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    Don’t Quit Your Daydream

    I have always been transparent about my life. From my struggles with depression as a tween, to my bipolar as a teen, and now my battles with lupus and mania as an adult.

    I have never hidden behind masks because I believe speaking openly and candidly can save lives if done with care.

    Lately, I’ve been feeling relatively happy- I am truly living my daydream. Yes, I have my medical complications and I have to go to the hospital on Monday for cancer screenings and I’m worried sick.

    But I’m trying to stay with a positive attitude and and a grateful heart. I have my dream job, good health care, a good routine, and a solid support system.

    Nothing can be 100% all the time and if you keep waiting for forever… forever will never come.

    Seize the day. There is no day but today.

    I’m proud of how far I’ve come, and yes, I’m scared as hell, but God’s got this.

    “Don’t quit your day dream, it ain’t big enough if it doesn’t scare the hell out of you”.

    #BipolarDisorder #Bipolar1Disorder #Bipolar2Disorder #ImposterSyndrome #BipolarDepression #ChronicDepression

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    Remember that thoughts and emotions are simply visitors. They come and go. But if we fight them and wish they shouldn't be there, they stick around longer. Notice that thoughts are simply flying around in your head, and notice how much attention you give them. When you can recognize that your thoughts are not you, nor are they a reflection of you, you can begin to free yourself from them. Does anyone practice anything like this?

    ~ Thanks to all. Thanks for all. ~

    Speaking of thanks for all, I was hoping we could acknowledge everyone who comments below. I know it seems like a small gesture, but many people here have never opened up to anyone before and being open and honest with strangers can be quite scary. So, if we could show our gratitude by giving their comment a simple reply or heart, I’m sure they would really appreciate your team support. What do you say?

    #MentalHealth #Depression #Suicide #Anxiety #BipolarDisorder #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #Addiction #dissociativedisorders #OCD #ADHD #Fibromyalgia #EhlersDanlosSyndrome #POTS #PTSD #Cancer #RareDisease #Disability #Autism #Diabetes #EatingDisorders #ChronicIllness #ChronicPain #RheumatoidArthritis #Schizophrenia #ComplexRegionalPainSyndrome


    I'm new here!

    Hi, my name is Boatlady. I'm here because I had breast cancer, had a mastectomy, endured chemo. It will be 1 year ago January when I finished chemo.

    #MightyTogether #Cancer

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    What’s the hardest part about being a caregiver during the holidays?

    Being a caregiver is a rewarding (but sometimes tough) role, and it can be extra challenging especially during the holiday season when the external demands are heightened.

    What do you find to be the hardest part about being a caregiver this time of year? What tips do you have for other caregivers who are also navigating the holiday season?

    💜 P.S. We hope you can take a little time for yourself to rest and recharge.

    #Caregiving #Caregivers #MentalHealth #Depression #Anxiety #CheckInWithMe #Fibromyalgia #Migraine #alzheimers #Cancer #MultipleSclerosis #Disability #ChronicPain #ChronicIllness #RareDisease


    Relearning "Me" with a totally different diagnosis

    I got a new diagnosis this week: cancer. It is cancer that has a very high survival rate. Due to the nature of my test, it is likely to be very early and, therefore, even more survivable. Nonetheless, I am sick and weak.

    Rationally, I am processing my diagnosis just fine. I know the next steps. I am aware of the odds. I am moving on to the next step.

    Emotionally, I am stunned and stalled. I know the words, but I am having trouble with people's responses of pity or sympathy. I don't feel like someone fighting for my life. I feel a little under the weather and like I am making more of this than there is. #Cancer #ADHD #Depression #Anxiety #PTSD #Recovery

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    I know the concept of "presence" can sometimes seem a bit mystical or unrelatable. A very simple way to start practicing this is to set little reminders around your home or working space to check your thoughts. Practice being aware of what you are thinking about. When you do this, you will notice how often you are dwelling on negative thoughts, and when you check yourself with this repetition, you will develop the ability to break free of it. When you do this, you will experience presence. Does anyone have any other advice on how to feel the peace of presence?

    ~ Thanks to all. Thanks for all. ~

    Speaking of thanks for all, I was hoping we could acknowledge everyone who comments below. I know it seems like a small gesture, but many people here have never opened up to anyone before and being open and honest with strangers can be quite scary. So, if we could show our gratitude by giving their comment a simple reply or heart, I’m sure they would really appreciate your team support. What do you say?

