OK Mom, I Did It. What Next?

Last couple of days have not been easy for me. (Life has been a bit of a whirlwind… thus no post recently here. Too much going on & no time to write.)

The 5 year anniversary of being attacked hit me harder than I ever would have thought it would. Can’t believe it has already been so long. Hard to think that my hand has been wonky all that time. I still am not used to the scars. Grateful for the help my Mom & sister were in helping me get through healing & dealing with all that entailed. Don’t know what I would do if it happened today.

Started a book that details struggling with a mother who is dying from cancer in the first chapter & that brought back a lot of memories. Tough to get through & I admit I ended up crying myself to sleep that night & spent most of the next day upset. Just missing Mom pretty big right now.

For one thing, she would be so happy.

My last class is DONE.

My last semester is DONE.

Not only done, but with a 4.0 GPA which I am pretty stinking proud of since there were definitely a few times I was struggling.

So am I officially a graduate? Not sure.  Technically I think so, but the community college doesn’t do December graduation ceremonies so I have to wait until May if I wanted to do all the pomp & circumstances formalities.  Having gone all out for my bachelor degree graduation, I have had my moment. Truth be told, I was done with all that after High School but Mom pushed me to do it & I guess I am glad I did.

I promised her before she died that I wouldn’t quit. No matter what I would finish this program. She didn’t want her death to stop my life.

So Mom. I did it. Finished & I know you would be proud.

But now what?

Sort of bitter-sweet. Another step further away from her & the part of life that we shared. Had to happen and I’m glad to be finished, but in a way it connected me to something I was doing for her…. and for me.

Instead of wild parties & living it up celebrating, feel more like just snuggling up with a cozy blanket in a quiet room. (Doesn’t help my cold has turned into a sinus infection.) So that is what I am doing. Relaxing. Savoring the emotions whatever they are.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some great moments that have happened lately.

Got to get away to the mountains with a great guy who I trust and who understands what I have been through. In fact he was supposed to meet up with me that night but ended up celebrating his birthday with friends in another part of town. Comforting having someone who knew you before and knows you now. I know I have changed but then again doesn’t everyone over time?

So now instead of student, I am recently graduated & unemployed for the moment. First of the year I hope to change that. Til then I am going to spend as much time enjoying life with people I love as I can knowing that this moment is all I have. Tomorrow isn’t promised but hopefully we can keep the promises we make and go on to make more. Always something to work toward and look ahead to.

Just need to figure out what.

Run, Run Fast As You Can

Note to self:  You are super & you are a woman, but you are not Super Woman!


Nope. I can not do it all all the time.

Even with best intentions no one can achieve it all.  This week was my lesson in learning to take time to care for me.

Last week found me caring for mom, dad, three parrots, four dogs & anything else I could.  Setting up my “new” space at their house and trying to adjust to living with other humans again (things like bath robes and earphones come into play when you share space with family, nurses, etc. at all hours).  Then I dashed off to drive 3 hours to my house to rush in to start this semester of classes.  In my haste I left behind one of the medications I take, but what is a couple of days? PLENTY.  Spent time being outside of class making up for lost time running around trying to be 6 places at once.  Lack of ambien (darn needing to pick up refills), the sudden influx of helicopter traffic in my neighborhood & dealing with night terrors every 2 hours had me zombie eyed & wishing for time to sleep.

I crashed.  Hard.

The added stress of everything kicks up symptoms anyway.  Being in public shopping recently has been harder.  I’m in no way back to being where I was at my worst, but I recognize the pattern.  Go somewhere, breathing starts getting harder, head feels spacey, everything seems extra loud including the blood pulsing rapidly through every inch of my body.  After about 15 to 20 minutes I start to feel like my insides are going from concrete to slush & back again.  I fidget nervously.  Usually if I can move about I can release some of the adrenaline & try to calm down a little.  Feeling trapped makes it worse.  It can be something as simple as being “trapped” by having to wait on someone else or a check out line.  I recognize there is no real threat, but my body doesn’t listen to my rational mind in these moments.

Fight or flight is pure animal instinct.  You can discuss as much as you want, it will be as it will be.  Once an attack starts, it is very hard to stop.

With a regular schedule, sleep & my medicine, I keep in control of it all.

This past week I had not a single one of those three.

My first class went great.  It was less than an hour & even the professor was a familiar face.  Second class was slated for 3 hours, but didn’t last that long.  The professor is great.  Intense, but great.  Going around the room introducing ourselves has never been a favorite game for me but I survived.  Panic? yup but I kept it under control.  3rd class I was less successful.  It was only 2 hours and was same group as the 1st class but I lost it.  Klonapin, internal dialogue  stepping out to group in the bathroom & move around didn’t help.  I ended up in full-blown panic mode.  After leaving the class for a 2nd time (this time with books in hand), I barely made it home – my safe zone.  Once there it still took a while to calm down.  Then my body was so exhausted I ended up falling asleep for a few hours.  I really didn’t think I would be able to make it to my fourth class (the 1st session of the 3rd course).  I did.  It was a major struggle to stay through but I did it.

Once someone has a panic attack somewhere, for some reason it is more common for them to have another one there.  Being in the same exact classroom for all my classes doesn’t exactly help.


Still I refuse to give up.  I have fought hard for far too long to let myself slip backwards.  At the same time, I recognize that everything going on in my world right now is very tough.  Can’t be too hard on myself.

I’m extremely grateful that the professor I have in the class where I had to leave part way through is understanding.  Hindsight I probably should have explained what was going on prior, but it is tough.  I want to be respected for the work I do same as any other student in that class.  Still at this point I am glad she is aware of my situation with my mom & living in two places at the moment.  There is some comfort knowing that she is willing to work with me if need be.

So first week almost down.  Lessons noted.  I have GOT to be sure my oxygen mask goes & stays on first before assisting my fellow passengers. ha ha.

Which is why this afternoon I am relaxing.  Back on ALL my medications and ready to get a 2nd full night of sleep.

I have full faith I will find the balance in all this.


What Matters Really

So yesterday was a freak out day.

We all get them now & then.  Doesn’t make them easier to deal with but at least they like all other days, only can last 24 hours.

Part of what was really bothering me was making that danged Will, Living Will, Powers of Attorneys & Health Care Power of Attorney.  It was just for a class assignment, but we also notarized them and made them legit – if the student chose to.  Its something I didn’t have, so why not?  Its needed.

In making it, it forced me to really look at my life.  What I would leave behind if today was the day.

What did I value?  What made it into my will?

Funny enough, I didn’t think about my camera equipment, jewelry or anything that can be insured.  What I stressed about was Baxter & the birds.  They are what matters to me.  No I didn’t leave them all my money (what money?) but what I did do was spell out exactly what should happen if I go prior to them.  Baxter has to have a loving home where he will be a valued companion.  He has been abandoned before & I don’t want him to end up back in an animal shelter.  The birds, well I know what happens to parrots that end up at animal shelters.  Mine will never go (or go back) there.  They have to go to a rescue group that specializes in re-homing  companion parrots or a sanctuary.

The other depressing part was… who to name.  Makes you really see where the heart strings are…. or aren’t.  Who can you trust?

Sadly family is very limited right now & the likelihood of my parents outliving me isn’t one I can count on.  My sister is here & brother in law, but beyond that?

Slightly depressing? you betcha.

As much as I study and strive to do the best at whatever career I so chose, at the end, its family that is by your side.  They are the ones who remember you.  They are what matter most.

Which frankly scared the hell out of me.

Already know what its like to lose family and not looking forward to the declining numbers.  Still it escapes me on how family is made.  (yes I know the biology class how to part) How it all bonds together over the years.  Two singles become the couple that develops into the start of the family.  So strange and magical, yet happens daily all over the world.

more realistically this blog!

I’m not at a place in my life where I am ready for kids just yet, but still scary to think that I’m also not at a place where I have that strong couples bond.  Not something I can fake or force.

What I really have to come to terms with is if I’m ok with the opposite.  Can I be that person who stands on their own til the end?  How do I make my life worth having been through?  Guess that is something I think we have to ask everyday.  Treat each day as a way to bring something better into it.

Figure out how to find the inner peace and be proud of who we have been and are because really that is what matters most.

…..well as far as I can tell….

Hoping that all works itself out quickly & that I can attend classes that aren’t so close to home and depressing.  Bring on the legal research & torts cases!  On a positive side, it is good to think through things and may be exactly what needed to happen sooner or later.  On to better days!