Taking a Step


img_20170215_085814-1Pictured Above: December 2016 (left) and February 2017 (right) post-Whole30

Hey All,

I mentioned the other day in my Mom of 2 post that I was doing a round of Whole30. Basically, the premise of a whole30 is to eliminate foods that are triggers for inflammation, digestive issues, pain issues,unhealthy eating habits, and so on. You can read more about it here. I first heard about Whole30 two years ago when my mom mentioned that she would like to try a round. So I agreed.

At that time I was 9 months postpartum from the birth of my daughter. Completing a round was tough, but rewarding. I did another round 3 months later  because I felt so good. Many of you know or have read on here that I suffered from severe postpartum anxiety after my first pregnancy. The Whole30 really helped calm my anxiety, get my gut health back on track, and lose some extra weight (20 lbs total). Over the last two plus years I have done a few rounds of whole30 or shorter “mini rounds” whenever I felt the need to kick start my healthy habits.

Fast forward to pregnancy with my son I didn’t suffer from anxiety as much, but I really didn’t practice my healthy eating habits either. (I consumed a milkshake a day which for me was triggering digestive issues and pain). Over the past 9 months since Max was born I have been learning how to be a mom to 2 beautiful kids, getting back into my freelance writing and editing, bought a new house and moved in! With all of those wonderful events, I let my eating habits slide out of control. I went from never drinking soda to choosing that first. I usually avoid bread and cakes, but I would find myself overeating or snacking ALL day instead of just making a decent meal.

I am not blaming myself or saying “woe is me” because I was busy keeping my babies happy and healthy. The truth is that is not enough. My husband always encourages me to get out of the house, write, and just do things that make me happy. I am happy taking care of my little ones, but I want to show them that Mommy is strong. That I treat my body well by eating right and exercising (okayyy, I’m still working on that part) and treating my mind right by reading, studying, and pursuing my passion to write. I want my children to be happy in mind, body, and spirit. To me, this starts with FEELING good. So, I came back around to another round whole30.

My mom did the January 2017 whole30 with me and it helped to have a team mate. Together, we learned to cook some wonderful new recipes (Looking at you Chicken Chowder, pg 336 from The Whole30 book by Melissa Hartwig). This is an amazing non-scale victory (NSV) because before Whole30 I would have never, ever tried something like chowder and I LOVED it.

I struggled with this round emotionally. I didn’t realize how much of a hold that my eating habits had over me. There were times over the 30 day period that I cried and wanted to quit because I felt sad. I did realize though that it wasn’t healthy to be ruled my cravings and sugar like that. I wanted to use food to comfort myself and that is exactly what the Whole30 program wants to help you move away from. So I stuck it out. The sense of accomplishment, the NSV’s including less headaches, shinier hair, more confidence, and losing 10 lbs* was worth it.

The  successful completion of whole30 led me to signing our family up for the Y (shout out to my husband who has been going to the gym almost every day for 7 weeks), starting a planner, meal planning, continuing with a family budget, and making a promise to myself to write more often. I would use the excuse that the kids “need” me, but right now as I type Max is playing with toys at my feet and Sophia is watching an episode of Daniel Tiger. I have to make the time where I can spare it.

So here it is, last night I was scrolling Facebook and I saw a picture (Me in the white shirt) from a Christmas party. I laughed because I was wearing the same PJ pants. I had to do a side by side because I knew just looking at that first picture there was a huge change from December. The second picture says so much more to me than weight lost. I am standing up taller, I feel prouder, and I know I am healthier than I was before.

It is not that every day is easy now. There are some days where I will decide that pretzels are an essential food group and I am not going to get out of my pajama, but I’m going to keep trying to better myself. I’m not saying that the Whole30 is for everybody or that everyone needs to change their lifestyle, but as a self-proclaimed “lazy” girl  I want to show my family that you can still enjoy Gilmore Girl marathons and dessert without giving up a strong, healthy lifestyle.

xo AT

*The Whole30 program is NOT  a weight loss program, but for someone with  diplegic cerebral palsy  (read: mostly affects my legs) maintaining a healthy weight is essential. This helps me avoid joint pain, problems with walking, and even breathing. I’ve written more about my life with CP here.

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Under Construction


Hello All,

It’s been a while, but growing a baby human can be quite exhausting at times. On an exciting front there’s only about 5 weeks left until Baby T makes his way earthside. I know that once he is born things will be even more wonderfully hectic. Between preparing for the baby and house hunting for our new forever home I haven’t been online very much.

