Depression how deep did it go…

Over the last few days, I have been Looking over my “on this day…” on my Facebook feed. I am reminded of this time last year when I was at the start of my deep depression. I held the smiling mask for months over my tear streaked face, so the world world did not see. I faced the hardest part of recovery, law suit, hardest most painful days and nights not just physically but mentally.

I faced issues in all aspects of my life, home, work, school and every bit that came with it. Physical pain, mental anguish, nightmares, flashbacks, solitary nights, I could go on .

My public face stayed positive, high spirited but internationally I was in a deep dark place that even I did not recognize being in. It took months before my amazing doctor who sat in the chair across from me while I entered into a complete ugly cry, over one simple question “how are you?”. He took one look at me and said “your depressed.” Those words started another round of melt down. Why did I not recognize the symptoms or signs? Why did no one else? Was I that good at masking? 

Depression, it is the silent killer no one wants to talk about. It’s the silent lover that tears marriages apart. It’s the silent bearer that comes between friends and loved ones.

After a year I still battle with depression and generalized Anxiety disorder. It is a daily struggle that for me day I hope win the battle.

Team, thanks for being you!!

 

Cheers!

 

Fathers Day letter to my Dad:

 

Dear Dad,

Since today is Fathers Day, I wanted to write you this letter, for it contains my Fathers Day gift to you.

I was born on June 24, 1977, and you got the most precious gift of all, me. A beautiful, baby girl with brown eyes and little wisps of hair on top of my head. You were given a gift that something that some men would love to have but never will, a daughter. You were given chance after, chance, time and time again. You could have shared so much, of my life. You could have held my hand when I got my heart broken for the first time. You could have been there when I lost my best friend to tell me it would be ok. You did get to see one great accomplishment, you were able to see me Graduate from High School. I only know because you dropped the photo book off a few weeks later. You could have taught me to drive a car. You could have been there the day Steve asked for my hand in marriage. You could have been there, to walk me down the isle, and dancing with me on my wedding day. You could have been there the day we picked up the keys to our first home. You could have been there when I burnt my first Thanksgiving dinner. You could have come to see our first Christmas tree. You could have been one of the first visitors in our new house. I could have called you the day; I almost lost my best friend and husband. You could have hugged me and told me, “everything was going to be ok” even if you did not know it would be. I could have called you to tell you that I got accepted to the Nursing program, and could have cried to you the day I failed. You could have come to the hospital the day, I almost died. You could have hugged me when I was so depressed; I did not think I could live another day.  You should have been standing in the crowd this May when I graduated from college. You should have done so many things that Dad’s should do.

Over and over, time and time again I did my best to fit into your new life. I spend years trying to fit into your new family. All the years you should have been watching me grow into the woman that I am today. All the times you were being the best husband to your new wife. The perfect Step-dad to your new children. Think of all the firsts you experienced with your grandchildren, becoming the best grandparent they could ever ask for. All that time, you missed out on being my dad.

Father’s Day is such a hard day for me, ever since I was 14 years old, you see that was the first official fathers day without you in my life. You see I was just 13 years old the day, you left me crying on the swing in our back yard because I just was not mature enough at the time to understand. I was 3 years old, when you said, “you were unhappy”. I lived many years blaming myself for your unhappiness. So many harsh words have been spoken, so many feelings have been hurt. The scars run too deep to ever go away. The pain that has been buried so deep inside, sometimes come to the surface hurt all over again.

I want you to know that each year on Fathers Day, I still give you a gift. Each year for Fathers Day you receive a gift from your first daughter. It is the only gift that I can give you that does not hurt me. Your gift is your new family. I want you to enjoy this day with your family. I want you to spend the day with your grandchildren, step-children, and wife. I want them to celebrate you. I want them to know the man that I never got a chance to meet. I want them to know the father you can be, the face in the crowd when they hit that home run. I want them to know the sound of your voice, your laugh and the secrets to life as only you can tell it. You see, each year on Fathers Day, I do think of you, and I give you that very special gift knowing that that gift will last you all year.

Being a parent is more than the good times, happy celebrations and cheering from the stands. Being a parent is sticking it out good times and bad. Hard times and hardest of times. Being a parent is about knowing that, adult issues and problems have nothing to do with your two children.   When you decided to become a parent, you signed a lifetime contract that may require you to help me when I am short on money to pay a bill. You may be required to put up with my bad attitude because I have been up for 3o plus hours because of work and school.

So, Dad, I guess what I am saying is that this letter is for you. I am sure that someone will direct it to you. You also may never read the words that I have written, that is ok too.

