Graduation and college is just around the corner…

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I am a mom.  It’s my job to worry.  Lately I am consumed with the fact that my oldest son will be graduating in 2 months.  With graduation comes college and with college comes adulthood.

I worry about him being on his own.  I think about how we raised him and worry if we did a good enough job that he can survive on his own in the real world.  I worry if he will make the right decisions such as will he go to his classes, will he be responsible and so on.  Even simple things like, will we get all the right supplies that he needs before he leaves.  You know, mommy worries.

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When I start thinking about all of my worries, I stop and remind myself that I have prepared him with the best knowledge and know-how that I have.   It feels like this part of our kid’s life is a test to see if we parented them well.  Like we are being tested and judged for our child-rearing skills.

I know that it is time for him to learn from the decisions that he makes. No matter how much I want to run in and save the day – it has to be his lesson.   Once our children leave the house, they make their own decisions and with those decisions come consequences.  Consequences are both good and bad.  I want him to have adventures.  I want him to have failures.  I want him to have successes.  I want him live life.  It’s apart of becoming an adult.

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It takes a lot of energy to worry – energy that I can put to good use somewhere else in my life. As much as I want to worry about all of this, I can’t.  And I know that no matter what, I will worry about my kids.  It’s human nature to feel this emotion.  But when worrying is becoming obsessive and robbing my energy, my happiness, and my time – then I know it’s time to get it in check and under control.  I don’t want worrying to control my life.  I don’t want to always feel fearful about him out in the real world.  I can choose to worry less and have faith.  And having faith means having confidence that I have done the best I can and prepared him the best that I know how.

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As much as it freaks me out that he is about to adventure out into this vast wilderness called life, I cannot let it over shadow my current time with him.  I need to enjoy these moments.  I only have so much precious time left with my son living with us before he leaves for college.  I want to enjoy this time and not use my time worrying.  Worrying won’t stop the bad stuff from happening.  It just stops you from enjoying the good.

Judgement Free Zone

3:15:14

My oldest son just mailed off his ‘Doodle 4 Google’ drawing.  The theme for this year is: ‘If I Could Invent One Thing to Make the World a Better Place…’  here’s the website:

http://www.google.com/doodle4google/

His idea for submission is a ‘Judgement Free Zone’.  Judgement free.  That took me back a bit.  I would assume that he would come up with a better eco-friendly car, or other teenage boy stuff….but to be as deep as a judgement free zone…WOW!

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In his drawing it shows a guy walking away from being called names, derogatory comments and insults while carrying his rainbow flag.  As the guy was walking away, it shows him with a sad face, then a blank face, and then a happy face when he sees a girl holding a heart under a green awning with the words:  NO JUDGEMENT ZONE.  I asked him ‘so, this is a gay kid?’.  He said, ‘well it can actually be anyone, but since there is so much attention on gay people right now, I used that.’  I was impressed. The thing that he thinks is needed more than anything to make the world a better place, is a world that is judgement free.  Not just for gay people, but for everyone because judgement holds no discrimination on whom it is for.  And you know what? He is right.

our job is to love others wheather or not they are worthy

How many times do you judge people?  It could be towards anyone. Maybe someone walking down the street or maybe our Facebook friends or even our family members.

I’ll be the first to admit that I am guilty of this.  I have been trying to focus on not being judgmental during the past year…even before my son drew this picture. Maybe that is what surprised me the most about it, because it’s something close to my heart.

I found that I am not as judgmental against others as I use to be. I have been catching myself when I am doing it.  That’s the first step.  As I have been catching myself more, I have found that I am doing is less and less. I am nowhere close to being where I want to be with it.  I work on this because I want to be the best me that I can be.  I pray many times for God to help me not to be judgmental or days that I am struggling with it.  I trust in His help.

To quote Mother Teresa, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”  That’s what I want for my life.  Do you?

“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.”  Matthew 7:1-2

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Someday…

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There are many times that I question what does God have in store for me. Why am I on this path that He has laid out for me? I am waiting for that ‘Aha’ moment. The moment I can say – so that is what He wanted me to do. Someday it will all make sense.

