Get Real Series: Not to be a Brat but … 5/23/22

***** trigger ⚠️ warning ⛔️ *****

May is mental health awareness month. Accordingly my company is posting one message a day on its Intranet. I admire that they are trying to do something. Truly I do. And not to be a brat but…

In today’s story of gentlemen wrote of his daughter mental health diagnosis. I will not elaborate and/or minimize her struggles. My initial thought was we need more of this, people willing to speak up. As I started to reply my comments twisted and took a different theme. A not so nice one. A bit of ire underneath what would’ve been well wishes. Not for the gentleman and his daughter but for the system. I made it about ME. And God help me I hate that about myself. So I canceled my comment before it went large.

This is what I almost wrote… Thank you <insert name> for being vulnerable to share your family’s story. I’m glad you found help for your daughter. For every one person that speaks up, hundreds more are suffering in silence. The stigma/fear/shame are real. The social services are lacking. We are fortunate to have FMLA and a job that allows us to concentrate on what’s most important. Many do not.

I could’ve gone on and on and on with my diatribe. I could wallow about our experience with Lulu who at the tender age of 16 suffered with suicidal ideation. How she used to cut herself. How she binge ate her way to oblivion to get through the stress of college. Who is now skinny as a rail having mastered her fate. Who still struggles daily with self doubt and worse yet in those struggles, shows a fierce determination and strength beyond her years.

I could go on and on about the broken system. Elaborate with intimate detail what we went through to find help. To be turned away. To be further harmed. Hell, we went through fresh hell. But I haven’t the energy. And I’m not sure it’s productive. I firmly believe one should come with a solution not a complaint. In other words, whining about a broken system doesn’t fix said system. With that I’m FIN. For now. Until the next dust up.

If you take away anything from this rant, know you aren’t alone even when it feels like it. We are legion. Not just in May but year round ❤️‍🩹

As always more to come.

Friday Feature ~ 5/13/22

Time is doing it’s slippery wiggle again. Yay! I’m still working from home. My in-laws are still on death’s 💀 door. Sorry to be blunt but it’s true. Yet maybe we’re all on death’s 💀 door. We’re all just a second from pow 💥.

My former coworker’s mom and her aunt were killed in a car wreck going to a funeral. They woke up that morning like usual and went to grieve their family member never to return. Neither was in poor health. Completely unexpected. Such a tragedy.

You think 🤔 this knowledge would snap 🫰 me into shape. Make me realize how precious life is and oh it is! I haven’t forgotten that. I’m just out of sorts.

Thank goodness I have therapy today. Getting more tools ⚒️ in my emotional 🥹 health toolbox 🧰. With May being mental health month, having the discussion is apropos.

Even our chief told us yesterday that he was going to visit his mom for the first time in years. She’s out of state in assisted living with mental health issues. Yep. He said that. Right up there on the big stage being broadcast to the masses. End the stigma. It’s about time.

Alrighty. Lemme let ya go 🙃. As always more to come.

Howdy Y’all!! You’re In For A Treat

… well now that I grabbed your attention, turn back fast or you’ll be sorely disappointed. The treat is for me getting some ferocious thoughts out of my head. This post will likely make no sense. There could be a snippet or two of clarity in the fog but basically this is me like a cotton headed ninny muggin. Truth be told the movie Elf annoys the ever loving crap out of me but then I did cry at the end. Sap that I am.

Okay, so here’s the deal. I am not my mother. Nope, she is she and I am me. I do not have to repeat her path. Genetics might tell me otherwise but genetics are also a wildcard. Example, one has a 1 in 4 chance to inherit whatever trait. Predisposition is not a guarantee. Only 25% likely, or 10% or 80%. Wildcard you see! I need to remember that! I’ve been in the insurance game my whole life. We deal in probabilities and statistics. What is the likelihood of X occurring and all that jazz.