Hopefully, there is some more exciting news in the works on the house front, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself yet. Stay tuned!

As many of you know I am in the process of writing my memoir of the adventures Richie and I have shared focusing on a lot of our time in Japan. I’m considering switching gears slightly and focusing a bit more on how anxiety has affected our journey.

I am also in the process of constructing my own website and online portfolio. A friend reached out to me requesting some editing help recently. I realized I don’t have any kind of portfolio or list of services for my freelance work. (I can do anything from ghost writing assistance to editing to constructing professional resumes if anyone is looking for some help).

I’m hoping this blog will be a main focus once I finish my new website so don’t go anywhere! I appreciate all the love and encouragement everyone always gives here and thanks for sticking with me.

Aly

 

 

Inspiration


I’ve been working on my memoir for the past three years. I pull it out I work on intensely for a while and then I put it away to think on it. At the end of last month I had close to 70 pages completed. I know what I want to write, but sometimes the motivation isn’t there.

As a writer I’m always looking for inspiration, the lucky thing is I see it all around me. I keep this blog as a record for my thoughts and my writing because when I’m inspired to write I don’t want to keep it in. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a subject close to my heart and that is motherhood. I’ve read approximately 4 billion articles/blogs/editorials about motherhood and I can say it never really gets old because every single piece reaches a piece of me. The one that tugs at my heartstrings the most is the loneliness that comes along with being a mother (or a parent).

My baby girl is the best thing that has ever happened to me. She lights up my world in a way I never imagined. I am fortunate that I can afford to stay home, write, and be with my little princess all day long. Sometimes though, it’s lonely.

How can you be lonely, Aly? You are with Sophia day and night. Your husband never deploys and comes home right at dinner every day. You are never alone. That’s true, I am never alone, but sometimes it can be lonely. Sometimes I go weeks without talking to people I used to consider my best friends, most nights I go to bed before Richie while I’m trying to get the baby settled for bed, 90% of my days are spent trying to please a little person who can’t yet articulate what she needs.

The loneliest part is that even though there are billions of people on the Earth, many of them are mothers who are feeling the exact same way that I do, I feel like I’m alone on this island where all I am is a milk machine who fixes meals and changes dirty diapers. Even though the love I feel for my daughter exceeds anything I’ve ever felt before she’s too little to know that sometimes parenthood is tough.

So today I am inspired to reach out there into cyberspace. And say, “Hey Momma, (or Daddy) you aren’t alone! There is someone out there just like you, who feels the same way that you do. Next time you are feeling like you are alone on that island…go to the park, smile at that other parent sitting by themselves, go introduce yourself! Finally make that play date you’ve been meaning too. Your babies deserve the best and the best is a happy mommy! Chin up and when you feel alone, know that I’m out here too!

Getting Ready


I know it’s been a month or so since I have last written, but we are getting down to the wire here in our pregnancy. I’m 36 weeks on Thursday and to be completely honest I am so ready to have the baby and be done with pregnancy. I am blessed to have been able to conceive and carry our little bug naturally and with little complications (besides the OCD). But I’m going to say 100% truthfully, this has not been an easy journey for me. I know there will be many people who comment on this and say, “Just enjoy your pregnancy, enjoy this time.” Well, I’ve done the best I can but I’m ready to start our next chapter beginning with a peaceful labor and delivery.

We attended our first child birth education class, for us it was not really new information because we have hired a wonderful doula and we have spent many hours doing research and reading. We watched two live births on video and even though I felt slightly squeamish, I was moved to tears because I realized that soon that would be us and our little one would be here in our arms. I am looking forward to the next childbirth classes because we will be learning more about labor positions, comfort techniques, and delivery. The last class will discuss c sections and a tour of the labor and delivery unit. I can’t wait to see the new delivery wing, it only opened up in March and has beautiful, large delivery rooms some with an ocean view. The best part is that in most cases you deliver and recovery all in the same room so it saves the hassle of having to move around a lot.

So for the next few weeks, Richie and I have to organize the baby gear we received at our online baby shower (Thanks, Mom!) and get our little bug’s bassinet set up. We have baby bootcamp and its just a waiting game after Thanksgiving. I just can’t wait in about four-five weeks we will have our own little darling miracle bug who is a real life testament to God and our love for one another. Plus, it’s pretty amazing that I grew her myself 😉

“The First Beautiful Thing I Ever Got Stuck On….”


