Matters of the ♥

I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed but when it comes to matters of the heart I’m wise beyond my years.  I wonder why that is?  I think it’s because I’ve overcome so many hardships in my life and I never want to see anyone suffer the way that I have.  When I see someone down or they come to me for advice I’m always there to lend and ear and let them know what I think.  My cause is to build that person up and make them feel better, to make them realize just how beautiful and special they are.

I’ve been down, I’ve been confused, and I’ve also been blessed with good people in my life that were there to mentor me.  These blessed people are in my life for a reason, a season, and a lifetime.  The reason was to lift me up when I had no direction but they never “told” me what to do, they just showed me the way by leading by example.  The season was perfect timing because I needed to see the examples and apply them to my own life which worked wonders.  The lifetime is just that, friends that I will cherish for my lifetime.  I thank them for being there for me when I needed to make sense of the riot going on in my head.

I know what it’s like to be picked on, to be left out, to be ignored, and to be “not forgiven”.  I know what it’s like to be abandon and I know the pain it caused me was immense.  I never want anyone to feel that way and maybe that’s why I am constantly there to rally for the underdog.

I’ve learned something key along the way in my life.  That nobody owes me a darn thing.  That I only have myself to count on for my own happiness.  I can choose to be happy.  It is a choice and one that I make daily.  I have faced the demons of my past, I’ve looked them right in the face and bitch slapped them into a new dimension.  I survived.  I am a survivor.  I attribute this to the good friends and their lead examples of humanity.  They raised me up when I was down and brought me some peace.  It was a culmination of all that good advice and leadership that taught me “how to be” over the years and I could feel myself evolving along the way.  How to be more self-confident, knowledgeable of the fact that I do belong, I do count, and I do matter.  They taught me that I am a child of God and that I’m special in his eyes, he made me different and unique.

I took my uniqueness and ran away from the crowd that was bringing me down.  I ran like the wind and disassociated myself with anyone negative in an effort to free myself.  I took accountability for the hurt and pain that I myself have caused.  I’ve made amends. I have forgiven myself and learned most importantly to forgive those that have hurt me.  I still cannot stand by and watch someone else in pain.  I’m always here for those in need.  I know what it feels like, I genuinely know that gut-wrenching pain of feeling worthless, or feeling so stuck under there is no way up.

How sad is it that it has taken me a lifetime to figure all of this out?  On the flip-side, many go their whole lives and never put it together so I’m grateful that even though it took a long time for the light to go on, at least it did.  It’s shining through me everyday and I’m growing and evolving every day.  Do I have set-backs?  Yes, I do.  Usually once a month when I get a visit from Aunt Flow (when I get my period) and I back-slide into oblivion where it takes a few days for me to come out of it.  I’m still grateful that I am able to pull myself out of it.

There was a time when I felt bad most of the time and only good a few times a month.  Now that’s reversed.  So, if I can be there to point out what’s obvious to me about someone else- something positive, I’m going to do it every chance I get.  I believe that love is what makes this world go around and I’m all about helping people see the bigger picture.

For those of you struggling with your self-esteem, self-worth, depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, and more- I’ve been there.  I still am there but there are a few things you should know.  That you are important.  You do matter.  You are not alone.  You are loved and cherished.  God made you special and unique; don’t change that for anyone.  You are a beautiful human being going through something that not many can understand, but there are those out there who do understand exactly what you are going through.  You are just as worthy as the next guy.  You may not see your beauty right now, but it’s there- and you are just as equal as anyone else.  You count.  People only see what you appear to be, they cannot see your hurt crippled feelings so don’t let them deter you from trying to live a normal life because you deserve it just as much as anyone else.  Do not be afraid to seek professional help, it’s there for a reason and has done wonders for me.  It’s a safe place where you can vent and get coping techniques that truly do work.  Read self-help books and become educated.  Knowledge is power.

