Enough Excuses

Well, I’ve been off for a long time. To those who stuck around, hoping for a new post, I’m sorry. I’m back now if that makes a difference.

I think I should address the elephant in the room: yes, I stopped posting. I blamed it on things like “well I’ve got nothing positive happening, and nobody wants to read about a crappy day” or “I just can’t come up with a topic, nobody wants to read a blog that’s pointless”. Excuses. I’m calling it what it is, pointless excuses. I think I owe it to myself, and really anyone that’s out there reading this, the truth of the situation.

The reason I stopped posting is that I was withdrawing from the world around me. I didn’t think anyone would understand what I was feeling, hell half of the time even I couldn’t understand what I was feeling. The only thing I knew was just that; I was feeling some emotion, and it wasn’t a pleasant one. These emotions started causing me to stop doing things. First, it hit my writing (hence the hiatus), then it was the reading, then it hit me at work. That’s when everything started snowballing out of control. Tears would fall, meals would be missed, friends would be ignored. I was falling into myself with no signs of wanting to stop.

I decided enough was enough when I had a panic attack at work, all because I allowed my thoughts to get the better of me. I addressed an issue with my boss, we came up with a plan to fix said issue, and my co-workers retaliated. They were very passive-aggressive with their retaliation, but I picked up on the irritation, and suddenly my emotions got carried away and carried me to the parking lot out to my vehicle. The only thought I had was “GO! DRIVE AWAY RIGHT NOW AND DON’T LOOK BACK!” – lucky for me I left my keys in the office. I knew at that moment there was a problem, that if it was left unattended would spiral into so much worse. A friend came over and informed me of a program that I would benefit from, and I took the steps to get into it.

I’m not writing this looking for pity, nor am I writing this to make up an excuse. The truth of it is I learned some of the most important lessons that I could have ever learned. The point of this blog, at least in the beginning, was to share my lessons with anyone who stumbled upon an entry.

I learned many lessons so far, such as mental illness is a very real thing, and can be very frightening if left unnoticed and untreated.

Just because you have a mental illness does not mean it defines you. I suffer from severe depression with “anxious thoughts”, previously diagnosed as “generalized” anxiety disorder.  My personality consists of tendencies of withdrawing, paranoid and distrusting thoughts, and self-doubt. This is where the next lesson ties in, and I cannot possibly stress this one enough. These illnesses and traits DO NOT DEFINE ME. These are merely things that I have to learn to combat through healthy coping skills.

The third bit, and this has to be the most important; YOU MATTER. Work is tearing you apart, your husband is allowing the kids to tear around the house like animals, which makes you realize “my kids are animals”, and you feel like you’re about to snap, well that means it’s past time. It’s time to put you first, it’s time to learn healthy coping skills and use them, it’s time to start structuring yourself, simple things. At the end of the day, regardless if you are having a bad day or not, the world is marching on. You need to march on too. Let go of the bad, teach yourself good things, and remember YOU MATTER.

That’s the truth. I’ll be starting to schedule my posts more regularly, and I will try to stick to that schedule.
For those that stuck around, thank you. Thank you for believing in me when I didn’t want to believe in myself.
For those of you that are going through mental illness, you are not alone. Even if you feel like you are you aren’t. If anything, leave a comment or find a way to message me, I will listen. I believe in you.

Take time to learn something new today, but don’t forget the most important thing, love yourself.

XOXO – Courtie.

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Random acts part I

With the world being it’s usual shitty and depressing self, I’ve decided to make little changes in a person’s day to make it better. But I’m not doing this everyday, as much as I want to, I just can’t.

I’ll be scoping out people around me, and even monitoring my Facebook for people. I’ll start off small, coworkers, past managers, anyone I can see that really needs a pick me up. Once I find that person, the game begins. I’ll figure out what I can do to make their day, even if it’s just THAT day, a better one.

I think I’ll log each journey and reaction so other people can be inspired to do the same thing. Let’s make this a happy year, and give back to the people who need it most. ❤️

Routines

These little things practically run your life. Get up for work, brush your teeth, get dressed, start your car, leave the house, and so on. Without routines, you’re a hectic person with no idea of what is going on.

About a week ago, I had a sudden burst of “become a better person” that was running through my head. In my last post, I stated that I’m now signed up for a certificate program through a community college, but I didn’t stop there.

That night I jumped in the soul sucking, false reality inducing app that is Pinterest (honestly though, I love this app…but it sucks me in every time) and started looking up workouts. The workout search turned into yoga poses, which led to meditation searches, and suddenly I have a folder on my phone named “healthy you”. I sat back and started thinking, “how can I make sure that I do this every day? I need some sort of routine“. I probably shouldn’t have been making promises to myself that I may or may not live up to, but I did, and here we are.

The notebook page is sitting on my nightstand, and the first line is wake up at 5:30 am. Whoa, past me. I know you want to do good but 5:30?! That’s prime pillow time for me.

The next line is to wash my face. Which I don’t mind, however, expecting me, barely awake at 5:30 am to handle liquid soap on the same area as my eyes is a bad idea.

Next is yoga, and honestly this is my favorite one. There’s the right amount of burn, and only 7 minutes needed.

Somewhere along the line I have to hydrate…and water and I don’t mix. So I’ve opted for a glass of water instead of a bottle.

After hydration, I have a short workout to do, which honestly isn’t too bad. I push through every push up, nearly cry during the crunches, and jiggle my way through the jumping jacks.

More hydration happens when I’m able to pull myself off the floor. So much for washing my face this morning, since now it’s currently covered in sweat and tears.

Breakfast time, I suppose. The problem with this, I don’t eat in the morning. Every time I do, I end up feeling really sick. I choke down some scrambled eggs and maybe a little toast.

Journal time, or in this case, finishing up the blog post. In the future, I’ll probably use some prompts from the soul sucking app so I can do better at posting on this. Sorry blog…you’ve been abandoned in the past, but I can do better.

Finally it’s time for coffee. Now I love coffee as much as the next person, so going from 5:30 to probably 6:30 is super hard. I have to learn to force myself to wake up AND get motivated to move around? Come on…….just a little sip…..

Sure, I poke fun at this routine. Heck there have been days where I wake up facing the notepad, then turn over like it’s not even there. I know there are things I need to work on, and this routine will start showing it’s benefits. I just have to look at it with an open mind…and half open sleepy eyes.

Until I get to that point, I’ll be at my kitchen table, poking fun at the thing and browsing pinterest while wondering why I feel so crappy. One day I’ll learn!

 

The Winds of Change

Yesterday when I woke up, I was barely content with my life. Yes, I have a job, my family is amazing, and there are good people around me that I’m lucky enough to call friends. However, there was so much I could do to just…be better.

It started with an email. I graduated from an adult education class in 2016, and during my time I met the most amazing instructor. When I had problems with my classwork, he was there ready to help. I knew I still had his email address saved somewhere, so I sent him the following.

Good morning Frank*,

I was curious to see if you had any typing classes at the lab. I’d also like to work on my phone and email communications.

That was it. I’m split between to departments at work, one relying heavily on the three skills I was hoping to work on. After about an hour, I got a reply from the new instructor stating; yes, the typing would be in the lab, while the communications could be covered under the online distance learning as “essentials of communications”. Funny enough, I had taken that course to get my high school diploma. I declined the offer of the class, but vowed to better my typing skills, and set a date to talk to my boss.

I could have left things where they were, realizing the only way to better my communication skills was through a course I already took. However, I have been known to be a stubborn individual, to the point of being considered a spaz.

So I did what I do best, I continued looking. I emailed the college in the city next to me about workshops, where I was directed to classes. I grew frustrated and gave up my hunt, and mentioned to a supervisor what I was looking for. She told me of the certificate programs that her son did at another college, and suggested I look into it. I decided I’d give it a try, and immediately started browsing the website.

Before I knew it, I was filling out an application for the community college’s fully online accountant clerk specialist program. Everything I had been looking for in a program that I seemed to find myself searching at other colleges.

I’m set to start classes in the fall, at which point I hope to have gained enough bravery to talk to my boss about my schedule.

 

Today’s lesson: Don’t ever stop.

Bad again?

Sometimes I’m asked “how do you know you’re getting bad again,” and I haven’t been sure how to answer until now.

As I am frantically searching for my Nintendo 2ds with cheery Christmas music playing in my ear, I feel the wave crush me. This wave is a good feeling though, it means I’m finally coming out of whatever funk had wrapped its talons around the weakness of my mind.

I see clean clothes piled in a basket. Clothes that had been left untouched because I was too busy slumming around in my pajamas. My bedside table is covered in pop bottles, all collected from my late night snacking because “I’m bored but I can’t be bothered to sleep”. The garbage can is overflowing with candy wrappers because sugar gave me an artificial hype for things that I had loved so much but now find boring.

The music playing through my headphones seem to be trying as hard as it possibly can to pull me from the depths of my own self loathing, and suddenly I’m filled with motivation. I suppose I should finish this and clean, perhaps share a picture to prove I actually did something.

Who knows, maybe I’ll let the mystery stay alive, and anyone reading this can wonder “did she decide to get her shit together,” because I’m just mean like that.

For anyone going through a slump, I promise you will claw your way out. Even if you claw your way out at 11:00 pm, you will do it. And when you do, I will be so proud of you.

 

Much love, all.

The question.

I was cleaning a room with one of the new girls when a commercial came on advertising Geico insurance. It’s the one where the kid is asking where babies came from, and the father choked up and fumbled out some silly answer. My coworker looked at me and said “I just don’t understand why it’s so hard to tell the kid, parents make such a big deal out of it.”

This got my mind going. Yeah, we do make a big deal out of where babies come from. I don’t think the explanation is what’s tripping us up, I think it’s the fact that our babies are wanting to know about…well, babies. The same babies we carried in our bodies and snuggled with when they were sick. The babies we held and cried with when they doctor gave them their shots, the ones who took their first step towards you (or in my son’s case, a $1 bill that sat in front of me), the ones who wanted to stay home with you instead of going to school.

I don’t think answering is what’s difficult. I think what’s most difficult is coming to terms with the fact that your baby is so much of a baby anymore. Your child, forever a baby in your eyes, is growing up while you are stuck in the passenger seat, watching them grow and make decisions. You helped your child learn right from wrong and taught them to accept others instead of hate.

So parents, we all know the day will come when your little darling comes up to you and asks you that dreaded question, and we know it’s going to be hard. Not because you don’t want them to know, because you don’t want them to grow up.

Let them talk

With the school year approaching soon, I can’t help but feel a little nervous for my son. Before I go on a tangent as to why, let me explain my son first.

This boy is a talker! From the moment he gets up all the way to bedtime, this boy is telling me story after story, dropping an “I love you, mommy,” or a million other things! I’ve looked, there’s no pause button. He even talks over people!

He also likes to wiggle around ALL the time. Swinging his legs, tapping pencils on the table, getting up to walk around. I know I know, it’s frustrating. The funny thing is, I do that same thing! I know what you’re thinking, “that’s what a fidget spinner is for,” let me tell you this now, no way in HELL will he ever have one of those. Oh but why? Read on.

The boy gets distracted far too easily. When he was in baseball, and we were practicing at home, I’d have to take that baseball from him to get him to listen! If a leaf falls outside he’s the first to see it!

Now, I love my son and each and every thing about him more than words can say. At home, we are working on the fidgeting and the interrupting and the focus. However, the one thing I refuse to silence is his voice.

Too many people live in this belief that children should be seen and not heard, and in some cases that does apply. But I have only a few years left until my kid silences himself to me. I don’t want to silence him now, because I’ll miss all the tall tales and short stories.

Back to my fear for the school year. I’ve had nothing but bad luck with schools. They try to push medications, trying to turn him into some mindless robot who one their every command. I’ve heard they changed their mindset, that if a kid is above average in one aspect they will be put in a group who is also above average. I’m still scared. I’ll always be my son voice, I’ll always be the one to battle the school if they push for medications. My son is a wild spirit, and in this moment, maybe that’s what he needs to be.

Side by side

I don’t typically wear much jewelery, partially because my body absolutely hates the metals. So when my mom told me she was getting me a special necklace, I was worried with how my neck was going to respond to it. Once I saw it, tears welled up in my eyes. It was a picture of my son standing next to a beaming mother who just graduated. I put it on and wore it proudly for about a week, until the chain broke and I had to find other methods of wearing it. I found another chain and slid it on, only to have it last about another month before that too fell apart. I felt crushed. The wonderful gift from my mother was laying in pieces on my shelf because I was just too rough for the chain.

Recently I tried to find another chain, one that would withstand my constant movement, and also one my skin wouldn’t react terribly to.

Now, this necklace is just any ordinary necklace, and I’m ashamed I didn’t notice this until just recently. This necklace depicted all of my hard work on one circle metal piece. On one side is myself, beaming in a cap and gown. That hard work was my graduation, and all the sacrifices I made finally paying off. But the most important piece of my ongoing work was standing next to me. My son stood proudly next to me, celebrating my achievement.

