Mental Illness – Alzheimer

By Peter Holley
2004

“It really is the long, long goodbye,” she told Wallace of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease.

“When you come right down to it, you’re in it alone, and there’s nothing that anybody can do for you,” she added, her stoic eyes turning watery. “So it’s lonely.” – Nancy Reagan speaking about President Ronald Reagan.

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

Source: Alzheimer Society Canada

Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that destroys brain cells, causing thinking ability and memory to deteriorate over time. Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging, and is irreversible.

Alzheimer is now the most common type of the disease, dementia. Like the dementia that I wrote about that was in Lillian, my best friend’s mother, it also changes the personality of the person. It’s target is the brain changing how the person thinks, acts, and feels. It is a slow acting disease that in the end leaves it’s target just an empty shell of once somebody that was vibrant with a twinkle in their eye.

The Alzheimer’s Society lists the different stages and the progression of the disease.

Early stage: Symptoms are mild. A person at this stage is fully aware of their condition and only needs minimal assistance, if requested.

Middle stage: Symptoms start becoming more noticeable. More assistance will be needed to help the person living with Alzheimer’s accomplish daily tasks.

Late stage: Once the person reaches this stage, they will eventually become unable to communicate verbally or look after themselves. Quality of care is important to ensure that the person has quality of life.

End-of-life: Cognitive decline has progressed to the point where the person needs 24-hour care. The focus shifts to palliative care and comfort to ensure quality of death.

Source: Alzheimer Society

Just recently my daughter wrote about her mother and how she is now living with her. It is my understanding that she is declining in her cognitive and physical.

I have not met a person who suffers from this form of dementia. Having watched Lillian decline over a couple of years was so difficult at the best of times. Alzheimer is no different, it robs it’s target and those who love them. It brings about a time of extreme stress giving the onlooker feeling helpless. If caught early, it is my understanding, that there are things to give the person a somewhat better quality of life.

So dear reader, again like I closed the previous post, I hope I live long enough to see some type of treatment to fight all the various forms of dementia mental illness!


© d. m. bourne

A Slow Decline

I met her shortly after becoming acquainted with my best friend. It was his mother, Lillian. She was a vibrant woman in her eighties who loved doing crossword puzzles, baking, and enjoyed a good laugh.

Every Christmas Eve I would have her and my best friend over for a small meal. I would sit and visit with them. One time my best friend was looking through some pictures of Lillian and myself when he noticed that in every picture his mother had a smile and others you could tell she was laughing.

I am not sure when things really began to change, but, I feel it was when she started losing her sight because of macular degeneration. She no longer could do her crosswords, bake, or even watch her favorite soap opera.

The time soon came that Lillian could no longer live on her own. The family had to place her in a long term care home. She really didn’t like it, of course I feel most don’t, but there were signs that something more was happening in Lilliam. She didn’t have the zip in her talk and she was having trouble recognizing people. I wasn’t long when she did not know her son, but, when I would go to see her, I would say, “hi mum”, she knew who I was.

There were days when after visiting Lillian that my best friend would come over and cry. His mother in her good days would never use expletives, but the Lillian in the care home would curse at the nurses, at her son. One time she bit a nurse who was trying to help her.

Dementia is a mental illness that many have never had to experience with, especially with someone they love. It seems that hollywood has no qualms about making fun of it, there is nothing funny about the disease. It slowly robs a person’s ability to be themselves, in their place it leaves a person hardly recognizable.

So dear reader, I hope that I am alive when they find an answer that can bring about some type of a cure for the mental illness.

Myths About Mental Illness

“What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.” Glenn Close


According to the Canadian Mental Health Association they list ten common myths. I am going to some posts about each of those myths.

Here is the list:

Myth # 1 – Mental illnesses aren’t real illnesses

Myth # 2 – Mental Illnesses will never affect me.

Myth # 3 – Mental Illnesses are just excuses for poor behaviour.

Myth # 4 – Bad parenting causes mental illnesses.

Myth # 5 – People with mental illnesses are violent and dangerous.

Myth # 6 – People don’t recover from mental illnesses.

Myth # 7 – People who experience mental illnesses are weak and can’t handle stress.

Myth # 8 – People who experience mental illnesses can’t work.

Myth # 9 – Kids can’t have a mental illness like depression. Those are adult problems.

Myth # 10 – Everyone gets depressed as they grow older. It’s just part of the aging process.


Over the course of looking into the facts about each and every myth let’s have a conversation about mental illnesses and the myths that are floating around the subject.

So dear reader along with this series I am still looking into the Suicide Myths. I hope you will join the conversation!

Three Top Posts

For this post I have decided to share three posts that many have liked over time.

For some of you these posts are new, for others you may remember them. If not, take time to read them.

As always take some time to visit the other blogger’s. You will find so much fine written posts. Posts covering a multitude of issues.

ENJOY!


The Interview With Mental @ Home

Excerpt:

  1.  Apart from your bio on your blog what is something that maybe others would love to learn about you? 

I’ve shown some of this in blog posts, but I did a lot of travelling in my 20s and 30s.  I’ve been to 4 continents besides my own, and I’ve been to 37 countries, if I recall correctly.

Read more at: The Interview With Mental @ Home

You can read Ashley L. Peterson’s Post at: Mental Health & Home


First Guest Post: Letter To Self #MILLENNIALLIFECRISIS

Excerpt:

Letter To A Depressed Self

Dear Self,

So, this is depression.

