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Good Evening!

For a while now i have wanted to use some forum to speak the things that are on my mind. I attempted a vlog, but i am not really comfortable in front of the camera, so this seemed like an easier way to go about that.

I am Kelly, 36 yeats old, married to my best friend and soulmate for the last 3 beautiful years. I was married once before him, to someone ill talk about later. From that first marriage, I had three kids. They are currently, 14, 12 and 11 years old. The first two are boys and my baby is a girl. I love my children with all my heart and i will talk about them a lot, that i promise! Lol  I am currently in school to get my BA in Psychology, although i am not really sure what i plan to do with my degree once i am done. I deal with Anxiety and Depression and have most of my life. I love baking, cooking, writing, and going for drives and adventures with my husband and kids. My life is good and i am lucky, but as with most people, i can always find things to be stressed out about. I am in therapy, and i have my days i struggle for sure. Thats kind of what this blog is all about, sorting through the thoughts in my head, talking about things i dont really feel like i can talk about with anyone else. Its a place for me to put my thoughts on paper and then walk away. If i dont want to read what people have to say about it then i wont. If i am maybe in need of some opinions or thoughts then i will.

So, I hope that people read this, and more so enjoy it, or get something from it. Stay tuned…

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Fear wins

I grew up in the 80s and 90s, most of what was happening in the world wasn’t instantly put in my face as a young person. As a kid, I rode bikes with my friends till the street lights came on. As a teenager, I used to wander the neighborhood until it was 2 in the morning and never gave it a second thought. These days, as a grown adult woman, I’m terrified to leave my house and go to the local Walmart, simply to do some grocery shopping for my family. The invention of computers, cell phones, tablets and the internet are amazing things, but the instant access and constant alerts to the bad or scary things that happen around us every day is traumatizing at times. It’s made me afraid to live my life outside my house at times. I find that i have days where i am justifying canceling appointments, avoiding or canceling plans with people I care about, and utilizing delivery services way more then I should. My anxiety is at an all time high.

Now my therapist would tell me it’s perfectly ok that I am feeling this way and taking time for myself to avoid the world when I need to is perfectly acceptable and all part of my “self-care” plan, but I don’t know if I would completely agree. Partly because the last 37 years of my life have gone by so fast and i want to enjoy my life as much as i can because i have a feeling the next 60 are gonna go by just as quickly. And also as a mother I just keep thinking of the example that I am setting for my kids. That when something scares us we just hide out in the safety of home and avoid the world…I don’t want them to believe that and live like I do. They have seen me be too anxious to leave the house and even though they don’t realize it’s anxiety, the guilt from letting the fear win and stealing precious moments, is crippling at times.

I am always telling them it’s simply because I didn’t feel good, that we can outside tomorrow instead. When they are dealing with anxiety themselves I’m the first to insist that we can’t let our fear win, we can’t let other people’s bad decisions keep us from going out and enjoying our lives, it’s scary but if we let what they do keep us inside then they win. The negativity wins. The fear wins. I don’t want that. I don’t wanna look back on my life when I’m old and think about all the moments I missed out on because I was too afraid of what might have happened. And i certainly do not want that for my children either.

Some days it’s real easy for me to push through and not let fear win, not let the scary world outside keep me from enjoying my life, but it comes at an exhausting price. Usually that leads to those other days where no matter how hard I try, the anxiety and fear wins and I have to do what is best for my mental health and stay home, order those groceries or that food, try not to let my kiddos and hubby see it’s my anxiety keeping me indoors and canceling plans and remember that tomorrow is another day to try and not let fear win.

I’m still just a work in progress, trying to feel as safe and secure and enjoy the moments of my life. Every time I can do something like venture 600 miles away from home to another place, it’s a small victory for me. Granted I’ve been sick the entire time I’ve been here in LA and haven’t really left the hotel room, BUT I made it down here with only mild anxiety and hopefully I’ll make it back home with even less anxiety and those are the victories that I focus on. Eventually, the hope is that I have so many small victories that it turns into one big victory of conquering my anxiety. That’s the goal at least.

So for anyone else who deals with anxiety, no matter how mild or crippling it is, we just gotta keep doing what we can to manage it and overcome it, we can’t let fear win.

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What you allow

When you realize that what you need to change is not the people themselves you have in your life or how they treat you, but how you yourself allows them to treat you or make you feel, it’s life changing.

