Lesson

Take care of yourself first, so you can take care of others. You hear it on airplanes when they go over the safety protocols. You hear it in therapy, and you hear it with family counseling. What if you are falling apart?

It happens to all of us at some point. Where life is too much, and you just aren’t enough. Everyone wants a piece of you, and all you want to do is run away. You want to quit. You want to start over. Worst part… running away and starting over doesn’t work. Your problems follow you.

Time does interesting things. It isn’t linear. We live in the past, the present, and the future all at once. Our memories haunt us, our present is too hard, and the future is daunting. How do you get to a point where you accept your past, enjoy the present, and look forward to the future? Where does it start?

Time is funny. You had a fight, or you handled a situation a certain way when you were younger. It didn’t get resolved. You made a mistake, said the wrong thing, whatever. Years later, you have another fight, and history repeats itself. We see it all the time in politics. Certain patterns that constantly repeat. Guess what, it’s in our day-to-day too. Problems you had with your ex will present itself again with your current partner. They will continue to present themselves until you actually make an active effort to change. Time is funny that way. It reminds you that it controls everything, and if you don’t address all your stuff, it will just come back. And typically, a little more harshly each time.

When life gets to be too much, it’s typically because you haven’t taken care of yourself. It’s your body, your mind, and your psyche screaming at you to pay attention. Self care. Be gentle with yourself. Allow yourself the time to heal wounds, and ask for support from the people closest to you.

When things get hard, just buckle down and get through it. It always gets better. There is always light at the end of the tunnel. That’s something I’ve learned in the last several years. I’ve noticed when it gets to the point where you don’t think you can handle any more, that’s when something changes. That’s when there’s a break in the storm, and you can see the sun through the clouds.

We are presented with pain and trauma for a reason. I always think it’s to teach us something. We are better people for what lessons we learn from our experiences. I’m trying to learn from this experience what I am supposed to learn. The universe is trying to tell me something. I have fallen from my spiritual routine, and have lost something. I don’t feel as connected as I usually do, and I struggle daily to be grounded. I try to find time every day to meditate, spend time with nature, and be thankful for what I do have. But it’s hard. Because I have a dream of what I want.

I want to minimalize as much as possible. I want to shed my material possessions, shed my burdens, and live with just enough. I don’t need a million dollars, or a big house, or lots of nice things. I just want enough space to live in peacefully, travel to interesting, fun places, and to enjoy life. The lifestyle I want is incredibly simple. So why does life have to be so complicated?

Kind of off topic, but it also brings up something I’ve been working on putting in place. Something I’ve been researching is how to have a simpler, stress-free lifestyle. And some commonalities I’m noticing are : Less stuff = more time to do what you want. This means less electronics, less toys, less stuff, less house, less busyness. Get rid of everything that causes stress. Clutter, electronics, cell phones, facebook, negative people, etc.

So, my plan is to move my business into a commercial building. Then, once I can call my house a home again, I fix it up, sell it. In the process, also selling much of our stuff so we have less to move. Move into smaller place, or even an RV/mobile home type thing. Pay in full. No mortgage payment. Less stuff to take care of. Less space to clean. More freedom to do what we want. We won’t need the income we had before, and I can work less. I can actually have hobbies. With work out of the home, decluttering finished, and more time on my hands, I feel I would be on my way to a much less stressful life. That’s what I want. Freedom to have a life.

 

Bait Dog

This was heartbreaking to read. But rescuing gives these dogs something to live for. Rescuing is what I always want to do… I wish I could save all of them.

mymegaedog

Author’s Note: To my wonderful readers, please consider rescue for your next pet. They don’t all have stories like this, but they all have stories.

Today is a good day, you are merely bored today. You walk in a circle around the post until your rope gets tangled and causes the chain embedded in your neck to tighten. When the pain of metal on open flesh becomes unbearable you stop. You lay down. Your pads are worn smooth from the endless hours of pacing on hard concrete, and they are achy and cracked. Your nails are still sore from the clipping last week when the people cut them down, down, past the quick, cutting skin and nail as one. At least there is no clicking noise now. When you click, the people come.

