Gratitude tomorrow…

Yesterday I found out one of my blogging friends passed away after a long battle with depression. I wish I could’ve done something to help her. A couple weeks back I noticed her blogging patterns were off. She posted one day like normal and then she just disappeared. She no longer liked or commented on my posts either. A week went by, then another week. I was really getting worried. What if something happened to her? I decided to do a little poking around. I had her name and a general location so I started scouring the obituaries. Nothing…

For awhile I had a sense of false hope. Maybe she was in the hospital and couldn’t update her blog. Maybe she got in a car accident. Maybe she was taking a break on the beach of some nice resort. Maybe she was sick with a fever. The nagging voice in my head said maybe she was dead. Nope, couldn’t be that because I didn’t find an obituary. Maybe, maybe, maybe…until one day I saw a post from her family with her obituary.

Did she know the last time she posted it would be her last? She never said good-bye.

It hurts. Even though we never met in person, I felt like she was a good friend. On a hard day, she often would write an encouraging comment. I just can’t believe it. She was an inspiration to many, especially those struggling with mental health issues. Maybe some day I will go back and re-read some of the things she wrote but as of now I just can’t. Good bye Ashley, you will be greatly missed.

1 day

I can’t believe by this time tomorrow my daughter will be changing her name. It seems surreal to me right now. They are getting really excited for the big day tomorrow.

My husband will be saying the dinner prayer and he is really nervous about it. I told him no one is going to remember it unless he accidentally says the f word or something. My son is going to be an usher and he is nervous about that. I don’t feel any different than any other day really. And that is the joy of struggling with anxiety. I’m used to feeling this way. There has to be some perks.

I’ve spent the last couple of days just getting ready. Mom and I went and got our nails done. I made the beds for guests tonight. Angel will be staying over with a bridesmaid. Arabella and Will will be staying too just to make sure they are up and ready in time. Angel is getting ready here with her bridesmaids so I bought some easy lunch foods. I expect somewhere around a dozen people being in and out of the house tomorrow morning. Then we may or may not have overnight guests the night of the wedding.

In a couple hours will be the rehearsal and dinner afterwards. I expect it will really hit me and I will be nervous then. Hopefully we will be able to sleep tonight!

Tomorrow Dan and Angel will begin their married life together. I can’t believe my daughter is getting married tomorrow. I am so happy and excited for them. I hope they will be blessed with many wonderful years together. One more day…

5 days

My dress doesn’t fit. When I first tried the dress on at the bridal store it was a good fit albeit a little snug in some places. I decided to order the size up just to be on the safe side. If anything it seemed like I was more apt to gain weight than lose it. The dress I ordered was a little too big. It was also too long, but I was expecting that. The dress has small sleeves off the shoulder. It was too big in that area so Angel’s future MIL did alterations for a tighter fit in the shoulder area. In doing so she also brought up the chest and now the cups are way too high. I’m hoping it will be an easy fix.

Needless to say, Angel and I are both going back this evening for alterations. Angel is a nervous wreck. I have been anxious too, but it doesn’t even compare to my daughter’s anxiety over the upcoming wedding. I’ve had some rather strange worries too. I’ve been worried about my brother Matt. The other day I even asked my mom if he was okay. It just came out of the blue a premonition he was sick and going to die. I wonder if my daughter’s upcoming wedding triggered in me some memories from my own wedding when we feared my brother could die because he was really sick. That’s the only thing I can think of. I can’t recall feeling this way towards him since I got married. How utterly bizarre.

Other than that, I feel good today. I feel confident in how I look. I have confidence in my immune system. I reminded myself that I was only sick once this year (with COVID) even after being around other sick people. I reminded myself that before I got COVID, I can’t even remember the last time I was really sick. I think it was 8 years ago when I had walking pneumonia. I exercise, eat healthy, take vitamins, drink a lot of water, and don’t do anything fun. I’ve been avoiding groups of people. I’ve taken precautions and the extra steps to strengthen my immune system to the best of my ability. What more can I do? Angel is doing the same yet she worries. Maybe she is more like me than I even thought.

One good thing is I will have a preview of Angel in her dress tonight. I really don’t want to cry at the wedding when I see her in her dress and be a big pile of snot with raccoon eyes. Angel said she wrote me a letter to be read right before the ceremony with the photographer taking my picture. Why?? Oh, why?

I can’t believe we only have 5 days left.

1 week

Oh my gosh, I can’t believe the wedding is a week away. I feel the anxiety. There is a fine line between anxiety and excitement. My mind creeps over to worrying about the things I can’t control. What if I get sick? I worry about Angel and Dan getting sick. Angel who was always the one to get sick right before a big performance. The anxiety burns her body out and runs her right down. But the anxiety cannot be controlled either.

