Tag Archives: Self-help

The Not So Daily Grind

misc 064Can’t believe I have been away so long. Thankfully, I have moved on to a non-management position in my work. I am thinking that the unrealistic expectations of my last position convinced me to step away from nursing management. I now am working again as a hospice case manager. Some may think, “Hospice? Isn’t that depressing?” But actually I find it quite fulfilling. Death and dying is just another part of the circle of life. I have the opportunity to accompany individuals and their families on their end of life journey. I work with a committed team of professionals that help our patients and families at this challenging time. Even though it is challenging, it is also rewarding. It is a privilege to help others with their journey.  So it really doesn’t feel like a grind at all.

Intensive group therapy helped me get my head together and know that I needed to change my career direction. Met some amazing people coping with some difficult circumstances. The biggest take away was for me to be in touch with my feelings and to push myself to live and not just exist. What I mean, and what continues to be a challenge for me is motivation. It is so easy to just let time slip by and not be accomplishing anything. I still struggle with this day-to-day. Hopefully  writing about my struggle will help. I have always found that blogging has been therapeutic. And goodness knows I need it.

Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them. —Dalai Lama

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Motivation…Do They Have a Pill for That?

Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.
Will Rogers

Can’t put my finger on what the problem is, but I’ve been highly unmotivated as of late. Which is aggravating in itself, because right now I have a lot of time on my hands and should be accomplishing many things. I don’t feel particularly depressed at the moment, and can’t say I’m having any major physical problems to distract me. So what the heck is wrong with me? I just bumble along, as the days pass by, and feel like kicking myself for not getting anything accomplished.

Don’t get me wrong, I do manage to get the important stuff done, like bathing, dressing, taking care of business, etc. I’m talking about projects around the house, crafts I want to do, blog posts I want to write, and so forth. I just can’t seem to get started. Once I start, I’m usually ok and can carry on. I just don’t seem to be able to get the fire lit.

Perhaps they need to work on a pill for that. I seem to be a testament to better living through chemistry, so why not one more? Caffeine sure doesn’t seem to be doing it for me, haha. Mom says I should make lists, then I will have the joy of crossing things out as I complete them. And I should probably stop wasting time on the internet with things like Stumble Upon and Pinterest. Although I have been inspired by what other people are doing with their talents. I look at all the amazing things going on out there and think to myself that I should be pursuing creative endeavors too! Somebody change my spark plug or something, I need a push…

Uncomfortably Numb

Deep experience is never peaceful. —- Henry James

I’m doing most of what I’m supposed to be doing…getting enough sleep (probably too much), taking my meds, seeing the therapist, eating so-so, being somewhat social. I just feel blah. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to do anything outside of going to work. I’m not particularly fatigued, I’m just very unmotivated and I don’t care.

My depression seemed to worsen when my son left for college. He hasn’t gone that far, just downtown to the urban art school campus, about 30 miles away. I still get to see him once in a while and we talk/text regularly. But living alone has been a huge change for me. I don’t seem to be adjusting very well at all. I’ve been lettting the cleaning go, avoiding the kitchen as much as possible, and spending a lot of time vegging. This is so not like me. I’m typically a very tidy person, like to cook, and like to be productive. I feel so out of sorts.

I had great plans for cleaning up the house when my son left. Having him and his friends tramping in and out tending to make for more cleaning up, and I thought of it as this great opportunity to really get things clean. I haven’t even been up to his room except to go to the attic and retrieve a few things. It just seems too overwhelming.

I guess this is what they call empty nest syndrome. I never imagined it could be such a setback in my mood. I’m sure I could be getting more exercise and all of that good stuff, but now I don’t see anything shifting me out of the numb spot. And it’s not very comfortable here either.

Been Here a Year

Hard to believe that I started blogging a little over a year ago. Looking back, I’ve covered a lot of territory. The question is, am I learning anything, and am I applying it to my life? I hope so, but its hard work.

My therapist is insistent that I really need to work on being more social. Being on the internet doesn’t count! This has been difficult for me. She laughs because just about all my friends are nurses. How else would I know people except through work? Even so, I find that I have a hard time reaching out to others. It’s soooo much easier to veg at home by myself on the weekend. Again I ask, why do I have to be the one reaching out to others? I feel like sometimes someone should reach out to me!

