I Know Why the Caged Mom Drinks: Dark Season

Supermom

August has barely even ended and I am already wrapped up and completely done with summer. My final pedicure was 2 weeks ago (no gel) and my final stage performance on August 25th ended with me browsing online for comfy fall sweaters. The kids have their school clothes, and—after one last trip for additional school supplies this weekend—I am battening down the hatches and lying in wait.

It is Dark Season, my friends. As a parent who compartmentalizes A LOT I find this time of year stressful af and I have never identified with the commercials showing parents dancing gleefully down the aisles of office supply stores celebrating back to school season. There are so many moving pieces to my life that my head starts pre-spinning in mid-August, fretting about the stress of my commute, time management, shorter days with less sun and juggling parenting and school obligations vs. work and Whiskey Girl obligations. I am a walking, talking ball of stress and emotions at least until spring—and that’s a long time to be absolutely out of your mind while pretending to be a functioning adult.

This year, it’s looking as if Dark Season is being combined with my worst nightmare: actual success. Together, the two are a recipe for a mental health disaster! I have had more invitations to speak on mental health, to perform and to host and produce events than I have ever dreamed would come to fruition. I am over the moon excited that my little brand has gained some traction but I am also riddled with anxiety that I may not be able to juggle this lifestyle. I can’t sacrifice sleep because without sleep I am a murderer. I can’t sacrifice any more time with my daughters because I want to be a real cook dinner, help with homework, embarrass-you-while-bra-shopping kind of mom. Lastly, I absolutely cannot sacrifice my full-time job for obvious reasons like health insurance and not starving to death. [Side note: I have eliminated dating but that’s not really adding any time back into my schedule since dating nowadays is mainly “wyd” texts from dudes sent well after 10pm].

Last night, after the kids went to bed, I found that I couldn’t open a jar of salsa so I sat on my couch and cried for half an hour. Today, I used a knife to pry the jar open and performed an epic victory dance that probably lasted about 30 seconds longer than it should have. Clearly, I need to brace myself for the peaks and the valleys, because the fear is that if this is the first week of school I may end up in a mental institution by December. My challenge to myself this year is to do a better job of leveling my emotions so that I can experience more balance instead of the constant rise and fall of a terrifying roller coaster.

Although I am a single parent I still recognize that I am a privileged parent. I have hella family support, I have hella flexibility with my 9-5 job and I am starting to gain support for my creative endeavors. I am a person motivated by the good deeds of others and the concept of paying it forward, so in this case NOT having a nervous breakdown is definitely a way to show that I am worth the investment! I feel as if I owe it to my parents, my job and mental health sufferers/fellow advocates alike to keep my shit together for as long as I feel led to spread myself across these various projects. Most importantly, I feel that if I successfully juggle this lifestyle I will be able to show my daughters a realistic example of what it looks like when you follow your dreams.

 At the end of the day, I want my daughters to know that on the road to finding and fulfilling your life’s purpose, some days you may cry over unopened salsa.

 

**Stay tuned for Dark Season updates throughout the fall and winter season**

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I Know Why the Caged Mom Drinks: Black Panther

I wanted to do something nice for the girls this weekend. I wanted us to go see Black Panther and I wanted to paint their little faces– but I don’t have white paint. So it was going to be black dots– which would be fine because they are low maintenance and they don’t really care about that sort of thing.

I had it planned, I would order the tickets online, we would watch a movie together and when they went to bed I’d tell them that tomorrow we are all going to see Black Panther.

So I tried to order the tickets and the transaction wouldn’t go through. I tried again with updated information and received an email from my bank. Apparently, I didn’t have enough funds in my account to purchase our tickets. That’s not right– because my funds are low but they exist and I know there is enough for this! This, I needed– this, I had planned for…

My bank had counted each error as an actual transaction and taken the money out of my account, placed it back, then took it out again. I sat on the phone on hold with the movie theater for about an hour. I vaguely noticed the chatter of the kids slowly died down. They eventually retired to their room, I still had the phone to my ear feeling frustrated and entirely defeated. Nothing is simple. Ever.

