Archive for the ‘overcoming’ Category

For any of you who know me, you know I will be fifty in March.  So you may think I am talking about the menopausal change often referred to as ‘the change’.  You would be wrong.  That particular change is the least of my concerns right now.

My stomach and back problems started a decade or two ago.  I have had four endoscopies in my life, trying to find the problem.  I have also had x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, ultrasounds, bloodwork and been poked and prodded for years. I have changed diets like one would change socks, trying to identify the foods that hurt me.  The only thing I knew for sure was that stress made it much worse.  I spent years in therapy, trying to figure out why I generally chose stressful situations in my life, be it stressful relationships or stressful employment or stressful hobbies.  Always gravitating toward the stress.  I am finally on the right road to move away from most of the stresses that are presented to me.  Some are inevitable, and I am doing my best to learn how to control my reactions.  From what I understand, controlling myself is more than half the battle.

Before proper therapy, where I agreed to become a case study for the state, it had gotten so bad, that I attempted suicide to make the mental stress and stomach pain stop.  It was at that point that the state took an interest in me and gave me the help I had so desperately needed.  It helped a lot but not enough.  Wellness seems to be filling in the mental cracks for me and I am grateful.  I will never be perfect and always have the right reactions.  I wish I could do that.  It would fix a lot of the issues I have, when it comes to stress.

This year I had had enough and asked my primary doctor to send me to an allergist so I could find out what foods I am actually allergic to.  I would find out that I am only mildly gluten and lactose intolerant.  I asked why do tomatoes, oranges, lemons etc make it so I can’t breathe?  They didn’t know.  So I asked if it was all in my head.  They said no, that the symptoms are real.  They can see it upon examination.  My throat was swollen on the inside.  So they did an environmental panel on my back.  The doc said, oh there’s the problem.  You are allergic to the world.  We started allergy shots.  A shot in each arm three times a week for six months.  But I was still having trouble swallowing (it was like I would forget how to swallow and choke on food or water), I would wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air, my back still hurt, my stomach still hurt and I had the worst of coughs.  My weight was continuing to rise, as well.  My allergist diagnosed me with asthma and put me on three different inhalers, two of which are daily.  It helped some, but not enough.  He then put me on prescription nexium ($450 a month, thank God we have insurance so I only pay $10).  I even tried prednisone!  Nothing fixed me.  After 6 months he decided to send me to a GI.  They did a colonoscopy and endoscopy and that’s when things began to change.  The GI gave me meds for stomach pain and nausea.  They help so much.

All of that being said, I was told that losing weight would help with my diagnosis of scoliosis and back pain.  It would also help with acid reflux.  But I could never get the weight down due to the stress.  Or rather, due to my REACTIONS to stress.  I am still working on that.  It is so difficult to change reactions when it is what you have done your whole life.  But I am determined to overcome my own road blocks.

The last year ended in all kinds of diagnosis.  Asthma, scoliosis, hiatal hernia, diverticulitis, benign adrenal adenoma, spot on my lung from inflammation due to a persistent cough, removal of polyps from my colon, removal of a hyperplastic polyp from my stomach and finally Barrett’s oesophagus.  That last one is having the biggest impact.  That one means precancerous.  Riding the line.  Get it under control or cancer is on its way.

I have eliminated all the things that help it progress like, coffee, alcohol, acidic fruits and veggies, meat and dairy.  I am down 8 pounds since the diagnosis on December 21st, 2018.

So this year is the year of ‘the change’ for me.  It is the year that change my lifestyle.  I will stick to this new way of… eating to live and not living to eat.  It’s a matter of keeping cancer at bay.  The weight loss goes right along with that.  Lower weight means less pressure on my insides causing more acid reflux.  This is the year of continued reactionary growth.  It is even more important that I get a grip on my reactions, no matter how stressful the situation.  If it’s too much to handle I need to leave the situation.  If it is people refusing to respect the severity of the situation and continue to overstep my healthy boundaries, I need to remove them from my life.

Thankfully for me, the majority of the people in my life are a loving, positive presence.  They are tremendously appreciated.  The others either need to be seen in small doses or removed altogether.  I would say that it is on them, but really it’s all my decision.  It’s my responsibility to control my reactions, as well as decide who is and isn’t in my life.

I am taking control of me.  I will always get back up when I get knocked down.  And I will welcome the help of those who love me.  I am blessed with the best support system anyone could ask for.

