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and the Art of Slowing it Down
Tag Archives: Therapy
February 1, 2018Posted by on
It’s still “Time to Talk” somewhere…
And so I further share many people are most comfortable talking to me personally and I find that extremely worthy/valuable. But isn’t it really most curious about societies comfort level. I find it FASCINATING in fact???
That shared, although most fortunate & grateful for my connections, I am often saddened that people – the majority, in fact – feel that they need to hide their trials & tribulations and I struggle with how “private”, a.k.a. kept on the DL (down-low) undercover, our intimate conversations are.
It motivates me frankly to be all the more open (which mind you is both alienating & I reiterate sadly alienates) to show that there is no shame in very vunerable. IMO it is often most meaningful!
In large part even though this (new & improved) feed of mine is still in the beginning stages, it has been ruminated over for years, I make an important mention today. You may read/ deliberate/ remember on your own and not respond w/ a comment or a like AND that is o-kay BUT I ask you to pls consider this: mental health to quote my cousin about a recent teenage suicide in her community “is clearly a multi-layered issue with no clear path to help….except communication”.
So I encourage you to help me, help us bust the Stigma. Reduce the isolation & shame and challenge you to communicate even if you feel uncomfortable.
*Note to reader: This was originally posted on Instagram with the (UK) hashtag #timetotalk. You can find me @jessicakaushik for smaller FUN stuff.
January 15, 2018Posted by on
Warning: The following is highly personal & daily LOVE from one of many fearless leaders blogging today
I yield to God or at least I think I can. How well or not well one knows one another has little bearing in SM (Social Media) IMO. Matters little where care/concern, voices/truths are expressed/considered. But alas there in lies my problem with the crickets (I LOVE your hearts): so much is wasted largely on part of keeping up with the Jone’s and FOMO (fear of missing out).
It’s a much more powerful tool than we allow. Try as I might to make it a better tool. A tool that I both need and want. A complete luxury, I am aware WordPress. You have my permission to go ahead & crown ME.
But ppl, you ppl, are so much better than Google in a land with few Western or English resources. I post here to work things out and am most grateful that you listen but I’d really like to chat more with you; listen to your advice.
Maybe look at my naivety this way? ATM moment for all intents and purposes I am nobody & have done little. I might have 1000 friends/followers between FB, IG & WP – some are duplicates – and that’s GREAT. Really great!
But Leo, The Nerdy Lion, here is most right!
All my blogging, posts, replies & personal and intimate emails (writing) with friends etc.. have been enough. I have found my Voice. I need not look ANY further.
I have most everything that I need besides your chirping lol and so I declined a suggestion to learn how to speak from the Heart (which I am to do in my writing) by taking a class. I’m just gonna write the fcuking book.
There I said it.
Now I have to do it! <inject utter & daunting fear> MVMB, now I have fear… If you follow me here – you know: vulnerability is my path.
I need not be normal nor popular. And I do not have the desire for approval nor recognition. Certainly nobody needs to give me permission. 🙂
But I do desperately desire to know if what concerns me resonates or makes one think or is supportive. It effects the keeping up with the Jone’s and the FOMO’s – a well known human behavior. But it took me so many years to understand that I do have it, because many of you that I follow here or elsewhere or have read etc. (you get the point) have it! So #thankyou.
I deeply thank you for your existence because, and I quote Dani Shapiro, it’s our job, our responsibility (good word responsibility), perhaps even our sacred calling to take whatever life has handed us.
October 27, 2017Posted by on
Note to reader: And this was written a whole two (2) years ago. Couldn’t tell you when?! #sigh I love a good time stamp.
. . .
I learned to be grateful for Macau the hard way! L.R. Knost reminded ME of that: “Life is amazing. And then it’s awful. And then it’s amazing again. And in between the amazing and awful it’s ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That’s just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life. And it’s breathtakingly beautiful.”
