Posted in Life

Allergic to Coffee? Whaaat!

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This morning I was up before the birds to have labs done. I couldn’t eat and surely couldn’t have coffee, or water, but in my opinion coffee is equivalent to water. Coffee is water.

I cannot string actual sentences together too early without it. Not ones that make sense anyway because my brain doesn’t tell the thought producing parts to work as they are still asleep without coffee. So I work in short sentences and mumbles.

I don’t want to put a whole lot of thought into what I’m saying. Because I’m not at my best when I first wake up. My hair looks like how my brain feels. Not ready to think yet.

Give me coffee and twenty minutes….

My son and I had breakfast after at McDonald’s. Grateful to have coffee! He had coffee, too. Fifteen and a coffee- drinker already. Where did the sippy-cup go? (He will be driving next year!)

It makes me happy to see him grow up and sad in other ways. The hair on his face growing so rapidly shadowing parts of his baby face I’ve grown used to over the years. The biscuit stuck in the stubble on his chin, as he takes a sip of his large coffee loaded with sugar, and tells me it tastes like crap.

We laugh. I am glad we can chat over coffee. Nothing beats it.  It’s nice to have time together. We come home and he tells me McDonald’s coffee is “okay” only for waking him up, but he prefers ours. I totally agree.

Our coffee is Dunkin’ Doughnuts Chocolate-Glazed Doughnut. I’m a “chocoholic,” on the coffee. I have tried every brand of chocolate coffee I thought I could tolerate. It’s the “one” for me.

Talking with him about coffee made me start thinking about coffee. About three weeks ago, we ran out of coffee. I started drinking Maxwell House that I have here for my Mom. Compared to some of the original brands of coffee I have tried, it is the best.

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The week I drank the Maxwell House I noticed a rash on my chest. It was itchy. That week, I had a little trouble swallowing, catching my breath, and a small cough. I attributed it to allergies and dry mouth from medication.

I stopped drinking Maxwell House because my awesome chocolate coffee came for me. It’s cheaper to buy through the mail. I noticed after I stopped drinking it my symptoms went away.

Lately, my Fitbit tells me I cannot tolerate caffeine. I don’t drink a metric ton. I’ll have 10 oz. in the morning and occasionally in the afternoon– if I’m lagging like today. I will have pop if we are out. Or if my husband buys it. We try not to. He is more guilty of buying it than I am.

I won’t have coffee after 4 p.m. as I have heard it isn’t great for you. If I drink coffee then, I will toss and turn all night. Especially if “he who snores,” comes to bed. He can drink all the pop in the world and he sleeps like a baby. I don’t get it. Not fair! If I drink pop before bed along with coffee during the day, I will never sleep!

So based on the “Maxwell House incident” and piecing together how I feel when I drink coffee– possible symptoms–  and what my Fitbit tells me,  I may experiment when the coffee is gone to see if I feel better.

Today I googled– “Can a person be allergic to coffee?” I didn’t want to believe it. The one thing I totally love and depend on. How could I be allergic!? Turns out– Why yes, you can be allergic to coffee. Hopefully, it won’t be the case. I enjoy it!

Symptoms of Coffee/Caffeine allergy to name a few: rashes, acne, severe itching, migraine headaches, chest pain,

Some people can also be super-sensitive to caffeine. Some symptoms of hypersensitivity to name a few: irritability, anxiety, trouble sleeping, upset stomach, elevated heartbeat and blood pressure

 

 

 

Posted in Blogging, Life

How I Spent the Winter

It may seem as though I abandoned my blog. It does look that way. Though appearances are often deceiving

As much as I wanted to write, I had a series of catastrophes to deal with. First, my failing marriage– no surprise there. Second, health issues and testing– stalemate. Third, my children (my teenager and his issues) — home-school.

Situations aren’t as bad as they look on computer screen. With many prayers and compromises from both parties, my marriage is improving. Health issues are.. meh. It seems my situation stays same, which is disheartening. I am hoping my last specialist appointment will help uncover part of the mystery. And home-school.. I know! Wow!

So why did I decide on home-school?

