And The World Spins Madly On

Early yesterday the barometric pressure took a nosedive and my head went with it.   My head started to throb and the light was excruciating; I took meds and carried on…or I tried to.  I realized I wasn’t up to grocery shopping or cooking to I looked in the pantry and threw a few things in the slow cooker for soup.  Then it was a sit in the chair and knit kind of day, and I was okay with that.

After Stuart got home we had soup…I’m so thrilled with how well that soup turned out, btw.   I left the room to go to the bathroom and I felt it hit….the bottom dropped out of my stomach, I got all hot, and my view began to spin….vertigo.  I leaned, for support, with my forehead and palms resting flat on the wall before me, knowing if I moved I would fall down, I called out for Stuart.   He came and helped me to the bathroom and back to my chair.  The worst had not arrived…

As we got ready for bed I took my nightly meds and started to settle down when I started to feel bad, really bad.  I mentioned to Stuart that my meds were kicking in really fast and I was feeling loopy.  (this does not happen, normally I take my meds and I start feeling sleepy, I read some and then go to sleep, I never feel “loopy” from my night meds)  I decided to just lie still and try to sleep, then I suddenly got hot all over and my stomach wanted to rebel! I laid very still trying hard not to move my head, but it didn’t work, the room began to spin and I felt like I was moving….vertigo…again…damnit!

I tried so hard not to disturb Stuart.  He has to get up really early to go to work and I hate when I have to disrupt his sleep.  He stirred a few times and I admitted I was sick but told him to go back to sleep.  I knew I could handle it, at least I told myself that.  I did sleep some, on and off, all the while feeling like I was moving.  Every slight movement of my head caused the room to spin faster, and my stomach to lurch.  I was not doing well, but I was dealing with it.  I survived the night, and I didn’t vomit, that is a miracle.

Today, I still have this feeling of motion and if I turn my head quickly the room spins, but for the most part it settled down.  Now it’s all the other symptoms that go with vertigo that are still getting to me.  The gastro-intestinal upset, the extreme fatigue, the anxiety, and, of course, my balance is completely compromised.  It’s been a challenging day.

As I sit here writing this I’m reflecting on this illness of mine and how it has manifested itself over the years.  It came on sporadically, having severe vertigo attacks once or twice a year without any other major symptoms, then it turned into me having vertigo multiple times a day, sometimes minor, sometimes very severe, I was basically bed bound for almost 3 years.  Then less than 2 years ago I started having less and less vertigo and the attacks I had were not nearly as severe as they used to be, I have been so much better that I started to drive again.  I even bought a car a couple of weeks ago.  Now, I’m being reminded that this will always be with me.  I will never escape Meniere’s disease, and I’m scared.

The fear escalated through the night and all day today.  My thoughts keep running to the “what if”s.  What if this is a new stage and it’s worse?  What if I can’t drive and I just bought a car?  What if I need more help than is available now?  What if?????

Can you see me spiraling out of control?

Time for a reality break.  Yes, I have Meniere’s and I always will.  Yes, it is unpredictable.  Yes, it could get worse, or it could get better.  Nothing is certain.  Life is not as I expected, so I will change those expectations, or better yet, I won’t have any.  Now, it’s time for a deep breath and a good night’s sleep.  Tomorrow is a different day.

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Mindfulness Mondays: worry

“Do not lose yourself in the past. Do not lose yourself in the future. Do not get caught in your anger, worries or fears.Come back to the present moment, and touch life deeply. This is mindfulness.”

Thich Njat Hanh

“The day you stop worrying will be the first day of your new life; anxiety takes you in circles, trust in yourself and become free.”

Leon Brown

“Don’t believe every worried thought you have. Worried thoughts are notoriously inaccurate.”

Renee Jain

As Wendy indicated, I will drop by from time to time to do the Mindfulness Monday post.

Finding mindfulness quotes concerning worry was an excellent therapeutic exercise.

As an added bonus because I really like the idea:

Worry is a misuse of your imagination.”

Curiano

Image: © Lorraine (Please do not use without permission)

Mindfulness Monday – Self

“The most powerful

relationship you will

ever have is the

relationship with yourself.”

~Steve Maraboli

 

“To be beautiful means

to be yourself.

You don’t need

to be accepted by others.

You need to accept

yourself.”

