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Monday, June 1, 2015

Life, Anxiety and Beautiful Peonies

I've been blogging for almost two years and I think it's about time I open up and get a little personal.  My life isn't all pretty pictures and perfectly staged projects and rooms.  I'm going to be completely honest and let you all in on a little secret.  I struggle with anxiety, tension headaches and migraines.   Like full on panic attacks and migraines that consist of laying in a dark room only being able to open my eyes and move enough to vomit in a near by bucket.  Attractive, huh?

Just about anything from getting lost, making decisions, spending large amounts of money or getting overwhelmed can trigger an attack or migraine.   Sometimes it comes on quick and sometimes it lingers for days or even weeks.  I tend to get overwhelmed and stressed out easily, which is a daily struggle with work, taking care of my family and keeping up with our home.  Lately, there have been far more bad days than good, which makes it hard to enjoy my kids and keep up on day to day life.  I feel like I'm failing as a mother and wife.  My kids and husband deserve much more out of me than I can give.  I'm tired, have chronic headaches, my back and neck muscles are constantly tight and I'm just plain irritable.  Ask my husband, he'll tell you.

I've tried prescription anxiety medications to help alleviate the tension headaches, but weaned myself after gaining nearly 20 lbs.  I still take prescription medication for migraines, but have been trying to deal with the stress on my own.   So far I feel like I'm failing...miserably.

So, you can imagine how freaked out I was when we came home from a graduation party Saturday afternoon to a flooded basement.  I completely lost it, like full on freak out mode.

It has only been 5 months since our last flood (FIVE MONTHS!!!) and I just couldn't believe this was happening.  Our basement is once again a complete mess and our house smells like a musty pond.  Thank goodness we hadn't had a chance to replace the carpet, which meant we didn't have to deal with ripping up and dragging out soggy padding again.  Either way, it is still a major pain in the butt.

Once the carpet dries it will get laid back down until I figure out what the heck I'm going to do.  I'm not sure if I want to replace the carpet or go a completely different route with tile or laminate.

On a brighter note, something that makes me incredibly happy amongst all the other stress in my life are my beautiful peonies.
Pink Peonies
Peonies were the only flower I had in my wedding and I love that they bloom around our anniversary every year.
Peony wedding bouquet
If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook then you know I have been stalking the buds in anticipation of them blooming.  They remind me so much of my wedding day and I just can't get enough of them.
Beautiful Peonies

Beautiful Peonies
I have been thoroughly enjoying them being displayed all over our house these past few weeks.  Thankfully, at least while I am upstairs they drown out the musty smell of the wet basement.

They brighten up my dining room...

Pink Peonies


and living room.

beautiful Peonies
The dark pink flowers always bloom before the light pink, which actually works out well.  I'm able to enjoy the darker ones for awhile then once they die, the light pink are just beginning to bloom. 

                           Beautiful peonies

Beautiful Peonies

I may take this week off blogging to save my sanity, clean the basement, catch up on sleep and actually fold the laundry that's been piling up in baskets.   I'll be back soon with a mudroom update that I've been waiting to complete for months. 

Would you like to comment?

  1. Oh. bless your heart. I can relate as I have suffered from migraines all my life. The only trigger I've been able to identify is lack of sleep. But through the years I couldn't always control that. I felt bad for my kids when I had them as I could barely function. But I'm sure you do lots of fun things when you feel like yourself.
    I'm really sorry about the basement. What a mess that can be. I hope you can find and fix the problem.
    Anyway, I'm glad you have those beautiful peonies to brighten your days. Just as you look at those tightly closed buds and have faith that they will open into the lovely flowers you enjoy, have faith that you will get through your dark days and "bloom" again, too.

  2. Oh Katie, life can get so overwhelming sometimes, so busy and full of stress. Tack on a migraine or anxiety and I can't imagine how hard that would be to push through. I hate those times in my life - the days and weeks of seemingly endless stress. When I reach those points where I just can't keep up - physically and emotionally, I force myself to step back. Sometimes I just need to give myself permission to not do EVERYTHING and certainly to not have to do everything PERFECTLY. I'm glad you're taking a break to look after that (stupid) basement and hopefully with that behind you you'll feel ready to take on the rest again. I am absolutely dying to see that mudroom my friend - I just know it's going to be AMAZING!!! Sending hugs and love girl!

  3. Katie, I am so glad you write this. It's so easy to sit back while struggling and look at others and think you are a mess while they have it all together. I'm here to tell you, you are not alone in this! I have been struggling with some depression and anxiety for about a year now and finally went to the Doctor for antidepressants and started counseling in February. It's a hard thing to talk about so I think you are so BRAVE to put it out there. Migraines are the WORST! I really feel for you on that. Thinking of you and hoping the clouds clear soon for you.

  4. It breaks my heart to read this and hear that you're struggling. Although I don't experience stress at the levels you do, I definitely have my fair share of freak outs and I hope you know you are not alone in this. I can guarantee every blogger has gone through this at some point in some way and I admire your strength for sharing your story. Sometimes we need to just take a step back and regroup and not worry about what will happen if we don't share a post for a week or two. I'm glad your peonies have brought some light into your life through all of this, I don't know how they couldn't, they're the best flower there is ;) Hang in there and I'll be sending lots of love and positive vibes your way. P.S. you look gorgeous in your wedding photo! <3

  5. So...what you're saying is you're basically a normal type A personality. I don't think you could do what you do if you weren't. It's good to hear there are more of me out there minus (thank goodness) the migraines. I've never been a fan of prescription drugs and very much prefer to find natural and holistic ways to deal with "stuff". My three blood pressure meds also made me gain weight and my doctor just wouldn't listen to me about it. So after taking a pharmacy class where the professor said you always have to be your own health care advocate, I started do my own research. I became a vegetarian and take my stress out at the gym, yoga, gardening or anything else that makes me happy. My blood pressure is completely normal now. In fact, it's lower than when I was on the meds. Anyway....I work with a natural and holistic person for any of our "needs". In doing so, I have become a HUGE fan of oil of oregano. It is suppose to be the cure all for many things, including migraines. It's the only thing I have in the house for headaches, which it typically knocks out in less than half an hour. ('s does take blecky-lol). I'm also successfully using it for a nail fungus I have had for years on my left hand and foot. I hope you feel better and we faithful fans will await with great anticipation - at least this avid fan - your up and coming posts. Take good care of yourself first and foremost. Check out the wonders of oil of oregano!

  6. Katie, so sorry to hear about your stresses but glad you are opening up about your struggles maybe this could be start to easing some tension.
    May I suggest you look into Yoga and Meditation? The quietness my ease your headaches and the light body movements release stress. You can start easy not over doing anything. You tube has great meditation videos and Yoga as well. You can also try green teas and lavender scents in every room to keep you calm help reduce migraines from escalating. I hope you feel better soon, keep sharing I am wishing you all the best xo:)!

  7. Oh, my sweet friend! How I can relate with you on this subject. I also struggle with anxiety, panic attacks and had postpartum depression with both my pregnancies. It's not nearly as bad as it once was but it's always right there under the surface and I have flare ups when I'm under a lot of stress. I had bad side effects from anxiety meds and also gained a ton of weight on them. I hate that you're struggling right now. I wish I could give you a big hug and tell you in person that it's going to be okay. Because it will. You've got this. You are brave and strong and AMAZING. Please be gentle with yourself and take a break if you need it. I'll be praying for you and sending lots of positive energy your way. ~Amy
    P.S. You look stunning in your wedding photo and your flowers are gorgeous. I love peonies too.
    P.P.S. What the frig with the flooded basement again?! Was it the washer again or something else?

  8. Katie, it's so awesome that you can put all of this out there! What a big load off your chest! I can totally relate to everything you said. I also suffer from pretty severe anxiety and have had my fair share of panic attacks. I was on meds for years but had some unpleasant side effects and decided to stop taking them a few years ago. Now, without meds, it takes a lot sometimes to be able to step back and look at the big picture and realize that everything doesn't have to be perfect and that its normal for things to go wrong from time to time. You are sooo not alone in this! I'm sure you have great family and friends and of course your (super cool) bloggy tribe to support you and who understand how you're feeling! Take a break, clean that basement (sometimes cleaning can be therapeutic!), and take some deep breaths. It will get better. And the blog will always be here when you get back! Sending hugs...and anti-headache vibes... your way!!!! Chin up! :)

  9. this old woman has been there and i know how tiring it is,both physically and mentally so give yourself all the break that you need, i iwish you were little and i could kiss your booboos' away xx