The Cool Kids

Monday, January 28, 2013

Random, Serious stuff.

Hey friends. It has been so long since I've last blogged. What I feel really guilty about is that I haven't been commenting on all of my friend's blogs. I love my connection to you. I'm going to work my butt off to catch up. Pinky swear.

I've written this post 20 different times and deleted it 20 times. I didn't know how to explain my absence with humor, but I also didn't want to seem too dramatic. I have lovely friends who have written heartfelt posts on their current situations. I just don't have the energy right now. If you know more than what I've written down, please know that what I've posted, I've discussed with my family. I haven't elaborated for the sake of what my children know. (age appropriately)

Ladies and gentlemen, this is what I've been up to since January 4th. For informational purposes only. In list form, for no reason at all.Yes, there are some things that I said I'd not speak about on this blog, but hey. It is MY blog. This is usually where I insert that I hope I'm not offending anyone with my post, but I'm going to take a pass on that this time...

1. I wrote on FB last year that I would make something handmade for 5 people before 2012 ended. I really did think about it all year.  I was 25 days late. The good news is I heard from four of the five recipients. They really didn't seem to mind (meaning, they forgot about it too). I received some beautiful thank-you messages.

Little sewing kits with my apologies for being so late.

2. I decided I would not write on my personal FB page until I finished that job, so, um..yeah.
3. I purposely stayed away from my favorite blogs during much of this time because answering them all seemed overwhelming. Before you say that commenting on my friend's hard work isn't important, understand that it is important to me.

Physical Health:
1. I have an overlapping autoimmune disease.
2. In the past two years, many of the symptoms have gotten worse.
3. I'm always exhausted.
4. My doctor says I look sicker on paper than in real life. SCORE!
5. I hate that my kids see me feeling weak.
6. I had five biopsies done this month. (They all were benign!) Four of them did not get infected.
7. I am not dead.

Mental Health:
1. This is hard.
2. In 1999, I was diagnosed with PTSD and a major depressive disorder.
3. I do not know when any of my autoimmune symptoms started, but I know the exact day when my depression did.
4. I started to write about my past and hours later was mortified at what I could remember.
5. I let my husband read what I wrote.
6. I couldn't look him in the eye for 3 days.
7. Two of my very best friends and the man let me know that it was all okay.
8. I called my psychiatrist in an emergency over it all..... and she didn't show up for the appt.
9. It was for a good reason, but still!!!!
10. My mental health is 10 times more embarrassing to me than anything else.
11. I'm afraid some people will never understand. On the other hand, I'm glad those people don't have to understand.
12. I hate my children seeing me weak.
13. I am not dead.

1. I have two girlfriends who know almost everything about me. They listened to me tell my stories and let me cry my eyes out. No judging, only support and extreme kindness.
2. Our best friends let us come along to Nevada for a weekend to celebrate one of their 40th birthdays. I gambled too much (with pennies; I'm such a rebel,) I imbibed too much, (6% alcohol outside of Utah, y'all!) I talked TOO much and had the best time I've had in months.
3. I have a blog friend who emails with me and encourages me in ways I don't deserve. If we lived near one another, we would be all kinds of great friends..and trouble.
4. I have a cousin and another friend who play Words with friends with me. It's a small connection, but when you're too sad to talk, at least you can spell.
5. My kids and man. I told you I hate seeming weak in front of them, yet it happens. Each one of them has had a kind word. The eldest changed my bandages, The middle child hugs me and brings me gumdrops. The youngest reads me his stories and the man listens to me complain, holds me when I cry and dispenses my drugs like a master caretaker. All of them have taken their turns cuddling on my bed, talking about their worlds and watching TV.
6. It is because of all of these people and more that I'm still alive.

1. I dropped my Twitter account.
2. I sewed a bunch of stuff.
3. My daughter and I opened our windows and batted down icicles with Nerf swords. (Our neighbors love us.)
4. I reopened my Twitter. (Thanks, K.)
5. We bought our new dryer and it looks like an oven. (neither of us cook)
Dryer AND baked potato maker?

There it is. In a nutshell. I call my blog a crazy journey. Crazy because if I say it first, you won't have to. I've been doing a lot of constructive things as well, but I will blog about them later. This is enough golden information for anyone to take in all at once.

Happy "Livin La Vida Loca" friends.
I've missed you.

Feel free to comment and ask me anything. I'm happy to answer any questions. If you feel they're too personal, shoot me an e-mail. If you do comment, please leave your name. No "anonymous" people, please. If this post has scared you away, please know that THAT is okay, too. If you don't have anything to say but want me to know you're here, you can say that. Just like at school. Shellybean? Here! kind of. ;)


  1. I've read this twice already and I'm trying really hard to digest it all (even with already knowing some of it). You walked that line between letting out what you're ready to release and keeping private what needs to stay private perfectly.
    Some answers (in no particular order):
    1.No matter what you think, when you're in pain and highly medicated or not, words remain your friend.
    2.We don't need to live near each other, we are and will remain "all kinds of great friends."
    3.You'd probably be a better cook if you used your oven instead of your dryer.
    4.Welcome back to twitter, you were missed.
    5.You are amazing. I'm proud to know you.

    1. I know girl, I may not even keep this one up. You have been amazing through all of this..I still don't want to hurt people.
      1. Words matter :)
      2. You still should visit.
      3. I am a baker, not a cooker, but I bet some dough might rise in that thing...
      4. Twitter still scares me and its hooked to FB!
      5. I love you.
      You never asked any questions. Let me answer it for you. Red and orange gumdrops are the best.

  2. Awwww Hon this makes me love you even more! I'm here for you, day or night, I hope you know that. And I would love to talk to you about some of this stuff more privately. Just know that you and your family are in my thoughts and my prayers. XOXO Here's my email: You can always send me private messages thru Fb as well. We really should talk....

    1. Marcia, thank you, thank you. I've always known I could gab with you privately. Now I'll just stalk you by e-mail :) I appreciate your words. I've been rather private about it all. I didn't want a lot of my family to know; I'm usually a pretty damn strong girl. This too shall pass. <3 so much love

  3. Love you. Missed you. Prayers and hugs.

    1. <3 you, Ann. I promise to catch up on all of your fabulous adventures. Thanks for your support (always).

  4. Thanks for sharing I'm glad you're back and I hope all is well. You were missed. Take care of yourself. BTW that is a bad-ass dryer ;D
    Jae Mac, I'm Just Sayin'...(Damn!)

    1. Thanks to you, Jae Mac. Everything is looking up. I've missed your blog! BTW, that bad-ass dryer sings a song when the laundry is done! Who knew that would be the highlight of my month? ;)

  5. Dear Michele, wish that we did live close by! I would have so loved to come over and help you in any way that you wanted. So very sorry to know that you are going through a tough phase but awed at your strength in getting through it all!!
    And, absolutely love your sewing kits!! I cannot even thread a needle!! :D
    No questions from decide how much we need to know!

    1. Roshni, your comment was beautiful; thank you for that. I found the pattern for the sewing kits in a Zakka book. They were fun to put together.
      If you ever have any questions (especially about packaged candy or soda pop), I'm your girl. :)

  6. Dear Michele, I have missed you so. Only last week I spoke of your absence to the hubs. In my mind I'd pictured you taking time out from the computer. Relaxing, playing, having fun. You know, that sort of thing. I like to imagine my blogger friends in their everyday lives. I didn't imagine you were going through anything like this. I'm so very sorry. We were just watching Footloose (the new one - and worth a watch;) when I saw you'd posted, and I couldn't even wait until the movie had finished to read this. The hubs said, "What about your movie?" and I said, "It's important. It's Shelly Bean :D"
    And it was so very important. Not only have you scared me because I went and foolishly made the 5 handmade gift promise on FB only a few weeks back too (and I don't sew) but you have humbled and awed me and so much more. You don't owe us anything, no details, no explanation. Everything you share, whether it be a funny story or your pain or a picture of your futuristic dryer/cooker is a gift. Thank you for posting, for sharing and most of all for not being dead. xxxxx

