Good News … Finally!

Life has been absolutely CRAZYYYY lately… Is anyone else ready for fall, too? I haven’t had much time to put into my writing because I feel like I’m so busy I can’t even breathe sometimes. Everyone tells you it’s hard being a mom, but you can’t really prepare yourself for something like motherhood. I think what I miss the most about my life before my baby is that I had unlimited time to spend on myself. Not that I ever really did all that much, but the option was always there to pamper myself if I wanted to. My life has changed now to the point where I can’t even take a shower at a relaxing pace because I’m constantly worrying about what is going on outside of the bathroom…

However,

I do have some life updates that I feel like are worth sharing. I know we all get into slumps, and hopefully if you find yourself in one now, this will give you comfort that there is always light at the end of the tunnel!

I got a promotion at work! I’ve been working at my current company for almost a year now. I was hired on last August for a part-time position. Five months later, I took a leave for the birth of my daughter. Two short months after that, I returned back to work. Not long after my return, my manager asked me if I would be willing to work full-time hours. Since I was in a part-time position, I would still be ineligible for employee benefits, vacation and sick days, holiday pay, and performance-based bonuses. So, in short, I was working full-time hours, but not getting all of the benefits that the rest of the full-time staff was entitled to. To be frank, I was getting screwed!!

A full-time position opened up within my department, so I thought, ‘What the heck, I’ll just throw my name in the hat!’ My boss told me I’d still have to go through the entire hiring process of a three-person panel interview and online testing. Sooo, we scheduled the interview and testing. I walked out of it all totally disappointed and so sure they wouldn’t give me the job. I had envisioned the scenario over and over in my head and I felt like I had let myself down. It didn’t go at all like I thought it would. But of course, it’s human nature to be harder on yourself than what was reality. I was offered the job!!

I am now going to get good health insurance for myself and my daughter, a $2.50 raise, holiday pay, bonuses, etc. After some long, hard months, things have finally turned around.

I’m also officially enrolled at my university again to get a degree in Business Management. I start on August 26th. I’m suuuper excited to get back to learning and furthering my education. It’s going to be tough, but there is no one more determined than I!

How is your guys’ summer going? Our county fair started last night, which means FAIR FOOD, DEMOLITION DERBIES, AND VISITS TO THE BEER TENT! Can’t wait to hear from all of you! Sorry it’s been so long!

Mending My Crushed Ego

Okay. This almost pains me to write, but I always think it is important to reflect on who we are. So I’ll say it:

I am a jerk sometimes. And I lie to myself so that I don’t feel bad about it.

For some reason, today’s society tries to make us hard, cold individuals that classify all of our feelings as the same. In reality, everyone has their own traumas and experiences that shape their personality and language differently. Since when was it so normal to openly exclaim how much we hate our lives and how we don’t deserve for people to treat us in ways that we don’t like?

Don’t get me wrong.

Yeah, sometimes life just blows. And yes, you shouldn’t let people walk all over you… But for pete’s sake… I’m so sick of seeing everyone try to morph their own feelings and thoughts into the mold that they think that everyone else feels too. Feel your own feelings, take responsibility for the things you do, and do your best not to be a shitty person!

My fiance called me out today. He said, “Nobody can tell you anything! You always go straight into defense mode. Sometimes you’re just plain hard to be friends with. You say things that you shouldn’t, and sometimes you’re just plain mean!”

I opened my mouth to argue, and then I realized… If you argue, you’re proving his point. My mind was totally in the defense mode that he had just accused me of being in all the time. I sat there and pondered his words in silence as I stared at the ground. I was embarrassed- He was right. And the worst thing was… at that moment, I realized I had a shitty way of talking to myself. After I thought about his words, it made me think about how I put myself above others when I think to myself during conversation. For example, he told me, “You always think you’re right about everything.” And I immediately thought to myself, ‘Well I usually am!’

Wow.

How egotistical of me!! I actually thought that exact thought in my head. And I am extremely ashamed to admit it!!! So that is what led me to writing this for you guys today. Because let’s all be honest… We like to think that we are joyful, humble people, but are we really???

Later on in the afternoon, I grabbed him by the shirt and said, “Will you help me? I don’t want to be this nasty person that spews hate and anger, because I don’t think of myself that way.” When I think about qualities to describe myself, I lead myself to believe that I could never behave in such a way. It’s so incredibly hard to manage child rearing, full-time work, household chores and bills, a loving relationship, and making sure your mental health is in tact. I lost sight of my values and got enveloped in the stress of everyday life. I am not quite as great of a person as I sometimes like to think I am, and I can definitely improve. I’m just lucky I have someone that loves me enough to tell me when I’m wrong and willing to help me be the very best version of myself.

Dylan hurt my ego today. And I am sooooo thankful for it!

 

 

 

Story time!

