Tackling the Big One

Towards the end of every day, I try to make sure that both Blondie and Brownie have enough space to process events and emotions from the day. Last night, when listening to Brownie talk about school, she mentioned that a couple of the boys in her class were being mean. The boys were making fun of another classmate behind his back due to a characteristic of his mother, who happens to work at the school. Brownie shared that she stood up to her classmates and told them that was not nice. Although, she says they didn’t listen to her, I reinforced that I was proud of her for sticking up for what she knew was right. She then went on to play with her sister. As soon as she left the room, I lost it.

Hello, trigger. Out of seemingly nowhere, I looked at the hubs across the room and started sobbing. Interestingly enough, that thing that those boys were being mean about is one of my biggest insecurities. It’s an insecurity that I strive every day to cover up so that my girls might not have the same one. Although, I’m pretty sure that after my extreme reaction to the trigger last night, it’s time to face it head on. So here we go…. I’m pretty good at practicing exposure therapy on myself. Ha.

The boys were making fun of their classmate behind his back because his mom is “FAT”.

Typing that word now, is stirring up tears for me. That three letter “F” word is something that is not part of my vocabulary because of the negative connotations that come along with it, and the insecurities in myself that it invokes. But why did this story from Brownie specifically send me into a tizzy? Because it’s one of my biggest fears. Because it’s one of my most vivid and least favorite memories from my own childhood. Because I remember as if it was yesterday when my own mother shared that she was sorry if anyone had ever made fun of me because she was overweight and that was one of her motivations for working to improve her health. At that time, in my preteen years, I didn’t have the heart to tell her it had already happened. The “mean boys” had already been making fun of me based on her size. As my heart was breaking during childhood, I never dreamed I would find myself in the same situation once more, just filling a different role. Now I’m the mom and my girls are the vulnerable kids. My heart is breaking once again. I naively hoped kindergarten was safe and kids would just be nice. Oh how wrong I am.

Side note: My amazing and lovely mother worked her ass off (literally) and is now a healthy grandmother who runs whenever she can and would not be someone that even a “mean boy” could call f#@.

If you’re thinking ‘if it was/is “one of your biggest fears” for your weight to be used against your children, why aren’t you doing something about it?’, I don’t blame you. However, I also know enough to know that it isn’t that simple. I have done “something” about it several times. I have tried to lose weight and improve my health. If I’m being honest, I have felt insecure about my body from the moment I understood that it wasn’t socially acceptable to be f%&. I have tried jogging for “fun”. I have tried almost every mainstream diet. I have drank nothing but shakes for 3 months just to gain it all and more back once I started eating again. With every piece of cake I have eaten in the past 20+ years I have thought to myself ‘You shouldn’t eat this. It’s just going to make you fatter. Why can’t you stop being fat?’ I have cried. I have signed up for 5ks 6 months out and not attended. It’s not that simple. It’s not just about cutting back calories and exercising. There are a whole 25+ years of emotions to work through as well.

So here we go. Time to hit this thing head on. Body image. Weight insecurity. Actually being an unhealthy weight. Critical self talk. Addiction. Emotions. Oh the emotions. Little jerk kids. It’s time.

P.S. Please don’t tell me I’m beautiful just the way I am. It may be true, and part of me knows that it is, but a larger part of me hears it as more criticism. So thanks, but no thanks.

Clean Living with the Crazies 2.0

Greetings. Hello. Ciao. Bonjour. Aloha. Hi.

Here we are again. I have this constant nag in the back of my mind to go on this adventure of clean living and document it on the internet.  I kept up with this site for a hot minute a year ago, but quickly became distracted with something else (hello adult ADHD). I have a good feeling about Clean Living with the Crazies this time around, so join us on the ride and see where it takes us!

Who we are: We are a family of 4 who live in suburbia and are trying to figure out how to best navigate this life despite our mental health issues.  I, Emily, am a midwestern mom of twin girls who loves ice cream and true crime. The Hubs, Rick, is a computer geek (not nerd) who enjoys retro video games and hacking the internet. Blondie is our first born sass pants who loves to dance. Brownie is our 12 minute younger second born smarty pants who loves to make new friends.

What is Clean Living?: Clean living is everything from literally doing the dishes to mixing our own dish soap to avoid exposure to so many toxins. On this journey, I am hoping to not only increase our ability to live in an environment that appears clean to the eyes, but is also clean and clear of harmful chemicals. We also will explore clean eating and other aspects of “cleaning up” our life. There has been tons of research done by the professionals about the impact of environment and exposure to toxins on mental health. In this life where there are so many things that we can’t control ourselves, starting with our genetics, I am striving to control what is controllable in hopes that it will improve our quality of life as a family.

What are the Crazies?: In addition to the craziness that can easily become life of families, especially once children enter the picture, both myself and the hubs also deal with mental health issues on a daily basis. While I know it’s not exactly PC to call those dealing with mental health issues “crazy”, I mean no disrespect and only use that phrase when discussing my own family (and they’re cool with it). I have a M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy, that I use to navigate daily life but do not currently practice professionally. The hubs has text book Bipolar I disorder, along with some PTSD just to make things interesting. (Did I mention that sarcasm is one of my coping mechanisms?) I personally have been diagnosed with a variety of fun acronyms; MDD (major depressive disorder), GAD (generalized anxiety disorder), PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder), PPMD (postpartum mood disorder), ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) type inattentive, and who knows what else. We both are actively working with counselors, in addition to regularly meeting with psychiatrists to regulate our medication. It has been on my mind a lot lately, especially after the hubs’ most recent manic episode, that we need to take things a step forward and clean up our living in order to benefit our mental health. So here we go!