I came across this ad in a magazine. People…Candy Corn is Candy Corn. Starburst is Starburst. They are not interchangeable.
Some things just need to remain the same.
There, that’s it, I said my peace. Now I want some candy!
A friend of mine posted on Facebook that in the difficult times, it’s so important to remember what you’re blessed with. We all go through hard times, difficult times. But sometimes it seems like the hard times will never end. So I started to think about all of the things in my life that I have been blessed with. First and foremost are my two beautiful and healthy children. Sadly, there are too many parents that have children that are not blessed with good health. Also I have my health, and a roof over my head and food on the table. I may not have much money, but I get by with the basic necessities that many people do not even have. I have been blessed with the ability to start college at 37 years old, because I have the strength and determination to fight like hell to have a better life. I value my independence, and am proud of myself for being able to survive mostly on my own, and be such a good role model for my kids.
I could not do all of it on my own though, I have been blessed with the most amazing friends, that are always there for me. Thankfully I still have a little time for my friends, my flowers, and for studying despite the three jobs I need to work to pay the bills. I am blessed to have a good therapist, that has helped me to deal with depression, grief, guilt and loss. Helping also to deal with the feelings I have about my daughters cutting.
All in all I have more than a lot of people even dream of. When I feel like I have nothing, or when other people are lucky and they have more than I do, I just remind myself that there is always someone that is worse off than I am. Always someone who has less or is in a worse situation. I am a glass half full kind of person. I always see the good in people. Sometimes it gets me hurt, sometimes I get taken advantage of, but it’s who I am and it’ll never change. It is and always has been my nature to believe other people are good. Sometimes circumstances get me down for a while, but I get right back up. Thanks to all of the blessings in my life.
When I spoke to Alicia the other day she seemed distant. Actually the past few times I’ve talked to her she has, since she went home to her fathers. This is concerning, because I was hoping to be able to monitor her progress with the new antidepressant over the summer while she was with me. That did not last long. I worry that things may slowly start to regress back to the point of her being so stressed and upset that she will start cutting again. I don’t like feeling distant from her. I asked if she was still taking the antidepressant and she said “unfortunately yes”. Well, at least she is still on it I guess. From what I can see and heard when she was in the hospital, there is no love in the house where she is living. There is no laughter and silliness and I wish I could make that go away. We have so much fun here when they are with me. All I can do is be there for her now. I can keep in contact and monitor her. She will be 15 in October and wants to stay where she is with her friends and go to school with them, and I respect that. I honestly do. I just hope home life will not keep bringing her down, further and further. I need to remind myself that Teenagers are manipulators and can play their parents against each other. And even though her father and I are divorced and live apart (obviously), she can still play us against each other.
She says, “well, in October when I turn 15 I’m gonna start working anyway, and save up to move as soon as I can”. I said well, that’s good to have a goal. Deep down I wanted to say, Good Luck Sistah…I have way more experience and I’ve been looking for a new job for a very long time. AND I did tell her, school and grades come first. I don’t want to sour her on working though, it’s good for her to want that, I just hope she isn’t disappointed when she cant find anything right away, and she doesn’t make enough money a week to buy a pair of Jeans AND a shirt…but one or the other.
So all in all I can’t complain. She is still taking her medication, still seeing her therapist, NOT cutting and thinking about the future a little bit. (she didn’t say the word College, but I can work on that) 🙂
As for my son…well…that kid’s always happy. I love my monsters and miss them so much. But, one of their parents has to work right?
When I saw my therapist this morning the events of the past week came spewing out of my mouth like lava from a volcano. I was so stressed I was actually short of breath telling her about the issues. She said she could see I was wound tight – no kidding – I’m gonna snap the line pretty soon! Amazingly enough, an hour later I left her office feeling better. Not 100 percent, but better. She got me to look at one big problem I kept basing everything in my life on, in a different way. First off, just because my kids live with my ex-husband doesn’t mean he has to bully me or pull the strings like I’m his puppet. I need to stay strong and stand up to him. Also, I keep basing every decision in my life on whether the kids live with me or stay with him. If they live with me I can work full time days and not pay him child support and then I can survive on one job. If they stay with him I have to stay doing 3 jobs I’m not happy with just to pay my own bills. She told me I”m looking at it all wrong. I need to let go of the work and ex-husband issues that are controlling me because it’s exhausting me, mentally. It is wearing me down.
