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Freedom Feels F’ing Fantastic!

I’m free! Quarantine is officially over! What a week! I can go back to work Monday, but I’m not sure where my week at home went! I’m not a good sick person. I do not comply well with doctors’ orders to rest. Rest and being idle isn’t my wheelhouse {anymore.} Maybe it’s the literal years I spent wasting and wasted isolating myself away from everyone inside and outside my home watching Grey’s Anatomy repeatedly and sleeping to escape my reality that makes me hate the idea of staying in bed. It reminds me of that pathetic cage I confined myself to for years on end, wallowing in depression and only venturing into the common areas of my home for food or alcohol or to appease my family for a bit of time face to face. Always with a drink in hand and a fake smile for the pictures. I was in the deepest depths of my depression in those days and the thought of being back in that self-inflicted hell is terrifying for me now. I never want to go back to being that person again.

I recall the days where my anxiety was so bad that I couldn’t function without a pill to numb it all away or a drink to make it blurry. That’s the rock bottom I hit. The not caring the method {within reason} as long as it numbed the feelings of desperation. I’m not fond of the label addict and it’s not one I use to describe myself. Not that I have an issue with people who identify as addocts or those in recovery. I know addicts and I know the lengths they go to in order to secure their drug of choice. I’ve watched friends and family fall prey to that relentless disease. I did struggle with substance abuse from adolescence to adulthood, but because I’ve never been not able to stop it’s been more of an unhealthy coping mechanism than true addiction. Ive functioned with jobs, never had withdrawals that kept me from doing what needed to be done. I’ve never put my kids in harms way or had them go without what they needed to acquire something for myself. I’ve always had no issue quitting when I wanted to. My truth isn’t that I was an addict but that I self medicated my undiagnosed mental illness. I wasn’t diagnosed with Bipolar disorder until this year at 37.

I received the official diagnosis that finally made my past make sense. It took my daughter being suicidal and cleaning her bloodied body at 12 years old {Read more about #2’s journey here} for me to seek mental health treatment for myself on a higher level of care than just bitching to my therapist once every couple of weeks about the plethora of issues I had amassed over the years. I finally sought out help from a psychiatrist {who I now adore} that changed my life and showed me a new side of myself. Prior to this I was getting the standard antidepressant medication and anxiety medication from my PCP who never actually explored my symptoms or history in depth. Treating my actual illnesses has been a total game changer for me.

Finding out that Bipolar II was my primary diagnosis that was severely complicated by Anxiety, ADHD, and C-PTSD was eye opening. I had a legitimate reason I was a hot mess and hadn’t pulled my life together even as I approached 40, not an excuse but a answer for myself {not others} of why my life was in the shit hole it was in. After finding the right combination of medications and stopping the ones that ironically enough were actually triggering my bipolar episodes made a night and day difference in my whole life. I stopped drinking besides the rare occasion, no more prescription for Xanax which was a crutch I used to numb the pain, and no more narcotics. I was liberated from a life of trying to only find a way to make it easier to merely exist. I can still have the occasional drink without going on a binder or getting totally wasted and in the event of severe pain I can take a pain pill and use as directed without seeking more. I don’t smoke weed and I never was into the hard stuff that’s found on street corners {as an adult}.

My life before consisted of working and watching TV was our main family time or time spent as a married couple. It was what we did other than play a drunken game of cards that often ended in tears for my threefold after they would have to deal with the verbal lashing they received from my ex about whatever pissed him off and a huge drunken fight that involved him leaving and me left wondering how I could prevent repeating whatever thing I had done to trigger the backlash I received. It was next level, no fun and one of my main culprits for why I isolated alone in my room instead of hanging in the common area with my ex. Unfortunately this is where my threefold learned this unhealthy coping skill of isolation and walking on eggshells themselves. We had the occasional group shopping trip to Walmart where you got one box of snacks that had better lasted you all week, no soda, a few meals on rotation for dinner and not much else. We might’ve gone out to a friend’s house or on the occasional trip, but only if it was scheduled around an appointment where there would be a steady supply available of pharmaceuticals to stave off the pain my ex was in -from his neck, back or foot or knee or headache.- Otherwise it would be no fun and a lot of heavy drinking which went back to the fighting and crying. It was toxic negativity and enabling that I was complicit in and more criticism and abuse then I care to divulge. It was the worst kind of relationship to be in and an even worse environment to raise my threefold in. It was a pattern and it never ended. Honestly it still exists in my relationship with my ex and my threefold’s relationship with their dad. I still find myself anxious with every face to face interaction I am forced to participate in. I will be processing that cycle during those final years of my marriage for years to come, no doubt.