This picture was taken at sunset while picking up the kids from their normal daily activities. The colors were so beautiful that I felt compelled to take a picture of it. These clouds that caused this beautiful sunset stretched from Hurricane Sandy…all the way to northern Indiana. Even in the midst of a horrible event on the east coast, there was also beauty from it.

Here’s a verse that I like and needed for myself today:

‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’ – Philippians 4:6-7

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Choosing to be happy is not selfish…it’s soul food.

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So many times I look in the mirror and say, what is wrong with you? Why are you like this? Why can’t you just wake up and be happy? Why are you broken?

Everyday is a battle. Who will win? Happiness? Sadness? Depression? Anxiety? Sometimes all it takes is one person making an off the cuff remark or maybe an old memory that creeps back up, and that can set the tone to my day. Even if I fight against it, sometimes the bad day wins.

What I am deciding is to not let a bad day today determine my tomorrow. I know that I am a little broken and only I can put the pieces back together. So tomorrow I will pick myself up, dust myself off and start the day fresh. I choose to feel happy. I deserve it.

Choosing to be happy is not selfish…it’s soul food. We have to replenish our souls when they become depleted or defeated. This is the remedy for the sadness.

When is the last time you fed your soul with the pure joy of happiness? Maybe it’s time to start. I am.

Life is far to short…

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How much wasted energy do we spend on this list?  Feeling mad, sad, holding regret, looking back, anxiety, depression, being unkind, and/or holding hatred?

All of these feelings drain so much energy.  By holding on to these, it creates the negativity inside of you.  This negativity becomes the cancer that invades your happiness.

In order to begin your happiness journey you have to learn to let these go.  It’s not an easy feat.  Start one at a time.  Some days when you think you have gotten rid of that feeling, it can creep it’s ugly head back.  You will have to squash it and work on getting rid of it again.  It will be a life battle, but as you learn to control it, it becomes easier and easier to manage.

For me, I struggle with forgiveness.  Some days I’m ok, then other days I get mad again and have to remember to forgive.  Forgiveness is one of my energy suckers.  I have many, but this one creeps back up on me again and again.  It comes from the anger I hold towards my biological father.  For him being absent in my sister’s life and my life.  For not helping support us when we were kids.  For the way that everything else was more important than us.  For the way he treated us as kids.  When I feel that anger creeping up again, I have to remember to forgive.  And the act of forgiveness is for me.   It helps clear places in my heart so I can fill it with love.

1 Kings 8:50 states ‘And forgive your people, who have sinned against you; forgive all the offenses they have committed against you…’.  Daily work.

God does not want us to hold on to any of these energy suckers.  He wants us live life to the fullest and fill our selves with His love.  Once you get rid of one of the energy suckers, replace that with God’s love.  Just ask Him to fill your heart where you made an opening.  Make it apart of your daily prayer and ask Him to stay filled in those holes.

If you want to be happy and feel happy, do not let this list of energy suckers control your life. YOU are the only one that can change it.  You owe that to yourself.

Life IS far too short to live in negativity.  Everyday IS a new day.  So start today.  🙂

 

Follow me and ‘LIKE’ me on Facebook. Copy and paste the link below:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Happiness-Found-Within/509503242497375

 

Five Simple Rules For Happiness


2/17/14

When I saw this picture, it spoke to me.

Free you heart from hatred. Freeing your heart from hatred is so up lifting.  It’s easy to hold onto hatred, but what we don’t realize is that hatred takes so much energy.  Why waste that energy when it could be spent on something else?  Think about how much time it takes when you think about your hatred.  How does it make you feel when you think about it?  Angry?  Confused?  Think of the things you hate and learn to forgive them, love them and move on.  You will feel a huge weight off your shoulders.

Forgiving is not just a one time thing.  Forgiving is a daily thing.  Those feelings of hatred creep back up.  It’s going to happen, so be prepared and know that you will have to free your heart from hatred again and again.  But you will learn how to do it better and feel the relief afterwards.  Once you remove hatred, then happiness can fill that void.  Happiness, it’s what your heart wants.

