Friday, February 22, 2013

The brokenhearted...

My day ended in a public bathroom, wedged into a stall, trying to peel a heartbroken, grief stricken, hysterical teenage girl off the floor. Her sobs literally shook her body and could be heard all the way down the hall. She is heartbroken and it breaks my heart to see her in so much pain. However, I feel powerless to make it go away and quite frankly, I can't. As inappropriate as her relationship was with this man, her feelings are real. Feelings of loving and being loved in return. Feeling safe and protected. She feels lost without this relationship or as she once described it; feeling as if she has completely fallen apart and she is scrambling to collect all the pieces, but can't. In her mind and heart, she is now incomplete.
The day before yesterday, a friend of mine found out she had been lied to and cheated on. When she gave her significant other the choice of her or the other person, her significant other picked the other person. She too, is heartbroken and grief stricken. Desperately trying to figure out the least painful way to break the news to her young daughter, while trying to maintain composure.
I talked to a man earlier this week whose wife served him divorce papers just before the holidays. He thought their problems manifested over the past year. Turns out, she's been unhappy more than three quarters the duration of their marriage. He too seems to be grieving the loss of a marriage; worried about the effect it will have on their two children.
In a phone conversation with an acquaintance, I was informed he was entrenched in a very nasty divorce as well.
I have encountered many brokenhearted people recently. Broken families. Broken promises. Broken vows. People in different stages of the process; anger, resentment, hurt, grief. I don't like to see people hurt; especially good people. I've been referred to as having a "Jesus complex" in the past; my desire to carry every one's burden in hopes to relieve their pain. However, I've realized over the past couple of years, no matter how much of the burden I carried for them, they still had to carry the burden themselves. It's a process everyone must go through and typically differently.
This past week, I was reminded of how grief stricken I used to be. I remember feeling incapacitated. I remember sitting on the floor, sobbing and feeling paralyzed. I remember flying into fits of rage; sobbing, yelling, and throwing things; followed by deep, deep, depression. I remember thinking it would never get better; I would never experience relief. How could I? There was a piece of me forever missing.
Looking back, it really doesn't seem like it's been that long. The transformation I've made has been remarkable (if I do say so myself). I know I'm not speaking erroneously because those who accompanied me through the tumultuous journey, have said the same. Two years ago, when I first started Al-Anon, I couldn't breathe or speak. I wanted to die. I felt as if a part of me already had. Four months later, I  moved out and the journey continued. If I block my journey into 6 month "stages", my transformation doesn't seem like it took that long at all (hindsight, of course). In the moment, 6 months seemed like an eternity. However, when your world has caved in, one day seems like an eternity because the pain is so unbearable.
I am very grateful to have embarked on this journey at such a young age. I feel blessed to have the support and resources I have had along the way. I have learned and grown so much. I learned I control no one; I control nothing. I learned faith is very fragile and vital, not only for surviving, but thriving. I learned what I had considered to be "catastrophic" events (things that caused me to cease functioning), were really minor in the grand scheme of things. I learned to laugh more and scorn less. This list really goes on and on. One very important thing I have learned over this journey has been to be OK with me. I accepted who I am and quit trying to be something I'm not or someone I thought everyone wanted me to be. I've learned to have confidence in myself. Most of all, I have learned to do the best I can at any given moment, during any given day because nothing is guaranteed. Once the moment has passed, it will not come back. Nothing is ever written in stone and just because you don't feel comfortable in a situation, doesn't mean it won't make sense later. Stepping outside (or being thrown out) of our comfort zone is imperative for growth. That is, if we chose to grow instead of fester.
If I could leave anything etched into the mind of the brokenhearted, it would be the following...It will get better. Not always in our time. We will get knocked down again. Someone elses actions will more than likely pull the rug out from underneath us. However, we make the choice to live or die. We make the choice to sit on our ass and mope or to get up and keep moving. In other words, "Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional".
And when all else fails, just remember to have FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The hurdles just keep coming...

