On trying too hard

Sometime late last summer I started to get really into fashion again. I hadn’t been shopping for anything but maternity shiz in years and it was time to bite the bullet, accept this figure and start building anew.

I have always been a (mild) slave to fashion, when I was in middle school, I started tearing out pages from my Seventeen magazine and pinning them in my closet for inspiration. I love to put an outfit together as much as I do a room. But here’s the thing. You can accessorize the crap out of a room, but doing it on your person is a different game.

I love accessories, more than clothes, really. All I really need is a few pair of jeans and some t-shirts and I can do the rest with jewelry and shoes and scarfs. During the week, I’m super mom-wardrobe though, half time in (sweaty) gym clothes the other half in simple throw on pieces, basically jeans and t-shirts with no accessories.

So, here’s what I’m struggling with. When I have something coming up, from a date night to a baby shower, I take it too seriously. I plan out every piece of everything right down to my makeup. In the end I usually like the result but as soon as I get where I’m going, I feel like an idiot. I’m almost always overdone. I don’t think anyone cares, but I feel stupid if I’m the only one in heels for brunch. I probably shouldn’t, but I do.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it takes to look effortless, and you know, EFFORT. And it’s not easy, I think I do a better job on the verge of ridiculous than I do of polished casual.

I tried to be simple for my last girls night out and it was toned down, very neutral and quiet, but when I got to dinner, stupid. How I can f up jeans, a t shirt with a scarf and flats, I don’t know but I did.

Some of this is just insecurity but it’s also that I’m getting older, I should have this figured out by now. You know?

Do you know how to look amazing AND like “oh, this old thing?” at the same time?

Lazy Update

I promised a write up with before and after’s on Instagram,  I will still do that, I’m just not organized right now. I will share the before and after of the kitchen- All I did here was change the curtains. That’s it. Instant room update! I liked the old ones fine, not a thing wrong with them but over the course of 7 years, my taste has changed a bit and I wanted something new. I’m thrilled. This update ran about $150, I don’t know if that’s more or less or about what you’d expect, just throwing it out there.

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And here are the new panels!

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So, photo overkill, I know. But the way my house is laid out, you can see these windows form almost everywhere. So, that’s it, easy as can be! Total new look, or matching look, since I got the same ones that have been in my living room.

Curtain’s are West Elm.

Cold Needy House

This post is ab0ut crap I want to do around the house, and the cold is, well. Fuck the fuck off vortex of north pole hell.

So, January.  January and I have a love/hate relationship. I love the promise of the new year. With the new planners and blank calendar. I get excited about what’s ahead.

The hate is, Christmas just ended and man, I probably shouldn’t redo the house right this second.  But the ting is, once that tree comes down and all of the holiday cheer is packed up in Rubbermaid and crammed under the stairs, I get sad. The house looks so, empty. So I clean it, helps a little, buy a new plant or two, better. But I can’t sit still. I must “fresh start” all of the things.

Mike made (earned) Tenure! Capital, T, you guys! He did it. 7 years of kicking ass and he got the promotion he’s been working for. Im so proud of him and how hard he works for our family.  Super exciting. and HEYOH, more money.  I remember when we moved here I had a list of shit I was to have when he made it.

iphone

fancy camera

a refrigerator made in this century

You get the point. Except the money kind of comes monthly and not in some publisher’s clearing house five foot check with balloons.  So, damn, fresh start all of the things is going to be like, normal life? Wait.  I wanted the big check and balloon version.

I did what I do and made master list. I chose a few reasonable things.  I’m told the fridge and stove will have to wait, damn kids, pay for your own college!

So, god this is a long non-story.  I got new curtains for the living room last summer and they are awesome and I love them but they don’t really go with the current vibe. I’ve been tweaking crap in there but the bottom line is it’s time for new pillows and art over the couch. I grabbed my bag of fabric and started pawing over it all, looking for something, anything, that I already owned that might help. I actually came up with something I loved, and all I would have to so is sew some pillow covers.

