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This past week has been crazy

Since leaving my job, I have been working on my Nano project- which turned into a short story I will be putting out somehow when I get it finished and a novel I am wanting to self publish when I get it finished. I have decided that, instead of trying the traditional route, I’m going to go ahead and self publish. I’m still looking into the different platforms but I still have time.

On top of that, I’m trying to prepare Bethcessories for the holidays- including my first print advertisement for local business. My word count for Nano is suffering, but my businesses are picking up right now. I guess you always have to sacrifice one thing for another. In the very near future, I’m going to be working more on my DIYmommy page, I’m trying to come up with a good domain for it since DIY mommy is taken. I want this to be different from this website but I’m not sure what to name it.

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What’s your passion?

“What’s your passion?” It’s a phrase asked by a lot of different counselors and coaches but how many people truly know what their real passion is? What exactly does passion mean? Does everyone have at least something they’re truly passionate about and can you have more than one if it’s truly a passion?

I read a status a friend posted recently and it had me thinking about the subject. My husband was really obsessed with computers when we met- until taking a class and burning out. He has also been into cars as long as I knew him. The difference was that he took a course in mechanics and is now working on cars professionally as well as for friends and family on the side and our cars and still far from burned out. He’ll swear up and down it’s not, but he is passionate about cars. He talks nonstop about cars. loves car shows and cars are his life. I always envied that. I have had friends who grew up super obsessed with stuff and now they are living it. The hobbies are now in their careers and those hobbies are enmeshed in their lives.

A passion is more than an interest, you can easily burn out from doing something you’re interested in too much. You can burn out or find out you’re not as interested in something like you first thought. If you’re passionate about something, truly passionate, you will never burn out. You could spend your whole life doing it and do it 20 hours a day and you’ll still want to do it. It could be a mechanic who goes home to work on his own car or play video games where he fixes cars or the make up artist who spends their free time studying make up techniques and practicing 24/7. It could be music, sports, dancing, a hobby that isn’t a career but you want it to be a career or you could be lucky and have it as your career.

Passion gives you motivation to get through the day, to wake up and get to work. You will never get tired of it like you do everything else and if you do manage to make it into a career, you will never work a day in your life. Passion is what it takes to truly succeed, you just have to find it. Everyone has the ability to find their passion, some have more than one but most haven’t fully realized it.

To find it, just look at every job you have held, everything you have burned out on and everything you love doing. You will likely find one thing you dream of doing and one thing you’re able to see yourself doing for years to come without it getting old.

After years of looking, I finally found mine- what’s yours? Can you pinpoint what your true passion is?

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Frozen Perfectionist

I am what is known as a “frozen perfectionist.” I was diagnosed with OCD as an adult, after discussing my childhood with a therapist after losing a child (the symptoms got too bad to ignore). I finally found out why I obsess over nearly everything but some of the symptoms didn’t add up. I started researching self help and found the term frozen perfectionist- when a perfectionist gets so afraid of failure, they can’t move forward. When I found that, it summed where I was in life. I wanted to go back to school, was too afraid of what could happen. I had a rough draft of a novel- I was too afraid to go any further. I had tons of dreams but I was so afraid of failing, I was stuck working in a dead end job afraid of going after anything better.

The book that changed me was “Stop Self Sabotage.” It made me stop and really start looking at my own issues. When I was 18 and a college freshman, I had confidence. I knew I had my life in front of me and since I was out of my parents’ rule, I had freedom. I messed up and starting skipping classes. That led to me being put out on academic suspension and I was talked into dropping out instead of going back the next semester. That summer, I started dating an old friend from high school who literally beat the confidence out of me. It took me two years to get away from him but in that time, I was shattered. I wasn’t “allowed” to open the business I wanted to open (even though my plan impressed the woman at the SBA so much I would have gotten the loan immediately). I wasn’t “allowed” to go back to school- if he was unable to graduate, I wouldn’t be able to either- he was “insanely intelligent” and I wasn’t- so if he couldn’t do it, I couldn’t. I dealt with tear downs along with those subtle insults for 2 years until I finally got him to kick me out of the house (after he cheated) and took advantage to finally break up with him fully. By that time, I was 21 and a wreck. It compounded on my own perfectionist traits.

What exactly is “Frozen Perfectionism?”

A frozen perfectionist is someone born with the perfectionist traits who goes untreated for too long and finds themselves frozen in fear- fear of failing and fear of moving forward for whatever reason. It could be considered a side effect of OCD/OCD perfectionism. This has become a nonresearched opinion due to not finding my original sources. The term that is now coming up is perfection paralysis- but it’s the same concept.

