I have 15 months of sobriety.  My relationship with my parents is so greatly improved, it’s hard to recognize it.  I have real, healthy, vibrant friendships with real, healthy, vibrant people.  I have friends who support me and who come to me for support & uplifting.  I have a valuable perspective for people to hear, and am happy to let it go when a relationship doesn’t really feed me in a helpful way.  Not all relationships are two way streets, some are meant for me to support someone else and others are meant for me to get support.  The best ones do some of both.  I can connect with people in so many ways – yoga, self healing, mindfulness, Christianity, marriage struggles, authoring a book, small business ownership, dog rescue, homeschooling, fundraising, AA, the insanity of alcoholism, porn addiction, so much.

In my therapy appt today, we talked about my challenges of this week (2 + husband gone for camping weekend, a birthday kiddo, and too much free time, first yoga teaching class coming up) and we also talked about how I developed the poor coping mechanisms I use today.  When we were discussing my parents, I talked about how I can see now that I made it so much worse than what it needed to be, all those years.  I had expectations of my mother to act a certain way- a way that I deemed “motherly.”  When I treat her like a normal person, let go of the fact that she is my “mom,” our interactions are capable of being quite pleasant.  Not amazing, not nurturing, not a great connection, but just fine, which is all I could ever hope for.

I have read some amazing books and continue to work on my own.  I help others who are working on theirs.  I’m reading like a ravenous beast who survives on reading.  I’m practicing yoga daily, teaching it, learning it, absorbing it all.  I’m praying all the time in some form or another.

Things are really good.  Therapist said this morning that the ways in which I “acted out” as a child/teen/adult in self harm, addiction, room spinning anxiety, depression, more self harm – are all in proportion to the emotional/mental neglect/abuse from my childhood.  That if you don’t learn how to cope with things, you don’t have healthy ways to cope with things…. duh, right?  I’m seeing some new light and grasping a new understanding.  A fresh perspective on old problems.  I’m so thankful.

Things have overall been good but here I am again to type, when things are *not good.*

Marriage is better than it ever has been.

Kids schooling is better than it ever has been.

My connection with God has a little space in it.  I am trying but I don’t know.

My social life and AA support is really good- probably as good as it ever has been.

My yoga practice has a little space in it.

My close few friendships are as good as they ever have been.

Sponsoring is as good as it ever has been- a real gift.

Parenting overall is challenged for sure, but isn’t that normal to be tired out by noon when you’re with your kids all day almost every day?

I’m so damn discontent.  Nothing. Is.  Wrong.  Nothing.  But yet, I feel so displaced, so not right, so often on the verge of tears.  So … weak.  So unable, so heavy, so burdened by all that is wrong in the world.

I am vegan for lent and I hope to continue it if God strengthens me to do so.  I feel the pain of cruelty so much, so… acutely- so strong, so present, so … hopeless.  I do trust in God but it hurts so much and feels so big that it seems like God just “doesn’t care” about it.

I kneel.  I look up at the snow covered branches, I see the brilliant blue sky and yet I ask God “why?” or “What?”  What am I missing?  What is it that He wants from me, wants to show me, wants me to see or know or feel?  What is it that is pulling me down and why can I not let it go and leave it with Him?  I ask Him to guide me.  The tears stream down my face when I talk to Him and I know it’s okay but the heaviness does not leave.  It never does.

Sometimes I understand how people take their own lives.  It makes some sense.  When the burden becomes so constant, so heavy, so crippling and painful and endless it just can’t continue and then that’s the end.  I am not there, I am not giving up, but I understand it today.

I am blessed beyond measure.  God has redeemed my marriage, he has healed my heart, H’s heart, He has blessed me with these people on loan to me that I get to call my children.

All of these things, no matter how good, bring me so much pain that is not real.  It’s real in my head but it’s not REAL in a way that matters, that means anything.

Sometimes I try to push through and distract myself and do “the next right thing.”  “Move into action.”  I do.  I call my people, I call my sponsor, I go to a meeting, I pray, I journal, I try to practice yoga, I read, I try to go enjoy nature, I reach out and try to help someone else to get out of my own head.  But yet, it is just so fucking much.  It’s so much.  I know nothing should be wrong with my life because I’ve got a beautiful life here, yet I can not shake this pain.

