Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sharing the Hard

{For You. And You.}

In my mind lives a mental list of cards I want to send and emails I should return. I'd like to read a big stack of books. I'd like to be a better friend. I'd really like to get caught up with Liz Lemon - I miss her. I think about all of these things, all throughout the day, but when it comes to this - a quiet house - I'm just done. Altogether, in every way.

On Saturday I may have had a panic attack. It's possible. True, I have weirdo health issues that have made random chest pain a part of my life, but this time was different. I stood alone in my living room while my heart thumped out of my chest. I felt like Pepe Le Pew when he sees his skunk crush - I could swear the imprint of my heart was pushing out through my ribcage. I thought, This can't be a panic attack. I don't panic. But the longer my heart thumped, the more I remembered that my life has become a fight to survive. And I never thought I would say that. I am on my game every split second of every single day because it's not optional. I worry that everyone else is drowning in the wake. I worry that I've lost my mind.

And somehow, a lot of the time, I do it with a smile. This is the part that scares me.


I'm not smiling because I'm fake or clueless or Pollyanna. I'm smiling because I have found that life is better when it's mostly seen as a gift and I go down with the ship if I stop smiling for too long. I'm smiling because all of this crazy has become all I know.

If there were an Olympics for griping and self-pity, then I'd take the bronze. You might as well just know that. And if you're inclined not to believe me, I'll get you Cory's number. But I like to think that the scales of my life tip in the favor of the smiles. It makes me feel sane to believe that and sane is good, or at least as far as I can recall.

Then I remember how I burst into quasi-inconsolable tears this morning when the toilet clogged while Cory is out of town. I saw no possibility that the world was right or good in light of the clogged toilet. I tried to unclog it. I almost vomited. (*Important side-note: my mortal fear in life is clogged drains of all kinds. Clogged toilets give me nightmares and the shakes.)

Ruby sat by me and rubbed my back while I cried. My instinct was I should be hiding, but even clearer was the voice telling me that I don't ever want Ruby to feel like she has to hide. I want her to know that it's okay to feel all of these things. I sat there and cried and I thought of all of the women whose husbands are deployed right now. They probably save their emotional breakdowns for more important things. I wanted to bake them some banana bread and spritz some perfume on their hair. I thought of all of the moms dealing with the same kid stuff I'm dealing with and I wanted to march into their homes and demand that they go take a nap while I hold down the fort.

My muddied-up heart started to see that this is one reason we feel pain. It makes us human. It connects us. We remember the bruises and we recognize them on the hearts of others. I'll take empathy over sympathy any day.

I don't know when this season of my life will pass, but I do know that it will. In the meantime, I'll scratch and claw for some sanity. I'll daydream about getting out to do something fun, all the while knowing that there's no way in heck I'll have the energy to actually do it. I'll pray that my friends don't give up on me. I'll cut myself some slack, dang it.

If you know anything about me, or if you know enough to imagine certain things about me, or if you recognize yourself in me, then you can imagine what it feels like to blow my own cover. Please, I beg of you, do not nicely suggest that I might be depressed or that I should seek the counsel of a professional. Number one: Maybe I am. I don't think so, but it's probably too early to tell. I'll keep you posted. Number two: If I have to seek the counsel of one more professional right now I might show up naked and raging with troll hair and a wild look in my eyes. It could be the very thing that throws me over the edge.


What you can do is send your prayers my way. Or even better, find someone around you who needs help and go help her. Give her the benefit of the doubt or a manicure. Something. Then tell me about it. I like those kinds of stories.


As for you, if you're feeling beaten-down by a very small person, if your brain requires so much daytime vigilance that it revolts entirely at 8pm, if you are sick to death of calls from doctors reminding you that your kid has a serious, costly illness, if you're still not sure where you'll be living in June, if you're so dang tired that you cannot sleep at night, if you believe that you will never finish your stupid book, if you very quietly cuss at your carpeted kitchen sometimes, if plungers make you cry, if you're feeling misunderstood or judged, if you're tired of guessing and failing and grasping, if your husband brought you flowers yesterday because it really is that dire, if you're feeling left behind and maybe just a smidgen crazy (like really, truly crazy), please know that I am right here with you.

I'll bake you a pretend loaf of banana bread if you'll do the same for me.

131 comments:

  1. this will make you feel better. (promise, this time) if you take the bronze, i take the gold. i'm so good at griping. and also? liz lemon makes me smile. but not as much as FPFG makes me smile. does that make you smile? i hope so.

    ReplyDelete
  2. shan. i wish i could come over with my homemade banana cake (everything is better with frosting) and sit and chatter the day away.

    i hope you're ok. if you're not, why don't you plan a Colorado vacay? I'm due too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh Shan. My sweet sweet friend. I am baking you some bread right now.

    XOXO

    ReplyDelete
  4. Praying for you sweet girl! ((hugs)) xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have mad love for you. Like crazy, straight from Harpo studios, jump on the yellow couches love. Amen. Pass the imaginary loaf.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Shannan,
    I put on happy face and smile my way thru each day. But, I roam my floors at night thinking about my mom and dad and crying that it has to be this way.I hate dementia and I miss my dad's true personality. I also miss my free days where I got to do fun stuff instead of help my mom take care of dad or prop her up from all the defeat she feels. I don't blog much about it b/c I think it bothers my sis... but man I pray. and pray. I will pray for you. and make you any pretend thing you want. I am making you a valentine and a cake as soon as I press the publish button. please make me a pretend valentine wreath. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love you and I'm praying.
    I bet the counselor you went to naked with troll hair would never be the same ; )

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am there in the trenches with you. I don't know how many times today I've told God how unfair it all is. As if I somehow deserve a life of fairness when people all over the world live in far more unjust circumstances. Sometimes the promise of a plan just seems like one more hope waiting to be crushed to bits. But then God puts in my mind a friend or two who are in pain and fearful circumstances too- and praying for them really is sweet. Why is it that I know one-hundred percent that God has their backs, but I don't seem to trust that for myself?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Dude, I'm right there with ya. You have no idea.

