After shock…

It has been exactly one month since my defibrillator went off and life has certainly changed. I have yet to feel 100% like myself, physically and mentally. Life is getting back to normal, but it is a new normal. It is filled with unknowns, upcoming doctors visits, medications and lots of restrictions.

When I wrote about the experience of my defibrillator going off I had yet to see my Electrophysiologist and Cardiologist. I had an idea of what had happened and I had expectations of what I was going to hear. I figured I had experienced some form of arrhythmia and my heart was beating too fast for too long, because this is something that happens often. I did not expect to hear that I was in a normal, healthy, regular rhythm and then I wasn’t. I went straight into ventricular fibrillation. No arrhythmia leading up to it. No intense physical activity. No medicine to cause it. My heart just decided to stop working correctly. To stop actually beating.

I always knew that this was a possibility. I’ve listened to the doctors intensely, I’ve done proper research, and I’ve paid attention to my body. It’s always been there in the back of my mind. This could happen, but you never think it will actually happen to you. I’ve been unlucky with my health, but I’ve also been lucky. Things could be much worse. I tell myself this all the time. When the doctor told me I went in v-fib for no particular rhyme or reason, I couldn’t wrap my head around. That experience I’ve previously described, where everything disappears around you. You can’t process any new information because your mind is still trying to comprehend that information you were told. Yeah, that happened upon hearing that.

I want answers. I want to know the reasons why. I want to know how to completely avoid getting brought back to life again because I don’t want my heart to just stop working. I am having a hard time accepting that my diagnosis does not have a cure, yet. It may never have a cure. I don’t want to “maintain” it. I want to fix it. It’s unbelievably frustrating. Next month I will be doing genetic testing to get more in-depth answers as to which specific form of Long QT syndrome I have. I’ll see a new specialist for a 2nd opinion. I’ll get a new pair of eyes to review everything and see if they have anything different to say. I’ll see if this new medicine is the right one. So far it’s worked better than anything else. It’s insanely expensive and breaks my face out. It is better than my heart not working right, so I can’t complain too much.

I’m trying to deal with the unknown, the frustration, and the seriousness of my situation with a light attitude. I keep cracking, what some may consider inappropriate, jokes about being in a dead sleep. Or how I can’t say yolo anymore. I have to find humor in this in order for me to cope. I’m still struggling to accept that I had a sudden cardiac death event and my defibrillator did its job. I have no words that can describe how glad I am that this machine, that I never wanted in my body, worked. The nightmares that I have had about me not waking up have been hard to shake. I try not to focus on all of this and continue to live life semi-normally. It’s hard. It’s hard to not be anxiety-ridden and terrified that at any moment it could happen again. It’s hard to not dwell on it. Sometimes I want to talk about it to process it and sometimes I don’t want it brought up at all. I want just a few hours where I can pretend that I’m normal, health-wise. We all know I’m not normal, I’m a bit peculiar. Haha!

The psychical stress this caused only lasted a few days. However, the emotional and mental stress is seeming to last indefinitely. I know some people may think, “So what you got shocked. People get shocked by defibrillators all the time.” To some, it may not be a big deal, but to me it is. I convinced myself that I was doing better and that I was fine. Nothing had happened and it probably never would. I convinced myself I was healthy and normal. I’m having to accept that I’m not. It’s a struggle for me. I’ve struggled my whole adult life with it. All I’ve ever wanted was to be healthy and normal. I don’t want to face the fact that I’m far from it.

Getting back into a routine has been difficult. I’ve had to rely on others for so much and I had to base my life off of someone else’s schedule. I’m finally able to drive myself around town again. I’m still supposed to take it easy on exercise. I’ve re-evaluated how I approach life now. I have a different outlook. I didn’t completely realize how precious our time on earth really was. Time is fleeting and I have now rearranged my priorities. Working my butt off and being successful will always be a goal but I will no longer let it consume me. I don’t care if others don’t understand why I choose to do something. Making memories and actually enjoying my life is now more important. All the stress doesn’t help me. I have far too much unknown with my health to not make the best of my time on earth. That is why I didn’t cancel my trip to New York despite all that’s happened in the last month. I may not have this opportunity present itself for me again. I do not know what is in store for me next month.

