Thursday, May 29, 2014

5 Ways I Wrestle With The White Bear

I recently saw an article on Psychology Today's site about how to get your brain to quit nagging you. It was about intrusive thoughts and ways to deal with them.

Referring to a test, the intrusive thought used was a white bear. Subjects were asked to either not think of a white bear or to think of a white bear.

My head is polar bear central!

Please click here to refer to the article. It is worth a read.

I'll go through the recommendations and how they work (or don't work) for me.

Invite the bear in

Embrace the intrusive thought and write it down or talk about it. Ha! yeah. All that does with me is justify the thought and give it dimensions I could only imagine it having before. My cat's idea to turn up her nose at her wet food becomes a horrible disease that will somehow spread to my dog and then to me.

Assign "worry time"

All day every day is "worry time"! How about I set aside 10 to 15 minutes to NOT worry! Wait - if I could do that then keeping the white bears at bay would be a cinch.

Immerse yourself

This idea is actually the only one that works for me. I have to get so involved with something else that the white bear is slowly pushed from my peripheral vision and out into the cold. The idea is for me to become so obsessed with, oh, I don't know, let's say watching the entire series "Breaking Bad", that I really forget what color that bear was anyway. I may see other bears! Oh, yes! But - they won't be the white bear that drove me to the Netflix in the first place.

Make a plan

This doesn't work for me for the reason that writing it down just makes me think of more little white bears to add to the first. And then I have a whole group of them. Taunting me.

Do it

While this would be good if my white bears were actual actions that needed doing, mine are more ethereal in nature. And since I have a PhD in procrastination - no, wait, I forgot to pick that up - I have learned that my timetable is not the world's timetable.

All in all the suggestions were very good for someone who doesn't suffer from my degree of crazy. For that occasional, worrisome little white bear, the ideas should work. Having just climbed out of bed after a two day jaunt through "Breaking Bad" land, I know that at least one of them, immersing myself, works for my jumbo size polar bears.

And now I have something cute to call my intrusive thoughts. White bears.

How do you handle your white bears?

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Grab Your Towels!

It's Towel Day! A day designated to honor Douglas Adams, creator of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy!

Hitchhiker is a five book trilogy that stars mild mannered Arthur Dent as the hero in his many adventures around the galaxy

The actual Hitchhiker's Guide is an electronic book that is just that, a guide to the galaxy for intergalactic hitchhikers. Mind you, this was from Douglas Adams' mind in the late 1970's. He was way ahead of his time. It was easy to use, and comforting to have because on the cover, in big letters, were the words Don't Panic!

And the reason that the day memorializing Douglas Adams is called Towel Day? In the first book, The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, Arthur meets a human like alien named Ford Prefect. He is going to take Arthur with him just before the earth is to be destroyed. Ford tells him to be sure to get his towel. The guide has quite a few things to say about towels.

"A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have." It goes on to list how it can be used for warmth, as a beach towel, as a sail, as a tent, and as a head wrap. But perhaps the most important usage is psychological. Knowing where your towel is means you have got it together. A non-hitchhiker will think that anyone who travels the cosmos and can keep track of his towel must be someone to be reckoned with.

When I was sailing to the BVI and up and down the eastern seaboard I would always make sure that I knew where my towel was. Occasionally I would run into others who also saw the importance of having your towel. It was like an inside joke among us Douglas Adams fans.

If you haven't yet, please give The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy a read. It is easy to read and even easier to love.

I find the instructions Don't Panic to be quite helpful in many situations.

Happy Towel Day! Now, where is mine?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Meniere's In Your Ears Is No Fun

The American Tinnitus Association has deemed the week of May 18th to May 24th Tinnitus Awareness Week. They say that ten to fifteen percent of Americans are afflicted with tinnitus, or "ringing" in the ears. Although it is described as ringing it can be hissing, buzzing, roaring, whistling, and humming. It can be as soft as a whisper and as loud as a freight train.

While it often follows exposure to a loud noise, it can occur for other reasons. In my case, that reason was Meniere's Disease.

Tinnitus makes it hard to sleep, concentrate, have a conversation, and hear in a crowd. Often just trying to relax is a chore because you always hear the susurration in one or both ears.

