Miscellaneous Mental Archive

EMDR

Posted June 10, 2021 By kmarrs

Despite the trauma train that has been the last 6 months kicking up some dust, I’m actually fairly stable. So in this spirit, I’m working on processing the trauma I’ve been through in the past 37 years. There are all sorts of things, big and little, and I’m ready to deal with it all.

DBT is great for helping to survive the day to day. But I’m doing that fairly well. Even when I was dying, I made it through each day intact. DBT isn’t set up to deal with the past.

There is a form of therapy called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing it’s perfectly set up to help process past traumas and desensitize people with PTSD. It is a little tricky to explain, but it’s basically puts the patient almost into a trance. I’m going to provide some links to web pages and books that can explain this much better than I can below.

I will say that it is helpful. I’ve only just begun the process and I have a long ways to go, but I finally feel hope that I can let go of the past and come out the other end happier and less angry. PTSD makes me angry and I don’t like that about myself. But I can fix it. And EMDR is the key.

https://www.emdr.com/what-is-emdr/
https://youtu.be/Pkfln-ZtWeY

Bannit, S.P. (2012). The trauma toolkit: Healing trauma from the inside out. Wheaton, IL: Quest Books.
Scaer, R. (2005). The trauma spectrum: Hidden wounds and human resiliency. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Van Der Kolk, B. (2014). The body keeps the score: Brain, mind, and body in the healing of trauma. New York: Viking.
Parnell, L. (2008). Tapping in: A step-by-step guide to activating your healing resources through bilateral stimulation. Boulder, CO: Sounds True Books.
Shapiro, F., & Forrest, M. (1997). EMDR: The breakthrough “eye movement” therapy for overcoming stress, anxiety, and trauma. New York: Basic Books.
Shapiro, F. (2013). Getting past your past: Take control of your life with self-help techniques from EMDR therapy. Emmaus, PA: Rodale Books.

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The Criminals

Posted May 13, 2021 By kmarrs

Pretty much the day we decided Ziggy needed to go back, the Marrs Family Kids’ Union met and decided they wanted cats. Specifically two: one for Sammy and one for Thomas since they both have an ESA letter.

I was in a tough spot because we had literally just started the process of taking Ziggy back and I wasn’t sure I wanted to move on that fast, and I had all the stuff needed for a dog. I spent a lot of money on dog stuff and it would cost even more to bring cats into the house. But on the other hand, I was going back to work after being off for 6 weeks, in less than a week, and Sammy was suicidal. I had to do something! And the kids were adamant they did not want another dog.

So I brought out a newly paid-off card, called it a medical (mental health) expense, and ordered everything we’d need off chewy. I’m a pushover and well, the union had made an overall reasonable demand.

I then proceeded to scour Pet Finder and Craig’s List looking for 3 kittens from the same litter. I figured if Thomas and Sammy were getting kittens, I wanted one too and could get my own ESA letter. It took some hunting, but I found three 8-month-old kittens that were up-to-date on shots and already fixed. We brought them home the day before I went back to work.

Meet:

Miss Soot Sprite Spooky Pants the Cyrptid Marrs Esq

Ash

Angel

They are criminals

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Easing Back In

Posted April 8, 2021 By kmarrs

It’s been a minute since I last really wrote. March started out rough and just kept on going. But I’m determined to bring life back to a sense of normal and that includes writing. I’m going to ease my way in by starting not with the trauma of March 2021, but instead what kept me going.

I got my 3rd stimulus, I’m not even sure when, and did a lot of important things with that money. One of those things was to set aside money for my 2021 garden. I hesitated to garden this year. I won’t have Robin’s help and it just feels overwhelming knowing that I alone am in charge of making sure things like watering it daily happen. But those who love my made it clear I needed a garden, so I set the money aside.

Then in the thick of things in late March, I started planning. My first goal was the little flower bed out back that sits along between the back porch and patio. My hibiscus and rose from last year didn’t make it. But surprisingly, my blueberry bush is already showing signs of green. After hemming and hawing over it for a bit, I decided to plant two more blueberry bushes with the goal of having a thick wall of blueberries about 3-5 years from now. Next up was mulch. Only, last year when I watered my bushes, the mulch in the bed kept floating away. So I decided this year I would buy and install edging to keep the mulch into place.

Again, I am really glad those who love me made me set aside money for my garden from my stimulus. I set aside way more than I need for plants and pots and dirt. Which means I can do little things beyond those that encourage growth. I bought two beautiful sets of wind chimes because I wanted a set for my garden, but I won’t be able to hear them from my room, so I want a set for there too. I also bought this 3-foot high birdbath that will live amongst the plants. I’m going to put rocks at the bottom of it and turn it into a bee watering station. Because there is no life without bees, so we must do our best for them always. I also bought a compost bin with my tax return so I can make good rich dirt. I’m already filling it with things like eggshells and produce that went bad before we could eat it. While my garden will feed my belly, the things like the wind chimes and bee watering station will fill my soul.

Next up, as soon as it’s consistently above freezing at night, I have some pots of herbs to put out. I put 3 out about a week ago, but was over eager and it froze a few nights in a row. I should have checked the weather. They may still live, but I bought 3 more just in case. If anything I’ll have twice as many. Otherwise, I still have the 3 new ones.

