My Dilemma – Helps!

DILEMMA

Y’all! I am so upset right now. If you saw from my Sunday post (which I forgot to post until this morning – whoops!), I started reading again!! I have been a super stressed ostrich all year. In fact, I’ve met with my principal twice this semester and both sessions ended in tears on my part. Poor guy. Anyway, I ignored reading because of the stress. Plus, reading would mean writing reviews, which is time and energy I didn’t have to give. But now! Now I am on a reading frenzy. I can’t escape my life into other worlds enough. I read three books last week in only a few days! I was ready to prowl on to the next book on my list while I was at school on Friday…

And my Kindle wouldn’t turn on! I thought it was out of juice, but no. When I got home I discovered Poco chewed on the cord, so I found another one and plugged it in.

Nothing.

I wanted to cry.

So this brings me to my dilemma. One, I don’t know if I can get all of my ARC books and Amazon books back. Guidance much appreciated. Second, I don’t know if replacing the battery is even the problem. So…what do I do? Buy a new battery and hope that does the trick? Or splurge and get the Oasis? Or is there an alternative? I’ve dreaded this day coming when my Kindle would kaput, and now it’s here. And I don’t know what to do.

Good Things Come in Threes, Too

Good Things Come in Threes, Too

 

Ever heard the phrase, things come or go in threes? The concept of things in groups of threes catches our attention. In literature, it’s called the Rule of Three.

The Three Wise Men.

The Three Muskateers.

The Three Little Pigs with three houses.

Aladdin and his three wishes.

 

You get the picture. But outside of relating to literature or fables, how have you heard the rule of three?

People die in threes.

Catastrophes happen in threes.

 

I’ve only every heard the phrase “They come in threes” in negative ways: people die in threes, situations happen in threes. That’s it.

 

What about good things happening in threes? I have never heard anyone say that until recently in a Sunday Post. Do you believe in this? That good things also happen in threes? It is hard to riddle out, as my brain has been wired to only pick out threes in negative.

 

Recently I wrote a post for the weekly meme My Favorite… and it was about the best thing that had happened to me so far in 2018. My answer? The Man breaking up with me back in March, which was a good thing. He was lying and cheating, so it’s good to go and get on with life than be living your life in web of deceit and untruths.

Since then, good things have happened to me. Lots of good things, but some that tie directly to the break up.

  1. I found and moved into a better housing situation where I have plenty of space and live alone again.
  2. My hair is starting to really thicken. It’s also growing, but it is not as noticeable as the thickness.
  3. I am infinitely closer to work, saving time and money.

You can go read the original post with about 30 or so different things I listed out as a result of the split – positive things for me!

Can you think of any good things that have happened in your life in threes? 

More Than Just A Bad Hair Day

More Than Just A Bad Hair Day

Like with my self care post earlier this month (in which I referenced what would be this post), I have also been denying something else for almost an entire year.

Last year when I was interviewing for elementary jobs, I went in and got all my hair chopped off. It was two-fold: I donated 16 inches (again!) and I also needed “elementary teacher hair.” Typically, this is short hair. [Because lice, y’all.] I didn’t realize how short the stylist cut my hair until days later. It was also uneven!! Not like anything could be fixed, but this was when everything started.

Y’all, my hair is shorter now over a year later than when I got that haircut. I can’t tell you how many times I heard from coworkers this past year about my new short hair or hair cut. I got my hair cut on June 13, 2017! I hadn’t gotten it cut!

What they saw was what I was trying to cover up.

With the impeding school year approaching and the mounting fear that I would have to return to my school and not get one of the jobs I interviewed for and not be with The Man (that Dick!)…I began pulling my hair.

It wasn’t a big deal at first. Until September rolled around and I had a bald spot on the crown of my head. I could not wear my hair down. But I continued pulling. Not as bad, because hair grew in and the bald spot was no more. But in the process of waiting and as the year went on, my hair was all janky, so I took the well-meant advice of my school secretary and trimmed it up myself.

