Loss and Love

It’s been one of those years where your life changes drastically forever, forcing you to change with it. I’m sure some of you can relate to that line very specifically. I hope for most of you that that wasn’t the case unless it was a good change, then right on!!!

But sadly for my family and I, we had a family loss that hit hard to the core. My husband and the father of my kids passed away unexpectedly in April, on my dad’s birthday no less. We had been separated for a few years due to things he’d gotten into after he had a life altering accident took him down a path he wouldn’t ever recover from

Yes, he fell prey to the fentanyl epidemic. Never in my entire life did I think that our family would face a loss of this type. Never thought he’d become a statistic, one of many to lose their lives to this horrible drug, but sadly, he did.

Yesterday, I was going through my basement trying to clean it up and I kept coming across clothes that belonged to him and other things that reminded me of my time with him. It brought me to tears because of how much we’d been through and how long we had been together for.

All that we’d been through had even made me stop writing. I just couldn’t write anymore. I became disillusioned at love or even what love was supposed to look like. How could I write about love when I couldn’t even tell what it was supposed to look like anymore? I lost my drive and my ambition. All I could do was get up every day go to work, come home, make dinner, and just survive another day. Pretend to be happy when deep down I was one stroke away from crying.

My kids were from a broken home. That’s not something I envisioned going into my marriage. And even when my husband was at home, our house was broken. He was full of anger and resentment. I thought by staying I was giving the kids what they needed, but they needed to see a healthy relationship and we didn’t have that. I stayed because of my vows, in sickness and in health. It wasn’t until my house physically became unsafe that I found the strength to separate and it should have been long before that if I’m truly honest with myself.

We separated in 2019 after he got more heavily into addiction. He started making decisions that brought the police to our door. The final time they came, they told him that if they had to come again, they would act. On one hand they failed us because they should have seen that he needed help but apparently their hands were tied.

Over the last few years, he did want to come home, but because he refused to get help, I had to stand my ground. And other mom’s or families who have gone through addition with their loved ones, knows how hard it is to say no. Sometimes I do wonder what would have happened had I let him come home. Would he have used fentanyl that day? Would he still be alive if I let him be with us? Then I realize I can’t go that route. You can’t change what is. And thinking about that just takes you down a rabbit hole that is hard to find your way out of.

Last year, I was finally beginning to see that he wasn’t going to change, so I started to work on myself and who I wanted to be as Patricia. I began pulling away, guarding my heart. I began to wonder if more was out there and was there such a thing as a healthy relationship? Could I even find someone who would love me? I mean, if I wasn’t enough to keep my husband away from drugs and he would pick them over me, was I even worth something to someone?

Does love really exist? I mean I saw it in my parents, but what about for me? Again though, I was still married, so I put it to the side, still praying and hoping that things would change and my husband would come back better than ever…until the day I got “the call” that changed our lives.

That’s when I crumbled. That’s when I knew that my happily ever after with him would never come into existence and now I had to forge my own path. Find out who I was as just a woman and a mother. Did I even know how to live as just myself, see myself as single. I had to reevaluate everything in my life and decide what I wanted. I kept the job I was in over the years because I felt safe and secure in it. But I knew that even that needed to change. I needed to know that I could handle more, that I could excel at something and become more than what I was.

Sometimes I think that we don’t realize that we deserve more. We just get into this state of existing that we forget to reach for our dreams, forget that there is more out there. The abuse traps us into a state of just trying to exist, trying to keep pulling for another day hoping and praying for change…when in reality, we need to be that change. We need to find the strength to rise and do what is best for us.

I know what it was like to stay during abuse. I know the strength it takes to say no to letting them come home. I know the desire to take them back and hope that they’ve changed, but you quickly learn that they haven’t when the cycle of abuse starts again. You get so disillusioned and don’t feel that there is more out there, even though some small part of you knows there is.

But I’m here to tell you, there is more. There is a better life. You just have to find the strength to go after it, and believe that you deserve it. I know you don’t believe you deserve more, or you don’t think more is out there, but when you finally take that step, you’ll find it waiting for you. The cloud of abuse covering our eyes falls away. And while the pain may not disappear, you will be able to make room for being happy and when you are able to open and find room for more, you’ll find that true love is out there too.

And that my dear readers is my year. While I still have my sad moments, my life has changed and happiness has found it’s way back in again. And along with it, my desire to write about love came back, so be prepared for more stories ahead because I’ve found my voice again. And it wants to roarrrrrrrr.


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Change It!

“I hate my life.”

“Why do other people have it easier than me?”

“I hate my job”

Our thoughts are full of negative comments. If we wrote down every negative word that took up residence in our thoughts, they would probably fill an entire book. And most of the time, we let them sit there and fester, creating more and more negativity until we are down in the dumps, curled on the couch with frown on our face, wanting to hide from the world.

Some people will tell you to take actions in your life to change what you hate. Hate your job, get a new one? Someone who hates their life may leave their spouse in search of the grass being greener on the other side.