This is complete and utter, downright sadness day in and day out.

This is heartbreak and heartache and consistent anxiety about everything that happens.

So this is the new normal. This is what I get. This is who I am now. I’ve tried to hide from it for a long time, but the truth is, running has done me no favors.

Read more: First Guest Post: Letter To Self #MILLENNIALLIFECRISIS

You can read more of Vee’s posts at: Millennial Life Forces


Mental Health & Finances

Excerpt:

I feel everyone reading this will relate to parts of what I am about to write. Why, because money is the one area of our life that can either make life easy, or it can enslave us till our death.

Read more: Mental Health & Finances

You can read more of my posts at: rts-Facing the Challenges of Mental Health


The Interview- Overcoming OCD – Mark Wester

Excerpt:

Mark for the readers and myself tell us something about yourself that is not on your blog.

I have been telling a lot about myself on my blog so it’s actually pretty difficult to think of something that’s worth mentioning and that I have never talked about but let me try. I was raised in a very multicultural family – I am of Hungarian, Romanian, German and Jewish origin – and I think it’s because of my family background that I love learning foreign languages and I am addicted to traveling. I have been to most of European countries and my dream is to travel the whole world – obviously, only when the pandemic is over.

Read more: The Interview – Overcoming OCD – Mark Wester

You can read more of Mark’s posts at: Overcoming Ocd


Update On Chia Jam

While discussing with my best friend, who does more canning than myself, told me that you do not need a processor. Just any pot where you can put the jars in and cover with water. Also he mentioned that you really only need about fifteen minutes.

Also, some who does canning believe you do not need the processing, that the fruit mixture is hot enough to do the job. (caution: if you are more comfortable with the above method then that is the one to use.)

Original Post with Recipe: A Jam For Diabetics -Chia Jam

I Can Handle This

 “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” — Joshua J. Marine”


In the late eighties I was a passenger on a motor bike going home from work. It was a bright August day in Ontario, Canada when the driver rear ended the car in front of us. The impact sent me flying causing me to land on my backside. I couldn’t move and I probably would have been hit by the cars passing by on the highway, but an ambulance stopped to help get me to the side of the road. Another one came placed me on a backboard to transport me to the hospital.

After the usual tests, x-rays and such I was admitted and taken to my room. I really do not remember much of the first night, but on the next morning a nurse was coming into the room with a tray of things. I moved to look at her, I shocked her and she dropped the tray. I asked her what was the matter. She said, “Mr. Bourne I just came from report and it says that you would be a quadra paraplegic”. When the physician came by he explained to me about my back, he told me that everything was ripped away from my spine. He also was amazed that I was moving around.

I told that to say this, it is a scary time again around here the positivity rate of Covid-19 is on the rise. Governments are trying to get a grip on things. I haven’t left my house lately not even for a doctor’s appointment.

I been thinking about an upcoming surgery for a hip replacement. At times I get concerned about it, questions coming to mind, like, “will I be able to walk afterwards?”. Things like that, things for the most part will never happen, so really there is no need to fuss about it.

Faced with a myriad of things sometimes it is difficult to find something positive to fixate on. Bad news seems to permeate from all corners of the world, not much good news out there. Oh, yes, sometimes there may be a story of human interest that makes me feel warm inside, but, they are few and far in between.

So dear reader, I remind myself I have been through some very tough times and lived to tell it about it. So, I will once again make it through to the other end of the tunnel.

I leave you with a final thought. Anne Murray sang a song some time back, “A Little Good News Today”. I have included it here. Hope you enjoy it! It is needed at this time!

Ode To Depression

Reader, I am trying something for the first time. I am not sure what to call it, so I will just call it a form of poetry.


It’s there peeking around every corner,

Waiting for an invite to be my buddy again

I remember the feeling,

Allowing me to wallow in self pity

With power to make it vanish,

Red pill, blue pill, yellow pill, thrown in my mouth

With water to chase them back

Like the wicked witch these pills scream,

“I’m drowning, I’m drowning…”

So with that said,

I will close with this,

Good bye my old friend, good bye!

© d. m. bourne

A Jam For Diabetics -Chia Jam- Very Healthy For Everyone

My best friend wasn’t happy in his search for a good health jam for diabetics. So, I emailed my daughter who is Juvenile Diabetic a jam using Chia Seeds.


Doing a bit of research I found an article Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. Here is some of what they write about Chia Seed:

Rich in

Two tablespoons of chia seeds (1 ounce or 28 grams) contain about 140 calories, 4 grams of protein, 11 grams of fiber, 7 grams of unsaturated fat, 18% RDA for calcium, and trace minerals including zinc and copper. They are the richest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds are a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids that cannot be made by the body. [2]


There is so much more information on their site and also throughout the internet.

The recipe my daughter sent for jam requires Chia Seeds. Certo is not needed for the Chia Seed provides for a thickener.

My friend has found that this recipe does not affect his blood glucose numbers. Also, I have tried it and I like it better than store bought.

Here is the Recipe:

Take 2 cups of frozen berries (either raspberries or strawberries or blueberries). 

Put this in a pot and let it simmer over low heat until the berries are good and soft. 

Add in approx. 1/2-3/4 cup of sweetener. (Splenda or equivalent)

Once this is stirred in and dissolved, add in aprx 2-3 TBSP of chia seeds.

