Tag Archives: vulnerable

Living Free {An Authentic Life}

4 Jul

We desire human connection. In order to have a genuine connection with someone else, we have to be authentic. We have to be real. Which in turn means, we have to be vulnerable.

{If you haven’t watched this TED talk: The Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown, you must. It’s amazing. It’s everything I’ve learned this last year all in one little 20 minute video.}

Now I’m not saying you have to go start a blog and spill your heart out to the world (what kind of crazy person does that?…um, don’t answer that).

It takes baby steps. It takes choices. And it starts with one person.

You.

You have to decide to be honest with yourself. Do not to shove those feelings of hurt, loneliness, hardship under the rug anymore.

You must decide to acknowledge them. Do not dismiss them as weakness or a lack of faith.

Don’t ignore them anymore.

I believe when we can admit to ourselves the truth,  a burden is lifted off our shoulders. It frees us up. And when you can share it with a trusting friend (or counselor), your burden will only get lighter, and you will have the comfort of knowing you are not walking through this messy life alone.

I believe it is then, and only then that you will be on your way to living a more real, authentic life…

the life you were created to live.

The other day I was telling Hayden that even though it is still unnerving when friends and family tell me they have read this blog, there is a freedom in it too.

I don’t have to hide anymore. I don’t have to pretend I’m something I’m not.

I think the wise words of Kramer sum it up best.

“I’m out there, Jerry, an’ I’m lllovin’ every minute of it!!!

…I’m free, an’ unfettered….”

Yes! and amen.

Hope you have an awesome day celebrating our freedom!

Happy 4th my friends!

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I Lost My Big Girl Panties

25 Jun

Friday should have been a happy day.

Hayden walked out of the hospital for the last time.

He finished his three year fellowship. Ten years of training under his belt. We only have one more year to go until  all of his training is complete.

I should have been excited. For him. For us.

But I wasn’t.

I was filled with anger, bitterness, and resentment.

I was sad.

The reality that he would be leaving July 1st to work three hours away, finally hit. Hard.

In years past, when I faced challenging situations, rotations, or circumstances regarding his career, I brushed my fears aside, put on my big girl panties, convinced myself I could do it, and plowed through. And it worked…

…until last year.

After crashing and burning, I seem to have lost my big girl panties.

Some people will tell me I have every right to feel angry and bitter and will validate my feelings. Maybe that’s true. Maybe it’s OK to acknowledge those emotions.

But I don’t want to live there.

I don’t want to stay angry, resentful, bitter.

I have seen other wives go through this process and live in those places. I always told myself I never wanted to do that. But here I was last Friday ready to take up residence in that very lonely place.

Blaming him was a way to justify my angst. But that was a lie. He didn’t do this to me. It’s a decision we made together. It was the best one for our family. I do still believe that. For better or for worse, right? Right.

The funny thing is, after talking crying to my friend about it, I don’t think I really want my big girl panties anymore. I don’t know if I need them.  As long as I have an ear to listen, some arms to hug me, and a few understanding and encouraging words, I think I’m good to go.

Well, for now at least.

***

{After Thought}  

Please check back with me in a few weeks. I may need you to buy me a new pair by then! You can get them here. Ooh, or this would work too. Size Medium. Thanks!

Topless {Nobody Wants To Be First}

15 Jun

To be completely honest, I don’t like it when people tell me they read my blog. I cringe…it freaks me out. For reals. I like to pretend that I am just sitting all alone, late at night, writing my woes and random thoughts all to myself . I don’t want to acknowledge the fact that Susie Q now knows I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety, that I am insecure and quit Facebook because I was jealous of other people (gasp!), that I hide in closets or bathrooms when my kids are driving me crazy (whatever…you do that too).

So why do I do it?

I don’t think I had a real purpose in mind when I started… other than to be myself…and not just the put together parts of me…all of me, the flawed stuff too (at the time, I had no idea how difficult that would really be!).  All I knew was there was enough nonsense in my head to fill a few pages, so I got brave and signed up.

Well, it’s becoming a little more clear why I will continue to write in this little space….

We are all walking around in our daily routines, most likely putting on a smile and going about our business. We say “Hi, how ya doin?” We respond, “Good, and you?”

But is that really how we feel? For some, it truly might be the honest answer. But for many that is just the front we put on.

