Family

Dad and Kuya

I am thankful for my Dad and my Kuya.

Through them, I’ve learned what good men are supposed to be like.

My prayer is that they become stronger and healthier for many many more years so they can continue to be fine examples for my nephews Amir and Arkin. They truly are the type of men anyone would want their sons to grow up and be like.

Stitches & Words | Dad and Kuya

Photo from a few months ago. Accidental #stripesday for us three 🙂

10 Reasons I am Thankful for Our Home

Stitches & Words | 10 Reasons I’m Thankful for our Home

Stitches & Words | Street-view of our family compound. You can’t see our actual house from here. There’s home improvement on going at my cousin’s, at the moment.

  1. We live in a family compound.
  2. We’re practically rent-free (thanks Mom and Dad!).
  3. We’re near a hospital (there are two hospitals within our barangay, and there are 2 more that are also very near us).
  4. If we ever have human kids, they can walk to school where I walked to school! (Oh well sige na nga, there was a time when Papa (grandpa) took us to school, then my Daddy would also take me (and also sundo), and there was a time I took a school bus too. Pero walking distance talaga sya, so in high school I mostly walked to school. Hahaha). Oh, we don’t live in the same house from when I was a kid, but it’s in the same Barangay.
  5. We have so many memories in this compound.
  6. It’s very accessible. I really feel like we are in the center of Metro Manila. (Okay, so not the street our house is on, but this area in general)
  7. Work can be under 10 minutes away (after midnight, no traffic, and if work is in Centris or Cubao). Makati is 30 minutes away (also late at night hahha).
  8. If I seem to have fallen off the face of the earth and you can’t get in touch with me on social media or thru my phone/email, it is highly likely that there will always be someone here who would know what was up or how to pass along a message. When you fill out forms asking for a Permanent Address, this is it.
  9. We have a small house, but there’s just the right space for our dogs. And the hubby even gets to have a Lego room! And you might not believe how much books we’ve managed to stuff in here.
  10. It’s messy more times than it’s all spic and span, but it’s where I find comfort. There truly is no place like home.

So is this our forever home? Maybe. I still dream of a big house with a pool, and a garden that would have lots of flowers, and vegetable plots too. I still dream of living in the mountains, or near a clean and swimmable body of water. But right now, I am thankful to have this place to call home.

**Click link to read my other 30 Days of Thankful 2018 posts. That would make me #verathankful if you do 🙂

Love and Loss

The beginning of November is especially dedicated for remembering loved ones that have gone ahead of us. We visit their graves, bring flowers, light candles, offer them food and prayers.

And we gather ’round with our remaining relatives (and hopefully the family keeps on growing!) to reminisce, and to make new memories.

Today, the 4th of 30 Days of Thankful, I am grateful for having experienced loss.

It’s from having lost people that I love and who have meant so much to me that I have gained a deeper appreciation for those family and friends who still live. And observing All Souls Day is a yearly reminder to take every opportunity to show our living family how much we love and appreciate them. To not waste time, and to recognise the value of each day as the gift that it truly is.

Recognizing Co-Occurring Disorders in Loved Ones and Getting Treatment

How good are you at recognizing the signs of substance abuse and symptoms of mental disorders in family members? Can you effectively answer how much is too much? Do you know when someone keeps having an extra drink at lunch, or nightcap, beyond what’s recommended? Or has a loved one talked about needing something to help balance them out in order to make it through the day, leaning on that extra little drink or pill? Has buzzed driving gone from just getting home to the second DUI, or that original pain pill prescription becomes a seemingly constant script fix? When there is too much partying or pain management, then it is time to seek some addiction treatment.

These questions are hard enough to answer for ourselves, let alone for a loved one. These are all reasons, and rightfully so, for additional concern.

Oftentimes, addiction may not be the only problem. There may be an underlying mental health issue as well. Fortunately, there are treatment options available to families with someone suffering from a co-occurring disorder. In fact, if the affected individual has health insurance, it might be possible for them to access free detox solutions going forward.

You have to do your best to figure out whether there are any mental disorders, substance abuse or both in order to seek out a drug rehab center for treatment. For effective recovery, underlying issues (including mental health) have to be addressed as well.

Wellness starts with admitting there is a problem. Your loved one has to recognize this in order for treatment to help. Be prepared for resistance from that person, including outright denial of a problem existing. This is true whether they’re dealing with depression, bipolar disorder, alcoholism, narcotics addiction, etc.

Having adequate health insurance is a big portion of getting well, both mentally and physically. Without good health insurance or the means to pay outright, your treatment can be subpar or non-existent at all if some health institution refuses to treat you.

Also, the path from recognizing a substance abuse issue to sobriety is not usually a straightforward one, like a ‘walk-in-the-park.’ Often, it is more like Dorothy starting on that path to Oz, you have to put one foot in front of the other. There may be some stops, getting off on the wrong track even, or other unexpected detours. But you may also meet some people along the way who take care to be vested in you and your loved one’s well-being and who want to see you do well.

Sobriety is an every minute of every day, of every month, of every year thing. Falling off the wagon happens. But the most successful treatments look at the reasoning behind why you fell off the wagon and then gives you the tools and assistance and resources to help manage these detracting situations. These problem management tools become part of your arsenal in order to hopefully build another string of days, weeks, months and years of success successful sobriety. The same is true with the mental health portion of treatment.

The Journey to Parenthood Can Lead to Depression

Not long after you get married, there’s this unspoken pressure to conceive. Your parents are anxious to have grandchildren, your friends are waiting for you to join “the mommy club”, and obviously, this is something you and your spouse had planned long before tying the knot. Now that the bliss of the wedding has passed and reality has sunk in, it seems like you’re on a clock to get knocked up within the next year. When months go by and nothing happens, the stress, anxiety, and pressure can be enough to send you into depression.

“Why is it taking so long for us to get pregnant?”

“How can I get my family and friends off my back?”

“Everyone around us is having children without a problem, is there something wrong with us?”

“Am I not trying hard enough?”

There are a lot of thoughts running through your head and with each passing month that you’re not pregnant these feelings get harder and harder to push aside. What was once an exciting journey towards starting a family with the love of your life has turned into a nightmare that you don’t know how to escape.

Could it Be Depression?

How do you know if you’re battling depression and not simply a bit down about not being pregnant despite your best efforts to conceive? There are different types of depression, each with its own set of symptoms, causes, and treatment. However, if you’re suffering from mental illness as a result of trying to have a baby, you may notice the following physical, emotional, and behavioral signs:

  • Lack of energy and exhaustion
  • Difficulties sleeping
  • Loss or increased appetite
  • Low libido
  • Social withdrawal
  • Restlessness
  • Mood swings
  • Not wanting to get up
  • Lack of motivation
  • Constant sadness and feelings of misery and despair
  • Helplessness
  • Anxiety
  • Numbness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Loss of the enjoyment of life
  • Self-doubt
  • Lack of focus
  • Thoughts of suicide

What Should You Do?

If you’ve experienced a number of these symptoms over a long period of time, chances are you’re depressed about the process of trying to get pregnant or the thought that your dreams of pregnancy may never happen. Either way, you should know that getting pregnant will not make your depression go away. It is making changes and seeking help (especially if you’re suicidal) that help to resolve the matter. Here are a few suggestions on what you might do to start turning things around:

Don’t get ahead of yourself – Just because you’re not expecting yet doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant. Unless you’ve heard a clear diagnosis from a doctor, you shouldn’t allow the assumption of infertility to get you down. In fact, paying a visit to the doctor can help you understand what you may be dealing with.

Keep a journal – it is human nature to be upset when things don’t go according to plan. Keeping a journal can help you to get these pent up emotions out.

Find something else to focus on – many couples have reported that they tried for years to get pregnant with no luck. However, after putting their mind elsewhere they were able to get pregnant right away. Perhaps you’re too focused on trying to conceive and it’s stressing you out.

Stop planning it – if you and your spouse are reduced to having timed sex during you ovulation periods then maybe it’s time to take a break from the planned sex. Enjoy your partner intimately for the fun of it and whatever happens, happens.

Talk to someone – if you’ve reached the point where all you can think about is getting pregnant and it’s causing you to feel depressed you should talk to someone. A counselor, for instance, can help you to understand that you’re not alone. They may also be able to help you develop positive behaviors that can heal your mind.

Having children is something that most couples want some day. What many don’t realize until they’re actually ready to have kids is that it doesn’t always go according to plan. On your journey to parenthood, it is important not to put so much pressure on yourself or to let the outside world put pressure on you. Do what you know is necessary like eating right, exercising, and getting plenty of rest and leave the rest up to chance. If you’re really stressed about the ordeal the next most effective solution is to get help. Don’t let depression take away what is supposed to be some of the most fun moments in your life.

%d bloggers like this: