Blogging · mental health · poetry · Uncategorized · writing

How Darkness Became My Friend.

I sat in the dark for so long, I got comfortable. I would fumble around confused and run into the walls, literally and figuratively. Over time, my eyes adjusted to the darkness and I began to see more clearly. There was a comfort in the darkness, for I could not see my reflection, the self hatred written on the walls. It became my safe place from the spotlight shed upon me, all the judgements faded away behind a black cloud of hate.

I pushed everyone away, fear drove me this way, for I just wished to suffer alone. In the mind, you can not hurt others this way. It is a journey they must find for their own. Why would you want to take others to the depths of despair with you? That was my lonely road to travel alone, or so I believed.

You see, I came upon a mirror one day, and was saddened by what I had seen. A stranger stared back at me, skin and bones, the twinkle in her eyes…..gone. I wondered then how in the darkness, I could see her face so clear. He whispered just then, she is the light that shines with me, for our souls are twins. We are a packaged deal, two for the price of one, and I would say that is not a bad deal. For those like me, who are sensitive you see. The light begins to blind you, and you lose your way. Only then when the darkness descends, are you forced to see things in another way.

To find the light and dark within yourself and adjust accordingly. Do not fear the dark for he will show the light when it is time. Frame the mirror from which you found yourself and display it proudly. You have walked through something many never found their way out of and be ready to go back someday. For the lessons are never really over, this world is to cold to hold onto the warmth forever. You will find the blanket along the way and come out each time stronger than before. Have faith they say, I choose to find it in both places. They are both now my friends, for they showed me the right way.

~Jennifer Steen

*This piece was inspired by my sister Emily, she gives me the courage to keep fighting and to dig deep within myself and find the light within. We have walked similar yet different paths and found each other along the way. Along this journey we call life, we will encounter Angels in our midst, they will shine their light on us, and we will be forever changed. I love you Em and thank you!

family · mental health · wellness · writing

My life, my kids! Get with the program or get out!

Ok so I feel a long blog post coming on about a subject that many will not agree with or like but I feel it needs to be said, first and foremost it is MY OPINION, you do not have to agree but I would suggest if it offends you, a look in the mirror might be a good place to start.
I will preface it to say that my kids… are just that….MINE! Unless I leave them in your care, you have zero ownership of them. Just because you are “family” does not give you rights to them or that it bestows you access to them. Want to see them, you know my number and where we live. They are underage, you want them to visit you, ask my husband and I first. Period!
Also we know your kids are important to you and the world revolves around them in your eyes. But please, stop expecting everyone to feel the same way. We have our own families, our own lives, and struggles. If someone is absent, consider why and do not bad mouth them to your kids. You are doing more damage than you can possibly imagine. I was told a few months ago that if I did not get my shit together and start making an effort that was acceptable in their eyes, that they would raise their kids to not even know who I am. Go right ahead then, knock yourself out! I bow down to no one who sees fit to threaten me in such a manner. Up until our world feel apart and I got sick a few years ago, I did everything I was socially expected to do and what I wanted to do as often as I could. Then all of a sudden, I am not good enough because I stepped away to protect my kids and myself and to try and fix the brokenness that was left behind. We are still healing and I am still in the fight of my life.
If you want something from me, ASK! If I can not give it to you, ACCEPT IT! Guilting me will only drive me further away.

I have a huge capacity to love and I care for my family deeply but I am under no obligation to constantly be in their lives. If we talk, we talk. If we don’t, we don’t. Start thinking of other people for once and stop making it all about you and yours. See, I am the type of mom who does not give a fuck if you keep up with my kids. I have raised them to appreciate the ones who do make the effort and to be gracious to the ones who don’t. It’s not personal, their self worth will not be based on who makes them feel special. They need to learn that they can stand on their own two feet and that while they are important, it should never be based on someone else. We, the parents, are the ones that are there for the special moments and if others want to be involved that is fantastic. Yet for the ones that can’t or don’t for whatever reason is not a baseline for how they feel about your children. Out of everything that has ever been said to me, the one that hurt the most, was what a horrible aunt I was because I do not remember birthdays or have not shown up to get togethers in the recent past. That I was unavailable for emotional support and I left them out in the cold. I am at a loss really, I do not remember much of the last year as I struggled with mental health issues and debilitating illnesses all while trying to help my kids deal with trauma and grief. That is where I was needed and where my obligations resided. Period! You don’t respect that, you know where the door is.

What about the birthdays and events they have been left out of. Or the grandpa who spends all his time with the other grandkids and hardly anytime with mine? Yep don’t give a shit! Large families are complicated to navigate and there is no room for this type of nonsense, you are hurting your kids far more than the ones who you claim don’t show up. The big problem also resides in the adults and their egos, strained relationships, and hurtful words. Learn to respect boundaries and move on with your own life. Take care of you and yours and everyone else be damned. You can not control other people’s action and their feelings.

My intentions where never to hurt anyone but alas, I did and I am sorry for that. Yet, I will not take ownership of the fact that others have deemed me unworthy. Continue to place expectations on people and you will find that they will fall away more quickly as your demands grow. Keep throwing fits and making people feel bad because you are not the center of their world, and you will find yourself alone. This is why we have large numbers of children with severe emotional issues because we do not teach them to rely on themselves. Continue to teach them that are entitled and uber special and they will become non functioning emotional wrecks as adults as soon as someone does not include them or make them feel special.

I have zero expectation of my family where my kids are involved and it will stay that way. Expectations lead to disappointment and what you should really be asking yourself, is if the problem resides in you and your emotional issues.

