Summer time is here

By Granny Eardley June 1, 2016

Well grands school is out for the summer. This will be the first summer both grandpa and I have it off and can spend time with you. For the last 3 summers I have had Wednesday’s off and would come pick you up and we would have adventures. Some were very simple like going to the park on a picnic. Some were more daring going hiking up to Table Rock or Camels Back park.

We both love spending time with all of you. It is a little bittersweet as you all are getting older. Jaidyn turns 18 this year and will graduate next spring. She may have plans with friends this summer and may not go on our adventures as often. Hopefully, she will be able to join us once in a while.

The one bad thing this year is my knee has become so much worse. I will have the surgery in the next 6-8 months, but for now I just hobble with a cane. So I am not able to hike Table Rock, or even hardly walk. But we manage to still have some fun. When we are at our house we often will create art (picture above is my first canvas). Sometimes we play games, or watch a couple of funny TV shows. All of you seem to like Modern Family and we laugh a lot usually.

All of you still like to come for sleep-overs. That is special and we have done then since you were all very small. After you got a little older we would bring you one at a time. That way you were able to have a break from your siblings and receive one on one attention from us. Even Jaidyn still likes coming for sleep overs. Another idea I have had since you were small was to write you a letter each year on your birthday. I plan to give them to you when you graduate high school. I did this for your dad and it was a nice tradition.

Well grands enjoy the first few days of summer and I hope you make lots of fun memories. One day in another post I will share some of my memories of summer.

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Living life fully

By Granny Eardley May 23, 2016

Well grands everything is finally moving forward in the right direction in regards to the new house being built. Your dad and mom and grandpa and I looked over the final plans and approved everything, so now they send it to the county to get the permit. Once they have the permit they will start the foundation. Then it should only take about 3-4 months. It will be so fun on Christmas morning not to have to drive to your house at 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning. We will already be there.

Eventually we will have a nice area in back with a hot tub to help our sore bones. And inside a great ER room for our art. I am so excited about that. We have about 4 or 5 windows in that room and plenty of space for all of us to create.

One of the areas of my life I am most proud is changing the cycle of abuse that had been in our family for generations. I made some mistakes but I was able to protect your daddy when he was little. I made the effort beginning in my pregnancy to learn new ways to discipline a child. The biggest thing I learned was discipline does not mean punishment. It is about education, not hurting. And young children should never experience bad touching. Children should only receive hugs and loving touch from their parents. Boundaries and personal space regarding our bodies is important. So please when the time comes you start having children, take the time to learn the best for your family.

I used to write poetry when I was young and I may begin again. Once my knees have been fixed and we can travel, I may not create quite as many pages, but I will have supplies with me and create some. I can’t seem to stop. Every day I just NEED to do this. Mostly just having fun getting messy and seeing what happens on the page. I highly encourage anyone who may be reading this to think about creating an ART JOURNAL. It is tons of fun!!!!!!

Messing up with blog

By Granny Eardley May 17, 2016

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Oh my goodness. I had not written in this blog for quite a few weeks, and then when I did write a post I put it under the pages section. For the life of me I couldn’t find it for a while. I became so frustrated, I just decided to stay away for a bit. I’m baaaack.

Grandkids I know you will think I am just so slow when it comes to tech stuff. And you are right. I should take a class and I just may do that one of these days. Right now though I am busy learning how to paint. Yes, that’s right, your granny is learning something new. Remember in a previous post I said we are never too old to learn new things? So this granny, who is 60, is beginning to learn how to paint. Right now with acrylics and soon with watercolors. Keeping an art journal helps me draw frequently. I will post 3 or 4 of my more recent pics. Most I like but one not so much.

The reason I started the art journal was because I was struggling with writing in my regular journal. Recently, when I would begin an entry in my writing journal, I would be finished after only 2-3 sentences. I was not in the mood. After writing one for 45 years this had me confused. When I had the counseling business I would often encourage some of my therapy clients to keep an art journal so I started keeping one myself. Oh what a change.

I am sleeping better, I have lost 6.5 lbs in the last 3 weeks. My knees even hurt a little less. With all of these positive changes, I will definitely continue the art journal. And once I get my knees fixed next year, I plan to attend an art retreat. I want to meet others who enjoy being creative. Between making mosaics, learning about colors and paint, I am staying busy in my new life of retirement. And my mind is being stimulated.

See grandkids it is never too late to learn new things. I plan to be a lifetime student and learn as many new things as possible. What a grand retirement it will be

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Schizophrenia vs. Schizophrenic

Doug graduating getting his GED
Doug graduating getting his GED

THANK YOU GRANDCHILDREN

I would like to say thank you for accepting uncle Doug, and including him in our gatherings. Uncle Doug has a disease called schizophrenia. When you were small I’m sure you were not quite sure what to think about him. During the times he  is having more hallucinations he can be a little different, he would probably say even odd. Then he would chuckle. It doesn’t matter to you. You still show him respect, and you respond to him when he talks with you.

MENTAL ILLNESS STIGMA

The last few years have seen improvements in the area of mental illness. However, even with these improvements, there continues to be a stigma associated with having a major diagnosis. It’s important to receive an accurate diagnosis, but once a person has one, how do they decide to share with friends or loved ones?

Often, loved ones will be aware of a problem due to the symptoms a person has been experiencing. How does a person decide to inform their friends? If they tell friends, will these friends be supportive? Will they understand the significance of getting a diagnosis? Will they need education regarding the illness?

HOW TO TELL LOVED ONES

I would like to encourage anyone receiving a major diagnosis to not label yourself in terms of only that diagnosis. When talking with others close to you, remind them your illness is only one aspect of who you are. Your thoughts and language can have an impact on your coping strategies as you heal or stabilize.

LANGUAGE

An important aspect of language is being person centered. Referring to yourself as schizophrenic instead of a person who has schizophrenia can limit you to the possibilities you may have for your future. The same can be said for bi-polar and even diabetes. You are more than your illness.

It also would be helpful for professionals to think about the language used with patients. A person who is having a problem with high blood sugars should not be referred to as diabetic. They are a person with diabetes.

IDENTITY

When a person receives a major diagnosis it is often life changing. However, having the diagnosis does not change everything about that person, or who they are inside. Someone who develops a mental illness is still a son/daughter, a brother/sister, mother/father, or a friend. They may be an artist, a baker, a welder, a banker, or a homeless person on the street. They can still smile, they can still share laughter, they can still be kind, and they can still have hope.

So grandchildren I ask you to continue having understanding of people you meet who struggle with mental illness. Please remember it is only part of who they are. Remember uncle Doug.

For anyone who may be having a major illness, please be gentle with yourself. Please remember the illness is only part of who you are, not the totality of who you are. You will still be able to smile. You can still share laughter. You can still be kind. You can have hope.

http://www.nami.org National Alliance on Mental Illness

For anyone wanting to find out more about supporting loved ones who may have mental illness contact the above web site.