Monday, April 25, 2016


Tonight during meditation class, we had to focus on certain things, and I kind of wandered off topic in my head to make myself make sense of my current life. Although I am busy, going out almost every day, I still think I am not doing anything with my life. And yet, it's so untrue. So I looked back at what my life was like before K, and even while going out with him. I exercised, sometimes worked on jewelry, did housework when needed, and spent a huge amount of often wasted time on the internet. While dating K, I did much of the same, except I often waited to see what/when/where I could spend time with him.  I often found myself getting to the weekend and leaving it wide open to see what we'd do, instead of making plans with other people, or actually just spending time doing something on my own. Tonight I realized that during the time I went out with K, I spent so much of my time doing minute things, and the rest of the time was spent waiting to see what I'd do with a man who couldn't love me, just wanted to have someone to hang out with.

So, I thought about the year I've had since I ended the relationship. It's been an incredibly difficult year. BUT, in that year, no matter how I felt, I managed to get back into jewelry, and do some painting. I got my Etsy store back up and running (I wish I'd sell something, but that's beside the point lol).

I searched out places to volunteer, and found Elderwood. And I love being there. I love the people I work with, and I love the little old people who enjoy having me there and who like to share their stories, even if I've heard them a million times already. I've been asked to help with a couple outings lately, which means to me, that I'm a valued volunteer, and I'm appreciated! I'm so glad that I have this in my life right now!

I still exercise at rehab, but I have also found yoga. I never realized how much walking into that door in January would help me, even if it took a couple months to go back to it. I have found meditation and restorative yoga to be so helpful to me, and I love that I can go to a more active yoga class on Friday mornings. The studio and the people I've met there have been wonderful and understanding, and I really am so glad that I took a step and started a new path to help me recover. It's enriched my life!

Adding Grace to my life has been a good thing for me, too. I have a new little being to take care of, and to laugh about, since she is still young and does goofy things. I know that caused anxiety for me, but I'm so happy I have her now, and decided to just go for it!

I am looking forward to the warmer weather (it's kinda here now) so that I can plant flowers this summer since I didn't do it last, and I can hopefully grow more tomato plants than I did last year. I can't wait to walk near the water again, and to watch the kids' baseball games. I hope to have opportunities to explore areas I haven't been yet, maybe do something new in downtown Buffalo. The warmer weather opens up some more doors for me, and I look forward to that!

I am glad that this "enlightenment" during meditation tonight happened. I've been so down on myself about my life, which is causing my anxiety. I am SO PROUD of how I have done so much to try to build myself back up after last year. And I know I still have more work to do, but to finally realize that I have made my life much better in a year, well, that makes me happy! I need to stop having doubts that I'm not doing anything, because that is just so not true. I'm doing an awful lot, and the only person who is scrutinizing me for it is ME!! There is no reason to be hard on myself, I've accomplished so much!!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Trying To Post Positives

Today was a decent day. Today I did my best, and I am proud of myself. I made a necklace set for a phriend who asked for a certain color before I went to volunteer at the nursing home. I took a couple pictures of it so I could send it to her through Facebook, and later on, she told me she loved it. Yay! Whenever I get her check, I will send it out to her! I'm glad she asked me to make it. I love it when people have requests. I got another request this morning from another phriend, for a shot glass. I will have to work on that this weekend!

Volunteering was good today. I did a room visit with one of the ladies that works in the Activities Room, and then went back to Activities. A resident, Jimmy, was there. Usually he is waiting for me to play a game with him. So I asked about Blackjack. We played that for about an hour before he went back to his room. There were a bunch of other residents in the room after awhile, and I helped some of them do puzzles and play a game. Just chatting with them about anything is nice, too. I've learned some old stories about the city, and I'm sure some very made up stories, too. lol  One of the ladies was so ornery today, very loud and shouting a lot. She didn't want anything to do with anyone! She had a cup of pop and at one point she threw it toward the lady I was working with and got it all over a calendar that is supposed to be going up in the main hall next month! Thankfully it wasn't totally ruined. But eventually we had to call someone to get her because she was just being so disruptive and couldn't calm down. Not too sure what was up with that, but I do like to blame things like this on the full moon! It's coming tomorrow!

