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keith Vidal, Throat Punch Thursday, mental illness, Schizophrenic teen, Schizophrenia, Bryon Vassey

The family of 18-year-old, Keith Vidal, called their local police for help when their son was behaving erratically during a schizophrenic episode last Sunday night. The 18-year-old from Boiling Spring Lake, North Carolina, was first tasered by two police officers and on the ground when shot and killed by a third officer, Bryon Vassey, from the neighboring town of Southport.

According to this emotional video by Keith Vidal’s stepbrother, Mark Ryan Wilsey, Keith was recently diagnosed with Schizophrenia and was coping while dosing was being figured out.

Vidal’s father, Mark Wilsey, called the police Sunday night because his son was armed with an electric, six-inch screwdriver and was threatening his mother. According to the family the two officers had the situation under control, with the 100-pound Keith Vidal on the ground tasered, when Officer Vassey entered the premises and within 60 seconds said, “We don’t have time for this.” Then he shot Keith Vidal in the chest, killing him. I can’t get the disturbing image out of my head of someone putting down a lame dog.

Officer Vassey first said he was ‘defending himself,” only to later say through his lawyer he was defending another officer. How could deadly force be the only option when there are 3 officers and a Taser involved to subdue one skinny teenager?

My heart breaks for this family. Any person who has ever dealt with, loved with or been mentally ill knows that getting the right meds dosage is critical. Sometimes it takes months or even years to find the right dosage. Meds can alter your state of mind sometimes even worse than the mental illness itself.

This kid was 18-years-old and recently diagnosed. Can you imagine what a pill it is to swallow to be told that you have a mental illness and will be medicated for the rest of your life just to be “normal”? I can. When I was first diagnosed with Bipolar 1, I was at a point in my life where I had been ill for years with no help. No diagnosis. I felt irreparably broken. I felt alone and severed from everyone around me.  I can’t even describe to you what it feels like to feel so broken. The closest I can compare it to would be like living in quick sand and you are being swallowed whole by the disease but the more you struggle to resist, to survive the deeper you sink and the more likely you are to lose yourself. It is terrifying because you don’t know why this is happening to you. Was it something you did or didn’t do?

When I finally got a diagnosis, I was terrified but relieved. Relieved that there was help to be had and to find that I wasn’t so broken as much as really bent. It was a struggle to get back to “normal”; whatever that is. I’m not sure I really know. Normal is relative, I suppose.

It took months of highs and lows. I was originally misdiagnosed as depressed and given enough anti-depressants to kill a horse, which made me ever increasingly manic. In the end, I was at the brink of psychosis. I saw madness. I felt it. Touched it. Lived it. It was the biggest part of me.

Eventually, anti-depressants were taken down to next to nothing; stabilizers and Ambien entered the picture. Where mania once ran rampant, now zombie like living: walking into walls and all-consuming lethargy had become part of who I was. After a few months, I was finally regulated and began to feel “normal” for the first time in years; maybe ever.

It all seems so cut and dry when you write it out but it’s not. The part I haven’t told you that before my medication dosage was right, I was highly erratic. I was like a ticking time bomb. What was going on inside my head was so distracting that it left me annoyed and irrationally angry with myself and everyone around me. Later, through therapy, I realized that the irritability was directly proportional to my mania. My body and mind were pissed off because no one ever turned the lights off. My body and mind were exhausted and there was no off switch to be had.

I did irrational things just to feel alive because I ALWAYS needed to feel alive; I drove fast, lived fast and never considered consequences. I teetered between feeling invincible and wanting to die. I drank a lot. I know now that I subconsciously did that to shut things off. It’s actually pretty common. I alienated family and friends because I overreacted to everything. Sometime between high school and college graduation, I had spun completely out of control. The insomnia was just fuel to the fire.

I fully accept responsibility for my behavior in those days though, honestly, I had no real control over a lot of it. I never wielded a weapon at my parents but I did throw a friend’s belongings off my balcony and came pretty damn close to tossing her as well during a particularly manic episode. I used to be quite good at pushing people away. I think I was afraid they’d see the real me and know something was “off ”. Even before I knew what it was, I knew something wasn’t right. I hoped and prayed that there was a reason for the behavior.

My whole point for this very long and drawn out story is that if you met me today, you’d know that I’m not the same person I was at 18, 21 or even 25. I am the mother of two, a wife, and even a room mother. I am just like you but maybe I wouldn’t be if someone decided that they had no time for me to get help; to learn to live with my diagnosis. Perhaps, this is the problem with the world, we resign ourselves to believe that those who are mentally ill are dangerous, less than or even worthless. We forget that they are people, just like you and I.Well, more like me than you, I suppose:) My point is that just because someone is mentally ill doesn’t mean they can’t be valuable members of society or good human beings. It only means that they might have a more difficult journey than the rest of us.

Officer Vassey might have been scared and felt threatened because sometimes in the midst of an episode, the person suffering looks scary. The fact remains that if two officers had Keith Vidal tasered on the ground, what possible reason could there have been to shoot him? Unlike me, Keith Vidal is dead and now, will never have the chance to learn to live with his disease; to grow up, to have a family, to be a dad or a husband.

What are your thoughts on this tragic story? What would you do if you were Keith Vidal parents?

 

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K-drama, kpop, c-drama, j-drama ,4 Asian Rom Coms that can Save You from Your Pandemic Pit of Despair, Dylan Wang, Shen Yeu, Meteor Garden, Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin, Yuan Hao, accidentally in love, shy boss, Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo, Yoon Park, Love Alarm, Song Kang, Kim So-hyun, Good Morning Call, Shun’ya Shiraishi, Haruka Fukuhara, Yosuke Sugino, Darren Chen, Caesar Wu, Connor Leong, Sun Qiang, Hello My Twenties, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park, Shin Hyun-soo, Netflix, Rakuten Viki, My First First Love, Ji Soo, Jung Chae-Yeon, Second Twenties, Choi Ji-woo, Lee Sang-yoon, The Liar and His Lover, Lee Hyun-woo, Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Lin Yi, Xing Fei, Miss in Kiss, Dino Lee, Esther Wu, Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi , Zhang Jiongmin, I Hear You, Go Go Squid, Li Xian, Yang Zi, Hu Yi Tian

I’ve never needed streaming television more than I do now. This coronavirus pandemic has begun to affect me in ways that I never could have expected. I’ve watched everything in English, Spanish, French, Italian, Swedish and Belgian that I could find. I’ve always loved Asian horror because it’s simply the scariest. What I never expected my heart would need is Asian Rom Coms, all Asian Drama, K-dramas, C-drama, J-drama, coming of age series and kPop soundtracks. I’m not even a Rom-Com girl. But Asian Rom Com series just hit in a different way than their American counterparts. They are pure and innocent. I find myself smiling a lot.

If you’re not familiar with this genre, acquaint yourself. These series can also sometimes fall into the categories of K-Dramas, J-Dramas and C-Dramas. If you’re wondering why I am out of the blue recommending these shows, I’m going to be 100% honest with you. I’ve been really stressed during this pandemic but I’ve been keeping it all neatly bottled up inside because this issue is so huge and insurmountable that keeping a lid on my feelings about it is the only way for me to mentally survive it.

As many of you know, I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 when I was 27. I haven’t had a manic or depressive episode in over a decade. To be honest, the only “depression” I’ve truly ever experienced was the result of an overly stressful coming of age time in my own teens when my dad was a volatile alcoholic and again in 2012, when I lost our third baby. I actually feel like both of those instances were completely normal responses to the situation however, I am not trusted to assess my own emotional well-being. My point is that this pandemic has me terrified for my own mental health.

READ ALSO: Best Horror Movies to Watch with Your Teens

Rather than feeling like I’m depressed, at least not anything like I’ve ever known, I’m feeling anxious (again, I feel under these circumstances is a pretty normal reaction for anyone) but what’s scaring me is this walking a tightrope feeling in my gut that feels like mania is lurking right beneath the surface, just waiting to break through. That terrifies me because I’ve never had an episode since becoming a mom. But, I’m also not who I was in my 20’s, I know the disease I’m battling. I know it well. I’ve researched it, made peace with it and embraced it. I’ve had extensive training on how to move through it and how to get myself off the ledge. Still, it’s scary. The feeling that any wrong move can send me freefalling and crashing towards earth as my daughters and the Big Guy watch on. That scares me the most.

Luckily, I just had 2 weeks off of school (Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that I’ve gone back to school to get another Masters of Science (this time in Digital Marketing) during a pandemic?) but today, I went back. It gave me the time I needed to look more closely at the situation and realize what’s happening; to get my bearings. When I had my miscarriage, I had this same walking a tightrope feeling, I survived it with binge-watching the UK version of Shameless…all 10 seasons. I’m the kind of person who needs to feel her feelings and I write to process but when it gets to be too much, I start to short circuit. Recently, I’ve been finding it harder and harder to write. I can’t even will myself to commit my thoughts to keyboard. That means for my own mental health, I have to let go of the overthinking and I have to relinquish control and numb myself to relieve the pressure.

READ ALSO: The Last Goodbye

Before I knew what my diagnosis was, I used to drink to do this. I was in college so it seemed pretty normal. Didn’t every anorexic 100 lb girl drink 6-12 beers a night? I did. I don’t do that anymore. Seldom do I have even 3 drinks in a year these days. Caffeine and alcohol are on my “in moderation” list. Sleep for me is supposed to be 10-12 hours a night, to maintain normal. I live on 4-6, if I’m sick, I can force 8. My insomnia is my constant companion. I’ve noticed it’s gotten worse these past few weeks. My bedtime is frequently at 4 am. I know this is not normal but nothing brings the sleep, not even the sleep medication. This is a trigger warning for me.