Freeing your mind of worries. This is a hard one for me.  I’m a mom.  Moms are supposed to worry about their kids, and house, and finances, and husband, and work and so on.  I have been learning how to let these worries go and give them to God.  He is really the only One that can handle that.  Plus, he already knows how it is going to work out.  So freeing your worries requires faith.  I have to remain having faith in God that he is in control and he will make sure that my family is protected.  Having faith also requires believing in God’s plan, regardless of where it may take you.

Live simply.  Think of all the things you want.  Of course there are things that we all want….but do we really need them? Do you really need a 4000 sq. ft. house with 3 living rooms and 5 bedrooms when you have just 2 kids?  Living simply means prioritizing your life.  It might also require downsizing.  Some people have mortgages they can barely afford but they keep that house because they want too look like they have this wonderful rich life, when they are actually in financial ruin.  I only say this because I have lived it myself.  During my 11+ years marriage my husband and I decided to be simpler.  Live within our means.  WITHIN.  That’s a hard word for most.

We moved 2200 miles away from our home state and had to downsize to a 3-bedroom house.  We have 3 kids.  My 10-year-old son and 17-year-old son are sharing a bedroom.   We had to get rid of a lot of things in order to move.  And once we got here, I feel ok about it.  We didn’t need that stuff.  Once our 2 oldest kids head off to college, we have already decided to downsize again to a 2 bedroom.  We want to live simply.  Now I’m not saying get rid of everything and move into a tent.  But simply look around and think, do I really need this stuff.  Or the next time you go to purchase a house, furniture, appliances, etc…ask yourself do I really need it?  Simplify.

Give more.  How many times have you given more?  I’m not just talking about to family or in relationships, in which you should, I’m talking about to strangers.  Have you had a person in front of you in a drive thru buy your order?  Have you done that for others?  How does it feel when you donate your time or food items at thanksgiving to help those that are needy?  I am a generous person.  I always go above and beyond.  I do this because it makes me feel good.  Not to toot my own horn, but I have bought meals for others.  I hate seeing elderly people eating alone at a restaurant.  Whenever we get our check, I ask for theirs also.   It just breaks my heart.

I do these things in front of my kids also.  I want them to see what it looks and feels like to give to others.  I want to be that example for them.  I surprise my husband with this also.  One time my husband and I were at pizza hut and an older lady came in by herself.  My heart was breaking.  I asked the waiter for her check and to also get her a $20 gift card.  Something in my heart said to do it.  When we got to the car my husband looked at me astonished.  I asked him why and he said that you are so generous, I would have never thought of doing that.  Like I said, it makes me feel good.  You just don’t know when that might have made someone’s day.  My proud momma moment came just a few weeks ago when my oldest son came home from work.  He works at a very popular fast food restaurant.  A lady came in and didn’t have enough to cover her meal for her and her kids, and he pulled out his bankcard and paid for the whole meal.  I felt pride.  Maybe my kids DO actually see what I do.

Expect less.  I am a simple person.  It drives my husband nuts.  When it comes to Christmas time, I never really want anything.  I know he wants to get me something, but I really don’t need anything.  I’d rather the money be spent on getting stuff for the kids.   Again, that goes back to being simple.  I like to be simple.  It runs in my family.

By doing these five things it begins to help your heart accept happiness.  True happiness comes from within.  And if these are things you struggle with try working them out and watch how happiness fills those voids.  It is something that I am working on myself.

Tell me your thoughts about this. Tell me of your generous times or times of hate and how you have over come them.  I would love to hear from you.

Guilt. Just pure guilt.

Guilt.  What an ugly word.

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Since we have moved to Seattle I have had this horrible feeling of guilt.  Why would someone that moved to an awesome place feel guilty about it.  Well, as a mom I have been hit hard.

I feel as though I have pulled the kids from their lives in Fort Wayne.  The amount of guilt I feel for my two teenagers could fill an ocean.  My oldest is a senior this year.  I moved my kid when he was a senior…  What horrible mother pulls their kid away from all of their friends and plans they had with their friends and plans?

My daughter is a junior.  What mother pulls their kid who was in an activity that she LOVED LOVED LOVED?  She loved color guard…and moving out here we thought, ‘oh their should be marching bands and guards here at the high schools, it’s a common thing’.  Guess what?  It’s not.  She has lost part of her identity with this move.

My youngest son, which we thought would be the easiest since he was young he would make friends easy….but he has had it pretty hard too.  He doesn’t fit in and is picked on because he has an ‘accent’ and a speech issue.  What a horrible mother I am.  I took him from the only school he knew and all of his friends.  Now we are dealing an IEP for his areas that need more attention to help in the areas of reading comprehension and writing which are below grade level and also some social skills and a few behavior modifications.  I am sure that at his old school, the kids accepted him for who he was because he grew up with him for 5 years.  Now as the new kid he is the weirdo and tries to be the class clown to get attention and hopes it helps him make friends, which it has not.

Pure guilt.

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I feel so much guilt for ruining their lives.  Just writing this it makes me teary because why couldn’t God wait 2 years for this move.  Then the high-schoolers would be able to graduate with their friends.

I thought about leaving my oldest behind so he could be with this friends.  How hard would it be to parent your kid 2200 miles away.  Especially the one child that can be ornery.  I know he is depressed.  He misses his buddies in Indiana.  And his girlfriend is in LA.  That’s one thing that he has at least…. they are on the same coast.

But still I caused this.

My daughter is missing out on all the band and guard stuff and her friends keep her in the loop, which adds to her depression.  I know she is depressed.  She barely comes out of her room and watches shows on her tablet all day long.

I caused that.

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I know I say ‘I’ did this.  I take this personally.  I know that my husband and I made this decision together, I know he feels the same guilt that I do.  But as a mom, I take it personally.  It’s that momma bear instinct.  I need to protect them and not cause them pain.  But I did.  I let my kids down.

I. Let. Them. Down.

I just hope that one day they forgive me and see the big picture of all of this.  I know that God sent us here .  He always has a reason.  My wish is that they can see this.

I just don’t know if I will ever shake this feeling of guilt.  This has played a HUGE role into my depression.  This has brought many many tears.  I have cried countless times over my guilt.  It eats at me.  So as I am on this ride to overcome my depression, I also have to overcome this guilt.

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Moving across country is a huge change.  Duh.  But as my counselor put it, it also causes you to go into mourning.  Over the loss of our friends, house, family, kid’s lives and so on.  Once I can work on this part then I can start moving pass it.

I know that I have to give these feelings to God and let him tackle them for me.  He is the one that can help me remove these feelings.  He can fill the hole that needs love and understanding.  Understanding that I am not in control, and that I have to let go and let God, as they say.  It is easier said than done.  I am human, trying to grow in my faith and I battle between the two daily.

Again, the fight between myself and my depression.  When will it stop?

What is it that make you feel guilty as a mom/dad?

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What do you do when your kid is diagnosed with special needs??

Today was not a good day.  Or maybe is was.  I guess it’s the way you look at it.  You know half glass empty/half glass full kind thing.

Our youngest child  has been struggling the past 2 years at school.  He has been causing disruptions, being goofy, not focusing and being an all round silly kid.  He has always gone to the same school from kindergarten to 4th grade.  His peers have known jim for 5 years and have accepted him for who he is., which is that lovable, funny kid.  While there, he was also in speech therapy which he started in 1st grade to help him with his speech issues.

Starting in  3rd and 4th grade, the teachers started saying that he was causing disruptions in the classroom and it might need to be addressed.  Our oldest son was diagnosed with ADD in the 5th grade.  We were seeing similar traits in our youngest son and decided that maybe that it was time to seek help from outside sources to get this nipped in the bud.  The summer after 3rd grade we decided to take him to a child psychiatrist. After some testing it was determined that our youngest son suffers from ADD and GAD which is general anxiety disorder.  He is a very anxious child and we had no idea that this also was affecting his school behaviors.  Before we left Indiana he was changed from ADD to ADHD.

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We started our youngest son on anxiety medication first to get it under control.  The plan was to next start an ADD medication.  We started with a non-stimulant Kapvay.  It worked well, except he could not stay awake.  It made him so sleepy, so then we were on to the next medicine.  With each medication there was a side effect that was too much for him to handle.  I NEVER wanted my child to be a guinea pig.  He didn’t deserve this.

Since we have been in Seattle, he has been trying new meds.  Some made him have palpitations, some gave him upset stomach-aches, some suppressed his eating and so on.  We just want him to be successful.  If the medicine helps control the behaviors and helps him focus better, then we need to do it.  Once our oldest son started taking meds, his grades shot up and he had such success.  We hoped the same for our youngest.

My husband and I always thought that the little man would have the easiest transition with the move.  “He would make friends quick and fit in great”.  Boy, were we wrong.  He has had the hardest transition with this move.  As I said before, he grew up with his old classmates for 5 years.  They knew him and accepted him.  Now he is the outcast and the weird kid.  He instantly started to get bullied.  His classmates were making fun of his speech and his accent (imagine that, we are all told that we have an accent here in Seattle, I guess it’s a Hoosier twang).  His new teacher has been a great resource.  She emails me often and lets us know if situations arise that we need to address and so on.

One of her concerns from early on in the school year is his reading and writing comprehension.  I asked if we could set up a formal evaluation to have him tested.  Mainly for the reading/writing, but also the speech and behaviors. At his old school in Indiana they did not do and IEP for his speech, so the new school would not do speech with him in Washington UNTIL there was an IEP in place.  Something about it being against the law….blah blah blah.  He has missed out on speech since school started.

We had a conference in October with the whole assessment team, the school psychologist, special needs teacher, speech teacher, his teacher and 2 others.  Since he was new to school and there was a list of kids that needed assessments also.

We JUST had a follow up team meeting today to go over all the results.

My youngest son has special needs.  He needs assistance with reading comprehension and writing.  He also will have assistance with speech and behavioral/social issues in the classroom.  The first thing you think is that my child has special needs.  He now has a label.  He is a labeled kid.  It starts the grieving process for losing that part that we thought he was a normal child and will grow up normally through the school years. Now we have a child with special needs.

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The teacher also said that he is below average in most areas except for math in which he excels.  In Indiana he was an A/B student.  Maybe Washington has different criteria.  I don’t know.  I just know it’s frustrating.  He also has secluded himself and refuses to work in groups with other kids.  He always asks to go to a common room to work on his schoolwork.  He also makes excuses to go to the office.  He wants to call me.  We have stopped that.  But it’s always, my hip hurts, I don’t feel good, my belly hurts, my jaw hurts, I’m angry and need to lay down.  He is easy to get frustrated and start crying, which is embarrassing for him in front of his peers. All uncommon things for this kid.  It’s just bizarre that these behaviors are happening.

As a mom, I beat myself up that we did not catch this up earlier.  But then I think, we had no idea it was to this extent.  If we would’ve known, we would have started this train rolling earlier.  I wanted his speech nipped in the bud before he was in middle school.  I don’t want him picked on once he enters middle school.  Guess that won’t be happening now.

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As soon as we got home, my husband said, ‘Stop it”.  I said, ‘What?’  He said that he knew I was beating myself up for all of this.  And I normally would.  But I knew that this is not my fault.  I always put my kids first.  I always make sure they have what they need to be successful.  So I have to watch myself and not get into that ‘negative chatter’ in my head that it’s my fault.  I won’t let the devil make me doubt myself about this.  I know this is God’s plan for us to follow this path.  I don’t know the reason, but I hope one day it becomes clear.  That’s what God does…things without answers.  I just have to have faith in His timing and His plan.

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So now we will be getting his IEP next week.  This will help us help him.  I want to set him up so he is successful in life and able to learn to cope with his diagnoses.

Once this meeting happened today, I took the results to his psychiatrist and she is referring him to be further tested for possible Asperger’s based off of the behaviors that have been seen.  This is only to rule this out as an option.  Again, my husband and I want to help him be successful and get the right therapies and plans in place to help him be successful.

It has been an exhausting day.  I am mentally tapped out.  God will help us and provide us the path to take.  He always follows thru.

Just say a prayer for my family.  It would be appreciated.

What do you post on Facebook?

I am a Facebook junkie.  I’ll admit it.  Back when I first started with this craze, I played all the games and friended everyone that I knew from my past, old schoolmates, friends, co-workers and so on.

I would post pictures of my family and my husband and I.  I would also post pictures of things I thought were cool or places that we have been.

The one thing I swore I would not do, was make it an outlet for anger, or post something putting someone down to intentionally harm them.

I always try to keep it uplifting or funny.  I do like humor.  Actually, I think I’m hilarious.  So does my husband.  If I could change professions, I would become a comedian.  But that is off topic…. Back to Facebook.

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My sister in law found this great article about ‘5 Questions To Ask Before Posting To Social Media’.  This really made me think.  I am guilty of these reasons.  I think we can all admit that we do.   A couple of them struck a chord with me personally.

Am I seeking approval?  Well, here I am writing a blog, and I’m sure people will respond to it once I post it on Facebook.  I’ll admit I love getting the red flag.  I love getting the attention.  I never thought that it might mean I desire community or have a lack of community.

Being a recent transplant to Seattle, I really don’t have any real friends or girl friends, well I think that I have one that is growing into a nice friendship that my husband and I have hung out with her and her boyfriend….but other than her, I have no one.  All of my friends are back home.  But when I was home, I thought I had no friends there….you know, like a girlfriend that you can count on for everything, someone that has your back no matter what.  I had a couple of friendships, but I was stabbed in the back.  Because of that, I closed myself off to making friends.  It was self-preservation from being hurt.  So I thought I was alone.  Once I moved out here, I realized that I had several friends thru our church and some great co-workers and I miss all of them.

be4857d72a9c02acfda1a843c669435fReally the only approval we should be seeking is in God.  God is the only one that can fill that void in our lives.

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The others that do this are those who post a passive aggressive post that leaves you puzzled because you don’t know what they are talking about.  Some post their dirty laundry online.  Sometimes this dirty laundry is about other members in their household.  Sometimes about their spouse or significant other.  Really?  If that is not a cry for attention, then I don’t know what is.  It is extremely inappropriate.  This is a person you are committed to love and protect and then you post your dirty laundry out there because you are mad?  Not cool.

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Am I boasting? Well…..who hasn’t a bragging moment about our kids.  I get proud of them, which parent doesn’t?  What about a promotion that you have been working hard to get, or a new job?  So in a way it’s boasting, but it is also sharing in the glory of showing how proud we are.

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The other side of it is showing off.  Look at my vacation.  Look at my body because I’ve been working out. Look at my dinner I’m about to eat (please quit posting pictures of your food).  Look at my plans for the weekend.  Look at my new car, clothes, house, furniture, etc… the list can go on and on.  Sometimes I am guilty of this.  We want to show off what we have or what we are doing to show off.  This is the truth.  The article called it ‘the adult show-and-tell’.  How true.  Again, who are you seeking approval from?  Is it God?  Or social media?

Is it kind?  I will admit that I find most of the someecards HiLaRiOuS!

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Most of these are hilarious and make us laugh….but for the wrong reasons.  They are mocking meme’s.  Most are not kind.  They are meant to make fun of others.  People post them because they can relate to then because it’s about something in their life or because it reminds us of someone in our life.  If it were posted about you, wouldn’t you be hurt?  Since we have the freedom of speech, we feel that behind a computer screen we are invincible.  We can comment on anything and criticize whatever anyone wants to post about.  How is that ok?

Is that what Jesus taught us?  John 13:34 says, ‘So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.’  We need to remember that that the next time our fingers feel the need to type harsh words.  Words hurt.  And they cannot be erased.

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Here is the link to the article that my sister in law posted today:

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/culture/tech/5-questions-ask-posting-social-media

It’s a good read.

So, onto my 3rd resolution…

This goes under the topics that are hard for me to admit. No one wants to admit to a flaw. So here it goes.

As in my previous post I said there was a third resolution.

Depression:

I want to conquer my depression.  Actually, I want the depression not to define me anymore.

This is not something I have wanted to talk about.  But here it is.  I have a diagnosis of Major Depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Labels. I have labels. I hate these labels. There are good days and there are bad days.  There are days that have been so dark for me that I felt that I would be better off dead.

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It started in middle school.  I was bullied bullied bullied beyond belief.  I would come home crying everyday asking my mom if I could go to a different school.  I was beat up on, books knocked out of my hands, hair pulled, threatened to be beat up, slammed against lockers by my throat.  There were days I wanted to kill myself so I didn’t have to deal with it anymore.  This is when depression entered my life.

