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Break all these walls.

Here we are. Take two.

It’s after 8pm and the voice is so….velvety.

It took longer tonight to recognize it. Despite the time, I had chips to “round out” my dinner. It was an excuse. I see that now.

I wanted more…something. I don’t know what I wanted from it. It hurts to slow down to search for the answer.

The past week–two weeks?–are starting to wear on me. I thought it would be getting easier, but I think maybe it’s getting harder. It’s time for me to start writing.

adventures in quarantine, Uncategorized

I can live and breathe and see the sun.

Alright. As my week wraps up and I review the hellish “through not around” that I waded in with my daughter this week, I want to take the opportunity to note some tangible tools I have learned.

Embrace the steps.

Step one. It’s not about me. It’s unmanageable. It’s not mine. Step two. Someone else has got this. Step three. Take a step back and let it be that someone else’s. Step six. Practice the pause.

I realize I’m skipping four and five here.¬† It’s not to minimize them. Those ones have deeper digging. They do not pertain quite yet within my immediate, tangible action.

Create the tiniest gap.

My goal–that I haven’t taken much time to write about–is that I want the voices in my head to quiet. That quiet is the peace I am aspiring to. That quiet is a return to my best and highest self.

When the thought loops run rampant, as they are wont to do unchecked, I spiral out. I want so much more than that for myself. I am so much more than that.

I have options. I can tell the voice to fuck off. I can turn my attention to constructive actions. I can write down the thought loops and walk away from them. I can mantra in my head “words and opportunity”. I can ask to have it taken away. I can journal longform about it. I can ask myself “Am I acting from a place of love or s place of fear?”

Whichever I choose, the act of pausing and deciding creates a gap for the universe to come in and support me.

Move.

This is just a good go to on any day. Gets me simultaneously in my head and out of my head. It grounds me to the earth and the universe. It provides the connection back to self.

Reality is kinetic.

Perspective dictates that not only can people have entirely different experiences to the same situation, but those experiences can morph and muddle with time. Reality can shift and transmogrify, and none of it is real and all of it is real. Whatever we remember and however we filter it creates a picture through our lens and it becomes our truth.

This isn’t good nor bad. It’s life. This is something I’ve always been aware of, but I had many attachment thoughts about it. It is now clear to me it is something I need to accept. I don’t have a “how” for that right yet. But all the other tangible things I’ve come to acquire this week tell me that I can ask for the how and then I can wait and it’ll be given to me when I need it.

So….I’m learning to do the work and also just stop. Both and neither. Click click and click.

~~~~~~~

I want to add. My process normally is that I write and then I share and talk about it with Chris. I’ve found in the past that when I talk it over first, I never write about it, and I don’t like losing that part.

I’ve been trying to write this particular post all week and none of it came. It was too wordy and circumvented all the tangibility.

I was finally able to, yesterday, share with Chris the events that unfolded over the week. His week began with a seizure and recovery, and mine was full of navigating Tuesday with R and the week with the boys.

After connecting with Chris last night to share the story of my week, and after he listened so attentively and responded so compassionately, it allowed this post to flow easily. We were us, with all the extra personal growth we’ve worked for. It is goodness.

Adventures in running, Uncategorized

Ringing like a bell.

Amidst all the pain this week, there was a fuck of a lot of action and showing up. I could have crawled in a hole and died. (It wouldn’t have lasted long. But still, I could have.) And I chose not to.

Instead I chose action because my progress doesn’t allow for anything else.

I’ve been steadily working on the garage. The thing I deadlined for July, is well on schedule to be completed before that. I’ve already followed through on donation runs and weekly trash removal. The gone stuff is gone. The progress feels really good and I’ve taken the time to pause and celebrate myself.

I’ve continued with my daily five to thrive, and tho I haven’t written pen to paper, I have my start today journal dreams. I listened to Rachel’s Girl, Stop Apologizing. I finished Jen Sincero’s You are a Badass.

I talked with R about how we can get her basement room going and I mapped out a plan and timeline in my head. I’ll get that on paper this week.

The thing I feel most accomplished about is six freaking minutes!!

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The reason that feels so good is because it was so fucking hard and I risked initiating contact so I didn’t have to do it myself, and it actually made a difference. I risked the ask and the universe showed up for me.

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Being what you are does not make a change.

It’s never any surprise to me that the universe continually shows up for me.

I will never stop finding it both amusing and fascinating, even amidst the heartache.

R’s session shook me. I kept feeling compelled to have the whys and the hows or even the minutest detail or example. I wanted to know how she could possibly feel this way and how I could possibly fix it. I had question after question. I wanted to be heard. And validated.

The funny thing about having had so much therapy and actively pursuing personal growth and having so much self-awareness is that all the questions just make me make that squished up face. That feeling of “I wanna put the square peg in the round hole but obviously that’s not gonna work but lemme try to quasi attempt it this way and I know it’s pointless, but, like, if I can match them up juuuuuust right then….maybe…”

The problem is I want to ask all the wrong people the questions. Because I want to be validated. Because I don’t want to be seen as what I’m not. Because of my disbelief. Because it hurts to show up over and over and be pushed away and to show up more and, at the end of the day, have all that showing up feel to someone else the exact opposite of what it was to me.

They aren’t the right people tho.

All of my reasoning and logic and personal growth tell me that my daughter and her therapist are not to be my source of validation.

It’s moot. No matter how much it hurts and no matter how much I want to stomp my feet.

So after we left the appointment I shut up. And I didn’t burden my already hurting 16 year old with my pains. And I told the voices in my head to fuck off. And I considered, “If she views me as the person in her life who has made her feel worthless, despite all my effort to the exact contrary, does it change anything? Would I call it quits on her because her lens is skewed? Would I throw guilt and resentment her way because her translator is broken? Would I go against my who merely because this hurts so damn much?”

Nope. Nope times infinity. Nope to the core of my being.

So when I ran into the store on the way home, I bought her a succulent. Because she said she feels invisible. And you can’t buy things for invisible people. Thereby practically saying, “You aren’t invisible, girl. I see you. Take this tiny succulent and know I love you. I am here.”

And then I went home and called my sponsor.

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A song to take the pain away.

I sat in for a therapy session with R. It was supposed to just be five minutes. Enough to tell her counselor that we’d be starting the process to get her on antidepressants. It is time.

It was not a decision that I came to lightly. There were a multitude of factors. Mostly it was that she was getting so much more explosive, and to me, that meant her pain and hurting were at its max. Unfortunately the only factor that really stuck out for my girl was that her behavior was scarring her brother and his¬†trauma was my highest priority and that’s why I finally agreed to the medication.

This turned a five minute conversation into an hour and a half session.

She hurts. I know this. I never know just how much. And it always catches me off guard. The one person who it would be helpful to be privy to said information doesn’t get to know. It’s just part of the mom deal, I suppose.

Being a parent is hard. Knowing all the logical psychology doesn’t really help much. I mean, sure, in the long run sorta. The short run is a different beast.

The long run tells me that she can lash out at me because she feels safe with me. The long run tells me that she will viciously push me away over and over in order to see if I’ll abandon her.

Depression runs her short game.

It requires her to believe she is nothing and not worth sticking around for. Pushing me away and me following suit gives the depression its validation.

Depression begets depression. We feel like things are shit. That we are shit. We feel worthless so we seek all the ways we’re unworthy. And because we get what we look for, all she sees are examples of her nothingness. The cycle feels impossible to break.

~~~~~~~

Depression is a big fat liar and not even this strong, badass mama can contend with it.

I can show up. Over and over. No matter how much it hurts. No matter how it can bring excruciating heartache and practically break me.

But it can not change her perspective. I learned that today.

It hurt a lot.

I have always known that she is hard on herself. I have always known that she has ridiculous expectations of herself. Expectations that no one could ever meet. I know she thinks in black and white and that she truly believes perfection does, in fact, exist.

I know I have always been the first to say “you did great!” and “what do you mean a B on your chem test isn’t good enough?!” and “of course I’ll be at your musical!” I have supported her through countless endeavors. Providing moral support and transportation and peptalks and space when she asks.

Despite her spending so much time trying to convince me she’s nothing, I haven’t faltered in being her biggest cheerleader.

This is my lens. This is how I see it.

No, I don’t notice every single thing that happens. Yes, there are things she’s told me about that I’ve forgotten. Yes, sometimes I’m annoyed that she needed to be picked up at 5 and she still isn’t ready at 5:40. I’m human. I’m fallible. I make mistakes. I don’t always show up how she prefers, nor do I show up 100% of the time. But I show up. I show up often and to the best of my ability.

And then today, the short run played its game. She tells me that I make her feel worthless. That I make her feel like nothing. That she feels like a nothing because of me. That I have instilled this in her.

No amount of logical psychology could have kept my feet firmly planted. The short run won.

~~~~~~~

Her lens is so much different than mine.

I never knew–I never understood–that the voice in her head feeding her all that bullshit is my voice.

It is a devastating blow.

~~~~~~~

Not all hope is lost. I’m silver lining girl after all. Navigation is required. A whole fuckton of navigation. As well as extra reinforcements for this sad mama’s heart.

