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Posted in Mental Health

Curate Your Life

Did you ever go into someone’s home and it was so clean, minimal and tidy that it felt like a museum? I have been in several. I have always thought that it just doesn’t even look lived in.

Lately, however, as I have been purging things from my home with extreme prejudice it came to me… I have never felt uneasy in a museum. In fact, I find them beautiful.

There is a quiet peace, and plenty of space to carefully curate what is beloved. There is room to walk all around it and enjoy the offerings on display. There are comfortable places to simply sit and observe.

And so it makes me think that my home being museum-like may not be so terrible after all. And why stop there?

As a Mom with ADHD to kids with ADHD and a spouse with ADHD I know we all tend to over schedule and over commit. In my house I am the absolute worst offender.

I want to curate my life, I want room for camping and coloring and reading. I want room for games with the kids and geeked out table top gaming with my husband and friends. I want room for naps and room for my businesses to grow. I want room to rest and room to work and room to play.

I want less so that I can have so much more. January is coming to an end, and resolution fever tends to end with it. This year, I vow to continue to remember that I am the curator of my own life. We all can be. What can you say no to, so that you can say yes to more of what you truly hope for?

Posted in Mental Health

Hot Mess Happiness

I often struggle with what to say, because there is always so much. So much on my mind, so much on my plate. So many struggles from so many different executive functioning deficits. Where to start, and how to plan, and scheduling difficulties, etc.

My closest friends and family work in much the same way. There are a few exceptions that really seem to have their poop in a group, with their clean houses and good memory of commitments. Even they forget a few things here and there. But they are also such an inspiration.

I have found January to be that long “Monday of the year” we keep seeing memes about. There are financial struggles that can dampen even the brightest of triumphs. There are days when it feels like even my therapist hates me. She doesn’t. (The fact that I can write those two sentences next to one another is evidence that she’s a good therapist.)

And so I find myself struggling with finances and scheduling, with health problems and a lackluster interest in things.

I take a deep breath and continue my mantra that I will not keep attracting these things with “could it be any worse,” “I needed more problems in my life,” etc. I will keep my eyes, heart, ears and soul open for joy and abundance.

I will relish in and cherish the friendships and family I have. I will be grateful for their forgiveness of my awful moods and continue to know I can do better, and will continue to do better. I will know that I and those around me deserve love, joy and stability and because we know it to be true we will find it.

I will relish in the knowledge that I am a part of my tribe. This tribe that knows what it’s like to be in the middle of some hot mess happiness.

Posted in Uncategorized

When They’re With You

This evening I read a blog from a parent of a child with a psychological disorder:https://blogs.psychcentral.com/childhood-behavioral/2019/01/the-loneliness-of-raising-a-kid-who-has-a-psychological-disorder/#.XEjYBh6QAvA.facebook. I feel these words in my bones some days, especially the part where they say that people tell them “well he’s always fine when he’s with me.” I literally have video evidence of my child in a full on meltdown of epic and unreasonable proportions. It was the last five minutes of a forty-five minute episode. People usually can only get through the first one or two minutes before I hear a refrain similar to that above, how my child doesn’t act that way when they are with them.

It’s not easy having to explain to your small children that the consequences for repeated violent behavior will be imprisonment. That no, “I got angry and I couldn’t help it,” are not valid, acceptable excuses in society. That I love them and want them to stay with me, please be kind. And then, remembering in the middle of the storm to be kind myself. Because, sometimes I get angry and feel out of control. I lose my shit. I scream until my throat is raw. I say absolutely unacceptable things that I instantly regret. Not only do those words break the most important hearts in the world to me, but they also invalidate any good message I was hoping to send. I spend days upon days in a sleepy, full of promises that never are kept, pain filled, brain fogged, fire putting out scramble and forget to stay calm.

