May was Cray

 

It just takes time to sort it all out... I'm hoping.

It just takes time to sort it all out… I’m hoping.

My month of May started in an unusual way – I was taken off the Zoloft and in what would have been that ONE week, I crashed and burned. My family was extremely worried so they took me in to be evaluated. Apparently, besides just a terrible withdrawal from the medicine I had also been misdiagnosed. This happens in mental health a lot so I wasn’t angry – just relieved to know what was finally going on. I’ve been on a new pill with its own set of issues (namely weight gain *sadface*) but if it helps to make me feel better, I’m down.

As I was starting this new journey, I learned my uncle had become gravely ill again. He was losing his battle with cancer and there wasn’t anything any of us could do about it. Even though we knew the end was coming, we thought we had more time. We didn’t. It was an important lesson for me. Don’t wait. Never wait to tell someone you love them. Never hold off loving someone because of anger or shame or jealousy even. I’m glad my uncle had made amends with the world. He was quite an amazing man and I believe we sent him off in the way he would have wanted – much laughter between the tears.

Finally, since I had a new diagnosis and a strong will to learn to cope, I went to a daily therapy class at my hospital. I was really skeptical initially. How on earth can bouncing a balloon make me happy? How can breathing make me happy? It can’t honestly. Nothing can really make us happy or unhappy. But many of the things I learned will help me weather the happy and the unhappy. I think that is all any of us really want. I’ve got a long way to go still but I’m seeking out progress instead of perfection. Yes… yes I’ll definitely accept progress.

For the record, let me say it was incredibly difficult to write this. There is a stigma on those who struggle with their mental health and I have gone back and forth about whether or not to share it. I know this could impact me adversely, but the truth is I don’t share my stories for my benefit. I try to share them in some way for you. I hope that you can glean something from my posts even if you can’t relate.

Thanks for coming back by. I’ve missed you.

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Oh. So This is What NOT Depressed Feels Like

 

Helloooo Zoloft

Helloooo Zoloft

So, I’ve officially been taking Zoloft for two weeks. I was highly anxious about starting the medicine. Then again, I was highly anxious without medicine so I really had nothing to lose. At any rate, I bit the bullet and the verdict is in. It works. It works, it was worth it, and I don’t think I ever want to go back.

I can’t really explain it or how it works. It’s almost as though a switch is flipped, all the negativity and hopelessness is released and all that is left is calm. I am no longer uptight or too wound up to enjoy things. I am willing (dare I say eager) to get out and about. I am regaining my confidence. I am reclaiming my joy. I’m not sure I even realized when it left — perhaps it’s been a slow leak escaping my body like a pin-pricked balloon. But whatever the issue, it is no more. I feel like a better wife and mother. I feel… normal. Holy crap, it’s amazing!

Along with this excitement comes some confusion and maybe a little fear. Seeing things in a new way, even if it is a better way, is a bit scary. I’m finding that there are feelings I had that weren’t really even my own. I am also finding that there are feelings I had that I never acknowledged. Souls, like gardens, require constant tending lest they become overgrown and choked out by things that only drain life. My soul deserves better.

I am still adjusting and ever a work in progress but I’m extremely encouraged by this latest turn in things. I’ve started the garden, I’m feeling like a person again, and Sean and I are even planning a mini weekend vacation in the near future. The days aren’t all rainbows and unicorns and they won’t be. But things aren’t falling apart. And even if they do, I WON’T… and that’s good enough for me. For now.

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Sowing Seeds of Happiness

 

Seedlings are really fun to watch!

Seedlings are really fun to watch!

I have been struggling lately. I sometimes feel as though I’m not meeting this (crazy high) standard that I’ve set for myself as a mother and wife. At times I feel judged for not being a working woman and I allow that to creep into how I view my success. My marriage is seven years in (eek!)… and it has its own special set of challenges for sure. I’m in my thirties and still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up (or how to even process that I AM grown up). I cannot say for certain what put me in this sudden state of discontent but I do know that it was not meant for me to stay there. So, I am starting a garden.

