Lately I've noticed something. I am at peace.

Maybe not if you see me on the outside, as I have been running non-stop for the last two weeks... but internally. I feel as though the wounds that have been painfully opened the past (almost) two years are finally healing over. They no longer haunt me like they did before. They no longer completely control my life. There are still things that I need to work on, but doing that doesn't scare me anymore. I don't feel as though if I take on one more change that I'm going to crumble under the weight of it all.

This peace that has settled over me over the past month has resulted in me feeling more comfortable forging new friendships and being myself. My actual self. Not a facade of who I want people to see. It's resulted in me working harder to be a good friend to those that I have gotten to know at church, but have been keeping at an arms length. It's resulted in me having a healthier expectation of my family and not letting the fact that I can't change them upset me.

This peace has brought me a lot of internal dialogue as well. My inner voice has been dusted off, polished and is much louder. I still struggle with making sure that voice stays positive and doesn't return to shaming me, but that is one of the things I am working on with A right now. With this internal dialogue, I don't feel as compelled to come here and write.

Before I used this as a platform to put words to emotions that I couldn't get a grasp on and work through myself. It was my outlet. I depended on this like I depended on seeing A every week. I needed it to get through. It was crucial to me being where I am now. But I feel as though my relationship with my blog has moved to a different level. I no longer need to post to understand my own feelings.

In my world, that is a huge step of growth. I will still be posting (sorry if that scared anyone!), but I would expect that it will not be nearly as often as what some of you might be used to. My crazy schedule is part of that reason, but my hope and desire for increased growth and peace for me can only be achieved if I push myself to communicate with myself and others without a keyboard at my fingertips.


Unbelievably mind-numbingly busy. Opening a new location is a lot of work.

Grandma is not doing well. Just got a call that they are taking her into emergency surgery. They might have to amputate her foot. This will delay the chemo that she was supposed to start Monday.

No session with A this week because I had to work so much. Will report back when things calm down a little.


Man, I can't believe it has been a week since I last posted. This was my last week of break, but I was busier this week than I have been all summer! Two baseball games, one game night with friends, two sessions with A, planning meeting with my new partner, one follow up with the pdoc, Bon Voyage dinner for a family friend going off to college, paperwork intake and orientation for work and an additional 3-4 hours getting things set up at work before Monday. Sufficed to say, I didn't actually get much rest this week!

My moods have been very stable lately, which is helping me feel more confident about starting work again on Monday. I can't remember the last time I felt anything bordering on depression, which is so nice. My sleeping is still a little haywire, but I know once I put in an 8 hour work day for the first time in months that'll be easily solved. I'm nervous about going back Monday, but the closer it gets the more excitement starts to creep in.

A and I have been discussing identity a lot lately. Mainly how I allow myself to retreat when in the company of my family and conform to their ideals, opinions, expectations, etc. then let it affect my state of mind when I am away from them. I am a very different person at work, for instance, than I am with my family. Life for me is far less scary and confusing when I am connected to who I am away from my family. It is often why I grapple with guilt because I know this, yet I still feel that desire to connect with them. A calls it hard-wiring. We are hard-wired to rely on our parents and family to teach us, and therefore create an almost unbreakable bond regardless of situation. For instance, your dad beats the crap out of you, yet you still want and hope for that connection, however dysfunctional it may be. Although my situation is much different, the feelings are the same.

So what do I do with this? It's a very complicated dance between denial, loneliness, resentment and strength. Instead of pushing them away or pretending nothing is wrong (both of which I have done plenty of), I need to start letting little pieces of me return when I am in their presence. I don't have to act differently or even draw attention to the fact that anything has changed. This battle will be fought within me. I have to remind myself who I really am. What I believe about myself, not what others tell me should be true. Easier said than done, but as I'm learning more about myself and my strength, I'm finding it to be a little less daunting every day.

Tick Tock, Kill the Clock!

This very well might be the war cry of my household. TICK TOCK, KILL THE CLOCK!

