I’ll Love You For Five Years & Always

I’ll love you for forever.

It’s what we vowed, to choose each other, always.

The hardest part of this process is realizing that our always only lasted five years. For five years, you were the only person I ever wanted. All of my best memories, all of my plans were wrapped up in you.

Five years worth of forever.

I’m still not sure how to wrap my head or my heart around this ending. I am able to let go, knowing that even if others will disagree with me, I have done absolutely everything I could to fight for us — to fight for you. There’s a part of me that’s bitter, broken. Desperately wanting to know what I could have done differently. There will be your list of things of course, things that you’ll say pushed you over the edge. I get that. I know I caused you hurt and I know there were issues with how I handled things. After all, I’m only human.

I’m realizing how much we love differently when we believe it’s forever. I’m realizing how much I enabled and excused the things that happened in our home, holding to my mantra: this is just a season.

It took me a very long time, but I finally realized that circumstances are a season. Choices are not.

I know I’m going to cry every time I hear Ed Sheeran. It’ll take me a while to be able to eat at Cactus again. Starbucks BOGO days will never feel the same. I’ll watch our favorite movies and hear your commentary every time. I know my heart will break fresh every time something new comes up to remind me.

You’ll exist in most of the corners of my life, for five years we did it together.

So I’ll keep loving you, baby, even as I let you go.

I’ll love you for five years & always.

xoxo, B

Reasons I Cried Today

Hi, it’s me, B. Mom, wife, author of this blog, and very, very, very human.

Typically when I sit down to write, it’s because I want to share an exciting moment, a positive experience, or a perspective on an issue at hand.

But sometimes, none of those things come to mind.

Some days, like today, are rough.

I cried a lot today.

I cried because my daughter spilled her water again and I had to help her wipe it up.

I cried because she wouldn’t listen to me at all.

I cried because she screamed for three minutes straight when I put her down for her nap.

I cried because two clients have been on my back about their orders and the post office hasn’t cooperated.

I cried because even after my taking my medicine I still spent 15 minutes trying not to throw up.

I cried because my husband didn’t follow through on things he’s said he would do and I’m stressed about our timeline.

I cried because my husband told me his day was hard but didn’t ask me about mine.

I cried because I haven’t seen my best friends in months and I miss them so. much.

I cried because I have to give Tiny a bath tonight and it’s always a nightmare to wash her hair.

I cried because I want coffee but I’m afraid of throwing it up.

I cried because I just wanted to shop at Marshall’s but Tiny threw a fit so we had to leave.

I cried because when I threw away my plate from dinner, my fork fell outside the garbage and I left it there.

I cried because my house is such a mess and no matter how hard I try to keep it clean, it always falls apart.

I’m crying because I’m struggling with the balance of being a mom, wife, and homemaker and I feel like no one sees how hard I try.

But I know it’s normal, and it’s okay. I can have days when I cry. It doesn’t make me a bad mom, wife, or homemaker to break down sometimes. There’s a taboo among adult women when it comes to talking about our feelings, as though it’s considered childish or needy.

We talk about the reasons our children cry. We talk about the things our husbands struggle with. We make sacrifices without expecting anything back and for some reason, it feels so wrong to ask for support.

Every day in my mom groups, I see these beautiful women ask for advice on raising their children, on supporting their husbands, on being “good” housewives. I get messages almost daily from people who read this blog or ladies who value my advice, asking me what I’d do in different situations when they don’t feel strong enough on their own. Sometimes I think I come across as though I have it all together, even though that’s never been my intention.

So here’s the truth: I don’t have anything together.

One of my absolute favorite quotes is by Augusten Burroughs and says “I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.”

You see, I cry a lot. Over small things and big, important things and not. I try and stumble forward eloquently and fail often.

But I want you to know that I have these days too. The days when you’re not quite sure you’re good enough for the task at hand and the sheer enormity of life seems too much to handle. Sometimes, the most healing thing to do, is to remember all the reasons I cried today and look at each one with the knowledge that this too shall pass.

So if you cried today too, just know that I’m reaching my hand out to hold yours in the atmosphere and you’re in my thoughts tonight and always.

xoxo, B

5 Chronic Pain Symptoms I Wish People Could See

It’s been a long year and a half fighting for a diagnosis. I don’t talk or write a whole ton about my struggles with chronic pain for a few different reasons, but recently I’ve found that talking about what I’m experiencing offers a bit of relief and helps keep the nagging question of my sanity at bay.

Chronic pain can be an isolating condition. It’s hard to socialize when pain and fatigue seem to always be looking around the corner. It’s hard to support your partner and family when you’re fighting to get through the day. It’s hard to explain the debilitating symptoms of what you are dealing with without coming across as whiny.
For others, chronic pain and fatigue are hard to understand because you can’t see what it is that is wrong. For some people, like those who struggle with RA, you can sometimes see evidence in their joints. But for those like me who are facing a fibromyalgia diagnosis, the pain is in our heads — just not in the way you think.

Regardless of which form of chronic pain someone is dealing with, the pain itself remains invisible, making it hard for anyone who hasn’t experienced it themselves to even begin to comprehend the level of discomfort or agony that a person is experiencing. For this reason, I made a list of 5 of the most difficult symptoms that I have encountered, and why I wish they could be visualized.

1. Joint pain.

This isn’t just the ache of a joint that’s cold or stiff. Imagine if someone was chipping at your joint bone with a sculpting tool and that is how I feel. It’s often difficult to move just for that reason alone.

2. Fatigue.

This is the kind of exhaustion that neither coffee or sleep can touch. The kind where you physically can’t climb out of bed without an urgent reason that gives you enough adrenaline to get up. There are days where, if it weren’t for my daughter, I wouldn’t be able to move to even feed myself.

3. Extertion.

A product of both the pain and fatigue, trying to get anything done around the house is like trying to finish a marathon. Things that used to be simple, like slicing a tomato, now take immense amounts of concentration and require a slow and steady plan of attack. Everything takes me about 3-5x as long as it used to.

4. Sensitivity.

A product of my body constantly trying to monitor my pain levels, my sensitivity levels have shot through the roof. Sometimes my skin feels like it’s literally being peeled off when I’m being touched. It has caused a panic attack more than once and in all honesty this is the hardest symptom I am learning to cope with.

5. Guilt.

One of the things no one has mentioned in all the articles and documents on chronic pain that I have been reading is the weight of guilt that I feel as a wife, a mother, and a friend. Everything feels like an excuse and it’s difficult to formulate an explanation that communicates my need and desire for interaction but my parallel need for relief. When you have a broken leg, people understand why you can’t drive to see them or why you aren’t comfortable going to a busy social event. But when no one can see the issue that you’re dealing with, it’s much harder. It is far too easy for me to accept my feelings of inadequacy and it is something I am working to overcome daily.
Although this list may sound like one of complaints, in reality it is simply facts about my life. I believe in recovery and in the healing power of Jesus Christ, so I don’t focus on mourning my pre-fibro life, but rather am learning to accept my new one and speak about it in a way that promotes awareness and self-understanding. I’m thankful every day for a wonderful team of doctors that is walking through this with me and for the family and friends who have been praying through this journey with me.

If you know someone who is battling an invisible illness, just be kind and love on them. It goes a long way just to hear “I’m here for you” and to know that someone is on your side.
And to those of you who are in this fight with me, you are courageous and brave. There will be a day with no more pain.

xoxo

xoxo, B