Look at the night and it don’t seem so lonely

forgive my neil diamond lyrics as the title of this post– i am currently in a messenger debate with a friend over whether or not Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond is a good song.  guess what? it is.  a chorus of the bopbopboppppp makes it 100.  don’t @ me.  (is that what the kids say these days?)

on to more pressing matters– i am on a leave of absence from work.  there– plain and simple… no dancing around it- i’ll just put it out there.  life has been increasingly stressful over the past few months– i’ve made difficult decisions i wholeheartedly felt were the right thing… only to have them blow up in my face.  i’ve listened to the hurtful words from some and believed them.  i internalized them… they took control.

i looked at my social media feeds from the days leading up to my “breakdown,” and i could see it coming.  –tweets about feeling like i was unraveling…  guzzling coffee because i couldn’t feed my kids fast food dinner again… or be late on a work assignment.  the hits at work hit hard and broke me down–  the messy house, the exhaustion, the tantrums from the threenager, the meetings at school for my five year old– those became harder to handle.  i was losing strength.

i think… though i can’t be totally sure…. that i basically stopped my OCD medication without meaning to.  the deeper i got into the madness… the more i kept telling myself… “oh you’ve already taken it– don’t take it again… you’ll OD” …or “you can’t be sure– you don’t want serotonin syndrome– best to just skip it tonight…” — eventually i couldn’t determine the days i’d had it or hadn’t had it… i was lying about taking it regularly… though i kept telling myself that i wasn’t lying– i was just being protective.

i am not functional without Prozac.  i have come to terms with it– it is the life i live.  when the postpartum from my daughter became too much to bear– and i felt i couldn’t hold her in my arms because she deserved better than the piece of shit mother she was given… i had to get help.  for months, my life after her birth was the darkest time in my life.  i found the energy to make it to my psychiatrist even when i couldn’t get out of the car.  the office coordinator met me outside, sat down on the ground and talked me through an unbearable moment.  together, my psychiatrist and my therapist…. saved me. they’ve both seen me in my darkest moments.

a few weeks ago the darkness was creeping in again.  some of the most hurtful words of my life were said– lies were told– i stood my ground… at least i tried.  i stood my ground until i couldn’t stand any longer.  i texted my therapist– “i’m not feeling like myself… it’s all too much… everyone deserves better than me…i can’t do it anymore.”  She wanted to see me– I refused.  I needed to finish work that day.  I had to show the world I was okay.

I left work a few hours early and then went home and crumbled.  i impulsively cut my hair because– why the hell not?  i wanted to be different… look different– not be who i am.  things got darker… &  hours later i started vomiting and nearly fainted.  i realized i hadn’t really eaten or drank much all day.  –after some sleep, some water and some more vomiting…i fell asleep on my couch.

the next day i texted my psychiatrist.  i have my psych’s number for emergencies only.  i’ve used it maybe twice in all of the years i’ve been seeing her.  she told me to come in immediately.  my blood pressure was very high– my pulse was very high… and i was inconsolable.  she called my husband to discuss a care plan and i fell backward into the chair collapsing on the arms and relying on them to hold me upright.  i stared out the window and wondered how i was here… again.

when she came back the plan was decided.  i was out of work for 2 weeks at least– with regular check ins for my vitals and mental state.  my appointment tomorrow will determine if i am fit enough to return to work.

every single day of my leave- i have desperately tried to relax… it was hard at first.  my brain was on steroids– i was worried… terrified, anxious, crazy.  i listened to my doctor– i took my medication and things started to become a little more manageable.  i slept… a lot.  mental exhaustion is very real.  i’ve been exhausted for months.  i got a completely new haircut– i attended meetings at my son’s school… i prayed– i watched trash TV– i read …i saw friends i haven’t seen in months.  these moments have felt really good.  i’ve felt more myself– and as a result, i’ve had real moments of being present with my children and enjoying them in these amazing stages in their lives.  i’ve had the complete support of my husband who comes through for me time and time again.  i don’t deserve him but God blessed me with him and he’s rescued me more times than i can count.

so what is the point of this post?  i don’t know.  i just felt the need to write it.  i felt the need to let you know that my thanksgiving turkey and stuffing were delicious and my carrot cake turned out beautifully and was well received… my kids actually smiled in their school pictures– they’re SO smart and the lights of my life… and my husband and i are incredibly in love and he’s perfect… and every other fucking thing that everyone puts on social media.  i let you guys know that all the time if you follow my newsfeed.  but you know what– it’s not all gravy (see what i did there?) all the time.  the turkey may be good but the traveling is taxing.  the kids smiled in their pictures but bitched me out over not making hot dogs for dinner… or threw a tantrum over not getting to eat fruit snacks after school when i barely held it together that day at work.  my husband is my love– but sometimes he pisses me the hell off …and some moments i’m a whole lot to handle for him.  sometimes i call him an asshole and he really hates it– sometimes he treats me like a 3rd child and i scream at him for it.  and sometimes– i smile at you at work and tell you things are fine… i’m just tired.. –but sometimes… things are not fine.  it’s too much …and this time– it caught up with me.

