Depression, Life or Something Like It

Whatever it Takes, Do It

Whatever it Takes, Do It

Whatever it Takes, Do It

 

Whatever it takes to keep your peace intact…do that.  I am serious.  As hard as it can be Whatever it Takes, Do It.  Peace, according to Webster’s Dictionary means “a state of tranquility or quiet or freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions.”

These two things walk hand in hand for me.  A state of tranquility and freedom from oppressive thoughts or emotions.  The last SEVERAL years have been riddled with chaos, pain, confusion, sadness, and intense oppressive thoughts and emotions.

Scripture

My Scripture reading, for today, was in Philippians 4:8 and it states “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

Whatever it takes, do it.  Whatever it takes to fix your thoughts on what is true. The definition is “freedom from oppressive thoughts or emotions.”  When our thoughts are on the things of this Earth, they can easily become oppressive.  Yet, God wants us to have freedom in our thoughts.

You can have freedom from your thoughts by capturing those negative emotions and casting them aside and realizing what is truth.  Truth according to the Lord.  This can be hard to do, but it can be done.

Honorable

What is honorable.  So, whatever it takes to be honorable, do it.  Be a person that is that city on a hill, be the salt and light of the world.  When you are in that spot of depression that yields a lack of peace, it consumes all of you.

I almost feel like I am in a barrel and there are times when I cannot even see a pinpoint of light.  The last 2 years have been horrible.  I have no peace.  Well, I am getting it back, but it was gone, like the wind.  I did not do whatever it takes for peace.  It’s almost like I succumbed to the chaos around me.

There was no honor in anything I did because all I did was put down myself and live in self-pity.  There was no self-care, self-acceptance, or self-love.  I let the actions of others dictate how I looked at myself.

What is Right and Pure

Nothing I did was right or pure.  It was derogatory towards myself and my circumstances.  I let a few people control my mind.  Satan used “friends” to destroy my self-confidence.  I’m so thankful the Lord allowed my vision to clear up.

By Him doing that, it allowed me to see people for who they really are.  These are the people that I had to step away from, for my own sanity.  I could not have done what I did without the encouragement of my husband.

He sees me, daily, and he sees through me.  He sees my pain and offers love, support, and occasionally a thought that would lead me to fix the problem.  I am blessed with him, my mom, and my sisters.  Without support, I may not be working towards healing.

Whatever it Takes, Do It

I had to do the unthinkable to begin my peace journey.  There were minor things that I changed, like being off of Facebook.  Facebook is toxic.  It can be a pleasurable space to keep up with family if you can change some settings.

I shut everything down.  There was no one, outside of my friend’s list, that had access to anything.  I deleted all my albums and began a new email address to keep those unsavory wolves in sheep’s clothing away from me.

That is minor compared to the other things I have had to do and am currently doing.  My goal is to achieve peace and retain what joy I have left.  It can be done though it has been the hardest thing of my life.

In The End

Be done.

Not mad, not bothered.

Be done.

Protect your peace at all cost.

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The One that *Sees* You

The One that *Sees* You

The One that *Sees* You

Have you ever felt invisible?  That no one really sees the pain that you carry around on a daily basis?  Has your pain ever been so intense and you have stuffed it so far, that you are numb to emotions?  Have you ever been called emotionally stagnant or unable to feel things as they happen?  Well, that’s me in a nutshell.

Trauma

Childhood trauma, young adult trauma, adult trauma, PTSD, whatever it is that you may face.  It’s a bitch.  In the moment, I feel nothing.  I’m always on mode go go go go go and then once I’ve gone, I relax.  Then, I cry and feel all the feelings.  It’s horrible.  I’m working on processing the traumas, whether big or small, past, present or what I foresee.

Have you ever taken the ACE test?  The Adverse Childhood Experience study?  My score is 6.  This means that “People with an ACE score of 6 or higher are at risk of their lifespan being shortened by 20 years. ACEs are responsible for a big chunk of workplace absenteeism, and for costs in health care, emergency response, mental health, and criminal justice.”

Drug Allergy Testing

So, this past week, I had to take Hunter back to the allergist at Vanderbilt.  This time, not for seasonal allergies but for a Decadron Challenge.  Doing this definitively tells me whether or not he has an allergy to this specific drug.

Luckily, we had the same nurse as last time and the dr that we met via telehealth the first time.  These ladies are so very nice.  They explained things to Hunter and me very well.  We had to leave a bit early and I got so turned around that we were almost lost.

This place is in a shopping mall.  I kind you not.  We had to go to a mall to go to the doctor.  It is so weird.  Add that to the fact we have to go up one escalator, down a thousand hallways, and up an elevator to get to where we were going.  I was tired, he was getting anxious, we all know the drill.

10 Minutes Late

We got there, just in the knick of time.  The nurse called us back and said how she remembered us from the last time.  She did all the things and got us to our room.  Hunter was behind me, twirling his shirt and hopping.  I sat down, feeling defeated but stoic.  Ready for this next test, next doctor, next hospital, next next next.

The nurse came over and asked to hold Hunter’s hands.  She looked at him and told him exactly what we were going to do.  That nothing, today, would hurt him.  She comforted him and asked him if he was okay.  He said he was scared and she softly assured him that there was nothing to fear.  That touched my heart of stone.

Then, It Happened

She got him settled with the promise of Teddy Grahams and power aid.  Next, she rolled back to her computer and started typing something, asking me the normal round of questions.  Then, she quickly turned her chair around and looked me dead in the eye.

She said, “are you okay?”  This was done with such sincerity that it threw me off.  I was speechless.  Then, I felt it coming.  Tears welled up in my eyes and I gently said “no.”  She rolled over to me and patted me on the leg and said that it was going to be okay and that I was going to be okay.

I Felt Seen

At that moment, I felt as if she could see directly into my soul.  That she saw everything that had been stuffed down and she wanted to assure me that it is okay.  I am okay.  This is all going to be okay.  I felt such comfort and calmness.  A peace fell over me and I could physically feel my body relaxing.

On cue, Hunter must have felt something too because he did his thing.  Ever since he got sick, we have listened to Ms. Debbie.  She has recorded us about 8 songs.  He knows them all by heart and asks to listen to her because it calms him.  He turned around and said, “can we please listen to Ms. Debbie?”

We both listened and praised God together.  I am learning, listening, and trying to trust in the process.  It is coming up on 4 yrs and we are both just tired.  God, give us rest and heal his weary body.

Side note:  he is NOT allergic to Decadron 🙂

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In the Still of the Night, The Monster Comes to Play

In the Still of the Night, The Monster Comes to Play

In the Still of the Night, The Monster Comes to Play

In the Stillness

I love the time of day when I can go upstairs and just be.  For the day, I am done.  I am done with school, cooking, cleaning, putting out fires, phone calls, texts, etc.  My stuff, a bottle of water, and coke come up the stairs with me.  I turn on all the fans, dim the lights, wash my face, and pile up in bed.  Yet, In the Still of the Night, The Monster Comes to Play.

For a bit, I am good.  I will scan all the things like email, Instagram, and such.  Facebook is a thing of the past.  I cannot stand the fakeness, passive-aggressive, political, crap that it is.  A “friend” can be a friend to your face but behind your back, they are a glorified 12-year-old living in the land of middle school.

That shit is for the birds.  I’m so much better than that.

Then, the stillness sets in.

The Silence

My life is SO loud.  I mean my son-in-law is LOUD.  Everyone is loud.  We have 21 chickens, 19 cats, a whiny dog, a granddaughter, and kids galore.  It is always something.  At night, though, other than the fans, it is silent.

That’s when the thoughts come in.  These are not good thoughts.  Normally, I watch the Detail Geek (car detailing guy from Canada) and talk to Donna.  We talk through several of his details and giggle so much.  Catch up on life, talk about our issues, and the issues of our children… all the things.

Since she passed away, in October last year, I have stopped watching him.  I get so emotional when I do.  Then, I go to pick up the phone and I realize she isn’t there.  All of the unresolved trauma and grief floods me.

Reality

When Donna’s daughter died, I did not process her death for a year.  Her death was so hard on me.  I have loved LA from the moment I met her until the moment we buried her.  Donna and I had always been close but our bond was unbreakable after LA died.

I remember the night that I called her.  Crying.  I was crying so hard that I couldn’t breathe.  She could not understand me.  Finally, she said for me to stop and tell her 2 things that make me laugh when I think of her.

  1.  Bats
  2. Hair dye

Instantly

I stopped crying and replayed that story over and over in my head.  The darkness began to have a bit of light and the monster retreated for a moment back from where it came.  Donna is gone. Now, I have no one to tell that story too.

So again, the monster comes out to play in the stillness of the night.  When I am alone with my own thoughts and the depression begins to overwhelm me.