Your mouth is dry and swollen and your nose is so raw you cannot even lick it…

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Backstory

A story about my life, and the struggles I am currently facing. It’s difficult because my life would be out there for everyone to see. But… maybe it will help people who also struggle with depression and/or have gone through a personal trauma.

Now, about me. I was diagnosed with clinical depression at the end of 2010. At the time,
there were quite a few traumatic events that took place leading up to a nervous breakdown, and eventually ended up with me at the therapist…because I tried to kill myself. Since then, I have realized I have always been depressed, though unable to accurately describe how I was feeling. I felt I had no reason to feel that way, and felt guilty because I was unhappy and sad when I should have been feeling happy and grateful for my life.

Since then, I have been medicated, gone through talk therapy, done self-improvement
programs, and discussed feelings. Some of it was effective, but when I was drugged, I was
numb. Instead of feeling sad and worthless, I felt nothing. I welcomed the lack of
feelings for a while, but then I felt like an empty shell of a person, just being a zombie
– going through the motions, but not really feeling anything.

In March of 2011, my husband and I adopted a gorgeous yellow lab, who is now a member of our family. He has helped me so much, and I can talk to him without feeling judged, lost, or walk like I’m on eggshells.
People don’t understand. When I open up and actually tell someone how I feel, they get
defensive or say ‘Don’t feel like that’, ‘Don’t talk like that’, ‘You know I love you’, or
‘You have friends you can talk to. Just talk it out.’. Yeah, well – because I haven’t
tried those before, right? Well, my dog doesn’t tell me those things. He just rests his
big head on my lap and licks my hand. In my world, he’s telling me that he understands and wants
me to know he’s there for me. With no words. He understands, and with just one look at me,
takes some of the pain away. He has become a crutch, and I depend on him to be there for me when I get home.

Napoleon

We thought about training him as a therapy dog. But his personality isn’t the right fit.
That’s alright, he’s still my crutch at home. I just can’t take him with me on trips or to
work or the grocery store. I just have to hold on until I get home and I’m with him again.

I love my husband, and I have talked to him about all my feelings. But again, there’s a
difference between a dog and a human. It’s not that I love him less, it’s that it’s
different. He tries to be supportive, but doesn’t understand how painful it is to be alive sometimes. When I try to tell him that, he gets upset. He doesn’t understand. We have been working through it, and he is trying to learn more about depression. He wants to try therapy again. Last time, my therapist wanted to talk about my childhood. I don’t want to
talk about it. There are a few reasons for that, which I won’t get into. Not yet.

This blog is about handling my depression and how I have/will overcome challenges. Right
now, I am in the process of opening up my dog training business. It has always been my
passion, and I am finally doing it. I am a ‘baby’ in this field, but I want to learn
everything there is to know, and become great in every aspect. I want to handle any
problem, any dog, and have any discussion (this includes the incredibly difficult
discussion of euthanasia). I want to be great, not just an average trainer.

Some of the challenges my husband and I have faced over last year have been trying on our marriage, on my career, and on my sanity. And I don’t exaggerate when I say ‘sanity’. We bought a new house in 2010 and had massive flooding problems. In 2012, we believed we had completely fixed the problem since we didn’t have problems for over a year. We struggled for 2 years to fix the problem, and rebuild 1/2 our home. Finally, we rebuilt and laid down new carpet. We refurnished our home – almost every piece of furniture in our house was bought new. We were finally done. This constant stress point put my stress levels and ability to deal with anything else at an ultimate high. For the last two years, this chapter of my life has been a constant struggle and pain point. Above that, we dealt with death, broken promises to each other, and loss of work.

This blog is going to be personal, challenging, and a journey for me. I hope that in writing this blog, I won’t be judged or seen any differently. For those of you who already know me, some of what I post will be a shock. I’m putting it out there, I’m not hiding anymore.