Your Feelings Toward Yourself Feel Like a Condemnation of Me

Lets start with this caveat, life has been hectic and I have not been as medication compliant as I need to be.  I am starting to feel the effects.  Emotions and reactions are getting overly strong.

Today I peeked into one of the support groups I depended on heavily in the early days of my voyage into mental health concerns.  I don’t stop in often anymore, as my journey has veered into permanent, not the temporary we all hope for when a postpartum mood disorder shows up.  (see this post)

And there I found a thought that I totally related to and wanted to rail against.  The mama listed all the meds she’s on, some I recognize as part of my cocktail.  And she said being on a variety of meds made her feel like she really was crazy.

I get it, I do.  And yet, I wanted to scream at her.  Rail at her.  Protest, how dare you be so callous?!!!  YOU feel crazy?  Gee thanks, what does that make me?  You take about half of what I swallow every stinking day and will for the rest of my life.

Y’all, I do get it.  I have been there.  I was there today, and yesterday, and the day before…

And yet, I want to scream at her.  I want to punish her.

She still has hope these meds won’t be forever.  I don’t!!!  Where is my hope?  Where is the end of my crazy?

My crazy has gotten so bad I have to aggressively avoid news stories about depression and suicide, because what others see as incomprehensible, makes a heck of a lot of sense to me.  I have been there.  Thankfully, I am not even close right now, but I have been.  I  have stared into that hole and wished something would give me just a little push to let me go headlong in.

And that’s with the meds.  Contrary to what some believe, the meds don’t make my brain work 100% as if the bipolar disorder did not exists, it just makes sure I can sort out the real from the lies.

That’s where I sit with my crazy.  That might be where I always sit.  I don’t know.  It makes me mad.  It isn’t really that lady at all, it is myself I am mad at.  It is my med cocktail that ticks me off.  It is the permanence of the struggle.  I don’t know how long I will be here.  I don’t know how long it will take peace and acceptance to come, but as of right now, it is not there, not even close.

Sigh.

Note:  I am not suicidal at all, but as I said to a mom in our Christian homeschool co-op, “it just hits too damn close to home.”  I’ll let you know if I get banned from co-op for swearing.

 

Old Adage

Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing. ~Phyllis Diller, Phyllis Diller’s Housekeeping Hints, 1966

I need this quote to be true.  I need it to mean I am not a failure based on the appearance of my house right now.  I pick up, I do laundry, I just can’t keep up.  I am falling further and further behind.

And school hasn’t even started.  And I don’t have any lesson planning done, so it can’t be that stopping me from doing what needs to be done.

I am running again, but that only takes about an hour out of my day, if that.  To add to the disaster, the girls couldn’t care less how messy their room is, until they are reprimanded, over and over.  Patrice loves to say she “can’t do all of it.”  To which I argue,  you got it out, you can put it away.

I’m pretty sure I fell in love with my mother-in-law when I saw a variation of this quote in her home

A clean house is the sign of a boring person. ~Author Unknown

And apparently my mind is very exciting.  I’d love to say how I can relax and enjoy how utterly NOT boring I am, but alas.  I feel guilty.  I feel less than.  I mean, come on–I’m home full-time, why in the heck can’t I do this?

Cleanliness is next to impossible. ~Author Unknown

Maybe I should learn to live by this adage.  I haven’t a clue, so instead, I’ll go tackle at least one thing in this house!

What is your problem area for cleaning?  How do you balance it all?  What must be done and what can be put off?

*And yes, I am shamelessly avoiding the hot topics in the world right now.  There are wiser and more eloquent writers than I who are doing a beautiful job addressing the world’s current state of affairs.

No Deep Thoughts

Today’s post has no deep thoughts.  No lessons.  No assurances.  It simply is.

You know those days where everything that can go wrong, will?  I’m awfully blessed to not have too many of them.  But yesterday.  Ah, yesterday.

Yesterday, the girls and I set out to do something I have not done in 8 years.  Caitlyn was 2 months old at the time.  She is currently making her own breakfast. But back to yesterday.  We set out to make a 5 hour drive to see my family.

First, Patrice had to go potty by the time we were 1 mile from home.  I decided to go too.  She had used all the toilet paper.  I was left with a receipt I found in my purse.

