24th July, Week 8 – “Working on Us” Mental Health Prompts

For how to join in with these prompts, visit Beckie’s blog post.

I am doing prompt 1 and prompt 2.

Prompt 1

This question was by Nova, of Nova’s Namaste 365 Online.

Write a narrative of what works for you when in the midst of a crisis, such as anxiety/panic attack or a manic episode. Please give an example of what happened and how you broke free from it.

My readers know that I can suffer from anxiety and panic attacks.

My last panic attack was when I was volunteering. Most readers will remember this particular one, as I blogged about it. It was the time of having issues with my old energy supplier, Spark Energy. I was checking my emails and this particular email I found in my spam folder, from a company that was chasing debt on their behalf.

Now as it was in spam, I had my doubts whether this was all genuine, because one, I never heard of this one and I already received a letter about the same thing from a different debt collector.
Two, I wasn’t in debt, as I paid my bill every month. But this company had my details to know they knew me. I was already suffering anxiety with the stress Spark Energy caused me, in addition to other stresses in my life around that time and I started to shake not long after reading this email, as well as feeling sick with it. I had my water to hand, which I kept sipping. I tried to ignore my anxiety brewing, which I could feel was going to turn into a panic attack.

After 10 minutes, I could feel my heart racing, but surprisingly, I wasn’t breathing in a panic state. I assume this is because of past experience and learning new ways to manage it.

After half an hour and not feeling like anything was getting any better, I said to one of the workers where I was volunteering that I wasn’t feeling well and, why and that I think I won’t be any good carrying on working there today. He didn’t like the idea me going home, while I was as I was and asked what usually helps me keep calm? I said water for one, which I have been sipping for past half hour. He then started to act daft, (in a good way,) to get me to laugh and I was chatting and laughing back. In the end, my anxiety reduced and I felt I could carry on with my volunteer role. I had lost my appetite at lunch time, so I had to force myself to eat. But I didn’t go into a panic attack, because of how this person helped me with this one, after I said I wasn’t well.

That is just one example for me, how I got out of an anxiety attack.
Others have been just focusing on my breathing to slow it down. It took some time, but I got there.

I have also suffered from PTSD, because of  my childhood and so through counseling I learnt new techniques, should I have PTSD ones. These were using my senses; sight, touch, taste and smell. These have come in handy for anxiety/panic attacks too. So I guess this is why I never went into a full blown panic attack, that I expected.

Anxiety is always a part of me. Mine is there at times, but ignorable in a way. I mean as in that I know it’s there, but I carry on doing what I am doing. Like I have always done. That fighter instinct in me that I have had since a child.
Other times my anxiety is not there and then there are situations that can bring it on, as one example above.

For anyone you witness having a panic attack, just see what you can do to help. If they are not able to answer, just talk to them, keeping calm yourself until they are able to say. Don’t touch them, unless they gave you permission and certainly don’t hug, because if they are like me, they will need space to feel they can breathe.

Prompt 2

There are two pictures in this prompt, which you can pick one, or use both of them.

I chose this one.

Visual of the image is that of heavy rain with the sun shining and pouring on a plant up against a rock wall.
Visual of the image is that of heavy rain with the sun shining and pouring on a plant up against a rock wall.

I chose this one because when I see this photo, I feel refreshed, just like I would if the rain poured down on me, while the sun was out.

The cooling rain making me feel refreshed, washing my worries away, while feeling a gentle warmth of the sun.

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12th June 2019, Week 2 – “Working on Us” Mental Health Prompts

It’s time for “Working on Us” Mental Health Prompts, kindly created by Beckie, over at Beckie’s Mental Mess.

For today’s prompts and how to join in, do visit this post, which will take you to Beckie’s post. You will also be able to read the reason behind “Working on Us” Mental Health Prompts.

For today’s prompt, I have decided to use both the question and the image below.

The question:

What do you find to be the most challenging for you when it comes to your mental illness? (You can give an example and  also a means on how to cope.)

