Anxiety Journey through a Sign with Scripture 1 of ?

Being a believer of Jesus Christ and living with Mental Health is an aspect of life in the past never spoken of because of others’ reactions. Over the years, there have been more negative reactions versus positive. Like all aspects of life, we are allowed our opinion and perception of facts as individuals striving to interact with society and culture. I am going to show what I have found in the years of finding balance as a believer living with mental health. Not always succeeding, but for me, that is the beauty of Faith in Christ. Knowing it is okay not to be 100% all the time. God loves the broken be they physical, emotional, or anything you can name. His love and support may not always make sense, and I have had days where I question why? Why I have to live my life with doubts or pain.    

Phrases that anger me from other believers. even though I should not because it is these people’s personal opinions not based in fact.  

‘You have depression because…’

…you do not pray enough

…you do not believe or have enough faith

…God would not want you to take medication

…you must have sin in your life (side note: Hello! no one is perfect except God)

There are many more that I have heard over the years. In the past, current, and future, it made me question my Faith and Belief in God; sometimes, I wonder why? Before these have a chance to drive me away from reading scripture or listening to a church service, I try to remember that these reactions are the same as when a person without children tries to advise parents on raising children. People financially well off, encouraging people from an economically struggling area how to spend their money or live life. The last example of society’s hypocrisy is the obese dietician talking to a client how to eat right without acknowledging the lack of personal follows through on the professionals’ part even if that is acknowledging a personal medical crisis. We all have life situations that impact our perception of things heard or seen. When living with mental health, we need to find what works for us as an individual and positively contribute to the running of our society. There are several people referenced in the Bible that lived with Mental Health. If God, the author of scripture supports striving to live well with mental or physical health issues, he would not have included them in positive and negative consequences. These can be what we are born with, upbring, choices by others that impact you, and many other examples from this imperfect world. Here is a brief write up about mental illness from a website GotQuesttions.org, https://www.gotquestions.org/mental-illness.html. Some of what I struggle with how I feel or think about what I read. I do enjoy much of the write-up and the fact that scripture verses included so I can research and see if I agree. I hope to go through it in the future, right now, I would like to spend time on something I ran across on Pinterest a while ago.  

 As believers, can we learn from God’s Word about living well with our Achilles Heel, mental health? We read the words and may have even memorized them over the years, but let’s look at them. Ran across this list of 5 things God’s children should never worry. I like to read this but also struggle because depending on where my mental health is that day, I cannot see this or how I even can live this since I perceive myself as such a failure. I am going to go over one today and continue to number two further in the week.

  1. Being forsaken Hebrews 13:5

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee or forsake thee. (King James Version)

Okay, great, what the heck does that mean? I always feel like I have forgotten. What does covetousness mean? I am very rarely content. So am I sinning right off the get-go? Does this say I am a failure as a Christian, too, like everything else? These are thoughts that often return to me and will sometimes lead me to question why I should even read the scripture, believe in God, or attend church.  God does not ask for perfection to believe. Praise God because I would be a total mess more than I think I already am.

He is willing to listen and accept all of us to live and believe in His Word. What that looks like for one will be different for others on some, at least for me small subjects. Broad subjects should not be flexible, but that is where people see the hypocrisy of the church when they see the division on the large and small biblical topics. A quick example of a minor, inconsequential issue is that I have a friend who read the scripture about being dressed well. She always dressed in culottes or a dress and well dressed even when we go for a walk. For me, I am still in shorts or pants and not always put together. She feels that wearing as she does honor God for me dressing top-notch is not a priority. These are the small subjects that can create arguments among believers and nonbelievers—these arguments in all religions, not just Christianity. Just look at any religious or cultural traditions; many interpretations can drive wedges between friends and families. Back to the scriptural clothing subject, just a brief google showed, there are 44 or more bible verses about clothing for different reasons or examples. Our lives are full of regulations, responsibility, and reward for what we do.

So, when I get to an aspect of scripture that someone has posted online or I read during a Bible Study that agitates me, I research. I am going to break down Hebrews 13:5, see where it fits in Chapter 13, and find the history or context of what God’s word was trying to communicate about this, and any commentary I can find. Let’s move forward on this one.

Being forsaken, defined as existence, the nature or essence of a person, a real or imaginary living creature or entity, especially an intelligent one.  

Forsaken is abandoned or deserted.

Being forsaken takes on the meaning of me as a person forgotten to by all. My mental health puts me there, often just standing cooking dinner or at a meeting. How can I believe in God that I cannot help me feel loved and cherished when I do not even feel that from those around me?  

For the King James Version of the Bible, there is twelve times the word forsaken used. With it used, that often gives me a sense that it is important not to feel abandoned by God.

Hebrews 13:5 (KJV – King James Version)

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee or forsake thee.