Place in jars adding seals and rings

Process approx. 45 minutes

Set aside to cool


So dear reader if you are diabetic or know someone who is pass the recipe onto them. Give it a try!

The Crippling Panic Attack

“No amount of me trying to explain myself was doing any good. I didn’t even know what was going on inside of me, so how could I have explained it to them?”
― Sierra D. Waters, Debbie.


Back in the early nineties I was working in a fast food chain as a morning manager. I was going through a rough time. I didn’t know what was happening within me at that time, but a sudden rush of complete panic would wash over me. It was like a was staring at the meanest guard dog and frozen in my tracks.

There was a walk -in clinic just around the corner from where I lived and went to see a doctor. I explained to him how I was feeling and he gave me a prescription for Prozac. They seemed to work but they left me feeling dazed all the time.

I quit the job and moved back into the Kitchener area into a bachelor apartment. A new grocery food chain had opened just down the block. Since I was having trouble coping in crowds I decided to have a friend take me there around midnight. I was doing fine with the shopping and was nearing finishing up. Then a horrible panic attack hit me, the worse I have had to that time. The “fight or flight” kicked in, I turned leaving the cart full of groceries and ran back to my apartment.

For those who have never suffered a panic attack would find it hard to understand. I am not sure I even have the words to describe it fully. They seem to come from out of nowhere, no rhyme or reason, they just hit you like a medicine ball taking the wind out of your body. They leave you frozen on the spot with nerves jumping at every movement around you.

Here is what Anxiety and Depression Association of America writes about Panic Disorder:

Panic Disorder Symptoms

A panic attack is the abrupt onset of intense fear or discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes and includes at least four of the following symptoms:

  • Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
  • Feelings of choking
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Nausea or abdominal distress
  • Feeling dizzy, unsteady, light-headed, or faint
  • Chills or heat sensations
  • Paresthesia (numbness or tingling sensations)
  • Derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself) Listen to this podcast.
  • Fear of losing control or “going crazy”
  • Fear of dying

I have learned over the years on how to handle a panic attack should they hit while I am out doing shopping. I just stop wherever I am at, start concentrating on my breathing with deep breaths then exhale. I do this until I feel calm again. I do not stop to consider what others may be thinking about what I am doing.

Panic attacks though not seen, except from a person’s reactions, are so very real. They bring on a sense of danger, horror, even feeling like you might die of a heart attack.

So dear reader if you or someone you know suffers with Panic Disorder you have my sympathies! For those who do not suffer, but, know someone who does, please be patient with them, try using calming words to help them focus and bring themselves back to calm.

Suicide Myths – #2 – Talking About It

Myth – People Who Are Talking About Suicide Never Commit It

Fact:

Those who are talking about it may well be on their way of actually committing suicide.

In 2004 after my grandmother died I entered the darkest and deepest depression that I have ever known. I just couldn’t cope, I started fixating on suicide. After a month or so I started to give away the frozen foods in my freezer. Also, was thinking about who I could give some of my other household items, such as; television, stereo, computer, etc., It took awhile for my best friend to realize what was happening. I remember standing in my living room with both of us having tears streaming down our faces. I am not sure how long we stood there before I relented and admitted that I needed help. I found that help in the Mental Health Ward of the hospital.

I wonder how many people who were talking about it that didn’t have a friend to talk them out of committing the act of suicide. Did that friend shrug it off believing the myth that they wouldn’t follow through with it?

How did the family and friends feel as they walked by the casket of the person who talked about suicide and then followed through? Do they wish that they should have intervene to get them somewhere to receive help?

On the NV state suicide prevention has this list to help you if someone you know is talking about taking their own life.

  • Encourage him/her to talk further and help them to find appropriate counseling assistance.
  • Ask if the person are thinking about making a suicide attempt.
  • Ask if the person has a plan.
  • Think about the completeness of the plan and how dangerous it is. Do not trivialize plans that seem less complete or less dangerous. All suicidal intentions are serious and must be acknowledged as such.
  • Encourage the young person to develop a personal safety plan. This can include time spent with others, check-in points with significant adults/ plans for the future.

So dear reader never assume that a person who is talking about suicide won’t commit suicide! Encourage them to seek professional help!

Lessons Learned In 2020

“We stand on the edge of the abyss, across whose unknowable face we paint meaning so as not to see into it. It is always there. But we’re here too, and we are no less real than the abyss. We are no less meaningful for being transient creatures caught up in something too big for us. There is still value to our lives. I’ve learned that those things that are most fragile are also the most precious.”
― Ovadya ben Malka, A Damaged Mirror


Don’t Move The Goal Posts

I grew up watching with my siblings Charlie Brown Cartoon Specials. Almost in every one somehow Lucy would talk Charlie Brown into running and kicking the football while she held it. Sure enough, just as Charlie Brown was in motion of kicking the ball Lucy would move it causing Charlie Brown to land flat on his back on the ground.

So it was in politics in America, Democrats would play by the rules while the Senate Leader changed the rules of the game, moving the goal posts. President Obama was left trying to have his nominee for the Supreme Court denied. The excuse given by Senator Mitch O’Connell was, it was in an election year. Fast forward October 2020 President Trump nominates someone for the Supreme Court during an election only a month away. Once again the goal posts are moved and the nominee was confirmed during an election year.

Keep Your Cool!