Okay 2019, let’s do this.  Self control, healthy reactions, gratitude, forgiveness and love.  This is the year of ‘the change’.

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Nothing’s always perfect,

Nothing’s always right,

But know that I am in this,

For us, I’ll always fight.

 

When the words just won’t form,

And frustration takes its toll,

When I see you struggle,

Patience is my goal.

 

That doesn’t always happen,

I don’t always do right.

Just know that I am in this,

For us, I’ll always fight.

 

On days that one is battling

The demons they cannot hide,

The other finds the strength,

To fight them by their side.

 

When the storms roll in,

And the waves attack our boat,

We have to work together,

So we can stay afloat.

 

The waters begin to calm

And the sun begins to shine.

Peace always returns

Every single time.

 

Nothing’s always perfect,

Nothing’s always right,

We know that we are in this.

For us, we’ll always fight.

 

 

 

I want to start this post by saying, you may or may not agree with me.  Either way is fine.  What I write is simply my opinion.  And as life alters and my path changes, oftentimes my opinions change, as well.  But for today, THIS is my opinion on this subject.

Many times in my life I have been afraid.  Afraid of being alone, afraid of being attacked in a parking lot at night, afraid of being homeless, afraid of starving, afraid of saying something stupid, afraid of public speaking, afraid to drive, afraid of passing out in public due to a panic attack, afraid of the dark, afraid of failing in any endeavor, afraid I wasn’t smart enough to write a novel, afraid I wasn’t smart enough to learn how to do a new job.

Every one of those fears pushed me in the right direction.  Every one of those fears created strengths.  I overcame every one of those fears.

The thing is, I had to choose to overcome them.  I didn’t choose to overcome them immediately.  They all took time.  Time to embrace the fear, let out the tears, and find my footing.  Fear will lead you in the right direction if you let it.

Think about all the things you have overcome in your life.  Think about all the things you wanted to do but you were afraid to do…but you did them anyway.  That first day of school, first day of work, first dance, first kiss, first I love you, first joke you told in front of people, first time at bat, first time on a ski slope, first book you wrote, first picture you painted or drew, and the first time you actually showed your talents to another person.  You were afraid, but you did it anyway and found out, it wasn’t so bad.  Or maybe it was even fun!  Or maybe you found out you didn’t really care for it.  Either way, you did it.  You overcame your fears and allowed yourself to experience something new.

Fear isn’t always a bad thing.  It CAN be a bad thing.  But most of the time, I believe you can use it to your advantage.  You can turn that fear into a strength.  Learn to control your fears, don’t let them control you.

Thank you for reading.  X

I have always loved my birthday.  I don’t have any family members that share my special day.  It just meant so much to me that people were excited about the day I entered this world.

But now it is a very different reason.  You see, on December 22nd, 2015, I attempted suicide by swallowing a bunch of pills.  The police came and took me to a psych ward for observation.  After spending a bit of time there, I sought help with a therapist.  And now I no longer have those dark thoughts.  I have hopeful thoughts.  Positive thoughts.  And I am eternally grateful that I failed to end my life when I tried.  Grateful that I am here. Grateful for every single birthday I am blessed with, purely because I love being alive.

It’s why I take pictures of everything that I find fascinating or funny or beautiful and share them on social media.  I want to share my appreciation for life with the world.  I love listening to the train as it passes by in the night.  I love beautiful cloudy days and gorgeous sunny ones.  I love the smell of the rain and the sound it makes outside the window or on my umbrella.  I love the feel of the warm rain on my skin.  I love witty people that laugh at their own jokes even harder than the rest of us.  I love to hear people laugh.  I love the sound of dozens of voices talking when I enter a crowded place, especially places where there are family functions going on.  I love hugs.  I love kindness.  I love the roar of the ocean waves meeting the rocks and sand.  I love sunsets and sunrises. I love that first sip of coffee with my favorite creamer, in the morning.  I love the comfort of my bed at the end of a long day.  I love to dance to music, in the kitchen, when preparing food or doing dishes.  I love the hum of the fan when I fall asleep in the dark.  I love my fuzzy Star Wars pajama pants and oversized Harley Davidson sweatshirt.  I love going barefoot.  I love having hope that things will turn out okay.  I love having faith that God is in control.  I love when I see his signs so clearly leaving no room for doubt.  I love peace.  I love solitude.  I love going to the movies and out for dinner.  I love doing things on my own, feeling independent.  I also love having help from people who never make me feel indebted to them.  I love helping others.  I love doing speaking engagements.  I love impacting others lives in a positive way.  I love the castle ruins in Ireland, the sunsets at Santa Monica beach, the history in Delaware, the skies over Texas and all the people I have been blessed to meet in-between. And I love writing.  Telling the stories I watch in my mind as movies.  I love sharing those stories with others.  The love of my family and friends.  The ones who have been here for me in the darkest of times.  I love cuddles from my little dog.  And more than anything, I love my children.  To realize all the years of their hugs, hearing their laughter, being there for them through tears…that were almost gone. It makes me love life all the more.

