Celebrate the good, depression, moving forward

Finding my happiness…

This morning I was reading one of my favorite blogs over at Suzlyfe. I love her blog because its raw, its real, all while being informative and entertaining. I needed a little respite from the funk I’ve been in, so when I opened my email this morning to get my daily dose of Suz, I found myself moved to tears.

See, between not getting promoted and not hearing back on any prospective leads I thought I had, along with dealing with some resentment and anger issues (don’t ask, we can save that for another post, or not…) I’ve found myself in a funk. My mood sucks, my running sucks (if you can call running twice a week actual running) and my cooking has even started to suck. The ONE thing I actually think I am half way decent at has fallen flat and left my family (more so me) less than impressed. This has been ongoing for the last few weeks, and with each dish I prepare, it’s either under/over cooked, over seasoned, or just plain blah. And this is quite unlike me, I’d like to think at least. So last night when my hubby had to take my oldest to the dentist, I thought, HEY, I will make the steak for the tacos we planned on having along with getting the beans and corn ready. Too easy, right? Wrong…I cooked the steak with beautiful grill marks and set aside to rest. I then decided it necessary to mutilate the beans, overcooking them by a good 15 minutes. Just before they got home from the dentist I went to slice in to my beautifully grilled and rested meat to find it was still RAW. And not just slightly raw, I am talking, the cow may have had a MOO or two left in him. Ugh…I threw it back in the pan, and sighed a heavy sigh.  

After dinner we cleared the plates and I told my family I was on a hiatus from cooking. If I can’t joy in cooking, I simply can’t cook. With that, I headed upstairs to take a shower and have a good cry but when I turned around my oldest daughter had decided to come up and comfort me. I don’t hide my emotions very well, and my family knows me better than most. She gave me a huge hug and said, “You ok, Mom?” and I broke in to a sob. “Don’t settle in life honey,” I pleaded with her. “Write your books, chase your dreams, just please don’t get stuck like Mommy is. While I was in the Air Force it was ok to have this job, but now I feel stuck.” And she just hugged me tighter, promising she’d chase her dreams. We even pinky promised which is like a golden seal in our house. Yup, my almost 18 year old still will pinky promise with me. ❤ And suddenly I found my happiness again, right there in the comfort of my first born daughter’s arms. Funny how the tables can turn.  

My takeaway from last night was twofold. Yes, I am feeling stuck, and I think RUT might be my new middle name. BUT…I had a beautiful moment with my daughter that no one can take away, and I need to focus on moments like these vs. feeling a little stuck. Because we can’t be stuck if we are still making the choice to get out of bed every day and do our best.

OX10L

 

My time will come. I just know it. And I am so thankful for the beautiful people in my life that have helped me see the brighter side of things. Thanks Suz, this one is for you!

 

Cheers,

 

Michelle

 

Deployment thoughts, moving forward, running

The rescued Introvert

I have battled with depression for more than half my life.  Those of you that have been following along for a while, know that for most of my adult life I had taken depression medication.  In fact, my distance running career started partly because I had hit rock bottom, and I HAD to pull myself back up for me AND my family.  So in 2007 I decided in late September that I was going to run my first half marathon just 7 weeks later.  I trained for this race while working full time, going to school for my Bachelors degree AND studying for promotion.  Did I mention I had an 8 year old and a 1 year old daughter to care for too?  LOL.  Most said I was nuts, but deep down I knew I’d go completely nuts if I didn’t escape to the roads to train. I finished said half marathon in 2:19, and I had never been more proud of myself other than the day I graduated basic training.  I DID it.  I didn’t quit.  I didn’t give up. And my husband was there, cheering me on the entire time.
Several years later, in 2012, I would finally complete my goal of finishing my first full marathon, and I did so with my sister by my side.  Another very proud and amazing moment that I will never forget.  I also haven’t taken any depression medicine since 2012, and I keep movin’ forward and feel better for it.
What does all this mean?  Well, running has truly saved me more times than I can count.  Why? How?
Well, I saw myself pulling back from my friends and family again here recently.  I just wanted to go to work, come home, and curl up on the couch and forget that with each passing day, it meant a day closer to when my husband leaves.  But a few weeks ago I decided I was going to accept an invitation from my friends and start running with them on Tuesday evenings.  I was going to GET OUT OF THE DARN HOUSE and do something just for me.  This last Tuesday as I was running and chatting with one of my very dear friends, we spoke of depression and different times in our lives that we battled this yucky disease.  She spoke of a time where she stopped doing all the things she loved, and she became introverted and just wanted to be alone.
And a light bulb went instantly ON.  I was doing this. I was declining invitations, not doing the things I enjoyed, and I was avoiding my friends.
So last night after work, I took my youngest shopping (I normally HATE stopping anywhere after work) at Target, threw in a couple CPK frozen pizzas in the oven, and treated myself to a MUCH needed massage.  I hadn’t had one since June, and it was long over due.  The point, is that I did something for me FINALLY.  I’m not one of those women who gets her hair done at a nice place, or manicures/pedicures unless it’s a special occasion.  I honestly don’t do hardly anything for ME, and it’s gotta stop.  Because here soon, it’s going to be ALL me, and I better MAKE time to recharge.
I feel better today, better than I have in quite some time.  I know some pretty amazing people have my back, and that helps lighten the load tremendously.  And I’ve got hope…barrels and barrels of hope and faith, that my husband will return home safely, and that our family will be even stronger through all of this.
source:Giphy.com
source: Giphy.com

Questions: What’s your go-to stress reliever? Have you or any of your family members dealt with depression?