Nobody wants to be the first to say:

Life is really hard right now…My marriage is not in a good place…I’m really lonely…I’m struggling with an eating disorder…I’m struggling with an addiction…I think I’m depressed…I’m consumed with guilt…I feel like a failure…I’m questioning my faith…I’m barely surviving….

There are several people close to me going through some of this junk. And it stinks. Royally.

But with a few of them, I wouldn’t have known about it had they not read some of the stuff on here, and emailed or called to share with me.

I want people to know they are not alone.

You are not alone in your struggles, in your pain.

I may not have some magic advice to make all the yuck go away, but what I can say is

I know.

I know struggles…I know what failure feels like…I know loneliness…

I know…I’ve been there too and you are not alone in this…

It’s so cliche to say “everything happens for a reason,” but it is so very true. I would not be able to say those things if the last 18 months hadn’t happened, or really, the last 10 years. I have a story to tell…my story. I will write, even if it’s for an audience of one…I know there is someone who needed to read this…and this is for you.

I will be the first to take off the happy mask and share my hardships, my weakness, my joys, and my laughter. I will open up and share my soul with you, fully honest, fully surrendered.

And don’t worry, it won’t always be so serious on here. If you know me, you know I can’t do serious too long.

In one of the emails I recently received, from a friend who opened up and shared her heart, she wrote this:

“…you and I have never really done “naked” before together, but after reading your latest blog I really wanted to connect to the person that wrote that post!”

Oh honey, that wasn’t me naked, that was just me topless…I’ll get naked real soon!

…just you stay tuned…

Facebook Fasting {update}

12 Jun

So far it’s been 4 days since I posted about my Facebook free summer. I’ll be honest, it hasn’t been easy. And to be completely honest…I have cheated…a little. Because I’ve been tagged in pictures & comments, the notice appears in my email… so of course (duh!) I click to see what it was . And because I am so weak, I then peek a little more to see the news feed. But just a little. This is so ridiculous. Seriously. {Note to self: must work on self control.}

But, I have realized that it’s not just about Facebook. It’s about most everything online. Pinterest and blogs are just as distracting to me and can cause all those feelings I mentioned before. Thank goodness, I’m not on Twitter, that could be a disaster. My eyes capture images, stories, successes, opportunities, activities, vacations, creations…I feel like the world is moving on without me…to bigger and better things. Bigger and better than what? I’m not sure. But better than where I am, I’m guessing.

**

I’ve been journaling daily about how this process is going,  my weaknesses, my frustrations, what I am learning, my feelings, thoughts. Geez, you would think I’m an addict or something. Ha! Maybe I am…and this is my detox. An addict to an empty virtual life, or really addict to an online stalker life…peeking into other people’s lives, or at least what they let me see of it. Yeah, that does sound kinda creepy.

The first few days I was excited, determined to live in real life. Be present. I was on a mission to figure out what I am supposed to do with my life. I wanted to plan out what my future will look like. My mind was consumed with this thought. What am I supposed to do? I had ideas, but nothing was making sense in my head. None of them seemed right. I was getting anxious. I thought I needed to figure this out  asap. Not sure why it felt so urgent, but I was determined to find my answer.

On Sunday afternoon I tried to share this with my husband. I wanted to bounce ideas off of him, get his opinion. Maybe I just wanted him to tell me the answer. I’m not sure what I said, but it didn’t come out the way I wanted it to…it never does. I was on the verge of tears and I didn’t want to be a crying mess so I didn’t completely share my heart. I think that was OK. No, I know it was OK. We ended up talking about some other things that made me reflect on where I have been and where I am now. Even just a year ago, I was in such a different place. Eventually, the kids came in and needed daddy for something, so I crawled into my bed, pulled the sheets over my head, and tried to just cry it all out. I thought maybe I just was backed up with tears and they needed to get out. I tried. It didn’t work. Then…

Surrender.

The word popped up in my fuzzy head through the emotions and tears. Surrender…oh yeah. I forgot about that. My word this year. Let go…hands up…white flag waving…surrender.

I picked up my e-reader, and opened up my Jesus Calling book.  {Yeah, watch out, I may go all spiritual/religious-y on you 😉 }

I turned to the page titled June 10 and read:

Rest in me, my child. Give your mind a break from planning and trying to anticipate what will happen. Remember you are on a journey with me. When you try to peer into the future and plan for every possibility, you ignore your constant Companion who sustains you moment by moment. 

Ahhhh….

It’s crazy how that happens…it was exactly what I needed to hear.

