Identifying Your Enemy

Don’t Let Your Enemies Break You.

“Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision…”                                      ~Sir Winston Churchill

zen-stones-2774524__340As I started thinking about this particular blog post, I started calculating what my readers and I have in common.  There is a reason we all gather here periodically to see what each other has to say on common interests.  The two things we all have in common are, we love to write and we all want to be happy. Some of us are adventurers and travelers and some are chronically ill, looking for encouragement from the words we share on our blogs. Even those that read my blog because they are friends or family who want to support me, have their own need for being uplifted.

“I don’t know about you, but to me, fear is an enemy to everything I am fighting to accomplish in my life.”


Joshua 1:9

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

This bible verse was found on my sons nightstand  when he died five years ago. By me, his mother.  So yes, it resonates with me on a level I hope none of you ever come to understand.  If you are not into the bible, I’m not here to preach or judge, I am just sharing with you, my thoughts on fear from my heart, through my experiences. We all feel fear at times and on many levels.  If my son knew he was dying that night, I’m sure he felt fear on an epic level and I take comfort in knowing that he leaned on God at that very moment. This is how I am striving to deal with my fears as well, along with exercise and my trusty “Calm” app.

Self Doubt Is Built, Brick By Brick

The specific fear that steps in front of me regularly is one of self doubt.  Where did it stem from? Going back through my life, I can pretty much pin point the incidents that started the construction of that wall.  Those stories will be elaborated on further in the book I am writing but for now, let’s just say, I think I know the “why” of it.  The question is; how do I undo the damage all these years later? How do I reprogram my thinking to knock down the brick wall that stops me in my tracks every time I try to do something that is “more” than I have ever done?  For example, deciding to write a book seemed like a doable task but when my editor sent me a sample outline and told me to make one for my book, I felt like  I needed to go back to 5th grade! Day by day, I started getting more and more scared which led to frustration which led to me throwing my pencil at the wall.  Then I cried.  I feel alone, like I am in over my head and that I don’t have what it takes to do this one thing that is so important to me.


But I “will” write this book.  I “will” do the things I feel are important to me because somehow, I have the courage to try, over and over until I get it right. The key to that courage is in the sentence above.  It’s important to me.  Usually, when I try to do something new and I hit the snag called “it’s too hard,” I just give up.  Common sense may tell me not to pursue a career in brain surgery but fear tells me I can’t write a book, understand an outline or be knowledgeable or fluent in anything.


Dig Deep To Find The Strength and Courage

The scripture above says to be “strong and courageous.”  What do you, my readers, do to be strong and courageous when you feel depressed, or when you are preparing for an adventure that might present dangerous situations?  How do you find strength and courage when you want to have a hard conversation with a spouse or adult child? How far down do you have to dig into your means of mental survival to find the strength and courage to come out from under the harsh demeaning words you were subjected to throughout your childhood so that you can rise above them and see your worth?


“Don’t Let Your Enemies Break You”

I have been giving in to my “Emotional Enemies” for years.  A couple of them are thorns in my side and one or two have morphed into daggers.  However, the main one “no decent man will ever love you” still echos in my mind to this day. Always right there to tell me that I will never be “enough” for anything worthwhile. These words, my friends, came from my father and it is the self doubt that I wear like a skin, to this day.


The purpose of this blog post is to make you think about what, if anything,  fear is holding you back from? If fear isn’t your particular “enemy,” what is? Does it hold you back from the things that make you happy or whole? Go find whatever gives you strength and courage, dig deep and find what you were given so that your enemies don’t break you.


“And remember, do your superman/superwoman pose every day for 5 minutes!”


My Brother’s Son

“Folks, this is how I think of my Son, living large and loving life.
I long for that bright and shining morning when we will be able to talk once again.
Until then my Son, enjoy the view !!”


IMG_3002This past week was a nightmare.  Just when I thought things couldn’t get worse, they did.  My plan for last week was to go to my mom’s on Saturday, July 1st to help get her to the Dr. for more tests to find out why she is so sick and rapidly losing weight.  Thoughts of cancer, tumors and death started to creep into my heart and mind.  Trying to keep her calm and encouraged while taking some of the responsibility off of the siblings who live closer.  Instead, I look at my phone on Friday, June 30, and see several missed calls from my sister Sherrie and several from my brother Chuck.  I called my sister, thinking it had to be something bad even though her text message said to call her asap and that it wasn’t mom.

