Holding myself back.

Doing things alone used to be second nature. When I moved in with my best friend Matt, everything was easy. We would each get our own groceries, I would go to the gym alone, I’d go shopping alone if my friends were busy, I’d stay home alone in the apartment if Matt was out or at work. Shaun was four hours away at school, so I never really thought twice about being alone.

At some point, and I really wish there was a way to pinpoint the exact time, I stopped feeling like I could be alone. Anxiety has always been present, but it had never before interfered with me physically, only mentally. I’d feel awkward being in a situation in which I didn’t know people, but it never stopped me from attending the party, the bar, the get together, etc. I would just go, meet new people, be awkward as hell, and then go home and think about all the things I could have said or done to make me appear less weird. Oh, and that loud laugh of mine when I feel uncomfortable…ugh. It’s never necessary but forever present.

I like order. Much to my husband’s dismay, I don’t mind a messy room, but I need order in how I go through my life. Change is inevitable and I adjust, but it does take a while. Growing up I used to feel a sense of saddness when things changed. The first real panic attack I remember having is the first time I got off the bus at my new bus stop after we had moved houses in 2001. I was walking home and it just hit me that I live somewhere else and I’m never going to live in that old house.

I have to be driven to visit my granny instead of walking across the street. She’s going to forget about me. I’m never going to be able to walk to the beach again, someone else is going to play on my swing set, someone else is going to read on my bench next to the cliffs. I can’t just ride my bike around anymore because this road is dangerous. My friends aren’t going to come to the new house because it’s harder to get there. I live wayyyyy too close to the Pig Lady Bridge. I’m going to get killed by the pig lady. I am going to be literally murdered by a woman with a pig face. I’m going to be turned into the Pig Girl and have to haunt my family and they won’t know it’s me because I’ll have a pig face and I’ll have to try to murder them too even though they’re my family and then we’ll be a pig family and no one will ever know what happened to use because we’ll have to live under the bridge while another family moves into our new house and then the cycle will continue. Pure. Panic.

By the way…this isn’t even how the Pig Lady Bridge story goes:

The Pig Lady is a half-human, half-beast creature that preys on unsuspecting teenagers foolish enough to stop their cars and smooch near the bridge she calls home. Some say she also has magical powers that can force cars to stall out so she can make her move, and residents have reported hearing pig noises near her reported hang-out spots in Cecil County.

My lovely sister Amy told me a different version. Well, showed me. She stopped her car on the bridge while my friend and I were in the car with her. I was crying. My friend was begging her not to stop. Amy stops anyway to scare the crap out of us, honks three times, and then waited a few seconds to see if the pig lady would show up. She clearly did not. I was scared. I’m probably still scared. Whatever. Don’t look at me.


My dad built our family a beautiful house and we were so lucky to live there, but I was a nervous wreck from all of the changes. I was in 7th grade, witnessing my friends get boobs and waiting for mine to show up (still waiting), writing on my hand in gel pen, wearing clothes that were too small for me, bedazzling my clothes, putting gems in my hair, wearing bright white shadow, ya know. The normal 7th grade stuff. Having a big room and my own closet with a light was the coolest thing for me, because I’d sit in there and read long after I should have been in bed asleep. Let’s not forget about the peace frog painted on my wall. My friends know exactly what I’m talking about. That thing was badass.

Actually, that’s probably what brought me peace and since my mom painted over it, I no longer have peace. I figured it out. Thanks, Mom.

Just kidding, ma.

I do have trouble now, going places alone. If it is part of my normal schedule, there’s no problem. I go to therapy Wednesdays after work, sometimes I go get a pedicure, I go to doctor’s appointments, etc. But I really struggle going to the store alone, or just being in the house alone. I get so anxious right before going to an event and I’ve let so many opportunities pass me by because I can’t strike up the nerve to get up and go. Somehow I was able to sign up for races and run next to thousands of people without batting an eye, but going to the grocery store by myself is a struggle and I shake the entire time. I’ve traveled for work to California, Florda, etc. and I was perfectly content, but I had to go inside CVS to pick up my prescription and I wanted to throw up.

That being said, I want to get out. I want to do something for me without feeling like I’m going to break down. I signed up for a boxing class and I’m going directly after work today. Terrible nerves and negative thoughts be damned, I’m going.

If you’re wanting to do something but you’re feeling anxious about it, leave a comment! Let’s chat.


I’m not okay, and that’s okay.

