Post A-kon Report

I had a time. It was grand and terrifying. I worked longer and hard than at any other convention I had ever attended. I worked with some of the most amazing people. I cannot thank them enough.

I had a chance to be a part of two fantastic panels. I plan on sharing my thoughts on those in my next post. There was so much fun to be had and many a tear shed in one.

I even gave away something very dear to me.

I am trying to recuperate and get rest while getting ready to move again. I want to thank all of you who read this and follow me on this journey. I checked my twitter and I had over 95,000 impressions in 28 days with a one day of 33,000 impressions as a top day for me. I am humbled beyond reason.

Thank you and love to you all.

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Second Prances

This is a quick post as life has turned VERY busy. I love writing in this blog and I have so many posts to finish but I am having to put this further down on the list. I was given a second chance at a job that I had applied for here recently. I am hoping it doesn’t error out on me again causing me to fail. My dearest wife has started a second job (YAY!) meaning I have more time at home with the kids.

#stayathomeDAD

I want everyone to know I am alive and well and even more amazingly, I am hopeful. It is rare that I get this way. It is very fragile and I hold hope very dearly. It can be strong and powerful if it comes to life for me. Until I have a chance to post what I have and life gets uncrazy, please stand by.

#hugapony

#stuffedtherapy

PS Yes I stole all the title from the most recent My Little Pony episode. I hope you bronies who follow caught that. ¬†Hasbro please don’t sue me ūüôā¬†

Hill climbing.

I have had a bad week. I hit chronic pain levels I had not hit in a long time. My body hit a new bottom, ending with me being hit with a case of acid reflux so bad I had fluids coming out of both ends of my body. Not the pretty picture you want to read with your morning coffee I am sure.

But hey, chronic living is not pretty life.

I do want to say that when these dips and valleys in life hit, it becomes hard to post and to replay to people. Real life friends and blog commentators all seem to fall to the wayside. That further deepest the pit of despair that someone like me lives in. My bottom hit with me coming home after a very long day and going to straight to my bed, covering up in a My Little Pony blanket, grabbing my favorite plushie, put on a headset to block out all sound, and played music I know that helps calm me down. It took over 2 hours to get to a point to speak again. I remember clutching the headset to clamp it down over my ears to make sure all I heard was the music. It was my recovery time.

I started to try and pull myself out of the valley the next day when I was hit with the sickness that let me in bathroom for hours. Dehydration was the next thing to hit followed by the severe headache from not have the water in my system. I looked to my promise of making this year the best I have had in a while.

I looked for joy in others.

I saw my good friend just started on the road to starting his own business.

I saw my brother compete in his new sports car in a slalom event and hearing him giggle as he sped his car through the track.

I looked to my roommate who got a new mattress for his room and cleaned out all the old junk and is starting fresh.

I took the joys of others and I pressed forward. It was then that I got news for myself.

A job opportunity.

I found a part time position (10-20 hours a week) that I can work from home on my computer. This will allow me to still homeschool and watch my daughters, let me keep babysitting my friends 2 year old during the week, and I wont have to take up the vehicle so my wife can continue to pursue her dream of being the breadwinner and keep her business going.

Talk about a break.

Now I still have tests to pass and get the little details worked out but I have gotten my foot in the door and am at least going to be given the opportunity to help out the family more. My prayers could be answered in this.

I still have a few major items, like finding a new place to stay in a month, make enough money to pay the bills, and find (also afford) another car, but I have at least gotten a foothold in the hill climb to get me out of a pit I have been in for several years now.

Is the light up there really reachable?

Time will tell. I will keep climbing and grasping for the light.

#stuffedtherapy

#hugapony

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The Reichenbach Fall

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I have worked hard these past few weeks to be more positive. I have tried to fight my depression and work through my anxiety when it rises. I have toiled and fought through in trying new things. I have helped quite a few people in this time. I appreciate all those who have messaged me and told me I had helped you. My medications have helped buffer the lower moments. So much going right.

And so much going wrong.

