Where Are My Lost Marbles?

In the last two weeks I’ve stayed offline from blogging and doing lives on Garden of Loves Facebook page. I normally take great joy in blogging its great therapy. It tones down the millions of thoughts that annually run through my head. Anybody that lives with anxiety and depression knows that the constant thought process can be exhausting. It never ends with worrying or making up the worst case scenarios possible. On top of this in the last two weeks I have been challenged with motherhood and marriage.

In my life I try to balance myself with my kids, partner, and limited social life in order to stay half charged. By comparison to this is placing a cellphone on charge with five percent battery never fully turning it off. Eventually I slip up and forget to recharge my mental battery until it goes into complete shut off. For the last two weeks I rested myself at five percent with hopes that my system would not fail. However, I was wrong and lesson learned last night I broke down.

It began last week with my partners work troubles. I fully understand my responsibility to emphasize with my partner when he is stressed with our only means of income. The silent contract that is between us throws off the balance ever so slightly. One can only listen to the same problem numerous times before anything else can be handled in life. My partner is married to his job. I have never given him flak for this more so it can be draining to one’s system. As the side chick to his job I have to sneak in other needs: this requires mental skills. When his work becomes “flaky” other things in our life goes downhill, chaos is following close behind.

Following close second to lose your shits town is the communication a parent is required for special needs parenting. I do love the essence of my child. Getting hit with the double whammy of dual special needs leads me to mental and emotional exhaustion. Paying the toll to decipher; doctors appointments, IEP plans, 504, and lastly ignorant school boards, hello ladies and gentleman you have found the mamma bear in desperate need of hibernation. We have IV treatment for my sons juvenile arthritis in just three days, you would think that is sufficient allowance for leave of absence from school. Each phone call getting more repetitive than the last one leaves me looking and feeling like Willem DaFoe during the Boondock Saints scene of his character losing his mind.

This sums it up beautifully.

This line up of events seems like all fun and games until the gross slimy Gastroenteritis decided to cozy up to boys of the home like a bad ex fresh outta prison. It started with the biggest one, went through the toddler, gave me a run for my money, and lastly it made itself well at home in my eldest sons body. This is not my finest hour in motherhood nor the events that gave the last straw this week. Our house was blessed with bodily fluids I truly thought could not come out of a human being. Lacking slumber required for mental longevity was given the boot by the rampant bio hazard living in our home. My mental zen slipped with each night of throw up and poop and unspeakable amounts of laundry. Four nights this went on my partner slept soundly through it all. Thinking that looks could kill I hope my eyes were like laser beams in his subconscious. This week as he slept so peacefully he was a jerk face to me.

My exact stare to my sleeping partner. I may have done the hand action to.

The toddler’s flu brigade was not the end all of missing my marbles. It came last night. My anxiety decided to go into overdrive. Each thought of new and horrible events driving the of mind. Twelve o’clock came and try as I might sleep would not come. I was over tired and could not shut off. I watched the alarm clock creep to one am, and then the small voice of my nine year old says “Mom I pooped”. For the next few hours of the night finally ending at five in the morning could only be described as a shitty night. No literally a shitty night, poozaganza, the merry shits. Never in my life have I cleaned up that volume of fecal matter. My house smelled, my couch got it, my sons bed got it, the wall got it, places unmentionable got it, and I completely lost my marbles. I tried to wake my partner for parent duty. What I can describe as his statement ” do you need a diaper because you can’t handle poo.”

There is a moment in marriage that one will question if this the time to smother your significant other. Other than when I was in labour; he sleepily stated you can take a taxi, have I thought about his instant demise. Lord was with him last night because he lives today. He should say thanks for being so lucky to survive the raging wife who now has been covered in every bodily fluid possible. I’m so grateful he got sleep tonight because at five am the toddler awoke. It was apparently party time for the young human, I cursed whatever universal law that was testing me.

The toddler felt five am to seven am granted the greatest time to practice loving head butts and boogie picks. His wrestling moves greatly improved in the wee hours of the morning. I got up and wrote on my whiteboard ” Do not wake me for anything. It IS MY DAY OFF” I stood by those words today and my partner honoured them. I still took care of my eldest son by setting up his bed in the tub, I feel better now that I took time to charge my batteries. My Willem DaFoe Face wiped clean off my face and I still love everyone in my home.

