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Mothers Day

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As Mother’s Day gets closer, I find myself reflecting on the many women in my life that have influenced me for the better.  My mom is of course at the top of that list, but there are many, many other women as well.  Grandmothers, Aunts, Cousins, Friends, Neighbors, teachers, all of have influenced me to become the woman that I am today.  I would like to take a moment and recognize those women in my life.

I recently read this article on Familyshare.com that talks about recognizing all of the influential women in our life especially so close to Mothers Day.  I really found it insightful.  I really liked where it defines what a mother is.  Mothering is far more than just giving birth.  It is caring for and nurturing others.  You should take a minute to read it.  I think it helped me to remember those mothering influences in my life a little better.

Going hand in hand with this article was another article I found that talked about the mother’s influence on society.  If you pair the two articles together, it really goes to prove the old saying “it takes a village to raise a child.”  Our children are influenced by the example of teachers, neighbors,and  friends.

If you want to take a moment to reflect on the women that have influenced you and would like to honor them, familyshare.com has made it really easy to send them a special note and let them know what a difference they have made for you in your life.  It is an E-card of sorts and I really like the idea of it.  It is called Show Love and is an easy way to let someone who has influenced you know that you love them.

I really want to just thank all of you women reading this.  You have all influenced me in my life.  I love you and appreciate your caring and support.   Thank you for being with me on this blog.  Tomorrow, I will return to the normal “crafty post” but couldn’t pass up this opportunity to remember the women in my life.  Thank you for all that you have done and will continue to do for me.

 

 

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Choose to Be Happy

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Choose to be Happy 2

Two years ago, I was in the darkest place of my life.  The depression was debilitating and consuming.  Every day was a fight to get out of bed.  Why am I sharing this with you?  Because I figure I am not the only one who has dealt with this and I thought sharing my story might make a difference for someone.  I have felt the need to share my story lately and am just now getting the courage to do it.   This is the story of my depression and how I escaped it.

I have always been a happy person.  Growing up, I never understood depression.  You might even say I was ignorant about it.  If someone told me they were struggling with depression, I was naive enough to think “why don’t you just knock it off and get over it already?”  Luckily I had enough tact to keep from saying that though.  In all honesty, I just thought it was something that you could get over instantly if you wanted to badly enough.

I think you don’t really understand depression until you go through it though.  Two years ago, in April, my grandmother died.  She was one of the most important people in my life, and still is.  She had a way of making you feel like a million bucks.  Her death was unexpected and one of the hardest things I have ever gone through.  I was pregnant with Addie at the time and still remember the look on my grandma’s face when I told her I was having another baby.  She LOVED being a grandmother and excelled at it.  We all felt like her favorite because she loved us all equally and unconditionally.  I hope to be like her someday.

I remember getting the phone call telling me that she had passed on.  It was very early in the morning.  Much to early to be getting a normal phone call.   It was so surreal, and didn’t really sink in immediately.  I needed to be with my grandpa.  That was my next thought.  I needed someone to watch my oldest so that I could go be with him and mourn and I needed to be at my grandparent’s house.  I called my mother in law and it wasn’t until I said the words, “my grandma passed away this morning” that they fully sunk in and I became a mess.  She was so kind to take care of my daughter for me so that I could go be with my family.

The day of the funeral came, and I couldn’t stop the tears.  It definitely didn’t help that I was pregnant at the time and so hormonal.

The days following the funeral came and went and without realizing it, I was slipping further and further into a very dark place.  Most days, all I could do was keep my daughter fed, occupied and alive.  I felt like I was lost.  I cried a lot.  I don’t like to think of those days very often.  My husband was so supportive of me- always has been- and picked up my slack where I couldn’t.  He is so good to me.

I don’t know the exact day I realized what had happened, that I was actually depressed, but I remember the realization hit me hard.  Once I realized this was depression, I thought, “oh, I need to just snap out of this.” But, it’s not that easy.  I realized that I wouldn’t be able to just “get over it” and that it would take much more than that.

Gratitude Journal 4

My first step in escaping depression is actually something you might remember from a post I did two years ago.  I decided that if I focused on the good things that were happening each day, it would help me have a more positive mindset.  I made my gratitude journal and began recording 3 things each day that had made me happy or that I was thankful for.  I think that was the biggest step for me in finding happiness again.  Finding joy in the little moments and remembering them at the end of the day.

I also chose a new mantra, “Choose to Be Happy.”  I had to make a conscious choice several times every day to choose happiness.  When I would feel myself slipping again, I would remember that I could choose to allow the sadness to overcome me, or I could refocus on something else that would make me feel happy instead.  Of course there were days where I just couldn’t get past the sadness, but making the effort to be happy was making a difference.

Lastly, I turned to my faith.  I began praying and reading books that were uplifting.  I needed spiritual guidance.  I needed Heavenly help.  I couldn’t get over this on my own.  I truly believe that this was where the most healing came from.

It took me two months to find my “happy place” again.

I now understand a little bit about depression.  I am SO thankful that mine wasn’t a permanent depression or chemical imbalance that caused it.  There are people that do have that, and I am so sorry.  I do know there is medication to help that and thankfully I was able to overcome my depression without the use of any since I was pregnant.

choose to be happy

I still make the choice daily to “Choose to Be Happy”.  It has been a great reminder for me to look for the good in a day.  To be grateful for the messes my children make- because I am blessed to have two beautiful little girls and they make me smile everyday.  It is a reminder that I can get through difficult things and at the end of the day, I go to bed with a smile on my face.  When I was at the Queen Bee market recently, I found this necklace made by the R house Couture and had to buy it and I now wear it as a reminder on the days that I need it most.

 

Writing this is therapeutic for me in a way.  It is always easier to look at something in hindsight and say “this is what I learned” then it is to actually go through it.  My experience has taught me empathy and compassion in a way that I couldn’t have learned otherwise.  It has helped me be more mindful of those that I see looking lost or discouraged.  I hope to never go through it again, but I am glad, in hindsight, that it happened.

I am feeling a little vulnerable writing this and publishing it, but if it helps even one person, it was worth it.  I would love your comments today.  Have you ever been through something like this?  Do you know anyone that has?  How did you overcome it?  I would love to hear all about it.

 

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