mental health

The sound of phantoms

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When I was in New York, I saw phantom of the opera on broadway. It made a lasting impression, especially the part when the main characters went to the underworld.

Right now I am Reading about eating disorders. The book is by two Norwegian therapists, that use art in the treatment of patients. They Write about how symbols and metaphors, can help therapists and patients With communicating when words alone is not enough. Art can be everything. The Authors say that living is an art, and I agree. For me art can be Music, too. The phantom of the opera tells a story of falling in love, and going too far With it. We have all been in the underworld, but hopefully not made it our homes.

Fra kokong til sommerfugl – Bokelskere

In the book, the underworld is described as a cellar. When patients With eating disorders Draw their “personal houses” they Draw dark cellars. Sometimes the house is made of glass, showing their vulnerability and feeling of being locked in. Sometimes the walls are steel, and sometimes brittle crystal that can break easily. Sometimes there aren`t any safe rooms.

In therapy they learn to make their own rooms, and find their own keys so they can be there without interruptions. That way, they can feel safe even if the other rooms are dark and dangerous.

We can be in the dark, but we can also see light. We can transform and become butterflies no matter how small and ugly we feel. We can og to the underworld, and come back.

sommerfugl

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Me, Myself & Trauma

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Do you know that feeling when you just have to write, write and write until you feel calm and normal again?
How it makes your head clearer, and less noisy? How expressing it to yourself or others with speech does not work?2014-03-10 04.37.40
I was never good at expressing myself. I had the tendency to tell a story with thousand associations that made it impossible to follow my points. I tried to nervously knit words together, but failed.
When I wrote, words finally expressed what I wanted to say. It made sense, not only to me, but to others as well. Today I think this has to do with how we need to connect logic with emotions. When I try to say something, while feeling nervous at the same time, nervousness wins, and halts the effortless stream of consciousness.
It is almost like riding a bike; If you suddenly get nervous and start to doubt if you actually remembered how to keep your balance, you might fall. The interesting thing is, I know this from experience ! When I was in Vietnam, I tried to take part in a nice bike tour through beautiful fields. It was the first time I rode a bike in years, so I felt unsteady from the start. This actually led to a comic situation!I managed to drive into a hole on a huge road with many opportunities to avoid it. Why? Because I was nervous about it. I thought: Must avoid a crisis. Must NOT steer into the hole!

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There is always light at the end of the tunnel. Just look up, and you will see it
And suddenly: There I was: Tumbling down the hillside together with my bike! The result was bewilderment, laughter and grass in my hair, and it illustrates my point: I must feel calm and them I can express whatever I want.
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Driving. When will be get there?
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Writing is like water when walking in a desert. Necessary and just what I need.
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Life is like dancing while keeping your balance


On my free time I work with "Aktiviteter i Førde"
In my free time I work with “Aktiviteter i Førde”

 

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My baby. See the blog at http://lovefreepsychology.blogspot.no for interviews and inspiration
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Stress can be healthy in certain circumstances..


Oban
Oban
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Happy! I live in the most beautiful country, so how could I not be?
This is post number 400. I like the feeling that tickles me, when I think about that. I`ve managed to write a lot, about everything from my work to personal experiences. I`ve reblogged some posts that I needed to share, and even ventured into unknown territories by writing about politics and other subjects were my knowledge is on a hypothetical level.
I love science, but i also love personal stories and the magic of small moments that can`t be researched. Science and the magic of personal experiences, is what makes life exciting. We need some general schemas (science helps with that) but they don`t work if we don`t test  them. What good is knowing that something is bad or wonderful, if you never felt those emotions?
I am so glad I have seen both good and bad, ugly and pretty, and challenged myself by exploring different belief systems.
I love to not know things, even when it scares me.
This was an uncommonly reflective post. Its one of those times where you just have to write and write, without stopping. It`s one of those times when you feel alive and calm at the same time.
This was my post number 400! Hope you enjoyed it.
Thanks to all my followers for reading and commenting. I truly appreciate it.
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The sound of silent islands

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I have been on islands. To be more specific, I have travelled to Scotland and isle of coll. This is a calm and relaxed island. We stayed in a little cottage, and met some really friendly isle-dwellers. Everyone said hi no matter if they didn’t know us. They loved to chat, about everything from the weather to the fact that Scotland is still not an independent country. They smiled and looked like they had all the time in the world. Not something you see in cities around the world. I also went cycling through a flat and beautiful landscape. I could also read as much as I wanted, and wasn’t disturbed by the constant internet frenzy that normally haunt every second of my life. It was a pleasant bubble where I slept and felt well. In other words, I do recommend this little island if you need a break.

