Reintroducing Myself

So often over the last decade, I have found myself saying I miss the old me. Which old me was I missing though? Was it the grade school me, who really didn’t know anything? Was it the high school me, who cared what everyone thought, was self conscious, felt like a burden and was lonely? Was it the me who would self harm in a desperate attempt to feel in control of something? No, these were not versions of myself that I liked very much.

After thinking about it more, the me that I was missing, was the me I am supposed to be. I am still figuring out who that is, but I’m finally enjoying the process. Now that I have been on my new medicine for a while, my appetite remains that of a teenager, my weight is staying up, I have more energy, and for the most part my mood is good. I think I really like this me that is emerging, flaws and all. Having said that, I feel like now would be a good time to reintroduce myself.

Today was a good day.

Hi, my name is Nicole, but most of my family calls me Nikki or Nik. Of course I will still answer to J or Jo (as some of you sweetly nicknamed me). I have a wonderful husband and two kiddos that stole my heart. To be honest, my favorite nickname is the one they call me…Mommy. I am currently 33 years old (though sometimes I have to really think about it) and living in Arizona. I was born and raised here, with the exception of a couple years after I was born, living in Pennsylvania until my parents divorced. It really isn’t where I want to be, at least not in the valley. I long to live somewhere that is surrounded by green, has all four seasons and rains often. I love cloudy days and thunderstorms. Those are my favorite days and are especially good for crafting. My sewing table is one of my happy places. I also enjoy painting and doing any kind of crafts. Hot glue guns are fun…and dangerous…careful, boys and girls. I love to dance and sing, though I’m not particularly good at either. Actually, there are some that may argue that I’m tone deaf. I consider myself a shy person, but around people I am comfortable with I am quite the goofball. I have an addiction to coffee, dark chocolate, and mixed-berry smoothies. I am a woman of faith and have seen God’s love work through all of my pain. He has saved me from myself more than once. I do not talk politics with anyone outside of my immediate family. Please do not ask me to do so; I’ve seen friendships and families fall apart over them. Anxiety, depression, POTS, psychogenic dystonia and fibromyalgia are things I will talk about most, because they are a part of my daily life. I will also share bits of randomness with you, like pictures of sloths (my favorite), just to lighten the mood. I used to be so self conscious, that I could take plenty of “selfies” and decide that none of them were good enough to share with anyone – forehead is too big, smile isn’t right, too many smile lines, etc. I’m learning how to love those things too and stop worrying so much. God made me the way He wanted and I need to appreciate that. Plus, I want to share my story with you and that means the not so pretty stuff too. I want to show you the real me and what life is like in that particular moment.

When I began blogging, I wasn’t sure anyone would really care what I have to say. What I’ve learned so far is that there are people who do enjoy reading my words and have found them helpful. If I can help a single person by sharing my story, then I am happy. Writing is a good therapy tool for me as well. I have also found an amazing community that is supportive. I am so thankful for all of you. I thank you for taking the time to get to know me (again). God bless you.

With love,

J♡

Fighting, With Help

I try my hardest to smile for you

You know me so well, that you see right through

Beyond the laughter and words I speak

You uncover the secrets I try to keep

I was afraid my demons, would scare you away

You reassured me that, you are here to stay

You told me that, you’ll love me forever

And through all the storms, we’d walk together

I know with your help, I’ll be alright

So one more day, I’ll continue to fight


Thanks for reading. You are not alone…keep fighting. Sending a big hug to whoever needs one. 💌

With love,

J♡

Today was Better

I still don’t feel quite right, but I will take what I can get. Thankfully, no headache or panic attacks today. It was a nice relaxing day, hanging out with the kids. My son made a game, where he left little notes around the house with objectives on them. I then had to find said notes and follow instructions. In the end, he jumped from behind the door and scared me. It was fun. If you hadn’t already guessed, he’s big into gaming.

My daughter made a lantern in class before the school year ended. Today, she taught me how to make them. We’re almost done, but here’s a peek at what they look like. She gave me designs to use and made sure that I practiced them before using them on the paper lantern.

I like painting and like many 8 year olds, my daughter enjoys putting paint all over her hands. So we also made this.

I’m going to hang it in the bathroom for the little kids that come over and tend to forget to wash.

Lastly, some time in my happy place. A new bag. All it needs now, is a little paint, jewels, buttons, or all three if I’m feeling a bit wild.

Oh yes, one more thing…I just want to say that I appreciate you all so much! Maybe it’s my pain pill talking. Maybe I’m just a sappy gal. Either way, I hope you all know that you have made such a positive change in my life. Your support means so much. So many of you feel more like family. You all are in my prayers every day.

With love,

J♡

💖All Love, No Hate💖

I recently opened my blog so that my son could read If, by Rudyard Kipling. He said to me, “Is this your blog?”, to which I responded, “yup”.

