Between two places

I’ve been having a lot of trouble lately.

I pride myself on always being the person that is there for people whenever they need me. I love being that person and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

But sometimes I need someone…

I’ve been feeling less than myself lately, and I’ve honestly just wanted someone to ask me “how are you doing?” or just simply talk to me about literally anything to get my mind off whatever it is that’s bothering me.

Along with my never-ending anxiety I also have spurts of depression. These two combined feels like a storm above only you that at any point could strike you with lightening. Constant unease and constant feeling of doom and sadness.

Now when I feel this way, which isn’t all that often, but it does happen. I just want to talk to the people that are closest to me. Mostly my husband but he’s on an exact opposite sleeping schedule so it makes these times significantly harder on me.

Sometimes I feel like I lean too much on my husband for his support to the point where I am slightly codependent. Then other times I feel like I should lean on him because he’s my husband… Anxiety is fun.

So, I know that not everything is about me. I’m not one of those self-centered people that wants all the attention. I hate attention, don’t look at me. I’m always making sure everyone else is okay and taken care of before I even think about myself. It’s just my motherly instinct I guess.

But, sometimes it is about me. I NEED it to be about me.

Sometimes I just need to talk about something other than adult things, or something that’s just bothering me, or I just need to be around someone close to me. Even if we don’t talk about anything of importance, that time is like a reset for my brain.

This usually falls under the category of husbandly duties, but military spouses must improvise.

And no, I don’t mean by finding another guy, I do not mess with Jody’s

Let me pause and address the Jody’s reading this, you are bad, bad people. Of course, both parties involved are bad people, but you saw a vulnerable person and you took advantage of the situation. YOU ARE A BAD PERSON. And the dedicated military spouses can see you coming A MILE away so please just stop.

Anyways, back to my original point. I must improvise by making plans with my close girlfriends. I look forward to these plans as looking forward to them makes the time I’m away from my husband pass by significantly faster. When I have long spurts of just doing the same thing every single day without anything to look forward to besides my husband coming home MONTHS from now I get sad.

I get lonely, I just want company. I have my daughter of course and she’s totally fun to hang out with, but she’s also my job.

Think about this for a second. You love your job right (some of us don’t I know, but just work with me here). You love your job, now imagine you LIVE at this job you love. Your entire world revolves around this job that you love. You can’t do ANYTHING without making sure this job is taken care of while you’re away. When at home aka your job, you are on the job 24 hours a day 7 days a week. The only breaks you get are when you hire that temp to come in for a few hours, so you can actually be an adult instead of a slave.

What I just explained was the life of a stay at home military husband or wife with a deployed spouse. Take away the 24-hour work shift and you have a stay at home parent. Tweak it any way you want, and it still is working HARD for FREE.

I love my daughter more than I have ever loved anything on the planet, but she’s exhausting. It’s a good exhausted, but everyone still needs a break even from the things they love.

Lately, I’ve just felt more alone than I usually do. Usually I have something to do every week that I get to look forward to. Recently I’ve had nothing. Nothing but mundane chores and a 1 year old that’s learning what a scream is…

Of course, I have home projects, my friends always laugh at me because I ALWAYS take on some huge project when my husband is away. I get bored and my mind is bigger than my logic I guess.

Last time my husband was gone I decided to sell our old house and purchase a new one, then proceeded to move our entire household while I was about 8 months pregnant. This time? I’ve decided to have the roof redone (we’re paying someone for that one) and I decided my dad and I can totally redo the deck that is rotting because the guy that built it didn’t use pressure treated wood.

ANYWAYS, our deck is still a hot mess and now it’s just a chore that I need another break from instead of a project. I understand everyone has their own thing going on, and I’m totally okay with that. When my husband is home I’m usually busy all the time trying to get everything done in the time that I have him because it’s always a countdown to the next deployment.

I guess what I’m saying is I just need to find something to look forward to in order to get out of this funk that I’m in. And I need my friends to realize that when I plan things with them it’s part of my “looking forward to” way of coping with my husband being gone for long periods of time.

I don’t really have a solution to this one yet, I’m sure I will figure it out as I go along and get out of this funk. Right now, I just nap when the little one allows me to nap in order to make time feel like it’s going by faster.
“Time is the longest distance between two places.” -Tennessee Williams

Certainly Uncertain

Today was something…

I don’t even know where to begin, it started out totally normal. I woke up, got my daughter we had breakfast as usual. She watched Paw Patrol (side note, I HATE paw patrol and we literally have 3 of the breeds of dogs that are on that show, but I just CANNOT) and I did my schoolwork. The day went off like any other day until dinner time.

