Wednesday, February 1, 2017

That's It! We're Going BAAAAACK On The Grid!

I took a full month off of social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. 

The first week, I was like “This is amazing! I’m never going back online!”

The second week, I was like “Man, I sure do miss posting all these awesome pictures of my food though.”

The third week, I was like “I’m so liberated! I’m deleting all of my profiles!!”

The fourth week, I was like “Hmm... I wonder how (insert multiple names)’s baby is doing. I sure do miss that cutie face.”

It's February 1st. My self imposed social media ban is officially over. 

I’ve seen my therapist twice this past month. The first time, I basically just cried the entire 45 minutes. But I did feel better. The second time I saw her, we talked a bit about me being off of social media. She thought, based on how upset things were making me, my choice was a good one. 

However, while I was quite convinced for a while there that I was never coming back to Facebook and never going to blog again, I realized that there would be things I would miss out on. So over the last few days, I’ve been thinking about making important changes online that I know will make my online experience more enjoyable. 

Most importantly, I have to substantially narrow down my friends list. The political climate has made people literally hate each other. And unfortunately, I am not exempt from feeling this way. Not that I think I really hate anyone on my friends list. But I do realize that I am friends with some pretty close minded people. So, those ones are the first to go. 

I’m also friends with some very passionate people. I can totally appreciate this. I’m quite passionate about a lot of things as well. But if I’ve learned one thing about social media, it’s that no one in the history of the Internet has ever changed someone else’s opinion about something with a rant, a meme, a link, etc. No, I will not say “Amen”. No, I will not take a moment to share this to my wall. No I will not tag a bunch of people that I believe may benefit from my particular opinion on a subject. Please stop wasting my time. 

I cannot be saved. I will never buy your product. I do not support your home business. I think you are wrong. Plain and simple. 

Those are the second ones to go. 

Then there are my friends that share my opinions. They also believe Trump is a clown. They also believe God doesn’t exist. They also believe women are strong and equal, or perhaps even better, than men. They stand for LGTBQ rights. They are appalled by all sorts of shaming. They want to raise their children in a better world than the one we are in. They are very, very outspoken about it. Even more than me. I read their posts and links and get worked up, angry, aggressively frustrated. I feel helpless, or worse, that I could be doing more and I’m not. I cry when I see the pictures they post of Syrian refugees or angry Trump protesters. I get mad when I read the latest article they’ve posted about the access pipeline or whatever other outrageous Executive Order was signed today. I am heartbroken when I read about sick babies that won’t get help because prayer is the chosen method of care. 

I am so, so tired of being mad. And depressed about the state we are in. I don't need constant, vivid reminders of this misery. 

So sadly, these are the third and final ones to go. 

Fake news. Slated opinions. Ignorance. Hate. Trolls. Bloody babies. Dead bodies. Trump's stupid fucking face. These are not the reasons I wanted to be a part of social media. 

Family. Food. Social events. Cat videos. Babies. Game of Thrones memes. Selfies. Books. Smiles. Relationship statuses. Football. Accomplishments. Success stories. And friends I don’t get to see regularly. These are the reasons I signed up for social media. And these are the things I want to see when I scroll down. 

One of my favorite podcasts is The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz on ESPN radio. Earlier this week, he was discussing his frustration with how ESPN wants their "employees" to touch on how the current political issues are affecting sports. It's clear without him really saying it that he leans left, loves equality among HUMANS and believes what's happening right now is seriously UN-AMERICAN. And what he said was... when people write to the show and ask him why he "wants to drive away listeners" with his opinions, his beautiful and perfect response is "I don't want to drive away listeners, I just want to drive away you! It's not everybody. Like, there are two kinds of people in the world: people who like our show and people who don't! That's it! We do what we do!"

We do what we do. But we don't all have to like it. Don’t take it personally. I probably still like you. I just don’t want to see or listen to your shit anymore. I’m sure there are many of you out there that feel the same about me. It’s okay. I won’t take it personally either. I mean, I have to change a lot of stuff about what I’m posting too as I have fallen into the above categories many, MANY times. No one has pissed me off more than myself. Believe me. 

But this. This is the stuff I want to post. This is what really matters in my life. Everything else will just have to sort itself out without me. 


