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Just another manic Monday


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Pictures from my birthday…

       

November 2016

Iiona

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Underneath it all…

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It’s been so long since I’ve sat down and written a story for my blog. I’ve been writing and writing, just nothing that I am willing to share quite yet. It’s been a rather interesting month and a half.

I successfully (but with major scars) made it through the month of November. I spent the first part of my birthday taking photos for a wedding. It was small, quaint and full of love and support. I feel truly blessed that I was able to be there to capture it for them. I’ve seen majority of the pictures and can’t wait to edit them.
Thanksgiving was a conundrum. Because our littlest one had the most insane skin flare up ever. And so there was a moment that we thought she would need to get admitted to the hospital because of how bad it was. Not only that but that morning I woke up happy and excited and by the end of the day I was fighting off triggers and depressed feelings. It got pretty scary.

I try to be an open book when it comes to my journey but in reality sometimes I’m just not because it’s easier to keep it bottled up. But for the remainder of that week and for at least a week to follow I fought hard feelings of committing suicide. I have had flashbacks, and smells and sights. But I’ve never had a trigger as strong as I did, where I was so completely lost and confused on where I was in time. The only thing that kept reminding me where I was were my kiddos and my favorite calming song, Sitting on the Doc of the Bay… 

Because the trigger was so strong, the side effects have lasted for weeks. I’m tired emotionally, physically and mentally. I feel like I am on alert at all times, but also like I am trying to forge out calm. It is such a weird place to be in. Of course my sleeping and waking stages are off, and that alone is driving me crazy. I finally realized it was time to call my PCP for some type of medication when I had serious thoughts of voluntarily committing myself to an inpatient hospital so that I could not hurt myself.

I’ve officially been on medication for a week, I don’t like any of it. It makes me tired, which I guess is good because my sleep was lacking. But now I’m so tired I just crash every night. I haven’t remembered one dream over the last week. Last night I forgot to take my medication and I woke up this morning and had a small memory of my dreams. But what I noticed the most was underneath it all, underneath the medication, the sleep, the tiredness, etc… I am just incredibly sad and exhausted. I’m managing my days well mostly. My energy is low, so I’m trying to work on that. Initially I tried with caffeine. That doesn’t do anything. So I’ve been doing it with food. Not unhealthy food, which is a good start. I have been eating almonds, carrots, snap peas, salads, etc. I would enjoy some grapes but they are a hit or a miss because they aren’t technically in season.

I have been in communication with my counselor, so she knows. She is sweet, she has built in a weekly check-in between our visits. I understand why she did it… But doesn’t mean that I like it. LOL! She also highly suggested that I voluntarily hand my weapons over to someone that will put them away and not tell me where. I just want to say I feel completely naked without my knife. That has been my comfort for knowing that I can protect myself if I needed to. But I guess something that protects can also cause harm. And so I am slowly learning how it feels to be naked and vulnerable without my protection. As of now my mindset is, “It is what it is…” and all of these people are truly annoying me. Like enough to make me say something but not enough to be rude or disrespectful. Because I am trusting that they have my best interest at heart.

Anyways, today is another ‘slow’ morning. I’ve been cleaning to clear my mind, lol! I hate cleaning. Or more like I dislike cleaning with a passion. I’ve been making small check off lists and crossing things off. It feels good to be able to do that. It’s the small victories. I got up and brushed my teeth. I ate some food. I helped our elves make muffins for the kiddos. I got five kiddos off to school with little fanfare. And now I’m planning to go get a few more things for our elves so they can do more fun things this weekend. I’ve been slacking on that end and the girls miss it tons.

I think the weirdest part of this whole experience over the last week is we took in an emergency respite placement of two kiddos. They are older than what we are used to and they are older than what we would ever want in our home. The girl is 11 and the boy is 12. Having the girl in the house is like looking in a mirror. She has been through a lot and has experienced even more. I can see that she is a fighter, but I can also see where she is just plain tired and exhausted. Since being in our house she has slept longer and seems a little more chill. But this is also the honeymoon period. It’s only through next week, but Ike and I have been talking about whether we want it to be more long term. We can see their potential, but we are not oblivious to the amount of work it will be to help them reach it. If not with us, we truly hope they are reunited with their momma. They both seem to want to go back, but they haven’t been with her in such a long time that I’m not sure the girl is entirely sure anymore.

I am asking for prayers, for myself, for the two kiddos we have in our home and of course for my own children and my other half. There is a lot going on, somethings are known and some things not everyone knows. Eventually I think everyone will be caught up to speed. But for now slow and steady is also my mantra.

Love and Light my friends, Namaste.

I


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It is not…

Whatever it was… it is not. 


I’m hovering between panic attacks currently. I’m mostly okay with that, but mostly just not. Only in the last 10 years or so have I been having them, for a while they stayed dormant. I liked that stage. The quiet of not having to pay close attention to or watch my every word. 

They’ve been intermittent for the past two years, me mainly ignoring them and the issues that come along with them. I’ve been somewhat forced to start dealing with them since December, mostly because they started a pattern. I don’t like patterns when it comes to those types of things. 


In January I made a conscious outloud decision to deal with the panic attacks and the real reason behind them. It wasn’t a light decision. I started out with just saying I was going to seek out and find an affordable counselor. That was handled by me finding SafePlace. I’m glad I started there, though the journey since has been incredibly intense and annoying and interesting. I am happy that was my first step. 

My next verbal step was 30 days of yoga and meditation. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but let me tell you… those 30 days were long, intense, educational, life altering, interesting most days just downright comical. I only say that because how else does one laugh off their own fears and insecurities?!


I believe by day 10, I was FOR ABSOLUTELY SURE that I had lost all of the marbles I had in my head. Some days I still wonder if I got any of them back. I can’t explain to you what sitting still is like. But give it a try. Sit with yourself, no distractions, no music, no phones, nothing. Just sit for 5 minutes everyday for one week all by yourself, with nobody but you and your thoughts. If you keep an open mind you can learn so much about yourself. Yoga is similar in that way as well. I’ve been told the poses that are the hardest for you tell a lot about you and how you deal with things when life gets hard. I can atest to that 100%. There are some poses I refuse to do, just because I know what my reaction will be and I am not ready to deal with it or myself. Yoga is an extension of meditation. Another way to quiet the mind if done fully and correctly. Let’s just say I’ve had several panic attacks and crying on my mat… in a studio setting… not my cup of tea, but I was caught off guard and so there I sat paralyzed to my spot fighting through the emotions that came up. When I’m off, I try not to go to a studio. I don’t like dealing with my intense emotions out in public. You know being all vulnerable and shit…

Here’s my biggest fears when it comes to the panic attacks I have… my biggest fears are not being able to function as an adult, as a parent, as a spouse, as anything that has to deal with the many hats I wear. I fear not being able to drive myself where I need to go, I fear not being able to control the attacks, I fear being placed on a meditation to help. I fear having panic attacks on a consistent basis like I’ve been having over the last week. My biggest fear with that also, that I am not given a warning sign anymore when they will start. They just start. I have come to realize that is not okay.

I had several panic attacks in session today, thought I was good to go by the end of session. Got in my car to drive home, ended up having to sit in my car for almost two hours until I was okay enough to get home. That alone freaked me out and I panicked even more. Let me tell you, being gripped by fear sucks ass. 


Having my life controlled (sometimes) by fear is not okay to be. It leaves me frustrated and angry. And with the overall feeling of this isn’t FAIR! Why, why, why, why…?! You know all of the WHY questions victims and survivors have. I won’t name them. 

I was asked what would it be like to really sit with that frustration and express it in any form that my body needed to. 

I.Refused.

