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 Ramblings, recovery

You’re so vain, you probably think this post is about you.

Well, it kind of is….

GAH, I can’t believe I didn’t post last week! So sorry! Well, not really because I’ve been so busy and haven’t had a minute to myself. So, really, how about you just get off my back? GREAT. (Warren…Warren…Where does all this hostility come from? – name that movie.)

Hey so, apparently January ends next week and I feel like I’ve done nothing wildly productive besides keeping my head above water. And I guess that’s all that matters, so I’ll take it. Last week we (me) talked about being vulnerable. Did you do it? Didn’t think so. That’s fine, I have another challenge for you and this one is way more fun: SELF CARE.

I’ve pretty much said I’m done with new years resolutions because I don’t need to give myself more ammunition to feel like a failure. So, I’m just trying to find little things I can work on that I know I can master. And frankly, forcing myself to take 10 minutes or more all to myself a day at this point in my life? Sign me up. I think I’ve gotten pretty good at it too. And don’t misunderstand what self care requires – it does not require you to go out and spend money you do not have. I have spent money, but not always. Most of the time I just use what I got.

So, here are my favorite ways to give myself some attention every day. (Yes, do it every day.)

1. Go to the gym. Not to obsess over weight or my body, but to feel good about myself. I don’t always “go hard”. Sometimes I just walk on the treadmill at a slow pace and listen to music and just enjoy the air conditioning and a moment without a child screaming at my face.

2. Pamper. That’s right, I said it. Pamper. But that doesn’t mean go out and drop money on an expensive massage, because I do NOT have money for that. So, I’ll make sure to take the extra time to put on makeup, use a face mask, or paint my nails. It makes me feel good sometimes. ❤

3. Read. Well, this one is obviously my favorite and doesn’t really need explaining. But really it’s just nice to put the rest of the world away and jump into a new one sometimes.

4. Music. Not just any music, but fun music. If I’m cleaning, I’ll turn on 90s jams or some oldies like the Beatles and the Monkees. I end up dancing around and singing while I clean. And that, my friend, is what Oprah calls “multitasking”.

So, obviously there are a million ways to self care, these are just some of my favorites. Let me know some new things for me to try! I’d really love some ideas!

I challenge you to do some self care this week! And when you do it, take a pic and tag me in it so I can see with the hashtag #ididittabithagetoffmyback yeah, seriously. Do it.

xo

Tab

Posted in Ramblings, recovery

Vulnerability Challenge.

What is vulnerability to you?

Is it sharing any kind of personal information? Is it crying in front of someone?

I’ve never had a problem sharing personal information. In fact, it was something that drove my mom nuts. When I went to a mental hospital at 17, she didn’t want anyone to know. She called a handful of people and basically threatened lives telling people not to let it get out. And then she was horrified when I was like …I’m… not going to pretend this didn’t happen… Maybe that’s what made me that way? I was broken down to my lowest point and I just looked around and saw so many people around me struggling too and thought… wait… we are all here, yet we all feel alone. Why? Why are we living in a world that makes us feel alone?

When we found out we were infertile, I was open. When we started fostering and it was hard, I was open. Those things aren’t vulnerability to me. In fact, I have a really hard time understanding why people don’t talk about that stuff more. Why that isn’t just… normal conversation? Life is hard, we all struggle, why don’t we just talk about it? Right? Am I the only one that feels that way? I hope not.

Does that mean that I don’t have moments of vulnerability? Of course not. I guess mine just looks different. Mine is admitting defeat at something I had full power over, like going back on my medication. Or like having the gastric bypass surgery. Lately I’ve challenged myself to push through something else that makes me feel extremely vulnerable… that’s texting a friend when my self esteem is at a 0% and just flat out saying how I feel. When I sent the following text, I cringed so hard at myself. I hated that I sent it because I haaaaaaaaaated that I was so needy. But I sent it anyway because I needed what I knew she’d say more than I needed my pride. Because I was crying and I was telling myself lies about myself and I simply can’t stand living this way anymore. I can’t let my inner jerk win anymore because it exhausts me. [excuse my typo, gahhhh leave me alone]

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Here’s what my mind does: it’ll pop up randomly in the middle of a perfectly fine day and say, “Hey, no one has texted you today… probably because your stupid jokes have gotten old. Do you think people get tired of you? I bet they get real tired of feeling like they have to hang out with you so much… probably feel like they have to because they know you have mental health issues. They’re afraid if they tell you no you’ll have some kind of episode.” There’s much more… but I’ll just leave it at that. And man, that is an exhausting person to live with in your mind. I pray none of you have to live with that. If you do though, you aren’t alone.

So, here’s my question for you – do you have someone besides a significant other that you can be vulnerable with? Is there a friend that you can send a text like this to? I know it might seem like something you couldn’t do, because trust me, a year ago… heck, even a few months ago, I would have never done this… but you can. You can and you should. And you need it to be someone whose response you know in your heart isn’t something they’re “just saying”. I know that she means what she said. How? Because she’s sent needy texts to me too. My challenge is for you to find someone. Find someone and send a text that says, “Hey. I’m going to need you to build me up on my really crappy days sometimes, okay? It might be 4pm on a Thursday and you’re just going to have to roll with it, okay? Because I struggle, and frankly I need someone and I want that someone to be you.” And if that person is like, “Ew, get off me.” Then kick that jerk to the curb. You just did yourself a real favor.

Okay, this is starting to get weirdly hostile.

xo
Tab

 

Posted in Ramblings, recovery

You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em…

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:

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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. 
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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.

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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!
Tab

Posted in messy month, Ramblings

I decorate with body parts for Christmas, apparently.

My child has been singing Jingle Bells since May. I, too, am shocked that I’m not over the idea of Christmas. I was thinking I could take you through a tour of my house because it’s my favorite thing ever at Christmas!

First off, I saw my first real snow last week:

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We have a whole Charlie Brown situation going on outside. Over there on the left, you see our drunken Snoopy. We call him that because no matter what we do… he REFUSES to stand up. Why don’t we just take him down? Well, because then I wouldn’t say I have a drunk Snoopy, duh.

So, our decorations are a lot of my mom’s. My favorite being her tree:
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Look how gorgeous it is with the lights off too:
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*sigh* I just love it so much. I’ve also started really loving little Christmas gnomes and they are scattered among the stuffs. And as my hubs works on a train… there’s far more trains involved than there would be if he didn’t. Just saying. haha

Oh, also! This year we have a tree in *almost* every room for the first time. Yes… that means there’s a plunger tree decorated in toilet paper in my son’s bathroom. Hmm? What’s that? You’re jealous? Thought so.

I love getting Christmas cards and I always have a hard time taking my display of them down at the end of the month.

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So, my dear mother loved Christmas decor. In fact, she had a LOT more than what I took. The rest of it is either in boxes or on display at my brother and sister’s apartment. It stresses me out just thinking about how much more stuff there is. I might need a break. Un momento.

mmkay. I’m back.

She loved Santa… heads. SANTA HEADS. These are the ones I could find immediately without having to make an effort. I know for a fact there are more.

We always gave her a really hard time for that. I found it creepy that they didn’t have bodies. And then… and then I found myself almost buying a Santa head yesterday and my husband shot me a look that I interpreted as, “If you don’t put that down, I will divorce you.”

So, maybe next year?

Anyway, that’s a glimpse into my Christmas decor! There’s more tiny detials around, but let’s be real… I’m too lazy to capture it all. ❤ And let me know – do you have any body parts as Christmas decor?

xo
Tab

P.S. – I’m on YouTube now! Find me & Follow me – MessyWorthiness

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Posted in Ramblings, recovery

Send Me Chocolate #Bitter

Hey there, it’s December. Did I even do a Messy Month for November? I feel like I didn’t. Is that something I could look up? Totally. Am I going to? No, not at all. My wall calendar doesn’t even have “December” written on it. #lazy

[side note: A toy keeps going off in the guest room and I’m too afraid to go find it to turn it off. WHAT IF THERE’S A GHOST PLAYING WITH IT?]

Anyway – Hi, hostess? Yes, I’m here for Bitter. Yes, Bitter party of one. That’s me. I have been struggling so bad with being frighteningly bitter lately. I’m struggling to find joy in a lot of things and even hearing my own voice/thoughts in my head is irritating me to no end. I simply cannot stand this person who is living inside me and I am at a constant war against her trying to make her see outside of her own cynical views on the world. Like, how she might need to see that there is a universe in which there is a Christmas parade going on with a GIANT WHATABURGER SHAKE as a float. I mean, come on, look what you’re missing.

