Things that go bump in the night…

I remember when I was a kid I was scared that there was a monster under my bed. I was terrified that this monster was going to grab me and pull me under the bed into the land of terrors. I had no idea what a real monster could do. I had no way of understanding that there were monsters in my everyday life. I hadn’t been introduced to alcohol, I hadn’t been told to take this pill or that pill to feel better.

Not yet at least.

 

Fast forward to July 2016. I had just brought home my second beautiful daughter, and life was pretty good. I remember my husband asking me if I wanted a drink or anything. I was so focused on the baby and making sure our eldest felt loved in the midst of all the changes in her life. I told him I was fine. I didn’t need a drink. I was oozing out happiness and bliss from every pore. I made sure I gave myself a big ‘ol pat on the back for turning down alcohol. At the time, I said to myself, ” See! You don’t have a problem. You can say no.”

That lasted for approximately two hours. The sun was setting, the house started to quiet down, and bedtime was approaching. I told my husband to sleep on the couch so I wouldn’t wake him when I was up with the baby. Around two am I started to feel like there were bugs crawling up my legs. I couldn’t sit still. I became terrified to close my eyes. My heart started to race, I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I thought I was dying. I woke my husband up and told him he needed to bring me to the ER immediately. The feeling just got worse and worse. I realized I couldn’t go to the ER, because I would have to take the baby too and she was too little to be surrounded with all of the germs that lurk in an ER.

Instead, I ran out into the backyard hysterically crying. My husband had to hold me super tight, I was scared shitless. Eventually, the feeling left.

Twenty minutes later, round two started. Same crazy feelings, same terror. This time I decided I had to do something about it. If it kept happening I would be exhausted from being up all night panicking or feeding the baby. I had to sleep. I had to turn off my mind to make the panic go away.

Drinking seemed like the obvious solution.

I pounded two glasses of wine. That’s all I needed. My brain started to slow down. Well, if two glasses managed to help, two more wouldn’t be a big deal. I was trying to develop a healthy breastfeeding relationship with my newborn, but I had some formula stashed away. It didn’t matter. I fed her formula as I felt my boobs just straight up fill up with milk that I couldn’t even feed her.

 

As time went on, this nighttime panic bullshit got worse. I started these weird rituals when I could feel the anxiety creeping in. If everyone else in the house was asleep, I wasn’t allowed to sleep. Someone had to be up. I would look at my windows and try to see if any of my neighbors were still up. If they were, then I could go to sleep. If that failed, I would watch infomercials until 3 am when the news came on. If the news came on, I could sleep.

Constant racing thoughts, scared of dying in my sleep, feeling inadequate as a mom, hating my curvy body, worrying that I might trip on the stairs and drop the baby, and so many other intrusive thoughts just ran a marathon in my brain.

 

All of this crap became an excuse. I’m depressed! I have anxiety! I have OCD! Drinking will help. Look- see, I had some wine and now I’m totally functioning! I’m smiling! Alcohol was the solution to all my postpartum issues.

 

Cracking open a bottle of wine at 2 am started to seem more and more like normal behavior. I thought it was helping me sleep. It wasn’t helping me sleep. I was BLACKING out every night. Over and over and over and over. Reality started to become blurry.

“Are there other moms that do this? There has to be. I can’t be the only one. But, just to be safe, I’m not going to mention this to anyone.”

 

Hundreds and hundreds of dollars spent on my ” medicine”.

 

Happy moms drink! It makes us better moms! What a relief! I don’t have to feel anything at all, EVER. AMAZING!

 

It never occurred to me that those rituals that I made up in order to fall asleep weren’t exactly rituals at all. They were excuses that I created in order to feed my monster. The list got longer and longer. It got to the point that if someone even looked at me the wrong way, I would tell myself to go drink.

 

Sure, drinking would knock me out, but over time it made everything worse. My depression was all-consuming. My anxiety started to debilitate me. My OCD was getting worse and worse.

 

The harder it got, the more excuses I made. “It’s noon on a Tuesday and you have to fold laundry? Laundry is stressful! How about I Just start drinking…”

 

I would go in and out of different doctors, begging them to help me. I felt like my mental health was in bad shape. They’d prescribe this and that, never once asking me how much alcohol I drank. And if they did ask? I’d lie, obviously. Only a couple glasses a week!

(um try…four boxes a week…)

Then after a couple years of that shit, something happened. I woke up for a brief moment and looked at my family. I was turning this home into hell for everyone here. The guilt and shame over my selfish behavior pushed me into start thinking about getting sober.

