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Month: September 2007

Changes can be slippery

Changes can be slippery

After the “Unfortunate Incident of 2006” (otherwise known as the death of my mother and the follow-up falling apart of my life), I have used this space to write when I hurt, laugh when I need to laugh over the funny, and share when I need to know I am not alone.

A very good friend brought up the fact that I seem jaded after events that took place in the last year or so. You think?

I would have to say the first several months I was too much in shock to see the way things in my life were changing or falling apart. Looking back at that time I still try to come to grips with how I feel about a lot of it. I lost friends, a job and a mentor in that time. Sometimes I become so hurt by all of it, I feel my heart will never be the same. Other times I become so angry it colors how I see other situations in my life.

At some point I think I may have become that cynical person I never liked. That is not me. At least, that is not who I have always been. Friends who have never given me a reason to doubt them are kept at arms length. Have I been burned so badly by those who cut bait and ran when things were so tough in my life that I now fear those who actually stuck with me? I don’t want to be that person that keeps her cards held so closely to her chest that she never lets anyone in. I question some peoples’ motivations. (“Why do you want to know that? Do you really care? What is in it for you if I tell you? Who are you going to tell if I am honest with you?”) I guess I get caught up sometimes in a world of in between. Between trusting what I know and hurting from what I thought I knew.

I admit that in certain areas of my life, I have become jaded. At times so angry I don’t know what to do with myself. Other times I want to just cry and beg for an explanation from those who kicked me while I was down and took off. I am not saying I am innocent in changes that took place. I checked out. I get that. I know that there are “friends” who cannot handle that and there are friends who will still be there after everything is said and done. I have learned and am learning the difference.

I have had to learn that some people do not allow you to change. Do not allow you to break down and come back. Hell, I learned that lesson when I got clean. Some will never see that you are doing better. That you have changed and are not the person before, but still good. I will never try to tell anyone I am the person I was before I became an addict. Just as I can never try to convince anyone that I am the same person that I was before my Mom died. I am not. Life kicking your feet out from under you will change you to the core. Sometimes you are blessed enough to find that when you recover– when you are able to stand up again– you are not standing alone. It is a given that some people won’t be there anymore. That is just how it goes. It sucks, but it is life. So, if I know this, why is it so hard to let go and realize that the weakness lies in them, not me?

But the thing is, all that happened, all the hurt, all the lies are in the past. I cannot fix them, change them or make them go away. Yet, here I sit with my stomach in knots if someone brings it up. I doubt people that perhaps I shouldn’t doubt. Honestly, that part is the part that gets to me the most. I miss the way certain things were in my life. Certain friends I could count on for anything at anytime. Now? I don’t know. I truly don’t know. Is it real? Have we changed from friends to aquaintances now? Is it my fear of being burned again or is the underlying hesitation in the friendship real? I don’t know.

What do I know? I know that for me, as an addict, being in this place is not good for me. It is deadly and dangerous. Right now, I am in a bad place mentally but a good place professionally. In other words, changes are taking place that are both exciting and scary. Thrilling and terrifying. Big enough to be life changing. And yet, I am freaking out…and celebrating (albeit a bit hesitantly until all is said and done) that I am finally moving forward with a dream come true.

I stand on the edge of something big. I look behind to see where I have been and what good it has done for me and what harm it has caused. I look at the big leap and wonder what happens after it. Jumping into new situations with new people is terrifying to me. And I suppose my biggest question is this: How do I hold on to the good things that led me here and at the same time embrace the new things where I am going? Is there room for both? The old ties into the pain, but was not all bad. The new is scary and exhilirating.

Change. It terrifies me. And? It exhilirates me! It is the only thing that anyone can count on. But me? I have that whole love/hate relationship with change. I fear it. It shakes things up and makes me feel as if my life is one huge snow globe. I am powerless to stop things and terrified of where things will land after all of the shake-up is finished. Exciting. Scary. Anticipation. Hesitation. Change.

I am not a fan of song quoting blogs, but when it was emailed to me, I thought–I get that. In a whole new way, I get that. I am not going to quote all of the song, but the part that hit me hard was this:

Forgive, sounds good.
Forget, I’m not sure I could.
They say time heals everything,
But I’m still waiting

I know you said
why can’t you just get over it
It turned my whole world around…

Why can’t I just get over it? I ask myself that everyday.

Why did I write all of this? I have no idea other than the fact that I am in a bad place right now and that bad place takes me there. For just 10 minutes I want to trust that what I see is real. To not be angry or hurt or hesitant. For just 10 minutes I want to feel like I used to before everything– me included– changed. I just want to feel good right now. All I could think about last night was how much I wanted to hit the bottle. For a nice relaxing glass of wine? No. To drink everything away and pretend that I am not in a bad place. If that is not the sound of warning sirens blasting, I don’t know what is.

Sometimes I have to wonder is it my addict mind that takes a bad few days and tangles them all up into all of the bad that has happened in the past year or is that something that other people go through? Do others get burned and move on or does it haunt them later when it comes to new situations? I have no idea. All I do know is that I am in a place where I am struggling just to make it through the day without a slip. And right now, I have no idea who I can talk to about it. No idea where to turn. And that sucks.

Where have you been?

Where have you been?

“Jenn, where have you been?”

