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Update on ME!! =)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Well it's been quite a ride this week! Monday went well but Tuesday was completely stressful. See, there was this grief support group that met Tuesday night that I had been debating on going to. When Tuesday arrived I decided I'd go. It was the same recovery group that I attended over a year ago and I thought, no harm in trying it again, maybe this time I'll connect with some people. It seemed I really benefited from the first time I attended and thought, well here's a chance to connect with some people who've gone through similar tragedy and maybe I can even help them since it seems I've done so well with MY recovery.

The more I thought about it, the more I debated. I started off the day confident in my decision, then it started to dwindle, especially after I searched my house for the book that I needed to bring for the class. No luck, couldn't find it. ARG! "Oh well, I could still go and just find the book before the next class," I thought. I also was seeing this as a good opportunity to move forward in getting the "help" my sister has encouraged me to get. I felt pretty proud actually!

My anxiety started to rise through out the day, something just wasn't settling well with me. Was this class really what I needed? Am I really going to benefit from something that I've already learned? Is there something else that I could do that would be more beneficial? I was torn. It wasn't until about 15 minutes before class time and even driving half way there before I decided that I wasn't going to go. I finally decided that yes, I would benefit from going but I'd benefit MORE if I worked with new strategies and techniques, not one's I'd already learned. My car veered towards the library and I checked out some interesting self help books that I'm excited to read. I AM going to get the help, but I'm going to do it for ME and the way I feel is going to be the best.

This decision was also made after I was doing some research on the net. What I found was this. "As long as your grief is moving, changing and "fluid", it is okay. As long as your emotions are constantly changing, and you're exhausted at the end of the day, you're on track."

"It's only when grief stagnates, traps you in an unchanging phase or cycle, that grief has gone wrong. You will probably need a therapist for chronic grief that is excessive and prevents you from functioning, and fails to resolve. You will feel "unfinished", and know that you need help to complete your grief." - www.recover-from-grief.com

I felt good in my decision but boy did I stress myself out emotionally. Before I had come to this conclusion of not going I had completely broken down, crying harder than I have in months. I felt I was finally doing something to make my family happy and felt excited about this at first. The emotional turmoil that followed showed me that I was conflicted and that this was not something I was doing for me, it was something I was doing for HER, (my sister). My sense of relaxation and contentment after I decided not to go told me that I was doing the right thing. I'm the ONLY one who knows what's BEST for ME. In the end, that's all that matters!!

Whew, glad I could get that off my chest. I know some of you have wondered what is going on in this little head of mine, ha ha...

So I've saved the best for last to see if you guys were paying any attention, LOL, jk ;) I've found a great support system...someone who I can talk to about ANYTHING, and we've totally bonded the last couple of weeks. His name is Ray and he has gone through a similar loss and we relate on so many levels. He is trying to do everything he can to help, even if it is just a shoulder to cry on. I'm finding much comfort through him and I'm excited to see where this goes. We enjoyed an AMAZINGLY romantic night last night. Ray surprised me with an air mattress set up with candles surrounding it right there on my back patio. We gazed up at the meteor shower and enjoyed each others company. It was amazing!!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SALINA78 8/16/2010 12:34PM

    You do sound like you are blossoming and growing! Good for you on finding a way that will help you without all the anxiety and feeling like you are learning what you already have.
Maybe you'll find another time where you are ready to connect with others at the meeting and that will be fine too.

SOunds like you have found a dear friend!

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KRYANPRINCESS 8/15/2010 1:18PM

    Your strength is absolutely amazing! I'm so proud of you and how far you have come since you started Spark. Your growth has been amazing in so many ways, your are making huge strides! It's great that you found someone you can relate with and talk too! How sweet that you watched the shower together like that! My husband can't even do romantic things like that! HA!! LOL Much love and hugs to you my lady! ur AMAZING!!! emoticon

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TEENY_BIKINI 8/15/2010 11:31AM

    I am glad you found someone to talk to - that is all that matters. You get to choose the who, the when, the where and how you confide in others. You get to choose. And that is the way it should be.

I want the best for you and I am glad you are listening to you. You are very smart.

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Comment edited on: 8/15/2010 11:37:37 AM

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MTLHEAD86 8/15/2010 5:01AM

    I'm elated you enjoyed our evening under the stars. Just one way my heart thanks you. emoticon

You show me that being compassionate doesn't have to be hidden behind a loss. You've listened to my stories of Stephanie and shared your stories of Chris, through that I've found it okay to share, it's healthy to share her. I draw from your strength, your support. Our paths have crossed and are connecting, I couldn't have prayed for a better person.

God has me right where I am. Under the stars, looking at the heavens, with you in my arms...

Comment edited on: 8/15/2010 5:05:37 AM

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DETERMINDCHICKY 8/14/2010 5:22AM

    I am so happy for you that you have found someone that you can trust and rely on for comfort and support. That is so important. I am so sorry for your loss. But I am proud of your for taking the steps that you have. emoticon

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ASHLEYKAT 8/13/2010 8:27PM

    emoticon emoticon

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LIBBYFITZ 8/13/2010 7:39PM

    emoticonI am so happy for you. You do what is needed for you. emoticonRay sounds wonderful, enjoy! emoticon

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CHRISTYD921 8/13/2010 2:36PM

    That is AWESOME girl!! I'm so happy you have found someone ..in situations like this sometimes you get the most help from someone who can truely say I've been there I KNOW what you are going through .. emoticon

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IUHRYTR 8/13/2010 12:54PM

    Glad you found someone emoticon. -- Lou

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THATS_LOVELY101 8/13/2010 12:12PM

    emoticon

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RUN2MYDREAMS 8/13/2010 12:02PM

    Oh Leslie, that's emoticon Sweetie! I'm so glad that you've found happiness from with in and are doing things for you and not others! You deserve ONLY the best and don't ever forget it!

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 8/13/2010 11:53AM

    Leslie! I am so PROUD of you! You thought this through and followed your heart! I knew you could do it! emoticonI'll bet if you give your sister some time to see that you're on the right track, she'll settle down.

WHAT A GREAT IDEA on the air mattress! I really wanted to see that, but was just too tired! Guard your heart, though, girlfriend! He'd BETTER be a good one! emoticon

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The Dash---Would you be proud?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Dash


The following is a poem by Linda Ellis © 1998. Consider the implications for your own life's choices

I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on her tombstone from the beginning to the end.
He noted that first came the date of her birth and spoke of the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time that she spent alive on earth...
And now only those who loved her know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own; the cars .... the house... the cash.
What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard ... are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left. (You could be at "dash mid-range")

If we could just slow down enough to consider what's true and real,
And always try to understand the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger, and show appreciation more,
And love the people in our lives like we've never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile...
Remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy's being read with your life's actions to rehash...
Would you be proud of the things they say about how you spend your dash??


Chris just loved this poem. He was anxious to share it with me and his mother the day he discovered it. He thought it was "so cool" and made sure to make copies for us. We read it at his burial and also put it on the pamphlets from the funeral. (Actually the pastor read it and I read another poem written by Chris himself. How I had the strength to do this is beyond me!) Just remember that tomorrow is never promised. Live for today, live it to the fullest, and be thankful for all of the blessings in your life. Smile more than needed, laugh like you've never laughed before, and ALWAYS...dance like no one's watching!


“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is the present. That’s why they call it a gift.”

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BNBLYNNE 10/16/2010 8:16AM

    I read this at my dads funeral which was 10 years ago this coming Monday. We lost him to cancer and I still cry when I read this poem.
I am touched by your story and your strength.

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BUTTERFLYSONGS 8/12/2010 3:39PM

    Have you seen the video clip for this poem at www.simpletruths.com ? It is awesome! Go to the home page and click on "see free inspirational movies", and look for "The Dash". While you are there check out some of the others.... amesome source of motivation and inspiration! emoticon

Thanks for sharing !

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CHRISTYD921 8/12/2010 1:37PM

    so beautiful and so true! emoticon for sharing

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CREATINGAMANDA 8/12/2010 10:35AM

    This was read at my grandmother's funeral - I love it!

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SALINA78 8/12/2010 10:26AM

    I LOVE this! I want my dash to have a GREAT impact and lived the most!

Let's make the MOST of today!
Thank you for this!

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GRANLUND 8/12/2010 9:24AM

    So awesome. It really makes you stop and think. Thanks for sharing this!

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MOMFAN 8/11/2010 9:56PM

    Living my dash!

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ASHLEYKAT 8/11/2010 5:04PM

    Thanks for sharing. That's a beautiful poem

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CANDY_LU 8/11/2010 12:07PM

    I really love this poem! I think we often lose sight of the fact that we're not promised tomorrow. We must live each day like it's our last. You know this all too well, I'm sure.

