Pumpkin Guts

Today is September 1st. I can’t believe how quickly summer passed by. Almost in the blink of an eye…I’m sure at times I felt as if time couldn’t pass any slower. Then it was gone. That’s the thing about time, you blink…and it’s gone. A memory, part of the past.

I’ve been feeling strange all day. Maybe it’s the humidity. Maybe it’s the fact that I woke up to a panic attack at 5am, and couldn’t fall back asleep. My anxiety and depression are peaking right now. I feel like my insides were scooped out with one of those large metal spoons, like the guts of a pumpkin before you carve it.

It’s an unpleasant feeling.

I’ve been writing in my paper journal more lately, which sort of explains my absence from blogging. I’ve already written my deepest thoughts and worries out. The left-overs aren’t that great, you know?

But I’m still here, still dredging through each day. Some days, my steps are light. Other days, my feet feel encased in concrete.

Today is one of those days where my feet are encased in concrete.

Tomorrow is a new day.

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“Small”

My son is five years old. He will be going into Senior Kindergarten in a little over a week. He is intelligent, he is sensitive, and he is loving.

He is also “small”. He was one of the smallest kids in his class, and his two-year-old brother is almost the same height and weighs a little more.

We’ve encountered nonstop comments from complete strangers about his size. Every place we go, to birthday parties and parks, someone feels the need to remark upon how small he is. It takes every ounce of patience I have to remain polite.

This past weekend, we attended a birthday party. A guest at the party who I do not know and had not met before started talking to Nolan. “Is this your brother? Which one of you is older?”

“I am, that’s baby Archer. He’s two and I’m five!” Nolan said this proudly, proud of his age and his brother.

“He’s two? You’re five? He’s bigger than you! You can’t be five,” the person said.

I was standing there, so I cut in. “No, he is five. His brother is two.”

“But he’s so small!”

“Yes, but he is five.

The person walked away and I assumed that was the end of the conversation. I watched my kids play and enjoy themselves. Later on, the same person started talking to Nolan again.

“You look like you’re three, you must be three. You’re so small.” He said to Nolan, then he looked at me. “How old is he really? Three?”

“No, as I said. He’s five,” at this point, I was getting pretty pissed off. Who lies about their kids age? Nobody does.

An old friend of mine noticed I was getting aggravated and confirmed that Nolan was indeed five, and in an attempt to help put an end to the conversation, said; “size isn’t an indicator of age.”

Luckily, that was the last comment the other person made on Nolan’s age and size, otherwise my patience would have completely evaporated.

Nolan is small, but I don’t understand why that matters so much to people. I don’t understand why they feel the need to continuously comment on his smallness, as if he’s not standing right there listening.

Yes, I get defensive. My teeth clench in frustration and eventually, my responses get cold. Especially when the person does not pick up the cues of my growing aggravation. I’m not getting defensive because I’m worried of being judged for his size. I’m not worried that they’ll think I’m starving him, I’m getting defensive because I don’t want my son to feel bad about his size. I don’t want it to be a negative thing and I’m worried that having people constantly remark on it and argue with him about his age because of his size.

I fear the day that he comes to me upset because someone is taunting him about his size. I just want him to enjoy one party without someone making a comment on his size. 

Can we just…not comment on a kids size? Whether they’re big or small for their age, can we just let them be people and enjoy themselves? It’s not like you go up to adults and say “you’re so small! You don’t look your age!” (And if you do, you seriously need to brush up on your social skills. Even I know that’s a big no-no and I’m the most socially awkward person I know).

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Ramblings From Within [My Pain Fog]

I’ve been in a fog lately. A heavy, thick fog that I can scarcely see in. It’s what I’ve referred to as “the pain fog”.

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I forget things often, where I’m supposed to be, for example. I’ll be like cool, I have no plans today! Time to rest! Then someone will remind me that I made plans with them, and I’m like shit…I forgot. And I look like a terrible person, and I feel like a terrible person but it’s all the pain fog, so I’m terribly sorry.

I also feel bad because when I’m out doing stuff, I constantly worry that my face and silence is giving the impression that I’m having a terrible time. I’m not, I’m just sore and tired and saving energy. Talking takes energy, especially if I’m focusing on walking.

I worry that people are bored by me, because putting forth the effort to have intriguing, involved conversations is often too much for me.

I’m just drained, really drained.

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

I’ve been working on my second novel, the sequel to Collide. I have hit 30k words as of last night and still have another 13 chapters to write. I’m pleased with how it’s coming along.

