Hello, hello!! A big welcome to my newest readers!!! Thanks so much for reading I Lost My 30’s!!!
Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and the shadows will fall behind you.
H. A. L. T. - A frequently used acronym in dual diagnosis recovery treatment.
For those of us navigating symptoms of depression and/or bipolar spectrum disorder, anxiety, PTSD symptoms, substance abuse and addiction issues and much more, HALT is an important check-in technique and short acronym we can remember when life gets out from under us, if we have experienced a trigger/triggers, or if we just don’t feel like ourselves.
In a challenging situation or at a time we are feeling unsettled…we can ask ourselves…AM I…
Hungry - sustenence is a crucial element of good mental health. Food fuels are body, gives us energy, stabilizes our metabolism and helps us metabolize our medication much better. Eating small snacks like nuts, yogurt, apples or cheese throughout the day can help balance mood fluctuations.
Angry - bottling emotions like anger, resentment and sadness can be detrimental to our recovery. Finding someone to talk to like a therapist, friend or family member, even a confidential hotline counselor can help release negative emotions and thoughts, and in turn, shift our mood. Writing, creating art, exercising, dancing, even doing the dishes can help release anger.
Lonely - loneliness often accompanies mental illness and can lead to increased depression and isolation. Loneliness can also lead to boredom. Reaching out to a friend, family member, members of a support group, attending a recovery meeting, even sitting in a busy cafe can help us feel more connected to the outside world and can help us see we are not alone. Reaching out can save our lives.
Tired - sleep, sleepy, sleeplessness. We either get too much or get too little, but balanced sleep is crucial to good mental health. Good sleep helps us metabolize our food and medication better, helps us feel energized for our day, and helps us maintain a stable mood. Because many of us experience insomnia and/or over-sleeping, our natural and internal clock can become unbalanced. Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. Only get in bed when you are very, very sleepy. Try to get some sun and develop a ‘wind down’ practice at night.
Pass it on!! : )
Sooooo…still making a half-half-hearted attempt to meet someone so I made the (reluctant) jump from email to text with a guy (who I wasn’t totally into from the start) but I thought I’d give it a shot. He’s 35, never married, one of eight all married siblings.
The text went like this:
Hows your night
Good thanks, yours?
Good, just got home from work. So where do you see yourself in five years?
What? Really? I just hope to make it to the weekend.
Are you close to your family? Do you have siblings?
Do I fit into your five year plan?
Um, I don’t even know you.
Do you want to have kids?
Maybe adoption. But we don’t need to talk about it now.
That’s fair. Adoption, I mean.
I’m not really into all the rapid fire questiins here.
Oh, I’m sorry, I just really feel like I could connect with you. Do you feel that?
Then, it occurred to me I couldn’t remember his name. It was either Anthony or Leo.
I am not wanting to answer all of those questions. After I politely ended our texting…I was actually laughing because my actual answers to frequently asked 1st date questions would look like this:
What do you do? Sleep in, go to therapy, paint, cry, feel good, stare at my ceiling a lot, garden, take zillions of photos of my cat, volunteer…aka I don’t work.
Are you close with your family? Let’s seeeeeeeeeeee…my sister hasn’t spoken to me in four years and my brother hasn’t spoken to me in a month or so.
Do you like to travel? No
You DON’T like to travel? No
Whyyyyyyyy? Well, twenty years ago, I was in South Africa and ended up in the emergency center having a massive panic attack, they didn’t speak English and I did not speak Africaans. The names of their medicine were different and no one knew why I was crying. So they just stood around me and stared. It happened again while in Zimbabwe, which was even worse because they thought I had an ‘American’ illness and did not have a word for anxiety. And, I don’t want to get stuck somewhere without my medication or insurance. And, it terrifies me thinking of getting put in a hospital where I can’t communicate my needs.
So, you’ve been single for a while? Yes, 7 years.
Seven years!!!???!!!!! Yeah.
Why so long? Ahhh, you know, life gets in the way.
So you haven’t…ya know…been with anyone in seven years? - Blank face - No, haven’t been in a relationship since 2007.
Oh wait, do you want a drink? I’d love a water.
No wine? No, I don’t drink.
Oh, you don’t? Nope. But water would be great.
Why? I stopped drinking in 2007 after a doctor told me between my depression, ideations, and decreased inhibitions when drinking, I’d be dead in a year.
How do you have fun? - Blank face -
So, you see where I’m going with these examples? Intellectually, I think it’s possible someone could deal with all that…but emotionally, I think it would be absolutely impossible for a guy to deal with all that. Not that I would spill all that…but…those are the real answers to real questions. The questions are valid…and my answers are valid. I just cannot wrap my head around how it all is going to work. I’ve definetly written about this stuff before…but just trying to figure it out. Ay yi yi.