Monday, June 26, 2017

One of those "anger release" exercises...


Seriously, it's really long.

If you have to pee, pee now.

So... I had intended to do a different anger releasing writing project and instead I found myself "gifted" with a new starting point today. I ended up mixing some of my previous complaints with the newer ones. It might be a little confusing-somehow in my process I blended multiple members of  my family into one. No matter. The process is the important part. 

DISCLAIMER: I tried to embrace my anger. I tried to fan the flames. I tried to dig up compacted rage. As intentional as this is, I am still quite uncomfortable with expressing my anger. I don't know if such phrases are effective. I don't know if it's rational or justified or something I can stand by... I'm trying not to judge myself and I hope you can withhold judgment as well :o) I don't like saying mean things. I empathize and I see both sides so much that I struggle to even own thoughts like these let alone express them on paper, screen, or out loud!

DISCLAIMER PS: The hubby has encouraged me to embrace a "go fuck yourself" mentality. Instead of being hurt and trying to figure out what's wrong with me or how to be good enough, reject the hurtful opinion. Think or say "go fuck yourself" instead of throwing myself under the bus or putting myself at risk for relapse. I don't have to analyze every comment... I can let it go. Push it away. So, I tried to embrace that. In real life I don't really say, "go fuck yourself." Ever. Very weird feelings... Anywho. Just sayin.

Here we go. Somehow an offhand comment set my off...

Maybe you thought it was a compliment today when you said I should be on that show, "American Grit." The thing is, when the host describes the show as a place for people "all who either have lost their grit or never had it" I don't take that as a compliment. 

A) How the fuck can you think that I don't have grit? Do you have that little appreciation for what I've survived? 

It's puzzling to me that you have never seemed to grasp my mental health issues. It's been over 15 years since my symptoms surfaced and yet it seems like you still struggle to acknowledge my disease. I mention something relating to my mental health and I'm greeted with a "deer in the headlights" stare. My husband says that he has given up on trying to explain that this type of illness can't be "cured," that it's part of my body chemistry and brain structure. Do you really think I'm not trying hard enough to "fix it?" Do you think that I'm lazy?

Maybe you don't appreciate the years of my childhood and young adulthood spent in quiet desperation. The years of self-harming and isolation. You pegged me as "the Eeyore of the family." Why does my mental illness define my personality? 

Maybe you didn't notice my instability. You didn't notice my disease sending me into months of darkness or jerking me into weeks of elation. Years of feeling like I couldn't be trusted with my own life; whether that meant wanting to kill myself or being aware that I was too starry-eyed to make responsible decisions. I was impulsive and unstable and trying to figure out a solution all on my own... I suppose these deep-rooted feelings of rejection and abandonment have grown from multiple seeds, I'm sure this is one of them though. You didn't know what to do, I get it, maybe if it felt like you tried I wouldn't feel this angry. I wouldn't feel this heartbroken. You turned away from me and fed my self-disgust. 

And what of the last couple years? Do you appreciate the fact that I spent months barely able to care for myself or my infant son? What about the period of time that I couldn't be trusted alone with my son? Surely you remember the weeks in the hospital. I'm told you visited. I know that you helped drive me to ECT treatments. Do you know how many times the hubster drove me? or drove BB north to daycare then drove south to work then drove west to see me in the psych ward before rushing back to BB and caring for our son throughout the evening-multiple wakings in the night-before waking early to do it again all on his own? (Hubby comment: he only got one speeding ticket!)

Do you see the scars we carry? The scars that bind us? That time broke trust and built trust. I couldn't be trusted with my life or with my son's life. He saved us. Why does the hubby ask so openly and abruptly if I'm safe? if I'm suicidal? if I feel out of control? because dozens and dozens of times I've been in danger. He's been rescuing me. That was our norm and we've made it through. We've made it through and are making a new normal from scratch. Your jokes and teasing about his protectiveness and adherence to routine aren't just annoying, they're insulting.

How can you imply that I don't have grit? Over a year of life-threatening postpartum depression, over a dozen medications tried to stem the crisis, over three weeks in the hospital, over thirty ECT treatments... I'm still here. I laid on a bed and waited for my last breath to try and spare my husband and son a lifetime of trying to save a life I thought wasn't worth saving-mine. My husband ripped that plastic bag off my face and saved my life that afternoon and despite having close to no resolve left, somehow I kept fighting. For him. For my son. And a little for me.

How much more grit do I have to have before I can believe you think I'm enough?

I can't count on that anymore. I can't wait to sense some change in you. I can't play these pussy-footing games of allusion and corroding criticism. I may have started my life in this game with your dangerous rules. I won't finish my life at your game. You can call me sensitive, you can tease me and imply that I'm weak, you can make me feel like I'm flawed beyond salvaging-and then you can go fuck yourselves. Just because you don't seem to realize the damage you cause doesn't mean you are devoid of responsibility. 

I don't need your apologies. I don't need you. I don't need more grit.

B) Do you have that little appreciation for how much I do everyday to try and avert relapse and continue to survive? What kind of grit does that take?

You give the impression that the most important aspect of my exercise regimen in my weight loss and being fit. Maybe all your comments about me "being in the best shape of your life" or "a sliver of what you used to be" are intended to be compliments. In reality? It feels like weight added back onto my shoulders. I feel pressure to lose more weight. To lift heavier weight. To tone more parts of my body and fit in smaller clothes and eliminate rolls and embody some image that you, society, and the shadowed part of me have deemed worthy of pride. 

It's not healthy.

My mental state is more important than the state of my ass. I exercise every day to try and maintain my mood stability or actively battle back anxiety and depression. I go to the gym despite my social anxiety, despite feeling inept and insufficient, despite feeling like an outcast and poser. I go to the gym and try to push myself hard enough to be able to push back the disease I will live with for the rest of my life.

It doesn't really matter how much I can lift. The kind of strength I need most can't be provided by regular exercise.

You tease me for my "OCD" while loading the dishwasher or trying to keep the refrigerator organized. Okay, that's not how you do things. Fine. I do it different and for a damn good reason. 

I'm not OCD-which is a  clinical disorder and not something to be joked about-I am sick. I am sick in such a way that I have to avoid any extra stress whenever possible. I am sick in such a way that I have to be mindful throughout my day about big and little choices-from doing dishes or taking medication. 

I am sick in such a way that unloading the dishes and finding several of them dirty because the machine was overloaded or loaded ineffectively can be unduly upsetting. I'm sick in such a way that having sharp knives scattered throughout the other silverware instead of contained in their own section can increase my impulses to self-harm. 

As for a disorganized and sometimes unsanitary fridge or a cabinet stuffed with mismatched Tupperware? If I'm having a bad day, opening a door and being confronted by these things can send me into a panic or distress me in a way that contributes to a depressive episode. Not to mention feeling the criticism and rejection from you verbal teasing in each carelessly placed item. And seriously-why would you want to put your fruits right by (or on) your raw meat!? 

I have to live this way to live. It's working for me and that's what matters-at least to me, my husband, and our son. Don't think that I resent it-it is a lot of work and it's also the greatest sense of stability that I've ever had in my life. My mental state may fluctuate and get dangerous from time-to-time; dinner will always be at 6:00 PM. The silverware will always be sorted and easily accessible. The yoghurt will always be on the same shelf. Baby Bananaface will always have a set bedtime. That stability, having something I can count on, gives me comfort and confidence that I didn't have before. It helps me cope, it helps me thrive.

You want to live in a hurricane made by your own hand? Go ahead. You want to swallow your feelings and eat your loneliness? Go ahead. You want to bury yourself in cheap trinkets in lieu hearing "I love you?" Fine. I'm sick of trying to satiate the needs you don't claim responsibility for or even acknowledge. I'm not interested in maintaining this legacy of delusion and self-imposed suffering. I take this heritage and try to set it aside day-after-day for my own good and for my husband and for my son.

Y'all can sit in your burning building on your own. I'm leaving.

Whew. I tried NOT to edit much. I tried NOT to hold back or censor. I'm sure that this isn't everything though. I have a hard time handling anger. I think this was a step in the right direction though.

What does this mean for the real relationship with me family? I have no clue. I do think that I can't expect them to change or expend too much of my energy fighting to change things. I have to take care of myself in other ways first and that takes a lot of my time and energy. I think it's all right to simply accept things and accept that I don't have to fix it. I can move on and live the best life that I can without making everything neat and perfect.

CONGRATS if you read this entire post.
 You have eyes of steel ;o)

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Highlights AKA Lots of Pics

Been ups and downs like usual around here. I think there have been slightly more ups though :o) Here are some pics from some of the ups!

Father's Day involved sticky buns and strawberry pickin'. I made a pound cake and strawberry sauce for the BBQ that afternoon after we went pickin' just no pics of that :o)

BB wasn't impressed w/ the tractor ride

A different day involved letting a slug nibble on my hand and then my cousin recommended a Slug Fest at a local(ish) wild life park called NW Trek. We had fun and BB was sure exhausted after our adventure! Saw lots of animals though... elk,  caribou, black tail deer, bighorn sheep, moose, swans, geese, snowy owl, barn owl, lynx, black bear, fisher, porcupine, sea otters, beavers, raccoons, opossum... maybe more. Oddly enough, no slugs. :o(

Special cool down treat kept him going!

Then he crashed after making his slug
tentacle hat. Fell asleep not 5 min away!

Monday, June 19, 2017

About a year ago now...

This time last year I started to go to the gym and began working up to my new gym regimen and lifestyle change.

I took a little gander at some of the posts from back then and it made me appreciate how far I've come since then. The changes are more than just muscles and weight, there are so many emotional and mental changes too!

Here's some pics:

I had come a long way from my darkest days last spring and at the same time I was still in a rough place. It was, after all, around that time I had my attempt. I think this past year has been when I've really reached a healthier, safer place---a place where I can say "remission" and truly believe I've reached a good point in recovery regarding my postpartum depression.

It's still a daily battle maintaining good health and emotional stability. I feel much more capable and skilled when it comes to wellness than I did then!

Thank you all for your continued support! Looking back helps me appreciate even more all the people that have been by my side during these tough times as well as my own hard work. Generally it ain't good for me to dwell in the past... sometimes it's good to make a little visit though ;o)

Baby steps. One day at a time. Onward and upward!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

My Husband, His Father

Couldn't have dreamed of a better father for my son.... here's some random shots from the past couple years :o)

The hubster finding out we're preggers...

Father & son at baby's first checkup 

I'm sure there are gonna be lots of these types of shots! #chillax

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Changed Looks Again

I was missing my old header picture and decided to put it back up! Makes things a little tough to read and I just don't care much at the moment :o)

3 Years Ago (Yesterday)

It was Friday, June 13th 2014 when the hubs and I found out that we were preggers! 

Amazing how much ya can age in 3 years.... We look so young there! 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Tongue-biting and Letting Go

Things got pretty emotional for me the other afternoon when the hubby showed me a Wikipedia page. It was all about attachment disorder. Not only did it bring up feelings about my relationship with my mother and thoughts about my mental health challenges-it really, really brought up concerns about my nephew.

I was crying (lightly, still falling tears though) as I read the article. The descriptions of symptomatic behaviors reminded me so much of my nephew. The descriptions of neglect that lead to to these troubles reminded me so much of how my mother and sister interact with my nephew.

Don't get me wrong, they're doing their best. They just seem to be capable of only so much patience and empathy. When it runs out they walk away, put down, tease, or rough handle my nephew. He cries so hard I wonder if he'll pass out.

The majority of the time he stares blankly at others and will only interact with my mother, sister, or father (outside playing with Baby Bananaface). He's warmed up to me over the past month and things have changed dramatically between us. Now I can help him with a toy, pick him up, or exchange a few words. The first time he handed me a toy was a major event for me. I've even been able to push him around in a cart at the store or walk with him alone! Even been able to watch him while my family leaves and help him not breakdown. Big steps.

Anyways. It is all very upsetting to me. When I think about my nephew's past and see (in my opinion) when he's poorly treated now and when I think of his future... it's heartbreaking. Especially as I get to know him better and become more attached to him. He's a sweet and sensitive kid-even more so than BB-and I think that the atmosphere my family creates (has/is/will) by harmful for him.

The hubster and I talked about it and have decided that it's not our place to bring it up or try to change my family. It just feels like a violation of my moral code. I want to help! It's definitely taking some work for me to let things go and accept that it's not my responsibility. It still feels wrong as I type this... I have to take care of myself first though. Myself and my son and the hubster. Ugh... I just don't know if I can bite my tongue. It feels like a betrayal to my nephew. Abandonment or neglect on my part.

Regardless of all that I have made and will make conscious efforts to support him as much as I can. I try to be sensitive, patient, calm, and supportive during our interactions. I've stepped in and tried to deescalate situations when my mother or sister lose their cools. Sometimes that feels like stepping over the line, although the hubster witnessed this on one occasion and said that it seemed like I was helping, not barging in and taking charge or preaching.

So. That's something I'm working on of late.

As for recovery, I'm lifting BB and doing chores and walking. I've been able to get outta the house and being more active has definitely boosted my mental state! I'm nervous about going back to gym class and also looking forward to the exercise and social interaction.

Hope everyone had a great weekend! Any fun stuff??? I made lava cakes (over-baked them a smidge) and battled pine cones on the lawn with rake. Seriously, it was rough. BB went to Build-a-Bear and the hubby spoiled him with an over-the-top stuffie plus accessories. *facepalm* It was quite the event... Maybe I'll write about that later and share some pics.

Happy Monday :o)

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Ask Me Anything Part II

Here's some more answers! Thank you everyone for participating-this was really fun for me :o) Feel free to answer some of the questions yourself in the comments! It'd be really fun to see other answers too!

What is a favourite childhood memory? Hard question. I don't have just one favorite, so here are a few:

I remember gathering pill bugs to make a pet of them all in a potted plant (that didn't work so well).

I remember staying up late with my brother and dad trying to beat a level on a video game. They played and I made maps on paper plates so we could figure out our way through the cave!

I also have quite a few fond memories about wandering around with my siblings and neighbors around "the hill." "The hill" was a big ole hill in the middle of our neighborhood where the construction guys piled up excess dirt. It grew over with shrubs and such and we're wander around playing war games and hunting bugs :o) It also made for good sledding on snow days and a terrifying ramp for braver bicyclers!

What would you do differently during your teenage years? (If anything) I think part of me always wished that I would’ve rebelled. Mouthed off or even stood up for myself, really. Embraced myself as I am instead of trying to do what I thought others’ wanted. Be brave. Be daring. Might have changed my trajectory in a good way... or a bad way. So I'll appreciate how it actually went!

