Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I surrender

There was a point during the writing retreat, that I just had to surrender. I was uncomfortable. Cold. Out of my element. There was no cell service and a heck of a lot of kale to eat. I missed Starbucks, my warm bed, familiar faces. I wished I still smoked. This just isn't me- I'm not edgy or artsy. I'm a introverted-extrovert depending on the moment, the day. I have a hard time owning who I am, maybe because I don't know who the hell that is sometimes.

I knew I had reached a pivotal point, and things could abruptly go either way. I had to dive completely in, or not participate at all. My hands shook and I slapped my inner over-thinker hard across the face. SHUT UP. I'm already here, I am all in. It was painful. I cried so much, and so many times. I unraveled. And there was so much beauty born from all of our pain.

And I'm not yet on the other side of that. I need sugar, and processed foods and sleep. I'm uneasy and exhausted. I can't stop crying. And laughing. I'm too much, I'm not nearly enough. Lonely. Alone. I need to ease to the other side of this pain.

I've gone back to Moming, but I'm not completely present.

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Double duty Speech Therapy...

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My precious Parker- whom we call Doodle, turned three yesterday.

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We waited for the Trash Truck.

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I felt every single soul from Write: Doe bay there with us, enjoying the rumble of the truck too. I feel your stories in my heart.

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We've been outside and we've played...I look at the pictures and everything looks normal... but it isn't.

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The world just won't stop spinning.

WARNING. This is not the voice of the Chrissy you know. This is not the Chrissy that usually writes this blog. This is a Chrissy that actually exists in life- but hides from writing. She stands in the closet eating chocolate or drowns in Bravo TV or spends money in order to not feel. Do not be alarmed. I don't need to be talked off a ledge. I just want to be honest. Honest no matter how unpretty it feels. I want to learn to use the pain I waded through this past weekend in order to learn how to make it to the other side. I want to know if you too feel a prayer of connection to my heart.

I thought I would return home rejuvenated, ready to mom with gusto! Today I could have won numerous Mothering awards- Most time spent on Instagram. Present, but not really there. Fastest at turning on the TV. Giver of eleventy hundred juice boxes. Ding, ding, ding- I'm the big winner.

I don't know yet how to be back in this world. I still have a toe in the Orcas Islands and I don't know how long I can stretch this far. I want to be closed up more than ever- but I want to be open even more than that. I don't want to think so much. I just want to surrender again

Today I decided I wasn't going to write for a week and just process. But I have this knack for running away from the fire. I went on my retreat to grow, and the best way to grow as a writer isn't about figuring out where to put commas. Instead for me, it's about a process of mucking up your soul. Blooming to new experiences.  So with mucky soul, instead I'm going to run on into the burning flames. I'm going to stop over-analyzing this discomfort and instead feel it, breathe it, own it until I can find my real voice again. I need to feel like myself again, my regular- abnormal self, while processing all along the way. It's painful. I sift through the emotions that float to the top.

I am vulnerable. Not that I said too much, but that I think so much. I care so much it feels crazy. I care that you like me, I care what you think. I care that you like my writing, and my story and I hope that we can connect. I hope you like me. That feels weak. I am ashamed. 

I am dealing with feelings of inadequacy. You are a mediocre writer and shouldn't have gone in the first place, asshole me says to doing her best me. I don't even remember what a participal is, how would I know if it's dangling? I have to talk myself through "a lot" or "alot" over and over again. I don't want to write a book anymore, I think. I learned during Claire Bidwell's presentation that you have to make yourself sound interesting and worthy to get an agent. Every time I write like that- it's a big fat lie. I want to hire a ghost writer to make me sound interesting. If I had to write it- it would read: Chrissy drones on and on and on and on about things that don't matter. She overthinks everything until the reader is exhausted. Chrissy is boring, generic, and cliched- her story unpalatable. Chrissy has no idea how many chapters are even supposed to be in a book, or how many words should even be in each chapter. Chrissy is mostly just a loser, trying too hard to be funny and loved. Let's all take a good moment to laugh at Chrissy now.

You don't need to talk me off the ledge. You don't need to compliment my mothering or my writing. This is all part of the process. I don't know why it's so confusing, but it is. This is all part of me. A real part of me that has always existed, it's just never had so many opportunities to feel vulnerable and uncomfortable and also so alive. I didn't travel for 12 hours straight to stay comfortable and to stay the same. Nothing significant in my life has ever been easy. If it was- it wouldn't also be significant.  And here I wade and breathe in the in between. I'm awesome at the beginning. And filled with clarity at the end. But the unfigured out middle is skin crawling excruciating. Like when you are wearing too small of tights that constantly lie three inches below your crotch and you just want to rip them off. Somewhere below the crotch must be where the lessons lie.

My heart aches I miss my friends. My connections. I love the recognition that even at 40, I can walk into a new situation petrified and make winderful new friends. Friends so good that it hurts to leave. I brought some of that vulnerability home with me. Before I left, I had so many bad what ifs. Do you remember? I made myself turn them into good what ifs for a change--

The time is now. For every one of us. The time to let go of the bad what ifs and turn them into good ones. What if I have the time of my life? What if I laugh so hard it hurts my stomach? What if I create incredible friendships that last the rest of my life? What if this adventure leads to many, many more?

My what ifs came true. Every single one of them came strikingly true. Sometimes the other side of it all is only one more big breath away. Keep breathing.



Join me on Facebook- but only if you get insecure too.


  1. I get the think too much part. I analyze EVERYTHING and it makes me so weary. I can't just enjoy because I'm thinking, thinking, thinking. I want so bad to turn it off and I get mad at people who just do without thinking. And I appreciate your vulnerability, I crave friendships with vulnerability, there are so few who are willing. I'm a what you see is what you get kinda gal, honest to a fault and have lost friends because of it. Don't stop the honesty. And I don't care about any part of speech hanging, that doesn't matter, speak to me with realness, honesty and vulnerability.

  2. Oh, friend. In bed half delirious with exhaustion so I won't be articulate, I'm afraid. I spend soo many days ricocheting back and forth between feeling like I am entirely too much or not even close to being enough. The only thing that really helps with that is knowing I'm not the only one. Thanks for the 'me too,' friend. And I do like you. I really, really like you... and had I *known* you were on Orcas I would have kidnapped you. ;-)

  3. Yes, you are vulnerable. That's why I like you. And guess what? I do really like you and I do care about you. Want to know what I think? I think life reverberates off of you. You walk into a room and everyone wants to get a hug from you. That's what I think. I like you're writing, your story moves me and guess what else? We did connect and it wasn't fake or false. I like you. I really like you. You are strong, woman. Please don't be ashamed. Okay, be ashamed if you keep wearing your tights three inches below your crotch. That's just weird. Are you laughing? I hope so. Love you, friend. Thanks for being brave and helping me get there, too. xoxo

  4. You have an authentic voice that I value. Some blogs I read seem very self promotional which, honestly, drives me away. I have been so inspired by your writing about your family and your precious boys. Over the last 6 months I have been considering working with children with autism once my boys are older and in school. This may be how I stumbled across your blog in the first place....There are 3 boys with autism in my son's class and I really enjoy hanging out with them when I volunteer there. When I read your blog I also really feel a pull to find a career that would involve working with children with autism. Anyways, I wanted you to know that I look forward to your posts and really think you are doing a wonderful job as a mother, writer and also photographer. The pictures of your boys are amazing! Thank you for writing and sharing, Kate

  5. What Corrie said!! Me too! Me too!!

    And I DO love your writing, because it sounds like you, like real, like "I get it", even if I don't "really" get it because I've never had the experiences, but I get it as much as I'm able to... like maybe peering in a screen door, or with my nose mashed against the glass.

    And I just started my 2nd class, and I think I'm 15-20 years older than everybody else, and I feel very old, and very young at the same time because most of them have taken many more classes than I have, and I am proud of me for doing it because it's uncomfortable and feels "risky" (even though it's not really.) , and scared spitless because I am afraid of failure and letting 'everybody' down.

    And I over think everything... and maybe 'under think' because I'm afraid I won't do well in class... and 'everybody' seems to think I'll do very well. *shrug*

    Here's to learning things, and trying things, and being the best "me's" we can be, even if it is freaky as all get out. :-)

  6. Your angst reminds me very much of a commencement speech Ira Glass once gave. This may help you be a little kinder on yourself.

  7. I know very much how you feel. I love to write too. I love to write because I love words. Beautiful, intricate words... but I don't write often because I never feel it's good enough. I read something a month later and roll my eyes. Either I'm trying too hard or not trying hard enough. "Enough" is the kicker.