What is OCD Perfectionism?

OCD and perfectionism do not always go hand in hand BUT they do in a lot of cases. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is not the quirk of needing everything organized or being really neat. That is a quirk, OCD is an Anxiety Disorder that causes random and truly meaningless (and often totally out there) thoughts- they become obsessions then that leads to a most of the time unrelated compulsion to do something and that will “prevent” the obsession from happening. (As in- fear of your child dying, it becomes a near- phobic obsession that you cannot shake. In order to prevent your child from dying, your anxiety tells you you have to count every step you take. Counting quickly eases the anxiety but now you’re stuck in the trap of having to count every single step you take at all times- otherwise your child will die.

That is the reality of OCD- it’s not a funny little joke, it’s a really severe Anxiety disorder that needs treatment (NOT medication)

Perfectionism also involves a lot of anxiety. It’s an obsession with everything being perfect. It’s the obsessive need to be the best- at everything and anything that does not come naturally is to be given up.

The kid sitting in the front of the class who studies all the time, finishes his test earlier than the rest of the class and still gets straight As is likely not a perfectionist. The kid in the back who writes a few words, erases, writes a tiny bit more and frantically tries to make his writing absolutely perfect while failing tests due to incomplete responses is more likely to be a perfectionist.

Perfectionism can go far enough to be an actual mental disorder- when the desire becomes obsession and anxiety takes over with every failure. That’s where perfectionist paralysis comes in. It’s when the fear of failing is so strong, you freeze in order to protect yourself. You’re unable to complete projects (like my novel) because you’re so afraid of failing, you get stuck.

 

How I am Trying to Battle OCD Perfectionism Without Professional Help

I was diagnosed at 26, after losing a baby. My OCD had got so bad, I was afraid of carrying my living child up or down the stairs. I started grief therapy to handle losing Cassie and started talking to her about my childhood. After mentioning some quirks I have held my whole life, she told me Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I started studying deeper into it and found it to describe my whole life.

She also told me to run from anyone who tried to medicate me because it needs treatment but not medication. She also gave me the advice that helped me more than anything else-

When your brain is stressing- ask yourself, is this a worry a “normal” person would feel or is it the OCD/Anxiety?

I started reading self help books about OCD and ran across Stop Self Sabotage. I ignored the advice that you need to be under a professional’s care to do exposure therapy, and so far, I’ve kicked a phobia of driving and am working on the fear I have of failing. I started cold pitching to different sites and magazines and in a few cases, I have even pitched and applied to places I knew would reject me so I could start to get used to being rejected before my book is ready to be published.

I also have started asking trusted sources if a thought is normal or I try to put myself in a normal person’s shoes.

Those have been helping me personally and I’m going longer and longer periods of time without the OCD acting up. I have read OCD is one mental illness that can totally clear up on it’s own, so I’m hoping with time I can fully kick it for good.

My Tips For Dealing With OCD On Your Own

  1. Step back and think- when you have an obsessive thought, try to determine if it’s a legitimate thought or if it’s anxiety
  2. Remember, above all, OCD is an ANXIETY disorder
  3. The compulsions are NOT going to help- when you learn your obsessions, identify them and avoid the compulsions. They ease anxiety, BUT it hurts your recovery.
  4. The best way to recover from OCD is to avoid compulsions and ride out the anxiety. Once you see that the bad won’t happen, it slowly eats away at the obsession until there is nothing left.
  5. It’s hard, and you may need a therapist but riding out the anxiety (through exposure therapy) is the best way to recover

Look at Perfectionism as a form of OCD- it’s an obsessive need to be perfect. Slowly expose yourself to failing and being seen as imperfect. Me blogging is part of my self therapy. Not being seen as perfect helps as exposure therapy and over time, perfectionism can be overcome.

*Side note- I started this post months ago and have been working on adding to it and finalizing it but since then, I lost all sources I found that mentioned “frozen perfectionist” so I can’t link to a proper definition. I believe the term that keeps popping up now is “Perfection Paralysis“*

Also- with any anxiety or mental health problem, you do need to have a diagnosis to deal with things like Obsessive Compulsive. Perfectionism is not a mental disorder in and of itself, but it can turn into one.