Time for me is almost always anxiety producing, as it is one of the only things, no matter how hard I try, that I cannot control. So whenever there is something in my life that has a specific element of time attached to it, my mind commits it to memory and it is then used to constantly harass myself and take on unwanted burdens.

The biggest example of this in my life is my absolute hatred of age/birthdays. I can't stand them. To me it is just another reminder of being a year older and having gotten nothing accomplished. Sure I have a great job, home, car, etc. but the only thing anyone ever seems to care about is if I'm dating anyone. Truth be told, I care about that too, but just not as much as everyone else seems to. So adding another year to my age only reminds me of the fact that I haven't yet accomplished the burning question in everyone's mind. This hinting and prodding from my family my entire life has ingrained this idea that if things aren't done by a certain time then I'm just not good enough.

So in almost every aspect of my life, I tend to put these crazy deadlines on myself because I want to feel accomplished by completing them. Yet most of the time feel like a failure because I can't. I made a list of things about 6 months ago that I wanted to be able to say/do/feel by my next birthday (coming up in about 3 months, ugh) and I don't even feel close to getting half of them done. I'll be lucky to accomplish one. Makes me dread my birthday even more.

So with only about a week left of my break, I've been telling myself that I have to have everything figured out and "be better" by then. Whatever that means. I'm starting at a new location, with all new people and new responsibilities this year, which puts me in the dark about many things. Before I was able to go into work knowing who I could trust and rely on, who I worked well with, who to stay away from, what my schedule was, etc. Now I know nothing. And having that out of control feeling at work is not something I am used to. Work is my safe place. Knowing now that work is not going to be as safe as it has in the past, I'm using time to try and push my personal life into control by giving myself this deadline to "get better." Hah. It's been almost 2 years with A and while I have made such improvements, I'm not fully healed yet. What makes me think that I can expect that of myself by the end of next Sunday?

I know I can't meet these crazy deadlines I put upon myself, but it doesn't stop me from making them. And with everyone one I fail to meet, it makes me hate time even more.

The Elephant On My Chest

Every heart beat feels like a challenge, like it takes all my worldly energy just to pump blood to sustain my life. Every breath feels hollow, as though I won't ever get enough oxygen to satiate myself. I have been walking around feeling this elephant on my chest for the past 3 days. The tattered seams that are holding me together are about to bust loose. I feel like I'm on the verge of melting down.

The ticking clock reminds me constantly that time is my worst enemy. My grandma is getting worse. Family is flying in this weekend. I have to be back at work full-time on the 16th. I have until then to "get better". Every day that passes with no improvement or even a decline incites even more anxiety that I am going to run out of time.

I would imagine some of this is attributed to the fact that I have slept about 75% less than what I'm used to during the last 3 weeks. My body doesn't even feel like my own. It hurts just to move. I shake with the slightest lift of my hand. My appetite is almost non-existent. I imagine some of this is grief as well. Knowing my grandma is going to die soon is weighing heavily on me. I'm taking on too much (false) responsibility in trying to take care of/protect my own mother during this time and I know I am causing myself harm. Some of it may also be medication induced. With so many changes, increases and reductions in dosing and scripts over the last 4 weeks, I wouldn't doubt that my body is on high alert for anything that appears intrusive or unusual... and it's fighting back.

And through all of this, I feel even more alone than normal. I don't feel God's presence. I don't feel the Spirit inside me. I feel as though I could beg and plead for Him to scoop me up in His arms and He will remain hidden, leaving me to suffer in the darkness.

Gimme the Drugs!

Got a prescription for Lunesta from my family doc, and finally was able to talk to my pdoc. She's switching me to a different medicine to use in conjunction with the Zoloft that just so happens to have sleep-aid uses. I took Lunesta last night about 7:30, fell asleep at 8 and was up at 10. I about started crying. I decided to take another pill and that seemed to do the trick. I slept from midnight to 9AM! Tonight I'm taking one Lunesta and trying out this new med, too. Hopefully the combination of both will knock me out for the night.

