A Day of Remembering & A Shot of Anxiety


I slept well last night. Maybe to prepare me for today. I don’t know but I liked it.

My anxiety is heightened.  I noticed it pretty quickly this morning.

The dog barking only once. Shrill ran up my neck.

The sudden awareness that my husband & child had left and I was alone in the house.

On the drive to work my struggle was real to contain my perspective.  Switching the songs more times than  needed on the radio.

Continuing to use my peripheral vision on the guy & his dog at the park.

Anxiety and depression are partners. They walk hand in hand.  When one stops the other can easily pickup where his pal left off.

That’s how it is for me at least.

Let’s go back to the car ride to work.

Country music reminds me of my Dad. It was on the radio.

Today is the 3rd anniversary of his death. Blocking the emotions from that day, 3 years ago is normally pretty simple for me.

But not today.

It’s not like I’m not functional. I am. I got out of bed, walked, went to work, and so forth.

There’s just this blah existence in me today.

It really hit me in the car. The point where tears were coming but I said NO! Not today, at least not right now.

It’s the recollection of my feelings from that evening that creates this emotional upheaval within me. Not necessarily that he is gone.  It’s the way it all went down. I really thought I had come to terms with this.

I came home to find flowers from my husband and youngest daughter and a piece of snail mail from a friend.  Life is sometimes really hard and filled with sadness and anxiety.  But the glimmer of hope is still there, it lies within the area around us.  It may not be in our view at the moment but it is  there.

It’s coming back into my view.  Tiny bit by tiny bit.  Perhaps tomorrow.  Yes, probably tomorrow.

Dad & I

Until then,

Julie

Cracks Within Series – #1


Sometimes when I imagine myself,  I see a person that has cracks throughout their body. The body is just flesh and bone but I’m talking about like a stain glass window of sorts. Or perhaps more like, the old china cup that has hair-line cracks throughout it but you can’t stop using it.  The thin cracks making it only more beautiful.

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Each crack within me was placed there from an experience.  The tiny cracks creating a brokenness in one shell of a human.  From the arguments on the playground to being picked last on a team as a child.  The teen emotions of being dumped by the guy I thought was my whole world or struggling to pass Algebra. Finding myself walking the high school halls practically full term pregnant.

The more substantial cracks stem from someone taking advantage of me as a child. The remnants of sleeping in a car overnight due to alcoholic situations at home. Not to forget to mention my experience of divorce, motherhood fails, and professional occupations.

Some of those cracks were brought on by other people’s actions and some my own.

Each one has its place within me and each one helped mold me into who I am today. Maybe the reason I am able to write is due to one of these or perhaps all of them.  I will never know.  I find that okay, I have always said “struggles build character.”

I’ve come to realize from the years 2013 through 2016 there became a crack in my being so substantial it made the largest of large indention.  A combination of things.  I was moved to a place of darkness, seeming to never return and changed forever who I am, almost ruining my marriage, my role as a mother in this world, and a few other things.

In the span of those three years I made choices and choices were made for me that scarred me for life.  I’m still reeling from them, especially since we find ourselves once again in the month of August. The difference is I am feeling better.  The difference is I survived.  I’m stronger and I’m still here writing about it.

Check back soon to get another edition of the Cracks Within series.

Julie

 

 

Writing on a Personal Level


I can only speak for myself but when I write, it’s personal.  Which means that my emotions are all wrapped up in the words I lay out on the screen.  That the time and effort I put into each post is a piece of me. Some people may not get that, but high-five to those that do!

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I’m not a person that needs to have 1000’s of followers or comments on my posts daily.  If that was the case, I’m 100% outta luck.  138 followers on this blog alone is all I have, in the blog world that’s probably an embarrassing number to share by the way.  Rarely does anyone actually comment on the posts, and if I don’t share on my personal Facebook or Instagram page there are times the views are a total of two.  (Thank you dear sister and husband, you rock!)

That’s how it goes.  That’s reality.

Each post is a personal journey in one individual’s life. My life.  As I’ve said before, writing helps me process.  I don’t write about every single hiccup or joy or smack in the face or delicious kiss I experience.  I write whatever flows from my fingertips and my heart.  Some posts are written in hopes to help others, process my experiences, just for fun, or to just share a song I really like! (love me a good song)

Some of my posts are more important to me than others.  They resolve conflict in my mind, comfort my heart, pull back the drama of reality, or help me say what I wish I would have when I could have to someone.

