Burnt Out

burnt out

I cannot begin to express my joy for the new year finally gracing us with her presence, my spirit is still happily spinning around and giggling at all the possibilities that this new beginning brings.  I can finally shake the water off my back and begin drying off, after a year of slowly drowning in sorrow and anxiety, feeling lost and hopeless…….it was dark and scary, but here I am, pruned skin slowly warming as the waterlog slowly evaporates.

*deep breath*

This air is sweet.  It is fresh and filled with hope, something that I lost so early in 2014.  Being overly optimistic can only carry you so far, so I learned.  I was tripped one too many times and that’s when the water got deeper, creeping into my nostrils, stealing my breath.

Once the water crept in, my footing lost, I couldn’t stop the murky waters from filling my lungs, very literally making it hard for me to breathe.  I found myself suddenly forgetting all other worries and stresses, consumed for my genuine inability to simply take a deep breath.  I felt I was suffocating, and the very idea gripped my chest like a vice, my heart pounding, wondering if it would burst from my rib cage…..  And then it would fade, my mind would cloud over with another tumbleweed of stress over car repairs, or unpaid bills and the mounting avalanche of debt rumbling in the background, always coming closer, always in the background, always a threat.

The phone became an alarm, a constant reminder that things were crumbling.  The moment it rang, my stomach knotted and my knees were weak.  The answering machine would catch the call for me, but the warning bell had sounded, and even if I enjoyed a solitary moment of rest, of mindless enjoyment in reading a story with my babies, or snuggling while watching a cartoon, it was that quickly stolen and murdered before my very eyes.

Enough became enough, and so the phone was simply unarmed.  I pulled the plug and was instantly filled with near maniacal laughter, tears of joy and relief streaming down my cheeks.  Was it the responsible thing to do?  Bury my head in the sand while my broken mind tried to come up with solutions to problems too complex for it to understand anymore?  No.  But I felt glimmers of sanity the moment the plug was pulled, and that began to lead to my very slow, and still in progress recovery.

I got so used to falling in 2014, that I stopped standing up again.  I crawled and only when there was absolutely no other option.  I began expecting the worst, and I was never disappointed.  When Desi got sick in August, it was devastating.  I honestly thought he was dying, and honest and truly, he certainly could have.  He had an abdominal obstruction, requiring hospitalization and a lot of money we absolutely did not have.  Part of my regular, everyday anxiety is a fear of something happening to my loved ones, so this left me depressed beyond comprehension.

Depression is bizarre to those who have never truly experienced it.  Until you feel it’s icy grip, you cannot possibly understand the power it has to completely shut down a person’s life.  I have tried to explain it, but words can’t even begin to touch the anguish and despair that it brings along in it’s bag of nasty tricks.

Strangely enough, it was when Abe started stressing out about money and bills that I was able to snap to my senses.  I am so familiar with the dark veil of depression that I always find myself overcompensating to make certain he never falls too deeply into it.

Every self help guru message, every happy go lucky mantra, any and all good things I could possibly come up with, I was showering Abe with.  It became an obsession, playing happy and tending to him, reassuring him, distracting him, whatever I could do to keep him from falling, from even stepping foot near that nasty cesspool that still gripped my soul.  This is around the time that we found out about donating plasma for money, something Abe did to fund Christmas for our babies.

I didn’t have the worry of the phone ringing non stop at all hours of the day, and the mail reminders are far fewer.  As Christmas drew closer, I could feel hope beginning to creep back into my mind, shining some much needed light around the cob webs and the tumbleweeds.  We had a very modest Christmas, but I had some cherished time spent with family that absolutely made the entire Christmas season for me.  Gifts are nothing.  My babies won’t look at this Christmas as “The One Where Santa Brought Us Cheap Toys.”  Instead they will remember visiting family, having our Christmas Eve get together, the nearly two weeks of vacation time Abe took so we could just spend the day watching Netflix, or playing board games, or just sitting and watching them play blissfully together.  It was magic, it was re energizing, and it was exactly what this mama needed so badly.

No matter what, we have each other.  That.  That, my friends, is what matters, and that is exactly what finally pulled me from the water.

I’m not “fixed”, but I’m doing better.  My vision is clearing, I can see who and what matters.  I am leaving 2014 with a long list of heartache, from Abe’s car accident and constant car repairs, mounting debts and rotten luck, to hearing about a family member being diagnosed with leukemia and even more family members so deep in the murky waters they contemplated suicide.  It’s dangerous on these shores, so I am relieved to see them behind me at this moment.

Writing this down, I can’t help but feel utterly nude before you.  I’ve shown you my cards, I’ve admitted to severe weakness.  So not my style.  But it’s real.  It’s scary, and it’s awful, but I know I am not alone.  Neither are you.  And it does get better.  It has to.  Otherwise, all of us wading in this nonsense will grow gills and become kickass merpeople and we shall rule the world.

