Posts Tagged With: personal medicine

Day 3165: Cats

Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved cats.

My mother, who was very neat, did not want pets in the house, so she resisted my requests for a cat. Also, because she had a dog growing up, she couldn’t understand why I wanted a cat rather than a dog.

I couldn’t explain it to her. I just felt a connection when I looked into the eyes of a cat. I was fascinated by them, and encountering a cat anywhere always made me happy.

One day, when I was about seven years old, my father brought home a stray cat, a small tiger kitty, who had wandered into his store. I was beyond thrilled. My mother didn’t want the cat in the house so my new kitty was relegated to the garage. I remember spending hours watching that cat eat and play in the garage, so happy to finally have one.

Soon though, the cat escaped from the garage. I remember searching desperately through the neighborhood, crying as I called out for my lost kitty. When I got home, I found that my parents were frantic about my being gone so long.

My parents were particularly worried about me because I was born with a heart condition. My heart condition really needed a pacemaker, but pacemakers hadn’t been invented when I was born in 1953.

Soon after the cat in the garage ran away, I had to go into the hospital more and more as my condition got worse. The doctors tried different treatments, including yucky medication I had to take under my tongue, which speeded up my heart but made me feel really sick.

Then, when I was in the hospital for observation at age 10, I had a heart stoppage. The doctors decided to implant a pacemaker, which they had been avoiding because pacemakers were so new and really too big for a small kid like me.

When I woke up from the heart surgery that was required to implant pacemakers back then, I said to my mother, “What have I got to look forward to if I don’t have a cat?” Tears streaming down her face, she promised me a cat.

After I had recovered enough from my surgery (which by the way, was on November 22, 1963, the day President John F. Kennedy was killed), my dad took me to the local vet, who had several cats there for adoption. I chose the shyest one, who was a calico kitty I named Tuffy.

Tuffy was definitely my “personal medicine,” helping me heal and be tough enough to endure the many surgeries I needed to undergo as my pacemakers broke in every conceivable way.

Since then, I often choose shy cats who remind me of Tuffy. Our cat Harley is one of those cats. Harley, even though I feed him every morning, much prefers my husband Michael. Harley avoids me when he can, although he sometimes affords me the privilege of patting him for two seconds. Mostly, he run away from me, like I’m the enemy.

Our new cat, Joan, is not shy. I chose her because she gets along with cats, humans, AND dogs. My husband Michael loves dogs so I’m thinking there MIGHT be a dog in our future. And because Joan is not an alpha cat, she and Harley get along surprisingly well.

Joan is very rambunctiousness and always wants to play. Harley tolerates that, keeping her away with a hiss when he wants more personal space.

Last weekend, Joan invaded my personal space, clawing my nose when she wanted to wake me at 2 AM. Because I take anticoagulant medication (required because of the mechanical heart valve I got in 2016), Joan gave me a nose bleed that just wouldn’t quit.

So here I am, in the second week of my long-awaited vacation from work, stuck at home with a painful balloon up my nose and two cats.

And you know what? I still love cats and always will.

Do you see any cats in my images for today?

I was kind of hoping that today would be National Cat Day, but to us cat lovers, EVERY day is cat day.

I wonder if I’ll find anything on YouTube if I search for “cats”?

Thanks to all the cool cats who have helped me get through the tough days, including YOU.

Categories: cats, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 3072: Strong Encouragement

Today’s post is titled “Strong Encouragement” because (1) we could all use some and (2) I captured these two images at my local supermarket last night:

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Do you see strong encouragement in my other images for today?

In college, I needed strong encouragement to read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, which included horrific scenes about how the sausage is made.

Do you need strong encouragement to watch and listen to the twins hearing Steely Dan’s “Do It Again” for the first time?

If so, I strongly encourage you to read this comment:

What does strong encouragement mean to you?

In case you didn’t know, I’m always grateful for the strong encouragement you give me to keep on blogging, every day.

Categories: inspiration, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 2784: Antidepressants

As a clinical social worker, I cannot prescribe antidepressants, so I talk to people about other types of antidepressants, which I like to call “personal medicine.”