I haven’t written in a while, maybe a month, as much as I love to write (er, type) the words just wouldn’t come. I was so strong and ready to share my stories, my anxiety and my journey through pregnancy, but one day I just couldn’t find the words. I opened this page hundreds of times and thought about writing, sharing what I learned, what I feel, but it was too difficult. Too difficult: the way it is for me to get behind the wheel of a car without panicking, the way it feels to breathe when an intrusive thought pops into my mind and it gets stuck. And like a broken gear I obsess over it for minutes, for hours, for days. I couldn’t sleep until I was absolutely too exhausted to keep my eyes open because my mind would not let me, because my fear was so real that I could taste it and I just knew I had to keep my eyes open. The days weren’t any better…the dangers in my house were all so real, chemicals, germs, medicines, what if I tripped and fell, but going out of the house was worse, there were too many scary things out in the world. Things I had never thought of that suddenly occupied my every waking moment and my dreams. The compulsions were meant to help my anxiety, counting the medicine to make sure they were all there and I took the right ones. Checking the stove 20 times before I laid down so I knew it wasn’t on. Washing my hands over and over, every time I touched something.  Avoiding everything that frightened me when the compulsions didn’t help.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Do you know what it is? I didn’t. First, let me tell you what it’s not. It’s not being a perfectionist, it’s not re-arranging your CDs in alphabetical order because you like being organized. It’s not a joke, it is never a joke. In simplest terms, OCD can be described as obsessive, unwanted, intrusive thoughts that your brain gets stuck on and the compulsions are too “cure” or make these thoughts and the anxiety they bring with them go away. I know many people have heard of OCD and think of hand-washing. That is one very common compulsion, but it’s not just washing. The root of the issue is fear/anxiety of germs and contamination…the very thought that your food, things you touch, your pet, your loved one ….anyone is contaminated and you have to wash your hands over and over and over until you finally “feel” that you are safe and clean. People with OCD spend HOURS a day on various compulsions. The problem is that feeling of relief only lasts a few minutes until your brain tells you to begin the cycle of obsession again.

But what’s so bad about washing your hands, you might ask me? Nothing. If you wash them once, but what happens when you wash them until your skin cracks and bleeds, until you can’t leave the sink because you just KNOW you are going to contaminate your food, your water, your home so you stay there and you wash over and over, until the bottle runs out of soap, until your hands hurt, until someone drags you away from the sink and you cry. This is just one example, symptoms can get much worse.

I’ve always been a “worrier” and a mother hen to everyone. I’d constantly check on  people to make sure they were okay, they were happy, things were good. When I went to sleep at night, I’d check the locks, three maybe four times to ensure they were locked or check the stove and take a picture to make sure it was really OFF. But these quirks and this checking only lasted a few minutes and I went on with my day. There were other small things, going back inside to make sure the lights were all off and things were unplugged. Texting Richie several times to make sure he made it to work okay. But overall, this was just me, I was a worrier, until it became more than that.

My first notable “episode” lasted several days. I was driving in the dark and began to panic about getting into an accident. I couldn’t stop obsessing for HOURS at a time. After several days, I calmed myself enough to drive. The initial fear went away and I became more cautious, driving even slower and trying not to drive at night. When I was first pregnant, before we even found out, a police vehicle passed me and I began to obsess again. What if I was supposed to pull over? What if I’m going to get a ticket for speeding or something? What if? What if? What if? For me, the compulsions were all in my head, replaying the scene, asking for reassurance that I did everything right, telling myself that I wasn’t going to get a ticket….

The anxiety and the obsessive thoughts got worse, I only felt safe if Richie drove. Getting to work was torture because I drove the absolute slowest I could go and was paranoid about driving. When Richie left for Korea, I began having panic attacks. I would worry myself so bad that my body would suddenly seize up, my heart would race, breathing would become difficult and I felt like I was going to die. Many people have panic attacks and anxiety without OCD, but mine were related. If I couldn’t stop my anxiety with a compulsion, than I fell into panic. My obsessive thoughts turned to my health, I was convinced something bad was going to happen to me, I’d get sick, the baby would get sick, there was something catastrophically wrong with my health and it was going undetected. The worst part of it all was that everyone (doctors included) kept chalking it up to “hormones” and it was normal to be anxious. But I knew this wasn’t just hormones or anxiety, I knew that I was barely functioning most days.