The most comforting response came from Twitter where despite what one may think is not all that bad when you pick what you follow. I am out there anonymous baring my soul. A kind stranger wrote in reply to my angst: In your specific case, I would say that your mother’s experiences are separated from yours by time and experience. They aren’t a given. Was all it took one stranger to change my mind?

Well no. He corroborates what I know to be true. Years of patterns and statistics. Could this mean I escaped? Maybe? But what about my Lulu? I have subtly hinted at her issues, which are all resolved in this moment, yet always ready to rear their ugly heads again one day. Samesie for her right? Not a given. We can fight, fight, fight against biology. You rat bastard!!!!! Even if the effort is futile.

Segway to Charge of the Light Brigade. “Half a league, half a league, half a league onward,” I love that poem! Tennyson speaks to me. Yep, the queen comma drama has made her appearance with us today.

Okay, enough steam was let loose. I’m better. For now. Might pop off again later. Feels good folks to finally let the dam break and the chips fall where they may. RIP momma, you did the best you could.

As always, more to come.

Why Not Me? ~ 5/2/21

When people say “why not me”? They usually mean why can’t I? Win a Pink Cadillac? Why not me? Well because I don’t sell Mary Kay and didn’t make the quota.

Slight detour. Hey grammar peeps, does the quotation mark go before the question mark or after? Inquiring minds need to know but being in a self imposed ban from Google, I’m not looking. Hello, hello, hello – is there any editors out there? Just nod if you can hear me. HaHa!

Okay back to my ramble, reflection, musing …

Why not me? Seriously. I’m asking. Why am I spared from the dreaded C? Why instead does cousin J have stage 4 lung cancer and cousin Marie another lymph node in her neck that could be cancer and why did my coworker L have to die before her time? Why did PoPo have to break his leg and remain in the hospital? Why not me? Who the hell decides?

You can keep your fancy shit to yourself. I will never ask why not me when I see others’ good fortune. But when it comes to the bad stuff, that’s a different story. Why not me? I deserve the bad stuff don’t I? Despite things appearing to be utterly random. Karma needs to come kick my ass. Asking why not me becomes very, very easy.

As I sit here in limbo awaiting my fate, I am overwhelmed. Even the jokes quit working. So, first things first. “It’s nothing until it’s something” Say it with me! Except that mantra has worn thin. Google did me no favors yesterday and I spun into a deep abyss.

Today I did my second grocery run, the quick one for B’s mom. As we passed by we saw every emergency vehicle known to man in the driveway of our neighbor’s around the corner. An elderly lady who lives alone. There was the Acadia ambulance, the fire department rig, the BCSO truck, and finally China Grove police. Plus about three or four hastily parked cars in the fray. Family members we assumed. I made the sign of the cross twice and silently asked why not me?

Then we had the church picnic. Excellent turn out. The “to-go” line ran smooth as silk. We ate with B’s mom and PoPo called from the hospital during the meal. Asked B to take care of a few things for him. Come Monday he is moving to a different facility.

Back at home, I was brooding. Feeling very sorry for myself. I told Lulu Belle I needed to walk. She tagged along. Despite our Saturday marathons, I kind of quit walking like I should. We lapped around a few times. Spied in on the garden. Looking good even if we only get squash. Dang squirrels nabbed a tomato plant already. After that, I went in to get the dogs’ food.

After feeding the pups, instead of going in, I went to my swing. My early Mother’s Day present 20 years in the making. Sitting there in peace, I called our Employee Assistance Program (EAP). And wouldn’t ya know it, 24/7 someone to talk to literally saved me the agony of further why not me?

I’m still in constant physical pain but mentally a weight was lifted up, up and away. Instead of sending me the list of choices, they will do the legwork to find someone for me to talk to regularly. No great shock that I need therapy. No more tough enough to power through with a grin and bear it.

Reaffirmed I’m a plotter who will make three different plans for the three possible outcomes of Friday’s procedure. I’m also using the positive mindset espoused by EAP and our healthy points team. Turns out my repeating It’s nothing until it is something is a good starting point. Then I will find funny pet videos on the Internet. I will also look myself in the mirror speaking only in positive affirmations. Working Monday through Thursday will be another welcome way to redirect me.

