PTSD is not just for Veterans

PTSD is not just for Veterans

 

You always hear about in veterans. But did you know there are LOTS of others that suffer from PTSD???
 
I have PTSD.
 
One of my most prominent symptoms is hypervigilance. Do you know what hypervigilance is? If not the medical definition is “Preoccupation with possible unknown threats, constantly watching and scanning surroundings. A persistent sense of insecurity”
 
What could be more extreme for parents than the death of their child? This is the greatest nightmare of any parent.
 
I have lived that nightmare.
And yes I was actually diagnosed with PTSD in 2005 after my son’s death when I was seeing a psychologist for my panic attacks, grief and these issues. You do NOT have to be a war vet for this to happen to you (go ahead Google it – you know your going to anyway).
 
For me, as a mother who lost a child, my hypervigilance is an intense stressor.
 
This means even though my other son is 8 years old sometimes I still get up and just make sure he is breathing at night. It means the thoughts of being away from him for longer than a school day are horrifying – heck even him being at school I worry if he is safe or not. This means even though my daughter is 23 and in college I worry when I do not hear from her at least once a day that she is okay.
 
It means I don’t let anyone babysit because all I do when I am away is worry. It means I will literally out of no where have thoughts of bad things that could happen – like a car accident while we are driving down the road.
 
For me it’s a very real and scary feeling to possibly lose another of my children. It’s not something you can just “get over” by any means and it’s not something you can control to have these intense feelings. It’s something I hope that none of my friends ever have to experience. I would rather they NEVER know this feeling than to be able to relate to what I go through. And yes I recently had a ‘friend” tell me to get over it and go to therapy. Does this woman really thing if it were that easy I would not have already been ‘cured” – this is not something you just get rid of, medicate away or get over. This is ingrained in you after a traumatic event.
 
For those of you who know me (or someone like me) get used to it. We cannot change this way of thinking. You can help by understanding and supporting our decisions that you don’t agree with – it makes us feel safe. You wont understand it so don’t try, don’t ask us to do things differently. Just let us feel safe even if to you its “irrational” to feel and act this way and be over protective.
 
THIS is how we function and cope with our new found way of living. Yes there are lots of counselors and things (been there done that) but these feelings are the ones that pop up out of no where for no specific reason. The are further between now than they once were but they still exist.
 
It’s simply part of my “new normal”.
What are your values?

What are your values?

Values are the foundation of our lives. When we know our values we can make decisions about relationships, careers, as well as every day interactions. When we can name the top five things we value we will know what ‘fits’ and what doesn’t ‘fit’ into our lives.
 
Your values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work. They {should} determine your priorities.
For example if you value your marriage you do not put yourself into situations that will cause issues with your spouse – such as sharing hotel rooms with someone of the opposite sex on trips who is not your spouse.  If you value your marriage the decisions not to put yourself in that position {should} be a no-brainer.
 
The beauty of values is we each have them and we can make choices that effect our lives based on them. And those choices have consequences.
 
What values guide your life?
Comfort in Carbs

Comfort in Carbs

A little real talk moment.
 
I’m not going to lie. The last few days being me has sucked. My head and my heart are hurting and I am feeling pretty sad and depressed about a few things. Situations that could be different but others have chosen things that directly impact me and I feel like a doormat.
 
Why do I share this? Because we all have moments in our lives that other people will deeply hurt us. The problem is many people (myself included) turn to food for comfort.
 
This is the part that sucks. This comfort in carbs that I wish I could totally overcome. But just like everyone else I am human and I have moments of weakness in my hurt and sadness.
I am beautifully broken perfectly imperfect beautiful in my flaws all together I am a beautiful disaster - Slender Suzie Independent Team Beachbody Coach
 
Today I ate 6 Kings Hawaiian rolls. No butter or anything just straight out of the package. I am upset with myself that I once again turned to carbs for comfort.
 
But you know what? It is normal to fall. The key to remember is falling is not failing. Tomorrow is another day to start fresh.
 
I’m human just like everyone else and I have moments that my emotional eating still kicks in. The difference now is I realize what I am doing and I can stop myself and regroup and come back even stronger!!
The Christmas controversy

The Christmas controversy

Scrolling through social media is a sad things these days. There are so many anti-Christian posts, messages, comments and such. As a follower of God and of the Bible this truly makes me sad to watch as society is not only turning away from God but that society is also trying to persecute anyone who is a Christian.

Christmas time is no exception to this attack on Christians. Over the last few days I have had to not only delete quite a bit of very nasty anti-Christian commentary from my Facebook page but even had to ban a few people who continued their hate filled rants or continued to cause unnecessary controversy even after I asked that they respect the fact my page is one that shares my faith along with my journey.

Last night I watched as everyone fought over the McDonald’s in Spring Hill, Tennessee, that displayed a portrait of the manger scene int heir windows (they have painted their windows differently each years for 40 years so this is not new but someone driving through their small town was shocked by it and posted it on social media). The sad part was seeing the anti-Christian commentary blowing up the newsfeeds of everyone who thought it was a wonderful thing.

The CHRISTmas controvery - Slender Suzie

I know that in this day and age being a Christian and following the teaching of the Bible is not a “popular thing” to do. But I am not ashamed of my faith nor will I be silenced in sharing my beliefs. My faith in God is a huge part of my journey since the loss of my son, Austin, in 2005, and in many ways in the path my family has been lead to since then and continues to be on.

