Thank You For Being Born




I have a hard plastic music box frame, which sits on one of the side tables – in my living room – and it has a card inside the frame.  The card is light blue in color and has a  picture on it of a bouquet of  pink, light green, and white stars and also white half moons.  Casual cursive writing is also on the upper and lower areas of the card.  At the top of the card, the writing says ‘You are so very special’.  And on the bottom of the card – below the mystical and embracing picture – the writing completes the thought with, ‘Thank you for being born-‘.  The music box on the back plays the tune of ‘You Light Up My Life’.  I was given this frame as a gift years back from my Dad and loved everything about it immediately.  It has always been a treasured item for me.

Recently while working on myself at being better able to cope with my emotions, I came across this frame and found it reasonable to put it across the room from my living room sitting area, on the same table that sits my mother’s rose stained glass Tiffany-style lamp.  Both of these items remind me of the love of my parents.

The delicate music that plays You Light Up My Life when I turn the knob on the back is beautiful to hear.  It not only shows me how much I was loved, but it also shows me how much I love my own children.  As in the lyrics to this song explains – I will always carry on and have hope –  because of that bond of love.

Dad had everything so right and was able to express to me the meaning of unconditional love.  With faith, I know that my parents are now my angels and are always close by.  There is no question that they continue to be an influence in all that I am and do.

With this gift, Dad gave me a reason and a way to see clarity.  It is during these times when I need help from above all that I have to do is look across the room at this framed card music box and see the power and beauty  of the love  between a parent and a child (which includes our Father from above to all of His children).  I am then given peace and strength when there is so much chaos in the world.




© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Violin



Always Believe In Yourself

The beauty and grace of pure unselfishness, with a faith in God, and a strength that was truly inspiring. This was my mother. She always focused on others needs above hers. I am reposting this because this card remains in my Coping Skills Box. It reminds me that I am a part of a woman with amazing strength and beauty. And, after all, a promise is a promise…
This is for you, Mom.
All my love now, and until we meet again.
Your loving daughter and “best friend”.


Believe in yourself…

This was a constant theme that my mother always wanted me to achieve – the belief that I was capable, worthy, kind, and full of love.  Her belief in me kept me filled with a desire to move forward.  She believed in me even when I had no strength to believe.  I never understood how she was able to so strongly believe in my ability to go on, and fulfill a desirable life.

My hope has disappeared many times.  The turmoil of my mind encompasses me at times, and I’m unable to see the joy around me – or anything around me, for that matter.  The trials of living with a mental illness (such as Bipolar) and the walk of a bumpy road that knocks you down quite frequently is exhausting to not only the one with the illness, but also to the loved ones.

My mother no matter where her mind was, her physical illnesses were, or how personally emotional and tired she was, she unbelievably was able to put herself aside and focus on others needs.  She was truly a woman that was filled with unselfishness, and loved with all her being.  I recall her fight with a brain hemorrhage when it was thought that she would not to be able to survive.  After a fall down the stairs, she was flown from New Hampshire to Boston Mass General Hospital.  Her struggle and fight to live was extraordinary.  She achieved the ability to once again think clearly, walk again, laugh, and be joyous – as she was always capable of doing, no matter the circumstances.  I was told she would never feed herself again.  Yet she achieved this through persistence.  I was able to follow her conversation, though I was told this was impossible.  She began to tell me how I needed to write my memoirs.  How is it that she could focus on me when her own life was in such turmoil.  She was to me beyond the epitome of grace.

She died almost one year after that fall.  It was not the hemorrhage that took her life.  It was a struggle with blood cancer that she was filled with that took over.  She was even in hospice and understood the depth of her disease, and she was continuing to Believe.  Her strength amazed me.

I recall a few days before her dying that we had a conversation.  She was more scared for me than she was for herself when she died.  She had no idea how I would make it through.  Come to find out she had made MANY people promise to take care of me.  (Doesn’t surprise me).  However to give her some peace during that time, though it was extremely hard for me to do, I told her that when she died I would be OK – though even I had trouble believing that.  She was surprised that I was saying that and said to me, “Am I that sick?”.   I explained that she had a lot going on, and she understood.  But I do know that the peace of hearing that I would be OK helped ease her soul.  She peacefully died a few days later with me and my brother at her side.

I was going through a few of her things a few days later and found among many cards that she had bought, this one that struck me as being for me.  It was not signed though it brought me strength and I felt that it was her love beside me.  I knew this with all my heart.

