I see !!!! Icey

The first time I was asked, “what is different about you since you quit smoking?”  I was asked this question during an interview for a documentary on using mindfulness to relieve oneself of addiction.  My first thought was, “I am a nicer person.” Being interviewed by a professional interviewer type person, that answer was so not going to be enough. I continued on with, “i am able and willing to see other people better or clearer even.  i am more aware of how others might be feeling or what they could be thinking.” Stay Tuned on July 4th. link available July5th

I can see that the way others react or act is not a reflection on me.  maybe they just stubbed their toe 2 minutes before seeing me and it still stings the way i interact with other people is what matters.

So,

I quit smoking.  I have done it using a mindfulness app I ‘accidentally stumbled upon’.  I knew I had to/wanted to/needed to quit. I was in a fog wondering  how to go about it.  then One thing happened that led to another. that thing appeared to lead to another thing which led to another then another and another.  Today I am smoke free and grateful.

I feel as though I have somehow moved from using Mindfulness practice to quit smoking to  Mindful Living.

This was not My Plan.

My Plan was to use Mindfulness in an attempt to better control the ever powerful anxiety I experience.  I needed to get a handle on this monster and pills were no longer a viable solution.  I needed something better.  Apparently I was ready for something better.

Enter MINDFULNESS.  I should add the word Again to that last sentence.  I had my 1st introduction to mindfulness 28 years ago.  second exposure 15 years ago.  I now see that these experiences have prepared me for where I am right now.  Right Now! Right Here! Not worrying about a future that might never happen.  Not dwelling on a past I cannot change.

not the worst place to be!!

Changes…. not in any particular order and not a compete list.  Keep in mind these are not changes I planned. I did not sit down one night and make a list of things I wanted to change in me.  To be honest, i did not know i needed to change.  want to change?  Not even a little.

The only change I desired was to no longer smoke

to be smoke free.

  • i no longer have the need to get everything done right now.    for example : i want to finish writing this post. i am not going to die if i save it and finish it later.  last year or even last month, “ineedtodoit! doitnow! cantwait! mustgetitdonenow! nomtterwht.”  just a tad anxiety provoking from inside.  no outside trigger needed.
  • i smile more.  not because life is so freakin awesome and I have no reason not to smile but because if i smile, maybe someone who is lucky enough to see me smile will smile. then someone else might smile and then someone else….
  • i am calmer. inconveniences and other people’s stupid behavior that would have once throw me into fits of panic/anger/depression/disappointment affect me in a different way.  i am able to take a tad bit o time and breathe.  This breathing thing is not new to me.  People in my life have been suggesting it forever and a day.  Regular, consistant mindfulness practice got me to remember to breathe when I need to.
  • I am nicer.  i already talked about that.  I have always been a relatively nice person, but now I am even nicer and to more people.
  • i sleep better. not longer, Better. I wake up earlier, yet less tired. more refreshed
  • life is the same.  pleasant and unpleasant things are always going to happen. That is Life. That is not going to change, But…. i can change. I deal with life’s obstacles in a new way.  i am capable of dealing with the life stuff in a way that i was never capable of before.
  • i stopped biting my nails while I quit smoking  – it took me awhile to even notice my nails were growing.
  • i eat slower and enjoy what I eat.  quitting smoking definitely makes things taste better, but i enjoy that better taste more.  Food was always just something I ate so I didn’t fall down.  Now I take the time to savor every bite. I’ve begun experimenting with a variety of new recipes as well.
  • I am more capable of thinking before i speak.  I have always either talked too much or not at all.  Now when a thought flies into my brain I am able to stop, breathe, give myself a chance to decide if this thought needs to exit through my mouth or do I let it go.
  • I feel feelings.  this is a direct result of the mindfulness app I used to quit smoking.  The app suggested instead of fighting the cigarette cravings, i might try to really feel them.  Truly feeling the craving and seeing it for what it truly is. Watching it leave without my having to smoke, made my mind stronger, made the next craving a bit easier to deal with. Doing this over and over again helped me form a new healthy habit.  I am now applying this same technique to feelings.
  • I am able to feel what is going on in my body quicker.  i am a diehard jaw clencher. I always have been. Today I am able to notice my clenched jaw quicker than ever before.  Once I am able to identify that I am clenching my jaw, I am able to take steps to stop it.  My jaw, teeth,dentist, and head are grateful.
  • i worry less and Care more

Now, how to end this.  Do I even have to end this?  Do I want this to end?  The answer is so simple.  No.  I am on a new journey and I choose not to end it too soon.  I finally truly and completely believe that I am Going to be okay. No, wait, I AM OKAY!!!!