My kitty is sporting a nice war wound. They ended up removing the cyst with local anesthesia and stitched everything back up. They are always amazed how well behaved she is! They said she didn't even move or meow! That's my girl :) I've got to take her back in 2 weeks to get the stitches removed, but aside from that she's good to go! First thing she did when she got home is run straight to the food bowl, which allowed me to get this picture. Second thing she did was start scratching at the stitches so I had to bandage her back up.

If I didn't have enough going on now, my sister is going out of town and I told her I'd watch her puppy. I'm not really sure if that is the right word. She has a 4 month old German Shepherd and she is huge... and not graceful! The next few days will be interesting! My house is not puppy proof and my cat is not appreciating the noise and crazy behavior of this new furry creature. I hope my downstairs neighbor doesn't report me to animal control for housing an elephant in my apartment. I already feel like running down there to apologize. Should be an interesting 5 days! Tomorrow's plan is to go to the dog park! The high tomorrow is 107 (seriously) so we'll have to go in the morning. Should be fun!

Is She Crazy?

Not yet, but I'm damn well close.

I haven't slept in two days. I called my pdoc this morning (6AM) and left a message for her to call me back. I don't remember exactly what I said, but I hope I sounded urgent. The plan was to tell her the trial with the you're crazy so you need antipsychotic medicine mood stabilizer was a big time fail and that I was going to stop that and put my focus on the sleep issues. I planned to ask her for a prescription for immediate usage (Ambien, Lunesta, etc), and then later a transferral to a duplicate anti-depressive med that also can be used as a sleep aid. My focus right now is not long term. I don't care about what I'm taking to stave off something that might or might not happen in 6 weeks. If I don't get some sleep, I am going to go crazy.

So while I'm bumming around my apartment at all hours of the night, I was doing all sorts of random things. My cat was painfully aware that I was keeping her up well past her needed hours of beauty sleep, so she was very vocal about wanting to be fed for the inconvenience. While she was eating I noticed she had a small clump of hair sticking off her neck, so I went to grab her hairbrush and sat to start grooming her while she was eating. She's almost 20 years old so she can't bend and tuck as well as she used to and gets mats in her hair that I often have to dislodge and brush out. I figured this one on her neck was no different. I go to give a little tug to see if it has already been set free or if I need to settle in for work and it's pretty pliable so I tugged a little more (cat's still eating, not even paying attention to what I'm doing). Only then do I see this huge rush of blood come pouring out of a cyst she has on her neck. The thing gets drained every 6 months or so, keeps growing back but is always filled with this clear fluid so I was horrified when a little tug of her hair opened it up to a sea of red! I could see all the way into her neck. It was disgusting. So she's bleeding all over her collar, my hands and my kitchen floor, completely oblivious to my panic. She didn't even move from her meal. Of course it's like 1AM and I am freaking out! Do I take her to the emergency vet? Can I wait 6 hours for my vet to open? Ended up getting some gauze and that self sticky wrap and rigged a somewhat successful bandage of the wound to keep her away from it til I could get her to the vet. She's there right now getting fixed up. They are going to attempt to remove the growth, but they have to do it without anesthesia since she is so old. He said even if I told him not to remove it he was still going to have to stitch up her neck. Geez. He looked a little concerned when he saw her wound, but didn't say anything to me to make me think that I should be worried. I'm too sensitive. It's probably nothing. Well, not nothing. I'm guessing at least a $300 bill.

It's now 12 and still no call back from the pdoc. I am not having another sleepless night. So after talking with my aunt a little (she's a doctor and is always someone I can get advice from), she suggested just going to my family doc and getting the prescription sleep aid there. I got the last open spot at 1:30. Thank you, Jesus.

I am so deliriously tired I go from barely being able to focus, to swearing that thing just moved, to feeling as alert as if I had just woken up from 8 hrs of sleep. It's very disorienting. But even when I get so tired I don't know if I can stand up, I know if I went to lay down in bed I wouldn't sleep. I can't explain it. There is a switch in my brain that somebody kicked on to "AWAKE" and damned if my brain didn't do everything it was told to.