Monday, August 31, 2015
I was sure to mention my anxiety attack on from two weeks ago. She asked if I had thought of killing myself and told the truth and said yes I had. She asked how long it lasted, I said about an hour. She asked how I'd do it.. I honestly told her.. "I'd thought about it several times, I couldn't do anything to put myself in pain so I'd most likely OD on medications so I could go peacefully in my sleep." I told her about my friend on FB who committed suicide and how I could never figure out why she didn't think about how her kids would be without a mom. As you know from my last post, I could honestly see it from her point of view and it scared me. She wants me to see a therapist/psychologist and of course the first thing I bring up is MONEY... it's a HUGE issue since I had filed for bankruptcy. As of right now I am late on my car payment for August. Other than that everything else is good. So an extra 35x2 = 70 dollars a month is a BIG chunk for me.
She wants me to do twice a month visits with someone, my former therapist is still practicing so I am to get a hold of her. I am not happy, I will now have the added worry about money. I am not, they are already billing me for this visit and she wants me back in a month. Does she think my visits to her are free? WTF. I found out my night time meds for anxiety have a mild sleep aid in it... NO SHIT! Why no one told me this I'll never know. Sweet! Now I know what to do when I can't sleep... the last 4 days have been tired and wanting a nap. I know what I am taking tonight.
I know I've been depressed since my anxiety attack, as I've just wanted to go straight home after work. No visits with friends, just home safe. It's taken every fiber of my being not to do that. I didn't go to a baby shower I was invited to or to my friend's gig at a bar this weekend due to it. I went almost a whole week without a shower and finally took one on Friday. I have put doing whatever it necessary to function in this world to the side. If I had my way I'd never leave my house again, except to do something that helps with my anxiety/depression like shopping or eating.
I'd love to take a nap right now, but it will make it even worse trying to sleep tonight. I want to just eat and gorge myself but I know it's not because I am hungry. Is it boredom? Could it be to help my mental state? I know I am an emotional eater, no question about it. That is where most of my extra money goes after I pay bills. Seriously.
Well, that's all I have to say really, I seriously want a nap right now. Sleep my life away, that's how I know I am depressed, when I want to sleep all the time.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
**takes a deep breath, collapses in the rocking chair and grabs a mug of tea**
So, how ARE y'all? Everyone good? No major tragedies to tell me about? If there are things you'd like to talk to me about, shoot me an email, find me on facebook or call me. Y'all are never alone.
So, a few things to catch you up on what's going on around here: (seriously, huge news at the end)
1. Nathan reluctantly started 6th grade. SO FAR, he doesn't seem to hate it as much as he usually does. They had their 6th grade campout and while I was worried about my (sometimes) anxious boy, it turns out he was worrying about everyone else. My sweet care-taking boy spent the campout (I'm told by the teacher) helping those who felt sad or scared or homesick. He went around telling jokes, making people laugh and even discussing his own anxiety so other people wouldn't feel alone. I can't imagine possibly being prouder of him.
2. Joshua started Head Start this week. He's doing very well even though he still won't potty train. He loves school and I'm making peace with losing out on 16 hours of snuggles, "cheeks" (when you give Mama a kiss, the boys call it "cheeks") and general Joshie-ness. The teacher took me aside to tell me how smart he is and so far no one has had any major meltdowns and his behavior has been well. Naturally, his favorite part of school is picking out his outfit the night before. Because Joshie Mark.
3. David has made the adjustment to family life with two rambunctious and rowdy boys pretty seamlessly. He did put 2 diapers on backwards, but at least he put diapers on. The boys love having him here. He's made peace with the fact that he kind of lurrrrrrrves Dr Phil and we watch that together every day. He's a night owl like I am so it's really nice to have someone still awake at 2 a.m. when my demons come out to play. He thinks I make the best chai tea. I think he gives the best back rubs.
4. Life has been pretty good. There are the same ole' same ole' negatives (stalkers, my health, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, the occasional parenting uproar between me and Stomp, etc). But the POSITIVES? Oh the positives are what keeps the world spinnin 'round. I've got great love in my life and two of the best, sweetest, smartest, most affectionate kids. I've got a sisterhood of girls who always have my back. I've got my soul twins (Anam Cara) Jen and Carrie. It's funny because I have best friends besides those two, but the three of us really become some kind of super family and we share the most amazing bond. I miss them, I need to hug them. And I just might get the chance here in a few weeks! *squeeeee* And the three of us have done something beautiful with the White Friday project. This year's event was a huge success and we're growing our numbers like crazy over on the Facebook page. If you know someone with mental illness who needs support and loving, compassionate, guidance, please send them or way. Even if you don't struggle with mental illness, if you just love someone who does, come check us out. We have a lot of resources for the caretakers, too!
One more quick thing about college and then it's time for my super huge gigantic news. I'm doing well again in school this semester. I'm taking Administrative Medical Assisting (grade: A), Pharmacology (grade: A+) and a 5-week Abnormal Psychology class that just started. It feels good to challenge myself to keep my grades up and I know I'm capable of those kind of grades (it isn't like it's MATH or anything) so I keep doing it.
So, are you ready for my good news? My super exciting news? The news you've read through all this garbage to get to?!
A few semesters ago, I took a writing course and the professor encouraged me to submit something to the College's Creative Writing magazine. Now, I know you're picturing ditto'd pages off an original Mac stapled together or something like that when I say "College Creative Writing Magazine". HOWEVER, this is a legitimate magazine that has won numerous award and whose writers go on to win big awards. It's a bound book and I can't wait to have the copy of it with my name in it in my hands. I'm so glad and grateful to the professor who pushed me to submit. So glad and thankful to all my friends who have read drafts of my work, helped edit, listened to me yell when I couldn't get the word or turn of phrase just right and even listened to me cry in frustration or when things got too emotional. This one's for you guys, babes!
Friday, August 21, 2015
Welcome to another edition of Friday FIVE! I am kind of halfway between coming off of White Friday and going into starting school and internship. Things are about to get very busy!
Today I want to blog about my feelings on this year's White Friday event. I have a few things to say....
We doubled our pictures this year which is great! I think we had more survivors participate because they have had access to our White Friday Facebook page for over a year. We are becoming more visible and known.
Although we had over 100 people join the even we only got 1/3 of participant photos. And we did get a few people who were too busy to participate. Really? We even had 3 people who had no white but still wanted to participate enough to wing it. I understand being busy, trust me, but you took 500 selfies last week for Instagram. We are asking for 1 that puts a face to supporting people struggling with depression. We have had many people get creative with incorporating white into their pictures and some who said, "I don't do white but I do think things need to change.
I am proud to see Jen's dream grow and even more proud to be able to support it. I am proud of our fellow warriors who have had the courage to put their beautiful faces out there for a great cause. It is not easy to admit you face mental health struggles but everyone does at one time or another. It takes us all assembling together to make our voice heard.
Last year I was asked to be an administrator on the White Friday page by Jen. I never thought it would turn into my passion in life. I never thought it would guide my coursework. I never thought it would bring me TWO of the most beautiful, caring, sweet, and amazing sisters. WF brought Jen, Eri, & I together. I knew them separately but together we truly have The Power of Three and we are a force to be reckoned with. Jen and Eri have gotten me through some very tough spots and I am so blessed to have them. It is an honor to serve as an administrator on WF. It is an honor to be included in these two women's families.
5. Talented and Useful
I cheated a bit but oh well. With TWO White Fridays under our belt, so to speak, we finally had enough material to do more. I took all of our beautiful submissions and made them into a video with music, motivational quotes, and tributes. It came together exactly as I thought it should and even with limited experience it is something that I am very proud of. It was the least that I could do for an organization/event that has enriched my life. We always pay tribute to Robin M. Williams and this year we added Alan R. Citti. Two wonderful men who sadly lost their battles with depression far too soon.
Stay tuned folks, we are always working on things behind the scenes. We have been discussing logos and T-shirts with any proceeds going to worthy organizations such as NAMI, Doctors without Borders (for Alan), and St. Jude's Children's hospital (for Robin). The possibilities are endless!
Have a beautiful weekend. Be kind to one another. Keep writing your stories!
