Tag Archives: depression

For a Friend

For a Friend

Welcome Back!

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

It all started a few days ago.  

I was writing on my laptop, enjoying my first cup of coffee, when I heard something in the other room.  It sounded like something was hitting the window.  

 

I walked into the family room to check it out, and sure enough, a robin was repeatedly flying into the window.  The minute it saw my reflection it flew away.  

 

I was relieved it hadn’t hurt itself and went back to my writing.

 

No sooner had I returned to my laptop, when I heard the same persistent sound again.

 

Bang……..………..…(wait for it)………………..Bang…………..(and again)……………… Bang!  

 

I walked back into the room and the robin flew away again.  

I thought:   “Geez, poor bird.  It’s gonna hurt itself.”

 

I figured by now this bird must’ve realized it keeps hitting something hard and obviously impermeable and finally flew away somewhere else.   

 

I went back to my writing.  And, I kid you not, within minutes, it started again.

 

Seriously?!?!  

I was shocked.  How could a bird be that stupid…or that stubborn???  Then I recalled hearing stories about how an animal’s instincts can cause it to repeat behavior over and over, even if it results in physical injury or worse.

 

And we’ve all heard the quote:

“Doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results is the definition of Insanity!!”

 

WTHeck!?!? I didn’t have the time, energy or desire to deal with an insane robin!

Every time I walked into the room, it would fly away… but, it would come right back and keep doing the same stupid Banging!!

 

I couldn’t keep walking in and out of the family room all day.  

 

So, I observed its behavior from a vantage point where it couldn’t see me.  

There’s a tree next to the window, and this robin sits on its branch and then takes a header into the window… knocks itself silly and then does it again!!!

 

I wasn’t sure how to help this poor bird, so I tried a few ideas:

 

  • I taped some foil to the window— this didn’t help, it just moved to a different section of the window!

  • Then I designed a replica of myself (like a scarecrow) using chairs, pillows, blankets, etc— this didn’t help.  I added a fan to give the materials some movement— no help!!

  • Then I cut-off the branch it was sitting on— it just moved to another branch! (I thought about cutting down the whole tree, but deep down I knew that wouldn’t help either.)

  • I screamed at it: “What is WRONG with you… are you TRYING to kill yourself!?!?”— no help.

  • Then I opened the window (which has a screen)— Voila, this seemed to help, but we’ve been having a lovely winter this spring and the house was getting a bit chilly (considering the 19* temps outside) so I ultimately closed the window.

By this time it was dusk and Thank Goodness the silly bird retired for the evening!!

 

The next morning I’d forgotten all about the bird until… it started AGAIN!!!

Bang………………………………..Bang………………………………….Bang!

 

WoW!!! It certainly was a consistent little bugger.

 

This time I tied up the window-blind strings and positioned the fan to blow them around. And the Good News is, it seemed to solve the problem.

 

There is just one issue.  This contraption has to be turned on constantly until dusk.  If I forget to turn it on… I am reminded by a persistent:

 

Bang……………… ……………..Bang………………………………….Bang!

And I know there may come a day when this latest fan/string contraption won’t help anymore and I fear finding that bird lying dead under the tree.

 

This whole ordeal has really ruffled my feathers.

No, I am serious!  

 

It is unnerving to try and help another when their behavior is going to hurt them (or worse), and most of your intervention does absolutely nothing .

 

The moments when I waited to see if a new preventative method worked, were absolutely grueling.  My heart would sink (& I’d inevitably feel like a failure) every time I’d hear the Banging start-up again.

 

The very worst letdown was when I thought I’d finally helped, because things quieted down… but then inevitably it would start again.

 

I’m always looking for the silver lining, or lesson learned from facing challenges in life.

And this situation unfortunately mirrored the greatest challenge we all face as human beings:

   The pain and frustration we feel

by watching those we Love

repeat behaviors

that hurt them or can eventually kill them.

 

The hardest thing to endure it to stand-by helplessly.  

And yet that is all you can do.  

Because if they want to Bang into that window… They will… And there’s nothing you can do to stop them.

 

Lesson 101 in loving someone, who is actively engaging in harmful behaviors… is to know there is very little you can do.  It is up to them if they want to change or stop.

We. All. Have. Free. Will.

 

These past few days I learned some important reminders.  