On the blog site Competitive Edge I found this paragraph on poor sportsmanship:

View Post

A poor sport is someone who takes the emotions that go with losing and “shares” them with everyone around. They put the winner down, claim that their opponent’s victory was either lucky or not deserved (like Plushenko did), bad mouth the game officials or media, and in many other ways, distinguish themselves as immature asses.

If I’m Angry, Upset and Disappointed…

I believe I have written before about how my father would react if he lost a game. When he lost it usually lead to a temper tantrum, sometimes throwing everything to the floor. I soon learned how to avoid playing any type of game with him. What he did was to show me what a poor sport looks and acts like when they lose.

We are seeing a similar situation being played out on a national and global stage. President Donald J. Trump throwing temper tantrums in the face of losing the presidential election. Having lawyers filing law suits in the courts trying to overturn the results of the election. He has not learned how to be gracious in the face of defeat. My guess is that at his age he will not change. He probably has been that way all of his life. When faced with losing he reminds me about a saying I heard while growing up, “taking his ball and bat then goes home”.

Blind Leading The Blind

I am not one who follows someone just because everyone else is doing it. My mother would ask us when I would get myself into trouble with my friends. She would ask the question, “if so and so would jump off the bridge would you also do it”? While watching newscasts seeing people acting irrational being caught up into a “mob mentality”.

…Mob mentality, also called as herd mentality, describes how humans adopt behaviors, buy merchandise, and follow trends based on their circle of influence.  It explains how one’s point of view can be easily altered by those around them…

What Is Mob Mentality?

I can see a situation where President Trump starts to spout rhetoric for his base to watch the polling stations claiming that the Democrats are committing fraud with the ballots.

Poll Watchers CNN Politics By Maegan Vazquez, CNN

Updated 10:19 PM ET, Tue September 8, 2020

“Watch it,” he continued. “Be poll watchers when you go there. Watch all the thieving and stealing and robbing they do. Because this is important. We win North Carolina, we win.”


So dear reader these are a few lessons that I have learned so far in 2020!

The Interview With Big General

When I contacted Big General I didn’t have any foreknowledge of who he was or what he was liked.

The interview started days before I wrote the post “Calling All Minds” . So, for those who submitted questions for me to use in future interviews, I was not able to make use of the questions.

Big General I believe is by far the youngest person I have interviewed. His answers are written with thoughtfulness.

Here is his interview:

  1. In a couple of paragraphs please tell the readers about yourself.

I’m a 23-year-old male who was born in Zimbabwe but moved to the United Kingdom from the age of 10 till now. I’m in my second year studying Sports science in university. I am a sports fan who enjoys watching and playing football(soccer). My favorite football team is Manchester City football club. I speak two languages English and Shona (Zimbabwean language). In my spare time I blog on WordPress.

2. I looked for your bio but could not find one. Please tell the readers why not?

That’s a great question. The reason why I have nothing on my blog bio is because I wanted to make a blog that just provided content without the audience truly knowing who I was leaving it to be a mystery. It made it easier for me to get into blogging without a bio because it allowed me to do it with no pressure of how I was going to tell people about myself in the blog bio. I am naturally an introvert, so I always shy away from letting people know things about myself. Not having a bio gave me the courage and freedom to just express myself with no one knowing who was behind the blog when they read my bio.

3. There are many human values, which value do you consider to be the one that guides you?

I think love guides me the most because “love conquers all”.

4. Why did you start to use WordPress?

I started to use Word Press around October 2019 for the purpose to blog about match analyses for football games as a hobby since I loved learning about football tactics and game plans I thought it would be a great platform to use. I chose WordPress after searching so many blogging platforms because it was free and easy to use compared to other platforms plus it was ranked in the top 3 best blogging platforms for anyone to use. With the free set up it was easy for me to start out blogging because WordPress could set everything up all I had to do was just pick a basic theme then get straight to writing without worrying about things to add.

5. Is there a main goal that you want to reach within the WordPress community?

My main goal in the WordPress community is to provide positive content that can make people feel good, help, laugh and learn things that can help them in their lives in some shape or form.

6. Do you have challenges within your mental health?  If so, please tell the readers of what it is?

The two biggest challenges within my mental health I battle with are depression and addiction.

7. Following the above question, how do you handle the challenges?  Also, how do you handle stress?

With depression I try to use exercise to battle it by going to the gym or doing any form of hard physical exercise nearly every day. With addiction I try to keep myself active by carrying out busy working schedule of consistently having to do things to keep my mind preoccupied. With stress I try to change scenery by going outside more and avoid staying in because it just makes it worse the more time I sit at home.

8. If you were given the ability to speak to your younger self, what would you say?

I love that question I would not say much to my younger self but tell him to be positive. It would not be meant to change anything but to make him understand that there is no answer to life all he can do is stay positive because anything else will not that important because life has more control than my young self would have. That is mostly what I would say to my younger self.

9. Let us reverse the above question. What would you say to an older self?

To my older self I would say you do more meaningful things that have nothing to do with myself such as help the world in any type of form whether helping people, donating money to charities, aid and assist in any ways I can with no return. Lastly, I would say work on self-improvement in all aspects of my life.

10. Are you a reader, and if so what is your favorite genre?  Do you have a favorite author?

I’m not much of a reader so it’s hard for me to name a genre or an author.

