Operation Get Dilated

Today I’m 36 weeks pregnant.

I’ve been contracting with minimal relief since the end of week 29. After my second trip to labor and delivery I was basically told my uterus is irritable and my cervix is soft but stubborn-it’s like one of those broken garage doors that only opens an inch or so off the ground and then gets stuck.

Back at the beginning of my third trimester, this was a good thing-necessary as neither my OB nor myself wanted to see my baby boy in the NICU or worse, not make it. So I was given magnesium, a couple of steroid shots, and a host of other meds that didn’t work in an attempt to keep everything at a standstill. My cervix didn’t open any further, but the contractions refused to leave. So I’ve been living with them, each one eating away at my sanity like a zombie feasts on brains & flesh.

As I mentioned previously, I  went in to see my OB last Monday after a weekend of particularly brutal contractions that were practically on top of each other. That’s when he gave me the “hang in there old sport” pep talk, checked my cervix and told me it had changed just a tiny bit, warned me that much like my labor with Alex, this one is starting off at a snail’s pace, and told me he wouldn’t try to make it go any faster until at least week 37. He also told me it would be a good idea to at least start doing some walking to help get things “ready.”

So I’ve been walking every day, and honestly resisting the urge to sprint down the street in spite of my symphysis pubis being as wide as the Grand Canyon at this point. I pretty much try to waddle-walk as fast as I can without splitting my pelvis in half. So far thanks to my SI belt, I’ve remained intact, and while walking has helped baby boy drop it low (very low), he hasn’t fallen out on the street yet, so we’re good.

I would, however like him to fall-er come out within the next two weeks though. I started labor with Alex at 36 weeks and had him at 37. I normally would be all “oh let’s just have Nature take its sweet ass time,” but when you’ve been contracting for over a month while keeping up with two other children and running a household, AND experiencing early labor symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, and losing weight for the past two weeks? You start thinking of how you can get Nature to get her ass in gear and end her tyrannous reign over your body.

Even if you’ve had one of those disgustingly goddess-like pregnancies where unicorns met you every morning and you glided everywhere you went in your pre-pregnancy skinny jeans held together by a single rubber band, weeks 36 & 37 are the weeks women start googling “how to get this f—–ing human out of me on time.” That will lead you to the seedy underworld of pregnancy message boards where you find women desperately seeking not Susan, but ways to (safely) help the body get a move on.

Yes, I’ll admit it: I’ve read all the boards. Repeatedly. I’ve asked friends who’ve studied midwifery for tips. I’ve asked my OB’s nurse for suggestions. (Evening primrose oil, in case you’re wondering). I spent all last week trying to tone my uterus via raspberry tea leaf like I’m training it to swim against Michael Phelps in the next Olympics. And again-I’ve been waddle-walking.

One thing that’s struck me though when I’ve read these boards and asked folks for suggestions is that there’s an obvious method that no one is mentioning. It wasn’t until my friend Lindsay jokingly mentioned that I should just twerk it that it hit me: DANCE.

No one on any of these boards has mentioned dance as a way to get dilated & softened. Sure you could spend your time being all namaste in a squatted yoga pose till the pressure built up on your cervix causes a blowout, OR you could just throw on some “Pop, Lock & Drop It,” by Huey.  At least the asinine lyrics will distract you from how uncomfortable and claustrophobic in your own body you feel.

So, I’m here at week 36, telling you that maybe instead of giving yourself the runs and worse via castor oil, destroying your mouth eating legions of pineapple, and having sex when the LAST thing you want at this point is to be touched by the one who DOESN’T have to get up every 2 hours to go the bathroom-try busting a move. Put on some music and pop those hips. Twerk it. Shake it. Drop it like you’re 23 and in the club.

I just did. I did at one point drop it low and stay on my living room rug, but hey, I’m 9 months pregnant, that’s to be expected. I didn’t say doing any of this would look pretty-I’m just saying it might prove effective and will probably be MUCH more fun than chugging some nasty drink concoction or just sitting in misery.

If you’re looking for songs to pop, hop, drop, & shimmy it to, I’ll help you out and give you my playlist. You’re welcome.

