RA BLOG: Limiting Pity Parties

Pity has a pit that is hard to get out of once you fall into it. If you’re going to dance around it, do so from a distance and make it less than often.-Nicole Jackson

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I can tell you to stop feeling sorry for yourself, never feel sorry for yourself, or that it’s okay to feel sorry for yourself. Either you do or you don’t or you use to. Perhaps you have a different personality and you never felt sorry for yourself. If this is you, then I might suggest you have some compassion, some empathy, or try to understand those that do.

Feeling sorry for yourself can lead you into a pit. There is a difference when it comes to having a pity party…parties must come to an end and the sooner the pity party ends the better. You see, if a person falls into a pit of pity then that is a very dark place. Some never make it out and it turns into a debilitating way of living and approaching life. It’s all about what you use to could do and all about what you can’t do now. It focuses on what RA or an illness or disease has taken away from you and not what you still have left. Or what you can obtain now! It’s all about your problems, never about solutions. It’s about “I can’t before you try” or a “I tried once and I’ll never try again.”

I’ll be honest with you. I’ve had some pity parties way before Rheumatoid Arthritis exploded into my bones. I am sure it was the talking of wise people, encouraging people, that said a combination of “You’ve got to get over this, get over it, feel what you feel, don’t feel, etc.”that lead me to a method that has lessened my pity parties and the time spent in them. The method for me is, depending on what has happened and the depth of it, is: PUT A TIME LIMIT ON IT and start shutting the party down. I can’t tell you not to throw one in the first place, I don’t control how you feel no more than you can control how I feel. But, if you are going to go there, know that you can’t stay at this party too long and no one else wants to stay too long either!  Your party can turn into a PIT! I limit myself to 5 minutes to a few days and then I have to, I must start working my way out, regardless of how I feel. REGARDLESS OF HOW I FEEL.

You work your way out by moving, physically. You work your way out with prayer. You work your way out with telling yourself the TRUTH about yourself (who God says you are) and not who others say you are. You build yourself up and instead of tearing yourself down. This is how you get out of the pit or shut the pit party down. You see a therapist, you see a pastor, you use the skills, you get a self help book, or you surround yourself with a support group. Whatever you have to do, you do it!  (But, it’s hard Nikki…well, don’t let that stop you)

~Nikki

 

 

 

Expanding Your Perception of Acceptable Beauty

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If beauty is only what you see in the mirror, what media has shoved in front of you, or worse, what your race has taught you, then perhaps you need to challenge all of the above. Yes, it would be absolutely a show of your proclaimed intelligence to question why you think the way you do about beauty. And if you really want to show off your degrees or intellect, you would dare to understand what the standard for beauty has done in terms of damage to cultures and throughout the generations of others.

Just because a person does not look like you does not make you more beautiful. Just because you have more or less of this and that does not make your more beautiful. Just because their hair is different doesn’t make yours appropriate and theirs “need something done to it.” What we have here is more than a set of opinions. What we have here is a mindset that needs to be destroyed. They tell me beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but if the mind of the beholder is warped…if it’s laced with prejudices…if it’s narrow…then perhaps that beholder is blind.

~Nikki

 

Discoveries from “My Authentic Self” Journey 2016 (2)

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I LIKE BEGINNING AND ENDING MY DAY WITH A LIKE SOUL. I LIKE SPENDING MY PRECIOUS TIME WITH LIKE SOULS.

“Time is money. It is your currency on this earth. Where you spend it, how you spend it, and who you spend it with is your choice and consequence. There are no refunds.”  -Nicole Jackson

 

You don’t realize how precious your time is until you are in the presence of others that are nothing like you. You do, however,  recognize how miserable you are. True, you may not can always control the times you are around or encounter those people, but oh what joy for the times you can!  There is nothing like being comfortable at a party, at a dinner, at a get together. I don’t like a lot of bickering and arguing. I had enough of that growing up. I don’t want to spend my time defending myself, explaining myself or being ignored. I like friendly people. I like kind people. I like joyful people. I like helpful people. I like honest people. I like funny people. I don’t want to sit around and talk about other people. Or whispering about another “friend or associate” in a room. I don’t really want to talk about someone who thinks we are all associates, family, or friends. I don’t care about their hair, makeup or attire.

When I was a child, I spent time with friends. When I was a teenager, I spent time with friends. When I was a young adult, I spent time with friends. The people I hung around were not mean or low down. They were not backstabbers, liars, or cheaters. They were not mean girls or rude. We could hash out any differences and move on. I don’t know what happened to those days or those kind of people, but I do know they are still alive and well. We told each other when we were wrong and we would help mend each other. Those are my kind of relationships.

When it comes to spending my life with someone, I prefer someone with a like soul. Someone similar in core beliefs and someone who can allow me the freedom to be myself. I don’t want to wake up miserable and come home to miserable. I will not and I do not believe God would set me up in that environment. God knows my creativity, my heart, my soul could not thrive in that type of environment. I am a delicate soul, yes. I am also strong, but my dynamics are complex for many.

~Nikki

 

Anxiety: Getting to Happy, Thanks, and Giving

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Wednesday I was certain I wasn’t going to Thanksgiving Dinner. I just did not want to be bothered with all of the noise and hoopla. I’d experienced a really bad night of anxiety and insomnia Tuesday night. Worst in a long time, maybe of all times. Later on Wednesday evening I began to feel better, but not enough to change my mind.

When I woke up Thursday, I felt okay. I forced myself to have breakfast with a friend. I got dressed and made it to my family’s house with a plan in mind. If it gets to be too much, I can escape to my parents room or I can leave. To my surprise, my mother was much calmer than usual. She usually is high strung. I was grateful because I don’t operate well in panic and hype mode. I gave by putting ice in the cups, rolls in the oven, arranging the food. It was hectic getting food in a small space with almost 20 plus people. So, I went outside and sat until the line died down. Cool fall air and peace. I was happy as my nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, eyes lit up when they saw me and they ran to give me hugs. I was happy to see my latest 6 month old great nephew for the first time.

I gave thanks for good food as I escaped to my parents room to eat in peace as I watched HGTV and Unsung. Only to be interrupted by by wobbly walking one year old great nephew as he looked in on me and came to my plate for anything I would give. He’s not hard to please and out the door he went.

I made it. I made it back to my house with my sanity in tack and a to go box for breakfast this morning. I am thankful I did not experience the agitation of anxiety.

~Nikki

Anxiety. I Don’t Understand It Yet.

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I can’t tell the difference from my own ways of overanalyzing and anxiety. I start to wonder if they are connected. I am pretty sure they are. Last night was a hell of a night of overthinking, worry, concern, and you name it. The worst I have had in a long time. I still do not understand anxiety as it is new to me this year. It may sound crazy, but it frustrates me all the more that I don’t understand. I don’t like it. And if I dare to think about it, I have probably had it longer. I can identify the on start, and I have caught it and followed the plan to calm it down. But those times where it spirals out of control…like last night…is the worst. I could not stop it. I fell asleep off and on and each time I woke up it was back again.

About a month ago, a strange thing happened. I was suppose to go out on a date and the guy took forever to call. I was getting dressed and the next thing you know I started to feel anxious. I started to think about all the other times guys have let me down where we were suppose to do something and didn’t. I started to think about all of the times things didn’t work out and then I started to cry. I was shocked! What the hell was I crying about? I did not understand this at all. I felt, abandoned. And when I thought that, I thought about a very very bad relationship where this guy was always leaving me high and dry. And the many other times this has happened in relationships. And there…there was the trigger. But then came the shame. “I am Nicole. I am strong. I don’t care about these things. Right? I have been through so much and well, look at how tough I am. No one needs to know about this. Get yourself together. You can’t take that to therapy.” And I didn’t. But, I will have to this time.

I am fatigued. I am still fighting those thoughts this morning. I do not like myself right now. I wonder if I will ever be okay. If I will ever be understood. If I will ever be loveable. I don’t want to be bothered. I think what I want is to be understood about all of the things rattling around my head.

I am trying my damndest to be gentle with myself as I go through this, but it is very hard.

~Nikki

Before You Get to the Edge. RA BLOG

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What do you need to do as a person with a chronic illness or dis-ease before you get to the the edge? The breaking point? The split second before bad attitudes, mean words, a frown forms across your brow, and just plain funk kicks in making your home or work atmosphere an unpleasant place. Before you have to “back track” and make apologies, amendments, and atonements, here are two question that may help you. But first, let me explain how this came to me this morning.

After my second night of restless sleep, I laid there pushing myself to get up or my daughter would be late for school. I slept with the breathing machine on (CPAP machine) and it was annoying all night. Tossing and turning with the “so and so” cord tangling around my arm and head. The wisp mask, even with the soft, light rubber around it, was hurting my face because fibromyalgia was awake, too. When I finally snatched it off this morning, I was tired before I got up.

