I woke up at 1:30 this morning. I shot awake because my throat was intensely scratchy. Immediately I suspected strep throat because you know, that makes logical sense of why my throat was hurting at 1:30 in the morning when I had been perfectly fine when I went to bed. Last time I got step throat it was up there just below mastitis and dengue fever so I think I have a little trauma mind with anything throat related. Anyways … obviously when I came to, I realized my fan was on and it was just extra dry. So I woke up and got some water and took a couple advil just in case…but knowing I was NOT sick.
Then I laid back in bed.
Nope says the mind … I have other plans for you. We are going to think of everything and anything we can to keep you awake until the sun comes up.
Body says … Fuck off mind … It’s sleep time.
But mind always wins.
I have a strict no cell phone rule in the middle of the night. I don’t think anything good comes from social media after 10pm! Hahaha! But really … There are certain places you just shouldn’t go and it’s an endless rabbit hole once you do … and add tiredness into the mix and you never know what will happen! I had to learn about six months back to exercise extreme self control on what I can and can’t see on social media. I have stayed strong but know the middle of the night is a trigger. If you were giving up alcohol or trying to lose weight, the last place you want to be is at a party with drinking everywhere or staring a fridge full of cakes and ice cream.
Back in bed. With a book. My mind needs distraction. My solace has been with words since I was a little girl. So I read. Someone else’s words. And I get sucked in.
Damnit Steph. Ok….time to sleep. The kids will be awake in 3ish hours (yes they wake up THAT early, but I bribe them with iPad time if they stay in their rooms longer…don’t judge. I can’t function as a mom before 6-6:30am) Lights out.
Fuck this. I can’t sleep. Read more.
More sucked in.
This woman is telling my story. In her own way and in her own experience. With some differences obviously but I finally for the first time in my life felt like someone said to me “Me Too”. And I am crying. And it is 3am and I am bawling over stupid words. I hate reading. I don’t want to cry right now but I can’t stop reading because she GETS me. What it felt like. What it still feels like. How GRIEF feels. How divorce feels. I have wrote this book too. She did it better but I wrote this book too. God. How could I ever think I would be brave enough to share my story. Nobody would read it anyways and if they did I would probably be judged to the moon and back because that is what people do. They judge. People don’t bother me though and they aren’t the opinions I would care about. But the person who was going to stand by me when I maybe someday published it is gone and that thought looms in my mind.
So I just keep reading.
Sleep time for real now. My alarm will go off in about a half hour. You see, I like to get up and have quiet time in the morning before the madness. I like to write. It is funny because she wrote about this too. Getting up before kids to write. It is weird how one person’s truth can be so damn relatable huh? Lights off. Book gets to stay close to me because it brought my mind somewhere else for a few hours.
No sleep. Ok fine. I will get up. Coffee.
Coffee fail. I dumped the entire grinds into my perfectly frothed vanilla almond milk and ruined the first cup. Fuck. I HATE when I mess up my morning coffee. But I am tired so I cut myself some slack.
Coffee fail two. I forget to froth my milk this time so I just deal with it and head upstairs.
A quick Instagram post first because a video I made last night made me smile and cry a bazillion tears this early morning. I needed a smile. So I post it. I love making videos. I love learning to edit them. It has been a fun hobby for me. Just like my nighttime boundaries, there is no place for social media before 7am in my home. 10pm-7am are off limits. So a quick post.
Do I write my honest to God truth?
Do I write happy stuff because that is what people expect?
Do I write about the Matcha Latte I drank and took a picture of because that is what I “should” write about?
Or do I just fucking say … I am not ok in this moment.
Whenever I write about not having a good day, inevitably people reach out. I always get the “it could be worse so cheer up” which makes me want to lose my goddamn mind because yah … maybe it COULD be worse but that doesn’t mean my “not ok” is any less “not fucking ok”. And THAT is the exact reason nobody ever will be honest and say they aren’t ok is because someone is always lurking around the corner to scream
This person has it worst
You are an entitled brat
There are starving kids in some place in the world
This single mom has it “worse” than you
Blah Blah Blah
No No No
It is OK to not be ok sometimes!!! Period. You don’t owe anyone an explanation. And it doesn’t make you negative or not a happy person if you are a “not ok” person at times. And nobody’s “not ok” is worse or better off than yours … just different.
And then on the flipside, I don’t want people to worry so the ones who love me or are kindhearted that reach out, it means the world but then I shy away because I don’t want to bother anyone with my “not ok” world. In my meditation group we talked this week about asking for help. In a way, saying you aren’t ok and then getting love and support almost seems like asking for help to me. Even though writing is just how I express myself and I happen to be an oversharer and post my oversharingness. But I don’t ask for help. Ever. I will take my sick kid to target, covered in piss, puke and shit and then he pukes all over me and I cry as I walk out with his medicine before I would ever ask someone to go grab tylenol or popsicles for me. I can do it all. Period.
And that is definitely NOT ok. But somehow asking for helps makes me less of a single mom who has her shit together and can DO IT ALL. I am working on this folks. As of yesterday. So bear with me on this ego issue.
So receiving words when I say I’m not ok feels like “help” and it makes me uncomfortable but also peaceful. It is a hard limbo game.
So there. I guess I chose truth telling today.
I’m not ok. The words I read triggered a lot for me in the early EARLY morning hours.
When I read the words:
Grief can only be outlasted
I cried harder.
I know grief well. We made VERY good friends in 2012 and then again in 2013. And I learned a lot. About me and about the process. And I now try to teach what I know.
But the reason it hit me is because I am once again grieving. A loss. And I don’t know why I feel like it makes me less of a human and woman to be feeling this way other than the situation I am grieving I am certain the person will read this and then I look like I am weak and the problem is this person is the only human outside my mom to actually know my real “weak” and since this was a loss, it is probably apparent this person is no longer in my life. If that makes sense. Ha! I guess we (or I guess I should just say I) … want to be strong. Always strong. Because I don’t have space to feel because I have kids that NEED me to be strong. I am their person and their only person during the weeks. I can’t be weak and crying because I don’t have a choice. That is the nature of the life I chose.
I am grieving. And what I don’t know is when it will end. Right now it feels like it will never end. But that is just what grief feels like. And sometimes it cycles for years with small breaks in-between. Nothing can “heal” grief but time. I cry tears because some of the words I read earlier reminded me of how I have felt. Maybe other people’s words are making me feel and this is a good thing. But for this morning, I am not ok. I am sad. That is the emotion I feel.
I write encouraging words a lot. Positive affirmations. But what I really want to write today is
One of the most powerful words I know. Sometimes we don’t need positivity. We need a gentle hand that says “me too” … And more often than not that is actually what we REALLY need every single day. Because we can all have big smiles and say pretty words. But when you can reach into someone’s soul and say “me too” and take their hand and walk beside them for a space and time … that is real life folks. That is connection. And that is what makes this life that is equally as blissful and messy, worth the wild ride.