Yes, #letstalk

Let’s talk about how crippling it can be to even think about your own mental illness, never mind talking about it with others.

Let’s talk about how even in 2017, there is still SO MUCH stigma surrounding mental illness. That there are intense feelings of shame and guilt for the sufferer.  Not to mention the judgement we might get from some people when they know or find out.

Let’s talk about how when you’re having an anxiety attack or spiralling downwards from depression that the feelings of loneliness and shame can be so possessing, almost insufferable; so in actuality: you want to ‘forget’ talking about them because you don’t even even want to be ‘living’ them.

Let’s talk about the fact that although you can be surrounded with loving family and friends — (for the most part) when you are mid attack or deep in depression, you are also feeling embarrassed, worthless, alone and genuinely unable to reach out.

For those who have never been ‘here’, it’s unimaginable, unthinkable. For example, they may even think “Oh, just get over it.”  “Can’t you see how fortunate you are, your life is?”  The truth is, deep down we are already thinking this!  I myself often feel a considerable amount of guilt for my thoughts and feelings of both depression and anxiety.  I  catch myself thinking or even speaking aloud to myself – “Why can’t I be happy, I AM lucky!”  “Why can’t I just chill out”  “I’m focussing on the worst case scenario, the odds are it WON’T even happen.”

I cannot speak for others,  but can assure you that I would love to “get over it.”  Whatever “it” is at that present moment in time (a downward spiral, an anxiety attack). However, I am also quite aware that much as I have tried, it doesn’t work that way.  Please believe me when I tell you that living in my head is not a place I enjoy being. It’s a place where I ‘sit’ on edge, in hyper-sensitive mode 24/7, where I am anxious about EVERYTHING, and likewise (self) loathing. It’s most definitely not a loving place, it’s a place of constant (self) judgement and (self) criticism, it’s a place where every thing I say and do is over analyzed. Conversations I have (or don’t) and then catastrophic thinking “oh man, did I really say that?  Do they hate me, did I talk too much?” and much, much more.  It is a lonely place, indeed.

When things are spiralling,  I don’t want to talk to anyone, see anyone, do anything, go anywhere – I want a cloak of invisibility so I can still walk my daughter to school, get errands done, etc but without having to really ‘be’ wherever I am. And all of this is for no other reason than I begin to turn inward, shut down.

So #letstalk, let’s share our struggles and our victories. Perhaps the only thing that gets me through most of my days (aside from my wonderful husband and children) is knowing that I’m not alone in this fight, that by talking we have won this battle, but only by ending the stigma, will we win the war!

Something is missing…

Two months ago today, the world lost a one-of-a-kind guy.  He spent almost his entire working career fighting fires, being brave, saving lives and he even survived the talked about but not often experienced “backdraft”
My uncle was one of the most important men in my life (aside from my own father). He taught me to fish, took me tubing, all about buttermilk pancakes and so many more wonderful things. To say that I miss him is an understatement. Truth be told, I have spent most of the last two months in denial, not really grieving; afraid to accept it, wishing and praying that God could bring him back.
Aside from my own selfish reasons, because his wife and daughter miss him fiercely. Because his only daughter married the love of her life on her parents would have been 34th wedding anniversary and even though they were only getting married this year so he could be there, it still wasn’t soon enough. Because he was fantastic with children (I speak both from personal experience and also having the privilege of witnessing it with my own) and he won’t get to hold his own grandchildren or teach them how to cast or canoe or portage or any of the things he was great at. Because he was an amazing father to his daughter, amazing husband to his wife, amazing brother, son-in-law, firefighter, uncle, friend, person…
Sorry my thought process is jumbled and this is all over the place.
I’m a fairly new Christian and so I still have a LOT to learn but have to say that this has been and still is my biggest test of faith so far.  It has caused a lot of prayer and wondering why He would take such an incredible man so soon. Why He would let someone who was so selfless not only in his work but in his day to day life get ALS and let him die at such a young age.  I mean these were supposed to be their golden years.  My aunt and uncle worked hard their whole careers so they could enjoy their retirement and now she is a widow.  It is especially unfair because their love was so special.  The love they had for one another people spend their lives wishing and praying for.  How could God do this to my aunt and to my cousin? I know they say that He always takes the good ones first and in this case that is certainly true but it doesn’t make the pain any less, most especially for my aunt and cousin.
I pray to God that my uncle is in Heaven at peace and that he knows how much he is loved and missed by all those he left behind.

One Week

Well, I did it!  I have made it through a whole week so far without my “can’t live without it” FaceBook.  I have to admit that I am a bit proud of myself (not too toot my own horn or anything) but my husband didn’t think I could last a whole day, never mind an entire week.

Today I want to write about perspective.  Some times we are so caught up in the day-to-day stresses and struggles that we forget just how blessed we are.  Over the past year it has been my goal to focus on the positives in any and every situation (no matter how grim) in hopes to change my overall perspective and be live more in the present.  There have certainly been many instances where this was rather difficult (especially in the beginning) but I must admit that over time it has become much easier to seek out the good and to really reflect on all the wonderful things that are happening, that have been happening in my life from the beginning.

It really is true that everything happens for a reason, God really does have this great and awesome plan for his children and while the less than pleasant times are happening (and feeling as if they last forever I could add) looking back, all of the crappy times I went through, brought me to this very moment and I wouldn’t change a bit of it!

Take, for instance; my moving from the city to a small town in the middle of grade 11.  It was certainly one of the more difficult times in my life and I wished so badly that we would just move back to the city.  Looking back, I am beyond grateful for it – I met the most loyal, loving and compassionate friend I have ever had.   I feel incredibly blessed to be able to say we are still really good friends – she is the best friend I have ever had and would be lost without her!

How about pushing through the hardest job I have ever had and meeting the love of my life?!!  My Nana got me said job and because I didn’t want to disappoint her, I persevered.  Again, something so difficult turned out to be so very rewarding (for lack of a better expression) in the end.  I am now happily married with two beautiful children to this amazing man I met at such a chaotic time in my life.

I guess what I am trying to say is this: sometimes a change in perspective can make a world of difference.  I assumed that giving up my coveted Facebook would be awful but I am finding more time for things I have been wanting to do but didn’t “have time” for!

Blessings xo

New Beginnings 

This was from September 4th, 2014 and for some reason it never posted and I can’t post it but was able to retrieve and copy and paste. 

Today my eldest daughter went to her second day of JK. This morning I am completely lost. I still have my youngest to care for and she certainly keeps me on my toes but I haven’t answered a thousand questions, haven’t heard “I’m hungry” an hour after breakfast or “Mommy, watch me, WATCH ME!” After dropping her off, I came home and turned the television on. Not because I wanted to watch it but because the house seemed eerily quiet without her voice, her sounds of play. I know that this ‘start of school’ business and the struggles that come with it (mostly for me I believe) are a certain ‘right of passage’ but that definitely doesn’t make it any easier. Sounds/questions that used to bother me/get on my nerves are now things I realize I absolutely took for granted. I am one of the more fortunate mothers (IMO) in that I have been able to stay home with my children (aside from 6 months after my first mat leave and working part time (evenings and weekends) before my second. I have been there to see almost all of her firsts… I know this may sound silly but I feel like a part of me is missing… I think the hardest part of all of this is that I finally felt like I was becoming the fun mommy I had always hoped to be. I suffered from PPD after my labour with her went the complete opposite of what I had planned for and expected (that’s another post in itself). But I guess what I am trying to say is that, I have been really working on being that fun, laid back sort of mom (still disciplining of course) that I always hoped/dreamed I would be. And I feel like I got ripped off, like we got gipped out of that. I know she is having a blast at school and I am entirely glad of it. I just feel kind of guilty, almost envious if you will; that I couldn’t provide that kind of environment for her until recently because of my own shortcomings. No one ever told me just how hard becoming a parent would be, how easily mistakes are made and not forgotten. My only hope for her, for me, for us; is that I can continue growing into that mother I always wanted to be so that when she comes home I will make those moments memorable. Cheers to blogging my “troubles” and being more of that Mom I want to!

Day Three

I must confess – I hardly thought about it today. Sure there were a couple times I thought oh, I’ll share that picture or post this…

But it is getting easier, at least for now. It could be that I am filling my time up with other things, more productive activities.

Today I took my youngest to the mall for some clearance shopping – I always check the clearance racks this time of year and ‘guesstimate’ what size the kids will be wearing next winter. Found some pretty good deals today.  I also took her to the library for a mommy and me class – what a hoot!

Aside from spend time with my girls and do the bit of running around, etc today I didn’t get much housework done or have the chance to be uber productive and that leaves me wondering how did I find the time before?

Anywho, I have a sick kiddo who is sleeping for the moment so I better keep this quick and see what I can accomplish!

Blessings xo

Day Two

I have been wracking my brain since yesterday trying to decide what I would write about today – my thoughts still seem to be such a jumbled mess…

Then I came upon this quote “I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. Nothing in life is easy. But that’s no reason to give up. You’ll be surprised what you can accomplish if you set your mind to it. After all, you only have one life, so you should try to make the most of it.”
Louis Sachar

I am more determined than ever to stand strong.  I know it has been less than 48 hours but I already feel more at peace, I know that I have accomplished more today than I would have had I been “sucked in”  The very fact that I am sitting down, blogging for the second day in a row is proof of it.

For me it is more than just about giving something up for lent – of course I am happy to be “participating” in the Lenten season this year, just another thing you do as you grow in your faith as far as I am concerned.  But, I want to delve deeper, I am using this time to hopefully become more aware altogether.  I want to do more, be more, give more.

I have begun with the blog as you well know but I am hoping to make many other changes also!  I want to focus more time lavishing love on my husband and children, preparing and cooking more nutritious meals for us.  I also want to continue writing – I know I am a little rusty, but there was a time when I was not too shabby.  It was something that I was very passionate about and really enjoyed!

I also, more than ever; want to grow in my faith!  Lent is all about fasting and it doesn’t have to be only from food.  For instance I am “fasting” from Facebook because I felt it was something in which I spend too much of my time on.  It had become a nasty habit and often times I would open the app on my phone without really thinking or realizing what I was doing.  Now I am not saying that Facebook is bad – I think it great for staying in touch with family and friends who live far away and for networking.  I guess what bothers me is that it gives a false sense of “connection.”  Just because you like a status or a picture, doesn’t mean you are really connecting with that person.  I would have to say that taking this time away has made me recognize I would personally prefer to reach out via other means.  I am veering off topic her… What I am trying to get convey is this – I know, for myself; that this break is going to force me to look inward, to reach out more to The Lord in prayer.  I suspect this will happen more so in these early days when the habit of Facebook is still there.   You know what, though – that makes me really happy!  To know that I was praying for guidance in my walk with Him, not realizing that He was there waiting.  Now, I just need to do it!

Blessings xo

Day One

It has been ages since I have put “pen to paper” and therefore, long overdue.  Where do I begin?  So much has happened since my living in the moment post.

I suppose because it has been so long since I last wrote anything that this may end up being a jumbled mess with thoughts all over the place but here it goes…

This time last year, poop hit the proverbial fan in this house and although I won’t go into exact detail – I will say that my life really felt as though it was falling apart at the seams.   It was all I could do to keep it together.  This time it was different though, in the past I would have turned to my vice’s and “checked out” because it was too heavy to deal with but being a mom of two and having given up said vices, I was forced to face it head on.  I wasn’t sure what to do, who to turn to, how to handle it.  So, I reached out to many – some told me that I should run, leave and “take a break” that it would do the problem some good.  That might have been how I dealt in the past but I knew it wasn’t the answer this time.  I, of course; had some guidance from close family and a couple really good friends and I suppose that is where I began this journey.   My Nana told me I needed to stay put and my friends (who were already Christians), told me I needed God.  So, I thought “what have I got to lose.”  I reached out to Him.  Truth is, I wasn’t sure because I have never been a religious person.  I grew up in pretty well an atheist household hearing things like “it’s just a story” (referring to The Bible), if He was real, why would he allow the good to suffer and so forth.  So up until a year ago, I had never given much thought about the Big Man upstairs.

Now, I am most certainly not claiming that since I began actively seeking Him, praying and trying to understand what it meant to be a child of God, a Christian; that I am holier than thou, any better, that life is miraculously easier for me or my family.  Quite the opposite – far as I am concerned, it is a daily choice – to be the best version of myself possible.  Please trust me when I tell you there are many days where I am tested, tried and most definitely out of my ‘comfort zone.’   What I will tell you, however is that I would have walked away from my husband, my marriage had it not been for God.  It was because of His strength, His Love, Mercy, Forgiveness that I was able to stay put.  There are so many other wonderful things that He gives us without question which is why I was able to not only just ‘stay put’ but also get through everything this last year has thrown at me and fight for my husband, my marriage and my family.

Since I was saved last year, I have been wondering and praying about what I might give up for lent this year.  I realize I am almost a week late but I have chosen something which I know will cause much thought for me.  I am definitely embarrassed to say I have spent FAR too much time “sucked in” over the last while, missing precious time and even more precious moments on Facebook.  While I certainly don’t expect the next few plus weeks to be easy , I absolutely expect them to cause time for reflection, prayer and further growth in my own personal walk with The Lord and really, is that not the whole point?

I am going to try to write a bit each day.  Blessings xo