I have been trying to stay healthy. One of the biggest things I’ve been trying to do is drink more water. I started taking more vitamin D. I try to make healthy food choices and exercise every day even if it’s just a walk around the block. It’s been hard to give up sugar, not because I crave it but because it is in everything. Look at labels and you will be surprised. Pinto beans? Seriously, there is sugar in canned beans. What I miss most is sweetened coffee creamer. But I realize I could do everything right and still get sick. Maybe I’m being anxious thinking if I carry around some sort of rabbit’s foot I’ll have good luck. If I try extra hard to be healthy I won’t get sick.

I also wanted to lose a few pounds. The overweight comment by the doctor a few months back really stung. I feel old now. I felt really good up until 45. That was the year everything happened with my dad. Then right after that was when my daughter attempted suicide. Followed by COVID a couple months after that. Then I started having health problems. Maybe it would’ve happened anyway. It’s hard to say but no doubt the stress probably didn’t help.

I’ve aged a lot over the past 3 years. I stopped coloring my hair. It’s been two years now and no color remains. I haven’t had my hair cut since January and have no plans of cutting or coloring it soon. Angel says she likes my gray hair. I have to say the color is very unique, a sandy blondish brownish gray.

Nobody says I need to lose weight for the wedding. No one really cares but me. I just don’t feel like me anymore. Maybe I just want to feel young again. Today I went to the pet store and bought a 20lb box of cat litter. The young lady that checked me out called me ma’am and asked if I needed assistance carrying the cat litter to my car. Three years ago I ran a 50k and now I look feeble enough to need help carrying something to my car?

I swear I am trapped in someone else’s body. What really scares me is that I see my dad in myself as I age. He never exercised a day in his life, is obese, and has a lot of aches and pains. He is everything I don’t want to be, yet I find myself like him in some ways.

I’m afraid my arthritis will be acting up and I’ll end up sitting in a chair all night and not cutting up the dance floor. I’ve found that having arthritis is a delicate balance between not overdoing it and not doing anything at all. Today I would do anything just to be able to go running again like I used to.

I’m going to try to relax and not freak out so much about everything. But that is easier said than done. I was invited to a party tonight but opted not to go to avoid being in groups right before the wedding. Gotta stay healthy. The funny thing is I didn’t want to go anyway so it’s not much of a sacrifice. Why would I feel guilty skipping a party I didn’t really want to go to anyway? Am I obligated to go if I have nothing else going on?

Yesterday Arabella found out she has mono. In the last month she has had COVID, an ear infection, and now mono. She is sick all the time and her immune system is garbage. But she does nothing to take care of herself.

I just have to keep telling myself that regardless of what happens, Angel is marrying the right guy. It’s not about who gets sick or stays healthy. It’s not about whether or not my dress is a little tight around the waist. It’s not about whether the day is cold and rainy or if snow flurries fall. It’s not about how much I get out on the dance floor.

One week left, I have to stay focused on what really matters.

19 days

My son didn’t have to work today so I took him shopping to find dress clothes for my daughter’s wedding. It took 15 minutes, in and out. The first shop. The first set of clothes he tried on. I guessed correctly his shirt and pants size. Everything was the right color scheme. Found some black dress shoes. I had a coupon for 20% off. Done. It almost made me like shopping.

Meanwhile I got home to find out the dress I ordered for my daughter Arabella from Facebook marketplace has been cancelled. They didn’t even give me a reason. I will have to set up another dress shopping day. I’m running out of ideas of where to shop and time.

My daughter Angel sent me a message this morning that my Facebook account got hacked. I hope it had nothing to do with my attempted purchase. The fake account had my profile picture with a pride frame listing my pronouns as him/his. Really?? I don’t think any of my friends would be convinced I changed genders. It would be laughable if I wasn’t so frustrated about the dress order that got cancelled several hours after I changed my password. I’m hoping my credit card info didn’t get compromised. I don’t think it did, but still.

So, good news and bad news today.