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Today was a horrible anxiety attack at work and I had to come home. In the heat of the attack I was responding to an email of a friend who had said something hurtful to me. It ended with FML, FTW, I wanna die. I am now here at home.... I wish I had some kind of coping mechanism so I can either tone these down or make them stop all together.
It's funny how I woke up this morning and had a feeling something was going to happen and it did. Something has been building up and I couldn't put my finger on it, this is one of many outburst I can see happening. Since Friday it's felt like something was going to happen, I've been happy and without a care in the world. Sunday night the anxiety and stress kicked in for work. Yesterday at work was surreal and I think today the world came crashing down on me all at once and I couldn't handle it.
You know it's true, you tend to hurt the ones you love. I guess because when you feel you are suffering or are in pain they are the ones you to go hoping that they will understand and help. But as with myself, the words don't come out that way... they come out hurtful and spiteful towards that other person and in turn hurts them and they throw back hurtful and spiteful things at you and then you have an attack and throw it back at then 10 fold with the note ending with "Fuck my life, fuck the world, I just wanna die."
This takes me back to a face book friend Valerie Dalzotto. She committed suicide a year ago, she was very depressed and felt lonely. She was beautiful, funny and sweet. We had a connection and I would chat with her from time to time. She left behind three beautiful children and her husband. I always wondered what she was thinking, leaving behind her kids and family who needed her... but today I saw what she did.
At that point you feel worthless, like you should not be allowed to breathe the same air. Like you are a waste of space and a burden to everyone. You can't function properly or be somewhat "normal". You feel your friends are better off with some who won't lash out at any given time due to an imbalance. You feel your family could be spared all the drama and bullshit you spit out if you were dead or gone from their lives. - This last sentence is what scares me. I've never gone to this point before in my life.
I feel like my bi-polar is getting stronger? Is that even possible... or I'm becoming weaker and succumbing to it? Most times I don't give into my thoughts, but today I decided I was leaving work and crawling under the sheets and not coming out for hours. I did leave work, but I am not in bed hiding under my sheets yet, I wanted to write this down for memory sake and get it out there. Then I can do whatever I want, be it hide under my sheets or sleep away this terror.
Sunday, August 16, 2015
It was the stress and anxiety of going back to work tomorrow. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!
I have discovered the major problem with my life, MY JOB. I just want to crawl under the blankets and not come out, I don't want to go to work tomorrow.
#1 My boss is on vacation and when she's gone everyone walks all over Leanna and Becky and gets up whenever they want and it causes the rest of us to get overloaded with calls.
#2 Everyone calls in on Monday's - which means that the rest of us are stuck taking all of the calls.
#3 All the calls - up to 10 in que while everyone else is on a call. WTF people sit in your fucking seat and taking a call!!!!
#4 Idiots on the phone - no one knows what the fuck they are doing when then call? Know what the hell you want when you call!!!
#5 I don't get paid enough for this shit! I can't afford a psychiatrist on this shit pay.
Friday, August 14, 2015
Welcome to our 2nd Annual White Friday. It is the first for the blog though so I thought that Friday FIVE would go hand in hand in introducing White Friday properly. Or at least BoBeary style. :)
Five Facts about White Friday
Jennifer Prochaska is the official White Friday Founder. Carrie Shack (me, otherwise known as BoBeary) and Erica Holtry are administrators.
White Friday is a campaign to shine a light on Depression.
Every August on the Friday following the Anniversary of Robin Williams death (Robin passed 8/11/14).
Where ever you are! Put on White, snap a selfie, post it to social media with #WhiteFriday , and start educating people around you. Please search for the White Friday page on Facebook and keep up on our latest news. We post tips, tricks, research, and motivational things to spread the love and remind people that they are not alone.
It is long overdue to start erasing the stigma around mental health issues. Robin William's untimely death brought a great deal of light into a dark world and in the aftermath we decided to act. If the funniest man in the world can struggle with depression then anyone can. Many people do not seek help for fear of being ostracized but in truth everyone needs help at some point. We want everyone to be able to reach out when they need to. We want to start an honest and healthy conversation about Mental Heath issues and keep the dialogue going.
How can you help??
Tell your friends! Find the White Friday page on Facebook, engage with us, invite your friends, and join us on White Friday in August in posting your selfies. Send the message that no one has to fight alone and struggling doesn't mean you are broken or a lost cause. The founder and administrators at White Friday all fight along side you.
