Category Archives: scary

sad/happy vs bipolar

 *names and relationships will mostly be eliminated to protect individuals privacy*

one night i was talking to one of my best friends over a glass of wine and things got serious.  she was hesitant to say something and i was hesitant to listen.  i kind of felt where the conversation was going because of the lead in, but i still didn’t know where she would go with it and i didn’t know how much i wanted to admit and how far i wanted to take the conversation but we were too far to turn back… 

we had been talking about her family and she looked at me and said she was scared.  i nodded because with that one statement i knew…i knew what was coming next so i took a gulp of wine and finished her sentence.  …scared that we didn’t “escape” the mental illness in our family.  she nodded.  in each of our families we have members who are clinically diagnosed (and some who are textbook) bipolar.

we talked about how sometimes when we are sad we fear that “it” has finally caught up with us.  how sometimes we wake up and we are sad and just have bad days and we both evaluate is it just a normal bad day or is this part of the depressed aspect of bipolar.  do we have reason to be sad?  did something set us off?  are we validated in being sad?  if people notice we are sad is it acceptable to just say we are having a bad day?  is it ok to have a bad week – or does that throw us into a category of needing medicines and intervention?

we went on to talk about when we wake up and are really happy.  how sometimes we get up and it is just a great day and being yelled at by someone or bad drivers or anything that would normally annoy us doesn’t make us upset.  it doesn’t damper our good mood and our happy day.  do we really have a reason to be happy?  oh no is this the manic part of “it.” 

as the seriousness of the conversation started to fade we both started laughing.  almost at the same time we both took a deep breath and said something along the lines of i am so glad that you understand.  the reassurance that we weren’t “crazy” for having those thoughts was amazing. 

we decided that it is ok to have a good day or good week and that it is ok to have a bad day or week and still be free.  at the first sign of a really bad day or good day with what seems like no reason at all doesn’t mean that “it” has caught up with us.  we had to remind ourselves and each other that our emotions are right sad or happy we are ok.  it was a reassurance that only a best friend can offer. 

 

in light of this past week and the loss of robin williams who left the world way too soon – i wanted to say that mental illness is real.  being bipolar or clinically depressed – depression where the end seems like the only option is real.  feeling like you are all alone in the world even when surrounded by family and friends.  feeling like if you were to start screaming in the middle of a crowded room no one would actually notice and hear.  feeling like the end is the only way to cry out for help – for a hug, a friend, a conversation, to be noticed.  feeling like people would soon forget you and it would be no big deal, feeling like you don’t want to fight any more. feeling like you have given it all that you have and failed miserably.  feeling tired – just really tired. be blunt and grab on to someone – make them listen, make them hear and remember: you ARE worth it.

a tractor, a limb, and a farmer…

what might sound like the beginning of either the best joke in the world or the worst is a story worth telling…

let me warn you by saying some of the photos are a little graphic and not for the really weak stomach.  (andy was able to look at them so most people should be fine other than the GROSS comment when you see them).

also as a side note with my family we joke a lot.  sometimes I think it is to eliminate awkward moments and to ease tension but this is how we deal with stressful situations so don’t judge me…

on march 8th andy and I had plans to go to Kingsport to do some shopping and so that andy could get his hair cut.  we decided at the last-minute to go to the farm and check on my babies.  on the way to the farm we pass my grandmother’s house and as we did we saw a tractor with the bucket lifted all the way up and a man standing in the bucket with a chainsaw.  there were several men on the ground holding a rope that was attached to a limb.  I did a double take and told andy to pull in because it was my dad.  (this is the don’t judge me part – because I really do feel bad I made these comments) I told him to pull in so that I could get a picture for life insurance policy proof.  we chuckled and missed the drive way.  we decided to go on to the farm but something inside me (and andy confirmed in him too) said to turn around and go back.  we made a loop and went through a field and I made a second comment that I didn’t see him in the bucket and I hoped that he didn’t fall out.  we pulled into the driveway and a guy came running over to us saying we needed to pull the car over to the group of people because someone broke something.  I walked over and andy drove over and we found my dad leaning against the tractor holding his boot, with scratches on his neck.  we loaded him up and went to the er.  we got him checked in and made him pose for pictures with his arm band.  (he still looks like trouble even waiting on the er).