I sat my big girl in her high chair as I usually do because she outgrew me and now MUST feed herself. I recently purchased little toddler ravioli plates for quick dinners when I’m either eating something she can’t, or I just don’t feel like cooking.

Don’t be a judgey mom, you know there’s been times you don’t want to cook haha.

Anyways, I’m sitting there watching this giant one-year old baby that I just gave birth to yesterday pick up her little raviolis and pop them in her mouth then take a swig from her dinosaur sippy cup.

She’s talking to her food as she usually does and is trying to grab everything around her high chair instead of actually eating her food.

I turn to start my dinner and hear the noise…

The noise that just sends absolute chills down your spine. The noise that you know something is wrong. The noise that you will never forget. I turn around quickly to see her little face slowly turning bright red as she clutches for her little dinosaur sippy cup in hopes of relief.

She was choking…

I know people have said when you are in a near death experience you will see your entire life flash before your eyes. I have never been in a near death experience, but I can attest that your life and your child’s life will flash before your eyes when they are in trouble.

No one told me this…

No one told me that she would choke on things, no one told me that sometimes she would just shove things in her mouth faster than I even see her do it. And certainly no one told me that it would be the absolute scariest moment of my life and probably not the last.

This is not the first time she has choked on her food. She’s done so before, but this time felt different, it felt like time just stopped.

I know people say you will never understand love until you have children and if I’m being honest I always thought those people were absolutely crazy. Love? Of course, I know what love is. I love my husband, I’ve loved my family my whole life, I love my animals.

Those crazy people were right.

I had NO IDEA what love was until I saw that little girl. She is my absolute world and I know I’m the only one that sees her the way she is. I have never loved something as much as I love her.

As I watched her little face turn red my instincts kicked in and I think if it hadn’t been for them I’d still be sitting there in shock. It was like my body was moving before my brain even left the chair that I was sitting on.

I was over to her faster than I have probably ever moved in my life (and I’ve seen a tarantula in the wild). Her high chair is second hand and it sticks when you try to remove the tray. I will now be searching for a new high chair because of this incident.

The high chair table was stuck in position and I couldn’t get to my daughter. She’s sitting there choking, spit is just pouring out of her mouth because she can’t swallow, and I can’t get her out. I don’t know how, but again my body was just moving I had zero control.

I hulk ripped that table off that high chair with the power of Hercules. Once it was off that thing hit the ground and the food and sippy cup flying. I made it, I got to her.

Now what?

She’s still choking looking to me for help because she doesn’t understand why she can’t breathe.

When I was pregnant with her I was already in this over protective mom mode. I decided where we lived was not good enough for her (we lived in a lesser than ideal area for kids at the time) the house was our first home, so we compromised on location. Anyways, I had sold our house, found another one out in the woods with a beautiful 5-acre plot, and moved our entire household, ALL WHILE I WAS 8 MONTHS PREGNANT AND MY HUSBAND WAS DEPLOYED.

My realtor, who is now my very good friend just thought I was totally insane. No one, and I mean NO ONE understood why I had to do this right now and I couldn’t just wait until the baby and the husband was here and then find a location.

What people don’t understand about me is that I am a fierce lover. I love with passion, fire, and protection. I saw our old house as a negative space to bring our child into, so I HAD to get her to safety.

While I was looking for homes, I found the perfect one that was way out in the mountains that had a huge garage for the hubs, an in-law quarter for my father, and just beautiful aerial views of panoramic mountains.

This house was one hour from literally anything…

Me being who I am I instantly said no to this perfect house for our family because what if something happens and I need to get this tiny human growing inside of me to a hospital? By the way, worst case scenario thinking is also a symptom of anxiety.

Long story short, I found our house that we currently live in with much patience from my poor realtor friend and my husband who was deployed and having a very hard time not seeing the house before buying it. I made sure to find the closest EMS location (right down the road from us) and the closest hospital (20 minutes away).

This was enough to subdue my anxiety and fear of something going wrong because I knew at least I could get us to safety if I absolutely needed to within a reasonable amount of time.

Now, I timed the locations of the EMS station and the hospital and how long it would take for me to get to both places from our house.

Wasn’t good enough for me…

Did you know it only takes 4-6 minutes for someone to die from a blocked airway? Don’t believe me? Look it up.

Getting to the EMS station or the hospital was much further than the time it would take for my daughter (or really anyone in my house) to die from choking on something. So, my husband and I signed up for a CPR class.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND getting CPR certified if you have small children or really just anyone living in your home. Even if you are just living by yourself they teach you how to perform the Heimlich on yourself if you need to in such a situation, but I digress.

