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#100HAPPYDAYS Challenge

My last post was about finding a way to reconnect with my inner joy and center myself. I have worked for well over a year to “find what makes ME happy.” I’ve been on a journey to find myself. I have been allowing too many outside factors in my head and it was affecting my energy in a very negative way. I have a big issue with overthinking everything and allowing my anxiety to totally run my life and stress has fueled my motivation. I needed a reset ASAP or I was going to end up burning out, drained, and depressed. I was determined to see my way back to my happy place and find my way through what has been {in my humble opinion} the most difficult year in my life amongst a hard decade. Nearly two years ago, I had found myself a miserable, empty, emotionally wounded, and self-deprecating person who had lost all confidence, security, and had become merely a shell of a person. I was 35 years old and having a crisis of identity, purpose, and had become miserable with myself and with my life.

I remember clearly New Years Eve 2019, I decided it was time for change. I needed BIG change. I had to find something else. I wasn’t going to make a 15lb weight loss goal or promise to cook more I needed something so much more. It took me months of journaling and searching in the bottom of a bottle far too often for what my problem was. I didn’t know where to start, so I wrote, and wrote some more. I had entries that were sober and some that were not, but regardless they all had one theme. “I don’t know where this journey will take me, but I do know it’s the only way.” My first major discovery was that NO ONE was responsible for making me happy. I was. I wasn’t happy and it was up to me to fix it though I had no clue what that looked like or where to begin.

I changed jobs as I knew I was unhappy where I was. I remember how I sat in the parking lot daily at my job and had anxiety to walk through the doors. I was late everyday not because I wasn’t there on time but because I had to mentally prepare myself for going to a job I hated with people that I figured hated me too. I got a chance email with a recruitment for a National company that was local and I wondered what it was. I hadn’t heard of it before but I did some research and took the phone interview. It was like talking to a friend. I met with the manager later that week and after two hours I had a job offer. I thought about it for days. A pay cut. Was it worth it? I decided to make my first leap of faith. II figured I could be paid more and be miserable or I could get paid less and maybe do something that would make me feel more at peace. I am so glad I took that jump. I never knew how satisfied I could be with a job other than maybe a drink in hand on a beach doing exactly this, writing. {Still a goal and I WILL achieve it.}

I took that leap and then slowly saw some pieces I hadn’t seen in years. Yep I was going to find myself. My happy. Life threw the curveballs and I started contemplating what I wanted in my life and where I was headed. Who I wanted in my life and whether I could be happy if this was what changed. I came to the conclusion that Summer of 2020, in May, that I wasn’t just unhappy at work that home was the most important piece of what was making me unhappy. After fact checking, soul searching, fighting endlessly as I began to start standing up for myself and my threefold again. I decided the fight needed to be done. I should’ve left years before, but my own insecurities and fears, coupled with life circumstances and my distorted sense of self and my marriage along with who I had married and my beliefs had kept me in a loveless, disconnected, toxic, and abusive marriage for too many years too long. My threefold were my only successes in that marriage and their unhappiness and own discontent were becoming clearer with each day. I left. With nothing. I walked away looking for myself and my happiness was not ever going to be found in the confines of the prison I had been willingly residing within.

That job I mentioned…it didn’t just lead me to a happier work life. It is where I met the man who would literally turn my world upside down and inside out and totally stir up the life in me I hadn’t forgotten was an option. That job gave me my unicorn the PPP {perky positivity peddler}. My ‘E’, the love of my life. As I said before no one can make you happy except yourself. That’s still true. No one can fix you, except you. I was broken, anxiety ridden, scared, codependent and still overwhelmingly radiating toxic negativity. ‘E’ for whatever reason {my ass in those jeans} decided to see past the shattered me and began “showing” me that not all men are the same. I was waiting for him to be another reason I didn’t trust men. A narcissist taking easy prey. I was waiting for the other shoe to drop and all the red flags to start flying. I couldn’t figure it out. {seriously dude what’s your damage everyone has some.} I couldn’t find it. He had a daughter who adored him and who he treated like his most prized possession. A good relationship with his ex wife and he coparent Ed. He had a job, he didn’t excessively spend money, he didn’t have drug addiction, a record, domestic violence, CPS cases or anything. He worked hard. He had an amazing attitude and his energy was contagious for me. He was charismatic and funny. Sexy {that ass though!} He was kind and loving, affectionate and communicative. This all scared me to death. In my experience too good to be true was exactly that, untrue. It was moving on too fast. I fell in love and he made me feel like I was the only woman in the universe. He has shown me with actions and words that he isn’t running though I’ve given him nearly every reason and so many opportunities to leave. Yet still he is here, loving me. He helped me see things differently and helped me find motivation to continue to heal. I am so grateful for ‘E’.

