Hello everyone! Lately I have implemented a few things into my life that I do feel are helping my depression and chronic pain symptoms, at least to an extent. No, I am not cured, and I still have some really bad days, but I feel like these small changes have been for the better, so I wanted to share:
- My psychiatrist has been trying to get me to take Omega-3 supplements for months now, and I finally decided to make sure I actually take them on a regular basis. I have been trying to take 2 supplement pills a day, one in the morning and one at night. It is supposed to be really good for depression and inflammation, so it is worth a try. I don’t like the taste or how huge the pills are to swallow, but I am making it work anyways.
- I have read multiple places that people with fibromyalgia are almost always lacking in Magnesium when tested, so I started taking a daily supplement of that as well. I do think it has lessened the severity of the body aches and cramps I experience on a daily basis. I also started taking a Vitamin C supplement in hopes it will help boost my immune system and prevent some of the chronic ear infections I have. I am trying to eat healthier, more natural foods too.
- I have started practicing mediation on a regular basis again. I try to take at least a few minutes most days to meditate, focus on positivity, and allow the spiritual side of myself to shine. My husband and I have also been attending a once-a-week meditation group when we are able to. Having that time to connect with others on their own spiritual paths has been helpful. They all seem to be very open-minded and open-hearted individuals, which are the kind of people I would like to have in my life more.
- Lately I have renewed my dedication to my own creative process and have felt inspired to create art again, something I have definitely been missing in my life. I simply feel better when I can create beautiful or unusual artwork, even if others don’t always understand it. Honestly, I create for ME. Yes, I sell my artwork and it fills my heart with joy to know that others appreciate and collect my efforts, but deep down, I create simply because I need to express myself.
- Make it a priority to spend time with nature. Whether it is going to a park, hiking through the woods, sitting on a swing outside your own front door, or bringing plants, animals (pets), crystals, and other natural objects into your home, reconnecting with nature always seems to be healing and comforting for myself. Maybe it will be so for you as well.
Like many others with Aspergers and OCD traits, I enjoy making lists and organizing my thoughts in a linear fashion on paper. While flipping through an old notebook, I found the following lists of “What I Believe”, “What I Do Not Believe”, and “What I Am Unsure Of”, and thought I would share it just for fun. Since I am not religious anymore, I made this list to try to figure out and pinpoint what I personally believe or no longer believe.
What I Believe
- There is probably some kind of all-encompassing spirit or energy in the universe. Whether that energy is conscious and/or aware can be argued.
- There is an inter-connectedness of all things.
- I believe in the power and goodness of love, kindness, and forgiveness.
- I believe in the power and strength of nature.
What I Do Not Believe
- Any form of religious dogma. It is ALL man-made.
- I do not believe that any human or religion has all the answers, no matter how much they think they do.
- I do not believe in eternal punishment or “hell”.
- I do not believe that everyone needs to or should follow the same path.
What I Am Unsure Of
- Are there any Gods or Goddesses in any form?
- Is there an afterlife? Are ghosts, hauntings, or reincarnation real?
- Are there other “realms”? For example, do fairies, aliens, alternate realities, mythical monsters, etc. exist in this current reality or any other?
- Is there such a thing as a personal soul? If so, do only humans have them, or all living beings? Can a non-organic being (like Artificial Intelligence) have or develop a “soul”?
Here are a few important questions to ask yourself about your purpose and meaning in life! For fun, I have provided my own answers to them as an example! If you do answer these, I would recommend taking the time to write them down, think about them carefully, and be as honest as you can!
- What is your life work? My Answer: Writing, sharing ideas and emotions, creating art, advocating for and comforting others with autism, mental illness, and chronic pain/illness.
- What is the meaning of your life? What gives you purpose? My Answer: Inspiring others (kids, fellow Aspies, those with disabilities, other outsiders). Loving family, friends, and animals (loyalty).
- What is your passion? My Answer: Writing, spirituality, philosophy, psychology, toys, books, animals, art, creativity.
- What does the world lose if I wasn’t here? My Answer: A child-like, loving heart and spirit. Loss of inspiration and creativity. The loss of a voice crying out for justice and harmony. Loss of a unique thinker.
- What would it take to begin fully living my dreams today? My Answer: Time, the willingness to fail or be ridiculed, the possibility of being proven wrong, unwavering belief in myself, trust in what is meant to be, hope.
What I thought was an IBS attack might actually be a bug or food poisoning or something else. This is the third day straight now I’ve been feeling sick to my stomach and having bowel issues, so it seems much longer than my typical IBS attacks in length. Due to that, I’ve had a rather lazy and boring weekend. I was intending to go to a mental health support group today but didn’t feel up to it and ended up actually sleeping through at least half of it since I didn’t get up until almost 2pm.
Sometimes when I talk about stuff like this it is almost embarrassing lol. I can’t help but imagine old men and women who talk about their daily bowel habits. I promise I’ll try to not make it a daily conversation, but it is part of living with chronic illness and it sucks if you have never experienced chronic digestive issues. Even if I do get an actual stomach bug or something like that, it seems that it takes much longer to get over it now that I have digestive issues anyhow.
One thing that sucked was that my husband went for a walk in the park without me because I was sick and he saw an owl! One of my favorite animals, and a rare one to sight in the daylight 😦 I guess at least he got a picture:
I obviously felt jealous since I dreamed last night that I found a mama owl and her babies in a tree. I guess I had to one-up him 🙂 Unfortunately, I pissed off the mama owl and she attacked me in the dream.
Yesterday my husband and I went for another little nature walk. Two days in a row I was able to get out and walk a little bit! I know that might not seem major to you, but when you have chronic pain and chronic fatigue, little things like that are a big victory!
On our walk we saw another snake (this time a water snake):
And a froggie:
Today has been raining almost all day, so we didn’t try to go to a park or anything. We did do a bit of thrift store shopping, where I got some cute baby clothes for my stuffed animals, some children’s books, and a few vintage jigsaw puzzles. I’ll have to share pics of some of that soon!
Yesterday the weather was absolutely beautiful. There is something so magical about the first day of the year that is warm enough to wear shorts! Or maybe that’s just me… Anyhow, since it was so lovely out, my husband and I took some sandwiches to a local park for a picnic and then took a short hike to a waterfall.
Along the path we found two baby snakes! They were so adorable! Unfortunately, we didn’t get a good picture of either of them, but I found this picture online that is pretty much exactly what they both looked like (although one was much tinier, maybe a newborn):
I’m pretty sure they were some species of garter snake, but not sure. We did get a picture of the small waterfall:
It is amazing how spending time in nature can really elevate your mood. I’ve heard nature described as a natural antidepressant, and I would have to say I agree in many ways.
Today my husband and I visited the COSI Science Museum in Columbus, Ohio. It is only about an hour from where we live and I had been wanting to check it out. We had a lot of fun there today, and my husband even got free admission for being a teacher! Here are a few of my favorite photos of the day:
They had a large dinosaur exhibit, which is always really cool. I like to see how big these animals really were! I liked some of the mock displays they had of prehistoric wildlife as well, especially this cute one of dinosaur babies:
My other favorite exhibit was the Oceans one. The best parts of it were some cool cave-like tunnels that led into a huge Poseidon water fountain which was impressive. Here is a pic of me casually leaning on the world in front of the fountain (which I did throw a penny into while making a very special wish):
Before leaving, we also saw a cool 3-D movie called “Amazon Adventure”, which was based on the true story of Henry Bates, who was an explorer in the 1850’s who helped provide proof for Charles Darwin’s theories of species changing over time due to evolutionary processes: