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.

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.

Frustrated. 

This is a repost from my Facebook page. That’s where I seem to pour it all out…

I’m frustrated. This is going to be one of those long, full of too much truth for some, posts.

I started flaring in the spring. Always a possibility, I pretty much know how to handle them to keep them from stopping me. This one was a doozie. Wound up in the hospital in early June. Turned to medication to help, bounced around between different doctors to determine just what was the cause. In my head, it doesn’t matter – it’s all the same. Auto-immune. I have a list of diagnoses, in addition to MS that y’all know about, and I tend to lump them all together because the bottom line is the same – my body is attacking my body. 

It’s a helpless feeling knowing I am doing this to myself. Meditating, searching my body for the cause, the triggers that sent me down this path again. I eat better, read more, listen to the cues my body sends and drink more water, juice daily, buy flats, alter my household to accommodate my abilities, etc. Sometimes I cry for hours, other times I get really angry and determined. 

The “cure” for this one was the same as always – massive steroids. I despise this route. My bones are already showing major signs of osteoporosis from years of treatment. Is the cure worse than the cause? I was desperate though, so off we went. After about two weeks I was pain free, my body seemed to be healing. 

Religious with physical therapy, amping up my nutrition, I was on the way out….and then it happened.

I was changing into my pj’s on Friday and felt the all too familiar pain shoot through my leg. F*CK! I froze, afraid to move a muscle, fearful of the future, wishing I could just pretend it never happened.

Except that it did.

One by one my symptoms started to creep back. The steroids were wearing off, and my body was determined to “win” by returning to it’s self destructive mode.

On Monday I was released from Physical Therapy and joined the gym again. On Wednesday my doctor told me I was released “until next time”. We talked about my options going forward, as I’ve had my lifetime supply of NSAIDs, and am likely over the steroid limit too. It’s time to go back to experimental drugs he said, regular infusions, for life. There is ZERO I like about this. My doc knows how I feel and urged me to at least research and set up the needed appointments so I could roll when and if it was needed. I agreed. Thursday night I couldn’t lay on my side anymore, the pain was too much. This morning I felt beat down, scared, frustrated, and angry. I am jealous of every single person that can move freely. I want to scream for them to get off the couch while they can – to go do the things they want to do – simply because they are possible.

Because when that option is removed, regret is a beast. 

I struggle this morning with keeping a positive attitude, with loving myself as my body rebels. I have plans dammit, I don’t want to be stopped, or even slowed down. I want to play with my kids, go to work, take care of myself and my home. I want to be pain free and mobile. 

Yet, I am forced again, to accept. 

My relatively pain free month was simply amazing and all too short. It took about 2 weeks for me to mentally wake up and stop being scared of moving, scared of the pain. I realized I was conditioned to not do things even when they didn’t hurt any more. 

Just as I was breaking free, it’s back.

There has to be something bigger causing this BS. We, as a society, must look at the poisons we have readily available and feed our children with. Fast food is awful, we know this, yet we use pizza and ice cream as a treat. Exercise is good, yet the average adult spends 5 hours a day in front of the television. We are always looking to do what is easy, not what is right. I stoutly believe that the rise in autoimmune issues is a direct cause/effect from our lifestyles. While not intentional, you cannot deny the numbers.

Why isn’t salad cool? Why are Frosties 50 cents and a cold pressed juice 10 dollars? Why do people talk about binging on a TV series more than upping their exercise routines? The general vibe is one of instant gratification with no thought to the long term outcomes. 

It’s tough to fight this on a daily basis. I know my tribe is out there – people who eat well, move their muscles, feed their minds and bodies positive things. I don’t want to be in the minority any more.

I started a massive facebook friend delete campaign through this last flare. And it is freeing. If we don’t vibe, it doesn’t make it in my circle any more. I don’t have the extra energy to fight the bullshit, I don’t need help making poor choices. 

Not sure where I’m going with this, other than to simply release these thoughts from my mind and share with y’all a little piece of what has been going on in my world.

I know that I am not alone, so I am raising  my hand. 

Who wants to join my #levelup #kindgang? Where we push ourselves to be better, not blitzed – where we support instead of compete with one another – where salad is cool.

One thing I have learned over the years – that still holds super true today – if we are nice to our bodies, they will be nice to us. This applies to everything – food, movement, books, music, mindfulness. Have your actions in alignment with your goals. Hell, have goals. Be purposeful with a plan. Save your pennies, feed your mind and body, hug your babies, and love your people.

Everything else is just noise. 

xo