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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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Quarantine Qualms

I have been working on being more positive lately and that has transferred over to a positive COVID-19 test. Yep, I’ve caught the VID. I am not thrilled about my 2 week staycation with my threefold who will undoubtedly be bored out of their mind, making messes galore, and incessantly complaining about how awful it is to be stuck in the house 24/7. Not to mention my mess that will be left for me when I return to work or the increases in grocery, electricity, internet usage and all the other bills! We are used to being nearly constantly on the run! No martial arts, no school, no friends, sleepovers, dates, or trips to the grocery store for the next 14 days. No work for mom or ‘E’ either. I have a feeling that we are all going to be ready to pull our hair out in about three days time. What will I do with myself? What will I do with them? Help!

I’m so glad we got our Christmas tree so that’s one thing we can do together. Those happiness challenges may be difficult if we can’t leave home, but we will at least have time to get creative about accomplishing them. We are having groceries delivered and hopefully I ordered enough food to sustain 5 bored humans for at least a few days. We can try some new recipes. Maybe we can get the house cleaned up and in order before Christmas comes. I will have time to write and create more. The kids can paint and draw. We might can actually sleep in a few days. We can have a Christmas movie marathon or binge watch a new tv show. We can decorate outside and hang the lights we said we wanted to hang. We can finally go through all the clothes, get caught up on the laundry, and make room for the stuff Santa brings us. Maybe, just maybe the universe is telling us to slow down, rest, and recharge. No appointments and no need for ‘time keeper Tammy’ to show her face over the next couple of weeks {2 is obsessed with being on time and has to have a plan and a schedule} I’m not sure how well any of us will do, but I’m trying be just as positive as my covid test about this whole situation.

The list is pretty daunting. It’s a pretty commendable list however, whether it anything is marked off is where the heroics will actually come in. A large list of things that we could do and ways to make this a not so unbearable and boring few weeks. With mental illness we all have to be proactive as to not isolate and trigger each other. As a mom, I will need to find my inner most saint like patience as I know how often it will be tested. I also know with bipolar disorder these medications I am being given {ie:steroids} could send me into a manic episode so I need to be cautious. ‘E’ will get his first taste of life stuck with four women, one being a whiny bitch because she is sick and I hate being sick {that’s me}, one who will be googling every symptom and becoming overly health conscious as she is a hypochondriac with anxiety {that’s #1 of threefold}, another bored to tears, hates sitting still, needs a plan for each day and still scared to not be busy because she has to sit with her feelings {that’s #2}, and then the one who has ADHD, is a mess-making, easily bored, and antagonistic when things are not how she wants {that’s #3}. I am thankful tgat we are all finished with our periods this month, honestly, someone up there is looking out for my guy! In addition, I know he is sick. It’s in his eyes, he is coughing, headache, achy and tired. Me too boo, me too. He won’t admit it. I’ve never seen him sick, but he can’t be worse than what I’ve seen some men act like {at least I hope!}

There would’ve been a time not long ago that this would’ve been “the end of the world”. I would’ve made myself more sick as I worried about the bills getting paid, how I would navigate my threefold, and I would’ve spent the next two weeks a moping, sobbing, sick and stressed out lump with no plan. That’s probably why I got it now instead of a year ago when it was the trendy virus to have. That’s me though, I shop at Ross, Marshall’s, TJ Max, and Good Will because I am perfectly content wearing last seasons fashions and save that money for other things. Why would Covid be any different? (I’m making light of me having this not attempting to be insensitive to the millions who have been gravely affected) I’m positive that I am going to be ok. I’m not 100%, tip top fighting shape but I’m pretty healthy overall {where it counts I think}. I just hope the kids stay well and that we can take advantage of the situation instead of making it worse on each other. That’s the goal for the next two weeks. Until I am released from house arrest I will try to quiet my quarantine qualms and turn this into QT quarantine with the fam. Stay positive! {not this positive but you know} and keep enjoying the journey! ☮️❤️😊~M

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Chance or Choice?

