Posted in mental health, recovery

Living Suicidal [National Suicide Prevention Day 2018]

IF YOU ARE STRUGGLING WITH SUICIDAL THOUGHTS – CALL 1-800-273-8255 

Today is National Suicide Prevention Day, a day that’s very important to me. In fact, suicide prevention in general is very important to me. (I mean, obviously it should be important to everyone…)

I’ve talked very openly about my experience in the past on this blog and the day I came home from treatment after my suicide attempt, I swore I’d never keep my mouth shut about it. Despite what other people wanted me to do. Some people get embarrassed or uncomfortable when I talk so openly about my past struggle, and they get even more uncomfortable when I talk even more openly about my current struggles.

You see, my struggle with suicide didn’t end at seventeen. No, that struggle has been going on for fifteen years. Have I actively tried to kill myself all fifteen of those years? No, of course not. But I have spent a lot of those years actively struggling with the thoughts. This is why I am an advocate for getting properly medicated. I spent so many of those years not medicated. And then once I was medicated, I was wrongly medicated. And I was wrongly medicated because I refused to accept the diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Because even though I was open and willing to talk about my struggles, I still allowed the world to make me feel like certain diagnosis would make me “untouchable” and “undesirable”. I was ashamed to be called bipolar.

When heavily medicated I still couldn’t understand why I would still be daydreaming about ending my life. When viral articles would go around of celebrities ending theirs, I would become obsessed and scour the internet trying to find out the way they did it, why… and it would put me into a deeper depression. And then I would make myself feel even worse for being so “broken”. I would tell myself I am worthless and useless. That I’m wasting everyone’s time. And honestly, I know this can be hard to hear, I’d be jealous.

And then I would tell others that they are brave for getting properly medicated. I would tell them they are strong and powerful and worthy of such a wonderful life. It was true. So true. Yet I couldn’t believe it in myself. I was just broken and I was never going to be okay. And I was doing something wrong. I was screwing up. I wasn’t taking the meds right… I was just a failure.

But instead I was just the way I am. This is the way my brain is. I can’t help it. I am just being me. There was nothing I was doing wrong. Nothing I could help other than just trying to do the best I can and keep trying to live and figure out how to live better as the days go on.

So I fought. I fought and I kept fighting for my life. And I realized that I should take my own advice and get properly diagnosed and be properly medicated for a disorder I was ashamed of when I shouldn’t have been.

Does that mean I’m no longer suicidal? No. Not at all. Because without these medications, I can guarantee you that things won’t be okay right now. How do I know? Because I’ve tried it. I tried it against all better judgement. And I had an angel of a friend tell me to stop being an ass [sorry parents] and get back on my medication. So I did.

The point of this blog today was to tell you that living suicidal is an every day fight. That even with proper medication I still have fleeting thoughts, that thankfully now go away a lot faster than they ever have before. But I still have to make myself take my medications. I still have to fight for my life (so to say).

And so you should fight for your life too. Keep fighting. Stay for another tomorrow. You can do this. You can. I have. You might feel like no one wants you here for tomorrow. Trust me, I’ve felt that. It isn’t true. I want you here. Even if I’ve never met you before, I want you here. Send me a message. Let’s talk. Stay. Just stay for tomorrow. Tomorrow Needs You.

Posted in mental health, messy mama

Perfectly Picked. [A Messy Mama Post]

Soooo… it’s been three weeks. My bad. But also like, May took.me.down. The last month of school is the most ridiculous month ever. Why do we feel the need to shove everything in at the end? It stresses me out. I’m over it. Whatever, it’s over. Here I am. I’m alive. And sweaty. I’M SWEATY AND ALIVE.

At the height of my bad days with Kiddo, I remember being told by several people, “You were picked to be the parent of your child for a reason. There is a reason. It’ll get better.” And more things of that nature. And of course in the moment I’m like, Wow how sweet. Thank you so much. And then the cynic in me that we all know is there would be like, “GAAAAWWWWDDD Shut up with that. Technically I picked this kid because I adopted him and now I’m getting bit in the butt with this decision.” Yes, I know, that’s not a flattering thought to admit to thinking as a parent, but I’m always being real with y’all.

Fast forward to my current life, and wouldn’t you just know that those damn statements are true? Of course they are. Of course. Of course there is a reason I’m Kiddo’s mom. Of course. Now, let me explain.

When Husband and I were applying to be foster parents many moons ago, I remember one of the questions they asked us was along the lines of, “If it turns out that your child has some mental health issues, how will you respond?” (because many, many, many do) And I remember being like…. how will I respond? Uh, considering I’m riddled with mental health issues, I suppose that would be a non-issue around here. I’d just be like, Hey Pal, welcome to the family. You fit right in. And we all kind of giggled and a lot of other personal information was asked and we were approved and blah blah blah, four kids later – we adopted our boy. ❤ [I do realize that was super not a touching moment just now, but like…there’s other posts I’ve written about those times. Haha]

We started noticing a little less than a year ago that Kiddo had a touch of anxiety. He is extremely outgoing and obnoxious… unless there’s about more than 10 people. Then the fun and games are over for him. He shuts down and has to be slowly introduced into the situation. And if there is zero people he knows involved, then it’s tougher. But usually there’s always a friend if we are in a situation like that. He also, I’ve started to notice, needs to ask me what the day’s plan is. He asks me simply things like, “Is it a school day?” “Is it a church day?” Things like that. (He’s 5) He just wants to know what the goal here is. I get it, me too dude. So, really the anxiety was just coming around to being those simple things. Easy peasy, I could handle it. The “issue” never lasted more than 15 or so minutes and he would move on, get accustomed to the situation, etc.

So, when I tell you that we went to a birthday party last Saturday and he started hyperventilating and having a full blown panic attack, I am just as shocked as you are. The party was for one of his friends at a park. Now, there was also another party going on at the same time, so the people in attendance was doubled. Still, we’ve been to this park 3 billion times, I didn’t even think twice about it. Plus, there’s tacos and donuts. What is there to think about?

I noticed instantly he didn’t want to leave my side. It’s Texas, I’m sweating to death, I’m grumpy, I am Mother-of-the-Year and I push him off of me and say, “OMG GO PLAY OR YOU DON’T GET DONUTS.” Then I proceed to try to socialize with the other parents at the party. I see him sitting alone on a chair at the park just staring at me. (That sounds super creepy, it kind of was.) And of course, because I’m excellent at this, I walk over to him and I’m like, “DUDE WHAT’S UP?” And he tries to get me to play with him. Now, he’s an only child. So this is a problem I come across often. He’s used to playing with just me. GO PLAY WITH OTHER PEOPLE, BRO. But after a few minutes I notice this is different. He’s not even having fun with me playing with him, he just wants me next to him.

It finally looks like he might to to a slide, so I follow him over and kind of slow down to talk to another parent and he stops and comes back to me and shuts down. He refuses to go back to the slide. Finally, I pull him off to a bench and sit down and I’m like… what’s up? And he starts repeating over and over again, “I need to be alone. I just need to be alone. I need to be alone.” Now, this is something I’ve taught him to tell me if he’s feeling overwhelmed by a bunch of people. This is his little way of saying, “There’s too many kids for a second, I just need a break.” But he’s always just said that. He’s never repeated this over and over and over. He isn’t even looking me in the eye. I mean, he’s looking at me… but he’s not looking at me. Does that make sense?

Then he starts asking for his best friend that isn’t there. (His buddy was on a trip with his family and couldn’t come to the party) He started repeating it over and over again, “I need to be alone, where’s L? I need to be alone, where’s L? I need to be alone, where’s L?” He’s shaking at this point and can’t seem to take a deep breath. I grab him and we leave the party.

After it’s discovered that there is no way in hell that Mommy can produce his best buddy out of thin air, his focus is directed on needing Daddy. Someone I also cannot produce out of thin air, as he is at work. Thus, making this attack last a total of 8 hours. (With a 3 hour nap – of which my kid usually only takes 30 minutes, if at all)

My baby was emotionally drained. But by dinner I was able to produce Daddy and things got a little better. Unfortunately, he had a second attack the next day. Not as bad, but still rough.

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ALL OF THIS WAS TO SAY, I was perfectly picked to be my kid’s mom. I have had my share of panic attacks. I’ve had my share of emotional breakdowns. I’ve had my share of 3 hour naps in the middle of the day. I’ve had my share. And I loved my mom so much, but she did not ever handle my mental health the right way. She actually handled it pretty horribly. So, I did my best to do what I would have wanted, I held him. I talked to him like everything was normal. There was no shame. This was okay. It was all going to be okay. We all have days like this, and he isn’t alone. Mommy has hard days too. And we talked about it. We talked about how proud I was of him trying to find ways to express what he needed. I told him how proud I was of him to have picked a buddy that he can turn to when he’s falling apart. Even better, that buddy’s mommy is my fall apart buddy.

God knows what he’s doing when He gives us people. He totally knows. 

You are perfectly picked for this world, kid or not. You are put here for a reason, find it. ❤

xo Tab

 

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 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

like/share/comment/send me sweet treats in the mail to get rid of the bitter taste/like how I tried to get you to send me chocolate?

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

Like/Comment/Share with someone who could use a big giant collective group sigh. We got you!

Posted in messy mama, Ramblings

Dear Three Babies,

Hey there babies,

Well, y’all aren’t really babies anymore…are you? You’re actually more like little 3 and 4 year olds now. But to me, you’re still babies, little tiny ones. Ones that all fit in the palms of our hands.

Please forgive me babies, because over the past 3 years, I haven’t thought about you often. Not because I didn’t love you, but because thinking of you makes my heart hurt and it makes me cry. And honestly? It makes me feel guilty to think about you guys.

Not that I had any control over you going back to the people you were taken from, I definitely did not, but I have guilt for loving you so fiercely for the time you were in our homes and then having no trace of you around after you’re gone. And I feel guilty for not staying a foster parent. Maybe if we would have stayed foster parents, we’d get to have you back if you ever entered the system again.

Instead, I pray that you didn’t ever enter the system again. I pray that when you went home, it was for real that time. That you got to be happy and grow up safe and healthy. I pray for you three a lot. Even you, my little “Alphabet”, my one I know actually did get adopted by a different foster family. I pray they were the right home for you. I know God has his hand in all of it and I know all thee of you are growing big in His eyes. I just wish it was in my eyes too sometimes.

I do still love you all, I do think about you and pray for you. I know you weren’t meant to be mine forever, but I’m so thankful you were mine for a little while.

Love, Mama

This time of year always weighs a little harder on us. We became foster parents for the first time on Halloween 2013 and took ourselves out of the foster system one year after. Losing three babies back into the system was hard, so hard. I wanted to bond with the baby we just adopted and my heart was having a hard time. So we stopped and said we’d go back in a few months later.

We never did. Every six months we revisit the subject and every six months we say no. And every six months I break down over my three babies.

This year I’m also finding how much bitterness my heart is still holding on to and how much of it I’m harnessing towards foster parents that never had to give their babies back, they just got to adopt the ones they had. Instead of rejoicing with them like I should, I become hateful and bitter. I allow my heart to turn cold against them and I cut them out and I’m sorry. I’m working on it. This journey isn’t easy for anyone, in any way. Even for the ones that never had to give their babies back, they still had to live in fear. I know that. I know things weren’t sunshine and roses the whole time, I know. I’ll get there someday.

Today I walked away from a conversation with a friend who told me she feels a call to her heart to foster, feeling ashamed of how I behaved. I could feel the bitterness pouring out of me. I’m ashamed. Those kiddos, really the world, needs people with kind hearts who want to be there. I pray that my bitterness didn’t go home with her.

Today was ‘Reclaimed Sunday’ at the church I’ve been attending by my house and I forgot. I walked through the doors and simply just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t sit in on a day all about fostering and adoption right now, my bitterness wouldn’t allow it. So I sat in the lobby.

I know as the years go by, the days will be different. For all I know, I could have adopted 17 kids by this time next year, whatever God plans for us. (Oh sweet God, I truly beg of you not to)

If you reach out to a friend and you’re met with bitterness, please know that there is something bigger going on. Make sure you never let that bitterness truly affect you. Stay true to what you feel in your heart. ❤

XO

Tab

Posted in messy mama, Ramblings

Adoption During Infertility [National Adoption Month 2017]

Ohhhh, y’all. Ohhhohoho, y’all. This week has been quite the week and I am emotionally exhausted. So do you know what that means? Hmm? Oh, a new blog post. You’re welcome. Buckle up. I should make that into a t-shirt: “Oh hey there, having a good day? WELL, BUCKLE UP BECAUSE I GOT STUFF TO SAY”. Oh what’s that? You wouldn’t wear it? *sigh* WELL FINE. [I was going to go full Rocky Horror and say “WELL I DIDN’T MAKE HIM FOR YOU!” But then I realized that… yes… yes that was the whole point of the shirt…]

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So, first let me tell you that this past Monday I was diagnosed as bipolar, not for the first time. This, however, is the first time I am choosing to accept this diagnosis. We can talk more about this diagnosis another time if you care to, but I share that on here because it’s an important piece to the puzzle that is the reason as to why I have been so ridiculously emotional this past week. The medication changes I have been dealing with have been a wild roller coaster and I’m just exhausted, mentally and physically. The good news is, the effects have been mostly positive. The bad news is (well, for me), that these new meds have seemed to take away my ability keep up some emotional walls I’ve apparently built and I’m pretty pissed off and annoyed, honestly. I’ve spent the week crying over some things I was certain I was over and I’m angry about it.

I’m all for crying and talking things out, but after years of crying and talking about the same topic – I want to be done. I want to be sooo done. And one of the very big things I want to be done crying over? You guessed it, my infertility. Last month marked six official years since my diagnosis. Six years of praying for a baby and 72 months of a mental checking off of “…nope. not this time…” And very roughly 2,190 days of praying for God to just take this desire to be a parent to a biological child away completely.

As you may have guessed from that last paragraph, we didn’t come to the adoption decision easily at all. In fact, it wasn’t until 2 years into the infertility and 3 years into our marriage that we decided we would try to foster to adopt. I did not even a little bit feel called to adopt. And even though we kept getting put into situations and being surrounded by people who did adopt or foster… and even though my husband had said he’d be fine to adopt… I continued to rebel. And by rebel, I need you to know that I verbally fought and shouted against it. I got angry at the suggestion of it and cut out anyone who would mention it as a cure to my desire to be a mom. Because at the time, my desire wasn’t just to be a mom, it was to be pregnant. And the pain of getting to watch other people around me get to have that part stirred the fire of jealous rage in me that I couldn’t even begin to properly describe. It was borderline psychotic, but it was real.

I prayed constantly that God would take that desire to be pregnant away and help me to just see that being a mom was all I truly cared about. He didn’t take the desire away, but he did finally change my heart toward fostering to adopt two years into our journey. We had four children. Four. Four children we loved. Three children we lost. One child we kept. Fostering kept four children alive, safe, fed, and loved. Adoption kept one child in our house forever.

It’s hard sometimes for me to not be bitter towards adoption. I know that’s a weird thing to say, let me explain. It’s hard for me to not be upset that I wasn’t able to just have my kid myself, that he had to come from someone else. Or that those three kids who were in the system got to go back to their families, when I would have loved them and never put them in the same kind of danger they were in. Why do these people get to have kids while people like me are just out there begging for children to be given to them?

