Saturday, December 23, 2017

The End is Near

I've been gone for a while again. The truth is that Keith's death knocked me for a loop and then some. I started to close in on myself. Then, one day, I woke up and suddenly things seemed better. I could almost hear Keith telling me that it was time for me to get back to writing and to living.  So, write I did. I spent a lot of my spare time working on my second book with Nick. I went out to the local NaNoWriMo write ins and focused on that and on my boys.

Time passed and mentally and emotionally, things have gotten better. For the most part they've been okay physically as well. That's if you ignore the past two weeks when I've been down and out with bronchitis. If you'd asked me just a few days ago, I probably would have told you that I was pretty sure I was dying. Losing the ability to breathe properly is such a terrible feeling! Thank goodness for antibiotics. I only wish that they would have prescribed me some cough medicine so that I could sleep at night. Today was the first day in a week that I got dressed properly. Then, like a crazy person, I went out into the cold and did some grocery shopping. It took its toll on me but I got through it and I'm determined to continue to be on the mend. I don't pick up the boys until Monday (Christmas) night so I can take the next couple of days to recover.

I mentioned above that things have gotten better emotionally and mentally. That's been something that's very much been on my mind these past few days. It's been a big change for me over the past year or so. Last year (and a lot of years before that), when December 1st rolled around, I'd start looking for Christmas cards in the mail. A couple of weeks before Christmas, I'd look for packages to be delivered. As the days would go by and they didn't appear, I'd get sadder and more upset. I would curl up and think about how alone I was going to be when the boys were at their dad's on Christmas Day and how I'd have nothing of my own to open. In my head, I would convince myself that nothing coming meant that no one loved me.

Writing that seems so silly but it's the truth. At some point in my life, I started equating getting things from people as meaning they cared about me. After all, you do get things for people you care about. The problem came that I also believed the opposite to be true when it came to me. Somewhere over the past year though, that changed. I don't entirely know when or why but it did. Oh, I have my suspicions but nothing that I can say, "Yep, that was it."

As the clock has ticked down towards Christmas, not a gift has arrived and only one card. I have a stack of about fifty that I'll be mailing out once I have the funds for postage. Granted, a lot of them are for supporters of my son's trip, but quite a lot are personal choice as well. In the past, this would have had me in tears by now. This year, I look at it and know that I am loved by those that matter to me and that no gift in the world is more important to me than their love and support. Those closest to me are a small group but they're the most important group in the world to me and there's no greater gift than their love and the time shared together.

As we get closer to 2018, I know that 2017 has been incredibly hard for some of them and for me as well. We're all ready to begin again and while I firmly believe that you can begin again at any time, there symbolic changing of the year is a good time to reflect and to plan. I'm so happy to be able to say that I'm going into it stronger, calmer, and surrounded by love.

So here's to sharing the holidays with each other, near and far, to loving ourselves and each other and to going into 2018 ready to be the change that we need within ourselves and to make this world a brighter, better place. I know that things will come that we may not be ready for, that life will throw us challenges and torments, but I also know that there will be good moments. The bad may out count the good but the good will still be there and it's our job to not only remember the good but to increase the good around us.

Happy holidays, my friends!

PS To see my year end wrap up of good and my 2018 goals, check out Life With Katie. As I'm able, I'll be writing those up.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


It's been one hell of a week so far and it's a bit sad because I'm proud of the fact that I'm even at my table writing this post. Let me explain...

On Sunday, I decided to tackle one of the totes from my office/studio because it kept falling over. I had no idea that it weighed as much as I did and as I attempted to lift it, I twisted my left ankle and wrenched my right knee. Being physically forced to slow down is hard when I'm so determined to keep making progress on this house.

On Monday, I received a message from a friend that mentioned another friend with a sad face. He had no idea that I hadn't gotten the news yet that our mutual friend had died that morning. I knew it was coming but somehow hadn't quite prepared myself for it. That's where the slow spiral like the floor went out from under me started.

Tuesday brought the news that my oldest is behind in his classes and that my furnace, for about the billionth year in a row, isn't functioning properly. The first I can do something about. The second involves me having to clean my entire downstairs before I can let the landlord know. That wouldn't be a huge issue for most but it is for me. I'm still digging out from my hoard. Now, there's the pressure to get it all done and done quickly before the true cold weather hits.

All of this has added up to me feeling lost. As each bit of something happens, I'm pushed a bit further down. I'm fighting it as much as I can but yesterday and most of today found me curled up on the couch sleeping. It doesn't help that I'm not sleeping well at night but it's only this unbearable weight that has me stuck there. Today, with half an hour left before I have to go into town, I made myself get up and come into my office. I skimmed Facebook, played a bit of a game, and now wrote this. In a few minutes, I'll put my shoes on and go take my youngest to his audition.

....and maybe tomorrow I'll get off the couch and work on my book. I need to do that. I need to finish it and get it out into the world. I can do it. I really believe that. I can't do it from the couch though so tomorrow, I'm challenging myself to just one chapter. It's a little thing but it's a starting point.

Speaking of starting points, I do want to mention that not only am I still taking the two medications but I've added my third in this week, as well. I'm sticking with taking them, even through all of this, and I'm proud of that.

....and now, it's time to go be mom and to get that kid to his audition. Fingers crossed that it goes well. He wants this so badly and has been working hard toward it.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Soooooo Tired...

I'm pretty sure that this could have been a picture of me earlier today if:
1. I were blonde.
2. I were that cute and tiny.
3. Someone was here to actually take a picture of me.

