Friday, December 29, 2017

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Diagnosis

****** Spoiler Alert ******* 

No one wants to be called crazy... even and especially when they are acting, well, crazy. But just as people break a bone or get cancer, most of us will at sometime in our lives struggle with our mental health. It can range from exhaustion after the death of a loved one or depression after a divorce, to the more chronic and barely manageable.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's first two seasons were playing with the "crazy" in the title, but season three takes a turn to get serious about how Rebecca is really not well. She has always known she had issues with depression and anxiety but had never had a correct diagnosis. Which after the obligatory musical number we see why even after the relief of getting a diagnosis she fights being labeled and manifests why it's so hard to treat someone with an issue like BPD.

Borderline Personality Disorder is helpfully described in the clip above and the reason I bring it up is I know all too well how being in denial of a mental illness can lead to insane behavior and even death. My college sweetheart had bi-polar manic depression and because of his stubbornness and pride he would not take his medication as directed or take care of himself as needed. This lead to self-medicating and eventually his death from an unintentional overdose.

He was an engineer with a brilliant mind but wouldn't/couldn't do the smart thing that might have enabled a productive happy life. The waste of it is overwhelming to think about sometimes. It pains me so 😒

When I watched the recent episodes of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend it reminded me immediately of how mental health is both an art and a science. There is no perfect fix-- there are misdiagnoses, there are adjustments needed to medications, there is resistance to getting the help we need. But there is no prize for toughing it out; there is only the pain we cause ourselves, those who love us, and anyone who has to deal with us not being at our best.

If you find you're not thriving in life like you know you can: get help. Get a diagnosis and if it doesn't fit, get a second opinion. Just know you are worth the effort of taking care of yourself. You are not your disease or disorder -- you are a human who is tending to life with its complicated challenges and this just happens to be the one you are dealing with at this time.

It would be crazy not to address our mental health and be as well as we can be.

Wishing us all a healthy happy New Year!   πŸ˜Š

After-note: Good first hand description of BPD in this article.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

The ThanksGiving List (πŸ¦ƒ + πŸ“ƒ)

It's THAT time of year again🍁... Happy Thanking! πŸ˜˜

FINDING JOY: The ThanksGiving List
Over a decade ago I started my favorite tradition ever:  The ThanksGiving List. It is a list of my closest friends and why I am thankful for them...

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

My Name is ... Karma

The world feels especially weird right now and even a bit scary. But every time I feel a little discombobulated I focus on what I have control over and this reminds me of the ME-ness of meanness. Because when things seem off-kilter the best place to start to right the motion is to clean up our mess first which allows us to be more powerful dealing with others and building a joyful life.

My favorite example of this philosophy is the pilot episode of My Name Is Earl: the gist of it is that a guy... named Earl... is a loser who scratches off a $100,000 winning lottery ticket and he's so excited while jumping around he gets hit by a car and the ticket blows away. While in the hospital he sees Carson Daly talking about karma and thinks he's discovered why his life is so shitty. So he makes a list of 259 bad things he's done and sets off to right his wrongs. His first action on his roadmap to a better life is to clean up the parking lot of the motel he's staying in to make up for being a litterbug and while his brother makes fun of him for picking up garbage a gust of wind lands the missing lottery ticket at his feet.
Carson Daly was right karma works!

Making amends to people we've wronged shows up in themes from movies to AA's 12-step program and there is a reason: it's freeing and even life saving.

One of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite movies has a similar inventory feel:

When Harry searches for the cure to what's been ailing him he takes a trip into his past to figure how he arrived at being him. It's painful and he has to force himself to listen to the harm he's done and attempt to understand what pain he's caused and how to be a better person.

The journey of getting closure on either what's ailing us, what's unresolved in us, what's blocking good karma from flowing into our lives is tough. It's not for wusses or the faint of heart. It takes a strong person to own their past, their mistakes, and then clear the way to a future filled with possibility and loose from the baggage most of us let weight us down.

Karma can get us or free us.

Cleaning up my own karma* as a gift to myself by my next birthday... My name is Joy.
I invite you to join me :)

[*Please do me favor of letting me know if I need to clean up anything with you. Thanks!]

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

For the Love of Louie ... πŸ’”

Nazis, threats of nuclear war, hurricanes, flag/kneeling kerfuffles, mass shootings... it has been a brutal summer. And as I was going through my own personal drama of a break up (a story for another day or another book πŸ€” ) this week made me confront my other sad sad break up.... with Louis C.K.

Harvey Weinstein has been a trigger for women who have been sexually harassed and as a society the thing that is so cringy is that we know it's true and we know it's a daily occurrence and we know we are part of the problem for tolerating it.

