I’ve never had trouble getting up and going to work (when I’m employed). I’ve never had trouble working 10 hour shifts, 12 hour shifts, doubles or my days off. In the 5 years at my last job I literally NEVER called in. In the summer of 2015 my husband had an accident which kept him in the hospital (45 min from home & work) for 3 weeks and when he came home he had 2+ months of healing. During the 1st week in the hospital my boss told me not to come in the first 3 days, then I worked 2 days, driving back to the hospital each night and on the Monday of the 2nd week, the day of his surgery I thought working would keep my mind occupied but my boss told me there was no way she wanted me coming in. Each scheduled day after that I went to work!
So, the point to the above rambling is that I can’t say I am lazy when it comes to work but other than that it feels as though I am. Is it that I am lazy or that depression keeps me from wanting to do much? Is it just negative self talk that tells me that I am lazy? Is that the same voice that tells me that I can’t do this or I can’t do that!? It is as though the fatigue is unbeatable no matter how much sleep I get or how much caffeine I consume. I’ve had labs drawn several times and typically my vitamin D is low but vitamin D never fixes the fatigue.
Everyday I have all these things that I want to do. Things that are just routine and things that I have to leave the house for and things that would greatly benefit me. None of these are important enough (typically) to light a fire under my ass. The years that I raised my children by myself I could do anything under the sun as though there was a constant fire under me. So now that I don’t have to do everything I just don’t have the energy to do anything?
Well I will attempt to wrangle all this in! I realize my lack of energy is probably a combination of depression, lack of vitamin D and what I perceive as laziness may just be how life is when your not doing everything on your own. Everyday it is a battle not to have negative self talk: you can’t do it, you don’t deserve it, you will never follow through, blah blah blah. No matter how many self help articles I read I can’t convince myself that I can do what I put my mind to and I do deserve to try out my ideas and if they prove to be profitable I do deserve that as well.
There just has to be a point in time when I won’t have to struggle with depression! I’m not quite sure when this time will come but I’ve come to realize that all the years I ran around like crazy seem to keep me busy enough that I never had to dwell on depression. All the years I spent in counseling I kept being told that I feed off the chaos in my life…..
Yet at the same time, all the chaos kept me sane….. Once life calmed down that’s when I realized all the “unfinished business” from my childhood was/had been contributing to years of depression. The only problem with all this is that when you live a life of chaos and life calms down, you become lost. You lose focus and determination. You no longer have to put out fire after fire…
My only savior has been focusing on being a nurse and a mom. I call this the Sunshiney way or…..I say focused but it’s actually been a little obsessed. Once I figure out how to rewire my brain I’ll let everyone know!
I have this ever present longing, for what I am not sure, to do something great I guess. The funny thing is that if I come across a situation or cause that I can do nothing about it really bothers me! Whether it be in my personal life, something I see happening at work, or something I have heard about on the news that I feel passionate about. I just feel like I want to help in some way and I just don’t know how.
I am sure this drive is directly related to my becoming a nurse. Unfortunately this has been a good and bad choice. Good because I love to help people and bad because often my hands are tied as a nurse. I spend so much of my time advocating for my residents that I feel exhausted.
Every cause I come across: Nursing Homes, Poverty, Mental Health, Overcrowded Prisons & Mandatory Minimums. I research for hours on end and I’m not quite sure why but I’m sure it’s because I feel I can make a difference somehow. I have done a handful of things to do my little part. I work in a nursing home so I’ve presented several ideas to my supervisors to make things better. I go out of my way to make things bearable for my residents!! As far as the other causes mentioned, I have sent several letters to politicians pleading for change as well as educating myself about the politicians so I can feel good when I go to vote. I joined FAMM: families against mandatory minimums and change.org. Change.org allows you to sign petitions that directly affect people and their causes. Lastly I started this blog in hopes that I will say something or provide information to someone that will be of help and/or make a difference!
Depression is a big part of my life. I’ve been going to counseling for most of my life. I know full well a big part of warding off the negative feelings associated with depression is to take my medicine regularly. So why is it I feel it is OK to go days and even weeks without taking my medicine? I am a nurse so that is just one more reason I should know better but for some reason it doesn’t work like that. At times going to appointments, keeping up with scripts and working through the awful world of health insurance requires more effort than I am willing to put in to anything. After going a month without any medicine and several months without taking anything consistently I finally made it back to the Dr. and went back to taking Wellbutrin. Of course the Dr. office called the script into the wrong pharmacy and it was a holiday weekend so it took FOREVER to get it straightened out but I got it! Yeah me! One small victory! Woo Woo!!
I’ve come to realize that openly working through depression helps in several ways.
1: I have a larger support system
2: I have more people to help hold me accountable (taking my medicine and going to appts)
3: Depression comes with such a terrible stigma and if openly sharing my struggle helps even one person than I am thrilled!
I’ve been a mom for 24 years and a nurse for 12 years. Clearly that makes me an expert on both, right? Sitting here now I realize I can’t give myself such a broad subject because I can’t figure out where to start!
Our youngest turns 18 in 2 weeks, graduation in next weekend. This has made me so very sad/tearful this week. I really don’t know what to do if I am not being a mom/wife/nurse 24-7. It just doesn’t seem that I’ll have enough to keep me busy and if I’ve learned anything from years of counseling I’ve learned there is no better way to avoid resolving a disastrous childhood then to have a very busy life!!