“I am not going to a shrink. If I don’t talk to you about it, I’m not going to talk to a stranger about it.” I’ve probably said these words a thousand times in the past. I tend to withdraw when I have a lot on my mind. I don’t want to leave my house and I just want to read books. I want to live in whatever world I’m reading about, fiction or non-fiction. Reading quickly has it’s advantages, but finishing a book so quickly and being placed back into the real world against your will is a jarring feeling. Sometimes it helps to go back a few chapters and re-read, just to make sure nothing was missed.

Growing up with a hormonal issue, CH, was a lot harder than I realized at the time. My mom took care of my doctor’s appointments. I saw specialists. Concentration didn’t come easily and zoning out was the norm. Hair loss, weight gain, itchy/dry skin, muscle aches, brittle nails, etc. Symptoms were random and severe. Having issues with hormones is rough because you feel out of control sometimes. It was like I’d have PMS as a kid, and I would be mean and miserable. I saw a child therapist for a while, but honestly I only remember playing Candy Land each time and her never letting me win.

Fast forward to pregnancy with my daughter, I was terrified. Each endocrinologist promised me I wouldn’t have children. It just won’t happen. One told us getting pregnant wouldn’t be a problem, but carrying full term is out of the question. I was terrified when I saw those positive pregnancy tests, and even more so when I had early bleeding and was told by a nurse there wasn’t a heartbeat. Well, she’s four years old now and her heart is just fine.

I should have felt the Post-Partum Depression coming. A long, excruciating “false” labor, a c-section, and finally meeting our girl a few days later was exhausting. Something was wrong because this wasn’t how I was supposed to feel. There should be immediate bonding. There was love, but there was no bond. My head repeated she deserved better than me. My husband would do so much better as a single father. Everything she experienced as an infant had to have been my fault, right? Laying down in the road seemed like a great idea, and I resented her because she needed me.

There is a stigma connected to PPD in which mothers want to harm their children. Please, please, please know this is not always the case. Do not place judge on mothers going through this, because it’s not their fault. I had this beautiful baby girl. I loved her with my entire heart. But there was a terrifying feeling knowing she was my responsibility. Every negative thought I’ve ever had about myself crept up to the surface and told me this isn’t something attainable. I would never reach that level of worthiness. This sweet baby who seldom cried, smiled with her whole face, and loved to be wrapped like a burrito. She knew I would come around, but I had no idea.

When she started daycare, I had confided a bit into her teacher. Her teacher was/is wonderful and recommended I talk to her psychologist. I was feeling pretty awful and decided I’d swallow my pride and just try. We played phone tag for a few days, but finally set up an appointment to meet the following week.

“Talking to a therapist, I thought, was like taking your clothes off and then taking your skin off, and then having the other person say, “Would you mind opening up your rib cage so that we can start?”
― Julie Schumacher, Black Box

Over three years later and we have an appointment each week. She recommended I consider medication, I met with a psychiatrist, officially received my diagnosis(s), and started on two medications. Y’all. If you are hesitant, if you are scared, if you think these feelings of self loathing and sadness are going to go away on their own, please please make the choice to speak to someone. There are so many options and not one size fits all in this category. Put effort into your self to let it all out and give yourself the chance to feel happy.

She is the first person I ever told about throwing up my food. She is the one who made me realize this isn’t something that occasionally happens. I’m bulimic and it needs to be addressed. I’m sick, but I’m recovering. My relationship with myself and with food is toxic. Recovery is not just for drug addiction. I’m recovering and I’m okay. Thinking about food isn’t something I enjoy doing anymore, but it’s something that needs to be done to keep myself from binging and purging.

I’m able to cry without guilt, I laugh hysterically, I cuss a lot, I vent about everything under the sun, I ask questions, I’ve learned to stick up for myself, I can semi-calm myself down when I have a panic attack, I finally learned to say no and stop going to the lengths I used to for self worth. I’m a work in progress and learning to love myself. I have perspective on my life and I have perspective of others views. I’ve learned to listen and to ask for what I want, instead of expecting others to know. I’ve let go of toxic relationships and rebuilt old relationships. I found my support system. I love my husband more daily because I appreciate him for everything he does.

That being said, my favorite place will always be the setting of a book, but my second favorite place is here, right now, asking questions, learning about myself, and working on myself.

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Being grateful for missed opportunities.

