Monthly Manic Mondays

Just Another Manic Monday

It’s time for our Monthly Manic Mondays with Marisa (on Tuesday). Marisa wrote last night about going through her Monday and dealing with transitions, grief, and taking care of herself while dealing with the day to day things that don’t stop. She’s an inspiration and a role model for me. Maybe she will be for you too.I’m guest-posting today, I have my own blog over at Butterneck Toad (not like I’ve been active there or anything…) 🙂


Manic Monday, indeed!  Today was so manic I thought it was Tuesday all day! I managed to do several loads of laundry, embroider the last of two pair of shoes and get them packaged for shipping, start embroidery on another pair of shoes, make some headway on taxes, enter some business bills into Quickbooks, take the dogs to the dog park, and pack a box.

I am often doing several things at once, in the midst of various projects, tasks and chores, but lately two major things have made my multi-tasking a bit more complicated.

The first thing is something really positive. My family will be moving soon, back to the town my husband and I both grew up in. Our families and many friends are there. We have made many connections where we are now, as we have been here for almost five years, but it is time to go home, and we are excited! Our move date is in just over a month, so I have been starting the arduous task of sorting everything we own into five piles: Keep/pack for long term storage, keep/pack for the move, give away, throw away, and sell.

I’ve made some small progress in getting rid of a few things and making a little bit of money doing it, it’s been enough to put gas in my car, a little extra into our moving fund, and pay for a bridesmaids dress I’ll be wearing in August.

The second life-changing event is pretty opposite. On March 2nd, our very close friend and housemate was killed in a car accident. She had been renting our guest room since October and we had been close friends for almost two years. My friend was 28, and leaves behind a 9 year old son that lives with her parents.

We’ve known we were probably going to move for about six weeks. Our friend was not going to move across the country with us, and was making plans to move in with another of her friends that had recent need for a roommate. I was preparing to say goodbye, but the kind of goodbye where you can still talk on the phone every day and visit once in a while.  I was not preparing to say goodbye forever.

The last thing I said to my friend, as she was getting ready to go to a concert, was “Have fun! Be safe! I love you!”

I know she knew I loved her, and I know she had fun at the concert, it was her 2nd favorite band. Safe though… no.

Just over a week ago the driver of the car turned himself in to police to be arrested for DUI, Vehicular Homicide, and driving too fast for conditions. His blood-alcohol level was .165 (TWICE the legal limit).

My everyday life is often a tumultuous affair; fighting to ignore the symptoms of fibromyalgia and PCOS, battling depression and anxiety, trying to manage projects and tasks for four separate businesses AND our household.

Now, each day I am reminded that my dear, sweet friend is gone from my life. Hers was often the first voice I would hear every day, thanks to a walkie-talkie type app on my phone… “Good Mooooorning!!”

Some days I just dive in to my to-do list. I have had to add eating to the list, as I often am lacking for appetite. Thankfully another close girlfriend has seen to it that I eat SOMETHING, at least once a day, and that I am getting OUT of the house and getting some sunlight and exercise. For this, I am very grateful.

Other days are much harder. It hits me like a punch right in the gut, and I well up with tears and a deep, wrenching pain. During those times it is all I can do to dress myself and eat something. I cuddle close to my dogs and often have to take a nap because I am just exhaustingly overwhelmed with emotion.

Leaving this house will be bittersweet. I think it will help my healing to not have a daily, constant reminder that she is missing from my home and my heart. Yes, I know she will always be in my heart, yadda yadda yadda. I do treasure my memories of her and recounting them to myself helps, in a way.

In tragic irony, my friend’s death fell on the 10 year anniversary of another close friend taken too soon, at the age of 25 from cancer.

10 years ago I was one of five friends that got a dragonfly tattoo to honor our friend. Soon, I will be getting a daisy tattoo to honor this recent passing, as well.  In the meantime, I am keeping a bouquet of live daisies on my kitchen counter. As the daisies fade and wilt, I buy new ones. It is a small thing, but they make me smile because they were her favorite flower and are cheery and happy, as was she.



Monthly Manic Monday with Marisa: Where to begin?

Welcome to the first installment of Monthly Manic Mondays with Marisa! This is a work in progress since I’ve never attempted anything like this before. So, hopefully this format keeps things easy to read and interesting. Marisa and I chatted over the weekend and checked in briefly today, to get the foundation laid. If anyone has anything they would like to ask Marisa, please feel free to leave a comment and we’ll either address it in our next installment or we’ll get in touch via facebook or email.

 First question, as you know this blog is primarily about the process of healing and recovery, whatever that may look like for those on their own journeys of personal growth. Obviously, I want to highlight and feature the varied and inspiring things that you do, but I also want readers to understand how your own journey through the difficulties, challenges, and struggles in your life have informed the woman you are now and how you express yourself in all your creative ways. I also know you don’t like putting your woes on display or have it seem like you are seeking pity or sympathy, so, I’ll respect your boundaries in these areas. Will you let our readers know some of the kinds of things you have had to work through or still face daily as you move forward toward achieving your dreams?

  Sure! I don’t mind being open about my struggles, I just don’t want to sound like a whiner. 

