Am I really “still me”?

Lost is a place, right?

Are you there, too?

Hi, everyone! Welcome to “Lost”! It’s the new and improved place we used to call “Here”.

We don’t call it ‘Here” anymore because we’ve moved away from “Here”. “Here” is a place from afar. A place removed from what is relevant and current.

Destination: Unknown

I’m at home in “Lost”. And that’s sad.

Sad, but true.

“Lost” is both familiar and painful.

“Lost” is not that far away from “The Past” and just around the corner from “Hindsight”. It is 20/20, no?

And “Lost” is just before you get to “Far, Far Away”.

“Lost” is both confusing and exciting at the same time.

It is unknown and to some, might seem tragic.

To me, however, it’s not tragic.

It’s home.

I’m ready.

Ready to get to know my way around “Lost”. It seems that I may be here a while and I might as well get my bearings in this place.

Most of the people that live here are pretty nice. My neighbors keep to themselves, but smile and wave, if waved to.

And I do wave.

Every damn day.

The sights in this town are pretty nice, too. Old homes with character surrounded by new growth and change.

“Lost” has pretty great schools, too. With teachers that seem to actually care. Teachers that take the time to know their students by name and learning style.

The students seem to reciprocate with a sense of simple splendor. With a joy of learning! They converse in small groups out on the patio, while teachers smile their knowing smiles.

“Lost” even has a big chain Super Store!

Hooray, for “Lost”!

One day, we’ll catch up to the big city, but as of now, we’re pretty proud of our Super Store, thank you very much.

“Lost” is an easy commute to the finest jobs around. And, as luck may have it, my job, too. I love my drive to work from”Lost”. It’s a quiet and serene time that I can hear myself think. No one needs to be tended to and everyone can hear me.

I’ve found a nice niche in my little part of “Lost”. Albeit small, it’s mine.

I will miss “The Past”, but I’m not there anymore.

Now is the time to revel in the here and now and appreciate this thing we call life.

Do you appreciate life? Or do you, like I, take just about every minute for granted?

Geez, guys!

Let’s start the new year with a pact, OK?

Let’s be happy and content.

Whether we live in “Lost”, “Far, Far Away”, “Here”, “Now” or “In the Moment”.

Let us appreciate and savor every hour we get.

Every minute.

Every hour.

Every second.

Why?

Because before long we’ll be living in “Gone, but Not Forgotten” and I for one, want to put the final move off for as long as possible.

So, I will live in “Lost”.

I will love in “Lost”.

 I will be in “Lost”.

And for once, I’ll finally just be “me”…

She wakes…

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She wakes up everyday loathing the sun and wishing death upon the birds. How dare they be so happy and delighted to embrace the day? Don’t they feel like their tiny lives are insignificant, too? Don’t they feel like the sun burns their soul and causes the hollowness to reverberate an energy of hate?

She hates birds. They are everything she isn’t. Happy and content in their lives. They fly without abandon to wherever they want to go, at whatever time they want to go there and are only worried about how many worms they might find that day.

She is envious. She then gets mad at herself for being envious. Isn’t that a sin? Isn’t it also stupid to be jealous of a bird? A bird with hardly a brain and a lifespan of a month or so. Ah, that’s the ultimate reason, she thinks. The reason to hate them with all that she has and is. They live such a short period of time that they don’t have time for the what if’s and can’ts of life. They live such a short period of time that they don’t have time to build relationships with others that will inevitably hurt them. They will never know the pain of rejection, defeat or will they ever know the fear of someone or anyone not liking, or even worse, liking them.

She laughs. A defeated laugh of pure submission. Must she start the day? Yes. Must she place her feet on the floor and move through a day she can only hope will bring her more pleasure than pain? Yes. Then she laughs again. Right? What’s pleasure?

So goes her day. She smiles through the pain of a clinched chest and tight lungs. She laughs at other’s jokes that her conscious knows are funny, but her subconscious feels she has no right to laugh at. Laughter means happiness and happiness she doesn’t deserve.

Someone sees her glance down at the floor for second. Only a brief second where her heart is open and the pain slips out, but this time someone sees it. She says she’s tired. Makes the excuse that she didn’t sleep last night. Hell, she blames it on those damn birds! Anything to stop the questions. Anything to stop someone caring. Anything to alienate herself to the point of oblivion. Push them away, she thinks. They won’t understand. They will laugh at her and then they will leave her. They will leave her and hurt her and make her feel even more worthless than she already knows she is. So, she lies. Again.

Lying only makes her day worse. She constantly questions herself. Do they know? Will they hate me more than they already do? Is judgement just a word away?

Time to go home.

