Friday, April 27, 2012

Time to Take Out the Trash

 So I was watching "Nurse Jackie" this week, a personal favorite, and I heard the old saying, "You are only as sick as the secrets you keep."  Not quite sure where that one comes from, but I know it is referenced quite a bit by people recovering from addictions.  
Right then and there, I decided to add this nugget of wisdom to my collection of favorite quotes.  My life experience has taught me that it is an undeniable truth.  Let me throw out an example.  It is common knowledge among survivors of abuse, whether it be sexual or physical, that it is not the abuse which is most damaging to the victim, but the secrecy about the abuse.  People who grow up in an abusive household (not me, thankfully) become expert secret keepers.  They learn to perfect the image of a functional, loving family.  It's those of us who grow up in "normal" households (Ha!) that display our dirty laundry so artfully.  
People who know me well would tell you that I am an open book.  Obviously... after all, you are reading my freakin' online journal right now.  But we all have our secrets don't we?
My secret is not saucy, spicy, sexy, subversive, or controversial.  I'm not a woman with an addiction.  I've never committed a crime.  We pay our taxes.  We go to church and we don't beat our children (well...except at Walmart; that's socially acceptable, after all!) Oh, and my husband would reassure you that I don't have any kinky fetishes, to his dismay.  The most dangerous habit I have is driving while under the influence of a screaming three year old.  And that is dangerous. Sometimes in the boredom of my daily grind, I think I should take up a vice.  Smoking would be my vice of choice (I loved it, God help me) but I just don't have enough character to die gracefully from a long, wasting illness.
I digress.
My secret is one that I'm betting millions of mothers and wives share.  
I am not very kind to myself. In fact, I don't think I have a realistic opinion of myself at all, and that's nothing new.  Most likely, I popped out of the womb worrying about what the other babies in the nursery with pink blankets thought about me.  That's probably why I didn't cry but went right to sleep (didn't want to seem too needy!).  
Most of the mothers my age that I know would agree that we are much kinder to others than we are to ourselves.  For example, I would never call a friend a loser because she has dust bunnies under her couch.  Or think that she is nuts because she needs counseling to help her cope with life's challenges.  I would never assume that other people are annoyed by her or secretly think she's needy because she needs to vent occasionally.  I would probably think she is a great mother for listening to "Mommy, I need (fill in the blank)" five thousand times a day without lashing out or busting out the cocktail shaker midday.  And I would think she should be commended for saying, "Yes, sweetheart," when she's really thinking, "Leave me the hell alone!"
No, I would never call my friend names or judge her.  I would never talk about her behind her back.  That would be cruel.
I would tell her how special she is.  I would help her remember the things that other people love about her.  I would encourage her to have dreams  for herself without feeling selfish.  I would take her to lunch or to a movie when life got to be a bit much.  And I would tell her that her worth as a human being has nothing to do with how shiny her counter tops are or how quickly her laundry got put away.  
Ladies, why don't we do this for ourselves?
I will be the first to say that girl friends are important.  Most women are social creatures and we love nothing more than validation from like minded people (with vajayjays).  But at some point, you've got to figure out how to be your own friend, right?  Because if I don't like myself, nothing anybody will ever say or do will fill up the void that is inside me.  
So, here is my goal, a resolution, if you will:
I'm going to spend a little less time trying to meet the status quo and a little more time being kind to me.  I'm going to do a little less of what's expected of me and a little more of what makes my soul happy.  God willing, I'm going to figure out what brings me joy.  Because there is so much unavoidable shit that life throws at you, right?  There is so little time to enjoy oneself when you are a grown up responsible for little people, bills, jobs, etc.  Why not make the fleeting moments count? 
I'll let you know when I figure out just how to do that.  It's a work in progress.
This post was inspired in part by my friend, Niki.  She is wise beyond her years, and when I told her that I was struggling lately with negative thoughts, she said, "That's garbage! Whenever you start to judge yourself that way, just remember, those thoughts are all lies."
I've always said that people without addictions should have sponsors too.  They are like counselors, but free! Niki is officially named my sponsor. As she walked out my door the other day, she said, "Are you putting anything good in there (my head) to combat that negative stuff?"
I sheepishly said no.  
That night, I dusted off my Bible and started uploading some good stuff.  My prayer this week for all the mamas is that we clear out all the garbage and go looking for some good stuff.  
And I'm gonna start with me. 



  1. Katie Bug,
    You hit the nail on the head with this one. And I don't have to tell YOU how much I relate. You took the words right out of my heart. I get it--I soo get it!! I know you missed church this morning but there was a song at the end that hit me right in the gut. The words were so powerful; they brought tears to my eyes.
    "I don't have time to maintain these regrets when I think about HIS love." Remember those don't have time to maintain that self doubt, that self destruction, that feeling of unworth when you think about HIS love!!!
    Trust Him!!!
    I love you girl and you know I think you are amazing and perfect in every way!!

  2. Thank you so much!! As usual,I am humbled by your kind words. I am so grateful to have beautiful friends/family to help me figure this stuff out!
    PS I think you are PERFECT too! Don't EVER let anyone tell you otherwise.