I know drinking would take it away, albeit very temporarily only until I stopped drinking.  And I don’t want to do that.  I would love the first two hours maybe and then it would all start going downhill.  I would yell at my children.  I would become demanding, bitchy, rude and mean to my husband.  I may become physically abusive or damage my own property.  I may self harm.  I would very likely drive drunk.  I would put peoples lives in danger.  I would call or email people I shouldn’t and say/write things I shouldn’t.  I’d leave myself with so many new regrets and amends to be made.  I can’t put peoples lives in danger, and I don’t want to be so violent to myself.  So while an hour or two may  bring “some” relief, when I look at the big picture I don’t want to go there.  But I really don’t know what else to do.  Just keep on existing?  Just show up for life with this sadness & heaviness & dread on my heart?  I don’t know.

These challenges… my relapsed friend.  My disobedient son.  My problematic overfull schedule.  My anger that comes and goes.  These are problems of this world.  This WORLD.  Not of my home.  My home is with God, and when He calls me to it, none of this will matter.  The trick is getting through the here and now, and just waiting.  Living His will for me and waiting for it to be over.  It will never be easy here, this life is full of crap and hardship and pain…. these little things I feel are so “big” in the day, one day at a time… will not even matter in a few weeks/months/years.  I am thankful for this perspective.

Every damn morning I wake up re-angry.  Every day over the course of the day I find forgiveness, understanding, softness, I fall asleep with compassion and acceptance.  Then in the morning I wake up “medium.”  Hurt but not angry.  Come 8, 9, 10 am, I am full on angry all over again.  And here I sit, 7:58 am and so mad my heart is pounding.  I went to yoga this morning, felt joy and light.  Got in my car, got a starbucks, checked my phone. Anger comes right back.
Pray.  Journal.  Pray. Let myself feel the anger and the sadness and the fears and pray some more.  I’m on the journal part.

I replay the realities of this situation.  How would she like it if I did this to her?  After the countless conversations about making ourselves available for each other via phone call when needed.  About being honest with each other.  About being one another’s outlet for shame feelings and truth telling.  How would she like it if I, supposedly one of her closest “friends” left a message saying: oh shit hey, my kid ran away a few days ago and it’s been really hard.  REALLY hard.  Awful really.  I’ve been talking to dozens of other people about it and actually have been getting some really amazing support from them.

She lets me know in a barely-audible vox message that she’s “been drinking” and has “come clean” in a meeting.  And wonderful Kevin, her supportive “friend” who wasn’t able to make it to her special coming clean meeting blah blah blah.

I leave a message with support, love, kindness, openness, non-judgement.  I ask her if she can talk.  If she wants to come over the next day.  No response.  The next day, I ask her if she can talk on the phone.  No response.  The next day I invite her over or ask if we can talk on the phone, and with each message, I tell her I love her and am here for her and can try my best to be an understanding friend.  No response.  No response.  No response.

And conveniently, unlike any other situation in our 9 months of talking-every-day-friendship, she just happens to not look at or play my messages for the past 3 days until it’s “too late” or a terribly inconvenient time to talk.  She responds when it’s a bad time for her to talk with lots of exclamation points and many terms of endearment.  Passive aggressive, anyone?

I haven’t been treated so shitty by someone calling herself a “friend” since J disrespected me over and over and over again, and I grit my teeth and tried to have  nice conversations asking to please pretty please respect my boundaries, dear friend.  Well, I was drinking then and am not now.
J could feign ignorance in her own selfishness, JS knows what she is doing on some level but oh… it’s not that black and white she says… she can’t help it… well, not so shocking news- hurt people hurt people.  And when you don’t take care of your own pain, when you don’t take care of yourself, that hurt comes out as mean spirited cruelty towards others- usually those you care for the most.

For the past week or two leading up to this, things were different.  I had pulled back from our voxing messages because I couldn’t handle her negativity as much and would rather not engage in it as often.  Listening to it at such a frequency and intensity could actually be enabling to it. So, we were voxing every 1 – 2 days instead of daily.  I was still there and supportive and asking about her days.  I’d share about mine without much response but knew she was having a hard time so pushed through.  We had a strong conversation on the phone the week prior (me- strong, her- I thought receptive) encouraging her to tell the truth to her husband about her anxiety dealing with Christmas lights.  Encouraging her to be true to herself about meeting with her sister.  I thought it was helpful, she acted thankful for the conversation but maybe it angered her and was the cause of this.  I can’t even guess her motives because I am not mind reader, so I can let that go.  I can let go of trying to figure out the why’s behind this.
So here we are.  She can be passive aggressive to me all day long, she can be a mean friend, rude and inconsiderate and intentionally knowingly hurtful as she’s doing, and I can use all of this to remind myself it’s her, not me.  Her, not me.  She’s not doing this AT me, she’s just doing it.  Her choices belong to her.  She has to own it, live with it, drink over it.