Happy Fathers Day,

Cheryle

 

Emotionless
Hey dad
I’m writing to you
Not to tell you, that I still hate you
Just to ask you
How you feel
And how we fell apart
How this fell apart
Are you happy out there in this great wide world?
Do you think about your son?
Do you miss your little girl?
When you lay your head down
How do you sleep at night?
Do you even wonder if we’re all right?
But we’re all right
We’re all right
It’s been a long hard road without you by my side
Why weren’t you there all the nights that we cried
You broke my mother’s heart
You broke your children for life
It’s not okay,
But we’re alright
I remember the days, you were a hero in my eyes
But those were just a long lost memory of mine
I spent so many years learning how to survive
Now, I’m writing just to let you know that I’m still alive
The days I spent so cold, so hungry
Were full of hate
I was so angry
Those scars run deep inside this tattooed body
There’s things I’ll take, to my grave
But I’m okay
I’m okay
It’s been a long hard road without you by my side
Why weren’t you there all the nights that we cried
You broke my mother’s heart
You broke your children for life
It’s not okay,
But we’re all right
I remember the days, you were a hero in my eyes
But those were just a long lost memory of mine
Now, I’m writing just to let you know that I’m still alive
Yeah, I’m still alive
Sometimes
I forgive
Yeah and this time
I’ll admit
That I miss you, said I miss you
It’s been a long hard road without you by my side
Why weren’t you there all the nights that we cried
You broke my mother’s heart
You broke your children for life
It’s not okay,
But we’re all right
I remember the days, you were a hero in my eyes
But those were just a long lost memory of mine
Now, I’m writing just to let you know that were still alive
And sometimes
I forgive
And this time
I’ll admit, that I miss you, miss you
Hey dad

April has been full of great happenings…

Hello TEAM!!! Happy April to you all…

So far the month has been filled with great and exciting things happing for the Holmes family…

Happy 40th Birthday to my world, my one and only… Steve!

Steve turned 40 on the 21st! We had a wonderful celebration over the weekend. We got 1/2 bushel of beautiful blue swimmers, that were steamed to a beautiful red color then sprinkled with yummy old bay seasoning. We had corn on the cob, steamed shrimp, and ice cold beer. The next night we Grilled steak with veggie kabobs and introduced Chris to Hopkins dairy ice cream…YUMM.  The most important thing was we had good times, laughs and made many memories. On Monday night had a wonderful dinner with two of our closest friends and added more laughs, and good times was had by all.

man and woman standing side by side
Happy Birthday to my love
bushel basket with lid
ymmmm.. this is filled with cooked crabs for Steve’s 40th Birthday!
Steve showing off his Birthday crabs…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

man in red shirt eating a crab claw, smiling
Chris enjoying his crabs on Steves 40th Birthday Celebration

Another grand celebration this month is we got a visit from Chris. He has spent several days with us, prior to heading up north for work.  We have traveled all over DE and MD for the past few days. Lots of smiles, laughs, good times and memories. From Thrashers at the beach to yummy crab cakes MD style to hot steamed crabs and beer. He has been able to spend lots of time with nana and mom that has been great. We missed having his beautiful wife Lisa with him this trip. She makes our family complete!

 

If you know much of anything about me, you know that my brother is not only my biggest supporter but my hero! I do not know where I would be without him or his guidance. I do my best to make him proud each day. We are on opposite ends of this great country but I know that with a moment’s notice, he will move heaven and earth to be here if I need him.

 

Now, in true Cheryle fashion… I have saved the best news for last… see what good little things you get if you read to the end of my post….

 

picture of graduation announcement, picture of girl in cap and gown
Mischief Managed!! I am finally GRADUATING!


First, I am officially announcing my GRADUATION from AACC.

On May 25, 2017, I will walk across the stage and receive my Associates Arts Degree from Anne Arundel Community College. As you know, my dream is to become an RN, sometimes our dreams have to be put on hold so we can full fill our destiny. This is not the degree that I wanted when I started, but I earned it. I dedicated the past 5 plus years to my education, and I will take this degree with a smile knowing that hard work, determination, and dedication made it possible. I am very proud of myself for bing able to check this box off.

 

university seal
BS Public Health

My other news, that some of you have been patiently waiting for…I am proud to announce that I have been officially accepted to a Bachelors of Science program at American Public University in West Virginia. I will be pursuing my BS in Public Health. I start classes at the university in July.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking… “she wanted to be a Nurse?” Yes, I did and YES I DO. Once I earn my BS Public Health I will be able to apply to a BS Nursing program. I will have taken nursing classes so I will have that under my belt. Once I have my BS Public Health and my BS Nursing and my Masters degree. I will be able to pursue my dream of becoming an educator in the healthcare field.

The universe threw me a curve ball, so hit it and have to go where it goes. I will not give up my dream or my goals it will just take me longer than I planned. I will be taking a full course load each term. I know the commitment that I am signed up for and I know that I will be able to do it. I’ll just have to remember the 3 D’s: Destination, Determination, and Deliberation….oh wait that’s how you Apparate. Well, I feel that the same things apply to school.  “one must be completely determined to reach one’s destination, and move without haste but with deliberation.” according to  Wilkie Twycross, Ministry of Magic the official Apparition Instructor.

