grief day 98

At my therapy session last week, we focused solely on the passing of my mom and the grieving process that's followed.

About midway through the session I started to breakdown and cry as I relived the harrowing hours we spent in the ICU. Immediately, I tried to stop and quickly brush away the emotions I was feeling. My therapist forced me (in a good way) to sit with it instead.

It was only a minute or two that I lost my composure. But honestly, it sucked. I hated it. I'm usually good at feeling my emotions and processing things but not this. I don't want to feel my mom's death or this new normal I'm living. That makes it real. And I don't want it to be real.

grief day 55

I'm at a stage in the grief process where some of the initial shock has worn off. Most of the adrenaline that's been keeping me going the last two months has also dissipated. Getting up every day and moving forward feels harder right now.

She's not coming back. That's actually starting to sink in.

I've been pushing to navigate life at the same capacity I was before mom died. Almost two months in, I'm realizing that might not be possible for the next little while as I continue to work through my grief and figure out some other major areas of life related to work and family.

365 days of grief

Last week I met with my therapist for the first time since we lost my mom. Most of my session was spent recounting the events of my mom's final week on earth. Much like us, my therapist had no idea that something like this was going to happen. He said that with significant losses like this that you are in a period of grief for at least a year.

365 days and a lifetime without her. That's a hard reality to swallow.

what do you like to do for fun?

Asking someone "What do you like to do for fun?" is a fairly common question. But to be perfectly honest, it's a question that used to terrify me. What do I say? What's the right answer? I don't do anything that's cool. What hobbies do I have? 

Paralyzed by the fear of being judged I didn't know how to answer. I felt trapped in a corner unable to breath every time the question was posed to me. My perfectionist tendencies made me think that I had to "be good" at fun. Whatever the hell I thought that meant.

three words I never imagined would belong together

image via InStyle
Kate Spade and suicide—three words I never imagined would belong in the same sentence. I was shocked and stunned when I got the news yesterday morning from my bestfriend Tasha via text. 

I know that mental illness is no respecter of persons. You can’t escape it by being privileged or successful—two things Kate possessed in spades both literally and figuratively. 

This woman—who by worldly standards “had it all” along with assumed access to the best mental health resources available—still reached a point where she saw no way out. Death became a better alternative to life. 

finding confidence as a stepmom

I feel like mothers in general struggle with confidence. And honestly, it makes sense. Mothering is hard work. There's no performance review or real boss to evaluate you. Instead your left to constantly evaluate yourself internally. Am I doing enough? Am I doing this right? Do my kids know I love them? How am I supposed to do this?

When you start your motherhood journey as a stepmom like me, finding the confidence to mother is even more complicated. Your position as a stepparent in a blended family automatically renders you less confident. At least that has been my experience thus far.

my history with anti-depressants & where I'm at now 11 years later

I started taking anti-depressants at the age of 19. It took over six months (maybe more) and several different drugs before my psychiatrist and I found a drug and dosage that worked for my brain chemistry and body. Medication combined with therapy is what's helped me manage my depression since my diagnosis.

Until about a year ago I had been on that same anti-depressant and same dosage for close to 11 years. Somewhere in the first few years we tried adding a second drug to help boost my mood during a low period but it never seemed to help. Eventually I stopped taking the second drug all together.

feeling left out of the mom club

Even though I became a stepmom over a year ago, I still feel left out of the mom club. I'm a parent... but I'm not. I'm a mom...but I'm not. I've said to my husband more than once that being a stepmom is a cruel joke. What I really mean by that statement is that it's hard to be a stepmom because I don't get to be a mom all the time. And some people don't view or think of me as a mother at all.

In a Huffington Post article about stepmoms the writer put it this way: "A stepmom is a parent, yet not the parent. A caregiver but not always a care-getter. She donates considerable time, space, attention, resources, and family income to people from another life."

writing more of my truth in 2018

The start of a new year brings the hope of new possibilities and opportunities for growth. Lately I've felt something inside of me begging to come out. It's as if my soul is pleading with me to write more. That there is this voice inside of me that needs to be heard, even if only by myself.

These words from the Sara Bareilles song "Let the Rain" have been playing over and over in my head: