Look To the Western Sky

A blog about single life as a parent & the dreams of a writer by Margo L. Dill

Tag: emotions

Build a Brighter You

contributed article

Do you ever feel like you’re losing your confidence? Perhaps you have days where nothing seems to be going right; and no matter what you try, you just can’t seem to build up your mood. Well, the good news is that everyone has days like this at one point or another. The better news is that there are lots of ways to build back up your confidence and feel better about yourself.

Shop ‘Til You Drop

If shopping for outfits or accessories builds up your confidence, this doesn’t make you superficial. It makes you completely normal. There’s something about putting on a gorgeous new dress or a stunning piece of jewelry that immediately refreshes confidence. If you’re not one for traipsing around town, diving in and out of stores on the high street, you’ll be pleased to know there are plenty of places online to shop for what you’re looking for. According to sites like http://yourdiamondguru.com/reviews/james-allen/, James Allen is a great option for buying dazzling, deluxe jewelry that will make you glisten and sparkle. It just depends on the type of budget you’re working with.

You might think that to buy a beautiful outfit or a new selection of jewelry, you need to be going somewhere or attending a party, but you don’t. Dressing up on a day that you’re staying in can be just what you need to build up your confidence and self-esteem.

Night Out

Of course, that doesn’t mean that a night out on the town won’t help. It certainly could, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re married or single. If you’re single, you can head out and have fun with your friends. If it leads to something, great. If not, who cares? You’ll have a blast anyway. If you’re married, you can still head out for a night with the girls and make sure you don’t get too out of control. Even just getting a few looks across the bar from a tall, dark, handsome stranger can be enough to build up your self esteem. Or alternatively, you can head out with your partner and make sure you spend some time building up the foundations of the relationship.

Smile A Little More

Did you know that by smiling you actually make yourself just a little happier? You can learn more about that on http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/smiling-happy.htm.  If you are smiling, you let other people know you’re happy, which leads to positive interactions. Of course, it’s not always easy to grin when you’re feeling blue, but it could help you lead to a brighter day.

Take Some Time With Your Favorite Person

Of course, this is all about you, so why not take a trip, take a drive or even just sit and relax in your home by yourself? A little me time may be just what you need to build back up your confidence because it allows you to get in touch with yourself and find out what’s bothering you. Ask yourself: what’s going wrong and how can you fix it? Whether you’re climbing a mountain or heading on a spa day, you might just come home feeling refreshed and ready to be a brighter better you.

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The Worst Feeling As A Parent

Some things in life are very difficult. I’m sure every adult you know has some kind of difficulty whether it’s a relationship problem, financial concerns or health scares–problems and issues are all around us. I’ve had my share, but they don’t compare to what many of you have experienced or may be experiencing now. But the hardest thing for me is when my daughter has a problem and I can’t solve it.

Disclaimer: Before any of you get up in arms about this–I know I shouldn’t solve all her problems. She is only 6, but she has to learn to work through things and figure it out for herself (in a lot of cases), so she will learn to do this as she grows up. 

The problem my daughter and I are now facing is that the little girl who she considers to be her best friend, her grandparents’ neighbor, her playmate three or more times a week has MOVED TO FLORIDA. Naturally, KT is very upset. She has been crying off and on, and I have been encouraging her to talk about it. I’ve been trying to use skills I’ve learned at Kids in the Middle, where feelings need to be validated and worked through–not ignored and pushed under the rug.

I told her there is nothing she can do about this but feel the sadness and talk about it if she feels like it. I’ve left out the part that she will probably never see this little girl again. She might not even remember her very well in a couple of years because right now, this missing her friend already feels all consuming to KT. I think that “wisdom” would actually make it worse. We’ve talked about the things KT could do at Grandma’s house to pass the time and how sometimes, when you feel sad, it really is okay just to sit and watch TV and relax for a while.  That was the end of my wisdom. My heart breaks for her because she is so sad, and there really is nothing to fix this.

Of course, this made me reflect on my own friendships throughout the years. Social media makes it easy to “keep in touch” with people nowadays, but there are some people who I loved dearly that I am not in touch with anymore (whether it’s because they aren’t on social media or I haven’t found them or they don’t want to be in touch) or who have actually passed away. And there is nothing I can do. There is nothing I can do but feel the sadness and work through it, maybe write about it, maybe just sit and watch TV and relax for a while.

The worst to me as an adult is when you have a good friend and you are having a conflict and you are out of touch, whether it’s agreed upon or not. It’s sad. And you miss this person, but what can you do? You just have to work through the sadness and hope one day you both can figure it out.

So for now, that’s what KT and I are going to do. The good thing is KT is busy at cheerleading camp this week, and she told me that she doesn’t even think about it when she is there, and I see that as a positive life lesson she’s learning. And I will follow in her footsteps.

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Five Weeks Later: After the Hysterectomy

As I’ve shared before, I had a hysterectomy at the end of September because I suffered from endometriosis. I thought I would give an update on how things are going and some thoughts about the hysterectomy for those of you who happen upon this page because you had one or are planning to have one.

What was the worst?

Hands down, the worst part of the hysterectomy was the first 12 hours after it was over because of the gas pains. When having a robotic-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy, gas may be pumped into your belly to inflate it and give your surgeon a better view and more room to work. This happened to me. Turns out, although there was some pain with the actual removal of my female parts, most of the unbearable pain, which pain medicine did not help, was from  this gas being in my body. Since I also had a catheter, I couldn’t get up and walk around. Finally, a nurse explained to me what was going on (the next morning!) and gave me some GasX, and I walked around the hospital once the catheter was removed–then, it was so much better. So, if you are having this same procedure, talk to your doctor about the gas and the nursing staff about GasX.

Did I need a week to recover before going back to work?

Yes. I also feel like if I didn’t work from home, I might have needed 10 days off or to go back to work half days. You will be tired. You will still have some pain. You had major surgery. And in today’s world, we seem to not give ourselves enough time to heal from anything.

qtq80-fnKjgOHow do I feel now?

So, it’s been 5 weeks. I go back to the doctor on Tuesday for my final checkup before I am supposed to resume normal activity. In the last couple days, I have felt more like myself. But in general, I can’t imagine I am going to resume “normal activity” by Friday. I am still so tired. If I overdo it, I still have a bit of pain or discomfort. I think this is perfectly normal and will discuss it with my doctor at my visit, of course. Someone just said to me today, “It may take you 6 weeks on the outside, but just remember it can take up to 6 months on the inside.” I have some smart, smart friends. I have had  a lot of trouble with my appetite, which I’m told is also normal because well, I HAD MAJOR SURGERY!

What about my hormones?

Since I had a full hysterectomy, I am doing hormone replacement therapy. Currently, I have an estrogen patch I wear and change every 3-4 days. I think I’m still adjusting. I think I need some clarification on if there are better places to place it than others. I have a lot of stress in my life; one week during this recovery, I felt a bit like I did when I was suffering from endometriosis and my hormones were all out of whack. But this past week, I’ve felt much more in control and stable–so I’ll talk to the doctor about this, too.

To sum up, I’m glad, so glad, I had this surgery. Once everything gets back to “normal”, I have high hopes that I will feel better. I will be more like myself. I will have survived this patch in my life and come out stronger.

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Emotions Out of Control? Blame the Hormones?

It’s a joke all over the Internet, TV, movies, and books that a woman loses her mind during PMS, menopause, pregnancy, etc. I’ve laughed at the jokes, mostly because I’ve been there and understand exactly how the woman feels/felt. I’ve also giggled at the truth of the joke–hormones out of whack can make you angry or sad, even if there’s nothing to be angry or sad about. There’s a Modern Family episode, where Phil Dunphy freaks out because all 3 of the women in his house (his wife and 2 daughters) are having their periods on the same day–for the first time ever, the women’s periods have synced. It’s also LEAP DAY, which he loves to celebrate, and he is devastated that the females in his life are having female issues on his special day. It’s funny. I’ve laughed out loud at it:

Phil Dunphy: “It happened! Satan’s trifecta! The day I most dreaded falling on the day I most loved.”

Claire Dunphy: “Phil, is this what you’ve been teaching our son, that women are some sort of unclean lepers that should be hidden under sheets for a week? Do you have any idea how offensive that is?”
Phil Dunphy: “I do, honey, and from the bottom of my heart I am so… scared.”

You are laughing, right? Or at least smiling. Many critics didn’t like this episode for the reasons I’m writing about here; but when I first watched it, I didn’t mind it. Claire eventually speaks up and states that she just wants a little sympathy from Phil. After all, does he really think she wants to be acting crazy?

The thing is: these feelings are not funny.

For a good part of 2016,I’ve felt my hormones and emotions were out of control 5 out of 7 days a week. I’ve said things and behaved ways that make me feel embarrassed. I’ve thought about my behavior the next day and felt mortified. Whether I was a total bitch because someone was too slow at a checkout line, cried during a meeting because someone didn’t agree with me, or freaked out on my friends for doing something that was not that big of a deal (saying something I didn’t 100 percent agree with or being late or canceling plans for a valid reason)–it sucks. It sucks when the tears start to fall down my face (I cry when I’m sad, frustrated, angry, misunderstood–you see where this is going), and I can not stop them. I also can’t exercise much without pain from the cysts, bloating, enlarged uterus and endometriosis–except walking–so the endorphins that usually help from exercise are not helping other.

I’m extremely lucky to have forgiving and understanding people in my life. I’ve been straightforward about what is going on, so that hopefully they excuse some of this behavior. I try to get enough sleep and schedule time to relax, as this also helps, and I try to limit myself from going out and drinking with my friends, although sometimes I fail at all of these.

I’m sharing this with you today because I’m sure I am not alone. As a woman, if you have gone off birth control pills after being on them for a long time, you may feel like I described here. If you are going through menopause, you can feel like this. Hell, if you are 14 and have bad PMS, you can feel like this once a month for a couple days for 40 years. I tell men how I feel and again, I’m lucky to have understanding ones in my life because they nod and say: that must suck. When I tell a woman about my hormones and PMS symptoms that I deal with a majority of the month, she always says something like, “Oh God,” which means HOLY SHIT! That must be the most awful thing in the world. It’s not. I can think of many more awful things, but it is really hard to deal with and exhausting.

Again, I’m happy I found a doctor who believed me when I said: I need help, and she is operating on me this week. I have friends and family who are helping me with the recovery from the hysterectomy since I am a single mom. I trust this doctor to help me get my hormones right, and I am ready to take charge of my life.

If you need some resources or someone to talk to about this, please leave a comment below OR message me on the form to the right, which says: CONTACT ME, because that is completely private.

Don’t forget to enter the sayings/meme contest to win a $10 gift card to Amazon or Starbucks here

Cartoon photo above found on Flickr.com by  Shaheen Laken (brainblogger.com)

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