Ways To Cope ~ Or ~ How I Made It Through The Day…

I started this ZenDoodle yesterday and could not finish it. I got all the orchid and blue zigzaggy lines colored in but there were were five little holes staring up at me and I just couldn’t think of a single thing to put in them. I shoved it aside but it stared at me all day long. Tonight it hit me. My ZenDoodles need to be about truth-telling, they need to be the story of my life on a particular day, no matter how embarrassing they are (Remember the one with the bottle of xanax and wine?).

Okay, so what is in today’s Zen-Doodle-Odd-Little-Square-That-Is-A-Perfect-Picture-Of-My-Life?

*My iPhone without which life would not be livable. I’m serious. I don’t talk on the phone much. I text a little. But I read Kindle books on it, I listen to Audible audiobooks on it, I play Klondike Scrabble when life becomes too much and I have no words and I don’t want to be around anyone and especially before I go to sleep. It’s the crossover thing between a day of anxiety and depression to “Oh my God I made it to the chair with the pugs, another day is done.” My brain kind of untangles and anxiety falls away. I have a notepad on my iPhone which I use for my grocery lists and for taking notes for my writing, you know, those things that come up in the night and you don’t want to forget them. I have The Weather Channel app which has been a godsend this last week and Safari where I can look up all manner of things that I absolutely HAVE TO KNOW at 2 a.m. and on which I found live streaming MSNBC and nearly cried from joy. I had to get rid of cable t.v. because the bills kept going up and up and I could no longer afford it but truly almost the only thing I’ve watched in the last year or more from 9 or 10 until 12 or 1 has been news shows on MSNBC. When I could watch Rachel Maddow on my phone I said prayers of thanksgiving! Now I have the long iPhone charging cord that I wrote about last night so I can watch my news shows without running down the battery on my phone. And I never had an iPhone before this past April. I always had an android and they work just fine. BUT when 2 of your children live out of town with 3 of your grandchildren the kids grow up not even knowing you. (Thankfully I have one child and grandchild here + my darling son-in-law. I would be so lost without them I just can’t tell you.) I think as soon as someone becomes a grandparent they should be issued an iPhone for the FaceTiming. My grandchildren are getting to know me now since they only come home 2 and sometimes 3 times a year. I have never felt this way about a cell phone since I got my first one in the year 2000 but I’m here to tell you that iPhones ARE worth it and I never want to be without one!

* NO. Cultivating the ability to say no, kindly, but firmly, can save your life, especially if your brain is doing the tango all day and is prone to taking dips. Life can be hard, and the mentally ill feel so guilty all the time about everything it can be hard to say No. When you learn to say no to things people try to guilt you into doing you just have really accomplished something. Teach other people to say no too, when it’s needed. No, no, no.

* Ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is saving me. The doctor gave me pain pills for my tooth and I’ve taken some. She said take one or two. There were only 21 in the bottle and they were not refillable. I found out that one alone really does no good and two makes you feel, well, kind of funny. And I’m on so much medication for my mental well-being anyway that I get nervous adding something to the mix, especially hydrocodone. And then there’s the whole thing about you just went to a new pharmacy to have your dog’s hydrocodone pills refilled (For his collapsed trachea, bless his heart, it keeps him from coughing his whole trachea up. I never heard of giving a dog hydrocone before but I have heard of several cases since, and it helps him a lot.) and now less than 2 weeks later you bring in another prescription of hydrocone from your dentist. Now this is all legit and actually his is stronger, mine also has acetaminophen in it, but, while I have never done any form of illegal drugs in my life I felt guilty standing there and like the pharmacist was going to say, “Hey, what’s up with this, you just got hydrocone for your dog and now “a dentist” is filling it for you?” I sat nervously waiting for them to fill it expecting them to call me up to the counter and look at me suspiciously and say, “Ahem, mam, we don’t think we can fill this since you’ve already GOT hydrocodone “for your dog.” But it was just my anxiety disorder kicking in after an awful appointment with the dentist when I was in a lot of pain and they wanted a million dollars to fix the tooth. And you know what? 4 ibuprofen, which I was supposed to alternate the hydrocodone with, helps the pain as much or more without any iffy side-effects. I’m sticking to the ibuprofen. It’s much safer all around.

*  Cheetos. Well, into each life a little rain must fall, and we had a lot of rain expected what with Hurricane Irma on the way and Hurricane Jose coming up right behind her. At the store I thought I needed something I’m not supposed to eat but which affects the serotonin in my brain more than my Prozac. Yes, Cheetos. I rarely ever have them, in fact can’t even remember the last time I did, but this hurricane called for some. I blame Effy Wild (Who is sponsoring this wonderful September Blogalong Challenge With Effy), because the other day she wrote about eating “Cheesies” and she showed a picture and I have not been able to get them out of my mind ever since. But I do have to thank her. They helped a lot.

So now I have finished my Day 12 post for the blogalong and shared probably more than you needed to know about me. The thing about these ZenDoodles is that they seem so innocent but things lurking about in your iffy brain just will pop out. Ink blot tests were so long ago. I did them when I was 10 years old at the first psychiatrist’s office I ever went to. Forget the ink blot tests. Get a person to do a ZenDoodle and you will know more than you ever wanted to know about them.