 

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I’ve been trying to get more involved in my daughter’s school

But there is a big difference between our family (young, not rich but not poor, just not upper class) and the majority of the other parents (richer area- which is one huge factor in us wanting to keep her there and make sure her sister goes to that school). It also seems like our lifestyles are different- neither of us drink. At all. We went to a charity event and almost everyone there seemed to have drinks in their hands.

We are also an estimated 10 years younger than most of the other parents I have seen. I have actually been trying to research how to socialize with people of totally different lifestyles and all that and found very little but I’m at a point, I’m modeling being nonsocial to my kids- spending my “social” time talking to friends online instead of seeing people in person. My two year old wants a playmate and my older daughter is now starting to shy away from other kids (but she is also showing interest).

I’ve been trying to put myself in situations to talk to the other parents, so this year I volunteered as the homeroom parent.

So, I have my day job

My 2 side Etsy shops

My side freelancing

Making PTA meetings, school meetings with her team at school, doctors appointments and therapist appointments (she’s in speech, occupational and physical)

and now, making sure I’m able to help out with all the things the HP is supposed to help with- not too much, only a few things and I got one knocked out yesterday afternoon.

There are two coming up next month and after that, not really much until the next party so it’s not going to be time consuming. This is the year I need to sign her up for something- something to get her around other kids her age.

This is what happens when you take someone- give them a type A along with the ADHD attention span, make them a perfectionist- take away all idea of what they want to do career wise then plop them in the middle of motherhood and give them only a part time job and very little choice with what they went to school for.

You get someone like me- the career mindedness of a Type A but with very little direction and a short attention span (unless I’m writing or talking about something like tarot or astrology, or sewing)

Finding out what my outter limits are will be fun, but I’m very far from hitting it. My kids still get attention, I still get sleep (most nights) and nothing important gets neglected. I’d much rather have a full schedule and always be heading out than a laid back day filled with nothing-

I’m still looking for that magical formula for fitting in and figuring out how to socialize with people so much different from me. Just my clothing and tattoos make me stand out- add in religion and even age and I blank when I try to figure out how to start conversations. (and the fact my daughter is special needs makes it that much harder)

I was trying to get to know another mother in a similar situation but heard her talking about church playdates. It had me thinking about looking into local places around here for Pagans- found a few groups and learned we have a larger community than I thought- now it comes down to finding the time to make it to any of the gatherings. If it’s not trying to find stuff, it’s always feeling like I’m on a time crunch- even though most of the time I’m not.

 

This should be a fun year, though. I won’t be able to attend the first PTA meeting but I’m hoping I’ll be able to make all the others and I’m hoping I’ll be able to actually volunteer this year. I may also find a way to have a little “me” time without keeping myself up this late (I need to go to bed, but I’ve been off 3 days- so that means I’ve been with my girls nonstop) I’m living for this weekend (we’re taking our anniversary trip that we had to call off last month). For 3 days, it will be just me and my husband- no certain time to get out of bed and no certain time to do anything else. I cannot wait for some true relaxation.

 

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How Many Times Have You Had to Reheat the Same Cup of Coffee?

I’m sure any other coffee addict moms can answer. I think my record for reheating coffee was about 5 or 6 times- including 2 times without drinking any because I forgot to take it out of the microwave.

Once I left a cup of decaf in the microwave, forgot about it because we were so busy packing to move. We moved the microwave into our new apartment and the next day(2-3 days after leaving the coffee) I opened it and found the mug still intact and not a single drop spilled.

I’m becoming my mom. I grew up watching her constantly misplace her cup and now every day it feels like I have to search for it.

 

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Ever wonder what it’s like trying to get into shape with a condition like Ehlers Danlos?

You put on a workout video. They have 2 types of people in the background- the ones doing the main moves and the ones doing the modifications for people who are new to working out or have various limitations.

You try the limitations. You start to feel and hear your shoulder or knee pop. Then you modify the modifications because you remmeber last time you did a major workout and threw your knee so badly out it took several hours for it to pop back in- by that time, you were in the waiting room at the ER because this time you couldn’t walk nor put pressure on your leg and it took your dad on one side and your husband on the other side to help you hobble out of the house and into the car, every pot hole and bump in the road sent a searing pain through your knee and you were crying- until it “magically” popped back into place and the pain was gone.

Most of the time, if you threw a joint out, it would pop right back in so that time stood out in your mind because of the pain. After that, you were nervous about working out again so you would do it sporadically.