 

Now if you know me or have ever known me personally, you are laughing uncontrollably right now. I have an uncanny ability to kill most any plant, have no desire to be outdoors for any long period of time and have a serious fear of all insects that sting. Oh, and allergies. But for some reason, I’ve gotten this garden under my skin and I am DETERMINED to produce some delicious vegetables and fragrant flowers this spring and summer. I’ve already started the seedlings and they sprouted, so that’s a good sign… right? I kid.

 

At any rate, I feel really great about the progress I’m making. The blog redesign is exactly what I was hoping for. I am going out with my friends and family more. I am facing my fears (of both bees AND failure) by attempting to grow things that will help feed my family and save us money. I am looking forward to teaching my children what I learn about gardening. In the words of Veronica Shoffstall, I am “learning to plant my own garden and decorate my own soul.” And it feels more amazing than I ever knew it could.


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Babies Know Everything

Life Lessons I’ve Learned from My Kids

The coolest people I know.

I’ve learned to keep the remote controls on high surfaces (and sippy cups on low ones). I know the value of a simple set of keys. I can recite “The Thinks You Can Think” by Dr. Seuss from memory. My hands automatically trim crusts from PB&J sandwiches. Experience and wet wipes travel with me everywhere I go. However, there are days I am given lessons from my children. Sure they have taught me how to be patient and more giving. But there is something that I think all children possess before life beats them up. It is the essence of their resilience and energy — things I wish were still instinctual. 
1. Embrace every day.
My children wake up each morning with a smile. It all starts fresh for them. They don’t hold a grudge for being forced to go to bed. They aren’t still reeling with the emotional agony of last week’s shots. They are ready to face the day and glad that mommy is there with them. Of course they don’t have the same worries as mommy. But perhaps mommy worries about things she shouldn’t. 
2. Your best is good enough. 
The things my children do never cease to amaze me. It’s pretty safe to say it’s amazing to them too. No matter how wrong the lyrics are to the song they sing or how difficult it is to understand their artwork, they present it with such pride. They’ve done their best and they are proud to share it. I could definitely take a page out of that book.
3. Don’t take no for an answer.
Of course as parents, we really wish they would but a child’s determination in getting their way is pretty amazing. If asking several times doesn’t work, and being syrupy sweet THEN asking doesn’t work, then asking a few hours later doesn’t work… they ask again. How much more successful could we all be if we simply refused to accept no or don’t or can’t? Think about it.

4. Have a Plan B
No matter what I may be keeping them from trying to do, they find a way to do it. And it’s often done in some kind of sophisticated, baby genius way that I would never think of in a million years. They see possibilities where there are none. And they make a way out of them. If I could look at life’s problems through the eyes of a baby, with that determined tunnel-vision, oh, the woman I would be.

5. Get up and try it again.
No matter how many times my daughter slides off the arm of the couch she pops back up and keeps climbing. The same thing goes for my rough and tumble little boy. He takes a fall, wails a little bit then is off and running bumped head, wounded pride and all. They get knocked down daily — but it never seems to slow them down. I admire that.

6. Find the magic.
As an adult I often overlook the magic in simplicity. I find myself watching my children’s eyes as they run their fingers through water or study the cabinet hinges and I am overwhelmed at the concentration and enlightenment I see in their eyes. They question everything — explore everything… experience everything. They find beauty in old worn out toys. They make hours of entertainment out of cardboard boxes. They see miracles where I see nothing special. I hope to find a grown-up way to use my imagination. I feel like it would make me almost as interesting as my kids.

7. We CAN all just get along
My babies are biracial. They don’t really notice that nor do they notice the races or religions of their playmates. They understand others and are quick to comfort other children when they see someone upset. They share… or not. They are quick with forgiveness. They are full of compassion. They love so big it’s hard to imagine how hearts so full can fit into such little bodies.

It’s easy to be too busy being the parent and teacher to become the student. But our children can teach us so much about how life is meant to be lived if we pay attention — a way of living we probably once knew. I pray that the storms of life never dull their shining spirits. For now, I’ll be watching their wisdom closely. Watch your littles. You’ll learn something too. 

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