“One thing you can’t hide – is when you’re crippled inside.”- John Lennon
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!
What’s the process been like of establishing views that diverged from the religious beliefs you’d been exposed to?
To put it bluntly, it’s been hell. I dropped all my relationships with fellow ministers, stopped contact with fellow musicians. There was a long time to where I wouldn’t even open the Bible.
I have, still do at times, second guess myself. Then I read some of the comments that people have left lets me know I am basically on the correct direction.
For instance, the gay life style was preached against, it was taught as a no-no. I now view it this way, they are humans, they walk, talk, pee, poop, the same way all of us do. I started re-visiting this attitude about being against them, I started making friends with those in the LGBTQ community. I still have those friends regardless what some people believe about them.
As life has gone on, has your ability to trust others changed? What prompted that?
In many ways my trust in people has changed. Here is how I view it, People needed to trust me, some who told me about their sexuality, yet they have not come out. I have kept that trust.
Things really did start changing when I began to change. When I started dealing with all the issues that were at the base of my depression. Feelings of inferiority, shame, loneliness, and a chest full of others. After the death of my grandmother I was fortunate to have a Psychiatrist who showed compassion, actually listened, and started me on a regimen of medications. Now I consider her a friend, she stopped and talked with me when I had a slight scare that sent me to the hospital for four days.
How has your physical health impacted your mental health and vice versa?
My physical health has impacted my mental health severely. I face it every morning, getting out of bed is usually an exercise dealing with pain in my hip.
I have dealt with pain since my teenage years, it grew worse after a motorcycle accident. That messed up my back for life. It has only been better after two periods of have cortisone shots.
There was a time when I was on different pain killers where they became ineffective. I had to change doctors. He looked at my history, he then said we have to change your medications. He explained to me that many pain killers when taken over a long length of time actually work against the body causing pain. I have later read and heard that this is the case. I take for pain at this time Tylenol 4 and a small derivative of morphine. They basically along with a sleeping pill allow me to have a decent night of sleep.
There are days when I think I should start the process of going to an assisted living facility. Let me explain, I now have to use a cane, or my walker. It has left me so that many things I would normally do for myself I cannot accomplish. Fear grips me every time I need to use the shower, thoughts about falling breaking a hip courses through my mind.
Also, I am truly thankful for my best friend for he is the one who has prepared my meals. I cannot move well enough to manage pots, pans, etc., I also fear I wouldn’t be able to respond if there would be a grease fire.
Some may have noticed that I read and comment on their blog posts sometimes eighteen hours or longer. It is usually because I cannot sit up at great lengths of time. I start my nighttime routine early. Most nights I am asleep before 9 p.m.
So, it is a back and forth with my physical effecting my mental health, mental health effecting my physical being.
Has your time as a preacher shaped the way you tell your own story now?
This is a great question, one I have never thought about. It probably has, and does shape how I tell my story.
There are parts of my story that at this time grapple with because it involves someone who has died, but, has living relatives. I do not want to cause them any embarrassment or pain. I just have not come to an answer about how to tell that. Even without mentioning names it would be obvious to many friends, colleagues, and relatives if they were to come across this blog.
Also, I must consider at this time my own daughter and grandchildren.
[b] I re-read the first answers of the interview where I can see that how I write seems guarded. I guess it has been a learned response from over many years.
How have your hospital stays influenced where you are now in terms of your mental health?
Before my major stay in a mental health ward I was fighting with being bi-polar without any awareness of the fact.
I am thankful for those times in treatment, the group sessions, the one on one with my Psychiatrist for it gave me tools to fight with. The recognition of the highs, lows, and all the rest that comes with being bi-polar. I also know that if needs arise that I have the ability to go back and voluntarily admit myself. There are so many ugly myths about mental health care, some I think come from the days of sanitariums, probably through the eighteenth and nineteenth century.
So dear reader more of a glimpse on what I call “a journey to great mental health”.
If you are facing battles to keep your mental health great, remember, you are not alone!
Find someone to talk to, whether it is a friend, a help line, or your doctor. Do not suffer alone, there is help available for you! I have located a website that you can access for phone numbers of helplines around the world. It is called Check Point
Several days ago I had an idea which I thought might be interesting. The idea; flip the scenario of the interview. The questions would not be posed by me, but, it would be from someone else, the questions would be for me.
So, I needed to find someone to ask if they would help with this project. The person I turned to was Ashley L. Peterson of Mental Health At Home. I contacted her about a week ago to which she agree to help. If you have never visited her blog put it on your things to do list.
So below is the interview. I may revisit the questions to add to it more insight. I have tried to answer the questions with honesty and truthfully.
At this moment I want to say, “Thank youAshleyfor Your Help”! I truly appreciate this!
