Thursday, December 31, 2009


I was given this award by Mominthetrench and I was shocked!

Thanks a ton for you kind comments and making me think, you too make me happy!

The Happy 101 Blog Award Rules are as follows: List 10 things that make you happy, try to do at least one of them today, and tag 10 bloggers that brighten your day. For those 10 bloggers who get the award, you then link back to my blog and create your list of things that make you happy.

Things that make me happy?

1. Summer breezes
2. Cleanly (and evenly) shoveled snow
3. A good organized closet
4. My darling children and their unconditional love
5. My animals for the same reason
6. My husband's sense of humor
7. Blog comment love
8. Music
9. My faith and the comfort it gives me
10. Finally having an outlet to tell people what it is like living with these thoughts and fears.

I have to pick 10 bloggers? Wow, kinda difficult without "exposing" who I may be. How about half that?

Linda at Faith Makes Things Possible not Easy
Kari at Thoughts Preserved
Thorn at Mother Issues
Essie at The Accidental Mommy
Jo at Tangled Me


Last night we had a family gathering. The family that we were seeing irritates my husband. They have very different views than we do. They are pretty outspoken. It usually makes for a very unnerving combination. He normally attends these functions with me and does a really good job of holding his tongue, but leaves early using our special needs son and his stimulation as an excuse.

We have talked on numerous occasions throughout the year about tolerance. They have little. He does truly have a lot. They push him to his limits. One of the arguments we have had recently was making the most out of the situation you are handed. You may not always like the situation, but your attitude and your influence CAN make it better. I argued that he is very hard headed when it comes to this side of the family and maybe his expectations are self-fulfilling prophecies when it comes to these gatherings. We have talked about him being more approachable and showing more of the tolerance that he wants them to exhibit. Blah Blah Blah.

Last night was the BEST family gathering we have had EVER. He was amazing. He showed me that he is willing to make changes for he better and guess what? They responded in kind and they were kind, accepting and everyone laughed all night long. The biggest success was that he actually hugged a family member (one I would've never expected) goodbye, seriously. On the way home I decided I would not say anything and he brought it up saying that he recognized that his attitude adjustment made the difference. Wow. Huge steps.

This morning he woke up feeling better than he has in months. A little positivity goes a long way. Something we all need to keep in mind!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Today I took my young daughter into the pediatrician about some concerns I was having with her behavior. He confirmed my suspicions. We believe she too has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. She begins medication tomorrow.

I am torn between emotions. While I know that this particular medication changed my life and gave me a new outlook, I am saddened that she is afflicted with the same disorder. I have thought that perhaps she was exhibiting these behaviors for quite a few months but I worried that I was projecting my twisted way of thinking onto typical young child behavior. My mom and my brother both have OCD as well, and I am the only one who is medicated. My brother thinks his is amusing (and it doesn't really interfere with his quality of life) and my mother really should be medicated. After talking to her this morning about my daughter and the doctor's appointment, she said she really needs to consider medication. That made me smile!

My husband is thrilled. He knows first hand what it is like to live with unmedicated OCD and he has been pushing me to do this for months. My daughter knows how to push daddy's buttons, and I think part of the issue is that he sees so much of me in her and he is frightened.

I hope this can change her life. I went undiagnosed and unmedicated until I was well into my marriage. Looking back at my adolescence I can see where I could've truly been helped by medication much sooner.

Monday, December 28, 2009


I thought I would answer two really good questions from the last post. I feel like I am showing exactly how whacked out I am in these posts because I am striving to write them during the emotion. I want to be transparent for you and for me. When I go back and read them I think, "Wow, it really isn't that bad!" But when you are there in the middle, it feels that way. I suppose that is the purpose. To work through the emotion, through the issue. But man, I seem so messed up in the process. This is hard for me because I really try so hard in real life to put on a brave front. I seem really well put together most of the time to the outside world. Maybe that is part of my problem!?