~Thich Nhat Hanh

 

“Be the silent watcher

of your thoughts and behavior.

You are beneath the thinker.

You are stillness beneath

the mental noise.

You are the love and

joy beneath the pain.”

~Eckhart Tolle

 

I’m thrilled to announce that Lorraine has agreed be a regular contributor to Mindfulness Monday. She has been so amazing filling in for me on the many days when I just didn’t feel like I could look at the computer; and, I think you’ll all agree, she has done an awesome job. I hope you will welcome her and continue to enjoy the quotes and photos she shares with us.

Don’t worry, I’m not giving up my blog, or Mindfulness Monday. It is my hope that I will be able to focus on more in depth posts again, and I will still contribute to Mindfulness Monday as I increase my mindfulness practice.

*self portrait by W. Holcombe. My many faces of self.

Mindfulness Monday: depression

“For me mindfulness is like building a house,

so, the next time the tsunami

that depression is comes,

I’ll have a structure to resist it.”

Ruby Wax

 

“Regardless of how dark and downbeat

the places you may find yourself,

there always exists the potential

for another path.”

Richard Gilpin

 

“You don’t have to control

your thoughts.

You just have to let them

stop controlling you.”

David Millman

 

 

 Image: © Lorraine (filling in for Wendy; using the theme she had chosen)

I don’t mean to….(fighting depression)

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I don’t mean to stay away.

I don’t mean to make you worry.

I walk around in a daze lately, and can’t see through the fog.

I feel like I’m lost in the dark and the only lights I see are from the flames of hell.

I can’t tell  you why.

There is no real reason.

Sometimes I feel like I’m a pawn in someone else’s game.  I can see two demons hunched over a game board, we are the pieces they move.  We have no control over how the game is played; we can only hope they play fairly, but we all know that demons never play fair.

How can I feel so level headed and focused at one point and so out of control and totally depressed at the next.  What changed?

Sometimes the answer is “nothing”.  Other times, the answer is more complicated, but the thing is, it’s really not about what has happened on the outside, it’s all about what’s going on on the inside.

Right now I could actually write a huge list of things that have changed in my life, but none of them explain the extreme changes in my emotional state.

I’m not “letting things get to me”, nor am I “too sensitive”.  I’m falling apart from the inside out, and it has nothing to do with anything I am doing to myself.

Damn! Does that sound as stupid to any of you as it does to me?

I get so pissed off when someone tells me that they wish I didn’t let things get to me so much, or that they wish I wasn’t so sensitive….yeah well…yadayadayada.  I guess, it is all on me, isn’t it?  But then again…is it?  If it were up to me I sure wouldn’t allow things to “get to me”, and I wouldn’t be overly “sensitive”.  Heck, if it were up to me I’d be pretty friggin’ stoic sometimes, but I’m not, I simply can’t be like that.  I feel things, very deeply sometimes, I actually envy people who can “bury it” or “put walls up”, I can’t do that.  I’ve tried, oh how I’ve tried.  I really do envy those people…..sometimes…like now…not always.

Lately, all I want to do is eat, sleep, and cry.   In reality I’m not sleeping enough, but I’m spending a lot of time trying to; I’m eating too much, the weight gain proves it, and I’m either crying or pissed most of the time!  But I’m trying really, really hard not to be like that.  Heck, I don’t even know why I’m crying, and I sure can’t tell you what I’m so mad about.  Here’s the kicker, something will happen that doesn’t bother me at all and then the exact same thing can happen again and suddenly I’m so pissed I can’t think straight, or I’m crying so hard I can’t see.  What changed there?  So…is that all on me?  or is it out of my control?   More importantly, is this something that is just happening because of outside circumstances and will blow over, or does my medication need to be adjusted?  Honestly, I have no clue.  (I think it’s probably the later, or maybe a little bit of both?

