Category Archives: Advice

All the things I wish I would have known.

When want to rip your mother’s face off!

When You Want to rip Your moms face off

Anyone else have a mom whose favorite phrase is “I told you so?” GAH I want to rip her face off every time she says it. It makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Really Mom? Why do you have to be so judgmental? I often feel like my mom is my worst critic; always judging my choices and saying that she could do better than I … she always “knows better.” I began to feel like she wasn’t a safe person to share things with … all she did was judge and point out what I was doing wrong.

This past year has been rough for Jaden … like really rough. He’s been struggling with life stuff that kids shouldn’t have to worry about. We’ve been going to therapy for two years now trying to work on this and we’ve reached this place where he thinks I don’t love him. When these feelings started coming out I was irritated. Seriously kid? I give you everything! I fought like hell to bring you into this world, you have been the center of everything for me and you have the guts to say I don’t love you? Really?

I decided to bring my mom to one of our therapy appointments. My therapist was a little surprised when we showed up together, and then I laid it all out for her. Look, I can talk to you about how I see the situation until I’m blue in the face, but it’s not helping. We aren’t making progress. Jaden and I just keep fighting more and more and I’ll do whatever it takes to make it better.

So we sat and we talked. Mom had a few good jabs and the therapist picked up on it right away. “Mel, you didn’t really like what Mom just said.” Ummm no I didn’t really but I know she loves me so I need to just sit and wrestle with it until I can sort it all out. After each wrestling match, I found a piece that I could say, “Yeah, ok, this part is probably true, I just don’t want to have to admit it.”

It took my divorce to give me a wakeup call … when the weight of my “I knew better” outweighed my mom’s “I told you so.” For the first time, I saw how many people care about me … like really care about me. When they were all “judging” my decisions, they were really telling me what I already knew to be true, I just didn’t want to admit it. My family loves me so much, they are willing to step in and tell me the truth even when it’s not what I want to hear. They are looking out for my best interest, not just looking to make me happy. I call these people in my life, my “truth tellers.”

Whenever my “truth tellers” share something that bothers me, I need to sit and wrestle with it. I allow myself to marinade in the conversation. Let it soak in. What you said hurt but I know you wouldn’t say this to just be spiteful. Where is the truth in what you said?

I started to realize that every time I wanted to rip my mom’s face off it wasn’t because she was judging me, it was because she was calling me out on something I was trying to hide.

So when you want to rip your mother’s face off, it probably has more to do with you and not her…

Love, Mel

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The danger of dreaming

A few posts ago, I wrote about dreaming. It is a healthy thing to do … thinking about what the future could look like. It’s also a slippery slope … it becomes dangerous when your dreams begin to turn into standards. When you begin use your dreams as a pathway to control and plan the future.

I’ve always been a thinker & a planner-outer. I like to know what I”m doing each night – where I’m going to be. I tend to plan out things. (Works well in the office, but drives my family nuts!) In high school, I had a serious boyfriend – we dated for almost 6 years. During my sophomore year, we were “on a break.” I had heard that he wasn’t going to go to his homecoming dance because we were broken up … I agreed/offered (whatever you want to call 15-year-olds trying to figure out the dating world) to go with him as friends. I had little to no expectations of the evening. It ended up being the most amazing night! We danced, laughed and just enjoyed each other. That night I learned (and I”m still learning) that you can’t dream out every second of your life. You’ve got to let go and just experience the moment. When you spend all of your time dreaming about what each day might hold, you place unrealistic expectations on yourself and others.

So, how do you keep your dreams from becoming expectations? I’ll be honest … I”m really not sure. I do know that it helps not to think about something too much. When you start to think about a “what-if” more than what is actually happening … it might not be balanced. I spend so much time dreaming about what it would be like to have a man in the house, that I am missing the experience of being independent. Mystery. I am too big of a control freak to just let the mystery happen. God says, “Close your eyes and just experience the ride, trusting in Me as life whips around each corner.” I’m so busy trying to see the tracks, that I forget I’m not the one steering the car. Each time I try to plan out what is ahead, I ruin the surprise.

