My own reality and the self check I’ve been avoiding

I started off “ok” this morning, much to the broken sleep I had. Yet even after a conversation with my best girl and laughing and catching up, plans discussed and meetings agreed to; I never left my home. The thoughts have been creeping in today, my own mind’s eye has been taking inventory of my self. 

It is much easier to focus on my cousin and his very recent death. Its been enlightening to be able to share what has been given to me, and know that maybe I can make a difference to someone in a positive and helpful way. . 

The feelings that I have been feeling are ones that I have told myself are not going to give me any answers, if anything they will cause me to spiral further down in a direction versus the fighting I have been doing to stay on top. Sean’s death on March 18, 2012, shocked me in ways I’m sure many can relate to. I spent all that time prior to his Celebration of Life service this past Wednesday, non emotional. I questioned my mortality, as I questioned how is it I have felt little in emotion and it took my Uncle’s anguish to truly feel his pain and realize the full extent of what has happened. 

I realized then that Sean really wasn’t coming back and that no matter how many times I wished him back, he wouldn’t be. That has left me very bewildered and confused, when I’ve thought of ending my life, I’ve never thought of what it would do to anyone else. When I’ve been in that space in my head, the dark black pit, it isn’t simply because someone turned the lights out, it is the point where if left to my own devices (at that time), I wouldn’t be here. I have my sister to thank for that, she drove me to the hospital and stayed with me the 9+ hours it took to get me registered and into a room, where I ended up staying for 16 days. 

My ED hasn’t gone anywhere, as much as I had hoped it would just quieted down, it hasn’t. I’ve spent most of today on links and sites trying to figure out what really my caloric intake is order for me to lose weight. My old pattern of not eating much, working out is no longer what works for me. 

I’ve had way too many dramatic changes in my life, that I feel like I’m slowly starting to make some changes that are for the better. Yet, the changes get trumped whenever something major happens and then all the work I have been doing for myself, ends up getting placed on the back or side burner. Sometimes I can mentally force myself to push through the negativity and focus on what’s good and important.

Today isn’t one of those days. 

All I’ve wanted to do is stay in bed (which I pretty much have), other than having a shower, change of clothes and some housework. The weather has greatly affected my mood today, but it has for many days. I have thought about what it would cost for a Sun Lamp but after googling that and seeing how much they cost, chances are unless I can somehow get the Ministry of Social Services and Housing to cover it, not likely to happen. 

So I am totally at a loss as to know if what I am feeling happens to be “normal” or not.


I wonder if I will ever know what it feels like to have an “off” day, but not have it carry on for days and days. I know that the work I am doing is for my betterment, yet when I have a major life event happen. It throws me for a serious loop.  

What is my coping mechanism for this?

Working through

It used to be that I wrote daily, but for awhile now I have been reluctant to do so. You see, I have been doing some very painful trauma therapy and things have started to reveal themselves and they are very painful.

I’ve also been working with the topic of forgiveness. So for those that don’t know what that means, it means that I am working on forgiving myself and the other person but not forget what it was I endured.

So I’m in conflict and shock. Shock that one of the painful beliefs I have protected since childhood, revealed that I am really angry at my dad for dying, just as much as I am at my mom for not protecting me, nurturing me or teaching me what it means to trust someone, to love someone, to know what self esteem looks like.

These missed teachings during my childhood, have affected my decisions as an adult. I recognize that I can’t go back and change what I endured, that I can only go forward as an adult making adult decisions. The problem is the working through the conflict of emotions I’ve been experiencing.

I also miss my sister and my nephews. I forgive my nephews for they don’t know any better. But my sister, I feel so many emotions and yet, I know how different she and I are.

I think the difference between myself and my family of origin is I am facing everything and it is painful. But I know if I don’t, the pain and the hamster wheel I’ve lived on won’t end.

Now to face the upcoming month of December.

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Under the Grief….. Anger

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Its been a very hard week for me. I’ve seen more doctor’s than I have in a long while.

I went to the hospital earlier this week, as I couldn’t move my neck/shoulder area. I’d been trying with chiropractic and massage therapies and a visit to my family doctor – nothing helped. If anything it made it worse. I even bought a chiropractic pillow to help my neck and reduce tension etc.

