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Life mental health Uncategorized

A Hard and Honest Moment

This has been sitting in my drafts for a little bit. Originally when I wrote it I felt that I should not go through with posting it. Then I thought, heck with it. It’s real and I’m far from perfect. Back and forth I went not knowing what to do with it. I still feel I shouldn’t put it out there but I sit here knowing that in the end I will push that publish button. Sure, I may have family that might read it, or a co-worker that might see it, but like I said, it’s real and I don’t like fake. So as you read this (IF you read this) please know that we all have our struggles, or weaknesses and our secrets. But we are ALL worthy of forgiveness and His love. If you are struggling with any addictions or mental health, PLEASE reach out and talk to someone. You’re worth it and you ARE loved! -Ang

To start this off, I want to add a paragraph from a past post in case someone didn’t read it. I want you to have more of an understanding where this post originated and my feelings going into it. I want you to have a little background if you don’t know me or my story. Also, when I go off on a tangent I rarely get all I want to say out, I often miss important things, and I hardly ever fill in all the blanks So please, if I seem callous and uncaring, that’s not the whole story lol.

“My biggest struggle by far has been my workplace. When they implemented mandatory masks for employees and customers this meant that each time I worked I fought back those anxieties and all the trauma shit that come with it. It is exhausting to have to find a way to do my job, deal with customers yelling and threatening (another big trigger for me), my own mental health including the panic attacks that were incurring constantly due to all the triggers and extra stress…I was a mental mess. I still am, to be honest. I’m finding it very hard to cope with it all.”

I’ve been struggling with the need to drink again. Not gonna lie, I’ve allowed myself to give into those urges on more than a handful of occasions. Am I proud of that? No. Am I ashamed of it? Yes, but that’s allowed right? I worry that I won’t always have that control to stop after 1 or 2 again. It makes me angry. Pissed right off actually that I would allow my workplace to force this on me which means I need to deal with all this shit I’ve worked so hard to deal with and keep under control. I hate myself some days for allowing them to have that kind of power. But it’s my job. *sigh Why is it okay for a customer to come and start threatening the employees and other customers because he has PTSD? I understand..but this is NOT an excuse to treat people horribly. Why is it okay that I be put in the situation of having to deal with this man who is triggering my own CPTSD? Why is it okay that the managers bend over backwards to kiss this man’s ass and I need to have someone ring in all his stuff and deliver it to him in the parking lot because he couldn’t handle being in the store with the mask?

There are people we can’t call to help us on cash because they have anxiety and have trouble being on cash, scared of being yelled at, the noise is a trigger, have claustrophobia and can’t be behind the tills with the plexi, etc. What does my manager say?? “The anxiety thing is really being over used lately. This is part of their job and if they can’t fulfill it they need to find another job.” And then proceeds to fake an anxiety attack. What was my reaction to the last person who began to have an anxiety attack while on till? My initial reaction was from a place of anger and resentment. I pictured that manager’s mocking ways and heard his words bounce around in my head. When I was able to recognize that feeling, I was in a better place to get a replacement immediately and speak with her about my concerns. I let a (different) manager know about the situation and told her if she’s called again to give one of 3 names and let them know she does not need to run till as per these people. I hope it helps her but the toxicity of this place and of the people working there just keeps getting worse.

I’m stuck at this point. Not knowing if I should numb myself again so I don’t turn to drinking to cope again or if I should quit my job so I can take care of ME. I need the job. But my kids need ME, not the alcohol sneaking, angry version of myself, but the real me that has worked SO fucking hard to get to where I am (was…I feel that slipping away every time I go to work). The ME that lives for hearing them laugh and play loudly even if that means I can’t talk on the phone because they’re too loud. The ME that reads to them every night before bed instead of ending every day with yelling because they’re cutting into MY time now.

It’s unfair. And I hate it.

And that’s my dark and ranting post for today. I mean, I could go on but really, what’s the point.

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Life mental health Uncategorized

I Made It Through Yet Another September (well, almost)

September.

Ever since 2010, the months of August, September and December have been so hard due to some hard times and family things. The depression hits, the mood swings are worse because of numerous reasons, my sleep suffers and I really struggle to even get out of bed most days.

