The thrift and the big city

Last week I had a couple of appointments back to back so I wasn’t on my regularly scheduled thrift escapade.  I’m in Manhattan twice a week now.  I’ve been trying to shake up my routine a bit.  I did mention I found a new to me Goodwill store uptown.  Honestly I prefer the Salvation army.  Believe it or not I find Goodwill pricey as far as thrift stores go.  Salvation Army …good gravy you can find some treasures there!  Well I do anyway 😉

And just to shamelessly plug my business (www.nayaudo.com),  if there’s anything/clothing or shoe wise anyone wants me to keep an eye out for, you can contact me through my website.

I absolutely love going to Manhattan. I love the anonymity, I love to people watch, I just love New York! It’s funny how different areas of the city have their own vibes. These are just my opinions and observations but the upper west side is a bit different with people walking around in work out wear like they have nothing else to do that day and there’s a ton of nannies pushing strollers, oh my gosh! I really like it up there as it’s not nearly as crazy and busy as say Times Square for comparison. It’s almost like “Manhattan Lite” There’s an awesome Salvation Army up there that I’m a “regular” at.

In Chelsea it’s a younger vibe on the street. I feel out of place honestly. I walk with my head up and all but I don’t think I could work in that area or be there on a regular basis. It’s much busier than the upper west side with a lot of cool shops and supermarkets. There’s a really nice Goodwill where I frequent :).

Downtown, so busy with the hustle and bustle of all the businesses and Wall Street and all the men in suits and the women dressed so nice. And mixed in are the tourists, some trying to figure out how to get to the ferry that takes them to the Statue of Liberty. I’m clueless on how to get there, I think we went there on a class trip when I was like 10 yrs old or something. Anyway I’ve met a lot of incredibly nice and interesting tourists. Downtown during the day is a nice place to people watch. Plus shopping, there’s Century 21 and DSW. I haven’t found any thrift stores yet downtown. To be honest I haven’t looked all that hard. There has to be at least one!

I pray on the ferry. I also pray on the subway. When I’m alone on those two modes of transportation I enjoy the solace and escape. Sometimes I open my eyes and I’m surprised at where I am. It doesn’t matter how deep in prayer I think I am. God knows. He knows our hearts.

The Girls

I’m sitting this morning  hanging out with my older girls.  Daniella asked me why I see Nancy.  I always assumed she knew why.  I explained that I’m being treated for depression.  She was okay with this.  I figured she would be.  Alyssa said she already knew.  That’s cool.  My house has now returned to its relatively quiet state now that Thomas has gone back to school.  

I love when my girls are getting along and we sit here and talk and laugh.  Right now they’re talking about the Christian youth conference they attended last weekend.  They LOVED it.  I’m so happy for them.  To see them walking with The Lord and getting pumped up to go to bible study and youth group and hear them sing Christian songs is more than I ever hoped for when we started attending church regularly a few years ago. I remember some Sundays it was like pulling teeth to get Alyssa there. To see her now so passionate makes me so grateful to Him.

They seem unphased that Thomas went back early. Daniella asked what happened and I gave her the cliff’s notes version. She told me I didn’t have to tell her if I didn’t want to. I didn’t mind. Then she asked me about Nancy.

Right now Daniella is singing and dancing to a Christian rap song she heard at this conference. I’m usually not a fan of rap but for this I’ll make an exception ;).

A short visit

I’m sitting here right where I’m supposed to be wondering what the heck just happened.  Our son came home for a weekend visit.  We had a great time a couple of weeks ago at his school picnic.  He was wonderful with me.  But this weekend, no.   It started this afternoon after church with a bit of defiant behavior nothing huge or big until you look back.  this afternoon Thomas absolutely did not want me along for the trip to Home Depot with Tommy.  I was going that was it, that’s the way it is.  Tommy managed to coax Thomas to getting in the car.  Thomas stated loud and clear that he wasn’t speaking to me. Fine.

