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Next Life, NO Kids: May 2013

May 28, 2013

Mom On Mom Action

My Please Don't Tell Me I'm Huge piece was featured on BlogHer last week and I thoroughly enjoyed the comments and feedback it received. It was so  interesting to see how many women agreed and disagreed, but it was also fun to be challenged a bit. 

Amy from Motherhood and Miscellany left a comment about a negative reaction she received at Target when she made the announcement that she was having another girl, and it made me think. I do that. Whoops.


Here I am complaining about the way people talked to and treated me when I was "huge"and pregnant, and that asspunch at Target could have been me.  I piss on parades all of the time when it comes to girls because I'm currently raising Satan in Hollister clothing.

Sure my daughter looks cute and charming, but she gives me a run for my money every five seconds. She's exhausting, and if I don't make a funny out of our life together constantly, I'll have to check myself in somewhere with white coats and lots of medication. 

Babies are wonderful, tiny little creatures and regardless of gender, they're precious. Toddlers will be toddlers, and although there may be some differences between boys and girls, I think we can all agree that "terrible two" is "terrible two." Since I got sober when my daughter was four, I had a lot of growing up to do myself, and I enjoyed learning from her how to just "be."

Five through twelve were great years. She still thought I was awesome and looked up to me. She wanted to wear my clothes and for me to paint her nails, and it was fun to just hang out with her. I've tried to be the kind of mother that listens and allows for personal opinion. I'm aware that I am not always right, and that "Because I said so" sucks as a response to literally anything. So, until the ideas started sounding totally illogical, I was open to a little tug and pull in regards to rules and consequences. 

Then at some point, she stopped thinking logically and here we are. Years of battle, fighting about nothing, and the never ending power struggle that is my relationship to the 17 year old. I still try to play the tug and pull rule and consequence game, but it's extremely difficult to work with an attitude of "Go fuck yourself." So, sometimes we just have to agree to disagree and other times I just take her important shit away in hopes that she'll soon return to shared reality where we can discuss the issues.

These are all of the thoughts that rush into my brain when you tell me the wonderful news. "You're having a girl? That's awesome! Ugh, get a therapist immediately, because you're going to need it. Whoops, did I say that out loud? Eck, sorry about that." šŸ˜Ÿ

So, what's too much? Where do we cross the line between warnings and shitting on someone's day? Glennon Melton @Momastry wrote an amazing post that I love a while back about some mom advice and the difficulties in seizing mom moments. I do not by any stretch find joy in every one of my children's moments and part of me wishes I'd heeded more warnings. 

I've heard people say that they try not to project. They want to experience everything right where they are and remain in the moment. I can totally respect that stance, however I'd like to challenge it. 

You're out kayaking on a gorgeous day, and having a great time. I have been down the very river you're on and I know what areas you should prepare for or avoid all together. 

Would you want me to tell you even though it might leave you feeling less relaxed for the journey? 

I personally would want the warnings, and a nicely diagrammed picture of the whole shit show, but that's just me. 

Had I been warned properly about these past four years, I probably would have teen-proofed the house and maybe padded her bedroom walls or something...

I'm really interested in your feedback. 

Tell me, what do you think? Leave a comment!

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May 23, 2013

Molly Ringwald Ruined My Life

What teen aged girl was not obsessed with Molly Ringwald in the 80s? That is a completely rhetorical question by the way, because obviously we all were.

Yes you were.

Anyway, who wouldn't be? She dared to be different with her red hair and huge glasses, and she had the magical powers to make bad boys and criminals melt like putty in her hands. I'll admit, I'm still a little fascinated by her.

The lip twitch...how the hell did she do it? Was it the magic power that invoked such dramatic change in high school boys? I don't know, but I remember practicing in the mirror for an entire summer trying to get it perfected. In the end, I gave up because the best I could do on demand was a weird face twitch that made me look like I was about to have a seizure.

So, let us talk about how this shy, timid little vixen ruined my life. Obviously, it wasn't Molly Ringwald that set the tone for many of my horrific relationships, but rather the parts she played in all of my very favorite 80's movies.

