Peaceful Mornings

It’s Friday morning, 4 o’clock hour, and I’m sleepless once again.

I woke up to go to the bathroom and ran into my oldest in the hallway- this was around 3:30am.

He said he heard a distinct Milo meow outside his bedroom window around 2:30, and had been calling for him since. We had set out clothes and used kitty litter around the yard yesterday- and we were feeling hopeful that maybe he’d find his way home in the calm of the night.

I couldn’t sleep after that, and walked the yard with a flashlight- with no luck.

On the bright side, I’m not feeling too bummed about being up so early again. I had a great morning yesterday! After I wrote in here, I had the best workout I’ve had in over 6 months, and that was me not wanting to work out at all. I was so glad I got on the bike- it felt good to ride 7 miles before work. Riding my bike one mile to work will be a piece of cake 🙂

I also had time to meditate- although it wasn’t a great session. I’ve been meditating daily for several months now, but haven’t had very good sessions where I feel in a trance. I’m either completely conscious- or I tend to fall asleep. Last weekend, after my friend visited- I meditated in the afternoon/evening. I was very tired from staying up so late, but I was also holding my coffee cup (it was an impromptu meditation session) – which I think prevented me from falling asleep and helped me achieve more of a trance state.

For the first time in awhile, it was a good session. I went to Crystal Cave, and my mom and Anthony’s grandma (who passed while on a cruise in 2002) were there. They were getting on my case about not visiting our parents more (his and my dad/stepmom). Then Anthony’s young cousin showed up. I asked him if he had a message and he said to tell his sister that he is taking care of all her passed pets (she loves her pets!).

It made me think that maybe I should meditate later in the day instead of first thing. Yesterday I did both, but my afternoon session wasn’t great.

I had a pretty good day at work. The kids were extra wound up, and I was kind of cranky, but I ended up emailing my principal with my schedule and the issues I am having. I told her I planned to reach out to my boss- but didn’t want to blindside her. It’s a start and it feels good.

Today is not only Friday, but it’s the Friday before Spring break! AND.. and Parkview it happens to be pajama day, which I intend to take full advantage of! I’m even bringing my slippers. I don’t always participate in pj day, but today it’s happening.

On a side note, I was thinking about the upcoming summer and wondering if I’ll be productive or not. I began to think of the summer of 2020 and how magically awesome it was. I heard a song, which reminded me- that’s what got me thinking. It was amazing, but why weren’t the summers after, and how do I make this coming summer more like 2020?

In 2021, I was preparing for my son and nephews graduation party. I did a ton of work, especially outside. It was great to feel productive and get things done outside, but I think that took most of my summer. The party was at the end of July and by August, I’m already in back-to-school mode- so when that party was over, so was my summer it seemed.

In 2022, I slept. My hands were so sore, I think I weeded around the pond once. I spent the summer trying to heal with diet changes, and just got worse and worse. By the time school started, I could hardly get up off the ground. My legs were stiff, swollen, and horribly painful.

Last week I almost cried at an IEP meeting, and nearly made the mom cry. It was for that little boy who I get off the bus everyday- the one who struggles walking. The team began talking about how amazing and inspiring this child is.

I told mom how sick and immobile I was in the fall- and how her little boy changed my entire outlook. And that was no exaggeration.

But my thoughts about summer is that right now 2023 is a blank slate. How do I want it to look? What a great prospect! I thought hard about this yesterday. I definitely want to write- as much as I can- and then just household chores will keep me busy- especially outside. We bought the acre lot next door a few months ago, so I’m excited to figure out what we’ll do with it and clean it up.

I feel like I could be totally content staying home all summer long and doing nothing but writing, swimming/bike riding/other leisure activities and fixing up/maintaining the house. It sounds absolutely perfect, actually.

When I first got sober, it was the summertime, and I would sometimes think of my home as a sober retreat. It included all the good stuff- spiritual work, recovery work, grounding while gardening outside, meditating in the garden, wholesome food, etc. My wish for 2023 reminds me of a sober retreat. I can’t think of a better way to spend summer vacation. Pretty hilarious for a girl who lived for drinking all summer- and the thought of a sober summer would scare me away from sobriety- until I learned and experienced the truth (that alcohol is a big, fat liar).

This was supposed to be a quick update- but I keep getting off track. It’s after 5:00 now, and I’m deciding if I want to work out or not. I think not. I think I’ll make some pancakes- or something else hardy to eat because I’m feeling famished.

Thanks for listening to my rambles!

Have a great Friday everyone- happy weekend!

Mama Drama – Unpacking her Emotional Baggage

It’s around the four o’clock hour on a Thursday morning and I can’t sleep. I’ve been up since around 3:30, and have lots on my mind.

Shortly after 4:00, I stopped fighting it and got up and made coffee. It’s nice to be up this early, actually. I love the dark quiet house, and especially love that I have some extra time now this morning. I’m hoping that by blogging and working out, I will get out some of the “ick” inside me.

I don’t have a lot of things. But, as you know, my cat Milo has been sick with a nasal problem and we’ve been anxiously waiting for his cat scan appointment on April 5th. His original appointment was April 5th, but he was on a cancellation list. They called in early February and asked if we wanted to come on March 21st instead. Heck yeah! I told them. Then they called the next day and asked if we could come on February 15th- I was so excited! He’d finally get seen and we wouldn’t have to wait for April!

Well, the shooting at MSU (where his cat scan was scheduled) was on February 13th and they closed the entire campus for a couple of days. Our appointment got bumped back to April.

The night before last, he was super obnoxious around 3:00am. The weather is getting nicer and he wanted out, so he was scratching and meowing at our bedroom door. My oldest let him outside after that, and sadly he hasn’t been seen since!

The last time this happened, he was gone for four months before we found him in a gated community a few miles away. So I’m really worried. Plus, the way his nose is problematic, wherever he is he probably can’t smell his way home.

Please send all the prayers and positive vibes. We’ve been through so much with this boy, he can’t just disappear forever.

Next, I’ve been thinking about my paranoia about getting fired/let go/laid off/whatever you want to call it. I think it might be a problem. I think this because it’s causing me to do certain actions, like not reach out to my boss for extra help like my coworkers are urging me to do. I can handle it, I’d tell them. But the thing is, it’s not what’s best for my students. So this is a problem.

I remembered something profound yesterday.

When my sisters and I were cleaning out my mom’s house after she died, we read through some of her journals.

When she was I don’t know, around 40ish she and my dad divorced. She had cleaned houses for people but never really had a “real” job. She ended up getting a job at a local factory. She got well established there, moved her way up and stayed there until her death. We never really thought much of it, we knew she’d do well with whatever she did.

Before she started working at that factory, she wrote words that shocked us. What if I can’t do it? What if I’m not good enough? What if I fail at this? I don’t remember her exact words, I just remember the shock and awe we felt not being able to fathom how our mom could even worry about that. It was so silly and crazy to us!

Yet, as I sit here and type this, it doesn’t seem so crazy after all.

So, whatever this is that I’ve got about work, I got it from my mom. Maybe her trauma, maybe mine from words and situations I was exposed to as a youngster- or maybe a combination of both. I think I need a mantra or something.

This is for me and my mom:

You are good enough

You are a valuable contributor to your place of employment

You are competent and confident

You are loved!

I’ll just say this over and over and hope that these feelings of inadequacy go away!

Lastly, and this one is a positive one, I’m not sure if it’s just me, but there seems to be a surplus of murdering narcissists who think they are above the law who are now in jail or will be on trial.

Bryan Kohberger, the criminal justice student conceded as hell. Alex Murdough, a liar, killer and thief. His family owns South Carolina, so he thought he’d get off, but now they’re digging up multiple bodies to link deaths to him. What a creep! And this week it’s James Craig, a Colorado dentist who poisoned his wife and flew in his mistress while his wife was dying in the hospital. Apparently he told his employees not to talk to the police. He had ordered a lethal drug, but had no record of what procedure it was for. Another Narc who thinks they are above the law.

I don’t know if it’s just me noticing these things, but it makes me feel happy to see them get caught after killing people. That’s a crime no one should get away with.

And lastly, for real, my soberversary is in 5 days!! Four years, holy cow!! Never ever could I have imagined this.

But wait, back in 2017 I started reading The Sobriety Solution. On one of the first days, there was an exercise to visualize myself in 10, or 20 years if I keep on the path I was on. It then had me visualize what I want my life to look like.

The second vision I had was just about identical to my life right now. That makes me feel so incredibly happy ❤

46 years and 1453 days

It’s a cold but sunny and bright Sunday morning- and I’m feeling relaxed. I’ve been up for a couple of hours and have already gotten the grocery shopping done (thank you online grocery service <3) and talked to my sister for awhile- which is basically my therapy.

Friday was St. Patrick’s Day and my 46th birthday.

This birthday was heavier than most, much harder mentally than I expected.

It made me feel sort of ashamed because I’ve spent the past year tooting how little age matters. After all, people in their 60’s and 70’s routinely kick my A$$ on the Peloton leaderboard, so naturally I couldn’t wait to get a little older so I can get stronger and faster. I would scoff at people crying about their age.

But there’s something about 46… it’s oftly close to 50.. but I spent the past decade shouting that 50 is the new 30 so why do I care??

Despite these icky feelings, it was a fantastic day. I made word games with little shamrocks for the kids at school on Friday. It was festive and fun. When I got home, all three of my boys were in the kitchen with some gifts for me. They were small gifts, but they were all my favorite things. They even wrapped up a can of Chef Boyardee Ravioli 🤣🤣

We went out for an early dinner and then one of my best friends came down from up north to stay the night.

