2020, Love the Journey and Finding Empathy

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2020.  How exciting and uplifting to start a new year, a new decade and a whole plethora of fun and activities.  Here is a peek into the last 5 months of Simply My Swank.

We decided to put our Princess into a Charter School instead of her attending full time Christian School.  Man, has it made me appreciate ALL of you teachers out there.  On the one day that Princess goes to school I usually volunteer for half of it, just to keep her close.  Yes, some of you would duck low as I hover over my children in the ‘copter bubble I so carefully guide my children in.  Yet, I retort, to each their own.  Maybe my over attendance in the lives of my children has something to do with being abandoned as a young girl – and you would have to shrug and say – to each their own.

I’m offering a confessional today.  I am unloading.  I am cathartically releasing as I type this.  The investment of time was something that I had mismanaged for the last 5 months.  I adopted an overwhelming responsibility to overstimulate the kids with extra-curricular activities because we decided to do the charter school.  Princess is very social so I wanted to make sure I nurtured that.

I started my day teaching school and felt like a complete maniac.  I was trying to get her (aged 5) to pay attention, and him (aged 3) to stop interrupting so I could complete the daunting list of school work.  This all had to be done by 10 am so we could get to their hockey lessons.  Then, it was off to soccer, tumbling class and finally jiu jitsu.  Phew, imagine the gear and extra clothing I had to organize, clean and pack.  Then it was back to my disheveled house to make dinner and bathe the champions.  Scraping myself off the floor in a very uncomfortable way, I’d go to bed (showered or unshowered – depending on the day) only to know that I had to do it all again.

That empty bucket of a woman starting to have serious breakdowns.  I started to not sleep.  I’d go to bed at 10, lay there ’till 11 or midnight and then wake up in a panic at 1:30. I was fully subject to the adrenaline rush thoughts that kept me from falling back to sleep.  My mind was attacking me – screaming at me.  I started looking at my bed completely terrified – it used to be my safety, my haven and my place of escape from the rest of the world.  I never imagined that I would be scared of my bed.

Then the unthinkable started to happen, I started losing the feeling in my hands, half of my face started going numb and I started to lose focus.  I’d have to think about things that used to be automatic.  Like where to put the coffee cups when I was emptying the dishwasher.  I started to forget automatic responses.  Putting the butter in the oven, my synapses were losing their connections.  Lord have mercy.  As I read this I can’t believe it actually happened and that I let myself get that far.

The worst part was when I started losing bladder control.  Now that’s a no joke situation, isn’t it folks.  That’s when you look at your life and you start really dissecting it – if you’re me, and life comes to a full stop.  “Nope”, I told me.  This is wrong.  If I am broken, how can life be anything for those 2 adorables that depend on me everyday.  Who was I anymore?  I was nothing of a wife, I was no longer Katie and had just become a shell of a person.

I had sought out to be “the best mom on the planet” and in pursuit of that I actually had become the worst because now I couldn’t do anything.  I was nothing more than a puddle of mud.  I had accidentally fallen into a deep state of depression, forgetting myself more each day.  I was also forgetting my faith.  I started to simply exist and be trapped in the confines of my reality.  I understood the issues, yet, couldn’t tackle or accept the solution.  I was overcompensating, trying to be someone I couldn’t be and ruining myself all the while.

I was eating to soothe the hurt inside, thus allowing all of the inflammation and pain to find its way back to the places it loves to be.  Settling in my knee and making me stumble as I walked, issuing the kind of pain that takes your breath away.  Sugar became an addiction, making me hate the reflection I saw in the mirror.  Looking at a woman I didn’t recognize at all, deep-dark circles formed under my eyes.

My clothes didn’t fit anymore, so I bought more.  I’d turn sideways in the mirror so I would see a thinner reflection, suck in my gut so the pooch would disappear for a second or two and walk away with slunched over shoulders, defeated by reality again.  The insane depression kept telling me to indulge, it was the only thing I could control, sugar was my drug and I would submit every chance I got.  The speed of my descent started getting out of control.  I fell out of love with me because I had let addiction fool me into thinking that joy came from indulgence.  That sinful lie led me down a path I absolutely hate.

I had to stop.

stop sign
Photo by Mwabonje on Pexels.com

I started the “intermittent fasting” fad that has captured the attention of all those anorexic tendency (me) lovers, thinking that would help me lose the weight I gained and maybe help me love myself again.  I needed the pain to go away, the list of things that needed fixin’ was becoming more than I could bear.  Of course that didn’t work.  I was just creating more pain by starving myself.  Fasting needs to be accompanied by meditation and focus on faith.  I had no time for the most important part of therapy of the fast.  You can’t have one without the other.

Then I started eating my anti-inflammatory plan that I created last year.  I started my day with oatmeal and an apple-mango fruit pouch, I’d have healthy and satisfying snacks, raw nuts, crackers, tuna (bo-boona) and a spinach/orange/water drink for lunch and eat a satisfying dinner at around 4 everyday – nice and early so I could digest most before I went to bed.  No more indulging in decadent donuts, cookies, breads and cakes.  Knocked my socks off at how fast that inflammation drained out of my body.  Plus, with eating such satisfying foods I wasn’t walking around Miss-Cranky-Pants anymore cause I actually killed that nasty inflammation beast within by eating heathy-regularly.

God brings us to our knees so that we can evaluate our lives and rise again, stronger and better.  In the state of doing nothing, I realized I had to do something.  That something was taking back part of me.  I needed to organize my life so that there was something in each day for me to have.  I didn’t deserve just the left-overs either.  I deserve special.  So that’s what I did.  I cancelled out the activities that I needed to cancel out, and spent more time focused on healing.  Prayer and meditation came back into my life.  Conversation with my husband started being a lot more positive because I was healing.  I wasn’t pathetically sick all the time.  I started to rise.

Now, after a month of healing, daily work on me, I have started the upward climb.  I am working out more often, talking to God and hearing His voice – the best therapy I could ever have.  I am letting go of the inflammation in my body, focusing on healthy eating and from there, all the pieces of my broken puzzle started to find their way back to a whole.  Funny enough, I bought 3 puzzles and put them all together during this break, a visual representation of what I was doing inside of me.

God is so good all the time.  He reaches out to us when we call out and his mercy is unbelievable.  I know that struggle is sin and we are subject to it within the humanity of ourselves.  I will continue to overcome.  I will continue to fight the good fight.  I know the next time I fall I will find my way out of the muck.  I share these stories full knowing that many of you have found yourselves here too.  It’s comforting to know you are not alone through the struggle.

God blessed me with a special friend that was struggling with sleep too.  As I talked with her, she said “I know”.  She didn’t try to solve the problem for me, make me feel judged, scary or broken, she just understood.  It made me feel normal.  It took away some of the anxiety and the aloneness of it all.  She helped comfort me because her attitude was focused on God and her faith was still strong.  Her presence was powerful in spite of her pain.  How awesome is it to have someone that can say “I know”.  Someone that really understands.  So, if you are someone that struggles with similar things, I’m here to say, “I know”.  God is here and His love is never ending.

God bless you Alanis Morissette, another incredibly talented Canadian artist.  Your voice is so beautiful and thanks for this song.  It really finishes of this post with greatness.



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