    1. Josie, you made me cry (happy tears) I thought I was the only one who pictured my bloggy friends out in the real world!
      I'm sorry you missed/paused part of Footloose (haven't seen the new one) for me, but I'm so touched.
      You may be on to something with the futuristic dryer/cooker thing; they both make stuff warm, right?
      I'm very much alive and plan to stay that way. I've too many fun blogs to catch up on! Seriously, I love that you checked in XOX

  7. Shellybean,

    This post is.. real. As I read it, I began to think of all the things that have been going on lately, and how busy we've all been. I thought about what you we're doing while you weren't blogging. You were cooking and sewing... sewing so many things! You were being an amazing mother, dealing with all of the crazy stuff we manage to bring into you. Grading third grade math tests, constantly cleaning the house, listening to an eight year old read to you (possessing a patience I'll never understand). You were out shoveling the snow the never seems to cease piling up on us... There were a lot of things you were doing while you weren't on your blog, many of them, tasks that involve a great deal of commitment and energy. Among everything I have seen you as these last few weeks, I have never once seen you as weak. Weak?! My mother? Never. You are the most independent and strong woman I have ever had the privilege of knowing. You are beautiful in every way, inside and out. You have the biggest heart, and I know that I can ALWAYS depend on you. You deal with so much, emotionally, physically, mentally, but you never once let it limit you. You are strong. You are the exact definition of strength and perseverance. And you should know that at this point in your life, there is absolutely NOTHING in the entire world that you could do, or could happen to you to make me think of you as weak. No, my mother is not now, nor will ever be weak. You are the foundation to our family, our motivation, our love, and because of that, we see you as you really are. You are much stronger than the rest of us,

    God bless you today and always, Shellybean. You are wonderful, and you are certainly my hero.
    Much love. <3


    1. Alex, I have no words. I read this on the way home from the grocery and had to make Mark pull over so I could cry my eyes out before coming home and making you put ALL the groceries away!
      Your words were beautiful and I'm so honored to be your mother. Thank you for being so strong when I felt that I couldn't.
      Proud, grateful, strong. You make me all of those things. Thank you for your genuine comment. I love you so much- mama cello

  8. so very proud of you for being so brave and sharing your personal struggles. I so deeply believe that words have the power to heal and connect us in ways that would other wise be impossible. You have been an amazing example to follow, my whole life. However, i think now more than ever i try my best to be the woman you are and carry myself accordingly. You are such a strong and beautiful person, I hope you know that. I love you so.

    1. Thank you Kimmi. It's good to hear from you again! Words can heal and I can honestly tell you, I feel better. It has everything to do with the support of my family and friends. I'm glad for the most part, that I can be an example for you. I took a leap with this one. I guess I'll have to see where I land. Love you, sis.

  9. (((Hugs))) Please feel free to email me anytime if you need someone to vent too :) Autoimmune disorders suck with a capital S!

    1. Thanks so much. I can't tell you how many times in the past two weeks I've thought of writing you. Autoimmune disorders do suck, but it means everything to know there are others who 'get it". Its too much to explain sometimes. I appreciate you commenting; I know you're having a time too.

  10. After I read your post last night, I honestly couldn't put anything in words that would do it justice. After reading all the wonderful comments you have received today, I'm still struggling to come up with my own words. I should start by saying that I agree with everything everyone else has already said (I know, a bit of a cop-out, but it's true). A's comments were spot on and written much more eloquently than anything I could write. Obviously, she gets her excellent writing skills from you. That being said, as another person who has seen a lot of what you've been through and accomplished the last few weeks (and a long time before that, too) I have to agree that nothing about you has been weak and no one that I know views you that way, even in the slightest, now or ever. In fact, a lot of what you have accomplished and continue to do on a daily basis requires a great deal of strength and courage. After all these years, you continue to amaze me with your unselfishness, poise and creativity. They say the hardest tests in life are the ones that will show what kind of person you really are. During all the challenges you've faced the last few weeks I've seen you write a blog post for a friend that couldn't, provide guidance on important life decisions to others and worry much more about the well-being of other people than you have about your own. I know I can speak for many people when I say that you have enriched our lives greatly. You certainly have made me a better person and I am very grateful for that. So, welcome back shellybean! As you said, this is YOUR blog, and I for one can't wait to see the wonderful creations, entertaining stories and humorous tidbits that you will share with us.


