Monthly Archives: April 2015

The Self-Esteem Dream and Other Perfect Rhymes…

noonecanmakeyou

Wow…It is my first ever end of the week blog. It is Friday and I did not deactivate my blog due to the burden of poor grammar, no followers or the gross overuse of phrases and words I happen to love. *see the abuse of “Reckless Abandon” in ALL of my posts this week.

As I reflect on this huge accomplishment, and bathe in the glory of achieving my own personal best, by which I mean…living the dream of SELF-ESTEEM. YES. That rhymes and feel free to use that because I, for sure won’t use it again. “Living the dream of self-esteem”…what might I mean by that? Listen here…

I didn’t delete, deactivate or give up on writing. I hit publish with ya know (reck—-Ab–don) I’m done with that. I used poor grammar, foul language and really did not know what I was doing with this whole publish, draft, save…add media, visual etc. I still don’t know how to use the little boxes on top of this “writing square.” Yes…the one with the b. the I. the link, the b-quote, the del, the ins.

Those buttons seem important and one day I will know them and own them and they will know me, but not today because I DON’T HAVE TO KNOW EVERYTHING TO START SOMETHING!!!!

RIGHT? This is genius and as a mental health professional and consumer of mental health stuff (by “stuff” I mean years of being therapized), I think it is the freakin’ most important idea!!

You Don’t Have To Know Everything To Start Something.

I want to write…so I am writing. Embracing the mistakes and all. Loving my three followers and knowing they can leave or more can come and I AM STILL WHOLE and important and lovable.

MY Goal is to stick and stay and see what happens while I accept it all.

MY Anti-Goal (meaning what i hope i won’t do) is to start writing and feel crappy about it and leave and say…”Well that sucked and I should never put myself out there again, because me and actually, everyone, just blows.” Yeah, I don’t want to do that.

I am practicing the art of good enough in all things. Enough of the bullshit. I am learning what I so easily can teach and that is to TOLERATE WHAT FEELS INTOLERABLE. Yes people (or person) Distress Tolerance, Radical Acceptance…the whole lot of it!

I have moved through (yes through, not over or around, actually through) anxiety and depression and trauma. And it sucked and was scary but I did it. (with support of professionals and other stuff) And I struggle sometimes but most days are better, because I took the risks, I did the hard, painful work, processed the hell out of stuff and worked (and continue to work) my shit out. It doesn’t go away but it gets so much better and you learn crap about yourself that you never thought you would. And you use it and much of it helps.

So on to my new chapter and that is writing about being a therapist, being a mom, a wife, a human among humans…in the middle of the herd. Packed in tight but not afraid to stand out.

Risking my professional reputation and putting my human condition out there for the world to see. (sort of, I mean..I haven’t really linked my name to this blog yet for fear of my professional life going in the shitter) but wait for it. Till then I am o.k with “Pixiedust72 or therapyontherun or watchmewait…or no matter my screen name. I am human. I assure you that.

So seriously…Happy Friday Bloggers…Go do stuff that scares you and you think you suck at-┬ábecause ultimately it helps you to LIVE your truth. That kind of matters.

OH…and Also, celebrate little victories…like eating one slice of cake instead of the whole cake. Or successfully sleeping on your left more than your right. OR…not deleting your blog.

Carry on friend. (friends?) I don’t want to seem cocky…

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Difficulty Being Brief and Hitting Publish With Reckless Abandon

longwinded tHISlong-winded

So in reading my recent blogs…here an elsewhere…I realize I may ramble a bit…please forgive me. I am a work in progress. Might I add, a description about this blog should also contain the HEADLINE:

HAS DIFFICULTY WITH BREVITY AND PRESSES PUBLISH WITH RECKLESS ABANDON.

Also, an observation…blogging is tapping into my fear of abandonment. WITH THREE FOLLOWERS…I keep checking to see if you are still there. (seriously not kidding…it feels wrong, but I do it anyway)

Twitter taps into my paranoia and my abandonment…I am concerned: “Why are you following me? Please don’t stop?”
Facebook is just straight up paranoid…”why the hell are you friend requesting me…you don’t even know me…you are SUCH a stalker!” Done. I am being brief and I will continue to practice it.

Much love. Welcome to my new follower. AND BABY MAKES 3!!!!!!

JUNE CLEAVER HAS NOTHING ON ME…

Right before I gave birth to my first child…I had just finished a thirty page research paper on Infant Mental Health. I got an A PLUS. Outstanding.
While I lie in my bed, in the hospital, staring at this little guy, all seven pound of him…I thought about that paper. I thought about the nurses trying to help me breast feed, I thought about the way they just expected me to know what to do. Cleaning his umbilical cord…diapering…listening to his what sounded to me like erratic and shaky breathing.(I was pretty sure he was in heart failure…i was wrong) YEAH, The knowledge I had so recently wrote about was simply put, not applicable to this child, in this moment. The information was just not accessible to me in any way that felt like it would help me be able to keep this little creature ALIVE.