 

Here are some things you can do:

  • You do what you can to help.

  • You realize there is no magic wand to make it all better (no matter how much you beg, scream, cry, plead, wish, hope or pray).

  • You learn to live with your feeling of helplessness.

  • You accept you have no control over another’s Free Will.  You surrender trying to impose yours.

  • You eventually Let Go (and let God).

  • You remember to take care of yourself.

… a little birdie told me so!  

 

 

Keep It Simple, Keep It Real

Keep It Simple, Keep It Real

Welcome Back!

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

 

Keep it Simple…. Keep it Real.  

Sounds easy, huh??  Well, turns out (sometimes) it’s not so easy.  

Sometimes we become trapped by the Illusions of Life, and it’s hard to break free.

 

I recently had a birthday.

And like many people, my birthday’s not just a time to indulge in  

the-once-a-year-guilt-free-dark-chocolate-cake-n-mint-chocolate-chip-ice cream

it’s also a time for self-reflection.

 

This year I reflected upon the importance of “Keeping it Simple and Real”.  

Reminding myself to slow down and strive for clarity, balance and harmony.  

And remembering, sometimes the challenges in our lives, often teach us the best lessons.

 

I was a newlywed during the Reagan Era and was swooped-up into the,

More Is Better Mentality.  

Reaganomics resulted in the greatest Wall Street Bull Market since the 1920s.  

It was an Era of Great Prosperity… generating more wealth, for American families, than any other time in US History!!

 

And in keeping with Madonna’s (1985) mega-hit “Material Girl”… my lifestyle mirrored the relevant lyrics of the time:

Cause we are living in a material world

And I am a material girl

 

I checked ALL the boxes:

  • Town & Country McMansion 
  • Luxury Cars
  • Country Club Memberships
  • Black-tie Galas
  • Exclusive Resort Vacations
  • More & More & More!!

So, what insight did I gain from acquiring so much stuff during the 80s???

#1.  It was exhausting.

#2.  It made life chaotic, complicated and confusing!

#3.  Sometimes material things become a replacement for the

        more meaningful things in life.  

 

About a decade ago…there was one day that clearly put it all into perspective for me:

 

I was at a stop light and looked at the woman in the car next to me.  

She was lovely and had a look of luxury.  

Her hair perfectly coiffed, awesome sunglasses, expensive jewelry

and she had that confident smile and overall look of contentment.  

I noticed she was driving a Mercedes-Benz

and made a mental note to myself:

 

“Of course she’s HAPPY…

she’s living the dream in her fancy Mercedes,

with all of her  fancy “things”…”

 

In contrast, I felt worn-out, stressed, empty….

genuinely wanting.

It was easy for me to believe she had what I needed.

And as the light turned green, and I glanced back to the road ahead of me…

I noticed the Mercedes-Benz symbol on my own steering wheel

of my brand-new car.

 

Turns out for me, More wasn’t Better and Fancy things weren’t the answer!

 

Shortly after that day of reckoning…

I was faced with a choice between the two (material things or meaningful things), and I handed them all over in exchange for ___________.  

   (You Name It… Just Fill-in-the-Blank)

 Freedom

  Harmony

Reality

Clarity

Peace

                                                                          Truth

                                                                            Etc…

 

I handed it all back to the hollow person I shared that life with… (on a Silver Platter in fact, LoL) and I had No Regrets.

 

All of those Things were just providing smoke n’ mirrors to create an illusion and confuse me into believing, it was a Good Life…

when the truth was, I was in an empty relationship and I wasn’t living my life authentically.

I longed for something simple and real.

 

Don’t get me wrong… some people can live that exclusive “Town & Country Lifestyle”,

authentically and happily  (or at least I think they do??)…

it just wasn’t a good fit for me.  

It all became a band-aid and distraction to cover-up what was really missing…

what was truly important.

 

Of course, I still love pretty things and adventurous travel… But, I feel (at this ripe old age) the Bridges I’ve crossed have helped me to finally arrive Back  Home

Full Circle, where I belong, where I want to be.

 

Ironically, my sister sent me this Birthday Card which pretty much sums it up!!

.  

 

Keep It Simple, Keep It Real & Smile Along The Way!!!

 

Alcoholism & The Family (With Honesty and Knowledge Comes the Power of Healing and Forgiveness)

Alcoholism & The Family (With Honesty and Knowledge Comes the Power of Healing and Forgiveness)

Welcome Back!

