Archive for the ‘Health/Wellbeing’ Category

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Hope After A Storm

March 28, 2011

My Rainpuddle has been a little stormy, lately. I guess it’s part of Spring. Also I had a very awful and rough winter and March. :-/

However, my life is beginning to turn around for the better now and I’m getting back on track. I’m slowly making new friends and finding myself again. I did get lost for a while there… I’m still a little lost. But, things are getting better and better each day. :-)

I’ll spare the drama of what caused me to be lost, in fact it shouldn’t be named here anyways. It’s not important anymore. But there were some drama and it played out in my posts of late, which is fine. This is why I have this blog in the first place, for me to vent and share, not solely for others’ amusement. :-p

But… in my lost moments, things became a lot more clear. I found myself a cool community online, which I can vent more with nicer people who understand me and my disorder. I do suffer with social anxiety disorder, which I’ve mentioned a few times here, but it’s nice to meet others who understand what that means. The site’s VERY cool and I lurk there much. I won’t name it, as it’s my sanctuary and I don’t want a crowd following me there. But, if you are a person who suffer from an anxiety disorder and really want to know where this awesome community is, just leave a comment with your email addy, I’ll try to send you the link. ;-)

Besides that, I’m soon to get out and visit the hair-salon again, which means that I will be pampered and beautified. That always cheers me up a bit… though, I’m dying to ask my hairdresser for a new style. I want to have a rock/punky look to my usual cherry-red dyed hair. Over the winter, my hair grew out, so I do need a new haircut. But with the extra hair,  I’m thinking that I don’t want the usual, but something new. To be continued…

Meanwhile, I’m getting all kinds of kudos and encouragement to not give up on getting my book published. So, of course, I will try again someday soon. I’m just waiting for the right time, at this point. But I won’t wait forever.

My current hopes and goals are for me to focus on myself… to focus on getting myself better within my life. Too many have taken advantaged of me, used and abused, caused so much negativity in my life. I gotta somehow learn how to avoid these con-artists and liars (especially online), to be able to see the wolves in sheep’s clothing, no matter how colorful the clothing is. It’s not good for my psyche or self-esteem, to be fooled and hurt by people, when I know that I am well intentioned and honest always. So, my only answer is to find and be around other honest and well intentioned people, like myself. No more dumpster-diving for me.

I finally got to the point where I feel like I’m somebody and don’t deserve abuse anymore. And it’s not so easy for me to stand up for myself, stick to it and not doubt myself in my decisions, especially if it does mean the end of a friendship. But I have found out that I can say no to abuse and stick with it. And if a person was really a friend, they would hear me and not insist that it have to be all or nothing. For that change, I bet this Rainpuddle is going to be a lot less stormy in the future. ;-)

-D

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Seeking Closure

March 3, 2011

I do have issues with trust, which is due to a long life of misuse and abuse from others. Sadly, the trust issue is still with me, even though I’m growing and changing in other areas of my life. I do realize that the root of my trust issues are the unresolved situations in my past. I never gotten any closure on many of my past relationships and friendships, meaning an emotional conclusion to very bad situations.

In my past, so many people have stepped on my emotions and hurt me in unbelievable ways. They were not sorry for it and when I broke down from their abuse, they simply ran away, not without slinging more insults before slithering out the door. In those moments, I was so hurt that I didn’t speak up for myself, or say what I really wanted to say before it ended. I never got that chance to tell them, in person and loudly, “What you’ve done is wrong! And you’ve hurt me a whole lot. I know that you don’t care and will never be sorry for it. But, I just wanted to let you know that it’s not okay. And goodbye.” And… I may have had some other choice words I wanted to say too. But, I never got that kind of closure. They hurt me, ran away, and that was it. :-/

The main reason why I never spoke up right away, I think, is because I was hoping that reality wasn’t happening. I was so sure that these people that I had deeply loved, trusted, and meant so much to me and my life, couldn’t possible be this horrible. I kept waiting for them to “snap out of it” and claim some kind of cruel joke of, “I’m just kidding! You know, I’d never treat you in that way, but man… you should have seen your face! Ha, ha, ha!”. But then reality always win against fantasy and false hope. By the time I realized that I was hurting for real, and it wasn’t some kind of sick joke, these people were half-way out the door. Then it was too late for me to say what I really needed to say to them, before they ran off and left me alone with a lot of emotional baggage.