UH. NO. NEVER DO THIS.

I ruined it. l definitely could NOT wear my hair down now. So I wore my pitiful patch of hair up in a teeeeeny pony tail all year as another bald spot near my right temple began to show scalp.

My two closest coworkers zeroed in. My mom slowly caught on. Even my youngest brother noticed. My mom’s friend/my health coach noticed even though she hadn’t seen me in months, maybe a year or more.

I refused to acknowledge that there was anything to this. I just kept saying it was like a compulsory behavior when I would get stressed (reality with my diagnosis of anxiety and depression: overwhelmed).

Except I was trying to lie to myself, knowing full well I had seen someone talk about trichotillomania on social media before. Hair pulling, not hair eating. That is exactly what I had. Exactly what I was doing. Exactly what I was ignoring. What I was hiding and pretending was not a big deal. Trichotillomania is a body-focused repetitive behavior classified as an impulse control disorder which involves pulling out one’s hair. Hello, girlfriend.

When The Man and I split in March, I immediately started looking into stylists for hair extensions. Easy fix! No one will ever know because it will all grow out while looking great, was my thought process. UH. NO. My hair was so short, extensions were a no-go. I had to wait 8-10 weeks to check again. In the meantime, I started on a fancy hair shampoo and conditioner to help. My May visit came…and still a no-go. But there was growth, not like I could tell. Another 8-10 weeks and I should be ready to go.

Except…no. I kept pulling until I essentially was almost shaved on the right side of my head. Like short, stubby scrubs on the ground. I couldn’t even hardly put up my hair anymore because it wouldn’t stay in the ponytail. I had to use so many barrettes and bobby pins it looked ridiculous, and still the hair would slide out and pouf up, making me look some kind of scary diabolical. Do not even get me started on when I wake up in the morning. It first was like a finger in the light socket, but as it grew and thickened, it was straight up Chewbacca in the light socket.

Fast forward to July. I thought by now my hair was thick enough we would be ready to go. It is really thick, I just didn’t think it was growing out. My stylist said it was, she could tell, but she was crestfallen at what she saw. Y’all. She almost cried. And she talked about her own fight with bulimia when she was in her 20s and urged me to see someone, and if not that, to at least riddle out what my triggers are.

Except…I don’t know what they are. Honestly, I don’t even think I have any anymore. The initial catalyst was the idea of returning back to my school. Yes, I’m still there, but things regarding the circumstances have changed:

  1. That principal is gone. The new one is leaps and bounds supportive and despite his hard poker face, he is very personable and supportive. I know it bothers him a lot when there is something going on with one of his employees.
  2. I am no longer with The Man and driving back and forth, back and forth every weekend with all the stress and anxiety tied to all of that.
  3. I no longer live where I did, renting a single room. I have my own space and nothing is crammed.
  4. I now have a lab for my yearbook staff. We do not have to do everything 100% after school in the evenings to get the entire yearbook done in increments of one meeting each week. I can now actually teach my class as it should be during the actual class time during the school day, every day. (I know, don’t even get me started on that mess.)

 

Symptoms

There are some specific symptoms, and I don’t have all of them. I have tried to stop, and even when I try…I can’t. Like I said, it is like an obsession. And that’s also why I said I don’t have any triggers anymore because I do it almost all the time now: driving, sitting at work during my planning time working on stuff, at home watching TV or reading or on my phone, while I’m talking to people face-to-face (my mom and two favorite coworkers). I definitely feel embarrassed and ashamed and it is out of control, so I don’t want to go anywhere I strictly don’t have to. And I want to wear a hat ALL the time, no matter where I go. While I was diagnosed in December with anxiety and depression, I believe I have had those for years and was never diagnosed because I gave no signs to my doctors and I didn’t seek out information about it until December, and I went for other reasons. I knew I had anxiety and I wanted to be medicated and it was unrelated to the hair pulling. When I do pull, I definitely have a behavior: first, it is the hairs that don’t feel right texture-wise. The coarse ones that stand out or have some other anomaly. Then, it is the ones that are too long in that section. Stupid, I know. Trich is like the cousin of OCD, but I don’t have any OCD behaviors like counting or washing hands.

