Healing

Healing

Every evening at 8:30, my phone dings. Actually, now my watch dings too. I love living in the future.

Anyway, the things ding and I look at whichever one I feel like looking at and read the following words.

“I am worthy of healing.”

I just opened the app to see when I set that reminder. Apparently my technology has been reminding me that I am worthy of healing every evening since December… 2016. For over a year, I’ve picked up my phone and swiped aside the reminder.

I am worthy of healing. Swipe.
I am worthy of heal…swipe.
I am worthy of…swipe.
I am worthy…swipe.
I am worth…swipe.
I am w…swipe.
I am…swipe.
I…swipe.

Ding…swipe.

Some nights, I’m deep in the thick of getting the boys off to bed. In between snacks and “go take your shower” and laying out clothes and filling diffusers and tripping over dogs and waving a towel at the smoke detector that goes off when they forget to close the bathroom door while showering, my watch dings.

I look at it, however briefly, and I go back to the momming.

I don’t have time to consider healing most days. I’m lucky to deal with the laundry and the dogs and dinner and homework and caregiving and the ten-hour writing job I took on to help fill the financial gaps since having to leave the business. I’m making a concerted effort to maintain daily self-care because when I don’t, things go poorly.

Things meaning my mind.

Some nights, I am just sitting down on the couch. Maybe it’s a weekend. Maybe we’re on Snow Day Eleven Billion and the boys don’t have to get to bed before 9. Maybe it’s a miracle. But I hear the ding and I sigh.

Healing. Worthy.

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These words seem exceptionally hard and extremely far away. What do they even mean? What does healing even look like? My therapist keeps asking me the same thing, over and over.

What does forgiving yourself look like? What does forgiving yourself feel like?

I don’t know. That’s why I’m in therapy. Duh.

I don’t know, though. I don’t know what it feels like to wake up and go through an entire day without telling myself that it’s all my fault. What, exactly? Everything. If I had done this or that or anything or everything differently, we wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t hate myself. I wouldn’t doubt every step.

And worthy? That feels like a hard concept to grasp, too.

You see, I can’t begin to consider being worthy because I don’t know how to forgive myself which would initiate the whole healing process. This is my carousel of self-loathing, spinning me round and round for all eternity. I don’t even know which one needs to come first at this point because all feecl equally impossible. I’m not worthy. I’m never going to heal. This is my life.

And then…

Some nights, those random evenings in between, I’m caught off guard. I know it’s coming, but it will ding and I’ll be like, “What?” I’ll look and, right before I swipe, I’ll feel something.

Healing.

Worthy.

Something washes over me, my finger hovering over my device. For a second, I believe these words are a possibility, an inevitability even. I breathe and feel them somewhere deep inside. They’re tucked in deep, wedged beneath memories and hurt, behind fear and anger at myself, at the system, at the things I didn’t know. In that one breath though, I know that someday I’ll know what forgiving myself looks like, what it feels like.

And it’s going to feel so beautiful.

Healing

 

What I Was Made For

Stay: Find What You Were Made For

I was made for cooking all kinds of delicious things for my family. Food is my love language.

I was made for snuggling babies. My babies, your babies, all the babies.

For answering questions from my daughter. Any and every. Always.

For morning and evening walks with the love of my life while I ramble on about our children, the weather, the beauty around us, politics, religion, family, friends, Buzz Lightyear, and love.

I was made for love, to show love. To show kindness when and where others cannot. With a broad range of compassion, both from my personal life lessons and from the understanding that we all carry our own baggage.

I was made for mothering. I was made to kiss boo-boos, to calm fears. For laughing at fart jokes. For Nerf wars. For planning ridiculous birthday parties. For sleepovers. For kisses and hugs. For the hard stuff we don’t imagine when we consider mothering. For all of it.

I was made for raising a generation who loves better than those before them. Literally. I was literally made for this.

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I was made for moving my body. For running short distances and long. For enduring marathons. For yoga. For walking dogs. For chasing boys. For dancing. For stretching.

I was made for poetry. For prose. For reading all the things and writing even more. For using words, spoken and written, to reach others, to touch others, to help others understand.

I was made for friendship. Oh, I’m not always good at friendship, but I was made for it. For laughing. For wine nights. For holding your hand when you don’t know the answer. For helping you move really heavy furniture on Sunday nights. For falling out of hot tubs. For listening when your spouse is a jagoff. For lamenting when your kids are tweens. For sending your kids off on their own. For celebrating your success. For crying with you in your grief. For you.

