Feeling thankful

I am so sorry for not adding to my blog since my last two very dark blog posts.

I’m actually feeling emotionally ok.

The holidays are hard for me every year. Add to that, the one year anniversary of my brother’s demise by suicide and the decision I made to stop contacting my parents and step parents back home, it makes for a not fun season.

My aggravation every Thanksgiving/Christmas is: I miss my biological family get togethers; I evaluate exactly where I’m not; I beat myself up for how much money I haven’t saved; How many presents I have not purchased; How many failed romantic relationships I have; how not fit I am, blah, blah, blah….

Well, let me turn that around, if only as an exercise in thankfulness.

This year a lot went right.

My stepsister and I are again in regular contact after years of not communicating. I’m really happy about that because I really love her and missed her like crazy.

I have a wonderful family around me right here. My children, of course. God, I am so proud of them, I cry positive tears.

My ex-mother and father in law, and my ex-husband have never excluded me from their family. And, I see my youngest daughter daily! So, what have I got to complain about?

Thanks to them, I have the opportunity this year to follow my new career goal of working with dogs. I want to learn how to groom them. Last year I was fortunate enough to be a bather in a local salon and learned a little about how to handle the canine clients. It was wonderful and this area is pretty busy.

My longtime friends are great to me, even at a distance.

I haven’t had a drunken blackout all year. That’s an accomplishment in itself.

I’ve regained my will to live again after spending the first half of 2014 in an emotional fog. I didn’t care about anything. I gave up a long-time job.  I spent all my 401k money (illegal drugs are expensive when you are paying for everybody). I pretty much gave away my home. I left myself vulnerable to theft and abuse. I really didn’t care.

I’m not in that place now.

So, what the hell do I have to complain about? Nada.

I’ll leave today’s blog with that.



A punch in the gut

It’s hard to describe the pain I feel as my depression hits me. It starts with rage.  Yes. Every time it is triggered by unwarranted red-hot anger.

These intense feelings come out of nowhere.

Triggers:  computer errors, dog jumped on me, my sock is rubbing the wrong way, or the doctor is not understanding how badly I feel at home.

It debilitates me.

I may say something short to someone close by. Then run away as fast as I can (breaking shit is no longer an option, embarrassing and expensive).

The anger is directed at myself. The crying starts. The sobbing goes on and on. I become self-defeating.

The pain is physical. It hurts right in the gut. It’s like the feeling you get when the air is knocked out of you. My abdominal muscles knot up.  My neck and shoulders tense up, as well. Breathing takes big effort. I get nauseated. It sounds like anxiety and it probably is. However, it leads very quickly into a deep and hopeless depression.

Sometimes it takes weeks before I feel like getting out of bed.

The last few weeks I’ve been experiencing these symptoms A LOT.

I revert to worrying about my horrifying impossible future (yes – I’m guilty, too). Next, I blame myself for every wrong I have ever done to make my current position so difficult. Who else am I going to blame?  I tell myself I’m worthless. I am better off dead (it is very scary how enticing that sounds while my body submits to the darkness). I don’t do anything right. I’m incapable of being loved or loving back…

My common sense voice tells me, “It will pass, Marke, it always does.”

The little angry/hurt child inside me becomes an ugly little troll. She reminds me of every hurtful thought I have ever had. She mimics the voices of past people who have verbally assaulted me, mocking me with their cruel insults.

I have absolutely no sense of humor about any of the things listed above while this is happening. I lose all my defenses.  The pain is excruciating. I tear up just thinking about it.

I watched A Silver Linings Playbook last night. At first it was hard to watch. I reluctantly identified with the main character, Pat. Pat is Bi-Polar. He’s more violent and threatening than I am. I felt a kinship with him — after I stopped being annoyed by him.

That movie had a happy ending. He met another mentally ill and imperfect woman, and they fell in love. I sobbed through half a box of tissues.

My point with this post is this:


I am able to show a confident, funny and capable face in public.

I just never feel like writing about the anger/sadness, when it happens.

I would like to say my dark side is another person; somebody I can walk away from and never look back.

Alas, it is still me.

It always will be. That’s a tough statement. Yet, it is truthful.

BiPolar, Severe Depression and other mental health diseases have no cure. The villains are always hovering in the background, looking for a weak spot in our defenses.

Medication can be helpful, but it’s trial and error.

Depression killed my brother. He medicated himself with alcohol: a really dangerous combination.

Our internal enemy loves alcohol. It grows much stronger with it.

I have two children who would be crushed if they lost me to suicide. They’ve told me this. They know I suffer because they suffer when I’m experiencing a plunge into the abyss.

One of my kids is a young adult. He admits he experiences similar symptoms already. I fear for him.

Staying alive is my only option.

Writing this blog helps me get some of the poison out. God, I hope it helps someone else, too.

Just know this: we are not alone with our diseases. EVERY ONE of us has somebody who is affected by our trials, yet:  Love us anyway. We just need to know how to recognize and appreciate them.

Thank you for reading.


Being mindful

Thank you Jason Everett Miller for posting my first comment! I am very touched that you took the time to do that. Hugs. I am blessed to be able to read some of your experiences in your book endeavor, as well.

I woke up today in a panic. Tomorrow, I’m required to undergo an invasive abdominal surgery. I’m having a full hysterectomy at the same time the OB/GYN removes a large grapefruit-sized ovarian cyst. Then, I wait for diagnosis whether or not I need to worry about malignancy. The possibility exists for an abrupt jump into menopause if he leaves me no ovary. I’m hoping the other ovary is still healthy and can remain.

Any severe hormonal changes can spell disaster for me and those near me.

I decided:  I could cry all day about tomorrow, or I could slow down and enjoy today, without stitches and pain-free.

So, I walked outside for a few miles. I concentrated on the sun and wind hitting my face.

I played with a house cat and laughed at his kitten like responses.

You know:  being a house pet in a loving home wouldn’t at all be bad. I never saw a cat or dog worry their hair off over what will happen later.

They are IN THE MOMENT, without even trying.

My mindfulness exercise continued as I slowly sipped my green tea. I concentrated on the smell of the steam and the taste each time I tasted it.

I watched The Big Bang Theory and Family Guy re-runs on TBS with my ex-husband and daughter and let myself laugh with them.

I lit a scented candle in my room, just because.

I’m still a mess. However, if I didn’t immerse myself into what I was doing today,  I wouldn’t be able to PUT THE FUTURE INTO THE FUTURE WHERE IT BELONGS.

All in all, it was a nice day.


New Year: do overs, introspection, and giving yourself credit daily

I really laughed when I saw this meme floating around various social media (sorry no attribution).

Every year it’s the same game we play with ourselves:

This year I resolve to (fill in the blank).

It seems that most of my friends, acquaintances and family through the years repeatedly set themselves up to fail.

Whether it’s to quit smoking, lose weight, save money, etc., most people I speak to give up three weeks into the year: then the self beat down begins.

Some important things I’ve learned in my journey to healthy thinking are:

Know myself down to my core capabilities or qualities.

Decide what is important to me and attainable.

Turn off any negative self speak (baggage from childhood, whatever). “Fake it until I make it” is something I have trained myself to do. People I’ve worked with for years didn’t even know I suffered from my disease. They mistakenly label me as cocky, and obnoxiously self-assured.

Make a daily list of what I aim to complete. Be realistic. Give myself credit for what I complete and push some incomplete tasks to the next day.

Limit contact with people who humiliate me and undermine my beautiful self.

Live in the present. Enjoy life as I experience it. Love myself.

Diverting from a planned resolution is realistic. Seriously, life happens and occasionally I just plain have the “fuckits” and I’m ok with that.

If I have a bump in the road, I don’t die. People still live me and the world goes on.

Do-overs are encouraged.

It helps me to do these things as part of cognitive behavioral training. It takes practice.

I listen to my body and feed it what it needs. I exercise moderately daily. Some days hard, some days just stretching.

I am practicing guided meditation  and hypnosis – I have some links about the meditation. There are some really great guided apps you can try free. I listen to them as I fall asleep.

I communicate with my healthcare providers (thank you VA).

All those things take time but we are worth it.

Please don’t feed the self hate! That is what killed my little brother:

Kyle made a lot of mistakes, and ran from his responsibilities. It snowballed until he decided to drink to escape and it escalated until it bit him in the ass.

He lived in the past. He blamed others for his mistakes. He repeatedly went  back to childhood and how hurt he was that we had imperfect parents. Kyle couldn’t progress past that. His depression would be so severe, he would lock himself in a room and sleep for three days straight.

When he was ashamed enough of his failures and pissing people off, he would relocate and change his phone number.

I would like to think that he would still be here if he understood what his strengths and shortcomings were and built himself around what he could do.

Kyle could design and sew costumes and they were awesome! He could draw, he could fight. He was charming. He could teach martial arts or be a personal trainer.

That said:

Life is hard.

Being an adult sucks.

Be proud of what you are good at. Ask for help with what you can’t do.

You are beautiful.


#depression #self help #cbt #meditation

Will somebody tag these for me? I’m doing this from a Kindle and I can’t see everything. Thank you! I’m a “nube” in gamer speak lol

Still figuring things out on WordPress

I hope I can continue to build a satisfying blog experience for y’all. By reaching out beyond myself I find my day always looks brighter.

My preteen daughter complained to me one afternoon she was feeling “fat,” she wasn’t developing fast enough – other girls in gym locker room made fun, and she felt “ugly.”

She was acting like me. Scary thought.

She was finding reasons to feel unhappy and feeding the beast of despair so it would grow.

I stopped and thought of wise and reassuring words to help this beautiful child get through junior high. This kid needed faith that she was beautiful and one day would have the girl parts she craves. She would also conquer body dysmorphia we girls live with daily.

Pretty certain that I wouldn’t cheer her up telling this 65 pound 12-year-old girl, “look at my boobs! When you are last to get them they still stand long after the early developers’ blessings drop!”

That NEVER works, haha. Sigh.

This is what I said,

“I used to stare at my mirror picking my appearance apart and loathing every feature. ‘Why or why did I not look exactly like ( insert beautiful model or actress here)?’ “

I went on to say that I learned to eat healthier, get active, get clean, get dressed, maybe do a little make-up and neat hair, the GET AWAY FROM THE MIRROR. As far as I know our mirrors don’t have the airbrush feature and we certainly can’t afford a makeup team.

She rolled her eyes, that action saying I absolutely am not getting what she’s saying. (Sighing again as this is fairly routine, “Duh!”)

I shook it off and reminded her: by looking outside yourself, helping someone else even in a small way, you forget your insecurities for a while. 

What is more beautiful that a compassionate person who cares about her fellow classmates, family, old lady who needs a steady hand when she’s wobbly, (ok, yes that’s me…chuckle)

Time will tell if this advice will do what I want it to. At 46 I am comfortable with my appearance, thus the dysmorphia doesn’t hurt me anymore. 

Look outside yourself today – universal message for men, women, and in between – nothing makes you happier than a brief moment of exchanged compassion.