My journey into tinnitus hell started innocuously enough. One day on my way to work I felt a little dizzy and my ear started ringing. The world turned a quarter, then stopped. I thought, "Well, that was weird". But my ear continued to ring. About ten years later the attacks were so bad that I spent a year on steroids then decided, with my ear, nose, and throat doctor, to have surgery to remove my right inner ear.

By attack I mean that I would get so dizzy that the entire world would spin and I would lose my balance, fall down, and throw up. Many times I went to the emergency room because I couldn't get it to stop.

Still, even though the surgery stopped the attacks, I suffer from tinnitus in my right ear. Sometimes it is a whisper, sometimes it is a freight train, but it is always there.

Before all this occurred, I used to sail. I delivered new sailboats from Myrtle Beach, SC to the British Virgin Islands and West Indies and Bahamas and worked on private boats up and down the eastern seaboard. In all that time I took care of dozens of people who were seasick. That's where you can't stand straight and you throw up. I always felt so bad for those afflicted but I never once felt seasick.

I had some wonderful people who helped me in my times of need when I was having the attacks. I think it was my karma for having taken such good care of those that were seasick. I am so glad I took the extra time to make them feel better.

The next time someone tells you that their ears are ringing, please don't dismiss it as a character flaw. Tinnitus is a very real problem that afflicts so many dear souls. Thank you.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Babies On Meds

I just read an article about how they are now putting children in their toddling years on ADHD medication. It was very sad.

When my younger son, J, was a little boy he was what we used to call ALL boy. He never walked when he could run. He was into everything.

In stores it was always, "J, put that back. J, come here. J, stop that. J, put that back again." Bless his heart, he once told me, "Mom, I must be famous!" I asked him why he thought that. He told me, "'Cause everywhere we go, people know my name!". He was referring, of course, to the store workers that would address him by name after hearing me tell him to put stuff back a dozen times. I just told him that, yes, he must be famous.

He was and is my angel boy. He was and is my heart. He could not nor will he ever do any wrong.

I worried about him going into school. If he was this rambunctious at home, how bad would he be there? They were starting to put kids on medication and I was vehemently opposed to that. Turns our, he was a perfect child at school. He did his work, he paid attention, he minded the teachers. I let out a big, "Whew!".

Now, though, they seem to take medical advice from teachers and put any child who daydreams on medication. I feel so bad for them. Of course, I am not in the medical field, either, and I respect a parent's right to handle their own children. But I do know what it was like to have a child like they describe as needing meds.

Here are some wise word from a wise man, George Carlin:
(A Warning - He does use a few bad words, so if you mind that, please don't watch.)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Story In Contest Part 2

I want to sincerely thank everyone who went and liked my story in the contest last week.

It did not win BUT I lost to a woman who is an established author of ebook novelettes. So I think that I did very well for going up against a real writer.

Thank you again for all your help. I really appreciated how many likes I got and I also got quite a few lovely, lovely comments.

Here is the story, for those who want to read it but didn't get to go to the website.


It had been a long day. I had spent all morning at a job fair, having recently lost a very good job. I just wanted to kick off the heels and relax but first my cocker spaniel, Max, had to be taken out.

After a quick outing I was in the process of changing my clothes when he told me he had to go out again. Those with dogs know that look. Even though I was hot and tired I decided better safe than sorry and once again attached his leash.

Once outside he began pulling me, something he never does. He was leading me straight over to a neighbor’s truck. When we arrived at the truck he did something else I have never seen him do. He climbed under the truck.

After only a moment, before I could get down to see what he was doing, he came back to me. Following him was a tiny gray and white kitten. She was meowing her little head off. I had not heard a thing, being deaf in one ear. Evidently he had heard her from inside the house.

She was pitiful. Skin and bones. I could see that she had ringworm around one of her ears and she was covered in fleas. The neighbor whose truck it was was outside and I asked him if she belonged to him. When he replied that she was not his, that he had never seen her, I knew that I had to help the poor thing.

I had very little money but I had enough to take her to the vet. In addition to the ringworm and fleas she had intestinal worms and had evidently suffered a blow to the head. She was blind in one eye and only about four weeks old. Why was such a baby outside all alone? I was incensed.