What traits/characteristics bother you most in people? I can’t think of a single word to describe it right now, so I’ll try to explain in more words! Ya know when people bury their own issues and then pick out every little wrong thing about other people? They tend to act like everything is hunky dorey and struggle to communicate on deeper levels or convey true empathy. I find it so sad and troubling and boggling-as well as frustrating. Maybe you can call it some sort of self-induced delusion? I know it’s a coping technique for a lot of people.

My hubby and his sisters recalled an incident where I confronted their brother in that type of situation. He was wrapping himself up in deflection and accusations, being very defensive and even aggressive to my husband. I ripped that mental Band-Aid off in a heartbeat and cut right to the chase by describing the emotional and interpersonal aspects of the situation. He couldn’t handle it and backed off. I struggle with owning my point of view and it causes me a lot of anxiety afterward, though I did deescalate the situation and prevent things from getting physical between the hubby and his brother, so that was great!

Anyways. Cut it out with the deflection. Be honest. Connect on a human level. I prefer to get through this life with compatriots by my side, not minefields of misplaced aggression!

4) How would your loved ones describe you? Creative. Sensitive. Smart. Cat lady. Good cook. Good baker. The hubby says I’m sweet and kind, sassy, gullible and naive (in a good way).

5) How would you describe yourself? Ummm… creative, sensitive, quirky, silly, kind, fragile, tenacious, strong, loving, flawed, harsh (to myself especially), and patient. I’m sure I could go on or simplify things-it’s just a rather hard question to answer so I’m gonna leave it at that! :o)

If you could be an animal...what would you be, and why? Probably a bird of some sort. I’m not a fan of raw meat as a human although the idea of being a carnivore appeals to me. Perhaps a loon? Some type of eagle? I also like cormorants and they travel in flocks so that might be a good option as well :o) No flamboyant colors or fancy feathers here, just a simple bird with a beautiful landscape around her.

If you could have a "perfect" day, what would it be like: who, what, when, where, why & how? I think there are many, many different perfect days for each individual. One “perfect day” that I think I’d like would involve staying in some sort of cabin (yes, with a hot tub) and still having a hotel-type of situation where we (me, the hubster, and BB) could have an amazing brekkie brought in for us. Waffles, pulpy OJ, biscuits & gravy, fruit, eggs, crispy bacon, spectacular coffee-well, you get the picture.

It’d be a cool, bright morning with big puffy white clouds and blue skies. We’d go for a hike around Mt. Rainier (or another beautiful mountain) and see lots of slugs, snails, birds, chipmunks, and maybe a marmot! Then we’d have some pizza outta one of those brick ovens and (in my fantasy) I’d have a nice beer with the hubster.

We’d go for a trail ride in the afternoon. I’d have a big-boned dapple grey, BB would have a stout palomino, and the hubster would ride a tall bay (yeah, I was horse-crazed little girl growing up!). We would ride to a special restaurant and have dinner before riding back with lanterns and stopping to stargaze on the way home.

Hot showers, hot tub, and a good movie with warm brownies full of chocolate chunks and topped with ice cream and hot fudge for dessert! I imagine watching BB drift off to sleep and smiling with the hubster as we watch him start to drool a bit. Then we’d snuggle into bed and he’d say “I love you” into my ear, his warm breath making my hair tickle my cheek… Perfection :o)

Have you ever laughed so hard a drink came out your nose?  Oh yeah. Thankfully I don’t really drink soda anymore so it hurts a lot less when it happens now! I am more of a spurter really… I tend to spray it out my lips ALL OVER. Even in public. I guess it’s better than peeing my pants!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A Slice of My Recovery...

So… relationships are complicated. I think one of the most complex type of relationship is that between a parent and child. I am going to try to keep that in mind as a I share today and try to not pass judgment. I only want to write and expel and express. For too many years I’ve kept my feelings to myself and I’m trying to be more open. I don’t need to carry these things around for eons! Gonna try and *wink* “Let it Go.”

As most of you know, I’m recovering from surgery. This past Friday I had my fallopian tubes removed via laparoscopic surgery. I have three incision sites on my belly. One in my belly button and two below that on the left and right toward each hip.

Two of the sites are simply tender to the touch and the one on my right is pretty painful. It makes walking painful. It makes getting up and down into chairs or bed painful. Basically any movement. It just depends on how I move whether or not the pain will flare. Coughing and laughing are certainly the most painful. I feel a stab of pain and then a sort of straining/bulging sensation. If you’ve had surgery like this yourself, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about.

Well, the day after my surgery I was lurching around trying to lower myself onto the couch without inducing too much pain. This involved bracing my arms and trying not to engage my abdominal muscles. It was awkward and despite my efforts, still painful. I winced and breathed in sharply before groaning and exhaling slowly. The hubster had been helping me with such things and me being me, I didn’t want to be a burden and went about trying to do it myself.

As I was doing this my mother walked by. Her face was blank and then she grinned and laughed. She went on to say something along the lines of, “Ha! That’s what you get for making me have that c-section! If you had just moved your big ole head… and the other c-section and the (tubal ligation). Ha!”

It really felt like she was a Disney villain taunting and cackling at me.

