Managing Lifelong Mental Health as a Senior

Posted by georgette12 @georgette12, Jan 13, 2017

I have just started using this site so this is my first message.

@hopeful33250

@johnjames Thanks for your post about your fox hole. It doesn’t sound silly at all! A safe place is anywhere that we feel safe (or safer) during a crisis. Thanks for that great insight in finding a safe place even during a war. As I think about it, I realize that we all have our “war-like struggles” and to find that “safe place” is very important. Just a message to the rest of our group, @georgette12 @safetyshield @jimhd @rspaulding @lesbatts @overwhelmed @ihatediabetes @johnhans, please share with the group, if you like, where your “safe place” is. Thanks to you all for your wonderful kindness and support to each other. As I’ve said before, you all really bless me! Teresa

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I really love your reply. My most grounding and calming experiences are when I connect with nature. My husband and I take our 5th wheel and go camping as often as we can. I always coback refreshed, grounded, and knowing what my real priorities are.

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@gailb

Georgett12, I am so relieved to hear that you are still with us! It sounds as if you have had an extremely traumatic situation to deal with. I don’t know what I would do in the same situation. My thoughts are with you and I am sending white light to surround you and protect you as you heal. Please let Thersa, the moderator of this site, know how to contact you. I’m glad you reached out this time because a couple of us, including myself, picked up that you were struggling. I was afraid you had taken too much Valium! It was frustrating not knowing how to get in touch with you or someone in your family. Im happy that you are better than the other day. Gail B.

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Thank you so much Colleen. I have already checked out the information that is posted, and I will check out your blog as well. This is something I may want to do. Gail B.

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@hopeful33250

@johnjames Thanks for your post about your fox hole. It doesn’t sound silly at all! A safe place is anywhere that we feel safe (or safer) during a crisis. Thanks for that great insight in finding a safe place even during a war. As I think about it, I realize that we all have our “war-like struggles” and to find that “safe place” is very important. Just a message to the rest of our group, @georgette12 @safetyshield @jimhd @rspaulding @lesbatts @overwhelmed @ihatediabetes @johnhans, please share with the group, if you like, where your “safe place” is. Thanks to you all for your wonderful kindness and support to each other. As I’ve said before, you all really bless me! Teresa

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Yes it’s wonderful. I got some snowshoes and poles so I could keep going out in the snow. Now I get on snowshoes trails and they cut right through the trees. The leaves have dropped so you can see really well. There are deer tracks out there. I have learned to layer my clothes and I carry a light backpack. Maybe since you have 5th wheel you can volunteer as a camp host during spring through fall. They are recruiting camp hosts for Minnesota state parks. It’s free camping but you have to help out and keep watch on things. It seems like nice way to camp for free and help people.

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@gailb

Jjwest, my apologies, i didn’t notice that you already said you have peripheral neuropathy in your post. I reread it this morning and said to myself, “Duh.” I hope you find some relief. I know my nerve pain is the worst at night. Some nights I wanted to cry or worse yet I wanted to scream, out of pain and frustration that I could do nothing about it. The Gabapentin is helping the night pain, but I am beginning to suffer side effects that may mean I have to stop taking it. I don’t know where the doctor will go next. I know I need major surgery to correct my L4, which has slipped out of alignment 7.3 mm. However, they want to put off the surgery until my other simpler surgery on my L5-S1 has completely healed. I am starting physical therapy next week and that should help. Then they will use steroid shots, which I’m not looking forward to, but are much less painful than major surgery will be. My brother had the surgery and he said the pain he had is gone, although his surgeon said he would still have pain, he was just helping him be able to walk. I’m not at that point yet, thankfully. I feel for you and hope you get some relief. Is surgery an option for you?

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Hi thanks for your caring AND responding. I am still wary to say very much, I did earlier and then felt that it wasn’t safe. I have HUGE trust concerns. This comes from childhood.
I am told by my pain Dr. that the neuropothy is from damage to my upper cervical area and the severe stenosis in my lower and mid back. I have an appointment with he neurosurgeon in the morning. He is the neurosurgeon who implanted the spine stimulator, this was in February last year It has helped but now it doesn’t work as well as it did at first. I was told when they put it in that surgery may be my only option to stay out of a wheel chair. When I posted last, several folks said they knew first hand of people who have had back surgery and it turned out good, I have been very Leary of back surgery because I had heard so many horror stories. But that was back in 1980’s and I know that medicine has advanced greatly since then. Please keep me posted about your surgery, not only curious about the outcome, but also how you are.
Thanks for caring and reaching ou 🙂 tPEACE & LOVE…JJ