I'm absolutely exhausted. I've taken 6 doses of the anti-depressant now and 5 of my allergy med and I am completely wiped out. All I want to do is nap, which, as you can imagine, is not exactly conducive to getting any amount of work done. Since I started taking it, I haven't been able to work on the book or get anything more done in my office. I've managed to do the "necessities" and be mom and that's about it.

It's incredibly frustrating and every day I hope that it will be the day when I have some amount of energy back. I cringe whenever Nick mentions working on the book because I feel guilty that I haven't this week. It's not due to a lack of desire, I assure you. It's simply because whenever I sit down, I want to sleep. I fell asleep earlier today, sitting at my desk, waiting for a file to download. I had to go sleep for 2 hours so that I could go into town, pick up Roger, do a bit of grocery shopping, drop him off, and come home. I only unloaded the perishable groceries so that I could get to my desk faster and finish off the site work for Geek-o-Rama. It's 6:40pm and I just want to go to bed. Blah!

Other than that, I think it's helping. The first day was really hard because my head was silent and it freaked me out. It's been a long time since I haven't had a dozen things going on in it at the same time. I also had a migraine for two days which wasn't much fun but that seems to have passed, thank goodness!

Really, other than the exhaustion, I seem to be doing okay. I'm trying to decide the best way to handle the tired. I can't keep taking naps every day and logic says that if I push through it, my body will be "forced" to adjust faster. I guess I'm just going to do my best. Tomorrow I'm home all day and set to work on the book until I have to head to the marching band competition. I think being at the desk all day and having to really focus on something will be the ultimate test in how things are.

Until then, I'm leaning towards working a bit on the book tonight. After that, dinner and curling up on the couch to watch some tv and maybe even a bit of reading before bed. My to do list, including my reading list, seems to have no end so there's always something I can be doing.

I hope all of you are doing well...

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

I Feel Crazy

Two posts in two days. I want to say that's a good thing but honestly, I don't know. This post will probably be unlike anything you've ever read here, but again, I don't know. You see, I'm rapid cycling right now and it's making me feel absolutely crazy. I'm sorry if this post sounds crazy. I just need to write it while it's there so I can remember why I'm starting back on medication tomorrow.

I came back from my trip and I was sad. Of course I was sad. There were things that I so badly wanted to do but there just wasn't the time to do them. There were so many good things that happened, but also emotion crashes that happened that honestly needed to happen. They taught me lessons that I needed to learn. Good lessons. Strong lessons. ...and I was sad because I missed him. I always miss him, hearing his voice, and all the good things, but it's always so much harder after I've spent time with him.

By the time I got home, I was exhausted, not just physically but mentally because ten hours is a lot of time to think. The thoughts weren't bad but there were oh so many of them. The combination left me rung out and when I woke up Saturday morning, depression was trying hard to take hold. I didn't want it to. I didn't want him to know just how much it hurt that he was too busy to say good morning or I love you or anything like that. This isn't shocking behavior or anything that he's done or is doing wrong. This is me. This is my brain. This is my brain on whatever chemical cocktail that it had come up with this time.

So, I asked myself what would he do...why he'd work of course. So, I put myself to work. I'm dealing with dehoarding my house so I went into my office/studio and started working. I cleared space. I built a bookshelf. I filled the bookshelf. I cleared other shelves. I purged. I dusted. I cleaned. I did it for at least eight hours straight without stopping. I didn't eat. I drank from time to time. I just worked. When I made myself stop, I nearly twitched sitting on the couch. I could see what needed to be doing but I wasn't doing it.

Sunday was more of the same. I spent another eight hours at least clearing off desks, emptying drawers, rearranging things, reorganizing things. I couldn't stop. I had to keep going. I had to. I needed to. When I stopped it was because someone had ordered me pizza and told me to put myself on the couch with it and some tv. It was one of the hardest things I've done in weeks.

My brain said you have to keep going but my body was screaming for me to stop. If given the choice, I'd have listened to my brain.

Yesterday, I was exhausted. I made myself get up. I read the news and I cried. I was immediately emotionally overwhelmed. There were no reserves. I took myself away from most of it as much as I could and did what needed to be done. By early afternoon, I was a disaster. I spent a lot of the time driving into town in tears because suddenly the smallest things, things I could easily take care of, had completely overwhelmed me. It was all too much. I talked with someone and they listened and let me talk through each of the issues and pointed out that I had already solved all of them and that it would be okay if I skipped everything else, got some dinner (again I hadn't eaten) and just went home.

I didn't though. I went and got dinner, went to a writer's meeting to see if I would like it, and then went and watched the last hour of marching band rehearsal. I needed to at least see one of my kids, to be reminded that I had done something right.

Today though...oh god...I'm manic again. I wanted to start back on the office. I wanted to rip totes apart, purging, and sorting, and organizing. I couldn't though. I had to work on the book. I gave Nick my word that it would be done by the end of the month and I'm so far behind. I just had to work on it. I told myself just one chapter, just get through one chapter and you can stop. Eight hours later, I finished one chapter. It took me all day because I couldn't focus. The harder I tried to focus, the worse it got. I started having physical stress manifestations...itching all over for no other reason than I was trying to force my brain to do what I wanted it to do. Even now, my head and arms itch and it takes so much for me not to scratch until I'm nearly bleeding.

I can't focus. I can't remember things. I just want to "do" and not anything else but that isn't life, is it? You can't just always "do".  I told Nick that I had finished what felt like the world's longest chapter and he told me to keep going, that it was the only way it was going to get done. I put my head in my hands and nearly cried. It seems impossible that I'll ever get this done. I know he's not doing anything more than trying to encourage me. I usually love when he tells me to get writing because I know that it's because he believes in me more than anyone else in the world. I know that all the pressure and the voices are all in my head when they scream that I can't do this, that if I don't do this he's going to hate me because I let him down. Nick is never going to hate me...but just writing those last seven words has my heart in my throat.

I don't know if any of this even makes sense or begins to describe what it's like to be manic. I don't know if it describes how your brain says keep going, keep going, even when your body is about to collapse due to exhaustion. I don't know if it begins to describe what it's like to try to hold normal conversations with people online, to problem solve, to handle things, all the while your brain is spinning out of control. If they were to be able to see my face, they'd probably see wide eyed terror. I'm trying so hard but I feel as if I'm spinning out of control. Sometimes I swear it's not the depression that will kill me but the mania...the moments where I feel every thing 100 fold and everything seems so huge. I panic. I can't breathe. It's why physical labor works. I'm away from everything and everyone and I can't think. I don't have to think. I just have to do....

....and this is why I go back on medication tomorrow. I don't want this to be me. I don't want to feel like I'm outside my own body looking in anymore. I don't want to force myself to stop, to breathe, to eat, to do things others do without thinking they're a big deal. I don't want this to be me.

Now, I have to go do another chapter because I cannot let him down...I promised...

Monday, October 2, 2017


Well, it's been about a month and here we are again. How are you, my friends? I sometimes wonder who the people are who read these posts when I write them. I suspect some of you are folks that I know and some of you are strangers who have wandered across this little blog. Whoever you are, I'm glad you're here. I really and truly am.

I suppose that I ought to catch you up on the past month or so. As it always is when school starts, life gets crazy around here. It takes at least this long for schedules to start to balance out. Both of the boys are doing well for which I am grateful. There are still some communication issues with their father and stepmother but that will never change so I try to take it in stride and to not let it stress me out. It is what it is, so to speak.

As for me, I'm doing okay. I've had my ups and I've had my downs. That's life though, right? No matter how often we may wish for smooth sailing, life would get rather dull if there weren't the occasional dip or bump. Granted, dips and bumps aren't much of a big deal compared to mountains and valleys.

If you asked me right now how I'm doing, I'd say, "Oh, I'm okay." and for the most part that would be true. I wouldn't tell you how much I miss the man that I'm in love with or that his sudden dropping of possessives and terms of endearment is bothering me, even though I'm sure it's absolutely nothing. I wouldn't tell you about how I just offered something pretty big to one of my staff members just to be told that he's decided to launch his own site and how devastated I am by that. I'd just smile and say, "Oh, I'm okay."  I don't know why that is or if it really matters. It's just something that crossed my mind right now.

But, this post is entitled Decisions...Decisions... and I've not talked once about any decisions, have I? I guess I ought to do that or this whole post will seem a bit wonky.

Decision #1: Mental Medication - This one is a huge one and one I've discussed here before. With the start of school and knowing I had a trip coming up, I put off this decision. The gaps in my memory have made the decision for me. I just spent time with the man that I'm in love with and I can't clearly remember our conversations and that really isn't acceptable to me. As if that's not bad enough, I think something and 10 seconds later, I can't remember what I was just thinking. I'm going back on the medication and I pray to god that it's worth it.

Decision #2: Girly Medication - A couple of months ago, at my annual checkup, the nurse practitioner mentioned that I should consider an alternate form of birth control. It seems that long term studies have shown that using Depo Provera for over 2-3 years can cause bone loss. However, going off of it for a year can reverse that. I'm now at 2 years and 2 months. It's time to make this decision. As much as it sucks, I've decided to do 1, possibly 2 more shots and then switch over to the patch. Why does this suck? On the Depo, I don't have a period, just some spotting. On the patch, I had a full out period. Gross, but I'd rather that then brittle bones, I do suppose.

Decision #3: NaNoWriMo 2017 - As some of you may know, I participated in this last year and completed it. Even though there multiple near panic attacks, I took myself out to the "local" group's activities and write ins. Being away from my home office really helped me buckle down and focus. Things got done. However, I never really felt totally welcome within the group. In fact, my second (I think) time with them, I actually got pulled aside and lectured by the one group leader about being mean to someone else who was there. Let me make this clear, I wasn't being mean. The person in question was a stay at home mom whose kids were young. I made a statement that if my kids were little still, I think writing would be easier for me. Notice those last two words...for me. I was and am a stay at home mom for the most part. When my boys were little, I was so much more productive than I am now..partially because my mental health was better and partially because we were home and not running all over creation due to sports and band and everything else that they do. I think this woman getting hurt (as in literally crying to the group leader) caused the group leader to have an issue with me even though it was a misunderstanding. She never made me feel welcome after that. Luckily, the other group leader did and that combined with how much I was getting done led me to attending other events. Now, on the near eve of everything starting up again (first workshop is in 3 days), I'm stuck on trying to decide if I attend or don't attend. I have book 2 in the works and if I could convince Nick to give me one more month, this would be the perfect time for cleaning it up and really making sure it is what it should be. Argh..I just don't know. I wish that there were a group closer that I could try out to see if it would be a good fit.

I guess those are the big ones right now. I'm still working on balancing mom life, reclaiming my house, and writing the book, but I feel as if I'm making progress in those areas. I keep telling myself that baby steps are better than no steps at all and there was a point where I wasn't making even those.

I'm going to close out this post now..not because I'm done writing because I'm never done writing, but because it's time for me to head into town to see my kids, to run the gaming group, to attend a new local writer's group, and then a parent's meeting for those with kids graduating this year. Sometimes I think my life begins at 2pm.

Before I go though, I want to say thank you for those who come here and read. I know it seems such a little thing but when I see the number of you who do, it helps me to know that I'm not alone in this great bit world. I have my boys, I have my man, and I have all of you. Take care of yourselves...