After one of my doctor’s appointments I came home and cried for hours because I was too afraid to move for fear of triggering more anxiety. I had been on a wait list to see a counselor, but I finally was so fed up I called and refused to call back until I had an appointment scheduled. Richie came home and things eased up a bit, but when we were not together, I was falling apart. My obsessive worry transformed over and over, germs, driving, bad food, contamination, medication, health anxiety. After seeing the counselor a few times I was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder. As terrible as it feels, my symptoms are mild to moderate. There are those with OCD who can’t leave their home, who can barely eat or sleep or function because they spend all their time obsessing then performing compulsions to quell the anxiety.

I resigned from work to help work on my anxiety. I’m taking a class and spending time preparing for Sophia’s arrival. Staying busy in the house, keeps me from obsessing. Though, there are some days I don’t have the strength and I mostly just cry because I’m exhausted. Leaving the house triggers intrusive thoughts and anxiety. Large social situations cause stress which is why for the past month or so I’ve pretty much avoided doing anything unless I have too.

But I don’t want to be this way. The reason OCD is so different than other mental disorders is because the sufferer knows that these thoughts/worries are not real and they do not want them, but they don’t know how to “turn them off.” There is so much more to it, but people can fear violent thoughts, health anxiety, contamination, religious fears and so many, many more. And most are ashamed of these thoughts and don’t want to tell others because they fear judgement. I felt the same way, I was sure if I shared how much I really worried people would label me as “crazy.” But then I realized that the only way to feel better was to conquer my OCD and get to a controlled level. Logically, I know that I’m healthy and germs aren’t just waiting to attack me and that driving slowly and cautiously will prevent almost all types of vehicle accidents, but the OCD is a tricky bastard and likes to plant seeds of doubt in my mind.

All that being said, I can feel myself getting stronger. Through a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy, habituation and erp (exposing myself to the things I fear and changing my response to realize that there is no real danger) along with research, reading and meditation, I am starting to feel a bit more like myself. There is no cure for OCD and in many cases it can be exasperated or come on due to pregnancy. My therapist thinks that my symptoms will lessen once Sophia is born and my hormones level out. I don’t know if this is true or not, but I don’t want to give up. While there is no “cure”, people can learn through meditation and therapy to control the OCD and not let it run their lives. I’m not there yet. I want to be and with the help of my loving, darling husband and my mom and my therapist I am getting there slowly.

I wanted to write this because I wanted to tell everyone out there, you are not alone. Whether you have anxiety, OCD, PTSD or some other mental illness you are not alone. It can happen to ANYONE at any point in life and it can be overwhelming, but there is treatment and support for you, just like there is for me. Don’t give up.

The following video is a slam poet sharing his take on OCD. Now, he doesn’t not suffer from the disorder but I feel that he gives a glimpse into the every day torture it can bring. If nothing else, I think its a good poem.

http://www.upworthy.com/the-most-honest-and-heartbreaking-reason-to-leave-your-front-door-unlocked-ive-ever-heard-10

I know this is long, it could be longer but I am exhausted. If you have any questions, comments, concerns let me know, ask me. I’ve read a lot and experienced A LOT lately. I’ll write more later, I could write hundreds of pages and never be done. You may not understand and frankly, some days I don’t understand. All I ask is for an open mind, compassion and prayers for strength.

I will leave you with this:

Be kind for everyone you meet, is fighting a harder battle.

Fighting the Bad Days


Sometimes I get anxious, sometimes I get so anxious that I barely want to leave the house. I’m working on this and can honestly say that I am feeling much better than I have been. I think the key is to put up a fight against my anxiety. The thing that’s tough is that it is a battle that I must fight every single day. I can’t let myself have one good day and then let the anxiety back in the very next day. I have to wake up every day and make the choice to have a great day. I think for many people that this is as natural as breathing. For me, it used to be very easy, but recently  the stress of pregnancy hormones and having anxiety has made it a new challenge for me. 

The reason that I am writing this out is because I’d like to make myself accountable for my own health and happiness. It’s a lot easier said than done, but I think acknowledging that I am facing an anxiety disorder and working with a behavioral therapist is a step in the right direction.  I want to be a happier, stronger Momma for my little girl. I also don’t ever want her to be afraid and feel the way that I do.