I’ll have to learn some new coping skills because what I’m doing isn’t working too well.  Not when I’m yelling at my kids, shorter with my husband, all because in the back of my head I am angry with her.  I need to let that go and then let it go again… and after that let it go.  I need to let HER go… with love and kindness I need to look that fear in the face and see it and accept it and lay it at God’s feet.  I can’t function in fear and anger.  Not without drinking, and drinking is not an option for me today.  I can’t live God’s will with anger in my heart but I CAN leave it with Him to do with as He wishes.
What I can do is let this friendship go.  I can be done with her, at least for now.  I can see that beneath my anger always has been fear.  Fear of losing a beautiful friendship that carried both of us through some very hard moments, mourning and sadness for that loss.  I can’t go on caring and investing my heart and hope for kindness from her and being treated with such meanness though, it’s not reasonable, and in the end, my kids, my marriage, my productivity throughout the day, my joy, my trust in God… it’s worth far more than one toxic friendship.  It breaks my heart but I give up on her because I have to.

My closest sober friend is drinking again.  She is not only my closest sober friend but she is one of my closest friends.  The past two weeks or so we had been a little more distant.  I’d hit a point where I had to withdraw slightly to protect myself, my sanity, our friendship, and ultimately my own sobriety.

We were voxing every 1-2 days instead of 2x PER day…. so it was a decrease in communication.

Why did this happen?  Because I couldn’t take the negativity.  With leaving each other voxer messages, there is no “flow” of conversation, it is one person going on and on for as long as they’d like about whatever they want.  And with her, very often, it was the very same things: lack of sleep due to a specific problem which could be changed but was not chosen to be changed.  Severe dissatisfaction in marriage which she was unwilling to show emotions over in an honest way with her spouse.  Then came a situation with her child that was a serious problem, one that has serious consequences, and was honestly quite dangerous- and again, she was very upset about it but unwilling to do anything about it.  After hearing minutes upon minutes of this over and over again, day after day, some of the same things for *months*, literally, I told her that it was hard for me to hear, and wondered if we could not talk so much about a certain aspect of it.  I told her why it was hard for me in the most loving, kind, compassionate way that I could.  I did this too, in a voxer message.

She replied that she was very hurt.  And how could she leave out that one aspect of her life when it was such a big part of her life.  Okay, well, I felt bad and apologized and told her to go ahead and keep doing what she was doing then.  No problem, I can be a supportive friend in ALL ways  not just the easy ways, and I’m so sorry…..

Yeahhhh.

With a lot of coaching from my husband, my sponsor, and my very emotionally/spiritually healthy, strong, wise girlfriend- I learned that a better way to do this would be to move away from voxer and move toward phone conversations so that I could “redirect” the conversation topic more easily.  I don’t really have time to talk on the phone so I didn’t do that right away… I was digesting and figuring things out.  I continued to listen to her same situations day after day and just left “shorter” less involved messages.  I did however refocus on leaving very uplifting, motivating, strengthening messages.  In some ways, I perhaps PARTIALLY disregarded some of the things she said and just moved right into a motivating, strengthening message.

So things were a little different since then, maybe 2 weeks ago that happened.

She is pretty infatuated with this “friendship” with a man in the program.  A man who dates around within the program, etc. etc. etc.  They’re “just friends” but he “understands her” more than anyone else and is more “supportive” than anyone else, etc.  Of course.

I told her in the very beginning of our friendship before we were even close, about my falling out with J, and that I can’t have friends who have affairs, it pushes me in a unhealthy direction, and I accept this because of my own relationship history.  I feel that it is a healthy boundary to keep me safe and my perspective of my most important human relationship safe- that with my husband.

Last night I listened to a series of 5 voxes in a row from the 4:00 hour earlier that day.

In them, she admitted she has been drinking.  For how long, I do not know.

She mentioned it casually in this message, that she “came clean” in the Wed. meeting (2 days prior) and got lots of support.  She included in this that her infatuation man was supposed to be there but wasn’t, and some details about why he couldn’t be there for her during it.

This puts me over the edge.

She went on to talk for a very long time about how the meeting I reguarly attend isn’t “safe” for her.  As if it mattered heavily to me and she really needed me to understand that.  Well, okayyyy… I am grateful she is going to any meetings, it doens’t weigh heavily on me whether or not she goes to mine…  She also talked about how things “aren’t black and white” as I think they are and that they’re just not for her.  That I don’t understand.  okayyyyy.  It all ended with, “I just need you to be…. I just need you to…. I don’t know, I don’t know….”

