Feeling like a heathen as I pray to the Google gods

Changes are underfoot around here and if I am going to be completely honest change scares me. Ten years ago when this site was a wee infant things were different with Google and on the interwebs. I knew I needed to make some changes, but all of that was confirmed when I attended the Bloggy Conference at Cedar Point last weekend. The shiny new header you see above is the first of many changes and was probably the easiest.

Colors have meaning

I suffer from many invisible illnesses and the new colors reflect those causes near and dear to my heart.

When you have lung issues you have to stop what you are doing to take your meds.

The purple in my header stands for Fibromyalgia. I was diagnosed with it at the age of 23 after months of horrendous pain radiating down my legs that made it nearly impossible to walk.

The grey that makes up the inner part of the letters in Domestic Extraordinaire stand for asthma and allergies. If you have seen me on social media or know me in real life you know that Chronic Persistent Asthma and severe allergies have had a hold on me since February. I am getting better day-by-day as we get my asthma managed.

The teal stands for many things that I identify with and has been one of my favorite colors my whole life. (Feel free to ask me about my wine and teal bedroom from the early 90s, however don’t ask my mother about the wooden floor that I painted because it didn’t fit with my color scheme) Teal is the awareness color for anxiety, food allergies, sexual assault and PTSD.

Moving forward

In future posts I will share how I live with these invisible and sometimes visible illnesses. I will share stories of my life dealing with chronic illness with fun and laughter peppered in. Ways that I practice self care and lessons I have learned. I will be honest and transparent so that you know that you are not alone. And I’ll probably share lots of posts about Barney and Kevin our robot vacuum as we are always together.

I look forward to taking this journey with you and now I am off to fix some SEO issues and fix all the broken links that I will create by doing what Google wishes.

Wish me luck!

My fight with invisible illness and suicide

Did you know that September is National Suicide Prevention month and this week is National Suicide Prevention Week?

I’ve written about my own struggles with suicide before and why my tattoo is so important to me. You can read about it and the significance behind my breathe tattoo here.

I meant to share this information with you on Sunday and then again on Monday, but I couldn’t hit the publish button. You would think it would be easy to share since the words are already out there but there is such a stigma tied to suicide. People still share how it is so selfish and I didn’t feel right putting more words out there regarding voluntarily ending my life when so many others are dealing with the heartache of losing loved ones and all of their possessions.

The truth is that while I think about it, right now it isn’t in the forefront of my mind. Right now my health is improving and my reasons for being here are plenty. But we need to talk about it and not hushed tones after someone has taken their life or with an air of annoyance because an acquaintance has truthfully shared how they are feeling on a social network.

We NEED to talk about it. People are uneducated about mental health issues and many feel that a walk in the woods will help with depression better than going to a therapist and getting life saving medication. Thankfully we don’t tell asthmatics that they shouldn’t use their life saving medications to help keep their airways open and that we should just breathe in a better and more productive way. As an asthmatic I have to take many different medications to keep my lungs open and functioning. When you are seeing the rescue inhaler it is because I am having problems, you may not see the tightness in my chest or my labored breathing because I recognize the signs and treat the problem. Please don’t shun someone for taking medications for their depression, anxiety or any other mental health issue.

People don’t think of suicide as their first choice. When they are seriously considering suicide they have tried so many other things to bring that spark back into their life. They aren’t being selfish, they just see no other way out. Thankfully if you are feeling this way there is an inhaler of sorts you can use, you can call the Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Unlike your doctor who may tell you that everyone in life has stress or that things can’t be that bad, the Suicide Prevention Hotline has trained professionals to talk to you and to help you connect with local crisis centers.

The dialogue is there, we need to talk about this epidemic where one person is dying by suicide every 11.9 minutes in our country. In 2015 that resulted in over 11,000 preventable deaths.

I am worth it and so are you.

39.9

Celebrating 40 seems like such a milestone and if I’m being quite honest, I didn’t really believe I would ever be here. I thought that my whys would have been exhausted by now and that at 40 I would just been a memory.

Thirty-nine has been rough.

Thirty-nine has me humming “The Song that Never Ends” but with altered lyrics.

This is the year that doesn’t end.
It just goes on and on my friend.
I started living it, not knowing what it was
And I’ll continue living it forever just because,
This is the year that doesn’t’ end….

Earlier today I was going through my Facebook memories and saw a comment from a friend that grew up in the area that I live in. We met through blogging when she was preparing for gastric bypass surgery. I decided to click over to her page to let her know I was thinking of her all the while cursing Facebook’s algorithms because I never see updates from her. And that is when I discovered that shew passed away over year ago. Leaving behind her two young children, her husband and her beloved cats.

Thanks for that one last memorable kick to the crotch, Thirty-nine.

Looking back thirty-nine was the first year without him, was filled with health issues, had me resigning from my full time job, and losing two friends that I thought would be around forever.

Thirty-nine had her good moments. I’m sure years from now I will remember thirty-nine fondly as the year I learned how to live off of the sidelines, started to plan The Chicken’s wedding, and realized that life without kids in the empty nest with The Husband is fun.

And since we are being completely honest about thirty-nine, I hope that she brings me a 2017 NBA Eastern Conference Championship.

For my 40th birthday I would love nothing more than to give back and Red Nose Day does just that. It is a cause that speaks to my heart because I can tell the kids that it benefits that I get what they are going through.

I grew up poor in NE Ohio where we sometimes get knee deep snow in the wintertime. Where on the last day of thirty-nine it is a cold and rainy 62 degrees. So poor in NE Ohio has you losing your pet fish because your dad thought it would thaw out after they took the heater from your room when you were gone for a week in the winter and when you question your parents they joke and say things like “we don’t like the gas company.”

I don’t tell you these things to embarrass my mama or have you feel sorry for me, things happen and my parents worked tirelessly to make ends meet. I tell you this so that you know that this is something that speaks to me.

If you would like to help me celebrate my 40th birthday you can purchase a red nose at Walgreens for $1 and post a photo on Instagram or Facebook. Fifty cents of each nose is donated to Red Nose

I know this got a bit wordy, but if you stuck with me until the end I am so thankful.

Do you have any causes that are near and dear to your heart? I would love to hear about them in the comments.