Law of Attraction

Where did April go?

Here it is the final day on the calendar for the month of April 2013. How did it reach the end of April so fast? Where did April go?

I signed up at the last minute to participate in my fourth Ultimate Blog Challenge. I wishy washed, hemmed and hawed for a few minutes before I decided to go for it. I had been going through a difficult season with intermittent episodes of the fugue-like state that tends to accompany the depression that lives in me. I suspect it tends to rise up when there’s too much stress and anxiety over circumstances outside of my control – usually financial troubles and the people I love having difficulties coping with their lives – are often my triggers to this state. So, signing up for The Ultimate Blog Challenge a fourth time seemed like it could be just the thing to help keep me writing and focused on the present. The other sides to that were that I could completely stress out on not being able to keep up and/or just bail halfway through because other things were taking priority. However, I bit the bullet and signed up anyway.

I did not successfully complete the challenge this time by completing 30 posts in 30 days for the month of April 2013. According to my WordPress calendar, this will be my 22nd post on this blog in April. Considering March there were only 8 posts, I’ll take it as a considerable improvement. I also posted three times on my new blog over on Glipho.com. So, between the two locations, a total of 25 new posts published for the month of April. Just five posts short of the goal? I’ll take it and celebrate that I got that close.

I owe thanks to several other bloggers for jumping in and agreeing to guest post this month. I hope they will do so again in the future. I owe them a debt of gratitude for contributing here and bearing with my learning curve in the midst of my own personal brand of crazy that sometimes may have made it seem as though I was less invested than I truly am in having them partner with me and collaborate on what is happening here at Human In Recovery. In order of appearance I want to thank the following:

  • Gary Walter, a fellow member of the Dream Stoker Nation group I joined last month, shared a recent post of his, Insipid Fear: his childhood encounter with coyotes and the life lessons he’s learned in how to cope with the fear that creeps and invades our lives against our will.  Clicking on his name will take you to his site.
  • Robert Kennedy III, another new acquaintance from the Dream Stoker Nation, shared about What To Do When It Spins Out of Control. He has a new e-book coming out soon, 28 Days to a New Me. There is a corresponding Facebook page and an accountability and support group geared toward helping people transform their lives through setting and committing to doable goals and being accountable with others for following through. I’m signed up for the one that starts tomorrow and just committed to providing proof that I’m exercising – ruh roh!

Last, but by no means least

  •  Sara Lomas, one of my modern and recent heroines, talked about being Approximately Functional today when she shared her personal story about moving through the dark and getting to hope. You can find her words and art on her blog, Laments and Lullabies.

Making the decision to bring guest bloggers onto Human In Recovery was one of the best decisions I think I’ve ever made. It has increased my learning curve and challenged some beliefs I have had about myself and what I am capable of. I have managed to figure out how to be okay with being different in how I am able to follow through and follow up on things. I no longer think of myself as a “flake” when life happens and I am unable to meet an internal goal or external commitment. This gracious group of people gave me grace and acceptance, helping me to realize that I am more capable than I often give myself credit for. This is a huge shift for me and I’m still processing it.

I was welcomed by my friend, Marc Schelske, when he put out an open invitation to writers who have been connected with the church community he pastors. After I posted my introduction to the group, his response took my breath away and I couldn’t stop the tears for a minute.

“Even with all the chaos of your journey, I’ve always found you to be thoughtful and deep.”

It was simply stated as part of his welcome and encouragement to my inclusion in the group. But, it broke apart something inside of me, I didn’t realize I was still holding onto. This projected image of myself as I figured he and others have seen me over the years: a scattered, chaotic, unstable woman who is inconsistant and incapable of following through on anything for any length of time. I’ve never told him this is what I assumed he and others thought of me. It seemed too risky; either they would be on target and I would have confirmation of my lifelong loser status or I would have given him cause to see me as the crazy lady I believed he already saw.

I know that part of recovery is reaching the point where what others think of you no longer has the power to determine your self esteem. However, to have that part of me, a core part of myself that has been denied for so long, validated by someone I value and respect, has been significant for me.

Other good things have been happening or starting to happen and the fact that I am open to them and capable of recognizing them brings me to the understanding that April 2013 may have whizzed right on by without me taking too much notice of the time passing. However, it has been a full and fulfilling month setting me up for an equally exciting and adventurous May.

Managing hypomania: The best way to learn is to teach

Ever since I learned about this thing called Cyclothymia a couple of months ago, you can read about it here, things have been kind of better, somewhat confusing, and all over the map. Perhaps I should say, I have been all those things.