  • Anything by Missy Elliot. Seriously-ANYTHING.
  • Shake it Out by Florence + The Machine (for the hippie in you)
  • Show Me What You Got-Jay Z
  • Bring Em Out-T.I.
  • Hips Don’t Lie-Shakira (c’mon, it’s obvious why)
  • Party Rock-LMFAO
  • Runaway Baby-Bruno Mars
  • Locked out of Heaven-Bruno Mars (I suggest grabbing a hairbrush and just belting this out)
  • You Make Me Feel-Cobra Starship (remember-23…in the club…don’t GAF about NOTHING-let loose)
  • Anything by the Black Eyed Peas. Begin with “Let’s Get it Started”, perhaps?
  • Jump Around-House of Pain (I can’t jump, but I waddled and bobbed)
  • Square Biz-Teena Marie. (6:40 of absolute funk & soul to lose yourself in. Spin, twirl, snap fingers)
  • Get Up-Ciara

If you’re feeling particularly fearless and REALLY want to get into it, I suggest heading to YouTube and finding some Unk (“Walk it Out), Ester Dean (“Drop it Low), and another “Drop it Low,” by Kat Deluna. Song is annoying but the moves might help things shift around down below.

I’m off to go get checked. Hopefully Operation Get Dilated is in full effect. I’ll let you know :)

*By the way, I’m not a doctor. So talk to yours about what’s safe for you to do and get clearance before you wind up having to search YouTube for ways to do an emergency home birth. Don’t sue me. Thanks.*

 

Groove is in My Heart

Nothing gets me out of my own head like dancing. Painting and writing do, but in different ways. There’s just a different kind of freedom that comes from moving in rhythm to a collection of sounds…I don’t think I could live if I couldn’t dance.

I’m not exaggerating. Just stating what I know for myself to be facts.

I’ve been doing my damnedest to get out of my own brain for a few weeks now, finding music, yoga, tweeting my randomly erratic thoughts, eating, tequila shots, wedding planning, watching Tom & Jerry with the boys, and journaling to be worthwhile distractions from my cycling moods…..

but I haven’t danced lately and I find myself tonight, wanting nothing more than to turn up the volume and get lost in the release movement and sound bring me.

I can’t of course. Not right now. It’s 11:30pm and the boys are asleep….Bertski’s at his desk coding away, shrouded in the heaviest of concentrations….and I’m fairly sure my neighbors are sleeping.

So instead, I’m just sitting here watching my dance video playlist on YouTube.  

Watch. You’ll see why they’re on my list & making me smile tonight :)

Yea…these are MY videos…but they makes me smile…. :)

Dance Party Friday: IT’S MY 30TH BIRTHDAY! Edition

Who’s that little Ms. Sassy Pants? Ignore my father’s ashy knee. It was the 80′s-ashy was like blue eyeliner & teased hair-it was “in.”

Tomorrow, December 1st, is my birthday. I will officially be 30 years old at 7:20pm. (I think. When I called my mom to verify this information, it was 11pm EST and she was asleep. So for now, let’s just go with this, mmkay?)

I’ve spent this whole week thinking about this post and what I want to say about turning 30. It means a lot to me for pretty significant reasons, the most important being the fact that I’VE BEEN ALIVE FOR 30 YEARS. Seriously. Between my father telling me everyday he was going to kill me from ages 12-17 (and trying to on numerous occasions), and my own suicide attempts, I consider it a blessing that I’m still here to celebrate such a major turning point in my life and that it’s the first birthday where I’m free from so much of the shit that’s plagued me since I was a child. I may still be repairing the damage my father and other family members caused, but I’m happy to say I’m not buried under or blocked by it anymore.

Imagine being trapped in a building that’s collapsed itself upon you and you have to fight, climb, and dig your way through the rubble to get out and get the help you need. That’s what the first 29 years of my life have felt like and I’ve spent them pushing every broken piece of concrete and other debris off of me. Some of the trauma and injuries I sustained through it all have only recently begun to heal within the last 3 years through therapy and a lot of honest self-reflection. Others, I’ve come to realize, are more nuanced and difficult to treat, requiring lifelong medical treatment and therapy to maintain stability and improved mental health.

But, nonetheless, I’ve broken through it all, and here I am, my eyes squinting from the brightest sunlight I’ve ever seen. In front of me is the rest of my life with it’s arms open wide waiting for an embrace. Lying within that embrace are my sons, the love of my life (he really is!), and friends I’ll be able to laugh and reminisce with when I’m all wrinkly and have a glorious grey afro; one I’ll trick my grandkids and great grandkids into combing for me because I want to spend time I have left with them…and because by then my hands won’t be able to rake a comb through said glorious grey afro and will need someone to do it for me. I’ll pay them for their labor don’t worry. I think kisses and sugary treats will be a proper payment for services.

Ok somehow I just went from talking about being 30 to being 95 and manipulating future generations that may or may not actually be alive. Ahem…where was I?

I survived the last 29 years but I’m really looking forward to actually LIVING the next 30. Exploring, building, growing, pursuing creative endeavors (lots of writing and painting!) giving back, helping others, mental stability…these are the things I’m ready to give my full attention to as I enter this next decade of my life.

I’ll finish sharing the rest of my thoughts on turning 30 over the weekend. (Don’t hold me to it though, I’ll be drinking pitchers of margaritas and partying till I pass out at 9pm all weekend, so I’ll try, but no promises, mmkay?)

Speaking of partying…I have a little gift for you. It’s been awhile since I’ve done this, and I’m a tad rusty, but since I plan on dancing my ass off on my birthday (even if it’s just in my underwear in my living room) I figured, why not invite you to join me? Have fun shuffling and please-DO laugh at my Napoleon Dynamite dance moves and at lack of coordination in this one-it’s hard at this age to drop it like it’s hot in skinny jeans. (I also blame procreation. For some reason your ability to twerk it like the club hoochies  and work it like Janet Jackson diminishes with each child you push out of you.) I used to be able to do stuff like this….

 

Now I just throw my body around erratically. I thought about not publishing this, but then I saw this video, and said shooooooooooot. If other people can destroy the Interwebs with their malarkey, a little huffing and puffing from me ain’t gonna hurt nobody, now is it?

Enjoy. Leave a comment if you actually got up and danced with me! (You should. It’s my birthday and guess what?! This post is under a thousand words. Totally worth celebrating! Now get off your sass and shake something dammit.)

I Couldn’t Write But Was Feeling Restless So Instead I Painted

My laptop crapped out on me today. I was planning on spending 45-50 minutes journaling and writing some posts, but when the screen on my craptop went black for the fifth time, I gave up on that idea and wondered what to do with all the restless creative energy I was feeling.

The last couple of days I’ve been feeling restless, wanting to get lost in being creative. Colors are dancing before my eyes-I envision their placement on giant stretches of canvas when I sleep at night. My mind is busy writing my life experiences into chapters for my memoir (more on that later), and it seems even the simple and smallest details of my daily life are the perfect fodder for blog posts. ( Don’t worry, I’ll spare you from having to read 95% of them. That’s what the draft folder is for.) When I hear music, my body wants to get lost in movement, and my desire to take a dance class reminds me to put it on the “Things I must do once we’re settled in Austin,” list. (Again-more on this later)

Paint. Write. Dance. I’m craving creativity & expression in these areas. While I’m putting concentrating on dance until after we move, I plan on directing my creative energy into writing and painting this summer…. I want to spend at least 30-60 minutes a day exercising my creative muscle….I’m intrigued and excited to see what I come up with, especially as I continue to explore the world of paint, which is a new one for me. (And yet again, more on this later. I owe you at least 3 posts-remind me)

That’s why when my laptop gave up, I figured the next best thing to do was grab a piece of canvas, my brushes & paints, settle into a corner of the living room and just…paint. I did this last night as well.

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The pieces I did last night and this afternoon kind of caught me off guard. I did some experimenting with thinning out my buttery acrylics with water, and here’s what emerged…

This one describes how my thoughts and thought processes are when I’m hypomanic. Everything is colorful, vibrant, I feel alive, full of energy…some of it is anxious, agitated, restless energy, some of it is productive and punctuated with lots of laughter & creative projects that range from painting to cooking. Things are fantastical, special…My thoughts run & bleed into each other blending reality with the fantasies my mind conjures up. This of course makes my concentration and focus blurry at times. I haven’t settled on a name for this one yet, but it will probably be “Manic Thoughts” or something along those lines.