If you enjoy this blog a donation would be deeply appreciated to help me continue to bring “Maitri’s Heart” to you. Thank you, and many deep blessings to one and all…


  1. Everything I have read says that using electronic devices before bed is bad but, if I am to be truly honest, I can’t sleep without using them to quiet my mind. Solitaire, mahjong, word puzzles…they have all proved to be a major help in relaxing enough to get to sleep. My anxiety levels have been so high that I am changing my medication and John got a couple of charging dothingies so that I don’t run out of power before I quiet my mind. I LOVE Cheetos…if only they didn’t turn my fingers orange!! I hope your tooth feels better soon…constant pain is so physically draining.

    • Karrie, I know exactly what you mean. I’ve heard that before too but especially as I no longer have t.v. it’s, in a way, something that helps me hold on until I’m ready to let go and go to sleep if that makes any sense at all. I have medication to help me sleep but it really doesn’t help unless I’m REALLY READY to go to sleep. So I fiddle around playing solitaire or whatever, watching some news and when I feel myself getting tired I take my pills and then I will just kind of watch the news until I find myself nodding off. I used to do this with the t.v. and I miss it but now that I’ve got my longer charging cord and MSNBC live streaming I’m all set and it really helps a lot. Do whatever works for you. What “they say” doesn’t always work for all of us especially those of us with anxious brains. I hope you sleep well tonight honey…

  2. I love your blogs. Your drawings are expressive and delightful and I like that you don’t “freeze up” at not doing the task required (creating the Challenge drawings) but you work around for what works for you! I still am programmed to be obedient (I was born in the 50s) and not deviate from “the plan” even if it works or not. 🙁

    • Marge honey I’m not sure what you mean by “Challenge Drawings?” I am not in any drawing challenge. My little zendoodles are my own thing coming out of an art therapy course I’m taking where they do zentangles but I have created my own little thing that works better for me. I am in a 30 day blog challenge, to blog every day in September, any kind of blog post, that is all. But *always* deviate from *a plan* if it works better for you, and I was born in the 50’s too! 1954 to be exact! 😀

  3. Victoria SkyDancer says:

    Hee hee, Cheetos…
    Macaroni and Cheese is my go-to comfort food when life is crappy. I have a salad to go with it these days to “balance it out,” but I still sigh with contented bliss with the first ooey gooey cheesy bite.

    • Victoria!!! Macaroni and cheese!!!! I love it!!! I seldom ever have it but it is a definite comfort food here! Comfort food is just.so.blissy! I hope you’re doing well honey…

  4. Me three! Cheetoes hands here. Mine are baked!
    Youd think the pharm wouldnt be so nosey. I had to get a print out of mine for my abcess for my tooth. And they looked like, what do i want with a print out? I just like to keep a personal copy.
    I am going back today for my tooth. I needed to see what the date was when i first went for a time frame!

    • Oh dear Liv, tooth issues! I will hold you in my thoughts and prayers today. This whole tooth business is nerve-wracking! Let me know how it goes and good luck!

  5. I’m so happy your tooth is feeling better, it’s sad that many Americans cannot afford dental and they end up suffering so much. Your day sounds lovely, I barely have time to write in my journal theses days, let alone read all the great posts, the grandkids here full time wears me out. I have so many unfinished classes that I paid for in the past, trying to get one completed at a time. So many more classes I’d love to take, but funds are lacking. Be well my friend❤️

    • Thank you so much Ellie. Bless your heart raising your grandchildren is such a huge job, bless you for all you are doing. And I hope you find a way to have some time for yourself honey, that has got to be so hard. And OH the classes I’ve signed up for and never finished! And for the last two years there’s been a class I’ve badly wanted to take that would help me a lot but I just don’t have the money to take it so I understand this too. You take care and be well too honey. I hope today is a good day for you…

  6. Bring on the Cheetos! (We call them Cheezies north of the 49th parallel.) Life is unutterably beautiful and tragically awful. No one gets through it easily. Some have a harder time than others. Everyone suffers…EVERYONE. But not everyone has a beautiful place to call home. Fewer still have puggles to love them. Fewer still have writing skills that absolutely soar. You will always have mental health challenges. You will always inspire. May the latter bring comfort when the former beat up on you.

    • Thank you so much sweet Cathryn. You remind me how much I do have, and again, you help me feel as though I have purpose and meaning in my life, that I do have something to offer even if it’s coming from my cocoon of fear and all the rest. Thank you for being there, and being you, and being such a loving support for me, it means more than you could possibly know…

  7. Love your doodle and love your post I can very much relate to what you say about your iPhone one of my daughters has had mental health issues and being able to connect with people online has been a life saver for her and for me too as my health has kept me very isolated I don’t think I would have much contact with the outside world without it <3

    • Ah Rachel I know this so well. And I’m sorry that both you and your daughter suffer through hard times, but I am glad for all of us that the internet is here to give us a place to connect, to make friends, to find comfort in communities we could not leave the comfort and safety of our own homes to find locally. I’m so glad you’ve found my blog, it means a lot to have you here. Blessings and love to you dearheart…

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