The “fear of missing out” aka FOMO has been severe in some stages of my life. There was a time I’d jump at every opportunity given to me, even if it was not something I really wanted to do. Some things I decided to do because it would make me “cool” or fit in with a specific crowd. Later I would take opportunities because it would look great on my college applications.

I passed on some opportunities in the search for something better, only to find the grass is not always greener on that side of the pasture. I firmly believe when someone says “no regrets”, that they are being unintentionally dishonest. Like…you don’t even regret the time you chose something in the lunch line, only to wish you had ordered something else after you took a bite? We all felt that way in school when we chose something over pizza…come on.

Regret is feeling sad or disappointed over something that has happened, specifically a missed opportunity. While you eventually come to terms with a decision at some point, it’s not quite realistic to have no regrets at all.

I’m not sure I will ever get over missing the opportunity to see my Poppop before he died. That regret is real and it hurts. Will I come to terms with the decisions I made leading up to his death? Maybe, but not today.

There have been times I’ve been bright green with jealousy over opportunities others have taken, or get to take. There will be times in the future which I will feel jealousy over things I’m not part of.

There are things I cannot do right now because I have a full-time job. I have children. I go to school full time. I have other priorities right now than others might have.

I am so thankful I don’t have those opportunities right now. I’m so grateful I get to spend time with my children and my husband. I’m immensely grateful for the evenings I spend at the dinner table with my daughter, as she proclaims how much she dislikes chicken and wants nuggets instead, only to spend three hours on homework after the kids fall asleep.

I’m so lucky to have friends who know how crazy life is these days and still make time for us to get together, kids sometimes in tow. I get to kiss my babies good night, I get to learn things from my professors I never would otherwise, and I get to work at a job I enjoy and bring money home to pay for my kids to learn at school.

These missed opportunities sometimes feel like regret. These missed opportunities may get stuck in my head for days, weeks, month at a time. But these opportunities will be added to my list of “someday”. Once my kids think I’m lame and don’t want me around as much (Probably next week, or sooner, for Violet), I can start taking advantage of more opportunities. I can learn as much as my heart desires.

I will forever be thankful for these opportunities I’ve missed. My life wouldn’t be exactly the way it is today, and that’s not a life I need.

Why I’m self destructive under stress.

It turns out, this is not an issue I suffer from alone. I’ve found a lot of women, and men, tend to interfere with their outward appearance when they’re under a significant amount of stress.

Back in high school, when I thought I knew what stress was, the infamous hair chop occurred. My hair was down past my shoulder blades and I decided I was stressed and needed my hair cut to right in the middle of my neck. I cried. My boyfriend pretended to like it. My friends said they loved it (ya dirty liars…). It was a disaster. The only enjoyable part of that experience was donating my hair to Wigs for Kids. If you have ever considered donating your hair to an organization like this, check this link for a comparison of the top companies who handle this:


I ended up chopping my hair after my wedding and all of that planning was over, grew it out during my pregnancy, then chopped it again right after my daughter was born and I was dealing with PPD. I grew my hair, once again, through my second pregnancy and then chopped it, yet again, during my third trimester. And let’s just not even touch how my hair has been every color of the rainbow, why I decide I need 50 pairs of glasses, why I have so many tattoos, etc. (Hence the tattoos on my feet. Sigh.)

Why am I the way I am?

Turns out, when you are stressed or even triggered by anxiety, depression, PTSD, and many other possible mental illnesses, you can feel an intense need to change something within reach. I know I cannot be completely rid of my anxiety and depression, but I can chop all of my damn hair off, change my hair color, get a tattoo, etc.

According to the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, an article called Life Events as Stressors: A Methodological Inquiry, “Stressful life events have been defined as ‘objective events that disrupt or threaten to disrupt the individual’s usual activities’ which require the employment of adaptive, readjusting, or coping behaviors.”

Now, that doesn’t take away from the actual changes I do when I just need a quick freshening up. For me, I also can occasionally make rational decisions for myself. I’m not stressed or emotional whenever a change is made. In fact, recently, I’ve been doing things just because I want to do them, and not just because I have the urge to do it. My hair is lighter, shorter, I have a new tattoo that I adore, and I am switching to cruelty free makeup products (sorry, husband). I’m changing what my interests are. I like to wear brighter colors now, I love bright colored hair, even though I’m not brave enough to do it myself. Something I’ve really been working on this year is my urges. Allowing urges for food, behavior, etc. to have the opportunity to pass before I act on them. Then deciding if this is really something I want to do, or if this is just a thought I’ve had.

