Ten Things of “Keepin’ It Sane” Thankful

10thankful-bannerWe all have our little tricks that keep us going in the worst of times.  I choose to use this Ten Things of Thankful to highlight the ten things that keep me sane which I am most thankful for.  Don’t forget to go check out Lizzi at Considerings, the originator of this little blog hop, and to link your own at the end of her page.

Sometimes a little gratitude list (even if its for the really, really small stuff) can bring about a big positive change in your attitude.  I try to do this blog hop once a week, (which is also perfect because then I don’t have to think too hard about what to write about), but the reason I do it over and over, is simple…it WORKS for me.

  1. Unlikely, but included nonetheless, super-heavy-duty ponytail holders save my sanity every time.  There is nothing worse than having whispies or big chunks of hair touching your face all day.  (and yes, when I said touching, I put my fingers up in the air and wiggled)  I know I am not alone in having hair that can drive one straight up the wall, although I admit that it’s a bit strange to be my number one item on this list, but I have taken down and put my hair up about nine times today.  The long hair struggle…it is real, y’all!
  2. indigo-wild-zum-body-0091_8(1)Anything lavender-scented.  My current favorite is a lavender-lilac candle my dad bought me,and I would swear to you that using the lavender lotion by Zum can sometimes be about the only thing that will calm my raging anxiety.  Or at least that was the case yesterday.  Heaven knows it will be something else tomorrow.
  3. Kizzie.  Kizzie belly rubs and Kizzie kisses and Kizzie barking happily at me and feeding Kizzie treats and Kizzie, Kizzie, Kizzie.  If she wasn’t so wild, she could be a certified therapy dog, but she is my therapy dog, so that is what matters.  She knows when I am sad and when I am anxious and plants herself in my lap.  She licks my tears away, and will lay calmly at my feet through almost anything.  I really don’t know what I would do without her at times.Kizzie4.  And Kizzie leads straight into Lucy, the standard poodle that I have opened Lucyour home to, who used to live with my mom.  She is so darn happy here, it’s amazing — she and Kizzie play and leap around like puppies half the time.  With the addition of a little carprofen (which I am also grateful for), her arthritis is kept at a minimum and she can focus on being the Princess that she truly is.

5.  That I have managed to actually blog a few times this week.  It has been cathartic and freeing and enjoyable and lovely to interact again.  I hope I can keep that stuck in my head and repeat over and over.

6.  5-Things-New-Bloggers-Can-ReTeach-You-www.lovethehereandnow.com_-800x533Fairly related, I have found several new bloggers that I am excited to follow.  I hadn’t added a new blogger to follow in a really long time, but some super awesome people have stopped by this ol’ place and I am excited to put time and effort into it, like I used to.

 

 

7.  The fact that LarBear and I both believe in buying the actual CD of an artist’s music.  We buy ours mostly from Amazon, and have found some real winners lately with Chris Stapleton, Old Dominion, Cam, Keb Mo, Jana Kramer, and Kacey Musgraves.  Just Google, you will find…they are all spectactular!  And seeing as music is one of the main things that calms me down, I just consider that we are buying cheap therapy.

8.  It’s that time for the Interpersonal Effectiveness Tool, “FAST”, to rear it’s head and I am READY.  I have several situations where I do not want to over-apologize, where it is important for me to get across my point of view without losing my self-respect.  I have already tried it out a few times, but I am building up to a really big FAST that will be unveiled soon.

9.  I am thankful that I have reasonable insurance and that medications are filled as they should be and I can get in to see my treaters when need be.

10.  I am thankful for friends who are only an email away, who never give up on me even when I have been gone for a really long time, and who I can start BS’ing with just like old times the moment I am back in the picture.  Thank you.

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Ten Things of Thankful: The BIG Ones

Sometimes I get so caught up with what is in my head, what nonsense is spinning and scrambling and screaming at me.  As a wise woman said to me not too many hours ago, after I had thrown my temper tantrum and had my pity party, not everyone’s reality is the same.  And that is just so true — true enough that it struck me right in the heart, but I didn’t feel it lodged there until hours later.  So, that wise woman, and then the very special friend that messaged me, having a hard time, and completely brought me out of my own bullshit problem:  Thank you, both.

Thank you for making me remember that I have more blessings in my life than I am ever grateful for.  Thank you for bringing me back to myself and making me realize that wow, things are not just “ok” — they’re actually pretty darned great.  Without the wise woman’s words, and the special friend’s typing-back-and-forth to me, I would probably still be sitting here and listening to my sad music and crying and feeling sorry for myself.  Instead, I feel as if I have had a real “a-ha!” moment.