It didn’t happen overnight. It happened after several months after more blackouts. I finally realized I had to kill the monster. This monster disguised it’s self as a friend.  I wasn’t sure how I could live without it.

 

Then this really crazy thing happened. Sobriety. 

The most sobriety I have, the more that extra crap fades away. Who would have thought that alcohol made all of my mental stuff worse? I thought it was helping. It wasn’t helping. It was killing me.

I’m not perfect. I can’t tell you what tomorrow will bring, but I know that I have faced my monster and I kicked its ass to the curb. It will try to creep back in over and over again, but I’m not weak anymore. I’m a fucking warrior and I will beat that asshole senseless before I let myself believe the lies it tries to tell me.

Nighttime isn’t scary anymore. If I can’t sleep I don’t freak out. The exhaustion that came with being a raging alcoholic is no longer there. If I don’t get those recommended 8 hours a night, I get a red bull and I deal. It’s ok to be tired sometimes. It won’t kill me, but drinking will.

I’m happy. I’m healthy. I’m spiritual. I’m all the things that I wanted to be for so long, but could only achieve through sobriety.

The monster doesn’t fool me anymore.

Traveling with young children? WHY?

People ask me all the time, ” How you manage to travel so often with your kids?” We travel to Chicago and New York/Connecticut a few times a year. I smile and say, ” It’s really not that bad!”

 

LIES.

 

I spend hours packing, doing laundry, making bags of entertainment for the kids, and just generally making sure we have everything we need.

But what we really needs is noise erasing headphones. 

 

So here’s all the things that have gone wrong. I feel like by sharing this I might be able to help you make the decision to stay home forever.

 

  1. ” I’m sure that if we leave at 3 am for our 12 hour drive, the kids will go back to sleep and possibly sleep through a lot of the ride.” …HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAA! They won’t sleep. In fact, they make it impossible for their siblings to even catch a quick cat nap. So, you end up with three very over tired children… which leads to my next point.
  2. SCREAMING. ALL OF THE SCREAMING. ” Hey, Maeve, do you want some pretzels?” “NO I DONT WANT PRETZELS I WANT M&MS. GET ME M&MS” Poor Lucie, she can’t even talk but she sure can scream. Fiona just straight up starts screaming without any prompting. I’m not talking the ” Oh no!” kind of screaming, it’s the ” THESE PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO TORTURE ME AND I NEED A MILKSHAKE RIGHT FUCKING NOW”. See? Not fun.
  3. Packing. When you have three kids and a husband, packing becomes a horrendous task. So, typically I end up over packing. The car is currently filled with kids, a husband, a dog, 3 huge oversized suitcases and not one single matching pair of socks for any of my kids, every coloring book ever made, a hefty supply iPads. My pediatrician asked if the kids were getting more than two hours of screen time a day. My response was, ” Nope! Never. NO.” My children are perfect, they don’t sit in front of the tv or iPad all day! HAHA. I can’t stop laughing. I praise Jesus for screen time, because mama has work to do. IMG_6850
  4. Reststops. Have you ever tried to get your three daughters in to the bathroom all at once? Yeah. Don’t do that. There will be toilet paper stuck to their shoes, and while changing the baby’s diapers your might notice that your kid is basically licking the floor. You only try to get your kids to go potty at the same time, you must really hate yourself.
  5. Candy. Bribe with candy. Works like a charm, until you find 15,000 dumdums all over your newly cleaned car. You can worry about that later.

 

It’s just really difficult. Even with two parents in the car. I’m actually writing this in the car halfway to Connecticut. That’s it. I’ve shared my reasons for never traveling ever again.

 

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14650166_10101712599893367_4454690081221321115_nDon’t do it! Have a staycation.

 

Actually, we love being able to travel a lot to see our family, because we miss and love them. If I have to listen to 13 hours of screaming, it’s all worth.

I have a small question regarding Halloween…

Why? Why do we celebrate Halloween?

 

Who sat down one day and said to himself/herself,” You know what? Lets dress our kids up in scary costumes and let them ask complete strangers for candy!”

” Let’s buy a very large fruit, hallow it out and put some weird carvings into it with a candle!”

” Let’s try to scare the shit out of people in small houses filled with actors attempting to fill you with fear!”

Also- Is a pumpkin a fruit or a vegetable? Does it even matter? Like… would it be weird if I carved some weird ass shit in a zucchini? WHO CAME UP WITH THIS?

I was just on the phone with my sister, asking her these same questions. She asked me if I was on drugs ( cold medicine, you jerk.), because I’ve been sick for about a week, and I said,” NO.” But, we both agreed that I needed to blog about this.

