Friday, April 28, 2017

A Break From Moving

The condo is cleaned out. The hubster and my dad are probably close to our new home base with the truckload of possessions. I'm staying north for a while in order to do the walk through with our landlord this afternoon. In the meantime, I'm taking advantage of Baby Bananaface being at daycare and taking some time to myself at a local cafe :o)

Here's a slew of random questions I decided to work through as a bit of distraction and release. Feel free to answer them yourselves! Let me know if you do and I'll go and read them :o) You're more than welcome to pop your answers in the comments too.

Have fun and Happy Friday. Blue skies here! We're shocked!




What random acts of kindness have you done? I can't name them all so I'll just name a few that I've done recently: taking carts from strangers in the parking lot back to the store for them, complimenting strangers' bags or clothes etc., handing a stranger my half-full punch card for a local doughnut shop.

Do you think any kind of afterlife exists? Not 100% sure either way. I tend to think of souls being recycled in whole or part as I imagine everything else in life does. I guess that isn't exactly an afterlife, is it?

Would you kill an innocent person if you thought it might mean saving a dozen other people? Ooh... I think it depends on the details. Not convinced I'm capable of killing though I wouldn't be shocked if I was. Wow. That sounds kind of bad. :o/

What’s the biggest personal change you’ve ever made?
 I've made a lot! Losing and gaining weight as much as I have has been major (talking fluctuations around 75 lbs). Changes in fitness has changed my life in many ways. That said, I think the biggest change I've made (making) is altering my internal landscape. Altering my self-talk and "scripts" into healthier habits. Pretty damn difficult and very much worth it. Lovin' me that DBT. 

What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever done?
 Well, there's quite a few. A recent one involves mistaking a green light for a green arrow then turning left in front of an oncoming, massive pickup. It was terrifying and a very unusual mistake for me! 

What do you think would be one of the best steps we could take toward ending poverty around the world?
 Having everyone experience poverty for themselves-not just a tour or a video or an article, actually experiencing poverty for however long it takes to appreciate it (that may vary from person-to-person). 

What is Satan's last name?
 Natas (Satan backwards) Why? No clue.

Can crop circles be square?
 Yes. Because I say so.

If someone gave you the power to save just one animal species on earth, which would it be? Bees. I'm not just saying that because Baby Bananaface loves "Bee Movie," although that could have something to do with it ;o)

Do people really get any wiser as they get older?
 No. They get wiser as they get wiser. Has nothing to do with age. Experience certainly has a place in developing wisdom, although wisdom cannot be developed from experience alone.

If you could be a farmer, what would be on your farm? Alpacas? I think that'd be more fun than sheep... IDK, that's the first thing that popped into my mind after mushrooms. Definitely seems like more fun than mushrooms. I do love mushrooms though...

If you could have something named after you as a memorial what would you choose? (building, park, school, that kind of thing) Oooh. I think I'm torn between a gym (a community hub like my beloved YMCA) and some sort of crisis center with counseling and skills training and such.

What would your DJ name be? Boo, Who? Same as my mixed-martial arts fighter name ;o)

When did you consider yourself an 'adult'? Don't know that I do... I'm not sure exactly what "adult" means. I think we always have more to learn although I suppose finding the hubster and decided to share my life with someone else, that felt pretty adult. Certainly deciding to stick around be Baby Bananaface's mother felt adult. So, I suppose I felt adult when I began loving and accepting others for who they were, are, and will be.

What's your earliest memory? This is a tough one for me... I think the earliest memories for me are of my childhood home and school. Maybe 1st grade? Mrs. Loftness (tall gal with curly hair) and Mrs. Olsen (dark hair cut in a bob) come to mind. There were guinea pigs too.

Do you define yourself based mainly on your intentions, your actions, or something else? Maybe heart? A combination of intentions and effort. Actions come into play although I can't place too much credit on them because when I'm depressed I can't do much and sometimes I do very terrible things due to my disease that I wouldn't want to blame myself for. I can also do very stupid things while hypomanic that I wouldn't want to blame myself for.

If required, could you saw off your (unconscious) partner's leg to save them (a la the Grey's Anatomy episode)? Yeah. No problem. I'd use my teeth and karate chop it if I had to. Drop a boulder on it. Steak knife. Chainsaw. Anything.

What motivates you to improve yourself? The hubster and Baby Bananaface. I mostly live for them. Working up my self-worth still to feel like I can live for myself, even so, I think they'll always be up there as far as motivation and reason to improve myself and meaning of life.

Would you rather be bald or hairy? Bald. Easier to put on lotion than wax and shave. 

Would you be disappointed to learn that 200 years from now you will have no living descendants?
 Not particularly. Maybe the hubby would, he's got more of that type of pride. I think I'd be disappointed if humans weren't around and bettering themselves and the planet, although if the whole of nature was doing well, I wouldn't be too upset over that either.

Which do you prefer, odd numbers or even numbers? Odd. For whatever reason they feel more solid to me. Maybe it's because they don't divide easily? They gotta stick together?

Do you have a favorite number? 13. That's my birthday day. I've always liked 23 and 27 as well, and BB's birthday is on the 27th!

Does a person's happiness level depend mostly on the good or bad things that have happened to the person, or on something else? I don't think it has anything to do with what's happened to them. I've have horrible, traumatizing, heartbreaking things happen in my life and that hasn't impaired my ability to be happy. There are also people that have had simply wonderful lives without pitfalls and aren't necessarily happy!

What was the last thing you remember shoplifting? Two shot glasses (well, tasting glasses). I have a little bit of a problem regarding this... out of character. Tends to happen when I'm stressed.

Would you take a one way mission to mars trip? HELL-TO-THE-NO!

You have to drink four pints of a liquid per day (not water). What is it? Not water?! What?! Damn. Not even sure I can drink that much coffee... maybe tea? I like rooibos/chai, although that much I think peppermint or green tea would be best.

What is the most commonly held belief that you personally find deeply offensive? That there is such a thing as being more or less than another being. We have to make judgments to stay safe, I think it can be quite dysfunctional though.