    And btw, naked with troll hair may be a step up from how I look most days.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Crazy? I don't know? It all makes sense to me. :)
    I'll keep you in my prayers.
    I use(d?) to have nightmares about poop mounding out of the outhouse toilet when I was a kid, 'cause once when we were at a sale my mama had to hold me over it it was that bad. Oh & snakes slithering from under the outhouse door. *shudder*

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have read your blog for a while and have never seen you like this. I hope your spirits lift soon and you get your strength back. Kids can wear you down. They raise you up, but boy can they wear you down. I didn;t know your child was sick. I am sorry to hear that and pray they will heal and be ok.

    A nice cup of tea is what you need...to go with that banana bread.

    Chania

    ReplyDelete
  12. you posted this for me today. and i don't have kids, or a husband, or a carpeted kitchen, and my toilet flushes perfectly well, thank you. i will pray for you and covet yours!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm praying. And I just baked you a pretend loaf of banana bread. Then I came over and surprised you with a trip to get our nails and toes done. They're bright green. I hope you like them.

    And while we're on the subject of clogged toilets, here's some of my own crazy subconscious. When I really have to pee in the middle of the night, I dream of clogged toilets. I'm in a public restroom, and all of the toilets are clogged or overflowing. And man do I ever have to pee! When I wake up (in a dry bed), I thank the good Lord that I didn't wet the bed.

    Finally, I've been enjoying the simplicity of Matthew 11:28-30 lately.

    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  14. Ahhh..Liz Lemon! Luhhs her! I also loved her Golden Globe dress.

    Listen, I have days where I feel like it's hard to just wash my face and brush my teeth or take a shower. I only call it depression when it goes on and on for months and months. Some days are just harder than others and I believe life has seasons~ some seasons are difficult and just kind of suck.

    I love your honesty.

    I love that you let Ruby rub your back while you cried.

    My breakdown occurred not while plunging a toilet, but with a smoke alarm's battery dying in mid October at around 4AM. I was sleep deprived, my hubby had just had hip surgery a month prior. He was bedridden in the living room, couldn't navigate stairs and could hardly move. He was on lots of pain meds that had to be given at various intervals, so I never really got more than 4 hours of sleep in a row. We had a new puppy (stupid timing, I know! But that Curtis is meant to be with us. He's like a magical and sometimes trying gnome!)and I did in-home physical therapy for my husband everyday. I could hardly lift his leg. He's over 6 feet tall and over 215 pounds.

    That experience made me want to take care of caregivers who never get breaks. And I do recall you offered me (or told me about, I was sleep deprived)some sort of "Great Nurse" mug or magnet!

    But that night..when I had finally gotten some sleep and was overwhelmed...the smoke alarm going off...not a chair tall enough to help me reach it..my husband couldn't climb the stairs. I lost it. If I'd had a bat, i would have attacked that thing. I burst into sobs, headed into the basement and kept screaming "I just want to f-ing sleep!" (<---perhaps not my finest moment)and then I apologized to my husband, went back upstairs, took the battery out and cried for a couple of hours alone.

    We've all been there, girl.

    Wish I lived closer so I could do something nice for you in person. :-)

    I am praying for you.

    xxoo~

    TT

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh, you sweet child. I have been reading your blog for awhile but never commented. I'm 59 years old, old enough to be your mother and I have so admired your courage with all the changes in your life. You do indeed have a full plate. But as a God fearing southern Christian woman who loves the Lord and knows that all things are possible to those that love the Lord, I know you will come out of this a stronger woman. I'll tell you what I always told my two children when they were growing up. "This too shall pass". It always does. And my grown children now repeat this when they are in times of trouble. I will pray for you and your sweet family.

    ReplyDelete
  16. The way I look at it, if a person isn't having a panic attack, they aren't paying attention.
    I remember so clearly in those early years of motherhood (yes, you're still in the early years) I had weeks where I was seriously circling the drain. It was grim. Guh-rim. I was too far gone to ask for help or even want help, because being on the receiving end of help requires something - gratitude or even just the asking - and I had nothing. Bupkis. Less than nothing. Every tiny bit of anything I could scrape together had to be used to get to our appointments at Children's Hospital. Those giant, wide, crazy high speed bumps they have in the hospital parking lot were the focus of my fury.
    It will pass. I know for sure it will. The sweetness of these days passes too, and I know that's not lost on you.
    My prescription for right this moment? As loud as you can stand it, 'Love Train' by the O'Jays.
    xo

    ReplyDelete
  17. My dear girl,

    I've never seen you like this and like many others I wish I lived nearby. I would plunge that nasty toilet for you and man the phone. This post has blessed a lot of people I'm sure 'cause it has certainly helped me. Anxiety and depression are a way of life for me and I'm glad you're keepin' it real. This too shall pass.
    xo

    ReplyDelete
  18. you know i'm with you in this.
    your sharing brought on the good cry i've needed all week.
    and it's only tuesday night.
    praying for you, dear one.
    banana bread sounds great.

    i love you.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I wrote this long reply with stories of crazy. But you know all about it. You're living it. So I am here as a voice from your future. It gets better. So so much better and easier. Kids grow out of things. Perspective will light the way. Fears diminish and children become well. I wish I knew you in person Missy. I'd love to share some banana bread. And just so you know I've never been one to befriend perfect. Now, as you requested I will be spending some time with a friend with three at home and I'll be thinking of you.
    Dana

