Finding My Way Back From OZ

Finding My Way Back From OZ

A mixture of lavender and over cooked corn tortilla shells was the scent I remember from that day. I can’t remember my thoughts before, the color of my shirt, the location of where I even found the pills, but I can remember the smell that filled the air. It’s ironic isn’t it. Lavender. The calming, stress reducing, essential oil. That’s what I smelt, yet there was no ounce of calm in my body the moment my mouth touched that orange pill bottle.

Reading my text messages from earlier that day nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Complaining to my boyfriend about what a stressful day I was having at work wasn’t off kilter seeing how everyday this year had been intensely overwhelming. I ate lunch with my usual lunch group, talked our usual talks, did my normal work routine. Yet my world went black at some point.

There are a number of things I told the doctors, but nothing after the fact that I can say was the true blue reason of why. I remember taking my father to the behavioral health center after a drug induced psychosis. One of the questions was, “why are you here?” My dad explained he felt like he was trapped in OZ like Dorothy and he needed help finding his way back. There are things that happen in your life that might not hit you right there in that moment. It might be days, weeks, even years later before you finally feel what you should have felt then. But sooner or later the pain you’ve pushed down catches up to you. I finally understood what my father meant by that. I’d clicked my heels a million times, but still couldn’t escape the confines of my own personal OZ.

“What triggered your breakdown?” I was asked. It could have been a number of things, but I do recall before leaving work a coworker stopped and told me that we would be losing our health insurance. Because our job has decided that we are not and I quote “their problem”. How lovely and compassionate. Before kaiser I had medi-cal. My kaiser OB reviewed my charts from my first pregnancy and came to the conclusion that it was indeed a viable pregnancy. Yet my medi-cal doctors didn’t have the time or education to figure out what was going on with my body causing me the pain. They just decided that the pregnancy needed to be terminated. So hearing that I might have to go back to these doctors broke me. I still hadn’t really dealt with the trauma of losing my angels. I just stuffed it deep down hoping it would disappear just ask quickly as they did. Driving home my mind started spinning, calling people to get comfort and understanding, but no one really knows how to comfort you when you cant explain to them what is making you feel the way you do. I have a tendency to have every bad thing that’s ever happened to me crash down upon me when I’m stressed out. It’s like I’m going through it all a new. No words were going to make me feel better. In that moment I had never felt more isolated and alone. I was sad, extremely tired of being this sad, and I just wanted it to stop.

Depression is an evil thing to live with. Most people don’t understand it or even try to grasp how you are feeling. In a room full of people you still can feel so alone. You can’t call into work on your weakest days with the reason being you are depressed without some snarky retort. It’s not an acceptable reason in their eyes. You can’t cancel plans with friends or family because you can’t stop crying without a cure all remark of “can’t you just be happy”. As if it were that easy.

Depression had consumed my souls once again and this time I was ready to let it have me.

I don’t remember much after that. I remember going upstairs to work on some shirts for a friend and that is about it. Bits and pieces of a heated conversation between my boyfriend and I. Then the blackness.

I don’t remember what happened after my world went dark, but I do remember coming too and calling my best friend to take me to the hospital. In that moment I knew I made a mistake. My heart began to race. Not from the pills, but from the thought of making a permanent solution to a temporary problem. My boyfriend tried to talk to me but I can’t recall a word he said. My mind was else where I thought of how if I were to die by my own hand that I wouldn’t go to heaven and see my babies I so desperately longed for every second of every day. I thought of my little rebellious ones and who was going to look after and fight for them if I wasn’t around. I thought of my best friends and how they would wonder why I didn’t talk to them more about the sadness in my soul. But most of all I thought of my Papa and how his heart couldn’t take another loss.

Regret set in around the same time as the nausea and foggy bits. They escorted me to a room with a guard where I waited to purge the poison I had ingested. With every heave I cried. Once again alone with my thoughts. For hours I tried to sleep but my nightmares consumed me.

