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Saving my Sanity

I don’t know how I’ve survived the past 17 years of being a parent to three girls, my threefold. How have I managed to only have been in a psych ward that one time? {that had nothing to do with my kids, it was all my lovely mental illness making itself known} I’m not sure why it took me this long to find my sanity saving secrets. I wanted to share though, in case anyone else has found themselves losing their patience, becoming the snappy, irritable, on edge momster, or needed a sanity saving technique.

Thankfully I have a great medication regimen right now that is my real saving Grace, but not everyone requires medication. Everyone does require self care and some type of sanity saving solutions to manage stress. Stress, anxiety, overwhelm, burnout and worry are all part of life. Everyone experiences it, but if there is a way to manage it without having a meltdown, blowout fights, emotional breakdown or pulling out your hair then I’m down to give it a go. I’ll try anything twice, just in case the first time was a fluke or flounder.

When I can’t get out of a funk and nothing else is working I have found some helpful sanity savers that make it easier for me to maintain my composure. Don’t knock it til’ ya try it type solutions. It took a while for me to find the best methods for me. I went through a shit ton of unhelpful methods before I found my sanity saving solutions. What works for you could be found in some trial and error, and it’s worth the effort. It’s self care at its core. If you tell me you don’t have time, I will laugh at you. If I can find time even with my threefold, a full time job, umpteen appointments, a relationship, a blog, and everything else in between…so can you, pumpkin.

My Sanity Saving Solutions

  • MEDITATION!
  • MANIFESTATION
  • GRATITUDE JOURNAL
  • DAILY GOALS

I meditate 2-3 times per day, sometimes more. Sounds crazy and some people say it’s nonsense, but it works! Mindfulness and meditation is proven to be helpful for people who are stressed, overwhelmed or anxious. It improves patience, focus, positivity, calms your nervous system, and relaxes you. It is even recommended for chronic pain as a form of relief. It’s my go to when I’m overly stressed or irritated. Even my threefold now will ask me if I’ve meditated. I’m just more centered and focused.

I do my manifestation journaling or ‘scripting’ usually at least once per day. My morning madness usually has at least 10-15 minutes carved into it for my daily manifestation journal. I try to do this in my evening meditation also for my broader goals and aspirations. Some days I skip this, but I’ve found setting my intentions for the day in writing really keeps them top of mind and helps guide me through overcoming any obstacles. My daily goals are reached more easily and consistently when I manifest how my day will go. I’ve had amazing success with my evening manifest sessions as well. When I went back and looked through my manifest journal from 2021 and reviewed the goals I set I could clearly see where nearly everything I manifested I received.

The gratitude journal is what gives you the ‘attitude of gratitude’ it’s a cheesy saying, but it fits the bill. I’m rolling with it. You can’t be grateful and negative simultaneously. It’s impossible to be thankful for your blessings and be in a bad mood. This is why the gratitude journal is at the heart of my routine and is what forms the base of meditation as well as manifestation.

I use my gratitude journal to remind me of everything I have to be grateful for. I can usually consistently spout out about fifteen or so reasons I’m grateful each day. Some are simple, like caffeine. Others are more complex concepts, for example, my capabilities. I have noticed a shift in my mood when I am showing gratitude and when I write down what I’m grateful for not just have these occur in passing thoughts. It’s an intentional show of gratitude.

I make a list every night of the goals I want to accomplish the next day. They have three main focus areas: mood/attitude, work, and family. Those can be different for everyone. The intentional goals I set out to achieve each day are the action items that I am able to do each day to reach my larger goals for the month and year. It’s about the long game, but it is done in the steps taken each day. Most large goals won’t be achieved in just a few days, so that’s why I break them up into mini-goals that are attainable and show my progress. My progress is what builds my confidence. Every day isn’t perfect, but I am capable of achieving these mini-goals. When they are achieved it’s a confidence booster. When they aren’t I can still move to the next day knowing it was only one day. Setbacks are normal and don’t define you. Don’t let one bad day decide that you are not going to achieve the big goals.

Some people say this is all crap, hokey and don’t believe in having an attitude of gratitude, manifestation or meditation. I do. I believe it because it has worked for me. It has changed my mindset. I am much more positive about my life. I truly believe whatever you put out into the universe you receive. If I put out positive vibes and give off positive energy, that’s what I receive. The opposite is just as true. You know that saying ‘negativity breeds negativity’ well it’s true. If you go into any situation with a negative mindset I guarantee you will find every obstacle and barrier. You will find fault. You will find the failure you’ve convinced yourself that is there waiting for you. If you go into that same situation with a positive mindset and positive intentions I guarantee you’re going to be more able to conquer those hurdles that you face and more determined to succeed because you’ve told yourself you CAN do it. That’s what manifestation is doing for you. You are setting your positive intentions and you’re telling yourself it is possible.

If you can see yourself doing it and can write it as if it’s already yours or already happening, it is then you’ve manifested. It’s the mind trick that makes you feel that positive energy. See it coming to fruition, feel the emotions of that experience, write your intentions and then go do it and prepare for that all to be done. That’s why meditation and manifestation go hand in hand. Both of these have to have a foundation of gratitude behind them to be successful.

I meditate first in order to clear my mind of the clutter and become centered. My next step is a manifestation meditation. I then write down my manifestation to solidify it. After these steps, I turn to my gratitude journal to say thank you for what I have now. I then set my goals for the next day. All in all it is more or less an hour of time that I set aside to center in on myself. To some an hour per day seems impossible, but it’s worth the time to choose you. It’s definitely customizable to you, but I feel an hour is a fair accounting though sometimes it’s longer for me and other times I spend less time than that. Most of the time the majority of that time is spent in meditation and manifestation, which typically have about 15-20 minutes tied to each. I can get carried away in the scripting part of manifestation spending a chunk of that time in this area. My gratitude and goal setting is pretty straightforward and typically take the least amount of time. On busy days, I will separate these out, so I’m not spending that hour all at once, but on days where I’m particularly out of center I will set aside the full hour and just do it. When I can set that aside I will also go full out as that’s what has the most benefit for me.

To each their own, but this routine has really impacted my life in a positive way. It’s my sanity saving solution. My threefold and ‘E’ are pretty good these days not to interrupt mommy’s me time. They have noticed the positive difference it makes in my attitude and my ability to keep my cool amongst our chaotic life. It’s an important part of my life these days and a solution I wish I had found much earlier in life. This is why I wanted to share it with everyone else! Stay positive people! We’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M

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New Year…Not so New Me

Happy New Year! I’m late I know, that’s not unusual for me though. I celebrated with the two oldest of my threefold last night, ‘E’, #1’s boyfriend joined us and so did #2’s friend, ex, somebody. It’s complicated. We had a good time. We played radio roulette, ate finger foods, did year end ultimate positives and negatives, and danced. It was fun. We watched the countdown and then we all went to our corners of the house to sleep.

This morning, noon rather, I awoke and expected some sort of relief that the year before was complete. I expected to be full of inspiration and energy. I wasn’t. I was annoyed. I laid thinking of all I had to be grateful for and still I was irritated. I did my normal go outside and wake up in the peace and quiet. Think positive thoughts and wipe the funk out of my eyes. Manifest a great day. No avail.

I checked Facebook and saw the post that I had made a few days ago was getting lots of reactions and shares. Even that didn’t help my growing irritability, the headache I was developing, the tension in my shoulders and neck, or my anxiety. I couldn’t find the root cause. Why was I so edgy?

I did my best to keep to myself as I always do when my mood goes haywire. ‘E’ has been sick so as he slept the day away I worked on my content so I would have some fresh stuff to post this week. I was trying to be productive. Then my head couldn’t take the screen or the light. #1 needed a birthday gift for a party she was attending but with this headache I wasn’t going anywhere. I put her in an Uber and sent her and her boyfriend on their way. After that, I went to bed and tried to sleep away my headache and irritation.