As we were taking the CPR class I was stressing out because how am I ever going to remember all this information when I need it? I’m going to completely go blank and whoever is in front of me is just going to die before my eyes because I can’t remember how many fingers you use to measure from the middle of the chest to perform the Heimlich properly.

I am here to tell you that you WILL REMEMBER.

I am here to tell you that your body will just do it. Once your brain realizes that something you love is in danger it completely focuses on that and takes over. My body moved before I had a chance to think about it.

The second that high chair tray fell to the ground she was unbuckled and, in my arms, as I was patting her back and clearing her airway.

In this moment I began to cry.

Anyone who knows me, knows that it takes A LOT for me to cry.

Unless I’m pregnant, when I’m pregnant the wind could hit my face the wrong way and I’ll just break down in tears. Whoever said pregnancy is fun is a bold-faced liar.

Anyways, this was a cry I have never in my life experienced. Never in my life have I cried without contorting my face (yes I ugly cry, if you don’t you’re lying to yourself haha)

Tears were just running down my face as I held her in my arms and listened to her breathing and whimpering because she was scared. I wasn’t sad, I wasn’t angry, I wasn’t happy (I mean I was happy she was okay, but it wasn’t a happy moment). I have never before cried simply because a situation was intense. For some reason I was embarrassed that I was crying so I tried to hide it, also I didn’t want to scare my poor daughter more than she already was.

Let’s be honest when our parents cry we KNOW something isn’t right.

This story is quite long, and I do apologize for that, but I needed it to be dramatic. I needed you to feel everything that I felt tonight so the next time you look at someone you love you know how quickly they can be taken from you. There is no guarantee in this life and as I write this I could easily pass away and you’d never hear from me again.

Life is terrifyingly amazing and take advantage of as much as you can while you can. Enjoy the people you love because there is no way of knowing when you never get to touch them again.

Also, LEARN CPR.

I know you’re thinking “I’ll never need to use it and I will have wasted all that money for no reason”, I’m here to tell you I said the exact same thing to myself when I signed us up for the expensive class.

I’m also here to tell you that if I hadn’t taken that class my daughter may have died tonight…

“Live life for the moment, because everything else is uncertain” – Louise Tomlinson

Mothers Don’t Sleep

It’s been a while since I have written anything. Well… I take that back I’ve written quite a bit, I just haven’t posted them because I either forget or I haven’t perfected them to my liking yet.

Recently I have been a little anxious about my daughter. She turns one tomorrow, and I honestly have no idea how that even happened.

I’ve been thinking about her future recently and I have been overly anxious about it. I’m so worried for her. I know as a mom that is totally normal, but is it normal to be THIS anxious about it?

I fear for her safety, I’m mortified that something is going to happen to her so much so that half the time I don’t leave the house with her without someone else there with us. Being that my husband can’t be home right now this makes my anxiety extra high because our “protector” isn’t here.

The other day I had a scary moment that didn’t help the anxiety whatsoever. My dad, my daughter, and I were shopping. I pulled into the parking lot and I just happened to scan the parking lot (something my husband taught me to do when I am alone just so I know what and who is in my surroundings). As I scanned I noticed a guy just scanning the parking lot and waiting. He seemed to be waiting for something, so I kept him in the back of my mind and we continued on into the store. As we came out I noticed he was still in the parking lot wandering around just looking at various cars and randomly checking his watch to act like he wasn’t paying attention to anything around him. We get to the car and I get my little one all situated in her car seat and my dad hops in the back seat to give her a bottle while I prepare to drive us home. Now I know I’m not the only one that does this because I don’t like to text and drive so I send messages and get my music all set up before I leave the location I’m at, it’s just something I’ve always done. I’m getting ready to put my phone down and I hear my dad say “lock the doors” with that dad voice that sends chills down your spine. Instantly, I locked the doors and looked in my rear-view mirror and there is that guy walking up from the back of my car so close to it that he’s basically rubbing his body up against my car. He must have heard the doors lock because he continued as if nothing happened and as if it wasn’t completely weird to be looking into someone’s car (that you just watched get in it).  He started scanning the parking lot again and checking his watch as if nothing ever happened. I wanted to call the police, but honestly what would I say? He really didn’t do anything but get too close to my car.

This is the kinds of situations that run through my mind on a daily basis. What if I didn’t lock the doors in time? Was he going to open my daughter’s door and grab her? He never would have gotten to her without me jumping out of the car and attacking him because let’s be honest there is no “fast” way to get a baby out of a car seat. But what was he going to do? Was he going to hurt my innocent child? Was he going to try to take her?

There is a reason that I wanted to have a boy. I have grown up my whole life as a girl and I know the things that girls can go through and I’m so scared for my baby girl.