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This one is called “Distortion” or “A Distorted Perception of Self,” I haven’t decided yet which sounds better. It started off colorful and very bold, but halfway through turned into a mishmash of colors than blended together to create a muted look in terms of color. I spent about 10 minutes just throwing water at it, watching the paint leave trails on the canvas. It’s ugly, it’s messy, distorted, and a little chaotic…but to me, it’s how I see myself sometimes through the dirty lens of mental illness.

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So, I didn’t get to write today like I wanted but I guess it’s just as well. I did something I enjoyed, and that has me feeling pretty grounded….even though hypomania is trying to lift my feet off the ground. I’m trying to stay level. We’ll see how it goes.

Dance Party Friday: What Gets You Movin?

” How can moms find time to work out?”  asked the Circle of Moms Q & A email sitting in my inbox.

Hmmmm.

Good question considering exercising is something I struggle to find time for myself.

I’ve mentioned in a previous post that a year ago I was obsessed with exercising, but not the kind that I enjoyed, mostly because I was doing it for the wrong reasons. Slaving away with Bob Harper and the Biggest Loser crew wasn’t helping me lose weight or feel good about myself and I darn sure wasn’t looking forward to it each day. It took me realizing that I needed to work on loving myself before I found what kind of exercise I enjoyed. I had to start paying attention to what my body was saying and how it felt during exercise to find what it enjoys as well.

My new philosophy on exercise is this: if I’m going to take time out of my day to focus on my physical health, then

  • It has to be fun
  • It has to be worth my time
  • It has to help me feel good and motivated
  • I have to look forward to doing it
  • My body’s gotta love it and it has to teach me how to love my body as well

So for me, yoga and dancing do all of the above. Yoga teaches me how to find comfort in the uncomfortable mentally and physically, and dancing teaches me how to tap into how I’m feeling and just let loose. Dancing sets my mind at ease, and helps me feel free.

It’s a little difficult to make time for yoga, but because I’m a music lova, making time to dance is easy. I can do it while I’m vacuuming, washing dishes, folding laundry, or just goofing around with my boys.

So if you’re struggling to find time to exercise, don’t give up but give in to what your body’s trying to tell you about what it likes. Find an activity that you really enjoy and make 20 minutes a few times a week for it. If you have kiddos, get them in on it too, that always helps. Whatever activity you do, just make sure you love it.

Speaking if loving it, this week I’m dancing to “Moves Like Jagger” for Jessica over at Really? I’m a Mom? . When I say I LOVE this song….oooooh weeeeee! Man I love the groove in this song y’all. It gets my head bobbing, toes tapping, fingers snapping and body moving from the first note. It’s infectious. I have to dance every time I hear it….and admit it…so do you, right?

OH! One more thing-I published my 200th post this week! WOOOOOHOOOOOOOO! OH YEA! To celebrate, I’m having a giveaway. Leave a comment with the name of  your favorite exercise and a song that gets your body groovin and you’ll be entered to win

  • The Beauty of Different, by Karen Walrond to help you on your self-love journey
  • A $25 music gift card from Amazon or iTunes (whichever you use) to get some groovin tunes
  • This nifty cool “fit book” to help you develop a healthy workout plan as well as track your eating habits. (This book has helped me tons the past 3 weeks)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The lucky winner will be chosen by random.org, so comment away and good luck!

Dance Party Friday: Remembering Those Who Inspired Us to MOVE.

sou-train

image courtesy of newsone.com Before there was Michael Jackson, before there was Prince, before Madonna, Mc Hammer,  Janet, Usher, Chris Brown, Britney and an influx of late nineties boy bands, there were people who inspired me, a 3-5 year old to … Continue reading

Dance Party Friday: Stronger Edition

This illness won’t get you…You are too strong…tomorrow holds the promise of a new day.”

My friend Kim’s words rang in my ears as I fell asleep last night, and were the first words that I heard as I awoke this morning.

