Champagne & Chocolate Fridays – Afternoon Champagne

Champagne & Chocolate Fridays - Afternoon Champagne

This week I’m toasting afternoon champagne, a really smart friend who is following through on a project idea from ages ago – making me feel worthwhile, my boyfriend Howard Jones for being my boyfriend Howard Jones, and a nice long weekend. What are YOU toasting to this weekend?


How did I get here? Hospital fun. (Part 4)

Hospital bore

Backtracking for just a second, I got a few questions about my last post – mostly about my “theme” for the year and how my list of 100 resolutions related to it.  As you could see, I outlined the areas of my life I wanted to focus my theme on.  Then, when I wrote up the 100 things I wanted to do this year, I made sure they fell into one of those categories.



Develop my spiritual life and grow to better myself.

Some of the things I listed in my 100 Resolutions included tasks such as finding a church home, reading certain spiritual or self-health books, etc.

So, I made a very active point of making sure that what I accomplished this year lined up with what I wanted to do for myself in regards to my theme.  Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

Some things on my list are incredibly time consuming (ie. Watch all seasons of Arrested Development) and some are silly little fun things (ie. Picnic in the park).

However, I was in such a huge depression at the beginning of the year, and I was so physically unwell, I really thought I was going to scrap the whole thing.  I just didn’t….care.

This was an incredibly dark time.  I was spending a LOT of time alone, as was my preference at the time – and even with being encouraged otherwise.  I didn’t want to see anyone.  I didn’t want to talk to anyone outside of my husband.  I didn’t care about anything.  Whether I got dressed for the day or not, whether the kitchen was a mess, nothing.

I had this horrible tape running through my head that was only playing negative self-talk.  I was worthless.  I was stupid.  I didn’t deserve anything good.  And on, and on.  I started thinking a lot about someone who had an influence on me growing up and dwelling on how upsetting the relationship was.  I would cry for no reason.  I would cry for EVERY reason.

I would worry constantly.  Mostly I worried about past mistakes I had made in my life and how the guilt of them was sometimes too much to take.  How my mistakes outweighed any good in my life (or so I thought).  How I’d never really be a healthy, productive, functional person who enjoyed life again.  I worried I was going a little nuts-o.

And so….I worried myself to the point of getting really, really sick.

Towards the end of March I was having really bad stomach pains.  I’m a stomach sleeper and I found that I couldn’t lie on my stomach because it hurt too much.  After a couple days of it not improving, I had a phone appointment with a doctor who was not my own (mine was on vacation) and he was pretty sure I had a bad case of gastroenteritis and he thought I should be better within 5-7 days.

I took the self-care advice he gave me, but I still felt miserable after 7 days.  I had a slight fever, I wasn’t eating at all, and I would have severe stabbing pains in my stomach on occasion.  When it didn’t resolve itself like the doctor thought, I went in to see a doctor live (my doctor was still out so I ended up seeing my husband’s doctor).  As I was describing my pain, and the location of my pain, he felt I might have appendicitis, although I didn’t have the typical symptoms.  He did further testing, although he too thought it was a bad case of gastroenteritis.  He told me to come back in 2 days for the test results.

The next day, I was in even more pain and couldn’t wait another day for the results, so I called the doctor and he promised to call me back with my test results once they came back.  He did, and at first he thought I had a kidney infection because my white blood cell count was very high, but it kept nagging him that I was in so much pain in my appendix area.  So, he sent me for a CT scan, late in the day.

That night around 10:00 he called me at home and said I needed to get to the hospital, I had an abscess on my appendix.

I’m not going to write about the 5 day hospital stay or treatment, because it’s actually incredibly uncomfortable and unpleasant to think about – it was not a happy time, to say the least.  My initial recovery time at home was also a very bad experience (mainly due to the medications they had me on during the process).  There were about 6 weeks there that are just a big blur of pain, discomfort, and HEIGHTENED anxiety and depression.

And then, one afternoon I just couldn’t take it anymore and called my new doctor (I had switched to my husband’s doctor because this man proved to be AMAZING during my care and even called me at the hospital on a Saturday afternoon, the day after my procedure, just to see how I was doing, even though I wasn’t his patient yet).  I was trying to keep my cool while I talked to him and I told him about the depression, the anxiety, the feeling nuts-o 24/7, and I broke down crying.  Gently, he talked me through it and we started a medication plan.

That was the catalyst that turned things around for me.  Medication.  It’s ONE of the things, but it’s what started it for me.  I’ll talk more about that next time.  You’re a goodie for hanging in with me.

Need to catch up?

Part 1: The Beginning

Part 2: Shameful Secret

Part 3: The Holidays & New Year

How did I get here? The Holidays & New Year (Part 3)

Writing Tools

Before I get started on this next part, I have to say a sappy, heartfelt THANK YOU for all of the wonderful support I received on Part 2’s shameful secret!  I don’t know if I expected you all to throw rocks at me, but what I DIDN’T expect were all the super sweet comments, FB comments and messages, and emails of support.  It made me so happy that I had shared.  Thank you.  Let’s have a group hug.

As if that last part wasn’t hard to write about, this part is even harder because it’s the darkest part of them all.  The weeks after quitting smoking (mid-October) were incredibly rough.  Not only was I overcoming an addiction, but the physical effects were no picnic either.  I actually felt sicker than I had in a long time, and that was mostly due to the quitting.  I spent a good month quietly moaning from my couch.

Next, the holidays were upon us.  I didn’t think I had the strength or determination to get through them, but it is my favorite time of year, so I thought I’d give it a go.  I poured a lot into decorating the house, and trying desperately to get into the spirit.  It was hard.  On the outside I seemed excited about the holidays, but on the inside I was numb and would stay up late into the night with my stupid insomnia watching Alfred Hitchcock movies in the glow of twinkly lights, praying that I’d feel better the next day.

I was growing increasingly frustrated by the way I was feeling.  Physically it took everything I had to make it through the day.  My body felt achy and heavy as if every little chore was a mountain to climb.  I was tired all of the time, up all night with insomnia and sleeping during the day.  My attitude was in the tank.  My poor husband had to come home to a bumbling, complaining wife who would just start crying for no reason.  I’m sure that was Fun Times for him.

The New Year rolled around, and I thought maybe that was exactly what I needed to get out of my funk.  Putting a stinky year behind me felt great, and I immediately set to work as to how I was going to be sure that 2013 was a better year.

As I had in years past, I made a “theme” for the year, and this year’s was LIGHT.

What it meant: 

Literally:  More twinkle lights, soft glow lights, candlelight, firelight, fireworks, sunshine streaming through the windows.

In my life:


1) Get physically lighter.

2) Get mentally lighter.  Have more joy and fun.  Be present, positive, worry less.

3) Lighten the home.  This will be the year to get house cleared out and organized.

4) Lighten the work load.  Get business figured out.  Have a focused, well-balanced schedule and systems in place to make workload easier.


Get myself physically well, improve what’s bothering me about myself.  Do things that take care of me and light me up from within (have fun!)


Develop my spiritual life and grow to better myself.


Share love, laughter and light everyday and in as many ways as possible.

So, I had a theme.  But what was I going to DO to make sure I was living this new theme?

Somewhere in the blog-o-sphere I saw an idea of a one-sheet to write down 100 Resolutions.  I thought that was a bit much, but then I realized it would be a great way for me to list all of the things I had wanted to do for a long time (those things that bug you because  you never find the time for them), things I wanted to do for fun, etc.  So, I printed it out and filled it up.

And….it sat there barely touched for the next few months, of course.  Next in the story comes the catalyst that turned me around.  I was going to start telling it now, but this is already long enough!  xoxo

Need to catch up?

Part One, The Beginning!

Part Two, The Shameful Secret!