I felt as if I was getting better but every time that life smacked me in the face with an issue I would slide back into old habits. I have had the rollercoaster I never wanted to ride this year. Ups and downs, twists and turns, and I’ve been thrown from a loop more times that I could count. From divorce, to hospitalization of two {my middle daughter of my threefold}, through diagnoses and therapy, and more stress and struggle than I’ve ever endured. I honestly got whiplash from everything. Throughout this year I’ve still worked on myself and tried to find the pieces of the broken identity that were lost and stolen from me over the years.

I’ve done pretty amazing. {in my opinion} I’ve had my days {honestly though that’s totally normal} but they were more like moments where I strayed from my positivity push. I’ve allowed those moments to come and I acknowledged what was happening then hit that reset button. My mindset has been very present and I’ve been living my life with gratitude. I’ve always been grateful, but I’ve never acknowledged all I have to be grateful for. Honestly, even in the hardest of times I found the things that were good. I knew even if I didn’t want to acknowledge them at the moment and I wanted to sit on my own pity potty that there was more good than bad. For the first time in my life I saw that those two things coincided, good and bad. This was just life, and perspective would be key.

This month I wanted to be more mindful of my good and not relinquish so much energy to the bad. My gratitude mindset started by beginning a “Gratitude Journal”. Everyday since 11-01 {two weeks since my last blog post} I’ve sat down nightly and written in this journal {which is just a cute composition book I picked up from Target} and used my own format. It’s simple actually.

  • Each entry is dated
  • I begin each entry with “Today I am Grateful For:” and list what I am most thankful for that day.
  • Then I have “My Highlights For Today” and list the best parts of my day.
  • A small notation on if I met my goals for that day.
  • Something I am looking forward to about tomorrow.
  • How can I improve?
  • Then I finish out with “My Goals For Tomorrow” that has a list of things I want to accomplish or be the next day.

It’s easy peasy and very straightforward. Each day is about a page worth of writing. Nothing too elaborate. Then yesterday while I was on my first private outing with ‘E’ that we’ve been able to have in months I came across a little book. It caught my eye with its bright yellow cover and cute font. The title said “Can You Be Happy For 100 Days?” I picked it up intrigued. At $2.99 at a bargain store I decided what could it hurt? I read the intro. Then I changed the title to “Choose to be Happy for 100 days?” and today will be day #1 on the #100HappyDays Challenge.

It’s fairly simple, pick one thing. It can be from the book or your own imagination, that makes you happy and do it. Everyone and anyone can find one thing that they enjoy and that brings them happiness each day to do. Then you simply document it by taking a picture and maybe giving a short description. That’s as easy as it gets, but I’m sure it’ll be harder than it sounds. The goal is to find things that can make you happier and be more mindful of the everyday opportunities to be happy that we miss. It’s worth a shot. So now I challenge everyone to join me in that quest. Let’s see if we can bring more happiness to ourselves and others. Take advantage of those daily opportunities and simply appreciate them. Here we go! Follow my #100dayshappy challenge on my Facebook page and share your journey with me too! Here’s to our happily ever after! ☮️❤️😊~M

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Changing with Purpose!

I refuse to be the mom who pretends to have it all together or that I live in some manufactured, manicured make believe world where bad things don’t happen and the f word doesn’t fly out when I’m frustrated or just because life. I can still be a person who has faith and have a mouth that makes even grown men look at me in shock. I can be short and be a stick of dynamite. I’m still be a good mother, a positive influence, an advocate, and a decent human being. I may not fit into the box labeled “perfect” but show me who does? I’m proud of how far I’ve come and yes even where I’ve been. My life isn’t sparkle and shine, but ya know what it is imperfectly mine!