    #MentalHealth #Depression #Suicide #Anxiety #BipolarDisorder #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #Addiction #dissociativedisorders #OCD #ADHD #Fibromyalgia #EhlersDanlosSyndrome #POTS #PTSD #Cancer #RareDisease #Disability #Autism #Diabetes #EatingDisorders #ChronicIllness #ChronicPain #RheumatoidArthritis #Schizophrenia #ComplexRegionalPainSyndrome


    Musings from a Medical Nurse

    I used to love writing. It flowed just as naturally as the very act of breathing. But then COVID happened. And nursing happened – and it’s almost like the longer the pandemic dragged on, and the more tired I became, the less able I was to write. I imagine it’s due to the sheer exhaustion of nursing in a climate that is so opposed to the very fundamentals of nursing – to help, protect, and advocate for those unable to advocate for themselves. I now work on an acute medical unit – where we currently have three permanent hallway beds. The first time I had to perform a nursing procedure on a hallway patient I almost cried. I went to my charge nurse horrified at what I was about to do. I then went home, and told my partner the edited version of what ensued – keeping to myself my feelings of guilt, horror, and shame.

    Unfortunately, there were no other options. And my sweet, kind hearted charge looked at me with the biggest, saddest, brown eyes, and said “I know, I know.” I had so many idealizations going into nursing. I thought I didn’t. In fact, I adamantly opposed the very exclamations of others stating I was naïve and “fresh” – I thought I knew the horrors of healthcare from my experience as a chronically-ill patient. But I didn’t. I didn’t know the overwhelming feelings of guilt, and I most certainly wasn’t prepared for the emotional toll. I almost think my experiences as a cancer patient made the feelings of inadequacy I have as a nurse worse. I understand the fear, the overwhelming loneliness, and the hopelessness my patients feel. And in today’s nursing world, we don’t have time to address that. And we routinely leave our most vulnerable to suffer; not intentionally – but we can only be stretched so thin. I do believe I was born to be a nurse, but I would not wish this for anyone.

    It is why I will not remain a bedside nurse forever. I do not believe it is sustainable and there will be a point when I have to put myself first. And healthcare does not. The hospital does not. The world does not. That is a lesson I have learned slowly the hard way.

    Recently, I was redeployed to work in the emergency room. In many ways, the emergency zone I was assigned didn’t feel any different than my own medical unit. The stark difference was the hallway patients. The paramedics were stationed in one specific hallway, sitting with patients in stretchers who otherwise would have been left alone in the hallway. In the adjacent hallways, there were countless stretchers filled with patients left all alone. It felt like I was witnessing a battle scene, but with no winner, just casualties. And in the zone adjacent to where I was assigned, there were two patients who are burned into my mind. A mother and child.

    A young woman was holding her baby hooked up to cardiac monitors; her baby’s arm was stretched up to the sky while weakly crying. The mother was lovingly gazing down at her newborn. I was witnessing what felt like an intimate, raw moment – yet it was out in the open. I did not know what was happening, but could only fear the worst and hope for the best. The moment felt peaceful, serene – a juxtaposition to the chaos surrounding, and the scene that shortly erupted back in the zone I was assigned. Hearing the code bell, I was jolted from this almost trance, and ran back to my zone where my incredibly delirious patient was stationed directly across from my partner’s patient. An individual who was simultaneously seizing while profusely bleeding. What a contrast.

    After the chaotic storm passed, I sat down to hurriedly finish charting. I glanced at my phone. My partner was texting me to go out to dinner with his friends. I knew I’d sit there at dinner thinking about my day, unable to say anything because god forbid – what if I’m a mood kill. But that’s nursing, and in hindsight – an unhealthy relationship,


    Life blows, when you’re not having fun..

    I’m just very sad; I’m on a cruise to the Mexican Rivera and I’m feeling lost and out of place. I’m with 6 other people, including my husband and my younger daughter and her boyfriend. I’m glad to meet him for the first time. We all agreed that it’s better to meet now than at my older daughter’s future passing. She (my oldest daughter,) has metastatic stage 4 breast cancer. She continues to act as though us, her parents are dead. For reasons known to us, she’s walled us off and out of her life.
    Last night my younger daughter said she didn’t know if we’d ever meet in Columbus OH, where both our daughters now live. I simply said, “If I want to go to Columbus to see you, and him, I will!” She didn’t understand how that would be possible for me, knowing that my older child also resides in that city. She said that she imagined that would be really painful, like having ones heart ripped out not to be able/free to see my oldest child. What damn difference does it make? The older one won’t communicate with us now, anyway. I had a shitty nights sleep thinking about how nasty and spiteful that the older one is playing this game..She’s holding people hostage by her illness! My older sister is also enjoying torturing us, by being in either buddy,buddy league, or substitute Mom status, with my older daughter. -Never mind that they hadn’t spoken or communicated for at least 15 or 16 years! Now she’s my daughter’s favorite aunt! What the hell did I do to deserve such outright disrespect and lousy treatment, from those I Love and care about? It’s just all really nasty and crappy..My husband doesn’t feel this way. He thinks it’s ok that our daughter has shunned us, since she’s always been difficult and problematic. He thinks my sister, who I see as opportunistic and definitely having narcissistic tendencies, might be helping our cause? My thought is that with my sister’s recent post card from Columbus, that she visited my daughter there, is outright mean. The post card didn’t say this, but it felt like this: I’m in Columbus because your daughter flew me here to see her! I have your daughter’s Love and affection and you don’t!
    I’m thinking I should write my sister a postcard from a destination where my sister and I had talked about going to. I should write..”Having a lovely time, glad you’re not with us!” I know it’s petty, but she’s beyond annoying to me.
    I’m just writing all this while we’re at sea. Trying to rid myself of some of emotions and thoughts I can’t outwardly express. Life sucks. #depressed #PerfectlyHiddenDepressedPerson #PTSD #feelings #painful #Emotion #Cancer #Family #heartstab over and over again..I’m in counseling to help process some of my feelings. But the hurt runs deep.