I think that something that needs to be addressed is the shame and guilt people feel when facing anxiety or any other mental health issue. The problem unlike other medical issues people cannot see how it affects you. To me, I am not afraid to share how I feel and I’m not afraid to share my journey, but there are others are afraid. I think that all of us need to be kind and a bit more compassionate when it comes to other people’s troubles.

I guess what I’m asking for is a bit of support and understanding not only for me, but for everyone that you meet on a daily basis.

“Be Kind for Everyone You Meet is Fighting a Harder Battle.”

Cerebral Palsy: Game Changer?


Yesterday, I wrote about going to the hospital for our appointment. Thank goodness Richie could go with me, sometimes he just can’t get away from work due to all the world saving that he does :). We went over to the “new” hospital (It’s only been open since March and I swear it reminds me of a hotel-very posh) and met with the maternal fetal specialist who specializes in you guessed it… mamas and babies. We had an interview to discuss my  own journey with cerebral palsy and the circumstances of my own birth.

I was born very prematurely at 29 weeks. For those of you not familiar with pregnancy, babies usually come between 36 and 40 weeks. I must have been eager to start my life because my mom hadn’t even had her baby shower yet  when I decided to come into the world. The doctors tried to stop labor, but I was determined to be born. I spent two to three months in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) growing and incubating. Maybe one day I’ll share the article I wrote when I interviewed my mom…if I can find it. Anyway, around two years of age after a horrific surgery on my tiny baby legs I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a disorder, often being considered a birth defect, that affects your muscles, motor function and more. I was born with the condition, even though doctors did not diagnose it until my later years. So what does this have to do with Sophie bug?

My primary care OB was concerned because she didn’t know the effect my CP would have on labor and delivery and if I was an at risk patient for any pregnancy complications. When she mentioned this to me, I was shocked. CP is a part of my daily life that I don’t think about. It almost never crosses my mind. It surprised me that it after all these years it could still have an effect on my life. After meeting with the specialist, it was decided that my mom’s care was pre-term labor and that currently I’m not at any risk for pre-term labor or complications (Yes!). As for labor and delivery, I may have to work a little harder than other people because I may not have as much physical stamina, but I am doing prenatal yoga every day and doing my best to keep fit. So long story short, we decided I would have a normal pregnancy and be seen by the regular doctor since my blood pressure, weight and all my other levels are in average range. As for my anxiety, maybe it’s all in my head (ha ha ha, pun intended).

Truthfully, I was relieved. I never wanted to be treated any differently because of my CP. Physically, it is noticeable….I walk with a limp most days, but in all other ways you wouldn’t know. I don’t have a speech issue or a motor skills problem, I attended all regular schools, enjoyed schoolwork, good grades, extracurricular activities…the works. So I never wanted to any special treatment or pity or anything, I just wanted to be “normal”. It’s been a lot of years since I’ve noticed anyone responding differently to me because of my CP, maybe that’s because I choose to surround myself with intelligent people instead of ignorant or judgmental people. Do others notice my slightly awkward gait? or the fact that it may seem that I’m limping? Probably, but I don’t. And for once,  I’m glad to just be considered ordinary. I don’t want to be back in physical therapy and I don’t want to have to go through anything extra to have my baby.

The appointment ended on a high note, we got to see our little girl on the ultrasound again :)….I swear I have had more ultrasounds than I can count! Not only is she beautiful, she has perfect little feet and she is a mover and a shaker. As much as I complain that pregnancy is making me anxious/crazy feeling, I know for once I’m not just doing this for myself. All the other tough things, the CP, the surgeries, the casts and crutches….were all for my benefit to make me “better.” Getting through my pregnancy healthy and happy….has the greatest reward I could ever imagine.

Our Little Princess Bug


I never really imagined having a baby. I mean I imagined being married and having a family, but I never pictured a baby more like an instant family like you see in picture frames. For being so imaginative, I could never picture the whole story, just bits and pieces. I think this is because God loves surprises. He loves us and wants to give us joy in our lives. Experiencing life and not knowing exactly what the future holds is part of that joy.

Many of you know that I have been struggling with my anxiety lately and if you didn’t you can read more about it in my previous post, Getting Along and Overcoming. I’ve always been a “worrier” and stressing over things that were mostly out of my control, but I believe that my pregnancy hormones, homesickness and a combination of factors caused me to flounder a bit over the past month. Yesterday, I was having a “normal” (read-anxious, but functioning) day until I decided to take a nap. I had a terrible nightmare/dream and woke up sweating and freaking out. Then, something happened….I felt relaxed. I became aware of my surroundings, realized I was safe and okay and I felt better. I spent all night puzzling over the feeling because, to be honest, I haven’t felt relaxed in months. I thought I might be losing my mind ( I see now that was me still worrying haha) but I woke up today and realized that I feel happy and hopeful for the first time in a while. I’m not saying I feel 100% better and like my old, outgoing self but I don’t have that lump in my throat and knot in my stomach and I just know that God is telling me not to worry and to experience life.

