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Posted in messy mama

Messy Mama: When The Days End In Tears.

It’s been a long time since I’ve ended a parenting day in tears. Kiddo is always testing me, but the tears haven’t come so easily anymore. It’s more just eye rolls and mild threats to set all his toys on fire, no big deal.

But man, today was rough. I picked him up from school to news of a rough day. Fine. We all have our days. However, when I calmly and simply just questioned him about it, he threw a tantrum, the likes of which I had never seen before. He was kicking the back of the chair in my car, he was throwing toys, he was screaming like someone was pulling a limb from his body.

Alright, so then I told him he was not allowed to attend a birthday party this evening that I was actually really looking forward to going to. Of course that fueled the rage, resulting in him kicking my walls and screaming more. Not sure who this kid I brought home was, I’ve only seen him behave like this maybe three other times in his 5 years of life.

I made him clean his room and then went in an hour later to help him while we talked calmly about his outburst. He seemed like he was back to normal. So I decided maybe all he needed was some special love. So we sat on the couch and watched a movie together. Awesome.

Then comes a smooth bedtime routine, teeth, book, potty….then telling me to get out of his room.

…Uhhh okay jerk.

So I leave and he then starts screaming at me and demanding that I come back in his room to say prayers and tuck him in???

WHAT IS HAPPENING?

Y’all, today has just been rough. I let a few tears fall and now I’m just sitting on the couch in silence trying to remind myself that these days aren’t forever. That it’s okay to be angry at these moments, but to also remember that this isn’t my every day. To just breathe. Let it go and let him sleep it off. We all have rough days.

And apparently this all started because some kid at school was annoying him.

WELL GUESS WHAT, PAL. YOU’RE ANNOYING ME.

Posted in messy mama

Adventures in Kid Birthday Parties.

Kid birthday parties are exhausting, y’all.

My mom used to groan every time we were invited to a friend’s birthday party and I, of course, would be so freakin’ excited. Birthday parties were the BEST. I mean, free cake? Sign me up. Especially since we never really got to have big birthday parties as kids. Sure, we’d get to have sleepovers, or dinners with friends, but the “big” parties were only for “big” birthdays, like turning 13/16…

So, now that our kiddo is in preschool, he gets invited to more parties than he used to. I always try to let him go, but gahhhh it’s exhausting. ALSO, why don’t adults get to jump in the bounce house? I think that there should be a separate bounce house just for the adults, complete with a bouncer at the door to keep the kids out. And by “keep the kids out”, I mean “violently catapult them back to their own bounce house”. Seriously, it really bums me the hell out watching my kid get to jump while I stand in the heat.

I remember we were at this one birthday party a few years ago and my wackadoo of a child was all wound up from the fun. He suddenly felt like what this party really needed was for him to cover the entire bathroom floor (and his body) in soap and then pee on it. So, you know, that was a blast.

At today’s birthday party he was given candy. yay. yaaaaaay. He’s currently in his bed singing Jingle Bells. Things are going well.

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All that to say, today’s self care comes to you in the form of Bob’s Burgers reruns and a Lunchable I stole from my child from the fridge. He owes me.

The End.

Posted in Ramblings, recovery

The Fight to Write

I remember when I finally, after 16 years, accepted My bipolar diagnosis in November, one of the first things I said to my therapist at the time was, “What if the medication makes me stop….being me?”. I was instantly flooded with the fear that the medication would strip away all the things about me that made me who I am. And without those things, who was I going to be? What if I didn’t like that person? And worse, what if I couldn’t write anymore?

In a lot of ways, my fears became true…ish. The medication truly did prove that I am, in fact, bipolar. The medication stopped a lot of my obsessive thoughts, my irrational spending, my binge eating, and even some more parts of me that I don’t need to get into today because it isn’t the point here. I know those don’t sound like bad things to get rid of, they’re not. But it also got rid of some other things… like my desire to write.

Turns out the bipolar meds alone didn’t do the trick, I still need a high dose of depression meds as well. That’s something I’ve had a hard time accepting over the past few weeks. It’s hard to tell yourself that you need a lot of help to just be “okay”.

Sometimes someone will be so brave to come up to me and tell me they appreciate my writing and openness about my struggles. They’ll tell me that they also have to be medicated and tell me the one medication they’re taking to be okay. And then they ask me what I’m taking. And I internally shame myself.

I take 4 different medications to be okay. I take 4 medications to make it through the day in one piece. That is nothing to be ashamed of. Let me tell myself that again real quick, it is nothing to be ashamed of. You do what you have to do to be okay. You do what you have to do to get out of bed in the morning, to feed your family, to smile at your child, to hug your husband, to take a shower. You just do it. Because without those 4 medications, I absolutely cannot do any of that. And it is nothing I can control.

So back to the part of not writing. One of those medications seems to be fighting against that part of my brain. Let me explain. I still want to write. Often I tell myself, oh! I am going to discuss this! And then something in my brain kicks in and is like, We aren’t going to go there right now. We aren’t going to be sad, or hurt. We aren’t going to tap into anything that makes your brain think about the depression part. So then I give up and don’t do it. My brain has already moved on to something else.

I mean, am I glad my brain is trying to keep me out of depression? Sure. But at the same time, I feel like I was called to be open about mental health and it is driving me insane having to fight against it. So I haven’t written for a long time. I hope you’re still with me. And I hope you understand and forgive me. I’m going to try to fight against this long enough to write once a week.

Even if it means sitting in my car in a Starbucks parking lot because that’s when the feeling hits me. ❤

Posted in Ramblings

Why the Roseanne Reboot is Important.

I am so here for all these television show reboots. The second they announced they were bringing Boy Meets World back (in the form of Girl Meets World) a few years ago, I was like, “BRING IT ALL BACK, BABY!” And here we are, it’s a great day to be alive in my world.

Tomorrow, my family is back on TV.

If you were my friend in high school, you might remember that as the running joke – Tabitha’s family is like an episode of Roseanne. Everyone is yelling at everyone, people are in and out all day, someone is always shouting about having no money, someone isn’t talking to someone else today, there is a sarcastic response to every question, everything is falling apart, and everything is just LOUD… but dammit we love each other.

Roseanne was the first family of its kind on TV and honestly, people loved it or hated it. For me, it was more than just TV. I know that might make me sound a little crazy, but hang on. Roseanne showed me a depressed teenager for the first time in my life. A time in which I too was severely depressed. It also showed me that, even though it wasn’t a real family, that other families aren’t perfect. They don’t have the “after school special” ending every night before they go to bed. Sometimes the day just ends… sometimes it just wasn’t a great day. Sometimes it seems like life is going to fall apart.

Roseanne taught me that family may drive you insane, but at the end of the day… they’re family. That some moms yell and some siblings don’t talk to each other for a little while. That sometimes you don’t have money to pay the bills and sometimes people get divorced. Sometimes you can be falling apart in front of the rest of your family and you can say what you feel like you need to say and sometimes they still won’t understand.

Yes, Roseanne showed all of that. Just watch it all, you’ll see.

Are there families like that on TV now? Um…sure? The Middle shows a “normal” family, so does American Housewife. However… they still have the “happy ending” at the end of the episodes. Roseanne didn’t always. Sometimes topics were hard and sometimes you couldn’t finish it in 30 minutes, it was too important.

I don’t know what tomorrow’s reboot brings, but I hope it’s the same in many ways. I hope it’s real and I hope it gives the world the stuff we need.

Call me crazy, that’s fine, but I’m excited. ❤

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Posted in messy mama, Ramblings

Routine Shake-up

Spring Break is finally over. Thank you, Jesus. I definitely believe that both teachers and kids need a break, but man…that was a beating. Haha okay, not really. It wasn’t a horrible experience. We had tball practice, went to the state aquarium, put our toes in the sand, played with friends, and went to a high school baseball game.

Another significant thing changed, my husband started working a normal schedule. For the first seven years of our marriage, my husband has worked away from home for days at a time. He’d be gone two days, home for 24 hours or less. Lather, rinse, repeat. Two weeks ago he decided he needed a major break. He was getting burnt out and tired of missing everything. So, he switched to a job with the company that let him work a regular shift.

So now he’s home. Every day. And it is…an adjustment.

Don’t get me wrong, I am ultimately happy about this. And even more importantly, I can see a big shift in our son being happy knowing that Daddy is home every day. They’ve even started playing in a rugby club together. And I get to have views like this a lot more.

(Watching Daddy play rugby after his own practice)

But this shift has also made me crawl into myself these past two weeks. I kind of shut down and mentally started checking out. My space and my routine were being invaded after seven years and my brain wanted to shut down. I felt like these weeks would never end, that this would never get better. I started feeling guilty that I wasn’t giddy that my husband was home every day. I love him so much, please don’t misunderstand, but my various disorders thrive on my routines and my alone time. I now have little to no alone time…and Spring Break was not helping.

