One Thing

I have been able to focus at all today, at least on my work and other important tasks.

All last night and all day today, my mind has been focused on one thing. No matter the way I try and direct my thoughts, they somehow find a way to turn right back around to this…one thing. At work, I am presented with a task; I get to work on said task–>I temporarily forget about this one thing–>soon after completing the task, my mind goes straight back to this one thing.

Everything I see. Everything I feel. Everything I hear. Somehow my mind is taking everything and focusing all of its attention on this one thing.

Before I went to bed last night, I prayed to God–desperately pleading Him to send me a sign, as I have so done before. While I slept, I dreamed. I dreamed about this one thing. I dreamed of one possible outcome. Is this the sign I prayed for? I cannot be sure. Before I finally laid down my head and squeezed my eyes shut in a vain attempt to sleep, I had spent quite a good deal of time browsing the internet about this one thing.

I crave information. I feel like I never have enough. I am so insecure that I feel I must check at least a dozen web sites; usually they all tell me the exact same thing. Once I get started, it spreads like wildfire and before I know it, I’ve been browsing for at least a couple of hours. I’ve wasted so much time reading the same things over and over again and still don’t feel any better, or any more confident.

This one thing is driving me crazy.

My mind plays through different scenarios–creating scenes and events that haven’t even remotely happened yet. Things that may never happen in the first place.

God, please make this stop. Ease my heart. Give me peace. Take this one thing off of my mind so that I may be able to sleep…focus…function.

Making Decisions

Something I have struggled with for quite some time now is making decisions. To put it bluntly, this really sucks. Why? Because life is chock full of decisions! Big decisions. Little decisions. What car will I buy? How many kids will I have? What career path do I want to choose? And it goes on and on and on…and I quickly find myself weary of having to make decisions.

At each new decision that I am presented with, I breathe a heavy exasperated sigh. “I know exactly what *insert situation here* means. Another decision to make. Another wave of anxiety.” Now watch as I stretch out my arms in front of the coming tide, throw back my head, and close my eyes to brace for impact.

This time is no different.

This morning, I was walking back to my desk with my freshly-signed time sheet in hand when my boss called me back. My first thought–of course–was not good. I always expect the worst. It turns out, however, that he wanted to speak to me about an…opportunity.

You see, I am employed by a staffing agency and am currently placed “temporarily” at this company. I am a contractor, so to speak. Each week I keep a record of my hours worked, obtain a signature from my supervisor, and send my time sheet in digital format back to the staffing agency for payment. (I have no idea why I had to explain the concept of a staffing agency, but apparently I just did anyway.)

Currently, the company is currently trying to fill a freshly opened IT help desk position; from what I can tell, this comes after some issues with being short-staffed (and short-tempered) as far as who covers the queue and divvies out the plethora of service and incident request tickets sent in by company employees.

Long story short…my boss asked me if I would be interested in said position. My heart jumped. I knew what this would mean. For weeks I have become frustrated with my work. It isn’t that I don’t enjoy what I am doing; the fact is that I was starting to feel as if I was stuck in a rut, digging my wheels, not really getting anywhere. Now where have I experienced this feeling before?

This would mean full-time employment with a rapidly growing company and all of the benefits and bells and whistles to go along with it. This would mean I would actually be getting some training and finally, truly pursuing a career to go along with my Computer Information Technology degree. This would mean a step higher on the corporate ladder. No longer would I be a tiny peon (okay, I probably would still be a peon), but I might truly feel like a member of a team and for once, not a loner.

So naturally after reading this, you would expect me to immediately perk up at the idea and say yes right then and there, right?

WRONG.

I wavered. I hesitated. I stuttered. Whatever you want to call it. However, I explained that I would certainly keep the position in mind.

It isn’t like I would really be going anywhere. I would be in the exact same location. They probably wouldn’t make me switch desks, either. So why on earth did I even second-guess this???

Anxiety.

Ah, there it is again. That one hateful word. That thing that has been causing me so many problems as of late.

Upon telling my husband after I arrived home, I am pretty sure he was even more stunned than I was at myself. Why didn’t I just say YES?