And I am going to try the best I can. Richie and I have been blessed, beyond measure, that in just three months we will be meeting our own little princess. I still have a hard time imagining her, I wonder what she will look like and who she will take after (I hope and pray she has her Daddy’s mellow side). I’m scared, but in a good way finally. I feel like its scary because she will be so new and she will need us to take care of her, but I know that I’m going do my best to make sure she is happy and loved. That’s all that matters. No one should feel like they aren’t loved and I know the world is a tough place, but if all I have to give to her is the power of how much Richie and I (and God) loves her, then I know everything will be okay.

As I type this, she is kicking away like she knows that she’s going to be the center of our world. We have an appointment today at the hospital with the high risk OB/maternal fetal specialist to see if my cerebral palsy will need to be addressed in labor and delivery. I’m also going to discuss my options with her as far as anxiety and taking vitamins and other alternative healing methods. Hopefully, she will tell us that we can just be seen here at our regular practice. Wish us luck.

I hope one day if she ever forgets, Sophia can read these blogs and know how much love we have for her already.

Getting along


Hello fellow bloggers, readers and friends! I know it’s been a few weeks since I have posted, but I have hit a bit of a rough spot with my anxiety. I felt a bit sick and went to the doctor a few times, but everyone kept assuring me that it was just pregnancy related aches and pains. Then, Richie had to leave for a little bit (don’t worry he’s back). I started having some trouble sleeping and not feeling like myself. My anxiety over many things, my health and how the baby is growing mostly and feeling on edge has been very tough the past few weeks. I’ve been working on some calm breathing and relaxation. The good news is that at the last appointment, Baby Sophia was growing perfectly, my heart rate and blood pressure were normal and things are progressing along well. Only 11-15 weeks until we meet our baby girl.

I usually like to include happy things for my posts but today I’m asking that all my prayer warriors or spiritual friends say a prayer or send good vibes to me, Richie and baby bug! I need to keep my strength up and my anxiety way, way down so that baby bug can have a nice cozy time growing while we wait for her! This is a huge favor for me, but I know I have great friends and family out there who will help send me peace and tranquility and prayer. I appreciate it :). Also, send some good vibes to my Richie bug as he is my rock and lighthouse in the storm. Thank you, Richie bug for always being there for me and helping me make each day a great one. I love you <3.

On a happy note, I finished one more class with an A I am halfway through my graduate program! Here’s a funny little poem I wrote for class. Thanks everyone!

Buried

When my husband went on a business trip

I didn’t know how to keep myself busy,

So I decided to start preparing

For the newest member of our household.

I scoured clothing stores and yard sales

And I searched across the web.

Every time I saw something cute

I bought it without a second thought.

I didn’t stop to think about my spending

Or the amount of space in her room

I bought everything in sight.

Now, I’m buried in baby clothes

And my husband’s coming home soon.

Overcoming


If anxiety seems like a theme in my writing this week, that’s because it is. Every day my little bug grows bigger and stronger and so does my anxiety and the odd part is that I don’t even worry about her (well, I do, but mostly about other things). Mostly I worry about things out of my control and it all comes from the fact that  I am afraid that some unknown force will keep us here longer. Which is the root of it, I’m homesick. I want to go home, and every day I have a gnawing fear that, that day will never come. Silly, I know because every day the sun rises and sets and another day passes, but it seems like that day may never arrive.

Logically, there is nothing wrong with living here. I have a beautiful house and puppy and a job that pays me to go to school and write things all day. The beaches are beautiful, the weather is warm, its like the paradise you’ve always imagined, but I guess at heart I’m like Dorothy and there really is no place like home. I’m trying a few things, meditation, talking to the doctor, deep breathing techniques…hopefully, this will help keep me relaxed and focused throughout the next few months and until we can get back home.

I would ask for a favor from my friends: please when you say your prayers, say an extra one for me and help me remember that things are never as bad as they seem. I could use a bit of Grace right now. Thank you. <3.