mental health: create a sentinel

Today’s post is brought to you by generous supporter Heather, my now paid Internet service, and both store brand children’s cough and cold medicine (grape flavored) and my own special homemade ginger based cough and cold medicine that my kid hates.

In Past Lives, Future Healing, Sylvia Browne instructs the reader to create a foot tall imaginary sentinel that they station at their solar plexus (stick with me here) to guard against overwhelming feelings and anxieties.
I had totally forgotten about this until I listened to an episode of one of my favorite newly discovered podcasts By The Book where they live by that particular book. By The Book is a podcast where two friends live by the advice and instructions of a self help book for two weeks and share their experience. The first episode I listened to was on The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and I was hooked. I could write an entire book about how I feel about that book. I appreciated all of what they went through. Truly.
(Sidenote: The very first episode is about The Secret, which I skipped at first but then went back to later. The Secret is one of those books looooovvvvved by the type of folks who give poor people the most useless advice ever about how they’re not trying hard enough to be positive and draw good things into their life and nonsense about manifesting your own happiness & success. It turned out to be a good listen)

I also adore this podcast because Jolenta and Kristen remind me of one of my longest friendships. That friendship is the only reason I would have ever known about Sylvia Browne and Past Lives, Future Healing. This was one of those books she once put in my hands, enthusiastically encouraging me to give it a go. I’m pretty sure I skimmed through it and laughed a lot. I was not into it. I’m still not into it but the bit about sentinels grabbed me. Like all self help books, even if most of it seems ridiculous there may be parts worth taking out and using.

My teenage daughter struggles with severe anxiety coupled with depression. We’re fortunate to live in a community with access to mental health services with sliding scale fees for low income folks. Our insurance does cover most of the cost and our co-pay is $20 per weekly visit, which is still too much but the office is understanding and helpful. We both love her therapist. Our pediatrician is also on top of things and has prescribed medication. Still on a lot of days, she struggles a lot. And because she struggles, I do,too. Even though I also have issues with anxiety and depression, it’s not as severe as hers. I can relate through experience but only to a point. I’m constantly looking for ways to help, even if it’s just knowing the right things to say. to support her.  If there’s a technique to help her work through anxiety attacks, I’m open to them all. Thank you, Jessica Jones for that reciting the streets to get home/safe place trick.

So, sentinels? This sounded like it was worth a shot. Just one more thing to add to her coping toolbox.

I didn’t go back and read the book but from what I remembered (or maybe it was partly how my friend described it), the sentinel you create can be anything that helps you feel safe. It can be a literally strong person like a gladiator or something spiritual like an angel. It can be a real person who makes you feel safe in your life or a fictional character. Whatever it is, you picture it to be a small projection that stands in front of you and guards from the feels.

The immediate imagine that came to mind for me when creating my sentinel was the little guard in Labyrinth, Sir Didymus. Who knows why. I’m a little shocked it wasn’t Wonder Woman or a velociraptor. My brain is funny.
When I call forth him as my sentinel when I’m having anxiety, it just makes me laugh a little. I’ve always found humor to be fortifying so I guess that works. It at least take me out of the moment and helps to minimize the anxiety threat, or at least to better refocus my emotions so they aren’t so overwhelming.

Image result for sir didymus


See, though? He is a good little guard! He’s a furry little version of Gandalf. Good job, little guy.

If you have tips for getting through rough days, I’d love to hear them.

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september 13,2017 things

Kids are back in school. Let’s get back to this blog thing here.

mental wellness:  a Brazilian shaman reveals the dark side of positive thinking – The Law of Attraction and “just think positive!” solution is exhausting and mentally harmful, not to mention completely ineffective. Denying yourself normal emotions your feeling in challenging life situations isn’t going to fix anything or help you cope mentally. Be pissed off if you need to be. It’s healthy. 

But speaking of positivity….
activism: The Small Victories newsletter is a weekly roundup of all the progress made thanks to activism. I’m so glad this exists. It’s easy to lose track of these small victories when the big picture of work to do is so daunting.

podcast: Politically Reactive: Disaster Capitalism and How to Fight It with Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor and Mustafa Santiago Ali  – this episode focuses on environmental and structural racism that influences economic inequality
(this episode also happens to be where I heard about the Small Victories newsletter)

another podcast: Fake the Nation: DACA and Disasters with Dean Obeidallah and Charlie Pickering – it’s a good discussion of what DACA is for anyone trying to fill in the blanks.

awesomeness:

Image may contain: people standing

Winter compassion rack in Saranac, New York via Avantgardens

 

 


Was reading these links kind of a bummer? I do these nearly-daily link roundups at my other blog,too, and those are a lot happier and prettier.

Other places to find me:
Twitter
Instagram

If you like the work I do here at Poor as Folk, please considering being a supporter through Patreon. Your support will help keep the lights on and the content flowing, as well as help me develop printed publications such as cookbooks and zines designed to help low income folks. Even if you can only pledge $1 or $3 per month, that is SO appreciated! If even half the readers of this blog pledged that small amount, it would be significant enough to bring change and growth in my own life.
POOR AS FOLK ON PATREON OR ONE TIME DONATION VIA PAYPAL TO LUCKYFISHHOMESTEAD@GMAIL.COM

Social Worker & Mental Health Tumblrs

There’s a wealth of information on tumblr regarding social work & mental health. These are listed together because the issues quite often go hand in hand.
Thanks to Creative Social Worker for putting this directory together.

Social Worker Tumblrs<br />
Creative Clinical Social Worker<br />
Social Workin’<br />
It Will All Make Sense<br />
The Political Social Worker<br />
Social Work Tech<br />
Social Work Helper<br />
Trauma Therapist<br />
Trauma Social Worker<br />
Connect The Dots Backwards<br />
Radical Social Worker<br />
Social Work Memes<br />
Social Werq<br />
Unemployed Social Worker<br />
Student Social Worker<br />
Products of Poverty<br />
SWK 4 Life<br />
What Should We Call Social Work?<br />
School Meet Life<br />
Canadian Social Worker<br />
Joylisamia<br />
Social Justice Solutions<br />
Life as a Social Worker<br />
ACSWA Clinical Social Work<br />
Social Worky Megan<br />
Lauren LCSW<br />
Miss Joan<br />
Heirloom June<br />
The Notorious Amy<br />
The Social Work Network<br />
Social Worker Taking on the World<br />
Social Work Grad Students<br />
Social Work Wisdom<br />
Social Work Sad<br />
School Social Worker Blog<br />
Social Work Psych Stuff<br />
Alison Rae<br />
What Even Is Social Justice?<br />
Chris Talks Social Work Stuff<br />
Southernish<br />
Social Work Bridges<br />
Social Work Wanderer <br />
Social Workers Online<br />
Tito Tito<br />
Hand Knit By a Failed Feminist<br />
The Social Work Exam<br />
The Running Vegan MSW<br />
Social Worky<br />
Social Work Musings<br />
Geeky Therapist<br />
Other Side of the Couch<br />
Steven Armijo<br />
Social Work, Psych and Counseling<br />
All Things Social<br />
June on the West Coast<br />
Chasing Thunder<br />
Social Work Problems<br />
Ramp Your Voice<br />
Onewomanareme<br />
Jehovahs Thicknesss<br />
Ducky Does Therapy<br />
Aspie Social Worker<br />
Social Justice Works<br />
Crasstun<br />
The Social Worker Life<br />
Social Worky Ideas<br />
Therapeutic Nihilism<br />
This is not Social Work<br />
Reflectophile<br />
Therapist Tumblrs<br />
Creative Clinical Social Worker<br />
The Humbled Therapist<br />
Therapy 101<br />
It Will All Make Sense<br />
Trauma Therapist<br />
What Should We Call Art Therapy?<br />
Connect The Dots Backwards<br />
Passionate Therapist<br />
Therapist Confessions<br />
Tenacious Twenties<br />
Kati Morton<br />
PsyD or Bust<br />
Twin Therapists<br />
So This is Expressive Therapies<br />
Ducky Does Therapy<br />
The Angry Therapist<br />
Doctor School Problems<br />
Psychologist Problems<br />
Keep Calm And Psychoanalyze<br />
She Wants the PsyD<br />
Other Side of the Couch<br />
Secrets of a Sarcastic Psychologist<br />
Confessions of a Broke Grad Student<br />
Geeky Therapist<br />
So You’re a Music Therapist<br />
Thrive Music Therapy<br />
Fuck Yeah Therapizing<br />
Misses Torrance<br />
Art Journaling<br />
Therapist at Play<br />
Creative Arts Therapy Rocks<br />
Psychotherapy<br />
Lowery Makes Art<br />
Serious Mental Illness Blog<br />
Psychological Musings<br />
Cognitive Defusion<br />
Chameleon Play Therapy<br />
LaraMaurinoTherapy<br />
Training-Psychologist<br />
Heirloom June<br />
Counseling Inside and Outside<br />
Psych Jim<br />
Mindful Irreverence<br />
The Medicated Therapist<br />
What Should We Call MFT<br />
Therapy Bros<br />
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy<br />
Creative Psychologist<br />
Therapy and Therapists<br />
Counseling Inside and Out<br />
Eevee Pony<br />
Therapy Ideas For Future Clients<br />
Shrink Rants<br />
This list represents a tumblr network of metal health professions from a wide range of backgrounds, intended to help us connect with one another. Click here for some more psych-related blogs.

Social Worker Tumblrs

Therapist Tumblrs

Psychology Tumblrs

Recovery/Support Tumblrs

Recovery is a process

Uhm how perfect. It’s a process 💖

via Insight & Inspiration.

I know a few people celebrating big steps in their recovery right now. Now matter where you are in your own recovery process, it’s all big & important.

 

I’m including here this important message from Hood Habesha :

HEALING IS REAL WORK. HEALING IS REAL WORK. HEALING IS REAL WORK. PRIORITIZING “PRODUCTIVITY” OVER HEALING AND WELL-BEING AND SURVIVAL IS CAPITALIST, AND SHAMING PEOPLE INTO BURNING THEMSELVES OUT IN ORDER TO KEEP YOUR ORGANIZATION AFLOAT (KEEP YOUR FOUNDATION BASED PAYCHECK COMING) AND THEN DISCARD THEM IS FUCKED UP. SO MANY COMMUNITY ORGANIZING SPACES ARE ABLEIST AND ARE INACCESSIBLE TO PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN THROUGH TRAUMA THE SPACES “INTEND” TO PREVENT OR BRING JUSTICE TO. SO ONCE AGAIN… HEALING IS REAL WORK AND WHEN YOU FIND YOURSELF LOOKING DOWN YOUR NOSE AT FOLKS WHO CANNOT GET AS MUCH “DONE” AS YOU… MAYBE YOU OUGHT TO CHECK YOUR PRIVILEGE, OR SHARE HOW YOU GOT TO THE HEALED SPACE YOU ARE AT, AND EVALUATE IF YOU MIGHT ONLY VALUE *YOURSELF* ON WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR THE WORLD… REGARDLESS OF THE COSTS TO YOUR OWN BEING OR RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS. THINGS I HAVE LEARNED THE HARD WAY…QUOTE FROM TUMBLR ROSAS-SYLVESTRES

 

I see so much of this and it’s important for everyone to hear and acknowledge. If you follow me on Twitter, I swear you’ll see me rant nearly daily about things tied into this. (My gratitude to my Twitizens who listen patiently )