*Please note: 1pm host will be @postpartumprogr and the 830pm host will be @piercesmomma. Thank you in advance to these wonderful ladies for hosting chat today!
Monthly Archives: August 2011
A few tips for emergency preparedness for Mental Health
With Hurricane Irene bearing down on the East Coast of the United States, it’s important to also remember to prepare for your mental health if disaster were to strike. Much of the Eastern Seaboard will be closing down as the storm continues along it’s current path.
While making your preparations don’t forget to include your mental health issues.
- Check your prescriptions. Make sure they’re filled or you have at least a two week supply left. See if you can get your pharmacy to refill early for you if you’re close to low. Or call your doctor’s office and see if you can get samples to get you through.
- If you have to take your meds with food, make sure you have non-perishable similar food available to you. MAOI’s, remember, require a specific diet. Watch what you have available to you in case of power outage and be sure it won’t interact with your medicine.
- Write down and keep with all your important paper work the name of your prescribing physician and/or therapist. Check with both offices to see what the availability will be during the storm. Write this down along with their contact information. Also be sure to write down any emergency contact information for the office as well.
Disasters of any kind can be triggering. In addition to gathering necessary survival supplies, plan for some non-tech self-care as well. You’ll need to make sure that in the midst of the stress of the situation you have a space in which you can breathe and feel safe. Self-care is at the center of survival.
Need to know how to prepare for a hurricane? Click here for a great guide.
Stay safe out there and don’t forget to plan ahead for your mental health and well-being as well.
Whatever Wednesday: Finding Happy
When I was 5, my Aunt died. Then several other relatives passed away at an alarming rate. Much of my childhood filled to the brim with memorial services or talk of how yet another relative succumbed to the ravages of cancer. Some relatives I was very close to yet other relatives, like a distant cousin named Keith, I barely knew. But still. Death. Always peering over my shoulder. Always there.
School wasn’t any easier. I grew up in a small mostly white town at the Jersey Shore. On the walk home, it wasn’t unusual to see a Lotus, Ferrari, Porsche, Maserati, Benz, or BMW. And yes, I mean on the same day, not throughout the week. We had a Dodge Ramcharger and a Datsun. The Ramcharger was rusted out. It’s special feature was that we could watch the pavement slide by as our parents sped up and down the Turnpike and other badly paved roads. This was awesome unless.. roadkill. Then EWWW. The other kids weren’t nice to me. They teased me. Called me “Corroded” whatever the hell that was supposed to mean. Yeah, I was even bullied with intellectualism. Awesome, right?
In the 6th grade, we moved to VA. Given the opportunity to reinvent myself, you better believe I did. I had friends the first day. Things were awesome until High School when I bloomed. Yes, I mean BLOOMED. The ensuing sexual harassment sucked. I endured it until I graduated because, well, I was a kid, and my memories of bullying as an elementary kid came flooding back.
Wow, college. No more sexual harassment but there was that time in my dorm room when an acquaintance tried to force something on me. Thankful for strong legs and a good aim, I survived. He did too, but believe me, he never spoke to me again.
During college, I drove a lot. I sat at a local state park and made friends with ducks. I stood in the middle of a lake during a thunderstorm and let the rain beat down on me, praying for a lightning strike just a month or so after my grandfathers died within 19 days of each other. Clearly I survived.
I found myself then, deep under all my pain, all the crap which had been buried on top of me. Strong. Beautiful. Amazing. I promised never to lose myself again.
Only I did.
I fell back into a hole, dug by myself. I sacrificed myself for what I though I wanted. For the life society trained me to believe was mine. Only it wasn’t and I was drowning just like I wanted to do that day when I waded into the lake.
I needed to breathe.
I’m breathing now. It’s taken me 9 years and a few months to get here, but I’m breathing. I’m smiling. At the beginning of the summer, I couldn’t smile. Once I started smiling, my face hurt. For two weeks. Yes, my FACE hurt from smiling. That pain, though, the pain in my cheeks, my jaw, my head, was a pleasant and welcome pain. Yeah, this summer has hurt. It’s hurt like hell. But I’m welcoming the pain. Because the pain means I’m feeling again. It means I’m no longer numb. It means I’m living. Loving. Embracing.
If living my life requires that I go through periods when walking on shredded glass would be preferable, I’ll take it… and I’ll smile despite the blood and tears. I’ll take the pain. I’ll take the happy. I’ll take the joy of finally exhaling surrounding it all.
In this moment, no matter what, my life is beautiful.
It’s beautiful because I am living it.
No more apologies. Just me. Living. Outloud.
Dear lovely readers and #PPDChat members:
It’s been a heck of a week. I’m tired. Drained. Worn the heck out.
I’m always preaching to you about self-care. About filling your own tanks and making sure you put yourself first.
This week, I sucked at that a little.
So I’m taking the weekend off.
I’m uninstalling Twitter from my phone.
I’m turning off my email alerts except for a super secret email address only released to a few chosen people.
I won’t be on Facebook either.
I need to just be.
To soak in the jacuzzi.
Watch the clouds.
Swing on a playground.
Watch the Blue Heron hunt for fish in the lake behind the house.
Sink into a hot bubble bath.
Also? Chocolate. Maybe.
Know that I’m okay. That I’m taking care of me which is precisely what I want each and every one of you to do this weekend.
Take care of you.
I’ll see y’all on Monday at chat.
We’ll be talking about Triggers and how to cope.
What better way to get ready than to practice all weekend?
Love all of you so much.
All my heart,
Dear #PPDChat Army: An Open Love Letter
You are the most amazing moms in the entire world.
Your heart, your fire, your compassion, your wicked strength, your wisdom, your drive to not let anyone else suffer alone is mind-boggling.
This week, one of ours struggled publicly. You didn’t run away. You ran toward her. You held her. You listened. You reached out. For her. For yourselves.
So many of you dove into her maelstrom right along with her. You were there for her when it mattered most.
At the closing of every chat, I always say that help is only a tweet away. To use the hashtag and an army will be at your disposal.
You proved it beyond any reasonable expectation.
This week, you were an army. This week you bonded together, rallied around one of our own. This week you brought tears to my eyes. To the eyes of everyone involved. (HUGE thanks to the BAND for giving our mama a safe place to vent)
But now, now that she’s safe, in the hands of professionals and hopefully receiving the care she so desperately needs, we need to focus on ourselves. Turn the army toward ourselves.
When we support others, we often push aside our own fears. We push aside the scary, the hard, the sad, the bad. We suck it up because we don’t want the one to whom we’re reaching to think we are anything but strong.
It’s okay to exhale.
It’s okay to cry.
It’s okay not to be okay right now.
It’s okay to collapse.
It’s okay to say “Hey, #PPDChat? That was hella hard and I need support.”
We will be there.
It’s what we do.
It’s who we are.
It’s how we run things.
We’re strong, each and every one of us.
We’re beautiful, each and every one of us.
But we’re fragile too.
As an army?
We are unstoppable.
We are here.
You, just like her, are not alone.
If you feel triggered by this past week, USE the hashtag.
I promise, an ARMY will be at your side instantly.
Because that’s how we do it.
I love each and every one of you so much it hurts.
You all ROCK.