dad hospital

DSCN8585 DSCN8586

the good news is that he thought he broke his ankle.  he didn’t.  but the bad news is he crushed his heel.  they splinted it and told him to get an appt when he got back home to see a surgeon.  the next morning he noticed blisters.

dad foot 1

(gross I know).  he went to the er when he got back home and they re-wrapped it and scolded my parents for unwrapping it to begin with.  they got an appt with a surgeon that does ankles and heels and was told they needed to see someone who only does heels and ankles.  they finally got in with the right doctor and he was not happy.  he stated that this type of injury needs to be taken to surgery within 48 hours of it happening.  and they were almost 3 weeks out.

dad foot

just gets better and better doesn’t it?!  after much discussion they decided not to risk surgery since it was a little late to be doing it.  the road to recovery will be long but it is what it is.  they had to cancel going to Bristol and going to fl but dad is doing good on his crutches and his scooter.  he is adapting to being non weight baring for 2 entire months and maybe more.  he is thankful that his new chainsaw didn’t get hurt when he had the forethought to toss it away from everyone when he was knocked out.  we are thankful that he wasn’t hurt worse (and that we have some gross pictures to share).

so when a farmer is in a tractor and gets knocked out by a limb…the important part to pass on to all of your family and friends is that a heel injury is not the same as a normal broken bone.  if you ever have one of those injuries as them to call in a consult for a heel specialist.  don’t let them send you away with the standard answer of swelling has to go down for surgery!

hitchhiker

this morning i woke up and drug myself out of bed and drove myself to work (on most days we carpool but andy didn’t have to be up as early and got to sleep in).  i left the house a little early and decided to treat myself to a coffee before i got to work – so i drove to starbucks…oh wait we don’t have one of those.  so instead i went to weigles.  as i was backing out of the driveway, i picked up a hitchhiker.  he was quiet not saying a word, but we had a good time riding to the gas station where i thought he would leave me.  i pulled into the parking spot and i said my goodbyes and thought it a tad rude that he didn’t even thank me for the ride or offer me a few dollars in gas money.  but nonetheless i was glad to help out so i went inside and when i came out he was still waiting on me.  i told him i had to go to work and he was more than welcome to ride with me to my building and could go from there.  he didn’t really say much and made no attempt to stay at the gas station so i drove across the street and into my parking space at work and all he did was stare at me.  it was slightly creepy that i had this hitchhiker on my car and he went and got coffee with me and rode with me to work.  I really expected him to fly off at some point in time!

arriving at gas station

arriving at gas station

leaving the gas station

leaving the gas station

at work

at work

i am curious to see if he is still on my car when i leave work this afternoon and evening.  i don’t know why but it struck me as funny – what if this is like pinocchio and this little grasshopper or cricket is my conscience?  what would its name be?  i was kind of thinking jasper – would that be his name?  if he was my conscience why didn’t he tell me anything this morning?  am i doing an ok job and he was just checking up on me?

I don’t think I will ever know because when I got out of work he was gone.  just up and left me.  if jasper was my conscience I think I will be asking for another one because I don’t think that he helped me at all.

gravel be gone

so while andy was gone on one of his trips i went to bed semi early and woke up the next morning and our gravel relocated to the grass.  apparently me and otis slept through a flash flood that took our driveway away.  i am so lucky that we have so many great people that live around us.  i called dad telling him our driveway said goodbye and went to another location and he said he would call our cousin william to come fix it!  before i could get off the phone with him our “neighbor” had his little tractor and offered to try to fix it and put the gravel back where it belonged (he had already fixed his daughter’s and his).