    ReplyDelete
  20. Dear sweet friend, I'm praying for you! When I was 10, I asked my mom if she'd bake chocolate chip cookies. She went to bed for a year, or so I thought…I learned only recently that it was just 3 weeks. She said it wasn't the cookies…which is what I always thought. My old friends & I talk non-stop on the phone at times, working through life's loveliness with each other. Do you have that with your real-life homies? I hope so, if not…my number is 555…

    My most very favorite verses are Isaiah 41:10 and Isaiah 40:28-31 They've been super comforting to me during the times o'crud and unknown happenings. Remembering that He knows what He has for us each and every moment…has been a major comfort, too. Also, Deut. 33:25b

    In Him,
    Julie M.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Dearest Friend, I've been there, I'm there, please pass the butter. I like my banana bread with just a little smidgen of butter. This is what I did today. I hurt someone last week, I knew it instantly. Today we spoke, I apologized, I cried, she cried, I told her I was scared, she told me it shows. I might be covering up on the couch tonight.
    ~G~xooooooooooooo

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oh, my darling Farmgirl.
    Load up that troll hair and come see me in Montana right this very minute.
    Or New York. Whichever you prefer.
    I used to cry about plugged toilets, but I went numb many years ago. (Can you even imagine what the toilets in this house o' boys have been through?)
    Shudder.
    I'll let you sleep in till noon and then make you something with cream cheese in it. Cream cheese banana bread. And then I will prop you in front of the tv and we will spend all of our waking hours in Dillon.
    Texas Forever, Farmgirl.
    Texas.
    Forever.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have three brightly colored gerber daisies in a jar on the end table next to me. They were brought to me by my husband late last week.

    I get it.

    In fact, banana bread was already planned for tomorrow. I'd invite you and your kiddos over if I could. I really truly would.

    Nice story - some friends of ours had the day off yesterday because of MLK Jr. Day and surprised us by calling us up and saying "Hey. Bring ALL FIVE of your kids over and then go out to coffee with your husband. Just because."

    God is still good. All the time.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I just want you to know that I think you're completely fabulous... troll hair, claw hands, and all. And you make the best imaginary banana bread, by the way.

    Take care o' you.
    Prayin.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Oh sweet friend, I'm praying for you! And not just right now but I'm putting your name on a post-it note and sticking it to my bathroom mirror. I'm serious about this prayer commitment. You are a gem!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'd totally bake you banana bread. If I hadn't thrown out the loaf pan in a snit after my last failed attempt at making said bread in a temperamental oven, which was, coincidentally, the day my son overflowed the toilet the first time he finally used the toilet (at 3-1/2 because potty training has totally exceeded my parenting skills with this one).

    As you see, we're all right there with you, girl. And I'm sorry that these days are a little less rainbows and sunshine than you deserve, but I guess, if all else fails, rock that troll hair and dance your nekked self into fits of joyous laughter or madness (they're basically the same thing).

    For real, though, I pray for the state of your heart, for peace that transcends the hard moments, for quiet moments with time to breathe, and that love will overwhelm you until nothing else really matters. Love, love, love.

    ReplyDelete
  27. My friend... I do know... at least in part. The upside down life stuff... good and yet so hard... and the kid stuff... I've lived some intense and scary kid stuff over the past almost 11 years. It's nearly killed me at times and I've been VERY alone in the battles wishing for that sweet support of someone to come hold the fort down myself. It's broken my heart and made me crazy. And yet somehow, I survived. You will too darlin' even if it feels like maybe you won't tonight.

    Just bowed my head and prayed over you and your little ones. Sweet thing.

    I'm an email away and very good at listening. It's good to gripe every now and then. LOve you girl.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I am not good with words so
    I usually don't comment but I want you to know sweet lady you are in my prayers! I adore you lady I really do.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thanks for sharing your hard stuff. You are not alone... At the moment, I'm a hot mess of raging hormones, selfishness, and worry. My hubby started his new job, which means he's only home on weekends for a few months. (tiny violins). I was a blubbering baby on our Skype date and feel like such a wimp. I too now have a drastically deeper appreciation for military wives.

    Praying for you and your babes.
    The pretend b'nana bread is baking and divine smells are filling the dream kitchen. I'm looking forward to our pretend tea party!

    -Shaina

    ReplyDelete
  30. Tomorrow morning I was planning on baking banana bread before my Marme comes into town, so why don't you just come on over? This post struck a cord with me, a deep one. I had a day this week, a day I was not so proud of. The kind of day when you go sans make-up because after fixing your mascara for the third time, it doesn't matter anymore. I lost it....my marbles scattered to the floor. I'm almost 9 months pregnant, my husband is going to school full-time right now and working very little, the bills keep coming and with them, I keep kneeling, praying God will give me the patience to see this all through.

    Not many know this, but I actually deal with anxiety and panic.....it is an absolutely horrible feeling. All I can say is you're not alone.

    Thank you for your honesty and your willingness to share so much. Prayers coming your way.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I am convinced its this darn month. The turning of the calendar will surely restore my sanity and energy...surely... Thanks for keeping it real. I see parts of your story echoing in mine, and I am sending up some reverberating prayers for you! Your grace and transparency are encouraging!! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  32. I'm there too and I'm praying for you. Xxx

    ReplyDelete
  33. My brain revolts at 8pm too. Prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Sweet girl- i'd bake you the biggest mad loaf of banana bread if i lived in your hood...

    empathy over sympathy is divine...a bumper sticker...i'd put it on every car i passed...

    be gentle on yourself...life is pretty tricky, demanding and downright tiring sometimes...in the next breath - the opposite- apparently that's how you can tell the *good times*...didn't Keats write about that in his poetry...

    i just kept thinking of HS and English class and Keats, whilst i was reading this...

