Every little thing.

I went to a doctor last week. Anyone who knows me, knows this is significant. I don’t do doctors. I don’t like doctors. I don’t trust doctors. I saw an obgyn when I was pregnant and I take my son to his checkups, and even all that gives me anxiety.

But I have insurance, and a doctor everyone speaks highly of is on said insurance, and so I sucked it up and made an appointment and waited the six weeks and finally went to the doctor.

And I was incredibly disappointed.

I was hoping to feel heard, and I didn’t. I was hoping for a meaningful prognosis, and got the same old story. I was hoping to feel hopeful, and left empty handed.

Well, not completely empty handed. I left with two prescriptions. One, I was told was an anti-inflammatory, and the other I was told was like a mild muscle relaxer, so that I could sleep on my left side without pain, which is something I haven’t done in over two years.

I was given IT band exercises to do, which I’m already very well versed in, (and I found it strange she mentioned my iliotibial band by name not once), and a follow-up appointment with the promise of feeling completely restored. I wanted to be hopeful. Her attitude sure made it seem like everything was wrapped up all neat and tidy with a little bow on top.

When I left I looked at the prescriptions she ordered for me and I immediately deflated. The anti inflammatory she prescribed was a steroid. A steroid I had specifically told her another doctor tried to “fix me” with, which had done nothing.

I decided to switch gears and re-evaluate. Maybe this was what I needed right now. Maybe it didn’t work eight years ago, but it’s the jumpstart I need today. I am committed to following through with this and knowing I did everything I could.

So I sucked it up.

I decided to get the medicine. I’d do the exercises. I’d give it my all. She wasn’t the doctor I was expecting or hoping for, but I wasn’t going to let it stand in my way.

Later the pharmacy called and left a message about an insurance issue. Just another curveball the universe was throwing my way to challenge my commitment. No worries. I resolved it and all was good. And then I googled the second prescription the doctor ordered.

Sigh.

At the appointment, she had asked me how I sleep and I said fine, good, 7 hours minimum. I also said I only sleep on my right side because I can’t put pressure on the left. She said she was going to prescribe a muscle relaxer. I told her I am very sensitive to medication and didn’t want anything. She said it was just to help me sleep (remember the “I sleep fine” part?) and “we’re going to get you sleeping on your left side again!” and I thought, “that would be great!

Fast forward to the Google search.

She prescribed me a freaking anti-depressant. The whole wide world blinks in confusion.

So I spent another while reevaluating and being angry and frustrated. I felt betrayed. Here is this woman who met with me for barely 15 minutes, who is supposed to have a responsibility to each human being she meets with and she thought it would be okay to fuck with my perfectly functioning brain.

I was insulted and hurt and so freaking astounded.

This woman had no idea the challenges I’ve overcome with depression and ppd and anxiety and ocd. She didn’t know the years of trauma I’ve fought or the binge eating disorder. She didn’t know my story or what I’ve been through. She didn’t know that there was a significant time in my life I needed the anti depressants to help me find my way to equilibrium. She didn’t know the months I spent titrating off of said medication, while anxiously waiting to find out if my brain could retain equilibrium on its own.

She had no clue. And she recklessly prescribed this medication to me without thought or even the decency of telling telling me what it was.

Finally I came back to myself. And I remembered that I can trust me. And I made the decision to follow all of this through, within reason. I decided I’d take the anti inflammatory. Hopefully it would jumpstart the healing of my IT band syndome.  Hopefully IT band syndrome is the thing that’s the matter with my body. Time will tell.

I won’t even fill the anti depressant. The pharmacy can keep it. And I’ll start taking turmeric, a good anti inflammatory, as well as magnesium. And I’ll do the exercisss every day and we’ll see.

I went to the doctor, which I’m proud of, and I trusted myself, which I’m even more proud of. And I have a plan. Today that finally feels good.

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Just a spoonful of sugar.

I’ve had this since I was 17 years old. It equally haunts and comforts me. I keep it in the same plastic sleeve as Josh’s printed art.

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All the days I lived awake.

I do my friends a strange disservice when I think back to yesterday’s post. I don’t regret the post, nor my thoughts about it. At the same time, I very much have people in my life who are amazing and inspiring and whom I love.

The thing is, it’s hard not seeing them. It’s hard when they are in a different season of life as I am. I’m the mom at home with her toddler (tho we’re almost always out), while one friend is the mom who volunteers at school. I’m the mom grocery shopping at 9am, while another friend teaches full-time. I’m the mom who is tied to the midwest, while another friend (or three) is tied to the south.

I have people in my life I can confide in. I have people I cherish deeply. What I lack is someone to have fun with. Someone I can just be chill with. Someone to keep me company. Someone *I* can keep company! I lack someone who wants to tag along for a trip to walmart or who wants to sit on my counter while I wash dishes. I lack someone who has a kid that L could hang with.  Someone who would trade babysitting services for “me time” and who I could return the favor for.

And there are some *really* great local women here. But as awesome as they are, I don’t feel like they’re *my* people. Mostly their season is as a new mom and I’m on my third with 14 years experience.

I lack someone to be low-key with and shoot the shit. I miss that part.