Written by: Ali Johnson

The Start Of a Good Day

I cleaned up my house today and it was better than sex. That was a bold statement but I mean it. Cleaning up your home after weeks of letting depression and anxiety take over it feels good to start fresh. Letting go of all the tension that built up with every piece of avoidance is refreshing.

I hate cleaning during my bad days. My bad spells with my mental illness contain disorganization and discontent on what needs to be done. The laundry piles in the hamper I will keep washing the same clothes over and over again. I only rinse the dishes enough to appear clean but it’s still not my best effort. What other people call lazy to me it’s the thought process of feeling tired. I feel as if my brain is foggy and doing these chores are exhausting. I know when these spells hit my house is the image of what is going on inside my head.

My anxiety makes it hard to focus on my priorities. I often fight within my thoughts as to why the fracture of reality. To one who does not struggle with anxiety they would say just get it done you will feel better. The thing is even when I try to get motivated the brain fog clouts my enjoyment. The challenge of responsibility feels like somebody tied an anvil to my body and said jump. Part of self care and mental health treatment is to know your limits. The more I tried to just get things done, created tension and rising frustration. I kept hearing my aunts voice saying it’s not clean enough and do it over.

Once her voice takes over in the mental compartment I will clean but then obsession takes over. Nothing is ever clean enough no matter if I scrubbed it ten times over. I then start the process of self-destruction. I count my fingers, I need six things to tap, and I will not eat food. Once this process starts; I cannot take enough showers to get rid of my dirty body. I will pick at my skin in stress and find flaws everywhere, nothing is clean enough. These are the lowest of low points in dealing with my anxiety.

Today I felt motivated I cleaned up my home the way I wanted. I felt good enough to eat and control the urge to binge and starve. Tonight I will practice yoga and let it all go again. Cleaning up my home is a good start to bring peace and balance until next time. I have no idea when depression and anxiety will hit again. They stay hidden in the corners of my mind tugging at their release. As much as I know the sadness will take over again, today I will enjoy this small victory.

Written by Ali Johnson

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis and Us

My son Travis and I.

I’m slightly overwhelmed with my sons recent diagnosis of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA for short). On Friday we entered yet another doctor’s appointment with a new specialist in Toronto. Our expectations of getting a diagnosis were low from how many times we have seen other doctors in the past. Once the specialist gave my son his diagnosis I was the weird mother who laughed, not my best moment because this was pretty serious. I laughed because after three years hearing multiple doctors saying the ugly c word or surgery or the common we have no idea left me feeling frazzled. Hearing the words JIA had me floored.

This all started when we noticed Travis’s knee swelling to softball size. In the mornings he would limp heavily. His knee became so stiff that he could not bend it. We booked a doctor’s appointment with hopes that we could find out instantly what was causing his discomfort. What we did not know was this was the beginning of a long process of multiple doctors and appointments. Our life became speculation and misunderstandings of what was happening inside my sons body. His life was already complicated with autism and with this issue we threw normal out the window.

Trying to get this diagnosis has taken time out of Travis’s schedule and time with his studies. Being eight years old and autistic these are some of the most important elements in his life. We used to be able to count on these two simple routines to follow. With every doctor’s appointment made to get his diagnosis we had extra tasks to follow. We had to prepare Travis mentally in order to travel and be prepared for what will happen in the appointments. Our parental stress came from booking, missing work, and navigating what each specialist did. Often after these appointments we were left with more questions than answers as to what was going on with my son. This last appointment I did not expect to get the diagnosis that we so desperately wanted.

We have been to so many doctors that this last one was finally the one that clicked well with Travis. No longer having to drive to London, Ontario, for a full day of driving we ended up in Toronto. This was a great relief as I finally had time to think about where we are headed with my sons life. My thoughts pondered to how his quality of life will be affected if it was the great scary word of cancer given to us by the last specialist. Although relieved that it is not in fact cancer, I am floored of hearing JIA. This diagnosis was unexpected. When she said the words Travis has Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis my mind went blank, and I burst out laughing.

I’m glad the doctor was not judgmental on how terrible I acted at that moment. She gave me a minute to adjust my behaviour accordingly and led with statistics. One in every thousand child has JIA in Canada. This equates to ten thousand Canadian children and teens. What did it mean my son was another part of statistics. Then she said this is a chronic condition he will probably have his entire life. She then stated he will need to go attend Sick Kids Toronto Hospital for treatment. She mentioned steroid injections,
physiotherapy, and extensive blood test. When he gets this done he will have to be under anesthesia, I’m pretty sure my mom brain blanked after this.

I’ve given myself a couple days to understand the meaning of all of this. It’s a great amount to take in as a parent. When you have children the one fear that is commonly held is their quality of life will one day be compromised, and that as a parent you cannot give them the best. Taking the good out of the bad is that we can get him treatment and support Travis fully. I can raise awareness with more that I learn. Join communities with other parents who are dealing with the same disease and build better understanding of JIA. I still have my Travis and it is my duty as his mother to give him the full support and never give up hope for his future.

Written by Ali Johnson

”Today is a gift”

”PO: How’s Shifu ever going to turn me into the Dragon Warrior? I mean, I’m not like The Five. I’ve got no claws, no wings, no venom. Even Mantis has those…thingies. Maybe I should just quit and go back to making noodles.
Oogway: Quit, don’t quit? Noodles, don’t noodles? You are too concerned about what was and what will be. There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the “present.”
Kung Fu Panda

I wanted to quit last week from my blog from everything: I thought I wasn’t good enough for this. How many writers out there create works of art that receive recognition. I started writing to put my passion out there for others to see. I want my work to show the little girl in my mind breaking free. Years she spent in her own mental prison placed in solitude because I gave up on her. I once told her everyone was right we stood for nothing. She spent years screaming at me from a distance every moment in self-doubt. She and I need to repair the damage we created and it starts today.

I am my promise to not throw this white flag of surrender into the wind. Even with the last few days of sucking with people and my mental disagreements I will not give in. I owe it to the little girl I locked away in my mind and told her to be perfectly silent. I put her away to appear strong my will unbroken. If I had given her chance to bond with the woman on the outside, we would have been able to take on any challenge. I placed brick walls around her with each event in my life that left us broken. She tried to break to the wall countless times. I built more mental bricks to hide her away telling her to be silent as I was being silenced on the outside. I know now that I should have let her free allowing us to heal together.

It’s easy to forget the child that lives within ourselves. For those that suffered abuse that inner child is commonly placed deep within the subconscious and forbidden to see the world outside the mind. It’s easy for me to question myself on the importance of quitting today or keep pushing for success for tomorrow. Much Like Po from Kung Fu Panda, I feel that I am not going to be great like other people out there. In his statement regarding the five other Kung Fu warriors; he trains alongside with, should be the dragon master and not himself. He felt that he lacked talents that make him worthy of the title placed on him. I feel like this most days titles I hold feel intimidating to me. I’m a mother, a wife, a woman, and now a writer. Feeling close to the sentiments from Kung Fu Panda, it teaches me try as someone can they feel insignificant to those who show natural greatness.

Oogway’s statement rings true for it states that we should live at the moment and accept the gifts that one holds to themselves. We can learn from our mistakes in the past but it does not define who we are today.
Do not forget to free the child inside your mind. It stands as the ticket leading to tomorrow but living in the gift of life today.
Written By Ali Johnson
February 25, 2018

I could of been different

I look back at my life thinking I could have been so different. I could have been just like the people who caused me pain. If I had continued the cycle the effects of my reality would disheartening. Today I am a mother of two boys. I can show them living with compassion and how to be good men. I would have been able to learn how to be a mother if I let toxicity win. I would have gone down the darkest path with no light at the end of the tunnel. When asked if I would change the circumstances, I reply with no. My reasoning is if I changed one thing no matter how small I would not be the person I am today.

I am a mother, wife, writer, I hold so many roles sometimes I take it for granted. When our life it gets busy I forget to take a look back at how far my family has come. When Justin and I got together it was just Travis and I. I was a single mother with a small child in tow. I had weight on my shoulders enough to give to twenty people. From custody battles and being new to Red Deer, Alberta, Canada I was in a lost place. I didn’t plan on meeting anyone I wanted the opposite to be alone and figure out where I was going. The universe worked in funny ways giving the chance to meet my forever partner in life. He did have his own mental baggage. Given everything that seemed stacked against us I fondly look back and see that everything that happened my life was building up to giving me what I really needed. I needed somebody to love and somebody to teach me the value of allowing love to be given.

When I first met Justin I was so bitter about trying to heal my mental wounds. I was angry with the world that surrounded me. In six years that we have been together, I have learned to let it go. It wasn’t easy to let someone in breaking all my barriers. I had placed walls to protect my already broken spirit. I thought if I didn’t let him in it would be easier to walk away when things got tough. I had been so hurt in the past from others I believed that I was unlovable. I was terrified that he would hear my story and run far away. He still stayed even when I told him about my past abuse, my own self-destruction, and the life I have lived before meeting him, this was the first time somebody actually saw me instead of leaving. He gave me acceptance and patience and showed me that it takes small acts of kindness to heal.

If I had taken the path of allowing toxicity to fully take effect I wouldn’t be here today. I would not have a partner to share my life with. My children would not have the quality of life they have today. If I chose to let the hate and pain turn me away from learning compassion I don’t think I would have the people in my life that bring love and true joy. I’ve met great people by allowing myself to share stories and bring a voice forward. So when the universe gives me these challenges I know that I need to rise above them and live my life to the fullest. I do believe that everybody has two different paths they could take. If they choose to let the darkness consume them they become ugly and corrupt. If they go down that path it is so hard to become a better person and I feel that some people get attached to feeling destructive. The other path is rising from the turmoil and finding beauty in small increments of time. If they let the light in good things will happen with time. I’m glad I chose the path to let others in and letting go of the pain.

Written by Ali Johnson

One voice is all it takes.

Her face showed up in the news again for abuse charges laid on animals. I awoke to see her path of destruction laid out like a road map. I felt the flash of anger that I buried deep inside me to forget the crimes she commits. Stories of her victims came to light one after another. Each story presented the same showing the chronic abuse of good people who fell for her stories like a fish latching onto a hook. The worst of it showed she caused mass suffering again.

I watched the media post my mothers picture again triggering the flash back of high school embarrassment yielded into anger. Everybody in my classroom knew I was Patricia Moore’s daughter, the daughter of an animal abuser. This time around the audience was all Canada. This time Canadians paid attention. The attention was a beacon of systematic failure from the SPCA, it also shone the light of incompetence of the Canadian legal system.

I again felt the anger in realization life meant nothing to her unless deemed necessary to carry on her tale of victimization. In hopes that a community can come together I was amazed at how many people came forth with information and advice. If it wasn’t for the Canadian equestrian society more horses would have died at her hands. Blood of animals are on her hands and yet on her Facebook page she claimed innocence, stating the Canadian legal system is witch hunting her. She then further posted that most of the equestrian society is bullying her. The problem with repeat animal abusers is lack of mental health detection for hidden illness. Why this lady should be allowed out; killing more animals, creating more fraud, is beyond me.

I stayed quiet for so long as her malicious intent burned strongly leaving carnage in her wake. This tale of her routines continuing constantly has no end unless action is taken. How many years should she be allowed to willingly state she is above the laws and continue her path of destruction? How many animals should die because I stayed silent? The thing about being a survivor of abuse is when you leave you want it to end. I tried to stay away for the sake of my own sanity. It meant having her removed from my life to keep safety for my children and myself. Although as if seeing for the first time I need to take a stand now and call for change so her abuse cycle ends.

The thing with Patrica Moore and many others is they thrive on emotional vulnerability. Having dead animals is no consequence for them. As long as they can find new victims and new outlets to place their cons they will continue on. The more victims that play into their cons builds on their egos. Animal abusers are truly narcissistic by nature. By saying this I see the pain of her victims and I see that as a Canadian and past victim I hope to give a voice of reason. Animal abusers such as her should be put in the spotlight as example what is wrong with the current laws in place.

No longer being a bystander I hope people who have been victimized by her will continue to find courage and speak up. I hold in good faith to end Patricia’s reign of terror the legal system will have to see Canadians, animals, and mass public, are tired of being abused in a path of one’s self-destruction. With more people speaking up and saying this is not a one time offence it would show that animal abusers are incapable of showing compassionate respect for the law, and fellow peers. I believe that if people stood in harmony and fought together it would place this whole situation into a larger motion. If people can give the recognition of one animal abuser; use their voices calling for demand of justice, it can call for larger action to end other abusers and give closure to silent victims. I went years in silence out of fear. I never thought that by using my voice and providing support others would follow suit. Using a large vocal point I can take back my self dignity: find a community of support that allows others to heal, and change laws.

One voice is all it takes to make a difference in the lives of those who have been abused. If one voice can speak volumes others will follow pursuit for a greater future of justice and peace. The blood on abusers hands can end. I hope my voice can give power back to those affected and with a slight glimpse of hope heal others who did not know they had the power within themselves. One voice, One greater good can we all speak up now?