However, quit blogging? Ha.. what was I thinking?

Friday, December 30, 2016

Fuck You, 2016.

Three years ago I peed myself on Christmas. 

I sat at a bar, gambling all the money I’d made that night, and peed myself. Because I was both too drunk and too lazy to get up and go to the bathroom. 

Peed. Myself. 

These days, I have a glass of wine whilst I watch my latest Netflix addiction. This is, of course, after I’ve spent an hour or so with my son after work. Doing puzzles. Playing on the floor. Maybe just watching him run and laugh around his playroom. And after another half hour or so of putting him to bed. Making sure he’s comfortable. Being sure that he goes to sleep content and without distress. Even if that means pretending to sleep on the floor next to him, with my hand stuck through the bars of the crib, gently rubbing his back as he falls slowly into slumber. 

Then, only then, do I have a glass of wine. One. Maybe two if I splurge on a second or third episode. I don’t get drunk anymore. That’s not responsible. That doesn’t fit with my lifestyle. That doesn’t fit with who I want to be for my son. That’s not who I am anymore. 

I drink wine in my room. That’s where I watch my shows. My parents barely drink. Special occasions only. And they don’t drink wine. There’s no need to keep it downstairs. It’s a long trip when I’m already knee deep in the craziest Black Mirror yet. So it’s in my room. 

Johnny watched Xander in my house. While I was at work. He strangely felt the need to go into my bedroom. He saw the wine. He strangely felt the need to report it to my brother. My brother, who is already looking for a reason to prove he’s doing better than me. At life. At parenthood. At addiction. Whatever. He used it against me. He made me hate him. He made me hate everything. 

They say I’m a secret drunk. Lying to myself and others. Accusing me of drunk texting when I’m actually very sober, just super angry. Saying I'm hiding my alcohol it when it’s simply convenient in its current location. Ducking behind my blog because I’m a coward when really, it’s because no one lets me say what I’m feeling. Everyone else, always having to have the loudest voice. My brother's ultimate addiction... the LOUDEST FUCKING VOICE. 

About a month ago, before all this mess, I got up from my bed one night... I went into my medicine cabinet and grabbed a bottle of Percocets I had left over from my C-Section. I counted them. 10 total. I went back to bed and googled how many Percocets it would take to die. After fairly thorough research, I concluded that 10 would probably only land me in the hospital. Maybe just give me a terrible, terrible hangover. It would certainly just look like I was simply crying out for help. And that just wouldn’t do.

So I slept on it. 

I woke up the next morning with a clearer head. After inquiring, I discovered my recently increased life insurance policy probably wouldn’t kick in for Xander for another year of me being alive. If I did kill myself, he would immediately go to his dad, not stay in the stable, comfortable environment I had sacrificed everything to create for him. Not to mention, I am 50% of my household. I couldn’t just leave without making sure I had things covered financially. 

Then, I woke up again. 

Am I really thinking about the LOGISTICS of suicide? 

That’s when I decided that I needed help. More than drugs. More than alcohol. More than a blog. I needed someone to fucking LISTEN TO ME. Without judgement. Without bias. Without laughing at me when my back is turned. Just. Fucking. LISTEN. 



So I start seeing a therapist next week. And as of January 1st, I’m laying off social media for a month to clear my head and take my eyes off my phone. Alcohol is simply being saved for cheat days and special occasions because contrary to other opinions, my alcohol consumption is now UNDER FUCKING CONTROL. And as far as the blog I’m “hiding behind” ? There is enough truth in that statement to lay off it as well. 

So big deal, you won’t hear from me for a while. I’m finding myself, okay? Or at least I’m trying to be the best person I can be for my son and being angry at so many motherfuckers at one time just doesn’t help my cause. And killing myself is CERTAINLY a waste of time if my baby suffers in any way because of it. 

This is arguably my most fucked up resolution blog yet. But it’s still that... a resolution blog. I want to be a better person. I want to be happy again. Like... REAL happy.. not social media happy. I want my son to look up to me, not be ashamed of me. I want to be proud of who I am. I want those around me who are looking for reasons to point and laugh to GO FUCK THEMSELVES. Family is not blood. Family is who cares. 