I got off the phone realizing that Black Panther was not going to happen for us this weekend. My money is all crazy and it will likely be awhile before the bank releases it back onto my account. I was disappointed and just sick of living this kind of life. What is the balance? Do you live poorly and save, do you make the most of your money, try to stretch, save and enjoy it? Do you martyr yourself and spend it all on the children? I don’t know the rules. I’m barely even in the game.

“Ok babies, what movie do you want to watch?” I call out to them. Silence. Walking through the foyer I notice the light in their bedroom. Peaking inside I see that and both are fast asleep with the radio on. I walked back into the livingroom, sat on the couch and cried. Is this what motherhood is? Running on a treadmill with the best of intentions and never going anywhere at all?

I don’t know how to juggle any of this. I don’t know what I am doing and I’m just so worried I’m going to screw them up in the process of figuring it all out.

Medicate. Is HERE!

medicate-w-poem

In February of 2016 I released my first chapbook and quickly realized that thanks to online do it yourself programs, self publishing is easy! So, naturally I started to plan and compile my next project and it’s FINALLY here.

Medicate. is dear to my heart just as Trigger was. It is raw and emotional and draws from my own personal experiences and perceptions. I truly believe that most of us on this Earth suffer from mental health issues at one time or another, we are just resourceful creatures and have found ways to self medicate. This book explores just a few of those ways; touching on substance abuse, over eating, losing yourself in others, the Internet, religion (and so much more!) in a way I hope is relatable and sheds light on a growing issue across the world. Whether you laugh a bit or cry I do hope the book provokes you to some genuine emotion.

I am offering the PDF version of the book on sale for $7.99 to my mailing list subscribers. The normal price of $10 will resume after the weekend is over. I always struggle with the pricing, I wish I could give them away for free but I invest so much time and money into each of these projects I can’t afford to be a philanthropist just yet!

In addition to the soft rollout of the book, I am sharing with you the link to the Whiskey Girl store. As of now there are Medicate. mugs available for purchase and I will soon be adding t shirts and other fun things I hope entice you to order.

Thank you again for your support. Purchase, enjoy and let me know what you think.

~good vibes always~
WG

The Pursuit of Unhappiness: Part 2

Sad

In moments like this I feel so scared. I really have a fear of dying whenever I am happy. My thoughts turn especially morbid when I am traveling to my boyfriend’s house thinking on how blessed I am to have found someone like him and to still be enjoying our relationship after almost two years. I think about death when I’m laughing with the kids in the car, or joking with co-workers or paying off bills. Any satisfaction I get from life comes with the fear that it will immediately be taken away.

I once overheard my father, a very devout Christian man, in conversation as he told someone that God cares more about righteousness than happiness (hence the topic of the last musical post) and that comment still rocks my world weeks and weeks later. Because I suspected it all along. NOT that I believe the statement is true, but I believe that in subtle ways I have been raised to believe that there is no joy and happiness to be achieved in this world. That way of thinking led me into so many situations of learned helplessness; failed relationships, poor work ethic and crippling depression just to name a few side effects. I can’t be that way anymore.

I want to enjoy this. At one point in my life not long ago I really thought that struggling with depression and barely making it as a single mother was going to be my fate for the rest of my life. Then I made the decision to stop martyring my happiness and began to lean on others for help and support. I started to view motherhood as less of a punishment and more of a gift and a reason to keep me on my toes and force me to have my shit together. I have to be mentally well enough to teach my daughters that marriage is overrated, happiness comes from within and can definitely be achieved without a significant other. Independence is a virtue, love is just a feeling but commitment is what holds any relationship, romantic or otherwise, together. It is a debilitating thing to believe that self-actualization has only come about for me because I’ve been left to the devil and God no longer bothers to interfere in my life. It’s a very twisted thing, really.