My freshman year my mom moved me to a different high school than the one I was going to go to….. and it was a night and day difference.  It was a good change and I loved going there, but still I had my teenage up and downs.  Who didn’t.

Then depression came back and consumed my life in my early 20s.  It began when I was in an abusive relationship with my ex-husband.  There are all types of abuse: verbal, emotional, physical, bullying, and so on.  I experienced all of these.  Some days he would scream at me and tell me how worthless I am and that I am a piss poor mom with no real job that I am just a glorified babysitter and that I will never do anything with my life.  At the time I was working for KinderCare Learning Centers as a Center Director.  My kids were with me 24/7.  They attended the center with me. All of this abuse was happening and everyday, and when I would leave the house for work, I had my smiling face on and robotically went along my day.  No one would have known.  I was good at covering up the ugliness at home.  Physical and emotional.

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When you hear something over and over and over….you start to believe it.  I felt worthless, not worthy of love, ugly, bad mother, lazy….I was nothing.  After a year or so, I remember lying in bed staring at a wall and he was screaming at me again telling me that I was worthless piece of shit and I just stared at the wall.  Once he left I felt it in my heart that I needed help.  This is when I went to counseling.  It helped me gain my voice back and ‘fight’ back in a non-threatening manner so it would not enrage him.

I know you are probably reading this and saying…. Jill??  Really??  Had no voice??  Didn’t stand up for herself??  Let’s just say that because of this, it has made me who I am today.  Stronger.

For as long as I can remember, depression has consumed me.  I have flashbacks of my past and setbacks with my present life.  The flashbacks and setbacks have turned into anxiety.  I use to have full-blown panic attacks where I felt like I was going to die.  I have learned to over come the panic attacks and know how to stop them before it becomes full blown.  I still get panicky and I am thankful that I have a medication that helps with that when I need it.

Because of the previous abuse, another thing I suffer from is the negative chatter in my head.  It tells me that I am worthless and nothing and a bad mom and wife.  These were the things that I was told over and over.  Flashbacks from my previous marriage.

I now believe that this is because of a spiritual attack against me.  The devil is smart and knows how to prey on you when you are at your weakest.  He catches me when I doubt myself or when I make a mistake.   I pray many times ‘God to come into my heart and protect me from my thoughts and the attack on my soul.  Lift me up and calm me.  Be in my heart Lord and protect it.’

Some days the depression is so bad that I do not want to leave my house.

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My husband and I have had a great marriage.  We have been married for 11 years.  We have had our up and downs.  Who hasn’t?  But when I feel like I have failed him or the kids the negative chatter begins again.  Or when he fails me, I begin to doubt myself and the negative chatter starts again.  The negative chatter magnifies the depression.

Even at work….if I feel like I let a co-worker down or if they talk behind my back, the negative chatter starts.

My husband is a good support for me for all of this.  He holds me when I’m upset and crying.  He gives me words of wisdom.  He always tells me how beautiful, and smart, and wonderful, and what a good mother I am.  He always tries to build me up.  Some days he is successful, some days he is not.

I have shared a lot regarding my secret.  My goal is not to let depression consume me or my happiness.  I have lost much time feeling alone in this battle.  I am ready for change.  Change that starts with me telling my depression IT is NOT going to run my life anymore.

There is such a stigma when it comes to mental health.  Ironically, I work in a behavioral health hospital and talk with patients everyday with my symptoms and symptoms that are much much worse.  My question is, if you broke your leg wouldn’t you go to the hospital to get help and have it fixed?  Or if you had a cold, wouldn’t you go to the doctor to get help and get medicine to make it better?  So if you are having depression, or panic attacks, or suicidal thoughts…don’t you think you need to go to the doctor?  It doesn’t make you crazy.  You just need help.

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I know others suffer from depression.  I know others deal with the negative chatter and self doubts.  I am here if anyone would like to talk about it or what you are going thru.  I want to be a person to help support those that affected with depression.  We can help each other and be support for each other.

The name of the blog is called Happiness Found Within…. My Journey For Bliss.

This is the start of my healing process to help me obtain this goal….by admitting my secrets.

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