Showing posts from November, 2022

Practical Tips for Planning a Wedding with Mental Illness

This is going to be a very different blog than I usually post. On this date, I've been married for just over six weeks. The craziness of the wedding is quickly fading. So my plan is to make a list and add to it over the course of a month or so, until I think I've remembered most of what I thought about right after the wedding was over.  However, first you need to know a few things about me: - I am 54 years old and was engaged to a 52-year-old man who had a full-time 8-5 office job. - When we were dating, I lived with my elderly parents; he had a roommate. Even while sharing expenses in each of our living situations, we barely lived paycheck to paycheck. - Every part of this wedding would be paid for solely by us. - Every part of this wedding would be planned and 95% carried out by me.  (Note that these are in no particular order.) 1 - KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid)...  When I first started planning, I knew I should keep it simple. I knew how important that was because I was doing

When Something You've Dreamed for Happens

(Note - this isn't a post about a stigma... but it is about gratitude, which is a major part of overcoming all of the stigmas that many of us have to deal with.) I had planned to write this right after it happened but life got in the way. Now, several days later, I finally have a minute to do so.  My new husband is a drummer. It's part of his identity, though he might not admit it. He hasn't played in years but still thinks about it a lot. I can fully understand this because being a musician (guitarist and keyboardist) is part of my identity, even though it's been even longer than him since I last played. Like so many other things in my life, like learning sign language or becoming a writer, I had given up on ever playing again, especially as part of a team. He hadn't... though he did recognize that it was very unlikely for him to do so again. When we first started dating and found out that the other had played on worship teams before, there was a slight hope that o


Today is one of those many days I've had lately where I'm full of mixed emotions - and where I possibly got something very wrong. I'm literally at a conference that I've covered for the last three years (well, it would have been four if not for COVID.) For this conference, I'm "just" a photographer. There are other writers covering each session. The first year I worked with this media outlet, I knew nothing about working with a newspaper - at least not for something like this. This is one of the biggest events that this media company covers each year - and that first year, I was the only photographer. I didn't slow down for a moment all three days. If I wasn't taking pics, I was culling and editing... and editing again because I second-guessed everything I did then (now I just second-guess about half of my editing. Sigh...) This year is really different. I was really upset and felt extremely slighted when I was told that I would only be needed for

Nerves, Part 2

 This time it's not the middle of the night. In fact, it's almost the exact same time I wrote "Nerves" - just change the AM to a PM.  My nerves are back, with a vengeance.  This time it's not as much physical as emotional. It's flat-out worry.  With anxiety disorder, worry is common for me. I have to actively fight against letting it overtake my life. Most days I win, if only by a slight margin in triple-overtime. Today I'm losing... badly. It's been a massacre. It's also been a long time since I was physically affected by the anxiety I'm feeling. My stomach is in knots. That feeling is not that uncommon for me but it's usually over something imminent and usually focused on one issue. Right now I feel this way because of a multitude of issues.  One is the surgery I'm having in, GULP!, 11 days to repair a torn rotator cuff. I've been dreading it now for a couple of months. As it gets closer, I am getting even more nervous. I think of

To Be a Sheep, or Not To Be - Only One of the Many Questions I Think About

Right now I'm in the church I attend. Note that I didn't say I was in a class or in the worship service. I'm in an empty room with my earbuds in while the service is going on about 200 feet away.  I'm in here for two reasons. One is that my stomach really hurts. I would rather run out of here than run full speed out of the sanctuary if I suddenly get a lot worse.  The other is much, much more complex.  I won't name the denomination or the church, but it's the denomination I grew up in. I would consider it a "high expectations" denomination, one built around following rules, with a lot of emphasis on "doing good works" for God.  Throughout my 54 years, I've questioned a lot of those rules, always trying to figure out what is a cultural expectation/tradition versus what God really wants us to do.  It makes me really angry when I hear all of the guilt trips that are a part of the church, at least all of the churches I've attended. These


It's 2:57 am and I'm obviously not asleep. Being awake at this time isn't unusual for me. It's my pattern most nights that I fall asleep early (my best friend calls it my "baby bedtime") then wake up somewhere in the 1:00 am to 3:00 am range. I'm awake for maybe an hour or so and then I got back to sleep and sleep through the night. Insomnia, unfortunately, is also something I'm really familiar with. I've had bouts of insomnia so bad that I didn't want to go to bed, knowing I wouldn't be able to sleep - or sleep more than an hour or so. However, I haven't experienced that kind of ongoing, overwhelming anxiety for a little while now. (Thank God!) This time was different. I woke up like normal and did what I usually do - play games on my phone and listen to ASMR videos on YouTube until I get sleepy again. But then I started thinking... Those thoughts have continued racing through my mind ever since I woke up. I'll come back to them la