So I broke down. I cried a lot.

But here I am, the start of week 3 and I’m getting better. Kiddo is back in school and we are developing new routines. And I spoke up and voiced how much I need to be alone sometimes. And he understood.

This is definitely another test in controlling my attitude towards the things life throws at me. My first reaction is always negative and bitter. I’m working on that. And this change isn’t forever, he will go back to his normal job eventually. But I am glad that he got a chance to take a break. He definitely needed it.

Although…I feel like I can’t be blamed for already dreading summer break. Guess I should start working on that attitude now… 😬

Posted in Ramblings

The March of Blahs

Hey y’all.

How have ya been? I’ve been….eh. No amount of medication can undo what never ending gloomy/rainy weather does to a depressed person. I feel like I could take all the pills you had for me and I’d still just feel….blah, you know? This happens every January – April for me and I’m finally trying to find a solution.

Have any of you tried a sun lamp situation?

It came a week or so ago, but I haven’t taken it out of the box. I desperately need to take it out of the box.

I am also someone who does bible studies constantly. I always have, probably always will. However, this study I barely even opened the book. (Both study book and Bible in general.) So, I thought maybe a fresh new Bible might do the trick. Sometimes you just need something new, you know?

I may have forgotten to purchase colored pencils… whoops.

I dread sunshine and heat of any kind on any given day, but lately I’ve really just craved it. On the rare occasion it is sunny and hot, I’ve tried all I can to try to be out there.

Please have patience with me if my writing slows down. It might not, I hope it doesn’t, but man I just feel blaaaahhhh.

What do you do when the weather drags you down?

Posted in recovery

Did Somebody Say Cake? [Brittany’s Story]

[submission by reader Brittany in honor of NEDA Awareness Week!]
I’ve suffered with eating disorders all my life. I went from binge eating at a young age to starting to do cocaine in high school, skipping meals, and excessive working out to  lose weight.
After school I started doing crystal meth to lose weight, pills, cocaine, you name it, til I had LEGEND.  Everything stopped except me skipping meals sometimes or taking laxatives to lose weight.
When I’m genuinely happy, I’m heavier. My weight will fluctuate between me being a size 0 to a size 12. I still struggle sometimes with making myself eat. Currently I’m happy with life other than my weight…  I love food and enjoy eating. My struggle is being comfortable in clothes when I’m heavier and feeling confident in myself. I tend to be my worst critic when it comes to myself.
I would love to have a steady healthy weight  where I’m happy and don’t have to strive or take substances to attain that.
❤ Thank you so much for sharing your story, Brittany.
Posted in recovery

NEDA Week 2018: My story

Hi, y’all! Welcome.

It’s National Eating Disorders Awareness Week and in honor, I thought I’d dive a little more into my disorder for you. Surprisingly, it isn’t really something I’ve done on here. I’ve definitely talked about it, talked about going to recovery, but I haven’t really told you about where my mind goes and the behaviors that I have. So with that, I want to warn everyone reading this that there will be eating disorder behaviors described and it is okay if that is something that is hard for you to read.

Through a lot of therapy and recovery, it’s been established that I’ve had an eating disorder since I was about 5 or 6 years old. I have a very distinct memory of hiding food and eating it in shame. Which then turned into something I would do very often. It also turned into eating multiple servings of food/snacks without remembering I did it. I would be so confused as to why I was feeling sick to my stomach, or in pain. I had to really think hard, or look at evidence to see what I had done. At a very young age I began to mentally check out during my disordered behaviors. It’s like Tabitha wasn’t even there during it.

When I got my own job and car, that’s when the problem really escalated. I would start going through drive thrus on my way home from school and order whatever I wanted. Then I’d go to work at a fast food place, where I was a cook, eat the entire work day, and then come home and lie and say that I was starving and didn’t get a chance to eat… which is when I would then eat 2 servings of whatever dinner was. Followed by whatever candy/treats I had stashed in my room. The only thing “saving” me, was that I danced several hours a day at the time. When I finally quit dancing at age 16, I gained 100 pounds in 10 months. [This is where my suicidal story kicks in as well, but this post isn’t about that.]

[side note – this is actually really hard for me to write down. I hate talking about all the things that I do with my disorder. Please forgive me if this post isn’t beautifully written, but I really want to just get it out.]

This same behavior carried on well into adulthood and I had become so good at hiding it, that when I got married my husband had no idea the things I would do until I told him six years into our marriage.

