Monday, June 13, 2016

I lost myself along the way


In 2008 I got really sick

Put out of work indefinitely, and life forever changed for me and my soon to be husband. 

I used to think..."He never signed up for all of this!" 

I gave him an out, I told him that if this was too much, I would understand.

 I couldn't even imagine how hard it was on him. He became my caretaker. He helped me shower, he cooked, cleaned, and did the laundry and all the shopping....as I went for test after test after test. 

I cried a lot for me, but mostly him!

 I didn't want him to feel like a prisoner, and I guess after awhile of me telling him that it was okay, that he could just leave, well I got an answer from him that I did not expect. 

He looked at me and said "you are my dream girl, and I love you no matter what. I'm not going anywhere!"

We were married in 2009 and we  planned on having kids, two kids, just two. 

 In 2011 our beautiful Anna was born via emergency c section. 

In 2012 our beautiful Zoey was born, also via emergency c section.

 Not our plan, but we quickly realized that our plans didn't always go as we envisioned. 

When Zoey was 21 months old and we got her tested and finally a diagnosis of ASD, SPD, Dyspraxia of Speech, and Global Developmental Delay...well, we definitely didn't plan on that either. I remember my husband carrying Zoey as we silently walked to the Hospital elevator, we walked in and watched as the elevator doors shut, I looked at my husband and I asked "I don't know what to do?"

My husband looked at me as he held our child and I will never forget what he said!

"It changes nothing!"

This is when I realized that my dear sweet husband loved us, all of us unconditionally. 

I went through one of many bouts of depression, something I've lived with for 20 years. I started to experience extreme weight gain, insomnia, and I was tired ALL THE TIME!

My blood pressure became so high, that at one point I was in the ICU of the Hospital. I went on Blood pressure meds immediately. Then my throat started closing up, further testing would show that I had sleep apnea and was given a cpap machine.

WOW! 

I wasn't living my life, my life was living me! 

I had to do something, I couldn't leave my husband to do this all by himself. 

"What would my family do if something happened to me?"

It kept me up at night!

 I am Anna and Zoey's mama, but I am also Zoey's caretaker...something that hit me over the head like a heavy brick. I couldn't let my husband and my kids down, I couldn't leave my husband to be a widowed single Dad, and I couldn't leave my girls without a Mom!

I've been sick with numerous illnesses my entire life, I'm not afraid of surgery. I'm actually kind of a pro at it! I grew up in hospitals, my childhood was, getting used to Doctors and Nurses and big long words that I didn't understand and couldn't even spell! From the age of 3 and now at 37 years old, I have had over 30 surgeries to save my life, but this last one was the most important, not just for me but for my husband and my girls. 

I made the decision to undergo weight loss surgery. I know, I know, some would probably think and say "Oh you chose the easy way out!" I can assure you that there is nothing easy about this type of surgery, and there is nothing easy about making this decision.

 I need to be around for my family, I want to be around for my family. 

I went and did all the classes, and followed up with my Doctor's and Surgeon's orders, I started my weight loss journey in February 2015 and on August 24th I went in and had a gastric sleeve surgery, also known as a sleeve gastrectomy. 

I had lost 75 pounds by March 

No more blood pressure medicine, no more sleep apnea machine, and down 75 pounds. I did it for them, not realizing that I did it for me too! 


Friday, June 10, 2016

To Those That Think I'm Just An Introvert



You all know me as Zoey's voice, her advocate, and her mama. There are things about me that I don't typically share...I think it's time!

I don't talk about it, because I don't ever hear anyone else talking about it. It's not talked about openly, it's made fun of, quite often, actually. When you see a TV show or movie depicting a person who struggles, suffers, and hides away because of it...it's so taboo that you won't even hear it referenced by its own name.

It's embarrassing, it's debilitating, it's life altering, and it is very real. 

For those that suffer and struggle, they do so in silence, because no one wants to talk about it. We don't want to come out to tell our friends and family, we don't want to come out at all, and it's not that we don't want to, we can't! 

You may hear words like "introvert," "homebody," "shy," "antisocial," even "snobby or rude."

You are invited to so many of life's events and you decline them, you own more pajamas than you do actual clothes, you most times take vitamin D supplements to help with the lack of sunshine in your day, and you take many medications for the anxiety that comes along with it, sleep medication is also in your medicine cabinet, and you fear that knock or ring at your door...all day long!

Your day consists of controlling your environment, that enviornment that consists of the walls around you, the physical walls as well as the emotional walls. Your main objective and number one priority is safety and peace. You rely on your safety person to do the things outside your walls that you cannot do, and you feel so badly about this and live with much guilt. 

You can control what happens in your safety space, it's yours and it surrounds you and you need it to feel safe, outside of your safety space is not safe in your mind...no matter how many times you fight with your thoughts to say that it is, that nothing is going to hurt you, nothing bad is going to happen, you can walk out that door. 

But you can't! 

So you go on living in your safety place, surrounded by your safety walls, physical and emotional, you let people refer to you as an "introvert" even though that word does not explain the real you at all. You decline those invitations and come up with excuses, because you are the master of excuses, you've had years of practice and your friends and family are used to your absence. 

It is never talked about, unless someone cracks that joke, that we all have heard..."she never leaves her house!"

I know what people think my life is like, but I'm gonna tell ya, it's not what ya think. 

I want to leave my house, I want to do all of the fun things that you want me to do with you, I feel bad saying No or declining your invite, and I hate making excuses for myself just as much as you hate hearing them from me.

People leave their house to be among other people every day, they walk and talk among others in a world where there are no walls to hide or protect them, and for me and others like me, we need those walls just to be able to breathe. Without our protective walls we are struggling for air, just like a fish out of water, I'm more comfortable in my cozy fish tank, my own  ocean, my own world. 



It hurts, it's lonely, it exists...it's living with agoraphobia.