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When I made the switch over to bipolar medication almost a month ago, my mind started seeing things differently. Simple things changed, like my energy levels. (Which, if you follow me on Instagram, you got to learn how I am almost 32 and just learned to use a coffee pot!) When I was diagnosed Bipolar at 17, my mom freaked out and told me not to allow that diagnosis. She said that I would never live a normal life, no one would ever take me seriously, that it was basically a death sentence. I’d never be allowed to teach kids, never be allowed to do anything I wanted to do… Which, I understand now. The stigma around mental health, especially Bipolar Disorder, was very very jaded and wrong. It’s still a battle we are fighting, but it’s a little better these days. People are a bit more open.  So, I denied the diagnosis and I forced them to only give me depression meds. I manipulated the way I wanted to be seen and I skirted by enough for it to be accepted. Those poor doctors played along. I’m positive they were rolling their eyes at me and they were doing their best to just keep me from being suicidal. So, I was on two depression meds at the same time. Max dose of both. I couldn’t understated why people needed to drink caffeine to live. Why? Why not just like… live? And why do people go to bed at 9pm? What’s that about? HOW BORING.

Oh…wait… oh you guys aren’t all hopped up on UPPERS? GOTCHA. Well, now neither am I. That’s fun. Question, can someone just drink straight from the coffee pot? or….? Asking for a friend.

Good news is, you can definitely tell that these are the meds that I’ve needed to be on for a very, very long time. Like…very long. I can stay awake during the day, I’m not even a little suicidal (before I was only just on the edge of okay), my brain can stop and rationalize situations clearer, and my binge eating disorder has gotten a lot better. However, a fog has been lifted from my brain. And where that sounds good, it seems to be a LOT harder for me to mentally check out of life when things get hard (my coping mechanism) and it also is making me extremely self aware of parts of my personality that annoy me. And all I can seem to focus on is: A.) How much of my life has been wasted away by being on the wrong medication. How if 15 years ago I could have just taken the proper medication for the proper problem, then maybe so many things can be different. and B.) All the things about myself that I can’t stand. These two things have made me a very bitter person.

NOW HOLD ON. Before you go on your “let’s tell Tabitha how amazing she is” rampage, I want to tell you that it is 100% okay to have these two thoughts. Because, guess what? I’m a human being. I wouldn’t be a human being if I didn’t sit there, look at life, and be like… well….damn. The difference here is, am I choosing to wallow in this bitterness? Or am I trying to climb out of it? I’m trying to climb out. But before climbing out, I’ve got to figure out what’s at the bottom of the pit I’m in, so that I can figure out what I’m trying to push my feet off of. (BOOM – look at that amazing genius right there. I underlined it to make it seem like someone super famous said it. Where’s my book deal?)

I can’t change the 15 years I lost to wrong medication and I can’t pretend that all 15 years were horrible because they weren’t. No one solid year was horrible, there were always bursts of light in the tunnels. I can’t change that I’ve gained a lot of weight back after my surgery, what’s done is done. I also can’t make it all just fall off tomorrow. I can’t pretend that my feelings aren’t easily hurt over silly things anymore. I try too often to act like I’m tough and stupid things can’t hurt me, they can. I’m hurt very easily. I cry often and hard. I can’t change that because of how people have hurt me in the past, I have a fear of people leaving me. I have a fear of friends not choosing me and I have a fear that people will forget me. I have a fear that people think bad things about me behind my back, but that’s because my bitterness causes me to have mean thoughts about others behind theirs. I roll my eyes when I should be shouting for joy sometimes and I push people to a far distance when I fear they’ve gotten too close. That last one is something I have to fight against every. single. day. I make self-deprecating jokes before people can make them about me and I try to make people laugh for fear that they’ll try to make me have a serious conversation instead. I look back on my year as a foster parent with bitterness and anger, instead of joy and love and sometimes I tear up when even my friends’ kids leave after a full day together. I’m open about all my struggles, my pain, my fears and I tell them openly to the world and ask you to share them. I’m one giant contradicting mess sometimes and I hate it.

… and sometimes, just sometimes, I can read that list and find things I love among the mess. I like those times. Those times let me know that the bitterness won’t be around forever. I can see that my love of my friends’ kids just means that my bitterness towards my foster parent year is because I’m still hurting and missing three babies. That my heart is still wide open to love more kids, but maybe it’s just not open for more kids of my own. I can see that when I’m having to fight daily to stop pushing people away from me, it means that I finally have let people close enough to me in the first place. That’s something I haven’t allowed of a friend in a very long time. Now I have a few. And my fear of them leaving me just means that I have learned to let myself love them a little differently, that I couldn’t imagine a world without them. My self-deprecating jokes aren’t always healthy, but sometimes it’s really just okay to be able to laugh at yourself, to not take life so seriously. Also, to me, it means that my humor is still alive. (Which, I am not kidding when I tell you, is something I cried in fear over to my therapist when I started taking new meds. It went something like, “OMG WHAT IF PROPERLY MEDICATED TABITHA ISN’T FUNNY?” and I imagined it took everything in him to not reply, “WHO SAID INCORRECTLY MEDICATED TABITHA WAS?”)