Friday night was fun, we stayed up till 2am catching up and playing Euchre. On Saturday, we had a relaxing morning and then went shopping at our favorite discount stores. It was a fun couple of days!

Now it’s Sunday, and I’m ready to soak up this entire relaxing day before thinking about work tomorrow. But, I’m ecstatic that we have a week off after next week for spring break.

On another note, I can’t even believe it’s spring break! Didn’t I just start teaching at a new school like yesterday??

Spring is on Tuesday, and riding my bike to work is a closer and closer reality! This was not even close to being an option in the fall, when I was so immobile, but thankfully I’m doing so much better. I can’t even remember the last time I took motrin or tylenol 🎉✨

Speaking of work, it’s been on my mind a lot. I am very fearful of getting let go, or laid off after this school year. I don’t know why, honestly. If anything, the way it looks with the needs of our students, they are going to have to add some positions for next year, certainly not take some away. Additionally, they can hardly find applicants for the same position posted now, so why would they let me go? All I can figure is that it’s that deep rooted belief that I’m not good enough.

On a superficial level, I do feel successful at work. Especially lately, it feels like when people come into my room and I have 18 things going on, but each child is focused and working on something, they are impressed and have said so. So it’s a shame that I can’t be proud and confident, but I guess it keeps me humble, so that’s good.

I think I’ve fallen in love with my new school, the students are special and I have a handful of coworkers that I connect with and have so much admiration and respect for. I want nothing more than to just stay at this school- this school that’s just a mile down the street, for the rest of my career- so I think that longing gives me that fear of losing it. Plus, it wouldn’t be completely unlikely for them to move me to another school within the district. That would be okay, but really I just want to stay at Parkview, lol!

I had a great experience/thought a couple of weeks ago when there was a snowstorm. It was night time and I was eagerly checking my phone to see if school was cancelled. I was obsessed with the checking school closings, which made me wonder why. I had noticed on previous snowdays, that being home all day didn’t necessarily equate to a great day. In fact, it sort of made me crabby.

So why did I care if we had school or not? My mood seemed better when I was working anyhow.

I think it was the “not knowing” that was making me anxious. When I thought about getting a snowday, I thought about not going to work the next day and I felt a twinge of sadness.

The world is my playground. My work is my playground.

I thought about all of “school” things I wouldn’t be doing at home, and felt that little sadness again. At that moment, my work truly did seem like my playground.

I can’t tell you how wonderful that feeling was!

In fact, I’m feeling more and more like that about the world in general. It’s not just about having fun either, it’s a feeling of belonging as well, and it’s better than any drug out there.

Green Sevens

Day #1439

The more I go through my life sober, the more I completely despise alcohol and the alcohol industry.

The first year or two, it was so easy to be envious of people drinking around me. I’m so over that. As the years have gone by, my eyes have gotten clearer and clearer- along with my brain and everything else. Drinking sucks!! Literally! It sucks the life out of you, and I’m watching it in real time across numerous situations at the present moment.

I know of a handful of people who live a pretty healthy lifestyle, and still drink sometimes. I guess sometimes those are the people I’m most envious of, just occasionally, of course. Most of the time, I’m simply can’t stomach the thought of drinking alcohol. It’s brought such ugliness to my life- and I don’t ever want to give myself away like that again.

I can see clearly now, how alcohol intercepted my true self.

As a teenager, I was pretty introverted. I didn’t even really care to go to parties. So much so, that my good friend from elementary school used to ridicule me over me wanting to stay home. I don’t remember this, but apparently, my mom used to try to prod me out the door. My friend would always laugh at how she used to try to get me to have a party- or go to a party and I just didn’t want to.

I hated when my friend said this. At least after my change. The great personally shift that was brought on by who else, but the devil we call alcohol. After starting to drink at 18, I started to want to go out, all the time.

In my 20’s and 30’s, whenever my friend brought this up (and yes, she did bring it up throughout my 30’s. I think it’s been awhile, but I also think that when I first stopped drinking at age 40, I told her how much it bothered me) it would annoy me, I was no longer like that and hadn’t been for a really long time.

Now I’m approaching 46. This friend just messaged me a few days ago to see when would be the best time to have her 80’s party because I had to make it.

I love my friend- but quite honestly, I don’t know her friends- any of them. She and her now husband moved up north several years ago, and they are mostly his friends from growing up. I’ve met them all before, and they’re very nice, but I’m realizing that, truly, parties are not my thing!

So as much as I love my friend, I’d so much rather plan a trip to see her when it’s just them. But, I don’t think I’m being a great friend. I haven’t been to a party of her’s in forever, and just missed her birthday party because we were in Florida. So, I might have to buckle down and go to this.

I often feel like I did before I ever drank. But now I have self-acceptance, and awareness, and it’s made all the difference.

Perhaps if I had owned that self before, alcohol would not have had the chance to intercept.

I like to think what I would have done instead. I probably would have found a hobby or activity and met people through that. Maybe I would have gone away to college and done something else with my personal and professional life.

I don’t have any regrets. Alcohol is a part of my story- and will always be a part of me.

I feel very very lucky to have escaped it’s grip. It’s “death” grip.

Lately I’ve been noticing stories of people relapsing after a year or more, and it seems like it’s so much harder to quit again after relapsing after being alcohol free for so long. This scares the living daylight out of me, which adds fuel to my hatred of alcohol. It also makes me feel lucky.

As much as alcohol took- it’s just about been given back- and keeps giving the further I get from my last drink.

I’ve cultivated relationships, learned to communicate better, learned to treat my body better, learned mental health skills, learned coping skills, increased my self-esteem and self-awareness, learned that I’m intuitive and a healer- and have begun to strengthen and access those skills- which has been nothing but magical.

I think my favorite thing though, is the magic I’ve found.

I used to go to bed, or wake up, hoping for a good day, a good month, a good year- whatever. Hoping with all the hope I can muster.

These days I make my own days! I communicate with the Universe and set my intentions everyday. Not all days are perfect, or great, but I’m so much more able to get through tough times with optimism and a smile- knowing that whatever it is will pass and better times will come- and will be even better after a low time.

Green is my lucky color, and seven is my lucky number.

I live my days discovering and loving all the green sevens.

Thank you alcohol 💚💚💚

The Music Inside Me

During the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, I began to write my trilogy- the fictional story that’s been in my head for years now. I started in March and by summer time I had over 100,000 words written and three very rough and skeletal drafts.

Having my eye on the prize kept me motivated. The prize would be a finished and published product. I wasn’t too preoccupied about getting it published. If no one picked it up, I’d self publish through Amazon. My main goal was to get that music out. Like Elizabeth Gilbert says in Big Magic, if you don’t get your story out, someone else will! She then talks about a story that had been in her head, and she dragged her feet and then someone wrote and published the exact same story. I didn’t want that to happen. Also, Wayne Dyer says to not die with the music still inside you. This story was my music and I would do anything to get it out. Dying with your music still inside you sounded dreadful and sad.

Shamefully, I’ve only written a few thousand words since the summer of 2020. Afterwards, my work password was always bestseller2022 or published2022, or something to that effect. While it was always in the back of my mind, I had lost most of the motivation I had in the beginning.

This year it hit me. It doesn’t matter, and maybe Wayne Dyer’s quote doesn’t apply. The summer of 2020 was probably the most therapeutic time in my life. I had just hit my one year and narrowly escaped going back to drinking. If I had, I know that none of this would have happened. The pandemic left us hunkered down with our family, and while that was kind of nice, there was an underlying fear and sadness. During this time, I wrote for hours everyday, especially during the summer when my days were free. I’d sit on the deck and write for sometimes ten hours straight. The hours writing fly by.

Magic happened. I’d write scenes that real life would then mimic. Some of my ideas came from a place deep down, a place normally inaccessible to my conscious mind. The main character goes through some traumatic events, and I can’t help but think this helped me process and purge some of my own trauma.

When I think back to that summer, I do it with fondness and think of the magic- not the long days working. The work was so incredibly enjoyable to me.

And that’s why it no longer matters. I don’t need a finished, perfect copy to publish. Writing those drafts served a huge purpose. To discount that at all because I stopped where I stopped is unfair and stupid.

This realization took away that feeling that I was on the losing end of the fictional timeline I created. I’m not giving up, and would like to finish it in this lifetime, but it may or may not happen. I think that releasing this belief opened space for greater things.

This week I started another project, that I feel might be just as or even more healing. After several years of knowing it would happen when I was ready, I started my sobriety book.

I started it on Monday and by Wednesday night I had over 10,000 words written. The words have been pouring out onto my paper.

I spent a lot of time anticipating how to format the chapters, layout, etc before beginning. I think that was a mistake. Now I’m following my heart and know that it will take shape exactly how it’s supposed to.

Even though it’s only been a few days, it’s already been an amazing experience. I feel so grateful as I write my story. Going back to the beginning of my enormous adult struggle has been humbling. I could have so easily missed this path.

Writing about my mom’s death and the aftermath made me realize how much work and healing that’s already been done. It also reminds me that there is more to go, which will always be true.

I think more than anything, my story will be relatable. I think one of the most noteworthy things about my story is the fact that in all aspects, I should have grown into middle age without such excessive drinking. I didn’t have a traumatic childhood and did everything right. By my mid 30’s I had a decent (mostly good) marriage, the 2 kids- 2.5 car garage, the career, etc. Also, I didn’t live through anything traumatic, except maybe the first death of a grandparent when I was 32. I knew I should be grateful for having all four grandparents up until that point. By all means, I should have been happy.

