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I don’t need “13 Reasons Why” I was suicidally triggered

April 19, 2017 Leave a comment

Revised 2017 Goals

April 15, 2017 1 comment

2017

Revising my annual goals list. A lot has happened in a few short months.

  1. Keep a full-time job for all of 2017.
  2. Keep my working hours limited to 40–45 hours a week (with rare exceptions).
  3. Visit my cousin in Florida.
  4. Follow my Practical Self-Care Plans for 2017.
  5. Use my frozen embryo later this year. (postponed to 2018)
  6. Attend the Warrior Mom Conference again if it’s affordable and doable (not happening ever again) 😦

I guess I’m down to 4 goals for the year. Not terrible. But definitely less ambitious than years past.

 

Categories: Goals Tags: , ,

Seek justice and correct oppression

January 24, 2017 1 comment

I have a lot of anger and frustration right now. My country, its citizens, people I work with…injustice all around. 

I’m not sure where to begin. I don’t process any of these thoughts and feelings on Facebook as I don’t feel that is the appropriate venue for them. 

I am not your typical black, female, liberal Democrat. I didn’t like President Obama and Michelle Obama wasn’t the greatest First Lady to have ever existed in my lifetime. (Hillary Clinton still takes the cake, in my opinion.) 

I am not pro-choice/pro-abortion. “Family planning” is a misleading term as abortion or “the woman’s right to choose” usually involves the LACK of having a family. “Reproductive rights” is a misnomer. More like rights to NOT reproduce. Everything about being “pro-choice” is “anti-reproduction.” 

The women’s march pissed me off considering that the official organizers had to put out a statement uninviting a pro-life organization and taking an official Pro-choice stance. This march no longer represented me or my voice. They claimed to but they did not. I had no say against Donald Trump and his administration and it was clear that because I believed in the sanctity of life on this ONE ISSUE, I would be shunned from this community of women. 

And I don’t care to be part of this kind of political fellowship. If they don’t care to look past my political differences and embrace me, then fine, I’ll continue to move forward and work without them by my side. 

Let’s keep lowering the abortion rate. With or without having Roe v. Wade overturned. Let’s make sure that we make sure women know about ALL available options to prevent pregnancies: birth control AND self-control. If pregnant, expecting moms should know that infertile couples are willing to sponsor women who want to give their babies up for adoption. Abortion doesn’t have to be the last resort or ONLY option for many women. In a majority of cases, we CAN choose life. Let’s continue to make life a first option and do all we can to ENCOURAGE it and not discourage it. 

I can’t express my opinion about this administration because I’m not supposed to like it, right? And on the whole, so far, it isn’t great. But an executive order has been reinstated that ceases to give NGOs that perform abortions federal funding. And I’m happy about that. +1, President Trump. #conservativeliberal

I could list all the stuff Obama did that I’m unhappy about, especially as a lame duck (*cough*Palestinian money*Israel betrayal*drones*ending Cuban wet-foot/dry-foot policy*cough*). Lord knows there’s plenty of fodder for me to complain about Obama’s actions as president. I won’t even begin to question his motives. 

I don’t expect Trump to be a good president. In fact, I’m afraid he will suck majorly. Even worse, I’m afraid he’ll do well enough for Middle America to win another 4 years but that the popular vote will not outweigh his electoral vote…again.

Trump’s opponents annoy me more than Trump himself. They were my biggest fear when I thought of the potential of a Hillary loss (which seemed so unlikely) and now it’s a nightmare realized. 

Someone get me out of here. 

I wish everyone got what they rightly deserved, especially when they worked hard for it. I hate to see people promised something and then get delayed, brushed aside, jerked around, and then left in the dust wondering what they did wrong and what they could’ve done better. Why do we play favorites? Why do we treat some people better than others? We know who works hard and who doesn’t. Why do the lazy get rewarded and the hardest toilers get stranded in the dust?

Being blackballed is a thing, it seems. And it makes me sad. I hope that redemption is still possible. One day…?

I know I’m speaking in vague generalities but I suppose I have to right now so specifics aren’t brought out. Also, I’m sort of “typing aloud,” letting my thoughts flow freely onto digital paper, so to speak. 

Just really tired of injustice and oppression everywhere I turn. Sure, it’s not affecting ME personally but it’s affecting others I love and care about. This bothers me. And if I don’t stand up and say something for them, who will? Aren’t I in a position where I can do good for others and help those who need it? 

“Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” —Isaiah 1:17 (ESV)

2017 Goals

January 2, 2017 Leave a comment

2017-image

Happy New Year, everyone!

Time for my annual goals list. I don’t have many this year so let’s see if I can hit my targets.

  1. Keep a full-time job for all of 2017.
  2. Keep my working hours limited to 40–45 hours a week (with rare exceptions).
  3. Visit my cousin in Florida.
  4. Follow my Practical Self-Care Plans for 2017.
  5. Use my frozen embryo later this year.
  6. Attend the Warrior Mom Conference again if it’s affordable and doable

A lot of these goals involve being kinder to myself. My husband and I have discussed that I expect myself to be able to accomplish things at the same rate as when I was a freelancer, which apparently is NOT going to happen. I can’t handle all the administrative tasks like I used to. I can’t organize my home like I used to. I don’t feel as productive as I used to.

So I’m getting rid of all of that in 2017. 2017 is all about ME. (Very strange to do that.) 1 & 2 is about how I enjoy working. 3 is about visiting my family who I rarely get to see. 4 is about making myself a priority. 5 is about pursuing a goal to (Lord willing) complete my family, and 6 is about making more connections with a supportive community of women.

It’s going to be a year full of learning curves (ugh, I’m going into management—we’ll see how that works out), but hopefully this is also a year of finally trusting the Lord to guide me step by step.

Categories: Goals Tags: ,

2016 End-of-Year Goals Check In

December 31, 2016 Leave a comment

2016

Green indicates easiest, yellow indicates moderate difficulty, red indicates great difficulty.

1. Journal or blog at least once a month.
FAIL. I’ve been horrible at regular blogging. I’m dry. I have nothing to say and nothing to write.

2. Exercise for 20 minutes 3 times a week (Join Anytime Fitness.)
IN PROGRESS. 
I joined Anytime Fitness at the end of January, but I haven’t been exercising for 20 minutes let alone 3 times a week.
REVISED GOAL: Exercise for 30 minutes 1 time a week.
SUCCESS! 
With a few rare exceptions, I try to make time at least once a week to exercise for 30 minutes. I’ve lost and kept off 20 lb so far.

3. Read a book I enjoy from start to finish before the end of the year.
SUCCESS!
 I read Grandma Gatewood’s Walk about a 69-year-old woman who walked the length of the Appalachian Trail. I’m not a nature person but it was a very good read.

4. Pass my editing certification test in June.
SUCCESS! 
I passed my test in June and am now ELS (Editor in the Life Sciences) certified.

5. Attend the Warrior Mom Conference in Atlanta in October.
SUCCESS! 
I went and had a wonderful time! I made new connections and new friends. It really was amazing.

6. Keep my full-time job for all of 2016.
IN PROGRESS.
 I switched jobs on February 29 so I’m not at the same job as in the beginning of the year.
REVISED GOAL: Keep a full-time job for all of 2016.
SUCCESS! 
I’ve kept a full-time job and I’ve even gotten a promotion that begins in 2017!

7. Pray for my boss regularly.
FAIL. 
The point of this goal was to pray for my difficult boss earlier this year. I can still pray for my current boss, but it’s much easier to pray for someone who’s nice than someone who treats you like dirt. I didn’t pray for my difficult boss and am still wrestling with forgiving her in my heart.
REVISED GOAL: Forgive my former boss.
IN PROGRESS. This isn’t easy. She got fired from her position a few months ago. While part of me thinks she deserved it, the other part of me is sad that she hasn’t learned her lesson. I’m working on it.

8. Engage in self-care daily.
FAIL. 
I really suck at this.

9. Remain healthy from August 2016–December 2016 (Be proactive and work with my psychiatrist.)
SUCCESS! My psychiatrist and I found a combination of meds that worked really well and kept me from sliding into a usual pattern of depression for the latter half of the year. I praise God for this. Really.

10. Change my full name to my married name on everything.
IN PROGRESS. This is more difficult than I thought it’d be. I’m upgrading this to a high level of difficulty.
REVISED GOAL:  Change my full name to my married name on everything.
SUCCESS! Done! It was difficult and I shelled out a ton of money, but it’s all done. Whew. 

Categories: Goals Tags: ,

2016 Mid-year Goals Check-in

June 1, 2016 Leave a comment

Green indicates easiest, yellow indicates moderate difficulty, red indicates great difficulty.

1. Journal or blog at least once a month.
IN PROGRESS. I missed April but so far so good.

2. Exercise for 20 minutes 3 times a week (Join Anytime Fitness.)
IN PROGRESS. 
I joined Anytime Fitness at the end of January, but I haven’t been exercising for 20 minutes let alone 3 times a week.
REVISED GOAL: Exercise for 30 minutes 1 time a week.

3. Read a book I enjoy from start to finish before the end of the year.
SUCCESS!
 I read Grandma Gatewood’s Walk about a 69-year-old woman who walked the length of the Appalachian Trail. I’m not a nature person but it was a very good read.