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

I grew up in the late 60s and early 70s.  

It was a magical time.  

It was The Wonder Years.

 

In our typical suburban neighborhood, the newly built split-level houses and perfectly manicured (un-fenced) lawns lined up like dominoes.

Everything looked pretty darn pristine and idyllic.

 

And summers were the best.

 

The teenage girls sunbathed in the backyards (baby oil & all), while the boys played hoops against nets bolted above garage doors.

The rest of us kids, just ran from sprinkler to sprinkler and played endless yard games like, What Time Is It Mr. Fox and Capture the Flag.

Moms were busy making meatloaf dinners, JELL-O mold desserts & ironing in front of the TV while watching their favorite daytime shows.  

Then right around dinnertime, most of the dads rolled up in their Granada Gold or Grecian Green Chevy Impalas.

 

If a neighbor hosted a barbecue, the lighter fluid flowed over the charcoal briquettes as freely as the beer, wine, and mixed drinks flowed in every adult’s glass.  

It was the era of Canadian Club and Whiskey Sours.  Most parents were never without a cold cocktail in one hand and a lit cigarette in the other.

 

Life was predictable.

 

Kids played.

 

Parents smoked and drank.   

 

And if there were problems in your family, in your home… no one seemed to care about addressing them.  Especially during the summers.  Everyone was overjoyed to simply bask in the carefree warmth of the sunshine.  

 

I adored the distraction of summer and absolutely dreaded the isolating cold, darkness of winter.  Because, that was when the pain of my family’s problems weren’t so easy to ignore.

I figured everyone’s parents drank a lot… But it wasn’t clear if their drinking caused the same intensity of problems.  

 

In fact, it wasn’t until the late-80s, when I first realized my dad was an Alcoholic.  

 

It was 1987 and I was teaching high school.  Educational programs on Addiction Awareness were just starting to be included in the curriculum.  We began teaching students about Alcoholism and the ripple effects in the family.  

All the teachers had to attend a mandatory In-Service on the disease.  

As I sat there, in a dark room watching a movie about Alcoholism and the Dynamics within the Family… it was the first time I’d ever heard of the term ACoA (Adult Child Of An Alcoholic). The acronym that would prove to describe me so well.

 

That moment was pivotal.  Suddenly everything came into focus.  

 

The extreme behavior my dad had exhibited my whole life… from his flash temper to his unpredictable rage.  The excessive, inappropriate physical affection to extremely cruel psychological mind games.  The betrayal and infidelity.  His extreme success and equally extreme failure at work.  

 

Everything seemed to be explained  by his drinking.

 

His addiction to alcohol produced a ripple effect of disfunction in our family.

For example, my mom’s emotional frailty revealed itself  in ongoing depression and anxiety.  And because everything around me was so out-of-control, I felt like I had to be as good and perfect as possible.  

It was like being on an airplane and both the pilot and co-pilot were incapacitated and completely unable to fly the plane.  So, I believed I had to be really well-behaved or else we’d all crash and burn.

 

So, why was my dad’s alcoholism so hard to diagnose?

 

Partly, because Family Dysfunction was never talked about or discussed during The Wonder Years…  But there were many other reasons too.

 

For example, he had a job with a very flexible schedule that helped mask his addiction. His workday started around noon and ended very late…usually at one of his favorite bars.

There were many nights (well after midnight) my mom would get me out of bed and sitting at the kitchen table, with an open phonebook… she’d dial the bar’s number and I would ask the bartender if my dad was there.

When we’d finally track him down, it was my job to ask him to come home.

Then I would lie awake until I heard the garage door open and the fighting begin, because then I knew he was home safely and I could finally fall back asleep.

The next morning he’d sleep in late to recover from the heavy drinking the night before.  He’d clean-up, get neatly dressed in his crisp white shirt, tie and “Don Draper-esque” suit… and begin his work day, once again, looking quite handsome and well put together.  

 

Another reason was because back then, we believed Alcoholics were unemployed, creepy old men lying drunk in a gutter of some back alleyway.  And he didn’t fit the picture of a drunk mess.

In fact, he was just the opposite.  

My dad was blessed with an amazing, funny, outgoing, entertaining, charming and charismatic personality.  And when he drank,  it produced a remarkable synergistic effect…

He. Was. The. Life. Of. The. Party!  

