I’m Still Here

I haven’t posted in more than a month now, and I don’t want people worried about me, so this is a quick update.

I hurt my right hand not long after my last blog post.  I haven’t been able to write for any amount of time before it swells up and I’m in pain, and typing is almost as bad.  I’ve been avoiding it in an attempt to heal.

I have been on my new anti-anxiety meds for over a month now, and I can certainly tell the difference.  I’m calmer overall, and can react in a normal way to stressful situations.  I am on 20mg of Celexa, which I take once per day, and .5mg of Ativan that I take when I am extra anxious.  I’ve been noticing that I need to take at least one Ativan per day.  I’m definitely thankful for the relief.  I have a doctor’s appointment next week, and we’ll see if she’ll keep me on my regimen or if she’ll change anything.

I think I would be even less anxious if I were able to write in my personal journal.  For the past few years, I’ve kept a handwritten journal that I write in most nights, curled up in my comfy chair.  Since I’ve hurt my hand, I haven’t been able to write at all, and that is very disheartening.  I’m trying to be extra careful with my hand so it will heal faster.  I need to be able to write, so I can purge my thoughts and clear my head.  I don’t know where to go with my anger, frustration, etc.

I will end this post now, as my hand is hurting again.  I just wanted to check in.  I have been keeping up with the blogs I read, and hopefully soon I will be able to join you all again.

New Theme

I chose a new theme for my blog because quite frankly, my old theme was depressing me.  Hopefully this will cheer me up a bit.

Listen to Your Body

It’s been a hell of a week, let me tell you.  I’m getting ahead of myself, let me back up a bit.

Thanksgiving was a lot of good fun.  It was a full day, and we had dinner with good friends.  I’m really proud of myself that I am getting so close to this couple.  I’m really opening up to them, and it feels really good.  I haven’t had any close friends in years, so this is a huge deal for me.  Befriending this couple has opened the doors to meeting some other great people, and we have a blast when we’re all together.  The women have been bonding a lot, and I just love it.  One of the maladaptive patterns of my abuse was keeping people away from me because I can’t trust.  This group has shown over and over again that they are trustworthy, and it’s an incredible feeling.  I wasn’t ever sure that I would have true friends again, and this is a sure sign that I am healing from my abuse nicely.  It makes me giddy.

Last Saturday we put up our Christmas tree.  I absolutely love the Christmas season, so I was anxious to get started.  We even bought a nice new fake tree, pre-lit (bonus!).  About 5 or so that night, I started getting one hell of a sore throat.  I never imagined that it would get as bad as it did.

Sunday was spent preparing a Mexican feast to enjoy with the same couple that we had Thanksgiving with.  It turned out really wonderful, and we had a great time.  BUT, I kept feeling worse and worse.  By Monday morning, I was full on sick.  Sore throat, sinus issues, stuffed-up head, headaches…the works.  Unfortunately, it was a hellacious week of work, and it was stressing me out on top of it.  I wasn’t getting enough rest, and my cold continued to get worse.  I woke up yesterday morning more miserable than I have ever been in my life.  I even cried, I was so sick.

My husband convinced me to go into work long enough to get what I absolutely HAD to done, and then come home, so I did just that.  I took a nice nap, and that helped a ton.  Last night and today, I feel loads better.  I’m still sick, but the cold is gradually leaving.

So the moral of this story is, you MUST get rest when you are sick and don’t push yourself too much.  Your body will retaliate…with a vengeance.


I work in a pretty rural area, and I have a huge picture window in my office.  One of the things I love is the wildlife that I see on a daily basis.  It’s not uncommon to see white-tailed deer grazing in the field across the street.

There are crows that live near here, and they are very curious birds.  They will venture very close to the building.  I’ve had them sit right outside my window.  I love seeing that, and will watch them from time to time.  Lately, they’ve stayed away because there’s road construction going on here, and I’ve found that I’m missing them.  I hope they come back when it’s all over.

I love crows, they are my favorite birds, by far.  They are so huge and beautiful.  Black as night, with a wingspan of about 3 feet across.  I love these birds because they remind me, of course, of their big cousins: the ravens.

The raven is a crow, but not all crows are ravens (as a lot of people mistake).  Ravens get quite large at 2 feet from head to tail, with wingspans of 4-5 feet across.  That is amazing to me, and I would love to see one in person. 

What is most interesting to me are the legends and stories involving these birds.  They have always been thought of as bad omens.