As I continue to watch her grow, I continue to fear for her. I know I will need to teach her to protect herself and I know that I’m not going to be able to protect her from everything and that breaks my heart.

I don’t want her to go through the things that I’ve gone through, I don’t want her to be afraid of just being in a situation because of her gender. We all know as females we must take certain precautions in order to ensure that we are safe, I wish more than anything that I could let her life her life without that fear.

I’ve never really given it a second thought when I protect myself in certain situations, but when I think of my daughter having to do these things and having to be afraid of just simply walking down the street it makes me want to hold her and never let go.

I have spoken to my husband about it and of course he just says we will teach her to protect herself. Which of course yes, we will, but he doesn’t have that anxiety that I have for her. I just wish I could keep her in a tower like Rapunzel and never let anyone up to hurt her.

Obviously, I’m not going to do that because if I remember my story correctly Rapunzel ended up hating her “mother” right?

I’m also mortified for that! What if she totally grows up and hates me?! I love her with all my heart I can’t imagine her just hating me because I wouldn’t let her do something.

I mean I know that she’s going to be in that weird teenage years where everything mom says is just because I want to “ruin her life” but I am so scared she’s going to come out of those teenage years and completely hate me because let’s be honest we don’t all like our parents. I like mine, but I know plenty of people that want nothing to do with their parents.

There’s SO much anxiety that comes along with having a little girl. And I’m sure there is anxiety that comes with having a little boy too, I don’t know because I don’t have a boy yet but I’m sure there’s anxieties that will arise when/if we ever have a little boy.

This article really doesn’t have any advice like my past posts do because I honestly am right in the middle of this anxiety problem and I have found no way out yet. I feel like every day I watch her grow and every day this anxiety hole gets deeper and deeper as I fear for her.

I don’t know how to teach her to be friendly to strangers, but not trusting. How do I teach her to trust her instincts and not do things that just aren’t safe? I don’t know how I’m ever going to let her leave my sight without being a nervous wreck the entire time.

I know there must be something that other parents do to be okay with these kinds of things. I’m sure I will find it, but right now I am so scared for my child.

“Mothers don’t sleep, they just worry with their eyes closed” -Author Unknown

(Un)Healthy Relationship

So, my past posts have been quite serious and while I do enjoy serious writing at the proper times I also am a very sarcastic and playful person so this post while the content is fairly serious I am going to start adding some humor to it. Because what is life if we can’t laugh?

I do apologize this is going to be a long one so buckle up!

Let me just start by saying I am quite happily married. When I think about being with anyone other than my husband I get a nasty feeling in the pit of my stomach, unless of course it’s Taron Egerton (that guy is my guilty pleasure, which my husband is fully aware of and he has his freebie too, Mila Kunis).

Anyways, I want to start out with that because what I’m about to discuss is about ex relationships. The ones that are still sour in our minds, even if we have our happily ever after.

I wanted to talk about this because today I saw something on social media about how a girl was in a relationship and he made her feel like she was “too”. By “too” she describes “too emotional”, “too clingy”, just “too much” for this particular man in her life. I can’t credit her unfortunately because it was a screen shot and her name was blacked out, but if you’re reading this, girl thank you for the epiphany you brought me today.

I’ve been in numerous relationships that have left a sour taste in my mouth. Ones that you aren’t really sure he did anything wrong because he always made you feel like the bad person. Relationships where no matter what you did it was ALWAYS wrong. You are always the one that did something wrong and no matter what he will make it known that it’s all your fault.

You’re “too” much.

This is a VERY bad person, run far away from this person.

They only get worse, trust me. And yes, I’m talking about actual physical abuse. If you need someone to talk about options, there are plenty of sources out there to get away from this type of person. If you would like to talk to me about it, I would be happy to help you in any way that I can. I’ve listed help sources at the bottom of this post.

It is IMPERATIVE that you seek help from this person.

Then there’s the relationships where he puts you on what I like to call the back burner. The area of the stove that only gets used when the two front burners are occupied. My main example of a “back burner” type scenario is this:

S.O. = Significant Other

S.O.1: Would you like to hang out tonight?

S.O.2: Sure, that sounds great.

Later that night, after S.O.1 has already told everyone else that he/she has plans

S.O.2: Sorry can’t hang out tonight someone else asked me to hang out with them.

This is a prime example of basically an entire relationship I had at one point in my life. I would always initiate the get togethers and if something better came up for him, he would ditch me and do that, with or without inviting me sometimes. It even got to the point where I would bribe him with things in order to get him to hang out with me. Can I just say, I’ve never felt more like an object than when I had to bribe someone to hang out with me and it WORKED.