Gratitude week 139

  1. I’m doing my gratitude list a little early this week as we are leaving today for the annual week long sailing cruise. I’ll be sure to share some pictures and stories when we get back.
  2. I’m grateful to be able to go on the sailing cruise because previous to the last year I was unable to go because I had kids starting school. I didn’t want to miss that.
  3. I’m grateful my kids are done with school and I am done with that stress.
  4. Summer, the weather pattern the last couple weeks and for our trip is pretty close to perfect.
  5. I’m grateful to be called up to the clerk at the DMV before I was able to even finish the paperwork. That never happens..
  6. I’m grateful to be able to spend the next week with my husband on a sailing adventure and talking with people since we go as a group with our sailing club. That’s one thing I missed about our trip to Yellowstone, we were pretty isolated from other people. I didn’t think I would want to talk and meet new people, but I did.
  7. My daughter Arabella is feeling better after COVID and an ear infection. For a few days I was having a hard time getting in touch with her and I imagined her laying in her apartment dead…so, yeah, one less thing to worry about.
  8. I’m grateful my friend Jen is celebrating another birthday today as she struggles with cancer.
  9. I’m grateful for a husband that works hard to make sure our bills are paid.
  10. I’m grateful for music that makes me feel better when I am sad.

Fortune cookie wisdom #51

No man is free who is not master of himself.

Wow, nothing like a fun and carefree fortune cookie saying there. This cookie packs a lot of truth. It sounds good, but unfortunately is easier said than done. Who do we know who is truly free?

I want to think I am free, but really is this an obtainable goal? I am but trapped inside of my own body that no longer does all the things I want it to do.

I also think of my friends who struggle with addiction. How easy is it for us to tell them to just stop whatever it is they are addicted to? Just stop then the addiction will be gone. We want to tell ourselves this is the way it works when we see others struggle losing everything they have at times in danger of even losing their lives. Just stop and it will all go away.

I think everyone struggles with mastering themselves, some are just better at it or care more than others. I wish I could be better at managing my worry. Just this week I worried my daughter was lying in her apartment dead because she is sick and hasn’t been returning my calls or texts. Or better yet, I should think happy thoughts when struggling with depression. That will just magically somehow take the thoughts I don’t want coursing through my head away. Or telling someone with insomnia to just try to get some sleep to count more sheep.

I really think that if most people could master themselves they already would. Maybe we will never be as free as we want to think we are.

My run is over

It’s official. My run is over.

Tuesday I had an appointment with the rheumatoid doctor I waited 4 months to see. It started out a little rough. The nurse asked what tests I had done. Tests?? What? None, I replied. She said that my visit was probably a wild goose chase and they would end up sending me back to my doctor. I felt discouraged. I knew something was wrong. I mean, just this week I started having a hard time bending my toes. I am in almost constant pain. It’s more of a dull ache, but still.

Next the doctor came in. She listened to all I had to say…that I was a runner for 15 years…started having pain in my joints…having a hard time bending my toes. She did an exam. She heard my knees grind when I bent them. I can no longer bend over and touch my toes. Then there was the pain in my hands and feet. She told me I have osteoarthritis. I also have a bunion on my right foot which is a great source of my pain.

I told her that I could no longer run. The last time I ran I had a lot of back pain and a piercing stabbing pain in my ankle that would randomly come and go. She said I most likely have a bone spur on my ankle and when I would run it would pinch a nerve. The doctor said she didn’t recommend running anymore. Instead I should do low impact sports such as walking or swimming.

It’s difficult because I am sore when I get up in the morning. I’m sore if I sit too much. I can’t do any high impact exercise without a tremendous amount of pain. Even walking hurts. It just sucks. I tried walking with hand and leg weights and ended up with tendonitis in my shoulder. The doctor said I am overweight. Outside of being pregnant, I’m the heaviest I ever was. The doctor said I needed to exercise more. Yeah, I wish I could run and do everything I was able to do before. Of course I’m going to gain weight. I went from running marathons to Netflix marathons. I feel trapped in my own body. It no longer does what I want it to do anymore.

But I do feel better knowing I have arthritis. I knew something was wrong. How do you go from running to hardly being able to walk without something being wrong??

Next month Angel and Paul are running a 10k. This will be the first time I will be an observer of the sport I was once so passionate about. I am a little sad because the time I ran in races were some of the best years of my life. I felt so healthy and alive. I’ve accepted that my run is over. Recently, I donated or threw out most of my running gear. I guess it’s on to a new phase of my life whatever that will be.

I was worried (and pretty much everyone I told asked) I caused this arthritis in myself by being a long distance runner. The research says that is simply not true. You are at higher risk of developing arthritis if you are a professional athlete running 50+ miles a week which I am not. The research I found said you are more likely to develop arthritis if you are obese living a sedentary lifestyle and not as likely if you are a runner. Honestly, I don’t know why it happened to me. That’s life I guess…you just never know what’s going to happen next.

I once was a marathon runner. Now I have arthritis.