“How many hate comments have you had”?

“Not a single one, actually”.

So tonight’s post is to say, Thank you, from the bottom of my heart! You all are an awesome, kind, supportive bunch that I am blessed to interact with and call friends! If you ever, even for a second, doubt that you are making a difference in the world, know that you have made a positive impact in one person’s life, and that goes a long way. God bless you all.

With love,

J♡

I’m a Party Animal

Okay, no. That was a lie. My grandma has a better social life than I do, no joke. Normally, my Saturday involves staying in my pajamas and drinking coffee all day, but today I went to a party.

Actually, it was an end of the year party for the 6th graders, that my son was invited to. His friend planned this fun shindig, and his mom, being a friend I made last year, invited me to stay. It was a last minute party, so I didn’t hear about it until Thursday. I don’t do well with last minute things, but being they are friends, it was much easier to accept the invitation. I brought a friend with me though…anxiety. Oh boy, is she fun. The three of us, my son, anxiety and I, walked through the house to the backyard. There must have been fifty kids, half of whom were taller than me. A few other moms were there as well, but I did not know them. Anxiety kept telling me to bolt for the car, but I slapped her and told her we’re doing this. I tried to make myself useful and help put out the snacks. I made chit-chat with the other moms, who were actually very nice. At times I did find myself sitting or standing alone, not sure if I should flee, but I stayed and actually had a really nice time. My back was killing me by the end, but it felt good to get out and socialize, rather than sit like a lump at home. Better yet, my son had a great time!

Anxiety might be an unwanted tag along, but I’m slowly learning to show her who’s boss. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to put on my pajamas and have some coffee. 😊

With love,

J♡

Random Life Post for the Weekend

I was blessed with a mild pain day, yesterday. Today unfortunately, is a 12/10 on the pain scale sort of day. It’s okay though; I know I’ll get through it like I have before. The kids have been so well behaved, helpful, and sweet today. It really makes a huge difference on days like these.

I saw the physician assistant at the pain clinic on Thursday. She is amazing and always doing what she can to help with symptoms. She and I have discussed doing a nerve stimulation implant trial. We both feel it would be a great option for me. However, if it worked, to have the permanent implant placed, would mean another major surgery. This idea makes my family nervous and they want me to try medical marijuana first. I’m okay with this, but I do think that overall, it could be very costly. While I’m looking into getting my medical card, the PA recommended I try the cbd oil. It’s 1mL under the tounge, 1-2 times a day. I’ve now taken 5 doses. I haven’t noticed a difference in pain yet, but I do think it may be helping improve my appetite and lower stress and anxiety. We shall see how things go with continuous use.

For months and months, I’ve been debating deactivating my Facebook account. The biggest reason I haven’t is so I can keep up with what’s going on with family and see pictures that the school posts. I hardly use the app anymore, but when I do, I end up feeling crappy. It’s always the same stuff – political posts, memes, and pictures of how perfectly wonderful life is.

I am so incredibly thankful for the friendship the kids have made with the little boy across the street (the one I mentioned previously). They are so anxious to play together every day, especially my daughter and the kiddo. How incredible it would be to see them grow up to be lifelong friends. I wish I could say that I was still connected with my childhood friends, but sadly, we’ve become more like aquaintences. Forming a new friendship in the adult world seems so much harder. I wish it were still as easy as playing together on the playground and then deciding that you are now friends.

Yesterday, the kiddos had a “Fun Run” at school. The music plays, and the kids run laps on the field and through the giant inflatable mascot to raise money for the school. People can make fixed donations or a price per lap donation. All the kids wear a cool shirt with numbers 1-30 on the back, and as they cross the line, teachers/parent volunteers (myself included), mark off the number as they complete each lap. My kiddos had 2 different run times. The little kids were so full of energy. My son originally told me I could “watch from the parking lot”, haha. He didn’t want to be embarrassed. But, there I was on the field, helping to mark shirts. I must have gained back my cool mom points, because he gave me lots of hugs in front of everyone. 😊

I still insist that I don’t want to live in Arizona forever. While I’m here though, I can still enjoy our beautiful sunsets. This shot was from our neighborhood. So peaceful.

I’ve been doing quite a bit of sewing to get ready for the craft sale we are doing next weekend. I would like to work on it so much more, I just don’t have the energy lately.

On better pain days, it so much fun to go riding with my husband. It is so freeing and such a stress reliever. I like to spread my arms out and be a bird while we ride. This is from when we took a ride up to Saguaro Lake while the kids were in school. Looking forward to the next trip.


So, even though today is a very bad pain day, it doesn’t have to be a bad day; there are still things to smile about.

Thanks for taking your time to stop by and share in this journey with me. Happy weekend to you all.

With love,

J♡