These days, my bed is for sleeping and resting after a long day at work and used for Sunday Noneday which is my recharge day. I watch some tv at bedtime but I don’t binge watch season upon season of Grey’s Anatomy {or any other show} anymore. TV is no longer how I spend time with my threefold or with ‘E’. Card games now look like positive affirmations and happiness challenges. Goal setting, meditation and manifestation are my self care routine. Family therapy and long talks about teenage girl drama, boys, friends, school, inappropriate and crude jokes, and crafts are more of the family time we share. Outings now include shopping and hair dye. They look like trips to the store for all the favorite indulgences with variety and more than a $3.00 per kid budget. They are pictures and artwork, and a lot more time just spent actually engaged instead of staring at a picture on a screen for hours on end. There aren’t fake smiles plastered on haunting my pictures anymore.

Every aspect of my life has changed from that absent parent who was selfishly looking out for herself and my own interests instead of looking at how I was doing more harm than good continuing to live that lie. I’m not the same person and that change was inspired by my threefold. It was inspired by my own girls’ willingness to be brave enough at over half my age to say ‘Enough!’ and speak their truth. This year of life in a house that is now truly a home has been the best and worst year of my life. I say that with gratitude for both of those aspects and all of the experiences that came with the good and the bad.

The worst was the watching my threefold grow through the pain and desperation that hit them as soon as they felt safe enough to finally feel it all. That rush of realization that life could’ve always been this way and that they were robbed of a childhood that could’ve been so much better than what they were handed made for a rocky road on our journey to say the least. Watching their mom struggle through finding my own footing in this new foreign world of mental illness was difficult for them to watch. Watching my trauma untangle was as rough on them to watch as theirs was for me. We deserved more. We deserve more.

The best part of this year though is the new relationships we’ve established with each other. The strength we found buried inside of our souls and the fierce fight we battled to face forward. We could’ve let this year rip what was left of our family apart but instead we allowed it bond us together. We’ve still got a long way to go before we are fixed and healed or bright and shiny. However, I look back at where we were last year and again where we were six months ago and I have this intense feeling of pride in my threefold and in myself. We’ve put in a lot of work to get to the place we are today. Beautifully broken, but amazingly brave and incredibly grateful for this new path we’ve cleared together towards healing and recovery.

When I’m asked how I do it all, why I don’t get mad at my kids easily, how I am so patient and understanding with them, or how I haven’t gone batshit crazy with the chaos our life is covered in – it isn’t because I’m this super hero mom, it’s because I’m no longer weighed down by that past I’ve lived. I’ve forgiven myself for the mess I created. I’m doing so I found the me in me again. I’ve found the mom I wanted to be, that I set out to be long ago. I’ve learned to be the parent they need me to be and adapt to those ever changing needs. I’ve learned to see life through a lense most people don’t see life through. I’ve found my own healing. If you ask why I don’t take the time for relaxation, how I can work full time and parent three kids with mental illness and balance a personal relationship and still eat dinner as a family while creating a blog and creating my own content and manage my own mental illnesses I will tell you the truth. I spent too many years not being the mom I should’ve been and I spent more days than I can count being idle. I’m no longer just an extra in the movie of my life-I’m the center of the story. My job is to hold it all together and balance it even on the days where it gets too heavy. I won’t let life break me again. I’m going to stay right here, in the present, living my life, on my terms and loving my threefold with the unconditional love of the mom I am. Stay positive! You’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M