Some of my posts when I finish writing them (and reading them like 30 times before hitting publish) I truly feel “that was well written.”  A sense of pride fills my chest and  the emotions that go with accomplishing something feel awesome!  It doesn’t happen with every post.  It’s a rare gem in this blog writing woman’s life.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this.  This place, Pushing Forward with Grace and all it holds…. means a lot to me.  It has my heart.  I pour it out in hopes of feeling I’ve contributed something worthy not only my own life but others.

That my children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren will know me a little better than they would have otherwise.  Even if they end up saying (when I’m long gone) “that Grandma Julie was a emotional roller coaster, wasn’t she?”  

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I hope that others remember I am human and I have an emotional tie to this place. These words. The stories that fall from my fingertips.  That even though this place may not be important to them, it is to me.

There’s a whole lot of me wrapped up in here!

I am beyond grateful for the those of you that follow my blog, comment via social media, texts, email, or even right here on the blog.  Thank you for the days you lift me up.  Yesterday was one of them and some of you did just that.  God bless you!

Until next time,
Julie

 

 

 

P.S. It’s not always easy for me to click publish and share myself on the blog.  The reason is I see people weekly or daily that read it.  It scares the crap out of me that they will think I’m that crazy emotional roller coaster lady! 🙂

 

Bringing It Down – Diabetes #1


This post was held for publishing until I was over the six month mark of my health journey.  I had to feel mostly confident and positive progress before sharing.  In my life, too many times, I’ve started something only to feel I failed.  This time needed to be different and so far it is.  Six months was goal number one.

If you care to follow the series just subscribe to receive emails in the top left corner of this blog.

Those minor changes I mentioned in my 2017 word post began on January 3rd, but reality hit when I received the call about my A1C number in December. (Diabetes)  The reality of trying to fill my pain, grief, sadness, anger and lack of confidence  with food (and sedentary actions) has brought about a not so lovable thing.  Hold tight… more on that in a moment.

Those conversations I mentioned before in this post, well they were not life changing but they changed me enough to feel free.  It felt as though someone was finally listening to me and although in a quiet manner the results helped me take a baby step towards feeling less alone.  That tiny bit of support where I felt I could say out loud feelings I had felt ashamed of having , actually enabled me.

So now I will share with you in hopes that if you ever find yourself in a similar situation you know you aren’t alone.

But first a few things I need to get out.

  • I don’t completely understand why I was so affected by the death of my parents. Why it knocked me so far down.
    • It’s not like I was super close to either of them or saw them all the time. It’s not like I grew up in a cozy happy situation.
  • Okay, I do know one reason. It’s because  I’m out of time.
    • Out of time to ask those questions.  Ask the questions that make people uncomfortable and aren’t pretty.  The ones that could give me answers or explain why things happened to me.  Silence can be a killer in itself I think sometimes.
  • I loved them.
    • No matter what happened in life, I loved them.  They were the parents that created me. 
  • Why didn’t they take better care of themselves?
    • Who am I to talk, look where I am now.

That freeing I spoke of earlier, it came when I said out loud, to my spouse, the part about time running out to ask the questions. That was a turning point for me.

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This photo helped me move forward. Jan. 2017

All those words you just read were written a few month ago, but they still resonate with me.  They still bring forward to my mind that the path I am now on is one that is really important.  I’ve held off blogging about this part of my life for  fear of failure,  and afraid those that see me often will watch my plate each time I fill it. (like they have nothing else to do, right?)

I’m ready to share now.  Maybe it’s because I’ve met with my Diabetes Educator  a few times.   Actually,  it’s because I feel more in control then I have in a few years.  Whatever the reason I’m not going to force myself to journal but I will write when necessary about DOWN WITH THE D. In hopes that it will help others and yes even keep me on track for life.

Down with the D Series # 2 – 5 will be published soon.  Subscribe so you can read the next step in the series as at this moment I don’ t feel comfortable sharing on my personal social media pages.

Julie

 

 

 

Bringing It Down – Diabetes #2


Written early March 2017

When dealing with life changes, whether it’s in regards to eating, stopping a bad habit, starting therapy, stopping therapy, or whatever, it’s not an easy path.  Although I do believe a support system is essential it really comes down to the individual.  No one is going to move you forward, they might assist but ultimately you have to take that first step alone.  And that first step isn’t going to come until you are ready.