    Are Holistic Approaches to Mental Health Useful?

    Well, first of all, the answer to that question depends on what you mean by “holistic.” If you mean treatment that considers the mind, body, and soul, I certainly have to say yes. All three are inextricably intertwined and healing one tends to heal the others as well.

    Certainly, the mind is involved – that’s implicit in the word “mental.” To many, this means the brain as the location of the mind. Increasingly, this also means thinking of and referring to mental illnesses as brain illnesses. And the competing theories of what causes depression and bipolar disorder, for example, have had something to do with the brain. Perhaps neurotransmitters in the brain are not behaving the way they are supposed to, or processing traumatic events causes brain illnesses (certainly true in PTSD), or genetics is responsible. Whichever it is, the brain is involved.

    It’s not controversial to say that the body and the mind are linked in the most profound ways. What affects one affects the other. Mental illness has demonstrable effects on the body, all the way from not being able to care for oneself physically to having a shortened life span. Treatment programs for mental illness often include an exercise component, which causes physical changes in the body and brain. Depression in particular is known to be alleviated by even small amounts of exercise. The exercise partially relieves the depression, which makes it more likely that the depressed person will be able to exercise. It’s a cycle that benefits both the body and the mind.

    As far as the soul goes, I don’t feel theologically competent to make any definitive statements. I do know, however, that many people find that spiritual practices such as prayer help them cope with the effects of brain illnesses. It may be subjective, but what works, works. I personally don’t believe that prayer cures mental illness, but even if it just makes the sufferer feel more at peace and more comforted, that’s a component of healing that’s important.

    Holistic healing that recognizes the interconnectedness of these three aspects of the person is, in my opinion, more likely to be more effective than any one of them alone.

    Then there’s the other thing people often mean when they say “holistic healing.” To many, holistic healing means avenues of treatment beyond the scope of Western medicine. Herbal medicine, meditation, homeopathy, acupuncture, yoga, and crystal healing are among the avenues that have been explored.

    There is certainly some validity to herbal medicine. It’s been practiced for thousands of years and the results are well-known, particularly by indigenous peoples who have passed that knowledge on throughout the years. Chamomile, lavender, passionflower, and saffron have been studied for mitigating anxiety or depression in cancer patients, with favorable risk-benefit profiles compared to standard treatments. Ginseng is another popular herb for relieving mental conditions. St. John’s wort has been used as a treatment for depression for hundreds of years, and so has valerian for anxiety. And there are many vitamins and supplements such as B vitamins and zinc that might have beneficial psychological effects.

    Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a lot of rigorous scientific study of plant-based medicine. For people who gather herbs and plants from the wild, there’s no telling the potency or amount of the active substance that may be present. Even in herbal products sold at health food stores, there is little standardization, so you don’t always know what you may be getting in terms of dosage.

    Meditation and yoga are popular adjuncts to talk therapy and/or medication for psychological problems. In fact, these days, they seem to be promoted as a panacea for mental health. They’re particularly popular recommendations in corporate settings, where they’re seen as a low-cost alternative to more expensive treatments that would affect the company’s health insurance costs.

    Read the full story here:

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    I saw this and it reminded me of mental health challenges. Having courage doesn't mean you've gotten rid of the fear, it simply means you'll move forwards despite the obstacle in your way. Similarly, having good mental health doesn't mean you've gotten rid of the challenges, it simply means you'll move forwards despite the challenges in your way. Does this make sense? What are some things you do to push through when your mind tries to tell you to give up?

    ~ Thanks to all. Thanks for all. ~

    Speaking of thanks for all, I was hoping we could acknowledge everyone who comments below. I know it seems like a small gesture, but many people here have never opened up to anyone before and being open and honest with strangers can be quite scary. So, if we could show our gratitude by giving their comment a simple reply or heart, I’m sure they would really appreciate your team support. What do you say?

    #MentalHealth #Depression #Suicide #Anxiety #BipolarDisorder #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #Addiction #dissociativedisorders #OCD #ADHD #Fibromyalgia #EhlersDanlosSyndrome #POTS #PTSD #Cancer #RareDisease #Disability #Autism #Diabetes #EatingDisorders #ChronicIllness #ChronicPain #RheumatoidArthritis #Schizophrenia #ComplexRegionalPainSyndrome