My Favorite Reads

I am an avid reader.  I love to read anything and everything that I can get my hands on.  However, there are a few authors and books who are on my Kindle that I could read over and over again.  Here are some of my favorites:

Julia Kent’s Shopping Series is about a woman who happens to find Prince Charming in one of the most unusual ways.  This entire series of books is one romantic comedy that keeps you laughing all throughout the books.  You can picture a person in your family who is just like the people in Shannon Jacoby’s family.  Guaranteed to make you laugh, this series is one I never get tired of and currently am reading again.

Harper Sloan’s Corps Security and Hope Town Series are some powerful stories of the hurdles several couples overcome to find their happily ever after.  The men of Corps Security are all former military, dominant, and very sexual creatures.  Some of the children of these couples grow up and become books of their own in the Hope Town series.  I love these books when I want something a little smutty and when it will be a while before I see my cuddle buddy.

Abbie Zander’s Callaghan Series is about seven brothers and their widower father.  All are alpha male, former military special ops, and have found love in some of the most unusual ways.  There is also a spin off series of the Connelly cousins and two antagonists find love of their own in another book.  These are an easy read and are set in rural Pennsylvania.  I enjoy these books a lot and my favorite brothers are Kane, Kieran, and Ian.

Chelle Bliss’ Gallos Series is about a family of four boys and one girl who own a tattoo and piercing parlor in Florida.  Each sibling finds love the hard way, while managing to find their own way in a large Italian family.  My favorite stories are Thomas’ book and Anthony’s books.

Sylvia Day’s Crossroads Series is about a couple who come together quickly, fall in love hard and fast, and manage to become a compliment of each other.  While these are a little smutty, I do want to warn you that there is some talk of sexual abuse by one of the main characters, which presents a major obstacle for both Gideon and Eva to overcome.

What are some of your favorite reads?

Always Fighting

It always seems to me that I am fighting something.  I am fighting depression, fighting stigmas of mental illness, fighting myself, and fighting everyone around me.  It also makes it hard for me when I want something and I have to work for it.  It seems to me like no matter how much work I put in, it is worthless and there is no results.

It also seems to me that working for something is much harder than it should be.  Weight loss is one thing that comes to mind.  Completing my degree is another.  I work my butt off at work and often at the end of the day I am tired and worn out and cannot point to very many (if any) results of my work for the day.  It’s like no matter what I do, I cannot show any forward progress and it often feels that I am back where I started, if not further back.

There is an image of a little girl looking at a dark, shadowy, creepy creature and it says “You wake up every morning to fight the same demons that left you so tired the night before, and that, my love, is bravery.  And it is so true.  No matter how tired I am, I wake up every morning and begin the battle all over again.  I repeat this daily.  Some days the creature called depression wins.  But most days I win, and go to bed knowing that I will have to fight again in the morning.  It’s all I have ever known.

Just once, I wish I didn’t have to fight.  I wish I could go about my day without having to worry about my moods, without having to worry about if I’ve taken my medicine or not, without having to worry am I sleeping too much or not enough, and enjoy a peaceful day without having to worry about any consequences.  In a perfect world, that would happen.  But I don’t live in a perfect world.  Heck, I just described hell on earth according to some people.

I don’t think I live in hell.  I just live.  And I’m tired.  But I will go to bed tonight and wake up tomorrow to begin the battle again.  And as Jared Padalecki has stated, I will just keep fighting.

Growing Older

It was my birthday recently.  I turned 46 this year.  Much like last year, I was looking forward to my birthday and looking forward to being another year older.  To me, I keep getting better and better the older that I get.  Each year I am another year stable and each year I am better than I was the year before.

I am proud of how far I have come in my stability.  I remember the dark times and am forever grateful for the internet and the friends it has brought into my life that have supported me and I have supported in return.  There are several who are still dear friends of mine and we keep in touch often.

I am in no rush for grandchildren.  I can wait a while for them.  I am happy that my son is not in a rush either as he is figuring out his life and navigating through his own battle with depression and anxiety.

Here is to another year older.  Another year of many blessings and much happiness to you as well!

