Saturday, April 12, 2014

mental health confessions

I have mentioned before to a few select people that I live with anxiety, but I have felt the need to tell more people now, I live with anxiety.
Am I functioning? absolutely.
Does it affect my every day? yes.

I think a lot of it can be attributed to our lives for the past few years. For so long, we have been so poor, and have had trial after trial, we were in what I like to call "crisis-solving mode", which is an extended period of panicking, essentially.

The thing is, once you've been in a state of panic for months on end, it makes it very hard to turn off that panic switch. Whether it was being unable to pay our bills, being dropped from medicaid, missing an important deadline at school, having the car completely die, or receiving death threats... life has been pretty non-stop for a long time.

And in some ways this was a good thing. It pushed me towards my PhD, and helped me learn early on that in order to have stability and peace we would need for me to get a higher education.

But now that things are starting to line up, I just cannot turn off my panic switch. Little things are panic-worthy, or in my mind, they must be panic-worthy because in the past, everything has been panic-worthy.

One of these days I will be able to re-train my brain to accurately asses perceived threats and actual threats. But today is not that day. Today is the day that I had a panic attack in the car because Jeff and I arrived late to the move theater. But today is also the day that I can fully admit that was silly, and move forward to a new day with more hope for less panic.

now here is an adorable picture of me tickling maddie. it has nothing to do with this post. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2014: A Season for Self-Care

2013 was pretty insane. 

- maddie turned one
- Jeff started a new job
- I started my Master's
- I applied for PhD programs
- I started working at the Crisis Nursery
- I started doing research again and subsequently got a book chapter publication deal
- I started a website  (we also have a Facebook page, a pinterest page, and a twitter account!) 
- I mastered Geriatric Pilates

If you take a look at that list you may understand why I am declaring 2014 a year for self-care. I just took on too much last year. 

My hopes for 2014: 

- I will take time to breathe. 
- I'll hope to get into a PhD program and be ok with no matter what happens. 
- I'll stop feeling guilty for not being a perfect mom.
- I will learn to laugh at stressful situations.
- I will listen to what my body is telling me. (meaning I should go to sleep now.)
- I will be healthy. 

One thing that continues to remain the same, I have an amazing family. Jeff continues to be the most amazingly supportive spouse who just gets me, my anxiety, and my sense of humor. Maddie is becoming the most incredibly hilarious little person. She has her daddy's looks, and her momma's personality. I love her. 

Here are some of the highlights from 2013!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

How to be a Christian and not be bigoted towards our LGBT brothers and sisters

I recently posted this as my status on facebook and a friend of mine requested that I also post it in my blog. So, here it is! 

Duck Dynasty. 

I am going to open a can of worms here because I honestly know that it is the right thing to do. 
Christian friends, there is a way to support marriage between a man and a woman that does not involved insulting and your LGBT friends and family. There is a difference between supporting your political beliefs, and making bigoted comments. Saying "I support marriage between a man and a woman" is not hateful. Comparing those who are gay and lesbian to bestiality is bigoted, and hurtful, and it will get you no where.

Let me explain. I'm currently pursuing my Doctorate in Psychology, and I'm doing research for the American psychological association. I'm currently working on two projects; the first of which studies the prejudice and microaggressions that LGBT populations face and how it affects their well-being, the second of which is something near and dear to my heart, which is about how to help LGB clients stay in their religion while struggling with their sexual identity. 

I have met hundreds of God's children who desperately want to stay in their religion but who are pushed out because of comments exactly like Robert's. There is a way to support marriage between a man and a woman without insulting someone who is gay or lesbian by comparing who they are to bestiality. 

This is a topic that I could literally go on for days about, but just please understand that through my research I have come to believe that as Christians we have a greater responsibility to be loving and accepting to our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. Insulting them, and thereby inadvertently pushing them away from God is just not the answer. 

I don't judge you for your beliefs - I completely understand them. I do, however, feel a moral obligation to comment on things that are anti-gay. Had Roberts simply said "I support marriage between a man and a woman", I would have thought "good for him!" And moved on. But because I have seen firsthand how comments like Roberts' can lead those who are LGBT to depression, anxiety and even suicide, and lead them away from God, not towards him, I feel a moral obligation to speak out against it.

***As a side note, I would like to clarify that I personally support marriage equality. But being an LGBT ally who does research specifically about LGBT populations and religion, I have had the unique opportunity to see how Christians unintentionally push away their brothers and sisters, and how many of those who are LGBT become hardened to religion. There is more common ground on both sides than we think, and it starts with speaking more kindly on this topic, and being aware of how what you say can affect others. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Running on fumes.

I have been feeling pretty down lately. Part of that was a stomach flu that I caught at work. That literally brought me down... to my knees... in front of a toilet. blehk.

But honestly, I am reaching the end of my "how does she do it all" energy pool. And by that, I mean that I have been really motivated all year long to go to school, do research, work a part-time job, and be a stay at home mom.

But I'm reaching my limit.

So many people have told me that they admire me for everything that I do, and look up to me.

Please, don't. 

What you don't get to see are the hours I've spent crying because I have so much to do and so little time to do it. The guilt that I have felt that instead of enjoying my time at home with maddie, I spend it fighting falling asleep while playing with her, or bouncing her in my lap while typing up research papers. You don't get to see me driving to work fighting back hot tears because I'll be spending another weekend with other children than my own, or the times I have called Jeff and pleaded with him to have lunch at home instead of at work because I have only ever gotten to see him in passing. 

So yeah. I'm a little tired. I'm running on fumes.

But I also know that this guilt I feel is felt by pretty much all women. I guess I just needed to tell you that my energy isn't endless, and my life isn't perfect. It's just easier to post about the good stuff on facebook than it is the bad.

And I need maddie to know that I am really sorry for how many times I have stuck her in front of the TV to go escape and take a shower. I hope that you know, my maddie bear, that if you aren't potty trained by two, know your ABCs, or the difference between a circle and a square, it won't be because you're not incredibly smart, because you are. It's just because your mom and dad are busy sacrificing so that we can hope to give you a better future.

and now I have to go, because while I was attempting to pour myself a bowl of cereal, you, my sweet daughter, managed to poop on my couch.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Adventures at the Gym

So Jeff and I recently joined a gym. It has been SUCH  good investment in my physical and my mental health - I get to workout, and I get an hour away from maddie while she gets some great socialization at the gym's daycare.

However, every time I go, there is always something hilarious that happens. so much so that I'm thinking about starting a mini-series here on the blog.

Here was the first thing, posted about on my facebook:

So this week, to shake things up from being a failed ballet dancer, I decided to take a kick boxing class. Way more up my alley.
Except the class was in the middle of the day, so half of the class ended up being senior citizens, which wasn't a problem - they just used modifications. The class was still REALLY hard.
But at one point in the class, the teacher yelled out "time to go turbo!!!" which meant that we (the people my age) had to do everything in double time while the other half of the class just sat back and laughed at us.

In fact, they thought it was so funny that one woman, named barb, yelled out "that was great, do it again!"

so we did. and the seniors continued to laugh at us. They even demanded that we do it a third time.

No thanks, Barb. You try going turbo and then we'll talk.

Pilates is tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Puppy Chronicles

We say that maddie's first word was "mama", but let's get real. That wasn't her first intentional word. that was random babbling that happened upon a word that I interpreted as her calling out for me.

her first real, intentional word was "PUHPEEE???" otherwise known as puppy.

Ever since that day, it has been puppy everything.

here are some examples:

  • when maddie first wakes up for the day and I walk in her room, she asks where our dog is - "puppeee???" 

  • any time maddie sees any life form, she declares it a puppy. we went to the petting zoo and had some pretty angry petting zoo workers after maddie called the cows, goats, and pigs all puppies. 

  • any time I have to brag her to go anywhere, I promise her that there will be puppies in the car. I know, I'm a terrible mother. She'll get over it eventually. 

  • Maddie likes to pretend to talk on my phone. This is how her conversations go: 
"puppy? no no no. more. more puppy. apple? no no no. puppies. Puuhhpeee?!"

  • When I tell maddie to go find dada, she goes and finds buddy (our dog.)  

  • If maddie wakes up in the middle of the night, she howls like a dog. "aaaahooooooo" 

  • maddie rings the doorbell every chance she gets to make buddy bark so she can say "woof woof" with him. 


Thank goodness she's a dog person. I don't know what we would have done if she was a cat lover.  

you better believe we will be buying her this for Christmas

Friday, August 9, 2013

Reasons I love Portlandia

#10 Tillamook Ice Cream. Forget everything you know about ice cream. 

#9 I saw this in Portland, and I wasn't surprised. a metal horse statue that was urinating. 'Cause you know, ART. 

#8 This Pink Trolley. 

#7 This is a Sign that says Portland. 

#6 This kid Loves the beach. 

#5 I mean, this kid LOVES the beach. 

#4 Seeing cars like these is totally normal. 

 #3 this view is all around you, pretty much all of the time. 

#2 This Kid also happens to really love nature. and water. and dirt. and mud. 

#1 Nature. You don't have to go looking for it in Oregon, it's just all around you. 
I miss that the most.