So, friends, if you see me out and about, but notice I’ve shaved my hair off or I have a face tattoo, just know I’m probably going through something…but there’s also the possibility that I’ve thought about this for along time and decided to give into the urge.

Girl, I can relate.

I came. I saw. I made it awkward.

I’m getting this feeling in my stomach. That discomfort when you know you’re about to be uncomfortable doing something. It’s kind of silly, but I get this feeling often when I decide to do something only slightly out of my comfort zone. Going to the grocery store alone? Not happening. I will opt to take my grumpy four year old with me rather than going alone. Asking someone at a retail store where the specific item I’m looking for might be located? Uh, no. I’ll look for it for another hour before I give up, go back to the car, and order it on Amazon.

The oddest thing is I will intentionally do something, but that anxious feeling creeps up anyway. So, doing my best to avoid that feeling, I decided to remember some things I’ve tried and failed at. Now, if you know me, you know I tend to be awkward in social situations. I TRY to not be awkward, but I’m sure that’s what makes me more awkward.

These are the things that keep me up at night, remembering what I did or said, what I should have done or said, and if those people remember what I did or said.

The one time I asked an interviewer if I’d be speaking to customers in an interview for a customer service job. They asked if I had questions after the interview. I panicked while considering what intelligent question I could ask. I didn’t get a call back…

The time I emailed Shaun complaining about my professor, but had emailed my professor instead by mistake. I blocked his email address and dropped the class. I probably could have handled that better.

In 8th grade when I didn’t get the note from my boyfriend telling me we were breaking up and sat at his lunch table only to be told by his friend that he broke up with me. He’s married with a kid now. I assume he doesn’t think about this. It was a whole three weeks of dating, though. We were serious.

Once I had a flirtatious conversation with a junior while I was a freshman. I was 100% sure we were going to date. I mean, GUYS. He put up an away message with Dashboard Confessional lyrics. We were destined for love. I told a girl in my class all about it the next day. Yea… it was her boyfriend. I then pretended it was a different boy with the same name. She told different boy I liked him. I did not like him. I dated him for a week so she wouldn’t catch on that her boyfriend and I were flirting and then likely beat me up.

Asking a guy I know, “hey! how’ve you been?!”…at his wife’s funeral. This might be one of the worst ones and I think about it at least four times a day.

Having someone cold transferred to me while working at the bank, thinking I was on mute, and saying “ohhhh he’s in trouble!” then hearing the customer ask me why the guy was in trouble. Then having that call pulled for monitoring that month. Sigh.

Telling a customer I loved him before hanging up the phone. It was a habit.

Jumping out from behind a column at the mall thinking I was scaring my husband. It was not my husband.

I was singing along loudly to the radio, and apparently Siri thought I told her to call a girl I had recently had a falling out with. I noticed 2 minutes into the voicemail I was leaving her. Hope she enjoyed my rendition of Karma Chameleon. This is why I drive a car with bluetooth phone connection now. SO much awkward.

I laughed hysterically at a funeral and had to leave I have no idea where the laughing came from but I couldn’t stop.

Oh…that one time I physically walked into Stephen Baldwin and got so flustered I just whispered “Biodome”. I’m just mostly happy I didn’t act like an idiot in front of Pauly Shore.

Going to see my boyfriend at his high school’s football game in 9th grade, but he ended up liking my friend more than me. so much awkward.

Talking to a friend of a friend at a football game and telling her all about how I was going to break up with my boyfriend. Then finding out after I dumped him that I was talking to his sister. oops.

SO. When people discover I go to school full time while taking double the credits I should be, work full time, have a husband, two kids, and four animals at home…they ask when I have time to sleep. The answer? I don’t sleep because I did awkward things and I will never stop thinking about them right as I’m drifting off.

These are a few of my least favorite things.

One of my ideas for writing was a huuuuge list of things I’m thankful for, and an explanation for why I’m thankful.

Well, I’m in a bad mood. So screw that idea.

So, my dear readers, here is my list of things I’m not grateful, at all, for and firmly believe should simply not exist.

disclaimer: this will have nothing to do with politics because I’d be here alllll day, girl.

1. Snakes. Snakes can go right to the pit of hell. That’s all I have to say about those limbless creepy creatures.

2. Those Fisher Price corn popper toys. I hate the person who invented that thing. Did that guy walk into work one morning and think, “wow, I’m in the mood to invent the loudest, most useless toy in all of history which has migraine inducing capabilities!” I hate that guy. I don’t know who you are, sir, but you are a thief of joy for parents.

