Tuesday, December 17, 2013

35 Months!

Thursday marks the final month of the 2 year month anniversaries. 35 months since the day my Daddy decided to take his own life.

I have decided to celebrate the 3 year Anniversary this year. With a movie, or something fun or volunteering that day. Something that brings me joy, cause that is what he would want. A day filled with happy thoughts and memories. Even after the horror, the only thing I can think he would want is for me to be happy. So I am going to honor that and do my damnedest. (Said while tears flow down my cheek)

If I've learned anything from my therapy, my loony bin stay (insert dance party here), or my 35 months of experience grieving the loss of a loved one to suicide...it's that I am the ONLY person who can control my life. I alone control my thoughts, which control my actions which control my outcome in life. If I wanna live a fulfilling life, I have to fill it with things that bring me joy.

Starting Thursday, I will be volunteering at my kids school on a regular almost everyday basis. I will be helping my sons class on Friday which he cannot stop talking about. They both are eager to see my face on campus. If they only knew it is I who is bursting with anticipation. I've waited for so long to be well enough to be able to give back at their school.

I wish I could sit them down and really explain to them why I haven't been able to do it sooner, but they wouldn't understand the level of grief and depression I have endured. I have spent hours crying, days and weeks wishing I had a different life. Void of the dark demons that lurked around every corner. I had no idea the kind of pain I could feel emotionally. No one can quite understand the grief that comes with trauma.

The things I saw that day, the aftermath of his death, it is only something fellow Suicide Survivors can understand. Even Soldiers, or Police Officers/First Responders, as bad as their images of gore and death. They all don't see the most important man in their life blown to pieces. They don't live in the house where it happened for 3 months after, (14 of those days with the remains of a shotgun wound to the head outside your bedroom window) I am not saying I'm special, or that I have a loss greater than others, I am simply saying that the way my personal loss affected me is different, just as someone losing their parent to Cancer. I can't even imagine. The years of pain and suffering some people have to endure. All loses are different, mine just happens to involve a very messy suicide.

My life 35 months later is still filled with grief and depression. I am just better at dealing with it. It hasn't left me, the images of him laying there, they aren't just gone. They are seconds away from being in my head at any given moment. Watching horror or violent movies almost makes me laugh. It's so fake and not at all like the real thing. But, the sudden loud BANG of something in the neighborhood sends me into a state of pure panic. The sound of a song that we used to sing together brings me to my knees. 35 months later and it's still a battle I fight daily.

But, through all of that, I still have joy, hope, love, happiness and a longing to help others and give back. I have 2 really great children that fill my life with so much joy, a Husband who is my ROCK and best friend. Friends that would fly to come see you at the drop of a hat, and others that show me daily why I am proud of the person I have become. I have a home that is decorated to the 9's and filled with so much love, and creative hobbies and outlets that allow me to enjoy creating things. I really am blessed.

So after 35 months of hell, I can say that I am happy with my life and the direction it is headed. I've made it through hell and back, nothing can stop me now!

Happy Holidays to each of you!!

Peace and Love

Whitney

Friday, November 1, 2013

Why hello nightmare

Last night, like many nights before, I had a severely realistic nightmare. When they happen, they are as real as real life. I can smell, taste, touch, hear and see everything. It's like I am transported back to the moment I found him. Or just before. This time it was me seeing everything leading up to the moment he put the barrel of the shotgun in his mouth. The rest is pretty obvious, and I'll spare you the gory details.

I saw him crying, like a baby, shaking, hands trembling around the barrel. Eyes full of tears and him softly talking to himself. He was so sad. So so very sad.

I've had nightmares of him talking to me with half a face, seen myself standing over his body, had visions of nothing but blood covered fences and walls. You name it, I've had a nightmare regarding that day. But this one was different. It was as if I was being shown how deeply hurting he really was. Cause my Daddy wasn't one to cry. Unless it was after a performance, or after a nice hand written card. He was a happy crier. Not a sad one.

But this was sad, this was snot coming out the nose, whaling and crying like a child. He was reluctant. Putting the barrel in his mouth and then removing in to cry and even gagged a few times. Like I said, real. REALLY REAL. Then he finally stopped crying shook his head and with trembling hands placed the barrel back in his mouth, leaned back in the kiddie pool, slipped off his shoe and put his big toe on the trigger and then BANG.

My Daddy in pieces. Blood covering me all over, it was warm and sticky. It was about a graphic as any horror movie I've ever seen. Plus the realness of it all it what shook me the most.

I just witnessed the whole thing. Start to finish instead of just the finish.

I awoke at 4am drenched in sweat, and was crying and trembling so bad I couldn't stand up. It took me over 10 minutes to compose myself enough to stand up and get dressed. It's 9:23am and I swear it's like it just happened. I'm shaky, fighting back tears and quite messed up over a nightmare that happened hours ago.