I was stunned and offended and hurt. Not being the most skilled or practiced at comebacks I managed to say back, “Hey, I got (Baby Bananaface) out and he was 10 lbs 1 oz-you got no excuse!”

She defended herself with some comment about having a small vagina and I’m not sure how things devolved from there. I think it all wrapped itself up rather quickly. I certainly wasn’t able to say anything more myself. Expressing my hurt at the time-that seems nearly impossible with my family!

Later I talked about it with the hubster and told him how hurt I was. I even texted a friend and said something like, “I know my mom loves me, there’s just times like that when it doesn’t feel like it.”

I can’t read minds and I may never know exactly why she said what she said. As I’ve mulled on it past instances of teasing and criticism have come to mind. It’s sad to look back on years of moments where I feel rejected and unloved by my own mother. Years of chipping away at my self-worth. I know that she wasn’t the only source of this, no way! I do see her playing a major role.

Like I said, I mulled her comment over and have been trying to get a grasp on it so I can let it go. What I came up with is a mixture of love and anger. I think she does care about me and was concerned on some level about my pain. I don’t think she knew how to express that. I think on another level she bears a lot of anger and this can cause her to lash out. Maybe seeing how helpful the hubster has been brought up memories of her own pain and managing us kids after her surgeries? Maybe she was annoyed by my surgery disrupting the status quo. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

I don’t know.

It hurt. Things like this have been hurting for years. Things like this have made me think about moving far away. Things like this make me think that spending extended periods around my family isn’t the safest, healthiest choice for me.

I’m sure she had her reasons. I have mine too. Wherever our relationship goes in the future, I think I’ll be able to remember that and be okay with what happens. Maybe we’ll find a better way to communicate and maybe we won’t. As long as I can stay healthy and alive for the hubby and BB, that’s what matters most to me.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Ask Me Anything Answers Part I

Thank you for all your great questions! There are definitely some tough ones in there-I did my best :o)

What age did you first notice that you had a mental illness.

This is a tricky question for me as I struggle to suss out when in my life certain memories are from… As I look back I can recognize symptoms around 2nd or 3rd grade. It may have started before that, I’m just not certain.

I’m an Army brat and we moved to Kentucky for a couple years around that time. I remember being quite upset and by upset I mean depressed. I vaguely remember my mother rationalizing it as just because of the move. I had my ups and downs, the entire time there wasn’t miserable, I just feel deep down that it was more than regular sadness.

I would also consider my anxiety to have started at that time or earlier. I can remember moments of anxiety without any particular cause-well, I’m sure that there was underlying reasons! What I’m trying to say is that the rest of the family would be hanging out, relaxing and I would be secluded and struggling.

I became pretty decent at veiling my distress. I think I started “stuffing” the depression and anxiety so early on in my life that a lot of family and friends mistook my symptoms for personality traits. I was deemed the “Eeyore” of the family. The quiet bookworm type. I suppose it’s not entirely inaccurate, it certainly isn’t the whole picture!

When did I become aware of my own illness? Probably not until my teens. I didn’t really get help until I was 15 or 16 when I scratched up my arms during a band trip. I truly, truly recognized I wasn’t healthy at that juncture. Up until that point I just assumed I was flawed and not a happy person.

Do you have any plans to take your art to a professional level?

I would love to take my art to a professional level. I think the main reason I haven’t thus far is confidence issues.

Failure is quite difficult for me and most creative endeavors involve a lot of trial and error. My difficulty with not taking each “whoops” as a horribly invalidating personal flaw has prevented me from reaching, from experimenting, from trying.

I had thought about taking more art classes throughout school and was so terrified of embarrassing myself that I didn’t take art after 4th grade. I figured it was better to be an amazing “doodler” than a subpar “artist.” I still call most things doodles or crafting to avoid the "art" label.

I think this issue has also affected my writing efforts. I would love to be a published author and I think the biggest thing holding me back is me.

What do you like most about yourself?

Oooh-this is another tricky question! Sometimes I really don’t like much about myself. During the times when I do like myself I think the thing I like most in my sweet side.

When I hide love notes for the hubster or cuddle with Baby Bananaface or bake treats or doodle little surprises for folks-I really like that about myself. Sometimes I minimize it or dismiss it as trivial. Sometimes I’m able to recognize that not everyone has that capacity for sweetness and that people appreciate my random acts of kindness. It also helps me believe that my sweetness is an admirable trait when the hubby lets me know that he thinks I’m special for it :o)

What is your favorite thing about you? Your husband? Your son?

I really like my imagination. It can confuse people when my mind quickly flits from one inspiration to a new tangent. Most of the time they can appreciate the quirkiness too!

As for my favorite thing about my husband… hmm. One of my favorite things has to be how he seems to embody such harsh opposites. He’s soft and hard all at once. Very sweet and caring as well as a total asshole! I am very grateful that he trusts me enough to show me both sides and his whole self, always aware that I love him no matter what!

