Just Some Thoughts

I’ve been dying to write lately, to get so much out of my jam-packed brain, and now when I have the opportunity, I feel like the drain is clogged. There’s so much crap in the sink (my head), it wants to all come out at once, but can’t fit through the tiny drain, so it just sits there. That is a frustrating feeling, and one I feel quite often when I’m trying to express to someone my feelings or what’s going on in my life. I feel like I have so much to share that it gets stuck. When I write, I begin my drafts in an email, then I revise, edit – and if I like it, I’ll move it over to the blog. If not, it just sits in my drafts folder. My drafts folder was getting pretty big, so I just read through it to clean it out. I wrote this over a month ago:

“As I think back on my first several posts not too long ago, I sympathize for the girl who knew the truth, but chose to ignore it. That girl who wanted so badly to be happy that she disregarded warning sign after warning sign after warning sign that something wasn’t right. I was in love with love, but I wasn’t receiving it as a woman should by a man who makes a vow to love and honor her throughout his entire life. Love doesn’t mean to hide the ugly. Love means to bare all, the good and the bad, and work through it together. Love means to show your true self, and to work together if your true self isn’t your best. Love is honest, brave, thoughtful, considerate, protective, safe. I’ve talked about safety in love before, specifically when referring to the love for my child. He must always feel safe in order to know that he is loved. The same goes for marriage. If one does not feel safe, whether in her heart or physically, love is absent. I’ve always known that trust and communication were the foundations of a solid relationship, and I’ve had relationships before that were not solid, but I ignored it then and it hurt me badly in the end. It seems that I had fallen into that same pattern again this time around, the difference being I finally woke up and saw the lack of security, the absence of safety, trust, and communication. Waking up is a hard thing to do. It’s so much easier to stay comfortable in dream land, and accept that there are good dreams and bad dreams.”

… So I felt like this is the start of what I want to say. It IS easier to be comfortable, to stay with what you know. Even if what you know is harmful, it can seem like such a long and hard process to step away from it and start over. But anything that’s worth it isn’t easy. Nothing changes if nothing changes. You can’t grow if you’re stagnant, and I’m all about some growth here.

SOOOOOOOOO…

I’ve been separated from my husband for over a month now. It’s a weird thing for the mind. Some days I feel so strong, so hopeful, so just – headed in the right direction. Like – YAY, ME! I’M TAKING ACTION! I’M DOING THE RIGHT THING! I’M SETTING STANDARDS AND ACTING LIKE AN ADULT AND A SUPERMOM AND AND AND!! …Which feels wonderful. It feels like growth. I feel independent and wise.

…Then come the other days. Or the other MOMENTS. It is very often that in the same day I can feel like Superwoman and a few minutes later feel like a helpless, hopeless runaway, a copout. Those days, or moments, seem to last so long. The mud is so thick. I question my actions, my words, my feelings – I feel like a failure as a wife and mother. I pray, begging for answers, direction, a sign – ANYTHING to show me I’m doing the right thing. I get angry, depressed, frustrated… life isn’t fair. Life isn’t supposed to be this way. This is NOT what I planned when I was a child. When I was a child, I KNEW exactly how I wanted my future family to be. I knew I could have it the way I wanted it because adults are in control! Adults decide what happens in their lives! Adults choose their paths! Adults make decisions for kids, so of course they make decisions for themselves, and there had to be only two choices – good ones or bad ones. And adults see and know everything, so OBVIOUSLY they know which decisions will be good or bad. I chose as a child to only make GOOD decisions. I chose to marry a godly man, to have children, to raise them right, to be moral and ethical, be supportive, loving, wise… How sad it is to reach adulthood and realize you don’t have all the answers. You can intend very much on making good decisions, but the world may have other plans. You can intend to give all you’ve got to your spouse, but he/she may not be able to give the same… You can be as careful of a mother as possible, but your child may still become unhealthy…

The thing about this life stuff is, no matter what unfavorable circumstances occur, you canNOT let them change you. Don’t let the bad keep you from prospering. It may not be exactly how you planned when you were young, but you will ALWAYS be you. Your circumstances do NOT have to change who YOU are inside. Keep your joy. God gave you that, and no one can take it from you. There’s a pot of gold somewhere…keep looking. And if you can’t find the whole pot, celebrate the gold coins when you find them. The world can be beautiful if you choose to see it that way.

