Image of flat landscape in back and hills in front with quote by Anne Frank

We Can Do It But What Day Is It Anyway? Climate Edition 28.3.2020

Hello out there in the depths of the blogosphere and COVID-19-Isolation-more-or-less-sanity. Am I allowed to ask how you are? I hope you and yours are safe and keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

gif resource: Giphy

It is just after 12pm (27.3.20 I schedule my posts) here in the UK and I somehow have trouble getting into the swing of things. As I wrote yesterday writing with one hand is difficult for me. Typing with ten fingers is one of the few skills I learned in school that came in rather handy throughout my blogging life. But it looks to me like my inspiration rests in my left hand and that’s the one I can’t use for repetitive movements yet and yes, typing counts like that. Please bear with me: here migh be some T’s missing as i has a bi of a snag a he momen … meaning: there might be some T’s missing as it has a bit of a snag at the moment 🙂

Well, let’s start with a giggle to stop moaning and make the best of a bad time:

video resource: YouTube

But Bee, you might think, you posted this many a times before. I know, I know, I would answer but it cheers me up instantly and I need the cheer, you know. And you do too because you moan again. Remember: we stopped that! Maybe you share your instant cheer-ups with us instead? Yea, that’s better!

Let’s remind ourselves why we are here:

Linda over at “Life in Progress” has started the “What day is it anyway” blog event. She invites us all to share a little of our new daily routines, struggles and successes. She writes: “

Why I’m writing this post:

Because if you’re like me and stuck at home already, or if you’re going to be like me soon, the days of the week are going to be hell to keep track of. We have a wonderful community here on WordPress and all over the Internet as well, and I’m sure many people are feeling nervous and/or isolated. I want to make sure every one of us has somewhere to congregate and someone to talk to.

I want everyone to know that you can start discussions with each other in the comments, and if you’d like to write your own “What Day is it Anyway?” post, you can link to this one. Hashtag #WDIIA.

Let’s keep in touch!

And I can only encourage you to take her up on the offer 🙂 . Here is her post from yesterday.

Image of flat landscape in back and hills in front with quote by Anne Frank
photo credit: BrainyQuote

As I schedule my posts for the middle of the night in the UK (don’t ask me why? I just like it that way!) I let you know about my Friday. I woke up at 5am and felt rather lucky. Currently, I try to balance my stomach tablets with my painkillers. I can’t take the painkillers within two hours of the stomach tablet. I also need to wait 30-60min until I am allowed to eat so the earlier I get up, the earlier I can eat and be out of pain. It’s not unbearable pain more like a slight niggle but I find that harder to deal with than proper pain. Never mind ;-).

By six, the best husband (Jeremy Clarkson voice) in the world was at my side to have his coffee and walk the dog at 7. Usually, I go with him, but for obvious reasons, I rather keep away at the moment. That’s my time, though, for practicing mindfulness meditation and sending out my blessings and prayers to all of you. I am so glad I can do that kneeling on the ground again because connecting with it calms me enormously. By the time the husband was back, I had done my exercises and got dressed and felt again like I had done a marathon. My poor body has to get accustomed to a lot of changes because of the loss of lymph nodes in my left arm.

That meant I could sit down, enjoy a cup of tea and having my breakfast prepared. Today I needed to rest my arm more than before as it hurt more. Looks like I did a little too much yesterday :-). But that didn’t stop me from checking in with friends and family via WhatsApp, check comments and read some blog posts. And I did my exercises 🙂

image of exercises after lymph node removal for breast cancer

And then I started this post 🙂

How are you, dear people? Are you still with me? Fancy a cuppa? I certainly need one (shuffles off to kitchen 😉 )

So, what else did I want to share with you? Oh, here your cuppa first 🙂

Ah, yes, “climate edition”. Usually, I introduce you to a climate connected topic on Saturdays. I am wondering a lot about why the necessary changes to stop the climate crisis aren’t supported as much as they are for the pandemic. Our Changing Climate had a look into it:

video credit: Our Changing Climate via YouTube

I can’t get rid of the feeling that this pandemic will change our lives forever. I do hope that being thrown out of our daily rituals gives us all the possibility to check our perceptions of how fast and how far we can change. Future generations will thank us if we are willing to do the right thing!

video source: Intr0naut via YouTube

We have heard a lot about supporting self-employed people here in the UK since yesterday. That seems to be a rather big issue, and challenge and my thoughts go out to you who are affected. I have no answers to your challenges, but if you have some mind space, why no use the time and learn something about accounting? Last year I reviewed a page that teaches it for free for a download I had planned but never made. This is what I wrote:

Accounting coach: More and more of us find work in the so-called gig industry and work freelance. Not all of us can afford an accountant to sort out our finances. That is where Accounting Coach comes into. It offers training in accounting from basics to more sophisticated approaches for free. However, if you want to gain a certificate and do all the tests you need to sign up for the Pro and Pro Plus accounts. Pro is a one time fee of 49$ and Pro Plus is a one time fee of 99$.

gif source: Giphy

Ok peeps, I am done here. My limit of one hand typing is absolutely reached no matter how much more I love to entertain you and keep you company. Just a couple more things:

Today’s act of kindness:

video credit: WCPO 9 via YouTube

Please help in the fight against breast cancer:

Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.

Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.

Thanks my dears, for staying with me until the end. I appreciate your presence. Please stay safe, stay kind and remember that you rock!

Affiliate link:

WordPress.com
image of small waerfalls with quote by Seneca

We Can Do It but what day is it anyway? (27.3.2020 just so you know!!!!!)

Hello dear readers, how are you doing? Maybe I shouldn’ ask this question at the moment? I still try to get my head around how life has changed since I had my operation and I suspect I am not the only one who thinks “reality” has become even more surreal than it was anyway.

However, my spiritual habits haven’t changed. I still send out my blessings to all of you daily. So if you feel like everything gets too much, know that someone thinks of you and believes you can do it!

image of small waerfalls with quote by Seneca
photo credit: Brainyquote

When I saw this quote, I immediately thought: “Now isn’t that true!”. All this panic buying that is going on all over the so-called “first” world societies is utterly driven by fear and not by reality. There is enough food. People just buy faster than any shop can fill up the shelves. And at the same time, food waste must have doubled because there is only so much you can eat no matter how much you hoard. What unnecessary waste that could have fed a nurse or cleaner who will help you when you get ill.

But enough of the moaning. We won’t do it if we concentrate on covidiots. Not that I have any answers but I strongly feel that motivating posts are more needed than ever. So I decided to step out of my cancer-induced reading spree and send you some encouragement, ideas and a giggle that might brighten your day.

gif source: giphy

Can you remember what day it is? Yes, it’s really Friday but I can’t get rid of the feeling that in quarantine countries that day has lost its valour. “We ARE home! Please let us out!” you might cry in desperation. Sorry, my dears, I can’t give that but guess what? There is a blog event for that 😉

Linda over at “Life in Progress” has started the “What day is it anyway” blog event. She invites us all to share a little of our new daily routines, struggles and successes. She writes: “

Why I’m writing this post:

Because if you’re like me and stuck at home already, or if you’re going to be like me soon, the days of the week are going to be hell to keep track of. We have a wonderful community here on WordPress and all over the Internet as well, and I’m sure many people are feeling nervous and/or isolated. I want to make sure every one of us has somewhere to congregate and someone to talk to.

I want everyone to know that you can start discussions with each other in the comments, and if you’d like to write your own “What Day is it Anyway?” post, you can link to this one. Hashtag #WDIIA.

Let’s keep in touch!

And I can only encourage you to take her up on the offer 🙂 . Here is her post from yesterday.

Yesterday, was the first day where I felt I could walk around a little and do something. It’s nearly a week that my operation was done ( lymph node clearance and removal of Tumor) and up to Wednesday, I was riddled with a drain and a bottle. The drain sat at the back under my left arm, which made sleeping a little tricky. At first, it didn’t bother me that much because I was still full of painkillers from the hospital. But on Monday my stomach had enough of all the chemicals it wasn’t used to so it put on a full-on revolt. After talking to my GP, I went on stomach tablets and left the more potent painkillers out. Paracetamol must do it. My stomach is now ok, but I am a little more in pain, and I felt the drain more. Luckily, it stopped draining by Tuesday, and the community nurse came along on Wednesday to take it out. What a relief. 🙂

I am posting this post at half twelve in the morning, so I can’t say much about today yet 😉 . Yesterday though I had for the first time some mind to start doing stuff. Yes, I am supposed to do stuff. No moving the furniture or writing for hours (typing with one hand is rather cumbersome I can tell you 🙂 ) but making a cup of tea and walking up the garden is absolutely fine. And that’s what I did. I even took to ripping out some dried up sweet peas so I could guide the new ones where I wanted them.

image of wooden trellis and sweet pea shoots growing along

Then I went inside and wrote this post. That’s currently enough to make me feel like I climbed Mount Everest 😉 . But don’t worry I’ll make it because I’m teaching myself to always look on the bright side of life.

video credit: Monty Python via YouTube

But humour aside what do you do all day at home? I assume if you have children or pets, it won’t be a problem to fill your time, but if you are alone? What about learning something new? Last year I had started a new download for my newsletter, which was called “101 Learning Possibilities for (mostly) free” and collected lots of links to pages where you can learn things for free. Some of them are entirely free, some have upgrades for their courses, and some just ask for a fee for proving you took part. In the next few days I’ll share some of them with you, and maybe you find something you always wanted to learn, and now you have the time to do it:

Academic Earth: The US site Academic Earth was launched in 2009 with the idea, that everybody deserves a high quality education. They started with college courses from first-class universities which are offered in video lists and broadened it to University courses. As far as I can see you cannot gain a degree with them or get a certificate, however, you can gain insight into many topics on University level and keep up-to-date in your field for free. The good thing here is that you do not need to sign up: Just choose your topic and start watching. Acadoceo: Acadoceo offers a vast range of free articles from improving study abilities to advice for startups. They also have an academy that you need to sign up for. However, there are only three courses available one of which is “How to start a WordPress Blog”. This topic is available widely for free on the internet so I feel its not yet necessary to sign up here.

