How is it that we are half way through 2019?

How is it that we are half way through 2019?

It’s been a few months since I sat at my laptop to write. The last few months I was doing some reading (you can see my stats on my Twitter profile) watching videos on Prime Video, and of course my music on Amazon Music. Yes, I am learning to be an Amazon kind of gal.

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Self-care is a very important step in taking care of yourself.

This year I made a choice to come back to Western Washington. It was a long time of thinking and praying. I kept my plan of keeping offline with some pictures on Instagram of my crochet projects. I realized that a lot of things were getting tougher for me to do. I am hoping to be able to share more about this in later posts.

One of the best things I have decided to do this year joined the 52 Small Challenges on the Mighty. Each week I have been posting new things I have done on my profile to help me take care of myself by using self-care topics posted weekly. I usually have a hard time keeping up with things. I either get distracted by things or forgetful. I have had to learn to feel guilty if I forget to post things during the week and post on a Sunday. The best part that everyone has been very helpful and kind with their suggestions. One of the things I have discovered is that I have been worrying about what people think and forgetting about how it makes me feel. This was one of the reasons I didn’t write for a long time. I felt guilty for not keeping up with my writing. I suddenly realized that maybe I was zapping my energy worrying about others that I could have used that to make a difference or write about it.

In May I spent a lot of time going to doctors and specialists trying to figure out why my back was still hurting. I started to learn how to take the bus between my area and Spokane. The medical specialists couldn’t quite understand from the x rays why the pain was switching back and forth. Upon a suggestion from my PCP, I started seeing a scoliosis specialist who helped people with severe scoliosis. I suddenly found out that scoliosis that I had back in junior high didn’t go away. Actually, the metal rods in my spine attached to my spine were still there. As I grew in the last 20 some years my body tried to adjust to the condition. Partially I wanted to cry because nobody explained to this to me. I would take some Ibuprofen or Tylenol to help with the pain that would occur. What I was soon discovered that scoliosis never left my body. The rods would help, but that it would be a life long condition that I would need to learn how to do exercises to help with the pain.

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What it looks like when I make up my mind to do something.

The specialist that my doctor has recommended me to see was a Pilates instructor who herself had severe scoliosis (the new diagnosis for me). So while I waited for the referrals to go through (which could take a long time) I decided to make an appointment with the said specialist. I have to tell you it was relieving to find someone who not only knew what they were talking about, yet could also explain to me why my body was acting in ways that were totally new to me.

So for several weeks I would travel by bus to this appointment and do exercises at home. I tried to educate myself and learn things I hadn’t known about like why my feet would stick out in a different direction while I walked. I also gave myself a break and rested more. I hadn’t realized that my left side of my body was literally trying to balance the rest of me and in short, it got very tired. That explained why I was more tired than normal. I had been eating and increased my water intake. Adding my flavors to water and drinking from my Starbucks 16 oz container. It started getting to be normal and felt a little better.

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The steps you take so you can feel okay.

While on my break I decided to weed through my comment sections. Someone actually said that they were disappointed and wished they hadn’t read the post that they were commenting on. Others were saying that I was trying to get attention. This was after I made a video and published my last post. My heart broke and I started to doubt my writing skills. Then suddenly one really caught my eye. They said that I should go ahead and take a break and write when I felt like it. That was when I realized that wasn’t a bad idea.

It was about that time that I was looking and planning on my move. I decided to spend time with my cousin and her daughter. This sweet young girl was a God sent. Once school was done she and I got to spend some bonding time. I set aside my writing, reading, and other activities that I thought were important at the moment. She taught me the fundamental thing about being a person. Having fun. I set aside the scarf I was crocheting for her and traded it in for some modern (for me mind you since it has been ages since I played a video game) video games. I was learning how to use a Wii. Mind you I have only heard of this game player and not actually used it. Boy did I get an education! We started with Zelda and then a game about Smash Brothers. I didn’t know what I was doing. I just pressed the keys and just squealed with delight. My character was jumping doing martial arts moves and actually beating the computer. It was fantastic! I felt like a little kid again. My young teacher was squealing with me every step of the way and complimenting my moves. “How did you do that Aunt Molly?” I would shrug my shoulder and sheepishly smile. I was just having fun and I loved it. I could adjust a pillow against my back and relax and try to figure things out. When it was her turn I would just watch her and compliment her each round. She was training me to live at such a young age. I loved her for it.

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Go Aunt Molly Go!

