Sunday, January 30, 2011

In the Blink of an Eye: Updated

Awoke this morning to happier news from Alyssa's husband:
Update on Alyssa: "Just got out of surgery, and God is very good! They took out her kidney, which the doctor said had basically dissolved, and the bleeding has completely stopped. Her blood pressure and pulse are all better than they had been all day. Now we pray for a safe and full recovery, as we aren't entirely out of the woods, but the scariest part is over."
I am in absolute awe of the prayers and supplications that went up for my beloved wife. There is no doubt in my mind that she is with us now because our Blessed Lord heard our cries and pleas for His Divine intervention. I took baby Tatia...na Elia (we now have a name for her), home last night after the surgery, and Alyssa called me this morning. She feels a TON better, and has certainly retained her sense of humor. She told me that she woke up at about 3:30 and felt quite lucid. In fact, she said, "Wow, it's about noon, and I should get up and walk around." Of course, she didn't, but it's an indication of how good she feels. She just received Communion, and I will be on my way to the hospital to be with her very shortly.

God Bless you all, and thank you so very much for your prayers!

--Michael

PS - Here is the reason for the name "Elia." We had picked the first name, Tatiana, a while ago, but couldn't settle on a middle name. About a month ago, our 5 year old daughter started writing random letters on paper, handing them to Alyssa asking her to tell her what the letters say. Most of the time, it was gibberish, but one time, she very clearly wrote E-l-i-a (with the first letter capitalized, as if for a name). We thought it looked like a name, so we looked it up to see. Indeed, it is a name. It is Hebrew for "God has answered." Indeed He HAS answered, and as Rob pointed out after her surgery was complete, it is providential that this aneurysm (which was apparently chronic and could have ruptured at ANY point) burst AFTER the baby was born and not before or during delivery. God has answered, and so in commemoration of this, we give Tatiana His answer as her middle name.
 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

In the Blink of an Eye

Life is so precious and fragile.  I've never been made more aware of this fact than when I heard the news this afternoon that my dear friend was rushed to the hospital.  She gave birth to a healthy baby girl on Thursday this week but has developed severe complications.  Apparently she had an aneurysm in her kidney and lost quite a bit of blood.  The doctors have removed the damaged kidney, but are worried that she may lose one of her legs.

Alyssa has been a great source of love, laughter, strength, and Chi Lattes throughout the years.  I'm praying hard for the doctors that will be operating on her, her husband and children waiting for news, and that she has the strength and will to fight.  Hang in there, Alyssa!  





If you're reading this please send up a prayer for her safety and health.  Thanks. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

In Case You Were Wondering

I've had a severe case of blog-itis  (Think laryngitis of the brain) and have been so aggravated by it.  See, I suffer from a fabulous combo of depression/anxiety and with the recent setback of two weeks of unemployment, it really got me off my rocker. 

Yea, I saw it coming.  I knew the weather was gonna kill the crops and working seasonal work means just that, but still....it still hit me hard. 

I was back to fighting the feelings of failure for losing a good job back in June, not being able to find work, feelings of failure as a mother, my inability to lose weight after eating my way through sweets to combat my sorrow get jilted by my fiance four days prior to the wedding almost three years ago and extreme worry was all my savings got gobbled up.  (Thank God tax returns are just around the corner!  I get to claim the child tax this year.  Yea, but it really pisses me off actually.  The Kiddo's father left when he was 20 wks in utero, yet the POS lawyers that he hired when I sue for child support, and I DIDN'T have the means for a lawyer, demanded that he get to claim the Kiddo as a tax write-off ever other year even though HE'S NEVER SEEN HIM!) 

Whatever.  Moving on.

So depression, falling down half a flight of stairs, having to rely on the extreme generosity of friends for help with food/bills while I was out of work has been completely humbling.  And I haven't want to share any of this struggle b/c the situation was/is so humiliating.  I've always taken care of myself, working three jobs to put myself through school (which I haven't worked on paying the loans in almost 2 years), worked a frightening and sometimes life-threatening job with incarcerated juveniles after I got dumped by my fiance, and kicking an addiction to booze as an escape.  But right now, this sucks.

But I finally decided to share my experiences because maybe it will help someone out here in Web.  I don't know.  I know that lots of people randomly find my blog because they are searching for something else.  Maybe they'll land on this post and get some sense of relief, knowing that there is someone else out there struggling with depression and anxiety like they are.

If this helps, then great.  It's a gift from God that I've finally been able to write again. 

PS-On a good note, the trees didn't get damaged in the severe frost, but we did lose a lot of fruit.  We are back to work (and I'm so out of practice that my muscles are screaming at me again.  I'm back to chewing ibuprofen like it's candy.)  Fortunately we have enough for the Kumquat Festival this weekend.  I'd suggest that if you are in the Tampa Bay region, stop by for some laughs and REALLY delicious Kumquat pie. 