At the emergency room at the hospital, it was determined I had an acute spasm of my trapezius, with the muscle tension travelling up to my neck and down my right shoulder.

As I was treated, I had to sit back and really think hard as to what why I am feeling this way. The first thing that came to mind is stress. There has been a huge amount of stress that someone has been dishing out and I decided today, that I am no longer accepting that drama; plain and simple, I come first.

During group, upon discussions surrounding grief, many emotions were spoken of, except one…. anger. For me, I’m angry that my father died, I’m angry that my mother didn’t protect me, I’m angry that my entire world turned upside down and I’ve carried this with me all my life, never knowing any other way to heal.  I feel the beginnings of emotions and I instantly want to stuff them down because that has been my safety mechanism.

I feel fear inside of me, not knowing how to explain the vulnerability I feel with my emotions. How will I know I have made peace? What will it look like?

Its very sad you know that no one in my family of origin supports me, contacts me, or even acknowledges the progress I’ve made. There is no genuine concern of the heartache I have endured. The years I would sit by the phone hoping for it to ring, to be invited to a family function and not because they read it on my blog.

I will not forgive the humiliation I received at my last family get together and after speaking to the persons in question, each verified it was a lie, the conclusion was to simply humiliate me; the same pattern I have lived with since I was a teenager.

I’m angry that I see my nephews grow up via social networking. I am angry that I am their blood and yet they know so little of me. I’ve held on to the hope that one day maybe, just maybe, they may spend some time with me, and learn who I am as a person. But this is not likely.

I’ve had to create a whole world without my family of origin because I deserve to be loved, to spend time with people who enjoy my company and where I “fit”. I don’t have to try to fit, or do things to make someone see that I’m alive. Those who I share my time with, love me for me, good and bad and for that I am eternally grateful.

After my cousin passed away from suicide 3 years ago, I made a decision that I would do whatever it took to heal. That my mental health will be and continues to be a priority. He struggled with a private hell, and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. I can only imagine the emotions and their intensity of them and how he wanted to get them out but couldn’t; so he turned to music. Something he flourished with.

So to end my blog for today, I would say that underneath my grief is anger and under my anger is intense fear and sadness. The progress to just admit this, is significant.


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How do you come to terms?

How do you come to terms that the people who are supposed to take care of you, to love you, to protect you, abandoned you?

I’ve carried this anger, rage, hostility, hurt, sadness, disappointment all my life. I’ve attended numerous groups, coping with change, anger, depression and anxiety, body image, building compassion, I’m sure there are more, but I can’t remember them at this moment.

Until yesterday when I started another new group. A person who I’d never met before, reminded me of my family of origin. The way she looked, her mannerisms, even similar way of what she wore. In all my time of doing group therapy, this is the first time this has happened. I can’t help but feel it is the universe (for those of you who are of spirit belief such as myself) suggesting that it is time for me to start to deal with my feelings, so I can put this to rest and truly work on healing.

Feelings, they scare me. The idea of digging deep within myself, and discussing what really hurts, followed by whatever comes up, whether it be tears, fear, gut wrenching heartache, makes me fear that if my emotions are allowed to come to the surface and I am vulnerable, that those emotions will not stop, and that I will be left with the clean up, however that looks.

We talked about this yesterday and I learned that even though I feel this way, this won’t happen. Our bodies go in ebbs and flows. However, I think this is just going to take some time and learning to trust for me to feel safe.

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Bad Reaction

I have had a set back a big one with my eating disorder recovery. I realize its a journey and there will be times when stuff like this happens, yet the difference is now I could see what was causing it, but I didn’t stop it.  I did admit in my eating disorder group what happened without going into detail as I didn’t want to trigger anyone. The facilitator said that its hard when a “wave” happens when we are trying to find a tiny piece of positive to take away from moments that are difficult.

As our session continued we talked about Body Image and all the different ways it affects who we are. I felt very intense emotions. We then went onto to talk about ways to make sure your child has a great body image. I shut down. I just couldn’t give any answers that would be positive because I struggled to even think what a positive body image comment would be.

I left feeling very angry, not wanting to talk to anyone; I just wanted to be alone.