As for my life, whatever happens happens. My constant focus is being the best mother I can be…the best coworker… the best friend. If I continue to try my best, there will be positive outcomes. I can’t control other people, but I can control myself.

Also, it is COMPLETELY OKAY, healthy, and natural for me to have a breakdown sometimes. I am constantly thankful for my blessings, but mourning is a part of life that I accept. You gotta keep your head above water to breathe, but sometimes the waves are gonna pull you back under, and there’s nothing you can do about that. I still cry, I still get angry, I still feel frustrated, but I always get my head back above the surface.

There’s my piece for the day. I hope some of you who have similiar situations can feel some strength from this. We’re all here to relate.

It feels good to unclog a little. ūüôā¬†

Much love,
B

It’s About Time

Happy Friday!!
 
I love weekends; they’re like a little new beginning. Two whole days to unwind, rebuild, and move forward.
 
I believe I have come out of my slum state.
 
It’s an old feeling that has recently resurfaced, me looking forward to weekends. For a while, I dredded weekends. I HATED my TWO AND A HALF days/nights of no work because that meant I had nothing to do except babysit. Babysit MY OWN child by myself¬†with another able, yet unwilling, adult in close¬†proximity.¬†One should never feel like she has to “babysit” her own child, but when you’re doing it alone, that’s what it is. When your spouse lies in bed all day with you on the living room floor, cheering on your child waddling from one train to a pile of stacking cups to another train, then preparing meals, feeding, cleaning up, more playing, changing diapers, playing, eating, changing… it doesn’t feel like “quality family time,” as I had always imagined. It’s funny how watching your child when someone you love is¬†involved suddenly doesn’t feel like “babysitting,” it’s “family time” instead. But for 13 months, I was the sitter.
 
Then, recently, one glorious new beginning came where I had had enough. No more babysitting. No more worrying. No more begrudgingly watching someone lay around. No. More. I was done.
 
So I left.
 
Remember a few posts ago when I said some big changes were going to happen, I could feel it?¬†They’re happening.
 
Remember all the talk about working on myself and making positive changes and becoming a better person?¬†It’s happening.
 
I am making many changes. I’m trying new things. I’m still¬†learning about myself. And I’m allowing myself to do things¬†for ME.
 
I’ve been watching Louis CK recently and of course he’s¬†hilarious, but he also has some good points if you really think about his jokes.¬†Glennon, of course, has many great words of wisdom. My sponsor, whom¬†I aspire to be more like,¬†continues to guide me on the right¬†path. Going to meetings has given me¬†strength. Friends have encouraged me. And¬†I thank God every day for the direction my life is going and the lessons I am learning.¬†I’m¬†picking up on a few things:
 
–¬†Women deserve respect. Every. Woman. All the time. A real man knows this.
 
–¬†Cell phones should be put down sometimes.
 
–¬†Facebook does not need to be checked, updated, or notified every hour.
 
–¬†I¬†CAN do hard things.
 
–¬†It’s okay to be alone. It’s okay to grieve. It’s also¬†okay to move on.
 
–¬†Fiancial situations can change overnight, or they can take¬†twenty years. Either way, everything will be okay.
 
–¬†Marriage takes two working partners. If¬†one¬†refuses to work on the marriage, it is not the other’s fault, nor is it possible for the other to work¬†twice as hard to save it.¬†
 
–¬†God puts certain people in your life to serve a certain purpose. Sometimes they aren’t supposed to be in your life forever.¬†If their purpose was served and they are no longer a positive source for you,¬†it’s okay to allow God to take you where you should be next without them.¬†
 
– When raising your children, all you can do is what you think is best and leave the rest to God. Let them learn from their mistakes, and do not try to eliminate consequences. They will keep coming, and they have nothing to do with you.
 
Using this –¬†and more I learn everyday –¬†I am becoming myself. This is SO exciting. This is what I’m assuming¬†turning into a WOMAN feels like, and I LOVE it. I trusted my struggle, and I now see the light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, I feel as though I’m emerging from the tunnel into the light. It’s not all going to be rainbows and butterflies, but as long as there is light, I am up for the challenge.
 