My point to all of this is that Asian Rom Coms are currently saving my sanity. I need their quiet, sweet, romantic, coming-of-age endearing storylines to focus on and laugh and cry with to process my emotions in small quantities. These series are literally my emotional support series’. When I’m in a manic episode, I become obsessive so binge-watching is better than eating or shopping. The alternative is giving myself over to the erratic, reckless and self-satisfying darkness. Instead, I’m choosing to quiet my mind by anesthetizing it with the calm voices of Asia’s finest young actors. I’m enjoying them so much; I’m thinking of trying to learn Mandarin (because speaking 4 languages is not enough) …this could be the mania talking but I’m going to give it a try with no expectations (that’s how I know I’m still aware of my behavior).

READ ALSO: How to Love Forever

I know that the pandemic has brought about its own unique challenges for everyone, I’m not the only one whose mental illness has been reactivated in the wake of the world being on fire. I’m not special (look at me not having grandiose thoughts of self-importance). I’m not saying that Asian rom coms are the answer to saving the world’s sanity from the Coronavirus pandemic, but I’m not saying they’re not either. They are very entertaining, add levity, laughter and cathartic sobbing when needed and unlike the typical American teen dramas we are used to there is not any of the excessive drinking, juuling and sex scenes. It’s just endearing and thoughtful naïve first love, the kind we had in the beginning and wish for our own children to someday experience. Plus, the people, the music, the language and the culture are so beautiful to watch and learn more about. Right now, I’m truly thankful for Netflix and Rakuten Viki.

For me, I know that Asian rom coms can’t fix mental illness but just like psychiatric drugs, behavioral therapy and cognitive therapy, in my recovery, they definitely have their place.  Here are my favorite Asian Rom Coms for beginners. For reference, my top 4 are the first 4 on the list below. Also, this list includes Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese recs. Don’t worry if you don’t know the languages, that’s what subtitles are for and honestly, even without subtitles, you can enjoy these shows. Seriously, Asian Rom Coms can help us all survive the pandemic. TBH, the worst thing about Asian Rom Coms is that they end and I want more seasons.

Top Asian Rom Coms to watch for beginners

 K-drama, kpop, c-drama, j-drama ,14 Asian Rom Coms that can Save You from Your Pandemic Pit of Despair, Dylan Wang, Shen Yeu, Meteor Garden, Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin, Yuan Hao, accidentally in love, shy boss, Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo, Yoon Park, Love Alarm, Song Kang, Kim So-hyun, Good Morning Call, Shun’ya Shiraishi, Haruka Fukuhara, Yosuke Sugino, Darren Chen, Caesar Wu, Connor Leong, Sun Qiang, Hello My Twenties, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park, Shin Hyun-soo, Netflix, Rakuten Viki, My First First Love, Ji Soo, Jung Chae-Yeon, Second Twenties, Choi Ji-woo, Lee Sang-yoon, The Liar and His Lover, Lee Hyun-woo, Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Lin Yi, Xing Fei, Miss in Kiss, Dino Lee, Esther Wu, Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi , Zhang Jiongmin, I Hear You, Go Go Squid, Li Xian, Yang Zi, Hu Yi Tian

Meteor Garden

Chinese/ Netflix /2018

Dong Shancai is determined to excel at her dream university, where she encounters an elite clique of dashing, popular high-achievers — and finds love, Dao Ming Si. Starring Dylan Wang and Shen Yeu.

 K-drama, kpop, c-drama, j-drama ,14 Asian Rom Coms that can Save You from Your Pandemic Pit of Despair, Dylan Wang, Shen Yeu, Meteor Garden, Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin, Yuan Hao, accidentally in love, shy boss, Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo, Yoon Park, Love Alarm, Song Kang, Kim So-hyun, Good Morning Call, Shun’ya Shiraishi, Haruka Fukuhara, Yosuke Sugino, Darren Chen, Caesar Wu, Connor Leong, Sun Qiang, Hello My Twenties, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park, Shin Hyun-soo, Netflix, Rakuten Viki, My First First Love, Ji Soo, Jung Chae-Yeon, Second Twenties, Choi Ji-woo, Lee Sang-yoon, The Liar and His Lover, Lee Hyun-woo, Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Lin Yi, Xing Fei, Miss in Kiss, Dino Lee, Esther Wu, Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi , Zhang Jiongmin, I Hear You, Go Go Squid, Li Xian, Yang Zi, Hu Yi Tian

A Love so Beautiful

Chinese / Netflix/ 2017

The ups and downs of school, family and growing up test the love between a budding artist, Chen Xiaoxi, and her handsome but indifferent classmate and neighbor, Jiang Chen. Starring Hu Yi Tian and Shen Ye.

 K-drama, kpop, c-drama, j-drama , 14 Asian Rom Coms that can Save You from Your Pandemic Pit of Despair, Dylan Wang, Shen Yeu, Meteor Garden, Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin, Yuan Hao, accidentally in love, shy boss, Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo, Yoon Park, Love Alarm, Song Kang, Kim So-hyun, Good Morning Call, Shun’ya Shiraishi, Haruka Fukuhara, Yosuke Sugino, Darren Chen, Caesar Wu, Connor Leong, Sun Qiang, Hello My Twenties, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park, Shin Hyun-soo, Netflix, Rakuten Viki, My First First Love, Ji Soo, Jung Chae-Yeon, Second Twenties, Choi Ji-woo, Lee Sang-yoon, The Liar and His Lover, Lee Hyun-woo, Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Lin Yi, Xing Fei, Miss in Kiss, Dino Lee, Esther Wu, Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi , Zhang Jiongmin, I Hear You, Go Go Squid, Li Xian, Yang Zi, Hu Yi Tian

Go Go Squid

Chinese/ Rakuten Viki/ 2019

At 19, Tong Nian, a brilliant IT programming student with stellar grades and an equally impressive social media following, is winning at life. She never has a problem meeting new people. But all that changes the day Han Shang Yan walks into her life. Starring Li Xian, Yang Zi and Hu Yi Tian.

 K-drama, kpop, c-drama, j-drama , 14 Asian Rom Coms that can Save You from Your Pandemic Pit of Despair, Dylan Wang, Shen Yeu, Meteor Garden, Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin, Yuan Hao, accidentally in love, shy boss, Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo, Yoon Park, Love Alarm, Song Kang, Kim So-hyun, Good Morning Call, Shun’ya Shiraishi, Haruka Fukuhara, Yosuke Sugino, Darren Chen, Caesar Wu, Connor Leong, Sun Qiang, Hello My Twenties, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park, Shin Hyun-soo, Netflix, Rakuten Viki, My First First Love, Ji Soo, Jung Chae-Yeon, Second Twenties, Choi Ji-woo, Lee Sang-yoon, The Liar and His Lover, Lee Hyun-woo, Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Lin Yi, Xing Fei, Miss in Kiss, Dino Lee, Esther Wu, Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi , Zhang Jiongmin, I Hear You, Go Go Squid, Li Xian, Yang Zi, Hu Yi Tian

I Hear You

Chinese/ Netflix/ 2019

Love blooms between a bubbly, aspiring voice actress and a cool, enigmatic violin-maker after they cross paths on a reality TV show. Starring Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi and Zhang Jiongmin.

 K-drama, kpop, c-drama, j-drama , 14 Asian Rom Coms that can Save You from Your Pandemic Pit of Despair, Dylan Wang, Shen Yeu, Meteor Garden, Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin, Yuan Hao, accidentally in love, shy boss, Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo, Yoon Park, Love Alarm, Song Kang, Kim So-hyun, Good Morning Call, Shun’ya Shiraishi, Haruka Fukuhara, Yosuke Sugino, Darren Chen, Caesar Wu, Connor Leong, Sun Qiang, Hello My Twenties, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park, Shin Hyun-soo, Netflix, Rakuten Viki, My First First Love, Ji Soo, Jung Chae-Yeon, Second Twenties, Choi Ji-woo, Lee Sang-yoon, The Liar and His Lover, Lee Hyun-woo, Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Lin Yi, Xing Fei, Miss in Kiss, Dino Lee, Esther Wu, Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi , Zhang Jiongmin, I Hear You, Go Go Squid, Li Xian, Yang Zi, Hu Yi Tian

Miss In Kiss

Taiwanese/ Netflix/ 2016

A quirk of fate sends an ordinary, sweet-natured high school girl and her father into the home of the school genius, on whom she has a huge crush. Starring Dino Lee and Esther Wu.

 K-drama, kpop, c-drama, j-drama , 14 Asian Rom Coms that can Save You from Your Pandemic Pit of Despair, Dylan Wang, Shen Yeu, Meteor Garden, Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin, Yuan Hao, accidentally in love, shy boss, Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo, Yoon Park, Love Alarm, Song Kang, Kim So-hyun, Good Morning Call, Shun’ya Shiraishi, Haruka Fukuhara, Yosuke Sugino, Darren Chen, Caesar Wu, Connor Leong, Sun Qiang, Hello My Twenties, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park, Shin Hyun-soo, Netflix, Rakuten Viki, My First First Love, Ji Soo, Jung Chae-Yeon, Second Twenties, Choi Ji-woo, Lee Sang-yoon, The Liar and His Lover, Lee Hyun-woo, Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Lin Yi, Xing Fei, Miss in Kiss, Dino Lee, Esther Wu, Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi , Zhang Jiongmin, I Hear You, Go Go Squid, Li Xian, Yang Zi, Hu Yi Tian

Put Your Head on My Shoulder

Chinese/ Netflix/ 2019

As Si Tu Mo’s graduation is nearing, she is confused about her future plans. She tries out all sorts of things all the time and is unable to make her own decisions. Starring Lin Yi and Xing Fei.