I JUST KEPT THINKING; HOLY CRAP IT IS MY JOB TO KEEP YOU FROM DYING!!! I felt love that was deep and wide and unexplainable. I felt fear that I never knew existed. The research paper and seminars and my clinical background offered about as much comfort as soaking wet jeans on a freezing and rainy day. My love for him felt GIGANTIC..but this little being seemed so incredibly and unbelievably “breakable”. So Fragile. Like he could just stop breathing or choke or come undone just as easing as a pair of frayed, thread bare shoelaces.

Again the two prominent thoughts that took up residence in my brain were… GOD, THIS LOVE IS UNREAl,I AM SO HAPPY YOU ARE HERE and HOLY SHIT I HAVE TO KEEP YOU ALIVE. It was a loop that repeated every four minutes for years…I kept it to myself. At least for a while.

So it goes…baby goes home, we adapt the best we can to this amazing little dude and BOOM; fast forward… I have NOW spent the better part of 13 years PERFECTING the art mothering. I am a psychotherapist…I specialize in women, children and adolescents. I am a freaking expert people! An EXPERT on the human condition and our emotional health. Right?

When raising a child…and experiencing a newborn, an infant, a toddler for the first time. Do you know how much comfort my knowledge base has brought? I will answer…sometimes (a tiny bit) but most of the times…it would be none. In fact, I think it made me feel worse because there was the whole “you should be fine with this, you should know this ” thought process that was incorporated into my thinking…and that just added to the baffling nature of becoming a parent.

NOW,Let me enlighten you further (and by you…I mean ME) enlighten by way of brief,(doubtful) yet salient list of my…(Cue Leave it To Beaver Music)

TOP MOTHERING TIPS I WISH SOMEONE GAVE ME 13 YEARS AGO… BUT DIDN’T. SO I AM GIVING THEM TO MYSELF NOW, IN THE FORM OF A LETTER TO MY PAST SELF FROM THE CURRENT AND FAR MORE SELF-AWARE AND SEASONED MOTHER OF TWO. (clears throat and read’s aloud to invisible self of the past) Feel free to read aloud with me…

1. Dear YOU, you ROCK STAR of a brand new mommy…first of All. Let me start with this, congrats on that childbirth thing. First order of business, that no one is going to let you know…your lady parts are going to hurt like a motherfucker for way longer than anyone prepared you for. Bring home that foam donut thing to sit on. You won’t be sorry. And ice packs . And Tucks pads. And the water squirt bottle in the bathroom. And don’t feel bad about “borrowing” changing pads and baby supplies from the hospital. You know…that thing they have that is all filled with supplies for the baby? They have a ton of that shit, you don’t… and you are kind of on the brink of crazy. take it. (turns out they want you to have it anyway and it is not STEALING)

2. I know you are terrified and think your baby will DIE. Babies can and do die and it is heart-wrenching, mind-blowing and horrendous. However…You will spend the better part of the first five years worrying in excess about the possible impending death of your child. Here’s the Good news…thirteen years later…that fragile, tiny, breakable baby is still alive and doing kind of remarkable. (not that there haven’t been challenges, but nothing to the extreme you have imagined) IN FACT…he did so well you even did it again! The really important message I want you to hear is this; even though bad things do happen…BABIES AND CHILDREN TURN OUT TO BE WAY MORE RESILIENT THAN YOU THINK. THEY ACTUALLY DON’T DIE AS EASILY AS YOU HAD IMAGINED…

3. PARENTING is hard. Parenting with postpartum anxiety and depression is even harder. Good for you for getting help. Managing your own anxiety and depression turn out to be one of the most important parts of being able to take care of these crazy little men who are living in your home, sleeping in your bed, eating all your freaking food, messing up your shit and stealing your heart. (side note…don’t go off your MEDS even if you feel a “little” better) As it turns out, Serotonin is something you can’t simply “imagine” or “will” into your brain, but I digress…

4. You will not be the BEST MOTHER…You will make mistakes. Your kids will fall out the crib, get stung by bees, fall off chairs and need x-rays. They may even suck the helium out of a balloon and “kind of” faint, they might tear their cornea, fall on the steps and need more x-rays. of their face. OH BOY…a lot more unexpected and terrifying shit happens. But: SPOILER ALERT…They SURVIVE. YOU are not going to be the “best mother!! “WHY?”…Because it does not exist! Even if you buy organic food and read every parenting book or have “Waldorf style” wooden toys that you can’t afford. Even if you commit to a certain “style” of parenting…family bed, cry it out, Ferber, attachment, helicopter, tiger-mom, WHO GIVE A #$%@!!!!! FYI. For your sanity and self-esteem and quality of life, it simply does not matter what “parenting theory” you cling too…You will still fuck stuff up. And your kids will still be awesome and think you are awesome and will love you.

