I gotta be ME

I had an epiphany yesterday. I realized that a lot of my heartache is because I am holding onto a life and a person that no longer exists. I have expectations in relationship to past experience and memories that don’t apply to my life anymore.

I am me, but I’m not the “me” I used to be. Having a baby forever changed who I am. Who my baby is, his health, changed how I look at everything. Someone asked me yesterday if I think things went sideways for me after I had my little man because he has a metabolic disorder, and if he didn’t if I would have sunk so far into postpartum. I could only answer…I don’t know. That was not my experience and I have no reference point, no way to know if I would have “bounced back” and all of that.

He looks so healthy there are days I forget. Then we have a day where you can tell he doesn’t feel well, or an “if’y” diaper, and as his momma I fret again, and watch everything he does until some time goes by and I relax…and then the whole cycles starts again.

The carefree, unhindered, slightly selfish person I was before him is long gone. Now I barely take the time to get my hair done, have a hot bath (by myself!) or do anything with friends. Correction: I never do anything with my friends. Wait…do I even have friends anymore?! But I digress…

The point is, my life is different and things aren’t going to be the same again. Ever. This isn’t bad. This is great since I always wanted kids, and he’s such a joy. I just have to let go…and that might mean my job as well.

I know a lot of full-time working moms. Times are hard enough now that it’s almost impossible to live off of one parent’s salary alone. I am not trying to get out of working. I just feel that the stress of my current job is making my life hard. I’ve walked a fine line with my employer since I got back from maternity leave…a year ago. I have been on write-up since then, which is very stressful because I haven’t until now thought about what I would do without a job. We need the income, but does it have to be at a job that I feel like I’m failing every day? Does it have to be from me working like a dog all day long and taking abuse from people over the phone? Does it have to be at the expense of my self-esteem, and happiness and health? I have finally realized this does not have to be my reality for the rest of my working life. I can find a new job, or stay home and find other ways to earn additional income. I can be the mom I know I’m capable of, and want to be every day for my son.

Every day at work is a stretch for me. I have to dig deep to find my optimism, and my smile for people that do deserve for me to be at my best. I talk to people all day, and not all of them are rude, or mean. I love my coworkers, and most of my bosses. I don’t have arguments with anyone, I am professional, I know my job…I just have a work environment that isn’t very flexible. I am timed all day long. When did I clock in? When did I go to lunch? How many bathroom breaks did I take? I wish I was kidding, but this has become my reality at work. Most days I’m reduced to a statistic and a number, and I either pass or I fail everyday. Literally I get a pass or fail grade on my record. Believe me, it’s a lot easier to fail than it is to pass. I have a smaller bladder I swear since being pregnant and that alone means I might fail every day if I drink too much water. It’s exhausting. As if I’m not tired enough already because I’m a mom of a busy toddler. I’m not type A enough for this job, and it’s not where I’m meant to be anymore.

I had a small breakdown over something trivial at work but it just added up to a difference in my work environment, and since I’m already stretched so thin just to perform well enough to keep my job I snapped. We’ll call it the straw, if you know what I mean. I flat-out told my boss I’m looking for a new job, and that for someone who claims to want her employees to be happy she doesn’t seem to care that much when something affects them. I instantly regretted it, and it’s very out of character for me, but it was out there before I even had time to rethink it. I spoke with another supervisor in my office about my issues, went to lunch and when I came back I took a very important call. The customer at the end of the line yesterday afternoon gave me hope, and changed my thinking. She’s my age, has two small children, and stays at home. She was so inspirational and encouraged me to make the leap to staying home with my son, and enjoying every minute while he is little. I sat for a moment after that call and cried silent tears and thanked God for giving me direction, and pointing the way for me.

I have to wait it out here for a few more months because…we are still trying to buy a house. I don’t feel like the timing is right for me to quit right now. I know things will work out how they are supposed to. In the meantime, my fortune from lunch today says I’m getting a new job soon! Yay!!! 🙂

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Why I don’t take pills…

I wish my super power was to be able to see the future. I don’t care about flying, or super strength, or invisibility…I wanna know what’s going to happen three hours, three days, three months from now.