A few weeks later I found out where she had come from. Another neighbor had thrown her out of his house because she had scratched his niece. I told him that I had no intention of returning her to him if that was the way he treated a tiny kitten and he said fine, he didn’t want her anyway, that he had her mom and dad.

The following weeks were tough on the little cat I named Pinky. My older cat, Jasper, was none too fond of her but seemed to know that the little one was sick. It took quite a while to cure the ringworm and get rid of the intestinal worms. The poor thing would growl while eating. I got her over that by hand feeding her.

What Pinky did for me, though, was wondrous. I was extremely depressed and she perked me up, gave me new purpose. She gave me new hope. I started writing short stories and poetry again. When I took her to the vet I learned they were hiring and got a wonderful job in the kennel. How I loved feeding and playing with the dogs and cats!  

All this was seven years ago and Pinky is healthy and happy. She never grew very big, weighing in at only five pounds. The vet said this is most likely due to malnutrition of her mother. She bosses around the cocker spaniel who found her for me.

And a sweet afterthought is – the day he found her was my birthday.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Wise Words

These seem to be wise words...

Secretarial Days

I ran across a funny cartoon in my Facebook newsfeed today. It had to do with working in an office. One guy asks another how the office work is going and the other says, "In the words of Tony the tiger, it's grrrrrradually killing me".

While I know that much is said against offices, cubicle farms, places to go where your will to live dies, I have many fond memories of working in offices.

I've been general office help and receptionist in medical offices and receptionist and marketing secretary at a for-profit technical school.

What I miss is the camaraderie you can have with the women in the office. First, though you have to find out who has only one face. It never failed to amaze me that person A could speak to person B like a true friend, acting all concerned, then turn around to person C and give them an earful about how awful person B really was. Because I was always honest with everyone, I got to be person B a lot until I chose to be person D and only smiled and nodded when spoken to.

You would think that professional women could put aside those petty games for the betterment of all concerned. I mean, you would spend a large part of your life with these people, why not make it a pleasant place to work? And I say women because that was all I was privy to. I'm sure it occurs among men, too, but I didn't get to witness that.

It sounds like I only had bad times in offices but that isn't the truth. I enjoyed being the one that got things done so that others could do their job easily. I enjoyed the responsibility. I found most of my co-workers to be amiable. I loved getting accolades for duties well done.

And now I can't do any of it anymore. My memory is shot. My comprehension skills are nil. I think people are talking about me when they're not. Little things like that hurt your ability to perform daily office tasks.

When I get to miss it too much, I merely have to think of my good friend, M, who left the corporate world a few years ago to pursue his dream. He did his time in the cubicle farm. And he was able to leave it just as it was about to do him in. Now he has opened his brewery/restaurant and has not been happier whereas his previous life could have been the subject of the Dilbert comic strip.

Although I've not been able to work in years there are still days that I miss going to a workplace. Not a lot, but it happens and sends me into a funk. Recently I have had this blog to consider "my work" and it has proven to be fantastic for my mood. So thank you for the comments and the plus ones that you  have given me. Congratulations! You all are now my bosses!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Four Kurt Vonnegut Faves


Kurt Vonnegut is one of my most favorite authors. The book I most enjoy is Cat's Cradle, in which he writes:
         "I'm not a drug salesman. I'm a writer."
         "What makes you think a writer is not a drug salesman?"

The following quote is from Man Without A Country.

“Here is a lesson in creative writing.

First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to college.

And I realize some of you may be having trouble deciding whether I am kidding or not. So from now on I will tell you when I'm kidding.

For instance, join the National Guard or the Marines and teach democracy. I'm kidding.

We are about to be attacked by Al Qaeda. Wave flags if you have them. That always seems to scare them away. I'm kidding.

If you want to really hurt your parents, and you don't have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I'm not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.” 
― Kurt VonnegutA Man Without a Country

And perhaps my favorite is his one sentence:

"The insane, on occasion, are not without their charms."

With my mental illness woes, I am particularly fond of that last one. He makes it possible for me to laugh at circumstances. His books are full of observations on the human condition, on all our shortcomings. yet in his books there are people who are good, who are untouched by the outrageousness that is humankind.

