Living Life Underneath An Umbrella

I’m going to be brutally honest in this post; some might say crazy; but there are days, like today, that I think about dying.  There are bad days when I wonder whether I am worth anything; if I’m just a waste of space.  But I know that’s a lie.  I know that being an introvert and an Aspie can mess with my mind.  There are days I over think things.  And that’s when I feel like I’m losing my mind; when I want to punch walls, scream, and curl up into myself.

Today was a day that I (a) wasn’t feeling well, (b) was frustrated with things happening in my life, and (c) questioning my existence.  The good part, the sane part, is that I understand that it is just a phase I go through occasionally.  I would never kill myself though I do think about it from time to time.  Maybe I just enjoy a little self-pity.  Maybe there are times that my mind plays tricks on me.  I ask myself:  Am I more afraid of living or I am I more afraid of dying?

Since my brain doesn’t function like ‘normal’ people(those not on the Autism Spectrum), I worry if my family actually loves me; if they’d be better off without me.  And again, it’s a lie that’s trying to screw with my head.  I know that they do love me yet there are times, like today, that I do not feel loved; by my husband, my children, my parents, my siblings, etc.  I feel like I’m living underneath an umbrella; the trials of life, like rain, pummel me and I am curled up, fetal-position, underneath a blanket, waiting for the nasty weather to pass.

And pass it does.  The trials disappear, or I learn to manage them, or I decide they aren’t worth my time and energy worrying about them.  That’s how life goes for me.  I get into these little snits and I want to end it all.  I think about how I’d do it.  What would be the least messy way to do away with myself?  Then I think:  how would the person who found me feel?  That is something a person doesn’t forget, etched into your memory forever.

Sometimes I don’t even want to leave the house.  I have a desire to be involved in society, yet I don’t want to deal with people most times.   The Aspie says, ‘I don’t know how to associate with others.  And the introvert in me says, ‘I don’t want to be around people.’  Yet the real me says:  ‘I want to enjoy life.  I want to have friends.  I don’t want to let life pass me by without accomplishing the things I most want to do.’  I’ve made up a bucket list of things I want to try.  Publishing a novel, rock climbing, zip-lining, learning foreign languages, belly-dancing. What stands in my way of reaching those goals? Fear.  Fear holds me back.  Fear of failure.  Fear of looking like an idiot.  Fear of not understanding the instructions on how to do things.

And I have a terrible habit of over-thinking things, and that’s when I screw up.  I try very hard to learn things but somehow there’s a disconnect in my brain.  I am the type of learner that needs to do the thing I’m trying to learn rather than have the person teaching me explaining it with words.  I am a hands-on learner.

So there you have it; my secret pain.  It’s not something I enjoy sharing, but I want to be honest that I suffer with these bouts of depression to the point of contemplating suicide.  I am thankful that the feelings are short-lived and pass by quickly.  I believe in being positive and doing my best to make others happy.  I believe every life is precious.  I believe that the voices in our head are liars.  We are worth something.  We are precious to our families, spouses, and children.  As a Christian, I believe we are important to God as well. Our lives are important.  I heard it said once that ‘suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.’  It’s a sad fact that people who take their own lives believe that the horrible, messed-up part of their life that they are currently in will never end; will haunt them for the rest of their lives; and that’s not true.  I’d say talk to someone; get help.  You don’t need to suffer alone if you are contemplating taking your own life.  I refuse to believe the lies swirling around inside my head and so must you, my friends.  Until next time.

 

 

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A New Year, a new you

Throughout the year, amidst the myriad of challenges, we anticipate the winter holidays, and then before we know it, they’re over, leaving us to marvel at where the time went.  And with a whoosh, in rushes the new year.  We determine to make resolutions; promises to ourselves.  Be a better person.  To love others more deeply.  Work harder.  Learn a new skill which you have been itching to do your whole life.  Lose weight.  Work out more, or even to begin a exercise regiment.  We seek ways for self-improvement.  Some we wind up sticking with while others are quickly tossed to the side.