And even though they are extreme, and different, and angry, and so am I and they are me… Even though all of that, and more you will likely never know, even though… They are still the sun and moon. They are the air I breathe and the reason my heart beats. They are my excuse for unwavering tenacity, when so many others in my exact situation might say give up!, that I never could. Even though sometimes I am tired and I want to run away. Even though sometimes my head hurts so bad and I want to quit. Even though, all of that and more, I still would not wish to change them, for they are unique and magical. Even though I get to be the punching bag and the one they are the angriest at, even though they blame me for most things going wrong, I am still the one that gets to see them at their brightest. Seriously, the stars have nothing on these children.

And they are so worth it. Even though, sometimes, that is harder to remember than any parent of a special needs child would like to admit.

Posted in Uncategorized

Unquieted Fearlessness

I’ve written and re-written this post at least three times. How do I tell you about the life changing impact the past two days have had on my life? How can I tell you about her, without telling you our story?

At seventeen I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. I saw her for the one and only moment in her life that she was quiet. She didn’t cry when she was born, she didn’t cry much after, either. But she made up for it over the next gloriously heartbreaking two days in which I kept her in the room with me and by my side.

Even though I knew and the choice had been made, I fed her. I changed her. I held her. I rocked her and sang to her and loved her. I took pictures and told her stories and while holding her in my arms with tears streaking down my face, I wrote her the hardest letter I’ve ever had to write. How could properly express to her that “I want you” and “I love you more than anything I’ve ever loved before, ever” were not good enough reasons to keep her? I endeavored to explain it anyway.

Yesterday morning, over twenty years having passed since the day I left my heart behind in a hospital room, I held her in my arms again. I’ve kept her somewhat selfishly close these past two days since she’s come to visit. I must make more concrete plans for everyone in our family to meet her, too.

Friends and family alike are in wonderment at how easy it has been for us to be together. But that way was paved for us and by us.

I refused for one second to be silenced about my first child. “How many children do you have” is a very loaded question for a birth mother to one, a mother with two at home and a third with wings. I have four. But that simple three word sentence requires explanation.

And so, since she has always been someone I’ve spoken of, and I’ve always told my children they have two sisters, one who lives far away and another who lives in heaven, they greeted their sister with squeals of delight. She is their sister, they love her, and they have monopolized near every free moment she has when they are near to her.

We loved her before we met her because we have always known her. We did things unheard of in adoption twenty years ago–we stayed connected. My beautiful daughter was raised with the knowledge of my love for her. How blessed am I?

My beautiful daughter was, and remains, loved and supported in a stable and non-toxic environment by two parents who love each other and their children. She has healthy boundaries and a delightful sense of self. She is confident in her beauty and still kind, because there was never someone telling her that these two things cannot coexist. Her parents were absolutely everything I hoped they would be for her, and even better than my sweetest dreams could have ever conjured up in my own imagination.

Giving her up for adoption was the first momentous decision I had ever made, and I had to be taught how to do so. This decision was so thoughtful, so careful, and so deliberate that I never once questioned the validity of its goodness. It was right. And not denying her was just as right.

Even with many around me encouraging me to pretend she didn’t exist, I refused. I always refused. There is so much I want to say, but there is not enough room in one post to share the overflowing elated emotions of this beating heart.

If you take away nothing else I wish for you to know this: even a broken child who had suffered tremendous trauma made a perfect decision and knew in her heart for over twenty years it was right.

I know so many days can be dark for so many of us. The dark days can linger and be long but there is light waiting for you. Keep searching for it. Look within and find what is right and live in joyful conviction of it. You do have it inside of you. I promise.

Posted in Uncategorized

Be Still

Can you look at this picture without seeing that the person in it still needs to get dressed for the day, and their floor needs vacuuming, and those things on the floor need putting away? I can’t yet, but I’m working on it. I took a break and was still, and my little dog who is always hiding away from the business of life behind a chair, is peacefully resting on my lap. We are enjoying closeness without me having to do a thing aside from be still.

And when I noticed this I thought about how my children do the same thing. When I am still, and unoccupied, they will simply sit with me, put my arm around them, and continue on their own activities.

There is always much to do. Acknowledge it in your mind, “put a pin it” and tell your brain you know it’s important. So is being still. Even if it’s just for fifteen minutes, I hope you have time to be still today.