Learning To Love The Drive

Learning To Love The Drive

And making time to make it happen.
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There was once a short time in my relationship with my husband when all my mind could think about was getting down in the sheets. I’m not going to lie. This is what we will call the “honeymoon” stage. It was right after we got married. For some reason, just the thought of him walking through the door was enough for me to want to stop whatever I was doing and take it to the bedroom. He didn’t mind and obviously craved the deed as much as I did. Again, “honeymoon” stage. Now fast forward nearly five years after we got married and things are much different.

At first I would just say I was tired. Which I would say is true about 90% of the time. Between keeping up with all household responsibilities from laundry and groceries to bathrooms and meals, and raising two beautiful children, by the time my head can think of anything else, my physical and emotional being just wants to be in bed. So then the other excuse would be that I didn’t feel well. Which I would say is true about 5% of the time. Sometimes it’s a combination of the two.

I thought that there was something wrong with me because out of all the times my husband wanted it, I maybe wanted it 5% of the time. I was beginning to think that maybe my whole “drive” just gave out once I became a mom. It became a chore for me, just something else to add on to my ever growing list of things to do. At some point I remember my husband looking at me and asking what happened. He didn’t say it to be rude or obnoxious, but because he remembered that at some point, we were on the same page. Honestly, I did miss it, but couldn’t justify giving up sleep for it.

Then one day, my view completely changed. An acquaintance in one of my groups had told everyone that she was pregnant. Between her and her husband, they have seven kids together and their youngest I believe is under a year old. The thought that immediately came to my mind was how did they have time to be on each other with that many kids? Turns out, I wasn’t the only one thinking it. It was brought up several times from several different people. Her answer was simple: it wasn’t about finding the time; it was about making time, making their relationship a priority.

I suddenly felt guilty. I realized that even though our lives had changed since we first got married; our lives did have a constant – us. We were still in this together. He chose me. The fact that he still wants to do the deed after two c-sections and nearly forty pounds later, should be taken as joyous compliment. After our almost nine years together, nearly five of them married, and he still finds that moment and passion for me that he did then? That makes me fall in love with him just a little bit more.

After this whole eye opening experience, I’ve learned to say yes more often. And I am so glad I do. It doesn’t feel like a chore anymore. I sometimes get upset when it doesn’t happen when I think it should. We’ve gotten closer through it all, almost like we’re back in the “honeymoon” stage. One day looking back, I want our kids to look at us and know we’re in love. I want them to be able to see the flirty touches and the hunger we have in our eyes for each other. I want them to be able to see that it wasn’t about finding time, it was about making it.

Cover Image Credit: Geoff Openshaw

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black and white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble; and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time, until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling; whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die," or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you, you are not alone.

If you're thinking about hurting yourself please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionhotline.org to live chat with someone. Help it out there and you are not alone.


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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4 Ways Clutter Is Negatively Affecting Your Health

Clutter affects your physical, emotional, and psychological health.

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If you're aware that your cluttered space is causing you stress and discomfort, it might be helpful to understand how and why clutter affects our health. When we clear our space we are more likely to feel at ease, relaxed, and tranquil. There is no better time to freshen your space than at the start of the new year when we are already setting new intentions and re-assessing goals and putting new ideas into motion.

1. Clutter produces dust and exacerbates allergies

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Have you ever gone through your closet or bookshelf, only to see the visible layers of dust and dirt that were hidden behind your items? Clutter gives dust and other environmental fibers a place to accumulate. If you find yourself sneezing, coughing, or tired and fatigued in your space, it might be time to de-clutter - your itchy eyes will thank you!

2. Lack of organization in your belongings leads to stress and anxiety

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I know I'm not the only one who has had the experience of needing an item before running out the door, only to realize it wasn't where you left it...and now you need to tear apart your entire room looking for it. Sound familiar? Having too much clutter leads to a disorganized space that provokes anxiety and stress and can have a strong, negative impact on your day to day life. Whoever came up with, "a place for everything and everything in its place" was definitely onto something.

3. Clutter puts your nervous system in overdrive

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Cluttered environments are taxing on the nervous system. The sensory overload prevents us from being able to relax and rest, and keeps us activated in our sympathetic nervous system, AKA "fight or flight". This means we're more likely to be on edge and hyper-aware than calm and relax when at home.

4. Living in a cluttered space impacts your mood and self-esteem

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Our brains thrive off of order and organization. When things are disordered and chaotic around us, it's natural to feel irritable and frustrated in response, lowering mood and reducing our self-esteem and self-worth. Rather than thinking about the things you want to get rid of when de-cluttering, focus on what things you want to keep and what you want to have in your immediate environment.

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