My PTSD is my major focus with my Psychiatrist right now, and this is why. The nightmares are becoming more frequent again. My anxiety has subsided and is at a very manageable state (well not today) and my depression is only being treated as a bi-product of my PTSD. That I am not actually a depressed person, just a person suffering with depressive issue as the result of the trauma I endured.

I am listening to music, I tried to meditate, and will probably go take the dog for a walk. All things I try to calm my anxiety and refocus my energy onto something else. Hence this blog. I needed to get it out. What I saw last night shook me, hard. Hours later and I feel like it just happened.

While this may be a setback, life in general is good. Really good actually. We are putting our home on the market in 2 weeks and hope to build a new home close to the kids school in the next few months. Exciting things are happening in the Aymar house. Todd is still loving his job and is still planning to be a Director by the end of next year. I know he'll do it too, he is a total rockstar at work. Whit Did It is doing well, and I hope to get back into Photography in the next few months as well. Nora was just given an award at school for her excellent academic and behavioral performance in the 1st quarter. Landen is reading adult books and really into science, he also just finished another season on Soccer where he was named Best Defender. We couldn't be any prouder.

I look forward to the next few Months of Holidays, and hopefully selling our house and building a new one! I also hope that as I continue on my journey of grieving that I finally get rid of these nightmares. Cause I can tell you, I am done with them.

Peace and Love,
Whitney

Sunday, October 20, 2013

With age comes wisdom?

Learning why you have done something heinous is never easy. It's a daunting task, but a necessity. Why did I do it? Why didn't I do something else?

Let it go! It's in the past and cannot be replayed redone or erased. Let go of past pain too! It's like anger, holding that burning coal until your hand is burnt to a crisp. The other person may walk around blameless, but you can't change that. That is something they must deal with internally.

Did you know life doesn't stop when your Daddy blows his head off? People pause, grieve with you temporarily and either get sick of the grief or actually stick around and show you who is true and meant to be in your life. If someone cannot show compassion and understanding for a grieving, abandoned, angry person who just lost her Father, you my dear have lost humanity and compassion. But again, that person will have someone telling them they're right and they will continue to feel faultless. It is again something you should let go. Not worth it!

You must get up and start again. Use every ounce of strength in your small body and pull yourself from the depths of darkness to see that there is so much more good than bad. More light than darkness, more positive than negative. A new business, building a new home, starting a pay it forward group. You must allow your wings to develop and fly away free from anger and grief.

I learned in my loony bin stay that I am the only person in control of me. I cannot blame others for how I feel inside. I have work to do, I am far from perfect, but Lord knows I am trying!

"No matter how bad the situation, a good can and will come out of it!"
-Whitney Aymar

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

What I've been up to :)



Here is a look at the projects I have completed through my new business venture Whit Did It


Friday, September 20, 2013

Dancing My Way Outta the Mental Hospital

This is not going to be an easy post for me to share. You can judge me if you want, but if I've learned anything in the past week, I don't even care. I am proud of what I gained from my stay. But, wish a certain person who barely knows me didn't decide to be dramatic and call 911 when I was already looking up inpatient places to go. You have NO clue what I had to endure. The COST that we are going to have to pay. But, regardless. Here it goes...

On 9/12/13 after exchanging text messages with said person: I simply tried to get her off my back. She was pestering me and I wanted to be left alone so that I could focus on finding a place to go. She sent a mutual friend to my house, I hadn't showered in days, my face was full of scars from where I had picked at my skin during my manic state and was in no mood for a visitor. So I asked her to have her leave. Thankfully minutes AFTER my Husband had left to take both of the kid to my son's Soccer practice my doorbell was being rang and my door was being pounded on. I knew that knock. The same knock I heard when I called 911 with my Dad. Before I knew it I was being escorted to my coffee table and asked to sit on my hands as they frantically searched for my medications and asked me where any weapons were located. I calmly described where the 2 bottles of medication were located and that we owned no guns. They then made me take of my wedding rings. Telling me they were sharp and a hazard. Then came the gurney. Oh yeah, another fun memory of the day my Dad commit suicide. It was all so similar. It was a ZOO! They allowed me to go upstairs (by police escort) to place my rings in a safe location and grab my cell phone, but the second I was back downstairs they strapped me down to the gurney and without any choice of mine took me to the ER.