The other stuff that isn’t so great? Well, that’s stuff I can work on. And trust me, God is already taking me down a notch on some of it. Like, how a sweet, sweet woman in my MOPS group by my house gave me a gift today completely unexpectedly. She doesn’t know me very well, we don’t hang out outside of once a month at a meeting, and she saw something and just thought of me and felt I should have it. I wanted to cry. It reminded me how I need to stop being so self-involved and maybe take time to give other people the feeling she just gave me.

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Perfect.

This past year, two years… seven… life? Have been a roller coaster. But this past year has really been one of learning a lot about myself and who I am and it’s not always fun. Do I think this season will last forever? No, of course not. Does it feel like it will? Yep. And that’s okay. It’s really, really okay. I’m allowed to feel like that. People are allowed to feel like life just sucks sometimes, guys. But remember what the difference is – are they trying to live in the suck? or climb out? I’m trying to climb out.

And I’m sorry if my climbing out doesn’t look like you want it to. Please know that I’m doing what I feel like is best for me. If I’m ignoring your phone calls or texts, it’s not because I don’t want to talk to you. It might actually be because I’m afraid what I might say might be filled with a horrible bitter mouthful and I just don’t want to taste it right now. I’m trying my best not to spread it and the best way is just to keep my mouth shut.

Also – shout out to all the friends that have stuck by me through this past year. You guys have put up with a LOT over here. I’d applaud…but again…#lazy.

xo
Tab

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Posted in messy mama, Ramblings

Bless the Open Mess.

I started my morning at one of the three mom groups I attend. Yep, three. This one is run by a smaller church I go to out by my house and I joined so I could meet mamas that live by me. It’s free and it’s so calm and low expectation and I love it.

Anyway, I was running late and I was flustered because I wanted to feed my goddaughter before it started and my whole schedule of plans was just thrown off. I jumped out of my car and flung open my back door, only to realize that we went to Costco yesterday and I completely forgot to take the giant thing of toilet paper, the two boxes of Protien drinks, and various other crap out of the back…and it’s all on top of the stroller I need. Did I also mention that I’m currently doing the potty dance at this point? No? Well, add that to the list.

So, now I’m unloading my entire trunk as another mom with a car and a kiddo pulls up right behind me and starts getting out to go inside. I’d never seen this woman before and one of my jobs at this group is to make sure that other mamas feel welcome and just be a general talker and includer (perfect job for me, I know). I instantly start defensively making jokes about what a mess I am because I am embarrassed at how disgusting my car is now that I’m outside looking in and I kind of just want to crawl underneath it right now.

Finally, I get the stupid stroller out from under Costco Mountain and that sweet mama is still happily (I hope) standing there carrying on a conversation with me, laughing, as I’m packing my goddaughter up and flailing myself into various parts of my car trying to find things I’m missing. I’m so used to having a 5 year old, even after almost 2 full months of watching our goddaughter 5 days a week while her parents work, I still can’t get my act together.

Finally, I get into the door and I just take a breath and I’m like ….gosh I’m such a mess. And the girl is like, me too. It’s okay. And in that moment I was so content. That’s what the world desperately needs. Not just moms, but everyone. And not in the, “I’m going to share a funny meme about being a mess, but then try to still run myself into the ground to give off the appearance of having my act together” way. No, I mean in the way that we can all just take a collective sigh together every once in a while and genuninely just say, “I know….me too.”

It makes me so sad how many people are still stretching themselves so thin trying to be perfect, trying to make yourself be someone you aren’t so that people will like you. Stop. Stop being anyone but yourself. If your tribe isn’t a group of people that don’t greet you with a comforting sigh, then you’ve got the wrong group. That applies to men too, not just women. If your friends make you feel like you ever have to “keep up”, then it’s the wrong place to be.

If you got dressed today and drank coffee on time and put on makeup, then awesome! If you look gorgeous and match and neither of your shoes have crayon marks on them, awesome! If you had a morning that sounds like mine, that’s awesome too. And if you just had to go back to bed 30 minutes after waking up? …I’ve been there too. And that’s okay. Awesome. Take that nap. You must have needed it.

Open up your mess and let’s all just take one big sigh together.

[insert messy car pic]

xo

Tab

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