Tag Archives: adult add

A Drive Back In Time

March 16, 2014

Today was a long day. A dark day, literally, the sun did not shine through the clouds. Jachin and I were having a particularly rough day, so figuratively it was a dark day for us too. That is a major understatement, but the details of our rough day is not what I am writing about.  Maybe one day that story will be told, but not today. So anyways, I called over someone to watch the girls so we could take our problems elsewhere.  So we drove.  Of course we drove through the Starbucks drive thru first, duh.  And then I just drove and drove, not knowing where I was going.  Similar to our lives, we just don’t know where we are going.  I curved around the familiar streets of North Dallas and turned into my old neighborhood—the one where I spent most of my childhood.  It’s funny that I live less than five minutes from this neighborhood, but have driven through it only a few times in the last decade. I weaved though the streets: the ones where I learned to drive, the ones where I walked down to my grandma’s apartment when I was “running away from home”, the ones where I walked to school back and forth, the ones that lead to the creek we would play in, the ones where we played with friends day in and day out.  I drove by my old house. All the houses around it looked different than what I remembered.  In fact, most of them are ugly, as a result of being built in the late seventies, early eighties. But my mom has great taste when it comes to building houses, and our old house looks classic. It looked the same as in my memory. But the other houses did not.  For some reason they all looked smaller, or uglier, or just not how I remembered.  I remembered who lived in each house, well sort of.  I could remember the faces of all my neighbors, but their names slowly but surely keep fading in my memory.

I drove down the street and turned the corner and drove the two blocks to my elementary school.  I remember thinking the walk was unbelievably long, and how could my mom be so mean to make me walk?  People, it couldn’t be any closer.  I mean two blocks! I drove through the front drop off circle and stopped.  I looked at the concrete benches and I remembered the days and days and days that I came out those front double doors. I was never a fan of school, but that was a good school, and it was kind to me. I continued down the other side of the creek, drove by the houses of my childhood friends, and again, could not think of their names. I remembered their birthday parties, their swingsets, and their kitchen tables, but not their names.  Memories are a funny thing.

And then I stopped and parked.

I parked next to the creek at a park Jachin and I used to go to when we were dating.  We would walk along the path, sit and talk on the swings, and walk down by the creek.  All these memories flooded my already flooded brain, but brought peace.  We didn’t have real problems those days.  I didn’t have real problems when I was mad that I had to walk to school, or when I couldn’t decide which neighbor to play with.  My memories of my childhood are that I was endlessly happy, and I rested in that memory for a moment.  Jachin was not picking up on this nostalgia, because to be honest, he is just not that way.  But it helped me regroup a little, which in turn, helps him regroup a little.

There were definitely hard things in my childhood, but I often forget while raising my kids that hard things in their childhood are good.  I worry that things are too hard for my kids, but that is far from the truth. Children are growing sponges, looking for truth, and they have to have hard things in order to build character, just like the rest of us.  If we try and protect our children from every hard thing, we are ruining them. Children look for God in the dark days, just like us. So while we sat there, I rested in that moment of remembering my childhood, knowing that my children will rest in the comfort of simple things.  I rested in the good that was there in my childhood and the good that followed me into adulthood.  I rested in the fact that although my problems were presently very real, the sun does come out again.

It always does.

The sun has never failed to reappear.

We don’t always know when it will come back, but it does come back, it comes through the clouds and even when the clouds are there, the sun is there too, we just can’t see it, or feel it.  But it is there.

Often, people don’t believe the sun is there, or that it will come back out. But it is a truth, it is there.

Jachin and I talked a little while we sat in the car by the creek, but he is a man of few words, and words don’t really help him.  In fact, words don’t help a lot of people.  Love does. Grace does. Presence does. But words are not often remembered.  Just like the names are not necessarily remembered, but the people are.

I have a sweet friend at church, her name is Sue.  She sends cards.  I don’t remember what was written on any single note from my friend Sue, but I will never forget that she sends me cards all the time.  And they encourage me and help me remember that people care.  So even though I don’t remember certain specifics of my childhood, I remember that people cared, and that my parents cared. And they sacrificed for me, and they survived hard days for me, and they did not give up.