But I say it’s not always our life that we have to change as such. We could have the greatest life, yet still be down in the dumps. Because it’s not really our life that has us depressed. It’s the way we allow ourselves to think. That is why when someone attempts to make physical changes in their life, they may be happy for a bit, but it won’t last. The negative thoughts will come back as strong as ever, and they can’t figure out what the heck is happening and why they aren’t content. So the cycle begins again as they seek to find the one thing that can make them happy. But it won’t work.

To change our life, the first thing we have to change is our mindset…our thought patterns. We have to stop saying things like, “I hate my life” Or “If only I had this, then I’d be happy.” We need to filter out the negative words before they ingrain themselves in our mind.

And while we can’t necessarily control what we think, we can control whether we accept it. We can be mindful of when negativity pops into our head and counter it with better words, positive words. We can retrain our brain to accept better information.  

Shouldn’t this year be the year we do that? The year to stop letting negative thoughts overcrowd our minds. What if when you hear that first negative word, you say “Stop, not today! Today, I’m gonna love my life. I’m gonna live, and I’m gonna breathe. I’m gonna look for something amazing in today.”

Harrison Hot Springs

When you can start to train your mind to see the beautiful things, the positive things, then they become your focus and while life may not perfect, you’ll start to see amazing things at the perfect time. And contentment will follow. But it all starts inside you.

Your emotions will mirror the way you allow yourself to think. I chose this year to be the year of less negative thinking. What about you?


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Year End Countdown

New Years Resolutions…

We all make them, don’t we? And many of us fail to keep them. As a writer, my New Year’s Resolution always revolves around what I want to accomplish writing wise in the coming year. Sadly, over the last while, I allowed life to get in the way again, like I did so many years ago when I stopped writing for ten years.

But I’ve come to realize that life is always going to have something that gets in the way and if I don’t learn how to work around it, I’ll never accomplish the goals I set for myself. My excuse this past year has been my lack of energy, fulltime work, family, and my recovery. I was in an accident last November and caught covid at the same time, and honestly speaking, I’m still recovering. I have more chronic pain than I did before, this time in my hand, so that makes writing difficult.

But as they say, you can always find an excuse not to do something. It’s very easy to come up with a reason to wait, but that’s not the way I want to live anymore. So, you heard it here first. My goal is to prepare all my stories for future publication in the coming two years.

I have a duology that I’m working on, part horror and part romance, which I will be self-publishing this coming year. The working titles are “Her Prison, His game” and “Beneath his Hands.”

Also, the sequel to Her Lover’s Face, “His Sweet Addiction”, is almost ready to go. I’m just rewriting the first chapter to give it more zing. I can’t wait to send this one to my publisher, Black Velvet Seductions(if you haven’t already, check out their website, especially if you like spicy romance), and finally complete the story of Her Lover’s Face. Maybe it will see the light in 2021. 😊

I’ve also sent another short story to BVS to be included in an anthology. It’s a dark romance called, “Out of the Mouth of Babes.” It’s part of a series that I’m working on called, “Resurrection Hour.” Fingers crossed that he enjoys it because then that will be another story coming out in 2021.

Today, I just emailed another publishing company in hopes that my story, “Into the Fire” will see publication again in another anthology. I’m quite attached to this one.

Aside from these, I have four other completed novels that need to be edited and will hopefully see publication either this coming year or in 2023. But if I don’t set my mind to do this, I probably won’t because editing is daunting to me, especially when the unedited story pile keeps growing and I keep putting it off. Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this? *lol*

I’d love to hear what your working on. Drop a line in the comment section below. 😀 Let readers know what’s coming up for you, too. If you aren’t a writer, please post your own resolutions for the coming year.


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A Job or a Career?

One of the most interesting things I’ve come across when it comes to someone’s passion is that whatever it is transports them to another world. When I stepped onto the ice—my sport of passion was ice hockey— it felt like I entered a whole other world. I was no longer me. I dawned a helmet and gear, like a gladiator, unafraid at the prospect of falling or being hit by another player. I became a whole other person, or maybe I become the part of me that was hidden deep down.

Passions are something that engulf our entire spirit, consumes our person. They make life worth living every day. They make your career come alive. Jobs are great in the sense that they allow you to have a roof over your head and food in your bellies, but they don’t feed you the desires of your heart unless you are following after what you are most passionate about.

Sometimes we spend ages trying to figure out what we want to do with our life, but usually one certain passion hits you when you are young. Me, I’ve always enjoyed writing ever since I was little. I’m not by any means popular, but I like following the ideas in my head and making them a reality on paper. My son, ever since he was little, had a passion for diseases. He used to go school and scare the teachers with his knowledge about them, and they’d be calling us, worried about him. My daughter loves science. My other son loves cooking and the idea of being a chef. He’s starting his first ever college course on becoming a chef today.