I want to feel good about myself again. I want to wash my face at night and smile when I towel it dry, not look away from the mirror in shame and self-pity. 

I want to flush the Percocets.

It needs to be a better year. For me, for you, for all of us. Do me one small favor? Don’t laugh the next time someone does something you find strange or even silly. You’ve read the meme... everyone is fighting their own battle. So be kind. BE. KIND.  

Don’t be one of the reasons they lost the battle. 

Happy Fucking New Year.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

I'm Not Mad... I'm Just Disappointed.

Wasn’t that just the worst? When you were young and you got in trouble for something. Your parents sat you down and you were waiting for it... the yelling, the screaming, the punishment. But then, with tears in their eyes, they simply say “We aren’t mad at you. We are just disappointed.” 

That’s what I’m going through right now. I’m just disappointed. 

On a global level, I’m absolutely disappointed that our new President is going to be Donald Trump. I’m disappointed that I have loved ones that voted for him. I’m disappointed that the popular vote was even as close as it was. I’m disappointed that so many people didn’t even vote. I’m disappointed in the system. 

I’m disappointed that the same people who thought their lives were ending eight years ago are now telling me not to worry. As if their feelings of oppression meant more than mine do. I’m disappointed that so many women I know celebrate his victory. It brings me to tears to think about it. 

On a more personal level, I’m disappointed in people. I’m disappointed that my feelings aren’t taken into consideration. Like, ever. By anyone. I’m disappointed that someone I crushed on loved the attention so much, they failed to mention their pregnant wife in our many interactions. I’m disappointed that the sex I do get on occasion is from someone acting out their frustrations with their own fucked up ex. I’m disappointed that I have to beg for shifts at a job I’ve been at for five years. I’m disappointed that I have to beg for a hundred dollars a month from Xander’s dad to cover his expenses. I’m disappointed that I even need it. 

I’m disappointed that I could be actively involved in my brother’s life or not involved at all and he wouldn’t care. Not one fucking bit. In fact, he wouldn’t even notice either way. I’m disappointed that I’m too proud to make nice with his selfish wife so that we can try to enjoy the holidays with the whole family. I’m disappointed in the way our family talks to each other. As if we are expendable. As if we could easily be replaced if necessary. 

And on the most personal level, I’m disappointed with myself. I’m disappointed that I don’t let things go. I’m disappointed that I can’t just accept that some people are having a bad day, so it’s okay for them to treat me like I’m insignificant. I’m disappointed that I have also treated others poorly because of my own stress and issues. I’m disappointed that I’m expected to just take shit from people because “that’s life” and that standing by my convictions is interpreted as me being stubborn and relentless. And that I should take both of those words as insults. I’m disappointed that the only time people really notice me is when I spout something controversial on social media. I’m disappointed that I’m forgettable. 

It’s just been... a very difficult week. Even if he doesn’t manage to nuke another country, force all women to wear bikinis to work or reinstate slavery and concentration camps, just the fact that we elected a reality TV star to the highest office in the country just proves how backwards we are as a society. I know it’s not the end of the world and I’m really not mad at the situation we currently find ourselves in. 

I’m just... disappointed.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Just Keep Swimming...

I sucked at life last week. 

Truthfully, I had been setting myself up to have a bad week for a while now. For the last month or so, I’ve been progressively making decisions that weren’t... shall we say... goal-oriented. I’ve just been doing some stupid shit. And I feel pretty crappy about it. 

I’ve been focusing my sexual energy on men who are emotionally detached or unavailable. Or both. So now I’m lonely. I’ve been focusing my financial energy on those damn little keno balls. So now I’m broke. And I’ve been focusing my physical energy on stretching my days as long as possible but not taking the time to nourish my body or my mind. So now I’m sick. 

I can recover from all these things. I’ve done it before. It just takes grounding myself again. And nothing like a good old case of Shingles to ground yourself. 

I mean, seriously? Shingles? 

As frustrating as it’s been to deal with, it’s really not all that surprising that I got it. I mean, Shingles is basically a physical manifestation of stress. And while I don’t always feel like my life is stressful, when I take a step back and look at everything I’m juggling and how I choose to handle all of it, it totally makes sense. 

