Birth Control, anyone?

I am going to begin this post with a disclaimer:  I am not a doctor, nor do I have any special training.  I am simply a woman experiencing something I never imagined would be happening.

They say you never forget the first time you have sex.  Apparently, they are wrong.  I don’t remember.  I mean, I remember who it was… but I cannot, for the life of me, remember how old I was.  As a dumb kid, with very little sex education, and parents that never had ‘the talk’ with me, I really didn’t know much about birth control.  I was lucky, however, and only had one scare.  Lord only knows how it was only one.  He was equally as scared as I, but his mom was absolutely wonderful about it.  Thankfully, after we broke down and told her everything, it was like God was proud, and promptly restored my menstrual cycle.

Since then, I have utilized the pull and pray method, condoms, the pill, abstinence, spermicides, and most recently, the Mirena IUD.  I know, you ALL wanted to know that information.  Trust me, there IS a point.

I had my first Mirena inserted in 2006.  It fell out in July of 2009 after a traumatic breakup of my marriage (massive weight loss), and I had it re-inserted in September of 2009.  The first insertion was easy– mild cramping and spotting for a few months, some pain with sexual activity, but nothing too bad.  The second insertion was markedly worse–intense cramping for months and heavy bleeding.  Otherwise, I have been very happy with the IUD– piece of mind, no effort, nothing to remember to take every day.

I had it removed today.

Since 2006, I have experienced:

  • weight gain despite dietary changes and exercize
  • uncontrollable fatigue (even with c-pap treatment for sleep apnea)
  • an electrical ‘buzzing’ sensation throughout my body and brain while attempting to fall asleep
  • swelling in my calves and feet to the point of pain and inability to walk
  • crazy mood swings– keep in mind I am a bitch to begin with– the mood swings make me intolerable
  • worsening depression and anxiety
  • inexplainable breakouts of localized patches of hives and incessant itching
  • headaches– constant headaches
  • head fog
  • joint pain (even developed a Baker’s cyst which is an excessive accumilation of joint fluid)
  • Diabetes
  • hair loss
  • night sweats
  • facial hair growth
  • extremely tender (and swollen) breasts– to the point I thought I could be pregnant (which would have been amazing since I hadn’t had sex)
  • cervical cancer scare

I have seen my primary doctor on many occasions.  I’ve had countless tests run on my blood and my body.  I have had nutritional counseling, Diabetes education, and most recently, hypnosis.  Aside from the placebo effect I received from hypnosis (I lost 12 lbs– mostly from quitting the diet soda, I’d presume), I have seen no improvement in any of the symptoms, nor have I been given an answer as to what they all mean.  I have befuddled my doctor.

It has been years of trying quick-fixes, fad diets, pills from the doctor, therapy, exercise regimens and praying.  I have seen no relief of symptoms.  Sometimes, the depression is so crippling that I seriously feel like packing up my things and just leaving.  My relationships have suffered.  My children have suffered.  My job performance has suffered.  I’m suffering.

So, I go to my gynecologist this morning for my check-up, and he asks me what’s been going on.  I practically break down in tears telling him all of the above.  He very quickly asks: “do you still have that Mirena?”  I tell him I do.  He proceeds to tell me that EVERY. SINGLE. SYMPTOM I have listed has been associated with the Mirena IUD.  He stated:”we are taking it out today.  Everything you are describing to me is related to that IUD.  Your body is telling you it simply cannot handle the hormone and wants it out.”

At this point, I did cry.

Every symptom.  All of the things that have derailed my life and caused me countless amounts of money, time, frustration and pain.  Every last one of them has been associated with the Mirena and I never even considered it.  My dear friend had been telling me for months to look into it, and I just blew it off saying there was no way it was related.  My primary doc never blinked an eye.

Of course, I do not know for certain that all of my issues are because of my IUD.  I do not know if I would have triggered the autoimmune response of Diabetes if I hadn’t opted for my IUD.  I do not know if I would have had the worsening depression.  I simply do not know.

What I do know is that I have spent a good portion of today reading page after page after page of stories, blogs and websites of women who could have written this post for me.  All of whom had the Mirena IUD.  Almost all have had it removed.  Some experienced miraculous recovery of symptoms– like within the week of removal.  Some have experienced improvement in many symptoms.  Some are still waiting for improvements.  Most all have experienced the “Mirena Crash“.