Bats. Hair dye.  Bats.  Hair dye.  Monsters go away because I do not want to play.

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Revelations of an 18-Year-Old and Social Media Dangers

Revelations of an 18-Year-Old and Social Media Dangers

Revelations of an 18-Year-Old and Social Media Dangers

Every day we get on our phones and scroll aimlessly through social media. We comment on and like our friend’s photos. We even comment on and like celebrities’ photos. Every day we are exposed to photos and other kinds of media that hurt our self-esteem. Every time we go on social media, we see images of people who look a way that we don’t or have things that we don’t and that causes us to think more negative things about ourselves because we are those other people.

Kids Getting Phones TOO Soon

Kids are getting phones younger and younger these days. I am not shaming anyone, but I feel that it is important that we look at how social media and phones can affect young and impressionable kids.
Growing up, I got a phone when I was in 7th grade. I had to share the phone with my many brothers and sisters. Looking back, creating my social media at such a young age was a stupid idea. From then on, I noticed how much I started to compare myself to other girls. I started to despise myself after a while because I didn’t look like the girls I was seeing on the internet. I couldn’t fit into a size zero, and that’s where my body image issues started.

After 2 Years

After two years, I slowly started skipping meals. It started out slow maybe skipping a meal or two a week. It got worse rather quickly. I went from only missing one or two meals a week, to only eating once a week. I truly felt that there was nothing wrong with that behavior. I felt totally normal. I got down to a very small size, the smallest I’ve been, and It just wasn’t good for me. Even though I was tiny, I felt like I was 400 pounds. The truth is, I still haven’t fully recovered from my eating disorder. it wasn’t until a few months ago that I started eating more regularly. It’s been rough trying to get myself back on track.
It wasn’t until I decided to delete my TikTok and other apps that hurt me mentally That I realized just how much those apps had an impact on me. It was such a toxic environment for me, and I decided I didn’t want to live in such a vicious cycle. It was truly never-ending.  Exposing young children, especially young girls, is harmful. This is something I am very passionate about because I know how much it affected me.

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Lockup: Extended Stay

Lockup: Extended Stay

Lockup:  Extended Stay

In Lockup: Extended Stay, I just completed a four-day stay in the hospital because of my mental health. I am not ashamed to say that’s why I was in the hospital. I needed help, and I can admit that now.

Things have been bad for me for basically a month, and I had nothing left to give. It started with me realizing that even though I have forgiven myself for my brother’s death, it didn’t make it any less painful like I was expecting. I thought that if I had forgiven myself then the hole in my heart wouldn’t feel as big.

Trauma Relived

On top of that, I have started remembering things from ten years ago and that just hasn’t worked out in my favor so far. I also had the anxiety of what to do with the information I was remembering. Do I report this even if it may ruin my family?

Do I report it even if I will have no biological family afterward? That decision was made for me, but now I’m dealing with the anxiety of wait to hear from the police. Every time the phone rings, it’s like my world stops. I start shaking, and I get really nauseous. I hate this feeling.

First Few Nights

My first few nights at the hospital were very lonely. I didn’t even start to make friends until the night before I left. I only knew those people for a short amount of time, but they made a huge impact on me. I can’t help but think about where they are in the world.
Did Katie and Michaela get out today? Did Jamie’s mom ever pick him from the hotel room? Did the other Katie get the Job she interviewed for right after she got out? Did the girl with super long hair throw a chair through the window? Where are they now? Are they doing okay?

Dawn, the Night Nurse

My night nurse made the biggest impact on me. Dawn deserves a raise because she doesn’t make enough money for what she does. From the moment I met her, she was nothing but caring. She answered any question I had. She got me food from the fridge when I was too anxious to do it myself. She treated me like I was her own child.
On my last night there, she shared something with me that she has never shared with anyone. I won’t say what it was because that’s not my story to share, but it made me believe that I can talk to the police. That I am strong enough to get through this.

I am Home Now

Now that I’m out, I feel like there’s this pressure that I have to be good now. Like I feel like I can’t be anxious or depressed. Don’t get me wrong, I am the best I have ever been, but it’s still not great. If that makes sense. The bar was literally on the floor before now. I feel like I now appreciate the people around me a little more now.
Looking back, I know I wouldn’t have made it through the past month without them. That’s not something I’ve been shy about either. I’m so grateful to Bart (you guys may know him as “Big Daddy”) and Brandi. They have completely changed my life. I love them with my whole heart and I could never thank them enough for what they’ve done for me.

