Monday, June 6, 2016

Beautiful and Broken

"I'm having a hard time!" says my 6 year old.  Almost immediately the giant doberman puppy that I willingly acquired knocks over a brand new decorative glass bottle and "crash!" it breaks into pieces. She's having a hard time?!

I loved that bottle...someone else was willing to part with it for two dollars!  I suppose it's true what they say that "one man's trash is another man's treasure."  I'm oddly upset by the demise of this two dollar turquoise bottle that was most likely manufactured for pennies.  I begin gluing it back together as the defeat sinks in.

I cannot blame anyone, I think that's the worst part about this situation!  I could blame the mindless black blur that is the dog but it's not as if he purposely sought out my new bottle and maliciously destroyed it...or did he???

These are the thoughts of a mother who is completely and utterly tired.  I'm pretty sure that half of the women that you see in the mug shots on television are mothers that just needed a vacation or perhaps a nap.  Exhaustion does crazy things to a person, especially to a person who already exhausts themselves.

It's not the actual bottle that I'm upset about...or is it?  It's what the bottle represents which is a beautiful thing that is now broken.  A beautiful thing that won't be the same despite the immense amount of super glue puzzling it back together.  There are pieces. Lot's and lot's of pieces.  The bottle will turn it's broken side to the wall and be forced to stay that way.  Always broken, always facing one way.

The idea of this is sad to me yet alarmingly familiar.  At the risk of being a complete downer, this bottle is the perfect parallel for a mother battling everyday challenges mixed with a fair amount of anxiety and depression.  Like the bottle she is still beautiful and serves an important purpose.  She brings color and usefulness to the family all while trying to hide the broken parts of herself.

I have battled depression and anxiety from the time I was thirteen.  Looking back I can see that the anxiety started long before that but the official diagnosis and medication didn't start until my teenage years set in and I seemingly lost my mind.  Being a mother to a twelve year old I now feel the overwhelming need to apologize to my parents for my very existence.  Now that I spend my days in what can only be described as terrorist negotiations, a swamp of cheerios and last nights dinner dishes, I understand better what my parents were talking about when they said "I brought you into this world and I can take you out!"

Being a mother with depression and anxiety disorder presents a whole realm of challenges that I never considered before I decided it was a good idea to procreate.  It honestly never occurred to me that laundry and a dirty kitchen floor could leave me balled up in a corner on the couch crying.  I didn't know that Xanax existed until my second child was 6 months old.  Shouldn't that stuff come standard when you have a child?  "Here!  Have a diaper bag with a months worth of baby supplies and a standing prescription for Xanax, you're going to need it!"

I honestly don't know how some of you mothers do it!  I stand in awe of the women that show up to school and church with a row of tiny duckling little little humans all in a row.  They look like they were sent through a primping assembly line and there's a smile on moms face!  IF I show up at all my hair looks like something out of an 80's magazine my expression is that of a crazy person and there's most likely toilet paper or a baby wipe stuck to the bottom of my shoe.  My kids file in eventually and we most likely can't find my two year old.  You laugh but it's happened!  Their socks never match and I'm not sure when they bathed last but they are usually smiling and that has to count for something right?

The majority of the time I feel broken and put back together, trying to hide my flaws from the world.  I am so thankful for those seemingly perfect women that I see because they show me that there is life out there where depression doesn't cripple human beings.  I am also incredibly thankful for other women who every once in a while show me the broken sides of themselves.  It shows me that there are other mothers out there fighting my same battle and probably using just as much Xanax as I do.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Gloriously Good in Our Flaws

Oh my goodness... I'm not even sure how to begin.  You know that overwhelming feeling where your mind jumps from thought to thought as if your brain and your heart are playing leap frog?  Well many of you do but I hope a good number of you don't.  As someone who suffers from mental illness this is a common feeling.  I leap frog through each day and some days the game is fun and child like and other days it's like losing and getting pushed in the mud. Tonight I feel muddy...

It's not an easy thing this business of living.  It seems to me lately that I am doing it all wrong!  There are so many things to keep track of.  So many things to worry about.  Am I not eating enough dinners at the table with the kids?  Are they going to turn out to be heathens and crazies because mom couldn't cook enough family dinners?  When is the last time they bathed? I had way too many cokes today, I am bound to be morbidly obese.  I should be eating green and clean like everyone else I see on my Facebook feed.  My house is a mess and because unfortunately we rent we are bound to be kicked out.  My son has never potty trained at night so I must be doing something to emotionally scar him.  I mean the struggle is real people!  Without some Xanax this girl is a hot mess!

When did we become such a society of worrisome people?  I know I have always been a worrier and that is a trait that I am sad to report I have passed down to some of my children, possibly by not cooking enough previously mentioned family dinners.  I hate that I worry and I hate that I feel as though I always fall short.  I know so many other people who feel this way and hate the same things about themselves so I am here to say IT'S OK... Take a deep breath... YOU ARE OK!

You are an amazing compilation of gifts and insecurities that make you amazing!  For reasons I cannot explain we are taught to dislike the people that we are.  Instead of being happy with what we have we are constantly bombarded with new ways to change ourselves.  There are labels of every kind that we are slapped with and sent out into the world to be judged upon.  I am so tired of those labels.  I am so tired of falling short of everything that society and the internet and even other people I know and love expect from me.  My soul is tired...Somehow I have to learn to love myself and except what I can and cannot do and refuse to fall victim to the scrutiny of others.  We need to believe that we are enough.  We need to believe that we are great.

This does not mean that we need NOT push to be the best version of ourselves.  We should always strive for greatness.  We need to accept however that some days we will be great and some days we will be good and some days we will simply be lucky to get out of bed.  What matters is that we try and try and try again. Muhammad Ali once said that "Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra power it takes to win when the match is even."  How many times have we been defeated down to the depths of our souls?  I know I have felt that way too many times to count.  I always get back up with new conviction.  Perhaps this is the message behind the madness that we feel and experience, that we come back with conviction and the power to win the fight.

I wish that positivity came easy for me.  I think that we are sometimes scared into being positive all of the time.  Hide the negative, only tell others the positive.  No one wants to hear all that negativity. Well I do...  I want to hear your worst fears and the hopeless feelings that you sometimes have.  I want to know and more importantly I want you to know that you are not alone!  Often when we speak our insecurities and release our demons we can become anew.  We can begin again.  It's our way of coming into emotional Spring, where everything has new growth and new chance.  Where the old insecurities of our emotional Winters die and the new found strength steps out with wobbling legs and endless potential.

This life is hard and it is filled with challenge and defeat but it is also glorious and good!  Be glorious and good in all of your flaws and you will not have failed.  You will have shown others that worry is something that we create to hold ourselves back from reaching for things we never knew we could have.  You are beautifully flawed.  Release that worry into the the air and let it rise to the heavens, where through the Atonement of a loving brother we can be healed and happy.