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Musings of a 20-Something-Year-Old

Just another 20-something-year-old trying to make it in this crazy world

Takin’ Back Life: Challenge for You/Me

Hello from Tennessee!  I am back and getting ready for the semester to start.  It is nice to be back home.  An update for you on changes I have made to my life.  I have started the Core De Force workouts and 21 Day Fix eating plan.  I feel so much better now that I am getting exercise and nutrition again.  After each workout (which is built on the foundations of MMA), I feel more alive.  I feel like I am beating up my depression.  It feels great.  I have already lost weight and am toning up.  I can’t wait to see where this takes me.  My Beach Body coach has entered me into her year fitness challenge/program, so I get a whole year dedicated to hardcore workouts.  She has seen her program decrease depression symptoms and help eating disorders.  I am ready to change this part of my life.  I am sick to the depression, not wanting to get out of bed, and suicidal thoughts.  It is time to take back my life.

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For my fellow followers who also have issues with depression, grief, anxiety, and eating disorders, I want to help you this year as I help myself.  Let’s make this the year we learn to fight back from our mental disorder even harder.  Let’s punch it in the face and knock it down with all we have.  Sure, it will win some days, but let’s fight it with all our might.

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My first challenge for you is to find an exercise you love.  Something that is fun and you want to do it.  Walk in the park, take up boxing, go skiing, etc.  Try something new.  Yes, it is hard to take that first step and find something.  But, force yourself to do it.  I promise there will be some good benefits.  Since I have started MMA workouts, I have noticed a decrease in my depression symptoms.  It works.  Take the first step and challenge yourself to try something.

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Times Need A-Changin’

 

Hello All!  I am back!  Sorry for the long break in writing, but, as it turns out, ph.d school gets insane at the end of the semester.  I survived and completed it with a 3.9 GPA (thanks to one A-). In addition to being busy, I hit a HORRIBLE depression again.  One of doubt and impostor syndrome.  I had continual feelings that I didn’t belong in graduate school.  The work was easy, but I just felt that I couldn’t do it.  That it was a huge mistake for me moving to get my ph.d.  Yes, I made great friends, but the lack of guidance and support made me feel lost.  Attacked.  Defeated.  Dumb.  A loser.  Not at the level of that of the others in the program.  Thoughts of cutting came and another suicidal idealization.

Now, that I have come out at the other side, I look back and realize that I am MUCH younger than most people in the program.  I am 27.  They are in their 40’s.  There is a huge difference.  I have also endured more conflict and issues in my life span that probably most of those people in that room.  They all have families and friends.  I don’t.  I stick out like a sore thumb.  There was also the issue of financial means.  As a graduate assistant, I make very, very, very little to live on.  It’s not even enough to pay rent.  So begins the look for coaching and tutoring positions to at least be able to live.  With all of this begin said, I decided to change in 2017.  I need more confidence.  I need to get my depression to calm down.  I need to focus on making and maintaining GOOD friends.  This is what I am doing to change:

  1. I have joined a co-worker, that works in my shared graduate teaching assistant office, on her Beach Body team.  I am beginning with a 21 day fix and the Core De Force workout.  I am excited to begin hardcore workouts again.  I need to do this to get my confidence back (the enormous weight gain from my depression doesn’t help my confidence AT ALL.  If anything, it makes me want to hide).
  2. I am leading my own research team starting this next semester and working hard to get three of my own studies published by the end of 2017.  I am also entering some graduate research symposiums where I will be able to share my research and start to get noticed.
  3. I am traveling all over the U.S. for conferences in my field.  It is expensive and most of it is on my dollar, but I NEED to start networking to get ahead and start making a difference in this field. I am heading to Florida in a few weeks and Boston in a few months.
  4.  I am going to take charge.  I am no longer going to sit and wait for opportunities to come to me.  I am going to find the opportunities myself.

Wish me best of luck as I go through this.  It is going to take a lot of mind power and maybe starting therapy again.  I haven’t seen a therapist since I moved in July and I think it is time to start.

Help Needed

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Hi ya’ll!  I am reaching out to you for advice.  I really don’t know what to do and this situation has really put me into a deep depression this week.  Not even my dog is helping me.  I am not seeing a therapist here, but probably should be.  So, I am reaching out to you for help.  Here is the situation:

As all of you know, I am in a ph.d program and I just moved half way across the country to do this.  There is only one other girl that is new in this program as well.  I worked EXTREMELY hard to get into a doctoral program.  It turns out that she didn’t.  She came here because our mentor graduated from high school with her.  They were friends in high school.  Things started out ok with us.  Then, it turned into something else.  I don’t know what happened.  Now, she only talks to me when no one is around.  If others are around, she ignores me.  If professors are around, she talks LOUD to me.  When I schedule meetings with our mentor to talk about MY plan of study or career goals, she shows up and it turns into something else.  She went and got an advising meeting with him for classes for next semester.  Then, she sent me the list of classes to register for.  I was angry because my plan shouldn’t be the same as her’s.  I have different career goals.  I went to meet with him about my plan of study, but he said that mine would just be the same as the other girl’s and to do what she emailed me.  Last Friday, I scheduled a research group with her and my mentor to write up some IRBs for studies.  It turned into me sitting there for half an hour listening to him talk to her about a paper she wrote.  NO IRBs were even discussed.  I could have been home letting my dog out for the bathroom.  I have met with my mentor like once seriously this semester.  Only once.  I feel so unguided and like I can’t get the guidance I need right now because this new girl comes and takes over.  I also found out that she may go out with him for food and drinks.  He invited me when he saw that I overheard them talking about it, but I just don’t feel like that is professional.  I don’t feel comfortable doing that and don’t want to be put in that situation.  This week, I am supposed to collaborate in a group with this girl and another student.  I emailed them yesterday and tried to set up a meeting because my Mondays are INSANE.  I only have an hour and a half that is free.  She emailed me back saying that she can’t come until 12.  I said I was open from 11-12.  Can’t she come to campus early for once?  I gave up my time to meet with them, so she can give up a little right?  She tried to plan this whole group meeting without including me and when the other guy asked about me she said, “She told me last week that she preferred to do this alone.”  Which I did because I seriously don’t have time to meet up with people.  BUT, the main point of the project is collaboration.  It can’t be done alone.

Anyways, I am SO SO frustrated right now and don’t know what to do.  I even considered looking into different doctoral programs.  Ones that will give me what I want and set me up for the career that I want.  Not someone else’s.  I don’t know what to do.  If anyone out there can please, please give me some advice that would be awesome.  This is bringing me down and taking my depression back up.  I have cried every night since Tuesday.  I am lost.  So lost.  Please help.

 

Depression Has Never Been Better

Two weeks ago, I went to a pet store to hold and play with little puppies for stress relief.  I went right to a white little fur ball.  He rolled over for a belly rub.  I gave him one and we fell in love with each other.  An hour later, I walked out with him.  A 4-month-old purebred Pomeranian.  I have named him Teddy.  Everyone asks if it is because of Teddy Roosevelt.  I just say, “suuuurrreee…”  But no, it’s really because he looks like a teddy bear.

These past two weeks have changed me.  I have noticed that I get more done and turn out better work.  I ACTUALLY get up in the morning because now I have a reason to.   I haven’t had suicidal thoughts in 2 weeks.  That’s a record for me since my father passed.  I noticed this and asked myself, “what changed?”  Well, I now have a reason to live.  I have something that truly loves me and I love it.  We have a bond that I have never had with a dog before.  It’s like he knows my condition and wants to heal me.  Someone told me the other week, “he needs you and you need him.”  I have had two people comment on how I glow now and seem happier.  Teddy is my therapy.  My life will never be the same.  He has saved me.

I am working on getting him to therapy classes to train him to be a therapy dog.  He makes me happy and is saving me from my depression.  He makes everyone he sees happy.  I want him to help others the way he helps me.  My dream is to get him fully certified as a therapy dog and take him to the Children’s hospital here to spend time with the children there.  We are working on it.

So, Teddy…I know you can’t read or talk, but I know you know how much I appreciate you.  You have saved my life.  I will never be the same.  ❤

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You Can’t Go Home Again

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As everyone who suffers from depression knows, depressive shutdowns are bound to happen every now and then.  I had one this week.  It was pretty rough.  A social situation happened and then my sister (the only one I talk to) broke the news to me that there was a scare of some lymph node swelling on her lungs being lung cancer.  Well, I got into full blown can’t breathe panic attack mode as I laid on my bed (still in my dress clothes from the day) and sobbed.  I wanted my mom.  I wanted to talk to her.  It took me 4-5 hours to stop sobbing and I had a splitting headache so all I could do was go to bed with an ice pack on my head.

I had a four day weekend this weekend, so I decided to take Friday off and venture out into the mountains to a little town.  Just to give my soul some rest and marvel in the beauty of a new place.  Traveling alone to new places just helps me get grounded again.  While there, I traced the steps of Thomas Wolfe (he was born and raised in this town).  I went and toured the house he grew up in, looked at monuments dedicated to him, and even went to see where he is buried.  Honestly, I have never read a Thomas Wolfe book.  I didn’t even know who he was until I watched the movie Genius a few weeks ago (and only because Fitzgerald was in it).  I quickly came to realize that I relate to Thomas Wolfe.  Passages from Look Homeward Angel and You Can’t Go Home Again spoke to me.  He had a situation much like mine and wrote about it.  He was traumatized by the death of a loved one at a young age and moved away from the town he grew up in, vowing to never go back.  That is just like me.

I sat down to lunch by myself at a nice little bistro.  I watched people walk by as I ate.  Then, I got the idea to text someone that used to be a friend pictures of Thomas Wolfe’s stuff because literature is something she enjoys.  It made me think of her and I just thought she would enjoy it.  One thing led to the other and we got to talking about “us.”  We were pretty much unbiological sisters before my father passed away.  After my father passed, we hardly talked and decided to just stop being friends.  It was a lot for me to handle.  The death of a parent, family, and best friend all at once.  No wonder I went crazy.

For some reason, I just kept hoping I could open this relationship back up.  That we maybe could go back to being friends.  But, I was wrong.  Every time I open the lines of communication with some hope, I am wrong.  I understand there is hurt on both sides.  I finally admitted to her that all I ever wanted was for her to be there for me.  For a hug from her.  For some comfort from her.  For some indication from her that she cared about me during my time of sorrow.  It never came.  All that ever happened was fighting or silence.  Both therapists I have had told me to just let it go.  To let the friendship die because someone that can’t be there for you in the worst of times, can’t be there with you in the best of times.  I agreed with them.  I understood.  I tried to tell myself to not look back and just cut the line.  But, I kept hoping.  I finally understood on Friday that I can’t do this to myself anymore.  I am so tired of life and fighting.  Why should I be tired and exhausted from one more thing?  I have got to stop hoping and trying.  As Thomas Wolfe says in You Can’t Go Home Again:

“The human mind is a fearful instrument of adaptation, and in nothing is this more clearly shown than in its mysterious powers of resilience, self-protection, and self-healing. Unless an event completely shatters the order of one’s life, the mind, if it has youth and health and time enough, accepts the inevitable and gets itself ready for the next happening like a grimly dutiful American tourist who, on arriving at a new town, looks around him, takes his bearings, and says, “Well, where do I go from here?”

Final Stage: Acceptance

Hi ya’ll!  I apologize for not being able to get a post out.  Doctoral school has been insanely busy.  Emails to publishers, doing statistical analysis, reviewing the quality of research studies, etc.  It’s kept me more busy than I have wanted to be, but it’s a good thing.  I have been meaning to write to ya’ll about the final stage of grief: acceptance.  I decided to take some time off from the academics this morning to do just this.

Let’s talk about the seven stages of grief: shock, denial, bargaining, anger, guilt, depression, and acceptance.  Those of us who have lost some we dearly loved know these stages quite well.  Hell, I didn’t even have to look them up.  Pretty much an expert on each of those.  When you lose a dearly loved one, you do go through each of those stages.  It doesn’t happen in any specific order and sometimes you regress and hit several stages more than once, twice, three times, etc.  It’s a true roller coaster.

Through my journey of grief, I found that I spent most of my time in the anger and depression stages.  The anger stage took me about seven months to get out of.  The depression stage, well I am still in it.  Still medicated for that.  This stage got me a diagnosis of insomnia, generalized anxiety disorder, binge eating disorder, and major depressive disorder.  All straight out of the DSM-5.  I was given two different sleeping medications and the highest dose of an anxiety/depression combined medication.  All of these I still take and don’t see myself getting off of them any time soon.  I went through two different therapists with weekly sessions for over a year.  I almost got sent to the ER for an evaluation and an eating disorder clinic, both of which I begged and talked my therapists out of.  I was irrational, angry, not of sound mind, and wanted to end it all.  I didn’t care about me or any of the accomplishments I have made in life.  I had no pride.  I was worthless and not deserving of anything or anyone.  I tried self harm….many times.  Alcohol….went there just once, then never again.  Point being: My grief story is intense.  Many of your grief stories are quite the same.  Grief is intense.  It’s all consuming.  I wish it on no one.

Two months ago, I relocated far away from where my “home” was.  It took this life altering change to snap me back into things.  I am slowly recovering from my depression.  I am a work in progress. I will get there.  Stages still come and go, but I can pull myself out of them more easily now.  I believe I have finally hit the acceptance stage.  I can say, “You know what, my parents are dead.  They aren’t coming back.  That’s the fact.  They are gone.  I still love them like mad, but they aren’t here in person anymore.  They won’t be at anything I do.”  I can now tell people more freely that my parents have passed away.  Before, I used to clam up and never talk when people asked what my parents did.  Now, I am able to talk about how they died, how it happened, and what happened to me when it happened.  I have come to the conclusion that I have a survivor story to tell, so why not tell it?  Why should I be ashamed that my parents have died.  It wasn’t something I could control.  I should be proud of myself for surviving both of their deaths at a very young age.  And you know what, I am.  None of my attempts to end it all went through.  I should be proud of that.  And you know what, you should be proud of yourself too.  You are a survivor.  We can play a “victim of life” role so easily.  But, we must change our mindsets.  We are not victims.  We are survivors.  All of you enduring grief right now remember that.  You are a survivor of the hardest circumstance any human being can ever go through.  You lost a piece of your heart and you survived.  You ARE a survivor.

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Research and Ramblings

Hello y’all.  I know, it’s been like forever since I have written a post for you.  I have some major ideas and revelations that I have been meaning to get out to you, but just haven’t had the time.  Here’s why….

I am now permanently located in Tennessee and working on my phd in special education.  I am here for a minimum of 4 years.  Life is been pretty busy with research, readings, teaching classes, grading, and basically just trying to stay on top of it all.  This has certainly been a major learning curve for me and has come with major brain exhaustion.  But, let me tell you, this is some pretty exciting stuff.  I’ll just say that something great always comes from throwing yourself outside of your comfort zone.

I will catch you all up with my grief/depression/eating disorder in my next post.  Just wanted to explain my absence.  I promise you some hard hitting info in my next one.

Taking One Life Altering Chance in Life

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A few weeks ago, I spent a week in Knoxville, Tennessee to discover what will become my new home.  It was my first ever visit.  People from work have been telling me that I am crazy and have a lot of guts to sign a 4 year contract to a place I have never been and where I don’t know anyone for over 1,000 miles.  I just kept shrugging and saying, “I have nothing to lose.  I took a chance and we will see how it goes.  It’s time for me to find my place in this world.”  I haven’t been nervous about this move.  I have been looking at it with great optimism that everything will work out.  That God wants me here and will provide for me.

I was excited the day I flew out of Fargo.  But, when I boarded my connecting flight in Chicago, I became nervous.  I had butterflies and kept thinking, I am crazy.  What if this place is nothing like I think it is.  I pushed these thoughts aside and kept thinking about the chance I was taking and how much I would make this work.

As I viewed the city from the window of the airplane, I was nervous.  Extremely nervous.  This place was going to be where I lived for the next four years, whether I liked it or not.  I looked more out the window and noticed how beautiful the mountains and surrounding area were.  A smile came to my face and all I could think was, I can’t believe I get to live here.  It is so beautiful.  

My week was filled up with finding a place to live and meetings at the university.  I was lucky enough to love the apartment I looked at the day we arrived.  It was an amazing community that made me feel right at home.  And the apartment….well that was fabulous.  It is NOTHING like what you would get where I am currently from.  It was so “Southern.”  I loved it and signed the lease.  The ladies were extremely nice, well mannered, and made me feel right at home.  It will be a great place to live.

Since I found a place to live so fast, I was able to do the tourist thing on my spare time.  So, I took in the town and area for four days.  I noticed while I was walking through the World’s Fair Park that I was actually smiling and laughing.  My depression wasn’t there.  It was like all burdens and depressive thoughts were lifted from me.  I felt normal.  I felt happy.  I liked how I felt.

My sister and I ate at the Cheesecake Factory for supper one night.  The waiter looked at my ID to make sure I was 21.  I told him to look at where I was from.  He was all like, “Whoa!!!! North Dakota!  Is this real?”  I then told him I was moving to Knoxville to get my Ph.D.  He got excited and gave my sister and I both free sundaes with candles on top and said, “This my ladies, is for your new beginning.  Here’s to new beginnings!”  My sister and I laughed and blew out the candle.  We couldn’t stop smiling.  Everyone was so nice there.  Everything was beautiful.  As we ate our sundaes, my sister looked over at me and said, “Everything is just falling into place for you.  It’s almost like……..almost like mom and dad are making this all happen for you.”  I smiled and thought about this.  As I thought, I came to the conclusion that she was right.  It was like my mom and dad were saying to me, “Darling….it’s finally time for you to be happy again.”  All I could do was smile.  I felt closer to them there then I ever did/do here.  My heart no longer felt hard and cold.  It felt warm and fuzzy.  It felt love.  I could finally feel it beat again.  I came to the realization that I now have to try my hardest in everything I do and love everyone that much more because everything I do shows my parents.  I want the love and kindness my parents had to radiate through me.

On this visit, I had many adventures.  I noticed that I quickly ticked off items from my bucket list.  The ones I can cross of include:

-Rode in a hot air balloon- and viewed the mountains from a good 1,000+ feet in the air.

-Saw actual Titanic artifacts- from the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge (including the $1.7 billion dollar violin and case that was played by Wallace Hartley as he played hymns while the ship was sinking to calm the passengers).

-Hiked in actual mountains.

-Immersed myself in the culture and way of life in a place I have never been.

As I was walking through downtown Knoxville on one of these days, a thought came to me.  This thought was, my dreams are coming true.  All my dreams are finally coming true.  This is all I have ever wanted.  I am going to fall madly in love.  Head over heels in love.  And I know this will be true.  I will fall passionately in love with the place I am going to live and maybe even with a man that I may someday call my loving husband and father to my children.

 

In Session Tears

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For the first time since I started therapy a year ago, I cried in session.  Usually, my tears are saved for the car.  But, this time I couldn’t help it.  I cried for 15 minutes with my new therapist trying to get out of me what I was feeling as I cried.  I’ve been meaning to write about this since it happened on Wednesday, but I have been so vulnerable since the session that I just knew I couldn’t write about it without crying.  I have a big cup of coffee and think I am ready for this now…..here it goes.

My therapist and I got to talking about family because I told her that I refused to go see my siblings this weekend as they cleaned out my parents’ house.  I told her how I don’t have a relationship with any of them (besides my one sister) and that they all hate me and no longer talk to me.  I also told her how I told my sister that if she doesn’t get better and something happens to her, I would most likely do something to myself.  Then, she asked me, “besides your one sister, do you have any other long-term friends that you can talk with?”  I shook my head and answered, “No.  My sister is my only long-term friend.”  She asked me why.   I told her all about how my best friend of 7 years no longer talk due to things that happened this year.  How there have been attempts to restore friendship, but all efforts failed.   I told her how my other friend of 4 years left me bawling in an airport and hasn’t talked to me since.  As I told the stories of these two friends, she sat there and nodded.  Then, she said, “well, grief turns a person into something they could never be otherwise.  We often don’t remember it, but when we hear of what we did we think ‘what?  I did what?'”  I nodded and said, “Isn’t that the truth!”  My therapist then proceeded to tell me the reason as to why she thought these friends left me.  She was trying to make sense of it all.  I stared at her as she spoke because what she was saying was true.  Then, she said, “Honestly, you were looking for a mother.  You expected from these two friends things a mother would do for their child.  You were looking for nurturing, comfort, and support.  They aren’t your mother.  I can see how they would sit back and say, ‘whoa…this is too much.  I can’t deal with this’ and then leave you.”  It is here when I started choking back tears.  She asks me if this is true.  I say, “I suppose it is.  I mean I don’t have a mother.  I lost her at 15.  Where else would I get the things mothers give to their children?  I have been missing that since 15.”  I let out a little laugh as I choke back more tears.  She asked me why I laughed.  I shook my head and looked down as I said, “I’m choking back tears and don’t want to cry.”  She nodded and said, “I can see on your face that you are tearing up.  Just let it out.  You need to cry.  I have tissues.”  I nodded and let the first tears fall.  She asked some questions about how I felt.  It was here where I went into a rampage about missing my mom.  About how I can’t help looking for motherly feelings from people because I haven’t had those in 11 years.  How I am jealous of my siblings because they had 20+ years with her and  I only had 15.  How I don’t remember her.  I can’t see her face or hear her voice anymore.  No memories are there.  At this point I am bawling into a tissue.  I look at my therapist and she looks deeply saddened.  She took a moment to compose herself and said, “Have you ever wrote your mother a letter?”  I nodded but said, “That doesn’t work because I think ‘what’s the point.  It’s not like she can actually read it.”  She asked about how the previous ’empty chair’ techniques went with my old therapist.  I told her, ‘not well.  I always said I didn’t know what I would say to her and it’s true.  I don’t know what I would say to her.”  She told me all about how it’s not all about what you say.  The empty chair is about your feelings as well.  She also said, “It seems as if you just want to get to know your mother.  At 15, mothers are still just a mother.  They don’t become a person with feelings until one is in their 20’s.  You want to get to know the person she was.”  I keep crying and ask her, “What is my solution to fixing this friend thing?”  She sat back and said, “You know, it’s no wonder you are depressed and anxious and can’t sleep.  You live an incredibly lonely life.  You only have one true friend and that friend is your sister.  That’s not the way a person should have to live a life.  No one should live like that.  Especially someone going through what you are.  I can see why you are this depressed.”  I nodded and wiped away more tears.  Then she said, “I think you put up walls to prevent people from coming into your life.”  I nodded and said, “I do….I know I do.”  “Why is that?” “Because I am afraid of them leaving me.  It hurts when people die or leave me and I have already lost so much.”  She nodded, “You have lost a lot for a person your age.”  She told me to think about all of this as I move and start meeting new people I can become friends with.  I nod and get up as she led me to the door.  We said our goodbyes and I left with incredibly red eyes…and also cried the whole way home.

As painful as this therapy session was, I needed it.  I need to get out this pain and stop carrying it around with me.

Tuesdays with Morrie Meets Fridays with Musings of a 20-Something-Year-Old

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I had my last session with my regular therapist on Friday.  He is retiring and I am referred onto a new lady therapist in another facility.  To me, it was difficult to say goodbye to him.  He quickly became a trusting figure in my life.  Someone I could safely talk about my emotions with.  He would not get angry with me about my feelings, or ridicule me for having them.  He understood why I was having them and helped me sort the feelings out.  He helped me make sense of this very dark place.

Due to a recent increase of my depression/anxiety med, and the addition of a true sleeping pill, my mood has been altered.  I am no longer foggy and angry as I constantly think about self-harm or ending my own life.  Suddenly, my head has become clear and I can process.  This is a feeling I haven’t felt since before my dad died (March 2015).

My therapist told me right away that he “noticed something different” about me while I was sitting in the waiting room.  He said I looked calmer and genuinely “happy” (as opposed to the forced happy I was before the med change).  We talked the differences I feel then we got deep.  We discussed my life and transition, as well as his life and his transition.  It was like a chat with a friend.

The day before this session, I had the “recurring nightmare” again.  In this nightmare, I am ALWAYS on the Titanic and it is sinking.  The room is always filling up with water, but I can’t get out.  The water continues to rise and I can see it rise over my feet, knees, waist, etc.  The boat starts to tip.  It is going down.  And I with it.  I wake up just before the boat sinks.  This last one was different.  Same beginning, but this time….I got off the boat.  Somehow, I ended up in a dry room and my sister was there yelling because I was intentionally left out of a meeting for my father’s estate.  I woke up in a panic.  I told my therapist this and I noticed something.  He’s not taking notes.  This NEVER happens.  His pen is always going.  Drawing or writing.  He is staring at me.  I look at him and shrug as I say, “What?”  He shakes his head and smiles as he says, “The psychology gods are going to strike me with lightning for saying this, but hell…it’s my last session with you and I am retiring after this.  So, I am just going to come out and say it!”  I stared at him in disbelief, and I am sure my mouth was hanging open.  He continued in a frantic and fast way, as if he was telling a secret he kept for a long time, “The Titanic is your family!  It’s sinking because your family is sinking and will soon no longer exist.  You FINALLY got off the boat because you realized that you are an independent unit and have always been.  You know you don’t need them anymore, so you are letting the boat sink without you.  You got off the boat.”  Then he reclines in his chair and let out a loud sigh as he said, “I have wanted to say that to you ever since that dream started!”  I was in disbelief because it all made sense.  I asked him why he never told me that.  He just smiled and said, “because you were in crisis every week.  My first and foremost goal as a therapist is to make sure you live and see the value of your life.  Every week I had to solve and work on your suicidal and self-harm thoughts.  I couldn’t move on to this because that comes first.  I couldn’t work on this deeper stuff until those thoughts were gone.”  It made sense to me and I began wondering what all he had talked about for the past year.  I was sure there was a suicidal or self-harm thought every single week.  He encouraged me to take up the concept of my family and past with my new therapist.  That I am ready for that now, since the new dose has taken away the suicidal thoughts.  He said it was time to get rid of the emotional baggage so that I can freely move on with my life when I move.  I nodded and agreed with him.  As much as it scared me to.

We got to discussing his career.  I asked him what his “worst case” was.  He sat and thought for a bit.  Then, with a straight and solemn face he said, “I have been fortunate to have clients that I can work with.  My worst cases were never the client.  It was always me.  The worse case was not knowing how to help the client.  Going home knowing that I failed them and didn’t perform my best.  I would go home and keep going over what I could have done better.”  I nodded and thought about how these comments proved to me that he was a good therapist.  We talked about being a therapist and how depressing it can get.  I told him how I want to help the movement of grief therapy/counseling for young adults and children because no one reached out to me when my mother died and I want no one else to experience what I have.  He smiled and met my eyes as he told me ideas of what I could do.  It ranged from starting a support group for young adults and children in the community to writing a book or just talking with someone experiencing grief one-on-one.  His last comment about this was, “I wasn’t a leader to ever do something like that.  I was the one that wanted to blend in and just help one-on-one.  But you….I see you as the leader type.  You are most certainly not a follower.  You make your own way.  You….you can start a movement.”  His words deeply touched me.

Shortly before ending, he did the “summary thing.”  I knew it was coming when he put down his notebook and quit taking notes.  He looked at me and said, “Well….I have to say that you are truly an amazing young woman.  You have been through quite a lot of pain for a woman your age.  In fact, you have gone through things people in their 40s usually don’t even go through.  BUT, you can’t know how amazing and wonderful you are and will be, if you don’t continue to live.  You have a lot of reasons to continue living.  You can’t know what success is in store for you, if you are not there to experience it.  You have to be alive to see it.”  He stopped and stared at me as if he was waiting for a response.  All I could do is nod.  I didn’t know what to say.  He wouldn’t talk.  So, I said, “ya…I guess you’re right.  I mean my suicidal thoughts haven’t been there since I started this new dose.” He nodded and said something along the lines of, “I’m glad.”  Then proceeded with a lecture about how brave I was to discuss my suicidal thoughts with him and continue with the meds because not many people are willing to do this.

As we ended the session, there was an awkwardness that set in.  We both got up and he reached out his hand to shake mine.  I gave him a firm handshake back as I wondered what to say to him.  How do I go on and process what is happening to me without this man that I have become almost dependent on for weekly sessions during the past year?  He shook my hand and smiled as he said, “Have a good life and take care.”  All I could do was pat his arm and say, “You too….take care of yourself and enjoy your retirement.”  I had to get out of there before I cried.  I didn’t know it was possible to become this close to a therapist.  I didn’t think I was that close to him.  But, he has helped me move on with my life amid the crisis that it has become.  I will miss him.  He has surely changed my life, and for the better.  He has always known that there was hope.  That amid my darkness there was a light.  And that someday that light would shine again, if we continued through the muck and mud together.  All I can say is thank you.  Thank you Mr. Therapist for everything.  I am alive today because you fostered in me the will and strength to keep living.  You made a difference.

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Motherless Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is coming up.  For the past 11 years, this is a date I dread.  Everyone goes about loving and cherishing their mother.  And here I am, with no mother, a person that has no reason to celebrate the day.  So celebrate I do not, as I try to suppress the tears the media and society can easily bring to me that day.

My mother passed away when I was 15,  a mere two and a half weeks before my 16th birthday.  She was never sick.  Just died in her sleep.  We went to bed the night before and woke up to screams by my brother shouting that he thought mom was dead.  There we all were, staring at her lifeless body in our pajamas as we prayed for it not to be true.  A sister started CPR on her as others got calling 911.  I remember watching the paramedics come running into her room and taking over CPR as they tried to revive her. 10 years later, I learned from the funeral director (while planning my father’s funeral) that they all knew she was dead at the house, but they took her in anyways because “there was a young child there.”  Who was that young child?  It was me.  So, into the ER she went and the doctors declared her dead upon arrival.  A heart attack being the culprit they blamed.

Needless to say, this was an extremely traumatic event in my childhood.  I still suffer from flashbacks of that morning.  And dreams….the dreams get horrible.  I have sat in many therapy sessions with my therapist asking me to describe my childhood and mother.  My response?  It’s always, “I don’t know….I can’t remember.”  And, sadly, this is the truth.  I don’t remember much of my childhood and teenage years.  The college years being the ones I can recall the best.  I have suppressed so many memories of my mother because they made me sad and hurt.  I don’t remember her.  I can’t picture her face or hear her voice.  The memories of her and I are slowly fading.  She feels so, so, so distant from me.  As if she was ever really even a part of my life….when in reality, she is the one who gave me life.

I have been reading the Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn.  I am on the fifth book in the series, entitled To Sir Philip, With Love.  The Bridgerton siblings lost their father unexpectedly.  The oldest was 18 and the youngest was still in her mother’s womb.  The series does well of discussing the trauma each of these siblings endured with the grief of their father’s death.  Each sibling reacts in a different way and their father’s death is a turning point for each of them.  I so very much relate to each of these siblings, having lost my mother at a young age.  The series does well at describing just how much the death of a parent at a young age effects you for the rest of your life.

In this book, Eloise is the main character.  She is the middle child and was 7 when her father died.  She was also the only person to be an eye witness to her father’s death.  She describes in the book how worthless she felt at 7 because she couldn’t bring him back to life.  Two passages where she discusses the impact this had on her really struck me.  I have included the pictures of them below.

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I can’t even begin to say how much I feel like Eloise here.  I have ALWAYS been jealous of my older siblings who have had 20+ years with my mother, while I had only 15.  I so, so, so much wish she would be able to see the woman I have become.  I am constantly asking myself, “Would she be proud of me?”  This question has driven me to try my hardest in life.  As everything I do, I want to do to make her proud.  In college, both undergraduate and graduate, I pushed myself to get a 4.0 GPA because my mother and I made a deal with I was 12.  I was to graduate high school with honors.  To be the only child of her’s that achieved this status and shared with her her passion, academics.  Well, sadly dear readers, I did not achieve that.  Her death effected me so much that I did not do well the following year after she died.  I floundered.  I remember feeling like I disappointed her the day I graduated high school.  So, I made up for it in college.  I over did it to make her proud.  To fulfill her last wish she imparted on me.

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“I’m not certain it’s something you ever do get over.  Completely, that is.  But no, I don’t think about him every day, if that’s what you want to know.”    

No…the loss of a parent at a young age (or any age) is not something you ever get over.  There will always, ALWAYS be tears and wishes that they were here with us.  I have not thought about my mother as much as I used to.  I remember endless teenage days and nights where I was sobbing and shaking as I wished for her to come back.  I remember my sister (the one that moved home to make sure I survived) always crawling into bed with me and holding me as I sobbed.  I truly have no idea how I survived it, but I did.  Now, I only think about my mother every now and then.  My therapist has worked with me to help “unsuppress” happy memories of her.  To no longer get sad and disstressed when I am forced to talk about her.  After a year, we have made some great progress in that area.  He has restored several happy memories of my mother and I couldn’t be more grateful.

The loss of a parent at a young age is incredibly difficult.  I was not offered counseling for the two years of high school I endured after my mother’s death.  Everyone looked the other way and no one offered help.  So, I suppressed it all.  Moved on with the world like they wanted me to.  It came back to bite me in the ass when my father died last year.  I am still battling the depression.  For MONTHS after father died I was angry, bitter, and resentful.  I didn’t sleep.  The nightmares were worse.  Everything about my mother’s death came back.  I was forced to finally deal with her death.  I decided I needed major help so that I wouldn’t go and kill myself.  A year later, I am still in weekly therapy sessions.  Time does not heal the wound.  The wound will always be there.  All time does is allow me to cope and find strategies to help the wound be manageable.

So, to all motherless children out there on this Mother’s Day: I am here with you.  I know EXACTLY how you feel and how hard this day is.  I know how much you LOATHE this day.  But, like all other Mother’s Days, we will get through.  We will survive.

 

Challenge and Hope in Real Bereavement

“Bereavement challenges us to live again, resist diminishment, and learn ways to salvage some happiness from heartbreak.”

I currently sit here and sip my coffee as I wonder, “Is there really anything else that needs to be said about this quote?”  Part of me says, “no…..if a reader has lost someone they truly and deeply loved, they will get it.  If not, they won’t.  It’s that simple, isn’t it?  After all, the world is truly separated into two groups: the grievers, and the non-grievers.  The griever group is one that no on wants to be invited into, but once you get into it….there is no turning back.  You just cannot get it until you get into the group.  The heartbreak, the aching body from emotional pain, the depression…Dear Lord, the depression that takes away your very life, and the learning to continue to live on without a part of you.”  The other part of me screams, “There is so many facets of that quote.  Much to be said about it.  Explain it.”  So, dear readers, I am siding with my latter of the two.

Let’s discuss bereavement for a few sentences.  Anyone can get “bereaved” from the loss of anyone they even sort of knew.  There is a small grief to any loss of a person you even slightly knew.  But, the real bereavement comes from the loss of someone you intimately loved.  A parent, sibling, husband, wife, child, etc.  When you lose someone like this, you truly lose a part of you.  Part of your very identity.  We are almost thrown into an instant identity crisis as we have to discover who we are now without the loved one.  1 year and 1 month after my father’s death, I am STILL asking myself, “WHO THE HELL AM I?!?!?!?!?!”

Now that I have distinguished between “bereavement” and “real bereavement,” let’s get back to this quote.  When we are forced to endure “real bereavement” we are very much challenged to continue to live our lives.  I can ensure that all of us who have lost someone dear to us have at least ONCE thought, “I want to die…God please, please, please take away my life.”  Also, many times we diminish our very lives.  Thinking we are so much more less without this person.  Our hearts are truly broken…shattered and torn.  I am guilty of all these things.  Very much so.

Everything about bereavement is negative.  Nothing is positive.  We are challenged to somehow begin to find happiness from the heartbreak.  It may take us awhile to find this happiness, but think about how much this changes us….and for the better.  I believe “real bereavement” does challenge us every day, but that through this we learn the preciousness and beauty of life.  We learn to no longer sweat the small stuff and began truly appreciating the finer things in life.  All because we have been through something heartbreakingly real.  “Real bereavement” is so very painful….but isn’t there some hope in it?  I see some.  I now see and appreciate the beauty, while no longer fearing the small “issues.”  I live in the moment.  No longer in the past, or the future.  That, my friends, is the hope in “real bereavement.”  The challenge in which it gives us.

 

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week

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Don’t even need to say more.  I do each and every one of these.  So glad to say that teaching special education is my passion.  Happy Teacher Day to all teachers out there!!!  ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Hope Part 4: Peace at the Cemetery

Hello, dear readers.  I am so sorry that I keep taking long hiatuses from writing.  I hit an extremely bad spell of depression again.  Don’t worry, I went to my family doctor on Friday and got checked out.  She increased my depression/anxiety medication and then gave me a full fledged sleeping pill, on top of the one I already take to calm me at night.  Once all the meds level out, I will be good.  I am experiencing some light side effects, headaches, stomach aches, and occasional dizziness, but am feeling less depressed.  So, we are getting somewhere.  Additionally, I have my last therapy session with my therapist this week, as he is retiring.  I have anxiety about finding a new therapist, but I will make progress in that area as well.  I have also been referred to an eating disorder institute.  We shall see how that goes.  Ok, now that you are all caught up, on to the real reason for this post.

Last night, I took a very long walk.  My usual route.  There is a cemetery on this route and something led me into it (this is not the cemetery where my parents lay…I can’t even go in that one without sobbing and maybe even throwing up a few times…last time I went there it was in the middle of pouring rain and I fell to my knees as I bawled and wailed so hard I almost vomited in front of their tombstone.).  I walked among the graves and found a peace and beauty in this place.  I turned off my music and took out the earbuds as I took in the quietness..the stillness….the peacefulness away from the hectic and painful world.  I wandered among the old graves and looked at names and dates.  I felt as if I was looking into the stories of so many people and realized that I was.  All of those graves told a story.  Someone has cried over them, mourned over them, loved them.  Someone with a great story lays beneath them.  I looked at the stone altar that had a statue of Mary and a large life sized crucifix.  Then, I noticed something.  It looked like a building.  I was curious, so I walked over to look at it.  What did I find?  Well, dear readers, I found the most beautiful grave I had ever seen.  I have included the picture of it below.  It was that of a family tomb built in 1919.  I wanted so badly to know the story behind this.  I peered through the glass window of the doors and saw on the other side a stained glass window that had a vase for flowers in front of it.  The window and door windows had barred steel in front of it so that it could not be broken into.  I peered more and saw the resting place of members of this family.  The name of each member was written in the exact places their bodies lay, the latest being buried in 2013.  I wanted so badly to try the door, but didn’t out of fear of being seen.  Plus, I knew it had to be locked due to the large keyhole that resided on the door.  I was totally taken away by the beauty and story of this grave.  I wanted to find out more, so I asked the lady I know that takes care of the cemetery.  All she could tell me was, “I have no idea who it is, but they are buried in there and it’s really old.”  Both of which I already knew.  Anyways, here is the picture of this grave:

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As I wandered among graves, I thought about the immortality and preciousness of life.  About how I already know that life can be so short and taken away at any moment (as both of my parents died young and unexpectedly).  In a snap, it could be our last breath.  I thought about the peacefulness of death.  About how I am no longer scared of it as there is hope found in death.  I wondered what story my grave will tell to the person wandering among graves.  Then, I came to realize that life is so much more than worrying about past failures and relationships.  Life is made to do something.  Life is made to make a difference.  That, dear readers, is how I found hope and peace in the cemetery.  Hope in life….and death.

******If this grave happens belongs to you or someone you know, I am not intending to break confidentiality by posting a picture of it.  It is an incredibly moving and beautiful grave.*****

Taming the Wild Beast

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Lately, I have been battling the wild beast of negative voices in my head.  It tells me things about myself that I so much believe, even when I try not to.  Horrible things.  I am trying to tame this wild beast, but some days I do not have enough luck.  The wild beast silently whispers…

-You are fat

-Nobody likes you

-You’re not worth it

-You don’t deserve love

-You’re a monster

-You won’t ever find true love

-You don’t have a family

-Your family hates you

-What have you made yourself become

-You aren’t smart enough

-You aren’t enough

-You’re better off dead

-You’re a waste of space

-You aren’t ever going to be enough

Taming the wild beast is horribly difficult. I suppose it takes one small step at a time.  Sometimes the beast wins and almost destroys me.  How to truly overcome it….I have not yet figured out.

 

Cry Myself to Sleep

Crying yourself to sleep so nobody hears or see's you:

I cry myself to sleep at night.  Then, I rise in the morning as if last night did not happen.  You wouldn’t know that, would you?

Depression Lies, And Here’s Why You Can’t Believe It

Alf SantosYou’re lying awake on what is another sleepless night. How you wished you could just stay sleeping. But you’re interrupted by a harsh reality that is your life. It’s another 2am. It’s another lonely night. It’s another battle inside your head that pulls at you, like a tug of war. These voices that creep…

http://thoughtcatalog.com/kirsten-corley/2016/04/depression-lies-and-heres-why-you-cant-believe-it/

Coffee Date

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I’ve been having an incredibly difficult time lately.  My father’s estate is wrapped up and my siblings are furious at me for making sure my dad’s wishes were fully carried out.  Let’s just say that I am the victim of strong hate right now.  Brutal hate.  Heart breaking hate.  So many nasty words have been said to me.  I even feared/fear for my life.

I decided to think of my mother today.  I wondered what 26-year-old me would be like with her.  What we would talk about.  So, I decided to have a “coffee date” with her.  I made a cup of coffee just the way I (and she) like(s) it.  And I imagined what would happen if 26-year-old me were to meet up with her for a coffee date.  Here is what I feel would go down……..

First, there would be a HUGE hug.  One in which I would not want to let her go.  Then, I would tell her I have coffee made just the way she likes it.  She would laugh and smile, as she tells me to catch her up with my life.  So, I would.  I would chatter away as she would laugh and smile.  All the while giving me her “I am so proud of who you have become” smile.  I would maybe start crying somewhere into my chatter.  She would ask what is wrong.  I would explain how I have missed her for 11 years and don’t remember much of her and how much this fact hurts me.  I thought hard about how she would respond to this.  I know she would give me a tight hug and kiss my forehead or cheek.  Maybe even rock me in the hug as I bawl my eyes out.  But the words…..what words would she say to this?  I am stuck here….My mother was kind and loving, but she gave tough love as well.  If a hard lesson was there for me to learn, she let me learn it and made me work it out.  I wasn’t coddled in that aspect.

After some thought, I came up with what she would tell me.  I truly believe she would say, “I know you miss me.  I know you miss me every day.  But, I am there in you.  I am the kindness that you spread around.  I am the love you give to those around you.  I am in your laugh and smile.  I am in your tears.  I am in your very emotion.  Look around, I am there.  I am your mother and everything you do is created from the love I gave/give you.”

These words that I have imagined her saying are probably exactly what she would tell me.  They are so hard to imagine and remember at times.  But, they are always there resonating in the very heart and soul she gave to me in her womb.

 

A Handful of Pills or a Razor?

Last night, a heart wrenching melt down happened.  I sobbed off all my makeup and thought of cutting my thigh.  I didn’t.  I made it to my bed and covered up.  Stayed there for a few hours and continued to cry as the spiral of thoughts continued.  I keep my sleeping pills on my night stand and thought about taking a handful of them so that I would never wake up again.  I missed my parents so much. I felt that horrible pain in my heart that I haven’t felt since a few months after my dad died.  I felt stabbed in my heart and held my aching heart as I cried.  I wanted to go be with my parents.

I really, really wanted someone personally there last night to hold me and help pull me out.  There is nothing worse than being alone when this is happening.  I wanted the physical presence of someone.  Needless to say, I don’t have that option.  I reached out to the friends I have made through this site via text.  That helped.  They helped me manage to pull myself out of bed and go get some food.  I can’t thank them enough for helping me pull myself out of that depression hole.  I am truly thankful for them.

 

 

You Want The Truth?

The truth is no, I’m not okay.  And no…it’s not okay.  And no….everything will not be okay.  Every time you ask me if I’m okay, I so badly want to tell you no.  No, I am not hanging in there.  No, I am not good…or fine…or okay.  I am in the darkest days of my life and fighting the demons that reside in the darkest corners of my mind.  You wouldn’t know this….no…Because I sit there and smile as I say, “I’m okay.”

Strength Comes From the Weirdest Places

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This weekend I needed a whole lot of strength to keep me going.  This need made me learn something about strength.  My lesson learned was that strength comes from the weirdest places.  This weekend’s strength came from…my toe nail polish.  Here is the story…..

Some amazing blogger friends and I have been texting for a few months now.  A few weeks ago, one of these blogger friends and I found out that we actually go to therapy at the same time.  We both know therapy can be very triggering, so we make sure to treat ourselves after.  This last week, we did our first post-therapy-pedicure.  We got pedicures done at the same time and even got the same color!  It was almost like having a real girl’s date in person!  We have decided that this pedicure date will happen after our therapy and we will keep doing the same color!

It may be strange…but this nail polish is really giving me strength.  Whenever I look at it, I smile and remember that I can overcome this.  I remember how I have the same color as this blogger friend and how I am not going through this battle on my own.  That someone else understands what this is like.  That with others, we can always make it through!  ❤

Emotionally Abused News

Emotional and verbal abuse is no joke. The scars are brutal. But healing begins to come with time and A LOT of hard work and prayer. One breath, one step at a time. Keep moving forward. You were made for more.:

Last night was perhaps another night of hell.  I was held in therapy for an additional half hour.  He has been doing this to me lately because I have been in “crisis.”  All you mental health people know what that means.  He shared with me a huge bombshell last night.  This bombshell was that I have been getting emotionally abused by my two brothers since my mother died when I was 15.  This is the reason why my head tells me that everything is MY fault.  Why I place all blame on me for everything.  Why I believe I am no good for anyone.  Why I am constantly telling myself that I am worthless and unworthy of love.  Why I believe my life is not worth living.

After he told me this news, I covered up my face so that he wouldn’t see my emotions.  He asked me what I was feeling because I looked distressed.  I said rather loudly, “I’m angry.”  Then he proceeded to work on those feelings.  On top of this, my sister had to go to the ER.  She was so weak that my brother-in-law and I had to carry her to a wheelchair.  She was there until 2:00 AM.  I left earlier to get some sleep and work on processing this emotional abuse information and the fact of what would happen if I ever lost my sister.

I chatted with some bloggers friends about all of this.  They have been extremely supportive and are helping me work on this emotional abuse thing.  I am so thankful they were there via text last night.  I probably couldn’t have made it through it without them.  So thank you to you wonderful people.  You know who you are.  You are truly amazing! ❤

Still I Rise

These past two weeks have been extremely tumultuous for me emotion wise.  Hence, my absence of writing.  Sorry you all….just needed a little break to cope.  There are some issues going on with my father’s estate.  Things are being said between siblings that are probably breaking the relationships for a very long time.  I have been accused of lying to the lawyer, stealing inheritance, and forging my brother’s name.  All of which my brothers have done to me (besides the forging thing).  It has been one heck of a battle and I cannot stand it.  It is heart wrenching and so hard to not blame myself, when in reality it has ended exactly as my father wished.  I just want it all to be over.

Throughout all of this depression and grief, I have been brought back to one quote.  It is that of: “Still I rise” by Maya Angelou.  Some days, I feel like I have nothing else to live for, but still I rise.  Why you may ask?  Because of my parents.  They would want me to live a complete life.  The life they created me for.  And if I were not to live on, where would their love go?  I am a carrier of their love.  I am the continuation of their love in this world.  So despite the name calling, legal wars with my siblings, and horribly bad emotional days, still I rise….And rising I shall still do.

On This Day-A Year Since You Left This Earth

Daddy,

Hi.  I hope all is well in heaven.  Say hello to mom for me.  Give her one of those giant teddy bear hugs for me!

Today, it has been exactly a year since you have left this earth.  Actually, it is close to the time I got the phone call at work saying you had died. My therapist told me not to think of today as a “dooms day.”  He worked with me for an hour and a half yesterday to remember the good things about you.  Not how you died.  He tried to tell me that it is time to let you and mom “go.”  That scared me beyond belief.  It is something he wants me to work towards before I leave for a new step in my life/career.

I know you are in a far better place dad.  But, I miss you.  I miss all the love you shared and your kind and generous heart.  I miss how you randomly checked in on me and worried about me. I miss your phone calls asking how things were going and if the car was still working okay.  I miss your goofy voicemails.

I have been having some difficulties living my life lately.  Actually, to be honest dad, I have wanted to end it so badly.  The pain my brothers and sisters, and other relatives, are causing me is just too much to bare.  But, I keep fighting.  Fighting for hope.  Fighting to continue living because you would want me to.  Because I know that my fight might just inspire someone else who has a similar story to keep living their life.

I know you would be extremely proud of the step I am about to take in my life.  It is a huge step.  I am finally telling people at work that I will not be here next year and am moving down to Tennessee.  I know your love will follow me there.  Your love is always there in my heart with me.  I must try to always remember that, even on the bad days.  I pray that I always do good to continue sharing with the world the kind and generous heart that you and mom have created in me.  I pray that your love may live on in the world through me, and hopefully some day my children (your grandchildren).

I love you so much dad.  On this day that you left this earth, I will remember the good things about you.  For your sake, I will try not to let this date and the stuff with your will get me down.  You would not want that to happen.  You would want me to keep breathing and being happy.  To keep helping people.  I will strive to do just that.

I will always love you dad.  You are ALWAYS in my heart.

Love always and forevermore,

Your Baby Girl

From Good to Worse….Triggers Galore

I’ve gone back and forth about doing this post, but I feel like I need to.  I feel the need to explain to all my loyal, and amazing, followers where I have been lately.  Blogging also helps me process my emotions.  So….here we go.  A little warning for those of you with depression, this post may contain some triggers for you.  So, please read with caution.

My depression has gotten BAD lately.  I have been triggered and taken to probably the lowest place I have been since my dad died a year ago.  The first thing that triggered this was that I got a letter from an aunt inviting me to Easter dinner.  I never got invited to her place before.  I threw the card in the trash as my brain kept telling me, Orphan…..you are an orphan…you have no where to go for the holiday.  I tried to shut off the thoughts as I dug for a card in my card bin.  There I found a Father’s Day card I never sent dad and realized that I now never could.  This took me to a lower place.  I got in my car and started driving to my sister’s place already triggered.  Then, somehow, my mind gets on the thought of getting married and how I am single.  Usually, this doesn’t bother me.  But, my brain told me that I don’t know love and probably would never know it, or recognize, it when it comes because I have lost almost all those I loved.  I was now in a very low place.  I also thought about how I have accomplished this amazing thing by getting into a major Ph.D program and it being fully funded for me.  A full ride.  I should be proud, right?  Well, I am not.  Only like 4 people in this ENTIRE world know about this (5 including my therapist) and are proud of me for it.  Only FOUR people in this world know I am moving this summer, and where in the world I am moving to.  Only ONE out of FIVE siblings knows this and is proud of me.  The others won’t even know, or even care, that I have moved to an entirely different part of the country.

Here is where it gets scary people……After all these thoughts, I was out of control.  My thoughts just became more and more destructive as I spiraled out of control and lashed out against myself.  I was driving around a curve.  10 miles from my sister’s house.  Going the speed limit.  A semi was coming towards me.  I gripped the wheel as I thought about driving right into the semi and ending it all.  I visioned it.  I saw it all happen in my head.  It would be quick.  It would be efficient.  I would be gone just like that.  It would be “an accident.”  I wanted to swerve towards it.  It was coming so fast and so close.  I wanted it to be over.  Needless to say, I didn’t do it.  I held the wheel with all my might as I stayed in my lane.

I got to my sister’s place and brushed her off.  I tried to avoid her as she yelled at me and ordered me to tell her what was wrong.  But, I laid right on the ground and held back tears.  I held back tears all night and wouldn’t talk.  Until they caught me crying and pulled it all out of me.  I cried and talked for over an hour.

I went to therapy the next day and we discussed this.  My therapist was concerned.  Very concerned.  Told me that the next time I have these thoughts while I am driving, I better drive myself right to the hospital to get professional help.  He is making it mandatory for me to come and see him weekly until I move.  It’s not an option.  It’s mandatory.  I was down to once or twice a month.  Now, I am back to weekly.  I am also supposed to be thinking about “the purpose of living this life.”  It was the question he left me to ponder during this week.  I have made no progress in thinking about that.