Yes, I have been getting those IMs and emails. I will tell you. Passed out sicker than a dog on my couch/bed/floor.

It seems my son decided to bring home some cooties and share them. I don’t remember what it is officially called. I call it “tonsilfunkilitis” personally. Basically it is not tonsillitis or strep. It is, however, something that takes your tonsils and swells them to the size of grapefruits to where you begin to feel as if your uvula is being put in a Half Nelson by these massively disgustingly huge and sore tonsils. Gross? I know. Welcome to my world.

So, I have been offline, out of touch and completely off the grid when it comes to human interaction. I did, however, manage to watch the entire first season of Heroes. (Talk about messed up, jacked up and just wrong dreams! Fevers and Heroes make for interesting subconscious mind games, let me tell you!) I also was able to watch a movie or two. But most of the time I slept, wept and drank anything that could get past the wrestling match in my throat.

To those I was supposed to contact, I apologize. To those I harassed while in my fever induced state, I blame it on delirium. And to those that I owe something to, today is my catch up day and you will find it all (Ohhhh how I dream big!) finished today.

In the meantime, I have managed my first deadline of the week over at Fresh Brewed Reviews. This is an awesome story that I have had read to me about a gazillion times in the last week, but never tire of it. Go check out why it’s all about the girl and how she loves that!

I like Potato Salad. And Wagons. And freak shows.

I like Potato Salad. And Wagons. And freak shows.

I found this online tonight and knew it was a Must Share Moment. *Note: Just get through the Potato Salad song and you will be amazed shocked horrified at the mad skillz these women have. And before anyone asks, I am TOTALLY calling the part of “Wagon Girl!” Now, if only I can get two more people to join me in taking this on the road.

When the Mom-O-Meter goes off

When the Mom-O-Meter goes off

Today was one of those days where you really need to watch your step around me. I am on edge, crawling out of my skin and ready to fight. The kids? They can do no right. The husband? Don’t even try. The PTA? Can I be any more antagonistic towards “the way things are done?” Usually, these days come and the family (and most friends) learn to just stay out of the way. Why the angst? Partially because I have been working really hard the last few weeks and it is taking a toll. And, partially because I have been stewing over a situation that I need to just release. For me–a recovering addict– you cannot stay in a bad place for very long and come out unscathed. I just wanted to be left alone. Visions of solitude danced in my head as the evening approached. The kids rejoiced that it was cereal for dinner night. But all thoughts of solitude or self-absorption were immediately wiped away with that one thing that can pull any mother out of a funk.

That blood curdling scream of her child in pain.

My younger daughter slammed her hand in a door. It took me less than a nano-second to go from “Leave me alone” to “Come to me” when I heard her cries. Any thoughts of fatigue or “me time” vanished. All desire to be left alone were replace with that undeniable energy and desire to help my child in pain.

As we examined her finger to see if she fractured it, I knew that my heart was beating as fast as hers was only with a little extra pounding because I am the Mom and I need to make this better for her. Right. Now. There came an amazing adrenaline rush as I was able to speed through the task of getting the ice, the Advil and the favorite stuffed animal all while wiping away tears of pain. Her physical pain. My heart breaking for her. They were matched only by the undeniable bond and knowledge that came from knowing I was needed in that moment. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

After she had her finger put in a splint and the tears had dried, suddenly, it didn’t seem so awful being needed tonight. We curled into one another and read book after book until she fell asleep. Though being needed by so many people so often can be draining, there some those moments where you would never dream of being anywhere else. No matter what.

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Do you want my little black book?

Do you want my little black book?

littleblackbook.jpg

I have no style. None. No. Wait. I do. My style is “I work from home so I can wear my pj’s and socks all day and no one cares” OR when I need to get dressed up I have “I am a PTA mom and can get away with jeans and t-shirts because kids make messes” style. So I have style. In fact, Nina Garcia (best known for her appearnace as the unerring, fromidable fashion judge on Project Runway), author of The Little Black Book of Style says I can have my own style. Though I know that is not what she had in mind when that message came across. Actually, I really did like the message that I can create my own style. One that makes me feel confident. (And I do mean beyond pj’s or jeans and t-shirts.) I love that there is such a strong emphasis on “being your own muse” and creating your own style. Without the freak.

As for how much I will actually get out of this book, probably not as much as someone else who is out and about in the “real world” more than I happen to be. I am not sure the book is the right fit for me, but it is nevertheless and incredible book. My favorite section? The Fashion Cliff Notes Decade by Decade. The illustrations are beautiful! Ruben Toledo is an illustrating master.

I do recommend this book for women who are looking for a bit of style guidance. It is a great, quick read with incredible advice from people who know fashion and style. I even learned a thing or two about ways to update my style. Just because I am a PTA/Soccer mom doesn’t mean I have to look like a slob. And just because I will never wear anything that is fresh off of a runway doesn’t mean I cannot have style.

Style is internal. And everyone can create their own. And good style? It will bring out your confidence. And any woman who has confidence is beautiful!

I am giving away the free copy of The Little Black Book of Style! Do you want a copy? Just comment and let me know about your worst fashion mistake. If for no other reason than I need the entertainment! The winner will be chosen at random. I look forward to reading what you have to done horrible in the name of bad fashion!