In an earlier blog I promised to discuss why I don’t take meds, and how I got to this place without them. Those were better days when I blogged that. I question my own issues, and decisions a lot lately.

I am in a slump. I don’t think my hormones are right, and I feel terrible. I saw my naturopath but I’m thinking about seeing a new doctor. I haven’t seen my therapist in months…we’ve discussed this already.

I have had antidepressants prescribed to me no less than 5 times in the last 3 years. I have not taken a single pill out of any of those prescriptions. This doesn’t come out of a prideful place, or a judgement that they won’t help…this is out of fear. I have no judgement for those taking something. I actually envy them a little because I’m sure they feel better.

But back to the point…I am afraid. I wouldn’t say that I have a phobia, but I’ve never asked a therapist either, so maybe I do. I am afraid of taking medicine. I’m actually afraid of taking anything pill like in general. It was a stretch on some of my worst days to take vitamins, but if I think I’m losing my mind now, it was a million times worse when I didn’t at least take my D and a multi. I finally had to just suck it up and start taking those things regularly.

I can’t tell you where the fear came from, when it started, or why. I just know that at different points in my life it’s been worse or effected me more than others.

So, antidepressants…good idea for someone like me…if I could talk myself into them. I’m afraid of side effects, I’m afraid of not being myself, and I’m afraid of having to continue to take them for the rest of my life.

My fear of things that I take into my body does stretch to foods. I am afraid of new things and having an allergic reaction. What’s weird about this? I don’t have lots of allergies to food. In fact I have…none. No verifiable allergies to food. Yet I fear it and every new food item I eat the fear rises up, and I gotta fight it and just eat it and wait. While I was pregnant and right after this issue was terribly exacerbated. Remember previous fear that I’ll die and not get to see my baby grow up, or let him down somehow…

Phew. I’m a mess! It feels better to admit stuff, but it also feels worse. Where did all of my anxiety and fear come from?! I didn’t use to have this issue!

It’s always worse in the morning and if I’m feeling sick, which is a lot lately. I have acid reflux, and pollen allergies, which together some days make it hard for me to breathe. The other thing that makes it hard to breathe? My anxiety! Some days I just pray I make it. Please let my heart continue to beat, and my lungs to continue to fill with air. I swear some days I have to tell myself to breathe!

On days that I feel great, happy, upbeat, I don’t question why I don’t take anything. It’s the days that I struggle that I wonder about my own sanity and why I don’t just take something already!!

These are the things running around in my brain today after I cried all the way to work, got a pep talk from my husband, and instant messaged a co-worker who knows I struggle to see if I could be strong enough to make it through another day.

In the meantime, afternoons are easier and most days by dinner I’m right as rain. I did a potato salad last week, as well as chicken parm (not same day) and the chicken tortilla soup that I love but never gave you the recipe. It’s super easy, crock pot made, and delightfully yummy all at the same time. Here we go!

Potato salad-
I like red potatoes, with their skins, you use what you like. 4 or 5, cut up and then cook in boiling water, or peel and cook them while, your preference.
I used about 5 pieces of pepper crusted bacon cooked the day before at breakfast, and refrigerated, then crumbled in.
4-5 hard boiled eggs
2-3 stalks of celery ( I like the crunch I’m my salad)
Miracle whip (use mayo if you like)
Pickles, dill
Yellow mustard
Paprika

When I say that this is a “dump” recipe I mean I literally just throw it all together. There’s a lot of eyeballing and taste testing that happens. I like texture with my potato salads as well as a certain level of salt plus crunch and creamy that I seek. It was delightful and only lasted like a day.

Chicken parm-
Boneless skinless chicken breasts. Either buy them as thin as possible or cut in half or pound flat with a mallet. I usually only do about 3 breasts unless someone is coming for dinner. Hubs doesn’t eat leftovers…
Marinara-homemade or jarred. No judgement here
Shredded parm cheese, at least 1/2 cup, I like a little bit more…
Bread crumbs, again you can buy these. I like the Italian flavored kind.
Shredded mozzarella, however much you want
2 tbsp melted butter or olive oil
Salt
Pepper

Preheat oven to 450 and spray a baking dish or cookie sheet with non stick spray. Combine parm and bread crumbs, season if you’re using non seasoned crumbs. Brush breasts with butter or oil, and then dip in crumbs and place in baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes, flip over and bake another 5.
Spoon marinara over the top of each breast and sprinkle the mozzarella over top and bake another 5 minutes. I usually serve over cooked spaghetti noodles and with a little extra parm. Yummy!

The tortilla soup was the best of all of this food goodness.

2-3 frozen or unfrozen chicken breasts
3 cups chicken broth
1 can of no salt added black beans
1 can of Rotel with chilis
1 can of petite diced tomatoes no salt added
1 can of corn no salt added
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 medium onion diced
1-2 jalapeño, diced (I left these out)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 lime

Put all of the ingredients except the lime into your crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Shred the chicken with two forks. Right before serving squeeze a slice of lime into each bowl. Serve with tortilla chips and avocado.

See? Even depressed mommas can still cook. Tonight is meatloaf and baked potatoes!

The bright side

What is WRONG with me this week?!?!

I’m going to start this post with a “thankful” list.

I’m thankful for today
I’m thankful for my husband
I’m thankful for my baby
I’m thankful for my job
I’m thankful for my health

There is so much more I should list here but as of now I am abbreviating and only listing the top 5. I was hoping this little exercise would make me feel better, but I find I still have the small urge to cry. You know that feeling that sits at the back of your eyes and throat all at the same time. The urge to give in and sob till you can’t breathe and you just feel dried out, and wrung out. I want to drown my sorrows in food I shouldn’t eat, and dark corners that I sit in alone and sulk, feel sorry for myself.

It’s true I’ve been sick this week, and that part of my problem is hormone related. I just don’t know where or when I took a giant step backwards. Worst of it all…I can’t really tell anyone. I’m embarrassed and ashamed, and I know I’m sick of my own sadness so others must really be sick of me.

I know it’s isolating and unhelpful to act like I’m fine. I’ve read the stories, recently even, of people my age, with children and good jobs, that had reasons to live, yet committed suicide after battling depression for a long time. I know the statistics, I’ve heard the examples, I’ve talked to my recent therapist, and a few before her, about all of the ins and outs, and yet here I sit. I still make excuses to people who see me sitting at my desk, eyes glassy and red rimmed. I tell them my allergies/cold/eye makeup is making me crazy.

Then I think about my vitamin D levels, and options not requiring drugs or therapist bill that I can’t afford, to feel better.

I have a hair appointment tonight. My usual remedy to a funk is a hair trim or dye. Today may not be the day to do anything drastic.

I pray to God. I ask him to please help. I don’t always understand myself where my sadness comes from. I know I feel the weight of time slipping through my fingers. I know I am clinging to every moment with my baby. I know I feel horrible about myself. I also know there is an upside to everything.

This week I can’t find the bright side. I may just have that cry, eat something horrible for me, and regroup tomorrow.

My heart is achey….and I need a hug

Isn’t this always the truth with someone who suffers from depression?

I’m on my second post today…mostly to keep myself a little sane. I’m home sick, without my son to car e for I find my mind a not so welcome place to be. I live for him. He directs my day and helps me keep putting one foot in front of the other. He’s the reason I can be happy, and plan fun things in the future.

I took to the Internet this afternoon to distract myself from the dull ache in my head, and instead I have developed a dull ache in my heart. I read a blog about an abused and eventually murdered child, a thank you letter to someone’s parents for being wonderful, and an alcoholic woman. I read about a struggling wife, and an entry to the weekly writing challenge about girls trying to fit in at school. All of the blogs I read today helped to remind me of how much we all struggle to be happy and enjoy our lives.

My biggest fear is failing my son. I worry I won’t live long enough to teach him to be good, or that somehow I won’t be able to raise a son that enjoys his own life. I worry I’ll damage him either because I don’t know how to parent or because I die before I can. I’ve never felt so responsible for someone as I have for him since he was born. It never mattered before if I failed, or died alone. I think this might be the root of my anxiety. Being responsible for how someone turns out is a HUGE thing! I’m scared. 15 months after his birth and I’m still scared. It’s that fear that drives everything. I can’t quit my job-bubba needs things, and I gotta find a way to buy a house and plan for retirement so he doesn’t have to take care of his momma. I gotta find a way to not be that depressed mom who lays around, and I need to be healthier so that I can live long enough to see him grow up, and I gotta find a way to protect him from bullies and child molesters and cruel people…

All of this is overwhelming for someone who deals daily with depression. I meant what I said when I blogged that depression is like an addiction. It’s hard to move away from and quit. I know technically depression is a disorder, a disease, but in some ways, and maybe just for me, it’s also a choice. Today is harder than most because I’m struggling with a hormonal imbalance, but really that’s just a more explainable excuse.

In the end, the moral of the story, and all of that garbage is…I’m vulnerable, and sad, and today I need a hug and a word of encouragement, and a validation that I am a great mom, and that I can’t and won’t mess the most important job of my life up too much.

Migraine

My head is my enemy lately. Prior to three days ago I would tell you that I have had maybe 3 migraines ever. Today, I would tell you I’m working on a three day migraine. It’s horrible. For someone who already feels like I’ve missed valuable time with my baby and being happy and present in my life it makes me just wanna have a huge cry fest. I had my husband drop my son off at the sitters today because I couldn’t hardly function when I got up this morning. I managed to bathe him, dress him, and feed him before he left, but I was not going to be able to do much more. I collapsed in bed right after he left and slept, which didn’t even help that much. I’m crying now typing this up because I’d give anything for a fun pain free day with my baby, and I miss him when he’s gone. I missed Sunday with him too because I was in so much pain that day. I should have kept him home today. The migraine has receded back to just a plain headache, but my vision is still a little blurred, which means I shouldn’t drive to get bubba.

This is the point where I hear the voice of my therapist in my head say “mother’s cupboard is empty, and you need to take today to restock the cupboard or tomorrow it will still be empty, and you won’t be able to give your baby what he needs”.

*scowl*

She would be right of course, but I hate to admit that.

For now, I do need rest, more meds, and for my hormones to stop making my brain swell. On the upside, my sweet Boston terrier is right with me today. She’s an expert snuggler.

No recipe, I haven’t been eating much except toast and chicken noodle soup. There is a potato salad scheduled to be made, but we’ll see.

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Mental illness is a crazy thing…

I am told I’m not really a crazy person, and that I just play one on TV.

In all seriousness, my version of crazy is VERY mild compared to what it could be. It is enough to drive me to wanna drink…if I could talk myself into it.

It’s been a very up and down few weeks. This week, being a short one, has still felt very long. This could be due to the fact that we were denied our first attempt at a home loan over the weekend…through the mail no less. We then heard from the loan officer and my husband’s debt to income ratio is too high (we thought this might happen) and my score is boarder line (also a prediction on my part). It was a little depressing to have someone tell you, in actual spoken words, what is wrong with you according to the financial world. I wanted to explain all of the different circumstances that went into our positions individually, but then I remembered…they don’t give a s*#^. My husband looked defeated for a few days and then it was like his mental coping mechanism kicked into high gear and he started coming up with solutions. That’s my man!

The real problem lately is that when I’m stressed, it affects my mind in weird ways. I end up having some cyclical thought patterns, and weird dreams, and some days I can’t always distinguish between dream and reality. It sounds a lot scarier than it really is. Or maybe I’ve just managed my anxiety about it.

I will say this…at times like this, my memory is TERRIBLE! I can’t hardly remember what I had for breakfast today, let alone, what I was supposed to buy at the store (hence why I never grocery shop without a list). I need to get some memory supplements or something. I’m going to be old before my time and that’s not good.

My mental state is so boarder line anymore. I bounce between irritability and depression very quickly, and then back. I blame my hormones on the odd numbered days of the month, and a lack of vitamin D on the even, but who knows anymore what the real reason is….except maybe good old fashioned depression. Again, I stopped seeing my therapist so I could pay off the bill. I am not sure when I’m paid up if I’ll go back.

All I really know, and this makes me tear up…is that I want to be the best momma I can. My little man is too little to be yelled at yet, and he doesn’t deserve for me to lose my paticence with him because he’s busy and likes to explore EVERYTHING. I look at his chubby cheeks, and fingers, and thighs, and try to remember everything because he won’t be little for very long. I get sad when I see people post the pictures of their kids going off to school because I know bubba will do that sooner than I’d like. I literally have to ward off a good crying jag when I take a minute to realize how much of his life his momma has been in a dark place in her mind, and that I’ll never get that time back. I can’t get that back. My mind is my enemy and my savior all at the same time. If I never remember anything except that precious little boy as he was when he was small I will still smile every day. He is mine. He is my baby always. He is my love.

Dinner the last few nights have been various different things, we had grilled burgers last night, no recipe really, just good cheeseburgers with a pasta salad. The salad I’ll list here because I just winged it, and it turned out soooooo good!! Dessert was homemade pudding pops, just like they sound, but I’ll list those too.

Pasta salad
*tri color rotini-half a box serves about 4, double if you wish, leftover pasta salad is delightful
*Grape tomatoes-my son likes the sweet ones, and they offset the salad just right
*sliced black olives, as many as you like
*turkey pepperoni-remember I’m trying not to eat terribly all the time!
*shredded cheese- I used colby jack mix, but cheddar is great too
*zesty italian dressing-I like Kraft, but any vinaigrette would work

cook pasta and then drain and run under cold water in the colander too cool the noodles, you don’t want to melt the cheese into the salad. Slice the tomatoes lengthwise, I always seed mine because I hate the seeds in my teeth, but you could leave them whole too. slice the pepperoni in half or fourths, whichever you like best, and toss all of the remaining ingredients with as much or as little dressing as you like. Store in an air tight container in the fridge.

Pudding pops
*any flavor instant pudding you like, I use two kinds and layer. You could also use yogurt

Mix according to instructions and then layer into the popsicle molds. Let freeze entirely, usually about 2-3 hours. Run under hot water to release pop from mold.

I finally made the crock pot chicken tortilla soup because it rained all last night and this morning. YAY! There’s something about rain that always makes me feel better. Fall is almost here and I’m so excited!!!

With that said, I’m still saying my prayers that my mood evens out and I get back to a happier place mentally. I want to make the most of every day with my family.

The price of a peach

Just thinking about writing this post makes me embarrassed. I hate to admit to having a problem. But we do. A bad one.

We have fruit flies. Or gnats. I have no idea what the difference is but it makes me feel dirty…and not want to be in my kitchen ever again.

Let me back up and say that I have NEVER had this problem before. I’m fanatical about the cleanliness of certain areas (bathroom and kitchen) and have always kept those as clean as possible. The exceptions to this rule are- right after bubba was born and the first few months were a blur of breastfeeding, and pumping, and for a quick minute specific weighed out and measured formula because of his metabolic disorder. I couldn’t always even remember to brush my teeth every day let alone do dishes, but I also wasn’t cooking so…

I started to notice them about a week ago, but just like one or two, and I thought maybe they had gotten in when we took the dogs outside to potty, but I soon realized they had come in with a box of fresh peaches from a local farmer. No big deal except they are EVERYWHERE now. Ick.

So there’s been no cooking for the last week, we had to get traps, put all of the garbage outside of the apartment, and make sure everything was spotless…even though it was already really clean.

I’m tired of eating out and food that I haven’t cooked myself. Somehow food from a restaurant or fast food seems less satisfying to me.

I’m still pretty down. My sister is staying with her crappy bf, and our loan processing for our construction loan is not going very smoothly at this point. I am super tired today and want to crawl in bed and pull the covers over my head and sleep for at least two weeks.

I’m just a ray of sunshine right now. Not even chocolate helped at this point.

No recipes. I could tell you what I WANTED to cook if we didn’t have an infestation, but that would just make me more hungry and dissatisfied with life than I already am right now. Bleh.