    Melissa- Miss Sew & So xx

    ReplyDelete
  35. I love you. Not in a weird way.
    -Jill

    ReplyDelete
  36. Well indicated your feelings.I really like your loyalty.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hugs and more hugs, Sweet Friend. Sending thoughts of banana bread your way. ~Sally

    ReplyDelete
  38. I'll pray for you, Shannan. Thanks for your honesty.

    ReplyDelete
  39. This seems to be my life right now. Everything is topsy-turvy. I might be losing my job due to a plant closing, my hubby doesn't make enough to support the family, we rent a borrowed house with our own stuff in storage, my daughter has picked up all kinds of bad habits from the sitters and attempts to add to our family have resulted in month after month of disappointment, with a miscarriage in between. I don't understand why God keeps telling us to wait, keeps saying "no", but I remind myself everyday that we're ok. We have a place to live, food to eat, the 3 of us are together.... Someday, all will be right again. How long do we have to wait? I would think we've waited long enough, but it seems God still has something for us to learn in this stage of life.

    I'd prefer pumpkin or zucchini bread, if you don't mind... :) Thank you for your honesty, Shannan. It helps to know we're not alone....

    ReplyDelete
  40. I feel so many of the same things often. You're not alone. Praying for "us."

    ReplyDelete
  41. Oh I HEAR you. I go there and I've been there but I promise this too shall pass xx
    PS My brain revolted at 6.30pm last night and my beautiful husband had to take over dinner and bedtime with the little people.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I really appreciate your honesty here in the eye of your adoring public. I am praying for God to meet you in all your hard places and fill all your empty places. Love to you.

    Jesus, touch my friend.

    ReplyDelete
  43. i don't know.

    but i do. being rubbed raw by the thorny parts of who i am.

    i love you. all of it.

    i'm not very good at banana bread. but i make a mean, almost burned chocolate chip cookie. give what we can, right?

    ReplyDelete
  44. Ummm... I definitely get you on this one. Praying for you.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Can I add myself to the list of women who can identify with you and what you're going through? And sending you virtual love and support? 'Cause I do.

    I've got a not-so-little child (teen) who is causing me to just about lose my mind with fear and worry and wondering what the heck I did wrong..... and I just keep holding on, hoping/praying/knowing? that we'll come through on the other end of this.

    Pass the banana bread, please.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I'm right there with you, standing in the crazy lane. And, I'm praying for you. You're right, these seasons pass, but often not quickly enough for us (or so it seems). I so wish we lived closer. I'd bake for you, fold your pile of laundry (doesn't everybody have one of those?), and entertain your kids for a while so you can work on that book of yours. Hang in there. You'll make it through all the trials and changes. You're not crazy at all. We all have those panic attacks from time to time. Honestly, I read everything on anxiety and fear I can get my hands on. Sometimes it's really tough being a woman. I cried ginormous tears over an old episode of Clean House the other day. Yup, emotions get the best of us all. You're a great mommy, a wonderful writer, and you're used by God in ways some only dream of. Definitely cut yourself some slack. Sending love from NY.
    ~FringeGirl

    PS. My toilet clogs all the time, because we have a really old (translate small) pipe going to it. I've said many a bad word under breath over that toilet. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  47. This morning when I head to Mass, I will offer my prayers for you. I remember when my boys were little I would find myself laying on the floor just crying for no apparent reason. It is a tough time. I can say, for me I have learned to deal with it all better, because the teen thing is a whole other ball of wax. No harder, just different. I think as Mama's we are being prepared for that and beyond.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Ann Schrock, Jan 18, 2012
    Its been awhile since I sent a comment, I never seem to be able to get them sent somehow. I will be 77 tomorrow and am always amazed at how deep and challenging it is to read you and your young friends comments almost daily. But I remember the feelings of panic and fear of wnat will come next and here after all these years I find that God has brought me and my loved ones through battles, struggles ,fun joy and the list goes on. Soooo do not dispare for He is with you each moment of every day. Take care.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hope, love, and prayers for you. I'm right there with you right now. My ulcers are in full swing and I am living on dairy right now. So instead of banana bread, can I have cottage cheese? Please? Hang in there.

    ReplyDelete
  50. oh you know I've been down this road many times..
    One of my favorite verses

    1 peter 5:7

    Casting all your cares upon him for HE careth for You.

    blessings,B

    ReplyDelete
  51. I named my blog "Out of My Alleged Mind" because I wasn't entirely sure that I'm not. Sometimes I imagine there's a shady character named Crazy who wears a trench coat, hides in the shadows, and stalks me. I battle him by telling stories and bearing witness that my God is greater than any shady character hiding in the shadows. Virtual banana bread helps. Thanks for writing this. So many I want to share it with.

    ReplyDelete
  52. You should smell the pretend banana bread baking just for you right now.
    And God smells the sweet incense of our prayers wafting up to Him right now.
    Hugs to you.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I am baking you a million double chocolate chip cookies in my mind right now! Hang in there!!!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Baking the bread right now :) Praying for you Sweet Farmgirl :)

    ReplyDelete
  55. I made a pan of the fattest cinnamon rolls this morning and wish I could fed ex them. From the looks of these comments and all of the virtual baked goods coming your way, you can look forward to putting on a virtual 50 pounds! Maybe what the world needs is just more baked goods. I will pray. I've been there. I am still there. The stack of books, your own book. your friends, the banana bread...it can all wait. Rest, stillness, processing...it can't always wait. Take care of yourself in the here and now and kick guilt out the door. One of my best girls tells me often, "Listen to your body." And so I do. And you should too. {Geez, I sound bossy!}

    ReplyDelete
  56. I am with you in every aspect of your life right now. Not sure where we are going to live in June, trying to be present and grateful in my current life, etc. Thank you for your beautiful words and willingness to open your heart. It truly does help others including me know that I am not alone. Jack Johnson sings "Banana Pancakes" so instead of Bread I am sending his song to you.