The subject of friendships and how we interact with each other these days has been on my mind a lot lately. I am commonly refereed to as “the doormat,”  I am the person who is willing to literally be there for any of the people I care about WHENEVER they need it. Even if it inconveniences me, i will still make sure I can do whatever they need to make their lives easier. The guilt that I feel when I have to tell someone no or that I cant, is crushing. I’m embarrassed to admit this but, I literally had someone once tell me when i approached them about why they were mistreating me as their friend, that they did it because ” I allowed them to do it.” That will make you think a minute and it did make me consider how I was letting certain people treat me and make me feel about myself and the interaction with those I was letting in my life.

Now there is nothing wrong with helping people or being there for people, but there is a problem when you are doing it to a point of it affecting your own mental well being. When you are starting to dread interactions with the world and the people in it, then you need to address this and make some changes.  When you are doing all the giving and they are doing all the taking, that’s not a friendship. When you are the one reaching out first with every interaction, boundaries need to be set. When they are never there for you the way you are there for them. It’s definitely time to reconsider how you are allowing them to treat you and why you feel like the way they are treating you equals friendship, even when it leaves you upset and hurt most of the time. Ideally, you would like for the people taking advantage of you and your kindness to realize the errors of their ways and adjust their behaviors. However, that’s not realistically how the world works. So, if once you have addressed your feelings with them, they still maintain the same behavior, then you really only have two options, you can just remove them from your life OR you can set boundaries and learn to tell people “no,” cut off  constantly being at their disposal when they need it.

Although I have allowed some people who took advantage of my kindness and were harmful to my mental well being to be in my life in the past, I am lucky enough to now have friends who love and respect me for me. I am willing to admit that I am not the easiest person to be friends with, with my anxiety and depression I don’t really like to go out that much. I prefer communicating through text message rather than phone calls and constantly over think interactions with my friends that allows me to believe they are no longer interested in being my friends, when simply its just the fact that they themselves are busy or dealing with things and cant respond or interact with me at that moment. Despite my insecurities and inner insanity, they all hang in there and love me regardless and for that I feel very lucky. You are all an important part of my ability to continue to exist and so thank you, all of you!

The simple message in a really long and drawn out way is this, YOU AND YOU ALONE, have the power and control to determine how people in your life treat you. If you aren’t being treated the way deserve, if the people in your life aren’t matching the effort you are making, then its definitely time to make some changes.

 

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My bit of control

This is me… anyone who knows me knows that’s my hair is constantly changing color. I’m never happy with one color for too long. A lot of people roll their eyes at me because to them i appear as a chick who seems to never be happy or have some weird desire to push my limits where my hairs ability to stay in my head goes. What they don’t see, what they don’t understand is that my hair is one of the few aspects of my life and my being that I and I alone have complete control over. What color, what length, whether or not it’s straight, wavy or curly. In my life I have had many choices made for me and more so, taken from me. Life being what it is, we don’t always get to know the answers to things we are going thru right away. Depression and anxiety take their toll on you, controlling your days and mind sometimes. One of the few things that I get complete say on is my hair, it changes with my moods, much like my eyes. When I am feeling more weighed down by depression/anxiety, stress or life, I tend to want my hair to be darker. When things are going a little easier and I’m not feeling the crushing of depression and anxiety, I tend to move towards blonde or some crazy color. The point of what I am saying is that sometimes people’s expression of themselves and their appearances is more about the things on the inside they can’t change or control. The parts about themselves that they wish they could erase or alter in some way to paint a better picture for their lives. At least that’s what mine is all about.

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Happy Place

beach

The picture is of the beach down in Santa Cruz.

This is my first happy place. The beach has always had a very calming effect on me. It’s a place I can go sit in the warm sand, breathe in the fresh ocean air, stare out at the endless water and imagine all the depression/anxiety, stress and negativity that i feel leaving my body and washing away in the waves. It’s a sort of reset button for myself. When things feel really tense and overwhelming, I know that I can go there, sit on the beach and when I leave, I will feel energized, a little lighter and like life is more manageable. For about the last year, my anxiety has been so bad that I haven’t been able to make it down to the beach, which was making my depression worse. Fortunately, my husband helped me take baby steps and make a trip down there, since that i have been able to make a few trips now. We just went the other day because he knew that i needed a bit of a reset (which is where I took this picture) and it was exactly what i needed. If it hadn’t been for the sad news i got of someone i know passing the same day we were down there, I would be feeling a lot better right now.