Cheers to a new beginning. More changes to come.
 
Love,
B

The Low Down

Being a grown up is hard.

I’m in a place right now where my insides feel like goo, my brain feels like puddy, and my heart isn’t whole. Sometimes I have to remind myself to breathe. Sometimes I forget to eat, or when I look at food, it just doesn’t look appealing. I get jumpy, anxious, nervous, terrified, doubtful…moments of strength ebb and flow. At this point in my life, I feel as though I can completely relate to an individual with bipolar disorder. How ironic, I never took that mental illness seriously before. I’ve always been naturally wired to be happy, so someone who isn’t doesn’t really seem legitimate to me. Doesn’t everyone long to be happy? Why would you want to feel any other way? I think I now finally understand that feeling depressed isn’t a choice. And although I try to fight it every day, and do things like watch funny videos or read text mess ups that make me laugh so hard I tear up, and then want to cry a really hard, soulful cry, at the end of the day, the feeling that has remained constant and ever powerful is misery. Perhaps those bi-polar friends are really desperate for fulfilling happiness, and attempt to seek it daily as I do, but at the end of it all, just fail terribly. It feels like trying to climb up a steep, muddy embankment while grasping to the flimsy roots and weak limbs on the way up, only to be defeated by gravity, the weight of your own body, and sludge, plummeting back to the ground at the end of each day. It seems hopeless; it seems senseless.

The troubling part of feeling that misery when you have a child is that you can’t let it show. I am so thankful that my child has inherited the optimism gene; he is just a ball of happiness. I want nothing less than to invigorate that spirit in him, to cement it in his brain so that he’ll always be able to “look on the bright side.” While his happiness is contagious, and he does lift me up, there have been times where my sadness has shown on my outside because it eats at me to hold it in. Fortunately, I can typically stay on the up and up until just before he goes to bed. And no matter how I’m truly feeling, I always make sure that bedtime is a positive, loving time for him. Thank God he sleeps soundly after I leave the room and burst into tears.

I’ve learned much lately about shame. I now know the name of that feeling I could never pinpoint when I felt “bad” for feeling bad. I’ve always been taught to “keep [my] chin up,” as I’m sure many of you have, and as a result never really felt that it was acceptable to feel anything less than optimistic. Even now, I often feel guilty for sharing my true feelings with someone who isn’t in a recovery group (where I feel completely comfortable and at home). But thankfully, through reading Glennon’s blog and attending meetings, I’ve come to understand that it’s okay to not be okay. No shame in that. Additionally, God wants us to talk to someone we trust about those feelings. (I talk about them here because I want others to feel comfortable sharing how they really feel inside. I’m not a huge fan of small talk.) And don’t you just feel so much relief after expressing your true feelings to someone? I’m feeling better already just writing about it!

I’m trying to keep myself busy throughout this low point. I’ve made plans with friends for the entire weekend. I talk to my friends/family on the phone (it really does feel better than texting). I am trying to keep my chin up, laugh, enjoy life, but I don’t beat myself up if that depression rears its hideous head throughout the day. Accept it, talk about it, pray, and try to divert it. That’s my pattern these days.

Because as we know, this too shall pass.

Love,

B

Keeping Joy

Hey, you! It’s been a while. I’ve been thinking about you, I just haven’t done much about it. I’m sorry about that.¬†

It’s Saturday morning, William is at my mother’s house, and Husband is still asleep. Peanut (my cat) and I are out on the balcony enjoying the early morning coolness and blue sky. The yellow shining sun is partially covered by a tree to my right, but you know how the rays still break through, and the sky seems muggy, almost gray around it, but it isn’t – it’s just so bright. Beautiful morning. Fall is so near it’s practically here. I love fall when I am in it and the trees are majestically painted their reds, oranges, and yellows, but it also makes me panicky when the seasons change because that means summer is so far gone and winter comes next and I hate being cold. To me, fall just means: WINTER’S ALMOST HERE! Time to get cold!!! And it also means that summer is THREE WHOLE SEASONS away!! Three whole seasons until the days are long enough, until the sun is bright enough, until the trees are green enough…¬†
 