    ReplyDelete
  57. banana bread from me to you. I love your writing and courage. Hang in there. btw, could i have choc chip cookies instead of banana bread?;)

    ReplyDelete
  58. i'm jumping on the yellow sofa with emily.
    &i'm going to also tell you she's the only comment i read. promise.
    but girl, man does the Lord allow you to speak to minister to love on & encourage so many around you while you're in the pit. the pit sucks but girl you WILL overcome. professional help? manicure? hot bath? white wine? beach vacay? flowers from the man? or a toilet that will finally do its thing? i have no idea...but you will overcome!
    praying for you now with a mouthful of bananabread
    &...sending mine your way sweet girl
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  59. Um....you've been reading my mail, then posting it as your very own words here. Panic attacks...check. Unruly kids...check. Homeless....oops....I can check that one. And I put that smile on my face. Every. Single. Day.
    But there is One greater than I...and He is my only hope.

    In Christ alone,
    Cindy

    ReplyDelete
  60. Surely there is some way we can start a very free, imaginary support group that meets daily to regroup back into a state of normal.

    One of us should be the president. I vote for you, but only if I get to be vice-prez alongside you.

    I feel your tired over here.

    Tell my little bud to chill the heck out, at least until naptime today.

    Your bread is in the oven. I added oats and an extra dash of cinnamon.
    xxoo

    ReplyDelete
  61. I was verklempt when I read this post last night, and then my computer ran out of juice.
    Your posts about motherhood and life and not knowing what's ahead so often bring me back to when my kids were small. My husband travels for work, often for 4 or 5 days at a time. I found that sometimes it's necessary to close the door to the bathroom with the clogged toilet, put everyone's jackets on, and take a little walk, even if it's cold out. Or put them in the car and go get a coffee and donut holes even if it's almost dinnertime. Better yet, meet a friend and her kids at McDonalds and have a laugh. Sometimes the best thing you can do is give everyone a change of scenery, yourself most of all. Right there with ya, sister, sending prayers for a happy day today your way!

    ReplyDelete
  62. I am with you. Right there by your side with so much of what you described. I came out of hiding a few days ago about suffering with lupus. It is hard to admit defeat. But we can't get back up if we don't recognize that we are down. Love you and praying for you.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Thank you for sharing!!! I believe we are in this life to learn and grow. We don't do that with easy. But, just having that knowledge and the knowledge that we have a loving Father in Heaven doesn't make it easier, but somehow makes it worth it. I needed to know I'm not alone though. :)

    By the way, thanks for stopping by my blog the other day and leaving me a comment. I am so star struck. :)

    ReplyDelete
  64. Thank you for being so open. It stinks to feel crazy but I think I'm learning that when we share the crazy with others (a few anyway) they can speak truth into our lives and that brings some sanity back. Praying Jesus speaks his truth and love into your heart and into mine. Keep smiling. :)

    ReplyDelete
  65. Let's pretend that I've shown up at your house with a hot lasagna, some Orange Sunkist, and paper plates, forks, knives, cups, and napkins. Heck, I've even brought my own garbage bag to throw them into when they're all used up. And while you eat, I do your dishes. Your realness (which I'm beginning to believe can't be helped) is appreciated, and I just think you're normal. Fabulously normal.

    For the record, I save my breakdowns for when Handsome is on shift, and I find a cockroach. Or burn dinner. Or find a sock on the floor when I just thought I'd done all the laundry. You know, serious issues :)

    ReplyDelete
  66. Have you read this!? My sister shared this with me last week after I shared with her that I had spent the entire evening before rolling in my doubts and ugly tears as a mom, wife, friend, etc. with my husband.

    The next day he brought home a gift card for an hour massage.

    It's a little long- but SO good! Hope it makes you laugh like it did me!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/glennon-melton/dont-carpe-diem_b_1206346.html

    ReplyDelete
  67. I think its clear that we are all right there with you, but we all wear a smile and so sometimes its hard to realize that anybody else is going through it too. Thank u for breaking the wall down so that we could all voice our pains and struggles.

    I was just trying to write something like this too on my blog but the words weren't coming quite right. It is just sitting there with a big red "edit" next to it..... I think its time to finish it. Love yah, friend

    ReplyDelete
  68. I'm so sorry, Shannan. When I have days where I just feel my eyes well up at the littlest thing (way, way littler than any of the things you mentioned), I imagine I'm sitting on Jesus' lap crying on His shoulder. I remember He's on the throne and that His mercy never ends and it gives me comfort somewhere really deep, even if I still cry (and I do still cry, naturally, and then I cry some more because I'm upset that I'm crying). My prayers are with you, sister.

    ReplyDelete
  69. oh yeah, it changed my life a little, too! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  70. I am really, really good at unclogging toilets. Never hesitate to call...I am just a plunger away and I rarely get gaggy. ;) Love you Shannan and know that you are surrounded by love from all sides.

    ReplyDelete
  71. I am baking a banana bread for you today, and sending it to you with prayers... Your honest voice is a gift to yourself and others reading along with you... Thank you for sharing.
    Jo-Anna

    ReplyDelete
  72. Thanks for being real...and letting us know we are not alone. God has rocked our world this year, and I am VERY glad about it, but when I get the crazies and gloomies, I feel like I am letting Him down. That I should somehow have a smile on my face all of the time, or I not be glorifying Him. But, I know that when He calls us to hard things- it is hard! So, trudging through this crazy life and smiling most of the time- but not always!

    ReplyDelete
  73. I am leaving you a slightly blurry video of a 10,000 Maniacs song with lyrics that we all need to hear at times. One of my struggles is asking for help so I know how brave you are just in confessing that you could use some good thoughts.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXnDGEM2oOg

    Keeping you in the light (and now craving banana bread!).

