May 4, 2017

Mental health month, so I thought I would write about my personal experience.
Last year we decided to watch the football documentaries on Netflix. They were talking about concussions and the long term issues that come from them. It was then that I understood and started connecting my story together. During my kid yrs I remember two intense, literally blinding, concussions and one that wasn't as intense, but was still a pretty bad head injury.
I also endured whip lash a few too many times.
You don't have to play football to mess up your brain.

It's hard to recall when exactly my depression or the morbid thoughts began. My friends and I would always laugh off the morbid so it didn't seem like such a bad thing during my high school yrs.
Going back further though... I almost lost my mom to pneumonia, we actually did but she was resuscitated. I didn't know how to emotionally deal with all that being between 7 &9. So I became angry and rebellious in my heart. I was also apart of other people's lives that died or were severely injured... Suicides, accidental suicides, a witness to horrific car accidents, ect ect That also heightened my fears of death, sickness, loss of control, that's a lot bottled up inside because I didn't know how to release it which became depression and suicidal scenarios. Every time I got in a car I would run what ifs thru my head. It got worse during my first pregnancy by the end of it that postpartum depression hit hard with a vengeance! Right before I gave birth I started bawling, I cried for a week over everything. You'd just look at me and I'd lose it. I was a huge mess, but I was also afraid to say anything because at the time they were throwing anti depressants in high doses at everyone with out thinking things thru. I didn't want that, I told myself I was strong enough and didn't need a doctor's help. Praise God he protected me and my children!
The morbid thoughts got worse, and depression got worse, but I continued to push it down inside. I learned to pretend there was nothing wrong. Second pregnancy and I wanted to throw my children up against walls. Every time I got in a car I thought about the what if scenarios. But this time it involved my children. 
Things did calm down. After my third baby in 2003, I had pretty much managed some control.
I'm a believer and I know despite my actions and behavior the Lord was protecting me and my family. It took many yrs to feel some what normal, well what I thought was normal. But the suicidal thoughts were still there and the depression was still there. I called it seasonal depression.
Anxiety attacks stepped in. It actually started near the end of college '98/'99 (school ended in May and I had my first baby that Nov.) I'd have one maybe once a year then they started to increase after 9/11, by 2014 I was literally dealing with it 24/7, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and severe depression. My body was shutting down, I spent most of that yr in bed. I put on a happy face as best as I could but I was exhausted. Being an introvert doesn't help either.
My husband was extremely worried about me and 2015 was my turning point, I finally went to a doctor. I wasn't fully honest about the severity of my depression. So we took care of my non existing thyroid, my seasonal depression and my chronic pain issues that yr.
I was finally out of bed!! I felt alive!! I lost 60 lbs! My chronic pain issues, I shared what that was in other blog posts, my depression was milder, the anxiety calmed down as well. It didn't all magically disappear, but it was manageable. At this point I still hadn't brought up anti depressants.

2016, I made it thru winter with high levels of vitamin D and my happy light. My thyroid balanced out. I still had a few anxiety attacks but I had my little drug for those moments to shut it down. I hated having to take lorazepam. I only took it when I absolutely had to.
But then summer came and the depression, although in my eyes mild from the yrs before, didn't go away... I was unable to hide the inside any more, the moment my daughter's softball coach pointed out that something was wrong and we needed to talk, I knew I wasn't ok. Our meeting was the best thing! I know the Lord crossed our paths just for this. Her words were like daggers to my heart, but they were true. I finally learned I'm not ok and it's ok. It's ok too have bad days, it's ok to get help. That next week I finally talked to my doctor. I didn't tell her the severity of my suicidal thoughts, which were 24/7, but I was so used to it it seemed normal to me in a way... My mind hadn't been clear in decades, talk about a million voices in my head! So noisy ALL THE TIME!
I started a mild anti depressant, 5mg then worked up to 10mg. 
PRAISE GOD! The voices stopped, the depression stopped, I could breath, I could enjoy life, conversations, people, I started really venturing outside my safe place at home in my chair. I was on it for a very short time. But it kick started something good. I actually pursued and got a job in a coffee shop I absolutely love!! I hadn't had a real job since '99! So you could say I ended 2016 with a triumphant bang.
Oh, also found out I had Scoliosis and have a wonderful Osteopath/manipulation doctor.