My first assistance was that blood test that showed my AC1 at 7.2 and the phone call from the doctor with options.  I chose the option to visit with a Diabetic Educator named Kathy.  I spent up until the day after my 46th birthday eating as I wanted.  I began logging food and trying my best from December 27th to January 3rd, then I met Kathy.

Kathy explained things in simple terms and allowed me to ask questions.  She allowed my spouse to ask questions and she even visited about my fears.  Tears fell because of the emotions I was feeling and she never made me feel bad for it.

I now take my blood sugar glucose tests at least 2 to 3 times a day. Once before meals and once two hours after eating.

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In the past couple months I’ve been on the high side emotionally, the frustrated, tantrum throwing, not to mention the low side.  You name it, I’ve probably felt it.  Kathy gave me just a few things to start out with.  45 grams of carbs per meal and 15 per snack.  Going in I knew I needed to expect less of myself.  That probably sounds odd but it’s true.  I have high expectations for myself and that can lead to me taking the long fall down to failing!

This time I wrote about moving into a different level of this journey.  I felt it needed to be shared because only writing about the good or positive moments isn’t reality or truth. I won’t hide in the goodness of life, the ugly is part of it.  Just have to choose how to deal with it.

Julie

Bringing It Down – Diabetes #3


April 2017

Three months in and I stopped.  I basically let it drift away by casually having a morsel or two then the entire item in front of me.  Yes, the 80/20 rule works but not for someone that has no willpower, is depleted by stress, tired, and most importantly on this new life change only a couple months.  Feel a lack of support was a factor too.

Here I am on April 4th, no weight loss in March, and I have a blood sugar hangover. Yesterday started as a new start to get back together.  It went very well most all the day and then at supper I failed.  Sweet potato fries, a few would be okay but too many no way!  Then the DQ ice cream cake from my daughter’s 9th birthday.  Those two things with a combination of whatever else few carbs I had throughout the day made my blood sugar increase.  Increase to the point of headache and me deciding to take the actual test.  154.  To some that may be a great number but to me that means WAY TOO HIGH.  An hour and half later 166.  It wasn’t showing any signs of backing down.  So I headed to bed thinking “what the he** Julie? Why did you do this?” It’s been a few weeks like this now and although stress and lack of sleep are factors, YOU chose to eat wrong a lot of the time!”

I’ve started my day by eating protein and  24 carbs, which I’m suppose to have 45.  It’s hard for me to get up to 45 at breakfast without going over.  I took an easy paced walk as the energy level and mindset is low.  Almost time to take my next test and then a snack.  15 carbs.   And on and on and on.

April 26, 2017

Most days have been better but still not a stellar way.   I am moving.  That is essential in this life with diabetes. I’m serious.  It helps so much even when I’m not actually walking or moving.  The issue I have is this.  When my blood sugar level is great, but  I don’t eat 45 grams of carbs, then go for a walk,  my blood sugar drops low.  And going from low up to way high is the worst feeling to me!   Balance.  That really is the key.  But since falling off in March I’m struggling with getting balance.

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Sleep. Sleep is just about as big a factor as moving.  I didn’t realize it until I stopped taking my anti-depressants in early March.  The one thing they did was knock me out overnight.  I did sleep well while on them but for various reasons have discontinued taking them.  For the most part I am doing okay off them except my “light sleeping” personality wakes too much in the night!  Then the bladder issue hits and up I go to bathroom.  SO, early bedtimes are essential and if a nap is needed I should do just that! Easier said than done on most days.  BUT, I am going to take this one step at a time, tackle one thing at a time.  If I don’t, I will fail.

So my focus is eating balanced.  Then moving.  Just keep moving.  Just keep moving!  Find some support somewhere too.  It has helped me to document via Snapchat with my two daughters and best friend.  I’m not sure they enjoy getting snaps of my walking logs but oh well.  They are getting them! 🙂

Until next time!

Julie

Bringing It Down – Diabetes #5 – 6 month results


July 2017

Drumroll please…….

AC1 test results December 12, 2016: 7.2

AC1 test results June 19, 2017: 5.9

HAPPY DANCE!  HAPPY DANCE!  HAPPY DANCE!

It’s amazing to me how taking my blood sugar 1- 3 times a day, monitoring my levels, eating less carbs (see I didn’t say no carbs),  and walking for exercise can make me feel better.