We all have our happy places, that place you can go and just let go of the world around you and recharge your self again. Another happy place i have is in the car blasting music. Where I live, you can pretty much see the mountains all around you in most parts of the city. Part of my self care routine has become taking an evening or two to get out and blast my music, roll the windows down and let the breeze blow through my hair and watch the sun set (usually its in the evening) as I navigate all over my city. My husbands happy place is in the garage, tinkering on his truck. Cars to him are like a puzzle and he loves to dismantle them and put them back together again. Its calming to him. We make time for each other to have the time to spend a night or two in our happy places. Usually the beach is something we try and do once a month together.  Happy places are important, this world tends to be a very hard place to be in most of the time for some of us, so having a happy place and being able to access it fairly regularly is important.

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Bet You Would Be Shocked To Know..

Depression and anxiety are very real daily struggles for me. Part of it is being predisposed genetically, all of the women on my mom’s side of the family struggle with some form of depression. The other part of it is from PTSD, or traumatic events that i went through during adolescents. My family life wasn’t always happy and pleasant, there was quite a lot of arguing between my parents, things felt really unstable a lot of the time and that wasnt helpful as i was navigating adolescents. I have been in and out of therapy my whole life, tried a lot of different types of antidepressants (I hate taking medications, plus there is always a side effect that’s worse then the depression for me.) The bottom line is that it is just part of who i am. I am depression and crippling anxiety.. my therapist would be so mad at me for identifying myself like that. It’s how i feel though.

Funny enough, most the people i know wouldn’t even think that i deal with any of the things that i do. I have gotten really good at “smiling” and “being happy” in other peoples presence. I don’t like to talk about all the emotions that are drowning me, the struggle to get out of bed and continue existing, the major feelings of insecurity and not being able to trust people, all the fears i have. The guilt that is crushing me because of all the valuable time I have missed out on from these feelings and this fog. We all have our struggles and things that we deal with, so why am I in any way more entitled to feel the need to complain about what i struggle with? Besides,  I am the person that most people I know come to and confide their issues in. I am a good listener and good at helping people navigate through their difficulties. I like it even, its why I have chosen the career path I have.

It’s always easier to help others through their issues, tell them to not give up, they will get through this. When it’s time to look in the mirror and tell yourself those same things, and have hope for a time that you will feel “normal” its much harder. At this point, after this many years, it’s less a matter of believing it will pass soon and more an issue of do i even care if it ever does pass. My life has been a lot of instability, I have always lived on a rocky foundation, afraid of things shifting, my world crumbling again, people leaving me. As much as I hate it, there starts to be some sort of stability and comfort in the feelings of my depression and anxiety.  You start to wonder if you just need to make peace with it and do the best you can around it. Maybe this is the real me whose been fighting so hard to get out all these years.

I cant be the only one in the world that feels this way? Maybe i am, it wouldn’t really surprise me if i was. I have been trying to fight my way out of an abyss for a little more then a month now. Things start to ease up and I start to step outta the darkness, something happens, and I lose my footing and slide right back in. Life has not been super easy lately and so the struggle has been a little more lately. I will get out of it, I always do. I will “shake it off” and be ok for a little while before it pulls me back in. That’s my cycle.

The point of this post was not only to talk about what i deal with, but to talk about that even after all these years and all the advancements in society and technology, the lack of awareness to mental health issue is still pretty substantial and mental health issues are very much mocked or passed over. Eye’s roll and I get told, “shake it off” “nothing is ever really THAT bad” like I am actively choosing to have these feelings on a regular basis. I mean I get some people do it temporarily for attention but to be someone who struggles with it daily, who would chose to deal with this on a chronic basis. I wake up everyday, look in the mirror and tell myself, “today, we ARE going to be happy.” It doesn’t always work, because the facts are, depression isn’t always mind over matter, sometimes its biology. I am predisposed for a chemical imbalance that causes it. I can take medication to make it better, but I have struggled for many years to find one that doesn’t cause me major other side effects. Interestingly enough, I think those of us who deal with mental health issues would benefit most from people just simply being more open minded and supportive. If we didn’t feel like we needed to hide what we deal with or ourselves when we were dealing with our moments of mental illness, then maybe we could make progress.  For now, we are here, and I will deal with this as I always have….

