Category Archives: Changes

Step-Families – How to Deal . . .

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I’m hoping this quote is true in my case of dealing with my step-family.

Who is this Jean De La Breyere who wrote the quote anyway? It seems he was a 1600s French philosopher and moralist who was noted for his satire. So, does that make this quote some tongue-in-cheek advice? Nah, I know better. I’ve lived through difficulties that did cause amazing things to manifest.

Anyone have advice on tactfully dealing with an adult step-child who can’t get her life together? She always needs financial help, won’t work outside the home, and has divorced twice in a decade? I love this young woman. She is generous, loving, and has a wonderful sense of humor. She would give you the shirt off of her back, wake at 3 a.m. to help a friend in need, or hold your hand at a scary doctor visit. So, I’m completely confused as to what my role is in this situation.

I’ve decided to follow my mom’s and dad’s advice and step back, hush, and let my wise husband deal with his daughter during this time of her second divorce from a man who is abusive emotionally (and could be physically, if he’s been drinking). I won’t resent my husband or his decisions because that is his child. I have two grown kids of my own. How would I feel if one of them got himself or herself into that type of trouble?

Yeah, I know.

Step-parenting is hard and full of gray areas. When in doubt, I’m going to trust my intelligent and loving husband’s choices because he is smart enough to know how much is too much, I trust.

I have many readers of this blog; might you share your ways of dealing with blended families? I’d love to hear them. Comments must be approved before appearing on this post, so if you tell me you’d rather keep yours private, will do!

Thanks, and best of luck in all of our blended families. Love you guys!

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Bipolar Mixed Episode . . . The Next Morning

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The hours after a Bipolar Mixed Episode are like watching a scary movie. I keep my hands over my eyes and peek through my fingers. What unintentional damage did I do this time? Who did I reach out to and spill my (very personal) guts to? How many mean and demeaning things did I say to my husband? Did others notice my expression and down-turned eyes when I had to leave the dinner we were attending? If it hits me while I’m in public, I have to find a way out of the people because my mood definitely shows in my face. No playing “just fine” at these times. Many times, I’ll blog. Writing has always been my outlet. Even as a ten year old, I wrote “escape” poetry. I finally took you guys along with me last night during an episode (you lucky people). 😉  Well, today is a new day, and I broke the mood cycle with sleep. Life still isn’t perfect but at least I can deal with things differently today.

Bless you, my readers and subscribers. Have an awesome day ~

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Join Me in a Bipolar Mixed Episode

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It’s been a day of hard issues in my marriage. Please forgive my disjointed organization of thought. I’m taking you with me on a bout of Bipolar Mixed episode. I have depression paired with anxiety. I feel anger, rage actually. I want to die. Not to threaten it but to actually do the deed. I don’t because of my two kids and my mother. I love them too much to put them through a loss like that, so I’m stuck in this mental illness with no real way out. Meds work most of the time. Not tonight. I had wine with a Xanax. Supposedly a no-no but my body is so used to the Xanax that I only have a good buzz going. I feel lonely – like I am ultimately responsible for myself, and I hate that. I’ve always been a sheltered child and then woman. I can’t organized my thoughts to keep a job for longer than a year but also can’t receive government aid (for income). It’s a terrible cycle which causes me much anxiety and depression. My spouse and I have a couple of weak areas in our new marriage (of two years). This starts the bipolar/mania cycle. As I type, the words on the screen are blurry, and I make a lot of spelling errors. I long for the long seep. The end of all of these roller coaster of emotions. Meds can only do so much for me. I’ve dealt with this for 9 years. I’m TIRED of fighting with it. I hope i can sleep tonight. I hope when  wake, it’s a hopeful new day. But I don’t know. I hang in the abyss of a universe with stars blinking brightly, hurting my eyes. I float too closely to the planets. It’s sometimes hard to breathe in this dark vast space. Other times I get lungs full of fresh air. Hope is all I have. It stays somewhere deep in my core, a tiny flame that doesn’t seem to go out even when high winds or heavy rains cover it. I am inwardly thankful for that flame. It promises  another day that might be a good one. One with sunshine on my face and bird songs in my ears.

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Bipolar Disorder, Be Patient, Dears

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Ever feel like you have a Jekyl and Hyde thing going on? I did but didn’t notice it as a problem until years after it began, and then finding the correct meds and behavioral therapy was like pulling teeth.