The downside was, he could also be a very angry, sinister, and cruel sober…but few people saw this side of my father.

 

This is not about bashing my dad.  

 

I Love My Dad.  

 

He has a disease.  

When I was a kid, his disease was pretty bad & he was a pretty shitty dad. Back then things were out of control, but now things are better.  

 

And that’s what this story is really about:  How Things Can Get Better And Not Worse.

 

He and my mom have really evolved into the loving, caring, great people I always knew they had the potential to be.  They just had to fight a lot of demons to get here.  And I couldn’t be more proud of them.  

It seemed the older my parents got, the weaker their demons got.  

I know it doesn’t work that way for a lot of people.  The truth is, they were lucky.  And even though they occasionally have to still fight those demons… they just keep on fighting to make things better.  

And this year they’ll celebrate their 61rst Wedding Anniversary.

 

I wanted to clearly identify the reality that even though everything looked pretty darn pristine and idyllic during The Wonder Years, some of us were being raised in a spectrum of dysfunction on many levels.  

And, sometimes it took decades to gain the knowledge to figure out what was wrong.  

 

I believe true healing can finally occur

when the source of the dysfunction is recognized:

With Honesty and Knowledge Comes the Power of Healing and Forgiveness

 

Unmasking my dad’s struggle with alcoholism was the beginning of me finding my way back home.  To the place I had always longed to be:  Safe

 

I discovered the following Bridges to help me get there;

  • I went to my first Al-Anon meeting when I was 25   

  • My family and I attended a wonderful intensive counseling program called “Concerned Persons”

  • I read tons of books on the subject.  My favorite author is Melody Beattie

  • I try to be patient with myself and my parents

 

This may no longer be The Wonder Years, but we’ve come full circle.  

We now know every home, every family, probably has some dysfunction… unfortunately that is a fact of life.  

The good news is, we can still make Our Years Wonderful by learning how to identify the problems and take action to make things better and not worse.

 

Have you found your Bridges  Back home after a living through a challenging dysfunction in your childhood??

Please share your story in the comments to help others…

 

 

Surviving Winter (Drowning In A Snow Globe)

Surviving Winter (Drowning In A Snow Globe)

Welcome Back!

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

 

Seriously.  It’s not even February and I am already sick of winter.  

 

It seems wherever I’m living on God’s Green Earth… it is encased in ice, snow and freezing temperatures 5 months out of the year.  

 

I will admit winter’s first snowfall is magical… beautiful… I even welcome it.  

 

The morning I wake-up and see everything covered in a blanket of pure pristine snow, is as exciting as it was when I was a kid.  

 

But the older I get, the faster my tolerance for these long winters fades.

 

 

I’ve come to think of Winter as Cousin Eddie from Family Vacation.  

You know, that annoying relative (you love & hate) that comes to visit every year.  

 

You’re actually glad to see him when he first arrives.  He’s kind of fun and exciting…                  a refreshing change of pace from your day to day routine.

 

When you’re a kid, Cousin Eddie is the Best!  You can’t wait til he arrives and you can get out there and play with him.  Sometimes you wish he could even stay longer cause he’s just so much fun.

 

And then the older you get, the less enchanting Cousin Eddie’s visits become.  

 

He’s nice at first…but then he quickly gets on your nerves.  

 

He seems to make Everything harder.  

 

Having Cousin Eddie around changes your whole lifestyle. You have to bundle-up, clean off the car, scrape it off, heat it up, shovel, buy bags of ice-melt, and spend your life savings on the heating bill instead of a vacation to Hawaii.  

 

Suddenly you’re taking your life into  your hands just driving to the store to buy a tube of toothpaste.  A simple stroll down to your mailbox, requires you to dress as if you were setting out to reach the Summit of Mount Everest.

Some days Cousin Eddie’s presence is so obtrusive, he’ll even makes it impossible for you to leave the house.

 

He’s supposed to leave by March….but NOOOOOO…. Eddie just can’t seem to pack-up and go that easily.  He delays his departure a few weeks and before you know it… he’s still hanging around in April.  And then it seems like, just as quickly as he arrives… he’s gone.  

 

One day you realize Cousin Eddie left. WOOHOO!!