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AHEALTHIERME9 8/11/2010 11:49AM

    Simply beautiful!!!! Well said, Warrior :)

I'm sorry for your loss...

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LIBBYFITZ 8/11/2010 11:48AM

    emoticonThat was just beautiful. Thank you for sharing! emoticon

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 8/11/2010 10:39AM

    Yes, Leslie, it is. It's beautiful! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LOOZINITNOW 8/11/2010 10:31AM

    This is beautiful!

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Diaper Butt

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Is it Friday yet??!! It seems I'm always so tired on Thursdays. Just can't find the motivation today. I really need to do the Shred tonight but I'm not sure I will. My foot is still hurting and I've been limping around for a couple days now. I think it was a pair of heels I wore. I've worn them for months without pain but for some reason they really hurt me the other day. The price we ladies pay to be fashionable, huh?! emoticon

Not much new to share but I do have one announcement...my size 12's are too big!! Got the diaper butt goin on! Only bought 2 pairs of 10's and they are capri's so I can't wear them to work. Gotta go shopping again! Oh darn! lol emoticon

One more thing, my lovely friend, co-worker, and Shred buddy gave me a shout out in her blog! emoticon

Here's the link if you want. Go ahead and add her as a friend while you're there, she is an awesome gal and always keeps me motivated. I LOVE SPARK PEOPLE!! emoticon

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=3500076

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KRYANPRINCESS 8/12/2010 10:35AM

    WOO HOO! For Diaper Butt!!! LOL!! Ur doing awesome! So proud of you! emoticon

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CHRISTYD921 8/8/2010 8:02PM

    woohoo!!! that is AWESOME!!! great problem to have emoticon

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CHOESCH 8/6/2010 11:47AM

    CONGRATULATIONS! Good job on the weight loss doesn't it feel great to have loose fitting clothes? I read an article the other day that said Thursday is the biggest day for depression - I was kind of shocked - but it went on to explain that by Thursday we have already worked 4 days and we are usually extra tired; so little things seem so much bigger. I've been noticing that this is true. Anyway you made it to Friday and have a wonderful weekend to look forward to.
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Cathy

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STEPH_MORRIS 8/5/2010 11:06PM

    thanks for commenting on my 1st blog post. I need alot of support from my new sparkfriends because other than my husband I dont have any family to support me! so thanks for your inspiring qwords!


Thanks again! emoticon

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REDRUNNERMOM713 8/5/2010 10:25PM

    Way to go girl!!! You are doing awesome! I'm so proud of you. Size 10!!!! WAAAAA-HOOOOO!!!!!!

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THATS_LOVELY101 8/5/2010 6:46PM

    Aww yay! :) And thank you LIBBYFITZ! And Leslie, I don't look at your butt much...so I haven't noticed. Maybe ask Jon next time he comes in. LOL.

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 8/5/2010 6:19PM

    LOL... diaper butt? I just can't visualize it! You are doing GREAT! emoticon

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JPRICE217 8/5/2010 6:15PM

    emoticonon the smaller paints hope your foot feels better soon

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LIBBYFITZ 8/5/2010 6:11PM

    emoticonfor you're foot. i have done as you told us and added you're friend as my friend. I love her sense of humour. emoticon

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IUHRYTR 8/5/2010 6:04PM

    emoticon on the smaller size clothes. Keep up the good effort. -- Lou

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Setting the Wheels in Motion

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Well I've had a lot of things on my mind and so I'm going to try to get them out and into writing. I apologize in advance for any rambling or for jumping from topic to topic. Just consider this as a sort of brain storm on ideas that I'm working on and wheels that I'm setting into motion.

First of all I've been considering seeing a therapist again. There has been some concern expressed that I'm not handling things as I should. I've been told I need to go to rehab or even anger management classes. I will tell you that I don't completely disagree, but I don't think I have an anger problem or a substance abuse problem. I think there are underlying reasons to my issues and addressing those will be the first step.

I've always had a temper, that's just the red head in me! These concerns came about after a night of drinking and a loss of temper. This is not me! This is not the person I am nor the person I want to be. I think this one isolated occasion does not call for a trip to rehab or to an anger management facility. I don't depend on alcohol and can go weeks or even months without it. I don't have a criminal history nor have any of my friends ever seen me get angry. I just truly don't believe I have a problem and don't feel the need to rehabilitate. This is where my sister and I disagree. She has said that she will not mend any fences or even see or talk to me until I "get help" and go to rehab. Wth?!!