Side Note: I am extremely lucky and grateful that I have a person in my life who chose to build me up and make me realize my inner bad ass. I fought him endlessly on my self image and my self worth. I pushed. I poked. I taunted and I made his life a living hell. {I still do this.} He picked me up off the floor a million times. He made me see myself in a different way. He has been my knight in shining armor riding the unicorn {a masculine one} on countless occasions. He believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself anymore. I’m lucky to have my hero. ‘E’ if you read this one, thanks for being the man you are for my threefold and I. I might’ve survived this year without you, but it wouldn’t have had all the good parts that you gave me through the hardest parts. YOU, my love, are one of my biggest inspirations and motivators. I’ll never know why I got you or how in this world full of drawer bases, but I am forever grateful I did. Thank you for all you do and for being the perfect person to be on board this crazy train of ours! Life with you is just better in every way. ❤️😘

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Oh Happy Day:

Today was an amazing day! For the first time in a week I’ve felt like almost a whole functioning person again! The lingering cough and general tiredness aside, I actually made it a whole day without needing a nap or feeling like my head would explode. Covid was no joke and I’m grateful that the worst {still crossing the fingers, and toes and my legs because I’m a damn lady} is behind me. I marked a couple Christmas presents off the list and even splurged a little on myself. That’s right, Momma got some new shoes! I found a new pair of Nike tennis shoes {I’m overdue for a new pair} for $37.95! I love a deal! I’m not a coupon lady, but I don’t buy unnecessary items {don’t look at my extensive collection of journals or my colorful pens.} without scouting out the deals. I’m a TJ Max, Good Will, thrift shop, white-trash garage sale kind of spender. If I have something expensive it’s most likely because someone got it for me. I’m not the designer hand bag and matching shoes kind of mom, but I can rock my $40 nikes and my under armour hoodie I got for $15, the messy bun, no make up, sweatpants hot mess mom look all day, every day. I don’t think I would be any different if I had the funds to support luxury spending sprees. My journal collection would be obscene and I’d most likely own every motivational knick knack that caught my eye, but my sweats, worn out tees and tennis shoes would never go away.

What I was really excited about today was getting my printed copy of my Goal Getter Workbook in my hands! It was a sense of accomplishment to see my artwork, my quotes, my words, and my vision printed on paper with a cover and bound. It was my first big ‘aha’ moment where I could fully visualize my dreams coming to life! It was a dream of mine to write and it’s one I’ve put off for years. My hopes and dreams were left collecting dust and slowly dying while I was busy being too scared to even attempt seeing them to fruition. I was scared to fail and I was scared of the judgment of people in my life or the criticism of people that know nothing about me. After all, I was the girl who secured a Facebook page years prior to posting publicly and bought my domain mythreefold.com three years before even designing my first piece of digital artwork or writing my first piece. For me to go from ‘maybe one day’ to holding my own piece of work just 7 months since starting this journey -in my hands– is the most awesome feeling. I’m patting myself on the back today and beaming with pride at my 15 page workbook. Pardon my huge goofy grin, my ego, and my excitement but I deserve to have this day to celebrate my first big moment. {insert awkward happy dance here}

I’m so pumped I’m already starting on my next creation and looking at all the opportunities available to me in this writing world. I am making moves people, best watch out for this girl, I’m a goal getter with a determination and a drive that is unmatched by many, equaled by some, and surpassed only by few! {can you sense what my family is dealing with right now? Pray for them!} I’m going to accomplish my goals and create a life that is my brand of amazing. I am open to tips, tricks, recommendations and any other constructive suggestions that may be useful as I explore the future of My Threefold. As Dr. Seuss said ‘Oh the Places You Will Go!’ Ready. Set. GO! Here I come, ready or not! It’s going to be a wild and crazy ride, but the crazy train is leaving the station! All aboard the F-yeah Freight Train! Be positive & believe in yourself! ☮️❤️😊~M

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Goal Getter: December

I’m mixing things up a bit this month and setting the bar high! December is the final month of 2021 and that leaves exactly 31 days to finish up this year and I plan to finish STRONG! I am excited about planning this month’s goals and I’m excited about closing out this final month of 2021 with a BANG! The momentum and excitement for this month is all leading up to the amazing year I will have in 2022! I’m ready for that new chapter, but before I start planning the new year I need to wrap up this year with my December Goal Getter plan of action. Are you with me? Hell yeah!