I want heaven in my afterlife, but I no longer think it’s greedy of me to want to experience just a snippet of it in my life on this earth, as well. I have paid my dues with suffering and I am fully aware that I don’t deserve a thing—but I will strive for it anyway. To be completely honest, I thought of single-motherhood as a death sentence—I didn’t want children all alone, I wanted a strong man to hold me at night, to HELP me! Fast forward years later and it turns out I didn’t need that kind of help. I just needed to realize that life is determined to beat the shit out of me anyway, so I may as well choose to put up a fight for the full 12 rounds instead of accepting a total knock out.

I even have hope that maybe I can win.

Belly (Excerpt)

So when he wraps his calloused hand around my neck, stares down at me with beauty reflected in his eyes
I feel it
Because big girls deserve love, and great head and bomb ass sex
But when he trails his palms down the length of my body I no longer feel cocky I’m in a panic
The extra sand in my hour glass is too much pressure, its beginning to crack, I am unraveling
His hand traveling on a mission to touch down on my sagging belly flesh
He skips the caress and grips it with urgency
Continues to stare at me in wonder and I resent his courtesy
He was not touching me, he was knee deep in something he would probably never understand
His hand gripping at the nucleous of my pain…

Great Expectations

I sent a group text the other day to my family telling them the great news that FINALLY I was a published author. I live in reality, I know that I am self-published and it’s not exactly the same hoopla that comes with picking up an agent and being funded by a large publishing company, but still, yay me! My siblings were congratulatory, my parents remained silent. It was the first stone—felt like I swallowed it and could feel it travel down my esophagus and weigh down on my belly.

I saw them later that day, and I know my mother is the type to have cupcakes, say congratulations and ask questions—but when I got to their house it was business as usual. My parents are not villains. I had to pull my eldest daughter out of her former school, I can’t afford before and after care by myself so she now lives with them during the weekdays attending their neighborhood school as well as my four-year old daughter. My parents are not villains. They give me groceries when I am poor and encourage me to go to mental health counseling and provide me with plenty of scripture as advice.

My parents are not villains—they just don’t like the person that I have become. This divorced, formerly broken, independent and kind of whacky woman is not anyone they want to hug or congratulate or give a slap on the back. She is a little broken and way too open. She is not Christian enough; and I know that it bothers them that they can’t quite tell whether I’m going to heaven or hell. Well I don’t really know either, and I had to come to a place and take a moment to stop fretting about it. I’ve had to force myself to slow down and learn to be happy and accepting and to take life one day at a time. And as for this day, I am proud of myself because I never thought I would be here. If you had asked me where I would be at this time 5 years ago I would have said, “Lying in the fetal position on the floor of a psych ward contemplating where my life went so wrong.” I have exceeded my own expectations and I am going to bask in the glory of this moment even if it kills me to smile and I have to do it through faltering lips.

In spite of the men that didn’t value me enough to treat me with respect and dignity…

In spite of what I used to lay awake at night telling myself…

In spite of how the “Christians” may view me and my life choices…

In spite of rejection from the people I desire support from the most…

Ijustwanttowrite

 

 

I am here. And I will continue to shut out the voices of the doubters and unbelievers in order to do the thing that makes me happy. I just want to write.

Click here, to find out more and/or purchase my new chapbook Trigger: A Downward Spiral.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

I forget about it—and that’s my fault really, because how do you forget something that’s actually kind of a big deal? Also, lately I’ve been functioning really well because I haven’t really had the time to be sad or feel depressed—but dammit it really creeps up on you sometimes. I was JUST ok, then I spoke to JW on the phone and I couldn’t stop crying. I managed to get away with disguising it as sleepiness but something punctured and I just can’t get back on track. I feel I’m running from something and I’m feeling the need to escape but from what, I don’t know…  This is it, right? My life is going well, I am trying to find balance and there is nothing wrong with me enough to be feeling this way right now.

It’s going to drive a huge wedge into my relationship—I’m sure of it but I can’t stop it. I’m on the deck of the Titanic staring that huge iceberg in the face.  As humiliating as it was, I tried my best to explain to JW that sometimes I’m just not right and I still don’t know the trick to getting better and functioning like an emotionally healthy adult. I basically felt like I  was saying, “Oops, I forgot to mention that sometimes I’m just crazy and I have no control over when it’s going to happen…good luck!” This is every man’s worst nightmare; thinking everything is moving along just fine then being bamboozled with a random problem that is virtually unsolvable.