Alison: Alison is one of the oldest free online learning organisations. They offer courses on topics from healthcare to lifestyle, and if you finish your course with an assessment score of 80%, you can become an Alison Graduate. There are certificates that you can purchase to add to your CV. Unfortunately, they fund themselves via advertising, which can be a little annoying. However, if you have 50£ to spare you can have it ad-free. It’s an easy way to learn in your own time, and the learners’ dashboard shows your stats which can be very motivating.

gif source: giphy

So peeps I am done here. Mount Everest is climbed, and I deserve to wander off to the long earth or simply to a cup of tea.

Take care of yourselves, be kind and don’t give up because we can do it!

video credit: Radio Free Europe via YouTube

Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me for cancer is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.

Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.

Jetpack

#ThrowBackThursday: How to get stuff done when you are depressed ~ Jessica Gimeno on #bipolar

December 2019:

I posted tjis first in October 2017:

This post is in honour of today’s World Mental Health Day 2017.

We are stronger than depression and inspiring people can show us how. Here is Jessica Gimeno at the TEDxPilsenWomen talk:

Related Blogpost:

TruLeeMe: Manic Monday

image of forest with white writing saying: "Man - a being in search of meaning" Plato

#ThrowBachThursday: 5 Things to Know about St. Johnswort ~ mentalhealthmatters

I posted this first in October 2017:

Saint John's wort flowers

fir0002 | flagstaffotos.com.au [GFDL 1.2 (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Today I want to write a little more about St. Johnswort a medicinal herb I use to relieve my symptoms of depression and anxiety due to living with PTSD. I have been mentioning it before both in posts and tweets but never gave more information about it and I think there are 5 Things to Know about St. Johnswort.

In Germany where I come from St. Johnswort is a herb that is readily prescribed for mild and moderate depression. Before I came to the UK I had been using it for years and was aware of some of the side effects like becoming more sensitive to sunlight and getting a sunburn more easily for example.

You can imagine how I was surprised when my doctors here told me that it is not usually used and not enough is known about its effectiveness for depression. Now, that was ten years ago and I am glad that this misconception has changed a little. However, it is still not prescribed by GP’s as at least in the Uk it is an unlicensed herbal remedy.

On the other hand, though the mental health charity Mind dedicated a whole page to St. Johnswort and how it works. And there are many other pages out there that give you information on it.

What is St. Johnswort and how does it work?

This is what Mind the mental health Charity says:

What is St John’s wort?
St John’s wort is a herbal remedy that has been used for hundreds of years to treat mental health problems. Today it is mainly used as an over the counter remedy to treat mild and moderate depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), mild anxiety and sleep problems.

The botanical name for St John’s wort is Hypericum perforatum, and it is sometimes marketed and sold as ‘Hypericum’. It contains the ingredients hypericin and hyperforin, that have been used for their antidepressant properties.

How does St John’s wort work?
It is thought that St John’s wort works in a similar way to standard antidepressant medication. Research suggests that it increases the activity of brain chemicals such as serotonin and noradrenaline that are thought to play an important part in regulating our mood.

As well as hypercin and hyperforin, the plant contains many other substances that may boost its antidepressant activity in ways that are not yet fully understood. (Mind ~ St John’s wort – Hypericum perforatum)

What are the 5 Things to know about St. Johnswort?

  1. St. Johnswort is as effective as antidepressants for mild and moderate depression
  2. St. Johnswort is researched and proven
  3. There are side effects but less
  4. Be careful taking it with other medicines
  5. Be careful from where you get it

1. St. Johnswort is as effective as antidepressants for mild and moderate depression.

There have been many trials using St. Johnswort both for major and minor/moderate depression over the years which had not much impact. However, a couple of years before I came to the Uk the British Journal of Psychiatry did a meta-analysis of randomised control trials with St. Johnswort which concluded:

“…Larger placebo-controlled trials restricted to patients with major depression showed only minor effects over placebo, while older and smaller trials not restricted to patients with major depression showed marked effects. Compared with standard antidepressants Hypericum extracts had similar effects…” (British Journal of Psychiatry ~ Review Article St. Johnswort for Depression).

In 2008 NHS Choices picked up on two headlines one in The Daily Mail and one in the Daily Telegraph that suggested that St. Johnswort helps against depression. The article in The Daily Telegraph refers to the meta-analysis by the British Journal of Psychiatry and the NHS Knowledge Service concluded:

“…In summary, by adding the large studies that have recently been conducted to the existing body of research, the evidence suggests that St. John’s wort is a viable treatment for mild to moderate major depression. Importantly, there is considerable variation in the preparations of St. John’s wort available over the counter. The researchers say that their findings apply only to the extracts that were used in the studies in this review, or possibly to very similar preparations. People who want to take St. John’s wort should speak to their doctors about the best preparation for them, and the risks and benefits compared to standard antidepressants….” (NHS Choices ~ St. Johnswort for Depression)

In comparison to that, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health of the US Department of Health and Human Services mentions a 2009 systematic review of 29 studies that suggests St. Johnswort may be better than a placebo and as effective as standard antidepressants.

