Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dad

I am really worried about my Dad. He had a neurology appointment today and it went like a rock thrown off a bridge. Dad has a lot of problems. There isn’t a magic pill or procedure to help him. Coordination between his cardiologist, neurologist and him is what will help. He needs to do his part.

I know he is depressed. If you mention depressed near him, he disagrees but all he talks about is wishing he would die, how much of a pain he is and how he will NEVER get better. In his shoes, I would probably feel the same way. I am really worried about him.

I advocate for him but when he has no will, it is hard. He is hoping for a miracle cure but it isn’t going to happen. Worry is getting the best of me in this case.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Hold On

I have some Fandango tickets that I have to use before June 6th and I used 1 of them yesterday to see Bridesmaids.  I really liked the movie. I laughed, cried and generally forgot about everything for a couple of hours. That is when I know I liked a movie.

Wilson Phillip’s song “Hold On” plays a prominent role in the movie. One of the lines in the song struck a cord with me. Actually, the whole song did. I must have heard that song hundreds of times in my life and yet I never paid attention to it. I have to say, I need to listen to it more often.

Maybe because I am struggling with a lot of internal and external things right now and I often think that things will never change. That if this is the next 40 years of my life, I want no part of it. I really need to change that think and pull myself up.

I recommend the movie. It gets my thumbs up.

I was thinking about driving down to the national cemetery in Bourne to see my grandfather’s and my grandmother’s and step-grandfather’s graves.  My grandfather was a captain in the Army during World War II and my step-grandfather was in the Army and fought in Italy. The traffic would be horrible and since my debit was poached yet again in the Michael’s data breach, I won’t have quick access to cash to get more gas. I will go another weekend.

I hope everyone had a safe Memorial Day weekend if you are in the states. Back to work tomorrow.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

5 Things: Random Confessions

Today, I have a few confessions to make:

1. I had a Hershey chocolate bar after visit Mom. The visit was disturbing. Mom was still having her lunch through her feeding tube. Dad was crying. I was just looking at her. It is getting harder and harder to visit without crying. The nursing home was selling candy bars for a dollar to raise money for the Alzheimer Association. I gave the receptionist a dollar and grabbed a bar. It was good.

2. I am afraid the rising price of coffee will cut back on my coffee consumption. No!!!!!!!!

3. I got mad at Dad today. He did something he was not supposed to do and it was dangerous for him and the general public. Ugh! When parents don’t listen! He promised me he would not do it again but I am not sure I trust him. When he starts a sentence with “You’re going to be mad at me…..”, it is not good.

4. On the eating confession note, I have been eating sporadically. Skipping breakfast all week. I have not been hungry. I need to put a big sign at work “COFFEE IS NOT BREAKFAST”. Maybe it will sink in.

5. Death Cab for Cutie has a new song “The Tourist” where one of the lines is “If you have a burning in your heart…” only I hear “If you have a furry in your heart…” I can’t get it out of my head. Now, you can have a furry in your heart.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Triggers and Stops

I am taking a deep breath. Yesterday was tough. Those support group meetings get to the core. They really do. It dredges up topics that I have discussed in therapy but not in relation to eating. It kind of meshes with my depression therapy and interweaves with it, in and out.

What came first, the depression or the eating disorder? If I had to guess, the depression. I held everything inside. The secret that I was being grabbed and harassed at school. The secret of how my Mom’s descent into mental illness affected me.  The fact I grew up too fast and too soon and was not prepared at all. It all conspired and dwelled inside of me.

I began to spend time alone, stealing cookies when no one was looking.  I retreated to my bedroom but not in a normal way. School, bedroom, sleep, school, bedroom, sleep, school was my schedule. Food was there when I felt no one else was.

Now 30 years later, I am still working with the same issues. I know now that some of my triggers are:

  • Being alone, feeling lonely
  • Being bored
  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Rejection
  • Depression

I am going to institute the LAMBS method of stopping myself.