The problem here is that I never actually threatened my life. But the person that called 911 told them that. So that is what was documented. So I was treated as someone who ATTEMPTED. Another fun thing to endure. Remember again that I was already seeking treatment. I had called my Psychiatrist, texted my Mother in Law who is a Mental Health Nurse, and had conversations with a few of my close friends. So for this person to take everything so dramatically really REALLY pisses me off. After about 10 hours in the hospital I was taken AGAIN by ambulance to a Mental Hospital in Phoenix. I was told by the Social Worker in the Hospital that it was the nicest one in AZ and that I would be there 24-72 hours. So I mentally had commit for 3 days. To my surprise, upon arrival, they had plans to keep me no shorter than 7-10 days.

7-10 days away from my kids!!?! Hell fucking no! I freaked out. I wanted to be released, and that was a whole other set of rules. If I left on my own accord, I would then be petitioned by the Doctor that had a piece of paper saying I threatened my own life, who would make me a WARD OF THE STATE and they would take me away by Police and transfer me to a State Facility for 30-90days. WOAH!!!

I spent the first 24 hours crying. I was scared, thrown to the wolves and in a MENTAL HOSPITAL! I had no resource for my Crohns Disease and was treated in the beginning by the support staff like a drug addict. They only game me the Psych meds ordered and shots to help contain my nausea. Which was constant and I lost almost 10lbs in my 6 night stay. So that is another struggle in itself.

I came to my senses, told them I would continue treatment and really gave each meeting and group my all. I participated, I listened and more importantly, I LEARNED.

I started to talk with the other patients in my ward and started realizing they were people just like I was. Mothers, Grandmothers, Wives, Sisters, Daughters that had been through hell and just got to a point where they wanted to be done with it all. Soon I started hearing from complete strangers how fun I was. What?? Fun? Me? No. Beautiful? Me? NO WAY! They filled me with so much positive energy and love that I was overwhelmed while tearfully saying goodbye to them at the end.

Regardless of HOW I got to this place, I took it for what it was and learned a ton! I have laughed and cried more in the past week than I have since 1/19/11 when I found my Father after he took his life. I was ME again. I was spunky and positive and energized. I was given tools to become a better Mother, Wife and Friend, I was also blessed with the feeling that I my Dad was so proud of me when I laid crying in my bed alone and suddenly felt fingers through my hair and a male voice in my head, one I haven't heard in 33 months telling me that I would get through this. That I was strong and that NOTHING can ever get me down.

To the person who decided to call 911, I hope next time you decide to call 911 you think of the implications of that phone call. The COST, the PAIN, and the overall shock you caused. You barely even know me. My friend had already reached out, I was already on the course. But because you called and I didn't go on my accord I am going to be left with two outrageous ambulance rides and a ER visit. There goes ALL our tax money. Thanks for that.

During treatment we got recreation time, which meant we got to go into a big room that was full of exercise equipment and a Wii with Dance Revolution and a Karaoke Machine. OH yeah! I danced daily, I sang, I danced in the hall ways with the ladies to pick up spirits, even getting the Nurses in on our random dance parties. Life handed me a lemon and I made the best damn lemonade ever. When normally it gives me heartburn :)

I met some really beautiful people who I plan to keep in contact with, and I feel proud that I sought treatment for my PTSD and anxiety issues.

I am home and healing, and have totally re-evaluated my entire life. I plan to become better than I ever thought, I plan to do more than I thought possible, and feel like the sky is the limit. I have a new lease on life. Time to dance my way through life and create new things daily and live every moment I get to the fullest!

So to the people in my life who are probably loving this entry, enjoy it. Cause it is you who lacks compassion, not me.

I plan to do everything in my power to pay it forward. Hence my honesty about where I have been the past week and why I went manic.

Since my Dad commit suicide, I never took a single day to grieve. I just kept going. So I am glad that I am finally learning to really let go of things that I never before could. It's a blessing. Another round of lemonade anyone?

If you are struggling, I highly suggest seeking treatment. Regardless if it is outpatient or inpatient. If you are stuck in bed for days, if you feel helpless or invisible. YOU AREN'T!!! You are just in a rut and there IS a way out! I promise! It's totally worth it!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

My list

I posted the following status on my Facebook today:

While there are people suffering the loss of a loved one, while there are starving children, while there are parents with children suffering from terminal illnesses, while wars rage on...I remain thankful for each and every second. Life is a blessing, don't take it for granted.


There are so many things to be thankful for. I dare you to sit down and make a list. 

Mine:
My Mother
My Husband
My Children
Our beautiful house
My family
My incredible friends
My Husband's job (that he LOVES!)
My up and coming business venture
The love and happiness that flow through our house
Yoga!
Meditation
My blog and the healing it has given me
Making it past 2 years 5 months and 28 days 

You get the idea...

I could go on and on.