Molly's characters fought for us flat chested, shy, and often extremely awkward teen aged girls and begged the question, 

"Why not?" 

Why can't I have the most popular senior guy in school that's currently dating a super model? Why can't I date a hot, rich guy in the cool crowd? So what if my frizzy hair makes me look like a used Q-tip and I have acne all over my face!? The whole school thinks I'm a loser, but why would he? Why can't I make this work? She proved it was possible in every single one of those flicks. 


She worked her charm, and lip thing, and by the end of each movie I learned that under the rough, edgy exterior, most boys are just pretending to be assholes. Bad boys are just softies waiting for the right girl to come along and save them from themselves! 

After each of these inspiring movies, I had hope and walked a little straighter, because surely I was going to be this girl for someone. If she could do it, so could I.  Because way deep down, every guy just wants something real, and powerful, and me. They don't really care about status, and beauty, or whether or not you'll put out. 

Right?

Not.Even.Close.

I dated bad boys, tough guys, and even sprinkled some criminals in the mix, and none of them changed their ways for me. As stated previously, I could never master the lip twitch, but that can't be the only magic move! I've stayed in many relationships with guys that were legit assholes 80% of the time because I was convinced that if I could only love them enough, or be the right girl, they would change. Where did I get this idea? I mostly blame John Hughes, but he definitely couldn't have pulled it off without the magic of Molly Ringwald.

To be fair, I did snap out of that dating dicks phase after a spell, so she didn't ruin my whole life...just a couple decades. 

Strangely enough, she just wrote a book about journeying through human relationships. I suppose it's probably her way of making amends to me for all the trouble she caused. 

Dear Molly,

I forgive you. You're still totally amazing, and I may or may not have watched a few episodes of that terrible American Teenager show just because you were in it. We're square and I harbor no ill feelings towards you. Stop beating yourself up, I'm okay. 

We're okay.

Love, 

Julie






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May 14, 2013

Because Life Was On The List


My daughter decided to attend her junior prom, and it was pretty wonderful to be a part of -- even though she might literally be the most ungrateful person on Earth. I simply tried to enjoy myself around her demands, attitude and sass; to see through them. After all, she was anxious and excited, and I knew none of it was personal. 

It was truly an honor to drop her off, and I know later in her life - after the bitch wears off - she'll look back and remember how I cried. She, of course, yelled very loudly for me to stop in what I can only assume was an attempt to embarrass me in front of the whole town - but whatever

I wasn't at all embarrassed. I was proud and grateful to be there bawling, because that moment was on my list. 


When my daughter was four years old, I attempted suicide. My life was beyond unbearably painful and, as much as I tried, I could not stop hurting myself and others. I didn't know what was happening, but I was pretty sure I was the victim of Life, and just wanted the pain to stop. I had probably a couple of diagnoses at this point, as well as non-compliance with medication - medication that should not be mixed with alcohol.

I reached my end one night, after some insignificant event I blew out of proportion, and I was ready to die. I was of course intoxicated and sobbing, because it was two in the morning, and there weren't many nights I wasn't. That particular night had me feeling extremely overwhelmed and unable to climb out from the rubble. 

I ingested a bottle of pills, and sat down to write letters to my family. I wanted everyone left behind to know how lost I felt and how very sorry I was for all of the things I was going to miss. I wrote a very long, guilt ridden letter to my parents and then started one for my daughter. Her letter read much like a list, because there was so much of her life that I would miss. 

I apologized I would not be there for her first day of school. I was sorry I would not be around during the changes in her life and body; when she might need me most. I begged my daughter to forgive me for missing prom and graduation, her wedding, and the birth of her babies. I added these things to the list, and tried with all of my might to believe I had no choice in leaving. I convinced myself that I was not worthy of these beautiful moments with her, and that my presence would not be necessary.

Depression is a lying bitch, and without defense against her I was open to all suggestion. I was a loser, a terrible mother that couldn't show up - a waste of oxygen. Self-pity City is a dangerous place to visit, and I was living there. 

I continued that letter to my daughter, and it saved my life. 