We all know children don’t come with a handbook but I’ll tell you what, I know what things I got right and…….which one’s I got wrong!! I can also tell you that the older I get the better I get at parenting, I am sure of it!! To anyone that ever tried to claim that you can be a great parent at a young age hadn’t been a parent at 40+. Everyday I get better, I become more humble, more wise and all around better parent!! Although I raised 4 kids while finishing nursing school and working 5 doubles a pay period, I do much better work over the last few years, working 40 hours a week and co parenting!! Although the children often ask where the other mom went, they are quick to tell you how great the last few years have gone.
I would just like to take the time to thank Eve for all the fabulous perks that come along with being a female. While all of them are quite wonderful: wife (men) children (birth &speaking children) my favorite and what has prompted me to write this post is : Aunt Flow, Mother Nature, that time of the month! This has to be my favorite part of being a female! (sarcasm) Not in any particular order here are the things I love about it. How could it possible be a good idea for a female to be more emotional? I’m all for women are awesome but come on, be for real ladies, we are typically more emotional to begin with and then you wake up Thanksgiving morning crying your eyes out because you realize (in your irrational period brain) that no one loves you enough to make it to Thanksgiving dinner and you have clearly gone wrong in raising the little hellions because there can’t possibly be any other excuse that grown children with their own families wouldn’t / couldn’t make it to one of the umpteen gatherings you have each year! Next up is the cramps, so contractions aren’t punishment enough to our bodies we had to throw in cramps? At times cramps so debilitating you actually collapse into the first available seat at work with tears streaming down your face and everyone is looking at you like: come on, they are just cramps. Or even better, my beloved mini me (Soleil) doesn’t get headaches or cramps…..how the hell does that work?? I mean I know I should be happy for her but some how I just find it unfair!! Last but certainly not least the blood loss. So many things wrong on this front #1 wearing white, at work we can only wear blue or white scrub pants and in the event that Aunt Flow shows up unexpectedly, yeah me! Then there is the amount, how is it humanly possible? Sneezing, coughing, bending over, laughing, running…..all have to be temporarily put on hold. Twice recently I had to make an emergency change of clothes and chairs at work!! If all that isn’t enough torture there is the God awful smell……..I’ll just leave that one alone!
I must say though that I do believe there is a positive! It’s the one time of the month I don’t feel bad about eating anything I want!
So, after I was born my mom moved from Mississippi back to Central Illinois. Immediately the story becomes interesting. My mother did not have the best childhood and I’m guessing it is for that reason that my childhood was much closer to a V.C. Andrews novel then: Fun with Dick and Jane. I was 3 months old when my mom moved back, the youngest of her 4 children and the only one she returned with! It is my understanding that she did not leave the other children by choice and being a mother myself I find it hard to believe that any mom would intentionally leave their children willingly.
At any rate my mother married James Ahearn upon her return. I have a few fond memories of the first 5 years of my life. Although I remember being poor, I don’t think I knew it then. I remember anxiously awaiting a trip to the “Fun Fair” at Fairview Park. (had to take a nap before I got to go but the Smurfs were on and that was so much better than a nap) Weekly trips to the library to rent Dr. Seuss books. Green Eggs and Ham is still one of my favorite! We had a German Shepard, her name was Lady and she was very protective of me. She once went to guard me for some reason or another and her nail got my cheek. Oddly enough I was always fond of the small scar that it left!
Aside from the wonderful music and T.V. of the 80s, there wasn’t much reason to stay in the house as a kid. I do remember one particular incident when I must have been at home, bored and decided to wash my hair in the kitchen sink, on my own, with Nair….hair removal!
In March of 1998 we had our first girl together: Soleil Channing Marie. All of my kids have 2 middle names and all the names are for a reason dear to me. Soleil is french for sun (and my name really is Sunshine) Channing is the last name of my favorite actress in Grease (Stockard Channing) Marie is my sisters’ middle name. As she was growing up I realized she was kind of growing into a little me. In most ways I think that is wonderful and in every way I am proud of her! I noticed that she was painfully shy at times as am I.
In the last couple of years she decided that she would go into nursing as well. Of course I think it is a perfect fit but at the same time I worry for her because I know how caring she is and how stressful the job is/can be. Especially losing a patient or resident. I am thankful that she has tagged along to work several times and started out in the dietary department ahead of her CNA program at school. Now she has been a CNA for a few months and will be starting her pre reqs at RCC this fall. I keep thinking I have plenty of time before she grows up when in reality she turned 18 this past March. It goes by so fast….
So there are many things that I am passionate about : God, Marriage, My kids and family, mental illness, poverty, prison reform and as of late: politics. Politics are mainly important to me now because I realize that is the best place to start if there is any hope to make a difference/change.
I would affectionately refer to my life as CRAZY! Of course the wheels were set in motion early on in my life. Although I do believe people are responsible for decisions they make no matter if it changes their lives for better or worse. Having said that I also believe that personalities are roughly developed 50% by environment and the rest heredity. Therefore some of our foundation as little human beings just starting out are very much out of our hands. For those of us who have the great misfortune of starting out with a less than desirable foundation I say: tough shit! Ok, not really. I say: once your old enough to know right from wrong you have to work as hard as you can to build the future you want. You have to step up and make decisions/choices that will require lots of work and may look quite different than decisions/choices that those around you have made and quite possibly are still making.
The non sugar coated version: If you are born into and/or raised in an environment that is unhealthy it is absolutely no excuse to sit on the pity pot nor is it an excuse to make bad choices that lead down a bad road!! If you get off the path (hopefully it is a path you are following with God in your heart) it is ok, just get back on track and keep going!
I have far more to offer on the subjects I am passionate about but for now I am going to work on adding links to sites that have been extremely helpful on my journey as well as links to sites that I enjoy for various reasons. Some sites are uplifting, some I visit because they give me an opportunity to be involved and/ or make a difference and some are just because!