The most important,  and equally challenging lesson that I have learned is that you have to find happiness within yourself.  You have to remove negative energy/people to help assist you on your path of positivity.  You have to deal with any issues you have (for me it's been my depression,  anxiety, sensitivity and skin picking) all of which get better daily. 

When your inside is clear of negativity, when you are able to give without expectations, amazing things happen. 

You're happier and more motivated! It's a beautiful thing to experience. 

The reality of my life, no B.S: 
I am happier today, right now, than I have been in over a decade. I have dealt with my issues through treatment (by the best Psychiatrist ever!) Through yoga and meditation.  Through volunteering, through random acts of kindness. Anything I can to try to make someones day. 

Give this inner journey a try. It's so worth it!!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

That Day

January 19, 2011. The day. The day that will forever be remembered.  Every second of that day plays back daily. Little flashbacks. "DO NOT GO OUTSIDE!  Call the Police. I'M SORRY!" A small handwritten warning of things to come. A warning I immediately ignored. I knew. I knew it meant he was dead. 

If only I had heeded his warning. I wouldn't have seen him. Splattered across our backyard. No head, just a body rested in the kiddie pool we spent so many wonderful evening around. His dead body was covered in blood and brain matter. A very large portion of his brain and skull laid next to the kiddie pool, an image I can seen in high definition. It's the hardest one to forget.

I stood over the chaos for what seemed like an hour. Waiting to wake up,waiting to blink, to breathe...but it was all real. It is all real. 

I called 911 as I dropped to my knees next to the left overs of the greatest man I had ever known. For four hours I answered questions, I drew pictures of what I saw, I sat at the dinner table where I sat with him each night, and talked to Homicide Detectives, Crime Scene Photographers, and the last and final step was when they wheeled him out. Zipped up in a black bag, my Daddy was gone.

He made the choice to take his life. A choice that has forever changed my life. A choice that to this day I wish he wouldn't of made. 

I miss him still so much it literally pains me to think that I cannot just walk down the hallway and see his always smiling face. He is gone. Really gone. 

That day is something I battle against daily. The images of what I saw, the memories of that day, will be with me forever. 

I URGE YOU TO THINK ABOUT YOUR LOVED ONES BEFORE YOU MAKE THE CHOICE TO END YOUR LIFE. THE AFTERMATH IS HORRIFYING, AND LASTS A LIFETIME. YOU'RE IMPORTANT,  LOVED AND MEAN SOMETHING. PLEASE CHOOSE LIFE! SPARE SOMEONE FROM MY EXPERIENCE. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Far From Perfect

The other day I asked my friends to give me 1 word to describe me. These were the following answers:

Strong
Creative
Genuine
Empathetic
Crafty
Happy
Compassionate
Uplifting
Positive
Thoughtful
Inspiration
Hero
Enduring
Inspiring
Courageous
Determined
Extravert
Unabashed
Kind
Generous
Thoughtful

My reason for asking my Family and Friends to do this was to prove a point.

If I were to make a list of words I felt described me they would be as follows:
Weak
Sick
Ugly
Scarred
Broken
Depressed

The reflection I see in my mirror doesn't match what others in my life see. Though slowly I have worked towards believing in myself. Seeing what others see.

This is a daunting process when there are individuals who are literally hoping for me to fail. When I don't have the support from Family I once had, or my Dad who always saw the very best in me.

As daunting as it may be, the more I look at the reflection the more beauty I discover, the stronger I feel. It's a beautiful thing to experience.

I have and will never pretend to be anything other than me. I don't sugar coat my life, or pretend to be something or someone I am not. Instead I spend each day making my reflection match my heart and soul which are what make up all the beautiful words used to describe myself by those around me.

I am far from perfect, but perfectly flawed. I am able to see past all the BS and drama and focus on the positives. This has always been my strongest asset in life. Perception!

Yet, I am still plagued by night terrors of the sound of myself screaming "Noooo! Oh please nooo! Daddy nooo!" While standing over his body with no face and blood everywhere. I wake up covered in sweat and can't shake the image all day long.

I wish I could say that I am perfect,  free of faults and bad memories and GRIEF. But that would be a lie. It is a part of me. Far from perfect.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Company We Keep

When you grow up, you start to learn valuable lessons regarding trust and the company you keep.

If you surround yourself with bitter, selfish, negative people, you will soon feed off of their energy, and it will bring you down.

If you choose to only surround yourself with others who raise you up and keep you on the right spiritual path, you will feed off of the positivity and find yourself becoming a better you.

This can be difficult among women whom are naturally competitive and well....hormonal. I see it every day, women feeling the need to buy a bigger better something to feel superior, or flaunt a title, or brag about what school their child attends, or how much they just spent on this and that. It's sad. But true. Who really cares?

