Apparently it is Wednesday!?

Hello my friends!

I hope your week is treating you well :). I have been in a bit of a funk and hiding away,sorry all.  Empathy takes over my soul in larger forms at times and it has been one of those times.

My current mood

There is just so much negativity &/or violence in this world. Every news alert that pops up on my ever connected phone, just depresses me at this point. Can America get its shit together – please? Of course it is all over, across the seas too and my heart goes out to them as well. So… how about this… WORLD CAN WE GET OUR SHIT TOGETHER!?

I guess a lot has been buzzing through my mind. I have been thinking of how the future of the US will turn out… I am mildly concerned. There was struggle before but now…ugh. 

It just makes my head spin. I had a list of my thoughts and feelings on some matters, but I erased them. When I drop that post, I want it to be in a clear state of mind :).

Anyway! So, outside of some “blahs” of mine, there has been some good and I need to focus on that. So here is a list of happier things from the past week+!

  • I bought a couple hibiscus trees for my garden and I love them. The colors are just so beautiful and bring me joy when I am out in my yard with the pups or laying in my hammock 🌺.
  • PRIDE weekend just finished up, there was a lot of love in Columbus which is a beautiful thing.
  • I trimmed up Barley my middle fur-child as he had RAGING fluff pantaloons (much worse the Syd). However, apparently someone is shy and kept sitting down when I tried to shave up his legs and bum. Which as you could imagine, left him with uneven fluff cheeks. That is right….eventually I accepted the defeat and just let it go. A woman can only fight their pupper so long, in the heat, face to dog butt – trying to even out cheeks. Pretty image eh!? Haha so there is that…ahem.  #bestdogmomaward goes to me
  • My blog reached 1337 likes – which is super exciting! Since I have been kind of slacking, I was happy to receive any award at this point. Slow progression is still something to be proud of! THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH! 😭
  • I successfully dodged the Foul Fowl (turkey) again and came out alive when I visited my father. Additional note… he now has a baby turkey too, so I really don’t know what I will do when that one grows up. Sorry Dad…I JUST CAN’T.
  • Summer is officially here!😎☀️
  • I started up a vitamin regiment and have been sticking to it. This may seem small and silly for most, but it is huge for me. I am terrible at taking pills besides my antidepressants and birth control. However, I am trying to take better care of myself.

I think that is about it for me. I will be posting my weekly photo challenge later as well!

How are you all doing!? Thank you for always supporting me and sending love my way! ❤

xoxo,

Monday catch up with… Andrina? #Starbucksfail

Hello my friends!

I hope that you had a good weekend and that your coffee and tea is strong this lovely Monday!

It is raining here, which always puts me in a mood. Soooo to make me feel better, I bought a coffee the size of me annnnd now I am apparently known as: Andrina? This is a new one, well done Starbucks.

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So this past week has been a bit crazy and my brain is as hazy is the world outside my window, so I think I will do this catch up in: the good, bad & ugly bullets. Ahhh simplicity on a Monday – that is what I am talking about! So here we go!


The Good

  • Mad Hatter Brunch – This was my first vendor event with my fierce lady boss friend, whom that I typically refer to as Sunshine… this never fit right with me and have been searching my mind for a NEW code name for her for quite some time… Now she will be referred to as…(drumroll) Honeydukes. I know… You’re probably thinking – wtf? Just hear me out and try to follow my logic here: My lovely friend and I share a love of sweets, fun, HP and her hair is blonde…it seemed perfect! Right!? IDK IT MAKES SENSE TO ME! 😘ANYWAY back to the list… Honeydukes and I attended the Mad Hatter Brunch! The brunch was in support of pediatric cancer patients and their families, so it was such a good feeling to learn more about the organization, meet some other ladies and fellow vendors. In terms of good vibes, the place was packed with them! Additionally, there were a few vendor spots which Honeydukes snagged one – so I (procrastor) ended up throwing on a sun hat and sun dress and went to support, and most importantly – witness my mentor in action and take notes for my event comes…. you know at the end of the month. No stress here (nervous laughter)… so I observed, took it all in and tried to channel my inner extrovert and do my best lol. After a few tries myself, I’m sure I will be rocking it myself 🎩👒.
  • Cookie Dough Creamery – This is probably one of the most important things that has ever happened to me…ever. After the lovely Mad Hattery, Honeydukes introduced me to this shop where they have “safe” edible cookie dough (I eat raw cookie dough regardless #rebel) that you can top with ice cream and several other things like sprinkles, cookie crumbles and candies. Essentially, it was what I imagine heaven to be like and I just had to share this with you!
    • Do you have something similar where you live!? I must know!
  • Dawn Dagger Award – My lovely blogger friend and beautiful lady, comfykittea nominated me for the Dawn Dagger Award!! Thank you my dear and I will be following up with that soon! I am thinking of questions 🙂
  • Bachelor Pad – Caterpillar’s roommates moved out and he is now living on his own for the first time. So we have been busy the past week deep cleaning the place, gathering things and reorganizing so he can have his own little perfect space. Bonus!? I was able to pass some things on to him that was taking up space in my house and garage. YESSS! So who really is the winner here? ME! Just kidding.  So, I am excited for him….while he radiates some anxiety about this big step :).With that, I am happy to report that Caterpillar and I have been doing better…. *knock on wood*. Even through this stressful time for him :). Keep your fingers crossed my lovely people.
  • Avian Nemesis– Do you remember my turkey story? Well, my father asked me over for lunch Sunday….which meant that I would have to face the Foul Fowl again. I am not going to lie, I did not think I would ever see my father again while that rather bulbous feathered friend, alive and strutting around the farm house. Mocking me…peering at me with those beady eyes and large wing span. HOWEVER, I gave myself a pep-talk. Like, listen – you are human! Potentially one of the most dangerous (petite) creatures, do not be bullied by this white jerk. You are bigger…ish than him! You are smarter than him and today you will show him up! Sooooo I packed up my Sydney and we drove over, because she would totally save me if I happen to opossum out in fear of this….turkey – right!? I am happy to report that he was not waiting on me at the end of the drive way this time…oh but he was lurking in the shrubbery/grass area. Syd and I managed to get inside the house and relax a bit, not a feather on my mind….until we were ready to leave. I walked out to see him strutting around. WHO DOES THIS TURKEY THINK HE IS!? With a straightened back and mustered up courage, I walked with Syd to the car. I safely got Syd in the car so I could take a few steps “closer” to try to get a picture of this turkey and you know, fight my fears! Well…. as he heard me step closer, he slowly turned towards me and let out, nothing short of what I would call a War Gobble…again. He then proceeded to stalk in my direction. At this point, I was feeling a bit anxious. This is what I get for locking up my fierce protector in the car to ensure that she would be safe. Great, who was going to protect ME now. So… I tried to snap a picture of him for you guys to see this monster buuuuut my phone camera was only able to produce this grainy, super zoomed in picture of the jerk . My friends, meet my tormentor… FullSizeRender (7)The good news? I am happy to say that I ran back to my car and shut the door immediately after this photo was taken, because I am apparently being bullied by this round creature and I do not trust him! Syd and I are peck free and no turkeys were harmed…..but my ego may be. Until next time my feathered foe.

The Bad & The Ugly

  • See picture above…
  • That Pap was NOT a wrap – So, I received the call. Yes, the call that we all dread from our gynecologist –  stating that my pap smear came back with abnormal cells and that I would have to go back for additional testing.  It appears that I will have to go back for something called an Colposcopy. Which essentially sounds like a pap on steroids and I may have to have a biopsy taken as well – depending on what they see. This kinda set the tone for my weekend, even though the nurse stated that this is “extremely common, just preventative, your other tests of HPV, gonorrhea and chlamydia were negative.” My mind just zeroed in on the “abnormal” portion, like what does this mean and how!? It did not matter that she seemed un-phased, perhaps snacking while explaining that this was not as scary as it sounds and my abnormality was “extremely mild.”Listen, I have serious anxieties and have a tendency to obsess and run/jump/catapult to worst case scenario. My colposcopy is not scheduled until the end of June so, I get to wait a bit before having this done. Here is a better description of the exam (in case you did not know like myself):“Colposcopy is a way for your doctor to use a special magnifying device to look at your vulva, vagina, and cervix. If the doctor sees a problem, he or she can take a small sample of tissue (biopsy) from the cervix or from inside the opening of the cervix. The sample is looked at under a microscope…During the test, your doctor uses a lighted magnifying device that looks like a pair of binoculars. This device is called a colposcope. It allows your doctor to see problems that would be missed by the naked eye. A camera can be attached to the colposcope to take pictures or videos of the vagina and cervix. Your doctor may put vinegar (acetic acid) and sometimes iodine on the vagina and cervix with a cotton swab or cotton balls. It allows the doctor to see problem areas more clearly.”WebMD
    ^me…all weekend

    Now, I know that many “non-scary” things can cause inflammation or can impact your cervical exam but it is hard to keep that in mind when the word “cancer” is mentioned but I am trying to stay positive. I have not really told anyone because… for some reason I feel ashamed or embarrassed?  I have no reason to feel this way but sadly I cannot shake it off TSwift style just yet.

    So I guess I have a few questions for my ladies out there:
    -Have you had this procedure done (colposcopy)? If so, any tips? How did it turn out for you?
    Have you received the “abnormal” call before?

     

I think that is about it really, I hope you all had a good weekend, tell me all about it!!! Also, if you don’t mind, send me some calming and good luck vibes, you know with my raging anxieties and chaotic life haha. I love and appreciate you all! ❤

xoxo,
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Friday Fem Frustrations *Warning: OB/GYN addition & a bit crass*

Hi all and HAPPY FREAKING FRIDAY!!! ❤

 

So today’s post will be more so for the ladies..sorry for my male readers, I put the OB/GYN in the title to scare you off if need be :). If you are here anyway, good for you sir and come here and give me a fist bump, because you are incredible…also fearless! Also… I am so sorry.

I really debated if I wanted to blog about my appointment or gynecology in general. Why? I felt that it was one of those things that a lot of people do not talk about. Unless you are a bottle of wine deep with some really close gal friends with snacks around you. I asked myself, why am I embarrassed by this? Us ladies all go through it, so why the hell not? So goodbye shame and here we go!

As you probably picked up, I had my yearly (yes, I still go yearly – I don’t care about the new standards) gyno appointment today. I dread them, they are not fucking fun – you gals know this! Well, unless maybe you do and happily skip and or cha cha on up to the sign in sheet…and if that is the case, please contact me and give me your tips, because I could use them!

Sigh…The only perk of this day was I got to sleep in.

SO, back to my story – I rolled out of bed and showered (you are welcome doc!) and tried to make myself as presentable as possible and by that, I mean what is the “acceptable” hairiness level here? I debated this and I plan on Googling more about this later. Like, this woman/Dr/speculum and swab wielding super-woman is about to have her face staring at my vagina, I could at least give her an inviting scenery? Right!?

Additionally, maybe I need to bring her a gift, or provide candles for our big moment or fucking better yet, WE PATIENTS deserve a gift at checkout – I will come back to this later, I feel it needs more attention. In terms of hairiness, I mean this is like prepping for a sexy date. Like, bush maintained? Controlled? What about this chipped toenail polish? What about my legs? Can I get away with this stubble or should I shave? I felt that my leg fur…er hair was acceptable. However, I went with BB-8 Star Wars knee high socks…just in case. Which BTW, I do this for my partners as well, there is a reason that I have an excessive amount of badass or colorful knee highs. Also, just an excessive amount of fun socks (why is this such a thing for me this week?!)

After bathing and finding comfy clothes that are acceptable for Fri-yay work days….because if I am going to be met with a speculum BEFORE coffee AND have to go to work after… I am going to get as casual as my work will allow. So that is exactly what I did, plain tee, nice jeans and the Chuck Taylors that I have had since…. Middle school – I know.

The drive in was filled with groans and sighs while reflecting on the questions that are about to be fired my away soon and being the anxious gal that I am… totally tried to plan my answers before hand. This is my prep list and what my answers were while driving….

