Feeling good :)

I’m wondering when you classify yourself as “cured” from depression?  Are you ever really cured or do you learn to manage this very real chemical imbalance in ones brain?  I feel good most days. I catch myself in a good mood here and there and I no longer feel the irritability, angst, and anxiety associated with depression. I’m looking forward to the future and toy with the idea of stopping my therapist appointments. I see her every 2 weeks now and when I do see her the 45 minutes are filled with various ways I  handle situations in my life.  And we also talk about all the good in my life.

The more I think about it, I don’t think I’m ready to stop seeing her. There isn’t a pressing “need” as was in the past, it’s more of a want to see her. To discuss my life; not dissect it. I think that’s the biggest difference in our talks. To not have my life under a microscope as was when the depression was taking over my life. To say  that the depression was bigger than me that it was taking over my life is accurate. Today I am bigger than the illness. And I’m proud of myself. Proud that I did not give up because giving up cannot be an option.

Im looking forward to events that in the past probably would have been fraught with worry and I wouldn’t have had any joy in them. I recently caught up with a friend who was visiting NY, she lives in California. When I was fighting the depression I wouldn’t have been able to sit and talk with her in the easy manner that we got along. Conversation flowed naturally and I had such joy in our time together. When events like that occur I know. I’m “okay”.

Joy. It can be so elusive. And when you’re depressed even the word can seem like it’s mocking you and seem so close yet so far away.

Waiting on the group home part 3 (I think)

Things are moving along albeit slowly but that’s okay. Slow and steady is fine for both Tommy and me. I’ve learned that an agency here had requested Thomas’ “packet” from his current school and it was quickly emailed off. I still have phone calls to make, Thomas is in need of a “Medicaid service coordinator” or MSC for short. This person will help greatly in setting up services for him when he comes to live in a group home. Thomas has  had MSC’s in the past when he lived at home. So we’re familiar with their role. Tommy and I are also meeting with the group home’s nurse and psychologist this week.  I’m looking forward to this meeting.

I have something amusing to write about. The person from the state who was previously pressuring me to accept group home placement in other boroughs *except* for the one we live on is now totally on board for Thomas to live here. On this borough. Really? The other day this person said to me, “You’ve been away from your son long enough, you need him to live near you now…” It was all I could do to not reply in a sarcastic manner but I knew I just couldn’t. Instead I exclaimed my agreement with them, “Oh yes, exactly!”

I’m so grateful to my church family for praying with us for the group home placement to happen. People I didn’t even realize were praying for us are doing so. The power of prayer is real and I’m honored with this wonderful group of people. It’s amazing how the Lord works, He is worthy to be praised!  When I look back at my  journey with Thomas it’s the times I know that God was with me that mean the most. He is always with me but the distinct times I know God was blatantly, no argument, hands down, definitely answering my prayers mean so much; how do you put it into words or explain it to someone? You can’t. You have to believe.

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10) is one of my favorite Bible verses. In looking up this verse I learned that “Be still” is to stop frantic activity, to cease and to look to the Lord for help.In this life I lead now,  I can see no other way to face a problem. Acknowledging that God is all knowing, everywhere and all powerful; trusting Him and His plan; that we understand who He is. When I am still and surrender to God I know I can find peace.



For the love of shoes and bags…

If anyone knows me they are well aware of what a shoe and bag whore I am. Even more so now that I’ve gained weight from medications I have to take. Shoes and bags don’t make you look anything but good (given you’re not breaking any fashion police rules and regulations). They always fit and always make me happy.

My loving husband recently asked me in an exasperated way do I really *need* as many shoes as I have. My short answer is yes, yes I do need them all. And don’t ask how many pairs I have I’ve yet to officially count. Each pair of shoes serves a specific purpose and/or mood and/or outfit. I know I’m not alone in my shoe habit. A recent conversation with my sister outed her as a boot whore. Hmmm…I wasn’t surprised. A similar conversation with my mother reminded me of her own large shoe collection.

Now before anyone cares to judge one can take a look at one’s own possessions and note if a pattern or series of replicas exist. I’m sure there is something out there. We all have our “thing(s)”.