I’ll just have to remember the 3 D’s: Destination, Determination, and Deliberation….oh wait that’s how you Apparate. Well, I feel that the same things apply to school.  “one must be completely determined to reach one’s destination, and move without haste but with deliberation.” according to  Wilkie Twycross, Ministry of Magic the official Apparition Instructor.

The biggest thing now is coming up with the funds to pay for the next step in my educational journey. I will do what I can, and make it happen somehow…

 

I have been slacking a little bit on blogging, for that I am sorry. I have had several things in the works and working very hard on them. I am very busy at work, climbing the clinical, balancing life, career, family and self. The balance is nothing new, it’s just a new balance.

Well, my friends, for now, that is all… I will leave you with all of this goodness.

Don’t forget to leave comments in the guestbook, let me know you have stopped in to say hello!

 

 

2017 A chance to start over…

Hello, Team…

Good Bye 2016!!

Well, I am not sure what I even have to say about 2016 other than, Good Bye! I sit here and think about one year ago and the dreams and goals I had set for myself.  I think about how hard I worked to accomplish my goals I had set for myself. I think about the sleepless nights, days, and time away from my family and in the end, I did not accomplish anything…

I can not forget the love that I have been shown over the past several years while I struggled during school. The support, encouragement and understand helped me make it when I did not think I could.

I have been shaping myself into a round peg over the past 6 years. Every second of every day, was spend shaping myself to fit a very specific type of hole. Sanding layer by layer, to fit exactly where I want to be. That process took more of myself than I ever imagined.

I now find that I was shaping myself for the wrong shape hole. I now am a round peg that does not fit into the square hole.

“I am a round peg trying to fit into a square hole “

I have been looking and looking to find the round hole that I fit into but I can not, that is a feeling that I do not think will ever go away. In many ways, I feel stuck, yet again I do not feel that I can control anything. I simply have to put a smile on my face and yet again, rearrange my life. I do not know where the new year will take me, but I know that I can’t go back to where I was…

 

 

Hello 2017

I have been able to spend the past week with my brother and his wonderful wife. We have shared laughs and made memories that will last a lifetime.  I have some exciting things on the books for this year. New parts of teamcheryle.com and exciting adventures planned.

Steve and I are on our first Adventure of the year and could not be happier. A Ferry ride to Cape May, NJ and three days of adventure! Keep an eye out for me, you never know where I will pop up…

Don’t forget to comment/ sign my guest book…

 

The 5 exam points that failed my family…

As I sit here waiting….I think about the 5 exam points that failed my family.

I have been told, God closed this door because it not the path I am suppose to take. I have been told, to refocus on what I really want to do. I have even been told that, well this means that nursing is not for you…

5 exam points is what I lacked to earn the grade of B. 5 exam points is what kept me from walking across the stage today and graduating.

In the year of 2016, my Senior semester of nursing school, I survived 2 car accidents (one that I could have died), surgery…yet each day I smiled. On a daily basis I deal with PTSD, severe depression and anxiety…yet each day I smile. I was handed court papers stating I was being sued over an accident that was not my fault, that was to take place the week prior to my first exam…yet I smiled. I worked full time the entire time in nursing school went days without sleep, yet I smiled. I have not lived with my husband for over one year so I could focus on school, yet each day I smile. I dealt with stress of bills I could not pay, fear of a pending law suit, and the knowledge that when I was done I would need to deal with my second accident, yet each day I smiled. I came home each night to an empty home, eating dinners at my desk, yet I smiled. I would wake each day at 0430, only after going to bed at 0130, and yet I smiled.

I spend hours, morning, noon and night studying, while even not realizing that I most likely have undiagnosed post concussion syndrome. I deal with aches and pains from my injured body, yet I smile each day…I dealt with disability accommodations that were not met, yet I smiled…I took care of myself as best I could knowing that the finish line was in sight, yet I still smiled. I held back tears and the overwhelming feeling of loneliness that I felt from missing my world, the one who completes me, yet I smiled. I hid my feelings of sadness, fear and emotion so that the world would only see my smile, reminding myself each day…”you are almost done”.

I fell 5 exam points short…5 exam points that failed my family. 5 exam points that would have made the difference for the future for steve and I. 5 exam points that missed the “minimum required exam points if 188” making all other work, assignments and projects null and void. 5 exam points that should have earned me a B, but more importantly my future.

As you sit and read this post, know that I do not blame anyone for my 5 exam point failure. Not anyone who was going to help me study, anyone who simply knew I would do it, not anyone who…does it matter?

In 2008 I woke up one day, and decided to go to nursing school. Since that time I have experienced more than more 30 year veteran nurses. From CCU, surgery, med-surg, hospice, illness, wound care, ventilator care, PT, OT, rehabilitation, ADL’s, respiratory, medication issues, trauma, orthopedics, GI… I have spend 45 plus hours at the bedside holding the hand of a very sick patient not knowing if he was going to live or die. I have held the hand of a man telling him it was ok to let go..I sat for hours ina hospice room watching and waiting for the final breaths to come, and the pain to stop… I could go on… What do I lack? 5 exam points that gives me the official education to say, I am a nurse graduate.

