Monthly Archives: April 2017

Communication Breakdown?



Continuing from the last blog, I went through my hurt feelings and emotions looking at things in pieces so I wouldn’t get overwhelmed. What it came down to is that my husband is spread so thin (he does a lot around the house, at work, for the kids’ activities) that he doesn’t have time to know who I am anymore.

He agreed to couples counseling.  I am afraid we might unearth some deep problems that I don’t know about, just because i have that type of fear. I don’t know where to start as far as finding a therapist. Do I throw darts at my insurance directory? I have been asking around for recommendations. I have one, but I don’t think he takes my insurance.

Sorting Emotions

First published Psych Central


folded laundry Image01

It started with my husband bringing me a drink at a party. He didn’t believe I had stopped drinking. He thought it was a nice gesture, and was encouraging me to at least taste it. I may have given in, but my son was there telling me not to drink. I talk, blog, about sobriety, go to meetings and he doesn’t believe me or notice. It made me sad.

The next day my husband was in a bad mood. Who knows why? He was grumpy, moody and wanted to be left alone. My automatic thoughts go to “Something is wrong and it’s my fault” “I’m no good” and I start guessing what could be wrong.

Was it the chores? I did random chores. Was he upset about having to make flight reservations? I took care of that.

Finally, I give up and decide to just ask. “You seem upset, is something bothering you?” He said no he was just in a bad mood. I was able to pause from feeling like a child and act like an adult.

I walked in my therapist’s office overwhelmed with negative thoughts and emotions. I had left a disagreement with a peaceful resolution, but hurt feelings. Feelings I didn’t know what to do with.

When I mentioned I had this pile of “stuff” to my therapist he said to think of it as a basket of laundry, not one of my favorite things. Then to deal with each “item” that is bothering me, one at a time. Compartmentalizing for the disorganized, perhaps.

I felt like he had been reading my mail, but maybe there are only so many metaphors. I have a problem with making associations between things that really aren’t related, due to my mental illness. This was similar to something I say in one of my talks, but it is just coincidence.

When I first was home from the hospital I was, fragile and would get overwhelmed easily. I couldn’t keep up with the laundry. I would clean it, but I would have a big pile of clean clothes that needed to be folded and put away. I would look at it and cry, it was too much.

I told a friend and he said, “Do smaller loads.” Which sounds simplistic but it made it manageable and now I do that with other tasks. I break them down into pieces. Otherwise, I freeze and nothing gets done.

So, I understand the concept, now to put it into action.

Edit: I will continue in next blog


Finding Support for Mental Illness and Alcoholism



Originally published on Psych Central

It can be hard dealing with a mental illness and/or alcoholism without support from a loved one. Perhaps, they don’t recognize it as a real problem. They may be frightened or not comprehend what is happening. Sometimes, partners may even try to sabotage your recovery.

There could be any number of reasons why you could use some outside help.

Friends and family can be of assistance, but oftentimes they don’t understand.

One way of getting help is to go to support groups. There are national organizations for many types of mental illnesses, addictions or co-occurring disorders. AA has sponsors (I have never had one). You can also make friends and have someone to contact if you are having a rough time.

There is something about peer support, and being with others who have been there, that is special. I remember the first time I went to a (DBSA), Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, meeting. I was frustrated because I couldn’t find anything that sounded like me in the textbooks. Then, I met people I could relate to at the meeting. I had found “my people”. Now, I choose to work as a peer mentor because I believe in the power of peer support.

Professional help is good, too, though, not as readily available. I call my therapist when I am not doing well mentally.

You can turn to the internet. There are all types of message boards and chat rooms where you can go for support. You can meet people from all over the world to share experiences with.

Social media is a way of meeting people and blogging is a way to be heard.

They aren’t very common, but there are clubhouses or activity centers for people with mental illnesses. I work at one such center. We have all kinds of activities: gardening, art, music and a lot of different groups. It is a nice place to meet others and be supported.

Volunteering and helping others can help you, too. It can be rewarding and if you work with people with similar issues you may learn new resources or coping skills.

The main source of support you will find is within yourself. You will be the one to resist temptations and cravings. You will be the one to act on warning signs and develop coping skills.

When you are on your way in recovery, you may find you are stronger than you know.

Photo courtesy Max Pixel