I am here.  I am alive.  I have learned to love myself.  I have purpose.  And I am loved.

This is why my birthday is so very important to me.  Yes, every day is important to me, but I wasn’t born every day.  I was born March 15th.  That is my day to celebrate me and the life I have been blessed with.

Thank you for reading.  X

Oh, where to begin.  Starting over is never easy.  The last time I started over it was exciting.  I had a plan.  Well, sort of had a plan.  More like, I had a man.  I have always had a man there to take care of me in some way.  I lived on my own when I was a teenager.  I moved in with my best friend three weeks after graduating high school.  She and I had been besties for 6 years.  It was exciting and new, but within a year I had struck out on my own.  I lived in a small condo that was on the border of foreclosure.  I rented from a nice man and his wife for a year.  I didn’t make much money and nearly starved to death.  My average weight is 125.  I met a nice man at work.  He was 15 years my senior.  My weight was down to 104 pounds.  He fed me and I married him.  I knew from the start that we married for the wrong reasons.  I moved into his home, when to his church, learned to like many of the things that he liked.  I conformed to his way of life.  By the end of the relationship I found myself going from being a sheltered housewife to a bounty hunter, then a makeup artist at a department store.  Two children and nearly twenty years later we divorced.  I ended up in another long term relationship.  I moved from Texas to Delaware to be with him.  I ended up on welfare until the state offered me a career opportunity.  I did the schooling and became a Certified Nurses Assistant.  I worked in home health and took care of mostly elderly patients.  Many of them over 90.  After a few years they would pass on and I would be devastated.  I stayed in that relationship for 5 years.  He was a quadriplegic.  That was why I chose to become a CNA.  I conformed to his way of life.  It ended and I wanted to move to Maine.  My dream was to live in a little house by a lighthouse and write.  Maybe work as a barmaid.  But my kids were grown and renting a house in Texas.  My daughter and her husband, my son and his then fiance’ (now wife). They had an extra bedroom and asked me to live with them while I got on my feet.  So I did.  Maine could wait for a while.  I missed my kids.  It was the most amazing year, living with the four of them.  I got to know my son in law and daughter in law.  I love them.  In fact, she is one of my closest friends now. We talk about everything.   Within a month of moving in with them and anxious to heal and figure out who I was and what I wanted, I fell right into my next relationship.  I wasn’t ready for a relationship but I didn’t know that at the time.

We would do the long distance thing for a year and then I moved to California to be with him.  I moved into his apartment, learned the ropes of travel, learned the art of public speaking.  I conformed to his way of life.  Are you seeing a pattern here?  This relationship ended, too.  I am still broken over this one.  I am still in love with him and he is still in love with me, but we both know we did the right thing.  Personal reasons that I will not go into.

So here I am.  But this time, my mind is different.  I was in cognitive behavior therapy for the last year.  The state of California offered to help me after my suicide attempt.  They offered me free therapy if I was willing to become a case study.  I agreed.  It made a huge difference in me.  I am starting the workbook over.  The last time I worked through it, I did it all from the perspective of one trying to save a relationship.  Now I am doing it from the correct perspective.  I am doing it so I can heal.  So I can be stronger, more in touch with that little voice that tells me when something is wrong.  I can look back on my life and see that in almost every heartbreaking or devastating situation I found myself in, I heard that little voice first.  I would argue with it and try to reason away my concerns.  I don’t do that anymore.  I listen now.  I seek out that little voice now through prayer.  This is not a get out of jail free card for the ones who have chosen to hurt me.  It is simply me taking responsibility for my own poor decisions.