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@georgette12

To everyone. I am dreadfully sorry to have set off an alarm!!!!!!! I am okay and only now checked the forum. To the moderators and everyone, please let me know how i should connect if something is scary for me. I took 4 valium. 5 mg. Each. So that would be 20 mg. At one time. The last time i became so distressed was when i was at my son’s funeral in August. I took 4 valium to numb the pain. His suicide, and walking in his blood, was too much for me. His birthday and the anniversary of his 5 month death was on the same day, january 13th. I have not been quite right since then. I left all my support and therapist in north carolina when i moved 6 weeks after eddie died. I live in pagosa springs, colorado and the closest town is durango, 60 miles away. There is no support for survivors of suicide loss , made more complex by my clinical depression and PTSD flashbacks to the scene of his death. At least in this town. Suicide is a hush hush word to those who have not experienced it. And the people around me, even my friends, have criticized me and called me self serving and uncaring about others who have lost loved ones.
That is because when i first got here in october, in hopes of trying to recover, i had seen a grief counselor who told me that the stress of a suicide loss survivor, or murder events or military PTSD, etc. …… This process is called traumatic, complex grief and is treated differently in terms of therapy. All grief is traumatic and horrible….but under certain extremely traumatic events, it’s kind of like peeliing an onion….. So many layers.
When i tried to talk about this to my friends, they turned away from me. They told me that what i was really saying was that “my loss is greater than theirs.”

The only way to deal with all this is to just repress everything and put on a happy face and say i feel great. But then when his birthday and death anniversary happened the same day……there really isn’t anywhere to turn. More on next reply.

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Dear Sweet Soul .
People can be so cruel without even intending to. When my husband died so many well meaning people would say things about how he was better off and in a better place, I wanted to scream at them. The pain is so intense that your brain cannot get past it. I had great help from the palliative nurse that went thru the process of his dying. She told me to scream my head off, take a pillow and beat the crap out of something, it helps to relieve stress. Seemed really silly to me, but when I did it, it did help. I lost the love of my life, literally…15 years ago and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him. The only reason I did not commit suicide was because I promised him that I would not. Our pain is GREATER than some one else’s because it is our pain, we live with it 24/7 and no one with the exception of our self can relieve it. Others do mean well, but it is usually because they truly do not understand and they don’t know what to say or do. Hang on sweet lady, keep talking, keep reaching out and try not to keep it to yourself. Hopefully this group of folks will be here for you. Hopefully guilt is not an issue, if it is, remember a person makes this decision to do something on thier own. We all make our own choices. May seem hard, but I believe it is true.
peace & love….jj

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@hopeful33250

@johnjames Thanks for your post about your fox hole. It doesn’t sound silly at all! A safe place is anywhere that we feel safe (or safer) during a crisis. Thanks for that great insight in finding a safe place even during a war. As I think about it, I realize that we all have our “war-like struggles” and to find that “safe place” is very important. Just a message to the rest of our group, @georgette12 @safetyshield @jimhd @rspaulding @lesbatts @overwhelmed @ihatediabetes @johnhans, please share with the group, if you like, where your “safe place” is. Thanks to you all for your wonderful kindness and support to each other. As I’ve said before, you all really bless me! Teresa

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Hi All, in response to John James’s post, my safe place has to be believing that there is something bigger than this world that loves me! ME. When I had triple by pass surgery, I had an experience, and it left me with KNOWING that love is the most important thing in this life, and that I am LOVED!..truly, without exception, pure unconditional love….it has been the most freeing thing in my life. When the pain….physical or mental come on, I remind myself of how LOVED I am and it brings me peace. Tell someone you love them today and mean it.!!!! So to all here
I wish you PEACE & LOVE…..jj

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@hopeful33250

@johnjames Thanks for your post about your fox hole. It doesn’t sound silly at all! A safe place is anywhere that we feel safe (or safer) during a crisis. Thanks for that great insight in finding a safe place even during a war. As I think about it, I realize that we all have our “war-like struggles” and to find that “safe place” is very important. Just a message to the rest of our group, @georgette12 @safetyshield @jimhd @rspaulding @lesbatts @overwhelmed @ihatediabetes @johnhans, please share with the group, if you like, where your “safe place” is. Thanks to you all for your wonderful kindness and support to each other. As I’ve said before, you all really bless me! Teresa

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To me, that sounds like the Holy Spirit. That’s how I feel when I’m hiking. I feel love and I believe it’s the Holy Spirit.