But I wasn’t and I blame my alcohol addiction, 100%. Maybe I didn’t have anything traumatic happen, but I also didn’t learn self-care, self-soothing skills or coping skills for dealing with stress. My coping skill toolbox included a key to the liquor cabinet, and that’s about it.

A memory sticks out in my head. I was probably in 6th or 7th grade, and normally showered at night. One day, for some reason, I took a bath in the morning instead. I remember this as one of the most heavenly baths I had ever experienced. I remember thinking that I should get up early more often and bathe before school because for some reason it felt so relaxing and carefree to me- more so than a nighttime bath would. Plus I felt extra clean going to school that day. I never took the time to do it again though.

It wasn’t until recovery that this feeling made sense. For the first time I had experienced the joy of self-love and self-care.

I can only imagine how much better my mental health would have been if I had learned more self-care/self-love skills and strategies. I don’t blame my parents, of course. I don’t think they had these skills themselves.

On top of that, ironically, it wasn’t until I did face a huge trauma in my life, that I was able to begin healing. I simply didn’t know, how good I had it. My mom always stressed to be grateful, and it was always easy to say I was grateful for a multitude of things. However, I didn’t feel it. It’s one thing to say it, but a whole new level to intrinsically feel grateful. It wasn’t until after she died, that I learned how to feel grateful.

The anomaly I used to think I was, I now know is probably more the norm.

I hope my story can help other people and that my motivation can last until this project comes to fruition. Either way, it will serve its purpose, so I’m not preoccupied with a timeline or goal. Each moment of writing has its purpose and nothing else really matters.

Love

I’m not feeling proud about my post yesterday- the title alone makes my stomach turn, to be honest.

For years now, I’ve struggled with people venting or ranting to me. It stresses me out and makes me feel like their anger is directed at me.

I’ve told numerous people this while they’re ranting- but it’s not always well-received.

I don’t know why I’m so sensitive and why it bothers me so much.

I realized after writing yesterday, that my thoughts and actions have not been very kind.

As much as people do cruddy things (in my eyes), I do believe that a high percentage of people are not bad- even if their actions are.

I think many of these souls have been hurt and are scared. I believe most of their actions are driven by self-hatred and/or fear.

They probably need love more than most of us.

I like to call myself a lightworker- actively trying to spread the light.

My post yesterday felt as though I’ve given up on the broken ones.

I haven’t, and have an enormous amount of compassion for them on most days.

Sometimes it gets to be too much and I close my heart up.

I’m getting a lot better with not taking these things personally, but I really need to remember that even the worst actions come from a place of fear.

I need to learn to accept and love everyone – regardless of where they’re at on this life journey.

And I will ❤️

Stomaching Humans

Nice title, eh?

It’s day #1424 of no alcohol, and I’m up early on a Saturday morning pondering life.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my relationship with humans lately. Why do I have such a hard time with this? Meaning, after many interactions with humans, I’m left feeling confused, not liked, taken advantage of, irritated with– or the fear that I said the wrong thing and put my foot in my mouth.

Surely, that thing that I said will cause everyone to talk and dislike me.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, especially in regards to work. Work is forefront because in the fall I was plopped into a school where I didn’t know anyone- or have any idea on what to expect.

I was paranoid. The family drama and trauma from a few years ago fed into the local school system (the one which now I was a part of) and I’m always wondering if anyone knows that I’m related. I think these paranoid thoughts have been limiting me greatly.

But that wasn’t the only thing I was paranoid about. I’m constantly reading into people and internalizing their words, actions and attitudes. Many times this school year, I’ve felt disliked. When I wonder why, it makes me think that I must not like myself.. but I really don’t know why that is or where it’s coming from.

Do people really not like me?

Sure, on some days! We’re human and we get irritated or hate on people more than we’d like to admit- but we all do it! We don’t think people roll their eyes at us, but they do. It might have nothing to do with us, but it happens. I’m still siding with my thought from a few years ago: I’d rather be on the receiving end of eye rolls, than the one giving them.

I’ve had a sort of epiphany this week- and really hope it lasts. You see, since the start of the school year, I’ve been working with this underlying fear that I’m not going to be good enough at my job. I would overthink very word or phrase written on an IEP or report card, and be terrified of saying the wrong thing at a meeting. I was like this because of fear of either embarrassment or being disliked by families and/or colleagues.

I felt very disliked in the beginning- where I needed help with everything and didn’t know what people’s personalities were like.

Certain conversations made me think. For example, I was talking to another new teacher a few months ago, and we have the same mentor. She was telling me how hard it is at her school (she does the same job as me, but at another elementary) and how her mentor (who is also mine) was so mean to her. I was taken back, because my mentor has always been supportive and nice to me. Sadly, it made me start to think of my mentor differently and to question her motives. I’m about over it now, that new teacher ended up quitting and I think it probably just wasn’t a good fit for her.