Surrender…

Let go…so you can rest….

It ended with this verse:

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.”  Psalm 62:5

And I will leave you with that because I can hear my little guy waking up from his nap…crying (oh joy!). Oh, and on the way to his room, I might stop in the bathroom to throw up, because that is how I feel right before, during, and after I hit the “publish” button on a post like this…because doesn’t everyone just love being wholly and completely vulnerable? Yeah, me neither.

xoxo

Amber

me being vulnerable. yuck.

8 Apr

I wrote this a week or so ago, but was too chicken to post it. This is not something that I have shared with many people. I don’t know who will read it and it freaks me out thinking about that. You may be a family member or close friend and not have known any of this was going on because I tried to put on a happy face and pretend like everything was ok. Or maybe you did know something was up (cause I am not that great at pretending) but didn’t say anything. Either way, no more hiding. I’m tired of pretending. It’s exhausting.

This is me. For reals.

***

I haven’t blogged as consistently as I had hoped. Life seems to get in the way. Kids, school, baseball practice, piano, husband, dog. You know, those kinds of things.

Well, actually, I wish i could blame it on all of that. But really, it’s because of something else.

Remember how in my very first post I said something like; i want to be real on this blog, be authentic, and all that crap? Well, that was a stupid thing for me to say. Because that is hard to do. Because if I really want to be authentic &  real, then I have to be vulnerable.

And that is just plain scary.

It may not be scary if you and I were sitting over a cup of coffee having a heart to heart and you would promise me that this conversation wouldn’t leave our little table. But it’s a little scary writing it out for all the world to see. Not that all the world sees it, but still. You know what I mean. Putting myself out there. Telling you about my flaws. How I’m not perfect. How I don’t have it all together all the time. Or at all.

And I feel like I have to share this in order to move forward, because it’s a part of me. Part of my story. It’s why I am where I am today. Which is a really good place to be, usually. And I have also learned that when you share, there is someone else out there that can understand what you are saying. There is someone who may need to hear it too. So they know they are not alone.

And I’m not talking about the huge pile of laundry to wash and fold, or a pile of dishes in the sink, or a kitchen floor that needs to be swept, or a minivan that has goldfish and chicken nuggets hidden in the back seat.  No. Not that stuff.

Other stuff.

Stuff like anxiety. And other stuff like depression.

You may shrug this off and think, That’s no big deal.  I get anxious about things too, or Well yeah, some days I’m in a  funk & feel depressed too.

But it’s not that kind of  anxiety and depression. It’s the kind that can consume you, paralyze you.

It consumed me. It paralyzed me. For a long time.

For years I felt lost in a fog. I was going through the motions, but not ever really there. Not ever really listening.  It became my normal. It caused hurt, pain, sadness, frustration, anger. But it didn’t just affect (or is it effect? I never know) me, but those close to me too. I kept asking myself, What is wrong with me? What happened to me? Why can’t I get myself out of this funk? And as many times I asked, I was at a loss. I couldn’t figure it out.

I felt so trapped. I felt like a failure.

And the stinky thing about depression is that it’s not something that you can talk yourself out of or will yourself out of. “Get it together!” and “snap out of it!” kind of stuff does not work. You can’t wish it away or exercise it away. It’s there and it’s real.

A little over a year ago, things were getting a lot worse. I was so desperate, I wanted to go check myself into a hospital. But I didn’t. I should have. Because a few weeks later I crashed and burned. And it wasn’t pretty.

I knew then that I needed to get help. I knew my kids deserved better.

Last year i spent a good chunk of time {and money} in counseling/therapy. I got medicine that would help me. I learned a lot. I found me again.

And things have been good. Our little family is doing well. I’m doing well {for the most part}.

But lately, I can feel it slowly creeping back in. And that scares me more than anything. I can tell that I have retreated. I feel it in the mornings when getting out of bed is so hard (and not the normal “I am tired”). I can tell by my reactions to my kids, my husband, my mom. And because of all of that, I just haven’t been able to write anything on here. If I would have posted some happy pictures or wrote something cute or funny, it wouldn’t be real. And honestly, I have been feeling so low, that I didn’t even want to pretend.

Well, now you know. Not a lot of details, but the general idea, right? I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about it.

So there. That is why. Why you haven’t seen me lately. But now it’s out there …. and I’m feeling better already.

thanks for taking the time to listen.

amber