 

Then you panic and worry for a moment that he might return….

but no, it’s good…

he is G.O.N.E.!!  

 

Or at least until his next visit.

 

Whew, what a relief.  Your life returns back to an easy breezy lifestyle.  Birds are singing, flowers are blooming and the warm air never smelled so fresh and sweet.

 

After a couple months Cousin Eddie seems like a distant memory.  And you’ve forgotten how awful and annoying he was.  You just remember his good points… after all, he is a refreshing change.

 

Here’s some Bridges to help you during Cousin Eddie’s visit this winter:

 

  • Stay Healthy

Eddie is 100x more annoying if you’re sick.  So, eat well, get rest and remind everyone in the house about the importance of good handwashing!

 

 

  • Ignore Him

Eddie doesn’t need to run the show, or ruin your day.  Remember you’re in charge of what you do and how you feel.  

 

  • Embrace Him

Eddie’s not leaving for a while so try to make the best out of it.  Learn to do things with him like; skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, ice skating, etc…

Get Cozy…Drink Hot Toddies in front of a roaring fire!

 

 

  • Have A Party

Invite some friends over to meet Eddie. You can plan a fun party on one of the special days during his visit: Super Bowl Sunday, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter.  Have plenty of great food and drink, play some great music… Everyone loves a party!!

 

 

Before you know it, Cousin Eddie will be gone!

 

And next year when Cousin Eddie shows up on your doorstep, he’ll be looking pretty good and you may even decide to bundle up and go out and play with him for a while.

 

What are some bridges you use to tolerate Cousin Eddie’s visit???

 

 

 

After The Good Times

After The Good Times

Welcome Back!

 

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

EVERYONE Loves a Good Time… a party, vacation, the HOLIDAYS!!!

 

And some of us have a hard time after the Good Time… when everyone’s gone home and all that’s left to do is clean-up the mess.

 

Christmas is my favorite!!  The world of fun and joy opens right up during the weeks before Christmas.  Our house is filled with the sound of non-stop Christmas carols,  the aroma of Ginger Snap cookies baking in the oven, colorfully wrapped presents under the tree,  twinkling lights, and simply beautiful holiday decorations all around.

 

The anticipation of The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year is sometimes more excitement than I
can bare.
And vacations are the best!!  But when we get back home, there’s usually a pile of mail and heaps and heaps of dirty laundry.  Truth is, it is much more fun to pack your suitcase for a vacation, rather than empty it after you’ve returned back home.
 
So, how can we best navigate the transition from the Good Time to Back Home?  What are some Bridges that can help us achieve a more pleasant, and smooth RE-ENTRY?

 

 
I personally struggle to find those answers.  I’m the girl that actually kept her Christmas tree up until mid-February one year.  I just couldn’t bare to see it end.  So right before Valentines Day, I finally Took Down Christmas and quickly redecorated the house with festive hearts and cupids.

 

 
One of my closest friends has her tree un-decorated and at the curb by Christmas night.  Everything Christmas is cleaned up and put away until next year, all in less than 24 hours after “down the chimney St. Nicholas came with abound.”  There’s not even a crumb of a Christmas cookie or a strand of tinsel left behind.

 

I also had a neighbor that put an (electric) “Candle” in each window during Christmas and kept them up (and lit in the evenings) until Easter.  I actually loved seeing the candle’s glow throughout the long winter and into the spring… I thought it was a very cozy, warm touch.

 

 Those are only some extreme examples of how people approach transitioning from the Good Times to Back Home. Everyone handles things differently… in their own way… everyone has their own comfort zone.  And it would appear a healthy, balanced approach to transitioning lies somewhere in-between the extremes.
 
Ever since I was a little girl, I always loved a Good Time when people were happy and having fun… so transition was never easy for me.  Therefore, I have been working hard to navigate a healthier approach to Re-entry and have discovered some helpful Bridges.

 

 Be Mindful when you are Preparing for the Good Time

 

It’s a lot of fun when it’s a family event opening up 10 storage boxes of Christmas decorations, and everyone wants to cut down the biggest tree in the forest and after we’ve all hung our favorite ornaments in just the right spot, begins the excitement of who’ll get the honor of placing the Star on top… all while festive Christmas carols play in the background.

