So it turns out that taking a break from writing is detrimental to my mental health. See what I did there? When I don’t take the time to sit down and sort it all out, my thoughts start to build and swirl like storm clouds until sooner or later I just have to sit through said storm. It’s storming like a sonofabitch today. I haven’t been able to keep up with my mind or my mouth the last few days, and I’m paying for it now. I operate in a super healthy cycle of building the noise and then chasing the quiet.

I saw it coming. I tried. I sat down to write yesterday afternoon and instead of my usual brain dump, I looked up and 6 stanzas of rhyme stared back at me. It’s worse than I thought. It’s poetry-writing bad. If I had a musical bone in my body it might even be song-writing bad. So this afternoon, I did what any responsible adult would do and I checked the fuck out. I walked away from all responsibility and here I sit, taking inventory of my life. Some people call it “counting blessings”, but I have a way of listing five blessings then ten demons in a one step forward two steps back kind of way that doesn’t bode well with a gratitude list format. No, when I need peace, I take inventory.

I am healthy. I’m not where I want to be, but so much better than I used to be. I’m above ground and able. I can chase my babies, dance to my favorite song, and wipe my own ass. I’m here and I’m healthy. Comparison is the thief of joy. Comparison is the thief of joy. Comparison is the thief of joy.

I am a mother, which many would kill to become. These little hoodrats make me crazy, but they’re smart and funny and becoming good little humans. If I’m being honest, most of what I’m trying to discipline out of them came straight down the apple tree. The boy is too sensitive, the middle little can’t keep up with her brain, and the little one is antisocial with a nice little temper. They have so many wonderful qualities, but they’re all stubborn and selfish and easily jealous. That doesn’t sound at all like their dad, sooooo….

Speak of the devil, I have a husband I don’t deserve. If you had told me in High School that someday I’d be a mess and he’d be steady as a rock, I would have laughed you straight out of that little dodge dakota with the stupid rims. I know that no marriage is perfect, but he’s pretty freakin easy to be married to. I know he’d say the same about me, but he’d be lying to spare my many many many feelings. This poor dude. He’s not without fault, but sainthood isn’t totally out of reach either.

I am self-aware. I’m wildflowers in a Busch Light vase. The same brain that plagues me as I’m trying to fall asleep each night is quick with wit and good with people. This brain full of dark thoughts also knows how to put things into perspective when shit gets deep and isn’t afraid to share a little darkness with the general public from time to time. This brain that sometimes can’t string two words together in person for fear of showing the crazy knows how to be brutally honest and unfiltered with those closest to me. As such, I’ve become versed in the art of apology.

I can be lonely in a room full of people, but I also know that in being lonely, I’m in good company. In a world where anyone we want to talk to is literally at our fingertips, we are all more alone than ever. Human connection is a lost art. Being present in the moment is a rarity. The nuances of body language, voice inflection, and the unsaid words behind someone’s eyes are all lost when conversations go digital. That’s not how we were built to connect, and it’s not doing us any favors.

I am deeply flawed and a little unhinged, but I’m learning that I’m not the only one. I just need to work on self care. I don’t mean a bubble bath and a massage. I mean deep breaths and belly laughs. I mean singing at the top of my lungs in a scalding hot shower, taking inventory of my life, dumping my random thoughts onto a page, and cleaning up the storm damage while I brace for the next. I’m okay.