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Merry Christmas!

I can’t believe that already, in the blink of an eye, another Christmas is here, and quickly slipping through my fingers, soon to become a dreamy memory.

Next year at this time, we will have three babies in three different schools!  Not to mention homeschool pre-school lessons for Sara, before she starts school the following year.  I’m not ready for this!!

This year has not been kind to us.  It seems like we never really got back on our feet, every time we thought we were finally a step ahead, we would get knocked ten back.  It was rough.  I won’t lie, I suffered severe anxiety and depression this year, worried about putting groceries on the table at times, balancing bills and emergencies like car repairs and hospital bills.  We quickly realized we had bitten off more than we could chew and are still struggling for solutions, though I am praying that there is an end in sight.

I had planned a magical birthday party for Isabella, that had to get cancelled and completely revamped.  I had hoped to get her the American Girl doll of the year, Isabelle, the blonde haired, pink streak, ballerina!!  If ever there was a doll made just for my Bella, it was Isabelle!!  I planned on taking her to the American Girl store and getting her the doll then having a birthday lunch at the cafe.  I planned on it, but then life laughed and we improvised.  Reservations got cancelled, party was greatly downsized to a home made cake and inexpensive gifts, and as sad as I was, she was completely unphased.  She gushed over her simple cake and gifts and reminded me how lucky we are to just have each other.  (She did finally get the Isabelle doll for Christmas, thanks to her amazing daddy donating plasma and literally spending blood money to buy the silly thing!  A story for another day!)

Thinking we would just be able to scrape by and start getting back on our feet, we were then suddenly hit with a major health problem with Desi.  He had an abdominal obstruction which required hospitilization, fluids, several x rays, antibiotics, and oh yeah, a massive hospital bill.  This was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  Obviously, Desi is family and takes priority over non necessity bills.  Unfortunately, bill collectors like to get paid, and hassle the crap out of you if you can’t make their payments.  Yeah, so, multiply that anxiety by a thousand…..

As this year is quickly ending, the smell and promise of a fresh new start is intoxicating.  I have so many hopes and dreams for this new year, starting with conquering my severe anxiety and depression.  I know I am strong and powerful and capable of great things.  I have the ability to turn things around, see only the good in all situations, and to take that good and run with it.  I can’t and won’t let silliness interfere with what matters, and that, my friends, is exciting!

I hope that 2014 was far kinder to you than it was to me.  But if you had a rough go of it these past twelve months, then I hope that you have an amazing, life changing, happy and empowering 2015!!  Let’s make this our year!!  We are powerful and we can and will achieve greatness!  Kiss the negativity goodbye and inhale the promise of a new beginning!

This motivational message was brought to you by the self reflecting power of another Christmas come and gone far too fast!  Breathe it in, devour the moment, and live for your happiness.  Be happy and know that no matter what, you are loved.  ❤

New Beginnings!

“Everything will change.  The only question is growing up or decaying.” -Yolande Cornelia “Nikki” Giovanni

A brand new year always feel like a clean slate, a perfect diving board for starting fresh with anything in your daily routine that isn’t quite working for you.  I mentioned yesterday that I won’t be making any grand resolutions, simply because of my utter lack of tolerance for anything less than perfect when it comes to myself.  Yeah, I’m a sore loser.  If I make plans for myself and things don’t go accordingly, I pretty much do the equivalent of flipping the table, grabbing my toys, and storming home, not before screeching, “I’m not your friend anymore!”  I’m kind of ridiculous.

So this year, my goal is happy.  Easy enough, right?  I want to make choices that make me and my family happy.  I want to feel better, to do better, just all around to be better.

This year holds lots of pretty big ambitions, and we all need to be in the right place to achieve them.  Baby steps.

Organization wise, we have got to finish un-packing!  It is such a daunting task, looking at the sea of boxes in the garage.  So my goal with that is to do just one box a week.  I know we don’t have 52 boxes left to unpack, so that means it will easily get done before the end of the year.  I also know that while one box is the goal, maybe one weekend, Abe and I tackle a handful of boxes.  If the goal is small, anything more is just icing on the cake.

Health wise, well, I’m a hot mess.  It’s easy to put up drastic expectations, a strict plan of attack and discipline, but I know I would fail at that.  It’s kind of my thing.  I don’t like rules, so I break them every chance I get.  Yes, I have the maturity of a four year old when it comes to rules and authority, I realize.  😛  So, I will simply do small things this year.  I’m starting with a month of a green smoothie a day, to help me to get more greens and other healthy fruit and veg that I know I’m not getting enough of.  Don’t misread that.  I won’t be only drinking green smoothies, I won’t be replacing meals with green smoothies, and I most certainly won’t be giving up bacon, so let’s just be clear with that!  (Mmmmmm….bacon…)  I am just adding needed nutrition to my regular day.  If it happens to make me feel better and crave less crap, that is an amazing bonus!  I will try to share pics of my smoothies, for as long as it lasts.  No promises, I’m aiming small, remember.  😉