To her bed, she thinks. To her happy place. The place where she is simply a being. A being without a light. No light to turn out. No light for anyone to see. Goodnight, world. How she wishes this was the last time she’d ever have to say that…

Written with love for those who struggle. Written to help you know that you aren’t alone. There is always someone who understands and because we understand, we always care.

 

I said, “I DO!!”

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Well, well, well… It happened. After 13 years, two kids, countless fights, even more reconciliations and a heart full of love, I got married. That’s right, y’all! I got married.

Have you ever felt like your one true love was so far away and unattainable because of either your personal choices or just your personality in general? I have. Have you ever felt like no one could ever accept you, nor should they, in your true and basic form? I wonder if all people feel this way or is it just a self esteem that some people have.

A little history…my Husband and I are chemically and emotionally attached. He gets me. He loves me. I mean, he LOVES me. All of me. My down days, my up days, my sad days, my ill days, my ugly days and my beautiful days. Somehow, I got lucky enough to meet a man that thinks I’m pretty great. A man that thinks I’m beautiful. And a man who’s family is like a fairy tale. Is it perfect? Nope. But, I love them and they love me. Can one gain a mother and a father in one day? Yes.

C is my person. C is my best friend. C shows me that love is blind to all things mental health wise and all things that we may feel as failures. I am lucky to know him. Lucky to be his friend. Lucky to be his best friend and now lucky to be his wife.

Is a relationship hard work? Hell, yes. Is it worth it when I see him sleeping on the couch with his little feet crossed? Yes.

Things have happened in our relationship that neither one of us are proud of. Neither one of us wants to revisit again. Time heals all wounds. If two people live in harmony every single day of their lives, someone is lying. Someone is being fake and someone is tortured internally with a fire that no one can put out. An explosion is imminent. It will be ugly. It will be embarrassing and that person may lose the one thing they are trying to protect.

Being Real.

Is it possible? Can we talk to ourselves, dance while we cook, pee in the shower or watch sappy, stupid shows that we’ve seen a hundred times and cry like it’s the first time we’ve seen them? Yes. If you say no, then you’re lying. Truth is truth. My Husband knows all of these things about me and still knows to stop on The Notebook, despite the fact that we have the DVD, every time it’s on. He knows that I love One Direction. Does he think it’s weird? Sure! But he just laughs and listens when he has too.

My Husband is beautiful. My Husband is generous. My Husband is a devoted father to our children and plays with them like he is a kid himself. He puts together a Lego set with the best of them and never complains to Doodle 2 about the fact that his back hurts. He simply praises a job well done and smiles to himself.

I married my true love. I surprised him with my own vows and I will end this blog post with them.

From the moment our path’s crossed you’ve surprised me, distracted me, captivated me and challenged me the way no other human being has.

I’ve fallen in love with you again and again. Countless times without reservation and I still can’t believe that today I get to marry my best friend.

I promise to be true to you, to uplift and support you, to frustrate and challenge you.

And share with you the beautiful moments of life.

And someday, if the stars align, I might even let you win an argument.

No matter what trials we encounter together or how much time has passed, I know our love will never fade.

That we will find strength in one another, and that we will continue to grow side by side.

I believe in the truth of what we are and I will love you always.

With every beat of my heart,

I choose you and I’ll choose you over and over.

Without pause, with out a doubt, in a heartbeat, I’ll keep choosing you.

My wish for everyone is that you find strength in these words. That you know that love is very real. I know I am lucky. I know I am one of the chosen few. I know that I am Mrs. Padgett now and my heart has never been so full. Full of hope, love, joy and a desire to tell the future to bring it on! Because I am ready. I am ready because I am strong. I am ready because my Husband is my foundation, I am his, and no matter what I do, I know he’ll never let me fall. We are a team. An unbeatable team and without a second thought, I put my life in his hands and know that I’m safe, secure and loved the way that I love him. Good, great, unperfect and beautiful.

She is the Homeschool Fairy

Can being in a slump effect our kids?

Sure.

Will we make mistakes?

Sure.

When we become Mama’s are we automatically infallible?

No.

So begins my post this Saturday morning.

I am in a slump, or funk, as you may say. My Mama duties have seemed so difficult the past week. Almost as if I’m moving in a pool of water. Slow and labored. Homeschool is hard, y’all. Homeschool is fun, but it’s easy to feel like you’re slipping and make a mistake. In more ways than one, it’s brought me closer to my children. In more ways than one, it’s made me more tired mentally than I ever thought I could be. I feel alone in my work. Unappreciated. I work hard to find stimulating resources that will help the Doodle’s along in their quest for knowledge. But, alas, I feel I am alone in this quest. I get so excited about finding new stuff and I swear when I get our books, I may throw a party. But, I’ll be the only one in attendance. I want to scream with excitement over fulfilling this dream. But, I might as well be screaming into a pillow. No one, and I mean no one, cares.

It’s as if all of these things just magically come from the homeschool fairies at night. Like a cobbler’s elves, they are tireless in their work.  The homeschool fairies find resources, print worksheets and when the printer is out of ink, they even handmake worksheets! They paperclip and staple. They sort and organize. They love a good binder! The fairies read books to be read. They highlight the most important parts and create handwritten “walks” through the literature to help with Doodle 1’s reading expression. They underline and bold print. They plan unit studies and lap books. The fairies plan projects and library lists. They even put all of the necessary library books for all of the subjects of the week on hold before we can even get to the library! They tape and cut. They even put note cards on the wall to help with sight word practice for Doodle 2! I love the fairies! I appreciate the fairies. I am the fairies…

Silence. No round of applause. Not even a thank you.

And so goes my journey this week. I will keep moving forward in my pool of water. Slow and steady wins the race, right?

Bipolar: The roller coaster I didn’t pay to get on

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You’re crazy! You’re a bitch! You’re a mess! I wish you’d just get your shit together! Why can’t you be normal? Just get out of bed! It’s like you’re two different people! It’s all in your head! You’re just lazy! Good for nothing! Worthless! Pathetic!

These are just a few of the things I’ve heard over the years in my struggle with my mental health. Some of these things have been said by friends. Some of these things have been said by loved ones. And some of these things I’ve said to myself.

Have you ever had a bad day? I mean, a really bad day. You wake up late. Forget the most important thing that you needed for work at home, but you’re already late, so you have to make up an excuse not only about your lateness, but about your not bringing that important thing. Your boss calls you in the office to “discuss” your performance or lack there of. You then begin to cry, but it’s only eleven AM, so you have to keep working and act like someone didn’t just make you feel like an idiot, when you know you’re not. Then, you start doubting yourself and start believing what was said. Next, no one asks you to join them for lunch because you look like you’re having one of your “days”. You try to work, but the thoughts play in your head like a CD stuck on repeat. You accomplish nothing, but more failure and your closest coworker gets mad at you for not holding up your end of the bargain. You try to tell them that you’re sorry. You try to tell them that you’ll do better, but they don’t believe you and you start not to believe yourself either. Finally, you go home only to think more about being worthless and wishing you could just die. You think that you’re probably just a burden on everyone and should just quit. Quit your job and life, itself. You’re hungry. No, you’re not hungry enough to fix anything, so you sit in silence and try to go to sleep early. Ha! The Sandman laughs in your face. Sleep doesn’t come because you continue to listen to that CD. Over and over. You believe it. You know you’re just a pathetic human being. Then you finally fall asleep miraculously, only to be awoken by a nightmare that you’re being thrown in a dumpster filled with other people “just like you”. Then, much to your dismay, your alarm goes off and it’s time to start the struggle of life for one more day.

Sounds like hell, doesn’t it? It sounds unreal.

It was a day in my life. On my “down” days, I felt like this. Sometimes even worse. So your worst day, is a day in the life of someone with bipolar disorder when they cycle down. Oh sure, I cycle up, too. Here’s what that feels like…

You are woken up by your alarm and today, you don’t feel like throwing it across the room. Could it be? You’re not sure yet. You get ready for work and today you feel like listening to the radio. What? You get to work and say hello to everyone you see. Good Morning, everybody!! You start your workday and do your work without interruptions of doubt. All of the sudden, while chatting with your favorite coworker you both realize that it’s almost time to go home. Already? Awesome! You drive home, windows down, singing your favorite song and thinking that sunlight is pretty great. When you get home, you cook your favorite meal and enjoy it in front of the TV, watching your favorite rerun of Friends. (The Prom Video, obviously) Then you take a nice warm bath, look in the mirror one last time and smile. Today was your day! Today was an amazing day! You pick up that novel you’ve been meaning to read and then fall asleep easily, without the constant feeling of worthlessness.

Sounds like a pretty good day, right? Sounds like what most people would call a normal day. For me, these days are precious. They are coveted. I yearn for these days. I beg for these days and when they come they’re gone too soon.

I haven’t always been bipolar. I’ve been to so many doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists. I’ve been told I’m depressed. I have anxiety disorder. I’m just hormonal. I need to exercise more. I should just eat better. I have toxic people in my life and if I rid myself of them, then I’ll be fine. Fine, they said. But, fine never came. Fine felt a million miles away.

So, I started doing research. I listened to some of those closest to me. One ex said I acted like two different people. He named them “Allison and Callison”. It took 10 years before I knew what that meant. I’m not two different people, but my brain just might be. So, I called an emergency mental health hotline. No, I wasn’t having a true mental health emergency, but I needed someone to listen to this epiphany. I needed someone to listen. I needed some one to listen to ME. Not judge me. Not try to over analyze me. And not throw the latest pill at me and tell me it’s been a miracle for other patients. So, he listened while I explained what I knew in my heart was finally right. I think I’m bipolar, I said. I had actually said it. Bipolar.