Two years ago, I had gastric bypass surgery. I had become 400 pounds and I was afraid it was never going to stop. I don’t regret it. However, that surgery just amplified my disorder. I was able to “stop” my disorder for the first year. My obsessive thoughts were always there, but I was able to not act on them. But then my mom died and all hell broke loose. My ability to mentally check out of not only my disordered behaviors, but check out of life, had become really bad. I was forgetting days at a time. I started binging on a tiny stomach. It was painful. So, so painful. My disorder turned this into punishment. While I would binge, I would cry. I would tell myself I was worthless and call myself terrible, terrible names. I would say hateful things like, “Wow, Tabitha. You have failed again. You’ve really screwed this up. You can’t do anything right. You’re letting everyone down. I HATE YOU.  [I still struggle with saying that one to myself daily] That wasn’t once a day either…. it was several… several times a day. And then I had started weighing myself… up to 20 times a day. 

The surgery would make me throw up if I didn’t eat my food correctly. I would be in pain and I would have to throw up because the food wouldn’t go down. I began to take pleasure in this. I’d throw up and think, Oh sweet. I can eat again because now it’s like I didn’t eat. I never forced myself to throw up, but I started to find joy in it and started to daydream about doing it.

I also gained 70 pounds.

That’s when I broke down and took the help my therapist kept begging me to get.

Are things better? Sure. I don’t binge as much, but I’m not perfect. Do I still tell myself horrible things? Sure. Absolutely. Daily. Is it as much, or as harsh? No, I’m working on that. That’s 25 years of mental abuse on myself that I have to undo.

Is there hope? YES.

YES THERE IS HOPE. You have hope. You can do this.

Get help. There is no shame in getting help. None at all. For once, think about yourself and your worth in a good way. You are worthy of the help you deserve. Don’t listen to the voice inside your head that tells you that you’ve gone too far. You are stronger than you believe you are. I promise.

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How about you? Have you found the light at the end of the tunnel? Do you see your hope on the horizon? Are you wanting to share your story? I am wanting to share all the stories I can on Friday right here on this blog! If you have a story of surviving a disorder, or even a story of currently struggling and just want to write a post saying, “Hey… I’m here. And you aren’t alone.” That’s absolutely welcome here! Please send an email with your story (and include a link to your blog/social media for me to share if you’d like!) to messyworthiness@gmail.com!

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Thanks for listening!

xo
Tab

Posted in Uncategorized

Year in Review [ONE Messy Year!]

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Can you believe this blog is officially a year old today?! Exciting, I know. Where are my presents? Do you get presents for this sort of thing? No?

CRAP.

Well, fine. Let’s see what productive…or not so productive things we’ve done this year, shall we? [Here are some of my favorite posts from this first year!]

I officially posted my first post on February 21, 2017!

I talked to you about my infertility.

I decided to go back on depression medication after being off for 6 years.

I shared the hard parts that mentally come after gastric bypass surgery.

I shared screenshots showing you how I am a mess of a mother, and that’s totally okay.

We tried to take dye out of our kiddo’s diet.

I shared about being insecure in friendships…. more than once.

I opened up about letting go of my dreams of pregnancy.

I talked about being a suicide survivor and getting a semi-colon tattoo!

Talked about what home feels like.

I opened up about having an eating disorder.

I tried to understand grief.

I talked about our foster/adoption journey.

I talked about struggling to crawl out of bitterness.

Being vulnerable.

Wow, going through the past year of posts was quite the trip for me. There are a ton more posts than the ones I linked, but these were definitely my favorites. Ones that I cried through writing, ones that I got messages back telling me “thank you” privately. Ones that made me feel like this blog was actually doing something for someone out in my little corner of the world.

I hope the next year goes further. I hope my words can reach more people and maybe help more people feel that they aren’t alone. ❤

Thank you for being around for year one! Here’s to year two!

like/share/comment/send me anniversary gifts.

Posted in messy mama

Our Kid Is Finally Free.

I’ve gone back and forth about writing this particular blog for a while now because I know that it can open the door for a lot of people to have opinions that I don’t agree with. But I know that on the other side of it, there might be a parent out there that needs to hear that it’s okay to do what we’ve done and that you aren’t alone. ❤ So here it goes:

I put my 4 (now 5) year old on ADHD medicine and I love every damn second of it.

