I Don’t Have the Wheel


On the days I have my shit together, I really kick ass. I get my workout in, eat healthy, connect with my kids. It’s the version of myself I always want to be. But she doesn’t stick around for long. Anyone relate to this?
It takes one bad night of sleep when one of the kids is up a few times to derail me. The next day I’m exhausted, crave nothing but carbs and allow myself to “have a day”. That’s all it takes. The permission I give myself to stop trying so hard pushes me into full sabotage: may as well just enjoy this day, I’ll get back on track tomorrow.
Next day: may as well rid my cupboard of all this bread and junk food today and start fresh on Monday; I’ll shop for veggies and really healthy choices.
Two weeks later: May as well just accept these rolls and love them because I’m never gonna have the body I had in my twenties.
During this time all the sugar and starch I am binging on is creating brain fog and impacting my hormones. Sending my anxiety through the roof. I’m angry. I’m resentful. I’m sad. I’m in a rut. I feel trapped. I feel annoyed. I feel like a bad mom. I feel like a burden. And the cycle continues.
All this isn’t only caused by food, I’ve had anxiety and depression all my life. But usually they’re just a grey cloud that I monitor in the rearview mirror as I navigate through my life.
But when I stop taking care of myself the clouds turn black and engulf me like smoke; making it hard to see, to breath, to distinguish truth from reality. Making it easy to believe all my negative thoughts as the truth. Making it so hard to get out of my head.
It’s such a slippery slope. I’ve been on this ride for years. Sometimes I have the wheel, most times I don’t. Most days all I can do is wake up and brace myself for the ride. But I will continue to get on every day. Because some days I wake up and have my shit together – and those days feel amazing.

The Cycle

Photo Credit: Warrior Art

A Poem for adults who suffered abuse in their childhood, and suffer with mental illness or addiction in adulthood:

When the pain can be traced to the very roots of the tree
Is there really any escaping it?
A curse passed down from generation to generation
Teaching their kin to rage, worry, blame, wallow
Building foundations for failure

Regrets and more regrets
Blame and more blame
Siblings lost together in a place they can’t escape
It’s home, but their young souls know it shouldn’t be

One sibling grows up
Blaming, hating, selfishly ripping through their home
Like an unpredictable tornado
The debris: broken hearts of those who can’t help but love them

Another sibling grows up
Sweeping secrets under a rug
Arranging flowers, ironing wrinkled clothes
Polishing tarnished silver
Making things appear perfect
When really, she’s a perfect disaster

When will the cycle stop?
When will the blaming end?
I know the pain is real, I’ve felt it
I know the demons are there, I battle them

Being a grown up is hard
Being a parent is hard
Being a grown-up parent who suffered abuse in their childhood
Is excruciatingly lonely and painful

But our children cannot not be the punching bags that we were
Our spouses cannot be the target that we spew our anger at
Our families deserve the best of us

The best of our childhood was stolen from us
We cannot steal it back from our kids
It doesn’t work like that

The cycle needs to stop here
For a long time, the fight will be constant
But we’ll get stronger, wiser and better

We are warriors who draw the line in the sand
With swords dripping our own blood
Marking the boundary that will not be crossed
And fiercely guarding it

We’ll need to fight for our own happiness
We’ll need to battle the demons
Who threaten to steal it from us
And plant lies in our heads that we’re bad
That we’re not worthy
That we’re unlovable

But we have to fight
And ever

Accept this
And you can begin
Your new journey

®Cristina Cole

Ten Terrific Blogs to Check Out

Besides writing, I love to read. And there are some amazing bloggers out there. I’m highlighting ten that I love. Check them out, you won’t be disappointed!

1)      Rosie Says – I love reading this blog for its bluntness. She doesn’t beat around the bush or sugarcoat anything. She says what’s on her mind about everything from sex to body image, politics to media and more.

2)      Shackled and Crowned – I get excited when I’m emailed one of her posts. I know I’m in for a deliciously provocative read. And sometimes, I can feel a pinch of pain – as though she’s looked into my soul and dug up some bitterness from my past. I’m instantly inspired to write poetry when I read her work.

3)      In Your Corner – I feel a little less crazy when I read her posts. She offers a lot of great advice for marriage and parenting. And her writing style is light and easy to read. I never feel like I’m reading a how-to article. It’s more like getting great advice from a close friend.

4)      Mom Times 4 – I usually get her posts first thing in the morning while I’m enjoying a coffee. I’ve learned to not take a sip while reading her work. I’ve pulled a take-a-sip-read-and-choke because what I’ve read made me laugh. And her little illustrations are awesome.