I. can’t. even.

I called R.

I thought about calling this friend’s ex-sponsor because she would “get it” …. but I knew that wasn’t the right thing to do.  R was extremely extremely extremely helpful.  I was shaking.  I was very accepting of the situations at hand.  We talked all about relapse, how to be a friend to someone who has relapsed, etc.

I went to bed.

I woke up this morning with anger in my body.

I was cooking specials for my kids, assembly line fashion.  I was so angry.  I found myself doing my yoga breath to stay calm.  Until little R came out crying.  I felt so much anger in my neck, in my heart.

Angry that she 1. didn’t fricking call me when she wanted to pick up a drink.  2. Deemed this man as the most supportive man in her life and sobriety.  3. Deems this man as her #1 go to.  After all I have done, after all that I have listened to, been supportive of, talked her through, been there for her, after our late night talks on my couches when she’s spent the night, after our hours and hours on the phone, after last week’s hour long phone conversation, it is this MAN that she wants and looks for to be supportive to her coming out meeting?  Angry.  4. Didn’t tell me before she announced it in a meeting.  5. Didn’t tell me for two days after announcing it in a meeting.

R says it is fear causing my anger.  Fear of losing a friend, fear of losing a friendship, fear of change, fear deep down, that I too could go back to alcohol.  While I don’t quite get all of that yet, and it doens’t seem right…. it does open my eyes and heart to the fact that there is something under the anger.  When my little R came out of bed crying because i wasn’t in there with him, I hugged him and I cried with him.  We cried for different reasons.

What is under my anger?  I think it is partially a feeling of rejection.  It is partially a complex of over-confidence perhaps.  I wanted to be the supportive one.  I had earned that.  Alas, I was rejected.

R said a few very important things to me this morning.

  1. She is sicker than me right now.
  2. She is only doing what she can right now.

In a healthy friendship, sometimes one is stronger/healthier than the other.  Not just for AA’s but for every relationship.  One relies on the other, and this vacillates back and forth over the course of the friendship.  It is my time to be the strong one.  Some day in the future, God willing, she may be the stronger one for me.  I am holding on to that because it gives hope to HER and hope to ME and hope to our friendship.

 

 

 

I love looking at old posts as I journey through recovery in alcoholism.  I love seeing what had me SO LOW and knowing now, to look back- those things don’t effect me, don’t matter, they’re history.  I’m able to move on and  move past them.

Because it is so helpful for me to get them OUT of my body and ON the screen, and then later, a gift again to look back and be strengthened by it, I am doing it again now with a very little-but-crazy-in-my-head ordeal.

It is said that resentments are what drive an alcoholic to drink again, more than any other issue.  They’re sneaky.  They’re not always outright anger (though it can feel like that quickly if you let it grow) because we deal with anger.  Resentments, those quiet little “but I was right…” or “but I should teach them a lesson…” or “I can’t let people get away with treating me so bad…” or whatever.

Jesus’ sermon on the mound helps me.  I listen to it and it cry.  I do. not. want. to love my enemies and pray for those who wrong me.  I do. not. want. to forgive and move on happily with my life…. why is that?

14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

We are talking about $25.  In the grand scheme of my life, $25 missing is something I barely notice right now.  It’s not a big deal.  But the way people have lied, dismissed me, went back on their word, and just been downright rude and mean…. that is what I can’t let go of.  Can not any of these people see how mean they are being for seriously no reason.  I have been reasonable.  I have been polite.  I have been …. well, right.  I have given proof.  I am just, in every way, right.  Why are these people not seeing my rightness?

If I “forgive” them, where does that leave me?  Looking like a schmuck?  I have to see these assholes all the time.  One of them is my damn next door neighbor.  What do I do with that?

*Audience of one* … all that matters is that God approves of my behavior and choices.  Which right now, I’m afraid he likely does not.  I’m sure He knows that I’m hurting and hold onto unhelpful anger/resentment, but by NOT letting go, not forgiving, I don’t think he appreciates that.  I can’t imagine God would be smiling down on me right now thinking about how he sacrificed HIS only begotten son for my salvation, for me to be here waking up at 3 am angry about the board’s adamant “no” on refunding my $25 late fee.  Come on.  It’s $25.  Who cares.