Home Depot went well we decided on and bought a new upstairs hallway light fixture. While Tommy was installing said light fixture my son felt the need to verbally insult me to the point where Tommy asked him to go downstairs. No problem. We have dinner and all seems calmer. That’s cool. Around 7pm while Samantha and I were cruising the American Girl website discussing the finer points of American Girl Dolls and which one would make the better Christmas gift, Thomas walks over and starts verbally berating me. After about 20 minutes Tommy got him to sit with him on the couch and watch tv. Thomas still isn’t done and announces that we shouldn’t call him at school and he isn’t calling us. Fine. Then Thomas decides he wants to go back to school NOW. Tommy tells me to pack his stuff. I did as I’m told and they are on their way to Yonkers.

I don’t know why I’m writing this out. My head still doesn’t understand why this child feels he can say things that are not very nice to me. Why I am his target. I’ve heard all the professional explanations and logically I know it’s not my “fault”. I know if he were a typical child he would say things that aren’t “nice”. I get that as I have a typical 15 yr old. However she doesn’t look for me to aim insults at or call me names that aren’t true.

We are not used to this behavior. We don’t live this way anymore. Praise God I have a level headed husband. The moment Thomas said he wanted to go back Tommy was on his feet. Tommy is my greatest defender. Every day I thank God for putting him in my life.

Where you are supposed to be

After choir practice this past Thursday night a fellow choir member/friend and I started chatting. She was telling me about when she was going through a difficult time and how our Pastor said during service that even though some people may appear to not be worshipping during church, those people are right where they’re supposed to be, sitting in church.

I know I’ve said this before, I have really wonderful friends. My friend didn’t know I had already written in my blog that maybe this wasn’t the time for my business to take off as it isn’t the time God wants it to happen. I am just where I am supposed to be. I love this. If someone had said that to me a year or so ago I might not have liked it but it still would have rang true.

As of this moment I’m glad to be where I am, where God wants me. I’ve spent the better part of the last year and a half cursing my station in life and putting myself down as a stay at home mom. I was convinced because I wasn’t filling a role within a company and earning a paycheck that I was worthless. But…right here is exactly where God wants and has wanted me to be.

I believe it’s all about trust in The Lord. We have to trust His judgement and follow with faith. I don’t believe we know better than God, that what we want is what we should always get. I expected and wanted a “typical” son. That didn’t happen instead I was given a gift of a boy who challenged me and in that process those many challenges tore me down so I could be rebuilt spiritually.

I began attending church again when things were going well in my life. Thomas was stable on his meds, my family was in a relatively calm state. I was able to join a bible study group. Life was really nice and I accepted Christ as my Saviour. I realized I had a church family when things started unraveling, the med changes and hospitalizations, etc… God placed me in church at the right moment. When life was good I was exactly where I was supposed to be so when things became rough we would have the support and people to support us during that time. Our God is amazing.

Optimism

Sooooooo I’ve seen my therapist and doctor and I’m back to feeling happy :).  I’m glad to have nipped things in the bud and be able to return to my regularly scheduled programming of thrifting.  Today I scored a gorgeous pair of Antik denim and on Tuesday…Tuesday I found a pair of True Religions!!!   Eeeeeek  :). Forgive me for repeating about the True’s I’ve been on a hunt for those for a long time. I’ve already skinnied those jeans that needed skinny -ing.  Have I mentioned that I sew?   I do for those not in the know.   

My son is coming home this weekend. I’m very happy about that. I’m also very happy that our relationship has been repaired. I’m not afraid of him anymore and when Thomas calls here from school he’s happy to talk on the phone with me and tell me about his day. True to Thomas form he will readily admit if he had a “bad day” and what his actions were to make it bad. Gotta love him for the honesty. He’s been that honest since he was small.

I’m sitting here happy that I have nothing to report depression wise. But as a result I’m not sure what to write about. Why does it seem easier to write about sad subjects than happy ones? When I was writing out my story of Thomas the words flew out my fingers while typing. I’d kept them pent up for too long. Now it’s like a weight has been lifted and I can look forward with optimism. I’m even debating going blonde again, but then again maybe I won’t. I’m fickle like that, always have been.