    1. Mr.Man, I don't know that any of this could have been said with you. Thank you for being that leaning post and listening ear. I owe you big time for your support. I can't thank you enough for sticking it out with me. Your words were perfect. I know you don't like writing, so all of the above means even more. <3

  11. "Double M"... 1st, A quote from a movie (I think Frankenstein): "It is ALLLIIVE!!!"

    You know, that's the opposite of "being dead." And that's a good thing. That said...

    2nd, Wow!!! The words above written and expressed by your loving and caring friends says a lot about you as a person. It goes without saying that we have all missed you so very much. When I saw your post on my side-bar just now, I immediately thought: Alright, finally... Let's see what's up. But, also, when a title says, "Serious Stuff," it quickly catches your attention.

    In reading your post, I can't help but feel such a strong love and warmth from your family (and friends). And I know this... God has a plan and I trust in that plan. May your coming weeks bring lots of smiles, comfort, and love. Here's to energy!!!

    3rd, In a pure selfish way, I so look forward to your comments each week and I have truly missed them. So, I have been thinking: I hope she is OK, and today I find out, you are "not dead." So, please know, in Texas, I'm smiling!!!

    May God Bless you and your family... with much Love, Slu

    vaya con dios

    1. Slu,

      It iS ALIIIIIIIVE! I'm too mean to be anything else :)
      I'm so glad you commented. I thought on Fridays, "Dang, Slu is posting today.." I told the man that I needed to catch up. So plan on reading back dated comments.

      I'm beyond grateful for the kind words of my family and friends, you included. God DOES have a plan and I always believe that He's on time.
      Thank you , thank you for the wishes. I'll take the energy over everything else :)
      Superbowl Sunday? Any faves?
      I'm going with the Ravens just because I think the 49ers QB is a punk.
      I'll talk with you before Friday, man.

  12. Karen sent me the link to this post and told me I should read it, and I'm so glad I did! I love number lists!

    1) I have dryer-envy
    2) I won't pretend I have any idea what you are going through, but I will say how much I admire and applaud your courage to talk about it and share it with our special bloggy community of peeps and tweeps.
    3) I've read your blogs throught Karen's swap and I think you have a beautiful spirit that shines through your writing and comments to others.
    4) Admitting we have weaknesses is the greatest strength! As a mom, my heart goes out to you and I'd hug but to be honest....I'm not really a hugger :)
    5) I read blogs all the time, when I'm in my car, or in line or at work, or while man-child is doing his homework, but I'm notoriously horrible at leaving comments, so I know what you mean...I have resolved to do better in far so not good :(
    6) I hope you keep writing and sharing and tweeting!

    Hugs, thoughts and prayers!

    1. Hey you! Karen is a sweetheart.
      I love that you love lists, even those that shouldn't be listed. Ha! I just needed to say what I needed to say in short sentences. What better way than numerically? I guess bullet points would have worked...
      Thank you very much for your #3. That means more than you know.
      You are definitely a busy girl and really, your comment made my day. (I'm sure you gab with Karen)
      From one hugger to a non-hugger: Cheers!
      How about a fist pump? A High five? A Cool nod? :)

  13. Hey Michele, Your post made me sad as I read it. Life is tough sometime, but your an amazing person and I think that you can get through just about anything. It sounds like you have an amazing family and friends to support you. Thank you for sharing with us what you are going through, if you want to talk to someone you can email at anytime. I have Rheumatoid arthritis (which is a autoimmune disease) and before I got on the right medication, I was to the point where I could hardly get out a chair anymore and was exhausted all the time. So I know a little what you are going through.
    Love you and take care. Dawn

    1. Hey Dawn,
      I've been more than blessed with supportive family and friends. Thank you for your words of encouragement and for sharing your illness. I would love to talk with you sometime. There are so many people who are dealing with these auto immune diseases. I had no idea. Although I'm sorry to hear it, I'm so glad to not be alone. I hope this finds you well. I look forward to reading your next recipe! Everything always looks so delicious. <3

  14. Not my Shellybean! You are THE BEST blog commenter in blogging history. I hate you aren't feeling fantastic, I am sending good vibes your way :) it is your blog you can say what you want, I highly doubt you would scare people away. You are much too awesome for that, even if your bags are heavy. I will let you in on a little secret. My mom had polio and hurt a lot, she needed a lot of help when I was growing up. How I see her now is one of the strongest people I know. You may not like your kids to see you feeling "weak" but I bet you anything they don't see you as weak, but as someone who is strong enough to ask for help. Someone strong enough to not just give up and say screw it all. Believe me, the strength you are showing will give your kids the faith that they can manage anything. If my mom hadn't shown me what strength really was I guarantee I would sit in a corner and cower everyday. Do what you need to do to feel better, rant, be sad, or just come up with random funnies because we will be here cheering you on.

    1. Ash, this message from you meant the world to me. I'm honored that you shared your story about your mom. I love you, I love your blog and the hilarious ways you explain your life. THis post means even more, because of it's serious content. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Keep that cheering going on!

  15. Hi there friend:) I want you to know that I just read your post. I giggled, I cried my eyes out, and when it was all said and done I took a deep breath and thought about how truly grateful I am to have you in my life! I love you with all my heart and I pray that life is looking up for you! Thanks for always being such a great friend! I hope I can return the favor:) Love ya girl!! Rox

    1. Hey Rox, Crying your eyes out is my ultimate goal, you know. I hope you found yourself up there in my list of people I couldn't live without. I'm grateful for your wisdom, your humor (thank thank thank goodness for that) and your friendship. I think you have more than returned the favor.Love you, soul-sistah!

  16. First of all, thank you for going back and commenting on all my posts! WOW! You're amazing! Second, I'm in shock with what I have just read. I really don't know what I could possibly say to make you feel better. I'm really bad with words when it comes to stuff like that, I'm sorry. It makes me feel helpless when I really want to help or do something and don't know what I could possibly do. Please know that you are in my prayers and that it shall pass cause you are a strong woman, a fighter. If you need to talk or anything else I could do, my e-mail is at my "About Me" page on the blog! Please do not hesitate to contact me!
    Lots of love, hugs and some Greek sunshine coming your way! Vickilicious

    1. Vicky, I thought we had lost contact! I'm so glad you're back to blogging regularly. I missed you! Don't be sad for what you just read. I'm the same old girl, I just needed to throw the truth out in some tangible way. There were a lot of people out here who weren't understanding what was going on with me. There were even more who were coming up with their own stories or making my lack of energy about them. I figured, if I threw it out there for the world to see, people would just leave it alone.
      I however, would love to talk with you anytime. Thanks for the email invite. Things are going well, but I am ALWAYS willing to take Greek Sunshine from and ex-Michigander :) Love you.

  17. I am a woman with PTSD too. I hate that you are ashamed. When you can own it, you will feel better... Well, that's how it works for me. I have ups and downs. Waaaaayyy downs but I know I can get back up.
    PTSD causes me to do some embarrassing things occasionally, but I can tell people that it's the illness and those people are compassionate.

    1. Thank you, Lara. Your words are inspiring. I'm so grateful for other's and their stories. Compassionate people are the ones I'm learning to surround myself with.

  18. I must clarify, some people will always be merciless. I don't bother explaining myself to those people. They don't matter anyway. <3

    1. I get it. Have encountered a few of those during my journey. Your advice is right on. Thanks again :)

  19. Okay. My name FF. And you can't scare me, I knew you when...... <3
    I get it. In more ways than you know....

    1. I am more than blessed to have a girlfriend from way-back-then. I know you get it. That's why we're Forever Friends. Thanks for reading, this. It means so much :)


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