Whew! That feels fantastic! The planning part especially. Writing out the worst case scenario first, then progressing backward to best case scenarios along with my plans to attack this … whatever this is. Now we’re cooking with g.a.s. of the epigastric variety. Pun intended.

As always, more to come.

Life’s Messy ~ 12/4/20

Does anyone remember the commercial for Bissel? Life’s messy, clean it up. I’ve been thinking about this slogan quite a bit lately. My friend FJ used to say that was our friend L’s motto towards life.

Pony is about the same age as their kids and despite having not seen them in over a decade, we spent copious amount of time together during what would have been their formative years. Poor Lulu did not have a similar cohort and that makes me sad but that is a story for another day.

Whenever we got together for play dates, the kids wanted to be at L’s. She’d let them do just about anything. Why? Well because doing just about anything was fun. Five kids playing their hearts out created a mess. After all the shenanigans were all done, then you cleaned stuff up. But you didn’t stop playing because you might create a mess.

There is something philosophical in all this rambling I promise.

FJ and I were the opposite. I can’t claim to be a neat freak since I’m not but I do like things nice. If I spent an inordinate amount of time deep cleaning to get ready for a play date, I wanted the house to stay that way for a while. I’d come behind with a rag or broom. Never living in the moment. Trying my best to hold it all together. FJ was the same way to a point that she stopped cleaning completely. Why bother when things would get bad again anyway?

Out of all of us, who was the happiest? Why L of course. Let them make a mess, let them have fun, let go and live a little. When it’s all said and done put things back in their rightful place. This is akin to using the good towels. I spent way too much of my life saving things for a “special” day instead of making every day special even in the mundane. And the guilt is overwhelming some days.

Would’ve, could’ve, should’ve … the bane of my existence. You’d think I learned from my past therapy. And mostly I did but I still slip back now and again. Today is one of those “again” days. Where I can’t turn off my brain or stop blaming myself.

The controller in me wants to go behind with a rag and a broom. Ever at the ready to stop the catastrophe that is about to occur. Worrying about ‘what if’ instead of letting go. Whatever happens, happens. I mean I have cleaned up messes before right? Some pretty horrific ones too. I am telling myself I can do this as I watch, waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop.

As always, more to come.

Sunday Reflections ~ 6/21/20

This post is my 2nd Sunday reflections.  Look at me, building habits.  Speaking of habits, Lulu and I finished three weeks of walking every morning.  We planned to skip Sundays but have done that only once so far.  Tomorrow she has a tele-med appointment and I asked her if she wanted to skip.  She said, “nope, lets go 30 minutes earlier”.  Well look at that would ya?  Folks you’ve no idea what a huge stride that is … pun intended.

I started taking my hand weights and pretend to get tired so she will take them from me.  Sneaky I know but desperate times call for desperate measures as they say.  This wellness routine of ours is very small but a step in the right direction.  That pun was intended too :).

At her appointment she is going to ask about weaning from her anti-depressant.  Something I have wanted for a while and something she just doesn’t know.  Originally the doctor (who was quite the quack btw) said she would be able to stop after she got settled in college.  And lookie here, she graduates on 8/8/20.  Ultimately if she continues on, we will support her.  My guilt for getting her in the cycle when she was under 18 be damned.  We’d much rather have her obese and alive than thin and dead.  Of course obese could lead to early demise.  Heavy decisions for someone so young.

Alrighty, enough second guessing.  Now is the time to recap.

Last Sunday was all about Jack or John during #SLS.   This challenge hosted by Jim Adams is the best bringing the tunes.  You should play along or at least look here and take a listen.

