Wednesday, December 9, 2015

December 3rd

The days leading up to Thanksgiving and the days that followed were extremely emotional ones...the holidays alone are always a more sensitive time for me, but this year has been the most challenging. A year ago, these were the days the cancer was taking over my grandma, the days she decided she didn't want to fight it anymore...the days I was trying to figure out how to get home to her. I was blessed by so many through Go Fund Me...something my sister set up to get our car fixed...those donors were my guardian angels. My husband was just days away from deploying, so I was struggling with wanting to spend as much time with him and wanting to make my way to Oklahoma. We were told that grandma had a few months left at least...but looking back now, I truly believe that Grandma was going to go when she wanted to go. Grandma was like that...when she got an idea in her head or started a project or task, she was full steam ahead...get it done now now now! I wish I had realized this on my drive to Oklahoma...instead I was angry at her for giving up the treatment. I was on the phone with my sister the day I started my trip, and Grandma shouted in the background for me to hurry...I snapped back to my sister, "What? Does she plan on dying as soon as I say hello?!" I was so frustrated and determined to change her mind to keep fighting when I arrived. I should have known. She and I were always going back and forth; she'd say, "Listen to grandma," and I would say, "I was right, wasn't I, grandma?" We'd smile and tease each other...our bantering was always full of love...sometimes I would say, "Ok, grandma, I should have listened to you," and sometimes she would say, "Yes, Amy, you were right." You can read about my last few moments with her in this post. It's been a year, but to read and relive it again feels like fresh grief. She did what I had snapped about though...Grandma and I only had a few moments together before she passed...

Yesterday was a year since her funeral. None of us were able to speak about her then...our grief and sorrow were too much. The pain and ache of losing her will always be a part of me...but now I can say the things I wish I had said then. Grandma was tough and stubborn...she could be hard and abrupt and downright bitchy! Hey, all of the women in our family can be bitchy judgement! She was smart and quick and feisty...she could get under a car with grandpa to help work on it, and she could make homemade noodles and cherry pies. She'd tear down a wall if she wanted and she'd cry telling stories about her sisters. She was an artist and incredibly talented with oil paints; she used to draw paper dolls for us when we were little. Grandma was loving and giving...she was brave and determined. We laughed a lot and and had so many inside jokes :) She loved her family. She was another mother to me, a teacher, and an inspiration. I miss talking (and complaining about) OU football with her...her voice and her hugs...going out to eat together...just...everything...

I brought one of her shirts home with me when I left Oklahoma, and I often hold it close and imagine hugging her. I've got it downstairs draped over the couch right now...she feels close :) I still speak aloud to her and even sing her favorite songs now and then...

I've been back to work recently, and I was able to write this without totally losing myself into a sobbing mess. I'm going to watch (and share) a video of her soon where she's teaching us how to make her noodles, and I plan on attempting that cooking adventure! I will always have tears for Grandma and I will always feel heart ache for her absence...but one thing I know for certain...she is always with me and I can feel her in my heart!

Special shout out to my friend, Stephany, for bringing me food and a sweet card on the 3rd, and for looking out for me during these past couple of weeks; it has meant so much, my friend. Treasure your family and friends, dear readers...don't ever take them for granted!

Hugs and love, my lovelies!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Slow Down...Thanksgiving Before Christmas

We do Thanksgiving in this home...simple as rushing into Christmas here! I wrote something a couple of years ago called "No Skipping Thanksgiving," and the sentiment I had then is still true today! The key word is "savor." Remember when we were young and time moved so unbelievably slow? There's no denying how much it speeds up as we get older...seriously...2015 is almost over!!! And as I get older, the more sentimental and nostalgic I become; every moment is more precious and every holiday is more special. I wish I would have known that 2013 would have been the last year I got to spend Christmas with my grandma. I wish I had gone home last year for Thanksgiving because it was the last holiday my family got with Grandma. December 3rd will be the one year anniversary of her death; and a year ago during this time, these were the weeks I was praying for more time...

I miss my grandma every single day...I still have millions of tears to shed for her...the closer the holidays get and the closer the anniversary of her passing gets, the more challenging it will be to keep those tears under control. Oh my goodness...I can't even write about this now...too upsetting!

Anyway! Back to the point! Life moves and changes so the blink of an eye it seems sometimes! November is for Thanksgiving...a time to reflect and be grateful...a time to recognize and enjoy the blessings in my life. I hope all of you will take the time to slow down and savor this time of year. Hug and love your loved ones extra tight and extra long too; it could be your last chance.

And as always, hugs and love to you all, my lovelies!
Oh! And just so I'm sure I don't wish it too late, Happy Thanksgiving, dear readers!


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Quiet Peaceful Day and Night

Blogging from my phone but not using the blogger we'll see how this goes! Today was gray and rainy from the beginning and on...and I loved it! I watched episodes of Doctor Who and ate Eggo waffles and drank French vanilla coffee. A friend reached out to me from a dark place in her depression and I hope I gave her some comfort; I tried my best...words can only do so much as we all know. Tonight, I listened to my Beth Hart (Better Than Home) record and then my Miles Davis (Some Kind of Blues) record...ending with jazz on Pandora radio. Most of the lights were off and my candles and incense were mint tea in my Doctor Who teapot...the rain still chiming lightly and quietly along with my music...peace and relaxation...and A Beautiful Mess Happy Mail for inspiration and encouragement. Tonight was quiet...the first time I've really been alone in a long time with my friend and roommate on her way to California and my husband at work standing duty...just Kakashi and me. My day was simply peaceful...and so be it the word of the day! My friend had an extremely tough day with her depression and it always breaks my heart when those I love suffer...I hope she finds rest tonight and a brighter tomorrow. And for all of you who might have also had a terrible day with your mental illness, hugs and love from me, my lovelies...I'll keep praying for better days for all of you. Remember the things you loved to do before your depression? I know it's difficult making the effort to do those things again...but it really does help if you can. Maybe you use to sing or dance to the radio...or read outside or play guitar...try to find pleasure in them once more. I usually stray from doing any kind of art during my down days...sometimes months go by before I pick up a pastel or paintbrush. But when I start again, I always wonder why I stayed away from it for so long! Art makes me so incredibly happy...even if I'm expressing something angry or sad, I love having an outlet for my emotions; an outlet that is fun and fulfilling. Anyway...just wanted to throw that out there and share some pics of my night with jazz, tea, and art...

Goodnight, dear readers,

Saturday, November 7, 2015


This has to be quick; I'm just checking in really! The title of this post may sound familiar...think back on "Bam...Hitting the Brick Wall," and even as far back as "Depression Derailment...Ding Ding Ding!!!" There was a part two to that last one, but you get the picture! I'm just trying to tell y'all that life was moving along fluidly and pieces were falling into place, and then suddenly at the last possible moment the breaks were slammed and I screeched off my path and on to a new one! So! As I'm sure y'all can imagine, this caused a hiccup in my handling of my depression, and we all know how difficult it is to pick up and get going again...but I'm getting there...I'm recovery more quickly this time, so that is something I feel good about. Anyway! My plan is to get on here tomorrow and update y'all with the latest and greatest...but we'll see. All I wanted today was to say hello and I'll be back with depression and other mental illnesses can simply be unpredictable sometimes. I hope you are all well and wonderful! Hugs and love, my lovelies!

Peace out!
The Ro Fo Sho

Monday, October 26, 2015

Halloweenin' the House

I LOVE Halloween!!! And I have a weakness for Halloween decorations!!! Sadly, my bank account and credit cards are still recovering from last year's purchases haha! Anywho! I never share pictures of my decor in's always belated and irrelevant I suppose you could say. So! I'm going to share some photos of some of my favorite pieces...these are snapshots from last year, so the arrangement is different, but who cares haha!

So I might have shared these last year, but I don't have the energy to go back and check...and if you do..well all the power to ya! I'll snap some cell shots of a couple of other fun things I have hanging up later...Mr. Ghosty and Mr. Bones...they were handed down to me from my mama. Again, I don't have the energy or inclination to do that right now...I'm lazy sometimes.

Example A:

This is me right now...blogging and drinking Malbec out of my Halloween is a mess...keepin' it real, my friends...

I have lots more to talk about, but I want to keep this post light and carefree...a breath of fresh air is nice every now and then. The encouragement and feedback I received from my last post was, as always, wonderfully humbling and beautiful...we'll talk more about it later...just know how grateful I will always be for y'all...