All through Nursing school I earned A’s and B’s…except my one last class that shows a D, because of missing 5 exam points. I went from a B to a D. I can not change what has been done. I can not go back and redo anything.

I do not know what my future holds. I do not know where I will go from here. I know one thing, will not give up on my goals and dreams. My entire adult life has been chasing after a dream, sacrificing everything I have to make a better future for steve and I.

Compassion, dedication what does it get you theses days??? Ask me I know…disappointment, resentment and anger.

I sit here on this cold chair watching the nurses go by…i wonder if those 5 exam points would have made me a better nurse? More compassionate nurse? Better skilled? I don’t think so. I know that when I watch my loved one being cared for why I don’t first ask…”what were your grades in nursing school?” I mean should I? When you are about to get an injection of antibiotics that can heal you,do you ask your RN for a transcript of her grades? How about when you are about to die and need emergency care? Do you stop the treatment and ask? No….

Now, if you are asking yourself…”5 exam points…what’s the big deal…” I’ll tell you… I now have to repeate the entire nursing program. Not one class, not one semester…the entire program. I can earn a 1 year certificate and sit for my LPN boards, work in a doctors office or nursing home then apply to a RN program…to join in the 3rd and 4th terms again. Then, sit and take the RN boards…By the time I do that, my classmates will be graduating with their BSN degrees, and I will be about 44 years old ..starting over. So before you sit and judge me, for being angry, bitter, or sad…know that my entire future has been taken from me because of 5 exam points. I do not know if I have the strength left to fight another day…My fight song may have ended.

I will continue to smile each day, but know that on the inside, I will forever be reminded of my failure of 5 exam points.

 

 

New beginings

Sometimes in life you need to figure out how to begin again.

As a child you wish nothing more than to grow up as fast as you can. As a teenager you wish nothing more than to want to be an adult. When you are an adult you wish nothing more than to want to go back, and do it over. Take the knowledge that you now have and do it all over again.

As an adult you are constantly starting over, it could be a new job, new state, new marriage, new family. Sometimes you choose to start over and sometimes you don’t. The thing you have to keep telling yourself is sometimes new beginnings are just what you need to grow.

 

Why did you go?

Why did you leave us?

Why did you go? It’s been too many years since you decided without anyone’s permission to leave. That was the way you lived life, so I can see it. You lived life on your terms, so when it was time for you to go, you left on your terms.

Life had taken an unfair turn in the road for our little group of misfits, we called a family. I know that you can not always foresee those things happening, but the heartache that is left behind was devastating. We did not rally around each other, instead we lost each other. Many years of anger, resentment and heartache took its toll on the fragile bond that was left, ultimately tearing it so far apart that it was never truly mended.

You left us. You decided on your own that we did not need you anymore. You left questions unanswered. You left hearts broken. You left those who needed you the most.

I remember like it was yesterday, the night I got the call. Shock, pain, and a hole that has never been filled in my heart. I remember telling Steve, the pain, disbelief and hurt that was on his face. Seeing you days later laying the stillest you had ever been. I stood as tears rolled down my cheek, reaching down taking your hand.    

Your voice in my ear, I will carry you with me until we meet again… ❤

What you really learn in Nursing School

human legs with running shoes on running up steps with words: "I may not be there yet, but I'm closer than I was yesterday"
I can finally see the finish line. The end is near, I am in my last 4 mile stretch…

 

I am not done fighting. I until the last points are handed out… My journey has been filled with delays, roadblocks, success and tears. I have wanted to give up so many times. It was the love, support and encouragement from all of you who are on my team that has kept me going…

Along the way I have made some incredible friendships. I used to hear nursing students before me say “its the hardest thing you will ever do”. “I can’t talk about school… don’t ask. (as tears would form..) “I am sick all the time, I have gained more weight than ever in my life” I can’t eat a thing, I have lost so much weight from stress”.  All the statements’ are true. Those who are answer the calling to become a nurse are among the bravest and strongest souls I have even met. We may not run into the burning building, but we are standing along side of it with the bandages, to care for you. We may not run into the firefight, but we are there with the IV fluids, and gauze to stop the bleeding. We may not protect and serve, but we are there to hold your hand as your take your last breath ensuring you are not alone. In the end, I always hear this:

“It’s all worth it. You will have days you hate it, then you will get up for the next shift and you will make a difference in a persons life, and you will love it all over again…” RN, 33 years.

 

“When you get to the other side, you will see how fast it went..” RN, 5 years

 

“The time, money, tears, and stress…worth every bit of the struggle. It has made me the Nurse I am today.  I would do it all over again..” RN, 20 years

 

I have also seen some of the most determined people do some amazing things. Nursing students never give up. We may fail. We may repeat. We never give up. We find the plan B, C, D, E, F… until we achieve our goal. When we do fail, after the initial shock and overwhelming heartache has passed. We refocus our goals, and figure out what is next for us on our life journey.

