Self Care Ideas

  • Unplug for an hour
  • Take a quick nap (10-20 min)
  • Write out your thoughts
  • Splurge a little
  • Have a self date (an hour alone doing something that nourishes you)
  • Take a home spa
  • Do one thing a day just because it makes you happy
  • Activate your self-soothing system
  • Check in with your emotions
  • Take a hot shower or bath
  • Deep condition your hair
  • Apply a face mask
  • Turn off your phone
  • Escape with a TV show
  • Light a candle
  • Paint your nails
  • Color
  • Write in a journal
  • Have your favorite dessert
  • Take a deep breath and put things into perspective
  • Go for a drive
  • Have a cup of tea
  • Read a book
  • Wear comfy clothes
  • Watch your favorite show/movie

Open Letter to Prospective Birthmother

Hey there love,

I know things right now are scary. I’ve been in your shoes. I know how you feel.

You’re afraid of judgement on your situation. You’re afraid your child will grow up and hate you for placing them. You might be afraid that the adoptive parents will break their promises down the road.

I heart stories about all kind of different ways adoptions turned out. I know there is no way to predict how things will go down the road, so all you can ready do is hope for the best.

My daughter was placed when she was ten days old. Her parents didn’t have any kids before, so we’re all navigating open adoption for the first time together. But now I want to share some things I’ve learned along the way.

If your adoption agency allows you to have a hand in choosing the family to place your child with, do it. It can be overwhelming, but I highly suggest following your gut. You’ll know the right family when you see them.

When you go into labor and deliver your baby, there will be lots of emotions. You may cry, and that’s totally okay. See your baby when you feel ready. Don’t let anyone rush you or tell you you shouldn’t.

Take pictures of your baby. Take pictures of you together. Send them to the adoptive parents if you can. Those moments with him/her in the hospital are precious memories. Having those pictures and memories are a help when you’re having a bad day – or at least they have been for me.

Don’t be afraid of the social worker who comes in while you’re in the hospital. It’s standard procedure, and they just want to make sure you weren’t pressured into choosing adoption for your child.

You are not less of a person because of the choice you made to place. I know you might feel that way, but I promise you are still such an amazing person. Do not let anyone make you feel bad about the decision you made.

You are giving the family you choose such an amazing gift. You are giving them a baby! You are gaining a new family through your child’s adoption. Enjoy your new life to come!

xoxo
Katy

Talking

This is actually an entry in my journal from today:


My mood seems to be kind of all over the place lately. I go back to my psych on Friday, and I’m thinking we may need to up my Zoloft from 50mg to 75mg. It’ll really be up to her though, even though she really does listen to me and take my feelings/opinions into consideration when making medication decisions. Whcih is a totally different approach than the previous two psychiatrist I had. I’m very grateful for the difference, but it’s taken some adjusting to.

Oh, and then there’s the fact that I never really felt comfortable really opening up to doctors in the past, but it’s the opposite with her. I told her about my daughter, and she told me her sister adopted a child and has a relationship with the birthmohter. It’s like a small connection with her, and I like that. There wasn’t a hesitation when I would answer her questions. I felt like I could be completely honest without fear of harsh judgement.

The fear of harsh judgement actually comes from a psychologist/therapist I went to in the past. I told her that I had self-harmed (I’d cut myself), and she told me that depressed people don’t cut themselves. ONly people with distorted thinking patterns do that. I’d never really gotten along with her very well, so I took what she said as my breaking point and never went back to her again.

I also haven’t gone to another therapist or psychologist since then, and it’s been almost four years.

#AdoptionTalk – Navigating Open Adoption & My Feelings

 

It’s never an easy thing to navigate through open adoption, especially if it’s the first time for all involved.

My birth daughter’s adoptive parents and I are currently navigating our open adoption. We are always re-evaluating things as she grows up. For example, our visits for the first two years were lunches in restaurants. Then we realized that that wasn’t going to work since she was more active an independent. So our most recent visit also included letting her run around a play area in the mall.

Things will continue to change as she gets older, and that’s how it should be. What works now when she’s a toddler won’t be the same as whatever works when she’s eleven or twelve.

I’ve seen other open adoptions through social media that are very different from mine, but that’s the nature of the situation. Every adoption, every family, every birthmom, they all vibe differently and their structures vary.


I was originally scared of open adoption, and didn’t think that I wanted one. I had heard so many horror stories about adoptive parents who would go back on their word about updates and visits and communication. Leaving the birthmom or birthparents hurt and clueless and wondering what happened.

But now, two and a half years into my open adoption, I honestly love it. We don’t have one where we talk or see each other all the time. We get together twice a year. They send updates halfway between visits. If something major happens, I know I can email them and they’ll respond within a few days. I’ve done it when family members were very ill or passed away.

At this point, I couldn’t imagine if I had gone with a closed adoption. The pain of not knowing what my daughter looks like or who she’s growing up to be. It would be too much to bear.

I know that it’s not for everyone one, and that’s perfectly fine. But it is definitely something that I would encourage birthmoms to think about when making an adoption plan for their child.


adoptiontalkbutton2016-e1452013232524
Click here to see the rest of the link-up

Brain Dump

  • There’s so much going on right now. Dad’s back to work this week after his knee surgery Jan 23.
  • I’m trying to form some kind of sleep schedule, but it’s not really working terribly well.
  • I’ve been running errands all over the place since dad’s surgery.
    Two of my favorite shows are now back on the air on Tuesday nights back to back – Switched at Birth and The Fosters.
  • I need to start reading another book soon. It’ll be my fifth or sixth one in 2017. I haven’t quite decided how I feel about the newest James Patterson mum and I picked up at Costco.
  • I was talking to Courtney about YouTube videos and blog posts. I’ve made a few videos in the past, but they were pretty crap. I think I want to start making some again, but I haven’t got a clue what kind of content it’d be. They suggested tag videos, so I’ve noted a couple that I wanna think about doing.
  • As for blog posts, I’m lacking ideas but I’m also lacking motivation. I’m hoping that watching my two shows again will spark something in me enough to start writing again – even if it’s just in my journal at first.
  • Watching Emmett be placed on a 5-day hold because he overdosed, and then be told that depression runs in his family, it struck a familiar chord with me. I know what it’s like to feel like something’s wrong but also be unable to explain it to anyone. To wonder if things are better off without you. It’s a scary thing to deal with, but unfortunately, I think most people with mental health diagnoses face those at sold point or another.
  • I need to finish my adoption talk blog link-up piece about navigating open adoption and get it posted ask I can participate and meet more birthmoms. I don’t know how well it’ll work out though cause I haven’t really planned for it.
  • Sitting in the vet’s office waiting for blood results for Magic. We don’t know if it’s senility or renal failure, but this will show us if it’s anything major. She’s 16, so whatever we do won’t be long-term.

Depression

I feel like I don’t have the right to complain that I’m tired. I haven’t even been awake for five and a half hours yet. I’ve done nothing that would make me tired. It’s just my depression that’s causing this. And I feel like that’s not a good enough reason to allow me to complain.

A couple nights ago my depression decided to tell me that everyone was just sticking around to be nice and eventually they’d all show their true colors and abandon me. I cried. I knew it wasn’t true, but nothing in me would let me believe anything but what the depression was telling me. It was awful.

And in gearing up to go do a third session at a training weekend with my adoption agency, I feel like all my emotions are surfacing and not going away. The feelings of shame and embarrassment projected from my dad. The grief from placing my daughter two and a half years ago.

But this training is also bringing back happier things too. The overwhelming love the first time I held my daughter in my arms in the hospital. The amazing calm I felt the first time I met the couple I’d chosen as her parents. The smiles all the pictures of her elicit. The heartwarming little hugs from her when we visit every six months.

But this depression isn’t just all the adoption emotions. There’s more to it than that.

It’s the overwhelming feeling that no one cares.
It’s being ready for bed at 8:15, but knowing that you didn’t do anything to make you that tired.
It’s knowing that these feelings aren’t real, but being unable to deny them.
It’s wanting to cry at any point and not knowing why.
It’s no longer caring about the things you used to love and enjoy.
It’s isolating yourself away from everyone, including your family.
It’s sitting on your bed indecisive about what to do because you’re going numb.
It’s not sleeping at night.
It’s sleeping all through the morning and waking up at five minutes till noon.

The list could go on, but I’m going to stop there. This is just a little insight into what’s been going on in my head the last week or so.

A Month In…

So, I’ve been taking these medications for a month now. I just upped the Zoloft dosage from 25mg to 50mg this past Thursday. Honestly, it may be too soon, but I think the 50 is better than the 25. Even my grandmother has noticed that I seem to be more myself than I was before I started the medication.

Which I suppose is the goal of being on medication.

It hasn’t been an easy journey, but it’s definitely not one that I regret starting.

I didn’t think I wanted to be on medication, but I’m realizing that it’s not the end of the world. Sometimes it’s a necessity, and it’s not something that should be looked down on.

I was afraid of judgement and feared the shame I would feel when people found out I was on anti-depressants. However it’s been the opposite. Everyone I’ve told has been supportive and encouraging regarding taking meds again.

When you go three or four weeks between appointments, it can be difficult to remember how you were feeling and what side effects you noticed in the beginning. My solution to this was setting up a notebook with medications and dosages in the back, side effects and emotional stuff in the front. It’s not something I write in everyday. Only when I can be bothered, or when it seems like there’s something worth recording.