I stopped by the credit union on my way home and chatted with my Joanie for a bit. Well, kinda chatted. I talked a bit, she was doing some work, then I played a game on my phone. lol I eventually left to go home and make dinner. I looked up a recipe for homemade turkey burgers since I bought some meat on Sunday. I'd never made them fresh before, so I thought, why not? They weren't too bad! I had a nice salad and hash browns with them, and pickles. Dinner was a little late, but that was ok. I watched Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy afterward, then cleaned a little before watching Grey's. Tonight is a rest night since I don't go to yoga.

I was pretty bummed to find out Prince died today. It was a shock to everyone really, especially since he was only 57! There wasn't a reason announced as to why he passed, but he was supposedly sick with the flu last weekend. It'll be interesting if anything is said otherwise. I loved so much of his music! Many a night I danced at a song or two of his in the clubs back in the day! He'll definitely be missed by many!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Today I watched the animated movie from Pixar called Zootopia. I met my sister at the theater with the kids since they are on spring break for two weeks. It was the first time I'd ever seen a movie in 3D, and as much as I thought it would probably make me sick (which is why I've always avoided such movies), I actually did ok with it! It was a cute and funny movie, but also had a great message behind it. I got a little emotional with the one song included in the film by Shakira. It's called Try Everything. Hopefully the link works and you can listen to the words.

I enjoyed the movie, and on my way home I kept thinking about how crappy I have felt in the past year, not only physically but emotionally. I got home and completely lost it. I spoke to myself out loud for quite a long time. I have been dealing with anxiety on a daily basis for a year since I broke up with K, and in the last couple months depression has also appeared. The medication I've been on for almost 2 months to try to help has sort of worked a little, but not as much as I had hoped. I see my psychiatrist next week, and I don't know what the next step will be yet. I'm guessing he'll want to add something, since trying to increase the med I'm on didn't go well when I tried 3 weeks ago. Honestly, I don't want to add anything. I don't even want to be on what I'm already on. I've been doing meditation at a yoga studio near me for a little over a week, and I plan to continue going for as much as I can. I'm also looking into acupuncture to see if that helps any. I spoke with my PH nurse today, who told me that some of their PH patients have used acupuncture for a variety of reasons, and they don't have a problem with it.

But I told myself when I got home, that no matter what I do, I seriously have to start working harder at the reasons behind my anxiety and depression. It's not just related to the breakup anymore. That is done. That was a bit over a year ago. K. is no longer in my life, and he isn't a reason to be anxious anymore. What has been bothering me every day is the feeling that I'm not doing enough with my life. Sure, I'm keeping very busy every day doing things, whether it's going to rehab or volunteering, or going to the yoga studio, or meeting someone for coffee, or going to a movie. Right now, though, I'm seeing it all as just doing something, and not as a part of my life. I don't know if that makes any sense, but I guess it doesn't matter since it makes sense to me. I'm not happy with what I'm doing, I keep feeling it's not right. 

Tonight, in the midst of streaming tears, I started telling myself that I had a year of changes. One big change was losing a man who couldn't tell me his feelings about me at all. I lost a man who saw life as one big lousy thing and that nothing or no one mattered. I lost a man who I finally knew in my heart wasn't the man who was meant for me. Yes, I learned a lot in the time I was with him, and it wasn't all bad. But I also learned what I hope to not find again. I learned that as much as it sucked to let go, it was something I really had to do or else I was just going to continue to be with a man who didn't want more than someone to hang out with and not commit to. 

I also had to take a look at what I didn't lose. I didn't lose the ability to help others living with PH. I kept up with the support group meetings for last year, and I am working on the meetings for this year. Although I haven't really been in the chat rooms, I was still doing that once in awhile. I also learned that I have the ability to help anyone. I took the jump and started volunteering. I didn't find the SPCA appealing (even though I love cats and dogs, I just didn't feel it when I went to the orientation). But I found the nursing home was a great fit. It was a bit hard at first, because I hadn't been to a nursing home in forever, and I wasn't used to seeing the residents in various conditions. Some of them are able to do things, some of them don't seem like they are there, even though they are. I enjoy being there, and I'm glad I can be helpful in a different area other than the PH world. 

I got back into doing jewelry, and I still paint wine glasses and bottles (when I actually make the time for it). Is that wasting time or doing nothing important? No, it's not. It's a different venue of being creative. I can make pretty things and hopefully other people would like to have them. Or, I can make something as a gift, or a surprise. I can do these things when I'm not feeling great, or I can do it on a cold, crappy day. Much better than trying to go out to a job in horrible weather, or taking a day off that I might not have if I'm feeling sick. Right?? Right!!

I also had to remind myself that I go to rehab, I go to yoga and meditation, I eat healthy like I do, to take care of myself. That is nothing to get anxious about!! If I didn't take care of my body, I wouldn't be able to do as much as I can, and that would really suck. I am incredibly blessed that I can do as much as I can, because I know there are many PHers out there who cannot do anything at all. I know I've been pushing myself lately, and I'm pretty tired from keeping myself far too busy, but I'm thankful that I can do what I can. 

This is my life. It's full of keeping myself healthy. It's full of helping others, PHers, elderly people, family and friends, strangers in a store or wherever I go! It's full of creativity in the ability I've acquired in making things! I'm also a cat mommy again, something I forgot to mention, so I'm full of love for another cute animal that happens to also love me! And I can do pretty much anything I want at any day. If I need a down day because I'm not feeling well, I can take it. There is nothing wrong with it!! 

There is nothing wrong with how I'm living my life!! I'm doing pretty much the same things I was doing before even meeting K, except I've added a few new things to my routine, and that is good!! So, I am going to just try to remind myself this every friggin day, because I don't want to be anxious about this anymore. I don't want to be in depression anymore. I don't want to keep taking a medication to help me anymore, even though I know it might be helping for now (kinda). My life has purpose, and God has allowed me to find and discover the things that I can do, and figure out the things I can't. I hope and pray that telling myself this often will lead me back to the happy-go-lucky gal I used to be, and I know I want to be again!!

Sunday, February 14, 2016


I let Mittens, my beautiful Maine coon cat, my little man, my monster, the love of my life (just a few names I gave him over the years) go to heaven on December 23, 2015. He had been sick for over a year, but really wasn't himself in the last few months of his life. He was another part of the anxiety I'd been dealing with, because I wasn't ready to lose him, but I also wanted to know exactly when it was the right time to let him go. 

Back in August 2014, I discovered a lump on the right side of his cheek. It was odd, but after it grew a bit more in another month or so, I finally found a vet to look at it. Well, it was a tumor. There wasn't any way to find out  if it was cancerous or not unless it was removed. I didn't have money to do that, but after two more trips to the vet to have the area around the tumor drained (and a seriously stressed out Mittens), I finally decided what the heck? I would do surgery for him. I cashed some bonds, put some savings together, and had a few people generously give me money to help pay for the surgery. That was at the end of January last year. I spent the next 2 weeks after that with Mittens in a cone. Fun times (NOT!!)!! In the meantime, the vet confirmed to me that the tumor wasn't cancerous, but there was a big chance something could come back. She was right. A month after Mittens' surgery, I noticed a small lump already in a different area. But, I knew I couldn't do anything about it, I just had to try to give him the best life like I had been that I could until it was his time to go to heaven.

Mittens lasted a lot longer than I really had anticipated. And I'm so thankful that I didn't have to let him go in the beginning time after my breakup, or over the summer. I don't know if I could have handled it that well on top of everything else. Mittens wasn't too playful, but he'd still cuddle with me and want to be with me for the most part. The lump continued to grow and ended up being a lot bigger than the previous one, and also covered a lot more area. It was all on the right side again, behind his right ear, and even under his chin. He didn't seem to be in pain, but I can't imagine that he was comfortable.

I kept asking God to please let me know when the right time was to let Mittens go. I believe He finally answered me the day before I took him, because Mittens spent that entire day hiding under my bed covers, a place I had never allowed him to go in all the years I had him. And at the time when I made the decision, I was at peace with it. Of course, I was sad and bawling my eyes out the day I brought him, but I was thankful that I knew that Mittens was no longer going to be in pain. A few weeks later, I got Mittens back home with me in a simple, but lovely little box with his ashes. He'll always be with me no matter what.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Tough Times

I have been having an incredibly hard time with anxiety and depression for over a year now. Well, it really started with anxiety. I had a several long spells of anxiety that I didn't recognize as such until many months later. The first time was in August 2014 after my friend's wedding, when I somehow hurt my neck. I was trying to get it better so that I could go on a week long vacation with K. to North Carolina. But during that time, I wasn't sleeping well at night, and it never got better, even on vacation. I would wake up after being so exhausted within a few hours, and then couldn't get back to sleep. This went on for over a week, and after we got home, it kinda went away eventually. I was so relieved! And then it happened again when K. and I went to Cleveland for my appts a week after coming back from North Carolina. It didn't seem to last as long. I still didn't recognize that I was having anxiety. I thought it was just bad sleeping issues, and just feeling exhausted during the day.

Fast forward to last March. I finally decided to end my relationship with K. after 3 1/2 years. I finally acknowledged to myself that it wasn't going anywhere, especially since he couldn't say he loved me after all that time. There was a period of a week where I had the anxiety again, and this time I understood what it was. I couldn't sleep, I was constantly thinking of what I was going to say to him, I couldn't eat. It was awful. I knew right after breaking up that I would need to go to counseling, and so I did seek that out. And then for maybe a month or so, I had a period of time when the anxiety went away. I was trying to still work out all my emotions from losing K. in my life, but I was ok.

Until then I wasn't. Anxiety started up again some time in June, and it didn't leave. It still hasn't really left me. I was in the E.R. on Mother's Day after several nights of insomnia led to creeping thoughts of suicide. It scared the shit out of me. I have never, ever, ever considered ending my life, EVER. So I called my parents and told them I had to go to the E.R. They just gave me Xanax, which honestly, didn't do much for me. I would take it, get very tired for about 2 hours, and then I'd wake up and not be able to take anymore until hours later. I understood why people could be addicted! Not me. I ended up not even taking them and just living with the anxiety until I had to see a psychiatrist. I ended up in the E.R. once more for suicidal thoughts again about a week or so after the first time, just at a different hospital. I was eventually put on some meds to help me sleep through most of the night, which helped some of the severe exhaustion I was experiencing, and that was causing me to have those thoughts. I saw my therapist weekly to talk about things, and I tried to just stay as busy as I possibly could. It was an incredibly tough summer to get through before I could finally see the psych in August.

I was started on Lexapro, given klonopin, and a different medication to help with sleep. That journey was tough, too. Trying to get used to the Lexapro was extremely hard. My stomach was terrible, I thought I had ulcers it was that bad. Increasing the dosage after 5 days of starting it led me to believe that it was causing neurological issues in my face. I tried to stick with it for as long as I could. I'm not sure it really truly helped me. After being on it for almost 2 months, my psych told me I could go down on the dosage to start weaning off it because of the mouth problems I was having. Going lower seemed to make me feel a bit better. By the time December came, the business of the month and the holidays made me feel pretty good. I actually had almost a month of no anxiety. I was off Lexapro by Christmas day. I felt like my old self. I really enjoyed Christmas and I was starting to see someone, so I got to ring in the New Year with someone who was much better than the person I had left in March. I was actually happy!

And then a couple weeks into the New Year, overthinking got me back onto the anxiety train, and I couldn't get off it again. This time, the anxiety started turning into depression. Now, I may have had depression from all this before, but I didn't really feel it. This time was so different. I basically go through my days because I have to, and I'm not enjoying too much of anything. The guy I started seeing, well that ended because my emotions were so back and forth. A couple weeks ago I called to ask if I could see my psych sooner because there was no way I was going to make it until March to see him next. I had my appt with him this past Wednesday. I told him how I'd been feeling. I asked him if it was possible to try another medication in the same category as Lexapro, and he said he didn't like to do that, especially if I thought it hadn't helped. So he prescribed something called Remeron (mirtazapine), which can help depression, anxiety and help with sleep. I've taken it 2 nights so far, and well, I truly hope that I will be able to adjust to this med. I know and understand that it takes weeks with this meds to get acclimated to them, so it takes a LOT OF PATIENCE to see if they are going to help. But in the meantime, I guess I'm glad that I don't work because I just don't know how I would function at a job at this point. The med makes me groggy for most of the day. And I'm on a low dose that I need to increase in a few days. Crossing fingers that I can stick with this and ride it out until I see my psych in a few weeks again!!

I need to start blogging more about the things that I'm having a difficult time with, and what's been causing my anxiety and depression in the first place. I choose to write in my blog now because maybe my story will be seen by someone and they can relate. I hope to be able to look back one day and realize I came out of a very dark cloud and I'm a better person for it. Right now, I am just trying my best to put one foot forward every day. I have a huge amount of sympathy and understanding right now for people who have suffered depression and/or anxiety for most of their lives. It's a battle that is to be fought every day, and I can see why sometimes people just lose that battle. It's incredibly hard! I have always been such a positive person most of my life, that this has thrown me for a loop. So I hope blogging about things more will help me as well, besides talk therapy and medications. Fingers crossed!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Time Goes By So Fast When You're Not Blogging!

