Caffeine, Self Care & Strength

I am sitting on the patio at 7:28 a.m. here in Tucson, Arizona, sipping my coffee, enjoying the morning sounds. I am sitting in the sun, letting it warm my face, giving me the Vitamin D that I need to have. Smelling the fresh cut grass as the landscapers are here doing the yard work in our little townhouse community. And then suddenly, I had this pull, this urge to write and share my thoughts out.

This morning when I woke up, after a night of crazy dreams, some of which woke me up, I found myself casting spells banishing certain people from my life, as I am waking myself up. I tried to lay in bed longer as I don’t have to work for another 4 hours, however something inside me said: “I need to make a coffee scrub for my face.” And so, I went out into the kitchen, grabbed coffee beans ground them up with coconut oil and sugar, went to the bathroom and scrubbed my face with the mixture. Ron poked his head in to see what I was doing and how it worked, it intrigued him that suddenly I would get this in my head. The past 2-3 weeks I have been doing crazy things like this. Yesterday I worked on my shrine to Bast, which I thought was my altar however I see now it’s my shrine to Bast. I picked her up, cleaned her beautiful statue, cleaned the area where she sits and asked her what she wanted this time of the year. I gathered fresh Rosemary from the garden, fresh Juniper from out front of our house, some mint even and placed them all around her. We gave her an offering of kitty treats and set up the shrine as she wanted it set up for the time being. We lit sage with fun Samhain music playing while we cleaned the house. We ate a nice breakfast together. After spending some time indoors, we came outside to work in the garden, which by the way is finally coming back to life after our record heat and drought that we are dealing with. My mint is taking over, the vincas are huge, the spider plants are creeping, the daisies are in bloom and my Texas Sage is growing and blooming purple flowers. Then we sat and watched some of the “Halloweentown” series that Disney put out.

For two weekends in a row we have been making our thing to watch the fun Halloween movies, not the scary gory stuff. I am happy to say that for the first time ever, I watched all the Harry Potter movies, something I have never done and I am a Harry Potter Fan.

Before going to bed last night, I reflected on how 4 years ago to this day I was fighting to live, quite literally. On October 6th of 2016, I had felt the beginnings of what changed my life forever, a kidney stone lodged in my left ureter causing septic shock and my near death experience. I was rushed to the hospital on October 13, 2016 after I had been trying to push the stone out on my own, using all the “at-home” remedies that you find online, none worked for me. I was working for the same company I work for now, I was putting in 60 hours a week during what we used to call “black-out”, the busiest time of the year for my company where everyone works and you bank killer over time. Being the workaholic that I used to be, as soon as overtime opened I ran with it, I had overtime from 2015 until that fateful day, 60 hours a week is what I worked every week, burning myself out. Ron, my husband had to rush to the emergency room on October 13, 2016, neither of us knowing what was to come and how much our lives would be changed. I walked into the emergency room bundled in sweats, meanwhile outside it was 95 degrees here in Tucson, I was freezing and could not find my warmth. I waiting patiently curled up next to Ron on the chairs waiting to be seen, we waited maybe 5 minutes if that when the nurse came running out and grabbed me quickly. From there it’s mostly a big huge blur for, in fact I do not remember 4 of the 7 days that I was in the hospital. I was told that I was in ICU for 3-4 days, then in a regular room the remaining time. I have a dreaded fear of hospitals, from all the horror movies I have seen since I was a kid, so thank goodness I don’t remember the first 4 days.

I can remember coming home and being so happy to see Chloe our red-heeler/husky and Moca our Birman cat. I just wanted to be home, safe in my own home, sleeping in my own bed, resting. Ron made a makeshift bed for me in the living room, so when he went to work I was not forced to sit on the bed all day waiting for him to come home to take care of me. I had a stent placed in the ureter and it made it difficult to sit comfortably, walk or do much. My body was worn down from the surgery, the sepsis and everything that being in the comfort of my living room was fine with me. I ended having an offer to go to another person’s house, the plan was that this person would have me taking care of her mother while I am healing myself. How does that work? It doesn’t work, not at all. I should have been left to be at home, where I was comfortable, I was too weak to fight and Ron thought: “Well, at least she won’t be alone.” It created a lot of trauma for me in the end as well as our fur babies, to this day on this day Chloe clings to me and doesn’t like to leave my side.

