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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Grandma's Girl

One of my Dad's sisters is currently creating a book about my grandma their mother.  She asked several weeks ago for us all to write a paragraph with a memory of my Grandma Millie.  You would have thought I would have been one of the first to complete this task but that has not been the case.  I really struggled with what to write.  How do you sum up in one paragraph someone who has been a huge part of your life.

The home I grew up in is on the backside of my grandparent's farm.  There were many days of my childhood spent at her home.  My grandpa like my dad was a truck driver and gone for long periods of time.  I would go to grandma's to give my mom a break and grandma some company.  Grandma always mentions how I would play alone in the drive way with rocks.  She had these cute little dolls that I also loved playing with.  A few years ago she gave me the one that reminded her of me.  I was beyond happy that it miraculously was one of very few things that survived the fire.

I think what makes my grandma so special to me is her strength.  She may be tiny but she is not to be messed with.  She managed to raise eight very wild children, often by herself.  No one would have blamed her if she would have been done with kids but her home was always open to her grandchildren.  Yes she did cry when my parents said they were going to be an extra day away but she simply gave my brother a bag of cookies and locked him outside.  Yes some people may think that sounds horrible but first it was the 80's and my brother Mike was a wild child.  I blame him for the times I was naughty; he had to have deserved being hit in the head with the metal gun when Grandma said it was his turn.

Dresses and Doll Grandma Made Me
As an adult my relationship with my grandma is still strong.  I wish I had more time to spend with her and my grandpa.  There is nothing better than her rolling her eyes and swearing at his behavior.  Did I mention my brother is a lot like my grandpa.  I enjoy a lot of the same things as my grandma.  She has been able to help me out with my arts and crafts, knitting and crochet.  I will never be as good as her but I am thankful for the opportunity to learn.

So few adults have the opportunity to have a relationship with their grandparents.  I am beyond thankful that I have such wonderful grandparents and that I get this opportunity to have them be a part of my life.  I could write so much more about my grandma but it would never do justice to how wonderful she is.  Below is the paragraph I wrote for my aunt's book.

I think it might be impossible to write about just one memory of Grandma Millie.  I have been so fortunate to have Grandma as a huge part of my life.  My earliest memories are of my time I spent at her house growing up.  I can’t have waffles without blueberry syrup because of her.  I feel so lucky that her house was always a walk away; of course it wasn’t a walk a four and six-year-old should have done alone but we did.  There was nothing better making that hike through the woods and arriving to Grandma’s smiling face and a popsicle. If I was super lucky I got to go with her to town.  If I was good which I always was, unlike my brother, I got to get a doll from Benfranklin’s.  Grandma just knew how to make me feel special.

As an adult I still enjoy nothing more than walking up through the woods to her house.  I even still have a popsicle when it is really hot.  I have loved getting the opportunity to have her teach me crocheting and knitting techniques.  I will treasure forever not only her knitting stuff but most importantly the time spent with her.  Nothing brings me greater joy than curling up in one of the blankets she has made.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook

Today seems like the perfect day to jump back into writing.  The sun is shining and I'm once again picking up the pieces of a turbulent winter.  I can now look clearly at the past few months events and realize that yes it was hard but it was better than the year before.  I didn't wait as long to get help and I was able to crawl out of my hole faster.  I opted not to write the last few months out of frustration.  I want my writing to be productive and I was afraid my writing would become large rants from the surge of frustration and anger I was feeling.

Copy right Simply Designing
I am not at 100% and I realize and accept I will probably never be there.  I can say though, I am at a better place than I was a year ago.  Once again I learned a lot about myself during my struggles. I found the courage and strength to pick myself up and try again.

Now that I can function and think rationally it is time to build myself up and develop new and better skills to weather the next storm.  It was recently pointed out to me that my current coping skills are not very healthy or productive.  This is something I could not disagree with. I have a tendency to avoid and shut myself in my room when I can't handle life.

On Monday at counseling it was time to brain storm new, healthier coping skills.  I am the type of person who needs something to do to bring myself forward.  That is why in the past I have turned to school, projects and work.  If I do not have one of those things to focus on I tend to just hide myself in books and movies.

Work is currently still causing me a significant amount of stress so that option is out.  I currently do not have the strength in my hand to work on a project.  I have tendentious in my wrist from work so the less movement when I'm at home the better. I would love nothing more than to go to grad school and get my degree in counseling.  Unfortunately that is not in the budget right now or something I would be able to take on with work.  So the logical thing seems to be to find some workbooks that would not only help me with my personal journey but also educate me on different therapy techniques.

The first workbook I have chosen to start with is "The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skill Workbook" by Matthew McKay, PH.D., Jeffrey C. Wood, PSY.D. and Jeffrey Brantley, MD.

I had to set the book down at page 9 to write because I am struggling with concentrating.  I need to clear my mind and remind myself why this is important. My phone is being turned off because I am getting work messages that are not helping me control my emotions.  I need to focus on my development so I can answer those messages in a healthy manner.  As discussed in the first chapter I need to distract myself until I can answer properly.  I am not avoiding the situation because I am going to come back to the problem.

My goal is to journal my thoughts as I work through this book.  This is not typical of my previous entries but I feel it could be beneficial for my development.