To summarize.  I exposed myself to mindfulness practice in an effort to relieve self of debilitating anxiety. An App that uses mindfulness to help relieve oneself of unwanted habits found me.  My desire to quit and the repetition of that App not only relieved me of my habit, it opened me up to a whole new way of thinking and feeling and living.

 

 

 

Pure? Not So Pure.

My very first thought when i saw this weeks challenge was water.  Water is pure. I even have pictures I have already taken of water. Easy challenge this week. or so I thought. Unfortunately my pictures involved rain water and Rain Water is not so pure any more.

WaterPure

Over Flowing Gutter

 

watering tomatoescrop

Now that is just where you belong

watering tomatoes

Watering the tomatoes????

Could that Big Black Beast on the Left possibly be 1 reason my water & air aren’t so pure anymore?

So, getting back to Pure.  My next thought involved babies.  Can’t get much purer than Babies.  Hmmm.  I probably shouldn’t go up to a complete stranger to ask if I could take pictures of their kid.  I love meeting new people, but that would be a bit Too weird. For all of us. So, Stranger’s Babies are not an option.  Then I remembered, My cousin and her wife just had a lil one. I can find pictures of her.  But, they would not have been taken by me and it would be rather rude to steal them.

Welcome to the big bad world Reese. No need to ever worry.  Your Moms will always keep you safe.  Not to mention your humongous extended family has no issue with kicking some butt for you now and again.

Pure? Babies? Babies. Duh!!!! Babies!!!!  I know where to find tons of them. After all It is baby season at The Farm.  New ones being born every day.

NutMegandMom

Introducing Spice and her brand new baby NutMeg

NutMeg and Spice are Nubian goats.  NutMeg was born a few hours before this picture was taken.  Today even.  The Mom might not be so pure, but her daughter certainly is. Nubians are highly Intelligent animals, but can have a stubborness about them.  Very simlilar to my last three dogs. I had to get SnoopE and the Beagle Bros in here somewhere.

So, PURE

not so PURE

used to be PURE

might always be PURE ????

Oh and here is another Not so pureBut, a heck of a lot of FUN to be around.

DebRumi

 

 

 

 

 

An Unexpected Path

Hello Folks.  I have been bad.  “Wicked, wicked bad”

roadblock2My plan/path/road was to take the blogging201 course.  I think I completed day 1 maybe day 2.  I encountered a roadblock in the form of physical illness.  Actually there had been a couple of illness crap things going on with me.  While I took the time to care for myself, my blog and many other things were put on the back burner. At times, I have had this blog pop up in my brain, but until today I was unmotivated to write.

“What’s been going on you ask?”

“Shhhh, Don’t tell anyone But, One thing happened which led to another thing then another and another. The result being I started writing elsewhere.    And now I am here.”

“Where is here?”

“On my couch, writing this.”

“Seriously????”

“Yes, seriously.”

laughingfreeI am taking part in a research study that involves using a mindfulness App to help people quit smoking.  When this opportunity arose, I went with it.  Part of the process of quitting is writing down your experiences with this App.  Writing ovah there led to motivation to write ovah here.  Hmmmm. Sharing my experience with mindfulness would not be a bad purpose for this blog. I am still looking for one of those.

A year ago I had an experience that felt almost life changing. I will warn you it is a bit long if you choose to read it.  Looking back, I can see that the experience gave me the opportunity to be more aware of what was going on with me.  To be present. To be in the moment.  Not worrying about something in my future that might never happen.  Not ruminating over something I did or did not do in the past. My soul focus was on whether I could get from the couch to the bathroom without help. I was forced to look at right now and nothing else. I was forced to focus on my body and what I could or could not do. This experience was the start of a journey I did not expect to be on.  This experience led me to My Mindfulness Adventure.

