tree tops

Looking up at the trees near my house

Today was lovely although I felt guilty about not working. Mario, Christine, Mom, and I went to Mass together before my sister left for school. Then, us remaining three went to an art fair near our house. Relaxing with family was amazing despite the looming anxiety of homework and money that is shackled to me.

Anyway, here are my links for the week. Some of the posts or web pages are a bit older, but hopefully you will still find them interesting.

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Sometimes We Just Need a Laugh

Once again, I worked a 14-hour shift and am so drained that I can barely think. Thus, there is little wisdom or encouragement that I feel able to give.

Well, here is a bit of good news (or bad news depending on your viewpoint): tomorrow I will not be working because of my doctor’s orders regarding my health. Telling my boss that terrified me, but the voice of my care team and family overpowered my fear. Even my fellow co-workers are beginning to gang up on me – er, help me. This is hard but what is the best option for me at this stage in my life.

Anyway, enough of that! Sometimes – especially after a great deal of stress – we all need to just laugh a bit. Here are a few videos (some older and others newer) that make me giggle ever time that I see them. Hope that you enjoy them too!

Kid President rocks:

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Forgiving the Unforgivable

Through my recovery, I have uncovered great anger and hurt at people throughout my life, even those that I love and trust. Addressing this has been important as has standing up for myself. Finally acknowledging the pain starts the healing process.

However, a new problem has set in as I have struggled to forgive. In my heart, I know that it would be the right choice and long to do it. The pain and anger continues to throb inside, however, as I still hold onto a seed of bitterness.

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One Thousand Thanks: 777 – 787. Reaching Our Limits

In museum in London

Everything is moving at such a fast pace.

My medical care team has finally hammered it into my head that I am near the end of my rope. Not only is my body yelling that, but my mind and emotions are also rebelling. Figuring out how to make a change is difficult. Yet it is something that I am admitting now (with reluctance) that it is something that I must do.

Being worn out and drained seems awful. However, there are some benefits and things to be thankful for even in this situation. Here are a few of them:

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Cutting Something Out of Our Lives

Stairs at a college in Oxford

Stairs at a college in Oxford where I found some peace and quiet

Everyone has been harping on me to eliminate something from my schedule. Work, school, extra curricular activities – they are all great, claim my parents and medical caregivers, but even too much of a good thing can lead to disaster.

However, I feel stuck. Already, so much has been given up from my list of things to do. I have not gone to Toastmasters the past two meetings and never joined choir or speech team. The amount of work that I have done has cut down for two of my jobs to very few hours. Yet, my life still feels chaotic.

Society puts so much pressure on us to be busy. Working is a virtue as is pushing yourself to accomplish as much as possible. Taking time to rest and simply be is almost unheard of, at least where I am from in Midwestern America. You should always be moving forward and completing some task. That makes a successful person.

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Can Someone Just “Get Over” Mental Illness?

Oxford in the morning

A morning in Oxford

One of the hardest comments that I have received regarding my mental health problems has been “Why can’t you just get over it?”

Other people I have spoken with throughout my treatment have echoed aggravations about similar responses from family or friends. Many variations of this question occur, and even more frequent are the people who treat me in this manner. Knowing how to answer is very difficult.

However, the more that I think about it, the more that I realize how often I ask myself the very same thing. My brain is constantly berating me for not “getting over” things. Anna Rose, why can’t you just be a big girl and ignore the pain? Can’t you snap out of the depression that you are in? Why don’t you just stop thinking about that topic and get a life?

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Allowing Myself to Enjoy Food with Friends

Nora at tea

Having tea and supper with my friend Nora in Oxford

For theater practice today, our cast met at a coffee shop. Not being able to consume caffeine limited the items that I could buy. Right away, I assumed that I would get some tea. However, the apple cider drink looked delicious. I never grew up drinking at places like this, and having such an item would be a huge treat.

However, we were going to Cafe Late, a very delicious and fun restaurant which is popular for its desserts, after the coffee shop. Thus, it made no sense for me to get a fancy drink and then eat some cake at the restaurant. The conflict continued to circle in my mind.

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Some Good News in a Hard Week

If you have been listening to the news, you probably have heard all of the terrible things that are happening in the world. Hearing this hurts my heart a great deal. Sometimes it seems like the darkness is so much brighter than the light.

However, it is important to remember that there is so much good all around us. With my internship, I wrote about two different happy events.

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Forcing Our Lids to Stay Open

One Thousand Thanks: 168 - 178. Sweet Sleep

Sleep is the best meditation. – Dalai Lama

Do you ever write and find that you are so tried that your lids refuse to even stay open? Every other thing that you type must be rewritten because it is misspelled. After a while, you wonder if you are really accomplishing anything.

Right now I am at that point. However, there is still much that I must accomplish today. For my internship, numerous hours must be logged in by midnight tomorrow. That is looming over my head.

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Sometimes We Try Too Hard

Trying your best is often upheld as a great thing. We all want to be hard workers who make a difference in the world.

However, sometimes we push ourselves to to the point where our work becomes worse. Instead of making an impact, we are only harming ourselves by draining our resources and being perfectionistic.

People with eating disorders might do this by trying to look perfect. I certainly struggle with this at times. This video has a great message about not always trying so hard.

Just being yourself can be beautiful, bold, and enough sometimes. Take a deep breath and don’t try so hard even if it is only for one day.