Working on Us, Week 8

Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay

On her blog, Beckie of Beckie’s Mental Mess has introduced a set of prompts that touches on mental illness. Each week she offers up 2 prompts for bloggers to use in a nonfiction, fiction, or poetry piece. You can respond to either prompt, or both. For more information, click here. This week, I am responding to Prompt 1.

It’s my pleasure to introduce this week’s topic for Week #8 “Working on Us” by

Success Stories of overcoming (an anxiety/panic attack, manic bipolar episode, whatever.)

Prompt #1  Write a narrative of what works for you when in the midst of a crisis, such as, anxiety/panic attack or a manic episode.  Please give an example of what happened, and how you broke free from it.

Example: Coping skills, talking to a family member or a friend, and/or therapy, mediations… (Just to name a few).

I’m getting better at not panicking or freaking out when something unexpected happens. For example, if I find a bug in the bathtub, and my husband isn’t home to deal with it, I just walk away without having an anxiety attack and, if not forget about it, put it in the back of my mind. Knowing that I was able to do that in a situation in which I would normally panic, I can handle it (provided that it’s a small bug, not some huge monster). I know this is a small example, but it’s what comes to mind at the moment. I can handle it.

This phrase is from the book, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, by Susan Jeffers. I’ve read it a couple of times because the beginning chapters give you plenty of strategies regarding fear. I’ve incorporated some of them in my life, like the 5 Truths About Fear:

  1. The fear will never go away as long as I continue to grow!

  2. The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and . . . do it!

  3. The only way to feel better about yourself is to go out and . . . do it!

  4. Not only are you afraid when facing the unknown, so is everyone else!

  5. Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the bigger underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness!

No, I don’t always think of these when something happens, but I’m trying. As difficult as it is to do, #3 helps a lot. Curiosity trumps anxiety, I guess. And #5 is a motivator, because I don’t want to feel helpless.









Photo by author

My husband and I were in Galena, Illinois about a year ago and walked past a pasta shop. They sold different-colored pasta, pasta in a variety of flavors, and pasta in different shapes. The pasta that caught my eye, because I’d never seen anything like it before, were sombreronis. So named because they’re shaped like Mexican sombreros.

Sombreronis are the color of your typical pasta, that sort of beige (maybe?) color. But they are striped green and red in loose spirals around the hat part.

The type of pasta shapes I have in mind are like wagon wheels. They look like they were cut with a cookie cutter but for pasta. On the other hand, sombreronis are folded and shaped by hand, I’m thinking. The reason the hat part is about 1-1/2″ tall is so the chef can fill it with like ricotta cheese or something.

Very few (a dozen?) come in the package because they are large and filling. You already know that the hat is tall, and the brim is about 2″ in diameter.

I would have posted the recipe, but I don’t think I legally can, since it’s from the Internet.

Do you like pasta?

Heading Home

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I had a wonderful birthday weekend in Madison, Wisconsin. We brought our dog, Rudy, who seemed to enjoy all of the new places to sniff out. We’ve traveled with him before, to our go-to place, Galena, Illinois, where we stay in a rental house. This time was different because we stayed at an actual hotel — dog-friendly, of course. But being in such close proximity to other people had me anxious because Rudy barks a lot. It was kind of stressful. We’re on the road now, and I’m looking forward to being home.

Yoga Class for Stupid Dog Owners

Dog Yoga
Photo from Reddit

I am a dog owner (or like I think of it, a dog mom). I pick up after my dog when he poops. It’s understood that I’m going to pick up after my dog. Yes, it’s gross, but only about a tad more gross than scooping a litter box, which I’ve also done.

But that’s not the point; the point is dogs. More specifically, their owners. Certainly not all owners are guilty of not picking up their dog’s poop, but there are so many people who commit this act, that other people have actually made up signs, shaming them. And more power to the signs!

If it can get even one person who didn’t used to, now pick up after their  dog’s poop, hallelujah! The sign worked!

How hard can it be to clean up? It isn’t rocket science, and just leaving it there goes against basic human decency. I honestly can’t understand why people don’t do this.

Do you know anyone who does NOT pick up after their dog? Do you know why they don’t (aside from being lazy)?

Turning 50

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I look forward to turning 50. It’s such a round, even number to me — halfway to 100, basically half my life, if I reach 100 like my grandma did. (My other grandma is working on it!) I know so much more now than I did 25 years ago. I now know quite a bit about mental health, for example, having faced bipolar for 25 years.

I’ve had this diagnosis for half my life! And it’s kind of a weird feeling because I never thought I’d be 50. I mean, I guess I knew, but there was a time when I didn’t think I’d live past 27 because of my former lifestyle.

I’m even looking forward to receiving my AARP membership card, even though you have to be 55 to qualify for the travel, restaurant, etc. discounts that come with being a member. Until a friend recently posted a receipt of his meal on Instagram, and I saw that it said “senior discount,” I didn’t even realize that was a thing! Senior discounts. Becoming a senior. That blows my mind.

I’ve made so many mistakes: doing drugs, bringing home strange men. But I’ve made some good decisions, too: returning to college, divorcing my first husband. Live and learn. I’m looking forward to the second half of my life!