william and marsha said that it came through about 11 and was shocked that i was able to sleep through all the noise.  they said they were out in it and said it was easily 6 inches deep in a matter of seconds.  we were lucky that all it did was move some gravel around and that it didn’t get in the storage buildings and get our stuff wet.

misc 233 misc 236 misc 237 misc 239 misc 241 misc 243 misc 244 misc 246 misc 248

the pictures don’t capture how bad the driveway was and how washed out it was around the cars and how much yard trash it brought but i took some anyways!

holding hands

update: andy was upset by my previous post that he “yelled” at me to get out of bed.  i will admit he never yelled at me, but he did turn the light on and said get up.  and i said to call

i love when i least expect it andy’s hand finds mine and fits perfectly molded to mine.  i love when his hand finds mine because of a sad song or movie (or stupid commercial) even when he is mocking how emotional i can be (and have always been).  i love how his hand finds mine in the car, or watching a movie, or shopping, or on a date, or across the table.  i love that when our hands clasp there is a moment of instant comfort to know that i don’t and won’t face things alone.  it doesn’t always make me instantly happy and it doesn’t always fix the problem, but it makes me happy.  i love that when i need andy the most he is there.

just my random thoughts on my husband today…

we watch our first Christmas movie today and we laughed and held hands and it really got me more in the mindset of Christmas is coming.  my goal is to finish up some things this week so that i can decorate this weekend.  we went through the office and a box of books from my parents and put them on shelves.  it looks ok (andy doesn’t see anything wrong with it, but i am still deciding).

andy is so nervous about tomorrow.  the search team meets tomorrow night in little rock and we will know soon what is going on.  i won’t lie – im nervous too.  but right now i think i am more tired.  i think on that note i will go on to bed.

blank stare

saturday morning we both rolled out of bed and ambled down the hall for breakfast in the hotel.  i will say i perked up when i got close because i remembered that i could make waffles BUT when we got to the little breakfast area there were about 10 7 year olds and they were surrounding the waffle maker.  bummer.  oh well we ate and packed our things and checked out of the hotel.  we sat in the lobby and waiting on our ride.  pam came and took us to look at houses in the area so that we could see what the market looked like.  i will say i was surprised at how much house you can get and for the money.  we saw several houses, some we didn’t like, some we liked, one we wish we had the money to fix it up, and one we loved.  (in this case i am assuming that andy felt the same way that i did about the houses – normal i won’t speak for “we” unless i know that it is true, but today i didn’t make sure that he totally agreed with me).  after we drove around for a few hours we went to the youth building and had pizza lunch (it was really yummy) and had doug’s first pie that he has ever made and some great brownies made by maggie (a youth on the search committee).  we watched a slide show of the past year that ken put together and had a debriefing meeting.  i will be honest i felt like i had a blank stare on my face from the time i woke up until the time i went to bed that night.  it took me a little longer to process what people were saying around me because i was so tired.  i felt like we left there with a lot of questions answered and more asked and next steps talked about.  we said our goodbyes and monica (member of the search committee) and kyle (her son) took us to the airport.  we checked our bag and went through the searches and walked to the gate.  andy got us a drink and we waited.  we tried to talk a little bit but we were a little mentally overloaded.  we had no problems on the plane ride to atlanta.  when we got to atlanta we weren’t hungry enough to eat dinner so we split a cookie and had some coffee.  we waited at the gate and waited at the gate.  we learned that we were about to board a plane that was from honduras and so they had to do a sweep of the plane for extra security measures.  once they did that (45 minutes later) we got on.  it was the biggest plane we were on this trip.  andy sat on the outside aisle, i sat in the middle, and a soldier sat next to the window (which i was glad since we were on an emergency exit he could get the door open).  i talked to him a little bit.  he was from nappa valley, ca and has lived all over.  he currently resides a few miles from my parents home.  he is getting home from 7 months away (i believe he said he was done and home for good) and is leaving in 2 weeks to see his wife (hasn’t seen her in almost a year) because she is in training etc so they are meeting in vegas while she is on leave.  i over heard the solider sitting behind us telling someone that he is on leave to see his mother that has stage 4 liver cancer and he said he hoped that he would make it to her house before she passed away.  the lady he was telling said that her mom passed away the week before.  at this point i realized that i am listening to too many conversations so i try to sleep.  doesn’t work.  we had an uneventful flight about 30 minutes and landed.  got our bag, caught a shuttle, found the car (unharmed), and drove home.  we got home to an otis free house.  it sort of makes me sad when we walk in and he isn’t wagging his tail.  but we ate (im pretty sure) and we passed out in bed.  the next morning we over slept (who didn’t see that one coming) so we got up a little in a rush and we went to church. 

we have been doing a lot of reflecting on this past weekend and have been  going crazy with making our pro and con list.  regardless of what happens with this job and a potential move we got to see a really cool city and meet some truly wonderful people.  so while we wait on final answers we pray and we remember our whirlwind weekend in little rock.

calm like a duck in a pond

i love movies.  i don’t know why but one of my favorite movies is “the replacements” when andy was still in school and i would put a movie in to clean to on saturday mornings (having no cable leaves a lot to be desired for saturday morning tv), i would find myself putting this one in week after week.  there are some great moments and speeches throughout the movie.  (i love the one about fear and quick sand and the closing lines are great) but one that sticks out to me this morning is when the coach is talking to the replacement quarterback before the big game they talk about being calm and the coach makes reference to being as calm as a duck in a pond.  the quarterback looks puzzled and the coach explains.  on the top of the water the duck looks like it has everything under control and doesn’t have a care in the world just gliding over the pond but underneath the water his little legs are going at a frantic speed…

i love the imagery that this story creates in my mind especially on days like today…

we stayed up late last night checking and re checking our pack list and what we actually packed.  i went from head to toe trying to recall everything that i would possibly need in the days that we are gone.  we were selective in what we packed to wear, selective in what we packed in the carry on bag and almost shed a few tears because i can’t take my pillow and blanket (which deserves it own post later on).  we also were trying to get things ready for my parents to come over (which means just picking up and getting clean towels out and getting the plan for clean sheets and most importantly getting things ready for them to take otis to tn this weekend).  we got to bed and the moment that i woke up i was wondering what i am forgetting?  we are so excited about having someone drive us around on our visit (so we don’t get lost, but also so that we will have time in the car to look around at where we are going and see more of the city), but it is hard when you are at the mercy of other people.  it isn’t like if we are in the hotel tonight i can say drat i forgot (name something) and jump in a rental and go to walmart.  we are at the full mercy of our wonderful hosts.  i am nervous because i like to be in control and this is a new experience where i don’t have full control of things and because i will be alone with church members while andy is in meetings and doing some other things.  i like to think i am nice (most of the time anyways) and able to make conversation etc but sometimes it takes me a little bit to warm up to people i don’t know.  while i sit here and write this i am sure i look calm (and maybe like i am actually working – if im lucky) but my mind is going a million miles a minute while i panic about forgetting something, what these meetings will bring, if we can find a house while we are gone, what it will do to relationships that we have here, if people there will be ok with my sarcastic attitude, what their weather is like, will we be ok on the plane, will we have time to eat dinner in memphis when we switch planes, will we have a comfortable bed with a suitable pillow and blanket, will otis drive my parents ok, should i have gotten his pills refilled, and most of all at the end of the day will this still feel like God’s will for us?

all of those questions being on a million other questions about timing and what will happen when we put our house on the market and so many things i feel like my head is going to explode…but it still feels right, it still feels like where we need to be.

i will glide around this weekend hoping to cover any quiver in my voice, or hands quieting my brain so i can enjoy their company and hoping to appear as calm like  a duck in a pond.