Now, I am going to tell stories and write a poem to a friend because I will get an enormous reward. I will have created something.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Music And Mental Health

Yesterday my friend, M, and I were talking about how our mental health has changed as we have gotten older. He also has problems with anxiety. His is not nearly as bad as mine is, but that doesn't matter when you are in the thick of things.

One thing that has changed is how we view song lyrics now that we have suffered our mental health problems. What was once a great song can now be enjoyed with a greater understanding of its meaning, real or implied.

"Who Can It Be Now" by the group Men At Work (lyrics below) is one such song. When we were in high school it was just a catchy tune with memorable lyrics. Now, I can really relate to what is being said. Paranoia is part of the cocktail that is my diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder and anxiety. The singer is clearly suffering from this and is not happy having his sanity questioned (There's nothing wrong with my state of mental health). "Is it the men come to take me away" shows the sad fear that paranoia brings.

Another song I enjoy for its take on health, mental and physical, is "Afternoons And Coffeespoons" by the Crash Test Dummies (lyrics below). It is funny, to me, that I now wear my pajamas in the daytime and my day can be measured with "coffeespoons", or doses of medication. I also find the mention of T. S. Eliot to be nice. I can only imagine that "Wasteland" is what the song writer was referring to.

Music was once very important to me as a coping, destressing, mechanism. Now I have a larger toolbox from which to choose ways to alleviate anxiety and racing thoughts. These include TV, DVDs, and games and audible books on my iPod. But music will always hold a special place in my arsenal.

Does music help you when you are anxious? Or just sad? Do you have any suggestions for me?

"Who Can It Be Now?"

Who can it be knocking at my door?
Go away, don't come 'round here no more
Can't you see that it's late at night?
I'm very tired and I'm not feeling right
All I wish is to be alone
Stay away, don't you invade my home
Best off if you hang outside
Don't come in, I'll only run and hide

Who can it be now?
Who can it be now?
Who can it be now?
Who can it be now?

Who can it be knocking at my door?
Make no sound, tip-toe across the floor
If he hears, he'll knock all day
I'll be trapped and here I'll have to stay
I've done no harm, I keep to myself
There's nothing wrong with my state of mental health
I like it here with my childhood friend
Here they come, those feelings again

Who can it be now?
Who can it be now?
Who can it be now?
Who can it be now?

Is it the men come to take me away?
Why do they follow me?
It's not the future that I can see
It's just my fantasy

Oh, who can it be now?
Who can it be now?
Who can it be now?
Who can it be now?

"Afternoons And Coffeespoons"

What is it that makes me just a little bit queasy?
There's a breeze that makes my breathing not so easy
I've had my lungs checked out with X rays
I've smelled the hospital hallways

Someday I'll have a disappearing hairline
Someday I'll wear pyjamas in the daytime

Times when the day is like a play by Sartre
When it seems a bookburning's in perfect order
I gave the doctor my description
I've tried to stick to my prescription

Someday I'll have a disappearing hairline
Someday I'll wear pyjamas in the daytime

Afternoons will be measured out
Measured out, measured with
Coffeespoons ans T.S. Eliot

Maybe if I could do a play-by-playback
I could change the test results that I will get back
I've watched the summer evenings pass by
I've heard the rattle in my bronchi...

Monday, May 12, 2014

Story In Contest!!!

I am so excited! I have a short story in a weekly contest that starts today!

It is at Midlife Collage. If you have a minute you can click on the link and read my story "Pinky". It is about how I came to get my little cat. They even have a drawing of a cat that looks like my Pinky.

The story with the most likes and comments wins. So, if you do like it, please like it. Does that sound right? Yes, that't it.

I am just so thrilled to have it in the contest!!

Thank you to everyone that goes to read it!!!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Mental Health Month

May is mental health month. I found out through a post on Facebook. Nobody shares anything with those who suffer. Oh well.

I did find a nice website, Mental Health America, that has lots of information and some screening tests if you are interested. Upon further navigation, though, I do believe that it is sponsored by pharmaceutical companies. And I'm not sure how I feel about that.

There are those that find that therapy of one kind or another is all they need to beat the monster but I am not one of those people. My brain has a chemical problem which has to be handled with other chemicals.