MomInTheTrench asked "What is the purpose of life?"

That's a rough one. I suppose if I go back to my christian roots and my beliefs I would say that the purpose of life is to glorify Jesus. The Bible says that if I don't praise Him the rocks will cry out. There is a much overused Christian saying that says, "Ain't no rock gonna cry in my place". While it is overused, I really like it. I was made in the image of God to glorify and praise my creator. I suppose if I used that as a gauge to judge my life I would be found lacking. Thankfully God mas mercy and grace. I need to remember when I am being less than kind to my children or my husband that God gave me a family and a purpose. That he will not give me more than I can handle. (Another overused Christian saying!) Sometimes I think God over estimates my ability, but that is when I should be leaning on Him and his strength. I suppose any other answer I may have to the question of "What is the purpose of life?" like raising my children well, showing kindness to others, living a life of peace and honesty, would all stem from glorifying a praising God. Because when I am doing those things I am also glorifying my creator. I have told my husband before that I know I am a good person, one deserving to live and be happy, but KNOWING it is far different than FEELING it.

I suppose I may be alienating some of my readers with this, but I am striving to be transparent. I must also say that while I believe that Jesus was born a child and died on the cross for my sins to save me, I realize I may not have all the answers. Some Christians would say that I am not a true follower since I have these suicidal thoughts. I have been hurt by many Christians as they have chastised me for my political beliefs, my open mindedness, my questioning, my belief that love knows no gender, so please don't lump into that category. I believe that salvation is for everyone and I have no place to judge anyone but myself.

Thandi asked "How does He (hubby) feel after these blowouts?"

The husband is an odd bird. Well, odd in my view, when it comes to these arguments. He processes the argument while we are in it. He doesn't mull over things or hold grudges. Typically he is over the argument before we are even done. This usually angers me for two reasons. I get worked up that he can turn it off so quickly and seem to just dismiss any issue like it is not important and I get jealous that I can not let something go that quickly. He never wants to revisit anything. Once it is over it is over. Usually he wants a hug or if we are in bed he wants to cuddle. "Oh hell, no. You are not holding me when we just argued for 3 hours!" is my typical response, but for him, it's over, move on with life.

I suppose I should feel blessed that he can get over something so very quickly. I think that his processing time makes me feel like he views the issue as not important. I feel like he is dismissing me. I need to constantly remind myself that he is doing what he needs to do in order to get through the issue and we are so very different.

I think it is worth mentioning that because we are so very different it does help in parenting our special needs child. Because his mind is constantly flitting from one activity to the next or one reaction to the next we can easily tag-team the issue. If one of us is dealing with a problem and we get fed up because the thought process is frustrating the other can usually come in "fresh" and deal with it easily. We do make a good team on most days.

I love my husband and I am certain I am loved beyond measure. It can just be so frustrating the way we react to one another and the stress of holidays.

Thanks for listening and asking hard questions that make me think! This is becoming more therapeutic than I had imagined.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


So we, my husband and I, fought once again on a holiday. I suppose it was technically the day after the holiday. We always seem to fight on special days.

I think it probably the crazy, hyper kid behaviors that throw us over the edge. Or maybe not since I can recall fights on those days since before we had children. Maybe it is my expectations for a perfect holiday combined with differing routines that throw us into grouchy, defensive fools.

This year it was definitely triggered my the special needs child's behaviors and then rolled into a bitch fest of epic proportions. It careened like an out of control car late into the wee hours of the morning and finally came to a screeching halt when I fell asleep in mid pissyness.

What scares me most about these fights is that I am less and less emotional. Don't get me wrong, I can yell profanities and bitch with the best of them, but I feel like I have less and less to get worked up over. Why does that frighten me? Well, if I am losing my emotions I worry that I don't care as much. I also worry because apathy means that the medication is working too well. And if the medication is working too well, why and I feeling these pangs of suicidal thoughts.

