Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What I Learned Wednesday #29: Prayer, Saints, and Love

This has been the most fruitful week of Lent for me... and you will see why.

1) If you've been wondering if my prayer life has gotten better, the answer is "yes"... and "no." I am back on track with both my morning and nighttime prayers, and I'm finding more time to pray for others and not just my own selfish intentions... but I still have a lot of work to do. I have not yet gotten into doing Lectio Divina because I've been either working on the first novel (so many adverbs!) or because I've been trying to cross things off of my "to-do" list. The novenas I've been doing lately are helping me stay more focused on praying though. The St. Padre Pio (yes, I know it's St. Pio but I like using Padre Pio) novena begins today... and I am thinking about starting one to St. Therese as she's been on my mind and heart lately. I hope both will help me make prayer a bigger priority in my life.

2) I've use A Lenten Journey with Jesus Christ and St. Therese of Lisieux by Fr. John F. Russell, O. Carm. book for the past couple of Lents because it packs a lot of punch in just two pages every day. I sent a copy to a good friend who has a newborn because I feel like it's the perfect amount of reading for busy people... yet it doesn't skimp on the message. I feel like I always learn a lot from St. Therese during Lent. She's been my heavenly buddy for years but it's during Lent that she really opens my eyes and my heart to the Lord. I am not sure why this is but I love it. I have been considering doing a new novena to her because I feel like I need one of her roses with an on-going situation. I just need some guidance and she's never let me down before. The last time I asked her for a rose, I got one... on her feast day. :)

3) I know I rarely touch on the topic but I will this one time. I've learned from my Spiritual Director that I'm single because I've chosen it without even thinking about it. See, I've unconsciously closed myself off to possibilities because I've had a fear of not finding the right guy... and thus not trusting God enough in taking care of me in this part of my life and vocation. I didn't even think that the problem was with me until Fr. G made me realize it right before Lent began. After that, and after being asked for advice by others, everything changed for me. The past couple of days have been extra eye opening for me because I feel as though the Holy Spirit has been using those close to me to make me aware of my thoughts and my feelings regarding the subject. It's been very fruitful. And that's all I'm going to say about that. lol.

And these are the three big topics that have been on my mind lately. Gotta love how Lent makes you confront certain hard topics head on. No, really... I actually love it. :D

Anyway, I hope y'all are having a great week thus far. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God bless!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Adorable Video Alert

I'm sure you've all seen this video but I'd had it bookmarked for days to share so I'm doing that now. I saw the link on his sister's Twitter feed and I fell in love with the video from the beginning. It's sad that such a touching video strikes me as rare but... it is. How many videos (or, really, anything on social media) do we see from young men who are excited about being dads? We don't really see that. We see it from young women mostly or from fathers who are a little older or have more experience with children, but very rarely from young 20-somethings. Tom Fletcher, I salute you.

Anyway, if you haven't watched it yet: enjoy! If you have seen it, enjoy it again. :D

Monday, March 24, 2014

Greetings from Edit-land

I am writing this late (and it's still Monday in L.A. so this counts for the day!) because I've been working on editing my novels. 

This is just the latest round of edits. I think I have one or two rounds more after this before it's ready for publication. My deadline is May 4th, too. No pressure or anything. ;) It's all very excited but very time consuming as well. I managed to do 8 chapters worth of edits... and that's after I started late and had my breaks. I don't know how much free time I'll have to blog but, oh, I will write something every day... even if it's late, like today.

I don't really have much to write since my day was spent editing and thoughts of Will, Lina, and the Los Angeles Westside are currently occupying my mind. The one thing I will pass along is a link that my good friend Thomas Pringle sent me. 

The parish where Fr. Kyle Schnippel is at was broken into and they need to both repair and replace items that were broken and stolen. If you can donate anything, please click this link and be generous. If you can't donate for whatever reason, please say a prayer for all involved.