I don't even know where to begin with this post. I haven't really done anything blog-related since April. I'm not even reading the blogs I had saved on a regular basis. I have always been like this, even with my own diary/journal growing up. I go for months blogging often, and then I suddenly stop. I don't sit down and find the time to put down my thoughts, and it's such a shame, because I love to go back and read old posts and remember things that I found important. So, I thought I'd at least write a little today. Maybe I'll continue?? Maybe not?? lol

Life has been treating me well. The summer flew by too fast as usual, and now here it is, almost Thanksgiving, and the snow is flying around the area already. Winter has seemed to descend upon almost the entire country in the last week, and Fall isn't even over yet. I'm so not ready for this!! The only time I am ready and willing to see snow and cold temps is around Christmas!! And then I'd like it if we could go back to spring/summer weather, thank you very much!! lol

It is PH Awareness month, and I've been trying something different on Facebook this year. I've been coming up with more personal facts about PH, rather than just the actual facts. I'm labeling it "Real Life PH Education." I think it's being appreciated by those who are actually reading them. But, I have to be honest. I've been doing awareness month for over 10 years, and it's getting so monotonous. I don't mean that to be a slap in the face to any of my PH phriends or the PH community. It's just that, trying to post facts or thoughts about PH and what it entails, and getting tons of "likes" and/or comments from those living with the disease? It disappoints me a bit. Am I even reaching those who DON'T live with PH? I do realize that Facebook is not the only way to educate about PH!! Twitter isn't either. I didn't have enough energy really to go out into the community this year and try to spread awareness that way (although I did participate in a tv interview recently, and was seen on the air last week!). I guess maybe I need to put more effort into how to reach others, and maybe I'll be more prepared for next November when awareness month comes again.

The holidays are coming up quickly. I've always looked forward to Thanksgiving especially, and this year I will be going to Canada to celebrate. lol Joanie is having dinner, and I think it'll be nice! I'm not sure what food to expect yet. I'm imagining there will be Italian as well as the turkey. I'm curious as to how her house looks like since it's been so long since I've seen it last, and much of the downstairs was unfinished. I imagine it's exciting to have your own house built, but such a lot of work trying to get it all decorated how you'd like it!

Well, The Voice is coming on soon, so I think I'll end here for now! K. got me addicted to the show during the 2nd season, and it's rather nice to have something we like watching together. Even when we are not actually together in the same house. lol I will hopefully not stay away from posting for so long again! Until next time!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Euan's Favorite Place

Euan used to love going to Port Dalhousie Marina in St. Catherine's, Ontario. When he passed away, his family and friends got together some money in order to have his favorite bench dedicated to him. Last summer, when K. and I ventured into Canada to visit Niagara On the Lake (a very beautiful and fun little place to go!), I asked him about going to Port Dalhousie to see Euan's bench. He agreed that we could do it, and we did in July. 

As we got into the area and tried to figure out where to park, I started getting really emotional and a little shaky. When I got out of the car, the first thing I heard was bagpipes. At the marina, there were two very long piers with benches all along the way. The pier across from us was where I heard the bagpipes. I saw a gathering of people following the bagpiper with balloons and other things, and so I knew they must have been honoring a loved one. But the bagpipes hit me. Euan was born in Scotland. I found it incredibly ironic that on the day I was able to visit his bench, that a bagpiper was there at the same place, and the same time! I completely took that as a sign that Euan knew I was there. I had tears even before I found his bench!

K. and I started walking on the pier closer to us and where we had parked. I had been told where to find Euan's bench by a dear friend of his, so we started trying to find it. Many of the benches had plaques on them in dedication to someone. My heart was a little racy as we were looking, and then suddenly, there it was. I sat down and started crying a bit more. I read the plaque on the bench: 

It was such a fitting tribute to Euan, since no matter what he went through in life, especially with his health, he tried so hard to just find happiness out of anything. That was just one of the many ways I felt so connected to him, because I often try to do the same myself. 

K. took a picture of me on the bench so I would have that memory, and then he sat with me and I shared some stories about Euan with him. We also walked along the pier for awhile, enjoying the beautiful day and the water around us. I swear, we are water people!! lol  We both love being by the water a lot! I can't tell you how much it meant to me for K. to bring me to see Euan's favorite spot. I'm very lucky to have him in my life!!

We saw the bagpiper leading the group of people back from the very end of the pier, where we could hear them doing some kind of tribute before releasing balloons.