This week is the one year anniversary of my father’s death.  AKA: The moment my life went to shit and I wanted to stop living.  So, already triggered by that.  I went to church on Sunday (the church my father’s funeral was at).  The mass was for my dad.  I was so anxious and trying to avoid flashbacks that I wanted to scratch my arms and tear out the pain.  Instead, I made do with picking off all the nail polish from my $30 manicure.  10 minutes into mass it was all off and there was a nice pile of nail polish in the pew.

I get a double whammy because my father died over the Easter holiday.  So, March 31st and Easter is triggering to me.  I will always remember the Easter that I spent in mourning as I waited to endure my father’s funeral.

Lastly, none of my siblings checked in on me at Easter.  NONE.  I had no texts from them.  I admitted to them all when dad died that I was already depressed and suicidal.  Yet, none of them checked in.  I could be dead and none of them would know it.  This lead me to believe that I am, in some way, an unlovable person.  Someone unworthy of love.  Additionally, my brother changed the locks at the farm.  I don’t have access to my childhood things anymore.  He told my brother in law, “I will leave it open next weekend and will make sure I am not there.”  It’s like he doesn’t even want to see me.  Like he hates me for some reason.  Well, I am 100% sure that is because of dad’s will and my little chat with the lawyer.

So…..I am very triggered and depressed.  The suicidal thoughts are getting a little better, but I locked myself in the bathroom three times this weekend to cry and think about cutting, or purging the food that I had just binged.  Anything to hurt myself.  But, I didn’t.  I had some amazing blogging friends I reached out to via text that helped talk me through the moment and de-escalate me so that I didn’t hurt myself.

That’s all I have for you now folks.  With all of this being said, I could really use some support right now.  Some amazing bloggers (that have become friends) are helping majorly. I really appreciate that.  I have therapy again on Wednesday and am supposed to go see my family doctor again.  Let’s see if I get brave enough to make that call.  The last time I had to tell her about my “plan of action” it didn’t go so well for me.  Nothing is more embarrassing than bawling in front of the doctor you have known since you were a baby.

Nearly One Year Ago

God has a plan of hope and a future for us (Jer. 29:11); and HE WILL WALK US THROUGH IT: "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go," Joshua 1:9.

Nearly one year ago, my life changed with one phone call received at work.  A phone call that instantly changed me.

I was thrown into a grief depression….

hopeless….

aching….

weak….

friendless…

lonely…..oh so lonely.

This year, I look back and see how much I have changed.  I am nothing like the “me” I used to be. For I have learned so much more about people, life, and love.

Post-Facebook Free Life

Due to another amazing blogger allowing me to see how Facebook is negatively affecting me, I deactivated my account about a month ago.  Honestly, no matter how many people hound me to get back on it, I am NOT going back.  Life is sooooooooo much better without Facebook.  I do not miss it AT ALL.  Here is why:

  1. I have MUCH more free time on my hands.  This means more time to read, blog, write, workout, focus on things that will help me better myself, etc.
  2. I am forced to have more meaningful conversations with people.  This allows me to make more real life connections, rather than the “internet facade friendships” that happen on Facebook.
  3. I have found out who truly cares about me because they still contact me even though I don’t have a Facebook.
  4. Negativity = GONE.  There is sooooooooooooo much negativity on Facebook.  This was making my depression MUCH worse.  I hated seeing other people’s happiness and “families” when I wasn’t happy or don’t have a “family.”  It’s just a nesting pool of negativity that triggers bad self-talk.
  5. I no longer have the ability to “stalk” the people that hurt me (or I felt abandoned me) during my grief.  This has helped me stop thinking, “It was all my fault….If I wasn’t such a horrible person…If my dad hadn’t died..I am not worthy of real friends….etc.”
  6. My self-image has gotten better.  I no longer compare myself to other people.  I am ME and no one else.  The world only needs one me.  Sadly, it took quitting Facebook to realize this.
  7. I no longer sit at the dinner table with my phone out.  This means I have meaningful conversations with the person I am with.  I also have time to truly think about what I am eating and savor the taste of each food.
  8. The pictures I take are now more meaningful and silly.  They make me happy.  I am not snapping pictures to just “be able to post it and show people.”  No….I am taking them to cheer me, as well as other people, up.
  9. Family drama that triggers depression is no longer weighing on me because I cannot be contacted regarding it.
  10. I am able to find more meaning in the life outside of Facebook.

Hope Part 3: Hope Comes at the Least Expected Times

I haven’t done a hope post for awhile because I have been in “that” state.  Flashbacks and all.  So, I decided it is time for a hope post.  This week, I am finding hope and my parents’ love in various forms.  My hope comes in the following pictures:

  1. This picture quote that appeared in my mail today.  A meaningful quote by my most favorite author from my most favorite book.  🙂

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2. This picture of a lake near me.  My father would often fish on this lake.  I drove out to it on Sunday to calm myself down and do some thinking.

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3. This little buddy that came in the mail last week!!!!!!!  He has afforded me many opportunities for photos (and cuddles)!  🙂

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4. This letter from the University of Tennessee welcoming me to their doctoral program! 🙂

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Exciting News

I believe it is finally time to share some exciting news with all of you.  On Thursday, I got a phone call from a professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.  We chatted for about an hour and I was given the offer to come study with him for 4 years in order to get my Ph.D.  I was extremely impressed about what he shared that I accepted the offer in that phone call!  Therefore, I will be relocating this summer to live in Knoxville for 4 years and study/work in a Tier 1 research school to get my Ph.D!  I will be Dr. in only 4 years!!!!!! 🙂

I have some paperwork to finish this weekend and was asked to Skype with two professors on Monday night to discuss the GA spots they both have/decide which one I would like to study/work with.  Both of these spots are AMAZING!!!!!!  I would either be working to write/form STATE guidelines for education or working in a new grant program that is becoming known nation wide.  If I accept either of these positions, my education will be fully funded and I will be an university employee!  I am sooooo excited for this!!!!!!  The doors are opening for me to make a change in education!  This program seems sooooo right for me and I cannot wait to move down there, get started, and become a “southerner/Knoxville Volunteer!”

As you can probably tell, I am extremely excited for this!  Knoxville is a large city, so I am ecstatic to be able to live in a city for 4 years!  I will also be only 2/3 hours from Nashville, close to hiking/the ocean, and in an extremely beautiful place.  I will also have access to a national airport that will allow me to hopefully finally meet/see these amazing blogger blogger friends I have made over the past month (and I will be in their same time zone!)!  I just CANNOT wait!!!! 🙂

Hope Part 2: Finding Hope in Today

As part of my “new outlook” on hope, I am going to make it my goal to see my parents’ love in something everyday.  Perhaps, this will help me with the grieving process.  So today, I am reminded of my parents and they love they gave in:

  1. The wonderful sunshine and birds singing (FINALLY!).
  2. The morning workout I completely conquered……even though I didn’t want to.
  3. The song Stand By You by Rachel Platten that played on my way to work and Angels in Chelsea (also by the same artist) that blared in my ears during my workout.
  4. The new and amazing friends I have made through this site.
  5. The silly selfies I sent to these friends and my sister.
  6. The necklace that currently hangs around my neck.
  7. The watch I am wearing that my father gave to me for my undergraduate graduation.
  8. The observance of the same blue eyes my mother had in the selfies I took.

Hope….It’s Not What You Think It Is

 

 

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Hope comes from so many things.  The colors in a bright sunrise, a warm day, a pretty snowfall, positive people, coffee, books, etc.  It comes from both simple and complex things.  I have been given hope by the words of another blogger.  I am incredibly inspired by her strength and views on grief/depression.  Needless to say, this person is pretty amazing!  🙂

The other day, this blogger and I got to talking about hope and why we keep living our everyday lives despite our losses.  In this conversation I said, “what is the point of living when all your loved ones are gone?” And, “I suppose hope is what keeps us going.”  This person replied with words that really opened my eyes on this whole grief/depression thing.  These words of that of this:

“I don’t think hope is just about ‘things will get better’ as we traditionally think.  I think hope can be about how their love will live on through all those things in your life like the lavender bath, sunny morning walk, etc.  And all the future hope you don’t yet know about and people you have not yet met.”

Wow….just wow……..are you not blown away by those words?  This made me think, You know what…..my mom and dad’s memory lives on in the works I do for the rest of my life.  Their love is shown in everything I do.  Anything that brings a smile to my face and every breath I take is done in love for them because they would want me to live my life and be happy.  My hope for the future is through continuing to live a life that would make them proud.  Even though they are not here on Earth anymore, the fact that my works continue to spread their love is hope.  This is the exact reasons I continue to breathe…….hope.

I wanted to share these words with you all today because they are so touching.  The words are attributed to an amazing blogger, sliceoflife11.  Feel free to stop by her page and hit it up with some reads, likes, and comments!  You won’t be disappointed! 🙂

Bad Day Treats

Those of us who battle with grief, anxiety, and/or depression often have to complete tasks that are beyond difficult and triggering.  On these days, it is important for us to treat ourselves for making it through.  For instance, therapy sessions are hard.  My meetings with the life insurance agent and lawyer were hard.  After these things, I needed a pick-me-up to make these events less depression triggering.  I made it through and by golly, I am not going to let it trigger my depression more.  So, I decided to make a list of things I enjoy and will treat myself to on days when I have to endure these “possibly triggering” events.  I encourage you to do the same.  Here is my list:

  1. A warm mug of tea..any kind
  2. A good book (with that cup of tea)
  3. A walk outside with music blaring through the ear buds
  4. Small bowl of ice cream
  5. Manicure
  6. Pedicure
  7. Massage
  8. Window shopping
  9. Dog cuddles
  10. Walking the dog
  11. Texting some amazing blogger friends
  12. Reading a funny book
  13. Watching a movie I enjoyed from my childhood
  14. A long relaxing bath
  15. Writing a short story
  16. Helping someone in need
  17. Putting together and sending packages to people

That is all I have for right now.

The War At Home Has Begun

There is so much I have to write about today, so be prepared for several entries from me.  First, I need to discuss what is on my mind and why I haven’t written lately.  I have been triggered.  There are reasons for this.

The main trigger is that my dad’s estate is closing this month, as the 31st will be the one year anniversary of his death.  I had to deal with some life insurance things on a policy he had out for me and meet with the lawyer about some questions I had about the will.  I did both of these on my own.  I never disclose my age, but here we go…..at 26 I feel like I am much too young to have to do this on my own.  I feel dumb because I don’t get any of it.  And I feel like I look around at see other people my age not having to deal with this.  It is very disheartening to me.  So, let me tell you about the lawyer.

I walk in and he is sort of curious about why I am there.  I give him a line about how I bawled all through the reading of the will and don’t get any of it because I don’t remember it (which is true).  He understood and went through the will with me.  I really was there for one purpose.  He looks at me and says, “I was sort of confused as to why you were coming today, so I asked your brother if he knew.  He didn’t.  So, I asked if it was about your father’s money.  He said that you got your money.  And I said no, you didn’t.”  I got silent and then said, “I am not going to lie….that is why I am here.”  Then, he tells me, “I am glad you came in, I had some concerns myself but couldn’t do anything unless someone came in.”  He went through all my dad’s assets with me.  According to the will, I am supposed to get 1/4th of all his cash value and the boys get 1/2 of all the farm related things, no cash.  But, these accounts have only my brothers’ names on it.  Therefore, they are getting the money and would have it had I not come in.  We are not talking a little money here people.  My dad was a hard working farmer.  He was a saver.  He saved up for his children and was very smart with money.  If it was only a few thousand, then sure…I’d let it go.  But, it most certainly is not.  So, I look at the lawyer and say rather loudly and angrily, “ARE YOU TELLING ME THAT I ALREADY GOT EVERYTHING I INHERITED FROM MY PARENTS?!?!??!?!?! THAT I GET NOTHING ELSE!  THAT THEY WILL BE ALMOST MILLIONAIRES AND I AM STUCK HERE ALMOST IN BANKRUPTCY AS I PAY OFF ALL MY STUDENT LOANS!?!??!?!?”  The lawyer sadly nodded and then clearly stated that he is to carry out my dad’s wishes.  How dad worded the will.  Just the names on the accounts contradict that.  He then asked me, “Are you willing to challenge this?”  And gave me a look that said, “You better.”  I swallowed and said, “Yes, I will challenge it.”  So, I am off to war with my siblings…..I have 7 challenges that my brothers have to reply to within a week.  There could be court hearings.  This could be the final breaking point for all hopes of a relationship with my siblings.  I am beyond terrified.  Lawfully and rightfully, the money is my sisters’ and mine.  It was what not just my dad, but my mother, wanted.  And I will fight for that.  I do not want to be greedy, but my dad did not intend for me to get screwed over.

I almost started crying in front of the lawyer and choked back the tears as my voice cracked.  This happened when I admitted to him that I was seeing a therapist every two weeks to deal with the deaths of my parents and being treated this way by my brothers.  Being treated like they were the only two born into this family and I never existed.  The lawyer was very angry about all of this.  He assured me that he would help me and that I shouldn’t have to live with this.  That my parents would want me to be happy and financially stable.  That he was glad I came in because I need to make peace with this.  As I left, he assured me that he would send off my legal statements to my brother and then send his replies to me, which will then be sent out to all siblings.

I am terrified…..completely terrified.  Terrified of the emotional bullying and scaring that is going to come my way because I stood up for myself and said, “This isn’t right.  My parents wouldn’t want it this way.”  I am also terrified of having to go this alone.  I know nothing about law.  Luckily, my dad’s lawyer is a very nice person and is willing to help me.  Willing to help me get peace with my dad’s death and estate.

When I left, I was in almost tears.  I thanked him and said, “now, I am going to go drink some strong vodka.”  To which he just laughed.  I started a war and he knows it.  A war that I shouldn’t have to fight at 26.  And that I shouldn’t have to fight alone.

Where Is Your Faith?

Hello fellow bloggers.  Today, I am having some issues.  I am back in my full blown depression mindset.  This letter from my aunt set it off because she went out of her way to find a way to get this damn letter to me.  One that could hurt me.  Yesterday evening, I emotionally ate two muffins as I thought, “who cares what I put in my body.  No body cares about me anyway and no body will ever care.”  I told my brother-in-law about this and he got mad.  Saying this was a dangerous place because it could lead to some pretty bad things.  Yes, I get that.  I get that he is worried.

My brother-in-law came out and asked “where is your faith through this?”  This question made me upset.  I love God.  I believe in God.  I believe that I am doing His plans for my life and that I am his daughter.  But, this question got me.  There are some issues I am having with this right now and it is very, very personal.  Something I do not wish to write on here.  So, if anyone out there is a person who would be up for discussing God and faith through depression because you know about this, or have been there yourself…Please…please email me at: 20yearoldmusings@gmail.com

Or, if you are a blogger that currently contacts me via text, feel free to text me about this.  Thank you in advance to all who are willing to reach out.

UGG And More UGG

depression, self injury-yes, sometimes we can feel like we are drowning, but there is always rescue-remember that:

Well, yesterday was quite a day.  Know the aunt that has taken it upon herself to immerse herself in my family drama?  Yes, the one I wouldn’t give my address to.  Well, yesterday I got a letter from her in my mailbox AT WORK.  I wanted to throw up the moment I saw that the letter was from her.  I experienced such a range of emotions.  I emotionally ate (Two small doughnuts that were in the lounge, and later muffins that I have at home).  I wanted to cry.  I wanted to be dead.  I wanted to scream and wasn’t my nice teacher self.  I set off a meltdown in a kid.  I was angry.  I was not myself.  I am still not myself.

Why would my aunt take it upon herself to send this letter to my workplace, when I wouldn’t give her my home address?  Why drag this into my professional life?  I consider this a huge breach of my private life.  I can’t handle this anymore.  I just want to be out of here.

Positive Changes

You all know about the drama I have been having with family.  Well, I found out more.  I found out that apparently, my aunts and uncles are mad at us kids because “we are acting like nothing ever happened.”  I am sorry, you try being 15 when your mother passes away and have no one to teach you how to deal with your grief, so you just suppress it.  I had no one to teach me how to deal.  So, deal I didn’t do.

Basically, I am sick of this.  You bloggers have helped me realize that I am worth so much more.  I will be moving in May no matter what.  And, I am making some positive changes in my life.

One major positive change in my life is that I no longer have a Facebook account.  A fellow blogger helped me come to this decision.  Thank you to this amazing blogger! 🙂  The only social media I still have is this blog.  Facebook account is gone.  Forever.  I won’t be going back.  Since I have deleted my account, I have felt so much happier.  No one is contacting me about meaningless drama.  I am reading about no one’s drama and now have hours to cope and think about my current situation and feelings.  Time to process.  You would be surprised with how much time Facebook sucks from you.

I am working on the health thing.  Hoping to start working more on the emotional eating and getting in shape thing.  I guess time will tell with that.  But, as for right now, this is where I stand.