We made it about 50 miles further.  Caitlyn, my typically non-cookie tosser, tossed her cookies all over herself.

But did I turn back? NOOOOOO!!!!

We made it 30 miles.  And the road got really rough.  The new pavement really sucked.  Oh DUDE.  That’s not the pavement.  I had blown a tire.

Yeah.  GO ahead, read it again.

That’s me and three young kids sitting by the edge of the road.  I *might* have started to cry.  Caitlyn sat and patted my shoulder until I got a hold of myself.

A creepy guy came to help.  It took some effort, but he finally went away.  Then a nice guy came along that looked like my uncle.  I decided to let him help us, while every episode of Criminal Minds and Without a Trace I have ever watched went through my head.

All went well.

We made it to a place with free wi-fi.  The girls watched cartoons on the iPad.

The best moment of the whole day?  Caitlyn came up to me as the girls were digging into their happy meals and said, “can we pray first?”  Yes, yes we can.  We thanked God for his protection and provision.  We thanked God for the guy who looked like my uncle.  We thanked God for a daddy who was coming to help us.

Daddy came and rescued us.  We got new tires.  We drove home.

Eight hours, to drive and get new tires.

We’ve decided to get our next tires closer to home.

 

Sitting With It

The internet exploded.

My Facebook feed went crazy.

I thought all the thoughts.

I thought nothing.

Run.  I needed to run.

Yet there I sat.

Hands shaking.

Mind flying at a crawl.

Robin Williams.

Gone.

Assumed death by suicide.

No, I don’t know him.

We weren’t friends.

Or acquaintances.

But I have clung to the edge.

Knowing I could fall into the abyss that is suicide.

At any moment.

My hubby sat with me.

I told him my thoughts.

“If he, who would have access to every resource for help with his mental health, couldn’t survive. how could I?

My hubby gently reminded me of the truth.

We don’t know if he took advantage of those options.

As far as we know he did not express a faith in Christ.

When the demons come, my faith is weak.

There are many holes in the safety net.

He sat with me.

My hubby and Robin Williams.

I wrapped myself in my book.

Sleep stopped my whirring thoughts.

My whirring thoughts woke me up.

My mind went into protection mode.

I deleted Facebook and Twitter from my phone.

No sense is being made of it all, no matter how my mind tries.

Protection is the only thing that makes sense.

Feeling safe is my pearl of great price.

Cake Week

Two.  Two Birthday cakes.  Two little girls.  Having  special days.

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A friend who can decorate Barbie cakes (Isn’t she pretty and you would be totally blown away by how fast my friend decorated her)

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Ass cream and Hairy Queen.  I love how the girls search for a way to say a word when they don’t know, or just can’t remember.

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And there are no words how thankful I am for a hubby/daddy who knows how to rollerblade/rollerskate!!!  I tried, I really did.  I ended up in tears from frustration, embarrassment and failure.

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I am beyond thrilled my walker of days gone by, that I leaned on so heavily to get from one point to another when my brain couldn’t tell the rest of my body quite how to work, are now being used by little girls learning to skate.

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I am hopelessly in love with a man who will come home and help our absentminded 6 year old look for her glasses she lost, again.  He searched and cleaned with her…so mama didn’t go bezerk yelling at her.

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I am so blessed to have him for so many reasons.  He plants a garden and then cans yummy things for us to enjoy all winter.

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I run as often as possible and I am so excited that my distances are increasing and I am now running far enough that my 8 year old declares she is not going with me anymore because I run too much.  I so appreciate that my hubby never seems to begrudge me my running time and I can’t express what all the support from friends on Facebook and text message means to me.  It makes my heart sing and my smile huge.

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My heart sings with the beautiful weather we have been happening.  And I am VERY proud of myself that when I took the girls to the waterpark yesterday, and found that the 6 year old had no shoes with her whatsoever, even after being told to get them and asked countless times if she had them, that I kept my cool and that her sisters, while deeply disappointed, didn’t give her too hard of a time when we had to go home instead of having fun.

These are my 10 things I am thankful for.  How about you?

Thanks to my friend at Make Mommy Go Something Something,  I found this blog hop and am joining in over at Considerings

To the Mamas

Baby comes.  We fall immediately in love.  Or we don’t.

We take to motherhood like a duck to water.  Or our anxiety is so high we are afraid to pick up our new bundle for fear of something horrible happening.

We feel all the changes in our life and just smile because we’re the mama.  Or we see the chaos and our mind tells us we must get control, we must make everything perfect, so we lose ourselves in folding the baby’s clothes just so.  Over and over.

We sleep when baby sleeps.  Or we force ourselves to stay awake and watch the baby so nothing happens to it.

We sleep when baby sleeps.  Or we lay wide awake, unable to sleep at all, knowing that in a few short hours baby will be awake and we need to sleep.  But we can’t.  So we reorganize our Pinterest boards.

We undertake motherhood and feeding baby without a second thought.  Or we struggle to breastfeed only to have our stress grow with each attempt.  Or we formula feed, kicking ourselves because we are not breastfeeding the baby.

Sometimes, motherhood comes easy.  Sometimes, it doesn’t.  Sometimes, it is the first baby that introduces us to the struggle that is postpartum mood disorders.  Sometimes, it’s our third.

As we struggle, we hate ourselves, thinking we are  terrible mothers.  We judge ourselves because we’re sure everyone else is too.

We fight to get better.  We fight to breathe in and out.  We fight for each day.

And finally victory is ours.  We sort through some memories.  We hide others that can’t be dealt with all at once.  We breathe.  We try to exhale, but in the back of our mind we’re afraid of the pain.  We’re afraid of it coming back.

Birthdays are one of the days that threaten to overtake us with the memories.  Our mind is naturally drawn to those early days of babyhood.  The good, the bad, the really, really ugly.  And the thing is, we focus mostly on the bad and the ugly.  We don’t give ourselves enough grace to hug the good to ourselves.

Birthdays wake up the hurt, they wake up the feelings of failure.  They scare us.  And we still don’t let ourselves remember the good.

Yet, there is, so much good.  You’ve come through so many battles to be where you are.  And that baby that awakened so many fears and struggles–they love you.  You are their mama.  You are the one that soothes them when they have a fever.  You clean up the vomit they project all over the house. You laugh with them.  You teach them their alphabet.  You teach them to tie their shoes.  You teach them to be kind and courteous.  You teach them to make friends and to be a friend.

They don’t remember you folding the baby wash cloths over and over.  They remember you making them a birthday cake and letting them have friends over to play.  They remember you buying the fun band aids to make their boo-boos all better.  They remember you buying them fun sunglasses and the coolest backpack.  They remember you walking them to school and back home again.  They remember your hugs.  They remember the love you always had for them that you can now show them with ease.

Mamas, as the birthdays come, give yourself grace.  Give yourself permission to know you are a good mama.  Give yourself permission to see the love you show now, and the love you had then.  Give yourself permission to look at your little one, growing up so beautiful, strong and funny, and say, “I got them here.  I got us here.”  And know it is true.  The journey hasn’t been easy and there may still be days of struggle, but you are here now.  You have loved all the way through and you are here now.

To the mamas who read this, I am so proud of you, no matter where you are in your journey, because no matter how hard it is, you are still here.  I am proud of you for finding joy again.  I am proud of you for growing and becoming a more beautiful you.

Our Burping Lady

Patrice made her entrance into our world 4 years ago today.

She was a sweet peanut from day one.  Her big sisters, Sue and Caitlyn doted on her, as best a 4 year old and a 2 year old can.

Patrice, a few days old

Patrice, a few days old

I like THIS use for the sit and spin, mama DSCN4141 DSCN4284

Mommy's cooking???

Mommy’s cooking???

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Hard to climb when your foot gets stuck

Hard to climb when your foot gets stuck

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As many of you know, Patrice needed some speech therapy to get the process rolling, but after 10 months of that, she was ready to spread her wings and FLY!!  She doesn’t just share words with us, she shares her burps too, of which there are many.  On a good day she shares her burps and her words.”

Oh, I’m the biggest burper.

I’m the best burper.

I’m the biggest burper EVER!!!!