But in the same breath, I can say… what makes me any better? I’m a sinner too. I don’t sin the same way… but we’ve all established that I’m a huge mess, so I need to just sit back and let the pieces fall as they may, right? Because what do I know? I like to think some pretty awesome things ended up happening for the others. (We all know the one that got to stay already got the best life ever, I mean, amiright? *winkwink*) Like “Little”, our very first baby. Oh how I loved him. He was soooo very tiny. He was only 5 pounds and he fit in my husband’s palm. His grandma worked so hard to get him and his siblings back, so I pray they got to all be together eventually. The next one, she was so sweet and snuggly. I would always put way too big bows on her head, but I don’t care. I know she got to go to her auntie. I pray she’s doing great. And I did find out last year that our last foster baby was actually adopted by a different foster family eventually! I’m glad she finally found her forever home, even if it didn’t end up being us.

Adoption definitely isn’t an easy fix to someone who is aching for a family, please know that. But when their heart is ready for it, oh man… it is truly the right fix. ❤

Want to get involved? There is this awesome organization that helps out foster kiddos!

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Together We Rise is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization comprised of motivated young adults and former foster youth. Our vision is to improve the lives of foster children in America, who often find themselves forgotten and neglected by the public. We collaborate with community partners to bring resources to foster youth and use service-learning activities to educate volunteers on issues surrounding the foster care system.

TWR works with hundreds of foster agencies, social workers, CASA advocates, and other partners to bring our programs to foster youth across the nation. Our foundation has allowed us to provide thousands of foster youth across the country with new bicycles, college supplies, and suitcases so that children do not have to travel from home to home with their belongings in a trash bag.

xo
Tab

Posted in Ramblings

The Longest Tunnel in the World

I wrote this for everyone that has been there… but mostly I wrote it for one person who I know will get an email notification that I posted a new blog and this is way too long to text and she’s sleeping like an old lady right now and she totally knows who she is because of the old lady part. ❤

The longest tunnel in the world is one that feels like there will never been an end to. You’re halfway through, but all you can see is a deep blackness. You start to forget how long you’ve been walking and you get this intense feeling of claustrophobia. You start to feel like the tunnel walls are closing in, you start to get dizzy, and you are able to convince yourself that the concrete surrounding you will start to crumble and collapse on top of you. There is no way out and you’re alone. It’s cold and it’s lonely and the tears won’t stop falling. Your clothes are soaked, the tears have become an ocean that you are trying to swim in, but the tide keeps pulling you under.

It’s so hard to see that there is a boat to rescue you and an end to that tunnel. It’s hard to see that the sun is shining and you take a look around and you notice that you were never really alone. You were being carried by your family, friends, and an amazing God who loves you.

And then you have that one annoying friend that won’t stop saying things like, “You’re so strong and brave.” and “I love you so much!” and “You’re going to make it through this.” And you’ll be like, “GAH JUST LEAVE ME ALONE.”, but she won’t and you’ll love her anyway, right? RIGHT? Because it’s all true. All of it.

Keep fighting. Keep living. Keep being you. And if being you from now on is being a mess, well then I’ll love you anyway. Although, I pray it’s not always a mess for your sake…but you know what I mean.  And also, let’s go to the beach on a day trip asap and hold hands while we put our feet in an ocean that isn’t trying to pull us under, deal?

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xo
Tab
like/share/comment/fund my trip to the beach

Posted in recovery

Stay [World Suicide Prevention Day 2017]

Y’all, I have been so anxious for today to come! It’s World Suicide Prevention Day, did you know that? Yeah, I didn’t either until this year. Gah, another thing I wish was more public when I was younger. Ah well, I’m just focusing on making it my mission from here on out to really be open with my story and make sure more people know they aren’t alone. YOU AREN’T ALONE. 