PPS-  I'm doing TONS better about the whole ex-fiance thing.  It's not like ending a relationship with a boyfriend, for heavens sake, I was ready to pledge my live to him!  It's taken me some time, but I think with continuing to search for a new job, moving closer to the major city where a nightlife consists of more than the Waffle House open 24 hrs, and my counselor, I'll be fine.  At least I know I'm on the right road. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

I March to the Beat of a Different Drummer and I Won't Wear Your Damn Shoes!

It's time for me to toot my own horn, but not just for me, for any woman who has ever felt less than, who has questioned her gut instincts because someone else has told her that she is wrong.  This post is for any woman who has felt too fat, too plain, too outspoken, too wrong in every way.

I've lost 6lbs in the last 6 days.  Yea me for actually watching what the hell I've been eating!  I need and want to lose some weight so I can be a bit healthier, so I can chase after my son without wanting to die from lack of oxygen, so if I have to run (AGAIN) after a (suspected) rape victim I won't be so sore the next day I can't move without bitching.  The thing is, I'M DOING IT FOR MYSELF, not for anyone else!!!!!!

Women, have you ever made the mistake of trying to diet/lose weight to impress someone whether it be your family member who says that you have such a pretty face, but a fat ass or your (lame-ass, needs-to-be-dumped-right-away) boyfriend who "liked you when you first started going out, while there was a LOT more of you to like," but is "even turned on more now that there is LESS of you."

(Side note: 3 of the 4 guys I have dated were fixated on my weight/waist/chest size and each time I was with one of them, I tried to 'fix' my body to have their approval.  Thank God with the help of a great mentor and spiritual adviser, I've realized that the problem isn't ME, it's the assholes that I've been with.)

I wish every woman out there who has cried when she looked at the woman in the mirror, believing that she is too fat, too disgusting to be loved, could realize what it's taken me almost 30 years to realize.

This entire post stems from a commercial I saw while vegging out on the parent's couch Christmas day watching A Christmas Story marathon that PISSED. ME. OFF.  (Sidenote: I've spent several hours on the almighty Google and YouTube trying to locate the commercial just so I could get even more pissy before writing about said commercial.  No such luck.)

The product being touted by athletic-blond Barbie are those shoes with the curved sole, claiming to firm up you legs and butt just by walking around in them.  (Frankly, if you believe that walking ten feet around you kitchen and one trip through the grocery store a week will give you buns of steel, I have a bridge I'd like to sell you.)  So Christmas Barbie is putting gifts under the tree for her family, explaining who gets which present, when she pulls out the asstastic toning sneakers saying, "And for my husband I got myself a pair of <INSERT NAME-BRAND> shoes so I can be a sexier me."

^^^^^^^^^^^^Long pause^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Did I just hear that correctly?

You are going to be SEXIER FOR HIM?  Why don't you just say that your relationship with your husband is so superficial that you feel that a tighter ass will show your love for him?  That you aren't good enough/sexy enough to keep your husband happy?  That you are the problem?

WHAT. THE. HELL?

Ladies out there: NO!

We don't need to put up with this shit for one minute longer.  You are just right the way you are and if the man of you dreams thinks that your body shape/size is out of proportion for him, drop his ass right there.

What I'm trying to say is, if you want to/need to lose weight, DO. IT. FOR. YOURSELF.  No one else. 

I've made that mistake before.  I was with a man (men) who made me question my beauty, my self-worth, my self-esteem.  I'm not here to point fingers and play the blame game.  I went along with their ideas because I didn't love myself.  I didn't like what was inside me, so I thought I could fix the outside. 

I wish I could go back in time and tell myself  what the ever witty Jen Lancaster says in her book Such a Pretty Fat, "I'm tired of books where a self-loathing heroine is teased to the point where she starves herself skinny in hopes of a fabulous new life.  And I hate the message that women can't possibly be happy until we all fit into our skinny jeans.  I don't find these stories uplifting: they make me want to hug these women and take them out for fizzy champagne drinks and cheesecakes and explain to them that until they figure out their insides, their outsides don't matter.(Emphasis mine)

I am living my life one day at a time, loving myself.  Don't me wrong.  I have my ups and downs.  Being unemployed has not be the greatest thing on my ego.  Being a single mom with a wacky sense of humor sometimes makes me wonder how soon my son will ask to see a shrink.  I have days when I am horribly brutal to myself.  But the important thing is, I come out of it.  And I move forward.

Learn to love yourself first before you try to fix your weight.  And do it for yourself. 


I hope this is a message that I can pass on to my younger sisters and any women out there floundering around in a sea of weight-induced misery.  30 years is far too long a time to not enjoy life because you aren't a size 6. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

WikiLinks--Part 2 What I Really Wanted to Say

I am a ginormous fan of Jen Lancaster and credit her to being a huge source of inspiration for my continued writing endeavors.  She recently wrote a (humor) piece which many in the real world didn't understand.  I LOVE IT and wish that I could have come up with something as WITTY as this.  I encourage you to take a look and (hopefully) laugh as much as I did.

 If you don't get the humor of it, you may not understand me too well.