Monday, September 29, 2008


i have to cry sometimes too...
Originally uploaded by bachullus

I have been told by more than one caring person that it is alright to cry.

I know that.

It is alright--and even expected-- to cry at funerals, at births, at catastrophes. It is alright to cry if you are under a certain age or over a certain age, like the dear old woman I met in the nursing home, who cried because her shoe was untied. Like the toddler who cried over the same thing.

It is alright to cry when others are crying.

When you are an adult of a certain age, as I am, it is not alright to cry because you feel overwhelmed at the list of health-related tasks your doctor counsels you to undertake. It is not alright to cry because some irritable receptionist scolds you in front of a group of strangers in a waiting room. It is not alright to cry uncontrollably because you are moved by a piece of music while navigating through fast and heavy traffic on the freeway.

People may say it is alright to cry, but no one is doing it much. The silence, as they say, is deafening.

In my way of thinking, it is particularly not alright to cry when a kind person tenderly expresses concern for you. It rewards their compassion with awkward discomfort.

That is why I don't go out. That is why I don't answer the phone.

It is not because I dislike or fear you. It is because I dislike and fear my own tears.

Thank you to bachullus for the photograph.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


By night and by day
Originally uploaded by lehnermd

(Our thanks to lehnermd for the picture. Click on it to view his profile as well as more of his photographs.)

It looks as if, finally, mental health issues will be insured as well as other health issues are. This is important legislation. Read about it at PsychCentral.Com.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Letting Go

Trust Fall
Originally uploaded by Stephen Nelson Photography

Thank you to Stephen Nelson Photography for the picture (which is not of me). Click on the photo to see more of his work.

Once, when it was my turn to do a trust fall, I was surprised by how much it frightened me. It took me a long time, and a lot of encouragement, to finally fall. Being caught was wonderful. I experienced joy by letting go.

As I was exercising one day, trying to touch my fingers to the floor, I realized that I would not stretch the most by working at stretching, but by relaxing and letting gravity take its course. I learned that stretching is maximized by letting go.

In childbirth, I caught myself arching my back in response to the pain of a contraction. I consciously relaxed and then the birth proceeded smoothly, and the pain I was experiencing decreased substantially. I learned that bringing life works best by letting go.

My husband helped me to see that a little bird when held in the hand will struggle to get free, but when allowed to perch on an open palm it may not fly away at all. I learned that love is best shared by letting go.

Experience has taught me that many things that I have worked too hard to accomplish were all the time only a matter of letting go. Trusting is a letting go. Forgiving is a letting go. Repenting is a letting go.

We read 2 Nephi 25:23 and think that the phrase "it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do" is telling us that we must do all we can and then grace will come. Perhaps what it is saying is really the opposite. Perhaps it is saying to us, "Do what you will, after all you can do, it is still grace, and grace alone, that will save you."

We will not be successful by working harder and harder to climb to our Heavenly Father, for He is not reached that way. What we must do is to fall into the waiting arms of Our Savior. We stand on the platform and He patiently waits. Being wrapped in His love comes by letting go.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Reclusive Artist

Post script to yesterday's entry: Google the title of this post. You will see that there are pages and pages of them.

Please add me to the list. I am not at all uncomfortable with that. I hope that you are not.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Loners and Introverts

The following quotes describe me, and always have. I feel that I pushed myself so hard for so long to be social that I finally cracked and ran dry. I can no longer push myself. Whatever energy source I used to propel myself into social situations is depleted. Will it ever be replenished? Only time will tell.

Some loners are able to act "normally" in a social setting. However, the strain of being in a situation which is uncomfortable will leave them mentally and emotionally exhausted. Therefore, they will have to retreat for a significant amount of time before being able to do so again.

From Wikipedia: "Loner".

Introversion is "the state of or tendency toward being wholly or predominantly concerned with and interested in one's own mental life".[3] Introverts tend to be low-key, deliberate, and relatively less engaged in social situations. They often take pleasure in solitary activities such as reading, writing, drawing, watching movies, and using computers. The archetypal artist, writer, sculptor, composer and inventor are all highly introverted. An introverted person is likely to enjoy time spent alone and find less reward in time spent with large groups of people (although they tend to enjoy interactions with close friends). They prefer to concentrate on a single activity at a time and like to observe situations before they participate.[5]

Introversion is not the same as shyness. Introverts choose solitary over social activities by preference, whereas shy people avoid social encounters out of fear.[6]

An introvert is energized when alone. Introverts tend to "fade" when with people and can easily become overstimulated with too many others around. Introverts tend to think before speaking.[7]

From Wikipedia: Extraversion and Introversion

Do the Math for Possible Combinations: "Seventy Different Brain Regions!"

It is no wonder we each have a unique experience, that my "bipolar disorder" is not your "bipolar disorder", nor my "depression" your "depression."

From World of Psychology today:

Seventy different brain regions! Which means our constant search for a single cause of a problem like depression or bipolar disorder is unlikely to find merit, even within brain research. The brain’s complexity is interwoven and interconnected in ways we couldn’t even begin to imagine 30 years ago. No single gene or set of genes or regions of the brain will likely ever be the only implicated for our mental health concerns.

See the entire article here.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Flying Outside of Things

A real life Angel.
Originally uploaded by

I am no angel.

Like Alma, I would like to be one.

I once inadvertently stepped on a toddler who was playing on the floor. I felt just terrible, especially when she pulled away in abject fear at my attempts to comfort and apologize to her. At that moment, the Spirit seemed to reveal to me that I would unintentionally hurt people throughout my life. That was a terrible--and helpful--revelation.

And so it is. There are those--including beloved family members-- whom I inadvertently step upon. As happened with the little child, when they recoil from me I cannot make things right. Even though my only desires are to love and comfort them, I cannot change their hearts. Neither can I make right the conflicts between one loved one and another.

That hurts.

I realize now that Alma's sin in wishing to be an angel--he himself called it a sin--was not in that he wanted those whom he cared about to be happier, but that he did not trust in the Lord for His love, for His timing. (See Alma 29.) That is my problem, too: not being able to completely trust in the Lord.

Accepting His will in my own life is much easier than trusting Him with those I love.

I am thankful for Alma's honesty. With the desires that I harbor, it is good to know that I am in good company.

That is certainly a comfort as I try to heal.

(Please click on the picture for photo credits.)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

No More Violent than Anyone Else

Originally uploaded by .:: LINUZ ::.

Our Seattle-area television news reported last night on the multiple murders committed earlier this week in Alger, Washington. Much was said about the mental illness of the alleged shooter. Side stories left the impression that the mentally ill, specifically those with bipolar disorder, are dangerous people.

The fact is that people with mental illness are no more likely to commit violent acts than people in general. To attach to the tragedy that occurred this week the stories of other bipolar patients who happen to be among the violent minority does much to add to the stigma associated with mental illness. Those of us who suffer from mental illness have enough to do in helping others understand us without them learning to fear us on the nightly news.

I was heartened today to see that I was not the only one disturbed by what I witnessed over the airwaves last night. See more on this issue here.

(Click on the picture for credits.)