And I will not give up either.

To be honest, today, I gave up for a little while.  Thankfully, I have loving people in my life and I texted a few of them and said I was giving up.  And they texted back and said oh no you will not.  Not specifically in those words, but they texted prayers, and kind words, and, “when can we come over” and “we will drop everything to be there for you”.  And they called and listened to me crying and said comforting things. And that in turn helped me to choose kindness and helped me to put my anger aside and not give up.

The day is over, we will see the sun tomorrow, and tonight we will sleep (after we watch a movie wrapped in each others arms).  We have memories of goodness and we have knowledge of truth, so we will carry on.  With what is left of our memories and with what memories we want to make.

Memories are a funny thing, and I believe in funny, you know.

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It’s cool, I workout

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I workout you know. Well, as of today. Never mind that I can still taste the chocolate chip cookie that I ate on my way out the door while I step on the treadmill. I am on a treadmill and my feet are moving. And get this, I am in a gym, a real gym, with really fit people.

I like fit people. They work hard to be fit. They don’t intimidate me, they motivate me. I like watching them run and sweat, maybe one day I will run like the fit people at the gym.

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I haven’t been a member of a gym in about 7 or 8 years. A lot has happened since then. I did work out in that time period, just not in a gym. So this idea came about when Jake and I were discussing how bad my lupus was last week and what was I doing differently this summer when I was feeling better. I was working out, mainly walking and doing yoga. So I immediately made a plan to push through the pain and begin to put one foot in front of the other.

First step, join the gym. Second step, put on my super duper bright gym shoes.

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Sometimes people stop and say to me “cool shoes”. And I say “thanks” and smile. But I’m really thinking, “did they mean to say cool shoes, or were they so overwhelmed by how bright they are, they were startled and that’s all they could come up with?” Sometimes I reply, “thanks, they make me run faster” and then watch them look me up and down seemingly a little confused because I clearly don’t run.

Enough about my ridiculously bright shoes, their brightness does not help me at all. But I will tell you what does. My t-shirt. As I was reluctantly getting ready for the gym I was losing motivation. So I thought I will at least get dressed. Luckily, my Mr. Rodgers shirt was on top of the pile.

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And for some reason I think it’s really funny, which brightens my mood, and tonight helped get me out the door to the gym. Also, the fact that I told Jachin I didn’t want to go and he said I had too. He’s a real meanie.

So I’m finished on the treadmill. I have enough OCD in me that I have to stop on an even number. Here’s to you mom:

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I know it’s not much, but it’s a start. I’m trying to retrain my body to find the will to live, not kill myself on my first workout. It’s baby steps. (Please tell me you picture Bill Murray’s face every time you hear the words “baby steps”). I did a few weight machines and I think I felt one single bead of sweat trying to break through, so I called it good.

Mission accomplished. Well, not the entire mission, just one barely workout.

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That is all.

Alone with my Pizza

I’m sitting at a bar. Alone.

I was working late and I wanted pizza so of course I Google-mapped “pizza” and here I am at a wood-fire pizza grill and bar.

If I could eat pizza every single day I would. Now I bet a lot of people roll their eyes when they hear people say things like that. Thinking, “no one could eat the same thing every day and still enjoy it.” But I totally could, especially if challenged, because I am a very determined person when I want to be. And if it wouldn’t jeopardize my health I would accept any pizza eating challenge you could give me. The normal pizza intake for me right now is about two days a week, but I think about pizza everyday.

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But pizza is not the point here.

I am alone. Remember, alone at a bar? Okay okay, the bar part is just for shock value. I am sitting at a table. The main reason being I don’t want to have to talk to the bartender. I want to be alone. I love to be alone. Sometimes, I love to be with people. I wish I wanted to be with people more. I remember a joke from years ago on last comic standing. He said something to the effect of, “I’m like a battery operated screwdriver, 12 hours of charge for 30 minutes of use.” If it takes you more than half a second to get the joke then you are not an introvert or an HSP.

