Gallstones SUCK!

I had surgery to get my gallbladder taken out yesterday!

I’ve been dealing with terrible stomach pain off and on for the last few months. I went to the ER a few months back and they told me that there was “a 70% chance that it’s your gallbladder, but it’s up to you if you wanna see if taking it out works.” So I was like ummm no, I don’t want a surgery if you aren’t sure that it’s going to help…

The worst night I ever experienced with these “stomach pains” I went to the kitchen and sat on the floor screaming onto a towel so that I wouldn’t wake my sleeping eight month-old baby. I’m tellin ya, that pain was worse than my c-section recovery!

As it turns out, gallstones SUCK! I was in the ER from 11am yesterday to about 11:45am today. When I went into surgery yesterday it was exactly 17:00 (5pm). When I got out of surgery, it was 18:15 (6:15pm). I’m finally home and really sore!

How has everyone else’s week been? (I feel like I was in another world the past two days!)

The Beginning of The End

I lift her head up into my hands. My fingers line the jaw of her crying face.

“I’m sorry,” I whisper.

She turns her head quickly and I put my hands back in my lap. There are no words that I can say that will bring her any comfort.

Oh, how I love this sweet, sweet woman. Her voice is gentle and melodic, and her hair falls down past the middle of her back. She may not be a man’s first choice at the bar, but she stole my heart the second I saw her. She was wearing a green dress with brown boots and danced around the bar like she wasn’t bothered one bit that all eyes were on her. I know this because I specifically remember telling my buddy Joe that I was going to marry the dancing girl in the green dress someday. 

Now look where we are.

“It’s been three days. C’mon-“

She stretches out on the couch and lays facing the wall, her back to me.

I feel a hint of anger well up inside of me.When is this going to end? We can’t keep going like this… “Okay, well I’m going to go out to the garage and work on the car. I’ll be in to check on you in a bit.” I pause for a second before stepping away, hoping she will move or say something. Anything.

But she doesn’t move and she doesn’t make a sound.

There was a time in my life when this kind of empty silence would fill me with rage, but that was the old me. After the death of my father when I was twenty-one, I came to understand that there are some pains that can only be expressed by shutting down. I watched both my sister and mother go through the same thing. The thing is, it makes the people around you so unsure of what they can do to help you. I know there really isn’t anything anyone can do to stop the pain, but I can’t handle being shut out when my purpose as a husband is to be my wife’s crying shoulder.

I keep one of our wedding pictures hanging above my desk out in the garage. I reach out and touch where our hands meet in the photo.

The best day of my life.

With the most amazing woman I’ve ever known.

 

What on earth am I going to do to fix this?

Alexander’s Alaska

My name is Alexander. I don’t go by Alex because it doubles as a female’s name and that bothers me.

I am 24 years old, but I feel a lot older. I’ve been alone for a long while and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

I got out of high school and didn’t know where my place in society was. I didn’t belong anywhere within the traditional realm of life. I didn’t want to join the military because I didn’t care to fight in the name of a government. I didn’t go to college because I didn’t know what to pursue and the price of school is way more than what a degree is actually worth. I didn’t want get a job because I thought that there is more to life than slaving at a nine-to-five job just to barely pay the bills. 

So I left.

I went off the grid.

I gathered every penny I had saved, bought a plane ticket, and moved to Alaska. I bought ten acres of land south of the Yukon River and started a new life. When I first got there, all I did was cut down trees. I cut for days. I had a tarp tied to a tree that I slept under, and when the sun rose in the mornings I had already been up for a few hours. I got to Alaska in late July, so it was still in the mid-70s during the day time.

I had a small cottage built by the time the temperatures got too low to sleep under my tarp. It took a lot of work and was lonesome to do solo, but it is something that I still feel immense pride in accomplishing. 

I’ve been here just over a year, and I’ve basically got life in the wilderness put on a daily schedule. The routine is monotonous, but there are always things that must be done.

Now I sit here with this pen in my hand knowing that no one will ever read my writing. It takes a great deal of effort to swallow the loneliness that I feel on my worst days, but most of the time I interact with Mother Nature and spend time appreciating our great earth.