14 Asian Rom Coms that can Save You from Your Pandemic Pit of Despair, Dylan Wang, Shen Yeu, Meteor Garden, Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin, Yuan Hao, accidentally in love, shy boss, Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo, Yoon Park, Love Alarm, Song Kang, Kim So-hyun, Good Morning Call, Shun’ya Shiraishi, Haruka Fukuhara, Yosuke Sugino, Darren Chen, Caesar Wu, Connor Leong, Sun Qiang, Hello My Twenties, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park, Shin Hyun-soo, Netflix, Rakuten Viki, My First First Love, Ji Soo, Jung Chae-Yeon, Second Twenties, Choi Ji-woo, Lee Sang-yoon, The Liar and His Lover, Lee Hyun-woo, Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Lin Yi, Xing Fei, Miss in Kiss, Dino Lee, Esther Wu, Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi , Zhang Jiongmin, I Hear You, Go Go Squid, Li Xian, Yang Zi, Hu Yi Tian

The Liar and His Lover

South Korean/ Netflix/ 2017

Love Story of a genius composer and a high school girl who sings. She falls in love at first sight but it’s never that easy. The drama is based on the popular Japanese manga Kanojo wa Uso o Aishisugiteru by Kotomi Aoki.  Starring Lee Hyun-woo and Joy with Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young

 K-drama, kpop, c-drama, j-drama , 14 Asian Rom Coms that can Save You from Your Pandemic Pit of Despair, Dylan Wang, Shen Yeu, Meteor Garden, Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin, Yuan Hao, accidentally in love, shy boss, Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo, Yoon Park, Love Alarm, Song Kang, Kim So-hyun, Good Morning Call, Shun’ya Shiraishi, Haruka Fukuhara, Yosuke Sugino, Darren Chen, Caesar Wu, Connor Leong, Sun Qiang, Hello My Twenties, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park, Shin Hyun-soo, Netflix, Rakuten Viki, My First First Love, Ji Soo, Jung Chae-Yeon, Second Twenties, Choi Ji-woo, Lee Sang-yoon, The Liar and His Lover, Lee Hyun-woo, Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Lin Yi, Xing Fei, Miss in Kiss, Dino Lee, Esther Wu, Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi , Zhang Jiongmin, I Hear You, Go Go Squid, Li Xian, Yang Zi, Hu Yi Tian

Second 20s

South Korean/ Netflix/ 2015

Almost 40, Ha No-Ra’s son is about to go away to college and her husband wants a divorce the moment the kid’s out of the house. Ha No-Ra goes back to school and meets Cha Hyun-Suk, an old schoolmate who is now a professor. Unknown to her, Cha Hyun-Suk had the biggest crush on her in high school but she never noticed. Starring Choi Ji-woo and Lee Sang-yoon.

 K-drama, kpop, c-drama, j-drama , 14 Asian Rom Coms that can Save You from Your Pandemic Pit of Despair, Dylan Wang, Shen Yeu, Meteor Garden, Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin, Yuan Hao, accidentally in love, shy boss, Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo, Yoon Park, Love Alarm, Song Kang, Kim So-hyun, Good Morning Call, Shun’ya Shiraishi, Haruka Fukuhara, Yosuke Sugino, Darren Chen, Caesar Wu, Connor Leong, Sun Qiang, Hello My Twenties, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park, Shin Hyun-soo, Netflix, Rakuten Viki, My First First Love, Ji Soo, Jung Chae-Yeon, Second Twenties, Choi Ji-woo, Lee Sang-yoon, The Liar and His Lover, Lee Hyun-woo, Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Lin Yi, Xing Fei, Miss in Kiss, Dino Lee, Esther Wu, Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi , Zhang Jiongmin, I Hear You, Go Go Squid, Li Xian, Yang Zi, Hu Yi Tian

My First First Love

Korean/ Netflix/ 2019

Due to various personal reasons, some of Yun Tae-o’s friends move into his house, where they experience love, friendship and everything in between. Starring Ji Soo and Jung Chae-Yeon.

 K-drama, kpop, c-drama, j-drama , 14 Asian Rom Coms that can Save You from Your Pandemic Pit of Despair, Dylan Wang, Shen Yeu, Meteor Garden, Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin, Yuan Hao, accidentally in love, shy boss, Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo, Yoon Park, Love Alarm, Song Kang, Kim So-hyun, Good Morning Call, Shun’ya Shiraishi, Haruka Fukuhara, Yosuke Sugino, Darren Chen, Caesar Wu, Connor Leong, Sun Qiang, Hello My Twenties, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park, Shin Hyun-soo, Netflix, Rakuten Viki, My First First Love, Ji Soo, Jung Chae-Yeon, Second Twenties, Choi Ji-woo, Lee Sang-yoon, The Liar and His Lover, Lee Hyun-woo, Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Lin Yi, Xing Fei, Miss in Kiss, Dino Lee, Esther Wu, Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi , Zhang Jiongmin, I Hear You, Go Go Squid, Li Xian, Yang Zi, Hu Yi Tian

Hello, My Twenties

Korean/ Netflix/ 2016

Five female housemates and college students meet and live at the Belle Epoque. While strangers at first, they are able to bond and connect over the traumas they experienced while growing up. Together they juggle the perils of adult life. Starring Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park and Shin Hyun-soo.

 K-drama, kpop, c-drama, j-drama , 14 Asian Rom Coms that can Save You from Your Pandemic Pit of Despair, Dylan Wang, Shen Yeu, Meteor Garden, Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin, Yuan Hao, accidentally in love, shy boss, Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo, Yoon Park, Love Alarm, Song Kang, Kim So-hyun, Good Morning Call, Shun’ya Shiraishi, Haruka Fukuhara, Yosuke Sugino, Darren Chen, Caesar Wu, Connor Leong, Sun Qiang, Hello My Twenties, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park, Shin Hyun-soo, Netflix, Rakuten Viki, My First First Love, Ji Soo, Jung Chae-Yeon, Second Twenties, Choi Ji-woo, Lee Sang-yoon, The Liar and His Lover, Lee Hyun-woo, Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Lin Yi, Xing Fei, Miss in Kiss, Dino Lee, Esther Wu, Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi , Zhang Jiongmin, I Hear You, Go Go Squid, Li Xian, Yang Zi, Hu Yi Tian

Good Morning Call

Japanese/ Netflix/ 2016

A teenager has finally gotten her own apartment. The only problem is that she’s sharing it with the most popular boy in school, and they have to keep it a secret. Starring Shun’ya Shiraishi and Haruka Fukuhara.

 K-drama, kpop, c-drama, j-drama , 14 Asian Rom Coms that can Save You from Your Pandemic Pit of Despair, Dylan Wang, Shen Yeu, Meteor Garden, Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin, Yuan Hao, accidentally in love, shy boss, Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo, Yoon Park, Love Alarm, Song Kang, Kim So-hyun, Good Morning Call, Shun’ya Shiraishi, Haruka Fukuhara, Yosuke Sugino, Darren Chen, Caesar Wu, Connor Leong, Sun Qiang, Hello My Twenties, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park, Shin Hyun-soo, Netflix, Rakuten Viki, My First First Love, Ji Soo, Jung Chae-Yeon, Second Twenties, Choi Ji-woo, Lee Sang-yoon, The Liar and His Lover, Lee Hyun-woo, Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Lin Yi, Xing Fei, Miss in Kiss, Dino Lee, Esther Wu, Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi , Zhang Jiongmin, I Hear You, Go Go Squid, Li Xian, Yang Zi, Hu Yi Tian

Love Alarm

Korean/ Netflix/ 2019

In a world in which an app alerts people if someone in the vicinity likes them, Kim Jojo experiences young love while coping with personal adversities. Starring Song Kang and Kim So-hyun.

14 Asian Rom Coms that can Save You from Your Pandemic Pit of Despair,Dylan Wang, Shen Yeu, Meteor Garden, Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin, Yuan Hao, accidentally in love, shy boss, Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo, Yoon Park, Love Alarm, Song Kang, Kim So-hyun, Good Morning Call, Shun’ya Shiraishi, Haruka Fukuhara, Yosuke Sugino, Darren Chen, Caesar Wu, Connor Leong, Sun Qiang, Hello My Twenties, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park, Shin Hyun-soo, Netflix, Rakuten Viki, My First First Love, Ji Soo, Jung Chae-Yeon, Second Twenties, Choi Ji-woo, Lee Sang-yoon, The Liar and His Lover, Lee Hyun-woo, Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Lin Yi, Xing Fei, Miss in Kiss, Dino Lee, Esther Wu, Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi , Zhang Jiongmin, I Hear You, Go Go Squid, Li Xian, Yang Zi, Hu Yi Tian, K-drama, kpop, c-drama, j-drama

Shy Boss

Korean/ Netflix/ 2017

The quiet life of an extreme introvert is thrown upside down when his company hires a cheery and outgoing new employee who’s not all she seems. Starring Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo and Yoon Park.

14 Asian Rom Coms that can Save You from Your Pandemic Pit of Despair, Dylan Wang, Shen Yeu, Meteor Garden, Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin, Yuan Hao, accidentally in love, shy boss, Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo, Yoon Park, Love Alarm, Song Kang, Kim So-hyun, Good Morning Call, Shun’ya Shiraishi, Haruka Fukuhara, Yosuke Sugino, Darren Chen, Caesar Wu, Connor Leong, Sun Qiang, Hello My Twenties, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park, Shin Hyun-soo, Netflix, Rakuten Viki, My First First Love, Ji Soo, Jung Chae-Yeon, Second Twenties, Choi Ji-woo, Lee Sang-yoon, The Liar and His Lover, Lee Hyun-woo, Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Lin Yi, Xing Fei, Miss in Kiss, Dino Lee, Esther Wu, Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi , Zhang Jiongmin, I Hear You, Go Go Squid, Li Xian, Yang Zi, Hu Yi Tian , K-drama, kpop, c-drama, j-drama

Accidentally in Love

Korean/ Netflix/ 2018

A popular singer decides to go back to school, becoming the center of attention there and meets an ordinary female student who is more than he ever imagined. Starring Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin and Yuan Hao.

K-drama, kpop, c-drama, j-drama ,4 Asian Rom Coms that can Save You from Your Pandemic Pit of Despair, Dylan Wang, Shen Yeu, Meteor Garden, Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin, Yuan Hao, accidentally in love, shy boss, Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo, Yoon Park, Love Alarm, Song Kang, Kim So-hyun, Good Morning Call, Shun’ya Shiraishi, Haruka Fukuhara, Yosuke Sugino, Darren Chen, Caesar Wu, Connor Leong, Sun Qiang, Hello My Twenties, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park, Shin Hyun-soo, Netflix, Rakuten Viki, My First First Love, Ji Soo, Jung Chae-Yeon, Second Twenties, Choi Ji-woo, Lee Sang-yoon, The Liar and His Lover, Lee Hyun-woo, Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Lin Yi, Xing Fei, Miss in Kiss, Dino Lee, Esther Wu, Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi , Zhang Jiongmin, I Hear You, Go Go Squid, Li Xian, Yang Zi, Hu Yi TianThis is just a beginner’s list of some of my favorites. There are so many more and I encourage you all to check them all out. I highly recommend you check them out and if you do, please come back here and leave me some comments. I’m fairly new to the genre but would love to discuss it with all of you, especially if you’ve watched them or have recommendations of K-Drama and Asian Rom Coms that I should check out, bonus points if they have Li Xian, Dylan Wang and Shen Yeu in them.

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mental health awareness month, mental illness, bipolar, depression, OCD, PPD, Eating Disorders

You’re crazy! Oh My God, she is acting so bipolar! I can’t go shopping this afternoon, I am so depressed! Get over it. Take a chill pill! Don’t have a panic attack.

We hear these statements made almost daily. For some, they may seem harmless but to those of us who suffer from these diagnoses, it’s far from funny.  It’s serious.

My chemical imbalance is not your bad mood. My battle with eating disorders is not you trying to lose 5 vanity pounds. Someone’s deep depression is not the same as you having a bad day or being sad because things didn’t go your way at the game tonight. My inability to see myself as I am in the mirror is definitely not the same as being slightly concerned with the way your ass looks in your jeans.  Someone’s PPD is not the same as you being overwhelmed because you took on too many things. Somebody’s OCD is not the same as you wanting to wash your hands before meals. Being afraid to take a risk is not the same as being so terrified to be in a room with people that your heart races so fast that you are sure you are having a heart attack.

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World Mental health day, Mental Health is the Cure to Generational Trauma

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Today is World Mental Health Day and I’m here for it. I’m here to tell you that I crawled on glass to get mentally healthy so that my girls could casually and nonchalantly get the help they need without stigma or hesitation.  You see, when I was growing up, everything was “rub some dirt on it” and “just calm down” and “ADHD? My kid doesn’t need meds for ADHD, she’ll outgrow it.” No one thought that mental health is the cure to generational trauma. Seeking mental health help was about as taboo as sodomization. Yep, I said that too.

Growing up the daughter of a depressed, introverted mother with a people-pleasing complex and an alcoholic father prone to fits of rage, tumultuous was an understatement. Most of my childhood felt like I was stuck on a tiny, deserted island prone to excessive erosion and every day was hurricane season and when it wasn’t hurricane season, it was surely typhoon season. Any wrong step in any direction could surely make this house of cards childhood crumble.

I was prone to stomach issues from anxiety, from a very early age. I remember frequenting the pediatrician’s office and even the emergency of our local hospital often because no one could get to the bottom of my constant pain and diarrhea. The kept up until high school and then I fell into a deep, dark hole of depression. Still, with six kids, a raging alcoholic and a depressed mom…no one really noticed and if they did, they chalked it up to teenage angst and hormones. My eating disorders went unnoticed for years, as did my body dysmorphia, depression and subsequent bipolar.

They say that people can be born genetically predisposed to mental illness disorders but without trauma to activate that illness, they may never develop one. I wasn’t that lucky because if there was one thing I had a plenty of, besides brothers and sisters, it was triggering trauma. Most people who know me today, think I am an eternal optimist. In fact, in my house, the Big Guy and my girls think I’m practically delusional with my “where there’s a will, there’s a way” attitude but when you’re raised with so little, you have to believe that you can to survive the despair.

But back to my depression, it was the kind where you feel like you’re so far deep in a hole that even when you’re looking up all you can see is more black. I was suicidal. I don’t say that lightly but with reverence and honesty. It wasn’t a cry for attention or help. I felt so helpless and hopeless and stuck that I really wanted to just go into a deep, dark corner and disappear. I had thought it out thoroughly. I had several ideas of how to do it quietly, without a chance to be caught before I was done and how to make sure that it was final. I wanted to be dead because living was torturous. It was so painful to live that I just couldn’t see enduring it any longer. That was my existence between the ages of 15-17. The only thing that kept me from doing it was my mom. She never intervened, in fact, she had no idea I was even thinking about it but I knew that if I were to kill myself; it was the same as murdering her so I could never go through with it. Her love, literally, saved me from myself.

Fast forward a few years later and at the age of 27-years-old, I was finally diagnosed with Bipolar 1 disorder. I was relieved. I know some people would be embarrassed or ashamed but I was just relieved to give a name to the brokenness I had suffered since I was in my teens because giving it a name, gave me the courage to face it, process it and move through it. My diagnosis was, in a way, the power to heal and the chance to realize that I was not broken, just bent.

It may seem from reading this that I was sick and then I was better. Obviously, that was not the case. The years in between were the things that drug-fueled nightmares are made of. I was out of control of myself and I couldn’t stop any of it. I was just along for the ride, as my brain chemistry held me hostage and nearly killed me in a myriad of ways while destroying many relationships, obliterating opportunities along the way and all I could do was hang on for dear life.

Meanwhile, I had no idea what was happening to me. I just knew I was impulsive, reckless and irrationally irritable and angry. I waxed and waned between manic elation and extreme irritability almost daily. I blew things up in my mind. I cried a lot. I got angry. I hurt the people I loved with my words, actions and deeds. I was selfish but I thought I was magnanimous. I was narcissistic. I was mean when I wasn’t the sweetest person in the room and you never knew who you were going to get. To be honest, neither did I. To the people who knew and loved me through those dark and twisty times, I apologize and for those who remain, words will never be enough to express my love and gratitude for your love and care.

It took multiple diagnoses, years of behavioral therapy, psychiatric care, a cocktail of medications, a lot of education, a handful of clinical psychology classes in grad school, a shit ton of self-acceptance, a healthy devouring of the DSM and learning to let go to become the woman I am today. I have been practically non-episodic for almost 20 years save for a couple of hypomanic episodes, the most recent during this pandemic. The Big Guy and I are constantly monitoring my moods and sleep habits because hormones and big life changes can trigger an episode. I’ll spend the rest of my life being the guard of my own mental health. To be honest, after recently speaking with a therapist, maybe mom should have treated that ADHD because you don’t just grow out of it. But that’s a story still in progress.

My point is that I had to do a lot of work on myself, really look inward, and learn about my illnesses, embrace them in order to become part of the solution. Knowing my own mental health challenges, I have always been very open and honest about mental health with my girls and, I am always looking for the signs because mine was missed for so long. Mental health is just as important as physical health in our family. In fact, in April of 2020 I put both of my girls in therapy because the pandemic was very negatively affecting their mental health and, to be honest, I’ve always thought that every single human being could do with some therapy.

My girls had no qualms about talking to a therapist. Though we are very open, I know that there are things that maybe they would feel more comfortable with, as teens, speaking with a non-biased professional and I’m fine with that because their mental health is more important than my pride. The goal is to be mentally healthy, comfortable in their own skin and happy. I never want them to feel shame and stigma about a very normal issue that so many people are affected by and avoid getting the help they need.

The thought of my girls lying in their bed at night alone in the dark, feeling such despair that it hurts to go on living like I used to, breaks my heart. So I talk to them about their days and their feelings, sometimes more than they want to and reassure them that I am here for them always and if it’s beyond my capabilities to help, I’m willing to do whatever it takes to keep them healthy in every single way.

I believe that mental health is the cure to generational trauma but it takes lots of work. How can we make it easier for our kids, and each other, to get the mental health help we need, when we need it?

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love is, Difference between Love, like and Infatuation

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to explain sex to my girls but what about how to know the difference between love, like and infatuation? It’s actually a very important discussion to have with your kids but how many parents actually have it? I’ve decided that honesty is the best thing to do. I want open dialogues with them about everything.

