waking up

I dropped all the pain and hurt. I looked at J differently. He was who I married in 2003. I had the renewal of love. I had my family back. It was the most unreal feeling. I haven’t felt love, excitement, and hope like this in so many years. All the hurt was gone and forgiveness replaced it. There was a new breath of life in my lungs. Almost indescribable. We re-built our dream life together. This is what love was supposed to feel like. I forgot every thing that ripped my heart in pieces. What happened before didn’t matter any more because of where we were at that point. Looking at his face was like looking at him when we got married, when we had our first baby boy, and then onto our baby girl. Laughing was back in my life. Passion was back in my eyes. It was as if the past 4 years never happened. Then I viciously woke up. The pain of opening up my eyes and realizing it was all a dream was hell. The reality of being in my bed alone, took my breath. It was as if I was stabbed right in my heart. The pain was too strong to voice. The pain was familiar. I felt like I was starting my separation all over again.

This weekend broke my spirit. As if the pain wasn’t written all over my face, I had to go sit with him all day at our daughters soccer game and dance competition. I wanted us to go back to my dream and have it be real. I caught myself yearning for him. WTF. He had sex appeal that I have pushed so far down and not let myself feel.

I truly believe that I used drugs and my ex boyfriend to numb the pain so I didn’t have to feel the actual pain of walking away from my marriage, the many years I gave myself to him. So NOW after being sober, I am grieving real life hell that I went through in a messed up state of mind. I went home Saturday night alone and bawled myself asleep. I wanted the past 4 years to have been a nightmare that I wake up from. I wanted his narcissism self to be part of my imagination.I am afraid I am never going to look at another man like I used to him. No one ever catches my attention. I wanted all the painful remarks to not be reality. But the truth is, it is real. It is my reality and somehow I need to pull myself back from this dream. I need to put back on my big girl pants on and keep fighting for my happiness and what is real in my life now. God, help me.

xoxo

 

 

heart

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So some big changes since I last wrote, miss B and J have now broken up. From what I hear, she wanted him to commit to getting pregnant and marriage on her specific timeline and he wasn’t ready. This is what he told a friend I know. I think maybe some of that is true, but then again, I think there is way more to the story then he will ever admit to. When we were married, every ex girlfriend always begged for him back and he always broke up with them, which we all know is far fetched. I shouldn’t be surprised that they are broken up, but every time I kinda get shocked. I automatically assume they are finally happy. I don’t know why I do this to myself. When it comes to her wanting to bring a baby into their relationship, it blows my mind. I know that she knows how abusive he is, and how they don’t stay together longer than 2 months at a time, yet she wants to selfishly have a baby. No wonder we have so many single mom’s and kids without parents together still. I feel like that is somewhat child abuse, but then again I stayed with him and had two babies. I feel like I had more to hold on to than they do, but I guess I shouldn’t judge.

Today’s is Valentine’s. Valentine’s has always been something I used to always look forward to. I have gone quite a few Valentine’s consecutively single, but not alone. As hard as it can be at times feeling like “poor me” I am quickly reminded about how truly lucky I am. My kids always do something to make me feel special and loved. There aren’t a lot of mothers that get spoiled like I do. My kids are young and somehow they always try to think what they can do for me to feel loved. I got teary eyed today thinking about how quickly they are growing up and how one day I will wish I could go back to this moment and appreciate it. Today, I made them their traditional heart pancakes before school and they both came and gave me a Valentine’s balloon that they bought at the store together without me knowing. They both started fighting because they each wanted to hold it and give it to me and I got mad at them for fighting. I wanted to throw the towel in because I am tired of the endless fighting that they do, but I know this is all the “age and stage” that I referred to in a previous post and I need to look at the big picture. I am watching them grow up before my eyes and I get a front seat to it. I get to watch them fall and get back up. I get to wake up to them after a long night. I get to wipe their tears. I get to kiss their cheeks and hold their hands. I get to embarrass them with honking the horn and waving to them goodbye when I drop them off to school. We laugh so much together and enjoy so many things as a family of 3. I am truly the luckiest mom in the world.

I have a lot of emotional pain that I face day to day, but it all goes away the minute I think of the blessings I have for being sober and taking an active role in their lives. I know what it’s like to check out and not be there even when I am there. I know what it’s like to love them but not show them because I was too selfish. I know what it is like to see them disappointed.  I can say without any doubt, that this Valentine’s Day, yes I do not have a boyfriend or a spouse to love me, but I have two perfect children’s hearts that love me deeper than anyone else possibly could. They make my world go round. They are what Valentine’s is all about.

Happy V Day to all of you followers that are happily married, going through a divorce, unhappily married and wanting out, newly divorced, single, a recovered addict, an addict, codependent, depressed, bipolar people out there. I am grateful for all of you and appreciate your love and support.

xoxo

 

pendulum

This week my emotions have been teeter-tottering. Thanksgiving is such a unique time. A time to reflect on what we have been given, worked for, taken advantage of, forgotten, pushed aside, or neglected. I feel like I have done a lot of feeling sorry for myself. Feeling sorry for my children. I haven’t been writing much of the positive, but more of the deep down dull pain that is aching inside of me. And I apologize to any of the readers that happen to stop by my page. I don’t want this to be a place that you come by and feel like your energy is drained by reading it.  Yes, I want it to be real and authentic, but not just negative and bitchy.

4 years ago tomorrow, I looked at my husband and told him I wanted a divorce. I was so cold and distant at that point, that it didn’t hurt me to say. I started abusing drugs just so I could say it and not feel pain. The drugs did their job. I would give ANYTHING to go back to that day and change things. I don’t necessarily mean that I regret us getting divorced, but I absolutely 110% regret what I did and how I did it. Thanksgiving was usually such a fun time for my little and big family. We would wake up and go play frisbee football in the cold with all of our friends and family, and go back get our food ready, get dressed up and meet back up later for the day. After our feast, we would go around to all the stores and have a crazy shopping experience. This was such a fun time, and I obliterated it.  Did this come from out of the blue, no. Was my ex innocent and didn’t deserve my actions? HELL NO. But man, do I regret the choices I made in order to have the guts to do it.  Thinking back to that day hurts so much. And I can’t blame anyone but myself. But I no matter what, I know that the only way to describe it was I felt like a kicked puppy dog that finally didn’t want to go home.

Fast forward after many awful days and nights. My addiction taking over my every day life.  My happiness, my spunk for life. Losing every inch of dignity I had on top of my health and physical traits such as my beautiful skin and hair. To finding recovery, picking myself up after falling over and over. Learning to find contentment in living alone when my kids weren’t there to distract my thoughts. Selling our beautiful home where we made many memories onto making a new home with new memories. Losing my family car that I loved to an awful automobile accident to losing my pride and driving an old beater.. Not being able to be in the same room as my ex, to now just being told how my ex and I are the poster family for divorces. I can honestly say there is nothing more painful yet more riveting to share and experience. My life has not been easy the past four years. In fact, I truly don’t know how I am alive today. But this Thanksgiving, I have done a 160 turn and as much as I hurt from not having my two beautiful kids with me this year and have them spending the holiday with their dad in another state, I am here and waiting for them the minute that they come home. I am not homeless. I am not waking up to needing that next fix trying to numb the pain away. Instead, I am facing this day, I am waking up to go play frisbee football, then making sweet potatoes and dressing up so I can go spend the day with my family that still is there for me and that have loved me through it all.

This Thanksgiving, I have much to be grateful for. Though, the pain hasn’t left and the memories of this day haunt me, I am not hiding from it. I am facing this day.

xoxo

rise

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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

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

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

age & stage

 

As I read this article on my local news website, my heart felt like it was in my throat and tears formed in the corner of my eyes. I can’t imagine what this beautiful family is experiencing at all, but I can imagine what Emily must have been going through before her death.
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My son was just barely two years old and I had just found out I was pregnant again. My marriage was not fantastic but better than the years earlier. We had bought our first home and I had just quit my job to be a stay at home mom. Since I was pregnant, I stopped talking an anti-anxiety medication that I realized I was relying a little bit too much on for sleep, but didn’t expect it to be too rough. And what I started experiencing was some anxiety going to bed at night, fear of not sleeping. Now it seems really silly to say, “I was afraid of not being able to sleep.” But it was honest to God 110% the truth. It would start a tailspin of panic attacks and a huge dive in my mental health. It stopped just being at night, it was following me at all times. Never sleeping. Watching the clock all night long, tick tick tick while trying to slow down my heart rate. It would just get worse. After fighting the night all night every night, I would be a walking zombie on the brink of a break down while trying to function as a new mother and also carry a baby inside my body. My eyes always burned, my heart was always racing so fast, my adrenaline was always making me sweat and causing such weird symptoms. Every little thing I had to do took way too much energy. I did this every day and every night. I tried everything. Hot baths, classical music, vitamins and supplements, massage therapy, reading, praying, watching movies, boring movies, therapy, ER visits, calling hotlines. I would be outside in the sun on a beautiful day and watching families in their yards, while I was sitting on the porch feeling like I was under my very own dark cloud. I was screaming inside but felt like no one understood what I was experiencing. My panic attacks obviously turned into major depression. I got to the point where I thought about aborting the baby so I could drown myself in sleeping medication so I could just shut off my body. People would always say, “at some point your body HAS to shut down and fall asleep.” But it wouldn’t. It would want to, but my mind and heart racing wouldn’t stop. It was the weirdest battle I would fight day in and day out, every hour. I started finally sneaking Ativan (anti-anxiety) medication that used to help me. After taking it, I would read about the side effects if you took it while pregnant. It would say that the baby could come out with a cleft lip and palette. I would just imagine having this baby and seeing him/her with a cleft palette and not be able to live with myself. I would cry and call nurses and hotlines asking if I could get an ultrasound that day just to see if my baby had the cleft lip/palette. My husband at the time, didn’t know what to do for me. He finally drove me to the ER when I was freaking out and crying. They literally looked at me almost with disgust. They sent me home with 2 Ambien and told me to check with my gynecologist on Monday morning. The minute I took the Ambien, it was as if my body and mind would start to calm down. So Monday I got right into my doctor and she explained that it was much healthier to take an Ambien to sleep for the baby, then go through such trauma like I was putting myself through. The guilt from taking any medication ate at me, but after she explained it that way, I relaxed a little but it still bothered me. So I would have anxiety all day but in the afternoon I would start getting ready to take the pill just waiting for the relief it brought. I would take it as early as 6 pm. I didn’t care about the side effects, like how crazy I would act and not remember the next day. It was such an unhealthy cycle. Anything was better than not putting myself through the hell I had been through. My husband and family didn’t understand why  I would rely on this pill so much and why I would take it so early, rather than not right before bed. This went on all through my pregnancy and after, but I was functioning. I was able to be a mom and a normal human being, but night came and I couldn’t go without my special pill. When my daughter was born and I saw her for the first time, she was perfect. I was still so afraid that I had caused her to have some type of problem with her looks or her health, but when I saw her I bawled. She was beautiful and seemed to be perfect. I fell in love and cried and prayed to God thanking him for her and that I was able to carry and deliver her and she was healthy. But even in the hospital, I was relying upon something for sleep. This went on and on. I’ll never forget when I went to take it at night and realizing my 90 supply bottle was no where to be found. I usually had it in my purse but realized it was missing. I immediately drove to the park where I was in the day and started going through the garbages. That was such a low knowing what a problem I had. I always told myself it was better than ever feeling those anxieties and panic attacks I would have all day and night long. I knew EXACTLY what it was like to have postpartum depression and to fight the battle that other women talked about. I continued to taking anti-depressant and Ambien for years, but after getting out of my unhealthy and toxic marriage, I also faced my problems with substance abuse. This was a huge issue in my life but I didn’t want to face it until reality set in after my divorce and that I had to look myself in the mirror and love me. I will never forget my therapist years ago would always say “Age and Stage” in response to my guilt for needing medication. What he meant by that was that there is an age and stage in all things. My babies were little then and I needed more help. That was the stage of my life then. Sleep was extremely important being a young and pregnant mom. But over the years, I have a new stage where I get more sleep and things are different and my focus and age has shifted. Luckily, after much hell and then help, I am finally in a place where I am no longer on anti-depressants nor do I need Ambien. There is one medication I am currently taking but I am weaning off that as well.  There is an Age & Stage in all things and we need to be kinder to ourselves and have self compassion. I have always been so understanding and compassionate with everyone else but myself. I look back and wish I would have been more loving and understanding of myself while going through such hard and traumatic times.

Coming back to The Emily Effect, I pray for her husband and those sweet kids. I pray for the women that are currently in the struggle and wondering what to do, where to turn. Don’t keep it in. We are all in this together. There is too much judgement in life, we need to stop it in it’s tracks and fight against this illness. There are tools out there and sometimes they don’t feel like they fit you and your needs, but don’t give up. Talk about it. You are not alone. Keeping fighting until you succeed and overcome it. Remember, there is an age & stage in all things, things will change, perspectives and struggles shift. Grateful to my therapist, I kept a piece of paper in my wallet that said age & stage as a reminder. There is an age & stage to whatever problems you are dealing with right now, it won’t stay.

XoXo