Blessed by GOD, to be loud and proud of what is good and right and true! GOD bless us, Everyone! IJCNA

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and Depression

My first anxiety attack was in my teens, I am thinking around 15. I was so scared I thought I was dying. I wasn't doing anything except reading a book. I had moved back to my Grandparents house and I was feeling safe and comfortable. I was reading and all of a sudden my heart started pounding and my body breaking out in a sweat, I could barely breath. I jumped out of the bed and went into the hallway. I was leaning up against the wall clutching my chest. My Grandmother must of noticed. She came to me and asked what was wrong? I told her I couldn't breath and my heart was beating so hard and fast. My Grandfather came close and asked if I wanted to go to the hospital. "Yes." I said with tears in my eyes.

When I got to the hospital I cant even remember all the tests they did. But I remember it was anxiety. I was told that it was stress related. I had just come back to my Grandparents from my mothers in Minnesota. Where I was living with her and my evil stepfather. I did suffer from severe anxiety attacks and was at a loss as to how to handle them. As these attacks continued I was so afraid, it always felt like I was dying. Also in my late 20's I was diagnosed as clinically depressed. To the point that I tried to kill myself 3 times. The last time, my Grandmother took me to a Therapist.

My doctor, (whom I had gone to since I was 9 years old) started me on Valiums. They sure did work. But they kept me in the bed most of the time and I had things I needed to do. Oh, I was better and all. But I didn't like the fact that the pills controlled my life. Over the years we tried different pills. Prozac, Xanax, Buspar, a couple others I don't remember. However Buspar was the last pills I took. I went to my Doctor and told him that I didn't want to have to live my life on pills. I had things I needed to do. I couldn't waste my life laying around relaxing. I wanted off the pills and I wanted to learn how to handle this illness on my own. With my own mind control. So he told me a few things I could try. I learned relaxation techniques, concentrating on each individual muscle groups. Learning to actually relax and calm them down. I use this trick, even to this day. Last time I went in to donate blood the woman taking my blood pressure asked me if I had ever been told I had an irregular heart beat. I knew what had happened, "I did that." I said. She looked at me... "You did it?" she asked... "Yes, I know how to calm myself down, I learned it to handle anxiety attacks." Wow, I think she was surprised.

It isn't hard to do. You close your eyes and you can start from the bottom or the top... I prefer starting with my feet... you think about your feet... you feel them... you concentrate on them alone... and relax them. Moving up you think about your legs... Concentrate on them. Feel them relaxing. Breath deep. Up to your pelvis... Feel the tension leave your lower abdomen as you relax all the muscles there. Breath deep... Now your chest... Feel it relaxing, breath deep and release the tension as you exhale... Your arms, feel them relax... Deep breathing and let the tightness dissolve away. Breath in the relaxation, breath out the stress. Totally let your body go limp like a ragdoll. Relax... Breath deep. This works really great if you can catch your attack at the beginning. Over time, you get better at this. And soon, after a few weeks of practice, this will become a habit that you will use to win the battle over the anxiety attacks.

The depression was a little harder to fix. The day I decided to go to the Doctor for depression was a day I had pulled up into a parking lot and was fixing to get out of my car... I saw something that made me burst into tears right there in front of people. It was a family. A father and a mother and two little children all walking in a row like ducks. And they were all dressed alike. This was a trigger for me because that was something I never had in my life. My life had been filled with violence and pain and I longed to have a family like the one in that parking lot that day. I was depressed for many years before I got help. But over the years I have learned to fight it also. The answer is actually very easy. First you look within yourself. What is it that's bothering you? It could be something that stems from years ago that you have hidden away deep inside yourself. These are called unresolved issues. Explore these painful thoughts. Face them straight on. If you can fix them, find a solution that will make you happy. If you can't fix them find a way that you can accept them as part of a learning experience. Some things in life you just can't change. You just have to learn to get over them and get on with it. And the way I have found to get over them is to 'Count my blessings'... I started with a list. We all have different things to be thankful for. List them, one by one. After a few days you should have a long list. And please include the natural blessings in life. Like the sunshine on your face... The ocean washing over you. Being able to play Frisbee with the dog. So many people take these natural blessings for granted and they don't see them as actual blessings. For me, I even count the ability to sit on the picnic table in the backyard and gaze at the moon... And being able to go out there and pick figs off my figtree and eat them. You see, when you can appreciate the little things, life seems to bring more joy. Now of course anyone can say "I have great kids and a wonderful husband, (cept me, I'm still looking for a wonderful husband) and be sure and add 'good friends'... a roof over your head, food to fill your stomach and keep you warm. There are so many big things to count. Somehow, when you start counting your blessings the depression seems to just disappear. I like to say write them down at first, because that way you will have a nice list you can refer to. Post it on the fridge and add to it when you think of another one.