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Random Thoughts

Well, it's been about a month since I last posted and I've spent quite a bit of that month scrambling from one thing to the next. The youngest and I spent almost a week down in Indianapolis trying to take in the craziness that is Gen Con. Holy crow that's a lot of walking and it reminded me that I need to get some good nursing shoes or something that is made for folks who are on their feet all day long. It was a great bonding time with him and we brought back quite a bit for the high school gaming group to try out.

Then, as soon as we got back, it was the mad dash to get both boys ready to go back to their dad's as well as back to school. Did I mention that there was a football game plus practices that week as well? Utter insanity.

Now, the boys are back at their dad's and we're all working on adjusting to the new schedules that each school year brings. It's been tough because they've had two four day weeks so far which makes everything off by at least a day. I'm looking forward to next week when we have a full week of school and I can really focus on building a new day to day schedule for myself.

Monday will always be site work day for me. It's the day that I work on Geek-o-Rama. Speaking of which, if you're interested in reviewing comics, get in touch with me. We need one or two new folks into the mix.

Tuesdays - I'd like to make this book day. I'm so far behind on book 2 of The Tether Saga and I really need to get back to it.

Wednesday - Free day. A day where I can have a bit of downtime, tackle any projects that I want to. Not necessarily lazy day but a day where I'm not tied down to one thing.

Thursday - Education day. Nick is an absolutely marvelous partner in the books but I want to do more to help ensure their success. I have books I want to read, podcasts to listen to, and things I want/need to learn to turn this into more than just a dream.

Friday - Finish it Friday - The day I take all of the things that got started that week and wrap them up.

This is my basic outline that I have so far. There are a lot of details to fill sporting events, band rehearsals, concerts..Oh, and my youngest is auditioning next month for a jazz orchestra and wants to add private lessons back in. After almost two years at the place he was going, he decided that he wasn't really learning anything there that he wasn't teaching himself so he quit. The new place is a 45 minute drive away but is with someone who charges less and is actively playing. There are a lot of details to figure out. He may get his driver's license soon...though that depends upon him finding a job and while lots of places are saying they're hiring, nobody is getting callbacks. If that happens, it will help because he'll be able to get himself places.

I also need to build in time for some sort of exercise, even if it's just walking, and proper meal planning. My physical health needs to be a part of my healthier me plan for sure.

So, there we have it. A rough outline of what I'd like to turn my daytime into. I essentially have from when I get up until 2pm every day to make this happen. Fingers crossed that I slide into it relatively easily and things start getting done around here.

I'll let you know how it goes...

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Where do we go from here?

Hi all! It's been a really rocky couple of weeks but the depression is lifting and I had a bit of a revelation the other day. I'm going to leave that for a post of its own though. Today I want to update everyone on where I am with things.

Let's start with the basic health stuff. I spent 2 phone calls and a total of about 40 minutes on the phone today with my insurance company. I had some questions and eventually, I got some answers. It just took 2 phone calls and 40 minutes..heh.. I'll save you 40 minutes and give you a quick rundown:
Mammogram: 3D mammograms are covered and I now have this scheduled for next week. I'm not excited but it needs to be done so I might as well get it done.

Therapy: I get 20 therapy visits per calendar year and that number resets on January 1st. It doesn't seem like a lot but I guess it does come out to about 2 per month. I'm still on the fence about going to therapy and what type I should pursue but it's good to know that it will be covered if I decide to seek it out. Of course, I did forget to find out if they have a provider listing. That's another call for another day, I guess.

Weight Loss: For the past couple of years, my doctor has wanted to send me to the local hospital to pursue the option of weight loss surgery. More and more lately, I've come to realize that I need some guidance and some accountability. I don't seem to be able to do it on my own. I've beat myself up over this time and time again. People say that I'm strong, etc but I can't seem to do this. Enough. Sometimes we all need help and I shouldn't feel any amount of shame for that. If you're someone who feels the need to shame me or anyone else, feel free to also find the door.

I was given quite a bit of insurance will cover the surgery if I meet the following criteria:

  • Co-morbid BMI of at least 40
  • Having been in a medical weight management program for 6 months and to have lost 10% of my body weight in that 6 months. The program has to have been within the past 2 years.
  • Documentation of having seen a dietary consultant.
  • Documentation of having had a psychosocial evaluation.
The only medical weight management program that they'll cover is Weight Watchers. To get into that, I have to make an appointment with my doctor's office, go in, and have a special form filled out that I also have to sign saying that I'm committing to the program. Then:
  • They'll review the form and if approved will send me a welcome packet that will tell me where and when the meetings are.
  • I have to attend at least 10 meetings in a 12 week session.
  • At the end of the 12 week session, I have to fax in a copy of my progress sheet and the weight loss record.
  • If I've lost at least 5% of my body weight during that time and they approve it, I can then do another 12 week session.
If I go through both 12 week sessions, that will count as the 6 months in a weight management program. At that point, I could go to the hospital program which would cover the other criteria. I don't know that I want to have surgery and I know that it's not an immediate cure all. I'm actually glad that there are hoops that must be jumped through. 

For now, I'm going to enjoy the last few weeks of summer with the boys and continue to work on the little changes like water intake and trying to make sure that I'm in bed and asleep by a certain time. I'm also considering making a medication change. As some of you know, I've been off my anti-depressants for about two years now. I'm very seriously considering going back on them for a set amount of time so that I can determine whether or not they help me. It's a decision that I'm putting a lot of thought into. 

I could keep writing but it's about time for me to get around and take my oldest son to work. If anyone has any information about the current Weight Watchers program, I would love to hear about it. 

Until next time...

