Been A While…

*Waving*

Hey there y’all ~ it’s been a hot minute since I blogged. I’m still here. More or less.

Not sure why I always get away from it, but I do, then I manage to rip off a blog post every week for a while, then screech to a halt.

Anyway…

It dawned on me last week I have been going, going and going and I haven’t had the chance to actually do things I like. Things like reading, writing, yoga, cooking and being with friends/family.

Luckily I have had a partner who has kept me out of trouble by exploring parks, trying new restaurants and making sure I take care of myself.

Lately my health has been declining and there are more bad days than good. I’ve been tested for a slew of auto-immune diagnoses and lately my energy level has slumped. It’s been a journey and one I continue to travel.

Some days it’s easier to just stay home in pajama pants than shave, put on makeup and leave. I’ve been told to fake it till I make it and most days I do, but sometimes, not so much.

There are days I get lucky and can move around and on those days I get out and move. When I do, I capture the moment, mostly for fear I will forget how beautiful the sights are around us.

It is amazing what natural beauty is around us and how we can go from not seeing it to admiring it.

Now it has been my mission to look for new parks, places I haven’t been and to enjoy nature.

Over the last few months I have also taken time to meal prep and eat healthier. It hasn’t been easy and I shared a Facebook post talking about my weight reaching a new high. I was embarrassed and disappointed in myself.

I have always struggled (with most life things) and most days I can overcome the struggle, no matter what it is. Lately, the struggle has overcome me, consuming my every thought and emotion. This renders me speechless and frozen on some occasions. My anxiety run high and then depression sinks in when the anxiety stops.

The good thing is that I recognize what’s going on.

Change is continual and while I try to change there are days I revert back to old habits and old behaviors.

I’ve been feeling vulnerable lately and open to attack or harm when talking about my life and choices. What I choose to do, who I choose to see and choices I make, I own them. Lately I have felt less than perfect, ashamed of who I am and I hate myself most days. Then there are days I look in the mirror and see progress, those are the days I hold on to. Those are the days I crave.

So, when you don’t see me blog, you don’t see social media posts and you don’t hear from me, it’s okay. I’m out exploring and doing my best to remain healthy and sane.

Until next time…

In A World Where You Can Be Anything, Be…

**This is not the original post, because awesome WordPress crashed when I was saving and making changes to the first version, so you get version 2.0**

Now, for those that actually follow along on my blog and my life (all five of you) you will see I haven’t blogged since July. Mainly because I just felt left out. See, there’s a word that fits today’s post, “left out” (well it’s actually a phrase, but whatever) in this big world of blogging I felt left out. I was hoping when I moved here years ago I would become part of the blog and social media scene in Columbus, but it never happened.

When I blogged in Cleveland I was surrounded by bloggers and social media friends I was so excited to be with (some of which still blog today) like Why CLE?, Smitten in Cleveland or Always Alicia and it was a community that I was a part of and I felt included. Moving to Columbus I just never felt part of the community and so my blogging became few and far between.

This last week or so I got the itch to write again, but couldn’t put my finger on a topic I was really passionate about or that struck my fancy.

Then it hit me at 6:00 am and I started writing.

Lately in life I find myself wondering. Wondering about the world we live in.

We all know the quote, “In a world where you can be anything, be kind” and it’s typically followed by a cute picture.

Thanks to the holiday season crashing down upon us, you see the quote more and more with this image, featuring the beloved Grinch.

I laughed out loud the first time I saw this.

Mainly because I truly can relate to the Grinch. Not loving the holidays (I know, I know) and being stuck in my own head plus, I do love my dog. Yet, if you have ever seen the movie, the Grinch has a heart, oh me too, and when the Grinch finally gives in he loves and he cares and the world becomes right. /the end

When seeing the quote floating around Facebook this week I began to think. In a world where you can be anything you can be kind, caring, loving, compassionate, peaceful, honest and so many positive things. Yet, we can also choose to be indignant, distrustful, self-centered, alone, angry or any slew of negativity.

It’s a choice.

In this life I am a mom, daughter, sister, aunt and friend. I have not always succeed at these, but I have tried. At one point in my life I would have told you in a world where I can be anything I would choose to be distant, bitter and indignant. Those are not really positive, but it’s true. I never thought in this world I would be in love with my career (yes, it’s not a job for me anymore), be happy with life (well most of it) or just be here. I hated my life. So many times I said f**k it and wanted nothing to do with it. My life was a disaster and I wanted to burn it all down.

Then things changed. Small things, but things changed. I got a little bit of myself back, some motivation, help from others (which was hard to ask for) and slowly, like cold molasses, things changed.

I’ve talked in my blog about my history, the battles I’ve overcome and many daily challenges. The key is to not let them define me, but mold me. It’s not been easy, but in a world where I can be anything, I’m shooting for resilient.

The main quote “In a world where you can be anything, be kind” is one that each day I try to accomplish a little more. People at work kid that I need to be kinder and gentler, I can come off as abrasive and condescending, so I’ve been working on it. Progress not perfection folks. Being kind is my thing, in my own way. Taking care of others, helping when I can, being there when someone is in need, those are all my ways of showing kindness. Funny thing is when kindness is shown to me, I freeze. I reject it. I run as far away as possible. How dare you be kind to me. Nope. Not having it.

As each day passes, accepting others kindness, striving for my own ability to be kinder and watching the kindness of others makes for a much healthier life.

This week I encourage everyone to find a word, or phrase, to finish the sentence “In a world where you can be anything, be…” and share it.

Put it on my Facebook page or tweet it to me on Twitter.

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” ~ Aesop

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.