Guest Blogger

This was written by one of my favorite people.  She is so precious to my soul.  I am so encouraged by the strength that it took for her to admit that there was something not quite right.  There have been so many days and nights that I have seen her struggle to just maintain.  The dam broke.  With the help of her medical provider, his nurse, and my son…she would have never had the strength to stand up for herself.  She would have never sought the help that she needed.

Since doing that, it was discovered that she has Serotonin Syndrome.  There are many symptoms that range from excessive sweating to goosebumps.  All of this is caused by an accumulation of serotonin.  Some, your body produces, some is caused by antidepressants.

Thankfully, she is on the right medication.  She was on too many SSRIs and now she has completely leveled out.  There is no shame in getting help.  Had she not gotten the help she needed, she would have never discovered the meds to help her were actually hurting her.

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Brandi’s Getting Her Groove Back

Brandi's Getting Her Groove Back

Spring Break Week and Brandi’s Getting Her Groove Back

It is Thursday of spring break week, and I have done a whole lot of nothing. I’ve sat, watched Youtube, had some coke, cooked supper, scratched my head, bit off my fingernails, and played cards with my kids. Just, you know, not a whole lot of productiveness. Now, however, Brandi’s Getting Her Groove Back.

A Hard Time

There was some information shared by a courageous girl. We have had to deal with the knowledge of being lied to by someone. Also, the realizations of someone we love, living two lives. Basically, what are we going to do, moving forward? It was hard. I just had to go to bed. I was on edge. Hunter’s behavior was horrible. Then, the kids were loud. I started snapping at everyone. All this over a mess that someone else created but my family. Yet, my family and I are in the center of the storm. Sigh.

Amongst That Crap Storm

I took advantage of the situation (actually, I was sitting at the table with my head in my hands, crying, eating three bags of fruit snacks), and I had a conversation with G. It was hard. The truth was hard to say, and it was hard for her to hear. She is very similar to the person that has caused such chaos. Her anger has controlled her for so long. She doesn’t even know what she is angry about most of the time. I will talk more about that in a future post.

The Sun is Out and Shining

It is chilly outside, and it is supposed to snow tomorrow. Yet, today the sun is shining. I decided today was the day I was going to get my groove back. Today, I am awake, alert, feeling good, and ready to tackle things.

I had the little boys detail my van! Woot Woot. Boo folded laundry, cleaned the kitchen, and watched Hunter. He just did things that needed to be get done. G helped me. We started in the laundry room.

Daughter #2 is supposed to be on top of the laundry. Well, let’s say that walking into that smell and cesspool of hell got my dander up. We have not had clean towels in quite a while.

Essential Oils to the Rescue

I made some cleaner spray, and I got started cleaning. All over the outside, inside, and drum of my washer. G collected all the dirty laundry. On my agenda is washing all the bedding and curtains. Also, we need towels. The dryer is my nemesis, so I moved there. I tackled every nook and cranny. I took the vent out of the dryer. Then, I got my hand down inside there. I pulled out a ton of lint that had fallen there. I also pulled the dryer out, swept behind everything, and worked on the tubing because it has not been drying very well.

And So It Goes

We washed off the shelves, all the inside of the baskets, cleaned off, and organized the shelving, put things where they belonged, spilled an entire bottle of ammonia. That was fun. I even cleaned out from behind the freezer where clothes get thrown yet never get picked up. Super fun. Once I had all that done, Daniel came in and swept and mopped the floor. The laundry is still going.

I cleaned out my bill holder, got a pile ready to be put upstairs, cleaned out my desk and my junk drawer, cleaned off my mantle the boys and G deep cleaned their room. Big Daddy is going to either rent me a carpet cleaner or he is going to buy me one. It is necessary. You cannot live in a house with nine people, eleven sometimes, with three dogs and three cats, and not need a carpet cleaner.

Creating my EO Recipes

I also got all my essential oils out. In doing that, I combined like bottles. Next, I made a ton of cleaners, carpet deodorizer, car deodorizer, anti-aging face cream, hair thickener, hair growth serum, protective spray blend, tension spray blend. Making EO Recipes for every day is what I love to do!

Plans Moving Forward

Tomorrow is Friday, the 6th, and I plan on tackling the innards of my kitchen and dining room. I also want to address the living room, the game closet, the school closet, and the toy closet.