When I got home, I was bitchy, obviously reactive still from our session. I started to work quickly in my garden, clearing my tomato plant leaves that are dead, checking the remaining plants, picking up pine cones and dead branches as well as planting my daffodils for next year. It always feels good when I am left alone in my element.

I guess that is what you would call being compassionate; something I am not very good at. I’m still stuck at the “you deserve it” voice code.

So how does one become compassionate with themselves? How does one accept that what is going on is a moment and that it is ok to go back to things that are old behaviors and are fine to use but not stay in? How is it ok to acknowledge how and what you are feeling, especially if you struggle with expressing your feelings? It’s not easy to put things into perspective, when your emotions are so intense that it is hard to remind yourself that this moment will pass; especially when it goes longer than “a moment”.

I know last night and today I have felt a lot of doubt. My thoughts and feelings definitely have wanted to give up. The one thing that came to mind is that I deserve to feel the way I do and the other was “go ahead, no one is going to know but me”. So you can see how difficult it is when there is no balance.

One of the things I often forget to do is BREATH. When I’m in the moment where I am triggered, I am so engaged with that thought, that breathing is the last thing I think of. I know that it has been suggested that I take a moment and take 3 deep breaths because it will help my mind and body to relax and to calm down.  Now if I can just remember to do that!

I don’t know about you, but I talk to myself; sometimes it is encouraging and empowering; last night/today “not so much”. I haven’t found a positive tool to go to when I talk to myself in a negative way. I don’t like talking to myself in front of a mirror,  I just know that as I learn new and continuing coping skills, I too will learn to love myself.

Bright Lights Home

Last night on Dancing With Stars, yes its a guilty pleasure once in awhile lol, I enjoyed watching Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough performing a contemporary dance to “Every Breath You Take”.  I found myself welling up in tears as Bindi recounted her memories of her father Steve Irwin. Let me tell you from the moment they stepped onto the floor, you could feel the raw honest and innocence being presented.

Half way through their dance, they flowed across the floor to which lights lit up around them and I “got it”, Bindi and Derek were dancing to her dad! I instantly started to cry because I thought of my own dad and how much I have lost without him here and how much I miss him and the significant loss that has impacted me.

Thank you Dancing With the Stars, Bindi and Derek for opening this path for me with the Bright Lights Home.

Bright Lights Home

Improvements and positive changes

Ugh! I have been sick for almost a week, went to the doctor…. yep sinus and laryngitis YIPPEE! NOT!

Its a challenge because my eating disorder starts gnawing inside my head about how I need to continue to exercise even while sick, that taking care of me is not acceptable. This is the same behavior I had when I worked full time. My mental health has always taken a seat behind everything else; just like my childhood and most of my adult life I’ve always belittled myself, or others have, thankfully I am recognizing more the signs and now I work on compromising more with myself. Its still hard to not give into my eating disorder, but I just have to keep practicing healthy behavior and communicate as much as I can.

Next week is Thanksgiving, not sure what we are doing yet, if anything at all. I’m thinking of asking my girlfriend what she and her son are doing; maybe we co combine and have a dinner.  Holidays become hard for me as they probably do for many; I am going to try very hard to focus on what I can do, even when my social anxiety/isolation kicks in; when that happens, it really feels like the walls are closing in on me. Depression also happens, and that is one that I have struggled with for many years. I am hoping the tools I am learning, combined with making sure to take my dogs out everyday helps me to get fresh air and some kind of exercise. I do miss using my treadmill right now, I’m hoping once my medication is more into my system, that I can go back to it later in the week.

My psychiatrist removed one of my medications last week, I’ve just started to not take it, but I am encouraged that I am down one less mood medication; I already take 2 now plus that one previously.

So one step in front of the other……

Let It Go

Let it go ~~

There are people who can walk away from you. And hear me when I tell you this! When people can walk away from you:
Let them walk.

I don’t want you to try to talk another person into staying with you, loving you, calling you, caring about you, coming to see you, staying attached to you. I mean hang up the phone.

When people can walk away from you let them walk. Your destiny is never tied to anybody that left.

People leave you because they are not joined to you. And if they are not joined to you, you can’t make them stay.
Let them go.

Their part in the story is over. And you’ve got to know when people’s part in your story is over so that you don’t keep trying to raise the dead.

