Don’t Let Me Get Me

“I can’t give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.” ― Herbert Bayard Swope

Truer words have never been spoken.

I am my own worse enemy. I struggle daily with food, with life, with health.

I struggle with being everything to everyone all the time.

I’m burnt out.

I’m exhausted.

I can’t possibly keep up this pace and be of any use to anyone.

I need to make things better or things will fall apart.

I feel like a little rag doll. I’m stitched about the edges to hold in my stuffing, but if you shake me the wrong way, I’ll spill out and fall apart. My seams will rip out, my button eyes come loose. My stuffing will spill out and make a mess. I’ll have failed at being me, even though I didn’t know I could be me.

Right now, at this moment, I hate myself. I hate that I gave in to a horrid craving (it has actually made me feel sick). I hate that I haven’t been able to go to the gym in a week. I hate that I can’t be with my youngest who wanted me to stay home today with him. I hate that I haven’t taken all my kids to the beach yet this summer. I hate that I suck at money. I hate my body. I hate the fog that is permeating my brain. I hate my exhaustion. I hate my anxiety. I hate my stress. I hate everything about it and it boggles my mind that anyone should love me.

I got me. That’s a bad thing.

Pink – Don’t Let Me Get Me

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Grace Kelly

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

I’ve been doing a lot of introspective thinking about myself. Why I have anxiety, why I have depression, why is life a constant battle for me?

Fear.

We all have the power to do what we need to do in our lives. We have choices. I often hear that we are the only ones responsible for the choices we make. This is truth.

I often have allowed fear to rule my choices. I’ve allowed fear to control me, instead of me controlling fear.

Fear of succeeding, fear of being a burden, fear of letting everyone down (how could I possibly satisfy everyone?), fear of pain, fear of conquering, fear of pretty much everything.

It’s ridiculous, and taxing. It’s stressful and anxiety producing. It is self-defeatist. There is no one in the world that everyone likes. There is no one in the world that has never let someone down.

I WANT to be fit. I WANT to be active. I WANT to feel good and be healthy. Anything after those would be icing on the cake.

Mike – Grace Kelly

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Say Something…

“It is not over, unless you stop trying.” ― Nabil N. Jamal

I feel like I gave up. Subconsciously that is.

I have been eating really well, until the last two weeks. My world imploded into even more stress and I spiralled.

I feel a gaping hole inside my chest that grows and grows. I need to fix it, but fixing it means letting go of many, many things that I’m not sure I’m ready to.

I spend, and have spent, so much time making sure my children’s lives were as amazing as I could make them that I forgot to live as well. It’s the trap of the motherhood – we give and give and give until our lives have been sucked out and there is nothing left but a deep hole.

I’m not giving up though. I’m fighting it kicking and screaming. It may not look that way, but I am.

I WILL SUCCEED.

A Great Big World, Christina Aguilera – Say Something

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Carry On…

“Never stop just because you feel defeated. The journey to the other side is attainable only after great suffering.” ― Santosh Kalwar, Quote Me Everyday

I have an infection. A bad one. My pelvic lymph nodes are infected and the infection has spread. Needless to say I feel horrible…but I am NOT defeated.

I am so grateful for my changed eating habits. I think they are the only things keeping me going health wise right now. I eat a lot of fiber, drink a lot of water, eat a lot of vegetables, moderate portions, etc. If I was eating the way I was a few months ago I have no doubt I would be far worse off than I am right now.

There is always a silver lining to every dark cloud.

There is always a smile to wash away the stain the darkness.

There is always a shoulder to lean against when life’s burdens become too much.

I am grateful for my children, even when they drive me up the wall (I’m looking at you 17 year old child of mine who spams me on my phone).

I am so incredibly grateful for my youngest’s smile – he brightens up my mood in ways I can’t describe.

I am so grateful to my health providers, my nutritionist, my husband – they are the shoulder I lean on and I know I have been leaning a lot lately.

I am grateful I have some answers now as to why I have been feeling so run down. A light has finally appeared.

Kansas – Carry on my Wayward Son

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Silence

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.”
Jalaluddin Rumi

Sometimes, the silence is too loud.

Sometimes, the silence is a clatter in my mind. It deafens my spirit.

Sometimes, the silence is too much and the noise of life can’t be heard through the din of silence.

I’ve had a lot of ups and downs over the last few weeks. Some of my own doing, well, most really. I would like to think I control my emotional responses to that which occurs to me, but I know that thanks to my MS, that isn’t always the case.

I usually keep silent to what is my inner turmoil, allowing my husband brief glimpses of what is eating me inside out. My children sometimes see the aftermath – lack of patience, inability to focus on a conversation. Moodiness.

I try to hide it, but I’m not very good at hiding.

Sometimes it ekes out when I least expect it. At the start of a conversation, I just stand there with unfelt tears falling. It’s only when they cross the threshold of my cheeks do I realize I’ve started crying.