Anyway, I wanted to get this out there, because I am certain there are more women out there that feel the same symptoms (and more) and are frustrated and ready to give up.  Be sure to talk to your general physician AND your gynecologist as well as any other specialist you might see.  Each doctor has a different perspective, and can, often times, shed light on something another might not view as connected.  You are not alone in your symptoms.

I wish that I had told my lady doc what was going on years ago.  I might have saved myself years of pain.

Has anyone else experienced this?  Would love your feedback and comments!

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Something very scary happened…

Some times, I just sit back and reflect on my life– things I have done, things I have done well, and things I wish I had never done at all.  I reflect on the choices I have made that have had an impact on where I am today.  I do not wish to live in the past, so, I try not to reflect on those things for very long and reflect, instead, on the future.  I think about where I am headed and what I wish to do once I get there.  I think about all the possibilities.  I think about growing old and getting my hair all done up before meeting my bff’s for lunch.  I know, however, that dreaming is not practical, and so I reflect on the present.  I think about where I am right now.  I think about my children.  I think about my job.  I think about how focused I need to be in order to finish my Master’s program.  I think about my children.

Something scary happened last week.  Very scary.  I have been afraid of it for a while now.  I am not sure how it happened, but last week I became the parent of a teenager.  I mean, I know HOW it happened, I just have no clue where 13 years has gone!!  I look at my daughter and still see that perfect newborn fresh out of my womb –with ruby-red lips and fingernails and a perfectly formed head with lots and lots of hair.  I cannot help but still see her as my 7 lb 13oz bundle of amazing-ness.  My daughter has changed me completely. 

Let me tell you a few of the things I have learned or gained since her birth:

I have gained a crazy amount of gray hair– of which I’ve named every one of them after her.

I have more laundry than I know what to do with– because one outfit a day is just not enough.

I have learned the skillful art of hiding food I really want to eat– however, she has learned my hiding places and eats my delicious treats.

I have so much more respect for my father and stepmother– if my behavior was even a smidgen similar to hers, I am not certain how I made it to my 30’s.

I have learned why my parents never let me shop for my own clothes– I now realize that all of those outfits I thought looked crazy cool were hideous and should have been burned– so thrilled the 80’s style is coming back. o.O

I have learned that uneaten dinners probably SHOULD be eaten for breakfast.  Cold– I cannot even begin to compute the amount of money I have wasted in uneaten food.

I have learned the awesome ritual of grocery shopping coupon sorting day– I still hate it as much as I hated it as a kid, but now I get to share it with MY kids!

I have learned why I was never allowed to go anywhere– all these kids are hoodlums and will corrupt my child!!!

I have learned that boy-crazy girls will drive me over the edge– again, not certain how I made it to my 30’s– my father had every right to lock me in a closet and never let me see daylight.

I have learned that feeling of unbelievable panic — malls, shopping centers, sports centers– yes, I now understand those parents that leash their children.

I have learned that I need more patience– I have to remember what it was like when I was 13 and would lock myself in my closet listening to my Walkman to escape reality.  Ipods are simply the new Walkman.

I have learned that it was never that my parents did not listen to me– it was that I talked.  All the time. 

I have learned that I should have paid more attention in school– it is almost impossible for me to help with homework!!

I have learned that those friends you held so close in school– will come and go as quickly as the latest boy-band craze (except for NKOTB– they’re still HOT!)

I have gained invaluable insight into my child from the experiences of others– it is amazing how similar children react when certain situations take place (divorce, death, remarriage, etc.).

I have learned that my parents weren’t old when I was a kid— I am not even in my 40’s yet and I have a teenager.  SCARY to think my parents were my age now when I was a kid– puts a lot into perspective.

I have learned that extra curricular activities for kids should come with a raise in pay at work– I simply cannot afford all of the things my teenager would like to do!

I have learned that time spent with my children is far more important than a spotless house– I do, however, still expect them to do their chores!!

