Saturday, October 31, 2009

Call me Mildred

I’m laughing. Still laughing!!

This morning I was multi-tasking, and it reminded me of Mildred in Mental Health Through Will Training. She was multi-tasking before the word was even created.

Yes, there was ‘hummingbird food’ cooking on the stove; was at my computer cutting and pasting, and printing some single-page documents I had promised to mail to a friend. And, I thought I was also washing a load of towels in the utility room. What’s that? You ‘thought’ you were washing them?

Well, the water was in the washer, so was the detergent. I had added chlorine bleach as the washer was filling. Didn’t want to put the towels in until after the washer filled completely, so I went back to the computer and printer. By now you can probably guess… when I did remembered the washer, it was in the rinse cycle. The water was happily sloshing around – all by itself.

My first thought: Yikes! A second later I was laughing. Whatya gonna do except start all over again?? And, that’s exactly what I did (plus stand right there this time). Many moons ago I would have scolded myself for forgetting, wasting water, soap and bleach, and it would have certainly been a ‘sign’ that I was ‘forgetful’ or worse. I would have then listed all the other things I did ‘wrong’ in the past week, or month, or year.

Will I continue to multi-task? You bet. With balance. I can tell when I’ve got too much going – I find myself rushing. And that’s when I slow the muscles way down.

Best Regards,

© 2009 Rose VanSickle ~ All rights reserved

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fear and H1N1

Those of us who live the Recovery Method have personal knowledge and experience on the topic of the power of our thoughts – more precisely, the power of insecure/fear thoughts.
Below is an interesting piece.
I will add no comment to it, other than to say –

it made me stop and think.


There is an old, it may even be an ancient tale, that’s told…
about a wise old man in India sitting at the edge of a road under a tree. The spirit of the plague moved by, and as it did the wise man spoke out: “Where are you going?” The spirit of the plague answered: “I am going to the town, where I will slay one hundred people”.
Three months or so later, the wise old man again saw the plague as it returned from the town, and again he questioned it. “I thought you said you would only take one hundred lives, yet travelers who pass me throughout the day have told me you took ten thousand”
The spirit of the plague replied: “I did slay only one hundred.
Fear took all the others.”

© 2009 Rose VanSickle ~ All rights reserved

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


My sweet 86 year-old neighbor is going to have hip replacement surgery next month. Yesterday she told me that one of the instructions is for her to bring regular ‘street’ clothes to wear while she’s in the hospital. We both mentioned how being dressed, rather than staying in pajamas or a gown, is psychologically healthy. I take that to mean it’s good for a person’s mental health.

Later, as I was thinking of our conversation, I remembered the days way back when, when it was difficult for me to do almost anything – when anxiety and depression ruled my life.
There was so much – “I just don’t wanna.” Or, “I don’t feel like it.” Or, “I don’t feel up to it”, meaning I thought the effort was too great for me to handle.

Thankfully, I learned to make firm decisions and ‘command’ my muscles to move. My motivational statement at the time went like this: “I’m doing this for my Mental Health.”

Stage One Practice:
At first it was usually the mundane things such as getting dressed and making myself presentable. Why should I do my hair, get out of my bed clothes?? I’m not going anywhere today.
A firm decision + the motivator: "I’m doing this for my Mental Health" got me moving.

Stage Two Practice:
Actually going out and bearing more discomfort (taking along my mental fitness tools) plus my: "I’m doing this for my Mental Health" aided me in first walking farther away from my home, then driving longer distances, going for a haircut, sitting through an entire church service or movie, and so many, many, many more activities.

Stage Three Practice
Past the stage of doing the thing I “feared and care not to do” and into not really something I feared to do, but something that would fall into the category of “I’d rather be doing something else”. It could also be an “Oh, this can wait” obligation such as balancing the checkbook, cutting the grass, etc.

I’ve learned that often it takes less time and energy to complete whatever it is, than the time and energy spent in putting it off. How so? The nagging “should” thoughts when I delay doing what should be done are bothersome. distracting, annoying. They’re uncomfortable! Kept up long enough, they will cause tension. So, for me, I command the muscles and DO.
Even now sometimes I still use “I’m doing this for my Mental Health”. Interesting, now it’s kind of fun.

Then again, sometimes there’s more effort in –

“I WILL save this for tomorrow”.
And… that’s another topic, for another day.

Warm Regards,

© 2009 Rose VanSickle All rights reserved

Monday, October 26, 2009

At Ease & In Control…
that’s what everyone wants – to be at ease, to be and feel in control of themselves, and their lives. And, that’s exactly what the Recovery Method can teach you to do for yourself – Be at ease & in control. That’s what it’s done for me and scores of other people too.

Reminiscing, Gratitude & Practice

This month is Special in my life, and that’s why I’m choosing to launch this blog now – as part of my Celebration. It’s been 28 years since I attended my first Recovery International (RI) self-help meeting, and my l life has changed enormously since then.

I immediately began practicing what I learned that first evening. Granted, it was only one of Dr. Low’s bits of wisdom. It didn’t work instantly – it took practice. It took conscious and deliberate effort on my part. Yet I knew – that was ‘my part’, my action to take. The tools were there, I had to use them if I was going to feel better, if I was going to reach my hope, my aim, to be fully-functioning again.

Recently I was reading what I would label a spiritual self-help book, and came across this sentence: “Now you know it – USE IT!” I smiled and thought: “How true that is”. Immediately it reminded me of Dr. Low’s: Knowledge tells us what to do, but practice shows us how to do it. Information, is good, and it’s crucial in any self-improvement endeavor. But by itself, knowledge does next-to-nothing for any well-being process. Knowing the RI phrases, knowing precisely where to find them in whatever book is great – but if we don’t use them while/when we’re upset or in symptoms, frankly, they’re useless. The mental fitness techniques were not developed to be used only at weekly meetings.

I think of it this way: If I want to play the piano, and study how-to books over and over again, and for years watch educational videos that teach correct hand positions, etc. and yet I don’t actually use those instructions on a real keyboard – over and over and over again – I will never, ever be a skilled piano player, much less an amateur one. I will not accomplish my ambition by simply ‘knowing’. Only by ‘doing’ – utilizing what I know – will I achieve my goal.

I am so very grateful for Dr. Low’s Method. With it, I’ve changed my life completely. And, I am so grateful for the circumstances in my life back in 1981, which caused me to work so hard at getting well (more on that topic may be revealed in a future post).

Warm Regards,

© 2009 Rose VanSickle ~ All rights reserved