  • Recurrent pulling out of one’s hair resulting in noticeable hair loss
  • An increasing sense of tension immediately before pulling out the hair or when resisting the behavior
  • Pleasure, gratification, or relief when pulling out the hair
  • The disturbance is not accounted for by another mental disorder and is not due to a general medical condition (i.e., dermatological condition)
  • Repeated attempts have been made to decrease or stop hair pulling
  • The disturbance causes significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. Distress may include feeling a loss of control, embarrassment, or shame and impairment may occur due to avoidance of work, school, or other public situations.
  • Hair pulling may be accompanied by a range of behaviors or rituals involving hair. For example, individuals may search for a particular kind of hair to pull or they may try to pull out hair in a specific way.

The other thing about distress in other areas of functioning is intimate relationships. People with trich can avoid intimate relationships for fear of having their secret, which is very shameful to me, exposed. This is true for me. So true. I went on a few dates until the one I liked acted like he died back at the beginning of May. Since then, I have talked to guys and wanted to go do something fun but at the same time I don’t. What happens when my tiny ponytail falls down and the barrettes and bobby pins start hanging by threads? I can’t wear my cap everywhere with every type of attire.

I am facing the fact that I have trich. I have it. I can’t lie. I can’t hide it. I can’t pretend it’s not happening. I was just lying to myself for almost a year. I still want to get the extensions, so here’s to hoping for September! In the meantime, I have bought a silk cap to wear to bed so my hair isn’t as insane in the mornings, especially with wearing my CPAP, and I also realized I can wear it around the house during the day too. It keeps me from pulling, so who cares? No one’s here anyway.

I am also looking into buying a special bracelet to wear that tracks your movements for the behavior – so behavior therapy, which is the recommendation besides medication. I predominately pull with my right hand (and I have figured out it is because I have more muscle on my right arm and better motor control in my hands than my left side). Originally I thought of getting a band for each hand, but they sell separately and are quite pricey. Since my right is the source, I’m only going to get one band. I hope and pray that it works and helps me.

It is more than just a bad hair day. But what do I say when coworkers give me the questioning looks or a gentle inquiring comment without giving away too much personal information?

Task it Tuesday: Gearing Up for School

Welcome to Task it Tuesday, created by the fabulous Geeky Blogger and adopted first by Because Reading and now by Bloggiesta!

What is Task it Tuesday? Task it Tuesday is a weekly meme dedicated to the list makers of the blogging world 🙂 It’s all about being productive and organized – on your blog and in real life (if you so chose). By sharing our lists we get instant accountability partners and also get ideas of things to add to our lists (or sometimes ways to tackle tasks more efficiently).

Task it Tuesday: Gearing Up for School

School is now officially no longer in the distance and is right in front of my face. So now I will have two sections, a home and school section. This might actually help me out a lot. I hope so!

HOME:

  • BUJO: Check & Update Monthly Task List — Due 8/1
  • BLOG: Empty email – entirely, no hoarding (file or delete!)
  • BLOG: Visit & Comment
  • BLOG: Link Up
  • BLOG: Draft & Schedule BUJO post for August — Due later
  • BUJO: September Calendar & Trackers
  • BUJO: September Weeklies
  • BLOG: Organize reading plan for fall
  • BLOG/BUJO: Print BINGOs for BUJO

 

SCHOOL:

  • Update PPT
  • Format & Finalize On-Level Unit 1 Test
  • Google Classrooms
  • Set up Ladder – DO IT NOW OR YOU WILL CRY!
  • Yearbook PO
  • Yearbook Bids
  • Homework Assignments ?