How many times have you been in love? Like really in love. I thought I was “in love” about 3 times before I actually was. You see, the problem was that I didn’t know what real love was so I kept thinking I was in love but really it was a crush, infatuation, and love but not true, unconditional, forever love. But each time it felt like “love” until I pulled my head out of the love fog and could see it for what it really was.

There was lots of casual dating but each “love” was necessary for the learning curve. If I hadn’t experienced each time I thought I was “in love” I wouldn’t have had any barometer by which to measure when the real thing happened.

Don’t get me wrong, they all had their purpose and I wouldn’t trade any of the experience. Our experiences make us into who we are and if it weren’t for all of those false love alarms, I never would have known when I stumbled backwards into a really good guy and a healthy relationship.

What is the Difference between Love, Like and Infatuation?

Remember when you were in high school, maybe even college, and you fell in love and it was all consuming and insatiable? It was all you could think about and all you cared about. Anytime day or night, all you wanted was to be with that other person. You would have crawled inside of that person and lived if it were possible. Making love was truly an other worldly experience. You could not satisfy your craving for that person.

Remember those days when you were so in love that it hurt your stomach? When seeing that person was the most important part of your day? Remember thinking to yourself, or maybe even saying it out loud, I would die for you? And you meant it. If someone walked into the room and it came down to you and him, you would surely jump in front of that bullet because you loved him so hard that if he died life wouldn’t be worth living any ways, so why not sacrifice your life for his?

Were we stupid? Or was our baby brains just too consumed and overwhelmed by feeling love for someone other than our parents and complicated by all of those hormones that we just couldn’t process it? We knew our parents loved us and they would take a bullet for us so isn’t it logical that we take a bullet for the person who we love beyond all reason and comprehension? I used to think so.

I was one of “those” girls. I loved being in love. I loved loving someone and I loved the thought of someone loving me. Someone wanting me. Wanting to possess me. Someone not being able to live without me. It thrilled me. I believed that was the measure of true love. Someone willing to die for me. Anything less was bullshit. But as most teenagers, I was delusional. I saw undying devotion in the simplest of tasks. He pulled the chair out for me and cupped my face when he kissed me. He must love me. He surprised me with a single rose and my favorite candy at the drive-in, this must be “IT”. Wow, it’s easy to believe bullshit when you’ve never had the real thing, isn’t it?

Anyways, that passion was electric. It was the kind of “love” that had you feeling manic all the time. Coming from an actual person diagnosed with bipolar, that is saying something. I lived in that high to the exclusion of all else. Nothing else mattered and that was the measure of “real love” to me, for a very long time. I thought if it wasn’t all consuming and in crisis and threatened, it couldn’t be the real thing because the real thing was messy and it f*cked you both up beyond all recognition because that passion fire burns hot and high and hard, all.the.time. What I didn’t realize it that it burns out and leaves you both in a pile of ashes. If it was really  intense, it could almost kill you both. But, adult me realizes that is crazy. I don’t want love that kills me. That’s poison.

I learned to live on that high. I craved it as much as I craved love. Then I fell in real love and I realized what I was doing up until then, was accepting what I had been taught to believe was love from the dysfunctional example of my parents and from movies. I believed that for it to be “love” it had to be “go hard or go home” at all times because love is work and if you love someone, you have to be willing to love them so hard that it might kill them and you have to be willing to die for them. I was a child and when you are a child, the world works in absolutes but as I grew up, I realized that real love doesn’t live in absolutes. It thrives in the grey area.

How important is it to distinguish the difference between love, like and infatuation?

For me, it wasn’t about dying for someone or killing for them. It was about being willing to live for them. Not in the “everything I do is for you” way like in all of those sappy love songs that we swoon over when we are kids. I mean in the “I love you so much that I want as many days on this earth as I can get with you” way.  As a mother, it’s important to tell your precious daughters about dating guys so they can have a wonderful relationship.

In the way that makes the stupid things you’re doing fall away and life get clear. When I met my husband, I was a hot mess, in every sense of the word. I wasn’t even living my own life. I was living other people’s expectations and I was basing my happiness on someone else. Then I met the Big Guy. He put me first (maybe for the first time I had ever been first in my life) and my thinking shifted. I no longer had to be on the defensive. I didn’t have to be the aggressor. I just had to be me.

Suddenly, I didn’t want to throw up every morsel of food that went into my mouth. I wanted to live and my 10-year slow suicide by anorexia plan wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted to live and I didn’t want him to know just how dysfunctional I really was. So, I started working towards getting better. I got help.

He saw the messed up ugly side of me almost immediately. I was an undiagnosed manic bipolar, anorexic with body dysmorphia and a self-medicating drinking problem. I was fun, then I was raging, mean and completely irrational. It was pretty hard to hide from anyone who was paying attention.

I had developed a bad habit of pushing anyone who wanted to get close to me away. I had long passed the wanting to crawl inside of someone phase. I was selfish and borderline and convinced that I was unlovable because up to that point, I had done everything right and none of it ever worked. I never passed quality control. I gave up and resigned myself to being detached. I basked in the position of being wanted, even if it was all surface.

Then the Big Guy came along and while his initial intention was to purely to hook up. We ended up talking all night after a couple ghosting friends left me stranded at a party at his house. Somewhere between our first disinterested meeting and that next morning, we connected on a cellular level without even trying. In that moment, we became each other’s person.

It wasn’t love at first sight. I don’t even think we were each other’s types. We would have never even have met one another other than a new friend I had met in my LSAT class who happened to grow up with this tall, gangly alt guy with black fingernails and a heart only rivaled by the size of his smile. It took a couple more weeks before we worked out the kinks. Falling head over heels doesn’t feel like what you expect it to. It sort of sneaks up on you and you suddenly realize that this person gives you hope and loves you unconditionally, through the ugly and the hard and the messy and the complicated and they never think of leaving because it’s not an option that even enters their mind or yours. You realize that you can’t imagine a life that doesn’t include seeing this person’s face every morning. , kissing them before bed each night, seeing them in the faces of your children. That is love. It’s a light that never goes out because you don’t let it. You both work at it. You keep it alive, even when it’s sick and sad. You love it back to life.

You realize that you can’t imagine a life that doesn’t include seeing this person’s face every morning, kissing them before bed each night, seeing them in the faces of your children. That is love. It’s a light that never goes out because you don’t let it. You both work at it. You keep it alive, even when it’s sick and sad. You love it back to life.

Maybe real true love isn’t what they write about in the story books or songs. Maybe it is sometimes. I want my girls to know that love can look like a million different things. What’s important is how it makes you feel when you’re with that person. It isn’t big and bold, though sometimes it is, it’s also quiet and steady and safe. It’s feeling happy just being still and not needing an escape plan or contingency plan. It’s not about being willing to die for someone, it’s being willing to work your ass off to live as long as humanly possible to share every day with your best friend.

The person you love as much as you love yourself. The person who gave you the children who you would take the bullet for because it’s the legacy of your love; the thing the 2 of you created. Real love is the kind that makes you want to risk everything to make the world better than you left it because it’s what he deserves. That’s love.

The real difference between love, like and infatuation is that when you find real love…that person can satisfy all of those things; love, like and lust.

How will you teach your kids to know the difference between love, like and infatuation?

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How to Keep Your Shit Together while Busy Taking Care of Everyone Else, how to protect your mental health while taking care of everyone else

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

These past few weeks of motherhood have been thus far some of the hardest ever. Shit has happened that no one teaches you about in the parenting books. I’ve studied the whole of the DSM and I still couldn’t have been prepared, as a mother, for the kind of emotional toll that has been taken on me. That’s why I’m realizing how to protect your mental health while taking care of everyone else is so important for parents.

You know there are things you expect, in the back of your head, in the bottom of your heart and right there in the pit of your stomach. Things that you know can happen, like all those terrible side effects they warn you of when you are taking the drugs that will save your life. You take them anyways because living is more important than having the shakes. Well, my friends, this shit was not on the warning label when I got pregnant. Or maybe it was and I chose not to believe it.

I have been struggling with mental illness since the teen years. There is a whole list of disorders and illnesses that I can speak of at length and in-depth. That should have been a red flag to me that maybe I needed to be a little more prepared for what could happen if the girls got triggered. But, I thought, I’ve got this. I found my way out of the darkness. It’ll be fine. And it was until it wasn’t anymore.

In my teen years, my mind was held hostage in a dark abyss. I couldn’t find my way out or at least it felt like I couldn’t but, true to Debi fashion, one step at a time, one moment at a time, I survived. Barely. Even though there were days when it was so painful to be alive that I prayed something or someone would kill me because I couldn’t do it myself and hurt my mom. She was my savior and she had no idea of the dark thoughts that were infiltrating my brain. It’s probably better that way. But I know.

In those days, it hurt to breathe because it felt counterintuitive and I cried more tears than I thought were even possible. But, my childhood was tumultuous to put it nicely. A lot of bad shit happened to me and when you’re a kid, you can only take so much before you break. Or so I thought. I’m more resilient than I ever imagined because I never actually broke, I just bent as far as my child mind and body could.

I promised myself that I would never allow that to be my daughters’ stories. They would live a “normal” life. As if I even know what that looks like. I promised myself they would never be triggered and I thought I could protect them from my same fate. But I was wrong. There are some things we can’t actually stop from happening, no matter how hard we try or how ‘good’ we are at this parenting thing. Maybe this is why I feel like such a fraud when people compliment me. I know the truth. There are simply some things that are beyond our control. That’s a hard and bitter pill for this recovering smother mother to swallow.

How to protect your mental health while taking care of everyone else is a hard, but imperative, balance to find

Today, I took my daughter to her first adolescent group therapy session. Never expected that to be a milestone. She almost cried when I left her. I almost cried when I left her in a room full of strange kids in their own turmoil. Is this a good idea? Is she going to get ideas or learn bad habits? But isn’t this supposed to help her live? All that matters is that she makes it through, by any means possible. She is the most important thing in my life. She and her sister are truly my entire reason why.

A couple of weeks ago, her depressive episode got so bad that I could see her slipping into that same dark abyss that I used to live in. I lived there for years. I honestly thought I’d never escape. I resigned myself to living there alone with my pain until it killed me. For me, it started at 12-years-old with body dysmorphia, then the major depression and suicidal ideations started around freshman year of high school, onto eating disorders beginning around 17 ( bulimia then anorexia with extreme exercising), and ultimately a diagnosis of bipolar 1 when I spent most of my college years and my mid 20’s manic AF. I didn’t have my first panic attack until I was 35-years-old but according to my psychiatrist, anxiety was there first.

As a child, I was prone to terrible stomach aches that landed me in the emergency room on more than one occasion. That’s how little Debi’s anxiety from living with an abusive, alcoholic father first manifested. But I learned quickly, around 7-years-old, how to develop my coping mechanisms. I’m a counter. It worked for years until my husband lost his job when I was 35. #mommysfirstpanicattack Yep, if I’m anxious and talking to people (pushing through my anxiety) I’m probably counting every word you are saying and all the letters in the words.  I know I’m an extrovert but I also have my limits. I didn’t even realize I counted or what it meant until about a year into my therapy. Did I mention now ADHD is on the table? Aye aye aye. Like seriously, what the actual fuck?

Anyways, most if not all of these things are in control ( save for a little mania that gets triggered when I’m under duress…you know like when you’re dealing with the guilt and pressure of passing along your fucked up brain chemistry to your children). You have not had mom guilt of this level if you haven’t genetically fucked your kids up. It is a special kind of hell because it is in fact my fault. I’ve been crying about this a lot lately.

Right now, I’m trying to keep my shit together while putting out a seemingly unlimited amount of mental health trash fires over here daily. It’s a lot. I’m overwhelmed. I’m triggered and I’m trying my best to do what’s best for everyone, especially my girls. I thought I was holding it together. I mean I know that on the inside, I’m falling apart but I thought on the outside, I was taking care of business. I think I am for the most part but I’m neglecting myself. I know this because the other days while I was sobbing about my daughter’s mental health crisis, I could hear my pressured speech and feel my pressured thoughts machine-gunning out of my head and my husband gave me a hug and said, “But Debi, you haven’t looked happy for a while.” And he’s not wrong. I’m too overwhelmed and exhausted and scared to be happy because what right do I have when my children are in pain?

That’s how I know that I need to step back, take inventory and do whatever I need to do to get my own mental health in order. Because skipping myself isn’t doing any favors for my children or my husband. In fact, I’m adding to the pile of neverending trash fires currently going on. Look, I’m not complaining. This is me processing. I write, that’s how I survive. If you’ve ever wondered why my feeds are not perfectly curated, it’s not because I don’t know that it’s what people want its because I refuse to live a lie. My battle with eating disorders made me a liar for about 8 solid years. You have to lie to hide the fact that you are slowly killing yourself from the people who love you. If not, they will stop you from your slow suicide. And I preferred to exile myself from everyone than to let them know how truly vulnerable and pathetic I was. I spent so many years striving for perfection and I’m still a fucking relentless overachiever. It’s just who I am. If I stop moving I die. But now, with years of therapy and doing the work to not only understand my disease but myself, I will never silently suffer again and I don’t want that for my daughters either. I never want them to feel that alone and afraid to live. So how do I protect my mental health while taking care of everyone else? I have to be vigilant that I take care of myself first or I won’t be able to take care of anyone else. I know from a mom’s perspective, it sounds very selfish but it’s not. It is giving myself permission to heal so that I can help the people I love the most heal and get the help they need with my full support.

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My why, why I am working to reverse my diabetes, family, Signs of diabetes, diabetes, diabetes symptoms, type 2 diabetes, how to reverse diabetes

Once upon a time, there was a mom who forgot to take care of herself. She put off physicals, yearly gynecological visits, haircuts and dentist’s visits because everyone else came before herself. She got diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol, had a heart attack and died obese. She didn’t know the signs of diabetes. She didn’t know type 2 diabetes symptoms. That’s how the story could have gone, still can, if we’re being honest. Make good choices people. And the story could be how that mom worked her tail off, put herself first for the first time in a very long time and figured out how to reverse diabetes in 3 months.

The kids were healthy and never missed a dentist appointment, doctor appointment or even a haircut. They wanted for nothing. Neither did her husband. However, mom always came last. No one asked, or expected, her to do this. She just did.

Diabetes didn’t care how selfless she thought she was.

One day after many years of ignoring her own needs, eating whatever was fast and cheap, not exercising and wearing herself out doing for others, she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and hypertension. She is me. I am the mom who forgot to take care of herself. I am a diabetic. Have you forgotten to take care of yourself?

READ ALSO: How a Simple Doctors Visit might have Saved my Life

I’m not special. This isn’t an unusual set of circumstances. Many parents, especially moms, put ourselves last because the goal of life is to keep your family alive and healthy. I didn’t know the symptoms of diabetes so I didn’t think anything about it when I was tired after eating a high carb meal. I just thought I was an exhausted mom.

Do you know the signs of diabetes?

The life goal was a good, strong marriage and to raise good human beings. To travel the world and enjoy life. This is the ball that we keep our eyes on. Then one day, it’s too late. Suddenly, the signs of diabetes are everywhere you look and somehow you managed to miss every single one of them. You’ve got a diagnosis or three and shit is about to get really real for you. Hypertension. Diabetes. Anxiety. Depression. High cholesterol. Cancer. A heart attack. A stroke. There are too many diagnoses to mention but if you’re a mom, you’ve probably already gotten a diagnosis or two of your own and maybe you don’t even know it.

So there I sat in May hearing the “wahwahwahwahwahwah” as all the blood rushed to my head, after my doctor delivered the blow, “You are severely diabetic and you need to leave here and go directly to the pharmacist, do not stop, get your prescriptions and take your high blood pressure medicine in the car because you are also super hypertensive and could literally have a stroke at any minute. Also, you are morbidly obese.” *Slightly rephrased because “wahwahwah” was all I heard after she told me that I was severely diabetic. It felt like a death sentence. I could have been. My Uncle Ramon died from his diabetes. Latinos are highly predisposed to diabetes and high blood pressure. Why did I think I was special? I was terrified and depressed. How had it gotten to this point?

Type 2 diabetes doesn’t discriminate.

It was just a “few” bad choices, right? Ate some junk food. Never counted calories. Never counted carbs. Either ate whatever, whenever or never ate at all. Never “had time” to exercise. Ignored the symptoms or poopoo’ed them away because who has time for such luxuries as being sick and getting well. I have places to be, people to see and children and husband and the PTA who all depend on me.

Spoiler alert: The world will not implode if you take a few days off and take care of yourself. People can pick up the slack and figure shit out if they need to. No one will hate you (and if they do, so what). Generally, people are pretty good and they really do want the best for you but people only treat you the way you allow them to. If you show them a martyr, superwoman then they are going to push you like a martyr superwoman. Pssst, it’s ok to be human.

READ ALSO: What to do when You Realize You’re Doing Parenting All Wrong

But you don’t me to tell you that. You need me to tell you how I changed all of that. How I went from a morbidly obese, hypertensive diabetic to a mom on a mission who reversed her diabetes in 3 months. Sounds easy right? Like turning a car around but it’s anything but. Being a diabetic is a serious condition and can have serious health ramifications so if you have been warned that you are “prediabetic” take it seriously.

Being prediabetic is a major diabetes symptom red flag. Don’t ignore it.

Soon, you will drop the “pre” and just be a full-blown diabetic and your doctor will be checking your feet to see if you’ve lost feeling and never allowed to go barefoot again. You’ll have to have a special diabetic eye exam to make sure you’re not going blind and will never see your children’s beautiful faces again. You’ll have to count your carbs and work out like your life depends on it because it does. I was prediabetic before I was diabetic and I did nothing about it. That “pre” gave me a false sense of safety.

What did I do to reverse my diabetes? Yes, reverse because you can’t cure. Diabetes is incurable. You either live with it and die from it or you do what you need to and reverse it and get back to a non-diabetic state but whatever damage has already been done, has been done and you can always become diabetic again if you start making those wrong choices again. That’s my warning, that’s my real talk.

READ MORE: Food’s an Addiction and Sugar’s a Drug

How to reverse diabetes

My why, why I am working to reverse my diabetes, family, Signs of diabetes, diabetes, diabetes symptoms, type 2 diabetes, how to reverse diabetesPutting Yourself First

The first thing you have to do is make yourself a priority in your own life. Really. You won’t be alive to take care of or love and be loved by anyone if you don’t take care of yourself because you will be dead. Diabetes can kill you. Type 2 diabetes is completely controllable and reversible but you have to care about and love yourself enough to put your health above everything and everyone else. It sounds impossible but it’s not. With the love and support of those you love, you can do it.

Medicine

If you’re like me, you hate to take medicine. It sucks. Everything has side effects. You’ve seen the commercials; to help alleviate your depression you may become suicidal and to alleviate your migraine you can go blind. They have to list every side effect ever. But sometimes you need medicine from the Canadian Pharmacy to survive or at least until you can work towards getting healthy enough to not need it. I’m not on insulin but I was prescribed medication to control my diabetes and my high blood pressure, along with a plan to eat healthy, count carbs and exercise. There is no easy fix. A pill cannot fix everything. A pill is a Band-Aid to help you get well enough to get healthy.

Working Out

This is hard. Starting is overwhelming but it’s not impossible. When you’re a mom, especially, trying to find the time to work out can feel like trying to find time to do your nails or get a massage, non-existent. Remember when I was talking about putting yourself first? This is part of that. Just move. It doesn’t matter how. I started with a Beachbody workout (dancing), then I threw in some BBG ab work. My mom kept urging me to “just walk” and I thought it sounded too simple. I was hesitant but it was doable and it gave me time every morning to reflect and get my mind right. 50 pounds later, mom was right. It was simple. Don’t overcomplicate things. Just move. I document my daily walks on InstaStories to keep myself accountable. If your diabetes has caused swelling in your feet and makes it uncomfortable or painful to take walks or exercise, I suggest using a pair of diabetic socks.

Join me on Instagram to follow along as I reverse diabetes. We can get healthy together.

READ ALSO: How to Lose Weight and Get Healthy Fast

Eating Healthy

Not going to lie, this was hard because eating healthy means being mindful of what you put into your body and investing in yourself because healthy food is not cheap. It is so much more affordable and convenient to buy a McDonald’s dollar menu meal than it is to go to the grocery store, buy fresh produce and lean protein, cook it and eat it after a long day at work. And that is how we’ve gotten to 30 million Americans with diabetes. Most people start showing symptoms of diabetes after the age of 45 but there are more and more children, teens and young adults who are getting diagnosed. By taking care of ourselves and choosing more carefully what to put into our bodies, we are affecting our families and their health too.

I’m not saying you have to make perfect, healthy choices every single day. I’m not saying to deprive yourself. I’m saying to be mindful of your choices and how what you do affects your body. The most important thing is to not let a little blip derail your whole program. A blip is just a blip. Move on and get back to your plan. You can do this.

Drink Your Water

Yes, water weight is a thing and drinking enough water is good for your body in so many ways. It helps flush toxins and maintain the balance of body fluids. It just makes you feel better. You should be drinking a minimum of 64 ounces of water a day. I drink closer to 100 because it’s the only thing I really drink aside from coffee and tea.

Counting Carbs

I’ve never been one who could stick to Keto or no carbs. I love carbs. Bread might be my love language. But the thing is carbs are in everything; fruit, vegetables, rice, milk, meat and sauces. But yeah, there are a lot of carbs in bread so choose wisely.

My doctor gave me a finite amount of carbs each day to consume. 45 per meal, 15 per snack, three times per day for each. Now, it’s like money, I can spend it my carbs wisely on lean proteins and fresh produce or I can waste it on a snickers bar. You can see that a grilled chicken breast, asparagus, watermelon and brown rice would be more filling than a Snickers bar. Mostly we should choose the balanced meal but if you want to choose the Snickers bar occasionally, that’s ok. Just not all day and not every day.

Portion control

Last but, definitely, not least is portion control. Before I had no idea what correct portions were. The portions that most restaurants serve are not the right sized portion for an adult human. They are often double and sometimes even triple the portion size, carbs and calories that we need. So, I started reading labels and measuring. I know, it sounds like a pain in the ass and it is but so is being dead when you want to be alive. Soon, you will learn the right portions and you won’t need to measure everything anymore. Before you know it, you will be eating for fuel and only until you are full not until you are stuffed.  I used to east mindlessly and that’s how I got to where I was. Now, I am thoughtful about my choices; what I eat and how often I move.

This is how I reversed my diabetes in 3 months. It’s been 6 months since I was diagnosed with diabetes and hypertension. It’s been 3 months since I reversed it all. I will have to be mindful of my choices and work on my health every day for the rest of my life but now, it’s a habit. I look forward to it because I know I’m working towards being a better me. I feel better and I’ve lost 50 pounds. My goal is to lose 70 more pounds and to do a 5K in 2020. Did I mention by listening to my mom I’ve been walking a 5K every morning, 4-5 days a week? It’s the best part of my day and I’ve done it in everything from 20 degrees to rain, snow and 110 degrees. It’s hard but I’m worth it and so are you!

My why, why I am working to reverse my diabetes, family, Signs of diabetes, diabetes, diabetes symptoms, type 2 diabetes, how to reverse diabetes

This is how I reversed my diabetes in 3 months and saved my life. Are you taking care of yourself? Why not? You deserve to be alive and happy and most certainly, healthy. You are worth the investment. I know, as moms, we put everyone else above us, it’s in our DNA but remember your why. My family, my girls and the Big Guy, are my “why” but I have to take care of me to be here to love and be loved by them. I have to love me to be able to love them. It’s simple. Take care of yourself before it’s too late.

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The Truth about Parenting Teenagers from a Teen Mom, teen mom, parenting teenagers, parenting teenage girls, raising teens

Ok folks, this is not a drill. We are in full teen mom mode. We’re over here parenting teenage girls. Well, a champion eye roller tween with cramps and a newly minted 14-year-old so the end is nigh and all of that, I suppose. At least that is what the world would have you believe about parenting teenagers but it’s a lie.

Obviously, no teen parenting experience is the same just like no birth or the first day of kindergarten is the same. I feel like maybe I should knock on some wood before I type this post. You know how fate likes to make fools of us all. But, dare I say, I kind of love parenting my tween and teenage girls possibly even more than when they were toddlers.

I’m in that point of parenting where I have to be the adult. Yep, either I act like an adult or this train derails. Now, I’m not saying that means that I need to go hard and fast on the discipline. Doing that would only make that train jump the tracks. Believe me, I’m talking from experience. No, I’m playing the long game, as I have since they were toddlers, and I’m following my gut. That’s the real trick to winning the parenting teens game. No matter how hard they push you away, if your gut tells you something, listen. Your mama and papa instincts are smarter than you are.

READ ALSO: Tips for Raising Teenage Girls Pt. 1

Sometimes, it’s hard looking at an overgrown child with their own thoughts and beliefs and not giving them what they want. Teens like their space. They value friendships above all else. I know this from being a teen myself. Now, that I am a teen mom, I am trying to keep all of this in mind. I listen, even when I find it mundane or infuriatingly contradictory because we need to hear what our teenage girls and boys are saying to us. They really aren’t much different from their toddler selves in terms of what they need from us. They need love, compassion, guidance and understanding not a punishing dictator, even if we do know better. Like my mother always told me, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

Keep in mind that your teenage son or teen daughter is still that beautiful little human being that they laid on your chest and you brought home from the hospital. That tiny, helpless human being that you loved more than life itself is still right there inside of the angry kid, bickering with her sister and talking back to you. Remember when your teen was a baby and he cried out in frustration because he couldn’t communicate his needs to you and you had to use your mom superpowers and figure it out? It’s the exact same thing. They need you, the world is new and scary again, and they don’t know how to tell you or ask you for what they need.

READ ALSO: Tips for Raising Teenage Girls Pt. 2

The thing is society has played a cruel joke on all of us. They’ve falsely made us all believe that once our kids are a certain age/size that they are capable of doing almost everything. We expect them to behave accordingly. This, in turn, makes our children believe that when they are a certain age/size they are expected to know everything. Secret: They don’t know and how can they? We’re not done raising them. They still need all of our unconditional love, understanding, patience, guidance and compassion; probably now more than ever.

I liken it to when my girls were little. They were always off the charts, size wise, so people always expected them to be further ahead in their developmental skills. I distinctly remember one occasion when Bella was just over one (she was easily the size of a 3 or 4-year-old) and we were in the grocery store and Bella was talking baby talk to me and an older woman came up to us and very condemningly said, “Shouldn’t she be “using her words”?” I nearly swallowed my tongue but managed not to hit the woman and squeak out, “She is using her words. She’s one.” I knew from that moment on that I would spend my parenting tenure being my child’s advocate and to do that, I needed to communicate with my children openly and honestly to really know what they needed from me.

READ ALSO: Tips for Raising Teenage Girls Pt. 3

I’ll be honest, parenting a teenager is not that different from parenting a toddler. The key is paying attention (even when they make it difficult), giving them grace and space when they need it (not always when they want it) and as angry as they can make you, remember growing up is hard on them too. They are afraid and feeling like they’ve lost their place in the world. Everything they knew up to this point is changing, including their own bodies and minds. Give them wings to fly but be there to catch them when they start to crash and burn. Most importantly, keep talking to them, keep listening and look past the angst and anger façade…your baby is still in there.

Tips for Parenting Teenage Girls from a Teen Mom

Unconditional Love

Always, every day, no matter what… love them like you loved that baby they laid on your chest. They are still in there hiding behind the eye rolls, smart mouth and pimples. No matter how big they get, they still need positive affirmations and love. Give hugs and keep telling them you love them. Maybe just not in public as much as when they were in kindergarten. Still, something as small as gold charm bracelets to remind them of how much you love them can go a long way, and it’s often the little things that make for the best memories. Sure, you may not always get along and sometimes share different views, but be sure to remind them often of just how much you love and support them – it’ll mean the world to them on days when it’s especially hard to be a teen.

Communication

Talk to them. Not just when you think they did something stupid but all day every day. More importantly, listen. When they talk, they are trying to tell you something even if they don’t have the words. Read between the lines. Fight for them like you did before they were taller than you. Let them say whatever they need to say to you, try to keep your cool and see through their own insecurities and fear. Be there.