Then it comes time to Take Down Christmas and no one is the least bit interested in helping.  So, there you’ll be… most likely all alone, with no “Jolly Old Saint Nick” serenading you in the background.  Also, remember, the size of the tree is directly proportionate to the endless amounts of pine needles you’ll be vacuuming up until June.

Therefore, be mindful as to what (and how much) you put up during the Holidays… because chances are, it will not be as much fun (nor will you have much help) taking it down.

That goes for packing for a vacation as well.  PACK LIGHT.  The experts say “Pack your suitcase with everything you think you’ll need…and then take half of it out.”

There will be less laundry to face when you return, and emptying your suitcase won’t feel like an overwhelming task if it’s not bursting at the seams.

 

Be Patient and Kind to Yourself

 

Don’t be too hard on yourself.  Give yourself a day or two (if you can) to readjust after the Good Time.  Once you’ve gotten your energy back and reacclimated… then set up a reasonable plan.  Decide on manageable tasks you can accomplish in a reasonable amount of time.  Once you start checking off these tasks, you’ll start feeling efficient and will easily build the momentum to complete RE-ENTRY.

 

Home Sweet Home

 

Even though I love a Good Time as much as anyone… there’s nothing like Home Sweet Home.  Routine is so soothing.  There is peace and comfort that comes when everything is back to our version of normal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My wise Spanish Grandmother had the perfect saying  about those

Good Times”

she always said:

“Noches Alegres, Mañana Triste”

 

 

 Please take a moment and share the Bridges you use for a smooth transition for the Good Times to Back Home in the comment section below.

 

Navigating Through a Miscarriage

Navigating Through a Miscarriage

Welcome Back!

 

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

This post is for those facing the changes and challenges that come with Miscarriage.  If this doesn’t pertain to you, please pass it on to someone it can help.

 

This post illuminates my personal journey Back Home after a miscarriage.  My children are all from my first marriage, and this story begins back then.    Almost 20 years later, it is still hard to revisit the roller-coaster of emotions.

 

When does life start?  When is the life one is carrying considered a “baby” ?

 

The answers to these question differ from person to person.  

 

 For me, it is the minute I find out that I am pregnant.  At that moment, I have already included this precious little soul completely into my life.

 I have embraced its presence as a member of our family… allowing myself to daydream about everything from its first birthday party to all the other lifetime milestones we will share.

 

My Story:

This baby was especially exciting for me.  My husband and I had once shared the desire to have a big family, but after two children, he decided our family was complete.  However, I did not agree.  I felt deep in my heart that our family was not complete, and finally convinced him we were meant to have at least one more child.

It was a sunny autumn day, I was in my second-trimester and we brought the boys to my check-up to hear the baby’s heartbeat.  I was excited to have our sons (ages 3 & 9)  hear the miracle of their tiny sibling’s heartbeat.

The doctor came into the room, and as she put the special speaker stethoscope on my belly, she asked how my pregnancy was going.  I was very proud to tell her it was just perfect!  

I felt great, my “baby-bump” was bigger than expected (she had just measured it at TWO weeks ahead of schedule) and I joked that this baby was probably going to be much bigger than his two brothers were.

The boys were busily chatting with their dad & I waited for the heartbeat “whoosh-whoosh” sound, which I knew would quickly get their attention.  The doctor finally said she was having trouble picking up a heartbeat.  

I confidently replied, “You will.  It’s there… just move the stethoscope around a little.”  But, to my bewilderment, she put the stethoscope away while mentioning something about fetal movement.  She said even though everything was probably fine, she was ordering an Ultrasound just to make sure.

I didn’t know what to think.  I was convinced if she had just tried to find the baby’s heartbeat a little longer, we’d hear it loud & clear.                                                                                                                                                    Instead, we were getting a sitter to stay with the boys and heading to an Ultrasound appointment.

At this point, I wasn’t one bit concerned for the baby.  This pregnancy had proven to be my easiest one yet.  Other than being tired in the beginning months, I had quickly regained my energy and was feeling healthy and strong.  

I was actually excited to get a “peek” at our little one and was hoping to bring home a new, updated sonogram photo to show the boys and put up on our refrigerator next to the first one.  

 

That photo (seen above) was taken at the very beginning of my pregnancy & the baby was just a tiny shadow.  But, by now the baby would be so much bigger & we might be lucky enough to even find out if it was a boy or girl.