Gazing into a mirror, we try to summarize the events of the recent past.  What we did wrong.  What we did right.  Those we may have inadvertently offended.  Those we may have encouraged along the way.  We are filled with hopes and fears of what the new year may throw at us; either a raining down of blessings or a crashing head-long into heartache.

Nobody, we understand, can accurately see into the future, though there are a few that insist they can.  If it were possible to project ourselves to December 31, 2015, what would we encounter?  Would we discover a life that had been more fruitful, or one that was awash with pain?

I, for one, do not wish to see what the future holds for me, for we know that our lives are filled with hope-filled moments and shattered dreams, triumphs and disappointments.  What type of person you are determines how well you deal with these issues, when life turns itself upside down.  It’s easy to be joyful and happy when life is at it’s best, but when life bombards you with painful moments when we least expect them, it is almost impossible to keep smiling through the tears.

I believe we need to embrace the beauty that surrounds us.  We need to forgive others for the wounds they have caused us.  Not only does forgiveness fill us with peace of mind, it protects our sanity as well.  And holding grudges is bad for your health, or so I’ve read.  It is cancer to your soul.

So in this coming new year, I implore you to take time to enjoy the little things in life we often take for granted:  watching the sun rise, hiking through a blooming meadow bursting with color, to immerse yourself in a good book, drink a glass of fine wine, bask in the warmth of a sunny July day, or just spending quality time with those you hold dearest.

Don’t lose sleep over the things we can’t change, or worry about things that will most likely not happen.  I am guilty of that myself.  Give up bad habits and embrace healthier ones.  Even small changes like going for a daily walk can do wonders for the body, not to mention the soul.

Here’s wishing you all, my friends, a very healthy, safe, and joy-filled New Year.  In addition, may it be filled with good memories, an abundance of love, and peace; and may sorrows be subtracted.  Blessings.

Everyone’s Back Home Once Again.

Have you ever had a loved one go away for a few months?  Have you ever known the fear of:  what if they never come back?  What would your life be like?  How would you go on with your life as usual?  My son was gone for four months and it wasn’t easy.  I eased the pain by not focusing on it.  I eased the pain by writing letters to him, or hearing his voice on the phone, or chatting on Facebook.  It lessened the loneliness; sure.  But all the letters, calls, and chats did nothing to completely erase the ache in a mother’s heart of not having her family complete.

And forget about the holidays.  Thanksgiving wasn’t all that much fun.  Yes, I still had much to be thankful for, but the day didn’t have the same feel to it that it normally did.  There was someone missing from the table.  Missing them so badly in fact that we didn’t even sit at a table for dinner but in the living room, watching t.v. to bide our time.  Bide our time until we saw him again.  My younger son.

Now, we are a complete family unit once again.  And this is one happy mama.  To be able to hug him, and talk to  him face to face again, to see him, to hear his voice and his laughter.  It is a blessing to behold.  And then it reminds me of all those out there in the world that do not have that opportunity to hug their loved ones.  Those who won’t be home for the holiday, or ever again.  That’s what frightens me.  How would I deal with that if that ever happened to me?  To my family?

I truly cannot fathom that emotion since I’ve never been through it.  And quite honestly I never want to have to go through that ordeal.  To those who have had that baptism by fire, I am truly sorry for your loss.  I can never fully grasp the grief and heartache that you must live with each and every day.  May you find peace.  May you find comfort.  My prayers go with you.

The Christmas Holiday Season is Upon Us

Okay, I’m going to share a bit of my views about the holiday season in this post. I need to begin by saying that I think people, in general, go overboard during this time of year. They stress themselves out by trying to find that special someone that perfect gift. Or they are rushing around to various functions just to keep up appearances. They overdose on holiday music played everywhere. And they wind up burned out and never get to fully appreciated what this time of year is all about.

