It’s Okay, I’m Nobody

Lately I find myself thinking more and more like I am disposable.  I'm not really one to get down on myself, but lately I am beginning to wonder where I fit in.

It's kind of like high school all over again.  I never really fit in anywhere specific.  Ask my best friend, she will tell you.  I wasn't in band, couldn't sing, don't have a lick of artistic ability and while I played travel soccer, high school sports were not my thing.  I acted a bit, but it wasn't 100% for me.

I didn't date, never really had a boyfriend and most of the time I kept to myself, only to act out when I wanted attention, not always the good kind. Yearbook was okay, but I couldn't commit and I wasn't one to really work that hard to find friends.  It wasn't until Mrs. Herbruck and DECA did I really feel accepted and like I belonged somewhere. 

Here I am 20+ years later, divorced and realizing I am in the same spot I was in back at Strongsville High School.

This is me. Pretty plain and simple. 

However when you visit my Facebook page and see over 1,000 friends or Twitter and see over 1,000 followers you would think that I am an influencer and that I've got game.  

Shit.  

You are wrong. 

I ain't got game and I am one person who can't influence diddly squat. It isn't for lack of trying – I do try and influence others about behavioral health, albeit not as successfully as I would like, but I try.

I am me.  Take me. Leave me.

Period. 

Sometimes I am a nobody, and sometimes I am a somebody.  

Depends on the day. 

The thing is, I may be a nobody, to you, but I am a somebody to someone. Somewhere.

Maybe smiling at a random person will make their day.

Maybe the sandwich I buy the homeless man will help him a little.

Maybe paying someone to help me out when I am in need will pay their bill.

Maybe the text or phone call out of nowhere to an old friend will wake up a friendship.

Maybe a blind date will turn into more.

To any one of those people I was a nobody, until I was somebody.

You see, while I struggle with life daily, not feeling wanted or needed, I have to lie down at night and realize I can't be everything to everyone, instead I will do what I can to be something to someone each day.

Blogging from Bed

The time is now 11:35 pm on a Friday night.  Here I am blogging from my bed. 

You may wonder why I am doing such a thing.  You may ask yourself why isn’t she sleeping in her perfectly good bed. Others may be more provocative and guess that I am up because I had a hot date. 

Folks, I am here to tell you I am awake and blogging from bed because my mind won’t shut the hell up and let me sleep. 

I am nestled in my queen size bed, with a dog to my left and two cats squished up on my legs and one other cat who thinks my iPhone keyboard is her personal play toy. 

I have lavender diffusing and a Himalayan salt lamp glowing.  I have the windows open…

Hold on, need to go take a Zyrtec

I’m back after disturbing animals so that I don’t wake up with swollen eyes. Silly me. Where was I?

Oh yes, blah blah and the windows are open and I am settling in for a peaceful nights sleep.

I could put on a meditation loop, but that drains my phone battery. I could read, but then I fall asleep with the lights on. I could just close my eyes and drift off to sleep. 

10 minutes later….

Did I place the Amazon order I needed to place?

Shit, did I put all the groceries away?

What am I cooking tomorrow?

I have no life and no plans – I am pathetic!

My eye is itching – should have taken Zyrtec sooner. 

Stupid people outside, I just want fresh air – be quiet. 

Let’s check out Pinterest for graduation center piece ideas. 

Holy shit!  I just want to sleep. 

Let’s try this again…

Deep breaths while thinking happy thoughts. Focus on good things and find my happy place. Inhale the sweet smell of lavender. 

What the f**k ~ now the animals feel the need to play ring-around-the-rosie on my bed. 

It is now 11:53 pm. 

I seriously need sleep.  All I can think about is work and

Oh look, a text message from a friend and I should check Facebook, awe sweet Logan loving me. 

Yep, right in the middle of me trying to calm my brain down I get sidetracked.  This is why I am blogging from bed tonight. 

I do not think I was this restless when I had a baby, maybe because I passed out from sheer exhaustion. 

However, this crap has got to stop. 

I need sleep. 

Okay, I’m getting myself comfy, hitting publish on this post and maybe by 1 am I’ll be asleep. 

Yours in Sleep,

Jody

My Story Isn’t Over


2 years ago. This was very important to me.  

2 years have passed. It is still important to me today.

I am eternally grateful for those who held my hand that day because it was one I will never forget and one that makes me always think twice before saying anything to anyone about myself. 

I have a habit of opening up, letting people in and getting hurt by those who judge me. I wear my battle scars proudly and I share my life story with everyone who will listen in the hopes of helping them. 

Recently I was invited to a conference to discuss recovery housing.  It blew me away how many people actually want to listen to the story of someone who, 15+ years ago would have benefited from a form of housing that supported mental health or addiction recovery.  It was empowering to be in rooms where, today, people that need help are being helped. Being there and opening up to people, those I consider friends and colleagues, was something I wasn’t sure I was ever going to be able to do, without being judged, belittled or stigmatized against. 

Sadly, being hurt and judged is something I have become accustomed to experiencing. However, it is my decision how I act upon that hurt and judgement.  You see, while knowledge is power, it also yields a double edge sword that can hurt me and those around me. 

When I have taken the Briggs-Myer personality tests in the past I have been considered a “Consul” or ESFJ.  When I read through what the description is, I tend to agree with a lot of it, but choose to disagree with a lot of it as well. I love people, this is true and social situations both intrigue me and scare me. 

I have borderline personality disorder.  Most think this means I have a split personality – I don’t, that is a different diagnosis.  I have spent hours in countless therapy sessions and gone through an array of DBT Skills classes to get to where I am at 39.  I have also been diagnosed as ADD, which for me came on at a late age. Both of these combined led to a pretty rough past life and one that, in some instances, I am not proud of. 

You see, the plus side to my personality type and my mental health diagnosis is that I am aware. I know what my strengths are and I know what my shortcomings are.  Sometimes I can stop myself before doing/saying something and sometimes I can’t.  So, while I believe sharing is caring – sometimes it isn’t.

When I say my story isn’t over, it’s because I am not going to continue to be ashamed of myself and my life.  I chose to live it freely and do the best I can for everyone involved.  Will I keep making mistakes, sure.  Sometimes I will hurt myself and others in the process, but I won’t use my mental health diagnostic code as an excuse or my scapegoat. 

Like me, love me and walk with me or walk away.

My story isn’t over.

Every Road Leads to an End

I have heard this saying before in my life and I never really understood it.  Maybe that is because I think every road leads to something bigger and better.  

I would like to think that roads may twist and turn, but each road is an adventure that can lead to amazing and wonderful things. 

In life I have traveled down many paths and many roads.  Some were successful, some not so much. 

I figure that destiny will lead me down the path I am supposed to be on.  This may be because I avoided another road. I am good at avoiding roads.  If it is too challenging or complicated, I have been known to avoid it. I am not a fan of confrontation or causing myself to face adversity.

I’m currently faced with a number of conundrums in life.  My career, relationships and just life problems.  I am looking down a number of paths and each one has countless possibilities.  Which one will hurt the least amount of people? Which paths effect the least amount of people?

I would like to think of life as simple, but this thing called emotions is shattering me physically, mentally and emotionally.  I keep taking the road of helping others, but right now I need that shoulder to cry on.  Messy crying.  Lots of wine.

Learning to be alone. It’s not easy. It’s a path that I knew I was going to go down eventually, still not ready for it.  It hurts. 

Since every road has a different path, and I guarantee none of them are straight, I am finding out that I have some books to read, creativity to use and hobbies I need to start. 

Which road?  Where will I end up? 

Only getting out of my head and letting time pass will tell. 

Sigh

Tonight I sit at home in pajama pants with the sky darkening and threatening to rain.  The dog is snoring next to me, the cats are scattered and sleeping.  We are all pleasantly exhausted.

Tomorrow brings about Sam coming home for a few days so she can get her college orientation done and a doctors appointment. This week at work is crazy busy, but will be fulfilling as always. 

I still find myself saying “sigh” tonight, even after reading, making a huge bowl of pasta salad, watching Orange is the New Black and straightening up around the apartment.  I feel unaccomplished and like I am not doing something I should be. 

I sigh because my heart is heavy.  I am lost without having my baby girl home every night. Cooking for one has been a challenge.  Pippa misses Sam and so do the cats.  I sigh because I realize how many things my daughter has done to help me around the house that now I am doing.  I sigh when I want to talk about my day and she isn’t here. 

I am grateful that she is heading to college and I am so happy that she has a bright future ahead of her. 

The sigh is because, while I know I have friends, I feel lonely.  Like there is something missing.  I’m ready for the next chapter in my life.  I’m ready to explore and cross a few things off my list.

As a single woman, who is pretty strong, I wonder – am I a superhero? Does being a superhero mean I can’t sigh?

Sigh, I just don’t know. 

What the Heck?

I have not been blogging much because quite frankly I don’t have time. My weeks look like this:

Monday – Drive from Columbus to Cleveland

Tuesday – Work in Cleveland

Wednesday – Work in Cleveland and plan to go home at the end of the day, but stay because…work. 

Thursday – Work in Cleveland and try to finish before 3:00 pm to make it home by dinner – not a guarantee. 

Friday – it’s a crap shoot if I make it home to my family (well, my daughter and pets) before 5:00 pm. 

Saturday – Clean and cook so that when I leave again there is food and the apartment doesn’t look like pigs live in it. 

Sunday – Laundry and pack – hopefully have a meal with my daughter and go to bed early. 

Part of me wishes for a normal life.  You know the fairytale that looks like this:

Get up (without a migraine and looking amazing)

Make everyone breakfast while smiling and being cheerful)

Send everyone on their way, take a leisurely shower, get ready and go to work (after making sure the house is immaculate and dinner is prepped)

Come home, do homework, make dinner and enjoy family time

Everyone goes to bed without a problem and I can enjoy wine, a bath, a good book or some television 

Go to bed with my loving partner and do it all again the next day

What. The. Heck. 

Who knows if this is really a thing.  If it is, shit, I want in on it. 

My life is instead riddled with anxiety, thoughts of not being good enough, add some level of hating how I look and make sure to include a healthy fear of being alone forever. 

Again, what the heck?

When I called my mom tonight and kindly explained (through tears) that I was not wanting to come home Sunday because it meant a lot of unnecessary driving, she made me feel like it is all my fault that I have a job that takes me out of town.

Yes mom, it is my fault. 

It’s my fault I live in Columbus

It’s my fault I travel too much. 
It’s my fault I go home to Columbus Saturday morning to come back to Cleveland Sunday for Easter, back to Columbus and then go back to work Monday morning in Cleveland. 

I must come home and drive 10+ hours over less than 72 hour period to appease my mom.

It’s no wonder I’m single and find it impossible to fall in love.  When the hell do I have time to date?

I miss my home.  I miss having a life.  I miss my daughter and I miss my pets. 

That right there is my life. I work hard and go without a lot to make them happy.  Because they make me happy.  I sacrifice and sometimes put myself and my needs last to make sure they are cared for.

Just for once I would love to not be left saying what the heck and shaking my head at the end of each day. 

What’s next?

I’m not sure, but I’m open for suggestions!

Trauma Can Happen Anywhere

trau·maˈtroumə,ˈtrômə/

noun

1. a deeply distressing or disturbing experience.

In case you didn’t know the definition of trauma, there it is. 

Maybe you should note the words distressing or disturbing.

Let’s talk about what those two words mean. 

dis·tress·ing

dəˈstresiNG/

adjective

causing anxiety, sorrow or pain; upsetting.

dis·turb·ing

dəˈstərbiNG/

adjective

causing anxiety; worrying.

Those two words alone spell out trauma with their definitions. Anxiety can be traumatic and worrying can be traumatic. 

What’s traumatic for one is not necessarily traumatic for another. Many also call trauma PTSD and relate this to veterans and what they experience in war.  The thing is, PTSD doesn’t only happen to veterans.  

For example a woman who has previously been beat on may be traumatized when watching a television show where a woman gets hit.  Because of this the woman may choose to only watch certain television shows and movies. 

Another example is someone who may have been in a car accident can be traumatized when in a car with someone else or even driving themselves. Due to past trauma never getting in a car again is a possibility. 

These are kinda extreme examples, but hopefully you get the point.

Think about bad things that have happened in your life; storms, car accidents, natural disasters.  

If you have lived in Cleveland the blackout about 12 years ago was traumatic for some (by some I mean me on the 50th floor of Key Tower). 

For some September 11, 2001 is traumatizing and on its anniversary each year people want to hide in fear. 

Can trauma be overcome? Sure, over time and with the right support services. Counseling is one option, cognitive behavioral therapy is another and many prefer group therapy or peer support to get past things that happen in their life that they can’t shake. 

I focus on trauma today because there have been many traumatic things that have occurred in my life.  The odd thing is, the trauma doesn’t always surface immediately.  It can take years, as was the case this week. 

What can you do for someone suffering from trauma?

Listen – sometimes they just want to talk it out. 

Respect – it’s their trauma, not yours.  Don’t make fun of it and don’t put them down for their feelings. 

Ask – ask them what you can do to help, maybe it is just helping them relax. 

Validate – validate their reactions and their feelings. 

The closer someone was to a traumatic event the harder it may be to overcome the traumatic event. Know that you aren’t the problem, but you can help and be a part of the solution. 

Just like there’s always time for pain, there’s always time for healing.