It was while I scratched paper with pen and made that wonderful list that hope found me. In that tiny room, surrounded by the mess I had made of my life, it was in that list that I found strength; a tiny voice inside me whispered, "be there." I wanted so badly to be there, and so I began to fight. 

I asked for help for the first time and I received it immediately. I didn't feel worthy of it at first, but I accepted it on behalf of my daughter. Many remarkable things occurred after that amazing moment. 

I got sober, I took action to make my circumstances better, and I learned how to take responsibility for my own life. I began to surround myself with people whom I admired, and I trusted them to help me become a better woman and mother. I started to practice certain changes in my behavior, and I started to feel better. Hope was restored piecemeal, and I was able to build a life for myself and my daughter.

So, on the day of her prom, I cried. I cried for the lost woman who didn't understand how precious that moment would be and almost missed it. I cried for the list and the incredible opportunity to cross off one more beautiful event, because I was there

I was not embarrassed; I was grateful. 

I yelled back to her "So what? I'm crying because I love you, and I don't care who's watching!"

And I didn't.


 



http://www.nextlifenokids.com/p/videos.html
 to watch my Listen To Your Mother performance.


I Was Never A Monster #Addiction #PPD
I Was Never A Monster


Whether you love what you just read or hated everything about it, let's connect and talk about it! I'm always open to honest feedback. Come be social with me!

Find me on Facebook, Twitter, or on my Facebook Page!

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May 07, 2013

WTF is a "Liebster?"

Okay, first I would like to thank Jen of Jen Kehl for nominating me for this wonderful award and for loving me because I'm crazy. Right back atcha, Sister. 

Okay, so I know what you're thinking...WTF is a "Liebster"?

I myself thought that it might be the name of some new bizaarr following for slow Justin Biebster fans, or maybe an interesting type of shell fish, but it is actually way more interesting. 

A Liebster award is kind of like a 'pay it forward' award from one new blogger to another. It's like saying "Hey Fellow Newbie, I heart you and 10 others and want to shout it from the rooftops." Okay, whatever that's just my take on it. Bottom line, it's a really cool thumbs up and ten finger lift from another blogger that "beloves" you.

Not unlike all good things, this honor is to be worked for. There are like rules and shit, and actions to be taken by the nominee. They are as follows:

1. List 11 facts about yourself.
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you.
3. Ask 11 new questions to the bloggers you nominate 
4. Choose 11 bloggers (with 200 or less followers) to nominate.
5. Visit each bloggers page and tell them about the award.
6. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them
7. No track backs (so we're clear, I still have no idea what this means)

To be quite honest, when I saw how much was involved I said to myself "Self, this a ton of shit to do and you don't have time for any more shit to do, FACT".  I'll admit it, I balked a little. I mean, I'm lucky if I have time to tinkle these days with a sick, teething, miserable infant, an excentric preschooler that just found his "wee-wee", and a 17 teen year old daughter prepping for world domination. 

I thought it was a cruel trick Jen was playing. What kind of sick and twisted person would nominate me for such an award and trust me to follow through...wicked jerk. However, soon after joining a top secret group on facebook for new bloggers and reading more about it, I was feeling quite honored. I was also feeling extremely motivated to not only thank my amazing blog friend Jen to the moon, but also to find the time to show my gratitude by writing this post. Gratitude, after all, is an action. 

So, here it goes.  

Jesus, eleven facts about me:


1. I'm adopted. When I was five months old I was placed in my childhood home and I have never met my biological parents. I know only of them what it says on my adoption papers and also that my name used to be Danielle (because my adopted mother heard the nurses calling me by that name). I plan to search for my bio parents this month so, wish me luck!