Self Care Isn’t a Want

Self Care Isn’t a Want

At the beginning of the year I said this was the Year of Me. That I was going to tell people NO (teacher translate: Get the fuck away from me; I’m not doing it.) That I was going to be selfish and do things just for me and take time just for me.

Well, we are eight months in and just yesterday I realized something about me. Something I’ve been doing with this whole self care life – and it all hit me with a visit to my chiropractor.

The last day of July I hauled out case after case full of old yearbooks (prior to my time as advisor) that never sold. Boxes that went back to 2007. And there were 2 cases for almost every academic year. I also completely unpacked my classroom, pulling down boxes and boxes of books that my mother put onto my bookcases. I made a few new changes to furniture arrangement – all of which had to be moved as the janitors just shove everything back in wherever. By the end of the night, as the big jobs started winding down to the smaller details of unpacking my desk and cabinet and setting up and rearranging and organizing, my left hip began hurting pretty bad. As the night went on and I left and went to the grocery store, I was literally hobbling. Using the cart as a support. The pain was excruciating.


This isn’t just a one-time thing, like throwing your back out or a sudden injury. I have permanent back damage. When I first started teaching 6 years ago, I was barely making it through my days at school. I called my chiro’s office one day during my conference in tears the pain was so bad. I have a scoliatic curve that was never diagnosed in all of those school health screenings. My spinal column also is not straight. It is twisted, like a helix. Like DNA. Additionally, where the spinal column meets the base of the skull, mine is not rounded as it should be for that natural curved connection. It is 100% straight. In my consultation I had circled EVERY single part of the spinal column as places I had pain. I joked to my chiro that I had circled them in groups for what hurt in the different areas.

I explained that I had back pain ever since I hit puberty, and my mother dismissed it as just soreness from being an athletic kid in sports. I was forewarned that it might be permanent…and about half of of it is. In my X-ray below, the black line is where the center of the spine should be. The red curve to the left is where it actually was.

My X-ray

I did 4 months of intense PT, adjustments, exercises and I DID change my spine as much as it was possible. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t fun. It is actually painful in the beginning because you are forcing your spine to change. It doesn’t like that one bit! However, this is proof that chiropractors are NOT quacks and that chiropractic care is real health care. Just look at my after x-ray.

Before & After

I set my Temperpedic to the most intense settings as I went to sleep. I repeated that when I woke up. I got dressed and did something with this awful hair of mine. (That’s an entirely different story – and one I AM self-caring for.) I made the conscious decision I needed to ditch my purse. I know it had to weigh somewhere close to ten pounds. I had already decided on this move – I HATED carrying it. I downgraded to a messenger purse so I could wear it across my body and not have it in the way or dragging down one arm. I did a thorough cleaning out and ditched my old granny wallet that I loved but was just holding so much I didn’t need to carry with me and I set off for the chiro office.

I always have trouble with my thoracic. When it starts locking up, I can’t move. I literally can’t move but mere centimeters. Forget using your arms or torso in any way, and I might be petrified that way for life if I bend. Even with adjustments, the thoracic is a grudge-holding ass and won’t cooperate. It has always taken multiple visits close together to get it unlocked. But August 1st was a day to be reckoned with. It was THE best adjustment I have ever had. Everything cooperated well as it should, which is rare in a solitary visit. I felt immediate and overwhelming relief.

As I left the office and drove to lunch, I realized something about my own self care practices. I was only doing self care based on MY own wants. Just like The Spoon Theory below, I use A LOT of spoons every day. Being a teacher, I use more spoons than are on that chart altogether. It is a highly stressful, impossible, thankless job. (Impossible in the sense of unrealistic expectations.) When I come home, I am already so negative in spoons that by the weekend, getting dressed and brushing my teeth is a struggle sometimes, let alone anything else.