Would you rather be a giant, or microscopic? Microscopic. Seeing the world more easily would be fun, just seems like all the tiny stuff would be quite exciting! Also, I wouldn't want to be sleeping out in the open and never fit in a shelter...

What long-lost childhood possession of yours would you like to see again? This odd fairy toy thing I had. I can't remember all the details about it. I remember a lovely periwinkle color and a few tiny fairy toys that fit in some sort of jewelry box that acted as their home. It was cute and fed my imagination and I loved it! I think the tops of the fairies were flowers too, instead of hair. Talk about a great disguise ;o)

If you had to pick a new first name, what would it be? Used to Crystal. I even named a pet rat Crystal and signed my school work with that name for a while. Nowadays... Hmmm. I like Rebecca. Makes me feel like  a strong, beautiful pioneer! I also think I could do with a cheery name. Something that ends with a "y" or "ie?" Don't know. I think Hannah suits me pretty well!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Quiet Rapids

Things have been a bit haphazard of late. An odd mixture of slow and fast with a dash of numbness.

Last week was quite emotional as I contemplated the upcoming move. Panicked, really. I took a walk with a friend and she laid out all of her concerns for me regarding the move. Cue the "oh shit" moment! It definitely stirred the pot emotion-wise. It also presented a reality check moment with an opportunity to really consider and plot backup plans in case living with my folks/sister/nephew just doesn't fly.

Lots of sighs. Lots of packing. Lots of "I have no fucking clue."

I'm sad. I'm scared. I'm (a tad bit) excited. I'm a little hopeful while also feeling quite skeptical.



There have been some dark moments-moments when I've lost myself in worry. My confidence eroded by strong waves of fear. One day was so bad that I had suicidal thoughts flashing through my brain. Thankfully not impulses or strong urges, just fleeting images. Still, definitely a symptom of my stress.

Those down days-or just an afternoon or morning sometimes-weren't nice, were quite discouraging, and luckily short-lived. I was able to bounce back reasonably well and reasonably quick. I think my DBT skills kicked in and having help from the hubster, of course. I also think that having my mood be stable for longer stretches help me bounce back from the dips and resist the dives.



At the moment our condo is about 90% packed. Regular routines continue and yet our surroundings are changing. Walls are stripped of familiar frames and shelves. Boxes are piled up against walls. The kitchen is bare and nearly useless.

Honestly, I'm still not sure if it's all sunk in. It feels like we've got longer here, despite having no cutlery out and our food supply limited to things that require no intensive preparation. Driving into the lot today it occurred to me that I'd only drive into the familiar parking area a few more times... and the thought simply drifted away. No thump, no feeling, hardly a ripple.

It's the calm before the storm now. I feel stillness at the surface yet I know the rapids within will most likely overtake me sometime soon. I'd be concerned if the move didn't involve some tears! I think driving away from my neighborhood without plans to return will trigger some... leaving my gym for the last time in a long time (I have tentative plans to visit, just not certain plans)... and settling into the new surroundings will be rough.

Don't get me wrong, it's not a palace here. That said, the obnoxious sounds from the nearby arterial, freeway, and rowdy neighbors are familiar. The popcorn ceilings and dilapidated buildings, even the shoddy landscaping and rather "well worn" faces around the complex will be missed.

The hubby reminds me often to look forward. I know that this helps him a lot-fantasizing about getting a house and a yard and a new job. For me, it can help in little doses. Too much and I begin to feel pressure, even fear that I won't be able to achieve certain aspirations. It becomes stressful and I got enough of that!



Anywho. That's a taste of what's going on. Been saying goodbye to folks and enjoying the company of my gym pals as much as possible. I certainly hope that I can find a new tribe down south and at the same time it feels a little unfaithful to leave these people behind. I suspect that's a passing sentiment... at least I hope so ;o)

Trying to read and comment, it's just a bit tough lately! Catch up later, friends :o)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Throwbacks

While I was rooting around the closet and packing up some of my crafting supplies I happened across these art projects from my time in the hospital.

The fish I made as a gift to the hubster:


A therapeutic watercolor with lots of words integrated into the pictures:



And a cute hart:


I'm sure I did more projects while "on the inside" and maybe someday I'll come across them... these were a surprise even!

Come a long way since then... :o)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Let's be honest....

I ain't hand washing a coffee cup. #improvise #coffeecantwait. ;o) 

PS do I know how to use hashtags? Absolutely not. 


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

One Year

It's been a year today since my attempt and the hubster saved me. We didn't talk about it much just had a special lunch date to celebrate life. The hubby even made a toast and told me how proud he is, especially of all the distance I've put between then and now over the past year. 


Also had some fun with Baby Bananaface. He accidentally put his finger through the top of his water cup which led to him tossing the lid away. This led to eating ice chips and then mixing in his snacky biscuit cracker things to create some weird non-milk milkshake smoothie thing! He was enraptured and was kind enough to offer me a sip. I declined.


Afterward I was cleaning and thought, "This is one of those things the car seat just might not come back from!" 

Later we watched some "Kiki's Delivery Service" and practiced words and selfies! 


Thanks for being there over this past year-so glad to have this blogging community! Here's to many more years :o)

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Big Steps and Some Challenges

It's been a challenging few days. I've been swept up in a lot of intense emotions which has set me off-balance and whipped up some symptoms.

Today was especially challenging after a few stressful days stacking up on me... Anyway, some of the symptoms have been crying, angry outbursts, anxiety, and unkind thoughts and judgments. I knew this transition would be tough, I just thought I'd have some more time.

Turns out we have less time than we thought. The landlord contacted the hubs and offered compensation for us to get outta the condo by the end of May. Then she emailed the next day with an offer of more money for us to get out by the end of April.

I thought I had a month or two to ease out of my gym community, enjoy my last few classes, and say my goodbyes. Now, I'm going to be gone before I know it. Battling the loneliness and isolation of losing my tribe while I try to find a new refuge. I had been keeping the news to myself and putting off the goodbyes until next month. Then I found out the move had been moved up and found myself warming up in the cycling studio alone before class, tears streaming down my face and snot threatening to drip from my reddened nose. I managed to get myself together a bit before classmates started coming in. I'm sure the red eyes and nose were still blatant though.