The Norsemen believe that their god, Odin, had ravens (named Huginn and Muninn) that gathered information and brought it back to him.  They saw and heard everything, and their standard perch was on his shoulders.  Ravens are known as the ghosts of murdered victims in Sweden.  In Germany, they are known as the souls of the damned.  In Danish folklore, they have a being called a “Valravn”, which is a supernatural raven.  It was believed that this bird consumed the king’s heart and gained human knowledge.  The Valravn turned into a knight after consuming the heart of a child.

The most well-known story, and the reason I found myself so intrigued with the raven, is the famous poem by Edgar Allan Poe.  I love the story because it is a truly tragic tale.  This man, having lost the love of his life is in such despair.  The raven takes a front row seat to (and helps along) his decent into madness.

Poe picked the raven specifically because of its melancholic and mournful nature.  Since reading his poem, I also connect the raven to insanity.  I am obsessively intrigued by insanity,  so you can see why I felt the connection.

To me, crows are like small ravens, and I miss the ones that usually appear outside my window immensely. 

When will they come back…Nevermore?

Sleep…You Bastard

I haven’t updated in quite awhile here, but that is because I have taken a break from my recovery process.  I finished my devotional journal a few weeks ago, and it put me in a really good place.  I’m still riding the high from that.  My depression is almost non-existant lately, and that is a beautiful thing.

It helps that it is also summertime, and there have been lots of wonderful things to do, and vacation days from work.  My anxiety has been doing very well, so I am able to read books again.  I’m able to lose myself in them again instead of re-reading the same sentence over and over again because my worries are overtaking my mind.  I’ve got a long reading list to catch up on.

My problem today is sleep.  Sleep has become my enemy, my bane.  Sleep and I have never had a good relationship.  It’s a love-hate kind of deal.  I’ve written many times on my anxiety affecting my ability to sleep, but now I’m starting to wonder if I have a deeper sleep disorder.

I dread sleep.  I always have bad dreams, and never wake up feeling rested.  Lately, I have tried cutting out caffeine in the evening and taking a sleeping pill (very mild), but I still unconsciously make myself stay up later than I should.  It’s almost a fear of going to sleep.

I’m not sure what the problem is, but I don’t like it.  I know it’s not my anxiety because I my mind isn’t racing when I lay down to sleep.  It’s not constantly running in circles like it used to.  I will lie in bed at night and there will be nothing going on in my head.  It’s like a black canvas just waiting for sleep to be painted on it.  Once it finally does come, I have upsetting dreams.  Not nightmares, but unpleasant enough that I wake up feeling nauseous or disturbed.

I should welcome sleep and enjoy it, but I don’t.  I hope this is something I can figure out soon because I am getting increasingly exhausted and lethargic.

I don’t know if there is a cure for unpleasant dreams, but I will do some research to see if I can find something to help me.  I can’t have these continue if I’m going to keep my sanity.

Dear Zachary…

I watched a documentary today that was more powerful than anything I’ve ever watched in my life.  It touched my soul and made me extremely emotional.  I went from sadness to elation to devastation all in one sitting.  I found myself crying multiple times during it.

The filmmaker is a man named Kurt Kuenne who set out on a journey to capture the memory of his friend Andrew Bagby after he was found murdered by his ex-girlfriend.  He traveled to England and all across the United States, interviewing everyone who knew and loved Andrew.  Along the way, he finds out that the woman who murdered Andrew is pregnant with his son.  The documentary then changed course to become a tool to someday show Zachary (Andrew’s son) who his father was.

Over the course of the documentary, there are so many stunning events that happen.  Things that happen to real life people, and are so shocking that you can’t even fathom what is happening.

You also meet and fall in love with two of the most incredible people I have ever known.

I don’t want to give away too much.  I watched this movie without any forehand knowledge of what was to come, and it was even more intense than it would have been had I known the story.

This movie can be found as a “Watch Instantly” on Netflix.  If you don’t have Netflix, I’m sure you can rent it.

I urge you to watch it, but be prepared for an emotional rollercoaster that will leave you shocked and exhausted by it’s end.

This movie will haunt me for a long time to come.

Fabulous Weekend

Ok, the pity party is over, at least for now.  I had the most wonderful weekend.  It was really what I needed.  I forced myself to just relax and not think about my issues for awhile.

Friday night, my husband and I talked well into the night, just about anything and everything.  We had a truly fantastic evening.  We only really get to spend time together every other weekend due to his work schedule, so we made the night special.

Saturday night was spent cooking and baking.  My husband is an amazing cook, and when he puts his mind to something, it comes out fantastic.  He has cooking in his blood, and it shows.  I love to bake, but I lack so much confidence in it because I was never “taught” how to do it.  I didn’t have a role model in that respect.  I took the plunge and made a Texas chocolate cake from scratch.  It was the first time in my life that I ever made a cake from scratch. 