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Hey, Mom and Dad! I’m about to ruin your day.

3. Paper cuts. Why am I being punished for working and/or reading?

4. Sand. Have you ever put on sunscreen while on the beach, to avoid being burned alive, but then the sand decides it’s going to stick to the sunscreen and you’re forced to be a miserable, sweaty, sticky, forcefully exfoliated human with sand permanently indented into your skin? Just me? alright.

5. Books with the movie adaption on the cover. Just stop.

6. The Backstreet Boys. Bye Bye Bye, ya jerks.

7. The Black Eyes Peas. Go away.

8. How often I say “literally” or “ya know?” or “I mean…” I’m working on it. I know it’s obnoxious.

9. The horrific feeling you get after your foot falls asleep. As if my entire foot being numb isn’t enough, my body needs to feel like a thousand knives are poking that same area? What the hell?

10. People who adopt animals only to return them, or worse, when they simply act like animals. “He barks”, “he peed in the house”, “he’s too rowdy”. You, pal, are a big ‘ol jerk. Maybe the animal should have returned you instead.

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11. Centipedes. Is it really necessary for you to have all of those legs? Some things don’t have legs. Like snakes. SELFISH. And why do you crawl out of random places like the sink? What the hell is wrong with you?

12. Laundry. Everyone hates laundry. Except me when it’s done by someone else. Then I like it.

13. Skittles. Mostly because they taste like chew-able cough syrup but also for their horrendous commercials.

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Gross. Stop it.

14. When my phone auto-corrects words to something I don’t say very often. gaga, duck, violent, etc. C’mon Apple. We are on the 10th generation or something. Accept the fact that I’m not angry typing the word “duck”.

15. When servers are required to ask me if we’ve ever visited the restaurant before. Do I get a special prize if I say yes?

16. How inconvenient a turning signal is in someone’s lives. They can’t spare that two second process of showing the person behind them there is a turn they’re planning to take very soon. Also, get off your damn phone.

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17. People who assume people who are over a certain size which society deems “acceptable” must not be “healthy”. Hey, bite me. You know nothing about their health.

18. Degrading insults regarding the body of another person. “twig, cow, pig, bean pole, etc.” If you’re one of those people who comments on bodies of others, then please get eaten by a liger.

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“It’s pretty much my favorite animal. It’s like a lion and a tiger mixed. Bred for it’s skills in magic.”

19. Cotton being pulled apart. It’s the worst sound, texture, everything. I can’t keep discussing it because it gives me chills. Next.

20. My husband’s choice in footwear. If you ever see the top of his boots, please don’t associate me with them.

21. Tractor trailers/Oil Trucks. I wish they had their own highways because I’m unreasonably scared of driving next to them. Hence the reckless driving charge I received in Virginia last month for trying to pass one. Speaking of which, my court date was today and it looks like my case may have been dismissed.

22. Reading a book all the way through just to find the ending was awful.

23. Pumping my own gas and the look my husband gives me when he goes to drive us somewhere and we’re on E. Listen, Shaun. This wouldn’t be an issue if we lived in New Jersey. I don’t know why I can’t do it. It’s just a thing that bothers me.

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24. Jeans. They’re the worst when it rains and they get wet…or when it’s really hot outside. I’ll never stop wearing them. But if jeans were a person, I’d want to punch them in the face.

25. My best friend’s ex wife. She’s the worst.

26. Strangers who talk to me when I’m minding my own awkward business.

27. Dwight Yoakam. I really don’t know why I dislike him so much. I think I could have even been a fan, had be not been in that movie Panic Room. Therefor, I’ve been scared of this country singer for years and get irrationally angry every time I see him.

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You are a bad, bad man.

28. How long this list has gotten.

I thought writing out a list of all of my least favorite things would put me in a better mood. Clearly I missed the mark. Until next time, my loves.

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a letter to my teenage self

Today’s blog was going to be about how much life changes between young love and married love. I started writing it, and I realized Shaun and I have really been through it. I didn’t want the post to be about advice, because lawd knows I don’t have it, but I thought I wish I knew back then what I know now.

So, let’s try out a letter to my 16 year old self, telling myself all about my life now and what I should and shouldn’t do.

