Monday, August 24, 2015

Depression .. The war you win or die trying

This has been a long time coming because, frankly I don't talk to many people about this. But depression and anxiety are real diseases and the stigma is still there for some uneducated people. So a peek into my life and how depression plays its nasty role.

 Staring at myself in the mirror I look like I partied way too hard this weekend and am still hung over Monday morning. Truth is I never party. I just don't sleep. Partly because of my anxiety and depression and partly because my kids never stay in their own bed and wake up at 5am every morning. So no sleep just exacerbates my already annoying issues. 
 Depression is a nasty illness . It's not something you can physically see and trying to find the right medication regiment for you can take forever. My doctor and I are still trying to find one that works with my chemically imbalanced brain. Some people aren't aware of the fact that the brain is indeed an organ. Whoda thunk right?!  Sometimes organs don't function correctly. Just like a diabetic takes insulin, I have to take anti depressants and anti anxiety medication. 
 Some days it's good some days it's bad. You can never tell when you'll have a "sick day" as I like to call it. It took me until 2 pm to get myself together enough to go to the store Saturday. Partly because I had too much anxiety to walk into a store and partly because my depression felt like a heavy blanket I just didn't know how to get off. 
 My kids are challenging but great. When they are challenging and I'm have a "sick day" , the problems just seem 100x worse than they really are. Life just becomes too much and too hard to do. To someone looking in, it's simple tasks and simple solutions for my extra rambunctious children and life problems. What really gets me is the "tomorrow will be better ". No actually I don't know if it will be because you can't predict depression and anxiety . 
 People who have this disease have become perfectionist in the area of "putting on your face". You would never know I was having a sick day because I know how to fake smile and pretend I don't feel like life is unbearable. Fake it till ya make it right ? The only time I don't put my face on is at home when I can't get out of bed and that heavy blanket just won't come off. There could be nothing going on to cause it, because nothing has to go wrong for your chemicals in your brain to go haywire.  The pain is so real yet you can't physically feel it. It's so hard to help someone understand the chaos that goes on inside. 
 So when you know a friend or loved one who deals with this illness , be there for them. Don't be insensitive and say "it will pass", " life will get better" "happiness is a choice " or any other cliche, you wouldn't  say to someone with another chronic illness such as cancer. 
 We don't choose to be this way, this is just how our brain functions and sometimes it's our worst enemy. Sometimes life becomes so unbearable and there is no way it can get better. It has nothing to do with the situation , but everything on how our brains have us perceive it at that moment. When someone commits suicide and everyone is shocked because their life didn't seem that bad from the outside , you don't know how their brain was having them see their life at that moment . 
 If someone you love suffers from this illness, check on them every once in a while to see how they are doing. It's part of our life . It's not going away and it is a real illness. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Night and day it's Cinderellie

    Most of my life I've been able to relate to the Disney princess Cinderella . From the time I can remember , I was abused and childhood robbed from me on several occasions. I cared for my younger siblings as if they were my own from the age of 14 to this day. Cleaned, cooked, took care of the home and was taken advantage of. Much like Cinderella in her early years .

 Then there was a glimmer of hope. Hope to have my own life. A life filled with happiness and love. I got an invitation to a royal ball.. I met my boy's father. I got dressed for the ball. Married and had two beautiful boys .

  Then life (AKA evil step sisters) started ripping apart my gown in a ferocious way. My gown I worked so hard to keep together . Every rip and every tear of fabric , was a part of what I loved and held dear to my heart. Just torn away. A man I loved , never loved me . A house full of memories , being sold . Friends I loved , gone . The list goes on , too personal and private to reveal. But as I sit here, I'm trying to hold on to the little bit of material that still clings to my broken heart . Hoping one day my fairy godmother comes and makes me a beautiful gown and I'll get to go to the ball . I'll meet my Prince and he will love me for me. 
 So until then .. I sit in the garden crying at how cruel life has been. Holding on to the shreds of fabric to cover my naked soul.

