anniversary

July 19th 2003 was the date I got married to my ex husband. That day was filled with so much excitement and hope. I woke up that morning with no doubt in my body that I was doing the right thing. I felt like the decision I was making that day was the best decision of my life. I was so calm and ready for this new chapter in my life. I honestly felt like he was my prince charming.  A lot of the time there is red flags. Everyone that knew us didn’t see any, that I know of. Our dating and engagement time was filled with flowers being sent to my office, vacations, lots of laughing, and not a care in the world. He would always say to me, “we can get through anything.” Boy did things change fast after we got married.

But this day 13 years ago was a beautiful day. It really hurts to look back on. I wish it didn’t. I wish I could look past it, but I can’t. Not yet anyway.  I often wonder if he even thinks about when we got married when he see’s what the date is today. I often wonder if he wishes things would have been different. I guess all of that doesn’t really matter anymore, but I still wonder.

Life is crazy. Our lives are filled with all different kind of anniversaries, memories, and stuff we wish we could block out. I guess all we can do is look at it for what it is and appreciate where we are today. I know I am grateful for the person I am becoming and grateful for my good memories, they shape who we are and why we do what we do.

For now I am signing out and going and making a new anniversary for myself. A date to remember my commitment to myself and learning to let go and move on.

506456

 

XoXo

hello, my name is doris

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Have any of you seen this movie? Last night after my kids went with their dad, I rented it on Amazon and sat down with my cheese and crackers and thought I would just get some useless entertainment. By the end, I had an extra shot of anxiety pulsing through all my veins.

Let me explain. Doris is an older adorable lady played by Sally Field. She has spent most of her life taking care of her mother, never getting out and really living a life of her own, just to find herself with a crush on a younger man in her office. She starts getting out of her comfort zone by becoming friends with him and his friends. She takes every little nice comment he says to her as a come on, while they look at her almost like an art piece.

When I was going through my divorce, I started seeing a man. As I look back, it was a very toxic relationship because I was deep into my addiction and he was the source that fed it. However, during the course of our almost 2 year relationship, I thought I truly loved him. I felt a sense of intimacy that I had been truly lacking for years in my marriage. We both were addicts and it gave us a bond that was awful and ugly, but very real. We always talked about staying together and getting healthy. I think we both wanted that ultimately, but I was stupid and naive. Now that I have got myself out of this black hole that I was in, that wasn’t really living at all. He gave me what I wanted at the time. He took away my pain or covered it up and kept me distracted as I went through the most difficult time in my life. There was no way in hell I could have ever gone through with the divorce if I wasn’t completely numb. I know that is super unhealthy to say, but I believe it to be true. I tried for 12 years. I really wish I could have, I wouldn’t have had to go through hell on earth detour and maybe, I would be in a much different place today if I would have done things differently. But I am here today, sober, away from the every day abuse, standing on my own two feet, alive, healthy, and thriving, with a lot of life’s lessons stored throughout my body. So onto where I was going with this.. After I got away from my boyfriend and got sober, I haven’t been with anyone else. I have really learned to live alone with my kids. I haven’t had an ounce of intimacy. I haven’t even had interest in anyone specific. And throughout this time my fear has grown bigger and bigger into getting comfortable with my life and being too apprehensive or picky or whatever the case may be to ever be with anyone else. I have watched so many people get married, divorced, start dating, find love again, and get re-married and I am still in the same place. I’ve tried telling myself that this is my time to get healthy and give my kids everything I got, and I believe that to be true, but what if it’s also just an excuse cause I don’t know how to look myself in the mirror and say “no one wants me.”?

I have played around with online dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble. I do them because I have no commitment to anyone, I can just “see” what’s out there. With Tinder, I only put my pictures from 5 years ago where my hair was long and beautiful, I was thinner, life was very different for me then. There is hardly ever a time with Tinder that if I swipe right (meaning I am interested in their profile and pic, that they don’t match up with me (meaning they are interested in me back). But with Bumble I threw in more recent pictures, as hard as it was. I felt like I wasn’t being honest with the person I am today, which is why I felt it was time to be more honest. I only get 10% matches. This is very hard for me to admit to. They aren’t interested in the new me. My hair is short and growing out after losing it with my health scares, and I don’t feel like I used to. It’s like a stab in the heart every time. It hurts so bad and takes the self-esteem that I’ve been slowly back building and it bulldozes it back down to nothing. I have to be honest, I am not used to having interest from other men. So every time this happens, I am reminded of my fear and how I might be stuck alone forever. Maybe I am not what other men want and especially the single men. I am not a spring chicken anymore. Things are changing for me every day. And I am dealing with all these new emotions while being sober. It’s challenging cause the pain is real and it hits deep. I even found myself missing my ex husband and ex boyfriend. This is something I don’t want to feel.

So yes, this movie was entertaining, but it scared the living hell out of me. I can honestly say, I sometimes feel like I am the Doris in my life right now. The men that used to find me attractive and give me attention, do not anymore. I don’t want to wake up 10 years from now and find myself very lonely, comfortable, and not ready to put myself out there and watching others live their lives, like I am doing currently. I keep telling myself AGE AND STAGE. I am just at a different stage in life and that will change. Am I lying to myself?

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

 

 

back room

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I have a personal/family blog that I started when I had my first child, mid -marriage. It honestly was just a way to keep up on what was happening in my life and record cute stuff my kid did. Over the years, I posted all the highlights, as well do on social media. Obviously, the heartaches I was experiencing with my husband or in reality weren’t being posted. Most of the time, I was doing my best to keep my head deep in the sand to the direction my family life and marriage was heading. On the outside of our walls, we really did have it all. We were the power couple. Let’s be honest, many other people wanted what I had, and looked at us  in envy.  I didn’t really want to burst their bubble, or maybe my own. In all honesty, I wanted to live the life that I  was portraying. It was not hard to wish for that. We had the nice house, the beautiful little boy, with a baby on the way. We were a good looking couple. Drove nice cars. Had great friends and family. Always did fun things. Husband had a great job. What they didn’t see was the insecurities that came from my husband’s porn addiction, trying to recover from earlier affairs. Anxieties, insomnia, arguing about husband spending too much money. Fighting because I was constantly criticized whether it was about dinner, sex, parenting, etc..  Or crying because I felt like he talked down to me. I didn’t feel like I was an equal partner. Always wondered if he was talking to girls at work and possibly having another affair. Some of these problems were normal, and some weren’t. But I knew how to put everything aside and try to pretend I was okay, but he put on a show. After fighting, we would go out with friends and he would tell everyone what a great wife he had (after telling me how terrible I was). People didn’t see the silent treatments that would or could last several weeks. But we knew how to love our kids. That was a huge reason to keep us together. There was a lot of laughs and fun times, but it was because of how well I could wrap all the problems up in a box for another day.

Fast forward to the present, after going through a hard divorce and custody battle and getting on the recovery band wagon. I decided to update my old family blog and took off my ex husbands name and start updating it with our new adventures. For so long it was too hard to even think about going to that website. But I didn’t want to forget all the years of memories that were there. So today, I happened to go into the archives. Not on purpose but accidentally. The only way I can describe it is as if there was a room in the back of the house that you have lived in for years that you never went to because it was filled with all video tapes and photographs of your old life that brought you a lot of happiness and a lot of pain. Almost like you had boarded it up. Then for some reason you walked in the room after all these years. You walk in and immediately are filled emotion. Your heart racing and memories racing through your mind, good and bad. Seeing pictures of your kids and their childhood with two “happy and perfect” parents. Christmases, Halloweens, picnic dates, family vacations, kids first birthday’s, etc.. First thing I wanted to do was run back out of that room to the other space in the house that is safe and comfortable with the thoughts of today and forgetting about what could have been or what was. But instead I slowed myself down as I slowly clicked from post to post and just taking slow breaths. Appreciating each picture, each memory.  I feel that I need to stay in there and not run. My eyes filled up with tears. Why does this have to hurt so much? Today my life is so different. I looked so pretty as a young mom, but I know the pain my heart felt and the inadequacies I experienced day to day. My kids were so small, why didn’t I enjoy them more? What if I didn’t leave, would things have gotten better? What if I never starting using, would he have treated me differently? What if he hadn’t worked with her, would he had that affair? What if I didn’t ask for a divorce, would we have found happiness like we had hoped for?

As I slowly “walked out of that room” and stop reading all the old posts, so I didn’t get stuck on the what if’s, I clicked on the “compose a new post” and started writing about where my kids and I are today. The things we have learned and the fun things we are doing. How grateful I am to be clean and enjoying my children. Typing about how authentic my life is today. No need to put on a show. No more wasting my energy on a man who is never happy with what I do or how I act. I might not look young like I did in those pictures, but I am wiser and my smile is real. Life has changed for me dramatically, but thank God that I can walk in and out of that back room that I have had blocked off for years, and I can come out of it still alive and looking forward to today and my future. Take down the boards of your back room, find the courage to accept what has happened and live in the present. Love yourself for where you have been, what you have learned, and who you have become.

XoXo

my recovery

re·cov·er·y
rəˈkəv(ə)rē/
noun
1.
a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength.
“signs of recovery in the housing market”
synonyms: recuperation, convalescence More
2.
the action or process of regaining possession or control of something stolen or lost.
“a team of salvage experts to ensure the recovery of family possessions”
synonyms: retrieval, regaining, repossession, getting back, reclamation, recouping, redemption, recuperation

I am realizing that being in recovery is something that can look very different from person to person. My recovery is my own and something that is very personal to me. Just like above in the definition says “returning to a normal state of health, mind, and strength.” That word “returning” gives me a sense of heartache. I know what that entails. It sounds like such a simple word, but the act of returning is anything BUT simple. It’s grueling and painful. It’s scary and emotional. Returning to a healthy state is so challenging, that so many people go right back to the lifestyle they have tried sprinting away from to begin with. It’s a song and dance cycle that can take years off of people’s lives. Not just the addict, but the loved ones that stand by and are affected so deeply. I attempted this cycle numerous times. I think all addicts go through something similar to this to an extent. After the cat and mouse game of using begins to take it’s toll and you want or hope for a change. You try to do it yourself by cutting back all on your own. Obviously, there is denial all through this phase. After you fail repetitively, looking in the mirror and feeling defeated- you know it’s finally time to be vulnerable and ask for help. Getting help is different for everyone. Also, some people don’t go down this avenue, they get pushed into getting help through getting arrested and going to jail. But somehow someway, we all get to the point where we can’t lie to ourselves anymore and it’s time to return to health; sobriety. If you are really lucky and among the very small percentage you can get the help you need the first chance you get. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there. We all have different paths and reasons we get to this point.
After a few different bouts of sobriety and returning to health as stated in the definition above first I have had to experience a new low. I have felt deeper pain then the time before. I’ve seen darker days. I’ve cried more, pushed my family away more, lived with depression on a level I didn’t even know was possible. Everything was magnified. I couldn’t live another day like that. Getting to the place and state of recovery that I am currently has been harder than the time before. It’s a lot of work and will continue to be. There were many dark days but with my hard work has come happiness. The weight that I have been carrying for years has been lifted. The cloud following me has disappeared. The sun is shining brighter. My kids laughter is louder. Food smells better. I run faster. Colors are brighter. My smile is bigger. Movies are more entertaining. I love harder. Sugar tastes sweeter. Recovery is a daily choice and very different for everyone, but recovery for me has made my life worth living again and with that, I’ll take the good with the bad. It’s worth it. To whom is still struggling, I get it. It’s not easy, but don’t give up. Keep up that fight. Take one step in front of the other and take baby steps. You are worth it. Your life is worth it.

XoXo

people watching

So this weekend, my kids and I got up on Sunday and decided instead of going to church we were going to enjoy the day together and do a few things we hadn’t done in a while. I asked them where they wanted to go for brunch. We used to do this quite a bit with their dad before the divorce so there was a feeling of routine and something comfortable about it yet it definitely felt new and different. It felt different to be the one steering the ship, or the captain as most people would say.  We went over to a quaint & local ma & pa shop. While sitting outside while waiting to be seated, it was an idea time to people watch. Lots of young college kids getting together after a night of drinking, a few young families, and as I looked around, I was the only single mom. There was a sense of entitlement as I looked around thinking, look at me go. I am finally at that stage where I am an independent mom and my kids are old enough to not throw a tantrum at the table when they don’t have crayons for them to color on the menu. I am finally that mom that is having a fun light hearted conversation with her kids and there seems to be some laughing going on. I remember being that young mom thinking how nice it looked to be in that place and hoped one day that I could be “that” mom. As I was enjoying the moment and my current cool mom status, I looked up at this very good looking couple that looked like they were pulled right out of a hip catalogue. Unfortunately it kinda ruined my proud moment and changed it immediately to a place of pity and feeling sorry for myself. Watching the way they were holding hands, with both of them wearing their flip flops and sunglasses, entangling their legs while sitting on the bench. I couldn’t help but think about their night before.. drinking with some friends and having some dinner and after going back to their apartment just to watch a movie and make love while they cuddled all night and wake up to go get brunch. Now I am usually not a hopeless romantic, I get that it doesn’t usually go that perfect, and if it happened to be perfect that night, it usually is followed by breaking up the next week, but that didn’t matter to me then. It made me start feeling lonely and missing a man grabbing my hand or putting my hair behind my ear cause it was in my face. Or waking up together  and having the rest of the day to talk and grab coffee.

Now coming back to reality, I was super grateful to be there with kids that love me and will always be my best friends. I know that somehow one day there will be a time that I have that man by my side (I sure hope so), but whatever the reason, it’s not time for him. It’s time for my kids. It’s time to get to know them and myself. To be the three musketeers and really enjoy our new dynamic and new bond. It will not always be like this, and one day I will wish I could go back to this time. So I am trying to enjoy and really take each tender moment not to just be BY them, but be WITH them.

that time again

On Friday I got the same semi- annual phone call from my ex. Whenever he doesn’t get right to the point, I know he is trying to tell me something. After trying to butter me up with discussing how great our kids were, he threw it out. He was back together with the same girl that broke up my marriage. The same girl that caused so many problems in my life. It’s as almost as if they are addicted to one another. They have broke up and got back together going on 9 times. As much as it shouldn’t hurt me, it does. I can’t lie. The pain is still there and real. It’s as almost as if it takes away my breath when he tells me they are making it work again. What goes through my mind is dropping off my kids to them. Watching them play house with MY kids. Her taking over. I think about my son walking in on them having sex on the kitchen counter during the middle of dinner time. I think about all the photos that get posted on social media of them in their swimsuits with her perfect 5 star body, with her arms around my kids as if she gave birth to them. I think about all the weekends that will go out of town to fun places to wow my kids while I am sitting at home alone and feeling inadequate worrying about bills to pay on my apartment. I think about the kids coming home after being with them for the weekend, with bags of new clothes and shoes, and my kids telling me all about their fun filled weekend and what all they did. This is why it takes my breath away. A lot of it is selfish, but some of it is because I know my sweethearts are being used as toys and pawns. Also because I know the things they are seeing during those times are unhealthy. That they aren’t given the attention they deserve. And they get close to this girl and the next month, she is gone. 

It makes me wonder when it’s my turn. After losing my hair from getting Diffuse Alopecia, I put on some weight and luckily my hair is coming back, but it has completely changed how I look and most of all, how I feel about myself. I’ve been given many trials and have been overcoming them one by one, but I feel like in some ways they are SO far ahead of me. When will I find some happiness where my ex looks at me and starts to ask himself, “did I make a mistake?” I know that isn’t healthy and I shouldn’t care about that, but truth is, I do. I want him to miss me and wonder what he could have done differently to save our family.

He is a narcissist and more than likely he will never feel those ways, but I want it to happen. I want to at least feel like I am confident enough that I know he wishes it even without having proof. I want to look thin and feel beautiful. I want a man to want me and think I am a catch. All these things are ridiculous but it’s my feelings right now.

I feel like he looks at me and pitty’s me. Thinks, “thank god I didn’t stay with her.” He looks at his girlfriend now and thinks how lucky he is. I couldn’t handle anymore of his abuse and I KNOW that, but why do I still have these feelings? Is it from not being healthy emotionally? 

These are the things I do know… I am sober. I have cleaned up my life so much. I put my kiddos first before anything. I do the best I can to be a better person every single day. I am lucky to have a second chance. I am lucky to be coming out from the dark past I had. But these are feelings that follow me. What keeps me going is reminding myself of all the changes I’ve made and where I have come from. I guess that will keep me going till something changes for the better. So next time when I get the phone call from my ex, it won’t take my breath away. It won’t hurt. It will not affect me, because it won’t matter.

XoXo