  • When was your last period?
    • Gee doc, I don’t have one because I am on an endless anti-baby pill regimen for endometriosis and look out world I am a single gal – RAWL!!
  • Are you in a monogamous relationship?
    • Um…. let me stop you right there doc. Let me tell you about dating in this era! But yes, I am a one man lady and outside of that, this question is too complicated and we do not have enough time for this doc. NEXT!
  • How many partners have you had in the past 6 months?
    • Oh, you mean that bat cave down there!? You touching me is the most action I have had in months! **jk jk sorry if this was too far for some but my humor in awkward situations can get out of hand, if I offend you – I am sorry and forgive me!**
    • Besides the bat residents in said cave during those down times with Caterpillar, one. Are you damn happy? When does this stop.
  • Are you using birth control methods outside of the pill, like condoms?
    • I mean…
  • Any issues…?
    • Nope, happy as a clam. Literally.
    • All is well, thanks for verifying my vag is happy and healthy. I love these convos, would you like to go out for tea after this!?

These thoughts and anxieties helped fill the time during my freeway cruising and before I knew it. It was time for the paper gown.

Guys, it was freezing in that damn office. Can we get some paper gown warmers? Heated exam chair? I don’t know what the deal was but I was not happy to strip down for this woman, without a steak dinner and shiver out of the stirrups. Worst fear, chattering/shivering so much that I end up closing my legs around her head during exam.

Obviously this is a bit exaggerated. By a bit, clearly a ton. It was cold but you do not have to worry for the doc, her head was safe. My nips were prob hard though and for that doc, I am sorry. P.S. – your freezing hands did not help…

Then it happened, the ole “you are going to feel some slight pressure” line – I am sorry. There is NOTHING in this world to 1- prepare you for that cold instrument going into depths of you and 2- hearing “relax” is not going to help me BTW. I know you are trying and I do appreciate it but at this point, I am sure everything is so tense down there you should prob give up. Also…me too.

It was all over pretty quickly, I must say. I always feels like a drawn out process but I made it. She wrapped it up by saying “everything looks and feels good” um…phrasing?! Glad you could see in there, I GROOMED JUST FOR YOU! Because I am sure that was what she was really focused on… and meant….so now we wait. Results will be back within a week or so and I did get another STD panel done because you know – wild and crazy gal over here.

She did say “we typically do STD screens routinely for women up to 26. However, if you would like we can do test for that as well.” I thought this was interesting, like why 26? What science goes behind this? I will be Googling that as well! I assume because most women after 26 are married and or in steady situations… ahem. It is fine, I will be the wildcard for her go ahead, test away doc!

I do want to mention that she did compliment my socks, she got a bonus point. She then lost said bonus point, when she had to ask what it was…. CLEARLY IT IS BB-8, YOU KNOW STAR WARS!? Oh, not a huge nerd like myself… sorry. But really, I smiled and just said it was Star Wars because her look of confusion was enough to tell me that this conversation cannot go on any longer. I fucking love droids.

Let me loop back around to rewards for making it through these appointments. My thoughts, all OB/GYN practices should have a tea room or spa room? Like, hey you badass bitch – you made it through the exam, have some tea! You want a quick facial instead!? HERE YOU GO! I would also accept a fun Starbucks drink, blanket or candy.

Once I scheduled my next sexy date with this gal next year, I decided that I did need a fun Starbucks drink for successfully adulting, so I waited in line with the other zombies and achieved the “i survived the speculum, swab wielding wonder-woman” mocha and happily drank it on my ride into work.

I made it and I should have another post like this for another year, aren’t we all happy!?

One more thing, I am unsure how I feel about photos on the ceiling. Does your practice have these? It was like a family photo today and it just kinda made me confused to be looking at 3 toddlers while enduring this.

Anyway! Remember, it is important to get these exams done, even if you do hate them. That whole self care thing guys! Make sure you do it!FullSizeRender (6)

Now, I have to ask, do you have any good OB/GYN stories? Anything at all really to comment and not make me feel alone and that I may have made a posting mistake!

❤ Love you all and have a great weekend!

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Not So Thriving Thursday

Hello – it’s me! I missed ALL OF YOU!

I think it is safe to say that I have made it through our “hiring frenzy” over the past 2 weeks – WHEW. I hope to be back in the blogging game starting now – yessssss! I really do miss reading up on you guys, sorry for being a bad friend and being so far behind, I feel like I am letting you guys down and it makes me sad. I promise to dedicate some time to that asap! ❤

So I guess I can give you a quick life update before diving into my reader. Also, since my brain is still a bit foggy/fried/overstimulated – I am going to do a random bullet list. Simple, easy thoughts on life….should not be too hard right!? Let’s see…

  • Doggos: While neatly trimmed and oh so loving, I think my 3 pups are trying to kill me. They have been fond of romping around in the middle of the night and needing to be let out multiple times throughout the night over the past week. I did not get settled into bed until 2:30A last night. There was some anxiety issues with this as well, but mostly CRAZED MUTTS! I try so hard to give them all the love, the ear scratches, refuse to walk out on my job to keep kibble in the bowls! This is how they repay me!? YESH! Thanks puppers 😉 I really do love them though – just want that to be noted!
  • Fatigue: Is an understatement for me over the past week. I mean, I think adulthood in general is a giant blur of fatigue but this has been a new level for me. Sadly even while feeling so tired that my body aches and my nerve endings feel on fire – I still cannot sleep well. I may have to bust out the ole trazodone again 😦 which also makes me sad. I just want a normal functioning body…. k thx! I am sure the work load and still raging pollen count has something to do with it… right?
  • Officially ANTI-SOCIAL:  Well, kinda. As I mentioned a few posts back, I was participating in the IG @omgkenzieee #selflovebootcamp – which sounded so good in theory but it just got too hard…then I got really far behind. So there went my weekly posting idea versus the daily. I guess you could say I have officially given up. That’s right, I am a quitter. I still follow the tag and friends that I made the first couple weeks…er… week? They are warriors indeed and perhaps I am just a little bunny that is lost. Kudos to all the ladies out there who is still putting their bodies out there and fighting for the MUST body positive movement. You girls go! I will cheer from over here, by over here I mean with this pizza and probably a blanket.
  • Mood: I have been in a low mood since yesterday. There is no sun, only rain and my stubby legs did not make it over “large” leap over a puddle this morning and…my feet, flats and legs were wet for most of the morning. It did not help things 😦 . I guess I am being a Grumpy Kat….
  • Buffoonery: First, can I say that I love this word? Why is it not utilized more? Anyway… I love to take pictures and while looking through my 3k photos on my phone, I realized that I had quite the range of random snaps, downloaded memes, inspirational quotes and even raunchy ridiculous memes all in between all the photos of my rebellious mutts. I was thinking that I wanted to put together a quick movie/slideshow? I guess you could say? That shows some of my pics and randomness that I love and snatched off the interwebs….just to give you a show? So you can see what I find is interesting, I hope you will tell me your thoughts on it!