I appreciate the sentiment that God will not give up on me even when there are times that I am not content with my surroundings. I do find amazing about the Bible whenever I read, and research is that there are so many connecting pieces. That, for me, reinforces that the Bible may not always be easy to read or chronological order, but when so many aspects connect makes it amazing. When one considers how many humans were involved in translating and writing the Bible, but also explains how some of the translations confuse people because the translation takes twists the original Latin, Hebrew, and Greek has not meant to take. Here is the link for the Strong’s Lexicon showing one translation; it is exciting for those that love language.  Hebrews 13:5 Strong’s Lexicon

For Hebrews 13:5, 20 Cross References are reinforcing the importance of this verse of not feeling forsaken by God and Christ’s directions for our lives. Cross Reference list is Genesis 31:5, Deuteronomy 4:31,  Deuteronomy 31:6, Deuteronomy 31:8, Joshua 1:5, 1 Samuel 10:7, 1 Kings 6:13, 1 Kings 8:57, 1 Chronicles 28:20, Psalm 37:25, Psalm 119:36, Proverbs 23:4, Isaiah 42:16, Matthew 6:19, 2 Corinthians 4:9, Ephesians 5:3, Philippians 4:11, Colossians 3:5, 1 Timothy 3:3, and 1 Timothy 6:6.  Other scriptures can accent the meaning of Hebrews 13:5, but these are at least a start to reinforce that God will not forsake even when a situation may feel like He has.  

I was flexing between believing that and not just due to my anxiety when I see injustice in the world or my own life. Then I have to reinforce that I cannot paint the world’s or direct contact’s actions with God’s visual brush. In the Bible, God’s Word is for me, and the individual is to live as best I can and strive to when asked why I believe as I answer honestly. This part is not something I succeed in because it takes me forever to research, and what one person’s interpretation of what they hear and read is different from others. My anxiety and depression make me freeze up or ignore the confrontation. Another aspect is striving to make decisions based on the Bible that is my interaction in the world. But even that can make divisions. We see that I do not understand how they come to that decision with all the different associations of change or ethical decisions if they claim to read and follow the Bible. With my anxiety and depression, all I can do is work on myself, vote well, donate, and support, where I can, to care for others as Jesus did when he was here on the earth. One significant personal aspect is to strive not to be a hypocritical Christian because one cannot have a good pet peeve if they mimic that pet peeve. Oh, yeah, I often flub this up and probably reinforce why someone may not believe in God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. That is my accountability in this life and the next and strive to improve daily.

We have seen the amazingness that is the interconnecting versus reinforcing that God is always with me. The fantastic translation in language lexicon and find the correct words in English to communicate the message. Commentaries are another aspect that I research with; there are many styles I use the Matthew Henry version. His analysis can found in a concise or detailed version. For this, I am going to use the concise.  Hebrew 13:1-25 Matthew Henry Concise Commentary

Here is Matthew Henry Concise Commentary for Hebrews 13:1-6 The design of Christ in giving himself for us, is, that he may purchase to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works; and true religion is the most durable bond of friendship. Here are earnest exhortations to several Christian duties, especially contentment. The sin opposed to this grace and commitment is covetousness, an over-eager desire for the wealth of this world, and envy of those who have more than us. Having treasures in heaven, we may be content with mean things here. Those who cannot be so, would not be content though God raised their condition. Adam was in paradise, yet not contented; some angels in heaven not contented; but the apostle Paul, though abased and empty, had learned in every state, in any state, content. Christians have reason to be contented with their present lot. This promise contains the sum and substance of all the obligations; I will never, no, never leave thee, no, never forsake thee. In the original, there are no less than five negatives put together, to confirm the promise: the true believer shall have the gracious presence of God with him, in life, at death, and forever. Men can do nothing against God, and God can make all those men do against his people to turn to their kind.

Even on my bad days, I take great comfort in reading this. Yes, on those bad days, God seems so far away and as a specific question why He even bothers with us or what I have wrong to be forsaken. Yes, at least section of the sign shows the amazingness that is yes I may feel forsaken because my mental health has hit a low. That low does not mean that God is not there with me. He is always there for me, even my sense of calm in the middle of a raging mental storm.  

The raging mental storm is when I strive to either listen to Bible Verses, Hymns, Contemporary Christian music, or just sit in a place of calm and pray or the bad just stands as I am being screamed at and pray in my mind. It will be interesting to see where the rest of the verses from this sign leads me down the rabbit trail that is Christian living that is as individual as the people who live it. Honestly, my prayer during the pit times so no words at all or a simple one of “Lord guide me to either speak well or stay silent. Zip my lip if what I will say or do will make it worse.”  

May this find you well. If too detailed, I am sorry I love research and diving into scripture and the beauty that is God’s Word. Without the study, I would have stopped reading the Bible. If I have offended, I apologize that this was not a good fit for you. For me, a personal aspect that has kept my life at least functioning. Not well all the time, but my lows are less sometimes if I truly take the time to read and immerse myself in learning God’s Word and how I fit in this chaotic and confrontational world we live and interact with  

Have a great day.

References

44 Bible Verses about Dress, https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Dress

Word Forsaken in the King James Version Bible, https://biblehub.net/search.php?q=forsaken

Bible Research from Bible Hub

Hebrews 13:5

Matthew Henry Concise Commentary on Bible Hub https://biblehub.com/commentaries/mhc/hebrews/13.htm

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Review 5/11-15/2020

Monday started, sitting and reviewing last week and daily task list and projects. Still feeling tired, headache, and distracted thinking. Concern that I am going to push myself to fast and crash physically as I have in the past, frustrating and disappointing. I have so many things I want to do.  