This yr, I've made it thru a horrible winter, got a little bummed out at times, but found ways to change things up. The anxiety popped up a little bit, but I realized my scoliosis pain is a trigger. And knowing the triggers I can put the anxiety to rest in minutes.
No morbid/suicidal thoughts still. I actually have a lot of days where my head is clear and calm. Even during crazy rushes at work I'm able to keep chilled. People-ing is still exhausting, but that's an introvert thing and I don't know that I'll ever know how to change that. Haha

I've learned that I may always have mental health issues. The anxiety, depression, pain. But it's not who I am. It doesn't control me and it's ok to not be ok and it's ok to ask for help and I'm not alone. I've just got a glitch in my brain from accidents. Things may never magically go away, but I've got the hat of tricks to choose from so to speak to take care of them.
People care people love you, be honest with yourself, be open.
It's ok. 💜

July 20, 2016

Change is Good

So many changes.
So many new adventures and accomplishments.
Last year was the year of getting my health back.
Finally got myself to a doctor, whom I love! We started working on my thyroid, which was basically on the floor. Started working on my anxiety and severe depression with vitamin D3, omega oil and a "happy" blue light. She also made me start the whole 30, which I did two full months of. I still some what eat that way, but now I'm looking into the AIP Paleo because I found I can't eat the night shades.
My chronic pain issue was then worked on, my blood work showed I have hhv6 and it's in my bone marrow.
With my other changes and adding Coriolus-PSP and vitamin C, it went into remission! It's something I can't completely get rid of, but it's manageable now.
Everything was good.
This year though, due to craziness my anxiety started up again, February and March were really tough. And I started having really dark gloomy days even despite the beautiful sunshine. I knew I wasn't ok and that it wasn't something that would go away. 
I have been fighting this for almost 17 yrs on my own.
I was exhausted and realized I couldn't fake a smile anymore.
A friend spoke to me with raw honesty last week and I knew she was speaking truth out of love. Monday I had my doctor app to check up on my thyroid levels and my mood. The moment she walked in the room she knew I wasn't doing well, I've been really low these last few weeks or so, I couldn't hide it anymore, my eyes tell the truth.
In the beginning of all this 17 yrs ago I refused to tell anyone I was struggling, I was afraid the anti-depressants would be thrown at me, which at that time that's what doctor's did. I was afraid of basically becoming a brain dead zombie, I didn't want to lose my emotions. 
17 yrs later, I'm in a good place. I'm ok with not being ok. I'm willing to do what I need to do so that I can gain my life back and not miss out... I've missed out on so many yrs! My doctor said almost verbatim what my friend had said to me. Confirmation. So after doing all the other above for my health, I was ready and willing to make this leap. So Monday I started taking Citalopram (Celexa) and it's like night and day! I'm on half of a 10mcg pill for 7 days then will go to the whole if all goes well.
I don't regret the past 17 yrs and all I've endeared, it got me where I am today. There's no guilt. I know some who refuse to take these meds and don't understand why people need them. I can tell you now my severe depression and anxiety weren't something I could just get rid of, or even pray away. It's a miss wiring in my head that won't stop glitching. It's not because of my lack of faith or sin. It's just my insides not working properly.
I'm thankful for the people in my life that care deeply for me. I'm thankful that God loves me enough that He put these people in my life. He gave people the mind and knowledge to create a little pill to help others like me! And I have to say it's the best thing for me right now. Today I got up and walked 6.6 miles, from my home to my favorite coffee shop and back home again. I'm calm, my mind is clear, I feel really good... It's almost hard to explain. I enjoyed conversation with my teens, I'm laughing and singing... My real me is coming back. And I'm thankful, oh so thankful!!  

March 9, 2016

My journey through life, I thought it to be some what dull and nothing to write home about. But lately I'm finding I was wrong. Memories flooding in my mind, most not that I would want to remember because they weren't the best of times.
I've witnessed a lot of sickness, death and horrible accidents in my small world. Each one touching my heart and soul deeper than I ever thought they could. And now I'm finding even today that I've never gotten over them. They clench my heart so tight I'm unable to breathe as of late.
I've witnessed sicknesses and horrible accidents my mom endured. Trauma in regard to myself. The death of grandparents and other relatives. Horrific car accidents. Accidental hangings of friends. Accidental shootings of friends. Deaths from cancers.
My heart cares so incredibly deep for those around me that it kills me when someone is hurt or struggling. It's not that I want to do everything in my power to fix what ever it is, I know I'm not the fixer. It's that I feel what they are going through as if I'm in their shoes and I can imagine what others in their lives are going through as well.  
To have it all pile up in my thoughts and spew all over me before I even get out of bed in the morning has been a debilitating and very stressful, my anxiety has come back.
PTSD, it's not just those who have been in battle, it can happen to anyone and I hate it, I hate what it does to me... or anyone for that matter.