Anyways, up until now I’ve been paranoid and trying to do everything perfectly. I realized though, that while I’m feeling more confident now, parents who were angry at me and mean before, are still angry and mean. Teachers who lost patience with my questions, are losing their patience over other things now that I don’t have questions. It’s THEM and not me!! It has nothing to do with me, and never did! Boy, this is freedom right here- to know this is true.

So now, I feel more relaxed and free. It’s not that I don’t care if I get let go, it’s just that I don’t care if I get let go.

I think that was my underlying fear and my wanting to get asked to come back. Now, I know that if they don’t ask me to come back, then I’m not meant to be there anyway. And it wasn’t a wasted year, it was a year of enormous learning. I might not know the lessons quite yet, but am definitely sure they’re perfect for me.

I think this post might be confusing and make no sense at all.

My point is that I have no idea how to take humans sometimes. I think I’ve spent this school year way too preoccupied with trying to smooth out perceived imperfections. The most difficult part is trying to figure out if this perceived negativity is even real or not. I’m not sure I’ll ever confidently know this answer, so I just need to stop trying to please everyone and do me.

One more thing that I want to mention that adds to my confusion. Some of the people who I struggle with, are very beautiful people- at least physically- but they internally play the show too. They are typically put on a pedestal and very well respected. They are nice in conversation, but I pick up on negativity. For example, twice last week I asked a colleague (different colleagues) a question about something and it ended in a rant. Not a rant at me, but a rant directed at the thing I’m asking about (griping about us having to do it in the first place, or griping about a particular person, etc). I’ve noticed these same people making mean comments and snide remarks about others in their absence. I think when my brain sees these things it’s an automatic red flag and I immediately start to think negatively- and it comes back to me and internalizing these emotions.

I hope that this new way of thinking helps me cope and not internalize the behavior of others.

Why are humans so gosh darn difficult???

Or is it just me?

I Tried to Cure My Autoimmune Disease, and it Nearly Killed Me

It’s finally occurred to me why I can’t get myself to workout (besides the occasional slow walk) or work on my diet.

It hit me during a conversation with my sister. I was telling her, that I just can’t do it. But why? She would ask. You loved working out before- and it was a major saving grace when it came to fighting my depressive and/or anxious thoughts.

I then thought about how I haven’t wanted to die for awhile now. It’s a nice feeling to want to wake up in the morning. I should note that this wasn’t due to mental illness, but a painful physical illness, brought on by my (healthier) dietary restrictions.

Last summer, towards the end, I had had enough. I didn’t know why fluid kept accumulating in my legs and I had no idea on how to fix it- and doubted any health professional could help me.

I knew it could be due to a blood clot, and that it could be deadly. Instead of scaring me, it offered me the hope of relief.

I saw Dr. Jeff in October, and this would be the beginning of the end (hopefully forever!) of my swelling problems. Throughout the months of getting better, I kept thinking of the half-marathon I’m scheduled to run in two months from now. It was so exciting that I was finally getting better and I couldn’t wait to start working out again.

By the time school let out for Christmas break, I felt good enough to start with Pilates and light runs and/or run/walks. I didn’t do anything during the two weeks while I was on break- except for a slow walk on the last day.

I rationalized that it’s easy to be in a routine while working during the week- so I’d rest for the two weeks and resume my workouts in the new year.

Now we are a month into the new year, and I’ve got nothing.

I’ve also wanted to work on my diet- maybe not as strict as before- but experimenting so that I can hopefully feel better. Dr. Jeff recommended that I give up dairy (can inflame joints), so I did for a few days before caving into the easiness of eating without checking ingredients.

I have no excuses. A few weeks ago, my favorite Peloton instructor did a ride with one of my favorite 80’s band and I was so excited to fit it into my schedule. But I haven’t even penciled it in yet. 🤦‍♀️

My knees have been still slightly stiff and painful and Dr. Jeff said that cycling is one of the best things to do, plus I could easily do the ride with little exertion and ease into it slowly, so I truly have no excuses!

I’m still proud of my actions last spring and summer. I think of last April, when I fearlessly dove into all efforts to heal my RA. I spent so much time shopping, meal prepping (haha, remember that GIANT lunchbox I had to start bringing to work with all the containers of fresh food?), and even began to eat meat after 3 years of being vegetarian.

I felt good for the first few weeks, then it went all downhill. I continued to be healthy throughout most of July, then eventually stopped altogether as my legs swelled and I could barely get around.

During that conversation with my sister, I realized something- I had acquired a ton of anxiety in regards to that healthy lifestyle I spent so much effort living. As much as I do want to go back (it felt so good mentally, and honestly the healthy food DID taste different – in an awesome type of way), I’m terrified.

I don’t want to downplay the disease, or offend anyone, but it does seem like I have PTSD relating to the efforts to heal my RA.

