Why Was 2018 So Damn Hard?!?

The last five years of my life has been rough y'all.

Seriously, the last time I felt happy and carefree for extended periods of time was 2012. I know what you're thinking...surely it can't be that bad and I'm exaggerating...

Well, it's not that I haven't been happy in the last five years...it's that it's short-lived and usually only occurs during celebrations, good life events, and vacations.
The moment family leaves or the holiday or birthday (not necessarily mine 'cause I love all things birthday related for friends and family alike) is over and I have to go back to my normal life...I'm just let down. Ugh, I don't want to live my life it sucks...oh yeah...probably why my psychologist told me to say, "I love my life," every morning.

Why Was 2018 So Damn Hard?!?

I got really dang close to almost a full year of happiness when Tiger, #fluffyalarmclock, came into the picture.

From August 2017 to March 2018, I had this incredible ecstatic happiness from loving and being loved by my dog, my husband, and my family. I would stop in the middle of doing something and just think about how happy I was and that I couldn't believe it after all the pain and suffering I had been through.
I was improving my health on a larger and more specific scale from my April 2017 diagnosis of Adhesive Arachnoiditis. I started my blog and was being consistent with my content. I was also enjoying the heck out of the therapy of writing down what I've experienced.

Well, all that went to pot in March.
Tiger had surgery to remove tumors Mid-March. That got botched...they removed the wrong spot. He had to recover before they could remove the actual cancerous tumor.

By the time April rolled around, we squeezed in a quick surgery before #leohusband began traveling to Europe on a very consistent basis until the first week of December. I'd say he was in Europe 50-60% of the year.

I saw him for 4 days total in June.

Not even kidding.

It was not fun.
In the meantime, I f'ed up my left rotator cuff in yoga the second to last week in April. It has finally calmed down (I'm not going to say healed because it isn't) but it's January 1st, 2019 tomorrow and if I'm not extremely careful, I can trigger the pain cycle in my shoulder so, so easily.
Tiger's health began failing in June. He collapsed on a walk. I worked with him to lose weight and we kept him inside during the ultra hot Texas summer.

In August, he collapsed again but this time with Old Dog Vestibular Disease. Basically, it's vertigo but dogs just don't know how to deal with it that well, not that humans do a great job either. We left him with our vet who gave us a 50/50 shot...he'll either recover or not.
Thankfully, he did.

Mike was constantly in Europe. I held the fort down but didn't do a great job at keeping the fort running.

I eventually did what was easy instead of what was good. Old habits came back into my daily activities, like binge-watching TV to avoid actually thinking about my miserable situation. I didn't like cooking dinner for just me, so I stopped cooking dinner entirely. Even when #leohusband came home from time to time, I just didn't have the energy to cook nor the desire to.

Several relatives on mother's side of the family started having very serious medical problems, so I spent time worrying about my mom, my aunt, both my uncles and my cousins.

I'm really just too sensitive. I can feel the pain others go through in my very soul. I basically checked out at the beginning of October. I was alone. I constantly worried someone in my family or Tiger was going to die. I was in pain. My husband wasn't there and I was miserable.
So I got help. My #runeveryday bff and I had a heart to heart and we agreed we both needed to find someone professional to talk to and to check in with each other.

I sort of like my psychologist, she is very mystical, which at times I rile against. Overall, she has brought several things to my attention that I appreciate. She also gives great book recommendations.

She also helped me with Tiger's death.
We got another 3 months with him until he got an infection his elderly immune system just couldn't fight. Tiger died the day after Thanksgiving and #leohusband got on a plane the very next day to go back to Europe.


Man, have to be honest, I'm totally tearing up right now. It was hard. H-A-R-D.

My mom came and stayed with me for a bit while things were still super raw but it was just a band-aid covering a bullet hole so I eventually thanked her and sent her home so I could actually deal with his death.

Just so you know, I'm still not quite over it. It lurks in the back of my mind and decides to slap me in the face when I least expect it.

During Tiger's passing I was also trying to recover from a skin cancer surgery that got infected (probably with whatever Tiger was fighting) and now...my sutures that were supposed to dissolve underneath my skin are being rejected by my body.
That's right. You can see them popping out of the scar and coming through the skin on my forehead. I'd also like to mention that I'm now apparently allergic to Scar Away by finding out the hard way.
Two weeks into December #leohusband wrapped up his business in Europe (thankfully) and his family came to visit. We had a nice memorial for Tiger since he was given to me by my in-laws. For the rest of the week, I watched them bowl, play laser tag. I played board and card games with them and it was fun...even though I could barely walk two days.