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@jimhd

@georgette12
Please check back in when you wake up. I pray that the Valium won’t cause any damage to you.

Jim

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georgette- I will be writing more to you-tomorrow afternoon, I had eye surgery today and can see a little out of one eye. But I wanted you to know How sorry I’am for (all) your loss- I have loss good buddies from the last two wars-to suicide, but losing a family member is far worse and it never goes away, but I believe we can learn to live on with a life that will help others-as we try and find joy and meaning in the time we have left here on Gods Earth. We have suicide support groups in the Military- but it really comes down to one other friend( what we call a Battle buddy- to work with, have coffee together and hold each other accountable- plus have some fun together also. God knows in this world we need a real friend that we can count on- and who will love us unconditional. I know God loves me that way always, but as a human He made us ( I believe) to still need love from another human (S) while we are here-to help carry our burden. Thank you for sharing- that takes allot of courage and care for yourself and for others, If any of us can help-please ask ( you are not a burden and Colleen will help with the process) OK. in my prayers JJAMES

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@hopeful33250

@johnjames Thanks for your post about your fox hole. It doesn’t sound silly at all! A safe place is anywhere that we feel safe (or safer) during a crisis. Thanks for that great insight in finding a safe place even during a war. As I think about it, I realize that we all have our “war-like struggles” and to find that “safe place” is very important. Just a message to the rest of our group, @georgette12 @safetyshield @jimhd @rspaulding @lesbatts @overwhelmed @ihatediabetes @johnhans, please share with the group, if you like, where your “safe place” is. Thanks to you all for your wonderful kindness and support to each other. As I’ve said before, you all really bless me! Teresa

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I have always wanted to feel the “knowing” that you express. I feel that might give me some peace. I know people have experiences while under anethesia and also at other times. If you feel comfortable sharing your experience, that would be nice. But, that is an awfully personal thing, i know. I am so glad that you can feel peace…..cherish it. Hugs

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Gail, it takes a lot of guts to work at coming out of yourself…..especially BEING yourself. The inch worm method is a very creative idea. I have a different way. I just naturally trust someone until they give me a reason not to. And as we get to know each other, we share more and more. There have been times that trusting someone turned out to be a bad idea. But that doesnt happen much. My husband is the opposite. He trusts noone. Unless they give him reason to trust. The problem with that is if you dont trust anyone, then that doesnt give anybody a chance to trust you. They wont get close enough to even know you. So my husband is a loner and i am not. When i do have a bad experience with someone i have trusted, my husband tells me that i shouldnt have trusted in the first place. My answer is…….i would much rather have trusted and been burned, than not having trusted at all.

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I just realized that in the previous post i talked about trust….not “safe”. To me, trust and safe are not exactly the same. There are people that i trust and feel completely safe with….but then there are people i feel safe with, but dont trust them to deal with my emotions. And various aspects of that.
I dont think it is at all unusual to feel safe in a fox hole. Especially if your buddies are huddled in their with you.
In terms of where do i feel safe in a crisis. If it is my own crisis, i do not have a safe place. Well, i guess that’s why my valium crisis happened.
Since my son died, i barely feel safe in my own body much less having a safe place in a crisis.
I am thinking there are a lot of possibilities on this topic to discuss.

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@gailb

Jjwest, my apologies, i didn’t notice that you already said you have peripheral neuropathy in your post. I reread it this morning and said to myself, “Duh.” I hope you find some relief. I know my nerve pain is the worst at night. Some nights I wanted to cry or worse yet I wanted to scream, out of pain and frustration that I could do nothing about it. The Gabapentin is helping the night pain, but I am beginning to suffer side effects that may mean I have to stop taking it. I don’t know where the doctor will go next. I know I need major surgery to correct my L4, which has slipped out of alignment 7.3 mm. However, they want to put off the surgery until my other simpler surgery on my L5-S1 has completely healed. I am starting physical therapy next week and that should help. Then they will use steroid shots, which I’m not looking forward to, but are much less painful than major surgery will be. My brother had the surgery and he said the pain he had is gone, although his surgeon said he would still have pain, he was just helping him be able to walk. I’m not at that point yet, thankfully. I feel for you and hope you get some relief. Is surgery an option for you?

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@jjwest
I’m the only one of six siblings who hasn’t had back problems and various kinds of surgery. I have idiopathic peripheral neuropathy – not sure if they call it idiopathic because that’s easier than searching for a reason – but I do know that it’s not diabetic. I fell around ten feet 5 years ago, and had 3 compression fractures in my lower back and broke an arm. I retired from being a pastor ten years ago, and over the last ten years of pastoring, I also painted houses. I have painted from time to time all of my adult life. It’s possible that the fall and the years of going up and down ladders contributed to the nerve damage causing the burning nerve pain in my feet. I have an appointment with the pain psychologist next week, to get approved for implanting of a spinal cord stimulator. I’m really hoping it will help. I wore a heart monitor for two weeks, and it told me that I have supra ventricular tachycardia, so I’m starting another medication for that. It could help the neuropathy, as well, according to my pcp who talked about the heart problem today. Of course, there are interactions with other meds I take. I guess that’s inevitable. It could raise the level of Cymbalta in my system, which would probably be a good thing.

What do I do, where do I go to find a safe place. .. Hmmm. I always sense peace and safety when I’m in church. In the summer, I spend a lot of time working in the yard and in the pasture. I enjoy doing that. Sitting in my recliner, reading or knitting or surfing is restful. Lately, I haven’t felt completely safe. I think Georgette used the phrase, passive suicidal ideation. That’s a pretty good description of how I usually feel. Lying in bed, next to my wife is a good place to be. Having Sadie curled up next to me and in my lap is therapeutic. (Sadie is my service dog.) Or lying with her snuggled up to me, with her head resting on me, holding and petting her.

I’m thankful for this group, where I can say what’s going on in my brain without judgment or unsolicited advice. There just aren’t solid answers to some of our struggles. Or maybe I should say quick or easy answers. In most settings, the quickest way to kill conversation is to use the word suicide.

Jim

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What I did once- along time ago, was take a piece of paper and write down all the places in my past I thought of- as a safe place. Maybe you could think about doing that. But I know from experience that when I was all alone in the jungles of Viet Nam- I never felt safe-even when I was on our base camp. Now I have a small ( extra bedroom in our home-I turn into my office and all my military collections. I also put a lock on the door, for no real reason but at times I wanted to feel safe-when everyone was gone. I go there to think, read,pray and use mu computer. I think we all need somewhere in our home to make our own little safe place. Give it some thought and list for yourself ( from years past-what do you remember as a safe place just for you?). I pray more than one idea will come to mind. May God surround your room with His Peace.- I hope it’s ok with you I wrote that, JJAMES

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@hopeful33250

@johnjames Thanks for your post about your fox hole. It doesn’t sound silly at all! A safe place is anywhere that we feel safe (or safer) during a crisis. Thanks for that great insight in finding a safe place even during a war. As I think about it, I realize that we all have our “war-like struggles” and to find that “safe place” is very important. Just a message to the rest of our group, @georgette12 @safetyshield @jimhd @rspaulding @lesbatts @overwhelmed @ihatediabetes @johnhans, please share with the group, if you like, where your “safe place” is. Thanks to you all for your wonderful kindness and support to each other. As I’ve said before, you all really bless me! Teresa

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Boy- that sounds right on- couldn’t agree more. Thanks for sharing. JJAMES

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@georgette12

Oh, just want to say something and then i will sign off. I gave my phone number to theresa and colleen. So i now can be contacted.
But i need to say one more time that i feel much safer than i did last week. To have our online community care so much and wonder if i was okay was not expected and it has so overwhelmed me with gratitude. I will definitely not do stupid things without checking in with you guys first! Blessings

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I was going to quit interacting with the group, but I had a thought that I want to share. Of course, I can only speak for myself. The last thing I want to do when I’m close to acting on the suicidal thoughts is to tell someone. I’m not going to call the suicide hotline or a friend or a counselor. I know they’d try to stop me. I’m not thinking rationally at that point, and logic doesn’t mean anything. It also doesn’t help to be reminded that “suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.” Or some other such statement. When I’m in a safe place, I’m thinking rationally, and understand all of the reasons for living.

The one thing that I can do when I’m in an unsafe place is to tell myself to wait an hour, or wait until tomorrow. I can now look forward to something that I don’t want to miss, like seeing my granddaughter, and put off ending my life.

Jim

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