When one of my cycling buddies asked me when I'd be back to my usual classes (beside cycling) and I told him I was coming back the following week... so I could get in as many as possible before the move. I broke and nearly reached straight up sobbing. He was so wonderful though. Maintaining eye contact and consoling me and telling me that I'd be missed.

I outright sobbed as I drove home. Tears falling and my mouth gaping in gasping, shuddering cries. I knew I would be upset leaving my gym buddies it wasn't until then that that I realized I would be full-on grieving... but that is what's happening.

Today I said goodbye to one of my instructors that I'm probably not gonna see again before we move and maybe ever, ever again. I dropped a card into her bag at the beginning of class and then I couldn't resist walking up to her at the end of class to tell her I'd miss her. I teared up and she was shocked when I told her about moving at the end of the month. She teared up and brought me into a tight, amazing hug, telling me she'd miss me too.

It was teary, for sure, and also validating. She appreciates me and I appreciate her. She acknowledged the challenges I face with a big move like this, asked for my Facebook information so we could keep in touch, and even said I could contact her if I needed a pick me up or anything. Amazed me. Being shown that kindness when I didn't quite know what to expect.

As appreciative as I was-starstruck even-the tears continued to flow on my way home from the gym and continued on into my shower time too.

I'm a little apprehensive about saying further goodbyes. These people mean so much to me and I don't really know what I mean to them. It can be awkward to react as emotionally as I do when they aren't on the same level. Oh well. I am me and me I'll be.


So. Goodbyes. Packing. The stress of moving and new surroundings. *whew* It's weighing on me!


In other news, the hubs and I went to an appointment with an OBGYN on Friday and she was awesome! My primary care doctor referred us to her when I asked about tubal ligation. We had a great appointment and got so many questions answered. She was funny, smart, and professional all-in-one.

We discussed the two options; surgically removing the fallopian tubes completely and an in-office procedure that inserts nickle coils into the tubes in order to create scar tissue to block the tubes, and quickly made our decision. We decided that the surgical option is for us. We've started the ball rolling and it looks like I'll be getting sterilized in May or June.

It brought up a lot of emotions for us as we really dug into the decision on the way to the appointment. We even discussed extremes like "What if we could be guaranteed no postpartum depression ever again, would we have another?" NO "What if Baby Bananaface dies?" NO It would be awful, tragic, and having another kid wouldn't replace BB. Nothing could replace BB. We would just have to live with that. We further discussed living a life without children and decided we could live a happy life without kids/more kids.



Anyways. I'm gonna kick back, watch some Netflix and try to simmer down! Hoping I'll be around the blogosphere more soon, although all this moving stuff is throwing a wrench into things for sure.

Happy Weekend, Friends!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Ocean Trip

Took an impromptu trip to the ocean this weekend after my folks invited us. It was quite a rush packing up and hitting the road on such short notice! 

We had a good time, even though I had to go on the beach twice... ugh. Cold, wet, sandy, and stinky! Baby Bananaface loved it!

He also learned that sand doesn't taste very good... :o)

Sunday, March 26, 2017

WOWZA

First, some Baby Bananaface updates:

Family resemblance, or what? Was sorting
through some old photos in my closet and
found this shot from my baby years...

He really wanted to go outside.
So he "got dressed."
And for the WOWZA-Y moment of my yesterday. More discoveries from my closet...

I knew that I had been 250 lbs during pregnancy and I just wasn't sure if I had been before that. I was pretty sure. Whenever I asked the hubby he was evasive and wouldn't confirm anything.

Well, while I was cleaning out my closet I found stashes of old clothes. My maternity was altogether and then there was a different box. This box gave me my WOWZA moment of the afternoon.

I was shocked. I've lost so much weight!
 Once I found these pants the hubbo couldn't deny it anymore.
He said during a particularly bad depressive episode I 
topped out at 250 lbs. We still hiked and such and I found
a slew of 20/22 sized pants and XL shirts that I had forgotten.


I could actually fit both my legs down one leg
of the pants! It was so... shocking! I just didn't
remember! Such a weird feeling.
Also shocking was a bikini and teeny cover up that I found... apparently when I was lighter and just out of college (during my trip to Iceland) I decided I wanted to "feel European" and dare to wear a bikini to the hot springs. I'm not sure if I was more shocked by this discovery or the pants! Lots of disbelief both ways.

I know that I've lost a ton of weight in the last year or so-about 45 lbs. I didn't really count my pregnancy weight as my top weight before-though now that I know I was 250 lbs or more before that it makes me think of my total weight loss more like 75 lbs. That wasn't all in one go, so I wouldn't say that in conversation. Just for myself it feels good. Reminds me of what I can do. Not to mention surviving that depression... ANYWHO.

So. That is a bit of what I've been up to lately. Lots of jaw-dropping and loads of stuff to haul off to Goodwill.

We've been especially motivated to cut down since we decided to move in June when our lease is up. Going south toward cheaper rents. It means a major commute for the hubbo. We're thinking it's just about the only way to get things back on track since my PPD hurricane and all that financial fallout.

More on that later! In the meantime, happy spring and happy weekend :o)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

More Pics-Grateful Moments



The hubster surprised me with new gyms shoes as a belated birthday present! He said the colors were bright and I was a bit nervous. He did just right though!

Turns out BB is a teeter-totter man: 


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Nice People

This afternoon I'm volunteering at the local blood bank handing out snacks and rebooking appointments. I enjoy it-just a little tired today! Lots of good folks.

The sunshine outside (deceptive since it's so cold still) makes me think of this morning just after cycling. It was sunny and cold and we were cooling down when one of the regulars complimented me:

"It's really good that you stick with this and keep up your routine. You're doing so well and you're an inspiration to a lot of people." 

He smiled and nodded and I said thank you, then he went on to ask, "What's your goal?"

I was a little befuddled. "My goal for what?"

"Your goal, ya know, with all of this." He swung an arm around the cycling room and toward the rest of the gym.

I paused for a moment, unsure if the answer that came to mind was the one I should share. After a moment's hesitation I opted for honesty, like I usually do.