I admit, I am scared.  I haven’t been ‘on my own’ since I was nineteen years old.  And really, this is the first time I have been 100% single since I was a teen.  Not someone hurting over a recently ended relationship and falling into new one immediately.  I am not open to being taken advantage of due to my vulnerability.  I am vulnerable, my emotions are raw, my mind still goes in and out of feeling independent to feeling like a scared little mouse in a the middle of a herd of elephants and looking for a safe place.  Then I remember, I have one of the strongest support systems one could ask for.  I have a hundred arms ready to give me a much needed hug.  I am at a place in my life that I have never experienced before.  And I am eternally grateful for the friendships that have stayed intact since my last break up.  He introduced me to a world of people that welcome the hurting, the lonely and the scared.  They not only welcome you, but once they take you in, they never let you go.  I have blessings that have remained from all the difficult situations that I have somehow put myself in.  Something good has always come from any of the bad in my life.  And I am so very grateful.

So here I am.  I have gone from a life of luxury and travel to one of very low pay, lots of hard work cashiering and time to focus on me and heal.  I paid all my bills this month and had money for food.  My son and his wife have taken me in until I can get on my feet.  I wake up to people who love me and encourage me every single day.  I get hugs and I love you’s.  I have a place to work, with people I consider friends.  I feel loved every where I go. I have an online community who supports me.  And most of all, I have me.  I am learning to love me and believe in me.  I am taking it one day at a time.  Some days I fail, some days I cry and some days I smile.  And other days, like today, I do it all.

Thank you for taking the time to read.  I love you all.  x

As you all know, the last two weeks have been very trying with this house filled to the brim with sickness.  The only sounds, for days, were coughs and vomiting.  But things are back to normal now and I am so grateful.

This week has been slow as we were all gaining our strength back.  I did go out and get applications for employment from a dozen places or so.  Some were hiring, some were not, but all say you can fill out an application and they will put them on file.  Who knows if they really do, but I will give it a go.  Really, I want to be a cashier.  No quotas, no pressure sales, no keeping up with food orders, just cashiering.  I need a part time job so I can keep writing my novel.

Speaking of my novel.  I am almost to the halfway mark.  And I put off a scene for the last few days, due to the nature of the scene.  The first day I tried to write it, I ended up putting finding a thousand other things that needed doing.  You see, I bought the coolest fold up table and chair set from Spiderlegs.com and I will post a picture of them folded and one of them opened up.  Anyway, The word procrastinate has a ‘pro’ at the beginning for a reason. Seems I am one when it comes to procrastination. So, a couple hours ago I sat at my new table with my new chair to start writing. As I sat there I noticed the carpet could sure use some vacuuming, so I got up and started to put stuff from the floor to the bed. But then I thought, “I was sick for the last couple weeks, I really should wash my bedding.” So I stripped my bed and put it in the washer. While in the utility room I thought, “I should probably go ahead and wash my clothes while I am at it.” So I came back in the bedroom and into the closet to get the hamper. I took it to the utility room but came back to clean up the closet. I had packages in there I still need to mail for Christmas and they needed to be wrapped. So I wrapped them. And yes, I still need to mail them…again…PROcrastinator. Well after all that, I finally put stuff on the bed and vacuumed. After the floor looked so nice, I noticed the furniture needed dusting. So I dusted it and then I thought, “I need to take pictures of the table and chair, but I need to fold them first and take a pic like that.” But I couldn’t figure out how to do it. So I had to look for the directions. I found them and got it all folded and took pics and put them back together and took more pics and then I got my room put back together. Now I am plum wore out so I am resting and telling you all why I haven’t written yet. It’s because I am a pro.  So, last night I decided the scene must be done, no matter how painful.  One of my favorite child characters had to die.  It was the hardest scene I have written yet.  I cried so hard, I had trouble seeing the screen to finish.  I also listen to classical music when I write and to top off the moment, My Heart Will Go On came on Pandora and played throughout the whole end of the scene.  I was a blubbering mess who had to go get a hug from my daughter.  I was so glad she was still up.

Now as far as things getting back to normal.  I decided I needed to make some gluten free pancakes at 11:30pm.  So I was in the kitchen cooking when the kids wandered in, one by one.  At one point, my son was trying to show us all something on his phone and my son in law came in with pigtails in his hair.  He ended up chasing my son’s fiance around the island, them bumping me as I cooked and my daughter was singing How Much Is That Doggy in the Window to her dog, Cyanide.  It made me smile to see things were back to normal in our home.  I love these kids with all my heart.

And things are progressing nicely with my new friend.  He is a gem and makes me curious to see where things will go.

