Day 349, Grateful For My Face

Day 349, Grateful For My Face

 
Be glad your nose is on your face,
not pasted on some other place,
for if it were where it is not,
you might dislike your nose a lot.
 

Saturday Morning

 
What wonderful occurrences will come into my world this weekend?
 
It is Saturday, a day I typically take easy.  However, I feel motivated today and want to take advantage of that.  I do not feel motivated to do just anything, however.  With my attention to Dr. David Burns’ Feeling Good, serious psychological issues in my life have settled, particularly my thoughts and feelings about my parents.  Another wave of issues could be down the pike, but for the moment, I am not bothered by the should statements, labeling, and fortune-telling I have received because I can discount the cognitive distortions of other people as well as my own.  I am not telling myself what my parents should or should not do or should or should not have done.  Also, I am not fortune-telling their destiny either.
 
I feel a sense of peace about that.  For years, I have wanted to have a relationship of mutual respect and understanding.  In 2009, I knew that breaking away from the religion of my birth could drive a wedge between us.  To their credit, my parents did not disown me over it.  They did not kick me out of my downstairs apartment either.  Now my father has gone to heaven.  I still do not think we have arrived at a position of mutual understanding, but I keep trying.  However, one thing I have successfully resisted is always being at my mother’s beck and call.  I have my own life to live.  When I was a child, I played “house,” pretending I was a servant to my parents, and essentially I was.  I did not carry that into adulthood, however.
 
Feeling a sense of peace, I am ready to continue my new independence.  Fortunately, I live in a beautiful place.  I have a loving husband and time to pursue writing, something I love very much.  Expressing gratitude, if not daily, at least often engenders happiness.

 

Sunday Morning

 
I spent a few minutes going through my Joyful Vibrance Aspirations, my “Little Black Book” this morning.  Since April 15, 2019, I have completed about 300 items.  I see the ‘X’s filled in with circles of ink, representing my attention to the details of my life.  However, I have not run out of things to do.  I never will.
 
Today, also, I am taking it easy.  I did not sleep well last night, but I slept in later this morning.  I pray I am not on the verge of an episode.   I do not think I am.  For one thing, I still have a normal appetite, and during mania, I eat very little.  I am also settling into my regular rhythm of writing.  During mania, I typically would be unable to write much.
 

Katie’s New Face

 
Last night, I signed up for an online subscription to National Geographic.  Even though I have the DVDs, I am glad I made this decision.  Using my desktop version of National Geographic requires me to keep switching the DVDs.  Also, it does not have issues past 2008.  The online version has a complete archive.  I can also watch National Geographic videos.  I think it is a pretty good value for $12/year.
 
I read an article, Katie’s New Face, in the September 2018 edition last night.  If you or any of your loved ones are ever tempted to attempt suicide, this article is a good cure.  You never want to go through what Katie has.  Even though doctors “successfully” transplanted a new face, she was still not able to see well, and her face was not very appealing.  She could not even talk as well as she could before the transplant.
 
I am grateful that I have always sought help when I feel suicidal.  The worst I ever went through was electroconvulsive shock treatments in 1996, but even they did not do damage to my face as Katie experienced.  Since 1996, I have found less invasive methods of dealing with depression and have never had to repeat having ECT.  More about my experience is in my ebook, available here for free.
 
I must confess that stories like Katie’s of the damage caused by failed suicide attempts have stopped me from trying it myself.  If I attempted suicide, I would most likely live, but with what consequence?  Perhaps, a better way to handle my suicidal urges would be to think of why I value my life and do not want to throw it away.
 

Gratitude

 
Gratitude, of course, is one of the greatest antidotes to depression.  Even given grievous circumstances in life, we can still be grateful it is not worse.  One thing that occurred to me, while looking at Katie’s face, both old and new, is that I do not have to suffer what she does.  I am grateful for my face.
 