Mania and Cars

One of the key signs of mania is the fact that you tend to overspend or spend money you don’t have.  It is not uncommon for a bipolar person to have credit cards that are maxed out, if they have credit cards at all.  They may have many loans taken out from all sorts of companies, and may even have to declare bankruptcy.  It is safe to say that these poor decisions also lead to a low if not super poor credit score.

After paying my bills on time for a year, I get a letter in the mail from the local car dealership.  I am guaranteed to get out of my current car loan and in a newer car with the payments the same or less.  I gather up the necessary paperwork that I know I will need: pay stubs, title of my car, letter, vouchers that came with the letter, and a copy of the current loan paperwork.  After an hour in the dealership, I was politely told that unless I had a large amount of money to put down or had someone willing to cosign the loan, I would not be driving off in a new car today.

I had a feeling it would happen. I also had a feeling it would happen because my husband has not been paying all of his bills on time, including his car payment.  I dare sat that my credit score is higher than his because all my bills are paid by automatic draft out of my account.  I keep a calendar nearby that lists my pay day dates, all the bills that I pay and the day they are due, and the amount of money I will have left over after all the bills are paid so I know how much I have for groceries, gas, eating out for lunch, and anything else I want to do.

All afternoon, I could feel the crash from the high of getting a new car.  I hid it well, but when I got home, I allowed myself to feel it.  I am moping, sad, depressed, upset with myself for getting excited in the first place, and aware that these feelings are due to the crash from flying so high.  I am not taking them personally and by just allowing myself to feel, I get over it and let it go faster.  It sucks, and I am dealing with it.

I have often felt that my lesson I need to learn in this lifetime is patience.  And I must be patient and continue paying my bills on time so that my car will be paid off in a couple of years and I can try again to get a new car, hopefully with a better credit score.

She’s Back!

It has been a while, but I am back.  I could blame work for keeping me too busy to write, but the truth is, I just didn’t want to do anything.  I just wanted to be numb.  I didn’t want to feel.  As always, I will share the good, the bad, and the ugly in future posts.

In the mean time, I want to thank you for your patience.  And I thank you for following me.

War Wounds

Possible Trigger Warning: This post will discuss child abuse.  It is not graphic nor will it go into detail, but it may be triggering to some survivors early in their recovery.  If you have any doubt, you will not hurt my feelings by skipping today’s entry and picking up my posts on Tuesday.

It’s been more and more difficult to get this cloud of depression to go away.  It seems that ever since I went to volunteer at Challenge Day, the cloud has grown darker and hangs lower and lower.  I think that I truly needed several days off to recover mentally, because the experience was traumatic to me.

Because a majority of my co-workers work with children, I am a mandatory reporter who is required to go through training yearly.  And the week after Challenge Day was the annual training.  That was bothersome for me and I tried not to squirm in my chair at some of the lecture and discussion during the question and answer section.  It seems that now I see it in several of the shows I watch, and I have to change the channel because I cannot handle it.

I see where this road is going, and I hate it.  I hate it because I don’t have the time nor do I have the financial resources to deal with it.  I also do not have the support system in place to help me deal with it either.

I am a survivor of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.

Normally, I can keep things buried in their boxes with piles of other boxes on top to keep them contained.  Occasionally, like what is going on right now, the boxes start to seep open and eventually I am forced to deal with part of it because it is so triggering.  Much of the time I can hide it, but there will come a time it will blow up in my face and splash the shit all over my personal and professional life.  It never fails.

My mother is bipolar and has never been properly treated for it.  My father was never around (partly because he lived in another state, mostly because he didn’t understand what was going on, even after I was diagnosed).  My mother’s family are expert rug sweepers and gaslighters.  It’s hard to explain and hard for many to understand.  Short of having to live with it, the closest thing I can get is the Just No sub-reddits.  Reading some of the stories there remind me of the crap I went through and I realize I was not alone and that my normal meter was broken for a long time until I got out of the fog.

As painful as this has been to write, I know that in the morning I will feel better.  Tomorrow is another day.  And letting the pressure off by burping the lid just a little bit helped.  I just don’t know if I want to delve deep and shine a light on things in the past, or even if I want to share them here when I do shine the light.