This is the reason for my theory of “people don’t change” and that it’s best to see abuse for what it is, instead of trying to ignore it and hope that it goes away. Abusers don’t stop, unless they get the idea that you won’t allow the abuse to continue and that you will see the abuse for what it is. It’s no gain for them, if it’s going to be a hassle every time they want to stomp on you or if it’s clear that you’re going to stomp back. They prefer victims, not survivors, in other words.

Though, part of a survivor’s path is trying to come to terms with the abuse and how to gain some kind of closure to it all. It’s not always feasible to face the abusers again, to have your last say. And getting a true apology from an abuser is very much slim to none, even if you are lucky enough to have one last conversation.  So, how does one get past the scars and hurt left by another’s cruel and thoughtless actions?

Well, the answer isn’t simple, but there is an answer to it. It’s called, “letting go”. And no, that doesn’t mean ignoring or pretending that the situation or relationship never happened at all. Or simply “shrugging it off”. That’s not letting go of something, but only burying it within yourself, only for it to resurface later. Trying to deny the existence of an experience is playing a game of self-denial. And that never works. Letting go is a long effort of purposely facing the abuse that has happened to you, going through the emotions of it, and finally reaching a mellow point where the memories of that pain doesn’t affect your life as much.

It starts with anger or sadness, a grieving period of the pain caused by that person. However long it takes for you to wallow in these emotions is really up to you. Don’t let others, even well meaning friends and family, try to rush you through this process. Because, it will only resurface later. It’s best to cry or growl it out for however long it takes. And the time varies for each person.

The second step to letting it go, is to get rid of every item that the abuser ever gave you. Trash it, burn it, sell it, or donate it away. Just don’t hold onto the items of that person, because it’s not helpful and will be a constant reminder of the lies and the abuse that the person put you through.

The third step is, write about it! Yep, I’m not making this up. Psychologists and their studies have long realized the healing-power of writing. Though, you don’t need to go to therapy in order to grab a notebook (or blog it. ;-p) and write down from beginning to end the relationship. Though, this step isn’t easy and  it will be a lot painful to write. I have done this before, so I know. But it’s another way of working through the pain. And once you’re done writing about it, you may burn the pages, shred it, or delete it. :-)

The forth step is finding some support, with joining a group of others who have been abused. A support group isn’t for everyone, though. So, if you have  close and caring friend who doesn’t mind you rehashing over the details of your pain, that’s the next best thing too. It helps to talk things out, over and over again, until you can come to grips with what happened. And the more you talk about it, the more the pain fades.

And the last step is something that I am still working on. At this point, it’s time to move forward in life. You can’t erase the abuse done to you or to wipe out all memory of it. Sometimes it helps to reach out to other victims, to help them avoid the same abuse. But mostly, this is a time for a person to gain better and non-abusive experiences, starting a change and new beginnings in their lives.

I know that someday my trust issues will get better, once I began to spend more time around trustworthy people. And that’s what lacking in my life, right now. Someday, I hope to reach that point where I can feel free to let go and trust fully again.

-D

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A Past Memory

January 24, 2011

Lately, I have been reflecting on my past and comparing it to my present, taking some peace and appreciation on how far I have traveled in life so far. Maybe it’s because of The New Years or maybe I’m just getting older, but I have been a lot reflective this month. I am remembering my past emotional hurts, the mental struggles, and damaging past relationships. But within the memories, I had one this weekend that I had completely forgotten, of my past physical pain.

