I’ll remember

The day will come in every parents lives where it hits you, like a ton of bricks, right into the chest.

Your child(ren) are not innocent anymore.

They have turned into young men or women who make mistakes as we do. Life has begun and they have began their journey with more independence. They dont need you as much anymore. You’re no longer their best friend and the one they want to hang out with. There are no cuddles anymore or nighttime stories.

This is where I’m at as a parent to my twin sons. They’re 12.5 and about to begin 7th grade. They’re taller than me, their voices sound like they’re 19, they have hairy legs and need to shave their moustache. They rather spend time with their friends and at their dads house. I swear last month they were playing Lego and asking to cuddle during movie night.

I guess I didn’t think about the time that goes by so quick. As i sit here and realize that my boys are only just beginning to be independent, it makes me so sad. Time goes by way too fast, and you dont realize how fast until you’re a parent to a teenager.

I drank until they were 7 years old. I functioned very well for many years. However the guilt settles in from time to time especially when I remember them as babies. My infant son looks at me like I am the greatest person on the planet. To him, I am. We all looked at our mothers that way. I feel that I did not enjoy the early years as much as I had wanted to or had expected to. I was 23 with twins, unhappy with my relationship, I had undiagnosed anxiety and depression, post partum depression and I was a functioning alcoholic.  So to say that I was overwhelmed is an understatement. The pictures from those days have real smiles. They were my entire world. I always had them outside for walks, playing at the park, watching their favorite movies and even playing music and dancing. But my mental health had me very impatient and overwhelmed at times. I wish I had stopped and smelled the dandelions when they used to pick them for me, a little longer. I wish I had let them play at the park a little longer instead of wanting to go home and open the wine. I wish I had known that it was okay to ask for help. I wish I had not been so strict when I could have been more lenient. I wish I wasn’t so crabby in the mornings because of my hangover. I could say I wish, a million more times but it wont turn back time.

Somehow the years, the days and hours go by and they’re young people. They’ll hurt your feelings. They’ll make you cry in your room and you’ll try to be as silent as you can. They’ll go somewhere overnight and not want to come home. They’ll be mad at you for saying no and setting boundaries. They will get caught in a lie, and try to cover that up.

All I can do is stay sober, and continue to be their parent first, a friend later. I’ll pray for them as I always do, and I’ll remind myself that they do love me. I’ll remind myself about the times they have spoken at my yearly cakes, and cried during their speeches. When I got married a year ago, they cried when I came down the aisle. When their baby brother was born 4 months ago they thanked me for the best thing that’s happened to our family. I’ll remember.

I’ll remember because it’s the good times that make everything worth while. Every family, every couple, every relationship goes through times of hurt, sadness and even anger. Remember why you love eachother, remember that you always will, and it will work out.

Remember that little moments matter the most. The dandelions they once picked turn into necklaces and charms at Christmas. Remember the rules they get mad at following have kept them safe. The manners you teach them have made them polite and respectful. You may not get cuddles but you’ll get a sweaty hug. The hand drawn pictures turn into text messages and emojis.

I’ll Remember.

 

 

Body dismorhphia & how pregnancy is helping me

I have 2 boys who are so excited and a husband who thought he wouldn’t have his own after losing his first….and all I can think about is my weight gain ?

Real talk.

I don’t normally discuss this on social media but the more open I’ve been over the years about my alcoholism the more women I’ve been able to help, so maybe this will help too.

Age 5 is when I remember my first thoughts about feeling fat. (And I wasn’t) I’ve spent nearly 35 yrs (my bday is soon) obsessing over my size. After high school I got real skinny. Then I got pregnant with the twins and although my stomach wasn’t as big as one with twins would get, I had a ton of added weight from eating like shit, and water weight. I felt disgusting after they were born. Hated my body. I had no tools to cope except for the wine opener.

I’ve been different weights through the years and no, I’ve never been technically overweight. However I can tell you honestly that the feelings are the same. I know beautiful big women and the way they feel is the same. Size doesn’t matter. And guess what…..women who are too skinny get hate too. We can’t win.

Yes I think i was a bit too thin last summer. But I didn’t see it. My eyes don’t see what you see.

My first thought getting pregnant this time? JOY. My second thought….. WEIGHT GAIN. I spent my entire first trimester sleeping pretty much and hormones going crazy, i got depressed and felt gross. I began to feel selfish. Here I am creating and growing a life inside me. I have 2 boys who are so excited and a husband who thought he wouldn’t have his own after losing his first….and all I can think about is my weight gain ?

