How did I get here?

I woke up this morning feeling,  I would like to call it “recharged”, but it is better than that, and I really can’t find a word to “define” it.  Liberated? Free? Optimistic?….I guess the definition doesn’t really matter, but the feeling is INCREDIBLE.

Today, I was “supposed” to run electricity with my dad, but the weather changed our plans.  As I reached for my “to do list” to fill up my day, a thought hit me.  I really LIKE this feeling.  Instead of rushing to fill the “free time” with some other task, I decided to do nothing, just for a minute…. Did I mention I like this feeling??!?!?  I still don’t have a word for it, but I really like it.

codependentyThose damn feelings of CO-Dependency kept trying to creep in.  Someone, somewhere must need something.  I am positive that I am forgetting something for the wedding, maybe I should start packing now, so I can recheck it 50x before we leave Friday morning?           STOP IT GRACE!!!

I looked at the calendar, everything is right on or ahead of schedule.  How the hell did that happen?  The last two? three? weeks are kind of a blur.

Okay so how did I get here?

I reread some of last weeks blog posts.  Oh yeah, I kind of remember doing that…. maybe?  I’ve been living on auto- pilot.  I have been “going through the motions” and not letting myself FEEL anything.

Yesterday, when I arrived at the hospital for my Tysabri infusion, the nurses kept asking me if I was ok.  “Are you sure, you’re ok?”  I replied, “Yes, I’m good, just overdue for this infusion and I’m really tired.”  and then they asked again…”Grace, are you going to be able to drive home after this?” I responded, “I’m not driving, I promise…my parents will be here in a little bit.”…. one more time….”Are you sure?”….. uh huh…..and I was out.

I woke up to my dad’s voice in the hallway calling out my name to see which room I was in.  The minute, I saw their faces, tears came pouring out of my eyes.  What the hell is this,  why was I crying?  It didn’t really matter, it’s not like I could stop the tears anyway.  So I just let them flow.

I don’t remember anything else from yesterday.  I know my parents brought me home.  I know I ate at some point etc etc.  and I slept.  I really slept.  I still don’t have the adjective to describe this feeling and I am going to let that be ok.

In the past two hours that I have been sitting here, drinking coffee and reflecting I have “learned” some thing about myself.

I can “handle” physical pain, but I do everything in my power to run from emotional pain, in fact,  I think I have done this my entire life.  I stay busy all the time.  I go out of my way to try to make people feel better all the time, because I can’t handle tears.  I can’t handle watching someone who is grieving suffer.  I literally would rather go to the dentist, get shot, jump off a cliff, you name it, than to FEEL emotional pain.

My first thought, was “that’s just pathetic”.  But then I asked myself, “Why?”.  Who says it’s pathetic?  Seriously, who’s voice is that judging and belittling me?  The voice was my own.  There is no one to blame.  It’s that VERY FRICKING LOUD “little voice”, in my own head trying to sabotage myself.  When I type it out in black and white, it looks just plain silly.

Ok, so I have some work to do on myself.  (But not today).  Today I am going to just be.  I am not “planning for tomorrow”, or “thinking about yesterday.”  Today, I am just going to be.

 

 

 

 

My One thing box…. so DOING IT WRONG…..

A few months ago, the LAST time I almost had a “mini mental breakdown” from trying to be superwoman ( GRACE, the damn costume does NOT fit) a really great friend of mine said, “Damn it Grace, will you just slow down?!?!? Focus on ONE THING, just one thing at a time!!!”  “Yeah, yeah” I replied. ” I got it. (as I added 20 more things to my to do list)

We finished our conversation and she said, “I’ve got it!  I am making something for you.”  Ok?  I didn’t really think much more about it…..

A month later, a box arrived from Florida, ( I live in Illinois)…..hmmmm Not medical supplies, (they come from Texas)…. Not my prescriptions…(THOSE came LAST week) too big of a box to be more bills ( besides that, medical collectors like to use big flashy envelopes so that all your neighbors know you are a slacker)

light bulb over your head Duh, Florida!  Bones is from Florida!!!!!!!! tiki doll

She said she was sending you something…..

My mind went back to what I THOUGHT was our last conversation in which we had talked about going thrift shop shopping for an ugly “tiki like” statue.

The side story behind the “Tiki statue”.

Although I have “known” Bones for almost 3 years, we have only ever “hung out” (in person) two times.  I live in Illinois, she lives in Florida.  We “met” playing an online game on facebook, and it was over a year of talking on the phone, skype etc before we actually met in person.  She was supposed to come stay with me for a week in Sept. of last year, even had purchased her airline ticket, but Hurricane Maria hit the day she was supposed to fly out. 😦 So the trip was cancelled.

