Life has not turned out the way that I planned

10460729_10205259288500726_5255428379661790663_nIf someone had asked me at age 18, how the path I planned would go, I would have said that I would go to nursing school, then medical school to become a pediatrician. I would have met my future husband while in college and had three kids by the age of 30, and we would have grown old together. Oh boy, how I was wrong. I did finish nursing school (in 5 years instead of 4 and my parents are grateful that I finished at all). Medical school did not happen and I was not married with three kids by the age of 30.

Life, however, has been more interesting. I did get married, at the age of 31. I had my first child two days before my 33rd birthday, my second at age 35 and stopped there. My marriage did not last, though not for lack of trying on my part.I decided not to go to medical school after nursing school. I was a pediatric nurse for much of my 18-year career, so I sort of followed that dream.

Life dealt a series of blows along the way that darn near sunk my ship. There was the unfortunate and life-threatening illness of my now former husband. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder at age 35. My youngest child has autism and my oldest has ADHD. I am a working single mom, an RN Case Manager instead of a pediatric RN.

Am I sad for the way this has turned out? No, I am not. I have met many wonderful people along the way. I have had experiences that I wouldn’t have changed, and some that weren’t so great. All of the trials and tribulations have brought me here, at age 41, to a whole and more well-rounded person. Yes, there are parts I could have handled better or skipped altogether. I don’t particularly like having mental illness and I wish my children, for their sakes, did not have challenges to deal with.

But if these things had not happened and if life had gone according to my plan at age 18, I would have missed out on the two most precious gifts God has given me, my beautiful children. They are both sweet. My oldest is sensitive, kind, and thoughtful. My youngest finds joy in unexpected things, and gives hugs like a linebacker.

At age 41, with all the trials and tribulations, I can honestly say that I am happy with how things have turned out and am hopeful for the years to come.

New Beginnings


This month has been the beginning of a new me. I’ve been working on this for awhile, or rather God has been working on this for awhile. I am a stubborn nut to crack. I try so hard to maintain control of my bipolar disorder that I have built up huge walls so that no one can see the mental demons that I wrestle with on a constant basis. I didn’t even let God in. The walls began to crack and eventually fell down. I had a complete mental breakdown, the kind that makes you wonder why in the world you are here in the first place. I was drowning in a sea of worry, doubt, fear, and the mental demons that have plagued me for years. Then Jesus grabbed my hand and drew me up from the water and into the safety net of His boat. I have been crumbling and He has been using it for His good. Letting go of control hurts so badly. To ask for help has been painful. To allow others to see the pain and know the crazy thoughts in my head has been excruciating. My story isn’t over yet. The bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder are still present. Those will not go away. But God can use my brokenness for His good. I do not know yet his plans for me. I feel that He will use my story of bipolar disorder to help others. I will wait and see. And let Him be in control. He does it better anyway.

Anxiety, Autism, and ADHD! Oh my!

Imagine for a moment that you are stuck indoors for days on end because of monsoon-like rain. Imagine what that’s like when you throw children into the mix. Then multiply times 10 and you have my life at the moment. My 5-year-old and 8-year-old sons have autism and ADHD, respectively, and are a challenge on a normal day. All children are a challenge on a normal day, but mine are bouncing off the walls challenging. On a sunny day, they have recess at school and then play outside at daycare after homework time. They often ride their bikes in the driveway once we come home. All of these get them sufficiently worn out so that they are too tired to argue, fuss, and fight. It’s been raining for days now. I’m not sure when the sun shone last time and I’m not sure if it’s planning on shining again. It is driving this mama insane and coinciding with my episode of severe anxiety. The noise inside my head plus the noise of my little monsters (as I affectionately call them) is making it very difficult to be a good mom.The kids are fighting with each other and arguing with me, which is causing me to yell at them. I then feel guilty for losing my temper. My 8-year-old told me that he hated me tonight. Awesome. I’ve locked myself in the bathroom purposely several times. I wish I could drown out some of the noise, but oh how Mommy’s ears hear! Maybe if I stood outside in the monsoon, it would drown out the noise. Or I would just be distracted by the squirrels that just floated by on a mini-ark. It sounds promising either way, except for the getting cold and wet part.  I think I am going to stick my fingers in my ears and sing “lalalalala” until this rain is over. Hurricane Whatever-your-name-is better move on soon. I need to see the sun before I completely lose my mind. I wonder if I am alone in feeling this way. Surely other parents, parents without mood disorders, contemplate the possibility of drowning to avoid the noise of their stir crazy children. Anyone? Anyone?