My shoe obsession began around age 17. I bought many a pair and color of inexpensive high heel pumps as that was the style back then. I seriously have no idea how many pairs of shoes I owned but it was quite a bit. When I moved in with my husband my Dad literally filled up his small mini van with all my shoes to move them from his and my mothers house to Tommy’s apartment.  My soon to be husband I remember wasn’t thrilled. Neighbors thought my father was selling shoes out of his van.  They were asking if he had specific sizes. Good times…

I started getting into bags around 2002.  To beat the stress of living with Thomas and his out of control behavior I would surf the web looking at handbags, expensive handbags.  I still do it and  call it my mind candy.  Handbags like shoes aren’t size specific. So today  I’ve amassed a sizable handbag collection. So I’m not  kidding if I put in my Facebook status that I’m contemplating what bag to change into.  Sometimes it takes a lot of thought and consideration of what I’m about to wear and what the weather is going to be like. Yes, I have specific rainy day bags and no my bags don’t match my shoes. They’re not supposed in case you’re wondering.







The Typical Child.

Our oldest daughter, Alyssa is graduating high school this June. I’m amazed at how fast time has flown. It literally seems like just yesterday I was seeing her off to pre-school and she was crying for me to not leave her. I can’t help but remember her as a baby and how pretty she was/is. When Alyssa was born we were living in the first house we bought and thought we would live there forever. Two houses and two more kids later…things change.

These days Alyssa is driving (which surprisingly does not freak me out), off working her part time job or babysitting *and* planning for the next phase of her life: College. She’s planning on attending college in Manhattan at a fashion business college right in the heart of midtown. Exactly where she wants to be. I’m excited for her and I know she’s going to do well in college. She did really well in high school keeping up with the demands of the International Baccalaureate program (which is pretty much a super high honors program with the added bonus of earning college credits while in high school). I know I sound like I’m bragging but I can’t help it, we are very proud of her. Especially since she is the first child following Thomas.

When Alyssa was born I was so, so happy to have a typical child. Thomas was only 2 years old when Alyssa was born and his behavior was already off the hook. While Thomas was busy being his special needs self and I was attending to those needs, Alyssa would quietly meet every developmental milestone. To the innocent bystander Alyssa wasn’t doing anything “great”, but in my eyes she was. I noted every single one of those milestones and reveled in them. My mother and I swore it was as if she read a growth and development book and knew what to do next. I thanked God everyday that she was so typical.

So here we are almost 18 years later. Alyssa is still meeting milestones and doing what she’s “supposed” to do. God is still working in her life in a mighty way. We’re still attending to Thomas’ special needs but life isn’t as hectic as it used to be. Alyssa has been able to shine in her own typical way and that to me is fabulous.

A comedy show and a child

Last night I had the pleasure of seeing a Christian comedian. His name was David Dean (http://www.davidpdean.com/). He was funny and “clean” meaning no profanity or off color jokes. Believe it or not he didn’t need to be cursing to be funny. His act was great just the way it was. Our church sponsored the free event. I went with my oldest daughter Alyssa and one of her friends and her mom. It was nice to be out with my church people.

In the middle of his act David introduced us to New Missions (http://www.newmissions.org/). They are a missionary group in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. They educate children by building schools and they also plant churches and spread the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They have been serving in Haiti for 30 years. I loved what they are doing. After learning about New Missions, David returned to finish his comedy act and we were encouraged afterwards to consider sponsoring a child from Haiti. That $30.00 a month would provide education, food and medical care for a child.

After the concert Alyssa and I chatted with friends, we even left the building to walk to the car. But I hesitated and asked her if we should sponsor a child. I truly felt as if God had placed it on my heart to do so. We went back in the building and there were 4 pictures left of children needing to be sponsored. I could not get my eyes off this 5 year old boy’s picture. He is a beautiful child with big eyes. He lives in Haiti. He was “the one” for us. We filled out the necessary paperwork and off we were sent with Ive’s picture. I felt so responsible sponsoring this child. This is a commitment and a chance to make a difference in a child’s life who I may never even meet. It will be so great to watch him grow and receive letters from him.

I’m excited to start this journey.