The ironic part? I love surprises! Want to show me how much you love me? Plan a little surprise. That’s how Doug caught my eye when we were dating off and on. He went to great lengths to surprise me on my birthday. He baked his first ever cake (chocolate cake with chocolate frosting). Then, he had the receptionist call my desk to let me know there was a package I needed to sign for at the front desk. As I rounded the last flight of stairs, there he was, standing with his 9×13 chocolate cake. I knew that birthdays weren’t big to him, but he knew they were big to me. We found a table in the cafeteria and shared a piece of cake and a little time together. It was simple – doesn’t take very much – but it was a surprise. Magic.

The cake was magic because I didn’t expect it. When I start to dream about every moment, it ruins the magic. It eliminates the possibility of  being swept off of my feet. Ha! And that’s what I dream about most of the time … being swept off of my feet. How is someone going to surprise me if I”m busy thinking of all the romantic ways someone could enter my life?

Turn off your brain Mel … stop thinking! Just focus on what is in front of you. Put on your cement boots and stay grounded. Stop focusing on what you could have and love what you do have.

Dreaming is good – it keeps fresh air in the room. When life gets tough, it keeps you focused on tomorrow. Dream on friends … the sky is the limit! If you’re like me … just be careful and don’t let your dreams become expectations. Turn off those over thinking brains and let yourself be surprised. I can type out the words, but it’s a lot hard to do than type. Maybe we can work turning our brains off together?

Love, Mel

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The Princess and the Suitcase

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who dreamed about what it would be like to travel to a far away land, and to live happily princess luggageever after with her prince. She spent her days discovering new things – special things – secret things and packed them away in her suitcase.

She collected scraps of fabric that would one day weave together a blanket for their first baby. She found the perfect pillows that would act as compassion for her husband. She made valentine cards with lopsided hearts and rhyming poems that she would one day use to show her prince just how special he was. She took pictures of all her favorite memories, to give to him as special gifts … memories that would tell him more about who she was and why she believed the things she did. She found the perfect black dress for those special date nights. She saved all her favorite recipes and put them in a little box. She took her tenderness and made slippers. The princess watched her parents and learned what it meant to be a woman and a wife.

She carefully packed all these things into her suitcase. The delicate things were wrapped with care. The hard-to-break items were placed at the bottom of the bag, to act as a foundation for the rest. The princess would bring her suitcase with her when she met her prince charming.

One day, her dream came true. The day had finally came when she would become a wife! She gathered all of her special belongings, and began to make a home for herself and her groom. She slowly began to unpack her bag. First, the hard, sturdy items came out. Her independence, her willingness to try new things, her eagerness to please. She soon found a place for each of these in their new home.

Then, she began to unpack the softer things. She laid the woven blanket on their new baby’s bed. She covered their baby with love, peace, tenderness and softness. She was so busy making a home for herself, that she missed the disapproving look on her prince charming’s face.

Then, she began to unpack some of her favorite memories. Each one shared long after the children were asleep, when only the two of them could hear. She shared her hopes, her dreams, her favorite love stories. She began to teach him more and more about herself … carefully unwrapping each gift to lay at his feet.

She all too soon learned that these delicate stories had no place in their home. Her cherished moments were being cracked and chipped away. They were forgotten about, misplaced and stepped on. Quick, before anymore of her porcelain memories could be broken, she started to put them back in her suitcase. But she still had so much left to unpack – she hadn’t even really settled into their new home. The fabric she had chosen for her blankets were criticized for not being the right color or softness. She packed those away, soaked in tears. The pillows she had carefully placed on the couch and on the beds were thrown across the room and tossed aside. Since they weren’t important to her husband, she put those away too. Her perfect black dress, hung in the closet, never been worn. That too went back into the suitcase.

She began to believe that all these things she had been saving for years were foolish. They were “girl dreams.” They had no place in real life. How foolish she was to think her childish suitcase would have a place in her new “grown up” home.