     It seems the hurdles I am forced to jump over just keep coming. However, the number of times it takes me to get over them is decreasing. I used to try to barrel through them. I didn't even try to jump. It seemed like a lost cause. I'd run into them, knocking them down, then tripping and falling over them. Over time I started making the effort to clear them, but I was so out of practice, I struggled to clear them considerably. I would knock one over due to my back foot getting caught, causing me to get tripped up just when I thought I was in the clear. I'd trip and fall down, but I started to recover quicker. Now, I make it over them. Sometimes, I lose confidence in my ability to clear the hurdle, but then I suck it up and give it a go. I give it my best effort. When I mess it up, I do it again. I continue to work at it until I get over it.
     I'm not sure if others have this same experience. I know I've not lived one like this until now. When I first came to my parents house just over a year ago, I felt completely out of my mind. I didn't know up from down. I was just trying to get the maddness to stop. I was whirling; spiraling out of control. I needed to get my bearings. Over the course of about six months, I did just that - got my bearings. I was able to stand up straight again. I then focused on surviving. I started learning ways of managing my ADD so I could function in all areas of my life. Learning how to survive also took about another six months. Now, I am in the processing mode. The dust is starting to settle and my vision is becoming clear. With much clearer focus, I am looking at what lies ahead of me and trying to learn how to accept it for what it is - another hurdle. Another adjustment. Most of all, I am trying to accept a different way of doing things. I look at where I am now versus where I wanted to be or where I had planned on being and I have to accept that it is what it is and I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
     Not too long ago, I had to come to terms with my victimization. I started to write a lot about it, but I am now unsure if I posted that process. If not, I will do it soon. This week, I am adjusting to being a single parent. An actual, living, breathing, single parent. Dating has not gone well for me and has exacerbated these uncomfortable feelings I've been expericencing. I start thinking how this wasn't what I planned. I didn't want to raise my boys alone. My definition of family was two parents and their children. I wasn't ready to redifine "family".  I had the image in my head and piecing together that now shattered image has been quite a challenge. I don't want to start over. Dating was hard enough when I didn't have two toddlers and lived with my parents. Now, it seems almost impossible. It is most definately daunting. I don't want to get to know someone else. I don't want to have to differentiate between reality and bullshit. I don't want to face the consequences if I'm wrong again. I don't want to be dependent on anyone again, all while being dependent on my parents. The difference is, I know they won't use or exploit me. They won't take advantage of my weaknesses and use them against me. My parents love me and my boys unconditionally and will protect us. I trust them to do that and I don't trust many.
     I'm scared, but I continue to have faith and I continue to put myself out there. I take the chance and it fails miserably. Or, maybe it doesn't...Just because the situation doesn't turn out the way I dreamed, doesn't necessarily make it a disaster. I read today, in codependency, we expect the worst and focus on the worst. During these dating "disasters" I am learning to open up. I am learning to be myself. I am learning to set approprite boundaries. I am learning to stop obsessing! I am learning that sometimes, it's just as the movie suggests and "he's just not that into you". I am learning to let go ALOT. This has been an ongoing battle for me. However, I am LEARNING and I continue to learn more about myself, others, and our interactions. I've come to terms with a lot and I still have a lot to be reckoned with I'm sure. At the end of the day however, I have looked down the track and seen the hurdles. Sometimes, they are closer than they appear or they aren't all the same distance apart. Some are higher than others and some aren't too sturdy. I try to forsee how the run will play out and prepare myself for how I will make it over all of them successfully. I must continue to remind myself no matter how much I prep, no matter how much I think "I got this", it can all change in the blink of an eye. Until I get right to that hurdle, at that moment, I really won't know how I'll perform. Regardless, I am not backing down. I am not running away. I will keep going. If I fall, I will pick myself up and try again. I will keep practicing until I get it right. Or, at least some improvement. I will not stand still. I will not give up.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Another one bites the dust...

Duped again.
Same trap.
Love and deceit.
Unanswered questions.
Bewildered.
Dumbfounded.
Beside myself.
Grieving an ideal.
Another loss.
Amazed at audacity.
Took a risk.
Fell flat.
On my face.
Mouthful of dirt.
Choking on dust.
Embarrassed.
Mortifed.
Was it worth it?
Trial and error,
Illogical for a mended heart.
Lost connection.
Fell into you.
Then passed you.
Straight to the ground.
Noone to catch me.
Left to my own devices.
Consumed by thoughts.
Questions of legitimacy.
Was any of it real?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Who knew social media could elicit such feelings?

It is so easy to get sucked into Facebook. Someone once told me looking through other people's profiles on FB felt like a form of voyeurism. According to this person, most of the "friends" on your FB page aren't really even friends.  We just know who they are and are being nosy. The more I thought about this, the more I thought they might be onto something. It never fails, I see something that piques my interest and I just have to delve deeper looking for the back story; the history. I click on the picture and get sucked into the life of someone else. I'm a relative stranger looking in. Observing through pictures and comments; piecing together every day life or at least their life at that moment. It's an easy trap to fall into and I admit it: I become a FB stalker. At least in that moment. 
For whatever reason, you may find yourself (or, at least I do) with hundreds of friends on FB and you may actually talk to an eighth of them on a regular basis in real time. You "friend" them b/c you went to high school with them, but haven't seen or spoken to them since graduation. They may be a friend of a friend, but because you hung out as a group one night, they have become your "friend" on FB, but not in real life. You run into someone you haven't seen in years who asks, "are you on Facebook?". To which you respond, "I am! Look me up!". I recently just fell prey to this last one. I was so surprised to hear myself say it. It was as if the words never really left my mouth.
I have just recently attempted to be more social on FB. I cruise the wall, make comments on random things, "like" others. I used to not be a very interactive FB'er, but everyone else was doing it and I didn't want to seem antisocial, so what the hell. Unfortunately, my attempt at being more interactive has brought on feelings I have only allowed myself to experience a handful of times over the past year.
As I look at other people's pictures, I see happily married couples and families. People seemingly smitten with one another. Even though I am certain they aren't always that happy with one another, the sight of it makes my heart ache and with great effort I try not to cry. I become deeply saddened at the loss of my family. It pains me to no end realizing I walked away from it. I made that choice. I sometimes think back and ask if I could or should have done anything differently. I left my husband with our two very young children a year ago. It is absolutely surreal to me. One, that I left. Two, that it has taken me this long to feel any sense of myself. Three, that I still mourn.
I look at my two boys and can't help but feel this suffocating grief and fleeting, but overwhelming regret. This wasn't what I wanted for them. Even more so, I didn't want them to keep experiencing the insanity of living with two sick parents. I wanted so badly to get better and I have. I just knew there was nothing left to do in my situation. Or, was there?? Even though I felt confidant in my decision, I still question it sometimes. I made sure I had done everything I could to salvage my marriage before I walked out. I hate to think how much worse I would be a year later had I stayed and survived. I am convinced, had I stayed, I would have killed myself or (after our last fight in April 2011) he would have killed me had I challenged him again. 
Either way, I can tell you I lived every day with the most overwhelming sadness. I operated and survived on flat out, fucking rage. I experienced a resentment that completely consumed me. I became OBSESSED with trying to control things completely out of my control and then behaving like a lunatic; a literal mad woman. I don't know I will ever be able to fully explain it to someone who hasn't experienced firsthand the literal insanity of addiction and codependency. I don't say that in a, "you have no idea" tone. I say that in a "I thought I knew until I lived it" tone. I had no idea I was capable of some of the things I had done. I never thought he'd do some of the things he did. In my wildest dreams (nightmares really) I never thought I would become the hateful, violent, person I once was. I never knew it was possible to not only lose all sense of self, but to hate yourself with a passion.
I don't really claim to know much. I know what I feel and I know what I think. However, this fractured mind isn't always the most reliable. Details often get lost in translation. One thing I know for certain is I am going to continue to make mistakes and have to ask for forgiveness. I will continue to be humbled and I am completely OK with that. I also tell you, I like the person I have become a whole hell of a lot better today. I used to live consumed by regret, resentment, and remorse. I didn't eat. I didn't sleep. My hair was falling out. I had constant chest pains. I even scowled, I think. I felt like I was drowning. I don't have to be that way today. It may have taken me longer than I expected to get back on my feet; to get back to everyday functioning. The reality is, it's been a year. Seems like much longer, but really not long at all. Not in the grand scheme of things. Especially looking back at how sick I was. In fact, I would say I am doing remarkably well given the demise of my 5 year "plan". I am no longer suffering in silence.
I may become mournful over pictures I see of seemingly happy and madly in love people because those moments don't exist for me anymore. The reality is, those moments were few, far between and typically substance induced. The moments in between those snapshots of eluded happiness were so horrifying, it started to not be worth the Kodak moment. I have no problem posting pictures of just me and my boys on FB having a grand ole' time because a year ago, I had no idea how to enjoy them. I can tell you for certain, those moments are genuine. And the times that carry me to Kodak moments today (even though chaotic) make me smile more often then not.  