And that's it for today. Short and sweet because I'm honestly tired of staring at my laptop's screen. That and I have food and prayers to get to before the day ends. Maybe I'll blog earlier tomorrow; I can certainly think of something solid to write when my head isn't filled with novel thoughts. ;)

I hope y'all had a great weekend!

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D

Saturday, March 22, 2014

My View, Vol. 3: Sunset

I was driving home from Saturday Vigil Mass when the beauty of the sunset struck me. As you can see, there is so much busyness around -- the cars in the concrete parking lot, the buildings, the urban/suburban setting -- but the thing that still captures the eye and the imagination is the sun. Living in a big city, it's so easy to get distracted; to go through the day without seeing the beauty that God has given us that is not man-made.

One of the only perks about my alma mater was that I could see the ocean and mountains from the campus. Whilst I was listening to Church beliefs being either spun to go along with that particular professor's agenda or some other travesty during the lectures, I would always go out and see the beauty that surrounded me and I'd remember that God was there with me. It was one of the few things that kept me going.

Anyway, this is my view for the week.

Friday, March 21, 2014

7 Quick Takes Vol. 16: Odds and Ends Edition

-- 1 --
I tried to not eat meat but then I saw how much I weighed today and decided that it was best for my health to not abstain from meat for the remainder of Lent. As most of you know, I've had weight issues due to my stomach problems (which turned into intestinal problems). I was underweight last year and it took me months to gain part of the weight I'd lost. Today I found out I'm on the cusp of being underweight again. Between the PTSD weight loss and the almost two weeks that I didn't eat properly because of the cold and other stomach issues, I lost quite a bit of weight. Because my diet is so restricted, I need the chicken for the nutrients and the calories. I feel bad about eating meat but, you know, I need it. I'll be giving up music and Twitter after I eat chicken (the only meat I can eat) so I'm writing this now. lol.

-- 2 --

As I said yesterday, I'm trying to finish a lot of things that I've started. Today I'm close to finishing two of the items on my list; cleaning out my desk / files and returning snail mail letters I have received over the past couple of weeks. I'm a bit lightheaded right now (raging anxiety and I'm super hungry right now) so I'm taking a break from those things at the moment but I will continue as soon as I feel better. Slow and steady, my friends. I've already made progress on finishing some of the books I've started as well. Phew.

-- 3 -- 

Yesterday's spiritual direction meeting was fantastic for me because it helped remind me of what's important and it helped remind me that I do trust God with my needs. I think that's why, despite the raging anxiety (which started hours before I found out about the weight; not related to stress), I feel a lot more calm about everything else. Instead of freaking out about finances and health, I'm just carrying on like every other day.I know God has my back so I shan't stress. :)

-- 4 --
I received a blessed Miraculous Medal on Wednesday but it kept falling off of my necklace yesterday so I have it pinned under my shirt. I have a feeling the medal itself will give out after just a couple of weeks of months so I'm wondering if any of you have recommendations where I could get a legit sterling silver (I'm not a fan of gold jewelry) Miraculous Medal that will last and won't cost an arm and a leg. Thanks in advance.

-- 5 -- 
In my silliness, I thought of something: is it wrong to have a crush on a saint? I don't have one (I don't think...) but if I did, it would be on Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati. I'm unabashedly a total Bl. PGF fangirl. The thing is that I've seen some young women refer to him as "Frassati the Hottie" and it sort of rubs me the wrong way. Yes, he was quite handsome and his looks were enhanced by his heart and faith, but I don't like the term "Frassati the Hottie." It just feels wrong to me, even a little bit disrespectful. Again, these are just my opinions.

-- 6 --
I doubt he's going to personally read this but can y'all please just say a little prayer for a good friend who is currently deployed? He's been a guest blogger on here and he's had my back for years so, please, pray that he comes home in one piece... and soon! I haven't seen him in a long time and my foot is waiting to get within shin kicking distance once again. ;)

-- 7 --
From the tumblr files: I know some of you have been having really rough times lately so this is for you.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

This is it for now. I need to go do productive things. I hope you all have a great start of the weekend. If you have any prayer requests, send them my way.