This is probably why I’m here, to talk about not panicking and enjoying the moment and NOT LETTING CIRCUMSTANCES ROB ME OF JOY. I woke up this morning and did some self-reflecting, as I do often, and I can’t say that I’m proud of myself. I thought,¬†If I were to die today, would I be proud of my life?¬†No, not really. Not enough. Not yet. I have so much work left to do, so much joy left to spread, so much thankfulness to give…and probably so much more of a lot of things.¬†
 
But – it’s okay.¬†Breathe, Brittany. Breathe.¬†I can only do one moment at a time. Taking things one day at a time is too big of a chunk for me; one moment at a time works much better. Each moment that happens, I will practice not letting go of my joy. I will practice patience. I will practice understanding. I will practice open-mindedness, and most importantly, open-heartedness. (Spell check doesn’t think that’s a word. Whatever, Spell Check. You don’t stop me.) The reason I have this blog is to share my heart, so that others may feel comfortable opening their hearts. Imagine if we were to all be open and available to let people in… there would be so much more love flowing around; it would be beautiful! But maybe that’s too much for you. I understand completely. If you can’t open your heart, maybe just try to soften it a little by opening your mind to others. We can all practice patience and understanding. Remember, practice doesn’t mean perfect! God knows I fail daily. I fail on Facebook in my statuses! Last night I wrote something about disagreeing with a church because of their use of stickers on their congregation’s cars for advertisements, and accidentally offended a few people. That was not my intent at all, I was just stating my opinion. It was mended though, and we found our common ground: we all love Jesus. So today, I’m going to practice keeping my joy so the world doesn’t rob me of it, and also trying HARD not to rob others of their joy. That is NOT my job. Moment by moment, I will try to be new.¬†
 
If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change…
 
Also, with the help of a friend and my sponsor, I made an amazing discovery about myself this week: I am codependent.
 
I had heard that word tossed around so many times in the past year at Celebrate Recovery, never really knowing what it meant. I thought “codependent” meant “one who coddles addicts.” I knew codependents enabled their addicts, and that they usually did things for them to help them. I thought no way was I that! If anything, I was an¬†angry¬†codependent, which is why I thought I was in recovery for anger issues. That never seemed to fit right either, though, because I didn’t see myself as an angry person. I just¬†became¬†angry when someone around me hurt me. I didn’t lash out and throw things or break things (although I sure wanted to, and I thought about it several times!), and I wasn’t¬†constantly¬†yelling, so how could I be a true angry person?¬†
 
I realized that codependent could also mean DEPENDENT, which if you’ve read my third post, ‘A Girl and Her Daddy,’ you’d think,¬†DUH, BRITTANY!¬†Because it has CODEPENDENT written all over it. I have never in my life been alone. I’ve always keep a guy by my side. It was my shield of protection from feeling hurt, feeling lonely. At the end of the essay, I talk about being happily married as if to say, “THE END!”¬†And they lived happily ever after.¬†Haha. …Until the addicts showed up and her codependency flared wildly!¬†
 
This whole life will be a work in progress. I will go to step study for my codependency. I will learn to depend on God rather than a man. I will become independent, and I will be a strong woman for my son to see. I told Blake last night that I do NOT want William to go after the type of girl I was. No needy girls. I want him to see the beauty in self-sufficient, strong young ladies who know how to set boundaries, who know when to say no. That is a word I so badly wish I would have said a lot more of. 
 
Today is a new day. I’m going to practice keeping my joy. What will you practice?
 
Love,
Britt 

Adjusting My Focus

Okay…let’s see if I can start a post AND finish it today. I seem to start them often, and I may get four or five paragraphs in when I decide it’s not good enough, so it sits in my drafts folder.

You guys… I’m changing. And it is SO freeing.

Except for my hands. They are changing, actually, the eczema or whatever the hell it is, is spreading. So I now have eight horribly itchy fingers instead of three. Oh, and a new dry, itchy patch on my calf. Swell.

