Life is tough – But so am I

Haven’t written a blog in almost a month.  We aren’t in the best of places right now.  OCD is running our lives.

OCD sucks

We normally spend almost a week at my in-laws lake house over the 4th of July. This year because the OCD is so bad we decided to only go for two or three nights. After attempting to visit my family for a few days we decided G and I shouldn’t even go. Hubby and my older daughter left on Sunday and we stayed home and did some things here.

Decided to attempt to salvage some family time and G and I drove 3 hours today to be there with them. Should not have gone. She had a little fun but it was more trouble than it was worth. OCD ruined everything and she and I ended up driving home that night. We were gone a total of 12 and 1/2 hours and 6 of them were driving. I hate this miserable disease and all that it is stealing from us. She is getting worse by the day. Our time at Mayo can’t come quick enough. Praying it helps.  And after we got home I ate a bunch of junk food because I stress eat. So now not only was I mad at OCD but I was mad at myself too

Mindset

Focusing on the positive was something I’d been doing well on but it’s been a struggle lately. Things are tough so I’ve been feeling pretty negative. It’s affecting me mentally of course but also physically. I’m tired, achy, grumpy, and just blah. I’m working hard to focus my efforts on positive again because I hate feeling like this and being negative isn’t solving anything!

About a year ago I got this tattoo on my forearm. It stands for courage, strength and faith. I got it so that I can always see it and be reminded that I have these things. Lately I’ve been forgetting.

I’ve been listening to an audio book recently and it talked about having a “headstone” something in front of you, that you see often, to remind you that you are working towards your goals. That is the exact reason I got this tattoo but I haven’t been using it that way lately.

I’ve started reminding myself every time I see the tattoo and it’s helping me to feel stronger mentally.

I’m doing everything I can do be strong for myself and for my family.  Life is not an excuse! Heading to Mayo Clinic next week.  Say a prayer for us!

 

Stop using life as an excuse

Posted by Danielle Springer – Healthy Living on Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Livin for Livi – Love always wins

About 2 months ago a woman from my home town (just a few years younger than me) lost her daughter due to a drunk driver. She has been sharing Livi’s story with everyone. She was a kind, loving little girl who loved to help people. Without knowing how big it would become she started the #livinforlivi movement and it’s been amazing. It’s so easy. Just be nice. Be kind. Help someone. Pay it forward.

Love always wins

#livinforliviAlivia’s Mom posts “all I ask of all of you to do is Live for Livi.  Give for no reason, love , share , make someone smile and just be kind! Oh and NEVER Drink and Drive!”

My first act for #livinforlivi

I saw a post on Facebook recently about “lunch shaming” for kids whose lunch balances at school are too high. Who knows why these parents haven’t kept up with it? It doesn’t matter.
I asked at school and I was able to pay off the balance for several families. I don’t share this so that everyone says “Look at her being generous” I share this because I want everyone to do something nice for someone else. I don’t know who these families are that I helped. I don’t care. I’m just glad I was fortunate enough to do it and I hope that they pay it forward in some way.
You never know what battles someone else is fighting and how just a small kindness can turn the tide for them.  

 

If you want to join #livinforlivi check out the group her mom created. https://www.facebook.com/groups/LivinForLivi

Mental Health – Stop the Stigma

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

There are so many myths and misconceptions out there about mental illness. These mislead people and often cause people not to seek treatment.  So much stigma surrounds mental health that people are ashamed or embarrassed by it. depression asthmaSomeone can have asthma because their lungs and airways don’t work quite right.  A person can have diabetes because their body doesn’t produce enough insulin.  Neither of these illnesses are judged or have a stigma attached.  So why is it different because someone brain doesn’t make enough serotonin?

Michelle Obama said “Whether and illness affects your heart, your leg or your mental illnessbrain, it’s still an illness and there should be no distinction”

Misconceptions

So often when someone finds out that my daughter has OCD they say something like “oh so she washes her hands a lot?” or “Her room must be so clean!” Yeah, not so much. This is her room. It looks like a bomb went off. OCD

 

 

 

There are different types of OCD and it is very different for everyone. What my daughter thinks is dirty really isn’t but she loves playing in the dirt and is a big slob. It’s very illogical and that makes it all the harder for all of us to deal with it.

The simplest things in life cause me great anxiety.  I have trouble making a phone smilecall.  I make plans to meet a friend but cancel at the last minute or I just keep declining invitations.  If someone doesn’t answer my text or email quickly I think I did something wrong.  I don’t participate in a group conversation.  Sometimes people think I’m rude for this behavior but it’s the anxiety.  Most days I can fight it and win, or at least fake it pretty well, but some days I’m just too exhausted from the fight.

Stop the Stigma

Please don’t take how the media portrays mental illness as the end all be all. Ask questions, learn about it, and support those suffering.  Offer help.  One of the best things you can say to someone when they share that they are suffering is “How can I help?”  They may turn you down but just asking will make a difference.

Help end the stigma!

Music Can Soothe the Soul & Mind

Music soothes the savage beast

A few months ago I started listening to personal development podcasts in the morning while getting ready. Before I used to listen to music but I decided this was a better use of my time. Lately I’ve been thinking that music has its importance too.
I’ve been struggling with my anxiety and confidence lately so the last few days I decided to listen to what I call my anthems in the morning. These are songs that I really connect with. They speak to me. I feel stronger after listening to them. I sing along with them, loudly (I can’t sing so I know it sounds terrible but I don’t care!)

My Anthems

These are the 4 that are on my “Anthem” playlist right now.
Let it Go (yes the one from Frozen) by Idina Menzel

The lyrics of this song resonated so strongly with me I cried in the middle of the movie theater. You can read more about that here.
Don’t Put Dirt on My Grave From the TV show Nashville

This one really hits home for me with my anxiety and helping my daughter fight her OCD. I keep getting stronger and if you push me I’ll push harder!

This time it’s goodbye trouble
I feel the light at the end of this tunnel
I get stronger with every step
Come Hell, come high water
You push on me I’m going to push back harder
I got a whole lot more than a little bit left
Oh, so don’t put dirt on my grave just yet
Oh, don’t put dirt on my grave just yet

Roar by Katy Perry

Things can hold me down but I’m always going to get back up because I’m a fighter!

You held me down, but I got up (hey!)
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, your hear that sound
Like thunder, gonna shake your ground
You held me down, but I got up
Get ready ’cause I’ve had enough
I see it all, I see it now
I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter
Dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am the champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar!

Fight Song by Rachel Platten

I’m taking back my life and proving that I’m going to be alright!

This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me

They are my anthems. What about you? What song hits home for you?

Music and Mental Health

Music and Mental Health

Music can be so powerful.  It can make you smile, laugh and cry.  It can bring back memories.  I know whenever I hear songs from the 90’s I’m taken back to high school sock hops.  Music can be therapeutic too.

Did you know May is Mental Health Awareness Month?  I decided it was the perfect time to share what I call…

My Coming out Story

Obviously now I’m open and posting about my and G’s struggles with mental illness.   Sure didn’t used to be that way.  Instead I was embarrassed and ashamed.  I must have done something wrong for us to be like this.

I remember the turning point for me.  As silly as it might sound, seeing the movie Frozen changed it all.  I still member sitting in the movie theater with tears running down my cheeks.  The whole concept of Elsa hiding her magic, concealing it so others wouldn’t know she was different, just really related for me.  When she sang, “Let it Go”, so many of the lyrics resonated with me.

The Lyrics

“It’s a kingdom of isolation and it looks like I’m the queen” I felt so alone in this battle.

Let it go lyrics
The Lyrics

“The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside. Couldn’t keep it in; Heaven knows I’ve tried” We tried so hard to keep it all in and keep it hidden but it was hurting us and getting harder.

“Don’t let them in, don’t let them see. Be the good girl you always have to be. Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know.”  Don’t let anyone know about our problems.  Be good and keep it hidden.

“I don’t care what they’re going to say. Let the storm rage on. The cold never bothered me anyway” Why are we worrying so much about what other people are going to think?

“The fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all.  It’s time to see what I can do to test the limits and break through” What could I do if I talked about it openly?  How much different could things be?

Let it Go

It really hit home for me that it was time to stop hiding and “Let it Go”.  I was Elsa Let it Goexpending so much energy trying to be “normal” that I should be using to help G, and myself, learn to live with the illness.   Once Elsa embraced her magic, she learned that she could control it and I felt once we embraced our illnesses we could do the same.

Embrace it

Now anxiety and depression are just a part of me, they don’t define me.   OCD is just part of who G is.  She’s 8, she’s blond, and she has OCD.  It just is.  I often relate it to being diabetic.  Our bodies, and a diabetic’s body, don’t produce the right amount of a chemical that we need to function.  We need to learn to modify our life (eating differently, fighting the compulsions) and sometimes take medication to help us; and that’s OK.  There’s no shame, no stigma to physical illnesses.  There shouldn’t be any with a mental illness either.   If I can share our story, our struggles, and our victories and help others who struggle and educate people, why shouldn’t I?  After all, if I don’t speak up, who will?

Do you have a song that really resonates with you?