This new awareness led me to a new therapist.  He shall now be known as Dennis.  Dennis led me to a true introduction to what mindfulness is and what it can do.  Learning about it and practicing a bit led me to talk about it.  Talking about it led to a friend sharing a link with me.  That link led me to TheMindfulnessSummit.  I am presently calling this summit my crash course in Mindfulness.  From it I am learning exactly what I need to learn to continue my exploration of Mindfulness.  I am becoming aware (there’s that word again) of how practicing mindfulness can make a difference in my life.  My eyes are opening to the possibilities of what practicing mindfulness can do for anyone who gives it a chance.

roadblockfreedomFor instance, I did not know it could help prevent a relapse of depression.  There are things called Mindful parenting. Mindfulness for business. It can be used to help deal with pain.  I did not know there was such a thing as mindful eating.  Which is a tad odd as I recently made a decision to lose some weight.  I was actually losing weight by using mindful eating techniques that I didn’t even know existed.  The extent of my experience with mindfulness consisted of using it to deal with an anxiety thing.

Back to the MindfulnessSummit.  One of the lectures I listened to led me to a local Mindfulness Center that I did not know existed.  That centers website led me to ask questions about becoming part of a research study. That study was being conducted to see how successful a particular App was at using mindfulness to help people quit smoking.  Odd, I have been thinking a lot about how much I really need to make a final attempt at quitting.  Patches, gum, medication, lozenges – none of that appealed to me.   This appealed to me.  Is all of this one rather large coincidence?  It doesn’t matter as it all came together to lead me where I need to be.  quitsmoking

The first time I quit smoking was a bit unconventional.  The last should be as well.            .

figured something out????

When I first started this blog, I had no idea what to do or where to go with it.  All I knew was that I felt better when I wrote shit down.

Here we are roughly 6 months later….

  1. I have taken blogging101
  2. writing101 came next
  3. then Photo101
  4. then Life got in the way

I became obsessive over completing Blogging101.  See my history and you might understand why.  I learned so much from this course.  I was wicked new to blogging and I was learning stuff that a woman of my age should know.   widgets, image widgets, feature, Know your audience, INSPIRATION…. COMMUNITY!!!!

I did not expect or have any clue that starting a blog came with such a fantastic community.  I am very grateful I was led to WordPress.  Yes Lily Pup you are to blame for that.

After Blogging101 came Writing101.  I am proud to say I did well with this class.  The obsession I had during Blogging101 was not present.  Damnitall.  I read a blog post recently where the writer talks about swearing, I’ve been swearing ever since.  It is part of my Distinct Voice, which I also learned about in writing101. I learned so much more than I could have ever anticipated.

Writing 101 is where I received my first bit of criticism.  Maybe it was Blogging 101? It truly does not matter now.  The assignment was to write about your home.  I requested constructive criticism and I got it.  It basically said, “show me, Don’t tell me.”  Funny how one of the very next assignments was “Show me, Don’t tell me.” 

Russell J. Fellows on April 8, 2015 at 8:56 am said:

What a peaceful sounding place. I think I’ve told many people the same thing, but I want to tell you also: be more immersive in this writing. You have a lot of good description to work with, but I want to experience it through your eyes, not just through you telling me what is what. Instead of “The entrance to where I am is like a dirt road that leads you through a tunnel…” say “A road of dirt and rock leads you through a tunnel of beeches and oaks to a clearing…” or something like that. Does that make sense?

Then came Photo 101. Another great WordPress offering. I have yet to finish this course, but I have many great excuses. Life stuff took over for a while and I was unable to keep focused on learning about photography.  I still have hopes to finish this class, but will do so in my own time.

I have also been unable to keep up with my weekly feature OTT.  I have decided none of this matters.  What matters is that Today, I am doing every thing in my power to be okay.  My goal today and every day is to beat depression.  When my head tells me I am better off staying in my pajamas, I get in my clothes and do something.  When it tells me, “you don’t need a shower today”, I go out, get extra dirty, have fun doing it, and have no choice but to shower.  When someone who counts asks me How I am, I tell them the truth.  I have chosen to take the word “FINE” out of my vocabulary.

When my therapist suggested I leave little notes around my house that simply say “BREATHE”, I listened.  Now my house has little notes everywhere reminding me to breathe.  Breathing is such a simple thing to do, yet so very difficult when I need it most.  I have also learned along the way that deep breathing helps with so much more than just anxiety.  Provided I remember to do it.  The more I do it the easier it is to remember.  Everything takes practice.