With great difficulty, I am not going to add any projects I was planning to integrate into this week. Hopefully, this will stop the physical crash I am often dealing with routinely. The other concern more than the physical exhaustion is managing my depression and anxiety because lowering my activities make me feel like a failure. Continually keeping my thoughts of failure, at-bay, will be the ultimate success.

Tuesday struggle day started at 5 am no energy or desire to get up. I did get up for work. I got home at 12:30 pm to a problem with the kitchen sink. Fortunately, my husband was working on it but as always got upset with myself, thinking I could have known about the issue before I left for work. I know deep down that it is illogical. So success was I did not let that thought stay long. Another success was my daughter did complete some more assignments. So I was able to reward her. So many things need doing, and I had no energy. The day ended after ordering food and picking up, cleaning up the kitchen, posting blog/journal entry, and having late lunch at 4 pm. I felt exhausted and nodded off at my desk. Such tough decisions lay down for 30 minutes before I did write up a list of what came to mind what needed doing. I hope that once I get back up, I will have a chance to move forward. Unsure where this great exhaustion is coming from hope I can walk through it. See how the rest of the week shapes up.

Wednesday through Friday was more of a repeat on the level of exhaustion and errands that need run. No sense repeating Monday and Tuesday in writing. Wednesday did have one aspect that I thought would take me out of the picture for awhile emotionally. A 4-year friendship that had ended mid-March for a variety of reasons resurfaced negatively. For most of Wednesday, late afternoon, and evening, I tried to understand what I had done wrong for this return. Almost called off work for the rest of the week.  

Through the internal review, I have determined not to let the situation destroy the progress I had emotionally achieved with my mental health since our friendship had ended. I had to accept that this individual’s emotional needs and negative perception of life were not something I was emotionally in a position to support personally. I had slowly been pulled further into my depression in trying to help this individual. In accepting that I was not responsible for how others perceived the situations around themselves was beneficial. Personal emotional health was essential and that sometimes we run into situations or individuals that we permanently or temporarily cannot be around. It is okay we are stronger when we understand who we are and what we are capable of deciding or accomplishing.

Success or failure is my goal for these reviews. Ask me at the beginning of the week it would have been a resounding failure. This failure determination would have been false. The week was a success. Emotionally and mentally health-wise, I am amazed and thrilled that I did not dwell on what happened with the past friendship or call asking for forgiveness that was not needed. Personally, it was a lot of prayer and a review of my goals for myself emotionally.

Physically also was a success if we squint. I was able to maintain my daily home care tasks. I was also able to spend some time emptying some boxes and prepare for a massive Goodwill run. 

Saturday morning, with my sleep apnea untreated till our hospitals return to standard testing. I need to accept and make it work with what I have for physical and mental energy. As mentioned previously, I do have medication for insomnia, which makes me extremely tired the next day, so working 7a- noon Monday to Friday does not give me the ability to take them. I did take them Friday night and slept in Saturday morning but had more energy than the rest of this week. Success for accepting I have limitations. With those limitations, though, I can strive to determine a plan to keep working on adding more to my day. It just takes longer than I would like.

Journey this week was filled with potholes of pain but was patched over with feelings of success for not regressing.

Thank you to all who take the time to read. I have included a song from Meghan Trainor – Treat Myself. This song represents how I felt on Friday when I just rested for the day with minimal guilt.

Meghan Trainor – Treat Myself

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Finding Motivation Through The Tough Days

I am returning to the topic of motivation, is a personally constant search. Motivating through exhaustion is difficult when integrated with mental and physical health needs. Let’s look at what the Oxford Dictionary has as a definition.  

Motivation

[ˌmōdəˈvāSH(ə)n]

NOUN

  1. the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.
  2. “escape can be a strong motivation for travel.”
  3. synonyms:
  4. motive · motivating force · incentive · stimulus · stimulation · inspiration · impulse · inducement · incitement · spur · goad · provocation · reason · rationale · ground(s)

Have the desire and willingness, just not the energy. Find me hip-deep in a lousy week. As Tuesday creeps toward Thursday to stop me from becoming overwhelmed by thoughts of being a failure are the priority. Striving to concentrate on following my daily list but prioritize it based on absolutely must-do tasks. The goal is so family, work, and house not impacted. For those that have read the past blog subjects, these exhaustion weeks are one of the reasons I created a daily printable list. I mentally spend so much time figuring out what is remarkable: so much time wasted that nothing gets done. With the record, I can check off what done highlight what is next after a break. Taken me years of off and on working on different lists some short and some too detailed. With the horrible days, I do one to two tasks than a twenty to thirty-minute break. Breaks being reading, writing, watching YouTube, sorting clutter, or catnap. My thoughts of failure usually are what makes me crash, and nothing accomplished. History sleeping either from a migraine or just lack of motivation and feelings of why bother I am a failure, and my husband and daughter are going to leave me because I am worthless.   

Currently feeling that I am treading water, at least I am not sinking. Not much to give for suggestions but keep motivated to at least accomplish the basics. I did include a quote I found online that has helped me keep working on my home’s needs and not let my mental and physical health grind my life to a halt. My journey this week seems to be in a valley, but that does not mean I am not looking ahead to strive to go back up the hill of life. May this day find you well; none of us are alone in this mental and physical health; it just looks different as we all move through our lives.