Mostly, I try to silence that part of it, burry deep inside and live in the now. But it weighs me down, anchors me into my seat until I feel as a statue – made of stone, incapable of movement.

The silence envelops me in those movements. The lack of movement stiffening my joints, dragging my body further and further down, into my chair that is. Breathing these days feels heavy, tight.

Then the music starts. My body wants to move, to live. My spirit shakes off the shackles of the silence.

The sounds of life filter in around me. They wrap around my frame in the warmth of sound. A blanket covering my body in a will to be.

The silence is no more.

Delerium – Silence feat. Sarah McLachlan

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Fallen

“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places.” ― Ernest Hemingway

I live with many mask.

I wear them at different times, sometimes together.

Right now, for instance, on the outside I wear the mask of the dutiful worker, compliant and conforming (well, mostly). I wear the mask of the dutiful mother, wife, daughter.

Inside, where there are no masks to wear, I am broken.

On the weekend, I wore the mask of mom. It’s not really a mask though, it is one of my many aspects, but it masks the pain and anguish.

My head/scalp, neck and shoulders have been numb for a couple of weeks now. My doctor believes my MS is flaring a bit. I get symptoms, but haven’t had a full flare in years. My MS is considered mild.

Cognitively, my MS has robbed me of so much. Memories gone, thoughts scattered in the wind.

Depression has become my constant companion. Even with the joy of starting to lose weight, my children, new pets, life…it is always there. Sometimes harsher than at others.

When the depression comes, I wear the mask of happiness, a false smile, over exuberance to compensate for the lack of true emotive joy.

Few things truly make me happy now. My children. When my youngest smiles at me, my heart smiles back. My pets…my bearded dragon and my budgies (my two newest additions) get me out of bed in the morning and functioning because they depend on me to survive. I love these two little birds. They are still juveniles, but we think they are male as their ceres are a purplish hue (adult males have blue ceres – the area around the nostrils). I’ve only had them since last week, and they already provide me with more than they will ever fathom.

Spook & Lemon

I’m not ok. I wear a mask of being fine, but I know I’m not.

I try. I really truly try.

I feel so broken lately. My older son has so many issues. I love him with all my heart, I love all my children deeply. My older ones have broken me. I don’t know what to do for them anymore, how to help them, how to cope. Even if I am right and they know it, I am still wrong, that in itself is not unusual – the reactions from them, however, are.

I’m tired. I want to spend a month in bed, but my body would ache from the pressure on it.

I’m tired of this rollercoaster. Just once would I so love to have a day of peace. No arguing, no loud noises, no door slams, no stomping, no screaming at me, no swearing at me, no expectations. Just one day to ‘be’.

Wouldn’t that be nice?

Sarah McLachlan – Fallen

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Chiquitita

“Chiquitita, you and I know
How the heartaches come and they go and the scars they’re leaving
You’ll be dancing once again and the pain will end
You will have no time for grieving
Chiquitita, you and I cry
But the sun is still in the sky and shining above you
Let me hear you sing once more like you did before
Sing a new song, Chiquitita
Try once more like you did before
Sing a new song, Chiquitita”

 – Benny Goran Bror Andersson, Bjoern K. Ulvaeus  (ABBA)

This song really hit home. Today most of all.

When I was a teen, I lost my best friend. She was murdered. Today, 26 years ago.

I realize this song is not about death, but the sentiment is the same. I danced again, I went on with my life. Some days are harder than others – life happens, it’s not always fair or kind. Sometimes life is brutally cruel, so much so that you see yourself on a high precipice waiting for the wind to waft you over the edge. But life can be wonderful too.

This week has been hard. Between migraines, teens, issues for family and friends that make me want to wrap them all up in the biggest hug I can, it’s been hard.

But there are always slivers of those silver linings. I’m knitting a goat for a friend and I am loving the way it is turning out, even though it is a crochet pattern! My baby boy (I still can’t believe he is 3!) has been so affectionate and sweet that my heart feels fuller than ever. Even my teens seem to be having a better week as well. Money is tight, but when isn’t it.

I discovered my Charlie ‘girl’, is actually a Charlie BOY LOL! I had a great giggle over that surprise last night (he’s maturing into a juvenile and it just became obvious last night).

Then today hits. The anniversary of when life changed for myself and my group of friends. It really brings into focus all that I have to be grateful for. I have three really healthy kids. Sure, the older two have difficulties – but they are healthy. I have an amazing husband who is always by my side, yes, he has Parkinson’s – but it’s NOT a death sentence. I have been sick a lot, sure, but I am finally losing weight and keeping it off! I am more active and can see the changes in me! I can knit – wow, that alone I a big deal for me! Just a few short months ago my hands hurt so much that I couldn’t!

I often wonder where Pam would be now had she lived. She would be 40 going on 41 in October. Would she have kids? Would she be around here? Considering I am still friends with the others from our group, I like to believe her and I would still be very close today if she had lived. I bet she would still be larger than life – gawd she was so full of life!