Except.

I hate sewing pillows.

A lot.

The next day when I started thinking about all of the sewing and of getting the sewing machine out and putting it away every day, and I probably could only work when both kids are at school. 4.5 hours a week. hmmmmmm

Thinking face, thumb twiddling.

Etsy! I know the name of these fabrics, I bet I can get them already made.  So much for using what I have and not spending any money. AHEM. Whatever.  They should arrive next week sometime, and then it is ON!

In the mean time, Nate’s old bed has been crammed in Ben’s room since October. It is leaving today and then I can put his room back together. Eventually we will un-toddler bed the crib and use it as a headboard for the queen set we have. Im sure Mike’s parents will visit in the spring so this should be happening soon’ish. This is AWESOME, you guys. I have no idea where my head has been for the past 3 years regarding this room change, I never in a million years considered using the crib back as it’s made to be used, I was going to sell it all. Keeping it means we will have a faux guest room! Which is huge. Mikes parents sleep in the play room when they visit, there is no bathroom in the basement. Now they can stay upstairs where it is warm and less dungeon like and just across the hall from the bathroom. No shoes or lantern needed! This makes me happy.

The other thing, and it’s small, is repaint the kids vanity and replace the light fixture with the one I purchased 3 years ago (!) – I painted it green, a color that I love when there is natural light hitting it, but in the bathroom you don’t really notice it. I want it to stand out more, I have an idea. I’m excited!

 

13 gold stars if you read all of this rambling fueled by many diet cokes.

 

Tiny Bubble

I met girlfriends for brunch on Sunday, downtown, gps required. I was late.

I used to be reliable, not on time, early. I was more comfortable planning extra time, rather be early than late.

I could figure out how to run most computer programs on my own.

Jot down a few directions and go.

I’ve flown all over the country and even out of once, alone. Confident, sure I could figure it out, excited at the chance to try. Taken the Tube from a hostel to the theater with a map to meet friends. I was fine. I was free.

Comfortable.

Lately I’ve noticed that driving at night makes me anxious. My depth perception is getting worse.

Going downtown, which used to excite me, makes me nervous and often, even with the gps, I make a wrong turn or two, forgetting that street is one way. I’m late, all the time. Count on a good 10 extra minutes, Christina is having a mild panic attack trying to find a place to park. I used to parallel park like a pro. Not anymore, I can in my own car but rarely on the first attempt. If I’m driving Mikes car, I wont even try. I’ll just walk a mile.

It’s been six years since I left my life. The one of comfort and ease, freedom and routine. It seems that with each passing year I loose more and more of my ability to function in what used to be every day situations. I shouldn’t sweat through my shirt wondering if the restaurant is on-street parking.

I’m not sure if there is anything I can “do” about this other than push back. Drive at night anyway, go downtown anyway, etc. I have no plans on not doing these things but I cant lie, I am unhappy here. Not in my bubble as a whole, being home with the boys is all I want for them (for a few more years) but I don’t like that regular, everyday things are becoming events.

Is this aging, GAD, part of being a STAM vs. working full time? I don’t know, but it can hang. I will keep pushing. I won’t be the one who is afraid to drive on the freeway. But I’ll probably be a few minutes late.

Restart

Two Thousand Fart Teen – This is what the boys in my house have dubbed this year.

Oh, 13, 13 was an asshole. I didn’t write much about it because you can only come back to read the same story so many times. I was unstable, a lot. I was setting the same goals over and over and just treading water, never really getting back on top.

It seems like I come around during the summer, then I lose my ground when school starts, then the holidays come and I get homesick and Bam- Im out until about March when the sun starts to come out again. But this summer we went home for two weeks and it was amazing and I fell apart when we came back to Ohio. So my “season” sort of jump started.

What is helping is identifying what my triggers are and my habits when it’s sneaking up on me. I know exactly what I do before the storm now, which is sort of a gift.  This season was vastly better than winter of 2012.