To wrap this post up with something fun. Below is a fun song/video from Mercy Me that when I need something upbeat and reminder that I do not need to strive for perfection. Usually, play this in the background will doing something mind-numbing like folding laundry. Mind-numbing tasks typically are when I struggle with my self doubts the most. Video is silly, but enjoy how it shows the lack of perfection that we all are, and that’s okay. We can still live life with joy; it just looks different from person to person. Also, I have an evil streak and love to freak out, my teenager, when she walks in while I listen and start moving to the song.  

Mercy Me – Happy Dance

Motivation Quote 

Reference

Lexico by Oxford Dictionary, https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/motivation

Motivation Quote, https://randomobservationsdotorg.files.wordpress.com/2020/05/b8771-inspirationalquotes-theroadtosuccessisnotstraight.jpg

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Marketing…Why?

 In watching TV recently, I noticed the number of ads geared toward mental health medication content but also the increase.  Struck me that they concentrate on describing the pros and cons of symptoms or act like a depressed person look pathetic.  Below is an example of an ad from 2019, I have also seen the same company recently but different actors.  The cons seem to outway the positives, which got me thinking about how I can improve my emotional place with a minimal amount of medication.   Which is a balancing act of drugs, professionals, and lifestyle choices?

Striving to find a personal balance between personal lifestyle and medication.  It has always been a journey I have been on since the late seventies.  This journey has been beautiful, painful, and repetitious.  There are aspects of my life that are success and failure.  Failure comes in when I am riding high on my feelings of invincibility or filling my time with everything.  Everything is keeping busy with things that I perceive the world, family, and acquaintances will view as my success.  Pleasing others has always been my metric of success.  Do I have a ‘real job’ are not all jobs real.  Yes, they are real, but education, media, and some family place high expectations in words an actions.  Expectations are corporate jobs, higher education, and top pay.  There is a substantial aspect of our culture that cannot achieve that either through mental health, decisions made when young, cultural limitations, physical limitations, and personal motivation.  The metric I saw I need to perform was Executive Secretary, Manager, or Supervisor in an office setting.  All of those placed incredible stress that would impact my health.  I am happier being a trainer or manager in the retail/service industry.  Part of our culture does not look on retail or service industry as having a ‘real job.’  Finding a balance of emotional health and work success impacts the mental health journey.

The journey toward balance brings me back to marketing and the increase of medication ads and culture toward mental health.   Do we have an increase in ads because our society is trying to show it is okay to have mental health needs?  Another television media is seeking all revenue streams? Then again, why am I even concerned about this is just another aspect of our society and culture that agitates me.  

Agitation comes from that the two questions go hand and hand because we are a world of individuals and corporate need/greed.  Even though we are more open to mental health, the portion of our society and culture do not still understand that even with medication, our days are sometimes not our own.  We still have good and bad days.  Going to a professional is few in far between because of finances and insurance limitations.  Finding a professional that works with who we are as an individual takes times as well.  Journeying with mental health is a delicate balancing act of hills and valleys.  

The journey of mental health assisted by medication, and monitoring the options through marketing presentations is probably not beneficial.  Seeking out a professional is the better options available.  A professional will know the ins and outs of the medications and you as a person.  Celebrating that media is comfortable showing the drugs and the need for them.  At this point, I choose to chuckle at the descriptions they give of symptoms to avoid.  A sad chuckle that half the symptoms described are why I sought out medication in the first place.

Prayerfully, this finds everyone well.  Just having introspective exhaustion filled beginning week.  The review next Saturday will be interesting.  Do intend in future weeks to moving back to journaling my food and lifestyle choices.  It has worked for me before then when I felt better took on work that triggered a downward spiral.  We shall see what this detour of my journey will bring.

I have included one of the medicine ads for context.  Also, this one I find insulting, other people may not, but for me, just nails on a chalkboard.

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Mother’s Day 2020

Happy Mother’s Day? Another year has come around to the holiday that I have equal joy and frustration. Yes, Mother’s Day is not a holiday I call it that because it is a day that families, media, stores, and religions comment. So in my simplistic thinking, any day that a large entity concentrates on is a holiday. 2020 Mother’s Day will look different for many unsure if people prepared for the changes.

Past Mother’s Day being eleven years in a grocery store, the florist was extremely busy. When working as a waitress or cook in restaurants, Sunday was always busy. In the time of COVID-19 and physical distancing, what will this day look like for families? How are mothers who have children manage the change of no restaurants except take out and florists not having as much of their average amount of flowers available? Joy and frustration, I expect.

Observation of how those with joy-filled memories celebrate mom; that portion of our society (US) observe Mother’s Day will not as be as grand as in past years. No going out to eat. How many mothers are going to end up having just another day because they had to prepare the food for the ‘get together’ to celebrate Mom? Flowers How many are going to be able to afford flowers? Indeed in this time of change cannot Mother’s Day change?

Instead of spending money that may not have or spending will cause problems further down the road. What about thinking about all the beautiful things mom did for you through the years. Call or create a card memorializing some of the fantastic things she did for you. A simple example ran your lunch up to the school when you forgot. Mom took you to a concert even though you had not finished your tasks as asked. Maybe get in the habit of thanking Mom through the year for what she does out of love. She watched her grandkids even though she had plans to meet up with friends that day and canceled so you could work or have a date night. Let’s celebrate Mom’s without all the frills using words and simple actions is as organic, inexpensive, and mean more for some than all the money in the world you may not have. This day does bring frustration to some.