Happiness is a choice and not just left to chance? That’s not what I learned growing up or even up until my adulthood. What I was taught is that if I do the right things and follow the rules I might get lucky. If I just color inside the lines and work hard I will get the happiness that I deserve. It’s always been a requirement to do x, y, and z or to walk the straight line with your head down to reach success. I honestly thought it was luck or chance or something completely out of my control. Turns out that I was wrong and so was all the people in my life from birth to now that told me I would find happiness once I graduated college or got married or had kids or found the perfect job or my purpose or God. Sure, those things can add to your happiness, but ultimately happiness won’t ever be attained through who is in your life or what you have in your life.

It has taken me 37 years to figure out that everything I have been told was just frankly a line of shit. I am finally seeing that the energy of those around me greatly affects my own energy. When I was surrounded only by people who complained and never had good things to say about anyone or anything I was also negative seeing those perspectives as my own. Energy is contagious whether it be bad or good. I remember my ex saying “We have bad luck.” It was constantly the universe not giving us what we were entitled to. To the point that I wasn’t even grateful when I got a front parking spot at Walmart. Instead I was saying “Oh look now I’m using up all my good luck for this week.” with a sigh and a slight laugh. Once I started to be around people that are more positive and look for good even in the hard I realized it became very difficult for me to always be the “Debbie downer” or “negative Nancy” all the time. It was unsettling at first that these positive people were just…happy. No offense but there wasn’t anything different about their lives, hell some of them were having problems with relationships or family or kids, but somehow they still had this point of view that was overwhelmingly optimistic. I found it odd that I was never challenged to rethink my perspective by the negative people in my life, but suddenly these positive people were challenging me to rethink everything around me and to start looking for good.

This past year should’ve broken me, and a couple of years I would’ve allowed it to without too much of a fight. There aren’t many people who are able to handle going through a tumultuous divorce, self harm and suicidal ideation, hospitalization of their child for 20 weeks, work through their own trauma and abuse, work full time, and raise three kids with no family nearby, their dad moving away and forgoing responsibility to them financially , physically and emotionally, start a healthy relationship, battle through court hearings, mediation, and custody disputes, and coordinate all the chaos that comes with three kids as a single(ish) parent doing most of the to and from on their own. Hell, honestly pick two and have them coincide and even with support I’m sure it would be difficult. Yet somehow I’m still here standing and not just surviving with caffeine, chaos, cuss words, and crazy meds, but have thrived.

It isn’t over, life is full of surprises. I could get bulldozed by life at any point, but I’m sure of one thing I’m going to fight and I will get back up. Again. Again. And yes, again. I don’t quit when it gets hard. I survived this year with A LOT of therapy. I survived with positive people in my corner challenging me to find the silver lining of every situation. I had the people around me that were supposed to be cheering for me. I didn’t have people wallowing with me in my dark moments. Sometimes I was angry and sad and just needed to scream and cry and say how unfair it was. It was. I could have those moments but I didn’t live there for long. I have an amazing job, a healthy relationship with a positive and supportive person {who is beyond patient} and a great therapist. I have three kids who are working on themselves and who are all accomplishing their goals while they heal. I have an amazing bonus kid who calls me just to check in. A dad and a brother who always come through when I need them regardless if they are busy and live 600 miles away. I have managed to get a promotion and a raise. I have started a blog and established a Facebook and Instagram page that have gained a following. I am realizing my dreams and allowing myself to go for them. I am loving myself more and finding my own path to happiness.

I’m learning that happiness doesn’t happen to you, you make happiness happen in your life. I’m learning that how I spend each day is how my life as a whole will be spent. I am my own obstacle between the life I have and the life I ultimately want. It’s not going to just happen and it’s time I stop waiting around for something amazing to just come my way and bring the amazing to myself. The head game is as important as the physical actions. With mental illness it’s a little more difficult to learn to be present, not overthink, and to enjoy the now. My anxiety is next level some days and it seems that no matter how much I try my brain is bound and determined to over analyze every single thing going on. As important as it is to challenge the facts of the thoughts and conclusions I come to, sometimes I have to be ok with having an off day or being in my emotions. I’m not perfect so that standard is not my goal.