When we have restless or painful nights it can make us feel defeated before we even roll out of bed. Defeated, before we get our day started. It can make us pessimistic, angry, moody, and we can began to bark out in frustrations to family, friends, significant others, children, and coworkers. I sat up on the side of the bed and thought to myself “I feel horrible. I wish I could get more sleep. Oh well.” To the bathroom, get dressed and I sat on the side of the bed putting my shoes on and I realized I was frowning. I felt heavy as I moved around. And then I asked myself a question that I already knew the answer to:

WHAT’S WRONG? WHY ARE YOU IN A BAD MOOD ALREADY? (your answer may vary but give yourself the full blown answer. Not the short answer)

Answer: I did not sleep well. I am upset that I cannot go back to sleep. I do not feel like being upbeat and chipper. But, I have to send my daughter off to school in the best mood possible.

WHAT DO YOU NEED TODAY? WHAT DO YOU NEED TO MAKE IT THROUGH THE DAY AND IMPROVE YOUR MOOD? (Your answer may vary drastically depending on the situation and day. You could be working, a full time at home parent, work for yourself, etc)

I need sleep! But I can’t go back so I need peace and quiet. I need the least amount of conflict and chaos. I can limit phone calls to and from people that are prone to give me bad news or talk too long, news and social media. I can eat a good breakfast. I can sit outside this morning for 30 minutes. Sunshine improves my mood. I can tell my daughter the truth.

Yes. Tell the people in your life the truth.

Me to my daughter: “Morning. Not to chipper or talkative this morning. Sorry. Rough night.”

Her: “Oh. It’s okay Mom.”

So before you get to the edge…

WHAT’S WRONG? – TELL YOURSELF THE FULL VERSION

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO FOR MYSELF TODAY THAT WILL MAKE THIS BETTER//GET THROUGH THE DAY?- NAME IT. LIST IT. DO IT.

AND BONUS: TELL PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE THE TRUTH ABOUT HOW YOU FEEL WHEN IT’S REALLY BAD OR IF YOU’RE  JUST NOT UP TO PAR THAT DAY. I know we are always feeling bad most of the time and we don’t have to let people know that. However, when it’s one of those days when you wake up and can feel the ANGST check it (address it) before you walk out the door of your room.

~Nikki

 

 

 

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Living with Emotional Scars

How do you do it? You’ve survived the incident, the accident, the situation, the divorce, the bad breakup, childhood trauma, but how do you live with the scars these things have left behind?

Some physical scars we look at on our body and we can tell you how we go that scar. It could have been simple as being a child and taking a tumble or as horrific as surviving abuse. We know these and many other things leave emotional scars that people can not see, yet often raises it’s ugly head in the way we react to things, do things, our thought process and maybe who we become. Physical scars can heal on their own most of the time or with some assistance and care from us or others. However, emotional scars are much more complex and are hidden deep within. And for some of us we have a lot of them and we also need some assistance in healing them.

I’ve been trying to recover from some deep emotional wounds through therapy. Yes, God has and is doing his part to help me heal but, “we” (God and I) thought I may need to seek one God has given the gift of counseling to, to help me wade through the deep murky swamp. Besides God and godly counsel, you yourself have to figure out ways to live with emotional scars.

I woke up to a bright and sunny quiet Sunday morning. I often feel that nature is an elixir for bad moods or a cloudy head. Nature helps you to sort out things. Watching the waves of the ocean or the flow of a river or the stillness of a lake. Nature raises your vibration and resonates with the energy on the inside of you.  Even gardening is healing or taking care of a plant is healing. In these things the Creator can speak to you and heal you.

Reading books on the subject matter you are dealing with. You gain tools, discover ideas, you realize someone else has been there, too and they not only survived they thrived to help you and others through their book. It’s powerful holding a book that helps you to understand you and helps move you through  the pain.

Prayer and Meditation can heal you. A practice of prayer and thanksgiving. The more gratitude you have for what you have the more your focus changes. The more thankful you are for the survival the more ways to heal will show up. The more you find ways to help others who went through what you went through the more healing you receive. Meditation can be music, it can be sitting with your legs crossed humming, it could be sitting on the couch with light flooding in from the outside, it can be a candle lit and you talking with your Creator. Meditation for me is always powerful. Meditation can even be a good night’s sleep which is how this came to me to put in a blog and publish to the world in an effort to help one person make it through the day. To reach one person and help them discover a way to heal their emotional scars and to live with love, joy, peace, and gratitude and most of all forgiveness. I am praying for us.

~Nikki

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Through therapy, if you need it, books, nature, prayer and meditation I heal. I am finding my authentic self through healing with therapy and the book Something More: Excavating Your Authentic Self by Sarah Breathnach. Here is a link to her book.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002WAUVC8/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1