My favorite thing about Baby Bananaface is probably his sweet side. He’s come over and placed random kisses on my cheek or wrist. He’s given me random hugs. He’s come into the bedroom when I’m depressed and weak in bed and grabbed my hand and brought me to the dinner table… he’s marvelous in many ways, this is just a particular aspect that touches me deep.

When you write your children's book, what will the story be? Boy howdy! I have had a lot of ideas over the years, so I will just share a few… I’d love to do a book called “Snuffles the Waffle Elf” and “The Lost Booger.” I’m not sure why the title “Leander’s Lost Button” appeals to me so much-I love that idea too.

I’d have to say “The Lost Booger” is my favorite idea. If you’re a nose-picker you’ll probably understand when ya pick a booger and then try to dispense with it only to lose track of where it went. Well, I’d like to do a children’s book about such a predicament with the child chasing his booger down!

What's your favorite song to sing or sing along to? My favorite song is “More Than a Feeling” by Boston (my fave band). To sing along to… probably “Dear Future Husband” by Meghan Trainor. My fave sing along song tends to change a lot!

If you could meet a fictional character in real life, who would it be? I’d really like to meet Sophia Petrillo or Rose Nylund or Dorothy Zbornak or Blanche Devereaux ;o)

If you could travel to any fictional setting (like from a movie or a book), where would you go? This is tough. Especially since “TV show” isn’t included and I can’t say “The Golden Girls!” At first I thought “Cars” so I could experience driving instead of walking… then I imagined “You’ve Got Mail” and owning an adorable book store and falling in love with Tom Hanks. Yes. Please. ;o)

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Laughter is the best medicine UNTIL...

... you have abdominal surgery! Hehe 😂 

In a bit of pain from my tubal ligation procedure and still very grateful. In many other parts of the world I probably wouldn't have survived my postpartum let alone been able to make this decision for me and my family. 


(Remembered to bring my glasses case from ECT which was comforting!)

As for the day at the hospital-pretty dang smooth. I managed my minimal anxiety with DBT skills and was very calm. Was even laughing right onto the operating table!

Took us longer than expected to get going (the hubster guessed we'd be out by 330/4 and I guessed 6-I was closer). The ride home went pretty well although we had to stop halfway to fill my script and walk a bit to avoid any clots etc. 


My BP is usually a little in the low side and after surgery it was a little lower than they liked so I had to get a bit more fluids. Apparently my heart rate was down to 44 while I slept and they didn't like that either! I felt pretty well despite the pain on my side. Little spell of lightheadedness, overall not too bad.

Getting in and outta bed at home is tough though! Little by little.

Anywho. I will post answers to the questions submitted in a bit! Thanks for participating :o) 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

"Nurse! We need some fun out here-stat!"

So I've decided once again to do some sort of "Ask Me Anything" post just for kicks :o)

Been a rough go of it lately and I'd like a break from all the... trying.

The rules are, there are no rules. OKAY, one rule: please submit questions in English only. Thank you. ;o)

Feel free to submit questions in comments below or utilize the Carrier Pigeons on the bottom right of the blog below the "Survivor" badge.

Have a great rest of the weekend and hope we can have some fun doin' some "Ask Me Anything!"

Thanks all :o)


I just wrote about the 51%-er mentality and wouldn't ya know it-it came up with force this weekend. Funny how a certain level of awareness and insight can mean baloney in the real world!

I went to my first Saturday CrossFit workout. They're different from the weekly classes because they allow anyone and everyone to attend instead of limiting the class size. It's busy and a bit confusing, at least for this newbie. The workout of the day was quite intimidating and considering how much the veterans were groaning made me feel like I had no chance at all. Not to mention the stress and anxiety of a new, challenging social environment.

I felt isolated. Alone. Delusional and highly doubtful that I had any chance of making a complete fool of myself. Before we even started talking about the workout I noticed my heart rate was heightening, my breathing shallow, my eyes tearing, and the familiar desperation of panic creeping toward my chest. I managed to pull it together-including the other opportunities during the workout when I was ready to breakdown.


The workout as prescribed involved such:
>1 mile run
>100 pull-ups
>200 push-ups
>300 squats
>1 mile run

I had to modify since I can't do pull-ups yet or very many full push-ups. I did jumping pull-ups and box push-ups. I also partnered up with someone so we could each do half the prescribed numbers. We did that for most of it except we got mixed up with the pull-ups and we each did 100 of those.

I did. I was slow. I was hurting. My last mile was in slow-mo and even though I was alone and trudging, I never stopped shuffling. I didn't stop and walk, I kept going. Reminded myself it was a competition. At the end my partner returned and cheered me on and encouraged me enough that I could whip up all my last energy to run faster to the end.

After it all, I was proud of myself. It hadn't been perfect. I still felt exiled from the "official CrossFit gang." Still, I tried to focus on the fact that it had been my 7th day at CrossFit and I hung in there during a notorious workout.

Getting home and sharing with my family was disappointing. They seemed dismissive and not interested in details. I felt like a failure again. I felt alone again. I showered and tried to be productive, I was just too spent from that morning's workout. Rested up a bit and then got back to chores and such.