I remember learning about Dia de los Muertos in Spanish class in highschool and thinking that it was a pretty cool cultural way to honor and remember those who have passed and share our love for them during this celebration.

But I’m Irish. I’m Lithuanian. We’re not celebrating anyones ancestors on Halloween. We’re walking up to your front door, with our huge bags full of mini sized snickers (sometimes, in our neighborhood, they give you the REAL BIG ONES), asking you for candy and skipping along. OH! And admiring who has the best pumpkin designs.

I’m very well aware of the fact that I’m the Grinch of Halloween right now, but my kids and I are sick. Also, I spent the entire weekend in Kentucky drinking bourbon, but that has nothing to do with it. Nothing at all. Nope.

 

It’s just weird. Not as weird as fucking ” Sweetest Day” in the Midwest, which should be banned and NEVER celebrated again because makes no sense. If you don’t know what Sweetest Day is, consider yourself lucky.

 

Whatever. I have to go. I bought a bag of buncha crunch last night and I need to go eat it.

 

HALLOWEEN! SUCKAS!

 

*side note- this blog has nothing to do with the fact that I was once led out of a haunted house by the paramedics, because those fuckers scared me so hard I had an asthma attack…I was twenty-four years old.* #I’maloser

 

I’m only sharing this, because I’m going to need a lot of moral support today.

I have nothing important to say.

 

Nothing at all.

 

But, I do have something HORRIFIC to share…

 

ONE OF MY KIDS POOPED IN A BACK PACK AND LEFT IT THERE FOR A WEEK.

 

I almost died. In fact, the stench from the poop could have killed just about anyone.

 

That’s it.

 

My kid pooped in a back pack.

She said what?!?!

So, I”m really digging this whole blog-life thing I’ve got going on right now. It’s been wonderfully therapeutic for my postpartum shit and just general life shit.

I used the word shit twice in one sentence. 

It’s been hard out here for a sarcastic bitch like myself, to find my way out of the dark, fucking hole that postpartum depression and anxiety threw me in.

Uh oh…I said bitch and fucking in one sentence.

But damnit, I’m a survivor. I’m a woman. I’m a really great cook, which is surprising. I recovered from a decade long eating disorder. I’m a mother. I’m a singer. I’m a very bad dancer. I’m fucking Wonder Woman in the flesh, my friends.

I said it again. DAMNIT! Fuck.

 

I love and respect my family, very, very much. I usually stretch myself in every single direction trying to make all four of my parents (yes, I have four.) and siblings happy. I want to be there for every major life event, even though I live like 800 miles away. Actually, I think it’s closer to 880 miles. I’m extremely lucky to have the family I have. They are supportive. They are loving. They are generous. They are kind.

 

But they hate it when I swear. Hate it. 

 

I remember being twelve and in a ballet class with a few girls who were older than me. They knew I went to a very conservative, Christian school, and I had never dropped the F bomb. These prima ballerinas pushed me in a corner and made me say, ” FUCK!” as loud as I could. It came out as a whisper. I thought God was going to smite me from Heaven right then and there. But, the seed had been planted. I enjoyed having a few new words in my vocabulary.

In order to be my authentic self ( Pretty sure that’s an Oprah phrase…), I swear on this blog. I swear a lot. I say shit, bitch, fuck, damnit… I could go on and on. There’s a few words I won’t say, but generally I swear a lot. I also do this in front of my kids.

CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT? This mother says FUCK on a regular basis in front of her children! BLASPHEMY! What kind of fucking mother says those kind of fucking words in front of her kids?

A mother who is actively teaching her children that when Mama says a word that’s an adult word, it can only be used by an adult. I’d rather teach my daughters how to swear in the proper context than teach them how to use words like hate, idiot, or loser. That’s not to say that they haven’t repeated an adult word. Fiona dropped the F bomb and Maeve said, ” Oh, shit!” once. Pretty priceless, but both were used in an appropriate situation. See? My little shit heads pay attention. ( Ok, I never actually call them shit heads to their face, that’s only behind their backs when they’ve taken a sharpie to my kitchen walls or decided to wake me up at 4 am on a Tuesday, because they REALLY can’t sleep and REALLY want to watch Trolls for the 90,000th time.)

 

Take it or leave it baby, but this is a blog written by a tattoo’d, swearing, wine loving, tea drinking, mother of three fierce daughters. I’m not changing who I am in order to avoid offending anyone.

 

My next blog post will discuss how my gluten free life style has made rainbows shoot out of my ass and cured my hypothyroidism. 

 

Just kidding. That would be some stupid fucking bullshit right there.