Having a teenager is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life! They are so hard. I feel bad for EVERYTHING I put my mother through!!

My son isn’t a troublemaker. He wasn’t expelled. The school wasn’t helping him. They were holding him back in some ways, and he was falling behind in others. Our decision was based on the school and partly due to the crowd he was hanging out with. He never fell behind before. He always made the honor roll.

My daughter experienced some trouble in elementary school. It seemed beneficial to look for alternatives. I  did a ton of research for online schools vs. traditional homeschooling, and found an exceptional online school. After a month of deciding, as it wasn’t a decision made lightly, they were enrolled. We needed something different!

Starting school at home was not without its challenges. We had to adapt to a routine. However, they are doing excellent. I am proud of them. Although it does consume my time, I love how rewarding it is to watch them grow and learn.

Over the winter, I went through a major depression. I didn’t feel like doing anything aside from my normal routine, and hanging out with family. Family was great. Forget going outside. Seeing anyone. Talking to anyone. Writing anything. Why write anything? It’s going to sound dumb.

Anything I loved doing– I didn’t have the energy or willpower to do.

I hated how I looked in the mirror. I hated my reflection. Eat. Don’t eat. Sleep. Can’t sleep. Hurt. Hurt. Hurt. 

Depression is awful. It makes you think things that aren’t true. Feel things you shouldn’t feel. What am I supposed to remember again? Crap! Grumble. Grumble. Grumble. 

I didn’t have any thoughts of suicide, but some who battle depression do. If you have depression and have these thoughts please talk to someone– a counselor or the suicide hotline–  1-800-273-8255

More than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression. So if you are one of the ones who suffer like I do, you are not alone. May is Mental Health Awareness month!

Posted in Life, Writing

From The War Zone

Having a hard time today with writing. I am not going to try to force it anymore. Staring at this white blank screen is making my left eye twitch. Ever had that happen?

So I will tell you what is happening in my end of the realm.

My son is grounded. It seems like grounding doesn’t bother him anymore. “Oh, I am grounded from my stuff. Oh well, I don’t give a shit.”

And he is bored! So my mopey teenager’s mug has been in my face the majority of the day. He wants to make his grounding as unpleasant for me as it is for him.

And it is working!

My husband tends to lean toward a “no mercy” ruling. He can be harsh. Then, we end up letting him off early because he is good.

Of course, he is going to be “good.” He wants his things he “doesn’t care” about back. He is bored.

No electronics has made his world dull. The walls are starting to talk. He has read four books. What else can he do?

I have found a list of things he can do to make himself useful around the house. Points he can earn for each chore to become “ungrounded.” That lasted for about an hour.

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My A.D.H.D. kiddo became bored easy. On the plus side, he did learn some life skills today. He did an awesome job with the laundry, folding towels, putting laundry away. While remaining on my last nerve.

Our main problem is the video games. His therapist finally agrees they are an addiction. I considered this as an option months ago.

Because of his A.D.H.D, he has a greater risk of picking up addictive behaviors. This leaves him vulnerable later in life to drug and alcohol addiction— among other addictions. This makes me worry because his biological father had such a strong addiction to drugs and alcohol.

We talked about this when we visited his doctor this past week. He said I probably witnessed the same behaviors in my first husband. I did. He would say anything to make me believe his lies. Anything to feed the hunger inside of him.

It’s the same with my son. He comes home does all of his chores– just to play video games. Has dinner hurries through the dishes (sometime before bed) — back to video games. Showers– oh, video games. Then, it is games off. We do devotionals. It’s bedtime.

He will talk to me when he comes home from school, and at dinner. In the morning before school, and at night before bed. Otherwise, he has his door shut. He tells me,“All my friends are like this.” 

It is perfectly normal for him to interrupt me when I am busy writing. Or watching TV. He will blurt something out fast, and rush to his room. I hate it he is in such a hurry to talk to me, and he only talks to me when it is convenient for him.

We have overlooked this as a problem until recently. He comes home from school. I find him sitting on his bed with an X-box remote AND his kindle playing games.

When is enough– enough? I’ve had enough! I want my son back!

We have let him play games because his grades have been wonderful. His teachers praising his work. Commenting on how he completes his work on time, and works ahead in class.

Until recently. His grades have plummeted. Especially in two of his best classes.

We are seeing a therapist. She suggested limiting video games until the grades came back up, and taking them away if the incomplete work is not turned in. My son’s problem is organization, and he is forgetful. Unfortunately, he won’t let me help with it.

She isn’t aware of the severity of the issue. She doesn’t know what transpired here last weekend. When all hell broke loose.

My son agreed to cut my mother’s grass. My husband offered to help him as he isn’t handy with the lawnmower yet. He knew the day was approaching, but he didn’t know when.

My husband went over my mother’s to get a head start on mowing and the weather. The clouds looked like they would pour down at any minute. Though when my son came home from school, he had other plans.

After a fifteen minute argument, we were in the car. I was upset he didn’t want to keep his word. He knows how important it is to be man of his word. I am not raising him to act this way.

He was mad he couldn’t play video games and we didn’t “clear it with his schedule.”

“Are you kidding me! You are the child! I am the parent!”

When we arrived at my mother’s, he refused to cut the grass. He sat in the car with the windows down, and helped my husband when he needed things.

He sulked the whole time thinking he won the argument. Not realizing everyone loses.

He lost the money he would earn that day. My husband refused to take any. He lost all electronics. And a pair of drum sticks he threatened to hit my husband with.

It was also the weekend he would be at the band competition– but his grades held him back. I believe he didn’t want to go because he rather play video games. Part of him wanted to go, but the other part– the hunger for video games won.

Making him angry when his plan to play them was taken away.

This is the second time an argument about video games has turned physical, and it has only been this way recently. The physical violence further proving he would do anything to play. Just like an addict would do anything for drugs. 

He argues all his friends play video games like he does. Maybe they do. But he has a problem. How many of them have A.D.H.D? Are their grades suffering?

They aren’t my kid!

I know he could be doing worse things than playing video games. He could be down the street doing drugs. He could be dealing them. He could be drinking alcohol, running around, and partying. But he doesn’t do any of those things.

However, video game addiction can be as bad as any of those things. It can destroy his relationships with his family. Prevent him from learning how to socialize with people. Further decimate his academic career.

I try my best to get him talking to me. I know who his friends are. Around his birthday he made a new one, and he doesn’t do that well in school. He sits beside him in the two classes he isn’t doing well in currently. I am not pleased about it.

I know it is normal for teens to want to be alone. I try to give him his “space.” I know he wants to brood because he and a girl he dated for a couple of months broke up. He still likes her, and she annoys him. I remember what that feels like.

My gripe is I have no idea what is going on at school. He never brings home homework. Studies for a test. How can I help him become organized if I don’t know any of those things?

Things will continue to move at a faster pace. He isn’t ready. If he is stuck in his “gamer world” and I cannot get him unglued he will fail at life.

I worry about that a lot. I am today with him stuck at my side.

So he is grounded and we are not giving in easy this time. Being bored is good for him. He has time to slow down, and think. Which he doesn’t always DO.

He can spend time with his family. Oh no! A teenager’s worst nightmare! Hopefully, he will realize a balance must be found between too much video game time, and “none.” His therapist will have ideas.

I hope this time goes by fast for him, and me!

From Behind Enemy Lines,

Lynne

 

Posted in Blogging, Writing

Day 12: Writing Challenge

Day 12: Write About Five Blessings in Your Life–

My Blessings–

Finally, an easy one! Time to resume the challenges! It has been busy.


ONE–

Relationships in my family.  We are starting to actually like each other! I realize how I was raised creates some problems within our family unit. Relationships have suffered.

I am aware no family is perfect. Things may never be perfect within my family, and I have come to accept things for what they are, and people for who they are.

Even though I grew up feeling happy with my childhood and rejected by my parents in some ways, I am learning to understand them and the “why” behind it. I was never angry with them for sending me to live at my grandparents. Or not letting me stay with them on weekends. Only wanted answers.

This situation made me who I am today, and I am stronger for it. I had a great childhood with a loving home and parents. However, dissension sewed seeds among family.

Moving forward I am going to work on improving our relationship. Relationships can be rebuilt on a new foundation of love and forgiveness. 

I have learned you cannot make someone want to have a relationship with you. It is a two-way street. It is sad this happens in families, but it does. I am not going to let myself feel bad about it anymore.


TWO–

Health. I wake up feeling grateful that I am not worse for wear. Often it is hectic around here, however, I have learned to mange my time effectively. Even though I do have a couple of health conditions, I thank God it hasn’t been worse, and I pray for my friends who are afflicted in worse ways than I have been.

I have learned managing my time helps with stress. I do not know if you are like me– but I do not handle stress well. Some people– like my husband– cope well under stressful situations. I do not. I wish I had that superpower.


THREE–

Having a place to call home. So it isn’t perfect. It needs work. But it is our heap. Having a roof to cover your head is always a plus. The work will get done eventually.

When I say it’s a heap, I don’t mean to make it sound bad. I call it a “heap” because we have these annoying  “little things” to do. Though we keep saying we are going to do them, we put them off.  When I say “we,” I mean my husband. I want to do them.  He finds other “more pressing” things to do.


FOUR–

My children. My son and daughter — two of the greatest, most wonderful blessings in my life! If I could go back and do anything differently, I wouldn’t. I used to wonder what my life would look like if only I  had waited until I was older to have children since I had them so young. How different our life would be. Though they, too, would be different. I wouldn’t want that. 

I love and hate watching them grow. It makes me happy and sad at the same time. I love seeing how alike and different they are. Like night and day.

I can’t wait to see what they choose to be. I can see their potential even when they don’t. Which is exactly what mothers do, cheer their children on! 


FIVE–

My husband. So he is the biggest pain in my butt sometimes, but he is my pain in the butt. Behind his grumpy exterior is the big “softie.”

He helps me be realistic. I help him dream. We balance each other out. We haven’t always been what we are now. Relationships aren’t easy, and we had growing up to do. But we made it!

Love is what you make it. A relationship is only going to be as good as the work you put into it.

Even though he ticks me off and I end up picking up after him like one of the kids, I love him more than anything in the world! He may have a knack for leaving his dirty clothes lying around, however, he knows just what I need to hear when I need it. Without him, I wouldn’t have the children. Or complete sentences (absent-mindedness!).

 

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Posted in Blogging, Writing

DAY TEN- Writing Challenge

Day TEN- Something I Feel Strongly About.


Being the passionate person I am I have a number of things I feel strongly about.

I could easily pick any number of them. Politics these days seem to make a multitude of people rage! Religion. Which easily upsets another group (God–Gotta have him?). Guns? (Gotta have em.)

Issues dividing people: hate, lack of respect, racism, ageism. Judging each other.

Or negative stigmas associated with depression, anxiety, and autoimmune disease. Just because you cannot see it and it isn’t happening directly to you, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. You may not understand it, however, that person is battling something bigger that your perceptions of them. 

Today with everything I am struggling with raising a teenager– I have elected to choose Divorce. I know not everyone will agree with how I feel about it, and it is okay. We all have our own experiences making us who we are. 


As a child, my head was buried in the clouds. I lived and breathed make-believe. My imagination ran wild. My parents loved me and never missed an opportunity to show me. Even when it came to making me wear an awful shirt the first day of school cos “I looked so pretty.” (Thanks Mom!)

They loved one another. Joked with one another. Shared everything with one another. I never saw them argue. My basis on marriage was predicated from watching them. I dreamed of what my life would look like when I grew up. I wanted my life to look like theirs.

My childhood was nothing like my adolescence. Crumbling apart like the first piece of pie. Dad slipping away. After years of marriage, mom was alone. And she was sad. So very sad. Grief stricken.

My first marriage in no way resembled theirs. In all my years of dreaming, it couldn’t have been more opposite of my parents. Now I wonder if I ever knew him at all? Who was he behind those dark eyes, and the same deceptive smile I see in my boy?

Growing up the way I was raised, I wanted to believe the best in people. I believed I could change him. When I met him, he lived with his grandparents. He was helping his grandfather and former Marine, who had Cancer. He seemed reformed enough, and good enough– at the time.

I learned quickly you cannot change a person. You can only love them and hope they change. If a person doesn’t truly want to change, they won’t. It has to come from the heart. They have to have a reason to want to, and sometimes even their family isn’t enough.

After we were out on our own, he quickly started making contacts with people. Learning where “people of interest” lived, and making friends with them. We both were working. I didn’t know where which end began and the other ended sometimes. But it didn’t matter, we still couldn’t make ends meet!

I thought if anything would change him the arrival of our son would. Payday would come, and go. I would have to go pick up the paycheck, and deposit it myself. Unfortunately, in those days, he could go ATM hopping– withdrawing money. Thankfully, I had help.

I could never tell if he was lying to me. After awhile, his words and fake promises meant nothing. He kept getting caught in his web of lies, and the list of people he owed became too long. He refused help.

It is devastating to stand back, and watch your family fall apart. I never believed in divorce. I never wanted that for my family. It has lasting effects on the children.

We spent seven years watching him go back and forth. Not always having a good place to stay. Flea bites. Among other issues in communication. Drama. Power struggles with the step-mom. She wanted to be in charge.

We spent seven years building a case while his father went thirteen grand in arrears.Four years ago, he signed him over. Two years before, my son decided he didn’t want to go anymore. He was uncomfortable there. He didn’t feel like he was home. They were squatting. 

Over the years, we have had problems with my son. You name them we have had them. Oppositional Defiant. Bipolar. Anxiety. Depression. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. He has been “labeled.”

Since making the break from his father and the negative influences, he has dropped most of these labels. We do not have the massive amount of trouble we had in the past. Just the normal stuff.

His grades and attitude in school have improved significantly. 

If anything the initial split had its negative impact and then after his split, its positive impact. You would think, right?

Only my son won’t accept his dad. My husband has proved himself in every way to my son. He asks to spend time with him– only to be pushed aside like trash. If he is forced to, he will. Cooly.

When he becomes angry–who is the first person he takes his anger out on? His dad. Oh, it makes me so upset. He works hard for us, and adopted my son. He has been here for him since he was four years old. He seems to appreciate none of it.

If he has a project at school– who is the first person he asks to help him with it? His dad. He can treat him like crap, but when he needs help it’s a different story. Or if his dad is playing a game, he wants to play, too!

He is respectful of his dad. He doesn’t like how his dad calls him out on his bull. He does it a lot, and it makes my son upset. I think it is why he gives him such a harsh rep.

My son doesn’t say much about his father. He prefers not to talk about him. He has bad feelings and memories about going places they went, and staying there. He did like it when he was actually a “dad” and not acting like an “outlaw” poaching deer out the back of his truck.

I think he becomes conflicted with his feelings because he does miss his father’s family. Just not his father.

Having my husband has been a good experience for him.

But he acts so much like his father and it gets him into trouble. The face of deception. The tongue of lies. He doesn’t know when to quit. He believes his own lies. 

I worry about him so much. I wonder if we broke him out of there in time before his father’s influence penetrated to the depths of his very young soul. I don’t want to believe the damage has been done as surely some has been reversible.

If he could quit lying…


I must confess my second marriage almost ended in divorce like the first. Because we both wanted our marriage to work, we worked to piece the broken pieces back together. Are we anything like my parents? I think we are in some ways.

He helps me be more realistic. I help him dream more.

I am happy we stayed together. As it has greatly benefited not only us making our marriage stronger, but it has also made our children happy. I didn’t want our family to be broken.


As a previously divorced person, I honestly believe divorce is not only hard on you but it is also hard on the child. If there are extreme circumstances, I know it can be unavoidable. In my situation, I couldn’t stay married to an addict.

Do I regret it? Some days I do. Honestly. I feel like I could have watched over him because I could have been there. I know I wouldn’t have been happy. We would have been broke. But I could have had more control.

 

It is so easy to throw a person away if we aren’t happy with them. Each person holds a treasure inside of them. You can’t find it if you aren’t getting to know them properly, and that takes looking up from your phone. Take your time. Get to know a person. 

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Posted in Blogging

And it is the Weekend!

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It has been a difficult week for writing. I couldn’t be happier to greet a Friday morning. I was a surge of energy as I completed my morning routine, grabbed some coffee, my comfy clothes, and sat down to write!

All I wanted to do all week! Didn’t have time. Bummer!

I have been making an extreme effort to keep things going. I planned out a schedule, and thought of other ideas a couple of nights ago. Things I might add in the future. I think it’s trial and error. Learning what works, and what doesn’t.

My mind is split in so many directions this week. Three out of five days I  had appointments. Certain issues to deal with for the children. Bills to pay. Oh, and a new medication to try. Side effects are lovely. Not! 

Let me just say briefly taking Cymbalta for joint pain was not a good experience. I felt wired. Not in a good way. I felt all kinds of weird things. Extremely happy. Then, sad. I couldn’t sit still. Couldn’t think. Couldn’t sleep.

If I woke up in the night, then tried to resume sleeping I couldn’t. My husband the lumberjack was a chainsaw cutting logs– the snoring kept me up. 

When I can’t sleep, I can’t think to write very well.

My son is having issues at school. He promised he would do better. Even with modifications at home, he isn’t. We are attending counseling. Still not breaking through. It is breaking my heart. 

He tells my mother on me. It is like she is going to save him. Tell me I am unfair and he should have video games all the time. They aren’t good for him. How do I know who he is talking to on there?  I don’t.

So he won’t have free rein. I know what he is doing, and when.

We had a conversation last night about his circle of friends. I think they are a bad influence. Maybe not all of them. However, since hanging out with some of them he is losing interest in things once important to him.

For instance: He LOVED taking a yearly trip with the band for their competition. This year, he had NO interest in going. It was almost like he did poorly in class so he didn’t go. Slacked off.

This bothers me because he is smart. He didn’t do this the first two semesters. He loves band. He is an EXCELLENT drummer. Gets along so well with his band director. Didn’t even bother to tell him we weren’t going on this trip. I don’t know why.

Another instance: Out of the blue yesterday, he says he doesn’t want to be a video game designer/developer. This has been his life long dream since I can remember. He went to school bragging about it. How he was going to be so good at it. He knew he had to work hard, and he didn’t care. He had the grades to do it. He only had to work at Math.

I told him I would support him no matter what he wanted to do. I believe, as a parent, it is what we have to do. Be supportive. Though he doesn’t even know what that IS now. I don’t know what would cause him to give up his dream?

So last night, I told him he needed to evaluate the people closest to him. Maybe they are jealous of him because he does so well, and they are trying to drag him down? Friends can be fake behind your back? It can be rare to find a genuine friend. (In my experiences.)

One of his friends wasn’t taking gym. So he decided he wasn’t going to either. This was affecting his gym grade dramatically. They will fail him– eventually. He would “accidentally” forget his clothes. We spoke to him about his lack of effort, and how it is lazy not to change. Gym is an easy grade.

Last night, he told me he “at least his friend was changing for gym” because he helped him. I chuckled. Still not sinking in– I said,” Yeah, you may be helping him, but he isn’t helping you! You are still sinking!” 

His answer to everything– “Yeah, I’m gonna fix that!”

You shouldn’t lose yourself in a friendship. You need to be yourself, too. Not who your friends are. He doesn’t understand that.

He doesn’t understand while his grades are plummeting, and he isn’t putting in the effort that they are affecting who he is becoming. He is letting them.

He isn’t understanding the natural progression of school. It’s going to get harder and faster, and he isn’t prepared. He needs to separate himself from these people. He needs organization, but he’s lazy.

He thinks it is okay to act like a 20-something year-old stoner, who sits around all day playing video games, and has no other care in the world. I don’t know how he is going to learn how to establish healthy relationships if we can’t pry him away from the virtual world.

Which his doctor and therapist agree is okay in limited forms. It helps his depression. Depression from middle-school because it is awful there.

This week, he told me he has a sixteen dollar tab because mysteriously his lunch keeps getting taken. He doesn’t know by whom. I called his father asking if he would call the school. But at this point, we aren’t sure if he is making an excuse to eat at school.

We told him to be more alert when he is eating so when we call the school we have a name. How can we call if we don’t have a name? If he is talking and not paying attention, he needs to pay more attention to his lunch, and eating.

He agrees to stuff, but then he complains about it later. So typical.  

I am so glad my daughter isn’t a teenager, yet.

So yeah, that is this week in a nutshell. I made it! 

Hopefully this weekend is a nice relaxing one. With some time to write, and plan.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!

Lynne

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blogging, Writing

Day EIGHT- Writing Challenge

Day Eight- Something I Struggle With

Anxiety is like a heavy blanket in my chest. A thick fog making it hard to think. An intense feeling of worry making my heart do flip-flops in my chest. Making it hard to breathe. The dread makes my heart pound angrily. Like it is jumping rope in there. Skipping along. Not caring if it scares the life out of me.

In these moments, I can’t be still. I am nervous. Anxious. I try to walk it off. If my legs will let me. Sometimes they feel like bowls of jelly.

I look for something I can see, something I can touch, something I can smell, and I count. I drink water. If I am at home, I try not to let my family see signs of smoke. I try to put out the fire myself.

On occasion, my arm is numb. Please not the left arm! Not the heart-attack arm! I am not having a heart attack! I am too young to die!

If my right arm is numb and tingly, I know I am going to live. I wiggle around like a worm. I pray to the God who hears me. I know I am going to live. I am strong and too stubborn to die.

If I know I have to be somewhere, I get nauseated thinking about it. I think about being around people, and it is a heavy weight pulling me down.

Talking to people. What will I say? What if they don’t like me? It might affect how they treat my children. My mind is like a blank sheet of paper trying to find the right words.

One of my issues lies within wanting to please everyone. My mother, my husband, my children, my family. If they are happy, then I can be happy.

When they are happy, my heart sings. When there is discord, my spirit is crushed. I hate chaos it makes me anxious. I feel like a caged bird flapping its wings unable to move about. 

Another issue is social anxiety. For example: When I help at my daughter’s school, I feel the way I described when getting ready in the morning.

When I arrive, I have a headache that feels like it is trying to rip through the back of my head. (Though not anymore because of Daith Piercing.) I walk apart from everyone to take in a few breaths of air. The children do not scare me, ironically, it is the adults that intimidate me.

I put on a show and try not to stand out. Hiding behind this facade of confidence. Outside– I am Fort Knox. Inside– my stomach is a ball of knots. When it is over, I can’t wait to high-tail it out of there.

I don’t mind helping out. I love seeing my daughter. It feels good volunteering. The anxiety is my problem, and I am working on it.

In some ways, I feel so out-of-place when I go. Like Alice who was so very lost in Wonderland. But I suppose that is one way the anxiety gets “inside of my head.”

More than anything it’s the worry. The worry is the disease in itself. The underlying cause of anxiety. The infectious bug.

The thoughts seeping into my brain, “Am I good enough.. Wife, mom, daughter, friend, ____”

The obsessive thoughts. Feeling as though I have to protect my children.

“Will something bad happen in our neighborhood? Are they alright at school? Are they being bullied? Do I need to do anything to help them? What could I do to make them smile?”

As I lay in bed, I think, “Is my family going to be alright?”

My body is restless. My muscles are tense. Counting sheep doesn’t help when the corral is left open. 

My thoughts wonder, and it isn’t a good thing. 

Though my eyes feel like heavy bricks when I close them, no sleep comes.  I chase sleep, and it eludes me.

This is what it feels like to struggle with anxiety. Anxiety is an invisible monster. It pulls on your insides like a puppet on a string. Makes you feel things you wouldn’t otherwise.

You want to feel normal. Do normal things, but you can’t.