I would be naive if I said my goal was to be happy everyday of my life. It’s unrealistic and just not ever going to be a reality. My goal is to be content with where I am right now. I want to be able to sit with my feelings whether those are good or bad and allow myself to acknowledge them, but let them go not allow them the power over my entire day. I am competing against the me I was yesterday and trying to improve each day. I choose to stay positive and continue to allow my happiness to be the driving factor towards why I do or don’t do things. I choose gratitude for the good and am open to learn from what the bad has to teach me. That’s why I chose to do the #100happydays challenge. I want to focus on my happiness as I know if I’m happy I can speak that into others. ☮️❤️😊~M

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Breakthroughs and Boundaries: Focusing on the Future

I have such a hard time setting boundaries. I always have. I am so proud that I have been able to begin to set boundaries for myself. I looked back over the past year of our lives, that of mine and those of my threefold and realized my weakness in setting and maintaining boundaries was hurting them in big ways. Not only have they needed more from me but they expected it and after all they have endured this year and throughout their childhoods they deserve it. I’m proud of my growth that seemingly began to come together all at once.

These past few weeks have been a struggle and a true test of my strength. I needed these last few weeks to show me just what I am capable of. I brought myself to the edge of a breakdown and stared down at how far I would fall with all I had to lose. I wondered where I would be if I just let myself free fall and allow the stress to consume me. I’m not proud that I wondered if it would be easier to just allow myself to lose total control and touch with reality. I wondered if anyone would be there for my family visitation or if I’d have a ride home after discharge. Ultimately, I decided that I had far to much to lose and nothing to gain except more stress and I got terrified of the consequences. I’ve been through a psychotic break. I’ve lived in fear of hitting the ceiling of my stress and anxiety a million times in the past 11 years since that 4 week psychiatric admission.

I had a total of 8 panic attacks in 3 days over the course of last weekend. I had 4 more happen at various times over the next 2 days. By Tuesday I had been put through the ringer. I had a toxic argument with the Exhole that I engaged in and fed into for the first time in nearly a year. I have lost countless hours of sleep working into the night on everything in my head. I took off 2 days from work because I couldn’t focus for long periods of time on anything at all. My anxiety and ADD were fighting against me. I was unfocused, anxious, and near manic. I realized I was going to force myself into psychosis if I didn’t gain some order and control back over the chaos that was enslaving me.

I was physically ill. I had the sinus infection of the century that I couldn’t seem to kick for months along with a double ear infection. My energy was zapped and I was left feeling like a zombie due to dehydration, lack of proper nutrition, and running on 2-3 hours of sleep and some nights none at all. I had multiple nights where it was seemingly too much. I ended up starting to let every little thing eat at me and consume me. I couldn’t keep going this way. If I didn’t end up in a psychiatric facility I was going to end up in a hospital because my body couldn’t continue functioning while I abused it to the extreme.

After my 4th panic attack Friday night in 8 hours I knew I was in for trouble. Everything set my anxiety over the edge. I couldn’t shove anything else down. I stayed up all night Friday night with a racing mind that I couldn’t shut down. I couldn’t even meditate because it made it worse to sit still as my mind wouldn’t clear. Saturday I wanted to make everything stop. I had an emergency session I scheduled with my therapist. I began telling my dad and my fiancé that I was on the verge of needing to go to the hospital. I scared them and my threefold with my erratic behavior. I couldn’t see that sleep and a break was what my body and mind were begging me for. I saw the light last Sunday. I slept some, more than normal and woke up feeling more relaxed. My unicorn as he has been tokened at work and now at home by my threefold and I, the trusted PPP had a long cathartic talk about his concern for me and I told him everything I could think of that he needed to know about my past, my trauma, struggles with addiction, grief over my mom’s death before we had a chance to heal the childhood pain she caused me, my marriage, the abuse, nearly everything that I had never admitted to anyone before. I was ready for him to tell me it was all too much, but instead he spoke with sincere faith and love, he infused me with supportive and positive energy. In that moment I fell in love with him all over again and thanked God for giving me the gift of what I can only define as true love. I vowed then and there that I would move mountains to make sure that I didn’t mess this up for my threefold or I.

