Today’s Grateful Things: Kid’s Edition

1. I was attack-hugged by some little kids today. (All are related to me, so these weren’t random kids).

2. I played “hide the doll” with two of my nieces.

3. I got to go to the library and check out some books (life-long reader here; what can I say?)

4. My niece (age 3) told me that I was the squiggly pink line in her chalk drawing on the ground. 🙂

5. Two words: Piggyback rides!


10 Things I’m Grateful For

I’m trying this new thing at the end of every day. So, in its inaugural post, may I present:

10 Things I am Grateful For Today

1. It wasn’t so hot today!

2. I was able to be there for a friend who needed to talk.

3.  I am actually going to be able to fall asleep today.

4.  Things were quiet here at home.

5.  I got a hug from my niece today, and she never likes giving hugs.

6.  I was reminded that even grownups have to take the time to play sometimes.

7.  I was reminded that magic is everywhere, if we take the time to look for it.

8.  I’ve got people who love me, no matter what.

9.  Nature is the best teacher.

10. I got the chance to learn something new today.

Something to Look Into Further

I was on Google looking for some more natural sleep aids since I’m in an insomnia cycle right now.  I take catnip and it helps, but I can’t use it all the time.

One of the results I got said that insomnia could be a symptom of adrenal fatigue syndrome. I had no clue what that is or what its symptoms are, so I looked it up.

This is copied directly from

Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome comes from a failure of the adrenal glands to efficiently produce hormones. The adrenal glands secrete cortisol, a hormone fundamental to optimal health. An excess of cortisol in the body can lead to severe problems, including Cushing’s syndrome. However, when released in normal levels by the adrenal gland, cortisol is essential to helping our bodies cope with stress and to fight infection – without cortisol the body cannot sustain life! Balance is crucial. Cortisol affects every tissue, organ, and gland in the body. When the adrenal glands are fatigued, they do not supply the body with enough cortisol. The body does what it can to get by, but it is not without consequences. As such, Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome generally precedes other chronic conditions.

I am intrigued now, so I go on to look at the symptoms of this condition.  Again, directly from the above website:

  • Fatigue, lethargy:
    • Lack of energy in the mornings, and also in the afternoon between 3 and 5 pm.
    • Often feel tired between 9 and 10 pm, but resist going to bed.
  • Lightheadedness (including dizziness and fainting) when rising from a sitting or laying-down position.
  • Lowered blood pressure and blood sugar.
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering (brain fog).
  • Consistently feeling unwell or difficulty recovering from infections.
  • Craving either salty or sugary foods to keep going.
  • Unexplained hair loss.
  • Nausea.
  • Alternating constipation and diarrhea.
  • Mild depression.
  • Decreased sex drive.
  • Sleep difficulties.
  • Unexplained pain in the upper back or neck.
  • Increased symptoms of PMS for women – periods are heavy and then stop (or almost stop) on the 4th day, only to start flow again on the 5th or 6th day.
  • Tendency to gain weight and inability to lose it – especially around the waist.
  • High frequency of getting the flu and other respiratory diseases – plus a tendency for them to last longer than usual.

All of these symptoms might be caused by an inability of your body to produce enough cortisol – the root cause of adrenal fatigue syndrome.

I don’t have all of those symptoms, but I have enough of them to make me wonder.

A common cause of adrenal fatigue syndrome, according to the website, is being under a constant level of stress–be it physical stress (from illness, infection, or disease) or emotional stress.  It gets to the point where the adrenal glands basically burn out, can’t keep up with the constant demand for cortisol, and simply stop producing enough.

There are tests that can diagnose it and it can be fixed, the websites say. I’m going to be doing more research on this, as it explains a lot of things that have been happening to me for years.


Just a Vent

Today is not a good day.

My parents are out feeding the thing that’s taken them over. They’ve been gone since before I woke up. Well, correction: I saw my mom for about two minutes between jaunts to throw their money away.

Bills are due. They say that they’ve taken care of them, but I can’t believe it. I feel like I can’t believe much of what they say anymore regarding money unless I see it with my own eyes.

I don’t understand how they can always say there’s no money for things, but somehow there’s always money when they want to go off to feed the beast that lives inside them.  They whine about not having gas money, but somehow there’s always some money to just toss away.

I just don’t know what to do anymore. I can’t confront them about it, because all they’re going to say is that they’re making the money and they can toss it in a blender and drink it if they want. That’s true, but where does that stop?

I know that everybody deserves to relax and let off steam sometimes, but again, where does that stop? When does it stop being about relaxation and start being downright harmful?

Somebody help me understand it.

An Insomniac’s Guide to Psychology

I’m back to not sleeping again. I seem to go through cycles where I sleep easily with no trouble and then to where I’m up to all times of the night.

I can’t shut my brain up tonight. I envy those people who never have bouts with insomnia.

I keep getting flashes of the diagram that represents Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Every time I see it I have to ask myself what part of the hierarchy is missing from my life. Something from there has to be missing, or else I wouldn’t keep getting flashes about it.

I wonder how many people who can’t sleep can say that their brains take them through a tour of psychology? Probably not too many.

Nature, Nurture, and Addiction

How much are we like our parents?

I was a psychology major in college, and the nature vs. nurture debate was one that I took very personally. I’ve always believed that we are a combination of our genes and our environment, but now I’m wondering if it’s not as even a split as I thought.

My parents…well, I guess I have to put it out there.  I’ve named what happened to me–as uncomfortable as it makes me still–and they say that you must first name your demon before you confront it.

My parents are addicts. I wish it were some physical substance they were addicted to; at least with that I could see them through the detox process, as painful as I’ve heard they can be.  But this…I don’t know how to help them through this.

It’s said that addiction is a genetic thing, and that those with the deposition are prone to falling easily into addiction. In light of my family history, you can see why I’m so afraid.

I’m afraid that I will run across something one day–whether a substance or a behavior–that will flip the switch in me as this thing has flipped the switch inside my parents.  And then I will devote all my time, my energy, my heart and soul and all my substance to it, and I will be lost.

This thing has stolen away my parents’s good sense. It’s all they think about–especially my father. It’s like they are blind to what’s happening to them.  I think they are both in heavy denial, maybe more on my mother’s side than on my father’s.

Maybe it’s a sickness and they are helpless in the face of it. I don’t like that idea, but it might be. But if that’s so, what does that mean for me?

What Makes for Strength and Weakness?

I have been thinking about weakness and strength.

I know life is hard. I know that it seems like life wants to beat us all into pulp if we let it. But what makes some people strong and able to deal with life, and other people not as able to deal with it?

I know some very strong people. My teacher for example. She’s been through things that would fell a weaker person, but she stands up every day and she keeps going. If life hits her, she hits back harder. I really love and admire her.

Me? I don’t consider myself very strong, or able to handle life. I do what I do because it must be done, so that other people can have time to do the things that are important to them. I work hard so that other people won’t have to work as hard later. This is not strength; it’s just life.

My parents are…weak. I don’t know when exactly it happened, but they decided to withdraw from life, and that made them weak.  I discovered some things about my parents that make me angry with them. I feel uncomfortable being angry with them, but telling myself that isn’t helping me be less angry.

I also feel very sorry for them. I don’t really understand why, but I do.

I don’t want to be like my parents later on down the road. I don’t want to decide one day that life is just too hard and pawn it off on somebody else.