Why not lift each other up? Lend a hand with no expectations.  Help your fellow sista out! There is no competition. No race to win or golden statue to display proudly on your mantel.

I have made the choice to surround myself with only people whom share this sisterly connection.  Friends who give without anticipating something in return. Friend's who value their families and husbands but don't compare or compete. Most importantly,  friends who don't talk about me or blab to everyone who will listen about their "friends" personal secrets. These are the people that need to stop assuming their always right, look in the mirror and see the ugliness they are spreading.

I think it comes with maturity, and with life experience. But, I am certain that the company I choose to keep now is those who share my non-competitive, drama free ideology.

 I am in competition with no one, I run my own race, I have no desire to play the game of being better than anyone, in any way, shape, or form. I just aim to improve, to be better than I was before. That's me and I'm free. 

Be free with me won't you :) Help instead of hurt, love instead of hate, peace instead of war. It's your choice.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Gussy


Since the day my son, my first born child, Landen Douglas (we call him Gus, or Gussy) was born (6/25/2005 at 9lbs 8oz after 36hrs of labor and hours upon hours of pushing), until he was 15 months old, I was with him every single day. 24-7. I lost sleep, I cried and felt helpless because he got ear infections every 6 weeks from the day he was born until he was 18 month old and got his first set of ear tubes. He also suffered from Reflux. But, to his charm, he was the happiest baby. He woke with a huge smile on face each morning. We shared such a special relationship and the 15 months I spent home with him were hard, but worth every issue we faced. When I started working in Preschool, he came with me to work. So even while working, I had the great blessing of seeing him often and still comforting him when needed. Every single Teacher he had fell in love with him. They still check in on him via Facebook to this day. 

But, he is NOT perfect. No one is. Me especially. He has had to endure a lot in his small time on this Earth, and it's unfortunate that it has affected him greatly. He has a sensory issue with water. This has made getting him to swim on his own very difficult. If his shirt gets wet, or he steps in a DROP of water from one of our 3 dogs after getting a drink, he will proceed to hop on one foot until he has made it to a rug to wipe his foot off. But, he takes showers independently. He is particular about his socks and shoes. They have to be on right and fit right in order for him to wear them without constantly complaining about how something isn't right. I think it's more about control. OCD ish. You're welcome son. That one is from your Mama. 

Most important, he is sensitive. For example, while playing with a friend for a few hours, the friend exclaimed "I'm not gonna be your friend anymore" in response to him not wanting to play. His response to this common phrase used among children, him in a puddle of tears somewhere hiding. This is a work in progress, as we try to explain to him that sometimes he needs to just let things go. So I brought up a story of when he was about 4 or 5 he used to say "You're not going to my Birthday Party!" whenever upset with his Sister or, well anyone. Haha. He laughed and thought it was funny. But, it used to make his Sister cry. Point made. High five to self. But, in reality, he is still sensitive, and this is going to be an ongoing issue. 

He isn't void of inner strength, he did SO WELL during this past Spring soccer season and started really getting aggressive and taking initiative to go after the ball that by the end of the season, he looked as well versed in soccer as some of the other boys who had been playing for years. 

He also, isn't a wuss. He can handle pain! At a practice, he was goalie as each player got to boot a shot into the goal. Well, one little boy (with a CANNON for a foot) booted a ball straight into his face. Hit him straight between the eyes and the bridge of his nose. EVERY SINGLE parent and the Coach and Assistant Coach ran towards him. He held his hands over his eyes that were welling up with tears, took a breath and took his goal stance. No ice, no need to sit down and recover. He was ready for the next ball. This single act was proof enough to me and anyone there that my son has some serious inner strength. It brings me to tears just thinking of how proud I was, and am. 

But, sadly, his struggles after my Father's suicide left him in a struggle to communicate his grief and anger. So he acted out. In school, at home, everywhere. He struggled, and we sought him treatment with a Psychologist who eventually got him back on track. 

He is getting ready for second grade and is reading and a 5th grade level and tested really high for Math, Reading and Phonics. He is still on track to skip 3rd grade and we are still in no rush :) If he wakes up before my Husband or I, he will make himself breakfast, get dressed for school, pack his lunch and be all ready to go before it's even 6am! Haha. He keeps his room clean, helps his Sister clean hers and is always asking to help me to housework. 

While his Sister attends Summer Theatre Camp with her bestie for the next 3 weeks, I get the chance to be alone with him for 3 hours a day. I am SO EXCITED! I have a million things planed.

He is almost 8, and I just cannot believe what a beautiful human being he has become. Both inside and out! 
He is flawed, as am I, and every other human being. But, flaws aside he is caring, and loving, and helpful and smart and funny and the best little man I could have ever have hoped for! 