Life after the shock has been pretty much what I expected. It’s been a rude awakening and it’s caused my life to do a 180. I’ve grown in ways I didn’t expect. I’ve learned a lot about myself in the last month. For me, it’s been the true definition of an aftershock. A smaller earthquake following the main shock of a large earthquake. My life is in disarray after working so hard to get my shit together.

Be kind and rewind…

I AM TIRED OF PEOPLE TELLING ME I AM TOO NICE!!!

Listen folks, I am well aware that I am too nice. I do not need everyone else to tell me that I am, like it is some sort of insult. I give everyone the benefit of the doubt and do not judge someone based off of their past. I know people change because I have changed so much in the last few years. Everyone grows at a different pace.

I choose to be a nice person. I choose to be kind. I choose to treat people better than they treat me. To me that is not a sign of weakness. I feel as if it is one of my greatest strengths, to see the best in everyone. I shouldn’t be belittled by others for doing so. If you do not understand why I choose to be nice, despite others actions, then maybe you need to reflect on yourself.

I am nice to people that have hurt me so deeply emotionally, that it made me physically ill. I am nice to people that view my kindness as a weakness and try to walk all over me. I am nice to strangers. I am even nice to someone when they’re a dick. I take pride in being the nice person. Being the bigger person. I do not stoop to someone else’s level. That is the easy way out. Sometimes being nice is HARD WORK. Do you know how hard it is to bite your tongue and not lash out when someone looks you in your face and tells you, “You’re never going to be good enough”? Or when someone is being a complete dick for no reason? Sometimes I want scream at people. Sometimes I want to be a royal bitch right back, but I don’t. I feel like being nice to someone when they don’t deserve it, speaks volumes about the kind of character I have.

Giving someone the benefit of the doubt isn’t making excuses for someones behavior. When I give someone the benefit of the doubt it is because I do not know what personal battle they’re struggling with. Those battles we all fight internally have a tendency to make us change our behavior.  Sometimes all you need is for one person to be kind to you for you to change your behavior for the better. I have repeatedly been told to stop giving others the benefit of the doubt, but it is just not who I am.

I will continue to be “too nice.” Why? Because we live in a world where everyone is cold to one another. Everyone is so damn selfish. I get that sometimes you have to be selfish. Hell, I can be selfish, but never to the extent that it hurts someone else. If I am ever mean to you or lash out at you, then you need to know that your behavior was absolutely awful for me to behave that way. I have aimed to hurt others but only after being personally attacked. I know that I have unintentionally hurt others as well and I am genuinely sorry if I hurt you.

Being nice does not make me weak. It does not mean that I am an easy target. I can stand up for myself. I know my value, my worth, and who I am. I will not let someone walk all over me. I won’t be mean to someone for trying either. Friends, family, acquaintances, whomever reads this… STOP TELLING PEOPLE THEY’RE TOO NICE!!!  There is a difference in being nice and being weak. There is a difference in being honest and being a jackass. I am a honest, forward, and kind person. Learning to recognize that all fights are not worth fighting was a huge step for me. Being the bigger person isn’t always easy, but it is oddly satisfying. If you view me as too nice then shame on you.

The forgotten coast…

There is a special place in my heart for Franklin Country, Florida. It is in my blood, literally. My Grandfather, on my mother’s side, was born and raised in Carra Belle/ East Point. We had our, Hall family, family reunions at the East Point fire station for the majority of my life. For the better part of my life, my dad’s side of the family vacationed every summer in St. George Island. We would rent a beach house for a week. Spend our days in the sand and our nights playing cards. We would go into East point and Apalachicola for dinner out. Steal the salad dressing bottles after a little too much wine. Cough cough Aunt Kathy cough cough. My time spent in Franklin County as a child is among some of my fondest memories.