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D

Thursday, March 20, 2014

My (Belated) Lenten Goals

Yes, this gif sums up of how I feel right now. And, for the record, I made sure I wasn't violating copyright laws by posting it; this particular film is public domain.

I just realized that I never shared what my Lenten goals were for this year. Other things just came up and I never wrote about them but I'm doing that today... and it's actually quite appropriate that I'm doing it now. My biggest Lenten goal is finishing things I start before starting other things. 

See, I have a problem (stems from my people pleasing days... which I still struggle with): I take on too many things and then I can't seem to finish them all. Whether it's a project for a friend or something for myself, I tend to get overloaded with so many things. That then takes time away from my prayer life (not that it's an excuse for my not trying to get better at it) and it all snowballs from there. This Lent I'm not starting anything new until I finish the number of things that are still on my list... which is long.

Without getting into too many details, this is what part of my list includes:
- snail mail replies to friends that are way over due.
- going through my files and throwing away unimportant ones.
- organizing bookmarked links on my browser.
- finish reading the books I have started but not finished.
- catch up with all the friends I haven't spoken to in months.
- going back and taking down gifs that are from copyrighted films or used without permission.
- finish editing my novels.

I am sure Lent will be over before I finish editing my novels but I hope to be able to finish the rest of the items on my list before then. I'm starting school in 6 weeks, 3 days, and some odd hours (but who's counting?) and I want to get everything done and out of the way before then so that I don't have distractions. The challenge will be not starting things before then. I like to be actively doing something and I have a hard time saying "no" when asked for favors so I thought it was a good goal to have.

I don't know how this counts as "giving up" something but, as I was reminded by friends, I routinely "give up" things throughout the year that maybe I needed something that was going to be actually hard for me. Giving up non-Catholic literature or music isn't hard for me. Giving up foods isn't that hard for me because of how limited my diet already is. I gave up digital cable (and Liverpool FC matches, sniffle) because I knew how financially expensive it was. I've given up a social life and dating (in the past) to take care of my parents so... you know, it isn't a big penance for me to give things up. I'm quite used to it by now. Having to say "no" to someone who asks for a favor is very hard. I just hope some friends will understand that I need to do this for my (mental) well-being.

Not starting anything new, learning more about St. Joseph, and taking care of my physical and spiritual health are all part of my Lenten goals. It may sound a bit boring to y'all but these are things I need to do in order to keep growing and moving forward. :)

Anyway, I want to finish cleaning my room and then get some food (that doesn't come in fry form) in me so that's it for now.

I hope y'all had a great day today. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What I Learned Wednesday #28: Colds, St. Joseph, and Prayers.

My apologies for not blogging. I know I said I was going to blog every day during Lent but I didn't anticipate getting a really nasty cold which I am still trying to shake. I spent most of Friday and all of Saturday and Sunday in bed. I had a low-grade fever all day Saturday so my planned trip to the L.A. Religious Education Congress was nixed (as was the St. Patrick's Day trip to Disneyland, *sniffle*). I'm sorry to all who were planning on the meet up that day.

Also, a massive "thank you" to Dustin and Allicia of The Catholic Lovebirds who sent me a delicious lunch on Sunday. After not eating well for several days, it was a God send. It's good to be reminded that my friends have my back.

Lesson learned:
as my mom likes to remind me, "el hombre pone y Dios dispone"... or Proverbs 16:1 if you can't read Spanish.

As most of you know (or should know, tsk ;D), it is the feast day of St. Joseph. This day has been huge for me. While I failed to complete the novenas to St. Patrick (on the last day! argh!) and St. Benedict, I managed to get the one for St. Joseph done last night. It was the only one I managed to get through even when I was uber fatigued and was falling asleep while praying... in between sniffles. I also had my first PTSD therapy session (yes, I was re-diagnosed with it after last month's incident) and I received my very first (blessed, no less!) Miraculous Medal in the mail today. Score one for the Em-ster. Yeah, no one call me that. Please. lol.