I was given the option of inpatient or an outpatient program. I could do out patient if my friends agreed to sign saying they would ensure I wouldn’t hurt myself again. With the burden of my life being on my friends I knew I had to focus on getting my heart healthy. Over a month in a program called IOP and I was feeling better and ready to go back to work and be around the world again with all their harsh judgment and criticism. I had two more classes when I received a text saying I would be changing classrooms when I returned to work. Inside I was shattered. This would be the second time my job had decided to retaliate against me during a hard time in my life. But I just replied with excitement. Change is something people going through things can’t really handle. Those two more classes turned into another month in therapy.

Tip toeing through conversations. Every choice word well planned and thought out. I felt equipped to handle the world around me with my tool belt full of new knowledge and understanding of my emotional experiences with the stress of my job, the loss of my babies, and the broken ness of my family. “It is what it is” was my mind set returning to the real world. You can’t change people or situations…..but you can accept them and change the way you allow it to effect you. Catty remarks of “how nice of you to come back” were a great welcoming from a few. If they only could experience half the things I’ve had to maybe they would have a heart and not be so callous. But an overwhelming amount of love and support was also showered upon me from several people as well. For those people I am grateful. You never know what someone is going through so why not just be kind?

Life after a breakdown doesn’t feel like life at all. I feel as if I’m floating, just making it through everyday like a dream. I didn’t know how to quit interact with others. “What were they thinking of me?” “Do they think I’m weak?” So many thoughts creeping through my mind.

During these challenging times I’ve learned that I need to ask for help when I need it. My job is just that, a job. It’s not my whole life. If I need to take a day, a week, a month off to gain mental clarity then I need to do just that. Some people are cruel and I just avoid those people. Not everyone is going to understand what you are going through, but some are willing to try. I still look through my therapy notebook on trying days. I’m not fine, but I’m getting better. Stress management is definitely something I am working on. After the loss of my babies I was told often how strong I was. I didn’t feel very strong. I felt weak and bruised. With tears in my eyes and pain in my heart I urge you to hug your “strong friends”, Show people who seem distant a little more compassion then usual. You never really know what anyone is going through in life. The people with the biggest smiles and deepest laughs can be the ones hiding the most pain in their hearts.

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Same Song and Dance

“Today is going to be o….” I began to type before deleting the message. Type, reword, delete, type, reword, delete….it’s a vicious cycle that you have put me in. Concocting novels to you used to be as simple as putting my fingers in motion, so why does a simple sentence feel like such a skill to grasp?

Towards the end of my last relationship I was talking to my best friend about how things were going. I remember telling him I could feel the coldness in the already rigid conversations. The lack of interest in each other’s lives being masked with “that’s cool” and on some days utter silence. “If you know it’s coming to an end why don’t you just say goodbye?” I’ve never been good at letting go. Goodbyes have always broken me. The idea of one night falling asleep with someone meaning the world to you, never imagining life without them, to waking up and having the feeling fled has always been so hard for me to navigate. It’s like you just wake up and no longer love a person. What brought you to this point?

Along this spiritual journey I have done many things to make “letting go” that much easier and less traumatic. I’ve taught myself that people, material objects, feelings they are nothing more than just “things” if you give them a special label and hold on to it tight it begins to romanticize it which makes it so hard to say goodbye, but if you cherish it minute by minute and tell yourself that it doesn’t belong to you it makes it that much easier when it’s time to relinquish it. Death is hard. It rattles every fiber in me, but I think having someone no longer want you in their life is harder. That slow distancing song and dance is heart wrenching. I have gotten better at letting go of things that are no longer doing me any good and draining my vibrations, But with you it’s different. You changed me and my coping mechanism way of thinking. I decided on you for an eternity of banter.

When I decide on someone I am choosing them for my whole life. Usually the good bits and the gory ones too. I don’t ever fathom the idea of distance or separation, but with a heart like mine that’s a dangerous thing. With every step backwards in opposing directions I feel a piece break off.