Sorry to disappoint, but this isn’t a fictional story… I haven’t had much time to put into my writing lately, but I wanted to give you guys a quick glimpse into what I’ve been up to lately!

1. I have a baaaad rash of POISON SUMAC. 🌿😭 A few friends and I thought it would be fun to go creek swimming, but to get to the water we had to walk through some high weeds and grass. We must’ve walked through a patch of poison sumac because OH MY GOSH my legs are broken out and itch soo bad! It has spread on both legs, both feet, up onto my hips, and on my bum! I’ve never had poison ivy, so when my fiancé broke out I didn’t think I would too! Turns out, I did and I have GOT to get to the doc because I can’t take this anymore!

2. We had nearly $500 stolen out of our house this past week. It puts a huge strain on paying the bills this month. We don’t know who did it or what to do now that the cash is gone. VERY frustrating!

3. I have a job interview for a full time position at my current workplace! After the awful poison sumac and stolen cash, this news was a light in a dark tunnel! If I get this job I will make $3 more an hour and be offered great medical benefits. Fingers crossed I get this job!!! 🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼

4. Babies grow SO FAST. My daughter Della turned SIX months old on the 5th!! She is the best part of my day and it’s so fun watching her grow!!!

What have you guys been up to? Sorry I’ve been a bit absent, but I’d love to chat!! Drop a comment!

In the Morning

I wake up in the morning

Feeling like an absolute star

I’m motivated to start the day

And conquer all that lies before me

But then I get out of bed

And start thinking about

All the ways I’ve let myself down

Too clingy

Too chubby

Too shy

Too busy

Too self-conscious

I look in the mirror and 

Run my fingers through my

Wavy long hair

I like the way it falls against my back

And frames my face

I layer on mascara and

Study the freckles

That cover my nose and cheeks

Maybe I am beautiful

Then I begin to realize 

I’m not as bad as I think I am

I don’t give myself enough credit

For I have strength in so many ways

I am fierce

I am determined

I am smart

I am reliable

And I am out of bed today

And that is a feat

That not all can achieve

 

Finding the Happy Medium Between Caring For Others & Caring For Yourself

I have a hard time making sure that I take time to do things for ME. I am totally the type of person to give and give and give myself away to everyone else in order to keep those around me happy. I truly believe that giving is better than receiving, but let’s be honest… It does feel good to receive!

You owe it to yourself to not feel shame about doing what makes you happy. I used to think that doing so much for everyone else was simply me wearing myself down and not taking exploring the things that I love. But then I changed my perspective. I love to comfort people. I love to take weight off of people’s shoulders. Ilove making people feel welcome and at home. And just because I go out of my way to make those things happen, doesn’t mean that I care any less about myself. It makes me happy making others happy, and I shouldn’t feel shame or regret about the fact that caring for others (sometimes more than myself) brings me joy.

Find a happy medium. So… yeah. I like to make others happy. Most people do. But what you have to keep in mind is that you can’t truly be happy unless you are happy with yourself. You can give endlessly for those around you, but if you aren’t giving yourself even half of the attention that you are giving to everyone else, there is no way you can possibly be happy. I can’t stress just how important it is to spoil yourself every once in a while. Sometimes I forget that my happiness and mental health matters too, and it always end in a crying fit of rage and jealousy. So find a happy medium. It’s good to care for others, but do not forget that YOU MATTER TOO!

Spoil yourself! Believe it or not, but I am not the typical girl. I would much rather go hiking or fishing than going to get my nails or hair done. The point is, it’s important to identify the things that bring your mind and body peace and do those things! If you’re not sure what things you would enjoy to do for yourself, there is nothing wrong with exploring to find what works best for you and your schedule. You deserve to be spoiled because YOU ARE AN AMAZING, LIVING CREATURE! Life is hard! Make the most of it!

Here are some ideas of activities you can do to make sure you are caring for yourself:

  • Play an instrument
  • Read a book
  • Wash your face or put on a face mask (I tried this for the first time the other day, and even though it was a quick and subtle fifteen minutes, I couldn’t believe how refreshed I felt afterwards!)
  • Ride a bike
  • Paint your nails
  • Take a bubble bath
  • Go for a walk or drive alone
  • Put lotion on (I have recently made this a habit after every shower. It sounds silly, but that extra 5-10 minutes I get alone to myself after a shower really makes a difference! Plus, who doesn’t love soft, smooth skin!)
  • Take yourself on a date
  • Paint, write, or draw
  • Listen to music

Whatever activity or hobby you decide to take part in, make sure you are doing it without distraction and focusing on reaching a peaceful and happy state of mind. What do you do to rejuvenate your mind and body? I’d love to hear some of your ideas or recommended products!! Drop a comment and let’s chat!!

Excuses & Friendships

Maintaining friendships after parenthood is hard. Most parents will agree.