    ReplyDelete
  74. lifting you up to the One who has the power to heal, strengthen, and CARRY you through the deepest of valleys.
    He loves you, and so do we!
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  75. Crack bark, that is what its called, right? That is what I would make you and bring your favorite salsa from down here. I love you dear child,more than words can say. A verse I have clung to is "Weeping comes for a night time, but JOY comes in the morning". You know I've been there, it seems like a big black ugly hole you can't get out of. And feeling alone through it all is the worst. But Wow, look at all these amazing people who do love you and are praying for you!!Me included!!! Dad and I used to look at each other all the time through the years and one of us would say,"We're going to make it,right"? and the other one would say,"Yeah we're going to make it". For some reason it made everything feel better at the time. Feel that?? That was the angle wings brushing past your shoulder, and that warm feeling on your back was me rubbing it since Ruby is in school.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Praying with you and loving you!

    ReplyDelete
  77. Hugs and prayers just for you...AND....I just took out 2 dozen banana muffins from the oven...Peace and many blessings to you, Heather

    ReplyDelete
  78. Growth comes in the valleys! Praise God that He choose to change us and not merely leave us as we are!

    ReplyDelete
  79. Can we please be friends. This is my life and my toilet overflows monthly if not weekly. I am a single mom and feel all these things and I love how you put it all into words for me. Sometimes I want to wear a toolbelt with my plunger and vacuum attached to it, that is if I can get out of my kitchen and the making of food and snacks. And the thing is I love right where I am at , just plum worn out. I believe the joy and pain are meant to go together not to be seperated as we walk this walk. So here is a banana for you as I am too tired and busy cleaning the overflowing toilet to make banana bread. Girl you are awesome and real!

    ReplyDelete
  80. Consider it delivered and thanks for my banana bread too. I had a moment today while brushing my teeth, where I thought "I just want someone to look after me". But alas, no one is near me to sweep in and take over. Hope your precious one(s) are less combative and more snuggly today. Thanks for sharing. You are not alone.

    ReplyDelete
  81. I hope all these comments will lift you up and make your spirits brighter. I know that you have had a rough time lately. I remember last year and when you hearts hanging everywhere when your house was listed. I think you left some of "you" in your old house. I must admit that I am a little worried about you. I would like to send you something if you trust me with your address......you can email it to grammypetals@yahoo.com . I am praying for you. I know that you will feel better because that is just who you are. ((((((HUGS))))))

    ReplyDelete
  82. Consider yourself served with a big slice of my famous banana bread hot out of the oven with butter on it and an ice cold glass of milk.

    Thank you for sharing your heart with us. I can relate and empathize with you on so many levels. This too shall pass and blah blah blah. No but really, you will come through this and with the wisdom and ability to empathize with so many others.

    Hugs to you.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Sending you my prayers... and some banana bread.

    ReplyDelete
  84. I just wanted to say that I think it's ok to let your kids see you loose it sometime. It helps them know that all emotions are ok and have their place and that it's human to be sad.

    There's some imaginary banana bread in my oven for you right now!

    ReplyDelete
  85. well I'm late to the party. DANG IT. Always the last to comment, but being late doesn't mean I don't care. It means I'm in the trenches too, and I am so happy you didn't hide, because I want good company. I think you're good company. Let's do this together. I will not make you banana bread though. Banana bread makes me have a panic attack. THE MESS! THE ENERGY! THE TIME! Guac and salsa I can do. I know a place...
    and in the mean time, I have been having a problem that is similar in nature. I hate it. I hate the options I have for "Fixing It" and I spend a lot of time talking to myself and telling myself that my brain is lying to me. It's exhausting. The thing that has helped me jump out of my sinking ship is the fact that people share their struggles and the sharing doesn't make me feel so crazy. So thank you thank you thank you thank you. I love you more for this.
    What's with all the bread and milk offerings? Why can't we have a margarita? Dude. Think about it.

    By the way...Liz Lemon is my hero. I love it when she tries to take charge of her life, ala the Secret and is brought down by a plastic bag in a tree outside her apartment. You know the episode? I'm not giving anything away if you haven't...but she bends her knee, raises her fist to the sky, to the tree, to the bag, and yells, "MORTALITY!"
    My ultimate favorite thing. I scream it often.

    ReplyDelete
  86. I have a Dutch butter cookie for you and I'll have one with you.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Oh that last paragraph - sooooo can relate. I texted my mom last night to say please just pray that I can see the big picture and have wisdom right now. Praying for you, Shannan.
    PS I think you, JoAnn (the Ostrich :)) and I should get together some day and watch Liz Lemon and have margaritas and such.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Oh, friend. Big huge hug. This was me all last year. Every day. Overwhelmed and troll hair and tears and clogged toilets. Pass the banana loaf. I got more flowers from Josh in those months than the rest of our relationship combined. Your heart is beautiful and I hope you have some peace soon. You can bet I'll be praying. I am right now.

    ReplyDelete
  89. I will add my voice to the chorus, and say that I love reading your blog, I love your heart, and real things like this happen. In your pain, you have already brought freedom and empathy to dozens of women. So believe today that Jesus uses your weakness when you can't see the light through the dark. During a dark season of my life, I scribbled this quote on the back of my journal:

    "The seed is in the ground
    now may we rest in hope
    while darkness does its work."
    -Wendall Barry

    Much love!

    ReplyDelete
  90. Praying and thanking God for you. p.s: I wish I only gagged at clogged toilets. :)

    ReplyDelete
  91. I'm sending smiles and passing the bread to you and all who are in need of extra tlc. Beautiful, gut wrenching post that we all ca relate to in one form or all. Seding you much love,
    Lulu

    ReplyDelete
  92. Many, many, MANY times not-so-long ago I thought I was depressed or crazy or crazy-depressed. I wasn't. I was just the mother of young children. Who may or may not have been depressed.

