Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Pain-Filled Stall (To Be Heard)

It's been three months since I've written; here, anyhow. I've written in private extensively, just not here. Today it became painfully clear that it's time to stop avoiding obedience.

Is the road clear? Am I okay to share now? I honestly don't know but I can't wait another minute to. I haven't been blogging or posting live Facebook videos due to the fact that I haven't been able to share this publicly because of fear. Fear of what someone may say, how they may judge or blah, blah, blah----a million other things to be afraid of.

As I was speaking in Bible study at the jail this afternoon, I caught myself say, "people are gonna judge. It doesn't matter what you do. They can be saying one thing to your face & feel a completely different way." Amen? I would like to believe that everyone says what they mean and means what they say but I'm not that naive. That's not how the world works.

Here goes...

On September 20th, I had  to admit myself to St. Simon's By The Sea. It's local rehabilitation center known in my area for help with substance abuse. Here's the thing, I didn't use. I wanted to. In my mind, I felt weak. Like I should have been able to deal and/or cope on my own, but I couldn't. I found myself on a daily basis, sitting in my kitchen floor crying, for no real reason at all, but everything all at once.

I'd been having thoughts of suicide & that's not like me at all. I typically love life & the people I'm surrounded by, so when suicidal thoughts rear their ugly head, I know I've made it to a dark place & it's time to do something different. I've been in that dark place before a few times throughout my life & when I get "there", there's not much lower I can go. It's time to seek help.

Honestly, it's been brutal since Laurel was born. I thought I could "handle"it. I thought it would end sooner or later but it hasn't. The day before I checked in, I called my obgyn, rode to Brunswick for an "emergency" visit & told him I needed to schedule a hysterectomy; twenty minutes ago. I told him what I was experiencing & he said, "well Alisha, what if it doesn't change anything? "And of course, I'm like, what do you mean? Long story short, he recommends that I see a psychiatrist. I tell him I'm not crazy, but I respect his opinion and will do what he thinks is best.

All my life I've been conditioned to just take things. To stuff them. To keep on stuffing them. Early on because children should be seen and not heard, pretty much. My teen years & early adulthood mostly because women shouldn't be "as loud as I am and have an opinion".

"You just stand over there & look pretty," I've been told. 
If you know me, then you know that went over about as well as a bull in a China shop.

 I have stopped myself, I can't tell you how many times over the last two months, from writing this because of judgment so if that is why you're here, so you can spread the word about what a kook I am, STEP OFF. If you feel the need to tell me about how emotional I am, you can SHUT IT & STEP OFF. I absolutely have no time for that garbage. The voices that have expressed it, have been loud enough for me to mention and I'm sick of it. You dig? 

Basically, I've been on-and-off of antidepressants & nothing has worked. In the nut ward ( yes, I called it that the whole time I was there & still do), I was able to speak with a psychiatrist about what was happening & he decided on a medicine that he thought may work for me. It makes me flat. I love being extra. Extra is who I am by nature. I love me like I am. I just don't want to be either angry all the time, or crying in my kitchen floor. I have no idea why that's the place that I go to lose my shit, but I do. Yes I said shit. Poop isn't an adequate description. I reiterate, judge somebody else. 

I stayed at SSI by the sea for four days, When I came home, I wasn't sure anything would be any different, but slowly, the medicine started to work and I am able to enjoy the little moments again.  

The anxiety attacks are less and less and the good times are more.  
It's likely I'll forget the major part of what I wanted to talk about, but I think this is sufficient, for now. God is using this to grow me & help others, I am sure of it. I do feel a bit better now that I am not crying all of the time. I was isolating & wouldn't go anywhere. I would cancel events. I wouldn't visit with friends. It still happens, but not nearly as much. 

If there is someone you know that is suffering PLEASE, reach out to them. Tell them how much you love them. Encourage them to seek treatment. 

So often we say (referring to someone who has committed suicide): I never knew anything was wrong. 

If someone is giving you cues that something is wrong, quit being so quick to judge & listen. HELP THEM. Start by praying for them. Telling someone to "get over it" is NOT HELPFUL. Believe me, if I could just get over it, I wouldn't being experiencing this for this long. 

The only way that I made it this far is God & for the people who consistently pray for me. 

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Mean Girls, Snarky Comebacks & Weakness (To Be Heard)

I woke up at 3 am this morning. I went to the gym. I've been tapering off my anxiety medication & I'm almost done with it. It's been a process, much like everything else in my life. My Gramma spent a great deal of her life taking medication for mental illness & I don't want that to be me. It very well could be, if I let it.

I've had some impossible days lately. As a matter of fact, I get where I can't breathe. I mean that figuratively, not literally. I have a lot of irons in the fire. The fact that I'm sitting here trying to figure out how to word this without adding any new ridicule & judgement to my list is what's the worst.

Look---Shark Week is almost here & since the last two babies, it's not one week, it's two weeks out of a month where I'd rather cut certain people than talk to them; or even think about them for that matter. And by certain, I mean three specific people. But here's the thing, I NEVER see them.

They've added me on Facebook, but they don't follow me. You know what I'm talking about. The mean girls that are entitled and present themselves as something completely different than what they really are. Ugh, it gives me a headache.

I'm aware how paranoid this sounds. My Gramma told me a long time ago to trust my gut. She was rarely wrong. If my intuition, my instinct leads me in a certain way, it's likely to be true. Sometimes it's not, but usually...

I want nothing more than to call them out & be absolutely hateful about it, but what good is that doing? None. The old me comes out sometimes, along with her snarky comebacks & 3rd person references.

Don't get it twisted. I'm not trying to be cryptic but if I actually, physically called these three heifers out, they would deny, deny, deny 'til the day they die, die, die. My friend Joanie said that to me years ago & it stuck with me. I love her so much. At this point is where I'm thinking that I should probably delete this because somebody will think that this is about them because they're paranoid about what they may or may not have done to someone. Blah. If you're thinking it's about you, ask me. I'll tell you. It's very doubtful that it is though.

Oh look, squirrel!

I have to get all of this out of my head because it's hindering me. How, you ask? Or not, but I'll tell you anyway. If you're still here reading this, you already know to settle in.

Yesterday Evan and I went to his best friend's birthday party! YAY! He loves to play & I absolutely love for him to be happy. Win, win! I totally feel comfortable there because they're awesome Christian people who don't present anything other than what they are & I LOVE THAT! Honestly, these people are totally my people. I say that because I love real & I love kind & they are all that!

There was a really cool slide there & the steps were super steep. I came prepared to get wet but was reluctant. As I sat there crocheting (off to myself for a while), watching and listening to the fun being had by all, I wanted so bad to climb that slide & see how much fun it was!!

The voice in my head was like,  'no Alisha,'. And then I started talking to some ladies & that voice presented itself out of my mouth. Who was that? That's not me at all. I'm confident in my abilities. Well, usually. Who was that girl saying that I couldn't? Like, where did she come from? I don't know her. I couldn't believe I was saying those things. Out of my shoes I came, up that ladder I went & down I came. No, it wasn't hard like I made it out to be. Now, if I did it all afternoon, I'm sure I'd be in need of some ibuprofen.
Picture borrowed from Choosing Joy Photography.

I've been in my current way of eating since the beginning of June & I'm seeing noticeable changes in myself, but I haven't been exercising like I need to. And by need to, I mean mentally. There's a certain amount of exercise that I can do to calm the anxiety beast  that exists inside me. It helps me. What? Hello. Is this the answer to calming my anxiety? Of course it is. So why haven't I been doing it?

Jesus take the wheel.

I'm really skilled at standing in my own way. I used drugs for 15 years of my life because I was perfecting my "standing in my own way" skills. I've totally got that badge in platinum. Now's definitely the time to implement exercise so, let's see if I'm consistent. My Yoga practice is reasonably consistent. Nah, I guess it's not enough either. I need an hour a day everyday.

