Socializing 

I haven’t socialized much since the brain injury.  There are three friends that I socialize with at all.  They understand the brain injury and the issues the challenge me. 

I decided to go to a picinic by and for pagans in a park.  The Diversity Say celebration was going on in another area but it wasn’t crowded or noisy in the picnic area.  Sensory overload wasn’t a major issue.  

The picnic was horrible. I was invisible.  Two people “saw” me- one was the organizer.  I tried others but it was awkward and short.  

I went up to the Diversity Day.  The politicians running for office, the people at the Baha’i and Muslim displays talked to me. I didn’t stay long as I was getting  tired and the area was more noisy and busy.

  The Baha’i and Muslims were the most open and patient.  They spoke to me and saw me as a person.  The conversations were interesting.  They didn’t treat me like I am stupid. Well, honestly,  the pagans didn’t treat me like I pm stupid.  I was just invisible.

 The politicians were fine too- but that was all politics.  I bought a couple of bumper stickers.

When I got home and thought about the experience at the picnic, I cried.  I felt so isolated and alone.  Rejection sucks.  I’ll stick with my friends here in the community and on Facebook from now on.  

Challenge of the Day

We all get caught up in the stress and busyness of life.  At times, we power on, feeling a vague sense of “there must be something more than this.”

For those of us struggling with mental and/or physical health issues- breaking out of the rut, helping someone else, taking care of ourselves, and/or stretching our comfort zones can help in healing.

Challenge of the Day: Choose one or more activities from this list to do.  

  1. Hold the door open for someone
  2. Say hello
  3. Send a letter or card to a friend, family member, or someone else p
  4. Do something nice for someone
  5. Donate to charity 
  6. Volunteer in the community
  7. Carry a plastic bag and pick up litter 
  8. Kiss your significant other
  9. Tell someone that you love how you feel
  10. Give someone flowers
  11. Exercise
  12. Practice meditation, mindfulness, or yoga
  13. Take a relaxing bath
  14. Read something for fun
  15. Go to bed at a reasonable hour
  16. Do something silly like skipping down the street
  17. Tell a joke
  18. Pet a dog, cat, or other animal
  19. Try something new 
  20. Take a drive 
  21. Have a picnic
  22. Hike
  23. Go to a museum
  24. Cook dinner and clean up
  25. Do something you like

Taking care of yourself makes for a healthier and more balanced life.  Doing for others takes you outside yourself and makes a difference for another person. Small things make a difference.

Healthy living to you

My offering for the night: a stupid joke.  Enjoy

Sad Day

DIP KaliyahThe choice to send a beloved fur child to Rainbow Bridge is a difficult decision. It is but wrenching. I made that choice for Kaliyah today .

She was an independent,curious, and adventurous soul. Kaliyah was always a bit of a solo ferret whose main enjoyments were exploring, stealing, and stashing. She enjoyed good cuddle, play, and grooming sessions with other ferrets and Cat Brighid.

The cage is empty now. All my ferrets wait at Rainbow Bridge. 

It is strangely quiet. No thumping as a ferret leaps from a hammock and engages in a good scratching session in the cage; no scrabble of ferret paws on the floor; no more chasing a ferret that just stole my running socks-again. I have always had a ferret-or two,or three, or five- since 1999. Now the cage is empty, silent, forlorn.  
The right choice are always the hardest. I’m relieved Kaliyah is no longer sick and in pain. When she perked up a bit at the veterinary clinic, there was a part of me that wondered if it was the right choice. I wanted to take her home so much. But I knew her body was done. 

fly high. at the Bridge


Bright 

Eyes shine

Ferret dances and

Dooks while chasing toys

Then through a forbidden door

Left open beckoning exploration

Found the socks

Hidden safely

Asleep

Sensitive

A friend of mine tried to distract her daughter from watching a Humane Society commercial.  She is a sensitive kid and her mom was worried that the commercial would upset her.  Ella’s response:

” Yes, I am sensitive, but it’s my sensitive heart that makes me the perfect person to help others. If my heart was hard, I wouldn’t care. I hope I never stop being sensitive, even if that means sometimes my heart gets broken. Broken hearts can heal, but how do you fix someone who doesn’t care? 3❤❤❤ <3″ This is such a deep response from an 8 year old.  

Words of wisdom from an 8year old girl.
I was a sensitive kid.  Often my mother was critical of me.  She blamed my pain from being bullied as me being “too sensitive” and it would stop if I  would be like other kids.  It took me until I was an adult to realize that this was her attempt protect me.  Yet, as a child it only brought more pain.  I couldn’t depend on my mother for support.  I was lucky.  I had support from my brother and sister. The bullying pretty much stopped in high school.

Yes, I am sensitive, but it’s my sensitive heart that makes me the perfect person to help others. If my heart was hard, I wouldn’t care. I hope I never stop being sensitive, even if that means sometimes my heart gets broken. Broken hearts can heal, but how do you fix someone who doesn’t care? 3❤❤❤❤

Ironically, some of the kids who used to bully me started coming to me with problems.  I listened and didn’t judge.  And I wanted to help.  

I became a social worker.  Social workers often work with people on the fringes of society: the poor, people with substance abuse and/or mental illness, aanjsed children.  Some work in other ways such as hospital social workers.  Our jobs require a bit of sensitivity to others.  I grew up to be in a field that focuses on people needing some sort of help.

Sensitive kids and adults need support from friends and family.  The sensitivity that leads us to help others also causes us to often be hurt.   If you are a sensitive person, do not let anyone make you feel guilty, weak, or useless.  We have an important place in the world.  Someone has to care.  We do.

A Change of Post

I wrote about my meditation this morning in my recovery journal.  I usually share my thoughts in this blog.  Not today.

Today I need to talk about a passion in my life: ferrets. I love ferrets.  I’ve had them since 1999. I was blessed with nine wonderful  little lives:

Merlynn, Jester, Zahn, Druid, Lady Tosca, Koda Bear, Talisein, Bobby, and Kaliyah.

I have seven waiting at Rainbow Bridge.  I found out today that my little Kaliyah- my only ferret- has lymphoma.  She will soon join her friends and siblings at Rainbow Bridge.

bobby hanging out


Ferrets have given so much laughter, joys, frustrations, and tears. They shine brightly and burn out too soon.   Jester’s boundless energy and play- that little ferret never held still.  She was always bouncing, hiding, stealing, stashing.  Merlynn was a bit more dignified but was a wonderful thief.  She knew how to use zippers and loved to steal my mom’s wallet out of her purse whenever she visited.  Mom didn’t believe Merlynn could open zippers until she climbed up on a chair, unzipped mom’s purse, took her wallet and started to drag it under the couch.  Mom stared at her, then started laughing.  Koda loved his food.  He learned several tricks.  He also knew zippers.  Each one of my ferrets have a funny memory connected to them.  In most ways, the happiness balances out the sadness when they go to Rainbow Bridge. 

Taliesin shows ferrets can climb


koda bear and kaliyah steals a running shoe


Kaliyah is going to Rainow Bridge soon.  I think I’m taking a break after Kaliyah goes to the Bridge. I love them but I just don’t want to open my home to another one. At least not for a while. 

jester


I’m certain some day in the future another ferret will find a home here.  But, not for a while.  My heart is too sore.

Daily Relfection

“When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways-either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits, or by using the challenge to find our inner strength.” Dalai Lama 

Tragedies are defined by someone’s experiences and view points.  What is tragic for one won’t be for another.  Like PTSD, people can experience the same stressor but respond differently.  

My injury was a tragedy for me.  My life changed totally and I have problems I never thought I’d have.  I see myself in both parts of the quote.  I lose hope- too often.  I want to give up.  Nothing matters.  I self destruct with suicidal thoughts, withdrawal, dietary changes.  In many ways, my activity becomes dangerous- running at two in the morning, not taking rest days.  Yet, my activity also is a big part of coping.  

Depression tips the scales.  When that monster jumps on my back, I spiral into hopelessness and negativity. 

People can’t choose not to be depressed.  It is a journey of healing.  Some people go on to recover over time- others will struggle for life.  Many times people improve but have episodes of depression that returns.  I don’t choose to be depressed.  This is another challenge.  

Ok, Universe, I’m challenged enough!  Knock it off already!

I choose to find inner strength.  It’s a daily action: a conscious choice.  And it’s a climb up the side of a mountain.  I fall.  I slide down the mountain.   At times, I lay on my face, not moving at all. The clouds of depression and despair roll over me. Eventually,  I manage to continue the climb- sometimes I crawl for a distance, other times, I get to my feet.  

Other times, it’s a brief trip and fall and I get up immediately.

We still can choose to stay in despair or try to find the inner strength to meet the challenges.  

What do you choose?