In order to know how far I’ve come you would have to have known me before, in the Bible B.D. stands before death, in the book of M, it shall stand for before divorce or A.D. after divorce. Don’t hate because I create! 😉 So the me, B.D., was quick to shut down and shut up. I didn’t fight or fuss much. I stayed in my lane. I was a people pleasing, egg shell walking, cowering, shell of a person who didn’t stand for or stand up for anyone or anything. I was cynical, a pessimist, and cold. I would turn off my emotions and let them stay hidden in the darkness. I only would allow them to show if I had taken all I could and could no longer keep them from over flowing. I used to pride myself on the fact that “he who shall not be named” and I only fought a few times a year. Well to be honest I just didn’t fight back. I bit my tongue a million times, I kept my thoughts and opinions to myself and I avoided conflict. When I fought back, I was always in the wrong, never felt how I felt, there were no attempts to see my view of things.m and my perspective was dismissed as inaccurate. Somehow and some way he always had a way of making me feel like I was in the wrong and that if I could just do x then things would be better. This caused me to second guess myself, my feelings, my views, and my beliefs. He was persuasive, in a manipulative and maniacal way, but why change when it worked so well. I retreated into resentment and allowed it to brew a concoction of contempt, hate, fear and anxiety in me. I was in chronic depression and my anxiety was front and center. I slept to escape. I don’t know how I feel about what I am about to state ashamed mostly. I would sleep to escape reality. In order to achieve that sleep and reduce anxiety I medicated. I was prescribed a medication for anxiety and it definitely worked, too well. Every outing, gathering, event, or interaction involved a small dose of medication, usually half, a full dose was reserved for true panic and if I wanted to sleep the sadness away. I didn’t run out early and I’ve always been pretty conservative with medication dosage and how much I needed to function, but I definitely began relying on it in small bits each day. Even small inconveniences made me anxious and fearful of the response or reaction so having something that numbed it all made life easier. I wasn’t being the mom I wanted to be anymore. When my threefold were young I was “room mom”, I volunteered, I took them to and picked them up every day from school. I coached teams, I watched classes, I went to church, and participated in mommy groups. I was an active participant in their day to day lives. Around 2015 I got complacent, cold, distant and my anxiety shot through the roof. I knew my marriage was over but I was scared to let go and fail, not for him or I but for my threefold. I couldn’t see the pain they were enduring with me or that we were all trapped in a toxic cycle of a life with abuse. I thought a family was better than a single mom. I tried. I worked, hard. I made sure we had everything we needed. I stayed consistent in that, but became closed off after work and even on days off. I stopped being their mom and became the person in her room who slept and only ventured out to fix dinner or run an errand. The guilt of being so unhappy hung over me. I couldn’t be near him without radiating negativity and pure anger. I was done and began to detach long before I ever built the courage to actually say the words.

A.D. I’m still working through a lot of issues and behaviors that are ingrained from the 15 years B.D. I can see now how far I’ve come and how much I’ve grown as a person. I’m quick now to stand up for my threefold. I’m involved (sometimes too involved) in the lives of my threefold. I’m vocal about the amazing things they do that make me proud. We are growing together and healing together. We are working on our relationships with each other, our communication, establishing boundaries and learning to move forward. I don’t just preach positivity, I also try to live and speak more positively. I’m present. I’m listening. I’m advocating. I’m supporting. I’m cheering them on and letting them know I am always going to be in their corner. I’m in a healthy relationship and have learned what the difference is between healthy love and toxic love. We fight. Often. I’m not scared that every fight is going to end with a threat of the end. I feel safe, heard, appreciated and seen. I’m happy and hopeful. I’m not degraded or dismissed. I find my words fall on ears that are eager to hear my thoughts. I laugh and play. I find myself having more fun than I have had in a long time. I stopped my anxiety medication that numbed the feelings. It wasn’t difficult it was a crutch not a true addiction thankfully. It was like closing a door that had only been opened for me to feel protected and hide behind. It was past time to close that door and start feeling my feelings in real time. I take an antidepressant daily, add medication, and a non-narcotic anxiety med that is actually a beta blocker in emergency panic inducing situations though I rarely need that nowadays. I’m in therapy. I am continuing to discover myself and I’m trying to be the best version of myself for me, for my threefold and my partner.