I carve out time for Bible study. Why can't I carve out time for fitness? Oh, but I can. Guess what? The gym is moving to a new location. And guess what else? There will be child care!!! Praise the Lord.

Sometimes I have an idea of where these posts will head and sometimes I just sit down and write. As I'm finishing up this post, it's 6:42 am and Casting Crowns came on Pandora - Praise You in this Storm comes on & I know He's listening. I know He hears me. I know my prayers are being heard. He knows the strength that I need to continue to serve Him with everything that I am. He knows that I struggle with being snarky,hateful, mean & that my family gets the worst of me sometimes & I always need prayer for that.

He knows that I be kind & He knows that I can be just as impossible as I can be kind. He knows everything about us. He knows my name.

But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. - Luke 12:7 (KJV)

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Keep Going (To Be Heard)

As I wait for my coffee to brew, I'll start this post. I've got so many plates in the air, I'm not quite sure how I manage somedays. Other days, I feel as if I don't do enough.

I'm still poor at time management. I feel like I need a workshop of some sort to show me, step-by-step, where to start because it all seems so overwhelming from the sidelines. Have you ever had that problem? Unsure of where to start, so you just don't?

I did tackle one of those things that I've been 'meaning to' do. At least my 'meaning to' list is getting shorter. I moved my membership to a local church. It was past time. My church has been closed for years and I've been dragging my feet. I'm trying to let my faith be bigger than my fear. I fail, but I continue to try.  Honestly, that's most days. Sometimes I flourish, sometimes I fail. I can't expect perfection. I can strive for greatness always.

I am excited about my move. Honestly, I have had no desire really to move my membership until helping with Vacation Bible School & I just felt it. I felt the Holy Spirit nudging me to take a leap of faith & move; so I did. I'm pleased with my move.

Thursday of this week is Open House at NPS & NES. Yes, two schools this year. Wow, the years are moving by quickly. The expression that the days move slow & the years quickly is the absolute truth. I am so overwhelmed and ready to start back to school. No, that's probably not what people 'want to hear' from a stay-at-home-mom, but I'm okay with that, and I'm okay with me.  You be okay with you because I've got me.

I'm looking forward to being kid-free (all of them) from 8-2 for two days a week. Maybe that doesn't sound like a whole lot of time, but I can regroup a bit during that time. I can be Alisha. I can do what I want to do & not have to pick up after anyone. Sure sounds selfish, doesn't it? It's not. There's nothing wrong with aiming to be mentally fit to parent & that's what I consider from free time. It's like a spa for my brain. Yeah, it's late & I'm rambling.

I'm thinking I need to make myself a schedule & NOT break it. That would help with my time management. Maybe I'm on to something. I've been trying to leave the house earlier to be on time to things. I'm doing better. Okay, not always, but better than I was.

It's funny, I started composing this today sometime, while I was brewing a cup of coffee & I'm finishing it, brewing a cup of coffee. I'm so predictable. I didn't even use to drink coffee. Funny. I finally got the baby to sleep. After two long rides around the farm, I laid her in her crib & she went down. I'm serious, some days seem completely impossible but the simple fact is this: they're  great. I can't ask for anything more. Any one day saved beats all the days I was lost.

As I went for my follow up today at the dentist, it started pouring down rain. I pulled over on the side of the road and took this picture.

Right now, if you're experiencing something, keep going; there will be a break in the clouds. That's all I could think when I saw this. It made me think of the post partum depression that I've made it through (PRAISE THE LORD) for the second time & I am so grateful that I kept going. God is in control. If He leads us to it, He'll lead us through it. 


I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Why Us? (To Be Heard)

I have been insanely busy with this whole thing called life. Parenthood can be rough sometimes, summer sends a shock wave into my neatly written out schedule every year it comes; nevertheless, I adjust. 

The kids and I have been going on adventures every week to get us out of the house and into nature. I have taken some rather beautiful  photos of our adventures & we have experienced some wonderful times. 

