light switch

I have really been struggling with my self esteem. For as long as I can remember, I have struggled with loving who I am, just the way I am. That’s completely foreign to me. When people say that, I am like…. “Huhhhhh? what’s that? How does that work?” It never came easy for me. Honestly, I don’t think it comes easy for anyone but I think people do it and they find a way to nurture themselves and love who they are, regardless how they look on the outside. I grew up in a home where beauty was prominent. But you weren’t beautiful unless you were thin. So being thin was even more important than being beautiful. I have two older sisters that are very beautiful to the eye. They are definitely head turners. They were both in pageants and were in Miss America and Miss USA and did very well. Wherever we go, they are stared at and it’s what our family knows. That’s the norm. My mother is very beautiful. She has an identical twin which means, she too is very beautiful. Beauty, beauty, beauty. My cousins are very stunning. They are all VERY THIN hence the beauty part. You can’t be beautiful without being thin. Did I mention that? No one has really had a weight problem, only because they have made SURE to never have a weight problem. They did what had to be done.. My mother had me 15-16 years after having them and I have a different father than them. So our genetic make up is different from the get go. They are platinum blondes and naturally thin. I have a darker complexion, and a my frame is definitely not the same. I have always been more muscular. I too have always been a dancer, cheerleader, and gymnast. So again, doing those things in my extra time, also focused on the weight situation.  I was never abused and told how ugly I was. I want to make sure that is known. I always had very loving parents. They always supported me in everything I did. However, I also saw what was important to my family. I thought it was normal until I started seeing other families and getting to know my friends. I was a cheerleader in junior high and I remember clear as day, that my mom would start hiding the butter. She even helped me do the cabbage soup diet when I was in 8th grade. At one point, she told me she would buy me something if I lost 5 pounds. She will never admit that she did that, but I could never forget it. I compared myself to EVERYONE. My friends were stick thin and my legs were bigger than theirs. It rocked my world. I didn’t understand why my body didn’t look like it used to and why it was changing and why I didn’t have skinny legs just like my friends and just like my sisters. I would go with my friends and they would eat anything they wanted. I would eat with them but immediately feel guilty.. it would consume me that I couldn’t even enjoy what was going on because I knew I had food in my stomach that was going to make me fat or gain weight. So I would go in the bathroom and try making myself vomit. I knew my sisters had also had bulimia, so maybe if I did it, I would look like them and then I also wouldn’t feel guilty every time I ate cause I couldn’t control myself from eating anything that are labeled as “bad”.. I eventually got to the point where it was easier. At that point, my innocence was taken away. I remember vividly being at a birthday party and eating cake and whatever else they have at birthday parties, and as a young girl I was tucked away in the bathroom with the tap water running and the fan on, trying to get every little piece up and out of my stomach so I could go and enjoy the rest of the party. That breaks my heart for the little me that was in there missing out on all the games the other kids were playing. I look at other 8th graders now and think there is no way I can imagine one of those little kids being that worried about weight that she would be doing such harmful things to herself.  How could my mom not know? She had to of known. At one point, I told her.  It was a cry for help. I don’t remember her ever being worried or surprised. I just remember being taken to a therapist one time for it. Besides that, it wasn’t talked about.

In high school, I still struggled with bulimia. I didn’t have enough self control to not eat, which is why I couldn’t be anorexic. I tried, believe me. I would go on chat rooms and forums with other people dealing with the same issues. It wasn’t to help me over come it, it was to feed the addiction. To get ideas. I counted calories, then would accidentally eat something that wasn’t allowed, and the minute I did that, I would just give in and eat whatever and then spend the next hour in the bathroom. What a disgusting and vicious cycle. I was jealous of anorexics. They had willpower. They could literally control themselves. Now looking back, it was the opposite of control in a way. But then and even now, I still wish I had the self control to not eat. My face was always round, but it got even more puffy and swollen with throwing up. I never felt like I got thin from throwing up. It became more about throwing up just because I couldn’t handle the feeling of feeling like I had food in my stomach. The guilt was far too great. I can’t sit and have conversations. I can’t just sit with myself feeling that feeling. I got to the point where I didn’t have to try very hard, I could just lean over and throw it all up. One memory in particular was in class they handed out donuts. After I ate the donut, I was mortified. I always heard of people using ipecac syrup and thought I would try it out. But nothing immediately happened.. my dad then asked me to go to lunch and as we were there, it took full effect and I was running to the bathroom vomiting everywhere. How humiliating for me. But no one ever said anything in my family.  I was on the drill team and I remember having a big performance and I had to wear full on spandex from neck to toe. I remember very clearly my mom making disgusting looks my way. I was not stupid. I would watch her look me up and down. I had never felt so shameful. If my mom would tell me how good I looked, I knew that I really looked good and I would have a good night. If my mom looked at me and didn’t say anything, I would know she was not happy with how I looked. It got to the point where depending on my mom’s response, I would be able to feel good about myself that night. How fucked up is that?

