Friday, January 9, 2015

Worry Warts Annonymous

I am a worry wart. This is something has plagued me my entire life. If there is something to worry about, I am definitely going to latch onto it. I am well aware of how toxic worrying can be, but it is something that I feel must be part of a genetic inheritance. Lately, I have kept a mental worry list in my head. I have to go through my worries every day and remind myself why I should not constantly worry about each item on my list. It's actually kind of a weird way of coping with anxiety, but it helps me.

Chronic worrying is not normal, although I feel that many have accepted it as part of their daily routines. Sometimes it feels impossible not to worry. For me, I tend to let my imagination run wild with worries and I end up feeling worse. I have even found myself worrying because I know a friend or relative is also worried. Kind of like a sympathetic worrier. 

I have found that there are several ways to quell my worries:

Go for a walk: There is something extremely therapeutic about exercise. I love to go for a long walk when I am feeling worried. I can be alone with my thoughts and work through my issues. I also enjoy going to the gym if the weather is too cold outside for a walk. My gym has a lot of distractions like a swimming pool and a walking track. It helps me to get active when I am feeling really worried.

Journal: I keep a small journal in my purse that I like to write in often. It's a very small leather bound journal that I have had for several years. I like to write my worries down or vent in my journal. 

Cook: I have started picking out recipes on Pinterest when I am feeling stressed. I prefer to choose complex recipes that I have been wanting to try. For me, cooking is a really fun way to cope with my worries. I never follow a recipes 100% and always have to add my own little ideas in for good measure. I have also found that trying new things has helped me to be a better cook. 

Listen to music: I have the most eclectic taste in music. Some people are very specific about their preferred type of music. But for me, it is all wonderful. I love to put on my headphones and block out the rest of the world for a while.

Everyone copes with their worries in a different way. It amazes me how effortlessly some people manage their worries. Are you a worrywart? 

Friday, October 3, 2014

10 Tips for Coping with Depression

I have struggled with bouts of depression since I was very young. 

Depression is something that copious amounts of people struggle with, yet there is such a disconnect in society on how to treat it or how to cope with it. There is something stiffling about depression. I have often described the feeling as being trapped in a room with a limited amount of air and then having all of the lights go out. The air is stale and it is hard to see anything at all. I have spoken to numerous friends and aquaintances struggling with depression. The resounding issue they all have faced is the shame associated with depression.

I am not claiming to be a doctor or psychiatrist. It is not my place to tell anyone if they should seek medical assistance to treat their depression. There are many people out there with lofty opinions on depression. Some people are actually downright ugly about it. I once had a man yell in my face when we had a difference of opinion regarding depression.

Some people believe that depression can only be treated with medication. If you need to take medication to treat your depression, you should. There is absolutely no shame in that. But you should be the one to make that decision for yourself. You should do what feels best for you and make your own health your main priority. 

I do have a doctor that helps me cope with the many life altering issues my auto immune dieases have caused. Depression is one of those issues, and I cope with it in my own way. Here are some of my suggestions for coping with depression.

10 Ways to Cope With a Depressed Mood

Write down how you are feeling. There are many different ways to express your feelings through pen and paper. You can write a letter to yourself or journal. Journaling is my favorite coping mechanism because it allows you to vent to an unbiased ear about all the things that you are dealing with and how they make you feel. You can sketch out doodles of your thoughts. Or you can just scribble on the pages. Scribbling can be extremely therapeutic.

★  Be sure that you are tending to your basic needs. Are you getting enough sleep at night? Are you eating a well-balanced diet? Are you getting enough sunlight every day? Are you eating often enough? Are you taking any medicine that you may be prescribed? These are just a few of the questions you should ask yourself every day. You have to be responsible for your personal needs and take care of yourself in accordance with those specific needs. You deserve to have all of your basic needs met. If you are having trouble caring for yourself, ask someone close to you for help. Although asking for help can be extremely difficult, it is also important to remember that everyone needs help from time to time. 