I have plans, big plans. Plans that include a new cover design for Collide, one that goes along with the cover for the sequel. I want to get both books formated by someone who isn’t me, because the hair pulling (if I keep having to format my own books, I’ll be bald by 30). Plans that include getting both books available for print. Plans that include giveaways and draws and fun stuff like that.

Unfortunately, it’s going to take a little while to put all my plans into action. In order to do the majority of my plans, I need to spend some money that I regrettably do not have at this current time. Instead of pouting about that, I’m focusing on writing. I’ll be finishing the sequel to Collide by September 15th. I just made that up, by the way. September 15th seems like a good day for a deadline, though.

After this sequel, I’ll be finishing up Damaged Goods, which is nearly done now…I just took a break on it to finish the sequel (since many readers are demanding a follow-up).

If you haven’t read Collide yet, you’re missing out and should probably do that before I finish the sequel. You can buy it for Kindle or Kobo right now.

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

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Summer is coming to a close. Weather has been a little chilly and a lot of cloudy. The sun has been hiding.

I’m still excited about September. September is one of my favourite months. The smell and feel of it…it inspires me. Fall is beautiful in it’s decay.

Plus, Nolan will be back to school. As much as I’ve loved having both kids home, writing has been hard. Very hard. So has keeping my sanity. I wonder if they’ll take Archer too…

Kidding. Kind of.

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On Motherhood & Social Awkwardness

Since becoming a mom and 2009, I have become even more socially awkward. So socially awkward that my sixteen year old self literally cringes with embarrassment whenever I have to socialize.

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I’ve never been very good at socializing. I’ve been told that “I am bubbly and enthusiastic”, but I get the sense that I am not those things in a good way. Maybe I’m a little bit endearing, my social awkwardness appearing cute thanks to the rise of socially awkward protagonists. But I feel like I’m mostly…awkward. Painfully so.

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I go out to a function, where I must interact and be social, and I hear myself doing and saying awkward things. Inappropriate things. I know what I want to say, how I want to act, but it never comes out the way I want.

I feel like my social awkwardness has gotten worse since the birth of my kids. My social anxiety is almost crippling now, which is why I say and do awkward things, because I panic. I mean, before…when I had to go out and do social things I’d usually just be drunk and wouldn’t notice how awkward I was.

Unfortunately, the majority of my responsibilities and engagements are inappropriate venues for drinking large amounts of alcohol (and I can’t just pass out on my friends couch, I have to drive home). Plus, I’ve got kids.

I think I could handle my social awkwardness and anxiety a little better if I contributed intelligent things to conversations instead of blurting out the first, and most times extremely dense sounding, thing that comes to mind. I promise I’m not dumb, I just sound it. Often. Because, panic.

I guess I’ll just have to get used to embarrassing the hell out of myself at social engagements, then not leaving the house for another week or two.

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Sludge

I’ve been pretty occupied lately. I wouldn’t say busy, because although I’ve been doing a lot of, well, things…I’ve not been doing enough to be “busy”, just “occupied”. My mind is occupied with a hundred various thoughts and worries, and my day is occupied with parenting, cleaning, running my Scentsy business and getting some writing done. I’m tired when I go to bed and my mind rarely shuts off long enough for me to feel “rested”.

I’m anxious and on edge, my brow constantly furrowed with perpetual frustration.

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I’m trying to calm down, to turn off the thoughts and worries and anxieties, but if only it were that easy. Of course it isn’t. It couldn’t be.

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I find myself shutting down often. It’s a side effect to caring too much. When it gets to be too much, you shut it off because it becomes too big and complicated to process. It doesn’t mean you don’t care, because you do…you just can’t find a way to break through your own emotions to reach out and make a difference. Your head races with thoughts, things you could say or do, but you remain stuck in shut down mode.

I feel like I’m trudging through sludge. Thick, gooey sludge. Each step is an effort.

I’m wary, emotionally and physically. I need a rest, a way to rejuvenate my spirits. I feel like I’m no good to anyone when stuck in this sludgy mess.

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Delusions of Parenthood

Before having kids, I thought this gig would be easy. I know! I can’t believe how delusional pre-kid me was, but I honestly was so very delusional. I look back on pre-kid and want to laugh in my own face.

I knew I would have challenges, but I didn’t know how hard they would be. I thought I’d get through each challenge (sleepless nights, potty training, temper tantrums, so on and so forth) with patience and ease.

I thought I’d show them or teach them something once, and that would be it. They’d catch on, and everyone would hold hands and dance around together in a circle of utter happiness.