I need to continually bring this back to the Lord. Never ceasing in prayer and always in fellowship with others. But when I'm debilitated like this it's hard to get to because everything that's simple and good becomes just as overwhelming as my thoughts.
I used to head out by myself to sit in silence, be it on the sand by the ocean at sunset, or by a river bed in the afternoon. To sit on a porch at dusk just reading. Those were my go to run away places as a teen, to just be with the Lord in silence and listen to all He has created. 
I really haven't been able to do that since the 90's.
Now I hang out in my house, usually by myself... I'm a stay at home mom. It's not the same.
I want to just be able to go out for a bit, and I know I totally could during the day while everyone is gone. But being in the city, I really don't know where to go that isn't a long trip. It was easy when I could just walk out my door and head to the river by foot, but I don't live in the country anymore. I've been stuck in the city walls for a long time and fear of death and everything else kept me down and confined to one place.

Writing this out helps.
Friendships help... I need my friends.
That's another hard thing. Friendships aren't like they were. Its all different now. People are busy with their lives. I would love movie nights/game nights/just hanging out nights with adults. I love my children don't get me wrong... but adult time without kids is extremely important.
We need that kind of interaction/freedom to keep things lively and growing.

So anyways... if you made it through this long ramble of a post congrats. Sorry I'm writing a lot... see not getting enough interaction with humans lately.
Seems I have a lot to work through and work on this year, but the outcome and growth from all this will be good, whether it turns out the way I think it should or not, it will still be good because I will have hopefully learned something new. 

February 12, 2016


Yup, misunderstood is my middle name and its been hitting me really hard so far this year. Sorry this is long... but it's this inverts way of opening up.

I do not do well at all when it comes to being articulate in the moment or in person. So it leads to me saying things wrong, misjudgment and being misunderstood. It always hurts me deeply when this happens to the point I want to just remove myself completely. I do better if I just don't speak at all.
I can't even get out what's going on inside of me, but I would hope others would be gracious, patient and understanding, because I know I can't articulate/say the right words and its always a huge struggle and makes me disappointed with myself. I feel out of touch and alone when it comes to this, it leads me to invert even more than I do.

This is a really hard time for me right now, I'm trying to find who I am and to find my voice and apparently everything that comes out of it when I do open my darn mouth causes problems. So why speak at all.
I'm broken, broken in my heart and broken in my soul.
I'm tired of being judged for something I'm not or mean to be.
I'm tired of being misunderstood.
I'm tired of trying.

When I'm struggling with something or someone I don't need others to take it personally or judge me for it and hold on to it as my standard of who they think I am. I need prayer in that situation for a change in my heart and attitude, if I'm in the wrong, I need encouragement in Christ and the word, not one's preconceived opinion of me and the situation because, I get it, people really don't truly know me.
And I don't know quite how to articulate who I am because I'm still uncovering what I had hidden away over a decade or so ago... that girl who wasn't afraid to speak, who was bold and light hearted and just enjoyed life and others around her with a whole lot of  "British" sarcasm (dry humor) thrown in, more willing to speak her mind and what's in her heart, not afraid, so deeply compassionate for others that it hurts.
Ok, so typing that out just showed me that maybe I have uncovered that lost girl, but change is constantly happening, so she looks different to me, I'm older and my thinking has changed, there's a balance, but still, don't know how to show it or what it even looks like.
My flaws and strengths kill me because I'm unable to articulate which leads to misunderstanding from others who didn't know that girl all those years ago. I'm judged by what little they've known of a girl that wasn't even really me.
That lost girl fighting so hard to be seen for what she truly is and to be understood and loved none the less, to be encouraged to dance as she once did. But she's constantly wrongly pushed away by myself and others, at some point she's just going to suffocate and die, I don't want that, it's taken so much time of healing to get this little bit of light she's managed to push out. If that's snubbed out I'm afraid I'll never get her back. She will be lost for ever. She's paper thin delicate, she needs encouragement and nurturing but properly with caring hands, always pointing her back to Christ. 

I'm hurting and I'm really sorry this is such a downer blog post. And of course it's taken me a hand full of hours to write it out.

I'm so thankful I have a "Hesed father" who knows me more deeply than any other, who daily shows me grace when I don't deserve it, who judges me rightly and is always changing my heart for His good.
This song has incredible deep meaning to me, from Psalm 139 This is what I hold onto. The whole album is what I'm holding onto.

Psalm 139:
 O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
    behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is high; I cannot attain it.

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
    Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
    If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light with you.

13 For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
    I awake, and I am still with you.

19 Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
    O men of blood, depart from me!
20 They speak against you with malicious intent;
    your enemies take your name in vain.[b]
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
    And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
22 I hate them with complete hatred;
    I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
    Try me and know my thoughts![c]
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting!