Tagged with "healing"
A Lesson in Self-Care and Self-Love
Category: Self-Discovery
Tags: Quotes strong calm healing journey self-care self-love
It takes a very strong individual to sit with themselves, calm their storms, and heal all of their issues without trying to bring someone else into that chaos. Your journey into self-love is just that. - and you are doing it.

Heres a story:
My son got a cold three weeks ago. His symptoms werent that bad. With fluids, meds, and rest he was able to get over it within 3 days by Monday of the next week. Guess who got sick on Tuesday. Yes, it was me. And man did it hit me hard.

First it started off as a slight head cold. I decided it wasnt severe, and I went to work. Bad idea. By the early afternoon, my stomach started feeling queasy. I decided to work from home the rest of the day. As soon as I got home, I changed into comfy clothes, took meds, and drank tea and fluids. Then I went back to work. Finished out the day and went to bed early.

The next day I woke up and was feeling incrementally worse. Took meds and was able to be able to breathe through my nose. But had shortness of breathe that made it really difficult to function. I still managed to put on my mom hat and bring my kiddos to the doc for an appointment, drove them to school, and back home to start my work day. My first meeting of the day was with my boss and teammate. They immediately recognized I wasnt feeling well, and they told me to stay home the next day as well. Despite the difficulty in breathing, wheezing, runny nose, nasal and sinus congestion, I managed to continue working while taking meds, fluids, and frequent breaks. I would reach a reasonable stopping point in my work and step away from my desk periodically in order to give my brain a rest, as a lot of my work is analytical. I made sure not to push myself too hard and listened to my body when I needed to pause and take care of my needs, and come back when I felt better.

As my symptoms got even worse the next day (I felt like my lungs were closing in and I had difficulty breathing through my nose, plus now a cough from the post-nasal drip), I decided to have a quick heart to heart with God. Every time Im sick I always ask God why is he allowing me to feel miserable and what is it I need to focus on right this moment. This time, I didnt get a clear answer to my question. So I just continued to listen to my body and do everything I can to make myself feel as comfortable possible. Sleep that night was so difficult. I used a diffuser with essential oils, took meds, and prayed for at least a little bit of rest.

Friday I woke up with some relief in my nasal congestion, and felt like it was the first time all week I could breathe without a labored effort. I had hope that the end of this was near! I had another meeting with my boss and she told me to take it easy and rest. But I managed to work a good part of the day and then start my weekend off with a good dinner and rest.

My kiddos went to their dads on Saturday, and I had nothing on my agenda but laying in bed, watching tv, and more self-care. I had spent all week identifying when it was time for meds, a pause and a break, or even lying down and meditating.

My goal for the whole week was to remain calm and at peace with myself in everything I do with no expectations other than to listen to my body and take care of myself. And by Sunday evening not only did my symptoms almost completely subside, but I also felt proud of myself for taking care of myself.

I started the next week feeling almost 100% back to normal. I saw my therapist on Monday, she said to me that Im not trying to establish healthy habits, Im doing it. It was the validation I needed to push me out of my crippling depression and gave me hope that I can feel happiness and joy without fear.

Today I feel happy, proud, and confident. I am learning to recognize my strengths and weakness, and continue to listen to my mind and body in order to take care of myself with love. I am realizing my worth again, and I feel that I grow a little more each day. I have renewed hope. I forgot what Hope felt like it had been so long since I felt anything but overwhelming depression and numbness. I feel alive again; funny that it started off with being sick in order to find my balance and status quo. I know there will still be challenges on my journey ahead, but as long as I have peace in my mind and heart I have faith that I will indeed overcome.


My own way #2
Category: Personal Blog
Tags: health illness mental health my own way healing

The re-evaluation of my life. A strange feeling. Weird energies flow from the gut to the throat, pouring out like so much vomit. A forced re-evaluation of priorities and values, brought on by illness, stress and madness.

Previously, my aim in life was some form of success. From writing, or drawing. Not even success as such. I just wanted to earn a decent living from doing what I love. I`m not good at that much, honestly. I`m good at drawing and writing, fairly well versed in the production of alcoholic beverages and decent enough at gardening. I`m also very good at one other thing. But that`s between me and my wife, you filth. Heh. Weird energies from the gut again.

My goal was economic independence, an important goal for me. Seems it`s dead in the dust now, these strange pains and horrid lack of energy engulfing me, wrapping me in a web and rendering me quite simply too weak to work as hard as I need to, or want to, in order to achieve financial independence. It sucks. Drawing or writing for 60 minutes straight drains me of energy to such an extent that I struggle with the most basic tasks of life the rest of the day. With this as a baseline, it should go without saying that the amount of work needed to suceed in my previous goal is nigh impossible for me to attain. Not to mention the inevitable stress from success. Can`t cope, won`t cope, shutdown.