What will you all be dressing up as for Halloween? I'm not sure what I'll be, but I'm pretty sure it will involve fake blood and crazy hair...'cause it's more fun that way!

Hugs and love, my lovelies!
Love y'all so much!

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Discussion Stays Open...

I've been working quite a bit...doing the housewife thing during the day and then going to my new job at night. My focus and energy have been on the new job, so my house work has most definitely suffered...still trying to find the right balance. So far I want to sleep as late as possible, then watch TV and be as lazy as possible, then get ready for work and go...this is obviously not going to be beneficial in any way. In addition to balancing paid work and house work, I need to make time for my art and for writing! Sprinkle in some depression and fatigue...well...y'all know the challenge...

Speaking of which! A couple of my very best of friends have been experiencing depression recently and the question I've gotten from both of them is, "How do you live feeling like this?" I know the initial weight when first confronting depression...the confusion and sadness and hopelessness and utter heart break...the tears and anger. It absolutely shatters me knowing that people I love are experiencing these emotions! And I wish I could give advice and answers that could crash through their darkness like the most intense ray of light imaginable! How have I lived the last 17 years of my life? Three factors. My mama has been on this journey with me since the beginning. The onslaught of emotions that left me staggering in soul wrenching bewilderment were very quickly identified by my mama...she knew exactly what was happening to me because she had been through it herself, so I've always had her support and guidance. The other two factors are a bit of a disappointment to hear, but the truth sometimes is...time and experience. I have had over a decade and a half to figure out how to live my life with an almost constant presence of darkness...a lingering shadow that has become a dark companion you could say...I've made wrong and right choices and decisions while in it's company, and I have learned what works and doesn't work. Drinking excessively does not work. Sleeping for days does not work. Shutting people out does not work. Opening all the blinds and letting light in helps. Talking about my feelings with a good friend or family member helps. Eating good healthy foods and taking walks in the sunshine help. Keep in mind, even though I know what I should and shouldn't do, it doesn't mean I always follow my own advice. But, it will be different for each individuals journey. I will keep writing about it and talking about it openly...I will continue to be encouraging...I will continue to share my ups and downs...the discussion stays open here.

I will find a balance in my life, and I will make a genuine effort to write much more...I'm so sorry for the long periods of silence! I know y'all understand how it goes with mental illness, but I believe I live with this for a purpose is to be a voice. To dismiss stigmas and misunderstanding and to force people to confront it and talk about it. And, I don't mean every once in a while; I mean constantly!

Alrightythen! Well! I wasn't sure which direction this was going to go when I started writing, but the passion for this topic suddenly became overwhelming! My thoughts seemed to flow effortlessly from my mind to my fingertips on this keyboard...thank you for listening, dear ones.

Being able to talk openly about my life with y'all is a part of my's something that helps heal me. I am grateful that you take time to read and understand...

Hugs and love, my lovelies,

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Damn Down Days...

Ugh. I had a decent amount written up, but somehow it did not's all gone...and I don't have the energy to try and remember and retype it all. So instead, I'm going to bombard y'all with pictures...a summary of sorts from my birthday weekend...

There you go...33 and a red head again...good times! Shout out to Bri, Elizabeth, Stephany, Danielle, Lyssa, my bonus family, and my beloved for the gifts, and treats, and well wishes...y'all made me feel loved!

I'm so blah right now!!! I have this uneasy sinking feeling in my stomach right now, and I can't figure it out. I've started training for a new job that I was initially extremely excited I don't know if I'm nervous or afraid of failing or just plain uncomfortable. I wish I could figure it out. I kind of just want to cry...I feel like how I usually do when my depression is dominating in my life. It's just this feeling of...dread...I can't stand it! Do any of you ever feel like that? Anyone have any secret magical fixes or cures?

Three and a half hours until I have to be at work for training...all I want to do is curl up and sleep. The word of the day is definitely down.

Hope y'all are having a much better day...hugs and love, my lovelies!

Still kickin'!
The Ro Fo Sho

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Depression, Fatigue, and Busted Knee...Oh my!

Let's play catch up! I'm struggling to get my groove back here...everything I want to share is a jumbled mess, and I can't seem to sort through it very well. So let me give y'all a rundown on my health...get the not so fun stuff out of the way!

First! My depression is currently under control, manageable, check I suppose you could say. There were some major ups and downs during my absence with the approach of my husband's homecoming, homecoming itself, and the adjustment period of having my husband home. I'll have to write about that sometime...a depression and deployment part three post, or whatever number I was on. Still taking 60mg of Prozac every morning, but I'm not taking the 50mg of Trazadone every night like I had been doing. I'll take the Trazadone when I know I can sleep in the next morning because it takes a while to get out of my system. I eat lots of veggies and get as much sun as I can, and these are huge contributors to managing my depression! Every day is a challenge...some days are easier than others...but this a life with depression! Ultimately, you will be the only person who can decide what kind of life you want to have while living with a mental illness.

Fatigue. Ugh. I did a sleep study...that was an adventure! Nothing like sleeping with wires hooked up and stuck all over knowing that people are watching you and monitoring you in the most vulnerable situations of human existence hahahaha!!! Ha. The thing that sucks the most, however, is the goopey sticky gooey stuff left in the hair that kept all the sensors and such attached. Anyway! Miserable story short, I have "mild obstructive sleep apnea with oxygen desaturation" and qualify for a CPAP machine. I've yet to get the machine, but it seems to be my last hope for solving this horrible problem I have with extreme exhaustion! Just to remind y'all...I've been struggling with fatigue since 2003 and during the last 12 years, I've tried a couple of things. I was giving myself B12 shots on a daily basis for a's okay it didn't hurt at all and I have no problems with that kind of stuff anyway. Then I was taking a weekly dose of Vitamin D of 50,000 units for a few months. My blood work eventually showed above average numbers for B12 and D, but the fatigue still dominated. I'll let y'all know if there are any improvements after I've been on the machine for a little while!

The last thing to catch y'all up on is my knee! After physical therapy and months of waiting to see an actual orthopedic doctor, this is what I found out...actually...let me try and quote the doc...

"Um. Yeeeah. Your knee where it's supposed to be." He demonstrates with his hands how my knee cap is supposed to to be sitting and how it's actually a bit off the mark, and then he says, "and you have severe arthritis behind your knee cap. I'm going to need an MRI first to figure out exactly what...I need to do..."

Got the MRI done and my follow up with the ortho doc is October 1st...stay tuned my friends! Here's a picture of me with my jacked up knee getting a thumbs down!

So there's the latest and greatest, dear readers! I'm slowly but surely getting answers...the key is to stay proactive about it all, you know? Hopefully I'll get some kind of rhythm going again soon, but until then...thank y'all for sticking with me like you do...think I might go take a nap now...

Hugs and love, my lovelies!
Peace out,
Rof Fo Sho

Monday, September 21, 2015

I'm still here!

Oh my's been a minute...or 3 months...I don't even know what to say! I'm sorry. How are your journeys going, dear readers? I tell you what...mine hasn't just been a roller coaster's been a whole carnival full of rides! My ability to focus has basically gone kaput...example A. I began writing this a little after's been three hours...

To be honest, I was in the middle of making dinner when I started. Then, I had to finish dinner, eat dinner, watch season 9 premier of Doctor Who on the DVR, and then clean the kitchen...

Now I have to walk my dog.

Now I'm tired.

I'll be back tomorrow...

Hugs and love, my lovelies! I promise not to stay gone long!


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Looking For Brighter Corners

My knee is still jacked up, and my ankle is most definitely still a little wonky...yes...wonky. I can't kick my feet in the swimming pool or sit criss cross apple sauce...I can't pull either leg up under the other while I'm sitting unless I want to feel a very uncomfortable pain afterwards. Can't kneel down, squat, or run...can't walk for very long without swelling up and hurting. Can't work. What the hell?! Jeez, I'm only 32!!! It sounds like the shittiest of situations, right? And, yes, like I told y'all before, I had been shaking my fists at the heavens and cursing the universe...but then I simmered down. I can still walk...I can move around independently...I can take care of myself...I can still go out and socialize. I have all of my senses and my health is pretty close to being very good if not excellent. Well, despite the depression and fatigue, but we're not talking about that right now! So's all about perspective. I needed that time to cry and to be angry; to ask, "why me?" But, one must never stay there very must intentionally look from another angle and see the different sides and the brighter corners. Find those spots, go to them, and they will help heal you.