The past 3 weeks have been a roller coaster ride with more loops than I’d like, some throwing my mental health off track, others reminding me of how fragile life is, as several of my friends and even my mother are facing serious health & life issues….and yet still others have forced me to face painfully abusive memories I’d rather forget, but can’t because working through them is the only way I’ll heal and be able to eventually forgive.

But….

You are too strong….this life needs you

I woke up with these words pushing me out of bed and on my feet. I looked around at my apartment, at the mess that accumulates during my lows, and these words directed each step I took as I set to cleaning it all up.

This illness won’t get you….You are too strong….this life needs you

I repeated them, over and over while taking a shower, combing my hair, painting my nails, eating breakfast, watching cartoons with my sick kiddo….until I finally felt strong, strong enough to keep fighting and keep moving.

A friend of mine told me on Facebook this week that she doesn’t understand how I can continue to hold onto a belief in God when I’ve been through so much hell in my life. She then asked me a rather poignant and difficult question: why does God allow bad things to happen?

Not wanting to give a cookie cutter answer full of Christianese, I waited and directed the question at God: “Why do you allow bad things to happen? Why do you allow us to suffer if you love us so much? Why God? Why have I had to endure so much pain, so many rough circumstances? Why do I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle with this illness and everything else? I’m tired God. I’m just tired.”

I spent the week telling God that I’m tired of being beat down and broken, but woke up this morning with Kim’s words guiding me and an answer…or at least some kind of theory.

You might not like or agree with my theory and that’s ok….but y’all I think we experience brokenness and pain in our lives as a reminder that we are human. We like to think we’re invincible but the truth is we aren’t.  What if we went through life never experiencing loss, pain, hurt, rejection, or a part of us that malfunctions and needs fixing? If we didn’t experience these things, I don’t think we would know or understand and value things like LOVE….we wouldn’t know how to be vulnerable, which would render us incapable of empathy and compassion for others.  We wouldn’t know how to care for one another, and be there for each other, and be able to bear one another up in times of need. Pain and brokenness….no one wants to endure or experience either, but without them as the fertilizer, seeds of courage, hope, love, empathy, and strength wouldn’t grow in us and we would be nothing more than calloused, cold, stagnant beings.

So we experience things that challenge us…that break us…that remind us that life is fragile and to not take it for granted, no matter what hand we’ve been dealt. We only get one hand in this poker game y’all. That’s it. Just one hand and one set of chips is all we get to bet with. It’s up to us how we handle what we’re dealt.

So no…I don’t like the fact that my meds aren’t working and I need yet again to keep searching for the right cocktail. I don’t like that I have to live with a condition that renders me incapable of wanting to live at times. I don’t think it’s fair that I had to endure abuse at the hands of men who were supposed to protect me. I hate that I have to struggle my way through life….

But guess what? I’m too strong, only because I’ve endured these things and am still here today, writing this to you. I’m strong. Only because I have been hurt and broken. I am strong because I have known pain and am learning  to use it as the bridge to vulnerability and wholehearted living.

I am too strong. This illness will not get me. My painful past will not keep me trapped and tangled. I won’t let it. Instead I’ll use it; to help others, to encourage and inspire, to empower those who have been through the same to overcome and choose to keep living. I’ve had bad things happen to me, but I’ll let them teach me how to treat and love my boys and others I encounter in this life.

I don’t know what you’re facing, or what you’ve had to endure in this life. But I do know that if you’re enduring it, if you’re surviving it, then I know for a fact that you are a stronger person because you experienced it. I know from first hand experience that if you spend all your time asking why, the pain will only intensify and breed more pain. Choose to use what you’ve been through to help someone else-let it teach you how to live wholeheartedly.

The hurt and pain won’t last forever. As Kim told me last night….it’s always darkest right before the dawn. So stand up. Dance your way through the rain drops. Your’e stronger than you think.

note: my video isn’t perfect..I just couldn’t get the syncing right for some reason today. so I apologize for my crappy editing skills. I hope you still enjoy it anyway. 

Dance Party Friday: Everyday LOVE Edition

Can we take a moment and just exhale?

