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!

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.

 

The Night Before Her Birth

Until you’ve experienced it, childbirth is a scary thing to think about. For a long time, it was at the very TOP of my list of biggest fears. I didn’t have any experiences to compare the most painful and emotional thing that I was ever going to put myself through, so the thought of becoming a mom was absolutely terrifying for me. There is no moment in your life that will prepare you for motherhood. It’s something you just have to dive into, even if you’re scared shitless and don’t have a clue what to expect.

My daughter was measuring two weeks ahead and in the 99 percentile from the very first ultrasound. As my due date got closer and my belly got bigger, our concerns became about the method of delivery. I am 5’3” (on a good day) and my hips are pretty narrow. My doctor was worried about delivering vaginally because she may have gotten stuck on the way out, resulting in a traumatizing delivery or emergency c-section. He left the decision up to me: Did I want to try a vaginal delivery and risk her getting stuck? Or did I want to go ahead and schedule a c-section and avoid the trauma?

36 weeks- large & glowing!

After a lot of deliberation and weighing the options carefully, I decided to have the c-section.

With that decision came a lot of emotion. For some reason, people have this invalid perception that having a baby cut from your womb is “the easy way out.” I am here to tell you that it is without a doubt, not an easier way to give birth. Any method of delivery is beautiful, worthy, courageous, and just plain hard.

Seven layers of flesh are cut during a c-section.

The recovery time is much slower than that of a vaginal birth.

You are awake the entire time, knowing that your insides are open and laid out behind the sheet in front of you.

I didn’t get to hold my baby until almost an hour after she was born.

Five months later and I still can’t feel nearly half of my abdomen when I touch it.

I went in to be induced at 39 weeks, on January 5, 2019. I was told to be at the hospital by 6am. The night before I knew I had to be there, I laid in bed with my mind spinning and imagining what I was going to be experiencing in just a few short hours. 

I don’t think I even blinked the entire night.

Being induced and knowing that it is most likely going to result in a c-section is perhaps one of the most nerve-wracking things I’ve ever gone through. I laid there that night and thought about how once I left the house, I would not return until the human that I had been housing inside of me for the last nine months was introduced to the outside world. I worried about how I would be as a first-time mom. I watched videos of c-sections and scared myself even more (Still cool though – I’m a science nerd). I was more scared the night before we went to the hospital than I was the entire nine months prior combined.

Laying in bed with my fiancé the night before we went to the hospital

Four o’clock came fast. After what seemed like year-long pregnancy, it was finally time to get up, grab my bags, and go meet my baby girl for the very first time.

I never knew excitement and terror could co-exist so charmingly.

Baby time! Our picture together when we arrived at the hospital 🎉

•••••••••••••••••••••

Stay tuned for my birth story. I will publish at a later time!! ❤️❤️❤️

“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

Drug Courts & A Failed F*cking System

I wrote a few weeks back that my mom was getting out of jail and going to rehab. I was excited, but I tried hiding it. Part of me knew something was going to fall out. The thing about hope is that even though you can prepare yourself to be let down, you can’t prepare yourself enough to not feel the hurt of failed expectations.

She went to rehab for five days.

Five days.

Five. 

Days.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t heartbroken, but how I feel is much more than just a heartbreak.

I am furious.

 

I am furious at the system. I am furious at our courts. I am furious at the people that turn a blind eye when they know that someone needs their help.

SHE COULD BE A MOTHER. She could have been our mother for YEARS now if someone would have taken even a SECOND to pay attention to what the hell was going on in our situation.

It all started in the early 2000’s. The first time she was arrested for possession and fighting. I would have been around five years old. So you arrest a young mother for fighting on the streets while high on who-knows-what, and you’re not going to do anything to make sure it doesn’t happen again? What about the second time? Third time? Fourth time?

Oh, right. THAT’S when we finally take the kids.

But she should have been provided the rehabilitation and help she so desperately needed WAAAAYYYY before it ever got that bad. It has been eighteen years since this all started and nothing has been done to help her. I am furious because in this country drug addicts can relapse and relapse and relapse and get locked up several times without getting any help! By now, we should all be aware that it is cheaper to rehabilitate addicts so they don’t relapse than it is to lock them up over and over and over again…

When did we stop caring about people? Or rather, why don’t we care more about people? It is unfortunate that many addicts’ stories are just like my mother’s. An endless cycle of drug addiction, arrest, lengthy prison sentence, release, and then it starts all over again. And again. And again.

I lost my mother because our court system is designed to allow addicts to fail. 

She was arrested this last time for possession of meth. She was sent to a rehabilitation facility for FIVE DAYS after a twenty year-long span of drug addiction. Do you want to know why? Because they release those that aren’t seen as a risk of relapsing. 

ARE YOU F*CKING SERIOUS???!

She has been an addict for twenty f*cking years and you’re gonna tell me that after FIVE DAYS in your facility, you think she isn’t going to go right back to the drugs?! WHAT. A. JOKE.

