Sunday, February 27, 2011

Feb 27-March 6th, 2011: Skill of the week - Take (2)

Clearly I was not awake during my skills post last week because I dated for this week and not until I went to write this weeks skills post did I realize that I buggered it, we shall have a second go of a skills post for the dates of February 27th - March 6th, 2011.

I wanted to take a bit of time today and discuss, in detail, how one would fill out their chain analysis worksheet. It really doesn't matter much what "form" you use, rather the importance comes in the information you provide for yourself. 

First-of-all, what is the purpose of a Chain Analysis Worksheet? 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

No wonder I can't get out of bed!

If this is what were to happen to you within 5 minutes of you laying down in your bed, would there be much motivation to get out of bed and stay out of it?

No joke, I lay down and these two lazy-bones are in position within 5 minutes. Those are my legs on either side of them! OK, so they are very good snugglers, and yes it is hard to get out of bed when I wake up with them like this too, which is usually the case. I wonder, whatever happened to the black one being the kids' cat? Hmmm.

Moving on... With each day that passes, I gain a little more strength and I get outside a little more. I did something with my daughter yesterday that I really treasured. I reflect back on it, and it makes me wonder why it is that as adults we forget simplicity. We forget innocence, granted for many innocence never existed.

So here's what I do, when I am really emotional and have pent up energy, watching a movie is just not going to cut it. Doing laundry or house-keeping is out of the question because I will just work myself into a frenzy with perfectionism. I will wash the same spot on the stove over and over until I am shaking and sweating, nervously glancing around the kitchen chasing phantom smudges. Leaving me more overwhelmed than when I began. So, I sing. Loudly.

But this time I sang with my daughter and I learned something. At first I felt a little self-conscious. But I soon realized she couldn't care less if I was off key, nor did she even know if I was, or at least she didn't cringe when I did! She watched me so intently, just soaking it up. I kept singing as if I was serenading her. She watched even closer until she caught the words to the song too, then before you know it I was letting it all out and she was singing along and we danced around like we were in a music video! Kids are so care-free that it amazes me.

It was a wonderful moment, so I stretched it into many moments and I intend on using this one again. It burned all of my nervous energy, I was able to get back to the simplicity of the many moments I do have in my life, and I am grateful for them all!

Thank-you Bradyn, for the wonderful experience!


Friday, February 25, 2011

Frigid weather ~ Frigid insides

It has been COLD here the past few days. OK, so maybe not what some would consider to be cold, but certainly cold for what we are used to here in the Pacific Northwest. We usually see various colors of gray with rain. The way we know what season it is, is by the temperature of the rain. Cold rain means it is winter, where-as mildly chilly rain with lighter or brighter shades of gray means it is spring.

O.K., so it really isn't that bad. The corner of the world that I live in is quite colorful to tell the truth. It just rains... a lot. 

We just had some snow, which is fun for us because usually when it is cold enough for snow it is the one time that we have no precipitation; but when it is precipitating all over the place it isn't cold enough for snow. So at times, several winters will go by with just very cold rain. 

The kids love it when it snows, especially when they get a snow day out of the deal, which seems to happen here even if there is just a small dusting of snow. I think either the powers that be who decide to call it a snow day are really just giant kids at heart or they are chickens in the snow! Anyways, this is what we did this last snow day:


We will be holding a group chat on Monday, March 7th, 2011 @ 11:30 a.m. PST.

This is the #1 question:  "What time does that make it for me?" Which of course is a very important question to have answered, correctly. 

So let's get to it. Follow this link to find out what time it will be for you: 

(fill in the blanks: March 7th, 2011 @ 11:30 a.m. Location: U.S.A. - Washington - Seattle -then choose your location)

The group will meet HERE at the forum's chat room. You will have to be a member to chat, which is easy to sign-up for. Once you have signed in, you can locate the chat room directly below the family of Cheetah's and about 3/4 of the way towards to the right. 

Any questions please feel free to email me.

Remember, part of how this peer-support works is to be connected to one another and sharing experiences! (even if it is through the computer and not real life, we do what we can)

Come as you are, seriously, as you are... no one will see you sitting in your p.j.'s with your hair ratted!

I look forward to seeing you all there. (F.Y.I. - we will be offering different days and times to meet the needs of everyone!)