I also have learned one great thing about nursing school. You are connected to strangers who become family. You are put on the path with another person who will change your life as much as you will change their life.  I just said this today to someone who crossed my path, who is family for more than one reason. I am thankful for the friendships that I have made. You learn very quickly when you are a Nursing student. Each day you attend a lecture, or walk into your clinical site. The person at your left, and your right may not be there the next time you go. But the friendship you form will last a life time, no matter what you will always stand by that person and they will stand by you.

“People are put on our path of life for a reason…I am glad that our paths crossed. They will continue to cross. Friendships make the beautiful Technicolor quilts of life” Future Nurse

 

Have a beautiful day…Be kind to yourself and each other…

 

Being happy is a good thing…. :)

Hello Team!!!

 

Thank You

Veterans!!!

Raising of the American Flag Iwo Jima

Your service means a lot to me!! I appreciate the sacrifice you and your family made to help keep our country a little safer!!


To those who have served and to those who choose to serve in the future.     Thank you!

I believe that serving your country is a calling. At some point in your life you feel that calling, it could have happened after a tragedy. May be the draft called you. The point is that you answered that call and sore and oath to protect our great country. I am very proud to be an American! I am proud to say thank you to those who served. I have spoken to members from WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam, Gulf War, Afghanistan, and Iraqi war through current deployments. I have listen to history first hand from a gentleman who was a Tuskegee Airmen. I have held the hand of a Vietnam veteran who suffer sever shell shock (PTSD- as we call it now..) after a fire alarms put into extreme fear. I have witnessed first hand the what the family of solders go through, when they are getting ready for deployment, not knowing if their Solder will come home. I have seen the excitement when they finally get to say, “My Solder is HOME”. War is not a movie, or a TV show. It’s real, full of death, heartache, sacrifice, courage and fear. I have attended funerals and listened to taps being played, and
collected the shell casing from the 21-gun solute to honor the fallen.

 

Honoring the armed forces silhouettes with american flag and the seals of each branch of service

 

Veterans day and Memorial Day two different days honoring two types of solders, but the biggest picture is that, it is not about the sales, or the day off from school. It is about honoring those who have served.
Today, I honor those who have served that on the home front, and over seas.  
Stay Safe; Thank You for answering the call.

From Land, Air, Sea. I solute you!

Well this will be a short check in today! I have had a great morning so far… I am feeling extra positive today. It has been a whirlwind of a semester to date. I have meet some great life long friends and been able to reconnect with older ones. I have put my best foot forward, and like always I am not willing to give up just yet…
You have to believe in yourself to be the person you want to be. I also know that when your confidence is shaken, the best way to get it back is take a step back and re-examine some of what you have been through, what you have over come. You sometimes need to be reminded why you are doing something, and it really is worth it on the other end. I am so close; I am digging deep inside and pulling from my strength reserve to keep going. I will not give up. I will prove not only to myself but also to the world that I deserve this and I will be an amazing RN! I will pledge to be the voice they cannot be. I was born to do this, and I will do this…

American flag with sun shining through the blue/stars

 

Have a super fantastic day!!

Be Kind to yourself and each other…

 

Maryland flag Black and gold with red and white

Monster within…

To say that this term has been a struggle, is an understatement. Well, for me to say that would not be 100% fair.  I have been lucky enough to join an amazing group of future nurses. I was welcomed with complete open arms and hearts. I could not ask for a better group of graduates to join. I have been battling my own inner monster within the past 9 weeks.

In my life I have never had an easy path to walk. My journey has been filled with mountains, hills, deep valleys, rivers and puddles.  I have enjoyed time in the sunlight and just barely made it through the thunderstorms. I always find a way to overcome. I may not always look so good when I come out on the other end, but I always find a way. I am encouraged, loved and supported by so many people. My past, present and future seems to be riding on the next 41 days and because of that the monster has awoken from its slumber.

I was told by a very wise friend, “you can’t go back and “wish” you had done something different, or make a different choice. You can only move forward with what you have.” I have been living those words for the past 9 weeks. I have fallen a few times, and found a way to pick myself up, brush the dirt off and keep going. Recalculating, rethinking, reinventing and changing as I go along.

I keep saying that its almost done. “Little bit more, another few weeks…” I have said that for the past 3 years. Its always one more semester, one more exam, just a little longer. The sleepless nights, the lack of socialization, lack of time with friends, lack of family time. The hours spent in the library. The thousands of pages of textbooks that have been read. Notebooks, printed sheets, note cards, highlighters, pens all of it…necessary for my success.