Back to the point. I’m learning to take care of myself (although apparently not physically – but I have the sweetest coworkers who really care and bring me different creams/oils to try!). I was baptized on August 18th, two Sundays ago. That was a great step. Our church does baptisms about three times a year and I had seen them several times, but didn’t know what I had to do to be baptized. About a month ago, an announcement was made in church that if you wanted to be baptized, you had to attend a “New Believers” class (for me, it should have been called the “Again Believers” class) the Sunday before. OH! So THAT’S how you do it. I went to the class and then invited my friends and family the following Sunday to watch me be the last (but not the oldest!), to be dunked. I am officially welcomed into the Kingdom, and it feels wonderful.

bb  bb2

I know many denominations have different traditions on when and how to be baptized, and I think they’re all completely valid. No matter the style, baptism is a pure-hearted, beautiful thing. Personally, I agree with the concept of one deciding when he/she wants to be baptized so that she understand the magnitude of what is happening instead of it just being a ritual. I feel like I remember being baptized before when I was young maybe at a friend’s church, but I wasn’t completely sure. Of course I had good intentions when I was a child, but something about teenage hormones and rebellious college years may have warped my views on faith somewhere along my journey…so I was thankful to be able to be baptized (possibly again?) on the other side of my dysfunction and really try to stick to dedicating my life to Christ for good. And hey – there can’t be anything wrong with being dipped more than once! Or sprinkled, or poured, etc…

Attending Celebrate Recovery (on the weeks I do go, because I have been known to skip a week or two here and there – remember, baby steps) also helps remind me that I’m trying to change for the better. It helps me to pay attention to myself. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: I think everyone can benefit from CR. Freedom from your hurts, habits, and hangups…I mean come ON, it should be called, “Freedom from being a human!” The way I see the group is that it’s all about how to maintain peace in your walk with God throughout this chaotic, hurtful life. There’s a large group meeting and a small group meeting. Large group is either a lesson or a testimony, where you listen to someone’s experience from their walk, and small group is pretty much a place to vent or praise about your current happenings to people of the same sex. It’s such an inspiring and encouraging place for me to be.

Last night for the first time ever I went to a nar anon meeting (narcotics anonymous for friends/family) and felt the same encouraging, connecting feeling I do with CR, but with an added toughness factor. Advice was given, along with support. Advice about setting boundaries, and taking care of yourself. It was perfect timing for me to hear that. Take care of me. At the end of the day, that’s all we can do anyway! God can handle the rest. Although I’m sure he appreciates us trying, he really doesn’t need our help. He’s got this. ūüôā Our job is to relax and focus on doing what’s best for us, and remember that God’s grace is enough. We are enough.

Also, I’m still being blessed by new and continuing friendships! I’ve picked up on the fact that whatever bad things we remove from our lives, if we trust God, he’ll replace them with new and better things (and for me that means people). It’s amazing. So really, why worry?

Take care of yourself. Trust that the universe will put everything else in place. You are never alone.

Happy HUMP DAY! WOOT WOOT!

Also, if you have an extra 30 minutes, check this out (one of God’s replacements for me sent me this – thank you, friend!):

http://yourmove.is/

One thing my pastor said several months ago that I wish I had heard my entire life, “You are more than your sexuality.”

If you don’t watch the video, what I took from it is before you commit your life to someone, FIX yourself first. That’s where CR comes in for me. I didn’t really know I needed fixing until I started going. We all have hurts. We all need work. Do that work before you give yourself to someone else.

Love,

B

Friday Date Night

It’s Friday at 3:30. This always happens, every week. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and then Friday at 3 – I HAVE TO FIGURE OUT WHAT I’M DOING TONIGHT! BECAUSE IT’S FRIDAY!!! But you can’t be spontaneous with a baby and I hate asking last minute for a babysitter. PLUS – what if I don’t want to go out with Hubby? Don’t worry, it’s only because I know Hubby would like some damn alone time, too.
 
And then I think – OMG – William and I have NOT YET BEEN ON OUR FIRST MOMMY/SON DATE!! Gasp!! I’m failing as a mother! I always said I would DO this, because it is so important to me to raise a gentleman who takes care of women and people in general! What have I been doing?!?!
 
