Monthly Archives: December 2013

A year in review 2013

Standard

How has an entire year flown by again? It seems at times to be crawling by and then it’s over. Facebook tried to do a 2013 in review. I was kind of disappointed. It was then that I realized that a lot of the things that meant the most to me, were not things I posted on Facebook.  They were not given lots and lots of likes, so Facebook deemed it not important. Just another reminder that social media does not give you the full picture. I have grown a lot as a blogger and as a mother and as a friend as well. This is just a review of some of the more personal things that may or may not have been conveyed in the blogs. It all goes so fast so most of this is just for me to have a record of it.

January brought some major changes. We were moving out of the house we had lived in for thirteen years. It was the house that I brought our daughter home from the hospital to. It was where we lived as newly weds. That house. That house had so much stuffed into it. In more ways than one. It took me a bit to realize it was after all just a house. What mattered was moving with us. We had pictures and we had our memories.  We had a new neighborhood to explore while walking the dogs, which was also new to us.

january 19      jan25

February was still full of so many adjustments while still continuing school routines and such. It really did fly by. So much so that I didn’t find many pictures of February. It does strike me though how much she has changed in the last year. I can see it looking back even if we don’t notice it day by day.

feb

March had so much fun! Dying Easter eggs with friends. We were still exploring the neighborhood with walks. There was a no school day so the kid got to play with snickerdoodle as well. She said .” Finally she is big enough to play with.” apparently newborns were not much fun! Then of course we had the visit from the Easter Bunny.

march 20   maarch march2 march23

April was full of birthday parties, walks that were too big for us, and of course, PRINCESS P was born!  As long as my friends keep having their second and third kids, the kid will know what it is like to have a sibling, I can’t stay away from babies! Not to mention I had the honor of being there for her birth and experiencing a birth from the non-pushing side…and all the feelings that brought…plus the love for my friend and her new little daughter. We even saved a baby gopher tortoise from our dogs on one of those long walks. Taking walks has become a big part of our lives and sometimes we forget in our excitement that we still have to turn around and get back home.

april7  april

April1  april25 The kid seeing Princess P for the first time.april26  snicker

Snickerdoodle is so awesome she needs two pairs of sunglasses!

May oh May , my birth month. We started it off with a walk with the church youth religious group picking up litter. Then we finally got to see the baby woodpeckers that were right outside my window, I heard them LOOOONNGGG before I saw them! I had a great birthday with lots of Doctor Who stuff and even a snuggle with Princess P.

may18  may may16 may24

June was hot. I know , I know we live in Florida. However now we live in a trailer that does not have central air. Hot. Hot. Hot.  That did not really stop us though. The kid went on her first vacation with friends, without Mommy and Daddy. Then even more fun, was the goats at the end of the street had babies! More Kids! Haha! Then there was the trip to Disney world for the first time ever, for the kid. It was like the going for the first time for us as well. We also did it as a camping trip which was a first for us as well!

june 9th  july30 june3 june29 1043883_540021532712355_69541461_n 421874_540021582712350_1402887247_n 1004412_540206519360523_506802116_n 1012745_540031849377990_1649223815_n

July started off with a BANG… literally. Most families spend the fourth of July watching Fireworks. We spent it in the ER. Note to other kids: Jumping from the top bunk onto the trundle bed pulled out on the other bed, generally not a good idea. Thankfully though there was no broken bone. Just extremely bruised.  There was another Birthday party and this one gets mentioned because it is the birthday of ONE of the boys she is going to marry. We also got spoiled with a visit from my friend Christine.  Looking forward to a visit in 2014!

july 28th  july

july4 july13 july20 july26

August is a big month for us. The kid was born on August 1st and the husband on August 31. I live with the alpha and omega of August.  She may have turned eight but she is not too big for cheek squishing from Daddy. More goats babies were born and a baby calf too!  The kid got her ears pierced. Time with friends at the library and we were like teenagers as HANSON. We also started The Secret Garden, not sure we actually read it all. The more important thing was we were spending quality time and reading!

aug1 aug3 aug7 tiffaugust august12 august27 auh3

September brings 13 years of marriage. How did that happen?A  Feast day which we stole Princess P for! Dogs who decide they are NOT walking back from our walk.. Walking for weight-loss shenanigans with friends. Princess P and Snickerdoodle got a chance to meet in Target. Obviously we are bringing up these babies right, Target need we say more. My sister who lives in California came for a visit and we had all the cousins together all at once. The kid won a tackle box in a free raffle in a fishing tournament. Princess P and I came to an understanding that Naps are not optional with Auntie.