First things first! Download my Goal Getter Workbook to create your own plan of action for the month!

December is a time where we usually get wrapped up {no pun intended} in the hustle bustle of the holidays and forego all goals, agendas and anything that we had set our sights on. I believe that it should be the opposite. This should should be when we are amped up the most to achieve those goals we set 11 months prior, because when we reach them we can have that feeling of accomplishment and the satisfaction that comes with seeing a goal to completion. I really don’t know a much better feeling than the feeling of setting a goal and reaching it! It’s a feeling of self satisfaction and contentment. It’s pride, confidence, hope, and accomplishment that comes together making you see yourself as the ultimate bad ass you are. What better way to end this year than to end it with that?

If you chose to download the workbook, AWESOME! That workbook will be handy to use throughout the year. If not, well you’re on your own. {just kidding, you can make your own template and follow along} December is the perfect time to go back to those big goals you made 11 months ago and see what you’ve got left to mark off that list. Some may be old news if you haven’t looked in a while. Others may be completed. Some may need some scaling adjustments. Some may need to be completely erased as irrelevant. Regardless if you have 1, 5, or 10 goals you want to accomplish it’s possible to start here and go after them!

My Personal Plan of Action:

At the beginning of the year, I will be honest and say I was in ‘survival mode’. Goals weren’t my “thing” and I was more of a yay it worked out or , damn it it didn’t! I didn’t really put much intention or thought into how my actions could give me more yay moments and less of the damn it moments. I was on ‘auto-pilot’ just hoping for the best. Guess what? That wasn’t working for me. It hadn’t worked for me in the past 37 years and it wasn’t going to start working for me anytime soon. So I made a change. In June, I decided to become more intentional with my day to day actions and began setting small, attainable goals that I could reach. Slowly I began to challenge myself to reach greater heights and chase my dreams. Thankfully, over the last 6 months my life has nearly done a 180• from where I was starting out the year. The person I can thank for that? Myself. Ultimately, you are the only person in control of your actions, attitude and aspirations. {Having positive influences and people supporting you is definitely a bonus!}

In July, I made my goals for the remainder of the year. 6 months after those around me. {Fashionably late, per usual} You can actually look at that first goal getter challenge I set out on here: Wellness Challenge: July 21 Days to Positivity I never thought that this one month would change everything I did from that day forward. It did. It changed my life. The goals I started with are still relevant to how I now live day to day. My threefold would probably tell you how boring it is to ride with me in a car since I’ve traded in my music most days for motivational You Tube compilations and TedX Talks! Something I would’ve thought laughable in years past. Or how I meditate and force them to meditate with me sometimes. Even how I fully believe in the power of visualization and manifesting your best life. Yep, I’m not going to lie, I’ve gotten pretty encompassed in all the ways to get my goal getter get up and go…well going.

My list in July was extensive. Four handwritten pages of goals kind of extensive with all the things I hoped to accomplish the remainder of the year. My success set up to become a happier and better me. I broke them up into these categories:

  • Attitude
  • Creativity
  • Career
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Health
  • Financial
  • Personal/Self-Care

Out of four pages of goals here is the list that I have yet to accomplish:

  • Attitude – 5/5 Goals Achieved
  • Creativity – 5/6 Goals Achieved
    1. Monetize my blog/social media
  • Career – 11/12 Goals Achieved
    1. Get rewarded financially for performance
  • Family – 6/8 Goals Achieved
    1. Quality time spent with my threefold
    2. Schedule a family night event twice per month
  • Romantic – 3/6 Goals Achieved
    1. Spend quality time with ‘E’
    2. Overthinking/Assuming
    3. Holding Grudges
  • Health -3/4 Goals Achieved
    1. Quit Smoking
  • Financial – 1/4 Goals Achieved
    1. Budget
    2. Save
    3. Donate
  • Personal/Self Care- 9/10 Goals Achieved
    1. Free myself from my past guilt and move forward into the future.