I have seen God’s works first hand in my family’s life and I will continue to celebrate Jesus birth at Christmas.  I will continue to share my faith with others, both in person and online, and I will continue to use my story to help others know that even in their most desperate times they will be okay. God has a plan for them.

It is sad to me how many times I have heard others say to me “you need to be more tolerant” yet they refuse to tolerate my faith and demand that I change. Just because I do not share your worldly values does not make me (or you) a bad person – that is for God to judge. I refuse to hide my faith to appease anyone.  I am sure other Christians have experienced this as well.

I have also been told “I thought the Bible said love your neighbor” when someone wants me to support their cause. Yes, it does say that. To be clear however, saying what you are doing is not right with God and is not in alignment with the teaching of the Bible and I don’t believe in it or support it does not mean I do not love and pray for those people as God wants me to do, it means I do not find that what some others are doing aligns with my Christian faith and therefore will not say to you it’s okay to do what you are doing nor will I support you in it.  That’s not hate, that’s following my Lord with an unwaivering faith.  To those people I say – you may wish to look at how you treat Christians before you throw stones at them, you may see that you are acting in the exact way – you say you want to put an end to intolerance yet you refuse to allow Christians to stand firm in their faith (I am quite sure that is intolerance – the very thing you say is an issue).

I am a Christian and I am not ashamed of that fact.

Some may say “you should not talk about God you will lose sales”.  But that is not who I am and in the end I want to work with people who are on the same mission as me. I am about building a community of like-minded individuals who love God, want to live a better life spiritually, emotionally and physically, and are taking steps to make those changes or looking for a way to get started by taking the first step.

I am a Christian who is NEVER afraid to share my faith here on my blog, on other social media outlets or elsewhere in public. I am not a perfect Christian because there is no such thing – I make mistakes like everyone else – sometimes BIG ones too! But, I do my best to better myself, I read my Bible every day, and I follow God’s word to the very best of my ability and I repent  and seek forgiveness from Him when I have fallen off track.

I love God and will continue to grow in my faith and as a Christian and will continue to share my faith here on this site – even if there may be some who stop in from time to time who do not like that type of thing, I simply ask them to move along and I pray for them to come to God.

So, if you love God, love yourself (or want to love yourself) and are making positive changes in your life or are looking to begin that journey YOU ARE IN THE RIGHT PLACE!

Welcome. I look forward to getting to know you and for you to get to know me too.

I am home sick and it flat out stinks…

I am home sick and it flat out stinks…

Real talk moment!

I am home sick and is flat out stinks…

Faith is completely priceless. Faith is the best medicine. Mountains (BIG SCARY LIFE MOUNTAINS) can be moved and climbed when you have faith. Lately I have felt very home sick for Pennsylvania. It is so hard to admit but there are days that I do not feel like I am clicking in this new city. Where we live now is incredible, but something is missing…. and that would be my Friends and Family.

The un-ease and the fear are paralyzing in the mist of unfamiliar faces, surroundings and the NOT knowing what is coming next. I have been through the feeling of fear of the unknown many times in my life and the only way out…

FAITH.

He knows what stands before me, he know what stands behind. He will never leave me without answers. So, as I look out from our back deck over the absolutely stunning scenery God has laid before me I know I can get through this because I am His child.

Since we moved to our current location in Kentucky in July I have never felt more alone. Don’t get me wrong I did have one amazing thing come of this – I finally was able to meet up with my sister Keri who I have not seen since she was very small due to our mother moving away with her. For this I am feeling happy and blessed.  But even with her here she is still 2 hours away and I am here alone.

That night my husband was in the emergency room and almost died and having no family or friends there to support us during that time was one of the most lonely and terrifying experiences I have had.

Our son still remains very homesick as well, talking about his friends quite often, always with tears in his eyes. He deeply misses so many things about our home in Pennsylvania, which burden my heart even more.

I continue to pray for guidance and if it is His will that he will lead my family back home – soon.

Feeling Broken? Lost Belief in Yourself? Struggling?

Feeling Broken? Lost Belief in Yourself? Struggling?

 

“I had no confidence, no belief in myself, no positive mindset. I was broken….”

I watched this talk Miranda gave last week several times, in tears. I know all too well the struggles I have had to overcome (much of which I have shared with you all but some of which are still too much to talk about) and I know how easy it is to put yourself last because of that.

I was lost for so very long.  I grew up raised by my grandparents (whom I loved dearly) after my mother and father divorced and had no relationship with my mother after that and my relationship with my father has been shaky at best. I become a single mother at the age of 20. I finally met the man of my dreams, my soul mate and we got married but that did not end my struggles – we have not yet had our fairy tale ending.  We lost a son in 2005, we miscarried a pregnancy in 2006, we were blessed with another son in 2007 who spent time in NICU after being born too early. My grandmother that raised me passed away from cancer in 2010 and my world was once again a place of hurt.We had times where we were apart as my husband dealt with things from his own past. There were time we separated over things in our marriage that caused too much pain to talk about.  This left me to deal with much of my emotional turmoil alone, and only compounded the problem.

I took on this journey, much like Miranda, to find myself again.

Through it all in the last 10 years, I lost myself. I packed on the pounds in my depression and never took a good long look at myself until I landed in the emergency room thinking I was having a stroke at the age of 40.

You don’t have to wait to be perfect to help change people’s lives… it is in YOUR imperfections & your struggles that you can make the most impact not just in the lives of others, but in your own.

Take your first step HERE…  let the healing begin while helping others do the same.