Taken 6/8/2013 

At our Marriage Renewal/Do Over...lol
9/30/2012


Just a few of my favorites of him:











Thursday, June 6, 2013

What do YOU value?

If you were stranded alone on a deserted island with no hope of ever returning home, what things of value would you bring if only given...let say 10.

First, you have to evaluate what you consider of value.

Growing up in a society that brainwashes us into thinking we need certain things in order to live our lives. When in reality, we only need food, water and shelter to survive.

We only need the love and support of a few to thrive. Yet somehow we search for more. We buy more. We "need" more!

A large majority of our society is living in houses owned by banks, driving vehicles that again, are owned by banks. Buying stuff with credit cards instead of cash. Living a life of paying for things you don't technically own yet.

I was one of these people, I put value upon things that we didn't actually own or need. We drove fancy new cars, spent money frivolously. Paying for items with credit only to have realized I didn't actually need the item. It's a vicious cycle of want, want, want.

In reality, the things that hold the most value are with us already. Our loved ones. Our memories. Our individuality. Our sense of humor. Ourselves!

We as a society have begun to look elsewhere for value. When it's within us.

It's the ability to live without expectations. Knowing that it is better to give than receive. That helping out is better than doing nothing. The knowledge of being kind to everyone regardless of their own beliefs or whom they love, or what Political Party they might affiliate with.

The second we lose what I personally think is our most precious thing of value, we are doomed.

Our humanity.

Our ability to love beyond any monetary measure. Our want to help out those that need it, no questions asked. Our want to better the lives of those around us. Our humanity!

As wars rage on, as maniacs with guns are making head lines all too often, as kids (as young as 8) are taking their own lives, as whole countries starve, as Political agendas outweigh our need for clean air; safe food; and natural alternatives to pharmaceuticals, we as a society are losing our humanity.

When did we stop caring?

I think that 1 person is capable of changing the world. Einstein, Lincoln, MLK, Rosa Parks, Ghandi. Ring any bells?

But imagine if others join in, trying to restore our most valuable of valuables.

Be the change you wish to see in the world!

Help your neighbor, be kind to strangers, give without expectations, love with every ounce of your being, raise children with the same principles and soon things will begin to change.

If you don't see that, you may have lost your humanity.  1 drop of water might not be much, but over time it can fill an ocean.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

My Little Grill


Today I was cleaning out a drawer in my kitchen when I came across this card that I just had to share.

I love coming across little reminders of how much my Daddy loved me, and that I will forever be his "little grill"

Yes, my blog title is not misspelled :)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Be There

I am not crazy. Well, not completely... I personally think everyone has a little dash of cray inside. But I think that is just how people gain their own individual personality.

I personally suffer from depression, panic disorder(aka anxiety) and PTSD. I am not ashamed of any of that by the way. It is a part of who I am. But until I was willing to acknowledge my Mental Health issues and SEEK TREATMENT, I never really learned about who I really am and why I do the things I do.

I wish I could write a compelling book that I could share with all the people in my life explaining what a day in the life of Whitney is like. A witty, sometimes offensive, expression of how my brain works or why I am who I am. I guess in a way this blog has fulfilled that wish, but it focuses on just the past 2 1/2 years. So, realistically, this blog is a mere glimpse into 30 years of me.

Unforgettably, I have hurt others during these 2 1/2 years while stuck in a self spiral downward into a very deep depression. I do think about the things I do wrong, more than anyone could every fully understand. I think about how I outed a longtime friend about a personal issue. I think about how I pretty much walked away from someone who provided support to me because I was too hurt and depressed to deal with anything other than my own pain. So I broke ties. But, I do think about how I hurt. Some issues showed me who my true and real friends were, but, I ultimately know that sometimes people aren't destine to be in your life forever. I don't think it is always such a bad thing. I think we learn lessons when we hurt. I have learned some of my greatest and most humbling lessons while at the deepest depths of my life.

I am lucky to have people who have been around long enough that they know ME. Not the depressed grieving Daughter who fights daily to erase the image of my Father with his head blown off. The person who had a huge supportive family around for Holidays and such. There is so much more of ME that I feel has been overlooked and forgotten. I understand that being friends with someone who has experienced a traumatic event is not an easy task. But, I'd like to hope that I'd be there. No matter what. That I would realize that if they weren't their normal self, that it would be because of the intense grief. I would look back at our entire life experience and weigh the goods with the bads and realize they were only acting out because they weren't themselves. That I would do anything to try to always be there. But that has sadly not been my personal experience. I haven't just grieved the loss of my Father. It's been a huge part of my family and a few friends. Each loss has taught me something, and pushed me farther into bettering myself.

I am working on myself daily. Constantly finding ways to be more patient, understanding, and kind. I think that doing good, wishing others well and acting with good intentions is how I find my own personal peace. Knowing that if I put good out into the Universe,  it will return. So I try to do random acts of kindness daily, I open doors, let people in when waiting in a long car line. I smile to the person who looks like their day is awful.

Why?? Cause I've been there. When you felt like no one cared. When you felt like the whole world was coming crashing down around you. I know that one smile, one random act of kindness can turn a day around. I SEE it daily. I FEEL it when I do good.

I know that when someone is down and out, especially mentally, they need kindness and help. They need understanding. So why not help? Smile, open doors, be more patient, be kind to strangers, before you know it you too will SEE and FEEL the rewards. That ultimately is the best gift I have ever received. Knowing I brightened a day. That means more than gold any day.

Please if you have someone in your life who is hurting, and depressed, BE THERE! Don't give up on them. Help them seek help. You could save a life. I just happened to save my own.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Ready To Transform


My mother was a self-professed “recovering Catholic” - my father, a self-professed atheist.  As parents they allowed their children the freedom to find their own path.  My own spiritual journey led me to the realization that we get what we give.  But Karma works on its own schedule.

I still question the fairy tale we were told as kids, about a magical place where we all are reunited, free of pain and worry.  My father however, was convinced that once we die, that’s it.  That there is no heaven – that there is no hell – just the end.  He even wrote, “My only comfort is in knowing that once I’m gone, I won’t have to miss you.”

That was the last sentence of the final letter that he ever wrote.  For moments later, he went out to our backyard, shotgun in hand, placed the barrel in his mouth, and ended his life.  Though tragically my Daddy is gone, I am left behind with an overwhelming sense that it wasn't the end for him, that his indomitable spirit remains deep inside of me, keeping watch and guiding me towards my own separate peace.

The absolute horror of finding him that day will never leave me.  How could it?  It’s now an integral part of who I am now and who I will always be.  But it started me on a fresh journey - a journey out of the depths of terror, pain, grief and loss - a journey that has given me the gift of a new spirituality and a powerful enlightenment.  And now, my spiritual guide has been personified by a majestic creature, brightening even my darkest days.  The butterfly.

Roughly six months ago, I stepped outside for a breath of fresh air, and my father had left me a glorious gift.  Laid out in all its perfection was an exquisite, bright yellow butterfly, precisely positioned on the arm of my deck chair.  It was as stunning in death as it had been in life.  I feel the same about my Daddy.  So now, since my mascot first arrived, butterflies seem to find me wherever I go.

My mascot has taught me about new beginnings, about rebirth, about essential change.  We begin life inching forward, slowly and carefully. But Life can be a cruel and sadistic taskmaster.  Without warning, life will grab you by the hair and jerk you around 180 degrees.  Life will violently intrude upon your careful progress and break you in an instant.  Unimaginable circumstances force us to shed our old comfortable skin, let go, and finally…to transform.  We alone control whether we end up crushed and broken or whether we end up transformed into our own majestic creature.  It is our choice.  And the cruel taskmaster no longer holds the power.

Since my Father’s suicide two years ago, I have been wrapped in a cocoon of protection, trying to save myself from excruciating pain and grief.  The butterfly has taught me that it’s now time to spread my wings and search for beauty.  It’s time to start again, to shed the skin of my past hurt and anger.  Simply put - it’s time to live again, time to appreciate the beauty of life.
I encourage everyone to do the same. Take your past and shed it.  Let it go.  Allow yourself to transform into the magnificent creature that lives deep inside of…You! 


My Daddy and the majestic yellow butterfly


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Change

A lot of things are changing right now. The weather is warming up and the trees and flowers are blooming once again. My life is following suit.

I am more active now than I have been in quite some time. I walk daily, do yoga and have been busy redoing our front and backyards. I've been in pain, I have achey joints and muscles, but I always wake up searching for a new project. I am no longer allowing my health issues control me. I am stronger than I think, and have surprised myself at how much I can endure. I have no intention of stopping anytime soon. I have already set up walking dates with my local girlfriends, and want to start doing a class or two a week while the kids are in school. Dance, yoga, just something!

I have welcomed a new more social side of myself. Hosting a girls night, and meeting up with my favorite local ladies to just talk and enjoy the company of women who lift each other up. It's been refreshing! I am VERY lucky to have them.

Todd has been offered a new job. He starts in 2 weeks and I couldn't be prouder! He has not ceased to amaze me with how hard he works. He gave his blood sweat and tears to his current company for the last few years. But he is on the fast track to become the next Director and it's incredible to stand beside him in this journey. I find new reasons to love him each day. I am VERY lucky to have him.