Thursday, July 27, 2017

I Just Need to Write

I'm horribly emotional today. I never know if that's progress from the numbness or if it's something else. I guess that's the problem with mental disorders, huh? I once considered trying to keep a private journal so maybe I could track things so that when they happened in the future I would know. It never happened though because while I love routine, being "forced" to write just felt wrong to me.

Today though, I just need to write, and I hope that's okay with everyone who might stumble upon this little blog of mine. It's been a rough week and maybe if I get some of it out of my head, I'll feel better. It's worth a shot anyway.

I don't really know where to start though. That's how it goes, right? You make the decision to write and then realize your head and heart are so jumbled up that you can't do more than write about how you don't know what to write.

I guess you could say that this was a very high emotion week. High emotion weeks are really rough when I'm depressed. They drain me more than I'm already drained. On Sunday, I went to pick up my youngest from his father's house. He was supposed to be ready at 7pm. At 7:30pm, he started out of the house just to be called back inside by his stepmother for another 30 minutes. Long story short, she informed my son that she wasn't going to do something she had said she would. I don't know if it was the blatant disregard for my time, the fact that I've already been struggling with what's happening, or what, but I completely lost it. I was livid and if my son hadn't said something, I'd have been inside their house letting them know just how I felt about their "parenting style."  I was angry enough that it scared my oldest. I never lose my cool around them like that.

I'd like to say that the week improved from there, but it didn't. I think losing it like that has opened up a well of emotion that I just don't know how to handle. I'm still avoiding social media for the most part. I skim through my feed now and then but I'm finding that it's hard to emotionally handle some of what I'm seeing. I see another friend post about how they're struggling and the support is overwhelming and while I'm glad she has that, I mourn the fact that I don't. Crystal commented on my last post being sorry that the people that I want to count on aren't available. It's not that. It's that more and more, I feel as if those people don't actually exist. I know that to some extent, that's my fault. It's easier to hide than it is to argue with the depression when it says nobody wants to hear about it. It's easier to say, "I thought you were my friend, but then you stopped paying attention to me and it's not life getting in the way because you always have time for someone else." than it is to say, "Hey, I could use someone to listen." One is defensive and the other is to be vulnerable and when you're sinking being vulnerable is a huge risk. It's all about choices.

I guess that's where I'm at. I need to make choices. Some will be easy and some may break my heart. For a long time, I've had a private FB account that's never had more than 20 friends on it. I created it during a time where I needed a safe place to vent where my "family" wouldn't see. Right now, I think there are 16 people there. These are supposed to be the people that I trust and can turn to at any time. I've come to realize that I'm not sure any of them or many of them are. There's the guy who was my best friend until his wife decided I was going to try to poach him so she insisted he remove me from his he did on the account she knew about but kept the private account. There's the guy who was my best friend and who I trusted with my life but after telling me how glad he was that I was in his life and that he wasn't walking the path of life struggles alone stopped talking to me unless I messaged him first. There's the woman who claimed I was a close friend and promised to help me raise the money for my son's trip by buying something from me but hasn't spoken to me in probably close to a year and who actually "forgot" about her promise but didn't feel bad about how it affected me or my son. There's the guy that I looked up to and who looked out for me until my ex-husband told his wife that he wasn't interested in her and so she decided to hate me so he wasn't allowed to be friends with me anymore. This is just a sampling but it's a pretty solid idea of what's there. I keep thinking that maybe it's time to let go even though it hurts like hell. Maybe it's time to let go of the people who said they'd always be there for me but through their actions have shown that not to be true. Just thinking about it has me in tears again.

There are other decisions to be made..including whether or not I go back onto the anti-depressants. I've been off them for two years now but this time, this episode, is worse than anything I've faced during that time. It's taking me back to before I sought help. My short term memory is being affected, my concentration, and so many other things. With everything else ahead of me that I'm facing, maybe it's time to go back on them.

So many maybes...maybe I should just walk away from social media. I love people and I love being able to see into their worlds, but I'm not a part of their worlds. They're "false friends" -- friends only under the illusion of social media. Maybe I'd be better without the illusion. With everything that's happened at the doctor's recently and in life lately, maybe I'd be better off leaving that all behind. After all, don't they say that those who really care will find a way to be there?

Sunday, July 23, 2017

You haven't noticed, but I'm not okay...

It's been a couple of weeks since I last posted here. Life got crazy with the return of the youngest and our schedules changing every week. I finally got that blood work done and saw the nurse practitioner at my doctor's office. My blood sugar is high but hasn't moved in two years. My weight was actually up about 4.5 pounds from when I weighed in at my last depo shot appointment. I have to schedule a mammogram. She suggested that I try to get out and walk for 30 minutes a day and consider going to the weight loss clinic. I have to call my insurance company to see what is and isn't covered...

The bigger problem, for me anyway, comes in the fact that more and more I'm sinking into a depression. It's not always sadness, it's numbness. I go through the day and I don't feel the depression but it's there. I can't make myself do the things that I should.  My little porch garden is half dead because I stopped watering it.  I pull out cookbooks to try to work on a healthier meal plan and they sit there unopened. I haven't posted to Facebook in about 10 days and nobody has noticed. I'm slowly sinking into my own private oblivion and nobody will notice when I'm gone. I'm convinced of that.

Oh don't worry, I'm not going to kill myself. That's not how this kind of depression works for me. I just go invisible. I stop participating in things, which, let's be honest, isn't hard when you live in the middle of nowhere and have no friends within any close distance. It will get to the point where I only leave the couch to go to the bathroom, make bowls of cereal, and sometimes get a drink. I'll just stop living. I'll just exist. This has happened before...