This completely isolated me from my friends because why would they want to hang out with someone that always says no for her boyfriend? I lost so many friends and the ones that I had left were his friends, so in the end I was left with no one and a bunch of people that turned their backs on me.

This is not to say that I was completely innocent in the entire relationship, don’t get me wrong I had my mistakes. However, when you unfortunately love someone with this “back burner” mentality then you end up trying everything within your power to get away from them, but they keep giving you hope to keep you on that back burner, so you keep going back.

Until you can take a step back and realize everyone you know is either not your friend anymore because of them or was their friend to begin with, then you can start to move on with your life and get completely away from this toxic relationship. You also must come to the realization that the “back burner” is also the “talker”.

Let me elaborate, once you end this “back burner” relationship be prepared because he or she is going to try to turn every single person that knows you against you to make you look like the bad guy. Trust me this happens and trust me it is NOT FUN, but you’ll be alright. Mine even tried to turn my family against me…

Yeah… Dick move.

There’s also the relationships where he just talks to you like you’re an object or he needs to train you to be a certain way. I am not exactly a full on “feminist march” (as my husband likes to describe it), but I am a feminist, or I guess a humanist because I don’t think men should be treated poorly either so I’m just going to go ahead and say this to all the people that have this type relationship:

YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE ANYTHING FOR ANYONE BUT YOURSELF.

If you are in a relationship that you feel like being yourself just makes the other person angry, can I ask why you’re in that relationship? I know, it’s because you love that person. I’ve been there, it sucks.

I’ve even let an ex dictate who my friends were. I’ve had a few insecure boyfriends try to tell me who I can and can’t speak to, meanwhile they’re off hanging out with other females and doing things I probably never found out about. This is what I like to call the “shelf relationships”, basically you’re put on a shelf and he will take you down and play with you whenever he wants, but no one else gets to play with his toy when he’s not around.

And by play, I mean converse, get your mind out of the gutter.

This is a HUSBAND/WIFE request from a BOYFRIEND/GIRLFRIEND status, DO NOT FALL FOR IT. He or she (yes woman are guilty of this too) are just trying to control you and isolate you from your friends. Conversely, my husband has NEVER asked me to stop talking to someone, why? Because I don’t talk to people that could potentially bother him.

Want to avoid problems in your marriage?

DON’T TALK TO PEOPLE THAT THREATEN IT.

It’s fairly simple, if you have a strange feeling about the way a person you are talking to is acting, chances are they don’t have good intentions.

Pick your marriage over ANY person that doesn’t have respect for it.  There’s a reason this is in bold and underlined, I feel like some people just don’t get it (mostly the people that try to interfere).

My husband and I have lost quite a few mutual and non-mutual friends because we chose our marriage over the friend, and NOT because either of us asked the other to remove them. You want a quick way to my shit list? Try to come between me and my husband, I can promise it won’t end well for you. And just know we both laugh about you afterwards.

Moving on… that’s a discussion for a different post

Any type of relationship you can possibly think of and I’ve probably been in it. These are toxic and borderline (if not actually) abusive relationships, if you’ve read my previous post, you may be the toxic person in this relationship scenario.

If that’s the case for the love of all that is holy fix it/yourself for the sake of humanity. Also, it’s okay if you do happen to be the toxic person as long as you realize it and do your best to change it. You don’t have to be a bad person to be a toxic one.

I mainly wrote this because I see so many of my dear friends going through the same types of relationships that I have and it just breaks my heart because I want to shield them from it. I know that nothing I say will get them out of their toxic relationships because they will have to come to these realizations on their own, but maybe, just maybe bringing these situations to light will help.

Also, I’d like to say to any ex-boyfriends reading this and thinking “I wonder if she’s talking about me?” if you have to ask yourself that question just know that yes, I most certainly am talking about you.

So, in conclusion, to all the ladies and gents out there that have read this and just feel like it speaks to you just please don’t give up hope. There is someone out there that will completely want you for you and won’t put you on the back burner or the shelf or make you feel like you need to be someone else around them.

You want to know when you’ve found the right person for you? Every single thing you do is accepted by them. I’m not saying you will AGREE on everything, there’s no way in hell my husband and I agree on everything (should have heard us talking about how easy breastfeeding is the other day, he was wrong I was right considering, you know, I have the breasts…)

ANYWAYS before I get angry at him again…

Relationships will not always be “we live in this perfect bubble and everything is perfect all the perfect time” and excuse me while I go throw up.

The best way I can describe of a good relationship is controlled chaos. It’s going to be messy, like all the time, regardless if you have kids, no kids, no pets, a zoo (we have kids AND a zoo), but its NEVER going to be emotionally exhausting or so much work that you just don’t have the energy for.

