Gratitude 24March17 Death Warmed Over

It’s been a rough week. A struggle with a bout of depression, coupled with a psych medication change, has had me sleeping or walking around in a blur. 

Yesterday I  was devastated when I couldn’t get myself together. But, today I rallied — feeling like death warmed over — got it together to do the last bit I could to save my health and mental health care. After all the calls, letters, marches — I had to at least give one more hour before the vote. 

After I was done, I climbed back into bed knowing I had done my best. I woke to a text from my daughter “Healthcare bill withdrawn.” I turned on television to watch the announcements. 

There is no joy. It’s a reprieve.

Today I am thankful 

  • I have healthcare.
  • Very thankful for those who support me.
  • Light is slowly coming back into my world.
  • I am a #gratefulsurvivor

As I finish this and head back to bed, my mind is already thinking of calls, postcards, and letters. It will be up to the people to hold their representatives accountable to maintain our current healthcare.

Not today, though. 

affectionately yours, Laura

Gratitude 14March17 Complacent

26c4426e1e054b6ad306014f5311659dToday’s blog is brought to you by the letter C. C as in complacent.

Complacent is an adjective. Merriam-Webster’s primary definition for it is as follows: marked by self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies:  marked by complacency:  self-satisfied

Today while communicating with a good friend, I shared that I felt there were areas in my life that I had become complacent about. Things are very comfortable in my life right now. Maybe, too much? I have begun to settle for this. Yet, I have to remind myself of dreams unfulfilled and bucket lists items unchecked.

Sometimes, a plateau of comfort is a good place to rest, but, not to stay. 

Today I am thankful

  • I spent valued time with my Uncle. What a charmer.
  • It was a beautiful day for a drive.
  • Time at my favorite coffee shop writing.

My second favorite song is Louis Armstrong’s “It’s a Wonderful World.” And when you look around, there’s so much to be grateful for. It makes it hard to just settle for comfortable.

affectionately yours, Laura

Gratitude 13March17 Long Winter

A few thoughts .. Please let this be the last snow storm. I really am ready for spring. The irony; whenever I say my microwave is spying on me, they increase my medication. It is National Nap Day and I am going to celebrate it after I post this blog. 

Today I am thankful 

  • I am still filled with happiness from a weekend with family.
  • My paperwork pile is dwindling. 
  • I got some writing done. I am having a challenging time staying focused.
  • My women’s group – East Metro Huddle – is really amazing. 

I am wishing you a happy Monday. 

affectionately yours, Laura

Gratitude 10March17 Hard Calls

I just got done making calls to my senators and congress people in Washington. I am asking them to vote against the new health care plan – Trumpcare. Not asking, really, begging. 

For those of you who have followed my blog over the years, you know my story. I have a diagnosis of clinical depression that is severe and recurrent. I am a suicide survivor. 

Trumpcare will no longer provide coverage to those with mental illness after December 31, 2019. Nor will it federally require any insurance company to provide mental health care coverage.

Approximately 43.8 million people in the United States suffer an episode of mental illness a year. National Institute of Mental Illness (NAMI)

During my darkest of times I am hospitalized for my safety. Depression is seductive. It tells you are better off dead. “Just end it” “Do everyone a favor” “Why keep struggling like this?” The hospital, medication, and regular therapy keep me alive and balanced. It is my lifeline. 

This is not “free”coverage for me. Over a third of my disposable disability income goes toward my insurance premiums, co-pays, and medications. Not to mention, if I happen to fall and end up with an emergency room bill. 

Untreated mental illnesses in the U.S. cost more than $100 billion a year in lost productivity, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

When making my calls today, I told the clerks I loved my life. I have grandchildren, family, and friends I need to fight to stay alive for. 

I, like many Americans with chronic mental health conditions, will not survive without the treatment and benefits health care insurance provides me.

This new health care plan will strip those opportunities for treatment away. The plan makes them unaffordable and unattainable for the mentally ill.

Please, vote NO to Trumpcare.

Today I am thankful 

  • I have a phone to make calls
  • I have a voice
  • Today I still have coverage

Any help you can offer is greatly appreciated. Call. Write. Your people in Washington. 

    affectionately yours, Laura

    Gratitude 9March17 My Friend, April

    I have a new online friend. Her name is April. I really value the friendship because she is non-judgemental and a great listener. That’s important, you know. 

    April lives at the Animal Adventure Park in New York. Currently she is fifteen months pregnant by her partner Oliver.

    A striking woman at fourteen feet tall; because of her current condition, she spends her days hanging out and munching on leaves and treats throughout the day. Which is why she has time to chat with me.

    Today I am thankful

    • A long warm bath
    • Grateful for a phone call with someone I love
    • Scandal is back on tonight

    Everyone needs a friend like April. Some have a dog or cat. I video chat with a giraffe. Always an adventure. 

    affectionately yours, Laura

    Gratitude 8March17 Celebrating Women

    Here’s to strong women, may we know them, may we be them, and may we raise them. International Women’s Day 2017

    Today I am thankful

    • Scrambled eggs and toast for a very upset stomach
    • Good Earth tea
    • I love my home

    I am celebrating vicariously through my social media and television with women around the world. 

    It’s an amazing sight. #women #hearourvoice #wevote ✊🏼

    affectionately yours, Laura 

    Gratitude 7March17 “Mother, What on earth?”

    Birthdays have never bothered me. Until this one. It was the number. Sixty. It has been the reality staring back at me in my mirror. It definitely has been been my body talking back to me. “You want me to go into that yoga position, why?” 

    All of the above had me dragging myself into my sixty year decade. I remember thinking in my younger years “I wonder what old people do?” I am happy to inform the younger generation, we are doing everything you are doing. Maybe, a little better with experience. 

    Today I am thankful 

    • What a fabulous weekend I am recovering from.
    • I love my blue chaise couch and my blanket..
    • My new Kat Martin mystery. 

    This weekend I came to peace with this whole sixty business. A lot of writing , a long walk, and a plan in place.  And here’s what it all came down to for me.

    I am content. I am at peace with myself. I do everything I can to be healthy. I have family and friends that love and support me unconditionally.  I may not have all I want. Yet, I have all I need. 

    I am filled with gratitude that God has blessed me so abundantly to be sixty.

    And I intend to be that older woman who after a random Instagram post, gets that call from her daughter asking “Mother, what in the world?”

    affectionately yours, Laura