From his first time crawling, standing, and later walking, I was there. I was beside him every step of the way. When the doctors commented that he isn’t talking when he should be, we sat down with flash cards and spent the time to learn to talk. While in school, his teachers pushed for medication because “he’s just too wild” I was there beside him, trying to teach him how to control his wild spirit. I proudly ran beside him while he pedaled his bike into the field, shakey and nervous, and when he fell, I was beside him to brush the dirt off and tell him to try again. When he started baseball, I was beside him, cheering him on. With every pitch, catch, and swing I was his biggest fan. I have helped shape him into the boy he is today, doing so by being by his side.

The necklace hangs proudly around my neck, with a newfound appreciation for it. My son saw that I was there by his side, and he wanted to return the favor.

Together we are forever standing side by side.

 

Make way, make way!

Comfort zone, we all have them. Mine happens to be my bed with a YouTube video playing as I curl up and just relax. Most people say it’s healthy to break out of your comfort zone, to explore the world around you, make yourself uncomfortable so you can learn to be comfortable, or something like that.

I decided today to try to break out of my little hidey-hole and go and make some sort of fun out of my day off. So I called a fellow coworker and asked if she wanted to go to Gaylord. She and her girlfriend said yes and we were off.

On the way there, we all talked of weird phenomenons that had happened to us, and whether we believed in spirits and the after life. As we wandered around Walmart, we found cute little things that made us fa -girl out of control. We laughed and shared each other’s frustrations when we could t find what we needed in the jumbled up mess of inventory. We shrugged and headed out to Taco Bell to fill our bellies, then off to Meijer we went. Did I mention that the eclipse was going on as we were roaming about? Yeah, it was pretty creepy. We only had about a 75% coverage, and whoa, the entire world around d us was a mixture of yellow and grey. Once we got to the store, we saw a couple of ladies with their fancy eclipse glasses watching from their car, feeling all classy.

We roamed about, looking at various odds and ends, and we ended up in the electronics department. I was furiously hunting for a new band for my Fitbit, since I’m in housekeeping and find myself scraping the wall. Apparently that doesn’t do too well with the Fitbit bands.

Unable to find d a band to for, I turned around and my eyes landed in the soundtrack for Moana. needless to say I freaked out and snatched it right up. My coworker and her girlfriend looked at me like I was crazy and I flashed it in front of them. “GUESS WHO’S BLARING THIS ON THE WAY HOME!”

Before I knew it, the three of us were belting out in unison “Moana, make way, make way!!” in the middle of the aisle. The man at the desk turned at looked at us like we were INSANE, and we couldn’t help but crack up.

On the way home we listen to every single track, trying to hit the high notes and giggling about the fact that the Rock can ACTUALLY sing. I couldn’t believe that I didn’t feel panicky at all today.

Ya know, if someone would have told me that breaking out of my comfort zone would be so fun, I may have done it a long time ago.

Lack of…

I feel like my life is stuck on this endless loop of eat, sleep, and work. And that’s when I don’t have the kids running around. Pig sits patiently waiting for the moment we can run around and find wonderful moments. I hate to break it to her, but she has to wait some more.

With the hustle and bustle of life, I just can’t find time or motivation to run around and capture moments with her. Luckily Pig is just a camera, but I still feel bad. On days off I’d rather lounge around the house in pajamas while eating unhealthy but delicious food while browsing Facebook, pretending like I give a damn about the on going of the people I follow. Oh, you’re working today, that sucks. Oh no, you’re not getting along with the on again off again boyfriend, shucks. Wow, little Timmy just took his first turn towards big boy-hood by going boom boom in the toilet; you must be so proud.

I know that makes me sound heartless, and some days I just really am. Other days it’s just too difficult to be a normal person in every day life, I’d rather be in my comfiest pair of pajamas with a good book, blog, or podcast. I don’t get how people can be go-go-go all the time. That shit is exhausting.

Which brings me back to Pig, sitting proudly in front of her journal, twiddling her imaginary thumbs. Pigs job is easy, capture the moment. She doesn’t have to change her dial, hunt for the shot, make sure we are close enough for the shot. No, she just captures the moment. Like I said before, shits exhausting.

One day my motivation will come back. Until then I’m going to kick my feet up, pop in my headphones and binge Cold Coffee, or Conversations With People Who Hate Me. Pig will understand.