But I always kind of had a hard time keeping up with others even before I had a baby. I have always been more introverted, and I can’t really think of a time in my life where I truly felt like I had a “best friend.” Sure, I had people I trusted, hung out with, and considered more than a simple acquaintance, but I never really felt a connection deep enough to where I felt totally comfortable and completely understood.

A short time ago, I had an old high school friend message me and ask how the baby and I were. I hadn’t heard from this friend in quite a while. I will admit, I was being petty about her not coming to visit me like I feel a good friend should. After all, she lives a county away from me. When she messaged me, I was busy doing whatever thing I had on my list of things to do as a working mom, so I gave her a simple: “We’re good.”

I didn’t mean anything negative by it. I was just … BUSY! So she ended up getting upset about how she tries to keep up with me now that I have a baby and that all I do is shut her out. I can see where she is coming from. In all honesty, I will probably always be the type to keep my distance when it comes to outsiders. I like friendship and I do believe that healthy relationships are important, I just no longer have the time to put a bunch of effort into people that aren’t making an actual, solid attempt to see me. You can make every excuse under the sun as to why you don’t go visit someone, but when it comes down to it… it just shows that you don’t actually care that much. And I told her just that.

How much you care is how much you try.

On the other hand, I had a friend that actually put in a great deal of effort to see me and meet my daughter for the first time. When I first got out of high school, I headed straight to Eastern Illinois University. There I met a girl named Tiffany. Now, we both only went to school there for one semester, but we were thick as thieves. We would run out to my car and smoke cigarettes, go to the frat houses, and hang out in our dorm rooms. All college fun… but that was four years ago. We never lost touch. 

Tiffany and I while in college

Tiffany and I this past weekend

I actually met up with Tiff in Chicago about a year ago, and then this past weekend she made the four hour trek to come visit me and meet my daughter.

I’d say that is a helluva lot more effort than most people give.

And we had only seen one another one time in the last four years.

My point of this isn’t to bitch about the people that aren’t putting effort into relationships.

My point is… The people that care, will show up.

It doesn’t matter if you only knew them for a total of four months.

It doesn’t matter if you haven’t seen them in years.

And it doesn’t matter how far away they are.

If they care, they will show up.

 

“Sometimes you gotta take a break from all the noise to appreciate the silence.”

I’ve hit a wall with my writing. It seems that I’ve ran out of all inspiration that is required to create a “good post.” So that led me to come to the conclusion that I am going to take a break on my blog. Sad face.

I just want to make sure that I gather some quality ideas and meaningful words so I’m not just pumping out average, boring posts just to fill my wall. I did not start this page with the intention of only focusing on follows or likes. I started this blog so that I could share my story and provide words of encouragement and advice to those that have been through similar situations.

For now, I want to focus on me. 

But have no fear… I will continue to read and interact with what everyone else is writing. Maybe I can find some inspiration from one of you.

ALSO, Mathew S. and I have been working on a cool fiction collaboration that we will hopefully be publishing sometime in the near future.

Have a great week – I can’t wait to share with you all again sometime soon!!

Xoxoxo

-Chrissy

Forgiveness After Pain

I’ve been struggling to come up with new content lately, I won’t lie. I was sitting at work one day and the urge to write about this suddenly came to me. I immediately flipped to the very back of my work notebook to jot down some thoughts on what forgiveness after pain means to me.

Forgiveness is hard. Whether you are the one in the wrong or you were the one that the wrong was done upon, deciding that you are going to move on is hard. It’s not easy saying that the pain you were feeling is simply… in the past.

I have thought a lot about the ideal of forgiveness. It can be freeing and bring a lot of relief. I like to think that, for the most part, I’m pretty good at doing it. After digging deeper into the situations of genuine forgiveness that I have personally experienced, I came up with a few points to remember when it comes to forgiveness after someone has caused you pain. Keep in mind, these are just my opinions.

To “forgive and forget” is foolish. I heard that phrase a lot as a kid. I believed in it for a long time. But let’s be honest. It is foolish to forgive someone and then tell yourself there is no chance that it’ll happen again. I’m not saying hold grudges. You can let go of the pain, but still be conscious of what they have done to you in the past. There is nothing wrong with be cautious with your heart. Hurt me once, shame on you. Hurt me twice, shame on me. Forgiveness does not necessitate that you set yourself up for more pain in the future.

Sometimes forgiveness requires distance. You can forgive someone and completely move past a heartbreak without allowing them back into your life. Some people are just plain negative, and some people will always have toxic tendencies – no matter how many chances you hand out. Sometimes the best way to heal is to conclude the relationship altogether.

Just because you forgive, doesn’t mean you dismiss their actions as acceptable. It just means you’ve let go of the resentment. There is a reason we all feel pain. Your feelings are always valid. Sometimes they may be exaggerated, but they are always valid.