The day I wrote about Neverending Story was the onset of another hypomanic episode for me. I didn’t quite realize it at the time I was doing my writing. I actually didn’t start recognizing it for what it was until it was time to lie down and go to sleep and my brain was just spinning, spinning, and spinning with all the things I want to write about and craving conversation, debate, and interaction with others who all seemed dormant in my preferred interactive forum of Facebook.

Tuesday at 11:09pm: Why is it I get so amped after writing? Feels like synapses are not going to settle down and let me sleep.

I gave up, got up and went out into the living room and logged onto the computer so I could use a full size keyboard and sit upright without disturbing the other sleeping bodies occupying the bed, Luna and her daddy.

I found another late night insomniac who I met through my daughter almost two years ago when she couch surfed at our apartment. We’ve chatted a few other times during 3rd shift when sleep eluded us both. We wound up discussing the difficulties with feeling out of control when she posted this statement:

I know I’m doing really good for myself right now… But why do I feel soooooooooooooo bi polar…I just wanna put my head through a wall!

The public conversation included me offering information about cyclothymia and then went private as she asked questions and shared about her experiences with relationships and how to cope with these kinds of overwhelming and out of control thoughts and moods.

The-best-way-to-learn-is

“The best way to learn is to teach.” ~ Frank Oppenheimer

I found myself responding to her questions and plaintive expressions of pain with the following:

Sometimes you have to focus on what you know, instead of what you feel, think, or believe. I KNOW I am loved and worthy of love, although much of the time I don’t feel, think, or believe it. Taking action on that knowledge helps me stop reacting in negative and harmful ways when other people whom I love don’t treat me the way I want and need them too. It helps me to respond differently than I otherwise would and has gone a LONG way in healing my relationships with my adult kids and Keith. Especially once I take into account how long and difficult the journey has been for me to choose loving action in the face of overwhelming feelings of rejection, depression, and judgmentalism, theirs and my own. 

“Yessss…I definitely understand your words and they are actually helping me in ways…I never understand my feelings and when other people tell me I’m negative all the time.. Or I’m depressed all the time or they don’t know what to do… Its like Ummm… Neither do I so why don’t you relax cuz neither of us understands it….! I just have been trying to stick around true souls and positive people… But I miss some people a lot and I’d give anything to keep them in my life and make them see.. Its not them… It is me… But Theres only so much I can do at times and others need to accept that. I’d accept my friends if they were homeless, lost, and had nothing to give… I’d give them the shirt off my back… But yeah…”

I could see the she in me when I read those words. It brought so many thoughts and memories about the lost and broken relationships in my life, as well as the lost and broken dreams.

Thankfully, because I’ve been doing the research on cyclothymia and working through my own healing and recovery process, I can look at recent history and recognize that new and healthier relationships are forming while bent and damaged ones are being healed and restored. So, when she asked, “What are some coping skills you have learned work well… Maybe its worth a shot for me ta try…,” I had a constructive response:

The 12 Steps of recovery have helped. One fb page, Codependent Life, has a lot of good stuff that helps me to reevaluate how I deal with people.

I started writing on my blog in December 2011 and was attending some recovery groups online and in person. I wrote about what was going on inside of me, in my life, and writing out some of the steps and meditations I had been reading through and studying.

As time went on, little by little, I started connecting with other bloggers who were experiencing various mental health, physical health, and relationship issues. I would read and comment and really think about what I was doing that was contributing to the problems I was experiencing and just praying, wishing, hoping for ways to move out of that negative head and heart space.

Acknowledging and taking ownership of my powerlessness in these things really helped me to start refocusing on what WAS in my control. I had to reevaluate my beliefs about God and His love for me and others. I realized that the only way I was going to heal and get unstuck was continually turning everything that I couldn’t control over to my Higher Power and trust that I would come out on the other side.

Step 1: I can’t. I was powerless over my own emotions, attitudes, and even actions. I still am to a large degree. My life was unmanageable and I was overwhelmed by everyone and everything in it.
Step 2: God can. Whether it is the “Christian” God or Love or the Universe, I had to recognize that a power greater than myself could and is restoring me to sanity.
Step 3: I think I’ll let him. I had to let go of my fierce desire and need to control the outcome and get people to understand, love, and treat me the way I wanted to be understood, loved, and treated. I had to trust that the Law of Attraction was strongly at work in my life and all the negative energy I was generating and focusing on was coming back to me in all areas of my life. I needed to find ways to turn that negativity over and find ways to reframe my negative thoughts.

The next day, I realized that by engaging with her about these things and sharing my own experiences, I had actually been reinforcing and teaching myself about managing my own hypomania.

To be continued . . .

Click here to find out more about Blog for Mental health 2013

Click here to find out more about Blog for Mental health 2013