Motivation is the most challenging thing for me when it comes to my mental health. This does not help when I get the fatigue that comes with it.
When all else fails, the only one thing that does not and that is walking. So I take myself off and walk somewhere, preferably in nature.

The image:

What are some pictures (without text) with deep meaning(s)? - Quora

I can relate to this image above. The many changing faces how I once used to feel. That putting on the fake smile, to hide what was going on inside.
Putting on the fake smile I used to feel was more for the benefit of others at one times sadly. This was because of hearing “Chin up” that many times and basically wanting to knock their heads off, or tell them to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine, or fuck it to their response.
Thankfully now, I don’t have to hide it, because I am around people i feel who listen and care. They accept me at my down times, as well as at my best times.

Fibbing Friday – 7th June prompt

It’s time for Fibbing Friday, by The Haunted Wordsmith.

I know you have been looking forward to this as much as me, because it is a rather special post today. It’s the first time my mum has participated in a blog post on here. So here we go. 😊

1. Why do cable companies offer so many channels no one watches?

My answer: It shows just how they have nothing to do.
Mum’s answer: Because no one can find their way.

2. Who invented lemon meringue pies?

My answer: Santa, because he missed the snow, when it was summer time.
Mum’s answer: The meringue man.

3. Why did people invent the sandwich?

My answer: It was a new way to smother people.
Mum’s answer: Because of the spread.

4. What was the stone age?

My answer: How to tell the age of a stone, or a pebble, by looking at the bumps, cracks and any other age related markings.
Mum’s answer: Two bits of rock.

5. Why do people grow more annoying as we age?

My answer: It’s a new form of fun, while playing a poker-face.
Mum’s answer: Because they want to catch up.

6. What is doomsday?

My answer: It depends where you are in life.
Mum’s answer: When you don’t get paid.

7. What do fish do all day?

My answer: They are secretly plotting.
Mum’s answer: Do a gobbly do.

8. Who are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse really?

My answer: I don’t have a clue.
Mum’s answer: Four bits of a puzzle.

9. How do you make a cake?

My answer: Throw everything in a bowl and mix. But don’t forget to throw some flour around, as it makes you look very  busy. Santa will also appreciate it, cos it’s the nearest thing to snow in summer.
Mum’s answer: Upside down.

10. What is the best ice-cream topping on a sundae?

My answer: More ice-cream. Yum. 😊
Mum’s answer: Two bit pieces.

11. What is your ideal style of home?

My answer: Furniture either side of the room, to give it a parting.
Mum’s answer: Two sheets to the wind.

12. What is the strangest hobby?

My answer: I don’t know. I’m not strange.
Mum’s answer: Riding a hobby horse.

5th June 2019, Trial #1 – “Working on Us” Mental Health Prompts

Beckie, over at Beckie’s Mental Mess, is starting on a new prompt series called, Working on Us.

For today’s prompts, there are two prompts which you can either just do one, or both. For details of these prompts and how to play along, please do see todays post at: https://beckiesmentalmess.blog/2019/06/05/june-5-2019-trial-1-working-on-us-mental-health-prompts/

I have decided to do just one of these prompts and so I have chosen prompt #1 – Question:

When you first found out that you had a mental illness/disorder. Explain how this new revelation regarding your health affected you?

My mental health is depression and anxiety.
Depression has been the main symptom, because anxiety came second. But anxiety over the years has proved to be an issue at times, as my depression.

I wouldn’t say it has been a new revelation for me, because I always knew it was there, or not quite right. I just never did anything about it, because as I did as a teenager, I just soildered on and as a teenager, I wouldn’t have been aware about how my own mental health was in general then, even though I seen the trials of my mum’s mental health.
I was a person who got my head down, hoping to get through each difficult day. My long standing readers will know about my childhood difficulties. But for those that are new, then click on childhood in the tags section of my blog, because explaining it here would make it a very long post.

Fast forward after divorce, my mental health went down more and I felt I wasn’t coping. I referred myself to counseling, for the rape and about that relationship in general, which mum supported me on, by coming down on the bus with me and waiting in the waiting area, while I had my counseling. The counseling helped for that time then.

