New Year, Less Bullshit.

Standard

… or at least that’s my goal anyway. I really don’t do resolutions, nor do I take them seriously to be honest. Why make a resolution like “I’m going to eat healthy”, when we all know I’m going home to eat my weight in pasta more nights than not? Mostly though, I like the fresh start that a new calendar year brings. It’s like a brand new book that I get to write, and the possibilities are endless.

Someone I was speaking to the other day didn’t understand this way of thinking. The way they came off was condescending, like myself and people who think in a similar fashion are unintelligent for looking forward to the new year. New Year’s Day is just another day to them, and if any of the rest of us had a bad year (ie: 2016 sucks! posts) it’s either dumb to think that way or we bring it upon ourselves.

I don’t know, I guess I kind of get that idea. I mean, in reality January 1st is just another day. For me, I guess it just symbolizes a new start. Every day is a new start, a fresh page, especially more so it seems since I’ve been diagnosed with a chronic illness. The way my head has figured it out, is that I have a lot of shitty days. Literally and figuratively. I have many, many days where I just don’t feel up to even getting out of bed. However, on those days, I’ll lay there, get all grumpy, and have to remind myself.. “tomorrow is a brand new day, I might feel better tomorrow.” So that thought process naturally flows over onto Mondays, and each month that passes as well as years.

This past year was a little rough. Especially in the beginning. Back in the beginning of the year, I was still struggling with being single for the first time in almost 5 years. Then on top of that, I had developed Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia (IST) out of nowhere. So the first half of the year was basically spent trying to cope with yet another life changing diagnosis. Then of course I had a bad string of dating, and finances from being sick caught up to me. Yeah, rough. Not as bad as the year before though, and honestly, as the year went on it did get immensely better.

So for 2017, I’m kissing the previous year goodbye. Each year will get better, and I don’t think it’s a negative thing to dislike a year because of what happened in it. However, the last year, if I could change¬†anything¬†about it, I would change my perspective. I spent so much time being negative about everything that happened to me, I lost a lot of time I could’ve done something with my energy. I focused so hard on the things that were going south, or the changes my life made without my consent, that I missed celebrating all of the goodness I do have in my life.

So this year, I am going to be focusing on the positive. Positivity creates positivity or whatever that fuck that saying is. I’ve started a 2nd journal (a¬†beautiful¬†handmade leather one Jon got me for Christmas) and am using it as a gratitude journal. Each day, regardless of the tough things that happen, or the day to day frustrations, I am going to write a handful of things that I am grateful about (and within) my life. No matter what we do as human beings, we are all bound to have a rough day here and there. I’m just hoping that on those rough days, I can open my journal and appreciate the things that are hidden beneath all the crap.

Today I wrote my gratitude entry on my lunch break. Since yesterday morning, my headache has returned despite my medicines (head infection Рvertigo) I got on Friday. I was a bit worn out and by lunch time was starting to look down on my day as my stomach started hurting as well. So I wrote.

I just made a simple list:

  • an attentive boyfriend who checks in on me throughout the day.
  • a daughter who albeit is grumpy about going to school tomorrow had a blast during holiday break.
  • coworkers that I don’t want to murder most days.
  • my new favorite sweater that I’m pretty sure I stole from my sister inadvertently.
  • knowing I’m going home to a cozy house, a hot cup of tea, my chatter bug kid and my coloring books.

Nothing specific. Broad range. Yet, after writing it down, reviewing each in my head, and then writing a bit in my other journal, I honestly felt a bit better about the day. Am I tired? Oh yes, painsomnia struck last night, so I’m yawning my way through the day. Do I hurt? Of course. Yet, my phone goes off with Jon checking in to see how I am. I know I get to hear all about the short kid’s last day of break when I pick her up. For now? I’m warm and snuggly in my sweater (sorry Chelsea!) with a cup of tea.. and I know tonight is going to be full of snuggles, hot tea, some scifi, and some coloring while I’m wrapped in my blankets.