 

  1.  I am thankful for the basics, the things I take for granted every day — a warm home; enough food to more than feed myself, LarBear, and the dogs; working transportation; the basics of life that so many people have to worry about, which I do not.
  2. I’m grateful for LarBear, for our relationship, for him not giving up on me so many times when I have been whacked-out-symptomatic, for always giving more of himself than I think is possible, for always making me feel safe, secure, loved.
  3. For three parental figures who have been there, and continue to be there, for me no matter what the issue is.  Maybe I don’t always get exactly as much of your time or love as I would want, but I have never wanted for anything, and I know that when it comes down to it, you would be there with bells on if it really, really mattered to me.
  4. For the Kizzer dog, who has brought more joy to my life than I ever would have thought possible, and for Lucy Lou who joined the party more recently, but is just as loved.
  5. For a truly remarkable psychiatrist and mental health team, in general.  In addition, I have a wonderful medical primary care provider and good access to hospitals and urgent care.
  6. I am thankful for friends, online and not, that constantly keep me entertained, laughing, and sometimes cry with me.
  7. For the best DBT group I have ever been in, for all my years of doing DBT.  It has never made more sense, and I have never felt closer to another group of people other than my family.
  8. For my sister — for being who she is, for making time to call and text when she can, and always supporting me with her expertise when I am trying to exercise without breaking a foot or harming myself otherwise.
  9. For good books, and for an excellent library that keeps my Kindle full.
  10. For an ever-growing music library, thanks to LarBear

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Ten Things of Thankful, Sixth Edition

You know when you’re feeling bad, it’s kinda hard to identify the positives in your life?  I always enjoy TToT, but I’m having difficulty pinpointing what exactly it is I am thankful for right at the moment.  Sure, there’s things I’m thankful for.  I know there are.  It’s just that this part of my brain is fuzzy at the moment.  I’m gonna give ‘er a go, though.  You should, too.  Just write the damn list already, and then link up over at Considerings.  You’ll be glad  you did, once you get it all out on paper.  I know I always feel better.

1) I am thankful for my new-found brother, Rock.  My family has adopted all 21 years of him and he has truly been a lifesaver during this hard time.  I blogged more about him yesterday, but I think he needs to be numero uno on this week’s TToT, because having him around has made things just a little easier.

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2)  Of course, the next shout out goes to my parents, QoB and the Big Dawg.  I am thankful for them every week, but they have been especially kind and gentle and loving with me over the past several days.  I have seen a wealth of understanding and compassion, especially in the Big Dawg, that I didn’t know ran so deeply.  I don’t know what I expected, but they are coming through just like they always have.  I don’t know why I expected any less, possibly because I feel like the most foolish, biggest pile of dog poo, and that I would possibly to be blamed for stuff that has happened, but that’s not how it is.

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3) I am thankful I have four people by my side who are helping  me take care of the practical details that have come up in this whole mess.  The Big Dawg especially is taking charge, getting my lawnmower fixed and when that failed, bringing his own mower over to mow.  Getting rid of the boat.  Dad helping me take all of DSB’s medical supplies to the hospital to be donated so I’m not swimming in cardboard boxes.  Mom feeding me and raking and burning leaves.  Rock helping out with yardwork.  Mom’s promise to help me get my house in order and revamp a couple of rooms.  Without them, it is all so overwhelming.  With help though, it can be done and I believe that.

 

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4) I am exceptionally grateful to all the wonderful blogs I read for keeping me entertained over the past couple of days.  I love them all, but find two especially inspiring, positive, and full of light.  Cynthia Reyes fills her blog with beautiful  homes, renovation projects she is following, lovely pictures of her garden, and just a little bit of magic.  I thank her for inspiring me to keep going when the world is getting to me, and I know I can always take refuge in one of her posts.  The other blog, written by my friend Marilyn Armstrong, can always be counted on to have several posts a day, containing anything from historical anecdotes to amazing photos to funny insights to rants about important things, like the lack of plug-ins in her home to the trend of not including user manuals in electronics purchases.  I hold Marilyn’s blog in high esteem, not only because her written word and photos are lovely, but because she remains so positive in the face of so many difficult challenges.  Marilyn and Cynthia are both beautiful people, wonderful bloggers, and if you haven’t already, you should go check them out.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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Cynthia’s memoir. It has received amazing reviews and I just downloaded it to my Kindle. I have no doubt that it will be fabulous.

 

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Marilyn’s memoir that I HAVE read and loved, loved, loved. It changed the way I was currently looking at spirituality dramatically. Definitely worth a read.

 

5)  I am grateful for rededicating myself to taking better care of the Kizz.  I have always shown her a a lot of attention, but Rascal (Mr. Neurotic) always wound up taking center stage.  Mom bought her a honking armadillo toy and hooked her up with some new treats (that DSB would not allow…didn’t believe in bones or rawhide) and also a new leash and collar.  She is looking snazzy and seems to be very content to be the only dog again.  I am getting her groomed next Friday (which DSB always discouraged for some reason) and have her up to date on shots as of yesterday.  Kizz has been with me through thick and thin and deserves to be first, instead of playing second fiddle to another pup.  She doesn’t even really seem to miss DSB or Rascal, but seems rather happy to be ruling the roost again.  Oh, and without Rascal here, there is none of the constant barking from her.  She peeks through the fence at the neighbor with interest, but no barking.  Hmmph!  What a good dog, and DSB always said how she wasn’t very well behaved or smart.  Wrong!

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6) I am grateful that I am going to be able to change my eating habits dramatically.  When you live with someone who likes fatty, rich food and mostly refuses to eat vegetables, you become limited in what you cook.  When you live with someone who eats everything in sight as soon as it is purchased, you stop buying certain things because it’s like throwing money down the toilet.  I am looking forward to more fish, more soup, occasional ice cream, 2% milk, soy and almond milk, cereal, fresh fruit and veggies, and being able to keep my pantry and fridge stocked.  If I ever have to eat biscuits and gravy again in the near future, I may puke.  Actually, no more gravy period for quite some time.

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7) I am thankful there will be no more whining or complaining about how much time I spend blogging or looking at other blogs or emailing.  Talk about jealousy.  I can do as I please, in my own home again.  I can have soup for dinner and ramen noodles for breakfast, if I feel like it.  I can keep my house cleaner.  I don’t have to ask for permission to do things.  I could go on and on with the things I am grateful for that I will be able to do now, and just can’t  help but kicking myself that I didn’t figure all this out sooner.

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8) I am thankful that the anxiety monster seems to have passed with the leaving of DSB.  So much stress and anxiety tied up into that relationship — totally unreal.  It has been two days since I have taken a Klonopin, and in those two days, I didn’t even really think about needing one.  There is so much less tension, so much more laughter, and almost nothing to worry about.  I attribute that to my awesome Team ‘o Four (Big Dawg, QoB, Rock, and Dad) for helping me to simplify, solve problems, and make life easier.  I know I already listed being thankful for them above, but they are all a post in and of themselves.  Love you guys!

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9) I am thankful for having a good, great, awesome therapist.  I sent her a list, a four-page list at that, last night about all the things that were better  now that DSB and I aren’t together.  Not only did she read it on her day off, she responded.  And told me she’d always want to read anything I sent.  She reads my blog.  I feel like she is very invested in my mental health and, most importantly, like she genuinely cares about how I am doing and feeling.  I don’t think it’s often that you find a therapist that gets you like that, but we’ve had a lot of practice together.  I’ve seen her for the past nine years pretty much solid (other than a year spent fiddling with mental health center therapists) and then she was also my therapist for a couple of years when I was 16.  She is amazing, totally deserving of her Goddess of Mindfulness status, and I hope she  knows how much she helps me.  I wouldn’t be where I am today without her support and guidance.

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10) I am thankful for the outpouring of support over the last week.  It is amazing to me how many people commented, wishing me well, offering advice, sharing their story, saying a prayer for me.  A lot of people came out of the woodwork, because I was having a rough time, and I can’t say thank you enough for that.  It has meant the world to me to know I have so much support out here on the Interwebs.  I appreciate the reading, the liking, the commenting, the emails.  Everything.  You have all touched me deeply and I am immensely grateful.

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Thanks, Dad

Daddy-O…

We sure have come a long way.  There were years where I didn’t want to speak to you, nevertheless hang out.  You know what happened, I know what happened, and we have left it in the past.  Those years are clearly over now and I am so happy that you have found Karen.  She brings out the very best in you.

One of the best pieces of advice you ever gave to me were right after I started undergrad and was feeling incredibly homesick.  I don’t remember where you took me, exactly, just that it felt like you brought a piece of home with you and that you were the only one in the whole city who knew me.  We sat outside and drank coffee, I think, and I’m pretty sure I ate something.  That part I don’t remember.

What I do remember is you encouraging me to stay the course.  To see college through, to not come back to the small town without something to show for it.  With that conversation, you, unknowingly, sealed the deal that I was going to graduate from that little school in that big city, with plenty of knowledge, and a lot of hope.

You would come up to visit me often, and sometime you would give me money, more than I really needed or ought to have.  I don’t fault you for that, and nothing terrible resulted, except for maybe too much pizza and a clothing shopping spree.  And slurpees from 7/11.  I sure do miss those slurpees.

You always came to visit when it was crunch time.  Taking me to a fancy breakfast the morning I was studying for a big exam.  Taking me to dinner right before finals, with me accidentally ordering coffee that had alcohol in it.  Do you remember that?

When I moved to the yellow house on 16th, and couldn’t get out of bed and ready in the morning for work, you were at my doorstep for weeks on end at 6:30 a.m., just to have breakfast with me and get me waked up.  I didn’t realize at the time what a selfless thing that was, Dad, and I’m sorry I didn’t say thank you more.  You saved my job during that time period, and you saved my sanity, my pride.

For all the times you helped me cut my grass, cut my grass for me, helped me clean house, vacuum, put up Christmas decorations, and brought me food, I thank you.  I know I thanked you then, but I really want you to hear me say it now, Dad.  Thank you.

We are light-years from whence we came.  I feel like we’re friends now, like you would do anything you could to help me.  Driving me to therapy, watching our favorite basketball team, helping me get to the Rez to buy cigarettes, buying me a Sonic drink, talking about the books we’re reading.  You’re there and you’re present and you are a true joy to be around.

We talk a few times a week and see each other usually once a week, and I always look forward to our little excursions.  I hope nothing ever has to change that, or we drift apart again.  We have been apart before, but that doesn’t have to happen again.  I treasure our time together and hope you do, too.

I love you, Dad.  More than you will ever, ever know.  xoxoxoxo