Patience

Count to ten before you scream at them. I know that you are tired of them looking at you like you are the dumbest person on earth. I know it breaks your heart when they look at you like you are a stranger on the street. Don’t allow them to be disrespectful or cruel but remember sometimes they are having a bad day. Maybe someone at school was being cruel or unkind, give them the benefit of the doubt. Try not to tell them you hate them ( even if in that moment maybe you do). Remember hate the sin not the sinner? Be patient, the child you couldn’t get enough of is inside that teenage girl smacking her lips and thinking she knows everything and soon enough, you’ll be needed as her soft place to land.

Understanding

This one is hard because teenagers can be frustrating and infuriating and sometimes you just don’t want to rise above it. Sometimes you want to get down in the dirt with them and make them cry to give them a taste of their own medicine. Don’t do that.  That’s what bathrooms are for, go cry in private. Don’t fall apart. You need to be the adult.

When your teen girl tells you something that you don’t want to hear (she’s thinking about having sex or she drank at a party) you need to remember you were her not so long ago. Then ask yourself, what will yield a better outcome 1) screaming at her with full disappointment and having her never tell you anything again or 2) listening, recognizing that she is becoming a young adult and these are young adult issues and calmly offering advice and guidance? I think you know the right answer. It’s hard. No one wants to have these conversations with their “child” but this is how they learn to do the right thing and be kind humans, from our sacrifice of weighing in on these topics when we’d really prefer to just lock them in their rooms and keep them safe until they go to college.

Listening

Use your voice of reason, stop talking and listen to the words coming out of their faces. Will it always be what you want to hear? NO! Do you need to hear it? Hell YES! As parents, just because we don’t hear something doesn’t stop it from happening. It’s like not going to the doctor when you have cancer because you’re afraid of the diagnosis. Knowing the diagnosis is not what’s going to kill you, ignoring the symptoms and not getting treated is. Have the hard conversations and listen to everything they say because they are trying to tell you something you need to hear and maybe it could save their life.

Forgiveness

This is a big one. Wow! Teenagers can be cruel and have a biting tongue. They have a knack for going for the weak spots. It must be a defense mechanism against bullying that kicks in with the hormones at puberty. While most won’t dare use it against their peers, they will easily use it on the people who will always love them, their parents. Keep in mind, the teen years are only 7 years of their entire lifetime, don’t punish them or hold grudges against them for what they say or do as teens. Discipline as needed but also remember to dole out positive enforcement and random acts of kindness towards your teenage children, they need it more than anyone else. Let it go. Forgiveness is for both of you. Forgive yourself too for feeling like you’re failing. We all do in these years.

Guidance

Always be there to gently guide your teenagers in the right direction. Firstly, demonstrate good behavior by example. Just like toddlers, they tend to do what they see not what they are told. Next, you can’t force a strong-willed teen to do anything. You can but nobody wins. But you can gently nudge them in the right direction by limiting the choices available. They still need to feel like they have free will.

Make life more of a would you rather situation instead of a what would you do situation because the world is still too big for all of that responsibility. Also, be available to give feedback when asked. If they are talking to you, they might want you to give them your input. This allows them to make their own informed decisions rather than listening to just their peers. But this only works if you respect and value your child’s thoughts and opinions. We are teaching them to make good choices. You can’t just tell them. They have to learn to use logical thinking and decide for themselves.

Compassion

This is so important. Remember you were where they’re at, not so long ago. You didn’t always know everything. I still don’t. When your child messes up, listen to them and be there. Hold them. Help them get through it. Don’t chide and chastise them. Just love them and let them know that everyone makes mistakes and, unless someone’s dead, we’ll all get through it.

It sounds like a lot of rules but in the end, all you really need to do is follow your gut. Your mom intuition tells you when things aren’t right, even when your mind and heart don’t want to believe it. I’ll be here if you want to commiserate and compare notes. We’ll all survive.

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endometriosis, fibroids, colposcopy, menorrhagia, hysterectomy, uterine fibroids

My birthday is next week. I’m turning 30 for the umpteenth time and hoping my fibroids don’t want to be part of the celebration. This month’s period has lasted….captains log day 28…TMI alert* do not pass go* if you are squeamish….I am on day forth box of super tampons. P.S. I’m anemic and I have 3 fibroids. I got one each time I was pregnant. I only have 2 kids so that’s another kick in the vagina.

My point is, and there definitely is one, I went in for my yearly gynecological visit last October, as some of you may remember, I was complaining about a “heavy 5-day period”. I was so stupid. My doctor did my pap, wham, bam, thank you ma’am and noticed, “Hey, Debi, you are spotting and I know you’re a freak so I’ll just do a biopsy. No Bigs.”

Yeah, my doctor and I are all extra like that. We’ve been through a lot together. I’ve howl cried in her office and went straight up looney toons the day of my D & E and refused surgery until they brought an ultrasound machine down to my prep room one last time…just to be sure. I’m sure that I looked as squirrely as I felt. She gets me.

READ ALSO: Why I Won’t Get an Elective Hysterectomy to Cure my Uterine Fibroids

I’m a super advocate for my own health and she knows I’m a little too smart for my own good. Forget WebMD, I consult actual doctors in my circles and ask them all the questions before I bring it to my gynecologist. I research. I weigh odds. I am a freak. She isn’t wrong.

Anyways, that biopsy caused a domino effect. I started a period, right after I had finished a period. Then, I went three months without a period. 3 months is forever in no period days.  I felt like a puffer fish. Then, she told me to start birth control pills to start my period. It worked. I started my period and it lasted forever. It finally stopped and then it kept starting again. Breakthrough all day, every day.

I stopped the birth control pills. I had a couple months of regular 4-7 day periods. Now, let me tell you my period always still comes every 28 days. Whether my period lasts 3 days or 15 days, on day 28 I will start my period again. Linings will be shed. My period somehow always sinks up with my vacations.

READ ALSO: The Gynecological Misadventures of a Millenial-ish Mom

If I am traveling, you can bet money that I will be on my period. It’s been like that since I got pregnant on an anniversary trip to New Orleans in which I got pregnant. I think either God’s got a wicked sense of humor or my body doesn’t like children.  Either way, if it even gets a whiff of a possible travel date…cramps start.

Anyways, we traveled a LOT this past summer and my period proves it. My period refuses to miss out on a good vacation. July’s period lasted for 2 weeks of heavy fibroid bleeding. It crossed the threshold from July into the first full week of August (I was traveling to the beach so of course, I needed to be bleeding in order to attract all the sharks.) Then we got home from the trip, 2 weeks later (28 days from the start of my last period. Wait isn’t that how the zombie apocalypse is supposed to start? Am I patient zero?) I started again and it hasn’t stopped yet. Wait. I have an appointment tomorrow with my gynecologist, I’m sure I’ll stop today. But it’s ok because Saturday is day 28, so I should do something special tomorrow like celebrate with some marital relations.

It’s become so bad that I had to raid my teen’s feminine hygiene products. Let’s just call it even for my disappearing box of tampons when they were toddlers. Seriously, sometimes it keeps me up at nights wondering where the heck all that cotton went. I never did find them. Is it shoved up into my teenaged girls’ noses still? Is this why we have all the sinus issues?

Maybe I should start a new blog called have uterus will travel. Or maybe broken uterus, who dis? Or Menstruation Never Interrupted? All I know is I can’t wait to see my doctor and find the root of this problem. Fingers crossed its hormones and not cancer or some sort of infection that’s gone untreated. Of course, my mind is going to the worse possible case scenario because that’s who I am. I expect the worst and hope for the best.

There’s been talk of a hysterectomy to alleviate the anemia inducing hemorrhaging that we call my period. I was adamantly against that course of action this time last year but after the last 28 days of a near-death slow bleed out, I’m seriously reconsidering it but I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t scared because I am. Not only is my vanity taking a hit that I will be missing parts, I’m literally nervous about being cut open again but I don’t think I can continue on like this. The anemia is taking its toll on my health. My vision is blurry, I’m perpetually exhausted and there is anemia induced anxiety. It’s a thing. Who knew iron was so important?

READ ALSO: When God Shivs You in the Lady Bits

Plus, the pica is embarrassing. I am a grown woman who is currently chewing ice like it’s my job because when you are this iron deficit, it is. You crave it like air. Yes, I do take iron but apparently, I need to up the dose. In case you were wondering if I’m just over here chewing on ice, bleeding out and ignoring the situation. I’m not but thanks for the worry. Still, I just reached my hand into my cup and grabbed a piece of ice like an animal in front of a group of adults in public and so now, I’d say it’s a problem.

So here I am, somewhere on the menopause spectrum with no official diagnosis but here’s hoping tomorrow they give me a diagnosis and something to stop this never-ending period. If you are the praying sort, I’ll take them. If you only believe in positive juju, I’ll take that too. Hell, at this point I’m so desperate, you can do a stop menstruating dance for me and I’d be grateful.

endometriosis, fibroids, colposcopy, menorrhagia, hysterectomy, uterine fibroidsLadies, have you ever had something like this happen? What did you do? Have you had a hysterectomy? Do I believe all the rumors? Am I going to gain 30 pounds, grow a mustache and get a grammy paunch? Because I’m going to tell you, I’m not ready for all that. Why else do you think that I ’m turning 30 for the umpteenth time?

Do you struggle with fibroids or endometriosis?

 

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