I have the journal I started 18 months ago and on the first page I wrote this entry:

“So I sit pondering all the choices I’ve made along the way. The good, the bad, the ugly of it all. I wonder how I could’ve changed the course a million times. I could’ve made so many different decisions that would’ve affected my life drastically. As I write tonight and hope for some instant gratification, some complete satisfaction, some security, some validation. I realize it’s always been my choice. I choose everyday, all day, think and overthink every action, every conversation, every interaction. I’m tired. I’m tired of being drained. I’m tired of fighting. I’m tired of myself. I’m making a choice right now. I am going to put me in me again. No one can be held responsible for making me happy. Only I can do that. Only I can make the decision to be happy. Whatever that looks like. That’s the road I’m choosing. This time I’m choosing that I deserve to be happy. I’m not sure where this road will lead or what choices I will make to get there. I just know I’m done being miserable. I just know I deserve to be me, to be happy. ~M”

I’ve beat myself down and allowed others opinions or judgments rule my life for too long. It’s past time I be the flawed, real, unique me AND appreciate it! This year has shown me so many things and taught me more lessons about life, love, parenting and happiness than any year I can I recall. I’m better because I’ve been through hell and have fought for every ounce of the happiness I have found. My world is what I want it to be. It’s all here, just waiting for me to ask for, accept and acknowledge it. I welcome the blessings that are in store and feel I am better able to receive those blessings and am more grateful for every single one regardless of its contents. I am happy, not every second of every day, but the good in my life outweighs the bad by far. I’m proud of the A.D. me and even though this journey is far from short, sweet or to the point, it’s one that I will find is worth every mountain and valley I may stumble upon and every twist and turn of my path. I will find my way forward. I’m not broken, I’m healing and all the pieces of me are lying out there and it’s up to me to decide which ones are worth bringing with me and which need to stay a part of the B.D. me. The person from 18 months ago would be amazed at my dedication and follow through, because though I wanted it back then I didn’t have a clue that I could have it or that it was inside of myself all along. I’m not perfect and I’m never going to be. I’m learning to love myself and my life where it is right now while still continuing to work and reach for my goals. I am finding magic in the mundane, motivation in the monotony, and miracles in moments. I’ve changed, I am changing, and I am doing it with purpose! ☮️❤️😊~M

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Our Mental Illness Saga

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I remember this saying and it is oh so true. Counseling Today states that a child is twice as likely to develop a severe mental illness if their parent has a severe mental illness. My threefold and I did not win the genetic lottery by any means. We have all the illnesses and sometimes the list gets excessive and explaining them to others is exhausting!

Personally I struggle with major depressive disorder, general anxiety disorder, attention deficit disorder, and complex post traumatic stress disorder. If that isn’t enough for one person, then imagine a 17 year old (1) with the same disorders. Better yet imagine a 13 year old (2) that has all of these plus disruptive mood disregulation disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, social anxiety, and manic episodes. Although we are pretty sure the mania, major depression and ADHD will eventually morph into one diagnosis of bipolar II sooner or later. At least that’s what the doctors tell me. We have a combined total of 5 psychiatric hospitalizations to date. 4 of which were for my middle daughter (2) and 1 for myself. I am by no means a qualified mental health professional, but from personal experience and experience with my threefold I have highly educated myself on mental illness and all of our very complex diagnoses.

With me personally I know I have to be careful with my stress level, my medication, communication, conflict, sleep and a billion other things. As an adult I am very aware of my triggers. Though my C-PTSD can be uncovered as I am working through my trauma. Sometimes though I’m just in the wrong state of mind that I will intentionally put myself into a triggering situation. I guess my thought is to face the fear or I am looking for a reason to fight. I need it. That’s such a crappy thing to admit, but it’s true. Sometimes I need to scream at someone so I will do whatever it takes to make it happen. I get all “bish, I wish you would, I’ll burn your mother loving clothes!” Real talk. Maybe I’m alone in that sometimes I just need to let it all out, no filter, but with all the apologies afterwards. I need to have someone reel me back in and make me see that my disorders are on the fritz. Other times I’m honestly triggered and it comes at the worst times. I get highly emotional when I’m frustrated and can’t see my way to a solution. I close off. I shut down and sometimes it takes a shit ton of love to knock these walls down that I build. I shake and want to run in confrontation and my voice cracks. My easy confidence I am usually carrying bolts and sometimes I bolt with it. That’s all the C-PTSD and anxiety. I ignore problems and hope for the best. That works, at times, other times it’s stored in my bomb kit waiting for me to push the “blow up shit” button.