We deal with stress badly, and we feel more deeply. Our bodies react as if these two things were contagious to our systems. So to purge us from these things, we have an attack.

You wouldn’t know someone has it unless they tell you. People assume we can turn it off like a light switch. Or calm down at the drop of a hat.

If it was that easy and we had it all figured out, we would have been free from anxiety long ago.

If you ever discover a person is struggling with anxiety, please do not judge them for it.

Instead empathy and understanding are helpful. We don’t want your pity. We are fighting a battle that one day we will win!

It isn’t easy talking about your struggles, but I hope this post encourages someone to open up about something they may be struggling with.

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

Lynne

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Posted in General, Loss

Always.

Six years ago today, my great-great grandmother, passed away. She was 95– it was less than a month before her 96th birthday. It was about two weeks after Kayla was born. She had been sick for a while in the hospital. Had been suffering with some health issues– among them Congestive Heart Failure.

The day we were leaving the hospital with Kayla, we received a call saying to hurry over to the hospital she was getting worse, but she held on for two more weeks. We visited with her over those next two weeks and she remembered we did– asking for the “big baby” and Henry by name. She lived for her grandchildren, but she was closest to us.

My grandmother was always in good health for her age. A couple of years prior to her hospitalization– on Thanksgiving– she had suffered a stroke taking most of her speech. She could still make out little words and phrases –it only took time. Sometimes she became frustrated with herself and feared others were also.

Up to the time of her stroke, she had been driving. She was a good driver and observed speed limits. She never let her gas tank drop below half a tank. It made her nervous to ride with others, but it always had, even when she could drive.

We took some car trips together with my mom — among them St. Louis, MI to see her only remaining sister (who passed shortly after our visit), and Southbend, IL, and they were so much fun. I can still remember hearing my grandma laugh, and seeing her cover her face because she hated the way her face looked when she did. Sometimes  I do the same thing.

She came from a big family. Her mom passed away when she was just a child, and her father was not far behind. Her family came from money. They were ranchers, but her older sister squandered her inheritance. She was no stranger to hard work growing up on the ranch, but nothing could have prepared her for what was to come.

Eventually she met my grandpap, she settled down, and they had six girls. He was a hardworking coal-miner. Those were some of the hardest years for them. I remember to hear them tell it– there was not enough to go around so my grandma would sit on the stairs while they would eat, and find something for herself later. He passed away in 1984 on July 11 from Black Lung leaving her to survive by herself for 23 years.

After Reid died in 1992, she moved in with us. Truthfully, she had been asking for years because she hated living alone. She and Reid didn’t get along famously. They got  along well enough, but not enough to live together so after dad was gone my mother said it was okay. As a teenager, I didn’t like her decision so well (it stifled my independence), but now more than ever, I ‘m glad she said yes.

My grandmother lived through her fair share of trials, and tribulations. She became a Christian when her girls were little, which became her rock in hard times, and her joy in happy times. I grew up in church with my grandma taking me.

Observing her over the years, you could tell that my grandma was at home there. It was at church she was the happiest. She belonged there. So now when I go, I remember her there, and can picture the happy times. My grandma was the portrait of a devout Christian. She lived it and her story tells it. My grandma will always be an inspiration to me. Especially when times are hard.

My grandma was classy. She had style. I remember the intricate details woven into how she looked. Her hair had to look good for Sundays. She would get it done every Saturday, and then sleep in the recliner wrapping it with toilet paper so it didn’t come out.

She always had nice dresses to wear. Saturdays, from the time I was a kid, we spent shopping. Not any old dress would do either, my grandma was picky. Oh, and if someone came over when she was ready for bed she ran to her room because that meant her teeth were out, her nightgown was on, and her hair was wrapped! 🙂 My grandma wanted to look presentable. I admire her for it.

Sure I miss her a lot and today is a hard day. I used to get really upset, but I don’t anymore. I know she wouldn’t want me to. I try to remember I will see her again one day, and I hope she’s proud of me. I usually spend today thinking of her. Sometimes I will eat something I know she likes. Or go somewhere she’d go. Do something she’d do. But I’m always thinking of her. Always.