This didn’t look anything like the fairy tale she had so carefully planned and prepared for. She hadn’t packed her suitcase with armor and protection to reflect the criticism. She didn’t anticipate that someone else wouldn’t see the value in her treasures. She had saved all the fragile parts of herself for her marriage – as a once in a lifetime gift to her prince charming. She was so unprepared.

After a while, the princess looked around her new home, in the far away land, and realized she had put everything she had been saving for these years, back into her suitcase. There was nothing left unpacked. She didn’t belong here. Her life treasures weren’t treasured at all. She was all packed, neatly tucked away in a small little suitcase. She had no other choice but to leave her fairy tale behind. She was ready for life’s new adventure.

With each step, she gained strength. Her arms grew muscle as she carried her life suitcase down the road. Her skin tanned under the sun. Her legs grew strength with each stride. She was strong. What the princess didn’t realize was how tightly she had locked up her suitcase and how much of a mess it would make when the next prince came along …

to be continued …

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March 17, 2014 · 9:24 pm

I forget how awesome I am …

Sometimes it’s really hard to remember how awesome I am. I don’t mean this in a boastful or prideful way … I mean this in an “I’m an amazing child of God, and the greatest king in the world is in love with me so I should be able to love myself” sort of way. Sometimes my desire to love someone else shadows the truth that they don’t honor me. I want to badly to share my life with someone, I’m blind to the fact that they aren’t worthy of how awesome I am.

For years I believed the lies people told me. I was told that I was lazy, fat, messy, used and unlovable. I started to believe that if I could just “be” better, then I would be lovable. Then, I would be worthy of being taken out for dinner. Maybe then someone would notice me – would see the light I felt inside but felt like no one could see.

Deep in my gut I know that I’m good. I know that I’m special, but on the surface it’s hard to believe. It’s hard to expect people to respect me. To accept nothing less than love and respect from those around me. When I’m mistreated, I default to thinking that I deserved it in some way. I must have done something to deserve it.

To some degree, I might have. I’m not perfect. I mess up – say the wrong thing – say hurtful things – mistreat those that I love. I’m human. But here is my new revelation … I might have deserved someone being upset with me, but I don’t deserve being disrespected. There is a difference. You can be hurt and upset and still honor another person as valuable.

Where to go from here? What’s the next step? I have no clue … at all. I guess, just like any other realization I’ve had, I put one foot in front of the other. Each morning I wake up, I remind myself that I am awesome. I look myself in the mirror and say … you are worthy enough, you are strong enough, and you are good enough just the way you are. I keep walking like the warrior mama I am and I keep fighting. I keep fighting for my life, for a better tomorrow. I keep trying to get it right, or at least better.

Each day is a brand new day. It’s a brand new start, a fresh slate. I claim it as mine. I claim my day as a work in progress …

I will never expect someone to be perfect, to be without making mistakes or to be blameless. To me, respect will look like the same in return. To take me just as I am … to honor and cherish the good and awesome parts of me and to tolerate the not-so-awesome parts of me.

Don’t forget how awesome YOU are. The way you view yourself is one thing that no one can take from you … they might try … but it’s yours. Claim your awesomeness!

Love, Mel

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Valentine’s Day

It’s Valentine’s Day … single awareness day. A day where everyone is either bragging about how wonderful their husband or boyfriend is or the day when people feel painfully alone. It’s my first Valentine’s Day as a divorced, single mom. I’ve been too busy getting the boys ready with their valentine’s to really worry about being alone this year. Jaden is my date for the night. We’ve had fun all week making valentine’s for their friends – picking out the perfect sticker for each friend and stuffing little ziplock bags with candy. Boys loved it and I loved sitting on the floors watching my boys be kind to others.

Image from encourage.me

The other day I clicked on a link to an online article “5 Ways To Survive Love Season.” Seems a little stilly to think about love being something you need to survive. But all the same, I remembered the longing I would feel as a young girl, hoping that a boy would think of ME on Valentine’s Day. Fingers crossed that someone would find me desirable and worthy of a box of chocolates or maybe even roses.

