Friday, April 10, 2015

Let The Good Feelings Rule!

Word of the day: EXERCISE! I've been doing some half ass exercising, but today, I pushed myself a little more! Lunges...tomorrow will be painful haha, but a good painful! I tell you what, y'all, I'm believing in the power of your prayers and thoughts! I might climb out of this quicker than I thought...thank you thank you thank you so much for encouraging me; I'll never be able to express my appreciation enough, dear readers!


Today is a good day, and I'm happy! It's important for me to also say that it might not be a good day all day; tomorrow might be a bad one...that's the way of depression. The possibility is like an annoying high pitch buzz in the ear that can cause pessimism to creep in and ruin everything; but I will do my very best to ignore it and handle however I feel next when it gets here. Some of you may know what I'm talking about, so that's why I wanted to mention it...ignore the buzz and let the good feelings rule while you have them. Try to let optimism carry you and empower you! And if you're having a bad day, dear ones, I'm sorry and I wish I could make it better for you. I'll say try to get up and let some light in...but if you don't want to, that's okay too...some days are just hard.

Hugs and love, my lovelies!
Amy

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Deployment and Depression Part 2

Some of you may be wondering how my husband's deployment may be affecting my depression. Deployment is a difficult time for any spouse, family, or friend of a service member regardless of having a mental illness or not. Everyone handles and deals with this time in their own way, and I once talked about my plan for how I would be approaching it; you can read that here! Good plans don't always come to fruition, unfortunately, but I tend to keep that in mind any time I put steps and goals in place for guidance. I've done pretty well with sticking with my little outline of sorts, but there was something I couldn't have prepared for. At the end of that entry I wrote, "I am aware that I need to be the strongest I can be before deployment gets here. I will be. That's the only thing I need to say...I will be..." Then my grandma died nine days before my husband ventured across the sea. I was in Oklahoma without my husband, and my grandma died, and then my husband had to leave. I was not my strongest before he left...I was my weakest.

Well...I thought I was at my weakest moment...it's so shattering to think that you can't feel any more awful than you do...but it happens anyway. I grieved with my family for about six weeks, and then I came home to an empty place, and I went down even deeper than I thought I possibly could! I miss my husband, but, to be honest, I'm relieved he doesn't have to see me like this. I've gained weight and I haven't gotten a job yet, and I haven't been able to draw or paint anything at all or even enjoy my photography...I've been an empty shell since he's been gone, and I don't want him to see me this way. Many military spouses will tell you that as bad as we might feel and whatever problems we might face, we're not the ones deployed. I'd like to say "we," but I dare not offend...so I'll just say me...I feel guilty for feeling the way I do when my husband is the one over seas in harms way eating terrible ship food and living where he works. What right do I have to complain? Right? No no no...I know my feelings are valid. But, I don't tell him about how badly I've been doing; I do try to stay cheerful and upbeat for him. I mean, I'll tell him a little bit about what I'm going through, but I don't linger too long in my worries...I try not to anyway!

So! Deployment sucks, and I miss my husband and our friends from the ship. I know that this contributes to my depression, but I can honestly say this: I would still be going through what I'm currently experiencing even without the deployment. This downward spiral started long before Grandma's passing and Tom's leaving. My illness is chemical and psychological...those are things I can only control so much. The heart breaks on the outside just make it harder; they make it worse. My husband couldn't help me even if he were here right now; he would be a comfort and a physical show of support, strength, and love...but my battle is with myself...ultimately, I am the one who will win this war inside me. I am armed with the thoughts and prayers of so many, and I am determined to be better for myself and for my husband.

Hugs and love, my lovelies!
Ro Fo Sho

p.s. Here's a little pic of my husband, grandma, and me on our wedding day...
(Photography by Christi Brown)

 

More Talking...

I'm at the pond with Kakashi and thought of more I wanted to say! Friends and family have said that they are there for me if I need or want to talk, and I've said the same to y'all as well. If you're like me, however, you might be feeling like you've done all the talking you can possibly do...what more can you say? Or you might not know exactly what to say about how you're feeling or how to start the conversation at all! At this point in my story my words help me explore what's going on inside me head daily; what kind of feelings and thoughts I'm experiencing; is this a good day or a bad day, up or down day? Then I sometimes have my word of the day. You can build up a whole dialogue starting with one or two words. Sometimes you just need to share your story of how you got where you are in the current moment. It doesn't have to feel like a therapy session and it doesn't have to be a complete gushing of emotions. When I say I'm here if you want to talk, you can email me and simply say you're having a shitty day...I'll write you back and we'll go from there. Just wanted to say a bit more on that! I'll wrap with my word for the day...loved...I feel loved today. Later this evening I'll write about how my depression and deployment are handling each other.
Hugs and love, my lovelies!
Amy...The Ro Fo Sho

Keep Talking

It's been four days since my public display of misery, and...I'm just...seriously just in awe of the responses I've received! I knew y'all would lift me up, and I swear, your prayers and thoughts are doing work...like a troop of invisible warriors helping my soul fight the darkness inside me! I'm feeling better every day, and I'm feeling more optimistic...my attitude is bolstered by your kindness, dear ones! I wish that all those who suffer with depression and other mental illnesses could have people like you all in their lives...it's heart breaking thinking about the ones who suffer alone. I know I don't even have to ask, but just in case, please remember to keep all who live with depression and such in mind.

A friend of mine asked what I did this past weekend, and I told him that I dealt with crippling sorrow and wrote about it on my blog and talked with friends and family who reached out to me after reading it. He said, "Don't be sad! Just be happy!" Of course, I explained that the chemicals in my brain need more than words for that to happen and that writing about it and sharing it helped me feel better, but it's only a part of the path towards healing. I don't believe he was trying to be mean, but he did ask if I talked about it so much because I wanted the attention. My response was that I don't need the attention, but the topic needs attention. I need support and love and encouragement from the people in my life on a personal level. Depression and mental illness need attention and conversation because it's a widespread situation, and the only time we hear anything about it is when a celebrity commits suicide or a pilot crashes a plane!

I've been told by several people that I am brave to speak so openly about my life with clinical depression...hearing that gives me somewhat of a greater resolve to keep on doing it, but it is mostly very humbling. The stigma and fear society attaches to this topic isn't fair! It shouldn't have to be brave to have an open dialogue, it should be normal and accepted to discuss what we live with just like someone would with cancer or diabetes and other diseases. Living with mental illness doesn't make me less or inadequate...I'm not a mistake of nature; I shouldn't feel like an outcast! Luckily for me, I don't feel these things, but I know it's not the case for most people. Should anyone ever tell me that maybe I should be a little quieter and maybe not talk about it so much, well, I'll only get louder and maybe even throw up a middle finger if I'm feeling feisty!

I know I sound better to you all, and I do feel better. But please understand that it takes time to find and feel the light again...and I'm no where close to being completely there yet! Right now, my couch looks so inviting, and I love the peacefulness of sleep. However, I'm going to take Kakashi out to the pond and write a bit in my notebook. What I'm trying to get across here is that even the littlest of choices like deciding between a nap and a walk in the sunlight can be tough. Some of you might decide to just stay on the couch or in bed and some of you might summon the energy to get up. Every day will be a challenge. I want to feel good again, and at least for today, I'm going to go sit outside in the sunshine.

Thank you again, dear readers, for staying with me on this journey...I'm here for you too! Email me if you need or want to talk - amyrofosho@gmailcom.

Hugs and love, my lovelies!
Amy

Here are a couple of photos of one of my favorite spots and of a poem I wrote yesterday.



Saturday, April 4, 2015

Trying Something Different...

Hello, dear ones, I'm going to try something different here, and I'm not sure what to expect. Here's the deal...remember how last time I was talking about walking the tightrope at this time in my depression? Well, I fell off sometime soon after that entry...stumbled tumbled and crashed...and I've been wrecked since then. I turned to alcohol for a while, but that made it worse of course since alcohol is a depressant. I'm a smart woman...I knew drinking was a stupid solution...but it was a temporary numbness. I haven't been doing that for a bit now, so please don't be worrying on that front, y'all! Every day is a struggle, my friends!

