Yay, it’s summer!

Disappearing from my blog seems to be a reoccurring theme for me. I’d apologize, but I’ve done that before and quite frankly, it’s been a rough few months. I can’t apologize for trying to get my head on straight. (BTW that hasn’t happened yet, and it likely never fully will.)

Here we are in June – school is almost done, and my kids will be around a lot more. I fully intend to spend more time with them this summer, instead of working OT and missing out.

Yesterday was a particularly awful day. I wanted to go crawling back to my parents and just hole up in my old bedroom and cry it out. That didn’t happen though, and when my son came home from his dads and saw me all weepy and suffering terribly, there was of course a conversation. He knows that moms brain doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to. We’ve had that discussion before. He did suggest however, that since his best friends brother recently went through a very successful double lung transplant, that I could look into a brain transplant. He says it’s totally doable. Poor guy was more than a bit frustrated when I told him it’s not actually a possibility – and that the pills I have to take will have to suffice for now. What a kid. ❤

I hope my kids never have to deal with the thoughts, and emotional rollercoasters that I do. The mood swings, the self-loathing, the complete lack of energy. I am absolutely two different people in the same body, both of them fighting to be heard but lately only one is strong enough, and that’s the one I wish would go jump in a lake. I would do anything to make sure my kids never have to experience this pain; which is one thing that keeps me going when all i want to do is just give up – sometimes all I can do for my children on a given day, is just be alive. I may not get the house cleaned, we might not be at the park every day, or play board games and laugh like a family who has zero problems. I don’t bake cookies with them each day or finger paint and do all those things that seemingly picture perfect families do. I do what I can. I take advantage of good days but there are so many bad days. I often feel guilty that all I can do is lay there and watch my kids play or ride bikes or whatever; but at least I’m surviving that bad day.

And now I’m tearing up. Not depressed tears, not happy either – but remembering the pain tears. Knowing others go through this pain – it seriously hurts my heart.

I think we fight one of the hardest battles, when it’s against ourselves and you have to actively push through what your brain wants you to believe. It’s an exhausting struggle. Stay strong friends…. we can do this. 🖤

 

New week, still happy!

So here we are, Monday again…

I’m working, and it’s raining, and I brought a favorite book for my breaks because reading tends to keep my mind off the things I obsessively dwell on.

It’s only 2:30 and I have gotten a lot done today, both at work, and from the giant list of things I need to do around my house. Firstly, I called the plumber and arranged for my basement to be fixed. No more flooding!!! Well, after it floods tonight/tomorrow, that is. I’ve only been putting it off for weeks; and I’ve had about enough.

Made a budget. Again. I have an awful track record for sticking to a budget, but here we go. I have a lot of things I need to do with my house, and I want it done this year.

Called the junk dudes to come and get rid of all the stuff I just don’t need: shelves, cupboards, a love seat that I can’t stand, a dresser, a washing machine, closet doors, an old vacuum, night tables –  I pretty much have it all, and it all needs to go. A de-cluttered house is a happy house! At least for me.

This spring, I am re-doing my bathroom and my bedroom, and I have finally decided on the colors for the paint. Granted, my bedroom is almost where I want it anyhow, minus a new bed, headboard, and ceiling light; maybe a touch up of the paint. The bathroom is my priority right now!

I came across a post on a blog I have frequented in the past, and I do love the reminders to take a break when things are a bit overwhelming, and to not be so hard on ourselves all the time. I especially plan to start making a list of all the things I need to do. Sure, I keep my work calendar super up to date, because that’s the only way I can be successful. However, at home, I tend to think of something that needs to be done, and either forget it immediately, or think about it constantly – but do nothing about it. When I was still with my ex and we would do a major spring/fall cleaning, we made lists for each room, and that ensured that nothing got forgotten. Making a list also lets me see all the jobs that need to be done, and I am better able to prioritize that way. Tonight when I go home, I’m making a list of all the things that need to get done, and I am going to love crossing them out, one by one.

Did I say this was going to be a great week? I know, its only day 2. But I feel positive; I feel motivated and energetic. The fact that spring is just around the corner, makes me ecstatic! Now I just have to keep this energy level up, keep myself motivated, on track, and working towards my goals. Tomorrow is going to be a great day 3 of a great week. I just know it.

(Update, before I even got to hit ‘publish’ : The plumber called, he comes tomorrow morning at 9am. I am thrilled! This awesome week can just keep on going!)

 

 

Put it all in the past, and move on to better things!

Happy Sunday! 😊

I have been having a crappy couple of weeks, but things are on the upswing again, and I’m feeling pretty good about it!