I’m feeling more optimistic about my business (www.nayaudo.com). Maybe I’m not supposed to be at the place yet where it takes off. I need to remember that I am not in charge here, God is and He has His own plan and His own timing.

Figuring things out

I was thinking this morning about how amazing it is that you form friendships with people and you never know where that relationship will take you or how long it will last.  One example is my friend Jackie.  Jackie and I met 11 years ago online on a forum for children/adolescents diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  Her son was already diagnosed, my son newly diagnosed.   There were many friendships that developed from that forum, many of us are in touch with each other via Facebook and the support and caring is still there.

Getting back to Jackie. I know we were meant to be friends, we were meant to find each other. Our sons were just a catalyst to enable us to meet. I live in NY, she in Wisconsin. I mean seriously? How does this happen? We are very close, there are times I’m just thinking of her and she calls and vice versa. It’s funny and I love it. She understands me and I understand her. I’m so blessed to have found a friend who lives 960 miles away yet we talk and laugh as if we lived next door. She (and all the other wonderful friends from that forum) were placed in my life purposefully by God.

Then there is John. He is the grandfather of my youngest daughter’s best friend at school. John picks up his granddaughter from school and I pick up Samantha. Last year John and I started chatting, he knows a lot of parents in the school yard and is simply a really nice person. This year John and I started chatting and realized we’re both Christians. I really enjoy the fellowship I have with him. We attend different churches but The Lord is The Lord. Since I’ve recently been having a tough time with the depression I’m a bit quiet during our chats. But you know what, that’s ok as John, unbeknownst to him is ministering to me. He is guided by the Holy Spirit and the way he speaks of the greatness of our God makes my heart soar in praise of Him.

Standing still ?

I know I wrote “Moving Forward” recently.  I really believed I was going someplace.  Where?  I have no idea.  This past  weekend it hit me hard that I’m not going anywhere and I felt the depression sneaking back in.  I don’t think I’ve ever been so frustrated (aside from trying to get help for my son).  Now I’m fighting for me and I worry am I strong enough?  Determined enough?  

I feels as though I have tackled and defeated the demons that plagued me concerning Thomas.  But the ones plaguing me still need to be conquered.  The fear and uncertainty of who I am or want to be other than a wife and mother Is rocking my world.  In no way do I wish to abandon my present roles.  I want to fully embrace them while creating and nurturing a separate role that is mine alone.  Make sense?

Thank God I was able to locate a new to me thrift store in Manhattan and score a pair of True Religions. At least in my thrift life all is right.

Moving forward

I really wasn’t sure I would be posting with this title.  Moving forward seemed so far away when I started this blog.  I didn’t even know if I would be able to write out my story. Part of me worried that in looking back would I be also able to move forward?  I did write it out and I’m proud of myself.  So now that I can even be happy I need to do something with my life.  

I’d love for my business to take off.  I have shopped for friends and it is wonderful! I truly felt as if I was doing what I was supposed to be doing and everything fell into place. Part of me debated returning to school but I wonder if I’m really all that driven. It’s also not something I’ve always wanted to do. When my kids were all younger I loved going to thrift stores and yard sales but at young ages they weren’t all that cooperative. Now that everyone is in school and older with different needs than toddlers, I enjoy the freedom of this time in my life. What I don’t enjoy is the uncertainty and frustration in launching my business.

I’ve been a stay at home Mom for the better part of the past 16 years. This was a decision my husband and I made and it worked…most of the time. It wasn’t until the depression hit did I feel worthless or “less than”. I still battle those feelings. My husband’s schedule; the one we built so I can stay at home does not allow for me to work unless the kids are in school. I haven’t seen any job postings for “part time 10am to 2pm.” Another reason I wanted to start my own business, so I could work on my schedule and time.

It’s difficult to explain the feeling, the thrill of finding a treasure at the thrift. Even if it’s not my treasure, when I find something whatever it is that a client wants I have to suppress a squeal many times :). Also the process of searching, looking for that “something” is an exciting feeling. I guess it could be called the thrill of the hunt? Whatever, I love it and I love the inner peace I feel when thrifting. I am in my own space/world and very rarely do I let anyone in. I’ll take other people thrifting but only the precious few enter my space. A good friend said he couldn’t wait to read about my “zen” while shopping. Well there you have it 😉

No title :)

This past year I had a difficult time no doubt.  Battling depression while accepting my son being at residential school and raising my girls.  In a way I thought the girls might be “easy” to deal with now that I wasn’t on guard all the time from Thomas. Ha!  A grade schooler, a pre-teen and a full fledged teen.  All girls.  It’s been interesting, sometimes amusing and sometimes I’m ready to pull my hair out. There have also been plenty of times my heart has swelled with pride and they make me laugh or cry with their greatness.  By the way, I’ve already apologized to my mother for my behavior as a teen.  Yes I did.

With Thomas away I had a chance to re-group as his mother. The school staff was now pretty much “in charge” of the majority of his needs and as much as I dislike to admit it, I welcomed the break. The staff is wonderful and kept me informed of when Thomas needed to see the doctor, medications given if he had a cold, etc… I can’t complain at all and I know we are fortunate. God placed him there as I’ve written before, I’m confident of that fact.

This break also gave me a chance to heal and take care of the bruises that you couldn’t see. As already mentioned I take medication and I’m in therapy. Both choices were difficult but absolutely necessary. Even though life wasn’t perfect and adjustments needed to be made I was able to parent my girls, be a wife to my husband, take a class at the local city college and start my own business (www.nayaudo.com ;)). Most importantly my relationship with my son was healed. I can’t imagine being on my guard with him all the time like I was. These days when we visit him at school or Thomas comes home for a visit I’m happy and realize how much I’ve missed him. My son. He’s mine.image

Medication roller coaster

When I started taking antidepressant medication I was so hopeful we would find the right one on the first try.  Wishful thinking I realize now.  Actually the first med trialed did work for a while then petered out.  Dr. L upped the dose and as I stated in an earlier post I’d gain weight the med would kick in and I would be “ok”. Until the med petered out again, rinse and repeat. We spoke about adding another med as an adjunct, I agreed and that worked for awhile until the side effect of fatigue started really getting to me. I’m not a nap person and this medication was turning me into one.

We discussed this also and Dr. L lowered the adjunct dose which really made the roller coaster take a downward slope. Not cool. My depression was slowly creeping back in and I knew it wouldn’t be long before it was bad. Dr. L took me off the first antidepressant and put me on another but…this one did not work as fast as the first one. It took about 2-3 weeks before I noticed a difference and believe me it wasn’t anything to write home about. At one point while I was waiting for the new antidepressant to kick in, I called Dr. L. It was a Thursday evening. He asked me if I was alright and I told him, “No” I also asked him (almost demanded) if he had a plan, I needed to know his plan of what medication was next and I wanted to jump out of my skin. I did not want to be me anymore and feel this way, I couldn’t stand it. Dr. L was so, so patient and good. He assured me he did have a “plan” but it was 8:30 at night on a Thursday, he didn’t have my plan right in front of him. He calmly encouraged me to stick it out with this med and to call him if I needed him. The way he spoke to me with such compassion I’ll never forget.

I prayed to God to give Dr. L wisdom and direction in treating me to please guide Dr. L in his choice of medications and to give me strength.

After 4 weeks the new medication did take effect but it wasn’t as great as it could be. I made an appointment with Dr. L and we discussed different meds and their side effects. Which side effects were acceptable to me? I really appreciated that my input was important. In the end we decided on an antidepressant and an antidepressant/anti-anxiety medication. I had a written schedule to follow and I was cool with that.

At one point I did become angry with God. I couldn’t understand all the med changes and trials, the ups and the downs. It didn’t seem fair. I try to say that without whining. Being mad at God made me upset all over again. I was afraid that I was mad at Him. I spoke to one of the Pastors at church in tears about being angry at God. He looked at me so kindly and said, “It’s ok…He can take it”. After that my anger faded a bit and I prayed and asked for forgiveness.

As for the current combo I’m taking now, I’m so hopeful the feeling I have of being “me” lasts and lasts.