However! I have been pushing through. I get up every day and wash my face and get dressed; sometimes I put make up on haha! I've applied for several jobs, and every day I'm on the hunt and applying for more. I did some research and found a psychiatrist in my area with whom I have an appointment with on Tuesday. I contacted my primary care doctor and told him I was struggling, and he and his office have been really great about keeping in touch with me and making sure my insurance is taken care of with the psychiatrist's office. I take Kakashi on several walks every day; and every day that the weather is nice, which is most of the time, I take him to the pond to let him run around. I sit at the picnic table and soak up the sunshine; I'll write or text or play games on my phone with friends. I make myself good and healthy meals and I've been doing a little bit of exercise. Still taking my medicine every day. Still praying all the time. Still believing and waiting for the time that I know will come when I can start to see the light again...I'm putting optimism and positivity out in to the universe. I promise you all I am doing EVERYTHING I KNOW I SHOULD BE DOING!

It's like that Sex and the City episode where Charlotte takes Carrie along to a relationship self help type of motivational speaker who preaches about positive affirmations and such. It's a seminar of sorts and during the question portion, Charlotte asks how long will it take with daily affirmations before she starts seeing some results, and the speaker tells her that she's probably not believing enough or putting herself out there enough. When Charlotte insists that she is, she most definitely IS, the speaker continues to say she needs to do more! Carrie grabs the microphone, feeling frustrated for Charlotte, and says, "Trust me! She's out there; she's WAY out there!" So please think of that when I say, I really am doing all that I can do.

I have 3 friends here and a couple of acquaintances. But, each of them have much more than what I have...nearby family, other friends, and jobs to fill their lives with. They are the only people I have while my husband is away...they are the people I look to for comfort and strength...they are my number one people right now. But, I am not a number one for them, and I'm not saying that with self pity. I'm saying that because I'm a realistic person, and I know they have lives and I don't right now; I'm in a limbo of sorts.

So what I'm saying is I'm alone and I'm struggling and I don't know what else I can do. Don't worry...often times hopelessness of this sort leads to tragic and permanent actions...I'm will not go there...NEVER GO THERE! I wish my grandma could be here with me; I mean I know she is in spirit, but if I go to dinner with grandma's spirit, people might look at me funny during my conversations with her...hahaha..ha...ha. I want my mama and my sister, even my dad and my brother. I want my really close friends. I can't leave...I can't go anywhere...I have to get a job, and I absolutely must stay focused on that!

I'm grateful to have so many prayer warriors in my life and people who are also putting positivity and optimism out in the universe for me, people who send their love and well wishes, people who keep me in their thoughts and are here for me in spirit at the very least. I know when I share this, all of you wonderful people, will start lifting me up, so I want to thank you already...because I know I can already count on your love and support. Thank you thank you thank you! In your thoughts and prayers and well wishes, could you please ask that some family or some friends could come here to Florida and be with me...I just want someone here to talk to, to go to the beach with, to have dinner with. I know it's a crazy request, but like I said, I'm doing everything I know I should be doing, but there is no relief in sight. I just need something to go well for me...I need something good.

Here I am. This is embarrassing for me. This is difficult for me. I'm literally baring my heart and soul to the public, and up until I hit "publish" I'm struggling with if I should share this much. I suppose I should...no telling how many of you are out there crying alone in your homes everyday...if you are, I'm so so sooo sorry you are feeling this way too. The best I can say now, at this point, is to maybe do what I'm doing...when you can't think of anything else to do, reach out and see what happens.

Thank you, for listening dear ones...I'm already feeling a little bit better knowing that I'm not keeping this all inside anymore. Those of you who don't struggle with depression and mental illness, I know this is a difficult thing for y'all to understand; I only ask for compassion. Those of you who know very well what this suffering is like, I'm lifting you up too...I'm hoping and praying for you all as well!