I’ve finally found the “cocktail” that works for me. Guess how long it took? TEN YEARS! No kidding. I was first diagnosed with depression, then Major Depressive Disorder, then Bipolar, then back to depression with ADHD. Finally, my new doctor said she wanted to treat me for Bipolar 2. I began Abilify (generic) and have been smooth sailing from that point on. Thanks goodness for perserverence. I just KNEW something had to work at some point.

These days, I am happy (but not too much) LOL. I’m not thinking that suicide is the best answer for me as I did for many years. I’ve also got energy again! Blessed be! It’s been gone for so long. Feels good to want to “do” things again.

The Take Away from this blog post is this: NEVER ever give up on finding what might make you feel like yourself again. It’s trial and error. It’s changing doctors multiple times. It’s being patient enough to keep your head up and your courage up even more.

If you or a loved one might have the following symptoms, please see your doctor and start feeling better! ((hugs to you)). See the Mayo Clinic’s information on Bipolar Disorder here:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bipolar-disorder/symptoms-causes/dxc-20307970

The “Highs” (mania). Symptoms of a manic episode may include –

  • Feelings of euphoria, abnormal excitement, or elevated mood

  • Talking very rapidly or excessively

  • Needing less sleep than normal, yet still having plenty of energy

  • Feeling agitated, irritable, hyper, anxious, or easily distracted

  • Engaging in risky behavior such as lavish spending, impulsive sexual encounters, or ill-advised business decisions

The “Lows” (depression). Symptoms of a depressive episode (bipolar depression) may include –

  • No interest in activities you once enjoyed

  • Loss of energy and feeling apathetic

  • Difficulty sleeping—either sleeping too much or not at all

  • Thoughts of suicide, if depression is severe enough

Vacations are Approaching!

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Hello, blog friends! It’s about time to hit Hawaii for a month. September will find Dave and I in Maui for the month. Thanks, T, for house sitting, and eat all of the chips/cola/popcorn/and ice cream you like. 😉

I’ve got my earbuds in and am listening to a live webcam of the ocean rolling in on a Maui beach. It is sublime! I cannot wait to get there and LIVE there for 32 days. We found lesser expensive lodging, so we can stay for about the same price as our 5-day trip there last October. Yay for a month of eating tropical fruit, fresh fish, snorkeling, boating, hiking, ATV-ing, zip-lining, and writing on my laptop from quaint Hawaiian coffee shops nearby. Don’t miss my blogs coming up. I’ll blog or vlog on YouTube daily while there AND while traveling there. You’ll go along with us!

I saw two large green turtles from the webcam a bit ago. Made me miss that place so much. Just the sounds of the Pacific waves rolling in and crashing lightly on the shore make me long to sit beside it all. We will take our Go-pro video camera, my Sony video camera, my fancy Canon camera with macro lens, our iPads, and my laptop. Think that’ll be enough to capture some of Hawaii for you guys? Leave me specifics of what you’d like to see, and I’ll try to accommodate. Example, coffee plantation. 🙂

First things first, though. We’re headed to Vegas July 9-12. I’ll also document that trip via blog and vlog on YouTube. Looks pretty, doesn’t it? We’ll be arriving at night, so I should capture some great shots from the plane.

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Hope you guys will give me ideas on where to visit and what to do while in Vegas, on this, my first time to visit! Love y’all!

Las Vegas in a Few Weeks!

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It seems appropriate to blog in MONEY GREEN today, as I’ll soon be heading to a mini-vacay in Vegas. However, this green is also a pukey color.

Ahhh, much brighter. SO, Dave and I are heading to Vegas for a 4 day and 3 night mini vacation next month. After the exciting news of agreeing to the initial deal that Hilton offered us, the first thing I think of is ‘Thank god for our house sitter. He’s always willing to stay over and babysit the pets and care for the house.’ (Thank you, T).

Moving on . . . I’ve never been to Las Vegas or anywhere else in Nevada. I was a Southern girl for many years. If the residents of a state didn’t realize that iced tea was supposed to be served with lots of ice and plenty of sweetener, I hadn’t visited their state. That’s all changed!

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The sights and activities in Vegas sound big, bold, and in-my-face. Yep, my kind of fun . . . over done! LOL. The older I get, the more bling I wear. I like it on my sandals, in my jewelry, and even in my toenail polish! Now, I’m not a gambler, so that shouldn’t be a huge waste of our money while in Las Vegas. I’ve tried slot machines but have only ever won $75 (which I played again until I lost it).

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Gambling makes me mad, really. I don’t like watching my dollars disappear each time I push the big lighted button in front of me. Know what I have at the end of the night? I have an empty wallet, a pissy attitude, and a voice in my head that says, “You knew you’d lose, idiot.”