It’s the “ordinary and mundane and routine” that I have struggled with being an expat in Macau! To digress, it’s the reason that I think I drink. Outside the pollution, Macau isn’t all that bad!! I am most grateful to not have to wear a facemask like many routinely do in Beijing…
I have already spoken about not being able to communicate to the locals; I was learning Hindi to speak to my in-laws upon arrival, so I never picked up Cantonese. To date, I can say maybe three (3) words after four (4) years?! You can trust that I use them a lot! Good Morning = Jo Sun. Hello = Ni Hao. And Thank you = Um Goi Sai. …I am most grateful for Google Translate! You would be too if you lived here! There are too many characters in the Chinese alphabet to count.
IF you are following ME on Facebook, on the BP Magazine page, you’ll note that I have mentioned that my five (5) year old son cannot run on the grass in the local parks but what I didn’t mention is that we have a lovely resort that we can take a soccer ball to play with on a beautiful lawn after a lovely Sunday brunch. In retrospect, we don’t do that enough as it’s it next to a VERY polluted beach. <Insert sigh> Yes, we have beach, sounds exotic but it’s not, but I will not allow our family to go in the water!
This one (1) time & only one (1) time we went to see a play. For my birthday, my husband took ME to see a play about the mentally ill to inspire ME in writing my own story, a Screenplay, an autobiography. My (embellished) autobiography in which I hope to, for the first time admit by blurring the lines of reality, provide an insider’s guide to the inner working of one BP mind and not the events as they passed.
Am now I am living a life practically, not entirely unlike John Nash, free from the ‘agents’ that were following ME and my conspiracies in the USA!
But if I am honest a neurological pathway has been eroded and still, some days I see t-shirts, most are in English, and I think that they are wearing it for ME!? And while I am being honest, sometimes I take note of neighboring apartments, one in particular, with their lights on in the middle of the night when my insomnia hits & I question, repeatedly, is there someone in there on an assignment watching ME?!
And then I check to see if I took my medication and remind myself that it is only ME that is doing the watching! Gratefully I can live with it now; it does not drive ME crazy anymore. It’s not weird, nor scary. It’s my new normal… a breathtakingly beautiful take on ME & my “ordinary” reality.
December 6, 2015Posted by on
I saw some version of this on a t-shirt yesterday & I believe it to be true!
“Life has shown me that people are courteous if I am courteous; people are sad if I am sad; people love me if I love them; people are mean if I hate them; people smile if I smile; people scowl if I am scowling; that the world is happy if I am happy; that people get mad if I am mad; that people are grateful if I show gratitude. Life is like a mirror; if I smile, the mirror returns the smile. The same attitude I have towards life is what life will have towards me.”
Note to reader: This post started over two (2) years ago!?
Sometimes the truth hurts. And sometimes I have problems owning up to that pain. Often I act cowardly and turn the other way. <Insert sigh>
I can just hear myself, “No it couldn’t be MY attitude that needs a tune-up, it’s just that I was dealt a shitty hand…” Problem is I am wrong! I have failed to listen to this advice for the last two (2) years?! I could have saved myself a great deal of heartache if I internalized the message long ago.
And so as I embark on therapy but you can trust that I’ll be sucking facebook dry for what inspirations it has to offer!
November 19, 2015Posted by on
If your familiar with my older posts – you’ll take note that it’s been a while since I opened with a song. Hope your glad to have it back! This one touched me deep inside recently as I am working on breaking on through to the other side… Gratefully I have been coping for a long while but think I am in the final stages of gaining life long stability through introducing a daily routine and continuing with my gratitude practice. Not unlike how recovering alcoholics prey for their sobriety morning & night.
With that I will share that it was only after reading this I realized that I am just TOO HARD on myself!? http://www.mysticalraven.com/inspirational/19-signs-youre-doing-better-than-you-think/
And so I will try to take a deep breath, now and again, when life presents me with another challenge and continue! Our breath is and always has been our gift in this life!!
- I am alive; and for a Bipolar that is significant. I have contemplated suicide more than once.
- I am able to see the sunrise, alone in the comfort of my home with a cuppa joe. But a glass of wine, usually cooking at sunset?!
- I am able to hear birds sing if I pay very close attention and waves crash if I go to a beach of any significance. I have never really been a beach bum!
- I can walk outside and feel the breeze through my hair… sometimes I notice it when I don’t have my nose in my phone?! I will try to not the sun’s warmth on my skin more often!
- I have tasted the sweetness of a chocolate cake & living in macao, I miss a good chocolate cake!? Thanks for reminding me. :|
- I never go to sleep hungry, unless I am dieting, and for that I am so very sploit.
- I did awake this morning in my family bed with the roof still over our heads. My son & I try to remember to thank the Universe for this daily.
- I always have a choice re: how to express myself and for this too, I am so very sploit.
- No, I haven’t feared for my life today.
- I have overcome some considerable obstacles, however innocuous they have been and I have survived. Am still evaluating the learning curve. ;p
- I have ambition, passion, drive and thte freedom to make my own choices!
- I don’t live in China… Macau isn’t China!
- I am strong & healthy! Although you may be hearing from me more soon, I have to get foot surgery & will be strapped close to my apartment in a cast for a month!
- I have a family of nine (9) whom misses ME and is looking forward to spending some time together around the holidays.
- …uh, no. Maybe not, at 42 I don’t reminisce much yet.
- …uh, again no. The drinking water in Macau is the shit of the litter. We get everything that China doesn’t want. BUT I know what you mean, it’s clear.
- I have high quality medical care and insurance that covers most of it! This is a blessing!
- Geeze! Sadly this is a BIGGIE!! I don’t know what I do without the internet.
- I can read and I am very proud that I taught my son to read at four (4) by simply tracing sentences with my fingers.
Note to reader: I encourage you to elaborate on your own answers as I did. And I encourage you to write them down!
August 24, 2015Posted by on
So I just completed this questionnaire. http://www.the-open-mind.com/40-questions-that-will-quiet-your-mind/ You don’t have to write it & post it in your blog like I am doing but you should really take twenty (20) and try answering the questions too! Note to reader: It got hard at the end, I had to go back & think harder about some of the questions but most of them came to me effortlessly. I am glad that I made the time for it! The opening was my hook, line & sinker: “Judge a person by their questions, rather than their answers … because asking the right questions is the answer.”
1. In one sentence, who are you? I am a creative, impatient, generous soul.
2. In one word, what do you live for? Family.
3. What is worth the pain? Make up sex.
4. What will you never give up on? Love.
5. What do you always try to avoid? Ignorant people.
6. What’s something you take for granted every day? My breath.
7. What do you need most right now? Sleep.
8. What’s the best advice you have ever given yourself? Count your blessings.
9. Happiness is a ________? Cuddle.
10. What would you immediately do differently if you knew no one would judge you? Where shorts.
11. What kind of people does the world need more of? People like ME.
12. What does beautiful look like in the dark? Empty.
13. What is the most beautiful thing you’ve seen today? (This one is a little forced…) My naked body.
14. What’s one problem you’re thankful you don’t have? Childhood trauma.
15. What’s something nobody could ever steal from you? My creativity.
16. Who would you like to forgive right now? Myself.
17. What is the most valuable life lesson you learned from a mistake? We have many soul mates.
18. Happiness is not ________? Constant.
19. Love is not ________? Worthless.
20. Who are you grateful for? My husband.
21. What is something you wish for everyone you love? To see the real ME.
22. What impact do you want to leave on the people you love? An indelible impression that they matter.
23. What’s something simple that makes you smile? A wild flower.
24. Life is too short to tolerate _______? Republicans. (Drew a blank here, so took a cheap shot.)
25. What’s something negative you think about too often? Why doesn’t anyone understand me? (I am most certainly flawed but filled with good intentions.)