Want to know what things are in my brighter corners? Words, colors, melodies...thoughts and images, lyrics that inspire, poems that make me look deeper...books, records, paints, pastels, and tea and fresh fruit...whiskey and smoke...candles, incense, James Horner, Miles Davis, Beth Hart...a fun hat to wear as I write and in the mug that was my grandma's...nature's chimes heard in the soft fall of raindrops...

When I started this blog, I wanted to share the art in my life along with the depression. Depression took the steering wheel for a long long time...I got tired of being the passenger. Some things do happen for a reason. This is where I'm supposed to be right write, paint, draw, read, and enjoy some music...maybe this is a turning point for my dream of The Ro Fo Sho Art & Photography. I don't know how long this good feeling will last, but I'm going to enjoy it while I can...

Thanks for sticking with me, dear readers; I know I say it all the time, but I'm always ALWAYS going to be incredibly grateful.

Hugs and love, my lovelies,
Amy Ro Fo Sho

p.s. It's very important that I also share that this current situation would be completely different if I didn't have a loving and supportive husband. His patience and compassion throughout my struggles keeps me going, and I am unbelievably thankful for him...what on earth would I do without him?

Friday, June 12, 2015

Bam...Hitting the Brick Wall

Sometimes you're going a hundred miles an hour and all of a sudden you slam into a brick wall. It is especially upsetting when it took so long to even get started! You might find yourself questioning, "Can I please just get a break?!!!" This is the story of my last 9 days...

I started training for my new job, and after a rocky but pretty good start, I began to really enjoy it! And by my last day of learning the ropes, I was feeling extremely happy and optimistic about my future with this company. I had a little hiccup right before my last two days of training and sprained my right ankle...I was still able to go to work, but I had to wear a splint, and it was incredibly uncomfortable. I didn't let it bother me, though, because I knew I had a day off to rest, elevate, and ice it! On my way home from work, there was a rainbow, and it felt like a good sign...

Unfortunately, the night before my free day, my left knee went out on me. It's my bad knee and I've been having problems with it for more than a decade, so I initially didn't think anything of it...I was still able to walk and I figured I'd just be icing my knee with my ankle the following day. I spent the rest of the night talking with friends, bartenders, and strangers about how happy I was feeling...that I had been struggling for so long with my depression, but had started feeling so much better and was so excited for the future. That night I couldn't stop smiling and kept on thinking about that rainbow...I was on cloud nine!

Wednesday morning I woke up and could not knee was the most swollen it has ever been and every movement caused me to cry in pain. Y'all, I have a high tolerance for pain, so when I hurt so badly I'm bawling my eyes out (like when I had kidney stones), it means I am legit suffering! I couldn't take Kakashi out, and every little bit of pressure I tried putting on my left leg just to get through my home was felt unstable and I eventually fell back on to the couch a sobbing mess! My friend, Stephany, became my guardian angel and took me to the emergency room.

Apparently the weight I was putting on my left leg because of my hurt right ankle weakened my knee...I didn't realize how unevenly I had been distributing my weight all of these years. The doctor said I basically hyper extended it and sprained it, and he said, "I'll show you why..." My x-rays showed a bone spur from my initial injury back in 2004...he said that the ligaments on that side of my leg had been rubbing against that bone spur which limited my movement and affected the way I walked. Hurting my ankle set me up to test my opposite leg and knee, and I most definitely failed...

I cried and cried and cried. Stephany was comforting me and encouraging me; and I kept asking, "why?" Why couldn't I just have a little bit more time before facing my next challenge? Why did this happen now? Why must I suffer when I've only just begun to feel good again? I was finally beginning to heal mentally only to be knocked back down physically...why? Seriously...why???!!! Yes I know these things happen...yes I know it's life...yes I know to stay optimistic and positive...yes yes yes I know. But some of y'all have to know what I'm talking about. Right? There are those people we know who seem to have the best luck...everything always works out for them. And then there's me, and people like feels like one obstacle after another...I just want a break. I want things to fall into place fore me...because you know...I've been working hard. I give myself the motivational pep talks...I try to encourage myself and others daily and on this blog...I'm always looking for the silver lining, and I do the best I can for other people. I treat life and this universe as a gift...something to be cherished...why does it feel like some force is constantly working against me?