I have been putting the positive face on for a while now. I want to apologize for not being as open and honest with you, dear reader, as I should have been. I have put my faith and hope that I can do things and have problems work out. They have not worked.

And it has been a millstone around my neck.

I am currently trying to find another place to live as I am moving in May. I have been trying to find a job that I can do that does not interfere with my watching my daughters, homeschooling them, babysitting a little boy, and taking care of the house. I have started to look for some writing jobs even, as I believe I have done well on this blog. It just seems that life starts to fray apart instead of staying together.

My days of pain and sadness are slowly seeping in and I am trying to hold back the tide. I am just needing life to break free in just one area. I just want one personal problem to be resolved in a positive manner.

I have the inner fear of what effects this has on my family. My daughters already look into how stressed me and my wife are at times and they react to it. I already see my eldest daughter starting to face the anxiety demons that I have faced in the past. While I am glad I am there for her and can help her through it, it is still a burden.

I am doing my best to remain positive. I hope to continue to write and maybe get a job writing full-time. This blog is a place for me to share and vent. I hope to have better news in the future.

Until next time.

#hugapony

Stealing Joy

I have teased this post enough and I hope it helps others and it has helped me. 

I have had a unique opportunity to enjoy three different events that I would not previously been able. These events have been documented in the last three blog posts, but I will summarize and detail why I would not attend them in the first place.

  1. The Zoo Run: I am not a morning person. I had to wake up myself, and the family at 6:30 am  to attend. I also do not like to run, or in this case walk, any distance.  Combine that with my anxiety in crowds and this was not where I wanted to be.
  2. The theme park: I normally enjoy theme parks when it is not a busy day, but in this case it was “Bring a Friend free” day. The park was PACKED with people. Lines to get food were an hour and a half long. Crowds we know are an issue so that was not fun. This was immediately following the zoo run so I had already walked 5k so what is another 10 for my legs?
  3. Wrestlemania. OK, I have not watched wrestling since I was a kid in the 90’s. This was one that was WAY outside my comfort zone. A friend called me last minute and asked me to go. I am not a last minute guy by any means. Crowds, loud noises, and sweaty men grappling each other are not my cup of tea. I had no vested interest in going.

Why did I do all these events?

For joy.

More specifically, the joy of others.

I made a mental decision to go to all these events not for me but for those around me. My family loves going to the zoo and we had friends who went with us. My daughters love going to the theme park as my youngest was able to ride more rides as she was taller this trip. My friend wanted someone to share the Wrestlemania experience. These were all acts the brought joy to others.

And in doing so gave joy to me.

I stepped out of my comfort zone and shared in the experiences. I grasped the joy that came off my family and friends and held it close. I used their joy to inject some back to me.

I stole their joy to increase my own happiness.

These are things, as I have said, I would not do under normal circumstances. However, I felt compelled to do them. I was presented with the option of doing or not doing these activities. Instead of my usual “Thank you, but no” response, I decided to take a risk.

And it paid off.

During the Zoo run, I was able to get my exercise, increasing blood flow and help fight off depression. I got to laugh at the crazy costumes with those around me. I got to see my daughters running and chasing their friend while their mother and I gasped for air at running to keep up with them. I got to see the wonderment that came across their faces when we got to the Zoo portion and the joy fill their bodies when they got to see lions and tigers and bears (oh my!). I felt fantastic at the joy around me.

At the Theme park, I was able to again see the excitement on the faces of the children (both mine and their friends) as we got to go on roller coasters and merry-go-rounds and log flumes. The ear piercing screams were a bit much but were almost magical in and of themselves. They laughed at the excitement and cried out in terror. The second to last ride of the day was my eldest daughters “Favorite ride ever daddy!”. More joy to seep myself with.

