Tetris, CareNotes and Prayer Beads

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love-is-the-answer

Wall Recreated: Love is the answer

He was willing to bare all if even one person could relate to any part of his story and find strength in their family and friends, but most importantly within themselves. – Repurpose a story.

Safe. I felt safe being there. Stay. The ward is a lock-down facility to keep me safe. Mind. I didn’t mind the least bit. I don’t know where to go; don’t know where to stay. When in doubt, do nothing. Minding what is safe, I stayed, for a while.

The ward is equipped with TV, funny magazines, pool table, jigsaw puzzles, coloring books; items to keep me amused or occupied but none of these interest me. So I sat on the floor at the end of the long corridor looking out through the glass door. Here alone I played Tetris, read CareNotes and rolled the prayer beads with my fingers.

Tetris, a gift from my sister Poteet. A game she took away from my nephews. As I recall, the new computer game was causing problems that the boys were glued to it and neglecting to go outside to play the real stuff. I don’t like any kind of computer programs. I was once a computer geek in my younger days writing programs, test programs and application. It drove me crazy trying to solve someone’s programming that has no logic. But Tetris became a real stuff for me inside the ward. It helped me focus. It helped me solve problems. It helped me shape and organized my mind objectively. It helped rewire, build blocks and expand the plasticity of my brain.

CareNotes is all I can find at the Chaplain’s office. The Chaplin’s office is always closed. Never saw him, never met him, and never talked to him. The notes hang outside his office. I know he came around when there are new CareNotes. I collected them all. Dealing With Suicidal Feelings, Climbing Up From Depression, Believing in Your Own Inner Goodness, Finding Strength to Survive a Crisis or Tragedy, Making Sense Out of Suffering, Bearing the Special Grief of Suicide, Easing the Burden of Stress, Encountering Midlife, Emerging Renewed, Finding God in Pain or Illness, Walking with God Through Grief and Loss, Letting Tears Bring Healing and Renewal. CareNotes is an endless resource giving meaning to my question “Why Me?” Now, these CareNotes are my bathroom companion, at home. Good reads not just for me but as well as anyone that uses the toilet.

Prayer Beads enclosed came in a card from my other sister and she wrote: April 5, 1992. Dearest Lady, A priest in Toronto who cares deeply is giving you his personal rosary. This has been blessed and carries with it his own prayers for your well-being and that you will find it in you to pray the rosary. Lady, believe in the power of the rosary and you will be fully alive again. Love and prayers, always. Thelma.

I did not pray the rosary. I do not know how to pray, then. I carried it with me, though. I clutch it when I go to bed, never let it go. Should I wake up in the middle of the night with no prayer beads on my hand, I panic.  Searching for it in the darkroom, the beads glow in the dark and with a sigh of relief of finding it, I kissed the cross and went back to sleep. The rosary is now gone; I don’t know how I lost it. But I still go to bed with a rosary on my hand. Can’t sleep without it just like a child with a teddy bear to snuggle with to have a goodnight sleep.

My family reads my blog and provides me articles in relation to the topic that I write. My sister Carmen sent me a Report on Business at the Globe and Mail about ‘Irv’. Irv and I share a common ground: Mental Illness.

It has been a long week of Let’s Talk. Stay well and be well, Perpetua.

Feeling Good

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I’ve never read the book Anne of Green Gable written by L. M. Montgomery, a Canadian writer. The book is supposed to be a classic literature. Curiosity took over me and I came across with Chapter 5: Anne’s History. “Well, … Continue reading

Self-Disclosure: Doodling my way through CBT

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, or you wouldn’t have come here.” 
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) has three components thoughts, behaviour and emotions arranged in a triangle.  These are important factors in personal change.  The three sides represent the three aspects of my lives.  When one side of the triangle changes the rest also change.  When I change my way of thinking, I will act and feel according to my thoughts.  When I change my emotions, my actions and thoughts will change.  When I change the way I do things, then my thoughts and emotions will alter.

CBT

Sounds easy, right?  Not really.  In order for me to understand the psychology of CBT, I thought of three words that is the driving force of my whole being. These are faith, hope and charity.  Drawing the same triangle, I came up with this.

Theology of CBT

Then I incorporated the whole thing based on what works for me to get better.   I called this new and improved diagram the Theology of CBT.

CBT Combo

Of course, this is just for me doodling my way through a ten-week CBT course.

When CBT first came out in Vancouver, I was one of the guinea pigs.  I volunteered to be one of the subjects.  It helped me tremendously as well as the Faculty of Psychiatry.  Of course, familiarity breeds contempt.  I thought I got it all made and don’t need to carry on with the “experiment” to myself.  Soon, I fell out of practice and old habits returned; automatic thoughts.

Automatic thoughts are similar to a movie; a constant rewind of a scenario mostly negative.  I counted how many times an automatic thought came up in a given minute.  There are 60 seconds in a minute, I must have thought of it 100 times.

I took the course the second time around two years ago and the modules have much improved as well as the therapists.  The therapists are better trained, the doctors are well versed with the course and there are more participants.  I speak highly of this course for anyone who needs to “get” a hold of their own well-being.

I never called this disease as “mental” disorder.  I vehemently argue about this terminology.   I know it is a disease of the brain and I waited a long time for someone to speak about this until I heard in TED “Understanding of mental illness.”  This is a big relief for me.

Going deeper to doodling, a new diagram arose based on my love for trees and gardening.  This keeps me grounded.

cbt nature

Finally with all these knowledge and training, I realize that medication tremendously helps.  There’s nothing wrong with taking medication.  Insulin is for diabetics to control the disease taken for the rest of their life.  No stigma on that.  Antidepressants work well for my brain to balance the serotonin level taken for the rest of my life so I may live to the fullest.  Nothing wrong with that!

The Very Best of My Thoughts

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DP Jan 24, 2013 Ready, Set Go
Set a timer for ten minutes. Open a new post. Start the timer, and start writing. When the timer goes off, publish 
Good Morning, God, thank you for another day.  
I wake up way before the birds start singing, the day is still dark.  This is my precious time being one and one with my God.  It’s about me and my God.  Not much time when there is 24 hours in a day.  From 5 am to 7 am, then I head off to work. 
This is also the time I do the daily prompt, not much time to think but everything is Impromptu.  The more I think, the more my brain gets muddled up. Don’t think too much. 
The minute I step out of this sanctuary, I will be a whole different world.  It will be all about them.  I am out there to be of service especially at work, put in 7 hours, an honest work for an honest pay.  Then I say a prayer, Lord, Let every step I do begins and ends with you. 
Back to waking up; I fill my thoughts with goodness, a moment of Gratitude, this is the time where the very best of my thoughts come from my God: 
The very best of all my thoughts
Are those that think of you
The very best of all my words
Are those that speak of you
My fondest hopes, my cherished dreams,
My prayers to the Lord above
The very best of all these
I offer you my love. 
Faith, Hope and Charity is the basis of my being.
Thoughts, Emotion and Behaviour are the basis of cognitive thinking.
This is a triangle I follow in order to be at-one-ment.
And here’s a song for everyone.  Have a safe day everyone.  God Bless.