Thursday, September 29, 2016

Lessons Learned

I’ve struggled the last couple of days with my emotions.  I have to say, that’s the first time since early in December.  I stop short of calling it depression.  I know how my depression makes me feel so low that I have no hope.  I had hope yesterday and the day before.  I honestly think I was just stressing about circumstances.

Stress can really take it out of a person.  I got myself so worked up over a meeting that I cried…that I couldn’t stop crying.  And as you might have guessed, the meeting went off without a hitch.  I spoke my piece; I listened to all responses.  And I ultimately felt better for having done so.  So why did I let myself get all worked up to the point where I cried and felt scared?

The short answer is, “I don’t know.  I honestly have no idea.”  You’d think I’d know better by now, how to incorporate the tips and tricks Robin has taught me and use them in my everyday life.  Take a step back.  Take a deep breath or two.  Look at the big picture.  Go to my happy place if I need to.  See, feel, hear those familiar and comfortable sounds.  Center myself strong.  And pray.

But we’re talking about my job here.  It’s important to me.  Not only do I want to stay employed, I want to stay employed in the job I’m currently holding.  And I want to do it well.  I enjoy it.  But sometimes I don’t feel smart enough to do it.  I wanted everyone to know that I’m doing my best and I want to continue doing my best, knowing that my best will only get better as time goes on.  I was only concerned that maybe they weren’t willing to wait for me to get better, that maybe my best wasn’t good enough at this point in time.

But that’s not the case.  They’re happy with me.  They said as much.  So I need to NOT let my emotions get the best of me.  I need to continue to focus on what I’m doing, doing the best I can for them.  And I need to continue to take care of myself by eating right, getting enough sleep, taking my meds, and praying.

I can do my part.  I WILL do my part.  No more forgetting my morning meds over the weekends.  No more skipping lunch.  No more staying up late to watch a football game and still expecting myself to get up at 5am for work.  And it’s time to get more physical and watch what I eat.  I can effect change in my mental health.  I’m worth it.  It’s time to prove that.

Seven Word Status

Today I choose to praise the Lord.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

I feel so much better.

I prefer to go to mass on Saturday night.  There are a couple of reasons for this.  One, I get to sleep in on Sunday.  Two, I get to go to mass and dinner with my mom.  This has become a routine for us.  Unless I'm singing at mass Sunday morning, I'm usually at mass Saturday night.

This week, and not for the first time, we had dinner with my aunt and uncle.  It was wonderful catching up and getting their opinions on things going on in the world.  And things going on in my head.  I have to say, I am so thankful for close family.

I've been challenged lately by a particular circumstance in my life.  My dinner guests last night made me feel so much more confident about things.  They gave me words to speak and remember to maintain my equilibrium.

I've been somewhat overwhelmed during the last couple of weeks.  And I don't like that feeling at all. But I think I've come to the conclusion that I'm not ready to throw in the towel.  Not just yet. Everything depends on a constructive conversation on Wednesday.  I'll know more about how I want to move forward after that.

Once that meeting happens on Wednesday, I'll make a decision.  Between now and then, I'll pray and keep an open mind.  I want to do what's best for my future.  But I want to maintain my mental health as well.  I've been depression-free for more than nine months now and I'll do anything to maintain that streak.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Holy Door of Mercy

I copied this from the St. Meinrad website.  I plan to visit St. Meinrad tomorrow with family.  Should be an interesting experience.

Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy

December 8, 2015 - November 20, 2016
Pope Francis has declared a Jubilee Year of Mercy, offering an opportunity for Catholics to receive a plenary indulgence during this special time.

This is a time for the Church to rediscover the meaning of the mission entrusted to her by the Lord on the day of Easter: to be a sign and an instrument of the Father's mercy," the pope declared.

Plenary Indulgence for Jubilee Year of Mercy
Indianapolis Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin, CSsR, designated Saint Meinrad's Archabbey Church as one of two churches in the archdiocese that Catholics may visit to receive a plenary indulgence established by the Holy See for the jubilee year.

To receive an indulgence during the Jubilee Year of Mercy:
  • Pass through the doors of mercy of the pilgrimage church.
  • Make a profession of faith in the church (either the Apostles' or Nicene Creed).
  • Pray for the pope's intentions and the pope himself.
  • Meditate on mercy while receiving Communion during a period 20 days before or after visiting the pilgrimage church.
  • Participate in the sacrament of penance during a period 20 days before or after visiting the pilgrimage church.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

I saved a life today.

So it's just a Tuesday.  A regular old Tuesday.  You know, it's a little better than Monday, but not nearly as good as Wednesday.  Except for NCIS being on, there's really no significance to a Tuesday.

I was born on a Tuesday.  That same Tuesday that people vote.  But still, just a Tuesday.

I did some training at work.  I attended a meeting too.  I also had lunch with co-workers.  Pretty much the same thing I'd do on any given Tuesday.

But once I got home, back in town, that is, I became a super hero.  A child on a bike pulled out into the street without looking for traffic.  I went from going 35 mph to 0 in time to keep from running over that boy and his bike. Saved his life.

I'm taking the rest of the day off.  I think I'll watch NCIS.

Monday, September 12, 2016

What I Did This Weekend

I had a relatively busy weekend.  I guess those are the best kinds, feeling productive on my days off.

It started with the CWV Spaghetti Supper on Friday night.  I was in charge of selling raffle tickets.  Many had already purchased raffle tickets during one of our stints after the masses three weeks in a row in August.  But still, I sold $200 worth.  I was pretty happy with that.  And ultimately we made $1300 last I heard.  So it was a very good night for the future scholarships.  Not to mention, good food and good company.

Saturday, I didn't do much but read and sleep.  I love a day when I get to sleep in.  Any day without an alarm clock is a good day in my book.  Speaking of book, I also read some of Janet Evanovich's "Two for the Dough".  And I always say, any day where I get to read fiction is a good day.  So I didn't get much done on Saturday, but I got to accomplish two of my favorite things, sleeping in and reading a good book.  It was lovely!

Sunday, I cantored at the 10am mass.  That went pretty well.  Then I went with relatives to Ireland's church picnic.  What an event that was.  So big, so organized, GREAT food.  I don't think we won anything, but we had a really good time.  Then we stopped by my cousin Gary's to see his place.  After that, Mom and I stopped by the funeral home to see Helen.  She seemed to be doing really well considering she just lost her mom.  I can't imagine losing my mom, so I really feel for her.  After that, Mom and I did a bit of grocery shopping.

You see, I think I might be fighting my first flare up of gout.  My big toe on my left foot is all swollen, red, and VERY painful when I try to bed it.  I need to get in to see the doctor.  But everyone I've talked to in the interim swears by cherries.  So Mom an I stopped by the grocery store to pick up a few things that had cherries in them.  And I have to admit, I'm feeling better today than I did yesterday.  At least I have a shoe on today.  Yesterday I walked around with one shoe off.

I finished the day watching an exciting Colts game that didn't quite finish the way we wanted it to.  My MVP goes to Jack Doyle because he made two touchdowns and because he's also a Doyle.  What's not to like?!  Maybe we'll figure out how to play football in the first half and come out with a better ending next week.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Seven Word Status

I close my eyes to the world.

National Suicide Prevention Week

In honor of National Suicide Prevention Week, September 5th - 11th, I'm dedicating a blog entry to it.  According to an article on The Mighty, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in America.  We can do something about that.

I'm a firm believer that NO ONE commits suicide for selfish reasons.  In all instances, they do it because they think the world would be better off without them.  I honestly think that most suicides come from a place of depression, a chemical imbalance.

This may come as a surprise to you, but I've been suicidal before.  I can think of two occasions.  One was two years ago, the summer of 2014, when I was being weaned off one set of medications and increased on another set of medications.  That really messed with my brain chemistry and I was all over the place emotionally.  My anxiety was at its worst.  The second instance was May 29th, 2015.  I wasn't ready to take the action that day, but I had seriously started making a list of all the things that I needed to accomplish before I could take my own life.  During both of those times, my depression was speaking for me.

But I'm still here.  Due to medication, a great counselor, and a tight knit support group of friends and family.  Even though I didn't quite believe it, I listened to people tell me that I make a difference, that God wanted me here, that they wouldn't allow me to end this precious thing called life.

I had multiple people tell me that they wanted that phone call.  THAT phone call.  The one that says I can't do it anymore.  They wanted to be the ones to talk me down, to convince me that I mattered.  I have people in my life who wanted to do that.  That alone spoke volumes to me.  It made me think a different thought.  And even though I didn't hold a lot of hope at those times, I held on to what people were telling me... that this time was fleeting, that it was temporary.  To hold on until it passed.

And it did.  It passed.  Both times.  In fact, I tell myself that through every depression.  That it's only temporary.  There's no knowing how long it will last, but it's been temporary EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.  That's something I was able to hold on to.

And I'm still here.  And right now, I'm depression-free.  Sure, I'm medicated and I wouldn't even think about going off my meds.  And I talk to my counselor regularly.  And I know that my depression can come back at any time.  But I'm enjoying my life right now because I HAVE a life right now.  Because someone was there for me when I was at my lowest.  And I'm very thankful for that.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

What I Did During My Labor Day Weekend

I slept in three days in a row!  Now if that's not the way to spend a three-day weekend, I don't know what is.

I got to see my grandsons.  Both of them.  At the same time!  They live in two different cities.  So seeing them in the same place at the same time is a joy you can't imagine.

I got to have a meal with my mom four days in a row.  Ribs at the Lodge on Friday.  Pizza at Bobe's on Saturday.  BBQ on the grill Sunday.  And the buffet at Lakeview on Monday.  We eat well in my family.

I read.  I'm reading Janet Evanovich's "Two for the Dough" and I'm really enjoying it.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, I really like that Joe Morelli!

And the weather was gorgeous the whole weekend long.  I had a lovely Labor Day weekend.  I say we do it again NEXT weekend!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Perfect Saturday

I started off the day by sleeping in.  The best way to start a weekend.

I did the laundry.  Two loads.

I ate a chopped salad.  Yummy!

I read more of Janet Evanovich's "Two for the Dough".

I got a haircut.

I bought a couple of blouses for work.

I went to mass.

I went to dinner with Mom.  We ate pizza.

I bought the winning lottery ticket.

Now I'm watching television and am ready for bed.

The perfect Saturday.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Ahhh, September!

I love September.

It's my second favorite month of the year.

The temperatures start dropping.  Football starts.  (Real football, not that preseason crap.)  The days get shorter and it's dark by the time I get ready for bed. The kids go back to school.  The fields are harvested.  The leaves start to change, making for a beautiful picture.

It's just an absolutely lovely time of year.

This month also has a holiday.  Any month with a holiday is a-okay with me.  I mean seriously, what's not to like?

Right now things are going really well for me too.  Work is going great as I'm loving my new job.  I'm enjoying my new car.  I've been chatting with Jeff regularly, which is a very good thing.  I get to see my grandsons this weekend.  I'm reading a good book.  I had an appointment with my counselor and even he thinks things are going well in my head.  I haven't had a depressive day in nearly nine months.

So join me in celebrating the month that is September.

One more holiday and it could be like November, my very favorite month of the year!

Thursday, September 1, 2016


I gave blood on August 4th.  It was the first time I'd given blood since I tried a year ago and my heart rate was too high.  This time, there were no pitfalls.  I was able to give blood successfully with no issues.

And then this week I get an email that says that my blood has been delivered.  It went to University Hospital in Louisville, KY, to a patient in need.

I thought that was pretty cool.  I liked the feedback.  I mean, I always assumed my blood was being used by someone somewhere.  But it's nice to know approximately when and exactly where.  Just goes to show you (and me), I matter.  I mattered to that person anyway.