A Trip Inside My Head… my secret


I’ve been trying to write this post for over 2 years. But I’m scared. Scared that once I put it out there, I can never take it back. Scared if I don’t put it out there, I will never be able to move forward. I’ve started writing it at least 100 times. Deleted it just as many. You know how I told you that these last few years have been hard? Well, they’ve been really hard. Harder than most people know. My husband, my mom and my sister are really the only ones who I’ve let in. As most of you probably know, I’ve been battling some health problems for quite a few years. Nerve damage, multiple surgeries for that. Back problems. Emergency spine surgery for that. Chronic pain. A pain that dictates how I live my life. But, I have a secret. There is something much worse than the pain that has taken over. Something darker and scarier than I could ever have imagined. Something that, on some days, I just don’t have the strength or the courage to fight. That something is, well, ME.

Yes. I’ve become my own worst enemy and I don’t know how to fight it anymore. Anxiety, depression and panic attacks have taken over. They fill my head with awful thoughts. Tell me that if I leave my porch, something horrible will happen. When I decide that I am going to go out, I get physically sick. My blood pressure (which is already ridiculously high….seriously, I take SIX pills per day for it), goes through the roof. My heart beats fast and hard. My face tingles. My tongue feels 10 times bigger than normal. I can’t swallow. I usually turn around and go back inside, crawl into bed and tell myself that I’ll try it again later. Seriously. It’s so bad. This month, I have left my house five times. And four of them were for health related reasons. The other was a good day and Adrian took me to eat fish down by the square, then we went to Walmart and I bought a hat. It was the third time I’ve been to Walmart or a grocery store this year.

It’s not just leaving the house. It’s also got to the point where very often I don’t answer the phone. It’s not that I don’t want to talk to people. I’m starving for socialization. But, talking on the phone causes me just as much anxiety. I’m a great texter though! I am funny, sarcastic and know all the right words. I love social media. I can feel like I’m socializing without ever having to actually socialize. But, social media is hard too. I see so many people out there doing such awesome stuff. Stuff that I want to do. But my own worst enemy simply will not let me.

So…..that’s my secret. I think I’m going to hit the publish button this time. Maybe. Then it won’t be a secret anymore and maybe I can start fighting back. And, before you say anything, yes, my doctor knows. Several doctors know. It’s not that I’m not working on it…….

Weekend Wastebasket Reviews

I have been saving my empties for well over a year, much to my husband’s confusion. I kept telling him that I was going to review them. He didn’t believe me. ūü§∑ūüŹľ‚Äć‚ôÄÔłŹ Anyway, I threw them all in a bin and would write down my thoughts each time I did. Then, that one bin turned into THREE and I forgot to record quite a few of them. So…new strategy. I went through all three bins. Kept the empties I had reviewed and trashed the rest. Then, I grouped the remaining empties by type, took pictures and will write an empties blog post at least once a week, hopefully more. Make sense? This is the Toner edition. One of my favorite discoveries from subscription boxes is definitely toners. I used to use some kind of Toner back in high school. It was harsh and smelled like alcohol. Yuck. These are not that kind. A few are acid toners, but they work great on my skin. Some are very moisturizing. I use these after cleansing, but before serum, eye cream and moisturizer. If I’m really sweaty and my skin feels hot and icky, I will also use toner throughout the day. All of the toners pictured I would definitely buy again. I enjoyed all of them.

**Pixi Glow Tonic–This is my favorite glycolic acid toner. I like chemical exfoliation for my face much better than the physical kind. I already have a huge bottle with a pump on my vanity.

***Rodial Dragon’s Blood Hyaluronic Tonic–This little bottle of toner is great! Soothing, refreshing and made my skin soft. I used it after the Pixi in the evening and several times thought the day.

***Acure Facial Toner-This is made with rose and red tea. Nice and hydrating. Glass bottle felt luxurious.

***Medicell Calming Facial Mist–I used this little bottle up in five days! It was right after I got home from my spine surgery. I had been in the hospital for a total of 5 nights (2 different stays) and my skin was tight, dry and miserable. I sprayed this very often on my face and chest. Felt great.

***Nip+Fab Glycolic Pads–These are good. I like the Pixi Tonic better, but these are great for traveling. I would definitely use them again if I receive them.

***First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads–These are alright. I like the Pixi and Nip+Fab better, but these do work. They leave my face a little tighter feeling, so they might be better for someone with oily skin.

I hope that you liked this post. I have about a dozen more to get through my backlogūüė≥ūüė≥. But, Adrian is happy that, for now, my trash is no longer growing in a pile next to my vanity!! Yay me!!

Wow! It’s Been A Long Time!!

I can’t believe it’s been over a year since I’ve posted anything! This past year has been one of the most challenging times in my life. I’ll go into more detail in future posts, but I will say that I’m still not able to drive or work, I’ve lost a friendship that I thought would endure forever, had a major, emergency spine surgery and, the biggest and hardest thing is, I lost my daddy in February. I’ve spent so much time in bed. First with nerve pain and back pain. Then, I basically lost my ability to walk unassisted. After surgery, it was lots of bed time trying to heal. After Daddy, it was lots of bed time dealing with the worst grief I’ve ever experienced and still trying to physically heal.

