Saturday, May 28, 2016

Shit Happens and Then You Cry

"The essential truth of life, he was coming to realize, wasn't romantic and took only two words to label: Shit. Happens."
 - J. R. Ward, Lower Mine

This is what happens.

Sometimes, this is what happens when you have an anxiety disorder. In my case, I have GED or Generalized Anxiety Disorder - which is basically a fancy name for the fact that I worry and think and over-think shit way too much. There is no "cure" - but there are ways to manage it.

Today was a rough day.

I was already feeling down and anxious - I was not having my best day as I struggle to get through this difficult bout of depression that has come with extreme anxiety spurts - otherwise known as anxiety or panic attacks.

I dropped my phone in my coffee - yes…only I would manage to do something this stupid…but I was trying to carry too much and then there I was and my phone was in my pretty-full coffee mug.


Not too much panic at first as I thought I got it out quickly enough.

But what if I didn't??!?!?

My phone! My only connection to the outside world right now!

No one knows my land line number!

I don't even don't my land line number!

I thought a very cheesy photo of a panicked lady would make this a little less of a downer post.
I'm not sure if it worked.

I never spoke to my ex on the phone so many times in a day since we separated. But started having a panic attack and his was one of a few numbers I knew off by heart - mostly because it was almost exactly the same as my own number. He had numbers - so I thought in some cases - that I needed. Our son's cell for one. Turns out he didn't have my mom's number but I ended up catching her at home shortly after.

But I digress.

From hearing about this happening to others before, I knew that putting the phone in rice was what to do in a pinch.

The only rice I had in my house was cooked, left over and in the fridge. Could quinoa work as well? It cooks the same way - absorbing water. And isn't that what the rice is doing? And I had that. So in my phone went in a big bowl-o-quinoa. Then my phone started vibrating non stop. Then I found out online the phone should be totally dry as possible and in a zip-lock bag. And that I could buy some gel shit to put it in.

But I couldn't leave the house.

I was having a panic attack as all this was going down you see.

A friend said quinoa should work OK. Apparently couscous is fine. Anyways so I tried and tried to get the vibrating to stop by turning the phone off but I could not put the fire out.

No pun intended.

My phone was getting hot. And I was afraid the battery would burn from the water and wreck my phone. It finally stopped the vibrating. Maybe a little heat dried the water but not too far. I have a feeling it is just toast. But I'll wait the couple of days to make sure before I get a news phone or see how much it would be to fix.

Pain. In. Ass.


(Like that tie-in to my other blog post - niiiiiiiiiiice)

Much more difficult to deal with right now.


As I was saying…panic attack.


Perspective Lora. Perspective!

I can't get a hold of my mom because my mom's cell phone number is on my fucking phone and I dropped my fucking phone in my coffee.

Like, who does that?!!??

As I was saying, I finally got hold of my mom. Much was right in my world now. Mom was on the phone. She is my rock. I also finally got my boyfriend on the phone. My other rock.

Remember the days of remembering important phone numbers? Like I don't even know my boyfriend of two years' phone number and I don't expect that he would know mine.  I had it written down one place else but I think it is at my office.

But I digress. I know that was predictable.

Today it was just about a phone getting wet.

Not the end of the world, right? First. World. Problem.

But, it felt worse than a national crisis to me right now. I know it's not. But it was too much.

After all that happened, My ex took my kids for the night - and I fell asleep for 8 hours straight. Panic attacks take a lot out of you. I have not slept that long in a while. 5:30 - 1:00am. Eight full hours! I missed my mom's and boyfriend's calls to my land line as it was still charging downstairs.

This is exactly what I look like when I sleep.

And so I sit here wide awake. Writing this blog. Probably will go back to bed soon.

May tomorrow be a better day.




Monday, May 16, 2016

Perspective Directive

"Optimist: Someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it's more like a cha-cha."
 - Unknown 

Sometimes all you need is a little perspective.

Perspective…directive...if you will.

I know this is a common theme-thread throughout my blog, but it begs repeating - even if only for my own benefit.

I just wish perspective was the thing that consistently kept depression and anxiety at bay.

But perspective is just that. How any ONE person sees and feels life. It's not right or wrong.

It just IS.

It can offer solace in some ways - more in the form of gratitude for the things I have in life. So many different things. But it takes more work when you're fighting this battle. And it is a battle - it's just MY battle. It's not the battle of someone suffering with ALS or cancer. But it is still a battle.

Perspective does help. I do think of those suffering from some crazy life situations and wonder how I can feel so sad sometimes.

Guilt seeps in.

Anxiety starts.

I weep.

But sometimes it can kick your ass a little if you get it at the right time. Some motivation to do something you know in your gut will be good for you.

Because you can.

A little on the cheesy image side.
The girl, running towards the light.
But I rather enjoy a nice cheese.
It's gouda.

Because there are options. Not magic potions. But options for positive and healthy change.

I kind of feel like a broken record here as I stumble very ungracefully through this. Is there any other way to do it?

If so…call me.

