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

Sharing My Story & Creating a Following Along the Way

I woke up to a very cool WordPress notification on my phone!

I HIT 100 FOLLOWERS!

I have always loved writing. English classes were my favorite, I loved writing essays and doing research. I took Journalism classes in college. Even though I love writing so much, making it a career seems unfeasible due to the fact that I live in a rural area where making good money from writing would be next to impossible. So I decided to start this blog. I did not know anyone who blogged personally and I definitely didn’t know any popular bloggers… so trying this out was something I started with no idea how it worked or where it would lead. I just knew I wanted to share my story with others in hopes that my words would help someone else with similar experiences. Growing up with a drug-addicted mother and a father I didn’t even know the name of, I felt so alone. As I started talking more about what I experienced as a kid, I realized I had a unique talent of offering advice and sharing my perspective to those that were like me. I realized that I wasn’t alone. I realized that maybe I was the light of hope and understanding for someone else, like I had always wanted someone to be for me.

I am thankful that this site has allowed me to share my story with both friends and strangers. I have received so much encouragement and love from my readers, and that makes it all so meaningful. I knew from the moment that I could gather my own opinions on my situation that I wanted to share it with anyone and everyone, so that someone like me wouldn’t feel the loneliness and desperation that I felt on my very worst days. I hope this blog has brought hope and comfort to those that have struggled with similar circumstances. I hope this blog has shed light on the problem with drug addiction we face within our families, communities, and world.

Thank you for reading and thank you for your support. It means more to me than I could ever express in writing. 🖤

June Blogging Challenge: Day 7

Afternoon, readers and writers of WordPress! 

Today is already DAY 7 of the June Blogging Challenge!! Today’s prompt is one that is often asked:

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

Okay, I don’t think I have ever swayed on what superpower I would choose if we were ever offered the opportunity to get one.

I want to FLY! I honestly don’t need the ability to walk through walls or be super strong, but I would LOVE to soar through the air feeling the wind in my hair! I would fly with the birds and flow with the treetops. I would look down on big cities, cornfields, ball fields,  and racetracks. I don’t think I would ever come down.

What superpower would you choose??

Her Guardian: Chapter One

I closed the cabinet drawer, tucked the Cheez-Its under my shirt, and tip-toed out of the kitchen towards my room. I always get such a rush when I’m sneaking through the house, even though I could just go ask Mom for a snack. There’s something about being in hiding that has always made my blood flow.

“Here,” I said as I tossed the box at Gabby, hitting her in the shoulder.

“Ouch,” she mumbled, picking the box up off the ground. I swear that girl couldn’t catch a football with glue on her hands. I sat down on the bottom bunk beside her.

“So did you decide who your hero is yet?” I asked her. She stopped chewing and looked at me, raising an eyebrow.

“I thought you didn’t care about my schoolwork,” she slowly snaps. I could tell she was trying to keep an edge out of her tone.

I’m not always a great sister. That sounds bad to admit. But I’ve been by Gabby’s side my entire life, and I don’t ever see that changing. I love her, but I don’t always tell her- It’s one of those kinds of relationships.

Gabby has long, straight brown hair and dark brown eyes to match. She has long legs- much longer than mine. Sometimes I think her legs couldn’t possibly grow anymore, but that wouldn’t make sense because she’s only eight years old. She is small, but has a huge heart. Whenever I’m mean to her, I always think about how much she loves everything about me. If I tie my shirt up with a hair tie, she’ll be doing the same thing within a matter of minutes, whether it’s ridiculously hideous or not.

“I don’t,” I lied. 

Of course I care about her schoolwork. I pretty much raise the girl. I walk her to and from school every morning, and make sure she has her homework done before dinner every night. Going to school is our only escape from this hell we are forced to live in.

A loud crash interrupted us before Gabby could call my bluff.

I turned to Gabby and grabbed her by the shoulders. “Stay right where you are and don’t move.”

I walked to the doorway and peered around the corner into the living room. My mom and her boyfriend, Squint, were facing one another. My mom bent down to pick up what looked to be parts of a broken lamp. “That shit wasn’t necessary!” she screamed. “That was my grandmother’s lamp!” I could hear the break in her voice as she said it.

“I don’t give a fuck whose lamp it is, I want this shit OUT of my apartment!” Squint stammered back.

Before I knew it, I was helping her pick up the pieces. “It’s okay, Ma,” I told her, looking at her face. She was crying.

I didn’t have the chance to process the fact that my mom was crying before Squint grabbed her up off the ground by her arm. She swung her arm in a circle to escape his grip, but he squeezed harder. I felt my face go warm with anxiety. Squint grabbed my mother by the cheeks and leaned in close to her face. I could see her eyes frantically searching his face. Squint lowered his voice to barely a whisper.

“Get all of this shit and those fucking kids out of my house now,” he murmured. He pushed my mom’s face away from his, causing her to stumble onto the ground. I was frozen, so I couldn’t even reach to help her up. She picked herself up off the floor and walked to the bathroom without saying a word.

I turned towards Squint and looked up at him. He had his fingers on his temples, but I could still see the wrinkles and crow’s feet that covered his face. He looked tired. If he wasn’t such a bully, I may have even felt sorry for him.

I snapped back to reality and started to turn towards the bedroom, but Gabby was already standing beside me. I pushed her towards the bedroom. “You shouldn’t be in here,” I whispered.

Squint stopped us before we could make it to the bedroom. “Girls,” he grinned slyly. I hated that sarcastic, evil grin. “Tell your mom to get her shit out of my house before I kill every single one of you.”

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 😊