On Monday I wrote a Haiku and Shared My World.  Work was a gazillion times better because I decided to eff it.  I can only control what I can control.  I laughed much more this week and I let the pressure go.  Up up and away.  Like a beautiful balloon.  Hurling expletives as she rose :).  The she is me.  I am the balloon.  🙂

Tuesday was all about property taxes.  Which reminds me, I need to get my evidence together.  Wednesday was #1linerWeds. while on Thursday and Friday, I looked back …

On Thursday I also learned that a co-worker tested positive for COVID.  He got it from his roommate’s sister who works at a Walmart.  She brought it to church and he picked it up there.  He is what they call a community spread.  After time in the hospital, he is convalescing at home.  Expected to make a full recovery.  Thank goodness.  Still when I see people out and about without masks, I just wanna punch them.  Hard.  In the face.

Saturday was the capstone.  Twofer!!  First, #SoCS  in da house.  Where ya never know what you’re gonna get … until you do.  We had ZZ words this week.  Second, mobile happy hour … like an ice cream truck for adults.  Proof!!!

Peace y’all.   Until next time. Stay safe.

As always, more to come.

All Rose in Titanic

Picture it … China Grove TX, May 7, 2020 noontime. I’m taking my walk doing my Rose from Titanic impression, arms outstretched walk as the wind blows back my hair as my heart will go on … I round the driveway curve and see a white van.
 
Dammit! A delivery and me without my mask. Who the eff keeps ordering things?!!??! Not me!! Sacribleu!! I sort of walk jog run in the opposite direction all Minny in the Help, running from Johnny, Celia’s husband. Worried because I taught her how to fry up a chicken and he can’t know that.
 
I swear I would have thrown groceries at the man, if I had them. Panic sets in as I mentally measure six feet apart muthafucker. Want some fire scarecrow? lol
 
But seriously dude where’s your mask?
 
He rolls down the window. I stop to listen as he yells from quite a distance …
 
“FedEx for pick up”.
 
Me: “they came by yesterday”.
 
Him: “FedEx?”
 
Me: “I hope so. For books right?
 
Him: “They told me to check”
 
Me: “Check what? Can’t you tell on your device? The other guy scanned them”
 
WTF. He drives away but stops at the spot in the road where I was when I first saw him. Not leaving. Dogs going nuts. I guess he was double checking but I just wanted him to go. Those damn books, the late fees are more than the original cost.
 
Inquiring minds wanna know, do I need 14 more days of quarantine?

Sunday Ramblings Rabbit Hole Kind of Day

I stayed in bed until after 9 am this morning.  When I mentioned this to my sonshine, I added how I had not done that in years to which he quipped “yep I remember, 5 more minutes … thanks for screwing me up mom”  Of course I laughed because in his reply, I heard my own smart ass voice talking back to me.   He was kidding not kidding.  I was queen of the five minute snooze … weekends only but that was apparently enough to warp my child.  Continuing on Pony says “well at least one of your kids didn’t take after you.  The good one!”  lol.  His sister is just like their father.

Now this made me think.  Are our children extensions of us or are they their own people?  There is no easy answer.  I imagine most “normal” people want their kids to grow up into strong independent helpful contributors to society.  Most do not expect perfection.  Life is perfectly flawed.  I wish I had learned that 31 years ago.

I am replaying a #SoCS post that I read yesterday full credit to Author: Na’ama Yehuda in that sometimes there is no unconditional love or acceptance if our children dare be who they are and they know it.  Even when we try to hide our desire for them to be who we think they should be as was my case.  Though I did not hide it well enough resulting in a pretty dark path for our girl.  Now that she has climbed out of the tunnel (that was really never even that bad), I am still struggling.  I know better and I can recognize it instantly when others helicopter their kids.  I remain a work in progress trying to achieve unconditional love.  Even at my ever advancing age because it’s never too late.  Acceptance is within my grasp.

As always, more to come.

For Better or For Worse

No this is not a post about marriage.  I am rambling and musing.  With time on my hands I am sprucing up the place.  For better or for worse that I do not know yet.  But I am loving playing around with free themes!!!

