The Agony of the Untold Story

Do you think that there is so much sadness in the world because so many of us are writers unaware? I think Maya Angelou said it best when she said that “there is no greater agony than being an untold story inside of you.”

I’ve learned over the years that I really like to talk, which is not surprising to anyone that knows me. What may be surprising is that I am painfully shy and extremely anxious in new situations which is why I excel at sharing my stories here. But then one day the stories that defined me weren’t just my stories and so I began to sit on my hands and not tell my stories at all.

And friends, let me tell you that it hurt a lot to let my voice go silent.  When people would ask what I did I would mutter something about being a writer or a content creator and then make excuses and downgrading anything I wrote. It was like I was ashamed of my story or I wasn’t worthy of sharing it.

Thankfully I had friends that prodded me along, and kept encouraging me to share my stories and telling me that people needed to hear what I had to say. But since I stopped writing everyday I became easily overwhelmed when I would sit down to actually write the words and so I didn’t.

A friend posted a photo of a running poster and talked about a calendar that Jerry Seinfeld made up to create a chain by creating one joke a day. After a while it wasn’t about the writing of the jokes, but not breaking the chain. I looked around online for giant calendars to create my own chain calendar but realized that I needed more.

I love quotes and I happened to have a 24 x 36 inch frame just hanging around the house that was screaming to be put up on the wall in my craft room. It has one of my favorite quotes and behind the quote are circles that you can color in or ‘x’ as you write each day. As you can see there are no x’s on it right now, but thanks to this post I am going to go up to the craft room and get the chain started.

Would you like to have your own copy of the print? If you click here you can download the file to your computer and print it up at home or you can send it off (I sent mine to the local Staples in town) and get it printed as a blue print, I paid under $6 for mine.

Stages of Parenting

It’s an odd feeling being a parent of children yet also being an empty-nester. It’s so weird being part of someone’s day to day life and then all of the sudden you’re not.

To being the person your child depended on for their life to wondering if you are texting too much and not giving them enough space. And then wondering about too much space.

I feel like I am walking some invisible mine field of parenting that no one ever warned me about and that Cat Steven’s song that you heard over and over as a kid suddenly makes you get all misty and makes so much sense.

Mom who has it all togetherOne day you are making a quick mainland trip and feeling guilty about not telling your kids that you’d be on their side of the lake and you see a plate on the car at the stop light in front of you. (see car photo)

If you look at the license plate you will see that it says CEO MOM.

CEO MOM

I have so many questions, mainly what does this mean?

Is she a CEO and also a MOM?

Is she the MOM of a CEO?

Or is she the CEO of this gig we called motherhood? I mean I joke about the motherhood handbook and how my copy must have gotten lost and suddenly  I may be behind the person that I could have complained to and maybe gotten an autographed copy from her glove box or something?

Maybe by some long shot she will read this post and comment below to let us know what her plate means.

It feels like whatever “stage” of parenting you are in is the weirdest. My husband says that we aren’t in any stage of parenting now and that we are retired. I don’t think you are ever not teaching your children as they are always going to look to you for guidance just by watching your life.

How you do feel? What stage of parenting are you in? How can I help encourage you?

 

I’m currently listening to this.

Breathe

Did you know that October 10 is Worldwide Mental Health Day? If I am going to be completely honest, I didn’t either until I saw a post from my internet friend Joni. I’m still figuring out what is going on in this space and getting reacquainted with the blog, my new self, and all of you. My tattoo is a huge part of me and I thought I would share the story again today for all of those who suffer in silence.

We all need our versions of the semicolon and this is mine.


On the inside of my left wrist is a small note that I left to myself many years ago.

Breathe.

It’s a reminder that when things get rough to keep going.

Breathe.

It’s a story that I typically don’t tell unless you ask about that little bit of script.

Breathe.

I have dealt with suicidal thoughts most of my life.

Most people have a to-do list, I have a mental to-stay list. I don’t talk about it much because who wants to hear that I have a plan in place and there are dark days I am annoyed that I still have items on my to-stay list and can’t follow through with my plan.

On an evening several years ago all of the stars aligned and everything pointed to this being ‘the day’.

My husband and the girls were out of the house and the husband would be the one to find me. Not that it will be easy to find me, but he knows where to look as we have had frank and honest conversations about these feelings swirling in my head.

As I drove home from getting gas in the car, because the last thing you want your loved one to have to worry about when they are driving around making funeral arrangements is getting gas in the car, my phone rang. I wasn’t going to answer the call because I didn’t want to be distracted and I didn’t want her to think ‘what if I had just gone over instead of calling her.’

No one should ever have to live with that kind of guilt, so I answered.

She asked me if I wanted to come over for a glass of wine, I refused, telling her that I had plans. She knew I was alone for the weekend and wouldn’t take no for answer, because slightly tipsy and pushy friends are like that, so I decided to alter my plans for a few hours and stop by.

As we sat in her basement sipping on our wine, she told me I didn’t seem like myself and asked what plans were so important that I was trying to blow her off. I don’t remember what I answered but I told her I was doing something permanent.

I remember the look of panic in her eyes as she finished off her glass of wine and tried to lighten the mood by asking if I meant getting a tattoo. Before I knew it I was being whisked off to one of our local tattoo parlors that were open at 10 o’clock on a Saturday night. And when I say whisked I mean I drove, because my friend had had a bit too much wine, couldn’t drive, and doesn’t realize that she saved my life.

As I pondered what I was going to get tattooed on my body so I could go drop her off and then head home to finish up life, I realized that the moment had passed. I chose breathe to be tattooed on my wrist as a reminder that spur of the moment decisions have permanent consequences and cannot be undone. When life seems too hard, when the voices get too loud, when I have all of the items checked off of my list I need to take a moment and just breathe.

Often times when I am struggling or stressed, you will find me rubbing my wrist and just trying to breathe.

I have tried to talk to doctors about my issues and they all seem surprised because I look happy and well adjusted. They don’t want to hear about my anxiety or the sleepless nights or about how I can have a rational conversation with them about the horrible things I want to do to myself while I’m dressed nicely and functioning as an adult. They have given me multiple choice tests that I second guess being truly honest with them on because I don’t want to seem that crazy. Because when things you think or do are staring back at you in that generic black and white font, they seem worse. Maybe they are right, maybe it’s not that bad. I mean everyone has stress in their life, right?

My husband has asked me if I am afraid that one day I will run out of reasons to not follow through with my plan. My answer changes based on my mood and mental state at the time. But afraid, not really.

I don’t share this to make you uncomfortable or to be concerned.

I share it because more people need to be talking about it and not just today.

 

Edited to add: When I am feeling especially overwhelmed I listen to this.