However, they conclude the effectiveness of St. Johnswort for depression is inconclusive as their own studies had no positive results. (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health ~ St. Johnswort and Depression. In Depth)

2. St. Johnswort is researched and proven

Dr. Natalie Bozinovski talks about Canadian trials and gives you more information to St. Johnswort in her video here:

3 & 4 There are side-effects to St. Johnswort but less than those using standard anti-depressants

According to Wikipedia there are several possible side-effects like

  • nausea
  • abdominal pain
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhoea
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • photosensitivity
  • decreases levels of estrogen which such as estradiol, by speeding up its metabolism, and should not be taken by women on contraceptive pills as it upregulates the CYP3A4 cytochrome of the P450 system in the liver
  • decreases the effectiveness of several drugs like antiretrovirals, Benzodiazepines, birth control and beta blockers

Well, looking at that it sounds quite a few possible side-effects to me. I, however, have never experienced any of these and as I do not take any other drugs or the pill interactions never were an issue.

I assume these are possible but happen a lot less than using standard anti-depressants but I have to do some more research there.

5 Be Careful Where You Get it from

St. Johnswort is in most countries an unlicensed herbal remedy and therefore not as well regulated as licenced remedies. Make sure if you want to use it to see a health professional or homoeopath to find a trusted source to buy St. Johnswort.

A personal review of St. Johnswort by Emily Faith

What do you think?

In my opinion, it is a highly personal choice which way you go to deal with depression. There are many reasons for using standard antidepressants but also many reasons for going the complementary way. For me, it has always worked better without standard drugs but with herbs, therapy and creativity. However, I know many who have chosen a different path. I am curious: Which path have you chosen and why? Please let me know in the comments!

Resources:

NHS Choices

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

British Journal of Psychiatry

YouTube Channels: Health and the City, Dr. Natalie Bozinovski ND. MSc., Dr. Sam Robbins, Emily Faith

MIND – The Mental Health Charity

Wikipedia

Blast from the Past: The Bee Talks With… Sarah E. Olson

Book Cover Becoming One by Sarah E. Olson

This was first posted in April 2015:

Today I feel honored to host Sarah E. Olson who kindly agreed to answer my questions. Sarah has written a book called “Becoming One” where she describes her healing journey from abuse victim who has dissociated to becoming one and supporting others via her blog “Third Of A Lifetime”.

I will post a review of “Becoming One” tomorrow and I can only say that it is a powerful book. But enough said: here is what Sarah has to say for herself:

“How would you describe yourself in one paragraph?

Thank you for inviting me to your blog, Bee! I’m the author of Becoming One: A Story of Triumph Over Dissociative Identity Disorder, and have been active in online child abuse survivor support groups and talking with survivors for 20+ years. I curate links dealing with PTSD on my blog, Twitter, and Pinterest. My husband Dan and I live south of Boston with three inside cats who rule everything. I enjoy living in New England with its vivid changing seasons, although this winter has tested me! I began writing as a child, and never stopped. I’m intellectually curious, and relentless in tracking down details, which both helps and hinders productivity. In nonfiction, I read a lot about psychological trauma treatment, while in fiction, I primarily read police procedurals, dystopian novels, and dark psychological thrillers. There is often an overlap between my nonfiction and fiction interests. As one example, I loved The Hunger Games trilogy, not just for its story of revolution, but for how Katniss’s multiple traumas were subtly developed into very recognizable PTSD symptoms over the length of the series. It felt authentic to me. Fiction or nonfiction, I always want to read things that make me think.

A fun fact about you?

A strange artifact of my childhood abuse is that I hear music in my left ear, which is otherwise nearly deaf. It’s not music from an external source — it emanates from within my head. 🙂 I can’t change it, override it, or turn it off, and sometimes the selection is incredibly annoying. Like, why the muzak version of Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” on endless repeat when I love her original?! Sometimes I can sing harmony with myself, which makes me laugh! It seems to pick up volume when I’m stressed. It’s not crazy or schizophrenic; it’s a dissociative thing that I accept as part of me. I’ll be exploring this and similar phenomena in more depth in my follow-up book titled Becoming One Every Day: Living Purposefully with Dissociative Identity Disorder, due in late 2015.

What made you write in the first place?

As a child, I began writing fairy tale stories which featured bright, beautiful, most-loved, and safe little girls. I wasn’t getting much of that in real life. In high school, I wrote poetry and short stories which I showed no one. As an adult, I trained to be a paralegal — a ghostwriter for attorneys. I’d learned my entire life that attention was not a good thing, so instead of going to law school I chose a support profession which guaranteed I would never receive credit for my writing. My quest for the last 20 years has been to challenge myself to risk putting my writing out there in a public way.

Which Author has influenced you and why? Combined with “What is your favourite book?”