Life goes on, but it will go on without me. On the occasions where I'm forced to go out, I'll be like
the people in the depression commercial with their masks. I'll put on a fake smile and do what it takes to get back into hiding. Nobody will try to draw me out. They haven't even noticed that I'm fading. I'm easy to forget, to turn your back on. I always have been.

Maybe that's just how it's supposed to be. I'm supposed to be there for others but destined to be alone, hiding from the world. The world doesn't need for me to be happy, just to be available for others. Someday I'm going to find my happy place...and I suspect that place will be someplace where I'm all alone. It's easier and easier to walk away from the things and the people that I love because they don't love me back. It's easier to hide, to be alone...

I'm sure that this isn't the post that anyone wants to read. I could have come here and written about my friend Keith who worked hard at his dreams and at being healthy and who is now dying of pancreatic cancer, but even that would have the ugly twist of the fact that I'm jealous of the fact that he's making plans with others for the time he has left but hasn't even liked anything I've commented on his posts. I love him but I'm forgotten to him...and please, before anyone comments that I'm not important because he's dealing with far bigger things...yes, I know. Knowing doesn't change the ugliness in my head. If I could trade my life for his, I would. He's meant for wonderful things and I'm not. I have no purpose and with how thing are, I don't know that I'll ever break free from the cage that is my head.
I don't know what else to say. I had hoped that maybe if I wrote this, if I shared it, that maybe it would help unlock the door, but instead, I just feel even more like hiding, like running, like going away to a place no one can ever find me. The man I love once told me that the world deserves me and that I'm doing it a great disservice by hiding away. That same man hasn't spoken to me in over a month and I don't know why. It all adds up and it's become too much for me to bear. I just need to hide away from here, away from everything...

I don't know when I'm be back or if anyone will even notice me missing, but if you do, do one thing for me...take care of yourself and of each other. Notice when someone's regular habits change, be there, even if it's just to sit quietly while they pour their soul out to you. It's not always about fixing things, but just having someone you can share them with...

Thursday, July 6, 2017


Ugh. Does anyone know when grass pollen season ends? We've been under a pollen warning for at least 2 months now. It wasn't too bad at first when it was tree pollen but now that grass pollen has been sitting at very high for weeks, I'm at my wit's end.

For those that don't know, I have some nasty allergies and it seems that this year they're worse than ever. Grass pollen is the biggest culprit and it's gotten to that point that I've doubled up my allergy meds and I'm still in tons of pain. Unfortunately for me, when my allergies act up, the left side of my sinuses swell and cause me intense pain in that area, my left eye, my left ear, and the left side of my jaw. It makes getting any accomplished nearly impossible. The only thing that helps it is to "drink" water constantly.

Why the quotes? Because I'm not actually swallowing right away. I hold it in the upper part of the left side of my mouth and almost float my sinuses. It relieves the pressure briefly but let me tell you, getting 64 ounces of water a day has been a breeze! It's insane the amount of water that I drink. I haven't been keeping track but I know it's 64 ounces or more every day.

I've also been really good about taking my medicine, two-thirds of which is allergy related. It helps or at least I'm hoping it's helping! Either way, I'm proud of being on top of those two things. I still need to get into the habit of wearing my fit bit and making sure I make those step goals. Hopefully the grass will stop making grass babies soon and I can get outside more. It's actually gotten so bad that we're ordering masks for me to wear (at least while at home).

So, I'm still here, I'm still slowly plugging away at this and I'm thankful for anyone who stops by and reads this. It's good for all of us to know that we're not alone in this pollen spewing universe.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Things Are Happening!

I love this graphic. It's so peaceful and calming and nothing like my bladder today. You see, I have horrible allergy issues and one of the few things that helps is to take a drink of water and hold it in my mouth on the side of my face that is giving me a hard time. Why does this work? I haven't the slightest idea. It might have something to do with equalizing pressure or some other scientific type thing. All I know is that it works and for the past 18 hours or so, I have ingested a lot of water because of this. In fact, last night it got so bad that I was having to take a drink every five minutes. This led to a few bonus bathroom trips and me being exceptionally tired today.

Still, I know that the water intake is good for me. It will help cleanse my body of junk and will help me have more energy. You know, when it isn't in direct competition with sinus pain keeping me awake. Plus, the more water in me, the less hungry I'll be which can be a very good thing. Though it didn't stop me from eating those reece's cups a bit ago...but let's move on, shall we?

I've been at the library all day trying to get around the desire to nap and instead get some things accomplished. On top of the site work that I did over on Life With Katie, I accomplished drinking 33.8+ ounces of water and going to the bathroom four times. While a bit obnoxious, there's a good side to the bathroom thing too! On Sunday morning I finally found my fitbit charging cable! Now that it's charged and back on my wrist, it's keeping track of all those steps to and from the bathroom.

So far today, I've walked 1,703 steps. It doesn't seem like much but every step counts and with my daily goal being low at 3,000 steps, I'm pretty happy with that number. I'm not a lazy person but I'm absolutely not a very active person either. By finding my FitBit, it's allowing me to visually see where I'm at and its little nudges help me get up and get a few more steps in. I'm sticking with my 3,000 steps a day goal for now but I'm hoping by the end of summer to have doubled that number and to be hitting it regularly.

The same thing goes with my water intake. Today I should hit 64 ounces if I stay on the pace I am now. I'd like to hit that daily. I know some day it will be a challenge, but I also know that if I don't try, I'll never get it.  If I hadn't started taking my medicine, I wouldn't be able to say that I've been nearly perfect at taking it for the past two months. For an entire year before that, I didn't take it. Now, I may miss a day here or there, but I'm taking it. That's awesome.