 I don’t think anyone would ever accuse you of being a whiner. That was my nickname, Wendy Whiner. So, we’ll avoid whiny tones. So, let’s get the “whoa” list out of the way and then we’ll focus on how you work through them and get to the fun stuff.
  • Physical ailments: fibromyalgia (diagnosed a year ago but suffering for 10+)
  • PCOS (polycycstic ovarian syndrome) in addition to uterine fibroids, had a grapefruit sized one removed summer of 2011
  • Depression and
  • MAJOR anxiety
 I remember that [PCOS], lots of pain
 You have mentioned ADD to me, is that self-diagnosed or something else you have been diagnosed with as well?
 Hard to say, it was diagnosed by a counselor, he was a psychologist… does that count? but not totally diagnosed, we didn’t do any testing, but it fit and made a lot of sense for how my anxiety gets spiraled out of control. I think it was official but I didn’t want to take anything for it because it didn’t want it to stifle my creativity.
 I have heard that a lot about medications for ADD as well as for medications for depression and anxiety as well. Having gone through a period of over-medication for a variety of things, I can identify with this one.  Now that we have the list out of the way, I’m wondering what you think was the one thing that kept you fighting through all the symptoms and reasons that those things present which could have taken over your life?
 You’re asking someone with ADD to narrow down to ONE thing? Hahaha!
 Just answer to the best of your ability.
 I think my attitude that I can do anything, eventually. I believe that anything is possible if you work hard enough, regardless of your abilities and resources (or lack of either). I see life and its obstacles as a series of projects to coordinate and puzzles to solve.
 That’s a wonderful attitude and viewpoint. Is that something that has always been part of you or was it reinforced or taught by others as you were growing up?
 I’m not sure. I don’t think I thought that as a child, but I honestly don’t know when I started to live it, either. I think I believed it as early as elementary school; I wanted to be an astronaut. I believed that I could, but I decided it wasn’t worth all the school I would have to do to get there. Not because I thought I couldn’t DO all that education, but because I hated school so much at the time.
 LOL. That makes sense. Even then you were able to prioritize and weigh your options and opportunity costs, it seems.
 I started living it after a long-term relationship ended. There was zero reasons for me to NOT do anything! It was very freeing. Oh yes. I’ve always been extremely logical.

 Ah, I don’t know much about that relationship, but I understand he was going through some troubles of his own. How long did you know each other and how long did you date?
 We met my senior year in high school, and were involved on some level from fall of 1995 to summer of 2004. He has medical issues of his own. We officially dating starting in 1998 and were engaged briefly that year. We broke up too many times to count, once was in spring of 2000. I married someone else that December, which lasted a few months and then I got back together with my ex in spring 2001.
 Well, that is a significant period of time. It is incredibly challenging being in relationships in our late teens and early 20’s, from a purely developmental perspective, then add into the mix one person dealing with medical issues of their own, it had to have been full of peaks and valleys. Were you experiencing the Depression and Anxiety during that period?
 Yes, although for awhile they were kept at bay because I was completely wrapped up in HIS dramatic emotions! Toward to end of the relationship the anxiety really kicked in hard. After a dear friend in our circle died, I tried to hold that group of friends together and mother them all emotionally and finally just broke. My anxiety attacks aren’t just hyperventilating and chest pain, it’s vomiting AND diarrhea. Not pretty.

I can certainly identify with that. It really describes my relationship with Keith. When he was functional, I wasn’t and vice verse. The kids were really affected when we were both at barely functional points at the same time.

 I’ll bet.

That friend’s loss was deeply felt by so many. I sometimes think the ripples from that event are still moving through us all in one way or another.
 That would make sense. I started having anxiety attacks every weekend, and then Monday, at work, I would be ok. This lasted a month. The last weekend it didn’t stop for four days and I couldn’t even keep water in me. Had to go to the ER and have iv fluids and a Phenergan shot. I went to the counselor. Started taking Lexapro. Started taking care of ME first. Learned about my anxiety and my body and what the perfect storm to set it off looks like. I have to eat healthy, get enough sleep, stay hydrated. If any two of those are lacking and I have stress, I’m toast! I am taking Welbutrin now.I tried to go without an antidepressant/anti-anxiety med and can’t do it. The depression/fibro combo made me totally nonfunctional. Last year at this time it was miserable. Then we got Bento, I was diagnosed with fibro, and I started the Welbutrin. Thank God for all three!
 Bento is your Boxer? He’s the brunette, right?

Yes. Officially called reverse brindle. Which I’d never heard of until we got him.
 I have heard that pets can be very therapeutic. Reverse brindle? what exactly does that mean?
 Good question. Brindle is the coloring that can look almost tiger stripey?
 Reverse is what they call it when there is so much dark color you can’t see the stripes. They’re not common. He looks black most o the time but he’s a deep brown with a little lighter shading on his shoulders and the white accents (called “flashing”).
 So, you have Bento. Who is Bento’s white companion?
 Rousey. She’s named for a female MMA fighter.
 Rousey. That’s cute. Oh, okay. Is she a sib or just a companion of the same breed?
 Not siblings. Both rescues from two different places. Got him feb 3, got her in June. Also might need to quit for the night, my shoulder is spasming up.
 No problem. I will let you rest. I’m distracted and awed by Mumford and Sons at the moment. I’m late to this party but Thistle & Weeds is AMAZING!
 I’m sorry I’ve left you hanging all day. The day got away from me, Mondays you know? 
 No problem, I was out all day running errands. Two friends and I might rent a booth space in a local antique/consignment/boutique shop to sell my crafts. We went to check it out.
 That sounds like an excellent idea. It will be interesting to see the various creations showcased in one shop all together.
And that, dear friends, is all we have for today. Tune in next month. Maybe we’ll find out what the title to her new Christmas album is going to be. Feel free to offer suggestions. We are in the brainstorming phase.