I miss you Pam. I think of you often. I think of your sister often and hope that she will have no more hardships, she has had enough. I miss your mom. I miss laughing with you and just talking. I still remember your voice, our last phone call.

I wish you could see us now – me, Gena, Rhonda – I like to think you do, and that you check in on us. Our ‘band’ was never the same without you.

ABBA – Chiquitita

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Changes

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” ― Mahatma Gandhi 

Sometimes I look at my life, my world, and I wonder how in the ever loving fawk I ended up where I am.

I love my family. I love them so much that it literally hurts at times because of the stress that I am under.

I had an ache deep in my chest most of yesterday. I spent most of the day crying, dealing with school and mental health for one of my children. I felt defeated all day. My child has a huge heart. My child means the world to me (all my children do). My child has broken my heart more times than I care to recount and has challenges that may never be solved.

Any parent of a high needs child can tell you that, as caregivers, it is often a thankless, stressful position to be in. You KNOW that they love you and you love them unconditionally, but their needs take precedence over so much of your life that other areas falter and fail. Burn out is common, exhaustion, stress born illnesses are common as well.

Changes are need – it’s hard. Oh gawd, I know it is hard. You HAVE to take time for YOU. No matter how infinitesimal, no matter what it is – you need to take that time and embrace it. No more guilt. Guilt is often a frequent emotion for parents.

I began knitting (again) as a form of ‘me’ time. I may not always get out of the house, but I can sit, watch Doctor Who, and knit and I feel at peace. It is my meditation, my time. It’s not a huge change, but change doesn’t always have to be! Baby steps.

Working towards a healthier me is also a step I have taken – eating healthier, going to bed earlier, getting more exercise. What seemed impossible just a few short months ago is so, so possible now! I’ve started to (FINALLY!) lose weigh after years of struggling, though I’ve had health challenges lately, in general that is improving too!

Make sure you have a support team – even if that is a team of one! You NEED someone. You can’t be the rock your child needs if you are crumbling to dust…Even mountains need a foundation to build on. I’m so fortunate that I have an amazing family network and friend network. There is ALWAYS someone I can talk to.

Let it out. Holding in that pain and hurt from your day will only make you feel worse and takes a toll on your health. It’s a hard lesson to learn, and I took the long way to learn it. I hold very little back anymore. It’s a change that I have learned with time.

Love yourself. This is one change that I am still struggling with. It is needed, and is probably one of the most difficult ones.

Let others help. Sometimes letting go is the most amazing thing you can do for your child. Allowing someone else to guide them is sometimes the most important thing that can happen. It sucks ass. As a parent, you want to be the ONE. That isn’t always possible.

I’m tired. I think that is all I have in me for today. If my advice helps even one parent of a special/high needs child than I am grateful and happy for it.

Peace all and remember to love yourself.

David Bowie – Changes

 

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Unforgettable

“When the past is forgotten, the present is unforgettable” ― Martin Amis, Other People

I love knitting.

I really, really do.

I hate seaming. It never looks right to me. I see all the pictures of gorgeously seamed knitted items, and then I look at mine…and *shudder* gah.

I’m knitting up some Dory characters for my 3 year old. He is VERY anxious for me to finish.

The first one is baby Dory a pattern by Nicola Riley (a.k.a. NixknittingSticks on Ravelry). The pattern is very well written and easy to follow. It was a cinch to knit up, and now I’m onto the seaming. *sigh* poor Marrok…I joked that it would take me longer to seam her than it did to knit her…it really wasn’t a joke.

I had to tear out some of the stitching around the front/mouth area as I am really not happy with how I did it. Being a perfectionist really sucks sometimes…

I’m certain my tot will love her. I just hope I can finish her before he starts school…

In the meantime, life moves on…and appointments get forgotten 😐 I really wish I was joking. No harm done, except to my ego.

Sia – Unforgettable (Finding Dory)

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Explosions

“Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The landmine is me. After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces together.” ― Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing

I feel like this every single day.

Will the landmine be in my mind, one of my children, my husband, my pets? What will the after shock be? Will I recover slow or quick?

I’m trying so hard to keep my energy going – but those bloody landmines keep getting in the way.

Kidney stone caused a late Monday trip to the hospital for me (oh joy), the Thursday before that my poor hubby was in agony from a horrible ear infection, now my youngest has an awful cold and is coughing all night, my eldest turns 17 next week and I have to figure out birthday plans, my middle child – he’s actually not doing bad. No landmines with him, well, except for the behavioural issues.

It’s almost 1 in the afternoon here and I have been ready for bed since I got up.

It’s also worth every waking moment.

I’ll take the landmines and the chaos they cause and use them to produce a life that is full and rich – full of love, laughter, tears, pain, joy, and a wealth in emotion and family. Don’t get me wrong, I would love a calmer existence, but that would be so much more boring.

Now to work on getting that exercise in and moving in the moment!

Ellie Goulding – Explosions

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