Cheers to you all for you amazing support!

❤ Michelle

depression

And then it happens…

You realize almost suddenly even though it was always there, that you haven’t been walking the walk…the mantra you preach of “keep movin’ forward” is partially a front.

And that my friends, hurts…

I realized in the last few weeks that I really hated didn’t like the person I used to be.  I’ve mentioned it in recent posts, you can read about it here, that I truly work hard at NOT being the girl I once was…I want to be the woman I have worked so hard to be…

Yet the past sometimes creeps in, and in recently I have visited the “On this day” app on Facebook and was blown away by what I read.  Posts from 5-6 years ago haunted me, and I couldn’t believe what I was reading. No wonder I drove so many people away…I was down right DEPRESSING.  Yuck.  Delete…delete…and delete some more!

So this past week I’ve dug deep to redefine my goals of the future, who I want to be, and what I need to do to get there successfully.

First up…quit looking back.  I am SURELY not headed in that direction.

Secondly, one of my yearly goals was to be more present.  That being said, my husband travels and works A LOT with his job and the military, so my kids need me to step up for them, and away from time wasters. I need to be present for THEM, because I am essentially a single parent from here on out and I need to embrace that vs. hold anger and resentment.

So today, I started fresh by celebrating National Running Day by running just over a mile with my youngest, and making me and my daughters a yummy salad since my husband is going working late.

One of my favorite pics from 2013, my youngest daughter running me in to the finish!
One of my favorite pics from 2013, my youngest daughter running me in to the finish!
Love!
Love!
Romaine lettuce, shredded broccoli, Kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese and shrimp!
Romaine lettuce, shredded broccoli, Kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese and shrimp!

Lastly, I need to quit doubting myself, and beating myself up over things I can’t control.

It’s time to move forward, y’all!!!  I’m back in the saddle!!

How do you battle past demons?  Did you run today?  What are your favorite salad toppings?

❤ Michelle

depression

A Mother’s love…

I am sure at reading the title of this post, you expect beautiful pictures of my daughters and poetic prose sweetly written about the joys of having daughters.

But nope.

This post, is about being a Mother to a 4 legged creature.  A dog more specifically.  MY dog.

I gave birth to my second daughter in 2006, on August 5th to be exact.  After which I was overcome with terrible post partum depression.  I thought it would pass, but after nearly a year the depression stuck and my husband stepped in.  I had encountered many “life issues” and had had enough…even running wasn’t going to get me through this patch.

Quickly, I welcomed this handsome 4 legged creature who would do more for me than any medication could touch.  THIS dog, helped me find my smile again.   I’ll remember the sunny January day we drove to pick him up, gosh, for the rest of my life.  My husband did research, and found a local breeder that had a male Golden Retriever.  We packed the kids in the car, Sophia just a year and a half old, and Jordyn 8 1/2 years old, and went to meet our new family member.

We had many names picked out, but Samuel Adams was the name he responded too, so there it was.  “Sammy” as he is known to our family was welcomed with open arms.  And then things changed.

I found my smile.  Because this wonderful little dog followed me EVERYWHERE.  He knew I needed HIM.  And he was there.  And he still is…

Now, 7 years later, as we celebrate his birthday I can’t help but to get teary.  Because this guy knows…he knows when I have a bad day, and he takes the time to nuzzle me a little more, snuggle a little longer, and give me more extra wet kisses than I care to have sometimes, LOL.

And I love him.  More than I can even put in to words.  Some people tease pet lovers dedication and passion, but I bet you a million bucks they don’t have this sort of relationship in their life.  Many a morning I will lay in bed after a night of insomnia, and Sammy will jump up into the bed, and snuggle in with me, pressing his forehead into mine.  He wraps his paws around me, and he knows…Momma is tired…Momma is stressed…Momma needs some extra snuggles.  HE…is there.  It still amazes me how they know…when you need them. This morning is a perfect example.  I didn’t sleep well at all, woke up far beyond the moment when my alarm would go off, and I closed my eyes, wishing for Sammy to come upstairs.  Seconds later, there he was, ready for his summons up in to the bed.  And for 5 minutes, in the dark, my pup loved me.  In his own way, told me, “It’s going to be ok.”

And for that moment.  All was right in the world.  I was loved.  And I knew, as a Mother of a 4 legged creature, I had done right with the world.  Even if, for just a moment.

So I will sleep well tonight, knowing I have loved just a little more, lived my life just a little better, because of my amazing dog, Sammy.  Thanks, buddy…for truly making my life so much better.