sep192013 sept14 Sept16 sept25 sept27 sept29 sept30 sept2312013 september25 september2513

In October it was all about getting ready for a Halloween party at Princess P’s house, getting the perfect costumes, and showing Snickerdoodle how to stack. It was finally in October that the light started to change. Things had a softer , warmer look to them. I enjoy the fall and winter so much and this is only one reason why.

oct4 oct5 oct31 october 26

In November we got to go to a wedding, I was not driving, I didn’t have the kid with me, Alcohol was MY FRIEND.  I rescued a cat who would have been a lost cause to most but is now thriving.  I also got to soak in the Mamalode Magazine library. We went to the library multiple times, one time we went for read with the dogs. Playgroud play dates with fancy water bottles and even some living vicariously through my friend as she breastfed Princess P. Of course there is still visits to see the goats and we must show them off to any visitors even though they are not our goats.

nov 10  ResizedImage_1384713749898 ResizedImage_1384713771795 unnamed (4) 1468532_607254589322382_1635449440_n unnamed (1) 1456759_607254199322421_1628971104_n unnamed (1) unnamed (4) 1451577_607347589313082_958906855_n unnamed (9)

How did December go so freaking fast? I had it all planned out then it was like a whirl wind and it is over already. December was filled with so much from doctors visits to medication changes to wonderful memories created.

1476210_615648735149634_1259289681_n 1474384_615649028482938_510464320_n 1455058_615648261816348_781239395_n 1452329_615648841816290_758086925_n 1098135_615769168470924_434967459_n 994988_615769131804261_658763261_n 1391917_615769105137597_1814313414_n

In the end I am very content with progress made this year both physically, emotionally,spiritual  and even socially!

Being who I am

Standard

I realized the other day that I had yet again, lost more friends of Facebook. Now I know what you are thinking, Its Facebook get over it, you probably haven’t even met them in real life. This is true. Most of the people I had never met. It does not however negate their friendship to me. I am not talking about the ones that friend you because you are in the same “group” as them and never talk to you.

The funny thing is I didn’t loose friends until I decided about a year ago I was tired of hiding. I was putting it out there. All of it. Exactly how I felt. Either in status updates or sharing other posts that resonate with me. I have a friend that is like that and I really value her friendship. She is gonna give it to me real but with love as well. I really admired that and decided that was how I was going to be.I have been growing a lot in the past year to two years , spiritually and intellectually. I actually think in the last year I have made more progress than the four and half years in Cognitive Behavior Therapy.I decided to put my foot down that this was my wall and I was posting things that mattered to me, If you were offended that was your problem. Some people I was not surprised to see go. Some I was shocked. Some I felt we had talked so often and about so many things that I needed an explanation as to why.  I needed to understand why.

If we all sat down and really examined why we are offended….judgement would be high up there. It goes against what you believe to be true, so it is wrong. I won’t say I wasn’t right there in the past. I am trying really hard though to leave that behind. To keep my mind open. To not hide who I am. I decided that for me I am mostly comfortable with putting it out there, open and honest. If something offends me, I need to examine why. If a friend posts something that I don’t agree with I either shrug it off or bring it up in our next discussion and we talk about it. It doesn’t matter if they are in real life friends or facebook friends. It matters not. If it is something that is a trigger of some sort for you, I want to know that. It maybe they tell me what is bothering them or spurred the decision and I just shrug my shoulders and keep being me. My response may not necessarily mean I will change anything, but I would listen. I do listen.

If your answer is to unfriend, that is your choice. It is not going to stop me from being me. In the end I guess what I am feeling about all this is disappointment.

So honored

Standard

Someone nominated me for an award. A health activist award. I was so shocked and honored.

unnamed

 

I am so addicted to Instagram!

I don’t have all the answers. I can only impart what I know and what I experience.

If you would take the time to endorse my nomination I would be so honored. Its like voting, they just need a name and an email. I have never received Junk mail from them. It is just their way of making sure its not me voting for me repeatedly.

http://awards.wegohealth.com/nominees/chronically-sick-and-sometimes-manic-mother-1235

Shoving off the negativity

Standard

This last week of 2013 I have dedicated to sloughing off stuff that I have stubbornly held on to. A good portion of that stuff is negative.

One of my favorite guided meditations says let go of the things that do not help me. Let go. Sometimes I just repeat that over and over in my head. Sometimes I visualize letting go of the word negativity. Sometimes I think of specific things that have been bothering me. It is either a feeling of too much negativity, or it is something specific that I need to analyze and let go.It could be a feeling or a way I react to a situation.

I like visualizing golden light or white healing light the best though. I visualize it burning out the negativity and replacing it with warm happy thoughts. This one is normally the most effective for me. If I am really struggling I go outside earbuds in, and sit on the ground. Rest my hands on the ground.Even in the dark. Often these are just five minutes or so. It is truthfully the longest I can sit on the ground like that without hurting. Plus the longer I sit there, the harder it is to get back up.

I found meditation to be the best way for me to leave negativity behind. It helps me in so many ways. I found the more I practice the more I can take advantage of little snippets during the day.

It took me many attempts to get into meditation. It took many times of starting one and trying it out, only to be frustrated and give up. It took reading about meditation. It took analyzing exactly what I was looking for in meditation. Still even after that it took more trying out different meditations. Finding what voice , what music worked for me. It was a process.

Still sometimes the best meditations are ones I do without even trying, like when I am out taking a walk.Not focusing on anything in particular. Taking every second as it comes. Enjoying the beauty around me. Getting lost in the wonder of the Forrest.

My natural first reaction to anything is to complain. I hate that. I really do. However I have learned that if I try to squash it I feel worse. Instead I embrace it and then say okay now lets find something good in this. I have also started changing the wording I use when I am complaining. You would think that would not be a big thing but it is. It not only makes a difference to me but , also the people around me who hear it. Instead of grumpily saying ” I wanted it to be like this this and this.”  I can say ” It would be nice if it had this but, this is a different approach and maybe I will like it better.”

As it is at least twice a month minimum my meditations are on cleansing the negativity from me.  I don’t plan them out. I go with how I am feeling. When I need to clean the negativity I know. I know without a doubt.  Make it part of your bedtime routine. Whether you are asleep at the end of it or not doesn’t matter. However you would be surprised how many times you will fall asleep during it.

The world likes to shove negative things at us. Over and over and over. Shoving it off of you is therefore something you have to also do over and over.  Taking small steps each day towards the goal of wrapping positive things around you. It is not easy. It is however yet another thing that is deemed worth it.

Here are some of my favorite meditations remember, they may not work for you. They may all work for you, or only some. Find what resonates with you. If you find yourself getting frustrated with this process, try chants.

This site gave me some of the best meditation advice, When I am struggling to find the right one I go back here… :    http://www.fragrantheart.com/cms/free-audio-meditations

1.  Mind Silence-remove negative blocks –http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1RdEVXWXbU

2.  All chakras- meditation balancing and tuning http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4GtPb3Y3vQ

3. Vital Energy: Meditation Music for Depression, Anxiety and Chakra

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POR-U76g7Lg

 

4. Full Chakra Healing Meditation ★ Binaural Beats

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DsjaXRbrMc

 

5. Extremely Powerful Pure Clean Positive Energy – Raise Vibration – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5l1Oy9T7-S8

The realities of medication changes

Standard

I hate going through med changes….not only do you have either slight withdrawal feelings but its almost like I can feel my brain. Chemistry changing and not for the better…

I tend to feel like lucky in the 101 Dalmatians when they were walking in the snow…my tail is cold my belly is cold my toes are cold my nose is cold my ears are cold my toes are cold…instead mine would be ..my bed was nice and warm I don’t want to get up I want to sleep I want to avoid people people suck I hate people I am going to a deserted island far away from everyone. I just want happy but I can’t have happy because my brain chemicals are off but I want happy.

Then because cymbalta was also helping with muscle aches those are steadily getting worse and worse. Making me not want to move even more,if I don’t move my.muscles don’t scream but if I don’t move my joints hurt and get stiff and start yelling.

It takes me longer to get into a meditative state. It takes longer to reach that time of peace and tranquillity.

During a med change I feel like I am clinging more and more to copies g techniques. Not unlike the death grip a toddler gets on his pacifier when someone tries to take it away. I know its not helping my coping to cling like that….but I can’t seem to stop.

I just want to feel normal again. I just want my coping techniques to bring me peace again.

This was probably not the best time of year to go through a medication change…sometimes though we can not choose when it needs to happen.

If I had ten minutes inside Target

Standard

I read a status from When crazy meets exhaustion(http://whencrazymeetsexhaustion.com/). We both have this problem that Target just sucks us right in. It’s like a vortex. No matter how hard I try I spend too much money there. It is almost like the more I try NOT to spend too much money the greater the vortex hold is.

She wanted ten minutes with a Super Market Sweep type idea. What ever is in your cart after ten minutes it is yours.

Found on peasinablog.com

Found on peasinablog.com

This got me thinking. Well I was trying desperately not to pay attention to the insanity that my day had been brewing.

I decided food was out. I was good with the knowledge that food would go quickly in the house and my hard work filing the cart would be for naught.

No, I want toilet paper, paper towels, sponges, cleaning sprays, TAMPONS, trash bags, Dish soap, q-tips and other various things that before you even know it , you are out of. OF course I also want them to include a shed out back with shelves so I can store everything in a super organized fashion.

Once I got that stuff, my next thing to hit is the wine bottles. HELLO?!? Mommy sippy cups!

Then probably dog food and cat food and cat litter. It is really annoying that they can not just drink a glass of milk or use the toilet. Then they would probably need toilet paper too…

IF there was any time left, its the hair isle I would be heading too…. Hair ties, headbands, hair brushes, picks, and maybe even some Shampoo and conditioner to stalk up. Oh heck look while we are there we should just grab some body wash too.

Until When crazy meets exhaustion and I can negotiate reasonable terms with Target and it’s vortex. This is what I want. This will tide me over and I wouldn’t mind so much spending more money than planned.

Rest when you need rest

Standard

Rest! I can’t rest I have a house to run! I have stuff to do! I have cleaning to get done! Oh and I got to get time in for me and get everyone where they gotta go and think about dinner and I CAN’T POSSIBLY REST!

This is the one area that I am constantly struggling with when it comes to managing chronic pain and illness. I am absolutely horrible at it. Then when I do rest, I feel guilty about resting!

I know I have been doing too much. I know it. I have felt it. I did it anyway. I had a lot to get through. December always brings so much running and doing. I can’t tell you how many times already that we have been double triple or quadruple booked this month.  Of course on some of them we made decisions not to go or not to do it.

I get caught up in wanting to see my daughters reaction to things. To seeing Santa to seeing the Christmas lights. To experiencing it all through her again.

So when I crash. I really really crash. I rarely sleep during the day as I already have soooo much trouble sleeping at night. Today though it wasn’t a choice. It was a demand. My body demanded I nap.  For once when I woke up I felt better. That doesn’t always happen. It tends to happen more when I crash though. This is the second time in five days I have crashed like this. I need to get better at truly resting. Laying down in bed watching tv. Sitting down to write is not resting. I need to just lay down and read or lay down and watch tv. Not try to always engage my brain.  If I need to grab a cat and snuggle and just pay attention to petting the cat, then that is what I need to do.

1460271_708794052478890_1669796537_n

It doesn’t do any good to beat myself up more for resting. It doesn’t I know that. This morning though I was feeling guilty about not getting any cleaning done. Not moving the laundry along, not finishing the few dishes , not getting the floors done.  Then I realized I was not getting anything done until I at least attempted to sleep. Sleep I did. I now feel that maybe when I come back home I can get some cleaning done at least do the few dishes and make dinner.

So today I have a renewed motivation to be better at resting. To pace myself better. So that I can better enjoy the season. That even when I make sure to schedule in self care in a walk for myself I need to also schedule in time to rest. To actually rest and to not feel guilty about resting. It is a form of self care and my body needs it more than most. To rest and say, its okay to rest.

Surviving insanity

Standard

I am not really sure what made me think so much so close together was a good idea. We won’t even mention what happened and what went wrong in the hour before we left the house. Shhhhh..

We started our morning by showing up at a church give away event. It started at nine.. I was really hoping to get in a little early so I could get everything in. When I said it was going to be back to back I really meant on top of each other.  As I type this I am still not sure how it all worked so nicely.

The getting in a little early was good. My social anxiety by the sheer amount of people that came in when they opened the doors….was insane.  Actually the sudden need to LEAVE LEAVE NOW GET OUT was probably why we made everything else on time.

 

So next was breakfast with Santa. Pancakes, donuts, oj, and most important Coffee. I can walk and walk and walk. I can not stand in lines. It makes my pain levels sky rocket. My hips beg for mercy with in minutes. Soon my lower back is on fire. I don’t do standing well. So 45 minutes in a line. For the big guy in a red suit.

1452329_615648841816290_758086925_n

 

We passed time taking pictures. Being silly.

