About that title… I had a post all-but ready to publish yesterday. I was looking for photos to use in it when I ran across something on my Facebook timeline. I have searched all through the year it happened and cannot find it. There are about 4 days missing and I even went back several years to see if it was there instead, but no. It was about something really important.
And controversial, of course.
I am SO upset that I can’t find that post because it linked to an article, which is what started the post in the first place. I debated just giving up on the idea of even writing about it at all, but guys, it’s REALLY important and I’m being serious here.
I feel like, as so often happens, the enemy is attempting to thwart something that would bring God glory, so even though I can’t find the post or article, even though I’ve spent literally almost FOUR HOURS looking for it, I’m going to go ahead and write about this.
I think there may be someone out there who needs to read what I have to say today. It’s something that feels like one of those “God nudges” so I’m not going to ignore it. Please bear with me since I will have to explain SO much because I don’t have the linked article!
I’ve found only one article that is even halfway similar to the post I mentioned in my FB status, so I’m going to put the text link here, but I’m not linking to the article. You’ll have to copy/paste into the address bar to read it and I encourage you to read it. I just don’t want to popularize it by linking it from my blog.
The blog post I saw back then was just a few days after the suicide of Robin Williams. The lady’s point was that suicide was not selfish and I didn’t agree with her.
Now, before you get riled up at me, I didn’t start a debate with this woman. I merely created a status stating that I disagreed with no links to her or mention of her name, etc. I didn’t want to increase her pain since she linked her feelings to the loss of a parent by suicide. I didn’t and won’t even pretend to understand how one would begin to cope with such a tragedy. I was not and am not trying to pass judgment on her, her parent, RW or anyone else!
However, given the fact that RW’s decision to take his own life was linked to depression, and depression is something I know, I’m going to address it. I know depression well. Depression and I are like ** this **.
I’m not going to deny it. In my worst, most desperate moments of deep depression, I have pondered committing suicide myself. More than once. If you know anything about depression, you know how it can grip you, how it can strangle you and make you feel like there is absolutely no reason whatsoever for you to go on.
I want to interject here that my thoughts and opinions about all this are filtered through my faith in Jesus. If you do not consider Him to be your Savior, then you are not likely to understand my intentions here. Just be aware that you MUST use this faith-filter in order to even begin to know my intent.
I believe without doubt or hesitation that my faith in Christ is the only reason I didn’t go through with ending my life. Perhaps it was guilt over the thought that I would be disappointing Him if I carried it out. But when I had lived a couple of decades with depression, after I had resisted the temptation to get rid of my pain through suicide, I finally learned something that has kept me from ever seriously considering it again.
My life is not mine.
Before, when I was younger and would consider suicide, I could only think about how death might bring some peace to my aching heart. I thought about how not having me around would take undue stress off my family and loved ones. I thought about how things would stop being so hard, so painful, so worthless.
In short, I thought a whoooole lot about one thing: ME. I was too young and immature as a Christian– because yes, sometimes even us Christians think about ending it all– to realize that I am not the “owner” of my life.
That probably seems like a strange thing to anyone without faith in an eternal God and Creator. But here’s how it works… if I believe that God created all things, all humans, then I must recognize that God is the Giver of Life. If He gave this life to me, then in reality, it isn’t really mine, is it? Especially when you go further and add to this the realization that our lives, our time on earth, is just “borrowed” and we must one day, when this life is over (whether by our own hand or not) give an account for how we used our time here, it really sobers you up in a hurry. It makes you put down the spirit (as a liquor) of persecution, of pettiness, of self-focus and yes, selfishness.
While I pondered how I could not imagine dealing with one of my own parents committing suicide, the way this lady was, I then put my children in that spot. If I thought it would be hard for me to cope with, why on earth would I consider putting my own children through that? How utterly selfish and thoughtless of me! That thought is possibly more of what kept me from killing myself when I was a young mother. I couldn’t dream of doing such a thing to my babies.
It was later that I realized what sort of thing my suicide would be to God.
I believe that all things are created for a purpose. I think most Christians believe this. Even bad things can be turned into good ones through Christ. I have lived that doctrine out many times! So, if God created me, He gave me life and meant it as a gift, something precious to be treasured and used for His glory…then how dare I think I know when it should end and how dare I contemplate ending that life myself?
How dare I??
When I put it that way, I am stunned and ashamed that I ever even entertained such thoughts. And don’t get me wrong… I still fully understand what it’s like to be in such a deep pit, lost in such total darkness and in such great pain that you think there’s nothing left but death. I am not trivializing the way that feels at all.
I wouldn’t dare do that, either!
But…I am adding to it another thought. A thought beyond the temporary (but sometimes extremely too-long) pain that is depression. The realization that this is not my life. God gave it to me. He intended me to use it to glorify Him. What glory do I bring Him if I let desperation and depression SO overcome me that I take my own life? What glory is it if I dismiss His might and power to keep me safe, to direct my path, if I throw away the gift He gave me? Where is my faith if I let what I KNOW to be the work of my enemy destroy my faith that God is enough. That He is mighty enough to deliver me from this, just as He made a dry path through the Red Sea for Moses. Just as He provided a substitute sacrifice for Abraham as he prepared to prove his faith in God by sacrificing his only son, Isaac. Just as He closed the mouths of lions and kept Daniel safe and sound. Just as He walked in the fire where the three Hebrew men (who refused to bow to an idol) had been thrown. *
Once my mind was healed enough to realize what suicide actually is to God… a virtual slap in the face. A statement that He actually doesn’t know best. That God can’t keep me safe or heal me. That He doesn’t care and the gift of life He gave is worth nothing to me.
And most tragic of all, that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross wasn’t enough for me.
I am not wise enough to state or debate about whether committing suicide will keep you from entering Heaven. I know some people believe that as much as they believe the sun gives light, but I don’t. I admit that I could be wrong. ** chuckle ** We all know, I could certainly be wrong about a lot of things, especially something so spiritual and eternal as this. So I won’t debate it but I can’t think God would “undo” the promises made when a person accepted Him because they later became so despondent and so wracked with grief and pain that they made a foolish, albeit eternal, choice. Again, I DO NOT KNOW THIS and I’m only stating my opinion. You decide for yourself if you must ponder the question.
I am so thankful that my mind is no longer so clouded. That even when I am deeply depressed I can remember Who I belong to. Yes, I do STILL get depressed. Not sad, not discouraged, but deeply grieved and almost physically unable to smile it seems. Depression for me is hugely physical and not just emotional or psychological. It’s like having a heavy black cloth thrown over me that I must fight to get out from under. When I’m there, in the darkness which can feel completely isolated, I can recall that God made me and He DOES have a purpose for me. Then I can ponder what He wants me to learn from this season.
I hope my rambling and sharing has helped someone out there. I hope it speaks to your heart and prods you to look at God’s word for healing. EVEN when He doesn’t “cure” your depression, you can still rest in Him knowing that He doesn’t forsake and He knows the plans He has for us… plans for good and not harm; plans for a purpose and to bring us to right where He needs us to be.