That simple journal entry reminded me that I am damn lucky to have what I do have. I should be grateful that I have so many good people, and comforts in my life. It could always be worse, so I have to appreciate what I’ve got.

This outlook/journalling is working so far. Let’s see if I can keep it up throughout this new year. It is a new book after all, and despite what we can’t control, we can control how we feel through it all.

 

Happy New Years Everyone.
Much Love. Xx

Caffeine Fueled Honesty

Standard

Rebuilding self-esteem. It’s like running up hill, underwater, drunk, and if you’re unlucky, naked and with a target painted on your back. Once someone tears you down, it’s ever so hard to get back on the same playing field.. or anywhere even remotely near it. It’s like trying to quit smoking by snapping a rubber band on your wrist.

Before you realize what happened, you’re hiding bits and pieces of yourself that you’ve been taught are damaged, or annoying even. You’ll apologize for things that don’t need apologizing for. You’ll keep thoughts to yourself, because you’re so scared, almost terrified in fact, that if you let those thoughts out, you’ll scare people away.

All that’s left is this shell of a person, feeling frustrated, down, depressed, and hurt. It’s just this shell that dislikes so, so many things about itself, that it desperately wishes it could change. It wishes it could change it’s hair, it’s weight, it’s health, it’s mannerisms. It wishes it were different. Just a shell.

 

 

 

Over the last handful of years, I’ve had a hard time with myself. I “learned” that things that people once loved, were actually obnoxious, annoying and embarrassing. I had been told that I was too loud, that I should stop debating, stop arguing, and “not get so riled up about political issues”. I had it forced in my brain, that taking a down day (during a flare, or even an every day cold) was selfish. That laying on the couch was lazy, even as my insides spilled onto the floor. After a while, my brain believed it.

I embarrassed my friends and family when I became passionate about something. I picked on people too much, it was okay for people to pick on me, but fighting back was wrong. No one likes a girl who stands up for herself. That when I was sick, I inconvenienced others. That I shouldn’t complain, I should just deal with it, because it wasn’t as bad as I made it out to be. I learned that I made people miserable, especially on days when I couldn’t drag myself off of the couch. That I ruined my friends and family’s weekends when I didn’t want to something my body wouldn’t tolerate.

 

Time went on. I started to keep quiet. I stopped debating, I stopped arguing, I stopped discussing world events. I kept my opinions about my books, and the world around me inside my head, more and more. I withdrew. Things that I was once known for, quirks, even character flaws if you will, I started to apologize for. If I got sick, I was sorry. I was sorry for everyone who had to deal with me. If I got loud about something I cared about, I apologized and immediately felt embarrassment flush across my cheeks. I stopped teasing the people I cared about, I stopped showing my personality at home and out with friends. Oddly enough, the only people who really saw the real me, was my co-workers. I hid from everyone else. I even started hiding from myself, picking myself apart. Disliking who I had always been. I looked in the mirror and felt ashamed at not only my changed body from all of the medicines and years of disease, but I didn’t like myself anymore.

Complete honesty here folks, which I’ll admit I haven’t let on my blog for a long time. Just remembering how I used to feel.. I’m sitting here with tears streaming down my face.

I felt like a shell of a human being.

 

 

Then all of a sudden, I was alone. It was just me and my beautiful daughter. My daughter who looked up to me, my daughter who has the same mannerisms, and one hell of a similar personality. If I disliked myself, did I dislike her? What was I teaching her.

One day I was out with my friends, and I made some horrible joke and someone I didn’t even know laughed. I opened up a little bit more. I started to meet people for coffee and drinks, people I’ve known for years and years, and new people. People who liked my quirks, as well as my friends in the chronic illness community. I started to realize that maybe, just maybe, the old me is in there somewhere. Maybe, she’s not that bad?

