Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Honoring our Veterans

Of Faith & Mental Health and Your Life by Design wish to honor all those who in our armed forces and the families that sacrificed to much. As a veteran I am thankful to all those who I served with and those who blazed a trail of leadership, service, and courageous duty. 

Oooh Raaah!!!

Duty | Honor | Country








Thursday, November 6, 2014

It's Throwback Thursday!

Throwback Thursday, a good experience or downer?

 On many of the social media sites people post pictures of things from their past. For many people suffering with mental illness, their past is riveted with traumatic experiences and/or a loss of memory about certain times in their past. I recently saw a post on one of the Facebook groups I'm in about this very thing. What do you do when you don't remember the good things?

Here are some of the ideas that came forth:

  • Talk to someone. Doing this may help bring a more positive outlook at things. 
  • Grab some pictures. Looking at old photos may be very therapeutic for some people. Just know your limits and triggers. It's good if you have someone to share this time with. 
  • Therapy.  I found out that there is a type of experiential therapy that allows you to revisit a time in your past but not be harmed by it. This idea challenges me, but it may work for some people. 

 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Can We Talk?

Do you need someone to talk to but you just don't know what to say or who to go to? What about those times that you do share but the person seems like a brick wall or judgmental or passive. Ugh, so frustrating! It makes you want to shut down and build a fortress around yourself. At least that's how I felt and still feel from time to time. But, I know One person who I can turn to over and over again. His name is Jesus.  Hold it, don't click away! This isn't just some religious mumbo jumbo. Check this out!
 " Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will [a]ease and relieve and [b]refresh [c]your souls.] (Matthew 11:28 AMP)

What an invitation to relationship and conversation! Oh, here's another one of my favorites:

 Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool.
(Isaiah 1:18 AMP)
What!? You want to talk to me??? Really?? Yes!! You, today, right now ... He wants to talk with you.
It may seem strange to many to have a conversation with Someone you can't see, feel or touch. But He invites us to,
 "... fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it]." Hebrews 14:6 Amplified Bible
How awesome is that?! He wants to hear our voice! Talking with God isn't about fancy words like what we may hear in church or even see on TV. He's a holy God and we must reverence HIM, but we can be open and honest with HIM. He is the only One I know that I can be vulnerable with. Why not? He knows about it anyway!

So why talk to God?  Why not?

Have you ever thought, "What's the point?" Maybe you feel angry that the trauma you suffered happened in the first place. Yeah, I know the feeling. I remember feeling so upset with God about my divorce, my father dying, etc. I denied my feelings at first, being all religious about it. How could I say that I was mad at God? He's G-d, YAWEH, Creator of All Life, The Almighty... really?  Yes, really. But He knew my heart and met me at my point of need.  And He's there for you as well.


God can and will bring you to peace, but you have to let go and talk to HIM about it.  Pray. One of my life verses is, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6, 7) I had to learn to pray and let God know how I was feeling. And believe me, after some of the rants I had I am a witness to His mercy. But I remind you, He is a holy God and you cannot go to Him any kind of way. 


My sacrifice [the sacrifice acceptable] to God is a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart [broken down with sorrow for sin and humbly and thoroughly penitent], such, O God, You will not despise. (Psalm 51:17 Amplified Bible)
Broken, in despair,  you want out and bad ... Pray! You're angry, frustrated, confused ... Pray! And as you pray you will find, as I did, that God changed me - my attitude, healed my hearts, and strengthened my resolve when triggers cause me to just go off. But prayer works.

So I encourage you to take a step of faith (even if it's a small baby step) and pray - talk to God. Tell God how you feel. And hey, be thankful too. I know it's not easy to say, "Thank You for my PTSD" I'm not that crazy. But thank Him for keeping you through it. Remember the scripture I posted earlier that mentions prayer with thanksgiving... Yeah, with thanksgiving. Whew. Go ahead take a deep breath. Talk to HIM, and take time out to listen for His voice.