Sunday Evening

 

Preparing For My Day

 
5-10 things I am grateful for:
  • having enough food and being able to choose the type of food I eat, (with my husband, of course)
  • the relatively mild summer temperatures here in Colorado
  • having an air-conditioner
  • having not followed up on my suicidal urges in the past
  • my face
 
evening comments, feelings, ideas, moods, and empowering questions:
Now that I have read Daniel Goleman’s Focus, on what things and/or on which people could I focus to create good for myself and the planet?  Daniel thought that focusing on only one thing would not work.  He advocated a balanced focus.  What balanced focus would work for me?
 
mood and energy:
 
0-100
comments
mood:
88
feeling pretty good.
energy:
40
too little sleep last night.  Napping today helped.
 
accomplishments:
 
accomplishment
the reason it is important
next action(s)
1
Finished Daniel Goleman’s Focus.
Focus is a driver of excellence.
  • Ascertain the mood of the group.
  • Listen with empathy.
2
Spent a little more time than usual on Facebook this past week.
A clue to the mood of the group.
Do a little more Facebook.
3
Studied Katie’s New Face, National Geographic, September 2018.
I am grateful for my face.
Make some time for National Geographic.  Put it on JV Life Tracker.
4
Pan-fried filet mignon this past week.  (I gave my husband, who was then my boyfriend, filet mignon as a gift a number of years ago when he asked me to get him groceries.)
My husband loves it.
Eat it occasionally.
5
Finally received copies of my birth certificate.
Required documentation
Get a birth certificate for my husband also.
 

Monetizing My Blog

 
Today, I read about ways to monetize my blog.  One writer recommended against using ads.  He said they detract from the blog’s focus and do not bring in much revenue anyway.  Fortunately, I do not need ads at this time.  I do provide links to things related to my message.  I also need to focus on spreading the word.  If you like my message, please be a missionary for me.
 

Focus

 
I originally planned to focus my blog on losing 15 pounds, but it has evolved into exploring many aspects of mental health.  My goal is to help you improve your mood and energy.  My goal is also to improve my own mood and energy.  I have at least managed to stay out of the hospital during this past year, which has been rather stressful.  Last year, I scored 576 points on the Holmes and Rahe stress scale, which according to them, puts me at risk of illness.
 

Prayer

 
 
 
EVENING & Morning Prayer
 
Lord,
 
I am so grateful for my face!  In an instant, my face could be gone.  Fortunately, I sought help when suicidal urges became intrusive.  Having bipolar disorder, I face a lifetime suicide risk of 15%-20%.  Fortunately, I have not become a statistic.  However, my beau of 16 years did in 2013.  I have mostly recovered from this loss and hope he is doing well in heaven.
 
I now have a loving husband and a beautiful condo.  This blog is a creative outlet, where I can explore what to do to improve mood and energy.
 
Reviewing Dr. David D. Burns’ 10 cognitive distortions regularly helps me root out questionable thoughts–thoughts that would likely drive my mood and energy down.
 
I have also taken SAMe since April of this year, which has improved both my mood and energy.  However, no one thing does it all.  I need a constellation of things to shore up my mood and energy.  Exactly what is necessary and sufficient I do not know for sure.
 

Monday Afternoon

My morning walk to the
chiropractor’s and then the county library lifted my spirits.  I have two new books to explore:   Top of Mind by John Hall and Nothing Changes Until You Do by Mike Robbins.  Mike Robbins has already reminded me of the importance of loving myself.
 
The Bible teaches that I am to love others as myself (Mark 12:31).  Does that mean I am to love myself as I love others?  ‘As’ probably has a symmetric property like similarity.
 
If I do not love others, I do not love God (1 John 4:20).  Loving God is the greatest (Mark 12:28).
 
It follows that
  • I am to love myself as I love others, and
  • if I must love others to love God, and
  • loving God is the greatest,
then I am to love myself, others, and God.
 
Mike Robbins says he struggles with self-love.  Do most people?  Could it be that we are often hard on ourselves?  I think more and more, I do love myself.  I love the way I have expressed myself in this blog.
 
Bless my readers and myself to love ourselves, what we do, and even our face.
 
Amen.
 
If you would like to join me on this journey from the beginning, please start with Day One.
 
 
KaeLyn Morrill
 

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