The next step was making an appointment with yet another psychologist. But this time was different. I had an idea of what to say. I’d never been completely open with any provider before, but this time I was. I explained my lifelong battle with my brain. And she listened. She gave me a test. It wasn’t long. I had to answer about twenty questions. I answered all, but a select few, with a resounding YES. I didn’t know what the test was for, but I knew whatever it was, it understood me. The results? Bipolar Type 2, with hypo-mania. YES!! I knew it. But, wait. What the hell do I do now? Another pill? No. That’s not why I came. Pills don’t work for me. I should know. I’d been on every single one. But, she was adamant that this pill was for bipolar disorder. This pill was “right” for me. I gave in. I went to the pharmacy and filled it.

Then, I waited. They always say to wait two to three weeks before you give up.

I waited three days. Yes, three days. On day four I woke up different. Good different. Something felt good. Not high, good. But, I just felt good. What? No self loathing this morning? No hatred of all things morning? Ok. That’s great. Now, I’ll need to go on and get up. I have things to do. I got up. I showered and dressed and then I had an errand to run. I hopped in my car and immediately turned on the radio. I rolled the windows down and began driving. About three miles down the road I came to a stoplight. One of those looong stoplights that if you don’t hit at just the right time, you’ll sit forever. So, I sat. I looked around at all of the other people in their cars. Some just sitting. Some on the phone. And some smiling at me. Why were they smiling, I thought. Oh, shit! I’m smiling, too. Then, it hit me! I’m happy. And I began to cry. I cried because I was happy. I cried because I felt what most people call normal. And right there at that stoplight, I knew my struggle had just gotten a little easier. So, I cried some more. I cried for the years I’d missed not feeling this way. Then, I stopped crying. I stopped because I wanted too. I stopped because I could.

So, what now? I had a diagnosis and a medication that managed it. I felt like someone or something had given me back my life. No, wait. I felt like someone or something had finally given me life.

And, so goes the beginning of my life with bipolar disorder. Is it always as easy as it was that fourth day? No. Is it ever as bad as my worst day? No. I still cycle up and down. Just not as frequently and not as high or as low. I’ve had to add some medications and I’ve taken a few away, but right now I’m managed. I still deal with the stigma. How many times have I heard someone laugh at someone else’s expense and joke that they must be bipolar? A lot. I just kind of look down and smile to myself. They don’t know what they’re saying. They don’t know what it’s like. They don’t know that every single day is a battle. But, they also don’t know that I’m finally winning

 

Homeschool Mama Fail

047Have you ever had one of those days where everything you do and everything you say just goes in one ear and out the other with your kids? Well, as a new homeschool Mama, this isn’t a good thing. Yes, I know it happens to everyone, but damn, I felt like they didn’t grasp a thing today and they were so disinterested that I practically had to beg them to finish their “craftivity”. You like that? I’m picking up some of this teacher lingo! Anywho, in the words of my mother, who was and is, in fact, an amazing teacher, you tell them what you’re going to tell them, then you tell them, then you tell them what you’ve told them, then you implement some sort of assessment to determine if they’ve got it. Sounds easy, right? Easier said than done today. It was if I could’ve told them that our next field trip wasn’t to the library, it was to the moon and they’d of just shrugged their little shoulders like,”OK, Mama…”. I guess I’ve spent so much time planning and preparing (with little to no resources) that I want them to love every minute of homeschool. That’s why I took the Doodles out of public school to begin with. They were miserable there. And today, I was the miserable one. Hoping tomorrow brings rays of sunshine shooting out of their hineybutts and a new found desire for knowledge. Who am I kidding? I’m seriously just hoping that they show up at the dining room table with at least one eye open. Here’s to a better day and a homeschool hug for all of you out there they might have had a similar day. I think we all need one and this Mama may need some adult grape juice tonight.

So, I guess I’m a Blogger, huh?

So, here I sit. Typing my first blog post. And after all of the work customizing and widgeting, it seems as if I have nothing to say. I am new at this and since I fail miserably at writing in a journal (I’ve bought maybe 2479 in my life and not a one has more than four pages written in it) I thought I’d try blogging as a way to get my thoughts out in a non-constructive, probably not organized and mostly chaotic way. That being said, please join me in this trip into my brain. May you enjoy the happy, cry with the sad, laugh at the hilarious, ponder the deep, empathize or sympathize with the crazy and learn that we’re not all perfect. We are who we are and that is and always will be ok.