Unfortunately, the fancy cake I was gonna try to make again blew up in my face. The fucked up sponge was enough to rankle me quite thoroughly. Then I ruined the first steps to my buttercream and gave up. I had been so agitated when I started baking. The hubs said I had said the f-word more in five minutes than I had in two weeks altogether. He was right!

My mind found every little thing to be mad at and whipped up a rage in me. That angry mixed with deep sadness left me in quite a state. After I officially bombed the cake and gave up, I took a sparkling water and wandered out to the side of the house to breath and try to let it go.

Really struggled today embracing that 51% mentality. I'm afraid of where this mood instability is going. Not convinced that I'm making any progress in trying to radically accept my family.

I think the growing pains with the CrossFit gym and navigating a new social arena (extra stress) on top of the ongoing stress of living with my family has destabilized me, I was hoping the new gym situation would help give me relief-and to a degree it does-there are also a lot of stressful facets to it.

Whew. Basically, I'm still learning. I'm still trying. Many moons ago when I started at the Y I was the nervous outsider without a clue and then I became a memorable face. I have a chance at doing the same there here, it's just gonna take some time.

Willingly took Ativan this morning. Usually its the hubster that suggests such a thing. This morning I was struggling and becoming highly agitated so quickly, I knew I couldn't manage without something drastic. On top of the Ativan I turned on Pandora on my phone and plugged my headphones in to drone out the noise around the house. It was all too much. A slammed cabinet or a dropped child's toy sent me into shakes and agitated breathing.

At one point after cutting into a bag for a baking project I got the urge to cut. Thought that just a little scratch on my wrist wouldn't be a big deal. Then I thought that any scratch was a big deal. I started shaking and closed my eyes against a flow of tears. I struggled to discard the scissors and ended up tossing them toward a counter and backing toward the freezer to put iced sponges on my face. My mom noticed and I told her to get rid of the scissors. After a few minutes I got back into my recipe and calmed down a bit. Still afraid of what could be coming if that urge was that strong.

One day at a time. One damned minute at a time.

Friday, May 26, 2017


I have shared here before about the hubster's 51%-er philosophy and I've seen it coming up a lot lately as I break into my new CrossFit routine.

The philosophy refers to a typical pass/fail standard; 51% or better is passing. As I've lived most of my life with a 98% or better point of view, trying to adopt the 51%-er perspective is quite difficult! It does offer more opportunities for me to build my self-worth and nurture better self-esteem.

Looking back on my life, I have recognized that a lot of my misery originated from my 98%-er attitude. I was frequently disappointed in myself when I didn't meet my personal standard or expectations put before me. When I did excel or achieve something specific, often it was never quite enough. I think that if I had been better equipped to appreciate my efforts I would've been much happier and healthier.

I can't really go back and change my past. I certainly try to adjust my opinions whenever I happen upon a feeling of disappointment. For instance, when I was recently talking with a friend I described how I graduated high school with an AA and a GPA of 3.98, then earned my BA when I was 20 with a GPA of 3.57. Despite earning my degrees "early" and with higher-than-average grades, I struggle with feelings of disappointment and shame. Why couldn't I have graduated with 4.0s? Why didn't I plan ahead for a specific career and better prepare myself for entering the workforce when I graduated college? Why didn't I apply for a MA program and pursue my desires to teach and edit?

I could dissect this all day! I no longer see that as very effective. Analysis doesn't necessarily help me move forward and improve my quality of life. Instead, I try to embrace the 51%-er lifestyle.

Qualifying life experiences by percentages isn't always easy or clear or appropriate. With my academic history I feel comfortable saying that I did 51% or better. As far as my "career," I'm less confident in claiming a 51% or better "grade" although I'm not homeless, so I'll say "good enough." No need to feel shame (not that failing deserves shame either).

If I ever do go back to school I know that I'll do my best and strive for high marks. Nowadays, I'm not gonna punish myself and chip away at my self-worth if I don't get a 4.0. It's not worth it and it ain't a 51%-er way of lookin' at things ;o)

ANYWAYS. Back to CrossFit.

It's tough. It's new. It's meant to always challenge you to venture out of your comfort zones. It's meant to make you fail.

Failure isn't something I'm very comfortable with! As a historically 98%-er type o' gal, failure is feared and a one-way ticket to crumbling self-worth and eroding self-esteem. Now, as I try to embrace a 51%-er perspective, I am coming to view failure as an opportunity to build resiliency and learn. Not only is this a good way to progress in CrossFit, it's a healthier way to progress in life.

I used to think that life was something you could fail. That enough failures would ultimately confirm my worthlessness and strip me of any right to partake in life. Now? Not so much. Now I see failure as a natural and essential part of life. There is no limit on how many times you can fail. The important part is to keep trying.

That said. I will go to the thoroughly intimidating workout tomorrow and do my damnedest. 51% or better and I'll be thrilled ;o)

Happy Memorial Day to my American compatriots and happy weekend to everyone!