I have learned that, apparently, the same things I was bullied for in school are still the same things kids are bullied over today– but you’re stronger than I ever was and will look back at these kids when you’re a famous singer/animator/dolphin trainer and laugh– or shoot them with your Dr. Horrible Death Ray.  Yeah– you should probably just stick to laughing at them. 

As you can see, I have learned and gained a lot of things over the course of the past 13 years.  The most important thing I have learned, though, is this:

I have learned that there is no more complete love than the love a parent has for their child– there are just some things that have no comparison, and this would be one of them.

To my daughter, Emily, I wish for you to one day (when you’re WAY older) to feel for your own child what I feel for you.  You make me so proud, angry, excited, scared, overjoyed and clueless all at once.  You amaze me with the things of which you are capable.  You make me laugh.  You make me cry.  You make me want to drink.  Heavily.  You make me want to hold you and never ever let go.  You make me feel blessed every single day that you became my daughter.  I cannot imagine my life without you in it.  Here’s to hoping we both make it to the day you see 14…..

What are some of the things you all have learned over the years of parenting or just growing up?  I’d love to hear about them!

Broken Wings

When I was younger, I believed I had the world at my fingertips–

that all I had to do was reach out and grab whatever I wanted in life.

When I was younger, I believed I could do anything– be anything–

that all I had to do was just be me because it would be enough.

When I was younger, I believed that hearts never broke, words never stung–

and that all there was in life was happiness waiting to be claimed.

When I was younger, I was skinny, and beautiful, and strong–

and I could run and swim and bike and play ball with the best of them.

When I was younger, I thought the sun rose each day just for me–

and the moon was simply a nightlight to help me get where I needed to be.

 

Today, I am commended for my strength–

my ability to take on every last piece of crap that gets thrown at me.

Today I am known for my sarcasm–

my ability to deflect negativity– or to, perhaps, egg it on.

Today, I am known for my helpfulness–

always ready to lend a hand to someone in need.

Today, I am known for my academic ability–

I can write papers with the best of them!

 

Today—

Today, I need to be known for what– and who– I really am.

I am not strong–

I am one panic attack away from a total breakdown.

I am sarcastic–

but it is used to deflect the hurtful comments, the unintentional insult.

I am helpful–

to the extent I have no time to do for myself, and no desire left to, either.

I am smart–

yes, I’m smart– but I’m also anal retentive and OCD about my grades– even though they mean nothing in the real world.

I am closed off.. shut down.. unavailable for emotions.

If you see them, you are one of the lucky few.

I am in denial–

I refuse to believe that certain things are the way they are.

I am lazy and unmotivated–

It takes almost all of my physical strength to pull myself out of bed in the morning.

If it were not for my children, I would have nothing for which to do so. 

I am deeply depressed–

yes, I front well.  I talk a good game.  I make people believe I am doing just fine.

Inside I am dying.

I am a loner–

as I sit here, alone, on a Saturday night– I realize that I have very few people that I could even call– and even less that would answer.

I miss my mother–

even though our relationship was a disaster, I miss her terribly each and every day– today was especially difficult.

I am unhealthy–

and, no– I am not simply talking about the extra packaging–

the diabetes, the insomnia, the resulting narcoleptic feeling, cigarettes.

I use food as a crutch. Along with my cigarettes.

Sometimes, I find more comfort in a bag of chips then I find in the people that ‘care’.

I shift the burden of my problems–

not to someone or something else, but rather, into a closet where I cannot see them. 

If I can’t see them, they cease to exist– even if for just a short while.

I make MANY mistakes–

some of which I recognize….. but repeat nonetheless.

I still believe the words spoken to me by someone who was supposed to love me:

“You will never have anyone take you seriously.  No one listens to a fat person.”

And then I eat more.

I am setting a poor example for my children–

but I do not know how to stop!

I must lead by example, but just cannot seem to find the manual from which to find instructions on how to be a perfect single mother. 

I dread mirrors.  And clothes shopping.  And pictures–

yet, I want my children to believe me when I tell them they are absolutely perfect in every single way—

But, I cannot even look at myself without disgust.

I want to learn more, do more, be more–

but I will not take the initiative for fear of looking stupid when I fail.

I want to be perfect in the eyes of someone– anyone.