I am on meds, and I will be for the rest of my life for the debilitating mental health struggles that I face on a daily basis, but there is hope.  The right Rx, the right Dr., and the right therapist can work wonders.  Surrounding yourself with only excellent, positive people will put you on the right path to recovery.  Recently I urged someone I love very much to get professional help and in only 2 months her progress has been immense.  I’m so proud of her and all that she has faced but she’s coming along and on the right road to recovery.  Facing and letting go of the past is especially difficult and I was able to overcome that by seeking help.  My memory was so bad I actually believed that I had early onset Alzheimer’s disease.  Turns out it is caused by my PTSD.  Now knowing what I’m dealing with was 1/2 the battle.  I’m able to remember things much better, my short term memory has improved dramatically and I’m hopeful.

God is good.  God doesn’t expect you to be perfect, he expects you to be you- in all your uniqueness.  God is gentle and kind, he forgives all as long as you believe in him and are truly sorry for your transgressions.  He is perfect.  We are not.  I like to think of Him on one side of a diving line, and humans on the other.  He is perfect, all he asks is that we try to live in his likeness and be more like him.  Sometimes things happen that are not our fault and we feel guilt and shame.  God knows it was not your fault and he loves you.  He forgives you and wants to see you do better.  God made you as a gift, to love yourself is showing him the utmost respect and gratitude for his gift.  Be grateful and be thankful that you are here.  Life is good and you will get there if you keep working at it.  If you ever feel alone, please do not feel ashamed to reach out for help- it’s always there.

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Writing/Blogging Challenge Day 15 ~ Animal?

If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

Believe it or not I’d be a puppy dog- and preferably one of my own, LOL.  I want their life.  I want to be loved and cherished and just accountable for some loves and cuddles.  They go on regular walks, socialize with other dogs, get fed regularly, get treaties, and most of all they get plenty of love and lots of sleepy time cuddles.

I’m always happy to see my pups, and love to give them baths – they are spoiled.  I love them with all my ♥ and soul and think of them as my family.  So, if I had to be any animal, it would be, to be ONE of my own dogs.

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Here is the list I’m working off of if you care to join in on the writing challenge:

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Writing/Blogging Challenge Day 14 ~ 5 Strengths

Describe 5 strengths you have:

  1. I am extremely smart when it comes to matters of the heart; I can lift anyone up and make them laugh.  I feel like I give good advice when it comes to matters of the ♥.
  2. I put my family first; I love them with all my might.  They are what is most important to me in this life, and it shows.
  3. I am a great friend to have.  I love hard and am overprotective of my Peeps.  I have probably 10 best friends and there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for them.  I’m always just a shout, a text, or a phone call away.  I’d drop what I was doing to help a friend in need.
  4. Laughter.  They say laughter is the best medicine.  I can make people look at the stupid side of things and get them to laugh; especially in a tense situation.
  5. I can take charge in an emergency situation.

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Here is the list I’m working off of if you care to join in the fun:

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Writing/Blogging Challenge Day 12 ~ My typical day

Describe a typical day in your current life:

My day is nothing typical as I work the night shift at my job.  I get home at approximately 7a and my “day” begins.  I feed the dogs and let them out, if I’m feeling up to it I take them for a much-needed walk.  I clean the dishes and tidy up a bit before going to bed.  Throughout the day I receive texts from my husband and my daughter (who is a Marine stationed in Japan right now) and reach out to them.  I usually wake up around 3pm and let the dogs out and feed them again.  Then we (the pups and I) go back to bed and fall asleep until it’s time to get up for work.  Sadly, I do not get to spend very much time with my husband or son’s – my daughter-in-law or my granddaughter on my work days which are Sunday-Thursday but once the weekend hits it’s a different story.

This weekend I’m excited to be going to the Michigan Dunes (Warren State Park) AGAIN with my DIL and just myself.  No kids this time which means plenty of adult time together.  We even got a hotel room.  I spend a lot of my weekends at the beach in the summer.

A typical day at the beach is leaving at around 9am for the 1 hour 40 minute drive.  Stopping at the grocery store approximately 20 minutes from the beach and stocking up on essentials and then hitting the beach for the entire day until sunset.  I love to sit on the beach and read a good book, or build sand castles with my granddaughter.  I love to swim in Lake Michigan because I don’t have to worry about sharks, or other sea creatures yet you get the feel of being at the ocean.  It’s one of the Great Lakes and all you see is the clouds, the horizon and water- what a beautiful sight it is to take in.

