Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Continuing to Grow

Here is the short of it: 

I currently have an "adjustment disorder."

That may sound fancy, but Kim told me that today, and it really helped explain to me what is going on. 

Back in March, I came face-to-face with the facts that my way of coping with life was NOT working. Unlike some people who are doing that coping through alcohol or anger, mine was much harder to see. But it was there. 

And so now I am healing. 

But in the course of that healing, I continue to have good and bad days. Although, honestly, it's more like good and bad weeks. But each time I get into a "rut", my Jesus shows up to help me get out of the rut.

It happened again this morning. 

Other than a little break in the sadness when we were on Kiawah Island (which I think was just a special gift from God), I had been going on about a week and a half of hard stuff. No one is worried about this except me. My "team" (which includes John, my counselor, and four trusted humans) doesn't worry.

But I do. I get so AFRAID of going into the depths of despair. Even as I write this, the fear gone, I can try to tell myself not to fear the next time. And yet the next time comes, and I fear again.

But this morning, the Lord brought FOUR people to me AT THE SAME TIME who said the EXACT same thing to me. 

It started with one friend telling me that I didn't have to "perform" for her to be my friend. She was JUST my friend. 

John then came into the room where I was crying. I told him that when I got like this, I felt so useless. He said the exact same thing my friend had just said. He said: "Wendi, if you were paralyzed, I'd still be your husband even if you could do nothing."

Sidenote: being paralyzed has always been a huge fear of mine. While John always said "as long as I can read, I'm good", I always said: "Do NOT let me live like that."

Then my cousin messaged me with nearly the same message. And an aunt. I don't have to BE or DO to be VALUED. If all I could do was lay there and drool, I have VALUE. EVERY LIFE HAS VALUE. 

But did I believe that?

If you would have asked me, I would have said that I did. But somewhere, inside of me, my value was connected to my USEFULNESS. I have to be USEFUL for you to be my friend. I can't just BE your friend.



As I sit here typing, I'm realizing even MORE clearly how true this is: always. I always had to DO something to be "present" with someone. If I babysat, I couldn't just babysit. I had to clean vehemently. If I had a friend, I needed to give to them equally or more than they gave to me. I needed to help my teammates with their schoolwork so they valued me. I needed to go the extra mile ... 

... and I didn't require a pat-on-the-back for these things I did. (Although those are nice.) I simply did it because I needed to do it to find my value. 

Not only did four people confirm these things for me, but then, I had a counseling appt. scheduled for today (that was supposed to be tomorrow but got moved to Tuesday.)


Apparently, one more time is what I need ... always need him to do it the next time. 


I am learning so much and very fast. But it is simply EXHAUSTING. I am so PHYSICALLY exhausted from this journey. I really am not battling depression here. I am battling HEALING FROM BAD THINKING. 

Not sure what he plans to show me next. 

But I'm hoping I get a few weeks off. :) 

Saturday, June 08, 2024

Kiawah — Nite 3

On the first night, we did dinner at THE ATLANTIC ROOM. I shared a picture of that previously, but I’ll share ur again: 

Nite #2 was dinner at MINGO POINT. This is more of a bbq-style meal that everyone at the Conference is invited to. 

Last night, we had dinner at the main restaurant on the island. This is very fancy — a once a year splurge. Here are some photos from that: 

We had dinner with three families, but Randy (in the back) is the main guy that got this all set up!

They put us in a private room FOR FREE!

Kiawah flashback

Last year’s girls at the conference. This is a medical conference. Our main “peeps” that we are there with are Randy and his wife Whitney and their two girls: Riley and Ryan. But there are a few other families there too!

And here they are this year; from front Kiara, Franchesca, Hannah, Ryan, Abigail, Riley

Wednesday, June 05, 2024

Kiawah Nite #1

Kiawah Island

The Lord is so sweet … we are headed out for a four-day medical conference and vacation. I have been trending better and better but am still struggling a bit with some depression and fatigue. However, nearly AS we crossed the bridge to Kiawah, I felt my mood go to nearly a 0 out of 10. (Zero is good! Ten is bad!) 

I am so incredibly blessed to have this time with my family and hopefully feel so GOOD! Usually the good comes in long waves so I am hope I am in for a good stretch! (Maybe a nearly forever stretch?!)

(The first picture is cookies Abigail found in her bag from Costa Rica!!)

Saturday, June 01, 2024

How did I ...

 .... drop my Blog for almost a week? Ugh! I am really trying to check-in everyday and the days run away so fast. Chicken processing happened. I'll post some pictures of that!

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Mental Health (Part II)

Other than some fatigue, Wendi feels like Wendi. I imagine I might have another dip or two, but mostly, I feel like I am through the really hard portion of my healing journey.

I'm still quite tired. And here is one of the things I have truly learned. My body requires me to listen to it. My body requires rest. I need to listen to my body. 

When I feel too tired to go out to eat with a friend, I need to not go out to eat with a friend. When I've texted too much, I need to put the phone away. I need to sit on the couch more. I need to watch a movie with my kids. I need to ... be. Because my mental health requires it. 

My entire life, I didn't listen to my body. I think part of this was the athlete in me. And part of this was that my parents were both very "get 'er done" in their philosophy. But, in truth, how many of us teach our children to listen to what their body is telling them? 

But this is where this journey has really transformed me. This isn't just about ME. It's about ME being able teach my KIDS the things I have learned! I am able to tell my kids: "You don't have to do this thing just because I want you to do it or because this person is putting pressure on you." They can make a decision based on their own needs and desires and not pressure from outside the world.

This is what I didn't understand. My brain was wired to think: "I'm only okay if every other person is okay." And that is NOT sustainable. That will break down. 

Of course, helping people is good. People liking you is nice. Saying "yes" when you want to say "no" is still the right thing to do. But your own body and your own family MUST come first. They must. 

I'm learning that. And it's FREEING. It isn't limiting to be able to say "no" more. It also allows my friends to know that when I say "yes" I really mean "yes." I wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it. 

Only through getting my legs knocked out from under me could I understand what it means to admit to being unable to do something. During those few months, I was UNABLE to do more than the bare minimum. That is very humbling. But it was necessary in order for me to understand the limitations that I have never acknowledged.

I have SO much more to learn. But it's nice to be able to learn it while not in the PIT of depression.

Friday, May 24, 2024

Happy Birthday Wendi

My mom took me out to dinner for Indian on my 47th birthday. We went to Sahib — one of my favorite restaurants! At the end, they surprised me with a different cheesecake covered by mango!

Gabe graduates

Crazy to think that the Kotynskis moved here in the seventh grade! He’s now been here for six years and graduated from Heritage Home Scholars!