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Ugh, onto a happy color now. I look forward to seeing new things and meeting interesting people. I love to fly and am an adventurer when it comes to exploring new towns’ music, theater, and plain old fun spots. After we return from Vegas, we’ll stay home for a couple of months before heading out on American Airlines on a 9 hour flight to Maui, Hawaii.

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I’ll definitely blog here and vlog on my YouTube channel about the Hawaii preparations and then the entire stay on the islands. You may see my YouTube videos HERE.

Right now, as of June 12, 2017, I only have half a dozen videos that include our last trip to Hawaii and the underwater life there. Soon MANY more to come! Please subscribe and keep up with my vlogs now. There will soon be many, and they will be interesting and most will be humorous. 

Love you guys! Thanks for reading! I’m getting new readers each week. XO!

And, uh, this green below may be the only green I get back home with from Vegas OR Maui. 😉

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When PMS & ADHD Pair Up!

When PMS & ADHD pair up, people nearby had better make themselves scarce. Go run errands, work on an outdoor project, visit the library . . . just get away from the woman with the fiery mood!

I say this because I am that woman some months. Right now, in fact, I’m dealing with this pair of clashing hormonal and mental hurricanes. I’ve told my husband some terribly awful things. I’ve alienated my step child. I’ve thrown a glass and have angrily folded/put away three large loads of laundry. That was all in the last hour. Lord help me. Lord help them.

I’m not saying there weren’t reasons why I responded negatively but it shouldn’t have been to the degree I reacted. I know these things intellectually but can’t physically stop the feelings – and have been trying to stay away from loved ones so I don’t hurt them further.

I’ve only known I had ADHD for a few months, and this is the first month the disorder has clashed with a bout of PMS. It feels awful. Like I have no control of my emotions or actions.

I’ll spend the day in my room with a book and ipad. And probably some cookies. Hopefully the cats don’t make me mad . . . Only Kidding!

Lord help us all ~

New Relationship Advice

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Ever feel like you are living in a life that you didn’t plan?

Ever wonder how a spouse could hide negative traits so well for so long?

Ever wonder if you did the same type of hiding?

Women often are caught in a nasty web. They need personal fulfillment, want children, a career, and a doting husband. Guess what? Having it ALL is just not possible. That would mean perfection . . . which doesn’t exist.

Instead, we flail around – especially in our love relationships.  We hope for best, and then stick a toe in the water to test the chill factor. If the water’s warm, we go for it. If it’s tepid, we wait to see whether to step away or wade in.

If you got the warm water, and then jumped in face first, you might be regretting it before even a year’s anniversary arrives.

Please, ladies and young ladies, get to know Mr. Right before moving your pets in with him . . . before leaving your toothbrush next to his, and for god’s sake, live together long enough to realize his shortcomings!!! If I had it to do over (raising my kids), I’d not teach my kids to wait to have sex or to live with someone they loved before marriage. I would encourage it! Marriage is a huge step, and it’s expensive to reverse! So, do more than get your toe wet. Let your feet dangle in that water for the day while you chomp an apple and consider your future. There really is no rush – and if there is, get your life straight first before introducing a partner into it.

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(Welcome new subscribers! I see I’ve added about ten over the past week. Thank you for your interest. I’ll soon have a video blog on a YouTube station. I’ll print here when and where it will be).

 

Midlife Shift. Age 52. 


My mind and body are shifting tremendously during the heights of premenopause. Below are random thoughts about my experience. Some of it is exciting. Other parts are frightening. Feels like my core or my “home base” inside is not quite stable. It’s an unsettling situation. I ride the waves daily, sometimes buried by large waves. On good days, though, interesting new personality changes. Curious new abilities. A song will send me instantly to grief and tears after losing a love. He liked the song but said radios ran it every 10 minutes.  We laughed each time it played. Good but very bittersweet memories. I keep many secrets inside. Ones I’ve shared with no one. They get heavy sometimes. Yet, I don’t share my most personal and treasured memories. Nobody would “get it” anyway. Im an only child and am used to being alone with myself. I enjoy quiet rooms with no TV. Music is important to my mood. I am glad I have a kind and thoughtful partner to grow old with. If PMS is a toddler’s puzzle. Peri menopausal symptoms are a college calculus textbook. Much more intense & advanced material. Upon awakening every morning, I make a cup of strong Community coffee add Splenda and flavored Coffee Mate. I sip, watch the news, and pet the cats. I enjoy that routine. Small joys make life better. It’s bedtime, and I am very drowsy as I write. Earbuds channel favorite songs. I think I’ll come out on the other end of this time of life – in one piece 