Another moment in time later, which then I was in a relationship. (The relationship that never went anywhere and what turned out to be a shocking later, that I discovered by accident some years later after having nothing to do with him.) During some point in those first two years I think it was now, one night, in my own bed, which I was on my own, I had a flashback of the time I was raped in my first relationship. It felt so real. When I woken up, I found myself in the same position, so god knows if I had been crying out in my dreams. It was real enough in my dreams, but to wake up and find myself like that, made it more sickening. I was hugely triggered and traumatised all over again.
Further counseling at a rape crisis centre, with the support then of the boyfriend I was with. This counseling went into areas of conversation that was not covered in my counseling elsewhere I had the first time round on this area of my life. I can’t remember if I was on medication then. I don’t think I was. But the counseling really helped, for that time.

Then in another area of my life, (before the above flashback) while still in this relationship, had issues with neighbours, while in a council property. The stress of it all brought me to a new time low. I lost a lot of weight with it. At this point, I was on antidepressants and I was scared to take them I remember. But the doctor reassured me of my concerns. My then boyfriend, supported me in that appointment, in case there were things that needed repeating later, with things being a blur and numb. I wasn’t long in getting a private property and this is how I ended up in private properties ever since. I can’t remember how long I was on antidepressants, as some of that time is now a blur.

The last time I was on antidepressants, were at a time I blogged about here. That was when my old workplace broke me that much, that I could take no more. I was depressed and I was having lots of panic attacks. God knows how I still managed to keep going to work. I was that messed up, I really shouldn’t have been there. But I kept doing my shifts and doing what I automatically seem to do as a child.
I also had counseling, which towards the end delved in my childhood. I was having triggers when going into this area and because NHS counseling only lasts so long and because of the nature from childhood, it had to be treaded carefully. This counsellor said because if what I seen as a child and the other things in regards with what dad was like, that I likely to have PTSD. To hear this being said to me shocked me, even though it made sense.

I was on antidepressants longer than the doctor would have liked. This was because I did not want to start weaning off then when I was having driving lessons. Then when I did not do anymore, because I couldn’t deal with it any further, plus I had a double-death in the family; my cousin and her husband.
Then, as you know, followed by discovering the true horrors of the ex-boyfriend and finding out what he truly was by accident in a Google search not related to him, there was no way I could think of reducing my antidepressants. So antidepressants were reduced some months later, even though it was still a difficult time.

Present day, I can still feel lows at times. But I am feeling particularly low since my first day in new job. But I remain medication free, since I last came off them, as mentioned above.

I take each day as it comes. With the now stresses I have had since living here, that you know about and being more of a carer for my mum than I ever been, lists are becoming more my friend, because since February, I am finding myself more forgetful then ever before. I have used a diary for years, but a list is in addition to my diary.
If I have a lot to think about in a day, then a list is created and placed on my coffee table. I will also take the list with me, if required.

I hope this post gives an idea, as it has been very hard to write this one. Not because of the topic, as this is now easy with the counseling and support I have had over the years. It’s just a bit grey in areas, as I forget things and I found just writing this post, in how best to get my words down. So feeling brain tired, is probably the best way to put it.

Thank you for reading, if you got to the end of this post.

Fibbing Friday – 31st May prompt

I have been watching Beckie, over at Beckie’s Mental Mess participate in Fibbing Friday. You can see Beckie’s answers to yesterday’s Fibbing Friday here.
I have participated a couple of times and left my answers over on Beckie’s blog posts, but thought I would start doing it here, when I join in.

The Fibbing Friday prompts are created by Teresa, over at The Haunted Wordsmith.

Yesterday’s prompt questions can be found here at this post, over at The Haunted Wordsmith. But here are the questions and my answers below to this fun game.

I have started following The Haunted Wordsmith, to see future prompts that I hope to join in with.