Do you see any antidepressants here?

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For me, all those images are antidepressants, including that homemade, well-worn window sign that says “THANK YOU HEALTH CARE WORKERS.”

What are your antidepressants, these days?

Music is  an antidepressant for many.   Here are Blood, Sweat & Tears performing “Manic Depression” in 1980:

Comments are also antidepressants for me, so I look forward to taking that personal medicine later today.

As always, gratitude is an antidepressant, so thanks to all (including YOU) who help me combat depression with this daily blog!

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2540: Therapy

Since I practice group therapy and individual therapy, I must have created many other “Therapy” posts, right?

What attracts my attention now is this:  the only other post I’ve published with “therapy” in the title is Day 430: What I learned at the group therapy conferenceand that is one of my shortest posts, ever.

So why this therapy post, today?

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That’s a sign I saw yesterday at Designer’s Circus in Boston. At Designer’s Circus, I found Therapy and Joy.

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That’s Joy, who was one of the many people at Designer’s Circus who heard that I was there to shop for a dress for my December 27 City Hall Wedding and who wanted to be involved in the process.

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That’s Kathleen, one of the owners of Designer’s Circus, who helped me find two great dresses. Spending time with her and the other wonderful people I met at Designer’s Circus was definitely therapy for me.

After retail therapy at Designer’s Circus, I got more therapy at the annual glass sale at Almost Perfect Glass in Cambridge, Massachusetts because I spent therapeutic time with my good friend Deb, seen here at last year’s sale.

Wherever I look, I find therapy. Can you find therapy in my other photos from yesterday?

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If you want pizza therapy, go to Santarpio’s in Boston, which makes the best pizza I’ve ever had.

How about some music therapy?

Because I especially love group therapy, I wonder how my group of readers will respond to this post.

Gratitude is great therapy for all of us, so thank you!

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Day 2481: Information for healthy living

Just now, when I searched my thousands of blogs for a previous post about “information for healthy living,” this is what WordPress told me:

Nothing Found

Sorry, but nothing matched your search criteria. Please try again with some different keywords.

 

And here I thought I’ve been giving you, my readers, information for healthy living for approximately two thousand, five hundred and seventeen days!

Well, as I like to tell people, there’s no time like the present, so let’s begin:

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That photo helps explain and corroborate today’s title, but there’s no information for healthy living there!

Let’s see if there’s any information for healthy living in the rest of my photos from yesterday:

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When I search YouTube for “information for heathy living,” lots of videos show up, including this one:

 

Yesterday, I told my wonderful Primary Care Physician —  Dr. Laura Snydman at Tufts Medical Center —  that I hoped  my dancing was as good for healthy living as medicine is.

Here‘s Bailey and Gino from So You Think You Can Dance (which I think is great medicine):

 

Feel free to add more information for healthy living in the comments section, below.

Here’s some healthy thanks from your grateful blogger:

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, self-care, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 1894: Prescriptions

In my work as a therapist, sometimes I write prescriptions for people.  I’m not licensed to prescribe medications, so those prescriptions have included

  • Rx:  Keep doing what you’re doing.
  • Rx:  Be kind to yourself.
  • Rx:  This too shall pass.
  • Rx.  One  day at a time.
  • Rx:  One minute at a time.
  • Rx: Follow your heart.
  • Rx: Stay safe.
  • Rx:  Forgive yourself.
  • Rx:  Love yourself.
  • Rx:  Speak your truth.
  • Rx:  It’s safer than it feels.

I happen to have a blank prescription here.

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What prescription would you write for yourself, here and now?

My daily prescriptions include writing this blog and sharing photos.

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Those Yogi Tea sayings seem like prescriptions to me.

What’s the prescription for the rockin’ pneumonia and the boogie woogie flu?

Prescribed thanks to all who helped me write today’s blog post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 1759: What do you like most about yourself?

What do you like most about yourself?

What I like most about myself is that  …

  • I offer  therapy/support groups where people  bring in and answer excellent questions.

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  • I follow my own values and standards.