There’s a video that I found recently on social media from a guy named Prince Ea, the video, like the story at the beginning of my post, really spoke to me and I’ll be honest I’ve watched it about a thousand times when I’m feeling my anxiety build up. I hope that it shares properly across Facebook to here, so you can also enjoy it. I hope that it helps you understand that it’s okay to quit.

YOU ARE NOT A BAD PERSON.

https://www.facebook.com/PrinceEa/videos/10156612056059769/

 

“A healthy relationship will never require you to sacrifice your friends, your dreams, or your dignity.”

-Mandy Hale

 

The National Domestic Violence Hotline 
1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)
www.ndvh.org

National Dating Abuse Helpline 
1-866-331-9474
www.loveisrespect.org

Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center 
International Toll-Free (24/7)
1-866-USWOMEN (879-6636)
www.866uswomen.org

National Child Abuse Hotline/Childhelp 
1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)
www.childhelp.org

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 
1-800-273-8255 (TALK)
www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

The Storm

Today has been exceptionally rough for me so I figured I would take to writing again. My husband deploys for work (not military, but military support) I cannot go into detail about exactly what he does, but that’s all you need to know. He is gone for a very large portion of the year, usually 4-6 months at a time.

People ask me consistently how I do it, I don’t know how to answer this question. It’s like asking you how you handle your significant other going to work every day, you just do. When I respond with “I don’t know” (because honestly how do you even answer that question?) I always get the retort “I could never do it.” Which again how does one respond to that? So, I give a slight smile and move along with the conversation.

No one will ever begin to understand what it is like to be without the person you chose to spend the rest of your life with. It’s constantly having to answer questions of “how long is he gone for?” and “when will he be home?” promptly followed by “oh that sucks”

Yes, we are aware it sucks. We don’t need reminded.

If you honestly want to know what it’s like, let me enlighten you.

Having an absent spouse is like having a part of your soul gone for an extended period of time. Your entire life pauses but keeps going all at the same time. There are things you don’t or won’t do without your spouse (pause) but life never really pauses so you go into this kind of purgatory that is composed of routines and schedules.

Then there’s the worst of all, the what if’s and the how’s. What if something happened to him? What if he never comes home? What if the last thing I said to him wasn’t “I love you”? How am I going to spend the rest of my life without him? How will I raise our daughter? How will we survive without our pillar of strength? The worry of where your spouse is, what they’re doing, and if they’re safe. There will be days that you can speak to them non-stop all day, then there will be days like today…

No one understands that these questions run through my mind every single day. These questions that are legitimate because they are real, they are questions that no one ever wants to ask themselves and that no one ever wants to imagine having to answer.

I understand that anything can happen to anyone at any given moment of any day. However, when your spouse is home these questions just don’t seem to cross your mind nearly as much as they do when your spouse is in a particularly dangerous location.

If you’re lucky you get to talk to your spouse every day. Most of us are lucky, lucky for the technology that is around today thanks to Skype and the internet we can stay in touch like never before.

Can you imagine what it was like before those things existed? NO THANK YOU.

There are days that feel like you are just glued to your phone because that is your only way of communication to the love of your life, it’s your lifeline. Then there are days when you don’t hear from them at all.

Like today…

Your mind, body, and emotions go into overdrive and never stop until you hear from them. Checking news outlets to make sure there’s no bad news from the location they are, checking your phone about a hundred times even though it has not gone off at all.

When your phone does go off your heart skips a beat hoping that it’s them only to find out it’s someone else and you get angry. You get angry that they haven’t contacted you. You get angry at yourself for getting angry with them because let’s face it, they’re working. Then you get angry all over again because someone asked you when they’re coming home, AGAIN.

The best thing you can do is to keep busy during this time. There is no time in my life where my house is as spotless as the day I don’t hear from my husband. If I don’t keep busy my mind will go into this dark rabbit hole and I’ll never get out of it. I must remain strong for my sanity, for our daughter, for the life that we have built. While I rely on him for his support, he also relies on me for my strength while he’s gone.

There are so many emotions that go along with having a spouse that deploys, there’s no way I could possibly describe them all. Just know that we all have our ways of dealing with it, just let us handle it the best way we know how.

You don’t have to understand why we do what we do when our spouses are gone, but you do need to support it and realize we are doing the best we can without our soul mate.

“She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails.” — Elizabeth Edwards

 

Strength in the weakness

When I think about talking to people about my issues I immediately get that feeling like I’d rather crawl out of my skin than tell this person what is wrong with me.

That being said, I have severe anxiety.

If you could see me right now you would see a pale face and maybe a little bit of sweat beads popping out of my forehead. You might think “that’s irrational for her to be upset because she can’t even see the people on the other end reading this article.” You wouldn’t be wrong, it is irrational. That’s what anxiety is, it’s worrying about worst case scenarios, and my worst-case scenario is you knowing about my personal ailments.

I have never claimed to be normal by any means, I love being a child at heart and a free spirit. I have however, claimed that I do not have a disorder. Why? Because people see it as a weakness. It is a weakness don’t get me wrong, but what makes a weakness a bad thing?

I have had anxiety since I can remember, I wasn’t always treated for it because I didn’t know what it was when I was a child, but it was there looming in the background keeping me from talking to this person and doing basically anything by myself. Here’s where the positive weakness comes in.

Because getting through life by avoiding everything and never talking to anyone isn’t an option for someone who wants to do arts and crafts with people and travel the world, I had to figure out something. I was still avoiding that my anxiety was in fact a disorder, I just figured I was just being weak. So, I forced myself to fight through it, I fought through the awkward interactions with strangers and I forced myself to do things without the company of another human. Slowly, but surely, I became more comfortable. I didn’t WANT to do any of it, talk to another human? NO THANKS, but I did it and it became easier every time.

When I started dating my wonderful husband, I was so turned around I didn’t know which way was up and what was going on because I had one part of my brain telling me to run away and hide and the other part of my brain telling me to take a risk and leap! Thankfully he knew me previously from our 4-year friendship, so he already knew I was a little… unhinged, to say the least. Thankfully he grounded me, he supported my thirst for adventure while understanding that I needed to work through my anxiety moments slowly.

Because of my husband and my ability to talk myself through situations (he became the tiny positive voice in my head), I can happily say that I can manage my severe anxiety without help from doctors or medications, until I got pregnant…

Curveball… Did you know a symptom of pregnancy is unholy rage and manic anxiety? Yeah me neither. Found that one out about 7 weeks into my pregnancy and realized there was NO WAY I was going to manage this without some sort of help. So, I went to the doctor, I told her that I had an uncontrollable rage that was causing massive problems with my marriage. She asked me if I felt safe at home… apparently when I said “I have an uncontrollable rage” she assumed it was my husband? Anyways she put me on medication and happily ever after we have our beautiful baby girl and mom didn’t kill anyone during her pregnancy. Win, win! Except…

I have had to continue the medication well after my pregnancy because when I stop taking it I basically must start all the way back at the beginning of this story, the part where I was a hot mess and up was down and right was left, before the hubs came along and helped me. So, I keep taking the medicine, cool whatever works that helps me be the best mom I can be for our little cutie.

THEN out of nowhere I start to feel the anxiety creeping up on me like a thunderstorm off in the distance. I can see it and I can sense something is there and I need to prepare before it gets here. Only thing is, I thought I was preparing? So why is that anxiety thunderstorm over there heading directly for me??? Apparently, unbeknownst to me (aka the doctor never told me and neither did that stupid side effect pamphlet) your anxiety can get used to the dosage you are taking for the anxiety management.

SO, I HAVE TO CHANGE MY ROUTINE YET AGAIN.

Joy

I have contemplated not changing it, just letting myself manage it like I have in the past. My husband deploys for work (no he’s not military anymore please don’t thank him for his service, he really doesn’t like that, I guess it’s awkward or something) and is currently gone so I am single momming it with our 8-month-old trying to manage this anxiety beast without him. Yeah, I’m going to go ahead and make that doctors appointment to get this figured out the medication way.

The reason behind this post is mainly because I’m having a rough night and I need someone to talk to without response. I don’t need the “omg I’m so sorry” or “yeah that sucks” responses because people generally don’t know how to respond when someone tells them things like this. It’s also because I know there is someone out there reading this completely relating to everything I’ve said. Yes, I’m talking to you, the one that is probably sitting on your couch right now just mindlessly scrolling through whatever website to keep your mind off whatever is worrying you. Yeah you, it’s going to be okay, you’re doing great and whether you have to take pills to make yourself better, if you have a certain person in your life that helps you, or if you’re a straight beast and can do it all by yourself that is amazing!

YOU ARE AMAZING. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you aren’t just because you have a weakness.

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time”

-Thomas Edison

 

The Bitter Past

While I sit here tonight I think about all the things I have gone through in my life. I can only assume a normal person thinks of all the wonderful things that have happened to them and all the great accomplishments they have made. A person like me, however, thinks of all the things that they’ve done wrong or has been done to them.