I decide to make changes–

so I write list after list after list of what needs to be done.

And then I do nothing. Cannot fail at something you do not attempt.

But…

I also have deeply rooted desires.

I have dreams.

I have ideas and goals.

I have hope— though it is sometimes so buried in that closet of problems that I just cannot find it….

 

I type this post– not as an attempt to garner sympathy or unwarranted compliments–

but simply to put a description to myself.

To put a voice to depression.

To produce a ripple– a wave– some kind of movement that allows others to see they are not alone.

To recognize that I may have broken wings, and even though I hurt physically and emotionally—

I still want to fly.

 

 

 

My First Minimalist Attempt….

I decided to tackle the kitchen today.  It’s not finished yet, but I have made some incredible progress!

Here is my kitchen counter before I started this afternoon:

Before...

Before…

And here it is after!  I’m super thrilled with the results!

after..

after..

another shot...

another shot…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also got a very full garbage bag out of the house, too!  I grabbed a tote from the basement to stash my sell/donate items and already filled it up!

Donate / sell

So, all and all, a productive day!  Still a LOT of work to do– lots of cabinets to clear out and a bunch of other surfaces to tackle.  Next up?  Microwave cart and refrigerator!

I am feeling slightly overwhelmed and sore, but I am absolutely digging the clear counters!  I forgot how much room I actually had up there! I am excited about this adventure, and hoping that the kids don’t wreck it in a day!! *sigh*

 

Happy (late) New Year!

As I begin 2013, I have decided to take a look backwards and see how far I’ve come, what I’ve accomplished, what still needs work, and what it is I am actually working towards.  I have come to the disheartening realization that I’ve been working towards absolutely nothing.  I spend hour after hour, day after day, spinning my wheels but getting nowhere.  I have set goals that have never been reached.  I have set priorities that were completely ridiculous.  I have misplaced my better judgment in exchange for an “if-I-am-not-keeping-up-with-the-jones’-I-am-failing-massively” mentality.  Without any doubt, the Jones’ are kicking my tush, so, I am pretty much spinning my wheels and getting nowhere on purpose!  This is not good.

“You can’t solve the problems created by current pattern of thought using current pattern of thought.”—Albert Einstein.

Quite certainly, no truer words have ever been spoken.  I have come to the harsh realization that change is inevitable.  I am not a fan of change, though.  It makes things tough.  It makes extra work.  It makes me think—and, anyone that knows me knows that me thinking is not usually a good thing.  Change makes me uncomfortable.  It makes me feel stupid and under-prepared.  Change makes me feel as if I have no control over anything taking place.

And, I need control.

I cannot see the gray areas in life.  I cannot fathom that there is anything other than black and white when it comes to difficult situations: There is always a right and a wrong.  I simply do not wish to choose which side I should take.

I am a fence-sitter.

When I look at those two statements—which were purposely given their own line, I kind of giggle at the hypocrisy.   Seriously, what fence-sitter do you know that has a desperate need for control in most aspects of his/her life?  I cannot list any.  Fence-sitters like to wait and see what everyone else does before they make their decisions and moves.  Control freaks do not care what anyone else does or thinks—they make a decision and control the actions that take place from there.  I am incredibly drawn to both perspectives.  Unfortunately, being both a fence-sitter and a control freak is not working.   And, it never will.  I understand that if I am ever going to progress and stop spinning wheels, I need to change my current way of thinking to something that works.

Having said that, let it be known that I am not much for New Year Resolutions because I simply do not do them.  Sure, I have the ones that repeat themselves yearly.   I will eat right and lose a ton of weight.  I will not yell at the kids.  I will learn a new skill.  I will keep my house spotless.  I will cook more, and freeze meals for the future.  I am pretty certain I have been working on some of these since, oh, I don’t know, 1993?  I, typically, start out with great energy and dedication, but the minute something breaks protocol, I give up.  Anyway, I have decided that I am not making any resolutions for the year.  I am, instead, going to make resolutions for my life.

Kind of cliché, right?