Were there things that your blog has allowed you to get out that weren’t able to express before?
There were many things that I could not express before. Some would be looked upon as weakness, short comings, others would be considered non Biblical. Things about gender, sexuality, race.
Did you ever feel it was necessary to mask what was going on inside you? If so, how did you do that?
Yes, I did wear a mask. The first that held that mask on was a lack of trust. I held many things to myself, not even telling my wives, family, because I learned that familiarity is dangerous. It usually ends up with them turning on you by breaking trust.
The next thing that I believe that held the mask on was ignorance. Believing what you have been told all of your life, things concerning the Faith. It wasn’t until I finally started my long journey of healing of my mental health that I started to question in earnest what I truly believed. I came to the conclusion that there were many things I felt was wrong, some that really did not have a sure foundation in the Scriptures.
Has there been any form of creative art or expression other than writing that’s been significant for you? What role did that play if your life?
My whole life has been about the music, it still is. I am thankful that I have a small home organ within my home. It had a fantastic price attached to it, “FREE”. I couldn’t refuse it. When I am totally at whit’s end when possible I sit and will play old hymns and other songs. It usually quiets my mind. There are other times, especially when I need a bit of inspiration, I turn to my iTunes music. One artist is foremost is Michael Bublè, his music is similar to that of Frank Sinatra.
What role has religion played in the course your transition into adulthood and beyond?
I am going to be honest and frank, I have held onto my faith in God, but, I have let go many other things. As I said this journey of healing has been intense. It has caused me to look inward, question everything, search all things, to become honest of who I truly was as a human being. Notice I did not say “person”, I could be any person, but who am I as a human.
Has your sense of who you are and how you relate to the world changed over time?
The resounding answer is, yes I have changed in relation of discovering who I really am. I couldn’t see it while I was in the midst of it, but, looking back, even just over two years, I can see change. I really do not have fear about how people see me. Yes, I hope they see the real me. Yet, I can understand that they may have, like me, trust issues. That is where true acceptance comes into place. I hope people would respect where I am in my walk of healing, I also hope I can respect others on their walk of healing in obtaining great mental health.
How did mental illness enter your life, and what are some of the ways it affects you?
I look back at my life, especially my teenage years through my early adult years and I can see signs of mental illness already showing itself. My sudden outrage for even the littlest thing, comment, etc., Also, I can recognize the times of mania, and deep depression that inserted itself during those years.
It wasn’t until around 1990 when I started experiencing panic attacks. One time while grocery shopping in an almost empty store I suffered with a severe panic attack. I left the cart in the aisle and ran back to my bachelor apartment a block away. It wasn’t long after that when I attempted my first suicide.
At times it has left me mentally crippled, all my interests seemed to melt away. On the mania times it was almost nonstop activity.
There were many mornings where I would wake up with no memory of the night before. No recollection of conversations, what I ate, what I did like watching television. My best friend would find me passed out in the oddest places, once under my sewing machine. It left him terrified every time he would come into my house in the morning.
What have been some of the most difficult times or circumstances you’ve dealt with in terms of your mental health?
The hardest time of dealing with my mental health condition was the very first time, the time when I woke up in the mental health ward after the attempted suicide.
I basically stayed to myself, did not interact with others who were also dealing with mental health issues. My memory of it is vague, basically going to the smoking room. There was the first day that they decided that we should watch the movie “Groundhog Day”. I remember, why this, what does it have to do with me getting out of here. Honestly, I still have no answer for that movie.
Has family played a major role for you? Have there been certain family events that were particularly significant in your life?
Family meant something for me, I should clarify, my maternal family. I was very close to my grandfather and grandmother. I felt more at home there then I did at my parent’s home. I felt accepted there, yet I am glad they were not around in my worst days. I sometimes wonder how they would have reacted.
I only have one blood relative that I am close to, being my maternal aunt. She has always been a part of my life, babysitting, singing, just there. After she goes my connection to that part of family will be gone.
I am now a grandfather of three, my daughter, and those children are now my world. They love talking with me when they are here, they have their heads in the right place. The oldest, my granddaughter, just turned thirteen.
Were there things from your childhood, either positive or negative, that have really stuck with you over time?
There are two things that have stuck with me over time. How I deal with others, growing up in a multi-cultural area it wasn’t a big thing to have friends, acquaintances, from other cultures, etc, Maybe it was because of my mother and grandmother. I never heard an unkind word, slur, put down, to come from their lips. I could take any of my friend’s home or to my grandmother’s knowing they would be accepted without question.
