Today, I enjoy relaxing in my reclining leather loveseat next to my ten-month-old black lab puppy, Lulu. She rests her warm head on my leg. I am excited about the impending birth of my first grandchild who is expected later this month. It is now spring and my moods have lifted. On a day like this, with the sun shining and a slight breeze coming in, you would never guess that I am in recovery. On a day like this, it seems impossible that a bit more than 2629 days ago, this day wasn’t going to happen. I thought January 8, 2010, was to be my last day.
When we have depression, basic life tasks can be difficult, so trying to work on top of that can be a real challenge. Depression can interfere with our ability to work – for some of us that might mean we can’t work at all, for others it might mean that we need certain adjustments in the workplace.
(Please note the information that follows applies to the rights at work for those based in the UK. Other countries will have different systems and regulations).
I’m back, and today I chose to write about the road to recovery from my eating disorder (ED). Who’s with me?!
Negative coping skills related to ED’s are in one word, exhausting. The behaviors, rituals, and all the thinking about food and my body consumed a large part of every single day of my life for the better part of an entire DECADE. Over time, I realized that I wanted to live life again - in the present. I wanted meaningful relationships and experiences - I wanted to laugh and remember the days where I just listened to myself, not my ED voice - I wanted to live life for me. And most of all, above anything, I wanted to be free. Liberated.
It’s been a sad week for me. See, last week my cat ran away. Twelve years ago, when we found her she was a scraggly, very angry, almost dead kitten. When she snuck out our kitchen, she was just a scraggly, old, mean cat. This is her. Lucille (Lucy) Saphillo.
Doesn’t look like much does she? I mean most people love their animals, blah, blah. Right? However, this one redefined my whole self-image. Heck, you could even say she taught me how to love. (more…)
My journey comes to a close, but the road of healthy habits does not end.
Routine behaviors - healthy habits - are a great way to establish a set of regular practices that carry benefits to your mental and physical health. The goal is to make these a natural part of your schedule - as natural as brushing your teeth in the morning. At that point, these natural activities - your healthy habits - can provide a regular stream of feel-good hormones (endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin) that keep your mood up, and your mind engaged on positive emotions. Sounds pretty useful. (more…)
It’s no secret to those of us who deal with anxiety that it’s not just being really, really nervous. Forty million adults deal with anxiety disorders, according to the National Institute of Mental Health , and only 42.2 percent of those people are in treatment. Recently, Psychology Today reported that the American Psychological Association released the 411 from its annual Stress in America study, and the results aren’t comforting: “In January 2017, for the first time in its 10 year history, the survey found a statistically significant increase in stress levels in America, compared to last year.” Troubling as this may be, if you’re reading this article, you’re in luck; there are things you can do to combat your anxiety, and reading poetry is one of them.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America’s “How to Deal with Stress and Anxiety” handout provides helpful, and more than a few of them point to the power of poetry. Whether you decide to “take a time out” or “slowly count to ten” or “take deep breaths,” poetry can be a piece of your self-care plan. After all, reading poems helps you press pause on life, focussing your attention on the moment (much like practicing yogic breathing). Ready to give it a shot? These seven poems might help.