The Dangers of Easy & Cheap Self-care.

I have come across an article that talks about self care that is cheap and easy. In the article, Clean your room, go for a walk, breathe. Self-care is cheap and easy. it shows how a little bit of self care can go a long way to improve your mood and well-being. It reads as a, get in touch with yourself, ground yourself in the moment and get in line with your feelings. Look at nature and take a walk. Savor the moments. Eat a good meal. Exercise. So light and breezy anyone can do it.

I heartily disagree.

The author talks about self-care and the things she picked up on during a rough patch. She talked about small mental exercises. I want to look at these points separately.

Cleaning your house is not self-care. That is being an adult. Maintaining your living space and washing your body are not self-care for a normal person. When you have someone who has a chronic illness, especially when you have dizzy spells or energy issues, then bathing would be a form of self-care because it would a task that requires a lot of effort. The author feels like she is trying to convince herself and the article seems to shift topics often. Real self-care, to quote a friend of mine with Lyme Disease, is:

Self-care for me is saving my money so that I can spend $250 on one hour of Skype with a natural doctor in Canada so that I could help my body recover from Lyme disease and lupus.
Self care for me is spending $100 a month to have someone come in and clean my bathrooms because I literally cannot physically clean my own bathrooms.
Self-care for me is actually going out and working that part-time job in that dress boutique so that I can be happier by encouraging other women to feel good. And in turn, I make a little bit of money so that I can save up to see the doctor and to have my bathrooms cleaned.
Self care for me is also the hard part of asking people to help me do things, because I can’t do them alone by myself. Or because I get overwhelmed in trying to do them by myself.

I believe that when you perpetuate the notion of self-care in a flippant, valley girl almost, way of “its so easy!” it hurts those who cannot do those basic things. I understand that this article is not directed to the people who suffer chronic/mental health issues, but it is dangerous to paint everyone with a broad brush. Making a stereotype of self-care is cheap and easy results in either people who these efforts don’t work and it becomes a bigger issue, or, if you just “did these 5 easy steps” you would have a better life. What happens when these steps fail and the judgment comes? I fear that path.

As to the second part of changing mental habits, I agree with the Psychologist in the article that when we don’t have good habits that they are replaced with bad ones. It is very easy to fall into bad habits with chronic illness. Trying to feel mentally positive when you are fighting each day to do basic things is difficult to an extreme. These changes can improve your outlook but do not changes the facts of what your body is going through.
This can also lead to a sense of looking healthy on the outside (“You are so positive and happy on the outside, you must be better”) but still be going through an immensely difficult time on the inside. People become less inclined to believe that you are actually sick. You are trying so hard to put on a face and not be the person that no one wants to be around due to your illness that it turns into a real issue when symptoms manifest themselves in a terrible way. This results in “I thought you were getting better?” or “You must be exaggerating/faking.”
I feel the dangers are real when self-care is perpetuated in such a simple fashion. Can small changes in outlooks help relieve some stress? Yes. Can everyone do such actions. No, they cannot. It is not cheap and easy to do self-care.
#hugaplushie my friends
-Dedicated to R.A.

Self care day 16:Peace of body

It is an amazing thing, the body. It is what we use to get around. It provides nourishment for the brain. It houses the soul. Doesn’t it deserve some love?

I have had a few massages over the years and it has been an amazing experience time and again. They put you in a quiet room. They keep you warm. They rub away aching muscles and sore places, all while keeping your mind at peace as well.

Full body release and relaxation.

I remember the first time some one gave me one. I was 14 on a missions’s trip to Haiti. I was helping build a medical facility about a mile up a mountain several hours outside Port-au-Prince. I was helping dig sewer lines and a place for the septic tank. The air was so thin, you could barely swing a pickax more than a few times before you were out of breath.

Tired and sore does not even begin to describe it.

We were settling in after dinner and wiping down with baby wipes as there was no running water or shower to speak of. I was with a bunch of college students and 2 of them were in nursing and also massage therapists. They set about to getting everyone’s back to feeling better and I helped get people around as they melted into bliss. One had finished working on someone, looked at me and asked if I needed one. Being a young teenager, and a very quiet one at that, I politely declined and said I would be alright. She said nonsense, it made no difference and had me sit down and she worked on my shoulders and upper back.

Oh my goodness.

Feeling muscles release and your body let go was amazing.

One of the more interesting things about it was being told to drink a lot of water. Breaking down the muscle made it release toxins and water would help flush it out. I could think of no better way to finish “spring cleaning” the body.

I will never forget it.

I encourage all of you to go and get one by a massage therapist. Find a good one in the area, use Groupon, however you can do it. Treat yourself.

Better yet, heal yourself.

Take care of yourself.

#hugapony my friends

It is always a pleasure bring you more day to day posts. I will continue to do so until the end of February. Please make sure to comment, share and follow along as I share some simple things to better your life!

The quicker picker upper post.

Yesterday was a really rough day. Some personal things fell through, I was overly stressed taking my final test for the job (still no idea if I passed) and then I ended the day with a migraine.

It was not my favorite.

I had a close friend of mine give me some encouragement. I will refer to her as the Tea friend. Tea was so amazing and helpful because she goes through hell and back and still manages to take time to help me and others. She is one I look at and question my own pain and it makes me realize that I have no place to complain at times. She has been a wonderful friend for years and I love her dearly. She was also one of the friends that help me meet my wife.

I cannot thank her enough.

I am thinking, because life is about to be crazy for the next month, I am going to do a series on thanking people in my life. I hope it encourages you to remember to thank everyone around you.


Riding that long train.

Life has been a mixed bag for me here lately. I’ve been doing my best to find more positive things to think about when I’m so negative. I have not forgotten a dose of my medication in a while so my body’s been responding well. There’s only one big fear for me at the moment.

I’m moving in 30 days.

I’ve been beyond grateful for the past 8 months that people have been giving us a place to stay but now that is coming to a close. I personally can’t wait to have my own space and to be able to have a place that I can call my own not to worry or stress about anything that I do. All places I’ve stayed I have not made me feel unwelcome by any means, there’s always a certain level of stress of being able to be yourself and not be afraid to get in trouble for it.

It’s also going to be nice to have have all my stuff out of storage.

My wife went and bought me a couple books that I already own because she could not find them at the library. It’s tapped into a part of me that I’d forgotten. Just about forgotten how much I love to read. My nightstand in my old apartment was filled with 12 to 15 books at a time of all sorts of subjects. There is fantasy, sci-fi, historical books, devotions, comics, my Bible. All these half hazardly laid on my nightstand where I could pick them up at a moment’s notice and be able to dive into it Adventure or to find out more information about historical event that just fascinates me.

It was my escape at times.

I could stop worrying about me and worry about a fictional character. I knew most of the endings as I had read and reread most of the books in my library. And all these books have been locked away in storage. Leaving a hole in me.

One that I had not known I had been missing.

I have lost myself in those three books (The Dresden Files for those interested) for the last 2 days. I have not been that content with having something besides worry and stress occupy my mind.

I have a passion for reading.

And writing I suppose as I continue to write to you.

#hugapony my friends


The big D & A

Living with depression and anxiety is hard. I hear a lot of people who tell me, and others, just get over it. If it were that simple, I would have been cured a long time ago. I know that some people think they are helping by trying to motivate or drive those suffering but I want to take a moment to describe some ways a person acts the way they do and what they are thinking while suffering.

Randomly during the day you have the crushing weight of ALL your failures hit you all at once. It’s like having a personal highlight reel of worst moments set up in a compilation video playing through your brain over and over. Most depressed people are very intelligent and have a good memory. Because of this, your flaws and failures are branded and seared into your brain for you to remember. I still remember the time when I was 7 and I burnt my thumb on a hot iron right after my mother told me not to touch it. I was so excited to be going to a friends house down the street right after that happened and I was so scared that I would be in trouble I hid my pain and went to my friends house. Soon upon arrival my friends mother noticed my tears of pain and looked at my thumb. She was surprised that my mother would send me down there without doing something about my thumb. She called my mother asking about and surprised my mother with something my mother didn’t know anything about. It was no surprised that I was promptly sent home to both be healed and to be in trouble.

I tell this story because I am still embarrassed about trying to hid it. I still have it in the back of mind of what I did wrong. I still remember the pain of my thumb on fire. It pops in my head about every other week to remind me of how I have failed. I live with that memory and every other mistake and failure I have done in my life. I wish I could stop those memories from drowning me and some days I do great.

Other days not so much.

And its not just your mistakes.

When something goes wrong with someone else, you react two ways. You question if you messed something up, EVEN IF YOU HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. You cannot stop yourself from wondering if you could have done something to have helped them or if you could have changed something. The second way you react is you overreact by being overly sorry for what happened, again even if you had nothing to with what happened. You try to comfort and help that person in such a way that you end up looking like a “freak”.

It makes for a hard time trying to deal with other people’s failures while having your own failures play constantly playing in your mind.

It also makes you paranoid. You question everyone’s jokes and teasing. You are observing all the things going on around you and analyzing it. You wonder how much is true and what is a joke. You live in constant fear of what you say and how it could be taken wrong.

And this makes you tired.

You carry the weight of that around with you. The reason it is hard to get out of bed for a depressed person is two-fold. First, you are tired from carrying yours and everyone else’s burdens (even if they didn’t ask for it). Second, you know the only relief is sleep. Sleep because it is when you finally get a break.

It is hard to be depressed. It is hard living with anxiety.

I saw a post on social media that inspired this post and I want to share it now.


Fear. You live in constant fear.

“What if?”

The next time you see a depressed person or know someone who is depressed, take two seconds and think on these things. I could save a life.

#hugapony my friends.

Oh day of days continuum.

I guess I should have waited to post yesterday. Life it seems was not done with me that day.

After getting home from the doctors, I was able to eat, calm down, and talk to my wife. She and I talked about how we were going to get through the weekend.

After we both had calmed down, she took the kids to the park and I sat down to rest. I was destressing and remembered that I had a rescheduled doctor’s appointment. I also had to let them know my availability for this next month as I have a few Conventions and thanksgiving coming up as per my agreement when I was hired.

I called them up and speak my boss and gave him the rundown of what was going on (he had been concerned earlier that week). I told him that I need Monday off for my appointment and the select other days off. He said ok, he understood my situation but that due to my lack of availability due to my kidney stones and the rest of my Conventions, he was going to have to fire me.

I was stunned.

I asked what had changed as we had agreed to my schedule being flexible and I was told they changed their plans and were needing a full time position and that with my needs they couldn’t keep me.

I stuttered and was confused and I asked if I could maybe work make up days to help cover or something. He refused and he thanked me for my work and that he would have liked to keep me but with all the stuff going on with me, he couldn’t keep me.

I thanked him for his time, he wished me the best and hung up.

I stood for a second, and then fell to my knees.

I didn’t know, I still don’t know what to do.

Ponies might not be enough…..

I am trying my friends. I just don’t know anymore.

A road too traveled

As you all have known i have been working a lot here lately. It has been very difficult for me here these last few weeks with work and with my personal life and with everything else going on and I hit rock bottom the other day.

This past weekend I managed to work myself to the point that I just literally shut down and did not want to speak or talk to or deal with anybody else. I was so tired I had to try to find ways to get my body to move and I was hurting so bad that I had my wife work on my back and she found a muscle not that one from the top of my spine to the base of my tailbone. She worked on it for about 2 hours before it just became too sore to even work on. I’ve been dealt with the soreness all the way through the rest of the weekend.

I had the opportunity to help some friends out with some plumbing issues and I was very lucky to have such close friends try and take care of me. I managed to worry them to the point that they didn’t even want me to help but I managed to go ahead and help them out and take care of their needs. They then sat me down, fed me and my family and just helped me relax and try to find ways to make me feel better. I am truly thankful to have such gracious friends.

I also found out that our apartment complex is trying to kick us out of our apartment about 4 months before our lease is up.  Between this and my pain and stress has caused my wife to have an extremely difficult time taking care of everything.

The whole icing on the cake has been my daughters who have really just been very very difficult to work with. With me being stressed out and not being able to take some extra time to deal with them has released cause them stress and just made our whole lives difficult. I love my daughters very very much but they always seem to find that one last nerve to dance on to just drive me up a wall.

I will say that I am doing better now I appreciate everyone has helped me out and I hope to have more positive news later this week as I have a few things going on in the background. I do have one really cool announcement to announce here soon that I’m hopefully going to be able to get everybody excited about.

Hug a pony my friends.


Down from on high, redux.

So i got a lot of feedback on my last post. It was about my store being visited by my new VP. I wanted to thank everyone who responded and please keep it coming. I love the involvement. 

While a few people pointed that this was a good thing that I was shown the attention and dedication from a VP, I was trying to take it in the heat of moment from my point of view. I have realized since then that it was great that he did this. At the same time, with how my brain works and how I react to things, I personally tend to get freaked and psych myself out. I have broken out in hives when I was younger to the point of almost being hospitalized because of excitement/anxiety.

So yes, the visit went well, my boss reaffirmed this with me later. And I learned more than I had in a while. It just can be hard to be brought down so many pegs at once. I tend not to build myself up (I am my own worst enemy by far). So when I do and get knocked down, I take it really really hard.

But you guys helped point out the good things.

Thank you.

Hug a pony my friends.