Category Archives: Uncategorized

Wake Up

Anxiety and depression seem to be the most talked about mental health struggles these days, and yet I feel like they are the most misunderstood. People in the public eye are committing suicide and dying from overdoses left and right. This has been a reality for decades, but in recent years I think it’s become an epidemic. The narrative has changed and people are coming forward more and more versus the ‘keep quiet and keep up appearances’ generations of the past. I knew more about my mother’s hysterectomy and hormone replacement therapy than I did about her anxiety when I was growing up. Which is odd looking back now.

In the world of medicine, research and treatment options are always evolving and if you have watched any number of commercials in the past 10 years I bet you can name at least 3 medications used to treat anxiety or depression.  Even with all the treatment options, the statistics on deaths caused by anxiety and depression is staggering. How is this possible and what is are we failing to do? Why is there an abundance of information about anxiety and depression, yet we are still losing loved ones because of it?

In the seven years that I have been treated for my mental illness, I have been prescribed 8 different medications. Weaning off one to introduce another. I have finally found one that works well, however, the side affects are no fun. But neither are weekly melt-downs and panic attacks, feeling like I want to take my skin off, hiding in my dark closet and not leaving the house for days.

I didn’t receive a diagnosis for my generalized anxiety disorder until I did my processing out of the Navy at the age of 28. In hindsight, I am not sure how I ignored all the red flags that I was suffering from mental illness in my twenties. I want to be clear here, I sought medical attention more than 15 times in my 11-year career, and was with misdiagnosed or completely dismissed and sent back to work. Fit for duty is the primary goal after all.

I wake up with the feeling you get when you are about to be in trouble for something you did.  The feeling that causes you to take deep breaths because you can’t seem to get enough oxygen in your lungs? For me, this is everyday, sometimes all day. My brain and my body feel like they are in constant “fight or flight” mode. I can’t remember a time in my adult life that I felt ‘relaxed’ in my body without a foreign substance being introduced.

This is why addiction is so scary and real for people like me. Before I was being treated for my daily struggles, I would feel unhinged and raw all day long until my first drink of alcohol and after I was treated I traded booze for pills. I traded feeling too much to feeling too little.

During the last seven years, I have not only tried with every fiber of my being to feel good in my own body, I have tried to be a good wife, a good mom, employee, friend and daughter. And when I am nailing it one aspect of my life, I am failing miserably at the others.

The person who has suffered the most is my daughter. Anxiety and depression can make it almost impossible to be a half-decent human being. Think about how hard it is to care for another person when you struggle to care for yourself. I suppose this is why my own mom threw in the towel and l left me with my dad  before I could even walk. I nearly depleted myself physically trying to keep my head above water and keep the attention on what a good mom I was and not how deeply I was spiraling. I hid it pretty well, until my appearance caught up with me inner battles. I think at my worst I was self-medicating in private and weighed about 110 lbs. I can’t even look at those pictures now without crying. I was in such bad mental shape.

My anxiety has created  issues in my daughter, she worries about my mood and yesterday said, “I am so glad you didn’t freak out mommy, I am so proud of you.” She is 4 and this absolutely breaks my heart. Traffic and being lost are triggers for me; and unfortunately I stay lost without a GPS and other people are allowed to drive at the same time as me so…

I guess the point of this post is really 2 things. To remind people that sometime the deadliest diseases are the ones you can’t see. We don’t need much more proof that anxiety and depression can directly result in addiction and suicide; even with all the advancements, research and treatment options. Keep an eye on your loved ones and care enough to have that ‘uncomfortable’ conversation, it could save a life. People tend to ignore situations believing someone else will intervene. It’s called the bystander affect and it happens everyday. But then we teach our youth to not put off for tomorrow what can be done today. Hypocrites.

The second point of this topic was to let someone else out there know that I know. I see you. I hear you. And I love you.

 

 

 

 

 

38 things that annoy me, for my husband’s birthday…

Hey babe I thought I would generate an overall list of things, silly to important, that just annoy the crap out of me.  So at anytime, you can revert to this list to check-in on why I may be throwing some ‘tude, shade, bitchiness’ and any other shitty energy your way.

I thought last year I went sappy, this year I will real in the emotions. After all this month has had enough tears with school starting.

What are the 38 things that annoy Jenniffer… ready… set.. go.

  1. passive aggressive behavior
  2. passive aggressive behavior
  3. chipped nail polish, just take the shit off. I mean if one out 10 are chipped, that’s fine. But any more than one means start over. Try gel polish, its 2017.
  4. nice manicured hands and fucked up looking toes. Why?
  5. people who don’t open the door for you when you are clearly struggling
  6. empty toilette paper rolls, and not a fresh one in sight
  7. shit left in the toilette. Just take a peak and make sure it’s gone.
  8. Yelling at me from downstairs or another room. If you want to talk, and need a response, get the fuck up.
  9. people who think wearing chakra stones means something. You have to do the work first asshat.
  10. people who don’t drink water. I don’t get it; we are made up primarily of water
  11. people who feed their kids shitty food, put ipads in their face, not worry about schedules or sleep and label them ADHD.
  12. women who do not support other women, but instead try and tear them down.
  13. prejudice of any kind
  14. prejudice of any kind
  15. screaming and laying hands on babies in diapers
  16. people who really think formula is just as good as hard working pumped milk that comes from tired, chapped and all around pained tits.
  17. people who do not tip at least 18%– servers choose to serve just like you choose to dine out.
  18. men who talk down to women
  19. people who enjoy belittling others
  20. people who take no responsibility in their lives.
  21. the forever victim
  22. not saying thank you
  23. or please
  24. small talk
  25. negative energy
  26. people who refuse to see anything positive
  27. uncooked onions
  28. bugs
  29. not being appreciated
  30. not having morning coffee
  31. bad attitudes
  32. girls who need help with everything (I can’t reach this and I can’t lift that)
  33. bad Italian food
  34. bad wine
  35. fake people
  36. dishonesty of any kind, even if it is to spare feelings.
  37. how my house continues to get dirty every time I clean it
  38. not getting a kiss good bye from you.