The other would be anger. I decided as a kid that I did not want that in my life. My dad would explode at the slightest slight. It was to the point that I would make excuses when he would ask if I wanted to play a game of Chess. I always said no, I knew if he lost, it just might mean an eruption of anger. If I am around someone who shows anger of that sort I find myself looking for the exit. I can be angry at something, but never to the point where it is physical or emotionally.
Are there life choices you’ve made that you feel grateful for or regret now?
There are probably many things I regret now, only because hindsight is always twenty-twenty. Dropping out of high school, two divorces, not always being there for my daughter while she was growing up. Those are probably the ones that come to the top of my thoughts.
The biggest thing that I can be truly grateful is that I can to the acknowledgment that I needed help, that I sought help, and that I continue to work to achieve great mental health.
The other is that I have learned how a true friend acts. I write about my best friend, twenty plus years. He has been there through my worst. Days where I lashed out at him, times when I would threaten to move away from him. He has been in the room with my family doctor, Psychiatrist, and all other specialists. He also manages my medications, which came about during one of my inpatient times. While at home I was double dosing my Oxycontin medication. So there was an agreement between myself, my doctors, and at that time my Pharmacist, that was back in 2004. He still goes with me to my appointments, sometimes is because my mobility is not at its best, mostly because my short term memory is spotty.
P.S. – That is the interview. Let me say this, I am not done with my journey towards great mental health. There are issues that I am still struggling with, issues that at this time cannot disclose.
If you read this, if you are also on your journey towards great mental health, let me give you a word of encouragement.
You are not alone, there are others on a similar journey with issues all of their own. There will be others after you. Please help those who are coming up with words of encouragement, make them feel at home that they have a safe place.
I am not sure how I became aware of the blog Mental Health @ Home but it has become a must read daily.
You can be sure when you read a post from her blog that she has done her research, knows her material which lends to her credibility.
So I am happy that she agreed to be the first of I hope many more to come, The Interview.
Here is the interview:
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.
2.What is one value that you were taught as a child growing up?
I’m sure there are things that were more profound, but one thing I really appreciate is the value of saving and living within one’s financial means. That has served me extremely well in my adult life.
3.On the topic of values, which value would you like society to start using, and why?
Society seem to be really short on empathy, and that fuels intolerance and the whole nine yards. I’ve always thought that if more people traveled internationally and saw the different ways in which people live, they would understand that there’s more to humanity than just their narrow corner of it.
4.If you could, what advice would you tell a future version of yourself maybe ten years from now?
To be honest, I don’t want to still be around in 10 years, so I don’t really have any words of wisdom or inspiration for my older self. I know that sounds a bit morbid, but depression does not make for a cheery future.
5.What are the circumstances that led you to start a blog on WordPress?
It was in fall 2017, and I wasn’t working much because of my depression. I’d terminated my friendships with all but one person (I think; I don’t recall the exact timing). Anyway, I had lots of time but not much to do, and somehow blogging popped into my head. I knew absolutely nothing about blogging at the time, so it was a matter of figuring it out as I went along.
6.Why did you choose your focus on “Mental Health”? Was it your profession, or from personal experience?
It was some of both, but probably more the personal element than the nurse element. The combination worked well, though. I also like to keep learning new things, and I have lots of practice looking things up from grad school, so it’s interesting for me to write posts about things that are new or only slightly familiar to me.
7.Where do you see your blog going in five to ten years from now?
I have no idea. I’ve stopped planning for the future, because my illness Is going to do its own thing regardless of what plans I may or may not have. Instead, I just take things as they come along, and do what seems like a good fit at the time. Right now, I’m content with my blog as it is, so I’ll just cruise along like this until something changes.
8.If you were told that you needed to choose some other choice to blog about it what topic would that be?
I don’t have enough to say on a regular basis about any other topic. But pseudoscience and social justice are probably the main side topics one my blog.
9.Some people write as a means of self-healing, others write because of their formal education, others just to write about their lives. Which category would your blog belong?
I guess it would be self-healing. I don’t generally write much about my day to day life. Initially, that was a preference, I just don’t have enough happening in my life to write about it. I’m not sure self-healing would be the right term either, because I’m not using the blog to work through stuff from the past. Mostly, I think it gives me something meaningful to do to occupy my time, and it’s a way to connect with other people.
10.What is something that you find gratifying after you write a post on your blog?
I always like when people interact with a post, whether that’s liking or commenting. And it’s especially cool when people take away from a post something that’s relevant to them that they weren’t familiar with or hadn’t thought of before.
11.Last question. What would you advise someone who is seriously thinking about starting a blog?
I’d say learn from what other bloggers have to say, but make decisions based on what actually works for you. Trying to blog based on what you think others expect from you is a quick way to burn out.
So dear reader I hope you will find a couple of minutes out of your busy day to visit Ashley’s blog: Mental Health @ Home