I thought so, too, so I am going to take it a step further.  I am going to attempt to adopt a minimalist lifestyle—adapted to fit my needs as a full-time, single mother and employee.  If you know me and have seen my vehicle—or my house—you will know this is no small task.  I have, since adopting my “if-I-am-not-keeping-up-with-the-jones’-I-am-failing-massively” mentality, amassed an incredible amount of stuff.   Some of this stuff will never leave my possession, but most of it is just stuff—useless stuff—stuff that has done nothing but clutter up my living space, my life, and my mind.  It is way beyond the time to let go. The problem is: I do not know how.

I downloaded a Kindle book called “Simple Living: thirty days to less stuff and more life” by Lorilee Lippincott, and have decided to take the daily challenges.  I am pretty certain that I will not be able to do every challenge every day as written—it might take me a week to do a challenge because of my schedule—but I will do them.  The first exercise requires me to dream.  I can do that!  I absolutely LOVE to daydream.  I usually end up crying hysterically by the time I am finished daydreaming, though, because I know that none of the dreams will actually happen.  This time, however, I am going to daydream with a purpose.  Lippincott states “you can’t get to the destination if you don’t know where you are going”.

I need to dream my destination.

The exercise asks me to answer specific questions in my dream—some of which I never wished to answer previously or simply have no idea how to answer.  This should be an interesting, and quite challenging, task.  I will be posting as I move through the exercises—sharing my frustrations, foils, and follies.  Stay tuned!

Have you embarked on something new this year?  I’d love to hear about it!

Six things I learned from “Sex and the City”

“Being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with.”
– Carrie

I’m pretty sexy? Deciding how I want my life to be?  Who I want to spend it with?  Interesting concepts!  A lot of the women I know are still trying to figure these things out– even the married ones!!  It could be true, though.  I know that after my breakup in March, I decided I was done with boys– that I needed to find myself– that I needed to be me before I could be me and someone else again.   I can say that I have done a fairly decent job or trying to fix the broken things.  Yes, including my heart.  I’ve gained perspective on parts of my life I never thought I would have the ability to understand, let alone face.  I have already stated that it’s going to take someone pretty damn awesome and amazing to convince me I want/need to go out with him as anything more than just friends.  So, yeah, I guess I did learn from “Sex in the City” that I’m not the red-headed unwanted stepchild!  I’m simply taking my time figuring stuff out!

Some of that stuff might include the fact that……

 “I’m nice. I’m pretty, and smart! I’m a catch!” -Charlotte

At least that’s what I pay my therapist the big bucks to make me believe!   He has sent me kicking and screaming all the way through trying to figure out why I’m OCD.. (I know, hard to imagine, but yes.. I am).. why I sabotage myself with regards to my health and weight loss… (no.. not me.. I’d NEVER do a thing like that!!).. why I don’t allow myself to take the GOOD opportunities that come my way, but am the  first one to sign my name on the dotted line for the totally assinine ones… (hey, thanks.. I can hear you laughing in agreement from here, jackasses.)  While it might have taken the effort equivalent to that of a lobotomy with a rusty nail and some cheap whiskey, I’ve ventured down the long-dreaded path of self-discovery, and, have come to the realization that I AM nice.. I AM pretty.. I AM smart.. and well, hell.. look at that.. I AM a catch!  Now, if only I could use that rusty nail/cheap whiskey technique on some unsuspecting awesome man…….

Uh, what I mean is….

As I look back upon my previous relationships– mainly my ex-boyfriend and my ex-husband– I see a few things that I never noticed…

“Maybe I didn’t break Big. Maybe the problem was he couldn’t break me. Maybe some women aren’t meant to be tamed. Maybe they need to run free, until they find someone just as wild to run with.” –Carrie