My dad’s side of the family is still trying to keep the memory alive. We spent Christmas in a beach house on St. George Island 3 years ago and this year we will be spending New Years there. Honestly, there is no place I would rather be for New Years than in Franklin County with my family.

This area is stuck in time, for the most part. Mom and pop businesses, small-town feel and some of the best damn seafood you will ever ingest. I instantly feel relaxed when I’m here. So recently, when I found myself off-kilter I chose to come here. I needed a reset.

It is officially Fall but Florida hasn’t picked up on that yet. By this time of year, I am itching for cold weather and to go camping. Since it has been 90-degree weather for weeks, I was a little hesitant to commit to camping. I am glad I committed. There is just something about waking up in a tent, having breakfast cooked over a campfire, throwing on your bathing suit and going swimming.

Camping is usually relaxing and a fairly smooth experience, but I wasn’t camping with the most prepared of company. In the words of my sister, ”Madelyn, I am a survivalist. I’m bringing my tent, stuff for smores and my pillow.” I called to ask her what I needed to bring 🙄🤦🏻‍♀️. I had to get all the small details in order, apparently. You know like food, bug spray, toilet paper, flashlights, etc.. which can be a little stressful last minute. Setting up my tent in the dark was also a challenge. My little sister isn’t the best flashlight holder. Once everything was said and done and we went to bed Friday night, it hit me. As I laid in my tent, listening to fires crack and crickets chirp, I felt relaxation wash over me. My shoulders released, my jaw unclenched, and stress lifted away. This was exactly what I needed.

We stayed at T.H. Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula state park. While it is in Cape San Blas and technically bay county, it was still close enough for us to bounce back and forth between Franklin and Bay county all day. We started our day out with me making breakfast burritos over a fire. They were damn good by the way. We ate and freshened ourselves up to set out on a hunt for coffee and to explore.

We hung out bayside while drinking our coffee and then decided to go all the way to the tip of the peninsula, to beach it on the gulf side. The path to the beach was gorgeous. White sand with big dunes. Seagrass and driftwood all about. Once you stepped off the path there was no one around. Just the gulf and the beach stretched out as far as you could see. The seclusion made it a million times better. I got in the water, reluctantly because I know the red tide is creeping its way up the coast. I’m not trying to add another medical ailment to my list. The water wasn’t emerald like I’m used to but it didn’t matter. I was still in the Gulf of Mexico and that is one of my happy places. On our way to the beach, we found where the nature trail started. We headed back to the campsite and switched out our flip flops for our tennis shoes then set off. We got 3/4 of the way through the nature trail and found it flooded out from recent rain. I certainly was not treading through a mosquito haven. So, we turned our butts around and walked back to the car to get ready to head to Apalachicola. Please keep in mind I don’t usually take this many damn photos, but I brought along my friend who dabbles in photography, when she’s not going to school, working full time and momming. I also had my little sister who said and I quote, ”Do it for the gram”, right before she used a bike rack as a ladder to climb a tree 😂. Needless to say, there are tons of pictures and we laughed a lot. I guess if I continue with this blogging thing I am going to have to get used to taking photos for documentation.

Driving into Apalachicola my second wave of relaxation of the weekend hit. We approached historic downtown and I got a little giddy. The trees with moss all around, the historic buildings mixed with old Florida bungalow style homes, and the view of the water. It’s gorgeous. I was grinning from ear to ear. This place makes me incredibly happy. Maybe it’s because time slows down here, people are nicer, and I experience a sense of calm. We spent the afternoon at Oyster City Brewery, eating at a cafe and in and out of shops.

It was early evening when we headed back to Cape San Blas. The sun was still shining but you could feel it shifting. I had the windows down and sunroof open. My friend Madison was asleep in the front seat, mouth open 😂, must’ve been a good nap. Since she was asleep I knew I could play the music I like that bores her(not everyone can have good taste in music😂). So my tunes were shuffling from Mumford & Sons, The Revivalists, Lord Huron and etc.. All was right in my world. With the Gulf on my left and St Joesph bay on my right, Hello my old heart by the Oh Hellos came on. As far as favorite songs go, this one definitely makes my top ten. Something about this song gives me all the feels. A good song will make you feel something and this one always hits me deep. At that moment as I sang along there it was. My moment of clarity. I came here this weekend to center myself, to regain personal balance, to relax and enjoy nature. Salt air circulating through my car and me singing along with conviction, I found my balance.