Oh, well – I guess he IS only 12 months old. But hey! You gotta train ’em young, right?!?
 
I imagine William and myself, sitting at a nice table together, and me saying, “So William, how was your day today? Did you do anything fun at school?”
 
And William, looking at the shiny fork, grabs for it – YANK! – I snatch it out of his reach.
 
“EHHH!”
 
“William, let’s talk about something.”
 
“BAH BAH BAH BAH!”
 
“Oh, yeah??? That sounds great! And what else?”
 
*Looks for more fun-to-touch stuff.*
 
“Baby, it’s not polite to not make eye contact when a lady is speaking to you.”
 
Bread basket, flung to the floor.
 
“William! We don’t throw things.”
 
“YA YA YA YA!!!!!”
 
“Check please!”
 
Yep, that’s probably how it would go. Maybe we could keep practicing date nights at home.
 

What’dya Expect?

Blake and I went to Dr. Lee this morning and it was super! … Maybe I’ll write on that another day.
 
Right now, I need to share some growth.
 
Recently, I’ve come to the conclusion that things in my marriage (and probably life in general) can go much smoother with less heartache if I just TELL Blake what I’m EXPECTING. (Gasp)
 
Shouldn’t he already know?!?!?! Don’t knights in shining armor just KNOW the right thing to say/think/feel when it comes to their women???
 
Reality says: No.
 
The thing I never realized is, telling someone what you want takes SO much effort. First, you have to think, yourself, about what you want. This includes going through scenarios in your head of what you DON’T want, which also takes effort. (Kind of like writing this post right now. So. Much. Effort. – I’m not feeling well.) Thinking…ahhh..so much effort.
 
Then, you have to say it OUT LOUD. You have to hear how it sounds, coming out of your mouth, what you WANT. Oh God. It sounds selfish to me. If my man could just read my mind, I could act all surprised like, “Oh HONEY! How did you know??”¬†¬†
 
Plus, if you’re so in love, can’t you read each other’s minds??
 
If we went on the Newly Wed show, we would lose, for SURE.
 
When I was a child, any time I ever sat on Santa’s lap and he asked me, “What do you want for Christmas?” my answer was always, “I don’t know.” (Sorry about that Santa, that required some thinking on your part!) My terrible decision making skills are an honest trait.
 
So this week, I’ve tried to be upfront about my expectations. It’s a hard thing to do, changing your habits.
 
The drive to Dr. Lee’s office is 52 minutes without traffic, but at 8:00am on a Thursday, add another hour. Note: I have a very small bladder. I kept complaining about how badly I needed to pee, and he KNEW how excited I was about attending this appointment with him. I mean hell – I did make the appointment, and spent weeks hyping it up! So in my mind, I see the scenario of us getting there, me going to the restroom, and Dr. Lee coming to take Blake back while I’m gone. *Panic. This cannot happen.* In this theory, I assumed Blake would ask him to wait for my return first. But then! I remembered, if I don’t tell him what I expect, I run the risk of being disappointed. Thankfully, I worked up the courage to address this with him.
 
Me: Blake, I know I need to tell you my expectations. So here’s what I’m expecting: If we get there, and they come and get you while I’m in the restroom, PLEASE don’t go in without me.
 
Blake: Okay. Thank you for telling me that. I wouldn’t have thought about that. Thank you.
 
Wow. He really wouldn’t have waited?! Thank God I’m spelling things out!
 
We ended up not having to face that scenario, but we would have been ready had it happened!
 
Just now, I texted Blake.
 
Me: My throat hurts. ūüė¶
 
Me: I need soup.
 
*I assumed this typed-out expectation was enough, and that the expected response would come, but apparently not.*
 
Me: Expectation: sympathy
 
Blake: I’m so sorry honey! Is there anything I can do for you?
 
Me: Yes! Good job. Hugs.
 
Didn’t I say “soup”?
 
Sometimes, M-E-N   J-U-S-T   N-E-E-D   E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G   S-P-E-L-L-E-D   O-U-T.
 
I’m thinking, maybe after several times of doing this, he’ll start to get it on his own?
 
Then again, I shouldn’t count on it.
 
Men, men, men, men…
 
-B