As I like to say, I don’t have to understand it. I just have to trust God with it.
Email me if you have questions or want to talk through anything.
- scripture references for the miracles mentioned in this post:
Additional encouraging scripture:
Ah, broken hearts. They’re the stuff great songs are made of, am I right? And if you have one, they are like the longest, most painful night of your life.
Unless you’re like, 4 days old, you’ve had a broken heart. At least once! At this point in my life, I’ve had many-a broken heart. Like they say, time usually heals them but some take more time than others.
I don’t spend a lot of my time worrying about having my heart broken from things like a death in the family or a betrayal by someone dear to me. If you know me, you know I’m not really a “worrier”. I really do try to leave it all in God’s hands and be as content as I can be with His plan and His determined outcome.
However, in the past couple of years, I have just occasionally and quite randomly found myself mulling over how I would handle it if something tragic happened to one of my children.
I don’t know why, really. Well, yeah, I do. It’s the enemy trying to steal my joy and keep me from concentrating on God and what He wants me to do. Then there are the times I fret over the fact that it worries me being some sort of forewarning. I’m telling you, I can drive myself crazy with it if I don’t stop it quickly.
I have several dear friends who have lost their children from illness or accidents. Some of them just amaze me with how they have handled it. They have a peace and a joy that I can’t quite comprehend. Others of them tend to dwell and hold their sadness close, even after a decade or more.
I’m just not sure how I would do. I want to think I could allow God to take it and I could find peace again, but somehow I can never feel confident about that. It’s like I wonder how I’d do with a test such as that. Like Job losing ALL his children in one fell swoop on top of all his bodily torments and other losses. I just marvel at how amazingly God can sustain our frail human hearts.
So anyway, the reason I am pondering all this stuff is that I had a terrible heartbreak this weekend. We lost my sweet little puppy, Max. I am so heartbroken to lose him. Tommy came in Saturday with a look on his face that told me it couldn’t be good news.
He knelt down beside me and said, “Honey, Maxie’s been in an accident,” and that’s all it took. I said, “Is he gone?” and when Tommy confirmed, I just dissolved into tears. I’ve had pets all my life. Mostly dogs, but sometimes cats when I was little. We’ve lost countless dogs over the years to either accident or illness and I have always been upset, but never like this. Of course, growing up, we never had inside dogs and somehow, when they don’t live right “in amongst” you, you don’t get quite as close to them. We had an inside dog before Max, but he was never as attentive or as “stuck” to me as Max.
We got our sweet Max, a little “Malti-Tzu” (Maltese/Shih Tzu mix) when I was at one of the most dark, depressed states of my life. I needed him and he needed me. We got him from a lady who had taken him even though she knew pets weren’t allowed in her apartment. She kept him crated all day while she was at work, so over 8 hours. He was a mess, all long and matted. He was afraid of men because, as she told us, her boyfriend didn’t like Max and would yell at him (and who knows what else).
It took awhile, but soon he was not just my baby, but Tommy’s buddy as well. He loved people, most people, well…after he had barked at them a bit and decided they were okay. We have a few friends he never took to though and I’m pretty sure it was because they had sort-of loud or a different tone to their voices. Otherwise, though, he made friends pretty quickly. He was very protective of me which at first, I think was a behavior held over from the yelling boyfriend of his previous owner. The first couple of times Tommy moved to hug me, Max would leap between us and like I said, the first couple of times he made a faint growl at him, but soon as I assured Max that it was okay, he stopped making any aggressive sounds. Soon, it was done just because he was a nosy little stinker. He would wedge his way between us with this “Whatcha’ll doin’?” look on his face. He had a huge personality.
Max loved to play and was really a joy to watch. He would skip and run and sling his “baby” or ball around then run to catch it. He loved to drop his balls into containers then act like he was on Mission Impossible trying to get them back out. He’d drop them in Tommy’s boots, the laundry basket, my purse… you name it. It was such fun to watch him play.
Max also loved to cuddle and sleep. Bless his heart, when I had a bad day and could barely keep my head up, he was just as game to lay in bed all day with me as he was to be up following me all over the house. I think this is the main reason I’m so devastated over losing him. I’ve never had a dog that loved me so good. He just wanted to be with me, no matter what. He was entirely too cute for my own good.
Even though he wasn’t one of those “yappy” dogs that barked all the time, the house seems so quiet without him. I think it’s because the sound of him jumping off the couch or bed to run see who was outside or his little feet clippety-clipping behind him on the tile have become comforting sounds and I miss them terribly today.
Max had a huge sense of adventure and was, like I said, game for anything Tommy and I were up for. He loved to travel and was the best car-riding buddy ever. We took him with us along on more road trips than we can remember. He loved to ride and would get so excited about a car ride, but soon as we were on the interstate, he’d be out like a light. The interstate was like valium to him!
Max went camping with us, he’s gone to various cookouts, hikes and bon fires. Fishing at the pond was a favorite. He even went for a ride on the four-wheeler, but that wasn’t his favorite since we had to rig him a “seat” (aka: milk crate with harness) because he would NOT be still and let me hold him! He wanted to jump off and chase every critter we saw.
He even rode with Tommy on his bike once. I’m not sure he liked it a whole lot, but he liked being with us. He was better satisfied as long as he could see me riding behind, but if I got in front, he would have a fit to climb over Tommy’s shoulder. We wanted to try another camping trip like this with the bikes and try him in a basket, but we never got the chance. Max was willing to try just about anything we did as long as he could go with us.
Max was a peculiar little poot, too. He had this thing, maybe all little dogs are this way, but if any dogs were around who were bigger than him, he HAD to make it clear that HE was the boss. Our old chocolate lab, Samson, was a prime example and he probably
made Max worse because of his own super-gentle temperment. Sam was always the gentleman, to a fault! He was never the least bit aggressive unless you threatened his food. And sometimes, he’d even share that with Max. He never took the ball away from him, love his heart. He always let Max get the ball. Maybe that’s because Max would start growling and snarling like a rabid skunk if some one threatened whatever he considered his. And of course, ALL THINGS were his. Humans and toys alike. And if another big dog came around, even one of our boys’ dogs (Corey has an Austrailian Shepherd and Casey has a Golden Retriever) if any of the big dogs was aggressive with the other, he would be all over them as if to say, “HEY! Shut it down! I’M the only one who gets to do that!” It was really hilarious and I’d have to explain to other people that he wasn’t really being mean, it was just his way. Bahaha. Max definitely had a unique way of socializing. But he still had lots of buddies. Seriously, even the dogs couldn’t help but love him.
