Maple syrup.

I burst into tears this morning because I couldn’t open the screw top to pour syrup on my son’s waffles.

Yes. Syrup made me cry.

In a flash, I was flooded with emotions, which I promptly squelched, and resumed my task of getting that damn top off.

But wait! Are those the feelings I’m supposed to feel?

What were they?

I struggle to unravel the thread of the fabric I only caught a glimpse of.

Sadness. I’m alone. No one is here to help me. I’ve chased away love.

Shame. For making myself the victim. I know better.

Anger. My fucking parents and their insanely dysfunctional household of terror, 45 years later and I’m crying over syrup.

Fear. What if this is it? What if I’m destined to be alone? What if 3 strikes and you are out?

Nausea. Ok not an emotion, still very present.

The headache is back. My brain hurts.

My son asked me why I was crying. I didn’t even know I was.

Why am I so rigid? I sit here and scold myself for all of the things I should be doing better.

I’m tired.

I’m on the precipice.

I will keep going.

I hope I don’t drown.

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My brain is about to explode.

The dichotomy of life has my head throbbing. I can’t make sense of it all.

Things I know and understand to be true are in direct conflict with each other.

Which way is right?

How do I know what to do next?

We are supposed to love what is and accept people for who they are without trying to change them. Fact.

Growth is good and worthy of support. Fact.

Standing by your husband in support is good. Fact.

Doing drugs is bad. Fact.

Saving money and planning for the future is good. Fact.

Reckless indulgence is bad. Fact.

Beating your children is bad. Fact.

Disrespecting your parents is bad. Fact.

Wait.

What if a parent hits a child? Is disrespect warrented?

What if a spouse is reckless? Do you still support it?

I know better and don’t do better. Fact.

This makes me bad.

Wait. I’m good, I know I am.

No, I can’t be. I try so fucking hard but it’s never enough.

Enough for what?

Seriously, what am I looking for?

Love.

Maybe. Yes. And.

To know that I am good.

That I am worthy.

I do know that, don’t I? At the cerebral level anyway.

Am I?

Am I worthy of love? Am I good?

No, I can’t be. I fuck up all the time. I make bad choices. I can do better. I can be better. I’m not good. I’m bad.

What the actual fuck? You are not bad. Stop being a judgemental asshole.

I need to get angry. Maybe.

I don’t like anger. I abhor it actually.

Yet at times I am full of rage. Deep inside. I hold it together. I push it down. Every once in a while it sneaks out.

It’s an endless cycle. My feedback loop always completes the circle with “I am bad” and “I need to try harder.”

How do I escape the wheel? How do I accept me?

My head hurts. I want to solve the puzzle.

I don’t want to quit. Again.

I don’t want to distract. Again.

Shit. Those agains are punishing. I’m still spinning.

Stop.

Pause.

Breathe.

Accept.

Maybe meditation is the answer.

Maybe, just maybe, I am good enough.

No. I can be better. I know better. Work harder, push harder.

I’m tired.

There I go again.

Time to stop tonight. I’m trapped in working out the problem and need to walk away for the solution.

Breathe.

If you are in a toxic relationship….

It means you are toxic too – ruminate there for a minute.

I was in serious denial at the start. So stinking happy. Blew off every red flag. Looked at his world through my filter.

We weren’t speaking the same language.

It started out with jolts of truth – that didn’t match my version of reality.

Ouch.

I would have long conversations explaining what I saw from my side of the room and convinced myself that this was the work needed to lay the foundation for a solid relationship.

I tolerated things I didn’t vibe with in the name of love.

It wasn’t love. It was a toxic mimic.

Love builds you up. Love supports. Love is honest. Love is pure.

Manipulation is the opposite of love. Lack of respect and boundaries leads to deception and control issues.

Negative behaviors feed on themselves. The death spiral begins.

Can you stop the spin?

Not alone.

Trust is shattered.

It will never be the same again, and quite frankly you wouldn’t want it to be….for that world of false love is how you got here.

How “I” got here.

It hurts to stay. It hurts to leave. It hurts to grow. It hurts to recede.

Avoiding the pain allows it to build up into an avalanche of poisonous emotions demanding to be felt.

The choice to feel them or run from them is always front and center.

Both are exhausting, only one has an end.

You must feel to heal.