Well, apparently I care.  It was my FIRST ever electric bill at that residence.  We had just bought it the end of the summer prior.  I was a new resident.  I don’t get the mail every day looking for bills that I don’t know I’m supposed to receive.  Some things are billed quarterly, some ANNUALLY, some twice a year- it is reasonable that I would assume that a bill would come ‘whenever it came’ … not look for it one certain month, when I was new and had no idea what to expect.  There was no grace, no kindness.  I had “proof” of not receiving the bill because when I received the next bill with the late fee 3 months later, I sent a message to the man we bought it from asking how often they bill, why I have a late fee, stating in it that I never GOT a previous bill.  I asked for a reasonable consideration for crediting the late fee and it was met with “only if you didn’t receive the bill.”  Ok, that makes sense.  I didn’t receive the bill and all facts point to that.  Here is a screen shot of the message I sent when confused about the late fee, stating that I never received the bill.  A lady tells me that message can’t be real because that’s the day she mailed out the bills, so I couldn’t have gotten it then.  Accusing me of making it up?  Ask the man I sent the damn message to then.  I don’t know what to tell these people.

I want to fuck with them, I want to be mean to them, I have it in me….. I really do- and they reeeealllly deserve it for being mean to ME!  Nobody calls me a liar, accuses me of falsifying things, steals from me and treats me disrespectfully and gets away with it.  <<<– this is how I am thinking and feeling though I know it is very wrong and unhelpful and NOT what a representative of God should do.  Even writing that out I feel this swoosh of “old me.”  Not God in me, but old me that is righteous, indignant, demanding, and controlling.

I know I can’t control how other people treat me.  All I can control is my own self.  My thoughts and actions.  Though I can’t seem to control my thoughts here.  They are so running wild.

I mean, WILD.

I can’t recall being this …. not quite angry, because the anger comes and I can let it go…. what’s the word then, this… something, in sobriety.  I have had many challenges in my sobriety.  Just a few days back I had a full dose of anger pulsing through my body about a situation with my mother…. it came and left SO easily, even when it was SO STRONG and big and honestly, also very reasonable.  Yet here we are, people have been mean to me, they are not being reasonable, they are handling this without logic.  The woman saying that I made the message up is acting on fear probably fearing for her own job… I get it.  I do have compassion for her.  She surely doesn’t want to be in trouble for not getting the bill to me.  Fine.  Then leave it up in the air, leave it open, no need to blame me for LYING when I am NOT LYING!

uggghhhh, I just can’t.  I’m not crying about this, I just want to get them.  I have so many ways I could.

I hope to some day look back on this and feel compassion for my now-crazy self and see so clearly how I “could” have chosen to let this go.  But right now, still, I can’t.  I’m not going to win against these people.  I could take them to small claims court and I would win there.  And if I didn’t win there, it would be an easy acceptance.  But I would.  I can’t possibly put myself through that because I HAVE to do everything in my power to try and let this go.  Get over it.  Smile at the assholes.  Be my normal pleasant self to them.  All the while they’ll probably be disliking me….. the tool right next door who for some reason is just such a tool.  I’m feeling so mean inside, so ugly and hateful and vengeful.

I pray, I pray and pray and pray and pray and the thoughts come in even WHILE I’m praying.  God has removed much bigger mental obsessions so I know HE can do that for me again, on His time, not mine.  Thy will be done…..

What am I supposed to do though, and howwwww could I possibly do it?

How to let this go?

If I find the courage and strength to go to breath, breath can take me to God and I can be there.  I can exist without wishing I didn’t exist.  Not for long, but it makes it tolerable for a bit.

If I try to make myself be happy I can find things for which I am thankful.  Do I feel actual joy and gratitude for these wonderful things, no.  I shall try anyways, because it is all I can do sometimes.  A gratitude list, as they call it in AA.

I have a roof over my head and my home is actually even clean right now.  I have a car that works and gas in the tank.  I have these kids who are amazing, (or are they?) (No, I will try to focus on the positive………) and healthy and strong.  God has redeemed my soul, given me a new life with Him, and is leading me on this journey.  (Or is he??!)  (Ok, trying!)  I have come a long ways from being the angry, hateful, loathing person I used to be, 4, 8, 10, 20 years ago.  I have 3+ years of a genuinely new heart and new outlook, ever since that day on the couch when I called out to a God I didn’t believe in.  He has also redeemed my marriage, my husband has been sober from porn for 2.5 years I think.  He supports me.  He is not perfect, and neither am I, but I can be thankful for him being a different, better man than he was for 10+ years to me.  We have money in the bank.  I have a great sponsor.  I have two very very good friends and another handful of friends who I could count on to come and be with me if I needed.  I am able to sit and breathe.  I am able to garden, to grow vegetables, to live on an earth where I can do that.  I live in a place that is out of harms way.  I have a dog that loves me and food on the table.  I have friends who care.  A husband who cares.  A 12 step program that has changed the way I view coping with hard things.  A church that feeds me.

