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Next Life, NO Kids: September 2015

September 04, 2015

I Am Not Okay

I Am Not Okay - Next Life, NO Kids #honesty #BeReal

I don't know if it's my anxiety, ADHD, or another of my innumerable mental problems, but it doesn't take much to throw me into sensory overload. Children screaming or crying, a room full of people chatting and/or laughing. Suddenly it can feel like the temperature spiked 1000 degrees and I've been sipping champagne in the hot sun all day.

It happens almost every time I leave the house.

You would never suspect that I feel this way by looking at me. Oh, I may have immediate sweat-pits or a perspiration mustache, but otherwise I will appear cool, calm, and totally collected. I may even be engaged in casual conversation or making jokes (it's my thing). You would have absolutely no evidence of my desire to pick up the nearest chair, throw it through a window and scream, "SAVE YOURSELVES!!"

I have been perfecting the art of smoke and mirrors my entire life. I learned, very early, the importance of illusion and "FINE," and I trained myself to hide, even in the spotlight. And yet, three dreaded words have never failed to hurl me into hysterical tears. I work very hard to avoid them.

"Are you okay?"

No. I am not okay.

I don't remember the last time I felt okay. I'm not even sure I even know what "okay" means, or if I've ever experienced it. 

I am not okay.

I'm managing. It's what I do. I manage.

I keep myself busy and distracted by spinning too many plates and throwing irons into an already out of control fire. I get lost in Facebook and Twitter, attracting people who need my help. I lose myself in conversations supporting others, while tapping into my experience getting through shit.

Adoption - Sexual/Emotional Abuse - Bullying - Eating Disorders - Domestic Violence - Alcoholism - Rape - Suicide Attempt - Getting sober - Depression/Anxiety/OCD - 
An attempt on my life 

I have myself convinced that if I can use my experience to help others, it will lesson the noise in my head; it will quiet the voices screaming that I'm not good enough - that I deserved all the terrible things. I love helping others. I believe it's what I was born to do. I am my best self when I'm providing support and love to others - I am enough. 

Sometimes I can even hold onto that incredible feeling for a minute, and even sit still long enough to appreciate who I am -- and it's nice there -- and then it's not, and I need to start managing again.

I've done all the therapies. I've talked about my past to death in a million 50 minute sessions - I've been hypnotized and participated in long chats with my subconscious - I've written about the yuck, prayed about and meditated on it. I have tried both fighting and embracing it.

And still I feel like a pathetic weakling; an unlovable loser people merely tolerate or even worse - pity. No matter how many times people tell me how incredible I am or thank me for being the person who refused to let them give up. No matter how many women I help feel not so alone, I feel isolated and unworthy. I feel innately and irreparably damaged.

So, I hide.

I hide behind service work, and pray one day it will feel like enough. I exhaust myself trying to fix other people so I don't have to focus on how broken I feel.

I do too much for too little, and offer myself up for martyrdom like a cheap hooker because I'm terrified of being forgotten or replaced. I'm petrified if I don't, I'll disappear - crawl so deep inside myself it'll be impossible to find my way out. I fear if I'm not constantly proving to you that I matter, you'll forget about me or realize I wasn't so special after all.

And maybe you'll be right. 


Don't Help Me #depression #motherhood #secrets


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September 03, 2015

Motherhood: A War Story

Let’s be honest about the fact that the words “mom” and “war” sound ridiculous together. 

Some suggest the “mom war” doesn’t exist -- that it is just something “the media” concocted to give us all something to fight about.

You can call the problem whatever you'd like, but denying the reality of its existence doesn't help anyone. 

When I first started Mommitment, I reached out to some of my mom blogger friends for support. Some of those women were popular bloggers who I believed would totally back such an incredible cause. I was shocked by some of the responses I received. One blogger actually said, "Mom wars don't really exist in my world." 

Here in lies part of the problem.  

Firstly, we all live in the same world. We don't each get our own. Secondly, just because I haven't experienced some horrible thing, doesn't mean it's fake.

We segregate ourselves with labels; dos and don'ts of "good" and "bad" parenting. We point fingers at other moms who don't do things the "right" way, and we use our common vulnerabilities and fears as weapons of mass destruction. We forget that we are all equals -- doing the best we can with the tools we have -- and that there is no better or less than. 

We title fight.  

Cloth vs. Disposable, Organic vs. Processed, Bottle vs. Breast, Hellicopter vs. Free Range - the lists go on and on. Sometimes we hide behind the guise of "concern," or a desire to "help" to justify the casualties, but more often than not we stick our noses where they don't belong and/or misuse another mom's trust of us. 

Moms + Wars = Mom Wars

I have personally experienced and witnessed the realities of mom v. mom. Especially with Sober Mommies, I have been on the front lines offering support to women for a very long time. I can assure any and all doubters that the struggle is 100% real

Questioning the reality of other people's experience is not an appropriate response to a request for action. 

Talking about finding a solution to a problem doesn't make it worse. It makes finding the solution possible

Similac is doing just that, and asking moms to share their "Mommy War" stories on their Facebook page in hopes of getting these conversations started. And it's working! 

Moms are sharing their personal experiences in short videos like mine, and other moms are commenting and sharing their own! The outpouring of support is incredible, and I'm so grateful to be a part of it.

As you may know, I partnered with Similac and their Sisterhood of Motherhood to help spread the message of hope and end mommy wars. Their mission aligns so well with Mommitment, and it has been an absolute pleasure to work with them. 

Please head over to their Facebook page and leave a comment, video or otherwise, about a time you felt shamed or judged by another mom. Perhaps one of the naysayers will read your story and be able to identify with your feelings. Maybe a mother will read it and understand she's not alone.

It's time to #EndMommyWars for good, and these conversations are a great start. #SisterhoodUnite!!

This post is sponsored by Similac and The Sisterhood of Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

Whether you loved 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!

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