Years passed and it was still something very prominent in my life. But I started partying and dabeling into the party drugs. I moved out with my best friend and I didn’t see my mom as much. The pressure was always there, but it lifted a bit when I moved out. As I was getting unhealthy with drugs and alcohol, I noticed my weight come down drastically. Funny how that happens. It just made my unhealthy lifestyle worse and condoned it. I started hearing so many compliments on how pretty I was and how good I looked. Just what I have always wanted. Yet the vomiting was still a thing. I still was uncomfortable with having calories in my stomach. I just didn’t obsess about it as much. I didn’t count my calories. It was such a relief.

As time went on and I matured, I became less friendly with the bathroom floor and the toilet. I still would visit it from time to time, but I became a mom and I tried really hard to stop thinking about myself and more about them. I wanted a change. I look back at pictures and I looked so good, but I could see my sad eyes. My soul was miserable. It really didn’t help that my husband was looking at pornography behind my back and having affairs. That always was a big reminder that I was not enough. My husband would always tell me how beautiful I was. He never ever said anything but that I was perfect the way I was. But actions spoke louder than words. I had seen the effects that bulimia had caused physically not just emotionally. I had developed ulcers in my stomach. It was brutal. My teeth were very sensitive and thin and still are today.

As you know, my divorce hit and all hell broke lose. The addict in me came out full force. I couldn’t handle my feelings of inadequacy any longer. I couldn’t handle actually losing what I had worked so hard for, for 10 + years. I did things I never thought I would ever do. At the time, I didn’t see the future. I just did what I had to in order to numb what I was feeling at the time. For 2 years, I messed my life up horribly. I got down to 100 pounds but that wasn’t the focus any more. Staying away from withdrawal was my only focus. I even had my attorney tell me that I needed to wear 3 pairs of pants to court, so I didn’t look so stick thin.

I finally was able to kick the habit after many times of trial and error. After living hell every day for 2 years. But unfortunately, I made the decision to get on methadone. At the time, I didn’t look at the negative effects. I didn’t think about how hard it would be to get off of it. I just wanted to survive and live a normal life. So here I am 2.5 years clean, and 30 pounds heavier than my normal weight. I’ve questioned what is better, to be a full addict and thin or to be completely clean and heavy. How sad is that? I had no idea that methadone would cause so much weight gain. I thought it was just me not doing enough and my metabolism shot from all the hell I put my body through. But the past few months, I have worked out almost every day and ate extremely clean. I have never worked SO hard to lose weight. I have not seen ONE pound come off. I am starting to feel obsessed again. I have never been this insecure. I hide in huge clothes. I will purposely look down when I walk passed a reflection or mirror. When pictures are being taken, I will dread it and try to walk away.. or I will only take a pic if I can take it myself through an amazing filter and even then, it’s very iffy. Being around my family is extremely difficult. I want to die. My niece was usually known for being kinda bigger. I wasn’t alone. Well recently, she’s lost all of her weight and has completely turned into one of those girls that constantly is taking selfies and getting a ton of a attention. Her and my sisters are still head turners. I am completely opposite of them. When I run into people that used to know me, I can see them not recognizing me or wondering “what happened to her?” In fact, when J has ended up going off on me and we argue, I will never forget the words out of his mouth “everyone wonders what happened to you… you don’t look anything like you used to. Everyone feels sorry for you.”

So now the back story has been explained. My mom has been extremely “supportive” by paying for my gym membership and also my meal planning that I am getting. She doesn’t really have a ton of money, but she finds a way to help me. I know that she is trying her damnedest to be helpful. But knowing what I’ve been through with her, it’s also hard cause I know that she’s doing it cause she wants me to be thin.. and what she says is she wants me happy. Which yes, I want to be happy too. I don’t want to look like this. So long story short, I don’t think she realizes she knows what she is doing and that it hurts me. The other day I ended up crying to my parents about how discouraging it is to work this hard and sacrifice this much and not see any change. I also explained how I am stuck between a rock and hard place with being on methadone. I know that it is the main culprit and methadone is not something you can just come off of. You have to be smart about it. So I am on a weaning program of 2 mg a week. That’s the best I can do and the fastest I can wean being responsible and having my sobriety as the upmost importance. Anyway, the next day, I felt like there was some hope with my mom. She had text me saying “I am really sad and angry knowing how you’ve always felt about yourself. I love you and want you happy.” There was a sense of relief in that text. I kid you not, an hour later I saw a missed call from her. I saw a voicemail was there. I went to listen to it and realized the voicemail was an accident and she was having a conversation with my dad in the car and she had no idea she had called me. These are some of the things I heard her say.. “she is very heavy. She has let herself go. What does she expect, to lose all the weight that fast? She has to stop opening her mouth to any and everything. I am sick of hearing how unhappy she is. She needs to start running and doing what it takes and stop blaming her medication on her weight. This isn’t going to change over night. She has become a big girl.”  Typing this out has me in utter disbelief and so much shame. Now am I surprised that she feels that way? Not really. To hear her say it like that, was extremely hurtful. To hear the person that gave birth to you talk about you in that way is something I can’t describe. I already am so hard on myself. I just wish I had nothing but love from her. Not judgement. It was as if the little bit of soul I had left was completely crushed.

I text her and let her know I heard her talking about me and as much as I appreciate all that she has done, that I need to take some time to work on myself without knowing how she feels about me effecting my progress or journey. She immediately started writing me and calling me about how sorry she was and how much she just wants my happiness. She said she cried the whole night knowing that I heard her talking about me. But it doesn’t change the pain that is there.

I don’t know how to just turn this all around. I know that self esteem should come from within and because I haven’t been able to figure this all out is why I have dealt with addiction and depression. I can read all the self help books in the world, but how do I change what has been pressed inside of me since I was little? I don’t want to be that mom that is just worried about how she looks, because I want to say I have more depth to me than that, but do I? Obviously not. How am I going to change this for my daughter? It obviously is too late for me and my happiness, but what about my daughter? My beautiful perfect innocent daughter?

My self esteem and beliefs can’t just change like a light switch. I honestly am at a loss. How do I move on realistically with where I am at today. How am I ever going to be able to love myself, let alone love someone else. No wonder I can’t move on from my marriage/divorce. I have overcome SO much in my life, but this is the one thing that is holding me back from saying I am truly happy. How can I stop hiding? How can I look in the mirror and see what I am supposed to see?

xoxo

obliterate

ob·lit·er·ate

əˈblidəˌrāt/
verb
  1. destroy utterly; wipe out.

This weekend was supposed to be full of fun events and spent with family coming from out of town. Instead I spent most of it physically there with them, but emotionally in a deep dark hole somewhere in the ground. The pain was just too much to take this time. I’ve been divorced for quite a while but the words that came out of his mouth hasn’t been this deadly since our divorce started. His narcissism always comes out to play in ways when we co-parent our kids, but hasn’t been directed at me in a very long time.