2. I ate poisoned berries when I was five years old because someone said "Here, eat these poisoned berries." True story, there was a shithead named Scott that lived on my block and he told me to eat the berries so I did. I then marched immediately home and when asked what the red stuff was on my face, I replied "poisoned berries". To this day, even the mention of Ipecac is enough to cause a gag reflex...bleck.
3. While other girls were falling in love with NKOTB, I was listening to Diana Ross and Leslie Gore.  "I'm Coming Out" and "Judy's Turn To Cry" along with "It's My Party" were my faves. I never owned a New Kids poster either. Weird.
4. I hate bugs. I might even be allergic to the thought of them because when I do my nose gets wicked itchy. I also do not respect spiders as God's creatures, nor do I care that squishing them makes it rain. 
5. I love the word "wicked". I don't use it an obnoxious amount or as much as I should, but I love, love, love the word. It's like a wicked cool perk of living in Boston. Oh, and "pissah" is a pretty awesome word too. Where else can you get away with this kind of language? 
6. I'm a ridiculously good chess player...bring it.
7. I was a hockey cheerleader in high school. What?? Those boys need girls in short skirts cheering for them, too! Besides, hockey is my favorite.
8. I am the oldest of three and have two amazing brothers. Adam is an amazing rapper (Reklis-Google him!!) and photographer/videographer, and Alex is the baby.  
9. I love mushroom and spinach pizza.
10. I was once a vegan for almost a year just because.
11. I'm addicted to social media...THERE I said it. Der, who isn't?

These are the questions that Jen sent me:   

  1. What is your favorite band/song? I have a lot of favorite bands and songs and it's really hard to narrow it down because I love so many different types of music. It also depends on what kind of mood I am in. When I'm angry or frustrated, I throw in my Linkin Park cd and usually feel better by song six. When I'm feeling sad or lonely, I love me some Sarah McLachlan. Because I don't often have control of the radio however, I listen to a lot of R&B and rap. I don't care what anyone says, 80s+90s music is the best music ever. 
  2. What is your favorite book and movie? My favorite book is currently A Return To Love by Marianne Williamson... GREAT stuff. My favorite movie would have to be What Dreams May Come because it is in sync with my beliefs regarding the afterlife and soulmates. I think we have many, and that we continue to find each other, if we're lucky, in each life. 
  3. What was your first concert? Sadly, I did not go to my first concert until quite late in my life. My first ever concert was Gnarles Barkley. LOVED.
  4. What is your favorite mythological creature? Ummm,... huh? 
  5. What did you want to be when you grew up? First I wanted to be was a princess, then a doctor, then an actress, then a social worker, then a writer. I'm still not sure what I want to be when I grow up. 
  6. Salty or Sweet? YES.
  7. Would you rather be really hot or freezing cold? It depends, am I laying on a tropical beach or waiting to be rescued after a plane crash in Antarctica? Do I have AC or a sweater? 
  8. If your life was going to be made into a movie, who would you want to play you? Julia Roberts...DUH. We're like twins.
  9. What is your favorite season, or weather event? I love fall and spring. Summer is too hot and winter is too cold, but fall and spring are just right. T-shirt weather is the shit.
  10. City or Country? I'd love to say country, but I'll die a city girl. 
  11. Why did you start blogging, and has that changed? I started blogging to connect with people from my couch after my third child was born. I had really awful postpartum depression and found it difficult to find joy in the things I had before...like showering, and leaving the house. So, I started journaling the funny shit that my kids were doing and it turned into Next Life, NO Kids. I still blog to keep my sanity and connect with people, but because of the amazing people I have met in the blogging community, I am coming out of my funk and feeling a ton better. Thanks to Allison @ MotherhoodwtfJD @ Honestmom, Kim @ Let Me Start By SayingAngela Shelton, and Lucy @ My Life As Lucille, I have come out of my shell a little more every day. I blog now because I love it. There is a ton of healing going on when my fingers are typing away and I cannot express how much I appreciate the whole blogging community for welcoming my broken ass. It has been and continues to be an amazing adventure. 
Here are the nominees:

Erica of Nannypology

Red Shutters

Roshni of Big A little a

Jennifer of Outsmarted Mommy

Kate of Another Clean Slate

Jean of Mama Shmama

Karyn of picklesink

Sara of You Are A Good Mama

Frammitz

Here are the new questions:

1. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
2. Who in your life has had the most influence on you or your writing?
3. On a scale of 1-10, how attractive do you think you are? Please explain. :)
4. Horror film or chic flick?
5. How long have you been blogging?
6. What is your biggest pet peeve?
7. Do you have any bad habits we should know about?
8. What's your favorite blog to follow? Why?
9. What is the best piece of advice you've  been given?
10. What's the worst piece of advice you've been given?
11. What is the first thing you would do if I gifted you a million dollars? 