Friday, June 5, 2015

The dirty 30

   So on the eve of my 30th birthday I have taken some time to reflect on the past 29 years of my life. Quite frankly I am surprised I'm still alive. I'm not even kidding. I had an abusive father, battled anorexia , depression and anxiety. The depression has taken over so bad in the past I've been suicidal. I still struggle with depression and anxiety, but I feel I have a better handle on it than I have before. I've loved hard and lost. I have the best boys that God handcrafted just for me to mother. They are literally my saving grace. My love for them gets me through. I am determined that these next 30 years will be less of a struggle the previous ones were. I'm determined to be more carefree and enjoy life. I've never fully enjoyed it before . I feel I've squandered so much time and time is something none of us get back. I've lived longer than others and I do consider myself blessed, but now I am going to start making the most of my time here. Here's to the next 30!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Happy Birthday my bundle of Laughter

So there is something about your child turning 5 years old that just breaks your heart.{ In a good way if that possible} They are a "kid" now. Not a baby , not a toddler... a full blown kid. My Isaac 5 years ago gave me the best gift ever. Being a mom. His name means laughter and boy have I laughed these past 5 years. Sometimes I laughed because the only other option was to cry. Nonetheless. He makes me laugh and brings joy to all those around him. I believe that a child's birthing process tells you a lot about their life and what is to come. Isaac took his time. He was very patient and not in a hurry. That is my little boy to this day. Takes his time and is very methodical about a lot of things. I love it. Not when we are rushing out of the door, but even then I need to remind myself life goes too fast and I need to take a minute to smell the flowers. Flowers. My son knows I love them and every chance he gets, whether they belong to a business' lawn or the dandelion out back, he bring me flowers. He makes sure he hugs me everyday , tells me I'm beautiful, and kisses my cheek. He is the sweetest thing I have ever had in my life.
 He LOVES Red Lobster. So we went out for his birthday dinner, since he already had his party on Sunday. As I sat there watching him eat his ice cream { as only creepy mothers can } I started to tear up. My baby was in my arms 5 years ago in a little 9.5 lb bundle of perfection. I savor these moments and hope they don't go buy too quickly. I love you my sweet Isaac . Happy Birthday!

Staining Concrete Floor Tutorial

So I have been planning on redoing my kitchen and dining room floor for a while. As we all know, replacing floors is not cheap. I had a cheap ugly laminate floor that had lost all of its luster and shine. So one day I got sick of looking at it and started to google and pinterest cheap ways to redo floors. I came across concrete staining . Seemed pretty easy and cheap. So I embarked on a very easy journey.
 First I removed all the molding and quarter round. You are going to want to be careful with the molding, unless you are going to buy new ones. I was looking for cheap, so I saved the molding. Ripped up the laminate with a hammer { very stress relieving}. I do recommend Gloves. My hands are pretty tore up.

Once that was done I vacuumed with a shop vac all the dust and dirt. I then mixed Washing soda , borax , and a little of dish soap in a bucket.
I then just poured the whole bucket onto the concrete and began scrubbing with a steel wool sponge.
You can use heavy duty machinery , but didn't want to spend the money to rent one, plus the sponge got into the corners and got the paint spots up pretty easy. Once it was scrubbed ( I recommend knee pads) I vacuumed it up with the wet vac. Then went over with a scraper to make sure there wasn't any major bumps.
Some people use concrete filler to get a completely smooth look for divots , but I didn't care that much. So I didn't .If you do be sure to read the instructions.
I washed the floor again with just dish soap and went over it again with the wet vac.
After it dried I applied my first coat of stain. I bought it at Lowes and needed about one can mixed for both my kitchen and dining area. They have several colors to choose from . I went dark.

I went with semi transparent in case I liked the look of the first coat. I didn't. I applied it with a paint roller and you could see everything.
So when it dried I hand brushed painted another coat mixed with some old paint I had.

I swiped some down in a half circle motion then went over it with the stain to blend it in. I was much happier with this result.
After about 2 hours it was dry and I went over it with a wet look sealer. Let it dry for 2 hours and went over it again with another coat.

I put a third coat on the next morning to make sure it was sealed cause I am that person. It is now pretty and dry but will not put anything heavy on it like chairs or table until it has cured for 3 days. I am able to walk on it and everything but want to make sure it cures right.
Maintenance is simple. Sweeping and mopping. No harsh cleaners for mopping . Dish soap and warm water. Hope you enjoy your project as much as I .


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

For the First time in Forever

When I was younger I never really experienced or was taught the meaning of  " true love" . So as I grew into my teens and early 20's I was Anna to a tee. I wanted that feeling of unconditional love. I didn't let God lead me to a person who would truly love me for me. I was in relationships for only what the other party could get out of it. Only for what I could give. So I sought and sought and eventually got married . I was married too young. I didn't want to be alone. I wanted to be loved. I had no clue about love , relationships or marriage. Just like Anna. She just didn't want to be alone or shut out. I was shut out of so many people's lives that were close to me and were suppose to love me.
So on my wedding day , I probably would've danced down th ailse to,
 " For the first time in for forever
There'll be music, there'll be light
For the first time in forever
I'll be dancing through the night
Don't know if I'm elated or gassy
But I'm somewhere in that zone
Cause for the first time in forever
I won't be alone"

I went through my married life not knowing love til my babies were born. I finally knew what unconditiional love for another felt like and it wasnt from my then spouse. 
Long story short I am in the same position I was in when I was younger , but with more knowledge. Hindsight is always 20/20. I now know what true love is and feels like.
Love is more than infatuation or warm fuzzies. That soon fades.
“Love,” Olaf says, “is putting someone else’s needs before your own." I believe in love at first sight, ( if you know what love truly is) because you instantaneously want to put your partners needs before your own. Doesn't happen for everyone, but it does happen.

I never want to be like the old Anna again and won't be because I have God to fill me with love and my children who bless me everyday with their love , however crazy they may be. Sometimes I do hear that small evil voice say, " your just desperate for love" and I have to turn my mindset around and say, " I know what I want and will not settle til it comes my way. And my life is filled with love, with or without a partner to share it with"

Sunday, January 25, 2015

My Baby

I thought my first blog of the year would be most appropriate to dote on my baby and his birthday.

 So 3 years ago this morning I was laying half paralyzed in a hospital bed due to to a botched epidural , vigorous massages of my uterus, peeing in a bed pan, having my blood drawn what felt like every 10 min and down bellows checked every 5 minutes since I was hemorrhaging. None of that matter because my heart was growing more than I could ever imagine and I was in such euphoria (or doped up.. same difference :) }. My second baby boy was born happy and healthy. That is all that was important to me.God saw fit to choose me to be his mother. To me that is such a great honor that will never take for granted or squander as so many women do. He slept in my arms, just looking as perfect as every mother thinks when her baby is born. ( Mom's see perfection ...alien faced or not. :P ) My heart filled with love.... again.

  Over the past 3 years it has seemed like a whirlwind of up and downs just as babies and toddlers should emanate from their tiny souls. The first year with a 2 year old and new born was by far the hardest year and a very big blur. Thank God the photographer in me took WAY to many pictures so I can remember those still life moments how small he was and the giggles and smile he gave during the first 3 years. How he and Isaac bonded so quickly.
 Now he is definitely growing into his own personality and is feisty, strong willed and , for lack of better words, a NUT JOB! lol. He keeps me on my toes and is the best maniac I could ever ask for. He's sweet, tells me I'm beautiful, his kisses are perfection and his hugs make every hurt and bad thing go away.

  My children have never been introduced to Chuckie Cheese. Call it what you will. I was not prepared to open Pandora's box of " I wanna go i wanna go!!! " every time we passed it. Some call it cruel. I call it smart. So for his " real first party" I decided to keep it small and and have it where the creepy mouse resides. He LOVED it! Nothing makes me happier than seeing him and his brother running around like mad men collecting tickets! Everything went smoothly and BEST of all I had to provide no entertainment for the kids (creepy mouse took care of that along with germ ridden games) or clean up (which the party host took care of)! It was the shiz. I was so happy I got to make my baby smile . He deserves all the happiness in the world!!!
 I love you Benjamin Andrew Dunham! You have my heart along with your brother and I pray, with God's help, you continue to be strong and loving and life will never get you down!!!

Love your Mami always and forever!


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Only the bad not the good.

     In every situation in life you only hear the bad , not the good. How horrible breastfeeding is, how terrible birth without drugs can be, and the list goes on. Well I am here to tell you the good instead of the bad at the end of a holy matrimony.A lot of people don't understand the relationship between my ex and I. Quite frankly it's nobody's business, but for the sake of exploiting good over bad , I will make it your business.

We were together for 7 years and in that time my partner and I grew close and many things tore us apart. He deciding we were better apart then together, was not an easy pill to swallow and quite frankly a very painful one. The most emotionally painful process I have ever gone through. Something inside you dies and you grieve. The grieving process sucks. You get through it though. It is cliché but true, " What doesn't kill you makes you stronger". I hate it but it is the God's honest truth. I moved away to get out of the area and start over and for a while it worked, but I love my kids more than anything in the world and they love their father, so I moved back for them. Everything I do is for them.Co parenting is no easy feat. It has taken about a year and a few months to get to the point where we are friends. We still argue but fortunately agree on a lot of co parenting issues.

  Recently he suffered from a seizure and incapacitating back pain. So as a friend I was there for him. Food shopped for him, cleaned his house, helped take care of the boys so he could see them and they could spend time with him. Why you ask. Because there is no reason to be hateful or ugly to someone whom you are trying to have a amicable relationship with. You never know who you will need when you are down. I would do that for any of my friends but especially the father of my children because I love my boys and I want them to see that even their father and I are not together any more , we are still friends and can still love them together.

 The main point of this blog is to give hope to all women and men out there that it is possible. Yes we disagree , yes we will have issues. But if you work hard at it and both parties are willing, co parenting can be a beautiful thing. Life is too short to be mean and hateful. Especially if there are children involved because children mimic everything you do. You hate , they will hate. You love , they will love. You speak ill, they will speak ill. Even though the marriage has ended , it's still til death do we part because of our sweet boys.

 Remember the good. Not the bad.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Divine Appointment

 Today I had an experience that I have longed for most of my life. A beyond a shadow of a doubt God exists. I got that today.

 A little background . I grew up in a pentacostal church that was filled with rules and regulations. Me being me , I like to push those rules to the limit . I was a kid . Who didn't push the rules . For some reason or another my brother and I were treated in the worst possible way any"Christian" should treat children. He got the worst of it in the private elementary school while my punishments came in highschool and early adult hood. The rumors , the lies, the accusations . All because I was being sociable me and it didn't fit into their squares they had appointed all of their soldiers.  Girls were to socialize with girls and boys with boys. Period. Well if you've known me for any period of time , I'm quite the social butterfly . Or Jezebel as some would say.
 Fast forward a few years I became fond of one of the fellas at church who was on the "in" crowd, but was different than them. We actually dated in secret for 2 years so a shit storm wouldn't start . After that I'd had it . It was let's go public or we are done. His mom was the main source of out secrecy . She would probably shove bamboo shoots up her finger nails than have her baby boy date "Jezebel".  Well she asked what he wanted for his birthday one year and he said for me to be welcome to their Sunday family dinners. She begrudgingly obliged and that's when the rumors and ugliness reached their full potential . It was a hard year and called it quits.
 Ever since dealing with that woman and every other person who followed her , I've hated that church and all the people in it. All hypocrites with the exception of a few who ended up leaving anyway.
It has made me second guess myself for years , made me self conscious and felt not good enough for any church since . I've always known God loved me but he was there but not . Until today.

