Coping Skills

How do you cope with stress, illness, hardships?

I’m very stubborn. I’m also scarred from exposure to addicts & alcoholics. When I was very young I lost over 90% of my hearing, Because of it I became more aware of my surroundings and the people around me as well. I am a content observer. I can take great pleasure in just watching others interact. A lot can be learned by observing. These embedded traits, and naturally strong instincts have kept me safe from harmful acts and abusive self medicating. I know what works and what doesn’t. I can see a food and feel what it will do to me before I ever taste it. I’ve self diagnosed all of my ailments from instinct and Google of course. HA! Despite the endless list of health issues I have had, I continue to refuse drugs and alcohol to “help me cope.”  Lupus, Fibromyalgia, RA, all chronic pain ailments. All over lapping. Some days the pain is so intense my mind folds and I wonder if the pain is actually real. Still, I don’t take anything for pain. Some days I’ll give in and have a few ibuprofen and rest. A lot of rest. Instead of pill or drinks, which I do enjoy very much so on occasion, I engage my mind, distract it from the pain. It doesn’t always work, and sometimes it does but is very short lived.
My coping techniques consist of;
Photography: Macros especially. Keeping still for a precise shot is a challenge. Hahaha. But the act of taking photos DAILY has enhanced my respect & appreciation for nature a thousand times more. It’s also improved my photography knowledge & skills. A surprise bonus of photography was overcoming fears. I found myself more willing to try things that would have been an instant “NO!” previously. The perspective changes and it becomes a “photo opportunity” instead of a fearful situation.   img_4201-1

Art: I love it. I love those that create it. All kinds all styles. It’s my favorite. I’m really a wannabe but I try. I’m a former Scrapbooker, starting in my early teens scrapping all my favorite celebrities and bands, picking it up again when my children were young and the world was taken over by cute cardstock and stickers. Paper crafting has always been the easiest for me. Card making has lasted the longest. They’re little canvases that keep my hoard of supplies and rubber stamps justified. Plus, I love to give people handmade things. I’ve recently reacquainted myself with drawing and just started to get acquainted with Art Journaling. A form of self expression and self therapy. IMG_1125

The drawing above, “All she dreams of…” I guess she’s like me.
Music: It’s necessary to my spiritual & mental stability. If I go too long without hearing my favorites I can get very nasty. lol. Collective Soul Napa CA 15

Collective Soul in Napa a couple years ago. I cant get enough of them!

TV & Movies: always a great escape. I can Binge Watch with the best of them!

Reading: not as often anymore, but I will never stop loving books. My first ever coping mechanism. Thankful to Judy Blume, Stephen King, Anne Rice, Danielle Steel and Sydney Sheldon. I started out with such diversity! Hahahaha. I still actively vist & check books out from the library.

Writing: Like Reading, not nearly as often as I want to. My mind will go crazy with thoughts and stories but then when I do to type it out it vanishes. SIGH.

Lastly, I just, Be. A form of meditation I suppose.
Be a friend to myself. No one can have a better friend, than the one within themselves. Really.
Be aware of what I’m feeling, how I’m feeling.
Be educated in how to help myself and anyone else I can.
Be open minded
Be accepting of it being what it is.

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