Frustration for me is how big our media and marketing make this day. I understand why it does. Still does nothing to alleviate my frustration. Let’s look at other aspects of our society and culture before we move into my example. There are families young and old that Mom has passed away. A woman that, by personal choice, biologically, or financially are not a Mom. There may be people that, in the past or present, have a mother that has made choices that negatively impact their children. Changing the cultural and corporate juggernaut that is Mother’s Day or even Father’s Day is not feasible. Just asking people to be compassionate of those you connected with that this day may not be the ‘celebration’ the media wants us to spend. This year especially the money and ability to celebrate the joy is not there. Make a phone call offer to listen. Zoom or Skype a coffee/tea time to sit in each other presence; if feeling needs to speak, the opportunity is there. From personal experience, this day frustrates me.

Why is there frustration? Oh, let us count the ways, nevermind not worth it; let us give a brief overview. My mother was one that expected Mother’s Day, but I have no examples of wow she is a mother. Heck, my grandparents gave me a mother’s day present several years in a row, because I had been taking care of my younger sister as a mother would. Another negative memory sleeping in the garage, so my mother could have someone over. Others nothing was ever right for her I was too fat, lazy, and was never going to make something of myself. My grandmother on my dad’s side was who I learned how being a mom was quite unassuming and always there to help others. Mother’s day was celebrated at her home, and she, with grandpa, cooked and cleaned after the meal. Mother’s day in our home is a quiet affair that I have accepted and have peace of heart. My husband’s upbringing places him with the thought that “You are not my mother. Why would I say or get you anything?”. With no prompting from my husband, my daughter does not acknowledge this day. I have taken my lessons from grammy, and I graciously take this day as a blessing I have family and friends and not expect anything but a couple Happy Mother’s Day on Facebook and church pastor saying something.  

Another frustration is those that ask, “What are you are doing this Mother’s Day?” when I respond with “probably nothing as we do every year.” I feel judged that my life is lacking because my family does nothing as if I have done something wrong not to warrant my family, remembering me on this ‘important’ day. When I know, I do my husband is a fantastic financial provider but limits himself in what he assists with around the house. My daughter is a teenager with depression; do I need to expand on that scenario. So selfishly, I feel judged by the world around me. 

So I am at peace with where I am culturally, and society may not be picture-perfect, but I am not a conformist. I find myself blessed that over the years, I have worked through my feelings, and this day no long triggers mental health attacks—Depression from why does my family not love me. I give so much I change who and what I do to fit their needs, not my own so often. What more do I need to accomplish to have them show me, love? Anxiety from what others will think. Do they think I abuse my family? Do they think my family abuses me? What is wrong with her that they do not give her Mother’s Day presents or meal? Taken years, but I am at peace, my family is who their life experiences have created. I am who my life experiences shaped as with the rest of the world, we each find positive reinforcement of joy from all aspects of life. 

I will leave you with the history of Mother’s Day from the History Channel and two songs I enjoy listening to. Mandisa Overcomer and Dolly Parton – Eagle When She Flies videos. These videos remind me that we are all different life experiences and reactions. As individuals, it is okay to have weaknesses and strengths.   

Mandisa – Overcomer  

Dolly Parton – Eagle When She Flies (Official Video)

May this day find you well. May your emotional health be at peace with where you are now. We celebrate this day where we are not were media and culture says. As individuals, life will look different for each of us.

History channel’s information on the history of Mother’s Day

https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/mothers-day

Again, may this day find you well, as an individual trying to decide how to live well emotionally.  

Add on after posting, came across The Muppets: Happy Mother’s Day from Fozzie Bear and Ma Bear? Cute and light hearted, for those who have and can joy on this day. Made me chuckle mostly at .32 comment from Ma Bear.

Second add on since first posting this. I felt bad that I had forgotten the perspective of the Father’s out there striving to be Mom and Dad the best they can. Here is something simple for that.

Rory Feek singing about being a single (widowed) dad on Mother’s Day.

Hopefully the last add-on.

hmm what are they thinking?

Hmm, what are they thinking, and why do I keep letting my anxiety care what others are saying and doing?

I am still struggling with my anxiety, wearing a mask in public. The fear I feel out of place by wearing mine. Many of the people in my community is not wearing one, and my husband is one of those choosing not to wear one. He has been diagnosed but by personal choice untreated asthmatic, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, Stage 2 Diabetes, and fatty liver. He believes in the herd immunity in regards to COVID-19. Herd immunity, according to Oxford, is, ‘The resistance to the spread of a contagious disease within a population that results if a sufficiently high proportion of individuals are immune to the disease, especially through vaccination.’ Mayo Clinic has an article and video further explaining the cost of going this route. Below is Mayo Clinic’s Video.

Mayo Clinic – Understanding herd immunity

Additionally, you have those not wearing masks because they feel that the government is trying to control them. Psychology Today, written by Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D., Why Are Masks Triggering Conflict and Rage?. This author addresses what he saw as political, health, fear, and economic breakdown. He finished the article with that this debate will continue but also not to assume or become irritated by other’s choices. His final paragraph is a simple example but put a positive spin on choosing to wear a mask.