#2 asked to go spend the night with a friend. I haven’t spent a single night, let alone more than a few hours, away from this kid since her discharge in late August. She had a compelling argument. Then again, she always does. I was reluctant and told her I would think about it. It’s been six months since she stayed with a friend. She hasn’t even asked to go stay with anyone. I agreed. It was time to give her some deserved independence and trust. I saw her off and took #1 to her party. Back home for some chill time and some take out.

I meditated before going in and got my mood a little in check. I was trying to be ok. I wanted to feel better and just chill on a child free evening that is a rarity for me. I logged into my work portal and was happy to see 80 hours of vacation time that started today. I was glad to see the few hours I had left from last year had been rolled over, even though that’s not policy. When I clicked a button to check on my year end raise I saw that I received more than the average raise I got at the end of last year. This should have been enough to make me happy, but somehow it only added to the irritation.

My night chilling without kids didn’t last because an argument ensued between’E’ and I. My already edgy irritable demeanor roared to life with the first hint of attitude. That spark grew into anger. I was pissed. Not on edge, not upset, I was full on pissed. I stormed off not even sure where I would go. All I could think was ‘I can’t believe this is how my new year starts!’ Here I was thinking it would be a magical fresh start and a clean slate and instead it’s this.

Where did I go wrong? I rang in the new year. I meditated. I manifested. I sat in gratitude. So why was I in such a shitty mood? Why was my new year starting out on the wrong foot? It wasn’t supposed to be like this! The answer is me. I’m the reason it was so jacked up. I could say it’s because I’m bipolar or that I’m PMS’ing, or the headache, or my neck. Those could all be valid reasons. They can’t excuse my irritation and explosive reaction even if those are true.

Now here I sit reflecting on my day. My first day of a new year. On my piss poor, irritated, and ungrateful attitude. I sat and wallowed in my disappointment with the day and now that disappointment has turned inward. What the hell is wrong with me? I got a raise! I have two weeks plus some paid vacation! My daughter is taking on more independence again. My other is graduating soon. I’ve got a man who won’t budge despite how hard I push him away. I have a home. My threefold and I are safe and healthy. We have so much good in our lives, yet I can’t get out of my own way to just be grateful for it. I have to snap out of it!

I’m the only person that can control my own emotions, attitude, actions, and responses. Only me. Sometimes you just have an off day. Sometimes you can’t see the good because your eyes hurt when you look at the light. Sometimes you’re just being a bitch and need to check yourself. Sometimes we let ourselves be encompassed by a little bit of bad and refuse to let the good in. Sometimes we have to let it blow up so that we can get it together. It’s not ever going to be perfect and neither am I. I won’t allow one bad day define my year. All I can do is move forward. Have a better tomorrow. Do it differently. Be positive. We’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M

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Without Further Ado…

Hello! Today is the day I show the face behind the words, snarky comments, the tears, the laughter, and the sarcastic anecdotes. I’ve revealed so much about my life OUR life…but today I’m also revealing the real person living that life.{I’m freaking out!} I’ve spent the last year hiding this, but I don’t want to hide anymore.

I chose to hide. I had decided that I didn’t want people to see the author, mainly because I was protecting myself from scrutiny and hateful comments. I also wanted to protect my threefold. I wanted us to have a voice but I wanted the anonymity as well. Those things don’t go hand in hand. I’ve learned that the faces behind the words are important in order to form a connection, regardless of how compelling the words may be on their own. It’s overdue, but I’ve been so nervous about the haters, my threefold facing judgement, my own insecurities, and of course my ex. I didn’t realize I was allowing all of those people to have the control over what I would do or could do with my own life. I was still allowing my past mistakes and experiences to drive my future. Not anymore!

I don’t want to hide behind my words anymore. I don’t want my past to overshadow my future. My voice, my identity and my story has remained hidden for too long. I’ve lived in fear and worried about other people’s opinions of me for far too long. It’s time to truly shine a light on our story. We deserve to take back that power. We need to stand firm in our truth and in our faith for a better future. The future we create for ourselves. Let your light shine! Be Positive! We’ve Got This! ☮️❤️😊~M

The Author behind ‘My Threefold’
☮️❤️😊~M
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Break the Cycle!

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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. ❤️😘