If you need me, me and Neil’ll be hangin’ out with the dream king.

I don’t know how to not be chipper. I mean,  *obviously* I’m not chipper all the time. But I’m chipper most if it. And I wonder how often people are like “oh god, not her again”.

I certainty don’t want to be the annoying person. I don’t want to be the thing that creates tension for others. Also I’m certainly not going to go *against* who I am to fit into a victim culture I abhor. At the same time it makes connecting with people…tricky.

I want to bring positivity where doldrum lies. I want to shread sunshine into the darkness. Hell, I’d settle for reasonable and logical!

I’m sure there are people somewhere who would prefer the contagion of happiness than the drowning of despair, but alas I have not found them yet.

I am firmly planted in reality as well. It’s not sunshine and roses spewing from a unicorn’s asshole all of the time. There are things that trip me up. I suffer from paralyzing anxiety and I have bouts of suffocating depression and rage-inducing pms. I’m no more immune to any of these things as anyone else. But I navigate through them and make my way back to me.

It wasn’t always like this. Feeling terrible used to be my norm. But I clawed my way out of that and I’m proud damnit.

So I’ll take the connection with myself and be patient until I find my people.

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For all this.

Time tick tocked by like time does and here we are. Five days of medicine behind us. Five days of four hour delays for feeding my littlest. Five days of random, mostly innocuous side effects. And now it’s finished.

I’ve also had five days of stretches. Five days of getting stronger. Five days of increased duration of stretches. Five days of increased mobility. I can’t quite tell any difference in the regular day to day things, but I’ve gained marked improvements in the stretches themselves. 10 seconds became 30. 7 squats became 2 sets of 8. Chris says he has noticed a difference. I’m just gonna keep doing them and see where the progress takes me.

I hear the secrets that you keep.

At the end of December a friend of mine shared a 30 day decluttering challenge on her fb page. The universe must have aligned for me in that moment because I immediately signed up for it.

Like many other things, “want” doesn’t necessarily mean “action”. I had wanted to declutter for years, but anxiety and overwhelmingness and inefficient time management and children and fear, as well as countless other things, became the excuses that kept me from doing it.

Enter the challenge.

It was day two or three and I hadn’t done anything yet. I think I looked at the first email, but that was it. The kids and I were bowling with friends and my friend, Jaime mentioned the challenge! I was really excited she was in it and it gave me renewed strength. When we got home, I read the emails and got to work. I was meant to only clear out a bathroom, but I did the linen closet as well. It was invigorating.

Allie Casazza, the creator of the Declutter Like A Mother challenge, created this step-by-step tutorial for effective decluttering over the course of 30 days. Each of the four weeks was a different area. Bathroom. Kitchen. Kids’ toys. Clothes. 30 minutes a day. Stay focused. Stay intentional. Don’t make excuses. Save the things for later that trip you up.

And for whatever reason, it clicked.

It was easy to throw away the stuff in the kids’ bathroom. It was mostly easy to throw away crap from the linen closet. It was way more than 30 minutes that first day, but I was on a mission.

The following week was the kitchen. The focus was minimalism. The focus was “limit the dishes to what you need at one meal and wash and reuse” instead of a sinkful of dishes that takes an hour to wash. There was also the “trick” to store what you don’t need in another place, if you had a hard time getting rid of things. Then if after x amount of time you didn’t need it, totally donate it!

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This tip helped me sooooo much. This one little “loophole” gave me the courage to purge the whole damn kitchen. It’s April now and I haven’t missed a single dish.

I finished decluttering the kitchen that first day of week two. Since L’s toys and pack ‘n play were in the kitchen as well, I just decided to declutter all of his crap too. Soon after, I created a toy/book corner for him and it completed the kitchen/dining room area. Oh, and I purged the pantry and fireplace/mantle.

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It’s funny to me that now I can be all “oh, and I purged all this stuff” as tho it was effortless and didn’t take any time at all. Tra la la.

But it did take effort. Grueling effort. And intentional consistency. And taking breaks and coming back to it and commitment.

The following week, I spent over three days decluttering and cleaning S’s room.

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Today it could use five minutes of tidying, but otherwise it’s just as remarkable as it was then. He loves it in there and his mental health is better for it.

The final week was my closet and clothes. I purged half my clothes and almost all of the storage clothes I had been keeping. I also came to learn that I had lost enough weight that all my pre-pregnancy clothes fit again.

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Purging most of my clothes didn’t leave me many I loved and so I made a thrift store trip and picked up some pieces that make me feel comfortable and confident and grown up. Strange as it is, I can envision a world now made up of blouses instead of t-shirts.

That was my January.

The house is still mostly decluttered most days and it affords me slack days, when things come up or I just don’t wanna.

The garage is next on my list because alllll those bags and boxes of donations are still sitting out there. Not for fear of getting rid of them, but for anxiety of having to go to a place to drop them off. Baby steps. I can own my shortcomings, just as I own my awesome.

In the weeks to come, I’m going to share my cleaning story, as well as my success with delegating responsibilities to the kids. This evolution of 2018 has been grueling and rewarding and has highlighted all that I’m capable of. It’s been utterly amazing and I’m so proud of my intention, my bravery, and my progress.