She reminded me that I am strong, I’m a survivor, and I always manage to do what needs to be done and I always manage to get by. She said, first of all, you must get out of a job that is making you physically ill. And don’t worry about the child support so much, don’t obsess over it like it rules YOU! (oh yeah…my ex bribed the kids into staying with him, so I was once again feeling like what the hell do I do now, I can’t accept a full time job on days because I need these three jobs) So she said, you pay him $150/wk, look at that as your weekly grocery bill, you would have to spend if they lived with you anyway. You have a job and your looking so you can afford to be more picky and get what you want. If you make enough in one job, that 150/wk (groceries) wont be missed so much and you can survive, you always survive. I realized, yes, it’s time for me to take a leap of faith. Sometimes you can’t figure it all out ahead of time. I need to take the full time job on days if one is offered to me and start feeling like a normal person and then the rest of it will fall into place. I think the lack of sleep from the schedule I keep is not helping me at all. When I was 18, going to bed at 1am and getting up at 545 was okay, not anymore. Its just making me exhausted and cranky. It’s time for a change, I have faith, that when I make the big leap, I will be okay and find land under my feet. Even If I stumble a little bit, it’s not like I’ve never stumbled before. So from now on I’m doing what’s best for me. I’m not re-arranging my life around everyone else’s needs. I can’t do it. I am going to respect myself and the things I want. Right now my kids are safe, they are being clothed and fed (supposedly) and going for check-ups and getting good grades. I’m leaving it at that. My daughter is almost 15 if this is her decision then that is the final decision. I told her this isn’t a revolving door. I will not re-arrange my entire life for her every time she has a fight with her father. I told her I am always here, and if there is a problem she can come to me, but she needs to learn to work it out with her dad and step mom instead of saying I want to live here, no there, no here, no there. I feel like a yo-yo. Not anymore. It’s hard to put your foot down and let go, but she needs to learn you can’t run from your problems. you also have to live with the decisions you make.
Now it’s my turn to try to find some happiness and normalcy in my life. I pray that it’s right around the corner.
It’s been a very tiring day today. Tuesdays are the worst for me because it is my double shift. Up for work at 545AM working until Midnight. My body and my mind are both equally exhausted. The ambulance was out for a few hours today, otherwise I spent the day sending out more resumes. I have been sitting here looking over the job openings until my eyes were burning. This place has been gnawing at my nerves today. I have been sick to my stomach to the point of almost vomiting, horrible chest pain, even more horrible pain in my upper back, headache and shortness of breath. At one point I thought maybe I was having a heart attack but I keep reminding myself It is just stress (I hope). I have not heard anything on the other job I interviewed for last week, but the pay was too low so I’m okay with that. I would not be able to take it at their starting pay. I would however, love for one of the other places to contact me. I just don’t understand it.
To make matters worse I sent a text to my ex-husband yesterday and told him that my son wanted to live with me and we needed to make arrangements and talk so I could register him for school….no answer. I sent a second text today…no answer. Every decision I make regarding my employment will be based on whether Jake lives with me or not. Do I work days while he’s in school, and pay no child support, so I can be home with him at night. If I quit my full time job at night, which I hate, and for some reason Jake cant live here or it’ll be a long drawn out custody thing, I can’t accept a day job without also having to look for a new part time job at night. Right now my 3 jobs sort of support me. I don’t like the idea of upsetting the delicate balance I am barely hanging on too. I’m so afraid one way or another. I’m at the point however, where I feel I need to take a leap of faith and do what “I” need, for my health and sanity, and my boy. Alicia has already decided she wants to attend CT high school and stay with her friends and I respect that but I want my son with me. I’m strong enough now to go through this. It doesn’t mean I’m not scared. I am terrified. I’m the one that always gets walked all over. They say nice guys finish last, I guess it’s the same for nice girls!
On top of looking for a new job, wanting to get my son back home and possibly having a custody battle, I start back to school in 3 weeks. On deck is Business Law class (how appropriate) and introduction to Algebra…UGH!!! Maybe all of this is why I feel like my heart is going to pound out of my chest. There is too much on my plate right now….and more and more is being piled on. I MUST learn how to relax, and I MUST find more time for myself. Getting back to the gym is in order, not only for my weight, but for my stress and mental health. But for right now…eyes closed…deep deep breaths…in through my nose out through my mouth…repeat!
Check out this site for tips on managing stress.
Being in good health, for me, begins with my mental health. For many many years I have struggled with depression. Of course at first I didn’t really understand that was the problem. It started with panic attack like symptoms when I miscarried my second child. I was irritable and tired all the time. I wanted to sleep a lot, had headaches and didn’t want to socialize. I didn’t take care of myself physically, because I was physically unable too because of the depression. It was literally controlling my life. Prior to and the years following my divorce this became worse. First of all, as a mom and the wife of an “ill” husband I had no time to take care of myself. I had no time for myself…period..never mind making healthy choices for myself. I just kept going day after day , feeling more isolated and lost. I knew I wasn’t happy but I didn’t know why. After my divorce and the change in antidepressant I became worse but in a different way. I was thinking about dying all the time. Thoughts would run through my head that were not ME. Unbeknownst to me, my best friend was watching my suffering and mood changes closely. It didn’t take long before he gave me the name of a doctor that specialized in Antidepressants. This doctor was amazing. She finally (and quickly) got my medication correct and within 3 days I felt so much better. It’s not only a pill that makes me happy though. You have to want to be happy. You have to want to move on and get better. I didn’t realize before that depression was a real illness. I hear people saying just “snap out of it”. It’s not something that you can snap out of. True depression is from a chemical imbalance in the brain. It’s not your fault, it’s not something to be able to control. But without good mental health, you can’t have good physical health. It’s not anything to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. It can happen to anyone.