1391917_615769105137597_1814313414_n

 

But it was worth it. She was happy. We got lots of good pictures. We had time to talk. To everyone . To anyone who passed by us. Oh wait that was not me. That was her.

All kidding aside it was worth the line.

Then off to sing carols.  I was fried . I was done. There better be sitting involved.

This was a thirty minute event. I surprisingly didn’t take many pictures here.  Just a quick photo op. that I snuck in on the way back to the car. We even saw a second Santa here!

994988_615769131804261_658763261_n

 

We had time left and so we went over to the library for their christmas party. Besides my Princess P was there and I could really use some baby snuggles.

1098135_615769168470924_434967459_n

 

Then I got this shot… and I am really glad we went.

1472052_615648028483038_982791201_n

 

Then there was also this shot… So stinking cute.  Yes, we saw a third santa there too.

So we ran and ran and ran and ran all morning.

I survived. So I crashed when we got home.  Lots of good stuff happened in the morning. The mommy guilt was not too bad about staying in bed the afternoon. The kid had lots of things to pour over from our buzy morning.

Sometimes its hard for mothers with chronic illnesses to keep in mind its quality over quantity. Sometimes four really active and happy and giggly hours is better than all day.  Not to mention that despite a certain eight year old’s opinion that she is the energizer bunny is a little off.  She really does still need some down time.

Mental health acceptance..a personal choice

Standard

Accepting you have a mental illness is hard. It is really hard. It takes different people different lengths of time.Some never get there. Its a process. Its even scarier when you have a family history of mental illness. Of multiple mental illnesses. It is always looming there. You wonder if it is actually happening or if you are just so afraid of it happening. Family says ” oh we are just a family of worriers. Nothing wrong with that.” There isn’t. Until that’s all you do.  Worry is different from anxiety.  I was even at one point told by a doctor for years.. Mother’s worry. Its what they do. It is not a concern. When worry keeps you up at night, wakes you up at night, interferes with work its a concern. It’s a big concern.

I was lucky. I had a change in insurance.  I was forced to change doctors. I am not sure if I had not changed doctors if I would have made the progress I have made. I am actually pretty sure I wouldn’t have. I would have continued burning myself at all ends and continued to destroy myself. My next doctor did medicate… that is all I did for awhile. I didn’t need help. I had this. It was just a chemical imbalance. I didn’t need counseling.

Then one day I was sweeping my daughters already clean room. I barely had any dirt to sweep into the pan. I remember that day so clearly. My eighteen month old daughter was clapping saying. Clean room. I knew something was wrong. This was not what an almost two year old should be happy about.

I don’t think I made any progress that first year. Not really. Tiny little baby steps.

I made progress. Four years or so in therapy. A lot of talking. Walls came down slowly.

Strangely enough I was not able to do some of the things until my therapist retired. I was suddenly at a loss. I didn’t want to find someone new.  I had  enough therapy. Stuff was still not completely fixed. I burned some bridges I know that. I don’t think for me it could have been done any other way. It was messy. It was quick. While it happened. It was the longest time of my life. Ugly cry does not even touch what happened. I was sure I had just destroyed my life. My daughters life. I had just destroyed my marriage. I was sure of it.

None of those things happened. I have a wonderfully supportive husband who said we will make it work. It will be okay.  My daughters life is not ruined. In fact I think it has been enriched by the experiences we went through. In ways I could never have imagined. Instead of destroying my life I had found my life. Again.

I thought about all this as I talked with a friend about mental illness.  In a lot of ways she gets it. She understands. She has supported me in some of that rough burning bridges patch. In some ways, not so much. They take things personally when its not personal. It astounds her.  They know that they take it personal. I agree with this and I disagree with it. Someone who has been through therapy may know they take it personal. However being able to tell when you are taking it personally and when you are not. THAT. That is much much much harder.

I know I am not the norm. I know I am hyper aware of a lot of my mental health issues. Much more than most people. I talk about it easily, openly. Its just how I work. It is NOT how all people with the same diagnosis as me. It is a very personal choice and it happens at different times for people to be open and honest about mental health issues.  It doesn’t mean it doesn’t blur for me. It doesn’t mean I am always making progress. It doesn’t mean I take a few steps backwards. If I hold myself to be honest then I can say I have done all of those things.  I will probably never stop doing them. I don’t know about accepting that but I am okay with that.  I know when I try to tell myself that I am past that, that is when I get into trouble. Truthful acceptance , its a work in progress.