Wrestlemania was one were I did not have my family, only a good friend. Instead of just one person, I was swept up in the 100,000 people cheering, booing, laughing at the antics in the ring. Seeing everyone hiss and boo as the wrestler with a bad reputation comes strolling into the ring with a unique unification that amazed me. I had one little boy break down crying in front of me as his favorite fighter lost while his sister put her arm around him to comfort him. It didn’t last though, because by the next match the action was back again and the crowd was cheering. While I knew almost nothing about who was who or what was going on, the excitement was infectious. The joy of people enjoying themselves was thick in the air. I drank it in, stealing a part of it for myself.

As a known introvert, it was difficult to say yes to these events. I am more at home with a good book and a nice cup of tea or coffee. I made that decision to break me out of my comfort zone, some of which was with less than 12 hours notice, in order to find the joy I was lacking in myself.

So I ask, dear reader, are you lacking in joy? My pastor defined Joy as something that wells up inside us and is a consistent. Happiness can come from joy, but it will fade and leave emptiness. Words I took to heart when setting this up. I was seeking joy. And I found it.

In places and activities I would never have gone too.

When was the last time you took that plunge? When was the last time you said yes to something that you could do but you really just didn’t feel like it? You can come up with excuses. You can go and be a grouch and ruin not only your joy but others also.

Or.

You can go and look for the joy in places you didn’t expect. Try and seek it out. Judge not o, least ye be judged. Someone is having fun. Share in that fun. Someone is experiencing joy. Steal some of that joy for yourself.

You may be surprised at what you find with an open mind and a willing spirit.

Oh, and bring your plushie. I had several times I needed a moment to fight the anxiety, but the willingness and the strength I got using my talisman helped me through it.

#hugapony my friends. Go find joy.

#stuffedtherapy

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Jumping in the ring.

Teaser #3 for the up coming post Stealing Joy.

I am not a wrestling fan. I haven’t watched wrestling since the 1990’s. I have not been inclined to keep up with it. So when the opportunity came along when a friend asked me to go to the biggest wrestling match of the year, Wrestlemania¬©, ¬†I¬†was honestly expecting myself to decline.

Instead I said yes.

And what do you know I had fun.

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I will now complete my writing of “Stealing Joy”

#hugapony

#stuffedtherapy

 

One day at a time Ralph.

Wreck It Ralph. A wonderful Disney movie (which I love) that is about a video game character (another thing I love) that is depressed with his life (something I do not love but I live with). The main character, Ralph, is told to take it one day at a time. One day at a time is a wonderful view to take.

And something I have been trying to do this new year of 2016.

https://mystuffedlittletherapy.com/2016/01/16/staying-upbeat/

I made a vow at the beginning of the year to make 2016 a great year (I posted the link above). I am determined to do what I can to be positive. As I have a tendency to look at the bleak side of life, my wife often reminds me that you find what you expect to find. If you look for the bleak side of life, then that is what kind of life you will get.

I have had a very rough week this last week. I have felt more than beaten down than I have in a while. I shut down and didn’t talk almost at all on Easter Sunday. I normally would take time in this post to reveal what happened to me, how I handled it, and tell everyone to hug a pony for me.

Hold on to your hats, because I am not going to do that.

I am instead going to focus on the positives that have happened.

  1. I have moved to better place due to an amazing friend who opened his home to me and my family. He is one of the nicest, Godliest person I have known.
  2. I have been in better health than I have been in a long time. My medications have been working great so I have had some extra help to combat my deepening bouts.
  3. My girls are doing great at being homeschooled. I have been told that I have been a great teacher to them and they seem to be enjoying having me at home.
  4. I have been able to support my wife, to the envy of many other wives, with keeping the house clean, doing laundry, and keeping up with the home.
  5. I had a great birthday with amazing friends and family. They threw an amazing My Little Pony themed birthday and they jumped in with me in celebrating.
  6. I have made my blog a .com. I have been getting more mail about “starting” a business.
  7. I have had more interest in my blog from many different sources. I am waiting for more of these to come to fruition, but the uptick in interest has kept mine.

So there you have it, I am still fighting the fight even at the bottom of the valley. I hope this encouraging blog post helps people. Please sound off when you read this, on my blog, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, parcel post. Let encourage me as I hope I have encouraged you.