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Family Vacation

So it is summer vacation! Time to unbury the suitcases, do seventy loads of laundry, make four different lists for packing, spend two days planning, some odd hours of traveling to get to a the hotel and realize you forgot the one thing you really needed. We just did this, the husband was off on a business trip, so the kids and i packed up for four days of fun, then headed off to Reno, Nevada. Thursday was all about relaxing, swimming, and exploring. Friday my sister, brother-in-law and nephew arrived. Then Friday night the hubby joined us. Then the fun really began. Go karts, glow in the dark mini golf, endless hours of arcade games at Circus Circus, swimming at the hotel, wandering around exploring. We ended it with a trip to Boomtown on our way out of town, breakfast then two hours of arcade games. Two hours of Sunday traffic down the mountain and we were home. It was really a very nice vacation. The kids impressed me and interacted with everyone, left their device time to the evenings when they were laying down, followed bedtime rules, and were generally pleasant to be around.  All in all it was a success and I am so happy to have the memories that i got from this trip. I am very aware that my kids are getting older right before my very eyes. Within the next five years they will all be off doing their own thing and I will have trips like this to remember forever.

Me Stuff

It’s been a while

So let me be honest, I sometimes have a hard time maintaining my writing. I have about ten unfinished stories i have been writing for about 20 years. I started this blog in 2018, was good at making a few days posts and then poof! It’s my goal to try and overcome that. So please bear with me. As well as, I want to add in some photography with this blog now. I have gotten really into my photography. I thought this would be a good place to share that. I changed the name… this one feels more like me, An Insomniacs Mind…. that’s me. Most of the time i write, it is absolutely in the middle of the night, when the house is quiet, no more people asking me questions or to get them things. Plus, i rarely lay down and fall asleep until 2 am or later. It’s just how it usually goes. Sometimes i fall asleep within thirty minutes, but then wake up after a couple hours and cant go back to sleep. I have tried many different remedies, not a whole lot works. So for now, therapy, self-care routine, writing, journaling, those are my things to get me through.

Ok, lets play a bit of catch up. It’s 3:15 am and i have a busy day today, so probably not gonna be a long one this time. I graduated from my Bachelors program in April 2019, and now i am in my Masters of Arts of Psychology program. I am only in my first week of my second class right now, but i am loving it. Very challenging, but i am finding that is good for me these days. Once that program is done then i am onto my licensing stuff. Not sure what that all entails just yet, but i know its still a journey. Looking forward to sharing that with you all. What else, the husband and I are still amazing, work has been stressful for him lately, a lot more traveling and things. We bought a Camper trailer a few months back..my new favorite hobby!! I love spending time with my husband and kiddos out there in nature. It is also a great place to practice my other new hobby, photography. It’s something i have always wanted to do, and my awesome husband got me an amazing camera set up for my birthday/valentines day (my birthday is the day after Valentines Day) Then my parents, not knowing what my husband had bought me, also got me a different camera set up for my birthday. SO now i have two really nice cameras and accessories. Right now I have been focusing on scenery and animals around town. It’s really relaxing and actually helps with my anxiety when we travel places. I get to be passenger and focus on what i want to snap pictures of rather then my anxiety.

What else, my kiddos are all getting bigger now; 15, 13 and 12. Its the terrible teen years lol and let me tell you, they are all testing me properly. It is always a bit difficult when your kids are part of a divided family household. My ex husband and I don’t tend to agree on much of anything. So our parenting styles between the two households is very different. I tend to be a bit more structured and strict, and my ex’s house is less of those things. I would love it if we could get on the same page, even if it was a little of both our parenting styles mixed up and split down the middle, but sometimes you just have to chose your battles and let things go. The kids have been on a schooling journey the last couple years. We pulled them from public school to home-school a couple years ago, as i mentioned in another post. It didnt work out for us because i am not a teacher and creating, teaching and grading three different grade levels of work was just a bit too much for me. At the time i was also watching my newborn nephew everyday, so that just added to things. I put them into a Charter school program and that seemed to work out a lot better at first, but i still had my hesitations. So we did that for two school years, and now, my ex and i have decided that these kiddos need to get back to public school. So i am in the process of getting the younger two enrolled into the middle school and my oldest into high school. My nephew is in daycare/school now also, so i can make the journey back into the work world, more on that another time.

Anyways, not a whole lot else i can think to write about tonight. There is of course SO much more to talk about at other times. But this journey is just beginning.

Good night/morning everyone.