What would a Friday be without a chance to do a little fibbing? Have fun and come up with the best whoppers you can to these questions:

  1. What did the fan say? I can’t think of anything better than Beckie’s answer. 😊
  2. What really kicks off summer? I can only think of Bryan Adams song, ‘Back in the summer of 69.’ Now what did happen? 🤔
  3. Who rules the world? I definitely agree with Beckie. It’s certainly not Donald Trump.
  4. What is the best thing to do to someone who snores? Give them the elbow. But make sure you quickly pretend you are asleep.
    Or, pinch their nose and see what happens. 😁
  5. Who/what was your last unexpected house guest? A wasp.
  6. How does a blanket keelp warm? It’s not the blanket keeping you warm. You have been deceived all these years. Instead, it’s you that’s keeping the blanket warm.
  7. Why shouldn’t you snoop? You may be forced to keep a secret.
  8. What is the worst thing that could happen to you? I can’t think of an answer.
  9. What did the gopher and mole do when they met? Let’s hole up together. 😂
  10. What lurks in your backyard? A squirrel, on a secret agenda.
  11. What is the best way to torture someone? Now that could get me into trouble. Lol.

So if you would like to start joining in with Fibbing Friday, then don’t forget to follow The Haunted Wordsmith.

I challenge you

For those that like to colour in books, I would like to give you a challenge. A challenge that I have already done, after doing the challenge myself.

I challenge you to colour with your non-dominant hand. So this means using your opposite hand from the one you usually use.

This challenge appeared in “The Mindfulness Companion – A Creative Journal To Bring Calm To Your Day,” by Dr Sarah Jane Arnold.

So, as I am right-handed, it meant I had to colour the picture below with my left hand.

Believe it, or not, I have never coloured with my left hand. So I surprised myself with this end result.

dav

I did feel the concentration though, while completing this challenge and I did this over a few days.

The only time I have used my left hand, was when I had to write with my left hand some years ago for so a few months, while the right one was strapped up and not allowed to use it, after injury as a cleaner with it.
Before then, as a packer with an employer, I learnt to use a tape gun with my left hand, so that I could alternate hands using the tape gun, so I would not have any issues with my right hand, had I used that all the time instead. (Repetition causing injury I suffered, until I made this change.)

When you do the challenge, as the challenge in my book says, “… Notice how much patience and concentration it requires. It may feel new and unfamiliar. It may feel frustrating. Notice and name any emotions that arise, moment by moment, and allow them to be here with you as you try to guide your hand as it colours. See if you can experience this without making any judgements. Notice how present you are in this moment.”

If you decide to take on this challenge on your blog, do let me know.

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated.

A to Z Gratitude Challenge

So near the end of the post, “Life is a rollercoaster” I talked about the “A to Z gratitude challenge” I came across in a book, in case you liked a go. The rules for this challenge, was to, as said from the book, on page 71 of “Courage, 50 Mindfulness and Relaxation Exercises to Improve Your Confidence,” by Dr. Arlene K. Unger:

“Write the alphabet on a sheet of paper. For each letter, challenge yourself to come up with something to be grateful for. (When you get to X and Z, just find something that contains those letters rather than words that start with them.)”

I mentioned that when I had done mine, I would share it in a separate post. So here it is.

A – Animals. As long as it is the furry, or feathered kind.

B – Books. There is always something nice to read, or learn from a book.

C – Cats. For the love received from cats once owned.

D – DVD’S. Action, or comedy.

E – Early mornings. I’m enjoying getting up an hour early, than normal.

F – Fruit. It makes me feel good.

G – Gratitude. For practising it more.

H – Hamster. For a little thing, it gave me lots of love, when I had one.

I – Ice cream. Whether it be a bowl of vanilla, or a Ben and Jerry’s. Naughty, but nice.

J – Jelly. Strawberry jelly, with vanilla ice cream and relive a childhood favourite.

K – For the kindness I have received.

L – Lavender. A relaxing fragrance.

M – Music, to reflect my mood; whether to relax, or dance.