Believe in yourself…

…and never, ever give up.

I told her that I would be OK.  It is on my hard days that I have the strongest fight of all.

Mom, I love you with all my heart.

Rational Mind and Puke On The Page

Filling a Coping Skills Toolbox

Keep Two Journals


Hear me out.  It works!

Rational/Emotional Mind Journals:

The first is my Gratefulness Journal which I try to contribute to everyday or at least most of the weekdays.  It consists of saying at least three things that I’m grateful for on each particular day.  Some days are easier than others, but I am able to find something each day.  I also need to say something that is positive about myself, even if it’s the smallest thing.  And I round it off with a measurable goal, and then talk about if anything is on my mind.  This is my rational mind journal.  On the other hand my second journal is what I call my Puke on the Page Journal.  This particular journal is for when I have a really hard day, or need to sort something out.  I put this journal in my Insight or Coping Skills Box, and this journal allows me to scream, swear, be “out of my mind”, solve my problems by asking myself questions, praying to God for help, or maybe drawing, whatever comes to mind.  This journal is my emotional mind journal, and it is where I literally vomit every emotion into words on the page that I’m writing on.  This journal is much more of my private emotions.

Get that Box and start filling it.

More Coping Skills to Come…




Image courtesy of nuttakit at

Valuable Insight Kit




Coping Skills are a hard thing to think of in the midst of turmoil.  Your mind has an assault that says, I can’t deal with this, Why bother, WTF; and an automatic response occurs.  It is not a conscious response.  It is a learned response that has been a previous way of dealing with a difficult time.  How can that be changed?

It’s amazing that just recently I had one of those assaults and for the first time (in a very long time) my mind immediately went to prior responses of suicide and the thought of “Why bother?”.  I have been so focused on living healthy, with coping skills (distraction, distress tolerance, radical acceptance) and learning and acquiring those capabilities have been a part of my daily regimen.  I have been focused on tearing things apart and understanding my thought patterns, not living in the past, staying mindful, and living with peace and happiness.  So when I had this brutal attack to my psyche I was lost as to what to do.

It was familiar from the past, an unwanted memory, and captured my mind so quickly that getting out of its way and avoiding the attack, or quickly dealing with the lost feelings from the past stole my mind before even seeing it happen.  The depth of how quickly my mind went to previous habits was disturbing.  In fact, I’m still crawling my way out of it.  Thank God, it was a brief period.  I was able to talk to people who understood and could help to guide me, but I almost feel a sense of weakness and need for recovery.  This episode beat the shit out of me.  To say it bluntly.  And I experienced what I daily lived with on a chronic level in the past, and absolutely am scared to be there again.  I don’t want to ever be able to not handle the blunt of an assault again, and need to focus on being prepared in the future.

A new goal for me is to dig up all of those skills learned from the past and make it possible to have a list of activities, resources, ideas, to refer to.  List of names to call, ways to sort out how I’m feeling, ideas to beat down the unconscious response so that I am able to cope until rationalizing is possible.

This is actually going to be a fun project.  Perhaps get a beautiful box from Barnes and Noble, and start to make a care package and a way for me to deal with whatever comes up.  This is an important aspect of who I am and a much-needed project.  Time to make some fun out of it, and to NEVER let my automatic response of not coping get to me and control me in the future.  It is definitely a place I REFUSE to be caught in again.  With God’s help, I will and am able to live a full, happy, peaceful, fulfilling, and desired life.



Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Happiness Does NOT Always Just Happen



“You just live.  Why would you have to struggle to be happy?”  Every day on this journey with bipolar, anxiety, and PTSD is just that – a conscious effort to do things that will bring homeostasis and happiness.  Just think of it.  All of your efforts that are made in life have the thought of, ” will this bring happiness, will I be less anxious, will this bring peace? “. Think about it, in your normal life.  You can rationally think about the efforts and consequences.  I have made my routine about what will bring about happiness and peace.  OK so I pray, then write about what I’m grateful for – because being grateful brings about the joy of life.  Then perhaps read, the good stuff – self-help, psychology, how to live with a higher purpose or meaning.  Meditation is good, listening to people who enlighten me is great.  Yes, I even exercise for my health; not to look the best that I can, but to perhaps keep anxiety down, and ease my mind, and sleep well.  EVERYTHING is done with the purpose of HOW CAN I HAVE PEACE AND HAPPINESS.  It DOES NOT just happen, like those who are fortunate enough not to have mental illness.  When will that be understood!!!!??????




Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at