Maybe my efforts need to not think about RA at all.

Maybe my efforts should focus on feeding the inside of my body nutritious foods, regardless of how the outside feels. ‘Maybe my efforts should focus on feeding the inside of my body nutritious foods, regardless of how the outside feels.

Last spring and summer, I refused to identify as someone who has RA. I told people that I had “symptoms” or RA or joint disease and was trying to cure it with diet.

When I went to Dr. Jeff, he asked me a question that perplexed me a bit.

“Do you have the real, like old school RA?”

What the hell does that even mean??

I said, “I don’t know- isn’t RA just a collection of symptoms anyhow??”

I don’t remember what we said after that but he never really explained himself and I didn’t even want to ask. He did refer me to a new rheumatologist who he said was more holistic than most.

I saw the new rhuemy, Dr. Dowd in early January.

As he looked at the deformities and swelling in my hands and feet- he asked about my RA factor and if it had been checked recently and told me that my symptoms don’t even look like RA and he wasn’t convinced I had it. He said osteoarthritis was likely (and also caused by eating too many carbs/insulin resistance).

I thought that was funny since all spring and summer, I declared that I don’t have RA 🤣😂🤣

He ordered blood work and xrays and a follow up appointment a few weeks later.

Well, two (or both-I don’t know how many there are) of my rheumatoid factors are sky high, so it looks like I have it. Probably the “old school” RA- whatever that even means.

Dr. Dowd added Methotrexate to my biologic medication. It’s an injection that stings and I HATE it. I’m hoping it helps the pain I’m still having. The last thing I wanted was more medication, but I give up.

SO, if I change my diet because I want to be healthier, treat my body with respect and love and I want healthy food to taste so yummy again– then it seems less intimidating. To focus on my health without worrying about the pain or RA at all is a completely new concept and I think might help me overcome the mental and physical ailments this disease is causing me.

So.. moving forward…

I will take my RA meds diligently.

I will try to think of my disease and health/healthy habits as separate entities.

I will hop on the Peloton this weekend, and I will commit to a regular workout regimen.

If I need help with my diet, I will reach out to one of the coaches I’ve been following. I’ve been considering working with a coach, but apprehensive because they will likely know nothing about my disease, AIP diet, workout limitations, etc. So basically, I was way too smart for a coach.

I feel differently now.

When I sat down to write this out this morning, I didn’t have a solution. I think writing it out made me realize that I need to look at this differently. Taking more medication doesn’t mean that I’m giving up- or can’t live a healthy lifestyle.

Maybe I do have the old school Rheumatoid Arthritis- but that doesn’t even matter.

I think to start being more healthy, I’m going to spend a couple of weeks getting back into a workout routine (very slowly) and paying attention to my water intake. Too many work days go by and I still have a full water bottle at the end of the day. I should have drinken it all and filled it up a couple more times throughout the day. But I drank coffee instead 🤦‍♀️

I’m better than this.

Alright blog, I’m counting on you to keep me held accountable 🙌😁💋

It’s Not Enough, to be Enough

It’s not enough to be enough,

No matter what I tell my friends

All is good all is fine

Except my thoughts say otherwise

She can’t stand me, and he hates me,

I said the wrong thing,

I did the wrong thing,

I’m always doing wrong!

But trying to do right,

Maybe it really isn’t wrong,

Maybe the voice is wrong,

Maybe people aren’t as critical as I think..

Maybe I’m perfectly fine,

Maybe the voice is wrong,

When it becomes too loud,

I need to get full on Love ❤

Written 12-17-2022

Inspired by Day 18th of the Lotus and the Lily soul program

Day #1403 👊

How Far is Heaven?

Thursday, January 26, 2023

It’s just about exactly half-way through the school year.

It always blows my mind, how fast the year goes. You start, before you know it, it’s the end of quarter 1, then mid year and a couple more blinks brings you to summer break, another year under the belt.

I live most my days in misbelief, lol. When I think of my old life, I get really excited. I’m so lucky to be where I’m at, and to have the life experience that I do.

I can’t believe I used to drink every single night. Then again, I can’t believe it’s been almost four years since I’ve had a drink.

I talk to my (almost) 20 year old about drinking, and he doesn’t seem at all interested. He has diabetes, and while he isn’t perfect with managing it, he says he doesn’t want to drink because it’ll mess with his blood sugar. I know he will probably dabble into drinking at some point during young adulthood, but I feel very happy that I stopped. I want to be a positive role model, and drinking until passing out every night, is not a good look.

I don’t normally talk to my 14 year old about drinking, but it has come up. Every time it does, he says the same thing. When he turns 21, he’s going to go into a bar and order a water. And then another one, and another one. For some reason he thinks this is going to be hilarious, and I love it. I’m so proud that both of them have zero interest and am happy that they don’t have drinking parents anymore.

