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What a week without my child has taught me…

Sharing an old one today. Kiddo has spent another week away from us and as the time comes to a close, I thought I’d read this old post to see if anything has changed. My mental state is absolutely better. So that is awesome! But that boy is still my reason for getting out of bed in the morning and man I can’t wait to see him today! 😍

Messy Worthiness

Well first off, it taught me I quite enjoy not answering 68 questions before noon. That’s for sure.

Kiddo went to spend the week with his grandparents and I was supposed to spend that week relaxing and soaking in every dang second of him not being home. I was supposed to get to do things I don’t normally get to do, like go to a late movie, date my husband, get a sudden urge to go to Walmart at midnight… I was pumped and ready to party. Obviously. 

Instead I spent 90% of that week wallowing in deep depression. The other 10% was certainly spent with my husband and wonderful, but for the most part I just sat and cried or had anxiety attacks. (the upcoming anniversary of my mom’s death isn’t helping anyone here.)

What it taught me is that I need that kid more than I ever realized…

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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.

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Seventy.

Heeeeey guys. How’s it going? Everyone survive Halloween? Anyone still in a candy coma? Well, lucky you then. I’ve decided I really like fun size Butterfingers. Not full size, only fun size. You get a full bite of chocolate every time.

Anyways, not the purpose of this post… Although, matbe it is. I’ve noticed that I’ve been dragging my feet on posting this week. My therapist even made a comment a few weeks ago about my latest post (which at the time was about pretzel/nutella mental breakdown) not sounding like me. I got a little defensive because I feel like I only ever write like me. But upon further self reflection, he’s totally right. Ugh. I hate when that happens. I also know it’s because as much as I aim to be 100% open and honest on this blog, I’m still human. I still feel like a failure and go through times of not wanting anyone to know how I’m falling under water. (And by water, I mean candy wrappers. In a not funny way.)

I’ve been struggling, y’all. I’ve been binging and I’ve been hiding food. I’ve been starving myself and I’ve been trying (unsuccessfully) to purge it later. My negative self-talk is at an all-time high and I am avoiding the mirror. Surprisingly, the only thing I haven’t slipped back into doing is obsessively weighing myself. Probably because I’m just too terrified to see. But today I’m at the doctor for a regular check up and started crying as I stepped on the scale. I’ve gained 70 pounds in a year. That’s right, seventy.

You say, “But, Tabitha. You’ve had a really hard year! Give yourself some grace!” That’s right, I have had an extremely hard year. A LOT of my years have been really hard years, actually. So, what then? When do I stop and say, “Listen, most of my 31 years have been pretty damn hard. So, I don’t really allow myself that grace.” It’s different, you guys. I know it’s hard for you to understand because you (I would hope) haven’t been 400 pounds once upon a time like I have. I didn’t gradually gain that weight. It came in like Miley riding naked on a wrecking ball when I turned 17 and it took a gastric bypass at 29 to get it to go away. And here I am again, 20 pounds away from 300 and it scares the hell out of me. I gained 70 pounds this year. How much can I gain by this time next year if I don’t snap out of it? This isn’t an extra 20 pounds, my friends. This is an extra person worth of pounds and the mental anguish that comes with it isn’t an easy battle to fight.

I remember when I told people I was going to have the surgery. I actually had a number of people make the comment about possibly gaining it all back. I would get offended and be like, “Do I look like an idiot? Why would I ever do that?” ….well, because the surgery isn’t a quick fix. It isn’t easy and it doesn’t fix the mental battle and the eating disorder. So here I am. I’m flawed and human. In my eyes, I’ve failed and I want to hide that part of me away. But I can’t anymore. It almost seems to do more damage to hide from my audience of like two people who read this.

How can you help? I get asked that a lot by people who love me. Honestly? I wish I knew. I wish I knew what to say this time. Do I tell you to support me by having healthy food out when I come visit? No. 1.) I don’t want that crap. And 2.) It’s not anything I want you to worry about. So, I have zero idea for once. Maybe you have an idea?

This post is annoyingly depressing I feel like. GAH, do you ever get sick of your own voice? I do. I just hear my voice and I’m like, GIRL SHUT UUUUUUPPPP. But that’s that negative self talk I’m telling you about.

I’m going to end this post because I’m sounding more crazy by the minute. SORRY! I’ll try to be funnier next time. Maybe a post about how it took me 2 hours to put together a tiny matchbox garage that my kid got for his bday this past weekend? Maybe you’d like to hear the string of cuss words I used? No? That doesn’t sound like a good time to you? GREAT.

xo

Tab

P.S. if you’re new here, it’s what I do. I don’t try to pretend to be anything I’m not. So a lot of times you get a post like this. But with it, I’m hoping that you find comfort in the idea that you aren’t alone.