To give you a sweet and short back story, what sent him off was when he sent me a message saying that one of my family members that was coming from out of town “creeped him out” and wanted me to make sure our kids stay away from him. Now I can respect his feelings, but he can’t control what I do with our kids during my time. I told him that I appreciate and respect his concerns, but I’ve never thought of this family member that way but I always keep an eye on our children and they are never with anyone alone. After that, I started receiving message after message demeaning everything about me. When he talks about Brayden and Danielle, they are my niece and nephew that my mom and dad basically raised because my sister got divorced and wasn’t in a very good place during those years while the kids were small. When I went through my addiction during our divorce, I have always admitted I wasn’t in a good place and I dated a man that wasn’t good for me or good for my children. I never cheated on my husband with him, but my ex can’t fathom that I left him because he had cheated on me multiple times and his actions made me lose who I was. I don’t blame him for everything, God only knows I am far from perfect, but those things hurt me and made me not want to continue to move forward in our marriage. I felt like I didn’t have any other choice. I stayed for 10 years through too many girlfriends he had on the side, and the emotional abuse had taken it’s toll. I had my faults that definitely didn’t help our marriage, but let’s just say I didn’t cheat on him nor did I abuse him. While we were married, he wanted me to be a stay at home mom, during that time I started my own boutique, worked as a marketing assistant to many companies, etc..  but with him, it was never good enough. I was never good enough. Since I got clean and sober in November of 2014, I continue to spend all of my energy on my relationship with my kids. I completely became the mother my kids deserve to have. When I was married, I always thought I was a good mom, but until I went through all of the crap I have, I realized how distracted I was from them-  from my marriage, social media, and basically trying to keep up with all the mothers in the neighborhood. When I got clean, I gave them all of me. They are my happy place. We do everything together. We are best friends, but I always try to be their mother first. My ex has always been a good dad, but I always felt it was out of show. I believe he absolutely loves our children, but he loves himself more. Especially during our divorce, he fought for them in court, but the minute he got 50/50 custody, things started to change. He started drinking and going out with friends even during his time with the kids. I have always picked up his slack.. not for him, but for my kids because I want to be with them. But I hate helping him out. He has completely ignored our divorce decree and had his girlfriends sleep over while the kids are in his home. I’ve always tried to give him the benefit of the doubt and honestly I hate contention, which he uses to his advantage. The kids cry almost every single time they know it’s time to go to dad’s house. He has broken up with his girlfriend 10 times and there is no consistency for them. Which is one of the huge reasons I don’t date yet, he dates enough for both of us:) I apologize, this “short and sweet” back story has turned into a novel. To get to the point.. below are the messages I received on Saturday night as I was driving to my family event (caution: many typos and cussing.  He must have been drinking):

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As you notice, I do not respond. Within the hour of the abuse, he turns around and asks for the kids and I to come out to a game that he is at. It blows my mind that he thinks that I would even consider it. But then again this is a narcissist for you. I continue to not respond and I get message after message at night and during the next day, till I finally let him know the kids are great. Later after I wrote that he said, “good to know.” I always go back and forth on what to say to him, but I have learned for 14-15 years that no matter what I say, he will come back with 10 responses. It doesn’t matter what I respond with. I have to remind myself, I am not dealing with an emotionally healthy person. I can’t have a normal conversation with this man, which is ultimately why we aren’t married today.

During all of this time, I receive an email from his on and off again girlfriend that he cheated on me with. I can never tell her angle or what her reasoning is for reaching out to me is. She basically tells me that they broke up and she is sorry for coming in and out of the kids lives again and she loses herself every time she is with my ex. I completely ignore it. It’s all just a little much and I don’t want to get involved, nor should I have to.

After this, I am sitting watching my niece take this lady on a tour of her home (we had a huge family/friend get together for my nephew that is going away for 2 years on an LDS mission) and as she is pointing out people in the family picture, I hear her say “This is my aunt (she is talking about me), she doesn’t look like this anymore because she has lost her hair and it’s just growing back in.” Almost as if she is explaining why I am not as pretty as I used to be. Which was hard enough to hear, but during the time I am thinking “why the hell is she even saying this or explaining anything to this woman I don’t even know?” and the lady responds to her, “oh from drugs??” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Who told her that? Why is she talking about me and knows anything about my ugly past? I wanted to stop her there and say “Just so you know, that’s me and I am proud of where I am today. I might not look like that anymore, but I am healthier now more than I ever was that picture” But instead I sheepishly turned away and walked in another room as my tears started streaming down my face. I felt violated and completely broken down. I couldn’t take the judgement, the ignorance, the abuse any longer. It was a big reminder that I am flawed, I have made many mistakes, and I have had to pay for them. But I don’t want to not be known for that. When my ex said that everyone looks at me and says, “what the hell happened to her?” that was like a stab to the heart. Everyone wants to feel like their ex misses them and thinks they are beautiful. I don’t feel beautiful, I know I look different, but I am overcoming so much and I am trying to get myself back. I feel like I am getting there but then this events happen and it shoves me back down on the ground. I start to walk tall, and then thrown back on my hands and knees. God, why now??? You know how hard I am trying. You know how much I’ve changed.  Ultimately, I know the answer. I know that I need to keep getting back up, brush off the hate, and remind myself of the ignorance of these people. The insecurities that my ex has for saying such awful things. But does it make me feel any better? Not really. It hurts. I tossed and turned most of the night emotionally distraught. I don’t want to give away any more of my power or give him or anyone else any more tears.

I guess the moral of this post is this, we all have the ignorant, judgmental, and/or narcissistic people in our lives that probably cheer every time we fall. Or actually are the ones that push us to the ground. But how many times are we going to stay down and keep our heads facing the pavement? It might feel impossible and we might ask ourselves, what’s the point of getting back up, we are just going to end up back down facing the ground.. But the way I view it is this, when you do fall down again, you are not in the same spot you were when you fell previously, you have walked or even crawled another lap before you fell. You are that much farther in this “marathon” of life. Keep moving, don’t stay down. Do not stay defeated. One day, we will look back and see how far we really have come. We will be able to look back and see where we first started and during all of the hell and hard times, that we continued moving, no matter how slow or defeated we felt and where we ended up.

From the wise words of Dory in Finding Nemo, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.”

XoXo

too close for comfort

Have you ever been through an experience and then afterwards you watch someone close to you repeat it?

To explain… My ex husband’s sister in law called me to let me know her husband (ex’s brother) left her and their kids after 18 years. I knew years ago that they were going through some hard times but thought things had worked out. I should have known better that when you are dealing with narcissists and addicts, it doesn’t really get and stay better. I guess it was just a matter of time or depending how much she can put up with. It’s been so hard to sit back and watch. I literally have a front row to a slow motion train wreck.. wait let me clarify. It’s almost like a roller coaster ride before the train actually wrecks.  She first calls me and says they are for sure getting divorced. He left and said he needs to finally be freed from this life so he can be who he is meant to be and that she is holding him back. To give you a little of back story, she married this man and have done EVERYTHING for him and their family. She has basically lost who she was so that she could be a good wife and mom. They have 4 kids. She is beautiful. She works out every day and then cuts hair out of her house to bring in more money so that they can survive. He has been caught cheating in the past. He has been caught out at the clubs while she thought he was working late at night. He has a severe spending habit. So I watch her work her ass off so that they can get by. She is human and I am sure she doesn’t handle his hurtful choices great all the time, but what woman would? So he manipulates her by saying that she is so angry and resentful and he can’t live with her like that anymore. She recently found out last year he went and got fixed without telling her. Umm let’s talk about a huge red flag. She has found condoms and whiskey in his golf clubs.  Yet he continues to say he is innocent of cheating on her, and he can’t be with someone like her and that she is too controlling. I thought she was going to be strong and see through his manipulation tactics, but instead I’ve witnessed her caving. Calling him bawling saying she will change and do what she can to be the woman she needs. I find myself coaching her trying to wake her up so she doesn’t fall into this trap. I’m almost in shock that ANY woman can be this blind. But that was me for years. The abuser distracts you from the real issue by confusing you. Well yes, excuse her for being human and dealing with the lying constantly.. sorry she isn’t more loving! He is giving her the silent treatment, and she leaves him messages begging him to come home. He even told her that unless she proved herself to him, he wouldn’t even think about it. I’ve been sending her information on what I have read about narcissists and what they do to manipulate you, and I see the light go on and then somehow, she is immediately back to missing him.

Through this, I’ve noticed myself starting to miss my ex. WHAT? How can this happen when I am reminded of what I went through? I don’t understand.

So many women and men fall into this traps and I wish I could do something. This is completely out of my control. How can I help her through this and not let it affect me? You know I even got a message from my ex telling me that it is best if I stay out of their drama and not talk to her. How controlling is that? I thank God every day I can see more clear than I did a few months and years ago.I just wish I could do something. This is hurting me and I wish I could be next to her to walk her to the happier path, but at the same time I am struggling with being single. So I want to tell her to try to make it work because being single SUCKS but at the same time, that lifestyle of never knowing if your husband is going to come home that night is not happiness or what I hoped for either.

I wish she could see how beautiful she is and how I view her. She could get any man and he would love her and those kids. She doesn’t deserve this abuse any longer.

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

 

 

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