I have included some pictures. Hope you enjoy them

 

 

Winner of the kindness award

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Quentin Gaige won the kindness award (100 dollars).

Quentin has DID, but is so much more than her diagnosis. She has started forums, written about dissociation, promotes kindness and tolerance, and has helped so many on her road. Knowledge is the key to change, and Quentin does an important job by writing and sharing quality content. I have learnt much from her, and know many others have, too.

I interviews people about kindness. I ask the same three questions to discover why people do kind things to each other
I interviews people about kindness. I ask the same three questions to discover why people do kind things to each other

She has done so much good, without expecting anything in return. A wonderful woman, that I admire.

Learn about the kindness project and win the next kindness award:

Kindness to a stranger

Some of her work: 

Healthy, happy, whole: Self Care Guilt

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Self Care Guilt

lifes

What is this thing that happens to me when I do something nice for myself?  This immediate pang of guilt.  Where on earth does this come from?  Why does it happen every time?  Either in a feeling of remorse for doing something nice for myself, or a feeling of guilt because I have spent an amount of money or time doing something that my brain has labeled frivolous.

Writing right now falls into that category.  Writing is something that makes me feel so good.  It’s like a brain massage getting out all the kinks.  It smooths my thought process and relaxes me.  Part of me knows that I’m doing the right thing by taking care of myself.  It’s the part of me that is great with kids, the super motherly part, and the therapist side of me.  And then there’s the other part.  The logical side that says “it’s too much” and “what a waste”.

I first started carving time out for myself in college.  Back then it was more about morphing into a super-tan version of myself.  I would spray tan once a week, get my nails filled regularly, and have platinum highlights painted to hide any hint of natural color.  I have to be honest with you.  While I felt “beautiful” because I matched all the other girls in my sorority, the inside of me felt so ugly.  Plus, those “beauty” treatments were really costly and they weren’t even that fun.  The nail salon smelled so bad and some of the skin picking and nail filing actually felt like torture more than relaxation.  Getting spray tanned, well, we’ve all seen that episode of Friends where Ross gets spray tanned (if not, here it is for you https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvVT3N5dZq4).  I was an orange skinned, blond haired girl.

My self care methods have changed a lot since college.  I still get my hair dyed, but its a nice red color that looks natural with my light skin, and I paint my own nails as needed.  For me, self care now looks like trips to the acupuncturist, making sure I’m eating right, exercising, painting, writing, reading, taking breaks to do nothing, petting my dog.  Basically any activity that fill me with life on the inside.

But why do I still feel guilty after doing things that are nice for myself?

When I go to the acupuncturist I think that I’m wasting money even though I feel like I’m walking on clouds after.  When I read a novel I think that I should be reading for school.  When I’m writing a blog post for fun I feel like I should be working on my homework assignments.  When I pet the dog I think I should be cleaning.  When I workout, well working out some times feels like hell, so it’s punishing enough to not feel like self care when I’m doing it.  It’s so extreme that I don’t let myself do easy exercise like yoga or light walking hardly ever.  Even though those activities make my soul feel happy, I choose boot camp because it is the more practical option.  Therapy is the same way.  I feel like it is emotionally intense enough to not feel like self care, but calling a friend to talk about my problems feels like I’m putting a burden on them.  What’s up with that?

When this all occurred to me today I prayed about it immediately.  I asked God to break the pattern in my family of women who have a really hard time being nice to themselves.  I think that it worked.  Here’s what I’m going to need to do: I’m going to need to love myself as much and as often as I can.  Not in a self-obsessed way because, let’s be honest, I don’t think I could ever get to that point.  Rather, I need to fill my week with activities that make me feel really good.  They don’t have to be costly or time consuming to feel great either.  I can soak my feet in some mineral water, roller skate around the block, take a yoga class or do some gentle yoga at home, ask a friend to listen to me for ten minutes, meditate, write fiction, play a game, buy a plant, get myself a shirt, buys myself some flowers, or paint.  I think it’s about fitting these things into life as much as possible and seeing them as medicine my soul needs.