Have you ever felt like you’re on the cusp of something? You just know that things are changing and something is about to happen to or for you? Well, I have and I feel it now. I don’t know what it is or when it will happen, but something is brewing.

I do realize I need to slow down. I will not be taking as many classes next semester. I need to relish life’s little moments more. Continue to do more of what makes me happy and less of what makes others happy. I need to keep being vulnerable because it is humbling and a truly beautiful thing. Keep putting myself first. My nurturing nature is a great quality but I have to stop letting it harm my well being. I need to welcome the judgments of others but let them roll right off my back. I also realized with a real reflection, not personal reflection, that I need to get my eyebrows done. What kind of friends do I have? How could y’all not tell me they were looking such a mess?!

When you find yourself feeling off it is important you take the time to step back and reanalyze things. Removing yourself helps you look at things from a different perspective. I am so thankful that I had my little sister who is always down for an adventure, ready to pack up her tent and join me. As well as my best friend of 14 years able and willing to try something new and out of the ordinary for her. They were more than willing to help me and be a part of whatever it was I needed to do for myself. I have the best friends and family. The support I receive daily from you all means so much. Especially all the support when it comes to my writing. I’ve finally found my groove, my flow, with this blog. Please be prepared for much more to come as we enter my favorite month and time of year.

Babies, pregnancy and infertility…

**Warning!! This post is an extremely personal post.**

Here I sit with one of the best friends anyone could ever have. Through out the years this sasshole here has been one of my rocks. I love her more than words could ever express. As you can see Lilly is about to pop. I’m impatiently waiting on Miss Ellie to make her arrival. I keep trying to get Lilly to try anything to make herself go into labor. By the time I post this she could have had her, but more on that later.

Okay, why am I posting about Lilly being pregnant? Well, Lilly tried for around 3 years to get pregnant. She tried everything. One day, last year, we were on the phone playing catch up. Sometimes we will go a while without having a real conversation. She told me that her doctor had informed her she was not ovulating. If you don’t ovulate then you’re not getting knocked up. It’s that simple. Her doctor had pretty much given up hope. Lilly was feeling defeated. I had stopped asking about how “trying” was going by this point, because I knew if she wanted to talk about it she would. Lilly needed to talk to someone about everything. About the “you may want to consider adoption” recommendations and the “you’re probably not going to get pregnant” conversations with the doctor. During that catch up call I knew Lilly understood.

I was 20 when I decided to see a new gynecologist. I had been having a lot of issues with my period and went an entire year without one. Clearly I wasn’t pregnant and I knew something wasn’t right. I did blood work and had exams done. At my follow up I was told I either had poly-cystic ovarian syndrome or premature ovarian failure. I had just taken my entrance exam for nursing school and knew enough medical jargon to have an idea of what was being thrown my way. My doctor told me she wanted me to see an endocrinologist for further testing to determine what exactly was going on with me. I constantly have crazy diagnosis’ being added to my list of ailments. I am no stranger to being the difficult patient. In my appointment with the endocrinologist I was told, “You’re the youngest person I have ever seen with Ovarian failure.” Not premature ovarian failure, but ovarian failure. These bad boys had stopped working fast! When I heard those words it was as if all the air went out of that exam room. I couldn’t hear a word he was saying and kept telling myself, “Keep it together damn it! DO NOT CRY! Not here and not in front of him.” From there I was told children were “unlikely” and I needed to see a fertility specialist to determine further. I remember in the elevator ride my mom put her arm around me and asked if I was okay. It took everything in me to choke down the tears and sobs I was stifling. I forced out the words, ” I don’t know.”