I have always thought of myself as a ‘simple’ girl.  And, in many aspects, I am.  Ok, not simple as in I need a helmet and a drool bib… stop, that’s disrespectful.  Sheesh.  I mean ‘simple’ as in I do not like high-profile.  I do not like fancy.  I do not like glamour and fame.  I like simple.  I like my crappy house in the middle of a decent town.  I like my busted van in the sense that it gets me where the children and I need to go.  I like my silly 10 ft x 2 ft garden full of veggies (well, ok, this year, it’s weeds.)  And, yes, as much as I might secretly (and not so secretly) voice my disdain for my employment, I actually enjoy my job and the people with whom I work.   I would prefer a handful of dandelions to a huge bouquet of roses– IF the man picked those dandelions himself because he saw them and thought I’d find them beautiful.  I’d prefer a cheap, hole-in-the-wall diner to some fancy 5-star restaurant.  I’d prefer to lay on the beach together somewhere, then have some high-priced, fancy resort vacation.  I’m simple….  Does that mean that I’m complacent?  Does that mean I will take humdrum over exciting?  Do being ‘simple’ mean that I have to be boring?  NO!  I still want excitement– I still want to feel needed.. and desired.. and that there’s someone out there that wants to be ‘simple’ with me.  I guess that I’m looking NOT to be a cookie-cutter girlfriend/woman, but to be the crazy-obnoxious-confusing-girl-who-is-also-sweet-loving-physical-and-emotional girl, and, hopefully, find the man who wants to be just as crazy, obnoxious, confusing, sweet, loving, physical, and emotional with me.  WITHOUT trying to change me…..

So, I guess, maybe, you could say that…

“When it comes to relationships, maybe we’re all in glass houses, and shouldn’t throw stones. Because you can never really know. Some people are settling down, some are settling and some people refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies.” –Carrie

 Plain and simple.  I. Want. Butterflies.   I have lived nearly half of my life without butterflies…. I want the rest of my life to have them.  Everyone should– men and women, alike.  Butterflies are awesome.  Not much else I can say about that. 

 “Forty is the last age a woman can be photographed in a wedding dress without the unintended Diane Arbus subtext” –Enid Frick

Ok, so, wow.. if this is true?  I’m totally screwed.  I am freshly 38, and well, the days are not going backwards!!  I’m quickly approaching this 40 deadline.  Do I take this to assume I’ll never remarry??  Or, does it simply mean that I will be wearing something like a bikini and a veil instead of a dress?  Hmmm.  I’m not so sure I like this little nugget of wisdom.  As often as I have said I am giving up and not interested in a relationship— I don’t know— seeing that I may only have 2 good years left before I look like a fool walking down the aisle again??  It’s a scary concept… two years until I’m officially alone for the remainder of my existence.  Yikes.  I better do some more research on this one…

Which leads me to my last little token from “Sex in the City” ( there are many more, but most of them are NSFW.. haha!)

“The fact is, sometimes it’s hard to walk in a single women’s shoes. That’s why we need really special ones now and then – to make the walk a little more fun.” – Carrie

My ex-husband likes to harass me about the number of pairs of shoes I own.  Well, I am going to chalk it up to this thing called life.  I’m going to say that going from a married, mother-of-3 thirty-five year old to a now single, mother-of-3 thirty-eight year old has been quite challenging, and, therefore, I deserve each and every one of those pairs of sexy shoes, comfy shoes, running shoes, slippers, and flip-flops I have amassed of the years.  Yes, I deserve them all. 

 

Do you have any favorite quotes from T.V. shows or movies?  I’d love to hear them!

I wrote you a letter…..

The other night, I wrote you a letter.

I wrote all kinds of things in the letter.

I wrote about the weather…. how hot it has been.  The lack of rain.  The excess of rain.  I wrote about how it’s been perfect beach weather, and how I’d so longed to go to the beach with you.  I wrote about how it would be nice to walk along the water with our pant cuffs rolled up, and our flip-flops in hand.

I wrote about how tough it is when the kids are out of school–not for lack of things to do, but simply for the lack of funds to do them. I mentioned how sitters tend to weigh heavily on the wallet, but it’s nice when there’s a sitter the kids enjoy.

I wrote about work.  I probably shouldn’t repeat what I said about work.  Hmmmm…….

I wrote about my plans to further my education by applying for acceptance into a Master’s Degree program starting this fall.  I know we had talked about it before– but it was just a thought then.  It’s reality now.  So, I put it in the letter, because I wanted you to know.

I wrote about Minion #1’s softball career.  How she loves it so.  How she FINALLY got some pitching instruction from her coach.  Oh, and man–I wrote about how you should have seen that AWESOME double play she made!  She was so freaking proud of herself– but not more proud than I.  I wrote about how the coach showed favoritism, and how it was very difficult for me to keep my hot-tempered mouth in check.