Then I got to #3 on the list … Who Can I Bless? That’s right … who do I find worthy of chocolates? Who is it that I love? Why do girls find in necessary to sit around waiting for a boy to love them? Why isn’t it enough to just love yourself? I’m not saying to forget about your crush … honestly who can get them out of your head sometimes, but rather, don’t forget them, remember them .. just don’t wait around for them. As my mom likes to remind me, “If it’s meant to be, it will be.” I’m trying on my mom’s advise for size … you should join me.

The action of love rarely has anything to do with what it is you want … it’s about the other person. Sitting around waiting for someone else to love you is not the purpose of today. I’ll tell you what … Prince Charming isn’t going to show up and say, “Wow, look at that girl having a giant pity party for herself … that’s who I want to be my princess!” Nope, just not gonna happen. It’s when you are being the best YOU that you can be that people notice you. They say things like, “Look at her go! She’s strong and independent. She’s loving. She’s got faith and strength to fight all on her own.” You don’t even realize what others are saying because you are focused on being the best you that you can be. You can walk boldly through life, knowing that God is your companion and that the rest will fall into place. Those are the kinds of girls that Prince Charming notices. Relationships are the healthiest when two whole people come together … not when one person is looking to complete themselves with someone else.

So pick yourself up. Dust yourself off and get out there and bless someone. We spend a month or two focused on this during the Christmas season. That season is all about loving and serving others. We ring a bell for Salvation Army, donate an extra toy to Toys for Tots. We adopt a family for Christmas. In turn, we feel good about ourselves. Giving our love is what really feels good …

Of course what girl wouldn’t want to be showered with flowers, poems, teddy bears and all that pink fluffy crap along with the rest of the dating/married population?!? I can’t help that I’m a hopeless romantic … Just don’t let that be what this day is really about. The world’s supply on loving one another is running low … So if you have a valentine, love them up. Hug them and kiss them and cherish the snot out of them. If you don’t have a valentine … don’t sit around waiting for one … get out there and love someone or some cause or something! If nothing else, it’ll keep you out of the cookie dough (at least for one day).

Love, Mel

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February 14, 2014 · 1:01 pm

The next right thing

I recently read Carry On Warrior – Thoughts on Life Unarmed by Glennon Melton. A MUST READ!! She’s also be blogger of momastery.com Long story short, she posted this quote:

Reminded me of some of the best advise my mom every gave me … got me out of a horrible mess. Saved me from myself.

Life was swirling around me. Something had to change. So much was going on, all my options seemed wrong and I found myself buried under ten thousand “what ifs.” I blamed myself for just about everything. If only I had been better. If only I had made better choices. If only my house were cleaner, I was a better friend, I listened more than talk, if I had more patience. The blame buried me alive. I had no clue how to get myself out of the mess I was in. Every option seemed to hurt or destroy someone or myself. I was paralyzed by the fear of hurting my children. I felt like I was ruining their childhood. I felt like I needed to sacrifice myself for my family. I was, in every way, stuck.

Then, my mom said this … I want to see you start to make healthy decisions for yourself. One decision at a time .. just the next thing you do – make it healthy. It seems obtainable. I know right from wrong. Broccoli is better than brownies. Walking away is better than having a screaming fit. Setting a reasonable boundary is better than feeling like a doormat. Forgiveness and acceptance were needed. It meant starting to believe that I was lovable. Making healthy choices made me feel like I was being a good role model for the boys which was motivation in itself.  Making good decisions also reflected my worth, even if I wasn’t totally convinced I was worth it. Sometimes it takes the action of forgiveness before you actually start to forgive yourself.

It started out small. I could sit up and let my mind run wild, or I could take time to journal and read my daily devotional. I started to think about what it was that I needed in order to feel good about myself. I needed to respected. I needed to feel loved. I needed to feel like I was worth something. I started to set small boundaries for myself. If you can’t talk to me with respect, don’t expect me to do your laundry. If you can’t lower your voice, I need to leave the room. I started thinking about what it was I needed and then holding true to my word. I was prone to taking a stance and then just caving on everything. I found with each small, healthy choice I gained energy to fight the bigger battle.

My boundaries weren’t set in anger – there was no fighting about it. They were gentle boundaries, said in love and kindness. “This doesn’t work for me.” They were not set in retaliation or as revenge. They were small healthy choices.

My true self started to surface again. My confidence grew. I started to remember how to love myself and, in turn, I was able to love those around me.

The mistakes of my past were still looming in the background. Wanting to remind me of how horrible I had been – how unlovable I had acted – how I had hurt the people I love. But then, I tried to remember my mom’s words – just make healthy choices. She didn’t say to forget all the mistakes you made. She didn’t say to fight harder or to love more. She didn’t even say that I was forgiven. Just do the next right thing.

That is a small task. It’s accomplish-able. Just keep doing the next right thing. Tune out the worries of tomorrow. Silence the overwhelming feeling of how on earth am I going to get myself out of this mess. Just do the next right thing. Even if it’s as simple as eating broccoli instead of the brownie. Oh who am I kidding?!? the brownie is ALWAYS the right choice!

Pretty soon you’ll find yourself home again. You are lovable and wonderful just the way you are. Nothing needs to change about who you are. You deserve to be loved. You are amazing!

Happy healthy choice making my friends!

Love, Mel

 

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Surprises of Motherhood

This morning I heard myself say, ” Keep your bologna off of your feet.” Something I NEVER thought I would say … ever. Last month I heard myself say, “If you don’t take your finger out of your nose, I’m going to turn off the movie.” Yep … never thought I’d say one that either.

Come to think about it, there are lot of motherhood moments I never expected …

  • How many times I’d be covered in pee, poop or puke
  • How my heart would melt at just the sight of my kids sleeping
  • That everyday things, like carpooling, could be beautiful
  • Pediatrician appointments could be so stressful
  • Buying simple things like fresh fruits and veggies would make me feel like a ‘good’ mom
  • How much dirty laundry little bodies could produce
  • How bad diapers could smell
  • That bedtime could bring so much rest to both the kids AND mommy
  • The words, “Mommy lay with me” could make you forget about all the bills that need to be paid, the toys that need to be picked up or the dishes that need to be cleaned
  • Playdates were for both the kids AND the mommies
  • How little arms wrapped around your neck could make you forget just about anything
  • If the kids cry long enough, you will eventually start to cry with them
  • Some of the questions your seven year old will ask will leave you speechless
  • The little sweet baby you bring home from the hospital, the one you promise to love for all of eternity, will one day talk back to you and shatter your heart
  • You will one day debate if a shower is really worth the time and energy
  • Grocery shopping will stress you out (when all the kids come)
  • That you won’t really care if you are puked on because you are too busy being worried about your sick baby to care for
  • How much joy you would feel when your child reads you a story all by him/herself
  • When others tell you how “well behaved” your child is, the relief you would feel – that you must have done something right

Motherhood is beautiful, irreplaceable and incredible. Men who appreciate this art are to be treasured. Those who are mothers shouldn’t take it for granted. Those who wish to be mothers should continue to pray for the blessing. Those who are mothers with children who are already in heaven need to know that their babies might not be with them, but they can still love their children in a unique way. Women who wish to be mothers but are struggling should know that God is with them. Every mother has their own story on how they became mothers. It’s incredible. But every mother, want-to-be mother, mother of an angel or woman who never wanted to have children of her own should know that their purpose in life is incredible. Honestly, you are molding the future.

Jaden has started to repeat something he over heard me say. “My mom had me way too young.” The point that this is true is irrelevant. I did have Jaden too young, I was a senior in college when I found out I was pregnant. And still the fact that I became a mother is nothing less than perfect and beautiful. I really wish he wasn’t so intuitive … I wish I didn’t have to “smooth” this over with him. I tell him that I was younger than I thought I would be when I became a mother. However, everything about him coming into this world was perfect. He was loved, planned and wanted from day one. He was no mistake. I very conscientiously chose to bring him into his world.

There are so many surprises in motherhood. There are so many things I never thought I would say. Being a mother is a gift. It’s a responsibility. Being a mother is an opportunity to change the future. Mothers — accept nothing less than being wonderful. Hear nothing less than you are strong and amazing. Men — encourage your wives and mother of your children. They are precious and needed in your and your children’s lives.

