Where Am I?

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It happened today. It kept creeping inch by inch until finally I found myself completely lost in the most familiar surrounding. I remember the first time I was driving and had no idea where I was going. Not only was it scary as hell but it left me wondering, what in the world is wrong with me? It wasn’t long after that day that the palpitations and panic started to show themselves. They were like two friends that no matter how hard I tried, I just wasn’t able to shake. Today was a warning sign that even I could not deny.

School starts for my kids in 17 days. Each day that rolls closer is a day I feel I can catch my breath a little bit less. For those of you that know the struggle I have faced when it comes to my son and school, this probably comes as no surprise. I cannot have another year like last year. I cannot allow myself to fall into that place of depression and panic that becomes so dark I cannot see a way out.

So many people face demons that nobody knows about. Be kind to everyone you meet and go out of your way each and everyday to make life easier for atleast one person in your path. Be empathetic and pay attention to the signs of anxiety and depression. You may be the difference in a good day or bad one for somebody else. Be the friend you wish you had and the ear you wish was there to listen. You can make a difference. Will you do it?

Stay Calm

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I went to see the doctor today. All of the craziness this month has finally started to affect me. I knew I was in trouble when the nurse asked if she could take my blood pressure one more time. Isn’t it amazing how one situation can take over mentally, physically and emotionally? Keep yourself calm was the last thing the doctor said to me as I walked out the door.

We had another homework assignment with no instructions so by the time my husband and I figured it out, Chase was already in bed. Stay calm right. We were frustrated by the time we figured it out but I kept telling myself to breathe and let it pass. I tried to stay calm while the cement barrier ripped the front of my husbands Audi off over the weekend. No problem. I even chuckled when I backed into my garage door not too long ago. However, when my husband held his hand up and said,”don’t move”and I looked down to see a tiny snake slither across my kitchen floor, that grabbed my calm and ripped it right out from underneath me. There I was standing on my countertop shaking as we figured out a way to get it outside. Finally, it was time to throw in the towel and head to bed but my fight or flight was working overtime and the deafening ringing in my ears made me panic at the thought of never hearing quiet again. Tomorrow’s another day. Let go of this one and stay calm. Repeat after me, stay calm.

It’s Okay Mom, It’s Only School 

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Oh my God, is school really starting next week? What if the new teachers are terrible? What if the class load is just too much? What if my kid doesn’t make the team?

This is what millions of mothers are probably thinking these days. We love to worry, it’s in our nature. Why is it, there is so much panic as our kids go back to school? I say, what if this is the best year yet? What if the kids teachers are exactly who they need? It’s hard not to get caught up in the rush of worry that spreads like wildfire as the days of summer vacation wind down and our need to worry about what might happen winds up. Leave it alone. Don’t dwell on the what ifs that cause you to lose hours of sleep. Kids are so much tougher than we give them credit for and if they aren’t losing sleep, why should we? Take a deep breath. It’s just another new year of school. It’s going to be fine, just wait and see.

Help!

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Name one thing/person you would not want outside your back door?

I was outside sweeping my pool deck earlier and I bent over to pick up the doormat so I could shake it off. That’s when I saw it, a small little snake. You would think Godzilla was after me the way I high tailed back inside the door. This is the second time this summer, same place. I slowly opened the door and used my broom to sweep it away from my house and that tiny thing coiled up, head in the air, spewing his tongue at me.

I have no idea where he went so I am panicked now. Of course my mind is racing through every worse case scenario. What if he gets inside? What if he’s hiding in my grass? What if he climbed the wall and is hanging over my door? I know I am probably overreacting but I am terrified of snakes. 

So, how about you? What’s the worst thing you’ve found waiting outside your door?

