Tag Archives: loss

Had I Known – A Poem for the Fearful

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c) 2018 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

Whether a  dream, goal, friendship, treatment plan, or any other relationship or effort will end in disappointment is something we cannot know.  We are certainly guaranteed to stay stuck if we do not take a risk.

Had I Known

Had I known…

I would have run

kept quiet

hid

secrets would be secret

bravery, silenced

 

Had I known…

my spirit would still be caged

 

What are few to thousands more who…

reject

fear

avoid

lie

dismiss?

Had I known…

I would have embraced few’s misery

and escaped “freedom’s” disappointments

 

Yes, I would not have cared to fight

and not won

 

It is good God holds a mysterious future!

Because I did not know, I…

took a risk 

believed you

gave it my best

Now I know…

taking a chance was worth it

because life grew from intolerable

to hopeful

to promising

to fulfilling

 

I would not have tried – had I known

So glad I did not know…

that you would  break and run

and leave in silence 

Today’s Helpful Word

Deuteronomy 31:8 

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

 **********COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME.

NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help are yours.

Squirrel! How to Distract Yourself from Negative Triggers

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c)2015  Nancy Virden

n2ngr80My friend has a little dog named Layla, a Dachshund and Chihuahua mix. Layla considers herself a princess (or so my friend informs me), and wears dresses. I’ve threatened to put a pea under the mutt’s mattress to test her royal status, but Layla’s diva-like behavior may be proof enough. 

She will spin around on her hind legs like a circus dog to show me her newest outfit. I have to admit, it’s a cute show. When it is time for me to leave and I reach for my coat, the prancing princess mopes. Her mood shift is immediate. She is distracted from her joy by loss. Aren’t we all? 

The same can be true in reverse; we have the power to change a negative focus to the positive. Unpleasant memories may be associated with events, places, dates, and all kinds of things. It’s tough to shake old repetitive thoughts, so how about we not try? What may help more is attaching new, happier experiences to those events, places, and dates.

OK, what do I mean?

By Christmas weekend 2014, typical holiday depression was knocking on my door. Instead of inviting it in by focusing on loss, I threw a spontaneous New Year’s Day party. Not only did my mood lift that week of preparation, but now I have a new, fun-filled holiday memory. I’m excited about next year’s opportunity to do it again.

Valentine’s Day is coming. This can be a time of sadness for rejected lovers, widows and widowers, and romantics filled with regret. You can create a new memory on this day. 

One woman began making trips to New York City with friends after her husband, her travel companion, died. Perhaps Valentine’s Day could be the day you deliver cards and chocolates to a local nursing home. If a smell or sound is upsetting, try to create a new experience around it. photo-24884214-just-squirrelling-around-3

Layla is a PTSD service dog. When she is on the job she stays focused. Off the job, like the characters in the Pixar movie, UP, she can be distracted easily. “Squirrel!”

You can distract yourself too. Give it a try. Make a game of it. Grab the challenge. See what you can create to change difficult reminders into triggers of joy.

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NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.

*dog cartoon by julos at rgbstock.com

*squirrel picture from qualitystockphotos.com

 

Loss. Holidays. A Story of Celebration

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness       (c)2012 Nancy Virden

making a snow angelThey say when one is staring down his or her own death, the past flashes by like a fast-forwarded movie. Loss also can bring silent movies back to the darkened theater of the mind.

Her home was empty.  She sat with ever-present memories to keep herself company, and to wish for happy ones. Try as she could, pleasant remembrances were elusive, and minute after minute she saw the faces of those who were no longer here.

Pains ran through her body accompanying sobs from she knew not where. Pressing in around her, and especially near her shoulders, was an anguished heaviness she could not describe. In her middle stirred fear.

How will she go on to tomorrow without them? Yet she had endured so many such days already. There was nothing like Christmas to bring the hurt to the surface, and to get the old film reels turning. Some loved-ones had passed away. Others had walked out of her life, deserting her to recollections that were growing harder to retrieve.  A few people had been gone for decades.

How will she go on without them?

Outside, children played in the snow. She watched one bright-eyed boy in particular as he flopped himself down with ease onto his back and started gliding his arms and legs wide then back to his body. An angel. She was certain he was an angelic child, sweet to raise.  He had lucky parents.

Sigh. She thought, I wish I had a little boy like that.

Her mind roamed to her family tree. Grandparents, great-grandparents, and all the great-greats took her back to the 1500s where her genealogy research had ended. Then it hit her. All of these people she wondered about, each of the ones for whom she longed, every one had something in common.

They were gone. Gone! Their lives were part of her past, and if she could say, “I have a past,” it meant she was here now.

It may seem trite to others, nevertheless was an epiphany for this woman. People who had been here had their chance at life. Some had made decisions that blessed her, and others caused her harm. What now?

She had decisions to make, the most foundational of which was who did she want to be? Did she want to remain the lonely, depressed, woman who sat alone during the holiday season? If she wanted to be a different kind of person, one who celebrated her own chance at life, what step could she take today toward becoming that person?

Activity outside her window had not stopped.  Donning her coat and best snowman-building gloves, she walked outside to meet her next door neighbors.

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NOTE: I am not a trained or licensed mental health professional. I am not a doctor. I speak only from my experiences with and observations of mental illness.  In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.