Don't let this be the end of your story
Long live the ;'s!
Thursday, August 13, 2015
Also had that "posing" thing going on as well...
This trip was SO much fun, but at the same time most trying on my feet and legs. Unfortunately it's not flat ground, it has hills and such which made things SO difficult. I have been exhausted the last two days and have ended up taking naps during the day and have slept till past 8 am every day since Tuesday... yes I need a vacation from my vacation, but it's been so worth it to see how much Sebastian loved it. We all did! My most proud moments are with Sebastian at the pool. He is learning how to float and ultimate goal to swim.
With the floatation vest on he was able to hold the corner and get his body to float, also he was moving his arms and legs with me just holding under his belly. I took my hand away a few times under the water and he never knew it... he had so much fun that it had already been an hour and a half before we knew it!
He's growing up in so many ways and I am kind of sad I am losing my baby boy, but at the same time I'm proud he's growing from a child to a boy.
Eric and his cousin Gary took off into the park by themselves... so my 23 year old and my nephew 19 went off and had a good time. I have mostly let go of the connection with Eric, but at times I will jump in to help, but since Gary is my (brother's forever fiance) 's only child, she's having some issues. They had a good time too, not being watched over by the adults.
Chris (my husband) had a great time riding the roller coasters, there they are more intense than they are when we go to Darien Lake. Hershey may be our new destination, besides the having to walk to the community bathrooms/showers it wasn't bad.. next time we stay at the hotel and have our own bathroom and shower LOL.
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
So, as we approach White Friday we are going to keep talking about Mental Heath struggles and since I am not a mental health professional I do it my way.
I don't know much about official suicide prevention strategies, I am going to talk about how I made it to 38. Although I don't remember seriously attempting suicide, as a child I did try to overdose on nyquil a few times. I just slept a lot, thankfully, and no one noticed. I used to cut up my arms with the tips of safety pins to feel the pain. I heated up a BIC lighter once (or twice) and used it to burn the smiley face into my skin. I was an unhappy kid when left alone. My parents divorced and my Father wanted nothing to do with me. He told me he would stay close and I could visit but he lied. He went to Illinois and never came back. My Mom worked tirelessly to support and provide for us. I was often lonely which was hard for me because I was an extremely affectionate kid. I spent a lot of time wondering what was wrong with me. I couldn't understand that most parents don't walk away from their kids. I also took decades to understand that it wasn't my fault. I wasn't unlovable or horrible, he had issues.
I am not sure what kept me from trying to kill myself seriously. We had to move and change schools where I experienced bullying for the first time ever and I was separated from the kids I had grown up with. Part of it was that my Mom, my sister, and I are extremely close and I couldn't hurt them like that. My mom sacrificed seeing my childhood so that I could have what I needed. I didn't have the best of everything but I had a great home life. I think I hung on for her
As a Mom, I am so glad I did. Even with all the bad stuff that has happened in my life, I would have missed the good. I have some really sublime friends. I married one of my best friends and his two boys and we had two more. No matter what I do or where I go, being a Mom is the greatest moment/accomplishment/ride of my life.
I guess my point in telling you all of this is to remind you to hold on. Even when it looks bleak and black it will get better. If I had been successful all those years ago I would have missed out on some of the best moments of my life. I would have missed out on being a Mother, a wife, an Aunt, a sister, a college graduate, a best friend, and a blogger. I would have missed out on the chance to share this post with you. I hope that someone can benefit from my experience. I hope that something in here makes you realize that there is much more good stuff to come. Please don't end your story here because there is more to come.
