Legacy

”She tried, she cried, she died…”

I can still hear the laughter echoing in that small room where the broken sat and shared a fleeting moment of joy.

I was part of that broken puzzle, varying pieces of life surrounding me.

We laughed at the sound of that quote, because it represented the daily fight of all of us so well; an ode to a legacy to come.

What an eventful group therapy session (yes this is an account of one of many mind transforming moments I have had as a patient at a psychiatric facility; team ‘no shame’).

I haven’t written in over a year.

Odd you say? Well not to me, because writing was becoming more of a chore than a therapeutic release of brokenness.

But, here I am once again, finding solidarity in my old love.

I digress.

So, this post isn’t about why I haven’t written in a while, but more about my journey since I stopped typing over a year ago.

Am I still struggling with depression?

Yes.

Will I ever get better?

Perhaps.

But, I can’t help but hear those six words settle in my thought process, the words that sum up life for me this past year.

”She tried, she cried…”

Oh, I’m still hanging on like the little engine that could, yet after all of the trying and crying, I’m still fighting everyday.

”She tried, she cried, she died”

…Yet I’m still living.

At one point in this journey with depression, I didn’t know what living meant anymore.  But, I’m still living inspite of being entangled in turmoil.

Those six words represent a legacy I want to personify one day, but for now, I am in the land of the living, very much struggling mentally, but living.

So, cheers to  this past year of ‘living’, and I’m living to tell the world that…

”She tried, she cried, she lived”

 

 

Out of the mouths of babes…

There’s a scripture that I love to read from the Bible.  It says,

From the lips of babes and infants you have established strength, because of your adversaries, that you might silence the enemy and the avenger – Psalm 8:2

I have always assumed that God, the almighty one, could use anybody for his glory, but never have I had personal experience with such an experience as this scripture talks of.

Valentine’s day is now my first born’s day, Sydney.

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Born at 9 at night and three weeks early, she is literally the little angel I’ve always hoped for.

Having her is the best thing besides Jesus, and my husband, that has ever happened to me.

I’m always talking or speaking of God and Jesus around my girls, because he’s all I’ve ever known and encountered in my lifetime, thanks to my parents upbringing.

We were in the car the other day, and of course my depression was running rampant, making me think thoughts so dark and causing me great internal distress.  I always strive to hide this anguish from my kids.  It was great that this was occurring while I was driving, because I had extra security of knowing that my kids could not feel or see the panic that was taking place in front of them, while they were in the back of the car; or at least I thought.

Sydney likes to listen to contemporary Christian music.  Anytime I try to listen to something else, she says “no mommy, what happened to Jesus music”, so I always turn it back to the station.

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While I was yet suffering from the symptoms of depression that ironically came shortly after giving birth to Sydney three years ago, all of I sudden I hear my child say “sing the song mommy, sing the song!”

On the verge of crying, due to feeling overwhelmed with sadness, one of my favorite songs started to play “I will praise you in this storm”; this was the song she made sure that I would sing, never before asking me to sing a song, so I sung to please her, but God knew I needed to remind myself of the words to that song to praise him in my despair.  So, he used her in that moment to get me back on track, to help pull me out of drowning, and he used her to help save me from spiraling out of control and losing focus.

Out of the mouths of babes indeed.

My angel, my first born, my Sydney, Happy Birthday.

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Annoyance

Do you ever get annoyed with life?

I’m currently feeling all of the synonyms of the word.  Irritation, exasperation, vexation, indignation…I could go on for hours.

an·noy·ance
əˈnoiəns/
noun
the feeling or state of being annoyed; irritation.
“a look of annoyance on his face”
Thank you Google for your immediate search feedback.
I am definitely in a state of being annoyed; irritation to the max.
Today hasn’t been the best mood day.  In fact, it’s been quite filled up with excessive tiredness and irritability; annoyance.  That’s just the unknown of the chemical imbalance of the brain.  Some days it wants to put out enough serotonin, and some days, namely today, it doesn’t.  So, I’m annoyed.
I’m often asked what my triggers are; what makes me spiral down hill?  Well, unfortunately, my triggers are the good ol’ responsibilities of life; can’t part with those too easily.  I’ve had to be hospitalized when I’ve gotten to the unbearable point of severe anaphylactic shock from responsibilities of life.  No, I’m not there today, thank God, but responsibilities, motherhood, wifehood, heck personhood, are not compatible with this mood that I’m in.
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The safe bet, when you are in this state of severe chemical imbalance, is to grab a life line.  Have someone take care of the kids, stop doing the laundry, get some alone time, draw, write, or do something that has nothing to do with the responsibilities of life.
No lifeline today for me.
Derrick is sick with God knows what, and I’m just the same ol sick in the head, with severe trigger issues with responsibilities (that was a little harsh on myself).
So, I’m waiting patiently, inwardly crying as I endure the screams of my 18 month old after her older sister decided to turn rogue on her and push her, among so many other noises and things to do that are so overwhelming.
Then, just as I am writing this, as I was silently praying for a lifeline, here comes my sick husband to the rescue.  The crying has stopped, I am writing in my own space, and the responsibilities have dwindled for the time being.  Relief…