26. What’s something positive you try to keep in mind when negativity surrounds you? God made me this way.
27. What’s something you’ve grown to appreciate, as you’ve grown older? Listening takes time. (I really need to re-read that!)
28. What’s something that used to scare you, but no longer does? Sleeping in the dark.
29. My life would be a lot different without _______? My son.
30. What gives you hope? The sunrise.
31. What do you have total confidence in? My marriage. (It has taken me years to say that!)
32. What chance are you given every single day? To start anew.
33. What do you want to remember forever? The support I got from my parents.
34. What do you appreciate most about your current situation? That I am a pedestrian.
35. What do you always look forward to? My husband coming home after work.
36. What the world needs now is _______? More yoga.
37. What recently reminded you of how fast time flies? Seeing an application I submitted over eighteen (18) months ago.
38. If you were going to die at midnight, what would you be doing at 11:45pm? Gently resting nestled in the arms of my loved ones.
39. What’s something everyone should be able to say before they die? Don’t give up.
40. What’s something that doesn’t have an ending? Soul searching.
August 7, 2015Posted by on
The title however catching is deceiving; my goal is not sobriety. Gratefully I never hit rock bottom but I hit my bottom. If you can appreciate that, you understand that most things are relative!
My relationship with alcohol started at a young age. It started innocuously; I was just ‘experimenting’ but I grew to abuse it over the years – I used it to self medicate. As of late I have a drink everyday; sometimes as little as 1 (one) but occasionally as many as 4 (four). I’ve been in denial, for much too long that my drinking is in fact is a problem and the denial has made matters worse; not unlike the big belly Pooh got from his honey pot!
Whether your aware of it or not, alcohol is everywhere you go. It’s so very accessible that I don’t know how people entirely abstain from it! The temptations are harder than I can possibly imagine. That said however I can appreciate coming to the conclusion: “it’ s just not serving me any longer”! That was the conclusion I had until I had long discussions with my best friend, husband & psychiatrist!
In short, they don’t think that I fit the alcoholic profile. I trust that they all have my best interest at heart and we are all very well aware of the bipolar/alcohol relationship but they all have drawn the same conclusion and suggested that I start by giving myself a quota. i.e. seven (7) glasses a week. If I drink all seven (7) in one night at dinner with friends, so be it. Or if I choose, I could enjoy one (1) glass a day. Once I learn to moderate it, I can taper off. The point is not to punish myself nor go overboard and abstain forever.
There’s a famous quote that Albert Einstein said: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I may very well want different results, as I now appreciate that my self-medicating has gone on far too long. What I want now is to be restored to sanity!
And so my theory goes: Discipline can restore me to sanity, writing can restore me to sanity, more meditation & yoga can restore me to sanity! I am not going to find sanity in another glass of wine!
And so I have taken the first step and set a quota. I pray that God helps me find new & improved ways to cope with the daily grind. I trust that she will as I have opened myself to her. With that I am considering the possibility of a life coach to ensure my short term success!
August 1, 2015Posted by on
As I writhed in my bed, desperate to get back to sleep, after being rudely awaken by some noisy tourists the other night, my husband had a novel idea; he suggested that I take a bath!
??? It did not compute! That’s not something that I can recall doing since I was either pregnant or when my son was a newborn… Mind you, I take baths all the time, well every other day, BUT those are more work and most certainly not like the bath that I had then nor am having now, for pleasure!
If you haven’t taken a real bath, a water bath, in a while I don’t know how to impress upon you that you should. The title of this post is a play on the “got milk?” campaign & my feeble attempt to get you to take a water bath more. I for one am going to continue to try, perhaps not after I put my son to bed, that’s QT time for my hub and I, but after I wake up my computer in the middle of the night & write.
…but before I diminish what I do here let me share that frankly, it occurs to me that, my blogging is a mental bath! Writing cleanses my soul. Often I just have to get things off my chest in order to move on. If your like me I encourage you to try it all the more!
