Friendship and Mental Health

Wow!  I have taken such a long break from my blog, but it’s been a crazy and hectic new year so far.  Things have finally quieted down a little and this felt like the perfect moment to do an update.  My life was thrown a pretty big curve ball in January.

If I thought the stress of last summer was getting to me, it was nothing compared to the beginning of this year.  Long story short…my best friend and roommate, the person a consider my sister…attempted suicide.  Depression is a serious thing!  I’ve always known that, but until you have to deal with something like this, you will never know how bad it can be.

I knew she was “a little down” during the holidays.  I put this in parenthesis because it was so much more serious than that.  She had talked to me a little about it and I would try my best to give her encouraging words.  Obviously it didn’t help.  When a person has it in their head that all is lost, there’s not much you can do to defeat the negativity.  Of course, I didn’t know how severe the situation was until January 2nd when the attempt was made.  I thank God everyday that she was unsuccessful and that she came to her right mind to call someone for help!  I don’t really want to go into details, but I’m so happy that she failed in each attempt.

At the time, the house was getting a little overhaul with paint so my mind was also preoccupied with other things.  But all in all, I feel that I missed the signs.  I should have asked more questions and checked in on her more regularly, but we are not your typical roommates.  We don’t spend every day today and sometimes can go days without seeing or speaking.  That was normal.  We both like our space.  So, the only thing that seemed out of the ordinary was how quiet she seemed.  Normally, I could hear her television or music going in her room, but that month of December, it was just quiet.  She just generally seemed disengaged.  Also, she had stopped answering people’s calls.  This isn’t really abnormal for her as she isn’t super attached to her phone, but we were planning a trip for Christmas and the day before…she just wouldn’t answer anyone’s call.  I started asking if she was okay and if she needed anything and she would just say that she was sick.  She had been having stomach issues.  She also said she had the chills or flu like symptoms, which in hindsight I believe the negative thinking and depression had started to produce physical ailments.  I’ve learned so much about depression in these last months and we’ve had to change up a few of our norms.

Now, I have to constantly check in with her.  She was hospitalized for two weeks and now have a therapist and psychiatrist.  I have to check her medications. I’ve tried to incorporate at least one night a week where we can sit down at the dinner table and eat and just generally catch up with things.  I am trying not to be to intrusive and still allow her space…because she has insinuated her need for that BUT I also realize that I can’t give her the space that I once did.  Since I am the person that is around her the most, I feel the most responsible for making sure that she is keeping up with her mental health and utilizing all of the coping mechanisms that she has been taught. It’s still a little stressful because this is a big change.

All I really want to say to everyone who may be dealing with something like this is to be aware.  If your loved one is acting differently and just don’t seem to be engaged in communicating with your or just in life in general.  Ask Questions!  Keep Asking Questions!  Keep checking on them even if it seems over the top.  Get them help even when they tell you they don’t want it.  Take them to the ER even though they may not want to go.  Call for help.  That’s all.

Til next time…….

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Today is the day to vote!

There are two things that I took from my 9th grade Civics class.  I know that was forever ago, but that just tells you that I learned something

Thing number one is a quote that was posted up on his black board with is:  A person that thinks by the inch and talks by the yard should be kicked by the foot.    This has followed me for many years and have given me pause before to think before speaking.  So far..it’s worked for me.

Thing number two is the importance of exercising my right to vote.  I have voted in almost every election since I turned 18.  I want my voice to be heard even though sometimes I think it isn’t.  It’s important.  People died for that right!  I won’t squander it even when things are looking bleak.  I will still let my opinion know.  I hope that you will too.

Talk to you all soon….

What a summer

Whew!  What a summer I’ve had.  It was full of stress and eventually peace of mind.  One of the big things that I did was finally sell my mother’s house.

I realize that I have been holding on to my mother’s house because it was one of the last remaining things that I could physically see and touch.  I struggled with the decision because of that but in the end…I couldn’t afford to keep it.  Not only that, but when I finally went back this summer, it just did not feel like hers anymore.  The place needed a lot of work and when I walked in, I just couldn’t feel her presence there anymore. I know that is a weird thing to say, but it’s true. I knew almost instantly that I was ready to let go.  So, it is done and I am at peace with the decision.

Also, I had not been getting my hair relaxed for the last two years.  In my heart, I knew I didn’t really love that decision but I decided to give it a try.  Well, my hair had been doing somewhat ok, but this summer it went crazy.  It started falling out non-stop.  Nothing I did was saving it or making it better.  It was just hard to manage and take care of.  Somedays, there were tears shed at the thought of having to even do it. I finally made the decision with the help of my hairdresser to put my relaxer back in and I felt so good after it was done!  I felt like myself again.

So between selling my house and getting my hair situation, all is so much better than when July first hit.  I’m ready for the holiday season!

Til next time….

There will be better days

****Random Thoughts****

After my mother passed away in 2004, I was so down that I just felt numb.  I remember thinking at that time that I no longer cared what happened to me.  My exact thoughts were “I could die tomorrow and I wouldn’t care.”  I was numb to everything.  It felt as if I were in a black hole and everything just was constantly swirling.  My mind was swirling, my body even felt like it was moving in circles when I would lay down.

I had issues with feeling depressed before my mother passed away.  I had even been temporarily put on medication.  The reasons for my issues were always that I just didn’t feel happy.

About a month after I was put on anti-depressants, I went home to my mom and she asked why I was depressed.  At the time, I probably told her that I didn’t know.  I knew why I was.  It’s the reason that I feel a lot of people are.  Failure.  I preface this next information with I knew my mother was very sick and I knew that my mother was going to pass away at some point sooner than later.  After I told my mother about the antidepressants,  my mother looked me in the eye and said “Sharon, I have a terminal illness.  I’m going to die.  I’m on anti-depressants. ”  This was her way of pretty much telling me that I should not feel bad about my life.  I’m sure she said more, but this was the main part that I remembered.

My point in writing this down is pretty much to remind myself that there will be better days.  I have a lifetime ahead of me (hopefully).  I have time to change the things that I’m not happy with and I just have to stay patient and keep powering through.

I’m not on medication.  I still have down days and times where I just feel worthless and as if nothing will ever go my way.  When I’m feeling like this, I always think of my mom and her words to me.  So I take a break, gather my thoughts, take a deep breath and prepare for tomorrow.

Til next time…….

 

Update on my New Year Goals

Well, it has been some time since I wrote on my blog.  Half the year is gone and I have been thinking about how I have done with my goals for the new year.    There has been some good and some not so good.

The good has been that I successfully paid off one credit card and have managed to keep it paid off.  Now I’m working on the next one. I successfully eliminated meat from my diet for the entire month of January. It was an interesting and eye opening experience.  Once I put my mind to it, I did not have any issues at all with the no meat thing.  I altered a lot of meals to be meatless just by adding mushrooms.  I may decide to do another month in the future.

I was incredibly focused on my goals during the month of January, but one goal fell well short!  Physical fitness, weight loss, etc.  Honestly, I did nothing.  I concentrated on the eating and finances, but did not incorporate any changes to my exercise habits which is one thing that I really wanted to do.  I really do need to get it in gear for health reasons.  I am going to continue to work on this.

Well, that’s it.  I hope to have even better news to share in the future.

Til next time…..

Happy New Year! 2018

^The picture above was at my personal trainer’s studio many years ago.

It’s a new year!  I am extremely happy to see the back end of 2017.  It wasn’t a horrible year, but it wasn’t a great one either.  I honestly can’t say that I achieve a single goal that I wanted in 2017.  As a matter of fact, I was very lax in everything last year.  I did nothing.  Well, I’m determined to make this year different.  I honestly want to take charge of my health and finances this year.  I’ve decided to tackle it month by month instead of making a goal for the year.  Well, I guess taking charge of my health and finances would be my goal for 2018, but I’m going to break it down in monthly goals.

My health is something that I need to get in control of.  Here is the honest truth..I’m diabetic and I have high blood pressure.  It’s not a good thing.  At all.  About 10 years ago, this started to rear its ugly head and I did my best to get out in front of it by hiring a personal trainer to help me with my fitness.  I was very involved in my nutrition by reading and researching everything I could online.  I counted calories, I stopped eating processed food.  I stopped drinking soda. I had pizza every once in a while (maybe once every other month).  I was ON IT!  And I was successful.  I dropped 50 lbs.  I lost many many inches and I felt good.  But, it was hard!  Anyone who tells you healthy living is easy is lying to you.  It was hard.  It was so hard only drinking water and taking more than 10 minutes looking over a menu when going out with friends to see what I could eat.  It came easier with time, but..still…it was hard.  At some point, I hit a plateau and that is honestly the most frustrating part of losing weight.  Plus I started to have financial problems because the recession was starting to hit….so I ended up losing momentum.

Well, here we are many years later and I’ve completely gotten off the wagon. I stopped working out.  I stopped paying attention to what I’m eating and here I am..taking pills for blood pressure and diabetes.  I don’t like it at all, so it has to change.  My goal for the month of January is to exercise five days a week.  I have a treadmill in my bedroom right next to the bed.  There is no excuse to not hop on it almost every single day for an evening walk.  So…there it is.  In writing.  Five days a week in the month of January.  I will add on to this goal in February.  Small steps is all I need.

Next is finances.  My finances spiraled out of control last year.  I did start to change things in the fall of last year, so I just want to continue that path.  I hate being in debt.  I hate credit cards.  I would love to pay cash for everything and have extra cash on hand for emergencies. I hope to never have to pick up a credit card again!  Again, when I bought my house over 10 years ago, I was completely debt free.  I had paid off every single credit card I had.  It was great.  I felt so accomplished.  I had set a goal and followed through.  I was proud of myself for doing it.  Today, I have about five credit cards, all with balances.  I’m ready to get rid of them all and that’s going to be my goal for 2018.  The month of January, I’m tackling the first card.  Lowe’s.  My goal is to pay this card completely off in January.  It’s about $160, but that’s money that I can free up to tackle the next card.  I also plan on putting about $200 in savings during January.  I plan on doing this by not dining out AT ALL during the month of January.  I will only eat what I have in the house.  I will be doing a strict monthly budget so that I can work to get both of these goals done and maybe even get a running jump on the February goal.

Well…here we go.  It’s all in writing. These are my goals for January.  2018 is a year for advancement.  Same old me…just a better version.

What will you be doing in 2018?

Talk to you all soon……..

 

Ms. Independent?

I’m a forever single girl.  It’s my lot in life.  Because of this, I’m pretty independent.  I have to be. I don’t have anyone to fall back on if stuff happens.  The only person that I had to fall back on was my mom and she’s been gone for many years.  So now…it’s just me, and that’s ok.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m a strange one because I spend the majority of my time alone and I like it. I’m used to it.  I grew up being used to it.  See, not only am I a single girl…I’m an only child.  I have always had to entertain myself when there was no one around.  I grew up spending a lot of time with friends and cousins, but mostly I was by myself.

When I was a teenager, I once saw this lady who I believe may have been in her 40’s walking across a street mumbling to herself about no needing anyone.  I always think this is a strange thing to remember because it was so random.  I sometimes wonder if that was younger me seeing a vision of older me? It’s odd to remember it so vividly, when I may not even remember what I had for dinner yesterday.

Sometimes I think that it would have been nice to have someone to lean on. Sometimes I just don’t want to deal with things and it would be good to have someone say “I got you.” Then I come back to reality and just try my best to pull out my inner girl boss and handle stuff.

Anyways…these are just my early morning jumbled thoughts.

Til next time….