I love you mister Garvey.

Mother’s Day and other Hallmark Holidays

I will celebrate anything, really I will.

I like Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day, Secretary’s day (and no I am not a secretary), national donut day, etc.

Short explanation is that I like to receive gifts and I like to be acknowledged. We all do to a certain extent, some more than others.

I appreciate holidays, hallmark or not, because it is a day set aside to plan for, celebrate and enjoy; if you want. I love to give gifts as well as to receive them so shut your judgmental trap. The whole process gets me excited. The planning, shopping, packaging and watching the expression. I love it all.

I refer to myself as competitive gift shopper.

Now, while I can appreciate the two biggest arguments against said hallmark holidays, I can also provide a pretty good rebuttal.

Argument 1: shouldn’t we celebrate these people everyday? I don’t need a date on the calendar to celebrate so and so.

Really? And how is that working for you? Do you really buy ridiculously large stuffed animals and heart shaped chocolates all year round? Oh and you also treat your spouse to a whole day of being nice, gifts and a real effort in bed all year long. The fuck you do.

Argument 2: these holidays are just another way for consumers to be exploited. Whatever, you would normally use that money for online porn, shitty food that is killing your body, too much beer or something else insignificant. But of course beer and fast food commercials ARE NOT EXPLOITIVE at all. And besides, I have never met a decent woman who didn’t at least put out for just a little bit of effort.

I will always revel in the opportunity to celebrate my family and friends, even if the damn holiday was made up.

By the way, check out the 5 Love Languages. It might change your opinion on what it means to celebrate these holidays. Some of us (me) receive and give love this way. It’s a thing!

 

 

Times Have Changed… Are You Keeping Up?

I have been wanting to chime in about parenting today versus parenting past for quite sometime. The generational divide in parenting can cause tension, debates and even ruin relationships; and that’s just in my house.

Now, I understand that children are still children; that hasn’t changed. They still have developing brains and bodies, and are usually difficult and lovely all at the same time.

But the amount of information we have learned about their developing brains through research is nothing less than groundbreaking.

Times have changed, and in order to stay ahead of our children and provide them what they need to develop in today’s world, you have to acknowledge that. I want to kind of ‘explain’ where my generation is coming from and what we face as parents.

The days of busy signals and dial-up internet are long gone, you see. Days of playing outside from sunrise to sunset are basically fairy tales we will tell our kids to put them to sleep.

When my parents were growing up, bigger families were normal and often meant more hands to help out.  Parenting from this generation was about survival rather then fine-tuning a human being. If the basic needs were met, then that parent was doing their job and could then focus on keeping the family afloat.

When I was growing up I played outside all day, everyday and I was a “latch-key kid.” I came home after school, let myself in and was unattended until an adult came home. I did not have access to a computer, except at school where we learned basics and played Oregon Trail. I do not remember kidnapping or online predators being something my family worried about.

Things have changed in so many ways since technologically has taken over our society. We have access to immediate information, food,  doctors, taxis, porn… you name it. You carry a computer on your person, all day long.

We are over-run with technology! You may not be tech savvy, but that does not mean these things aren’t happening. Life with kids was VERY DIFFERENT in the 80s, which is when I was growing up.

Let’s start with the fact that I have absolutely no memory of having a car seat. Car seats weren’t even a thing when our parents were kids! Next, kids were able to walk around the city or town without much worry at earlier ages. You could let them walk to school, the corner store, a friend’s house. Now parents are turned into CPS if they let their kids walk to the park unattended.

Now, you have to add parental locks on every goddamn thing (doors, electronics, phones, TV). Kids have constant access today to technologies that were either considered a luxury or privilege or that didn’t exist in previous generations. ie. Phones, TV, laptops/tablets.

Can you imagine having a smart phone at 10? It is happening, and younger than 10! I had a pager when I turned 13 and let me tell you, I thought I was hot shit. It was bright teal green, by the way.

Kids also have tv’s in their bedrooms now. When was growing up we had one family tv and it was run by the man of the house. I got like 1 hour during the week and cartoons on saturday morning, and in my world I was lucky.

SIDE RANT: Social media is so important to today’s young people that they will delete pictures if they do not receive enough likes. There are countless stories of suicides tied one way or another to social media. Their goddamn self-esteem in tied to their social media accounts and how the “world” sees them.

Facebook, Instgram, Snapchat and tons of other apps that I am not hip to are something parents of my generation deal with. Having children who struggle to stay engaged because there is always a screen in their face is just an everyday struggle. Instant communication with who ever then want; instant internet connection at their under-developed fingertips (brain, not fingers y’all). It’s a disaster.

When I work on the weekends, family meals out mean head in phone and little to no interaction. Laptops are now an essential school item, like pencils and paper, so forget the notion that you just won’t give them any technology.

Was this an issue 30 years ago? No, no it was not. Parents today have to be one step ahead of their kids when it comes to technology and they have to monitor it.

Then we have the fact video games are changing the chemical make-up our youth’s brains’. We also have doctors over prescribing medication when there are organic therapies and options to consider. We have a school shooting epidemic to worry about. Oh, and the new common junkies are high-school aged kids who graduated from narcotic prescription pills to black-tar heroine.

Teen pregnancy is so last season. Now I am worried about my kid believing her self-worth is tied to her social media accounts, being targeted or preyed on by online predators, being shot at school (or anywhere) or trying hard drugs with friends.

 

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