★ Put on your favorite music. One of my coping mechanisms is to put on my headphones, tune out the world, and listen to my favorite songs on my iPhone. Make a playlist specifically for bad days and include all of the songs you're really into at the moment. Or include sad songs that make you feel, cry, and think. Sometimes that helps too.

★ Get physical. Get your heart pumping. Go for a jog or hit the gym for a little while. There is a simple therapy in physical activity. Plus working out releases endorphins which will help your mood. I often go for a long walk or jog when I'm feeling down. It also frees your mind for some deep thinking. 

★ Tend to your basic senses. Take an extra long bath or shower. Use aromatherapy candles, lotion, or bath salts. Ask someone close to give you a massage or get a professional massage if that is an option for you. Get a pedicure. Enjoy a bowl of your favorite soup. Go to your local coffee shop and enjoy the smells. Rent some movies and spend some time just relaxing on your couch while you watch them. Have a tickle fight with someone who makes you smile.

★ Talk to someone about how you are feeling. Even if you just cry, it will make you feel better to have someone to talk to. Just be careful who you confide in and make sure that they will respect your confidence. Sometimes I even vent to my cat. He just tilts his head at me, but he is a pretty good listener. Often, it helps me just to put into words how I am feeling. I am not expecting anyone to fix me or the situation, but it does help to talk through some of the issues your are facing. That is why many people have such great success in seeking the help of a therapist. If you feel that you would benefit from seeing a therapist, you should definitely seek one. As I said earlier, there is no shame in doing what is best for you.

★ Distract yourself. Watch your favorite movie or television show. Bake some cookies. Visit a local park and swing on a swing set. Color or doodle. Crack open a sketchbook and draw. Build a house of cards (or at least try to). Read a book you've been meaning to get to. Clean up your room or wash up the dishes. Grab your camera and take lots of random pictures. Organize your closet or clear out your desk.

★ Do something nice for yourself.  Buy yourself a new outfit or a new pair of shoes. Take an extra long nap. Write yourself a letter and describe all the lovely things about yourself. Take a long bubble bath. 

★ Indulge in your favorite comfort food. I am not promoting emotional-eating, but there is nothing wrong with indulging in some comfort food occasionally when situations in life seem overwhelming. I'm definitely a pasta girl. Bring on the macaroni elbows, fettuccine, or farfalle!! Yum! Grab a pint of your favorite ice cream (ice cream has magical depression-quelling powers).

Listen to yourself. You know what is best for yourself better than anyone in the world. If you need some time to rest or be alone, do it. It's so easy to get wrapped up in your life, the needs of others, and all the expectations that people have of you. When you aren't feeling %100, you need to disregard the world and do what is best for yourself. You need to be patient and loving to yourself. 

How do you cope with depression?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Gratitude List

September has come to a close. I just pulled up my calendar and couldn't believe that the month was over.  I feel like the past two months have been a blur in my mind. I have been keeping a working gratitude list in a small red Moleskine that fits easily in my purse. My theory is that if we focus on the positive things in our lives, it helps us to live more fulfilled lives.

I first started creating my own gratitude lists in 2009 after discovering Gala Darling's blog. I have been reading her writing for nearly 5 years, and she has inspired me to look at life a little differently. To embrace the positive aspects of our lives and use them to help us get through the negative. Sometimes I don't feel like being positive. Sometimes I want to wallow and be cynical, and that is okay. We cannot live in a static state of being and often we are overcome with stress and grief. I have found that using positivity as a tool has aided me during some of the most difficult times in my life.

Here is what I am most thankful for right now:

  My husband
  Binge watching on Netflix and Hulu Plus
  Chicken Pot Pies
  My new iPhone 5 ( I am always one phone model behind, but that is okay!)
  Lunch with my in-laws
  Apollo, my adorable yet always obnoxious cat
  Chocolate with caramel
  Getting my pink Fossil watch repaired
  Pearl stud earrings
  My new Vera Bradley glasses
  Chai tea lattes
  Vanilla scented candles
  Cooking dinner
  Visiting my sister and mom
  Cheese enchiladas
  Hot pink lipstick
  Corn on the cob
  Vintage pearl necklaces
  Cinnamon chewing gum
  Floral prints
  Late night bowls of cereal
  Coconut scented lip balm
  Going to the movies with my sister
  Pink Roses
  Sleeping in and waking up feeling rested

What are you thankful for right now?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Quirky Update

The smell of fall is in the air. The temperatures at night and in the early morning have become chilly. Autumn is nearly upon us. I have always loved fall. For me, there is something magical about the metamorphosis that takes place during the season. Some of the changes are subtle and others are quite noticeable, but all of it is wonderful in its own way.

I am listening to my favorite film scores on Spotify right now. I am obsessed with film scores. My absolute favorite film score composer is Ennio Morricone. I am also very fond of Thomas Newman. I love to listen to music before bed and just sit with a cup of tea or bottle of water (I am trying to be a better water consumer) and think about everything.

I haven't been interested in writing for quite some time. It's difficult to explain, but I will simplify the situation and say that I have been depressed. I learned that I have Lupus. I put my dog of 12 years to sleep after fighting with all of my energy to help him recover. I also got hit by a car while crossing a street. On top of all of that, I have just been sick and tired.

About a month ago, my hair started falling out in big heaps and clumps. In the shower, I would shudder every time I washed my hair and saw the clumps falling out. I started experiencing a lot of pain, especially at night time in my arms and legs. Also, I was experiencing leg cramps, swollen calves, headaches, memory lapses, difficulty breathing at night, rashes all over my legs, and puffy fingers. After running what felt like a million tests and giving like 15 vials of blood, I found out that I have developed Lupus. I now have two autoimmune diseases. I actually laughed out loud when my doctor offered me a handicap parking decal. I guess sometimes you laugh to keep from crying.

During all of these health issues, George started getting sick. I'm not ready to write about what happened to him, but it was very difficult and I feel that I will never truly recovered from the pain that I have experienced after losing him. Some people will understand and others may not, but it is what it is. Thankfully, I have a very sweet cat who has been doing his best to cheer me up and help me to heal.

My husband has been there for me during all of this. He is very smart and very strong. So he copes with my chronic illness by being positive and by pushing me everyday to keep living and trying. He always tells me that he isn't going to baby me because I am strong in my own way and can do anything that I put my mind to.  He reminds me that a person with a chronic illness should not let the illness run their life. His tough love keeps me going on a daily basis. Right now, he is in grad school in his final year of his second Master's to become a speech pathologist. We started dating during his first Master's Degree, and soon he will no longer be a student. We may not know what to do with ourselves when he doesn't have a paper or project to work on. He's a brilliant man and so very kind. I love him more every day that we are together. Sometimes, I just look over at him and my heart kind of skips because it is happy.

I am taking copious amount of vitamins right now. I am vitamin deficient thanks to my Hashimoto's. Sometimes I am amazed how much I accomplish when running on such little energy. When I wake up, I just want to sleep again. I could sleep all day and still feel tired. I have my bed set up with a small nest of pillows. My poor husband always ends up without any covers because I horde them while I am asleep.

That is what has been going on with me lately. I am trying so hard to be positive. I am trying so hard to stay motivated and interested in living. Some days, I don't even want to get up and eat something. It's actually quite ridiculous. I know some people will not understand. But others coping with their own health issues will be able to relate. The depression is often completely overwhelming. I just want to feel normal again. I am always shushing myself from expressing some of this frustration. I always tell myself to stop whining when there are people out there fighting cancer. It does help me to stay positive when I know how strong other people are that are dealing with much more than I am.