I've always found St. Joseph intriguing because there's not a whole lot about him in the Bible but the little that we do have speaks volumes about who he was. In fact, I've decided to learn more about St. Joseph during Lent. He was a wonderful adoptive father to Jesus and he's been an excellent one to me as well. I hope that he'll be intercede for me because my intentions (one for a friend and another for myself) are quite large and somewhat complicated. May God's will be done.

Lesson to be learned: Try to learn as much as I can about St. Joseph during Lent.

If you're wondering the current state of my prayer life: um, let's just say that I will be uber embarrassed at tomorrow's meeting with my spiritual director. It's not that I didn't try... I just think I didn't try hard enough. I talked about this last week. I was so determined to get my prayer life back on track last week and then... hello, Mr. Nasty Cold who is currently overstaying his visit. I missed morning prayer most of the days that I was sick because I slept through the morning. I would stay up coughing all night that I would get up shortly before noon when I would take a nap. One of the days I missed the entire day of prayer except for the St. Joseph novena -- that was the day of the fever. I know I shouldn't be too hard on myself but I am because I could've done better the days when I wasn't sick.

Lesson learned: procrastination, especially with prayers, stinks. Don't make my mistakes, kids. I'm a terrible example these days. *dramatically* I have failed! lol. Seriously, though, I hope some of you are having more success during Lent than I am. :D

Anyway, that's it for now. I just had a marathon of coughing fits while writing this (and I'm functioning on less than 5 hours of sleep) so please excuse typos and grammatical errors that may have slipped by me. I am trying to get better at fixing those before I hit "publish."

I hope y'all are having a great week thus far!

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D

Friday, March 14, 2014

7 Quick Takes Vol. 15: I Shall Be Irish Edition

-- 1 -- 
I've been pretty much confined to my bed over the last couple of days for a number of reasons (one after another) so I've been distracting my anxiety over being sick with genealogy. My mother is adopted but I've been able to get up to my 3rd great-grandparents on her side, which is exciting. I'm currently in the 4th great-grandparents on my dad's side through my granddad. It's all terribly fascinating though sometimes it's really hard to decipher the priests' handwriting... or even read it because the ink is so faded. Still, a fun pastime for me.

-- 2 --

If you've read this blog long enough, you know that I'm a hardcore Hibernophile. A hibernophile is someone who is fond of Ireland, Irish culture, etc. If my trying to win a trip to Ireland by posting the link on Twitter (which is super rare for me; I hate doing that) didn't tip you off, then I don't know what to tell you. lol. Anyway, I have always loved Ireland and I've always had a feeling that we had an Irish branch somewhere in the family. There's too many light-eyed (grey to blue), redheaded people in the family not to have some connection. Just take a look at my middle brother who is uber ginger and proud. Anyway, last night I found that my 4th great-grandmother on granddad's side has a weird surname that has links to both Spain and Ireland... and Ireland as far back as 1139 AD. I am hoping this is what I'm looking for. I shall be Irish somehow... lol.

-- 3 -- 
Speaking of Ireland, I've been doing the St. Patrick novena with Allison and Jane of The Cath Sisters' Blog. It's been a good novena; the first I've done for St. Patrick. It's one of three I have going on at the same time, St. Patrick, St. Joseph, and St. Benedict all have their novenas being prayed. :D I can't remember the last time I did three at a time but I like it. It helps me with my prayer procrastination.

-- 4 --
I was planning on going to the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress tomorrow but between my cold and my car deciding not to start, it looks like it won't happen. Of course. Every year something comes up and I end up not being able to go. Something tells me I shouldn't go... for whatever reason. Maybe I won't be able to handle the reported liturgical abuses that occur at it. I say "reported" because I've never attended one and so I can't say if it's true for myself.