 

Over the last handful of months, through the holidays and then through my heart-scare, I started focusing on myself. I started to try and re-learn to be.. well.. me. I’m not perfect, in fact, I have enough flaws to cover my entire county. However, what I’m slowly learning is that the most beautiful things are flawed. Eternally so, and that family and friends will love you despite those flaws. I’ve been working on my self-esteem, and my self-worth a lot, and in the process have been learning a lot about myself.

I’m not there yet. I’m not back, I’m still a few blocks away from the old me. I realized this, again, last night when I started apologizing for crap that had no need for a “I’m sorry”, much less an explanation. I’m still guilty of shutting my opinions up in my head. Most importantly, I’m still working on being open about being ill. I get scared that my friends will leave when I get sick again (although in reality, no one left who was worth spit in the first place). I get scared that new friends, will not understand, that they’ll bail when I come clean. For months now, I’ve been forcing myself to be open with everyone I meet, that I potentially could see a friendship with, about being sick. I’m learning to tell my family when I need help, or when I’m having a hard time. It’s a learning curve, all of it, but I’ll get there because it’s worth it. No one should have to feel like a shell of themselves, no one should doubt themselves that much, and no one should have to feel the kind of emptiness. Cheesy as it may be, but everyone is different, we all have different battles we’re fighting, and we all have different quirks and personalities. What I wished I had learned a long time ago is..

.. if someone doesn’t like who you are, if a person doesn’t support you, from family to friends and everything else.. kick their asses out on the curb.

 

‘Cause nobody got time for that shit.

 

Haha.

 

Basically Rambling

Standard

I am finally relaxing. ¬†As I posted earlier, we bought a new (to us) washer, and of course I had to wash every little bit of clothes I owned. ¬†Haha, let me just nominate myself for the lame-adult-of-the-year award. ¬†The kid and I colored with some chalk, and after her bath, we made a pizza. ¬†Thursday nights we usually do a one on one dinner, which she gets a kick out of. ¬†Always nice to actually get some alone time with the kid and talk with her. ¬†She’s a really bright kid, and the conversations we have always amaze me. ¬†We talked today about money (and how things cost money so we have to save for bigger purchases) and about camp and what she likes about it so far. ¬†I’m pretty impressed with my little one.

It’s almost Friday thank God. ¬†It’s been a long couple of weeks. ¬†Work has just been crazy, with the exception of today, and with the fight with my family member, it’s been pretty high stress. ¬†Now that everything is over, my anxiety has calmed down.

I’m finally getting caught up on some work that I fell behind on with my day off on Tuesday, and I feel like I actually got something accomplished. ¬†I’m very numbers driven, so being able to see what I’ve done each day really helps. ¬†Hopefully things continue to calm down at work, I’m starting to feel a bit burnt out with everything. ¬†I just keep reminding myself that it’s the season… as a coworker says, it seems like everything implodes in the summertime.

As for the fight with my family member. ¬†I was able to text what I really wanted to say, (once I wasn’t so angry, just hurt) and for once I wasn’t interrupted. ¬†I hope that she read it and took it to heart. ¬†I haven’t heard from her since and I noticed that she blocked me on Facebook. ¬†That’s fine I guess. ¬†After talking with my Dad, and then with the boyfriend, I’ve definitely made the decision to cut ties. ¬†If she hadn’t said certain things I might have let it blown over, but unfortunately once words leave your mouth, it can’t be unsaid. ¬†Frankly, even if I did change my mind, I don’t think the boyfriend will… from what I understand his family is pretty upset too. ¬†It looks like with a couple of hurtful comments, a wedge may have been driven between the two families. ¬†Sad. ¬†Like I was saying, I’m glad it’s over. ¬†I’m slightly upset still, but mostly relieved. ¬†I was able to say what I’ve been wanting to say for months, and I found out how she really feels about my disease/job/family/life. ¬†So not only did I get what I needed to off my chest, but I was able to inadvertently find out who is toxic to me and who I need to keep away from my kiddo. ¬† It’s odd, I feel in a way… lighter.