Do you know your passion? Can you think back to when you were younger and recall what it was that you enjoyed most? Are you doing that today or are you just going through the daily motions of a job you hate because you don’t think you have a choice?

Life is far too short to not live your dreams. Sometimes we think that we’re too old to go after something new. I turned 43 years old last year, having survived my fifth car accident and Covid, so I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on who I am, and what I want to do with the rest of my life. I don’t have a fancy house or a fancy car. I am not worth millions of dollars, but there is one thing I do have and that I’m following after, my passion for the written word while doing security.

That’s me. That’s who I am.

Who are you? Share in the comments below.


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Mindset

When we have a negative mindset, our determination and stubbornness can become a problem. We become too stubborn about the wrong things. I’m ugly. I’m stupid. I’m worthless. I’m fat. I’m too skinny. I’m too flat chested. I have too much acne. Who’s going to love me? I can’t read, so what can I do? I can’t see. I can’t walk. Or any number of things that are sometimes drilled into our psyche by others and by our own mind.

What we accomplish or don’t accomplish in life is based on the mindset we have. Whether we can be happy or whether we’re just plain miserable is based on what we allow ourselves to dwell on. If we keep telling ourselves that nothing ever goes right. This sucks. I hate my life. Then that is what we are training our brain to think and to perceive. They call this neuroplasticity. It’s our brain’s ability to re-wire itself. This is something I learned a lot about while fighting with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).

When I was at my worst, I had what you could call a can’t mindset. People would tell me to just stop doing my compulsions, and I would say, “That’s easy for you to say. I can’t do it. I can’t just stop.”

“Why?” they’d ask.

And that right there was a very good question. Why couldn’t I stop? It’s because that’s what I taught my brain. Now, I’m not a doctor—nowhere close to being a doctor—I just have my own experiences which has taught me things along the way. I’d done my compulsions so much that I’d developed a habit, an addiction of sorts. If I didn’t do them, I have such a feeling of dread that it would drop me to the floor in tears.

Can’t is a very powerful word, very destructive. And likewise, the opposite is also true—I can is equally powerful. Don’t tell yourself you’ll try, tell yourself you will. The words, I’ll try can set you up for failure, set you up for the idea that you might not do it. Instead, we need to be speaking positively to ourselves, not just for our mind’s sake, but for those around who hear us, who witness our journey…especially kids, who soak everything up like sponges.

How many more successful kids would there be if they saw us going after our dreams…if we were telling them that their dreams had value, that their dreams are important. Your dreams are important, too, and no one should be able to tell you otherwise. Biggest thing to remember is that what you allow your mindset to be is what you’ll become, whether good or bad. You tell yourself you can’t, you won’t. You tell yourself you can, and you will.

“But what if I fail?” you ask.

Did you know that believing you failed is a mindset of its own? What is failure? How do you define failure? Do you remember how I mentioned Thomas Edison earlier? A reporter once asked him about how it felt to fail 1000 times. He said, “I didn’t fail 1000 times. The light bulb was an invention that took 1,000 steps.”

Sometimes you won’t succeed right away. Nobody does, but it’s those who stay persistent that eventually get to where they want to go. You never truly fail until you give up, and even then, what’s to say that somewhere down the line, you don’t finally succeed? I put my writing aside for a decade, but I still came back and accomplished what I set out to do.

You are never too old or too young to start living your dream, setting yourself on the path to fulfilling it. If Akiane Kramarik, Hanalei Swan, Caroline Bercaw, Isabel Bercaw, and Alina Morse can believe in themselves and go after their dreams, why should we be any different?

As adults we sometimes forget how to dream, how to believe. I think this is where kids have a leg up on us. We become more logical minded and less fanciful, and in this I believe we are doing our kids a great injustice. They need to see us going after our dreams if they are to go after theirs.

And if they have a dream, they have to know that we believe in them. Their dreams are not stupid or unrealistic, that’s our own mindset that we are putting on them. They don’t deserve that. They deserve to know they can follow their passion. I know not all of us are rich. Some of us can’t put our kids in city sports(too expensive). We can’t buy our kids the moon as some may be able to, but we can help them reach for it by encouraging them. Believing in them. Letting them know that their dreams have value. That they have value.

As a mom of teenagers, I watch mine struggle through various issues, and I try to be there for them. They’ve seen me struggle with certain things myself, but I make a point of standing right back up and trying again. My goal is to teach them that they can do whatever they set their mind to, nothing has to stop them. One day at a time, one step at a time is how we get to where we want to go.

Life really is what you make it. We have to get rid of that negative mindset because life doesn’t stop for it. We keep aging, so we have to make a choice as to what that is going to look like for us. All I know is that I don’t want to lay on my death bed wishing I took the chance on my dreams.

You are never too old or too young to follow a dream. As long as you have breath, your dreams are waiting for you. So why don’t you decide today to go after them! Let today be a fresh start. I believe in you! The only thing left is for you to believe in yourself. If you find the strength to take that first step, please let me know. I’d love to hear from you.


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