We just got back from vacation last week to walk into our home, that I was so ready to be back to, and found out our home had been broken into. To say that this was a violation doesn't even cover how I've been feeling. 

I've gone from completely losing my composure, to not feeling safe in my own home, to being angry & asking, "why, us?" to knowing that God's got us covered. 

My husband told me it happened to us because we're people, too. Which is the obvious answer but it's the truth. We're not exempt. I guess I've just been overwhelmed by it all because when it hits your home, you realize how bad things really are. 

At any rate, I'm slowly getting back to feeling okay again. We're having a security system installed in a few days, I've almost decided on the gun I'll be purchasing for protection, if such a thing ever happens again and I pray that it doesn't, but I will be prepared for next time. 

I'm praying for those who did it. I know there's good in every person but when they're breaking into my home to steal things that we've earned by an honest living, it's hard for me to see the good. It just makes me want to pinch their little heads off.  

I'm praying for me too. I've been having a hard time with this whole situation. I've worried for many years that something like this would happen & then once I stopped worrying about it, it did. 

I know God's got a plan for this storm. I feel it my bones. To someone who doesn't serve the Lord,. I'm sure I sound like some religious fanatic. That's okay. That happens a lot.

There is something the Lord's got in store for me from this situation. I've known He's got something for me for a while now, but He just hasn't made it known to me yet. This just furthers my suspicion.  

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. - Romans 8:28 (KJV)

Sunday, May 20, 2018

He Knows Me (To Be Heard)

There's always a season in life that seems impossible. I had this silly notion that Christianity came with rainbows, moonbeams & skipping through a field of daisies always. You've probably heard me talk about that before. I tend to repeat myself. Repetition is a good way to learn. Wait, what? You mean learning is the whole objective? Maybe one day I'll get it. 

These days I'm learning to have a little talk with Jesus first before running anywhere else. I'm pushing myself to "start with Him". I know that seems like the obvious answer but life can tend to get in the way, if I let it & I don't want to let it. My flesh is impossible some days; okay, most days. 

I repeatedly step out in faith & let Him take care of things. No, I haven't got "there" yet & by "there" I mean, when I give it all to Him, I DON'T take it back, I let Him keep it. Nope, not there yet, but that's the goal. 

I want to walk in victory while I'm here in this Earthly body. I want to curb this flesh from things my sin nature tells me are okay. I'm not the person I use to be. 

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 
- 2 Corinthians 5:17

I thought this would be easier. Wait a minute, evidently I didn't because it took me forever to change the way I was living. And it took a life-altering experience for it to happen. I am so grateful for the experience that changed my life. 

My point?

I've been praying for God to see me through this season & others, as well. For two days, He's told me to Be still. Clearly ironic, if you know me. 

He knows me. 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Motherless Child (To Be Heard)

When I was in high school Eric Clapton came out with this incredible album of blues remakes called From the Cradle. It was/is on my list of favorites that I still can't live without; google it. 

On this album, there's a song called Motherless Child. I listened to that song on replay with my boombox with the CD player. I was so proud of that CD player. It was the first one that I ever had. 

During the time that disc came out, my mother had disowned me. Yes, I'm aware of how dramatic I am on the day-to-day so you're thinking I'm exaggerating; nope. She sent me a book of a letter with all the pictures she had of me, report cards & my hospital bracelet that I got when I was born. 

I was fifteen years old & everything she had from my life fit in a nice letter-sized manilla envelope. Convenient, I know. 

This day (Mother's Day) has been a festering wound in my side for my entire life because my mother never wanted me. You know the expression "actions speak louder than words"? Yeah, me too. And yes, they sure do. 

Don't get it twisted, this isn't a post bashing my mother. Nope. These are just facts & up until now, I haven't been strong enough to type them in a post because I was afraid of what someone might say, or if it would offend someone, but you know what? I've been offended my entire life because my mother has never had time for me, unless it was beneficial to her, or on her time, or if it was okay with her [current] husband/man. Yep, I sure enough just did. I don't mean that in any other way than it's intended.

