Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Less Netflix, More Chill

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of speaking to a group of women in our church at an event. This is a copy of that talk!

So something that has interested me for quite a while now is STRESS. 

What is stress? According to the dictionary Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.

I looked up some stats, and apparently when asked to rate our stress from 1 to 10, the average answer given is 6. So, it sounds to me like we want to be clear that we’re ok- we have it together… but don’t expect too much out of me because I AM just slightly more stressed than I should be. Women report on average, a 5% higher answer than men. And I’m sure none of you will be surprised that generationally speaking, Millennials report the highest levels of stress. 

So, what are we all so stressed about? Beats me. That’s not what I’m here to talk about tonight. The truth is that stress is there in all stages of life, and its real, and it’s probably not going anywhere. 

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Almost a Year Down The Road

I can't decided where to start or what to write, so I'm just going to start typing, and we'll see what comes out. Sound good? Great. My last post was on October 23rd. Almost 8 months ago? I'm pretty sure I was a different person on October 23rd. I wrote about post partum depression and how I had just started taking medication, which if I remember correctly, was in late August of last year. So now I've been on medication for nearly a year. 

I want to be very careful about how I share this journey because I realize so much more now than I ever have before how insensitive it can be to make claims on mental health. Whether you admit it or not, we all have preconceived notions on what mental health struggles are like. I'm sure if you hear the words depression or anxiety you have ideas of what those things are, and you likely even have a person in your life that struggles with one or both. You probably also have idea of what medication for these things is like, and/or what it is like to be on these medications.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Coffee Grounds and Post Partum Depression


"Oops" he said with a nervous little voice.

I turned around to see our refillable K-cup spilled onto the ground. Elliott had tried to help me by taking it out of the machine and dumping it into the garbage, but it was too hot for him and he dropped it. Two months ago I would have reacted in anger. I would have exclaimed "Elliott!! What did you do?" and caused him to flee the scene in fear of a time out or having me tell him in seventeen different ways why he shouldn't have touched the k-cup in the first place.

Today was different. Even though I had two whiney one year olds in front of me, both upset at my lunch offerings and protesting loudly while throwing food on the floor... today was still different.

"Oops! You dropped it! I said in a calm voice."It's ok sweetie. It was an accident. Mommy makes messes too sometimes. Here let me help you clean it up." 

He happily helped me wipe up the mess and remarked at how tiny the coffee grounds were. 

"I need my magnifying glass!"  (I surprised both him and I by agreeing enthusiastically.) 

I asked him what he could do differently next time so this didn't happen.

"Ask Mommy" he said sheepishly. He gave me a big hug, and we both smiled and squeezed.

I would love to say that this is a result of the Positive Parenting seminar I recently attended (and I'm sure that in part it is- SUCH a good seminar!) but the truth is that two months ago I walked into the emergency room in my small town and nervously told them that I thought I needed to go on medication for Post Partum Depression. 

Friday, 6 October 2017

6 Hours

Looks like it did take an entire month for this post to happen. Sorry guys. It was a mixture of busy-ness and honestly just having trouble typing this part out. I love writing and I love sharing all the vulnerable parts of my life. I find it freeing and cathartic; I always seem to find a part of myself that I didn't know quite as fully before. So perhaps that's why I've been putting it off. Sitting down at my laptop and typing it out means that I have to really explore my heart and put words to how I'm feeling.

If you haven't been tracking along with the story about my Dad you can click on these links to read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 first. We left off with the day my Dad moved into his own apartment. He had previously been staying with my sister Nicole, but that arrangement wasn't working out very well, so they found him a tiny furnished apartment in Chinatown. Nicole and her husband James dropped him off at 1 pm.

Friday, 8 September 2017

The Rehabilitation Stage of the Story

Well, it looks like I'm right on track for my monthly blog post. You probably can't tell, but that was sarcasm. I used to write *at least* one post a week. Life was... simpler back then (read:no kids)

Anyways, I suppose I should pick up where I left off in the story with my Dad. I've spent a lot of time on the details so far. The details of his accident, and then his first couple of hours, days, and then weeks in the hospital. For the rest of this story to make sense I'm going to have to give you some more details about his (and my) life.

My Dad is an alcoholic. Diagnosed? Admittedly? No, of course not. But make no mistake about it- he has an addiction. I'm not sure how much I want to share, but I can say that my relationship with him for as long as I can remember was shaped by his drinking. And then like a piece of clay that was shaped, it had hardened over time and through fire. And it was shattered, more than once.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

The Next 11 Days

We left off the day of my Dad's accident. I was 11 days away from my due date, but had been expecting to have the baby early, as I had with Elliott. As my sisters and I parted ways that night they both told the baby to stay put for at least another day or two. We left dad still in the ER, but we were told he would be having a drain placed and be transferred up to the Neuro ICU within an hour or two of us leaving. They hoped that once the pressure was relieved that they could take him off sedation and see how he was from there.

The next morning Gloria and I drove to the hospital together. We talked about our expectations for the day, which were largely about how we would have to figure out if Dad would be able to attend the reunion the following weekend. It was 7 days away. Would he be out of the hospital yet? Could he maybe attend if he was in a wheel chair and took it easy? Gloria seemed very skeptical he would be out that soon, but I thought it was possible. We agreed we would have to talk it over with Dad and his doctors.

Friday, 14 July 2017

91 Days

91 Days.

I hadn't spoken to my Dad in 91 days and now I was driving frantically to the U of A Hospital where he was being transferred to from Red Deer. All I knew was he had fallen off his roof and hit his head and the injury was bad enough that he needed to be transferred. Sometimes it takes a crisis to learn how calm you can or cannot be, and I think I did not too bad. It was about 3:30 pm. I had Elliott with me, and had packed him a sandwich, snacks, his water, pencil crayons and a toy car. I picked up my oldest sister Gloria on the way because she was too upset to drive, and off we went.

I wasn't sure if he would be happy to see me. We hadn't spoken in so long, purely out of stubbornness. It all started on Father's Day. I had spoken to him two days before, but then forgotten to call on Father's Day. It was not an intentional slight, and I only learned about it a few weeks later when my middle sister Nicole mentioned it. She actually asked if it was correct, because our Dad is known to forget phone calls if he has had too much to drink. I realized right away that she was right- I had forgotten. I felt terrible and planned on calling him later to apologize profusely and ask forgiveness.