Go ahead-breathe in very deep, all the way down to your core….hold it….and REEEELLLLEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASE.

Feel any better? I do. I can speak for myself & say that it’s been quite a week, so taking a few moments for self-care just now makes me feel so good!

How was your week? Was it uneventful? Hectic? Overwhelming? Troubling? Too much? Awesome?

Mine? I’ve spent mine in the trenches, waging war against the Plague that invaded my house. Somehow Brennan is the only one who has managed to escape unscathed (so far). Alex not only had a cold but he was also teething on top it. I went to bed late Monday night with a pretty high fever & was told at the ER on Tuesday that I had strep throat & tonsillitis. Eh, can I get a side order of DEATH with my illness please? Thanks. Thank God for my ex-he was a lifesaver this week, taking care of me, cleaning my apartment, nagging me about my meds, and taking care of the boys. I wouldn’t have stayed above water mentally had he not been here, let me tell you.

So I’ve been eating penicillin like tic-tacs and am feeling way better finally…despite the STYE I have on my left eye. (the rhyming was so unintentional, I promise you) This week my body has failed me miserably, but I’m alive, so I’m grateful :)

Since I’m under the weather, dancing this week is totally out of the question. I don’t want to push it. I took a walk yesterday for some fresh air, and while I LOVED it, it wore me out & killed my back. SO, no dancing this week. But that’s perfectly ok, because I still have something for you to enjoy (hopefully).

This week was a lot to handle, not just because I was sick, but because I watched someone get swallowed whole by despair. I watched someone stand on the edge of their life, of their sanity, and who was ready to step off. They didn’t want to live anymore, they were weary of being under Bipolar’s oppressive thumb, and honestly, I DON’T BLAME THEM. Living with a mental illness, especially one like bipolar disorder is far from easy. Just doing what it takes to make it manageable is not for the faint of heart. It literally feels like you’re constantly swinging back & forth between life & death, and the intensity of what you feel…..I can’t put into words how unbearable it is. For me, it got so bad that I spent a Friday night slicing into my wrist with a piece of glass just to let it out. ( still so grateful for The Band, who let me write that!)

So watching someone else be on the edge and understanding how hopeless you can feel in that state was terrifying. I’ve never met this person but I didn’t want to imagine what it would be like to not have them in my life-even if it was just online or through a blog post. I watched someone else acknowledge that they aren’t doing well either and that they are in a fragile state, that they needed help. And my heart broke for them this week. I thought about Strong Start Day & all of the moms out there who are struggling but aren’t getting the real help they need for various reasons: shame, stigma, judgement, lack of insurance, resources or finances. And my heart broke for them. And I felt helpless. I asked God, “what can I do? How can I do something tangible to help?” The answer I got back was simple: “LOVE. LOVE THEM. In every & any way you can. Show them you love them.”

So this video is about that. It’s me trying to encourage anyone who needs it to hold on to love. When I think about where I was a year ago, when I just look back over my life & all I’ve been through, LOVE is what has kept me. God’s love & the love of people He’s placed in my life. LOVE is what makes an impact, what changes things, what leaves an indelible mark, what brings a person back from the edge….it’s brought me back time & again. I’d be dead & gone without it!

LOVE has been on my mind for the past couple of weeks and I’ll talk more about it & why in another post, but for now, just know that I’m being challenged to have everything I do for others & myself rooted in LOVE.

LOVE carries. LOVE heals.LOVE lifts. LOVE inspires. LOVE completes. LOVE strengthens. LOVE never fails us. Hold on to it with everything you have. I am. It’s not easy, but I’m learning how to…..everyday.

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week. This is for those of us battling, struggling with, recovering from, & triumphing over the parts of us that have malfunctioned. Keep holding on, keep kicking @$!, keep fighting….use LOVE as your weapon.

A Tumbling Out of Thoughts

It’s been a rough couple of days…..it seems like for every forward step I take, I have a day or two where I take three or four steps back…sometimes it’s a series of events that trigger the relapse or regression….more recently it seems as though I’m hyper sensitive; the slightest touch triggers me & sets the pendulum in motion, even if it’s just for a few hours….or a day.