    I love your writing. I love you pouring your guts out - and that what always brings me back. Because even though I don't know you in real life, I feel like I KNOW you. A part of you anyway. You are raw and real and wonderfully human. I encounter hundreds of people a day having no idea what's in their heart, but here at my computer I feel connected to you.

    Thank you.

  8. Chrissy,
    Please don't change a thing about you or your writing. Thank you for creating a place where I can visit everyday and know that it's 'real'!!!

  9. I think we are all on the same boat but just do not have the talent or the strength to articulate like you can...keep writing. M.

  10. Hi Friend :) You know I like ya. Like, if you started a commune, I would be the first one to move in & drink the Kool-Aide. Ok, I am totally not that person who would quit my job & shirk all responsibility to live on a commune in California. But, if I were, I'd totally do it for you :)
    If you decide to write a book, might I suggest going with "Somewhere below the crotch must be where the lessons lie." as at least a sub-title??? Or Somewhere below the crotch - Where the lessons lie.
    So much love & light & happiness to you, my sweet Momma friend. xoxo Jen

  11. As I finished up your words this morning, one of my favorite songs came on. "This is where the Healing Begins" by Tenth Avenue North. It just seemed to fit. May God bless you on this journey down this path less traveled.

  12. i just found your blog and i like it. i think you are real which means a lot,whether you get the comma's perfect or not is not important. what is important is that you write from your heart and don't try to get the fan-girl followers and fan-girl praise like that OTHER one. your post on Sn children are real,not all fairy dust sprinkled crapola. as the saying goes sorry but i'm not sorry that i said the somewhat rude stuff. my thoughts are that many Ds families and other Sn's families are getting tired of being misrepresented by the "tiara and party favor in the labor room" blogger.

  13. (hug) I don't know you, but I don't know what I would do without you.

  14. Don't change a thing! I always love your writing and on the days that I feel like I just don't know how I am going to be able to keep going, you make me feel like I can. You help me know I can!

  15. Your writing sparks raw emotion in my heart and your words often remain with me for days. I believe you and the questions you are asking yourself but I am personally glad you keep showing up.

  16. you are awesome. love your vulnerability, courage, and willingness to connect with others. the world sure could use more of that!
    I absolutely love your blog. you are a very powerful writer.

  17. I connect with the parts of you that are raw and "not enough" and "too much" and scared and worried and insecure. Then I compare myself to you and I lose, because you are so good at talking about it and identifying it and connecting with people over it and I'm just usually either over-sharing (in my quest to be authentic) or hiding (in my quest to be "perfect"). This comparison happens before I'm even conscious of it, and I do it all the time! (Note to self - stop doing that. :) Anyway - I guess I want to say I FEEL you and know your insides, even though I don't know you. Thank you for being vulnerable and truthful and risking yourself so I can feel less alone and more inspired. Lately I've been reminding myself of what Brene Brown says - we can't selectively numb. So if I want to feel love and joy I gotta let myself feel the yuck feelings too. Dang, that's exhausting and scary. (btw - what a transformative weekend... sounds soul stirring for sure).

  18. I LOVE YOUR HONESTY! You give a voice to what so many of us feel on an everyday. You wrote the inner dialogue! I wish you could join me and my best friend for a glass of wine and some junk food! You need a hug and a good buzz ;) I am sorry that you are in pain right now but know that your readers love and appreciate you. You have helped me through many of a rough days and given me so much hope during the tough times. Please don't stress about the right way to write. So not important! At least to most of us :) Ok I am totally rambling I am not a whiz with words by any means, I am more of a listener. I am an introvert, quiet observer but you give a voice to my thoughts. I am sending you peace and light, what you have given me! PS - Therapy is not going well today, lots of tears and screams, I am supposed to be working in my office instead I am shoving cheese and pretzels in my mouth reading your website and searching the web for everything but work research. Just keeping it real :) Ok enough rambling!!

  19. Love you, love your honesty, love the real-ness of your writing. What draws me into your world is the connection I feel BECAUSE of the way you write. The pain and the joy.....I can feel it through your words. I wanted to share that an autism message board member I am part of asked for blog recommendations and your blog came up every single time. Every parent on that board (country wide) mentioned how much they love your are a treasure in the autism community.....keep shining girl :)

  20. Just wanted to say, what you have to say is very important. Sharing your story is advocating for your boys and therapy for yourself. Win win! Being real and authentic is what resonates with me as a reader, not trying to be polished or grammatically correct. Honesty cuts through. And that is strength.