As you can see, I have 2 basil and a cilantro. Or maybe I’ll have twice that. Who knows.

I’m waiting to see if my strawberry survived. It’s too early to tell. In the meantime, I’ve decided that one strawberry plant is not near enough and bought myself a fancy stacking pot system.

I bought the 4 petal in purple and that bad boy will be able to hold 20 strawberry plants. As an added bonus, it’s compact enough that if my strawberries can’t survive the Ohio winter, I can pull them inside. That said, there is a strawberry farm like 5 miles from here, so I have every reason to believe my berries with survive and thrive.

I’m about 5 weeks off from being able to buy any plants for my garden. Mother’s Day is when I’ll begin in earnest. I have big plans for this year’s garden though. I’m going to grow beefsteak tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, and cherry tomatoes for all my red sauce needs. I’m growing Thomas some jalapeno peppers. I’m growing cucumbers for Iris. And finally, Sammy will get a pot of flowers as payment for helping me.

I’m depressed right now. March 2021 was nonstop trauma. I’ll be ok, but I’m using this garden and planning for it as self-care. I’m deeply looking forward to dirt under my nails and I grow and eat my efforts.

Are you growing anything this year?

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Falling Apart

Posted February 4, 2021 By kmarrs

Life is a struggle right now. My hemoglobin is an 8.8 and I’m just so tired. And I’m overwhelmed with dog stuff. I’m not getting enough sleep most nights, considering I need 10-12 hours a night which just isn’t possible. I’m stressed. I’m tired. I’m depressed.

Things will get better. But in the meantime I just want to hibernate.

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Snacks

Posted November 12, 2020 By kmarrs

So I have been noticing lately that if I don’t eat every 3-4 hours, I start getting really sick. And it can no longer be something small. I need a medium meal around the clock every 3 hours (that I’m awake) or I get really really sick.

I spoke to my bestie, who knows medical things, and she informed me it was the hypoglycemia. I responded that I’m not hypoglycemic. She bopped me with a flip flop and informed me I am and. And that further, based on how quick I am to get hangry, I probably have been for a while.

The thing is, I’ve been actively working to kick start my metabolism, so it’s far more noticeable. I burn calories a lot faster than I did 11 months ago and so I need to eat more food more often.

Speaking of… I’m actively losing weight. I’m no longer going to the gym, but by eating regularly throughout the day, I have kick-started my metabolism and I’m losing weight. Which wasn’t exactly my goal. I thought it might happen, but I mostly just wanted better mood control through regular calorie intake.

Hold up. Let me dig out and transcribe what I told my friends. I was having a good brain day at that moment and it’s pertinent.

Not eating puts you into starvation mode and you retain and even build fat. So if you eat a reasonable meal (based on the amount of hunger once you learn to listen) every 3 hours you drop out of starvation mode and start to burn fat. Sure you might gain a little at first because your body still wants to store the calories. But once your body realizes it’s being fed as often as it needs, it drops out of starvation mode. Also, because you are eating regularly (seriously every 3 to 4 hours around the clock so long as you’re awake) you stop like hugely craving to eat the entire all you can eat buffet. You learn to recognize when you are full and you learn to self regulate how much you eat in a meal because you aren’t literally starving to death.

Also, for those of us with mental health issues, regular food helps regulate mood. It doesn’t have to be a huge big thing if you’re not hugely hungry. Just something. Listen to what your body is saying and give it sustenance every 3-4 hours the best you can.

I have an alarm on my fit bit that goes off at set times based on what day it is. (I work third shift some days and second shift others and my sleep follows a pattern but that doesn’t mean it’s the same hours every day.) When my alarm goes off, I assess how hungry I am and eat accordingly. If I’m really seriously just not hungry at all, I reassess in 30 minutes.

I’m also making other changes. I spent some 4 years eating a cliff bar for breakfast every morning as I walked out the door. That used to hold me for 5 hours because I never fucking ate. But now? I’m hungry again after 2. So I am using protein powder to make myself a breakfast shake with milk, oats, and berries, and that really just holds me the 3-4 hours I need it to. And yeah, the protein powder is expensive. But it sure as fuck beats getting sick all the time. I was getting sick at least once a day on most days. And I didn’t know why until I finally realized it was then I was missing a meal during my work shift. I had the food with me and the ability to eat, I just ignored my watch alarm. So I’ve stopped doing that, I’m making sure my snacks are slightly larger. And I’ve added the morning protein shake.

In all I feel great.

Me after 2 hours if I’ve only had a cliff bar to eat.
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Working with BPD and things, an Update Part 2

Posted September 10, 2020 By kmarrs

This new job is really working out for me. I don’t just mean the dynamics of my relationship with my client. I mean it works in all the ways my mental health usually doesn’t let things work.

It’s slow-paced so I don’t have to thrive under pressure. I don’t have sales or referral goals. I’m allowed to be somewhat nocturnal, which is an ADHD trait.

This is a job that lets me be useful to society and a community in a way that isn’t detrimental to my mental health. I could even argue that it agrees with my physical heath, considering I was able to do the job well even with no blood the past few weeks.

All in all, I don’t feel particularly disabled trying to do this job. It’s a great feeling. I really think this is something I can do long term.

I can’t actually post photos of the people I give care to. That’s a huge privacy violation. So please accept this stock photo in its place.

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