Oh, I almost forgot. I got hit by a car last week. It was not as serious as it sounds. A woman bumped into me with her car when I was crossing a parking lot. She was texting and didn't see me. She was going very slowly, and I thought that she was slowing to let me pass. I looked down to fish some tissues out of my purse and she bumped into me with her car. She was only going about 5 mph, but it caught me off guard and I ended up toppling over. I only had some bruises and mild road rash on my leg. I keep joking around while telling the story and saying that I was thankful that she didn't completely run me over. That would have been a completely different story.

I have started writing in my journal again and felt compelled to return to blogging as well. I also started writing a weekly gratitude list. I may share some of my lists on here later on.

Hope you have a wonderful week!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Everybody's Changing

One of my many quirks is the extreme fear of change. I actually loathe change at times. Although small changes like a new journal or a different workout regime are usually positive, big changes are really tough for me to process. I have detested change for as long as I can remember. When I was younger, I moved around frequently during my parent's divorce and continued to move while my mom served as a traveling nurse. I have lived in numerous states and have attended more schools than I care to list. Because of all the major changes I experienced as a child & adolescent, it has been tough to accept change as an adult. 

The first half of this year has been challenging. I would not say that it has been terrible or awful, but there has been a lot of change and adjustment for the past several months. Like I said before, even the mention of any major changes makes me feel nauseated. My husband is actually very sensitive to my fear of change. Luckily, I married a planning man. Zeth loves to plan and prepare for the future. It helps me when I can ease into the idea of a major change. We have already made plans for our next major move. We are moving to the Dallas Fort Worth area next year after my husband graduates with a SECOND master's degree in speech language pathology. 

Zeth has been encouraging me to blog more often. He knows that writing is one of my great passions.  Unfortunately, I have not made any of my passions a priority. Rather, I have internalized my anxiety and stress to the breaking point. I work full-time while Zeth works part-time as a graduate assistant. He spends the rest of his time either in clinic, doing homework, or pursuing the craft aisle for creative activities to incorporate into his lesson plans. We are busy people and usually never stop to catch our breath for very long before it is time to jump right back into the chaos. 

I also manage a chronic illness. Most of my days are difficult and I struggle every morning to find the energy to get out of bed.  I have an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto's and suffer from insulin resistance. My doctor has been monitoring my blood panels closely since 2009 and noticed that my pancreas is making a lot more insulin than a normal person needs. I have been testing my blood sugar 3 times a day and recording my levels. I experience hypoglycemia frequently because my body resists the insulin which allows the sugar into my bloodstream. And because my body resists the insulin, my pancreas continues to make more in order to compensate. My hypoglycemia has been such a terror to manage. Some days, I feel fine and I am able to keep my blood sugar levels elevated. Other days, I plummet and fall into emotional turmoil. We keep glucose tablets handy to keep my attacks to a minimum. My insulin resistance has cause many other problems in my body.

Recently, I have been struggling with what I thought was hearing loss. After having my hearing tested last week, I discovered that I do no have any significant hearing loss. I actually have an auditory processing disorder. My brain has trouble focusing on multiple sounds at once. I tend to feel overwhelmed and unfocused. It is actually a very common issue. I did quite a bit of research after my hearing evaluation. I have developed coping mechanisms over the years (although there is no definitive way to pin point when it started), and have subconsciously developed ways to compensate. 

We are planning to switch physicians soon. The idea of such a drastic change terrifies me. I hate changing physicians mainly because they never know what to make of me. My autoimmune predisposition has caused multiple syndromes to develop over the years and my body is never "by the book" for anything. Doctors can never fully reign in my symptoms or correctly medicate me. It is a constant battle and it is exhausting to muster up the energy & will to fight for wellness. 

My husband helps me to stay positive. He reminds me that I will always have to put my health first because no one else out there in the world will be able to do it for me. He tells me that the world doesn't stop because I am not feeling well. Sometimes the tough love is hard to swallow, but it helps me get out of bed when I feel hopeless. He makes me feel like a fighter.