This summer was a very intentional summer in my home. I made a real effort to have fun with the kids, help them make their own decisions (big and small), do things they wanted to do and at the same time fill my own cup with making our adventures educational and memorable. The summer flew by with their first camping trip, their first tenting experience, time at my husband’s family cabin with just me and them, nature walks, sunset chasing, dragonfly saving…ALL the things! I needed it, they needed it. I also made sure to allow tons of time for them to spend with their cousin who they will not be seeing much now that he is starting school many hours away in Moose Jaw. They had their last play date and we were all sad saying good-bye. I worry about him being so far away. And I also worried daily about the 2020 school year looming and what it was going to look like.

Mid-August my youngest turned 5. I’m still trying to figure out how that happened so fast. The day of his birthday I received an email asking all families to let the school district know if they were NOT planning on sending their children back to school. This was a big decision in which I had been speaking to my kids about probably more often than necessary. They knew their options and understood that there was no wrong answer but I wanted them to make that decision from their heart.

Starting September 9th this year my children began new journeys that they had a part in deciding. I am proud of them for making the decision and I am in their corners all the way.

Brody

Brody began grade 5 with a teacher who shares my son’s love of all things nature. He is catching grasshoppers for the class salamanders and helping his teacher find all sorts of bugs and animals outside which his teacher documents and photographs (he is working with some sort of group having to do with nature-I really can’t remember what it is though). The fact that he needs to wear a mask all day and on the bus has not worried him one tiny bit! (Polar opposite from his mom here)

Karina

Karina began her grade 3 year as a homeschooler. We decided not to do remote learning or distance learning. It wasn’t really as much our decision as what ended up happening because of lack of information and poor communication…I can always fill you in on that later lol. Regardless of where her education was going to come from though, she was not going back to school (at least for now). We are only 2 weeks into it and we have already had many ups and downs but I’m learning what kind of learner she is, what makes her tick when it comes to school, and trying to remind myself that I am teaching her, Karina, not me. We all learn differently and this is not a classroom in a school.

Ryan

Ryan started his first day of Kindergarten on September 15. He will be going every second day for the whole day. This is so great for him! He gets to spend time with so many other kids other than his brother and sister and I know this was the right choice for hi as well. Lol, he didn’t make that decision on his own but he did get to give his thoughts and concerns. The mask was not a concern (for him, different story for me haha). I can’t wait to see what kinds of great pieces of art work he will bring home! I just love watching them grow and change throughout their years!

The Workplace

My biggest struggle by far has been my workplace. When they implemented mandatory masks for employees and customers this meant that each I worked I fought back those anxieties and all the trauma responses that come with it. It is exhausting to have to find a way to do my job, deal with customers yelling and threatening (another big trigger for me), my own mental health including the panic attacks that were incurring constantly due to all the triggers and extra stress…I was a mental mess. I still am, to be honest. I’m finding it very hard to cope with it all.

I also worry about the impact this year is going to have on people world wide long term. I fear we’re going to end up with more mass shootings or bomb threats or heaven only knows! I don’t feel there’s enough mental health support for everyone during this pandemic. It worries me that someone could literally *snap* at any given time and I sometimes worry that someone might be me or a teacher at my kid’s school, or a customer that I ask to please pull up their mask. The fear is real.

Anyway, take care for now friends. I’ve missed everyone over the past couple of months and I can’t promise how often I will be able to pop in, at least until I can find some sort of groove with this crazy life, but I’m over here thinking of all of you!

I also want to say a special thank you to Dwain for reaching out. It’s not the first time and honestly I hope it’s not the last. You know when those bad days just pile up and nothing is going according to plan, when the depression has hit too many times to count and you just feel like nothing you do matters anymore? Dwain, your email helped me realize that there are people out there who (even though we’ve never met) care. This means a lot and I truly appreciate your kindness.

-Ang

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creative writing Life Uncategorized

I Always Have Too Many Plans

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I am a post it note girl, a planner type of mom, a paper and pen type of person. I have papers, notes, pictures, lists and dozens of ideas jotted down everywhere! I have so many thoughts and plans and want to’s and not enough time or knowledge or energy! This is something I have always struggled with. I love to start new projects…and not finish. Of course, that’s never in my plan lol. I never plan to not finish something, but there’s always something else that grabs my attention, the next sparkly thing that floats by. It always happens to be something that’s not on my list yet as well so then I’m adding more things haha. I love to create and I love to write and my favorite thing of all is to dream!

I struggle with not being able to finish what I start.

What about you? What’s something you struggle with?

-Ang

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Uncategorized

A Call From My Past

It was just after 12:30 on a Monday. Monday’s are usually a pretty busy day for me with cleaning up after the weekends that I’ve been gone for work. This Monday was different though. I’ve been struggling with so much lately feeling that I have lost my path again, lost my way. Maybe it’s to be expected after a long, cold winter that was really stressful. Maybe it’s natural for this type of slump to occur. I’ve never noticed before because I’ve always been too busy trying to stay busy so I could avoid dealing with any type of feeling or problem.

My phone dinged with a text message and I just happened to be holding it on my way to sit down on the couch and read. It was an old friend from high school. We tend to drift in and out of each others lives but every few years (the longest being 10 years) we manage to connect and it’s as if no time has passed at all. The question was simple: Are you working today? The answer: no. Within 2 seconds my phone was ringing and I was hearing about my life from their view. But it wasn’t exactly my life, it was the life of their sister who seemed to be literally living in my shoes. They were worried for the outcome. worried about her mental health. Worried that there was no helping her now, she was too far gone. I wanted to argue that there was a way to help, a way to tell her she was worthy of so much more, a way to let her know she was loved no matter what, that she mattered to her entire family more than she could ever imagine. How? How could I say it without my secrets coming out too? How could I say it and have it make sense to someone not living it?

It turns out I didn’t have. Apparently all the signs with her are the same as me and my secret was out. It was worse than they even thought in the past. This call was to tell me that they were worried, that there is a way out, that I am loved so deeply by friends that I never imagined. It was a call to talk about how things were 20 years ago, what is still the same and how I have changed but my true self is peeking through every once in awhile and that there is hope.

I got off the phone and cried. I didn’t know where my thoughts should begin or how to handle all these emotions rushing at me at once. A couple hours went by and my phone rang again. Same person, different concern. “Are you mad at me?” Of course I’m not mad. I’m feeling a lot of things but anger is not one of them. Good, that’s a start. What else are you feeling? Disappointment. In myself for not stopping this, for not putting my foot down, for not listening to concerns from others, not acknowledging the red flags. I’m feeling numb. That’s a defense mechanism, look through the numbness, what’s there?

How did they know that’s what I needed? Or that today was the day that I needed it most? I was told to call back if I needed or wanted to talk after I got the kids from the bus. I wanted to. I had so many questions, so many unanswered questions. I took all the kids to the park instead. We played at the park for the next 2 hours. It helped me get some of my thoughts in order and recognize some of those other feelings and emotions coming through. It gave me a reason to avoid calling back and slink back into conveniently hiding in my busy life again.

Sometimes this happens where I just ignore reality and live in my own little happy place because it’s the only I can make it to the next day. Most nights I can’t sleep so I end up exhausted and that impairs the thinking as well. If I’m completely exhausted then it’s easier to numb out. That’s my go to. It’s how I got through my childhood, my teenage years and now my adulthood. I want it to change but holy hell is it hard to change something like that.

I’ve been on this path of bettering my mental health, improving myself in all areas really, for about 4 years now. The past year has been spent trying to gain control of my anxiety, understand my CPTSD and what it meant for my healing process. Dealing with my depression and gaining knowledge of my habits when it comes to facing hard emotions and decisions. It’s been a long and tiring journey so far but it’s not even close to being over for me. I sometimes feel like I’ll never quite be rid of all this and I wish I could go back to living without it. I realized after some thought, that I have been living with this my whole life and my goal shouldn’t be to to cure it, my goal should be ACCEPTING it as a part of me and moving forward. There is nothing wrong with me for having went through and living with all that my life has and is bringing me. It makes me human and that every single person on this planet has and is dealing with their own demons right at this very second and there’s nothing wrong with them either.

We are all in this together. We need each other to get through and move forward. I love hearing other’s stories and what they’ve faced and how far they have come on their healing journeys. It gives me hope that we can all learn from each other and help each other in the end. We’re all in different places in our lives and it’s okay to take a step back sometimes for those days when you just can’t find the motivation to keep going. You deserve a break. And a hug!