If my math is right this shows I had 55 goals I wanted to accomplish by the end of the year. So far I’ve accomplished 40 of those. Not too shabby for a girl who didn’t even have a plan last January! However, this leaves me with 15 that I want to see through to completion by 12/31/21. I’m exhausted already! No. I’m not, I’m pumped! I’m a goal getter! I’ve got this! So now it’s time for the plan. Time to break these goals down into chunks of doable and actionable pieces that will see me to the finish line!

I can mark the one off my list for creativity. Today I launched my first download for the Goal Getter Workbook! This is my first real money driven effort for my blog! Profitable or not, it’s an achievement and an amazing way to kick off my month! The next is not totally in my hands, but I’m looking forward to a raise in the coming weeks at work for all the bad-assery I’ve displayed this year! So that will be something I can check off my list this month too! As for the Family goals – I have a couple things in the works planned for my threefold and I to have some QT as soon as we get over this Corona Virus infestation that has kept us cooped up in quarantineville for the past week. I also think I can knock out my romantic goal of some quality time with ‘E’ that isn’t just Covid cuddleupits while cat napping watching crime documentaries, although that has been a highlight of quarantine! The deeper of those 3 goals are resentments, grudges, overthinking and assumptions. This is something that will take constant effort and mindfulness on my part. My anxiety tends to lean towards catastrophizing even the smallest disagreements and distorts them into these out of proportion reactions. I have come a long way with this but I know that improvements can be made and I will definitely work to stay mindful of rational and irrational thoughts. The dreaded ‘quit smoking’ this isn’t something I have wanted to do. That’s just plain honest. It’s my vice. My coping mechanism. My reward. My appetite suppressant. My stress reliever. BUT as much as it’s been my crutch for the past 15 years {yes 15 years} it’s time to pack it up. I went three days without a cigarette while sick with the ‘rona. The longest time I’ve not smoked in 10 years. Sure, I could’ve said ‘haste la vista’ then but I wasn’t mentally prepared to say my farewells. My mind wasn’t in it. I’m there now. That first cigarette after 3 days tasted like burnt coffee creamer, stale crackers and old mints. I’m over it. If I can thank Covid for anything it will be that it may have ruined my love for the taste of a menthol cigarette forever. I haven’t openly put out there that I’m a smoker, but now that it’s here in black and white I can’t deny it. If I can end this year as a non-smoker then I will be so proud of myself. I’ve tried before and failed, but I haven’t had a blog post to hold me to it. Here’s to that! Financial goals are tricky for me, especially this month with Christmas being my holiday. I love getting the gifts for my threefold and watching their faces as they light up with excitement. This year has been a struggle financially in general due to all of the unforeseen medical expenses and bills, divorce, new home, lost time at work and general life maintenance. I am resourceful if nothing else, and stubborn so I have those two things on my side. It’s best to finish strong. I’ll put my $5.00/day that I would purchase my cigarettes with into an account for some rainy day savings to start. I’ll make a budget and formulate a doable plan to stick to. For donations, we will find a way to give to those less fortunate by way of volunteering time at a local charity. That final one in personal/self-care is tricky. I am working on manifesting my desired result in finally settling a peaceful resolution and tie up the loose ends of my past. I am also working through my feelings in therapy and finding ways I can let go of my resentment and hurt from my past, along with my personal guilt. I will continue to do both. In addition I will work on not giving my energy, positive or negative, to my past. I will allow whatever feelings and thoughts to surface and rise but not allow it to dwell in my headspace or overpower my reactions. I will acknowledge and dismiss. No lingering. That’s tough, but it will be awesome to see how much more positivity can grow when it isn’t being stomped out by the negative weight of the past. And that’s a wrap! That’s it, folks! That’s my plan of action for December! I hope you have downloaded My Goal Getter Workbook and choose to end your year with as much hope and positivity as you started it with! ☮️❤️😊~M

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Goal Getter: November Recap ~ Extended Version

Heyyyy! So I’m back with the November recap review! For those wondering I think I might be on the upswing from my bout with Corona. I’m feeling almost human. It’s been about 7 days since I started showing symptoms and I think I might be past the worst of it! {crossing fingers} Anywho…this is about the November recap! Did you review your month? I hope so! It always helps me to reflect back on the previous month before setting new goals for the month ahead. So this is my extended version of my recap for November. Enjoy!

