If the pictures I’m going to post of me trying to put Christmas decorations away aren’t the perfect representation of me trying to get my life together, I don’t know what is.
So, today is the last day of 2017, eh? And everyone is going to post statuses, blogs, and videos all about their year and it’s all going to be super deep and profound? Great, me too. Let’s go.
What did 2017 bring me? Let’s see… a 70 pound weight gain, an acknowledgement of an eating disorder, a complete mental breakdown in regards to parenting…several times, eating disorder treatment, an acknowledgement of a bipolar diagnosis, finding out who real friends are, leaving a friend group I thought I was safe in, and some other stuff we don’t need to touch on…. this could get long. It was a very, very rough year. I did many things I wasn’t proud of.
Insert first decor pic:
This is our main tree. It used to be my mother’s tree and it is my pride and joy. Man, it is so gorgeous. But when it came time to take this sucker down… it just would NOT GO BACK IN THE DAMN BOX. I called it a lot of names. As my sister Laura would say, I used a lot of “not Christmas words”, and I cried. Then I walked away.
This is my representation of my weight gain this year. 2016 was my skinniest year of my life. I had lost 180 pounds. Yep, you read that right. 180. But then my mom died, people lovingly brought us food every day for months… and desserts. And I slowly started eating the desserts. And the disorder I denied my whole life took over. I began sneaking and lying and bargaining… I gained 70 pounds back in a matter of a few months. It was very painful. Gaining weight with gastric bypass is not a comfortable thing to do, I’ll tell you that. Stretching that stomach back out HURTS. I let it become a sick and twisted punishment to myself. It was/is a horrible time for me. It’s still a battle today. But you know what? I sought help this year. I went to recovery for this…. a recovery I probably should still be attending, to be honest. And just like I asked for help with that… a few days later, I asked my husband to help me get this stupid tree back into the box. *stupid may not have been the word I used.
We have a tree that is strictly for “kid ornaments”. You know, those messy ornaments your kids make at school and bring home to you and they’re like, “LOOK MOM! I MADE THIS FOR YOU!” And the glitter falls in your lap, and it’s lopsided, and already falling apart and they’re so proud of themselves and you feel guilted into putting it on your tree? Yeah, I don’t. Not guilted one bit. #momoftheyear2017 I have a solution for that, a kid tree. He can add whatever makes his heart happy to this tree and I just do not even a little bit care. It’s in the guest bedroom because that window looks out to the front yard and so it adds a sparkly tree to the front. This tree was $20 at Walmart years ago, our first Christmas as a couple, and it USED to be a simple situation to take down. BUT APPARENTLY this year it turned against me. It decided that it would take it upon itself to just spring apart at random while I was taking the lights off and just fall to the floor like a dramatic 16 year old who just had her cell taken away. Mmkay. Great.
This is my representation of my parenting. I think everything is going great, we have days where we play at the park and we snuggle on the couch, and I think I’ve finally figured this thing out. And then I get a call from a school telling me he bit someone at 4 years old… or he pulled hair… or he did something else bat crap crazy. Or I have to leave a birthday party early because he decided it’d be a great idea to sneak away from the party and dump all the soap out all over the bathroom floor and play around in it when no one was looking. Again… at 4 years old. I spend a lot of days crying, a lot more yelling at him asking him why he can’t just “stop making these ridiculously bad choices? WHY CAN’T YOU JUST BE NORMAL?” And then I beat myself up for being such a hateful mom.
And then 2017 brought us an ADHD and high anxiety diagnosis. It brought us help and it brought us hope and it brought me understanding. He can’t help that he is how he is, it’s how he’s made. It’s how his brain works. He’s just being… him. Just like I have a brain that makes me act a certain way, say and do certain things, stress about unimportant things… his makes him impulsively decide to do things and worry and a thousand other things I never gave him grace for. 2017 brought me an extra breath before I respond. Not always, but mostly. We’re getting there.
This final tree… this tree was our first “big kid tree purchase”. We were ready to graduate from our $20 Walmart tree and buy an adult tree. We went to Hobby Lobby the day after Christmas one year and got this $400 sucker for $80! We put it in our room this year because my mom’s tree is our main tree now, and it was pretty much the best decision ever and can I please just have a twinkly tree in my bedroom always? Well, this tree was the last to get taken down. I had already cried over the big one not fitting in the freakin’ box and I came into my bedroom to throw a fit and I’m not even a LITTLE BIT LYING when I tell you that I accidentally brushed this jerk and he JUST FELL OVER. I literally just… stood…there. Is this even real life? After what was probably 2 minutes, but felt like 30, I actually just started laughing a little. Like, how is this even real?
This tree just represents the rest of it all, everything I spend my life trying to control and take over. Everything I think I have a handle on and God’s like… can you just … stop? Like just stop. You don’t have this. I have it, but you don’t. So… just stop trying to do it. Walk away.
So I did. I walked away. This tree, and the others, sat this way for two days. And for once in my anxiety-ridden life, I didn’t stress about it. I just let it be that way until Charles came home to help me. Which, as I am typing this, is just proof that I can’t do life alone as much as I try to… and that’s okay.
2017 was one of the worst… I share a lot, but I don’t share it all. It was horrible. But at the same time, I grew so much. I had another lesson in true friends – this time in a good way, I walked away from some bad ones, I finally let myself get emotionally close to a few friends – which is something I very rarely do, I started this blog, I started some hobbies, I got to become a full-time nanny to one of my goddaughters, I got to take an actual vacation for the first time ever – Orlando! Harry Potter!, I got to take my kiddo on his first trip on a plane… I’m sure there’s much more good….
My goal in 2018 isn’t to really make a resolution, as much as it is to just… know when to hold ’em, know when fold ’em, know when to walk away… (that’s right, totally just referenced some Kenny Rogers.) I’m not going to try to control my 2018, I’m going to just let this one ride for once. I’m going to live, I’m going to love, and for once… I’m going to try to just breathe.
I hope you do the same. ❤
Happy New Year!