29 Sep 13

I was sitting in the bathroom fighting back tears thinking, “What the hell have I gotten myself into?”.  I had pulled out my coursework from my A&P class in 2013 in hopes that it would all come back to me and my Human Biology class would be as seamless as school was to me previously but as I stared at the pages I realized that I was a very different person at that point in my life and that my mind just doesn’t seem capable of that right now.  The first time I went back to school, my daughter was 3 and my son was 6 weeks.  There was a fire under my ass like no other.  There was no failing.  I sent a message to my group chat, “I feel like I was a lot smarter back then and I can’t do this.”.  Knowing I probably wouldn’t get a sincere response, if any at all, I went back to the pages of course work and at the very back.  The very first assignment I had, I found a glimmer of something.  I’m not sure what yet but I know I found it for a reason.  It reads;

 

Jade Moniz

29 Sep 13

What is my personal mission?

 

To set an example for my my kids as well as contribute to household income.

Character- Ambition and optimism are characteristics I admire most because being able to to see and set goals is a great foundation.

Contributions and achievements- I want to be able to tell my children  that anything is possible and that I am doing something I truly love.

Values- Resilience

My mission is to set a good example for my children.  I strongly believe that the foundation for my mission it to remain optimistic in setting goals.  I want to be able to tell my children that anything is possible and that I am in a profession which I truly love.  Just getting to this point required resilience on my part and I’m sure that will not change anytime soon. 

I vaguely remember our instructor, Ms. Jennifer Farley, giving us direction for this assignment.   We only had a few minutes but it’s funny now to think that it still holds true and still holds so much importance.  I said, I want to tell my children that anything is possible but I really want to show them. Now,  five-thousand miles and two kids later I’m glad I found that paper because I’ll need more of that resilience I talked about than ever before.

YAHTZEE!!!

   When you get orders overseas, people are always quick to offer their opinions and advice.  Most of the time people say they’re envious and would love to live in another country and if you’re lucky, you might know a few people who can offer some first hand advice.  I got a TON of advice and although I put on a brave face, in the back of my mind I was apprehensive.   It felt like I had finally gotten into a good groove in life.  I had a good job, good friends, and finally started to let loose and enjoy my life a little.  But, for all of those military families out there, you know exactly what that means.  That’s exactly when Uncle Sam decides to put your nice little life in a cup, shake it up, and dump it all out  on a completely different continent like dice in a game of Yahtzee.  I researched like nobody’s business and with Jake having been stationed at the base we were going to before we met, I started to feel more confident that we would be okay.  I’ll never forget looking out of the airplane window at the Sandia mountains and thinking “Remember this.  This is home.” and for a second time seemed to stand still, I’ll never forget the way I cried and I wanted so badly to sob uncontrollably but I knew I had to keep it together for the kids, I’ll never forget the pit in my stomach,  and I’ll never forget the way I felt like I was losing a part of myself.  Especially now, because I realize that I did and that when you move away from home that time, in a way, does stand still.

   Leaving home is hard.  Some people move away and have no problems adapting.  Gold star for you all but for me, I think leaving home was the first part of me that I lost.  Think of me as a big ass puzzle.  Albuquerque is one of those pieces even though I didn’t get it until now.  When I watch movies filmed at home, whether it’s a location I know or not I can usually immediately tell it was filmed there.  It’s hard to explain but the sunlight just looks like home to the point where I can almost feel it.  It’s like when you listen to a particular song that takes you back to a memory so vivid it’s almost palpable.  I never thought that home was such a big part of me until I lost my sense of self.  I’ve never been in the “Albuquerque is the worst” camp but I also didn’t think it would make a difference if I left or not. Naive, was I.

Now imagine that all of those other pieces are me.  Quintessential “Jade”.  My job, My family and friends, my love for myself, my car, my sense of humor, my ‘don’t give a fuck’ attitude, my thirst for knowledge, my love of food, my love of hosting BBQs and holiday dinners, and my love for my husband and kids.  Imagine that each of those pieces over time gets lost.  That’s basically what’s happened and let me tell you something, when you start to lose your sense of self you start to look for validation in others.  See a problem here?  Lost that puzzle piece a while back I guess.  That ‘don’t give a fuck’ attitude that helped me live such a happy life before is now gone and in return I find myself looking for validation in people who could give two shits about me.  Kind of ironic, isn’t it?  The other pieces are gone too, besides my kids…. Those will always be there but since I’m being honest they’ve been frayed and I hate myself for it.  I’ve struggled in vain to put my puzzle back together and I’m hoping my pieces aren’t lost forever but day as the days go on I find I recognize myself less and less.  It’s getting harder and harder to look toward a future when all I want is my old self back.