Sunday, February 20, 2011

February 27th - March 6th, 2011: Skill of the week

Vulnerabilities. P.L.E.A.S.E. Master (you can find details about this by following this link, under skills, distress tolerance)

We have covered this skill many times. However, I must direct attention back to it again. This is the reason why, it will amaze you at how much it impacts our effectiveness when we have physical ailments. 

Honestly, when you are sick how much do you get done around your house? Mothers & fathers out chaotic does your household get when you are sick? It gets crazy doesn't it? 

This week I am going to do something a little bit differently than my typical skills posting. Usually I go over this skill in detail, what it all means etc. This week I am just going to discuss the "P" in this acronym on a personal level. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

February 15th - 20th, 2011: Skill of the week

Thank-you for your gracious patience with my weekly skills post. I know I said that I would do it on Monday, but you know life happens and I really wasn't feeling all that well. It makes me wonder, which is the lesser of the two evils? The pain meds or the pain? Well, I suppose that would be different for each individual person.

Last weeks skill we discussed self-monitoring. There is an area that is very important to monitor: our relapse. Each of us will eventual relapse. We are not perfect and for us to consider it a failure to relapse would be short sighted.We need to understand how to fail well. Once we have come to grips with the reality that a relapse will happen the next step is to do everything in our power to avoid it and prepare for it. 

Each of us should have a Relapse Prevention Plan. This plan should be kept with your Crisis Plan, Recovery Plan, and your assessments of your progress worksheets. It needs to be handy. I would recommend studying it on a regular basis. It is good for us to keep it close in mind as to what happens to us as a relapse is building up. It gives us many more opportunities to stop the relapse in its tracks. We will get more adept at stopping this relapse mid-stream the more familiar we are with the process and the more comfortable we are with the concept of failing well.

We should consider these aspects when developing our plan:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hang tight

I had a procedure done on Friday and I am still a bit under the weather. The pain meds are making it so I don't quite think clearly, and my wise mind tells me that this is not a good time to be posting a skill! Until tomorrow then! Thank-you for your patience.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Look Ma - No hands!!!

We all get tired. Really tired. During these times what do we do? This last weekend I found that I had switched to autopilot and hadn't even been aware of it. I am not talking about physical tiredness, I mean we get that way too, but I am referring to that mental tiredness that sort of saps every last bit of energy out of us. When there is nothing left autopilot can be blessing. 

For most of us out there that have children we have witnessed this autopilot in action and are often amazed at what can be accomplished when you thought everything was lost. In these cases your kids needed something and out of nowhere there it was and you were able to give it to them. I know I am still amazed at how much I have to give them when I feel there isn't even enough in me to breath. When I was acutely aware of this ability over the past weekend I thought to myself, "why don't I give myself that much when I'm empty?" Well, the first obvious answer that popped into my head equally as fast as the question was that I love my kids way more than I do myself. This is my emotion mind speaking of course, because right along side that thought logic mind weighs in with, "yea, but you can only love others as much as you love yourself" and the two of them start arguing and it gets really embarrassing! Whoa, "MJ, where are you going with this?" Good question:

I have moccasins you can wear!

Change wears my sister's moccasins. He stays up late and wakes up early. He likes to come up quietly and kiss me on the back of the neck when I am at my drawing table. He wants to amuse people, and it hurts him when they yell at him. Change is very musical, but sometimes you must listen for a long time before you hear the pattern in his music. 

~ The Book of Qualities - J. Ruth Gendler

We all are changing...everyday...don't hurt his feelings, embrace him.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Testimony as to how cRaZy AJ is: -Test-Test-Test

(In preparation to moving from WordPress to Blogger awhile back, AJ set up and developed ways to post and different things he could have automatically open when I open a "new post" - I found this one.... silly silly man. I only just found it, and I had a good laugh, I thought you would too!)

 to Please share this post with your friends!

Hello my name is Bob,

I say that because that is actually my name and I would like to be call by my name, Bob.  Please do not spell my name Bob backwards because that would make me sad when I read boB instead of Bob!  When I grow up I might go by the name of Richard, but for now just call me Bob.  I think its better go by Bob and not Richard because the other name for Richard is Dick and nobody likes a Dick, so just call me Bob.

Thank you, this is Bob signing off!



Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Did you say candle or flamethrower?

There was a wonderful post over at Building a life worthing living about lighting a candle. In it she posts a quote, "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness" I love this quote. It is rather profound really. I  mean lighting a candle is so simple. It doesn't take a whole lot of effort, right? 

I am going to venture a guess that most of us believe that to be very logic mind based. If we were to analyze the effort and resources that one would need to carry out the act of lighting a candle it would indeed be simple. However, our emotion mind steps in and reminds our logic mind that although the logistics of lighting the candle may be simple, but finding the "candle" to light is the difficult part, in fact may even be impossible. This would be very accurate of our emotion mind, case in point, in this same blog, the poster posted how hard it is for her to keep "singing" directly after the upbeat post of the candle. So this would prove how hard it is to find that candle, this quote is even being displayed in her home, so if it were so simple as to retrieve a candle from the closet and light it, then wouldn't it stand to reason that her suffering, her pain wouldn't be so intense right now? I use her as an example today, because I too am struggling pretty badly in the moment and this moment is lasting for days and her words seemed to sum them up better than I could formulate. Also, I use her example because when my crash hit yesterday I kept repeating to myself as I sank deeper and deeper into my darkness, "Just light a candle, MJ" After a few hours of this lame attempt to bring myself up by a bit with cheer-leading statements I ended up screaming at the top of my lungs that there was no (choice words) candle to be found. In fact the only thing I could think to use as this proverbial candle was:

Monday, February 7, 2011

I don't seem to cry much...unless...

I have an odd observation about myself that I would like to throw out there. I don't cry much. It seems completely backwards to make this comment. Perhaps I should elaborate a bit.

In my lifetime I have cried enough for perhaps a hundred women, it feels like it has all been in the past maybe 10 years too. But it is when I cry that has me perplexed a bit and brought me to the comment I made about not crying much. I have been accused by many people who have had the opportunity to really get to know me, such as my ex-husband, that I am "cold-hearted" Now, he wasn't insulting me at the time, so I am not repeating mud slung during an argument between ex's. When I quote him, it is from a specific time when we were discussing the end of our marriage, not screaming at each other or anything, it wasn't like that. But we were discussing it and I was completely dry eyed. I never cried about it. I have never cried about it. He was right, I appeared very cold hearted about it. I mean seriously, who doesn't cry about their marriage ending? Well, I can think of quite of few circumstances where you may not be broken up about the end of a marriage, none of which were my circumstances. He wasn't a monster to me. He and I were very much in love. It wasn't a spontaneousness marriage, it didn't pop out of nowhere, we knew each other well. In fact we knew one another for many years before ever becoming romantically involved. I was raised that marriage is forever...and ever. (A nod to Elliot and Jazelle) Given all of the elements that put our marriage together, the falling apart of it should have grieved me to my very core. And well, it did. Yet I did not cry about it. It makes perfect sense he would view me as cold hearted. I mean, who wouldn't?

Other experiences in my life with other persons have led to the same assumption about me. That I am cold inside. This is odd to me. I feel things. I feel them very deeply. I just cannot seem to push that emotion out so that I behave in a way that I feel so that others see the truth of what is going on. This ineptness has spawned the problems I have in my current relationship. As I am sure most of you will relate to this, when I am dealing with AJ on a conflict level all he sees is my anger, because that is all that comes out even though  I am experiencing fear, sadness, guilt, and the list goes on. And in most cases that he is seeing anger it isn't even one of the emotions I am having. I have just somehow plastered that action onto any emotion I am having. Cold. Anger. I am not that person. I know I am not. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

February 6th - 13th, 2011: Skill of the week

Well this has been a week! Whew. For sure. ~ Between myself, AJ and the four kids each of us took turns being sick. Then the youngest, Gavin, waits for the illness to become full on until we have checked into our hotel room for the weekend...and BAM! High temps and sleepless nights. Nice. That was a real nice relaxing weekend away with the fam. 

OK, now that I have that off of my chest. I wonder how everyone has digested our posts on interpersonal effectiveness, I really haven't been blessed with any comments to discuss. I cannot encourage everyone enough that questions and comments are very welcome, in fact they are requested. It helps me to digest these skills hearing from others too. 

Next I wanted to discuss self-monitoring a bit. Most of these skills are only effective if there is awareness. We can only be aware of something if we have observed it. Observation only comes in the way of self-monitoring. So how do we do this? Believe it or not there is an effective way to self-monitor and an ineffective way to self-monitor. (As it seems to go with virtually everything in our world.)