Work has been understanding, but if I can't walk by Monday, I'm afraid of what could happen...photographers need to be able to move you know! My neighbors and my friend Stephany have been life savers...seriously I would be helpless without them! So shout out to Peggy, Elizabeth, Jared, and most recently Alexis...incredibly grateful for all the help! There will be cards and cookies for appreciation most definitely! I especially want to express my love and gratitude to Stephany...she has walked my dog, brought and cooked me food, tended to little needs, and even gave me a card...truly a guardian angel...thank you thank you thank you, dear much love for you! summary...I am grateful, appreciative, thankful, positive, optimistic, and blessed. But. I'm still pissed off...I really need a nice long string of good events...could the universe just be on my side for a little while?

Every person's struggle is different, but don't ever thing yours is not as important as the person's next to's okay to simply be pissed off. You can be doing your very best and putting all of your love and light out in to the world...and sometimes life will still hit you on the ass. It sucks. Hugs and love, my lovelies, and may the universe give some love back to you as well!

Broken but still going...

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Up Up and Away!

Good afternoon, dear readers! I'm on lunch break at my new job and thought it would be a good time to say a little know...trying to get that groove back, y'all! Blogging from my phone, friends! Let's start with a word for the is up! Yay for up days!

I was so tired this morning and already thinking about how I didn't want to go to work...and it's only the 2nd day! Sleep sounded so much more appealing! Y'all know what I'm talkin' 'bout. Then I was feeling super sick to my stomach...legit thought I was going to lose my breakfast. But I gave myself a little pep talk of sorts and tried to work some mind over matter worked! I dragged my butt to work and I've enjoyed the day so far...knock on wood...don't want to jinx anything!

So the day could have very well ended up being a down day...I could have called out of work and slept all day. First of all, that would have been a bad first impression for a new job! Second, even though my body was asking for rest, my mind was determined to make the day different! It has taken me so long, longer than ever before, to rise back up from the abyss I was suffocating in; it seems like even one step back will have me tumbling down again. And I'm just sick of it! (Heads up, strong language in this next sentence!) So fucking sick of it! Strong language finished for now haha!

Anyway! For all of you suffering and having trouble finding your way out of the muck...try getting angry with it...get sick of it...throw your middle finger up at it! Screw this crap!

All right, y'all...time to wrap up! My new job is a photographer position, but I like to keep work details no company name or any specifics like that. I stopped photographing people years ago, except for the occasional helping a friend or family member out. It just seemed like the right time to find my way back to one of the things I've been passionate about since I was a far so good! I'm painting more and writing more these days as well! This must be the light at the end of the tunnel...I hope! Thanks for taking some time out of your day to hear about mine, darlings!

I hope those of you still hurting start to see and feel that light soon! Hugs and love, my lovelies!

Working Woman Again!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Blooming and Busy

Hi there, my lovelies! I've tried to write a few times this last month and a half, but I just couldn't ever get the words out like I wanted. It's been another long up, down, sideways, and upside down on the bad roller coaster ride! Below is a little something I started writing about two and a half weeks ago that I wanted to make sure I share...

Hello, dear readers, how have y'all been? It's been more than a month since I wrote last and I'm terribly sorry for that, but it's been a difficult time as I'm sure y'all have imagined with all that I've been sharing about my struggles recently with depression. Ain't it a bitch, right? Let's be real, my friends! If I could pick one word for this last month, a word of the day of sorts for the last several days, it would be heavy. The fight, my eyelids, basic functioning...heavy...a pressing weight. Every thing I do is with a push; I'm shoving against a massive presence that would rather keep me on my ass. It takes so much energy to get from the start of the day to the end of the makes me just want to sleep...sleep and sleep and sleep until I wake up and have been magically healed and revived!
(written May 11th)

I'm happy to report that the weight has lifted quite a bit...the heavy presence has eased. I'm doing better...but every day is still a fight, and it's not an easy one just yet. And yes, it does get easier...there will come a time when I will almost forget about the shadow of depression that always follows me...I'll be blogging one day, and it will occur to me that, "huh...I can't remember my last bad day." It will be a big boost...another "high on life" wave to ride, and I can't wait! Time...everything takes time...I'm just trying to be patient and stay optimistic as I battle through each day.

