Day 531, Resilience

 
“Resilience is knowing that you are the only one that has the power and the responsibility to pick yourself up.”
 
-Mary Holloway
 
What do we really want of our lives when it seems everything goes awry, and we lose the fondest hopes of our childhood?  We want something that is even more meaningful than what we started with.  Resilience is to personify meaning that is even greater than what we had before a traumatic event.  Consider joining this journey for a better mood and energy level, and see if you can find even more meaning and resilience than your original intention.
 

Thursday Afternoon

 
Today, I went to the dentist.  I got home euphoric, glad that I switched from the dentist I had last year.
 

Friday Morning, Valentine’s Day

 
It has now been a full year since I started posting images on all of my blog entries.  Since then, I started using Serif Affinity Designer.  Whether it will make a designer of me remains to be seen.
 
At the beginning of the week, I set out to design a valentine but do not have it done.  At least, I greeted my husband, “Happy Valentine’s Day!” this morning.  I look forward to longer days ahead.  Though I have not kept my intention to walk to the library daily, I have had ample reading material.  I have already read three books this year and am currently reading several other works, including a cookbook.
 

Cookbook

 
I have rarely read a cookbook from cover-to-cover, except my own (KaeLyn’s Korner Kitchen,) but I thought, why not?  I came across a recipe in it for boiled eggs.  The chef’s method was different than mine, but I tried it, and it worked out.  All you do is bring the eggs to a boil, take them off the heat, cover them, and let them sit ten minutes.  Very easy.  Maybe you already knew to do that, but I did not, and I wrote a cookbook.
 
Lately, I have been eating more, and we are running out of several things.  My husband and I were just now discussing the shopping list.  Also, our cosmetologist is supposed to come this afternoon.  Last Friday, she postponed until today because of the snow.  My fingernails still look pretty good.  However, one of them has ridges in it because of eczema on my finger.  I am taking evening primrose oil to prevent a recurrence.
 

Morning Ritual

 
I added an NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) exercise to my morning ritual for February to tame down the hurt feelings I have had from Mom’s comments.  I listed twelve things she did for me over the years that were astounding.  I am visualizing those twelve events to replace my bad memories with good.  I think it is working as my bad feelings are abating.
 
 

Valentine’s Day

 
Today is the day of love–Valentine’s Day.  This morning, I went back to bed and slept in until 10:30 AM.  Yesterday, I planned a trip to Home Depot today.  However, my husband says it can wait until tomorrow, so perhaps I will put it off and write instead.
 

Focus

 
What would it take for me to get my focus back?  I wrote about getting my focus back on July 26, 2019, Day 325, Getting My Focus Back.   I wrote, “I told him [my chiropractor] I wanted to create more pleasure in life and build positive memories.”  NLP will help me strengthen the neurons for my happy memories.  I also planned to re-focus on Cronometer and JV Life Tracker.
 
I did make progress after July 2019, though it took a couple of months to make a weight loss breakthrough.  In the meantime, my blog took off with eleven entries in August and eight in September.  However, that is looking back.  Let me look forward.
 
I have only 960 minutes logged so far on my projects for February, with no time logged for my ebook.  I got distracted this week with Mormon studies, which are very intriguing but do not help me with my projects.  They tend to send my thoughts back to the past, rather than staying in the present.  This week I set an intention to do those studies only on Sunday and not throughout the week. Regrettably, I did not hold to that intention.  I need a different strategy.
 
Maybe re-focusing on my meditation is the answer.  That will free me to direct my thoughts to something now, rather than getting stuck in addictive patterns.  There.  I did it for today.
 

Saturday Morning

 

Cosmetologist

 
Our cosmetologist came over yesterday afternoon with her female, therapy, chihuahua.  She gave my husband and me haircuts and manicures and my husband a pedicure.  While getting my manicure, I explained to her how I had resolved my feelings about Mom.  Or at least what I had done so far to feel better.
 
It felt great to get fixed up.  One of my fingernails had cracked.  Our cosmetologist repaired it with super glue.  I had not even noticed the crack.
 

Up Early

 
Now, I am up very early in the morning again, at 2:05 AM.  Thankfully, I slept much of the day yesterday, so I am not too tired.
 

Calorie Budget

 
Yesterday, I ate within my calorie budget, which I have not done for a while.  I want to reverse my recent weight gain.  When I wake up this early, it is almost impossible to go until breakfast time without eating.  I will do what I can.  I am having some V8, so I can get plenty of electrolytes.  When I am depleted of sodium and potassium, I feel faint.
 

Depression and Weight Gain

 
On my weight graphs, I noticed that at the end of 2014, I had a period of weight gain as I had at the end of last year.  In 2014, I had a notable depression before and after I lost a contract computer job.  Depression and weight increase go hand in hand.  I believe if I turn my mood around, I can resolve that.
 
So how do I do that?  How can anyone do that?  My morning ritual and gratitude practice are excellent places to start.  I have also done Morning Pages as described by Julia Cameron.  You can try that.  I will write my blog entries right now instead.
 
Preparing For My Day
 
5-10 things I am grateful for:
  • finding a better dentist
  • securing a better faith
  • the Institute for Integrative Nutrition
  • loans I have borrowed and paid off
  • computers I have owned since 1985
  • my husband since 2018
  • spoons
  • the snow removal crew for our condo
 
 
comments, feelings, ideas, moods, and empowering questions:
I am glad I have learned more about trust lately.  Trust is empowering.
 
 
0-100
comments
mood:
75
I am feeling better.
energy:
70
I now need to channel my movements into desired results.
 
accomplishments:
 
accomplishment
the reason it is important
next action(s)
1.
I watched a YouTube video called Lifespan “Why We Age and Why We Don’t Have To” about fascinating new developments in epigenetics research.
Health and Longevity
Do not give up your study of biochemistry.
2.
I decided that the best diet for my husband with his anxiety disorder is probably the paleo diet.
Health and Longevity
Support the way my husband likes to eat.  It uses more meat than I am used to, but it works for him.
3.
I decided not to pressure myself to get employment as there is little chance I could be competitive in the current job market.  Accepting this is an accomplishment.
Career
Your job is to care for yourself and your husband.  Please make the most of it.  Do your five projects as you can.
4.
I have not discovered how to prevent depressive episodes from ever occurring.  Accepting this is an accomplishment.  However, I know how to get out of depressions.
Mental health
Keep trying to shorten the length of time spent in depression, being patient with yourself because you cannot just snap out of it.
5
Getting back in counseling could not be avoided.  However, it is probably advantageous.
Mental health
Make the most of your counseling sessions.
 

Sunday Morning

 
I called Mom and had an enlivening talk with her yesterday evening.  There is hope for a better relationship with her in the future.   Also, my best girlfriend from Utah called yesterday, and we talked for a long time.
 

Love

 
I also read Motivation Manifesto about love.  To some extent, I have barricaded myself against love for the past twenty years.  I have shut off contact with people so I could do my projects.  For the most part, my relationships did not fare well, and neither did my projects.  My life has become a great deal more loving since my husband and I married in 2018.  Now is the time to become even more loving, though I confess I have a great deal to learn.
 

Bible

 
Yesterday, I finished the Book of Mark in the Bible.  Jacque asked me to study it to start my Bible study.  I used the NIV (New International Version).
 

Dialog

 
I have gone back to talking to the Lord in my mind, realizing that both parts of my dialog come from myself.  However, it seems the more I know the Savior, the more the replies are like what the Lord would say to me.  He may even influence them.  It is peace-promoting not to feel alone.  
 
How can I turn that dialog into a happy, productive life?  Fortunately, my husband is already satisfied with me.  He is not urging me to go faster and faster.  It is probably the manic part of myself that drives me into a fury, which is then interrupted by severe slumps.  Instead, I want consistent, loving action.
 

Consistency

 
Consistency is especially a challenge for someone with bipolar disorder.  However, consistency is still one of my top values, even though my life during the last two months has been anything but consistent.  I have been up a few days then down a few days, going in rapid cycles.  I am still keeping JV Life Tracker, missing only a rare day here and there.  That seems to keep me going.  However, my lower scores do indicate that I am not working on as many of my goals.
 

More on Focus

 
I have considered the possibility that I have too many goals.  Even earlier in this entry, I mentioned setting several intentions for myself that I did not keep. Perhaps I set too many.  In a world with so many possibilities, we sometimes want to do the work of several, or even more, people.  Focusing on the most meaningful activities is often necessary.
 

Delegation

 
Leaders with a great deal of influence depend on delegating most of their responsibility.  They cannot do it all themselves.   It is worthwhile to dream big but not to count on doing it single-handedly.
 
Friday, Habitat for Humanity, a cause I support, called.  They serve millions of people, but they do not do it without help.  They depend on their donors and volunteers.  Even their recipients are required to do a lot of work.  Working together, people can accomplish much by an organized effort.
 

Monday Morning

 
Yesterday, I compiled a list of what you get with bipolar disorder, type I, treated with lithium and risperidone.  It is a horrendous list.  The treatments reduce the symptoms of bipolar, but they have terrible consequences themselves.  A few of these items I have not experienced myself, but I am at risk.  They are listed saying ‘risk’ or ‘potential.’  Here is my list so far:
 

What You Get from Bipolar Disorder Treated with Lithium and Risperdal

(From the disorder, the treatment, society, or who knows?)