Several years ago, I sought help from a Christian counselor who performed EMDR on me. I used my mother as an example because she was a huge block in my drug recovery. I found that out when I was working "The Fourth Step - A Moral Inventory". 

My sponsor told me I needed a therapist because she wasn't equipped to help me. HAHA! True story. Well, she was right. I spent the next nine months digging out bad & boy, do I feel better! It's three years later this July & I'm still making progress.

When she performed the EMDR, which is basically a series of questions, she asked me, "what would you tell that little girl?" and out of nowhere, I burst out in tears and said,"it's not your fault."

I'm welling up with tears right now just thinking about how good that felt & how much it helped me. 

It's not my fault that my mother is incapable of being a mother. Some people aren't. For years, I excused her behavior by believing it was because her mother died at a young age and she didn't know how because she didn't have one. 

Guess what? 

I don't have one either but my kids are my first priority. Yes, I am well aware that the Bible says your husband is first, but spend your life thinking your mom doesn't want you and see who you prioritize first. 

God's working on me. He'll take care of everything. He's molding me into what He wants me to be. 

This year, I'm okay that she doesn't want anything to do with me for whatever time this is. In fact, it's better this way. My children don't have to hurt like used to. And if, at this point you're reading and want to comment, "but she's your mother," please don't. 

She only gave birth to me & for that, I am grateful, because I have three beautiful, smart, safe, secure, confident, cherished children that she will never know & a daughter that she's never known.

>>>My God is greater than the pain & praise the Lord, this year, the pain is no longer<<<

Friday, April 6, 2018

Simplicity (To Be Heard)

As I gather my thoughts & decide where I'm headed today, I can't help but appreciate the simplicity of what my life has become over the last several months; not to mention, the last decade. 

I'm working on balance this year. I've always been a procrastinator & I'm coming to learn how to tame the fear that makes procrastination happen for me. I have always been terrified of success. I'm still scooping out the bad (after almost three years) & forming new, more healthy habits. 

The irony in that (for me) is that the one thing I have been unable to tame is my healthy weight & that is the one thing I was working so well at before I started on this self-discovery journey. WHOAH. That was a realization. It's almost as if I gave up one for another. That has officially been noted. Maybe there will be some progress there now that there's been a realization. 

I like how people are able to fix your problems but can't fix their own. My dear friend once said, "if we could all switch problems...", we'd all be good, or something to that effect. Isn't it funny? Everyone knows how to tend someone else's woes but have a rough time tending their own. 

I have had so many posts but cannot manage to make myself sit down to do it. I start writing & then I change my mind. Outside factors get in the way. I'm afraid I'll step on this one's toes, or that one's toes, when in reality, all I want to do is write & everyone is so dang touchy these days. About everything & anything. Seriously, everything. Why can't things be taken at face value & not have another meaning? Can't I just say what I mean and mean what I say? Nope, not these days. People lie. Straight lie. All the time. 

I mean, I get it, I guess. I spent fifteen years of my life lying to myself, my family. I thought -- let me rephrase that -- I didn't care any further than what I wanted whether it was affecting anyone else. See? There I go judging. No, it's just stating an opinion. I struggle with the reality that there is a line between judgement and opinion, as a Christian. I teeter on that line sometimes though. I'm flawed. Not an excuse, just a fact. 

The harder He works on me, the more stuff I find wrong. Like I said, I started digging almost three years ago & I could have totally bought a backhoe with what it would cost to rent one for three years. Yep, I should have been a comedian. 

I thought it would be easier. Okay, no I didn't. I didn't think living right would be easier, or I would've done it sooner. And by living right, I mean what's best for me. No drugs, no alcohol, & serving the Lord the best I can every day for the rest of my life. 

I fail miserably. I dust off. I try again. I know without a shadow of a doubt that God is in control of my life. He is what keeps me going on those days that I can't seem to do anything right. When I feel like a complete failure as a mother, a wife, a human being. He knows everything about it & loves me because He knows who I am. He knows who I'm striving to be. He knows what I'm capable of. 

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. - Romans 8:18