Your history of c sections combined with diagnosis of Hashimotos mixed and you knew you needed to workout. When you met with the genetic specialist who gave you the EDS diagnosis, you asked her. She told you water aerobics and swimming- stuff easy on the joints but you have no access to a pool so you got stuck. That put you back on square one and back to the risky exercises.

I’m down 50lbs but about 20 was from being hyperthyroid right after my daughter was born. I went down from 220 to about 180, back up to 190 then from 190 to 170ish after getting my thyroid regulated post surgery and switching to the gluten/dairy free lifestyle. Now, I’m about 30 away so I need more than changing my diet. I prefer the Stronger workouts (livestrong) but I have to do the modifications and sit out from certain exercises- it still works pretty well since they are laid out.

 

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I’m getting ready to do a full series on attraction

I read an article a while back about being the ugly friend. I’m tired of hearing “ugly” being used as an insult since attractiveness means different things to different people and no one is universally ugly- or attractive. Even the most attractive woman in the world wouldn’t be seen as attractive to every single person on this planet- but even the ugliest wouldn’t be ugly to others.

There are many layers to what makes someone attractive and so much more than I could write in one post so I’m doing an introduction to the series. I’m not sure how many I will post in this series, I have 2 drafts started, a few questions asked on my facebook and a few questions I’ll be writing as an interview and asking questions so at least 5.

 

If anyone has any questions about the series- feel free to comment.

I do not believe in the concept of true attractiveness. I don’t believe in universal nor do I believe in being jealous (I do think there are people jealous- but I don’t believe in being jealous- I consider any feelings of jealousy to be showing me where I need to self reflect and try to improve myself

I never had destructive jealousy when I was younger, but this series is going to be written more directed at a younger age- early 20s and single- touching on getting older and aging since we all know a lot of physical attractiveness tends to fade over the years- especially when upkeep gets put on the back burner.

I do not consider myself to be unattractive nor attractive- but average look wise- same as the majority of the population as a whole and when I speak on attractive, I typically mean conventional.

My first will be listing the benefits I could find about being the so called “ugly friend”

Others will be a poll I’m currently taking about what people find more attractive- intelligence, personality or physical appearance

Heavily researched articles about “beauty privilege” and “ugly discrimination”as well as the benefits to being seen as conventionally attractive.

and in the end, I’ll end it with open questions and poll about what makes people attractive to other people. (asking random people)

If anyone has any questions about any of these or have any questions they would like to see answered, feel free to comment the questions.

 

 

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Is Drinking Really Worth It?

I read so much about parents and drinking, all the posts and memes about wine and all the jokes about how bad mommy needs a drink. 

It had me thinking about it a while back, and while I really didn’t mean to write this, I’m writing it now. People who knew me pre-kids and pre-marriage and know me now have seen a huge change. Before I met my (pretty much, anti alcohol) husband, I was an alcoholic. My day consisted of- gym, walk to work, walk to bar before going home. That was my daily life. I was functional- but not. I was able to hold a job but there were times I would spend nearly my whole bank account and barely remember the last night. One St Patrick’s Day, I spent 12 hours at the bar. They knew me by name and it was a time I felt like I fit in.

Then, my husband and I met and I cut down massively- he was 19 and I was 22 when we met so I couldn’t go to the bar anymore (I could, but I wanted to go out with him). I never was a fan of drinking solo, so I quit. I got pregnant right after we got married and attended my very first party without drinking- I still had fun, even though he and I were the only ones not drinking. As I got a little older and more established as a new mommy, alcohol was losing it’s appeal completely. Since having kids, I have only drank a handful of times and after my last time, I won’t again.

I started looking for nonreligious places to go to meet other adults with kids but no alcohol and it’s tough. It feels like drinking is the most symbolic part of being an adult. I know I’m not the only one who feels that alcohol isn’t as sweet and innocent a joke as people seem to think.

While looking up the “mommy needs a drink” joke, I found this from the site Salon talking about growing up living that “joke.”

Coming from the experience of “I really need a drink” (in order to properly function), I don’t consider that joke to be funny. I do have days I don’t get the chance to sit until bedtime, I have bad days- but nothing so bad it would put me back in the bottle.

In my failed attempts to locate family friendly events where I could possibly meet other local parents, I attended a family friendly charity event about a year ago. They had two kid booths but in the food booths the smell of alcohol was so strong I could barely smell the food. We had a hard time hearing each other or our kids over the sound of the adults getting louder and more obnoxious that we left after the girls ate. By the time we left, we were walking past groups of grown women who were loud, obnoxious and flirting with men who were on the same level of intoxication. This was in a rich part of town with men and women who put on a classier show in other places. I was honestly surprised to see so many people acting like teenagers.