I've missed writing, however, and I realize that I need to make more of an effort to stay consistent with this blog. But I've been busy! Friends have been visiting every weekend for the past month and a half, and today I started my new job! So here's what I'm thinking about as I share the latest and greatest with y'all haha...this is a blooming and busy time during my journey. Buds were bursting into beautiful blooms around me each day, and they became symbolic to me. I watched them during their stages and transformations...wondering, "what will this one look like." I took photographs of them at each new development, and I made little collages for Instagram showing their progress. As the petals uncurled and soaked up the sun, I was also blooming, and the sun was giving life to me as well! I am healing...

 Friends visiting and socializing, preparing for my new job as a photographer, and now training for this job have kept me busy. The truth is I haven't been managing my time very well either! Whoops. Ok! So! Time to get my groove back! I have photos to share with you and paintings I've done and poems I've written...I'm looking forward to showing more of the art and creative side of this blog; excited to bring a little sunshine to this little corner of the Internet! For now I'll wrap with the obvious words for the day (and most recent days)...Blooming and Busy!

Hugs and love, my lovelies!
Been missin' y'all!
Amy Ro Fo Sho!!!

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!

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'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 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 a troop of invisible warriors helping my soul fight the darkness inside me! I'm feeling better every day, and I'm feeling more 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'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!

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 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 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 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!

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 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'!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Bringing Back the Word of the Day

Just a quick little bit for y'all today, and I'm blogging from my phone...I'm going to try and blog like this more because I think it'll help me write more often. And I'm hopeful that if I'm just writing little bits now and then, I'll come across subjects I'd like to expand on in more lengthy posts. Remember the word of the day? I started it a while ago but dropped the ball at some point! Just to remind you, dear ones, the word of the day is a one word summary of how I'm dealing with my depression at the time...sometimes with a brief explanation why, but not always. Quick little tid bits from my phone will be good for me to kind of keep track of how my journey with mental illness is affecting my every day life. Today, I'm having trouble staying awake...I really want to just sleep all day. The word of the day is down...I'm just down.
Unfortunately, sometimes, down days can occur one right after the other; but when I go to sleep tonight, I'm going to tell myself that tomorrow will be a better day. Optimism can do magic, y'all! Dear readers, I'm sorry if you're having a down day. Let's hope for a happier Tuesday!
Hugs and love, my lovelies,

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Practically Perfect Weekend

This past weekend was a great time with my dear Floridian friends! Lynch's Irish Pub is clearly my new favorite bar and preferred place to hang out with my sweet friend Elizabeth; seriously love this place! Love having my gal pal, Karla, aka sugar plum, around for simple every day things like cooking breakfast and running errands. Kakashi loves having his girlfriend, Athena, over for play time as well when Karla's visiting! Always great meeting other Navy spouses, especially ones with Sailors on the same ship as my husband; shout out to Alexis! It was wonderful having all three of these awesome chickies over for Super Bowl Sunday! Loved the game; enjoyed the halftime show, especially Missy Elliot; appreciated the few great commercials; and was grateful for end of the night fun with Cards Against Humanity with girlfriends!

When all of my company had left, I was overcome with sadness, but I'm not going to talk about that right now. My thoughts were on Grandma, and it was a very emotionally draining bit of time...there's much more to say, so this discussion will happen later!

So moving on! I was finally able to catch a call from my husband! My phone has been acting strangely, so I was missing calls without even knowing it until a voice mail notification popped up. This is a very frustrating situation for military spouses, y'all! We teased each other and laughed and had a quick little visit...every tiny moment of communication is always a treat during deployment :) Oh by the way! Let me share a pic he sent me since he's been gone...all I'm saying is that mustache better be gone by homecoming hahaha!!! (I love you, sugarbutt!)

 Just wanted to share a bit about my practically perfect weekend! Great weather, fabulous friends, and football...a truly awesome combination! Hope y'all had fantastic weekends as well and that this week is quick and easy! Shout out to my brother, Zac, who turned 30 this week...Happy Birthday, bro, love you and miss you! My siblings and I are now all officially in our 30'!

Hugs and love, my lovelies,