Family wise, we need to slow down.  We have crazy schedules, with school, work, scouts, dance, appointments, etc.  It is easy to feel rushed and out of control for most of the week, and I can tell you from much experience, that feeling sucks!  I’m not sure how, but I want to instill some calm into our daily routine, even if it’s just acting calm.  Hey, you gotta start somewhere, right?  Part of the crazy, involves the commute that Abe and Matt currently take for Boy Scouts.  When we moved, they stayed with the old troop.  That’s great and all, but it’s a half hour commute on a busy dance night.  Throw in four hungry kids, cold dark winter, and tired parents and well, it means Monday nights just suck hard in our house.  I am hoping that they can try out the Boy Scout troop close to home.  Their meeting times are better, the commute is a tiny fraction of the current one, and it’s still scouts!  We shall see, this mama has her fingers crossed!

So that is a taste of some changes I want to make with my family and myself this year.  Do you have big plans and goals for 2014?  Consider taking baby steps!  Be kind to yourself!  You have a whole year to work on making change, don’t let failed grandiose ideas rain on your parade!  This year can be the best year of your life!  Positive attitudes will get you everywhere in this world, even if it’s at a slower pace, at least you were smiling throughout the journey!  🙂

Watch for pics of my green smoothies and whatnot on the Facebook page HERE.

Happy New Year’s Eve!

Confetti

Confetti (Photo credit: ADoseofShipBoy)

And happy birthday to me!

What a busy year this has been!  We started the year, pinching pennies and putting everything we could aside in hopes of maybe, just maybe being able to find a new house.  Here I sit, on the very last day of 2013, another year older, presumably another year wiser, and in our new house.  What a blessing!

I am lucky enough to have a handful of friends and family that are true blessings in my life.  This year, I have started taking inventory on my life, and most especially the people in it.  I’m a grudge holder, a habit that is very hard for me to break, but this year, I have found myself releasing the heavy grudges I’ve held for years and just accepting the calm that takes it’s place.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I have released grudges, but at the same time, I have come to realize that there are just some people that I don’t need to be around.  Life is too short to be spent worrying about drama, whether self made or brought on by parasitic people in our lives.  Live and let live, but save the drama for yo mama and keep on steppin’.  🙂

I have a giant to do list for 2014, not least of all being more healthy changes for myself.  I am avoiding making any drastic new year’s resolutions because if and when I tend to backslide, it feels like the end of the world for me, not just a bad day.  I am too easily discouraged, it’s silly, but why set myself up for failure?  No, this year, I will make small changes and just strive for happy.  If my choices are making me happy, my husband happy, my babies happy, well then, I think I’m doing pretty great.  🙂

I’ve never been a big New Year’s Eve party kinda girl.  Growing up with your birthday on that day, you kinda forget that it’s any other special day.  I haven’t been out for New Year’s…..ever.  Haha!  Abe and I used to go out for my birthday, but that was well before babies.  Don’t feel sorry for me though, because at home with my husband and babies is where I would rather be.

As I type this, I can hear the pitter patter of little feet, running around and excitedly whispering.  The clanging around in the kitchen and the sounds of puppies following closely behind the pitter pattering tells me the babies are undoubtedly making me my special birthday breakfast.  Probably burned toast, fruit and semi mixed chocolate milk, but having been made by tiny hands and with endless love, it is most certainly a breakfast fit for a queen.

Happy New Year, and here’s to a safe and amazing 2014!

Happy New Year!

Long time no see, friends!

I hope the holidays were spent blissfully with your loved ones!  Abe had vacation time to spend at the end of the year, so this mama was on cloud nine with her hubby and her children all at home with her for a wonderful, extended holiday season!

Yesterday was my birthday, the big 33!  I can honestly say that I felt very loved and appreciated, spending time with my family and ringing in the new year.

My greatest gift received, by far, the last few weeks has been the gift of presence.  The family and the friends that care enough to come out and spend their time with you, the best gift of all!  It means so much, more than anything store bought could, and it has brought me great joy.  I am truly blessed!

This past year was very eventful in our home!

We have lost and gained some pretty important people in our family.  There are family members I don’t and probably will never see again.  I am at peace with that.  There are also family members that we haven’t seen in nearly a decade that are suddenly very much a part of our lives.  It’s a good thing!  It was a scary change, isn’t all change?  Both the losing and the gaining, but I trust the path we have been given, and that trust has been proven ten fold.

As we move into 2013, I feel calm.  Big things are coming this year!  I’ve learned that I will never make everyone happy, no matter how pure my intentions, no matter how hard I try.  With this revelation, I think I have added strength.  I will continue to do and be my best, for me and my family, that’s all I can do.  But isn’t that a lot?  It is!

Here is to an amazing year!  I hope 2013 is the best year for us all!