11. What is your favorite music genre?

My favorite genre is any music with singing such as soul music, reggae, pop etc. If it has a meaning or message I’m down to listen.

12. Do you have heroes?  Who are they and why?

I have many heroes to name but one that comes to mind is Muhamad Ali. What made him my hero is for so many things. Firstly, his determination in the ring was so phenomenal he had a no quit attitude that was so crazy that he would literally risk dying in the ring to not surrender by just taking a beating while he was leaning on the ropes with his hands up. It fascinates me how the mind is so powerful if you have belief you can overcome any obstacle which looks impossible.

Besides boxing he was into philanthropy, humanitarianism and politics at a time where most black athletes would not even think of stepping outside their sport to help others. His love for all humanity was so amazing that people from all different races would even call him “the world’s greatest”. He inspires me in all types of ways.

13. Finally, what advice would you give to a person who is thinking about blogging?

My advice for anyone thinking about blogging is simple just follow your heart it is always right everything else will come as long as you follow your heart.

Calling All Minds!

“At the end of the day, the questions we ask of ourselves determine the type of people that we will become.”
― Leo Babauta

I Need You To Put Your Mind In Gear!

I have now done several interviews. Just as those who participated are different, so it is with the type of questions I ask during the interview.

I have tried to gain an understanding of the person so that I can put together an interview that brings insight to those who are reading it.

Some questions are basically the same, but, then there are the ones that are drafted just for the specific person.

Here is what I am asking from the reader. I would like you to pose some questions that you would like to see incorporated into an interview. They can be of any subject, however, no “gotcha” or embarrassing questions. Your help would help spark creativity in my brain.

So dear reader give me some of your best questions! Leave your question/s in the comment section for me to gather together. Then watch for the interviews for your question just might be in the following interview/s!

A New Interview – Angie of Mama Coffee Chat

I am not sure when I first came across Angie’s blog, Mama Coffee Chat, a blog that I found worth following. I would encourage you to stop by and visit her blog. Say hello to her!

About a week ago I contacted her about interviewing her. Below is the interview.

1. On your site you have, “Life in between cold cups of coffee and figuring out who I am.” Can you tell us how much have you decided of who you are? 

First, I just want to say that I love that you used the phrase “Decided who I am”. That’s a powerful statement.   

I have decided that I am enough. It really doesn’t matter what others think or what they say…I am truly enough. I can have boundaries, and I am strong enough to keep those boundaries in place. I am an awesome friend, I am a great mother to all 3 of my kids, I am a caring and hardworking wife to my husband of 20+ years. I have also decided that I love adventures and meeting new people (although I still enjoy my alone time!) I love testing my fears (within limit) and I love to try new things! It’s part of the adventure! Oh yes, and I’ve also decided I really don’t like cold coffee 🙂 

2. Tell us some of what Angie was like growing up.

Wow. That’s a big question to answer. There’s many levels. I was quiet, loved to play on my own. I got along well others of all ages but once play time was over I would gladly (and quickly!) retreat to a corner for alone time again. I always enjoyed school. I was disappointed if I got anything lower than an A. I was a perfectionist. I was a rebellious teen but usually tried to stay out of trouble. Something I didn’t realize until just a couple of years ago is that I was also extremely brave and strong and more responsible than most my age. I was (and AM) a survivor. I lost myself while growing up through all the abuse, like many do. 

3. Why did you start blogging?

I originally started so I could share recipes and I hoped it would help me with my mental health. I needed to try and “find” myself again. Re-learn who I am and what I kinds of things I like, not what I’m expected to like.

4. Have you reached your goal from blogging?

Far from it! If I could set a goal and stick to it, it would help. I have many goals and I keep adding to the list, but I have a hard time actually finishing. My mind is always all over the place.

5. Where do you see Angie ten years from now?

Ten years from now things are going to look much different. My youngest will be getting his drivers permit, my oldest will be 20! I hope to be spending more time at the lake in nature. I see myself sitting on the sand by the water reading or drawing (how I miss drawing!) I see myself in a place of better mental health. 

6. Which is your favorite genre of reading and why?

My favorite genres by far are Crime-Fiction, Thriller and Psychological Thriller.  I have read some great books of all genres, but few are as satisfying as a good crime fiction novel!

7. Which is your favorite genre of music and why?

The answer to this depends on the mood I’m in. I really love classic rock from the 60’s and 70’s. I also listen to Tchaikovsky and Garth Brooks. Barbara Streisand and Pretty Reckless. My favorite bands are Metallica and ACDC but regardless of the mood I’m in, I’m always up for some good ol’ Rock and Roll.

8. Do you have any heroes living or dead?

I don’t have anyone that I would consider a “hero”. Not in the sense of someone to rely on if the world was in chaos or a giant clown spider was taking over the city. In that case, I turn to God. I do have people I look up to and highly respect. There are three people that I can think of off the top of my head that would belong in this category.

9. Why are they your heroes?

My cousin: She keeps me on the right track with my mental health, always a positive “You can do it” attitude. She’s a wonderful mother who almost always manages to guide her children with love and kindness.

Oprah: Despite all she had against her, she came out on top and better in spite of it all. 

Princess Diana: An example of a true Princess. She gave her time, her heart and her soul to many people. There are too many reasons to name as to why I look up to her.

10. Why did you choose recipes to blog about?

I chose recipes mainly because I love to bake! I never really learned to bake until after I was married, and my cooking wasn’t anything to write home about either. My meals are always pretty basic because I find I don’t always have the focus to try something elaborate. Maybe once the kids are a bit older. Baking is my creative outlet. Yet it still has to be pretty simple! I share the recipes for those (like me) who don’t have much knowledge in the area and may be a bit scared to try new things. Easy recipes have a higher success rate and therefore will boost your confidence to try something bigger!

11. Do you have a favorite recipe and what is it?

This is a hard one. I’m going to have to say my favorites would be cinnamon buns and whipped shortbread.

I wish to say thank you Dwain, for the opportunity to hear my voice and learn a little about myself as well. For some, these might seem like easy questions, but it has helped me remember why I started my blog and where I was when I began. A couple of the questions made me really have to think about how I wanted to answer. My heroes, my favorite music or books…These are things that were answered FOR me previously and so I needed to really focus on hearing MY voice. It’s hard to see yourself shine through all the tarnish when you come from a childhood of abuse. 


Thank you Angie for a wonderful interview!

Mental Fatigue

“One thing you can’t hide – is when you’re crippled inside.”- John Lennon

Mental Fatigue

Definition: Mental fatigue is a condition triggered by prolonged cognitive activity. Basically, it sends your brain into overdrive, leaving you exhausted, hampering your productivity and overall cognitive function.

Symptoms: Constantly feeling tired, overwhelmed, or unable to focus are signs of mental fatigue — a condition that affects many of us at some point in life. Sep 28, 2018 –Global News


Over the past week I have been feeling tired, not able to put words into sensible sentences. My thoughts seem muddled, confused, and out of sync from the rest of my physical and emotional state.

I do not carry a medical degree, yet, what I have described probably fits with many other maladies that people experience. So, always speak to your Medical Advisor when seeking treatment. Self-diagnosis is never a good thing, and not recommended.

I have noticed in my most recent history that I have gone to post fourteen days in a row, then a total bomb -out. I agree with the definition of mental fatigue. That could be why I have not been able to put together a post to publish. Like the body, the mind also needs periods of rest. First part of the remedy tune out the political mayhem that is happening south of the Canadian border. Also, stay away from any heavy drama, like my favorite, Law & Order SVU.

My number one blog that I like to turn to about all things in Mental Health is mental health & home with editor Ashley L. Peterson. So, maybe she would have a better way to explain this condition. I would welcome her input. Of course, I have not warned her about this post ahead of time, sorry Ashley.

Well, there you have it, a short post about the issue I have been experiencing over the last week.

So dear reader, I would like to hear about your remedies on defeating mental fatigue!

Here We Go Again, aaarrrggghhh!

“The challenge is, the end isn’t coming soon. But it’s coming, and what we need to do is try to have as few [COVID-19] cases as possible between now and the time a vaccine arrives.” CBC, Oct 24, 2020


I started to write this post several days ago, well, at least in my mind. Yet, when I thought I had it together I would sit down at my laptop and the words didn’t seem as great as what was in my thoughts. So, scrub them and hit the trash.

Earlier this week the news started looking grim. I thought to myself, “here we go again”. The number of positive cases of covid-19 started ticking upwards across Canada, America, and around the world.

Once again like earlier this year shutdowns began to take place. In and around Saskatoon, Saskatchewan the Health Minister began ordering the shutdown of bars and clubs.

My mind then turned towards south of the Canadian border. People losing more jobs, rents/mortgages coming due, and no relief coming from big brother. I think about the children once again as schools have been forced to close once more. Schools for many children is the only source to a hot meal.


In America alone the number of deaths are climbing towards five hundred thousands. I thought about the Spanish flu pandemic, about the number of dead reaching 50,000,000 (Source: CDC).

In just one decade later the world would experience the greatest depression lasting four years until 1933. It began in 1929 after the crash on Wall Street. People lost their jobs, their homes, businessmen committing suicide, and long lines outside soup kitchens.

Psychological Impact Of The Great Depression

Historian Harvey Green argues that domestic violence and child abuse increased during the Depression. Family disputes over finances, food, and other basic necessities caused tensions to increase. Men and boys often simply fled the home out of embarrassment, frustration, or the inability to cope with the new economic reality. Thousands of people, young and old, became traveling hobos, riding the rails in search of work or some form of relief.


This is a great challenge for everyone’s mental health. If history is our teacher, this writer believes it is, the number will rise in police calls of heated arguments, abuse spousal and child. I know here in my own city there is already one soup kitchen. With the onset of winter there is a greater demand for homeless shelters. The Salvation Army will probably see an increase of requests for a Christmas hamper. In previous years churches would put together a Christmas dinner for all those who were alone. This year may see a challenge how they can serve the people in the city.

I normally do not write such a long post, but, these thoughts having been weighing on my mind.

So dear reader, it looks like “here we go again”!

Choices, Which Way Turn Right?


“Every test in our life makes us bitter or better, every problem comes to break us or make us. The choice is ours whether we become victim or victor.” Anonymous


For as long as I can remember I have always made choices in haste. The results on the better part of the percentage was that it was the choice. Those wrong choices caused me to spend unnecessary time and effort working to correct them.

Try as I might I have leaned towards the pessimistic side of every equation. I could blame it on my upbringing, maybe low self-esteem, but it was a matter that being a pessimist looked to be easier, the safest bet to make. The other side being a optimist looked like it would need hard work if I chose going in that direction. I can look back and say was I wanted the easy way out.

