this too shall pass, or will it?

I feel like I’ve sat down to write this EXACT post, and you know, maybe I have. I am just too lazy to look up my history titles.

I’ve been experiencing a lot of pain and sadness. A girl I became close to ended her life a few weeks ago and just as I am trying to accept the reality of that, I find out a good family friend’s wife was diagnosed with terminal cancer and only has a very short time to live. It has been devastating to me and having such a hard time imagining what they are going through at this time. Then I woke up to an awful text message from an old friend. She told me of our mutual friends passing the night before from an accidental overdose. I haven’t had the time to even process everything. One thing after another. It’s all too painful. I’ve sat at work just staring out the window acknowledging how unfair this all is. Each one of these tragedies is too much to handle. My friend that overdosed was clean for a year and doing so well and just in a weak moment, all those years of getting himself clean are over. His son no longer has a father. My other friend is losing his wife before his eyes. Too many families losing their loved ones.

After talking to my dad and telling him how negative I was feeling, I mentioned to him how hard it is to go about life and trying to enjoy it when you know that in a blink of an eye, it can be over for anyone of us. He reminded me that is why we have to appreciate  and enjoy it. You can’t let the anxiety of knowing it could end tomorrow change that, but that we need to appreciate our relationships and really hold on to our experiences differently then we would have not realizing how fragile life is.

My divorce has really messed me up. It still hurts today just as much as it did a couple of years ago. I am accepting of it more, but still replay what I could have done different over and over in my head. Sometimes I forget that it is not normal to be cheated on repetitively throughout your marriage. I keep thinking that if I wouldn’t have made my mistakes that we could have still been together, and I have to mentally hit myself upside the head and remind myself that even if I would have done what I did to hurt the end of our marriage, that no healthy relationship has affair after affair and not be terribly affected by it. It’s not normal to be told of a new girlfriend your husband has had year after year. But as long as he is sorry, then I guess I can move on right? I kept thinking if I worked harder at being a wife, it would get better. It didn’t. But I stayed with him over and over again, stayed faithful until I became the wife I never wanted to be. Funny how life works eh?

So like I said above, there has been a lot of sadness surrounding me lately. As I step out of my body emotionally and look back at myself I am reminded at how important life is. I may have lost my marriage, but I didn’t lose my relationship with myself nor my kids. In fact, I am getting closer to both myself and my kids more than I think was ever possible before. When you are in a toxic relationship, it’s impossible to appreciate and love yourself and the other relationships close to you. So the pain is still there, but I am having a field day with being reminded of what is important with the life that I still do have and the blessings that are looking back at me daily.

xoxo

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gears have shifted

I haven’t spent much time blogging lately. I don’t know if it’s that life has just been busy and I’ve got caught up with that, or if I have purposely just stayed away or maybe a little of both. It seems like after getting divorced and going through a really challenging time, I started to make my way back up in life and there was a sense of a natural high that I was on. Life felt good. My hair was growing back, my kids and I were closer than ever, I was sober, my divorce and custody battle was behind me, I had a great job, have a great place to live, and it was my time to start voicing  it. Life has not changed for me, all of those things are still there and going great, but it’s almost as if the natural high is not as high, so to speak. As Summer of 2016 came to an end, it seemed as if so did the adrenaline of my new life. I am still moving forward and in a positive direction, but the only way I can describe it is as if I am in my new car driving and the gears shifted down a gear, just a changed a little bit. I am tired, and I know this is how life goes for everyone. It’s important that we all acknowledge it, doesn’t mean anything is wrong with me, but sometimes we have to push a little harder to stay afloat.