Everyone has had to make sacrifices during national emergencies, like military service, during times of war. Our forebears gave up their freedom to eat chocolate during World War II so that more of it could go to the soldiers. Wearing a mask could be seen as a patriotic expression of self-sacrifice, as you do your part to defend our country from a microscopic invader. Wear it with pride as you hold onto your liberties.

I guess I keep returning to this one subject for selfish and childish reasons. Wearing a mask took a lot of effort on my part with my anxiety and still does to wear it in public. To see people in the media become abusive, violent, and offensive over a piece of material that could mean the difference between someone staying healthy or dying seems such a simple thing to do and move us faster toward finding our new normal. Yes, I do understand there is a small percentage due to severe reasons that may not be able to wear a mask, that is not what keeps agitating me. It is the fact that since the beginning of May, if I see ten people in a store, only one or two is wearing a mask. That is not including the employees. So of the no mask arguments are written about in Business Insider by Anna Medaris Miller’ Anti-maskers’ say they should not be forced to cover their faces in public because medical conditions mean they cannot wear a mask.

So I am back again with, I can only control myself, and even though my anxiety has me feeling like I am judged for wearing it. I shall continue to wear one to honor the employees that are wearing one and that I do not think that their lives and the lives of the other customers around me have so low of a value that I will wear such a simple thing to follow through. Additionally, being a Home Health Aide of a Quadriplegic, I do not want to be responsible for this individual becoming ill because I brought it into the home. Additionally, if wearing one allows us to move our economy further forward and faster, than let us do this. On a silly note, I will probably revisit this subject when I realize that my tan line will show that I wear a mask.  

Here is 5/6/2020 Mayo Clinic Q & A podcast: How to clean during COVID-19. Mayo Clinic 5/6/2020 – Cleaning during COVID-19. Figured I would include this also because if our medical community is concerned, it is a viable health concern. Felt this was a high reinforcement of why we are still following through the CDC and our state government’s requests.  

I may take a historical perspective to this repeated mask befuddlement and our world health crisis and personal impact. Was going to do the 1918 flu pandemic but ran across another health crisis that is the polio scare. Shows the years involved in a life change and that the young impacted. CBS Sunday Morning did a quick view of how Polio affected our country.  CBS Sunday Morning – Conquering the polio epidemic. I guess I keep trying to find verification that everything we currently have to deal with, both health, emotional, and economic is not a farce but real.

Another reason I am still agitated about the subject of masks outside of running errands and seeing the lack of covers. While I was going through my Facebook newsfeed, I read a post at the end of April that keeps bothering me. The individual communicated they felt this was like the cold and flu, and that masks were not needed. The individual argument was we do not ask people to wear masks when we have colds. I guess the part that bothered me is the person involved has family members that are cancer survivors. Unsure if the post itself that bothers or even those that agreed. Another aspect is more personal that I have a personal history with the person and family, and their choices negatively impacted my daughter. Have read other posts and even news articles that balance out the no or yes toward masks. So is my mask agitation part anxiety, and this individual’s position brought up feelings of anger I had toward how my daughter was bullied. This anger was the attack on my daughter and the lack of personal responsibility from the family. The situation seems to emotionally separate but linked with the subject of masks that just fueled the anger I thought resolved toward the family. Will you look at that my humanity comes forth and shows I am a flawed individual that has a hard time forgiving those that attack my family.

Deep down, I have to say I am a flawed individual that anxiety still wears on me in regards to the mask in public no matter what. This will be a constant burden just due to the nature of how my anxiety impacts me. Heck mowing the lawn, I am praying no-one is out or looking through their windows because I fear to mow and to look wrong. Yes, it is silly, but even now, I still am agitated and avoid it as long as I can. Also though I know it is irrational, and unless my husband gets to it, my ½ acre of the yard looks like I am trying for hay. Well, now that I have scared you about anxiety and mowing the lawn. I think I will sign off sounds like a safe solution.

Before you go, I did run into a video created by New York Times writers Sanya Dosani and Adam Westbrook. It is a compilation of Ohio’s Dr. Amy Acton, where they condensed seven weeks of briefings and presented the high points of positive reinforcement round out and reinforced that it is okay to feel out of sorts and unsure. Time mark 4:47 has the best reminder that is striving to accept that we are in a new ordinary and that things change. It is okay to feel out of sorts.

New York Times Opinion Video – The Leader We Wish We All Had

Hopefully, the next time my mind will have found a different subject to dwell on. 

Again thank you to those who take the time to read. Have a beautiful day keep plugging along. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

References

Oxford Dictionary, https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/herd_immunity, 5/6/2020

herd immunity, NOUN, The resistance to the spread of a contagious disease within a population that results if a sufficiently high proportion of individuals are immune to the disease, primarily through vaccination. ‘the level of vaccination needed to achieve herd immunity varies by disease but ranges from 83 to 94 percent.’

Mayo Clinic, By DeeDee Stiepan, Understanding herd immunity, May 4, 2020, https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/understanding-herd-immunity/

Psychology Today, Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D., Why Are Masks Triggering Conflict and Rage?

Face masks have become a contentious issue in the debate around Covid-19.