Love, Mel

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Happy New Year! 2013

Wow … another year has passed.  How time flies!  I took the triplets to their 2 year check up this morning.  They are 10 lbs apart!!!  Logan and Jaden are only 6 lbs apart.  Weird how genetics work.

I took a look back at my resolutions for 2012 … I didn’t do horrible, but I didn’t accomplish all that I had wanted to.

Cook with more vegetables.

Well I started the year off pretty well with this one.  I made a homemade chicken pot pie … lots of veggies in that one!  I did, however, make keeping fresh fruits in the refrigerator part of my weekly shopping trip.  I have the boys hooked on apple slices and oranges.  So I wouldn’t call this one a total loss … but I still have some improvement to do.

Publisher

I did research!  I actually took a class at UW-Waukesha called “How to Get Published.”  I have TONS of notes on how to get a book published.  I guess the next step would to actually take a step.  Who knows … maybe I’ll actually get around to that when all the dishes are all washed (and put away), the boys are fed, laundry clean and the kids are in bed.  Who am I kidding?!?  If all those things happened at the same time I’d be in bed by 9pm 🙂

Hang pictures.

Yeah …. I think I hung one.  And it was on a nail that was already in the wall from the previous owners.  Big FAIL on this one haha  Oh well …. life still keeps going and God still loves me.  I have found lots of time for crocheting hats & blankets and doing pinterest projects.  I’m not sure it counts towards this resolution, but it does go to show that I had some fun and not all work in 2012.

What are your New Year resolutions?  Got any ideas on what I should work on?  I’m not feeling very motivated to goal plan right now.  Maybe I’ll end up with “second quarter” new year resolutions …

I do think having yearly goals are important.  I was actually pumped to sign the square “made 2012 resolutions” in one of those ice breaker BINGO games.  Looking for things to improve in your life and in yourself are important.  It’s important as moms that we invest in ourselves and we work on the things that are still important to us.  Yes, our families usually come first but we still need to be a role model in how to care for yourself.  One day our little ones will be in charge of themselves … they will need to know how to be their own care giver.  Act in a way that we hope our children will act one day.

So … I’m going to keep brain storming on what my resolutions for 2013 will be.  Unless you’ve got a good idea for me??

Love, Mel

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Value

How do you measure your value?  How do you know you are valuable?  I was thinking about this on my way home tonight.  I really
don’t feel like I matter to this person.   In fact, in this particular case, reading a book was more important that talking with me and keeping me company on the ride home.

I don’t want to come off as self-righteous and say that there is nothing more important that talking with me.  That is CERTAINLY not the case!  There are plenty of things that are much more important than me in this world.  Tonight was about a person who is very special to me – we haven’t spent time together in a really long time and I missed them.  When they made it brutally clear that they didn’t want to talk with me, I felt pretty crummy.  How could a 200 page book, made of paper, be more valuable than a person?  Someone you supposedly care about?

It got me thinking … How do I show others that they are valuable to me?  What do I value in myself?

Right on cue, this song started playing …

Who will love me for me
Not for what I have done
Or what I will become
Who will love me for me

So many of our relationships are ruined in this world.  Relationships are messy.  They have scares, grudges, hurt, lies … I think I can speak for most – we all just want to feel loved.  To be accepted just as we are, imperfections and all.  I don’t want someone to try to change me – frankly I like some of my scars.  They help tell my story.  They are my learnings.  Proof that I have learned things along the way.  That I am stronger today and I was yesterday.  But what about the things that I am not proud of?  Will someone still love me then?

I am uncertain of myself at times – I need to talk things through, out loud.  I need reassurance in life, more than others at times.  I have an incredibly immature sense of humor – I’m sorry but the word butt or wiener just never get old in my book.  Who is going to love me even when I don’t act my age?  Do they get all embarrassed of me and tell me to knock it off … or do that laugh, blush and move on – because they know it’s just me.  Who is going to love me when I’m crabby or having a bad day?

