ABC’s of Happiness

Sometimes it’s an effort to focus on positivity, but I promise you it’s all around you. You just need to decide what to focus your energy on.

Yesterday was definitely a day I had negative energy surrounding me, by I made the effort to find sunshine and here’s a few examples..

After work coming home and my daughter waiting for our daily chat. I’m so happy that I have this connection. My son comes up and finals at school have exhausted him but he is still in a good mood. He’s found music is his new release, he writes in a notebook converting his emotions into lyrics.

We decided on dinner at our usual spot. Our waitress amazing as usual, and being able to leave a 35% tip makes my heart happy.

I’ve been blessed with many things. Yes I’ve been smacked with some pretty painful hardships but as Maya Angelou says “I still rise”.

On a hard day ask yourself to name 5 things your thankful for. Simplicity is the key.

There was no line at the pharmacy.

You woke up on time for work.

Your child randomly said something nice about you.

You were able to pay rent or your mortgage on time this month.

Gas price went down 3 cents a gallon.

It’s the little things.

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Sunshine growing in my soul

I am a firm believer in taking time to process and feel your pain. Whether it’s a day, a week, a month or a year. Then let it go and find peace with it, move on. I’ve become so good at goodbye from him that the process goes so much quicker now even though the pain is still excruciating. I’m realizing that because I still love him deeply, I can’t keep opening that door for him. I deserve better than reliving this pain everytime. Close the door.

While I know nothing is forever, situations can change in life many times, I also know he is not stable or safe for me right now.

Today the sun is shining.

Today marks a new me.

Today I’m going to mow the grass, pull weeds and get dirt under my nails.

Today I start getting back in shape, back to a healthier me.

Today I will take the time to look up at the sun and let it absorb in my skin and my soul.

Today is all for me.

Wonderful Wednesday

This little guy brightened my day. This is my first grandbaby. I’m 40 and don’t feel like a grandma, but I am loving it.

Mother’s pride

Lately I’ve been engulfed with pride. I look at my children and I think of all the years that’s passed and all the beautiful memories and I feel happiness.

I think of Ashley reading to me to practice and how it relaxed me so much it put me to sleep, and how that made me try harder to read stories to Ryan with them. I think about baking that lemon blueberry bread from scratch with Breanna because she wanted to be a baker. I wanted to encourage any passion they felt. I think of the crazy outfits Ryan would put together as he created a new superhero and how we’d all burst out laughing. I remember spending a whole weekend morning until night as we watched Law and Order SVU and made snowflake Christmas ornaments together. The dining room was my favorite room in the house, next to the kitchen because we were always crafting or cooking. I remember being with them, enjoying them and laughing together, honestly the best sound in the world. I think of all we have overcame and how easy they made it to be a single mom, one that put her children first. I think of how close we are still and it melts my heart. I love that my kids enjoy being around me even when they don’t have to.

They are my world and my sole purpose. On my worst day if I’m feeling down or insecure, I look at my kids and how amazing they are and remind myself “if I created them and helped shape them into these beautiful people, I’m fucking amazing too”.

We just call him Ryan

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I love this picture. This is me and my son at Christmas 2010. This Christmas marked the change in his life, in our lives. About a month after this picture we finally found out what was really wrong with him. He has Epilepsy. But at the time we took this picture we didn’t know that yet. We were told my son was genetically defected and diagnosed with every mental disorder. ADHD(attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), ODD (oppositional defiant disorder), GAD (generalized anxiety disorder), PTSD(post traumatic stress disorder), depression, mood disorder and even bipolar disorder. All by the time he was 8 years old. He was on just about every type of psych med with 9 prescriptions. About a month before this Christmas photo was taken I was fed up and finally stood up to the doctors. I educated myself about any and every thing the doctors labeled him with, the medications and the side effects. I obsessed over it. I was fed up with them just throwing on another pill when his side effects got worse. I was fed up of him getting worse instead of better. I was fed up of believing those doctors and giving them all the power to do whatever to my son. If he was bipolar I was ready to accept that but damn it I was fed up with all their damn guesses. 9 prescription pills my son took each day and I was angry at myself for allowing the doctors to let it get to that point. After three attempts at partial hospitalization, we admitted him into the hospital. At eight years old my son was placed into the psychiatric unit in the hospital. He was in the hospital for two weeks and we even celebrated his 9th birthday there.

I look at this picture and realize there was a before and after. Before the diagnoses and after. I think back of all that has happened and there was one night that literally saved us both.

My son had been released from the hospital and home for the first time in years without any medication. What was scary was we found out he really had Epilepsy but the hospital couldn’t get a pediatric neurologist to see my son. So after my constant badgering and bitching the doctor finally agreed to release him and gave me a list of appointments I needed to make. To get in with a neurologist was a 3 month wait. But I didn’t care, I was so excited to bring him home!!

He started reading. He just sat in his room reading!! Now that’s just crazy talk…nope it’s true. I remember him telling me before he would look at the pages and it just looked like alphabet soup. But now when he looked at the pages the words came alive because he could read them. I think all those meds really messed with him but they also numbed the pain of our past for him. See three years before this we had moved from our home, the only one my kids knew and started all over leaving the past behind. The past being my son’s father who was abusive in many ways and we finally got away.

Fast forward. Extensive neuro psych testing found the rest of the pieces. No depression. No bipolar. He has Epilepsy, ADHD, non-verbal learning disorder(think high functioning aspergers/autism), and sensory processing disorder. But we just call him Ryan.

Now Ryan is almost 16. He’s a sophomore in a regular high school with an IEP (individualized education plan). This year will likely be his last year needing the social skills class which will allow him to take an elective class like photography. Next semester he’s signed up for ROTC. He wants to be a police officer and help people. He has a girl friend and loves who he is. He is thoughtful and caring. Funny and still obnoxious. He is a great kid and I am in awe of who he has become. Somehow this amazing kid with a shocking past is beating the odds and this mom couldn’t be prouder.

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Visions of my life

As a little girl and even as a teen, I somehow knew my future. I pictured myself as a single independent woman. Not with a husband who was my best friend or a husband I fought with. I pictured myself with 3 children, two girls and a boy and I even knew I would have my daughters first and my son would be my youngest. I pictured a big white house with a big yard and a couple dogs, small children running in the grass. Since I bought this house 5 years ago I’ve tried to figure out who those small children are. 
Along the way I tried to prove my vision wrong. Falling for a couple guys I told myself it was possible my vision was wrong. Each and every time I was left alone regretting ever thinking they could be the one to prove myself wrong. 

The first one blessed me with my twin girls and the realization that I could only count on myself. He taught me that I was much stronger than I ever could have imagined. I was quickly pushed into single motherhood at just 19 with two beautiful babies on welfare. I was sure I was doing everything wrong but devoted to doing my best. I think back and am amazed at myself. I honestly don’t think I would have fought so hard to become who I am if not for those little sets of eyes that melted my heart. I was sure I could never love anyone or anything as much as those girls. They stole everyone’s hearts and made every kid jealous wishing they could be them. I wanted to make those girls proud and give them a good life full of happiness and love. They gave me purpose.

The next guy took me from myself for a long time but in the end he taught me all about the strength of a mother’s love and forgiving myself. Along came my son, this amazing little boy who I was sure I couldn’t love, but he became the light of our world. Those girls were instantly in love with him and his little hands and tiny toes. He had this beautiful smile and he glowed when he saw me or his sisters. As much as he wanted to love his father, he knew he was not a good man. My son feared his father because of the abuse he witnessed. When that man was done with everything he put us through, it would have been easier for me to down a bottle of pills to escape the reality of what I allowed, and not one person would have blamed me. He put us through a living hell. But those beautiful kids that god blessed me with, I owed it to them to fight. To keep going even when I was sure I couldn’t do it. A mother’s love is the strongest thing in this world. And I had to try my best, even if it wasn’t good enough and even if I fucked up along the way, I could not leave them. And although I still struggle with forgiving myself, I do believe my children forgave me a long time ago.

After that I spent nearly 10 years focused on my kids and myself before dating and getting in another serious relationship. That one taught me how big my heart is and to accept my vision. As much hurt and disappointment I’ve lived through, I still have a great big heart ready to love. I still want to believe in the good in people, even when they don’t have good intentions and my instincts warn me. I want to believe my doubts are wrong. Stupid maybe, but maybe it’s also my big heart and that’s not a bad thing.

In my vision I wasn’t alone and miserable. In fact the sun was shining and I’m laughing. I’m filled with warmth from my life, I felt surrounded by peace and happiness. I knew I lived a comfortable life, not fancy but stable and strong. I knew that I had survived a storm, but I felt the calm of where my life was. I felt love, love for myself and for the journey to get me there. 

Life is good



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