The husband is one that when he tires of an argument it is over. We don't need to speak of it anymore. I am in the camp that an argument happened for a reason. If you don't resolve anything or find out where it came from then you are doomed to repeat it. I struggle with that. I need resolution and he needs it to be over. How do you meet in the middle of that? I feel like if we don't get to the bottom of the problem that I am just living on pins and needles until it happens again.

Perhaps I am being too hard on myself. I don't know. We get through each and every time, but I get less and less worked up. I fear that I am becoming less invested. Perhaps I am just living and learning and moving on quicker. I would just really like to look back on holiday pictures without remembering the arguing.

I do know that I love him with all my heart and I am invested in making this marriage better. I just need to make myself better too.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

a glimpse

Friday morning I was driving the kids to school. I was behind a school bus. When they installed the license plate on the bus, they neglected take off that plastic film that comes on the plate. It was peeling off on both sides and it was flapping in the wind. It was driving my NUTS! It took everything in me not to get out of the car and rip it completely off. Seriously. I made the kids talk to me to get my mind off it.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

religous journey

I became a christian in middle school. I began attending an evangelical church and was there several days a week for services and activities. I was a good girl. Probably due to my OCD (undiagnosed at the time) I was always fully aware of my choices and the consequences that would occur if I was caught doing something I knew was wrong. For the most part, I made good choices. My high school career was pretty uneventful. I didn't drink or smoke or do drugs. I was the goody-two-shoes of my friend group.

College brought with it a whole other set of circumstances, but for the most part I was a good kid. I lost many a boyfriend because I refused to "put out". I always told myself that if they were not okay with my choices they really didn't need to be in my life. At the time, I chalked my choices up to religion but as I look back on it now, I think it was more consequence driven. I didn't want to live with the consequences of actions that I knew were wrong. I was a virgin the day I married my husband.

As I grew up, I came to the realization that the people of the church made me question my religion. I saw so much bigotry and hatred in these christ-followers that I turned from the organized church. I became bitter at their ignorance. I became frustrated with their judgemental attitude. But I really must say that I never became bitter with God. I sought God.

I have always prayed to God like a child would talk to their parent. I have never prayed a formal manner. My God finds me where I seek him. I don't need a go between, I don't need a fancy routine, I simply speak to my Lord. We chat. I sometimes whine. I tell Him my frustrations. I tell Him how I am feeling. I beg for peace. I ask why His followers are so cruel. I apologize and I ask forgiveness.

Over the years I have sought to find a church that doesn't speak politics from the pulpit. I have sought to find a church that does not judge people for their choices. I have sought a church that values diversity and yet preaches the truth. I am still seeking that church. I have come to the resolution that all churches will be inherently flawed because we as people are flawed. I just need to find one that I can live with the foibles. I am on a journey to that end. I really just need to avoid the people and be fed by the word, but I yearn for support and encouragement from other believers that are not judgemental.

I fear opening up to other Christians for fear I will be chastised for my depression and suicidal thoughts. I am not sure that is something I will share. I was not diagnosed as OCD until I was married. I sought the advice of a christian psychologist because my marriage was falling apart. I was terribly difficult to live with with undiagnosed OCD, depression, crazy behavior from being on birth control and learning to live with a new husband. This psychologist told me I just needed to trust God. (She also told me that my husband was dangerous and I would be dead within a year, but I digress. We have been married many years and are quite happy for the most part) The next psychologist I went to recognized my disorder and made me understand my fault in all the mess I created. I am so thankful she listened and "got it" instead of just telling me to pray harder.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

swirly twirly

Thanks to all of you who have commented.

I started this journey thinking that I would like to share these things so that I could feel better. It started on Lisa's blog when I asked her if she would consider posting "taboo" for me so that I could do so anonymously. A comment on Lovely Lisa's blog got my mind stirring and thinking about reaching out to others. They asked if I would consider opening a blog to give voice to these kinds of feelings. The comment also read, "The hardest part of being a mother is how we feel we have to be strong for everyone else even while we may be tortured inside. God has given everyone a purpose, and God knows we need each other, God Bless you."