I want so much to find family peace but don't think I need to spend all this money or time investing in help I don't really need. But I need to do something, right?? Well this is why I think I'll go find a therapist first. I'll tell him that there has been some concern expressed and that I want a professional opinion on it. I think he'll agree with me but may dig deeper. Yes I drink on occasion which is fine but when I do drink I go overboard and boy do I really put them back. Is it that I'm burying my emotions? Am I drinking so heavily to hide the depressed and introverted Leslie? To act like nothing is wrong and that I enjoy socializing and flirting? Yes. This is where the problem lies....

I've been to counselors before and they told me I was doing all of the right things and was handling everything in a healthy and "normal" manner. I've been to an 8 week grief support group and walked away with tools and techniques on becoming a happy and functional griever. This class also recommended that if need be, go through the exercises again and start anew. Maybe this is what I'll do. It's just so completely hard to go to a therapist, pour out my emotions for an hour and at the end, at that very minute when the hour is up, I'm expected to carry on and go back to my day, which is really hard when you've just conjured up some serious emotions. A friend used the term "mind-rape" one time when she went to a counselor, lol...and it totally fits the bill! You share your pain and memories you wish you could erase to a complete stranger, only to get shooed out the door the second the timer rings. To bring myself to that level of emotion, that low...and then go back and function in society like nothings wrong, well that's a roller coaster that I don't want to ride!

So much on my mind, just have to figure out what I'm going to do. I think I do need to go to a therapist and get their opinion, it's just the mind-raping that I'm not looking forward to! Any suggestions or concerns please feel free to comment!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEENY_BIKINI 8/8/2010 11:59AM

    You are simply amazing to me. I think you know what is best for you - trust your instincts in all things. If you feel you want to see a therapist, then so be it. It is your choice and only yours.

Personally, I have never met a therapist who wowed me with their insight or I felt wasn't a big waste of my time. I've gotten my best advice from my supportive, nonjudgmental friends. Really. Some of them are so smart and know how to say things [and some of them are not].

I always wish the best for you. I just dig you. You are awesome and there is so much to respect about you and your journey. Xo

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 8/5/2010 9:06PM

    Leslie, I just read your blog and I am going to think about it for a while, and as soon as I'm able, I'm going to tell you what privately. *hugs* sweet girl... Lori emoticon(to me, you're still a girl)

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MOMFAN 8/4/2010 11:19PM

    emoticon

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ASHLEYKAT 8/4/2010 6:34PM

    Oh Sweetheart! I'm so sorry you're going through this. Do what you need to do for YOU, okay? Know we're here.

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LIBBYFITZ 8/4/2010 4:28PM

    I am so glad you have got the "issue with you're sister' out in the open. I agree with you about a therapist that takes you on a very emotional journey and then doesn't give you an exit strategy. Any good therapist would conclude before the time is up and give you a chance to think of some goals for the next week and give you positive reinforcement.

Look up " Cognitive Behavioural Therapy " I did this as an out patient quite some years ago when I had anger issues. It can be a way of displaying depression. It is quite common for men to act out with anger when they are suffering from depression. And some women do this too!
Even now I can refer to my classes / sessions and recall some interesting helpful tools that help me in my every day life. It teaches us a different way to think. Another really good website is "beyond blue.com" and that gives lots of info on all the topics you covered in you're blog.
You are doing the best you can and just be the best you can, not perfection!
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DELORENZO74 8/4/2010 2:18PM

    Hello! I am certainly not an expert on alcoholism, although there were a few members of my extended family who were alcoholics and I was married (now divorced) to a drug addict; however, I have heard that you don't need to drink "often" in order to be an alcoholic. I think the extent of the drinking WHEN you do drink is a factor. Do you know that you have lost your temper when drinking in the past? If so, why drink to that point again? When you are drinking can you just have 1-2 and stop or do you feel the need to get wasted? Do you remember the entire evening or are some parts gone from memory? I think these are important questions to consider.

I don't really know your personal situation (another comment mentioned you lost your hubby ~ I am so sorry for your loss!) Did you drink to the point of anger before you lost him? Was HE ever concerned about it?

I also agree with other people who commented that perhaps there is support you can get from any religious affiliation you may have.

I pray that you will find peace within yourself and in your family circle.

ALL THE BEST,
Dawn

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CANDY_LU 8/4/2010 2:12PM

    Yeah, I think you just need to sit back and figure out what's best for YOU. Not what everyone else thinks is best for you. You'll figure it out. Having someone to talk to, even if it is a therapist, might help.

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REDRUNNERMOM713 8/4/2010 2:08PM

    Oh sweetie...I'm sorry you are struggling right now, but you seem to be on the right path in wanting to get to the inner workings of what's troubling you. I know exactly what you mean about the therapist...it's very hard to get to your raw emotions and then just bounce back like nothing was talked about, but it really could be the key to helping you. I also agree with the others about a church group too. My mom works at a church in the area and I'd be happy to find out for you if they have a group if you want. I will agree with you that it doesn't sound like you have a drinking problem at all, just that you need to "escape" at times and I personally don't see anything wrong with that. I'm here for you!!!! emoticon

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CHOESCH 8/4/2010 1:28PM

    Wow! You have a lot on your plate - losing your husband, raising two children, grieving and still trying to stay happy for your kids. I'm sure there are tons of things that you are holding inside and I can totally see that there might be occasions when you want to let go of all of that and release the burdens that you are carrying. Of course drinking isn't the answer and you have said that you know that. I'm sure that there are times when all of these burdens make you angry and that can be the reason that you have the blow ups you described. I totally think that you are on the right track talking to a therapist - you want to be there for your kids and have the support and love of your family. I applaud you for taking this seriously and looking for answers - you are a strong woman and you will find the path that is best for you. I can't even begin to imagine what you have gone through but my heart is with you!
God Bless!
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Cathy

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CHRISTYD921 8/4/2010 1:28PM

    GRANLUND posted what I was just going to post but I will go a step further to say if you don't know of one inbox me there is a support group at my local church I would be glad to call them to see if they can help you find one in your area ...I too can not begin to imagine what you are going through but I will be praying that some peace can be found for you and your family emoticon

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GRANLUND 8/4/2010 1:15PM

    Is there a church support group in your area? Our church has a support group for those who have lost a spouse. It isn't necessary counseling, but it is free, and puts you in touch with others facing the same things that you are. Just a suggestion. I'm not going to begin to say that i understand what you are dealing with, because i can't, but I think that this is where I would turn if I was in your shoes. If your church doesn't have a group, I bet a church in your area does.

Hugs!

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Precious Memories and a Precious Moment

Friday, July 30, 2010

The other day I decided to visit a favorite fishing spot. Actually my car just kind of drove there for no apparent reason...sometimes it does that. ;) It was a spot that held very precious memories of the times spent with the kids and their father. Times spent relaxing and enjoying eachother's company. Where my son caught his first fish, and where my daughter learned to bait her own hook. Where the fish made me jump the first time I used a jigg and in turn had us laughing for hours! I love visiting this spot and it seems each time I do, I'm a little bit closer to him. emoticon

As I'm flipping through the radio stations I stop on this station I rarely listen to. There's been numerous times Chris has spoken to me through music. This was one of them. I turned it up and took in the beautiful scenery. I felt the warmth of the sun beat down against my skin. I appreciated every sound, every movement of the trees, every sound of the birds chirping. Then the music reached a crescendo and I found myself lifting my hands to the air and singing with tears rolling down my face. I wept tears of joy, peace, and love. It was truly amazing.

Here is the link to the song I heard. I was more than pleased when I saw what beautiful verses went along with it. The song is truly beautiful and I hope you enjoy! God Bless!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=puG_jl22z2Y

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEENY_BIKINI 8/2/2010 9:27PM

    What a beautiful moment. I am so glad you have that place to find comfort and share memories - and music - sweet, sweet music.

Simply amazing.

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ASHLEYKAT 8/1/2010 6:55PM

    Absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

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LIBBYFITZ 7/31/2010 1:23AM

    A beautiful blog. Thank you for opening up you're heart to us. emoticon

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IUHRYTR 7/31/2010 1:06AM

    emoticon A song I wrote has this verse; "In the midst of our sadness our memories remain, to lessen our burden and to help ease our pain." It sounds as though your special place and your special memories has done that for you. emoticon -- Lou

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 7/31/2010 12:00AM

    Ohhh, Leslie, I came out here to turn off the computer and couldn't resist looking at your blog...Chris Rice's song is playing in the background...and how I love that song! Thank you for sharing it, and most of all, for sharing your tender, loving heart. I really wish I could give you a real hug. I prayed for you tonight, you know, in a general SparkFriend way... but now, well, I'll be saying another one thanking Jesus for YOU. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 7/31/2010 12:00AM

    ,

Comment edited on: 7/31/2010 12:00:24 AM

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