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Here’s the list I’m working off of, please feel free to join in the fun:)

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A Big Hurt

How do you get over a big hurt?  How do you get rid of the shame, stop blaming yourself, and learn to forgive yourself?  How do you forgive others for what they’ve done to you?  How do you find the right path for growth or even begin to be whole again?  Cuts and bruises heal, but words and actions will scar you forever it seems.  Sometimes it even leaves a mark on your soul.  How does one heal?  Where does one begin?

  • By trusting that you are a child of God
  • By realizing that the actions of others reflects badly on them, not you
  • The person that hurt you is miserable, so they try to take you with them – time to let go and not go along for the ride any longer
  • You can forgive yourself because chances are, it wasn’t your fault and even if it was, you are a child of God- he forgives us our sins and expects us to do the same; even if it means forgiving ourselves
  • Realize your life is a gift.  Try not to spend to much time in the past, each day is a present so celebrate your life and look forward to a clean slate; a clean future free of guilt and shame
  • Take a deep breath and let it go
  • Remind yourself that you are a treasure; don’t let the past dictate your future.  This does NOT define you
  • Be kind to yourself, go easy on yourself, allow that there will be times when you back slide.
  • Keep a daily gratitude journal.  Each night/day write down what you are thankful for.  You can also write down on the left side of the page what your brain is telling you that YOU KNOW is NOT true.  On the right side of the page write down what you know in your heart is correct.  When you are feeling down, re-read this journal- it will lighten your load
  • In order to move forward, you’ll have to face the darkness to overcome it- be brave.  Go there and fight your good fight.  Look it in the eye and call it what it is.  Realize what it’s taking from your life now and don’t allow it to continue.  A lot of times it’s actually there playing in the background of our minds (PTSD), we become forgetful and anxious.  It’s almost as if there is a crank in your wheel (stopping your brain from functioning on what is going on around you).  Pull that crank out – throw it in a fiery pit and let it burn
  • Concentrate on the blessings that surround you; whether that be nature, your kids, your pets, your friends, your family, your hobbies – throw yourself into positivity.  Allow yourself to go there
  • Meditate
  • Seek outside help; a therapist or psychiatrist
  • Do a workbook (self-help)
  • Read self-help books, knowledge is power
  • Reach out to a friend or family member that you trust – vent
  • Take some time for yourself; go for a walk, go to the beach with a good book, try to indulge in your hobbies
  • Instead of posting negativity on social media, try to post your blessings – before you know it, you’ll realize all the goodness you have in your life
  • Forgiveness.  The hardest nut to crack.  Let go of the hurt and pain.  Holding onto hate only makes you bitter and only serves to make you feel bad
  • Forgiving your offender frees your mind and body and opens the door to new blessings
  • Try not to use your past as an excuse for your present negative behavior.  Instead, turn it around and let it make you stronger.  Feel the positive forces at work, let them in
  • Remember that you are just like everyone else; you are good enough, you are brave enough, you matter, you count, you are unique and that’s a good thing, be yourself and let your freak flag fly!!!!!!
  • Relinquish the need to control, chances are you have no control over it anyway – you can only control yourself; not what others think or say about you so live in your own truth, be yourself and be proud.  Know what is true and real and remember that God sees all.
  • You don’t owe anyone an explanation for how you feel.  Your feelings are real and they belong to you, you are entitled to them
  • Stay away from other people’s drama, work on yourself.  Be selfish that way, make it all about you as you heal and find your way
  • Only be treated with the utmost respect, you deserve this
  • Be kind to yourself and to others- you never know what someone else is going through.  We all have our own story
  • Give love but do not be a doormat.  Have some healthy boundaries, they are good for you.
  • Help people out, but only as much as you can- we are all expected to carry our own load in this life and carrying it for someone else is robbing you of the freedom you need to mend
  • Realize this “thing” that has gone wrong/was done to you may have caused some unhealthy patterns in your life, try to identify them and gently explain to yourself WHY you are doing these things and try a different path; blaze a new trail
  • You have self-worth, you will see your self-esteem sprout like flowers in a garden, what a beautiful sight
  • See your future self.  How do you want to be?  Make it a reality
  • There is a lot of work to be done to turn this around.  May God bless you in your journey to wellness.