-- 5 --
It's too bad about the L.A. REC since I was looking forward to having a staring contest with the reps from my CINO college alma mater. (side note: for those who don't know, CINO stands for Catholic in Name Only.) They have a booth there every year and, more likely than not, my former academic adviser (who called Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI a 'super rat with red shoes') was going to be there. They've been sending stuff to my house and email about going back for my Master's. Ha! Never going to happen. I had enough nights of panic attacks and almost nervous breakdowns to last a lifetime. That and I'm almost positive they'll kick me out for being "too traditional", something I barely got away with last time.

-- 6 -- 
Is it just me or is Lent going by really fast this year? It feels like it. Sure, I keep struggling to write and to keep all my other Lenten penances but I am trying. Still, I am learning to be easier on myself, which, funny enough, is something priests have often left me as penance after confession. It seems I'm too hard on myself and I don't give myself enough slack so... I'm trying. I think it's just the perfectionist in me.

-- 7 --
Words of wisdom from tumblr. How many of us can say we've forgiven every person who has done us wrong? Think about it.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

And that's it for now. I'm going to to ask a mechanic neighbor of mine to take a look at my car. The AAA tow guy (who, by the way, was kind enough to remind us that we don't eat meat today when we saw that we got stranded on our way from Jack in the Box; we had fries and fish filet) thinks it may be something connected with the gas tank or it isn't getting enough 'spark' or something. Either way, L.A. is a very car-oriented city and my little Honda is necessary so... gotta have it looked at.

I hope you all have a great start of the weekend. If you have any prayer requests, send them my way.

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Mea Culpa

I got so caught up in doing more genealogical research on the family that I missed posting earlier today. Whoops. However, I'm kind of excited because I think I've finally found the Irish branch of the family. I'm basing that on the surname of my 4th great-grandmother via my paternal grandfather's side. I looked up the surname and saw that the origins are based in Ireland (in Galway *swoon* of all places). So, that's my excuse. However, it is sort of still Catholic related since, once again, I am using old church records of baptisms and marriages that Catholic priests kept. I'm sort of stuck in the early 1800s (1800-1830) right now but here's hoping I get unstuck soon.

Anyway, I've just spent hours doing this so I'm going to take a break from the laptop and eat (yes, I eat up until 10:30 p.m. sometimes) before I say my prayers. Oh, and I totally got back into praying the morning prayers today. Score!

That's it for now. As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What I Learned Wednesday #27: Saints, Litanies, and Prayer Procrastination

1) I learned something that I found kind of cool regarding one of my favorite saints, St. Benedict of Nursia. I've been learning more about the old calendar of feast days and saw that St. Benedict's old feast day is March 21st (btw, novena starts today) and his new feast day is July 11th. Why is it interesting? Because my dad was born the day after his old feast day and he passed away on the day of his new feast day. In a weird day, I feel more connected to St. Benedict because of this cool coincidence. It's up there with my birthday being the same day as St. Ferdinand of Castille's feast day. I'll explain the connection to that one on my birthday. ;)

2) My spiritual director mentioned to me the Litany of Thanksgiving which I had never heard about until last month. I tried to look for it but only found it at Catholic Doors. Does anyone have a different version of it? If so, please send it my way. If this is the correct version, someone please let me know. Again, I am not sure so... you know... please help a sister out. lol.

3) As some of you noticed, I did not blog yesterday... but I had a very good reason. I was feeling so terrible that I slept almost all day. I certainly spent most of the day in bed. Anyway, I didn't do morning prayers yesterday and that frustrated me because I could have done it earlier, when I wasn't feeling as fatigued and sick. This is one of the biggest problems that I have -- procrastination. I always think I will have time to do it "a little later" and then, sometimes, things get in the way and then I don't have time. It's incredibly annoying. This Lent I want to work on my prayer procrastination. I hate to admit it but I totally failed again this morning because I was sleep deprived and hungry (no food in the house). By the time I got up, I was ready to rush to get some fast food before my doctor's appointment. I know, there are so many wrong things with that. lol. Someone (who knows me well enough to do so) needs to get on my case about this until I get the hang of it.