And with that comes the realisation that you may already do; there are many more blogs out there than we know about. My best friend has a blog, it’s old school & called a journal. It may very well be much more accessible to her than this here is to ME, as she keeps it in her purse, but I wonder if it’s as constructive!?
Although I envy her pen to paper, my journals were/are never constructive they were/are mere recordings and a place to bitch, whine & complain… I didn’t come to realisations the way that I do here when I write and I think that’s because I have you, an audience. I have someone to write for, someone to edit for. My blog challenges me to attempt to complete a thought, come full circle, find answers, suggest solutions…
It’s unrealistic, today as I’ve just rediscovered the water bath, to think that I am strong enough to suppress my extroversion and reach for the faucet first to cure my insomnia – often I feel that I am going to burst if I do not record myself, either verbally or in written form!? Writhing in bed, tossing and turning, alone with my thoughts, is a royal waste of time. Soaking in a tub while writing seems so much more productive, no?
It is important now to note that a deep(er) relaxation is coming from having a good sit, reflecting on the fact that Rome wasn’t built in one day. I am no different. I am a work in progress! Unless your a genius or child prodigy, great things take an inordinate amount of time. Even small things like a good cup of tea needs to brew, coffee needs to percolate & fine wine needs to age!
The change indicative of such a realisation that I need to be patient, to take time, to respect the natural order of things! Change is hard & doesn’t come overnight but if I make more time for baths I trust that slowly & for good… the inner fulfilment that I seek from honouring my calling will come. I may not be able to run today but I certainly can see myself tip toeing toward the light and perhaps that’s just the sign that I am looking for – the sign of a good bath?
Note to reader: It’s bad for us to wake up our devices in the middle of the night… I recently read in BP Hope: “Prolonged exposure to our devices at night throws off the natural cycle of melatonin production, a hormone that regulates our sleep-wake rhythms. People with bipolar tend to be especially susceptible to such disruptions – which is why experts recommend both maintains a regular sleep schedule and shutting off your computer or phone early in the evening.”
May 12, 2015Posted by on
IMO had I not told my now husband, a few short weeks after we met, when I was thirty four (34) that I moved back into my parents house to get medicated for & stable with my “BIPOLAR” condition, we might not be together today! You see, I had a vision & a belief that my future could have a different story than the one that I had been living/ struggling with on my own…
Kindly read this article now so that you can appreciate where I am coming from! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/11/mental-illness-shame_n_7204676.html?utm_hp_ref=stronger-together&utm_content=bufferf56f9&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
Further I might not have been blessed with a child, because I had fertility issues in my late twenties (Note to reader: We were preggers a short six (6) months after marriage.), and I might not live in Macau… Ha! Not that Macau is any great shakes, IMO, but it does afford me the privilege to travel internationally & appreciate the limits of our greater world, first hand.
And that got me reflecting – had I been honest with my employers I a) may have been paid better, Bipolar’s are known for their creativity, or b) I potentially may not have so easily quit & or been fired from many a good job prior to meeting my hub.
All that said, I know how tough it can be! It still took me a good five (5) years later to “come out” to my larger network of family and friends and I still haven’t come out here, behind this blog?!
After Robin Williams suicide, a light bulb went off in my head and it occurred to me that IMO: “honesty IS the best policy” and amazingly I have found in less than a year that I am more comfortable not hiding behind a secret/lie… whichever way you choose to look at it! (Note to reader: Now I believe that not being true to myself and fair to those around me by being an open book was both; a secret & a lie!)
Additionally I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to enjoy the joys of advocacy. I wouldn’t be able to help friends old and new. Some times it is not so obvious but years and years of therapy has taught me how to dissect what’s behind our words and actions. Mind you it’s only my opinion, at the end of the day, but it helps me analytically juggle my interactions and those of others IMO. Lol; are you tiring of all the IMO’s?