There’s not much to record when you’re home alone most days and don’t interact with people. But sometimes that’s when you realize that things need to be changing.

The last three/four days I’ve been feeling weird, but I have my psychiatrist appointment on Friday. So I guess that I should be putting this in my notebook so that I can bring it up with the nurse.

Ugh.. I suppose I should post this since I’ve been working on it for a week now..

Hopefully there will be another update soon after my appointment.

Starting a New Journey

Yesterday I went to a new psychiatrist for the first time in like 11+ months.

There was a lot of anxiety leading up to the appointment. I knew it was what I needed and it was a good thing in the long run, I was still nervous and scared.

But the appointment went well. I was immediately more comfortable with the psych nurse I saw than I ever was with the psychiatrists I’ve seen in the past. I felt like she was much more thorough than the others had been.

There were lots of questions, which is typical with a new psychiatrist. I didn’t feel judged or like I said things she didn’t really care about or think relevant. We even got off topic a couple times, but we quickly re-focused.

She doesn’t agree that I have Bipolar Disorder II like I was told several years ago. She thinks it’s depression with manic elements. I’ve started taking Zoloft and Seroquel.

New medications side effects always suck. The Zoloft is what’s making me feel like crap right now though. I’m got an upset stomach, and I’m not sleepy but I’m tired and I’ve got a pretty low energy level.


If I look at the paper from the pharmacy when I picked it up, typical side effects can include:

  • Dizziness
  • Feeling sleepy
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Nervous or excitable
  • Upset stomach
  • Loose stools (diarrhea)
  • Dry mouth
  • Hard stools (constipation)
  • Not able to sleep

However, the side effects that require immediately notifying your doctor include:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Signs of low sodium levels like headache, trouble focusing, memory problems, feeling confused, weakness, seizures, or changes in balance
  • Signs of bleeding like throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds; coughing up blood; blooding the urine; red, black, or tarry stools; bleeding from the gums; vaginal bleeding that is not normal; bruises without a reason that get bigger, or any bleeding that is very bad or that you cannot stop
  • Change in how you act
  • A heartbeat that does not feel normal
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Not able to control bladder
  • Very bad headache
  • A big weight gain or loss
  • Lowered interest in sex
  • Change in sex ability

Now, I read these things and highlight all the side effects, so that if something does happen I can see if it’s something minor that should go away or if it’s something serious.

Blog Tour: ILLUSION OF ECSTASY by Nicole Loufas

illusion-of-ecstasy-coverSynopsis:

When Dani discovered the cash hidden in her attic, she had no idea the problems it would bring. With the help of the Marino’s, Dani is able to launder her father’s dirty money, but their help comes with a price. Her relationship with Matt.

Not wanting to hurt Dani’s future or freedom, Matt removes himself from the equation to keep everyone safe. But when it’s time to go home, he has to decide which is more important – watching his little sister grow up or returning to the girl of his dreams.

Nick is determined to make good on all the bad he’s caused, and has finally accepted his role as a Marino. Fate doesn’t make it easy for him. Especially, when he returns from Europe to find Dani is falling apart. With Matt out of the picture, Nick contemplates a future with the only girl he’s ever loved.

In the conclusion to Thizz, A Love Story, follow Dani, Matt, and Nick on a soul-searching journey into adulthood. The Illusion of Ecstasy explores the emotional tribulations they encounter without the help of thizz. How to deal with real emotion becomes the biggest obstacle of all on their road to maturity.

Buy Links:


Author Bio:bio-pic

Nicole was born and raised in California. She claims to be a San Francisco native, however she’s lived in both Northern and Southern California. She credits her creativity to the fact that she attended 12 schools between kindergarten and her senior year in high school. Her nomadic childhood allowed her to reinvent herself often. Some might say she was a liar. While others see the stories she told as a coping mechanism. Twelve schools, in six cities, in twelve years – give her a break. Today she channels her storytelling ability into writing novels. Long story short – kids that lie become writers. 

Author Links:


Excerpts:

 

  • ONE:

 

Nick and I circle each other for a few minutes. I wait for him to make the first move. He always makes the first move. To my surprise, he just keeps circling and smiling. Finally, I go for it. I lunge, and he falls against the padded headboard. Wood cracks. I keep wailing on him with the pillow. Nick grabs me around my knees and takes me down. He tries to pin me using a move I taught him. He has no chance. I arch my back and twist my body. Before Nick can take his next breath, I’ve got him flipped over. We’re both breathing heavy. I hold Nick by the neck, not too hard. I don’t want to hurt him. Not really. I’m lying on my back, my arm wrapped around his neck as he’s lying beside me, sort of in front of me. I feel his hand tap out at the same time the screen on the front door squeaks open and then slams shut.

Nick starts to laugh when Dani appears in the doorway.

