moms to motorcycles

Celebrating the little things in life through struggles, hardships, and challenges with God, kids, motorcycles, and everything in between!

Archive for the month “April, 2013”

Just Breathe

IMG_4901      Breathe…in…out…in…out…breathe.  Seems simple doesn’t it?  To…just breathe.  God made it so our bodies will automatically breathe without our intentional thought…without having to tell ourselves to breathe in and out…to breathe that life-giving breath.

In 2002, I was diagnosed with Clinical Depression and PTSD (Post traumatic Stress Disorder) and a Panic Disorder Without Agoraphobia.   What this all means is that I have a chemical imbalance in my brain that causes my depression.  Also some traumatic event in my life has caused me to endure flashbacks and severe stress which is the PTSD.  (This is also a disorder that a lot of military veterans are diagnosed with after coming back from war, and let me just say right now that whatever I have went through in my life will never compare with what our military men have endured.)  The third thing, the panic disorder without agoraphobia, means that my body will start to panic or have a panic attack when confronted with certain things in my life.  The “without agoraphobia” just means that I can go outside or open spaces without fear or panic.

When I have a panic attack, my whole world spins out of control.  I can’t breathe. I can’t think. Sometimes I start to choke due to lack of breath.  I get weak and shake uncontrollably.  More often than not, I have severe chest pains, and I have literally passed out before.  Seems silly, doesn’t it?  I wish it were just silliness, but it’s a very real thing.  I have to literally tell myself to breathe…to calm down…breathe in…breathe out….in…out…

I have a charm bracelet that I cherish very much with all of my interests hanging from it.  One of the charms is just a little flat silver oval that says “breathe” and a tiny brown stone hangs from the bottom.  Believe it or not, I have had to hold onto this charm to remind myself to breathe.  To breathe.  To breathe.  And admittedly, that tiny little charm has helped me keep a level head, because if you can control your breathing, you can come out of an attack a little easier.

One time I was in therapy talking through an extremely bad part of my life with the therapist and I felt like the room was getting smaller.  The room was caving in and everything was getting fuzzy and black around the edges.  I knew I was panicking and I wanted to run.  I had never panicked in front of anyone but my husband before.  I reached down and grabbed my bracelet charm and just the feel of something solid reminded me to breathe and exhale.  The room went back to its original size.  I had found something to calm me and I realized that sometimes we do just need a physical reminder to take in oxygen and not hold our breath.

The God-given gift of breathing has to have a reminder…ironic isn’t it?  But it’s true. To those of us who suffer with anxiety…it’s very true.

Genesis 2:7

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
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Wall of Fear

Fear of Failure. Fear of the Unknown. Fear of Death. Fear of Spiders, Heights, Clowns, etc. Absolutely everyone has some sort of fear. Just by saying this, I know it evokes an imagery in your brain of your worst fear.  I could talk about my “fear” of clowns right here (brought on by Stephen King’s IT), but there is something that can and sometimes will be more debilitating than just a fear of a big red nose and gnarly hair.  I have a “Wall of Fear”.  This “Wall” prevents me from doing numerous activities, projects, etc.  I sometimes think that “Wall” prevents me from success.

So…what do I mean by this?  Well, it’s like me starting my blog.  I have so many ideas in my head that are conjured up by only God himself, but I just can’t drive myself to sit down and pound out another page.  I hit the “Wall”.  I have a fear of the possibility of this getting big, a fear of it not getting big, a fear of saying something I shouldn’t, a fear of saying something I should, and so on and so forth.  The Wall.  I’ve quit doing some very important projects just because I have run smack dab into that Wall.

So…what do you do now?  If you have ever suffered from depression, you know that even the most anticipated activities in your life become dreaded and more often than not, something you don’t even show up for because…of your depression.  If you continue to do this, your life turns into nothing but a hole…a deep, dark hole.  So one of the hardest things we have to do with depression is to…just…go.  Do it!  Make an effort.  Sometimes a huge effort is needed, but nonetheless…make that effort!  I have literally had to force myself (or my husband has) to get ready to go somewhere with tears (and fears) and physically pull myself to standing to get going.

So…this is what I have to do with the Wall of Fear.  Physically, mentally, and yes, spiritually fight through it, over it, or around it…whatever gets me there.  Over that wall.  The hardest part is starting.  The rest gets easier.  And sometimes the rest is so enjoyable that you wonder why in the world you allowed something to ever get in your way!  Just like the walls of Jericho, the wall will come tumbling down!  Thank God!  THE WALL will become…the wall.  Instead of climbing breathlessly over it, you will be able to just step over it, then you will turn around and see that it truly never was a wall.  It was just a stupid stumbling block put there to tear you down one brick at a time.

Riding to be Free

My first bike

What does it take for you to feel free?  Truly free?  Well…what is freedom anyway?

For me, freedom means contentment.  Freedom means peace…true inner peace.  Freedom is that feeling of being able to breathe without thinking about the “what ifs”.

One of my most treasured pleasures, besides my kids and Billy, is riding a motorcycle.  I started riding at the end of the summer in 2008.  By the following summer in 2009, my husband and I went on my first road trip that was approximately 1800 miles round trip to visit my family.

My first bike was a beautiful cherry red 1992 Kawasaki that my husband rebuilt.  I was so proud of that bike.  She was mine!  She was also very light in the Kansas wind, so needless to say, I got whipped around quite a bit, but I digress.

My second bike was a Harley.  A 1993 Harley Sportster that rode like a bucking bronco.  By the time you rode 20 miles down the road, your hands were bright red and itching like you’d just grabbed a handful of stinging nettle.  But wow, was that a different feeling of raw power…a Harley.  On a Sportster, you ride the bike.  You have to concentrate to control the bike.  It’s hard to explain unless you have ridden before.  This was also the bike I rode those grueling 1800 miles (with some major breaks in between).

My third bike…yes, my third bike, was and is a 2005 Harley Dyna Superglide Custom.  She’s deep red and chromed out and rides down the road like the wind blowing through the trees.  True freedom.  You get on and kick her into high gear and….leave all your worries behind.  Ride into the wind.  Forget your struggles.  Live…and…breathe……Sound cliche?  Well….anyone who owns and actually rides their Harley can tell you that riding is the best therapy you can get.  Wind therapy.  Road therapy.  Not one person can bother you, complain to you, rag on you when you are on your bike…It’s just you, your bike, and God!  If you only knew how often I sang at the top of my lungs “hallelujah’s” to the Lord!

My answer to all of the women, and men, for that matter, who “just need a break” or are headed to a deep, dark depression because of their inability to “just breathe” is ride…ride like the wind.  Everything will still be there when you get back.  The bickering, yelling, arguing, whining, and neverending work will still be there.  Yep.  And I’m so glad, because they are my family and I love them with all of my being.  But sometimes…I just need a break.  A motorcycle break….

Oh the joys…

In my first post, I commented that my hubby had an emergency appendectomy.  Well, it wouldn’t have been an emergency if he would have listened to his own mother…or his wife (that would be me)….but no…he waited, like most men I know.  Anyways, we head to the ER on a warm Sunday morning.  Did I mention he was suppose to preach for our pastor who was on vacation that week?  No?  Yep…he was doing the church service.  Well, that went out the window along with a lot of other things.

We quickly tell our other two kids that we are leaving, load up the little guy, strap him into the car seat, and my hubby…ok, his name is Billy…gets into the driver seat. Yep.  He drives himself to the ER!  After a long hour of driving, we get into the room and as I sit down to await the terrible news, my ornery boy promptly stands on my lap and pushes the CODE BLUE button!  AH!   A great start to an already fabulous day.  Thank the Lord he wasn’t strong enough to push it totally in.  No rushing nurses or doctors this time for a false alarm.

As the day progresses, we get the devastating news that yes, it is his appendix, and yes, he will have surgery.  Stage left…I go to change the little guy in the bathroom only to find that he has pooped clear up his back and neck.  Well, guess what?  Didn’t think to grab that extra pair of clothes “in…case…of…emergency.”  I promptly drive to the local Walmart and purchase clothes, socks, more diapers, and wipes seeing as how I used up what I had to give him a “bath”.  Just imagine the looks I received walking in with a naked baby only wearing his coat and a diaper.  Oh well, if you are a mother, you understand.

Oh the joys…

Try keeping a several month old boy busy while waiting several hours for surgery, recovery, and eventually time in a hospital room.  Needless to say, my other two kids took care of mom the rest of the evening once we arrived home.

My kids. My miracles

Image

I am a mother of three beautiful children.  Each one of them are miracles from God.  I’m not just saying this like any other parent.  They are true miracles.  I wasn’t suppose to have babies.  But, long story short, here they are!  Our oldest, our only daughter, was such a true blessing!  The one that proved that God was sovereign and that He didn’t need man telling Him that something wasn’t possible. Our first son, the middle child, our second miracle, in more ways than one.  Even with an uneventful pregnancy with him, we nearly lost him at birth.  That story is a whole other blog.  Then SEVERAL years later our second son, our go getter!  I’m older and more tired, but God gives me the strength to keep up.  I think…

So, this is what I tell myself on days like this where I just want to tear my hair out and scream.  That my kids are miracles.  Why then, do I feel like giving up sometimes?  Does there need to be a particular reason why?  Just because…I’m tired.

Just one week ago, my dear husband had an emergency appendectomy.  That was the first time in our twenty years of marriage that I have seen him in a hospital bed.  I am the unhealthy one who has pushed the “in sickness and in health” from our marriage vows to it’s ultimate test!  Not my husband!  I was panicked.  What would I do without him?  What would I do if he didn’t make it?  How could I possibly raise our kids without him?  Wow!  What a scare!  But here it is seven days later, and he’s back to work. Yep, already.  He’s strong and determined. And God showed me that He is still in control.

Now what? I guess I sit here and wait for my little guy to wake up and the chase will begin again.

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