With the leaves falling on the ground and we start wearing sweaters and our cute boots, school is in session, and we have the stress of homework, and the sun goes down earlier in the day, things seem to be changing within me. I haven’t been working out at the gym at lunch like I was, I am having the desire to take a nap after work rather than have a fun activity to do with the kids. I finally agreed to my first real date this week. I’ve been putting this guy off for months and finally forced myself to go meet him for coffee. I didn’t really think much of it until the morning of. I started feeling nervous and thinking about what the conversation would be like and how awkward it would be right at first. I never remembering feeling this way years ago when I was single. Boy things change. He seemed to be really nice, but he talked a lot about his animosity for the church we grew up in and that to me was kind of a red flag in a way because it was almost a little obsessive. He talked a lot about his past dates, which made me realize he is a damn pro at this, when I am close to being a virgin! lol. After the date was finished, I walked to my car thinking “yessss, I did it. I officially dipped my toe in the ocean of dating.” But soon after my happiness flatlined and I was on a phone call with a friend and I told her of my date, after telling her the guys name, she told me she had been out with him a few years ago and that all he cared about was getting her into bed and she would hope I would never go out with him again. So, after that I’ve not known what to think. Why can’t dating be easier? Why can’t I just easily run into an old friend that is newly divorced and fall in love and that’s that? I am dreading keeping this up. I honestly keep looking around at all the couples around me and think, “how did they do this? I am so envious that they found one another.”

For now, I need to count my blessings that I might still be single and life seems to have shifted a gear or two, I am still heading in the right direction and I have my two best friends a long for the ride. Even if I do  pull over and nap along the way:)

 

Shifting Gears
A woman with her hand on the shifter in a modern car. Fisheye lens used for exaggerated perspective.

xoxo

rise

Bv7xw-XCcAAjvWm

When I heard this song, I immediately received chills and it hit me to my core. Every word spoke to me.

“Rise”

I won’t just survive
Oh, you will see me thrive
Can’t write my story
I’m beyond the archetype

I won’t just conform
No matter how you shake my core
‘Cause my roots they run deep, oh

Oh, ye of so little faith
Don’t doubt it, don’t doubt it
Victory is in my veins
I know it, I know it
And I will not negotiate
I’ll fight it, I’ll fight it
I will transform

When, when the fire’s at my feet again
And the vultures all start circling
They’re whispering, “You’re out of time”
But still I rise

This is no mistake, no accident
When you think the final nail is in
Think again
Don’t be surprised
I will still rise

I must stay conscious
Through the madness and chaos
So I call on my angels
They say

Oh, ye of so little faith
Don’t doubt it, don’t doubt it
Victory is in your veins
You know it, you know it
And you will not negotiate
Just fight it, just fight it
And be transformed

‘Cause when, when the fire’s at my feet again
And the vultures all start circling
They’re whispering, “You’re out of time”
But still I rise

This is no mistake, no accident
When you think the final nail is in
Think again
Don’t be surprised
I will still rise

Don’t doubt it, don’t doubt it
Oh, oh, oh, oh
You know it, you know it
Still rise
Just fight it, just fight it
Don’t be surprised
I will still rise

No matter who you are or what you are going through, you can do so much more than survive. Prove to yourself and everyone else out there that you can thrive. I know in my life, I felt like I was succeeding if I survived and yes, I thank the good Lord that I survived through some of the hardest darkest times in my life, but until this year I didn’t know what thriving was.  I can type in this post and honestly say that I have learned what is and what it feels like to thrive. I am doing more than living. I am being pro-active in living. I am laughing. I am holding these kids tighter. I am choosing to enjoy life regardless of the realities that still are there that hurt and bring pain. My life is far from perfect. I have worries financially, emotionally, and physically. But I am purposely choosing every day to do more than live but press through the hardships and truly enjoy my life and my kids.  I am trying so hard to not stay in the regret that I have from the years that I hurt no only my family but myself from the mistakes I made. I hate that I didn’t enjoy the kids when they were smaller like I am now. But thank God that I pulled back the reigns on how fast life was moving and how I was distracted and purposely trying to distract and numb myself because my every day life was too painful to feel. I took control rather than giving my control away to my addiction, to my ex husband, to my eating disorder, and to all the people in my life that judged me, and all my inadequacies and guilt. I am not getting any younger, my kids are growing like weeds. I can’t take those years back. But all I can do is begin today. Fight like hell to do it differently. It’s my time. I won’t just survive
Oh, you will see me thrive.
XoXo

losing it all

Once upon a time I had it all. The perfect life. Or it looked like it, and that’s all that matters right? I look back and I was beautiful. I had the perfect family. The perfect body. The perfect kids. The perfect house. The perfect friends. I was one lucky girl. And like many of us are guilty of, during the time, I was so focused on what I didn’t have. I was bulimic. I was trying to keep my husband from straying. I was trying to keep up with all the Smith’s and the Jones’s next door. I was trying to cut back from taking 30 pain killers that day so I didn’t have to “feel”. I was trying to run that extra mile a little faster. I was attempting to be a better cook. The list could go on and on and on. It was never enough, I was never enough. I look back at my old pictures and I looked great and my life looked amazing, but my eyes are dark, empty, and sad. I am screaming out my insecurities and personal torment, hoping and praying someone would save me. Little did I know my life would soon be taking a huge turn for the worse, falling apart, and I would end up losing all the things I didn’t realize I had, all along.

I should have seen it coming. Looking back, the signs were all there. I should have known. I had many sleepless nights next to my husband of 10 years, questioning whether he was staying faithful after his 1st affair.. That was very painful, but what was even more excruciating was the mind games that he played with me, the criticizing, always being blamed for any and everything that went wrong, the walking on egg-shells, the silent treatment, always being told to do better, etc.. I knew there was something wrong with how he treated me, but I didn’t realize there was an actual name for it. Narcissism or NCP (narcissistic personality disorder). I used to always say he was narcissistic, but I didn’t realize the extent of what that word meant until we started our divorce and I started educating myself and the light bulb came on. I finally felt understood after years and years of not being able to describe what he would do to me, such as the gas lighting and silent treatments and putting me in knots until I thought I was crazy or there was something wrong with me. It was as if these professionals had studied our relationship the entire 10 years and put a name to it.

As I was dealing with a lot of this pain, I was taking whatever I could get my hands on and still be a decent mother. I say decent because, I still kept up the front and functioned, but I kept myself distracted from actually living. It was almost impossible to be present. But I guess that’s how I wanted it. Eventually as most addicts explain, I was introduced to black … No one ever used the word heroin. I often wondered if they would have used that wording, if I would have run? But at the time, I was in such a the perfect place for that drug to come in and completely take over my life. Boy, do I ever wish I could have put a huge barrier between myself and these so called friends and the pain that drove me to that dark place. Just like any addicts story, I didn’t immediately become a junkie like you imagine. I stayed as a “high functioning” addict for a while. During this time, the drugs did their job by putting me in a very numb place where I didn’t want to deal with my husbands bull shit nor did I have to feel the pain that I was in on a daily basis. I would never say that drugs were EVER a good thing, but they gave me the push I needed to leave him. It’s almost like I knew I would NEVER leave him. I would stay and deal with him hurting me for the rest of my life and the only way I could do it was if I was completely in a drugged up or numb place. If I could change anything, I would have done it the right way where I was sober and clear-headed, where I could start the healing process and not take myself down a darker more challenging path. But leave it up to me to learn everything the hard way:)

The divorce was grueling. He knew I was not in my right frame of mind, so it was super easy to blame me for the divorce, but he had to know deep down that he put us in the path of destruction, and I pulled the trigger. Like my dad would always say, ” you can only kick a dog so much until they run away and never come back.” It was kinda the same thing with me. Slowly, my health started dwindling. I thought it was from using. And maybe it was. But I think there was something wrong with me from beforehand, and from using and my stress, it made it get ten times worse. I had WEIRD symptoms. Stuff I could never describe without feeling insane. I would attempt going to doctor after doctor, and they would say that I need to go to a therapist. Itching all over, hair falling out of my head like crazy, feeling like I had a tight headband on my head all the time as if I was losing all my feeling in my head and not getting any circulation in my head, hands, feet, etc.. The way my hair was growing on my head was wrong. Weird right?  No one believed me, I thought I was going crazy till one day I woke up and there was a huge bald spot right in the middle of my head at the crown. It was devastating. My eye lashes and eyebrows had fallen out. I didn’t even recognize myself. People thought I was doing it to myself. My skin looked and felt so different. I really wanted to die. During this time, I watched my husband with this beautiful girl he had an affair during our marriage. It was so hard not to use and keep numbing myself. The pain was too raw. I really begged to not wake up in the morning so many nights. No one understood how dark I felt and was. I lost all my friends that I had for so many years. It was such a confusing time because I knew I was doing things I shouldn’t, but my health was unbearable and the emotional pain with my divorce hurt just as bad. My poor parents tried time after time to help pull me out of this hole I was in, and I would try but fall back every time.

I’ll never forget trying to wear wigs. It wasn’t something I could do. I hated faking I had hair.  I just wanted to stay in a dark house and never come out. I couldn’t look in the mirror. The only time I spent with my kids was watching movies in my room because I couldn’t go out and do anything with them. People that knew me didn’t recognize me. My feet and legs started swelling. No one could give me answers. I ended up in the hospital at detox and just hoping that if I got clean that my health would get better. I relapsed right out of the hospital. Met some awesome people along the way but couldn’t get better. I watched my kids play outside while I was in a dark room. I watched my family go do fun things while I laid in bed almost dead. My life revolved around my addiction and the shame that consumed me. It was a deadly cycle.

After a few years, I never thought I could or would be a normal person. Looking at old pictures were too hard for me. For so long I thought I was ugly when I was beautiful. I thought I was fat, when really I was healthy and thin. I was a great mom when I thought I was a bad one. I was a great wife when I thought he could do better. Why did it take me going through something so tragic to learn such valuable lessons? I don’t know how I pulled myself out of such a dark place, but somehow I did and today I am a year and 8 months sober. I repeat, I AM ONE YEAR AND 8 WHOLE MONTHS SOBER!!!! It is an honest to God miracle. After finally getting a diagnosis called Diffuse Alopecia (extremely rare) my hair is finally coming in. I still deal with every day problems and my health isn’t perfect but I finally feel “normal” and happy. I still deal with my narcissistic ex and his on and off  again “girlfriend”. My life is far from perfect, but I appreciate my life at a whole new level. My whole life is my kids and I don’t take one day for granted like I did before. I am not as thin as I was once, but no longer do I throw up my food or count every calorie. After losing it all, I now have everything and I am so proud to be where I am. There isn’t one person out there that doesn’t have their insecurities and isn’t struggling  with being okay with who they are, but why get to the point of losing it all before you can appreciate your flaws and enjoy the ride along the way?

Having my sobriety and health is worth everything I went through. I am proud of who I am today and what I have overcome. For anyone in the dark place, no matter at what stage. DO NOT GIVE UP. If I can to where I am today, there is hope for you. Your life matters. You are important and worth it. Life is hard and the struggle is absolutely real, you aren’t alone. No one is perfect. Nobody lives a perfect life. But I now have the rest of my life to enjoy and live, might as well learn to love myself along the way.

XoXo

 

 

making peace with your past

I was reading an article about not feeling adequate and came across this passage:

Make peace with your past and present so you can have a bright future

Making peace with your past and embracing your present is sometimes a difficult thing to do, yet they are very important. You can never be fully satisfied when there are still negative feelings from the past lingering around you. If you make peace with your past and embrace your present, your journey towards your goal will be more satisfying and peaceful.

Making peace with my past is something I struggle with on a daily basis. Is this hard for anyone else? Anything that is a reminder of my choices that really screwed up my life, is like a kick in my sensitive gut. It helps if I am in the process of making some much better choices and actually feeling the benefits of doing so, but what about the days where I am struggling to just finish the day?  Looking back to my past at all is what murders my spirit or my smile for the day. Then I stop and ask myself, “are you still in that place? Are you making better choices? ” The answers to those questions, help me to keep going but the pain still is under there somewhere. It’s still roaming around in my brain. I am a pretty forgiving person, but for some reason when it comes to forgiving myself, it doesn’t happen very easily.  As compassionate I am with everyone else, I am pretty sure self compassion is the most important thing we need to keep on staying sober and healthy.

Embracing the present comes with making peace with your past. I deserve to finish the chapter of my past and move on to the next with a clear conscience and positive outlook. It is hard to start a new day with that heartache following you around from yesterday. There’s got to be a reason we lay down to rest and the sun comes back up in the morning. Maybe every night that we watch the sun set, we should let go of the pain and the mistakes we made, and as the sun rises start fresh and start new. Breath in, breath out. We are worth it. We are not our past, we are not our mistakes. Embrace who you are today in this moment.

saying no

One of the major things that comes with getting healthy physically, is getting healthy emotionally which comes with learning boundaries. I had a hell of a time physically but I am doing pretty good and solid at the moment with that. But emotionally is another ball game. Wait, not just another ball game, a completely different sport all together!  It makes so much sense as to why I got to the low places because of how unhealthy I was with myself. I am so forgiving of others and no matter how much it hurts my life at the moment, no way in hell will I ever turn down someone if they ask me for a favor because I can’t imagine doing something like that. I want everyone to like me. Ya this is a total illness in itself and a battle I will be working on for the rest of my natural life. I get SO frustrated with people complaining about their lives, yet do nothing to change it– but here I am doing the same thing.

This week was a clear reminder of why I need to change. My children are what keeps me going, as most mothers say. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for them. I was taken to court numerous times during my divorce to fight over custody. At the end of this long very exhausting “I want to kill myself” battle, we agreed on 50/50. At the time, I had the guilt from knowing that I wasn’t completely clean at the time which made me cave a bit to my ex. But at the time, my experience with him was that he was a great dad, just not a great husband. Little did I know the direction it would go afterwards. Since I’ve gotten my shit together and started really making some drastic changes, he has slowly reversed and switched me spots. I never thought I would see the day that he would not only start drinking, but becoming an alcoholic. I really believed that women and sex were his addiction and drug, but he chose to add onto that with alcohol (I guess that only makes sense). He is a true narcissist in every way. I love the man for many reasons, but being a selfish pig wasn’t one of them. Him being a narcissist is definitely why I wanted a divorce. Not even so much the affairs, but the criticizing and demeaning behavior on a daily basis. The reason I am explaining this is because of these things, he will never admit to his own issues, just focus on mine. So he keeps up with the perfect dad persona, but it doesn’t work after the many nights he has asked to switch nights but never really ended up taking him the nights we switched for. Or the early morning calls to drop off the kids so I could get them ready for school. Also I think it works in his favor that after he got 50/50 custody, his child support became minimal. So every time he makes that call, I agree to take my kids. I am their mother, why would I say no? Regardless what I have going, they come first and I can’t imagine them around anyone else. However, after a while I realize I am being completely taken advantage of. On his days during the week I realize that I have them every day, feed them breakfast, lunch, dinner- then all he does is take them home to bed. My bank account, time, energy, and dignity is out the window by Sunday. He scares the hell out of me, so I continue to do it but then complain all day. Who do I sound like now? Those people I talked about earlier that bug me because they don’t do anything to change their situation, right? So getting clean isn’t just about being physically clean. It means honoring yourself, standing up for yourself, loving yourself enough to make sure you are taken care of.  If I don’t, who will? My ex? Ya I don’t think so. lol I think we all do this to a degree…. not saying no to our neighbors, maybe to the guys that take advantage of us because we want love so much, or to our kids just taking so much and we aren’t willing to say enough, it’s time for me now. There is boundaries in all things, and this is definitely one of them.

XoXo

change

Throughout my day as I work at my desk, any small memory that I recall is like a small wound being opened in my heart. There’s not a whole lot I can do to change or control that. In our lives, we are made up of where we have been and what we have done and with each passing day little things remind us of them. Not a whole lot in my life is familiar. I want to say my children are the one thing that doesn’t change, but they change every day. They are not the same as they were when they were dependent on me as their mother. Our relationship is just as close or even closer, but definitely different. Any small memory I have of them before now, hurts. I smile thinking of the cute things they did or have done- but because of the way things have changed in our family, there is pain associated with it. I often wonder if I am the only divorcee or single mom that experiences these feelings. Feelings of guilt for leaving their dad. Feelings of guilt for changing what they knew and were comfortable with. Changing what family means to them and what their day to day lives look like. Should I have put my daily happiness aside for them to have mommy and daddy together? If I would have stayed, would or could I have become happier than I once was? Would my kids be happier? Did I do the wrong thing? orrrrrrrr Did I rip the bandaid off something that wasn’t going to get better? Did I do something that was the best for all of us? Every birthday is a reminder of what it all used to be, every anniversary hurts. Facebook memories that pop up daily suck, bad. Maybe one day it won’t hurt like it does now.

XoXo