I slowly start to say goodbye to the thought of you and I. Each day creeping closer to the expiration date of who we used to be together. Pointed toes, fidgeting fingers, strung together with well thought out responses. What has gotten us here?

Keeping On

The taste of last nights antics still lingering on my tongue when I woke this morning. The memories and darkness come creeping in. My soul longing for my next drag and drink. Anything to keep the sadness at bay. Overwhelmed and overloaded. Filling my life with anything to distract me from the fact that my heart is in a dismay.

Weekdays full of work, school, working out. Any down time results in clouds and rain. Get up and go for round 2. Keep on keeping on meaning keep busy so you don’t lose sanity.

To speak my pain into words would mean that it was real and it happened. I won’t allow it. I can’t let this break me. Not again, I tell myself. There’s a dark cloud hanging over my heart.

When the tears begin to fall I know it’s time for another diversion. Anything to create some confusion within myself to make me forget and be filled with something to hide me from my own pain. Illusion after illusion. I jut really miss you.

My mother has decided I have a drinking problem. I’ve decided I have a remedy for an excessive amount of bullshit and pain being dumped on me at any given moment. Enduring pain that would bring grown men to their knees. 3 pregnancies lost in less than two years. A family in disarray. And a love for a father who’s trapped in OZ.

The same thing that can save me is the one thing I’m afraid will kill me. Wants, needs, and desperation. Refusing to open up the slightest afraid that no one will understand. “Cheer up” “You okay?” Stifled with a witty remark.

Attempting to save myself from myself. This was easy the first time around. A false and inaccurate use of the word, but easier compared to now. With every day I got a little bit stronger. I relish for that feeling again. Jealous of the person I was before. Proud for mustering up to courage to push on.

“How do people help you through it when you shut them out?” How hard is it to make yourself vulnerable just to be unheard and misunderstood. Mistakes you can’t allow yourself to make. So you long for the next interference in your heartache.

The weekends creep in and you pray someone calls to fill the next two days with amusement and engross your time until the busy week approaches once again. The two days others long for are the days you despise the most.

Monday comes and your hands are idle no longer.

Keep

On

Keeping

On………….

The Butterfly 

The Butterfly 


I look for signs in every part of my day. A beautiful humming bird is usually my Nana, a sweet dotted ladybug is your oldest sister Elowyn, those magical dragonflies are our sweet Jane, and yesterday when that butterfly entered our classroom…. I knew it was you. I wished and I prayed for you for a very long time. The short week I knew of you I loved you more than words could express. Pregnancy is a really interesting experience. You create this little miracle that you haven’t met yet, but you love it like your whole world depends on it and it alone. You want to protect it from anything that might cause it harm. Including yourself.
This time I was very proactive. I immediately contacted my doctor and began the pokes and the probes. With every prick of the needle I feared if this were the day I would hear that horrific word “ectopic”. I looked for every sign and symptom like the last. But nothing, until the bleeding came. I knew in that moment I had lost you. Shortly after I got the call from the doctor saying she was sorry, but my levels were fading and you were gone. I excused myself to the restroom and cried. “How could this be happening again?” ,I thought to myself, “How can God be so cruel?” I tried my best to compose myself deciding to stay and finish the rest of the day at work so I didn’t have to be at home alone. I went back to the class and began working trying to keep the tears at bay. And then there you were, a beautiful light green butterfly fluttering around our classroom. Looking for a quick way out as soon as you entered. How metaphorical to our situation. Just as quick as we said hello it was already time to say goodbye. I knew I had to be the one to set you free. I approached you and you did not fly away, i sent you all the love I had in my heart and I let you go. 
At the beginning of finding out I was pregnant with you my biggest fear was ectopic pregnancy again. I knew that this time I wouldn’t have the heart to be the one to end your fate. My soul wouldn’t allow it. My biggest regret till this day that eats at me every moment of every day is choosing my life over Elowyn and Janes. The soul person put here to protect them was the one who took them from this world. I knew it would kill me to do it again so I would have to risk it all with you. That’s the conundrum of this whole thing. Yes I am very sad and hear broken that I will not have you in my arms, but I’m relieved that I did everything in my power to protect you this time. You are not leaving at the hands of me.
So I will be seeing you my sweet girl. In every passing butterfly. Sending you love and hugs with every prayer at night. You were wanted and wished for. Created with love beyond this worlds ability to express. You were just to good for this Earth and God knew it. I’ll dream of you until we see each other in heaven.
Love you my little butterfly