Hang in there
Screw it all, man, we're throwin all the rules out 'round here. I don't feel good, Carrie's stressed about school and half my other girls are in some sort of crisis or lifetime ecstasy (go Jen, we're always with ya, Babe). I lost a friend this week. I'd known the girl since high school. Funny story (not HAHA funny, I assure you), she was the first person on the scene of my brutal 1998 car accident. I can still hear her voice as she told my mom, can hear my mom's scream through the phone and my mom screaming "you have to talk to my husband" and her calmly, reassuringly telling my Dad what had happened. And she could be like that. The sweetest person you would ever meet, and *always* the kind of girl who would go the mat fighting for you. Still, it was the right call to make. I won't get into the details because that's not fair, she's not here to tell her side. I'll just say that she was engaging in behavior I couldn't get behind, not for me and not for the friends I'd brought to her table. See, I take friendship, especially with women, seriously. Women are precious creatures when you find the right ones. The ones who won't tear you down so they can feel better than you. The ones who won't make drama just so they can look smarter, prettier or in any way more superior than you. Girls who fake it until they don't ever make it, but actually work to make it. Those are my tribe. That's what you get from my sistahood. I hand-picked my friends after I realized I was the landing place for every sad-story-tale-let-me-take-my-misery-out-on-you-drama-queen.
I'm older now, I guess, less time for drama and bullshit. But I can look back now and pinponit it along a time-line, every single friendship mistake, every girl my (very wise) Jersey Mama warned me about, that I foolishly stumbled into. But, as my adopted other mama said to me once (hi Mama Janet!), I've done a good job raising the little girl in me and I'm not going to put up with little girls who want to crush me, when I can stand strong with women who want to fight with me.
Yes, usually it *IS* Wordless Wednesday but I am feeling like it is important to reach out to y'all today.
So I am going to answer a question for you instead. Why do I pour so much of my personal stuff into this blog?
Well, honestly, it helps everyone. From the feedback that I have received it helps some people feel less alone. We can all look like we have it all together from the outside but very few people honestly do. I know that I sure don't have it all together. I do have a wonderful framily who loves and supports me even on my worst days and I do have some wonderful outlets to manage my feelings so they don't drown me.
I know what it is like to find yourself, metaphorically, lying in the dirt, bleeding, with no energy to get up. No one should have to feel that way because you are not alone. There are people who care and there is help.
I struggle every single day. I keep going every single day. Some people will cheer and others will not and both of these groups keep me going. Whether you reach out to me or someone else, please reach out. This world will only be worse off without you in it.
Happy Wednesday my dears!
Friday, August 7, 2015
Today's Friday Five is going to focus in on what PTSD looks like for ME. The interesting and equally annoying thing about mental health issues is that it rarely looks the same for everyone. If it did then we wouldn't have an issue with mental health because treatment would be universal. The thing is that trauma affects everyone differently. Our minds deal with it in the best way to protect us at the time and it will be completely different from your battle buddy or neighbor's brain.
So here are 5 manifestations of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in my life. Don't worry if yours is different or not as bad or worse, we are all fighting this battle and no one is better than another.
1. Startle reflex
My startle reflexes are either horrible or great, depending on how you look at things. I can be in my own home and know everyone is home and walk out of our bedroom and come face to face with one of my family members and jump 3 feet. When I was younger all you had to do was turn the knob on my door handle and I was wide awake. There is nothing that makes this better. My husband thinks it is funny. It really is and isn't because I have no control over it.
The doctors get lost in thinking that if I don't have nightmares about the trauma then it is not connected. This is total crap. While combat veterans or crime survivors may have nightmares about their ordeals, many of us have suffered multiple traumas and just have nightmares. I had trauma both as a child and an adult so I do not have specific nightmares about the trauma, per say. I do have nightmares about falling from high places and that was one of my traumatic incidents but really I didn't have nightmares before the trauma.
3. Personal Space Issues
Here is the thing, EVERYONE has personal space. Even the very huggy people have boundaries and times when they do not want to be touched. I cannot tell you when my personal space issues will rear their heads but it has happened and if my request for space is not requested then I will lose my temper. There was a guy in Kroger one night, who was weirdly buying like 10 pounds of grapes, who was almost up my butt. When I asked him to step back he copped an attitude with me and told me to chill out. I told him that stepping back would be advisable or I was going to move him back. I am not sure, to this day, what it was about him but everything in my body screamed, "FLEE!". It doesn't only happen with strangers but sometimes I have to tell my family not to touch me. Sometimes it is the PTSD and sometimes it is the Fibromyalgia. When a hand on your leg hurts.... weird stuff.
