threatened.

Without letting fear lead...... just dropping all jugment over and over, b it's going to come up, but drop it...... touch it and let it know it's OKfor it to rest ....... you HAVE this.  You're OK, no matter what the answers are, but you need to know and it's OK to rest in gentle awareness so you can ponder the truth and SEE it for yourself. 

You're safe.  You can do this.

Lighter
hugs
Hops

Hopalong

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Re: mental health
« Reply #35 on: January 19, 2022, 03:25:03 PM »
REALLY helpful, Lighter.
Helpful, perceptive and compassionate.
Thank you.

You repeat over and over (thankfully) -- drop the judgement.
I think that's sinking in.

My time with T today was good and brought much of what you're
saying into focus. Different approach to it but the same message.

Haven't been journaling about it yet (just came up this afternoon)
but think I will. Simple, short but...right there. Pick up the little book
(you'd like the hand-made paper) and a sentence or two. Reminding myself
that's part of my purpose. To check in on little me-her, with gentleness.

I think amid brutal weather and brutal politics and brutal pandemic,
I've forgotten to check in on little me-her.

When I get my nose off the pebbles I see her smiling.

Here's the topic I'm leading tomorrow night (we all suggest topics from our own experiences, so that'll be pretty obvious!):

Our topic is: The Right to Be Wrong.

Most people have places within themselves that come from hurt.
We'd be mighty unusual if we didn't. This topic is a chance to look at
some of those areas of the self we often don't think about, or live
with automatically--sometimes in ways that block our capacity for
joy and compassion.

What if we had the right to be wrong? And be happy anyway?
When we lose track of permission to be joyful, there could be many roots.
Examples: early religious training, a particular parent's way of criticizing,
a key relationship error, school experiences, or other experiences of loss,
shock or failure that might have affected our sense of permission to be
all that we are -- fully human.

Questions to Ponder

1) What's an example of an instance when I recognized my right to be wrong?
Share a story you're comfortable sharing. What difference did that recognition make?

2) What if everyone had the right to be wrong? Barring destruction or violence,
what else might result in society if this right was part of our awareness?


I do love the Covenant Group. And listening to each woman's responses, where they go. It's awesome.

hugs
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

lighter

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Re: mental health
« Reply #36 on: January 19, 2022, 04:05:24 PM »
I  love the idea of having the right to be wrong, Hops!

What if.... there was more curiosity about what people think and WHY they think it?  WOuldn't it be amazing for people to experience that Pug head tilt moment when they come up against a belief they didn't realize they held.... or didn't realize held them?  To find they're questioning it too.....through explaining to compassionate questioners eager to understand, but comfortable with not understanding.

In the end, our trauma limits our capacity to be open and understand, IME.  It's really difficult to turn a bright bulb onto the pain and discern what's still useful, for surely it was useful at a point.  It's not easy to be gentle with ourselves and others in order to gain the distance providing perspective and restored choice.

How exciting for you!  Here's wishing for the best darned Covenant meeting ever; )

Lighter
P.S.  I do think wer'e talking about the same thing, but in different ways, yup yup yup.  My T is excellent at stopping, when she meet resistence, and finding a different approach to help me identify my reactivity and use it.

Hopalong

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Re: mental health
« Reply #37 on: January 24, 2022, 11:02:19 AM »
I REALLY like "that pug head-tilt moment."

Could chew on that for ages! Perfect image.

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Hops
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lighter

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Re: mental health
« Reply #38 on: January 24, 2022, 01:11:30 PM »
So, how did it go, Hops?


Hopalong

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Re: mental health
« Reply #39 on: January 24, 2022, 03:32:47 PM »
Great, thanks.

It's a running joke that my topics can be convoluted (over-written) but after a bit of confusion or moaning, they invariably engage and respond openly and honestly. Some REALLY liked it, a few bravely managed. All really give it a go, which touches me.

Just like life. We always end liking each other and bonding even more.

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Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

lighter

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Re: mental health
« Reply #40 on: January 25, 2022, 10:32:45 AM »
That sounds so solid and dialed in, Hops.  I'm glad you persevered and remained authentic in the group.

Lighter

Hopalong

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Re: mental health
« Reply #41 on: January 25, 2022, 05:14:03 PM »
Thanks.
I'm always authentic there...it's 99% of the time a very safe space for me.
I persevere because I've been leading it --or other versions-- for years. (I introduced rotating leadership for our sessions several years ago as I was burning out. It helps!)

I'll be especially happy when spring comes and I can host it in my home (or out on my patio, covid depending) again.

hugs
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Hopalong

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Re: mental health
« Reply #42 on: January 29, 2022, 08:30:52 PM »
The Afghan refugee project (a drive for sewing machines, for the modest clothing they can't find here that will work for them) has been pretty amazing.

After my post on a neighborhood (city wide) website that described what they're dealing with...mainly the women, crammed into hotel rooms with multiple children and not enough clothes to wear....and that their top need was sewing machines (many of the men sew their own garments too)...we've had an amazing response we can barely keep up with.

People have left us 20 machines so far --with more committed-- on the porch of our congregation-owned house beside the church, plus bags of fabrics and notions. Some are donating cash or gift cards for fabric or Amazon, so our mentor-volunteers can sit with them and show them how to choose bolts of fabric online. We've even heard from people out of town (guess that's how positive social media works). The offers keep coming in every day--I put up my original post a week ago. The local TV station sent a reporter and the main coordinator of our project got interviewed. It seems to have injected goodwill and excitement among a lot of generous people here.

VERY good for mental health. I keep writing weekly updates and feel a little as though I'm on a runaway horse but it's worth it! Nice to participate in good news amid all the bad I read every day. It's contagious, the desire to help, and I've found it very moving.

hugs
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Phyll

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Re: mental health
« Reply #43 on: February 03, 2022, 12:13:05 PM »
Sounds like a very worthwhile cause Hops.  Helping others never fails to draw me away from my own troubles, real or imagined. :) My husband ordered a sewing machine for me a couple years ago - I was surprised to find they were relatively inexpensive (for the limited skill set I possess).

Hopalong

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Re: mental health
« Reply #44 on: February 08, 2022, 11:55:53 AM »
45+ sewing machines so far, and more offers still arrive. Amazing.

Their needs are massive, as is their trauma. Most were at Kabul airport where even if they'd managed to grab a few family photos, most belongings got lost in the chaos. Most of these families arrive with literally nothing, or a very few things in trash bags. And many small children.

In the middle of a nationwide affordable housing shortage.

Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."