Social media like Facebook and this blog are providing me with more interaction than I have had in quite some time. I find that blogging has lifted my mood tremendously. I look forward to writing posts. I enjoy reading posts. I am learning so much. The Google Plus community is fantastic.

If you are having problems and don't know where to start try the website above. Or call your local health department. Or if you are really bad, call 911. The idea is to get you help so you don't have to handle your problems alone. What better time to do it than during Mental Health Month? If you are worried about the money therapy costs then perhaps your county is like mine and offers doctors on a sliding scale. And they provide case workers to help you navigate the system.

Yes, there are times when I still feel isolated because of my mental illness but I have a lot of help to deal with those feelings. Heck, most of the time I don't mind being isolated!

I am in the middle of one of those times. I am having to make myself write this. But I know that the satisfaction of having written the post will be great. And I successfully embedded a link to the website I found - yay me! You see, taking pride in those little things is what helps me climb up out of the morass.

If you need to make a change for yourself, if you need help, why not take that first step during Mental Health Month?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Anxiety And What Not To Say

I suffer from both Major Depressive Disorder and severe anxiety. The meds I am on at the moment are helping quite a bit. Sometimes, though, I have a panic attack. My heart races, my arms and legs tingle, I am short of breath, there is an oppressive feeling of impending doom, and horrible thoughts race through my mind.

Some people understand my anxiety and some people don't. Most don't. They tell me to "just stop it" and ask me what is making me so nervous. Often there is no discernible trigger for a panic attack. It is an attack - from out of the blue chemicals flood my brain and cause me great physical and mental distress. If I could "just stop it" I would definitely do just that.

There are those people that are well-meaning and make suggestions like, "have you tried meditation?" and "why don't you exercise, I bet that will help". I have tried everything there is to try to conquer these horrible episodes. What I need from someone when I am in the middle of an attack is just conversation to distract me from the racing thoughts of doom. But I don't get to go out much, so usually I am alone when an attack occurs. If I need help there are a couple of people I can call that understand when I tell them I just need to get my mind off its rampage.

The reason for this post is an article I found that puts a humorous spin on what not to say to someone who has anxiety. Click here to go to that article. I think you will enjoy it. And it will help you if you know someone who suffers like I do.

What someone suffering from severe anxiety needs the most is for you to just be there in case we have a request. Something as simple as you telling me about your day can help to quell the horror that is running through my brain. And, eventually, it will pass. It may take a while, but it will pass. And you would be considered a great friend for being there in our time of need.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

My Friend May

I have shared on Google Plus an article about the advantages of having a much older friend because it reminds me of my good friend May. She is 73 to my 50.

We used to be neighbors in a trailer park. Upon meeting her, I was immediately drawn to her no nonsense style. She tells it like it is. That is so rare in today's world.

She had five dogs and an elderly cat that was supposed to have been her grandchildren's. It was supposed to "stay at grandma's" for a little bit before they brought it home, yet sixteen years later she still had it. Her dogs were all rescues. She got her very first dog when she was 63, so I figured she was making up for lost time by having so many. All of them were well behaved and you could tell they were well loved, too.

We would do all the running around that girlfriends do. Shopping, lunch. I would accompany her to the vet's sometimes because a couple of her dogs were too big for her to get in and out of the car by herself. And it's just about impossible for a basset hound or a basset hound mix to jump in and out by themselves.

She had been left to raise two very young children by herself and had never remarried. All her life she was independent and worked hard. We discovered that we had lived in Myrtle Beach, SC at the same time. When her daughter became pregnant with her first child May moved here to help her.

She makes the most wonderful quilts. When she would show me what she was working on one would be more beautiful than the last. It was a pleasure to go to the fabric stores with her. That could take hours.

She still has one dog, a tiny shih-tzu named Sassy. She had to bury two dogs and the other two went back to the rescue group. One is brought to see her where she now resides. It is an assisted living complex. She has Alzheimer's now.