Addiction & Mental Illness

Hello friends!

To continue with the theme of Mental Health Awareness, I wanted to branch a little further and address addiction and substance abuse as well – as it is not uncommon for some to suffer from both, otherwise known as co-occurring disorders.

**Please remember, I am not a physician – just a gal sharing her experiences and providing resources**

It seems like over the past couple years, I have heard more about heroin overdoses than I ever have. It is scary, I have personally known friends who struggle with addiction and it greatly impacts their lives…their families and children. It saddens me greatly to hear about someone I know who cannot seem to stay in treatment despite what they have been blessed with or the support system around them. I am not sure if stigma has something to do with this, or what. My struggle with substances have never been that level of destruction, so if you have any insight on this and why it can be a struggle for the addict, I would love to hear your thoughts or stories!

“Millions of Americans suffer from anxiety disorders, and millions also suffer from substance use disorders. The illnesses can develop independently from one another, or one can cause the other.

Although people with anxiety disorders don’t always develop substance use disorders, or vice versa, research shows strong associations between the two. An estimated 18 percent of all people with substance use disorders have an anxiety disorder.”

– DrugRehab.com

In my own personal experience, the few addicts that I know, do have issues with coping and this is their release. The quick fix if you will, that we have all heard about over the years. We must help encourage change! If you or someone you know is struggling – try to make that first step in assisting them or yourself. There are many helpful resources out there both locally and beyond. For further information or help finding treatment near you, family or friends – please check out the below links:

 

Continue to be strong my friends, not only for you but your loved ones as well!! ❤

xoxo,

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Mental Health Awareness Month!

Hello friends & happy Wednesday! ❤

As most of you probably know, May is Mental Health Awareness month! YAY! This is super huge for me since I have been struggling for many years.

The last year and a half was a big slump for me in regards to recovery in adulthood. My fellow mental health warriors, you may experience this too – but it comes in waves. Some days/months/year(s) go by with little to no symptoms and other times it feels like a brick hit you in the face (or treats to a puppers face) and you feel ALL THE THINGS!

So, in honor of this beautiful month – I wanted to share a summary of my history with mental illness and what I am doing this year to honor it – since I am a bit stronger than last year!


The History: My “relationship” with mental illness probably started when I was in my later years of middle school. I do not remember the exact age anymore as it’s all a little blurry at this point in my life. I do recall the feeling of overwhelming sadness, numbness, anxiety and losing my will to live. Which, is scary thought to have that young.

I remember looking for ways to “feel” again. At that point, it had consumed me and had been for a while. I danced sharp objects along my skin, the burning, the color and feeling was the only feeling that came alive. Glowing red metal rods laid across my skin and pills by masses to try to get away from it all. I also remember driving and being tempted to just close my eyes.

My life, even in my younger years came with its complications. I had mentioned some of it in my “How the hell did I end up this way” post. There is always more to every story but I like to keep things going, I did and will hit all the highlights?? <– I need to find a better word here!

Depression is an evil bitch

Fast forward through the long dark days…There came a time when I snapped to and realized I had to get help. At the rate I was going, I think my story would have ended quickly. So, for whatever reason – inner strength took over my darkness for long enough to gain to courage to speak to my mother. Which…why I chose her to open up to at this moment, I will never know but I did. This was the woman who scrutinized my appearance regularly and informed me that I looked fat several times through out my life. You see, she has always been petite and we have been close in weight for as long as I can remember, so god forbid if I started to look like I as growing out of that mold.

Anyway, informing my mother that I no longer wanted to live and that I needed to go to the doctor was one of the hardest things that I had to do. She seemed to care and then handled it poorly afterward. I remember bits and pieces of going to my doctor, completing tests and having that hard discussion with her. I was put on antidepressants and agreed to counseling. I have never felt so lost and scared in my life.

Counseling was strange for me. I did not care for my therapist or her dated orange and brown decor through out her office. I think part of it was because my mother was in the room with me majority of the time, which she took over the conversations and reminded the woman that I was “fine.” She just did not get it.

She further proved that she did not get it by providing a less than supportive relationship. Which, is still true to this day. Versus actually talking to me, it was like I was living with a prison guard with strip searches to see make sure there were no fresh wounds. Which I can understand, but I feel there are better ways to go about it  – rather than throwing demands around and talking down to your child during these searches. She just looked at me as if she hated me, or perhaps she felt that she had failed on some level and it bothered it and came pouring out of her eyes. She already had a troubled child, so I don’t think she had room for me to struggle too… I suppose I can sympathize with that now?

Further more, my new medication made me feel nauseous – as many others you have taken these kind of meds, they can be rough until your body gets used to them. So now, since I could not eat without wanting to vomit, my mother viewed it as now an “eating disorder.” She would force me to clean my plate even if I told her if I ate one more bite, I will probably get sick. Which happened numerous times because when you have a level of anxiety – you already feel that way. Throw in some anti-depressants and you know what? You just don’t have the best appetite and that is okay, you are adjusting. When I did get sick, she would yell and say see – I told you. “I knew you were throwing up after eating!” No, actually I did not have an eating disorder at the time…but thanks Mom. That did happen, just in my adult years.

I managed to stick to my therapy and medication and I did start to feel better. More alive and a bit more happier.  It took some time and some dosage adjustments but I got to a point of no longer wanting to harm myself and wanting to be able to walk this fine earth as a young person should. I am not sure exactly how long it took as I am getting old these days 😉 but the important part was I made it. It was not easy, reflecting on this point in my life – I believe there were a lot of factors that played into this outside of genes (they were stacked against me too). I am also sure that it took a significant amount of time of general sadness to get to my breaking point as well.

