Yoga’s Not For Me

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I’ve been saying for a while now that I want to go to a yoga class regularly, but have been too anxious to go. I finally faced this fear about 2 weeks ago. I honestly don’t know how I did it, but I showed up (instead of blowing it off and telling myself that I’ll go next time).

It wasn’t my first class ever, so I had an idea what to expect. I just didn’t know what the intensity would be like, because I signed up for “Gentle ¬†Yoga.” The little description on the studio’s web site said that most of the poses are done lying on your back. That seemed easy enough, right?

Wrong. Yes, a lot of the poses were done while we were on our backs, but there were many that required balancing on one body part or another, like your foot. Or your knee. I have balance problems as it is, but it’s made worse by lithium tremors. I’ll be in a pose and start to feel my arm shaking, for example. I was afraid of falling to one side and landing ungracefully on my mat. I grew more anxious. I didn’t achieve a sense of inner peace, and certainly not balance, among other benefits of yoga.

And I wish this wasn’t true, because nearly everyone I know declares that it’s so good for your mind and body. I don’t doubt that. But this recent experience made me uneasy, and I realized afterwards that I simply don’t like yoga. And that’s ok.

How do you feel about yoga?

I Let Fear Beat Me

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Some of you know that I’ve been wanting to take yoga and martial arts classes, but couldn’t do it because of my anxiety. I’m scared of uncertainty and the unexpected, and strangers. Also, my therapist says that I have anticipatory anxiety when an event (like a class) is about to take place.

Last week, however, I finally took the plunge and went to a yoga class and to a one-on-one orientation session at the martial arts school. I’d been wanting to do these forever! But I kept letting the fear beat me. So I was feeling pretty triumphant about facing my fears and having gone to the classes.

Yesterday was when I planned to start going to martial arts class for the first time, that is, with other students (strangers). I placed my uniform in my gym bag ahead of time so all I’d have to do is pick it up and walk out the door when the time came. Although I was anxious, I was looking forward to going.

Except I let my fear beat me. I was so overwhelmed with anxiety that I nearly had a panic attack — the racing heartbeat, the heart pounding, the hyperventilating. Some of the skills I learned in PHP #4, like positive self-talk, came in handy and helped lower the insistency of my anxiety. I decided to go to martial arts next Tuesday instead, and I intend to do this..

I beat myself up a bit yesterday, but I’m not doing it today, surprisingly. Instead — and this is a first for me — I’m giving myself credit for going to the 2 classes last week. Fear may have beat me yesterday, but I’m still standing.

PHP Week 5: Done

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I’m sorry I haven’t been around, blogging erratically, reading others’ blogs whenever I have a minute — which are few. I don’t know how prolific I’ll be after today; again, I’ll probably be posting here and there.

What’s taking up my time so much? PHP 4. There are only 3 groups and lunch each day, so it doesn’t sound tough, but it is, oh, it is! Maybe it’s the homework that’s killing me: I’ve been assigned various activities to do outside of PHP, like contact a couple of girlfriends and set up a brunch (which is tomorrow), feed the kitties, start a knitting class (which isn’t going so well), and so on. So I’m now doing all this stuff that I either used to do or have never done before. And it takes up more and more of my time, which is why I’ve only been on WP every now and then.

I’m exhausted.

Costume Jewelry Projects

Original design; photo provided by author

So some of you may know that I used to make costume jewelry, as opposed to fine jewelry (read: Tiffany’s), but quit around 2014. It was probably because after some ECT treatments, I forgot how to create a certain type of bracelet and didn’t feel like re-learning. Also, the depression I was going through may have contributed to my completely losing interest.

I started making jewelry shortly after I was diagnosed in ’95, and it was a great outlet for my creativity. I even used to make my own beads with polymer clay, which was popular in the ’90s. I made jewelry on and off, depending on whether I had time or could afford the materials.

Semi-precious stones, different types of beads, and Swarovski crystals were my materials of choice. I also used copper wire, and brass when I got into metalsmithing, where I cut, shaped, and pounded texture into sheets of metal.

Original design; photo provided by author

Today I thought I’d share with you a couple of pieces I designed myself. The first is a necklace made of copper wire, the beads and pendant of which are made from a semi-precious stone (I can’t remember which). The second is a pair of earrings that I also designed, cut from copper sheets on which I used a special hammer to pound textured shapes. I then attached crystals.

Ironically, I rarely wear jewelry except for my wedding band, and maybe a pair of earrings. Sometimes I’ll wear one of the bracelets I made, if I remember that they exist. Same with my rings (though I didn’t make those). I have a few pieces of fine jewelry that my husband gave me as gifts, but I only wear those on special occasions that call for a night out. Those, of course, are few and far between because of my depression.

Do you wear jewelry?

via Daily Prompt: Costume

New Year, New Format

scrabbles-with-letters-during-new-years-celebrationHappy New Year! I always look forward to the new year because it means new beginnings. One of these beginnings is that I’m changing my blog format. Because I’d like to be more involved with the mental health community on WordPress and in general, I’m going to post questions at the end of blog posts so readers can answer them in the comments, if they choose to. I’d really love to hear what you think, and for you to share your stories!

I’m also planning to write posts about my life in general. These may not always be about mental health, but I’d really like you to get to know me as a whole person. My illness doesn’t define me, after all. Anyway, the 56 Questions & Answers About Me post sparked this idea! But first and foremost, this will remain a blog about my struggles and progress with my mental health.

If you want to know what’s going on with me in between blog posts, or read my retweets on writing (contests, tips) and mental health, feel free to follow me on Twitter, or simply read the feed in the sidebar. The same with my Instagram account — most of the posts aren’t about mental health, but are about me, in general. Again, there’s a feed in the sidebar. Just click on a picture to read the caption.

I might share some of my writing. I can’t share any works-in-progress, because if I post them on my blog or anywhere else online, editors consider it already published, and therefore, won’t accept whatever I’ve shared for publication in their literary journals/magazines. However, I can post things that have already been published, which isn’t a whole lot lol!

I’m thinking of trying some of The Daily Post‘s one-word daily prompts to practice writing more spontaneously, in which case I may end up posting more than 3x/week. We’ll see!

So there are going to be changes around here! I hope you like them!

Are you planning new things for your blog this year?

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