I finally had a little breakdown this past weekend. My son is going through a less than desirable whiney stage and we had spent a long and challenging morning together. My parents had been out doing their usual Saturday morning routine and when they got home, I left him with my mom for a minute, went upstairs, sat on my bed and cried tears of exhaustion and frustration. I really felt like I hadn’t nailed the whole mom-thing that day. Or the last few days, really. I felt bad that I was so irritated by his crying. I just really, really needed a break. 

It’s times like these that I am so grateful that I’m not completely alone in raising my son and that my parents are there to help pick me up. I can’t imagine how difficult it is for all those women (and men) out there who are truly doing it all by themselves. Because parenting is hard. Like, really hard. 

Anyway, crying it out helped. And going to work that night helped too. I worked a shift alongside one of my closest friends and talked it all out. I felt better about myself and knew that not only was it time for an energy shift, but I knew I could do it. 

Sunday I relaxed. I watched football. I hung out with my dad. Johnny came and took Xander for a few hours so I napped (for the love of everything good..I fucking napped). I hung out with my mom. I ate good food. I drank some tea. I watched Westworld. 

I recharged. Both my brain and my body. 

So today, I woke up ready to mom the SHIT out of this day. I got up early and cleaned my room and the nursery. I did a bunch of laundry. I made food for Xander. I took him for a walk around the park. I helped my mom with our Halloween decorations for the house. Then I went to work and rocked out a banquet. And after I post this, I’m going to go to bed instead of staying up too late watching Netflix. 

You know, grown up shit. 

It’s very easy to get lost in my head. Instead of being thankful for all the things I have, I start to get frustrated with the things I don’t like about my life. I start to worry about things that haven’t even happened yet. And I start to feel resentful that others have it easier than me. But that’s no way to live. I have to remember that I can’t count on others to ensure my happiness. Only I can control how I handle life’s little challenges. 

So, back at it. Falling down, breaking down, being down... all of these things are normal. As long as I’m not staying down, I’m winning. 

I was finishing up the banquet paperwork tonight at work when, out of nowhere, one of the bussers that was cleaning a table near me looked up and said, “Tina, I wish there were more women like you in the world.” I looked back at him, but he had already started walking back to the kitchen. And once again, I started to cry. 

But those tears... those are the kind of tears I’m okay with.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Celebrating My Soulmate

My sweet boy is one tomorrow. 

Everyone asks me, “It went by so quickly, didn’t it?” And while the answer is yes, I also feel like so much has happened in his first year of life. I’m actually relieved we made it to this milestone mostly unscathed. 

I was talking about my hospital stay with a friend of mine the other day. It was awesome. I delivered at Mountainview Hospital. It wasn’t a busy birthing time and I was lucky enough to get the largest suite on the floor. The room even lived up to the hospital’s namesake and I enjoyed beautiful views of the mountains off in the distance. Because I ended up having an emergency c-section, I got to stay one more day than originally planned. My mom kept saying how it will be so nice once I was able to go home but I was in no hurry. Not only was every nurse that came into my room nicer than the one before (and the first one was amazing!), but it was pretty wonderful being waited on hand and foot for three days. Yes, there was a tiny human sharing a room with me and scaring me to death throughout the process, but my mom was with me almost the entire time and when she wasn’t there, I had Johnny to be frightened with. 

But the best time of all was my final night. My mom had gone home to get some sleep and Johnny was at work. The television was on in my dark room but only to provide a soothing dim light and hum while Xander and I nursed and spent some quiet time together. Of course I had no idea at that time the tumultuous year we had ahead with Johnny and I breaking up, me giving up my lifestyle of drinking and smoking and ultimately moving in with my parents, the tears, the struggles, the stress and the fights. In that moment, I remember just looking down at his little face and thinking, “Okay. Now it’s you. Now it’s all about you.” 

So last week after my brother, who stormed out of my son’s birthday party because I politely asked him to control his misbehaving son, sent me a text calling me spoiled and encouraged me to start putting my son before myself, I felt heartbroken. Spoiled? Really? And putting myself first? That’s actually almost laughable... but I didn’t laugh. 

Call me narcissistic, sure. A loudmouth? Absolutely. Self-righteous? That goes without saying. But how could anyone who has spent ANY time with me in the last year imply that my first thought when making any and ALL decisions hasn’t been what is best for my son. 

