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Spring is here!!

Today is the first day of spring!!!
Tonight is the equinox- which means that the day and night time are about the same length. What does that mean?? From now until the summer solstice our days will get longer and longer!!
More sun! More warmth! If you struggle with seasonal depression, you are coming around the bend!! Life is blooming and I feel happy knowing that I won’t have to bike home in the dark at 5pm.
Also, super cool FUN FACT (even though it’s not Friday) tonight will be the third and last super moon of 2019!!! Around 9:45 look up and check out the MOON!!

How do you guys feel about the start of spring? What does it mean for you? Any plans or hopes?

What are you proud of from 2018?

Hey guys! It’s 2019!
Pretty cool, kinda.

Some people seem to really care about New Years, it signifies a time to reflect and commit to change. Other people think it’s BS. And some don’t really care too much!

However you feel about New Years, it’s always good to reflect on time that’s passed and recognize strides that you have made.
My favorite quote when I was in the midst of a lot of struggles was,

“I may not be where I want to be but thank God I’m not where I used to be”

We don’t have to leap from ditches to mountain tops to recognize our power and strength. And sometimes it’s not even steps that deserve recognition, sometimes it’s staying right where you are, because it can be really hard to not fall backward, and good enough is good enough.

This New Years Eve, I laid in bed next to Willow while she slept and realized the changes that occurred over the past year. I thought about the pain, fear, and excitement I felt, and how hopeless I was at times. I realized how far I have come by looking back for a few moments. And it felt good, and it made me feel proud of myself. And I didn’t feel bad saying that.

So, what are you guys proud of from 2018?

I’m proud of myself for starting school, taking the leap to “real” employment and beginning the process of getting off of disability and SSI, moving, admitting to myself and a few friends that I was depressed, sticking with my path even when it was scary and painful and uncertain, trying every day to be a good mom, working hard, getting certified as a SMART recovery facilitator, Recovery Coach, and a Recovery Support Specialist, starting the path to getting my licence, and beginning to throw away things that I don’t need.

Let’s congratulate each other on our success in being here, even when it’s really hard work.

How To Clean Your Wounds

Well my friends, tis been a while no? Almost a month actually, wow. I had a girlfriend I had been dating for a little over a year and a half, and we had a very healthy relationship together, she had also been there for me throughout my whole recovery process. She had seen me at my bottom, and watched me climb back up. But unfortunately a few weeks ago she had left for college in Florida and decided she didn’t want to continue our relationship here while she was away, and so I had to take it like a champ lol. When you’re that emotionally involved in a relationship it’s obviously quite difficult to come to terms with a decision your partner might make for decent reasons. In this case, it was purely situational, and I can’t make her stay with me or stay in the area, I needed to let her go because she is starting a new chapter in her life and I’m not at the same point as her yet. SO, the first days were obviously very rough, then it started to get a little better for a week, then a little tough again, but we’re back on track now baby. I decided it would be good for me to maybe hide her snapchat story from my feed and get rid of some pictures of us to help myself in that healing process since they became difficult to revisit. I have always known, and continue to know friends, or peers that take an excessive amount of time to grieve over the loss of a relationship. A divorce is one thing, and taking it on the chin for a few months is completely normal. But when one takes 7 months, 9 months, over a year, to let a past relationship hurt them it begins to become unhealthy and starts to affect character and personality. That was something I was very scared about in the beginning, having the healing process last an eternity, because I know how good I am at feeding into negative emotions, but this time around I decided to do some things differently to help myself. So here are some of those things I plan on sharing in hopes to help the next person in line dealing with a heartbreak.

Take a Break from the Person for a While:
I know it’s difficult not to talk to your other half, ask them questions, see what they’re doing, look for closure, etc. But this can become problematic especially if it seems like the other person might be taking the situation better than you are. The best thing to do is maybe hide them from your social media, delete or set aside pictures of them, and try to distract yourself the best you can when you get the urge to talk or text them.