P.S.S. I’ve been in this waiting room for 45 miiiiiinutes. Gaaaaahhhhh

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Anyone want an obnoxious husband?

It’s past midnight and I’m not tired like I should be, so I’m reading. My husband is apparently wide awake and full of shenanigans. So basically I’m writing this post so that everyone can see what I have to deal with.

Buckle in, folks.

1. He keeps licking his finger and putting it on my arm and cracking up

2. He keeps giving me the finger and waving it wildly in the air.

3. He keeps telling me to “shhh” while I mind my own business and read quietly.

4. But most of all, he keeps doing this:

Save me.

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Reasons I’m Not a Professional Comedian.

Some days I think to myself, “Why did I never pursue comedy? I could have definitely been a comedian.” And then there are days where I look back at conversations I’m currently having:

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Comedy gold, amiright?

Both my therapist and the dietitian at the Eating Recovery Center constantly tell me I should do stand-up. And to that I say these excuses:

  1. I’m just really lazy.
  2. I’m only funny in conversation, not if I have to sit and think of ways to be funny.
  3. I pee my pants fairly easily if scared.
  4. Seriously… I do.
  5. I would be down to be the funny sidekick in a move/tv show. But standing in front of drunk people at a club? Well wait… I do get quite the response when I rap Ice, Ice, Baby at a karaoke bar… hang on…

Listen, I used to dream of being on MadTV/SNL. But I just don’t have that drive those people do. Read Amy Poehler’s book, Yes Please. You’ll read how hard she worked for that and you’ll be like… Tabitha’s right, she’d never make the effort. It would require her to put on pants. 

And to that I say:

RIGHT?

So instead you guys are stuck reading my HILARIOUS blog posts. Sucks for you!

Tab OUT

Tab back in for a minute. In answer to the question I know you’re asking: Yes, yes you read that right. My friend and I are going to see a Hanson concert next month. No, we don’t know why. We just are. WE. JUST. ARE.

Okay. Now Tab OUT.

 

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Grief is Weird and Annoying.

August 16th marks one year since my mother was declared dead. One year since I had to make a lot of decisions I didn’t want to make and a year since I stood next to her bed and held her hand as a man I didn’t know pulled a plug that ended her life officially. A year since I signed a paper giving him permission to do so.

That’s a really weird and depressing paragraph, but it is what it is.

I never really mourned my mom’s death this past year. I cried, sure, but I cried more because I was shockingly overwhelmed. Then I cried because I felt so guilty that I wasn’t crying and that guilt was eating away at me. I cried because when it was all said and done, the memorial service was over, and people stopped checking on me, I just went on with my life. My therapist, and really everyone, assured me that grief is different for literally every single person. There is no wrong way to grieve.

My year of grief made me envious and hateful. I got mad at people who were able to mourn my mom to the degree that I thought was ‘appropriate’. I hated myself for not mourning the way I wanted to. I’m envious because they were able to find words to express themselves, I’m envious that they were able to focus on the happy times while I was stuck holding on to all the ways that my relationship with her wasn’t perfect, wasn’t all happy. I was angry at myself for being a person who had to spend the past year forgiving someone who isn’t even here anymore, someone who isn’t around to hash it all out with, who isn’t here for me to yell and scream at.

I wish she was here.

You see, my grief wanted me to focus on all the bad instead of the good because it’s so much easier to be mad than to be sad. It’s so much easier to think of all the ways she wronged me, instead of all the ways I miss her. I don’t really miss the mom of my childhood, because our relationship was so far from good. There were a lot of fights, a lot of tears, and a lot of bad memories. But I miss the mom of my adulthood fiercely.

I miss the woman who became Nana to my son. She always said that he was the reason she was still alive. And I’ll admit, her love for him made me jealous. She loved him more than I’ve ever seen her love anyone. Openly. She loved all of us children, I am certain of that, but it was never a wide-open-display kind of love. Kiddo got that instead. I miss that. I miss seeing her with him. I miss seeing this woman she’d become when he was around, someone who was so giddy and happy and proud. I miss his Nana.

This has been one of the hardest years of my life. The hardest. It started with me losing my mom, then me accepting my infertility once and for all, to me going back on medication for depression for the first time in 6 years, to me checking into a program for an eating disorder. I’m exhausted. So exhausted. And lucky for me, with exhaustion has come my grief. My grief has finally arrived in the past week or so and I’m annoyed.

Funny how that works, right? Here I was practically begging for grief for a year, I finally get it, and now I’m pissed. It was so much easier to just not actually grieve the way I wanted. It was so much easier to not be a blubbering mess. Can’t I just go back to that?