i’m still struggling.  i’m still hurting- and truth be told, i’m terrified to go back to work.  i still don’t feel 100% and keep having crying spells and fits of feeling like a complete failure.  –but i’m better.  i got help.  i’ve had so many texts and calls and visits from good friends who know my heart.  their support- their own strength… their love– continues to help me through this hard time.  God I’ve needed it.  I’ve needed every kind word.. every heartfelt concern… every positive message.  It is SO important to tell the ones you love that you love them.  they NEED to know.  they need to know what you mean to them.  sometimes – they need to know that others see the true person they are when they’re telling themselves that the lies they’ve heard  and the words they’ve suffered from may actually be the truth.

through it all, the people i respect the most have supported me and loved me.  the people that matter– know my heart and love me even if i haven’t felt “normal.”  i am so grateful.

prayers for a positive psychiatric check up tomorrow and strength for the weeks to come.  <3.

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I’ve never met a strong person with an easy past

I have had one hell of a week.  One hell of a few weeks actually …or a few months or years… depending on when you want to start counting.

Yesterday I drove past a church and the sign said, “I’ve never met a strong person with an easy past.”  I thought… wow, that is very true.   I internalized that for a moment and realized that I feel that I am stronger than I’ve ever been before, yet I feel so defeated.  It was an interesting thing to contemplate.

So why have things been increasingly hard this week?  I’ll tell you.  I used to work for a company that does senior care.  Wow!  What a rewarding job that is… seriously.  I got to “meet” some of the sweetest seniors and had some of the greatest conversations.  I had excellent coworkers and felt very rewarded in what I was doing.  However, there were things that also stuck out to me that weren’t quite right. I won’t go into those details here because they’re personal and they will be dealt with but just trust that though I found a wonderful industry, I needed a better company.

I decided to put out applications and was delighted to hear from a seemingly wonderful company that was voted top 100 places to work last year!  I was so excited to advance my career with this company and continue to work out my passion of helping seniors, the disabled, etc.  Of course, before I applied for these positions I checked with the HR at my company to make sure there was nothing preventing me from doing so… and they said I was good to go.  I wasn’t good to go.  In my paperwork was a non-compete.  I have no recollection of signing it and am certain I didn’t know the extent of what it meant but that’s neither here nor there.  Long story short, my previous position stopped me from stepping into my new role.  She smiled as she handed me the document.

I consulted a lawyer and she told me that in NC it would be a very difficult, costly process to fight them.  And for whatever reason, I didn’t have it in me to fight them.  I felt that even though I’d been so wronged by these people trying to make an example of me… that the universe would work it all out in some way.

I’ve heard things here and there about them and I feel that they’re reaping what they’ve sowed I guess.. but more importantly… I’ve seen such generosity from others.  I saw my psychiatrist this week and had a wonderful talk with her.  I told her that everything felt like shit… things were shit and I felt like shit and …those were my exact words really.  She let me get them all out and she reassured me.  I really got connected with my psychiatrist after the birth of my daughter and what a blessing that was.  She genuinely cares about my well-being and is there for me through every stage.  I’ve raved about her this week because when you find a business that is truly wonderful, run by people that are genuine and pure in their intentions… it should be celebrated.

My daughter’s daycare reached out to me as well and told me they were willing to half her tuition for the next several months until I could find a job. WOW!  This is a very wonderful school and I believe it has a waiting list! She did not have to offer something so generous… but she did.  She told me that we were a good family and my daughter was a great kid.  She wanted to help out as MUCH as she could.

I’ve also had so many friends reach out to me during this time. I mean, seriously guys… Phone calls, texts, lunches… I have been so blessed with the connections I’ve made and the people I’ve come to know and love.  When shit sucks… I have friends all over the world sending me those good vibes, praying for me and checking on me.  I love you guys!

With that being said, even with the love and support and the very-necessary-perfectly-timed-generous-gestures… there are hard times.  There are really difficult times.  I cried the other night until I couldn’t cry anymore and then I fell asleep.  I woke up at 3 am and cried some more.  My 22 month old rolled over (co-sleeping for the win!) and in the silence of the middle of the night I heard the SWEETEST sound.  She said, “mommy.”  I looked at her and said, “hey baby… i’m sorry, go to sleep.”  She said, “mommy sick?”  I said… “no baby, just sad.  Mommy is okay. ”  She then sat up and said, “Mommy, let me hold you.”  My little perfect girl.  She held me and I couldn’t help but cry harder.  My baby is such a caretaker with a gentle, sweet, caring spirit and she knew what her mama needed.  So blessed.