Max was the sweetest, craziest, noisiest little pup ever and I am really heartbroken right now. After crying my eyes out for almost two hours solid, I’ve collected myself and can ponder why. I don’t know why this had to happen at this point in time. I don’t want to dwell on how it happened
other than to say it was an accident and happened right in our driveway. Max was, as anyone who’s been here knows, a horrible one to run up to and around and under vehicles as they approached or left the house. We tried every way we knew to break him of it, but he would not be stopped. The only way was to forcibly hold him or just take him inside. It never failed that I would no sooner let him out in the yard to play than someone would pull into the driveway and I’d have to go out and try to catch Max or watch with my stomach clenched as the person tried to slowly bring the car or truck closer. Whether it was a delivery truck or someone who had been here a million times, he would go at it barking like mad and running as close to the tires as possible, so honestly, I wouldn’t blame the person responsible at all. This person has no clue that they even ran over Max. Another reason I don’t want to dwell on it is that I could end up getting mad or even more upset. I know this person was distracted with trying to hurry home even though they know how Max is and have had to deal with his antics a million other times. For whatever reason, God saw fit to let this happen and I am trying to cope.
Which brings me back to my first thoughts up there of fretting about how I’d deal with it if something awful happened to one of my boys. I am wondering if God isn’t letting me know that this is not the worst thing ever. He knows that I would have been in much worse shape if I was dealing with losing one of them. Why I need to realize that now is something I don’t want to ponder long. I think it’s become more of a thing with me ever since Corey moved to Ohio. I felt like I was literally losing him. I realize now that was silly since we actually talk to him and Melissa and even see them more often than we did when they lived a stone’s throw away! The moving and now this has all taught me never to take anything or any one for granted as I am so apt to do.
I’m so thankful that God put Max in my path (I found him on Craig’s List!) when He did because we really did need each other. I hope he felt every bit as loved as he was. Especially after spending part or maybe all his life feeling like he wasn’t wanted. I loved that little fella SO good and through him and my family and others, God brought me out of the deepest pit to recover my joy.
It feels terribly lonely today though and I have cried through sorting for pictures to share with you and have realized I don’t want to feel like this. No pup can ever replace my little Max, but I need the companionship of a silly, funny pup. I have been busying my mind in the search for another Malti-shuh or whatever they are calling the Maltese/Shih Tzu mix. The characteristics of both breeds are just what I need, I believe. But it’s hard to find them except from expensive breeders, which we can’t afford or people who are no longer able to care for aged dogs, which I don’t need. I need a younger dog that can be trained. Corey believes we can train a dog to help alert us to low blood sugars which would be extremely helpful! I know this breed isn’t the top recommendation for this sort of training, but right now I’m determined that I need a little one that will be a cuddly furbaby, too. Even if they can’t be FULLY trained to alert, I know that dogs have the natural ability to sense things like that and it would still be helpful even if they don’t know proper alert actions. My mind may change but as it stands right now, it doesn’t much matter. We can’t afford to just purchase a pup from a breeder and besides, I’d rather not do that anyway. I’d like to be able to get a younger dog from an owner who has discovered they can’t care for the dog or maybe has had an unexpected litter of pups. I’d like to find one less than a year old and even a straight-Shih Tzu, Maltese or even a Yorkie would be great. (just throwing this out there in case anyone knows somebody who knows somebody… heh)
My experience with Max tells me that for the most part, the combination of Shih Tzu and Maltese traits are just wonderful other than the drive to chase, which is high in most small dogs already.
I’m thankful for the time I had Max. He was like medicine for my hurting heart. I know God has another dose of good medicine out there somewhere and at the right time, he or she will cross my path. In the meantime, I’m also thankful for my family who has been so sweet in understanding my heartache and sweet Tommy, who I know is also heartbroken but has been so strong for me the past couple days. I am blessed and highly favored.
Go and tell your family and friends you love them and hug your pet. Any and all of them are blessings to be treasured! Always remember there is peace among the pieces of your broken heart if you just let God handle the reassembly.
Okay, so you guys know, if you know ME or if you’ve read here much at all, that I am a “retired” homeschool mom of two twenty-something sons. Yeah, I’ve been “retired” for quite some time!
Homeschooling was the greatest, most best decision we ever made. Yes, even though I had plenty of days when I was quite certain it was the WORST decision we ever made. I think as a mom OR dad, wanting to do the very best for your children, we all have those doubts when trying to determine what’s best for our kids. Even though we were happy having the boys at home and I loved being a stay-at-home mom teaching my boys, there were still days that it seemed like a really baaaad choice! There are probably those moments in anything we pursue that is ultimately good.
I would never say I was a “great” homeschool mother. I wouldn’t even say I was “good” at it most days. But I tried my best to meet the needs of my children. I know families with 8+ children who have a whole posse of little virtuoso in a variety of areas. Music, mathematics, communication, entrepreneurship… you name it. Many of those kids are now doing extremely well in their adult lives. My boys are no exception to that. I feel like, at least for me, this is the litmus test as to whether homeschooling was a success.
While my youngest son chose not to finish high school, he is still doing well. He never attended any other type of school than at home. My boys have quite different personalities and while our eldest enjoyed learning at home, our youngest had a different bent. He wanted nothing to do with anything that came hard to him. If it wasn’t easy or something he was extremely interested in, he just didn’t want to do it at all. And he was several times more stubborn than his mother, so this made continuing his education at home very difficult.
I don’t want to rehash old problems or bring up too much from a really hard time in our family, but our baby became very rebellious, very hateful toward me specifically. I’m not sure if that was just because I was the “authority” figure for the large part of his life at that time (since I was also his ‘teacher’) or if it was more personally directed at me, but it was very obvious and it broke my heart.
By the time he was 14 or 15, he began to just refuse to do his lessons. He had a car by this time, one he had bought himself and was working on to have ready by the time he got his license, so of course, he spent a ton of time doing that. When he’d refuse to read anything else, no matter how hard I’d tried to find literature that would interest him, he would devour anything about his car without hesitation. And yes, I did try to allow as much as I could for the how-to car reading to count toward his school, but that wouldn’t fill all the requirements. But no matter what we threatened or how hard we explained why he needed to do the other work, he would just refuse. He wasn’t super-in-your-face with his refusal, but he’d sit for hours NOT doing the work you gave him.
Needless to say, I was frustrated beyond words and it became harder and harder to deal with. It didn’t make it any easier that the boys’ father wasn’t really a disciplinarian in that area. I’m trying NOT to sound disrespectful or like I am bashing Tommy, but he just wasn’t involved with schooling very much. He felt that was my job, my territory, and when I would come to him with concerns or problems, he just wasn’t very helpful in addressing them. I think he felt like he and Casey were more alike and Corey and I were alike so he usually seemed to “side” with Casey. I say “sided” because that’s how it felt. In hindsight, I think Tommy just didn’t know what to do, he wasn’t fully aware of how bad things had become and that’s what informed his actions. The way most things go in parenting, we always just do the best we know how at the time and I think that’s what happened here.
