I was in counselling session with a client today and he was saying that he wants to change his life yet fears change and taking risks in case of negative outcomes. He says that it is safer to stay the same. He can stay in his comfort zone if he doesn’t take risks or make changes even though he knows it is not a comfort at all. He feels he doesn’t want to push himself.
I explained the reverse psychology of risk taking… By NOT doing something/taking a risk, we might actually be taking an equal risk.
“If I look for other relationships, the outcome might be that they leave me, or it doesn’t work out well, or they might pass away and make me feel sad and lonely. (negative automatic …….Continue reading To risk or not to risk – both are just as risky actually! ‘Balancing Risks’ in your life….
Today is 26th July 2015 and it has been thirteen weeks and one day since mum, in a strange state of mind, fell down the stairs and badly damaged herself.
my plant pots July 2015
Tomorrow she is going home from the care home she ended up in after her long hospital stay.
I have mixed emotions about this, but hope, with all my heart, that it will work out well. We have converted the lounge into a lounge/bedroom as she cannot get upstairs, and mum will have a carer come in four times a day to help her. My dad will also support her as much as he can.
It is fair that she goes home, and is able to give it a go, as this hadn’t been an option originally, and I have been promoting her return, but she is already ‘playing up’ to my dad and other family members. She has also been verbally abusing care workers in the care home. It can be excruciating. I hope this is not a dementia related trait.
So, am I walking on eggshells as I have done all my life? No.
I have, through a laborious (but totally worth it) recovery from my own mental health issues, found a new balance. I still topple as any scales might, but basically I am balanced. Behind all the mood swings, she is my mum, and she essentially has a good heart. She has mental health issues. She also has a new diagnosis of Vascular Dementia so the future doesn’t look terribly bright, but we must live for today.
In the past three months and one day, I have cried many tears (including today), argued many points, dealt with doctors, family, nurses, care workers and social workers, I have listened to mum and dad’s varying points of view, seen a lot of upset and depression at play within both of them, and visited twenty eight care homes trying to find mum a more suitable …….Continue reading Thirteen weeks and one day; an update on my mum and her dementia diagnosis… Resilience, time for you, and is there anything you don’t like about your personality?…
I am always promoting mindfulness and how to be ‘in the moment’, but today I tried another exercise – Being mindful about
what I can remember from the last week in terms of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. It has worked well for me, in order to be in touch with recent goings on so maybe it will work for you… It can be great writing therapy… It is also a great way to learn how to write in a more ‘real’ way; getting the reader to ‘feel’ your writing… (just take one from your list and describe it as fully as possible – more in my next blog)
Sight – aerial views out of the aeroplane window, beautiful Cambridge, crowds of people in shorts and dresses, ice cream melting down the cone, sun and blue skies, my cat, hamster and fish, Michael’s face and hair, rain, lightening, clouds, mum’s blue eyes crying, the injury on her head, elderly residents in care homes, frail, disabled and sad looking or smiling, care workers laughing with kind faces, green trees and beautiful flowers of all colours…
Sound – the hum of the aeroplane, people speaking across the radio into my headphones, an elderly woman shouting ‘help!’ over and over in the care home my mum is now living in, birds singing outside my bedroom window, the dustbin cart and crashing of bins being emptied, flies buzzing in the house (ugh!), Titus purring rhythmically, music and chatter on the radio, tv programmes, hairdryers and chatter in
Sandra and Titus Dean
the hairdressers, buzzing electrical instruments in the dentist, car horns, alarm clock, cooking timer, mum crying, mum telling me she prefers my hair blonde…
Smell – Urine and air freshener in care homes, musty old smells, obnoxious effluvia’s, baked potatoes, sumptuous fruits of red wine, smelly bins in the heat, the fresh smell Titus brings in from outside in his fur, Indian food, garlic, deodorant, fish and chips…
Taste – fish and chips with salt and vinegar, creamy ice creams, lemonade, lager, white wine, red wine, garlic bread, salmon and cucumber sandwiches…
Touch – My cat’s soft fur, my hamster’s even softer fur, Titus walking over me in bed to wake me up, heat!!! My fan blowing a breeze at me, the air conditioning in my car, wind blowing through the car with the windows down, sweaty body, aching back, aching ankles and feet, headaches, my hair being washed and massaged, cold water showering over my body, a hot hairdryer on my head, alcohol relaxing my brain, …….Continue reading Mindfulness after the event; what can you remember in the past week? Plus it’s a great writing tip and writing therapy!…
I am just starting my counselling course research project. I have chosen ‘creative art therapy’. Writing and
gotta keep smiling through adversity
Photography therapy will be my main subjects. I cannot wait to start as I have gained so much from writing and photography as self-help to overcome adversities in my own life since I was fourteen. I have written diaries, unsent letters, journals, blogs, memoir’s (published) and taken thousands of photographs to capture scenes, moods, expressions, views, good times, not so good times and my travels. I have a lot to give the project and look forward to reading all the research that has been done on a professional level. I had considered writing a self-help book about creative art therapy, so hope this will help me achieve that too.