My depression is managed with medication mostly. I am thankful for that. It’s been a while since I’ve had a major depressive episode and wow those are not pretty. They look like calling in days upon days or finding an “excuse” to go home. They consist of days without showering and numbing out the pain with sleep; an excessive amount more than what is required. Closed doors, dark rooms, what I eat is in bed and there isn’t much that will move me out of it. Those episodes make me look like a bad parent, because in those moments I don’t care. God, I hate to admit that, but the only thing I want is peace and I can’t find it. I can be totally honest that I have been known to try to find it in the bottom of a bottle. That’s not recommended because it will give you an escape but it leads right back to where you started. It’s not there, I’ve looked in several at different times in my life. I’ve questioned my purpose, my place and tested my will to live on more than one occasion. That’s not normal. If you know how you would…if you did…and seriously contemplate doing it. GET. HELP. Suicide is no joke and it is not a temporary fix for your current pain. No matter how bad it gets! I mean that with all of my soul. The only thing that has kept me alive in those darkest of times was the thought of my children wondering what they did wrong or my family questioning how they could’ve prevented it. Nothing is permanent. Not your feelings. Not your situation. Not your circumstances. I say that from a place of love, because I know all too well the depths depression drags you to when you’re in the dark place. Its hard. I promise it will get better. You hold the cards, play the hand you’ve got and then get a new deal, that’s all we can do. It’s a carousel and it never stops spinning. We can’t be ashamed to speak up and tell the people around us what it looks like when we are in the dark place. That’s how we get help. That’s when we need help.

Having mental illness is one thing parenting mental illness while coping with your own mental illness is another. I can’t say what it is like for those that don’t have mental illness, I’m not sure, but I imagine it is still difficult to parent. My threefold has their own unique triggers and mental illness presents differently in everyone. Just because my kid that has 8 diagnoses, or the one who has 4 diagnoses acts a certain way does not mean their symptoms, triggers, or treatments will be similar to mine or anyone else’s. Sure, we’ll have some similarities, but there is no cookie cutter medicine or therapy that works for everyone. It’s honestly all trial and error. I never thought that any of us had mood disorders. Turns out we all do! What I believed to be “mild” depression was actually major depressive disorder or MDD. MDD is in fact a mood disorder. I never knew that until I researched it and began digging into the disease after I was told that by my psychiatrist, then 1 and 2’s psychiatrist also said it. I thought depression was depression and I had that “run of the mill” typical blah, yuck depression and have had it since I was 14. Who thinks that’s normal? Me. I thought it was a phase or situational for 1, and she “managed” on her own fairly well. I thought 2 would grow out of it, or that she just had severe ADHD and depression- not “mood swings” or hypomanic and depressive episodes. What’s that? I thought 2 was the only person suffering with attention issues, nope turns out that MANY people get attention issues accompanied by major anxiety as added perks of C-PTSD. We are ALL very different but we ended up very much the same.

Mental health has so much to do with how much you truly want to get better. It has more to do with perspective and willingness to commit to your betterment. Medication IS a commitment. Therapy IS a commitment. Working on yourself IS a commitment. It’s costly of time, sweat, money, tears, and sometimes you take two steps forward to go ten steps back. It’s perseverance as much as anything else. My therapist poses a pertinent question. “How is _______ serving me?” How does my anxiety serve me? How does depression serve me? What benefits do I get? It’s really a deep question. How does it serve me? I benefit by feeling I can use it as a reason to not want to do something or to get out of commitments occasionally. An excuse for bad behavior or acting irrationally. To guilt someone to do something I don’t want to do or feel I can’t do. To receive sympathy or attention when I don’t feel like I’m getting what I need. It can become very toxic and definitely come off as disregarding of others and that it’s always about me. However, I am aware that other people have feelings and cannot constantly allow myself to be controlled by my mental disorders. It’s a different power to take ownership of your own behaviors and not constantly say “I’m sorry I flipped out on you I have _______ and it triggered a bad reaction.” No. This is more accurate: “I said it, I didn’t mean it, I’m aware that I probably hurt your feelings please forgive me. I will work on it.” I have to take ownership for what I am doing and quit allowing myself to give the power over to mental illness.