I wrote about my friends.  I wrote about Baby A’s baptism.  Baby E’s birth.  I wrote about all the things I have planned for this summer– especially during my birthday weekend.  I wrote about my plans for the vacation home with the minions to see dad and mom, brother and family, and friends.  I wrote about the activities I am planning.

I wrote about all the doctor appointments I’ve had because of my desire to reclaim my health.

I wrote about the neighbor.  Ughh.  What drama there was to write about with that one.

I wrote that letter in about an hour and a half while I was attempting to fall asleep.  I know that I must have fallen asleep at some point while writing, because I awoke to a paper pillow, and my arm wrapped tightly around the book I had used as a desk. I still have not found my pen……

Tonight, though, I re-read that letter I had written to you the other night.

And I burned it.

No, really.  I burned it.  In the back yard.  I lit it up and watched it burn.

Hmm? Why?  Oh, well, because I wrote about all the things I would have told you if you were here.  All the things we would have done if you were here.  All the things you should have known already– because you were supposed to be here.  And, quite honestly?  It pissed me right off.

It pissed me off not because you’re not here.  I’m over that.  It pissed me off because I wasted a least an hour and a half of my time writing a letter to someone who isn’t a part of my life any more when I should have been thinking of the ones that are.

I should have been thinking about L.. and how I’d do anything to help her right now, but I know that she is tough, and strong, and can pretty much beat the living shiitake out of anyone that gives her grief, so, she’s all good.  🙂

I should have been thinking about K..and how she has so much on her plate right now that I don’t even know where to begin to help her.. and that bothers me.  But, she knows she is surrounded by people who love her– she just needs to focus on what is important– she will get through this rough patch by relying on her faith, her family, and her friends.  You got this, girlfriend. ❤

I should have been thinking about C .. and how he owes me a night of Irish Car Bombs and Jager Bombs and Goodness only knows what other kinds of Bombs.  Get on that.  570 and I won’t blow you in to the Mrs.  Promise.  🙂

I should have been thinking about D.. and how he has pleasantly surprised me.  How it is amazing what a difference a year or so makes.. and how he has been just wonderful knowing my frame of mind, and still sticking around.  Thank you.  Here’s to many more awesome magic shows and creepy leotard-clad Karaoke singers… *shudders*.. and things we haven’t done together… yet.  😉  Perhaps I shall challenge you to a game of horseshoes… A game of HORSESHOES!!

I should have been thinking about M.. and how I owe him so very much for helping me get my head on straight.  How his dumb 39 day challenge has done more for me than 3 years of counseling. How, even though he doesn’t understand it– he has become a part of my family, and I would do anything for him—-even though he refuses to teach me Excel. Bastard.    >_<

I should have been thinking about my brother R.. and how the years have brought us together as a family again– and that I am so grateful for that.  I will deny ever saying this.. but my brother is a good man and doesn’t deserve to have the weight of the world on his shoulders, alone.  R– I will take whatever I can of that weight off of you.  Just ask…

I should have been thinking about my walking sisters.. C and T and J–and how without them.. I probably would have given up a long time ago.  I send up my prayers for them everyday– even though I’m not certain who is listening.  Love you ladies.  And, C– He is totally mine– hook me up!  🙂

You see, I have so many other people I should have been thinking about.  People that are here.  People that, no matter how tough it gets, stick around. People that know I’m a whack job and still want to get to know me.  People that have shown me what real friendships and relationships are…… people who had every reason to run, but chose to stand still.

I guess this just proves to me that I HAVE grown.  That I HAVE come so very far in the past 3 months.  I’m not upset that I wrote to you– I’m upset that I stopped focusing on what is important to me– to my well-being– for even a second.  That is why I burned that letter– it brings be back.  It brings me back to lonely.  It brings me back to sad.. and hurt.. and scared.. and rejected.. and distrusting… and weak.  I hated that person.  I have worked so freaking hard to get to where I am right now,  I don’t plan on going back.  Ever.   Instead, I am strapping on my running shoes and moving forward with renewed energy.

Hmm.  Maybe I should thank you? Hmm, indeed.