Anxiety and insomnia still was an issue from time to time. It really kicked up again around 18 – probably with adulthood, college and who knows what else. Luckily my college therapist was helpful in providing techniques to help me cope with panic attacks. I started back on my meds and tried to really focus on self care at this time. To be honest though, I have been dealing with anxiety ever since…in those waves that I was speaking of :).

Self image became an issue in my early adult years. I have always been told that I was “small, tiny, petite, anorexic, bulimic, had nothing to worry about and weird/tomboy.” I still remember this time in class when a man asked me if I ever ate without throwing it back up…. thanks fella. Reallly nice.

However, it did become an issue eventually. I was in a bad relationship with someone who made me feel less than. To put it simply, he was physically and verbally abusive and beat my confidence and self worth down. It resulted in me weighing roughly 75-80 lbs in my adulthood. Granted even when I was younger…I believe now, I can call it social anxiety?? But I had a fear of eating in front of people. The cafeteria in school was my nemesis. All the kids. All the food. Perhaps there is some sort of eating disorder theory in there as well??? Lord who knows – I am a mess haha.

When I finally got out of that bad situation, which took time. Planning an exit from someone like this must be done carefully. He obviously did not handle it well and probably would have reacted poorly regardless. Unfortunately, he did end up stalking me, he would show up at the local mall where I would be shopping, or restaurants where I was having dinner with friends and even showed up at my house. Trying to get over that fear while trying to repair myself again – whew. This time, it also meant physically and mentally. Again, I over came and now happily weigh in with triple digits on the scale and have been steadily since 2012-2013ish. While body image is something that I still struggle with after my many surgeries, the important thing to remember is it is progress. I am better than what I was before and that is key.

Mid 2015 is when my anxiety took on a form that I had never encountered before. I had gone through several ups and downs in life regarding my mental health and outside of it but this was different. It was something that I literally could not handle. Feeling anxious and insomnia again was not a stranger to me. I live a life that tailors to these needs – most would probably deem boring but it is my life and I have accepted this.

This was the first time in my life that I would need to check in somewhere for observation. I. LOST. IT. Best part? My breaking point occurred at work. I had to get out immediately, after reaching out to my employee assistance program – I informed my boss in little words as possible that I had to go without worrying her….. but one more issue… I take the bus (which was very hard for me at first too btw)…so I had to step up and take an uber to my car. One, I don’t like not being in control of the vehicle that I am in. If I trust you to drive me – congrats! Second, I don’t do taxis or ubers….the amount of germs, smells and general feeling of out of control does not vibe with me.. third, it was a 35 dollar trip easily. However, it had to be done.

This is where the medical field failed me and I have heard similar stories and it is so heartbreaking to me. I did not feel in control, I could not breathe, I could not function, I literally did not know what happening but all I can say is, I did not feel myself. I was not me, I felt literally insane or that I had “snapped.” I attempted to get into our local psych center…for anything consult, treatment, or whatever. However, they were at capacity and since I was not “that bad” I had to find elsewhere. This was the story for the next 3 calls that I tried. There is nothing worse than feeling helpless, trying to find someone to care when you do not even know how you are going to get home or what may happen to you. I was finally able to get into a physician…. 2 weeks later. How was I able to get manage this? Sadly, this is so common and for some people that 2 week wait has cost their life – no joke. Fortunately, my psychotic break was more controllable? (somehow I managed this…I will never know how) versus severe depression/suicidal. Luckily my boss was understanding enough during this time, my then fiance was….I don’t even know but he was there (at the time). I was able to hang on until my appointment where we had a full work up, got a referral in for a specialist, adjusted my medication and added in more…it was overwhelming but I hung in there the best that I could. I began intense therapy, maintained my strict medication regiment, tried my hand at self care and then my now ex (Fuckboy), abandoned me in December 2015. I guess I should be thankful that I was already medicated at that point. Perhaps he could not face being married to someone with severe anxiety, who knows. The key was, I was trying to take care of myself while planning a wedding with little help. Honestly, I thought I was doing well. I had the “supportive” partner who had been my best friend for years and we had helped another through it all – before and after we were together. Life was on the up and up….until he decided otherwise. Since I was medicated, when he left I always asked people (friends, family & associates) if they saw it coming. The answer was always no – whew so I was NOT crazy :). We even had Friendsgiving where Fuckboy stated he was thankful for me and put on this great speech where he pulled a fast one and even pulled it by my good friend Sunshine- who does not miss a damn thing! Anyway, after I had to handle that mess – I took some serious time off. I had to, granted I am still struggling to this day with building PTO…. it was worth it.

My anxiety/episode recovery has been hard since I did not see that life changing event coming during it. Learning to trust people again, regaining my self worth and learning to live independently has been really fucking hard. However, I have kept up with therapy. I know that leaving someone without reason, leaving all their shit  behind for you to handle, not telling their own family what they did and not forwarding their mail is THEIR problem and not mine. Abandonment is never okay and that is something that I have had to accept and the fact that I will never really know the reason why this happened.

My medication has increased over the past year, I still struggle with insomnia and anxiety but I am stronger than I was a year ago – mentally and physically. I am able to stand on both feet and take on the world the best that I can. Some days are still hard… There are times that I cannot get out of bed for several days, at times my anxiety is so bad that I cannot leave the house and it does impact my day-to-day.

Most do not realize all that is going on behind the scenes in recovery and that is fine – because this is my journey and if they don’t notice – I must be keeping it together…..(right!?) hahaha. I am happy to report that I got through that very dark period aka – all of 2016 without thoughts of suicide and while I have lost some weight, I am still healthy. This has been my healthiest recovery to date and I am quite proud.

I may still be a mess but hey – I have a good heart dammit and worthy of love! Now let’s transition into what I am doing this year since I feel stable, happy and productive during Mental Health Awareness month!

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Present day! May 2017: Since I am someone who has clearly struggled with some shit – it has become my mission to give back to the mental health community in anyway that I can. I have done this by sharing my story with friends, family, here, through sites, beating down the stigma in anyway that I can, looking to become an advocate for local mental health chapters, donations, spreading the word, educating others, remembering to be kind – you never know what people may be fighting inside and by participating and supporting Kenzie Brenna during her self-love boot camp on Instagram- which encourages others with mental health disorders to share their stories through social media (there is a focus on body image but it is helpful for everyone), ensuring others that they are not alone!