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May 02, 2013

I Got Sober Today


Today marks the anniversary of the day I got sober - the day I gave up trying to run my life - the day I surrendered. It's the day I became just a little willing to let some one else hold the reigns for a bit.

Every year I reflect on what a total mess I was that day, all of the people that have taken time and had the patience to help me, and how very much my life has changed. 

My blog is usually focused on the funny parts of my life, or the dreary, but here's a little of the in-between.

On May 1, 2000 I was homeless and helpless. It was the day I attempted to take my own life because I couldn't figure out how to live it. I was twenty-two years old, afraid of my own shadow, and had been hiding from myself for a very long time. 

Drinking was never my problem. I was pretty awesome at it, actually. I never had a drinking problem. I did however have a wicked sober problem. Sober was a terrible place to live and I did my best to avoid it at all cost. Sober I was me, and I really hated her. 

I had no idea who I was, and I couldn't look in the mirror without wanting to spit at the reflection. I was fairly certain I was the absolute worst mother in the world, and my daughter was better off without me. She was four. 

I think about those feelings today and cannot imagine how I didn't realize what alcohol was doing to me or my life. I was just having fun, or trying to unwind, or following others. I didn't always plan on getting drunk, often I would just head out to have a couple. At first it was fun, really fun to escape and let loose; and at some point it wasn't. I was running. 

I have always done the best I could with what I had, I know that now, but back then I felt useless. I remember referring to myself as "a waste of human flesh and oxygen." I haven't felt that way in a really long time, but I will never forget it. It's the reason I got sober and it has been one of the driving forces of my recovery today. 

In the last thirteen years I've probably made every mistake there was to make. I've made terrible choices, sober. I've dated the wrong men, many many times - sober. I've made some great friends, but also pushed people away - sober. 

Getting sober didn't change me immediately by any stretch. It has been a long, amazing journey. I still make mistakes, lots of them, all the time, but I don't drink. 

 
 

Over these years I have been given the rare opportunity to meet and get to know myself. I have had many teachers and have gotten glimpses of the good, bad, and ugly within me through the reflections I have seen in other women. There have been so many women that I have looked up to, loved, and shared amazingly difficult times with. 

Sobriety gave me the opportunity to meet these wonderful people, and they let me borrow their peace and serenity until I earned my own. There have been great times. There have also been horrific times. These women stood by me through the ups and downs and reminded me that I was worth it when I forgot. They didn't help me by being perfect at this life thing, they helped me by making mistakes and sharing their lessons. This I am eternally grateful for.

On this day I think about the people I started this journey with or those I have met along the way that didn't make it. I think of them often, but on this day, I focus on the impact that meeting and knowing them has had on my life and my sobriety.

I often wonder what I would have thought about the woman I am today back then. I don't think I would have liked myself, but for all the right reasons. I have become one of those women that can extend peace and serenity to those in need until they find their own. If you had told me this would happen, I would not have believed it. It's hard to believe even now. 

What is not hard to believe is that if I can do this, anyone can. One of my counselors in detox said I should have worn a t-shirt that said "I dare you to get me sober," and here I am. 

If you're reading this and currently struggling with alcohol or drugs or anything, please don't give up. If you're not ready to get help, that's okay. Just know that it's available to you when you are ready. There are a bazillion self help groups, 12-step groups, NON- 12-step groups, books, prayers, etc. to choose from and they're coming up with more every day. I have attached a link  below where you can access all sorts of resources...you know, just in case.  

I am so grateful today for my life, and the opportunity to be present for my children. I am proud of the woman I have become, and the reflection that I get in the mirror today. That four year old is now seventeen, and although there are very few things we can agree on these days, we're both pretty stoked that I'm sober. 



If you think you may have a problem with alcohol or drugs, please don't go it alone.











Whether you love what you just read or hated everything about it, let's connect and talk about it! I'm always open to honest feedback. Come be social with me!

Find me on Facebook, Twitter, or on my Facebook Page!

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