I first read The Talisman, by Stephen King and Peter Stroub, about 30 years ago, and have reread it several times. It describes an alternate — but adjacent — universe to our own, kept separate by a force field which occasionally rips open and creates chaos in both worlds. It introduces the idea of ‘twinners,’ whereby if you are a happy person here, you have a twinner in the other realm with darker aspects. Or if you are evil here, your twinner is most likely fighting for forces of good on the other side. A lonely little boy accidentally steps into the other reality, and learns that he must find the Talisman which will either unite both realms or destroy them.

I read The Talisman long before I was formally diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder. The intriguing notion that there were ‘twinners’ in a nearby alternate reality hit me as very close to home, and fascinated me. I’d often felt that I must have crossed some huge surreal force field where all the rules and people were different, but somehow still very weirdly familiar. And I could never explain it, to myself or anyone else — but here was a book that offered an alternate reality that actually made some sense of my bizarre life. I believe that reading The Talisman made me much more open to exploring alternate realities within me, in therapy, than I’d ever have entertained otherwise.

Your writing ritual (if you have one)?

I don’t really have a ritual. I’m grateful any time I feel inspired, and take notes in those moments so I won’t lose the thread of what was important about it. At any one time I have numerous projects, fiction and nonfiction, floating around in my brain, but I’ve learned that I must really focus on one at a time or nothing gets finished.

Your secret “sin” when you write?

I drink far too much coffee! 🙂

Do you suffer from writer’s block and if, what do you do against it?

I do get writer’s block. For me, it’s about procrastination paired with perfectionism. Somewhere as a child I learned that if I can’t do it perfectly, I shouldn’t do it at all, which then makes me delay even trying. I fight that self-judgment daily, because it just stops me cold sometimes. I want the writings I put out into the world to be as good as they can be, but if I wait for “perfect” they’ll never be released. My commitment to myself this last year has been to finish things, which is why the ebook version of Becoming One exists today.

Your advice for apprentice writers?

No matter what you want to write, fiction or nonfiction, you need to keep writing. You need practice to learn your style and hone your voice. Like any skill, you get better the more you work it. At the same time, don’t stop reading! You can learn so much about writing craft by examining how other writers do it.

Beyond that, there’s never been a more exciting time to be a writer! You can control your own writing destiny, either by self-publishing or seeking a traditional publisher. Becoming One was first published by a very small press in 1997, and I was grateful for that opportunity. But today, with self-publishing, there are no gatekeepers, and you have choices that didn’t exist 20 years ago. Research those choices carefully, to be fully informed about whatever path you choose.

A great place to start that research is at http://www.thecreativepenn.com/ to which I’ve subscribed for five+ years. Joanna Penn has steadfastly and honestly blogged her journey from being a blogger who writes about writing, to taking the leap into writing thrillers. Her website is a wealth of information for anyone looking to get started with writing and publishing. (I have no affiliation with her other than knowing that she is a genuinely helpful and generous person.)”

Thank you again, Bee, for your hospitality!

You are very welcome!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Please find her book on Amazon (link. below). A countdown deal of $.99 runs from 31. March to 6. April 2015 both on Amazon UK and US and it is also available on Kindle Unlimited.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Please find out more about Sarah here:

Sarah’sBlog
Sarah onTwitter
Sarah onPinterest

 

#Quote of the day: Howard Asher ~ a blast from the past

This was first posted in April 2015. “Writer’s Quote Wednesday” does no exist anymore:

There is no Writer’s Quote Wednesday over at Coleens Silverthreading as she is on holiday but I want to do it anyway. This book I am reading is occupying me a lot and I believe it holds a lot of wisdom.

The quote I am using is not exactly a “writer’s” quote but one of Sarah E. Olson’s therapist Howard Asher. But I believe it is motivating just the same:

” …This may sound pushy, but I have high standards for you. You have a right to, soon enough, feel like this is a very good life. You have not been cursed to just get by with minimal or “grin and bear it” pain. That’s a lousy standard. It’s a reasonable goal for you to like being you….”

Book Cover Becoming One by Sarah E. Olson

Taken from “Becoming One” by Sarah E. Olson, e-book version, Location 545. If this quote made you curious to find more wisdom from Mr Asher please head over to find out more about the book:

Sarah E. Olson social media links:

Blog:    Third of a Lifetime
Twitter: @SarahEOlson2009
Pinterest: SarahEOlson2009/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This post is part of Coleen’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Please head over and find wisdom, motivation and food for thought in her posts as well as the posts of other bloggers in the comments.
Quote by Rebel Thriver: When writing the sory of your life, don' let anyone else hold the pen.

Of Thrivers & Survivors *attention might trigger”

Hello my dear friends, how are you doing? I hope all is well in your neck of the woods and if not feel embraced and blessed.

This morning I had the chance to watch the first episode of “Citizen Rose” in which Rose McGowan tells her story. I am rather torn. I expected to be motivated to act and be in my truth but to be honest I do not find her particularly empowering. I agree with many of her statements and she expresses so many feelings that I feel but I somehow cannot fully connect with her and her story. I can’t figure out why. Not that this would make a difference. 