I foolishly thought life would be easy after the first year, that my baby would sleep through the night and be potty trained no later than 3. I didn’t envision the amount of chaos that ensues when my two boys play together, the destructive, intense nature of them combined. I didn’t think their messes and loudness would bother me, because I would be that mom that let their kids enjoy being kids and wouldn’t sweat about the small things or get twisted over messes.

I assumed the hard days wouldn’t be, well…hard. It’s difficult to envision how hard a situation will be on us until it’s upon us. So many times, I’ve thought this will be hard about a situation, and then when I’m going through it, it is hard…so hard, harder than I could have imagined.

When Archer was waking up every hour for the first 2 years of his life, it was hard. So damn hard. It was harder than I ever anticipated it would be. Each day that passed, I was honestly shocked I came through and didn’t completely lose my mind. I came close, many times, but I didn’t actually go off the deep end. A few (okay, a thousand) mommy tantrums, tears and yelling included, was the worst I got. Back then, I felt so guilty for “losing it” like that, but now…I give past-me huge props for keeping it that together on that little sleep.

But then…that hard time passes, and it becomes difficult to recall just how hard it was when it was happening. I know, in my head, that it was harder than I thought it would be, but the depth is lost in my memories.

I want to cry when my friends of newborns tell me how little sleep they are getting, because I remember that. I can’t recall the exact feeling, because the depth of it is lost…but I know it was terrible and it felt impossible. I also know that one day, it won’t be that hard for them. It isn’t for me, anymore…at least not in the sleep department. Things are starting to level out. I still want to fast forward that for them, but then…you fast forward through all the new stages, and they do make up for the lack of sleep. That doesn’t mean it isn’t hard, though…terribly so.

Memory is a funny thing. To lessen the blow on ourselves, we can’t often recall the intensity of emotions in past situations. We can label them, difficult, exhausting,  heartbreaking, exciting, incredible…but once the moment is gone, the intensity of those feelings are gone too. We never feel it the same way, you know? Or at least…I don’t.

I suppose, in a lot of ways, that’s a good thing.

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Depression + Chronic Pain

I’m not sure what came first…depression or chronic pain? Probably chronic pain, but it’s likely that the depression has always been there too…lurking in the background, ready to jump in and throw punches and kicks when I’m already down and hurting…

Anyway, I suffer from both…and you know what? Some days are hard. Really, really hard. Today is one of those days. Most days this week have been like this. They’ve started out bad and gotten progressively worse over the coarse of the day.

My pain levels are high. I can take absolutely nothing for it. Tylenol does nothing, and anything with Ibeuprofen is out because of my bleeding disorder. Anything that could cause addictions is out because I can’t deal with depression, chronic pain and an addiction. I’ll be honest, I’ve tried a few of them and they may have numbed the pain a little, but they also made me feel sick to my stomach and dizzy.

I don’t deal with that well.

When I was younger, before I had responsibilities, my pain coping method was lots of rest and taking it easy. I would at least be able to give myself slow starts to the day.

I can’t do that now, with my kids. They don’t understand what a “slow start” means. The younger one still can’t be trusted alone for any length of time, and both of them have been known to cause mass destruction in my brief absences. For example, it took them all of five minutes to rip the mattresses off their beds yesterday while I showered. FIVE MINUTES, to move mattresses that I can barely move on my own.

So, “slow days” and “rest days” do not mean the same thing they once meant. I can sometimes deal with that, I mean…often I can. It is what it is and my boys are the greatest gift I’ve ever been given. I know I am blessed and I love spending time with them…

But then there are the days where the pain is so high, and it clasps gleeful hands with the depression…pulling it up to greater heights too. They are “twinsies” in making me miserable, and on those days…I don’t want to be around anyone because I am miserable and snappy and not the self I want to be.

It’s hard to come out of it on my own, because I haven’t found a successful way of dealing with the chronic pain that eases it. I can’t help but think, surely if I ease the chronic pain symptoms…I’ll be able to ease the depression. I can’t help but wonder if I could be happy and feel…free…if I weren’t weighed down with chronic pain. The chronic pain is the instigator.

I feel guilty for my bad days, because my bad days are everyone else’s bad days. Misery loves it’s company, after all. Some times, throwing a little fit and crying my eyes out helps me to release the negative energy that threatens to consume me.

All I can do is press on though, trying to push past the over whelming feelings of sadness and desperation. I can’t change my situation. I can’t stop things from hurting and get rid of the pain fog I am constantly stuck in.

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