I liked drinking. I liked smoking. Cigarettes AND weed. I liked staying out all night. I liked having no one to answer to. I liked living independently. I liked my life. It may have been slowly killing me, but I didn’t care. I LIKED IT. And if I hadn’t gotten pregnant, I can guarantee you, I wouldn’t have changed anything about the way I was living. 

THAT was being spoiled. THAT was putting myself before anything and everyone else. I may get into Mama Bear mode now and then these days, but I was a straight up asshole before my son was born. And I didn’t give ANY fucks about it. 

So, yeah, it sucked to hear my brother thinks that about me now. It either shows that I have a long way to go to be the kind of mother I want to be... or that he doesn’t know me at all. 

Even though I stopped nursing Xander at nine months, I still hold him while he has his last bottle of the day. We sit together on the chair in his nursery, in the dark, with nothing but the white noise from the fan to soothe us. It always reminds me of that night in the hospital, our first time alone together. I like to think that he remembers it too. 

We have lots of love and support in our lives and for that, we are extremely lucky. But there is also something special that he and I have. A “Me and Xander Against the World” kind of feeling. I hope he always knows my intentions and that my new life is being truly, deeply and 100% committed to his. 

Happy 1st birthday, beautiful boy. This is not the first time I’ve said it and it will most certainly not be the last...

Thank you for saving my life.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

A Recipe of Mixed Emotions Bakes a Random Cake

“Nobody talks anymore. And so we’ve all become a bunch of unopened love letters.” 

- Erin Van Vuren

Via text: 

“I’m not sure when it happened, but it was fairly recent... I found myself thinking about you. More so than just wondering how you were doing or thinking of something funny to text you. You were just there, on my mind, day in and day out and I couldn’t shake it. I know it’s not appropriate for many reasons and I would never act on anything because of both your personal relationship and our [friendship]. I respect both very much. And honestly, I kind of wish I’d stop thinking about you because it DOES prevent me from pursuing other options. So I just wait for this all to pass, but not knowing how that works exactly.”

That’s the closest to a love letter I’ve written in a very long time. I wasn't sure I should’ve written it at all, let alone actually SEND it. But I did both. 

It’s been so long since I’ve had a genuine “crush” on someone. Something beyond just a sexual attraction. This is the kind where you get excited to see the other person. You wonder what is going on in their lives and what made them laugh that day. You seek opportunities to cross paths and start conversations just to have some sort of interaction. You wait until they aren’t home and take a bath in their bathtub..

Oh wait.. not that last part. That was from Orange is the New Black.. 

Everything else though. And it’s nice to feel that way. I have been so wrapped up in my own bullshit for so many years that I never really took the time to have a true, real crush on another person. And while, in this particular case, it will never become more than that, I’m still enjoying feeling the butterflies, fleeting as they may be. Good, well-intentioned crushes are good for the soul, I think. 

* * *

Fifteen years ago today, people said their last words to thousands of loved ones without knowing it. It never gets easier when this day comes. Whether it's the specials on television, the touching statuses and pictures on social media or just the memories of where I was that day, it’s always difficult. Because it’s not just the act itself that was so destructive. The aftermath of sadness, frustration, hate and retaliation has been absolutely heartbreaking. We were united as a country for such a short period of time. Now, racism and social injustice are more rampant than ever. A country divided, that’s what we are. And I don’t know how we are going to fix it. 

Mother Theresa said that if you want to change the world, go home and love your family. Sadly, it doesn’t mean that bad things aren’t going to happen. But I need the people most important to me to know the difference they make in my life. I need my parents to know how much I love and respect them. I need my brother to know that I understand how hard life can be. I need my son to know that every decision I’ve made since finding out he was going to be mine has been with only his best interests at heart. 

And I need my crush to know that he’s... well... my crush. Because everyone deserves to feel good about who they are to someone else. Even if it never has a chance to go any further than that. 

I hold so much negativity about choices I’ve made in my life. I get frustrated when I think about all the people I let in that I shouldn’t have and all the other ones that I let walk away without them knowing how much they meant to me. So as I continue working on being the best person I can be, this is another area in which I hope to improve. 