Kindness is so gangster…..

Kindness is so gangster…..

The world can be a scary place to live. Especially when you’re in jr high school. In school I got bullied a lot. I was the quirky kid. I had “friends”, but they always picked on me for being weird. Weird to them wasn’t that I played with Yugioh cards or acted out Pokémon in the field like the rest of the kids they labeled “weird”. My weirdness was the fact that I was nice. They would tease me trying to get me to react in a volatile way. Always uping it a notch further. The last straw was when my mom bought me this cheerleading outfit from Limited Too. I was so excited to wear it the following Monday because it was sports theme for spirit week. My mom was hesitant about letting me wear it to school because she didn’t want me to ruin it. After hours of heavy persuading I finally convinced her I would take good care of it. That Monday I strutted into school feeling so cool. I couldn’t wait for my friends to see me. I told one of my friends about my moms fear of it getting messed up and she laughed. During lunch we are on the bleachers, there was a lot of whispering and more side conversations then usual. I started to notice that I wasn’t apart of them. I packed up my stuff and began to walk off the bleachers when one of the girls behind me called my name. As I turned around another girl behind me poured a cup of juice over my head. I wanted to scream, but all I could do was cry. I kept asking “why did you do that?” “Did you do it on purpose?” as I sobbed. No one answered, they just laughed. One of the girls began to call me names, “you’re so stupid”, she said. I felt the anger start to build. Without thinking I punched her in the face. She fell off the bleachers. I had never felt so horrible in my whole life. That’s what they wanted. They wanted to kill my kindness and I let them win. 
That weekend was my grandparents weekend to have me so I went over to visit. My Nana had heard how I was suspended and wanted to talk about what happened. I told her how the girls called me names and said I was too nice. That I was weird because I didn’t stick up for myself. I explained how I felt after they poured the juice on me and how cruel they were for laughing and calling me names after. I told her they had it coming. My Nana had never looked so disappointed. She said,” there will be times in your life when you get knocked down and you want to knock someone down with you, but don’t. You are a Cupples, your stronger then that” I knew that what I had done was wrong, but it felt good to make her pay for calling me names. “Don’t let the world change who you are. Only me, your papa, and you know who you really are and I love the Rissy you are. Don’t let it weaken you. Don’t let this world change that.” Since that talk with my Nana I have always tried to stay true to me. Never let the world or things that happen change who I am.
Struggling with trying to conceive a child and have it implant in the right location as changed me. It’s weakened me. I have been at rock bottom for a long time because of this. I find myself in this constant struggle of “fake it till you make it”. This whole ordeal has made me into a different person. At first I was trying to be so nice to people because I started to realize you never know what others might be going through so treat them with kindness. When I realized that was turning me into a doormat I began treating people the same way they treated me. Like total and utter shit. Ignoring them how they did me, giving them shit the same way they would, being very petty, lowering myself to their level. One day I took a hard look in the mirror and started to cry. I let the world change me. Every experience I tried to block and and keep strong I let in and make me into a person I am not. 
If I’ve said it once in these blogs I’ve said it a million times, “rock bottom became the very foundation I rebuilt myself on”. I’m not perfect, I’m learning everyday just like the rest of you. This spiritual journey hasn’t been easy. It’s a journey. But I try not to give up. I roll with the bunches…… sometimes I’m just rolling for longer then I expected. Things that shifted me before aren’t shifting me in this present time so I will have to keep tinkering with things till I find what works for me to have my spiritual enlightenment again. It’s a process and a journey, but I’m grateful for the people along for the ride. I kinda forgot how gangster it is to be kind to everyone know matter what.
Sincerely 