I had to wait weeks to see the fertility specialist. I had to have a ridiculous amount of blood drawn beforehand. I had weeks to try and prepare myself for the worst. My sister, Devon, went with me. The experience I had with that fertility specialist was AWFUL!!!!! Keep in mind, I am 20 years old and in the last 10 weeks I had found out all my hopes and dreams of  having children were quickly fading away. That doctor was insensitive, rude, and nonchalant. He told me in his office, ” All of your levels are low or non-existent. You aren’t producing eggs. Your ovaries are small. The chances of you ever getting pregnant are less than 0.1%.” Just like that. No cushion for the blow. Devon started in asking all kinds of questions. Attempting to get more information and detailed answers. I didn’t hear a word they were saying. I was repeating to myself, “Don’t cry. Don’t cry. Don’t cry.”

The whole way home I stared out the window. Devon tried talking to me and I can not even remember what about or if I was responding. That news, that diagnosis, those words still echo in my mind. They haunt me. The depth of the wound those words created is not something I can explain. It is not something you can truly understand until it is you. The kind of pain that comes along with it. Gut wrenching doesn’t even begin cover it. Possibly it’s soul crushing? It changes you. It isn’t something you ever get past. You accept it over time. You learn to live with it. I have to explain it to people more than you would think. “Oh no I can’t have kids.” They tell you oh you can try invitro or hormone injections. NO BOBBY SUE I CAN NOT! People don’t know how to react and always want to give you advice. I know it is a natural response. I get told how sorry someone is for me. Having someones pity is equally upsetting. Then there is the factor of dating. I feel obligated to immediately tell someone if they start showing interest. I know that for some it can be a deal breaker. They want to have their own kids. Hell it was a huge deal breaker in my last relationship. He was fine with adopting when we first started dating, but over time he decided he wanted to have his own children. After 4 years he told me that even if we would’ve worked past all our other issues, “It would never work because you can’t have kids. I thought I could get past it, but I want my own flesh and blood.” In that moment I may have thought about murder or crawling into a hole and dying.

I have slowly come to terms with the possibility that I may never be a mother. Do I want kids and a family? HELL YES!  I would give ANYTHING to be able to grow a child inside me, experience birth and raise kids. Kids that have my eyes or my laugh. Be able to make my sisters an aunt. Letting go of that dream has been one of the HARDEST things I have ever had to do and I have overcome a lot.

So, Lilly calls me and is talking to me about her journey with infertility, because I understand. I know what she is feeling. You feel as if you have failed as a woman because you can not do the ONE thing women are supposed to do. I realized while talking to her that someone, I love and who loves me, finally understood what I was/am going through. Finally! Now, I never wanted for anyone to be able to understand. I do not wish infertility on any woman. It was comforting to be able to have a conversation with Lilly and not have to try to explain myself. We sat on the phone and had a lengthy conversation. I listened while she vented and I tried to give her the best possible advice I could.

Fast forward to February of this year. I am at work and Lilly calls me. Lilly knows I am at work and wouldn’t call unless it was important. I dip away to answer, a little concerned, and Lilly asks me to sit down. “Madelyn,  I am pregnant!” Hearing those words and the immediate wave of shock mixed with happiness. I cried tears of joy. Once we hung up it hit me. Lilly was no longer in the boat with me. I felt sad in a way. I sat in the bathroom and cried for myself. Every time a friend or loved one tells me they’re pregnant, I am overwhelmed with joy. Of course I am happy for them. Its later that the envy sets it. There is a slight tinge of jealousy and then self pity. I let the tears flow when I am alone. I don’t mean to be envious, jealous, or have self pity. I don’t want to, but sometimes you just can’t help it. Once I “cry it out” I am fine. I watch them experience pregnancy. The gender reveal, the nesting, and the birth. It is such a beautiful thing. Lilly’s pregnancy has been different for me than my other friends. It has been a little more personal because of what we shared and what she went through to get here.

And now she’s just waiting to hold Ellie in her arms.

Infertility is devastating. To all those women whom are struggling to get pregnant, whom have had miscarriages, whom are going through hormone therapy, and whom are coping with the diagnosis of infertility….YOU ARE NOT ALONE. It’s okay to feel defeated, to feel like you failed, to feel sorry for yourself. It is okay. Take it one day at a time. Process it in your own way and at your own pace. Just remember that while it hurts, you will be okay. You’re stronger than you know.

Balance…

Stability, steady, fairness, etc.. I could list the many definitions of balance for you, but i’m sure you all know what balance means. Are you aware of how important it is? Not in the sense of being able to stand yourself up straight. While that is important that is not the balance I am talking about. I’m talking about balance in your life. The balance with ourselves. Lately, I have found myself off balance. My actions contradicting my feelings, my wants and my needs.

I may have bit off more than I can chew. 15 credit hours, 2 jobs, sleep and any form of a social life…it’s a lot. I am constantly on the go. I like being busy, but I’m beginning to feel like I can’t breath. When I stop to breath, let my hair down and relax, I instantly regret it. I don’t have time to relax. I’m now a constant ball of stress. I haven’t been able to find a healthy balance. I enjoy the chaos that comes with my schedule, I can thrive in chaos, but it isn’t healthy. I am trying to find a balance for studying and sleeping. Sleeping is a lost art for me. It has been ever since I had my pacemaker implanted. However, as of late I am barely getting any sleep. I am watching video lectures and reading until 2-3am and dozing off. Only to wake up at 5:30 to get my day started. The amount of coffee I have been consuming is definitely going to make my cardiologist lecture me at my appointment next month. I need to prioritize my time better. I need to find the balance of getting this degree done quickly without sleep deprivation. Without wearing myself out. I suppose I could be writing my research paper instead of this blog, but I have to have a little fun. Right?

When it comes to being off balance it is not just my chaotic schedule and my need to be an overachiever. I am feeling VERY off kilter when it comes to my emotional needs. I have been thoroughly enjoying being single. Finding myself after a failed relationship. Having no one to answer to and being able to do what I want, when I want. There is something invigorating about being alone, but loneliness has started creeping in. That loneliness has pushed me to want to go out more, be constantly busy, to avoid being home alone. That is kind of hard to accomplish when you’re exhausted and have tons of homework. Yet, I keep finding myself out on the weekends attempting to be approachable and not awkward. All this putting myself out there and actually giving someone the time of day has made me realize a lot about myself. When I am actually interested in someone and want things to progress, I become a completely different person. I overthink EVERYTHING. I am quiet and become tactical. I plan out what I am going to say or how I am going to act. I become closed off and hesitant. I am terrified of rejection so I try to avoid any opportunity for it. I am not that person. I am talkative, fly by the seat of my pants, compassionate and typically carefree. So, why can’t I find a balance of being cautious and being myself? Why can’t I stop myself from putting up walls, being silent and unreadable? It makes it worse for myself, I know. Especially because if I don’t hear from them, I am too afraid to reach out. I know it was likely my fault because I wasn’t acting like myself. I beat myself up over it. Now, some guys just suck and your feelings are going to get hurt. Learning to recognize the difference in self sabotage and an asshole is important. I have to find the balance of letting someone in and still remaining cautious. I need to learn to not self sabotage. I need to learn how to keep my feelings and my self worth separate. That way I stop letting myself and others change how I view myself when my feelings get hurt.

Finding balance in every aspect of your life is tough. I strive to be the best version of myself daily. I have days where I’m judgmental more than I am accepting. I try to be the healthiest version of myself while being a sickly person. I try to eat healthier, but get swayed by my sweet tooth. All this Halloween candy does not help. I try to workout regularly, but I already don’t have enough time in the day. I also try to physically be balanced. I have bruises all over my body from my lack of coordination. If I can go one day without falling over, walking into something or not tripping over my own feet…it’ll be a damn miracle.

Is this what life is? Finding balance? Being serious but still trying to be fun. Does one ever accomplish a balanced life? Is there a way for me to balance making money, traveling, taking photos, having all the dogs I want, getting enough sleep, and having someone to share it all with? Is that unattainable? Feeling like what I want is unattainable is a huge reason I am taking a break from social media, this blogging doesn’t count. I found myself constantly comparing myself to my peers and looking at their picture perfect lives. Realizing how much time I spent comparing myself, getting myself feeling down, and making myself so readily available to anyone…it gets you out of balance.

It’s time to reset. I’m getting out of town this weekend. Clearing my head and coming back collected. Spending some quality time with nature and my other favorite Mads, besides myself. Finding my balance again, hopefully. Fingers crossed. Can’t wait to be in Apalachicola for the weekend.

Am I sane? Probably not…

Yesterday as I was driving to Panama City, after work for my class, I was questioning my sanity. Why on earth did I do this to myself? Why am I working full time, taking 5 classes this semester, moving next week and trying to keep myself rested? How did I think this was possible?! While stopped at a red light I picked up my phone and was mindlessly scrolling through Facebook. I came across this post made by my mother… This post made everything click.

First of all- I was adorable.

B.) My eyebrows have been crazy from day one, apparently.

3.) I am doing this because of my mom.

No, not because she wants me to do it. I am doing it because of the person she has raised me to be. She raised me to be independent, strong, unique, and true to myself.

Karen let me try new things as a child and quit the things I didn’t like. Let me be creative and imaginative without judgement. Supported me with every decision even if she didn’t agree.

Now that I am an adult, although I don’t consider myself one and I won’t until I can properly fold a fitted sheet, she continues to play an active role in my decision making process. She will voice her opinion and let me form my decisions from there. We don’t always see eye to eye. She sometimes does not understand why I do what I do, but she still helps guide me in a positive direction.

As I found myself questioning my sanity I realized why I told myself I could do this. It’s because I can do it. Getting my degree in journalism and actually doing what I enjoy for a living is my main focus. So I signed up for 5 classes because I am determined, I am smart enough and I am going to hold myself accountable. And if all else fails I know that I have my mom and family to be there with support.

I may be pushing myself and sanity to the limit, but I will accomplish this goal. It is something I need to do for me. It is something I want more than anything. I’ll drive to Panama City twice a week, I’ll sacrifice hanging out with friends and I’ll do whatever else I need in order to do this as fast as I can. All the while I’ll know that my mom will look at that picture and always think, “Damn, Madelyn is adorable. No wonder she’s my favorite!” 😂😂😂 Sorry, it’s the truth guys!

In the next few months if you don’t hear from me, please check on me and don’t take it personal. Also if you see me and I’m looking like my sanity has gone out the window, just guide me in the right direction. The right direction will be towards the wine, in case you were wondering.

Am I being passive aggressive? Oh well…

Have you ever wanted to just scream bloody murder? At the top of your lungs? As loud as you can? You have a bunch of pent-up emotion that is starting to boil over and you need an outlet? Well, I am at this point. As I drove home yesterday I could feel it coming. I knew that wall was close and I was going to hit it head on. One little push and BOOM. My push arrived in the form of a text message today. As I sit writing this it is taking everything in me not burst at the seams.

 I have spread myself rather thin lately. Constantly on the go and busy to the point of not being able to completely focus. 90 to nothing all the time. My sleep patterns are so out of whack that my insomnia is in full swing. I watched about 5 hours worth of The Office last night and devoured a whole pint of ice cream. Productive right? (That halo top mint chip though…amazing!) My coworker asked me the other day why I always looked so tired. Well thanks buddy!  Now I know I look like shit. **Insert eye roll and crying face here** I have to STOP letting myself get like to this point. I may have some constant need to please everyone. I know, I can admit it, that is the first step, right? Admitting your problems. I need to learn to say NO! I feel obligated not to let others down, to be available for any social event, to be nice all the time. I am exhausted. I am not nice all the time. I don’t want to be. Over the past few months my need for self growth has strengthened. I’ve worked hard to shake old habits. To say no and stop doing things that don’t benefit my well-being.