To quote Dory from Finding Nemo, “Just keep swimming.”

Scared

Hubby has recently decided that he is going to get in better health.  He is monitoring what he eats, he is walking more, and decided to get back on his blood pressure and diabetes medications filled.  Because he is Native American, he has access to free health care but it often takes all day for him just to see a doctor.

He had a health scare.

His blood pressure was so high that it was amazing he didn’t have a stroke.  He also disclosed to his doctors that he was having some chest pain and shortness of breath.  Since it pointed to all signs of a heart attack, he was immediately taken to the emergency room, hooked up to monitors, given nitroglycerin, and monitored for most of the day.  I had no idea until I called him after work to see where he wanted to eat dinner.  All he said was that he was still at the doctor and he wanted me with him instead of home.

So I went.

I went immediately into crisis mode.  I began making plans on what bills were going to get paid and which ones were going to wait.  I began planning on him having a partial paycheck and then none at all.  I also began looking at my work schedule to adjust it to be able to come and stay with him in the hospital so that I could talk to the doctors and be made fully aware of what was going on.  They let him go two hours later with the caveat that he go home and rest.  They even sent home a note for his employer saying that he was not to go to work for that night only.  We came home, he ate a little bit of soup, and went to bed.

I was angry.

I was so very angry at him for not telling me what was going on.  I was angry at myself for not nagging him to see a doctor when his allergies were acting up and why they never stopped being a pain (they also sent him home with an antihistamine, which cleared up that issue immediately).  Then, as I began to calm down, I began questioning why in the world I was so angry.  I really was angry but could not begin to understand what had me so angered.  I still cannot tell you why, except that maybe it was because of the adrenaline rush I had stamped down to keep from panicking earlier.

For a moment, I made the decision that I will just live my life as if he weren’t in it, but quickly tampered that down.  I think the shock of just how bad things were made me angry with him and myself that I had not spoken up before and insisted that he do something about his weight, his eating habits, and his health.

Now I can get rid of all the “bachelor food” crap he loves to eat.  Now I can keep fresh veggies and cook from scratch, only a much healthier version of some of our favorite foods.  And now I get my way and he has to wait for me to come home before he starts cooking so I can either guide him through the recipe or make it myself.

Thank You

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Artwork taken from a Facebook page.  If it is your work, tell me so I can give you credit.

I just wanted to let you, my readers, know that I appreciate you.  You do matter to me, you are important to me, and I care very much about you.  Thank you for taking the time to stop by my little corner of the web and reading my ramblings.

Challenge Day

I was asked by a co-worker to be a volunteer for a program my employer had brought in to a local school last week.  The program was called Challenge Day, and was designed to help high school students bond and prevent bullying and other problems schools struggle to deal with.  There are 100 students and 20 adult volunteers for each program, and it lasts for the day.

What I was not prepared for were the emotional heaviness that the program tends to bring out.  I was not prepared for such heavy topics to be disclosed by two students in my group.  I was not prepared to share something so personal with the students (it was about how I wish I was the one who raised my niece and I wished I had custody of her).  I was not prepared about the toll it took on me mentally.  I was not prepared for the heaviness and the cloud to follow me around for several days.  I was not prepared to keep the depression at bay because I had skipped taking my medicine for a couple of days.

While I did preform some self care, I struggled.  I did not share anything with my husband, and did not ask him for comfort.  I thought about scheduling an appointment with a therapist just to get the cloud over my head to turn sunny instead of dark, but finances would not allow me the luxury to spend $75 for one hour that may or may not help.  And if I needed more than one session, I couldn’t afford that either.

Instead, I began watching the Sleepy Hollow TV series on Hulu.  I played Chicken Invaders on my tablet.  I talked a little about it with a couple of co-workers who have gone through the program themselves, and I began expressing my hurt about how many students crossed over the lines during one specific exercise, and how I couldn’t believe such a small town had such huge problems.

It is getting easier for me to function again.  I did not have to resort to alcohol or doing anything stupid in order to cope.  I made it through, for the most part.  But I can assure you that I will not participate in another Challenge Day ever again.  The emotional toll was too high and is not a price I want to pay again.

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