I would sit in a chair for hours at a time, watching the raindrops, or the leaves blowing. Before I knew it the entire day was gone. I didn’t want to leave the house. I didn’t talk or see my friends, or exercise. I felt like I could not get out of my own way if I had too. My mind was like Pea Soup. It was a fog so thick that I could not see through to make the most simple decision. It affected every aspect of my life. My relationships with men, my friends, my family and kids, and even work. All I wanted to do was sleep until I started to feel better with this new medication. The color came back into my face, I laughed again. It was a strange sound, as I had not heard it in so long. I went to the gym and started feeling better. I was more relaxed and could finally start to look to the future and make decisions. It was then I started advocating for people to be open about depression.
Even though I feel better most days I have to be careful. I need to make sure I don’t miss any doses of medication or I feel horrible. My alcohol intake has to be small to none at all. I have found talking about it helps. I have had a very hard time with this, because at some point over the last 5 years or so I put up some serious walls, and I don’t let people in far. But I’ve tried to open up to people about depression, and cutting and suicidal thoughts because they are real. I don’t think you can have a healthy lifestyle or even a healthy relationship with someone if you are not in a good place mentally. Once you deal with the depression the rest of it seems to fall into place.
It’s something that I deal with every day. When I feel it…I need to force myself to push through it. It’s physically hard to do, but you have to push through it. I will get into moods where I don’t want to leave the house. I literally don’t feel like I have the energy to run an errand. I need to force myself. I don’t want to go out with friends, and I need to force myself. I have good days and bad and I constantly have to be aware.
So even though I don’t have a physical disability or an illness that can be found with a blood test, xray or ultrasound, my illness, when not controlled, still keeps me from having a healthy active lifestyle. So If you think you may be suffering from depression please go talk to your doctor. Do some research yourself and fight for your health. It will not only be good for you, but everyone else around you as well.
Five A.M. came too early. So I hit the snooze button for a half hour before I dragged myself out of bed. I just kept telling myself, your going to the beach not to work, so get up! Thankfully I remembered to use the auto feature on my coffee pot and had a nice hot pot of coffee waiting when I went into the kitchen. Then, just as the day before, I got dressed, in a different bathing suit and shorts, packed up some food made the hour trip to my friends house. She texted the day before when I was on the river asking if I wanted to go for a ride to Cape Cod with her because she was picking up her daughter. She said we’d stop and go to the beach and relax for the day at the Cape. So I jumped in her car and we were off. Another gorgeous day on tap. Not a cloud in the sky. We made good time getting to the cape, picked up her daughter and stopped for lunch. Every beach we tried to go to was full. No available parking anywhere. Figures right. So her daughter suggested we go to Provincetown because she’d gone there and the beaches were not that busy. So, we headed to Provincetown. It was a blast. It was well worth the drive. We parked on the dock near the Whale Watch ticked office and headed down to the beach for a while. The water was absolutely amazing. If it were not for the fact that I watched and am now terrified of JAWS, I would have been swimming instead of just going up to my waist. It was bad enough someone yelled that there was a seal..and we all know what follows the seal…the shark! So to avoid becoming dinner myself, I stayed near shore. I loved the beach. There were little crabs and some hermit crabs and a dead horseshoe crab. If I had longer I would have gone hunting for Star Fish. I love them. But we headed down to check out some of the little shops. Things were interesting there and I got some cute pictures. I got myself a bracelet that matched the necklace I always wear. I love it. The Cabs, or Taxi’s, are little wagon type things with wheels and someone pedals you around on a bike attached to it. It’s hilarious. Sucks to be the biker with some enormous person needing a cab ride though. We stopped at Aqua Bar and had a beer, sitting on the outside deck overlooking the ocean. It was a beautiful, peaceful place to be. I could have sat there all evening I was so content. We did a little more window shopping and stopped for dinner. Again, we were outside on the deck overlooking the ocean and it was amazing. Dinner was good. After stopping at the fudge shoppe we made it to the car to start the journey home. Traffic wasn’t too bad, and we made good time. I think I was home around 11 or so, and could not wait to crawl into bed, but it was a really great day. The way my moods have been, and with the weight of the world on my shoulders I needed a weekend like this to completely relax. I have some very good people in my life and I’m so thankful for them. You guys made what could have been a terribly depressing birthday weekend alone not only bearable but enjoyable and memorable. So thank you.
my quest to getting these suckas out!
Nature Photography by Jeffrey Foltice
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