Even more importantly perhaps it has made me hypersensitive to my alcohol fetish. I cannot say “alcohol addiction” because I often choose to pair my drink with my food in a very rudimentary non-sommelier way. (Note to reader: If you haven’t read some of my other recent posts, you may want to stop now and read another breaking ground study: http://www.thelocal.no/20150427/norway-study-substance-abuse-related-to-mental-health.)
The saddest thing about this reality: “that people living with a mental illness choose not to seek treatment for their disorder due to fear of judgment is the loss” is that it cuts both ways. Loving a person that is mentally unstable may not be the easiest thing to do. IMO they can be less rational, practical, logical, hold grudges longer, literally imagine that the sky is falling when the shit hits the fan but the breakups and the havoc that they wreck on both parties is so very not worth it. Sand bagging relationships is not worth it. Sticking to your guns to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is!
And to think that this very common occurrence could easily be remedied with three (3) simple words: “I am _______.” Here, I challenge you, all of you – clinically unstable or not to fill in the blank. If you can’t I encourage you to write to Encyclopedia Britannica because the world needs to record that there is one “PERFECT” person in this crazy world.
The point here is this: never be ashamed of your _______. It might not be pretty but admitting that you have a _______ might be the first step towards making it work for you. Dig up the courage to look past your limits & listen to Caroline Casey, “being absolutely true to yourself is freedom”. Here I have chosen to share her TED talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/caroline_casey_looking_past_limits
…I know it may be hard to admit our weaknesses, shortcomings and failures but it’s so very exhausting trying to being perfect. When reality not a single one of us is. IMO we all need therapy. We are all some shade of fucked up. Some of us are just more open and honest about it than others.
It is my hope that you find this post supportive and that its helps give you the ability to believe that you can get past your _______. I hope that ME and my stories encourage you to be yourself! Trust that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
At the end of the day, my message is this, I am glad that I told some random guy that I had barely even kissed in a town that I had no intention of staying in why I was very nervous to be HIS date to his birthday party. What I learned through my sharing is what Caroline Casey learned: “When you make a decision at the right time, in the right place – the Universe makes it happen for you!”
March 8, 2015Posted by on
Negativity really has a bad rap!
But to me it’s just one side of the coin. It’s a fact: there is joy and there is pain; just like there is day and there is night. Just like there is winning and losing – good and evil, happy times and sad times… this is life in its totality! The plus’s and the minus’s.
But not everyone sees that.
Instead everyone under this great big sun wants to dance around barefoot in the tall grass with the breeze in their hair while it is showering rose petals.
… and yet I cannot relate because this quote that I cannot quite recall haunts ME. It’s something about how one can only see light through the darkness.
And that is something that I have accepted at the core of my being. It’s not dissimilar to the faith that I have that the sun will always rise.
With this acceptance comes a dilemma, as I want my whole self to be heard. I want my whole self to be felt. But I am learning that you can’t be brutally honest with everyone because the whole truth can hurt. …this dilemma gnaws at my soul because I am desperate to give my whole/true self to someone but when I look around the only one that I think can handle it is myself!
So here’s a dose of my own medicine. Here’s a stab at being brutally honest with someone: When I have a hard look in the mirror and seen a lie; a fake!
I can’t tell you how many times that I have questioned my authenticity since becoming a yoga teacher. With the title comes a sense of responsibility – an image of a role model, no?
But I am no role model. I am not living the best yogic life. Instead, for example, I drank a fight with my sister away just before being caught plastering pictures of my family on Facebook while arguing with my husband and neglecting my four (4) year old son. And that was just yesterday!
Some yoga teacher. I don’t feel better. I feel dark. Sad even. So, I think I will crawl under a blanket and disappear until the sun finds a way to peel open my eyes!
For tomorrow I start a detox, a new exercise regime & a renewed commitment to my morning practice. I am lucky it’s Spring. It’s high time to reflect – to reinvent. …and maybe just maybe it’s high time that this yogini give some thought to why everyone under this great big sun wants to dance around barefoot in the tall grass with the breeze in their hair while it is showering rose petals!