5. About that sanity thing…You could seriously CLAIM the shit out of some peace of mind, IF AND ONLY IF you remember the following…even when the house is a mess, the sink is full, there is dog hair everywhere, the kids are SCREAMING…YOU ARE SCREAMING…YOUR HUSBAND IS “NAPPING” THROUGH IT… You are still a good mother. Your children feel inherently safe and loved. NOT Because you didn’t yell or you bought gluten free, organic pumpkin bread or you had “family game night” or “taco freakin’tuesday”. Your children feel safe and loved because you LOVE THEM. As it turns out…kids really don’t care if the house is messy or their bed has no top sheet or if they have frozen waffles for dinner sometimes…they DO care that you go to their Lacrosse games and get snacks for the team. They care that you read books at school and show up for “MY FIVE SENSES” THE MUSICAL! They care when you let them snuggle with you at night, even though you honestly don’t want anyone in your “personal space” (about that…you won’t have that for awhile)

They forgive you more than you can imagine. They don’t hold grudges like grown ups. They mess up. They are loud and wild and wrestle and break your furniture. They GET SICK, SCARY SICK AND THEN…THEY GET BETTER. THEY ARE RESILIENT. So don’t spend too much time doubting, second guessing and emotionally beating the crap out of yourself down that long road of parenthood.

6. I must reiterate to you the capacity that these little dudes have to show you forgiveness and how they will crack you freakin’ heart wide open to be able to LOVE WITHOUT CONDITIONS. Mamma…being a mom is so incredibly hard and that is something no one person could possibly prepare you for. You are terrified…I know. BUT I want you to understand, that 13 years out…I think you are a rock star and you are doing a bang up job. NOW, LISTEN UP. THERE is a thought that you seem to have that will continually haunt you for the better part of this journey…it is this: ” IF I AM A GOOD MOTHER I WILL DO__________FILL IN THE BLANK” AND you fear that if you don’t do _____________, you may fundamentally fuck up your kids and they will spend 15 years in therapy talking about the suck-fest known as “MOM”. HERE IS THE TRUTH, AS YOUR 42 YEAR OLD WISER SELF BELIEVES. (see NOW..#7)

7. No matter how “good” you do, Someday’s your children think you suck. No matter how bad you do, your children still love and want to snuggle with you. No matter what “approach” to parenting you take or how infrequently you change the sheets or wash the floors, at the end of the day…if you have loved your kids (despite them being a huge pain in the ass sometimes), IF you have shown up despite being bone crushing exhausted and tucked them in at night even though you wanted to hide under the covers and look at Facebook…If you have made the frozen waffles for dinner and somehow convinced them this is an incredible dinner; well it seems that all of the mistakes seem to gently fall away. THEY LOVE YOU WITH THE SAME RECKLESS ABANDON THAT YOU LOVE THEM AND THAT IS SOMETHING YOU CAN’T IMAGINE. Not when you first see those little eyes of a seven pound newborn staring up at you. It is something that permeates your soul over time. They love you in spite of yourself. They accept your hugs AND your apologies. They mess up, they scare you…you mess up and scare them and at the end of the day…even on the worst, the messiest, the sickest, the scariest, the busiest, the WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING HAVING KIDS’ kind of days (yes those exist), you still all end up being each others favorite people in the whole freakin’ UNIVERSE.

8. AND Lastly…carry on sweet mamma. It’s all a series of learning and there is no “figuring it out”…Just hang on, reach out, don’t judge yourself, other parents, your husband or your kids…and you will be FUCKING FINE. YOU will be GOOD ENOUGH…you are not a perfect mother, but you are THE PERFECT MOTHER FOR YOUR CHILDREN. CLAIM THAT SHIT AND WEAR IT WELL. (and tell some other parents along the way what an awesome job they are doing, because you would be surprised how many feel just as shitty or terrified as you do)