I don’t really know what to do with myself this year. I’ve not really adjusted to having the kids in school and have pretty much shopped my way through the school year so far. I need time alone but find an empty, quiet house to be overwhelming. I have a hard time relaxing and end up panic cleaning or going to sleep.

Last year I was really focused on mental health, this year I need to get my body moving. It needs less diet coke and more water. A major health pit for me is I go-go-go all morning with the kids- then they go to school and I have errands to run and I haven’t had anything to eat,,, I get shaky and nasty and drive thru for a burger.  This happens A Lot- I get to the OMG Im going to DIE if I don’t eat RIGHT NOW.  So, I already have a few bottles of water, Larabars and almonds in the car so I have food handy and I don’t throw my hands up in the drive thru.   Im liking the eight hour diet, where you fast for 16 hours and eat for 8 every day. example I don’t eat until 11 and nothing goes in my belly after 7.  I feel a little more focused with the time restriction and that seems to help with better food choices.

So, yeah- really- this year is exactly like all of the other years. I want to feel well, be well, live well. It would be so much easier if junk food tasted like shit, not chocolate and melty cheese. You know?

Pre-Funk

Ehh.

I had a great weekend. Fun family stuff, a little me time at the salon, and even a date night. It was perfect, actually. Now, today, feels totally off.

My list for the week is full of good things. Gift wrapping, Ben’s holiday pageant, planning meals and snacks for the holiday. All fun things I should be excited about. I’m not. I feel blah, and like I want to sleep all day.

This pisses me off. I can do one of two things, lean in or push back. I have to push back! If I don’t it will get worse, every day. I have to write out exactly what to do each day this week and I have to DO IT no matter how I feel. It should be a good week, one full of anticipation and joy, not full of weighty bullshit going on in your head for no reason at all.

I have been really into the season, and I will keep going. I will keep moving until the feeling comes back. And it will, it always does, I just have to Go. And Keep Going.

So! I will watch my favorite holiday movies and I will wrap gifts and paint my nails an wear a dress and bake cookies and just keep going until it all feels whole and happy again. I know I am both of these things, I do, I just have to kick my self in the ass every few hours so I don’t forget.

 

There is no Title

I lie in bed at night and write posts in my head. In the morning, I forget what they were about. I think I should write, I want to, and then, laundry and bills and pinterest.

Blogging has changed so much! It’s all about sponsors  and staging and sometimes I feel like there’s no place for storytelling anymore. But I know that’s not true.  Even if no one reads my story, no one else is going to tell it.  My kids might want to know more about their mom one day, and I don’t want my life to become a mess in a game of telephone. I’d rather it come from me.  Hard as the real story may read.

I’ve been so quiet here this year. It’s been a hard one, but one that I’ve been able to handle. It’s hard to complain when you have health coverage and a roof over your head.  Every year I get a little better at handling my depression and every year I think “this” year I will win. There’s no way to win, there is only the fight. I’ve been doing a lot of fighting. But I am getting better, stronger with each battle.

All of this is to say I’m coming back. When the desire hits (and it does a lot) to sit and share, I will, I’ve been ignoring it.  I’ve been ignoring most of what’s good for me for a long time.

I’m enjoying the season so much! Decorating and shopping and we took the kids sledding for the first time this past weekend. I can’t wait for Christmas, the magic is high this year- both boys are INTO IT.  And I’m planning for the new year,  fitness, health and growing my business.  And praying that 2014 will be the year my kids fall in love with sleeping. (OMG!)

This is a pretty crummy update, but you have to poke your head out if you’re going to begin. So, hey. I miss you!

Progress

When I wake in the morning, as I slowly come to, I wait and feel until something tells me how I am. What is today? Am I well, am I iffy, am I off? You’d think that a person wakes up the same everyday, that you get out of bed fine and as the day progresses you know how you are. Something happens that can shift it, but I don’t get to do that. Life has a hand in how I feel, for sure, but, first, I check in with my head.

