Me vs. Grocery I win!

So, remember when I said I've had a challenging couple of years that I hoped to reveal to you by bits and pieces over time? Yes, well, today I am offering a piece to you. Several years ago I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, which I currently take prescription medicine for and go to therapy to help deal with it. The anxiety I struggle with is debilitating, and it has been for many, many years. I am happy to say that the medicine and therapy combined has helped me a great deal. Why am I talking about this right now? Because I made a progressive step today. It's a big deal for me and I wanted to share it. The biggest problem for me with my anxiety has been the fact that I am overwhelmed extremely easily. By the very smallest thing. One of my biggest triggers is shopping. Mainly grocery shopping, that's the worst one. I have had many, many panic attacks before, during, and after grocery shopping. I have had to leave a full shopping cart in the store before, without buying a single thing because I couldn't be in that building one more minute. I've experienced nausea, lightheadedness, dizziness, headache, fear, hot and cold flashes, physical shaking in the aisles of the grocery store. Due to this problem, I've had to plan grocery shopping out very carefully and cautiously. I dread going. I have to go at a particular time of day. Usually late morning while Becca is in school. Becca absolutely cannot go with me, it doubles my stress levels having her there. I have to plan a certain day when I am going to go so I give myself days to emotionally and mentally prepare that I'm going. I have to bring a list with me and never steer away from it while I shop. This has all been discussed in therapy as well. In the past, a trip to the grocery store would ruin me for the entire day. I would have to lay on the couch for the remainder of the night because it was such an ordeal to me I couldn't deal with anything else or go anywhere else. Only one outing per day. One store. One errand. Anything more than that was too much. Also, I do everything in one store. If it's not there, then we go without it until the next time I go grocery shopping. If it's for a recipe, then I don't make that recipe and I put the rest of those ingredients back, because the thought of having to go to another store for something is too overwhelming, it would make me want to go home and take a nap. The reason I am telling you all of this is to help you understand the step I made today. Today I had to go grocery shopping. I made my list last night and I was ready to go. I went to the store and calmly went through the aisles and stuck to my list. It was not busy there, which is important. There can not be a lot of people when I grocery shop. When I finished and was ready to check out, I knew there were 6 items that they didn't have that I needed. Normally, I just would go home because I couldn't wait to get out of there. I went to the checkout and paid for my things. Put it all in the car and I decided that I was going to go to another store on the way home to get those six things. And I did. With no stress or anxiety or panic. I did it! I am so proud of myself. For keeping calm and doing what I needed to do and not letting my worry and over-analyzing and control issues get the better of me. I didn't even have to go home and prepare myself before going back out again! So, I just wanted to share my little happy news of the day. I am thankful for these little baby steps. That's how I'm where I am today. So, so thankful. I never thought I would be here. When you're in that overwhelmed and stressed out place in your mind, it's hard to see the other side. It feels like it will always be that way and there is no coming out of it. So, feeling that heaviness for so many years, I am thankful when I don't feel that. Because the dark, heavy, fearful feeling is most familiar to me. Happiness, joy, peace, calm....those are very unfamiliar to me, those are my goals to feel again, even just for a moment. So each time I get one, it's like a gift. Don't take those for granted. I don't.

Veterans Day

As a wife of a Navy sailor, this day takes on deep meaning to me. It really should take meaning to all of us who live in this country of America. This blog could be seen by people all over the world, and I am proud to say that I am an American. Our country is flawed, but it is one that I love and one that I stand behind in what it represents. To be able to live my life the way I choose and not be told what I can and can't do and then be punished for not complying. 
Today is a day to think about the past and present people who have dedicated their lives to protecting our country and allowing us to live this way. To keep us safe from those in the world who want to harm us simply for being Americans or disagreeing with what they think or believe. These men and women in the past and present sacrifice their lives for a greater good, for something that they believe in. They sacrifice their health, their comforts, their time, their sleep, and so much more to keep our country safe. The life of a veteran has its own set of challenges and it comes with a price. The greatest of these is the price of their life. Knowing and willing to pay that price if needed. The second greatest price is the sacrifice of time and memories with family. Missing so much and knowing and accepting that work will always come first. They do this for us. People they know, people they don't know. 

Veterans are our heroes. Take a moment to think on the meaning behind this day. They deserve our respect and appreciation. Not just anyone can be a veteran. It takes a special person. Their job changes them and they learn to adapt. They accept the sacrifice. I have a very soft spot for our veterans and those in uniform who work together to serve our nation. 
Thank you Veterans. Thank you families of Veterans. I appreciate you. I respect you. 
Thank you for what you do for our country.


Hi there,
Welcome to my new blog. For those of you transitioning over...I've moved from my previous blog, I have not deleted it and am undecided whether or not I'm going to. For now, I am beginning a new blog. It is still the same idea of sharing my personal journey and what's going on in my life, but I needed a change. I began the other blog when I was in a dark place in my personal life, and having come a long way from that place, I needed to create a distance from those associations. I have been through a lot in the past few years. Definitely the biggest, darkest, and scariest battle I've ever been through. I am happy to say I'm in a much happier place, personally, and a lot of healing has taken place. I hope to reveal bits and pieces to you over time, but all at once is just insurmountable.
Writing in any form has always been clarifying and revealing for me. It is peaceful and provides me with answers. Because of the truth that writing lends itself, I avoid it and distance myself from it during heavy times. It's time to keep moving forward and looking ahead instead of behind. Be thankful for the progress, yet not spend much time looking behind me. To learn from the dark times, but not miss out on what's happening right now getting caught up in what's happened before. It can be overwhelming, but ultimately it comes down to a choice, right? That's what life's about. Big and small choices, and then the paths those choices lead us down to. A consequence...could be good or bad. Do the best we can with what we have. With what we're given. Many people out there have a lot less. The truth is, it's far easier to see the bad and be negative, than to see the good and be happy. It's a choice. We must seek it out. We've got one shot in this life. On this earth. What are we doing with it? Crummy choices in the past, doesn't mean we're doomed to live on the crummy path. We can choose to turn off that path any time we want. We only live that crummy life if we choose to see our lives as crummy. I bet we can change that attitude and fixate our eyes on some good things, and I know just where to start....the basics. When things get fuzzy and overwhelming and the walls are just closing in...I remember the basics. I am thankful for a beautiful home that keeps me safe and warm and comfortable, when there are homeless people out on the streets. I am thankful that I have food in my belly and regular meals to eat, when there are people who need to eat at shelters to get their fill. I am thankful for a wonderful family, a husband and daughter, when many are still searching for that special someone or find themselves unable to have children. I am thankful that I have a wonderful support system from family and friends who give me love, when many have been abandoned or have lost their loved ones. The good stuff is there. Call it blessings, call it luck, call it good fortune, call it whatever you want. Let's not let the negative take over us and our lives so that we miss out on the good stuff that's there. The present is just gonna pass us by when all our energy is given to the "stuff". Take a breath. Take a walk. Give someone a hug. Smile to a stranger. Put on a good song. Today things may not be okay, but they will be. When you look back, you'll see.