I have never felt so alone, yet so loved as I have over the past 9 weeks.  I realized that I have been mourning a loss that I did not even realize I was mourning. Missing someone that I did not even realize that I missing as much as I do. Some people in this world just can not be replaced. You find a way to move forward, so you can be the person that you are meant to be, but the back of your mind is always wishing you could just go back to that one day and change what happen. You wake up each day, thinking this is the day you are going to wake up from this never ending nightmare, and life is back to normal and you are right where you are suppose to be, doing what you are suppose to be doing.

I used to get asked, if I was angry for what happen to me? I would not say “angry” I would say that now I am simply learning to deal with this new world in which I live. I used to be a future thinker. One the first day of the term I was already thinking about the last day. I was mentally through every exam (with a pass), all my clinical days, readings, assignments and projects. Ready to start planning the break, or next term. I could visualize what the future was going to be. I have always been able to keep my anxiety hidden. I could keep the monster quiet. I had to learn at an early age, how to keep the monster happy, and quiet like a quiet purr in the back of my mind. When the monster awoke, and started to growl I could hide it, or put it back away so it did not show on the outside. I was the master, and I owned and controlled it.

When you are put into a situation that you have to think “I am going to die, right here, on the side of this road.” Your brain shows you all the faces of the people in your life (past and present). You see your life in a flash that happens so fast you don’t even realize that it happen until after its done. Your brain rewires a bit, in that fraction of a second. Everything you knew, trusted, and relied on changes.  Your life changes forever, what you knew before will never be the same again.

What does this have to do with Anxiety you are asking? When you have the monster called anxiety that lives within you gets woken up from its long slumber, it starts to feed and grow. It feeds on the irrational thoughts, fears, self doubts and feelings within you. As it grows it become the master, and you become its slave. You begin to self-doubt, second guess and overthink. You replay every conversation in your head. Every text message, is reread over and over to make sure your intention was clear and not misconstrued. You obsess on non-important details because you don’t want to miss anything. Anxiety makes you see the world in a different way, every conversation feels like you are being  “criticized” or “left out”. All conversations are “about you”. Anxiety makes you replay every decision made that day, that week, that month and 2 years ago. Anxiety makes your brain feel like you are standing in the middle of a football field with 20,000 people standing around you, talking in 20,000 directions. You are standing in the center of all that just wanting to be seen, herd, or to make the noise stop. You are screaming at the top of your voice, “SHUT UP” “STOP MOVING”, no one hears you so your just screaming. What you see on the outside is me sitting in lecture, taking notes, or reading my text. You see me having lunch with my co-workers. You hear me telling a funny story, or playing a character to make people laugh. You see me doing my job. What you don’t see is the tears  on my pillow or feel the jolts that wake me from the little bit of sleep I get. You don’t feel the physical pain I live with everyday of my life. The dull ache in my stomach, the shooting burning pains that shoot up and down my leg. You don’t feel the palpitations, of my heart as it skips beats and beats so hard and loud it feels its going to beat out of my chest. You see the smiling face on the outside, you hear my voice say “I’m great!”.

Living with the monster called Anxiety is trying to learn a foreign language. The alphabet, what the letters mean and sound like, how to write them; put the letters into words and know what they mean, how to say the word and put it into a sentence all while you are standing in the middle of that football field with the 20,000 people. That is what I have been going through the past 9 weeks. You don’t know what its like to be so exhausted all the time, that getting 4 hours of sleep is not only your new normal, but you have rationalize to your self that you really don’t need more than that.

I take life one day at a time, when that does not work, I take it on hour at a time, when that is not working I take it one minute at at  time. Many people have demons, monsters of their own to deal with. I have helped many people with just that. Always dropping what I’m doing to help someone who needs me. Going to be the shoulder to lean on, cry on. The one who has the most wisdom, understanding, empathy and sympathy. I have seen more, done more in my 39 years than most my age and older.

I just want people to understand that what sounds irrational you, is not to me. What seems simple concept to grasp to you, may take me a minuet or two. I am strong. I am not the monster that lives inside. I will tame it, and control it again, just some days are harder than others. I am not ready to give up, or give in. I also want to thank those of you who have been at my side. If it was not for you, I don’t know what I would do.

Thank you as always for being apart of my team…

 

I am not done fighting just yet.

Fight Song

This is my last mountain.

Some people have a mountain to climb, before they can move forward with life.

 

Be kind to yourself and each other… Have a good one..Cheryle

The time is now..

Hi, team!! It’s been a long 8 weeks or so… We are about half way through the term… I have lots of news to share… but you are going to have to wait for another few days… sorry…

I have been struggling, this semester more than ever that is not a secret. The offers of help that have poured in, I can not say thank you enough. It’s just a matter of getting the help that I need. I can only do my best. I could not have asked for a better group of classmates who I know have become lifelong nursing school friends!

Look for BIG news next WED!!!

 

 

Big exam this coming Monday! send me all the love you can.. I need it..

 

until then… be kind to each other and your self… Happy Halloween!!

13 more weeks to go

Hello Team!!

I am taking a quick second to let everyone know whats been going on…

Last week we started the new term. My final term, I will add. I was welcomed to my new nursing class with open arms. I am the quiet person in class at this point. They will find out soon… :-). We have hit the ground running with Lectures, paperwork, lab and tomorrow we have our clinical site orientation. I am excited to say that I will be starting on the critical care unit for the first 3 weeks then I will go to the tele floor for the remainder of the time. I will be happy to get through critical care, for me, it causes more of an emotional response.  I know that I will be just fine. I am oddly calm about this term. I feel deep inside my soul that I am going to be just fine. I say this prior to my first exam mind you…but still, I say it. I know that I will be OK.

Every day, every night I keep myself going. Some days I feel that I am simply going through the motions. Some days I simply am ‘sleep walking’ through my day. I keep going. I know that my little family depends on my success. I will not let them down. December graduate here I come..

 

Who are you?

What a funny question to ask. If I was to ask you ‘Who are you?’ what would your response be? While you think about that for a second or ten.  I will first ask myself that same question: ‘Who are you, Cheryle?’

I am first and always my own person. I am a daughter, sister, wife, and best friend. I am a nurse in the making. I am the protector of those whom I love. I am the one who will give you the last 3 dollars in my pocket. I am the one who will stand up for myself but rarely do because when I do, it causes problems. I am the one to push myself harder than any other. I am the one who has to work harder for what I have. I am the one who feels that if I am right about something or feel passionate about something then I will not back down. I am also the one who will tell on myself, and be the first to apologize when I am wrong. I am the one who will often take one for the team, but make sure that the whole team learns the same lesson. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and my suit of armor under my clothes. I believe in the magic of the fairies, the teaching of buddha and have a relationship with God. I am a loyal friend till the end, and yet not the one you want to cross off your list. I am an open book, and will tell you anything that you ask, but you have to ask the right question.

I am wise beyond my 39 years and have been through more in the past 10 years than most people my age. I have seen what drugs and alcohol can do to a person. I have lost too many friends to the demons that live within. I am a confidant, counselor, the positive light to shine in the darkness so a few could find their way. I am the friend that never forgets how special our bond is. I am the friend who holds on to the memories, so that even if your forget I will be able to remind you.

I am the nurse to tend to his wounds, the hand to hold when he needed me the most. I am the  one at the other end of the phone when it just is too much to take. I am the voice in his ear when he can not speak. I am the vision in his sleep when he can not see.  I am the heart that loves him the most.

I am so much to so many people. I am the one to put myself last. I am the one to put my needs on hold to make sure others are cared for. I am the first to recognize my own demons and know how to keep them away. I am the one who is willing to walk away if it saves another heartache for another person. I keep all the secrets. I hold the keys to the locked drawers of my heart. I am the one to cry in the shower when I am lonely. I am the one to dance in the living room when no one is home. I am the one who will do what I can to make someone else laugh.  I am the class clown, the fixer of the electronics, the holder of random trivia.

I could go on..my point is this. Before you judge me, before you make assumptions about me…you really should get to know me.

Now, who are you?

 

Bitter sweet…

 

 

 

 

In a few short hours I will awake, pack my lunch, pack my bag. I will double and triple check my planner, I will make sure that I am bright eyed and awake.

My day will start with pre-school breakfast celebration with a brand new nursing student. I will be entering my final term and she will be starting her first. I am so very excited because I know that this is my time. 

I know that the next 16 weeks will be hard but I also know that I am ready. I am ready to shine. I have so many people who are supporting me, cheering for me, and backing me up. I can’t thank them enough. 

Steve and I have decided, well more me have decided that I am ready to add another mouth to our little family. I am looking for a new kitten. I know that they find us and we don’t find them. Finding the right fit for us, will be easy. I know that I can never replace BamBam. He was a one of a kind, he saved me just as much as I saved him. Now, it’s time for more saving for both of us. 

 

Team…I bit you a good night. Stay positive, Stay Happy… Be kind to each other and yourself… C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding the right words…

I find myself looking for the right words to say today… I find myself searching my inner soul, reading the fine print of text that runs through my being like a never ending novel. Looking for the words that will make it better. Looking for the words that will ease the pain and the hurt. I find myself looking for the super glue that makes me super. The inner bond that I have within myself that I have had to rely on so many times in the past.

I have told you the story of my accident. I have told you about Steve. I have opened up to the world a very personal side of me, during a most vulnerable time in my life. I was physically broken and emotionally broken. I did not do this to seek “pity”. I did not do this to have anyone look down on me and say… “Poor Cheryle, that girl can not catch a break”. Nope, I did this because I needed to heal and put myself back together. I have never used my journey no matter how hard it has been as an excuse. That will never change about me.

I guess I have not told of another important time in my life that has shaped the person that you see today. The person, that inspires people not to give up’ the person who looks for the silver lining in each gray cloud, the person who will try to make each situation positive. I am often asked how do I stay so positive? How do I stay so strong? I stay so positive, and I stay strong because I have no other choice.