And then the bough broke.  The Ultrasound technician said there was No heartbeat.

My baby was Not alive and a part of me died right there and then as well.

That is when the roller coaster started the climb up the first hill.

Shock was the first emotion I felt… quickly followed by denial.  This could Not be true!  This baby IS healthy and strong!  I would have KNOWN if something was wrong!  

It made NO sense.  The baby had to be alive!  How could I have not known the exact moment that my baby had died right inside me???

Then guilt rushed in.  What did I do wrong?  Didn’t I eat right, rest enough, exercise enough, pray enough?  Why did God let this happen?  Why wasn’t our family meant to have this precious baby?  What did we do wrong?  What did I do wrong?

Then deep, deep sadness.

My parents came into town to help with the boys during this time.  There were a couple days I was pretty out of it.  I cried a lot, especially in the shower when my body was still obviously pregnant, but my mind had to accept that I wasn’t….that my baby was gone.  And the truth is… it was going to take time for my body and mind to accept and adjust.

It was going to take time to get Back  Home.

And I had no idea how to find the Bridges to help me get there.

The good news was the boys really didn’t understand the depth of our loss and I was grateful, they we’re able to move on quickly.  

The bad news was my husband didn’t share my beliefs or emotions and he moved on immediately.  He insisted it was just a miscarriage and was happy we didn’t lose an actual baby.  He didn’t understand why I was making “such a big deal” out of it.

I tried to find strength and solace by forcing myself to live in the moment with my sweet fun-loving boys.  But, without the emotional support from my husband, I felt truly alone in mourning the loss of my sweet baby.

So, the first Bridge I searched for was the support and wisdom from those who had endured similar loss.  It was way before Google, so I started by opening up the phone book and making some phone calls.

I learned a lot from others.  

They shared ideas & told me the things they did to help themselves deal with their loss.  I took their advice… did a lot of the same things and was slowly finding my way Back  Home.

I started a journal, planted a tree, designed a piece of jewelry to wear and filled a memory box… all in memory of my baby.  

As I was writing this blog I decided to get that memory box out of storage and I opened it today for the first time in almost 20 years.

I also created a sweet card to thank those who were supportive.  Even though there was no longer a baby, I wanted them to have this card in the baby’s memory.  

 

The card included a little butterfly and a quote that gave me tremendous peace in my sadness.  The vision of imagining the baby I lost up in heaven (as a beautiful sweet butterfly) brought me great comfort.   

 

 

Everybody says the best remedy for loss is time and I will agree with that.  It took me a long time…

Six months after the miscarriage, my husband made an appointment for a vasectomy and I was devastated. I had always felt in my heart there was another soul… another baby we were meant to include in our family.  So, I brought up the topic of adoption, to which my husband immediately vetoed.  

It was about a week before the vasectomy appointment, when I got our miracle.  I was pregnant.  And after 9 long months of continuing that roller-coaster ride of joy and worry… I gave birth to a precious, beautiful, healthy and happy baby girl.  And the moment they put her in my arms I noticed a faint birthmark on her cheek in the shape of a butterfly.  

I believe our baby’s soul up in heaven had kissed her cheek, before she was sent to us…

to let us know

everything was going to be OK

and we were finally all  Back  Home.   

 

 

Do you have any suggestions to help others navigate through a miscarriage?

Please share below in the comment section.

Here are some helpful links to copy/paste into a browser

that may help those who are navigating a miscarriage find their

Bridges Back Home 

http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-loss/miscarriage-surviving-emotionally/

http://www.empowher.com/miscarriage/content/i-will-survive-life-after-miscarriage

http://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/information/leaflets/links/

 

Hellllloooooo……

Hellllloooooo……

Welcome to Bridges Back Home!!!!

My name is Lorilyn Bridges and I started this blog,  FB page and website to help people.

 

Life is forever changing. 

Changes = Challenges

 

These changes can be big or small, made by us or for us…

Controlled by us, others, or nature/climate and they can happen randomly.

 

Life is one amazing and wild ride.  Our journey is filled with many hills and valleys.  

 And the good news is we’re all in it together.

 

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

Identify your Back Home and the Bridges you use to get there!!

 

At BBH we are a community where you can celebrate your successes and failures, to help others along the way.  

And hopefully be enlightened as well!!

 

Welcome aboard!!

 Lorilyn