 I have been wavering in my faith with people tellin me how the timeline of the bible isn't right and this that and the next thing , coupled with a looming divorce and single parent life .  I finally said enough is enough and after not going to church for illnesses  ,and other things , I made it a point to go to church today.
 My church has 4 service times . I chose the first . 8:30
MB has  about 1,000 churches in the MB alone. I chose new spring since I moved to SC cause I love my church .
 Made it not only on time BUT early with both toddlers in tow.
 I drop my kids off at kids spring and walk down the hall and my heart sinks to the pit of my stomach.
 There stands the woman who made my life a living hell for years . The mother of my ex boyfriend .
My brain goes into crazy banchie mode...
 "What the fu; is she doing here!???)"(yes I'm a Christian  yes I curse in my head sue me)
" My safe haven has been infiltrated by evil that can never be undone "
By the time wrap my brain around the fact she is standing in MY church MY SAFEZONE I'm at the distance where I can slink away and she would be non the wiser, or put my big girl panties on and give her a big southern hello "
 •1 I've hidden from these "people" for far too long. Hoping when I go out to the mall in NY I see none of them
•2 I've been in the south too long for me to be rude. Point blank southerners are nicer.

So  with all the strength I could muster I walk up and get her attention. You would have thought she'd seen a ghost . It was great!  😝 She asked if I lived there , I happily told her I did and that was my church. She asked about my kids and introduced me to her daughter in law and grand kids . I hugged them all with a genuine smile on my face. (You're in my territory now !!) lol. She said they were visiting someone on vacation and decided to go there for church. ( of ALL THE PLACES.. Right!!! )

 So I wished them well on their vacation and told them to enjoy the service..

As I walked down the hall to the auditorium this is what took place in my head.
" very funny God. What the hell was that?! Some kind of sick joke !!?  I'm not laughing . I'm actually very upset . Not cool . Not cool.. there better be a purpose behind this nonsense " ( ya I talk to God for real. Not oh father who art in heaven. No. WTF God!! Call it what you will. He still loves me and I'm about to tell you why.

    I sit in the front so I don't have to see them and try and get into worship , but all I can think is that they are judging my every move , every hand raise every hand Clap ever bow of the head ,"
 I said , " God this is why I won't go back to NY. I can't take the judgement ".

Pastor Perry gets on the screen and talks about 3 areas in out lives we may be having a hard time with.
• Frustration
• confusion
• Accusation
The last one peeked my interest , so I focused in hard on that one.
The verse he referred to was Hebrews 12:1-3.
".... Run with perseverance the race marked out for us."
Well I can't run it weighed down by my past and until I let it go I will be weighed down and unable to continue to the path God has set out before me.
 What I did or did not do in my past what or how I was judged has been weighing on me no matter where I go or what I do. Pastor P said ," it may be a situation that keeps reminding you of your past or a PERSON YOU SEE".
 By this point I'm like ok God! I get it!
What was said about me , what lies were spread about me is not who Iam . God isn't obsessed with my past so why should I ! He's obsessed with my future !
 Pastor P called for people to visit the care team for prayer if any of these point hit home and my heart was beating out of my chest. I jet out of that auditorium had a care member pray for me and I just felt 10 lbs lighter ! Like I was finally free from all the weight that had been placed on me in my past. And for me to have the woman (all the way from NY)who was at the root of most of it there , in that exact service is nothing but a divine appointment . I don't care if she heard any bit of it. It was all for me! I called my childhood friend , sister and mom to rave about this because they saw it all and went through it all with me. I'm just so happy and so free. Not to say there aren't many other things in my life I need to overcome and let go, but this was a big one.
God is turning my accusations into affirmations!

Today was the day my past stopped beating me up!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


A dream is a wish your heart makes
   When you're fast asleep
(Wish I was a daddy's or momma's girl)

       In dreams you lose your heartaches
(Wish I didn't have clinical depression or anxiety)

 Whatever you wish for, you keep
(Wish my good friends would visit)

      Have faith in your dreams and someday
(Wish I didn't have to live paycheck to paycheck)

Your rainbow will come smiling thru
   (Wish I had more family support)

No matter how your heart is grieving
     (Wish I wasn't a single parent)

If you keep on believing
the dream that you wish will come true......

Oh, that clock! Old killjoy. I hear you. Come on, get up, you say, Time to start another day. Even he orders me around. Well, there's one thing. They can't order me to stop dreaming.



Monday, June 16, 2014

The Big D

  I haven blogged in a bit due to being busy and struggling whether or no to write about this subject.
Divorce, more so my story and view on it. In recent situations I feel like I have to write or I'll explode and just air ALL the dirty laundry, which i am trying not to do. I have also had an overwhelming response to what I have already written and how i "get through".So very very tactfully I will write.

I feel when you say " I do" , it's suppose to be forever. In sickness and in health. Til death do you part. Most people think this means physical death. In my situation, it was the death of something else. My marriage. Therefore when someone or something dies, you have to go through a grieving process. In divorce a piece that made you is now dying or dead. An open wound that needs healing. This healing for me is taking a VERY long time. Almost a year now and still not done. Situations keep arising that keep tearing open the wound and making it raw again. Go to's: Crying, Counseling, Rx medication, support system, and wine. Lots of wine!

  I was a product of divorce and NEVER wanted my children to be going through that. . It's so important to let myself go and feel every emotion. It's not wrong to be angry or sad. As long as I'm not there for years. But something that made a apart of me , has died. So grieving as stupid as it sounds is vital.

1. Denial and Isolation: This isn't really happening. Everything will be fine and we will get back together after some time apart. 

This is just a temporary response that brings us through the first wave of hurt.


2. Anger: Vulnerability is exposed and we feel we are unprepared for what's up ahead. So we start expressing our fear in anger. We resent the person for causing us pain or not getting their act together for their famly. We feel guilt for this anger, and this makes us even more angry.


3. Bargaining: Often trying to regain control

  • If only we had sought counseling sooner

  • If only I sought help for myself to make myself a better wife…

  • If only I had tried harder to make it work

Secretly, we may make a deal with God in an attempt to make it all better when in essence are postponing the inevitable. 

 4. Depression: feeling hopeless, like we can't do this on your own. Missing your other half, or feeling your not a good enough single parent.

5. Acceptance: Reaching this stage does not necessarily mean I have arrived by any means. It simply means I have accepted the wound is healed and is forever part of my body. It will never go away but it doesn't hurt anymore. Situations may arise that scratch at it (ex spouse remarries or starts dating) but all in all the wound will never be as deep as it once was.

  I believe God lead me to the hospital I work at to be my support system. I have never in my life worked with females who were so loving and supportive. I have a "work mom" and my supervisor has been amazing to me . I have it together on FB not because I'm fake , but because it's nobody's business . I also deleted ALOT of people I didn't want in my business should I post something I really needed to at the time. Truth of the matter is I have my weeks not days where I feel helpless and depressed, like I'm not a good enough mom, and I did a terrible thing by not trying harder. I pray (I am by no means a holy roller) try and read the bible , and stay as close to God as I can. It sounds cheesy but through all of it , I know he has lead me to right where I'm suppose to be. I also know deep in my heart I did everything I could to make it work.

  Almost a year later and I am toggling between depression and acceptance.Too many times people don't feel their emotions because the church says you shouldn't be angry or depressed.. Not so, you have to feel and process every emotion that floods you. Other wise you will be stuck and 10 yrs down the road realize you could have been better 10 years ago if you would have just started the healing process sooner. 

 I don't condone divorce, in fact I now know why it says in the Bible God hates divorce. Cause all the pain you go through He never wanted for you. If you are going to go through it through, be sure you go through right. I made 2 steps forward this past week and 1 step back. It's not the end of the world , just a constant learning process. Learning how to be a single parent, learning how to co parent, and learning to accept the things you cannot change.

God grant me serenity.