A mixture of medication, therapy, support from my loved ones and that inner push that comes with moments of perspective are all part of the process. That perspective forces you to ask the questions "What in my life is not working anymore? What needs to change?"

It's a culling of all aspects of life. Re-evaluation. A time for thought - too much thought for my liking - but eventually epiphanies arise. Those are the moments to grab on to. To carry you. To even propel you in some cases.

The quote at the beginning of this post. It spoke to me. I saw a photo of it online on some outdoor chalkboard from some restaurant or bar.

It really is all a dance, this life.

Sometimes the dance is fun. Sometimes it's messy and probably resembles and cha-cha or some pretty deep interpretive shit but it's a dance never the less.

This is a photo depicting an interpretive dance called "Human Sushi" apparently.
It's fucking creepy as shit.

And I've always love to dance.

So with perspective, gratitude and perseverance I will continue dancing.

Until I'm having a lot more fun again.



Thursday, May 12, 2016

This Ain't No Vacation

"Im not lazy. I'm just exhausted from  fighting myself though every, single day."
 - Mimi Love

I'm on a leave of absence from my job at the moment due to depression and anxiety.

Can I finicially afford to be off work?

Well thanks to my work benefits I do get a little bit of money…but my entire salary at the moment does not even cover my overhead costs.

I have a house. I have a car. I have three kids. Who play hockey!!

Do I want to get better and return to work?

Of course I do for the love of the baby Jesus!!

So why do some people seem to have some sort of notion that I'm on a fucking vacation?

I am pushing myself hard. I try to get out of the house. More often than not I am pushed by the realities of my life - like looking after my boys or getting groceries (both of which I get extra help for from my family) and occasionally to make the short trip to my boyfriend's place (because I tend to to feel better when I'm with the people that I love). Also, of course, doctors' appointments.

Because I live alone half the time, it is particularly hard to get myself doing much of anything at the moment. That is a symptom. I feel down and/or anxious and am so depleted of energy that my first inclination is to make it go away.

My bed is my escape of choice.

I spend a lot of time curled up in my bed agonizing how I should be doing this and doing that and doing more to get better…and hoping to fall asleep for a little reprieve from trying so hard.

I have better days than others - which is a good thing. Sometimes I am feeling down and get a little glimmer of light from somewhere and it reminds me of who I am.

And let's be clear.

I am not my depression.

It's just a shitty thing I'm dealing with. Sometimes I need to adjust things to get back on track. But I am not my depression.

What I know - at least intellectualy - is that I'm a pretty awesome chick.

I'm not perfect…but I know I'm generally a good person, a kind person, a funny person, a person who loves to laugh, a person who loves other people, a person who likes to help others and also have fun.

That's who I am.

But right now…I am taking wobbly, little steps.

For example, some days I eat fairly normally. Some days I practically don't eat at all. One day recently, my folks told me they were taking me out for lunch and so they did and I ate and while it felt good to get out I was also exhausted afterwards.

This ain't no vacation.

I have times when I can smile and laugh - but part of me still feels a certain numbness or yearning inside.  I know laughter is the best medicine - but that at the same time, sometimes I just cry instead. And I usually don't really know why. And this feels so disjointed and confusing because I have such wonderful people and things in my life. I have a lot to be happy about.

So what's the deal?!?

I ask this a lot. Because it is so fucking confusing. Even to someone going through it.

But I know it is a sickness. A chemical imbalance. Something I don't have total control over - but also it's a situation where I know I have to me my own biggest cheerleader, even when the last thing I want to do is cheer.

You have to want to get better.

And I do.

I recently went to a fundraiser event for a friend - and normally I would have actually been excited to attend. This time I felt a bit anxious and ambiguous about the whole thing. I pushed myself - and when I got there…I saw great friends and had a good time.

I even went to a huge, bucket-list-worthy concert this past week and I had a great time. But I also felt a little overwhelmed and over stimulated and…it was a lot. Again, I'm glad I went because it was a great show I will never, ever forget…but now it's over.

What do I have to look forward to now?

What is next?

What is this journey trying to teach me?

Because I know there is another side to this.

The light.

I feel like I'm moving slowly but surely in the right direction but it's a slow process. It's difficult to do things that go completely against exactly what you feel like doing when you are depressed - which is nothing.

But I push.

I set small, daily goals. I'm trying to eat healthily. I know I need to move my body more - and I know I will get there. I know I need to expand my life to include more time for my passions - like singing and acting. And I've started to explore options for this.

But doing too much all at once is too overwhelming right now. It's such a hard thing to explain to people who have never been in this place. But I'm doing the best that I can. And that has to be good enough.

I keep telling myself that it is good enough. I will get there with each, little step.

And because this is not my first rodeo, I know I will probably come out of this even stronger than I was before.

But in the meantime - this ain't no vacation.

It's work.

It's some really, really hard work.



Sunday, May 08, 2016

My Mom...My Best Friend

"Sweater, noun: Garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly" 
- Ambrose Bierce

Me and my best friend.

I know I have written about how awesome my folks are.

But I really can't express it enough.

And today being Mother's Day, I am stopping to write a post about my favourite woman on the planet.

She is truly my best friend. I'm not sure how many daughters can say that.

She is the first person I call when something good happens and the first person I call when I'm in distress.

She helps me. Like, I mean, she really helps me. With my kids, with housework, with helping me figure out life's smallest and biggest decisions - she is always there.

She is one of my favourite people to be with.

And oh shit, can we laugh!

Like…"we are out in public and we are losing our shit laughing and everyone is looking at us and we are lookin' like fools and we don't really care because we are laughing so hard" laughing.

And at the stupidest shit!

When my mom and I go out together - to a restaurant or the theatre or what have you - we are probably sitting there laughing our asses off about something. Or someone. Not in a mean way. We are just both very practiced people watchers and the littlest thing can set us off.

One of us will make a small joke about something we hear or see and then all hell breaks loose. We just don't stop. One little joke may turn into an hour-long belly-laugh session.

So. Much. Fun.

Rooting for one of my boys at a hockey game.

Or we can be doing something at home - we had one hilarious incident trying to Macgyver my son's crib back together when I moved because we didn't have instructions or even all the right screws and shit and OMG - she was in some contorted position trying to screwdriver something together and she was asking me (whom she could not see) to move back a bit more with the wire mattress foundation. And I was, like, "Mom…look at me!".

And I was pinned against the wall with this metal foundation smooshed up against my face and I could not possibly move any further. I literally had metal imprints on my face I was pinned so hard. She awkwardly had to shift her position to look and we started laughing so hard but at the same time we were trying to hold this frickin' crib together and my face was hurting but I was laughing.

The harder my mom laughed,  the harder I laughed and the more my face hurt. If we had been able to take a photo at that time we would have because it was a classic "me and my mom" moment - but we had no free hands. I hardly had a face at that point. If I had a photo to post here I would because I was looking awesome.

I share this story - which certainly falls under the "ya had to be there" category - because I know it will make my mom smile. As silly as that moment was - and as big of transition I was going through (I had just moved into my own house after my separation) - she was there with me and making me howl.

In my darkest days she can still lift me up.

Another thing I love about my mom is that she loves what she calls my "sparkle". Some people call it goofiness, kookiness, quirkiness…but she calls it my sparkle. It is my true, authentic, happy side of my personality.

I am gregarious at times, I am not afraid to act like a goof-ball and I love to make people laugh. And I love to make her laugh.

And I do. And she does the same.

Now as we all know, I struggle from time to time and my sparkle gets a little dull.

Kinda like right now.

But she knows it is still there and if anyone can pull it out of me, even during the hard times, it is her.

I could be crying on the phone with her one minute and she will have me laughing about something the next.

She just gets me.

I know so many people who have lost their moms. I've gotten to that age where this is happening to some of my friends.

I try not to think of a world without my mom in it - but the circle of life and all that - well…it happens.

Luckily my mom - at 70 years young -  has more energy than I do. She looks many years younger than her age and is like the frickin' Energizer Bunny. I honestly don't know how she does all of the things that she does.

Halloween 2015.
Yes we still dress up.

I honestly don't know how I got so lucky.

I honestly can't find the words to express how much I love her.

But knowing my mom and I…we will make up some words - because we rather enjoy doing that... and I'll get back to y'all about what we come up with.

Or not. Because somehow, something will be inappropriate in the best kind of way.

Our way.

And only we will find it funny anyways.

In the meantime - Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there. You're doing a great job!

But sorry.

My mom is the BEST!!!



Monday, May 02, 2016

Conversations With Drew: #2

"There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colours are brighter, the air is softer and the morning more fragrant than even again."
 - Elizabeth Lawrence

As promised, I am collecting all of the funny little things my little guy Drew says and have started a blog series called "Conversations With Drew". To see past posts please click on the link. He was still 4 years old at the time of these ones…many more to come.

August 13, 2015

Me: Drew do you have to go pee?
Drew: No. But thank you for asking. 

August 14, 2015

Drew: Who decided to call me Drew?
Me: Mommy and Daddy.
Drew: Well I don't want to be called Drew.
Me: Well what do you want to be called then?
Drew: Peter Parker.
Me: OK Peter Parker.
Drew: I'm not Peter Parker. I'm Drew.

August 17, 2015

Drew: I wish Blue Mountain wasn't so super duper far away. 
Me: Why?
Drew: Because if it was close it could be our house and then our house would have rides in it. 

August 19, 2015

Drew: Mama can I go upstairs and go to bed by myself?
Me: And not get tucked in by Mama and have snuggles?
Drew: Yeah. Like a big guy.
Me: If that's what you really want to do. 
Drew: No thanks.

August 21, 2015

Drew: Remember when I was not born and I ate food through my belly button from the unicorn?
Me: Pardon?
Julian (my 13 yr. old son):  Do you mean umbilical cord? Like when you were in Mommy's tummy?
Drew: Yeah. The Ubillicord unicorn thing.