Saturday, October 6, 2018

Bipolar is not a Working Mom

I tried. I really did. I wanted the job. I was flattered when they asked me to interview. I was amazed that I was given a second interview. Then I was offered the position and asked to report for work on Monday morning. It was overwhelming but so fun. I was doing a job that used my creativity, that needed my level of energy and excitement. 

First Day of my New Job
Bipolar thrived at the busy pace and amount of work. I pushed myself and was exhausted by dinner every night. I didn't care, I was able to skip my sleeping pill at night and woke up every morning ready to tackle another day. The paychecks were high, Bipolar shopped and spent every penny. The bills were paid and we were still spoiled every week. 

More money, more new clothes;
Bipolar was winning.

Just six weeks later the shine of a new job wore off, the money wasn't enough, the work load was too much. I was cranky, I was annoyed, I was making mistakes, I was no longer the energetic shining star that had been hired for the job. My frustration was directed towards others that I felt contributed to my failings. Bipolar blamed others but didn't explain the overwhelming feelings to the boss. 

My first big event in the community stretched me to the limits of my self. I made myself sick and couldn't make it through the weekend. Two months of missing my children and being overworked left me emotionally exhausted and feeling like a failure. I took two sick days and rested. It wasn't enough. Bipolar had worked me into a hole that left me with a bad attitude. 

Two days later I was fired. 

Defeated.

It has been a month since I lost the job.. One month since the gifted job had left me feeling betrayed. I'm still hurt and angry. Depression has knocked Bipolar out of the way and taken over my life. Depression takes all my energy to complete menial tasks. Anxiety tags along and messes with my head like a mean girl. Faking it gets me through a day or two but then it take three or four days to reset and restart. 

Bipolar, Depression, and Anxiety don't want me to work. 

So I won't try again.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Don't Talk About It

Approximately 117 people die by suicide every day. This week two of those people were part of my community.

How selfish! What a disgrace. Why didn't they ask for help? There is no excuse. There's always another option.

Are you kidding me?

Until you have been in such a deep dark hole of depression, you have no idea how that person is feeling at the moment they begin a suicide attempt. Your brain takes over every part of your being and confuses your heart.

It screams...
You are hopeless
and pointless
and a waste of space on the earth,
a detriment to your family,
a horrible friend,
a terrible parent,
a sad excuse for a sibling.

You feel as though you have no worth what so ever. The idea of death, no longer existing on this earth, is preferable to the way that you are feeling at those moments. I've been there. Many many times. For some reason, I'm still here, and in a way after every single attempt, that made me feel like more of a failure. Suicide is not something that should be hidden, or pushed in a corner, or hidden under a rug.

This week suicide WAS an option for two people in my community. The choice to end their suffering was death.

Instead of talking about it, what are you going to DO about it?

Tomorrow morning the boys and I are participating in the Flagstaff Out of the Darkness Community Walk.

https://afsp.donordrive.com/participant/cocoandtwins


If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.






Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Child with Anxiety Going Back to School

How to Help a Child with Anxiety Navigate the School Year

When a child feels overly anxious, it can interfere with his or her mood, concentration, and decision-making abilities. Often times, children with anxiety become unengaged in the classroom, which leads to poor achievement relative to their potential.

“The negative self-image that ensues contributes to poor motivation to study and participate in class and causes more social and academic difficulties, continuing as a negative perpetual cycle,” says Sutter Medical Center. To help stop the cycle, parents can create strategies to help their children as they adjust to being back at school.
Starting the Day on a Positive Note
Starting a day on a positive note sets the tone for the rest of the day, and the effort actually begins the night before. Ensure your child is getting enough sleep, which reduces irritability and increases his or her ability to handle stress. An alarm clock often uses a harsh sound, so consider allowing your child to use music, such as a favorite song, to wake up to.
Instead of rushing out to the door in a chaotic manner, get up with enough time so that everyone is calmly and smoothly heading from the house to the car or bus stop. Eating breakfast together is also a good idea. You and your child can talk about what the day will entail and what he or she is looking forward to most. Ensure the meal is nutritious. A poor breakfast can exacerbate anxiety symptoms.
Don’t Let Fall Become too Harried
During the summer, families stay busy with camps and vacations, and some kids lose touch. After the school year begins, arrange a few play dates between your child and his or her friends. “Feeling connected to their school friends can help alleviate some social concerns that your children might have about the new year,” says Oprah.com.
To help your child feel continue to feel excited about school, start a new tradition. You can throw a party, have a weekly game night, or enjoy an educational weekend trip. Whatever you choose, your child will look forward to it every year one school has started.
While society seems to believe that being busy equals being happy, staying constantly busy is an unhealthy way to cope with life’s challenges. People need time to relax and unwind. Also, too many after-school activities can equate to less time for homework and family time, so carefully choose extracurricular programs.


Using Tools to Excite Instead of Overwhelm
Create an achievement tree for your child. On a poster board, draw a tree with many branches and create leaves on strips of green paper. When your child accomplishes something he or she is proud of, have your child write it on a leaf and tape it to the tree. The accomplishment can be having a good soccer practice, solving a math equation, or making a new friend. By the end of the school year, the tree will be lush and full of accomplishments.
If you haven’t already, remove clutter from your kid’s desk at home. Create a simple filing system, utilize drawer organizers, and use color-coding for different subjects. Design a creative monthly calendar where your child can easily see upcoming assignments, group projects, and extracurricular activities. Also, decorate the area to be fun and enticing. “With a clean slate and an inviting desk area, homework will seem like less of a chore,” says The Rolla Daily News.
More Tips
Always keep a supportive, nonjudgmental open line of communication between you and your child. When your child is feeling stressed, down, or angry, he or she will need someone to talk to. Also, ensure your child is aware of healthy coping mechanisms. Tell your child that using substances is never the right answer to cope with anxiety, and discuss the dangers of addiction.
While all children feel some level of anxiety after school has started, children or teenagers with anxiety disorder experience the extreme ends of these feelings. The pressure of school and social challenges can seem overwhelming. To help ease these feelings, parents can come up with tactics to help their child every step of the way. By doing so, you ensure your child has a comfortable and memorable school year.