She takes in the room. The comforter on the floor, the sheets askew. Nick in my arms. She’s trying really hard to keep a straight face. “Am I interrupting something?”

“Just working out some aggression,” Nick jokes and breaks free.

I want to ask what she’s doing here, but I suspect Nick had everything to do with it. The phone call, changing the sheets, it makes sense now. That thoughtful motherfucker.

“I can come back later,” she teases and breaks into a huge grin. Her face lights up. She only beams like this when she’s high. There is only one person who could’ve given her pills.

Nick jumps off the bed and wraps Dani in his arms. He pulls back and kisses her on the forehead. Her eyes flutter closed, and all I can think is—karma is a bitch.

Young couple in love wrapped in plaid standing and looking at each other

 

  • TWO:

 

“Are you touching my girl?” Matt asks with phony exasperation.  

“I was thinking that maybe I could keep this area.” Nick swirls his free hand over my thigh. “You don’t need it, do you?”

I bite my lip to hold in the traitorous grin trying to escape. I’m not with Nick. That doesn’t mean I don’t find him attractive and I still care about him. Falling out of love with Nick has taken a lot longer than falling in love with him.

I slap Nick’s hand away and shrug Matt’s arm off my shoulders. “First of all, I’m not some piece of real estate you can divvy up for your own personal use. I’m a human. I say who gets what and when.” I cross my arms over my chest and try to look like I’m in control.

They look at each other and silently agree on something. Nick and Matt have a twin-thing. They always know what the other is thinking.  

“Ok,” Matt says. “Who gets what?”

Loving couple in the park

 

  • THREE

 

I lock the gate and pause for a second to prepare myself for whatever is about to happen. The realization that I’m going to spend the night alone with Matt slaps me across the face.

I go back upstairs and find Matt standing in front of the living room window. He turns at the sound of my footsteps on the hardwood floor. The expression on his face makes me nervous. I turn from the hallway into the kitchen to avoid the intense look in his eyes.  

“There’s no food here, but we can raid my mom’s wine rack downstairs. I just need to go to my apartment and grab my toothbrush,” I ramble. Because rambling feels safe. “We can stop at Golden Boy and get a pizza on our way back.” I open the refrigerator hoping to find a bottle of courage sitting on the top shelf.

“Are you hungry?” he asks.

“Uh, not really.” I close the door and we lock eyes.

He looks sexy as hell leaning against the doorframe. Pizza and my toothbrush are the last things on my mind as he steps towards me.

“Me either,” he says.

He reaches for my hand and pulls me into his arms. I try not to think about what this means or what will happen tomorrow.

He leans in and kisses me. Even though our lips touched in the past; the emotions I’m feeling right now weren’t fueling that moment. This kiss wasn’t instigated by a dare. We have no audience. Nothing holding us back. I relax into Matt’s arms and let this thing between us finally take over.


Playlist:

  • I hate you. I love you, Gnash
  • You & Me, Marc E. Bassey
  • Say You Won’t Let Go, James Arthur
  • Dream, Imagine Dragons
  • Like I’m Gonna Lose You, Meghan Trainor
  • Make Up Your Mind, Jake Etheridge
  • The Whistle Song, Juelz Santana
  • Bartender, T-Pain
  • I Wanna Love You, Akon
  • Where’d You Go, Fort Minor
  • Over My Head, The Fray
  • Happy, Leona Lewis

Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/user/campbell.jena/playlist/6jDwQTUKrvL6Z2hGVkmhy2


Giveaway:


Indie Girl Promotion Links:

igp-logo

Dreams, Sparks, & Tornados

I struggle to concisely express the emotions I feel more often than not recently. The be frank, I haven’t even tried because I’ve been too busy trying to process what’s happening inside my head.

I dream of things that I know won’t happen.
I hold  onto sparks of ideas that are possible.
I feels like I’m standing in a tornado, wind whipping my hair across my face, no end in sight.

The best thing I can do for myself in those moments is find people to talk to, who are like safe storm cellars if you will – people who will listen and not judge or jump to conclusions about things.

I mean, I want to post about what’s causing these feelings, but it just doesn’t seem right. I fear all the potential reactions (mainly from family) – the pity, the anger, the judgement, the rejection, the denial, the confusion, the love and support. I know those last two seem like they don’t match the rest, or like they should outweigh all the others. But honestly, when you’ve seen and felt some of the other negative reactions for yourself, the sting of those is more prominent than the positive.

My father’s enormous shame about the adoption has left me in such a painfully difficult spot. I have to keep my social media mostly clear of adoption mentions that someone in the family could possibly think I have a connection to. I can’t participate in things on Instagram because too many of my family members follow me and have absolutely no idea about my daughter’s existence. It almost feels like I would have to create another identity online to be about to expose that part of who I am without having to worry about those reactions.