Dear Ali,

I know you’re starting to regret changing your name from Alex to Ali. You’re going to want to change it back, but don’t. It’s part of who you are. You’re going to laugh so much someday when your future daughter calls you by your first name. Speaking of which, your doctors are so wrong. You can and will have children.

When you turn 16, you are going to develop a crush on a boy from a nearby private school, right around Valentine’s Day. Have fun hanging out with him at your friend’s house, but don’t kiss him. I promise you’re not missing anything. When he asks you to prom the week of your 17th birthday, tell him no thanks. Someone else you’ve had a big crush on is going to ask you next month and the answer is yes.

You will spend so much time at Bek’s house, with her and friends from youth group. Please cherish that time. These are some of your best memories. Don’t take advantage of that happiness. In addition, when your ex boyfriend invites you to a party during a windstorm, don’t convince your friends to go. You’re going to get into a bad car accident. You’ll all be fine, but it’s the beginning of the end of some friendships. Oh yeah, and you’re going to meet a girl from Bek’s school who you think is so cool because she’s older and takes you to parties. Don’t get too attached. Everything is not what it seems.

STOP begging your parents to let you quit band. That boy Matt you’re friends with? When you’re 20 years old you’re going to move into an apartment with him and eventually you’re going to stand by his side at his wedding. He’s going to love your children just as much as you do. Keep pretending to play that flute. Next year you’re going to be graded on your ability to play and you’re going to have to teach yourself what you’ve missed over a decade. Ouch.

That boy from the bus, Shaun, is going to ask you to prom. He’s also going to kiss you, but someday he’s going to say you kissed him first. It’s a lie. You’re going to have a ton of fun together, but gosh you’re a brat. Give the guy a break. Stop picking fights with him and being jealous. There’s nothing to be jealous over. Let him hang out with his friends in peace. Put the phone down. His friends are definitely going to hate you at first. It gets better as you change and stop being so dramatic. His best friend will be his best man someday. One friend, however, will always dislike you no matter what you do. It’s okay. You eventually learn it doesn’t matter what he thinks.

Shaun is going to reintroduce you to old friends, and you’ll meet new friends. This group of friends, give or take a few, are going to still be around when you’re in your thirties. Your children will play together. You’ll laugh together.

These are not the best days of your life. Stop panicking over drama that happens at school. Stop worrying. Stop fighting with your mom. Give up the argument over Senior Week. They’re not going to let you go, and it eventually doesn’t matter. It, in fact, did not ruin your life. You stay friends with most of your friends from high school. Those girls are a huge staple in your life and will eventually introduce a new friend to the group. She’s hilarious. You’re going to love her.

Please stop wearing only neon colors. Use moisturizer. Stop scrunching your hair, you’re damaging it. Do not take that photo of Kelly Clarkson to your hair dresser and tell her you want the same hair. You probably don’t need to crimp your hair as much. Stop pulling your shirt away from your body. No one notices “how fat” you look. You’re beautiful. When you’re thirty you weight over 100 lbs more than you do now, and you’re still struggling with self esteem. See a therapist. It’s so worth it to have someone to talk to at your age. Embrace self care.

Apply to more than two schools, but it eventually won’t matter anyway. Your life turns out nowhere near how you thought it would.

Talk to more people at school. There are so many people you’ll miss out on knowing.

Call your poppop, even if he yells into the cell phone. Spend more time with Granny. You don’t have a lot of time left.

Go to work at EACA prepared to meet your best friend. She’ll be your Maid of Honor, and you’ll be hers. Don’t take that job at the vet. Your love of animals is not where your career ends up. Take the job at AAA but guard yourself and listen to your gut. Please, please don’t go down the road I know you’re going down. Again, go to a therapist. You really need someone to talk to.

You’re going to go to Cecil. It’s okay. Shaun is too. Several of your friends are in your classes and it makes it easier. Your friend is going to date that asshole from your class. He never stops being an asshole.

That dog that came into the vet after being hit by a car? You’re going to form a bond with him. One you’ve never felt before. Dad doesn’t realize he’s been living in the house for weeks. He lets you keep him. You still have him and the bond is stronger.

Shaun is going to go away for school. Stay together. You do well the first year, but you’re an idiot the second year. When you break up, wait. When he shows up to the hospital the night your poppop is dying, you know he’s 100% the one and you will get him back. You’re going to have to beg. It works out.