So what to do? I`ve never wanted to do anything other than what I have always done. Or always wanted to do, for that matter. Seems strange, though. This incredible focus on a career, of sorts. There are more important things in life. For sure. And of course. It still does not detract from the fact that I am stuck with this strange feeling of wasted potential, a life not well spent. And as such, I struggle to feel fulfilled. Sitting around wasting time is not my thing: I used to be fairly busy, active, always doing something. Now there is too much downtime, as I need to relax and come to my senses after doing the most mundane tasks. There is an incredibly ugly depression just hanging around the corner, waiting to pounce on me if I am not careful and keep my wits about me. Always on guard, lest I fall into selfpity, or worse, selfanalysis. I had two years worth of severe introspection. I don`t think I need any more at the moment. It`ll do for a lifetime. The extreme fatigue gets worse with depression, as well as the physical pain.

Channeling the energy spent on creating outwards, I found calm and relaxation in my family: wife, two dogs. Domestic bliss for a domesticated primate. Interests and hobbies, passions and fascinations that don`t spend my energy-reserves abound, as long as I manage to see them through the thin, lacy veil of depression. I found a renewed passion for homebrewing and gardening last year, as I struggled to regain some control over my perplexed apathy. Some not-too-heavy physical activites that really brighten my day. I can spend long hours conjuring up a new recipe for some strange and beautiful wine, cider or beer. And then there is the joy of the process, when all the pieces of the recipe is at hand and the hard work begins all the boiling and mashing and stirring and so-and-such. The wait for it all to mature, and the giddiness from the first tasting a year or so later. It is a true spectacle, a monument to a patience I thought long gone in 2015, when my concentration-span suffered a harsh detour due to a severely racing mind, madness erupting from the chrysalis.

The same can be said for gardening. The smell of the soil, waiting for the seeds to sprout, and later produce fruit. The fantastic feeling of using my hands doing something, atleast being selfsufficient in a small way. Now, if only I had more room for the plants. All in due time. With patience and persistence, things will fall into place.

All throughout this short life of mine, I have loved music. Not playing it I won`t subject my wife to that torture. It`s probably cause for divorce, come to think of it! I do love listening to music, though. After my illness, I found that those quiet moments where I am able to listen to a record and not do anything else as long as the record lasts are even more important than previously. Taking time to relax to absolutely relax is more important now than ever. And music relaxes me in a way nothing else with the possible exception of meditation can do. It is a pure, unfiltered drug pouring in through my ears and filling my veins with brilliantine chill, pure beauty.

Success is transient. It comes. It goes. It never lasts. Everything eventually passes. With forced and severely limited energy, priorities do shift, values change, what was important before becomes less important in time. I`ll create as I manage, taking my time. And, as such, spent my time on matters that matter. Potential success can suck it. My gut won`t allow it, my fractured body and psyche rendering it unreachable. What`s left to say?@!$%# it. I`m good.

- Kim Solvang Andersen, Sandnes, 2018

My own way #1 Tags: health illness mental health my own way healing


Being in a state of complete physiological and psychological burnout is not easy. The immense fatigue is hard to describe to anyone who has not experienced it. Stemming from a psychological breakdown starting early in 2015, to which I have previously alluded and will elaborate on at some later point, I spent 2016 and 2017 recovering as best I could. The breakdown lasted until sometime in late 2017, when I finally managed to sleep properly again. Up until late 2017, i had been running on empty since early 2015, averaging three hours of resless sleep each night.

It should go without saying that this took a great toll on mind and body, and as the recovery proved nigh impossible without proper sleep, I turned to seeking help, comfort and understanding. I then turned to despair when I realised that there were no proper help to be had. Neither during my breakdown, nor during my recovery. What I realised trying to get professional help was that there was noone willing to listen properly I sought action, practical applications to get me through whatever it was that I was going through at the time, either in the midst of my breakdown, or at the beginning stages of my slow recovery. I received medications and a constant stream of "therapeutical" talk which did little to help. The meds made my sleep worse and my behaviour even more erratic than it were, alien even, as I quickly became someone I was not, due to the medications crackling in my brain making me seek constant action of some sort or other. To combat my insomnia, I was put on stimulants with a chemical buildup, I later learned, closely mirroring amphetamines. Not a wise choice, one would say.
I spent six months tapering off this medicinal treatment. And another six months still suffering withdrawals and sideeffects. The therapeutical talk did little to help as well, every session being nothing but a rundown of the previous session. I know this pattern too well, having been in therapy for seventeen years. One would think that, after seventeen years, some good would have come of it. Rather than gradually being cured from whatever psychological ailments I might suffer, I was medicated into apathy and isolation, misdiagnosed and treated for several ailments which I did not suffer. Treating the symptoms, not the cause. The assumption being that I could not get better. It seems to me, in hindsight, that all these years of therapy have been nothing but a vicious cycle of symptoms medication for symptoms more symptoms more medications. On and on.

During my breakdown of 2015, there was no help to be gained. My psychiatrist had gone on vacation without informing me. Desperate calls from both my wife and myself to health services rendered nothing. What I needed was instantaneous help. Help in crisis, pure and simple. Nothing was done, nor could anything be done, I learned.
Hindsight being 20/20, we should have pushed and pushed until they had to render help. But the lackluster response were of a sort so unsympathetic and callous, so cold and clinical and bureaucratic that hope was lost and the willingness to proceed on my part gone the way of my sleep and my relaxation: blasted into dismal and confused oblivion.

Seeking help from the personal sphere proved difficult as well, as the responses I got were to suck it up, followed by questions about how my wife were doing through all this. The message I received being that the wellbeing of my wife mattered more than my own wellbeing, despite me being in the midst of a complete breakdown where nothing seemed familiar to me. Of course, this did nothing but add a layer of bad conscience to my fractured and fragmenting psyche. Which brought me to a point of absolute despair, come mid-2016, where I wrote something like "No matter what I do, it all turns to shit. I give up." on my Facebook wall. Obviously, I am paraphrasing, as I can`t remember my exact wording. That matters little, though. I got one response, being told to "Not make myself so pitiful". As if this would alleviate my very obvious breakdown. I replied with anger. To which I only received the answer of "I have said what I wanted to say". Not much empathy nor understanding to be found.
Now, to be clear, I do not consider Facebook a place to seek comfort, understanding or reason, facebook of course being the land of unreason and kneejerk reactions. But at that point in time, I was not thinking clearly. What was clear to me then, however, and still is, is this: my suffering did not matter in the least. The reason for this response was that the "culprit" found what I said uncomfortable, not that I should not make myself "pitiful", but that I should not make this person feel uncomfortable. It was not born out of compassion for me. Better that I suffer in silence, than let this person feel uncomfortable about my state of mind. Or my non-state of mind. Nevermind the fact that my original post was born from despair out of not receiving any support at all; a last and desperate cry for help. This reply proved to me, without a smudge of doubt, that I would receive no understanding, nor support from anywhere. A cynical outlook, for sure, but born from experience and carried ever forward as the weeks and months and years of unrest and lack of sleep carried on, me still being expected to drop everything in my life to rush to the aid of others instead of receiving aid myself.

Fast-forward now, to december 22, 2017. Mind getting calmer, sleep getting better through meditation and the application of antypsychotics, calming my mind a bit. The only medication, I migt add, that has ever worked properly for me. At this point in time, I have been receiving proper professional treatment for some time, after slamming my head into the wall. Had I received immediate treatment during my breakdown, I would have fared way better. Anyhow, I am sitting in the doctors office, completely exhausted, with every part of my body aching, my mind feeling foggy, sluggish, uncomprehending. And I am told that I now suffer a condition of chronic pain and fatigue: Fibromyalgia, which seems to me to be another modern ailment, brought on by stress and societal madness. A catch-all diagnosis for a variety of aches and ills, all different, yet close enough to be caught under an umbrella-term, bunched together and given a name. A name, but no cure. I am aware of the reasons for my current predicament. It is easy to say that this is brought on by my breakdown in 2015, but the truth is that 2015 was the catalyst. It has been building for untold years, repressed anger and fear and confusion brought on by unacknowledged and untreated/poorly treated trauma. My chaos of 2015 brought it all out into the light, and showed me myself to myself, my history and the core of my madness.

Now, this diagnosis brings with it the necessity of re-evaluating ones life. There are no two ways about it: things must change, in order for the mind and body to function properly together. When one wanes, the other follows. Psychological stress brings forth physiological pain, and vice versa yet another vicious cycle handed me by my psyche. Everything I previously had sought and worked towards had to change. My planned career of art and writing tossed out the window in a catastrophic collapse of my body and mind. I have become unable to work as hard as I want to work on my art and my writings in order to achieve whatever success I might have achieved had I not "squandered" it all by getting ill. Through becoming ill, I have had to take a objective look at my life, my hopes and my dreams, my values and my passions. I have been forced to sort myself and my life out. In many ways, it is a blessing in disguise. This fucking ailment has made me truly seek my own way, to carve my own path through life based on my own values and desires, my own loves and passions, my own interests and hobbies, as well as my own strenghts and weaknesses.

This ramble serves as a short introduction to a series I have entitled "my own way", in which I will ponder my values and wax philosophically on the meaning and eventual goal of my life. Make no mistake: this is written mainly for my own development and healing. I am, however, hopeful that some of what I write might be applicable to the life of others, that someone will find some advice, perhaps even words of wisdom, in my ongoing ramble.

- Kim Solvang Andersen, Sandnes, 2018

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