I know I’m super open on this blog. I’m actually really happy that I am. But I feel weird about posting this, I’ll be honest. It’s very raw. I want to make sure as you finish reading this that you know I have loved my mom every single day of my life. Even in the bad times. I want you to know that I’m aware no one is perfect, that even I made mistakes in our relationship. I want you to know that I’m worried everything I wrote is going to come out wrong and someone is going to hurt from it. That’s not my intention. I just want to be real, to be raw. I want to everyone to know that grief really is completely different for everyone and that it really is okay. You aren’t alone if you aren’t grieving when you feel like you should be. You aren’t alone if you’re the opposite and can’t get out of bed because it’s simply too damn hard. You aren’t alone if you are somewhere in the middle. You aren’t alone.

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xo

Tab

Fell free to like/share/comment/buy me chocolate…

 

 

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Teddy, The Bear Without a Nose.

When we adopted Kiddo, I wracked my brain trying to think of all the things I wanted to do to celebrate his new life with us being officially official. We threw a party and made a big deal out of the whole shabang.

My mom was so in love with Josiah, I actually had to tell her that she had to reign the gifts in once she found out we were getting to be his forever family. I remember that we were walking around the mall one day right after his adoption and my mom asked if we could take him to Build-A-Bear. I had never been to BAB before and I didn’t get the hype. It’s just a stuffed animal, dude. What’s the big deal?

Little did I know that not only would BAB become an adoption day tradition for our family, but that dang bear would be a family member that comes everywhere we go, even 3 years later.

BAB is an important part of Kiddo’s adoption day. Why? Well at BAB you adopt the dang animal! It’s a whole special thing. And you kiss the heart that’s inside. Teddy’s heart was kissed by Kiddo and my mom. The other ones (years 1&2 are kissed by me, Hubs, and Kiddo) This opens up a big conversation between our family every year about how he was adopted and how we promised to take special care of him, just like he promised to take care of his special animal he adopted.

The first few months we had Teddy, little 2 year old Kiddo chewed his nose off. Every year when we bring him along to BAB for adoption day (Josiah insists it’s Teddy’s adoption day too. He gets a new accessory and everything. I don’t want to talk about it.) The staff offers to replace poor Teddy’s nose. Josiah and I are very passionate about the fact that Teddy is perfect just the way he is.

As we approach Kiddo’s third adoption day anniversary on Monday, Teddy is even more special. Teddy is filled with a heart containing a kiss from my mom and this is our first adoption day without her. In fact, last adoption day was the very last time I saw her, spoke to her, heard her voice.

Next week is going to be a little rough, but I’ll get through it. I just hope Kiddo is willing to let me sleep with Teddy. That wouldn’t be weird, right?

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Dear Mama Tribe,

Dear Mama Tribe,

Man, I am so thankful for y’all. You see, I’m a mess. And praise Jesus, because you’re a mess too. Sometimes I tell myself that you might be even messier than me. It’s good to have dreams. 

I just wanted to take a quick moment and say thank you. Thank you for not cleaning your house before I come over. Thank you for not expecting me to clean mine. (Spoiler alert!: I won’t.) Thank you for letting me wear pajama pants at 2pm and thanks for understanding when I cancel plans via text because I’m convinced my child has joined some sort of serial killer society and “I just can’t today”. You get me. I get you. We’re all one big mess. 

Thank you for telling me how good I look on days I didn’t wash my hair. Thank you for pretending you don’t smell me when I see you right after the gym. Thank you for not calling the cops when I threaten to push my child in front of a bus because you know I’m only joking….kind of. 

Thank you for loving my kid on his bad days. Thank you for loving me on mine. Thank you for making it so that I’m not alone when the whole world feels like it’s closing in. 

Thank you for helping me create fun code words so we can talk about inappropriate things in front of our children and thank you for not even missing a beat when I reveal a secret that’s insane. 

Thank you for being in my tribe, for being a part of me. I love you. 

Tabitha 
(I’m blessed to be surrounded by a HUGE tribe of women. I hope you are too! Please like/comment/share) 

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Get a friend that forces fun upon you.

Hi, guys. How’s it going?

I have to be honest, lately I’ve been going through something pretty heavy. Well, I have been going through this thing pretty much my whole life, but now I’m finally taking the steps to tackle it. I’m finally owning that it is truly an issue and truly something that I need help with. It’s out of control. I’m talking about my eating disorder. Now, I’m not quite ready to go into detail on here. I want to, but I’m just not ready yet. I want to share my story. I know I don’t have to, but I want to. I’m just not there yet. So pray that I am truly able to conquer this and that I gain the courage to share.