This morning, my son didn’t want to go to school.  He told me there would be a fire drill… that school was cancelled, etc.  I took him there and told him I would ask the teacher if there was going to be a fire drill and if there was going to be one I would stay with him for as long as I was able to.  I got to the school and was surprised there was no fire drill.   I told him this and he stood there panicking.  He started pacing, digging at his arms and tearing up.  I sat there and held him and talked with him.  He then told his teacher that “mommy needs to work here.”  My heart fell into my stomach.  I realized that my sweet, perceptive, beautiful little boy was worried about my situation.  He had been worried about it all week and was trying to fix it.  I’d thought I’d been careful about discussing anything in depth with him… and explained everything “kid friendly,” but he is such a sweet soul.  Our souls are so connected I know he feels when things aren’t quite right.  My heart broke into a billion pieces as I had to walk away and let his teacher help him cope/breathe/relax and adapt.  I knew it was the best thing but I sat there in the car crying and staring at the rain beating the windshield for 45 minutes… frozen.  I couldn’t leave… but I knew I probably shouldn’t stay and all I wanted to do was tell these people that they’d ruined everything… and now my kids?!

I called my husband over and over and over and tried to get him to talk me down but then I called my former employer.  I wanted to tell her what this was causing… that the loss in income was the LEAST of my worries at the moment… all I cared about was making my child feel secure.  I wanted to say that what’s “Business” to you… is someone’s life… but I’ve said it all before.  Some people don’t change.  Nothing I say or do will make them feel any remorse for what they’ve put us through… but regardless, it shouldn’t matter anyway.

I am trying to stay calm, focused, and pure.  My heart aches but I’ve utilized many resources.  I’ve called my parents, my friends, my husband, my psychiatrist, the crisis hotline, etc.  I’ve tried to find inspiration in little moments and encouragement in everyday things that maybe I wouldn’t have noticed before.  I do find that so much negative makes you really, really appreciate and see the positive.  It becomes quite clear and in focus.  It was always there and is always there but sometimes you have to go through some things to really see it.

I am blessed beyond measure.  I’ve always been taken care of and I always will be.  My children are pure, beautiful, caring, kind, amazing humans.  My husband and I are doing a FANTASTIC job of raising beautiful, loving people.  I can say that honestly and therefore I have everything.  I have a lot of work to do.  I have to start with what is most important and work my way out.  I need to protect my kids and help heal their hearts and minds… focus on finding a new job and calming myself.   Each day I have to remind myself that it IS worth it… and that I am worth it.  Practicing self compassion is not something I am good at doing.  I am the first to beat myself up when it all goes to shit… but hey… maybe now is the time to work on it even more.

This post is long and I don’t even know where it started… but I had to write it.  I don’t even know if I’ll re-read it.  I just hope that if you read it… you practice kindness.  It makes a huge difference.

 

Quick Tip Tuesday: Keep it real

My tip this (almost) Thursday… is to keep it real.  Weird right?  This isn’t really a tip is it?  Well, I’m not really in the mood for a tip.  Lately, I’ve been tired.  I’ve been really beaten down by life and things have just been hard.  I sat around tonight wondering what my tip could be this week and all I could really think about is how I’m feeling right now.  Specifically, how there is no tip that anyone can give me to make things easier necessarily.  So… I decided to just come to the blog with how I feel.  So… my tip is keeping it real.

If I’m being very real… rather than post a tip, I wanted to come here and tell you guys that I’m extra exhausted right now but I can’t do anything but obsessively clean my house.  (Wow! What a work in progress that is… I could work for a year and not be done most likely)  All I can think about is how I want to organize things or what needs to be cleaned next.  I don’t know why …but its the only thing I feel like I have control of at the moment.  I’m also sad for my husband… who is sad, obviously.  I’m sad when my son realizes each day that granddaddy is indeed still in heaven.  I’m stressed beyond belief… and I’m having trouble managing it.

Tonight, I texted my doctor to tell her that I couldn’t remember if I’d taken my medication, and feared I may have taken it twice.  Though I knew this would not be a problem, I compulsively had to text her.  And call the pharmacist.  And my mom.  And my husband.  This panic and paranoia landed me a 9 am trip to her office tomorrow morning.  When things feel out of control I start to spin out of control.  It is my reality.  I have dealt with it for many, many years.  Thankfully, I have amazing healthcare providers that can see it and know when to step in and check on things.

Overall, I think we’re doing a pretty damn good job of handling the absolute insanity that has come our way this year.  My kids are happy.  I get out of bed every morning.  We sometimes make it to story time.  We drive around… we talk, we play and we laugh.  So, even though I have very hard moments, I’m still happy and I’m still blessed.  And I’m not just writing that so that this happy mommy blog post has a happy little ending.  I mean it.  I’m lucky to have my kids, my husband, our home and so much love.

Maybe next week I’ll come at you with a new tip… a real one.  But for now, this is all I’ve got.  <3.