I was made for sharing this story.

This story that is ever-evolving. For presenting a birth mother as so many shades of gray instead of all happy rainbows or all pitch black night. For showing motherhood through a lens of both gratefulness and exhaustion; of reality. For standing up and saying, I’m here. I nearly wasn’t, for so many reasons. My kidney. Complicated pregnancies. Two separate suicide attempts, the most recent of which isn’t yet a full three years ago.

But I’m here for a reason. Yes, all of the reasons above, and so many more, and to say this: Even when it feels impossible, when it feels pointless, I’m still here for something.

I am here for you.

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September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day. This year on of my beloved non-profits chose the theme: Stay: Find Out What You Were Made For. If you are in crisis, please call 1-800-273-TALK to connect with the National Suicide Prevention LifeLine. You are not alone. You matter.

Oh Hey, May

Oh Hey, May

That moment when you blink and some months have passed.

I’m now 36. My husband is now 35.

I’ve now gone on my first cruise and we’ve decided that, yeah, we’re “cruise people.”

We’re in the middle of baseball season which means I’m simultaneously loving it, praying for rain, cursing the fact that I’m missing Penguins playoff games, sweating, freezing, mumbling under my breath, clapping, holding babies, and eating soft pretzels with cheese.

I love soft pretzels with cheese.

School ends on Friday. On Monday, our oldest son went to the middle school for a tour while I cried into my coffee at home. Today Marley went to school so our oldest son could do a presentation for “Teach the Teachers” on White German Shepherd Dogs. I have no pictures because children swarmed us. Marley thought it was the best thing ever while I practiced deep breathing. Tomorrow that same kid goes to Akron to watch a minor league baseball game. He’s so excited he could burst. Thursday brings the Awards Ceremony and Friday is Fun Day.

AND THEN IT’S SUMMER VACATION!

Remember in past years when I was all, “blah, blah, we don’t do summer bucket lists or any bucket lists,” or something anti-whatever-is-currently-popular because I’m sometimes a jagoff? Well, this summer I want to do all of the things. My bucket list bucket is so deep I’m not sure how we’ll do all the things, but we’re gonna give it our best.

I sit on my front porch a lot lately, mainly because I planted all of the flowers, including our first every Fairy Garden which ended up in two big pots because I over-purchased. I still have a few things I want to purchase for the front porch, but it’s slowly becoming the porch I imagined when we bought the house five years ago.

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Five. Years. Ago.

I’m hoping to get the new deck built by the end of summer. We’re, SURPRISE!, going on vacation with my family to the beach this summer. The boys got to go last summer while the parental units (us) stayed home and worked. Life is different now, so we get to go, but that involved moving money from our Early Summer Deck Rebuild Fund to the June Vacation Fund. The Late Summer Deck Rebuild will be just fine.

I’m back in yoga. Which means my arms and shoulders and abs and FEMURS kind of hate me. But I needed yoga in about eight different ways. A new studio opened in Zanesville, and I’ve fallen back in love with my body and the weirdly strong things it can do even though it’s been over a year since I regularly practiced yoga. I assume my arms will stop aching right about the time we go to build the new deck which will, yes, cause them to ache again.

It’s a cycle, this life.

I mentioned on Twitter (which, btw, is still alive and kicking and where you can keep up with the complete downfall of our current government) that I receieved my first rejection letter of 2017. Which means, yes, I’m writing again. It feels good. It feels right. Now is the time to do so. And so I am.

I can still do hard things.

I still have hard days, but I’m allowing them to be solitary and not take over entire weeks or months. Mother’s Day and the dreaded day before felt really hard this year for so many reasons. Then I woke up on Monday, went to yoga, and allowed myself the grace of starting again. In short: My medication, therapy, and positive affirmations seem to be working. I’ll stick with them and thank everyone and thing that brought this current state into my life—some of whom are you, so thank you.

I have pieces for this blog rattling around in my head and on various pieces of Post-Its and journal pages. They’re coming, all the words. I move a little slower with them now, think a little more, weigh the words before and as I type them, but oh, they’re there. It’s a really, really great feeling to move from black nothingness in my head to the creative space I prefer to dwell. I like it here.

All this to say: I’m here. I’m okay. I’m a blonde now. And most days, save for Hallmark holidays, I am happy.

Who would’ve thunk it?