Sunday, March 20, 2016

Quote this #4

Some time ago, I wanted to write a quote every Wednesday, and then write how it relates to me or how it makes me feel.  I haven't kept up with that, but today there is a certain quote and a certain topic that is on my mind, so here we go.

"Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters."  Dau Voire 

The conversation I want to start is about depression.
I have been dealing (I don't like the word suffering) with depression since I was 15-years old.
Off and on throughout the years I've been off and on medication.  
I think for me medication was a life saver...and I mean that literally.

Couple months ago I was dealing with a severe migraine.  
I took all sorts of over the counter remedies, with nothing working.  
I even had a brain scan done to rule out a mass on my brain.
For five days I was unable to move or see clearly.
On my third visit to my doctor, she told me to stop taking OTC medication, as there was such as thing a "medication rebound headache."  This just meant that it was possible my original migraine was gone, however due to the amount of Tylenol, Ibuprofen, and Excedrin I was taking, my body was responding with more headaches.  
I did as told, and I also stopped taking my anti-depressant.
I can honestly say I stopped taking my anti-depressants because I was literally terrified about the pain in my head and neck, and I figured that if I was possibly prolonging things by taking too many medications, I could at least take a break from my anti-depressants.
Let me just make this clear now: I am not a doctor, I know that stopping any prescribed medications without consulting your doctor can be a bad idea.  I knew that I was capable of watching my mood, and I was also capable and willing to go back to my doctor and ask her to put me back on my meds.  

Yet after a week went by without my anti-depressants, nothing "bad" happened. 
Then another week, and another.  
It has been six months now, and I have been able to manage my depression. 
Here is the thing: things have been hard lately.  
My work is the biggest stressor.
Plus I have two little kids.
Plus I'm getting a master's degree.
Plus other things. 
I have been feeling anxiety, I've been disorganized and unmotivated.  
I don't think I need medication, but I am monitoring my moods and my behavior, just so I know when it might be time to go see my doctor and talk about options. 
I am also going to seek out a new counselor, because well, I haven't seen one for a long time.
And counseling might be just the solution I need.

Here is a small, yet frustrating thing: so many people have said "it's so great you're off the meds, they don't work anyways," or "meds only make things worse," or "the pharmaceutical companies are making billions of dollars off of meds."  

Here is my stance: will you care that I took meds if I was dead?
Would I be "brave" for just trying to "deal with it" if I were dead?
Who cares who benefits from me taking meds if it means I'm alive?
Does it matter?

If you or someone you know needs medication like they would need insulin if they were diabetic, support them.  
Don't judge them.
Don't put your opinions on them.
Listen to them.
Encourage them with a listening ear, not books, e-mails, videos, articles about how what they are doing to deal with their depression is wrong.  

There are a million ways to treat depression: from food, to exercise, to counseling, to whatever hobby keeps you happy, and to medication.  
Do not be ashamed if you need a little bit of help, or even A LOT of help.
As long as we each get to wake up each morning, and go to sleep at night, we have won. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


I have been cold lately.  Like in the bones kind of cold.  This morning, after sleeping for 10 hours, I crawled back into my bed, and let the blankets warm me up.  It was such a great feeling.

Most of my coldness is physical, as I walk around in a tank top, in the middle of winter.  Any breeze from the outside makes it that much worse.  I have also refused to buy a coat for the last two years, because I don't like my large frame, and I don't want to have to buy a 2X coat.  Not cool with me.

Then there is part of my coldness that in internal.  I think the part that chills me the most.  In the last two weeks, my core beliefs have been challenged at work, and I no longer feel like I can fight.  I think a lot about giving up and what that will look like to other people.  I think a lot about signs and callings.  I think a lot about my heart, my soul, my body.  I think a lot about what it would be like to take a stand, to show myself that I will not stand for less than I deserve, but taking that stand looks like stepping down, and might look like giving up to some.  I don't really care about "the some," I just know questions will be asked, and right now my answers are filled with anger and venom.  I don't want to impose that on other people.  I don't want them to feel my anger or to even know it in all it's depth.

My body and heart are asking to be warm, and I long for a blanket that can cover them and make them feel it.  Yet I know putting a blanket on my heart is only a temporary fix.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Thursday musings

You know how there are people who can be graciously sick?  Their IG feed or FB status is filled with nice blankets, candles, cups of tea and soup, and they write some poetic caption about how everyone is sick and how it's time for reflection and time to go within?
Yeah...that's not me or my family.
We're sprawled over everywhere, puking buckets and towels by our side, cranky as can be, groaning and moaning from pain, or just not feeling well.
That's real life sh*t, not IG sickness.

I do feel like I might be on the mend though, a whole week should be enough.  I'm venturing out to work today for the first time in a week, and let me tell you, the anxiety is real.

Let me fill you in on my work life:  I strongly dislike it.
I have felt like this for a very long time now, and the end is somewhat in sight: completing a Master's Degree.
Yup, that's my ticket out of my current job.  A long and expensive ticket, but it's what my intuition wanted.

My entire being: mind, body, and soul has felt stuck for the last couple years.  There are moments when I have bad reactions, almost paralyzing, almost making me crazy.

Mind: constant thoughts about work, the issues at work, fast thoughts, irrational thoughts, sad thoughts, mad thoughts.

Body: I have had aches and pains for years, dealing with a bad back, bad feet, too much weight gain, stomach problems, headaches, you name it, I have felt it.  My body has been getting beat up from the concrete floors I walk and sit on, from the same floors where fights happen and help happens.  There are no soft landing spots in a county jail.  It's all concrete and steel baby.

Soul: oh boy...the things I have seen, smelled, touched, felt.  All is not well with my soul after 11-years of watching the human condition at it's worst.  There are moments when things seem unbearable, yet in the name of duty, we must all proceed to help, assist, stop, interrupt.  There is no turning back when you're committed into going to a fight.  There is no turning back when you're committed to getting a suicidal subject off the ledge, there is no turning back when your co-workers need you, and you MUST go in.

The human mind, body, and spirit will go ALL IN every time, especially if that is how you've been trained, and that is what you see in your life.

There is no shame in the work of corrections, and I don't want there to be any shame in saying "I can no longer do that, it is not for me."

Saturday, January 16, 2016


I wanted to write a little bit about exhaustion.
That shit is real.
I mean it.

Slurred speech, blurry vision, not knowing what day of the week it is.
Many people make fun of other people about sleeping regularly, or about not working more than 40 hours a week, but as someone who just worked 94 hours in a week span, I tell you, I am shocked and relieved that I didn't hit someone while driving home, and that I even made it home.

There are nights when I only get 4 hours of sleep, and then I am wide awake, and I get very tired by noon.  Sometimes I can squeeze in a nap before work, which then leads to cult about not getting things done around the house, and apologizing to my husband for my short comings.  It's a guilt trip I lay on myself, but it doesn't make it any less painful.

Sometimes I hear people say that you'll never work as hard as when you work for yourself and people talk about working 12 to 14 hour shifts.  I already do that, and it'll be a pleasure to work that many hours for myself, where I can actually devote that time to things I love and to things that make me happy and things that are pretty.  I would love to work all day and get to take a break when I need to pick up my kids from school, or not have to worry about working the holidays.  I would LOVE to do it.

I am learning about stress in one of my classes this semester, and we just started so I don't have too much wisdom to share, however I will share this, "depression, illness, or even death can occur after severe, prolonged stress." (Broderick, 2015, p. 65)  Trust me, I am well on my way, as I've been dealing with depression and on and off illness, hopefully death doesn't come knocking on my door any time soon.  I know it sounds morbid and dramatic, but it's my reality, and there have been many times when I voiced my concern that when I retire, I won't be able to enjoy life because I won't stick around.  It's not a feeling I like to dwell on, and I move past it quick, however it's also a sad realization about what my current job and my stress management are doing to me.

Hence the school and the big dreams.
Here is to not expiring any time soon.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Ever evolving

"We are different each day, in each moment, ever evolving." Linda

I got the above quote from a wonderful joy sister, and it made me think.
It makes me think about change, and I have trouble with change.
I think I have trouble accepting even slight changes in my mood, or ideas, or day-to-day dealings.

My writing coach gave me an assignment to write about my career in corrections, and why I have stayed in it for so long.  I honestly don't have a deep answer.  It pays the bills, I don't see any other work out there that calls to me, I am good at what I do, etc.  Yet there is a big part of why I have found it so hard to accept that I no longer wish to work in corrections.

See, for years, ever since I can remember as a child, I said I would be in law enforcement.  I only had one relative who was a police officer, and I don't even recall seeing him in uniform.  It's just something I have always wanted to do.  There was fire in me to pursue this career.  It didn't end up exactly as imagined, as I work at the jail, not out on patrol, but that never really mattered.  As soon as I started working in the jail, I knew I belonged there, not out on the road.

I don't remember when I started feeling frustrated with work, and when I started talking about leaving.  I have been there for 11 years now, and the desire to leave has been growing stronger every day.

The pivotal moment or realization for me that I was done was when I got promoted.  Weird? Yes.  Surprising?  Yes.  Does it make me question my sanity?  Yes.  I got promoted and all of a sudden I started disliking being there with every fiber of my body.  I got promoted and all sorts of things started calling out to me: quite, go back to school, become an artist, write a book, become a photographer, paint, make stuff.  All of a sudden my artistic side exploded within me.

Sometimes I wonder if I want to leave because it's too hard to deal with staff?  Sometimes I wonder if I just don't fit in as a supervisor?  Many times I wonder if they just made a mistake when they chose me, and now they can't take it back.  There have been many times when I thought about stepping down from my current rank, yet that idea doesn't sit well with me, and I know it is not the answer.  I do know the answer, and the answer is to leave.  I also know that I have bills to pay, and that I provide for my family, and that health insurance is important.  Those last things might sound like excuses, but they are not, they are my current reasons for staying.

I have gone back to school to pursue a Master's degree in counseling.  I've only done one semester, but I like.  I like to think about what my future brings, and I understand that one day I will need to put in my two weeks notice, and my family might go without insurance for a short time, and we might have to change our lifestyle.  I am OK with that.  As much as I can, I want to have all my ducks in a row so that my family doesn't have to worry about money, and time spent together.  I know I am not in control, and I also know that planning for the future is a good idea.

I accept that I am different today than I was 11 years ago when I started my job.  I accept that I now want to do something different, and I accept that I am ever evolving, and that these voices, and dreams, and ideas are with me for a reason.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Learning small success

It's interesting to me my desire to affect change.
My play of wanting to be seen and heard, and yet hiding at the slightest sign of approval.
I can only imagine that this is something I will need to work on, and I'm not quite sure where to start.

There are so many videos out there and blog posts, and websites, and Instagram accounts, that are so inspiring, and motivating, yet for the most part I feel like I am just wasting my time, and I am just making excuses for not having time, because I am too busy watching someone else work.

I find myself at the crossroads of taking it easy, and listening to my body, and letting art and creativity just come to me, and working my ass off, and putting in the work, the hustle, the sweat.  It dawned on me the other day, that there are two types of people: people who get she*t done, and people who don't.  I am in the latter category.  Not something to be proud of, but definitely a starting point, a discovery of sorts, a way of knowing where I am starting, and where I need to start.

My biggest challenge lately has been learning about my Mac computer, and synching everything together.  I rarely have a quiet moment, and I get frustrated easily.  I feel less than smart when I can't figure something out, because mine is the generation who "should" know computers.

I am learning, and I am learning a lot.  I am learning that it will take a lot of work to get where I want to get, I am learning that currently I don't have what it takes to get there, but I am learning that people don't become successful without putting in the work, and starting somewhere.  Even my rambling here, it feels like a small success, because I took the time to write, I took the time to admit some things, I took the time to learn something.

Here's hoping I see more progress for myself, as well as figure out my computer before my frustration tells me to quit.
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