Hugs and love, my lovelies!
Keeping it real about depression, Amy

Monday, February 23, 2015

Tightrope Walking

Good afternoon, dear readers! I suppose I'll start with a word for the day...let's see...hmmm...unbalanced; that will work. I'm still walking this tightrope portion of my depression, and I've been wavering and teetering the whole time. I haven't fallen completely off, but I've clung to the line with eyes closed and not wanting to look or move. Sometimes I get a few steps ahead and am happy with my grace and progression, but I've still got a long way to go. This unbalanced section of the journey is truly exhausting, though, and I feel like I'm sleeping my life away! But I'm up now, and I have things to do, so I just have to keep pushing myself. Hopefully I find a job soon!

Moving on! I've left y'all hanging in my last couple of posts saying I would elaborate on a particular subject more, but I've yet to do that! So I'm just going to play catch up right now...

When I wrote about my practically perfect weekend, I mentioned thinking about my grandma. I started to write about it, but decided to save it for later; so I'm going to copy and paste what I began to share:

...practically perfect weekend, but by the time all of my company had left, I was confronted and left alone with the thought that had been lingering and waiting for my attention when I would no longer be distracted. "I want to call Grandma." I called her often but especially when the weather was nice or when a big football game was on, and I just couldn't help but feel that need for communication more intensely than ever since she's been gone. It struck me like a ton of bricks and I was gasping with grief through heavy heavy sobs...it was one of the most heart wrenching moments I've had since being back in Florida, and the first one without family close by for comfort.

I can think back on it now without feeling so intensely the lonely place her absence has left me in, but the memory of that sudden onslaught of sorrow stays vividly present like a similar wave might crush me at any moment. I miss my grandma so very very much...that's just the simplicity of it. I know I always will, but right now, while it's still new and tender, it just sucks...that's it...it just freakin' sucks.

When I wrote about my wonderfully inspiring night, I told y'all I would elaborate more later. Well, now I don't feel like recounting the conversations I had with a couple of inspiring individuals, so sorry 'bout that haha! What I will share is that after those dialogues, I was geared up and ready to go back to school! I've made this declaration so many times before I can't even guess a number; and obviously I never did make it back! Maybe this time, if I don't tell you about it right away, I'll actually do it and therefore update y'all when it actually happens...ummm...IF it actually happens. But here's the skinny on my brainstorm; I love writing, art, and photography, and so I feel like if I learn more and become more qualified in specific areas, I might actually find a profession I can live with while still chasing the dream of being a successful freelance artist and writer/be my own boss. We'll see what happens...I'll keep y'all updated ;)

Alrightythen, I'm going to go ahead and wrap this one up and start on a couple of more posts for y'all...standby for a discussion on deployment and a discussion on Fifty Shades of Grey...aww, do I have your attention? Haha! I'll leave you with a little collage of my face to showcase my new hair color...please excuse my tired appearance and disorder of my hair. Later, darlings, and hugs and love, my lovelies!

Peace
The Ro Fo Sho


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Wonderfully Inspiring Night

Word of the day: progress. It took me a little while to get going today, and I had to make it through a few excuses, but I eventually got up and fixed my hair and makeup and ran some errands. My groceries were mostly veggies and I'm eager to use the Magic Bullet my husband got me for Christmas; I WILL lose this weight! I bought a cheap little printer and some paper so that I can print out my different resumes and cover letters; I WILL have a job soon! Last night I went to the Art Walk on the Beach to scout the area for potential places I might like to work and to see what kind of art the local artists around here are doing...it was a truly lovely night. My sweet friend, Elizabeth, came along with me and after walking along in the chilly weather we stopped by our bar, Lynch's,  to warm up and drink a couple of beers. I'll share more about the night with y'all later; I just wanted to mention it because it was a wonderfully inspiring night! I went to sleep and woke up with a fresh surge of ambition and determination and ideas! Well anywho! Just wanted to check in with y'all;  I'll give you more details on how the night enlightened me next time I write. Dear readers, I hope you are having more up days than down days!

Hugs and love, my lovelies
Amy Ro Fo Sho

The following photo is one that my brother's girlfriend sent me today...just a beautiful snapshot and message to let me know that they were thinking of me. I thought it was incredibly kind. Amber, you are too sweet and most definitely a treasure. Thank you again, darlin'!