I have been asking the question lately, could it be a part of fighting as a bi-polar mindset. Here is some of the research I found:


Pessimism

When to be concerned: With depressive pessimism, the negativity a person experiences is exaggerated compared to the reality of the situation. In fact, pessimistic thinking often precedes any specific event. A person may simply think: It’s going to be another bad day.

The negative viewpoint may not be limited to a person’s external perception of the world; it can also be turned inward onto themselves. Someone who is depressed might think thoughts like, No one likes me.

This negativity may also pervade a person’s self-concept or sense of their abilities. For instance, they may look at a Help Wanted ad and think: There’s no point in applying for that job—I would never get it.

When someone is depressed their perspective on how the world is, as well as who they are, is impaired by negative, often critical, patterns of thought. They may not be able to see (let alone feel) that they have good things in life to look forward to, that people who know them like and care about them, and that they are a capable person who has much to offer.”

https://www.verywellmind.com/difficult-moods-in-bipolar-depression-379838

It looks like I am not alone in my thinking about pessimism and bipolar are linked together. Now, not everyone who is pessimistic is bipolar. That diagnosis is for a clinician to decide.

I am writing this post for it was a subject I wanted to explore. I am not a doctor, psychiatrist, I will leave it at this.

So dear reader what are your thoughts about this issue?

Oh What Relief!

 “Since chronic pain frequently cannot be seen or measured, unlike acute pain, doctors, colleagues, friends, or family may question or doubt your pain. In effect, it doesn’t matter if anyone believes you, but it is extremely important for you to acknowledge that all pain is real.”—Pain Recovery: How to Find Balance and Reduce Suffering from Chronic Pain 

Over time I have mentioned the pain in my hip. On October 19,20 I went to have an MRI exam. Today the doctor told me the results. My hip is totally wrecked, thinking that the hip at some time stopped receiving blood to it.

Oh What A Relief It is!

Yes, I did say, “what a relief it is”. I have been living with all types of fear of what might be wrong. Lately I thought it could be cancer due to the fact that this year I had two relatives die because of that wicked disease.

There was the other thought, people may think I am faking it to draw attention to myself. I heard that when it came to dealing with mental illness, so it would not have surprised me if they were saying that.

Next came the guilt. The guilt of not being able to walk my dog, make my own meals, do some housework chores, and not able to go shopping. These thoughts of guilt plagued me day and night. I was becoming my own worse enemy with beating myself up.

Now comes the referral to an orthopedic surgeon. I have seen him before because of a fracture in my knee, so, there is no problem of dealing with him. It will be the waiting that will frustrate me. This province has a severe problem with waiting lists and times. I now look forward to the plan he will present to solve this hip problem. More than likely it will be replaced. Whatever it has to be I am at peace with it.

So dear reader, for most people hearing a report about a damaged hip would think that is bad news. For this guy hearing what the problem is, finally knowing what is causing the extreme pain. Yes, for me, oh what a relief it is!

Books I’ve Read During the Pandemic of 2020

When the shutdown started back in the early spring I decided to make good use of the time during the shutdown with the pandemic. The following are the books that I have read or I am currently reading now.

To get more information about the book click on the Author’s Name. The link will take you to Amazon.ca. For those reading in other countries change the setting to your country.




Title


Author


Published
On Tyranny; Twenty Lessons from the
Twentieth Century
Timothy Snyder2020
The Elements of Style(Classic Edition)William Strunk Jr.2017
[Originally Published 1918
A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump’s Testing of AmericaPhilip Rucker & Carol Leoning2020
Disloyal; A Memoir, “The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney Donald J Trump”Michael Cohen2020
The Room Where It Happened; A White House MemoirJohn Bolton, Former Security Advisor of the United States2020
Too Much and Never Enough; How My Family Created The World’s Most Dangerous ManMary Trump2020
Currently Reading: RageBob Woodward2020
   

A Re-Blog: Keifer Sutherland’s Grandpa, Universal Health Care and the US Election — Mind You

By Marvin Ross

October 20 is the birthday (born 1904) of Keifer’s grandpa, Tommy Douglas. Tommy was a Baptist preacher who became a social democratic politician (something modern day Baptist preachers in the US would likely never do). Douglas is responsible for introducing universal health care, first in Saskatchewan in 1962, and then to the […]

Keifer Sutherland’s Grandpa, Universal Health Care and the US Election — Mind You

Sometimes You Just Have To…

“Nothing is more exhausting than the task that’s never started.”
― Gretchen Rubin, Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter & Organize to Make More Room for Happiness


While growing up my mother expected us, myself and four siblings, to do chores. The first chore that was assigned to us was to make our bed before leaving for school. As we grew older there were other things for us to do. I was responsible for the yard, cutting, raking, and shoveling. My sister when they were old enough to handle the stove were to start dinner so that our mother would finish up when she arrived home from work. When I entered high school I learned how to wash my clothes.

There were many times that I would grumble, out of the range of my parents hearing, why isn’t someone else helping with these things. I look back on those times and to be truthful, I am thankful for learning those tasks. I know how to keep a house, washing clothes, cooking, and yes, baking. I learned to bake from my grandmother.

Striving to achieve great mental health there are things that I have learned that sometimes I just have to do them.