The more you pray and the more you listen for His voice the more you will find peace, grace, mercy, joy and a plethora of other blessings and gifts in the midst of your situation.

 Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.] (John 14:27)
In the midst of PTSD, Borderline Personality Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, and the list goes on, you can and will find peace just like I did and still do. Sometimes I pray after one of my "moments" and I feel horrible about. I don't want to damage anyone. So, I pray and ask for strength to handle it better the next time. I pray that the other person forgives me and that I forgive myself. I pray about how I feel, my desires and above all things, that He gets the glory. Hey, if He can get the glory out of my life He can get the glory out of anything and anyone ... yes, even you and your situation.

So now, the ball is in your court. He wants to talk to you. He's asking you right now, "Can we talk?" I hope that you say, "Sure, why not." "Yes!"







 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Are you and emotional eater?

How do you cope with your triggers? Do you yell? Cry? Crawl up in the fetal position? Do you eat?
It is very interesting at best to realize that many people handle their anxieties, stress, depression, etc. by eating. Emotional eating is the act of eating in response to an emotional trigger. When a person is depressed or sad because of an event and responds by overeating, or when a person is lonely and tries to fill an emotional void with food, the person is suffering from emotional eating.

Between 2% and 5% of Americans experience emotional eating, also called binge-eating. About 35% of  that population are men. (Grigorian and Vest)

While online I found this picture. How fitting! And of course the picture shows two of my favorite things chocolate and cake. I don't have to have them both at the same time, either or will do.
 

How do you know if you are an emotional eater? Check this out.

  1. You eat when you're not hungry
  2. You have food FOMO (fear of missing out)
  3. You and your body are not such good friends.
  4. You really don't want other people to know what you eat.
  5. You feel guilty for eating.
You  can read more about these five signs on Huffington Post.  Now, as women we have our cravings. I've craved everything from chocolate to fish (not at the same time). And my weight was a tell-tale sign. One and three were very true for me.

When do you eat? I learned that I ate when studying for exams, can't sleep, working on projects, and at other times. It's important that you know what your trigger(s) is/are and develop healthy coping skills.

Drinking water when one of those cravings come really works. And from a person who doesn't like drinking water that's saying a lot. Keep a food journal. Ok, this isn't the most fun thing you can do, but it works. When I found out how much I was eating I almost passed out. Exaggerated, but you get the point. Key factors were not only what I ate, but how much, when I ate it and what activities (if any) were I engaged in.

There is so much more I'd like to share, but, I cannot put the whole of the matter here. Want more information? Become a subscriber and get the entire lesson "Lose the Weight." Subscribing is easy and free. Just send an email with your email address and you'll receive our newsletter with this and other lessons, articles and information.


Friday, October 24, 2014

Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE)




I found out about this just today and thought I'd share it with you. It doesn't seem to matter what the trigger is, this set of exercises seems to release the physical tension felt in your body. I'm going to try it and will let you know how it works out. In the meantime, try it yourself and leave a comment.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Today was very challenging. I enjoy going to church in the morning. I knew that I had a couple of stops today and prepared my timeline on how I could get things done; even my grand kids cooperated and were ready on time. Yes! Then ... everything started falling apart.


Trouble with the car, debit card wouldn't work, late for church and to put the icing on the cake I got into an accident. Normally my anxiety level would have gone through the roof with the first three incidents, but things were ... decent. But the accident set me in a fit. Just as we were leaving a local convenience store the steering locked up on me and I just missed hitting a pole. But God!

I believe that an angel of protection was there to guide the car away from the pole and not get hit by the truck behind us. I say that because I cannot figure out how I missed it. Not only that, the truck behind me see so closed and the traffic so heavy that I don't know how he missed hitting us. Again I say, But God. 

 Flashbacks from previous accidents - one in particular - came rushing in. OMG! I sat ... and sat... and sat. I was so shaken I couldn't even call anyone. My grand daughter sat looking at me. I realized that if I lost it so would she and the other grands. A calmness came over me enough for me to drive home. Isn't God good?

The car was silent. The stillness was almost deafening, but I requested the quietness. Every time I looked in the rear view mirror I saw a blue truck burrowing down on us. But it wasn't real. We made it home safely and the children enjoyed a picnic in thee living room and a friendly game on the Wii.
I on the other hand broke down in the privacy of my room. I began shaking and my back spasms began. My heart rate went up and I immediately went into prayer. But wait... I couldn't even pray. Words wouldn't even come out. Ugh!!!!!

After a few moments, I called my pastor. All I said was, "I need you." My pastor spoke to my brokenness and instantly prayed for me. Without me telling her how I was feeling she spoke to and prayed about every emotion, every twitch and pain ... even to my fast heart rate.

Many people may not believe that God can and will speak to His people audibly in this day and time. But if there isn't another time that I know that God exists and speaks I know it today. I am so grateful for the experience of seeing God move in my life like this. You see, it took me almost 10 years for me to get back behind the wheel and drive. But God! 

I was so afraid of driving and the thought of it would send me into a full panic attack. But, whom the Son sets free is free indeed. (John 8:36).  I refuse to return to the bondage of fear, anxiety, and depression. Though the symptoms of PTSD arises now and then, I refuse to allow it to define me and bind me.

Today my life and the lives of my grandchildren were spared. The car will have to go in the shop, but thank God no one had to go into the hospital. Today I'm victorious because of God. There is no way whatsoever I can take credit for anything. God is our (my) refuse and strength, a very present help in the time of trouble. (Psalm 46:1)  God proved Himself strong to me.

The name of Jesus is above PTSD ... above anxiety ... above depression ... or any other mental health issue that has plagued my life. I declare and I decree the Word of God over my life and I am victorious. And guess what? God is no respecter of persons (see Acts 10:34 and Romans 2:11). What He did for me today He can and will do for you. He is able to keep you in the midst of all the craziness and bring you peace in the midst of your storm.

Be encouraged. God is able to do exceedingly abundant above all that we could ever ask or think by the power that works in us. Do you want that power? You can have it today. Just ask for it. Ask Jesus Christ to come into your life and to reign over every situation. Admit that you need HIM. Not only will He come in He will fix you and in the process fix relationships and other things.

Have something you'd like to share? I'd love to hear from you. Just send me an email. Have a great week!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Over the past year I have had some interesting conversations and experiences. I realize I hadn't journaled about them here but I did write many of them down. It's better for me not to write when I'm medicated. Because of a longstanding health issue I was miserable. It's a female thing and I finally had surgery (hysterectomy) and I feel sooo much better. So for those who continue to visit, thank you. Those who are praying for me... THANK YOU! I need it. For those who just thought this was a passing fancy and that I wasn't serious boo hoo on you. Ok, that sounded very childish. Oh well.

So, here's something interesting I learned about myself. I'm cool. Yes, I am. My kids and grand children sometimes think differently, ok... mostly think differently, but I am cool. No, I don't have it all together and yes I have many moments of off the wall craziness. But when the dust settles, I'm walking in my healing, accepting what I can't change and working on myself regularly.

I have a new therapist now. This is so awesome! I love her dearly. So, Dr. Morgan, if you are reading this ....THANK YOU for being you. When you have someone to be accountable to you cherish it. Ok, let's be honest, we don't always like being accountable to someone else. But, I had to learn how to deal with my trust issues and relinquish my control. Dr. Morgan challenges me and pushes me beyond my limits and it's a good thing.

So listen, if you are having control issues and you think you don't need help ... get over yourself and get the help. Sometimes you just need an objective ear. It took a long time and prayer for me to make the decision and actually follow through, but I'm glad I did. For all of the clinicians who actually listen to patients and not allow us to settle I say thanks and way to go. We don't need pampering or someone to coddle us. We need straight answers and honesty. Without we will never fully heal and  learn to deal with our triggers, coping skills or life as we now know it.