A few times in my life I have been broken on an emotional level that required me to dig down deep within my soul to find the superglue that holds my being together.  In my mind’s eye, I envision a little bottle of glue, the strongest super glue ever made. This glue is what keeps the smile on my face, the warmth in my heart, and the passion that keeps me going. It’s no secret that I have always been given the harder lessons. I have always been measured to a higher mark. The times that this happened to me, I lived in a very dark place for a time being. Each time I dug myself into the light, promising each time that I would not allow myself to be put in the dark again. Each time I find the bottle of super glue and piece myself back together, changing, a bit during the process. Building new wisdom, a new sense of self and a different view of the world and the people who live in it.

I have taken the times in my life that this has happened and put them in a catalog. In their own collection of mini-novels that when needed I am able to open and remember not to dwell on the past but to remind myself not to repeat the same mistakes over and over. Sometimes you have to remember the hurt you felt, betrayal, the loss of friendship or loss of love in order to grow.

When we are babies and learning how to navigate the world, we are taught to speak. We are taught how to say words and what they mean. What we are not taught is that the words we speak are a powerful tool. We do not realize that the way we use our words should be chosen very carefully. Words can cut deeper than the sharpest blade, burn hotter than the fastest bullet and kill faster than the quickest assassin. I often say “be kind to each other, and yourself…” When I speak those words I mean it with every fiber of my being. When I say “I want to be the one who inspires someone not to give up…” I mean that with every fiber of my being. When I say, “I am an open book” I mean that, deeply and truly.

I have been put down for the words that I say, by those who simply do not know me, understand me, or who simply have no intention to ever want to know me. I have had to deal with this many times in my life, with people who simply at the end of the day are looking for the biggest kid on the playground, to beat up to prove themselves to the rest of the class. What the person does not realize that even if they choose me because I show confidence and strength, they are also choosing someone who really cares more about that person than they care about me. They have chosen a person, who is not in this for the “who can I compete against to be awarded the “gold metal”.  I am the person who will go the end of the universe and back for my fellow man. I will go without, and become the sacrificial lamb for the greater good. I am the person who will have your back, even if you don’t realize it.

Now before you ask…”what happened now…” Or “Oh, I know what you are talking about…” Or “hang in there…” “You got this…” I am not looking for any of that. If you know me at all you will know that this blog is a double meaning. The words that I choose very carefully to say here today for my message to the world are for more than just me. I have readers from around the world who visit my page because they say it helps them.

Be kind to yourself and each other….

Sleep

If you were to ask me, what do I cherish the most? I would tell you sleep. Sleep is the one thing that my body craves. Sleep is the high school crush that you just never seem to get the courage to talk to. Sleep is the most wonderful yet scary thing.

the one thing that you can never truly get back once it’s gone… The sleep you miss.

The final leg of my journey.

I have given all that I can give. I have accepted the truth of my situation. I have accepted the new way my body moves, feels, sounds. I have accepted the path that I am now on. I have accepted the view from my window.

I move forward with a smile on my face. I move forward with the knowledge that this time is the time. I move forward with the knowledge that this is the “Do or Die” so to speak time. have accepted the cards that life thrown at me. I will play this had until the very end.

This is my final leg of the race. I have been running a marathon relay race with myself. It really started long ago, but the past 3 years have been the hardest of my race. I have faced obstacles, challanges, and pain. I have faced each roadblock and found a way to keep going. I can not only see the end to this journey but I can feel that this will be the end of my journey. I will be able to finally close this chapter on my life and start a new.

The next two weeks are my last before my term starts again. I have my schedule planned out by the hour of each day from now until then delicately balancing work, study and self. I have prepared myself mentally to start the sprint on August 29th. When I wake up that morning I will start running fast and hard.  I will not look back, I will not look left or right. I will have my head down, my eyes focused on knowing the end is around the corner. I will have my days and nights planned. I will have each hour of my day filled with a task to be completed. I will check off each task, each hour, each day. I know that no matter what I will keep going. When I feel my body, getting weak. When I feel my muscles screaming for oxygen and rest. I will answer the call with “almost done”.

I will hear the cheers of support from all of you as I pass. I will feel the love and support from you along my journey.

I know that this will be it for me.

 

what would you say?

I am loved….some may say ‘spoiled’… Some may say other things…. I say that I am loved. I work hard for the little that I have. I appreciate all that is given to me. I count each blessing that is blessed upon me.

We each walk a path that leads us on our adventure of life. Speed bumps, detours, road closures may find a way on to your path…it’s how you handle each obstacle that makes you the person you are meant to be. Blessing others when you can with wisdom, help, or love is just a small part. Learning to ask for help, accept help and then in-turn help another is another part.

I accept the path that I am on and I will keep moving forward. Learning along the way, and making sure that I am forever changing into the person I should be.

Be kind to yourself and each other…

Here it is::

Q: if you could go back and tell your 16, 18, 21 or 25 year old self a bit of wisdom, piece of advice what would it be?