Now you have to be strong and keep a positive mind. Don't let negativity or negative people bring you down. It is amazing the mind control we actually have, if we just use it. Think positive... Like... "I may not have a lot of money, but all the money in the world can't buy the look of love in my husbands/wife/child's eyes... For true love is priceless. Stop dwelling on the sad parts and concentrate on the things that truly make you happy. Happiness and love cannot be bought or sold, for it is a gift. A gift to be given or received. So many people lose out on this part of life, they think they have to have a better nose or larger breasts they pay a very high price for these vain procedures. Is it because they think they are unlovable any other way? Thats not real love. Real love looks into the hearts and minds. And that nose and those crooked teeth are just another part of you that is precious in the eyes of love.

When you start feeling sad... find reasons to be glad.
When you feel the anxiety coming on, fight back with your mind control.
You have the power to make these changes.
Believe me... if I can do it... so can you.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

A Trip to Remember.

Last night Tom called asking if I would help him move his cars. I had told him last month I would help and I was OK with it. He told me if I could find another driver we could get it done in one day. So my first choice was Rita I called her and she asked how much was he paying. He said he would pay her 50 dollars. She wanted lunch too so he was good with that too.

He called me before 9AM. Asking if I was ready, which I wasn't cause he had told me last night it would be about 10 or 11AM. But I got up and got ready. He was here about 9:20AM. I had to take Shawndra to work at 10AM, so we went to get Rita. She wasnt ready so we went back and took Shawndra to work and by the time we got back to Ritas she was ready.

We were taking 3 vehicles. Tom was riding the Harley motercycle (imagine a one legged man with no helment, on the freeway for almost 2 hours) and Rita was in the middle driving the Murcury Cougar and of course I was rounding up the rear in the 2003 Corvette. He offered to take the top down but I figured with my hair and the sun so bright, I would just keep the top on and run the A/C. *smile* The ride was nice. There was a couple, maybe 4 times that I hit the gas to manuver around traffic or keep up through a light. Wow, my head went back with the force, it had amazing power. Only trouble we had was when the 'check gages' came on and it said I was low on fuel. I wanted to be safe rather than sorry. I figured the worst thing would be for me to run out of gas on the freeway with them going on with out me. I put the peddle to the metal and went beside Tom and told him the trouble. We stopped and got gas. It was strange because when we first started out I had half a tank. Tom said the gage must of been stuck cause it had some gas in it. He said it was parked for so long, might of been the reason the gage was stuck. He said it was a good thing we stopped anyway cause in his 'old age' his butt was getting sore, he needed a break. He wanted a cigarette anyway.

The drive was beautiful. If any of you have ever seen the piney woods of Texas you know how wonderful the scenery was. I didnt turn on the radio, I took the time to talk to God. And when I had prayed all I had to pray, I started to sing. Everytime I saw Tom's head above the Cougar, I would sing, 'Leader of the Pack' and when we drove through Shepard, where my mother lives, I made up a sweet little song about driving through her town and saying HI, it made me smile!

Tom is moving to Livingston, it's a real nice place. I had never been past Shepard so I wanted to look around. But of course I had to pay attention to the road. The Corvette made it easy as I used the cruise control for part of the way. It was a nice drive. I only got nervous when I had to drive through town and I was afraid they would make a light and leave me stuck at a red one. I didnt know where I was going, I was only following. Luck was with me because we made every light perfectly.

The place he bought is surrounded by trees! There is no other house in site. Just a quiet road that I never even saw a car come by on. I was so happy for him. I would of done the very thing if I was him. I loved it up there. We parked the Vette and I helped Tom put a cover on it. We rested, they smoked a couple cigarettes. And we took off back for home in the Cougar, all of us. Tom played some Beatles on a CD and it was really neat. I was singing along and dancing in the backseat when Ike and Tina Turner were singing Proud Mary! And I smiled every time I saw Tom and Rita smiling at each other. I have known Tom for about 15 or 16 years and I have known Rita for about 14 or 15 years. And they have met a few times but it was different today. They were making each other laugh. I thought to myself, I dont have to play match maker, God takes care of all that without any meddling from me. I thought it was really cool to see them getting along so well. Tom is 58 and Rita is 51. When I saw their eyes crinkle when they smiled I thought it couldnt get any better.

But it did....

Tom decided to take us to Red Lobster for lunch! The both sat together and I sat on the other side of the booth. It was neat seeing them like that. They both had Lobster and Crab legs. After Tom ordered, Rita says, "I'll have what he is having." Isnt that sweet? lol... of course I love shrimp, so I had their Tuesday shrimp special! Coconut shrimp and Shrimp Scampi and fried shrimp! They had baked potatoes but I had rice pilaf. We all had a dinner salad, I ate the salad and half the shrimp and had the rice and rest of the shrimp left over for dinner tonight! See? I dont have to cook!

Estelle is at my sisters in Baytown for the week so I dont have to worry about feeding her the rest of the week! So I cleaned up the kitchen from earlier and have had a nice hot shower and am now sitting here in my nightgown happy as can be! I dont have to worry about getting to bed and waking up at any particular time. Yes, I am feeling very happy!

My neighbor came over yesterday and helped me cut down a dead tree in my yard, Thank You GOD for that, he didnt charge me anything but I got out there and helped him. Thank You GOD that I am not behind in any bills. I have a clean kitchen... a quiet house... and good friends. There is only one thing that can make my life better. And because it is only one thing... I am grateful and am counting my blessings for all the other things that makes my life so good!

Friday, July 15, 2005

My Son Got Married today.

Today was a special day. It is the day my son got married. It was a simple ceremony at the Justice of The Peace. But the thing was... it was official. Neither of them wanted a big elaborate wedding. When Shawndra and I went up to make the appontment I said, "We need to make an appointment to get married." It only took me a split second to realise what I had said. And quickly I followed with... "No, not US, she is marrying my son." LOL... it made us laugh so hard. She had to go get another lady to make the appointment. And when she came out the first lady said.. "Now I want you to tell her exactly like you told me." Oh my! I was laughing so hard it took me a few seconds but I finally spilled it... and she said, "No wonder it took you so long to say that." It was so funny I laughed till I cried!

I had a nice easy day today. I got up early and went to the bank and stopped at Target to get a few needed things. I came back all sweaty and took a shower and laid down until it was time to get dressed. I wanted to dress up for this, so I wore my new dress. It is my only son and I believe his only wedding. I feel it in my soul that these kids will be together forever. They have been together for 4 years. They have that special love that I never had. I could of, but I was moved around so much I had to leave the boyfriends I got. I have raised Daniel to know that there will be many girls, but only ONE special one. And he has really found a special one.

Shawndra is a mother in laws dream daughter in law. She is cute and kind and really knows how to handle my son. I love to see them together and I am glad that I can see the love in their eyes when they look at each other. Shawndra works, goes to school. She even cleans the hall bathroom. I love Shawndra very much and I feel blessed with her in my house. Yes, she has lived with us for 7 months already and I have never regretted one moment, her moving in. I know that one day they will move out. Or I will.

We went to the courthouse for the 4PM appointment. Shawndras Mom and Dad and sister and brother met us there. The older sister wasnt there. We were called into the Judges chambers and lined up. This is the same Judge that Daniel had to see when he got caught at school with an herbal cigarette. He thought because it wasnt a REAL cigarette he wouldnt get in trouble. But she had said, "Looks like a cigarette, smokes like a cigarette, is a cigarette." But he did his punishment and went on and didnt get into anymore trouble. I dont know if she recognised him, she didnt say. But she went on with the preceedings. Of course when my son started to talk I started to cry. When he started to get to the part of taking care of her... he cried too! Shawndra thought she was going to cry. But it was Daniel and I who had the tears! When it was over, it touched my heart to hear the Judge say. "I rarely see a man cry," and looking at Shawndra she said, "You've got a good man there." I felt so good inside to have a Judge recognize the good in my son. I makes me feel like I did good with all the obsticals against me. And to have it be the Judge who said that just makes it all the more special.

Today is a good day. My son got married today, they arnt pregnant, they are IN LOVE.

Thank You God!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

It was SO BIG!

I had gone to bed.... It was 2:45AM... I had read a while... and I had laid my book down and rolled over and got comfey to fall asleep. Hugging my pillow to me I started to dose off. Oh, did I mention I was NAKED? All of a sudden, I felt a creepy crawly on my arm! I jerked my arm and jumped up faster than a speeding rocket. Flipping on all the lights looking around I saw him... (not knowing how to sex a tree roach I well refer to it as a him, since he BUGGED me at night) yeah, he was on my headboard. Frantically looking around for something to get him with (will a napkin do?) ... He crawled under my blanket. I have a satin comforter and it is so hot, I fold it in fourths while I sleep and it is easy to unfold to make in the morning. So he was somewhere in all those folds. I walked around and started lifting up parts of the blanket, wondering how in the world that HUGE tree roach got in. If you have ever lived in Texas you will know that there is a BIG difference between a regular house roach and those HUGE tree roaches. He was about this long .............................................

The only thing I could think of was when I brought the blanket in from the dryer. I had just washed it and put it back on the bed and it is possible that he jumped on when I was holding it while setting the dryer again. The bottom was hanging close to the floor and I had just seen one crawl under the washer earlier. Normally I can live with them, they don't bother you. But they are very creepy crawly and they LOOK scary. So that is how I think he got into my bed.

So there I was, lifting parts of the blanket searching, knowing I HAD to find him or I wouldn't be able to sleep. All of a sudden... OMG... He was attached to my ankle!! He was holding on for dear life, did he think I was gonna KILL him? He was sure sticking to me. I started jumping and jerking my foot, sorta like a hysterical naked jumping bean. How long was he gonna hold on? Did I mention it was 2:45AM? Finally he let go and was flung about 2 feet against the wall. I think he was dazed. My heart was pounding and it wasn't over yet, I had to capture him! I picked up my house shoe and BAM, BAM, BAM... OMG, IS HE HISSING AT ME??? I think he is still alive... of course he is and he starts running along the wall. BAM, BAM, BAM... oh, he is stopped. I spied my empty VIT A bottle and opened it and slowly knelt down to try to scoop him into it. Using my house shoe I tried to scoot him into the bottle, why was he so damn stubborn? Realizing I was getting nowhere like that, I looked around to see what I could use, maybe the broken picture frame, it was as close to a stick as I was gonna get at that moment. When I looked back, HE WAS GONE! Oh NO... I HAD to find him. I couldn't see him anywhere and I had just turned my head a split second. Where could he of gone that quickly?? LOL... Could he had conveniently crawled himself into the bottle??? Would I be that lucky? Slowly and cautiously I moved the bottle where the opening was against the wall. Waiting a minute to calm my beating heart. I picked up the lid and got it ready. As soon as I pulled it from the wall I put the lid on and gave it a shake. HAHAHA... sure enough he was in the bottle. I had to stand there a couple minutes to calm my pounding heart. This is not something you want to happen in the middle of the night. It took me some time just to recover. Thank GOD I have a good strong heart. I couldn't resist shaking the bottle just a couple more times to let him know I had the upper hand now. Was that more for ME than him??? *smile*

My first thought was throw the bottle in the garbage. But I couldn't stand the thought. Better to leave it on the dresser and take it outside in the morning. Heavy sigh, turning off the lights and checking over the empty bed I assured myself that I was safe. After all this was a first for me. There was one other time when I was about 22. I was asleep in bed, naked as is my way. And a spider dropped down on my left shoulder. But then I was in Missouri and living in the country, spiders were my friends back then, they ate mosquitoes. (That was before I learned about the Brown Recluse in Texas. And it was way smaller than this BIG roach.) I am hoping that this will be a once in a lifetime thing. And I am praying that you never have this horrible experience.

When I had calmed down and was in bed once again. I heard a little noise. Did I have a mouse in the house? Listening again, I heard it a few more times before I snapped to the fact that the little guy wanted out and was scratching the sides of the bottle! That is how big he was, he was able to make that loud of noise inside that bottle. Whew... I don't know how long he scratched to get out but as long as I knew what the noise was I was able to get back to sleep. And I am happy to say I slept very well!

In retrospect... I know these creatures cant really hurt me. But a heart attack can! It isn't really that I was afraid OF him.... but I am a girl! Naturally I was nervous. Add that to the gross feeling of having a BUG sticking to you. Yeah, I was definantly BUGGED last night!