This was a gust post written by: Joyce Wilson
Of teacherspark.orgP hoto Credit: Pixabay

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

My Choice

When I die...

I don't think anyone will care what I am wearing. They won't mind the messy hair or the dirty house. No one will think of me as a failure for not finishing the laundry. No one will see the kitchen filled with food, or the full tank of gas in the car, they won't pay attention to the bills that were paid. Or will they? Isn't that worry also part of the problem?

What will they say about me when they find me next to a pile of dirty laundry and a sink full of dirty dishes? What will they think when they see so many screens in my house; tablets, phones, handheld games, video game systems, and TVs? Will they care? Should I care?

We talk about other's final moments as if we should be allowed in to view that which is  personal and intimate. That is wrong. It is shameful.

People make choices every day. We don't have to agree with them but we do need to accept them. What you would do in a situation is not what I would do. Until you have been in that exact spot, you can't judge the decision.

Suicide is a choice. I don't consider it to be selfish. I came to this conclusion after my struggles with depression. There were many times that I felt the world would be a better place without me. I thought my family and friends would be happy that they no longer had to deal with my problems.

After my boys' dad took his own life, I decided that suicide would never again be an option. However, I'm not mad at him for his choice.

Think before you speak! Stop judging other's choices based on your life's experiences.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Today - BE Awesome, BE Positive, BE Gorgeous

New message for me!
I am getting out of --  this funk, this blah, this mood, & the last couple weeks of being down.

Today (and the rest of May)
BE awesome BE positive BE gorgeous



I can do this! I am deserving! I'm better than their opinion of me! I am strong! I am still moving forward, the last couple weeks were just slow progress.

It is been 4 months of positive changes in my life. Healthier diet, no soda pop, rarely any fast food, supplements, tracking my food, workouts at home and at the gym, being a soccer coach, taking the dog for a walk, dealing with a torn meniscus. (Plus not feeling guilty when I make a mistake and really slip.)

AND the best part is 20 lbs have been dropped as well as 3 pants sizes. I bought size 24 jeans just before Xmas. In February I found a pair of size 22 capri jeans that fit. In March, I bought shorts in 4 different colors in a size 20. In May at a fashion show, I wore size 18 skinny jeans.

If I can see these changes in just 4 months with slip ups and mistakes (Oreo Double Stuf cookies for dinner) and still keep moving towards my goal - just think how far I could go if I stayed focused.

I am starting a challenge group for those of us that need accountability partners. Are you trying to lose weight, change your diet, workout regularly, add muscle, cut a food from your diet?  Let me help. I would never had said I could help in the past, but I am made a lot of changes over the years to get to this version of myself. Now I am focusing on my body and I am proud of myself.

Do you want to feel proud of yourself and your body? Do you have changes to make? Let's chat.

www.facebook.com/cocoandtwins
www.instagram.com/cocoandtwins
www.pinterest.com/cocoandtwins

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Big News from CoCo

I have been drinking water!  Only one soda pop yesterday and on Friday. Two each on Wednesday and Thursday. None so far today. These healthier habits are quickly taking hold. I didn't want to jinx it and say anything but I am really proud of myself. 


My snacks have been cucumbers and clementines (and some ice cream.) I even passed up the Double Stuf Oreo cookies. It is so odd but I don't even want them. I did buy some Halo Top ice cream after so many friends raved about it as a treat. 

I am using a couple different programs to help kick start these new habits. The Plexus Pink drink has helped my energy levels and curb cravings. I start and end my day with water. Weight Watchers Freestyle tracks what I eat. I actually type the foods into the app before I eat them to check the number of points. I can still splurge but it reminds me to not indulge too much. Tomorrow I start doing healthy smoothies. I ordered some Vegan Tropical Strawberry Shakeology to give me extra nutrients every day. Their portion control containers give me a visual of normal food servings. 

It has taken a long time but I am seriously ready to put my self first. I got a new bike for Christmas, and bought myself good athletic shoes for workouts and exercises. I even went to the gym. I want to play with the boys, ride our bikes, and go for a hike.  I hope I can continue these healthy habits. However, these are not resolutions. These are conscious decisions to take care of my health and well being. 

My 41st birthday is coming up and I am determined to make this a great year. I am claiming my word of the year as #CONFIDENCE again. 

What are you doing to take care of yourself?

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Nope. Anxiety

Anxiety won last night.


Plans were set for a Saturday night weeks in advance. I procrastinated to find a sitter hoping to use it as an excuse to cancel. With a small boost of courage and confidence, I found someone to watch the boys. I had two days. Two days to finish my to-do list. Two days to wash dishes, take out the trash, straighten up the boys' room, and clear the middle room. 




I know, I know. I hadn't been able to do all this work in the last two weeks over the school break. Hell, not even the last two months it had been on the To-Do List. There was no way I was going to accomplish it in two days. I had set myself up for failure. 

Was it a sub-conscious attempt to bow out of an event? Maybe. I am never sure. (Which only leads to more anxiety trying to figure it out!)

The biggest issue was the embarrassment of a babysitter seeing my house. I was afraid I would be judged. That someone would laugh about the horrible mom that let her children live in such a house. (To be honest, it is bad, but not close to an episode about hoarding. I don't want any readers to worry.)

I can't believe I am being this honest. I like to be an open book with my mental health issues, but this is a lot.

Be kind.