Realizing this is a sickness just like my alcoholism, and now knowing the tools I’ve learned over 4.5 yrs of sobriety, I turned to prayer and slowly started talking about it so it’s not a secret anymore. Secrets keep us sick.

It’s working! I now see myself as a cute and beautiful pregnant woman who has a nice little belly and a healthy baby boy growing that I am already nurturing!!!! I’ve been eating well this time too.

Women are amazing and we really need to be kinder to ourselves. I’m healthy, I’m happy (most days lol) and so I’ve gained weight….im supposed to for Jacob. It’s in God’s plan that Jacob is coming.

Prayer and talking about it is helping. I wish I had these tools 12 yrs ago. I’m already excited about staying healthy after he’s born.

God is always working in your life. But it’s up to you to be open to what he is saying to you!

What he’s telling me now? AMANDA you have the tools to beat this. You know how to overcome negative thoughts in your head with healthy tools. You’ve come so far to go back. You wanted another gift of life and Jacob needed you. So here he is. A second chance to stay healthy for not only yourself but your children.

Talk about it, pray, positive self talk over and over, and remember, secrets will keep you sick.

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Thank you to my unborn son, for helping me through my body image issues.

Something I don’t talk about is my body image issues. Why? Because it’s still a struggle. But, maybe if I began talking about it like I did about my alcoholism 4.5 yrs ago it would help lift the stigma I place on myself.
I don’t see what you see. I don’t see what the mirror image shows me. My eyes see someone different. Someone larger. My thighs appear bigger, I focus on every ounce of cellulite, I focus on my weird nose and whether or not I can see my collar bone or not. When I see a picture of myself I don’t truly believe it’s me. The camera must be lying. I’m bigger than that.
You see this is what a body image issue is. It’s in our brains. It’s not self seeking for attention or compliments. It does not mean I believe all people should be skinny. In fact I look at curvy women and admire their confidence! This is a constant battle between reality vs disorder. It’s not fun and I don’t wish it on anyone. It’s obsessively worrying about being perfect which is insanity because perfection does not exist.
As my body changes with my pregnancy I see my growing bum, breasts and thighs. It’s a battle of knowing this is normal and healthy, and knowing I’m being a good mom by nurturing my son, to obsessing over how big my body is getting and how long will it take to get back. And then I feel selfish for worrying about it.
I cannot wait to hold you my son. My 3rd boy. My precious gift from God. My love for you is already growing and it’s already unconditional. I would give my last breath for my children’s first. When I hold you for the first time I know this will all be worth it. The back pain, my body aches, my hormones being wacky, my eating disorder being triggered by weight gain, the labor, the healing afterwards….all worth it and I would do it again if it meant being your mommy. I cannot promise that I’ll be a perfect mom but I can promise that I’ll always be the very best that I can be. I will love you and your brothers for my entire life and beyond in heaven. Completely unconditional.

This is what I need to focus on. I need to tell my disorder to fuck off. Because I have a husband and soon to be 3 son’s who see me as a beautiful loving and caring mother who could care less about my body size.

At the end of the day is it really about size? Or is it me trying to control myself?

Perhaps God is telling Me, “You see Amanda, I put this life inside you. Appreciate the amazing wonders your body can do. You’re growing a life. You’re giving life. That is the most beautiful thing in the world. Love your body for what it’s giving you”

After 17 years of battling this, I’m starting to see a light. A possible path that will be healthier. Will I ever be completely free of this? No. But I am slowly starting to retrain my brain into believing and seeing myself for who I really am.

Thank you to my unborn son for helping me appreciate my body. For learning to love what it can do, which is more important than how it looks.

Love Mommy

Irrelevant Perception

If its not my own truth, its not relevant to who I am.

 

Why do we let what others think of us determine how we feel about ourselves? At what point in our lives do we actually allow others perceptions of us validate who we are?

I can tell you that i have cared since the beginning of my existence – or when my memory begins around 4 years old. However my childhood was filled with verbal & physical abuse in which my mother and sister got the brunt of it. I received it as well but I was the youngest who spent most of the time watching in the corner. I was full of fear, anxiety, self doubt, poor self esteem and depression. Everything in the house had to be perfect. Our rooms had to be spotless without a crayon on the floor, even our toy box had to be organized! Everything I did revolved around whether or not he would be happy or angry with me. This type of mentality was embedded in my brain from a very very early age. Its all I knew. So of course, well after my mom had left him, this stuck with my personality. I was a people pleaser.

Everything I did, said and wore, I thought about what other people would think first, before I had even decided for myself. IT DROVE ME INSANE. But still, I couldnt stop!