Even with all I know about mental illness, (from my experiences with bipolar disorder, anxiety, and depression) I still feel like it’s my fault.  I never feel like that about another person’s battles with mental illness, why do I hold myself to a different standard?  Is it simply because I’m often told, “I wish you didn’t let things get to you so much”, or is it because I think this is a part of me that I should be able to control.  I don’t have a lot in my life that I feel I have control over, surely I can control how I react to things.  Isn’t that what I’ve been practicing mindfulness for?  Simply accepting the way things are and not wishing it to be different.  Well honey, I do wish it were different right now, but I am trying hard to accept that it just is the way it is, and I know for certain that things will change.  Nothing stays the same, everything changes, I can always take solace in this, unless I’m deep in depression, then I think, “Yes, things change, it could get so much worse!”  Aaahhhh….No!  I can’t get caught in the future trap!  You know that trap, the one in your mind that predicts a future…good or bad, watch out! it’s a trap!  Chances are that the future you prophesied will not turn out the way your mind told you it would; staying in the present is the only way to really deal with life’s challenges, it’s it?  I KNOW these things.  Why then, is it so very hard?

I will try to take it moment by moment and be kind to myself.

I’ll try not to stay away.

I don’t want you to worry.

 

one moment at a time, I’ll get through this

 

*photo taken at Tumacacori National Park by W. Holcombe.  Please do not use without permission.  All rights reserved.

Mindfulness Monday: perception


“Piglet noticed that even thought he had a small heart,

it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude.”

A. A. Milne

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

Dr. Seuss

“The moment one gives close attention to anything,

even a blade of grass it becomes a mysterious, awesome,

indescribably magnificent world in itself.”

Henry Miller

Image: Lorraine 2018 (filling in for Wendy)

 

Mindfulness Monday – Garden

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“Gardening is an active

participation in the

deepest mysteries of

the universe.”

~ Thomas Berry

“Look deep into nature

and then you will

understand everything better.”

~ Albert Einstein

“Gardening simply does not allow

one to be mentally old, because

too many hopes and dreams

are yet to be realized.”

~Allan Armitage

 

 

*Photo taken at Tucson Botanical Garden, Tucson AZ, by W. Holcombe, all rights reserved.  Please do not use without permission.

 

Mindfulness Monday: “Finding Your Self”

“All the suffering, stress, and addiction comes from

not realizing you already are what you are looking for.”

Jon Kabat-Zinn

 

“Healing may not be so much about getting better,

as about letting go of everything that isn’t you –

all of the expectations, all of the beliefs –

and becoming who you are.”

Rachel Naomi Remen

 

“You wait a lifetime to met Someone

who understands you, accepts you as you are.

At the end, you find that the Someone,

all along, has been you.”

Richard Bach

 

image: © Lorraine; close up of installation “Birds Watching”, Jenny Kendler, from “Indicators: Artists on Climate Change,” Storm King Arts Centre, NY.

Wendy is fine; her recovery from surgery continues. She will soon be back to doing her Mindfulness Mondays.

Mindfulness Monday: Miscellany

“Who looks outside, dreams;

who looks inside, awakes.”

Carl Jung

 

“You must live in the present,

launch yourself on every wave,

find your eternity in each moment.”

Henry David Thoreau

 

“Writing can be an

incredible mindfulness practice.”

Jon Kabat-Zinn

 

image: © Lorraine (please do not use without permission)

I’d like to thank Lorraine for all her help during my recovery, she’s just the best!  Be sure to jump over to her blog and say hello.  Lorraine’s Frilly Freudian Slip

I wanted to give you all a little update on my surgery.  I’m doing very well, much better than I expected.  I’m able to do much, much more than I thought I would.  (Dr. Google was very wrong on that one)  I’m working on a post giving a proper update, I’m just slow going right now, but wanted to let everyone know that I’m doing very well, and thank you all for your well wishes through this challenge.  I don’t know what I’d do without my blog family.   “See” you soon.    ~ Wendy

 

Mindfulness Monday – Storm

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Monsoons 2018, by W. Holcombe. all rights reserved

 

“You can’t calm the storm,

so stop trying.

What you can do is

calm yourself.

The storm will pass.”

~ Timber Hawkeye

 

“You will not be

the same after the

storms of life;

You will be stronger,

wiser and more alive

than ever before!”

~ Bryant McGill

 

“The great benefit of

practicing mindfulness…

is the presence of mind

within a storm

 of emotions.”

~ Phillip Moffitt

 

*photo was taken in Tucson, AZ , off my front porch, during monsoon season 2018.  It’s am amazing time, I wish I could get better pictures for you.  The monsoons are full of beauty and power, but…another of it’s secret powers is to cause super duper migraines.  Ahh.  Please do not use this image without permission.