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A picture might say a thousand words, but this picture doesn’t tell the whole story.
You’d never know from this picture that just 20 minutes ago, I was sobbing into my husband’s shoulder.
You wouldn’t know from this picture that about an hour ago, I was snapping at my children if they so much as breathed in my general direction. Then I sat still for more than 60 seconds, and I cried. That’s why I was snapping. I was trying so hard not to cry all day, and I didn’t even know why.
Instead of admitting there’s no real reason to cry, I pick fights or point out wrongs, so I can feel justified in my negativity. Then I can cry, right? Then, it’s ok?
But it’s always ok to cry.
I don’t need to manufacture a reason to go sit in my room and let ‘er rip. Thank God I remembered that just before I exploded into a ridiculous shouting fit over nothing. Instead, I sobbed and sniffled and got good and snotty for no reason. Now I feel calmer. Why didn’t I learn this years ago?
I struggle with my kids’ emotions, too. Preteen girls are so exhausting sometimes. Tears, allll the tears.
My 9 year old came bounding up to me while I was furiously cleaning away some old food stuck on the inside of our garbage drawer. I was so aggravated that it was there, and cursing under my breath at everybody who keeps taking the trash out without replacing the damn trash bag. How hard is it to replace a TRASH BAG? It’s RIGHT THERE. Why do I have to do everything? Blah blah blah, poor me, Ashley the martyr.
“Mom, do you like my hair?”
“Now is not the time!” I snap. “Go get the broom!”
She quietly leaves. Instantly, I’m filled with shame. She’s crying. I’m annoyed that she couldn’t see that it wasn’t a good time to come to me seeking attention/approval, I didn’t have anything to give. I’m ashamed at my reaction. I’m annoyed that she needs me. I’m ashamed that I’m annoyed. What a stupid, vicious cycle.
My kids are quick to forgive, and it’s all good now. And yes, I liked her hair.
So here I am, sparkling water in hand and a book in my lap, and I’m trying to unwind. But first, writing.
Seriously, emotions are the worst sometimes. I know they’re supposed to be guides, and markers, and whatever other buzzwords there are out there, but they suck sometimes. I can handle being a little sad, a little irritable, a little off. When I’m so furious I can hardly see straight, or I’m so anxious I can barely breathe, it’s a different story.
On the upside, I wouldn’t be able to appreciate true joy and other positive feelings without the negative.
The hardest part is moving on and forgiving myself for these minor human moments. Maybe I need a mantra. Something like, “Get over yourself, Ashley,” or “Everybody else has already forgotten this except for you,” or something. Don’t be such a narcissist and move on. You get the idea.
Chocolate helps, too. I didn’t mean to do this, but I just ate a pretty big chocolate + caramel bar. Normally, I break off a quarter each day. Tonight, I ate the whole thing. Zero regrets. Some nights are just like this.
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Hi! I'm Ashley, and my sobriety date is May 6, 2015. I write to share my experience, strength, and hope in recovery. On any given day, you can find me developing websites, writing, or chauffeuring kids around. Read my story...
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