Pondering about my feelings I figured I am jealous. Maybe she is the sort of person I would like to be. Take no shit, feel and express your rage but at the same time be incredibly vulnerable. And do your thing. 

She talks to actress Asia Argento who emphasized that she is not a victim but victorious to have survived rape and abuse. Rose tells her: “But I am a victim also. I can be a victim and at the same time victorious, strong and brave”. That made me pause for a moment because I think she spoke great truth there.

We do not become thrivers when we have our shit together and found our quest. We become thrivers when we accept that we are victims but at the same time strong and brave.

Rose also said at one point that a part of her died when she got raped. A part of her was left behind in that room where it happened. That is exactly how I feel. My whole life and especially the last couple of years are a quest to get that part back. But maybe that part is dead and I have to let go and mourn it. Or maybe I can choose the narrative I am telling myself and my life changes accordingly? What do you think?

Over at “Bee Coding & SelfCaring” I wrote about narratives and about accepting our own cycles of productivity. It seems to me that accepting all of ourselves, the light and dark parts, are the ticket to a fulfilled life. It’s a process I guess. Maybe it is life. Who knows?

How strange that today’s “Blast from the Past” also talks about what I want to stand for and accepting myself:

July 2019

I still feel I haven’t fully answered this question 😦

March 2015

As I am thinking about today’s poem, I am listening to Fun’s “Some Nights”. One line in this song is this: “I don’t know what I stand for…”.

This line has always struck me as important. Well, important to me I suspect. What do I stand for?

In the last few years, I have learned that I see myself a lot worse than others see me. I mostly feel that I succeed in nothing, am a burden to everyone and that I am worth nothing. The legacy of a difficult childhood.

But since last year my focus has changed a lot. It is much more: What do I want to stand for? What are my values? And put my money where my mouth is!

It is a relief not to worry so much what others think of me. All of us do silly things and are a burden sometimes, but we are also a help to others and achieve good things. There are always two sides to a coin and, even though, there is this shadow in ourselves we are not only this shadow!

 

 
What Do I Stand For?
 

Life
Survival
Love
Care
Passion
Shadow
Darkness
Spirituality
 

A Life worth living
Survival achieved
Love found
Care given and received
Passion ~ every day
Shadow behind me
Darkness inside me
Spirituality given
 

Spirituality
Darkness
Shadow
Passion
Care
Love
Survival
Life
 

That’s
what I stand for!
 
 

Thanks for stopping by and reading. And if you want to wander a little further in the blogosphere check out these guys:

Ritu whose stories and poems are going to and have made it into book form.

Linda who lets our consciousness get away with us & her fiction blog

And for my German readers

Villebooks whose stories are in bookform I think

And if you feel very generous towards me then please share my Dreamstime profile where I sell some of my photo’s:

(its an affiliate link btw)

Bee Halton on Dreamstime

Have a wonderful day and don’t forget

Love & Rage my friends Love & Rage

image and quote by Terry Pratchett

A Self-Care Suggestion and Sir Terry Pratchett

Hello good people of the blogosphere, how are you doing? I hope all is well in your neck of the woods. I have scheduled this post and am either at the beach or sipping a good cuppa on the sofa. So cheers to all of you 😉 .

But I wanted to share two things: The self-care suggestion by Rachel Kelly in the next chapter of her book “Singing in the Rain – 52 Practical Steps to Happiness” and my thoughts on Terry Pratchett’s anger that Neil Gaiman mentioned in an article by The Guardian several years ago. It also mentions “Good Omens” one of my favourite books by the two and as it happens a new TV series by… Netflix? Amazon? No idea… 😉

But first things first:

You might recognise the situation: Something happened. You might have missed a step and your foot hurts. Your mind goes crazy and develops all sorts of scenarios from having your foot in a cast to having it cut off.

This is what Cognitive-Behavioural-Therapy calls “Catastrophising” and it usually is a strategy that we embraced while dealing with trauma. Mind you we certainly don’t do this consciously. It’s rather that your brain has changed its connections and now expects catastrophes instead of miracles.

Rachel describes a technique to find perspective when something happens that is less than fortunate and might get you into the downward spin:

 

Page of Rachel Kelly's book "Singing in the Rain"

She suggests to ask yourself the questions in the above image and then go and create a paper folded boat. Good old origami 🙂 will help you to get your  mind off the catastrophe you are expecting.

There are different ways of dealing with catastrophizing. I usually use something called “Safe Place” but I guess the above questions help to bring everything into perspective much faster. I am going to give it a try.

Maybe you do not consider this self-care as such. Many think when it comes to self-care of a hot bath or something nice to eat. But keeping your mind off the hamster wheel of negative thinking is an important part too. So go on. Give it a try.

That’s it for today. But there is an interesting post I wrote in March 2015 about one of my most favourite authors and here you can enjoy it again:

July 2019

I can’t believe it’s over four years ago that Sir Terry Pratchett passed over to another life. RIP may you have left your anger behind.