You are not your parent’s mistakes

You are not your parent’s mistakes. You are not responsible to carry their burden.

I have always struggled with this. Living in a small town community, nearly everyone knows your business, baggage and all. The thing about me, though, was that I was so very different that most of the other kids in my high school. When I say that I was from a small town, what I mean is that I graduated from high school with a class of 54. There were only two students in the entire high school that identified as something other than white. When I say there was no diversity, I mean NONE. Zilch.

So to feel like the outsider when most everyone was all so alike, was like carrying a bowling ball in my backpack hoping no one would notice.

I was ashamed of my mom. She was using meth and was in and out of prisons all throughout the state. And I felt like it was written all over my forehead, as if someone could see her mistakes when they looked at me. I felt nervous if someone looked at me for more than a few seconds.

They probably know that I’m the kid of a drug addict.

So my confidence went on the decline. I didn’t give people the benefit of the doubt – I just assumed that everyone could tell what I came from. I thought my mom’s choices defined me, and that held me down for a very long time.

I grew up, moved on, and came to understand that the person she became was not going to be the person that I would become. I wanted different, and I was in the position to do so. My aunt and uncle took me in, taught me right from wrong, supported me, and loved me as their own. All I had to do was believe in myself as much as they believed in me.

It’s hard to distance yourself from something that feels like a part of you. I will always feel the void where my mom doesn’t exist. I will always feel a tingle of embarrassment when someone tells me that they know who my mom is. I came from her. I exist because of her. 

And to decide that those things don’t matter is very hard to do.

I am not my mom’s lapse in judgement. I do not have to carry the weight of her misguidance on my shoulders. I am not her.

I am strong-willed and brave. I have a brilliant mind. I am a force to be reckoned with. I am happiness and power, rolled up as one.  I am nature. I am beautiful. I am hard-working and resilient. I am me.

There is so much that am, and it has nothing to do with my mother.

You

Are

Not 

Your

Parent’s

Mistakes.

Mental Health Awareness Month

I’ve never talked about mental health on my blog before, but I figured it’s a great topic to talk about, and since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, there’s no better time than now!

When I think about words that describe myself, I first think about words like happy, energetic, motivated, determined, etc. But the truth is, there are more times than I’d like to admit where I feel the exact opposite of those. There are days I want to pull the blankets over my head and sleep the day away. There are days where I feel sad, have no energy, no motivation, and no patience.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. (46.6 million people) experience mental illness in a given year. Also, mood disorders, (including major depression, dysthymic disorder and bipolar disorder) are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for both youth and adults 18–44 years old.

So if so many people are affected by a mental illness, why do I feel so alone when we realize that I may be suffering, too?

When I look back on my life, my darkest time was definitely throughout my junior high school years. I remember talking to the school counselor a lot during my 6th, 7th, and 8th grade years. It was the time in my life where I most struggled with the absence of my mom. I think it was when I first started to fully understand what had happened to me and began to realize that my life was much different that those of my classmates. I was angry a lot of the time. I grew up in a family of six siblings, and at this time I remember I would get in trouble a lot for hitting on them. I don’t consider myself a hostile person, but at that time I was looking for an outlet of my emotions that didn’t involve talking about or dealing with the severity of them. I resented my mom and the fact that she chose drugs over my sister and I, but my sister was years younger than I was and couldn’t fully understand what had happened. She was only 3 when DCFS took us from our mom. So I was dealing with all of those demons completely alone- even the person that I went through this with couldn’t help me.

It was my eighth grade year when I hit rock bottom. I had a bedroom in our basement, and my bed was one of those bunk beds that had a desk under it instead of a second mattress. I was sitting at that desk listening to some of Eminem’s darkest songs and thinking about how much I hated what I was going through. I got up and searches the medicine cabinet for any and all pills I could find.

I went back to my desk, laid the pills out, and started writing goodbye letters to my loved ones. Before I got through the last letter, I was bawling and starting to realize that this wasn’t something I could go through with. I imagined what my family would be like as they read these letters, and I realized I loved them WAY too much to put them through something like that.

I went to school the next day. During PE hour, I gave my best friend the letter I had wrote her the night before and explained to her what I was feeling. We cried together in the locker room and she took me to go get help from a teacher.

I’ll never forget that moment.

We grew apart in the following years, but I have treasured that moment of love and understanding for all of these years. She was the one that picked me up without judgement and led me to the help I needed. I love her for that to this very day.

Many years ago!!

There is no shame in getting the help you need. I recently read a post on Facebook that said something along the lines of hoping that one day getting help for mental health would be as normal as going to the doctor for an injury, and that getting released from school for mental health would be as normal as leaving for a tummy ache. What a world that would be. Let’s end the stigma against mental illness and help those suffering get the help they need.