I think I am able to better parent and be more understanding about mental illness because at 14/15/16 I was a “cutter”. I have MDD so I know what to look for and although I blinded myself for years to the reality of it I now can see clearly. I can pinpoint the onset of a depressive episode for any of us now. My threefold talks to me and is open with me about their struggles, their triggers and their warning signs which is helpful. I still get irritated when we can’t participate in certain things, but I know and have an understanding that C-PTSD and their own severe anxiety are better left at bay when they’re not pushed too far past their comfort zone. I know now that mania is not a “good” day. It’s being egotistical, self centered, hyper focused for small bits of time, starting but never finishing, having grandiose sense of self and abilities, and acting incredibly impulsively. There are so many more signs of these disorders, but the list would just go on and on. You’re strong. Remember tomorrow is fresh with no mistakes in it yet! ☮️❤️🙂

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July Journey: Recap & Reflect

June 30th I set out to do a journey to positivity for the month of July. I didn’t know starting out that this month was going to to be the emotional roller coaster it has been for my family and I. All in all, in the midst of some really tumultuous times in my personal life I feel I was successful. Was everyday a ride on the “F-yeah Freight Train”, absolutely not. I didn’t manage to be rainbows, unicorns, sunshine and sparkling smiles everyday. I was never expecting a perfect journey, I just wanted to prove that I could have more good days than bad days. Some days were both. I would do really well all day, and then by that evening the exhaustion, frustration, tension and anxiety would set in and leave me irritated and impatient. I realized I am not very good at time management. Anyone who knows me is probably going “well I could’ve told you that.” I am chronically late for work. Even if I get up at 6:00am I somehow can’t seem to hit the mark when it comes to hitting that 8:00-9:00am start time. Granted, this month has been more challenging with having to keep up with calls from nurses, therapists, insurance, case managers and doctors. If I am honest I know that I am late most days regardless of the circumstances because my morning motivation doesn’t match my well-meaning intentions. I love my job, so it’s definitely a character flaw and not a situational issue. I am late to just about everything. Surprisingly I have only had to get a call one time for picking up a kid late this past school year. Then again I had one in school for 4 months in person. Anyways, my point is that I throw myself into something and if I’m interested I become hyper-focused and completely lose track of time. I forget anything else that is of importance. It’s amazing in some situations and quite hindering in others. I’ve allowed my journey to be more positive get in the way of being present with the people I love.

I am proud that most days this month I not only found more to be thankful for, but made a conscious effort to not allow things that would typically set me off on a spin of anxiety and negativity, to not affect my day, my attitude, or my thoughts. With this I was able to better give almost every situation a positive twist. I actually found myself a few times not even trying to readjust my viewpoint, I was already there without effort. I’m only human, so there were some days or moments where I let circumstances get the better of me. I did have a quicker rebound to positivity in most cases. There were times that I let the negativity take over and bleed into everything and everyone in close proximity. I can’t pretend that my anxiety disorder, add, C-PTSD, and depression don’t play a role just because I decided to be more in mindful of my attitude. Mental illness isn’t a choice as much as I wish it was. Trauma has lasting effects and I am still uncovering my damage. As I peel back the layers of that onion I am bound to find triggers and essentially reopening old wounds. Sometimes healing isn’t as pretty as it sounds.

There are goals I met with little effort. Others I struggled with but I reached them. While others I failed at miserably. I continued therapy and even switched to a new therapist who is better suited to help me with C-PTSD and healing my trauma. She is also more my style and speed. So far things look good. In addition to that goal I began attending a processing group for trauma and anxiety. It was really helpful. I made time most everyday to meditate, write, and do positive affirmations almost everyday. If I didn’t do one I did the other two everyday.