Here are my thoughts from 2015

March 2015

Last October The Guardian published an extract from Neil Gaiman’s introduction to “A Slip of the Keyboard: Collected Non-fiction by Terry Pratchett”. I read the article then but got bored and didn’t really concentrate on what he said.

On Thursday Terry Pratchett passed away and this time I fully read the article and these sentences touched a cord:

“…Terry looked at me. He said: “Do not underestimate this anger. This anger was the engine that powered Good Omens.” I thought of the driven way that Terry wrote, and of the way that he drove the rest of us with him, and I knew that he was right.

There is a fury to Terry Pratchett’s writing: it’s the fury that was the engine that powered Discworld. It’s also the anger at the headmaster who would decide that six-year-old Terry Pratchett would never be smart enough for the 11-plus; anger at pompous critics, and at those who think serious is the opposite of funny; anger at his early American publishers who could not bring his books out successfully.

The anger is always there, an engine that drives. By the time Terry learned he had a rare, early onset form of Alzheimer’s, the targets of his fury changed: he was angry with his brain and his genetics and, more than these, furious at a country that would not permit him (or others in a similarly intolerable situation) to choose the manner and the time of their passing.

And that anger, it seems to me, is about Terry’s underlying sense of what is fair and what is not….” (quote from “Terry Pratchett isn’t jolly. He is angry.” Extract from Neil Gaiman’s introduction to A Slip of the Keyboard)

Video credit: Arts & Ideas at the JCCSF via YouTube

I struggle with my feelings for many years. Especially anger which I have directed at myself in self-harming. I also suspect it expresses itself in grinding my teeth at night which causes an awful lot of physical problems like headaches, shoulder pain and exhaustion.

While doing “Love Is In Da Blog” I realised that it is time to do something about that and not the “usual” way with medication or therapy. I began to feel strongly that I needed another maybe more spiritual approach. It feels like these sentences are the answer to my healing wish.

My anger, acquired when my mother passed away when my father did what he did when I got bullied at school and other things, is not a disease that stops me from doing what I want to do. It is the fuel that powers my creativity but I need to allow it to do its job.

I suspect I let it do its job when I decided out of nowhere to do “Love Is In Da Blog” and it has transformed me. It has kick-started a development which end I do not know yet. But I do not need to know it. I trust the process. I trust that the great creator knows where I am heading and that my intuition will guide me the right way.

At last, I know where to go: I go with the flow 🙂

image and quote by Terry Pratchett

image source: AZQuotes


Just in case you don’t have enough yet from reading blog posts:

Please check out the blogs of these great people:

Beckie

and

I am my own Island

And if you feel very generous towards me then please share my Dreamstime profile where I sell some of my photo’s:

(its an affiliate link btw)

Bee Halton on Dreamstime

Have a wonderful day and don’t forget
 
 
Love & Rage my friends Love & Rage

Developing our Voices or how to Manage our Worries

Two years ago I signed up for Rachel Kellys Newsletter (sign-up is at the bottom of the page). Rachel is an embassador for mental health and has experienced crippling depression about which she talked in the FutureLearn Course “Literature and Mental Health” by University of Warwick. If you live with a mental health condition then I can only advice you to take this course. It is for free (you can upgrade later for a small fee) and it gives you many many literary tools to ease the pain of bad mental health.

Last year Rachel was looking for beta readers for her latest book “Singing in the Rain” and I signed up to give feedback which was an incredible experience. Since several months the book is now available for example on Wordery and I had started to share its brilliant “exercises” on my “Mindful Music Monday Mug” series which currently has a break. I still want to share Rachel’s workbook though and hope I can entise you to buy it and get some more helpful advice on how to manage your wellbeing and mental health. It is great fun and offers great advice.  That is why I want to share a little more about her book here and there and today is one of those days 🙂 .

But first some words by Rachel about “Singing in the Rain”:

copyright: Rachel Kelly via YouTube

I am now at a new chapter in the book which is called “Developing your Voice” and the first part in this chapter is “Managing Worry”. Here Rachel explains her way of dealing with her worries frist thing in the morning. The chapter made me smile because she describes how according to family history her first words were something like “I worry about…” 🙂 .

Rachel gives her worries a so-called “Worry Window” first thing in the morning when she writes down all her worries of that day. She then figures out which worries have priority: Her mothers chemotherapy is more important than what to wear for the day. Now she focuses on the worries which have priority and figures out if she can do something about them or not. For those she can do something about she creates an action plan. If her worries come back later on she can focus on doing something as she writes all of it down rather than using up her energy for worrying.

What I really liked about her suggestions is how she deals with those priority worries that she can’t do anything about: She acknowledges that these worries are part of her mental landscape and acts upon them with compassion. Her preferred way is doing a meditation in which she concentrates on her breath and on the following words:

May I be safe from harm
May I be happy just as I am
May I be peaceful with whatever is happening.

I usually try to suppress these sort of worries and with that they become bigger and bigger. I suspect giving them a place in my mental landscape and being compassionate with myself will make them lose importance. Working with Mindfulness exercises have a similar effect.

