Step out of line.

I thanked Chris for not projecting onto me his feelings toward my dad, when my dad is in the middle of a psychotic episode.

I prefaced that it was a ridiculous thing to thank someone for. At the same time, it’s the experience I am familiar with when it comes to my family. This is what my ex husband taught me. So five years into this relationship and it still disarms me that he is supportive and non-judgmental and doesn’t lump me with my kin. Doesn’t shame me for where I come from and who my parents are or how much I care for my friends.

A couple months into dating Chris I spent the night with an ex boyfriend in the emergency room. I took him to the emergency room actually. The next day I was telling Chris about it, and I was kinda nervous. He didn’t understand why. He said I was helping a friend. That it was a good thing. An admirable thing. It was one of the things he loved about me. And my brain couldn’t wrap around it. Instead of insinuating I did it for sex or that my ex was just doing it to get in my pants, here was a man who appreciated my goodness.

Five years later and I’m still not used to it. Five years of goodness later and the shittiness of my 10 year relationship with my ex-husband still comes to mind first. Not always, but often. I wonder sometimes if one day it won’t.

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I can see inside you.

The best thing about having a parent with mental illness is that you are always given opportunities to practice “rolling with the punches” and navigating disappointment and creating new, non-heartbreaking, but also honest, ways to explain to your kids why once again someone failed to show up for them.

First, it was me trying to navigate a visit with less than a week’s notice. I gotta say, I kicked ass in that department. I rallied the troops, made roses out of cat poop and turned all that gray into sunshine. And now here I sit. He’s three and a half hours late, with his phone turned off. No word. He could be injured or wounded or dead, but 38 years of experience tells me he’s just sick.

All the simple things you revel in.

I didn’t realize how much I’d resent taking this medication. Not because it’s putting toxins in my own body, which I’m less than okay with as well. But because it keeps me from nursing my boy.

It’s only a four hour delay. It’s only for five days. It shouldn’t be that big of a deal. But it is. Because now suddenly I feel taken from him. Now I feel inferior to who I was yesterday. Now I feel poisonous to him. And that part really fucking sucks.

The optimistic side of me says “It’s giving me the opportunity to connect with him in new ways!” and “Now I can appreciate what I had been taking for granted!” and that’s all well and good (and true), but it doesn’t stop it from sucking.

So today I will honor the Silver Lining Girl (because damnit, how can you not?! She’s annoyingly infectious.) and I will also embrace the suck.

And L and I will do our regular Friday tidying and cleaning. And we’ll run to the window and wave when we hear the trash truck. And we’ll take a trip to the store for diapers. And I’ll make it a day that he doesn’t know was any different.

For all the reasons you had to die.

It was the most interesting food day. The last couple days have been laced with hard moments and redirecting disordered thoughts and not entertaining disordered eating. I’m being really intentional with my desire to create new comfort habits. Monday and Tuesday I felt successful in my endeavors. At the same time, it took a lot of effort.

Today I was antsy. There was a pulsing to the day. I got hungry early (9ish instead of 11 or 12) and so I had breakfast. Then later I just wanted snack food. Something not “whole foods” sounded good. I gave myself permission to have comfort food because comfort sounded good. I appreciate my commitment to not relying on comfort food to manage stress and anxiety, (and there’s always potential for not reading yourself quite right), but I’m pretty sure comfort food just sounded good today because it’s good.

I did something different today than I’ve done in the past when comfort food sounded good. I said, “Okay! Some foods compromise my body and my health. I won’t have those “relatively harmless” foods. That meant staying grain free and crap oil free.

At the store, they didn’t have Rx bars, so I got jerky sticks. Yeah, sugar was in the ingredients list, but it was barely a gram for two sticks. They hit the spot. I got a couple bars from the next store and ate both on them, without guilt. And then after I finished, I…was just finished.

No binge ensued. No negative thoughts. I had a weird ass snacky snack and I was done.

I have to say, I don’t recall experiencing this ever at all. In the past, these sorts of things were a downward spiral. A dark abyss. The start of uncontrol. Today, it was like pfft, whatever.

Wanna know the kicker? I still wasn’t hungry at dinnertime. So I made food for everyone and we all sat down and I didn’t eat a thing because not hungry! And I was comfortable!! No one tried to push me to eat and I didn’t feel weird while everyone else did. It was just all good that I followed my own cues and listened to my body. I didn’t have to be anything I wasn’t.

Being exactly who I am and enjoying it was hands down my favorite thing about today.

That dirty game.

Today has been a challenging day. It was challenging before I even got out of bed–when my body was stiff and sore and I had just had a weird dream and the babe wouldn’t go back to sleep and the dog wouldn’t stop trying to paw at the babe’s face or lick my arm off.

Before I even got out of bed, I wanted to crawl back into bed and escape the day.

But as I stood in the kitchen, I thought how I should write about it. And then I thought, “Well, ugh! If I write about it, I’ll probably feel better faster and I want to wallow!”

But alas I don’t wallow well because it’s too important to me to do hard things. So I sucked it up and decided self-care and action would supersede the crap start. It is too out of character for me to believe a hard start has to mean a hard day. So I put three loads of laundry away and talked sweetly to the babe, who was having an OHMYGOD sort of morning. And I talked sweetly to the girl who was having a reactionary OHMYGOD morning because of the babe’s OHMYGOD morning. And I focused on the calm that usually enraptures me each morning, despite it being nowhere to be found today, and I willed the damn thing back.

Here I am, a good few hours later and I am the one that is contagious today. What’s your superpower?

Doing the unstuck.

Nothing particularly terrible happened yesterday. I had moments of agitation with my daughter. She has this way of crawling under my skin and shaking my calm. Her words often feel accusatory instead of curious. She questions every action I take, down to how I’ve oiled a pan. She constantly tells her 20mo brother to stop doing things not even mildly dangerous and warns “be careful” ad nauseum. She tells her 10yo brother that he’s dumb for doing or thinking something and whines over and over to leave her alone.

And I want all of it to not hurt so much.

Being critical of her for doing all these things is not going to teach her to stop being critical. Setting a good example hasn’t seemed to help. Ignoring these things and praising the good hasn’t seemed to do much. I want her to care, but I can’t make her care. I want her to be kind, but I can’t force her to do it. So, I’m just at a loss. Which leads me to yesterday.

Nothing terrible happened. It was a regular day. With regular interactions. And I navigated through the best I could.

Then last night Chris asked me, “What was a way you overcame something today?” And I thought back to all the things that happened and I couldn’t think of one productive way I overcame anything. I mean, there was nothing *wrong* with anything I did, but also nothing felt particularly right. I got through it and how I did it was unremarkable.

This morning as the gloom and hormones of the day tried to take hold, I decided I wanted to have a more fulfilling answer if Chris asked again. Hell, even if he *didn’t* ask again! So instead of focusing on my standstill with my daughter or all the things that didn’t get done this week, I just started doing stuff.

I cleaned both bathrooms and washed towels and stripped the beds and brought all the linens downstairs to be washed. I drank four glasses of water and made an amazing late breakfast and cleaned all the dishes from the day. I played ball with L and fed all the animals and cleaned off the dragon’s cage, which always collects all the stuff.

Today I overcame the gloom by replacing my destructive thoughts with constructive action.