While I’m doing that, the kids will do their regular chores. We have to stay on top of the little things. By little things, I mean like the massive mounds of dirt that are everywhere. 

Oh, wait, what about the cat food that is everywhere or the disappearing toilet paper problem we have. 

For now, we are working in the house. When my house is all clean, I will move onto organizing our attic. Big Daddy will take the people who live here and organize my garage and do yard work.

We need some roof work done, some gutters and landscaping, swings hung, and such.

Spring is here. Hallelujah sunshine! Beware. Brandi’s Getting Her Groove Back.

 

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Where Have I Been

Where Have I Been

Where Have I Been

Are ^^^^^^^these^^^^^^^flowers not gawgeous???????  I mean, seriously.  I guess I should’ve found a pic of March Flowers since they are out and about this month.  Oh, how I love them.  My sister calls them Jonquils, cause she is so fancy and all.  This is a little snippet of Where Have I Been lately.

I call them March Flowers or Easter Flowers…..what do you call them?

Anyway…where I have been for the last month.

I’ve spent this time reflecting on some things and dealing with some not so pleasant things.  At least, I’ve come to terms with issues and I’ve grieved.  Also, I’ve cried a lot.  Sadly, I’ve angered people and I’ve been angered.  Life.  I’ve been living life.

My marriage is good.  We always have things to work on and my husband does have things that he wants to work on, for him….not for me.  I want to work on my resolve, my weight, and my thought process.

Healthwise, I’ve been better.  Physically, I have recovered from a hysterectomy and bladder surgery.  The process was a suckfest, but the outcome is glorious 🙂  Mentally and emotionally, this has been one of the hardest and longest seasons of my life.  I have been struggling with depression and anxiety since May 2015.  I have clocked more time in hospitals, in the last 3 yrs, than I have in my entire life…that includes giving birth.

The Trials in My Life

My marriage took a hit in that month in a big and mighty way.  My daughter, after 11 years, had to leave our home for a time to allow us all to heal.  One of my son’s had surgery.  Another son is showing the massive effects of FASD.  A daughter got married.  A daughter wants to get married.  My baby was diagnosed with a life-altering condition.  My Lady died, my daddy has had a stroke, and quadruple bypass.  Finally, my niece finally landed in prison for the next 8-10 yrs.  Just so much.  Three of my beloved dogs died.

Self-Care

It has been hard.  Epically hard.  I’ve upped my regular antidepressants.  I’ve started exercising.  I’m back on my sleeping meds to help me sleep…yet it still was bad.  I felt like I was in a deep hole and could not see the pinpoint of light to climb out.  I finally had to yield to my family physician about my panic attacks and anxiety and that the meds were not working like they once did.  He changed up a couple of things and he added a couple of things and I finally am beginning to feel a bit more human.

Life…. gets in the way of grandiose plans.  I have learned that I must give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thess 5:18).  I’ve learned to not lean on my own understanding because His ways are higher than my ways.  I’ve also learned that I cannot control life.  That is not my job.  When I try to do this job, the Lord just sits back and snickers and then throws me another curveball until I yield to Him and what He wants me to do.

Comfort in Truths

I have a lot of thoughts, a lot of ideas, swirling around in my head.  I feel like I have plans, but trying to get those plans out is like nailing jello to a wall.  They are there, just not ready to be nailed down.  For now, I revel in the fact that my marriage is good now.  Big Daddy has stopped trying to fix it and he just listens.  My Lady loved the Lord with all her heart and might and soul…I will see her again, though I still grieve. My daddy loves the Lord and that gives me such comfort.  My meds are working.

Karole the Cat and Ted the Dog

We gave an old, broken, special needs cat home, we now have another little dog that is a senior and quite sweet.  My son is still not well.  Also, my daughter may have to leave again sooner than I would want.  I have a son (with FASD)…well…we aren’t sure what to do there.  Amazingly enough, my other boys/girls are all plugging along and praise is to God, school is almost over.  My kids have worked so hard to get all that I require done and their reward is getting done in a couple of weeks instead of a couple of months.

Purging and Planning

I’m planning on cleaning/purging/minimalizing my home…..when my home is simple and our belongings are simple, my mind clears up.  We are planning our Make a Wish trip, which will be super exciting.  We are still plugging away, and doing well at our budgeting.  Plus, next year will be our 25 wedding anniversary and our goal is to go to Europe.  There have been relationships restored between our members of our family and though my niece is not where I want her to be…..she and Jesus are becoming BFFs 🙂