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Starting over...

Jeggings. I got into (what was supposed to be a friendly) debate with my sister over jeggings. An article of clothing I swore I would never buy. I did however. And I like them. So, kiss my ass. I couldn't find a pair of jeans that fit into my boots the way I liked because I was losing weight so rapidly. In fact, my jeggings are now getting baggy. This debate, razzing, joke, literally brought me to tears. My family looked at me as if I had lost my mind. Crying. Over jeggings?? REALLY?!? After my sister left and sent me a text apologizing and trying to make amends, I realized it's not about the jeggings. The jeggings are representative of a bigger issue I hate to think about; let alone speak about...dating.
I am panic stricken about embarking on the dating world again. And I mean panic. Chest pains, short of breath, excessive sweating, senseless rambling, panic. I just don't know that I have it in me. I don't have the time, patience, or attention to be someone that I'm not. I don't want to worry or give extra thought to what I am wearing or what I'm saying. I am what I am; and that's a hot mess. I'm a spastic, flighty, impulsive, sweaty, mess. I am moody. I can't keep track of shit. I forget constantly. I like to be comfortable. Which means I don't typically look "sexy". I cuss like a sailor and spit like a ball player. I burp, fart, and poop. I put my feet in something that resembles a Chinchilla bath before I put my socks on. I love my yoga pants and sundresses. I love my cowboy boots and would wear them or gym shoes any day of the week. I hate bras, but like something to absorb boob sweat if need be, therefore I opt for tanks with the built in bra when at home. Never fear, I wear a bra in public at all times. And considering this post started by talk of jeggings, I would like to point out that I do not own sweatpants with writing across the ass. My ass does not scream, "JUICY", "SEXY", or "PINK". If you have some of these pants, more power to you. I am not attempting to draw any attention to my ass. I do a fine job of making myself look like a complete ass without any extra attention to the real thing.
Point being, I can't imagine someone sticking around for long if they really knew me. I can't imagine someone wanting to be with another person who requires a handbook and comes with disclaimers. I'm good in small doses. I don't want to do fear and rejection. I just want to be ME. Unfortunately, over the past several years I lost myself. I frequently found myself saying that I didn't know who I was anymore, I didn't like who I was becoming, and I felt like I was going crazy. Not to mean, my life has dramatically changed over the past 5 years. I don't know where to begin. I don't know what to wear. I don't know what to say or not to say. I am still finding me. And, for the most part, I'm OK with that. I'm better off daydreaming a future with someone because the reality of it is beyond my imagination. Those around me make it sound like there are all these "rules" to dating. I can't keep track! This is reminiscent of me trying to learn euchre. Too many rules. You know what rules I'm talking about. When and how often do I call or text, what do I say, where do we go, what do we talk about, what do I wear??
Since when is meeting someone for lunch worthy of a panic attack and embarrassing pit stains? I am the person who breaks all the "rules" apparently. I don't make good eye contact. Mainly due to my ADD and my inability to focus when looking at someone; especially someone I find attractive and who shows an interest in me. But, also because I get so nervous, I turn into a blushing, bashful, stuttering, school girl (it's ridiculous, really). I give way too much information. I tell people I am medicated. My personal favorite, is when I recently told a man (the pit stain provoking lunch man) I was like Rain Man (which by the way, is a phrase I use often). He responded that probably isn't the most flattering way to describe myself. But, it's so true! I am a creature of habit. I thrive on routine. When it gets fucked up, I am beside myself! Most days I adjust and make do, but depending on what it is, it can cripple me. I ramble. I am tangential. I can have six different "side bars" before I ever finish the first thought in a conversation. I "hyper focus", meaning I can get stuck on something and ignore the rest. I reference conversations from days ago because something stuck in my mind and I replay it over and over until I get it out. The list goes on.
I honestly think I sabotage myself because I am afraid of rejection. I have experienced some pretty painful rejection in my time. But, being left to my own devices during a suicide attempt by my (now ex) husband was a kick in the dick. It took the wind right out of my sails. However, I can't keep going back to that. I picked myself up and walked away. I am not that person anymore and I refuse to go back. So, why do I continue to go back to that? Why let him continue to effect my life at all? I have good qualities. Hell, some may even consider them great. People really do like me; idiosyncrasies, oxymorons and all. Some people appreciate the fact that they don't have to question where they stand with me. Other people, not so much. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I shoot straight from the hip. I try to be conscious of others feelings, however I develop a stutter when I am struggling to say something difficult. I am compassionate. I am passionate. I am empathetic. I am more humble than I've ever been. I love helping people. It pains me to see any being suffer. I want to bring them peace or at least show them another way. Not that my way is always right. I can admit when I am wrong (another good quality I think). I relate to people and I just want them to know they are not alone. I may not know exactly what they are going through, but I don't want anyone to ever feel alone. I am here. I have a good sense of humor. I make people laugh. However, my sarcastic, dark-sided humor has known to offend or make me seem careless and crass; which isn't the case at all. I care so much and deal with some terrible situations. Humor is my coping skill. If I didn't laugh, I would cry. Contrary to popular belief, I am sensitive. I get my feelings hurt easily. I am headstrong (sounds much better than hardheaded). This characteristic can go into both the pro and con columns. I may bitch, moan, groan, scream, or cry; but once I've had my "moment", I will typically move on. I am a survivor. I am strong. I am a fighter (not physically). In fact, I hate physical violence and am ashamed I have resorted to it in the past. I am slowly accepting who I am. However, gaining confidence in that person is very difficult. I have been beat down and am in the process of being remade. I am a work in progress; that's for damn sure. I have come a long way and have a long way to go. But, I am proud of where I am at. I really am. This may not be my ideal situation, but I am feeling better than I ever have. I have a lot to contend with, but I also have a lot to offer. If only, I would focus on the good qualities instead of listing all the negatives straight out of the gate. If only I believed in myself as much as others and quit being so damn hard on myself. If only, I would stop saying "if only" and move my ass! I need to accept that fact that this is the way that God made me and realize He loves me, flaws and all. And maybe, some day, He will bring me someone else who loves me for me. Someone who may not like all my idiosyncrasies, but at least tolerates them because my light shines bright. I just have to continue to trust where I am at. Be patient with God, myself, and others. Focus on me and becoming even better. Most of all, I have to continue to have FAITH...