Fortune cookie wisdom #49

Good beginning is half done.

I suppose the wisdom of this fortune cookie could be taken in several different ways. For me, when I think of this, I think that my life is half over. As a middle aged person, this makes perfect sense. Of course, if my life is half over as of today my life would end at 95. I think I would be lucky to live that long as right now off the top of my head I can’t think of any family member that did.

I know it sounds morbid, but as I age sometimes I wonder how long I will live. I keep telling myself I have plenty of time left so I don’t waste time worrying about it. With a family history of dementia, I also tell myself that I probably won’t even know I’m dying which in a strange way is comforting. On some days I feel tired of living, but on the flip side the thought of dying is utterly horrifying to me. I like to be told what to expect but no one living knows, or even understands the dimension of time on a continuum. When did time start? Not even the smartest person can tell us that for sure.

What happens after we die? Again, I have my own beliefs, but no one living really knows. Wow, I wasn’t planning on getting all philosophical on this fortune cookie. But that’s what I like about the fortune cookie posts, I really never know where it will lead me.

On a side note, I am all out of fortune cookies…so I guess it might be awhile before I do a post on fortune cookies again. To tell you the truth, I’m not really sure where I am going to go from here. Is there anything you would like to hear more about?

It didn’t last long

I intended to write more than I did this week. Yesterday I actually opened my computer up to write when I got a call from my daughter Arabella. She wanted me to pick her up. She was going to be admitted but the hospital was full so she was scheduled to be admitted to another mental hospital a couple hours later.

Her boyfriend Will was with her but he had to leave for work. She called me to pick her up and wanted me to take her to her car at my parents house so she could drive herself to be admitted. All in all, it was an hour and a half of driving for me. Before she could leave with me, I had to talk to someone about a safety plan. They told me all the ways she was planning on killing herself and wanted me to keep an eye on her until she was admitted.

I drove her to my parents house. She talked about how Will and her were fighting which triggered a depressive episode for both of them. Neither one was doing well mental health wise. Arabella went to pack a few things. My mom came up to me and told me she only slept four hours, that she wasn’t okay herself. It took longer than I thought for Arabella to pack her things. My stomach dropped. Was she okay? I didn’t want to go to her room because I was sure it would be upsetting to me which it was. There was clothes everywhere, empty containers of food, and a bottle of anti-depressants strewn across the floor.

I left as soon as I could with Arabella following behind me. I was worried when she spent too long in the bathroom. I was worried maybe she would find a way to skip her appointment. I tried my best but I wasn’t sure she was going to be alright. It didn’t take long for things to go to shit after our fun weekend away. But this is her fifth inpatient stay within the last two years, so it’s nothing new.

Just the day before my mom came to visit. She brought my brother Matt with. With all the rain we got last weekend, his bedroom in the group home got flooded so he is staying with my parents for awhile. While they were at my house, my Aunt Jan Facetimed my mom so my brother Matt could see her grandchildren she babysits for. She had no idea my mom was at my house right away and started talking about me behind my back in front of me.

My mom has this really bad habit of ALWAYS being on speakerphone and not telling people she is. I almost had to laugh when my aunt figured out my mom was at my house and she was talking about me while I was sitting there. She didn’t say anything bad, but it was funny afterwards because she texted my mom asking if I heard everything and asked my mom if she said anything she shouldn’t have.

Just the week before my mom was on speakerphone with my Aunt Jan while at my house. After awhile she did tell my aunt she was at my house. My aunt said she wanted to talk to me. She asked me when Angel’s bridal shower was because she already bought a gift for her. I felt manipulated by her. She didn’t want me to be a part of family functions but now she wants to go to my daughter’s shower. After everything, I wasn’t even planning on inviting her or any of my aunts really unless that is what my daughter wants. If she does, I’m planning on calling my aunt and airing my grievances but I don’t even want to think about that right now.

Right now I just feel sad. I feel sad because my daughter is back in the hospital. I feel annoyed my mom was more concerned about not sleeping. I think my aunt is trying to control me with gifts instead of apologizing and I don’t like it. It’s okay for us to be rejected by her, but she doesn’t want to feel left out?? I feel angry that my parents or in-laws never helped me with my kids while I was at work. It was just a big free for all while I was gone trying to help my husband run our business. It’s hard not to be bitter about these things. I feel guilty because I do have a lot of good things in my life. I feel guilty for not feeling happy and for focusing on the things I don’t have instead of what I do.

At least I am mindful about how I feel. Maybe I just need a break from other people’s problems for awhile. But sometimes that is hard to do when I feel like I have to fix everything that’s broken.