I still didn’t sleep Sunday as I prepped for the first day of school. I was still scattered and unfocused. I wanted to be better and began figuring how I was going to make my words match my actions as I know too well that your intentions have to be both heard but and seen in order for change to take hold. I decided to work through what I needed to do in order to make my struggles feel less like they were controlling my life. Something clicked as I finally began to see that my need to feel in control of every single thing was in fact making me lose control over the things in my life that I could control.

My breakthrough made me set boundaries that had been needed to be in place for a long time, but my fear and my own insecurities were had been keeping me from setting those boundaries and enforcing them. It was past time I did what was best for my threefold and I, as well as our new family unit. I restored my strength and realigned my focus as I began to reflect on what I could do right now to make all of us feel safe and instill confidence as we faced the beginning of a new chapter in our story.

Breakthroughs and Boundaries:

  • Focus on each day as it comes with emphasis on where we are headed instead of where we have been.
  • Set myself and my family up for success by establishing routine and a schedule for our day to day lives.
  • Accept that I need help to care for my threefold and ask for it when needed. When received acknowledge it and show gratitude for the support received.
  • Meet people where they are as much as possible, being more understanding of their own struggles and the frustrations those struggles bring. Give those around me the allowances I give myself while recognizing those that may take advantage of the good nature of that goal.
  • Validate my threefold in their feelings and offer solutions that are action based in a compassionate manner.
  • Let go of things I cannot change and focus on the behaviors and actionable steps I can take to improve my situation in this moment.
  • Manage priorities and make lists to gain perspective on what I need to do each day. Have a list for home that is separate from work. This will allow not only me to notate what I need to accomplish, but also show that I am accomplishing things throughout the day, remind me to focus on what I can do now, serve as a way to put the thought on paper so I do not forget it when I can work on it, allow me to focus fully on each task and redirect my focus when I feel scattered. If the thought is out of my head it will lower my anxiety by knowing that I have notated it which means I will get to it. This lowers overwhelm of trying to remember everything and be more able to refocus when distracted.
  • React differently and from a place of thoughtful consideration.
  • Listen and hear what others say when speaking to me. Soak in the words and allow them the full opportunity to speak before formulating my response.
  • Give myself grace during this time to fail, fall and be flexible with my methods.
  • Reassess and reevaluate how I can do things as I see something may not be working.
  • Proactive planning will be my priority as I look to manage my time. I can set limits and timers on the amount of energy I need to give to any task.
  • Set aside a chunk of time for myself to rest, relax, and recharge each day.
  • Communicate openly and honestly with my family at home and at work about anything I speak about.
  • Accept myself with intentions to change anything I don’t accept.
  • Be grateful for everything good in our lives and realize that anything else is teaching me how to be a stronger and better person.
  • I am doing my best each day. I’m doing so I am giving 100% to everyone and everything that I can that day. Understanding that my best some days will be higher or lower on the scale depending on what I feel. I am never going to be or maintain perfection and no one expects more from me than I expect of myself.
  • I am safe, secure, supported and loved every second of everyday. I am healing and progressing.
  • Boundaries are important for us all to feel comfortable. Establishing boundaries and maintaining them makes others see that I prioritize yourself and therefore they should respect those boundaries as they are how I feel most secure right now.
  • It is my job as a mother to set boundaries for my threefold as they cannot be expected to have to set and maintain them if it concerns their health, safety, or to protect them from being hurt or hurting others.
  • Everything is coming together to show us the purpose and plan for our journey. All we can do is have faith and know that everything happens for a bigger purpose.
Ask. Accept. Acknowledge. Vlog #1 8-13-21