I want to matter.  I want to feel valuable to those who I hold close to my heart.  I feel like a deflated balloon when someone choses such silly, material things rather than a person.  A human has feelings, a book does not.  And sometimes someone else’s feelings matter more than what you’d rather do.  Really, whose feelings would have been crushed had you put your book down and just took 30 mins to talk to me?  Honestly, no one’s.  You might not have gotten to do what you wanted to … but the other person wouldn’t feel so invaluable tonight.

Makes me really think about who loves me … for me?  Not for what I have done or what I what I will become.  But loves me for just plain old me.

Love, Mel

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What makes you happy?

I knew that feeling “yucky” again was only a matter of time.  I didn’t really believe I was ‘back to my old self.’  Not really.  That’s one of the things I took away from the last session of Healing Hearts.  It’s when you think you are doing better that it hits you in the face and you are ten steps behind again.

Depression or feeling lost has been a friend of mine since I was probably 13 years old.  I’ve always struggled with my self-image, what I wanted to do, belonging.  I’ve always questioned if I was serving my purpose in life.  I remember when I was first approached by my doctor about starting anti-depressants.  I thought it was going to change who I was … who God had designed me to be.  My pain was a part of me.  Was it right to change that pain?  To eliminate a part of me that felt the strongest?

An amazing friend took me out for dinner at Chi Chi’s (have no idea why I still remember that part of the story).  He told me that he lives with ADD … he took medicine to help him focus.  He never ever told anyone …. he was so embarrassed.  But it was at that moment that I realized I loved him even more for being honest about who he was, “flaws” and all.  It wasn’t something to be ashamed of.  It wasn’t something that changed who he was.  His soul was still present.  It helped him to be a better him.  It was just a means for him to be who God had made him.

So I found myself starting the anti-depressants my freshman year of college.  You know what?  I’m just a better me.  I’m a me that can get out of bed each day, who doesn’t get swallowed up in the pits of life.  The reality of it is though … the small pill doesn’t fix everything.  I still have my pits, my down falls and my really shitty days.  I have a week or two that I just don’t want to.  That’s just where I find myself right now.  But it’s a phase.  I won’t let it last forever.

I took a lot of time in college trying to figure out what made me happy.  I had to find a way to survive.  I couldn’t stop the waves of depression from taking hold of my life, but I could find ways that would help me kick it faster.  So I joined a step aerobics class.  Yep, on my lunch I was steppin’ to the oldies with some of my professors!  I started taking frequent trips to the craft store.  I remember painting dozens of little jewelry boxes.  I have no clue why, but it made me feel better.

Of course I tried other ways that didn’t work out like I had hoped.  I drank too much.  I tried to fix others rather than looking at myself. What do you really learn if you don’t fail first?  I learned to embrace my pain.  Embrace my short comings and the darkest part of my life.  When you embrace them, they become blessings.  They become the moments in life when God’s grace feels the closest.

So yes.  My mood stinks right now.  I don’t feel like I want to do much of anything.  BUT I am trying to find a way to kick myself out of it.  I see a grief counselor and I am open with her on how I am feeling.  Brutally honest.  The grief support group that Jaden and I attended in the fall is starting up again on Monday.  I have found 10 or 15 mins here or there to work on knitting some hats for the Craft Hope Project.  I talk with my husband when the kids are in bed.  I ask for extra hugs.  I call my mom … sometimes a few times a day.  I treat myself to a Starbucks coffee.  I keep myself busy … change the scenery every once in a while.  Like yesterday, the babies and I played in the basement rather than the living room … it was a change of pace.  Felt kind of nice.

I bear my soul on this blog.  I’m not 100% sure why.  Perhaps it’s because I know I’m not alone in the way I feel.  Perhaps it’s to let someone else know they aren’t alone.  Whatever the reason, it’s just sort of what I do.  My family has been through hell and back … we need to take care of each other.  Heck, you could say that about all of humanity.  We need to take care of each other.  That includes you taking care of yourself.  Whatever that might be … I hope you find it.

Love, Mel

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Filed under Advice, Grief, Posted by Melissa