One of my close friends suffers from Multiple Sclerosis. We stay in constant contact and encourage each other. We actually call ourselves "autoimmune buddies". She told me that she doesn't want to blog because she is afraid that the world will be repulsed by her illness. Anyone will a chronic illness can relate to the fear of being called a hypochondriac or a whiner baby. But I feel like there is a freedom in being open and honest about your illness. It's part of your life, although I constantly tell myself that it is only a portion a much larger whole. I do not feel the need to apologize for the good, the bad, or the ugly. 

I have been listening to "Everybody's Changing" by Keane on repeat all week. It's been like an awakening for me. I feel that this year has been difficult for me because I am in the midst of a difficult metamorphosis in my life. Admitidely, I have resisted the changes. But I have come to realize that change is necessary and sometimes it is a wonderful thing to embrace.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Resolutions

One of my favorite things about a brand new month is the opportunity to start fresh. For me, a brand new month is a clean slate and a blank canvas. I absolutely cannot believe that April is already here. The first few months of 2014 have flown past me. 

The beginning of this year has not been the easiest for me. I have been struggling with many sick days, a lot of chronic pain, and way too much stress. Many of my friends have expressed similar struggles with this year. For me, I believe that the change in time and the seasons has been exceptionally difficult. Where I live, the wind blows relentlessness in the spring months and brings a lot of dirt & debris with it. 

My allergies have been out of control as the cold and hot have battled it out. This past week, I came down with an upper respiratory infection and strep throat. Gross. Thankfully, and with the help of my hubs, I was nursed back to complete health. Although the antibiotics I was prescribed caused an allergic reaction, I was able to get plenty of rest and recover quickly.

Now that April is here, I decided to compose a list of resolutions & goals for the brand new month. I am an avid list maker and nothing motivates me more than a proper list.

*Take more photos: I have been neglecting my Nikon and have barely touch my Instax Mini camera in ages. I want to take my camera with my on trips and family gatherings. I actually have a post in the works about being a shy photographer. 

*Drink more water: I have a gigantic water tumbler to ensure that I drink a lot of water every day.

*Get physical everyday: My husband and I joined a local gym about a month ago. I actually find it so much fun to go work out. I listen to my favorite music while breaking a sweat. If I don't have time to go to the gym, I try to go for a walk with George or do pilates in my living room. Believe it or not, I have lost 35 lbs since September.

*Spend more time with my husband: We both have such busy schedules. Often, we are on opposite time tables. I want to plan some more date nights so we are both forced to slow down and spend time together.

*Focus on the positive and let go of the negative: This is pretty self-explanatory.

*Complete my reading list: I have been reading non-stop in my free time. Anytime I finish a novel or book series, I feel an emptiness inside that can only be filled with something new to read. 

*Take time to be more organized: It is easy to let a busy calendar keep you away from housework. The other day, I spent nearly all day cleaning and organizing my apartment. I have been trying my best to maintain the cleanliness ever since. I have no idea how some people keep their homes spotless.

*Complete a Pinterest project: My husband and I have a few projects in the works that we need to complete.

* Work on a daily mantra: One of my friends told me that she has a morning mantra that she repeats to herself while she exercises. It helps her stay positive and motivated throughout the day. I want to come up with my own mantra and spend some time every morning focusing on it.

These are my main goals for the month. I would love to hear if you have any goals for the month. Happy April, friends! XO, Jacque

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Return to the Interwebs

Well, I fell off the face of the blogging world. I received an email that was accidentally filed away under junk with a notification that my blog domain name was about to be cancelled due to a renewal issue. Suffice to say, it gave me a jolt to the fact that I have been completely absent from my beloved blog. 

I actually do a great deal of personal writing. Between my crazy job as a retail manager and the million other things I do, it just became difficult to return to my writing in this space. I really haven't even been reading my favorite blogs either. I have a strange compulsion to be all or nothing. If I can't dedicate my all into something, it generally falls to the wayside. I am also a perfectionist and the energy I spend trying to make everything perfect is always exhausting. 