Here is a list:

  • eat properly
  • keep a hygiene regiment
  • limit the intake of negativity. This includes, television, some negative people, family and friends.
  • take time to enjoy a hobby, reading, writing, or a craft
  • make sure to take all medications at the proper time

For the last several moths I have been returning to reading, not e-books, but, actual hard cover. I forgot the joy there is in reading printed on paper, joy of turning the page manually.

So, dear reader, sometimes you just have to do it!

Some Random Thoughts

You may have noticed that my posts have been intermittent. First when I don’t have a subject I do not write. Also, I have been doing quite a bit of reading. The list of books I have read mostly deal with one subject matter, the man in the White House. I have gone back to hard cover rather than E-Books. There is something about actually feeling the pages when you turn them.

It has also been difficult for me to write at times because of pain generating from my hip. I can only sit at the lap top for a limited time. My medications at supper time usually means that I do not post much after about six at night.

I went to receive a flu shot. The pharmacist said they are expecting a high turn out for it. She also mentioned that this winter presents a troublesome worry, will people be able to distinguish between the flu and Covid-19. This could overwhelm the ERs in some cities.

Some provinces are returning to shut downs because of the numbers are on the rise with positive infections. I believed that lifting some restrictions was premature. I understand that people want to get back to their lives the way it was before the pandemic. Here in Saskatchewan there are reports of Covid-19 appearing in the school system. This leaves me with great concern about my grandchildren, but, in all children in general.

So dear reader these are just some random thoughts about what has been occupying my mind lately.

Suicide Myths, Selfishness

“Did you really want to die?”
“No one commits suicide because they want to die.”
“Then why do they do it?”
“Because they want to stop the pain.”
― Tiffanie DeBartolo, How to Kill a Rock Star


***Warning, could cause triggers! This post has taken the better part of three days to write. I had to stop many times because of how certain emotions came to the top.***


Mention the subject of “suicide” and the room grows quiet. I really do not understand why, could it be that it is part of “death” that makes people uncomfortable. Or maybe they just do not know how to approach it without sounding ill-informed.

I cannot tell you how old I was, I guess enough to understand what people were talking about in very hush tones. It was about a great uncle who had died. I gathered enough of the conversation to understand that he committed suicide. It was years before I was told how it happened. He was found in the garage, doors closed, car running, he was laying under the exhaust pipe of the car.

When I abruptly ran into my bathroom with a bottle of sleeping pills, I turned on the tap, placed the whole bottle of pills in my mouth and drank some water. I really cannot tell you what all happened after that, except I woke up in the hospital, placed in the mental health ward.

This attempt was not pre-meditated, the only way I can describe the moment was that something inside me snapped. All sanely thought left my mind. I had no thought about what would my family and friends would think. All I knew was I just wanted this battle of hell that was raging with my emotions to stop, for the screaming to stop! Just to have some silent time! Thoughts of an after life were far from my thoughts, maybe I had reached the point where I just didn’t care one way or the other.


I wrote that part of my life for a purpose, to show that people don’t always experience suicide ideation. Mine, it seemed like it. came on me without warning. Now maybe in my subconscious the thought of suicide was brewing. I really just don’t know!


Myths About Suicide

Throughout the rest of the year I would like to explore the myths about the subject of suicide.

People Who Attempt or Commit Suicide Are Selfish

Here is my answer to that myth. When I attempted suicide it was not out of selfishness, but, rather it was that I just wanted the breath taking pain to stop. I was an emotional train wreck. At that time I did not know that there were avenues that I could access to get help.

Thoughts about my family and friends that I would put them through a hellish nightmare. They would have been wondering if there was any signs about the emotional state I was in. Leaving them to question if they were failures for not seeing those signs.

So, dear reader that those who attempt or succeed in the act of suicide is selfish is just a big myth!

It Couldn’t Get Any Worse, Can It?

“I don’t believe that this infection really is being transmitted in waves. It’s more like a coronavirus forest fire where in fact, it just burns, burns and burns. But then as soon as you let up the break, then it all comes back again.”CBS News, Oct 13, 2020


As I listened to the Global National News here in Canada they reported on different provinces once again shutting down certain businesses. Here in my province a popular night club was closed due to the amount of people testing positive traced back to the club.

I went for my MRI Monday night, which I thought was strange they were doing them in the evening. They have added a second shift just to catch up from the shutdowns. I asked the technician if people are worried about going for exams. Her reply was, “everyone”. On may way I couldn’t help notice the markers on the floor with arrows to enter and those to follow to exit.

When they called to book the appointment it’s terrible to think this thought, but, my first thought was, it is because the Premier is seeking another term. I may be wrong, but, long before the virus hit us like a hammer I went for a different MRI back in the fall of 2019, I had waited nine months for it. While talking I asked why can’t there be more shifts to serve more people. Their reply was “if they give the hospitals more money”! So, what changed between then and now, simple, election.

As I hear about the new infection rate going up, places once again being shut down, workers being put on furlough. Leaders openly mocking the scientists about them telling people should be wearing masks, also adhering to physical distancing. People have been raised to believe in the science, then their leaders, but now are wondering who to believe, what to believe. Images of rallies, people in bars, swimmers in Florida and California jammed together shoulder to shoulder.

The number of cases here in Canada now has reached two hundred thousand, while the States total number of cases surpasses eight million, and nearly a quarter of a million have died in that country.

So dear reader, it couldn’t get any worse, can it?