Today’s Lesson:   “What I subject myself to, what I surround myself with, can play a part in my daily mental & physical health”

Today’s Gratitude:   That I have a warm place to live, warm clothes to wear, and warm food to eat

I didn’t want to get out of bed today.   My body was comfortable, warm, and the only exposed part of my body to the air told me it is vewy vewy cold out there.   It is, it’s 9 degrees.    The good news that comes with frigid weather is that it is too cold to snow.    Yep, we are fastly approaching February freeze.   I grabbed a few cans of soup yesterday.  Campbell’s tomato soup at Walmart $1.58.   $1.58!   I got the family size for $1.79.   I also noticed that we are no longer buying 5 lbs of sugar but 3, though the price is no less.    My favorite milk “Hood” was $4.79 a gallon, so I bought the store brand at $2.79. $80 and 5 days worth of groceries later, I decided that when I arrived home I would leave the groceries in the car, grab the dogs and go for a quick hike before dark.   We were hoofing it, but we did it.   It is good for all of us.  20 minutes of cardio exercise for all three of us, make for a happier evening for all including the cats.   Sophie is much more mellow when we get home from a walk.   Weather talk…. a boring but essential topic here in New England.   With that said, I believe my  sister missed her calling.  She has done really well for herself, worked hard, but I think she  should have been a weather reporter.

How comfortable and soothing I am finding the hot maple sugar cinnamon oatmeal I am eating.  Even the bowl offers warmth to my hands.   As kids (5 of us… I was the perfect child, however :)) we would be given the choice of oatmeal, cream of wheat or mapo.  Anyone remember that?  We would have to walk 5 miles to the bus stop, (okay, so I’m exaggerating a bit and being a little sarcastic…) my mom would always say it will keep us warm and stay with us.   You know, I find that to be true today.    I may end up eating oatmeal for both breakfast and dinner through the cold spell.

I have found a new television channel that I love “ID – Investigative Discovery”.   It’s such a cool channel!     Having interest in psychology since my early 20’s, I find criminal profiling fascinating.   I would never be able to work in this field, however, because I would be afraid to leave my house!   Anyway, I’ve been talking about this with my therapist.   I find myself saying “Sick bastard” to many of these criminals and cringing.  These are real life reenacted crime scenario.   I have never understood why people (both men and women) just don’t get divorced instead of killing off their spouse but after seeing what my brother is going through, I am beginning to understand! 🙂   But I digress…   One of yesterday’s shows was about a pastor who killed both his first and second wives.   Seen as a pillar in his community, there was little, if no investigation beyond an unfortunate accident.   When one of the stiff’s (oh my, I really am being a shit today!) children wanted answers to her questions, so began the unraveling deceit of the pastor.     I cannot remember the names of the shows other than “Wives with knives”… that one sticks with me!  Anyhow, one program with a clever and probing Lt. continually offers “What does a killer look like?    You and I”.   He has solved almost 400 murder cases.   This man certainly is adept at providing.  Sometimes when I’m watching him I think “he’s solving a puzzle”, a sick and messed up puzzle, but nonetheless, a puzzle.    This gets me thinking about how much faith and trust we practice on a daily basis.    Think about it.  We get in our cars and drive to work, to the grocery store, believing that those we pass, meet are driving alert, defensive, to the best of their ability.    We buy food at the grocery store which we trust is fresh, safe for us to eat.   We deposit our hard earned money into financial institutions which we trust, will be there at our disposal.   We turn on the news and trust that we are being told the truth about crisis, and more.   We assume that our family, friends, neighbors, employees, peers, and more are relatively sane and safe for us to be around.   So many times on these programs I hear “He was a really good guy, very charming” as they describe the neighbor who just wiped out his family in too gruesome of a manner to mention here.   We simply cannot live without trust, without faith or we wouldn’t get out of beds or leave our house, ever!

When hospitalized for my 4 clinical depressions, I remember a conversation with my inpatient psychiatrist who told me “You are being hard on yourself, Donna.   You are doing your best, you need help getting out of this illness”.  This of course, would come after a bout of tears and disappointment in myself that I just couldn’t “pull myself up by my boot straps”.    I have mental illness.   I am not afraid nor ashamed to share this.   If someone shuns me or takes this as “criminal or insane”, I know today, that is their own ignorance of mental health.    So, back to the ID channel, I continually hear “she/he was being treated for depression”, narcissism, socio paths, personality and emotional disorders.    So, if I was doing my best with living with the worse of depressions, are these psychopaths, murderers, sick fucks (Some of these criminals acts deserve that language) doing their best?   Are they to blame for their heinous actions?   The answer is, YES.  Yes they are.   For the life of me right now, I cannot remember all that my therapist said when asked this question yesterday.  I was relieved to hear this.   YES the majority of those criminals are very well aware of what they are doing, and they choose their crimes.    The sadistic criminals, the mass murderers, the sexual offenders, and more…they are not only responsible but cognizant of their actions.   Criminal Minds….   Our experiences, our upbringings, events in our life can bring on mental illness such as PTSD, but my understanding today is that this is much different from the mind of a criminal.  Which is another thing heard numerous times on ID…. “He liked to torture animals as a young child”…  Many times the parent, while not wanting to accept, sees evil, monsters in their own child.   Mental illness comes in all forms, just like cancer.   The carcinogenic cell that rears a woman ovarian cancer is not the same of a man with prostate, and so on.   Metastatic cancers that spread to another area are the result of the same cancerous cell diagnosed first.  Basically, are as a result of….   As with mental illnesses, some result in further diagnosis, others do not.   If nothing else, I find this interesting.  I find the whole field of psychology interesting and I believe it takes a unique personality to treat these illnesses.    I once asked my therapist who on some days has 9 or 10 patients, “How do you detach from all [of use], and she replied “I don’t”.    Since asking her that question many months ago she shared some information which was learned at a seminar she attended on Trauma.   There was a “game” so to speak, basically to prove a point, each wrote  on a piece of paper…. laughing, I can’t remember what was asked of each of them to write down.  What I do remember, however, is that there was a doctor, a therapist, who shared that she wakes up at 4am every morning, thinking about her patients cases, their struggles…   The ending result being, it was time for her to walk away.  It was time for her to find a less invasive mind probing way to earn a living.   The burn out in this field is immense.   I’m thinking about a friend who worked with children 3-5 years of age who, as a mother said “You could see they were damaged”.    I am in no way insinuating that these children would grow up to be criminals, not at all, but that their psyche was hurt so very young.   She lasted 5 years and after one particularly devastating [to her] case, she walked away from it.  Self preservation.    Mental illness isn’t the only field at risk of “burn out”…  Even as an art teacher, which is an enjoyable career, come January I am spent, washed out, in need of recovering, rejuvenating myself.   I wonder how many people are in dire need of a break from routine, and blame their marriage, their unhappiness on something else???? Oh, the power of self awareness, crucial for individual happiness.   now that I’ve ventured far and taken valuable time of yours (which I do appreciate) on today’s soap box, I shall return to the mundane tasks of this day.  Writing, for me, is essential, I look forward to this time of my day.   I admit, however, that I am not looking forward to cleaning up the kitchen the bathroom the floors…but I will look to the healing comfort of my hands in warm dishwater.   Hey… maybe it’ll work!  🙂   And as I bid you a good day, I wonder, what the hell was this modge podge of thoughts, this blog really about? 🙂

Today’s artwork is entitled “Patches”



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