One of my friends mentioned that she really missed reading my posts the other day while we were chatting. It made me realize that I really miss writing. So I just logged in to my blog, made sure to update my domain renewal, and decided to was time for me to start writing again. Because it really does make my life fuller and happier when I am writing on a daily basis.

I have been working as a store manager at a beauty store for more than half a year. It's been a struggle to obtain my teaching certification and use my Bachelor's degree. I graduated from college in 2012, took a job as a clinical support representative for a home health agency, and began a very miserable person. The transition out of college has been a difficult one for me. My husband is currently working on a second Master's degree in speech pathology. He is absolutely not help in dealing with this because he still has another year of school left. 

After a year of working for the home health agency, I decided to find a job with more income. I also enrolled in a teacher certification program. My current job is a blessing and a curse. At times, I feel that my artistic soul may be suffering. Constantly interacting with rude individuals often wares on me. I am not always able to put on a happy face for ungrateful and entitled customers. 

On the flip side,  I often enjoy working in a store dedicated to beauty and making women feel good about themselves. Many of my co-workers are very talented and it is an enjoyment to see an overjoyed customer leave the store. I have also lost almost 35 lbs since I have started working in a more physical job. I continuously tell myself that every job comes with good and bad aspects. It's important to focus on the positive and let go of the negative.

My biggest challenge when it comes to writing is finding my voice and organizing my thoughts. Sometimes I struggle because I start out with numerous ideas and they become disorganized as I write. So, my main purpose in writing at the moment is to put aside my reservations and to have a more confident and honest voice. 

As a Theatre scholar, it is my nature to seek honesty and ponder the complexities of the human condition. As a writer, I would like to be more vulnerable and unrehearsed in my thoughts. This may prove to be extremely difficult because I am in the habit of accusing myself of rambling whenever I start to express any thoughts in detail. 

If you can't tell, I am very hard on myself. The urge to be critical of myself is almost overwhelming at times. It's almost like it was put in my internal code to overanalyze and nitpick at myself all the time. I hope I am not the one person to feel this way. That would be sad.

As always, my main purpose is to inspire positivity and encourage others to live with gratitude. The heart and soul of my blog will not change. I am very happy to be writing again. I really cannot express how overjoyed my heart is right now.

Hope you have an AMAZING week!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Quirky Update

Right now, I'm creating a holiday playlist on Spotify and snuggling with my dog and cat. It's freezing cold outside my apartment, so I have a small heating pad underneath our blanket. We had a snow storm hit yesterday. It's been a few weeks since I have been able to blog. I have been very sick with stomach upset, nausea, and vomiting. I woke up in the middle of the night on Monday and made a mad dash to the restroom. My husband has been concerned because I never ever vomit. I actually had a no-vomit streak of 16 years. When I was in sixth grade, I was violently ill in my literature class while we were reading Old Yeller. That was the last time I have ever vomited. I'm sorry if that is a disgusting and weird over share.

We found out that I have severe gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. Sounds pretty gross. It's actually quite painful. My stomach is constantly at odds with anything and everything that I eat. I also struggle with a constant sore throat because of the constant reflux of acid. I have always said that being stomach-sick is the worst kind of sickness, so it's needless to say this bout of GERD has been plaguing my existence lately. I have been taking some new medicine twice a day to help with the nausea, stomach upset, and acid reflux. I have actually lost about 20lbs due to a less acidic diet, more water intake, and a lot more exercise. On top of everything, my job is extremely physical. 

So, I completely failed at my blogging goal. It's a disappointment, especially because I am extremely hard on myself. I compare myself to others, and feel insecure when I don't measure up. I have to admit to myself that I am going to fail, and I will never be perfect. All I can do is move on and strive to be better in the future. One of my mantras is to improve always. There is always room to be better, to try harder, and to work towards being more thankful. 