I have been feeling that life is no fun as a hermit. Even to think about doing something, away from the comfort of my home, with ANYONE – even my closest friends, made me miserable. I had zero desire to do anything but be sad, angry, spiteful, and play the victim – of my own stupid choices. Now though, I don’t just want to sit around my house alone, drinking, watching Netflix reruns in the dark while my cat occupies my lap – I want to actually put an effort into hanging out with people who have shown that they’re there for me no matter what. (Consistently, even when I am morose and push them away. You know who you are! 💛)

Don’t get me wrong – Netflix reruns will still be on the table, just not the only thing on the table!

I’ve had some pretty brutal talks with some of those closest friends about allowing people to take advantage of me; and I feel like I’m finally turning a corner. If I am only a friend when they want me around, I can’t mean that much to them. Having said that, I can’t do the same to the people who want me around. I know how crappy it makes me feel to be wanted, only when nobody else is available. So, I refuse to a) allow that to happen to me any more, and b) do that to my friends.

This week is going to be busy, and I plan on loving every moment of it. Tonight my kids are at gramma and grampas, leaving me alone time to tidy. (Crazy, I know – but anxiety demands my house be in order!) Tomorrow I have a nice, quiet, 12 hour shift – so I can get a lot caught up on and out of the way for the week. Then shopping – my kids and I don’t celebrate Christmas, but we do have a family day over March break full of presents and awesome fun together; this year is going to be toned down quite a bit- they don’t need so much stuff- but I’ll be doing some shopping in preparation of that.

Also, I have some great things planned to help them understand giving, instead of turning them into selfish, entitled people by only receiving all the time. Hint: it involves our local humane society, and our local food bank. I’m so excited to plan that! I had to rely on our food bank for a short time, after my son was born. I will forever be grateful, and it’s important to me that my children understand how much they have, and how they can help others who are not as fortunate.

Someone is finally going to come fix my basement. I am tired of it flooding every time it rains, or when is a significant snow melt. This represents the start of my basement reno… and I am so excited to get it underway!

And finally, this Friday night – I have plans to go out with some pretty great friends. Some have been in my life for a long time, some not so long – but they are basically my spirit animals. I feel like I can tell them anything without being judged, or them turning around and telling others, and that means so much to me.

And finally, after a few grey days, I have sunshine and a blue sky today. It’s amazing how the simple things can totally lift your mood. It’s also pretty crazy how a good or bad mood significantly impacts my outlook on life. So, happy sunny Sunday! Today I am grateful that I have people who love and stand by me, no matter my mood, and that I feel like I’m getting back to being me.

Princesses and Hockey

I am sitting in my rocking chair, with one of my favorite books, and in agony from a pinched nerve. I’m pretty tired, and I’m cold. But I’m staying sitting up because if try to go to bed to read, I’ll make it about 3 sentences further before I fall asleep. Still, this is my time, and I’m making the most of it!

Today started out rough, feeling yucky and awake too early. It eventually got better… I don’t often post about my children; I try to keep their world private. But today was all about them… and that’s what made it so great!

First, they both slept in, and they were getting along fantastically this morning. (Miracle!!!) They were playing Super Mario 3 and laughing their heads off – a weekend treat because there are no video games before they go to school.

Then, my mom had purchased tickets for me and R to go to the Princess/Superhero dance, in support of Children’s Wish Foundation. My daughter was dressed up as Elsa from Frozen- complete with blue led lights and a very loud rendition of “Let it Go” at the (very sensitive) push of a button. She loved it, and it was only for a few hours; I’m still somewhat sane.

She had to wear her hair in a braid like Elsa, and she had her fancy ‘high heels’ that she also calls her ‘wedding shoes’, since she wore them to my nephew’s wedding in November. They have a heel no higher than half an inch, but she still thinks she’s pretty fancy.

So we got there, and this girl goes straight to the dancefloor with Cinderella, Belle, Rapunzel and Aurora… dancing away. Talking to them, holding their hands- she loved it. When I was her age, I would rather have died than have people watching me have fun like that!

She got her face painted like Elsa, had a balloon animal made – and, because she’s a thoughtful child, asked for a Pikachu balloon to be made for her brother. She also nabbed him one of the grab bags as we left.

Now, her brother was a bit upset that he wasn’t going with us, so my dad took him for lunch and to see a hockey game. He loves going to games with grandpa, and they go often. Anyhow, today while he was there, one of the camera guys filming for our local TV station called E over and offered to let him try out the camera! He wore the headset, filmed the zamboni, zoomed in and out on the crowd and learned a few things. He thought it was a pretty awesome experience.

Making good memories for my kids is important to me; they had a bit of a rough last year with the separation and fallout from that, and they deserve to be kids, have fun and not worry about adult problems. Now they are both sleeping, peacefully, and I am thankful to be able to say they had a pretty eventful, fun day.