My husband, daughter and I spent the evening until almost midnight preparing food and baking for company on Sunday.  For the past couple months, we have been getting together with another couple and their son every other Sunday.  We take turns hosting the other.  At first, I was a little leery of the situation because I wasn’t sure how I would cope with it.  The idea was new and foreign to me.  I forced myself to do it though, and it’s been great.  Now I look forward to it.  It’s amazing what can happen if you step outside your box.

Preparing for the gathering was fabulous family time.  At one moment, I stopped what I was doing and just took in the fact that we were all together and having a wonderful time.  It was very heartwarming to me.

On Sunday, we had the gathering, and it was a really important healing step for me.  I have so many trust issues, that it is incessantly hard to become friends with people.  I push them away before they get too close.  I understand that it is healthy to have friends in your life, and it is rather unhealthy to stay wrapped up in yourself.  I have really opened myself up to these friends, and we are getting closer all the time.  We share common interests and they are genuinely enjoyable to be around.  They are real, and I find that I don’t have to put on airs with them or pretend to like them.  It just comes naturally.  I don’t get uncomfortable anymore, and in fact, I look forward to our little gatherings.  It feels so good to be breaking bad patterns, and rewiring my brain.

The food was amazing and my cake was a bit hit.

All in all, the best weekend I’ve had in a long time.  It was the relief I needed.


The Mexican restaurant was a big hit.  Two thumbs up.

I almost feel like a bad mother today.

My daughter rarely gets grounded.  She is a very good kid and we never really have problems with her.  One thing we do not tolerate is her not doing her schoolwork.  She’s an extremely bright girl, and when she does her work, she gets As just about every time.

We’ve had a problem in the past where she skips over some of her work and she gets marked down for it.  It will bring her grade down from an A to a C or D.  This is unacceptable.  We aren’t ogres, and if she were having problems understanding her assignments, we would help her.  However, this is her simply being lazy.

This is work that she does in school so we can’t check it before she hands it in.  We thought we had it nipped in the bud, but last night she brought home another assignment that she skipped on.  She got a C on it, and we were not happy.

We explained to her again how school is her job and she needs to make sure she is doing her job.  We asked her why she skipped it and she shrugged.

She is grounded for the weekend.  No friends, no TV and no computer.

I have to admit that her being grounded means more relax time for me.  Normally the child is forever spending her weekends with friends.  That means mom is either taking her back and forth or bringing her friends over here to spend the night, and of course, keeping them entertained.

I must admit to enjoying not having to do that for one weekend.  It’s also nice that I don’t have to fight with her for TV time or computer time.

So yes, I almost feel like a bad mother today for not feeling bad about her being punished…almost.

El Tequila

Tonight, the family and I are going to the brand new Mexican restaurant that opened on Monday.  We are all really excited because we haven’t had an authentic Mexican restaurant in our town for a few years.  My husband is from San Diego, so he just loves his Mexican food.  My daughter is the same way, and I enjoy it too.

What I enjoy more is the actual event of eating out.  We try to eat dinner together at home as often as we can.  My husband works 12 hour night shifts.  On the days that he works, that’s the only time we have to spend together before he’s off.  There’s always some kind of distraction at home though.  The radio or the TV is on, or we are watching the cats be ridiculous.

When we go out to a sit-down place, the focus is on great food and great conversation.  It’s a good time for us to catch up on our lives and enjoy each others company without too many distractions.  It’s like putting our busy lives on pause for a moment and enjoying the little things that make everything else worthwhile.

My daughter misses her daddy during the week.  She barely gets to see him on the days he works, and on his nights off, he’s really exhausted.  He does make sure to spend some time with her, but I know he feels like it’s not enough.

So, tonight will be about family and good food.  I’m looking forward to it.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I’ve always loved St.  Patrick’s Day.  It’s not because I’m a fan of corned beef and cabbage (in fact, I dislike it very much) or green beer.  It’s because I am 1/4 Irish, and I love the country.

I’ve never been to Ireland, but it is one of my dreams to live there one day.  Maybe retire there.  If nothing else, I just hope to visit at least once in my lifetime.

My daughter was very excited this morning.  She had on her St. Patrick’s Day shirt and a wobbly antenna headband that says “Kiss Me, I’m Irish”. 

I want to try to teach her more about the culture because it’s the most predominant in my blood.  I think it’s really important to learn about your heritage.

The Irish truly have an amazing story, and I’m proud to say that I’m a part of that.

I won’t be celebrating heavily tonight, but I may watch Gangs of New York.  It’s such a great movie about the rivalry between “Native” Americans and Irish immigrants in the 5 corners of New York in the 1800s.

If you go out and celebrate with your green beer, please be safe and have fun!

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