Monday, September 1, 2014

Big News

So sorry it's been so long since I've been on. Life has been quite a whirlwind lately.

The biggest thing that I have to fill you in on is that I resigned from my job and am officially a full-time wife, mother, and homemaker.

It was a difficult decision, one that my husband & I discussed possibly hundreds of time.

It is definitely a leap of faith, but there have been numerous things that have occurred that make it seem as if God was laying the path out for us. Some things were giant stones along the path, others were tiny pieces of gravel filling in the cracks, but all of them seemed to be pointing the same direction: me staying home.

It's definitely been an adjustment for all of us.

The most uncomfortable part for me was waiting to officially resign. Even though we decided partway into my leave, for policy technicality reasons I had to finish my leave, return to work, put in a full eight hours, then leave. Keeping it a secret from my co-workers friends until then was really hard. Coming back to all the choruses of "welcome back" and "we missed you" was really hard, since it wasn't announced until lunch. My management team knew first thing, but we had to wait until the official announcement at 12noon. So weird to be there, working, with everyone so glad to see me, but knowing the whole time it was my last day.

I cried. A lot. After 10 years there a lot of those people felt more like family and friends than co-workers.

And there is a huge part of me that wanted to stay. Especially with all the changes at work. My company is relocating, and my division is headed to Michigan. Not that I want to move to Michigan, but I hate not being there for this major development.

Anyway, so far staying home is amazing. I literally cry at least once a week with happiness. I'm still getting the hang of everything, but it's great.

It would help if our routine would stop changing every couple of weeks, but for right now, that's life.

Just as a quick picture, right now my routine consists of going to a fitness boot camp several times a week, taking Jena to piano lessons weekly, and... homeschooling Jena. Plus all the infant care, chores, housework, etc, etc, etc that go along with it.

I'll try to post more details on each later, but I at least wanted to give you all an update on the biggest development since having the baby.

As always, thanks for checking in!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Depression Lies

I just want to say something about the tragedy of Robin Williams passing. And the passing of so many others.

Yes, depression is a mental illness. Yes, there is a chemical, physical, physiological reason that some succumb to the illness more than others. Yes, I have suffered from depression myself, and yes once upon a time I seriously considered ending it.

I was tired of hurting. Tired of the pain. Not so much the physical, but the emotional, the heartbreak that was so bad I could feel it, the pain in my chest that just wouldn't stop hurting.

And I thought of the bottles of narcotics I had in my possession to treat my physical pain, and I thought about taking them. All of them.

Then I called my friend, and I told him. And he saved me that night, just by talking to me.

And I don't know what would have happened if he hadn't picked up the phone.

Like any illness, there is the ability to fight it. To try your hardest to claw your way out of the deep, dark pit. Like any serious illness there will be times when it feels as if we cannot overcome it. Like any hardship, there will be times when it seems as though things will not get better.

But depression lies. Satan lies. And yes, I think Satan uses depression as a tool to stamp out the light in those suffering.

Despite knowing how difficult fighting depression might be, I am wary of saying things like "Robin Williams didn't kill himself, the disease did." I am wary of saying things like "he was helpless". I am wary of saying things like "Genie, you're free."

Each of these statements, well-intentioned though they may be, take away our power and romanticize the illness. We have the power to fight.

You have the power to fight.

Yes you, who is reading this, who might be suffering from depression yourself, who might be tired of fighting, who might be thinking of ways to stop the fight...

You can do this.

You can fight it.

If you choose to end your fight, you are killing yourself. You are letting the disease win. You are giving your illness your power, you are choosing to stop fighting.

I know it's hard. I know at times it seems impossible.

I know. I've been there.

But you can do this.

You can fight it. You can call a friend. You can tell your parents. You can seek help.

You can email me.

You can call a hotline (1-800-273-8255).

You can pray.

You can choose not to believe the lies. You can stop believing the lies.

You can do this.

Don't listen to them. Don't listen to the things people are writing and posting saying that sometimes victims of depression have no choice, can't help themselves. Don't give your illness that much power.

Depression took that from you? Take it back. It's yours. It is your power, not its power. You are amazing and strong, and look how hard you've fought so far! You've already done so much. You do not have to give up now.

People are romanticizing depression and death, saying that now he's free.

There is no freedom in suicide.

There is pain, and heartache, and questions, and guilt that will torment God-knows-how-many people.

There is no healing in suicide. There is only spreading the pain.

Yes, depression is an illness. Yes, we need to reduce and remove the stigma attached to it, and to all mental illness. Yes, there are treatments available. Yes, you can fight it.

If you are in that place right now, please listen to me. I believe in you. You can do this. It won't be easy. It won't be quick. But you are strong enough, you are enough.

You are worth saving. You have light to show the world. You have amazing, beautiful light that some of us have yet to see. Let us see it.

Depression lies. Satan lies.

"You'll get thru this. It won't be easy. It won't be quick. But God will will use this mess for good. Don't be foolish or naive. But don't despair either, you'll get thru this."  -- Max Lucado

Monday, August 4, 2014

An update. But not really.