And that's it for now. I'm still not feeling 100% so please excuse the shorter than usual blog posts until I'm feeling better. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D

Monday, March 10, 2014

Genealogy through Church Records, Part One

I don't have much time to write as I'm in the middle of finding a lot of information on my mom's birth family (she was adopted) but, wow, God bless the priests and parishes who kept detailed records of marriages, baptisms, and confirmations.

I'm currently going through pictures of old (1555-1996) baptism records and I've already found my maternal great-grandparents... who mom didn't even know about. I've been having better luck with mom's side of the family because they were, well, wealthy and lived in a part of the country in which records were kept safely during the Cristero War. I've tried looking up info on dad's side but I get stuck in the mid 1800s since a lot of the fighting happened in the part of the country where that side of the family still lives. Apparently, the anti-Catholic folk burned a lot of the church records in the town my paternal family is from.

It's all so very fascinating and I would recommend anyone with some free time to try it out. You never know what you'll find out; I personally found out that my great-grandfather was baptized on my birthday, 105 years before I was born. How cool is that?

Anyway, just wanted to share this. It says "part one" because I fully intend to make this a series (or, at the very least, have a follow up).

I hope you all have a great week. :D If you have prayer requests, let me know. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God bless!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

My View, Vol. 2: Disneyland

Here's this week's entry for Julie's link-up.

This week I headed back to Disneyland for the first time in 11 months. An annual pass was gifted to me so I'm going to try to make the most of it. I've taken photos with my dinky little phone camera before but none came out as good as these (taken with the latest version of the iPod touch). Here are some of my favorite shots of the day. Oh, and please don't take without asking.

Inside the Beast's Library.

Close up of Sleeping Beauty's Castle.

 Sun setting in Cars Land.

Sun setting over Paradise Pier.

 One final shot of the beautiful colors of sunset.

Sadly, I didn't see any nuns at Disneyland this time around but here's hoping I'll see more on some next trip. ;)

Friday, March 7, 2014

Lent with a Limited Diet

I can't fast during Lent. I couldn't fast before because of this hypoglycemic-type illness that I inherited from my mom, but I really can't fast these days because I need the calories. I am medically excused from fasting... and I'm actually also excused from abstaining from meat (as I was last year) because chicken is one of the few things I can eat without problems. Trust me, I asked a priest last year (I've had the same problem for a year and a half now) because of how limited my diet was/is and I was told that I can eat chicken if it's the only way that I can get my calories in. I need at least 1860 calories per day to gain weight, which is not easy if you can't eat all foods.

Before anyone starts listing what I "can" eat, saying that I have other options, please don't. I appreciate it but you guys don't know just how much I struggle with foods right now. I've tried high calorie every food I can think of and I've have problems with a number of them, mostly sensitivities to the foods that aren't quite allergies but bad enough for me to feel sick.

I can't eat fish because my tongue got a bit swollen the last time I tried it. I can't eat quinoa because it wrecks my stomach. I have some sensitivities to avocado so I can't eat 'em. Soy bloats me. Basically, I can't eat a number of things because of how bad my stomach currently is, most fruits included. I can't eat or drink any dairy or eggs because I have allergies to them. Trust me, I struggle to get my calories in on a daily basis so it's even more difficult during Lent so I am trying to stay away from chicken on Fridays.

Since I cannot fast, I have to find another form of penance... which has been not sleeping these days because of my PTSD. I actually did sort of do a form of penance yesterday for eating on Wednesday. I won't be able to do the same penance on Good Friday but I'll ask my spiritual director for some help. It's hard though. I don't like that I'm sort of excluded from participating in the fasting because of my stomach problems. Prior to my stomach problems, it was easier. I could eat pasta and other good foods. Now? I can't because of how acidic most of them are. It's a pain but it's what I have to go through.