While in the process of reaching a goal I found that paying attention to my body and how it reacts is crucial.  When I do carb overload the way I feel physically and mentally is essential.  Do I still over eat on occasion, yes.  For sure.  More than I probably should, but as I’ve stated before I’m not rushing this.

 

I’ve lost 16 pounds since December and although I’ve been stuck at my current weight awhile I’m okay with it.  Continuing to move and 80% of the time eating the best I can is what is working for me.  My blood sugars are good and I’ve kinda leveled out where they should be.

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Is this permanent?  No.  If I slide back the other way too often or quit moving, my body will go back to where it’s been.  If I continue with high stress and lack of sleep that diabetic frenzy will show itself once again.  Which could result in me taking insulin or some sort of diabetic medication.  I DO NOT WANT THIS!

I’m lucky.  I was given an opportunity to adjust my way of living.  With Type 2 Diabetes it was determined before it got out of hand.  This is available for many with Type 2 Diabetes, the ability to make the change, but of course not all. If caught early enough makes a difference.  Annual physical and blood work is what saved me.  I’m only six months in and this will need to be taken care of for the rest of my life.

As I said earlier, at this point I do not take any medication. I hope to keep it that way for as long as possible.  I already take one medication for another condition that costs me over $350 a month, where there is no cure for it.  I struggle to get it so more expense isn’t an option.

So I spent the money for a cheap blood glucose meter, changed my eating habits, and got to moving some.  It still costs me approximately $50.00 a month for alcohol wipes, lancets,  and strips to test my blood.  My brother takes insulin and his diabetes is much worse than mine due to not being diagnosed early enough (not his fault by the way). Spending time with him recently was a reminder to me what I’m doing is important. (Even he is doing what he can to have a better life living with diabetes.)

  • It’s really up to only me.  I have to do this.
  • Having support makes things easier.
  • Choices I make today do make a difference for tomorrow.

Next six month goals

  • Walk 10,000 steps per day ( I started this last Saturday, Post # 7 talks about it)
  • Lose 7 more pounds
  • Find an exercise support buddy

I will not see Kathy until January 2018.  I hope by then to have met the goals I listed above.  Alot of the things I enjoy in life are where I am not active, I sit down.  For instance blogging, quilting, embroidery, movies, reading, and just relaxing at home.  So I have to make myself move.  This is where a committed buddy will help!  I’m off to find one! 🙂

Until next time!

Julie

 

Bringing It Down – Diabetes #6


Written Mid- July 2017

I find myself realizing that just six months ago walking .83 of a mile took me 30 minutes or possibly more.  Today I am able to walk that same path in 18 to 20 minutes.  I’m no runner and I never want to be but I’m pretty proud of this.  I sometimes have to break my walks up throughout the day due to my schedule.  I feel bad when I look at my fitness tracker and see less than 4000 steps by 1:00 p.m.  But there are those days.  I’ve made some improvements in the physical part of my health, a ways to go but I’m headed in the right direction.

 

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This week I decided I might like to try riding a bike.  I have this old Schwinn bike that was my parents. I think it’s kinda cool.  But the tires on it are not made for country roads and with my balance issues it’s quite possible I’ll end up on the ground more often than not.  I’m hoping to try my husband or oldest daughter’s bike to decide if this is a new thing for me.  To see if the addition of bike riding will give me a little variety in life so to speak!  If all works with that adventure,  I might just have to trade my old Schwinn for a newer country road tire bike! 🙂

This week I noticed that when dining out I made good choices so to speak.  Did I still eat a hamburger and fries and even a chocolate shake.  Yes.  But the good choice for me was not picking the combo meal that had the largest size of those items.  I was enjoying my meal even though I didn’t stuff myself.  Then one evening my husband had brought home a piece of  homemade cherry pie.  (In his defense, he asked the diner if they had sugar free.)  I took about 3 bites and decided it was too sweet and I really didn’t want it.  Perhaps that was his plan all along……   🙂

One of the things I dislike is having my blood sugar level go too low, for a couple reasons.  I feel bad and then when I do eat it shoots up which causes other uncomfortable results.  So balance is really a key item in this game of controlling diabetes.  I can tell when my body reaches about 95 to 90, the too low symptoms begin to show.  If it makes it to 70 I need help!  But most of the time I keep it around 105 – 120 area before meals and after meals varies from 125 to 145 depending on what I eat.