"Staying alive." 

He shrugged and frowned in a tiny bit, a little unprepared for the answer but respectful. "Well, that's always good."

I went on to tell him a little bit about my struggles finding a medication and how the gym classes help maintain my mood. He complimented me again and then somehow we got into a chat about a friend of his that got pulled out of the line at the Canada/US border. 

It was after having a kidney test with radioactive iodine done. The screening machines were sensitive enough to detect the iodine in his body through the car-it was quite impressive. Apparently he's preparing to donate a kidney to a friend of theirs.

Anyways. Those are some positive nice people from day. Gym buddies, donors, volunteers, and bloggers :o)

Happy pre-Friday everyone ;o)


Monday, March 13, 2017

Hiking with Baby Bananaface



It was muddy, it was cold, it was messy, it was bold!




We let BB take the lead and on the way back we found an adorable squirrel!


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Happy/Sad Days

Last week I got to graduate from my DBT therapy. Wednesday the 1st was my last group night and Tuesday the 7th was my last individual meeting. I can still contact my therapist if I need help or need a random session. Still, it was a goodbye rather than a "see ya later."

Saying goodbye to my classmates was more emotional than I expected. I knew that I would cry, I just didn't expect to be sniffling and stuttering and seal-barking hardcore crying like I was!


For DBT graduation we each hold a seashell and share our thoughts and goodbyes to each graduate before they get to hold the shell and give their goodbyes to the class. I started crying while people gave me their goodbyes and when I started into mine the dam really broke. Before I even addressed the class I gave them all individual cards and handed the instructor my bin of "special prizes" for the weeks when they get double homework or when they get to play Jeopardy for module reviews. It was a good feeling.

I got so many great compliments. People spoke about how different I am now compared to when I first started. I don't slump and mumble anymore. My shoulders are back and I'm a beaming light and I take up the whole room with my laugh-it was so sweet. They talk about how supportive and friendly I am. How hard I've worked at the skills. How different class will be without me.

My therapists each called me a "community maker." That meant a lot to me. For so long I've battled loneliness and felt so isolated. Now I initiate conversations with acquaintances and strangers. I reach out and don't worry about reciprocation. I'm not paralyzed by fear anymore. I'm me. Take it or leave it.


My individual therapist also talked about how much has changed over the past year. How she was really worried about me being able to do DBT with my history of ECT. When I started DBT I was still doing ECT. She said that they'd never encountered anyone who had done ECT that could effectively learn DBT-until me. She called me an anomaly. Special. It was magical. I felt like a diamond. It meant so much to have someone point out just how much I've battled through. How I've beat the odds.

I'm a success story. I want to stay a success story. One day a time.


We have done so much trying to get me back to good since Baby Bananaface was born. Medications, therapies, inpatient, outpatient, ECT, TMS, DBT, exercise. The medications have been a part of my recovery, sure, though I really feel like the DBT and my gym routine are what saved me.

For my birthday I got to share my thanks with my gym instructors and last week I got to share my thanks with my DBT community. I'm so happy that I'm in a place where I can share like that as well as acknowledge how far I've come.


Whew. So many emotions! Anywho. That happened. :o)

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A picture and a slightly inappropiate story...

This may offend certain folks. To my hubby and I it was a rather hilarious moment and conversation!


The hubster came home and as we were chatting he came around to talking about lunch.

"We went to Whole Foods for lunch. Can you guess my total?"

I guessed $13.74. My favorite number is 13 and nearly every time he asks me to guess his total it's 13-something.

His raised his eyebrows and replied, "Close! It was $13.00 even!"

Handing me the receipt with a smirk, he picked up Baby Bananaface and put him into the play area.

"Hmmm." I said. "Normally when I see that my husband went to a "HOT BAR" I would be a bit suspicious-"

"As if anything would happen at a "HOT BAR" for $13.00," he laughed.

"There's some skanky hoes out there! Chlamydia could happen for $13.00." We both laughed and shook our heads.

As I swallowed a mouthful of sparkling water the hubster continued on to say, "Huh. $13.00 and a 50/50 chance of chlamydia!"

I felt myself begin to laugh out loud and tried to hold it back but couldn't. I leaned forward and spurted sparkling water all over my dinner plate. The bubbles crackled and popped, water dripping down my chin. When I opened my eyes I saw a ring of puddles and mist all around my plate and onto the table.

He laughed even harder and I joined in.

Maybe not the most... respectable conversation but it sure felt good to laugh so hard together. I love those oddball, unanticipated moments of coming together in laughter and joy!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Checking In

I'm feeling much better and totally recovered from my jungle fever. That night was awful and the next day I couldn't walk much without getting faint until that afternoon. Even into the evening I couldn't stand around for very long without having to sit down. I decided to skip my gym classes again the following day to give myself enough time to really bounce back. I was back at it on Thursday though!

RANDOM BB PICHe insisted on wearing his galoshes.
Certainly developing his own style!

There was an interesting moment with my mom (it was Friday I think). When we had visited for Baby Bananaface's birthday she had seemed agitated during our grocery/coffee run. I was pretty sure it wasn't something that me and mine had done. I still wanted to make sure and give her an opportunity to vent even if it was something else.

Well, when I asked she kept changing the subject. I kept asking. Even to the point when we were walking back into the house! "Is something bothering you or not? You keep changing the subject and avoid giving me an answer. What's going on? Do you just not want to talk about it? Just say so and I'll stop asking." She then admitted that she had been changing the subject and didn't want to talk about it-a big moment considering how emotionally accessible is!

So, the story continued a couple days ago.... She called me while she was on base getting her lab work done and picking up her meds (she takes injections for rheumatoid arthritis). Then she brought up the agitation! Something about how all of them being sick (my nephew, my sister, Mom, and Dad all at once) and how she was worn out.

She mentioned something about how she thinks my sister is realizing how agitated she really is lately. She also opened up about how she is not only exhausted, she misses having her own life. "Sure, he's my grandson and I love him and I want to take care of him. I just want some of my old life back. I don't like how I'm the one he comes running to whenever he needs something!"