This is what I mean when I say that the system is designed to let people like her fail.

I am heartbroken. Outraged. Furious. Disgusted. Appalled.

If she would have gotten help the first time she was seen as having a problem, I could have a mom in my life right now. But instead I’m sitting here pissed off, writing a blog about how the government helped in making my life a living hell.

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.

The big 5-0

I have finally hit 50 followers! I just wanted to dedicate this to all of you awesome readers that follow my journey, read my story, and leave your comments.

When I started this blog, I had no idea what I’d be getting into. I’ve always had a passion for writing, and I knew exactly what my platform was going to be. Writing has always been a great outlet for me, and it’s something I love to do!

I started to write a book back when I was in high school, but kind of just let it go to the way side. I’ve decided I wanted to get back into creative writing and work on publishing chapters of a new book! I already published a prologue for it, if you are interested in reading it I have left the link at the bottom of this article. I think it will be a fun journey and a great way to challenge myself while also pursuing a long-standing dream of mine.

Anyway, THANK YOU for your follow, your friendship, and your support! 50 followers may not sound like much, but this blog has turned into way more than I ever could have dreamed!

-Xoxoxo, Chrissy-

❤️

Read Prologue here.

Let Yourself Love

Love is weird.

Whether we want to believe it or not, love can make us give up bits and pieces of who we are and give them to the person whom we love.

Sometimes that’s a good thing, and sometimes it’s not.

You see, I’m the type of person to completely give myself away to the person that has captured my heart. A guaranteed ten times out of ten, I will put my lover’s needs, interests, and wants ahead of my own. That may be my biggest character flaw. I am so willing to go above and beyond for someone as an attempt to show them that I care. However, not everyone gives themselves away so freely. Others are much more rough, like rocks hanging onto a cliff as the wind blows against them. The wind can blow and blow, and some of those rocks will never release themselves to the ground below.

Sometimes the “ground” is scary. We don’t know what is going to happen once we let ourselves go. How far is the drop? How bad will it hurt?

I’ve always been quick to let myself fall. I see love as something you make; something you work at rather than coast through. When you coast, sometimes you forget the things that are really important and disregard how your actions are affecting those around you. I don’t believe love stays once you’re in it. I think it takes continuous reflection and change.  I don’t think once you fall in love that you will always be in love, unless you are willing to give bits and pieces of yourself away.

I know it sounds scary, but I see it differently.

Of course, trusting someone with the depths of your heart is frightening.

However, I have had the love that has shown me that it is not always that way.

I have had the love that makes me yearn for morning light so that he will awaken and we can start a new adventure. I have had the love where he knows the instant something is going to break my heart. I have had the love that not only fulfills me, but also betters me. I have had the love that makes complete silence not so lonely.

None of that amazing, lightning-fueled love would be possible without giving parts of myself away.

I’m not saying giving yourself away is all roses and butterflies, either.

I have had the love that makes me want to bury my face into a pillow and scream for hours straight. I have had the love that makes me lose all motivation to do anything with anyone. I have also had the love that leaves a horrible pain in my chest; so bad I can barely breathe.

None of that hurt makes me believe it all wasn’t worth it.

Yes, it’s hard to love. It’s hard to trust. It’s hard to rely on the hope that love will never end.

Sometimes love does end…

But if you love hard enough, sometimes it’s all worth it. 

I think back on some of my happiest days. I see tents and bonfires and football games and roadtrips and lakes and sunsets. The list goes on and on…

I have had some incredible memories due to the fact that I jumped on the horse and let myself love HARD. I’m not saying that everyone deserves a chance at your heart. All I’m saying is that you deserve, YOU DESERVE, a chance to find crazy, beautiful love. Don’t let the idea of giving yourself to the wrong person take that chance away from you.

You deserve love where your partner completes you. I can think of so many instances where he was just better than me. I could be doing something as simple as cleaning out the fridge. He would come in and ask to do it instead, leaving me to wonder what I could have possibly been doing wrong while rearranging the fridge. And sure enough, there he was doing it just… better. For everything I couldn’t do, he was just better. And that completed me!

It’s strange that I think of rearranging a fridge as a monument of great love, but I do. Because even simple things like that bring a smile to my face as I reflect on the incredible love that I have experienced. I hope you are willing to give yourself away to someone that is better at rearranging the fridge than you are. Because you deserve the love that makes you appreciate a simple life 😊

Drowning

I don’t know how much longer I can put up with this.

I go through the motions like I’m your slave.

So much is on my shoulders and

I think I’m drowning.

I can’t keep you happy and you don’t care if I am.

A misplaced shirt becomes an argument.

A rise in my voice becomes a battle.

A longing kiss becomes a plead.

I’m frustrated-

But I feel like it’s more.

Still, I say nothing.

Every responsibility that comes with a child has been placed on me

Every bill.

Every chore.

Every appointment.

I’m so tired, but I keep going for the sake of my beautiful girl.

I’m beginning to realize I can do this on my own.

I just hope you wake up before I have to choose to.