November Recap: Personal Review

  • Overall this month I felt:
    1. More in control
    2. More energized
    3. Happier/more even
  • My highlights for November were:
    1. My gratitude journal
    2. Doing the ‘100 Happy Days’ challenge with my family.
    3. My schedule becoming more predictable
    4. Safety plan revision that allowed for some one on one time with ‘E’
  • How can I improve next month?
    1. Create a budget and stick to it!
    2. Lower expectations of self and others
    3. Ask for help
    4. Forgive and reset mood quicker
    5. Be more patient with self and others
  • What lessons did I learn in November?
    1. There is always something to be thankful for, every day!
    2. Happiness is a choice!
    3. I deserve an amazing life
    4. The only thing that stands between reaching my dreams is me.
    5. I can say no.
  • What goals did I want to achieve in November?
    1. Start a gratitude journal
    2. Give the benefit of the doubt
    3. Find the good in all situations
    4. Spend quality time with my threefold and ‘E’
    5. Meditate daily
    6. Manifest daily
  • Did I reach my goals?
    • Yes! I did reach my goals! I could’ve done better with quality time and giving the benefit of the doubt. I think I let my overthinking get in the way of giving the benefit of the doubt. As far as quality time I think I was more ‘me’ focused this month.
  • What was I most thankful for in November?
    1. My gratitude journal had one word every day with our fail- family.
  • My challenges this month:
    1. Overcoming overthinking
    2. Mood reset
    3. Budget/money management
    4. Letting go of past hurt and grudges
  • My strengths this month:
    1. My resourcefulness
    2. My stubborn determination
    3. My attitude
    4. My work ethic
  • This month I am most proud of:
    • My family. I am most proud of my family and how far we have come over the past year. We didn’t just survive, we changed, adapted, grew, healed and thrived. I am so proud of our strength, our tenacity, our flexibility, and how we all came together. My threefold inspires me!

And that’s that! November is a wrap y’all! I hope you had an amazing November and now it’s time to finish this year strong! December has 31 days full of clean slates and fresh opportunities for you to achieve your goals! You’ve got this! Be a goal getter and set your intentions and your goals for the month of December! Stay positive! You are amazing! ☮️❤️😊~M

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Goal Getter~November Recap

Let’s do a November run down as we plan and prepare for December. I always like to take a look back before moving forward. My monthly recap always has been a good chance for me to celebrate my accomplishments and also see where I can improve for the next month. I won’t go in depth with my own reflections but rather share how I created my template for each month in review and the positivity push and monthly motivation for the goal getters out there!

Monthly Recap:

I start with a fairly simple set of questions for the previous month.

  • Overall, this month I felt:
  • This month my highlights that excited me the most were:
  • How can I improve next month?
  • What lessons did I learn this month?
  • What goals did I make this month?
  • Did I reach those goals? If so, how did I reach them? If not, what do I feel stood between myself and the goal?
  • What was I most thankful for this month?
  • Challenges?
  • Strengths?
  • I am most proud of ?

Easy peasy. I’ll share my review of my November this week and tomorrow I will share my monthly motivation template and how I plan my positivity push each month to help me be the best version of me. I challenge everyone to do a big push for the end of the year. New year’s resolutions are great and all but what goals did you make this year that you could still achieve? December has 31 days waiting for you take advantage of the time and finish 2021 strong so you can enter 2022 with a fresh set of goals and the confidence in your capabilities to achieve them! Share your answers in the comments or follow on Facebook! ☮️❤️😊~M