Time.  Man, time can be a cunning bitch when she wants.  It’s an odd thing to log onto whatever social media account and see friends getting married and friends getting divorced but in your mind they’re still the same as when you left.  Those friends you thought were happy because of what you saw on Facebook haven’t been happy for months and then  one day they’re in a relationship with someone else and you’re thinking “Where the fuck have I been?”.  I cannot tell you how many times this has happened and I always feel a little bit of guilt as if I could have changed something or at least been there to support them. Shit, don’t even get me started on the friends and family who have passed away since being gone.  I can’t put into words how helpless and awful that feeling is. The last two years and five months I spent at home were some of the best of my life and I would never take them back but I find myself desperately trying to fill replicate the happiness those memories brought me.  Mostly by traveling but I can never replace the friends that turned into family, the nights that I can’t remember with people I won’t forget, the things I took for granted.  58th MXS Holiday parties…. Yo, I miss each and every one of you and I appreciate you now more than you’ll ever know.  Spouses day flights.  Grilling fresh duck with Nick, Mike, Kevin, and Adela.  Horror movie Sundays.  Momma Khan taking over my kitchen.  Any fucking holiday in that time frame lol.  My last birthday in Albuquerque. And the 2014 Forest Hills Drive Tour with the two people in this world who put up with my bullshit no matter what.  I keep mental snapshots of all of those times and if this were a movie, you’d probably see those snapshots along with a cut scene of me bawling like I do almost everyday now or me going through the motions of daily life doing the bare minimum.  But it’s not a movie (obviously) and hopefully I can find all of my pieces again before it’s too late.

This started as a REALLY long Facebook post

I know I’ve touched on this before on this Facebook post but the last few weeks have really been eye opening for me when it comes to mental health. I said before that people tend to be less empathetic about mental illness or even just mental pain in general because we all feel it differently. I still believe this but It’s painfully obvious when you watch the news that there is a lot wrong with the way we view and treat mental illness in America and I’m starting to see this first hand. When you go to the doctor they asses you, you are diagnosed and a care or treatment plan is created. It goes beyond that but even just that part is totally fucked, in my experience, when it comes to mental health. Let’s talk physiologically for a second. If you have a fractured ankle that is bothering you and you’re seen by your doctor they will come up with a treatment plan with the main goals being to dull or numb thediscomfort  and fix the fracture, right? There’s a good chance you’re gonna be hobbling out of that office with at least pain meds and crutches. Now imagine that you’ve been feeling off or down for quite some time and you know something isn’t right so you go to your doctor and tell them how you feel. You may be in the same amount of discomfort as the guy with the fractured ankle, albeit a different kind of discomfort, but discomfort nonetheless.  Now, this is where shit gets sketchy in my opinion. Even though you’re feeling terrible you very well may walk out of that office with no treatment just a “plan” go here and go there to see this person and that person all to make you feel okay again and most anyone who has dealt with most types of mental illness can tell you that getting up everyday to go here and there to see this person and that can be extremely difficult and it’s one of the last things you want to do. So I can imagine a lot of people go untreated simply for that reason or are driven to self medicate or are pushed over the edge because being told you have to wait to try and get yourself better only adds to the hopelessness you’ve been feeling and you’ve told that doctor about and you’re feeling all of this because your brain is “fractured”.  So at what point does it become a priority to treat your “fractured” brain?  If you say you are a threat to others or yourself. Which I’ll compare to a compound fracture of the tibia which means your shin bone is broken and has punctured the skin(that escalated quickly didn’t it?). This is the best way I can explain it and a lot of people either won’t get it or think I’m exaggerating but this is my reality. I know, a lot of it is speculation but  I was a medical professional for a little bit so I don’t think it’d be too off base.

I’m exhausted. I’ve been dealing with anxiety and depression for years but this last year had been the worst. Being away from family sucks on its own but then having a complicated pregnancy and a husband who either worked long or weird hours if he was even in the country only made it worse. Things got better for a bit and then the twins were born but again came another hand of shitty cards for us in conjunction with postpartum hormones and I was back on a downward spiral. It’s been two months since I’ve been trying to get myself back in a mentally sound place and I only continue to get worse my husband even bought me one of those Himalayan salt lamps in hopes it would help somewhat. What started as anxiety and depression has turned into dyphoria and that, my friends, is a horrible feeling. I do have fleeting moments where I know I need to get better and I will eventually I can be productive and happy but mostly I feel hopeless and agitated.  I don’t sleep well and don’t really have the energy nor desire to do anything but the bare minimum and that’s not me. I like to believe I’m a very self aware person and I know I’m in a really, really bad place and for now there’s no light at the end of the tunnel for me. So I’ll wait in hopes that I can be on the road to being myself again soon. But what about those who can’t wait?  We need to do better.

It’s all just beginning 

When it comes to money I’m cheap.  I hate spending money. So when the doctor showed me those too little beating hearts for the first time on her ultrasound screen my fascination quickly turned to horror as I realized there are a few things I’d now have to buy two of. I remember she asked me, “Are you okay?” as I sat in silence while visions of double strollers and hundreds of diapers danced around in my head.  Now, at a little more than halfway through my pregnancy, that horror has evolved into jealousy and frustration.  I am so grateful to have had a healthy pregnancy and two healthy babies thus far but it’s hard to not only remember how much easier it was when preparing for one baby but also see my friends who are pregnant with singletons preparing for their babies.  I think about how we’re now having to buy a new car and we’ve been put on the six+ month long waiting list for a bigger house. I’m reminded of the fact that I haven’t had a job since we moved here to England so I can’t buy all of the nice things I see online. From my understanding, these are normal thoughts and feelings to some parents of multiples but it doesn’t make me feel any less guilty.  As I sat down to begin a registry for the I took a deep breath and told myself it’ll all work out. But about halfway into it I was having heart palpitations adding up in my head how much just the few things we absolutely needed would be. I know I’m usually not the best at math but I’m pretty damned good as soon as I need to talk the husband out of buying something or in times like this when I’m trying to talk myself into buying something and this stuff was adding up fast.  So I closed my laptop and finished the rest of an entire box of Girl Scout cookies because what the hell else could I do at that point? 

Navigating life with twins has already tested us a lot and they aren’t even born yet.  I feel like I’m walking through a dark room filled with fragile objects with my hands out hoping not to trip and break anything (including myself) in the process. I’m still whole for now but it’s all just beginning. 
  

Things Not To Say To Moms Pregnant With Twins

If you’ve ever been pregnant you probably know, all too well, that for some weird reason people feel that is the best time to give their unsolicited advice.  Whether it’s coming from a family member, a coworker, or (the worst) a stranger it seems like people really don’t think about what they’re about to say to a potentially moody, swollen, tired, and sick woman who might have barely made it out of bed that day.  This is my third pregnancy so while I knew I’d get some foot-in-mouth comments I didn’t realize that double the babies equals double the comments here are just a few.



“You’re pregnant again?!”

This is applies to all pregnancies because just don’t. If you do, you’re kind of an ass. 


“Were you using fertility drugs?”

This one is always kind of weird to me because I feel like if that’s something that a person wanted to share they’d do so on their own accord.  We are blessed that we have never struggled with fertility issues but I feel like that is something personal and if someone wants to share that, they will. 


“I could never do it!”

Well I guess it’s a good thing you don’t, right?  This usually comes with a condescending tone or a faux terrified face.  Try offering up a helping hand like making dinner for their family one night.  Lord knows we’re already thinking about juggling two new babies on top of everything else we have going on so hearing some reassurance is nice. The opposite, is not.

“Do you have to have a c-section?”

I usually explain that it’s a little more complicated than, “Oh you’re having twins you have to have a c-section!” but in my head I’m wondering why such a thing would matter to them. Every hospital is different, every mom is different, every pregnancy is different so just like any other pregnancy you make a plan but you also plan for the unexpected. 


“How are you going to breastfeed them?”

Well if you really want to know, I’m going to find a comfy spot sit down and if they’re both hungry latch one onto each boob. In a perfect world this is how it would go but I think sometimes we forget that we do, in fact, have two boobs. 

What really got me thinking about this is the lack of, “Congratulations” or well wishes I get from people when I tell them we’re expecting twins.  To be honest, I think it’s kind of funny but I’m also hormonal so just because I found it funny one day doesn’t mean it won’t make me cry the next.  If you know someone who is pregnant with twins do yourself a favor and try not to say these things offer to help them in some way instead because I’m sure it would mean the world to them.

 Twins