I know who I am. I lost myself for a while. I became the girl I hated. The one who changes herself for someone else. Who puts someone (in my case a guy), that isn’t putting you first, before yourself. I wasn’t raised to act like that person. I have a BIG personality. I was raised to be independent. Not to be small in order to convenience someone else. After many forms of rejection throughout the course of my life I changed. Some where along the way I decided it was easier to please everyone than be rejected. Easier to change who I was than to be an inconvenience. Well pardon my french but, FUCK THAT! I am DONE.

I am not doing anything that I don’t want to do any longer. I am not going to apologize for it. I am not going to feel bad if someone doesn’t approve. In the end what matters is my well-being. I have to live with myself everyday. If I want to stay home instead of go out, I won’t let anyone guilt me into leaving the house. If I want to cut my hair off, i’ll do it even if someone likes it longer. If I don’t want to give someone my number or sleep with someone just because they show me attention, I won’t. Not because I am a prude. I am no saint or prude. I wanted to be a nurse, not much about the human body bothers me. I have also legitimately shown my chest to hundreds of people. I don’t have much modesty left at this point. I am not a delicate little girl when it comes to sex and the reality it plays in our everyday lives. However, it’s because I am not some girl who needs attention. Who needs to feel wanted. LADIES, STOP SPREADING YOUR LEGS LIKE BUTTER ON TOAST for the first person who shows you attention. Do you really want attention from someone who looks at you in that light? Someone who will ghost you for not sleeping with them? Or who will ghost you after you’ve slept with them? I can tell you which scenario will make you feel better about yourself in the long run. I can tell you from experience. I have been in both of these situations. Like I said, I am not a prude. However, I have learned that if it does not benefit my well-being then it is not worth my time.

Time is so precious. Why waste it? I have wasted so much time and set myself back. I am now working my ass off to make up for that. No, I do not have my shit together. It is kind of in organized piles. It is slowly getting to where it needs to be but, there is forward movement. Baby steps, right? For example things have gone my way lately, for the most part. Not romantically but at this point I am chalking that up to a loss. I am not even going to deal with a love life currently. I keep finding myself holding my breath. Waiting for the other shoe to drop. Why? Why do I, we, feel like things can’t go our way? Life is allowed to go your way. Maybe if I keep saying it I will really believe it. Life is allowed to go my way. The only person responsible for my happiness and my decisions, is me. I am letting life work with me for a change. I am letting go of all the toxicity. I am making moves forward. I am working on a new degree. It is not easy. I will probably get defeated and in those moments I will need someone to bring wine and distract me. I am finally getting my own place after failing in a relationship and running home to my mom. I still sometimes need her to help with the deep wounds. Do we ever really grow out of that need?  I am doing things I want. I am not letting someone’s disapproval get in the way.

I want to experience so much and I have let others tell me no. I have let my health stop me. I have told myself I wasn’t good enough. Well I am good enough. I have a lot to offer, I am smart, and most of all I have a desire to learn, to grow and to try new things. So one of the first things I am doing for myself is taking my happy ass up to New York in December. I have always wanted to go see all the decor during the holiday season. To go to the museums, central park and Rockefeller center. But most of all to EAT everything I want to eat. My plane ticket is booked and I will be in New York City playing tourist with my cousin on December 1st. I am not letting myself get to the point of bursting at the seams anymore. Why, because it’s ridiculous. Also because when I over do it like this, I don’t take care of myself. Case in point…I am about to go to the ER because I am pretty positive I have pneumonia. Eh you live and you learn.

Next time you find yourself wanting to scream or throat punch someone, maybe I am just a little violent, take a step back. Is it good for your well-being to feel this way? NO! So re-analyze what is getting you to this point. Take care of yourself. Make yourself happy. Enjoy your life. Don’t let someone else make you feel bad about yourself. Most of the time it is their insecurities being reflected on to you.

Now I am finally going to respond to that text that pushed me over the edge. I am going to go to the doctor and then I am going to get mashed potatoes. Why? Because that is what I want to do.