It sure is hard not to bring up the negatives or question marks.  I’m weaning off of an anti-depressant and that may be some of my challenge right now, God has funny timing if he waited for that to show me my son’s betrayals.  Funny there means: cruel.

I tell myself the things I tell other people.  We don’t grow when things are easy, we grow on the edges.  We grow when it’s hard.  What if I didn’t need to grow, what if I was fine the way things were.  Why can’t things just. be. ok.

Just be pleasant and manageable.  Makes me sad.  Bummed.  I can’t wait for this life to be over.  I’m not going to be the one who ends it for myself but it’s just too hard here.  Too sad and hard.  I feel ill equipped and stranded.  I know people care, and I know in some cell of my body that God HAS equipped me and IS with me, but I just don’t really know right now.  I feel numb and lost and alone and broken.  So I pray some more and try to fake it until something falls into place, until He shows His mercy, until I can handle it.

The worst thing is that due to my behaviors (probably) & yelling, he tunes me out now.  He’s made his own coping mechanisms that when I yell, he just tunes me out.  Because I’ve yelled too much. It’s logical.

The worst thing is that nothing makes the pain go away.  The worst thing is that I’m angry with God and I let him know this morning for my first time ever since trusting Him.  I’ve “questioned” Him but not openly cried out to him in true anger.  I did this morning.  I don’t know how I feel about that but it doesn’t really matter.  I feel like nothing matters.  My friend J says there’s nothing worse than an alcoholic with a case of the fuckits.  Fuck it though, I just feel like I can’t do anything right so why bother trying.  If I’ve been TRYING for years, and this is where it gets me, then fuck it.  I’ve been trying for years, and I’ve been TRYING TRYING hard and in a new light in sobriety for 10 months.  I barely yell any more.  BARELY.  Once every maybe 2 or 3 weeks I will slip and scream about something stupid (bringing the dog in, as it is this morning.)

I asked God if he fucked up.  If he gave me the wrong kid.  Why he isn’t equipping me to deal with this, why He isn’t giving me the patience and the answers and the solutions that I need.  I ask him if this is a mistake, and what am I supposed to do, just kill myself?  Yes, I asked God if he just wants me to end my own life.  Threatening God with my life didn’t really get me anywhere.  Nothing did.  I pray and I pray and I cry and I hurt and I beg and I ask and I get angry and I plead with the only one who can heal this situation, heal my heart, heal my son’s heart.  And here we are, still the same.  There’s no shortcut through this shitty life, there’s just going through it.

One week ago today I had no idea the depths of my kids betrayal.  “All kids do this.”  “This is normal.”  “They’re testing boundaries.”  “He brought you to it, he’ll bring you through it.” “You’re their mother for a reason.”  “Keep on keeping on.”  “Consistency & repeat.”  All of these things people say are bullshit.

I can’t drink it away, I can’t buy a new watch, I can’t go spend 5 hours at 3 stores shopping.  I can’t binge eat.  Even if I sit in the dark on the floor and eat a whole pack of oreos plus 3 junior cheeseburgers from wendys and a large fries and wash it down with some diet soda, it’s still there.  I can’t fast it away.  I can’t exercise it away.  I can’t chop my hair off to deal with it.  I can’t burn my arms or ankles to make it go away.  I can’t buy a new watch or a new ring or scrub the floor to make it go away.  I can’t ease the pain by sharing the burden, it does not make it half.  I can’t sit I can’t stand I can’t jump I can’t walk to lessen the pain.  It doesn’t go anywhere.

Occasionally I can ignore it, maybe I can go a few days numb and in shock and just slightly sad.  And then it’s still there.  What the fuck is there to do with this?  Pray.  Journal.  Share it with a trusted friend.  Self care.  Read your bible.  Yoga.  Be in nature.  Pet your dog.  None of this helps me.  NONE.  I do it all and it’s nothing.  It’s going through the motions.

I sob quietly 1 long sob at a time when I go into the bathroom, into a towel and I put the towel back.  No tears come.

When tears do come it’s too much and it brings me right before the God that made the whole sky and the whole ground and the whole oceans and I can’t do anything but be angry with Him.

“You have to let go of the anger.”  “There’s no other way, than through it.”

I’m tired.  I’m sick.  I’m diseased in my soul.  My spirit cries.  Pleads for help.  And there is none.