XOXOXOXOX

LETITGO

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Writing/Blogging Challenge Day 11 ~ 10 Pet peeves

Describe 10 pet peeves you have:

  1. PEOPLE who actually think they are better than everyone else.  Self-centered, selfish, assholes.
  2. PEOPLE that cannot park in between the line spaces in a parking space.  Why is this so difficult?
  3. Know-It-All’s:  STFU already, you are dumb and you sound like an asshat.
  4. Negative Nellies:  Life is hard enough- we all have our own baggage to lug around, I don’t need yours too!
  5. People that sit and whisper at work.  If you have something to say, say it!  Unless you are talking smack about the people around you, you are so obvious and immature.
  6. Negative, toxic environments; make me feel like I’m suffocating.
  7. OH!  This is a big one:  PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE people.  You know the ones that try to get you involved in their drama because they are too big of a pussy to handle it on their own.  They whine, they complain about a problem but you know damn well they will NEVER do or say a damn thing about it to the actual source.  They want you to handle it for them and I don’t play that game.  I just want to scream, “YOU HAVE A VOICE, USE IT!”
  8. “Friends” that stab you in the back the minute you leave the room.
  9. Co-workers that cannot get to work at their start time.  Have a million excuses as to why they are late EVERY.  SINGLE.  DAY.
  10. When you find out that someone you thought was a friend has been talking shit behind your back.  It’s truly disappointing.

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Here’s the list I’m working off of if you care to join in:

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bEaCh FUN!

This past weekend, my DIL (and BFF) and I went to the beach ALONE and also stayed overnight at a hotel.  It was the most lovely day.  High in the low 80’s with the sun shining and the water temp in Lake Michigan actually tolerable at 76 degrees.

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It was time for some “adult girl time” together.  We stopped at our favorite hot dog stand and got a couple of Chicago dogs.  Went swimming, and sat and people-watched for hours on end.  The conversation never dull.

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Life is goooooood.  

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Writing/Blogging Challenge Day 10 ~ Most embarrassing moment

Describe your most embarrassing moment:

This is kind of stupid but it was back in the day before I had kids and was working full time days at an accounting firm as their receptionist.  I was wearing heels (I don’t even remember those days, now I cannot walk a minute in heels without wanting to rip them off my feet) and was down to the nail on one of them.  It caught the carpet as I was walking and I went flying by my boss who was sitting at my workstation.  I fell, I sat there and laughed but really wanted to cry in embarrassment.  We both laughed as he asked if I was ok.  When I got up my knees were completely skinned and red.  Everyone came out of their offices to see what had happened and there I was, with the boss and red knees.  Oh, how we laughed.

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Here is the list I’m working off of if you care to join in the fun:

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Writing/Blogging Challenge Day 9 ~ 10 people that have influenced me.

List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.