Posted May 06, 2020, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/think-act-be/202005/why-are-masks-triggering-conflict-and-rage

CBS Sunday Morning, Conquering the polio epidemic, May 4, 2020, Rita Braver, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIIIYx_1Mrg&feature=push-u-sub&attr_tag=JX0FR4UhGG-fSa30%3A6

Difference Between.com, Difference Between Paraplegic and Quadriplegic, September 1, 2017 Posted by Ranidu, https://www.differencebetween.com/difference-between-paraplegic-and-vs-quadriplegic/

The New York Times, The Leader We Wish We All Had, By Sanya Dosani and Adam Westbrook•May 5, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/video/opinion/100000007111965/coronavirus-ohio-amy-acton.html?src=vidm

Business Insider, ‘Anti-maskers’ say they should not be forced to cover their faces in public because medical conditions mean they cannot wear a mask, Anna Medaris Miller, 5/6/2020, https://www.businessinsider.com/anti-maskers-say-they-cant-wear-masks-because-medical-conditions-2020-5

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Thoughts for Saturday

Thank you to all that have liked my posts. I much appreciate the support. I am sorry that even now, I am still not worked through my anxiety enough to allow the comments section to be part of the posts—one of my many flaws that at some point will work through.

Was listening to 5/1/2020 NBC Nightly News https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RE7WYcGJV2I that brought a troubling question to the diversity of our country’s thinking – time stamp 4.03 Major Reopening. The topic was the re-opening of our country, protests, and the states slowly easing the shelter in place orders what I struggle with how I feel about the distinct separation in how people think about the re-opening of our country. I understand just going out and about as desired, but we still have a large segment of our country that is immune-compromised, and the knowledge about COVID-19 is still limited. The opening of our country is well financially and needs doing. Additionally, groups are talking about going out with a mask is unnecessary. I wish more people would wear masks at least in the area of the country (Northern Ohio) that I am in just on May 01, 2020, of our change in a stay at home order to stay safe traffic doubled when I had to leave for work as a Home Health Aide.  

Protests are freedom of our country Praise God, would like a little more diverse reporting of each viewpoint from tv. Why did several groups of protesters choose to go armed into the State Capitol of Michigan, Austin, Pittsburgh, and more? Did find a historical reason for the armed protests by TImothy C Hemmis, he wrote a ‘The Founders drew a line between peaceful protests and armed insurrection.’ The article gave a fascinating history to the initial thoughts behind protests. With some googling, I did find another piece that gave a more detailed perspective on why people felt they need to assemble armed currently. The article is ‘Michigan militia puts armed protests in the spotlight’ by Sara Burnett. What I was able to glean from this article is that there is a segment of our society that feels the stay at home order has attacked our freedom. Is the stay at home order an attack on liberty when things could have been so much worse in regards to our health? Then how should our politicians handle the pandemic? So where does this put me personally in regards to my anxiety, depression, and how I move forward when I either agree or disagree with attitudes around me?

I praise God that we live in a country that allows the freedom of our voice, so most are represented. Some of these voices may be stifled from time to time. Big business and our politicians who are supported by big companies do not want to see or hear those that are the backbone of the country, the hourly worker. We see this in a small aspect of how we praise the hospital (nursing and doctors) and police/firefighters. DO NOT get me wrong they should be appreciated; they are not paid enough for what we ask of them to do even if this pandemic was not happening. But very little praise goes to the eight to ten dollar worker retail, sanitation, factory, etc., that is also working under dangerous conditions or are unemployed. Nevermind in a month our police, fireman, nurses, and city workers will be unemployed due to state or hospital budget cuts that need balanced. Our federal government not supporting the state and hospital leaders. The money voted on was sent with strict guidelines that do not truly help our state budgets. State leaders who have been on the front lines of making the tough decisions about stay at home orders which impact their state economy and budgetary needs. 

Reviewing information and journaling has helped me and the anxiety about where my place is in all this current and future chaos. Honestly, I think I will be better off keeping to my initial plan of just listening to my state afternoon news conference and maybe listen nightly to one of the world news reports. Much of what I have journaled above has been there for years and even centuries and not changed much. Accepting that I am a low paid minion, entry-level worker, law-abiding citizen of our country that our federal politicians have lost sight of what our country stands on. Our country began and is supposed to stand on the Declaration of Independence of 1776. ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that their Creator endows them with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.’ (https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript). I am not in a position to do much else except to vote when it is time and with research vote and make choices that are best for the reliable working of our government, not fractured petty children masked as adults. Both Federal, State, and Local government officials are to serve all people, not just the stockholders and moneymakers. Beyond voting and speaking out after research, my other personal responsibility is to care for my family and the responsibilities I have to those around me.  

Emotionally that is all I can work with is me, family, work, and home first. One of the other aspects that came to mind while I was listening to the NBC News report is one woman’s comment at – time stamp 6:22. Her comment about how freeing it felt to be out. I think many of us can relate to after the last 5-7 weeks of staying at home and many more to come. All I ask is that some of us remember this after we begin to return to our’ new normal’. There are those in our society that are always staying at home not by choice. For emotional health reasons, physical reasons, hospitals, or nursing homes. Let’s try to reach out to those homebound or in hospitals. They would love to hear or read something and remembered other than the big holidays. Those that are homebound feel forgotten over the years, and now that we as a nation have had a small taste of what it feels emotionally and physically trapped in one’s home. Remember their, being home has been for years. Maybe it is time to reach out even it is to reach out to them by phone, flowers, or letter. Caring is not wrong; it takes a little bit of effort. Because even though they may have an ‘aide’ come to their home to help with primary care, that is not the same as a friend or family member to remember them.  

