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Next Life, NO Kids: December 2017

December 24, 2017

Overdue Endings and New Beginnings

I’m sitting here grateful for all the things that had even a glimmer of impact on me this year. There were definite ups, and also more than a few downs. I gained some family, and I lost some too. 

Some days felt like walking a tight rope might, and others went so smoothly they were gone in a flash. I have cried A LOT, and not a tear has been wasted.

I flew to LA to meet my birthmother and sister, and stood up against stigma and hatred on national television. 

I stretched further than my comfort, and allowed the current of life to take me to some places I wasn’t sure I wanted to go. It has been quite an adventure. Willingness to see has been a gift this year, and the support I have found through the amazing women in my life has been more of a blessing than I can express. 

I have grown with the women in my life this year who have joined me in the stretch for more than we might think we deserve. We have been each others’ cheerleaders, and we have held the net below. 

This may have been the best year of my entire life, and all I did to receive was let go. I let go of some people who needed more than I could give and never gave. I let go of more of the fear that speaks to me just before I leap.

I let go of gluten and dairy, and the 30 pounds they'd been weighing on me, and I moved into smaller pants and away from acne and other skin and stomach problems. 

I let go of the need to adjust my feelings to make other people more comfortable with theirs. I stopped shrinking so that others could shine, and I took a little pride in what I’ve accomplished in this life and even allowed other people to celebrate me a little. 

I let go of the grip concerns about what you might be thinking of me has had on my heart. I took better care of me this year because I was less concerned with taking care of everyone else. 

I was able to be more me this year, because I let go of who you might think I am. 

For years I have been weeding and cultivating the soil around me, and this year I got to focus on my roots. What a gift! I spent very little time explaining my rights to know who I am, and I advocated for myself when necessary. 

I let go of my unspoken obligations to the entire universe, and I began investing more time and care in the most important human being I will ever know. 

I've stopped apologizing for the space I take up in this world and how it makes others feel. I've stopped feeling sorry for the little girl I once was, and I've started taking care of her. 

There have been some overdue endings and new beginnings this year, and I’m excited for the opportunities presented by all of them. 

Recovery has been so much more than a day at a time process to not drink. It has been about looking at myself in the mirror and recognizing the woman staring back...and how cool that is. It’s been about remaining curious and open to whatever God has in store, trusting in process — the swing of the pendulum — and enjoying the ride. 

My recovery is about the journey and the growth within every twist and turn, every stretch further than I’m cool with. About looking Life straight in the face and saying, “Yes please. May I have some more?” 

I want more. And I’m getting after it. 

Life is short. 

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December 20, 2017

It's Okay To Let Go

I was seventeen years old when I became a mother. Barely out of a training bra, during what would have been my junior year of high school, I had a baby.

I was on a mad, self-destructive tear to escape the realities I was born into, and lashing out in every way possible. I was a child. I was struggling with alcohol, and I was lost.

I felt suicidal almost every day.

My daughter saved me, and in many ways we gave each other life. It has never been easy, but somehow I have always found a silver lining. I will never ask for pity, but I will also not apologize for my feelings about the lengths I have taken to overcome and make peace with so much to find, maintain, and grow in my recovery.

I have always used humor as a defense, and it has played a huge role in my survival. I have laughed at mental illness, and pointed out all of my flaws before you had the chance. 

I have never learned anything "the easy way," because for some reason, I like pain. Pain motivates me. My life's lessons have taken form in all sorts of absurd scenarios, and have often caused me (and others) to question my troubling relationship with Sanity.

I'm not sure if we ever actually hit the same bottom twice, but not always for lack of trying. I've definitely leapt repeatedly down into the same shit-filled rabbit holes, convinced I might find something different. I have chosen to free-fall into darkness, because sometimes the darkness isn't as scary as the light.

I have settled for the comforts of horrible "knowns," to avoid the possibility of horrible "what ifs." What if I find happiness and lose it? What if I really am nothing? What if I make something of myself and someone takes it all away? What if that kills me?

Looking at the simple pros and cons of a situation, and picking the option that will clearly land me in a better place has never been my strong suit. I have come to enjoy this about me, but only in hindsight of all the ridiculous shit I've survived. Some situations have been humorously painful, and others just stupid and dangerous.

I have fallen in love with chaos and drama and become obsessed with the promise of distraction. These have allowed me escape ugly realities, low self-esteem, and fear of other people and their judgments. They have intertwined themselves within the spaces between overwhelm and a peaceful existence, and at some point became my baseline - my "normal," if you will; where I have felt most in control.

At some point I took the incredible concept behind "helping" people to help myself, and have instead used it to fill the holes and starve my fear of abandonment. Because if you simply want me, you might leave; but if you need me, you must stay.

I have adjusted and contorted myself in every possible way to accommodate other people's expectations of me. I have made myself the prisoner of opinions, convinced I was desperately seeking freedom, and have been baffled by how many times I've found myself at the bottom of an empty well.

It has taken me so many years, swinging on my pendulum of comfort, to realize that the more I like me the less I care if you do.

This year has taught me a lot. My New Year's "resolution" was to be more assertive and stop apologizing for my needs. Unlike the 17 diets I've resolved to give an honest try every January one, I've actually stuck with this. It was to be a gift to myself rather than some burdensome set up for failure.

I've often bitched and moaned about how lonely my life is, but much of that has been of my own making. I've been putting so much effort into chasing people I thought were friends, that I have been missing out on actual meaningful relationships.

This year I've chosen to say goodbye to many relationships hanging by a thread. Of course I'm saddened by these losses, however not for the reasons I imagined. The mourning has been more about my inability or unwillingness to see how one-sided many of my personal relationships have been. Denial is a wonderful tool for avoiding necessary action, and I wasn't connecting how much effort I was putting forth to make up for someone else's lack.

This year has been an eye opener.
I have been forced to take a hard look at my intentions and role in both my personal and professional relationships. It was brought to my attention that some of the people in my life have me propped up and "perfect" on an very unhealthy pedestal, and I have had to sit with the discomfort after a few messy dismounts.

This year has been painful.

Building and maintaining healthy relationships isn't always easy or comfortable. Not everyone is going to high-five me for awareness of my personal boundaries and limits, and many people live to push. That doesn't mean I don't have the right or responsibility to set and enforce them. It just means I'm not meant to have certain people in my life.

It's okay to let go.

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