You can learn more on the link provided or check her out on Instagram, along with her supporters @omgkenzieee and searching #selflovebootcamp. There is a new topic each day and so many people are opening themselves up to vulnerability – it is beautiful. I am going to push myself to participate every day, but some topics are harder than others as you can see in the calendar below. However, if this will help push me to become a more whole person – why not? Although, I do struggle with vulnerability…my therapist can attest to this :).

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FINALLY! If you made it through that entire post – you get a cookie! I know it was long so thank you for listening to my story, ignoring any typos that came out during the flow! Yoda best!

I want to ask all of you to do something for Mental Health Awareness this month too! It is so important to keep bringing awareness! Sometimes individuals cannot make that 2 week waiting period to see a physician – we need to do something about this! So my friends/warriors, wear some green this month or ribbon! Participate in a challenge or walk, start a conversation, be there for a friend, spread some facts on social media, advocate and help influence positive policy reform, volunteer, share YOUR story if you have one and remember to take care of yourself and others!

Love you all xoxo,

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Follow me! IG: @DiaryoftheMadKatter  P: DiaryMadKatter

My endometriosis story 💛

Hello friends!

As my lovely followers, you know that I suffer from mental health issues. I have opened up with my story a little bit regarding my struggles with them but my topic today is something that I haven’t really dabbled into and is another silent disease called: endometriosis. The link provided is from The Endometriosis Foundation of America and has some great information if you are interested in learning more.  

My story:

I will never forget in January 2013, I was suffering from some severe pain in my left , lower side. I have suffered from pain each month, to a point that pain killers did not even touch the pain that I felt. So, I did not think too much about it and thought it would pass, I took some medication and went about Fuckboy’s work holiday party, I simply did not have time for this and so I sucked it up, shook hands with the bosses, smiled and chatted with their wives and tried to force the pain down a river of endless beer.

It did not help. In fact, the pain progressed over the weekend.

I somehow made it through the dreadful weekend, called my doctor first thing in the morning on Monday to be seen. Surprisingly, I was able to get in quickly if I remember correctly, but my wonderful and caring doctor dismissed my concerns initially because “I looked fine.” I appeared to not be in pain in her eyes, luckily she still took the time to do a physical exam. Where I squirmed and yelped in agony as she prodded my ovaries.

“Oh, I guess you are in pain” as she continues her cold hearted prodding to my raging insides.

She finished the exam and suggested that I get an ultrasound. She suggested that it may be a cyst. However, since they are so common and typically go away on their own, she was not too concerned; but she did go ahead, and get the ultrasound scheduled for me. Gee thanks doc for listening to me…ahem.

So this is where things started to take a turn, I was able to go to a local branch to get the ultrasound done the next day I believe (by chance). However, this time I had to drink my body weight in water beforehand and hold it for this type of ultrasound…..you could say, I was about to get up close and personal with this ultrasound tech and her not so magical wand. I did not even get dinner or even a damn lollipop post session. She was nice  though, so I guess that is all I could ask for…and perhaps a hug or additional therapy.

It turns out, I did in fact have a cyst. It was one that was solid versus the “typical ” fluid filled kind. Now, things were rushed. I was referred to a specialist/local OBGYN to evaluate and treat asap. 

We all know that I suffer from anxiety, so as you could imagine, I was internally losing my mind. What is this elusive mass on my ovary and how dare it! Causing me great pain, moving in and taking over my lady organs without paying rent or giving back at all. Quite frankly, it was just rude!

So on to the next appointment and another ultrasound…ugh. Dr. Chan diagnosed me with an endometrioma or also known as: chocolate cysts or blood cysts. At the time, she wanted to try the wait and see game. I would have a repeat ulrtrasound in about a month to see if it shrank on its own. In the meantime, I got a full blood panel done because since this was a more solid mass, scary terms like mass and cancer was being passed around. “While unlikely, it is best that we take these tests to rule out any additional concerns.”

I took a deep breath and agreed to the tests.

Listen guys, I don’t handle medical needles well. I have tattoos, mostly where I did not watch them drill my skin and for a reason. Watching someone draw my blood, especially several vials – I was feeling severely overwhelmed, anxious, and terrified. It seems that I was right over the years but here is the thing – endometriosis can only be “officially” diagnosed through surgery. While this was on the list of possibilities. I was hoping this asshole cyst would go away on its own. 

A month down the  line, the pain persisted and when it was time for my next  ultrasound, my cyst grew to the size similar to a baseball, just a little bigger. It was time to really talk about surgery. 

I spent the month between appointments researching endometriosis and what that would mean for me. I have always wanted children and I was with my long term boyfriend at the  time who also wanted children one day. How would I talk to him about this? How can I accept this? Engagement was coming close and hearing this information threw me into a depression. 

I will never forget speaking to Dr. Chan, in her little private office about the surgery. Recovery and what I wanted for my future. Worst case, she needed to know if she needed to try to save an ovary if I wanted children .  

I was 24, going on 25. Sitting alone, planning a surgery that may impact my distant life. 

I choked  out, what were the odds that my fertility would be impacted. There is no simple answer for that. 

Some people have little endo and experience great pain and fertility issues, some do not. Others have severe endo and still have babies. She would not know the severity of mine until she went in to remove my cyst and we wouldn’t know how my fertility was impacted until I were to actually start trying. 

Ideally, it’s best to try right after the surgery since the adhesions would be removed from my organs.  Again, at 25 and where I was at in life, it wasn’t going to happen. 

So then comes the thoughts – how could a man love me? Would my then significant other run for the hills? How would I bring up the topic to any future lovers. I mean, I don’t know  myself, but when do you insert the statement “oh hey, I’m not sure sure what you were feeling here…But if you want  children with me, I need you to know there may be complications.” 

Does that come after drinks a year down the line. Is that something that should be covered sooner so no one gets upset or too attached?

**I had not been had the surgery yet mind you. This was just flying through my head on my drive home, to my then boyfriend and tell him the plan and news.**

Surgery day  came, I was hangry and ready to vomit the bile that was the only thing left in my stomach. With no food after midnight and my surgery pushed to 12p. Whew. All I could think about was food. 

When the dreaded time came, I was sent off from a few loved ones and I was out before I knew it. 

I woke up  groggy, in pain and of course the news that endometriosis was indeed found. She lasered all that she could and successfully removed my cyst without having to remove any additional organs. I still had two ovaries – thank god. 

Recovery was slow. I could not wear real pants for like a month and time around the house left time to continue into a black spiral of  “being a broken woman, that no one could love long term.” 

I had a supportive partner at the time or so I thought. I sometimes wonder that if possible fertility issues was part of the reason he up and left before the wedding. But hey, we won’t spend another second on him. 

Time went on, I grew to accept that my window of “ideal” procreation came and went. I grew older and went through periods of acceptance, anger, back to depression and also periods of  “I could be just fine!”

But I have generalized anxiety and we like to cover all the grounds 😂. Post surgery, I had to start taking a continuous regimen of birth control pills to try to control symptoms of endometriosis. 

It’s been about 5 years since then and that’s kind of been the course. But now I’m facing 29, with those scary thoughts and have a sort of significant other?? 😂😳

I’m still terrified. I still wonder if I will ever  be a mother or if I would have to adopt or just be a dog family. I guess time will tell. 

The scary thing about endometriosis is that it can go untreated for many years, women suffer in agony before many take them seriously – this includes medical professionals.  It is very similar to my experiences with mental illness. Others do not see an open wound on your arm and it doesn’t exist. Or it’s not as “serious” as you claim.  

It is truly heartbreaking that this is the case, because it can impact many aspects of a woman’s life in the current and future. 

I leave you with this, I ask you to educate yourself if you do not know much about endometriosis and share that information with others. The more attention that is brought to the disease, the more hope we can have for the  future!

I hope you enjoyed my post or learned a thing or two. I encourage you to take a look around and if you are having symptoms or have a friend, family member or loved one with these symptoms, support them ❤️. 

If you have  any questions,or have a story of your own, I would love to hear it!

Xoxo,

Monday coffee fueled thoughts! 

Hello friends & happy Monday!

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Tis a grey, gloomy day in Columbus, OH. I have thrown down my vitamin d gummies (like a REAL adult..ahem) and currently enjoying a large coffee. Essentially with that combo, I should be ready to take on the world soon!

How was everyone’s weekend? Did you do anything new or exciting?

I did a lot of “adulting” things I guess you could say – I am all caught up on laundry and cleaning. There is something so soothing about a clean space, I need to stay on top of it more…. Cluttered space = cluttered mind and I say NO MORE!

I am feeling better emotionally this week – knock on wood. I am hoping to keep it that way. Thanks again for all your support last week friends ❤ you are the best! I did not realize that I needed a damn battle helmet to start/get through last week. Had I known, I would have worn it with pride…and accessorized it accordingly.

With all of last week’s aftermath still floating around in my head, I am thinking about trying to expand my self-care list. Mine is rather small and includes: basking in sun when available in Ohio and blanket cocooning with Netflix playing in the background to recharge. I clearly need to try some more options, before I turn into a full blown hermit! So with that that in mind, What is your favorite self care tip/activity?? Hopefully by sharing, we will all try something new!


I hope everyone has a great start to the week, talk to you soon!

❤️❤️❤️

What does anxiety feel like?

Hello friends 🙂

Things have calmed a little on my end. I have nothing really new to report. After having a two day spat, I’m trying to take in the good. 

Anyway, with this past week – I have struggled with my anxiety and insomnia a great deal. One of my friends had asked “what does your anxiety attacks feel like?” Or essentially, how do I feel when I have these rough patches if you will. I reflected in how I was feeling and this is how I explained it:

My chest feels tore open, set a flame that spreads up to my neck. Nausea takes over and I cannot eat. I also have short breath and lightheadedness. 

How do you describe your experiences with extreme anxiety? I try my best to use breathing techniques but it’s difficult when it gets to that level. 

Tonight’s post is short and sweet, hopefully after a good night of trazodone induced sleep – I will be back full swing. 

Thanks for stopping by and for all your support, love and advice this last week. 

❤️❤️

INFJ Personality 🤔

Hello friends 👋🏻

As a complex human and since I work in human resources, I’m always looking to learn more about myself, how I work and how others work as well. 

Everyday we deal with personalities. Whether it’s our own, coworkers, friends, enemies or just a stranger that you chat with at the coffee shop. With all the daily interactions, I think it’s safe to say that we have had good and bad experiences. For example, you’re assigned a project with a couple of your coworkers and we all see the differences first hand. You can have the overbearing, the shy and the lazy all in one group if you’re lucky and WOW it can be stressful! 

Let’s be honest, some personalities just clash. 

Additionally, in my work, we find it helpful for managers to take a personality test so they can be more aware of their traits and how they can effectively communicate and lead their subordinates. 
Since I am a curious gal, I took a personality test myself at 16Personalities.com 

I took it several times…just in case but after many trials, I am clearly an INFJ. I took a little slippet from the site and pasted it below. I think over all, I agree! 

If you are curious of wtf an INFJ is… Please read below! Or if you are more eager to know more about you, head on over to http://www.16personalities.com and see what you are! I would love to hear if you agree with your results, comments or personality  humor!

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ADVOCATE PERSONALITY (INFJ, -A/-T)

The Advocate personality type is very rare, making up less than one percent of the population, but they nonetheless leave their mark on the world. As members of the Diplomat Role group, Advocates have an inborn sense of idealism and morality, but what sets them apart is that they are not idle dreamers, but people capable of taking concrete steps to realize their goals and make a lasting positive impact.
Advocates tend to see helping others as their purpose in life, but while people with this personality type can be found engaging rescue efforts and doing charity work, their real passion is to get to the heart of the issue so that people need not be rescued at all.

*HELP ME HELP YOU: Advocates indeed share a unique combination of traits: though soft-spoken, they have very strong opinions and will fight tirelessly for an idea they believe in. They are decisive and strong-willed, but will rarely use that energy for personal gain – Advocates will act with creativity, imagination, conviction and sensitivity not to create advantage, but to create balance. Egalitarianism and karma are very attractive ideas to Advocates, and they tend to believe that nothing would help the world so much as using love and compassion to soften the hearts of tyrants.