So, take a minute. Stop. Just breathe. and don’t forget your blog

Duh. I almost forgot to mention what it was I may have figured out?  If blogging has rules, I do not think I can follow them. I am okay with suggestions, but I don’t believe I have any hope with rules. It has been 6 months and I still do not know what this thing is about.  I am okay with that.

Are Ya Ready for Tomorrow????

Obsessive Thought Soup ====
Start with Numerous Random Thoughts
Add 4 dashes of Fear and Worry
Stir 16 times
Let simmer for exactly 64 minutes
Breathe and Let it Go
REPEAT

I’ve been Wicked obsessing again.  I can’t really focus on random obsessive thoughts today because it is so much more than just thoughts right now.  My brain feels like a family size pot of Obsessive Thought Soup, anxiously simmering on the wood stove. OTS should not be confused with LPS or Llama Poop Soup which in itself can be obsessive, but is a completely different kind of soup.

Okay, my most prevalent recent obsessions are as follows….

  • obsessing over never having finished Photo101.  Life got in the way of that and it was put on the back burner.
  • Obsessing over last weeks Photo Challenge (Close-Ups if you missed it).
  • Obsessing over this
  • that
  • all those other things.
  • And now I am Obsessing over how many cooking references I can accidentally have in one post.

I tried sitting with the thoughts and letting them go. I tried distraction as a way to rid myself of these thoughts. Old negative coping techniques no longer work so I shall not even go there.  I could verbally rant, but I don’t feel like bothering anyone else with my batshitcrazy way of thinking right now. Maybe if I take each named obsession one by one and rant a bit, they will lessen.  If I do this right, I should be able to rid myself of these obsessive thoughts, complete Obsessive Thought Thursday (maybe a day early even), do some work on Photo101, and release from my mind the other close-ups I’ve been obsessing over.

I do believe I am feeling an increase in anxiety which may be causing an increase in obsessive thoughts which definitely is causing more anxiety which leads to compulsions…………….OR did the obsessive thoughts start first which led to the elevation of anxiety which led to more obsessive thoughts which in turn led to compulsions……………All I know is I am obsessing.  Other coping skills did not work, so right now I am attempting to rant them away by writing. I shall write those obsessions right out of me. Write and rant about obsessions in order to rid myself of those same obsessions. Is this making sense to anyone???? I think I may have confused even myself.  I refuse to add to the anxiety by starting to obsess over the # of times I just wrote “right” and “write” or obsess over those run-on sentences I let stay.

Ah, I just took a break for breathing.  Breaks for deep breaths are good AND I completely forget about them almost all of the time.  How come the stuff that is the best for me when I obsess and feel anxiety are the last things I remember to try?  If I didn’t mind bothering other human beings, the very 1st thing they would have told me to do is BREATHE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Each and Every One of them would have said in a firm, yet tender voice, STOP and BREATHE!!!! and not in a loud voice either.  I have been doing very well with firm, yet tender prompts. “No, buts, just STOP and BREATHE.” They may have to repeat it. And possibly repeat it again, but it helps.

Close-Up of Toad that kept jumping out at me

Close-Up of Toad
that kept jumping
out at me

Time to stop ranting and writing and hit save.  This breathing thing is calming me down.  I am obsessing less and think that I just might be able to stop writing for now and maybe eat supper. Who cares when I finish Photo101?  I can’t just pull photo’s out of my ass, I mean hat, to match the subject of the assignment in the order they are assigned. Look at this past weeks weekly challenge.  It just happened to be close-ups.  To start, I went looking for close-ups. After I published my 1st attempt, close-up opportunities kept popping up everywhere. Inspiration can come from anywhere.

Day Seven of Photo101 Big & Point of View.  Ah screw it.  I am feeling better. Less obsessive, and no anxiety. I am no longer obsessing over finishing Photo101.  I also did tomorrow’s regular weekly feature today. So that leaves time open tomorrow to work on last months Photo101 assignments. and I forgot my 5:32 PM Ativan again.  So here’s to Obsessing or to Not obsessing.  I much prefer not.

I totally forgot again

I have managed to find someone other than myself to blame for my inability to get my weekly feature published on time.