Every single night of my life I am flooded with memories that I have tried my hardest to forget. Whether it be an awkward encounter with a stranger, an ex-boyfriend that I’m just now realizing treated me terribly, or something I did to someone that I completely regret.

If you believe you have no regrets, then I hate to be the one to tell you that you’re in denial. Everyone regrets something.

As I lay in bed exhausted longing to fall asleep and to get a break from all these memories rushing back to me, I try to think of all the good in my life. For some people this may be easy, for someone with any kind of anxiety disorder this is a daily challenge. I have remembered things that everyone else involved has probably long since forgotten.

Imagine being locked in a room with a television and all that’s playing is all the memories you are embarrassed of, the memories that are so painful you just want to forget them, and the memories that you wish never happened. Imagine doing that every single night before you fall asleep. Can you imagine getting any sleep at all? Probably not, who would get sleep with that in their heads? This is the perfect example I can think of for someone that suffers from anxiety.

The only relief from this occurrence I have is when I take an over the counter sleeping pill. So, while I’m sitting through the worst movie ever for the millionth time I will fall asleep instead of just tossing and turning all night long with no avail. Also, I leave the TV on, ALL NIGHT LONG.

I have slept with the TV on my entire life to stop the noise of the silence. I don’t know how people handle the silence, it’s so loud. To dull the noise of the constant nightmare, I have the TV distract me, with much protest from my husband of course. If I don’t have the TV on I am awake all night long reliving all the worst parts of my life in detail.

There have also been times when I have completely blocked things out, this baffles my mind. I have had full conversations with old friends and have not remembered a single thing they are talking about from the past. I don’t remember much of my high school days, I just remember select people. High school was awful for me as it is for many people, I suppose. So, I guess my mind just blocked most of my high school experience out. I’ve also blocked out much of my early 20’s, I don’t know why, they weren’t all that bad. I guess I just spent so much of younger 20’s wasting it on relationships with no purpose that  my mind decided it wasn’t worth remembering. I can tell you what I do remember though, the bad stuff.

I am not sure if everyone with anxiety has lapses in their memory and if they have a hard time remembering the good and not just the bad, but I feel like my life began when I moved away. I moved away from the place that I had all these bad experiences and it was like I woke up from a 15-year nightmare. The sun came out and I could feel like my life was mine again. Obviously, not everyone can just up and move away and I do not condone running away from your problems at all, but you must find something to renew yourself.

If I hadn’t moved away I strongly believe I would still be on the path that I was on, and it was not a good one. Part of my problem however, attributed to the fact that I hated where I lived since the day I moved there at the age of 12. It was awful from day one and from day one I wanted nothing more than to get out of there. If I had been happy where I lived I would have probably taken the same steps I did to renew myself without the moving aspect.

To renew myself I had to remove all the negative people from my life. That meant long term relationships that were toxic or just toxic people in general. Anyone that can possibly bring you down and make you feel worse than what you already make yourself feel. I even had to remove people that weren’t toxic, but they made ME a toxic person.

Yes, that’s a thing, everyone is toxic to someone. Sorry to break the news to you, but you are someone else’s toxic person. You’ll survive. Realize who you are toxic to and change your behavior and if you can’t change your behavior be a decent human and remove yourself for them.

You must remove these people and remove yourself from these people. Easier said than done right? Yeah, I know, but you must do it if you want to restart. Again, you cannot run from your problems. I don’t believe this is running from them I think it’s more of removing the dramatics from your life.

No matter how long it takes and no matter what you must do to take back your life, just remember the memories will always be there. You will never forget the good and the bad memories, if you’re unlucky like me you’ll forget only the good memories… Awesome I know…

You must learn how to manage them, if it’s a good memory of someone that just happened to be a toxic person in your life, take it as that, a happy memory. Don’t let it get you down to where you contact that person again, you removed them for a reason.

You didn’t work together, FOR A REASON. Accept that as hard as it may be.

Memories whether good or bad are simply that, they are memories. You can’t change them, you can’t recreate them, and you sure as hell can’t go back to them.

Move on and take your life back from them. Even if you must relive your bad memories every night before you fall asleep at least you can wake up knowing that is no longer your life and YOU are the reason it changed.

I know there are people reading this right now at each stage of this process. Maybe you are just realizing that this is your situation, maybe you are in the process of removing the toxicity, maybe you just realized that you are the toxic one, whatever it may be don’t give up. Continue working toward your goal and what you need to do in order to take YOUR life back.

Also, just know that you are NOT a bad person for wanting to better your life… Don’t ever let anyone make you feel guilty for wanting something different for your life. Life is far to short to be living it for other people.

“Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.”

– Lewis B. Smedes