Once my pain flare ended I was able to enjoy Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I think #leohusband felt guilty (?) for being gone so much this year because he spoiled me rotten. I got an Xbox One, assorted gaming gear, and several books from the Throne of Glass series.
We spent the week having fun with some of our couple bff's and prepared for the next wave of family. They came in early due to their own family tragedy but left just as quick due to my niece getting sick. I loved having them here even if it was only for a night.
So here I am, one day before 2019, reflecting on all the shit stuff I want to get done before 2019. I definitely feel a day late and a dollar short.

However, I've got my to-do list down in my bujo and I'm checking things off as I go. I will get my list done.

I'm ready for 2019. I'm ready to love my life. I'm ready for happiness. I'm ready to fulfill the role I was meant to play in this lifetime. More on that tomorrow...

How to Survive a Dog's Death

It's incredible how a loveable furry four-legged friend can become an indispensable part of your life.

From waking up in the morning, following you around all day, conversations while cooking (on my part at least), to falling asleep at night...when they're gone you don't really realize how much you interacted until that constant leaves.

The first week was raw, in the sense that I simply could not talk about it or think about it without a giant hole tearing up my insides. I think that is a decent way to describe it. I threw myself into finishing the KonMari of my upstairs with help from the best parents in the world.
Unfortunately, the day after My Fluffy Alarm clock died, #leohusband got on a plane to finalize his overseas project. Getting through the week without my best friend was hard to put it mildly.

How to Survive a Dog's Death

I rearranged furniture. I hung new artwork. I donated office supplies. I cleaned out books. I evaluated what I actually wanted to devote my time to.

Then I ran out of steam. Honestly, I don't know how people do these KonMari marathons of cleaning. I think my emotions get the best of me holding everything and seeing 'if it sparks joy." Man, that's tiring ya'll.

I was already tired and stressed from Tiger's death, oh and my basal cell skin cancer surgery, and then it got infected...

Did I mention I was in the ER the night before Thanksgiving and Tiger died the day after Thanksgiving?

Worst Thanksgiving Ever!

This beats when I got my tonsils out when I was 21 on Thanksgiving. I thought that one was bad. Whew! That's life for you.
It's been 10 days and I only get the occasional pang when I expect him to be there. Take yesterday, I was making my Paleo Mac n Cheese and I literally said "Ooh Mommy's going to make her favorite quick meal" and then realized that he wasn't there. Sigh. I teared up and had a moment but then went back to my cooking.

I will say I did have to take a day a week later and really absorb his loss and what that meant. I allowed myself to feel the sadness. It was exactly one week after his death and it wasn't quite so raw. I was coming out of the numbness. The distractions needed to be set aside so I could focus on the grief in order to let it pass.

I know in the days, weeks, and months to come I will get moments of surprise sadness, and I will acknoweldge them, feel them, and then let them go. While I know it's ok to be sad, it's not ok to stay sad.

I am hopful we will meet again because where ever Tiger is, I want to be there too.

KonMari for Chronic Pain Sufferers Part 2

I’ve mentioned before that #leohusband and I have ‘completed’ a KonMari of our house. Well, by completed we cleaned out the kitchen and didn’t get rid of nearly the amount of stuff I wanted to. I did an excellent job of cleaning out my closet. However, the upstairs and the attic simply never got touched.

For a couple of reasons, we had to go slow because of my pain levels and the holidays were upon us. So we just did not get to the level of minimalism I desired in my life.

Well, as soon as we came back from Hawaii... I started on the upstairs. I deconstructed all the closets. Put my crap everywhere so I could just sort through it. When it came time for my housekeeper to clean, I just told her to skip the upstairs rooms that were crazy messy.

She has had to do that twice so far. However, I have learned to live with it because I am simply tired of shoving my excess crap into the closets of our guest rooms.

To make a long story short...(too late) I’m in the final stages of sorting through all of my art and crafting items. I’m setting up stations to get the most of my hobbies and work. In true KonMari style, if I want to do it or use it...it needs to be actually accessible.

I’m so psyched to get everything done before #leohusband gets home. So far it looks pretty scary...