((I should have prefaced this with saying my struggles are with one of my sons, not my husband.  We are doing really well.  God has blessed us and redeemed our souls individually and in marriage.  I’ve been sober from alcohol for over 10 months, H from porn for about 2.5 years I think.  Sober from yelling & anger, not so much (me, that is.)  My friends- mostly through yoga, our co-op, AA & a few close friends at church are available to me, I’m not suicidal.  Just alone and tired out.))  Thanks for reading & caring.

One at a time, my kids shoes get too small for me.  I no longer slip on my eldest son’s shoes because though they fit in length, they are stretched tall from the height of his arches and now I choose son #2’s shoes to slip on.  This brings me great joy and some pain.  My kids are growing.  Yes, this is the goal for humans, to live and thrive and grow.  And of course, we all know it represents growth out of the baby stage and how hard that can be.  Every sign of my kids growing older comes with a droplet of pride, joy, and also regret that they must grow.  They must go forth and exist as their own person.  I have never been one of those moms that needs someone helpless to rely upon them to live (thanks R), but here we are, and I WILL miss them needing me.  Not in an unhealthy way, necessarily, but in a way that perhaps most moms do feel.  It is weird and hard and sad and enlightening all at once.  All because I slipped on #1’s flip flops and they were too big, too “tall” for my foot today.

H got a promotion at work, a huge one, one very well received by his peers and he is proud.  I am so proud of him and with him.  Our life is so blessed, God has been so very good to us, and yet, I ask more of Him.  I ask every day for His will for me, for His strength and clarity and wisdom.  I ask for Him to take away the burdens of my heart and align my heart with His plans so that my life can feel easier.  I ask for Him to give me what I need to deal with uncertainties throughout my day, every day.

AA has brought me so much closer to God.  Yoga has brought me so much closer to God.  God has brought me so much closer to God.  I yearn for nothing more than His love and His strength, and miraculously, he continues to give it to me day after day, through the diving spirit within me- His Holy Spirit.

I am thankful that my children are growing, will some day be taller than me, will some day not need me.  Yet I can’t not want to give another child a life.  I am not burdening H with this at all.  I’ve been totally normal and fun and fine, yet it resides in my heart.  Maybe it will for another 15 years.  Maybe for another month or day.  Whatever is to be, Thy will be done.

I’ve long wanted to adopt.  How many kids did I picture myself with as a child… 2 maybe.  Always girls.

After we had #1, I got an 5-year IUD because I was so foul and angry at the process of giving birth and sleepless newborn nights, that I decided I didn’t want to go through that again.

We started talking about adoption but were quickly deterred by the pain in the ass factors of it.  I spotted (bled) daily for 3 months and couldn’t stand that either so we got it taken out and figured- if we aren’t going to adopt, let’s just buck up and try for #2.

Boys.  Two boys.  A mom that was learning to love motherhood but it didn’t come naturally at first.  Finally quit working and then started working “on my own” which quickly translated to being obsessed with my self employment.

Marriage took a big fall when #2 was a baby- filed for divorce, separated, all that stuff.

Got back together, had #3, another boy.  Got very defensive of people insinuating that I needed a girl.  VERY angry and defensive.  Offended some of my daughter-having friends even because I outwardly was so anti-girl.

Dreamed about having a girl, but loved my all-one-gender kid family.

Life happened.  Lots of moving, marital strive, got pregnant with #4 unexpectedly, at a quite awful time in life.  Hated my life so deeply and intensely, had just left away from my friends and all that I knew and loved, sold my business, left my people.  Leaned so heavily into motherhood and found myself terribly depressed.  Another boy.  GOOD!  I don’t want a little girl anyways!  Girls are nasty!  I hate girls!  I’m SO GLAD I’m going to be a mom to FOUR BOYS!  Wouldn’t have it any other way!  For a decade I lived my lie of not wanting a daughter.

Fast forward 4 more years.  We’re done.  Marriage has been redeemed by God, in ways that we couldn’t ever imagine.  I do, now, appreciate my all boy family.  I identify as a “boy mom.”  I lean into it, and I lean into it hard.  I am a boy mom.  “How many kids do you have?”  “4 boys!”  “So what grade are your children in?”  “I have 4 boys in x, x, x grades!”  I’m no longer anti-girl but I sure am all boys.  I talk about my friends who have 4, 5, 6 boys in wondrous awe and yearn for more boys too.  The more children (boys!) that I have, the more that I want because i see the beauty and goodness and ways that they enrich their and my own life.

Why more?  To further define my all-boy motherhood?