Okay, that’s enough for now.  Thank you for reading and have a great week.  x

Don’t forget to check out my son’s fiance’s blog.

http://theotherdaughterofshe.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/a-bad-nanny-with-a-bad-haircut/

And my daughter’s blog.

http://victoryasite.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/i-am-the-queen-of-the-world-and-my-secret-to-success-is/

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Blogging is new for me.  I have been doing it for a little while and I have watched it morph into this and that until now.  I believe this is what my blog is meant to be.  My daughter and I are trying something new and different.  We are going to each blog about our week from each of our viewpoints.  My viewpoint is that of a parent having to move in with their children and be quite dependent on them for a while.  Her viewpoint will be from an adult child taking in their parent.  I will post a link to her blog at the bottom of mine each week, so you all can go read what the way she sees things, too.  She will start blogging next Friday.

My life has changed dramatically in the last month.  I don’t really want to talk about everything, just some things.  I have given up my independence for a while.  I had moved away from my children five years ago, from Texas to Delaware.  After hardships, misunderstandings, hurtful situations and an aching for my children, I have moved back.  The world I left is very different than the world I have reentered.   I kept in constant contact with my children while I was away, with goodnight/I love you texts each evening and phone calls and plane tickets.  But it was not the same as being able to hug them and see them.  They are now 23 and 21 years old.  My daughter has been married for five years, she got married just before I moved.  My son is now engaged.  I love their choices of mates and get along with them very well.  The mates both write and draw, too.  The four of them rent a three bedroom house together and have blessed me with the third bedroom.  I have been here just over a week.  It felt strange when I first moved in.  I didn’t know where things were and felt a bit disoriented.  But I quickly converted my room into an extension of me.  My dog is already adjusted and has a new friend in my granddogter, Cy.  It rather reminds me of the tv show New Girl.  Especially when it comes to ‘bubbles’.  I am an introvert and have my ‘bubble’ around me.  These kids do not have ‘bubbles’ nor do they see a reason for anyone else to have them.  I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth and started to close the door.  My son walked up and said, “What?  We can’t see you brush your teeth?”  Now my daughter has been known to come into the bathroom and take pictures of me brushing my teeth.  But I wanted to fit in, so I left the door open.  Next thing I knew, my son and son in law were both in the bathroom behind me, talking and cutting up and I almost lost my toothpaste trying not to laugh at them.  That was very much a New Girl moment.  Always something crazy and fun going on here.  We are all artist and impulsive.  I will have to post some pics of the fun things I have experienced already.   I was awake at 1am at one point.  We are all night owls.  I went to the kitchen to get a glass of water and my son in law walks up to me in a top hat and says, “So, in regards to the railroads…”  I laughed and said, “So it’s 1880 and you are looking to build a railroad?”  He smiled.  Then my daughter walks in and says, “I don’t like your stupid beard, mustache or that obnoxious top hat.  Take it off and go shave.”  He said, “Nope…again…”  Then she proceeded to put on an eye patch and said, “Argggggg”.  I said, “Really?  You yell at him about the hat but you can wear an eye patch?”  She said, “Yup.  If he can look stupid, so can I.”  Then he took the eye patch off her and put it on himself.  I said I needed a pic of the pirate who wants to buy a railroad.  My daughter got out her phone to take one and he said, “Wait!”  He ran out of the room and then reemerged with  a weird pipe added to his appearance.  I laughed so hard.  It is like this all the time.  Here is a picture of him.  Another day I went to let the dog out and my son was playing a video game.  I looked at the big screen tv and see a man running through a city with a pig mask, wearing only boxers and carrying a big gun.  I just shook my head.  Another time, my daughter and son’s fiance’ came in my room to do the chicken dance all over my room and then they left.  one night my daughter and son in law were in the kitchen and she was laying on the floor using her labrador as a pillow.  I had to take pic but the dogs eyes glowed in it.  So I tried to take another and the dog tried to run.  My son in law grabbed her before she could go and tried to make her kiss my daughter.  That is the cutest picture.  And I think a couple of my favorite moments were separate but wonderful.  My son’s fiance’ came in and laid on my bed, with the book she is working on.  She asked my advice on a scene.  Her story is moving and forces the reader to take their mind to difficult places.  Another time was when my son in law came in and had me read the first chapter of his short story.  It is phenomenal and I hope he makes it a longer story.  I don’t read sci fi but the story really captured my imagination.

I do believe this is a positive environment for me.  I just hope I can add to the wonderment that abounds so freely here.

Thank you for reading and have a great week.  x

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