I have trouble fabricating new & original blog content. It's challenging to even begin writing when I have not come up with a focus or topic. I also continuously compare my writing and content to other blogs. We shouldn't compare ourselves to others, but that is something that I have constantly struggled with. My intention is not to complain, but I feel like we don't talk about our insecurities and fears enough. I have found that I am a more confident writer when I stop looking at what everyone else is writing and find inspiration in my own life. 

Now that winter is here, I have been consuming copious amounts of soup. My favorite type of soup is Campbell's soup in a cup. I also cannot survive longer than a few weeks without a good bowl of cheddar broccoli. What is favorite type of soup??

Hope you are having a lovely day!


Sunday, November 3, 2013

George's Journal

Hello Quirky Readers! 

My name is George the wire fox terrier. My mom doesn't know that I'm on her blog, so I would appreciate it if you kept this between us. I just spent some hard time at the groomer and wanted to show you all a picture of my new hairdo. It was tough, but now I smell sweet and can sleep on the bed with my parents. I wish I could stay longer to chat with you, but I can hear my mom calling me. I bet she is going to take me on a walk or maybe give me a Pup-a-roni stick. She is the best mom ever.

Lots of sloppy kisses and tail wags,

Friday, November 1, 2013

Take the First Step

Clickity clackity click clack click...the sound of typing is a little bit foreign to me. It has literally been months since I have opened my laptop or typed anything of some substance. I just woke up out of a restless sleep and felt compelled to reunite with my long lost blog. I'm not sure why I suddenly stopped blogging. It's almost as if I just couldn't muster the energy to compose any of my thoughts. 

I have been struggling with stress, anxiety, and some chronic stomach issues. As some of you know, I suffer from an autoimmune disease. For the past couple of months, I feel like I have been in self-preservation mode. Chronic fatigue, stomach aches, and anxiety have plagued me for years, but I have always been talented at coping. One day a few months ago, I just snapped and gave up on anything excessive. I stopped reading my favorite blogs, I completely gave up on blogging, and I even stopped taking any photos. A strange depression hit me like a ton of bricks and I have been struggling to pull myself out of it ever since. This all may sound kind of strange, but I just want to be honest and up front. 

My health is in a constant state of flux. I can feel fine one day and completely rotten in an instant. I trudge through bad days and rough patches. I hide my illness at work and keep a brave face on most of the time for my family. I don't want the burden of my illness to fully impact anyone else. I am always trying to just "be okay" in order to make it through a normal day. And while this isn't the most horrific life or illness in the world, it can be almost overwhelming at times for me. Sometimes the never-ending pain and fatigue is just too much. 

And right now while I am composing this, there is a nagging voice in my head that tells me to stop whining. I'm not the type to constantly moan and complain. I keep my strength by focusing on the positive. But sometimes, that is just not enough. Sometimes you can just be grumpy, have a crappy day, admit that things are not wonderful, and just be okay with not being okay.

It's been a challenge in the past to write about the normalities of my daily life. The negative side of my illness, the stress of being the main bread winner for my family, and the overwhelming anxiety I have every night. But I really want to be more open. I want to bring more of the real me to this safe place. I would like to say that I have a master plan to bring my blog back to life, but I really just have an overwhelming desire to write. I want to just share my life, interests, and shortcomings with you on a daily basis. 

Truth time: I'm not the best at following through with my goals and plans. Actually, I really suck at following through.  But I want to be better about holding myself accountable for my goals. Today is the first day in November, and I am challenging myself to share something on this blog every single day of this month. 

I'm actually so thrilled to finally break the silence on this blog. Perhaps no one has noticed my absence, but I have truly felt a deep longing in my heart for my lovely little blog since I fell off the face of the internet a several months ago. I feel like I'm bursting at the seams with ideas. 

If you are struggling to make a blog comeback, I would love to hear from you. Actually, I would love to hear from you regardless. I would like to thanks those of you who have sent me encouraging emails. It truly helped me climb out of the doldrums and return to my blog.

Hope you have a day filled with many reasons to be thankful,