Ever since I was little girl, I was prone to getting very sick… I mean, “hospital stay” sick. And in my teens, I began to get hit by this unknown infection. I don’t know what it was, the doctors were never able to explain it, but I remember the symptoms very well. Pain and lots of it!  In my chest, there was a sharp and pressing pain as if someone had stabbed me and then decided to sit on the knife.  And also there was a painful spasm in my stomach, which would cause me to puke non-stop, until I was empty. And even then, I would dry heave for hours on end, which was a lot painful. I would try to drink fluids, never able to keep it down, not even the ice-chips that nurses tried to feed me. :-(

I was in the most horrible pain, as doctors rushed to do tests, trying to figure out what was happening to me. They gave me multiple IV bags, of plain fluid to help flush out my system, and plenty of blood tests.  I’ve had x-rays and ultrasounds too. At one point, I was misdiagnosed with Diabetes, but the doctors later found out that my blood sugar was normal. It was just a fluke, from being sick, that I had a high level of ketones in my sample, which usually signifies a person may have Diabetes. In short, I was the “Dr. House” case, which the doctors were never able to solve. :-/

The first time it had happened, I was age fifteen and a lot scared, being rushed to the local ER in terrible pain. The nurse was a lot nice and comforting, as she gave me a purple and black zebra stripped hospital band, making things a little less scary. I had endured my first IV (Intravenous therapy) that night, which was a very big deal for a teenage girl. For those who don’t know, an IV needle is very long, and it’s inserted into the top of the wrist and directly into a vein. Then it is taped still on the wrist and stays in, as the fluid bags are draining into the vein. The needle stays in, until your hospital leave. And when it’s time to leave, a nurse will pull the needle out, along with the medical tape (which seems to take a layer of skin with it… ouch!), and then the bleeding needle mark is covered with a band-aid. It hurts like hell, or so it did the first few times I’ve had one. But for my many episodes, I’ve had an IV over twenty times, before I had lost count. That pain is too familiar to me now. =p

I have been in and out of hospitals from age fifteen, until age twenty-two. And my reflective moment starts on a memory of the last time I’ve been to ER so very sick. I remember it vividly… It was the same pain in my chest and stomach, the same uncontrollable puking, the same sadness and fear that I always felt. It was in the middle of summer, the sun was setting, and my mother had gotten us a ride to one of the better hospitals in the city. My oldest brother was at his home, but offered over the phone to stop by, after my stay was over.

We were all use to the routine, by now, of me suffering in agony for five -seven hours and only spending part of the night in the ER. There had been times, back when there use to be an ER a few streets from my home, that my mother and I would walk home in the early dawn hours. I would be so tired and weak, shuffling home with my wrist hurting and bandaged from the IV, my mother holding my arm. So, we were sure it would be the same story again. And it was, for the most part. I was given some IVs to flush out my system, the doctors were baffled again, and then I was released by 2am.

My brother took a cab over to the hospital, and then caught another one for me and my mother, riding back home with us. He was in the front passenger seat, talking with the cab diver, while my mother and I were in the back seat. It was late night and I remember that it had rained while I was in the ER, but by the time we left the hospital, it had stopped. It had left the otherwise hot and muggy weather to a nice a breezy summer night. I was a lot drained, from being sick for hours, weak and wobbly but trying to pretend that I was okay. My mother saw that I wasn’t, telling me to lay down in my seat. I did lay back and looked up through the car’s back window, watching the passing skyscrapers and the bright moon in the sky. Then I had the sudden thought of, “I think I’m going to be okay now.” I don’t know how or why I knew, but that was the last time I ever gotten so sick. :-)

And in remembering that night, I do wonder if someday I’ll get that feeling again, when it comes to my slight emotional suffering and past hiccups that bind me still. I wonder if one night, I’ll look up into the sky at the moon, and have that thought again of, “I think I’m going to be okay now.” But, for what it’s worth, I know that I’m fighting forward towards reaching that day… And I feel a lot close to it too. :-)

-D

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A Wow Moment…

January 13, 2011

I know, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. But I feel the need today. ;-)

The truth is, for most of my life I have been trying very hard to gain the love and approval of relatives, strangers, and people that I had hoped were my friends. Someone was so gracious and honest enough to point out to me, that I have been living my life as the “Dani” that everyone sees me as, but not the “Dani” that I truly am. I had failed to be myself with myself. I am always being my true self around everyone, but denying my own talents or worth to myself. The crowd has told me that I’m ugly, I’m stupid, I’m weird, and my writing sucks… and I had let them be my judge and jury. And that’s so wrong. I am my own judge and jury, and I shouldn’t have given others so much power over me. :-/