THIS
THIS
He loved his boots as a pup
He loved his boots as a pup
Daddy love
Daddy love
Jordyn and Sammy
Jordyn and Sammy
Me and my bubs
Me and my bubs
Sammy and Sophia
Sammy and Sophia

❤ Michelle

depression

A smile was lost today, RIP Robin Williams

I don’t often blog about my history of depression.  I’ve shared my story in the past, but in moving forward I’ve tried to keep the details and situations I’ve dealt with where they belong…and that is in the past.  I have learned, grown, and pushed myself out of some pretty dark places in my life.  And I know that does not make me special in any way, nor do I feel like I am someone to be looked up to or held at a higher esteem because I didn’t give up.

Because I wanted to give up.

More times than I can count.

I’ve cried, screamed, and pounded my hands on my steering wheel while driving home because it was the only place I could do it privately.

During many a run, I had to stop and hold back the tears…

I wanted to just throw in the towel, believing at the time(s) that the world would be a better place without me in it…Yet I thankfully was reminded quite quickly I’d be missed, and that I was loved.  No matter the darkness I often embodied…

I was loved.  I just needed to love myself.

I needed.  To love.  Myself.

And it took nearly 4 decades to do just this…

Wait for it…

I love who I am becoming.  It’s a daily challenge, and I am taking it full force.

Finally, I have found my true north, within my own soul.  I am, my own compass.

I still hate my hair…my mid section…oh, and that darn cellulite that has dug it’s ever living claws in to my back side.  Oh, and can someone pass over the Botox for my wrinkles?  LOL!  jk

But inside, I am finding out who I am more and more every day. I have remained tried and true to my beliefs.  I don’t let others dictate how I feel most days daily.

Yet today, I found myself choking back the sobs in hearing the news of Robin Williams death.  Not only because we’ve lost a true SMILE that visited millions of lives, but because I’ve been there…in that dark hour where there seems to be no way out.  I used to actually get mad at my Mother for smiling/staring at me because I hated myself so much.  Gosh I was such a shit.

But we’ve moved forward…reconciled and I am reveling in the fact that it is NEVER too late.

Yet sadly, it’s too late for Robin Williams.  The social stigma and criticism of depression has so many people hiding behind clothes doors refusing to ask for help.  And sadly this case is no different.

With that, I ask you to be kind.  Be real.  Embrace the fact that you may not understand what other people are going through, but a kind thought, word, or message can make someone’s day.

This week, my miles are dedicated to those suffering from depression.  Both past and present.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from Robin Williams:

“I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone, it’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel alone.”

“You will have bad times, but they will always wake you up to the stuff you weren’t paying attention to.”

“I believe in destiny. There must be a reason that I am as I am. There must be.”

So my challenge for you this week, is to dedicate one mile to someone that is suffering.  Who’s with me?

❤ Michelle

dedication, food, goals

Part 2; the Obligatory like and social dismay

I don’t have a lot of free time. Who does? I try to spend this time with my family, running, cooking, writing, taking pictures etc. But in the last few months I have found myself forgetting a lot of the above listed items and getting sucked in to social media, liking, posting, commenting, and crunching the numbers I had once hoped to get behind my fan page. And in doing so, I found myself reeling back in to a time where I thought too much about all the STUFFS that didn’t matter. And I found myself feeling empty, and sad for lack of better terms. For those that administer a Facebook fan page you have seen the demise of most pages who refuse to pay to boost their posts. I just can’t bring myself to pay to try and motivate, inspire, and help others get through tough times/depression at this point in my life. Should something so selfless and inspiring come at a cost? Apparently so in FB land…With a page of nearly 9500 followers, I am told less than a dozen see my posts, and even fewer comment, like, or engage. Why? Because I don’t pay…in the land of SOCIAL media, I have found my page to be less than just that…

But I keep it going…I have worked so hard on this silly little page (to some) that reaps me only the benefit of knowing I may touch ONE life every day. And I remember back to a time when I couldn’t wrap my brain around getting through a single day without crying or feeling sad, so if just ONE of my posts makes someone smile, inspires someone to go out for a run, or motivates someone to keep movin’ forward I am satisfied.
you-can-do-it-

I have also learned that I need to focus my energy where it counts. I have spent too much time worrying about how to get my FB page moving forward, that I myself nearly stopped dead in my tracks.
70949-simon-cowell-please-stop-gif-UNRo

So I have embraced half marathon training with my husband. We just finished week 7 of training and I am so proud to say he finished his 7 miler (a PR in distance for him) yesterday.
I have dusted off my camera and starting taking pictures again.
I have been regularly texting/calling my friends and family as best time allows.
I have revisited my goal of writing a cook book and have been working hard and transcribing my creations for compilation someday in the future.
(I did make amazing stuffed portabella mushrooms and a potato/leek mash, but that post will have to follow later).

recipe to follow!
recipe to follow!

Why am I writing this down? Accountability, reassurance, venting, or who knows?

I just know it’s time for more change…time to unplug more, spend time doing things I love more, and always, MOVE FORWARD…more.