There, I said it. Only a few people in his life know about it, but I can literally feel the collective sigh of relief when he walks into a room medicated now. Not a sigh in a bad way, but a sigh in a way that says to me, “Oh, finally we can actually enjoy your child fully.” It is a relief for all of us, again, in a very good way. Mostly, it’s a relief for him. Despite the fact that I was spending our first three years together in tears every single night from sheer exhaustion and frustration, he was suffering more than any of us knew.

Let me start at the beginning. Most of my readers know, but if you don’t, Kiddo was placed with us at a year old as a foster baby. We adopted him before his second birthday! Around age 2 I could feel in my bones that something just wasn’t right with him, that he was struggling to understand. Not understand big things… understand the littlest things. I knew there was something not right in his brain. Simple concepts or directions for his age, he just wasn’t understanding.

We put him in a mother’s day out program at 18 months two days a week, upped it to three days a week when he was 3, and then upped it to 5 days a week at age 4/5 (this year). During those school times, he was struggling with behavior a lot. I would dread picking him up at the end of the day because I was becoming so afraid to hear what he had done. I was afraid we were about to get kicked out of the program because he was being so “bad”. He had zero impulse control. Nothing he was doing was evil, he just had nothing telling him to stop. No amount of timeouts, taking toys away, any other punishment…nothing was triggering any kind of alert to him the next time. Nothing saying, if I do this… Again, I could feel something was wrong. I took him a number of times to the pediatrician, seeing 2 different ones, that just assured me that he was “just being a boy”. To which I would leave upset because I knew it was more than that. And not only was it not “just being a boy”, he at age 5 and having been in a school setting for a few years… still couldn’t tell me what an A was. (not that I feel a child needs to know their letters as a baby, but uhhh… I feel like given his circumstances, he should have been able to recognize one.) When I’d show him any letter I’d get a blank stare and confusion. Something was not right.

Finally, after much fuss, we were able to get him in to see a behavioral psychologist…where before her testing was even finished she had a look on her face of confirmation that I was right. Something was not right. This wasn’t a little boy just being a little boy, this was a little boy whose brain wasn’t working the way it should for him. He needed help. And no amount of me taking dye out of his diet was going to fix this. (trust me, we tried it.)

You know when you don’t have something anymore and you realize how much you were taking it for granted? Well, that’s how I felt when Kiddo started being able to do all kinds of stuff within the week of being medicated. I was suddenly noticing all the things that we as “normal” people can do that we take for granted every day. Like, how he started singing along to songs on the radio. I never noticed he couldn’t do that before. He simply could not retain the song when he heard it. But within a few days, I was driving him home from school with a song playing on the radio like it always does and suddenly I hear a small voice from the back singing, “Lightening before the thunder, thunder, thunder…” and I started crying. Just little quiet tears running down my face. Or a few more days later when he hopped in the car after school and unprompted just told me all the letters in his name with this proud look on his face. It flashed a memory in my head of a year before that of him crying in my lap because he didn’t understand why the other kids in his class knew how to spell their names and he didn’t. Or how, like tonight, he can finally play with his trains that he adores without quitting 2 minutes in because he “just can’t do it!” and sobbing into the couch simply because he couldn’t pay attention long enough to find the piece that was literally right in front of him.

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A fear tactic that people use is this – “You’ll medicate your kid and then they won’t be themselves anymore! You’ll have a zombie!” To that I say, first off – thank goodness he isn’t himself anymore, he’s free now. And also, what terrible doctor is medicating your child? He’s not a zombie at all. He’s still wild and funny and obnoxious. He still tells long winded stories that make my right eye twitch with irritation… but now I see confidence radiating through him. He’s finally free. It’s like you can finally see that he gets to be in the world everyone else has been in this whole time and the excitement radiates off of him.

I struggled with medicating him because of all the negativity about it in the world. And I also viewed it how I view myself, he’s broken. I’m broken and I need medication and now my baby is broken. And then I realized…. just like me, he can’t help that he needs medication. He can’t help how his brain is. It just… is. So, why do we keep shaming people for that? For any kind of medication? Do you think I walk around saying, MAN I LOVE BEING BIPOLAR! GIMME ALL THESE DIFFERENT PILLS! I LOVE IT! No. Stop. Stop making parents feel like a failure if their kids, no matter how much they change their diet, or how much I HAVE NEVER GIVEN MY KID A SODA IN HIS LIFE, still need medication for a condition they can’t help.

Hey, how about we all just be kind people? How does that sound?

Also, I’d love that if you didn’t have a kid with ADHD, you’d stop sharing articles shaming ADHD. mmkay? Thanks.

I’m out!

TAB

feel free to like/share/comment/be kind ❤