Nora lost her first tooth last week, and a second one this morning. My baby girl is officially a big girl. Landen is also growing by the second. Tall and skinny and devastatingly handsome. They both are such wonderful kids. I am VERY lucky to have them.

I am welcoming change, forgiving the past, letting go and embracing my life every moment.



Sunday, February 17, 2013

Where's My Sports Car?

My journey hasn't been an easy road trip. I usually get car sick actually. I have made a lot of poor decisions, and held onto anger. I have said things I wish I could take back. I have succumb to depression and felt ready for the junk yard. I drove through life impaired by agony.

But, until I was able to take responsibility for my mistakes, I never really understood how I was the only person responsible for my misery. I controlled the direction I went. I was behind the wheel. So I needed to exercise my control over the road I choose to travel.

It's easy to blame others, it's easy to look for reasons to be angry than to find solutions that may bring joy. Traffic, accidents, faulty vehicles... I assumed that I was destined to live a life raising children in a broken home. I figured I'd always be controlled by the overwhelming grief I carry around. I gave in. I was lost, without a GPS to guide me in the right direction.

But, it wasn't until I was at my lowest point, that I finally realized that I had to take control. I had to choose the future I wanted to be a part of. I finally took the driver seat, ready to start my engine.

I forgave, I let go, and I finally learned to go after what I want. Which is my family, my Husband, my  children, my passions.

Once I stopped blaming others for my shortcoming, and started working towards becoming the best version of myself, everything just fell into place. I was finally behind the wheel of my own life, with a clear map pointing me in the right direction. Look out world, I tend to have a lead foot.

I can't take back the words I have chosen to say, I cannot take back years away from my soul mate, and most importantly, I can't change the fact that I have lost my Daddy. There is no reverse in life, no quick lube that suddenly gives you the ability to start fresh.

I am not done growing, loving and learning the hard way how to make it through life. It's a long windy road, but thankfully, I like the curves.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pink Has Always Been My Favorite Color

I made it past the 2 year mark!

I awoke the morning of the 19th with instant anxiety about what the day had in store for me. But to my amazement, as I walked down the stairs, I noticed pink post it notes all over. Each containing a sweet message. 28 bright pink reminders of how damn lucky I am. 28 notes confirming the love and devotion shared between me and my Husband.

He feverishly prepared a big breakfast as I stood there in tears watching the man I love so much making every effort to soften the blow of the 2nd Anniversary of the worst day of my life.

It ended up being a really great day. I didn't sit in tears saddened by the loss, but uplifted by the fact that I had made it through a difficult milestone with such ease.

I am so thankful for my life. I cannot put to words how lucky I feel to have such an incredible man beside me. He is my rock.

To my Husband, my boo, I thank you for your undying support and love.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Big 3-0

am no longer a 20-something. As of January 5th, I am 30. I have officially been alive for 3 decades! Yikes!

My Birthday was absolutely wonderful. If it wasn't getting a billion Facebook notifications from people sending well wishes, it was cards, and gifts and family and friends surrounding me with love and generosity. We went out to Dinner, played some games and went home and enjoyed some drinks and a movie. Then the following day, while my Mom watched the kids, my Husband and I went on a date day. Movies and shopping!! I almost felt overwhelmed with how different this year has been compared to last year.

Last year I was depressed, and not myself. I was trying to pretend to be happy, to put on a happy face while inside I was falling deeper and deeper into depression, paralyzed by grief. I learned the hard way who to trust and whom to surround myself with. It's hard to look back and remember how dark those days really were. But, I am not that person anymore. I am not overwhelmed by my grief and sorrow. More importantly, I am happy. Happier than I thought possible actually.

I have discovered through my healing, and letting go, that I have nothing but well wishes for those around me, even those who are no longer a part of my life now. I am not holding on to ill feelings, and I no longer am making excuses or finding reasons to justify my feelings. I know who I am, I know who I want to spend my time with, who I can trust, and most importantly, I know what makes me happy and I want the same happiness for everyone.

I want everyone to have a Husband/Wife that is truly their partner, whom helps out whenever possible, and whom is their best friend.

I want everyone to have children who make them proud daily, and who bring their life indescribable joy.

I want everyone to have Parents that lift them up, support them, and whom are always a source of strength

I want everyone to have Friends who check up on you, who send you funny texts to brighten your day, who inspire you daily to be more creative, and who are selfless and understanding, even when you aren't at your best.

But most of all, I want everyone to be happy. I want you all to wake up each day thankful for the opportunity to try again, to love harder, and to take another breath.

When you let go of the negativity, resentment, drama, and realize that happiness is a state of mind, and wishing well upon others is the ultimate key to inner peace, life really begins!

So to 30, I look forward to the next decade and all the amazing opportunities it has in store for me and my loved ones.