For me, the times I've ever had to face any harassment I've done a good job sticking up for myself and I'm fortunate it's just been an annoyance not a trauma. But what I do need to clean up is I have ignored that my crush Louis CK is a pervert and an assaulter. There I've said it.

My love for LCK was unlikely in the first place- he's not my type, way too vulgar for my taste, and usually depressives make my run the other way. But he was so funny and talented I fooled myself into thinking his charming vulnerability in interviews was who he is. I mean Jon Stewart, and Jerry Seinfeld, and Chris Rock said what a great guy he was... I believed them.

I was a big fan who wrote about him and even a story for him and shared his work with all my friends. I was a Louie-Lover and overlooked murmurs because he had great friends, supported my political views, and loved his daughters.

His time in the hot seat is coming and it's agita-inducing to anticipate the unfolding. I feel for him because no person is all good or all evil and I think he's a guy who did shitty things and if you listen to his bit about being a prisoner of sexual perversion he clearly knows his demons are winning.

There are likely a few days or weeks or even months before his story breaks big so there is still a small window for him to realize he created this. If you're an asshole or an abuser it's your job to clean up your mess. If you force others to out you and only act contrite when you're finally caught it is not only an act of cowardice but shows you aren't truly sorry for the behavior just that you got caught and are forced to own up.

Coming forward will probably not happen but I wanted to put it out in the universe just incase there's a chance because the women shouldn't have to do the work for him. This is his mess. This is his shame. This is his friends' opportunity to support him in doing what's right.

Heart brokenly hoping for a morsel of a decent guy to claim his mistakes and make the world less nasty. And wishing strength to the women who had to drag around the ickiness simply because they were trying to make the world laugh and ran into a broken guy.

11.09.17 Update: NYT article with accusations of 5 women πŸ’”πŸ˜’

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Hurt People HURT People

Politico's Michael Kruse just wrote an article, The Loneliest President, and not to overstate it but I think he painted a picture of the man so clearly it serves as a snapshot for our world's problems as well: Hurt people end up hurting people.

It's hard to tell how damaged a person is from the outside or fathom why they would purposely harm anyone else. But look around... Nazis marching in the streets.  One traumatized son of an overbearing father pointing nuclear weapons at another. Emasculated white breadwinners hating dreamers. Sexually abused women taking their anger out on decent men or even their own children. Parishioners committing road-rage on their way home from service. The cycle repeats itself daily and generationally over and over and over.

Healthy adults who came from a sound childhood or healed themselves along the way see pain and anger and it makes them want to help and heal others. At the very least makes them have a bit of compassion for those who are angry and broken.

Sure we all have bad days, annoying destructive habits, and I haven't met a single person who if they were threatened couldn't turn and get a little ugly. But if I see someone being really foul, and angry, and abusive I think how sorry I am for them that they have to go into the world with that burden, that affliction.

Read the article and you can't help feel sorry for Trump's self induced isolation and lack of true connection. Imagine going through life not being able to trust a friend. Making every interaction a transaction. Feeling like everyone is out to get you. Must be a little slice of hell :(

Don't get me wrong, I think he should be impeached and removed from office and not allowed to cause any more harm to others, but it also begs the question: How can we as a society deal with all these walking-wounded adults before they hurt others?

As in triage situations not everyone can or even wants to be healed. If abusers are not willing to get help we need to isolate them and make sure we are taking care of our own well being. Then as a society we all need to ask ourselves...

Who hurt you?

Who are you hurting?

How can we heal individually, as a nation, and as a world?

Thursday, September 7, 2017

WE Mapping

ME Mapping has helped me transform my own life (and others) for over a decade now. WE Mapping is the companion work for couples.

I hope you find it useful in making your life with your love even more JOYful :)

Monday, September 4, 2017

Healthy Love

Finally got to see The Big Sick last night and it did not disappoint. It's the real life lovestory of a comic and what happens when the girl he broke up with gets ill. It's very very funny and touching and leaves one to contemplate: What do you do when you've been raised one way- and even though you want to follow your heart- your family, friends, and society leads you to question yourself?

Of course the answer is: you take a journey...

You decide what's important to you. You decide how it looks, and feels, and who else gets a say in how you live your life and who you love. What is healthy love?

The Big Sick is laugh out loud funny, thought provoking, and will make you believe in love in a big way.

Did I mention it's based in Chicago and still in theaters-- so take a friend or a date now they'll love you for it ;)

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Theme 2017

I like to create a theme for each year so I can keep a simple word or phrase in mind when I get stuck or need a focal point. This year my theme is centered around releasing the struggle of surviving life and taking it up a notch to really live more fully and do it.. you guessed it... JOY fully!

A few friends have already (unprompted) sent me their themes and colors for the year. If you've never tried it give it a go- I think you'll find it to be fun and focusing. 
Cheers to 2017YOU!  ;)

Some previous: 

2015                                             2016