I really don't know anymore...

While going through the hundreds of emails that I cast aside for a later date, I came across a couple of  "thoughts" I emailed myself on December 14, 2011. I emailed them to myself with every intention of finishing them and turning them into posts. However, much like most of my thoughts, they hit me like a ton of bricks then fall into the recesses of my mind. I thought I would share them anyway. If anything, you might get an iota of an idea of how this fractured mind works; as I emailed these all at the same time, prior to 7am. Meaning, I had them one right after the other. Thoughts flowing into one another so quickly, I didn't even have time to finish the previous before another one came to me, and so on...

****
When you have someone who's been such an integral part of your life, adjusting without them is difficult. Unfortunately, it seems I've "started over" so many times, I'm getting used to it. Difference being, this time my life is significantly different. As unstable as my marriage was, I continued to have hope that we could make it. No matter how minuscule, there was hope; along with lots of ups and downs, false promises with good intentions, but something always in the way.

****

I hope one day, they too can be humbled as I have been. When you're living one day at a time and sometimes less than that, one day is a good day. One day that I get up is a good day. One day that I don't cry is a good day. One day that I laugh is a good day. One day that I don't want to die is a great day. It's easy to fall into the vicious  cycle of insanity and old behavior. It's harder than hell to get back out. When you live one day at a time or, an hour at a time, its hard to focus on anything else. I did good today and that should count.

****

Lonely. Regret. Fear. Confusion. Lost. Overwhelmed. Exhausted. That's the list of feelings that come to mind currently and I've probably only identified an eighth of them. My eyes feel swollen from the crying. I can't imagine how they'd feel if I actually gave in to the temptation to cry every time I felt it. If I cried as much I wanted to, I would probably look like someone having an allergic reaction; eyes swollen shut, red, and blotchy face. I look in the mirror with no make up on. Dark circles, permanent creases in my forehead from a frequent furrowed brow. My big, brown eyes. I have gotten countless compliments over the years. I have been stopped in public in order for an admirer to compliment. However, as I look at them now; they look so sad. So lost. I look into the marvel of my big brown eyes and I wonder, have they always looked this way? All the years of insanity; repeating the same behavior. Why am I just now noticing? Then I impulsively check my teeth to make sure there isn't any leftovers. While I do so, I instinctively notice the small chips in my front teeth from constantly having them clenched. Always on edge. Always on guard. I am looking forward to the day in which I can actually live. I'm so tired of being in "survival mode". Putting out one fire after another at an exhausting pace, always realizing the small individual fires could take over and set the whole damn forest ablaze. I put out one fire and turn around to see the flames of another quickly approaching.
I have always been pretty good at "pulling myself up by my bootstraps". I have done it countless times. I grieve in my own way and then distract myself with someone/something else.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Reformed Morning Person

I have never been a morning person. I have always valued my sleep. I used to be an 8-10 hour girl, easy. I worked 2nd and 3rd shift. I wasn't a fan of 3rd, but I liked 2nd. No rushed mornings. Time to relax and drink my coffee in my pajamas. Lounge around and be. Once upon a time, I was able to just BE. I don't like to be rushed. Ironically, I always feel like I am rushed. I frequently feel like the ball in a pinball machine. Bouncing from one thing to another. I have a friend who used to ask me frequently where I was running. Even when I really have no place to go, I walk fast. As if I am on some sort of mission. I have to be reminded to slow down.

Since having children, I have seen more sunrises than ever. I remember when I found out I was pregnant, my biggest fear was how I would survive with little sleep. I remember waiting for the elevator at work one morning completely sleep deprived. Between a newborn, a teething one year old, and on call, I was awakened every hour. While standing there in my dreary haze, it dawned on me...you just do it. There is no rhyme or reason. There is no secret. You don't get sleep when you have children and you just manage to function. 