That also means I have moved some “furniture” around.  Virtual furniture is lightweight.  I can move here there and yonder and back again all without breaking a sweat.  I am the least techie tech type but I am not afraid to right click when in doubt.  Sort of like taking a multiple choice test … “When in doubt Charlie out”  Means select the c) answer.  Ha!  Fun times I tell ya.

This could be like me cutting my hair and no one notices.  Because I keep the same style (or lack there of).  Well that’s not exactly fair.  My hairdresser since October of 2006 always gave me a cut to keep me contemporary.  I have pictures to prove my evolution.  She also gave me a cut that basically styled itself.

I missed some appointments lately because of LIFE.  I also started to notice that my gray came back within days.  I could not afford the time to color my roots weekly (even if I had the money which I don’t because I am the other F word … frugal) .  Can’t fight city hall of the mane variety.  Time for acceptance.

In my usual hindsight is 20/20 fashion, I wish I had never gotten on the color train.  Or color boat.  Or color whatever vehicle of your choice.  Why?  Well because now I am having a painful transition.  That would not be the case if I had accepted myself all those years ago.  If wishes were buts and or candy then beggars would ride.  LOL.  See how I mixed up an idiom and a proverb.  Here are the real quips thank you Google you masterful search engine you.

“If ifs and buts were candies and nuts we’d all have a Merry Christmas”

“If wishes were horses, beggars would ride”

My therapist who I likely need to go back to again always told me not to waste a single minute on would’ve, could’ve, should’ve.  But oh how I like to wallow there in the land of regrets.  I don’t stay long anymore but I do go back to see my long lost friends.  My coping mechanism of expect the worst and you will never be disappointed.  Sort of similar huh?  Or not.

Whew! this felt good.  Better out than in as my old buddy Shrek is fond of saying.  Wishing you a wonderful peaceful Sunday.

As always, more to come.

Random Musings 6/11/19

many things are 

worse than this

still I wonder

what gives?

how much more

can one man stand?

deep in thoughts

churning

racing

until out they come

fear erasing

sweet relief

by J-Dub © 6/9/19 posted 6/11/19

I remember (or do I?) as a kid how I’d write to release my anxiety.  Better out than in.  #AmIright?  What’s with all this #nonsense.  #lol. #justkiddingIlovehashtags

Funny how in absence of any adult assistance my mind self-soothed.  Until 1999ish when the bough broke and the cradle fell down.  That is definitely not a dig at my parents.  Both happened to be from the pull up your boot straps generation.  You didn’t talk about such matters.  Mind your own business and all that jazz.  I was simply sensitive and wore my heart on my sleeve.

I decided to write this post to go back to my roots as it were.  I am not playing the blame game any longer.  People quite simply make stuff up.  I am people! They I want answers to why … even when sometimes there are no answers.  If you are not the “norm” you must have been traumatized or abused in some horrific way.

But that’s a fallacy or circular logic.  Not all depressed people were traumatized.  Many? Perhaps? But not ALL.  Life is rarely lived in absolutes.  Nope, I am not in denial.  Nothing made me this way!!!!!!

I yam what I yam à la Popeye.  I accept myself flaws and all.  And in spite of all my protesting to the contrary, I am a HAPPY person who laughs often … all day every day.  Sure at myself but that’s still laughing.  I even told my doctor I was in the best/worst head space of my life.  Best because I can talk myself off the ledge in 0 to 6 seconds.  I stomp my anxiety!  I am self-aware!!! Worst, there is just more stuff to wrap my brain around.  My worry list keeps growing. At least I recognize I’m MSU.

Now the proverbial question is why can’t I accept what’s up with my kiddo?  Why do I obsess and look for reasons why?  Why do I blame myself. Not B, just me! I’m the culprit. If only, if only, if only … then what?!?  Would that make any difference?  Nope.  Not one iota.  And now that I have used iota in a sentence I can move along.  Hehe.  Iota.  I love that word. 

Acceptance is the answer my friends.  I never needed AA but I will borrow their universally applied sageness.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

https://youtu.be/aQUlA8Hcv4s

As always, more to come.