going down in the hood

we like our neighborhood.  sometimes i would even say that we love it.  it has been a great starter neighborhood for us with a cute little starter house for us (pictures to come in the next few weeks).  we love being close to 485, we love that we have a “big” lot for our neighborhood, we love that the price was right, we love that our neighbors aren’t really nosey, we love that we have high ceilings in throughout the house, and we love all the natural light that we have (in the summer we don’t turn lights on until 7 or 8 (we save a lot on power bills that way). 

we don’t love that we have a HOA (now i am sure some are good but ours – not so much), we don’t love that we wave to certain neighbors and they look right through you, we don’t love that they re-did the entrance to our neighborhood and spent millions of dollars doing it, we don’t love that now when it ices no one will be able to get out of said new entrance, we don’t love that we have to pay dues on stuff that we don’t use, and we don’t love that we have to jump through hoops to get things done around the house (it took us almost a year to get “approved” to paint our house).  last night we can also add that we don’t love when the police helicopter (snoopy) flies over our neighborhood for hours and police go house to house with a k-9 unit looking for an armed and dangerous man. 

we were watching tv (i was pouting because one of my favorite shows wasn’t on) and i realized that we had been hearing snoopy for the past 20 minutes.  i got on-line and started to research the neighborhood facebook page for the neighborhood (oh wonderful technology – maybe this explains why neighbors don’t communicate anymore face to face).  anyways i found that the police were looking for someone armed and dangerous.  they didn’t know all the details except shots had been fired and to stay indoors.  so we locked all the doors and i did what every normal person does and dug out my pepper spray.  i am hesitant to tell you that the pepper spray is about 6 years old and i am sure has lost whatever stops people, but i tell you i felt good.  otis was on high alert and was barking at any sound.  after about an hour of listening to snoopy and chatting with my neighbor on-line i decided i would take my pepper spray and my gee (who at this point in time lost interest in protecting his home and was sound asleep on the love seat) and we went to bed.  when we woke up this morning i was surprised to find that no one broke into our house and was sleeping on the couch.  (i was very glad that we didn’t have a house guest) but i jumped on the computer to learn that they never found our armed and dangerous “friend”.  hopefully he fled our neighborhood never to come back and hopefully they will catch him and take away his gun!  we still don’t know what went down in the hood but we are all ok.

weekend things…

well this past weekend was great.  in an earlier post i mentioned that this weekend would be “clean and get the house more ready to go on the market” well we did clean but we didn’t do more than just a normal cleaning.  BUT we did make a list of things that we need to do (we went room by room and made a master list).  i plan on starting the list as soon as we get back from our weekend visit to little rock.  we leave in 3 days and i am a little nervous but still really excited. 

i have been having really weird dreams.  i think because we have been talking about moving and packing i have been dreaming about moving and packing.  yesterday afternoon i took a nap after church and dreamt about living in the mountains and when i woke up it took forever for my ears to pop.  it was the strangest thing. 

i am loving this weather and this time of year.  it is cooler and the leaves changing are just beautiful.  we really enjoyed our weekend with the patio door open (otis loved sitting by the open door eating his treat – i hope to upload the short video soon) and a perfect date night on saturday night.  we went to a movie (tower heist) it was great.  we laughed a lot.  and dinner at firebirds.  that is one of the restaurants that we know little rock doesnt have so we used it as a date night before we depart.  it was so yummy but i had so much left over that i will eat it for lunch today and tomorrow. 

work will be a pain today i am sure because friday was veterans day (happy belated) and since the mail didn’t run i know i will be slammed in a matter of minutes.  so hopefully it will keep my mind off my growing to-do list before we head to the airport thursday.  speaking of airports and planes i would like to say i am very nervous.  our youth sunday school teacher was on a plane that lost an engine last week and it is the same airline we are flying with so tons of prayers for a safe flight and tons of praise for pilots who knew what they were doing and got chad and the rest of the passengers on the ground safely. 

This is what fall is all about