I suppressed it, it felt horrible pushing it back down, stuffing it in a box on a high shelf. I didn’t close the door on it, I wanted to so bad. But I couldn’t. But I did refuse to express it. I let a handful of tears fall down my face, I took some deliberate deep breaths and I gathered myself all the way together. That my friends is not how to handle the situation. Don’t do what I did. Maybe next time I will scream, kick, thrash about and cry. Or maybe just maybe, I might hold my composure, let a few tears fall and suck it up. Because friends, that’s been my life. No time, space or energy to be sad and angry and upset. I always had to find a way to make it work, otherwise my struggle thus far was for not.

I’m hoping I will one day be able to feel safe enough to just express what I’m feeling. For now, I will sit with my panic attacks, sip my mason jar full of wine (because, you know a way to numb the pain away) and take pretty pictures.


That I am good at… 

whatever it is… it is not.


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Seconds turn into minutes…

Seconds turn into minutes turn into hours and time continues on… tonight it continues on as I lay awake trying to figure out what is holding me hostage. 

My body is gripped with tension and anxiety and uncertainty. 

I’m unwillingly being dragged along in the wave of emotions that keep crashing against the shell of my mind. 

I’m not sure if I should cry, scream, laugh, throw up or just be. I’m feeling like I should do all of them at the same exact moment. And then once I’ve done that do it again but this time faster and full of gusto. 

My body is ignited with energy, but my brain is sluggish with exhaustion. Who will win this battle tonight? 

If I allow all of it, what happens once I reach the shore? Will I find myself standing on the beach front looking out into a vast sea of nothing and no one? Will I find myself smack in the middle of a party full of people and not seen nor heard?

It’s the unknown, my inability to control what is going to happen next. I want to be able to have a plan in place for the next steps, I’m a planner. I can’t plan how to handle a complete melt down if I don’t see it coming. I need to have a list of what each step looks like…

1. Find a counselor and talk

2. Cry on cue

3. Laugh to avoid the hurt

4. Remove touch

5. Skim the surface of that issue

6. Avoid the conversation by not answering the question

7. Push the easy button

8. Panic and fall apart

9. Stare at yourself in the mirror confused

10. Ask how did you end up HERE

11. Realize boxes are falling all around you

12. Sleep becomes elusive

13. Never ask for help

14. You’ve done it… You’re cured!

15. Realize that you’ve screwed yourself 

16. Commence to freak out AGAIN

I’m standing here… trying to ask for help but not sure where to go to get it. I know that sounds so incredibly crazy, I have a therapist. But… what do I say to her? What questions do I ask? What prescribed list of answers do I give her to the questions she asks? How do I navigate this minefield of boxes and bombs that threaten to go off at any turn. I feel so lost, tired, exhausted, unsure and uncertain. 


I feel so incredibly vulnerable and it is giving me panic attacks. I called, because the number is there. And had to leave a message… 

“Hi, this is Iiona…I don’t even know why I called, but I did. Feel free to call me back if you have a moment. Bye…” 

I hung up the phone and instantly regretted the need to have to call someone. And then I regretted placing the phone call and actually leaving the message. And then I regretted remembering all of the times I needed help or an ear to bend and I had no one there but myself and how it felt like I was in a room full of 1000 people and I was all alone. And then I regretted the thought that I even needed anyone to make it through, because… I’m 36 and I’ve survived this long alone. What’s another couple of minutes. 

The feelings will pass, the anxiety will subside, I will remember LOVE and life will be easy for a little…. Until the next box falls off of the shelf and I’m trying to figure out how to navigate all of the things that fell out of that box. 

Seconds turn into minutes turn into hours and time continues on… tonight it continues on as I lay awake trying to figure out what is holding me hostage. 
Goodnight!


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What makes you tick? 

Behind the camera is my dristy, my dock, my sweet spot, what keeps me calm in the face of storms. 

What’s yours?! Have you found it? Have you tried?

Take a moment and BE with you, 100% present with your true self. What are you afraid to look at, see, hear, face? 

Don’t crack a joke to ease the tension. To get away from the reason you’re having a hard time sitting with yourself. 

Stop trying to find excuses, just stop all of it and sit with you. 

In this moment…