Last year we went on vacation with my mom and dad. My husband and I went to the hotel restaurant to grab desert. There was a family and the dad was obnoxiously drunk already, with two young kids in his party.

When I was a child, I was taken home after people started drinking. I would notice the adults getting louder and crazier but we always left. Both my parents were totally against alcohol so I’m sure the way I was raised may have something to do with it, but should parents get drunk around their kids? Sure, drinking a few sips or drinking a bottle with a meal isn’t too bad, but should parents really let their young kids see them actually get intoxicated?

There have been studies about parental drinking around kids, even moderate drinking- and seeing parents drunk or tipsy can upset children. There has also been findings that people who watched their parents drinking growing up tend to be more likely to drink as teens and associate with younger drinkers.***

Being taken away didn’t keep me from trying it at 18 or going to a bar regularly at 22, but I also quit drinking quickly. I was a daily drinker from 21 until shortly after my 22nd birthday, when I started to put it down. This past June, on vacation, I got a Margarita but it took me 30 minutes to regulate my breathing and I felt my throat closing, so I am done now. Before that, it had been over a year and before that, another year. I still can go out with friends and have fun. My husband and I have gone to a few local shows and it is more enjoyable without getting dizzy and agitated. Same with going to parties, but I’m still at a stage where I’m more interested in kid’s parties and kid friendly events I can take the whole family.

My kids have never seen me drunk nor intoxicated and I know they never will, I’m saying now I have an alcohol allergy, if pressed, I’ll also admit to being in recovery- it may have been a short time, but at that time my life revolved around alcohol and I never want the girls to go through it.

Even though you can’t prevent your kids from experimenting or giving in to peer pressure, you can educate them on the dangers of alcohol. You can tell them it’s addictive and the problems it causes. It impairs your ability to think right- it causes accidents. In fact, in the US alone, 10,497 people were killed in 2016 due to intoxicated drivers- 28% of accidents that year (according to the CDC). It also harms your liver, kidneys and can lead to liver failure if you drink too much.

Getting drunk itself is a result of alcohol being a poison and the puking and passing out is actually a warning sign of drinking too much- potential alcohol poisoning. Alcohol poisoning can easily lead to death.

Just because people say red wine and moderate drinking (1 glass for a woman, 2 for a man) have health benefits, lifestyle may play a bigger role than the alcohol. There haven’t been enough long term studies to fully prove red wine is as healthy as they say it is. Just like beer, liquor and other forms of alcohol, wine is also a depressant. It slows your body down and can lead to so much more pain than enjoyment. Is it really worth the risk?

 

 

 

 

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These are a few of my favorite things

I’m wanting to step up my diet a bit more.

I have been strict gluten free for a year now, I’m almost fully dairy free but soy is my problem.

I think I’m going to fully take dairy out at home and out of home then work on soy.

Already- those homemade lattes I posted- just as good and cheaper than Starbucks doubleshots

Earth Balance instead of butter

20180702_2230432071125857565148264.jpg

Silk Almond milk for baking and for my kids (and me occasionally)

I use the nonflavored and unsweetened for cooking

Enjoy Life as a snack

 

It’s delicious and dairy, soy and gluten free- full winner

and you have to have salad dressings when you eat as much salad as I do

They aren’t perfect, they do have soy but I’ll phase soy out like I did dairy. I do use replacements for sour cream and cream cheese as well and I’m really liking Daiya cheese on sandwiches.

Other than that, I bake deserts from scratch- that way I can control what is in the cookies and cake and I try to always cook my lunch for work before I go. I’ll possibly do that for my younger daughter when she starts school since she’s restricted.

I’ll be posting more of my favorite gluten/dairy and/or soy free products as well as more recipe conversions and recipes as I make them.

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Homemade Mocha Latte

I love mocha lattes from Starbucks and finally found a recipe for it a while back. It tastes just as good as the ones from there.I was able to make it Gluten/Dairy/Soy free

Fresh brewed coffee

Cocoa Powder

Sweetened Almond milk

Sugar

Brew your coffee then mix a spoon of cocoa powder, 2 spoons of sugar and add milk to your preference.

The alternative I found was to use chocolate almond milk and it works almost as well (not as good, but still good)

If you don’t need it to be dairy free, add some whipped cream on top and toss in a few df/gf/sf Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips on top.