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  • I try my best to live righteously and love everyone.

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  • I appreciate and share great music.

 

  • I express gratitude, including thanking all who help me create these daily blog posts and — of course! — YOU.

 

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 1640: Personal medicine, again

Because this blog is personal medicine for me, I’ve been publishing daily posts since January 1, 2013.  During that time, I’ve personally blogged twice before about personal medicine (here and here).

Yesterday, in a therapy group, it was personal medicine for all of us to share our personal medicine.

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Notice that the first item on my list of personal medicine is my sister. That’s because Ellen had texted me during the group that she was in the building where I work. After the group, I had the personal medicine of hanging out with Ellen in the lobby of the hospital. She showed me a graph she had created about how Perceivers perform tasks.

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Ellen showed me the personal medicine of that chart because, in Myers-Briggs lingo, I’m a perceiver and she’s a judger. I was initially interested and excited, then I got diverted by other priorities.

One of my other priorities yesterday was to go on a walk-through — with my boyfriend Michael, our realtor Jane, and the current owner —  of our very-soon-to-be-new home near the ocean.

 

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It’s personal medicine for me to look at that last photo. Imagine the personal medicine of living there, after the closing today.

When Michael and I got back to our soon-to-be-not home last night, we found a note from my son Aaron. Michael did his own personal medicine of  writing back on the note.

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Did you see that music is also on my list of personal medicine, above?

I hope you know your comments are also personal medicine for me. Please share your personal medicine, below.

Personal thanks to all who helped me create another personal-medicine post and — of course! — to YOU.

Categories: blogging, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Day 1115: How to let go of embarrassment

Is there any thing you’re embarrassed about, right now?  If so, let’s figure out

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What do you know  about letting go of embarrassment, based on your past experience and your own wisdom?  If you can’t think of anything, please don’t be embarrassed.  When somebody unexpectedly puts me on the spot and asks for answers, I’m embarrassed about how long it can take me to think of something useful.

I’m also embarrassed that I can’t remember everything people came up with, yesterday in my office, when we were brainstorming about how to let go of embarrassment.  I do remember the list included:

  • acknowledge what’s embarrassing you,
  • recognize how the embarrassment is affecting your thoughts, feelings, and actions,
  • figure out who originally gave you the idea you should be embarrassed in this situation,
  • challenge that assumption,
  • share your thoughts and feelings with somebody you trust,
  • recognize that other people get embarrassed,
  • let go of the embarrassment as quickly as possible, and …

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Because I’m a little embarrassed about my handwriting, I’ll point out that #9 says “Treat yourself kindly.”

As usual, I have an embarrassment of riches, photographically, that I’d like to share with you today:

 

Which of those images are most embarrassing to you?  How might you begin to let go of that embarrassment?

It’s embarrassing how easy it is for me to ask for comments for my daily blog posts.  Please don’t be embarrassed to leave one, below.

This might be embarrassing, but I’m not going to thank anybody for their help in creating today’s blog.  I’d definitely be embarrassed, however, if I didn’t thank you — of course! — for reading it.

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , | 29 Comments

Day 1037: Candied

Dear sweet readers,

Can you guess why today’s post may be Candied?

Many of us, this time of year, buy too much candy for Halloween, and get candied ourselves.

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Candied, indeed.

Yesterday, many sweet people in therapy talked about eating candy (among other things) and how that made them feel.

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All that sugar activated my sweet tooth, so  I tried getting candied …

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… and got cookied, instead.

As I suggested to others throughout the day …

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… mindful eating includes recognizing slips and self-forgiveness. Our self-worth is NOT dependent on what we eat or how we look.

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By mindfully letting go of the extra sugar I’ve been eating lately, I was able to notice and appreciate other sweet things around me.

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Now it’s time to share some sweet music in this candied post.

Candidly, I chose today’s title partly because of this:

The Candide Overture by Leonard Bernstein is here on YouTube, with over one million sweet views.

What are your candied thoughts and feelings, now?

Sweet gratitude to all who helped me create this candied post and special thanks to you — of course! — for bringing your sweet self here, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

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