All that being said, I’ve been sort of falling apart quietly over here. I’ve leaned on some friends and my husband to keep me going, but some days just aren’t great. Yesterday I finally saw a sweet, great friend that I haven’t physically seen in months. Many months. We Skype every once in a while, she lives an hour away, but I hadn’t seen her since November in person. Finally I got to see her last night and meet her brand new baby! She immediately started spoiling me with things that will spark my creativity. This sweet friend and I share a love, unhealthy love, of scrapbooking stuffs and really we are the only insane people we both know that are as out of control as we are. Heck, she even has a YouTube where you can watch her and her creations! (Which I’m a little obsessed with. She’s so dang cute.) Anyways, she has this wonderful space upstairs in her house dedicated to her creativity and I’m so jealous. I really need to redo my office and make it more friendly for all I want to do. But anyways, she knows how I’ve been hurting and she just started throwing supplies at me.

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It went a little something like this:

Alyssa: Take this, and this, and some of these…
Me: No, dude, these are yours. You bought them for you. I can go buy some.
Alyssa: I didn’t ask you. Shut up.
Me: OH MY GAAAHHH STAAAHHHHPPP.
Alyssa: AND YOU NEED THESE!!!
Me: ALYSSA!
Alyssa: SHUT UP. OH LOOK! MORE OF THESE!!

You know, so it’s a super healthy friendship.

But you know what? She’s amazing. I love her and she gets me. She gets me so much and she’s basically a mess like me. That’s right, I said it.

I got home from her house at around 10pm and I dived right into scrapping. It was just what I needed. I even did some journaling to Josiah. Something I haven’t done since he turned four. My heart sang.

So point being – you need someone who knows just what you need sometimes. Someone who is like, “Dude, both our lives are falling apart. So hey, take all this free crap that I secretly already hoard. I even have a big box to put it all in. And like, do what you gotta do, mmkay?”

And honestly, if you don’t have that person and you just want to spill your guts to someone, you can totally spill your guts to me. Because chances are, I’m there too.

Thanks for loving me, y’all.

xo

Tab

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Going Home.

Literally yesterday I was sitting on my therapist’s couch crying about how ever since my mom died, I have nowhere to go that feels like “Going Home”.  My mom was my home. We didn’t need to be in the same house where I grew up, she was home. I have been craving the feeling of going home desperately.

My siblings do a pretty alright job of being my home, my place of comfort. I love them more than they could ever imagine, but it still wasn’t filling that void. You see, before my mom married a second time, we had a whole other place we called home. Blanco, Texas. I spent many many years in Blanco. I spent every other weekend, weeks in the summer, holidays… it was where my grandmother was. And that woman was my everything.

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There was another family next door. I spent every minute with them, they’d babysit me while my mom and grandmother were at work. Hell, believe it or not, at one point I even knew how to speak Spanish. (don’t ask me now, I can only tell you the bad words).

When my grandmother died almost 8 years ago, I stopped going home. Actually, when I turned 16 I stopped going home, choosing instead to meet her closer to my house at a restaurant for lunch. I couldn’t be bothered to spend weekends there anymore. I was sixteen and obviously far too busy. When she died, I craved home.

My mom would drive me to Blanco every once in a while and we’d slowly drive down the bumpy street and sit and stare at the houses. I’d try so hard to will myself to get out of the car and go talk to that family. I’d chicken out every time. For 8 years I have chickened out. Afraid they didn’t care about me anymore, didn’t really want to see me.

Tonight, on the drive home from spending a great day at my dad’s house, I drove through Blanco and Kiddo asked about the river the house is on. I said, “Mommy used to swim in that river when she was a little girl.” He said, “No. You didn’t. You can’t swim in that river.” Suddenly I just pulled the car over and turned around and said, “Oh yeah? I have some people that can tell you otherwise.” I took a deep breath and I drove to the house.

The man that was like a grandfather to me, taught me to ride a bicycle, taught me more than I could ever imagine, recognized me before I even got out of the car. He hadn’t seen me since I was probably 16, but that didn’t matter, he knew me. He told me he thinks about me all the time, misses me, loves me. Suddenly the whole family was outside with me, talking as if no time had passed. Sharing a thousand memories from our childhoods and laughing. I was home.

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I got to see my baby boy sit on the same steps I did, sit in the same chairs I did, run through the same fields I did. He felt at home, I could see it in him.  He usually plays shy around adults… tonight he didn’t. He dove right in.

In this moment, I am happy. In this moment, my craving to be home has been satisfied. In this moment, I’m praying they let me come up there a thousand times more.