I have kept a diary since I was fourteen. When I wrote in it, it was like telling a good friend, so it was a release, but because no-one would ever read them, I could write exactly what I wanted – how I really felt, thought, behaved, without worrying about anyone else’s bias ideas. I could also read diaries from the past and bring back memories, or use them to help me to understand past events.
I wrote unsent letters to people (alive or passed away), to tell them how I really feel about certain things. An unbiased, get it all out style with an almost formal approach to it, yet full of my emotions, thoughts and feelings, all laid out on the paper in the written word. Permanent, yet unsent. The person will never see the letter, yet it’s a great release to have written it.
I have, at times, drawn doodles, and I think a lot can be drawn from what and how you doodle – like a drawing from …….Continue reading Creative Art therapy, Writing therapy, unsent letters, photography, drawing, PTSD, trauma, anxiety, Depression, Dementia, Alzheimer’s, relationships, self-esteem……
Yep, it’s another rhyming ditty/poem thing…
my echium pininanna
Six weeks today, my mum fell down the stairs
I thought this time, supporting her, was more than I could bear
But she came out of ICU, trauma ward, and now can walk
Even though she is slow, needs a Zimmer frame, and lots of support
But, I got her in a wheelchair yesterday, and took her for a spin
It broke up the day a bit; some fresh air and sun away from the ward’s din
But it was a day of hard assessments, I had to tell her life story
It wasn’t fun, it was about her needs, and in it there was no glory
For it’s all about funding, social workers, needs and ongoing care
Mental capacity tests, very difficult to watch, it was almost too much to bear
I broke down many times, sobbed and howled, but never in her presence,
Got to be strong, support her needs, but it was hard to get the essence…
over to her, that she needs a lot of help, from now on, to keep her safe …….Continue reading The worst day of my life, thus far, in my forty one years – mum and vascular dementia…
Britain’s Got Talent has finished now. It cheered me up and now I feel low again. I hate dementia and Schizophrenia right now (I’m allowing myself to, just for today) – they seem to have ruined everything for mum. My poor mum (and dad) So much yet to do about mums future care and I have to be an adult and help sort it all out. Wish my three brothers did more the past couple of years. At least they visit mum in hospital at this time. I want to be a child again. This time right now is my worst nightmare I have dreaded happening for real for the past fifteen years. Using mindfulness and eating ice cream and tonnes of food is not working today. I am sure tomorrow will be a better day. Get good days and bad days, but mainly I am keeping very strong and living my life (which I find pretty amazing). xxx
And there was me saying I didn’t want to share my pain on-line; only inspiration! LOL that didn’t last long! Mind you this is a first, so I will forgive myself. I will get through this. I got through my own mental health issues, so maybe this won’t be any harder! Mmmmm, not sure.
Have you or anyone you know had a parent with Schizophrenia or Dementia or both?
“I am not worthy”
“Their needs are bigger than mine”
“I don’t have time!
“I don’t have spare money”
Just a few of the negative things we may say to ourselves when thinking about doing something for ourselves. Thinking like this can make us feel even more unworthy.
But, it’s not really good enough is it? We should look after ourselves and our minds.
If we don’t relax and give ourselves some time in our day, we might frazzle, burn out, get bored, resent others…
Now, as we know, some hobbies or things we may enjoy may take up quite a bit of time, such as boating, visiting art galleries or stately homes, hiking, judo, shopping, a college course in drawing, cooking or learning a language… but they could be very fulfilling.
On the other hand, if you are a very busy person already, you might try practising mindfulness, meditation or just sitting and giving yourself a few minutes to think of nothing. Often you will find that something random and interesting will come to mind. I find my creativity is at its peak and I find answers to things I have been worrying about, if I just …….Continue reading If in doubt, do things you enjoy…