THE SUNNNNNNNN!!!!! (Yay/Yikes)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Today has been a break from routine as was yesterday. It's a bit stressful and at the same time a wonderful departure. I've been making the long(ish) drive north back to our "home" area for a few appointments. I've been able to reconnect with friends, cruise familiar places, and have some plain ole solo adventure time.

After having a nice long chat with a DBT friend I'm feeling more aware of the hazards regarding living with my family. Another friend I met with yesterday had expressed similar concerns without the DBT language and it raised flags just didn't settle in the same way. Today, my friend and I spoke in "technical terms" and the mechanics of it all sunk in a bit more.

Honestly, I haven't been living as mindfully as I want to lately. The stress of our living situation and trying to navigate the dynamics of my family--old norms and blossoming habits--it's been occupying a lot of space in my brain. The distraction can be good, it can also be a sort of trap. "Woohoo! Hannah, look over here!" *CLANG* "Oh shit, guess there was a bear trap there...." Hopefully that makes a modicum of sense haha

So, it raises the hair on the back of my neck talking honestly about my living situation and the transitional period we're in. It also gives me a sense of calm... a sort of zen moment that may allow me to refocus and engage in a more skillful approach to my challenges in the hopes of maintaining the progress that I've made and avoiding backslides.

I already feel that I'm sliding. My affect and turn of phrase morphing back into my (enter maiden name here) role. That constant joking, sarcasm, and teasing overtaking my conversations instead of genuine, purposeful, thoughtful words that I prefer and appreciate. I think that's part of what was so relieving having that Saturday night just me and hubster. No pressure, no walls, just being us and knowing that we're loved and accepted as-is.

I'm still working on developing my "life worth living" and asserting my personal values. One of those values is being genuine and forthcoming. No hiding. No pandering. Building the belief within myself that I'm worthwhile and have a right to be here and that I'm worth something-a lot of that practice comes from using my voice and speaking my truth. Being myself. Not living in a way that reinforces shame and fear. Not exactly accepted practice around my first family...

Still very intimidated by trying to maintain this practice in this environment-I think I'd go as far to say "unhealthy" environment. I don't want to over-dramatize; my DBT friend even said, "It's one thing to practice these skills and keep yourself on the right track when in your own safe bubble-it's quite another when you're thrust back into the middle of what made you need DBT in the first place!" Amen.

There's a taste of what's goin' on with me ;o)

In other news, I'm going to see my fabulous OBGYN for my pre-op appointment in just a little bit. I took care of a call from the surgery paper pushers regarding basic health questions (very nice gals, just felt a little "shouldn't you have all this from my files already?" guess it's better to be safe.)

I'm still excited to have the surgery performed although I'm getting a little worried about the recovery period. They say I'll need about a week of down time and then I can work back up to my regular activities. Having just started with CrossFit, I'm not sure how that will go... I'm pretty good at telling what I can do and what I can't. Maybe it's just one of those "wait and see," "you'll know when you get there" types of things? I just don't want to take too much time off when my exercise is such a cornerstone of my mood management.

My mother was minimizing the procedure. Felt a little... invalidating? Insulting? I don't know, "enter negative feeling here." Anyways. Maybe it won't be that bad. That'd be great. In the meantime, I will try to be prepared for a challenge. I tend to handle pain pretty well and heal relatively quickly *knockonwood*

Hoping everyone is doing well and that my northern hemisphere friends are enjoying this shift toward summer weather. I'm a little miffed with how hot it got so abruptly! I am enjoying the sunshine ;o) Hoping that I'll cope with the heat a little better being comfortable wearing tanks and shorts this year instead of t-shirts and capris. Just a little bit of fabric makes a big difference to me!

Happy Humpday <3

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Making Progress

My pie baking efforts continued today with a strawberry-rhubarb pie. I got the top to brown more although the foil on the sides for too long left a sort of coloration difference. I also forgot to put a cookie sheet under it and the overflow set off a fire alarm when it burned, hehe 😂 

As far as taste: YES PLEASE! 

Will repeat. Even my dad-who wasn't convinced rhubarb was edible (just don't understand why you'd ruin a strawberry pie with rhubarb) liked it. 

In other news, went for a walk with the hubs and BB this morning. It was warm and sunny and BB walked for a bit, then insisted on being carried. We got tied so I opted for a should carry! 

This weekend was a good break. My sister went to the beach Friday and then my nephew was with his dad. My parents took off Saturday for a Seattle trip. The hubs and I had a date night Friday, errands Saturday, and then an evening to ourselves before a slow Sunday morning with some chores and errands. 

A much needed break. 

Still working on letting go of others' problems and avoiding taking stress on myself. Glad that I'm aware of it (big first step) and hoping to chip away at this source of... agony? It's so distressing! 

Anyways. Sustained my first injury from CrossFit-somehow bruised the whole "chicken leg" part of my thumb/palm area! It hurt bad that first day and the bruise didn't show til the next evening so I was pretty confused for a bit. I think it was from the weight lifting, we did do some pull up practice... not sure. Getting better and still certainly memorable! 

Day by day. Gonna be a busy week!