Catching Up – Happy Fall, Y’all!

Oh my, y’all… I try to keep snippets of stuff updated over here, but I’ve been busy with client work and focusing on writing for our professional blog.

So… HEY!!

Just to bring everyone up to speed, in no particular order:

~ I finally (!!!!!!) got my IUD out. My ANA test came back positive, so I’m headed to a rheumatologist in December. It doesn’t mean I have RA, but it does mean my body is fighting something. Hopefully, my body will have had time to heal by then, and the result will be more accurate.

Also: Filling in the paperwork for my visit to the rheumatologist makes my hands and arms hurt… *sigh*

~ I’ve been working on a 31 day series (thank you, Nester) entitled “31 Days to Peace – finding inner peace through anxiety and panic attacks“. I’ve shared my story on my struggle with panic attacks before, but I’m digging in more, in hopes of helping those who struggle with them, and for helping those who don’t to understand them more.

31-days-to-peace

The gist of it is this:

For those who have never dealt with constant anxiety or panic attacks, these posts will, hopefully, serve as a catalyst for understanding and compassion. Before I had one (or knew I had one), I was clueless as to what they were, much less, how they felt. Like childbirth, it’s hard to explain.

For those who have experienced severe anxiety and panic attacks, my hope is that you will realize that there is no shame to these feelings, and that there is hope for healing and peace.

You can keep up with the series by bookmarking this page.

~ Yesterday, my neighbor surprised me with a nail polish that she had seen me ‘like’ on Pinterest.

essie demure vix Essie Demure Vixen

It is one of my most favorite colors ever! And it is perfect for fall.

My other current makeup favs are:

Rimmel London Lasting Finish By Kate Lipstick 03 – a gorgeous neutral!

and
MAC Blot powder (pressed)

It’s expensive, but worth it. Also: I’m convinced that it equals out the same as the cheap brands because I rarely need to touch it up. (And if I do, it’s a tiny dab.)

mac blot powder medium

So what about you? What have you been up to???

*yes – those makeup links are affiliate links  :)

Faith, Hope and 41

I look smug about this birthday, don’t I?

Last October 7th, when I turned 40, I spent the day tending to my youngest, who was recovering from a, not-so-minor, out-patient procedure he had done that morning. While I would not recommend celebrating your own birthday in that way, I have to admit, it absolutely kept me from focusing on myself, and the fact that I had entered my FORTIES.

I’ve never been afraid of forty. But admittedly, it still stuns me, at times, that I am in this decade of my life.

At that time, I considered writing something about turning 40, but I stopped myself, because, let’s admit it, I was no expert on 40. All I knew was based on hearsay, and emotion, not, necessarily, reality. I was a mere baby in terms of what I knew and felt about it.  I suppose I still am, but I feel a bit more qualified to speak on it now that I’m ‘older and wiser’… *cough*. Or something.

The last several years have all been magical for many reasons, but this year, the year from 40 to 41, has helped me solidify my belief that I am stronger than I ever realized. It’s been a long, hard, winding road getting to this point, but I love going along it. Sometimes, I want to run ahead and know what’s around the next bend, other times, I want to straggle behind and linger in the moment. But I’m always – always – thankful for every moment of it.

Because, I know where I’ve been.

The week I turned 30, my baby girl turned one and we closed on our first home. While there were many cracks already showing, my 30s appeared, from the outside, to be off to a picture-perfect start.

Nearly everything changed from 30 to 40. So much was given and so much was taken away. Sometimes, I feel as though I lived 20 lifetimes in that decade. It was a difficult one, on many levels. I wrote about it a lot on this blog, before the bottom fell out (again), but if you were to go back and look for them, you might not know it. I white-washed much of it. I wanted to find meaning in all of the difficulties, and the suffering. I wanted, desperately, for it to have been for a reason. I needed to find that reason and know it. But, it’s not always easy to see or understand. Sometimes, it just takes faith.

My 30s were built on faith. That was all I had. My 40s are being built on hope.

I am realizing what is meant by older and wiser. I wish it came with a few less wrinkles and sags, but I am trying to embrace those as well.

There are countless variables in life, and I know that anything can happen, at any moment. I see it every day. And that is where the lessons of my 30s, those built on faith, become invaluable. If I didn’t have those, I would be living in fear, because I’ve seen too much happen, and I know what can happen.

But I also know the beauty that can come from those very things; when the wounds become scars.

A wound is messy and always susceptible to being reopened or infected. A scar is where it has healed; a reminder of what was and what is. It does not have to be a shameful reminder.

And that is what gives me hope.

Here’s to my forties.

(linked up with JustWrite)

A Note From a Frustrated Runner

I’m frustrated.

Running has been a close friend for most of my life. I was one of the fastest runners in my elementary school. I ran track in high school. I ran for fun in college. I ran to lose the baby fat after my babies were born. I ran to stave off panic attacks and depression. I ran for clarity in the days leading up to my divorce. I ran for sanity after it. It’s my time to think. Clear my head. I feel good and free when I run.

Except when I don’t.

Recently, my runs have become sporadic and more difficult. This saddens me, because, regardless of the reasons, I was doing so well in my stamina, distance and endurance for so many years. One of my goals around the age of 35 was to run a marathon by the time I was 40. I turn 41 in less than two months, and I haven’t run one. At this point, a 5K wouldn’t be worth the entry fee.

I am not where I want to be with my running. At all. And it frustrates me.

Maybe it means that my reasons for running have changed.

I’m no longer running away. Or towards something. Or for sanity (ok… that’s questionable…) But I still need the stress relief; the health benefits.

Holy cow, do I need the stress relief. And did I mention I’m almost 41? Hello, belly fat, that won’t go away!

So I’m thinking about documenting it more online here. I dunno know… But I do need accountability. I just know I need to do it, just like I need to Just Write.

Life gets busy, and stressful, but I don’t want to roll over and let it stomp all over me.

Fall Down and Get Back Up

I’ve been thinking a lot about the struggles I’ve had in the past with panic attacks and depression, and while I’ve shared small snippets over the years, it wasn’t always easy to come clean about what I was in the midst of.

Now, a couple of years beyond it, I’m able to reflect back on them with some clarity (something that can feel sorely lacking in the midst of that cycle…)

Writing down my stories to share makes me feel vulnerable, and yet, I also feel driven by the sense that there are so many of us affected by these same struggles. Knowing I was not alone was one of the greatest things in the process and in taking steps in my recovery.

As I work through my stories, I struggle for words. I struggle with the memories of what it feels like to go back to that place. I see a person in paralyzing fear and anguish.

Yet, as I continue searching, and wipe the mud and muck from my view, I see someone who fought through it. Who found a Way to understand what was happening.

I no longer suffer from regular panic attacks.

Oh, I feel them knock on my door.
Whisper in my ear.
There are triggers, and I know them well.
They sit waiting for me to be overly tired or stressed.

But they no longer hold me captive.

And that is where I want this chapter of my story to begin.
Because it is worth celebrating.

But the past can’t be forgotten, because there are many others who have fallen and fear that it’s that last time before they can no longer get up.

Don’t believe it.
Don’t listen to those whispers.

_____________

linked up to Just Write

Muffin goes to the doctor


For the past few years, I have been struggling with feeling so utterly tired. I’ve wondered if it was my anti-depressant medicine… or something else. The doctor ran blood work and ran other tests 2 years ago to see what, if anything it might be. Most people want to just brush it off as: Well, yeah you’re tired. You’re a mother.

Monday, I went to the doctor (a different one) and we discussed my exhaustion.

He asked me about my diet.

Drats.

I knew I couldn’t get away with this for much longer…



He made some suggestions:

and also:

and also:

But then he uttered words that struck fear and terror into my heart:

He told me to get off sugar (and he wrote it on his notes for me like this: Get off sugar!!!!)

Is he CRAZY!!!???

So my new eating habits, to improve my energy and moods will be this:

~ eat nuts and seeds
~raw foods
~omega 3 foods
~no sugar

~chromium picolinate
and
~ american ginseng
(I asked him about these while breastfeeding, and he ok’d it)

Pray for my family…