In the three months she has lived there I have only been able to go see her once because my car has been torn up and she is not on a bus line. Her car was sold because it was no longer safe for her to be driving around alone. We spent the day together. I took her to the Wal-mart. I was heartbroken because she could not find her wallet at first and she was saying she was sure that someone had stolen it. Perhaps her daughter. She is sure her daughter is taking all her money. I think that is the illness talking. But the reason I was saddened is because she began to cry. That is new. All I could do is reassure her and wait for the tears to dry.

We talk on the phone every few days. She forgets when the last time we talked was and repeats stories over and over again. I just listen again and again. I do not want to point her repetition out to her. I do not want her to feel bad. I want to keep her as my friend for as long as humanly possible.

She still quilts. Her fabric squares take up much of the storage space in her small room.

She tells me all about the new people she is meeting during meals and the activities they have for the residents. There is a microwave for communal use because she has but a small sink and a tiny fridge along one wall of her room as a kitchen of sorts.

Now that my car is running I can go see her more often. She has been and is a good friend to me and a good friend is hard to find. She makes me want to be a good friend.

Here is the article about having older friends. I hope you enjoy reading it also. And I hope you have a friend like my May.

Part 2

May did not know I was writing about her today. I thought of her when I found that article in my Facebook news feed. Yet, she just called me.

She is over the moon happy. She has found a man and fallen in love! They are going to get married around Christmas.

So, even though we don't see each other as much, we are still very close. It makes me very happy that she is so happy. She was giddy as a school girl.

If you can find a friend like her, don't let her age be the reason you don't pursue the friendship.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Happy Star Wars Day

Star Wars movies are one of the things that I enjoyed as a child, then as an adult, and then as a family with my two boys. It is always nice, as a parent, when you discover something that you were interested in also appeals to your children as they grow. This goes for movies, books, music, entertainment that can stand the test of time. Many happy memories with my children are of us having a great time watching movies. Their father was there to do the outdoor activities like hiking and camping.

When he was little my youngest son would get very excited when he had seen a movie before I had seen it. He could not control his enthusiasm and every few minutes he would tell me what was going to happen next. It didn't upset me. I loved the fact that he enjoyed the movie so much. He is my heart and my joy and can do no wrong.

Take the time and share something from your childhood that you think your children would like. You won't regret the special times that can be had.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Thankful Thursday

The last few days I have been driving myself crazier.

As you know, I am new to blogging. And when I am new to something I like to learn all I can about it. So I have been reading every article I can find with "How-to" and "Blog" in the title.

I now have some of the vocabulary down. SEO, content marketing, h/t, Google Plus. Argh!

Of course, I can't just learn something without letting it fill me with self doubt about what I was doing. I made myself so anxious about writing a post. What if I do something wrong? What if I write something good but post it at the wrong time? What if, what if, what if.

I have joined circles, added people back, followed back, backed over people. No, that last isn't right, but you know what I mean.

And I have decided that the best thing I can do is take that knowledge that I have gained in the last few days and nicely bundle it up and stick it on a shelf in my head. I will do with the blog what I started to do with the blog in the first place. I will write so that you may have some insight into what it's like to be me and I will hope that you enjoy what I share with you. There. I said it.

While I was perusing Facebook today I saw a post that had, instead of Throwback Thursday, a Thankful Thursday. I decided that was a good thing to write about.

I am thankful that my family and friends are healthy and, for the most part, happy. I am grateful that my fourteen year old dog is in good health. He is just the most wonderful dog I could ever ask for. He is going a little deaf and a little blind but we will face that together. My cat has seizures and she has not had one for months now, so I am thankful for that.

My car is running well. I have my father to thank for that, and I do. I don't have to ride the bus or pay someone to take me to the doctor's office or the grocery store. Riding the bus makes me very nervous. I am always afraid I will get on the wrong bus or get lost somewhere.

I don't get much money from disability but it is enough to pay for a place to live, groceries, and cable with internet. I am grateful for my computer. It provides me with most of the social interaction I get since my bad back prevents me from going places. Perhaps those injections like they did in my neck will work for my lower back and I will be able to go to the farmer's market or perhaps downtown to just walk around. That will be nice.

I am thankful just to be here. Although I am often depressed and anxious and obsessing about one thing or another, I try my best to find something good in every day. Something good to keep me here.

And that is what I am thankful for this Thursday. What are you thankful for?