Her book is a work book and so Rachel suggested how to write your worries down in the worry window:

photo of bookpage in "Singing in the Rain" by Rachel Kelly explaining how to write down worries and how to deal with them.

Copyright: Rachel Kelly

So if you are a worrier rather than a warrior then try out Rachels suggestions or better buy the book and gain lots of material to manage your wellbeing and mental health.

Happy Sunday to you all

and

Love & Rage!

 

DISCLAIMER:

I am not a health professional. My posts describe my thoughts, my experiences and my conclusions about life, mental health and self-improvement. My described actions always go alongside therapy and do not substitute professional advice by a health professional be it a doctor, therapist or counsellor.

I invite you to try out self-care tools, however, if any of these make you feel uncomfortable please stop and do not go further ahead. Also, if any of the tools suggested bring up issues that need dealing with do not hesitate to reach out for professional help. To recognise when you need to stop and when to reach out for professional or any other help is one important part to learn when it comes to self-care.

Please look here if you need further guidance:

UK:
Mind
NHS

USA:
MentalHealth.gov

Canada:
Government of Canada

 

Book Review: “Becoming One ~ A Story of Triumph over Dissociative Identity Disorder” by Sarah E. Olson

I posted this first in April 2015

Book Cover Becoming One by Sarah E. Olson

Publisher: Swan Pond Press
Publishing Date: 14 November 2014
Edition: updated 2014 e-book edition of 1997 paperback
Genre: non-fiction
Formats: e-book, paperback
Source: review copy by author in return for an honest review

Bees: 6 out of 6

About the story:

This is Sarah E. Olson’s account of her healing journey from dissociated survivor of abuse by a family friend to becoming one. Sarah sought help for eating problems but was diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder. Her therapist Howard Asher who wrote the foreword to this edition embarked very dedicated to the healing journey with her.

You are confronted with memories of the abuse, with the feelings connected and the development of healing in different ways: Sarah shows letters to her sisters and her therapist and transcriptions of her therapy sessions all connected with her account of what happened while doing therapy. She explains what happened to her while healing and describes the memory process.

About the author:

On Amazon it says about Sarah E. Olson:

“Sarah E. Olson is the author of “Becoming One: A Story Of Triumph Over Multiple Personality Disorder” (trade paperback published 1997) and has maintained an online presence since 1993. She just released her updated ebook edition “Becoming One: A Story Of Triumph Over Dissociative Identity Disorder.” The updated paperback edition will be published shortly.

Her blog ‘Third of a Lifetime’ contains a wealth of links pertaining to dissociation and PTSD. She also maintains on her blog the Dissociation Blog Showcase, an index of ~185 blogs which discuss dissociation primarily from a personal experience perspective.”

Note:

I have to admit I am doing something I usually don’t: I am writing this review before having read the whole book. I know some reviewers do this, but it does not feel right to me.

In this case, I decided differently because I can only read this book in small instalments. Being a survivor myself means reading about Sarah E. Olson’s healing journey activates my memories, new thoughts about my identity and a feeling of panic, fear, and chaos which for me is always connected with my past as well as new developments in my healing journey.

This book though deserves to be highlighted as it shows a very strong woman, who gives hope and encourages not to give in to one’s negative beliefs and that it is possible to overcome the hurdles of a survivor’s life and to become a thriver.

Honey Bees in the book:

“Becoming One” is a captivating book. It challenges one’s perception of “self” and “identity” as it is hard to understand that there can be more than one personality “living” in one body. The reality for many survivors of abuse though is that there are more than one living inside.

I love the way, how Sarah E. Olson changes between transcriptions of her therapy sessions with Howard Asher, her explanations of what happened in her life at that particular time, letters to her sisters and to her therapist as well as her own writings in those days.

She holds it all together in chapters that focus on different aspects of her healing like her resistance to the therapy process or hallucinations she experienced in one part of her healing.

This is a very positive book that emphasises the ability of survivors to overcome their survival strategies which have become troublesome. It certainly has started another process of healing in me. But it also describes what is necessary for this healing process. In the cases of survivors who have dissociated it means to have a dedicated therapist like Howard.

This is also a very courageous book: Sarah E. Olson shares very private experiences and writes about a syndrome that many do not believe exists: multiple personalities.

Stinging Bees in the book:

“Becoming One” is a tough book to read. The abuse she has gone through is so horrendous that I often have to skip reading about her memories. The unfairness of not being believed as a young child is hard to stomach. And it does trigger memories of own abuse if the reader is an abuse survivor.

And the mead of it all?

“Becoming One ~ A Story of Triumph over Dissociative Identity Disorder” is an important book to read especially today where the perceptions of abuse and how police, the justice system, and the public react on disclosures of abuse. Even though, it is a tough topic; this book is worth reading as it shows how you can change your life around no matter from what horrible past you suffer. And it explains many processes happening when you survive abuse to those who did not have to endure it. “Becoming One” is a book I will read on and off for the rest of my life.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Where to purchase “Becoming One ~ A Story of Triumph over Dissociative Identity Disorder”:

Amazon US
Amazon UK