I am still in the obese section for BMI.  I’m still in a size 18 and the scale hasn’t moved in a couple months.   I continue to love sweets and I do eat them.  The goodness for me is that I am taking the time to pay attention to my body.  I am sure if I had a trainer I would be even better off but that isn’t going to happen or the home chef.  Contentment with where I have come so far is important, moving forward is key as well but for now I’m okay with just settling into this new way.

Until next time,

Julie

Time. It’s time to get off the mediocre train~ Bringing It Down – Diabetes #7


July 15, 2017

I decided today was the day that I would begin to walk 10000 steps a day or at least 5 out of 7 days in a row. That although I want to sit at my sewing machine and finish the quilts that I’m currently working on I have to do this.

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I was inspired by a Facebook post of an extended family member, this guy is pretty motivational and is open about alot in his life, so he is genuine.  I’m grateful for his posts.  It reminded me that the results I’m longing for will not happen by me going extremely slow.  That writing of my journey isn’t enough.  I have to take the next level and grasp it.  I’ve been sitting in the same spot several months now.  That’s my fault.

Here’s where I remember that fighting for me is important.  Where the life we are dealt can be grimy and yucky and beautiful and joyous.  Collecting all those experiences and wrapping them into something of your own is yours for the taking.

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This morning wasn’t easy.  I jumped on my husband’s bike and could only ride 5 minutes. It absolutely was not easy.  But I made myself recall when I started walking.  How far I have come in  six months in that area.    Then I went for a walk in the Kansas humidity which I sweated like no other!  I’m telling myself I sweated out that lovely dessert I indulged in the night before! 🙂 The walk was for 45 minutes.  It wasn’t a fast pace but it was a good pace.

 

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I can’t figure out why for the last 2 wks my fitness tracker & phone are off so much! UGH!

At late morning I was over half way to my goal of 10,000 steps.  I can do this.  I have the power to move.  I have the power to make better choices.  My blood sugar wasn’t too low but it was on it’s way as I didn’t eat enough for breakfast.  I was so “in the zone” I forgot to grab some carbs when I returned from the bike ride!  But all ended well and I snacked after my shower.

Throughout the day I was up and down.  I kept an eye on the fitness tracker and phone.  One day.  That’s all today was.  But it was one day I hit my goal.

Do you have any goals you are working towards accomplishing?  How do you keep focused?

Until next time…

Julie

 

 

Bringing It Down – Diabetes #8


I realized yesterday morning that Down with the D could mean a couple things.   Diabetes or depression.  Both are in my life.

We traveled for our vacation to an area that enabled me to exercise daily, feel relaxed, and eat somewhat healthy.  We cooked most of our own meals.  I still got on the scale after returning and have decided I need a new scale.

View from the grass

I was motivated quite a bit before leaving for vacation and was determined to keep working towards my daily goals even while away from home.  I was successful and have been reaching my 10,000 step goal all but about one day a week.

Upon leaving beautiful Arkansas and heading towards one more stop before coming to rest at home I could feel anxiety entering my body.  The anxiety led to feeling in a funk and Monday I have felt quite “off” all day.  I do think some of it is from my blood sugars being consistantly on the lower side.   I need to find that balance again, so I feel good most all the time.

Tuesday morning brought more clarity but I am still feeling anxious at some moments.  The walk I took this morning has brought me more than 5000 steps and clearer mind.  Support from a new person came my way and I am utilizing it.

The battle of diabetes is one I am focusing on but the depression still shows up to the party on occasion.  It makes it’s prescense not necessarily by sad faces or tear. It carries the blame when snappy answers blurt from my mouth or the urge to scream erupts within me.  The expression of depression doesn’t take one route.  It is kind and spreads itself in many forms.

I have to admit it was probably a positive to get out with other people last night.  To listen to little kids singing and feeling a loof myself.  Perhaps that is what helped me to visit with my husband in a casual manner last night or  to awaken this morning so much easier.

Mother Daughter Hike

Coming off the high of being somewhere you truly enjoyed and  pulling this thing called life out of  time-out so to speak is hard.  Getting away can give one perspective on many levels and I think this trip did that for me.  The opportunity to realize, alittle more clearer, what I want out of this life I am living.

Until next time,

Julie