Mostly, I am just so fucking embarrassed. Poor me, right? Grew up middle class, and my own poor decisions led to bad relationships and unhealthy thought patterns; now waking up and living everyday has become my most difficult accomplishment. And it’s not really that I want to die…I just don’t want to be hassled with LIVING. I’d love to lie in bed and stare at nothing for the rest of my life. I imagine it’s what heaven must be. I would categorize it as laziness but there’s a debilitating sadness that comes along with it that I just can’t shake. I force myself to keep moving, keep pursuing, keep trying but I’ve hit a wall and everything is happening underwater now. I can’t move—I don’t want to, but I have to. There is nothing going on in my brain, but too much and not enough all at the same time.

I don’t want to write about this, I don’t want to be this way. I don’t want to be the surprise at the dinner table; eating in silence, not knowing what to say and pretending to be present when I’m really functioning in white space. I don’t want anyone to talk to me while I’m eating, I don’t want to pass anyone the bread, or laugh at anyone’s jokes. I just want to drink all the wine and eat all the food in silence fighting my own battle to finally not think or worry about anything at all. I don’t want to have to let someone in– and I’m aware those metaphors don’t make sense.

The Pursuit of Unhappiness: Part 1

Sad

The horrible, ugly truth of it is…I am happy. Ridiculously and grotesquely and I don’t really know how to BE happy without making apologies or fearing it. I suppose the past 5 years has been a torrential downpour and I’m so comfortable in that environment that I don’t know what to DO when things have been going decently and life has taken a respite from pummeling lemons at my defenseless body.

Oops, I Did It Again

If you’ve read the blog you know that 2014 was chock full of hedonism and debauchery. Well, not really anything that exciting or scandalous—but I did make the effort to date a lot and sprinkle around a few morsels from my heaping bag of wild oats. Most of my posts about dating came off as whimsical and kind of fun, and it WAS— up until a certain point. The truth of the matter is that I really hate modern dating and how it is set up. I had simply given up and adopted a “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” attitude” and learned to use these new lazy courting methods to my advantage. After a while, juggling men, keeping up with text messages and hang outs and being treated like a piece of meat took its toll and I believe I was at an impasse. I was either going to become this jaded chick that dated multiple men and never settled down or made a commitment OR I was going to grow up and realize that sometimes LOVE HURTS! That’s the risk we take every day by involving ourselves with other human beings and allowing them the power to disappoint us. There is absolutely no way around it and I was beginning to look like a fool for thinking that I could avoid heartache by controlling the men around me and remaining aloof in soul but not in body.

I made the decision to do better. I had reached a certain level of maturity to understand that there is no reward if there is no risk. I missed the days of rubbing someone’s back and actually listening to the story they’re telling me because I care about their thoughts and philosophies on life. I missed consistent communication, lazy Netflix marathons and inside jokes. I MISSED having a boyfriend. As a woman, it’s hard to confess or admit these things to yourself because with the whole “bad bitch”/ “feminist” movement wanting the company of a man automatically makes you weak. Lucky for me, I don’t consider myself that kind of feminist. My pet peeve is feeling censored or judged by others for simply wanting what I want. I am sure there are women who admired that I was going through my sexual revolution phase…then why can’t I be equally praised for my “I want to settle the fuck down and chill with one dude” phase?

But, I digress. Let’s move the story along…

Meanwhile, a persistent young man began to contact me on the dating site for which I was a lackluster participant. I wasn’t really all that wooed by it, but I was bored and his persistence had a hint of desperation in it that gave me the impression that maybe he was just tired of all the bullshit that is modern dating and ready to settle down and give something a chance. We went on a date to a poetry outing and he was cute enough, could carry on a decent conversation and seemed genuinely impressed and interested in me (HUGE points for that). He lived relatively close, as well, so we ended up spending a lot of time together. THIS WAS IT—FINALLY!