This pattern has followed me throughout my life. I have focused on pleasing others before myself. In friendships & relationships.

It is extremely tiring and overwhelming and the only thing that would calm me down was a drink. When i sobered up, I was stuck with these thoughts. My anxiety was at an all time high and  I was drowning in my own thoughts.

It hasn’t been easy over the last 4.5 years but Ive done a lot of work on myself. Ive had to face my feelings, my character defects and Ive had to work on them! The biggest lesson that I have learned is the fact that i cannot control or change other people. The more i worry about what others think or about what they do, the less time I am spending on bettering myself. And, If Im not my best self then I can easily go back to the negative, depressed active alcoholic that I was for a decade. Ive spent the better part of my entire life worrying about other people instead of myself. I allowed other opinions to dictate how I view myself. I believed hurtful words, I allowed myself to be treated like garbage. I allowed every bad experience to continue to hurt me. WHY??? What good does that do? Absolutely nothing! Its INSANITY! Pure insanity! I can only control MYSELF and how I react to people. MIND BLOWN!

Why this has taken me 34 years to figure out? The only reason I can think of is that I had to go through all of this experience to realize who I really am, who I want in my life, and my self worth. Also, to be quite frank, Im just too sick and tired to care anymore. Im worn out worrying about haters who think their perception of me is correct.

The thing is, if people base their opinion on me prior to 2014, they really dont know the real me anyways! That person was broken and slowly slipping away. So why care what they think if I know & God knows who I really am!

There are people who dont like me today. There are people I thought were my friends who have slowly cut me out. There have been times that I have been verbally attacked. I was judged for dating my now husband, Jon, because of the amount of sobriety he had back then. Did all of this bother me? Yes. However I have wasted way too many years worrying about every single person and every single opinion i just CANT DO IT ANYMORE. I pray about it. I ask God to help me forgive and let it go. This does not happen overnight, but eventually I dont even think about it anymore!

Bottom line? If its not my own truth, its not relevant to who I am. My life is MINE, not anyone else. No one owns me. I am not a puppet on a string, I am not a servant and I have self love and self worth today. I dont want to look back on my life realizing that I was living for other people instead of living for me.

The impossible is possible

When I was little I hated rain, now I love the beauty in the sound of if.
I once had a hard time being alone, but now I crave it for my own self care.
I used to drink my sorrows away, now I allow myself to feel them.
I would start my day off with a hangover now I start it with gratitude.
I once asked God why bad things happened to me, now I thank him for the lessons.
For a time I seeked approval from everyone, and now I could care less.
For years I stayed stuck in fear, but today I slowly break down those barriers.
I used to think i was worthless and today I believe I have a lot to offer.
For a long time I believed I was doomed for a sad life, and then I realized I had the power to change it.
I seeked happiness from all different people, places & things, but now I seek it within myself.
For someone who felt unlovable, God gave me children to show me unconditional love.

A shift in my spiritual growth has completely changed my life. I removed a poisonous substance that resulted in the obsession and physical allergy to be lifted.

For someone who knew no peace, now has serenity

Spiritual Malady vs Spiritually Fit

These are the main prayers that I have in my life today, being over 4 years sober. Many people whether alcoholic, drug addict, or addiction of any kind, can learn from them (in my opinion) In simple form of course, showing you the difference between how I thought during my spiritual malady and being spiritually fit today.

  • Instead of complaining, be grateful for the blessings you have.
  • When you are angry, pray for acceptance for the things you cannot change.
  • Instead of projecting anger to those you love, pray for the willingness to deal with your feelings in a positive way.
  • If you feel lost, sad and confused, pray for direction.
  • Instead of taking that drink, pray for the obsession to be removed. Play the tape and remind yourself what would happen if you took it.
  • When you are having a hard time forgiving those who hurt you, pray for their well being. Even if you don’t mean it right away. Trust me, it works.
  • If you want to run away, pray for the strength to deal with whatever road block you’re facing.
  • When you know you lack direction in life, pray for the right path.
  • And my favorite, Instead of blaming everything & everyone else, pray for the ability to focus on yourself only, as its the only thing in life that you can control.

I cant let it go

Let it go, let it be

but its not easy for me.

My thoughts spin and spin

so i reach for the gin,

and away my thoughts go,

for now, I know.

I can see through its deception

this addiction, I mean,

But im stranded in my obsession.

I wish there was hope,

but this is all I know,

everyday I struggle, I just cant cope.

Let it go, let it be

but i cant, as you can see.