What the heck is an HSP? Let me tell you, because I am actually more of an HSP than an introvert.

In an article written by Laurie M. Stewart, she summarizes some of the latest research on HSP.  She writes:

In her book The Highly Sensitive Person, Dr. Aron explains that 15 percent to 20 percent of all people are born with a central nervous system that is more sensitive to sensory stimuli than that of the rest of the population. In simpler terms, an HSP responds strongly to sensations like sight, sound and touch. Even internal events like pain, emotions and thoughts are felt more profoundly by HSPs.

The difference is believed by Aron and other experts to be biological and present at birth. Harvard psychologist Jerome Kagan refers to the difference as high versus low reactivity. Kagan’s research pinpointed specific areas in the brain as more active and more excitable in highly reactive individuals. Input such as a sound or a sight that causes little effect in most people may arouse the highly sensitive person’s nervous system enough to raise his heart rate and breathing. He not only notices—he may feel frazzled by it.

Keep in mind that Aron, Kagan and other researchers refer to this trait as a difference in temperament, not a defect.

Great, I am so glad it is not a defect because I have plenty of those.  It does explain why I can’t watch even a Disney Movie or why I can’t watch a sad movie because I grieve like I am actually there.  It explains  A LOT!

An HSP can have the following traits:

-easily overwhelmed or frazzled (ME!)
-startle easily (ME!)
-often need to be alone (ME!)
-more sensitive to pain, caffeine and medication (ME!)
-easily affected by others’ moods (ME!)
-uncomfortable with loud noises, bright lights, strong smells or lots of activity (ME!)
-upset easily by change of most kinds (ME!)
-deeply moved by music, art, nature, etc. (ME!, except for some art, mainly nature and music)

BIG PROBLEM, alone is not my season of life right now or the near future. Back to life, back to reality. Noise and chaos is my season of life.  None of my kids want to be alone (shocker!). They want to be with me. They want to be on me and talking to me at the same time. That is how it should be. I don’t want it any other way. Except for sometimes, when I become overwhelmed and want to be alone.

But I’m not going to kick and scream and cry like a baby about it. (Anymore, that was immature that I did that. It had to do with my inability to cope.)  Jachin gives me grace and I runaway sometimes to recharge. Even working can recharge me. Tonight I was supposed to work until 9, but I had worked until 9 last night and I was missing the kids. I was recharged enough to go home early and got to see this amazing performance that the kids had been working on. It included boxes. I swear by giving kids boxes, they come up with amazing box creations. Sometimes I give them tons of boxes and markers and glue and whatever else I can find just so that I can have a few minutes ALONE while they are making their box creations.

Of course, I only want to be alone on my terms. If I want to be with other people and no one is available, well then, I am lonely. Of course.

My older sister is good about pointing out when to get over it, and to this she would definitely roll her eyes and be like, “I’m so over you wanting to be alone. Just be all in with what you’ve got.” That is her strength, she is all in, at whatever day, week, or season she is in. She is the opposite of HSP, she is BIOP (I just made that up, she is a Bring It On Person). Sometimes this overwhelms me about her, but it keeps me in line for sure. I would be ten times the hermit I am now if it wasn’t for her. She signs me up for things and makes me go. She will actually register me for events and pay the fee and then tell me what time she is picking me up for it. It is awesome!

There are references in Scripture where Jesus withdrew to pray, and references where He withdrew with His disciples. Withdrawing to pray makes sense.  Withdrawing to be with your “tribe”, or “community group”, that makes sense too. I have certain people in my life that when I am with them it recharges me as if I was alone. They recharge me. And so does prayer. But I am certainly not entitled to time alone. My kids and my husband and my friends and family and community are a gift. What a waste it would be to throw the gift away for the sake of “being alone”.

So I’m highly sensitive with ADD and Lupus. I get very overwhelmed and anxious and literally feel the need to hide. But even with all that I want to be content when I am with people and when alone.  And I am certainly content with pizza.

So I will eat pizza with people and sometimes alone. Thankfully my kids like to eat pizza with me.

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*Books I will be reading in the near future, meaning this week, this month, or in my life time.  I don’t want to over promise and under deliver.

1. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

2. The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine N Aron Ph.D

3. One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp

Nothing Plus Everything

A few years ago I half-jokingly said to Jachin that I was going to write a book titled “You Lost Me At Hello” detailing my struggles with adult ADD. I briefly thought the idea was brilliant until I realized that my target audience of adults with ADD don’t really read books. (We prefer short stories, or essays, or anything SUMMARIZED!).

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So sad how quickly my brain tells my brain that my brilliant idea was not brilliant.

A few years later we were laughing about my non-existent book again and I asked him to reserve me a blog with that title. It was taken! I was so mad at whoever took my blog title and was not even using it.

A year or so after that I was ready to write. So here I am. Thank you so much for all your well wishes and support. It has been so encouraging.

But now I have to be honest about something. Today I am suffering from major brain overload and my brain has almost shut down entirely. This happens.

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So my post tonight is about nothing.

Because everything is running through my brain, really and truly everything. So nothing gets done.

Here is something to help you understand:

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Ahh! Bananas! That reminds me I have to do something about dinner. I always forget that comes every day.

The dryer just buzzed. Jachin just walked in. Morgan wants to know what’s for dinner. Homework. Must go.

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The end.

My Pain is Real, and So Is Yours

Warning: this is not funny. Every now and then I am serious.

I have precious friends. They love me to the ends of the earth. When I say I cannot live without them, believe me, I mean it. My sweet friend Simone says she doesn’t know exactly how to process some of the things I write. I don’t know what that means. I think she gets concerned because my life always seems too complicated. My life is too complicated because God wants it to be. I believe everybody I meet and know is struggling with something. To what degree only they and God really know.

I told Simone not to worry about me until I lost my sense of humor. But tonight I have lost my sense of humor and I still don’t think she should worry, or anybody else for that matter.

Everybody is different and everybody is the same. Simple, right? We all hurt, we all struggle, and we all survive. How we do all those things is what makes us different.

So tonight I am laying in bed because my body is in so much pain I literally can no longer put one foot in front of the other. I think if my house was on fire, I would barely be able to crawl out.

Everyone stay calm. Nobody needs to bring a casserole, this is not a SOS. This is just me writing about my physical pain. No one needs to come running over. This is my life and me and my husband and kids are somewhat used to it. We know how to survive it. Sometimes our survival doesn’t look pretty and sometimes it is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen. Sometimes we yell and sometimes we cry and sometimes we hold each other so tight time stands still. It’s all a lesson, a learning curve, and even though it is so hard and sometimes feels too hard, it’s a curve I want to be on because God uses it to make me who I really want to be. I want to be humble and wise so I can be used effectively to minister to the brokenhearted. So it is okay for me to be in pain and it is okay for me to lose my sense of humor because good comes out of the suffering. Beauty from ashes, right?

So I rethought what I told Simone. Years ago I told her something somebody else had told me. “Without hope we have nothing.” Lenny said it to me, I don’t remember about what, but it stuck with me. So when I lose hope, that is when you should bring over casseroles and interventions and whatever you have in your bag of tricks. When I have lost hope, that is when you should come. Hope is a terrible thing to lose. And feeling hopeless is much worse than being in pain, in my opinion.

I have only one time in my life lost all hope. It was a dark time and I was so sick. So sick I can’t even comprehend it looking back. I wanted to die. I had lost hope. God restored my hope over time and now I lay here feeling very sick, but not hopeless.

My heart is sad about a few things, my mind is racing about all the things I have to get done, and my body is not working, but my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. He is the ultimate hope giver.

Do not lose hope. And if you do, call me and I will bring you some tacos.

And just because I love me some pictures, here is a little pic of me lying sick in bed, just so you can have a pathetic visual.

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