Above all else, I show up. I may not be able to contend with her depression through her lens, but I won’t go down without a fight. Especially when it’s my daughter’s life at stake.

I don’t know what that looks like yet. I don’t quite know yet what I need to do. I know that whatever it is, I can do it. I will do it.

First tho, I will cry and grieve.

adventures in quarantine, Uncategorized

All the right ways.

Monday morning this thing happened.

I thought about how the previous week the scale read 150.0 pounds even. The exact number. A tenth of a pound less and I would have been able to officially ring some imaginary bell of excellence or success or I don’t even know what.

But the universe needed me to wait. And I get that. I’m down for whatever lessons I need to learn. And so I waited. No sweat.

Then Monday arrived and I limit scale curiosity to once a week because ocd. I woke up and did my regular routine of appreciating my body and feeling my skin and my ribs and my hips. I felt good in my skin. Content.

When I got on the scale, it was almost alarming.

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Holy numbers, Batman.

It makes me smile to think of all those years, trying so damn hard to not focus on the number, and the number never budging. Now that I’m keenly focusing on all sorts of other places–really honing in on purpose–the scale freaking jumps. The universe is fun.

This could have been a thing that tripped me up, as it did many times in the past. Such a “win” used to feel terrifying and I had been the girl to sabotage wins. You wanna know what I did this time? How I proceeded after stepping off the scale?

I did the same. damn. thing. I do every day. I follow routine and I stay actively engaged in my health and my family and my well being. I continued to purge my garage and build healthy relationships (Beth came over), and lead with faith and love instead of fear and doubt.

And none of it is fucking easy. It’s work. And some days it feels less work, but still it’s work. Above all else tho, it keeps me safe and happy and gives me the freedom to bring my best self to this world. And for right now, that’s the goal.

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Find the light.

I’m sitting in my daughter’s room. In the dim glow of her permanently placed Christmas lights. It’s the eve of her 16th birthday. Just 24 minutes left.

She is asleep now. Just a half hour ago she was awake and miserable. She’s hurting and I don’t know how to ease that pain. I don’t know how to ease the projection of that pain. I don’t know how to shine light on the reality that she is loved and loveable. That she is human. That she is full of worth. That she is enough.

I don’t know how to instill these things in her. I don’t know how to make her see truth. I don’t know how to have her see the reality I give her. I don’t know how to contend with her fucked up translator. I don’t know how to help her hear what I’m actually saying to her when I talk.

Sixteen years ago tonight her dad worked late. Til after 1am. And I packed for the hospital. I talked to Kristi on the phone for hours.

There were lots of things I imagined for the future. Some awesome and some not. Never did I envision this kind of pain for her. Never did I picture that she and I could have such heartbreaking moments of disconnect.

I’m going to keep showing up for her. I don’t know any other way. I hope that she feels it. I hope that it makes a difference. I hope and I hope and I hope.

Happy birthday, angelface. May there be days you feel as loved as you are. May there be moments that feel light. May the goodness find you and may you feel it when it does.

adventures in quarantine, Uncategorized

Meet me where the lights dim.

I have the best girl.

Today she was so cuddly. And sweet. And gosh, I just enjoyed the hell out of every second of that. She came up behind me this evening and wrapped herself around my shoulders.

Tonight we said she could stay out an extra hour. She brought Chris home sushi and surprised me with an African violet.

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Much later tonight I laid on her bed with her and we watched Grey’s for three hours.

I revel in the goodness. Tonight, despite the late hour, I’m going to sleep entirely contented.

adventures in quarantine, Adventures in running, Uncategorized

Anything but empty.

I let the universe take care of me today. I let the people who love me turn my day around.

After I posted earlier, I went outside with the boys, but it wasn’t enough. My body needed to move. My mind needed to turn off. I employed R’s help with L and took off. I wasn’t even intending to run. I just needed to move.

I walked the first half, and then, suddenly, down a hill, barely with permission from my mind, my body started running. Experience tells me it was probably a minute thirty. It felt so good. Then I took off again after a short walk and that was probably 45 seconds. Then came the section I ran last night in two minutes. Today I timed it and it was a minute 45 and I didn’t want to forfeit the fifteen seconds, so I ran more. And then more. And again.

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Fucking two thirty! Amazing.

I needed a little extra walking time, so I added another side street, making the walk almost two miles.

I got home and my Chris was there, celebrating right alongside me. Fistbump explosions for days. Beaming with pride.

And then he let me just vent about my feelings. And then we came in and I needed to give a very dirt-covered L a bath. And I wasn’t expecting the company, but the company felt so fucking good and Chris and I just sat in the bathroom and kept talking while L took his bath.

He showed up for me so hard today. It means everything.