Here recently, I have started to learn the beauty of sunrise. Every once in awhile I get the opportunity to just get lost in it. I used to meet my friend for early morning hikes on the weekends I didn't have my boys. I was able to slow down and just be. As difficult as it might be to drag my ass out of bed, the reward is awesome. Especially when the weather starts to turn and it gets cold in the morning. I love the cold and sun. I love to see the sun reflect off the frost. Millions of tiny crystals covering everything and reflecting  the light. I could literally stay out there for hours and just take pictures. Completely mesmerized by the beauty of nature.

  
I used to write a lot. It was my way of communicating. Even in tough situations, I still prefer the written word. I express myself so much better. When I try to speak it, the words get all mixed up in my mind. I develop a stutter out of nowhere and I can't put all my words together to form  a constructive thought. However when I write, I feel free. I am able to see my words before they are communicated to the other person. I can't seem to see them as clearly in my mind, but on paper I am able to examine them fully. Over the past several years, I have written less and less. I have stuffed and turned inward. I think there is a part of me that is so overwhelmed, I don't know I could ever express my feelings appropriately. There's another part of me that feels I wouldn't know where to start. Another reason is the fact that I don't take the time. When push comes to shove, my time is the first to go. I have gotten so off track writing about my feelings, I feel mute. So, I have turned to more visual forms of expression.

A couple of weeks ago, I  had the opportunity to borrow my sister's amazing camera. Luckily, she now trusts me to borrow it. Maybe since my children are still alive, I am more trustworthy with an expensive piece of equipment. I was up very early and it was very cold outside. I walked outside and straight in front of me was this beautiful sunrise. I turned around and noticed the moon still hanging on. I found it to be quite amazing. The sun rising and the moon slowly making its descent. Like yin and yang in a face off.  

What I loved the most was the contrast in colors. In front of me was the bright oranges and yellows. Signs of a bright, brand new day. Behind me was the darker pinks, purples, and blues. Darkness descending. Marking the end of another day. In this quest, mission, journey...I still don't know where to start most days. Maybe I should say I know where to start and I am just procrastinating. I don't know that I am up for the work, to be quite honest. I have such a difficult time getting my bearings in all other areas of my life. I am not sure I am ready to open Pandora's box. 
I have my moments of martyrdom, self-loathing, and self-depreciation. However, in all the mayhem, I have started to make a conscious effort to thank God every day for this day. My 5 year plan may have fallen by the wayside. I may not be where I want to be right now. I can tell you I am the most uncomfortable I've been in a long time. But, no matter how shitty it seems, I can always find something to be thankful for. I have a job. I have two healthy boys. I woke up today and therefore get to have one more with them crammed into one bedroom at my parents house. As uncomfortable as that seems, the reality is I am not visiting them in the oncology ward at Children's Hospital. They may drive me crazy sometimes, but at least they get the opportunity. I am starting to be more grateful in my life. Sadly, some might say I still complain too much. Truth is, I probably do. I continue to be a work in progress. I have been bouncing around for years. I have recently realized, I like to get lost in nature. I like the calm; the peace. I like the sounds of trees creaking in the breeze; leaves crunching underfoot. I like to be stopped in my tracks and staring at a deer or seeing them bedded down in the leaves. I am still in awe of how nature works. I am not sure how anyone can look around them and not realize there is a God. A Being much more powerful than us. It seems every day is a miracle. So, as the sun sets and the moon rises, I feel blessed to have another day. As this cycle continues, I will continue to be amazed at the beauty of the Earth and the intricate design of Mother Nature. I hope I am continuously afforded the opportunity to get lost in it. Most of all, I hope I am afforded the opportunity to share it with my children. And as long as I am afforded the opportunity, I hope to have a camera in hand. I don't know I have learned how to capture the majesty of Mother Nature yet, but I'm just getting started. Even if I am not the next Ansel Adams, I have found another therapy. Another way to BE...