xoxoxox

Living in the GRAY…

So the emotional reaction I am having to let’s just say…”several” people FOLLOWING this blog is nothing short of, at the very least, mildly concerning. First of all, the fact that I can’t seem to wrap my head around the fact that people can see this should be enough for me to stop this process NOW. But the idea that one could see it and actually want to come back and possibly read more…should really solidify my “run now” radar. WHY? Well, for starters…I really have my self-esteem tied up in twitter and Facebook right now and I am not sure my ego can honestly handle this possible assault. Secondly, I tend to be a tad overzealous with my aspirations in the beginning of whatever it is that I just started. For instance, I can’t just write a blog…I have to imagine this is finally my path to DIVINE GREATNESS. I know it is not logical, rational OR mature and as a mental health professional, I think i would call this “MAGICAL THINKING”. It is really what a child does…(usually not in this type of situation, but for this example, so be it) It’s kind of like when your kid goes through a phase and they like dinosaurs, they are all like “I’m going to be a dinosaur man discoverer” and you encourage that shit and tell everyone how your four-year old is going to be a paleontologist, or Maybe they really like band-aids…so they are totally going to be a doctor, no…scratch that, a BRAIN SURGEON.

This is exactly what I mean in my About/bio page thingy when I say…”Passionate about many things and dedicated to a few”…

I tend to get crazy, blazing, fire engine red HOT passion for whatever I am interested in during any given moment and that is when my shit blows up. I am seriously planning on what to wear on Ellen and The Today Show when this shit goes crazy viral, or whatever happens when random stuff on the internet makes you rich and famous. I mean, I hear about that all the time. Even my mom told me…”my friends videotape their kids playing blocks and legos and now they quit their jobs and are totally freaking’ bankrolled for life just letting their kids sit on the floor eating Cheerios and playing with Little People Farm Animals!!! WHAT THE FUCK? I secretly kind of want that!! BUT…

Then the war takes begins in my mind…the war between greedy little girl who wants to be recognized for her humor, amazing world view, astounding clinical mind and dynamic contributions in the field of mental health-VS- the 42-year-old writing for inner-growth, personal gratification, and quite comfortable with the idea that if this were to help but one person feel something positive than that would be quite enough to nourish my soul. Yes…that sort of describes the chaos in my mind on most topics. I am passionate and slightly hypo-manic about most things that inspire me. and I would say…my truth is somewhere in between. Let me explain.

Honestly, I would explain,but that takes SUSTAINED passion,(all together different from my momentary bursts of passion) and that, quite honestly, I just don’t have right now. So, for tonight, I just have to attempt to do what I teach people to do and that is live in the gray area. It’s not black and white and it really doesn’t have to be. Perhaps, I don’t have to be WORLD FAMOUS or become a RENOWNED New York Times Bestselling blogger turned author/therapist to the stars. And MAYBE I won’t “just” change one life…maybe, it might be plausible that I could write, be content “ish” about it and have SOME (not all the people of the world) just SOME people in the world read it. Some of those people might even smile or relate or somehow feel less alone is this crazy ass world by some random thing i say. and that would totally rock. I actually do think it would be o.k to inspire just “One” person, because what if that one person really needed to be inspired, and I did that? I am cool with that.

Let’s just say this and then GOOD NIGHT…I am practicing moderation in my thinking, I am practicing what I preach and I am totally head over heals in LOVE with the “several” people who read my magically published posts. I am totally o.k with being “just enough”…not “everything” not “nothing”…but just enough. So thank you dear readers…I am in awe of you and your phenomenal taste. I promise, I WILL NOT be that girl who forgets you when…well, you know…I AM FUCKING FAMOUS. XXOXOX

MAD LOVE TO MY FOLLOWERS. All two of you. seriously.

oh my god…

I am going to let go of the idea that i know anything about computers or blogging…but i am putting out into the universe that this goes where it is supposed to go without fundamentally damaging my life. i honestly don’t know if when i hit publish this is going “public” but that is o.k…I find wordpress and quite frankly every other blogging sight a mind F#$k, so I’m just gonna type, and think and share my truth. then let it go. just like that. boom. she has a f’n blog.

blog attempt 432 and counting…

A funny thing happened on the way to therapy…this blog is attempt 432 to start a blog that I don’t fuck up, lose to the black hole of the internet, give up on or simply “forget” that I started. Blogging as a tech challenged “40-something” a lot get’s lost and it takes me the better part of a day to learn how to edit a page. this blog will have feeble attempts at humor, observations from my life and my career and hopefully be honest-ish, encourage you to be the same. life is fucking hard sometimes(actually more than one would expect, i think)and honestly, i just want to write the shit out of that. i don’t claim to be a writer but i read some quote that said “If you want to be a writer, than write”…so yeah, then I guess I am a writer. I can tell you this…i have bad grammar, a bad mouth, a passion for many things and dedication to a few. stick around and see what happens…i am trained professional, so what could go wrong?