stuck

images

so i know the past few years feel like i am not really moving forward in my life. I feel like i am stuck in the mud. the mud continues to pull me down under no matter how much i am attempting to get out. the mud is self doubt, self hate, negativity, and pain. how can you get out of the mud if you have awful thoughts running through your mind the minute you wake up in the morning, until you put your head on the pillow at night? i’ve always been extremely hard on myself. i grew up  in a family where your appearance equals happiness. my family is very close and very loving, however, generation to generation we have always had the underlying belief that skinny is beautiful. my parents had me a lot later in life after they both had children and failed marriages. so my closest in age sibling is 16 years older than me. i obviously was the baby of the family. both of my mom’s daughters were in the miss america pageants a year apart. they are both very talented and very beautiful. because we have different fathers, we are not built the same and i do not look like them. i was always compared to them by everyone. i always felt like the ugly duckling of the family. at the very young age of 14, i was throwing up my meals. i would stay in the bathroom after dinner for hours trying to get it out. my family HAD to of known something was going on, but instead it was overlooked. my mother is a very beautiful woman as well. very tiny and petite. she was always compared to her twin sister and she always was trying to lose weight. i know that she has her own unhealthy way of viewing what is important and beauty, so i hate to blame my mother in all of this because i know she loves me and i know her intentions were not ill intended and she will never fully understand the pain many of her comments and actions have caused me and how it has effected my adult years. any time i have tried to have the discussion with her, it never goes great. she is in complete denial. in junior high i was a cheerleader and she would tell me i would be happier if i would lose a few pounds. she would tell me she would buy me something if i would lose 5 pounds. she would start hiding the treats and the butter. she will never admit to doing that, but she absolutely did it. she would look at my outfit up and down to see if my pants were too tight and just by her reaction to how i looked, would dictate whether my night was good or bad. i was counting calories, overeating treats when i was at my friends houses, and purging the minute i could find the right time, obsessing that my friends were skinnier than i was, comparing myself to everyone in sight. as i got older and when i moved out of the house, i was partying a lot with my friends and roommates and ended losing a lot of weight. at that time, i thought i was happy with myself, but i obviously wasn’t, but again my weight dictated whether i thought i was happy or not. after getting married, i stayed thin but when i look back, i didn’t consider myself thin. i was always very critical of myself. loving who i was never really happened, but it wasn’t something that was on my mind much. i mean it didn’t help that my husband was having affairs, but i always got compliments that i looked beautiful from my family, so i guess that means i was okay right?

well moving on to now. since the divorce and my illness, i’ve put on probably 20-30 pounds. i don’t even know how to say this without wanting to die. to admit out loud where i am is so humiliating. so i have never been able to really full ever heal. i’ve either used bulimia to feel better, drugs, or men. now the past few weeks loving who i am is on my mind. i’ve told myself if i lose the weight, i will love me for sure. but how can i lose the weight if i am so negative and down on myself? because obviously nothing has worked so far. i’ve tried a lot of things to lose weight, going to the gym, paying for food to be brought in that are low in calories and fat content, diets, etc.. nothing is working. i know that methadone doesn’t help but i’ve been coming down on my dose but it’s not helping. but how can i love myself NOW.. TODAY? how can i get out of the mud that is so thick? no one will ever love me, if i don’t love me. i can’t even stand to see myself in ANY pictures. and it makes it so hard to be around my family because the weight thing is still JUST AS IMPORTANT as it has always been. so it makes me not want to be around them because i feel so judged by them. i know they feel pity for me. i try to remember how i’ve overcome so much. i’ve gotten myself clean, i’ve gone through a painful divorce, i’ve overcome my health problems, i have been able to grow back my full head of hair, and i am a good mother. but non of that matters if i am not at the size i want to be. how can i change this way of thinking? yes, people say affirmations, and just do it, just LOVE YOURSELF, it’s as easy as that. but this is years and years of thinking. i don’t know how to change it. i want my kids to see me love who i am for once. i want to love me for me, and more than anything i want to find a man to love me for me. how can i get out of this freaking dark heavy mud that i have been stuck in for so long?

xoxo

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playing the victim

doesn’t it seem like life just isn’t fair at times? it’s almost like i just got handed the shittiest hand time and time again. I HATE hearing people complain redundantly. And when i get on my blog, i think, maybe that’s all i do here. It’s my place to just vomit all over the blank page. then when I am finished typing and i publish my rant, i go back to savanna smiles (you might be too young to know who that it is).