 
  1. Severe Mood Swings
  2. Severe Fluctuations in Energy
  3. Inflated to Non-existent Self-Esteem
  4. Hallucinations
  5. Delusions
  6. Psychoses
  7. Disorientation
  8. Diabetes Insipidus
  9. Polyuria
  10. Polydipsia
  11. Thyroid Disease
  12. Weight Gain
  13. Increased Hunger
  14. Horrible Thirst
  15. Dry Eyes (interfering with vision)
  16. Difficulty Expressing Tears
  17. Intolerance to Cold and Heat
  18. Reduced Ability to Sweat
  19. Gum Disease from Dry Mouth
  20. Having to Go All the Time
  21. Dehydration
  22. Suicide Ideations
  23. Shock Treatments
  24. Severe Depression
  25. Hopelessness
  26. Anxiety
  27. Mania
  28. Lack of Motivation
  29. Lack of Being Able to Achieve Continuity on Projects
  30. Difficulty Getting Out of Bed When Depressed
  31. Inability to Secure or Retain Employment
  32. Social Stigma
  33. Aches and Pains
  34. Drowsiness
  35. Fatigue
  36. Delayed Reaction Time
  37. Memory Blackouts
  38. Potential Early Death from Sudden Heart Failure
  39. Potential Blindness from Medications
  40. Nystagmus or Involuntary Movements of the Eyes
  41. Blurred Vision
  42. Swollen Eyes
  43. Higher Likelihood of Being a Crime Victim
  44. Loss of Romantic Partners Who Cannot Handle It
  45. Potential Birth Defects in Offspring from Medication
  46. Greater Risk of Diabetes
  47. Inability to Breastfeed
  48. Being Excluded from Health Insurance Coverage
  49. Greater Susceptibility to Alcohol
  50. Greater Susceptibility to Sugar
  51. Greater Risk of Obesity
  52. Having to Get a Doctor’s Okay For a Driver’s License
  53. Driver’s License Restrictions
  54. Doctor’s Courts
  55. Getting Picked Up By the Police
  56. Being Forced into Mediation
  57. Being Forced into Counseling
  58. Being Forced to Take Medication
  59. Having to Get Frequent Blood Tests
  60. Cost of Buying Medication
  61. High Cost of Counseling
  62. High Cost of Ambulance and Emergency Services
  63. Very High Cost of Hospitalization(s)
  64. Constipation
  65. Increased Acne
  66. Trouble Concentrating
  67. Nausea
  68. Cramps from Loss of Potassium
  69. Brain Shrinkage
  70. Progressively Worse Symptoms Over Time
  71. Kidney Damage
  72. Allergic Reactions to Medications
  73. Risk of Tardive Dyskinesia
  74. Rages
  75. Pacing
  76. Akathesia
  77. Eczema
  78. Insomnia
  79. Mental Confusion
  80. Ringing in the Ears
  81. Short-term Memory Loss
  82. Dizziness
  83. Hand Tremor
  84. Increased Prolactin
  85. Early Loss of Menstrual Cycle
  86. Breast Tenderness from High Prolactin
  87. Sexual Dysfunction
  88. Increased Chlorine Sensitivity
  89. 40% Greater Chance of Divorce
  90. High Risk of Passing Mental Illness to Offspring
  91. Nine-to-Twenty-Year Average Reduction in Life Expectancy
  92. 20% Lifetime Risk of Death from Suicide
  93. Judgment Impairment During Mania
  94. Impulsiveness During Mania
  95. Exclusion from Academic Programs
  96. Exclusion from Volunteer Programs
  97. Losing Your Job When Your Boss Learns About Your Diagnosis
  98. Or Getting Put On Probation If Not Losing Your Job
  99. Not Qualifying for Unemployment Benefits
  100. Being Told to Keep Quiet, But You Need Understanding and Support
 
This list did not make me feel better about my condition.  However, it gave me an appreciation for what I have battled.  I hope this list will provide you with an appreciation for what you or your loved ones are enduring if you have this or similar conditions and treatments.  This is not an exhaustive list.  It is just what has affected me.
 
Sometimes, I have been ‘mad at God’ for allowing mental illnesses to occur to anyone.  However, I believe there must be some reason for it in the grand scheme of things.  The New Testament makes it clear that He was able to heal these things.  Why he has not cured my condition has remained a mystery to me, but perhaps there is some reason for that as well, though I have not discovered it.  I keep battling the above things one-by-one.  It has not been easy.
 