Speaking of my youngest, I’ve been thinking a lot about his new friend group. He’s always been blessed with many friends who all seem to be good little people. Several months ago he started to meet up with a new friend group that he met online (through a real life friend). They’re all local kids from surrounding cities, and are a bit unusual in that many of them are non-binary, some are trans or identify as another gender- I can’t keep track of the names of all the different things kids are these days.

In the past few months, he’s had this friend group over several times and has gone to parties or get togethers with them. I’ve never had an issue with any of his friends, but one thing I’ve noticed is how cool this specific (the non binary) friend group is. They just seem more friendly, happy and genuine- it’s hard to explain. I’ve been thinking alot about it though, and think that maybe they’re more confident than the other friend groups and more authentic because of that, and may seem more real.

The heartbreaking thing is hearing how some of their parents don’t accept their ways and has threatened to throw them out if they aren’t only gay, but dress like the opposite sex.

I know this is a touchy topic, and I don’t want to get into it. I just wish everyone was free to be whomever they wanted to be.

Truth be told, hubby and I were a little nervous to have this friend group over at first and had many questions for our son. It provoked an insightful and nearly delightful conversation about non-binaries, trans, etc. We weren’t afraid of them, don’t get me wrong. But we were worried about saying or asking the wrong things. I’m thankful to be open and to be able to have this conversation with our young teen.

I’m also still in disbelief that I work at a school within walking distance. We had a snow day yesterday, and there was still a bit of snow to get through today. So it took me 7 minutes to get to work instead of my usual 5 🤣😂

We have a new superintendent, and many other new people at the top. It’s a very exciting time to be involved and I’m loving working in my community. I also love that our programming changed this year (this is when my classroom changed to partly self-contained) and is still being developed. It’s exciting to be a part of this and I’m excited to see the new curriculum we’re getting, etc (won’t be till next year).

I love working at Parkview, mostly. It’s such a quirky school in our district! I think it’s right where I belong and I’m sure the Universe had something to do with the last minute change (I was supposed to be at a different school originally). People seem to get moved around alot, and I have no idea if I’ll be at a different school- or they might lay me off altogether-I don’t have seniority so who knows what’ll happen next year. I have a strong feeling though, that I’ll be at Parkview.

I spent years healing my inner child, and it’s paying off. Oftentimes, I’ll be in a situation- or have a conversation and will handle it pretty well (in my eyes, anyway). The blessing is that I seem to automatically remember how that same situation or conversation would go a few years back- and it usually ain’t pretty! That’s always surprising, and always feels amazing! 😊

And then there’s email dad… he’s emailed me two more extremely long and ranting emails. The second one he sent stressed me out.

Until I got to the middle.

Then I remembered, this wasn’t an attack on me. I’m just the sounding board. I think I’m gonna need some boundaries for this situation, I’m just not sure what that looks like yet 😑

I’m not trying to gloat, and please don’t think my life is perfect, it’s far from.

Life has been sad these past few months. Our cat has a deteriorating condition and has been gradually declining for months. Sometimes he has a lot of snot coming out of his nose and he flings it everywhere. He gets on the counter to get a drink, and I don’t have the heart to make him get down, so I keep a giant pitcher up on the counter for him to drink without having to put his head down. I don’t use that counter anymore, I’m sure he’s sneezed all over it. It’s our biggest counter and the main one we’d use, but oh well.

Normally distraught and frazzled when it comes to my pets’ illnesses, I feel that I’m taking this well. It’s frustrating at times though, because while I’m super in tune to how he is doing from day to day (he has bad and good days) my entire family seems completely oblivious. Am I the only one thinking about that horrible decision we might have to make in the near future? Am I the only one who looks at him intently, trying to gauge whether or not he’s in pain day after day? It appears so.

I’m giving him as much love and understanding as I can right now ❤

Also, I saw a new rheumy and he’s bumming me out. He’s not convinced I have rhuematoid or psoriatic arthritis (did blood work to find out more, I go back next week). He doesn’t know what’s going on with me and didn’t seem to know what direction to go in. He did bloodwork and ordered x-rays.

The nurse called to tell me the xrays show that I have inflammatory arthritis. She called me a week later to tell me my blood result show possible early IBD. I have no idea what to make of this, but kind of doubt the rheumy will be able to help me. I’m still taking all the supplements from when I was following Anthony William and have been thinking more seriously about going back on that diet.

But I’m scared, and I’m scared to start working out too. It’s been over a month since I’ve been on the Peloton. It’s not because of my physical health, I’m just worried I’ll get edema like before it was so awful 🤔

I’m also proud. Proud that I can spend most days thinking positive thoughts, and feeling happy, especially when things aren’t going the way I want. I’ve been trying to feel my feelings, like when I get really sad about my cat, but then letting them go, not allowing them to stick and cause my thoughts to spiral.

Gosh I wish I had these coping skills before the age of 40! Better late than never, I guess…