Monday’s Thoughts

An Ordinary Mom Is Moving

I’m really excited to announce that An Ordinary Mom is moving! The new website is still getting all the kinks ironed out but you can now find me at An Ordinary Mom’s Musings.

This is a big move for me and HUGE learning curve. I’m hoping though that it will be a place where I can continue to grow and develop my blog, my writing, and my brand. See you over there!

woman in grey shirt holding brown cardboard box

Photo by bruce mars on

My Journey With Anxiety

My diagnosis of an Anxiety Disorder came while my husband was deployed to Iraq for the first time. But I really think it started a few years earlier when I was employed as a Live-in Nanny and broke my leg. I was not able to work, yet living in my employers’ house and eating her food. She wasn’t very happy and neither was I. I lost a lot of weight during that time because the thought of food was repellent to me, and it wasn’t unusual for me to throw up due to the upsetting nature of my situation.

Fast forward a couple of years and my Husband is deployed to Iraq and was dodging IED’s. I was worried he wouldn’t come home whole. One day while at work the room started spinning around, I started shaking internally and physically, uncontrollably, not stopping for hours. I felt detached from the world like I was viewing it outside of my body. This scared me. My boss took me to the ER that night, and 5 hours later I was finally seen. By that time it had passed, so of course, the doctor had no diagnosis. He just referred me to my GP. I was emotionally drained. Nothing remotely like that had ever happened before to me. Unfortunately, that was not the last time. I went through numerous tests, and my first MRI to see if they could figure out what was wrong with me. In the end, they said it was Anxiety attacks and I needed medication and therapy. Eventually, the attacks subsided and I was able to go back off the medication only having occasional small little blips. Life was good.

A few more years passed and my husband got a job in Alaska. We lived in the Washington DC area, and this was going to be quite a change. I spent 5 months at my mother-in-law’s home with my two kids in Utah while my husband went through training for his new job. While there I suddenly had a hard time breathing. It felt like something was sitting on my chest. I went to the doctor and he was certain that since I had had Asthma as a child, it must be back. He had me blow into the peak flow meter, which yielded very poor results, and I promptly passed out. This meant a trip in an ambulance to the ER. It was the poor doctor’s first day on the job. They confirmed the diagnosis of Asthma and gave me an inhaler. But… the inhaler didn’t do anything. After further appointments, they decided it wasn’t Asthma, but my anxiety attacks were back, just coming in a different form. Back on medications and therapy, I went.

I had a good 5 years or so without medication. I had learned that when my chest started to feel tight to start the relaxation breathing I had learned. I’d also figured out that one of the indicators that I was getting into trouble and my anxiety attacks were going to start up again, is that it’s proceeded by migraines. So if I started getting several migraines in a row I knew it was time to make some lifestyle adjustments.

Our last year in Alaska, I knew that my old nemesis was coming back. I could tell that I was barely keeping it at bay. But I really didn’t want to go back on medication. I sought out a Naturopath who did some blood work, put me on some supplements and it bought me another year.

We moved to Washington State next, and with the things that were going on with my children, the move, and all the change I suddenly started experiencing severe eye pain. I was completely helpless when this would hit. I had just filled a new prescription for my glasses so I thought maybe something had gotten messed up and maybe the prescription was wrong. The eye doctor said, no. My eyes and prescription were just fine… At this point, I knew without anyone telling me what was going on. My anxiety attacks were back and I could no longer just use supplements.

Medication trials came and went as we tried to find the right medicine, the right dosage. I’m not even sure that we have it right, a year and a half later. But I’ve learned that most of the time when something starts going wacky with my body, get it checked out, but it’s probably ANXIETY.

It’s important to realize that anxiety attacks can come in all different shapes, sizes, types, and more. I believe for most people that their attacks generally come with one or two symptoms. Not everyone is as lucky as I am and has their attacks manifest in all different ways. But know that this is a possibility. Things don’t always go by the book.

The Beast That Is Social Media

Social Media is a unique animal. It is a wonderful place to form connections with people all over the world. It’s also a place that can cause us a lot of grief with our interactions with others.

Often, we feel freer to voice our opinion of things on Social Media because we aren’t talking face to face with someone. It is much easier to voice your disagreement over a subject when you aren’t sitting across from them. Many of us (myself included) feel passionate about things and post regularly on Social Media about them. Many of us have friends who take the opposing view of the things that we are passionate about.

Lately, one person, in particular, has been driving me a little crazy with her frequent posts about something I disagree vehemently with. I have choices I can make. I can unfollow that person and quit seeing all the things that they are posting. I could engage with this person and tell her nicely (or not so nicely) what I think. I could leave it alone and continue to share my thoughts and beliefs, not in a passive aggressive way, but continuing as I have been posting, things I feel are important and relevant as I find/think about them.

I have decided to take the later course in this case with occasionally delving into the realm of the second choice and here’s why. I don’t believe speech should be squashed. I believe in my right to be heard, so I want to afford others that right as well even if I disagree vehemently with them. I truly believe what I said in this meme.

We need to hear different opinions and viewpoints even if we don’t agree with them. If we all thought the same about things, there would never be any growth or change. We need to better understand our friend with this opposing viewpoint. Just because they have a differing viewpoint doesn’t make them a bad person necessarily (though some viewpoints would if you want to be black and white about it). This is your friend. Someone you care about. Doesn’t it make sense to take a few minutes to try and understand why and how they came to the opposite conclusion you did rather than automatically deciding that they are wrong?

If, even after hearing them out and you still decide that you are right and they are wrong, these are people who are entitled to form their own opinions. They are people you care about. Hopefully, you have spent the time getting to know the “why” and now you have a better understanding of your loved one. Isn’t that worth hearing them out?