You’ve got to know when it’s dead. You’ve got to know when it’s over. Let me tell you something. I’ve got the gift of good-bye. It’s the tenth spiritual gift, I believe in good-bye.

It’s not that I’m hateful, it’s that I’m faithful, and I know whatever God means for me to have He’ll give it to me. And if it takes too much sweat I don’t need it. Stop begging people to stay.
Let them go!!

If you are holding on to something that doesn’t belong to you and was never intended for your life, then you need to

If you are holding on to past hurts and pains ..

If someone can’t treat you right, love you back, and see your worth…

If you are holding on to some thoughts of evil and revenge ..

If you are involved in a wrong relationship or addiction

If you’re stuck in the past

If you are struggling with the healing of a broken relationship….

Let the past be the past. Forget the former things.
LET IT GO!!! ॐ heart emoticon

T. D. Jakes
Photography : Jaime Ibarra

Get Out!

images (3)I’m  tired of feeling so much anger and rage inside that it spews out like venom.

I’m tired of feeling like I don’t have control even though I am told I can get control.

I’m tired of feeling exhausted from all the crap that has been flying around me the last 3 or 4 days. ENOUGH ALREADY!

I’m tired of feeling the pain and heartache of things I didn’t ask for nor had control of.

I’m tired of feeling short fused, to the point that I want out of my own skin.



I started to work on trust with my therapist and it brought up some very painful, uncomfortable feelings for me. I realize that if I want to get through to the other side of life, I have to work through this, but to be honest, having an argument, seeing my therapist and my psychiatrist in one day and then today was my eating disorder group, too much has been stirred up.

Plain and simple GET OUT!


Full Jars

 I’ve been experiencing anger and rage more than I like. I don’t like how it affects me, or how the emotion is shown.  At my therapist appointment this morning, I expressed how I feel like my anger is on my shoulders, like two torpedoes at the ready. My therapist commented that I’ve had a lot of emotions bottled up for a very, very long time. It seems that my anger is revealing that it is ready to start to work on what’s inside each jar. So I visualized my brain completely full of jars, labelled and inside pieces of paper with comments that are now needing attention.

We talked about a timeline and on the lower side I will write the negative words that I feel and the age that I first felt that emotion. Above, would be words that are healthy and resilient. I don’t need to open every jar all at once, my therapist said to simply choose the “easiest” jar and open it. The idea is whatever comes out of that jar, I need to sit with that emotion, however, before I do any of this work, it is imperative that I have my self care at the ready because opening up a jar, sitting with the emotion, at times will be very difficult, but the idea is to help me with starting to feel emotions, and less with the numbness that has been my shield for so long.

I’m not sure where to begin, I know it won’t be today, but it will start, I just hope I figure out what age I want to start at and if it is attainable at that moment with the notion that each piece of paper I pull out of a jar, I will visualize taking a clothes peg and hanging it out on the line as a way of reminding me that I am starting the process of healing.

BPD is really hard and I want to be in control of my emotions and not the other way around.

What is Psychotherapy

I’ve had several years of psychotherapy or “talk therapy” and it has helped in various ways. I’m presently involved with trauma therapy (which some will say PTSD) which has been painful but I know that in order to help me process locked emotions that have been within me for a very long time.

Below is an article on the topic.

Psychotherapy is treatment for mental health problems in which a  mental health professional helps you change how you think, feel and behave using methods based on psychological, biological and social theories and research. Research shows that changing one’s thoughts, feelings and behaviours reduces or eliminates symptoms of many mental healthy problems and improves quality of life. Psychotherapy is also used successfully to help people cope with or overcome life problems, such as adjusting to a health issues or overcoming discrimination, bullying or abuse, to name just a few. However, this article focuses only on mental health problems.

Psychotherapy is sometimes referred to as “counselling”, sometimes as “talk therapy” and sometimes simply as “therapy”. While these terms tend to be used interchangeably, the term “counselling” has also been used more broadly to describe supportive conversations between a health professional and the client.  These might focus on regular medication intake, housing issues or helping navigate the health system. These types of counselling, while helpful, would not qualify as psychotherapy because they are not meant to treat mental health problems.

Psychotherapy is one of the best treatments for mental health problems. This statement is supported by 50 years’ worth of research. The question is not if psychotherapy works, but how.

How does psychotherapy work?

Researchers have different views about how and why psychotherapy works. The “active ingredients” in psychotherapy can be broadly grouped into specific and common factors. Knowing about these “active ingredients” can help choose a psychotherapy service that is a good fit for you.

Specific factors

Many researchers say that psychotherapy works because it offers carefully assembled interventions tailored for specific mental health problems. An example of an intervention would be when the therapist teaches the client how to challenge worrying thoughts by comparing them to facts. A different example is when the therapist and the client explore patterns in the client’s relationships across time. Another intervention would be when the therapist teaches the client strategies to become more aware of their emotions.

These interventions are called “specific factors” because they differ from one psychotherapy to another. A “psychotherapy” to another.  A “psychotherapy” is understood here as a group of interventions. Researchers who study specific factors compare different psychotherapies (e.g., cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, etc) to each other to find the most effective psychotherapy for a specific mental health problem.

Common Factors

Other psychotherapy researchers believe that therapy works because of “common factors” that are shared across psychotherapies. According to these researchers, most psychotherapies can be helpful for most problems because the effectiveness lies in the art of how psychotherapy is done, not which interventions are used.

An example of common factor is positive, honest relationship between the therapist and the client, who are working toward the same goal. An example of a common factor is a positive, honest relationship between the therapist and the client, who are working toward the same goal. Another common factor is when the therapist and the client develop a shared understanding of the client’s problem and the way it can be changed. Yet another is when the client is given an opportunity to practice and master new skills that help overcome their problem. Research supports the importance of common factors. For example, studies consistently show that a strong therapeutic relationship between the therapist and the client leads to better outcomes in various therapies and problems.

In addition, some researchers have shown that, when some aspects of research design are improved, psychotherapies might not be as different from each other in their effectiveness as those who study “specific factors” believe they are.

How do I choose a psychotherapy that works for me?

Choosing a psychotherapy service can be overwhelming at first. So it can be helpful to use a guide such as some approaches used by therapists. One approach therapists use to decide how to work with a specific client is called evidence-based practice (EBP). EBP specifies three types of information that can help decide on the appropriate psychotherapy: 1) client characteristics 2) research evidence, and 3) therapist’s clinical expertise. EBP has been recommended by the American and Canadian psychological associations and is also used in the field of medicine, where is originated. Although the principles of the EBP were designed to help clinicians, they can also be useful for clients who are deciding on the best psychotherapy service to meet their needs.

Here are some therapist and client characteristics that, according to research, affect outcomes in psychotherapy. You might want to consider them when choosing a psychotherapy service that meets your needs.

The therapist

Research suggests that the person who is delivering therapy has an impact on the treatment’s success. Most effective therapists are empathic, accepting genuine, able to speak with you directly about any misunderstandings that happen between the two of you and able to see strengths in your cultural worldview. They are also highly skilled, but not rigid, in the therapies that they provide. They will challenge you or invite you to step outside your comfort zone.

You can monitor to see whether your therapist has these qualities. If you are not “clicking” with your therapist, it can be very helpful for both of you to have a conversation about this.

The client

You, as the client, are the most important ingredient of change in psychotherapy. You are the one who does most of the work. Studies show that clients with better outcomes understand their problems similarly to the way their therapist views them, but are also open to changing these understandings. They are motivated and have optimistic but not idealistic expectations toward therapy (unless they have depression, because negative expectations are part of the disorder).

Reviewing your attitudes toward psychotherapy can help you assess if this is a good treatment for you.

Finding a “fit” – It’s worth making an effort

Psychotherapies and therapists vary in their styles of work — and your preferences in how you would like to work matter. You might meet with several therapists before you find a good fit.  A good fit means that you feel respected and supported by your therapist and ‘buy into’ the psychotherapy approach enough to work hard and step outside your comfort zone. You might decide to choose a psychotherapy that was successfully studied with a problem like yours.

While choosing a service might not be easy, it is worth the effort — psychotherapy is, after all, one of the most effective treatments available for mental health problems. That is particularly true when you find a good combination of specific and common factors that match your needs.

Written by Karolina Rozworska, MA

I must admit, I found this article very interesting as I never had any of this information on my journey to finding a therapist.