Being triggered and having an anxiety attack or falling into a “mood state’ reminds me of three things: how fragile my own strength really is, how important it is that I stick to my wellness plan & keep finding coping strategies to add to it, & my need for God….for His love…. It reminds me that He’s really the only one who can really bear the full brunt me when I’m like this, and it reminds me that even when I’m at my lowest, He’s still there, walking with me, “fixing me” along the way…..

(you should definitely go to youtube to watch this…trust me it’s worth the click)

Taking care of myself & believing in someone outside of myself are the only ways I know I’ll make this “manageable” & be able to put it in it’s proper place. Under control. So I can live. So I can mother. So I can be the better parts of me more often.

I’ll get there. Until then, I’m going to do my best to just…..breathe & keep moving.

Thank you #PPDChat mamas (every single one of you-those I talk to consistently in The Twitter & those of you I’ve never met who sent me hugs & love last night), The Band, & Katherine Stone for being there and reaching out these past two days. Thank you for being that safe place I can go to when I need to just say exactly how I’m feeling without worry or fear of someone thinking the worst of me. You all are seriously the best therapy :) And also to my Pastor….thank you for reaching out, for your prayers, and for your words of encouragement this week. They are always timely & invaluable.

Dance Party Friday: Baby I’m a (Imperfect) Star

This was a tough week for me. Not as tough as previous ones, but tough. I started my semester this week and although I was excited about diving into this new chapter of my life, I underestimated the impact it would have on me mentally, emotionally & even physically. In my mind I was thinking that since this was something good, something positive, something fulfilling even, that I wouldn’t experience any type of anxiety; at least not the type that leaves me a hot, sweaty, shaking mess. Boy was I wrong…

All day Monday I could feel that I was talking faster than normal, but I couldn’t really stop myself. Classes were great but by the time I picked up the boys, got us home & dinner was settling in our bellies, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how I had done any of it. The whole day felt like a blur and by the time I got the boys down for bed, my thoughts were racing, heart was pounding, I was shaking…I was a wreck, even though emotionally I felt good. I was such a wreck I had to force myself to go to bed. Tuesday, I was still a mess, totally debilitated by it, unable to concentrate or focus, couldn’t think, felt edgy….it wasn’t until I took some advice from my #PPDChat mamas & forced myself to boggie for 20 minutes that I started to feel clearer mentally and actually feel the anxiety finally subside.

When I went to record this yesterday, I didn’t feel like it, but I made myself. When I went to edit it, I stressed myself out because I couldn’t get the timing quite right, no matter how hard I tried. The perfectionist in me reared her ugly head and I actually considered not posting a video at all today.

What made me change my mind? Realizing that much like life & our own humanity, recovery of any type isn’t perfect and doesn’t always go according to our carefully laid out plan. You can go to therapy, exercise, take your meds, cross all your t’s & dot every i, but sometimes, things just don’t go as they should. Sometimes they still end up messy. Sometimes despite all the preventative maintenance we do we still break down and have a bad day…a bad week…or maybe even a bad month.

This week, despite the good that was happening to me, in spite of my having followed my wellness plan, Anxiety still reared it’s ugly head. Hypomania still stopped by & hung around for a couple of hours. I had two bad days. Had some bad moments. But I realized that having these moments of weakness isn’t a reflection of our character or who we are as a person. If anything, I’m coming to realize that actually embracing the imperfection in ourselves & in our lives is what actually strengthens, heals, & gets us further down life’s path. If you’re like me and you’re wrestling or battling with something in your life, take heart and give yourself a break. Don’t let a bad moment or a funky couple of days make you give up on your recovery. Embrace what makes you imperfect & realize that sometimes despite your best efforts, something may go wrong. Instead of letting it discourage you like I almost did, or underestimating it like I did, just grab it by the horns & drag it along with you. Don’t let it stop you from moving or believing in yourself. Imperfection doesn’t dim the brightness within us, it enhances it-if we allow it to in a positive way.

So that’s what this Dance Party Friday is about, what this video symbolizes for me. It’s silly and goofy, and totally imperfect and so am I. But baby, I’m still a star :)

Alright enough with the Oprah talk-it’s “dancey dance time.” :)