You’re going to move to Pennsylvania with Shaun. It’s going to be terrifying, but trust the process. Stop bothering him to propose to you. He’s going to make you suffer. It’s funny eventually. He gets you a french bulldog! She’s wonderful. Love her as much as you can. She can’t stay long.

Just don’t go to cosmetology school. Say no. Bad idea.

The girl you meet on the first day of your new job is just as rad as she seems. You’re going to be friends for a long time. You find out your pregnant as soon as you move into that house. You are terrified. She’s stubborn, beautiful, funny, and she completely changes your lives. Shaun is exactly the kind of dad you always assumed he would be. He’s loving, he’s kind, he’s funny, he’s not at all the disciplinarian…you are.

Please stop thinking you’re less than. Stop comparing yourself to others. Please stop throwing up your food. It gets easier. You get happier.

Apply for that job while you’re on maternity leave. You’re going to love it and they encourage you to go back to school. This is where you end up and you’re happy.

FINALLY you go to a therapist. Damn. You took long enough. You end up on the medication you’ve needed. You’re a work in progress, but you’re getting there.

You get pregnant AGAIN. This time you have a beautiful, sweet, funny baby boy. He’s exactly what you need to complete your family. We’re all head over heels.

Girl. you have FOUR nephews and a niece. Alesha and Ski have one, Amy and Devin have two, and AmberLee and Chris have two. They’re amazing. They’re hilarious. They’re close. You never lose the closeness of your family. Even when they drive you insane. You still wish you lived closer sometimes. But definitely not all the time.

You’re happy. It takes a long, long time. But you are. Some days are rough. Some days are beautiful. You’re a work in progress. You love hard. You stand up for what you believe in, and wish you could do more. You still want to adopt ALL of the dogs. Girl, you have no room to adopt any more animals.

You have friends who love you. You have family who love you. Whatever feeling you’re feeling, whatever hurt your hurting, you get through it. I promise.


thirty-year-old exhausted me.

Image result for “One day, you’re 17 and you’re planning for someday. And then quietly, without you ever really noticing, someday is today. And then someday is yesterday. And this is your life.”

Wow. That was a lot longer than I thought it would be.

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breakin’ up is hard to do.

The auto response for a break up is to think of a romantic relationship. (I think. Let’s be honest, I’m not going to cite my facts in here. I do enough APA citing throughout my weekly MBA assignments. It’s not going to happen here.)

Here is where I write about my most painful relationship breakups. “spill the tea” on my 14 year old self, so to speak. Did I even use that tea phrase correctly? Comment below and teach me how to use these phrases. Thanks. ***Feel free to skip to the next bold section if you don’t care to read my embarrassing memories.

*disclaimer: this post will mention scenarios you may have a role in. I will never mention your name. I promise you I remember everything. I’m not obsessed. You ain’t special! Just kidding, you are. That’s all. bye.

First breakup: I remember my first break up. I was 13 and he was 14. He was my first kiss and I was smitten. He told my friend on AIM she was sexy. I dumped him and cried for days.

Second breakup: I “dated” my best friend’s cousin. He went to a different school. We went to youth group together. I don’t actually remember much of this. He dumped me.

Third breakup: I dated a boy I really cared about but dumped him fairly quickly because I was scared. We kissed in 2nd breakup boy’s bedroom (lol). He would still bring it up 15 years later. Everything was my fault, yada yada yada. He lives in New Mexico.

Fourth breakup: We dated, I got ghosted. We dated, I got cheated on. We dated, I got ghosted. repeat for a couple of years. We are good friends now. High school is funny.

Fifth breakup: my boyfriend of 7 years went to college four hours away and we couldn’t handle the distance. I think we know the end to this story. If not…this is the current status of that story:

Image may contain: 3 people, including Shaun O'Donnell, people smiling, people sitting, eyeglasses and closeup
We made those.

Okay, the point of this post has arrived…

Breakups are not only for romantic relationships. If you’re ending your relationship with someone, something, a habit, etc. you’re breaking up with it. Clean breaks are possible, but they’re difficult. A friend of mine has been breaking up with cigarettes for the two years I’ve known him. It’s difficult.

real talk, I love this movie.

Last year I went through a breakup. I haven’t spoken to someone I considered my best friend in one year and three months. Almost eighteen years of friendship. Gone.

I obsessed over it for a while. Should I make the effort to become friends again? Is it worth it to open up those channels of communication again? Why is this happening? Is this my fault? Should I have text her my explanation of what happened? Shit, why did I send that text? Wow, did that mutual friend really delete me off of social media? Is it okay to be devastated over a decision over social media? Is there something wrong with me?!