I explained to him that applying for this position was certainly no guarantee, regardless of the fact that it was mentioned to me by my boss. Of course, if someone with ten years of help desk experience were to apply, they would be the obvious choice. I totally get that. And if I were to get the position, it would be a simple thing of changing some paperwork (for me) and then hiring someone else to take over my position as the IT Inventory Specialist. Someone else would be taking over my job as I moved on, yet still continued to look over my shoulder and get a glimpse into what’s going on. So exactly why does this even bother me?!

Okay…I’m taking a deep breath now…

Tomorrow morning, I will walk straight into the office, straight to my boss, and explain to him that I would certainly love to be considered for the position.

Because I don’t have to be the one to make decisions on my own.

For one, I’ve got my hubby. He’s there to be my better half and (non-literally, of course) knock some sense back into me. It isn’t just me making the decisions for myself. We are a family. We are making decisions for the benefit of all of us.

And most importantly, I have God to back me up. He’s the one that’s really making the decisions. As I struggle, He is up there moving His hands and placing me where He sees fit. He knows what is best for me, my life, and my family. I don’t have to worry about where I’m headed. And even though I lay here sleepless and fighting back against the waves of anxiety, I can still remember these things. As one anxious thought comes, I’ll hold up my stop sign.

STOP. God has this. Do not worry. Do not be afraid.

Not My Day

This post was supposed to be published yesterday. But, I didn’t finish it before I decided I was so tired that I wanted to go to bed. Sorry, you’re going to have to pretend like it’s Monday again.

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I interrupt this blog to bring you a rant about the frustrating and stressful Monday that I have had. The first Monday of the New Year. Not getting off to a good start…

Somewhere around 7:30AM: I decided I was just not going to make it at work and that I needed to see a doctor to get this sore throat and cough checked out. 1) because I needed to rule out strep and 2) because I wanted to start taking some medicine before this thing got any worse. So. I dropped the kid off with great-grandma, made a call to my boss (who seemed perfectly fine with me not coming in and potentially contaminating all four people in the office), and headed to the Urgent Care.

At a little after 8:00AM: I am waiting on results of a strep and flu test while the P.A. does the usual checking of the ears, nose, throat, and lungs. Diagnosis: infection of the left ear. Good news is no strep or flu. Prescription: antibiotics, Prednisone, Tessalon Perles (for cough), and a nasal spray refill.

Another infection? Really? This would make the third round of antibiotics and second round of the Predisone I have been on in the past three months. This ear has apparently decided that it no longer likes me. Not sure whether or not I have previously mentioned the painfully swollen lymph node on the back of that ear a few weeks ago…

Nonetheless, I am back to where I started at this time last year. These frequent infections have got to stop. I have an appointment with the ear, nose, and throat doc next week so hopefully he can figure this thing out.

(I have been told by other doctors that I am a complicated woman. Not exactly the most encouraging thing I want to hear from my medical providers.)

8:30AM: I left Urgent Care and headed to Walmart to pick up some more probiotic to try and keep my gut from going too crazy and to basically kill some time until Walgreen’s had my prescriptions ready. At that point, I wasn’t feeling too terrible and while I was there I picked up a baby shower gift for someone at our church and even debated heading in to work for the rest of the day.

8:50-9:00AM: I headed to Sonic for a Java Chiller and some Cinnasnacks. Apparently they don’t sell the Java Chiller anymore, but the guy that was working there said he could still make it for me. Hey, works for me. So I left Sonic and headed down the street to Walgreen’s.

Halfway there–I went to take a sip of my frozen coffee beverage but when I lifted it out of the cup holder, I apparently grasped it by the dome-shaped plastic lid because the whole lid came off and ice cream and coffee spilled all over the cup holder, into the unused clean ashtray (because I drive a ’96 Explorer from back in the day when cars still included ashtrays), and into the carpet between the console and driver’s seat and in the floor. In my attempt to prevent more from spilling, I nearly ran off the road (whoopsie). I was able to pull into Walgreen’s and park and I started pulling napkins out to soak up all the mess. At that point, my frustration was just beginning, but I still did not feel like trying to clean ice cream and coffee out of my carpet. So…the napkins are still there. And my car smells like caramel and coffee, which isn’t such a bad thing after all. I shrugged that off. No big deal.

Fifteen minutes later: I pulled up to the drive-thru at Walgreen’s to pick up my prescriptions and apparently the medications weren’t clearing with the insurance company. They hadn’t sent me a new card for the new year either, so now what?

I then remembered that I could go online and print a temporary card. But that meant I had to go all the way home to sign into the web site and then head to the library to print the card. Oh, wait. There’s a library just a mile from Walgreen’s! Duh! But then I remembered that I had lost my library card in the car. Drat! So I ended up standing outside the car anyways while digging underneath the seat until I (thankfully) found it.

9:15AM (?): At this point, I don’t remember how long each task took, so I am pretty much guessing at time here.

I walked into the library and logged on to a computer. Step 1) send an e-mail to the staffing agency that I am employed through to let them know my time sheet would be late and that I was out sick. This seemed like the logical thing to do until I logged into my Google account and remembered I had set two-step verification and needed my phone to get the code to log in; the phone was in my car and I didn’t care to walk all the way back there and get it.

Step 2) log into the insurance member portal and print a temporary card. Unfortunately, the web site was experiencing some technical difficulties and I was unable to log in. You really should have seen me trying to resist screaming at the computer. So I logged out and left.

9:30AM: I decided to head home and try to continue logging into the site so that I could print the card to a file onto a USB drive and head to the local library to print it. Thirty minutes (and some sheer frustration) later, I finally got logged into the site and was all ready to print the card. For some reason, print to file was not working. I hurriedly put on my shoes and my hoodie and grabbed my keys and wallet and whatnot and headed to the library, praying that I would still be able to get into the site once I got there.

10:00AM: Logged into the library computer. Logged into the site. Printed the card. Chatted with a couple of friends, one of which gave me a hug after she heard about the rough morning I was having. I left the library and nearly jumped with joy at finally having the temporary insurance card in hand. The Explorer and I headed back to Walgreen’s.

10:30AM (give or take): I presented the temporary card to the pharmacy technician. At first glance, she was unsure that we still had prescription drug coverage because the Subscriber ID had changed and no longer included the letter W as was typical of ID’s that corresponded to prescription coverage. She was trying to look it up in the system, but was unable to access it.

Apparently my insurance company has made some changes to their Subscriber ID’s and cards for this year and they have been having some technical difficulties. Go figure.

10:45AM: Back at Walmart to pick up something that I had forgotten to pick up at my first trip there and to kill some more time while waiting for the pharmacy tech. to call me back. She was attempting to contact the insurance company for me. Otherwise, my medications would cost well over $100. So not affordable right now.

11:15AM–okay, I KNOW my sense of time is way off because in reality, it was already past noon. I’m too lazy to go back and fix this. Just know that it took me all morning to deal with this crazy mess…

Sooo….around 12:15PM: I headed back to Walgreen’s. Long story short–I picked up my meds in the drive-thru and they only cost me about $43. And only because the insurance company was not currently sending a price back for one of the medications. Still much, much better than what it would have cost without the insurance.

By this time, I was tired, frustrated, and was really starting to feel like someone had hit me with a car. I stopped at Arby’s on the way home and picked up a couple of jalapeno roast beef sliders and a large tea.

As soon as I ate, I laid down. I was too tired to get up and close the blinds; I just pulled the blanket over my head to block out the light. My phone rang: I looked at it and saw that it was my therapist’s office calling to remind me of my next appointment; I let the voice mail take it. My phone started beeping to let me know that it was dying; I ignored it.

Sometime around 1:30-1:45PM: I finally fell asleep. And, boy, was I tired! When I woke up, it was 3:30. But the nap really seemed to do the trick. No longer was I frustrated about my “eventful” morning. I felt somewhat refreshed, however I did have to resist the urge to turn back over and go back to sleep. I left the house to go rescue great-grandparents from my little monster 5-year-old only to find him standing in the kitchen with “Mamaw” making mashed potatoes.

———-

So, there you have it. That was my Monday.

I would love to say that my Tuesday was so much better, but there was still plenty of frustration throughout the day.

And also, it is 11:39PM and I’m still awake with an upset stomach thanks to antibiotics (Augmenten–to be specific–which is a particularly strong one). Yes, I’ve been taking probiotics. Yes, I am taking it with food. Not to purposefully sound gross or anything, I really have had some issues with my digestive health over the past several months and quickly flip-flop from one extreme to the other–if you get what I mean. These antibiotics are really wreaking havoc on my gut. I’ve had so many over the past few months, that can’t be good for me either.

So, I am going to also work on cutting out the crap and eating healthier. Which I did start today by ordering a grilled chicken sandwich (no mayo, of course) and substituting a side salad for french fries. Baby steps.

Just keep taking step after step until you get there.

New Year, New Goals

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Image from Pusheen the cat

Here it comes, folks. You are about to read yet another cliche “New Year, New Me” post. You know the sort–the ones you see on literally every social media platform imaginable. (Then you roll your eyes when those very same people come back three weeks later and post about breaking those “resolutions.”)

Anyways, I have been working with my therapist on setting some goals. I haven’t really been one to set them because eventually, I didn’t see the point; I rarely ever accomplished them. It came to the point where it was difficult for me to set goals, let alone keep them.

So here are a few goals my therapist and I came up with together and some ways I can work towards accomplishing them:

  1. Clean up the home – break it into smaller, more manageable tasks (I’ve been really bad to write everything down in one big master to-do list and then immediately get overwhelmed at all of the items on the list and have trouble finding where best to start.)
  2. Eat healthier – I have gained about 30 pounds in just a few short months, and that really upsets me in more ways than one. I’ve realized that my latest eating habits have a lot to do with this weight gain, so I’ve got to get this under control. To do this, I’m going to start packing my lunch as often as I can and therefore limit the number of days I am eating out (McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Sonic, etc.) Also, I’m going to give myself an allowance (perhaps $20 per week) and keep it in cash so that I am also spending less.
  3. Exercise more – Maybe this one should really just say exercise, because it’s hard to do more of something you don’t do in the first place. I plan on trying to hit the park during my lunch hour instead of sitting in my car or going to Walmart (and spending more money). Unless of course it’s butt freezing or soggy wet outside. I am also going to try looking up exercise videos and yoga on YouTube…at least two days per week, to begin with.
  4. Deciding on having another child – This goal isn’t exactly completely up to me as obviously my husband must be involved for this to happen. But as discussed in my last post, this is a real possibility. It also requires the greatest deal of work to accomplish (if we so choose to): getting finances together, me getting off all of this medication, getting my anxiety under control, and really this next goal would ideally happen first…
  5. Get out of income-based housing – This one isn’t so much a goal as it is a must. With my new full time job and our lease coming up for renew sometime around March, it is pretty likely that we will either a) be very close to the income limit for these apartments or b) end up paying way more for our rent than this place is worth. Honestly, I think option ‘b’ is pretty likely altogether as I’m starting to feel now that we’re paying way too much when we could probably find a single-wide trailer with a yard, more privacy, well water, etc. for a small sum more. Again, this requires getting finances in order. Which is going to be a biggie as we’re basically living paycheck-to-paycheck and trying to pay off medical bills. (That rant is for another time, however.)
  6. Learn decision making skills – This is another biggie for me, personally. Anxiety makes it very, very difficult for me to make decisions. But, my therapist aims to work with me on learning decision making skills so that I become more confident in myself and the decisions I do make. Which would, again, hopefully help cut down some anxiety. And if I cut some anxiety, I should be able to lower or cut the meds and when BOTH of those things happen, maybe we can think about having another baby…for real. (See how my train of thought keeps going and going…kind of like the Energizer bunny…)

Visiting a therapist each week does require me to take the time to complete some small assignments and really reflect on things we discussed during my sessions.

But I really have a good feeling about this. I really think I’m headed in the new direction for this new year.

This year has sure been a doozy! My son had an emergency appendectomy back in March, had a seizure, rode in an ambulance to the hospital, and was diagnosed with asthma. My husband had surgery. I visited doctors much more than I got to visit the majority of my family. I lost a part time job that I loved. I gained a full time job that honestly just stresses me out. The transmission in my husband’s car went out. Should I even continue?

But here we are on the last day of 2015…AND WE MADE IT. And you made it. Remember that. God helped us through everything that went wrong. He was with us when everything went right. And rest assured, he will be with us again in the coming year…

See you next year!

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Image from Pusheen the cat

Baby, Baby, Baby

It seems like when one person I know has a baby, at least ten more follow suit. I swear, they must put something in the water around here.

This is going to sound extremely selfish, but I am finding myself feeling left out. There. I admit it. You will never hear me admit it in real life, but right here and right now I will say it again: I want to have another baby.

Okay, I want to, but I don’t want to. I’m torn on this issue. Let me explain.

My husband and I have been discussing having another kid for a couple of months now. When I say “discussing”, I mean both of us actually for the most part in agreement. He’s been pushing the idea for a couple of years now, but something has been holding me back from jumping aboard:

Anxiety.

Of course! Something else for anxiety to torture me with!

One side of my mind is telling me: “Go for it. You want to have another baby. You don’t want your son to grow up an only child, like you did. People keep mentioning to you that it’s about time you had another one more and more nowadays. At first, it was a bit of a nuisance and you wanted to slap them and tell them that your womb was none of their business. But now, you are actually starting to like the idea. It must be a sign, right? The way people keep mentioning it, it is starting to sound like God is telling you that it’s time. Now, get off that birth control and get going. You’re not getting any younger, you know.”

Unfortunately, anxiety has spoken as well and it has an awful lot to say:

“Remember your last pregnancy? Remember how you felt like a disappointment to your family and to everyone who loved you? Remember how you were basically verbally and mentally abused throughout the entire duration? Remember everything that you and your boyfriend/future husband went through?

“You couldn’t gain any weight. You didn’t get to a doctor until you were 33 weeks. The heartburn. The leg cramps. The morning sickness. The judgement. The time you passed out in the middle of the book store in the mall. The emergency C-section. The fear…”

As if my more logical senses are actually starting to fight back against this thing, I find the better half of my mind protesting: “You’re being entirely unfair. Then, you were a senior in high school. You were only a teenager. Things are different now. Every pregnancy is different and you deserve to be able to truly enjoy your pregnancy with your husband and your son by your side.”

But to be honest, my reluctance all boils down to one sickeningly strong emotion: fear.

I can’t really explain it; it just exists. I know I have nothing to be afraid of. I know that I should trust God and let him lead me in the right direction. Knowing is not the same thing as doing. There’s a lot of things I know I should do, but that doesn’t mean that I do them. I do way too much preaching and not enough practicing. I can advise someone to trust that God will do what He feels is best for them at that He will always lead them in the right direction, but sometimes I still have a hard time letting go and letting God.

Four Years Ago

This is a post about something from my past that I do not talk about often, so if some of the things don’t make much sense and it seems like I haven’t really taken the time to gather my thoughts: I probably haven’t. But I feel as if this is an appropriate time to share this. You will truthfully never know how this feels unless you have experienced it personally, but I do hope that you may gain some insight into what it is like to experience such an event. You are about to read one of the realest things I have yet to post.

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December 26, 2011

It was the day after Christmas. Traditionally, we have Christmas dinner with my mom’s family on Christmas Day and usually get together with my dad’s family on the day after, the day before, or whenever everyone’s differing work schedules allow. This particular year, we were gathered at my parent’s house. Knowing that my aunt (my mom’s eldest sister–who lived directly next door with my uncle) would most likely appreciate the opportunity to get out of the house, my mom called her and invited her to join us.

I will not go into any details into the circumstances why, however. I do not wish to point fingers or stray too far from the main subject of this post so I will keep this brief: she had been having some difficulties in her marriage in the recent days to the point where her and my uncle each drove separate vehicles to the family Christmas dinner and for the most part, stayed in separate rooms and did not speak to each other very much.

My son was 1 and a half at the time and was having a grand time playing with his then 4 year old cousin. As we usually do, we were spending a good deal of time chatting (and eating, of course) and my aunt seemed to be carrying on conversation with everyone quite well. Though she was obviously slightly less cheerful than usual due to current circumstances, nothing really seemed out of the ordinary. My husband even took the time to ask her how she was and if she needed anything and she said that she was fine. He took her word for it. Heck, we all did.

I will never forget that moment as everyone was packing their cars to leave, we told her goodbye and to take care before she backed out of the driveway and drove back home. That is the very last time I saw her.

That night, back at home, we were eating supper with my husband’s grandparents–whom we were living with at the time. My phone rang, so naturally I got up and walked over to the kitchen counter where it was sitting to see who it was. It was my dad.

“Hello?” I answered the phone as I walked out of the kitchen into the living room. The room was dark and I did not bother to turn on the light. There was just enough shining in through the open blinds from the street light across the road for me to see.

“There’s been an accident,” he said. An accident? Immediately my mind began racing with all of the possibilities. All of them…except for what actually happened.

“An accident?” I inquired, obviously getting quite anxious.

Then he broke the news to me. The most devastating and unexpected news I had ever heard in my entire life. My aunt had shot herself.

My heart sank. My jaw dropped. A sense of total shock ran throughout my entire body. I was in completely disbelief. This wasn’t really happening. This was all a terrible nightmare. My aunt would never do such a thing. I don’t know quite how to explain it; she just wasn’t that kind of person.

“Wh…wh…what?!” I nearly dropped the phone.

This is how my dad told it to me. My mom and dad had heard the gunshot, but thought nothing of it. They live where we would call “in the boonies” and hearing a gunshot was nothing unusual. We were close enough to several trees and surrounded by deer and other wildlife so hearing the sounds of hunters or a neighbor shooting at a racoon trying to rob the bird feeder was heard often. The sound even came from next door quite often as my uncle would target practice with his shotgun pretty frequently. We would hear a gun go off next door and just shrug it off or roll our eyes; he was just target practicing again. Or shootin’ at a ‘coon. Nothing new.

A while later, my mom was in the bathroom and heard sirens through the open window. Now that was an unusual sound. There weren’t very many people living in the area. Then the sirens kept getting louder. My dad ran to the end of their driveway to see the ambulance pull into the driveway at my aunt and uncle’s house. I don’t know much of what happened next, but I do know my dad saw her as they loaded her into the ambulance. Him and my mom jumped in the car and immediately headed towards the hospital, where they called me on the way.

As I was telling my husband what had just happened, I had a difficult time believing the words that were coming out of my own mouth. It still didn’t feel real. I was too shocked to even cry. I stowed myself in our bedroom, sitting on the edge of the bed. I was having a panic attack and I know it. My husband could only hug me. I was still in shock. I resisted any other comfort. I unintentionally offended my husband’s grandmother, who was only trying to help me.

A while later, my dad called me back. The news was not good. Basically, the doctors had said there was nothing they could do and their only task was to make her as comfortable as possible.

I wanted to scream. I wanted to call those doctors. I wanted to scream at them: “What do you mean there’s nothing you can do? You’re doctors. You have to do something! Anything!”

I waited. I tried to do something to get my mind off of what was going on. I helped my son put together one of his new toys. I wanted to look like I was strong. I didn’t want to be seen grieving. I have and did have an issue with that. I try to be stronger than I really am and it rarely ever works. I went to bed. I hardly slept. Tears flowed from my cheeks to my pillow until I finally fell asleep from sheer exhaustion.

I woke up that morning wondering what had happened during the night. Still hoping that I had just woken from a terrible nightmare. My dad called again later that morning to let me know that she had passed away around 1:00AM–on December 27th.

My uncle was still terribly distraught. He blamed himself. At the time, I didn’t know who to blame. I was angry with him for making her upset. I was angry at her for choosing this. I was angry at God for allowing it.

Grief can make you think terrible things. I did not know until still many weeks later how terrible some of those things could be…

The next couple of days are still a blur. I was unable to make it to spend time with my family, for reasons. Truth be told, I again did not want to be seen grieving. I wanted to grieve privately. I didn’t want people coming to see me who I either did not know or barely remembered to bring me food and hug me and tell me how sorry they were. I was thinking very, very selfishly and I still regret thinking in such a way. I had had a difficult time with my mamaw’s passing just a few years before and anxiety had caused me to expect the worst from myself (and from past experiences, for good reason).

Finally the day came for the viewing and the funeral. My husband drove me up to my hometown. I walked into the funeral home and found my family in the chapel. I walked straight over to my papaw, who was the only one sitting, and hugged him. And I lost it. I started crying. We were all crying. We were all still in shock.

The next few hours were spent shaking hands and hearing brief mumbled apologies and “God bless you”‘s. There was one “How did you know the deceased” directed towards me that I did not take too kindly to. I have a hard time with viewings as is. At my mamaw’s viewing five years prior, I ended up having to escape from the influx of visitors and found myself in the bathroom taking deep breaths and watching myself in the mirror. (So as you see, the panic attacks really have been going on for quite a while.)

Afterwards we gathered at my papaw’s house. I was talked into having a bite to eat and soon found myself devouring a rich, chocolately dessert. Emotional eating. The men from the funeral home arrived to deliver the flowers and their final condolences.

For some reason, this seemed different. I wondered how many deceased they had seen who had taken their own life. This wasn’t like a funeral for a elder who had passed away of old age or of bad health. My aunt was barely in her fifties.

And so…weeks passed. I kept grieving. Another semester of college started back and I found myself pretending that everything was fine. Sure, my Christmas break was great.

I still grieve, sometimes. Thoughts have crossed my mind. Emotions have come and gone. Though years have passed, I do still miss her. Each holiday, I longingly wish to have her back. I wish for one more of her homemade yeast rolls. I wish I could go back to the days in high school where she would be teaching me how to drive by letting me drive with her to school each morning. I wish I could go back to the times I spent in her kitchen with her as she tried to teach me how to cook. I was terrible and she always had to go behind me and correct something, but I will never forget the experience. I still miss her and I still find myself trying so desperately trying to scream at the Heavens asking her why she would have done this.

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Image from suicidepreventionlifeline.org

You see, losing a loved one to suicide is incredibly difficult. Those left on this earth will eventually move on, but we still can’t help but stop and wonder what could have been going on in the person’s mind. Sometimes we toy with the what-if’s and wishing we had said or done something. Anything. We feel guilt. We feel anger. We (of course) feel sadness. We want so desperately to turn back the clock and find them at that very moment at the end of their life…to reach out…to stop them.

I have to say, I don’t think any of us expected her to take her own life. Some victims are more obvious–suffering from depression, addiction, or other hardships. Yet, still, some victims seem like they have it together. Even in the face of difficult times, you still cannot tell that on the inside, they are twisting and turning in emotional turmoil.

God, I wish I had known at that moment when I looked her in the eyes before she left. I wish I could have hugged her tight and told her everything would be okay. I wish…

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Image from quotesgram.com

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Since then, I have had numerous dreams involving her and other people involved in the situation. One in particular still sticks in my mind two years after I experienced it. It’s haunting me. It’s a good thing I have an appointment with my therapist on Tuesday. I believe it’s past time that this particular topic is addressed. I may be able to put a band-aid over the hurt, but I will always remember my aunt and may never forget the last day I saw her or the thoughts of immense shock that were running through my mind that very night…four years ago.

Please pray this week for myself and for my family. We do not do very much open discussion (of anything, really), but I know this is going through all of their minds at this time as it is mine. Pray for those who are also experiencing loss of a loved one by suicide. Be kind. Remember you can offer condolences and sympathy, but unless you too have walked in those shoes, you cannot empathize.

And most important, remember that suicide is NEVER the answer. Please seek help if you are considering it…

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Image from suicidepreventionlifeline.org

 

 

Let me tell you about my week…

NOTE: I do not write this in hopes of making you feel sorry for me. Honestly. I write as a sort of release. I feel much better about things if I am able to transfer them out of my head and either onto a screen or a sheet of paper. So if you read this and think I’m being whiny and selfish, that’s fine and dandy. I might be being whiny and selfish. But I am writing exactly as I feel, not as a means for attention.

This week has been one of those that I am certainly not sad to see end. At this very moment, I am watching the clock turn to 10:01PM. In less than two hours, it will be a new day. A new week. And may this one be better than the last!

Sunday – My son and I missed church because he was sick. Fortunately, he did start feeling much better and was able to participate in the Christmas play at church that night. He did very well and I am so proud of him! That was my highlight…honestly. Unfortunately, he started feeling much worse and ended up going to the Urgent Care on…

Monday – Monday, Monday. What could I possibly say about Monday? I spent a mere two and a half hours at work. Much of that time was used to try and reach my son’s doctor’s office, to no avail. Finally, I gave up trying to call them and decided to take the child to Urgent Care. I’m so glad I did. They were able to get him in, get him tested for both flu and strep (which were both thankfully negative) and then get him out. They were quite exceptional and I no longer was irate that I was again unable to reach my son’s doctor’s office. Moving on…

Tuesday – I dragged myself into work, tired and weary from lack of sleep. My son was left with his great-grandmother while a worried mommy went on to work. Because I have to, you know, make money. What. A. Fun. Day.

We ended up having a bunch of computers show up as infected with malware, so we had to remotely re-install the operating system on every single one. Most of these machines were for bank tellers, so we had to install a lot of special programs that must pull information from each specific branch server and yadda, yadda. Much fun. Wowe.

I voluntarily stayed at work until 6:30 to assist in the process, since the majority of the machines would be in use until after hours. My husband picked up the kid after he got off of work. I finally made my way home and ordered a pizza, because I was pooped.

I visited my regular doctor for a follow-up today after having to reschedule yesterday’s appointment to take my son to the doctor. There’s one doctor that (unless I get sick) I won’t have to visit again for another six months. Hoorah! I like my doctors, but I’d rather not have to see them quite so much.

Wednesday – The child went back to school, but I went back to work even more tired than the previous day. Anxiety has kept me up later. His coughing in the middle of the night has woken me up and I found it hard to fall back asleep.

We started the process of calling all of the people whose computers we had fixed so that we could get the rest of their stuff going. It was a race against time as we hurried to get Tellers ready for customers when the branches opened at 9:00. Even after that, the rest of the day was spent tying up loose knots and doing some quick configuration changes.

Thursday – THEN my husband woke up with the crud, so I made him a doctor’s appointment for that afternoon. No big deal.

Work was boring, to say the least. Things had quietened down considerably and people were slowly starting to stop calling us to ask for things to be re-installed. They finally started putting in help desk tickets, which I currently do not work with. In fact, I was so bored I am pretty sure I dozed off at my desk. I ended up taking an hour lunch break (even though I had to leave work an hour early and intended to work through lunch) simply because I knew if I didn’t get some food and get out of the office that I was going to start snoring! I was still tired from lack of sleep and the usual, everyday fatigue I have been experiencing nearly every day was really catching up to me.

I ended up leaving work for an appointment with my therapist, which I believe went considerably well. I will talk more about this in another post.

Friday – I think I literally woke up and the first letters uttered from my lips were “TGIF!”

Pretty much the same experience at work as the day before: bored. Just a couple of us in the office for most of the day so it was even more quiet than usual.

At some point in time, my coworker left for lunch and I was left alone in the building. I turned on some music to try to fill the silence. I was getting a headache. I laid my head down just for a second and before I knew it, the sound of my coworker yelling in the cubicle next to me woke me abruptly. Ironically, I had left the stopwatch going on my iPod and realized in horror that I had slept for 33 minutes! I thought he was yelling at ME. Turns out, he was yelling at another coworker over the phone. Awkward. I turned off the music and immediately got back to work, hoping that there was no way he noticed that I had fallen asleep. My cubicle is at the front of the room, so it would be pretty hard for him not to notice me napping unless he was just completely unobservant.

I thought the sound of his badge unlocking the front door would wake me, but apparently it didn’t. I was (and still am) so ashamed! He didn’t say anything about it to me (though I think he was still fuming about that phone call), so I pretended like it didn’t happen. He knows my kid has been sick and I have obviously been more tired and experiencing headaches, migraines, and whatnot. So maybe he didn’t mind me taking a short nap. Because technically, he IS my boss: he’s one step up higher the food chain than I am. What if he mentions it to me? What if he tells on me? I certainly don’t want to lose my job! So that has kind of got me quite anxious. Especially since this is not the first time I have obviously stared at my computer monitor in a vain attempt at keeping myself awake.

Saturday – TODAY.

My hubby woke up feeling even worse. So I whisked him up to the Urgent Care clinic for a flu test, which also came back negative. He just has a really, really bad sinus infection and has been so congested and coughing until he vomits. It’s terrible. When he gets sick, he really gets sick. And he’s allergic to the good cough syrup–the kind with codeine in it.

So, as you can tell…

There is A LOT on my mind right now. Seriously. My body is so tired, I want to sleep, but my brain won’t stop.

This is the week of Christmas. I still haven’t finished shopping. I haven’t wrapped a single gift. My husband is sick. I’m finishing up a round of antibiotics and prednisone in a couple of days and still have popping ears and a sore neck.

So…hey, uh, brain? Could you please slow down just a little? I’m pretty sure my body wants rest. Kthnxbye.