#hugapony

On the mark.

I come across stories and pieces that hit close to home or near the mark when it comes to depression and anxiety. The past few days I have been taking my meds with clockwork timing as my mind has not had a moments rest tormenting me.

The little man in my head has been clawing at the walls.

I came across a story on Facebook (something I believe is a boon and a curse) and wow it hit the mark.

Hard.

I almost felt I was reading a story about my self. The words and feelings used were on point.

And they were sharp enough to cut me.

The article which is commented here, http://themighty.com/2016/03/when-youre-suicidal-but-you-dont-want-to-die/ , tells about living with those suicical thoughts and what you face day in and out. I applaud the bravery it took to write this. Telling people your thoughts like this makes people worry about you to the point of locking you up.¬†But even if we don’t say what we are thinking, does that make it go away, or does it make those around us feel better about themselves?

Is it better to ignore the thoughts so they don’t mess up someone else’s day?

I feel that being open and honest about these things does several great things. First, you are being honest with yourself, a great way to admit there are issues to deal with. Second, it lets other people know what is going on. Now that has a side effect of being either an attention grabber or someone to stress and worry about. However, I feel that if I am publicly talking about it, its me admitting my flaws and faults. I am saying, “Yes there is a problem and I am recognizing it”. Third, it brings out support and help from others. Building that support group is critical in saving yourself from anything that someone might do to themselves. Again, this isn’t the “Lock them in a rubber room.” but a “I understand and this helped me” type of support. Last, it brings out your humanity. The one thing that is lacking in most depression/anxiety people is just that, they do not look at themselves as people. They see themselves as burdens, and too broken to fix. By saying or writing (better because it is a solid evidence that can be brought up later) that you are feeling this way is a way to humanize yourself to the point to save yourself. It is a gateway to seeing that you are a real person and not just a shadow.

http://themighty.com/2016/03/when-youre-suicidal-but-you-dont-want-to-die/

Well written, well said.

#hugaplushie

Finding yourself.

I have done quite a few activities and tests to explore who I am over the past 7 years. I have fought hard and struggled with some of the results. I came to a point that I was not willing to accept any more criticism from what the results where telling me. Then my wife came across one that changed what I thought about everything.

My dearest wife was given the 16 Personalities test online to find out more about herself for her direct sales job. This test comes from the Myers & Briggs psychological types that have been identified. She answered the one hundred or so questions and got the lettered results. If you have never seen them, here is a brief overview of the types:

MyersBriggsTypes.png

After getting her results she looked through and tried to figure out mine. She made a guess and asked me to take the test.

I was hesitant.

I have issues with these sorts of test because it seem all subjective to whoever made the test, what mood the person is in taking it, and I almost never relate to the answer. After some pleading from the person dearest to my heart (i.e. she looked me deep in my eyes and told me to do it),  I accepted her request.

I was surprised with the result.

I found out I was an INFJ. As you can see from the list above it means I have Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, and Judging. I went on through the results as the www.16personalities.com gives you more insight into yourself and I was fascinated.

This really did show me more about myself.

I am one of the smallest populated personality type (less than 2% of the population) which might explain more of why people would have issues understanding more about me. It told me I have have great instincts and judgement calls. One of my flaws was that I could get overwhelmed sometimes and would need to take time and decompress. Something like writing a blog even. There were famous people with this personality type also.

Mother Teresa

Nelson Mandela

Plato

Mahatma Gandhi

Thomas Jefferson

Leo Tolstoy

I was floored. There was no way I could be put in the same sentence as these names. But here was a test (that I took multiple times from several sites with the same result) telling me that I was special. This was a hard thing for me to accept. I talked about it with my wife and a few of my closest friends and they all agreed that it hit my personality on the head.

It is hard being faced with who you are, even if it is too good.

This had shown me more about myself than anything before. I was fascinated and I still am. I will be doing a few more posts on this subject but I wanted to encourage anyone to go to www.16personalities.com and find out more about themselves.

Hug a pony my friends.