Here’s the Gun, Pull the Trigger

I cried for about half an hour this morning.  It was the crying in which your heart hurts so bad and huge tears roll down your face and chest.  This was when I was getting ready for work, so it was very difficult to get my makeup done.  I managed to calm myself enough to get my “facade” painted on and get out the door.  But, I continue to be triggered.  Here is what triggered me:

My aunt replied to my message with :”ouch.”  Then some crap about how this letter was something about my birth that an aunt sent to her/how she doesn’t want to get into my family issues.  Bull shit!!!!! I started bawling because 1: like always with this family, it’s about ME hurting THEM.  Never the other way.  IT’S ALWAYS MY DAMN FAULT WITH THIS DAMN FAMILY WHEN THEY HAVEN’T CONTACTED ME FOR 11 YEARS!  and 2:  It hurt knowing that I wasn’t worth the truth.  She lied to me.  She does too want in my family issues.  That was the main purpose for her visit with my sister this week.

Then, I started down the grief path.  I bawled for my mother.  How much I miss her and want to talk to her about this.  How I don’t remember her.  How I can’t picture her face or hear her voice anymore.  How in my memory it’s almost like she never existed.  That hurts me so much because I loved her so much.

I feel as if no matter how I respond to people these days it’s like I am giving them back the gun to pull the trigger again and shoot me back into depression.  I need to stop handing back the gun.

Convinced the World is Waiting For Me to Break

Hello emotional eating….Tonight, I ate a whole roll of Thin Mints AND almost a whole box of peanut butter patties.  Gah, I wish I wasn’t this way.  I’m ashamed.  Very ashamed.  This makes me just get worse.  There was reason for this binge eating.  I got some more lightning fast curve balls thrown at me tonight.

First, my sister, who has been sick for the entire year, has been notified that she will not be paid from her job anymore.  Basically, she is nicely being fired…..for being chronically sick…We talked for a long time tonight and I can tell that she is back in a bad depression.  I am very worried about her.  So, I will be taking a trip home this weekend to take care of her and make sure she is okay.

Second, the aunt that stirred things up from the last post messaged me on Facebook.  Apparently, she sent me a letter and it came back to her because she had the wrong address.  So, she wanted my address.  I almost ignored it as this message kind of took me down a few more notches.  Like what do you want to say to me in a letter after I lost both my parents and you have stayed out of my life for 26 years?  I don’t even know you!  After some counseling from my brother-in-law, I finally responded by saying, “If this letter is concerning family issues, I will not be discussing it as this is my personal business.  Thank you for your concern.”  I guess we will see how she responds.

Come on world!  Isn’t it enough that I lost both my parents by the time I was 25, all of my best friends, and my family?  What else are you going to throw at me?!?!?!!?! Isn’t it time something GOOD happens?

Holding the Smoking Gun

 

Due to triggers from family (and dealing with the lawyer for my father’s will/estate), I have fallen into the depression hole again. I feel as if certain people are holding a gun to me and have pulled the trigger.  That they stand there holding the smoking gun as I suffer and writhe in the depression they put me into.  As if this was all for fun and games.  As if my suffering is nothing to them.

It got so bad yesterday that I broke out in my anxiety rash.  Yes, I had red rashes that spread from my neck, face, and arms.  This only happens when I have a lot going on and can’t handle it.  I have only had it happen once before.  On top of this, I got into “that state.”  Many of you may know what “that state” is.  It is where you are talking to someone trying to defuse you, and only start saying the one word responses of “ya” and “ok.”  Usually, when I pull this stuff, I am so far gone in my depression there is no digging me out for days.  I went home and ate a whole box of Girl Scout cookies….then laid on my couch staring at the ceiling, dreaming of getting out of here/my current life, and texting a few fellow bloggers for help and advice.

I am so lucky to have met bloggers through this site.  They managed to pull me out.  To make me see the light.  Even though I was giving the one word answers, they didn’t give up.  They pulled me through.  I thought that was pretty amazing and I cannot be more thankful!  ❤

Currently, I am looking for any way out of here.  I need to start over in a new place FAR away from here.  So, NO PLACE in the Dakotas.  I need out of here.

The Note I Want To Write To Here

Dear Here,

Due to current situations, I cannot handle living with you anymore.  I have packed my bags and am relocated until further notice.  Don’t look for me.  Don’t contact me.  I need to be away from this.  I need to be freed of the shackles that bind me so tight that some nights I can’t even breathe.  I need a new place to begin again.  I need freedom.  Therefore, I have left.

Sincerely,

Depressed Me

More Family Issues

Ok..you all know that I have had family issues since both my parents have passed away.  Well, something happened today that is majorly triggering my depression.  I just don’t know what to do.  I want to scream, cry, hit someone, swear at people, run away and never be found, cut….I want to cut so bad.  Needless to say, I am triggered.  I yelled at my sister for triggering me and all she did was cry and apologize as she said she had no one else to talk to about it.

Here is what happened:

One aunt on my mom’s side (the same that told the teachers here that I am in therapy) has been calling me.  I know better, so I didn’t answer.  Well, she showed up at my sister’s today (by calling HER HUSBAND and finding out where they live).  Turns out, my oldest sister has been calling them and crying about how we can’t be a family (let’s all remember that they had family Christmas without inviting my sister and I).  She was there to get all the gossip and apparently, after 11 years without our mother, they all believe “it is time to help my family.”  Sooooo…

She tells my sister that they are all mad we didn’t have an autopsy done on our mom.  Sure, she was 58 when she died.  BUT WE WERE ALL YOUNG!!!!! The oldest was 25 and our dad was shocked and grieving!  We just wanted to bury her and move on with our lives!!!!!!!!!!!

Long story short, this aunt got all the gossip and is going to go meet up with another aunt for supper to fill her in.  I am so sick of this people.  I just really don’t want to be here anymore.  Why can’t they just let me live my life?  It hurts more now that they want to fix this when I have grown up without them in my life.  When I have grieved the loss of my mother and father without them.  WHEN I GREW UP WITH NO MOTHER AND A GRIEVING FATHER.  When I have fought depression without them.  WHERE THE HELL HAVE THEY BEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  THEY CAN LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE!

 

 

Psychiatrist Visit

On Friday, I took off work to go see the psychiatrist for my very first medication evaluation.  Sure, I was nervous.  I’ve never had one done before.  And…well….who else likes to come out and admit to someone that you have thought of ending it and harming yourself?  Certainly, not me.

The session began with a very vague, “tell me your story.”  So, I did.  After about half an hour talk, this dude that knew nothing about me started acting like he had it all figured out.  I was steaming mad when I walked out, refusing to ever see him again, and wanting to walk back in and slap him.  Let me explain…..

Here are his diagnoses of me after a half hour interview:  I am apparently obsessive compulsive.  My depression is caused by three things:  my grief, weight, and PMS.  Yes, that is right, you read that right.  He asked me if I was on the pill.  I said no.  He said that maybe I should be.  I wanted to slap him right there.  I GLARED at him and stated, “Excuse me…..everything with my menstrual cycle is just FINE.  I have regular flows, hardly any cramping, and my period comes every month like it should.  I also know I ovulate and am highly fertile.  And…as a woman who has STANDARDS and not the whore that men want/portray her to be, I do NOT go sleeping around with every guy I meet.  There is NO need for me to be on birth control.  And, I also want to get pregnant as soon as I get married, so no thank you for the pill.”  I almost wanted to ask him where his gynecologist credential was and that as a man who has never had a period in his life, he has no say on being emotional before you get your period.  HELLLOOOO hormones are getting ready to leave my body and I am about to bleed for 5 straight days.  You would be emotional too!!!! It’s normal for women to get emotional during this time.  Needless to say, I was pissed by this point in our conversation.

Also, he told me that I was dependent on my sleeping pills.  WHAT THE HELL?  Excuse my language there.  I explained why my doctor gave me sleeping pills.  He didn’t listen.  Instead, he prescribed A SMALLER DOSE OF A WEAKER SLEEPING MEDICATION!  I was so pissed at him!  He didn’t hear me out about nightmares and insomnia.  He just didn’t care.

In the end, the only thing he changed on my medication was the sleeping meds.  He didn’t care that I have meltdowns very frequently.  He blamed that all on PMS.  Needless to say, I will not be going back to him or refilling that sleeping med he prescribed.  I will be going elsewhere.

Believe The Writing On The Door

I ate at a local pizza place this weekend.  While there, I had to use the ladies’ room.  So, to the ladies’ room I went.  On the back of the door to this restroom was a message I needed to hear.  It is also one I want to share with all of you.  We must believe the writing on this door.

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Orphans and Widows

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About a month ago, I was in a VERY bad slump for being a “young orphan.”  Then, I met someone and this went away as I created a few more meaningful relationships.  The other night, I went out to supper with someone that used to work for me.  She was introducing me to someone and told her that she was trying to find me a nice boy to date so that I could get married and stay here.  The lady then asked this lady if she was my mother.  To which we both laughed.  They got back to thinking about single men for me.  The lady I used to work with then came out and said, “and we need to find her a very nice one.  I take care of her.  She’s already an orphan and needs a very nice boy to take care of her.”  Then the orphan dread came back.  When this slump hit me last month, I looked through the Bible for passages on orphans.  For hope that I won’t be alone forever.  For hope that I would have a family once again.  Ironically, widows are often mentioned in the same passages.  Here, for your viewing eyes are the passages in the Bible about orphans:

“You must not exploit a widow or an orphan.  If you exploit them in any way and they cry out to me, then I will certainly hear their cry.  My anger will blaze against you, and I will kill you with the sword.  Then your wives will be widows and your children fatherless.”

“He ensures that orphans and widows receive justice.”

“No, I will not abandon you as orphans- I will come to you.”

“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.”

So, what do all these passages mean?  Well, I believe it means that God is close to the broken-hearted and grieving.  He takes in the widows and orphans.  He hears their cry.

Let me tell you a story.  This summer, I was in deep, deep grief over the loss of my parents.  I had a friend that didn’t understand my story and wasn’t treating me particularly the nicest.  I was hurt.  I cried to God to stop the pain.  You may wonder what happened.  Let me answer that for you.  God removed this person from my life.  He protected me as he removed the painful relationship from my life.  I kept picking the relationship back up, but God kept telling me NO!  The relationship was over after 7 years.  He made this person lose a good friend they had because of how she was treating me in my distress and grief.  He tore the relationship apart because He heard my cry and wanted to stop the pain, as I had enough pain to endure.  He was protecting me not only from evil, but from external forces that will hurt my grieving heart more.

In the end, let’s care for orphans and widows.  It is so extremely painful to lose someone you love so much.  To never be able to see them in person again.  God knows this is painful.  He has given us humans to care for us and will hear our cries of distress.  This much is true because it is promised in the Bible.  And all promises of the Bible have been and will be fulfilled.

No One Does Bitterness Better Than Naomi

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For some reason, I was led the book of Ruth to study the character Naomi.  Some divine intervention led me there.  Naomi is quite an interesting character.  Let me tell you her story:

Naomi’s husband and both sons passed away.  She was left with two daughter-in-laws in a land filled with famine.  So, she decides to embark for her home land (Bethlehem) because she has heard that God had given that land plentiful harvests.  She starts on this journey with her daughter-in-laws.  Then, she tells them to leave her.  To go back to their mothers and find new husbands because she cannot grant them security.  She is too old to marry again and give them sons to marry.  She points out what all God has done to her and becomes very bitter towards Him.  One of her daughter-in-laws tearfully says goodbye and leaves.  But, Ruth does not.  She tells her mother-in-law that she will follow her.  That Naomi’s God shall also be her God.  Naomi and Ruth continue onto Bethlehem.

Upon their arrival, Naomi is greeted by people and asked if it is really her that is back in the land.  When she answers them, she tells them to call her “Mara” because it means bitter and she has become very bitter at God, as she believes He has taken everything from her and now rules her with his fist.

While in this land, Ruth stays with her mother-in-law and heads out to barley fields to gather whatever she can so they can eat.  A man tells his workers to let her gather what she can and to purposely drop barley heads for her.  Ruth gathers enough for her and her mother-in-law, who then sends her back and tells her to put on her best dress and perfume.  To go back to the man, uncover his feet, and lay beside him while he sleeps.

Ruth does as she is told.  Fast forward a little and this man takes her as his wife and into his home.  Ruth then becomes pregnant and bares his son, Obed.  Naomi is told about this birth and goes to meet her grandson.  When she meets him, she takes him and holds him to her breast as she cuddles him.  It is said that she loves her grandson as much as her own sons and that Ruth has given Naomi more love than seven sons.  In the end, this grandson becomes the great-grandfather of David/a direct ancestor to Jesus.

I did some thinking about all of this.  Naomi has a very similar story to me.  One of loss.  One of becoming a little bit bitter at God.  Naomi had become very bitter with God about all her loses and grief.  Although she was bitter with God, and verbalizing this bitterness (enough to change her name to the literal word “bitter”), God stayed with her.  He didn’t leave or forsake her.  He gave her Ruth as a faithful daughter-in-law and a grandson to love as her own son.  In the end, we may be bitter at God for taking those we love from us, but God will not abandon us. Instead, He will give us hope.  He give us a promise of love.

Naomi’s story is one of hope.  She was bitter, but God didn’t leave her.  He gave her a grandson to love on until she died.  He gave her another family.  He did not abandon.  I find it ironic that she changed her name to mean “bitter” when instead I think she really should have it changed to “hope.”

Update

I like to keep you bloggers updated with my concussion status, as many of you are becoming personal friends to me.  The symptoms of my concussion are getting much better.  Headaches and nausea are still coming on at about 3:00 every day.  So, I can almost make it through a full day of work!  Yesterday, I went to the chiropractor because I haven’t been able to move my left shoulder much since the fall.  Well, it was out of place.  One LOUD crack and it was back in.  I have to keep heating it and refrain from exercise that moves it too much, as well as stretching it until she gives me the okay.  I also have to go back to her weekly until she knows the shoulder is healed.  Basically, she told me I was a hot mess from the fall and it would take me awhile to get back to normal health.  She asked me how I was even breathing without being in pain.  I just had to laugh at that because sometimes even that was painful!

I go to the psychiatrist tomorrow to get my medication for depression/anxiety/insomnia evaluated.  I am praying I will not have to undergo a med change.  The last time I did that I had HORRIBLE side effects.  I do NOT want to go back into that weepy state.

In other news….I realized that next month will be a year since my father passed away (can’t believe it’s already been a year without him).  I look at March 31st on my planner like it is doomsday.  A sense of dread automatically fills me as my stomach drops.  Yesterday, I almost looked up tickets to a tropical place for that week because I know I will be triggered hard core.  Since his funeral was a few days after Easter, Easter will trigger me too.  I may have to escape here and travel somewhere.  Just to get away and process.  We shall see.

Strangers Are Friends

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Since my father passed away last spring (really can’t believe it’s almost been a year without him already), my life has really been transforming.  I am learning what true friends are, how to deal with depression/grief, and that it is okay to allow those “bad days” to happen.  Lately, my eyes have been opened to what a true friend is.

A few bloggers have been reaching out to me via email, calls, and texts.  I was nervous about taking these steps at first, but quickly these people have become VERY important to me.  Not only can I be there to help them on their days, but they help pull me out of the holes I get myself into.  It’s actually quite amazing that these complete strangers can do this! That even though we have never met in person, we seem to have so much in common and understand each other.

Today, I got myself into one of those lovely “worthless” holes.  I was starting to dig myself in deeper and deeper as an amazing blogger (and now friend) started texting me.  She was able to pull me out of the hole in about 10-15 minutes.  You know what was the most amazing about it?  She let me feel the pain.  She didn’t shun it away.  She let me feel it and talk it through.  This blogger knows exactly what I think of myself right now.  How much little confidence I have left.  So, what did she do?  Without my asking, she took 5-10 seconds out of her day and made a list of what she thinks about me and emailed it to me.  A list I can put up and remind myself who I am.  Remind myself that I am not the bad person I believe I am.  I have shared this list here because it deeply touched me and means so much to me.  I’ve never had a person do something like that for me.  And the fact that I have never met this person in person, well….that just blows my mind.  I can’t be thankful enough.  ❤ ❤

This blogging experience has allowed me to see that there really are amazing people out there.  That I just had to have the courage to reach out to them.  So, go ahead and reach out to a fellow blogger or two.  You never know…they may just become a friend! 🙂

And to all you amazing/supportive bloggers.  Keep up the great work!  You never know just who you are helping! 🙂 ❤ ❤ ❤

Another Death Nightmare

I really, really, really didn’t want to write about this nightmare here, but I usually do because writing them gets them off my chest.  And this also allows me to refer to it when I talk to my therapist about it.  As I see him on Friday, I need to write it.  So here goes….

A few days ago, I had a dream that my father was dying again.  I was there WATCHING HIM DIE (Talk about a NIGHTMARE!).  He was taking his last breathes.  As this was happening, he looked over at me and whispered, “Come hug me.”  I nodded and did as told.  After a long hug, I whispered in his ear, “It’s okay dad.  Go be with mom.  I’m strong.  I’ll be okay here.”  I pulled away and dad’s eyes met mine.  The look told me that he knew I would be okay, but that he was worried about me.  I sat back down and he took his last breath and died.

So ya….WORST ONE I HAVE EVER HAD!!!!!!!!!! I don’t know if the concussion triggered it or what, but I haven’t had a “death of a parent” nightmare since mid-January.  I had a good track record going.  Maybe, it was because I didn’t see my therapist last week…I don’t know….Gah…I am going to the psych on Friday for a medication evaluation because I have been having a lot of meltdowns lately over my family and friend situations.  And choosing to just sleep all the time instead of deal with my thoughts.  Some days, I would be okay with sleeping all day.

 

I Love My Blogger Friends

I want to thank you all for your well wishes and reaching out to me while I heal from my concussion.  Just to update you, I had to miss 3 and a half days of work.  The other two ended up with me going home early.