i’m not afraid to work and i truly appreciate being able to bring in a paycheck. i was out of the working field for quite a few years while i stayed home to raise our two kiddos. even when i was home, i created an online boutique and handmade all the hair accessories and holders. it was something i enjoyed to do while i was a mommy. when divorcing j, i wasn’t afraid to get myself back out there. did i love the idea of not being home with the kids and having the luxury that i had before? no. but i believed in myself. it was hard for me cause i was  a lot older and i never finished college, so i don’t have a degree. but i found this job around the corner from my home (huge bonus) and they were very casual with my hours and the fact that if i needed to go get my kids from school, they made it very easy. the pay was not great, but the benefits of the job were huge. i was told that if i stuck with it, i would be able to work my way up quickly. last year our company was bought out by a very successful company. they promised that they were a competitive paying company. i stuck it out thinking they would make my pay higher. i took on a new role that was triple the work that i was doing before, on top of doing the same duties i was doing before. when asking if i got a higher pay with this new role, i was told that i need to prove myself. 8 months later, still holding strong and been given more and more tasks and gaining confidence with it. my annual review came up and i was prepared. i had my market value printed out and even got peer recommendations. after having the meeting with my manager, i felt confidently that i was going to get a good pay increase. he requested that i send my increase request to the CFO, who my manager reported to. i received an email back from him saying that after looking into my market value, i was due for a considerable pay increase and that my manager would sit with me in our next one on one meeting and give me the specifics. all through the holidays i was so happy and felt like i was finally being compensated for what i deserved. i kept asking my manager when were going to be able to meet and i got ignored and he avoided me almost weekly. during this time, i found out our office all got a $3,000 a year raise to bump us all up because we were the lowest paid office out of all the companies they bought out. after finally meeting with my manager, they told me that the only increase i was getting was the one they gave everyone. so basically i am still getting paid the same as when i started and from when i only did a small portion of what i do now. it makes absolutely no sense to me at all. i asked how that made sense with the work i was doing before compared to the work i am doing now how they can even explain how that is fair? they totally led me to believe i was getting a “considerable” pay increase when they weren’t planning at all to give me anything and just saying that i am getting a raise based off of the one they were going to give me regardless of my work increasing. i am truthfully sick about it. i’ve given this company all of me for 3.5 years now for basically nothing. i know what i have to do and that is find something else, but it’s so hard to do that. they have NO ONE right now that can step in for what i do. i feel like walking out and screwing them over. the hardest part of all this is that j has stopped paying me!! ya know, if i was getting my child support and alimony, i maybe could make this work but to not get the raise i deserve after working my ass off and proving myself to them just to get told no, all the while i am trying to raise my kids with no child support or alimony. how does that work? how is that fair? how is it that a grown ass man can quit a 3 figure paying job just to stop paying his obligations? all i want is to be given what was agreed to and get paid for the work i do with my job. all of it is completely fucked up. now i am really stuck in a bind.

on top of all this, the woman that stole my identity is getting away with it because the detectives dropped the case. so all three of things to me seem so unfair. and in all honestly, i do feel like a victim in these circumstances. i know i need to get out of the pity party and control what i can control, but i just want to bitch. i want WHAT IS MINE and i want WHAT IS FAIR. how hard is that?

okay let me take a breather 3 – 2- 1 – ACTION.

xoxo

savannah smiles 🙂

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

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

haunting

My dreams are being haunted. They are being haunted by what was my reality a few years ago. Yes, there is a sense of relief when I wake up and realize I am not in that place anymore, however I really hurt my life and everything and everyone involved in it. I wish it was just a bad dream but it’s not. I really did hurt people that I love and care about. I changed everything about my life. Yes I need to be forgiven and forgive myself, but that pain was real and still is. There isn’t a damn thing I can do about it now besides continue living a good and authentic life now. Be a better mom, daughter, sister, cousin, friend, co-worker, employee, ex-wife, and law abiding citizen. Will that ever make up for it? Is that enough? Will I be able to sleep peacefully without being haunted by this? I am ready to let it go but I am not sure if it will ever be forgotten. I have specific memories of getting caught. The look on my boss’s face when he let me go. The way I felt when I forgot to pick up my kids again from school. Lying when being caught red handed. Taking a drug test, knowing it was positive. Walking into court fighting for custody. The look on my dad’s face when he asked me if I was still using. Disappointing my kids when I couldn’t spend time with them cause I was too busy not staying sick. The thoughts and memories don’t stop racing through my head while trying to sleep. Thank God when I wake up, I look over and see my precious kids lying next to me knowing it isn’t my reality anymore, but if it’s possible, how do I let it go- how many more nightmares do I have to wake from?