Crack open, be gentle with yourself, and work through the pain.

Allow it to be felt. Write, run, meditate, share, cry, honor – let it wash over you.

Be grateful.

Be honest.

Just be.

I can do this. I know I can.

XO

The struggle is real

Lots of talk about suicide this week.

Kate Spade.

Anthony Bourdain.

Even Robin Williams came up again.

I see notes where people say their door is always open. They are there for people.

If only it was that easy.

It’s not.

I’ve battled depression and have had multiple suicide attempts throughout my life. First one as a tween, last one 3 years ago.

I don’t have the answers.

I appear as Suzy Sunshine to others. I have success in business. I have 3 beautiful boys. I have many friends.

I am also an empath. I feel the weight of the world sometimes. I strive to do more, do better. I beat myself up for my poor choices. I invite others in my life under the guise of love who instead of filling me up, drain me.

I then bear the responsibility of that choice and continue to wonder why the fuck I don’t just get over myself and move on.

I beg the universe to allow me to float through life without such intense feelings.

I give myself a stern talking to in order to jump start another day.

Sometimes I cave and retreat.

Then I get upset with myself again for being an asshole.

I roll with alot, and then one seemingly little thing will derail me.

It wasn’t that one thing.

Telling me your door is open doesn’t help. I can’t even walk out of mine, never mind into yours.

I’m tired.

I’ve tried.

I wish sometimes I was blissfully ignorant.

I put my game face on and get shit done. I know how to do that. I show up and clean up, only to drive myself to empty and crash.

Occasionally I hit the flow. Times are good and I feel like I can accomplish anything.

They tell me it’s in my early childhood where this all stems from. Where those coping mechanisms came from. I’m supposed to write about it, sit with it, explore it, and unravel my tangled emotions.

I’m exhausted though.

Some days a shower seems like a monumental task.

Other days I complete a week’s worth of work in just hours.

Balance.

That’s where I beg for the middle. Why can’t I just have a smooth ride?

Acceptance?

I try. Omg do I try so fucking hard.

I read, I exercise, I journal, I go to therapy, I share, I hide, I do reiki, I attend classes, I take meds, then I quit.

I don’t have the tools necessary to get through this thing called life.

The pain overwhelms me.

There are times when I feel my kids would be better off without watching me suffer.

They deserve a happy mom. Or at least a stable one.

My mom is bipolar – untreated for the majority of her life.

Am I creating a life of struggle for my kids having them grow up with my baggage?

Raw and real – I have no answers. I look for them often, I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars and countless hours in pursuit of peace.

My brain knows it is within me – not out there. I am dumbfounded as to how to access it.

How would I find it if I did know?

I’d walk more. Drink more water. Remove toxic people and have positive routines.

So I push my boulder up the hill another day.

Secretly wishing it would just roll back and go away.

I’m sharing because I know without a doubt that I am not alone in feeling this way.

I am not suicidal today. I am not in the sticky dark. I am still fighting the good fight.

Maybe someone who has been there has a path out. Maybe if it was safe to talk about collaboration holds the answer. Maybe we are stronger together.

Then again, maybe not.

My mind is willing to do anything to grow out of this. My heart is still crying, cracked open and furiously building walls to protect me. My body is tired and can’t participate in either activity at the moment.

I wish my mind could tell my heart how to heal instead of how to build walls.

Ah, and my inner critic just awoke to tell me to quit my fucking bitching, how ungrateful can I get?

Makes me think of that Matchbox 20 song…

All day staring at the ceiling
Making friends with shadows on my wall
All night hearing voices telling me that
I should get some sleep
Because tomorrow might be good
For something
Hold on feeling like I’m heading for a
Break down and I dunno why
I’m not crazy
I’m just a little unwell
I know right now you can’t tell

Passion for the win

Life is what we make it. It can be wrote routine or epic adventures – the choice is ours.

I’m reflecting on my day today and a common theme emerged…passion.

It started with Dylan’s final soccer game of the season…they lost 3-2…yet we left all smiles and full of joy. Why? We invested in the experience.

See, their team name is “Hot Dog Snipers” and in convo with my middle son we decided they needed a mascot….

$25 and 2 days later the costume arrived in a plain brown box. We didn’t tell Dyl and instead packed it away and waited for the game.