Maybe it was how I was raised that led me to this belief or the fact that I know my own worth and my heart. I can barely keep track of my meds much less what is going on in everyone else’s lives and who’s birthday is when. I am not up for pretenses of faking it until I make it, not my style. If you want me in your life, learn respect and boundaries and I will be more receptive. I do not live my life for anyone but me, my husband, and my kids.

And that is my rant, my opinion, and how I raise my kids. They know who loves them and if you are not a constant in their lives, they love you anyways. Your welcome!

Jennifer Steen

health · Lifestyle · mental health · Uncategorized · wellness

Health and Wellness Progress Report

Hey! So as I am waiting on the first round of tests to come in, I wanted to give you all an update on what has been happening and where I am at on my journey.

Things are improving slowly and positively so while I am still weak and fatigued, my mind is in a much better place. With Omega 3 supplements and adrenal tonic, my brain fog has cleared, my hair no longer falls out, and I have more energy. Hopefully the test results, I will have a clear picture of the damage the steroids did to my adrenal glands. So important message, if you are diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency, please find another alternative besides steroids. They will turn your adrenal glands to stone and you will be dependant on those for the rest of your life, I was lucky and caught it in time before it did irrevocable damage. Your adrenals, when insuffiecient, need rest, proper diet, and all natural support! I have gone from two steroid pills twice a day to a quarter of a pill once a day, guys that is huge!

I have been on a no grain, no diary, no soy, no corn, and no processed sugar diet. While as hard and as complicated it is to maintain with all the temptation around me, I have found that I feel better physically and emotionally. My gut issues have all but gone away and my joint pain only flairs occassionally. Consider trying it for a few weeks and see how you feel!

I also have been facing my internal struggles with trauma, hurt, pain, and fear. This one will be a life long commitment and one that will test my emotional intelligence to it’s breaking point. I will not change who I am to the core, because she is a beautiful person, but I can change how I react and perceive the world around me. Not facing my issues did not help my medical issues, it made them worse. Stress kills and damages our immune system. We are so much more than the pain we carry around and only we can change our circumstances. Look inward, pray, meditate, and be grateful for every single good time and every single bad time. They are lessons and a pathway to a fulfilling our life path, or destiny!

I have found a level of patience and an understanding that stress leads me nowhere but down. I want answers but I must trust the universe and the creators plan for me, I surround myself with love and support and just breath. I work on myself, my goals, and becoming a healthier. Being ok with being sad sometimes, and enjoying the happy times to the max!

I want to give a shout out to the first doctor, who ever truly helped me, she believed me and in me, and the weight she lifted off my shoulders was so much more than I could have ever hoped for! When no one listened or believed me, she did and gave me the information and the tools to help myself and I am forever grateful to her! She is brilliant, kind, and one of a kind. If you are needing to find a doctor who will take a natural, holistic approach to your health please do not hesitate to reach out to her! She is based in Trinidad, Colorado and can also work remotely with you wherever you are. Her name is Dr. Ivory Raye. http://www.rayenaturopathic.com/

I also see a local doctor here in the Texas Panhandle who has also helped me immensely and is running the tests that I will be having over the next few months, he is also a chiropractor and is patient oriented and will do whatever he can to help! He also offers a holistic approach to healthcare, his name is Dr. Mike Vennell. https://www.spineandsportswellnessclinic.com/

Your health and wellness is important and I hope anyone struggling and feeling hopeless in their journey, to reach out to me or to my doctors. There are people who are willing to help and I am here for support! Thank you for reading and following me on this journey! I will be updating the blog with the results of my dutch test as soon as I get them.

Jennifer Steen

health · Lifestyle · Uncategorized · writing

My thoughts and the lessons I learned

December 2, 2018 journal entry……

I have been chastised for holding onto situations that can not be changed, for staying stuck in the “hurt” and not moving on. They are absolutely right, I was “hurt” so badly and never got closure. I was targetted and bullied and my sensitive nature just could not handle that level of betrayal. Not by people who swore to me they had my back and loved my family. And by those who were only out for themselves and used me as a pawn in their game. My logical side told me to be careful and my heart told me I had no choice but to trust, I needed it so desperately. I have been trapped in my trauma, a slave to the pain and despair. While part of me tried to find the silver lining, to keep going and pretend that I was ok. I was not and even though deep down I knew it, I could never fully face it. Some things are just to painful, it takes time. I could not let go, when in the past I have had no trouble brushing things off and leaving them where they fell. I asked myself why is that? In the wee hours of yesterday morning, I found the answer. It had not been the right time, the story had not been finished. I had not learned the lesson that was laid out before me. I also realized that not everything is meant to be swept under the rug, it is not ok to let people continue to hurt you and for you to stay out of a sense of duty. That standing up for myself and my kids was more important than keeping the peace. Not everyone agrees but I am not here to live other people’s choices. Only mine and I will not always do it in a way that others see fit, I will not always do it in a way that I see fit in hindsight either but my hope is I will learn the lesson, accept it, and do better next time.
I am a victim, I am also a survivor. Resolution does not happen when you want it to, it occurs when the lesson has been learned. Hiding behind the supposed sins of others will leave you trapped in your own personal nightmare for which you will never wake. Call me mental and crazy all you want but make sure you take a cold hard to look in the mirror before you open your mouth. Not everything will be washed away with hollow words hidden behind a fake smile.

In the past five years, I have had no less than 7 traumatic experiences. Most all wrapped up in one situation or another while my mind and body wasted away and the unknown sickness took hold. I know I am not the only one who has been through hell but I am not here to compare traumas and I will no longer let anyone downplay what happened to me and my family. I do not speak about it for victimhood, I speak because two years ago I was given a gift to be able to share my story in hopes of helping others like myself. To stand up for what’s right and speak against those who hurt people to make themselves feel better, for they can not face themselves. I also speak to those individuals hoping they will see the light within their own darkness. I too carry a darkness within me, we all do. When we acknowledge it, we take away it’s power. I too have hurt people but never out of hate or pleasure. My coldness and isolation is a defense mechanism to protect myself and I own the effect it has on other people, however I will continue to use it if I must. I owe them nothing if there intention is to harm me emotionally. Life is to short to hold grudges but I feel protecting ourselves is vital to our health. Not everyone will understand but not everyone matters.
I also write about my journey through chronic illness and pain, why? Because I can and because millions of other people are facing the same situation. They are scared, lonely, and feel like they have gone mad, we are all little mad though, aren’t we? I sure hope so, life gets to boring to be so sane. I want them to know they are not alone and the light is there if they choose to find it. Truth be told I am a hot mess, scared and scarred but still standing, even when dizzy lol

My journey is far from over and I have a lot of work ahead of me, I have amazing people that have stuck by me and put up with my craziness and for that I am the luckiest girl on earth. I love you guys and hope that you know how much you mean to me. Thank you for loving through my faults and tears, in the good times and laughter, and for my imperfections.
Each of us has a story and it deserves to be told if one sees fit to tell it. You will also suffer for it but the rewards will out way the risk in the end. Within suffering their is compassion, and the road to our own redemption. For me that is worth fighting for and I am grateful for the clarity to do so.

~Jennifer Steen

Lifestyle · Uncategorized · writing

Forgiveness

People talk to me a lot about forgiveness and how it should be standard protocol. I am going to be honest, I first must learn to forgive myself, and I have much to atone for. I will work on me and then someday I will get on with the business of facing those who hurt me. Another truth……most of my hurt in those situations came by own actions and inactions, my inability to let go, and the twisted belief that I could change situations that were set in stone. To somehow change how people truly felt about me and the hold something together that was never meant to be. I wanted, no needed, people to understand what is was I was experiencing and going through, and they didn’t. My sensitivity took over my common sense and I have paid for it but even after all that, I would not change my sensitivity for anything. I was born that way and will stay that way, it is my job to learn how to manage it though. To step away and work on myself. That is what I have been doing and will continue to do, I have some amazing people in my corner and love me for the real me. My soul is on a journey not many understand, the only person I am accountable to is ME! To my husband and my kids. Forgiveness is a choice, a major commitment to truly release the pain and shame. It takes time, work, and self love. Picking up the pieces of your broken heart and mending them as best you can. As I face life long illness’s and damage I can not fix, my priorities are not the same as others. I have dreams to fulfill and a family to raise, I have places to go and experiences to witness. I am freeing myself from bonds that are not mine to hold together and finding a love for myself I have never had before. To accept myself and change what needs to be, to be healthy and happy, and to help others find hope and light in the darkness. To know when to dim that light and sit in the darkness without being afraid of getting lost. To love all the imperfect parts of myself and be thankful for each day!

Lifestyle · mental health · poetry · Uncategorized · writing

My Heartache

The mental anguish is excruciating, frustrating, and debilitating. I smile but it is behind sad eyes, the pain is all consuming. My sensitivity spreads like wildfire, scorching everything in it’s path. I am fighting with everything I have but can not break the surface of despair. Drowning in sorrows that are not even my own sometimes. My heart breaks over and over, sending shards of the remains through my veins. This is what depression and anxiety feels like for me, my very own prison, in which I remain. A vicious cycle of sadness and anger for which I try to escape. It takes planning, prayer, and faith. It requires time, tears, and heartbreak. Eggshells are insignificant as I walk on broken glass, bleeding as the pieces tear at my skin. Add fuel to the fire and I will burn everything around me to ash. Be gentle with me or walk away, every little thing amounts to something so much bigger than one person can take. I will fight for myself and leave others in my wake. I hope one day the wounds will heal and the scars that remain will be a symbol of that strength. To leave others behind will be my greatest heartache yet time heals most things and that is a risk I am willing to take.

~Jennifer Steen

health · Lifestyle · Uncategorized · wellness · writing

Functional Health Report-Blood Chemistry Analysis

Hey! So these samples where taken in mid November, I recieved the results a month later, and now after processing them I will share them with you. This will give insight into what I have been dealing with, suffering from, and hopefully help shed light for anyone who may be sick and need direction on where to find help. I am still undergoing testing to confirm multiple diagnosis’s and how to treat them, if possible in some cases.

It has been 100% confirmed I have a female testosterone deficiency.

Likely 83% Female hormone support

Likely 71% Metabolic syndrome

Possible 59% Metabolic acidosis

Possible 60% Hypoglycemia

Possible 67% Increased cardiovascular Risk

Possible 58% Immune Insufficiency

Possible 57% Secondary Hypothyroidism

Possible 55% Hyperlipidemia

Possible 50% Thyroid Conversion Issues

I suffer from chronic inflammation, compromised thyroid and adrenal function, possible dysbiosis of the gut, compromised intestinal digestion: fungus overgrowth and inflammation of the gut. I will put an asterik next to the symptoms I suffer from…..

I have 3 alarm high results-

Thyroglobulin Abs is a protein produced by the follicular cells in the thyroid gland to produce Thyroxine(T4) and Triiodothyronine(T3). They are immune cells that attack the in the thyroid. Elevated levels are found in patients with Hashimoto’s and Grave’ disease. Optimal range is 0.00-1.00 mine is 10.30.

MCH (The Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin) is a calculated value and is expression of the average weight of hemoglobin per red blood cells. It is a sign of anemia and B12/folate deficiency and hypochlorhydria. When levels are high, indicates my red blood cells are enlarged. Symptoms include tiredness*, pale skin*, fast heartbeat*, brain fog*, confusion*, memory loss*, amd weight loss*. Optimal range is 28.00-31.90 mine is 34.50.

I have a severe and high risk Omega 3 deficiency which caused my hair to fall out, insomnia, poor concentration, fatigue, joint pain, and dry skin. Range is 2.66-12.65 mine is 1.17. These omega results came from a separate report.

Above Optimal Range-

Anion gap is the measurement of the difference between the sum of the sodium and potassium levels and the sum of the serum CO2/bicarbonate and chloride levels. Increased levels are associated with thiamine deficiency and metabolic acidosis. Optimal range is 7.00-12.00 mine is 17.00

Triglycerides/HDL Ratio is determined serum triglycerides and HDL levels. Increased ratios are associated with increased risk of developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Optimal range is 70.00-80.00 mine is 167.00.

Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) Abs is an enzyme inside the cells of the thyroid that attaches to iodine molecules to a tyrosine molecule to form T4. Elevated levels are found in Autoimmune Thyroiditis such as Hashimotos’s Thyroiditis. Optimal range is 0.00-6.80 mine 13.00.

Triglycerides- Serum triglycerides are composed of fatty acid molecules that enter the blood stream either from the liver or from the diet. Levels will be elevated in metabolic syndrome, fatty liver, in people with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, hypothyroidism, and adrenal dysfunction. Optimal range is 0.00-2.00 mine is 3.48.

Reticulocyte count- A reticulocyte is a young, immature blood cell. An increased count indicates that an increased production of red blood cells is occurring in the bone marrow in response to premature destruction or loss. Optimal range is 0.05-1.50 mine is 2.20.

LDL Cholesterol known as bad cholesterol. It is associated with metabolic syndrome, oxidative stress and fatty liver. Optimal range is 80.00-100.00 mine is 106.00.

Insulin-Fasting- commonly known as resistance and is associated with increased levels of insulin in the blood. Excess insulin is associated with greater risk of heart attack, stroke, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Optimal range is 2.00-5.00 mine is 9.50.

RBC-Female- The RBC count determines the total number of red blood cells or erythrocytes found in a cubic millimeter of blood. The carry oxygen from the lungs to the body tissue and transfer carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs. Increased levels are associated with dehydration*, stress*, need for vitamin c and respiratory distress. Optimal range is 3.90-4.50 mine 4.70.

Monocytes- are white blood cells that are the bodies second line of defense against infection. Levels rise at the with a chronic infection. Optimal range is 4.00-7.00 mine is 7.20.

MCV- is a measurements of volume of an average red blood cell. An increase shows anemia. Is associated with B12, folate, and vitamin C deficiency.

Homocysteine- a molecule formed from the incomplete metabolism of the amino acid methionine. An increase raises the risk of cardiovascular disease by causing damage to the lining of the arteries. Meaning by arteries are inflamed, causing depression and inflammatory bowel disease, among other things. Optimal range is 0.00-7.20 mine is 8.00.

Below Optimal

Progesterone-Female Optimal range is 18.00-27.00 mine is 0.07 symptoms include headaches*, migraines* ,hot flashes*, thyroid dysfunction*, weight gain, fibroids, low libido in non pregnant women

Free T3– is the most active thyroid hormone and is primarily produced from the conversion of T4 in the peripheral tissue. Levels may be decreased with hypothyroidism and is associated with selenium deficiency. Optimal range is 3.00-3.50 mine is 2.60.

CO2- Carbon dioxide is a measure of bicarbonate in the blood. CO2, as bicarbonate, is available for acid-base balancing. Bicarbonate neutralizes acids in the body. Decreased levels are associated with metabolic acidosis. Optimal range 25.00-30.00 mine is 21.00.

Testosterone Total-Female. In woman, low totals have been linked to an increased risk for osteoporosis, decreased lean body mass* and decreased libido. Optimal range is 35.00-45.00 mine 27.70.

Testosterone Free-Female. Optimal range is 1.00-2.20 mine is 0.27.

Alkaline Phosphatase(ALP) is a group of isoenzymes that originate in the bone, liver, instestines, skin, and placenta. Decreased levels of ALP have been associated with zinc deficiency. Optimal range is 70.00-100.00 mine is 55.00

Cortisol-PM The serum cortisol test is used to identify dysfunction in the adrenal gland. Decreased levels are associated with adrenal insufficiency. Optimal range is 6.00-10.00 mine is 4.10 symptoms include •low blood pressure*, •dizziness*, •salt cravings*, •hypoglycemia*, •nausea*, •diarrhea, •vomiting•GI issues*.

DHEA-S Female. Is produced primarily from the adrenals and is the most abundant circulating steroid in the human body and influences more than 150 known anabolic(repair) functions throughout the body and brain. Decreased levels are associated with conditions such as disease of the nervous system, cardiovascular, and immune systems such as metabolic syndrome, mood disorders, amd sexual dysfunction. Optimal range is 275.00-390.00 mine is 220.70.

Globulin- constitute the body’s antibody system and the total globulin is a measurement of all the individual globulin fractions in the blood. Decreased levels are associated with inflammation in the digestive system and immune insufficiency. Optimal range is 2.40-2.80 mine is 2.30.

Vitamin DOptimal range is 50.00-100.00 mine is 38.70. Symptoms include increased risk of infections and getting sick often*, fatigue*, bone and back pain*, depression*, bone loss, hair loss*, and muscle pain*.

TSH– or thyroid stimulating hormone is a hormone produced by the anterior pituitary to control the thyroid gland’s production of T4, to store T4 and to release it into the bloodstream. TSH synthesis amd secretion is regulated by the release of TRH(thyroid releasing hormone) from the hypothalamus. TSH levels describe the body’s desire for more T4 and T3 which is done in relation to the body’s need for energy. A low TSH reflects the body’s low need for thyroid hormone. Optimal TSH levels, in a normally functioning pituitary, can tell us the amount of T4 in the blood match the body’s current need and/or ability to utilize the energy necessary for optimal cell function. Optimal range is 1.30-3.00 mine is 1.18.

Creatinine- is produced primarily from the contraction of muscles and is removed by the kidneys. Decreased levels are associated with muscle loss. Optimal range 0.80-1.10 mine is 0.78.

Ok so there it is……I have began taking all natural supplements for the vitamin deficiencies including Omega Monopure 1300EC and vitamin D. I have also cut my steroid pills(which were turning my adrenal glands to stone) from 2 pills 2x daily to a quarter pill once a day with the help of an adrenal tonic 1tsp 2x a day. I take 5 drops of progesterone 2x daily under the tongue and panplex2 for gastric and instestinal digestive support. 20190106_1421311843879601217237752.jpg

 

I cut out diary, grains, corn, soy products, and processed sugar and I feel much better. My energy levels are increasing even with debilitating fatigue and my gastric issues have also decreased. I drink 3 liters of alkaline water daily and rest as much as my busy life will allow. This lifestyle change takes dedication, determination,and sacrifice. I am here to tell you that is hard yet worth it!

I am currently waiting on the results of my Dutch test and will be having a GI map later this month. I will share those in follow up posts as I get them. Please do your research, seek out a legit functioning medicine or naturopathic doctor, and start taking your health seriously!! If anyone has any questions or need a referral to my doctors, please message me and I will be happy to help!

Jennifer Steen

health · Lifestyle · poetry · Uncategorized · writing

Me on display…..and more to come!

Hey everyone! I know I have shared a lot about what has been going in my life over the last two years. The pain, the sickness, my inner most thoughts and feelings. Things I have rarely spoken out loud about and now I am sharing them for the world to see…. it is really scary and freeing all at the same time. I had a major life changing awakening, three months of journeying, journaling, and then it all came crashing down. Slowly at first then like an avalanche, getting buried inside as you get hit from all sides. A struggled just to survive, I curled up inside and infected my body and mind. My ego and heart collided. Releasing the soul within the vessel I reside.

The extent of the damage is severe, I fight with everything I have deep inside to keep surviving and thriving, then sometimes shut down and revive. When I started writing a few years ago at the very same moment in time, I purged all the feelings inside all the way back to before I was one year old. Again, things trapped deep inside where the deep pain and shame resides. 35 years worth of a life, put on display by my own hand, so I have no one to blame. Fate has whispered my name and this was the plan. My past, present, and future all collided like a flaming supernova from which I came. I lost a great deal of people I still hold in my heart, I broke the chains holding me down and there was devastation in it’s wake. For that I will forever be sorry and must forgive myself and others to truly be awake.

Sounds all kinds of crazy but that is ok! Crazy is sane these days…..makes sense if you choose to look at it that way. So anyways, just wanted to share this with you and thank you so much for reading. There will be much more soon, I am getting better most everyday, healing the fractures that remain. I have so much hope that 2019 will be the year that gold fills the broken pieces and I realize my dreams, for hope is a beautiful thing. Writing like crazy, I have a lot to sort through. Crazy because I never put pen to paper before in my whole life. I woke up a poet one day and as you can see, it has stayed with me, for that is a blessing. Must have been all the stories I read, that live in my head. For the story is never truly over even after The End. ~Jennifer Steen

*The featured image is one of my favorite works of art and I would love to have the concept tattooed as a half sleeve with other elements of my life. It perfectly represents what it feels like to me, the serene resilience, as the war rages inside. If anyone knows who the artist is, I would really like to know! Thank you!!

health · Uncategorized

My Neuropsychological Evalution

So there has been a lot of talk about my mental state over the last few months, even years for that matter and I have been candid about them and what I have been dealing with. Apparantly I need to set the record straight and I have no hesitation in doing so. When I started this journey, I promised to be open and to share my story in the hopes that it helped others….not to play victim. So let’s get started.

I recently had a neuropsychological evaluation, I had three very intense sessions, and here are the results…..

Personality and Emotional Functions

“There were significant elevations on multiple scales, which suggest a person with significant anxiety, depression, and concerns about somatic functioning”.

She sees her life as being severely disrupted by a variety of physical problems and her poor health is a major component of her self image. Her somatic complaints are to the extent that they render her incapable of performing even minimal role expectations. She is impulsive and emotionally liable, and endorses a high degree of anxiety. Her anxiety is persistent and trait-like and reflects a dispositionally low threshold for the experience of events as dangerous or threatening. She endorses anxious reactions to a history of a traumatic stressors”.

She reports experiencing notable distress in her life at present. She reports being self-conscious in social interactions and is probably not skilled at asserting herself. She is probably uncomfortable being the focus of attention”.

Summary and Impressions

Jennifer’s personality testing indicates severe and debilitating levels of anxiety and distress as well as focus on her health problems. Given this anxiety, she is more prone to be internally focused, and not notice physical tension more readily than a person without anxiety. When she feels tension building, she pays more attention to the physical sensations of this stress. Not only does she report a large number of vague and complicated somatic complaints, but also a high degree of focus on her health. She sees her problems as complex and difficult to treat. Her personality is such that she is likely to be resistant to a psychological interpretation of her symptoms. However, characterologically, she deals with stress via repression. She may not psychological experience herself as anxious, but she has a very low threshold for tolerating events that are stressful.”

Jennifer likely had some risk factors for development of anxiety and depression, namely a strong family history and the precipitating factor appears to have been a history of past traumas as well as familial stressors.”

Investigation of the validity indices does not suggest any overt attempts on impression management, carelessness, or inattention to detail, or inconsistentency in responding. In fact, Jennifer’s low T-score on the Positive Impression Management scale suggests that she was candid in her responses. Her profile should be considered an accurate reflection of her current state.

I think some have been under the impression that I am too stupid to know my own self, therefore it is there job to tell me. News flash, I am very self aware, just because I know, does not mean I can fix things overnight. I have my recommendations and I will follow through with them so again, no need to throw it in my face while in an arguement, ok?! Might want to look in the mirror for some reflection.

I admit that I have shut myself away to protect myself and others, it’s been lonely and hard to handle. I pick and choose my battles carefully, and while I do not always execute them in the best way, it is always with the best of intentions. To those who have stuck by me, fought with me, and dealt with me….. I am humbled and grateful! For those that did not, I am thankful!

I have some medical updates that I will be sharing soon and will give some more insight into what has been going with my health….stay tuned and thank you for reading!

Jennifer Steen

poetry · Uncategorized

Holding on

I woke up really sad today

Holding onto things I can not change

Maybe I can but it would not be the same

All this time later

I finally process the pain

It aches so much

That it continues to this day

The hurt and the pain

The unspoken words

Like a slap to the face

I reacted in the moment

Now I must pay the price

It will be worth it in the end

We all must walk the road

Trying to not get lost along the way

However it is inevitable

For we all are not perfect

Or completely sane

~Jennifer Steen

health · Lifestyle · poetry · Uncategorized

Medical update….October 29th 2018

What do I say about today…..words almost won’t display the feelings brewing inside my brain. When did we lose sight of what was in front of our face? How do we face what is hidden away? My feelings are written all over my face, not hidden away in shame. I speak in written word for my voice can not seem to be heard. My soul is in control for she seems to know the way, protecting my heart from what she can not comprehend. Self is who I am and all the beauty she beholds. Egos have no place within, they are hard enough to control. Does this look okay to you? Some just can not open their eyes, their hearts filled with toxins out of control. Amongst the chaos and denials, you find the angels sent to guide you as everything spins out of control. Words have saved me and will continue to do so, my hope is that we find each other and take back our control. ~Jennifer Steen

After getting repeatedly told to “just deal” and being blown off, I sought out a naturopathic doctor to help me find a better way to live and try to finally find out what the hell is wrong with me. After an eye opening and comfortable appointment, I felt optimistic that I could find a way to get answers and that one of my doctors here in Texas would help with labs.

I had that appointment today with my endocrinologist and it did not go well. He refused to order recommended tests (by amazing said doctor) and that he saw no evidence to warrant these tests….say that again? Oh and he did say it again along with verbally arguing with my husband about his credentials and the fact that he was the doctor. No shit sherlock, the plaques on your wall say so but your attitude and ego need a ton of work. I will absolutely not have someone like that in charge of my care, it has been made very clear to me the direction they are trying to go and that they are grasping at straws. I will save them the trouble, I have no problem admitting my mental health issues and am currently dealing with them appropriately. No one has yet to have the guts to say it to my face, because a serious medical issue is written all over my face. I get that answers have to be sought but as natural order goes, to find them you have to search EVERYTHING and EVERYWHERE! I believe that is common knowledge that makes common sense, right?! My case is complex and requires out of the box thinking, just like me. Thankfully I found an amazing angel doctor who was sent to help me and now I am going to follow that path after so many different trails. I have already began the process of diet changes and supplements and it has helped. We are going to figure this out and the war will have made perfect sense.

“I walk through the fire in silent screams until I wake, then swim in the healing waters for some rest”.

I know I have not given a medical update in awhile, it has been a bit hard to share that part. So much unknown and fear, while I am better in some ways than before. There is something really wrong, I can feel it, I can see it and I just want to know how to possibly fix it. I do not believe that is to much to ask for. As I typed this my young son just looked over at me and said “mommy I am so sorry you are sick”. Be still my heart and then it breaks a bit more, this is all he has ever known. I want more for the both of us, for my family and friends. Thank you all for taking this journey with me, for the love and support. For the prayers, good vibes, and kind words. I love you all ✌🏼❤🕉

PS. I wrote this yesterday and felt like I needed to sleep on it and give my emotions a rest. No matter what happens I am blessed beyond measure! Thankful and appreciative! Loved and lost! I am a better for this journey, this struggle, and even on my knees I am grateful for the lessons it has taught me…..

health · Lifestyle · poetry

To enjoy the days…..

There are so many reasons why I went away. I simply could not manage day to day. Locked away inside my tainted haven. Coping with what was beyond comprehension. I have to protect myself as I struggle to survive in this world. Energies hitting me from all sides. Draining my spirit while my soul swims in white light. My mind works overtime just like the machines of this time. Filtering all the vibes takes more time while my body declines. It is all connected….the heart, body, soul, and mind. I go at my pace now after falling so far behind. Living in the moment as if it’s my last time. Loving has saved me and losing has taught me. I do not see what many others believe to be. I believe in what I feel, think, and see. The beauty all around me and the good in all you see. That is the best life for me, full of music and the sea. Mountains and plains as far as the eye can see. I am finding my home and getting lost on the way. Endless journeys through space and time, leaving miracles in it’s wake. ~Jennifer Steen

health · Lifestyle · Uncategorized

Depression and the words better left unsaid…in my opinion.

Depression
You would think he comes like a thief in the night
But he creeps up on you in broad daylight

Hey everyone……so some of you know by reading my previous posts, that I have been sick for awhile now. This period of time in my life had been eye opening and haunting. On top of that, we had some really hard and painful things happen to the kids and everyone in our household at the time. These series of occurances left a silent mark on me, one I did not truly realize for some time. I admit, half of it is solely on my shoulders and am responsible for the mental state I find myself in. Trying to do to much, save people who do not want it, and deal with people who only want to see me fail and suffer. People pleasing and trying to be someone I am not. I also have been working on a series of writings that go back to the very beginning of my life in memories. It has brought up a ton of emotional baggage but also healed me in ways that have helped me move on, I will never be sorry for this! This story is meant to be told and it is the most important thing I have done and will NOT apologize for! Ok got it, I own it, and let’s move on.

The poem below was written when I decided to try medication to treat my depression……

The depression so deep
The chemicals will bring it to the surface
Where the spirit will contain it
And it will be washed away
Hopefully someday
The illness will remain however
Stuck in time
Ticking like a time bomb
Waiting for a sign from within
To destroy everything in its wake
I need more chemicals now
So I can survive the destruction
Shielding me from the jagged pieces of my broken body
My protective angel wraps his strong arms around me
Leading me out of the remains of my own tragedy~Jennifer Steen

I recognized my depression about six months ago, got medicine, and it sucked. I became an emotionless zombie and found that I preferred to cry instead of not. I wanted to feel, even if it brought me to my knees. Its closer to mother earth anyways, having my head in the clouds is not always the best place for me. I get lost and forget my place in this world, forget my purpose and responsibilities. I quickly weaned myself off these meds(my choice, you make your own based on needs amd beliefs) and knew if I took the proper approach and began to deal with what was going on, that I could find my way back to happiness. Well its not an overnight fix! It takes time, patience, and support…..did you get that last part? Support! From yourself and those who call you family and friends.

Now I am going to speak to potential family and friends of someone going through a mental issue such as depression and trauma. First, do not EVER tell them to “just get over it”. Please….for their sake and yours. I know you miss this person but you most likely brought upon yourself more time away from them. Second, you can not not just call or text once and then give up when things do not go your way. It is NOT ABOUT YOU, god forbid you find yourself in the same position someday and faced with self absorbed people who care not about your well being, only themselves. Third, you do not have to be ugly and say hateful things to get your point across. You just don’t, I promise! Not sure why “tough love” is the approach for somone who is actively seeking help. And last, if you find yourself unable to cope with said person and their “crap” do everyone a favor and WALK AWAY!

I have found myself in these situations with people over the last year and I will not lie, it hurts really bad. I am not mad, just sad. Feeling worthless and no good is not an easy feeling to cope with. I have not forgotten the precious ones who have held me up during this time and been my rock, you guys seriously saved my life! You all make the ugly side of this journey worth it! So thank you to those amazing people and a thank you to the ones who kicked me while I was down, you did not stay around to watch me get back up and I was able to leave you where you belong…..behind me!

Now, to all those dealing with depression and other mental illnesses….I love you guys! Even if I do not know you, I got love for you! Please seek help! It will not be easy, ok? Some of the best things in life never are, you have to fight for yourself and the life you want! You are amazing and you are important! Find what works for you, we all deal with things differently, and stay the course. Even if you get lost, its ok, you hold the map so use it!

For anyone that chooses to not to get help and be proactive, I can not say what will happen or who will stick around but I can say with certainty that things will not get better, simple as that. We are all here for a purpose and I hope you find yours, I hope for happiness and some sort of peace in your suffering. Because without suffering their would be no compassion!

Happy Saturday and happy vibes to all……

✌🏼💙Jennifer Steen

health · Lifestyle

Yes my brain is normal, at least according to medical science!

Hey everyone! Now that I got everyone caught up and we are in real time, I will share a bit of information about my continued journey through my illness, seeking answers and a plan to move forward.

So I have had an MRI and EEG, all normal! According to my neurologist, I have a beautiful brain……why thank you kind sir! So now I wait for an evaluation on my mental state, here is where things will get tricky I imagine. As I said before in my post about trauma, it is assumed that I suffer from feuge state, I can totally see this as an option based on what I have read. I completely am aware of my unique sense of self and that I can be a chameleon if need be. It has been that way all my life, a way to cope with my surroundings and situations I found myself in, and others I put myself in. Adaptability is a virtue I am happy to have. No shame in that! It is not fake, it is survival.

Being fake is pretending, in full knowledge of ones actions, to be someone you know you are not.

Be real, even in your mental illness! Own who you are and what has happened to you and give it the attention it deserves, then let it GO! Not forget, just put away, so it does not continue to ruin the true you! No one ever got help by being ignorant, so wake up and help yourself. Hopefully you have an amazing support system, like I do, and will not be alone in your journey. Even if it’s just one person standing by your side, it is more than some people receive.

I continue to be open to the findings and will deal with them in an adult way, fits are for babies! However, I am finding it increasingly hard to deal with educated individuals who see themselves as above me in knowing my own body. Exhausting I tell ya! I still have bad days, really bad ones! My mantra is always the same, this too shall pass! Love you guys!

Jennifer Steen

health · Lifestyle · Uncategorized

Trauma.

The pain of today
Remembered tomorrow
The sins of yesterday
Cleared away
How do we cope with the memories
I dare not say
For all of us are different
We handle in our own way ~ Jennifer Steen

It has taken me days to write this, I have written and then erased and cried until I am blue in the face.

This was originally going to be about my recent neurology appointment and where I possibly go from here but over the last few days, something else has taken over my mind and my soul is telling me to share it so here we go. Yes it does have something to do with said appointment. Here we go…..

Ok so we all know what trauma is correct?

trauma – a disordered psychic or behavioral state resulting from severe mental or emotional stress or physical injury.

Regardless of its source, trauma contains three common elements:

• It was unexpected.

• The person was unprepared.

• There was nothing the person could do to stop it from
happening.

Simply put, traumatic events are beyond a person’s control.

It is not the event that determines whether something is traumatic to someone, but the individual’s experience of the event and the meaning they make of it. (Definition and explanation above was provided by a third party site, (MTIECI).

To be in such a dark place
Is scarier than anything I have ever faced
To feel the enemy but not able to see it
The weight of the grief
With no end in sight ~Jennifer Steen

Now did I know I had suffered traumas in my past? Yes, I have been working through them. I have talked to counselors, gone to therapy groups, and really worked to create a safe environment for myself. I began to write nearly two years ago and that has been an amazing therapeutic tool for me. So why am I here, writing about something I seem to have faced? Well it’s because I am not facing the current trauma that is my everyday life.

Please do not get things twisted, I have an amazing life and I cherish every damn day as if its my last. And there it is, the aha moment I could not see until it was pointed out to me. Can you imagine having the mindset that you might not have tomorrow because you are sick today? To have experienced medical emergencies so scary that you wondered if you would survive it? Your life flashes before you, all the things you have done and have yet to do, the things you left unsaid. How in the world could that not leave a mark, an imprint on someone’s psyche? It does, and each of us handle this in different ways! No one person is the same in their journey, even if we take it together.

Each of us is designed to deal with traumas, milestones, and life in general in a multitude of ways. The key is finding your own way. And know that it will take time and effort to work through, it is a marathon not a sprint!

I have been experiences some strange symptoms in the last year and my endocrinologist was so worried and by his own admission, stumped as to why, that he sent me to a neurologist for a second opinion. What an experience that was! Ok so my brain is quote “beautiful and healthy” docs own words. Yay! So what is the problem then? Why am I having significant memory lapses? Why can I not remember conversations or questions that were just asked? Why when I walk, do I just run into walls for no apparant reason? Why can I be in a conversation and go completely blank? Like I can not even answer basic questions. Why am I in a constant state of emotional upheaval? TRAUMA. Not long ago trauma but current trauma. He suspects I am suffering from fugue state or Dissociative fugue which has been linked to severe stress, which might be the result of traumatic events — such as war, abuse, accidents, disasters, or extreme violence — that the person has experienced or witnessed.

Wow ok, this one was out of left field lol my first thought was “yeah I am crazy, that is nothing new”. That is just me trying to lighten up a very serious issue. I am having an EEG done next wednesday to make certain that there are no underlying issues that have been missed. I am also being sent to see a psychotherapist, and I am ok with that. There is no shame in knowing that I can not do this by myself. Having spent the last six months with a diagnosis of a rare kidney disease and significant adrenal insufficiency after a year and a half of fearing the unknown, I have not had time to properly deal with that and all the other outside issues currently on my plate. I have depression and ptsd and I need more help. I spend a great deal of time alone and do not talk in person about what is going on outside my close friends and family, and sometimes not even then do I open up completely. I do not need to be an open book to the world, I need to be an open book to myself!

I am still at war from within. I am a mom trying to raise my kids with their own set of traumas. I am a wife trying to not put everything on my husbands shoulders, because he has enough on his plate. I am the friend trying to be there for my people and still feeling as if I am not enough. I tried to step away and give us all time but that was not recieved well. I was accused of being mean and uncaring of others issues. Let me tell you something, I have a tremendous amount of empathy and never want anyone to suffer. But if you continue to deny your problems and do not take appropriate actions to mend them, I can not help you! If you can not see how much I am struggling and need support, then stay away!

I will never compare my trauma to others, it is a slap in the face to those people. I continue to see others rate their trauma above others and you are wrong in doing so! So stop! We have all experienced levels of trauma and some continuous amounts of trauma and they manifest in a multitude of ways. I encourage those who are currently in this situation to seek help! Be open and honest with yourself and your doctors!

Please be gentle and understanding to yourself and those around you! Look hard within yourself, the answers are there! Same goes for the ones witnessing this first hand with someone they know. There will be some you have to walk away from because they refuse help, that is ok! Your decision likely is not based on how much you love them, everyone deserves love even when they are lost. When you see someone legit trying to get better, be there cheerleader! Encourage them!

Thanks for reading, feel free to share or comment! I would love to connect with you all!

Jennifer Steen