4. Panic Attacks
My PTSD is what started my panic attacks and stress is what feeds them. The thing is that I am often stressed but I have managed to get my panic attacks down to a minimum. When they do come on though I begin to really look at things because high stress feeds them puppies like Thanksgiving Dinner feeds your entire family for 3 days. I will go more into detail about how my panic disorder works in a future post because everyone is different.
I am always assessing the situation. There are some places that I feel safe enough to relax but not too many. If a car takes more than 2 turns with me then I am on edge. I do not like surprise visitors at all nor do I like strangers in my home. I really do not take well to people covering my eyes and saying, "Guess Who?" and you will probably get a very hard and painful reminder of that if you do it. I do check on my kids a lot and the first few days after my older boys go back to their Mom's house is the hardest. I often have to remind myself of where they are so that I do not panic. It doesn't make sense but it is just how it is. It is how I am.
I very much hope that this helps you to feel better about your own quirks. You are not alone no matter how individualized the symptoms can be. Having mental health issues does not make you less, it does not make you broken, and it does not make you untouchable. It just means that you were very strong through bad things and your mind protected you.
Have a beYOUtiful weekend!
Don't forget to join us on August 14 for our 2nd annual White Friday! Go to your Facebook search bar and search WHITE FRIDAY to find our page. Facebook is not working on my laptop today so I cannot post it here. The even is on the page though. All you have to do is take a selfie wearing white and post it on the page with the #WhiteFriday and you will be helping us bring awareness to ending the stigma of mental illness and starting a healing conversation.
Thursday, August 6, 2015
I have blogged on this before and if you know me you have heard it before. However, I still get these outlandish questions about the subject so I am going to do it again.
Let me start by saying that I am a Theist. I believe in God. I take my relationship with God pretty seriously but I also keep it very personal. My story, my journey to cementing my faith, is my own. I could try to explain it to you over and over again but it would sound ordinary rather than extraordinary as it is to me.
In the early 1990's, after being in the same schools from 4th grade on, I met Razark. We were sophomores in high school at this point and shared a class. We became the best of friends there and were kind of inseparable until he went away to college.
His beliefs were never called into question because he was my friend and obviously a good person.
Time marches on... I went to his wedding. We went our separate ways for a while and began to build lives until ours intersected again. I was visiting the day he received his final divorce papers in fact.
We decided to give this love thing a go. We got married and had a couple kids to add to the couple of kids he had. Still it never came up about declaring our religion. We both wanted a casual wedding ceremony and I didn't want it in a courthouse. He just didn't want to have to wear a tie.
It really never came up until we were asked about baptizing the kids. Amazingly, my Atheist husband agreed to go through the hoops if that was what I wanted to do.
Sept. 6, 2015 marks 12 years of marriage for us. People ask how I do it all the time. I live. I married the man I love, my best friend, and he is a good person. He doesn't believe in God. It doesn't affect me really. It has no real bearing on my relationship with God unless I let it. I don't.
So here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions (& a few outlandish questions) published on the interwebz forever.
1) Does he beat me?
-No. In fact, I think he is a tad scared of what my temper would be if he tried.
2) Is he a Satanist?
-No. He is an Atheist. He doesn't believe in Satan. He doesn't believe in heaven or hell either.
3) Does he have a alter? Or Does he have a place to worship?
-No. He is an Atheist. He doesn't believe in God. He doesn't worship. The closest he came to bliss was a dedicated home brew closet once.
4) Does he eat babies?
- Technically, yes but not human ones. We have had veal before though.
5) Am I sad that he won't be in heaven with me?
- Not to be rude, but have you met my husband? By then, if I am still sane, I will welcome the break. :-)
Note- someone I love very much asked that one. I really don't think about it much. I would rather live in the moment. The past is somewhat mixed emotionally for me and well, passed. The future is bright but still uncertain. All we really have for sure is right now so make it count.
If you have any questions, I am always open to answering them.
The main takeaway today is that Atheists are people just like you and I. They have families, jobs, homes, dreams, hopes, and love. My husband has a solid moral foundation. He is a great guy with a heart of gold. He is loving, loyal, hard working, and he has a killer sense of humor. We have our issues (that have nothing to do with his Atheism) just like Theist couples but I am proud to be his wife.