Mindfulness: Germantown Series

I love art.

Any kind of art will do, but photography and writing have always been at the top of my list.

I’m no photographer or best selling author, but in the words of John Steinbeck,

The writer must believe that what he is doing is the most important thing in the world. And he must hold to this illusion even when he knows it is not true.

So, I write and believe, write more, then believe again, just as he suggests, and the same can be said for my photography.

Nashville, at its city center, is evolving into something new, with some retained and restored, beautiful history.  Germantown, North Nashville, less then 10 minutes from my current home, is gorgeous.  There is so much character that is being preserved on each historic street, and I sought out to capture some of its history.

When I’m taking pictures and editing them, I truly feel like I am doing the most important thing in the world; mindfulness is right in front of me daily, right here in my own city.

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You…

I’ve said this to my husband a million times over,

Sometimes, it’s not you or the family that motivates me to keep pressing forward, but it’s you, the reader.

You.

There may only be one of you that read my words or maybe I’m just enamored with the thought that I am encouraging at least one person to keep fighting, but when I’m at my lowest, wondering what is the point of my suffering, YOU motivate me.

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You motivate me, because when I think about how precious your life is, how amazing your intricate makeup is, to make you you, I feel a little strength to keep fighting and keep writing; to keep being as real and open as possible, so that you feel, in the words of my dear friend, “that I’m doing good”, even at your lowest.

There are horrid lows of depression, and also ‘gifts of depression’, in the wise words of my therapist.

The gift is that thing that makes you hold on when you want to give up, trust me I’ve been there.  You get tired of fighting and feel like this world doesn’t need you, but how can that be true when you were made so wonderfully.

Your heart beats, because there is purpose for you.  It may not be clear what that purpose is, but the clouds will part enough, one day, for you to see that purpose.

So keep fighting.

And that is why I keep fighting, because I know what it’s like to be so low that you can only see rain, but it’s those like you that have helped me hold on when I read your precious words, so it’s only logical that I pay it forward.

So, this open letter is to you, the you that has read my blog from the beginning, or the you that has never read my blog, if only but one sentence.

I thank God for you, and please keep fighting.

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Antiquing Alone

For as long as I can remember, the sight of old things, you know, your great grandmother’s jewelry box or that worn piece of furniture you found on the side of the road, that only needs a little sanding and staining to be renewed, these junky treasures have always had a warm place in my heart; I feel butterflies in the pits of my stomach, now that’s true love.

Anyway, my psychiatrist has always urged me, and my husband to take four hours, alone, at least once a week, to partake in activities that we like to do.

Now, at one point, this was very difficult to do.  The lack of motivation to move from one spot in my bed to another spot in the bed, has been like pushing a car, alone, up a mountain; it’s been rough to even think about things I liked to do and was willing to do these days, due to depressions grip on me. But, with much patience, though painful, and perseverance through the tough lows, taking my prescribed medications, praying, and pushing myself beyond my body’s limits at times, I can say that my motivation is full throttle!  It’s only been a week with this mustang engine like motivation, but I’m taking advantage of the ride while it’s still here, and I’m not looking back.

So, I got a babysitter for today ( thanks Ms. Kim) and I was off.

I went to the east side of town.  I wanted to look at potential homes to buy, since there is constant construction on this side of town and beautiful new homes to view, literally every week.  After driving around the historic Inglewood neighborhood, I had high hopes of going to the bookstore, but the big beautiful antique sign from my peripheral vision while driving, changed my plans today.

I hit self-care’s jackpot!

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Farmhouse-East Nashville

 

If only you could have witnessed the semblance of joy exuding from my body, as I made a quick u turn into junk Disneyland.  I was so excited to walk in that store.

I was there for over an hour, studying each piece and thinking about it’s history, while silently contemplating where I would put things and how I could convince my husband that I needed all the things I wanted to buy.