N – Nature. Nothing beats getting out and taking a walk, whether the park, visiting a pond, the beach, smelling that flower, or watching wildlife. I just love it.

O – Oranges. I know I said fruit, but there is something about oranges that can perk me up, or just be refreshing.

P – Perfume. I find some perfumes can be relaxing. It’s lovely to find an alternative that can.

Q – Quiet. I like my quiet times, as they help me recharge.

R – Roof. For a roof, over my head.

S – Sanctuary. My home is my sanctuary, just to be me in how I choose. To take my hearing aids out, if I want to.

T – Tea. Nothing beats a mug of tea, throughout the day.

U – Unique. For being me.

V – Vets. For the support in the final days of Miley, my beautiful cat.

W – WordPress. My blog and the lovely community I have discovered here.

X – I can’t think of one.

Y – Yellow. A cheerful colour, that always feels like sunshine, no matter what the weather.

Z – Zzz. Sleep, as it helps me, mentally.

Have you been having a go with this challenge?

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated.

50 things that make me happy

After seeing this challenge over at “hello bexa,” in this post of the same title, I thought I would give this challenge a go. 🙂 But it’s not one I have managed to complete as it airs, so his may be a post I may come back to and edit in my own time, when I can think of more.

1. My Spider Plant and Parlour Palm plant.
2. Miley, my cat, who I miss, since her passing.
3. Family
4. Friends
5. New notebook
6. My present job
7. Tea and biscuits.
8. Watching dvd’s at home.
9. Having ‘me time.’
10. A walk in nature.
11. The beach, watching the sea.
12. Quiet time.
13. Being silly and laughing with family and friends.
14. Watching films.
15. Laughing at comedies.
16. Flavoured teas.
17. My home.
18. Music.
19. Dancing.
20. Holidays, or day trips.
21. Ice cream.
22. Fleecy blanket.
23. Tai Chi
24. Pilates.
25. Zumba.
26. Knowing I have done something well.
27. To be wanted.
28. My yellow fake flowers.
29. Sunshine.
30. Seeing daffodils and snowdrops first bloom.
31. My bed.
32. Making other people.
33. Buying the odd magazine.
34. Colouring.
35. Blogging.
36. If I could afford to buy my own home, then this would make me happy.
37. My cherished memories.
38. A few necklaces I own.
39. Discovering Sharpie pens.
40. The things I have achieved.
41. My freedom.
42. Strawberry, or banana milkshake.
43. Milk with chocolate biscuits, or cookies.
44. Scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream.
45. Reading a book or magazine.
46. Lavender.
47. Scented candles.
48. Books.
49. Traveling.
50.

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated.

This OR That tag

Over at “Mental Health @ Home,” Ashley was tagged in “This OR That tag.” After Ashley joined in and shared her post, she chose to invite anyone who would like to play along. So I chose to play along with this, as it looked fun.

Words, this or that tag on an image that shows hot air balloons over the mountains

Rules:

  • Thank & tag the person that has tagged you (Which I have done.)
  • Attach the tag photo (Done.)
  • Answers the ‘This or THAT questions (Done. See below.)
  • Tag a 10-20 friends. (See below, at the end of the post.)

So here it goes with mine.

  • Dog or Cat?
    • Cat.
  • Netflix or YouTube?
    • YouTube a little bit. I am not a regular.
  • Phone Call or Text?
    • Text.
  • Toast or Eggs?
    • Poached eggs, on toast. I know. But I had to have both. 🙂
  • Cardio or Weights?
    • Walking in the fresh air.
  • Facebook or Twitter?
    • Neither.
  • Ice Cream Cone or Snow Cone?
    • Ice cream.
  • Mobile Games or Console Games?
    • Neither.
  • While walking: Music or Podcasts?
    • Neither.
  • iOS or Android?
    • Android.
  • Cake or Pie?
    • I can’t choose. It depends on the weather and my mood for what I might choose, as well as the temptation looking at what is in front of me.
  • Swimming or Sunbathing?
    • A paddle is the closest and sitting on the beach to enjoy looking out at the sea, but not to sunbathe.
  • Big Party or Small Gathering?
    • Small gathering, or just ‘me time.’
  • New Clothes or New Phone?
    • New clothes.
  • Rich Friend or Loyal Friend?
    • Loyal friend.
  • Football or Basketball?
    • Basketball.
  • Nice Car or Nice Home Interior?
    • Nice home.
  • What’s worse: Laundry or Dishes?
    • If I am answering it on the line of when leaving it to mount up, then dishes.
  • Jogging or Hiking?
    • Just walking.
  • Bath or Shower?
    • Bath at the moment for me, as this is all I have, where I live. I like my showers though mainly if I had a choice and just a soak in the bath now and again.
  • Sneakers or Sandals?
    • Trainers.
  • Glasses or Contacts?
    • Glasses.
  • Hamburger or Taco?
    • Veggie burger.
  • Couch or Recliner?
    • Couch all to myself.
  • Online Shopping or Shopping in a Store?
    • Store.
  • Receive: Email or Letter?
    • Email. But it is nice to receive a hand written letter now and again.
  • Passenger or Driver?
    • Passenger.
  • Tablet or Computer?
    • Laptop, or desktop computer.
  • Most important in a partner: Intelligent or Funny?
    • A gentlemen, who can have a laugh. But I shall never have a partner, as I will always live a single life.
  • Car or Truck?
    • Car
  • Blue or Red?
    • Blue.
  • Money or Free Time?
    • Free time.
  • Amusement Park or Day at the Beach?
    • Beach.
  • At a movie: Candy or Popcorn?
    • Neither.
  • Pen or Pencil?
    • Pen.
  • Toilet paper: Over or Under?
    • Over.
  • Cups in the cupboard: Right Side Up or Up Side Down?
    • Up side down.
  • Pancake or Waffle?
    • Pancakes.
  • Coke or Pepsi?
    • I don’t have it often, but when I do, Pepsi. But I prefer it to be sugar-free. I will sometimes go for the caffeine free option too.
  • Coffee Cup or Thermos?
    • Neither.
  • Blinds or Curtain?
    • Curtains. If I had blinds, I would still have curtains, as it makes it feel cosy.
  • Train or Plane?
    • Train.
  • Phone or Tablet?
    • Phone.
  • Iced Coffee or Hot Coffee?
    • Hot coffee.
  • Meat or Vegetables?
    • Vegetables.
  • International Vacation or a New TV?
    • A holiday.
  • Save or Spend?
    • Save. But I like to spend a bit as well.
  • Honesty or Other’s Feelings?
    • This depends on situation and person.
  • Coffee or Tea?
    • Tea mainly.
  • TV or Book?
    • Book.
  • Movie at Home or Movie at the Theatre?
    • Movie at home.
  • Ocean or Mountains?
    • Ocean.
  • Horror Movie or Comedy Movie?
    • Comedy.
  • City or Countryside?
    • Countryside was appealing for many years and still is. But prefer to live in a town now.
  • Winter or Summer?
    • Summer.
  • Mac or PC?
    • Mac.
  • Console Gaming or PC Gaming?
    • PC odd occasions.
  • Soup or Sandwich?
    • I like both.
  • Card Game or Board Game?
    • Card game is the last thing I have played and meaning to do again. Just playing by myself, playing Patience.
  • Camping or Binge Watching Shows at Home?
    • Watching movies preferably at home.
  • Working Alone or Working in a Team?
    • I like working alone.
  • Dine In or Delivery?
    • Eat at home, but not using delivery. I will sort out my own instead. I like to dine out sometimes, as well.
  • Sweater or Hoodie?
    • Cardigan.
  • Motorcycle or Bicycle?
    • Bicycle.
  • Book or eBook?
    • Book.
  • When sleeping: Fan or No Fan?
    • Fan when it’s really hot summer’s.
  • TV Shows or Movies?
    • Movies.

 

So I have done mine and now it is time to tag. I tag anyone, who would like to join in.