My husband is to blame.  He has had an extra day off each week this summer which totally messes up what day I think it is.  Therefore it is his fault I cannot write about obsessive thoughts on Obsessive Thought Thursday. I do not know when Thursday is.

So glad we got that squared away from the beginning.  I continue to challenge OCD in some way every day. The more I challenge it, the more I reinforce the fact that it is okay to do something once. The more times I eat three skittlesimage at a time instead of four or 2 cookies instead of four, and nothing bad happens, the more I believe nothing bad will happen.  The more times I successfully challenge this disorder, the stronger I feel. And No, not every challenge is a successful one. Twice recently while in a store, I had an incredible increase in anxiety which was directly related to an opportunity to challenge the OCD.  I felt it in my body, just like my new Therapist wants me to.  I can hear him now, “What does it feel like?”     “Easy, It feels like I am going to puke.”

We have been experiencing a lot of ‘firsts’ the last few weeks and I am happy to note that in no way could I make them into fourths. It was stuff like the 1st time you peel and cut up potatoes without saving some pieces for the beagle. The 1st time you forget your water when leaving the house and realize you can go back in without disturbing the dog. There is no dog. The first time you cook and realize there is no dog to step over no matter where you move.  The first time you sit in your dog’s favorite spot on the loveseat and realize just howMattNoMoreFirstsWords comfortable it really is.  The first time you have sirloin tips for supper and realize there is no one to share the juice with. The 1st time your husband leaves when the dog would normally ‘think’ he shouldn’t and you both realize he doesn’t have to sneak out of the house anymore. The 2nd time you sit in your dog’s spot on the loveseat, only this time you recline back, totally enjoying how comfortable you truly are and think, “that little shit has had the best spot in the house for 15 years, and I can see the TV better from over here.” Done with firsts for now.

Okay, O.T.T., obsessive thoughts, Thursday, No its Sunday, Obsessiveness, you started this Saturday…. Lately, I have found myself obsessing over depression.  I have been obsessing over being aware that the depression may or may not be trying to get back in control of my head. I am obsessing over doing everything I can possibly do to stop the depression from taking over my brain. I am thinking this might not be a bad obsession.

Because I am constantly on the look out for signs that depression may be returning, I see the signs rather quickly. I see them before they can get a hold on me.  I can then do what I need to do to prevent it from getting worse.

For example, I have been neglecting my blog.  I enjoy my blog, I have fun with my blog.  The more I neglect my blog, the less joy and fun I have and the easier it is for depression to strengthen itself inside me.  There is more room for it to grow.

Sometimes depression tries to sneak up on me in other ways.DepressionStronger  It likes it when I feel irritable and get snippy with my partner.  I know this, I am aware of this, I can apologize for this and not do it again. Depression hates it when I do this, it loses power. One thing depression loves is alcohol.  If I have to do something that makes me extremely anxious it wants to convince me that it will be easier to do with a drink. It will be better with a  drink.  To someone with a history of depression, alcohol is just FFD (Fuel For Depression). Depression lies. It lies to me all the time. You don’t need to eat today. You will only get fatter.  Eat tomorrow. Depression wants to be that gut wrenching, motivation sucking, all-consuming monster it has been in the past.  And if that means lying to me, that means lying to me.

Today is different though.  I have had time away from that major, debilitating, dark depression. I like to think I have used that time wisely.  I have been able to work on ‘other stuff’.  I have learned how to get through some incredibly anxiety provoking situations unscathed.  I have learned and am still learning that unpleasant feelings just are. Everyone has them.feelingsEmotions  If I feel them and let them be, they will change or leave altogether. The more I fight unpleasant feelings, the stronger they become. Which opens the door for depression.  I need to allow myself to feel stuff like fear, or sadness, or even anger. That way when I feel things like joy, peace, and happiness, I will enjoy them that much more.

I do not know where I am going with this story and I barely know where I’ve been, so my suggestion to Myself is to end it here.

THE END

Treasure/Close-up Photo 16

Day Sixteen: Treasure & Close-up

This is a treasure I found on my Dad’s headstone shortly after he passed away. It has been there ever since.

Guardian Bell

A Guardian Bell is a small metal bell attached onto a motorcycle to ward off evil spirits or gremlins. The bells have more of an effect when they are given as a gift.

Legend has it that evil road spirits/gremlins have been attaching themselves onto motorcycles for as long as bikes have been on the road. These spirits are responsible for mechanical problems and bad luck on a journey. They enjoy causing trouble for bikers.

To stay safe, all one needs to do is to attach a little bell somewhere on the bike. Legend goes on to say that by doing this, the gremlins, curious as to where the ringing comes from, put their heads up into the bell. They become trapped. There, the constant ringing drives them insane, making them lose their strength and power until they fall to the ground and die.

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There are many different variations of the guardian bell legend.
image

Day 20 – I treasure Awareness, and Family, and dogs, and the ability to pee by myself, etc.

I might or might not know what happened.confused-on-the-computer

I may have accidently hit publish when I 1st started writing this story way back when. That may explain why it says it was published on January 20th, when I published today. It became my First post???? Not my last of writing 101.

With a lot of work I was able to get it to fit with the last assignment.  All I know is that I finished it today. and published it today.

life as seen by me

Day Twenty: The Things We Treasure Today’s Prompt: Tell us the story of your most-prized possession. Today’s twist: We extolled the virtues of brevity back on day five, but now, let’s jump to the other side of the spectrum and turn to longform writing. Let’s celebrate the drawn-out, slowly cooked, wide-shot narrative. Good luck to all who read the whole thing and I promise never to write this much again!!!! 4189 words

It all started innocently enough.  I first noticed I couldn’t feel my fingers. As things progressed and I told my story over and over again I realized it actually started weeks before.

I couldn’t feel the cigarette smoke go into my lungs.  I remember telling Jax, “I can’t suck. I suck at sucking.”  I was also eating a lot of Tootsie rolls.  Every time I generated some Tootsie roll flavored saliva I would cough, sputter, choke almost.  I blamed these…

View original post 3,854 more words

Day 17 what do you fear?

Day Seventeen: Your Personality on the Page. Today’s Prompt: We all have anxieties, worries, and fears. What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears. Today’s Twist: Write this post in a style distinct from your own

.

haha No commas!!!!  I have been afraid of so many things for so long it is hard to pick just one.  But I will. I fear losing My Home

.

Right now.  I have My Home.

It is me.  My partner.  My beagle.

I have had other similar homes.  Some included my partner and beagle.

Others did not.

This is My Home.  I am content here.  It is peaceful.

Life can be hard.  I do it anyway.

It is quiet here.  I can hear me.  I can hear you.  I can hear my partner.

I do not always understand him.  I know this.  I listen anyway.

I can hear my beagle.

Today.

He has less to say.  He still talks.

I listen to it all and to nothing.  I hear the quiet.  The noise is gone.

I fear the noise will return.

I am vigilant.

I could easily lose my home if the noise returns.

My goal.

Listen.

Do not let the noise get loud.

who or what will inspire me next?

I was taking a day off from writing.  I was gonna do nothing, but maybe read a bit.  Yah Right.  I read a friend’s blog post.  I left a reply to that friend.  This is my reply.

Sorry I do not have any questions about the hospital, but do need to know more about the chair room.  I have never heard of such a thing(It’s been 2 years since I was last in hospital).

Who pays for it? If the insurance pays, how is it billed to them? Who originally thought this “room” was a good idea? Is it just the hospital you went to that has it or are there many similar ones across the country? Could you have left if you chose to? I’m sure if I thought longer I could come up with many more questions, but right now I just have 1 left. Well It is more of a statement.

There is something seriously wrong with the mental health system in this country if you spent 2 days in a chair because there was no bed available to you.  I’m not saying they need more beds, I am saying they need to figure out a way to need less beds. Obviously something is not working somewhere. And don’t look to other countries for answers.  Their systems are different but just as messed up. I think they need to listen to us.  The ones who need the beds.

I was taking a day off from writing and look at me go. Thank you Lily. I just might have to go back to my blog and vent about this.  Oh look I already did vent 😀

I hope you have as good a day as you are capable of having.

I kind of have the feeling this is not going to be the end of me talking about “the chair room” and just think I wanted to get drunk and forget today was even happening.

Take that depressive brain!!!!  I beat you today!!!!

Reach for the Mother Fin' sky

Reach for the Mother F in sky !!!!