There Goes My Life

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Have you ever come, undone, unglued? I feel like I have spent years building a life that is slowly starting to slip away. I peeked in on the kids sleeping last night. There was a time not so long ago that it wan’t easy to find their tiny bodies in bed and now it’s so odd to see them fill the length of the bed. It didn’t happen over night but I feel like I missed it maybe. Was I too busy stressing over the things that never mattered or was I overwhelmed by the challenges having small children brings? How in the world did I get here so fast? Count your blessings. Be grateful. That’s what they say but no one tells me how to work through this pain. Letting go of the grasp I have on my kids and the years of my life is a difficult process. For me, it presents itself as depression. I can’t deny it anymore. It is time to make friends with it and figure out a way we can coincide in this life, this body together. I have to find a way to silence the panic and come to some kind of peace with the fact that time keeps moving forward and there’s nothing I can do to make it stop. I used to think raising kids and being mom would last a lifetime. In a way, I guess it will but not the same as when they were little. It’s exciting to watch my teen drive down the driveway but my heart also breaks a little each and everytime. Sometimes I listen to my sons contagious laugh but the smile fades from my face as I realize that beautiful sound will eventually fade from the background.  We are all living in these walls together that one day at a time built our little family, but how much longer will that last? I look back and think, where did all the years go? My bones and joints are stiff and sore but inside I don’t feel any older. But when I look back, when I go to that place, its like a blow to the side of my head. It’s a reminder that I am 44 and at the very least my life is half over. What if the next half goes just as fast? I walk around with this deep, dark sadness that haunts the hell out of me from time to time. The years, my life falling away, spinning out of control with no way to slow it down. I don’t think we talk about this much with anyone else. I think we think, if we ignore the feeling, it will go away. But it’s there. Sometimes time visits me in the middle of the night. It taps me on the shoulder and reminds me that it’s there lurking , ready to rob me of another day. I have a great life and I am so very blessed. Sometimes, my excitement for the future is stifled by my loss of the past. I know there are so many moments ahead that will fill my soul with happiness that I can’t comprehend in these dark little moments. I have to allow myself to feel the pain so I can move on. The old me, life as I know it is gone and I know more than anyone else that you have to feel the loss to heal the loss. It also reminds me to live in the moments and to pay attention to them as they are happening. It urges me to focus on the details so they will always be fresh inside my mind. It reminds me to be kinder, to worry less and to live better while I’m blessed with the opportunity and still can. Everyday is a gift. Unwrap it and celebrate this journey that you are on. No two journeys are the same and there is only one you. Don’t waste your life, love your life and inspire others to do the same thing too.

You’re Grounded!

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What does being grounded even mean? I’m not referring to being sent to my room until I think about what I’ve done wrong. Or, maybe I am. The other day I received news that sent me straight to panic. It was unexpected. I couldn’t wrap my head around it. I couldn’t understand. If I’m being honest, it went the exact opposite way that I expected it to. I felt crazy. My heart was racing and my mind was in a panic. Everything inside of me screamed “No! This can’t be happening!” But, it was. There was not a single thing I could do about it and I felt so unsettled. My mind was playing a victim and my heart felt like it was ready to explode. I felt desperate, and beneath the desperation was fear. I tried to be in complete denial but physically my body was telling me something was very wrong. It was screaming WARNING, WARNING! I wanted to crawl out of my skin and escape the energy that was taking over. It was unpleasant and I needed to find a way out. I tried deep breathing, positive thinking, reading, working out and yet nothing seemed to help. I became a prisoner to the explosion that was going on inside of me.

Today, in yoga, Catie said something that finally clicked. She explained that we have these expectations. We spend time reaching and clinging to the way we think something should be. Wow, that is exactly what happened to me. Why couldn’t I just accept things the way they were? Why was I feeling toxically poisoned? I realized that while I was reaching for the outcome I wanted, I fell down. I leaned too far left and my feet completely lost their footing. Luckily enough, this week most of my classes were about becoming more grounded. Each day I felt stronger and calmer. The panic died down and the hope returned. It was the first time I ever truly understood what being grounded really meant. Note to self, next time you feel that way you will ground yourself literally. What a difference it makes. Today I stand on solid ground and whatever comes will be okay. I am strong and confident and as long as I am grounded, I feel safe.