Christmas, in my eyes, is the birth of Jesus. God’s perfect gift to humanity, wrapped in flesh, and given without asking for anything in return. To me, it is the greatest gift ever given. As we bedeck our homes, inside and out, with multi-colored lights and trees, inflatable Santas and reindeer, and covet precious handmade ornaments made by our children, we tend to overemphasis the trivial and forget about the true meaning. The light in children’s eyes, the wonder and the joy that glimmers within. Spending time with loved ones. Just sitting around a toasty fire, sipping on cider, eggnog, or a hot chocolate and sharing fond memories of Christmas’s past, gives one pause.

And we are not to forget those who are struggling this time of year. Those who have recently lost a loved one, or are hurting financially, or have gone through some sort of traumatic event. We need to let them know that they have not been forgotten and that you are there for them with a willing shoulder to cry on. Not everyone sees this time of year as festive and merry. This time of year can fill many with a sense of dread and depression. Let us lift those hurting ones up and help them through this season.

It’s not about what you’re getting for Christmas, or how many brightly wrapped packages are yours underneath the Christmas Tree. As a child I used to crawl around under our tree and discover how many had my name on the gift tag. Yes, it is exciting for children to receive requested toys. I understand that. But there comes a time when we need to explain to our children that the meaning of Christmas is more than what they receive, but what they get out of this time of year, surrounded by loving family, making their own fond memories to embrace in the future.

The Little Things We Sometimes Take for Granted

In light of the tragedy in OK, or should I say, due to the recent tragedies in this nation, I often like to remind myself of not taking things for granted. It is easy in the busyness of our day to day lives that we tend to overlook the little thing, or take them for granted. Like, kissing your husband or wife goodbye when they or you leave for work in the morning. There are times when we are so rushed that we forget that little thing. Especially if you have had a fight the night before or even that morning, we may tend to shy away from showing our affection. But it is always good to remember that this may be the very last kiss that you give to each other. Or hug. Or tell them that you love them. Just a few short words but ones that hold a lot of power. It would be terrible to not say those words and find out later that the one that you loved was now gone. If only I had more time. If only I would have said I love you one last time. If only. If only.

Making time to spend with our children, especially when they are younger and they want to play dress up, or house, or school. Or they want you to read them that story just one more time. Even though they know it by heart, and you do to. But take that time out of your day. In recent months we see how our children can be taken from us suddenly, painfully. Look at that picture they drew or colored for you. Hug them when they ask for one. Never say, “Later.” You may not have a ‘later’ with them. Tell your child/children every day how much you love and appreciate them. How proud you are of them. And keep that up into the teen-age years when they start to drift away from us, hanging with their friends or spending hours at a time playing video games in their bedroom with their door closed. I’m talking to you, Joshua. Let them know that there are limits and restrictions on what they can and can’t do. You are the parent, always, not them. And yes, we know that teenagers will fight us on that tooth and nail. For you see, they are SO much wiser than we are, or were at their age (of course!) Yes. Love them anyway. Set boundaries and be firm.

Don’t pass up the opportunity to watch the sunrise or set. Especially beautiful over a body of water. I’ve seen it rise over Lake Michigan in Chicago, and it is breathtaking. Or watch for the rainbow after a good rain. Or even going outside after a good, cleansing rain, and just breath in the freshness of the earth around you. Or flower blooming; especially lilacs. Well, at least in my case. A smile from a stranger or a kindness shown you, like a door held for you as you enter a store. Revel in children’s laughter, because we all know that their laughter is of the contagious variety. And yes, even we as adults need to laugh more. Be freer, and not so harsh on ourselves. Love your life. Do not take it for granted. Again, life is short. Sometimes shorter than we hope for. Or the lives of our loved ones. None of us know how many days we have remaining. Not to be morose, but it’s true. That’s why we need to look at each new day as a gift given to us. Beautifully wrapped up in warmth and sunshine, with birds singing outside your window.