Beyond all that, I’m just doing the thing. ¬†I’ve been feeling pretty run down lately, but I honestly think it’s mostly stress (which hopefully should lessen now) and oddly enough, dehydration. ¬†It’s been pretty warm here, and with being sick, I get pretty dehydrated pretty fast. ¬†So water and tea it is! ¬†It looks like the weather should be cooling down here soon, so forest preserve trips are coming and I think I’m going to finally sign up for a yoga class or something. ¬†I haven’t decided which one, but I think it would be a good (natural) way to bring down my anxiety. ¬†Plus the benefits! ¬†The only other thing that’s on my “personal-for-me-to-do-list” is looking into a bicycle. ¬†I really want a beach cruiser and have for years, but you know how it goes, there’s always another place that money could go. ¬†So I’m going to start saving up a portion of my savings (haha) to put down on a bike, since the kid has learned how to ride her bike good now, I want to be able to go on bike rides with her. ¬†So wish me luck!

 

Anyway, this turned into more of a journal post than I wanted, but I didn’t feel like writing in my physical journal. ¬†My kiddo has fallen asleep on her chapter book, so it’s time to get her in bed. ¬†Happy Friday everyone!

Actions, not words

Standard

People expect you to put a lot of stock into the words that come out of their mouths.  If you say it, I’m supposed to believe it with out a doubt… even if your actions prove otherwise? 

Let me just clarify that for the internet.

Nope.

I’ll listen to what you have to say, but ultimately?  I’m going to judge you by what you do, how you act and the pride you take in said actions. 

If you take the time to explain to me that I shouldn’t think you’re a douche, that your priorities are in good order and that you give a shit about your family… you should probably act like it. 

A bit more than a week ago, someone freaked out on me because I suggested that maybe they had handled themselves wrong in a situation.  (It involved drinking, fighting, calling parents drunk, getting mad and putting said parents through hell, then dropping a bomb on said parents and asking them to pay bills for them.  Then going on a tangent about what horrible parents they are when the reaction received wasn’t getting money thrown at them.)

I was informed that they were completely sober, weren’t scumbags, and how they were offended that I’d rather my daughter spend time with my neighbors than them. 

Sidenote: wasn’t true, is now.

Whatever.  My daughter’s birthday was coming up and as some of you know, I’m changing medications for my Crohns Disease as it is acting up.  I have a lot on my plate and dealing with that chaos is not on my to-do list. 

On Monday, my family came over for my kids birthday party.  This person told me she was coming, along with her boyfriend.  Let’s just say, thank god I had enough sense not to tell my daughter that they were going to be there.  Of course, for a child’s birthday party, a child that she told me she loves to death, she blows off, with out a call, text, birthday card, nothing.

So here we are, a week later, and I still haven’t heard anything.  My daughter thankfully hasn’t asked, but it’s quite telling that her scumbag bio dad sent a gift but a member of her own family completely blew her off. 

I’m very lucky that I have such a wonderful family, my life has gone through some tough times and I’ve needed support badly.  Each and every time my family has been there, except one… Only when it’s convenient for her.  I’m not even upset about that though, I’m used to it after a decade.  Apparently after dragging all of us through hell and back when things aren’t picture perfect in her life, I can’t even expect her to show up for my child’s birthday party, much less even call to say happy birthday. 

I guess the emotion I’m more or less feeling is disappointment.  I can ignore being treated badly, I can pretend it doesn’t bother me when someone doesn’t care about anyone but themselves.  However when it extends to my child from someone she loves, I have to put my foot down.  Thanks to my ex husband, my daughter understands that some people are just self absorbed, but that doesn’t mean I need to expose her to them.  Family is more than blood and she deserves love. 

So after a week of waiting for a phone call, I’m ok with walking away from that portion of my life.  I have been making great strides to give my daughter a happy and healthy home, and in order to do that, sometimes you have to cut out the negative.

Adios, you may think it’s okay to treat your family like something you stepped on walking the city streets, but that doesn’t mean I have to put up with it forever.