5)      Reluctant Mom – When I first started blogging, it was because I was having some serious baby blues after Jacob was born. I needed a place to permanently store my feelings. I started cruising WordPress for mothers who wrote about tough stuff so I could feel less alone. This blog was one of the very first I followed. I can relate to all her posts and love how honest she is. She’s a great writer, and her work is a pleasure to read.

6)      Parenting and Stuff – How can you not be drawn to a woman sharing her struggles with a teen who cuts? In a short time, she’s reached over 1000 followers. I bet with every post written, one more parent feels less alone in similar struggles.

7)      Keeping It Real Mom – It never fails, I read one of Anka’s posts and I’m uplifted and lighter. Her posts make me laugh out loud, and smile till it hurts. She’s got a great sense of humor and isn’t afraid to make fun of herself. Her blog reminds me to laugh more and not take my job as Mom so seriously.

8)      Chester Maynes – His poetry is enchanting. No matter where I am when I’m reading one of his poems from my phone, I’m transported into his world. I could be standing outside in a snow storm, but the cold has no effect on me if his poem is about the sun.

9)      The Boston Mom – After reading her fun posts about activities with her kids, I am filled with all these great intentions for Jacob. I can’t wait till he’s a bit older so I can start taking part in some of the activities this woman  comes up with… one of them includes fake snow! Whaaat?! That’s right, there was no snow and her kids were disappointed, so she bought some. That’s the kinda mom I wanna be.

10)  Postcards From My Guilt Trip – If you’ve ever had a thought that you vowed to NEVER say out loud because people would think you’re a bad person, this blog will teach you that everyone has those thoughts! It’s just that most people don’t discuss them. Well, this blog does. I LOVE reading her posts. Every single one reminds me that I’m human.

Hope you visit some of these blogs and get inspired, feel less alone, and laugh so hard you pee a little.

Say It Out Loud by Cristina Cole

Before I gave birth to my precious son
I heard stories from so many women about labor
Some sounded easy and reassuring, others were horror stories
Nonetheless, I went into it expecting the worst and it wasn’t so bad

When asked what my “plans” were, I responded with: “to feel the least amount of pain”
Some women made me feel weak for accepting an epidural
I would tell them that I don’t need to be a hero
I’m already carrying a child and delivering them into the world
I think that’s heroic enough

What I wish more women told me about was after the birth
No one prepares you for the aftermath:
Especially the emotions you feel

I feel like it’s my responsibility to say it out loud:
How you feel after birth is NORMAL
You’re not crazy, you’re hormonal
You’re doing amazing
You’re a good mother
It’s okay that you cry a lot
It’s okay that you’re absolutely terrified
It’s going to get easier… a little every day

Talk about it!
Tell your best friend how you’re feeling
Tell your husband, your mother, your mother-in-law
The minute you say it out loud, you get a response that shocks you
They’ll giggle and tell you not to worry
They’ll say it’s normal to feel like you’re losing your mind in the first couple of weeks
Especially after having your first child, you don’t know what to expect

When I got that same response from everyone I spoke to
I was almost angry – why didn’t anyone tell me?
When you hear horror stories about post partum depression
You immediately think: Oh my goodness it’s happening to me
Then you silently go crazy and feel so alone

Why don’t more women talk about those first couple of weeks?
A little warning would have been wonderful!
I already forgot about the birth and the pregnancy
I’ll NEVER forget how scared I was in those first couple of weeks
I went from being pregnant and pampered by everyone around me
To being sleep deprived, hormonal and needed 24 hours a day
No wonder some women suffer an emotional breakdown!
I’m lucky and grateful that I didn’t slip into post partum depression
But if I didn’t pick up the phone and talk about what I was feeling
And ask a lot of questions, I may well have

I know so many women who are mothers
They all make it look so easy
I view them as super moms
When you have a baby, you aspire to be that perfect wife and mother
So feeling those scary and raw emotions of fear and anxiety after birth
Makes that vision seem impossible
You feel like you’ll never be a good mother if you feel this way
That’s how the cycle begins, and continues if you don’t talk about it

Now that I’m over a month in… and hormones have finally settled
Life is wonderful!
So I’m proof that it does get better
Those scary feelings go away and every day is an adventure
Every day you get more confident in your abilities as a new mother
Every day you feel happier and can look forward to more beautiful days ahead
So hang in there
And talk about what you’re feeling WITHOUT shame or embarrassment
You’re a good mother
You’re doing amazing
Hang in there because every day gets easier

© Copyright – All rights reserved – Cristina Cole