I’m 36.  My marriage is strong.  Our family is financially strong.  Our parenting is good.  Our kids are decently well behaved.  I teach them.  My marriage is SO strong and our family has more than it needs in every way.  And yet, here I am, wanting to adopt.  In my head, my dream world, I would adopt a sibling set, any gender, and let God decide.  It has been a process to embrace the fact that I will never have a daughter.  People comfort me: Girls are so much more work anyways.  You’ll have daughter in laws!  But the truths remain, that I will not have a real daughter with whom I can break the nasty cycle of parenting girls.  Yes, I can (and have) broken the cycle of sad parenting with children, but the history of sad parenting to DAUGHTERS won’t have a chance to be broken with me.  I can lovely parent my children and break the cycle no matter their gender, but I will not likely be invited to be in the room when a daughter-in-law gives birth.  It’s possible, yes.  It’s possible that even with a daughter, I wouldn’t be close with her.  But the fact that I’ll never have a chance hurts my heart.  I can reason myself out of all my thoughts and desires.

Be grateful for what you have.

Be present with the kids you do have.

You have 4 kids that are healthy, smart and kind- you don’t need more.

Life is fulfilling (and busy) enough as it is.

Our house isn’t that big.

Yes, of course.  Alll of these things are true.  And all of them could easily be worked around, too.

I hold motherhood so close to my heart.  I want an absurdly full house on Thanksgivings. There are no guarantees in life, but I so yearn to give some more kids a chance at a good life.  AND give my biological kids a chance at a good life.  It’s not that I want to save the children.  I want to LOVE more children.

It’s been HEAVY on my heart the past few weeks with my birthday.  Has hurt.  The combination of never having a daughter maybe AND not being able to love more kids.  I asked H if there was any seed of possibility and he said no.  He said it kindly and gently and lovingly and it was fine, and I kind of already knew, but it really hurt my heart.  Not HIM, but just the finality of not being a mom to more kids.  I told him I would not ask again and he could tell me if he ever changed his mind.  That was that.  We talked about other things and went on to have a nice date night.

I have shared with a few friends my heartache over wanting to adopt but not being on the same page with my husband and they have been sensitive and kind, supportive friends.  I decided to share with my sponsor last night.  That was silly.  She’s so amazing in many ways, and yet, so obtuse in others.  Maybe some day I will see her viewpoint differently, but today it just pushes me farther away from believing in her love for me.

“You know welfare moms with huge litters of children aren’t really in it for the welfare money, right?  They are addicted to having someone helpless rely on them to live.”  “Wanting more children, needing to be needed, can turn into an addiction.”  “Check your motives.”  “Really check your motives.”  “Have I mentioned check your motives?”  “I’d strongly recommend not badgering your husband about this, it could potentially really put a wedge between you.”  “Why don’t you become a big sister?”  “Because you want a full house at Thanksgiving does not mean you need to adopt a litter of kids.”  “You could always channel this desire of being a mom to more, into being a better mom to those you have.”  “If you create a welcoming environment, your kids might bring their friends with them to your house.”  “Wanting more than what you have or need is gluttony, you know that right?”

Gee, I feel so understood.  GLUTTONOUS?  Addicted to needing someone to rely on me?  Are you kidding?  Welfare moms being addicted to being needed?  Come onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.

It bothered me all night and I felt so frustrated with not only her “suggestions” but also just being so closed-minded.  Does she not know that some people DO parenting well?  That not all people are the same?  That not all people need the same things that she does or that she thinks is right?  That God’s will is more important than her advice?

I am waiting for this to pass.  For God’s will to be done.  Maybe some day H will see or hear or feel something that changes his mind and maybe not.  I’m not holding onto hope that he will, but if it ever does happen, I could jump right in.  I forgive my silly sponsor and pray for her eyes to be opened and heart to be softened.  I know my truth and accept it, and the divine power within me that gave me the feelings and heart that I have.

I am overcoming and letting go of my life to be different than what it is today.  I know I am not gluttonous in wanting more than I have, I believe that God gives different people different desires and that we are different because he made us that way.  I do not shame people who choose to work when it isn’t financially necessary, instead of raising their kids themselves.  And if my sponsor needs to grow and develop more in her acceptance of other ways of life, I certainly can relate needing to grow.

I am overcoming my sadness that my husband doesn’t want more children and I will respect and accept that.  I’m overcoming that I “only” have four kids (silly, I know, but it’s how I feel) and trying to accept also that I will not have a daughter.  Maybe God’s will is for me to get through this and then later work adoption into our life.  God willing, I have many more years ahead of me.  HE knows what he wants and plans for my life, and I trust Him.  I know I do want what I want, and He is in charge of my husband’s heart.  I will be okay with His strength, and will be working on acceptance.