Love your pets and don’t take them for granted either. They are a blessing to us also. Mine like to lay at my feet or at least be near me when I’m sitting. He sleeps on our bed, which isn’t always pleasant when you have an 80 pound dog on a Queen-size bed with two people already sleeping on it. But he is so full of unconditional love. Those big brown eyes melt even the hardest heart, at least I believe that they can. And last but not least, again, be good to yourself. Take care of your health because we all know that you are the only you that you’ve got. Eat as healthily as you possibly can. Yes. Splurge once in a while. Ice cream or pizza works for me. But find an exercise routine that works for you and try to do it at least three times a week. I’ve finally discovered the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and it is good. Watch some good comedy and LAUGH. It does a body good. Journal if you must to help stave off the feelings of frustration and anger and bouts of hopelessness. Life is not hopeless. We are all here for a purpose. Don’t be dismayed if you haven’t discovered it yet. You have one, trust me on this.

Each day has 24 hours in it. Make the most out of that time to be the best you that you can be. Love and be loved. Don’t spend a lot of time wallowing in depression. Set a time and then be done with it. Think, it will get better. This too shall pass. Life is not bleak. There is a light, a beautiful light, at the end of this all. Be blessed, dear friends, and be happy.

Almost Over

Yes. Here we are, almost at the close of another year. Goodbye 2012. Hello 2013. Hey, I guess we can all be happy that the world did not end. I, for one, think that the whole Mayan calendar thing was ridiculous. No one knows when the end is going to come. Why even guess at it. It will end when it’s damn good and ready to. But I can’t complain; at least not much. Though we had a year filled with heartache; the death of my father-in-law; we also had joy; my parents coming up to visit in September. I discovered the reason for some of my health issues; lactose-intolerant and gluten allergy(oh, don’t you love when bloggers get all personal and stuff?). I’ve read quite a few good works of fiction lately and have added to my collection of paperbacks. I look forward to getting a lot of reading done in 2013. I also look forward to writing my first novel. There are so many ideas floating around my head that I can’t seem to keep them all straight and organized. One of my biggest problems I face is my definite lack of organizational skills, just ask my husband, he’ll fill you in on all the sloppy details. Perhaps that is what is holding me back from getting more of my work submitted, my lack of organization. I so desperately want to submit my works of short fiction and poetry, but I can’t seem to carve out more time for it. The sitting down and figuring out where they should be sent to is one of my main downfalls. Help!?

But life and love goes on. My biggest dilemnia now is: do I stay up til midnight or fall alseep early? We don’t go out anymore. We no longer drink or do a lot of crazy stuff we used to do in our ‘younger’ years. I’ll be turning 50 in 2013. Soooo excited, not. But I try to stay fit and active, healthy and sane all at the same time. Maybe I need to make New Year’s resolutions that I won’t bother to keep anyway. Like finally fitting into a size 2. Wow! Wouldn’t that be grand? Or how ’bout go for broke and fit in a size 0. Now that’s a goal every girl dreams of. Sigh. Okay, let’s get back to reality here. Just want to be in shape; not round; and I know that round is a shape(my husband likes to use that line on me), just not the one I’m aiming for!

So think on all of the good times that you and your loved ones enjoyed this year, and ponder upon those things that maybe you could have done better. Remember those that you loved and lost. Keep them firmly in your memory bank. Love them for who they were and all that they had done for you. And remember if you are going out on New Year’s Eve, be safe, not stupid. It only takes a moment to change a life forever. Let’s look forward to a wonderful and fun-filled, and adventerous 2013. We never know what the future holds, but isn’t it fun to imagine all the crazy, naughty, loving, fun things that we can do and get into? Oh, trust me, as I writer I can imagine a lot of things. So, dear ones, may blessings abound for you in this approaching new year, and may joy and peace grace your homes and your hearts.