I found myself meditating at least twice a day just to release the tension that builds up through out the day and soothe some of my anxiety. I found an amazing app that I love for meditation called “Primed Mind”. I’ve tried “Calm” and “Headspace”, but they never really stuck. I couldn’t ever seem to quiet my thoughts in those. Primed zones me out and offers SEVERAL focus areas for the meditation. I only found it because I stumbled across it on YouTube looking for new approaches to calm anxiety. I remember I did it in my car the first time in my driveway. My neck and shoulder felt like they were seized up with all the tension and a vise grip was locking it in place. I couldn’t get it to release. I did the “Relaxation Hypnosis” and after 15 minutes I was stunned that my shoulder had nearly completely relaxed. I was hooked right then. Once I learned they had an app I downloaded it immediately. I have an 11 day streak and nearly 400 minutes of meditation time on my tracker. I’m pretty proud of that!

I threw myself into this and kind of just went for it. I didn’t have any clear direction or discipline. It’s been a hard month for us. Overall, even with the circumstances that have surrounded 2’s hospitalizations , I think I was meant to focus on my mindset. That focus on staying positive has helped me get through a month where previously I would’ve been more likely to allow my own mental illness take the wheel. It hasn’t been easy and it has taken a conscious effort to take each day, and sometimes each moment as it comes. I fully plan to keep some of the habits I have established. Meditation for my sanity with “Primed Mind” and to keep the anxiety along with my stress at bay as much as possible. Manifesting and journaling will continue to be in my routine. Positive affirmations also have helped me to counteract my negative self talk.

So where did I fail? I get bored so if I’m not interested, I’m not listening to it or reading it. My time management lacked luster to say the least. I was late consistently. I spent more time than necessary trying to fix my mood myself instead of spending time with people. I didn’t stick to a bedtime routine, I was up super late per usual most nights. I didn’t make the budget. I never finished my vision board. I didn’t do something nice for myself or have a girl’s day. I also had several days, probably seven or eight where I just decided to to let the negativity win and I didn’t feel I had the strength to fight it. Especially right after 2 went to treatment.

Now I look to August. I have big goals for August. Lots of goals. They won’t be centered on myself though. I am ready for new challenges and really excited for the month ahead. I know good things are coming our way. I know that I am changing, healing and growing and I am proud of that. I am ready for this journey to be more fun and less stress! After all, we only have one life to live, it’s time to make it count! ☮️❤️🙂

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I Couldn’t Find the Words…

Photographer- 2 Words-Me

My week started off on a not so great foot, but come Monday it was changing. I had been praying, crying, begging, and trying to manifest a way to make sure all the bills were paid and that 2 would be able to receive all the care she needed regardless of the cost. I didn’t know how to come up with the money, but the money had to be found regardless because there was no amount of money that was going to stop me from getting 2 the help she needed. I just needed to figure out how.

Monday came and I received a phone call from my corporate office. I obviously had informed my manager of everything that had been happening with 2 over the past couple of months. I had several days I wasn’t able to work because I was coordinating her care, going to appointments, admitting, discharging, admitting again, therapy, an extreme amount of phone calls, and just had a very erratic schedule. My manager has been more than accommodating and for this I am beyond grateful. Corporate called and they informed me that they were donating $2000.00 to help with our expenses. I was in tears and couldn’t believe the generosity of these strangers. I was at a loss for all words. I didn’t even know what to say or how I could ever express how grateful I was to have their help and support. I didn’t even know, nor had I heard of the person who called and was on the other end of this amazing message. All I knew was I didn’t have to worry about how to pay for her care AND how I was going to pay our monthly bills on top of it. I hung up the phone and was shocked. Are they sure? I’m not that special and I have only been working for this company for 15 months. I was just stunned. No words. I decided since writing is my best method of communication I would compose an email to express the intense feelings of love and gratitude I had for my employer and the anonymous contributors to my threefold and I. As I wrote the email I had explained how much their gift mean to me and our family I mirrored some of the words I had said in my previous post about 2’s hospitalization. I explained that mental illness didn’t come with get well soon cards, flowers, or meal trains. That their generosity made me realize that there is still so much good in this world even when you feel like you are surrounded by the bad.