So very true.

I feel like a failure for feeling the way I do.

For me, part of the issues I deal with tend to wane and ebb sometimes very quickly. I have always referred to it as "swirly-twirly" emotions. Let me try to explain.

Yesterday we got some news in the mail. It is concerning a topic that I feared would be addressed before the end of the year. My husband is a "it-will-be-fine" person. He refuses to think negatively. He will not concentrate on what-ifs. I have to have a game plan. I not only have to know where I am going, but I have to know a game plan for any detours that may spring up along the way. I have to have a plan, a back up plan and a contingency plan. I have to know it will be alright. Not just that it WILL be alright, but HOW will it be alright. I am actually getting a little anxious just typing about it. That is how I tick.

It drives my husband batty.

I had feared this news would be coming down the pike. It has the ability to be disastrous for us. When I came home and saw mail opened, I knew it must be bad. The husband never opens mail unless the return address is something particularly important. So there it was. This piece of paper from this source that had the possibility to ruin not only my night, but my world. I actually got sweaty, my face got hot and my heart began to thump in my chest. I started to breathe funny. Before I even read the letter, I knew it had to be BAD.

Turns out, on a scale of 1-10 it as a 1 on the disaster scale. It was NOT good news, in fact I KNEW this was going to happen and I told him so for the last several months, but it was not too bad all things considered.

Here's where the swirly-twirly comes in. I go from "Oh man, that's actually really good news. It is proactively attempting to solve the bigger problem and in the mean time we are being minor-ly affected. Wow, it really is good news I guess! " and immediately I switch to "Holy Shit! What are we gong to do!? This really sucks! Wow, this is really gonna hit us hard" then I can realistically sit and think about it and calm myself down and I go back to "Ok Sojo, you can handle this! This is not as bad as it could be. You are blessed that it wasn't worse." About an hour later it hits me like a ton of bricks and I think, "Crap! I don't know what I am going to do! This could have horrible consequences" until I talk myself back into "It's better than it could be."

See, swirly-twirly.

This is what I do all the time.

With medication I can usually hide most of this inner struggle. With medication I don't freak out and call my mom crying and slobbering. With medication my husband does not want to toss me out the window. With medication I may need a few acknowledgments that everything will be fine and will work out in the end. I only ask for reassurance about every hour with medication. Without medication? It is not pretty.

I am not joking. Boy, am I a joy to live with or what?

Monday, December 7, 2009


I have always been suicidal.

Even when I was child I can recall wishing I would die at different times of my life. I have no fear of ever actually doing anything to end my life, but I wish for it. There are times that I pray for it. I hope beyond all hope it happens. I will stand on the side of the road waiting to cross the street and think about what would happen if a car hit me. When I am driving alone I will pray that a semi coming from the other direction will hit me. I don't want this to happen for sympathy, I want it all to end. I want the pain to be over. I want to feel peace. Until last week I had only shared this with one person, my husband. (Clarification, I don't feel I will actually take my life because 1. I don't believe I will go to heaven and 2. I will not do that to my children which is also why I would never take a risk with my kids in the car or wish that with anyone else in the car.)

I have always thought that a lot of my issues stem from my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. My OCD is more obsessive than it is compulsive. I do some compulsive things like counting, cleaning and organization, but mostly it is the worrying, ruminating, stressing, order, etc. Because things cannot always go right, in the real world, I stress. I fret. I worry. I will NOT let things go. If I have an issue I need immediate resolution. I need solutions. I need a game plan. If you cannot give that to me right NOW I get frustrated.