How it Feels to be Suicidal

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I have come back from the brink of suicide. I have visited that place several times. During the depression years, before I changed my life circumstances and also found a med that helped, I felt mostly heaviness in my chest and was hopeless, tired, and apathetic. During those 6 years, I “knew” I had no future. I couldn’t hold down a job for longer than 12 months, so I’d be on government aid and not enough of it to actually live a semi-comfortable existence. Severe depression is crippling and scary. I was often afraid I would never find my real self again. Was she in there somewhere or had this helpless slug of a woman taken over completely?

“When I was suicidal, it was because every single day was literally the worst day of my life.”                                                                                                                                Thoughtcatalog.com (13 Heart-Ripping Testimonies of How it Feels to be Suicidal)

I married at 19, and it lasted 25 years. We had two fantastic children who are now successes in their careers and family lives. For reasons that are saved for another blog, I ran away from home and husband at age 44. I ran wild for almost a year before my mind slowed and reality appeared. I was without a degree, training for an occupation, and had no previous work (to speak of) to complete a decent resume. Employers want to hire 20-somethings or 30-somethings. I was past prime, and it showed by the employment rejections. Depression became worse over each year until I came very, very close to speeding my car off of a high , multi-level interstate system. I drove, cried, and considered my options for type of demise. However, there was a tiny flicker of light still within me because before I chose the moment I could jump in front of an 18-wheel truck traveling 70 mph, I turned the steering wheel and exited the freeway. It was my gynecologist’s office exit. I knew Sally would try to help me. She was always empathetic and helpful. It worked, and the emergency feeling lowered to  just plain depression masked with humor. Always crack a joke and no one will know you hurt inside, right?

(In same article on Thoughtblog.com, the following testimonial was given)                                “I understand that feeling of utter hopelessness that can so easily consume a life. I’ve suffered from depression on and off for most of my life. My mother suffers from bipolar disorder. As a result, both of us have struggled with suicidal tendencies. It’s hard to go through life when your own brain has turned against you. Getting out of bed is a struggle. Taking a shower is a struggle. Looking in the mirror is a struggle. Ah, I wish I didn’t understand. Honestly, for a long time I thought that suicide was the nicest thing I could do for myself. I knew it was selfish to put my loved ones through, but at the same time it was so goddamn difficult to stay alive just for the well-being of others. I could easily rationalize it and say that they were better off without me. God, depression is a bitch. It has taken so much intense therapy and self-reflection and, yes, even medication for me to realize that giving myself a chance to heal was the kindest thing I could do for myself. So I guess I’m trying to say that I empathize with suicide victims. When your own mind betrays you it’s hard to get back up again.”

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Today, 8 1/2 years from the time I ran away from home for a different life, I’m on an antidepressant, remarried to a kind man, keep 4 precious kitties, and enjoy my family and friends again. I live in a house again and not a tiny apartment or noisy duplex. I get to decorate this home and even have the desire to do so. I now drive a 2 year old car instead of a 15 years old one with no sun visors or key fob. We’re going to Hawaii next month and to New York in December. Life did a 180 for me, and it happened quickly! Before meeting my current husband, I had zero hope of gaining the strength to break up with an emotionally abusive boyfriend, moving out of an undesirable location, or having a regular income. Then, a new friend helped me leave the codependent relationship I was in, and I soon (and unexpectedly) found love. Life is settled. The depression isn’t crippling and no more suicidal thoughts. But guess who has moved into my home?! Perimenopause! Ugh. I’m dealing with up and down mood swings – like way down. I still take an antidepressant and keep Xanax on hand for anxiety or insomnia. I’m very thankful that summer is at its end. Not so many hot flashes!

If you find yourself in a depressed state that doesn’t fully leave and that often (or always) confines you to your house or bed, have hope. I’ve been there and stayed there for years. However, you can find the strength to change your life situation – even if you were like me and saw NO way to do that. It just took someone who took charge and helped me jump a few hurdles to make changes for the better. My one take-away from this blog is this: don’t try to kill yourself. It turns out that “they” are correct . . . nothing lasts forever, and you will be happy again. Yes, it’s an every day climb but it’s very worth it. It’s your very existence we’re talking about, right?

I’m here if you need to talk or have questions. Leave a comment, as well. Love to you!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline   1-800-273-8255

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