Friday, February 21, 2014

3 Years Later....I Am Happy

I write this post on the eve of 3 years ago when I realized something…something in my life wasn’t right. I didn't feel right, I didn't feel comfortable, I was scared, I was in “my own bed” and I was terrified. I got up out of bed trying to make sense of what I was feeling – something needed to change, I needed to change, I had to make a life decision for me and the child I was carrying and then I calmed down. I put an extra pair of scrubs in my backpack along with a toothbrush, pj’s, underwear, my scripts and vitamins, and my bible. I set my alarm for the next morning for work knowing I would not be returning to a place that terrified me at the end of my shift.

I write this not in reflection, not in celebration, but just to help anyone who is in either of the below sections know they are not the only one and to tell my story so maybe someone else can live happily or just live to tell theirs:

Stop, Look, and Listen
If you are significantly unhappy with your life, listen to that and try and look around. You may not even know exactly what that feeling is; mad, sad, unhappy, weird, gut feeling, funny feeling, fear, or as my atypical kiddo who is trying to learn feelings says – your “tummy feels funny.” So look around – it is a person in your life contributing to this feeling, or a job (is it really just the job), or a church or lack of thereof, or a relationship that you come away with negative feelings more than positive ones. That person doesn’t have to be a partner, but if it is a person especially – listen. For a while I told myself it was the apartment I didn’t like to come home too, or I wasn’t keeping the house clean enough – it took a while to listen inside to that feeling that I didn’t want to be lying next to that person who I feared one.more.night.

Make A Decision
Can you live with this feeling? No really, look down the road 3, 6, 12 months down the road and ask yourself if you do nothing will you feel the same or worse. If you will not be happier or worse, even more in misery, than you need to make some sort of decision. Note I did not say make an action or do something – first you must mentally (the emotion part of it may come later, but the emotion lead you to this point) make the decision to do something or you won’t follow through with the action you need. I don’t know how small or big that decision is or was for you – but for me it started out simply that I would not return to that life and no one would hurt me anymore. More importantly no one would have the chance to hurt, take away, or take me away from my unborn child. I knew where I would stay for one night, and no it wasn't a for sure place to stay when I packed up.  So even if you don’t know or it is a very small decision to begin your life change, mentally make it and stick to it. I am behind you.

It’s Gonna Suck For Awhile

The next month I would call “hell month” for the longest time.  The begging, the pleading, the blaming, the crying, the yelling, the “you better do something,” “his life is in your hands now,” etc – it was the worst. I did make one last ditch effort – I walked in on a man ready to commit suicide, man who literally had nothing left. My dad and I took him, and I sat and listened to every mostly the whole truth confession about drugs, alcohol, thoughts of self-harm, the admittance and week-long detox/rehab, followed by the witness of an ultimate relapse.  I sat a pregnant woman alone in a Catholic Church looking for someone, anyone, God. I gave an emergency birth and raised a newborn on my own in a Lily and Marshall first time parent haze. I went through the relapse myself a little over a year later when I realized just what happened to me those 5-6 years with the person that one day felt just not right (purple ribbon awareness club).  I broke dishes, I got rid of everything besides my daughter that held any memory of his existence, I prayed to feel better, I dated to “move on” (it didn't work), I threw myself into legal battles and work, I went to a therapist, I let a lot of time pass.  It took a little over two years for me, I don’t know how long it will take for you – but it will pass, the time will pass, and you are not alone no matter what the situation. No one is you, but many have been close to your situation whatever it may be.

But Things Are Going to Get Better
A little over two years later something happened. I smiled more without trying, my prayers turned to ones for things outside of myself, I accepted and understood my feelings about EVERYTHING that had happened, and little by little things started getting better. Are some days as a single mom still hard as hell? Yes. Do I rob Peter to pay Paul? Absolutely. But somehow things have always worked out, the lights never got shut off. Not the way I wanted, but they worked out for the greater good. Some of these things I still have no idea what the greater good is, but I have hope. It is hard, but one day you will see a glimpse of hope, then another, a few days later another. You may not realize it as I really only realized it recently, even with my happiness, but you have an unlimited supply of hope! You will have days where it doesn't seem like it, but when you really need it, it will show itself.

I Promise

I do, I promise that all of the above will happen. I didn't have any idea that I would be a single mom or hey a single mom to a special needs kiddo – but I love her and wouldn't trade her for anything. I promise the days are long, some nights longer, and sometimes you feel like you have no one. I also promise that you will find at least one friend that understands – it may be an old friend or it may be a new friend. I can promise that your family will not understand but will someday attempt to show their support. I promise that someday something as simple as driving by a new CrossFit place close to home that is next to the local health food store in the morning and then on the drive home realize not only that but it is hope for the future and the world you want is there somewhere and it is waiting.! Happy! You have been, life just sometimes prevents you from living in those small moments, and to top it all off you will be the happiest you have been in your entire life. 

If you are someone, know someone, think you might know someone who could benefit or have been there and know there are many who could gain anything from this post - please share, you can do it publicly or privately but if it will help one, it will count. #speaklife #overcomer #roar

Friday, February 14, 2014

I Found A Match!

"I found a match," is what the kiddo exclaimed shortly after she got her kid valentine from mommy and saw the corresponding box said valentine came in...hey we have been big on the match games lately. She was so excited about the simplest little valentines and box of clementines (which we needed anyway, good shopping mommy), one little chocolate which she gave to mommy because "they are too hard for my teeth," and her little heart sucker that literally broke right down the middle on the stick, lol.

This little morning - still had to leave early for work and school - helped set my mood for the day. Simply to celebrate love and spread the love. I got to do that most of the day and was blessed to celebrate it with my more positive co-workers, Mexican pitch in and all (because what says Valentine's day like Mexican food and sweets), and decent work load for most of the day. Oh and it snowed again...leaving a very long drive home in which I realized the other title I was contemplating for this post - the best piece of jewelry I ever got for Valentine's day......

Today I realized that my most treasured piece of jewelry is not a diamond heart necklace but a simple pewter cross on a chain - and I actually got it a little before Valentine's day, sometime in January I believe. It was on a Kiros retreat more than 10 years ago in college when I got it as a gift on the retreat - I have always remembered that weekend as one of the best, most peaceful, and meaningful weekends of my life no matter where I was in my faith the past 10 years. I have found it hear and there at various times in my life, both when I needed a reminder and when I was so strong in my faith I stumbled upon it and had forgotten that physical symbol even existed. I wear it everyday now as both a symbol to get me through tough days, show my faith (though it is usually tucked under a shirt as I just want to know it is there, not to show it off), and taking a step to show certain physical areas of my life that not even money or my way to make money will stop me from being outwardly faithful or carrying my faith with me.

No one in particular gave it to me, not a special someone, I isn't a fancy bling - yet it is my most treasured piece. Just as we don't have to have someone to love in order to show love today or even have a special someone to love us to be doesn't have to be fancy.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Gloves and Galantines

Another happy day of Single Appriciation Week to you all!

I am really exhausted but wanted to make more than 3 posts this week the point of Single Appriciation Week so I started drumming my head on the drive home from work.

The first thought - Glove without the "G" is love...come on, laugh and work with me people! It's things like that that make me laugh out loud to myself and sometimes there is no better thing than just laughing with yourself :).

The second thought was how the very atypical kiddo responded when I asked her "what does love mean?" She answered a simple "God." Now some might go aww so cute or wow that kiddo really knows her stuff. Well she does know her stuff, but only because of what she knows to be fact by the person she trusts or an internal rote phrase - because honestly I was asking her because from yesterday and yesterday's "session" I was digging for some hope that my child would understand love in someway, somehow. So her answer, no matter where it came from, was exactly what I needed to hear.

A friend wrote a post on FaceBook about how the day should just be celebrated, made your own, and about love - just love. My guess is that this friend may have seen one too many posts about the anger and envy that can come with Valentine's Day. But I appreciated and share her point - just celebrate the day however you see fit, if you see it fit, if not don't worry about it. It is also just about love (or should be) period. Not loving someone, finding someone to love, have found someone to love, being loved by someone, etc - just plain love and to share the love. Smile at someone who appears down, love yourself a little extra that day/week whatnot, find love in a higher power, hug your kids, give silly kid valentines out at work, say something with meaning to a family member no matter how hard it may have seemed to do.

Tomorrow the kiddo and I will celebrate Galantine's Day thanks to Smart Girls. There may be meltdowns before or during, but I will do my best to make it a fun afternoon/evening of celebrating us with a nice fresh dinner of boxed pasta salad with added veggies. After she goes to bed I will put together both her Valentines for school and mine and be grateful that I don't have to be concerned with her not getting one or being left out in class because there are rules at this age (as societal as that is).

So give yourself a hug tomorrow, a latte, whatnot - just love!

Monday, February 10, 2014

All My Single Ladies

I was lucky enough to come across a blog today via Twitter that highlighted the positivity of this “holiday” week that leaves many single people feeling….well singled out, pardon the pun. Actually, don't pardon it :) 

You can catch it here:

Shortly after I ran across a couple of awesome posts about how much respect people who are single and stay single out of respect for themselves even when the world is screaming you could feel better and join us all by taking the easy way out, grabbing a quick guy, and/or even disrespecting your body to feel loved just for one day.  I even saw a pretty cool video by Tyrese (per the language I will let you find that one yourself, but the message was good and even talked about God) stated how many men you wouldn't think respect women do or are reformed respecters because they have a daughter who has shown them finally how to respect women.

I believe that men and women alike should respect themselves, regardless of their relationship status –so don’t get me wrong there. However, seeing these things today gave me great appreciation for all these great single people going out of their way to say or show or have people decide themselves how amazing they are, how much they are respected, and how much they are loved (especially by God if no one else, but start with God, move to yourself, and your list will start growing)…well it made my love for my God, myself, and others who may need that encouragement explode!

So I will be doing the same – celebrating #SingleAppreciationWeek via any social media I can as well as in person. Besides myself, I am also doing this for my daughter, because she is and will be amazing regardless of relationship status or what “titles” the men in her life who truly love her hold.

Some of my fav things on being single include:
My bed – seriously, sleeping in the middle of my bed and cuddling with covers – all of them.
Carb loading whenever I have had an exhausting day and my body needs it….and totally leaving the dishes to soak overnight :P
Super cozy but really really old and tattered sweats as jams (it’s late people and I am tired)
My own DVDs/TV shows/movies after the kiddo goes to bed, is it fun to share a laugh – yes – but sometimes it’s nice to unwind by yourself
Talking out load to God whenever I want and yes I do this when the kiddo is awake – it teaches her the reality of what I believe and who is always there for her even when I can’t be
When I decide to have a good beer or glass of wine, really enjoying the taste and not letting the drink part get to me (something I would not have had I stayed married)
Here are some other things another blogger found:

What are your favorite things about being an awesome single self? If not single, what are your favorite memories of those days?