Being spoon deficient, I do things slowly and one at a time. It might also be why I never feel I am making progress these days, but I have to live with that. But part of that is what I’m talking about. I only do self care on my own terms – what I want. Not what I need. I actually am ignoring my real needs, like consistent chiropractic visits. Instead of going monthly as I should just for maintenance, I go only when I am in pain. Well, girlfriend, you don’t feel back pain until you’ve already gone through 80% of it. Y’all. Eighty. EIGHT. ZERO. Percent. When you feel back pain, you are in the upper 20%.

I was hit and had a hard realization about myself and what I am pretending is self care. It is not on your terms. It is not wants. It is NEEDS. Yes, my monthly visit to the nail salon is both – I literally need a knowledgeable professional to take care of my ingrown toenails or else it becomes painful and I might one day obliterate my toes. I also look pretty, which raises my confidence. I get my want and my need is met. So why could I not see that in other areas of my life with self care?

I can’t keep sugar coating it for myself.

The other part of this is indulgence. Self care is not indulging yourself, which I have been doing all summer. I was on a good track in April and May. Then when life change happened, I got off and refused to get back on. I don’t know why. But I kept self-indulging all summer pretending that my treating myself was self care. It’s not. I wasn’t doing myself any favors. It wasn’t just a want. It was far beyond down the scale to outright indulgence.

I have to do better. We have to do better in taking care of ourselves. There has to be something left over from our cup to pour into ourselves.

Chit Chat – July 2018

The month started with some last-minute to-dos before I left for my cruise. We went down on 4th of July and sailed out of Galveston on the 5th for Cozumel. I enjoyed it, I just wish I had gotten good sleep leading up to the cruise so I could have maximized my time on board. I splurged and went to the spa with a good discount. It was so nice!  I also wish we had splurged and done one of the excursions. We went to one of the cheap resorts instead and just sat on the beach and swam all day. I love that picture of my brother and the one of him and my mom. I LOVE her picture at dinner. I am so glad I bought them, even if they were crazy expensive.

The week we came back, all of my plumbing decided to be the jackassiest jackass. My landlord was going to set up the water line to the fridge…and ended up jacking up my sink plumbing two days after I came back. I had a leak for two whole days. I had to empty the bucket every 3 hours or it overflowed all over the kitchen. 😦 When the plumbers finally came the day after the appointment, that Friday afternoon, I showed him the weird thing I just discovered in my bathroom…water would come up the sink when the toilet was flushed. It was sewage. Not a big deal, they would come back on Monday to fix it all. Well…Friday night my brother yelled at me about 10:30 before he and my mom were about to leave. My bathroom had exploded with sewage coming out of every aquatic orifice! It was so disgusting and it wouldn’t stop. I had to go to a hotel for two days until it was all fixed and cleaned. Then there were more issues with the sink and the original plumber came back and fixed that. Y’all, I am paranoid now any time water won’t drain.

I spent most of the month getting both of my parents on board with smartphones, upgrading from flip phones. There have been learning curves, and my dad is just being a turd. He called me one morning and woke me up wanting my help, got mad, and then tried hanging up on me…except he couldn’t. He didn’t know how!

I have spent A LOT of time with my mom just doing things for her or her doing things for me. I have enjoyed it. She has been over more in this past month than she ever came when I lived with David and the other roommate for a year and a half. And this is why I wanted and needed this move. While the expenses are adding up, I don’t care. I needed this for me. About time I do some nice things for myself.

I spent a lot of time this month just watching TV, on my phone, and sleeping. I did some work in my bullet journal and got everything in line for August. All of my copies for the first six weeks of school arrived…

10009

We also found out this month that our district’s copy center is no longer. We are always shamed every year about how much we copy or print on our campus (and exactly how much that costs) and how the copy center saves us SO much money…and yet they are taking it away? I am convinced that the new Super is trying to clean up and make the district budget look fucking amazing and non-school employees will not know what is now gone and how detrimental it is. So…what happens when just ONE of our campus copiers goes down now??

I attended two three trainings this month, one of which I got paid for. I got Google Educator Level 1 certified and attending this training for Seesaw, which now I’m thinking I won’t really use. The same day that was happening, the Level 2 was happening. I’d rather have been doing that.

My mom and I also sent off my brother (the one pictured above) to basic training. We went down to Ft. Sam Houston and someone actually turned in the damn list and we weren’t turned away. We waited around most of the morning and then they did their final swearing in, signing contracts, and then he was gone. Unlike my older two brothers who are Infantry, my youngest brother is going into the medic side and is at Ft. Leonard Wood. This time around we won’t be going to Ft. Benning, but it is a shorter drive to Missouri. My oldest brother (in Africa) is trying to orchestrate my parents and a coworker into buying some Brahman cattle and a cattle trailer for him (with his money, just doing it for him).

@sissybearla

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Average Rating:     4.5
Pages Read:            438
Favorite Book:       n/a

May – 611 | June – 508 | July – 870

Reviews:

A Devil in Scotland  |  Unmasking Juliet

Bookish & Blogging Posts:

June Chit Chat  |  Top 10 Tuesday: Red, White, & Blue Covers  |  Task It Tuesday: Starting from Ground Zero  |  Discussion: Returning to Reading  |  Book Blogger: ONE Book  |  Book Blogger: Cluttered Blogs  |  Famous Last Words #41  |  Book Blogger: Proudest Blogging Achievement  |  Top 10 Tuesday: Books with Sensory Memories  |

Personal Posts:

My Bullet Journal: May & June  |  My Favorite…Summertime Memory  |  Cruise Photos  |  Things I Learned on My First Cruise  |  My Bullet Journal: Blogging with My BUJO

Obviously, VERY little progress has been made since March. I am very confident that I won’t meet many of my challenge goals this year, unfortunately. Also, I’ll take this opportunity to officially announce I am completely dropping the Audiobook Challenge.

I am going to stick to these six books for my next reads! I’ve already knocked two off from last month.

How are you doing? What is going on in life?

Task it Tuesday: Summer Count Down

Welcome to Task it Tuesday, created by the fabulous Geeky Blogger and adopted first by Because Reading and now by Bloggiesta!

What is Task it Tuesday? Task it Tuesday is a weekly meme dedicated to the list makers of the blogging world 🙂 It’s all about being productive and organized – on your blog and in real life (if you so chose). By sharing our lists we get instant accountability partners and also get ideas of things to add to our lists (or sometimes ways to tackle tasks more efficiently).

Task it Tuesday: Summer Count Down

I have gotten most of my tasks completed from all of July! I realized when it was down to the wire last night that there were two I could not finish this month. They have to wait a bit. And obviously I am avoiding emptying out that email – but that is my job to do tomorrow! Empty email, link up, visit and comment because I SUCKED at it this month. Look for a fresh list next week!

  • BUJO: Check & Update Monthly Task List — Due 8/1
  • BUJO: Update reading challenge lists
  • BLOG: Check & Update Challenge pages
  • BLOG: Draft & Schedule all My Favorite…posts through mid-August – prompts only thru Aug 22
  • BLOG: Draft & Schedule new discussion post for August
  • BLOG: Draft & Schedule new BUJO post for end of July
  • BLOG: Empty email – entirely, no hoarding (file or delete!)
  • BLOG: Draft July Monthly Chit Chat
  • BLOG: Update Review Archives
  • BLOG: Update Spreadsheet
  • SCHOOL: Format Unit 1 Test for on level class & send to print shop

 

NEW:

  • BLOG: Draft & Schedule all Top 10 Tuesday posts through August
  • BLOG: Draft & Schedule all Book Blogger posts through August
  • BLOG: Draft & Schedule BUJO post for August — Due later
  • BUJO: August calendar and trackers
  • BUJO: August weeklies
  • KINDLE: Delete old PDFs
  • BLOG: Draft & Schedule 2 reviews