I wish I had someone to share this land with. Someone to talk to. Someone to feel something for. Instead of wallowing in my own stubbornness and insecurity, I cut trees, hunt, and fetch water so that I don’t have to acknowledge just how lonely I am. My soul isn’t fulfilled and it makes me wonder if I messed up somewhere down the road. I never imagined I’d yearn for a life partner, but the singing birds and crunching leaves under my feet no longer sound as comforting as they once did.

The Label I Carry

The whole reason I decided to start therapy was because a coworker told me she was going to start going again. She gave me the name of her therapist and told me to go to her website and check her out. So I did. I immediately requested more info and before the day was over, I was set up for an appointment.

When I was talking about what I wanted out of therapy, I explained to my coworker that I wanted to find out who I was aside from being a MOM. As mothers, we lean so heavily on our label as “mom” and base a lot of our vision of our success on how well we feel like we are providing for our children.

Let me tell you why I think that SUCKS.

In today’s world, it is DAMN HARD to feel an absence of insecurity in what we are doing for our kids. There are so many conflicting ideologies on “what is best” for a child. When we feel the amount of success that we have accomplished is based upon whether or not people agree with our parenting choices, it’s sooo easy to feel like we haven’t accomplished much. As mothers, we can’t please everyone, but you can bet your bottom dollar that we sure do try. 

We are proud to be moms. We love our babies more than anything – it’s why we bend over backwards and dedicate our lives to making sure our children have everything. But that same dedication to our kids can result in a lack of dedication to ourselves. I struggle with this on a daily basis. My entire day is almost solely devoted to providing for my child; so much that I feel like there just isn’t enough hours in the day to focus on myself. I know it feels that way for a lot of moms too, so I think it is important that we are making not only our children and their health a priority, but also our mental and physical health a priority too. You can’t possibly be a good mom if you aren’t feeding your own flame every once in awhile. I think the issue here is that it’s so easy to fall complacent with only being a mom. And for some, that is all they want to be! Which is also totally fine!

But I want to be so much MORE. I want to be someone that is so much more than a mom. I want to love myself aside from the role my child plays in my life (Even though that role is huge!)

I want to indulge in all of life – not just the parts where I am providing for someone else. I want to provide for me, too.  

The Ants

I wandered out to the garden and sat with my back against the fence. I could feel the warm sun beat down on my face, I closed my eyes and soaked in the rays with my head pointed upward. I should do this more often, I thought to myself. I took a deep breath and opened my eyes again.

What a beautiful life this is. I can sit here and feel the warm sun, enjoy the slow breeze, and fill my lungs with clean air. Too often I take for granted the beautiful easiness of nature. It’s slow and quiet, but will continue to exist whether I am taking the time to enjoy it or not. The river will continue to run whether or not its existence is acknowledged.

I looked over at the tree and noticed a trail of ants going up and down its bark. They work so well together, traveling in a line and gathering food for everyone to enjoy. I wish humans existed in this way more. We focus too much on ourselves and making sure that we are doing better than our neighbor. Why do humans flourish in the idea that life is a competition between us and those we are surrounded by?

I’ve never understood how more people in this world don’t care about the well-being of everyone collectively.

There is one earth.

And we all share it.

The ants keep working and I keep watching in admiration.

 

Finding Myself

I start therapy on Friday. I’m very excited, actually. I feel like the stigma against mental health is kind of diminishing and more and more people are trying their hand at therapy. In all reality, everyone just wants to feel better. I’ve always wanted to talk to someone about all of the feelings I have, but I’ve never been so lost that I felt that there was no other option.

That is how I feel now.

I am on an unexpected, anxiety-ridden rollercoaster of emotions right now. I have hit rock bottom and I scheduled the appointment without even hesitating. I need this.  

Yes, I am a daughter and a friend and a mother and a partner… but who am I when it’s not based upon a relationship with someone else?

Who am I?

I want to strip down and view myself in a completely vulnerable and open way. I want to look at why I do the things that I do. I want to find the meaning of all the pent-up emotions that never address. Why haven’t I addressed them? Am I a complete narcissist and have no clue? What can I do to make sure that I am focusing some of my energy on ME? What in my life has happened that has changed the way I form relationships with others? What can I do to improve the way I carry myself around those that love me? 

There is so much that I want answers on.

So much to discover.

So much to solve.

I am so ready.