It was sad and yet also felt amazing. I've decided to change the way I live with being open and genuine whether or not people reciprocate. Usually, my family doesn't really reciprocate with sharing personal feelings or opinions, they simply listen and nod type of thing. It can feel awkward. This time I got something in return! It made me feel like I was making a difference. It made me feel validated and encouraged to continue being myself. It felt wonderful.

RANDOM BB PIC
He picked out his jacket, hat, and mittens.
Pretty dang happy that morning!

I'm sad about the situation. It's not quite a hot mess; it certainly ain't near great though.

The relationship between my sister and her baby daddy is awful. She's borderline abusive I would say. That makes me and my parents worry about the future since sister/baby daddy are going to be in each others' lives for the rest of their lives! We want things to be better for my nephew... and for his parents.

My parents have had my sister and their grandson living with them for a while now. She moved in sometime during my recovery (I can't remember when because of the ECT) so it's been a decent length of time. Over a year now, I know. They're exhausted. She blows up at them and will sometimes complain to me about wanting her own place. I don't think she appreciates what she has and how good she has it. She calls herself a single parent when she's really got two co-parents.

RANDOM BB PIC
"No time for diapers!
I gotta catch up on my Reader's Digest!"

The hubs and I have been having some pretty... intense discussions lately as well. It's borderline arguing and there's definitely strong emotions-thankfully we always end up in a calmer place with more functional communication. I think I'll post about that later after I've had more time to think on it.

Hope everyone's having a good weekend. We've got blue skies and chilly temps. Might get some snow flurries today.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Good Birthday

Baby Bananaface's birthday was a good day. 

I had a good day too. Got to speak at an event for my local YMCA and help motivate the campaigners into the last half of the annual campaign.

While that went really well, I made it less than a couple blocks before I was puking in some random parking lot the hubster pulled into. Jungle Fever. My family came down with it and I guess we brought it home with us this weekend!

I barfed again before we made it home and then kept barfing for hours once we got home. Or heaving at least. 

The hubby kept his distance, apologizing for not being "a barf guy" or the "hold-your-hair-back" type, but he helped me get through the night in his own way!

So. Bubba had a great birthday. My speech thing went well. Now I can't walk to the kitchen without tingles and feeling faint but hopefully that'll last soon! AND I really hope BB doesn't get this Jungle Fever. REALLY hope!


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Baby Bananaface's Pre- Birthday Celebration

We were down at my folks' this weekend to celebrate Baby Bananaface's
birthday (it's on Monday so we celebrated Saturday).

He had a great time eating the raspberry filled chocolate fudge and I made
him and playing with the balloons Mom got him and he actually enjoyed
opening gifts!






We went to a children's museum and he had a blast. Was a little tough
getting him inside from the outdoor area but he was easy to distract from
his tantrum in a place like that.

Enjoy the random pics from throughout our day. He insisted on wearing his
galoshes and big hat, it was so cute!

I hope to post again tomorrow or Tuesday.

Happy weekend!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Bumpy roads-but I got big tires!

Yesterday was a challenging day. I made it through. Things got bad but they didn't get scary. So, I'd call it a messy victory.

I think the first thing that threw me off was my gym class that morning. I've been doing especially well in the class for a few weeks and decided to stick with my 8-10-12 pound weights and not grab the 5. Well. It turned out I sure needed that 5 for shoulder work! Yeowza!

I was embarrassed when my instructor noticed my weights and offered hers to me to lighten me up. I thanked her and thanked her again at the end of class. I definitely felt disappointed with myself and embarrassed. Still working on those old mental habits of never asking for help and only success brings you love.

Another frustrating element to the class was getting lightheaded and feeling like I was creeping toward a fainting spell. It's happened to be before, years ago, and I think this time I hadn't drank enough water that morning and my hurricane strength period was working against me. I don't like having to slow down. I don't like sitting out exercises. A) I like to blend in, not draw attention B) Growing up, being slow or being a quitter got ya teased incessantly Cue more of the "no love without success" psychological drama!


The bumps in the road continued when I got home and started studying my next chapter for Medical Terminology, the Cardiovascular System. Woof. I had thought the nervous system was rough! This one has two whole pages of abbreviations and oodles of treatments and pills and tests. Boy. It's the hardest chapter for me yet and that it arose on a day when I was already struggling with negativity about myself... not the best timing.


A third pothole surprised me on Facebook. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate FB for a lot of reasons, though it can be a hotbed of comparison. This post triggered a memory of a conversation the hubs and I had a while back. I had mentioned something about trying to cultivate a friendship with someone outside the gym environment and he had said something about how he didn't see me and this other person as being compatible. They were more cosmopolitan... and I'm just. Not.

It hurt my feelings when he said it then and it hurt my feelings seeing a post on FB that made me think, "Oh, he's so right." It made me wonder, "Then what am I? Where do I fit in?" And, don't know bout you, but for me that can lead into a windy and complex maze of thoughts!

I ended up practicing a few DBT skills. Checking the facts and being mindful of what I have to be thankful for (I do have a nice variety of friends, IRL, online, local, and all around the world). I want to be me first and foremost, no more people pleasing and hiding away just to try and stay in someone's good graces. I know that I can be a good, worthwhile friend to have without throwing myself under the bus!


The next pothole was a computer crash that lost a chunk of writing. I had been dealing with some low level anger and agitation most of the day. That computer crash just put me over the edge. I got so agitated and angry! It took quite a while to calm down and made me wonder.... will my anger continue to simmer unnoticed and then erupt like that all the time? Or will there be a time when I spout off in less dramatic, more functional ways, a little at a time instead of those big eruptions? I've hidden my anger or pushed it away for so long that I am not quite adequately skilled in coping with it yet...

Don't know. Right now I'm gonna head off to yoga!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

My Birthday! (yep, it's a long post)



My birthday was yesterday and went pretty dang well, I must say. It was a busy day, but a happy day!


I started off my day at the gym, like usual. I took a class from one of the instructors I had given a card to and was a little anxious about what her reaction might be. She wished me happy birthday and then later on in class she sidled up to me and said, "By the way, your card was amazing."

She went on to say that her son saw the picture I drew and said it was so good they should frame it. She mentioned how much it meant to her and how sweet it was of me. We chatted a bit more and I felt really good and relieved that my card had been well received!

At the end of class she came up to me again and handed me an envelope. "I totally had this before you even gave me your card, I swear!" I opened it and saw a lot of writing so I decided to wait and read it in my car.

The message was so sweet. She mentioned how happy she was for me and how she was so proud of all the progress I've made and just amazed at how far I've come and what I've been through (I had shared my story with her before, so she knows about the whole twisted tale). She went on to say that she hoped I had a wonderful birthday and that she hopes to be around for my next birthday to see just how far I go this year.



I went home and relaxed a bit. Took a bit of extra time to pick out a "nice" outfit, do my hair, even put on makeup! I had class that afternoon and right before I worked up my courage to write a Facebook post that I had been contemplating... It included a selfie and blurb about what this birthday means to me as well as a thank you to any friends, family, providers, instructors, etc. that I hadn't thanked yet. It was a bit scary but felt so good (since then it has been well received so I feel relieved and encouraged!).

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, eyeglasses and closeup

I picked up Baby Bananaface and we headed to the hubster's office. I had picked up chocolates as a Valentine's Day surprise and haphazardly hid them around his office (I also hid some around his morning routine route, he had to find 14 little individually wrapped chocolates all together).

We continued on south and met my parents, my sister, and my nephew for dinner. My brother couldn't make it but it did send along a card and that meant a lot to me. I made sure to say a formal thanks to my family for all that they've done to help me make it to my birthday. My mom and I cried but it was a good cry!

One of the highlights of the dinner was playing Soundball while we waited for the check. It is a game I learned at DBT and entails throwing an invisible ball to random people in the group-but that's not all. Before someone throws the ball, they have to repeat the sound that the person throwing it to them made up. Then they have to make up their own silly sound for the next person to repeat.

Things got serious. Lemme tell ya! We were laughing til we had tears in our eyes! Some of the noises were quite challenging and odd. By the end of it we weren't even doing the ball-throwing motion, but including our own random movements for the next person to mimic along with the goofy sounds! It was really fun and I really enjoyed myself.



The hubster and I a rather interesting conversation on the way home from dinner. My mom had made a comment at dinner that I'm "a completely different person" now and it made me wonder, who am I really? What was I before if not myself?

The hubby, as usual, seemed to have an answer without even needing time to mull it over.

He said something along the lines of, "I think you were repressed before. It was more than just the depression and anxiety being out of control. You weren't able to be yourself, your true self, for a long time."

This stirred my mental pot further. I was confused and concerned about how bubbly and energetic and social I've been. Maybe my birthday thank yous mission and cards were creepy or over-dramatic. I wondered aloud, "What if this isn't really me and I'm actually hypomanic right now?"

"Ahh. Well that's a good point. I think, though, that if you were hypomanic you'd be having sleep issues. You'd be more focused on big to-do lists and pursuing lots of projects and overextending yourself. You would have lost focus on what's important, what's healthy."

"So maybe, I'm not being hypomanic, I'm just not quite comfortable with me being... me yet? Like it's still unfamiliar and feels unsafe? That would make sense." I smiled and then frowned with further concerns. "But wait, if I wasn't me before, why would you have married me? Was I just depressed and awful all the time? How could you know the real me if I wasn't the real me?"

He laughed and smirked in his special way, patting me on the leg. "Because the good times were amazing. When we met, you were doing well. You'd talk about fun little chats and moments with the customers at the bank you worked at all the time. You gave me notes and doodles and little surprises. Sure, when the bad times came you were different, but I always knew the good side-the real you-that was underneath. It's been there all along."



It's all still confusing and a bit "who's on first" to me, but that chat felt really good and helped clear a lot of things up. I've still got a ways to go when it comes to accepting myself and building the confidence that will help me maintain my stability and life a successfully happy and healthy life, but I'm headed in the right direction. Day-by-day I'll get there.

It makes me cry thinking about how long he's been there for me. Recognizing and appreciating just how much he's helped me through, how he's stood by side and believed through it all that we'd find the real me through all that darkness. His faith and strength and resolve is stunning.

He's taught me so much about what love really is and I look forward to learning even more together. I really can't ask for anything more. He is my hero and so much more than I ever imagined a husband could be. Nobody's perfect, but I think we're perfect together and that's all that matters.


Thank you for all the birthday wishes :o)

Happy Valentines Day everybody :o)

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Reverso Cards

So my birthday is coming up fast. Last week I had a conversation with one of my gym instructors about how this birthday means more than usual birthdays to me because I almost didn't make it here. She was very understanding and validating and I was able to share just about all of my story with her. It was awesome. She barely batted an eyelash and asked probing questions and was supportive, not scared.

Anywho. At the end of our chat she encouraged me to plan something special to celebrate my birthday. We have plans already to meet my family for dinner but other than that-nada. I thought and thought about it and then something popped into my head. I wanted to thank those that helped me make it to this birthday.

Money is tight so I decided to tell some people in person and then make cards for the rest myself. I've completed most of them (just have 2 more to go) and already talked to some of my providers in person instead of giving a card...

It was a bit tough for me figuring out exactly what to do and to not be too hard on myself while doing it! In the end, I drew each gym instructor a unique picture of an animal I thought they would like. A chickadee, a great blue heron, a border collie mix, and I'll draw an eagle and a husky today if I have the time.

In each card I wrote something similar with a unique bit included for each person. The gist was something like this: This year is a special birthday for me because I almost didn't make it here. As part of my celebration I want to thank those that helped me during the past year as I battled severe postpartum depression. Thank you for (insert specialized appreciation here).

I handed out a couple of them today and while the recipients didn't open them while I was there, they seemed grateful and I feel happy. Although I do think one assumed it was an invitation and I hope she isn't disappointed when she discovers it isn't! I suppose it is a bit of a reversal handing cards out on my birthday instead of receiving them, eh? Leave it to Hannah ;o)

So. That's part of what I've been up to in addition to my usual schedule and doing my best to stay balanced and moving forward.

In closing, I would like to thank each and everyone of my readers, commenting or otherwise! This blog and this community has been an amazing source of support for me during my ups and downs-especially during the last year and a half.

Thank you all for being such a wonderful part of my recovery and life. I appreciate you so much even though I can't always keep up with my reading and commenting! I'm so grateful for the encouragement and understanding that I've found here and have so enjoyed getting to know everyone more and more.

Looking forward to more years of gratitude and community-thank you!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

ARGH!

Grumpy today after the icy weather screwed up my morning schedule. Also bummed that I haven't been able to read, comment, or post in the blogosphere. I know it's just part of life going through these patches but it's sure frustrating!

Anywho, I'm thinking of y'all and hoping you're well :o)

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Climbing...

Today I woke up in a better place. I started my day off on a better footing. My kindness and self-validation is returning. I'm feeling calmer and less afraid, less sad, worthless, and weak.

I think part of my upswing has to do with a conversation the hubster and I had last night. He started by pointing out how serious things were getting. That I didn't seem to be fighting back against the dark logic like I had been in previous blips. That we had to get on top of things and stop this from becoming a full-fledged episode.

After some hemming and hawing from me, lots of apologies and guilt and shame, he launched into a sort of monologue/rant (not usually his style). He said something along the lines of, "You should be proud. Not ashamed. Not guilty. You should be proud that you are here. You should be proud of how far you have come and what you have done, not just for yourself but for us, for your family. You don't have to feel guilty about all that time in the hospital or all the treatments or all the therapy. You should be proud of all the hard work you have done and all the tough times we have come through together. You would have done the same for me, I know you would've. We are moving forward and you don't need to look back and feel guilt or shame about all that we went through. That's the past. We're here and we're moving forward. Do you get that?"

I do get it. What he said did resonate with me. While it's still hard to internalize and really believe it in my bones, it's something I want to work toward accepting and integrating into my being. I'm a survivor. Sure, that means I've been through some shit and it's definitely been a costly, difficult journey, but it also means that I'm strong. I'm skilled. I'm dedicated. I love my family and friends and worked hard to stick around for them.

And that's worth being proud of.

Just like everything else I've worked toward, I'm gonna work those baby steps. One day at a time I'm gonna cultivate that pride. Planting those seeds and no matter how long it takes, I'm gonna get them growing. I'll never stop busting my ass to be better, to stay healthy, to be here for those I love and this is just the next leg of that journey.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Rough Waters

Been a wobbly couple of days... I think having a friend babysit Baby Bananaface for the first time and going out to a dinner with my folks stirred up some emotions and made me more vulnerable to a little dip in my mood.

I keep thinking about "27 days."

I asked the hubster how many days total I stayed in the hospital between the two visits and he replied, without a moment's hesitation, "27 days." It's seared into his memory. There's so many feelings and memories and pain and struggle. It wasn't just me falling apart, it was my entire family.

It's been pretty emotional and confusing having my brain awash with gratitude for being here and alternately shame for bringing so much distress, anguish even, to my family. Thinking about those I love most and how they stood by my side through all that madness and thinking about all the things they did to get me the help I needed as well as try to keep my little family afloat in the meantime... it's overwhelming.

Thinking about where we've been is one thing, but I'm also distressed thinking about where we are now. I'm doing better, don't get me wrong, but it feels like we're barely keeping our heads above water. The hubs is fraying around the edges trying to balance all the financial stuff, spending hours on the buses going to-and-from work since our other car broke down, working on his *hopefully* last class to get his degree, helping out with BB, me, and all the other spinning gears of life. I wish I could do more for him.

I want so much to do more for him but I also have to be careful not to send myself into a tailspin. I mean, hell, right now seems like a little tailspin! All these thoughts and feelings getting the better of me. Crying in yoga class, tearing up in interval training, losing my appetite and interest. I'm trying not to become too frightened and holding onto the hope that it's a temporary, little blip, but it sure sucks seeing myself floundering like this when all I want to do is be able to help my husband.

So as I sit here typing and crying, I can feel the sadness and anger but I can also feel the love. I know that I want things to be better and I know that there ain't nothing wrong with that. It ain't all roses but I'm here and I'm trying. My family is here and we're trying. We're just all gonna have to keep it up with those baby steps and soon enough the sunnier days will return.

<3

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Argh!

It's been a bumpy few days and I think the biggest thing that is bothering me is my body issues. I ain't talking about self-consciousness or something. I'm talking about my knee bothering me---and then my lower back---and then my heel. It's cramping my style and interfering with my gym schedule!

I stayed home Friday, Saturday, and Wednesday. I even skipped cycling today after a light workout on the elliptical caused me discomfort. I'm gonna keep nursing things (hopping into an Epsom soak after this) and hopefully next week I'll be back to normal.

In other news, I had another seizure Tuesday morning. It was scary. The hubby wasn't home. I woke up in pitch black, unsure of where I was, and very disoriented. After a few minutes and knocking over some jugs of soap and tangling with the shower curtain, I realized that I was in my bathtub.

It seems that for whatever reason I slept walk to my tub and had the seizure there (as far as I can tell). There wasn't as much blood on my shirt as the couple before this but my tongue was a bit sore for a couple days.

I got in with the neurologist last minute and he upped my dose. He also showed me some MRI images that he got after our last appointment and pointed out a slight variation in my right temporal lobe that may explain things. He said some folks decide to have surgery for things like that when they can't get their epilepsy under control within a couple years. As scary as the seizures are, I think it'd have to get a lot more frequent for me to consider surgery.

So, there have been bumps lately and it's definitely got me a bit down. That said, I haven't bottomed out or started getting really negative. I reassure myself that these are temporary setbacks and that I'll most likely get back to normal soon-and if they don't, there's a good chance I can rise to the occasion and handle things regardless.

For now, a nice soak followed by some coffee, maybe an English muffin, and some reruns while I study for my terminology quiz tomorrow sounds good to me!

PS Many smiles and much pride for those that participated in the women's marches. I didn't go myself, but it sure looked beautiful from the pictures I saw. My friends that did go said it was amazing.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

One Year

One year ago today, I was in the hospital. My aunt was also in the hospital.