10 minutes into the first quarter, Jason puts it on. The team lights up, parents take pics, sibling high five him. He does a cartwheel every time they score. He joins the team pic. In an act of cannibalism, he snacks on a hot dog while in costume. 😂

The result was good vibes all around, even with the loss.

I then ventured into DC for the Stanley Cup Finals…

First up? A free street concert with Sting & Shaggy. Joining thousands of Caps fans to flood the streets in a sea of red, I sang along to old Police hits and new reggae releases.

Watching the two of them on the museum steps was mesmerizing. They embodied the vision of two men living their dreams and in the flow. Masterful musicians, who truly enjoyed their craft, produced a show that was fun to watch and participate in.

From there I headed inside for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals….Vegas Knights vs Washington Capitals.

Here I sat in Section 103 – which is where players’ friends and family sit. Literally all around me were parents, wives, children, and grandparents here to watch their loved ones do what they do best.

There was a game winning goal by Devante Smith-Pelly late in the 3rd and the buzzing crowd erupted. I watched as the woman in front of me jumps up with such enthusiasm, pride, and excitement that she spills her drink all over the entire row in front of her while hooting and hollering louder than all.

I was close to tears watching this – you know those love filled, grateful, moving kinda tears….when something external gets all up in your feelings and hits home, hard.

Because seated directly in front of me was Devante’s mama. Sharing in her joy was the most epic moment of the game for me. 💖

The Caps finish out the game and put a win in the books – adding icing to the cake. 🤩

There were parts of today that were hard, parts that were mundane, yet the majority of it was a huge win – and that is solely because of the passion.

We can all have a life by design. We can all experience epic moments every day – whether on our child’s soccer field or at a major sporting event. It’s not WHERE you are, it’s WHO you are and who you are with.

Surround yourself with people who inspire you, who push you to be better, who are living their passion….

What you think about, you bring about and who you surround yourself with, you become. 💖

Passion for the win

Life is what we make it. It can be wrote routine or epic adventures – the choice is ours.

I’m reflecting on my day today and a common theme emerged…passion.

It started with Dylan’s final soccer game of the season…they lost 3-2…yet we left all smiles and full of joy. Why? We invested in the experience.

See, their team name is “Hot Dog Snipers” and in convo with my middle son we decided they needed a mascot….

$25 and 2 days later the costume arrived in a plain brown box. We didn’t tell Dyl and instead packed it away and waited for the game.

10 minutes into the first quarter, Jason puts it on. The team lights up, parents take pics, sibling high five him. He does a cartwheel every time they score. He joins the team pic. In an act of cannibalism, he snacks on a hot dog while in costume. 😂

The result was good vibes all around, even with the loss.

I then ventured into DC for the Stanley Cup Finals…

First up? A free street concert with Sting & Shaggy. Joining thousands of Caps fans to flood the streets in a sea of red, I sang along to old Police hits and new reggae releases.

Watching the two of them on the museum steps was mesmerizing. They embodied the vision of two men living their dreams and in the flow. Masterful musicians, who truly enjoyed their craft, produced a show that was fun to watch and participate in.

From there I headed inside for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals….Vegas Knights vs Washington Capitals.

Here I sat in Section 103 – which is where players’ friends and family sit. Literally all around me were parents, wives, children, and grandparents here to watch their loved ones do what they do best.

There was a game winning goal by Devante Smith-Pelly late in the 3rd and the buzzing crowd erupted. I watched as the woman in front of me jumps up with such enthusiasm, pride, and excitement that she spills her drink all over the entire row in front of her while hooting and hollering louder than all.

I was close to tears watching this – you know those love filled, grateful, moving kinda tears….when something external gets all up in your feelings and hits home, hard.

Because seated directly in front of me was Devante’s mama. Sharing in her joy was the most epic moment of the game for me. 💖

The Caps finish out the game and put a win in the books – adding icing to the cake. 🤩

There were parts of today that were hard, parts that were mundane, yet the majority of it was a huge win – and that is solely because of the passion.

We can all have a life by design. We can all experience epic moments every day – whether on our child’s soccer field or at a major sporting event. It’s not WHERE you are, it’s WHO you are and who you are with.

Surround yourself with people who inspire you, who push you to be better, who are living their passion….