All these years later, we discovered that there were things happening in Casey’s life that we had absolutely no clue about. He shut himself off from us and seeing how he rebelled even more if we tried to approach him, we just gave him space. We had no clue he needed us to break through his walls, to be praying for him in specific ways, to help him navigate some horrible things. When I was made aware of this stuff, just a few years ago, it broke my heart all over again. What kind of mother am I to not know?? To not see how much my child needed his parents to intervene?? Even if he was pushing me away with all his might, how could I not know how much he was hurting? Those thoughts bring the tears, even now. Nothing is more heartbreaking as a mother than to realize you failed your child in such a huge way.
All of that to say, even with all this failure and heartbreak, I don’t regret homeschooling my boys. And to see them today, both successful in their jobs, both contributing, functional adults in spite of their “lack of socialization” (pshh!) is a balm to my mama-soul!
You may not know, but Corey, our eldest, recently moved with his wife to the Cincinnati area for a new job. The company found his profile on LinkedIn and sent a request for his application! Out of the blue. Realizing this, as a homeschool mom, was a real boost for me personally. I mean, after all the naysayers either aloud or privately saying my children would suffer from our choosing to teach them at home? I thank God for this affirmation that we did what we should have at the time.
Casey and Corey have always worked together in their grandpa’s business (my dad), which is a combination of various plumbing-related things. They’ve sort of grown up in the trade, working summers from the time they were barely teenagers to the year Corey put off his graduation in order to help my dad when his only other employee at the time (my father-in-law) had suffered a heart attack and dad sorely needed the help. Corey was not quite 17 when he made that decision and because we homeschooled, it was totally possible to do this.
When Corey left to take this job, it left Casey with a role he hadn’t ever filled before. And let me say, this was a job too good for Corey to pass. It was higher pay with commissions and bonuses, less stress of being responsible for both office work and keeping track of and working on jobs and less being resented because to others, it seemed Corey was doing less because of his time doing office work. There’s also benefits like retirement and 401k plans that aren’t available with my dad’s business and room to advance. There’s also a respect that Corey didn’t get here at home. No one who knows the situation could possibly fault him for taking the job. As much as it pained me to see him move, I can’t deny that in so many other areas, he’s a lot better off than he was here.
It really took him leaving for my dad and Casey to realize how much Corey was actually doing. So as far as the resentment shown when Corey informed them he was leaving, there’s now a respect that had never been shown before. It always hurt me so much to know that the boys, both of them, were dealing with so much stress and tension from my dad, who seemed to not understand or be willing to admit that doing things the same old way weren’t working. Any new idea the boys came up with was met with scorn and most times, ridicule so they had to continue doing things a more difficult way while bearing the weight of their grandfather’s disapproval.
I love my dad, don’t get me wrong. But he can be impossibly bullheaded sometimes. Like most of us, I guess, only… well, more so! I think now that these changes have been made, he’s beginning to see that there need to be new ways of doing things than he’s done all his adult life with his various businesses. I just hope Casey can continue to urge him to make the changes. Casey is much better at communicating or at least confronting my dad than Corey was. Casey will get in his face and tell him when he’s being irrational or stubborn where Corey would just bite his tongue and let Pap carry on his own path. Overall, I think Corey’s leaving has been a positive thing all around. I had been very worried that it would be only negative here at home, with the business. but it seems to have ushered in some new realizations so I’m hopeful things will be better here as well.
Casey is now having to step us as more of the salesman for the company, the “people-person”, which had been Corey’s role most of the time. And granted, I think both the boys would agree that Corey has an easier time with that than Casey most of the time. Although Casey is learning and he does very well most of the time anyway, it doesn’t come as naturally to him as it does Corey. It’s been good to see Casey maturing in the way he sees the business now that he doesn’t have his brother to leave all that to. Maybe I’m a little biased since I am the eldest in my family, but I think it’s just easy for the younger to leave things up to the elder. It’s like a natural role so when there’s never an opportunity for the younger to take the lead, they will continue to let the older sibling tend to those things. It’s not that Casey is unable, it’s just that he’d never really had to before, so in all, it’s a good thing, I believe.
In case you’re wondering about that title, it was intended to refer to how things just fell into place with Corey moving and getting this job. He has all this time he never had before and he’s figuring out what to do with himself. That’s a good problem to have. Granted, some of that no-time-for-himself thing was because he was also serving as youth pastor at his church here. Not only was he dealing with all the stuff from the business, he had kids calling on him at all hours with various issues plus all the activities that were most of the time scheduled by someone else without consulting Corey first. It was just a lot on his plate.
But the whole thing with this new job just sort of happened all at once. They contacted him, he sent a resume, then went up for an interview, the next week he went for another interview and then the offer letter came. All that happened in less than a month beginning around the first week of November and then they wanted him to start in January! They had to settle their house, pack it up and get rid of what they weren’t keeping, deal with settling Corey’s part of the business, find an apartment and figure out how to get moved up there all at once! It was crazy times, let me tell ya!
And this poor mom had like ZERO time to adjust to all this. I mean, like I’ve said, I never dreamed either of my boys would move out of town, let alone out of state! And even if I thought one of them might move, I always figured that would be Casey, not Corey. It was like total shock!
Thankfully, I got to spend time with them after Tommy and I helped the kids find an apartment, so we had first-hand knowledge of where they were and what kind of place they had, what type of area they lived in and all that. I think they really appreciated our help. It all went so smoothly, with only 4 of them (Melissa’s uncle and cousin came to help) unloading the UHaul and getting done right ahead of the snowy rain? That was just God, y’all. He was just working through the entire thing.
They went from a 1400 square foot home with a full finished basement to a 1000 square foot apartment with a small storage room about the size of a closet! Needless to say, they got rid of a ton of stuff. Their apartment is nice, cozy but roomy enough for them. It’s also roomy enough to house a few guests for a few days (or a week.. I stayed with them almost a week at the end of January). Ha. Their dog, Timber the Australian Shepherd, has adjusted extremely well. Even with the company changing start dates on Corey and having him start a couple days before he even had his work van organized, he’s done really well and has been noticed by the management and owners.
Casey seems to have adjusted to the new role he has and although he’s working a lot, he’s doing well, too. I would honestly be tickled if he would move up there and take a job with this company too. They recruited Corey because of his experience in plumbing and the fact that he has his Master Plumber license and they have just started expanding their business into plumbing and need licensed plumbers! But Casey doesn’t seem interested and that may have more to do with his wife, I don’t know. Shoot, if Tommy wasn’t less than five years from retirement, I would be pushing him to move up there and apply with this company. It’s been voted one of the top businesses in Cincinnati several years in a row and anyone who knows about it says it is an awesome company. They really have a stellar reputation and they do business in such a no-nonsense way that seeks to accommodate customers while also taking great care of their employees. They have an open-door policy among management, which in this company means there are NO doors in their offices! How cool is that? You won’t find many companies that think this way!
Anyway, I guess all this is just to give God ALL the credit for working things out so well. For helping me deal with my anxiety over the sudden move, for making things smooth out here at home as well as for Corey in his new home and job. Now, if the boys would just allow God to move and work in repairing their relationship, I’d be super-thrilled! Over the last few years, the boys have seemed to get this growing tension in their relationship. I think it’s been partially due to dealing with dad and the stress of working with him and each other and the changes that came with their marriages and adding new family members. Casey and Mel were almost like brother and sister when Corey first got married. It was good to see him be so at ease with her and watch them have fun being around each other.
I think after Casey moved into the basement of my parents’ old house (where Corey and Mel lived–the three of them bought the house together for some reason I’ll never understand–my dad arranged the whole thing) things seemed to change and I don’t know why. Maybe it was the dynamics or maybe the proximity? I just don’t know.
Things just change over time, and I know that. I just never dreamed they would drift so far apart or that one would push the other away. Growing up, they were each other’s best friend. As they began to get a little older, into double digits I guess, they spent more time with other people, had the chance to make other friends. Corey, like I said, is just generally more outgoing and quick to extend himself to make a friend. Not that he tried to leave Casey behind. It wasn’t like that at all. Most of the time, Casey was included in whatever Corey did, whoever Corey hung out with. I guess maybe as time went on, Casey began to feel like he was in Corey’s shadow? I don’t know why. At least, I never saw Corey treat Casey with anything other than patience. Maybe I didn’t see everything. I don’t know.
I mean, obviously with the things that Casey got into when he hit the teens without me even having a clue, how would I know what was really happening? Did I miss things between them, right under my nose too? I tried so hard to do everything I could to help them learn and have fun and do the things they wanted. How did I mess it up so bad?
How could I fail so bad? So big? Our one son barely acknowledges us most of the time and has many times brought his brother to tears the way he’s shut him out, shoved him away in the past 3-4 years. Why did I not know he was struggling with something dark and evil? He was a teenager. He was surly and aloof. We thought he needed his space. We gave him his space and apparently the space for this evil to get an even tighter grip. He grew more and more hateful toward me. He seemed to just despise me and I didn’t know why. I thought it had to do with school, but apparently the evil had given him more fuel to just add to his resentment toward me. I have been so hurt, so heartbroken over the way he’s treated me.
My response to hurt, after it goes on for awhile, is to just shut down. To just shut myself off from the hurt by avoiding it, the person causing it, to steel myself to it. So I just tried to keep from losing it. After trying to reach out to him, trying to show him how much I cared and having him push me away, I just quit trying. I avoided him or shut my emotions off when it came to talking to him. Maybe he saw that as proof that whatever horrible thing he thought of me was true? I don’t know. It was just the only way I knew to deal with it. So yeah, I guess I just allowed my heart to harden, to turn to stone a little bit.
If you read about The Dark Secret, the really depressing, maddening thing that was going on in our marriage for almost 20 years at the time all this was happening, you might realize, I was hardly hanging on to reality sometimes. It was all I could do to keep from losing it most days. Add to that the awful state our finance tend to stay in.. more so now than when the kids were at home. I guess it’s because the both of us have so many stupid medical bills, take so much medicine now, but for some reason, we seem to never have enough money. We really don’t splurge on anything, but still we always have to juggle the bills trying to keep from going under.
All of that is a lot for my brain. I have a really hard time not being dismally depressed. I have to constantly tell myself I am blessed. I have a lot to be thankful for. Then I get a notice that the bank balance is dismal, or a reminder that my youngest son doesn’t like me or a bad blood sugar or I run out of a medicine knowing I have to wait for the next paycheck to get my refill… that’s all it takes for me to just slide down into the pit a little further.
Soooo…after explaining my title and now sorta obliterating it with my random bout of ‘the dumps’, let me say that I still cling to the fact that God loves me. He has my best interests at heart in everything He leads me to and leads me through. I don’t know why I tend so heavily toward depression. I don’t know why my relationship with my youngest son is such a mess or why we didn’t know he needed us to rescue him from himself when he was a kid. I don’t know why we have to constantly struggle to make ends meet. Why we can’t ever rest because we can’t seem to keep our bills paid. I don’t know why we had to endure all those years, those decades with our marriage in shambles. I don’t know why He kept us together through all that other than to receive the healing we did. To show us that it’s never too late.
So as I sit here, in tears, hurting and wishing I understood, wishing things weren’t the way they are but having no clue how to change it. Worrying how we’ll pay for things, if I’ll ever not hurt when I’m with my baby son, if I’ll ever be able to have all my kids together, daughters-in-law included, and not have to worry that they’re trading barbs or if what they’re saying carries a double meaning, worrying that we will have spent our entire marriage scrapping, struggling to have enough money to pay bills and buy medicine. Feeling SO tired of worrying. So guilty that I worry when I am supposed to trust God. Feeling like such a failure in so many, many ways…. just know that later, maybe not tomorrow, but later, soon… I will be better. I’ll realize things aren’t as dismal as they seem, that God’s still got me.
God always has me. This I know. <3
I went back for…what’s this? My third appointment? Yeah, my THIRD appointment with Dr. Kim. I already knew I was better. The past two days I’ve had less pain and more energy than I have in months and months!
It’s amazing! I am praising the Lord because I was in sad shape. I didn’t wanna move for the aches all over my body, mostly my neck and shoulders. When those hurt, there’s not a whole lot you can do without hurting, ya know?
She was almost more excited than I was when I rated my pain for her. And then when she felt my neck, she got really fired up!
First of all, my atlas had kept the last adjustment, which in and of itself is a miracle. I never stayed “in” from one appointment to the next with anyone else. Sometimes with my last chiro, I would get out to the parking lot and feel myself “go out” of alignment and just go back in to be adjusted again. The swollen knot at the base of my neck that’s been there for years is almost gone, I have lots more range of motion in my neck.
It is just amazing! I am SO thankful God put Dr. Kim in my path because I was a pitiful mess and just getting worse as the days went by. I know I’m better because I’ve had the energy and presence of mind to start working on this house and folks, I haven’t had the gumption to do any of that in a long time. I went through all the paper that had amassed itself on the bar, got it sorted, filed or tossed as needed and actually cleared the kitchen bar/island. You can’t imagine how much better that makes me feel! I also got the other main counter in the kitchen cleaned and cleared, even cleaning the stove thoroughly and wiping down all the small appliances.
I’m sure that sounds like nothing to most of you, but for me? It’s a big ol’ deal. I’ve been sleeping since I got back just before noon, which is good I guess since I didn’t sleep much last night. It took me forever to get to sleep (it was a little after 1 am) and then I was up a couple different times. Once because my Dexcom kept alarming but I was sleeping through it. Actually, it was my phone alarms (for the Dex) I was sleeping through and the Dex receiver was in the living room, where poor Tommy had fallen sound asleep in the recliner. So he ended up waking me to drink some juice. After that, of course, I had to get up and pee. Sheesh!
Anyhow, I’m trying not to beat myself up for taking such a long nap, but seriously, I probably needed it. I woke up with a slight low, but now I’m doing good and am thinking I’ll tackle another part of the kitchen and make that my goal…getting it completely cleaned.
Since that’s where we come into the house, it’s hard to keep tidy, but I’ve let it go WAY too long in my feel bads and depression til it overwhelmed me so much I froze. I’d look at it and want to clean it, but felt I didn’t know where to start. Sometimes I might even make a tiny stab at cleaning it up, but then I’d get so tired or it would hurt to move so much that I’d just give up.
I got my new TENS/EMS unit, it’s this Ultima Combo TENS/EMS unit, and am working the snot out of it as I type. I went to sleep with it on my neck and shoulders in TENS mode. That’s the nerve stimulation, where it sends pulses of electricity to help alleviate pain in muscles and joints. This one also has an EMS mode, which is Electrical Muscle Stimulation. This is what sports types use to help tone their muscles or work out even more the muscles that need it or are hard to tone other ways. I’ve got this sucker stuck on the flab that has begun to form on my arms. You know, that part of your granny that keeps waving at people even after she stops moving her hand. Like some stalker-type person who wants desperately to be your friend but they’re just so creepy, you can’t even!
- shudder * Arm flab!! I just can’t deal with it. I will wear this thing 24/7 if it’ll keep that off me. (And yes, it works. I Googled it before I ordered the unit. I figure it ought to do more than just keep me from hurting so bad, right?)
That’s pretty much my day so far. I stopped at the pharmacy on the way home and picked up a couple of Tommy’s scripts and now I’m here working on the blog.
I have another post rolling around in my head. I may lay that on you a little later or maybe this weekend. Til then, have a great day and see how many blessings you can count!
[this post contains an affiliate link to a product I recommend!]
So this has happened before. Not often, really, but it happens. Someone you know or another part of your family gets hit with the Diabeast and comes to you for advice.
The first time this happened, I was still pretty young and a younger cousin of mine was diagnosed when she was three. Several years later, after I was in high school, her mom would call me every so often asking about something or other, just trying to understand her daughter a little better.
The next time, I was married and trying to care for a toddler and a baby. One of my very best friends from high school was on vacation with her parents and her sister and nieces when one of them got terribly sick, was taken to the ER where the diagnosis was made. All this took place while they were about 12 hours from home. I think, in this instance, my friend wanted more comfort than advice from me. I didn’t realize it then. I felt like an awful failure because I was at a loss for what to tell her. But I think it was more that she wanted reassurance that it would all be okay, that her little niece wasn’t dying and they would all learn to cope with diabetes and it would become much less mysterious soon.
Last week, it was a friend of mine from our Emmaus community whose 10-year-old daughter, K, was diagnosed. I actually know this lady’s mother better but have spent time with this young mom, M, several times and knew her well enough to reach out first.
Her husband posted a picture of K on Facebook saying something about this being “the first of many pokes for this little girl.” Somehow, I just knew it had to be diabetes. I messaged M privately to tell her I didn’t KNOW what was going on, but I suspected what it was, and that she could contact me anytime if she needed.
She soon messaged back saying the doctors were telling her they “suspected” type 1 since K’s fasting blood sugar was over 250. I tried to comfort her the best I could, but to prepare her for the inevitable. I told her unless it was something off the wall that I didn’t know about, that the diagnosis was likely to be type 1 diabetes.
You don’t know how I second-guessed myself about that. But I didn’t see any use in delaying the fact that was eventually going to hit her. I figured I should start preparing her. I’ve sent messages a few time since they released K, sent some photos of my CGM and my pump site with my cool Grifgrips and some neat memes about how awesome type 1s are and how we can do anything except make insulin. Ha.
It really seems like M and K are both doing really great with the diagnosis and learning this new way of life. I’m so thankful for that! I began by trying to tell M things that K should know, only…most of it wasn’t really applicable to her yet or she wasn’t able to understand them until she’d had more experience with T1D. Then I thought I’d try to tell M things to watch out for or learn, etc. but then I thought, “Who am I to try and tell her that stuff. I am not the mother of a diabetic!” But… I AM a mom, so I can see things from both sides of this a little better, I think.
Here are things I would say to each of them:
Don’t be scared. (okay, I KNOW you’re scared, but please try not to let your child see the panic I know you must be feeling. they need to know mom & dad can handle this. if you cry a little, that’s okay, but don’t break down into a puddle of moans and flying snot. your child NEEDS YOU to be STRONG! you can have that crying fit in private or in the presence of their dad or your own mom, anyone but your newly diagnosed child. thank you!)
Don’t freak out at all the information they may throw at you in the next couple days in the hospital. You have time to learn it and you WILL learn it. Trust me.
As much as is possible, let your T1D child tend to their own business. What I mean is, this is THEIR disease, not yours. As much as you’d probably love to take it away, you can’t so let them learn to manage it as much as and as soon as they are willing or able. The sooner they learn it is up to them how good they feel, the sooner they can hold the reigns and manage their now-fuller-than-‘normal’ life. If they seem content to let you handle it all, begin suggesting they do things themselves: count the carbs in this snack, draw up the insulin for injection, use the alcohol pad on the spot you want your shot, etc. Don’t let them give the reigns to you. DO NOT DO IT. You’ll thank me for this later. Both of you.
Don’t let people tell you about “cures” in front of your child. Stop them MID-SENTENCE. Explain to them that this is NOT the same as “the kind” of diabetes they are talking about. Chances are, they won’t understand. That’s okay. It doesn’t matter if they never understand as long as they get it that any cure they’ve heard about will not get rid of your child’s diabetes. If you have to, tell them “Please don’t talk about any ‘cure’ you’ve heard about in front of my child. It can be upsetting if they think this will work and it doesn’t. Thank you for trying to help, but it does more harm than good at this point.” On your side of things, educate your child as much as possible! Don’t make their whole life about diabetes, but do talk casually about any fad or ‘remedy’ you may hear of. The likelihood is high that they may even come home from school with ideas for a cure from classmates or even teachers.
Give your T1D a break. Don’t be “mad” when a fingerstick comes back high and you know it’s because your child has sneaked something extra to eat or they’ve indulged in a sweet at school or a friend’s house. I know you’re probably not mad, you’re worried and you may not even say anything, but do not let it show that you’re upset. As a child diagnosed in the 70’s with T1D, I was scolded and chided by every doctor we saw. My mom never knew what my day-to-day tests were at all unless I was sick (keep in mind, I started out testing urine, not blood!) but any time it was a certain level of “high”, I could feel the disapproval, whether it was intended or not. I’d catch a certain look or hear a certain tone and that’s a lot for a child to shoulder feeling as if they are bad or disappointing just because they ate the other half of that cookie earlier. Instead say, “Oops! What should we do to get that back down?” and let them help figure it out. If you can tell their sugar is high, say, “Uh oh. Did you eat something extra or did you forget to bolus? It’s okay, you’ll do better next time, but what should we do to take care of this? What symptoms are you having?” Let them realize that it’s serious. I’m not saying blow it off, but don’t make each and every time a big production. Realize that sometimes, no matter what we do, our sugar will do something crazy. Sometimes we get tired of trying. Help us get past this bump and get back on track. Be aware of when this hits your child. It can be a sign of depression so the sooner you talk about it, help THEM talk about it, the sooner they’ll feel better. Be your child’s loudest cheerleader.
To the new T1D child:
It’s okay to be scared. Learning that your life just changed so much is hard. It’s scary to hear that you have a disease and will have it for the rest of your life. It is OKAY to be scared, but don’t forget that you are also brave. There are literally millions of kids out there who have been doing all this insulin and testing stuff for a long time. They’re happy, healthy and can do anything other kids do. This is NOT the end of your life. It’s just a different version. You can make it great!
You can do this. It won’t be easy, at least not all the time. And there will some times that it’s just ridiculously hard, but you can do it. It’s my belief that the strongest of us are chosen to have T1D. I don’t know why there has to be diabetes or why you and I have to have it. For some reason we may never know, diabetes had to exist. Only strong people can handle living life with diabetes. You may not feel like a strong person, but apparently you are because you have T1D. Don’t ever forget that.
It’s okay to get tired. You’re going to have days when you just don’t feel like you can give one more shot, do one more fingerstick or count one more carb. That’s just part of living with The Diabeast. Sometimes we get tired. It’s a lot to do day in and day out, all the stuff that we do to keep from getting sick. No wonder we get tired sometimes. When you feel like this, tell someone who loves you, “Hey, I am sick of being a diabetic. I don’t want to do anything diabetic today. I just don’t want to. Can you help me?” Hopefully this someone will be your parent, who can remind you of all the reasons WHY you have to do ‘the diabetic things’ and how many people love you and would be sad to see you get sick. And you WILL get sick if you just throw your arms up and walk away from diabetes. It doesn’t stay where you left it. It comes with you and makes you extremely ill. You could end up in the hospital or even die if you get so tired you just quit without telling anyone. So while it’s okay to get tired, it’s not okay to quit. Getting tired is normal. Quitting is giving up. Don’t be a quitter! Go talk to someone who will encourage you! Pray, read your Bible or something else that makes you happy but let someone know you’re feeling down. That’s important.
Reach out to others who know what it’s like. No matter how much your parents or siblings love you, they probably don’t have type 1 and they will never know what it’s like to live with it. There are just some things they won’t be able to “get” because they never lived it. Find someone who DOES get it. It can be from an online community (there are TONS out there! some especially for kids!) Let your parent help you find a place you can talk about diabetes and not have to explain every detail to them. It could be an adult who was diagnosed with T1D when they were little like you. You don’t have to be best friends with just T1Ds, but you need some in your life to just hear you out and know that they understand.
Don’t let diabetes limit you. I don’t know what you wanted to become before you got T1D, but don’t let it change now. You know, that if we try hard, keep ourselves healthy and manage diabetes well, we can become ANYthing we want, right? You are not disabled. Even if you eventually “qualified” as disabled because of diabetes, that doesn’t mean you are UNable. It just means you have to try harder, be a little more cautious and plan a little more to do whatever you want to do.
Here are just a few famous T1Ds who didn’t let diabetes stand in their way:
Of course, most everyone knows Nick Jonas has type 1 diabetes these days. That’s because he’s been very bold about sharing that information. Way to go, Nick! Next is Jean Smart. She is an amazing actress who was one of my favorites on Designing Women and later on 24. Bret Michaels, who is a multi-talented performer beginning with the band, Poison. Nicole Johnson, who was crowned Miss America in 1999. Gary Hall Jr. competed and won gold swimming in the Olympics.
Do these people look or sound like quitters? Nope. And neither are you!
These are just a few of the things I’d say to someone newly diagnosed with type 1 and to their parents.
What would you add? What questions would you have? Let’s have ’em!
Okay folks, once again, Friday is for us PWD’s (that’s People With Diabetes) but as always, I hope you will all enjoy the post and it will get you thinking about things maybe for the first time!
I just read this article that initially sounded like yet another “we’re closer to a cure for diabetes” thing, but when you got into it, I found that it’s about getting closer to a way to detect future development of T1D and then possibly a way to prevent it from ever developing.
You can read the article here: Type 1 Diabetes Breakthrough: Scientists Identify Key Molecule Targeted By Immune System
See what I mean? The title is like “DIABETES BREAKTHROUGH!” and you’re all like “WOW! YAY! YIPEE!” then it just tells you they’ve discovered a fifth molecule that is attacked by the immune system during the development of type 1 diabetes.
depressing letdown Yeah. I mean, that’s great news and obviously it’s progress, but for me, it is definitely a little anticlimactic!
How does it make you feel when you hear news about a possible cure for diabetes? I’m not talking about the okra-water cures that are constants on Facebook. I mean the news reports from legitimate sources researching a cure. What goes through your mind? Whether you are a diabetic or not, I’m interested in how that makes you feel.
For me it’s a mix of emotions. I’m usually like, “Yay. Thank God those coming behind me might be spared living with this nasty disease.” I never feel hopeful of a cure for me. If you ever look at the clinical testing sites, they want people who were diagnosed t1d within the last year or two, or maybe sometimes you’ll find a study looking for people who have had t1d for as much as ten years, but forget being eligible if you have had it over 20 years. I know this isn’t the case, but to me it feels like they’re saying, “Oh man, you’re practically dead from it already. Sorry, we can’t help you.” Pshhh! Sorry… did I shock you with my killer negativity? Yeah, I apologize. It sneaks out sometimes. grin
So how do you feel when you see things like that? Are you “new” enough to have hope that a cure will be found in time to benefit your life?
If I’m totally honest, my conspiracy-theory self thinks there is already a cure, but it is being suppressed because just think of all the money that would be lost if we didn’t have to pay out big bucks to live?? See? I have this completely pessimistic side and she comes roaring out when it comes to stuff like this.
ANYhow… it IS encouraging that they are learning new things about how diabetes occurs and which genes might be responsible for the misfire that causes our immune systems to attack themselves. Really, guys, it is. I just can’t get too excited because progress is so slow and it’s really already too late for “a cure” to save me.
Heh.. I was telling some friends last night that I’ve had diabetes for so long, I don’t know any other way to live. If I got cured right now, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. How do you go from spending every waking moment calculating and figuring out food values and dosages for everything that crosses over your teeth and trying to decide how this or that activity will affect your fickle disease to … well, to NOT worrying about those things constantly? Ha ha… I guess it’d probably be a lot easier than I imagine, but wow… it’s just not something I can really fathom.
I’m gonna close now, but something has been on my mind that I want to share… a couple of weeks ago, I was talking to a friend while waiting for a low to pass so I could drive home. (fyi: don’t drive when your sugar is low, ‘kay?) I was explaining something or other about dealing with diabetes when she said, “I thought your pump took care of that.” I’m pretty sure I contained my dumbfoundment enough that I didn’t bump my chin on the floor, but I was really stunned that she didn’t understand any better than that.
I guess I just assumed she’d been around me enough to realize, but I guess that’s not the case. Or maybe I had never really discussed the finer points with her specifically? I dunno and really, maybe I shouldn’t have been so shocked, but I guess it really floored me that she thought my insulin pump was essentially like a cure. That as long as I was on the pump, I didn’t have to worry about the disease anymore.
WOW! People of the world! AN INSULIN PUMP IS NOOOOT A CURE!! It is merely another tool in the arsenal that helps us manage life! I guess I should admit here that I HAVE used the term “external pancreas” to describe the pump to people before. Now I’m rethinking that!! I can’t assume that people understand that while a pump is MUCH MORE like that than treating with MDI (multiple daily injections) for most of us, but we STILL have to calculate everything, still have to manage the unexpected, unexplainable lows and highs that can happen. We still have to deal with going into DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) if the cannula kinks or we put the port into an area with scar tissue that won’t properly absorb the insulin, or we sweat too much and the adhesive comes loose and the cannula pulls out or… I could go on with a list of possible things that could go wrong, but you get the picture, right?
That’s part of the reason I am writing more about diabetes here than I ever have before. I believe this wholeheartedly:
I have diabetes. That’s me, I am a PWD, a Person With Diabetes, but diabetes, no matter how hard it may try, does NOT have me! It doesn’t define me. It makes me strong, makes me tough, makes me determined but it will not defeat me. I may die from the blasted monster, but it will never control me. I want to live my life to the fullest, be all I can be, yadda yadda… and diabetes may slow me down, it may make me do things a little differently, a little more cautiously, but it won’t keep me from doing what I want. It may put me in The Pit (depression) for periods of time, it may make me more susceptible to The Pit, but it won’t keep me there. Never.
ahem Soooo…. how DO you feel about this?? Please share. I’d love to hear your thoughts! Let’s encourage each other, lift each other up, whether you are a PWD or not, if you know me, you have a vested interest in learning about diabetes, you have reason to be concerned about possible cures and other diabetes news. Chances are, someone you know in your own life (if we aren’t friend IRL (in real life) that has diabetes. It’s like a plague these days and we don’t understand it well enough to know why! Get involved. You don’t have to go join the ADA or JDF, but learn all you can. Be knowledgeable. What you learn could one day save my or another PWD’s life, after all!
Please share this post and share your thoughts here!! THANKS!
Acknowledgement: All images in this post courtesy of Type 1 Diabetes Community FB group
Hey y’all. I’m working so hard, trying to increase traffic here…build an audience, a subscription list, whatever else a successful blogger does. Most of the time, I feel like I’m just flopping around, splashing water into the floor, making a mess.
I see some steadiness in the amount of traffic, so I suspect some of you are just awesomely loyal readers and probably close friends who stop by often to see what crazy thing I’ve posted. I am so thankful for you!
I know I’ve said it before, but this blogging thing is a big deal to me. I started it after months and months of stewing and praying about whether I should even try. I’ve blogged off and on for about 16 years, so it seemed like the natural thing for me to do…try to monetize the thing I am so passionate about. I felt (and still feel, btw) that God was really nudging me in this direction and so, even though I didn’t feel completely ready, I took the plunge. I plopped down what little was left from our tax refund and started this site.
Looking back, a month later now, I see many mistakes. I think most of them are easily overcome though and not the kind that will break me or the blog. I still don’t understand stupid AdSense or why my husband can get an account with them like snap that and me, with my two (now three!) google accounts, can’t get any of them approved. I’m not sure I’m missing much though. I’m learning that AdSense isn’t the end-all-be-all it has been purported to be, so I have pursued other means of generating income through my blog.
Some of them I am pleased about, and some I will be glad when I can be done with. And no, for the record, I haven’t made a single cent so far. That really concerns me, but I have to remind myself how new it all is. I can’t do it all at once and I need to be patient.
But BOY, is that hard!!
Today, when I went to look at a “blogging schedule” thingie I got from the web, for today it says to post about relaxing. BAHAHAHA!! What is that even?!? I don’t have time right now to relax, and certainly not about the state of my blog. Some of these ‘blog helps’ aren’t really geared toward me, ya know? Many of the blogs in these groups are about how to create a successful website, how to find a niche to build, how to monetize and market whatever you are selling.
I just wanna share life with my readers. I want to encourage and inspire. I want my readers to leave feeling better than they did when they pulled up my site. I want them to find the courage to go on, the determination to stick it out. The comfort of knowing they are not alone, the peace of knowing someone else out here has been where they are. I want the person with t1d to find a friend, someone to commiserate with and rejoice in whatever victories we accomplish as PWD’s. (persons with diabetes)
I want the homeschooling mom to know she can do it and I know she can because I did it. I want her to know that the great mistake she feels she’s made is not the end. That she and her children are far better off just because she tried to teach them at home, whether she continues or not. And no matter what, as long as she is trying to do her very best for her kids, she is a winner!
I want that couple who is struggling with some sexual incompatibility or physical problem to know they are not alone. I want them to realize it’s okay to talk about it and that there are people out here who can help, both professionals and people like me who have been there, done that. I want that woman to know she’s not the first or only one to be facing what she is, and that she need not bury herself in depression and self-hatred or guilt because there is hope. I want to keep her and her husband from living the hell that we did for 30 years and to find healing and hope!
More than all this, I want people to know there is hope, no matter what the situation is, there is hope. There is peace to be had, no matter how big the mess or how damaged their soul, Peace is there for the asking in the person of Jesus Christ. I want them to know that it is because of Jesus that I am alive today. That I’m able to share and talk about the issues, struggles and problems in my life. Ultimately, I believe this is the reason God has been urging me to write.
I haven’t touched my book in over 6 months, but perhaps soon I’ll dig back into it. I still feel He is calling me to write it, but I’m at another crossroad about which direction to take with it. (ANY feedback would be appreciated on this, folks!!) The book has lived in my head for many years as a sort-of memoir, a story of my life and how I have dealt with diabetes, the depression and all the other physical and emotional side effects of having a chronic disease for so long. However, as we have come to this place of healing in our marriage, I feel THAT is also a topic that needs to be shared. It, of course, is much more personal, deeply painful but ultimately hopeful since our long journey through this has ended with our beginning the healing process. My conundrum is should these be separate or combined?
You probably didn’t know this, but I have a problem with compartmentalizing. ha ha! Meaning, I can’t do it. You may have noticed I began this post talking about the blog and now, here I am asking for input and suggestions for a direction of a book! I need help with my wandering mind, my rambling style of writing.
I know there are some writers out there who read here occasionally. I also know there are lots of readers who come here too. I want to hear from you! What appeals to you in a book? What topics are you most interested in? What are you most interested in learning more about? Help me out!
I look forward to a great discussion and some awesome feedback and suggestions! Let’s help each other!