Thank God medication helps. Medication nearly completely takes care of all the compulsive things. The obsessive things wane and ebb. The ruminating is gone most of the time. The stressing and other things tend to rear their ugly heads more often than not but are much less with medication. I can get myself in such a downward spiral that it is difficult to climb back out. That is typically where the suicidal thoughts come in.

A couple weeks ago it was as bad as it has been in the many years that I have been medicated for the OCD. I was just in a bad place. Nothing really had triggered it that I can think of, but it was not good. I was pissy, angry, and started fights. I wouldn't let the arguments go. Once I get something in my craw, there is not letting up. I can realize this, I can see the progression, but there is no stopping it. My husband is a saint for putting up with this behavior. It is almost a self fulfilling prophecy. I think everyone is mad at me, and I make it happen by acting like a jerk. I was feeling all the old feelings and praying life would end. Begging God for an accident. Praying for anything to stop the pain I feel and the constant whirling, thundering, roaring frustration in my head.

Last week I opened up to a blog friend what I felt. God almighty smiled on me that day and she understood. Not only did she get it, she had been there. It was perfect timing. She happened to ask me how I was while I was sitting in my chair at work with tears just streaming down my face and I decided to tell her exactly how I felt. What a relief. I had no idea that releasing that would not bring shame, it would bring relief. I had a great night at home with my family. They noticed the difference. The weekend was fantastic. Things were looking up, I think talking about it released me. I broke it's grip on me by speaking about it.

Monday I had a productive day at work. Monday night it hit. I was tired. I could not wake myself Tuesday morning. I was unable to hold my eyes open. I slept 20 hours on Tuesday and 18 hours on Wednesday. It was not the sleep of depression. I think my body was healing. Letting go of the stress allowed my body to relax and get some much needed down time. It was glorious. I have had a completely different outlook on life this past week.

So, I decided that I would share with another friend I met on the internet. I told her I was embarrassed. She chastised me about my embarrassment and told me that "we all have issues" and I shouldn't be ashamed. She actually gave me some suggestions for activities that would help own my feelings and release the stress. Wow. Now I was on a roll. This felt great.

I don't know what has come over me. I shared with someone in real life. She is someone I feel I can confide in. It was awesome. Each and every time I spoke of it, I felt more chains falling off me. It was as though I was taking charge. The very next day, someone else told me that they were struggling. This person is more than an a acquaintance, but not someone I would call "friend". She is fabulous. I like her but we just don't have that relationship. When she shared with me, I really felt led to tell her my issues. I did. You know what? She just looked at me with unbelieving eyes. She was astounded. We have the very same issues! When she was telling me how she sometimes felt, I was finishing her sentences. I really fell like she was placed in my life so that we can support one another. Had she made that comment to me a week ago, I would not have opened up with her the way I did. God's timing amazes me. He placed these wonderful, understanding women in my life so that I could begin a journey and get me to a place of partial healing that I needed to open up with the perfect person. I am amazed. I am blessed that I can be of support to someone and be supported by the same person who really "gets it" because she lives it.

Don't be concerned. I do have an appointment with a psychiatrist. I am becoming a patient of my son's awesome doctor. I figured what better way to have someone understand our home life than to see the doctor who knows exactly what kind of stress we have at home. I think it will be good. I am open to different medication or a medication increase. I will do anything that helps.

So my fear? That YOU will think I am nuts. That YOU will think I am not being a good mother with my issues. I am afraid to put myself and my issues out there. So why am I doing this? More healing for one, but first and foremost, because I know first hand the stress relief that immediately came when I realized I was not alone.

You are not alone.


Welcome to the world of Sojo. I am a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother and a christian. I suffer from anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. I created this blog because I have found freedom in admitting my shortcomings and revealing the truth in how I feel.

My struggles change daily. Some days are easy while others are terribly hard. After years of dealing with these deep, dark thoughts and thunderous frustrations I have recently found that TRUTH is powerful and it does indeed PREVAIL.

Join me on this journey as I explore this freedom and let the chains that held me for so long drop along the path.