The answer is HELL NO. There is nothing wrong with me. I am me. I have maintained so many friendships through the changes of my life. One of those didn’t make it. And that’s okay. It sucks. but it’s okay.

SO. Feel those feelings. Torture yourself with emotion for as long as you need to. Start that text, but don’t send it. Cry. Feel the feels and hurt the hurts. But don’t change your mind and go back to something that is long gone. Do not blame yourself for the inevitable. Try not to panic in public because you’re worried you’ll see those people.

It’s okay to miss the past, but it’s not okay to disrupt your future because of the past.

I promised myself I was going to go through a lot of breakups this year. So, my friends, hold me accountable for these things:

This year I will break up with…

• fat-shaming myself

•letting anyone dictate how my emotions

•feeling guilty over taking antidepressants

• wearing jeans in the summer because my legs are pale.

•blow drying the hell out of my hair

•apologizing for things beyond my control.

I couldn’t figure out how to end this post so I’ll just let you know the title of this blog entry makes me think of the Richard Simmons’ Sweatin’ to the Oldies VHS tape we had featuring this song.

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How are you feeling?

“Well…I’ve been better.”

For the past three years (wow, didn’t realize until just now how long I’ve been going), this is how I start each of my Wednesday evening therapy sessions. She asks me how I’m doing, how I’m feeling, how was this week? What’s going on?

And then I answer with some form of “meh”.

To be honest, I know there’s no real answer to that question. “I’m well” is the go-to answer when that question is presented. It’s so odd to think about. Who decided “I’m well” is the standard answer to a question like that? Why do strangers, co-workers, acquaintances ask this question? Do they really want to know how I am, or is it just a little bit extra on top of “good morning!”?

It gets on my damn nerves, to be honest. But, I’ll take it over “you look tired”, “late night?”, “I’m not used to seeing you without makeup, are you sick?” No, dude. This is just my regular face.

The thing is, I’m not sure how normal feels. Is that a thing? Is it normal to not know how normal feels? Is it normal to wonder if it’s normal to not know how normal feels?

I could keep going, but I’ll spare you.

Here’s the thing. I use my “condition” as a crutch. I know I do it. I made a decision when I was a teenager that I’d never do that. Well, hey. Officially in my thirties and I’m still like, “I really need to sleep a lot because of my issues.” Is that true? Yeah it’s true. Do I sleep every chance I get? Ask my husband. He’s really honest about that flaw of mine.

So here’s where I explain my “condition”. Most of us are aware I don’t have a thyroid. I was born without it, aka, I have Congenital Hypothyroidism (CH for all future posts). If you’re new, then hi. I’m Alexandria, but don’t call me that. I have chronic RBF and most people decide I hate them before they know we well enough to determine if that’s true or not.

So, what does CH mean? It’s my go-to “tell us an interesting fact about yourself!” response. When I was a gigantic 12 lb baby, they discovered I was missing one of these:

oh hey, I’ve been looking for you.

This stupid little gland regulates a plethora of things within the body:

  • Breathing
  • Heart rate
  • Central and peripheral nervous systems
  • Body weight
  • Muscle strength
  • Menstrual cycles›
  • Body temperature
  • Cholesterol levels

You know, just the little stuff.

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I take medication to replace it. I see an endocrinologist often (I love her. except I pretend I don’t know her when I see her in public often, because I’m awkward), get blood work every couple of months, get frustrated by my results, gain a bunch of weight for no apparent reason, and I’m constantly hormonal. What I don’t know, is if other people feel the way I do. Not so much the symptoms, because I know those are reserved for those like me. But…is how I feel on a daily basis considered “normal”? Is there such thing is a normal?

Most importantly…at thirty years old…why do I give a shit about what “normal” is?

The main journey I’ve been on is to work on myself so I can be an example for my children, and most importantly, be a positive role model for my daughter. I never, ever want her to feel the anxiety I feel. Thinking of her feeling like her heart is going to beat out of her chest, like there is a 100 lb weight sitting on her stomach, like she can’t get enough breath in, or just worrying 24/7 over a situation she can’t control…makes me sick.

I love to write. I never do it anymore because of time,or because of writing obligations I have for school, but I hope by writing things down, I can remember to go back and look at my progress.Maybe I’ll can write down things I want to remember- and it will help along the way.