What you think about, you bring about and who you surround yourself with, you become. 💖

Denial

****I originally wrote this Easter weekend 2017 and never hit the publish button. It took 5 more months and the tragic & avoidable death of our family dog to get me to finally leave….now it is May 2018 and I recently went away for the weekend. The outcome was very similar to that of over a year ago – on both sides. I am not upset over this the way I was then. It’s not about me. I get to choose what is in my life and what is not. I have compassion and love for myself first. I am not giving away my power to others. I am not playing victim anymore. I have worked diligently over this past year to heal myself, to go deeper, to differentiate between love and dependence. To kick the drama out to make room for light and love. The decisions of others reflect their own inner self, just like mine do. I teach people how to treat me. I used to think that not judging meant accepting bullshit, it does not. To fully love and accept others, we must love and honor ourselves first. And that means having boundaries that we enforce with grace.****

We are all in it. If we think we aren’t, well then that’s a classic case.

We see what we want to see, not what’s really there. We hear what we want to hear, not what is really being said. We believe what we want to believe, not the cold hard truth.

Sometimes though, life hits you upside the head. And you just cannot ignore it any longer.

I’m in love. I see all of the beautiful things about my husband, and at the start, that was enough. I turned a blind eye to actions, and listened instead to the sweet sweet verse coming from his lips.

Days turned into weeks, weeks into months, months into years.

I sit here today feeling that same nudge at the center of my spirit telling me this is not OK.

It’s not really about an incident. It’s not like one thing happened that just couldn’t be overcome. It’s more like drops of water slowly eating away at my self worth and soul simultaneously. Others could see it – they tried to show me….I turned away from them – instead wrapped in the arms of a man I loved like no other. The good qualities are still there. They always have been.

So are the red flags.

I’m not perfect. I can be difficult too. I put up walls when I’m hurt. I curse too much. Evidently I trust too much too. So I get hurt too much.

And when I’m finished getting hurt, I freeze.

I retreat. Work suffers. Friendships suffer. Health suffers.

Then I get the courage to speak up – and I hear more sweet sweet words. He holds me. I melt. I want this so badly.

And the cycle begins again.

Over the weekend we were apart. I was down in Nashville visiting my oldest son for Easter – he was home.

I spent my time drinking green juice, walking, meeting with people I admire – authors, coaches, employees, eating vegan, filling my soul, talking about yoga and life and goals. I had fun too, so much fun – I saw a snake, drove a Tesla, danced in a bar, ate pizza at 2am.

My husband went to work, swapped out our airbnb guests and hung with friends and family. Sounds innocuous right? That’s the blind version I would have clung to in the past.

He also drove drunk, in my car – wasted actually. He had drug dealers over for a BBQ. Invited an ex to hang out at our house (whom he had previously said would not be allowed in our home again, and had just had a text war with me days earlier) and let the kids run amok. The house was a disaster when I came home – no area was spared – even my reiki room was left wide open to the outside with a broken lamp and glass all over the floor. The kids’ things were left outside in the rain for days, the milk left to warm on the counter, the well filter was never changed and the water flow had slowed to a trickle, wet towels were found in just about every room, toys scattered, crap food filled the fridge, the list goes on.

Individually most of these are small items – minus the drugs and drunk driving. OK, minus the ex too.

I mean can you hear it – Hey Baby, I know you’re out of town – I was going to have a BBQ – invite my BFF – the dope dealer who keeps wanting me to smoke weed with him – yeah, I know I quit last year – well except for those few times I didn’t – Oh, and my ex that openly hates you and wants to sleep with me, yes the one that smokes weed with our teenage daughter – the ex can bring her drug selling boyfriend with her too – you know the one that’s about 400lbs that she doesn’t want to have sex with which is why she asked me instead? Yeah I knew you’d remember, this is the baby mama whose panties you found in the house. Don’t worry though – the kids will be here too – it’s ok, we’ll roast some marshmallows and get them to bed at some point. It’ll be a good time.

What the actual fuck?

Again, if this were one weekend, or a single occurrence, or is there even an or? I sound pathetic. I see how I can get sucked back in, rationalize the hell out of it, work harder, and lose just another little piece of myself in the process.

This is not where I want to be. These are not the things I want to do. This is not the way I want my life to unfold. This is not the example I want to set for my children. This is not OK.