I went to the doctor yesterday for my follow-up.  Thankfully, I was given the clear.  I am just in what is called a “post concussion syndrome.”  Apparently, it means that my brain is still very vulnerable from the impact, so when I over exert myself the symptoms of the concussion come back.  I have been resting regularly and am trying not to push it.  Hopefully, I will be back to 100% shape before the two weeks that he said it could take.

Thank you again for all your well wishes.  ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

I’ll Be Back 

Hi all! I’ll be back to writing again in about a week or so. I had quite a fall on Sunday. Fall backwards down three stairs and whacked my head on the cement. Got a bad concussion. Haven’t been able to go to work yet and am not expected to get better for about a week. Have to go back to the doctor on Friday for a follow up and see if I need any brain scans done. I’ll be back when I can think again. Until then, take care. 

I’ve Learned to Love Abuse

 

I’ve learned to love abuse.  Please, show me what I’m looking for.

That line…..it says a lot doesn’t it?  Abuse….Physical, verbal, emotional…sometimes we learn to love it because it is all we have known.

Emotional and verbal abuse has been on my mind lately.  I often wonder if the way I have been treated by friends and siblings qualifies as these kinds of abuse.  The hurting over and over.  The words said to me…oh gah those painful words.  The things done to me that told me I wasn’t good enough.  I wasn’t worthy enough.  I was some disease that wasn’t worthy of love.  I was worthy of abandonment.

You know what, I don’t deserve abuse.  No one deserves abuse.  I am a somewhat nice person.  Maybe, I am too nice.  Maybe, just maybe, that is exactly what makes me get abused over and over as I think “no…I can help this person.  It will be okay.  I’ll forgive them one more time.”  No…..I was wrong.  I just end up getting abused and hurt over and over again. This process taught me a learned behavior that I haven’t noticed until just a day or so ago.

This learned behavior is that I learned to not talk about my emotions.  That people didn’t care about the deep hurts inside me.  That if they didn’t ask me how I was feeling, I wasn’t supposed to mention it.  Where did this come from?  Where did I learn this?  I know: my siblings.  I learned this as a teenager.  I learned this because they didn’t care about me growing up.  I learned to never discuss my emotions and just live because they didn’t care or listen.  They didn’t care enough to be there for me while I was growing up and finding out who I was without a mother and with an emotionally distant and hurting father.  I learned to just shut up and deal.  To always be the caring and fun one.  To never talk about my pain.

Through the grief, depression, and loneliness I am experiencing this year, I am learning how to stand up for myself.  How to not take this abuse anymore.  How to TRULY love myself again.  This is something I haven’t done since before my mother passed away 10 years ago.  I never really loved myself.  I coped.  I survived.  I fought to stay above water and get people’s approval and love because I wasn’t getting it anywhere else.  I learned to take abuse to get the approval of others.  I learned to always paint on that smile and to never show those tears.  That tears are weakness.  That tears drive people away.

This is a fairly new concept to me as I am just discovering this about myself through my weekly therapy sessions.  I will be having a talk with my therapist about all of this on Friday.  I am a work in progress.  I am slowly figuring out just who this woman is that I have become.  Who the woman is that rose about her trauma and crisis to never truly surrender to the darkness.

Sadly, You Can’t Choose Your Family

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When I think about family (the word, concept, or my very own family), I get saddened.  I truly haven’t known what it is like to have a “family” since my mother passed away 10 years ago.  She was our glue.  The cohesiveness that held us all together.  After all, a structure is only as strong as the support holding the beams.  So, when she died, the concept of our “family” died as well.

I recently blogged about how one of my brothers is getting married.  My brothers are not very nice people.  I have been called horrible things by them and yelled at by them.  Basically, treated with no respect from them.  I remember a day when I was probably about 13.  I was with my mother.  We were on a road trip and out of no where she says, “your father is worried.”  I didn’t know where she was going, so I asked her what he was worried about.  Then, she told me that he had a nightmare about one of my brothers raping me.  Since that nightmare, my father watched how this brother acted around me and he was terrified it would come true.  So, my mother told me that I needed to stay away from him and always make sure I was covered up around him, as well as never be alone with him because I was becoming a woman and developing in areas I wasn’t developed.  Since then, this brother has somewhat scared me.  I have not made anyone aware of this fact besides the sister I am close to and a blogger I have been in contact with.  It has been my mother’s and my secret.  I was the baby.  My father was always watching out for his baby girl.

Anyways, back to the getting married brother.  He wants my sister to sing for his wedding.  If he has been in contact with either one of us, he would know that the doctor won’t allow her to sing until she is in better health.  Of course, he doesn’t know this.  So, he called my sister’s HUSBAND and asked HIM if she could sing at the wedding.  I know right?  Very cowardly.  I almost wanted to text him the moment I found out and call him a pus*y.  But, I didn’t.  I need to stay a Christian and just let it go.

I will not be going to this wedding.  I know that I get a LOT of judgement from people for saying this.  They all think I should be supportive. But, you know what, I DON’T CARE!  I am sorry, but this brother NEVER made it to any of my life events, why should I go to his?  He didn’t come to any of my sporting events, birthdays, proms, college graduations, or award ceremonies.  Those were milestones to me.  So, why would I go to the milestones for him?  You reap what you sow people….you reap what you sow.

After all of this drama yesterday, I got a little back in the depression hole.  I tried not to think about my family and the pain I have gotten from them.  I looked up places I could (and want to) move to.  I looked for an escape.  I want out and I want out now.  I want to run from all of this and start over.  Over in a place my family can’t follow me.

The blogger I became friends with was texting me last night.  I got to talking to her about what was bothering me.  I have to say, I have never in my entire life had someone defuse my anger so easily.  She allowed me to vent and asked just the right questions that got it all out of me.  We were texting at what would be 10:30 her time and I told her that she should probably get to bed.  She agreed, but said only if I felt better.  I was stunned.  Absolutely stunned.  I have NEVER had a person care about me so much (besides my parents and my one sister and her husband).  I have never had a FRIEND care about me enough to truly sacrifice their time, life, and sleep to help me out.  Someone who knew the right thing to say and instead of brushing off my pain.  She acknowledged it and allowed me to discuss it.  Allowed me to feel it.  She didn’t give me the vibe that I should just push the pain back and forget it because it is “uncomfortable for them” if I discuss it.  No, she gave me that vibe that I should feel it.  She also told me, “I know you don’t believe this, but I don’t intend to abandon you.  I think you’re a great friend.”  Wow…just wow!  To that, I am very grateful and appreciative.  I only hope I can do for her what she did for me last night.

The Swans of Fifth Avenue

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A few months ago, I got a text saying the used bookstore was having a buy 2 get 2 free sale.  So, naturally, I bundled up and went.  When I got to the counter with my stack of 10+ books, I saw that they were offering free advanced copies of books to decide if their store should buy them.  I took a look at the books and one stuck out to me.  It had a BEAUTIFUL fashion cover, so of course it interested me and I took it.  When I opened it up this week to begin reading it, I saw that it had been PERSONALLY signed by the author, Melanie Benjamin (wrote The Aviator’s Wife).  This was no stamp.  It was permanent marker signed.  Anyways, that excited me.

I started reading this book and I AM HOOKED!  It is about life in the 1950-1975 era in “elite” Manhattan.  It follows an author and the women he deems as “his swans” (prestigious, rich, beautiful, and married to very famous and rich men).  The book focuses on one swan in particular (his “lead swan”), Babe Paley.  It tells her story and quite fascinating it is.  It also tells the story of her husband, Bill Paley (the founder of the CBS station).  Lovely and slightly tragic story they have.

Babe Paley is a beyond fascinating character.  Everything about her fascinates me.  I have to keep reading it to find out more about her.  To find out who she really is beneath all the makeup and Chanel/Dior suits.  She is seen as perfect.  Perfect clothes, makeup, hair, teeth, body, etc.  She has the “perfect husband.”  Together they make a “perfect couple.”  Yet, she is so lonely.  She is seen by thousands and never goes unnoticed in a room.  Yet, she is lonely.  I so relate to her.  Loved by people she doesn’t even know, but not loved and cherished by those closest to her heart.  She is truly an interesting, charming, and delightful character.

The language used in a book is something I usually don’t praise.  But, the language used in this book deserves so much praise.  It is FLAWLESS, as it flows right off the page.  It creates delightful sensations in the brain.  Much like eating a sweet and gooey chocolate truffle (you know..the ones with thousands of calories, but are too rich and good to put down that one just can’t stop at one- much like how one can’t stop on one page with this book).  I can’t get enough of how the author uses language in this book (obviously, this shows that I get turned on by the use of good language).  It is quite comparable to how I feel about Fitzgerald’s works.  NO BODY usually comes even remotely close to how I feel about Fitzgerald.  Congrats to this author!  She did it!  She’s the first author to achieve this ranking in my point of view.

I will post more reviews of this book when I am done reading it, but it is so good that I just HAD to write about it before I finished it.  So far it’s a 5/5 on my rating scale.  Right up there with Good Ole Fitzgerald.  Without a doubt, I am now going to have to go and read The Aviator’s Wife.  I may have just started a love affair with this author’s writing style.

Exciting News

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I got to school this morning and logged onto my school email.  Out of the 13 unread emails, one popped out at me.  This one read, You have been nominated.  My first thought, “Ahhhhh this is just junk.”  Then, I read it.  I have truly been nominated by some anonymous person for a national teaching award because I “make the school a better place by smiling through all the bad days.”  I was touched (and am pretty sure I know who nominated me).  If I win this prestigious award (given to only 10 teachers nationwide) I win over $1000 in supplies for my classroom.  Do you know how many amazing things I can get for my students with that money?!?!?!?!?  One can dream.

Second, I have started my own do-it-yourself Bible study on being an orphan.  I started this last night because I am in need of some comfort and healing (especially right now when all I long for is a conversation with my parents).  The Bible says A LOT about orphans and widows (which is usually tied into the passages about orphans).  And it most certainly is comforting.  I will be highlighting this topic in a post late tonight.

Fighting Depression: Removing Toxicness

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In a discussion with another amazing blogger via email, I have decided that in order to get “better” and fight this battle with depression I need to remove all toxicness and possible depression triggers from my life.  So, I have been hard at work with this.

First, I deeply analyzed my relationship with this friend I have been blogging about lately.  This blogger put the relationship into perspective for me.  She told me that I deserve to be selfish right now and I need to do whatever will help me make it to tomorrow.  I thought long and hard as I asked myself, “what do I feel when I see this certain person’s name come up on my phone?”  My answer: anxiety.  I get a tightness in my stomach.  That tightness is anxiety, as well as a little pain.  That probably shouldn’t be there when you are talking to a friend.  So, I deemed this relationship as toxic and cut it off.  It is done.  It is time for me to move on from it.  It is time for me to make more meaningful friendships.

Second, I looked at my health.  I downloaded the MyPlate app and have been tracking exercise, calories, and water consumption.  This app has been really motivating to me.  If you ever want to see just what you eat, try logging it down for a day.  It’s really eye opening.  I have also been making healthier choices about what I am eating.

Additionally, I paid my first visit to the chiropractor today.  She worked on me for about 45 minutes and I am now back into alignment.  I feel better and able to do more during my workouts.

Finally, I have deemed my job as toxic.  It isn’t the students, but the people I work with.  Therefore, I will be leaving when my contract is up in May.  The decision is made.

In the end, removing toxicness from my life is only a step in fighting depression.  I feel better making some of these changes and less “bogged down.”  It is actually quite freeing.  So, my challenge to you is this: Remove at least one toxic thing from your life.  I promise that it will help you feel a little bit better.

PS.  My blog has been nominated for two more awards.  It is taking me some time to get to those entries, but I promise I will get them.  I appreciate everyone who has nominated me!  It means so much to me that you support me, as well as this blog.  ❤

Positive Affirmations: Fostering Self-Love

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Recently, I have gained a new friendship with another blogger.  This blogger is definitely helping me through my depressive state of mind.  We have started texting back and forth.  We openly discuss things about our past and feelings.  We pull each other up when we are down.  What I find strange is that I have never met this person in real life, but I so much relate to her and feel a connection with her that I don’t feel with other people in my life (at least people who have been my friends).  I have to say that this person has truly become a friend.

Last night, I discussed with this person my feelings of worthlessness.  She told me that I am not what I think I am.  That I should know how amazing I really am.  That I am “kind, caring,  intelligent, and a good friend.”  When this text came through, I stopped and reread it.  Nobody has ever told me things like this before (well, besides my sister).  I was so astounded that this person I never met before cares about me enough, and already knows me well enough, to tell me these things.  She also told me that I need to start talking to myself like that.  Start reminding myself what is good about me to get out of this worthless mindset.  So, I did that today.

After I was dressed this morning, I looked into the mirror and faced my image (something I haven’t done since March).  Then…I told myself something.  I told myself, “I am beautiful.  I am kind.  I am surviving and doing the best that I can.”  Maybe…just maybe…if I keep telling myself things like this every morning, my worthless mindset will diminish.  I am a work in progress.  My challenge to you this Friday is to tell YOURSELF (or anyone you know) some positive affirmations.  To begin the challenge of loving yourself by recognizing what is good about YOU!  The world needs you.  The world needs all of us.  Otherwise, we wouldn’t be here.

Impact Statement

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Lately, I have been cruising through numerous blogs to see how other people are dealing with grief, depression, or anxiety.  I wasn’t comparing my own story or pain to other people’s.  Instead, I was just looking for tips.  For something that just might work for me.  I managed to get myself onto the blog Grief Happens.  This blogger had written about something called an “impact statement.”  I was curious as to what this was, so I kept reading through the post.  After reading the entire post, I thought, HEY!  This might work for me!  So, I am going to create my own impact statement and answer the questions this blogger posted with this exercise.  For reference to the original article, please click on the “Grief Happens” link.  So, for my therapy purposes and your viewing eyes…here is my impact statement:

Write an Impact Statement — specifically discuss what impacted you and how it shaped your life-be as specific as possible.

My mother passed away when I was 15.  Her death was unexpected.  She was completely healthy.  Just went to bed one night and did not wake up the next morning.  The paramedics believe it to have been a heart attack that took her life.  My mother’s death was a tragedy for me.  She was my best friend and I loved her more than anything in the world.  I was a shattered 15-year-old who grew up instantly.  I put on a brave face and suppressed the feelings of my mother’s death.  I wouldn’t even admit to people that she was dead because it caused me that much pain.  I still get images of that morning.  That day, I became an automatic 20-year-old.  I didn’t progress through teen years like everyone else.  I didn’t have my rebellion years.  My father emotionally shut down after my mother died.  He didn’t know what to do without her.  Much less how to manage the family farm and a teenage daughter.  I didn’t want to hurt him more than he already hurt, so I grew up.  I did everything and figured out my life on my own.  I didn’t ask him for more than I needed.  I grew independent as I pushed the fact that my mother was dead further and further back in my mind.

Fast forward 10 years and my father passed away the same exact way my mother did (literally the same exact way).  Very unexpected as well.  This death pushed me into crisis mode.  I fell into a depression I am still dealing with as I realize that I have lost all the support and family I have in my life.  It was then that I was forced to actually deal with my mother’s death.  My therapist realized on the first session that my grief isn’t so much my father.  It’s my mother.  I have spent endless sessions talking about my mother.  How life was before her death, and after.  I even had to imagine that my dead mother was in the room with us and talk to her as the 26-year-old me.  That was the most painful thing I ever had to do.  

In the end, the trauma given to me by both of these deaths has shaped me into who I am.  It’s made me realize what love really is and shown me how to express my sadness and emotions.

What losses have you had that have created the biggest impact? The loss of both my parents and my closest friendships.

What methods have you used to deal with those losses? Honestly, nothing good.  I’ve used emotional eating, reading to distract myself from my thoughts and pain (I read 15 books in a course of two weeks), suicidal thoughts, thoughts of self-harm, loud music, blogging, therapy sessions, cleaning, staying in bed for days, not eating, sobbing for hours on end, sitting and staring into space, and crying myself to sleep.

Fear

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My latest post had to do with what makes me happy.  Yes, that is a list of things that make me truly happy.  Now, I believe that to conquer my anxiety and depression, I need to know my fears.  Acknowledging that I have these fears may be one step of healing I need to take.

Someone told me recently to “not be afraid of my pain.  To feel the pain and not let it know that I am afraid of it.  And that while I am feeling the pain to analyze it.  Analyze what caused the pain and what I can do as an antidote to it.”

I did try this once.  But, it ended up with me going into a deep depression hole that I couldn’t climb out of for a long time.  So, if this is for you great!  But, please approach the theory with caution.  With that being said, I have been thinking about the fears I have.  I don’t want to let them run my life, so I want to acknowledge them and show them that I am not afraid of them.  The best way for me to do this is to write it.  So here, for you viewing and my therapy, are my deepest fears:

  1. Losing everyone I love (whether through death or them leaving me).
  2. Rejection.
  3. Not being good enough and being stuck right where I am…….forever.
  4. Never finding true love.
  5. Never having the chance to have my own children and raise a family of my own.
  6. Never making and holding a true friendship.
  7. Failing my students.
  8. Never being able to overcome depression.
  9. Never being “happy” again.
  10. Having to depend on depression and sleeping medication for the rest of my life.
  11. Eventually giving into my dark depressive demon thoughts and doing something that hurts me……..permanently.

My Happy Things

You will be happy to hear that I woke up this morning and thought to myself, “It is time to work on myself.  Time to work on diminishing this depression.  To regain my life and no longer submit to these demons in my head.”  So, with that, I stepped on the scale.  It was the first time since April that I have done this.  I saw the final numbers of the weight gain.  This was not only an eye opener to me, but helped me realize that this is ENOUGH.  It is time for me to WIN this war once and for all.  It is time to get myself back.  I am a work in progress.  So, with that, I would like to remind myself of the things that make ME happy.  I encourage all of you to make a similar list.  We can be happy.  But, in order to fight depression, we have to know what makes US happy.  So…here we go.  Here is my list of “happy things.”

  1. A good lipstick
  2. A great pair of heels
  3. A fantastic fitting dress
  4. A smooth and amazing feeling pair of undergarments (something about great feeling undergarments makes me feel sexy and confident).
  5. A great Scripture verse in which I am reminded of God’s forgiveness, strength, and everlasting love.  It’s a reminder that I am not fighting this battle alone and that He will never leave me.
  6. A great sweat dripping successful workout.
  7. Sore muscles from a workout done on the previous day.
  8. A book that has a fabulous ending.  F. Scott Fitzgerald is among my favorite because his writing is just about orgasmic as it romantically flows off the page and makes me swoon.  If I could find a man to speak to me like he writes….HELLO! All he would have to do is speak to me to get me into bed with him!  Zelda Fitzgerald was ONE LUCKY WOMAN!  Needless to say, I own all his books…even his short stories.
  9. God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
  10. The promise of Heaven and eternal happiness.
  11. A great and uplifting Christian song.
  12. Helping someone in need.
  13. Working with my silly and amazing students.
  14. A great upbeat song.
  15. Hiking outdoors in nature.
  16. Lakes.  Being at lakes and sitting waterside.
  17. Traveling.  Airports make me happy.  I love watching the people at airports.
  18. Going to a place I have never been before and experiencing their culture by total immersion, as well as getting lost in a new place.
  19. Scooby-Doo.  For some reason, the dang dog always brings a smile to my face.
  20. A WONDERFUL cup of coffee on a rainy day….or any day for that matter.
  21. Nature.
  22. Learning.
  23. A beyond comfortable and warm bed to sleep in.
  24. Cities.  Getting lost in cities.
  25. Sunshine.
  26. A nice and long, stomach-hurting laugh.
  27. Fall.  The colors.  I love the colors.

Mom and Dad

Dear Mom and Dad,

I miss you so damn much.

Love,

Your Baby Girl

Confusion

My recent bout with depression and work stress has several people in my life worried.  My sister is beyond worried.  I hate when I worry her.  That always means that I have gone too far.  Yesterday, she almost packed up her dog and sent her with me for the week saying, “Izzie makes you happy.  Take her for the week.  You’ll be happy coming home to her.”  I refused.  I couldn’t take her dog from her for the week.  The thing is, I am just so confused.

For the past four months, my blog has been a place in which I have revealed and written my most intimate, deep, and dark thoughts.  There are no secrets between this blog and me.  Since I write about everything here, I am going to write about my cause for confusion.  Here we go:

My “best” friend and I had a falling out in September and we haven’t talked much since.  After seven years of friendship, we went our separate ways.  She had things of her own going on and couldn’t deal with my grief and depression.  She didn’t really understand what I was going through and what I was/am dealing with.  Suddenly, she has started texting me again.  Asking how my day is going and if I’m okay.  It has been so long since she contacted me that she doesn’t know about all the changes in my life.  She doesn’t know how much I have changed.  I feel very resistant to let this person back into my life.  I mean, you can’t just choose when to be a “friend.”  Can you?  You can’t just walk out on a person when they are experiencing the worst pain in their life and then expect to come back.  Right?  Now, I am getting texts from her everyday (for the past three days).  I never know how to respond.  How much to say.  I talked to my therapist about all of this and he just stared at me as he said, “Why would you respond?  She owes you some explanations and I feel that you grew so much by cutting off that friendship.  Why would you go back?  You have become a new and more mature person since she left you.  You aren’t the same person.”  My therapist pretty much tells me to keep my distance.  As does my sister.  I am just so confused.  I still don’t understand anything about the falling out of our relationship or other situations around that.  I just don’t know if a person can truly “care about me” when they haven’t contacted me during the worst months of my life.  If I managed to make it through those months without them, why would I need them now?  As my therapist has told me, I am more mature and stronger now.  Why would I go back? Why would I look back?

War

Every day there is a war.  Like every war, it is the good guys versus the bad guys.  This war is not over some country, land, policy, or misunderstanding.  No….this war is in my head.  It is over my thoughts.

Some days, I barely want to get out of bed.  The tears are moments away from coming.  The bad thoughts consume every moment.  The thoughts of not being able to make it another second.  Or even wanting to make it another second.  On other days, I feel okay.  Like I have made progress.  Like I am lucky to still be alive.  It is these days that the good guys pull ahead.

The war is continual and there is no escape from it.  I am begging for it to stop.  Begging for the war to end.  For a truce to be called.  For the bad and good guys to just get over themselves and join leagues to put me back together again.  But, today is not that day.  No….today is a day the bad guys pull ahead.

This……this is depression.

 

My Cover is Blown

Well, let me tell you what, it’s been quite a day.  Last night, I jogged 3 miles and I woke up rested and ready to tackle the day with my amazing sore muscles.  Then, I got to school and it all when to hell (mind my language).

Here is the story:  My aunt used to work at the school I work at.  Her husband was the principal here.  Her son saw a teacher here and told her mom (my mom’s sister).  Who then called this teacher and told her EVERYTHING she found out by calling my sister on Thursday.  So….my cover is blown…my worst fear has been found out.  Teachers here now know that I have depression and continue to go to therapy.  That I am still grieving and in a dark place.  I am SO upset about this.  My aide told me, “I didn’t know you were still going to therapy.  You hide it well.”  Gah, I need to get out of here.  I am so upset with my aunt.  I almost want to call her and tell her to mind her own business.  That if she was really worried about me, she would call me and talk to me personally…not a co-worker of mine.

You see, ever since my mother passed away 10 years ago (her sister), I have always felt that this aunt couldn’t look at me, or even speak to me without getting sad and thinking about how I am an orphan that “needs to be taken care of.”  Or seeing my mother in me and getting sad that she has passed on.  I have learned to live my life, and managed to live my life for 10 years without help from her.  Why would I need help from her now?

I just can’t deal with this anymore.  I want to run away and never come back.  Oh gah…..Lord, please let me get into a Ph.D program and allow me to move away from all of this in May.

I’ll Stand By You

This post is dedicated to you.  You, yes, you…you are special and wanted enough for me (a complete stranger who has never met you in person) to dedicate this entry to you.

Since September, I have been blogging about my hardships with depression/grief/abandonment.  And you, dear readers, were/are supportive.  You liked, commented, followed, and even emailed advice, or just to check in on me.  I appreciate this so much and want you all to know that your words and likes, and even your reads, have worked together with my faith to save my very life.  Some of you had said just the right thing to me that stopped me from going after the razor to cut or going deeper into the hole of depression.  You have been wonderful support to me and I love you so much for that.  Thank you all for helping save my life as I go through this.  ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

I so want to return the favor to you.  No matter what battle you fight.  Depression…anxiety…grieving…you name it.  We are all here for you.  And most importantly, I am here for you.  I heard this song today and I dedicate it to you.  Hang in there and remember, even though I don’t know you or you know me, we CAN and DO save each others lives through writing about our own experiences.  Keep on keeping on and hang in there.  ❤

The song featured is that of Stand by You by Rachel Platten.  Here are the lyrics:

Stand by You

Hands, put your empty hands in mine
And scars, show me all the scars you hide
And hey, if your wings are broken
Please take mine so yours can open too
Cause I’m gonna stand by you
Oh, tears make kaleidoscopes in your eyes
And hurt, I know you’re hurting, but so am I
And love, if your wings are broken
Borrow mine ’til yours can open too
Cause I’m gonna stand by you

Even if we’re breaking down, we can find a way to break through
Even if we can’t find heaven, I’ll walk through Hell with you
Love, you’re not alone, cause I’m gonna stand by you
Even if we can’t find heaven, I’m gonna stand by you
Even if we can’t find heaven, I’ll walk through Hell with you
Love, you’re not alone, cause I’m gonna stand by you

Yeah, you’re all I never knew I needed
And the heart, sometimes it’s unclear why it’s beating
And love, if your wings are broken
We can brave through those emotions too
Cause I’m gonna stand by you
Oh, truth, I guess truth is what you believe in
And faith, I think faith is having a reason
Nah, nah, nah, love, if your wings are broken
Borrow mine ’til yours can open too
Cause I’m gonna stand by you

Even if we’re breaking down, we can find a way to break through
Even if we can’t find heaven, I’ll walk through Hell with you
Love, you’re not alone, cause I’m gonna stand by you
Even if we can’t find heaven, I’m gonna stand by you
Even if we can’t find heaven, I’ll walk through Hell with you
Love, you’re not alone, cause I’m gonna stand by you

I’ll be your eyes ’til yours can shine
I’ll be your arms, I’ll be your steady satellite
And when you can’t rise, well, I’ll crawl with you on hands and knees
Cause I…
(I’m gonna stand by you)

Even if we’re breaking down, we can find a way to break through (come on)
Even if we can’t find heaven, I’ll walk through Hell with you
Love, you’re not alone, cause I’m gonna stand by you
Even if we can’t find heaven, I’m gonna stand by you
Even if we can’t find heaven, I’ll walk through Hell with you
Love, you’re not alone, cause I’m gonna stand by you
Love, you’re not alone
Oh I’m gonna stand by you
(Even if we can’t find heaven, heaven, heaven)
Yeah I’m gonna stand by you

 

 

Carry Me

As you, my lovely followers/readers, know the past week has been horribly difficult for me.  There has been LOTS of crying and I am just sick of the tears and constant blood shot/dry eyes.  I have therapy today and there will be a lot to talk about.  I will also be getting in to see the psychiatrist for a medication assessment of my depression/anxiety/insomnia medications.

I have been terrified this week and wanting to give it all up.  Cutting thoughts also came back to me.  But, a LOVELY and AMAZING blogger has been contacting me and those thoughts were put to a stop.  Had I not had a conversation with this blogger that night, I may have ended up cutting.  So, thank you to this blogger.  You know who you are! 🙂

Anyways, I was listening to The Message (a Christian station on XM radio) this week to get a glimmer of hope and renew/refresh my soul.  This song played and was exactly what I needed to hear.  As I listened, I realized that I am the person this song is about. I am the one stuck in the valley of death.  I am in sinking sand.  I’m sure many of you lovely readers are the same.  If you need some hope and feel stuck like me, give this song a listen.  It is called Carry Me by Josh Wilson.  Here are the lyrics for you to analyze:

“Carry Me”

I try to catch my breath
It hasn’t happened yet
I’m wide awake in the middle of the night scared to death
So I prayed God, would You make this stop
Father please hold on to me, You’re all I’ve got

Carry me, carry me, carry me now
From my sinking sand to Your solid ground
The only way I’m ever gonna make it out
Is if You carry me, carry me, carry me now
God carry me, carry me, carry me now

Jesus calm my heart
Come near me please
Lord don’t let these worries get the best of me
Oh I believe, that You’re still here with me
Cause You meant what You said when You said You’d never leave

Carry me, carry me, carry me now
From my sinking sand to Your solid ground
The only way I’m ever gonna make it out
Is if You carry me, carry me, carry me now
God carry me, carry me, carry me now

Carry me
God carry me
Carry me
God carry me

I’m at the end of myself
I know I’ve got nothing left
Feels like I’m stuck in the valley of the shadow of death
And I’ve been down here so long
I just can’t find my way out
Oh God I don’t stand a chance
Unless You carry me now
God carry me now

Carry me, carry me, carry me now
From my sinking sand to Your solid ground
The only way I’m ever gonna make it out
Is if You carry me, carry me, carry me now
God carry me, carry me, carry me now

Carry me now
Carry me now
Carry me now
Carry me now

 

 

Today’s Truth…

I slept until 7 and almost called in sick.  I wanted to lay in bed all day and just exist.  But, I didn’t.  It may be time to go see the psychiatrist.

I Am……..

So sick of crying. All I want is a hug. 

Discovery of New Outlets for Grief and Depressive Thoughts

Thank you all for you continued support.  It means so much to me.

After writing that first entry today, I cried for a little while and then decided I needed to do something to work out my grief and depressive thoughts.  So, I got busy cleaning.  I cleaned everything there is to clean in my apartment.  I also rearranged my bedroom, put on new bedding, played around with essential oils to make the apartment smell relaxing and fresh, and worked on making a donation pile/throwing away things I no longer use or haven’t used in a very long time.  Tell you what, if you are EVER in a bad mood, just start throwing away stuff you no longer need or work on rearranging your living area.  I have been working since 9:00 am and wow…I feel amazing and accomplished.  Throwing/making a pile for donating somehow cheered me up.  As did rearranging my bedroom.  I felt like I was making a new life as I threw away my old life.  I may have gone overboard, but you know what…I feel great after throwing away 4 GARAGE BAGS and packing one HEAPING laundry basket of donations.

I decided I wasn’t done after I cleaned/threw away things.  So, I hit the treadmill (as it is -20+ here today) and went 2.5 miles.  I am going to close out the day by taking a nice long bath while reading a novel.  After that, I will go straight to bed to read more or catch up on my latest addiction (Oregon Trail: American Settler).

In conclusion to my rambling, I learned two things today.  1. Cleaning cheers me up.  I took out my anger on my scrubbing and throwing things in garbage bags.  2. Rearranging a room also makes me feel better.  I don’t know if it is the moving of heavy furniture or what, but there was a MAJOR mood change as the day went on.

Hard Times Come Again

As mentioned before, I have some major depression going on this week.  I am really, really, really hating my life right now.

First, I dislike my job.  There are so many negative people there that I just can’t seem to help the kids like I want to.  The negativity is really hindering what I do to help them.  I did tell the principal off this week and am sure it was not well received, as she went behind my back and did what I told her not to.

Second, I got a text last night that made me sink lower and lower.  My brother informed me that he asked his girlfriend to marry him and she said yes.  I know I need to be a Christian and be happy for him.  So, I am trying.  But…I just can’t.  You see…..my siblings pushed me aside during the mourning of my father’s death/his funeral.  This girlfriend had more say in the funeral planning than I did.  Her grieving was taken more seriously than mine was and she hardly knew my father.  I told my brother off about this while bawling and screaming that my father was my father for 25 years and knowing him for only a few months does not put her grief before mine because mine is worse.  This didn’t stop anything.  I was pushed away and this girl was taken in.  So, last night, I knew that it is final.  With this marriage, I am pushed out of the family for good.  Oh gah….here come the tears as I write this…I should let them flow, so I don’t know why I am holding them back.  Give me a few minutes to cry this out and I will be right back to writing…..

okay….onto the other thing with this engagement.  I texted the sister I talk to about it.  He didn’t inform her.  She called me and we talked for some time.  While we were talking, her husband texted her a forwarded text from this brother about the engagement.  So, my sister is incredibly hurt right now and sunk lower in her depression.  She feels cast out of the family as well because he won’t even personally tell her about the engagement.  This of course REALLY bothers me because this one sister is really all I have.

Another thing this engagement did to me was made me analyze my loneliness again.  Honestly….I have only two people in my life right now.  TWO people.  My sister and her husband.  I have NO family besides this because my biological family just doesn’t care about me or talk to me anymore.  I have no friends.  I am alone and this really bothers/scares me.  It makes me feel that I am unworthy of human love.  Like something I did or some sin I committed is dooming me to this heart-wrenching loneliness.

Then, last night the nightmares came back.  I relived BOTH my parent’s funerals in the nightmares.  Surprise, surprise, my family did not even see me or talk to me at the funeral.  It was like I was a ghost among them.  I was alone in my grief….here come the tears again…..I better stop writing now.  Thanks for reading.

 

What Can Man Do to Me?

I have been completing a daily devotional to overcome my fears.  You will be getting a post later about this, but alas, I have five minutes left of my lunch.  So, this will be brief.  I wanted to share with you the Scripture tied to today’s study.  Maybe it will touch all of you the way it touched me.  The way it can speak to my heart and, in a sense, work on healing the heartache caused to me by so many humans.  Here is the verse:

The Lord is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me?  Psalm 118:6

I’m a Lost Boy

I’ve been listening to The Pulse on XM radio as I drive.  I heard the song Lost Boy by Ruth B the other day and was intrigued.  I so much relate to this song right now.  It discusses being a “lost boy” and alone.  There are also underlying themes of being able to overcome loneliness.  It is a great song.  Take a listen to this song.  It is actually very good.  Here are the lyrics for you to dissect:

There was a time when I was alone
Nowhere to go and no place to call home
My only friend was the man in the moon
And even sometimes he would go away, too

[Verse 1]
Then one night, as I closed my eyes
I saw a shadow flying high
He came to me with the sweetest smile
Told me he wanted to talk for awhile
He said, “Peter Pan—that’s what they call me.
I promise that you’ll never be lonely.”
And ever since that day…

[Chorus]
I am a lost boy from Neverland
Usually hanging out with Peter Pan
And when we’re bored we play in the woods
Always on the run from Captain Hook
“Run, run, lost boy,” they say to me.
Away from all of reality

[2x]
Neverland is home to lost boys like me
And lost boys like me are free

[Verse 2]
He sprinkled me in pixie dust and told me to believe
Believe in him and believe in me
Together we will fly away in a cloud of green
To your beautiful destiny
As we soared above the town that never loved me
I realized I finally had a family
Soon enough we reached Neverland
Peacefully my feet hit the sand
And ever since that day…

[Chorus]
I am a lost boy from Neverland
Usually hanging out with Peter Pan
And when we’re bored we play in the woods
Always on the run from Captain Hook
“Run, run, lost boy,” they say to me.
Away from all of reality

[2x]
Neverland is home to lost boys like me
And lost boys like me are free

[2x]
Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, Wendy Darling
Even Captain Hook
You are my perfect story book
Neverland, I love you so,
You are now my home sweet home
Forever a lost boy at last

And for always I will say…

[Chorus]
I am a lost boy from Neverland
Usually hanging out with Peter Pan
And when we’re bored we play in the woods
Always on the run from Captain Hook
“Run, run, lost boy,” they say to me.
Away from all of reality

[2x]
Neverland is home to lost boys like me
And lost boys like me are free

I Just…..

Need/want a friend right now.  Is that too much to ask the universe??!?!??!?!?!? Oh gah…I am having another mental breakdown again……..

Trigger Pulled and Right Back to Square One

If I don’t get fired today, nothing will ever get me fired.  I already got reamed out by the principal and couldn’t hold my tongue, so I reamed back at her.  Now, I am sitting in my office holding back tears and wanting to walk out on my job.  I REALLY hate my life right now.

Did You Know?

According to MSN.com, mental disorders are the 8th costliest “disease” in the United States……hmmmmmm  Is this an issue?  Absolutely.  As a person who is suffering from a diagnosis of anxiety and depression, I know just how costly it is.  Weekly therapy sessions, psychiatric exams, doctor visits, sleep studies, medications, etc.  Let’s not even mention how most insurances do not cover mental health costs, or limit the coverage of this area.  Should this issue be taken more seriously?  Absolutely.

Push for Pain

Hello all.  I have really taken a like to physically pushing myself to feel the pain that I want to cause my body.  I have noticed that not only do I sleep harder (WITH NO NIGHTMARES!!!! YAY!!!!), but the soreness I feel in my legs the next day is freaking AMAZING!!!! I would think this soreness is soooo much better than the pain caused by cutting.  I have also been a little more positive from the feel good endorphins that come from the workouts.  Additionally, I have been paying attention to what I am eating again.  This morning my breakfast consisted of some Muscle Milk (which is surprisingly good) with two scoops of my women’s protein powder.  Slowly on the road to a mentally and physically healthier me!

Here is my question for all of you:  Rest days?  Do you take a rest day when you are just starting back up?  Or do you push yourself to do something every day to help ward off depressive thoughts?  I am debating on taking a rest day or not this week.  I jogged 2.75 miles last night.  So, I have been jogging lately.  I need an exhausting strength training exercise routine.  Do any of you do anything that would fall in this category?

Why?

Hello again.  I am popping in for my update with you all.  I slept VERY good last night.  A few things contributed to this.  1. It is extremely cold where I live and my apartment heat just won’t keep up without making my heating bill go through the roof.  So, more blankets went on my bed.  I think the heaviness of all the blankets helped me sleep harder and deeper.  2.  I was exhausted.  The exhausting exercise helped with this.  I did have a dream, but this one was actually a GOOD one.  So there is is some progress being made there.

I am currently trying VERY, VERY hard to get over my loss of friendships.  I don’t know why this bothers me so much when I have truly forgiven the people for the hurt.  I think most of it is because I want to know why.  Why I deserved what happened to me.  Why I deserve to be left alone.  What I did to make them hate me so.  What I did to make them to forget me so easily.  And most importantly, why they left me.  I want to come right out and ask these people these questions.  Thinking that that may just be the answer I need to heal and get over this abandonment.  But, I think that would just open a can of worms.  I really don’t know.  I just need to get over it.  I just don’t know how.

 

Update/Thank You

I want to check in with all of you.  I feel like I owe it to you for all the wonderful prayers and thoughts you have been sending my way.  I can’t thank you enough for these.  They mean so much to me as I continue to get through this.  Jesus has certainly heard your prayers and is guiding me through this.  I can almost sense His palm on my back as He pushes me through this and tells me that this isn’t what my life will be like forever.  That I won’t be this lonely forever.  That this is just the storm leading to His wonderful plan for me.  So, again…thank you so much for all your prayers and thoughts.  I assure you that they are working and filling me with hope as you all assure me that I am surely needed and wanted in this world.  Thank you for that.  You are all AMAZING.  ❤ ❤ ❤

I don’t have much of anything else to post here.  My mind is sort of a blank today.  So, I just figured I will update you.  I am very exhausted.  I started a Bible study tonight on overcoming fear to live out God’s plan for my life.  It is most certainly what I need right now.  I did get my workout in tonight.  I pushed myself to go 3 miles.  I haven’t gone that far in a VERY long time.  When I got off the treadmill, I could hardly walk.  So, I laid down on my floor and then did my stretches.  I will have a hard time walking tomorrow, but the pain from the workout was what I needed.  I needed to push through these feelings and feel that pain.  Now, I am so exhausted that maybe I will have a deep no-nightmare sleep tonight.

I also started going through the tote of family pictures.  Feelings of love and comfort come to me when I see me with my mom and dad when I was a baby or little girl.  Other pictures, particularly of my mother, made me remember how much I miss them/how much my heart yearns for them.  I stopped looking at the pictures when I could feel slow tears forming in my eyes.  I suppose I should peel off that bandaid a little at a time.

The Truth is……..

I’m scared and can’t do this alone anymore.

I am Biting the Bullet

First, I really, really, really want to thank the amazing blogger, His Temple.  This blogger helped me get the courage to bite back on depression when it is too busy biting me.

I want to tell you all that I am being courageous today because of this blogger.  After reading her comments on my last blog post, I thought to myself, “You know what…I don’t deserve this at all.  God loves me.  And God wouldn’t want me to feel this way about myself.  I need to cure myself.  I NEED TO KEEP FIGHTING!  I CAN’T GIVE IN TO WHAT MY HEAD TELLS ME!”  So, I am biting the bullet today……I am going to my childhood home.

In a few hours, I will be pulling into the farm I grew up at.  The excuse is to get some toys I need for a student of mine.  I am also going to grab any and all pictures I can find of my parents.  I am going to take them all back to my apartment tonight, spread them out on my floor and study them.  I might laugh, cry, etc.  But, I think it’s time I do this.  I need to remember my parents for who they were and how much I loved them.  Not for how much I miss them and struggle without them here with me.

I’ve Taken a Few Steps Back in This Depressive Dance

Hello all.  I wanted to let you know that I have taken a few steps backwards in my fight against depression.  This is disheartening to me, but I suppose we all go backwards in our fights against it every now and then.  Today is a REALLY bad day for me.  I am binging on food like no other.  Ice cream, chocolate, pizza, you name it.  Yes, I am emotional eating.  Now that it registers in my mind just how much I have eaten today, I want to go throw it all up.  Instead, I suppose I can kill my muscles on the treadmill tonight.

I keep thinking about how I have two bottles of vodka and one bottle of rum in my freezer.  How maybe those would drain my sorrows.  How straight shots of vodka sliding down my throat might actually feel good.  In fact, my therapist told me a few sessions ago, “for someone your age and in your position, I wouldn’t blame you if you became an alcoholic.  You certainly have reasons to want to drink.”   But, I don’t go there.  Only because I know that once I start, I won’t be able to stop myself and it would quickly go somewhere VERY bad.

Additionally, I don’t want to be with anyone.  I went to church today and that is about as far as I go with socializing.  I was invited to go to Donkey Basketball at the school today, but I lied.  I said I was sick and can’t come.  No, I am not bodily sick.  But, I am mentally sick.  Maybe I didn’t really lie when I said I was sick and can’t come.

I heard this Adele song on my way home from therapy on Friday.  It is just how I feel right now.  The lyrics hit home for me.  I will leave them here for you to dissect on your own time.

A Million Years Ago: Adele

I only wanted to have fun
Learning to fly learning to run
I let my heart decide the way
When I was young
Deep down I must have always known
That this would be inevitable
To earn my stripes I’d have to pay
And bare my soul

I know I’m not the only one
Who regrets the things they’ve done
Sometimes I just feel it’s only me
Who can’t stand the reflection that they see
I wish I could live a little more
Look up to the sky not just the floor
I feel like my life is flashing by
And all I can do is watch and cry
I miss the air I miss my friends
I miss my mother I miss it when
Life was a party to be thrown
But that was a million years ago

When I walk around all of the streets
Where I grew up and found my feet
They can’t look me in the eye
It’s like they’re scared of me
I try to think of things to say
Like a joke or a memory
But they don’t recognise me now
In the light of day

I know I’m not the only one
Who regrets the things they’ve done
Sometimes I just feel it’s only me
Who never became who they thought they’d be
I wish I could live a little more
Look up to the sky not just the floor
I feel like my life is flashing by
And all I can do is watch and cry
I miss the air I miss my friends
I miss my mother I miss it when
Life was a party to be thrown
But that was a million years ago
A million years ago

Saving Max

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I finished Saving Max the other night.  This books scores a perfect 5/5 on my rating scale for several reasons.  The first reason is that it scores perfectly on the “OH NO SHE DIDN’T!” and “DID THAT REALLY JUST HAPPEN?!?!!??” scale with a timeline that increasingly builds to the final outcome.  It has a perfect thriller timeline and layout.

Another reason this book scores a 5/5 for me is because I personally relate to it.  The main character in this book is admitted into a psychiatric hospital.  Throughout the book, we see what happens in the hospital.  We see how patients are treated and a mother’s reaction to her son’s diagnosis with psychosis and depression.  The author shows the stigma given to those who go to these institutions.  She creates an awareness of how people’s reactions to these places is completely wrong.  As one who is currently dealing with psychiatrists and therapists, I see this firsthand in my life.  I very much appreciated the author being honest about the feelings of being in these institutions and stigma the public places on it.

Let’s move on to the plot of this book.  Throughout the book, the reader follows a woman whose son (that has autism and violent/suicidal tendencies) is blamed for a very gruesome murder that took place at the psychiatric institution he was a resident at.  The mother tries to do what is best for her son and prove that Max is innocent- which means having to find another murder suspect.  The only problem is, all evidence clearly points to Max as the murderer.  This makes her quest to prove Max’s innocence much harder.  She finally comes to the point where she has to stand back and ask herself, “Is my son really a murderer? And how far can I lie to get him out of jail if he really is?”

I did some research and found out that the author is in the works of writing a sequel to the book.  It is to be titled as Finding Marianne.  I cannot WAIT for this book to be finished because it will answer the question that has been on my mind ever since I finished the book yesterday:  WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED TO MARIANNE?!?!??!?!??!!?

****This book is not for the faint of heart.  There are very graphic scenes.  The final scene was one in which I could not even read fully without choking up in tears.  There are also many, many triggers in the book that can set one into a depressive state (if you are prone to this).  I do believe it triggered some of my nightmares and depression feelings, but it was worth it because the book was just that good.

 

Dream Analysis with Therapist

2012-02-10-therapist

I had to take a sick day yesterday to travel the two hours in order to have a much needed therapy session with my therapist.  As I sat in the waiting room, I noticed that I was nervous.  I haven’t been this nervous to see my therapist since I first started seeing him.  For some reason, I was panicked about telling him about my nightmares.

The whole session was dedicated to interpreting my dreams, as they are now giving me insomnia again.  We talked the whole 60 minutes about the dream I had of my dad.  He made me close my eyes and continue where the dream left off, analyze how I felt at certain parts of the dream, etc.  I didn’t like it one bit and was uncomfortable during the whole session.  I felt forced to live through the horror of my dream over and over again.  My therapist finally came to the conclusion that I need to somehow get to the point of associating my father back to the “teddy-bear, caring, proud father” I had instead of the father that left me with his death.

We are going to be focusing on my nightmares for the next few sessions.  He has recommended that I do a sleep study so that they can watch my brain’s activity while I sleep and see if something is going on there.  This absolutely freaks me out.  Something about sleeping in that clinic with wires attached to my head and people watching my brain activity at every minute freaked me out.  I don’t know why the thought freaks me out.  It’s almost like if I do it, I am letting complete strangers into my very thoughts and the intimate part that makes me….well…me.

He also recommended adding a sleeping medication to my daily dose of pills.  Right now, I take Lorazepram (which is a tranquilizer) to help me sleep.  Generally, it does the job.  But, lately it hasn’t been.

From some reason this dream analysis, sleep study recommendation, and addition of sleeping medications really bothers me.  I know it confirms that I have insomnia and am haunted by my very thoughts.

More Demons Came Last Night

sleep-disorder-100212-465

To update you all, my nightmares came again last night.  Although, this one was not as bad as the one in which my sister died.

In the nightmare I had last night, I was trapped in a dark cave and trying to get out.  But, I couldn’t find the path out.  I was trapped in an overwhelmingly small and dark place.  Then, a phone rang.  I found the phone in my pocket and answered it.  The call was from a friend I spent some time with after my father passed away.  The friend went off on me about how the issue of us not talking anymore was all my fault.  That I didn’t give them a chance and they were too busy for me.  How I intruded on their life.  I didn’t argue back.  I let her ream me out as I took the blame.  After we hung up, the phone rang again.  It was from the person that used to be my best friend.  She also started going off on me about how our falling out was all my fault.  Again, I let this person go off on me and I took blame.  After I hung up, I don’t remember what happened.  I know I was still in that dark and tight cave when I woke up.

After analyzing this dream, as my therapist has taught me to, it again comes back to the theme of me being abandoned in real life.  Left alone to fight through my darkness.

Demons Are Back in Full Force

It’s 5:00 in the morning and not an usual time for me to be blogging.  It is also not usual for me to write a blog in which I directly ask for advice or help.  This is usually something I leave for my therapist.  But, I have to get this off my mind.  I have to figure something out.  I am in extreme panic.  Here is the issue:

I had another nightmare.  This one was horrible.

In this dream, the sister I always write about (the only person I have left in my life right now) died.  I was there when she died and had to figure everything out.  I had to tell everyone, but I was screaming so hard while crying that I couldn’t.  I remember thinking about how I had to tell her husband.  Then, I thought, “I have to marry him.  He is a widower and the only person I have left.  If I don’t marry him, he will leave me and I will have literally no one in my life.”  (side note here-I don’t want to marry my brother-in-law in real life.  I love him like a brother.  He has been there for me when my real brothers haven’t.  It was just last week when I decided he would be the one I would want to give me away at my wedding.)  My panic continues and my brother-in-law shows up with my sister.  I look at him and tell him, “Jody is dead.”  Then, I look at her and say, “what are you doing here?  You are dead.”  The dream almost replays itself and this time I believe I have a chance to save her.  I warn her beforehand and tell her we can’t go anywhere because she will die.  I watch the clock and at the same time, she dies.  Panic rises in me again.  We go the cemetery and pick out a plot for her.  It is right beside my parents.

And I wake up in panic thinking, “NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! I can’t have that dream.  Those dreams become real life!  Someone always dies after I have a dream like that!”  The time of year during this dream:  Easter. (Good Friday to be exact.) AKA: the exact time of year my father passed away this year.

When I woke up, I tossed and turned.  There was no getting back to sleep for me.  I was in so much panic, I wanted to throw up.  But, I forced the bile back down my throat.  I also thought, “If I die first, I won’t have to go through that.  And she would still have her husband, so she wouldn’t be alone.  I have to make sure I die first.”  Insert self-harm and suicide thoughts here.  Yup…..it’s back.  I don’t want this dream to make me succumb to those thoughts again.  Insert plea for advice here.

Psychiatric Unit Feelings

psych-ward

On Friday I will be hauling myself back to that grim Psychiatric Unit for my therapy session.  Those of us who have been there know what it is like.  The white walls.  The feeling of “institution.”  The way no one in the waiting room speaks and all eyes are fixed on the wall, or floor, in shame as they wait for their name to be called.  The florescent lit bathrooms that allow no possible way for one to hurt themselves.  The dread people have as they stare at the floor and don’t talk to their therapist until they get to the closed room with the “session in progress” sign on the door.  The stigma assigned to you just for being in that building.

51FqwpbtwEL

I have been reading a book called Saving Max.  It is about a young boy who is diagnosed with autism.  He has suicidal tendencies (yes, there are a lot of triggers in the book…that is a warning for all of you who would be interested in reading it).  One thing leads to another and his mom hauls him across the country to get admitted into a psychiatric hospital.  So far, it is a VERY good read.  Last night, I came across a quote that I want to share with you all because it is 100% true. In this quote, the mother character is describing what it is like to be in the psychiatric hospital.  Here is the quote:

“She splashes cold water on her face and tries to breathe, but psychiatric hospitals are vacuums.  You’re not supposed to breathe fresh air or feel the sun on your face.  You’re supposed to be in a place where other people aren’t.  A place where you can be controlled every minute.  Where you can be watched and drugged-kept away from normal people and the entire normal world.  In a place that is always painted white.  The color of a blank.  The wiped slate.  A place that reduces you, erases the sick part of you and, along with it, the part that makes you human and precious-the part that permits you to feel joy and give joy in return.  A quiet, unchallenging world, hermetically sealed with a thick, black ring around it.  A place that doesn’t keep the dangers of the world from you, but your dangers from the world.  A place where you can look at yourself in the mirror and see the truth-one that imprisons you for life.”  

How many of us can agree with having felt this same exact way when attending therapy or being in a psychiatric unit?  I know I have.  I still do.

 

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