4. Pass my editing certification test in June.
IN PROGRESS. 
My test is on June 10th. I am studying and feel more prepared for the test than I did before. I failed by 30 points before and I think I can eke out a pass this time.

5. Attend the Warrior Mom Conference in Atlanta in October.
IN PROGRESS. 
I have booked my flight, car rental, and hotel for the conference. I also have the week off. Woohoo!

6. Keep my full-time job for all of 2016.
IN PROGRESS.
 I switched jobs on February 29 so I’m not at the same job as in the beginning of the year.
REVISED GOAL: Keep a full-time job for all of 2016.

7. Pray for my boss regularly.
FAIL. 
The point of this goal was to pray for my difficult boss earlier this year. I can still pray for my current boss, but it’s much easier to pray for someone who’s nice than someone who treats you like dirt. I didn’t pray for my difficult boss and am still wrestling with forgiving her in my heart.
REVISED GOAL: Forgive my former boss.

8. Engage in self-care daily.
IN PROGRESS. 
I’m not good at managing self-care each day. I am working on it.

9. Remain healthy from August 2016–December 2016 (Be proactive and work with my psychiatrist.)
IN PROGRESS. Not the latter half of the year yet. I’m still struggling with depression and it’s June. We’ll see how the remainder of the year goes.

10. Change my full name to my married name on everything.
IN PROGRESS. This is more difficult than I thought it’d be. I’m upgrading this to a high level of difficulty.
REVISED GOAL:  Change my full name to my married name on everything.

Categories: Goals

PPD: Women who overcome infertility are not immune

May 30, 2016 Leave a comment

sad_mother

Most people don’t think of postpartum mood issues (in short, PPD) in relation to infertility. I sure didn’t.

I’ve written numerous times (here, here, and here) over the years about my struggle with infertility. It was a struggle of 4+ years and I dreamed that once I had my child, all would be right with the world. The dream I had desired for so long would come true and I would get to hold my baby in my arms and love him immediately.

Because I have struggled with bipolar disorder and anxiety issues in the past, I was a prime candidate for suffering from PPD. But I tried to remain optimistic. A baby is what I had long wanted. I would get it; PPD be damned.

Often, you hear the stories about how women overcome infertility and their dream of having a child comes true. And it’s the best thing ever. They instantly fall in love with the baby of their dreams and everything seems wonderful except for that darned newborn period when you don’t get sleep. (But that’s pretty much everybody, right?)

What about the stories of women who struggle with infertility and then get PPD? No one talks about them. We feel guilty because for so long we wanted a child and now that we’ve received one, we don’t feel a bond. We don’t feel a connection. We worry too much about hurting the dream we had so longed for. We lose touch with reality and nearly harm our child or even ourselves. Panic attacks over losing our baby or taking care of our baby are a daily occurrence. Or we simply cannot get out of bed, too depressed to care for this human being who is completely and totally dependent on us.

Then there’s the added guilt of knowing that there are mothers—tons of other mothers—who are silently suffering the loss of what could be. Many mothers grieving month after month over not having a child. And here we are, finally over that hurdle. And we feel horrible. We don’t want this child. We don’t care for it. Take it away. I don’t want to see it. I’m a bad mother; I can’t care for this kid. But there are so many women who want a baby just like I have one. I have to love this kid—for them.

But those who suffer from PPD after infertility should know they are not alone. The internal pressure we give ourselves to be happy during (what should be) a joyous occasion can often be a tight cord around our neck. It’s OK to admit that after your years-long struggle that you’re not exactly overjoyed to be holding that “bundle of joy” in your arms. What’s NOT OK is pretending that everything is fine and trying to suck it up. This isn’t the time to pull yourself up by your bootstraps. This is the time to seek help. And there is no shame in admitting that you’re feeling sad, anxious, or worried about your mental health.

Reading this and don’t know where to turn? Here are a few resources:

  • Postpartum Progress – Katherine Stone runs this advocacy organization to help raise awareness about postpartum issues among mothers, clinicians, and the general population. You can also discover great information via the Postpartum Progress blog.
  • Postpartum Support International – Another organization that helps guide women through the changes surrounding them during the postpartum period. It offers resources, such as a toll-free hotline specifically catering to those with postpartum mental health needs.
  • Postpartum Stress Center – This center provides professional support to women suffering from postpartum mood issues. It’s worth noting that PPD tends to be a catch-all abbreviation for conditions such as depression, anxiety, OCD, bipolar disorder, and psychosis, to name a few. The Stress Center tends to serve residents in the eastern PA area but will help those outside of the region find a local resource.

Remember, PPD can affect anyone, infertile or not. Don’t be afraid to seek help as soon as you recognize that something isn’t right. The sooner you get help (even if you think it’s just the baby blues), chances are, you’ll recover more quickly. Get your life back. Get help today.

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