Recovery

 
NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) speaks of recovery.  I did not understand that term at first.  I was looking for a 100% cure or nothing.  Now I know that recovery is a process, and you may need to do it repeatedly.  Recovery brings you back to a productive life, even though it may not look like the manner of living you once had.  You gradually let go of clinging to the wish for the life you thought you were going to have without the disorder and embrace something new, maybe more than one thing.  It is a grieving process, and your loved ones may grieve along with you.  They will see that you need to adjust your expectations and go for something more realistic, considering your capabilities.   I cannot claim that I have reached 100% acceptance.  However, resisting reality is one of the things that cause depression.  It could be that a few more doses of acceptance will help relieve my downtime.
 

Acceptance

 
So how do we reach acceptance?  Gratitude, of course, is one of the pathways.  I often insert my gratitude practice into my blog entries.  I think doing that helps me.  Whether it makes a better blog entry, I have yet to determine.  However, it helps remind you that your own gratitude practice is crucial.
 
What else helps acceptance?  Sometimes we can see that things, as they have transpired, were for the best.  My husband and I knew each other for thirteen and a half years before we married.  I could mourn that it was such a long time.  However, I know if I had not grown as I did during that time and gotten to know my husband as well as I did, I could not have had such an awesome marriage with him.  So the wait was for the best.  I sometimes feel like I should not have given my house to my parents.  However, if I had not, I would have probably had to sell it to pay for hospital bills.  As it was, my parents preserved a home for me, and I have never been homeless.    
 

Resilience

 
There are other things like that.  Sometimes these kinds of things are hard to see, and of course, you can view it from a totally different, negative perspective.  The essential thing is to see events in an optimistic light.  I recently read of a woman who was caught in a tornado.  She was able to rescue her children, but her legs were trapped in the debris left by the storm.  Afterward, she had to have both of them amputated.  Rather than feel sorry for herself, she took up the cause of amputees and began doing work to help.  This is an example of resilience.
 
How can we, as seekers of mental health, personify resilience?  I did not think of this much until I read a library book called, Type R:  Transformative Resilience for Thriving in a Turbulent World, by Ama and Stephanie Marston.  This is where the story of the woman in the tornado came from.
 
The Marstons describe a Type R personality.  It is taking something horrible that has happened to you, and creating something even better than what you would have had had the event never occurred.  We can think of our mental health diagnosis as that horrible event.  Do you believe this is possible?  Even with that horrendous list that I pasted in earlier?  Yeah, admittedly, this is even harder than making lemonade out of lemons.
 
An Example of Resilience    
 
My aunt was diagnosed with manic-depression before I was.  She went back to college, graduated, and taught kindergarten until she retired.  Not only that, she raised the five children she had before her diagnosis and greeted many grandchildren besides.  She went on a mission with her husband.  Though she may not think of all this as resilience, I do.
 
What is right for me? I am still struggling with this acceptance/resilience thing.  In 1998, I left a career in software engineering.  Though I have not found anything as lucrative, my church service, writing, programming, and music have been outlets for my talents.  In 2018, I married again, bringing me the fulfillment I did not even expect.  I did not have children, except step-children, but decided that my decision about this was for the best.  With everything I went through, I likely would have lost my children to family members or the state government.  That would have been heart-wrenching, and I am glad I was spared.  I am glad my children were also saved.
 

Monday Evening

 

Prayer

 
 
EVENING PRAYER
 
Dear Lord,
 
Resilience is the answer.  We pick up the pieces of our lives and make something better than we would have had had a horrible event never occurred.
 
Is it always possible to see that we have something better?  Sometimes we have to get a little creative about the way we look at things.  Some people may look at us, feel sorry for us, and just see a tragedy.  It is beneficial for us to work on some projects we can leave as a legacy that says we have triumphed in our lives.
 
Of course, getting continuity on a project is nigh impossible for us.  Further episodes chop up the effort, making it hard to work on, let alone finish.  However, we must do something anyway, and resume activity on our aims whenever we can, as soon as we can, even if it is years later.
 
Lord, help me to encourage these projects.  Help me to
do what I have started myself.  Help me not to be tempted to keep starting new projects I can never finish but to focus on those that I already have underway.
 
We may be disappointed in the early results of our projects.  Our stats may be low, or the projects may seem to take too long.  Gutzon Borglum, who carved Mount Rushmore, never finished his work, but his son carried on after his death.  We can change scope if necessary, which Gutzon also did.  We need not only projects, but we also need love.  A new husband can be a project too.
 
Think of Joni Eareckson Tada, author, radio host, and philanthropist who created art after becoming a quadriplegic.  She did not wait in her room for a 100% cure.  She made beautiful things and even married, perhaps doing more good than she would have had the accident never occurred.  She has resilience.
 
Amen.
 
If you would like to join me on this journey from the beginning, please start with Day One.
 
 
 

1 thought on “Day 531, Resilience”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.