I’m not there yet. Not emotionally, mentally nor physically. But…… I’m lifting my head, finally curious about the world again. I’ll get there. I have an amazing group of supportive people who have laid down with me when I’ve cried and are now waiting with open arms to help my get reacquainted with life. I’ve spent the past year thinking how weak I am. But, that’s where I was wrong. I’m strong. Strong enough to ignore the voices I was hearing that were telling me I am useless and a burden to those I love. Strong enough to hold on to the love in my life. I don’t know how far I can actually get, but! Believe me when I tell you that I WILL get as far as I need to. I’m not weak. I’m not worthless. And, I’m not hiding anymore. I still don’t know what this blog is actually about. Product reviews? Makeup? Funny stories? Confessions? I think it will be about all of that and more. It will be about pain, anxiety, depression, healing, love, laughter and my journey back to me. If you’ve called me, left messages or texts, and I haven’t answered…. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Don’t give up on me. Please. Love, Susie‚̧ԳŹ

I’m Baaaack

Well, hello there! ¬†It’s been awhile. I’ll get into the details about that on a later post. I just wanted to come say Hi! And that I plan on posting much more often. I have a HUGE bin of empties to review. I was trying to figure out how to “stage” them to photograph, when I came across a wonderful post on http://www.ElleSees.net on how to make a beautiful tray. So, my sweet hubby made a run to our local Home Depot and picked up the materials. Then he made me a tray! ¬†You will be seeing it in action staring this week! Have a great Monday!

Happy Memorial Day

Almost 79 yrs ago
My Nanny, she gave birth
The sun shined a lil’ brighter
When my hero arrived on this earth
He was the youngest son
His Daddy was a preacher
He grew up very quickly
With Vietnam as his teacher
He did a couple of tours
Got commissioned on the battlefield
His love for his country stayed true
Never to lessen nor to yield
He gave so much for what he believed
For the freedom we have each day
I’m so thankful to have him here
So he can hear me say…
Thank you Major Richardson
For serving the red, white & blue
You’ll forever be my hero
Always Daddy…I love you.

Strong…. NOT a statistic

My daughter is one of the most stubborn people that I’ve ever met. ¬†I used to almost lose my mind over just how stubborn she was. ¬†Now? ¬†Now I see how she was blessed with a tenacity for which I will be forever grateful. You see, she could have been a statistic. ¬†But she was much too stubborn and strong ¬†for that.

Jennie was a straight A student and varsity cheerleader when she got pregnant as a sophomore.  Yes.  She was 16 years old.  I thought the world was ending at the time.  I assumed her education was finished and all of her dreams were unattainable because she was a child having a child.  Boy did she prove me wrong.  We moved her to an alternative high school where she could work at her own pace. She turned in her final school work while she was in the hospital with Pre-Eclampsia.  Kaydence was born in 2004.  In 2005, Jennie was Valedictorian and gave the speech with her family and her daughter watching from the audience.

Jen started college right away. ¬†Brent, Kaydence’s father, graduated high school in 2006 and he and Jennie got married that June. They both worked and went to college. ¬†Chandler came along in 2007. ¬†Kallie in 2009. ¬†Jen graduated from Tarleton State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Family and Child Services in December of 2009.

A lot happened during those years, they were young adults raising children. ¬†Chandler starting showing signs of illness when he was 9 months old. He spent his 1st birthday in the hospital. ¬†He would later be diagnosed with Schwachman-Diamond Syndrome. ¬†He also has a Chiari Malformation and he had a major surgery for that in 2009. ¬†That’s a lot for a young couple to go through. ¬†Unfortunately, Jen and Brent’s marriage did not survive all of this trauma.

But, remember, Jen is one stubborn young lady.  That stubbornness was a Godsend in 2012 when she had her thyroid removed due to Thyroid Cancer.  November 1, 2011, Jennie married Tony.  He has been wonderful in taking care of her and the kids.  The kiddos are incredibly blessed because not only do they have loving parents in Jen and Tony, but their Daddy remarried too.  His wife, Shanna is a wonderful stepmom.  They have all adjusted to co-parenting.

I’m proud to say that not only has Jennie gone through everything that she has and survived, but she has thrived. ¬†She is almost finished with her Master’s degree. ¬†She is a middle school Special Ed teacher. ¬†She is strong. ¬†She is a survivor. ¬†She is NOT a statistic. ¬†She is my daughter and she makes my heart sing. I love you more Jen!


Pressing Eye Shadow

imageimageimageLast night, Bug and I pressed all my loose pigments into eyeshadow pans. ¬†I bought a Z Palette and some metal shadow pans from Amazon. Then we watched a few tutorials on YouTube and bam! ¬†Well, not quite that fast. ¬†But, it was easy. All you need is loose shadow and rubbing alcohol! ¬†I never used my loose shadows because I am a total klutz and knew I would end up a shimmering, colorful mess if I even attempted. But now! ¬†Now they are all lined up in pretty pans and will be much easier to use. Oh, I’m sure my face will still end up being a shimmering, colorful mess, but hopefully my vanity and clothes will stay shadow free now!

Tuesday Thoughts

I haven’t updated in awhile.  So much for my consistent thrice weekly posts!  I wrote this post earlier, but it just disappeared.  So frustrating.  I really need to learn how all of this works.  This month has been crazy busy and all of the events really deserve their own posts, so I’m just going to do a quick recap.  

1. My daddy is in congestive heart failure.  He’s had a couple of different procedures, but really isn’t doing all that great right now.  My momma is confused and worried and I’m worried about both of them.

2. A friend of the family passed away on March 19th.  Dave was the father of my son’s best friend.  His funeral is tomorrow.

3. I turned 50 on March 4th.  My sister came in from Florida and all of the people that I love so much made sure that I had a wonderful celebration.

4. My mom and I went on a road trip to Mississippi to pick up my granddaughter.  The weather was awful, but the time spent with my mom was priceless.

5. I seem to have fallen down that deep dark hole that is called depression.  I have even been ignoring the caring crate.  But I am fighting, make that clawing,my way out of this evil fog.  I have devised my own little coping system that I will share on a future post.

So, all of the above, plus just life in general, has made for a crazy, painful month.  I’m definitely looking forward to the April showers and even more excited about the May flowers.

Still kickin’


Friday Faves and Failures

  I have 12 empties for this post.  I cannot figure out for the life of me how to turn this stupid picture around.  Sorry.  I’m obviously still learning how to blog.

1. Eco Beauty Goodnight Cream– Ipsy.  This lotion was okay.  It wasn’t great but it wasn’t horrible either.  It is not thick enough for me in the winter.  But I finished it up when it was still hot outside.  I used it after all my other nighttime products and before my face oil.  It did the job.  I like the pouch but I would not repurchase this lotion.

2. Angel Face Botanicals Grace Facial Toner–Goodbeing Box. I loved this.  I used it every night after cleansing and it made my skin feel great. It was not drying at all.  I can definitely see myself purchasing this toner when I finish my others.

3. Olay Botanicals Moisturizing Toner–Walmart (I believe).  This was a nice toner.  I used it in the mornings after cleansing and it didn’t dry me out.  I like the Olay brand and would buy this when I run out of all the others in my stash.

4. Royal Apothic Bubble Cream–Little Lace Box.  I was so happy to discover this!  I loved the cream itself.  It smelled so nice and it made my skin so soft.  I felt like I was in a fancy hotel spa every time that I used this. I definitely plan on buying this in the future.  My only complaint is that it was hard to squeeze the cream out of the tube.  

5. Laneige Water Sleeping Mask– Popsugar + Target. This was the first sleeping mask that I ever tried and I immediately became a believer!  I used this twice a week and I loved the way my face looked in the morning.  All plump , dewy and soft.  I’m so happy that I have a couple more of these thanks to Target boxes.  I will purchase a full size when I use those for sure.

6. Suzanne Kaufman Shower Gel/Shamoo. Net-A-Porter 2014 Holiday Box.   This gel showed me that just because it is expensive, it doesn’t mean that it is better.  I tried it as a shampoo and was very disappointed.  So then I used the rest as a shower gel.  It was okay.  Will not purchase full size and will even give away if I get another deluxe sample.

7. Simple Micellar Wipes–Target.  I love these.  I use them in the mornings to remove my nighttime products.  I have several other brands to use right now, but I will definitely repurchase these at some point.

8. Dove Dry Spray–Allure Thrills.  This worked just fine and it was nice to get a full sized deodorant in a box.  But, it made me cough every time I used it.  I don’t think that I will buy it just for that reason.

9. Olay White Strawberry Body Wash–Walmart.  This gel worked fine, but the smell just wasn’t for me.  My grandkids ended up using it as a hand wash because they liked the sweet scent.  They called it the candy wash. I would buy this, but in a different scent.

10. MD Solar Sciences Tinted SPF 30–Birch Box. Loved this!  I don’t wear foundation unless it’s as special occasion, but I love tinted sunscreens and BB Creams.  This was a great match for my skin and I do plan on purchasing a full size this summer.

11. Beauty Protector Conditioner–Birch Box.  My new favorite shampoo and conditioner!  I love the way it makes my dry, mature hair feel and the scent takes me to my happy place!  I have already used my BB Points to buy the full sized set.

12. Eyeko Black Magic Mascara–Quarterly Box (?). I did not like anything about this.  It was a very dry formula and flaked in my eyes.  My eyes were so irritated and watery that I had to remove it within the hour.  I did not finish this.  I just filed it under “trash”.

And there you have it!  I have decided to use that grey round bin that came in PopSugar recently to house all of my empties.  This is one of my favorite posts to write because it feels good to actually use the products and it shows the progress that I am making. Kind of “justifies” buying more boxes!