Me

Road To Veganism

Mangos, cucumbers, bananas! That’s all I craved during my pregnancy. For those short months I couldn’t stomach any meat or animal products. The smell was torturous! After my pregnancy had ended I attempted to introduce meat back into my diet. I enjoyed it, but the taste wasn’t the same as before. I began doing some reading and watching some documentaries. In my reading I saw that a lot of women who had lost a baby had a change in their taste buds. Some able to enjoy foods they never had before. My countless hours of reading and educating myself lead me down a rabbit whole of vegan videos and blogs. I knew that this was the life for me!

When I was younger I would gag on steak and pork chops. I loved my fruits and vegetables. I wasn’t a normal child. We had a tradition at my grandparents’ house, at night we would have “snack”. It was basically a late night desert before bed. I would always attempt to eat the same thing as my cousin, a banana split. It wasn’t until my Nana saw me only eating the banana that she started just handing me one for snack with a grin. How strange I thought to myself….how strange must she think I am for not wanting ice cream, for choosing a banana over that. I did enjoy my chicken and fish as a child and young adult. It wasn’t until I started dating my first serious boyfriend and going to dinner at his house did I start to eat meat on daily basis. I felt as if I was offending his family  by refusing the meals they had prepared for me. My body began to change from all the meat intake along with my appearance. I felt tired, my mood had decreased, and I gained weight.

I’m happy to announce I have been vegan for over a month now with no mess ups. It was easier for me then I think it would be for a normal person. I wear my emotions on my sleeve so watching videos like Earthlings and Cowspiracy really put the nail in the coffin for me. I have found amazing recipes from watching Hot For Food, Lauren Toyota, and the Edgy Veg on YouTube. I don’t ever feel like I’m missing out on something.

I have noticed some great changes since becoming vegan. I have lost weight, I feel more energized, and my skin is glowing. I had been having some serious acne problems and since this lifestyle change I am noticing a huge improvement with my complexion. Also my hair is growing at a better rate. It feels stronger. I stopped taking my depression medication, I’m not recommending anyone do this without seeking a medical opinion. I have been much happier and on the days that I’m feeling weak I have developed a nice self-care routine. I haven’t had any negative compliments about this change yet.

This is just another step forward in my spiritual journey.  I love animals, the planet, and have always wanted to make a difference. It’s nice to know that by doing this I am impacting the world in a positive way. I have inspired my boyfriend to not eat meat anymore as well, even though he does enjoy his liquid cheese. He has transitioned into being a vegetarian. I’m hoping by the end of the year I can convince him to be purely plant based.

Some tips I would recommend if you decide to try a vegan or plant based diet go as follows:

1)      Start slow! Don’t just jump into in. Do some research! I slowly decreased my meat and animal product intake.

2)      Decide why! I decided I was tired of talking about how I wanted to change the world and decided to do it! On days that I feel like a mcdouble I watch a little segment of Earthlings, The way they treat the animals helps me stay grounded in this  life style change.

3)      Find what you like! I started watching videos and creating stuff in the kitchen The first couple weeks I spent a lot of money just trying to figure out what  liked and what I didn’t. I stopped being afraid of making a food item I might not like. I just started experimenting.

4)      Bargain shop! A lot of the fruits and vegetables I eat come from my friends and families gardens. It’s always nice to get something home grown and free before going grocery shopping and forking out money for something. Craigslist has a plethora of farmers just waiting for someone to volunteer to come pick their fruit for them. I found a local man who allows people to come pick his plums for free. Also just making a quick post on craigslist ii got some fruits and veggies.

5)      Freeze! If store is having a sale on something stock up on it! Freeze it and you can use it for smoothies or juices later.