On this day she died after a short, nasty fight with cancer.

As much as today marks a sad event for my family, it's also a day of deep gratitude as we reflect on how far we've come. My aunt is no longer with us, but I am still here and doing a lot, a lot, a lot better. She would've liked to hear that :o)

I didn't see my aunt while she was sick, or for many months before that. Years ago I started tapering off seeing her because it was too upsetting for me. She was a big smoker and somewhere deep inside I just knew she would get sick and leave us too soon. I couldn't stand it.

It's sad, but I don't really regret my decision. I couldn't handle the sadness and the stress of watching her kill herself. I did what I had to do at the time. While I probably would've gone to see her in the end if I hadn't been in the hospital myself, I'm glad that I didn't see her like that. Instead, I can remember the Aunt Sally that meant so much to me in a happier light.


So I raise my coffee cup to my aunt as well as to myself on this anniversary of sorts. I'm glad to have shared so many wonderful years with her and glad to feel once again like I have many wonderful years ahead of me.

Love. Love. Love.

<3

Friday, January 13, 2017

Bumpy and Confusing

No, I'm not talking about a skin condition! I'm talking about a few of my days this week being bumpy and confusing.

It all started out with a bit of snit between me and the hubby. He was hangry and I was feeling confrontational. It was a little fun arguing (we don't do that very often) but it was also out of my comfort zone. It's difficult for me to argue without taking things personally and exacerbating insecurities. We worked through things but I was left shaken and off balance.

The next day was rough for me. I started noticing my mood sliding and negative self talk flaring up. The hubs and I talked more and tried to work through it but I was down. No question about it. The confusing part? I was down without being bottomed out. It was a feeling bad without feeling suicidal, hopeless, or having the urges to harm myself-it was a more normal down. I had a bad day without having a crisis!

In a way it was good to be able to just feel bad and not feel in crisis, but it was definitely odd and confusing for me. I took things a bit easier and tried to simply experience the emotions without overthinking and worrying about a relapse. It was tough, a little scary, but I made it.

I remembered to use my DBT skills along the way. Even reached out to a gym instructor to help battle back some of the negative self talk I was experiencing. (I was beating myself up for my chunky legs and not having perfect form or working the right muscle groups 100% of the time-classic Hannah hating on Hannah/perfectionism stuff)  It really helped hearing that I'm doing a good job and it was also really helpful to connect with someone instead of feeding feelings of not belonging and isolating like I was inclined to do.

So here I am Friday after a few rough days feeling like I'm coming outta the woods with a new victory to add to my books. I can have bad days without it being a crisis, or dangerous. I can experience emotions without things getting out of control! It's okay to take it easy sometimes and let things work out.

I can.

Booyeah!


In other news, it's been way cold and icy here. I'm over all the windshield scraping and slick parking lots! We don't usually have this many days below freezing and it's getting old! It's not normal for 40 degrees to feel warm, at least in our neighborhood.


Wishing everyone a happy and pleasantly warm weekend :o)

Monday, January 9, 2017

A Good Weekend

It was a good weekend. Not because anything spectacular or amazing happened. It was a good weekend because the simple things happened.


For many months I've struggled to watch or enjoy any TV or movies. If it wasn't the material triggering me or being emotionally overwhelming, my anxiety made it impossible to sit through and focus on the show. There were even times when just sitting down for a movie gave my depressed mind an open playing field for my negative and even, at times, suicidal thoughts.

The hubbo and I hadn't been able to sit down and watch something together-and truly relax-for quite a while. Last week and this weekend we were finally able to again! It was a simple pleasure, but a great time and a huge sign of progress for me.

I have to stick mostly to romantic comedies, comedies, classics, or light action (too much drama or violence and I can get scary dreams or over-stressed) but we're able to chillax and enjoy a movie together again and I'm so glad.

The hubster works hard to provide for our family and take care of me and Baby Bananaface, so he really appreciates the down time. For many moons I wasn't able to relax enough or cope with the shows-we played board or card games to keep me distracted. It was sometimes tiring or just too much for the hubster after a long day of work, cooking, and childcare.

Anywho. I've been feeling really good about this and even a bit proud. I hope to keep building my resiliency and watching more flicks that I know I enjoyed at one point in my life. Maybe I'll even test the waters with some new ones... any suggestions are much appreciated!


In other news, I wore some of the new clothes I acquired last month. A shirt my sister found for me while we were shopping and a skirt that my mom gave me for Christmas. It feels good to put an outfit together and actually put forth some effort getting dressed to go out. For so long I've just been throwing on the layers and baggy clothes, hiding in the folds and skulking about-but things are changing. Hell, I even blew dry my hair today!

Here's a pic from this weekend:


Yes, I'm rocking the sippy cup and snack bowl from BB's afternoon snack ;o)


I'm still experiencing anxiety and pretty often feel myself on the precipice of panic attacks, but more and more I'm riding the waves and utilizing those coping skills. I may not ever be symptom-free, but I'm certainly feeling more confidence about being able to cope and survive.


Happy Monday everyone, I hope y'all had good weekends too!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Cuteness!

This afternoon I picked up Baby Bananaface from daycare like the usual, but we had a special moment of uber cuteness...

He seemed to be looking across the street so I followed his gaze and saw a fluffy, labrador-sized, blonde dog hanging out in a fenced yard.

BB babbled, "Da, da," and continued to point.

"Yes! Dog!" I encouraged and smiled.

I whistled at the dog and it came to the fence and looked at us-even barked at us! BB responded with a big smile and more pointing. I asked him to wave hello to the dog and he did! More pointing, smiling, "Da, da," and joy followed. We even made "woof, woof" sounds to the dog.

It was a wonderful moment :o)




In other news, I've been doing chores around the house, preparing for my class to start on Monday, and hitting up the gym for my regular classes and some new ones. I'm trying to push myself a little more at the gym and it feels really good to get those sore muscles going again. It also feels good to be cooking for my hubby and baby, getting back on top of my household chores, and making the most of my days.

One step at a time sure gets ya places, I tell ya what!