  1. God.  My Lord Savior Jesus Christ.  I know through him all things are possible.  I am never alone; he’s always near.  When I’m scared, I offer it up to him.  When I’m thankful and have a grateful heart (everyday) I thank Him.  I am me because he loves me and has watched me evolve through the years for the better.  He always has my back.  I’m not perfect.  I am on one side and he is on the other- all he asks is that I try to be more like him and I do try.  I try everyday to have an open heart and an open door to my loved ones, my neighbors, and my co-workers.  It’s not always easy but He forgives me when I flubb up and is there to pick me up.
  2. My husband. Anything and everything that I am, every fiber of my being has been influenced for the better by this lovely man I am lucky enough to call my own.  I’ve known Scott for what seems like my lifetime and he has literally watched me grow up right before his eyes, largely in part to him.  I have gained my self-worth, my self-confidence, my self-esteem all from his love.  Just watching someone so self-assured of himself and such a pillar of sheer STRENGTH has motivated me and changed me for the better throughout our time together.  He has lifted me up from nothing and I’m proud to say that I have gained the world from this man.  He is my everything.  Nobody has had a bigger impact on my life than my husband, I’m so grateful for him.
  3. My Mom & Dad. By showing me good examples of hard work ethic and how to be a productive member of society.  By showing me how to be a silly, crazy, loving mom to my children and how to set a good example to them.  They always do the right thing and I learned a great set of values and morals from them.  I love that I was raised Catholic.  Today I’m a practicing Christian but I attribute my relationship with the Lord to my parents and their strong beliefs – they taught me well.
  4. I have a nice handful of people that I will not name that have influenced me for the better although they came into my life for just a season or a reason; not a lifetime. These are the people that showed me how I DO NOT WANT TO BE.  I’m grateful for the life lessons they taught me.  They also taught me how I deserve to be treated and without them I might be lacking in some self-confidence.  Now when I see these type’s of people in this world try to enter mine, a red flag goes up and I know to walk the other way.  Even though it was painful at the time, thank you for showing me how NOT to act in this life.  You made me better and stronger for it.
  5. My kids. I have 3 beautiful kids; all grown now but I am influenced by their bravery, their charm, their wit, their perseverance.  I’ve watched them grow into unique individuals who are each brave in their own special way.  I’m truly amazed at their confidence to step out and make things happen for themselves.  Things which would scare me, they go ahead and do- without hesitation and have made their own way in this big world and I couldn’t be more proud.  They make me laugh and see the funny side of things when I’m too serious.
  6. My Daughter-in-Law.  She has taught me patience and kindness.  She is beautiful inside and out.  She has determination, work-ethic, excellent morals, great intentions, is strong and independent, a PHENOMENAL wife and mother,  an excellent example of a woman and human being.  She doesn’t ever talk smack about others, she teaches her daughter love and kindness.  I’ve never met anyone like her, and I want to be just like her when I grow up- LOL.  I love you Asma and thank you so much for coming into my life like the angel that you are.  I don’t know where I’d be without your love and support all these years.  You are heaven sent and a gift that I will never take for granted.
  7. My lifelong best friend; Dawne. She has shown me how to be strong.  Strong in the face of adversity.  A stand up character in my life ~ so organized, on schedule, go-getting, jet-setting, loving, kind, gentle, funny, patient, did I mention organized?  I love this girl and am blessed to have known her now since kindergarten when we met.  Dawne has taught me that time stands still for no one and to keep moving forward even when the going gets tough.  To put on my big girl panties and remember that life can always be worse for someone else.  She looks on the bright side of things and trudges forward – all with a heart of pure gold and for this I am grateful to have her in my life.  I wish we spent more time together though.  As time has gone on, we’ve drifted apart a bit and that has been hard.
  8. My brother Tom.  When I was young, he taught me that I could talk to God any time I wanted to (no just in church for that hour).  He taught me kindness by giving me and my friends cash to go to the candy store just “because” he was so freaking awesome!  He taught me that when someone asks for a loan, when you give the money, do not expect it back – if you get it back, it’s just a bonus.  He taught me how to read music notes so I could play the cello and was always a great friend that I could talk to growing up.  He was a positive role model when I was a teenager and still a great example of a man to this day.  He’s definitely someone that I admire.  I love “me-brudda” so much!
  9. My close knit blog friends (the lemon gang) whom I have come to know and love over that past 8+ years.  To be loved unconditionally on that kind of a scale is a pure joy in my life.  There are 6 of us and each one is special in their own way.  I’ve never had such love and support so readily available and they are always there for me night/day.  I’ve learned so much through their love and care of each other and their wisdom knows no bounds.  What an incredible journey we have been on through friendship, trials, and tribulations but we always have each other’s backs.
  10. My longtime friend Laurie.  Even though we may have not spoken in a long while (due to busy lives, etc.) I will always hold a special place in my heart for a STRONG, beautiful woman that came into my life at a time where I needed a mentor.  And, boy- did I get lucky.  She taught me so much, not by bossing me around or telling me what to do, rather by setting an excellent example of a wife, a mother, a friend, and what felt like my very own sister.  She was patient with me as I struggled to learn “how to be” and I learned just by watching her.  She is smart, strong, independent, moral, loving, kind, generous beyond all get out.  She helped mold me into being a great Mama to my kids through her loving character.  I would not be where I am today if I had not met her.  They say God puts people in your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.  She was a reason, there for the beautiful seasons, and will always be a lifetime.

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Here’s the list I am working off of if you care to join in the fun:

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