We tried to find time in our schedules to pick another day, but with the holidays coming and my daughter’s upcoming wedding, we decided to wait and try again next year.  To hold ourselves “accountable” we agreed to purchase the ugliest statue that we could find to be left at the other ones house.  The only way you could get rid of the statue was to “deliver” it in person to the other one.

So back to the package…..

Why was she sending me the Tiki package?  That wasn’t our plan.  We were going to pick one out together…..  😦 and it was supposed to be HAND delivered or retrieved…. Hmmmm well I’m just not gonna open it!  😛

The box sat by the door for 2 hours before Einstein pestered me enough to open it.

I’m glad I was sitting on the floor when I did.  Fucking tears came out of no where.  When I opened the box this is what I saw…..

She had HAND MADE me my very own “One Thing”  box to remind me to….. SLOW THE HELL DOWN!!!

Who knew that this woman that lives more than 1000 miles away from me, that I met playing an online game, would become one of the best friends anyone could ask for?!?!?

The box is not only a box to collect my to do lists.  Bones did research on why I use the ORANGE ROSE as my blog picture.  (Orange is the color for MS awareness and I printed the rose on our 3d printer, when I was feeling especially blah one day to remind myself that there is still beauty in the world)  I know….. cheesy, but it works for me.  She found images of butterflies, which I didn’t know also represent MS awareness.

Inside of the box she taped the picture of me skydiving that I had posted on my newly created blog’s welcome page.  She included cut out One Thing “tags” with a letter explaining that how I was supposed to use this box. She said, ” This is for your LONG list of To-do’s, but…. BUT you can ONLY place ONE task on each piece of paper.”  Of course there were more “rules”, but you get the gist?

Well I’m still doing it wrong……

right way

wrong way

I THOUGHT I was doing it right, but I was writing tags like the ones on the left, when I probably should have done more like the ones on the right.

Just because the words fit in the box, does not mean they will fit into a day!!!!…smh

Plan BOSTON?!?!?  Seriously what the hell was I thinking?!?!?  Yep I’m gonna plan a trip with 3 other people all by myself in one day! Doh! I tried, I reached out to everyone to confirm airline selections before booking. I couldn’t reach anyone, but outgoing messages were sent.  So let’s start with cleaning the house.  I probably should have chosen to vacuum OR dust OR laundry instead of tackling all of the rooms and all of the chores at once....but but…the tag said ONE thing…. and I only wrote ONE THING!!!  CLEAN THE HOUSE!!!!!

I did manage to make a lot of progress on the lists on the left, but didn’t actually finish anything except for cleaning the house. ALL OF THE LAUNDRY washed, dried, folded AND put away!!!!  All the dishes, vacuuming, dusting, and I even washed the floors and cleaned the bathrooms.  As I laid down, (passed out) on the couch, utterly exhausted, I looked at the vacuum cleaner that I had neglected to empty or put away, and started the next day’s list….

The next day…..

I laid on the couch all damn day and most of the next….I was in so much pain.

WHEN will I learn?!?!?!?

I really don’t understand why I push myself so hard.  smh I’m sure it has something to do with no longer being able to work outside my house, and self worth and all that, but I KNOW I will PAY for it later, yet I keep doing it.

Definition of Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/unknown_133991
Thank you all for listening to me ramble!  (WordPress is cheaper than a shrink)
Anyone have any ideas why I’m always in such a hurry to get EVERYTHING done?
Bones?  Have I told you lately that I love you?!?!? ( get that song stuck in your head)
I never dreamed that this blogging adventure would lead me to so many supportive people and new friends. 🙂 I’ve had the time of my life 🙂 🙂 🙂

One Breath at a time

A couple hours ago, a familiar name popped up on my cell phone.  I debated about answering the phone because I had so many things I needed to do, and I knew I would get lost in conversation and end up not finishing what I was working on.  Oh what the hell, I would just pick up real quick and tell him that we had to catch up later because I was busy.

I answered the phone expecting my friend to say “Hello Doll”, (which is what he usually says to me in his super sexy southern drawl.) but instead I heard a sniffle, a cough, and a sharp intake of breath.  I questioned, “Ghost? (his nickname) Ghost are you ok?  What’s going on?”  Another sniffle, followed by, “No maam, this is his son, Levy.”…. OH FUCK!  My mind thought NO! NO! NO! NO!!  That’s about all I remember exactly.  Levy was calling to tell me that his daddy had a stroke a week ago.

It’s amazing that when you get news like that literally hundreds of thoughts, questions, memories hit you at once.  I had images of the first time we had met face to face running through my head.  (We met through an online game that we had played together for 4 years hence the nickname Ghost.  Mine was Milano, but my friend’s called me “Millie”.)  I remembered the first time I heard his voice in real life, the hours of game play which turned into an incredible friendship, and so on and so on.

Then there was a voice through the fog…. “Milano, Millie, Maam…are you  still there?”

“Oh shit, um yes yes I’m still here.”

More sniffles followed by, “Okay, maam, my daddy wanted me to let you know that he had a stroke a week ago, but he is doing ok, well he will be ok, I mean he is alive”…….

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Levy went on to try to explain that Ghost couldn’t talk… no not that he couldn’t talk, but that he couldn’t find the right words, or they just wouldn’t come out right.  The poor kid was having trouble explaining what was happening because he didn’t understand what was happening himself.  Hell I didn’t understand what was happening.  I could hear Ghost in the background trying to say my name.  Trying to help Levy explain, but he was getting angry that Millie kept coming out Molly, and he couldn’t make a sentence.

Somehow I was on the phone with Ghost, well kind of he was trying to talk, I was trying to understand, but then there were tears, so many tears…and they wouldn’t stop.  I tried to tell Ghost that I was here for him.  I would make the drive to Florida if his family needed me to.  I told him I loved him and and and…. Then I was on the phone with his son again.  I tried to tell him the same things I told Ghost.  If they needed help, I could and would be there.  There were just so many tears.  In hindsight, poor kid probably thought “Oh no, I can’t handle you too”.

When I hung up the phone, I tried to make the calls to our other mutual friends letting them know why they hadn’t heard from Ghost, and to let them know he would be okay.  The problem is, I didn’t know, …….I don’t know that he will be ok  and again so many tears.

When I reached the “Elder” of our little group, he tried to put me at ease by explaining that this was common when someone had a stroke.  It didn’t mean that he would permanently suffer, he reminded me that Ghost “IS A STUBBORN OLD COOT”….although he is only 55, he is pretty damn stubborn.  I listened and cried for the next hour.

I am absolutely exhausted emotionally and physically.  I am not going to jump in my car and make the 15 hour drive to Florida… yet.  I am not going to drink the whole case of beer sitting in my refrigerator. (although I had envisioned doing just that)  I am going to stop beating myself up that I didn’t call him last week when I saw the rocks that made me think of him.  I decided instead to come here, and to write this.

We have all heard the sayings or cliches that you should always tell the people you care about that you care about them.  You never know if there will be a tomorrow to tell someone.  Slow down and enjoy life etc etc etc.  Instead of just telling you those things, I am trying to tell you WHY I am telling you those things.  Please take a minute and give your parents a call, give your kids an extra hug?  Don’t be in such a hurry, and take today ONE BREATH AT A TIME.

The story with the Rocks is that over the years I have collected numerous things from people that have “touched me” or left a big impression.  I’m not materialistic, it’s more something to hold onto when you are missing them, or a reminder that they are there.  When I was at Ghost’s house, I asked if I could take these rocks from his patio that he designed.  They were extras, but they reminded me of his characteristics….strong, hardworking creative etc.  They are sitting on my deck as I haven’t figure out if I should add them to my rock garden, or my china cabinet with other things I have collected.  I saw them last week and thought I should send him a picture to let him know I still had those silly rocks….but I got too busy.  😦

 

 

Please tell me “It’s OK to be NOT OKAY”

I’m going through something right now that I find very hard to explain, and I don’t understand why it’s happening to me.  So I’m telling myself that it is OK to not be “OK” while I work on figuring it out.  I don’t know if there is a clinical term for it, and to be honest I don’t want another label.  I just really want it to be OK.

Over the last few months, I have developed a few “obsessions” for lack of a better word, and I am overthinking everything.

I NEED the people in my life (this seems to include EVERYONE that has shown me ANY form of kindness) to know that I appreciate them.

Some examples:

I have a very difficult time walking.  Someone takes the time to not only hold the door for me, but waits for me to drag myself through it.  I want to kiss them, hug them, buy them coffee to THANK THEM for their kindness.  (I usually only smile and say thank you for fear that they will call the white coats to have me committed if I showed any more gratitude.)

The other day I read a blog post that I thought was very motivational and included some great advice for me.  I wanted to share it with everyone, because maybe it was the “magic answer”.  Then I got worried that she would think I was “stealing her stuff” if I shared it, so I had to message her and ask if it was ok and how to share it without stealing her words.  I worry that she thinks I am the biggest nut case out there, because I’m sure I over-thanked her for her kindness.

Another blogger shared some tips with me about backing up my wordpress site, and I wanted to “repay” the kindness so I offered to like her blog, instagram, twitter, and anything else I could do to say thank you and maybe drive some traffic her way.  Then I worried, I must appear like a stalker and felt the need to explain myself.

Yes, I realize that logically a simple “thank you” should be enough, but for some reason right now it isn’t.

“They” say the first step in dealing with a problem, is realizing that you have a problem.  I get it, ok, so what exactly is the problem.  I’m too nice?  I care too much? I’m obsessive? I want to be a good person.  I am having trouble identifying just one problem.  And I have  even less of a clue on how to fix it/them.

Then I worry that people think, “seriously, you call that a problem?”  I realize there are much bigger problems in the world, and I should be grateful that this is currently my biggest problem.  But it is consuming me.  I am literally getting migraines from overthinking.  I can feel myself causing my MS to flare and I need to stop worrying and obsessing.

I still can’t identify the actual problem.  Overthinking and being obsessive are only “symptoms”.

Other contributing factors:

  • My best friend just went through several major surgeries and I was unable to talk to or see him for almost a month (long story)
  • my oldest daughter is getting married, and while this is a great and healthy thing I feel like I am losing another best friend ( I was a single parent for most of her life and we have a gilmore girls kind of relationship)
  • my youngest daughter is super busy making her IMPRESSION on the world and quite honestly doesn’t have time for my “neediness” while she conquers mountains.  (she shouldn’t have to take care of her mother)
  • I am “single” but in a relationship (you know the on again off again kind)

Maybe that’s it.  Maybe I am searching for something, or someone while I try to find myself.  Did I mention I really don’t know WHAT my problem is?  I just know that I have one and I really really need to hear that “IT’S OK, TO NOT BE OK” while I figure it out.

#itsoktonotbeokay

 

Get your mind right, be present (borrowed)

Yesterday I posted about slowing down and needing a break.  I thought that technology was supposed to make things easier for us all?!?!?  Well with every good thing there is inevitably bad too right?  For example, the picture above is of a shelf in my office filled with photo albums that I had made for my daughters back when scrapbooking was all the rage. I have another shelf (almost as big) filled with scrapbooking SUPPLIES. You know scissors that cut every shape imaginable, corners, borders, acid free papers, photo safe glue, and boxes of unsorted pictures.

Ok Grace, here goes nothing!  Maybe you should scan the photo albums onto a hard drive and then just give each of the girls a hard drive for Christmas?  Sounds like a plan, until the scanner which is supposed to be wireless decides that it needs to be hardwired to function correctly.  Yep NO WAY is that cord gonna reach.  SON OF A BITCH!…. So I spent the next 3 hours rearranging my office so that the cord would reach.  (Yes I realize that I could use my laptop to do this but then I would have to figure out how to download all the drivers for my 1000 year old scanner, because my laptop doesn’t have a disk drive)  It seemed easier to move the office around.

I also thought about uploading them all to google drive and letting the girls download them on their own but my google drive is full.  How the hell could that be, I don’t even know how to use the damn thing, how could it be full?!?!?  (Another hour spent  investigating that)  Apparently, every picture I have taken with my “Mom you need to have a smart phone, smart phone” was automatically backed up to the cloud. 19736 of them to be exact!!!  Yes even the ones I thought I had deleted 3x because I never wanted to share them with anyone.  I could literally #feelthegreyhairgrowing.

I decided to take a break, grab a cup of coffee, and relax with more technology?!?!?  (Hey no one said I was very smart.)  “Let’s check out if the link you tried to put on twitter worked”…… Oh look a squirrel!  Some how I ended up reading a blog, then another, then another.  (We won’t comment on the amount of time I spent doing this or the fact that I literally spit/dripped/ no full on choked on my coffee while reading a couple of them.)  But the last one I read made me STOP.  I actually read it 2x, not because it was hard to follow, the writer is actually quite humorous, and one of her earlier posts caused the coffee incident.  I had to re read it because it contained a lot of good information that I  needed to think about considering my post from yesterday.  Her post was titled, Get Your Mind Right. Be Present. If you have a minute, check it out by clicking the link.

I’m gonna leave it at that.  No more thinking about tomorrow, or yesterday for the evening.  No more facebook, or instagram, or twitter etc.