I know, I know. Where have I been?!?

So busy. Not busy at all.

Crazy busy with lots of new things. Spending my free time enjoying one new thing (yes, I mean baby Jillian).

There are lots of changes coming up in the Geiman household, some of which I cannot divulge publicly just yet. But when I can, I promise to keep ya'll updated.

Trusting all is well with my readers.

Thanks for checking in.

Oh, and before I forget... gratuitous cute kid pic

photo by JCPenney Studios

Friday, July 25, 2014

I Drove Myself Crazy

Yesterday was busy. So I stayed up until midnight tidying up the house. Still not as clean as I'd like, but passable, by our family's standards.

Then Jillian woke me up for a feeding at 3:30am. She had trouble going back down, the I had trouble falling back to sleep, so I was up with her from 3:30am to 5am.

She woke me back up at 7am for her next feeding. So tired. After her feeding I figured I had a better chance of getting more sleep if I slept with her on the couch, so I tried. Half an hour later Jena came in and woke me up.

Score. A total of 6 hours of (interrupted) sleep.

Six hours of sleep actually isn't bad for me. Or for millions of other Americans. Especially moms. It's the interruptions that get us. My longest stretch was 3 1/2 hours. Ugh.

And then I thought about it.

No wonder my mental health was so screwed up after I had Jena. I mean, I know a lot of it was physiological, but no wonder it got so bad and took so long to get better. Because at this stage in the game with her, I had already been back to work for a month.

I also was trying much harder to keep a clean house, cook dinners, etc.

So the scenario back then would have played out something like this:

Stay up until at least midnight (possibly as late as 2am) doing housework.
Up at 3:30am for feeding.
When not asleep by 5am, realize I might as well stay up for work.
Throw in a load of laundry. Do another random household chore.
Get ready for work.
Work for eight-ish hours.
Cook dinner.
In between taking care of Jena, do housework until at least midnight.

Several times a week, literally pass out on the couch, and wake up 2 -3  hours later, usually because Jena is crying or Jason is waking me up. Commence housework or child care.

Here's the deal. Even on that schedule, while my house was cleaner than it is now, it was still a constant mess. While I cooked more than I do now, we still ate out way too often. No matter how hard I tried, how much I did, it was never enough.

And my mental health caved.

My long-time readers might remember this one night in 2011. Nearly three years after Jena was born. It took me nearly three years to realize that my mental health was worth more than a clean house that will never be clean enough, worth more than a smaller pile of laundry that will never be all the way gone.

I know there are women out there who disagree with me, but I think it's ridiculous that our society expects women to be working moms, to return to work when the baby is just six weeks old, most often not even sleeping thru the night yet. Before I had kids I thought nothing of it.

Now, I think it's ludicrous. If that's what you need to do for the financial stability of your family, then so be it. Fine. Good for you for taking care of your family. But the fact that the is has became a societal expectation is ridiculous. Crazy.

And we're driving ourselves crazy - sometimes literally - trying to meet that expectation.

Friday, July 18, 2014

So you want to be outraged?

I'm sorry, but promoting misinformation has got to stop. I am sick & tired of people getting outraged over whether or not Hobby Lobby will be forced to pay for birth control for their female employees.

The argument is that an employer should not have a say over a woman's healthcare. Which is missing the point entirely.

My boss does not have a say over my healthcare. They do however have a say over what they will or will not pay for.
You want to get outraged over something healthcare related? Over what your boss will or won't pay for? Then get outraged over people whose cancer treatments aren't covered. Or who miss qualifying for payment because their necessary surgery happened three days too soon according to the fine print in their policy. Or the drugs used to manage your disease are no longer covered. Or any of the other necessary medical procedures that health insurance companies deny every single day. Don't get outraged because you have to be responsible for your own sex life.
The idea that women aren't able or necessary to take responsibility for their own reproductive health is degrading and sexist thinking. The idea that I need a man in the White House, or the man running my company, or the man running my insurance company to pay for me to have sex freely and without consequence is essentially calling me an irresponsible whore. Stop it.

I am a grown woman. I can decide when I have sex. I decide whether or not to protect myself from the consequences of that sex.

You want to talk freedom of choice? Then fine. Let's talk responsible choice. Let's stop pretending like women are so sex crazed that we can't say 'no' and need to be protected from our own choices. Let's stop treating women as if they are so weak and unable to take care of themselves that we are found making huge issues out of what should be simple personal responsibility. I am responsible for my own sex life and my own reproductive health and I am sick and tired of being told that I need a man's world to take care of me.
So you want to get outraged? Stop getting outraged over sex. Start getting outraged over real health issues. Cancer. Heart Disease. Alzheimer's. Anything other than sex. Anything other than something that we all make a choice to do or not do, to protect ourselves or not protect ourselves. Anything other than what our society has essentially turned into a recreational activity. Stop getting outraged over whether or not someone else will have to pay so you can have sex for fun instead of procreation, and start getting outraged over real issues.
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