I'm sharing this because of the comments about "not trying hard enough" or not wanting to "suffer" during Lent. It's off but, you know, some people who don't know will assume and I wanted to set the record straight. To recap: I am medically excused from fasting because of limited my diet is but I still try to stay away from meat unless it's the only way I can get my calories in. At the moment, I can get my calories in on Fridays without meat but if there's ever a chance that I can't, I know I'm good.

And, if you're wondering, yes, I will confess any meat consumed during Lent (such as on Ash Wednesday because I didn't have anything to eat... and I still came under my calorie count). I know I'm excused but I still feel guilty... in a good way. I say in a good way because I hope it means that I care.

Anyway, this is today's blog post. I was kind of stumped about what to write so I sort of wrote this on a quick whim. I'll try to think of better topics. ;)

I'll be back tomorrow... even if all I do is post some of my favorite Catholic themed memes found on tumblr. lol. ;)

As always, thanks for reading and God bless. :D

Thursday, March 6, 2014

A Morning with Anxiety

Imagine that I'm Cary Grant and that Rosalind Russell is anxiety, throwing crazy symptoms my way. That's pretty much what anxiety is like; symptoms pop up and I have to find ways to either dodge the symptoms completely or find a way for it not to affect me as much. Sadly, today's panic attack was so intense that I wasn't sure it was a panic attack until it passed.

I did have something else planned for today but my anxiety just isn't letting me do anything so it's the perfect time to tell y'all what a morning with anxiety looks like.

My anxiety has been really, really bad today. How bad? Let me outline what a day with anxiety can look like. (note: this is just one example; not every day is like this and not every person experiences the same thing). All these things happened between 6:40 and around 8 a.m.

- 6:40 After sleeping for approximately one hour after dropping mom off at work, I am awakened to this maddening feeling of agitation, my heart racing in my chest, and shaking. I try to ignore it and try falling asleep again since I have my alarm set for 9 a.m.

- Having been sleeping when the panic attack struck, my anxiety shoots through the roof as I have no idea what is going on. I try to remain calm.

- I start feeling as though I will stop breathing and faint so, while still shaking, I get dressed in case I need to get help from my downstairs neighbors.

- I start pacing around the apartment to try to exercise off any excess anxiety. I feel my body temperature rise and I feel my face flush from the anxiety.

- I reach for the holy water and dab a bit on my forehead as I pray. I reach for my Benedictine Rosary as I continue to pace.

- Still feeling dreadful, I send a tweet asking for prayers because I am still unsure of whether it's a panic attack or something else. The shaking continues but the heart rate goes down back to normal.

- I send an iMessage to my wingman and ask for prayers; wingman replies within a minute or two and continues talking to me while the panic attack passes. I start feeling faint again so I sit down for a bit.

- I try to distract myself with Twitter while pacing. The shaking begins to subside but am too wound up to sit still.

- After an hour since the initial attack, I begin to feel exhausted from lack of sleep and from the panic attack. Shaking and all other symptoms are done.

- I finally get enough courage to take a short nap before I have to leave at 9 a.m. I ask my wingman to wake me up in case I sleep through my alarm (because I've been known to do that).

- Approx: 8:05 a.m. I climb into bed with the Rosary and the Chaplet of St. Dymphna that Allison made me in my hands and I curl up into a ball to sleep. I put on The Bishop's Wife on Amazon Instant (via Roku) and leave it on for background noise.

And that was my morning with anxiety. My PTSD has been crazy. This anxiety didn't start until the library incident last month. I get startled easily, I can't sleep (and will often waking up with a start when I'm falling asleep, making the actual falling asleep process that much longer), and I never know when the panic attacks will pop up. I'm physically exhausted and I did lose some weight (almost went back down to underweight last month) because of it. It's just not good. I'm sure part of my stomach problems are because of it as well. Fun times all around.

My therapy sessions for my PTSD don't start until the 19th of this month. I didn't even realize it was St. Joseph's feast day until Julie pointed it out. Maybe these sessions will be the answer to my prayers because I've been praying for these symptoms to calm down some. I can live with anxiety... but I just want to sleep. If I can get some sleep, I can deal with the symptoms much easier.

I'm currently feeling kind of crummy and anxious right now, which is what prompted this. I know many people don't understand anxiety or they read the symptoms and don't think it's as bad as people who suffer from anxiety describe it.

It makes me sad that some people think that I simply don't "try hard enough" or that I "don't trust God enough" and am told that "nothing should make me anxious because God has my back"... and, to be honest, that really ticks me off. This is not about me not trusting God; this is my body's reaction to an incident in which I felt physically threatened. I was so scared that day that something in my brain switched on and I seem to be on hyper-alert since.

I don't have control over it and for someone to say any of the things I just listed is, well, rude. Please don't tell me that I'm not trusting, that I'm not trying hard enough, or anything resembling any of those two sentences because it makes me feel worse. Please don't try to tell me about medications or anything else. I've suffered with anxiety for almost half my life now; I've tried enough things to know what works for me. Please just say a prayer for me or just reassure me that it's anxiety and that it will pass. That's all I need about 99% of the time; for someone just to remind me that it's just a terrible moment that will pass.

Anyway, I just wanted to share with y'all my little experience from this morning. Again, I didn't intend to write all of this but it's Lent. This is a good time to share a little glimpse into the cross that I carry (and have accepted it as my cross for as long as I have to carry it). Don't feel sorry for me as these panic attacks always make me refocus on God and less on petty things that aren't worth worrying about. :)

And that's it. I'm still exhausted from lack of sleep and the panic attack from this morning so I want to take it easy before I head to bed in a couple of hours. :) I hope y'all had a great day. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


I am skipping today's What I Learned Wednesday post to bring you a simple #AshTag picture.

This is a close-up of my ashes. Before you ask, it was done with a stamp by my spiritual director. Apparently Ash Wednesday stamps aren't very common elsewhere but they are in L.A. I've seen at least three parishes use them.

Anyway, I did wear my black mantilla to Mass (didn't seem right to wear my white; my own personal preference) but sadly you can't see it in this picture. Just take my word for it (unless you've seen the less extreme close up of the picture). :D

I hope you all have a fruitful and blessed Lenten season! I'll be blogging every day (or at least that is my goal; I'll explain more tomorrow) so stayed tuned to see how well I do... or how miserably I fail. lol.

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D

Saturday, March 1, 2014

My View, Vol. 1

Julie over at The Corner with a View started a new link-up which is more visual and less wordy for Saturdays. Since I do want to blog more often (but sometimes am stumped for topics), this will be something fun to do.

This is my view for the day... well, the past two days.

It doesn't seem like much but it is. "It's a tree... from the second floor. What's the big whoop?" you may be asking yourself. Well, look at it again. See the flooding around the tree? That's from the two storms we've been having in L.A. You can even see the raindrops falling into the puddles around the edges of the tree. Since we've been having a severe drought this year, the rain is actually a welcomed sight.

I love the rain. I love the sight, sound, and smell of it. Sometimes I think I should move to Seattle (cue my Seattle friends renewed their campaign to get me to move up there). With my anxiety being a little on the crazy side lately, the sound of the rain has been wonderful as it has helped relax me.

My view may be limited (and, really, done on purpose as I don't want people to know where I live) this weekend, but at least it's one that I am thoroughly enjoying. Btw, if you're following me on Instagram, you can find a video I recorded of yesterday's downpour. :D

And that's all for now. I think I'm going to make myself blog all throughout Lent so expect to see more blog posts popping up during the month. ;)

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D