Friday, February 27, 2015

Depression Hurts



I've been writing a lot, but I haven't been writing a lot on this blog. I've been concentrated my writing on my writing blog, and as a consequence I feel like my baby blogger has been neglected. I've been updating this blog for over three years now.

I came to blogger in a dark time, that I didn't realize was dark. I had people telling me they thought I was depressed. I had people telling me they would be depressed too if they had lost all of their hair. I didn't believe them even as the swirling vortex of depression was sweeping me away.

Looking back on that time, years ago. I realize I came back into writing for cathartic purposes. At first, I didn't have a goal. I had a lot of boredom. I spent much of my time reading, escaping into a book, and pushing family away. I made some great friends, and that was what I needed at that time-- outside influences.  It's funny how we can't see what is happening to us until we take a step back. For me that step back was three years later: NOW. I look back at that time of my life, and I see someone who was suffering and didn't know where to turn. I was having trouble in my marriage, my hair fell out, my kids were all little bitty and depended on me for so much, my oldest son was having emotional problems of his own, and for me the easiest thing to do was escape.

I did escape in a productive way. I started taking Tae Kwon Do. I made friends through Tae Kwon Do, who told me I was beautiful even if I was bald. Some of those friends even encouraged my writing, and I have them to thank for how far I've come since then. I learned discipline, and I realized how much exercise helped me to relax and to find a direction for the hopeless boredom I felt on the inside. Because for me that's what depression does. It makes me feel bored and unsettled. It makes me flit from one thing to another like a toddler. When I'm depressed, satisfaction is elusive, like that vague term happiness.  

Finding direction is hard, and now I see my son suffering the same symptoms, although he suffers in a different way than me. He has this crazy energy, and he has this need to direct it. Unfortunately when you have so much energy, so much drive, and a mind that won't stop turning, the dark cloud sometimes threatens to rain on you. You sometimes feel like nothing works for you and nothing will fill up that empty place inside.

I have felt like that so much. I still feel like that some days. So my heart aches so much for my son, when I see that he has so many of these same symptoms. My heart aches for him when he struggles with his frustration and anger. I hope he finds his purpose, and I hope his friends understand his struggles--at least a little bit. And until then, Hubby and I are going to help him through.

People who are mentally ill, don't always know when they are spiraling downward until they have landed at the bottom or even until they are climbing out.  Our mental health system in the U.S. is broken. Just ask me. I have to shell out tons of money every year, because my insurance (a reputable agency) will only support ONE psychiatrist (and they just went out of business) in my city of 250k people. ONE. So for people who are suffering or who have children suffering, like me, they often have to dole out dollars they can't afford to part with, but must for their own good or for the sake of their children.

We need to break this stigma. We need to get people the help they need. And more than that, we don't need to be afraid to talk about. Because when we're afraid to talk about it the people who are suffering or who have loved ones who are suffering feel more isolated and more alone.  People need to realize there is no normal.  We are all flawed and broken creatures, but there is help out there.

 I've found my purpose, and having goals and pushing myself every day to achieve has given me more of a sense of who I am and it helps to keep the restless boredom from claiming my life.

You can read more about mental illness here and the different types of disorders that affect 1 in 4 Americans :  http://www.thekimfoundation.org/html/about_mental_ill/statistics.html.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Science Night

Last night, the kids had science night at their school. They go to an awesome school where science and math are emphasized. In the fall, we had a math night.

I took Number Two and Darling Daughter to their activities. We did fun things like make snow, play with magic sand, learned about magnets, and also about conductors and insulators. Did you know a magnet doesn't pick up a key? Or a coin? Even I learned something last night.

We met up with Hubby and Number One in the hallway on the way out, and Number One couldn't stop talking.

"Guess what, Mom? I got to eat liquid nitrogen. You know in the movies, where they have smoke, that's what they use. Isn't that cool? And we made robots. It was so awesome."

It was exciting to see my normally brooding ten year old tween so excited about learning. Isn't that what we all want? For our kids to have a love of learning? Well, his school succeeds in creating that in kids.

Here's a video of him eating the liquid nitrogen. Too cool!

video

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Information Post

Hey folks! If you've been following my writing journey on blogspot, then first, thank you. Secondly, I'm going to start dedicating this blogspot blog more to just personal things. If you love my kids as much as I do, then stay right where you are.

If you want to mostly follow my writing journey, find out about new releases, listen to me rant and rave and go and on and on about writing, read my flash fiction entries, then head on over to http://laurengreenewrites.com and follow me there! Ideally, I'd like it if you followed both pages, because that'd be cool and all.

Secondly, and the last piece of "writing" related work I'm posting on blogspot is this. I'm judging a flash fiction contest today over on http://alissaleonard.blogspot.com/2015/02/finish-that-thought-2-33.html.  Go enter so I have someone to judge!

This weekend was full of gymnastics. Number One had his first meet since he injured his shoulder. He did well, but he didn't place in the top three overall (crazy from where we were last year). His best score was on pommels/mushroom with a 10.0, which was 2nd place. I'll leave you with this little video, so you can bask in his success as much as I do.


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Cold Blood Part 2

Last week, I started a four part story to be finished by another author. This is a Terrible Minds challenge. This week, I was able to pick the first part of a story and add the second.

I chose Cold Blood by Pavowski.  You can read the first part of the story here:
https://pavorisms.wordpress.com/2015/02/08/cold-blood/

And here is the second part, my contribution:

She shivered, frozen to the spot, and looked around at the stand of trees surrounding the camping site. She couldn’t see who it was, and she thought they must be hiding out there. Lem tiptoed back over to the fire and sat down on the rock, as the figure came out of the woods. Her heart pounded against her ribcage, trying to break free of its confines. She could see the outline of the backpack, and a wave of relief washed over her when she saw the dreads on his head—just a backpacker.

“You scared me,” she said.

“I was separated from my group about an hour ago.”

Lem looked up to the sky and realized the sun hadn’t even been up for an hour. Unease crept into her, but she plastered a smile on her face as she looked at him.

“Did you see a man on the trail? About six feet? Beard, probably unkempt hair?”

The backpacker shook his head. She sat on the rock warming her hands by the fire, and she motioned for him to take a seat.

“I’m Ian,” he said.

She grasped his hand, noticing his knuckles were split around the edges, like he’d been hitting something. He followed her eyes, and she stared up at him, darkness staring back at her. She shuddered and pulled her hand back too abruptly.

“I practice taekwondo. Split my knuckles on the punching bag. Your name?”

She nodded, but she didn’t believe him—the same feeling of unease from this morning creeping back to her as she wondered where Mark could be and whether the blood on the rock was his.

“Lem.”

“Unsual.”

“Belonging to God.”

“Huh?”

“It’s what the name means. It was my mother’s maiden name and was stuck onto me like a fungus. Imagine being a girl and growing up with a name like Lem.”

She didn’t know why she was telling him this, nervous talk, because when she looked at him the feeling of dread seeped under her skin. She wished Mark was here, or that she even knew where Mark was, but more than that she wished the gun in the tent was in her hands. She thought about breaking away from the campfire, going into the tent and pushing it into the space between the elasticity of her pants and her skin.  But, she thought, if Ian was dangerous then she would be trapped. Coming out of the tent, he could easily accost her and she didn’t want that. She thought about the split skin on his hands, the blood seemed newly dried and this thought turned her stomach as she thought about the little pool of blood on the ice. It could only be Mark’s.

“Would you like some bacon?” she asked, pointing towards the pan she had left cooling by the fire.

Her breath was still coming out in vapor, but the world seemed to be warming up now that the sun was peeking up from behind the trees. 

“Yeah, that’d be fucking great,” Ian said, and he leaned forward to help himself to two pieces.

“So how does one get lost from their group so early in the morning?”

He glared at her, and she felt an icy prickle, like a hand, trail through her body alerting her to the danger this man seemed to possess. 

“Maybe you should be asking yourself that about—what’s his name?”

“Mark.” When the name came from her lips, she knew Mark was past tense. She wanted to crawl out into the woods and look for his body, but right now she had to protect herself from the monster sitting right next to her. 

“This bacon’s great.” The words from his mouth dripped like acid, despite the benign nature of them.

She nodded, pulling her knees to her chest and rocking back and forth, trying to warm herself up in a childlike pose meant to protect her from things unknown.

“I think I’m just going to go to the tent, put another layer on. You’re welcome to another piece of bacon.”

She set her feet into the dirt, and as she started to push herself up from the rock his hand clamped on her wrist, a pair of handcuffs meaning to trap her to this place. His fingernails dug into her skin, a grip so tight she knew there was no escaping.

“I think you should stay here,” he said through clenched teeth.

Her heart was beating so fast, a thousand tons sitting on her chest, as the reality of the situation started sinking in. Sweat broke out on her forehead, despite the coldness that seemed to drag itself into every pore of her body.  She wanted it to be a nightmare. She wanted to wake up and roll over, feel Mark’s warm skin next to hers and warm herself up with a morning coital.

The daydream faded as she realized Ian wasn’t going to let go. Her eyes moved from his hands, split knuckles, dirt under the fingernails, to his chest.  When she saw it, she gasped.

He had the necklace hanging around his neck—a token from a kill? The Joshua Tree imprinted on the metal, the frayed edges of the shoelace material laying along Ian’s neck, instead of Mark’s where it belonged. She had bought it for Mark at Joshua Tree National Park about a month after they started dating. He hadn’t taken it off since.

And she knew what this man was here to do.

He maintained his grasp on her wrist. With his other hand he trailed his fingers against the exposed skin on her neck. She started screaming, and as expected he clamped his hand over her mouth, the smell of dirt and moisture filling her nostrils.


Lem tried to break away from his grasp, and was surprised when the searing pain clouded her field of vision, and suddenly her world went completely black. This is it for me, she thought. 

                                                                             ****
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