    Obviously lots and lots of moms can relate to what you just said. Lots and lots will agree. I do too. Except for one thing: "I am on my game every split second of every single day because it's not optional." It is. Optional. You don't have to be on your game all the time. Your kids will learn to handle themselves for a few minutes if you need some space (well, just don't drive off or anything). You don't have to be all things to all people.

    This once-crazy, possibly-depressed mama wants you to know that.

    ReplyDelete
  93. This tugged at my heart so much to read this today. I have been in your shoes several times throughout my life and you have more wisdom than I did in that you know in your heart that this too will pass. It will. It's just so painful to get through. Also, you are so ahead of the game in knowing that what you experienced really was a panic attack. You will get stronger with each day. I think the tears are necessary. A release valve. Clogged toilets and drains send me over the edge too along with beeping fire detectors, moving, sick children and traveling husbands. Hang in there. You are in my thoughts and prayers and my favorite banana chocolate chip cake is being baked for you and your lovely children as we speak.

    ReplyDelete
  94. ditto.
    get it.
    get you.
    praying rest in more ways than one.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Oh yeah, know too much about this myself. I'm so happy to see all the virtual cakes that are coming your way - I bet many with real, true to life prayers attached! May God sustain your every moment.
    PS: It can be the oddest thing that tips us over the edge when we are home alone with the kids and no husband is close by to help...mine works 45 min away, evening shift, Tues-Saturday. That's no business trip across the globe but I.don't.like.it. Thanks for listening.

    ReplyDelete
  96. Oh sweetie, I am so sorry. I am ( honestly) praying..

    May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

    xo ellie

    ReplyDelete
  97. I understand every word of this post. I have experienced all of these feelings the last 6 months and sometimes it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'll be praying for you and hope that things calm down soon. <3

    P.S. Ruby is such a sweetie!

    ReplyDelete
  98. oh AMEN. i am so there.
    in an awful lot of that.
    thank you so much for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  99. It's amazing and sad how many of those things I have in common with you right now or else have experienced in the recent past. Thanks for sharing it with your blog friends. I think every time I hear someone else say they feel crazy too, I realize we're all really not as crazy as we think. I mean, if we're all crazy, then that makes it sort of normal, right? That's what I'm telling myself anyway. Hang in there bloggy friend! It really will get better! God will pull you out of this funky place when it's time.

    ReplyDelete
  100. Oh, so sorry, Shannan. . .overflowing toilets are one of my greatest fears, too :) Praying for you in all these situations.

    One of my favorite verses is
    Isiah 41:10 "fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

    ReplyDelete
  101. Read this post twice and even read some of the comments!

    Thank you for the reminder that this season will pass. I was recently given an unexpected medical diagnosis, and am awaiting tests to learn if I have a more serious condition as well. It's scary.

    I appreciate your reminder about thinking of others who are struggling (your example of deployed moms)--it is so necessary for me to put things in perspective realizing that things could be worse, and to think about all I have to be thankful for.

    ReplyDelete
  102. That precious Ruby. Warms my mommy heart.
    My kids don't like to see mommy cry.
    But I do.
    And that's okay.
    And YOU'RE okay. You've been through BIG change and you have LITTLE people. Tears and troll hair is to be expected. But I do recommend you make every effort to stay fully clothed. ;)


    You are loved, sweet beautiful Shannan!

    ReplyDelete
  103. 500 comments later and i'm with courtney....come to colorado! looks like I might have a bunch of free time opening up here real soon. Is it strange that I made banana bread last night before I read your post? Love your heart sweet girl. Prayers for you. Im servin them up with a slather of butter on top. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  104. I'm here.
    I'm in this.
    I've been in it for about a year.
    I'm still in it.

    And I'm here for you.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Thank you for such beautiful honesty. Praying for you, definitely can understand where you are coming from.

    ReplyDelete
  106. Sending your virtual banana bread your way. And we can cry together. :~)

    ReplyDelete
  107. I straight up adore you, Shannan. Wish I could fly myself right next to you and watch your babes while you went out for that manicure. :) Since I can't, then can we just share somma that imaginary bread?

    Praying for you, dear. You are loved!

    {PS I feel you on the clogged toilet thing. One time our clogged toilet overflowed and flooded not only our bathroom but two bedrooms. True story. I still get all sweaty just thinking about it. }

    {PPSS You can bet your bottom dolla that military wives with deployed spouses cry-among other things-over clogged toilets, too. :) }

    ReplyDelete
  108. I wish in some part that I could sympathize with this post (don't judge me for that), but the empathy is there, my friend. It's right smack with you. And the professional that I'd recommend? A serious dose of consistent funny. Movies. Pinterest. The jokes only you & that friend get. Heck, go all out and put the kids to bed early for a date of tv funny on the couch.

    It's what keeps me going. Well, that and lots and lots and lots of prayers. And Bible study. And reminders...that it's His plan...and He's always working it for good.

    ReplyDelete
  109. every day i look forward to reading your post
    you share the good, the bad, and the ugly--
    i can't express how much your honesty means to me
    thank you
    thank you
    thank you

    ReplyDelete
  110. I love reading your blog. Your post today hit home! I'm knee-deep in family adjustments, and I feel like I referee ALL. DAY. LONG. I crash around 9:30 because I just don't have anything left!! Thanks for your encouragement!!

    ReplyDelete
  111. Oh I here you. Your little guy and my Joy-bug could for some kind of team. I have thought of counseling, but no way am I using babysitting for another appointment.

    You are going to make it.

    Ursula

    ReplyDelete
  112. I wish I had something for you but I am on empty with no real flesh and blood in front of my face except my husband. My world is a lonely place right now. Thank you for being real!