6)      Don’t take on the world! Right now I am just focusing on the foods and condiments I intake. Later, after a year I will start paying closer attention to the clothes, cleaning products, and beauty products I use as well.

7)      Don’t be afraid to tell your friends and family. It’s helpful that they know that way during family events they consider you when preparing the meals. Maybe they will buy earth balance butter and almond milk and use that for the mashed potatoes instead of the animal based products.

8)      Prepare! When I know there is an event coming up I make sure to find some recipes similar to the ones that might be consumed at the event so I don’t feel so different. I make sure to bring my own food so I am set up for success.

9)      Invest in a high speed blender and a nut bag! I got a ninja blender for 200 dollars and a couple nut bags on amazing for 13 dollars. Every morning I blend my fruits and veggies and strain them in the bag. Perfect juice without having to hassle with a juicer! Also blenders are good of vegan cheese and sauces.

10)  Have fun with it! Experiment, research, and don’t take yourself so seriously. I don’t judge others on the food they have on their plates, I just focus on myself. You aren’t better than anyone just because of the foods you are now deciding to eat.

 

I’m hoping that sometime in July I will start vlogging, maybe doing recipe videos as well. I would love to really give you guys a in depth look into this crazy journey I’ve been on. This spiritual quest has had so many ups and downs, but that’s life isn’t it. Things don’t work out as perfect as you envision them, and if they did how dull and boring would that be. I am grateful for every experience I have had to endure, because without it I wouldn’t be me.

You hit like a ………

Cleaning my room the other day I came across my first hospital bracelet. The first time it was confirmed that I was pregnant with her and also that I was losing her. It brought back a rush of emotions. I packed it away in her memory box. In our hearts, the ones who loved my little bird so much, she was a she from the beginning. I think that’s something that makes it easier. You have all these unanswered questions when you lose a child in early pregnancy. Whats the gender? What would it have looked like?  But if you start to imagine your baby, healing becomes easier.

Ive been beyond depressed with everything that has transpired. I don’t want to leave my bed, I dont want to see friends, being around children is extremely excruciating. Its a pain I havent felt before. I had been avoiding my doctors visits and refusing blood draws because it meant number one, I would have to be in a waiting room full of new and expecting mothers and number two…… seeing my hcg levels drop would mean you were really gone.

Last Friday I finally went in and my levels were decreasing as expected. I broke down. They sent me to see the counselor. I could barely get a word out between the tears and trying to catch my breath. She told me I was severely depressed. “Ya think”, I thought. She recommended I take some time off from work and really work on getting better, but to me work helps. Its a routine. It forces me to get up and put a smile on no matter how fake. She prescribed me some prozac and told me she wants to see me every Friday. Leaving there I couldn’t help but think about something she had said. “You’re sick”, she said, “depression is like any other disease. If you had cancer would you refuse to see a doctor? No you would get treatment so you can get better. Marissa, I want to help you get better and I want you to want this as well. Its not going to be easy but it’ll be worth it. ” Before losing my baby I was doing better. I was working on becoming a better me. I set off on a spiritual journey of self improvement and enlightenment. I was happy. I was able to combate my bipolar mania and depression with meditation, yoga, blogging, reading, and manifesting. I was active in my friends lives. Now I’ve lost all that and have distanced myself from the ones I love.

My friend recently sent me a picture

image

It has inspired me to do better. To feel better. In no way will I ever forget the fact that I was once pregnant with a beautiful baby. It doesn’t take away from the fact that I AM A MOTHER. I’m just a mommy to a beautiful Angel baby who lives in heaven. Growing up I always said I wanted to be the best mom I could be for my child. I can’t be a good mom to anyone if I am so sad that I can’t even find the strength to brush my hair on some days. I will not plant my roots in this depressing state I’m in. I will fight on. Its not going to be easy and I know that, but I’ve got some great people willing to help carry me when I cant stand to walk anymore. Im gonna be okay.