Anyways, it has been a long year of blogging. I have learned much about writing for others and myself. It takes time and thoughtfulness to write something meaningful. I don’t know if it has been helpful to anyone else, but it has been helpful for me. I could never write a journal for myself, but this has come to me somewhat easier. Hopefully even as my depression may improve, I’ll still be able to write about significant topics.

The Most Common Disability

From NPR’s health blog, SHOTS:

More than 1 billion people in the world are living with some sort of
disability, according to a new international survey. That’s about 15 percent of the world’s population, or nearly one of every 7 people.

The numbers come from a joint effort by the World Health Organization and the World Bank. The last time anyone tried to figure out the prevalence of disabilities was back in the 1970s, when WHO figured it was about 10 percent. The current report suggests the 15 percent estimate will grow as the world’s population ages.

Like the 1970s numbers, today’s figures are at best an approximation. Many
countries don’t collect numbers carefully, and definitions of disability differ
from place to place. The World Bank/WHO folks sought out tabulations of people who have trouble seeing, hearing, walking, remembering, taking care of
themselves or communicating. Worldwide, the most common disability in people under the age of 60 is depression, followed by hearing and visual problems.

The post goes on to say that although identification of accurate numbers is an issue, the bigger issue is providing accommodation. While great efforts have been made since accommodation has been legislated through the Americans with Disabilities Act, not much has been done to address the not so visible disabilities, such as Depression. Of course there may not be a standard accommodation for everyone. Each person has a unique situation and is affected differently by their illness, so accommodation needs to be individualized. The only way this will ever happen is that more people with Depression need to speak up about their illness and ask for accommodations if needed. Don’t suffer in silence.

There are plenty of us out there.

Another Birthday

Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.
Celebrated another birthday this week, I think that makes me officially middle-aged, being forty-five. It hasn’t been traumatic or anything, just thinking that more than half of this life is likely over, and that it tends to be a melancholy thought for most. Age has never been something I really dwell on too much. I spend a lot of my time at work with older people, really old, like nineties old.  So that tends to keep things in perspective for me.
I guess I’ve been what most people call an old soul. I’ve always been wise beyond my years, drawn to being with adults, especially older adults rather than children or people my age. I just seem more attune to them. I think Depression has aged me too. I feel like I have lived longer, harder than most. Maybe had more experience emotionally and psychologically so that has matured me. My body seems to register on their cohort as well. I have aches and pains that I believe are a bit premature for someone my age. I’m sure my sporadic exercise and irregular dietary habits don’t help the situation. But I just don’t think I should feel like THIS.
However, I am grateful to be here in this shape and form for now. I don’t know that I want to live to my nineties if it includes sickness and infirmity. I have observed much suffering in the elderly during my work as a nurse and would not wish it upon anyone. What I have now is more than enough to cope with, I can’t imagine life with diminished capacities as well.
I want to make the best of the time that I do have. It’s an opportunity now that I have learned so much during the first part of my life. So I best check with those elders for some wisdom on coping. I bet they have a lot to say about all those birthdays.

Overwhelmed by the News

Twenty-Four hour news is such a bad idea. We get inundated constantly with information and the news is generally negative in nature. When is there ever any good news? They don’t have time to report that. I always said I would subscribe to a station that showed only good news. It would be so refreshing to hear about people who do good things for each other, not just as an aside or filler to all the bad news that gets reported. That would be fair and balanced don’t ya think?

Problem is it is so easy to get caught up in the world’s tragedies and the quagmire of our government that it adds to one’s depression. Makes me want to stay in bed! Where is the hope? I’m not saying we need  news “lite” or should minimize what is going on in the world. Perhaps it is just too much for some of us to handle in large doses. I know I can’t take too much, because I tend to internalize it and hold it. I can’t walk around with the weight of the world on me, I can’t carry it, I can’t change the world. I can only influence my little circle. Since the news rarely addresses my issues, perhaps I should just shut it off altogether. I feel like that would be the putting my head in the sand approach.

It is of course all about finding balance. As usual. If someone who has depression has been able to find a balance without being overwhelmed by the news, I’d love to hear about it.