Keep striving to find what motivates, calms, and feels personally successful. Our successes are as an individual. All we can do is share our journey with those listening; hope it helps. Reframe life from sorrow to celebration as you picture it. Our experiences painful or beautiful can build a fantastic frame of beauty; even cracks are marks of beauty and resilience.

To end these thoughts on an upbeat note here is Matthew West – Quarantine Life. Hopefully, you get a chuckle from this as we move forward and find an equilibrium that works for us as individuals. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyuaDo1eLEI I find these songs uplifting not depressing because it does show that even though our environment/home may look different many of us are going through that same feeling of loss of get up and go when we want.    

References

NBC Nightly News Broadcast (Full) May 01, 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RE7WYcGJV2I

NBC Nightly News Broadcast (Full) May 02, 2020, 

The Founders drew a line between peaceful protest and armed rebellion, By Timothy C. Hemmis, April 30, 2020, at 6:00 a.m. EDT, https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/04/30/founders-drew-line-between-peaceful-protest-armed-insurrection/.

Michigan militia puts armed protest in the spotlight, BY SARA BURNETT ASSOCIATED PRESS, MAY 02, 2020 01:05 a.m., UPDATED 9 HOURS 26 MINUTES AGO, https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/article242455851.html.

Declaration of Independence, National Archives, America’s Founding Documents, https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript 

Matthew West – Quarantine Life https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyuaDo1eLEI

3/25/2020 to 4/1/2020 Observations

Over the years, I have struggled with depression and anxiety in the future, and I may post that daily struggle from my perspective. Back on 3/25/2020, I concentrated on how I see the world around me during week two of COVID-19 stay at home request order here in Ohio. I much respect our Ohio leadership, and the lack of bipartisan outward media covered bickering. The 2 pm Live session has been instrumental in keeping calm and decreasing the anxiety that I could be feeling based on the future uncertainty of our current world. On the other hand, in watching the live sessions of our federal government, I am saddened, and I have to stop because they exacerbate the anxiety. After all, our elected politicians cannot work together and that it is all about their popularity or fiscal bottom line. I do appreciate that after a week, they were able to compromise somewhat so things can move forward even though if I read correctly from CNN payments may not be seen till May, of course, I usually read Time Magazine, New York Times or the Washington Post. (https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/stimulus-checks-senate-deal-includes-individual-payments-but-dont-expect-the-money-until-at-least-may/ar-BB11GLpv?ocid=bingtonews).  

Unsure why, where and how our political arena is so immature and unproductive, I am still in hope/prayer that this current medical/financial crisis will bring the best from people. However, in watching the live debates, that feeling is low.  

Home wise the need to stay home is not much of a shift. My husband and I rarely leave our house unless to work or to a maybe once a week trip grocery shopping. I have concluded though that my food shopping before COVID might label me a mini hoarder. Because except for ½ gallon of milk, we are just now considering leaving the house to fill in some pantry bald spots in regards to fresh items my husband enjoys.  Before anyone worries about the dynamic of our marriage I enjoy a wider variety of vegetables and to fill that need of variety I order my vegetables delivered on a bi-weekly basis from Perfectly Imperfect Produce https://www.perfectlyimperfectproduce.com/) for me this offers me a small variety so I am not buying large amounts that I end up throwing out.  I also like that they donate a portion to food shelters.

Anxiety and depression, I am concerned for others around me due to the shock and unable to meet up and talk it out as a group. Prayerfully they research and keep informed with the local news. For myself, I am still numb, unsure where and how to move forward, taking on some tasks I have ignored concerning deep cleaning, taken in small batches due to a list of physical health concerns. Motivation to move forward in looking for work from home is a question. Do I still pursue, or do I wait? Is it wrong looking for additional employment outside of caring for an individual person, four days a week for a couple of hours a day? One of many areas of thought my anxiety gets me in trouble, those never-ending thoughts that stop me from moving forward in life. For others, and even my husband, who goes and does it, where I waffle on what is the right decision. What if I mess up/fail, should I, and how will it impact others? As research shows, the anxiety moves into depression because I should be more durable than that, and I am so stupid for just going and doing.

So for today (3/25/2020), I have accomplished the daily basics and not much else, which is frustrating and sad because I have worried more about moving forward than doing. We shall see tomorrow if I can accomplish more.

Will you look at that!  A week has passed and my fear of failure out waded my desire to post/blog. This morning (4/1/2020) I read a Time article that expanded on the earlier CNN article about  May date for stimulus checks. The May dates were for the large segment of our society that does not have a bank account to have the payment sent to, and they need or choose to have their IRS check mailed every year. The article was ‘A Double Whammy.’ Those who Most Need the $1,200 Stimulus Checks May Wait for the Longest to Get Them—written by Abby Vesolis and Alana Abramson on March 31, 2020, https://time.com/5812750/stimulus-unbanked-checks-coronavirus/. For now, this is just a collaboration of my thoughts from March 25 to early am of April 1, 2020.  

Life will move forward as I strive to overcome my fears and I can expand and blog my thoughts and the daily struggle of not letting anxiety and depression conquer a life that can be well-lived.  Prayerfully see you soon on this journey of self-discovery of who I can be.