This is not a day to be happy. And even though I plan on spending it with my favorite people (my family) doing my favorite thing (watching football), I still have a heavy heart. The world may never, ever be good again. We may never figure out how to live happily as a society. Our next president may just be the worst and scariest one we’ve had. And Colin Kaepernick may never stand for the National Anthem again... 

But I kissed my son. I hugged my friends. I loved my family. And I sent that text. I feel like Mother Theresa would be proud. 

I know it sounds a bit cliche... but if you are reading this, maybe you will tell someone today what they mean to you. Or just that you are thinking about them. It doesn’t take much but it could mean everything. Not just for their happiness... but for yours as well. Who knows? Maybe you'll choose to reveal your crush too. 

I'd probably go ahead and skip the creepy bath thing though... 

Monday, August 29, 2016

"I am the Master of My Fate; I am the Captain of My Soul.... "

Existentialism - a philosophical theory or approach 
that emphasizes the existence of the individual person as a free 
and responsible agent determining 
their own development through acts of the will. 

Today marks six months of sobriety for me. I decided to do something very important to celebrate. 

I got dressed up and went out by myself. 

I picked a nice location not too far from the house. 

I went inside, grabbed a seat at the bar, held my head up and... 

I ordered a glass of wine.

And then, I drank it. 

Yep, you read that right. After six months of not drinking, I no longer have a “sobriety date.” And it feels amazing and liberating. 

My life is so, so different these days. I never thought I’d be a mom. I never thought I’d be spending my evenings making baby food and washing diapers. I never thought that the few hours I get after my son goes to sleep would be dedicated to a quick workout at the gym or squeezing in an episode or two of whatever TV show I’m currently into. 

And until just very, very recently, I never thought I could have a healthy relationship with alcohol again. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not planning on having another drink anytime soon. I have no desire to nor do I wish to put my body and mind through all of that again. But sitting down tonight and slowly sipping that glass of wine meant a lot to me. 

See, I didn’t fit well with a 12 step program... because even though I was absolutely accepted for not believing in a god, I was still told that I needed to look to a “higher power” for strength. My “higher power” needed to be something outside of myself. Many Atheists considered the group itself to be their source of strength. One man said I could use my son. But while my son was definitely my motivation to quit drinking and straighten up, he didn’t pull the bottle out of my hand. 

I did. I quit drinking. I decided I was better than the person I was being. I chose to remove myself from an unhealthy relationship and create a new life with my parents and son. The choices I made got me into trouble just like they got me right back out of it. I knew I was fucking up and said nope, that’s not the person I want to be. 

I want to be the kind of person who has control of their life. I am not a victim of my circumstances. Nothing has power over me and my own free will. 

I am a strong, competent and intelligent woman. I answer to one person and she looks at me with my eyes every night through my reflection. No one expects more from me than her and no one believes in me more than she does. 

I’ve never felt so comfortable in my own skin. I’ve never been so confident in what I have to offer and the kind of person I can be to my friends, my family and my son. I’ve never felt more important and more worthy of love and respect. 

I did that. 

I asked my mom if it was okay for this to be the last month that we celebrated by using flowers. Of course she understood and was happy, as always, to support me in my decision. I will always keep these flowers as a reminder of who I was and who I've chosen to become. 

I’ll never be done growing. I’ll always learn more and more about who I am and I look forward to the process. My son teaches me every day how important it is to be patient, to be kind, to be stern and to be loving. 

I will make mistakes and I will have regrets. I will never be the person that gets a tattoo saying the opposite. In fact, I regret most of my tattoos... but I will move forward, knowing that the person I am today is because of every choice I’ve ever made. Good or bad, I will always cherish that. 

I imagine there will be some judgment as a result of this blog. It’s cool. I can handle it. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time. I respect that everyone is fighting their own battle and that they may not understand the weapon a person chooses. But at the end of the day, I know I’m winning the war I’ve waged. 

I am not a drunk. I am not defined by a sobriety date. I am not “in recovery”. I do not have a “disease”. I am just a person who doesn’t want to drink. And I’m tired of talking about it.

Thank you, as always, to those who support, those who hate and those who just observe. I learn from all of you and, in my life, knowledge truly is power. 

I am the master of my fate; 

I am the captain of my soul. 

- William E. Henley, Invictus