Today’s post will be one of those generic Get-to-Know me posts and I’m going to be as unfiltered as possible, because that’s what the world needs right now.
Too many parents feel like they ALWAYS have to be “on” to be considered a good parent.
That’s why I believe living with mental illness is both a blessing and a curse; it’s a curse because a whole laundry list of things could go wrong: impulsivity, compulsiveness, spending far beyond your means, some of us are dual diagnosed (living with addiction on top of mental disorders) and a list of sub-symptoms long enough to give you whiplash.
But then there are the good things; stability, maturity, understanding and finally using actual cognition, the correct way, when and if you can. The best thing one can do while living with mental illness (especially as a parent) is learning to read your mind & body and making self care a priority.
Today I was exhausted and I don’t mean like, I had a long night with the baby so let’s add a Starbucks run and we’ll be good. I’m talking multiple cups of coffee, ice water to the face, taking 2 Super B Complex supplements and asking your husband if speed would hurt your milk supply (this is a joke. I do not, have not, will not even do drugs, nor condone them or their usage). I couldn’t drive this morning for fear I’d run us off the road with the kids in the SUV. I tried to nap, but folks who live with rapid cycling and racing thoughts KNOW that’s impossible.
I came home and grabbed another cup of coffee and rather than lay down, I made and packed my husband lunch to take to work and I pumped a full bag for the freezer stash. And of course, as soon as I freeze the breast-milk, guess who wakes up and is starving? Perfect. Timing. Kid. -.-
But I was out-for-the-count today. I had to ask my oldest two kiddos to walk up to my middle daughters school to pick her up because I was just too drained to do anything–I literally zombied my way through terribly cold leftovers for lunch. And by the time I finished that, someone else was hungry AGAIN and I was back on the clock AGAIN. But I guess I passed out because when I awoke, she was gone and the house was quiet–turns out Derrick got home really early from work and took her and let me sleep. Which hindsight was a terrible idea on my part because irregular sleeping patterns turn into insomnia and insomnia turns into manic episodes with no sleep for 4 or more days for me. Sure I may be hella creative and fun during those episodes; but I’m usually drinking, smoking and writing more violently than Hemingway on a bender.
So since today wasn’t so eventful (other than the screams I hear coming from the dining room right now over Soy Sauce as my husband prepares dinner for us) I’m going to do a little 10 Things You May Not Know About Me list and see if even I learn a little sumtin’ sumtin’ ’bout me:
10 Things You May Not Know About Me
(and Could Probably Give Two Shits About, But You’re a good friend and follower, so you’re going to read this anyways, right? Cool!)
(Also, these questions were asked by my kids and husband after dinner. So excuse the randomness)
10. What is it about the Cliffs of Moher that entices you?
The Cliffs of Moher are located near/in Doolin, Ireland and I’ve had a fascination with them for longer than I can remember. I always thought they’d make the perfect garage/bank for pirates and hideaways for mermaids because when the tides rose humans couldn’t force their way in nor would they survive the descent if they decided to rappel down the sides. Plus they’re utterly bitchin’ to explore and terrifyingly excited to dangle over! Here’s a video to check out Tour the Cliffs of Moher
9. As a “Jackie-of-all-trades” what’s your ideal career?
I don’t think I have an ideal sole career I’d perform until I die, as my interests varies and change far too often; I love to read, write, create and craft, cook, bake and make. My biggest thing is making people happy–so a job where I make people feel heard and feel happy would be ideal. I’d like to be maybe a educational psychiatrist or school psychotherapist–so we’ll see where I am in life after I’m done molding little humans into mature and responsible adults who aren’t too jackassy for the world.
8. What’s your favorite thing about having kids?
Had you asked me this even 2 years ago, my answer would’ve been something like “I’m so glad they take after me, my little mini me’s. They’re so witty and intelligent!” Now it’s something like “Thank God the older two are old enough to pitch in and help with the younger ones, cause I’m flippin’ exhausted.” But my truest answer is: My favorite thing about having kids is that they can get their own breakfast on Saturday mornings and veg out in front of the 4K while I snore my contented sleepy heart out—unless Ivy needs a nursing, then I’m screwed and I’m like why did we have all these kids anyway? And I remind myself, all your birth control attempts failed. Other than that, they’re pretty fucking awesome kids AND they are witty AF. And sarcastic. And smart as a whip. And quick on their toes.
7. How many languages can you speak?
Hella fluently? One. Maybe two, if you check me on a good day, where my racing thoughts aren’t solely in English and my brain can translate Spanish. On a really good day I’m pretty conversational with French (obsession), some Mandarin Chinese (the owners of my favorite childhood restaurant taught me while my foster parents got trashed at the bar) and some German/Deutsch.
6. If I could rewrite any book…
Probably The Time Traveler’s Wife because (without spoiling it) COME ON Audrey!!! WHO ENDS A BOOK THAT WAY?!?!
5. How do I feel I fit into the Universe?
I don’t feel like I do. I feel like that weirdo that the universe hooked up with the night before his sister’s wedding and outta pity and guilt, invites me to tag along to this richy bitchy socialite bullcrap and I’m just holding the wall up in some dark corner, trying to sip my drink slowly to not appear like an over eager whore who came just for the free booze.
4. What is my (most recent) favorite song and why?
Probably “Far From Home” by Five Finger Death Punch. Because it’s written hella similar to how I write my poetry. Plus I find it truly relatable. Here’s the song: “Far From Home” 5FDP
3. Am I more passionate about working or volunteering and why?
I am a lifelong server. I may not be religious, but I am a servant. My reward and payment for a job well done is happiness and appreciation–so I am far more passionate about volunteering that “working” because it’s far more mentally and emotionally rewarding (for me). And I do it as fairly often as I can; from donating double blood to bone marrow, to being an organ donor, to working with KRCB, United Way, Feeding America, the Wood Street Green Team and UCR, to working with NAMI and DBSA. I even have my first postpartum marathon this coming Sunday morning in Loma Linda, at Loma Linda University Hospital in Redlands, California.
2. What are my thoughts on raising a teenager in junior high with teens being the way they are today?
Thank goodness I was once a teenager who lived with (undiagnosed at the time) mental illness. I was also a foster child, taken by CPS and given to the state of California as a pawn in a sick and twisted game of cat & mouse. When I was in 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grades, I was in foster care with guardianship over me and I had a social worker, a case manager, a mediator, therapists and psychotherapists. I sat with specialists and doctors and lawyers and repeated (robotically) the same trauma of my childhood, over and over and over again. This is when I believe I developed Borderline Personality Disorder from my PTSD. I began to self-harm and binge drink and was what one would refer to as “easy”. So thankfully I experienced all of that to look out for the signs of distress in my own children; like Evelyn, who’s now a 7th grader. I remember what it was like to be socially anxiety, awkward, frustrated, scared and depressed and I desperately wanted nothing more to fit in, so I did everything I possibly could to keep my name on people’s tongues, even though it wasn’t always modest and proper–all publicity is good publicity was my motto–the paparazzi and those trash national enquirer magazines got me through junior high and I was absolutely buzzed about all things celebrities…until Princess Di was killed. Now I loathe most celebrity gossip, especially gossip magazines. But back to what I was saying, other than her sarcastic smart mouth and annoying puns and innuendos, my middle schooler is pretty chill AF. I like her, she may stick around, for now.
1. What cartoon family does your family most remind you of?
The Amazing World of Gumball and I am indeed Nicole, married to a Richard. Yup.