I have a long ways to go with things. I still need to work on my diet and figuring out some sort of schedule for this summer. Between Roger being gone for another two weeks and then coming back and Ben working five days a week, things have been dodgy. I'm going to keep working on it though and I really love the support y'all give me.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Ups and Downs

Betcha thought I'd disappeared again, huh? Nope. I'm still out here. It's been a rough week or so though. It turns out that the reason I felt so awful and exhausted for 6 weeks is because I had mono. Go figure. I haven't the slightest idea where I picked it up from. All I can think of is that someone with it sneezed around me and I inhaled at the wrong time. Then, as if me having it wasn't bad enough, Roger caught it. Poor kid. His last week with it was terrible...throat so raw it was bleeding, exhausted, high fever...and one mom who was trying to be supermom. We got through it and got him off to jazz camp this past weekend, but that and the bat that moved into my house uninvited has worn me out. In fact, after I post this, I'm going to try to call my doctor's office again to reschedule my appointment and then take a nap. I'm no good to anyone when I'm super tired.

Now that I've caught you up, I  bet you could be wondering how the healthy changes are going. Of course, I also bet you know that when moms are being supermoms that they let their own things slip. I'm happy to say that it only happened a bit and as of this morning, I'm back on track with my medicine, watering my little garden, and eating breakfast. Small things, but important things. Plus, Ben and I have decided to spend 15-20 minutes each day tackling something in the house that needs to get done. I'm excited about the progress we're going to make by doing that. It's our goal to get to a point where the owner's husband can come put the rest of the ceiling tiles in. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

I guess that's that. Not a whole lot of change, but certainly some getting back on track and getting everyone healthy again. I have to reschedule my doctor's appointment to a time where I can also get Ben to work, but when I go, I'll be stepping on the scale. I don't expect a whole lot of change, but it will be good to know where I'm at. For now though, it's time to make that call and take that nap!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Fresh Starts

Holy cannoli, it's Friday again! I swear each week I say I'm going to write earlier in the week, but the days fly by and here I am at Friday again. It's been crazy around here. The end of the school year tries to kill me every year, I swear. This past week included a baseball game, a concert in a hayfield and all sorts of things that the schools and teachers are cramming in at the last second.  On top of that, this is week 3 of whatever I caught. The youngest caught it from me but he didn't get the cough and it seems to be clearing up for him. I'm better, but I still have a cough sometimes during the day and at night. I'm also just plain exhausted. Combine all of this up and this past week has been a total wash for me getting new steps in place.

I'm still doing really well with my mornings. I've taken to eating 2 oatmeal packets each morning and while they're in the microwave, I go out, grab my watering can, bring it in, fill it up, and go out and water my front porch garden. I bought some more plants last weekend but I've had zero time to get them into pots. I'm hoping against hope to somehow find some time to do that over the weekend. Maybe that can happen Sunday evening. Saturday is baseball, followed by the youngest's concert with the MSBOA District 10 All Star Jazz Band. Sunday morning/afternoon will be taken up by him doing dive training and the oldest and I working on exam prep.

Since I'm going to be all over the place and controlling what I eat, etc is going to be incredibly difficult, I've decided to give myself the weekend off and start fresh on Monday. There's no point in me adding in more things this weekend to keep track of when I'm still frantically trying to sort out everyone's schedules and if my ex-husband is going to be available to help if I need it. Stress helps no one.

So, here's where I am...I'm slowly building up a morning routine that so far is really working for me. I'm still trying to get in 3 meals a day. Come Monday, I'm going back to tracking food and working on keeping within 100 calories of what the My Fitness Pal app says I should be eating. I also think I'm going to change my weight loss goal within the app to something like 2 pounds a week instead of just 1. Time is ticking down quickly for my doctor's appointment so I'm also contemplating the conversation that I want to have with her. I want her to partner with me, not bully me.

Oh! I also got really brave and posted about my concerns in a fitness group that I'm part of. The people who commented were really encouraging and I might have one or two new fitness buddies to help me on this journey soon. I guess we'll see on that!

Until next week, this is one tired me who just wants to survive the last week of school signing out...

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Setbacks Happen...

This is me. Or it would be me if I were curled up on a much nicer couch than mine and I looked that good. Instead, I look dreadful and I'm sitting in a booth at a Denny's. So...that isn't me. The only thing I have in common with her is we both have tissues. Mine is a nice soft tissue. I hope hers is too.

Right. Can you tell that I'm sick? Not even a half page into this post and I'm already rambling. That's probably because I got all of maybe 4 hours of sleep last night and I'm thoroughly exhausted. Oh yeah, and I'm sick. I woke up with it Wednesday morning and it's still going strong.

Crazy sick. It started with a completely unproductive cough and just feeling completely wiped out. I managed to haul myself to Meijer, pick up my depo prescription and some juice, to the doctor's office to get poked, and home...and that's nearly it. I'm a horrible sickie. I just want to be cuddled and loved on and when you live alone most of the time, that's not really an option. This led to me feeling sorry for myself which never helps anyone. By Thursday, I was hacking up a lung and resorted to buying cough medicine.  I honestly don't think it's helped a lick. I was woken up well within the 4 hour dosing period by my coughing and hacking.

So here we are...Saturday...I'm completely exhausted and feel completely dreadful. I want nothing more than to be at home sleeping today away and hopefully getting better. No such luck though. I have to be mom and mom was needed to take Roger and his friend to dive training and then hang around until 5-5:30pm today to pick them back up. There's some moving them around between locations too and I'm supposed to go grocery shopping....someone kill me now or at least shoot me with a tranquilizer dart, please...

