Ice Water Amen!

24 06 2011

Us Alaska country hicks have strange mannerisms, methods of weight loss, and self induced sanity for curing just about anything, including family visit PTSD.  I’m back, I’m feeling better, and like my real self.  People are starting to circle and dwell a bit in my presence again, which is a good sign that my fangs must have withdrawn a bit, and the horns that sprouted out of my head must be shrinking again.

Plunge!  AAAAAGhh….Yessss.  Ahhh.  That’s pretty much an accurate transcript of the audio track that emerges from my mouth when I plunge my body into water running at about 40 degrees.  Fahrenheit that is.  I’m back at work, recovering from my annual June Family Camping trip, and grateful to be alive.

Last summer my hiking buddy and I discovered how refreshing cold, really cold with ice floating on it at times, water swimming can be.  It’s addictive.  It’s a big hell yeah.  When I plunge into cold water, nothing else is occurring in my body, or mind, but OH GOD!  We climb back out and jump in again.  Eventually we start running laps and diving in again, or hiking across the tundra to the next spring fed Arctic pool of water.  We found one last year we named liquid pain.  It was barely big enough to crouch into but it must of come right out of some permafrost because it actually hurt to be in it.  We haven’t been back to that one yet this year.  For some reason it’s not high on our list.

Yep, I’m crazy.  I visit with my family, take them on camping trips, go crazy, and do crazy things to recover, like go back to work and throw my head in a cold lake every night after shift.  But the results are awesome, I’m sleeping better, letting go of weight, and becoming happy and calm again.  Once again I feel normal.

Childhood bullshit, and mis-identifying myself as a crazy bipolar person is over.

It only took me forty years to figure out, but if you put a calm person in an extremely crazy dysfunctional environment for the first sixteen years of their life, and then lock them up and call them bipolar, not only may they identify with and unconsciously adopt the symptoms, but their whole demeanor and personality can become this way as well, unfortunately this becomes the fate of many people for their entire life.

And yet, if that same person is bound and determined to find a way back to function, sanity, and calmness as a daily way of living, I can now look you in the eye and say, this is now my reality.  I hold hope for anyone, with a strong desire to find their way out of dysfunction, and into the joy stillness of being ones soul, and living one’s purpose from the inside out.  If it was possible for me, I believe it’s possible for anyone, willing and persistent enough to find their way as well.  Your path may not take as many years, because there are people like me which can help guide the willing, and it may not involve arctic ice water plunges, but that’s ok.  Find your plunge, your passions, and your paths to sanity.  IT’s Possible!


Family Visit Top Tens

23 06 2011

Top Ten I did/do Before

1) Learn how to take care of your body. Walk, eat, and relax.

2) Learn how to take care of your mind.  Sit still 10 min a day. Talk with a true trusted friend or qualified counselor every couple days or more. Engage in positive projects 10 mins or more a day

3) Learn how to take care of your spirit.  What renews your faith in a greater good?   Do it.  Read uplifting literature, connect with positive groups, and practice deep breathing everyday

4) Learn how to swim in stress.  Scrunch toes and release, scrunch base of spine and release, scrunch shoulders and fists, breathe and release, practice this everyday, and every stressful situation you find yourself in until this becomes an automatic habit.  Feel stress-begin releasing

5) Get a life.  Forget about your past, embrace your destiny, Search till you find or continue searching for what makes you giggle grin, and enjoy life no matter what is going on.  Invest as much time and energy into this as you possible can.  Create a daily activity in your life, bigger, and more rewarding, than your problems, and you’ve won.

6) Practice connecting with the physical natural environment, anytime anywhere.  Even if it’s just imagining the dirt beneath the pavement, or exploring the wonder of dark raining clouds.  Or visualizing your favorite weather or animal, and dwelling in the energy as much as you can for renewal.

7) Incorporate these things into an easy daily routine.  Shorten or expand time periods, 1 minute to 10 or even more of these activities on a daily basis, create a life worth living for no matter what

8) Set short and long-term goals, which fill you with hope, walk towards them as gently as you need to with actions, no matter what.  This is hope, accomplishing is great, but more important is hope, actions build hope, and lead to accomplishing, and accomplishing can bring stillness and rest to your soul for overcoming and moving forward in life.

9) Call your real friend right before visit, and set up support calls and breaks during visit.

10) Release all expectation.  I am who I am because of my family, but they may not be interested in who I’ve become or what I can do for them.  It’s important to let this go, and just be a human with family of origin.

Top Ten I do during

1) Set up a successful intro plan; I.e. neutral place, like a park or restaurant.  Preferable at noon or later so the 1st day is only a half.

2) Know that there will be the initial wave of feelings thoughts and reactions, just quack like a duck, water washing off your back

3) Try not to fix them.  Be the lighthouse not the rescue boat. They are probably more interested in them selves, or exposing your vulnerabilities, ask them question, keep them talking, it’s fun for them, and easier for you

4) Excuse yourself to go to the bathroom or take a call.  Before you need to.  Take a five minute break, call or text a friend, breath, play a game, read a book, distract yourself and if possible reconnect with who you really are.  Repeat this as often as possible throughout duration of visit.  THIS IS VITAL

5) Know that you are likely to get pissed off, upset, worried and angry.  Feel it.  Breathe it. Release it.  Apply what you’ve learned about releasing stress in the moment.  This visit is not about you and your dreams; this is about visiting the humans you came from, and maybe discovering a gem or healing, or unexpected connection.

6) If you blow a gasket and get angry, don’t’ worry about it, you are human, practice self-compassion, and know that realness with other humans can be more effective than bottling it up.  We may prefer to be peaceful, but they may feel more connected when you are angry.  When your done, you can always begin again practice peace in your own mind and body, even if they choose to thrive on anger, chaos, the past, and dysfunction, you don’t have to any more, that chapter of your life is over, this is just a visit, which can actually inspire you to become more of who your really are, as you successfully walk thru this, and move on.

7) End your days, by taking a walk, phone call from a real friend, read a really good book, distract your self out of family chaos and story, this really helps to give your mind a rest from all the good work it does while you are around them

8) Begin your day with your regular routine no matter what.  Write in your journal, stretch your body, sit still and relax, connect with positive literature.  Prep for the game, and the family game can go much easier

9) Be active with your family, sitting around can become highly toxic and past orientated, driving, parks, fun activities are a great way to keep energy moving and in the present

10) Set up the end date.  End it.  Leave the situation.

Top Ten I do after


2) Call your support person again and babble to help with the initial waves of PTSD or whatever may have triggered you

3) Get back into your healthy daily routine as soon as possible

4) Spend an hour minimum on your current biggest passion as soon as possible.

5) Breathe, cry, shake, sweat, sit in nature repeat.

6) Spend time with people you feel safe with, minimize if possible people you don’t.

7) Be compassionate with yourself, you’ve just walked thru your past

8) Observe feel watch allow the waves of whatever go thru you, than get up and partake in a positive activity you actually really enjoy.

9) Know that this can take time, hour’s months, days, and years.  No matter.  It can with practice get easier and shorter over time.




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