Well, it has been a few days since I started this post. I was just looking through it on my Chrome browser and saw the animation of the photos. I felt pretty good about myself. It is as if part of me is coming back to life. And the emoticon Molly looks awesome if I don’t say so myself. I decided to make a new Facebook Page since that is the few ways that I could publish my posts on Facebook. Well, the thing is that I was going back and forth with my Instagram account making it business or personal. I thought sure why not and of course it gave the page as an option. So I told myself okay try it again only this time take your time and learn about it not just put things on. In fact, I thought if I started sharing pictures and posts of pages that I felt were close to how I felt that would be a good way to go.

Now that I am getting settled in I figured between reading the books on my Kindle app and watching videos on my Prime Video App I could get a chance to write out my thoughts and sharing it with my readers. It was also a big reason why I went ahead and created the Sara Gamachu page on Facebook. I felt it was time to come out of the shadows of fear. My dreams are to someday be an inspirational speaker. I also want to create a safe place for people to talk about what’s on their hearts. For the single parents who are taking care of their children. For the grandparents who might be raising their grandchildren so their children can go back to school or make ends meet. For the people who are helping those with special needs. Caregivers family members, and everyone in between. I want you to know you are not alone!

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Where I have been and how far I have come.

Where I have been and how far I have come.

4 Weeks ago I started working my part-time seasonal Customer Service Professional position at H&R Block. There are times that I compare myself to Cinderella. The girl who left her glass shoe behind her at the ball and wondering if she would see her prince again. That might sound cliché, yet in my life, it seems true.

A few weeks before I began working I celebrated a milestone (according to LinkedIn). I had been a blogger on WordPress for many years. I have to say that is something that I cherish. The thought of being able to tell my story and give a peek into my life can be scary, yet inspiring. Each post I write, share, or give my side of the story is something that others need to know. I am not just a girl who traveled abroad just on a fancy. Sometimes I wish it was the reason. No, I had to heal and learn from my life journey. I am a daughter, a sister, a cousin, a niece, and above all a mother. Sure I don’t get to hear or see my son. But that is how my blogging life started. A mother trying to figure out parenthood while she knows how to help children. I have to say it has been quite a journey.

My son is now in elementary school. When I do get pictures or news I cherish it like it is a gift wrapped in shiny paper with an easy to unwrap bow. I have to say to the reader 9 years has been a long time. Out of those 9 years, I was traveling 4 or 5 of them. Yep, that is a long time. I keep thinking someday he might find this and be in awe of this mother or wonder who she was. I never stopped loving him. In fact, when we did visit on Google Hangout I was taking pictures never knowing if the internet access in Ethiopia would drop and it would be a long time before I would see him again. Sadly that was exactly what happened. A combination of really rainy weather, network inaccessibility, and not to mention that darn electricity that rolled around until my heart broke each time it displayed an error of some sort. I couldn’t tell you how many times I would run my room and cry. Occasionally a muffled scream could be heard. That was my trying to keep my cool, yet finally felt conflicted that this young child would not see his mother. I didn’t care if people gave me strange looks. I constantly would ask if this was normal and would things get better.


For many weeks I made a choice to you less and less of social media. In my mind, I realized how in past jobs I was not able to balance my online and real life. So after a strong suggestion from my parents, I dug my internal heels in and dieted my social media intake. It started with hiding the apps on my phone and then trying to take them off altogether so I wouldn’t be tempted. I then replaced them with things that would help me focus and relax. I have to say it was very hard to do. But in the meantime, I felt less distracted with what was happening in that part of my life. It was incredible because I was doing so much more at work and focusing on my responsibilities. In one month (as of today 2/21) I have received compliments from my boss, fellow coworkers, and even others that I was doing my job very well.

Occasionally I am asked what I will do after the tax season finishes. Honestly, I haven’t really thought about it. I just focused on what is in front of me. Getting that appointment scheduled, confirmed, and move on to the next task on hand. I have found out in the past when I try to plan ahead something gets in the way like for example the winter weather we have been having taken the wind out of me (no pun intended). Normally I could schedule in my therapy appointment and be able to walk there. Sadly the layers of snow had been dumped that plan. I am talking more than 2 layers. Since I am not used to it I am prone to slipping or sliding around in my winter boots.


Who knew that writing could take so long. I don’t want it to be perfect. I just want it to flow out of my mind smoothly. Since I began writing this piece I have received so many comments that my blog has reached many people. The compliments bring me joy and peace.

During the week I am Molly, the Customer Service Professional, then on my weekends I am recharging my batteries and dabbling into my creative side. My new thing is crochet. I started learning back in September and now taking weekly lessons on Sundays. My mind is picking up on the twisting and turning that my fingers work with the hook. I am creating a portfolio with photos of my projects and lessons.


Here I am several weeks later trying to finish this post. I gave myself some time to finish my job so I could complete it as well as I began it. It is true I had a history of attempting to be both a blogger/writer, family member, and whatever I might be at the moment. When I first got the job several people reminded me about how I wasn’t able to balance the real world with the working world. As annoying as it was to hear this I realized that maybe this time they were right. I would post things on Instagram that was shared to Twitter and Facebook. I would do short random updates, yet kept my nose to the stone doing my best to make this job a stepping block in my journey of getting my feet on the ground. That first week I walked to work in a hurry with excitement and nervousness.

The first few days went really well. I was kind of surprised how well things were going. It wasn’t that I was not confident with my abilities more like I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. I had just moved to the town a few months before and once I felt comfortable and settled I began to start applying to jobs that were in the area and in positions that could picture myself in. Target, McDonald’s, Safeway, and a few local places in Cheney. As many online applications went out not as many responses were coming back to me. I started wondering what could be the problem. I went as far as did research on taking the bus, Uber, and Lyft as my sources of transportation. I wasn’t a college student and was willing to work weekends while hoping for Sundays off at least to make things work in my favor.

As the holidays came by I was starting to get depressed. I would get emails back saying that I didn’t match what they were looking for. I started to wonder what exactly they were looking for especially during the Christmas season starting up. I finally saw a position at the local H & R Block. At first, I thought it was too good to be true. Part-time, check, in the area, double-check, and it was temporary. Perfect and it was within walking distance of my apartment so I would be able to get to and from without too much issue. Even if it snowed I didn’t foresee that much problem. I applied and within a few days, I got a calling for a phone screening about the position.


Now it has been two weeks since I completed my job. I have to say I felt very satisfied yet overwhelmed after working an average of 23 hours a week or so depending on the workflow. When I explain my job I compare it to the holiday season yet with more involved in it. Especially during the last week. I actually had to send clients to another location since we were fully booked. I was asked a few times what I would do once the tax season was over. My response was to sleep and recharge my batteries. My cousin had invited me over to stay with her which I took up within 3 weeks before my final date. I missed writing on my blog and just getting so much done in that area. I did admit to people that I was a blogger. They had the familiar look of what do you write about. I smiled and replied living with ADD, dealing with PTSD, and whatever else might be on my mind at the moment. I wasn’t sure if I saw awe or shock in their eyes. Yes, there is a different Molly than the person that kept their appointments updated weekly.

Now as I look back on my 2019 so far I realized how much stronger I was than I thought. I dealt with clients that spanned from the nicest people you could meet to those who I managed to keep content by making conversation during their wait time. Imagine one person in the front with two to three tax professionals in an office five days week (which was my workload). I was a rock star as many people described me. I also realized that putting yourself in someone else’s shoes can help in so many ways.

So now you might be wondering what is next for Mahlet Sebhat. Well, honestly I am not sure. You see during that first week I slipped on ice and hurt my back. I am not sure if I have written about having back surgery when I was 12 years old. I had a severe case of scoliosis and I had 2 metal rods inserted into my back to help correct or help my back. Well, this fall I had left me with a sorer than ever spine. Within a week I went to the clinic and saw a doctor. The doctor prescribed me some muscle relaxers and wanted me to do physical therapy. Well in March in between my work schedule I was doing physical therapy twice a week. We have come to see that my left side where the main tends to have not been healing as fast as my right side. I had noticed this whole time the pain would switch between the two sides. Also when I was stressed my back took the brunt of it. This week I am going to see my doctor again for a follow-up appointment hoping she will refer me to a back specialist so we can see what exactly is happening in my back whether it is muscle related or something else.