We couldn’t be more proud.  Well, in all honesty we are proud.  She is a Jesus, mommy, daddy and sissies loving bundle of energy and fun.  Each night, without fail, she prays that “Caitlyn will be able to do the hard stuff on her rainbow loom.”  That is one blessed loom!

She wanted to go to a bouncy place today.  None were offering open bounce.  I searched and searched.  Finally, I said, “Patrice, I’m sorry but none of the places are open for bouncing tomorrow.”

“Okay mommy, we’ll just go to the zoo!”  She never batted an eye at the change in plans!  Shortly after we got there this morning she looked at me and said, “This is my best birthday EVER!”

And we haven’t even gone to Hairy Queen for Ass cream yet!

Happy Birthday Patrice!!!!!

In a Few Weeks

Public Schools are starting up.  Homeschools are starting back up.

I am waiting.

All but one piece of our curriculum is waiting for me in the basement.

Words cannot express how excited I am about the materials we will be using this year.

So, in a few weeks, we’ll be starting.

And I’m petrified.

It’s our second year, I do know a little more than last year, but do I know enough more?  Last year, when I was lost, I would look at someone and say, “it’s our first year.”  I’d get all sorts of support, encouragement and help.

For once, it felt great to be the new kid on the block.

Now it’s year two.  My supposed hardest year is behind me.  But there are all these days, all these years ahead of me.

This year I decided to try a planner.  I have a paper one and a digital one (it was a free offer).  I have no idea what I am supposed to do with this planner.

It has an attendance area.  Ummm, don’t they both attend on the days we have school?  It has a cleaning schedule by the week and the month.  Isn’t that called keep the living room and kitchen decent, the bathroom useable and sometimes a path in the girls’ rooms?  There is a place for recipes.  Ummmm, I’m supposed to write them down?  I thought that’s what Pinterest is for???

I am totally lost.  I have these great books, that I am so excited about, but have I planned too much book time?  What about the unit studies I have and the various worksheets and project sheets I have?  They are all neatly put in folders on the computer.  Anybody know how I am supposed to remember what is in each of those labeled folders within the homeschool folder under documents in my computer library?  I have great stuff.  I know I do.  But I don’t know what I have.

Then there is discipling my kids.  Truly, this is why we chose to homeschool, but I’m not that nice, I am a rotten example and Bible is the one subject we always seem to push off.  Am I supposed to plan to cover it every day?  Am I teaching my kids that the Bible is not important if we don’t do it every day?

I want to homeschool.  There is absolutely no question about that.  I’m just a little lost about how not to be lost in this Great Adventure.

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And the biggest question is, is the world ready for all the awesome that is my kids????

Her Day Not Mine

My firstborn turned 8 yesterday.  Eight.  So big, so grown up.  So little, still learning so much.

I took the girls roller skating once, on my birthday, with some friends.  Caitlyn has been asking for roller blades ever since*.

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After she opened them, we headed to the roller rink.

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Each of the girls got better and better.  I, did not.  It was awful.  Really, really awful.  I ended up in tears.  I finally just took the skates off and participated from the sidelines.  Thankfully, daddy knows how to skate and was able to guide them through learning.

Then it was time for cake.  Ice Cream cake.  That is a girl after my own heart!!!  She’s such a good girl.  She was appreciative and excited about ever single gift.  I love seeing her as an 8 year old.  It is fun, she can help with things, but she still slips her hand in mine as we’re going about life.

I like 8.

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She had fun, I had ice cream cake.  It is allll good.

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*Very proud to say I got these skates for $21 less than Amazon!!!!

Can’t get enough of birthdays?  Never fear, we have another one coming up Thursday!

 

Eight Years Ago

Eight years ago right now, the pitocin was getting my labor underway.  The contractions were too much for me to sleep, so I labored.  Laying down in between contractions, sitting bolt upright when another would come.

And my hubby slept.

This was to be a long hard labor.  It would fill two shifts of midwives.  There would be talk of a c-section.

On I would labor.

At midnight on August 3, I would wake hubby, no longer comfortable laboring alone.

25 and 4 minutes from now they would put my baby girl on my chest.  Our family, daddy, mama, grandpa, grandma and my girl, had labored together to bring forth, Caitlyn.

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We love you, we all love you, more every day.

Happy Birthday my girl, my Caitlyn.