So if you’re a regular reader, you know my suicide story. If you’re not, well then you should be and here’s a link. ❤

If I would have been successful at my attempts, I would have missed out on so much. So much good, so much funny, so much sad, so much hurt, so much pain, so much love, so much life. But because I failed, I know that I was put on this earth for so much more.

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You see, I struggled (and 100% honestly STILL struggle) with feeling like there was something more for my life. Back then, I thought there was going to be nothing for me other than the heartache of life I was living every single day. I just figured this is my lot in life and I was always going to be miserable, so why stay? Why stick around and live? What’s the point? I know what it’s like to feel like there’s nothing more. I know what it’s like to feel like giving up and just letting everything go. I know.

My current struggles include me feeling like I’m failing at everything. I feel like I’m failing at being a wife, being a mom, being a friend. I feel like everyone would be better without me and that if I would just go, I would stop burdening everyone around me. When I went into ED Recovery, I needed a lot of help from friends and siblings to watch Kiddo while I got help 3 days a week and couldn’t really afford childcare. Then I would spend those 3 days feeling like the people helping me actually hated me for asking them to do this. I felt like such a burden and I just hated that feeling so much. I cried about it a lot. I feel like I’m a burden to be married to. I feel like my poor husband doesn’t deserve to have to deal with a mentally unstable wife. I feel like Kiddo doesn’t deserve to have to deal with this crazy mommy he has… I just feel like I’m too much for everyone.

But deep down I know that there’s more. There’s more out there and if I don’t stick around to see… I’m going to miss so much. I’ll miss anniversaries, which are on New Year’s Eve. I’ll miss sitting with my husband under fireworks remembering that we found each other in the midst of what felt like my world was ending. I’ll miss seeing Kiddo be who he’s going to become (which apparently is going to be a trash man, I’m told). I’ll miss embarrassing him as he brings dates home, I’ll miss getting to be a grandma (hopefully), I’ll miss the good days and the bad days, I’ll miss the sick days and the healthy days… I’ll miss it all. I don’t want to miss those days. I know that. It doesn’t always feel like that, but I know it’s true. My depressed mind is a liar and so is yours. 

Stay. 

Stay and find out what you’re here for. Find out what you were made to do. Just please stay.

[insert weird picture of my arm]

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xo
Tab

National Suicide Hotline
1-800-273-8255

Posted in recovery, Worthy Workouts

The One Where I Make Everyone Uncomfortable

I’m writing this as I hide in a bathroom stall at the gym. Not actually using the restroom, don’t make this weird, but just….hiding?

I do that a lot, hide. It’s like if I’m hiding in the bathroom, then I’m untouchable. You can’t interrupt me because I’m possibly using the restroom, thus making me free to do whatever I want, unbothered.

If you have met me, you know that I’m loud and obnoxious. I talk to strangers in line because I’m bored and I tend to make friends wherever I go. But the only way I can survive that part of my personality is to have a place to runaway to. A place where I can take deep breaths and space out for a little while. I need to be able to just ….be. Not in a way where I relax while getting a pedicure or a massage, no that’s not it at all. I need to be alone in bed, or in a bathroom, or my car parked in a grocery store parking lot and I need to just be able to sit there and just be. I need to take that time to convince myself that it’s time to go back out into the world and be a person again. That I can’t waste my life away hiding, but that it’s okay to hide for just a little while.

My ability to mentally check out of life so easy became a big topic of discussion at my ED recovery. That’s what I do when I binge, I check out. A lot of the time I truly don’t even realize what I’m doing until it’s already been done. Those kind of binges come late at night and they usually come after I’ve had to be a person too much that day. I didn’t have time during the day to hide in a bathroom and just be, so by the time the chance comes to do so, my mind already checked out without me and I’m doing things that damage me.

I’m not sure why I’m sharing this. I was just on the treadmill doing my thaaang and got this overwhelming need to just go shut myself in a bathroom stall. So here I am.

XO

Tab