I started crocheting because I needed something to help me relax on the weekends. Since January I have been taking weekly lessons to build this skill. I have posted pictures on my Instagram profile of my progress. I figured I needed a new skill in between jobs. I also have been doing meditations using the Calm app. It has been something I started using when my anxiety was starting up. I recently broke up with my therapist because I wasn’t getting a lot of use and appointments just got to be hard to schedule or being kept. It was the hardest decision to make because I felt guilty about not being able to keep an appointment and then having get canceled when I do finally get it made. I averaged 7 appointments since October. See that is not exactly something I could understand. I stared seeing her in October and here it was March into April and things just were not feeling right. Another decision I made in the beginning of January was to join the 52 weeks self-care challenge on the Mighty website. I was tired of not being able to see my therapist and not sure what to help myself take care of well myself. That was how it started. We are into our 17th week and boy it has been something. I have come to see myself in a different way. How to take care of little things to help me in a big way has been a goal I had for 2019.

One last thing I am going to give a huge shout out to myself…. I am turning 40 on Saturday. This is huge because well getting this far has been tough. Dealing with anxiety, depression, and PTSD has been rough on my nerves. Standing up for myself has been harder. The goal of Starting Over 2013 was a way to explain life after not just my divorce, but healing from a relationship that left me emotionally and mentally wounded from words that hurt like hell. Many people tell me I went through hell and fire to get this far. It is true.

Stay tuned for more from Mahlet Sebhat aka Sara Gamachu.

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Sharing: Stop Apologizing For Acting Clingy — Thought Catalog

I feel like this might help others.  It spoke to me.  I know that I have apologized several times for being so caring.  How many others can understand how this feels?

Sara

Caring is not a crime. Getting attached easily is not a sign of a weakened heart. You should be proud of your vulnerability. After everything you have gone through, it would be easier for you to say screw love, screw forever, screw happily ever afters. But you have not done that. You are still wearing your heart…

via Stop Apologizing For Acting Clingy — Thought Catalog

How I want to remember 2018

How I want to remember 2018

Focus on this one word: Trying.

If you ask me what I did last year this time I can remember one thing trying to find a job. I had flown into Seattle the week before Thanksgiving and was trying to find my way around Everett. My best friend drove to pick me up after I had flown in from Dubai. It was a long flight and I still could feel the excitement of seeing her after over 4 years of being apart. I can’t remember a lot of the details, yet I can remember the faint taste of Ivar’s Clam Chowder on my lips after so many years of dreaming of that familiar taste and surrounding. I was home.

After many years of the same enjera and waat. Lentils and boiled milk. I will say the thought of any kind of juice sounded wonderful and a Starbucks mocha or Chai Latte was breathtaking. I was walking through the supermarket and realizing that there was cheese, meats, and a variety of desserts all for the picking. Overwhelming as it was it was also a relief to know that I could finally have a sandwich with the fixings. That most drinks had free refills. Oh and the fruit it would bring me almost to tears internally because I knew that the apple would be sweet and tasty. I was a child in a candy store with all the diversity at my fingertips and eyeballs.

To this day I tend to eat a lot of things in fear of not being able to see or eat them again. Chips and sweets are my weakness. The past thoughts of not being able to afford food until the next grocery trip is something that still haunts my mind to this day.  I tend to make a small carton of ice cream last for at least 4 days because I am of those thoughts in my mind. It wasn’t that food was my enemy. No, no it was my friend but the fear of not being able to afford it now that was my true enemy.

I have been dealing with the anxiety that is connected with my PTSD from my divorce. I can tell you it is not easy. I take something to relax me at night so I can sleep. That doesn’t mean that the fearful thoughts don’t cross my dreams. I tend to listen to music, read a book, or watch something to distract me so I can relax and sleep at night. The hardest part is not knowing anything about my son. I dream at night wondering if the email I sent his father would be responded. Is he okay? How is he doing in school? What is his favorite subject? Things like that. I wonder if he even wants to talk to me. The last time I physically saw him was October 5th, 2013.

Everything I do from my writing to taking care of myself I do it with him in my mind. Yes I do it for myself, yet I want to be stronger so when I do see him he will see the eyes of a person who has loved him from the moment I knew I was pregnant with him. Each meal I cook I hope someday to share with him. I always hope that someday he will read my words and understand that I was a human being that loved him from the bottom of my heart. I have always wanted what was best for him. Even if we were separated by miles of land. He was always in my heart and mind.

So if I was going to describe 2018 it was the year of trying new things. Cooking, food, drinks, and most importantly taking care of me

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Cooking adventures of 2018. One of the goals I achieved this year.

One thing I learned was its okay to ask for help.  Especially when you are learning to cook.  I went from cookies to actual meals.  It’s been a goal to learn to make things to eat that taste good. I took time to post photos on Facebook and also Instagram of my cooking projects.  I am hoping next year to get a few more entrees under my belt.

Chili cheese dip in a crockpot.

Tomato sauce with ground beef in a crockpot.

How I spent my November.

How I spent my November.

The new month came and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it.  I ended October eating chocolate and fending off anxiety from my job search.  I went to my therapist appointment hoping that my heart could find something to ease my nerves.  The depression and anxiety were pushing me to points that made me forget how far I had come.  After publishing Wounds are Wounds my heart felt at peace.  I needed to tell my story and reach out to people.  I didn’t want to sit twiddling my thumbs and wondering if I was doing anything good. My therapist asked me how I was doing.  I thought about it and realized I was actually doing well.  I talked about how proud of I was of writing and sharing my story.  Finally giving life to what my heart had been aching about for several years.  I decided to take some time to find a way to feel good about myself and how far I had come. We did an exercise that was supposed to help me feel mindful of things.  In my mind and heart, I decided yes I was ready to take the next step in my healing.  Honestly, I wasn’t quite sure what that step was.  But I took my inner child by the hand and said okay let’s do it.

That was 13 days ago.  I decided after my appointment that I would give myself permission to ask for help when I needed it.  Whether it took time to be with my cousin whom I had never really met since we grew up in different countries.  She and I were several years apart, yet living very similar lives.  Our children are a year apart coincidently.  She had invited me to come and stay a few days with her and her daughter.  I said sure when I got a spare moment.  That spare moment came last week and well I took it.  Like most of my relatives, she wanted me to rest and enjoy the break.  Honestly, that was something I was not used to.  My mind kept saying do this don’t do that.  Just sitting and reading a book or watching Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen was something I felt like I needed to do.  I just needed to breathe.

Two weeks have gone by since I started this post.  Several changes have happened.  A job that I applied for called me for a screening interview.  It was my dream job being a receptionist at the local H&R Block.  I didn’t mind that it would be a temporary seasonal position.  It would be near our apartment and within walking distance.  My heart jumped for joy just to be picked.  All the long hours of applying and waiting for a call back was getting to be difficult.  Several of the positions were emailing me and saying that they were going with someone else.  I had been talking to my cousin and also my roommate about how it was getting to be difficult to be turned down several times.  I started to think twice about my skills.  So that was why I started putting my attention towards other activities like watching shows I hadn’t seen in a while and reading books.  I wanted to enjoy the little things in life and hope for the best. My goal was to be working or have an interview by Halloween.

It was after that when I realized that I was putting too much energy into it and being anxious about it.  The day first was my therapy appointment and got a chance to express my thoughts and concerns to my therapist.  It was then that she showed me the Calm app and I decided to give the meditation option a try.  For several mornings I would try the free sessions and kept my self on a strict regimen.  Whenever I got anxious I would put something on to help me find my center and help myself. For 3 weeks I did this exercise.  I felt my body start to relax and my mind ease through things. As applications went out I kept my mind still and positive.  There were days that I was cooking dinner and washing dishes.  Reminding myself about how I would be celebrating my first year back.

It was around the milestone that I got the screening call for the receptionist position.  In my heart, I couldn’t see myself working in retail again especially with the holidays coming up.  I just wanted to be in an office and using my customer service skills in a totally different environment.  I kept looking at my Indeed App at the jobs applied.  Hoping that the next phone call or email would be an opportunity in the making.  When I got the call I calmly answered the questions and I felt my confidence soaring.  Then getting the request for an in-person interview was the confidence boost I needed. For the first time in a long time, I went to the interview calmly without feeling nervousness.  My mind felt like an elementary school student getting picked to play on a team.  I decided whatever happened I would do my best and let things just happen. Let my actions and resume do the talking.  I can tell you that it went well and was told that I would hear something within the week.  A week ago today I got the call that hey wanted to move forward with me and if I was still interested.  I calmly said yes and I am waiting to hear about the next step.

One of the things I have learned this month was how much I was trying to get myself better and at the same pace as my peers.  I have to be honest that is very exhausting.  I didn’t look at how far I had come in the past year.  I mean not only did I make up my mind to return back to America after taking a break to find myself.  I need to praise myself for publishing a piece online that many people have been complimenting me about.  I took a training course to help me brush up my customer service skills and completed it.  I worked two jobs and learned how to get around Mill Creek and Everett.  That is a lot to accomplish in a short time.

You might be wondering what I have planned next for December.  Well, this time I am just going to do my best and not plan too much.  I figured that way I won’t feel disappointed if things don’t work out.