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. -Martin Luther King Jr.

Advocates find it easy to make connections with others, and have a talent for warm, sensitive language, speaking in human terms, rather than with pure logic and fact. It makes sense that their friends and colleagues will come to think of them as quiet Extraverted types, but they would all do well to remember that Advocates need time alone to decompress and recharge, and to not become too alarmed when they suddenly withdraw. Advocates take great care of other’s feelings, and they expect the favor to be returned – sometimes that means giving them the space they need for a few days.

*LIVE TO FIGHT ANOTHER DAY: Really though, it is most important for Advocates to remember to take care of themselves. The passion of their convictions is perfectly capable of carrying them past their breaking point and if their zeal gets out of hand, they can find themselves exhausted, unhealthy and stressed. This becomes especially apparent when Advocates find themselves up against conflict and criticism – their sensitivity forces them to do everything they can to evade these seemingly personal attacks, but when the circumstances are unavoidable, they can fight back in highly irrational, unhelpful ways.

To Advocates, the world is a place full of inequity – but it doesn’t have to be. No other personality type is better suited to create a movement to right a wrong, no matter how big or small. Advocates just need to remember that while they’re busy taking care of the world, they need to take care of themselves, too.

*ADVOCATE STRENGTHS/WEAKNESSES:

Advocate Strengths

    1. Creative – Combining a vivid imagination with a strong sense of compassion, Advocates use their creativity to resolve not technical challenges, but human ones. People with the Advocate personality type enjoy finding the perfect solution for someone they care about, and this strength makes them excellent counselors and advisors.
    2. Insightful – Seeing through dishonesty and disingenuous motives, Advocates step past manipulation and sales tactics and into a more honest discussion. Advocates see how people and events are connected, and are able to use that insight to get to the heart of the matter.
    3. Inspiring and Convincing – Speaking in human terms, not technical, Advocates have a fluid, inspirational writing style that appeals to the inner idealist in their audience. Advocates can even be astonishingly good orators, speaking with warmth and passion, if they are proud of what they are speaking for.
    4. Decisive – Their creativity, insight and inspiration are able to have a real impact on the world, as Advocates are able to follow through on their ideas with conviction, willpower, and the planning necessary to see complex projects through to the end. Advocates don’t just see the way things ought to be, they act on those insights.
    5. Determined and Passionate – When Advocates come to believe that something is important, they pursue that goal with a conviction and energy that can catch even their friends and loved ones off guard. Advocates will rock the boat if they have to, something not everyone likes to see, but their passion for their chosen cause is an inseparable part of their personality.
    6. Altruistic – These strengths are used for good. Advocates have strong beliefs and take the actions that they do not because they are trying to advance themselves, but because they are trying to advance an idea that they truly believe will make the world a better place.

    Advocate Weaknesses

    1. Sensitive – When someone challenges or criticizes Advocates’ principles or values, they are likely to receive an alarmingly strong response. People with the Advocate personality type are highly vulnerable to criticism and conflict, and questioning their motives is the quickest way to their bad side.
    2. Extremely Private – Advocates tend to present themselves as the culmination of an idea. This is partly because they believe in this idea, but also because Advocates are extremely private when it comes to their personal lives, using this image to keep themselves from having to truly open up, even to close friends. Trusting a new friend can be even more challenging for Advocates.
    3. Perfectionistic – Advocates are all but defined by their pursuit of ideals. While this is a wonderful quality in many ways, an ideal situation is not always possible – in politics, in business, in romance – and Advocates too often drop or ignore healthy and productive situations and relationships, always believing there might be a better option down the road.
    4. Always Need to Have a Cause – Advocates get so caught up in the passion of their pursuits that any of the cumbersome administrative or maintenance work that comes between them and the ideal they see on the horizon is deeply unwelcome. Advocates like to know that they are taking concrete steps towards their goals, and if routine tasks feel like they are getting in the way, or worse yet, there is no goal at all, they will feel restless and disappointed.
    5. Can Burn Out Easily – Their passion, poor patience for routine maintenance, tendency to present themselves as an ideal, and extreme privacy tend to leave Advocates with few options for letting off steam. People with this personality type are likely to exhaust themselves in short order if they don’t find a way to balance their ideals with the realities of day-to-day living.

        *ADVOCATE RELATIONSHIPS: When it comes to romantic relationships, Advocates take the process of finding a partner seriously. Not ones for casual encounters, people with the Advocate personality type instead look for depth and meaning in their relationships. Advocates will take the time necessary to find someone they truly connect with – once they’ve found that someone, their relationships will reach a level of depth and sincerity that most people can only dream of. Advocate romantic relationships.Getting to that point can sometimes be a challenge for potential partners, especially if they are the impatient type, as Advocates are often perfectionistic and picky. People with this personality type aren’t easily talked into something they don’t want, and if someone doesn’t pick up on that, it’s a trespass that is unlikely to be forgiven, particularly in the early stages of dating. Even worse is if a suitor tries to resort to manipulation or lying, as Advocates will see right through it, and if there’s anything they have a poor tolerance for in a relationship, it is inauthenticity.

        *IS THIS FOR REAL: One of the things Advocates find most important is establishing genuine, deep connections with the people they care about.

        Advocates will go out of their way to seek out people who share their desire for authenticity, and out of their way to avoid those who don’t, especially when looking for a partner. All that being said, Advocates often have the advantage of desirability – they are warm, friendly, caring and insightful, seeing past facades and the obvious to understand others’ thoughts and emotions.

        Advocates are enthusiastic in their relationships, and there is a sense of wisdom behind their spontaneity, allowing them to pleasantly surprise their partners again and again. Advocates aren’t afraid to show their love, and they feel it unconditionally, creating a depth to the relationship that can hardly be described in conventional terms. Relationships with Advocates are not for the uncommitted or the shallow.

        When it comes to intimacy, Advocates look for a connection that goes beyond the physical, embracing the emotional and even spiritual connection they have with their partner. People with the Advocate personality type are passionate partners, and see intimacy as a way to express their love and to make their partners happy. Advocates cherish not just the act of being in a relationship, but what it means to become one with another person, in mind, body and soul.

        *Feature photo from personality-central.com*