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i just settled on one thing though, in the end; a chair.

I managed to bargain the price down to 15$ from 20$ (should have said 10, oh well), and me and the hot new seat were off to the bookstore;  no, no we weren’t.

I stumbled across another antique store around the corner and it is by far the most fun, eclectic, and beautiful shop ever.

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OMG (old made good)

Its called OMG ( old made good-love that name), and the shop owner was so cool, that we even struck up a convo about entrepreneurship and being creative- great times.

Needless to say, I enjoyed myself today.

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I ended my day with a trip to Home Depot for a few DIY items for my new chair, then went home to find that my irritability that I have been having more of lately ( a symptom of depression), was back to rear it’s ugly head, and my kids whining, was a huge part of my trigger.

Depression, as my counselor would say, likes to hang on to the negative, and make me think that the return of the irritability made the day a bad day, but I beg to differ.

Today was a good day, and I’ve come a long way.

 

 

‘Stainback’ Potential

It’s January 22nd, the seventeenth year in the 2000s, and so much has happened.

Not only is it the first month in the new year, but outside of the continuing battle with my wayward mind, and the selling of our first home, among many changes in our family dynamics, some good, some bad, the greatest change in dynamic is the leadership of this world.

Donald Trump is America’s president.

Yes, the man behind the infamous phrase of “You’re fired”, now has the top-secret codes to weapons I’ve probably never knew existed.  He is who ‘America’ has chosen; notice my emphasis on ‘America’.

Nonetheless, it is what it is, and unless he breaks a huge law (I don’t know how he has not done that thus far), shaming the existence of the constitution, because it wasn’t enough that he has shamed most of ‘America’ and then some, it looks as though he will be the leader of this ‘free world’ for the next four years.

My stomach hurts.

But, I digress; slightly.

So, yesterday was the huge women’s march all across the nation.  A march to emphasize and publicize the sheer disdain for Trump’s thoughts, as well as actions in regard to women, including their treatment.  It was nice to see such a huge turnout of women of various backgrounds, coming together in a time that has seem to have caused great divide in the land, but the out pour of love shown through social media (as I did not participate), was immense.

I stand for the same values that the women’s march was created by, but just wasn’t able to participate physically, with my current state of mental health.  Instead, I did something enjoyable for the first time in a long time, which made me feel more in tune with those above said values more than ever.  It’s been a while to where my brain would even be quiet enough, to allow pleasurable thoughts of doing certain activities, to flood my constant mental stream of dejection with life, so I had to react to the eerie prompt.

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clawfoot tubs are an insatiable luxury from the 19th century

I’ve always loved interior design, HGTV, home decorating, and the like.  So, though the thought to go house hunting or looking for fixer uppers around town might have been long over due, it was far from foreign.

I found a cute little cottage style house, built in the 1930s, located in the heart of East Nashville, a prominent hot spot in the greater Nashville Metro area.

My husband has always had the entrepreneurial itch, lately for flipping houses, which through my scared eyes looked like a bad idea, risky to say the least, but my mind was changed when I saw a few photos of this dilapidated home on realtor.com.

I loved it.

There were stains on what looked like glitter lined wall paper, concerning cracks in the ceiling, and mounds of dark residue of God knows what and how, but through all of the ugliness, the rich, as well as beautiful history shined through.

Those thick, architecturally dated, but regal trim and base boards, with french doors and hard ware out of a scene of an old Dick Clark film, were phenomenal and filled me with a feeling so grand, that it took me a moment to step back and relish in the current state of affairs.

Joy washed over me; unspeakable joy, the kind of joy that is supernatural, not knowing how it got there, but appreciative of where it came from.

That is what I felt, as I walked across the sunken foundation in the kitchen, and brushed my finger tips against the smoothness of the aged hardware on the doors.

I get moments of clarity like this sometimes, but not as grand as this moment felt like.

Thank God for that moment.  Thank God that I was able to put on my clothes, with less push back compared to times past, thank God I was able to have more motivation to get in the car to get myself to that old house, thank God for the medicine I agreed to take (the third one, I might add) to take a chance on myself getting better, and thank God for that old house.

It was worn, like me.  It was scarred, like me.  Yet, there was beauty and resilience shinning through, just like me.

And just like me, I know there is someone out there that knows what kind of joy I speak of in this post.

Step out on chance, take a leap of faith on getting better, whatever healthy alternative that may be.  Listen to your mind when it tells you it feels bad, listen to your mind when it quiets enough to say it wants a little piece of joy; then go follow whatever brings you joy. •