Archives for category: Quotes & Affirmations

Tomorrow I am getting my teeth cleaned for the first time in over 10 years.  Luckily, the dentists I’ve been referred to are compassionate, knowledgeable, and experienced working with trauma survivors.

Instead of anxiety, I feel excitement and anticipation about the procedure.  The act of brushing and cleaning my teeth is not anxiety-provoking and does not bring flashbacks.  The before and after parts of dental care are anxiety-provoking and do bring flashbacks, body memories, and other urges.  Especially between March and May when the body memories and flashbacks related to dental experiences are strongest.

But I do feel anxiety about the anesthesia and the after care.  You see, sedation is necessary for any physical examinations.  A lot of work needs to be done (exam, cleaning, cavities, extraction, etc.).  We agreed that anesthesia and surgery to accomplish as much as possible in a short amount of time is preferable to multiple visits over a longer period of time.  Hence the dental surgery.

After care recovery is supposed to take 2-3 days.  I’ve prepared as much as possible by making my favorite soup and freezing some, doing laundry and dishes, grocery shopping for smoothie ingredients, making sure my blender is clean, and taking out the trash.  And I’ve got a ride to and from the in place using Lyft.

All of this reminds me to stay resilient and keep on trying to practice self care in spite of the obstacles.  This is the first step to changing my dental routine.  And I hope it helps change some of the experiences of May from negative to positive.

So a quote for you from Carl Jung:

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Thanks for reading

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Wednesday passed in a blur.  I felt so tired that I fell asleep early.  And most of the day was full of distractions.  I didn’t have time to look for a quote or affirmation that suited this post until today.  That’s what happens with a major schedule change.

Many people have negative beliefs about change.  They think change is too hard to accomplish or not worth doing.  Or maybe people can’t change.

Another common belief is that others need to change, but not the individual asking others to change.  Or that people can change other people.

What I’ve learned:

  • Change happens.
  • Change is hard – the realization; the acceptance; the choices; the consequences
  • People can’t change other people, not permanently and not without causing serious harm.
  • People can and do change themselves.  They have to want to change in order for the changes to stick.
  • Influence, persuasion, and coercion are not the same as change.
  • If someone mentions dogs, horses, or trained circus animals,  I will tell you this: dogs change, follow and obey because they want to please their humans; horses are the same; trained circus animals in the past changed or obeyed to avoid pain and punishment.  It’s a choice – change for a positive or negative reason
  • Change is inevitable – sometimes people recognize it, but most times no one really notices until some experience forces awareness.
  • I’d rather be in control of my life, it’s changes, and the direction I choose to follow
  • Recovery is all about change – internal and external for the individual on the path

Surviving at any cost means changing and adapting to the circumstances of life.  It means making choices and following through on them; then living with the consequences later.  The consequences can be what triggers a mental health issue.  Like when I think of all of the mean, negative things I had to say and do to other people, people I cared about, as a child/teen/young adult I feel incredible shame and guilt.

But then I step back and ask myself if I would change anything.  Or if being kind and nice and positive then would have helped me survive?  And the answer is: no, I wouldn’t change my past words and actions.  Being positive or kind or nice back then wouldn’t have helped me or anyone else around me.

People who hate change or won’t/can’t accept it will cause people who are changing a lot of trouble.  Relationships will get stronger, may crumble, or something else?  Many of mine crumbled and died.  Others got stronger.  And new relationships were forged.  I found a family and real friends – not something I could ever have or cherish if I had stayed on the other path.

How do you feel about change?  Do you fight it?  Do you accept it?  Do you struggle in a different way?

All I know is that recovery and resilience get easier if you can embrace, not just accept, change and make change work for you instead of against you.

Thanks for reading.

 

INTRODUCTION

Today I am reminded that failure is more about perception and beliefs than reality.  In the same way mistakes are learning opportunities, failure also offers chances to learn and improve for “next time”.  Because there will always be a “next time”.

Since I made the decision to move and then followed up by moving, I’ve experienced many mistakes and failures.  Shame has been a companion as I tried and failed to become part of interesting groups or clubs.  Sadness came from an application that got denied.  Anger and frustration from being railroaded/blocked/ignored by people while trying to achieve goals and objectives.

PROCESSING INFORMATION (coping strategy)

My previous therapist used to ask me what I learned from each experience.  And then we talked through or “processed” my thoughts and feelings.  It was during the “processing” part that my imagination and problem-solving skills engaged.  We discussed options:

  • next steps
  • what didn’t work and why
  • what did work and why
  • and (most important) how could I change my words and actions to achieve the goal?

SHAME & SHAME RESILIENCE

And one night when the shame of past experiences overwhelmed me, I called the hotline asking for help.  I didn’t want to give in to self-harm or OCD compulsions to put myself in reckless, dangerous situations.  The pressure inside kept building up squeezing my chest and head until I couldn’t think or feel.  And the hotline volunteer talked to me about shame.  About resilience.  About research into coping strategies and something called “Shame Resilience”.

The counselor offered a TED Talk by Brene Brown as a coping strategy.  I was so moved by the TED Talk that I followed the link to her other TED Talks.  Then looked her up online and found her books.  My goal was to learn more about her knowledge and perspective of shame.  But then I started reading her book.  The topics sparked connections in my brain.  But it was the opening quote that pulled the connections together.

Connections that helped me understand why I kept going, kept trying, kept living in spite of the shame and the doubters working so hard to make me stop.

THE QUOTE FROM “Man in the Arena”

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LIFE LESSONS

I’d rather try and fail; apply and be deniedlive and make mistakes than stand aside and watch the world move around me.  How will I know if I can do something unless I try?  Life is an experiment.  Success or failure, each one is a chance to learn.

So maybe this time I failed or was denied acceptance into a program/group/etc.  That only means I’m not ready yet.  There is more to learn and experience.  And next time I will succeed.

Which next time?  Maybe the second, maybe the fifth – doesn’t matter as long as I keep on trying.

Failure really isn’t failure if I learn something same way mistakes are opportunities to learn (Thanks Mrs. O from 7th grade math)

If I did everything possible to succeed and failed because of circumstances beyond my control, is that failure or success?

CONCLUSION

I chose the “Man in the Arena” quote because it reminded me to live full throttle and not listen to the critics in the stands.  What do they know about living in the arena?

I hope this inspires you all to live full throttle too.

Thanks for reading.