In an attempt to disable my account I logged into my profile (for what was supposed to be the final time) and I am messaged by a lovely young man whose dating profile claims he is a whopping 6’5” (yes, please!). Being the flawed individual I am, I entertained conversation with this gentleman because he was hot; plain and simple with no way to sugarcoat that. After exchanging numbers and talking to him a bit more I realized that he was intelligent and fun to talk to even more so than my pseudo-boo I was spending all of my time with (two weeks of pure, unadulterated oversaturation). Some uncommitted dating overlap occurred with the two men for a few weeks and one night, as I sat in the booth of a TGI Fridays forcing myself to smile at the first guy, I realized that I didn’t want anyone else but the second guy. Once I came to that realization I proceeded to do EVERYTHING wrong, by ending things with the first prospect and shifting all of my free time and attention over to the man I favored and could see building something with.

JW

The rules of the blog are that once a male figure becomes a significant part of my life he gets a name. Because I am not a complete asshole I’m always polite enough to not use the actual name of the guy, so let’s call him JW. JW is actually a real, live grown ass man that does real, live grown ass man stuff like; pays rent in his very own apartment, owns a car, has a job, supports his children… It sounds like simple stuff but finding this in dudes nowadays (in the area I live in) is harder than it should be. Those things are nice, but I can’t really qualify them as the things that I care about all that deeply (except for the taking care of his kids thing). As I spent more time with the man I came to realize that his actions actually matched the words that came out of his mouth! He expressed his affection for me verbally and physically, he consistently communicated and touched based regularly and he didn’t play games. As much as I hate this phrase: everything WAS what it WAS…it was GOOD!

Nobody Said It Was Easy

…but it is. I don’t know why and it scares the shit out of me. As it turns out, once I let go of my past hurts and fears; accepting love into my life became easier. JW and I went through the phase of casually dating and after about 3 weeks I was sooo tempted to have the uber confrontational “WHERE IS THIS GOING?” conversation, but something in me told me I didn’t need to. When you are dealing with a real man, it seems things fall into place a little more naturally. I was treated so respectfully on such a consistent basis I just had the feeling that I was finally dealing with an individual that was courting me in the correct way and doing what he could to be clear about his intentions. Look at me everyone; I’m dating a real ADULT!

After the demise of my “relationships” with my children’s fathers and finding out they were both philandering assholes not my true soulmates, I approached dating like a naïve teenager and wasn’t even sure of how I wanted or expected to be treated. I learned plenty of lessons about the importance of giving the benefit of the doubt, the importance of softness and submissiveness, communication, fighting fair, etc.—but I hadn’t yet learned the lesson that these characteristics are NOT TO BE WASTED ON THE UNAPPRECIATIVE! I had acquired all of this knowledge on how to be a good partner but I wasted it on slutty dudes that were not that interested in me, or obsessive dudes that were way too interested. Somewhere along the way I had adapted the motto of “aim low so you won’t be disappointed” so I attached myself to men I knew didn’t want any kind of commitment from me, were not going to pay for any dates, give out any back rubs, no gas money, and definitely no kind of commitment. Dealing with cheaters, liars, ex cons, the selfish, the young, the lonely, the restless was my way of saying to myself  “I don’t deserve any better than this.” So now, when I do have a man that loves and appreciates me, treats me like a priority and protects me I find myself asking the question, “Do I really deserve this?”

I still don’t quite have the answer to that question. But I do know that while I am gifted with this man who goes out of his way to make me feel special everyday, I am going to appreciate that for once in my life, something is easy. He is not perfect— though I am very nearly perfect 😉 –so there is still going to be work involved in the effort to try to get this thing right. Because of my past hiccups I am insanely jealous, suspicious, insecure ALL of that, but I am determined, for once, to chase after happiness. I have put a lot of time and effort into dysfunctional relationships, it’s about time for me to grow up and invest in something healthy that makes me insanely and absurdly happy—even if it scares me shitless

Happy