I’ve said before that meds are a band-aid for a disease, that after time, and often without warning, the adhesive gives and something has to change. You either rip it off or you try with all you have to make it stay on. My band aid started to give last October, and despite all of my encouragement for it to stick, I ripped that fucker off.

I did what I think a lot of people (probably) do. You decide that you’re done with this. “This” isn’t working for you any longer and that you can handle it on your own. I had a lot of reasons to stop my meds, but the biggest one was I hoped, the tiniest bit of hope, that I could survive on my own. That I could fight. I could win.

Well, we know how that turned out.

It’s been just 2 weeks since I’ve been back on the pharmaceutical wagon and when I check in with myself in the morning, it’s iffy. I’m still moody, a little on edge and a lot fragile. But I’m getting better, again.

Being well is such hard work.

I wish I could just pop a few pills in the morning and be done. It should be that easy, right? Here’s your RX go sing with the birds. I wish. I wish I didn’t have to unravel once a week on my therapists couch. That I didn’t have to take a depression and anxiety assessment every night before bed. I wish that I didn’t have an actual happiness handbook, but I do. I do, and I have to use the book, and do the homework my therapist assigns me and I have to dust myself off and hope I have it in me to keep going.

This is exhausting. To fight with your head and to change your own mind. That’s what cognitive behavioral therapy is. And it works, and I love it, but hot ham it pisses me off and I hate it. I love that I can change my mind, I hate that I have a mind that requires changing. That I have to talk myself down so many times a day, I have to remind myself not to catastrophise. To take life at face value and not with how it’s making me “feel”- It hurts, and I’m raw but I’m fighting.

I’m fighting, and it’s not how I wanted to win, but I still can so I will keep moving.

Of lights and tunnels

I went to the dr on Tuesday. An appointment that was scheduled before I dropped my basket. It was the perfect timing, if it had been a week earlier, I wouldn’t have been ready yet.

I was crying in the waiting room in my sunglasses, cause that’s not a giveaway in a “behavioral medicine” office. (I’m not upset, I’m just cool. (crazy cool))  I was asked how I was doing in the hall before we even rounded the corner to her office. I didn’t answer. Did I have too? I was wearing my sunglasses, she knew.

I told her I didn’t know where to start, and I didn’t. What was even important at that point? The full body tension, aches, pains, stomach issues? I abbreviated the physical and went for the mental.

I never had to say I didn’t want back on the Lexapro, she knew. She never suggested it. She listened and offered up ideas. I didn’t really care, as long as it wasn’t the same poison as before.  I let her tell me what to do, and why. I had no fight left.

She shared some information about her personal life, things that made me trust her. She is a daughter of a schizophrenic, had trouble with depression as a young adult trying to care for her ill mother and ultimately, it all drove her into this profession. She apologized for how bad it was going for me, and also divulged that she went though this herself, in the early 90′s and no one knew what it was. She was misdiagnosed with MS, and when it disappeared one day, she began to question everything.

It helped me, a lot. To know that she go it.

I went home with a rx for Prozac, to take along side my welbutrin.

2 days later? I’m still pretty moody, but I didn’t loose my temper once today, and the dizziness, nausea and brain zaps are completely gone.

Did I do the right thing? Yes, I spoke up when the regiment wasn’t working and asked for a change. It was awful to go thru it but had I not, and just slugged along, I’d just be suffering needlessly. In the process I found out about a vitamin deficiency, and well, learned the hard way (what I already knew but get to damn stubborn to admit) that I am a person who needs to be medicated. It’s that “simple” I need help. But it’s help that is available! There’s no cure for a screwy brain but there is help. 

I need help. I get help. I am the face of a mental illness and you know what, I’m learning to live with that. This is a part of who I am, and if I can’t own it, the drugs can’t save me. Only I can do that.