L = Am I feeling lonely?

A= Am I angry?

M= Am I missing something?

B= Am I bored?

S= Am I sad?

If I am going to answer YES to any of the above, I need to stop.

Some things I can do when there is a YES:

  • Blog (Yep!)
  • Read
  • Knit  - I picked LAMBS since it related to knitting
  • Take a shower
  • Read blogs
  • Take a walk
  • Vent on Facebook (that tends to get me in trouble) or Twitter
  • Clean

I am sort of upset that I waited this long to deal with this but better late than never.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Support Wednesday: Unworthy

Damaged Goods.

Unlovable.

Worthless.

Yep, it’s how I feel. Tonight’s topic brought the tissues over to me. The first time I have cried at that meeting. The topic of relationships came up again or just being happy and wanting things like marriage and kids. I said that why would I even bother to think of that stuff? It will never happen for me and why get worked up when I am just not meant to be with anyone.

I just get hurt in the end. I might as well be fat and binge. Why be happy when it will end and I’ll be hurt or just brought down by something. I am afraid of being happy. How can someone be afraid of being happy?

My comfort zone is misery, disordered thinking, turning to food when no one else is there, whether it is in my mind or not. When I lost 100 lbs., I didn’t feel any better. Maybe naked. People were using me and I was falling for it. I didn’t like the attention. People would tell me, “If you just lose 15 more pounds, you’d be great.” I guess I wasn’t great then. People treated me better but for all the wrong reasons.

I want to be invisible. Not noticed. Just be my unlovable self. I can’t get past that. I am just messed up in the head.

Why I am writing this? I don’t know. It is all just coming out.

The leaders thanked me for being honest. Maybe I should have just kept quiet.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tennis Anyone?

That little voice in the back of mind said, “Don’t do it!” when that tennis clinic email first came across my face. The most contact I have had with tennis was hitting a ball off my parent’s chimney when I was a kid. In the small blue collar South Shore of Boston town of Holbrook, tennis was not on the radar. I loved hitting that ball and maybe tennis was trying to get through at that time.

I did not listen to the negative nelly inside of me and I signed up. I am so glad I did. It was about 90 degrees that day and humid but I loved every minute of it.

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The tennis was held in downtown Miami at the Brickell Tennis Club. It was put on by Wilson Tennis.

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I LOVED IT! They helped a total beginner like me and gave me 1 on 1 lessons. I was really nervous that I would suck but I did surprising well. I played with slower children’s balls but really, I needed that. If only I can get myself a racket and find people to play with in Boston.

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Sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone. I did it! The negative nelly in me would not be heard.

I must have drank about 2 bottles of water after playing for 45 minutes. I was not used to the heat at all.

Driving to and from the event, we got rides in a Chevy Tahoe hybrid and the new Chevy Volt. The Volt was pretty cool.

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I thought I had more pictures but sadly, none were of me playing tennis.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Miami: the Good, the Bad and the Boas

It has been a few days! I really need to get a laptop to blog from the road. I have missed writing. My mind was a roller coaster of up and down all weekend.

All in all, I really enjoyed Miami. It was hot. I had no complaints about the weather. The view from my hotel room was gorgeous. 

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The reason, and the kick off for my summer of travel, for being in Miami was to attend the SheCon blogging conference, which was being held at the Miami Beach Convention Center.  There were lots of goods things and some bad stuff about the conference.

The people I met were awesome. I know I have made some friendships that I will keep up just from this conference. The people made the conference worth while for me. I made it a point to be friendly and out going. It took a lot of energy though and by the end of the conference I was a bit drained.

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The pictures are from the Wine Sisterhood suite on Friday and Saturday night. It was a lot of fun. The boas took over!

I played tennis, which I will post all about tomorrow. It deserves a post of its own. Me playing tennis! I know but I loved it.

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Thanks to the Clever Girls Collective, there were cupcakes, every day!

There were some good speakers. I especially liked Mark Horvath of Invisible People. His speech was inspiring and I really admire his work. I hope to someday make a difference somewhere.

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The conference itself was a bit of a mess, especially the first day. I was disappointed that the turn out was not great. There was confusion over conference space and time and keeping to the schedule on registration day and the first day, were off. It took me a while to find registration and when I did, no one was there. That set things off on a rocky start.

The hotel was part of the problem. In the schedule, there was a pool side networking cocktail hour  but when you went to the pool, there was nothing of the sort. Some things were just off. Maybe it was the first year problems but it was not like I was expecting, though what that was, I don’t know.

For the most part, I tried to put the troubles at home aside for a few days and it mostly succeeded. By the end of the weekend, I was just tired. The energy it took to be out going and friendly had taken its toll. I can’t wait to read the blogs of the people I met.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Out from Under the Carpet

 

 

“You talked about too much on here.”

I hear that a lot.

“Aren’t you afraid people will find out?”

Is a question I am asked when I eventually explain what I blog about. 

No. I am not afraid.

I am Jennifer, 37 years old and I have had depression and anxiety for most of the last 30 years or so. It is true. I can’t hid it. I have a hard time controlling my thoughts of hopelessness and ruminating over past problems. I may laugh but often, inside, I am worried, sad, confused, angry, beaten down and just tired.

Try as I might, sometimes that cloud of depression is hard to dissipate.

Writing about it helps. I am “normal”. I am just another subway commuter you may see reading on the train or shopping in the supermarket. I am not a murderer or a criminal. I have a disease  that many people, who do not know me, won’t see.

I am not ashamed of it. I am not afraid to write about it. I write about the good, the bad and everything in between. Mental health is an integral part of any body. Problems need to be treated like any other disease and not swept under the carpet. There is nothing to be ashamed of. I am just an average 37 year old. I have an apartment, a cat, a job, a car and depression.

I’m Blogging for Mental Health 2011.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mentally Overwhelming

That is describes today perfectly.

It started in a panic. I woke up wicked late and was out the door in 15 minutes. I took my brother to get the first step to getting his license then we went to pick up Dad. Dad was Dad. We gathered up his stuff and headed home. It was good to see him out.

Today was the day that Mom got her feeding tube. Dad asked me to bring him to the nursing home and we went to see her after she got back from the hospital. It was so sad. Mom was drugged and lying down. Dad was sitting next to her and holding her hand.

Dad was crying. He kept saying “I’m sorry.” I started to cry and it made me more stuffy than I already was. They had moved her from her current room in the nursing home to the “next level” in the dementia care part of the nursing home. They don’t want anyone pulling her tube so they moved her up stairs. I went to make sure they took all of her stuff from her old room to the new room.

When we left the nursing home, Dad was talking about how Mom will never have ice cream or a good bowl of macaroni ever again. How it is permanent. How it was needed yet how it hurt it so much. We left feeling very somber.

I ended up hanging out with Dad for the remember of the afternoon. We were on a quest to find Velcro strips to fix the basket on his walker. Do you know how hard it is to find Velcro now?

Well, I went to 3 stores in search of these strips to attach the basket to his walker and had no luck. Tomorrow I will try a few places after work.

Tomorrow is the I’m Blogging on Mental Health Day. I have to think about what to write about. Hmmmm….

Monday, May 16, 2011

Forward Dreaming…

Mr. Mucus and his cousins are still visiting and Boston is still dreary but in 3 days, I will be in the warmth of Miami. I have a blanket wrapped around me because I just can’t stomach turning the heat back on. I really don’t want to pay National Grid any more money for gas. I’ll be paying for my heat into the summer.

Mom is getting the feeding tube tomorrow. Dad gets out tomorrow. The nursing home called and asked if I would take Mom to the hospital. I can’t be in two places at once. I have to check Dad out of the rehab center and get him situated at home. They are going to have to schedule a chair car and a nurses aide to take her. I’m not sure I want to be cloned at this time to do both of those tasks tomorrow, as well as take my brother to the Registry to get his learner’s permit.

Mood wise, I was in a fairly good mood given that I felt horrible and the weather was bad. I just keep looking forward to Thursday and it keeps me happy.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

5 Things: Happy Things

A spring cold has bowled me over so I am a day late and a dollar short again. The weather in Boston has been dreary and Mr. Mucus and his friends are paying me a visit. All I can envision is that Mucinex commercial with the living room in my lungs.

via Mucinex

The weather here is supposed to be rainy and cloudy all week, possibly for the next 2 weeks. My trip to Miami for SheCon can not come at a better time! This pale, freckled, red haired Boston gal can not wait for the 90 degree Florida humidity. My 5 things this week is what I am looking forward to, provided, Mr. Mucus is gone.

1. Dad is being sprung on Tuesday. One less depressing place to visit.  He was laughing with the nurses today, who had to give him a big hug goodbye because they would be off for the next two days. Now the fun beings with him at home but at least he is at home. That makes me happy.

2. The sun. Really, it is has been gray and mostly miserable for the last week or so in Boston. The weather report I saw this morning for Boston did not make me happy.

Compared to Miami, I have something to look forward to.

3. Meeting New People. I have really trying to get out of my shell. Last weekend, I had a good time and met a lot of new people at Bloggy Boot Camp now on to SheCon, where they really can make fun of my accent!

4. Tennis. I signed up for my first tennis lesson. Wilson Tennis is a sponsor of SheCon and are offering lessons. I used to hit a ball off of the chimney as a kid but that is my only tennis experience. I am going to give it a try.

5. Relaxation. I have physically and mentally exhausted and really, I just want a few days of relaxation.

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Turning Point

I wish the problem of Blogger being down was the cause of me being down today but no, I didn’t mind too much. My Wednesday post is back so all is good in that realm.

No, today was sucky because it was day we had been expecting for a long time. Finally it came. I got a call from the nursing home which turned out to be Mom’s social worker. She has not been eating. She chews her food and pockets it in her mouth but does not swallow. She also chokes when she drinks. She’s lost a lot of weight. It is time to put a feeding tube in. She’s probably dehydrated.

We have been expecting this day for a long time. That doesn’t mean we like it. She has forgotten how to eat. It is a new stage in the dementia. Mom : ( . She is suffering and I can’t stand that so the feeding tube is it. When she finally dies, I don’t think it will be any easier, the pain is drawn out for a long time.

Between her and Dad, I am happy they upped my medication recently. I can tell that my bottom is not as low as it could be and I think the medicine is the cause of that. It has just been a rough couple of weeks.

I was planning on stopping in to get some dinner after visiting Dad tonight but decided to look around Dress Barn before for a bit. I found this dark denim dress that I love. I actually think it looks pretty good on me. It is good to wear to work or out.

demin dress

Here is the green flowered dress that I liked but not as much as the dress about.

green flowered dress

The pictures are from my phone so when I expanded them, they were a bit fuzzy and looked better small. I am going to check out the Avenue tomorrow for some summer clothes and maybe look at Lane Bryant if there is time. According to some of my Facebook friends, it was 99 degrees in Florida today, since it has been a bit dreary this summer here in Boston, I need summer clothes.

Maybe retail therapy will help.

 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Support Wednesday: Uplifted

It’s Wednesday so that means it is Support Wednesday. Today was just a peach of a day. I am not going to lie. By the time the group rolled around tonight, I was exhausted physically and mentally. One of Dad’s doctors called about him driving then his speech therapist called then Dad called a couple of times in between a busy day at work. I am tired of it. I could never let my Dad down but I am really tired of hospitals, rehab centers, nursing homes, telephone calls about any of the three.

Mentally it is really draining. I entered the meeting drained. I could have laid down to sleep on the couch. The meeting does something to me and once again, I left feeling better. Maybe it is the talking or knowing that I am not the only one out there with issues.

I spent a lot of time talked about my parents and how I feel very overwhelmed now. Between visiting Mom in the nursing home, which is very depressing and I always leave there feeling down to Dad and worrying about him, it is a lot. I haven’t turned to food much but I have had weird cravings this week like hot dogs. I had hot dogs, the top split buns and ketchup the last two night for dinner. 

We talked about parents being supportive. Mom is a different story but Dad goes in and out of understanding. One day he tells me to “Cheer Up!” the next he goes on and on about the past and how it ruined me and my siblings. I have a hard time controlling my thoughts about the past and so I try to change the conversation with him from the past to the now. Sometimes it is easy, sometimes it is hard. Have your loved ones dealt with your situation well? Or do they not understand? How do you deal with it?

Relationships came up again and I said that I may test the water again. Maybe EHarmony. (It is weird how Windows Live Writer has corporate spelling corrections listed in their dictionary.) Anyone have luck with it?

I totally forgot to mention yesterday, I got a new domain name. Things should stay the same but I bought www.losingtheshadow.com and it is now working.  It still points to www.losingtheshadow.blogspot.com so I hope nothing changed but if you have problems with Google Reader or another reader, please let me know. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Below Average

In my never ending quest to get to the end of my issues, I started to read Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff.I have only read the first two chapters but they got to me. I was on the T coming home from work reading the book and thinking, “Yep, I can relate to that.” I almost started to cry on the train but really had to pull something up to stop that.

The first exercise in the book is called Seeing Yourself As You Are and you are to list 5 culturally valued traits for which you are above average, just average and below average. I had a hard time coming up with some of them but here are my answers:

Above Average

1. Close to my family

2. Reliability

3. Self consciousness

4. Resilience

5. Self Criticism

Just Average

1. Looks – not pretty nor ugly

2. Intelligence

3. Money Managing

4. Sense of humor

5. Compassionate to others

Below Average

1. Weight control

2.  Self Control

3. Retaining friendships

4. House cleaning

5. Relationships with men

I had a hard time coming up with this list. I don’t think I am better than anyone in much of anyone in anything except maybe self criticism and not in a good way.

As for my relationships with me, it fits right into the cycle of this. I look out for any little thing. A slighted call, a wrong tone of voice, anything that perhaps shows signs of pending problems and then start to prepare and it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

She also discusses that a lot of self criticism comes from your childhood. Whether it was parents who used criticism as motivation, I don’t remember mine doing that much or classmates and siblings, a lot, a common way for people to handle criticism as a child is to self criticize because no one will do it, if you already do it to yourself.

I have to say the years of teasing, harassment and maybe the chaos that was my mother descending into mental illness had some effect on my brain. As self preservation, I am just going to beat myself up so I can be prepared for what I know will be coming. Yet, I am compassionate to friends and others outside of myself.  The whole thing just makes me depressed when I think about it.

If there only was one of those easy buttons to go back and fix things.

Speaking of family problems, my father has a time share and he wants to sell it. He got a cold call from a shark of a telemarketer and Dad told him to talk to me since he has had the stroke. He has been harassing me to give him thousands of dollars up front to sell this time share. Something smelled extremely fishy and I told him no but he must have called me 8 times today.

I could just use an easy button in general….

Photo by Jason Gulledge

Monday, May 9, 2011

7 Things I Learned at Bloggy Boot Camp

I attended Bloggy Boot Camp in Boston on Saturday and despite my fears that I talked about, it was really worth it. I learned a few things in the process and most of it was stuff I do does not optimize my blogging potential but honestly, my blog was not meant to optimized the direction a lot of blogs go.

Here’s a few things I learned:

1. Lists are good. Ha!

2. I should use pictures more. When I talk about depression or my other demons, I didn’t think I could really incorporate pictures.

by: Solaro

 

3. Pictures should have the right license for use if not your own pictures. The above picture if from Flickr, Creative Commons.

4. Someday I should get my own URL for Losing the Shadow. Blogger is not really preferable. I like blogger at the moment and I am not changing for now.

5. Bostonians have long URLs and blog names. Losing The Shadow Behind Me fits in that category.

6. My reason for blogging is that blogging is a form of therapy for me. That is why I started this blog. It is my journey getting healthy inside and out.

7. I met a lot of great bloggers and made some friends that I think could be lasting. I definitely networked. I didn’t let that voice in my head shut me up. I had a great time. I strongly recommend you attend one if it is your area.

So, I give it my two thumbs up.

I have started the Self-Compassion book and I can’t wait to write my first post about my thoughts tomorrow. I am finding it really interesting.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Cord Chewing Beastie

My cord chewing beastie is at it again. I am currently being watched by the cat. I think he is trying to tell me something.

I have been watching animal programs on Animal Planet and Mutual Of Omaha's Wild Kingdom's otter program tonight had me crying. Otter problems are trying.

So I had a good time this weekend and I am going to recap once I get yet another cord tomorrow.
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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Weekend Excitement

Tomorrow kicks off my exciting summer. I am going to Bloggy Boot Camp, which is in Boston, this weekend and I am really excited. I hope to learn a little bit and meet a lot of cool bloggers.  It starts my whirl wind summer of SheCon, cruising, mountain hiking and Blogher. I am nervous but really more excited then I have been in a while.

I always have difficulty describing my blog. I don’t know whether I should say I am a “mental health” or a health blogger, which is really what I am, a “life” blogger because I do talk about my life here or just kind of conveniently change the subject.  If I hear about some blogging about a similar topic then I go on about my topic but I found a lot of people uncomfortable on the subject of mental health blogging. Many people think it is a touchy subject.

It also really tests my quiet ways. The really big conferences like Blogher last year, over whelmed me, but now I know and I am approaching them in a different way. I am trying to find things to do at night. I am arriving early and tweeting about it to make connections before I go. If you’re going, let me know. When it get’s closer, I’d love to meet you since you know my crazy ways Smile.

In other good news, they have set a date for I’m Blogging For Mental Health Day, May 18th. I participated last year and will do so this year. In fact, I am really excited. Can you sense the excitement in general today?

 

Now for a little bit of a bring down, they told Dad today that he probably should not drive. Let’s just say he did not agree. He has another 2 weeks or so in rehab and I am hoping for a change when he gets out.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Support Wednesdays: Single

Tonight, I was driving home from the meeting in Newton through Brighton because I didn’t have the $1.25 for the toll on the Mass Pike and I didn’t want to have to find an ATM just to pay the toll. I have never lived in Brighton but you could say without Brighton, I would not be here and I always think of Mom and Dad whenever I am there. A sudden “You should move to Brighton”, popped into my head. Maybe.

We talked a lot about relationships and the fear of being alone. The common opinion was that people were afraid to be alone and needed to be in a relationship but yet that guy is used to fill the void that food once filled. I can honestly say I have moved past that. Really.

I would rather be single then be in a relationship that I do not feel is right. I could continue to see MRI Guy but I feel nothing besides he seems nice and that is not fair for him or me. I am a little scared to admit my “dirty little secret” of depression and binge eating to someone once I feel comfortable with them even though I am open and write about it here.

I have moved on from just wanting someone, anyone. I know the difference between feeling alone and wanting a relationship. I would love to be in one but I am not. I am single, independent, can do what I want, when I want.  There are days when I stay home and my only companionship is Boots and after too much of that, I think I crave human contact. I am lonely but not sad that I am single.

A guy probably not fill the void that food is trying to fill but isn’t. I have to fill that void on my own.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tuesday My Way

Today was a decent day for a Tuesday. I got up on the right side of the bed and even though it was hard, I was only a little late this morning.

I was told today that I looked good by more than one person, which was unusual. I broke out a skirt and a silk shirt I got at the Talbot’s Outlet last weekend. Maybe if I put make up on, it might have been even better. Baby steps in the right direction.

Before I went to the Talbot’s Outlet, I stopped at Target. I like to roam around Target but I was a little annoyed this time. They have the Maternity and Plus Size sections next to each other at most of the Targets in my area. That is fine. When I went to look for clothes in the plus size area, all I could find were men’s clothing. Racks of men’s shorts, shirts, underwear, etc. There was a rack or two on opposite sides of the area with plus size clothing but  it was not clearly marked and hard to find amongst the maternity clothes.  What is up with your plus size department Target?

I have decided to join a Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans challenge. May will be my way.

My goal is to go 30 days binge free.

I am traveling this summer so I like the idea and I like that I can choose my goal. This is something I can do and will help me. Today I have been binge free.

 

 

Monday, May 2, 2011

2011 Walk for Hunger

Yesterday was a great day for a walk.

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The weather was cool and sunny, as opposed to last year’s 95 degree day.

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My walking partner was cool with her sun glasses and fine attitude. I was happy to have her as my walking partner. It was some quality sister bonding time.

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The walk had some nice scenery. We walked along the Chestnut Hill Reservoir. The water was a bit choppy since it was a little windy.

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She caught me smiling once.

I really wanted to walk all 20 miles but I only did about 17 miles. My back really started to hurt me. I was hobbling a lot and slowing my sister down. I gave in  and took the bus back three miles to the starting line. It was hard and I felt like I was admitting failure.  I also look at the above picture and have a lot of nasty things to say but I walked 17 miles. 17. It is not a failure. I am hobbling today to show it.  Next year I will be able to do 20 again.

They changed the route of the walk a bit and that threw me for a loop. This was the 6th year in the row that I have done the walk and I was surprised to find out we did not turn when we were supposed to. I have become a creature of habit as I have gotten older.

When I got home, I could not get off the couch to post about it.

I have a lot to post about this week.

A Woman Who Helped Me


With Mother's Day next weekend. I am going to focus on the good parts of my mother. With her sickness, I tend to only think of the bad times with her illness and problems but there were good times too. She helped to shape me into the strong woman I am today.

Mom was born in Boston as the middle child of three children. She is a first generation American. She met my father in an usual way, while riding around with her girl friends in a car, and my father was walking on the road. The driver knew him and stopped to offer him a ride. He got into the back seat of the car and even though he was drunk, he made an impression on my mother, and the rest is history.

My Mom was very excited to be pregnant with me. When I was born, she was so happy. She stayed home and took care of us. I remember a woman who used to play Barry Manilow while vacuuming and I was dancing. She would take walks with us and used to take me to sports practices.

I try not to focus on the negative all the time. There was a time where she was more alive and happy. I was a healthy happy child when she was happy. I often wonder what life would have been like if Mom never had her mental health issues and then got the dementia. Unfortunately, I can not go back in time but I can remember the good times over the bad times.

I know she loves me deep down inside she loves me. She just can not get the message from where it is to get it out. 

In honor of mothers around the world, especially in Haiti and Rwanda,  Macy's is offering Heart of Haiti products. Created by Haitian artists, the money is used to help education, nutrition and health care in Haiti as well as getting Haitian artists back to work.

Macy's is offering a special  15 % off code, CLEVERGIRLS, to get a Mother's Day gift from the Heart of Haiti or Rwandan Path to Peace Collection.

My favorite is:












It would help me think of the positive side of my Mother and getting over some of my issues.

A walk post will be coming later tonight.

I was selected for this very special “CleverHaiti” opportunity by Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity. All opinions are my own.