Category Archives: challenges

You Are Enough-Be Vulnerable

Hello Friends!

It’s getting close to the New Year and I want to leave you with a few thoughts consistent with my last post.

In treatment with my clients lately I’ve been focusing on helping people increase their awareness of shame and how to combat it. Shame keeps us stuck, it keeps us from reaching out, it tells us we are not enough, we are not important. Shame is paralyzing and keeps us isolated.

Many people deal with depression and suicide thoughts and feel ashamed because they think that there is something wrong with them, they think this is something they deserve, they are suffering in silence and it is not necessary. According to the National Institute for Mental Health shares statistics that 17.3 million adults had at least one major depressive episode (2017-data courtesy of SAMHSA). Depression is no respecter of persons; these numbers indicate anyone is vulnerable to develop depression whether it is situational or genetic factors.

Situational depression can affect people through illness, marital change, employment change, or death of a loved one; even a move away from loved ones could affect developing depression. In addition trauma can affect a development of depression too.

There isn’t a reason to be ashamed for having depression or suicide thoughts. These things affect many people.

I suggest listening to Brene Brown on YouTube; she has a couple of really excellent TEDtalks about shame and vulnerability. These are also very popular, getting millions of views. She emphasizes the way to overcome or silence shame is to be vulnerable. As a therapist I see this meaning: talk to someone about your struggles. Find social support somewhere that you can speak openly about your struggles and discover that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

PLEASE REACH OUT IF YOU ARE STRUGGLING- it works.

 

TIPPs for Distressful Thoughts

Hello friends!

The holidays can be a difficult time for many people and sometimes those suffering can experience thoughts of suicide or self harm.

Here are some ideas to help if you’ve had these thoughts: I’ve coached many clients to manage these distressful thoughts by using DBT skills and it works very well!

When first experiencing suicide or self harm thoughts can be very painful and distressing, use the TIPP skill (temperature, intense exercise, paced breathing, or paired muscle relaxation)

Temperature-hold an ice cube or dunk your face into an ice/cold water bowl for at least 5 seconds.

Intense exercise-run on a treadmill or outside for 3 minutes at a full sprint.

Paced breathing-deep breathing -slowly count to 4 as you breathe in, hold your breathe for 4 seconds, breathe out for 4 seconds and hold for 4 seconds-repeat for a couple of minutes.

Paired muscle relaxation-starting from your toes- tenae every muscle group for 5 seconds and then release- moving you to your head and face.

After having done all of TIPP, people are usually quite tired and in a different frame of mind but just in case…get involved in an activity with a friend, do something kind for someone else, connect with someone who loves you… and always important: make sure you get enough sleep, nutrition, exercise, and medications if any are recommended for you along with meeting with a professional.

I hope these tips (haha TIPP) help anyone who struggles in this area. Know you are important ❤️

Taking Care of You

Hello friends!

I’ve been absent for a bit, I apologize for my delay. I’ve been contemplating where to go with my blog for a couple of reasons.

First, I’ve realized that many people that are influencers often give away or resell their clothes after one photo shoot…(that doesn’t really appeal to me. I love my clothes and usually keep a quality piece for many years so that seems wasteful in my opinion although I know I cannot judge others…this is just what works for me).

Second, someone I knew from kindergarten through high school committed suicide about two weeks ago, no one knew he was suffering, and I’ve been thinking how to help others that struggle or suffer alone.

I thought for a time I might focus on offering advice for others how to deal with life when you have difficulties that seem too hard to bear. I am a therapist IRL working at a mental health/substance abuse treatment center for young adults, and I feel terribly sad knowing that people suffer without anyone knowing or without resources.

Here are some tips I’ve learned while studying DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy-created for people with Borderline Personality Disorder but very helpful with people struggling with suicide and self harm thoughts.

(A past client of mine created a little flip chart for therapists to reference when feeling like we are burned out and one page I particularly enjoy is:)

LOVE YOURSELF LIKE A NEW PUPPY: Prioritize good sleep habits, Nutrition, Exercise, Connection with people you enjoy (add:honest discussion about what is going on with you), Focus on practices that promote calmness and well being, Meditation, Journaling, Talk therapy, quiet time alone doing an activity you enjoy. (These ideas are gleaned from DBT)

Many people struggle with depression, anxiety, or suicide and self harm thoughts but that doesn’t have to mean your life is not worth living. Talk to someone and let them know what you are going through and get some help. Speaking up can be scary but after that, the darkness fades if you share it with someone. The burden is lighter if you share.

Wig Adventures??

Hello Friends!

How’s everyone doing this fine Thursday??

I thought I would share something that I can now laugh at in regards to my new wig!

Remember a few weeks ago I went bridge jumping and synchronized swimming? Well the same time I traveled with my daughter and her two children in my husband’s SUV, a Ford Explorer with apparently not enough room for the four of us. Granted we each brought a lot of stuff for six days which is necessary when traveling with children.

But we also brought three camp chairs and two inflatable river rafts. We anticipated playing in the lake and the river. We did float down the river and it was so fun (we got the rafts from Costco $20, a great deal). But we packed up our suitcases and all every day because we moved from one hotel room to another (alas we did not plan ahead) so packing up every day was a HUGE pain.

This is where my wig comes into play. There were a few days I did not wear my wig because we were doing water sports, so I brought a couple nice towels from home and I wrapped my wig carefully in the towels and put it all in my suitcase. On the afternoon we were bridge jumping, my grandchildren were playing in the lake and it started to rain. You might notice this on my video in my bridge jumping post. The wind started to blow and it got quite a bit colder than previously. My daughter told me she was getting towels out of the car.

I thought she meant her towels, I did not know she meant my towels which nestled my wig…my $500 wig. So she arrived back with towels and we headed to the Explorer with the kiddies wrapped up warm.

My daughter walked up to me and explained she found my wig laying next to the road by the bridge as she brought her children up the hillside!

Holy mother of pearl! My wig was laying on the ground?? In the dirt?? Next to the road?? How can this be?? I said a few choice words before we figured out she had opened my suitcase and grabbed my towels without noticing the carefully wrapped wig….oh my heavens.

Well when I calmed down (!!!!!) I told her I was sorry for getting mad at her and I brushed out my wig, so thankful that she had noticed it lying on the side of the road (I didn’t see it there?) and picked up and big wad of hair without really knowing why it was there. I’m so thankful my sweet daughter picked up my new wig!

I’m sure my wig will have many adventures over the next several months.

I wore part of my black Halo on a rollercoaster July 4th and it never even came off! I was upside down for quite awhile, so there’s another adventure right??

You never know what life will throw at you!

 

Summer Hair (I got a wig)

Hello friends and happy weekend!

I know I told you I would share my wardrobe tricks while on vacation in Peru, but something else happened!

While in Peru, I wore my two halo pieces every day until about 9pm. Normally at home I take them both off when I get off work. I do this because one piece attaches on top of my head with a monofilament wire, although maybe the hair is too heavy because this wire has been digging into my head, leaving a dent and sometimes causes my scalp to bleed. It’s been painful.

I’ve been wearing both of my halo pieces daily because for the last several months, my hair has been falling out at a terrific pace. It might be stress that made it worse, I honestly don’t know.

So I’ve been thinking of getting another wig. My hair loss was bad about 3 years ago and I got a wig then (it’s a short one though) and I’ve really got attached to long hair. It’s so fun!

So yesterday after work, I went to a local wig store called “Creative Wigs and Hair Replacement”. It’s a new store from the one I visited a few years ago, but I’ve learned since then not to be afraid of a wig store. The employees are so kind and just there to help women or men. (I think most women wear wigs due to hair loss and the employees are so sweet, some of them experiencing the same thing)

I was originally trying to find a wig similar to my halo (s). I tried on several. I think the human hair wigs were very nice and look super natural although they are VERY expensive -$2500. So I thought that was out of the market.

But then I tried on a really cute wig, it’s a tiny bit shorter, still long hair, kind of a beachy type of style……and it’s blonde!

So… I decided I love it and it doesn’t hurt my head! Yay! I also don’t have to worry about my hair loss because with a wig I don’t depend on my hair to hold the thing in place. I’m super happy and wanted to share my new look with you! Plus it’s summer and that calls for lighter hair! Now I just have to figure out how my drastic hair color change will work with my clothes! 😂 first world problems am I right??

Happy summer everyone!

If any of you are struggling with this same thing, hair loss- please know there are lots of options and it helps so much. Don’t be afraid to visit your local hair/wig store! Be brave ❤️

Failure: A Therapist View

Hello friends and happy Tuesday! I hope you all had a great holiday weekend!

I’ve been thinking about life challenges and want to share some of my therapist views …for free ❤️

I think life is hard at different times for all of us and we might often feel like a failure if things in our lives don’t go as we think they “should” or as we “expected”.

At times like these we feel a failure. BUT it’s super important to remember that feeling like a failure-is a feeling and it’s not a fact. Shoulds, expectations, and comparisons are not helpful in our lives, are actually detrimental, and cause us to second guess ourselves and our value as human beings.

One of my favorite TED talks is “How to Practice Emotional First Aid” by Guy Winch. It’s amazing and I’ve shared it with many clients. Look it up-live it.

When we feel like a failure, we normally stop what we’re doing. We give up; then that emotion wins! It’s just an emotion.

As long as we keep pushing toward future goals, we never fail.

If you feel like a failure, just remember I am rooting for you. We are all doing the best we can. You are not a failure.

Guy Winch-Ted Talk Emotional First Aid

Dark Shadows

Hello friends!

Happy Monday!

I took a break from work for a few days and took a much needed road trip but now I’m back!

Before my days off, (exactly four days before) I was pulled over by one of our finest police officers due to a confusion about my speed in a school zone. Confusion because I was sure I had not been speeding and he said “I clocked you at 26” and laughed 😂😂

I didn’t really think it was THAT funny- my life has been difficult lately (although I didn’t think I was particularly mournful that morning) so without a word I gave him my registration and license while waiting for the bad news 😳😥

He came back to my car reassuring me…? “Now Ms (F) this is just a warning, you don’t have to do anything” (a warning? I’m confused) and he continued “you don’t need to do anything, just be careful and try to have a better day” he said very kindly.

I’m still confused and a little shell shocked- what happened that he just gave me a warning? I actually have never got a warning before- I usually deserve the speeding tickets I’ve got (6 years ago was the last time) but I didn’t cry or anything?

But I’m grateful that someone somewhere knew I needed a break or a warning or just a kind word. Thank you kind police officer.

Just to make sure I’m not looking overly haggard or pitiful, I bought some under eye concealer cause sometimes you just need to look like EVERYTHING IS FINE 😊

Enclosed are two different pictures of me with “Bye Bye Undereye” concealer from IT Cosmetics.