That morning, our lives changed once again.   My oldest brother Chuck had just been told his 33 year old son was found dead in his apartment.  In an instant, my mind reeled back to the morning I got the very same call, telling me my son had been found dead in his apartment and once again, I was thrown into a whirlwind of emotions.  Now my brother was in that same storm.  I’m trying to put my finger on exactly what I felt at that moment and it was dread.  Dread for the road my brother had to walk down.  It’s a dark and soul crushing journey which seems to take forever.  He was in for a rollercoaster of emotions I never wanted anyone I love to ever experience.  But there he was.

I left immediately to go be with my mom and help her cope with the added stress this news would bring.  Chuck has an amazing wife who is his rock.  She has a heart of gold and is as smart as they come so I am grateful he has a love in his life to help him on this journey.  When I saw my brother the first day, I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was prepared to hold him up if he broke down even though I have never seen him waver emotionally.  He had his composure about him and seemed to want to focus on the good memories.  He took me to the graveyard where he wants himself and his wife laid to rest. I watched him make plans for these events by calculating measurements, and I thought, “He is being too strong for day one of this nightmare”.  That evening he posted some video’s on Facebook of his son Victor as a child and I knew right then he was about to hit that wall of grief.  And he did.  The next day wasn’t so kind to his heart but he rode that rollercoaster like a boss.  The entire week was emotionally draining for my brother and his wife as they had to call people and retell the story, take calls and retell the story, make arrangements, and worse of all, they had to go clean out his son’s apartment.  No parent should have to do this.  I did it and it was torture.  You will see the spot your child took his last breath, you might even see the clothes they had on when they passed or the iv bags the EMT’s leave behind showing that an attempt was made to save your child’s life.  You will see their life as they saw fit to live it.  How they decorated, what photo’s they chose to have displayed of family and friends, the magnets on their fridge, the books on their shelves and most importantly, the mementos of their childhood they chose to hang onto into adulthood. So there was some good things my brother got out of this horrible task and it does help to balance the nightmare you feel you are in at the moment.  I have to admit, I never thought this would touch anyone in my family again but it has and now I need to be there for my brother and counsel him anyway I can.

I guess the lesson here is; if you can help someone get through a tough time because you’ve been through it too, then do it.  Use the wisdom gained from your experiences to help someone else cope.  Help them find the strength to keep their eyes open for that pin light of hope at the end of the tunnel because they might not be able to see it yet, just like you couldn’t.  You know it’s there so just give them your strength to keep walking towards it.

When you lose a loved one, life will never be the same, it will just be different.  In order to heal , you have to embrace your new life in your own time and at your own pace.  Just remember:  Be Strong.  Be Brave.  Be Fearless.  You are never alone.

Starting Over

An adventure a day keeps depression away!

So, Twice Bitten180 was the first thing that came to mind when I had to decide on a new email and blog name.  It probably isn’t hard to figure out but I’ll explain anyway.  I am 55 years old and am having to pick up the pieces of my life and start over…Again.   First time was when I was 28 and my husband decided that the 18 year old girl was more appealing than the wife and kids.  After 4 years (and a third child) I had had enough.  I packed up my three little boys and moved into a government funded apartment, worked two jobs and was determined to focus on them and making their lives happy and successful.  Twelve years later I took a chance on love again and eventually (15 years later to be exact) same thing happens.   This one, however, was the kill shot to my soul.  I lost my youngest son five years ago  ( February 25,2012 ) and the man who should have had my back bailed on me 5 years to the day of that loss.

This blog will have some gut wrenching stories as well as some funny ones.  My main goal is to share through my writings, encouragement as well as ideas that you, the reader, can take and implement into your own lives.

For some of us, starting over means relearning how to live.  I mean, really LIVE and not just survive.  Have you ever been in a really dark place emotionally?  Sometimes, things happen in our lives that make us just not want to live another second.  I never understood how a person could get to that place but unfortunately, now I know.  It took a lot of prayer and looking at pictures of my family to snap me out of it.  I don’t think I could have actually harmed myself but the thoughts of it were bad enough.  We all have baggage in our lives and mine is no different so if  I have the means to help just one person pick up those pieces and create a new heart and soul, or to simply laugh out loud then I will do my best. This blog might not meet the specs of how it’s supposed to be created but I have no clue what I’m doing.  Like, this should probably be my About page but hey, I’m doing my own thing now right?  I am just going to write about things that I am experiencing now that I am on the “other side” of that dark place because for the first time in a long time, I feel like I am really living!

First blog post

My girl Molly and I are almost loaded up and ready to leave this life behind and go start over.  I can’t wait to see her reaction to grandkids and cats!