Right...focus. I can do this. What does all this boil down to? I haven't done as great this week with keeping track of things and that's okay. I've been trying to get better in between everything. Starting Monday, I'll be back at it. I also think I'm going to add in a couple of things. Up until now, I've been tracking my food but not making myself stay under my calorie limit for the day. Starting Monday, that's the first thing I'm going to add.  The other thing is a bit more personal and falls under the self-care category. I'm going to work on adding regular showers into my schedule. If I can get that on a routine, that will make self-care that much easier.

So there we rambling post that I pray to god makes some amount of sense. If it doesn't, my apologies. I'm lucky to be keeping my eyes open at all at this point. I honestly think I'm going to spend the afternoon attempting to nap in the car. I'm practically drooling on myself between the congestion and the exhaustion...

Weight (via doctor's office scale) 5/17: 302.8 lbs.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Making Progress

....and I'm back and it's only been about six days or so! Go me!

Okay, enough of that. Let's get serious. Or not. I really don't know where this post is going to go, I just felt as if I wanted to write something, so here I am.

Last post, I talked about babysteps to getting healthier, not slimmer, but healthier. One of those steps was to get back into the habit of taking my medicine. I am one of those people that absolutely suck at remembering to take pills. If I leave them on the bathroom counter, they will never get taken. I know this. I know I'll go into the bathroom and think I need to take that before I leave...and then I'll leave and won't take it. That's just me.

What does this mean? It means that I keep 2 pill bottles on the corner of my living room stand right by where I sit. They're almost always in my line of sight (unless a cat knocks them off) which reminds me that I need to take them. This won't work for everyone, but it works for me. It's worked well enough that since the last post, I haven't missed taking either my blood pressure medication at night or my allergy med in the morning. Is it helping? Honestly, I have no idea but other than being sleepier than usual, it isn't hurting so I'm going to stick with it.

I've also started logging my food intake again. I'm not pushing myself to make changes, just be aware of what I eat. It's step 1 in the healthier eating plan. Be aware of the "values" of things. It's also helped to start getting me back into eating 3 meals a day. I have a really bad habit of either over-eating or under-eating depending on where my mood is. This helps me to regulate that which I think is really going to help.

My plan for this coming week is to just keep doing what I'm doing. It's a really good start and I'm really pleased with my progress with it. I'd love to get out and start walking again but until the pollen count drops a bit, it's safer for me indoors. I don't need to be knocked out of action for a few days due to one walk around the block. Allergies really suck.

So, that's me this week! T-minus 42 days until I go in for blood work, 49 days until my doctor's appointment. I do have to go in next week to get my depo shot done so I'll be stepping on the scale then to give me a starting number for the weight loss. I don't have a scale at home (and I do have really slanting floors) so I'll probably only be weighing in every 3 months when I go in for my shot. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but off the top of my head, I don't know of a better way to do occasional weigh ins. Something to ponder, I guess!

I hope you're all having a great week!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Health and Wellbeing

I don't post here nearly as much as I should and I guess that's because life happens and I stop focusing on my weight and that journey to frantically try to keep all of the other plates spinning.
That's life though, isn't it? Just when we think we have things under control, something happens and suddenly we don't.

The last time I wrote here, I had no way of knowing that a mere month later, my world would come crashing down and I would go into a state of mourning so deep that just getting out of bed each day was a challenge.
But, here we are again and I've made a decision. While the name of this blog is Welcoming Weight Loss, it doesn't have to just be about weight loss. After all, so much of what goes into getting into place where you can safely lose weight is making sure that there's a balance in other areas of your life as well.

Nobody panic. I'm not going to start writing about my kids or my day to day life here. I do think though that from time to time, there will be posts about health in its many forms. Some of you realize that I have mental health issues that I deal with. There's also just life balance. When that's out of whack, it's so easy to just let things slide and if you're me, it's me that gets put to the side.

So, where is this all coming from? Well that's an easy answer. I've been thinking lately that it's past time for me to start taking care of myself more. The weather is getting nicer (when it isn't cold and raining...gotta love Spring in Michigan!) and the house is slowly coming to order. Those things are helping clear the cobwebs from my head (some) and so I decided to go and get my prescriptions refilled. I haven't been taking anything for a while and decided that needed to change.

Except, the pharmacy said they didn't have anything on file for me. It seems I'd used up my refills a while ago and nobody had told me. So, I went online and requested more refills. Easy enough, right? Well it would have been except my doctor's office called and insisted that I set an appointment to have a physical. Ugh. Like 90% of the world, I'm horrible about going to the doctor even when I am sick. To go when I'm not sick...yeah, that almost never happens. Still, I reminded myself about taking care of me and that means sucking it up and going in. Appointment set for June 28th and yesterday, I picked up my prescriptions (one was missing so I need to follow up on that).

I don't take a lot of medication but one of the things that I am supposed to be on is a blood pressure pill. Between my stress levels and my weight, my blood pressure is high. So, phase I of getting my health back to being a priority is to start taking that pill again. I took the first one last night and that's a good first step. Now, I need to get into the habit of taking one each night before bed. I can't take them during the day because they put me to sleep. Phase II is happening a bit alongside phase I. I'm continuing to get my kitchen in order so that I can cook proper meals and not rely on what's quick and easy and usually totally processed.

This is going to be a long haul but I'm hoping that even with these small steps, I won't get totally chewed out at my doctor's appointment next month. It sucks a lot to go into the doctor's office and have your doctor tell you that they're about to give up on you because obviously you don't care about your health. That's what happened the last time I went in...I left really hurt because I'd actually started making changes and had lost about 10 pounds. This time, perhaps I'll stand up for myself if she doesn't see what she wants to see. I guess we'll see...

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