I did too – and now I get to sit with a cat on my lap, a book in hand, and drink my tea. I guess I’m thankful for most things today…. except for this pinched nerve… but that’s another story. 😊

Losing doesn’t mean I’ve lost completely

It’s been a while. I hope everyone has been doing better than me.

I find it just mind boggling how I can wake up one morning and be optimistic, positive, happy- and the things that I find irritating or upsetting, seem like no big deal.

Literally the VERY NEXT DAY I wake up angry, dwelling on some stupid thing and I just can’t let it go. I think about it constantly throughout the day and it only makes me sad. Or angrier. Mean. Resentful. Oh, and totally suspicious of everything…. Then, I usually have a terrible sleep riddled with dreams about whatever it was that made me upset to begin with. Only, dreams take the initial thought or memory and run with it. Dreams take a painful thought and turn it into a torturous and extremely realistic new memory. I wake up feeling scared, and uneasy, and that throws the rest of my day. Pretty soon I believe whatever my mind concocted, and I’m dwelling on that all day. Again.

Don’t ask me how I get out of those awful days… I don’t know, really. I can say that with certainty because I’m there now. It’s hard -for me anyhow- to remember good days, when I’m having bad ones. I also can’t imagine that I’ll get there again. The opposite is also true… when I’m doing well, emotionally, it’s difficult to remember how painful days like this are; I can’t seem to figure out why that insignificant thing made me so upset. Why I stressed so hard about whatever it was.

I guess at this point I just hope for the best. Keep on trying to push through how I’m feeling, and try to focus on the good. Hopefully I wake up tomorrow and everything is wonderful again. I really wish I could wake up and everything would stay wonderful.. or at least go longer periods of time where things are good.

Tonight I packed the kids up and we came out to my mom and dads house. Whenever I call dad up and ask if we can stay over for the night, he knows things aren’t great. He never presses me for details; he knows I’ll talk if I need to. He does however, keep talking to me and that takes my mind off myself for the evening. It’s so exhausting to overthink all day – letting someone else do the thinking for me is a relief. My mind calms down a bit and I’m able to relax before I try to sleep.

I feel sometimes that my efforts to end these posts on a positive note makes me seem fake. Like, if I can find the good at this point, why couldn’t I all the rest of the day? How did I just post about feeling awful and the depression that cripples my mind, and then manage to end it with something hopeful? Something to look forward to?

I haven’t got it figured out. It’s definitely not that I’m an optimistic person. At the same time, I know that even though I feel like I’m losing this battle right now, I’ll be me again in a few days, and the war won’t be lost. Besides, this is all part of helping people to understand what it’s like. To listen when needed, and to talk when they need to. So I guess that’s the positive part of this post. If I’m going to be stuck feeling like this, on and off for life, the least I can do is use it to help other people struggling with the same feelings.

And now the woodstove in dads basement is effectively knocking me out, so I’ll have to end this here. Good night, and here’s to a better tomorrow.

Gratitude and mental health 

It’s been way too long since my last post. Time for some updates!

Monday, I went to my ITTP class, and we were discussing gratitude journals. I must admit, I missed last Wednesday’s class – and I didn’t know we were talking about this subject. Meanwhile, in my last post I had mentioned that I was going to be keeping a gratitude journal on my own. It’s wonderful when you get your homework done, without knowing it was homework! Side point- how come this never happened to me in high school?

It’s been hit or miss – writing down what I’m grateful for hasn’t happened every day – but thanks to the efforts of a great friend (Darla!) she has at least made me stop and think momentarily about my blessings. She’s taken it upon herself to send me snapchats or FB messages each day, telling me what she is grateful for. I promise I’m going to do a better job of replying – you’ll see!

All of this is leading into an article I discovered on psychologytoday.com – 7 Benefits of Gratitude. Now, I haven’t been actively keeping track of my gratitude for long enough to see all of the benefits personally, but every one of these makes sense. Better relationships, improved physical health, improved psychological health, enhanced empathy and reduced aggression, better sleep, improved self-esteem, and increased mental health.

Doesn’t it make sense that instead of complaining about the things you don’t have, or what you think you deserve, developing an “attitude of gratitude” is a pretty simple way to open the door to happiness in life?

CBT class again tomorrow, and I am sad to say that there aren’t that many sessions left. I have enjoyed each day I’ve been there. Sure, it cuts into my day, and the stuff I am learning is not rocket science. But I’m learning how to think through situations properly, to reason with myself, to calm myself – and I’ll be sorry when it’s all done. At the beginning, 12 sessions seemed like a short time to learn anything beneficial, also a long amount of time to commit to. Now, I wish it could continue. Just sitting there, talking, and having someone help me to get out of my own thought patterns – it’s pretty great.

