100% Success Rate For Over 35 Years

That’s right, I have kept myself alive 100% of the time for over 35 years now.  Maybe that’s a funny way of looking at things, but when you live a life that very often involves suicidal ideation or, on the flip side, very dangerous and risky behavior, you have to figure that 100% is a pretty good number at the end of a 35 year stretch.

For all of the moments of “give up” I have had in the past, the fleeting “give ups” that I have at present, and the “give ups” that I know are going to be thoughts in my future as a person who deals with mental illness, I can say that, at this very moment in time, I have no “give ups” in me, at this current time.

Of course, that could change within the next hour or week or month or whatever period of time you can conceive of.  And, it probably will.  But when things are semi-ok, when I have a day, even just a single day where I feel like I have passed through like a semi-successful human being, I need to write it down, to commemorate it, to throw it a freaking ticker-tape parade.  Sometimes I can go really long stretches without a day like today, and every great once in awhile, I will have a string of “give up” free days.  I don’t have a string of them at the moment, but I have today.

Today was a pretty good day.  I had only very fleeting thoughts of going up, and for the most part my mind just kept pushing me to go on farther, harder, faster, better, more efficient, more brave.  I went into a craft store today, and I did not totally freak out while inside, and spent the better part of 30 minutes in there.  That is no small feat, because as a general rule for the past months, I go absolutely nowhere, not even usually to appointments.

But I had a gift card, and the wise mind part of me knows that, if I have materials that inspire me, I will be more likely to do crafting-type-stuff, which, generally, makes me feel a little better.  I pushed myself to go to the craft store, and I had my lucky, ever-consistent LarBear with me, and I did ok.  I didn’t do amazing or great, but I did ok, and I ended up with some new beads that I am pretty excited about.

Even bigger than that adventure, was the fact that I went into a Kwik Shop gas station and picked out my own bottle of water and used the restroom and stayed inside the whole time, even waiting in line with LarBear to pay, and didn’t flee to the safety of the car.  This is an even bigger deal because I have never ever been inside this gas station or into any place of business in this section of town.  I pushed myself because I knew I had to.  I pushed myself because I want to get better and be able to go more places.  And maybe, just maybe, I pushed so hard because I really, really needed to pee.  Whatever the motivation, I’ll take it.

I know I do better when I use skills like build mastery and build structure, which is basically exactly what it sounds like.  Building mastery can range from doing everyday things like cooking a meal to learning a new skill.  It is basically (in my eyes), anything that you can do that you can look at and say, “that is me being productive.”  Building structure is also just like it sounds, keeping a day full and not having too much down time.

Building structure and building mastery are the two skills that are going to give me real success, in the long run, if I can keep them up.  I am looking at what I have done today and I am pleased.  I have made a plan for what I am doing tomorrow, and I have detailed it out on paper.  If I can stick with it, I will have possibly another day of success.

A more stable length of time is started with stringing one day together after another, and so I have my evening yesterday when I made a new recipe and cleaned up the house a bit, and I have today, with the shopping and getting out in public and cooking a healthy dinner.  Hopefully I am able to follow through on tomorrow’s plans, or at least some variation.

Right now, at this moment, I have no “give up” in me, and there is really nothing else I can ask for, more than that.

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Don’t Live There: Get Up

 

 

 

melt down

 

As anybody who knows me or has talked to me in the last week or has done even a minimally good job at following this blog, ya’ll know the past week or two has been beyond the bounds of stress.  I may have snapped at a few people, been less than my cheerful self, become irritated by small things you asked me to do, seemed overwhelmed at a task that wasn’t that big, not returned your calls, or avoided you all together.

Right here, right now:  I intend to fix that.  Like the picture above says, “cry it out and then refocus on where you are headed.”  Well, I think, after tonight, I’ll be done crying it out, at least for a little while.  I could say for a week or a day or a month, but we all know what Father Time can do and how Mother Earth likes to smack us upside the head sometimes, maybe when we’re getting a little too proud or confident.

 

bad day

It’s easy to generalize a bad day into a bad year, for sure.  Especially at the start of the year, when not much time has passed.  It has not been a great year for DSB’s health.  There was the abcess from the kidney removal, the subsequent surgery to remove the abcess, and then, to add insult to injury, a wound vac that must be changed three times a week by a registered nurse.  And now a (going on 5-day) stint in the hospital with pneumonia.  DSB’s 2014 has been unpleasant, medically speaking.

While it’s safe to say that DSB has not had a stellar start to 2014, I can’t take that on as my own.  To generalize that to myself, to say that dearest Rosa has not had a stellar start to 2014, would be a lie that only I would tell myself.  That I have sometimes told myself time and time again, when things between DSB and I were not going well.  Because when someone is sick and someone is tending, tensions grow.  When someone is sick, the other person worries and stress rises.  But Rosa has not  had a bad start to 2014.  Some amazing things have  happened, and I think I have chronicled some of them in my TToT posts.

To, me, I can feel like the woman in that picture above.  I can sense the wonder at the rising or setting sun, the yellowed grasses around me, the sky, the very being of myself.  Some truly wondrous things have happened to me so far this year.  I have:

1) Formed and continued solid friendships with my bloggie friends.

2) Solidified my love for DSB, by choosing right over wrong, trust over lies, consideration for the other over self-indulgence.

3) Forged deeper connections with my inner voice.  I can let that voice out now, and have it be heard, and not worry (too much), about what effect that voice is going to  have on a person that chooses willingly to read what I have written.

4) Given up trying to hide myself from the one who has always hunted me.

5) Learned to forgive, not to forget.  Learned to trade in anxiety and lonesomeness and uncertainty in a fatherly relationship for compassion for what that person must be going through at this time.  We are all human, even dads.

6) Learned to separate myself from that which is negative in my life.  I choose not to have negativity in my life, and won’t tolerate it.  Even if this means giving up people that I thought I cared about.

7) Started to open myself up to the possibility of rejection.  Making jokes, telling fish stories, and selling bait isn’t as easy as you might think.  There is a world of nuance within those walls.

8) Decided to stop counting my breaths as I am trying to fall asleep, and instead to just.breathe.  In, out.  Don’t say it, don’t think it, just do it.  Appreciate the feel of the air through your nose, through your mouth, the rise and fall of your chest, the tickle in your throat.  Don’t put a word on it, just be, just do.

To celebrate, let’s take a listen to my second most favorite meditation practice, singing bowls.  And let’s be honest, Goddess of Mindfulness, my first pick is always the metal, but nowhere else can I get those bowls.  They are addictive and the stories you told me on Wednesday left happy traces of puppies and friends and love on my heart.  Bless you.

Please note that these are quartz singing bowls and they have a very special place in my heart.  If you can (after you get through the commercial-ish first section), do take a listen.  Take off your shoes, set your feet on the floor, sit upright, and breathe.  You can do this.  You really can.