Healthy Distractions:
It’s important to utilize and sports or hobby’s you might have in order to use them as “Healthy” distractions to keep your mind running off to bad places, which happens all too often if you don’t stay busy. Distractions you obviously want to avoid are drinking and drugging. Even on an unrelated note, say your friends invite you out to party, or have a few drinks, it’s still not a good idea because your subconscious mind is still vulnerable and has the potential to take you down with your emotions either during or after you get loaded.

Music:
Music is a very strong communicator, and has the power to manipulate your emotions. So maybe listening to those songs that remind you of her/him isn’t such a good idea after all, because in the words of the great late Ronny James Dio “They will only bring you DOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWOOOOWWWNNNNN”. Love songs, Sad songs, Nostalgic Songs, cross those off the list my friends, try listening to empowering music, feel good music, upbeat music, calm music, even angry music, whatever will scramble and occupy your brain so you’re not left thinking about what was and could’ve been.

Okay that’s all I’ve got for right now, otherwise I’m gonna fall asleep, here’s that Dio song:

Dio – “Don’t Talk To Strangers”

National Happiness Happens Day

National Happiness Happens Day

#HappinessHappensDay

Today is National Happiness Happens Day. It’s all about letting happiness happen, a warm breeze, a good song, a funny joke. Whatever it is that makes you happy- even if just for a moment, let it wash over you, and take a moment to appreciate all the little things that make us happy! What makes you happy? For me, warm coffee, Willow saying hi and reaching for a hug, talking to my brother, Harry, seeing an animal, riding my bike, and watching and listening to the rain make me really happy, and so grateful to be here.

This is who makes me SO happy! Willow

What are you proud of yourself for today?

What are you proud of yourself for today?

Its so easy to go to bed every night thinking of what you did wrong, or what you wish you did better or different. Things you wished never happened. I think we’ve all been there. Up for hours thinking and thinking. Guilty, angry, depressed, anxious. Sometimes these feelings help us make change. But a lot of the time they just hurt us.

So, what are you proud of yourself for today?

Today I’m proud of myself for being a mom. I might feel guilty a lot about being a mom… working, losing my temper, not taking advantage of every moment the way I feel like I should. But I know that I’m a good mom. I know my daughter loves me, and that I love her. Being a mom is scary and hard and exhausting and it never ends. And every day I wake up and do the best I can. I don’t act selfishly just because it’s easier. I don’t run away from my responsibilities. I try to do better all the time and I will never leave her side. So I’m proud of myself for that. I proud of myself for stepping up, being selfless, and pushing aside my wants for her sake.

Thinking About Everything and Nothing

Friday, March 16, 2018
Life is weird. It’s horrible and wonderful and fun and scary and exciting and sad. All of that is loosely wrapped into a pattern of wrapping paper that you don’t chose, that doesn’t change the contents it holds or matter much, but is what many people will judge us based upon, without looking inside. Then we throw in feelings; lots of feelings. Thoughts, too- which are different from feelings, but maybe they are exactly the same. I’m not sure. There are also experiences, both good and bad. Whether we perceive them as positive or negative, they happen, and they change us. And they help us and they hurt us: and supposedly we have control over that, but I’m not always quite sure of that. Then there’s time. We can’t control it, have little understanding of it, and are unaware of how much we have. And time changes and it changes us- constantly. It’s like this river that can grow into an ocean or shrink into a puddle suddenly and without clear cause. And finally there’s uncertainty; lots of that.
We are thrown into life holding these packages that grow and grow, or maybe they stay the same for a long time, or maybe they shrink; we don’t know, or at least I don’t, and usually we don’t even know or understand what’s inside of them. Then we are sounded by millions of other people and their packages and their feelings and confusion. And we are constantly bumping into them or holding their hands or pushing them away. That’s mostly what life is made of. I think.
Sometimes I think my anxiety or my depression or whatever it is: something in me that I don’t like, but should probably try to make friends with, forces me to try to define things. So constantly, I am attempting to place reason upon the unreasonable. This futile attempt to define many small things, alongside the one big thing- life- is not good for me. I mean, maybe it’s not all that bad. Sometimes I come to a reasonable understanding of something. Or maybe it gives me a unique lens to look at life through. But I think more often than not, it either causes me to romanticize that which is unhealthy or sad or negative; or it causes my mind to run in circles, chasing its own tail, desperately attempting to catch something that will never reach my fingertips.
But I am not all bad, and neither is life, or the people in it, or the packages glued to our palms. And today is a beautiful day, and spring is coming which fills me with happiness and hope. Recently, I got a new camera, and that means I can be creative again, which I used to be able to do constantly. And Willow and I had a beautiful night and morning today. I cannot wait to bring her for a ride on her new tricycle-thingy. And I’m happy and content, and the sun is pulling the sorrow from my skin and replacing it with hope. Right now I am happy, for the most part, and today is a good day. And all I can ever ask is to be good enough, and anything after that is extra. Someone I love told me that, and I like to hold onto things which make me think of people I love, and I like to think of life in lose but concrete ways, if that makes sense. Because even though everything is always changing and always will, right now it is how it is and that is ok.

Fighting with time

Willows’ Birthday Week

February 21, 2018

Every night, since the day Willow was born, I have nursed her to sleep. For almost 1 year, no matter where we were, what we did, or what was going on, chest to chest, we would lay down together and willow would nurse until she fell asleep.
Tonight, Willow fell asleep without nursing. We laid in bed together, calm, tired and peaceful. Willows cheek on my chest. We looked at each other and spoke softly and touched each other’s faces and smiled for almost 30 minutes until Willow fell asleep.
These small moments of independence are incredible. In that, they are painfully difficult to experience and simultaneously exciting and wonderful and amazing to witness.
This beautiful small person is doing what all small people do; which is to grow up and change at an alarming rate.
And I am left only one option, which is to hold on to a rope which is constantly running through my hands, knowing one day I will have no choice but to let go of it.

February 22, 2018

Willow will be one on Monday. I am filled with this gut-wrenching feeling.
Although I am incredibly happy and excited, I am filled with sadness and guilt.
I look at her, and she looks exactly the same as the day I lay in a hospital bed in New Haven, and a wet naked newborn was placed on my chest. But then, I blink. And suddenly, she’s not an infant, not a baby, she’s a young girl. I see her face and the world behind her bright eyes. Her fierce spirit shines through and pierces my heart.
I feel like throwing up. I look back at pictures of her months ago and suddenly realize that she has changed so much, and so quickly.
It feels as though all these changes have happened slowly yet suddenly; somehow each time I turn my head she changes, yet most days it’s so subtle that I don’t realize it’s happening. Then one day I’m looking at my newborn baby, but she’s not really a newborn; she’s almost a toddler, and I fall to pieces wondering how time has flown past me without even realizing it.
And I cannot get time back- when it leaves me it’s gone forever. My baby is both the youngest she’ll ever be again and the oldest she’s ever been. Each moment I’m suspended in this incredible fight with time. Watching my child grow, joyfully as I am in awe of what a beautiful little person she is. And fearfully, as it is constant and fast and terrifying.

Guilt sets in as I ask myself,
Am I taking it all in? Am I really appreciating this relatively small amount of time I have with Willow? Or am I constantly rushing? Ignoring life and constantly finishing ‘tasks’. While my focus on what matters blurs and I hone in on things that sneak into my vision; drudging forward, while pushing aside small moments that may slip through my hands like water flows surely through a stream?

Thankfully, I have one thing that returns power to my shaking hands.
That is, that I know of time. I know of time, and it’s constant flow, I know of the pain it will cause if I handle it incorrectly.
And I have power. Power to change the way I look at life, change the way I prioritize everything that “matters”. I will hold my mistakes tightly- I won’t let them slip pass me, with the intention of self-love. No, I will carry them in my pockets, and pull them out when I need a reminder of who I want to be and what is truly important. And someday when they become dead weight, I may let them go.

And to my beautiful girl, for whom my heart beats,
You are the most important thing in my life. The love I feel for you is strong enough to cause my heart pain. I know that may sound silly and odd, but one day you may understand. Happy Birthday, Willow Moon.

The week before your birthday

Willows Birthday Week

February 21, 2018
Every night, since the day Willow was born, I have nursed her to sleep. For almost 1 year, no matter where we were, what we did, or what was going on, chest to chest, we would lay down together and willow would nurse until she fell asleep.
Tonight, Willow fell asleep without nursing. We laid in bed together, calm, tired and peaceful. Willows cheek on my chest. We looked at each other and spoke softly and touched each other’s faces and smiled for almost 30 minutes until Willow fell asleep.
These small moments of independence are incredible. In that, they are painfully difficult to experience and simultaneously exciting and wonderful and amazing to witness.
This beautiful small person is doing what all small people do; which is to grow up and change at an alarming rate.
And I am left only one option, which is to hold on to a rope which is constantly running through my hands, knowing one day I will have no choice but to let go of it.

February 22, 2018
Willow will be one on Monday. I am filled with this gut-wrenching feeling.
I am so happy and excited, but so incredibly sad and guilty.
I look at her, and she looks exactly the same as the day I lay in a hospital bed in New Haven, and a wet naked newborn was placed on my chest. But then, I blink. And suddenly, she’s not an infant, not a baby, she’s a young girl. I see her face and the world behind her bright eyes. Her fierce spirit shines through and pierces my heart.
I feel like throwing up. I look back at pictures of her months ago and suddenly realize that she has changed so much, and so quickly.
It feels as though all these changes have happened slowly yet suddenly; somehow each time I turn my head she changes, yet most days it’s so subtle that I don’t realize it’s happening. Then one day I’m looking at my newborn baby, but she’s not really a newborn; she’s almost a toddler, and I fall to pieces wondering how time has flown past me without even realizing it.
And I cannot get time back- when it leaves me it’s gone forever. My baby is both the youngest she’ll ever be again and the oldest she’s ever been. Each moment I’m suspended in this incredible fight with time. Watching my child grow, joyfully as I am in awe of what a beautiful little person she is. And fearfully, as it is constant and fast and terrifying.
Guilt sets in as I ask myself,
Am I taking it all in? Am I really appreciating this relatively small amount of time I have with Willow? Or am I constantly rushing? Ignoring life and constantly finishing ‘tasks’. While my focus on what matters blurs and I hone in on things that sneak into my vision; drudging forward, while pushing aside small moments that may slip through my hands like water flows surely through a stream?

Thankfully, I have one thing that returns power to my shaking hands.
That is, that I know of time. I know of time, and it’s constant flow, I know of the pain it will cause if I handle it incorrectly.
And I have power. Power to change the way I look at life, change the way I prioritize everything that “matters”. I will hold my mistakes tightly- I won’t let them slip pass me, with the intention of self-love. No, I will carry them in my pockets, and pull them out when I need a reminder of who I want to be and what is truly important. And someday when they become dead weight, I may let them go.

And to my beautiful girl, for whom my heart beats,
You are the most important thing in my life. The love I feel for you is strong enough to cause my heart pain. I know that may sound silly and odd, but one day you may understand. Happy Birthday, Willow Moon.

Handle Holiday Stress 101

Best article- 5 Secrets of Mentally Strong People

With everything I go through, I’m learning to be mentally strong. I’m also learning that just because someone is mentally strong, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ask for help. People have emotions, struggle, and we get through it. As I learn more about myself, the more I learn about what mentally strong really means to me.

This article says it best.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/20/things-mentally-strong-people-do_n_6481582.html?ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000067