Happy Tuesday night everyone, and please remember to check out my FB page !

Middle of the night, perfect for figuring out life :)

The way I start this post off may confuse you when you consider the title, but it’s just for context, I swear!

The first 9 days of January (or Crapuary, as I prefer to call it) have been just that. Crap. Oh sure – I brought a lot of it on myself: my awful weekend where I backslid. Not taking my pills. Picking fights with people close to me. Staying awake for hours on end, and feeling miserable and terrible. Then sleeping for hours on end, and feeling miserable and terrible. Finally grasping that some friends are not truly friends, and that the friendships I’ve neglected require a lot of TLC from me. Both of these make me sad. Resentment towards my ex over (yes, this!) dwelling on the fact that both times I told him I was pregnant, there was no excitement. No joy. No celebrating. In fact, the 2nd time he was pretty pissed off. 6 years later I am still so mad that I missed out on that experience. Among other things that I am angry at him for. 

Some of it has been out of my control: fighting with the freaking ridiculous government over child benefits. Trying to deal with a completely unreasonable bank. Also, a neighbors house caught fire last week, and because of a previous fire experience of my own – the smell, and panic, and utter helplessness from this has gotten to me, brought back some bad memories, and worsened my anxiety. Snow, snow, snow, for weeks. Tomorrow meanwhile, it’s supposed to rain, and therefore the snow (x’s 3, mentioned above) is likely to be water in my basement. Oh, and the amazing outburst that my ex provided today while we were meeting with a CRA rep at our local MP’s office. I mean, talk about embarrassing. And childish. Finally, we’re supposed to be signing and filing our separation agreement this Friday; that has kept me awake. I want it over with – but I know I’ll endure more awful comments from HIM. (<– no, not God) Just whatever little digs he can make, however many times he can imply that I’m stupid and try to make me feel small in order to make himself feel bigger, or that this is all my fault. He’s always been good at those comments, and I came to dread them when we were together.

All of this has led to a pretty angry Julie. I’ve been moody, on edge, uber emotional, short tempered, unable to concentrate, unproductive. It’s 3:50 in the morning and I’m still awake; so tomorrow will be a challenge. I’ll have to see people I don’t want to see, go places I’d rather not, while still looking after my family, house, work responsibilities, and getting through the day. Also, I love it, but ITTP class cuts my day in half tomorrow. 

So. Because I am so tired of my ups and downs  (and if I am, I can only guess how everyone else feels!) I had to come up with a plan. And it goes like this:

  •  First I need to be firm and stop going back on my decisions. I’m so not good at follow through, but I make these decisions in the first place because I know they’re what is best for me. Now it’s time to stick with them, no matter how tough. 34 years old, and just learning to do this. Old dog, new tricks… something like that!
  • No more drinking. I have a good support system in place, and people who are prepared to be tough on me, when I find it hard to do. 
  • Don’t dwell on the crap. It’s there, sure. And it sucks! But it can be acknowledged, and then left alone. What can’t be helped doesn’t deserve excessive worry, and what can be fixed, I’ll work on actually fixing- instead of obsessing over. It doesn’t get to take up excessive amounts of my brain time, and sabotage my happiness. Not anymore. 
  • Dear person who matters NO MORE: I have come to love not dealing with your mental abuse EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. The fact that you still think you can talk to me like that infuriates me. Move on, already. In case you don’t understand: You don’t own me, you never have. I do not need your approval to live my life. I do not require your permission. Your opinion matters not a bitand you can’t control me with it anymore. (That was somewhat theraputic, and I’ll likely read it constantly.)
  • Work on those friendships!!! Those good ones, who have been there for a long time, and I have neglected. It’ll take time, but it will be so worth it. 
  • Alllllll of the exercises from my ITTP classes- I need to practise one or two each day. Make them habit. Change your actions, change your thoughts, change your life.
  • Find time each day for grateful thoughts. Jennifer Aniston has talked about listing what she is grateful each day. Hey, if it’s good for her…
  • Make a goal, for the end of each month. Make little, attainable, measurable goals for the days and weeks leading up to it. Celebrate reaching that goal. 
  • For the love of pete: put the phone down and walk away. Turn off the TV. 
  • Shut my mouth on those negative comments. I’ll never be able to harness my sarcasm – it’s a huge part of me. Still, when that sarcasm gets hurtful and mean, it’s not fun for anyone, myself included. 

Sure… for some people these things might come easily. For me, it’s going to require a lot of determimation. Some are short term, some will take longer. However, just figuring it out and knowing my gameplan, imagining it all going well – makes me feel pretty great. Even at 4:25 in the morning! Hmmm…. maybe I should add to the list: don’t make goals in the middle of the night; and work on a somewhat normal sleep schedule…..