Shoulda, coulda, woulda… It doesn’t matter anymore. I’ve made a mistake, but that doesn’t mean that I have to continue to make that mistake. Not anymore. ;-)

Something happened to me, a few days before my best friend left on his brave journey… I was standing in a dark hallway, craving and begging for  acceptance, protection, and love from another. And with all of my good deeds towards everyone, of ALWAYS following the rules and doing what I was suppose to, of never breaking my loyalty or care for anyone, it became clear that what I wanted I was never going to get. I was not going to get that same loyalty, love, and commitment back, no matter what I did or say.  I’ve always gave out this kind of unwavering love in abundance to everyone in my life, etched in stone loyalty, and willing to fight for those I claim to love. But when the chips fell down in this hallway, and I stood there begging for a fraction of that care in return, I saw that I wasn’t going to get it. People don’t owe me a blessed thing back, in return for my sacrifices or care. And my idea that if I show unconditional love to someone, they will show love back in return, was proven to be a big fat lie.

The realization hit me so very hard, that I had wasted most of my life caring for so many, who will never care for me. And these people have taken my kindness and generosity for granted, for so many years, and in spite of blood ties. I realized that no matter what, I would never get that acknowledgment, respect, and love that I have been begging for all of these years. And all at once, my words left me… Anger welled up inside of me, turning to rage, and deep unbearable pain. I had screamed, for several minutes, angry roars until I had cried. It was the years of pain and hurt that was stored inside me. And after it had left me, along with my voice for a few days, I felt a wave of peace wash over me. It was over. That negative mass of emotions was one of the major things that had held me back, all of these years, and now it was gone.

I have changed and I keep changing a little everyday. And the lesson I had learned that day was, only those who are able to give unconditional love can share it with me. And not everyone is capable of being so loyal, caring, or respectful to others. Especially, if they are not so loving towards themselves. I had expect something not possible from very broken people, who are unable to love themselves, let alone me. And so, I’m no longer looking for something that just can’t exist, from these people.

Instead, I am becoming the Dani that I see myself as, not the Dani that everyone else sees. A year ago, I would not have dared to try to publish my book, because I was too afraid of failure. Now, if I fail it doesn’t matter, as long as I had a good shot at trying. I will enjoy the journey of trying. Don’t get me wrong, I still worry and I’m nervous that no publisher will like my manuscript, that my book will be considered as crap. HOWEVER, I still want to step out there and give it my best shot. :-)

It’s winter now and I’m stuck indoors. I sleep most of the day, out of sheer boredom, and I hate this season with a passion. I feel like I’m spinning my wheels here. And I am feeling much like a big fish in a very small pound. It’s a lot frustrating at times, because I had such a huge change and I’m eager to get things started. I want to migrate to larger waters in life. I mean, I REALLY want to get out there and see the world now. I’m ready. The only thing stopping me is, I don’t know how to take the first steps or where to start. But, I’m guessing that I’ll figure it out, by and by.

But what is clear to me now is, I’m a lot free. And I’m not the woman I once was… not anymore. :-)

-D

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Inner And Outer Happiness

November 2, 2010

There are two concepts of happiness,  “inner happiness” and “outer happiness”.  Many Yogi Masters, Buddhists, and those who practice meditation (like Pagans), have had knowledge of this concept for many centuries. It’s not an new idea, for sure. But what is fairly new, many psychologists and therapists are including the idea into their treatment plans. In fact, most of what a person gets in therapy is learning how to find inner happiness in their lives, in balance with outer happiness. For those who aren’t familiar with this concept, let me explain…

Inner Happiness – It’s the happiness that one finds within oneself. It can be found within self-esteem, a sense of self-worth, a peace within ones mind, and with good health. It’s the happiness that you find, without the aid or a dependence on others or material things. It the feeling that you’re secure and loved, without the words having to be said by others or without having to be surrounded by expensive things, in order to prove it. It’s also an happiness that is not easily lost, stolen, or taken away.

Outer Happiness – It’s the happiness that one finds within others and material things. This is a dependence of feeling happy based solely on the words and actions of others, of material items, of high career statuses and prestigious job titles, of social acceptance and social statuses, and so on. In other words, it’s not happiness created by yourself, but from the direct action or reaction of others, material objects, the environment around you, or social titles and acceptance.

Both inner and outer happiness is needed in a person’s life. Neither one is a bad thing. But there is an balance, that one must keep with both, to have good mental health. Choosing only one of the two is an extreme, which will lead to a lot of mental issues. For example, if  a person were to choose only inner happiness, they would become withdrawn from the world and basically an hermit! And if one were to choose only outer happiness, their well-being would always be dependent on others or material objects. :-/

It’s not good to be isolated and alone, even if you are able to find happiness on your own. You still need other PEOPLE for socialization, emotional support, and life experiences. And likewise, it’s not healthy or fair to depend on others for all of your happiness. People do have their own lives and can’t be there for you ALL THE TIME. Also, people do make mistakes, don’t always agree with you, or sometimes they will let you down. Putting all your happiness onto another person, or persons, is not a very stable thing to do, nor is it fair to other persons involved. :-/

This is why many therapists in the mental health community do focus on teaching their patients on how to find their own inner happiness. No self-respecting or GOOD therapist would ever focus a session around a person trying to get outer happiness only, for a very good reason! Learning the skill of inner happiness is a great tool for anyone, especially those suffering with self-esteem issues, as it can help a person gain more confidence in themselves and a sense of self-worth. Yes, outer happiness is way easier to do than inner. Because outer happiness is a basic tool that we are all born with, to seek happiness from an outside source, beyond ourselves. But easier doesn’t mean better and vice versa.

For a good balance in mental health, a person needs a little of both, not one of the extreme. For example… my outer happiness is my best friend and of chatting with him all day. I gain a sense of love, care, self-esteem, self-worth, and peace from him. But when he’s not around or will not be able to be around for long periods of time, my happiness doesn’t die until he returns. This is where it’s good to have inner happiness, my own sense of love for myself, my own care, my own self-esteem and self-worth. So, when he’s away and living his own life, I’m not crumbling or falling under depression, unable to find happiness because my outer source has left me. And actually, it would be highly unfair to him, if I deem him the only source of my happiness. It would make it so that he wouldn’t be unable to live his own life or to make his own mistakes (always having to be “perfect” around me and always there for me), as my well-being would be his sole responsibility. And that’s a LOT to  ask of one person, I don’t care who that person is in relation to you (even if they are a parent or spouse), that’s just too much! :-o

I am able to find happiness within myself, automatically and effortlessly, on my own. Though, the reason why I am good with finding my inner happiness, is because of the tools that I had gained through years of therapy! It didn’t happen overnight and it takes hard work and practice. And in a long run, having inner happiness as a tool grants a person a stability. Because no matter what happens in relationships or in the world, inner happiness can not be stolen from you. Even in bad times, inner happiness will still be there and can be called upon at will. :-)

Incidentally, this is my 101st post… it brings me a lot of inner happiness, just knowing that I have written in this blog for so long. It doesn’t matter that many don’t read it or comment here (outer happiness) , what matters is the self-satisfaction that I get from starting an idea and continuing with it for this long. ;-)

-D

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It Will Be Okay

October 25, 2010

I do realize that I’m not the only one going through personal change and growth, this season. Many others are going through a change also, this autumn. Some changes are good, some aren’t too good, and some changes are just so-so.

I see the changes of my country, as so many people are drawing lines in the political sand. A lot of hatred has taken over people’s hearts, of all races and backgrounds, of different political sides, and within different religions. Not everyone has succumb to the hatred, of trading common sense with fear. But I am aware that the numbers are growing strong, right now, that so many are swept up into the wave of hate and we are divided. It saddens me that the words of my classroom pledge, in front of the American flag every morning in grade-school, is being forgotten. The words of, “One nation, under God, INDIVISIBLE, with Liberty and Justice for ALL”. The word Indivisible means, “not divisible” or unable to be separated… but we are in fact divided. :-(

However, in history’s past, this nation have been divided in civil rights, against race and religion, against gender and creed. This is nothing new for America. And in our rich history, great leaders of peace and kindness – for ALL human beings-, have stepped up and fought for the freedoms of many. Thing were set right and many of us now enjoy the freedoms of today, fought for us by loving souls of the past. I have no reason to believe that this country will not right itself again. And I will continue to pray and voice for the side of freedom, for ALL. Not only for the rich or poor, for my own race, or for my own religion,  but for EVERYONE until peace is established again. It will be okay. :-)

Beyond politics, there are many struggling with personal demons, while trying to map out their lives and trying to make it from day to day. There are so many issues plaguing the hearts of mankind, as everyone is trying to find their own path in this ever changing world. It is never easy, navigating through the battle-lines drawn in life, while trying to find out who you are and what you want in life. Change is never easy, whether it’s good or bad. It’s often scary and overwhelming, at first. But if it is a good change, a choice that gives room for one to grow and to branch out into new things, it always works out for the best in the end. And once you are on top of the mountain, you may wonder why you didn’t make the climb earlier, as the spoils will be great! And yes, I’m speaking from experience. Don’t worry, keep moving forward. It will be okay. :-)

It’s the unspoken law of growth, that you can not get far, without change. Hardly anything ever stays the same. And although it feels more comfortable and safe, things should never stay the same, as a person will stay stagnant in one place for the rest of their lives. We miss so many new opportunities and waste our own potential, when we refuse to change a little something in our lives or compromise a little in the way we view the world. We miss out on the many different friendships, when we wall ourselves off into groups and cliches, refusing to educate ourselves about others and other lifestyles, when we  fear and excluding them. We harm ourselves, when we refuse to move in a different directions in our lives, and to take a risk in experiencing something new.

A baby learns to crawl; a toddler learns to walk.; a small child learns to run; when older, we learn to ride a bike; and an adult learns to drive a car. What would happen, if we didn’t stop there and also learn how to fly within our diverse spirituality? It will be okay. :-)

-D

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Personality Types!

September 20, 2010

I’m not really into psychology too much, but I do find it interesting. I just don’t believe in casting people in definite boxes of personality types, as not everyone can or does fit exactly into these categories within the holy book of therapists, the book of DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). The fact is, everyone in the world has a little of each detail of every mental disorder listed in that book. :-/

However, I do find the personality types interesting and treat them as a clue into the human condition. Not holy writ or a hard fact, but as a fascinating idea. Many enjoy taking the little personality quizzes online, based on the Sixteen Personality Scale, and sharing their results on any and all social networking sites. So, it is good fun. ;-)

My personality type is: INFP (Introverted Feeling with Extroverted Intuition)… but I also have a little of ISFP (Introverted Feeling with Extroverted Sensing) mixed in too. So, these personality type quizzes are not the most realiable… but still fun. :-p

The meaning of my types are as followed:

INFP (Introverted Feeling with Extroverted Intuition) – Quiet, reflective, and idealistic. Interested in serving humanity. Well-developed value system, which they strive to live in accordance with. Extremely loyal. Adaptable and laid-back unless a strongly-held value is threatened. Usually talented writers. Mentally quick, and able to see possibilities. Interested in understanding and helping people.

ISFP  (Introverted Feeling with Extroverted Sensing) – Quiet, serious, sensitive and kind. Do not like conflict, and not likely to do things which may generate conflict. Loyal and faithful. Extremely well-developed senses, and aesthetic appreciation for beauty. Not interested in leading or controlling others. Flexible and open-minded. Likely to be original and creative. Enjoy the present moment.

And there may be a third one too, which sounds a lot like me, of ISFJ(Introverted Sensing with Extroverted Feeling). Hence, personality types and quizzes are just fun, for me. If I took them too seriously, I would be VERY confused and worried that I suffer from Multiple Personality Disorder. Which I don’t… I think… :-o

But interestingly enough,  all of my types have something in common too! Introverted (“still waters run deep”), with an extroverted passion, and highly interested in understanding and helping others. Each type differ in how a person’s takes in information and shares it, and also artistic interactions. For example, one says I’m good writer and the other says I’m good appreciator of art. I am both… though, I doubt the “talented writer” part. I’m OKAY, but not great. :-p

Anyhoo, feel free to look up your type here: The Sixteen Personality Types 

Find your own personality type (or types) and have fun.  I believe that no test or person can tell you who you are… only YOU know who you are and where you stand. :-)

-D