You would think that after what I went through that I would have listened to the Universe the first time that it said: SLOW DOWN!! I didn’t and over the last four years, I have been trying to keep going, being trying to stay strong and not crack under the pressure that I put myself under. This is the year that broke me and made me realize that it’s time to slow down, take care of myself. The bills will be paid, the job will be there for me, I have to take care of myself first so that I can work, so that I can be here for others and be happy again. I have been through so many “quick fixes”, read so many self help books, tried going to the Christian church and turning to the Christian God, to no avail, I ended up more depressed than I started out being and even more traumatized that I was before. This is the year I stopped self help books, I stopped looked outside and started to look inward to find my inner peace, deal with my darkness, deal with my demons to be happy again.

I have been taking this self care thing very seriously, as of late, as I have not done this too much in the past, it was always working to pay bills and take care of others. This year has taught me to slow down more than the previous years or even when I had Septic shock which was the first time I was told to slow down and didn’t listen. It took something like being stuck not being able to go do things like we used to last year or the previous years to make me stop, reflect, and appreciate life, more importantly appreciate myself. Just recently, I have had some leg pain in my right leg, it started as a burning sensation then it went to throbbing to the point where it hurt to walk, the first thing Ron said was “varicose veins”, a few other people said “blood clots”. Well, it would be no surprise as I have gained weight over the years, I have yo-yo’ed on diets, tried low carbs, tried so many different “fixes”, even tried Thrive, I could not lose weight, I mean I lost maybe 10 pounds but that is it. I started to do some research for vitamins for women my age (50 years old) and what popped up is what stopped me dead further in my tracks and have that A-HA moment!! I am in peri-menopause!!! Of course I am, I am the right age for it, why not!!

I am now in a mindset where my health is one of my number one things that I am focused on, not just physically, I mean mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Taking diet pills, cutting out foods, counting calories, reading labels, counting carbs, downloading apps to hold you “accountable”, getting on the scale weekly just isn’t healthy at all people, it can lead to further depression if you are not losing the intended weight that you want to lose, let’s be honest there. I have been focused on self love, self care, and having a great self body image now. Do I have cellulite, sure do? Do I have stretch marks, sure do? Do I have fat or am I what society calls overweight, yup sure do and sure am.

Honestly, I don’t mind being overweight at this time, it’s to be expected at my age, I can lose it if I want to with exercise and cutting out sugar, which I rarely eat anyway. As far as the depression, it’s a matter of finding what makes me happy, not what makes others happy. I used to turn to people for advice on my hair, my nails, my clothes, my makeup and I ended up miserable. Just recently I dyed my hair red again, not the red I really want but it’s red for now, it’s a process and I will have the red that I want to do. I bought myself foundation for my face, turned out I am a cool vanilla in foundation, not warm beige like so many people had me believing, I am almost porcelain and I am honestly okay with that now. I am taking vitamins that work for me, ones to help my hair grow out from the pixie cut that I have been wearing for far too many years. I am taking a good multivitamin for me. I am starting to get what I want in my house as far as decor and household items. I am taking back what is mine to take back, I am taking back my power, which is something that I heard someone say you should never say you are taking back. Why not take back our power?

I say take back the power, get the strength back and never allow anyone to take that from you again. In strength we find confidence, in confidence we can go forward in life and be successful in whatever we do.

The sun this morning is empowering me. The fact that I have survived that which should have taken my life 4 years ago strengthens, encourages and empowers me to keep going everyday with a new hope each day. Today as well as the past few weeks have been enlightening times for me, they are empowering me to be the strong, beautiful, intelligent, courageous woman that I am. I am able to get out of bed and keep moving, keep going, stay positive, share my story, encourage others and build myself up while doing it. I am happy to be alive and see another sunrise.

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