    ReplyDelete
  113. Oh, dear sweet FPG....I'm a day late(story of my life)to reading this, but am sending some pretend homemade pizza your way. How about some pretend brownies, too. All I can say is, how did you get into my brain?? Seriously.
    And while your in there, could you please dust off that "happy place" part of my brain? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  114. you are not crazy, you are transparent and real, and relatable, but you are not crazy.

    I have been there, ok I have been there many of times, *sigh*, the winter usually pushes me over the top. And yet I know this if I had chosen the safe life and had only trivial problems my life would have been wasted, boring, and not even half as full of joy (I can never feel the joy as much as when it hurts the worst, if it's just me ignore that part :)

    I'm going to join the hundreds of others out there and pray for you this afternoon, what a privilege! :)

    ReplyDelete
  115. This brought tears to my eyes. I just wrote a similar blog post (although no where near as eloquent) about the month I've been having. But what is pulling me through are my amazing friends who are laughing and crying right along with me. Please know that although I don't really know you I consider you a friend and I'm pulling for you. I'll send banana bread, but also some prayers your way. Love you girl!

    ReplyDelete
  116. two things.

    number one: i love you.

    number two: you are me! or i am you! minus the soon-to-be pulitzer novel and the furry kitchen.

    thing number three (did i say two? i underestimated my things.): i love you some more. and even bigger, so does He.

    ReplyDelete
  117. We are here because YOU are. You help us uncover what's in our hearts and minds and we know we're all in this together. You aren't crazy--unless it's that's wonderfully charming brand that makes things funny--you're real. A genuine, wide open soul who will always stretch herself to the limits because to do less just isn't an option for a girl with your brains, heart, faith, and imagination. But there will be days that that openness causes hurt because you don't keep anything in reserve. If you HAD any reserve, you'd so generously spend it on your children, your community, your friends. Some days (months, weeks, ?phases) just don't work. Sometimes it doesn't come easy, dear girl. As I read today, sometimes you just need someone to say "carry on, warrior". So, carry on, warrior. Breathe, even if only for a moment. And lean on your kindred spirits. We ARE all in this together. We'll hold you tight.

    ReplyDelete
  118. I like your headline.According to your headline u put articles here.Great thoughts utilize dude!

    ReplyDelete
  119. I'm gonna go make you some bread now & THANK YOU so much for being REAL!

    ReplyDelete
  120. I read this and got teary eyed because I've never felt gotten so much as I did as I read this post and I don't even know you. When my husband was deployed to Afghanistan the first time I had to have emergency surgery when I was 20wks preggo with son#4, I was cool as a cucumber. But a year later when he was in Iraq 2 of our boys were sick (no biggie, kids get sick) except both of them had puked all over themselves and me and I wound up driving to the ER covered in puke, 4 kids in tow, two dressed in their most puketastic, crying the whole way and really had a meltdown when I got there and everyone moved to the other side of the waiting room because apparently we smelled bad. Sometimes it's the smallest thing that tips the scales. What is wonderful about being a woman, wife and mother is that we can be vulnerable and scared and unsure and bummed out and still have the heart of a lioness. Keep sharing all the crazy goodness and your peeps will keep reading!!

    ReplyDelete
  121. Just popping in for my weekly dose of you. Sorry to have missed you in your time of need (read: lousy friend), not that I havent been thinking of you or your family or how yall are all doing, but now I am here ... just a few days short and things are looking better already. Thank goodness, probably had something to do with the avocado grilled cheese. Woman, where has that been all my life? I'm not much of a banana bread maker, muffins now ... well, that's a different story! I also have way to much experience with a plunger ... if only we were neighbors, I would have rushed right over to help. and cradle sprouts with you. {Big Hugs}

    ReplyDelete
  122. Your blog is so refreshing...not because you are feeling blue, but because your are honest and speak from the heart. Feeling constantly overwhelmed can really make you lose the plot! I hear you! I am a mum of 3 boys, two of those twin. My tipping point would often be sitting on the toilet floor cleaning it for the third time in a day. It would take me 20 minutes to clean it all (picture - up the walls, out the door etc), only to walk back in there 10 minutes later to see wee everywhere again!! Many days spent crying on that toilet floor. This Aussie here loves your sense of humour and is sending you some virtual laxatives. You may need it after all the other banana bread youve been sent! Hope all these comments cheer you up a little.

    ReplyDelete
  123. read this after spending a few hours in bed this morning in the utter pits of loneliness. i find such deep encouragement to read how others are also having moments of sadness, loneliness, and just yucky "stuff". gives me strength in a strange way :). clogged drains of any sort suck... GROSS! i have to deal with a sink drain today... EWWWW! wish you were my neighbor... we could share banana bread and a plunger!!! keep your chin up... praying for you!

    ReplyDelete
  124. I'm way behind in reading over here, which is why I'm just now commenting. I love that all the commenters above can encourage you, because I sure can't. I'm very much in the same place you were when you wrote this. My struggle is with chronic migraines, which make every part of life a little bit harder than it used to be. Sometimes I cry over the smallest thing, sometimes I just want to go smash a glass on the patio. Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone and that it's okay to have a bad day.

    ReplyDelete
  125. I realize this post was from January, but it was JUST what I needed to read tonight in August... thank you for being real, for sharing the hard parts. Your words sounded like they had been taken right out of my mind. Anxiety is something I battle daily. And many days I, too feel like things are spiraling out of control. Thank you for reminding me that I am not alone. (:

    ReplyDelete
  126. 10 months later you're out of this and you're helping me through it. And Dave is an excellent plunger, should the need ever arise again (see, God moved you to a city with a new friend AND a plunge-helper if Cory is out of town!).

    ReplyDelete