As my week moved forward I was continually surprised and blessed by people. I was using all of my energy to remain positive despite everything that was going on around me and my threefold. I couldn’t believe that money was just seemingly showing up for me. I walked into work Tuesday and had one of my regular customers approach me who needed me to make some adjustments to a project I had referred to him to take on. When he went to leave he gave me the paperwork and told me thank you for always taking care of him. I went to my desk and fumbled through the paperwork and found a $50 bill. I called him and told him I thought he had accidentally left it in the paperwork and that I would put it in an envelope for him to pick up with my manager. He immediately protested explaining he had intentionally put it there for me as a thank you. Then Wednesday I received a phone call from a county out of state. I was confused as to why this clerk’s office was contacting me. I had never lived in that county and had visited there in over a year. They explained that due to some property I own in the county, an inheritance from my grandfather, I had a check they had been trying to get me for an overpayment of the property taxes. They no longer had a good address for me and had been trying to reach me to get the correct one. Then Thursday came and I received another $20 from a customer who wanted to buy me lunch because he thought I was awesome and appreciated my help throughout the months. I couldn’t believe how much I was given this week by random people some who didn’t even know what I was struggling with. I was so grateful.

At dinner Thursday night with the PPP and 1 I told them about how I had prayed and begged and pleaded and was trying to manifest money in our lives so that we didn’t have the weight of that worry on us among all the other we had in our lives right now. I told them how I was meditating each morning again, practicing my self affirmations, working on being positive and practicing meditation techniques. This week had been an amazing week regardless of everything going on with 2 and our family we were still allowed to have good attitudes and work towards being our best selves for when 2 got home. I told them about everything and said if we just look for the good it happens.

Shortly after dinner I received a call from my threefold’s father. He called to inform me and my threefold that his grandmother was going to be passing away. 1 had not had the opportunity to say goodbye and wanted to do so. We decided at midnight to drive the hour and a half out of town to say our goodbyes. We arrived and had some tearful last moments as a family and then we drove home. Realizing it was now 4:30am and I needed to be getting up for work at 6:00am I decided I shouldn’t go to sleep. After getting very minimal sleep the previous day I knew when I went to bed it would need to be for a long while. I wasn’t going to wake up after no sleep and if I did I would probably be cranky and beyond exhausted regardless. I needed to tough it out.

I went into work and tried to just do what I needed to do without thinking about the tired. My brother texted me, he works for the same company in a different state. He texted me to tell me I was #1 in sales for the week within the entire company. I was so excited. That was an extra bit of motivation I needed to keep me going through the day. I had been in the top ten several times but seemed to have near missed the elusive and coveted #1 spot. I was stoked. I had a meeting with my district regarding goals and expectations for the next month. He prayed for me, which was admittedly awkward as I don’t pray publicly or often. I however, do believe in the power of it, more than ever right now. As we finished our meeting and he went to meet with other members of the team he handed me and envelope and asked me if I would put it in my vehicle. I of course agreed and asked what it was and he responded with the same sentence and said I could open it.

I arrived to my vehicle and upon opening it I found a card. The card had a hand written note that said that I was brought to the company for a reason and that I was right about mental illness not having the same support as other illnesses, but today it would. It was signed anonymously with just the name of the company I worked for. Upon further inspection I found 22 gift cards to various restaurants and Walmart along with some loose cash. I was shocked. It is over $700 in gift cards and cash combined. They just keep surprising me. I was so incredibly humbled by their outpouring of love and support I sat in my vehicle crying as I called 1 to tell them about the newest gift we had received. I had again lost my words.

Just some of the giving that happened. These aren’t even all of them!

The point of this story isn’t to say my work family is better than yours, however true it may be, but to show that good things are happening all the time. I don’t have to be in fear of losing my job because of everything going on in my personal life. That was the first blessing was that I wasn’t living in fear of if I would reprimanded for taking care of 2, instead of having all of my focus on work. I was so grateful for that alone. Then the additional emergency paid time off I received to help supplement my loss of time and to offset the potential loss of income. Then the $2000 gift to help pay for our expenses. Then all the other blessings I received this week. Then this. And as I write this today I received yet another card in the mail from a colleague expressing their support during this time. I am beyond grateful for the work family I have and for the outpouring of support for 2, my threefold, the PPP and I during this time. I will never have all of the words but I know that the card was right I was meant to be exactly where I am right now.

Photograph by 2. Words by me.