About June Cleaverish

I see her at the supermarket once in a while. She seems like a very calm, sensible person.

No longer, for that matter.

In the months since my dad died, I’ve been in this weird sort of limbo. They say the stages of grief go something like: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. For me, there have been no real stages. There have only been a series of “no longer’s.”

I oftentimes reach for the phone to call him to tell him about something one of the kids did, or just to simply check in and see how he’s doing. I reach for the phone to dial a phone number that is no longer in service.

A few weeks ago, my siblings and I proceeded to do, what the attorney called, “distribute personal property” – knick-knacks, framed photos, art, books – all of the things that remind us of home. In the process, I realized I have awards and diplomas that will no longer be hung in the hallway of my father’s house – or any house for that matter.

…for that matter. Do these things cease to matter?

This weekend, I will go to an empty, musty house to box up my dad’s clothing and personal belongings – his jeans that always bordered on hemmed too high. His 10 pairs of New Balance tennis shoes. The pairs of reading glasses that he was sure to keep in every room of the house, just in case. His weird shirts, the suit he wore to my wedding, the ties he kept over the years – a few of them gifts from his children. Things there’s no reason to keep. He no longer needs them.

Soon, the home I grew up in, and lived in for 23 years, will be sold to someone who is unaware of the memories held underneath the leaky roof. It will most likely be torn down to make way for another obscene mansion in the suburbs of Los Angeles. My childhood home will be no longer.

There’s this thing about mourning that I’ve found to be true for me – it never really ends. People tell you it will get better, that it will get easier, that time will make the ache less raw. But it doesn’t get better. There is no acceptance. How do you accept a loss so profound that you find yourself gasping for air at the most inopportune times? The no longer’s are permanent. I don’t believe in the “stages of grief.” There is only grief. And grief has no rhyme or reason or timetable.

So I do the only thing I know how to do – I look to my children and my husband to remind me that, yes, my father, the only constant I’ve ever known, is no longer – but those silly diplomas, awards, and photographs that hung in his hallway – they still have meaning.

They matter as my father’s high school diploma matters to me.

They matter as his childhood pictures matter to me.

And if I’m lucky, someday my children will come across mine, hidden away in a closet somewhere, and it will matter to them.

 

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The Morning I Woke Up.

I didn’t wake up one morning and decide I was going to become an addict. I don’t think anyone does. It’s just something that happens when you’re too busy not living. Sure, you can argue that “it’s a way of life” or “this is just a thing I do,” but when your days are spent waiting for the dealer, or chasing the next high, it’s not just a thing. When your paycheck goes towards a bottle of pills, or a bag of white powder, it’s not really life, is it? It’s a way to avoid life.

I didn’t wake up one morning and decide that would be the day that I smoke a joint, take a pill, and maybe, if time permitted, snort a line. (Who am I kidding? Time always permitted, didn’t it?) It was a gradual process, really. I can absolutely look back and see the rises and falls of my usage – sips of my mother’s wine coolers led to my first blackout at the age of 13. Sneaking a cigarette just to see what it was like was soon followed by stealing quarters from my dad’s coin jar to support my pack a day habit. Smoking really bad weed at 14 in a tunnel around the block from a friend’s house to smoking the good stuff in my childhood bedroom until I finally moved out at 23…only to smoke it in my 2-bedroom rent controlled apartment. Alone, or with a stranger who wouldn’t ever become a friend. That medication prescribed for my anxiety? The one that I was only supposed to take as needed? When ground really fine and snorted through a broken straw, gave me exactly what I needed when I needed to learn how to cut lines of cocaine. 

I didn’t wake up one morning and decide that my family was no longer going to trust me, that I would be fired from or walk out of every job I ever had, that I would be walking into a Downtown LA police station and getting slammed with a theft charge at the age of 26. (Twenty-six year olds are supposed to know better, aren’t they?)

But I did go to sleep and wonder how I was going to pay my rent, who I was going to manipulate into giving me a few bucks, or how I was going to work the system in my favor. More often than I care to admit, the last thoughts before I drifted off were, “Am I going to wake up in the morning? Do I want to wake up in the morning?”

Despite the aforementioned effects of my addiction, it really did work in my favor for a long time. I had fun. I made friends and lovers. My addiction numbed what needed to be numbed. It quieted the cacophony of my unrelenting depression and anxiety. But then it stopped working. It stopped being fun. It stopped numbing. Here’s the thing – it stops working for everyone, and the harrowing truth is that most of us only realize it when it’s too late.

The story never changes, and I’ve shared some form of it more than once over the last 9 years. I debated on what I should write here today. I tend to write something on my anniversary, and I don’t do it for me. I don’t share the hardest part of me because I want accolades or a pat on the back. I do it because someone saved my life once and if I can reach one person with my paltry story, I’ll tell it everyday.

I don’t do this sobriety thing perfectly. I’m not the poster child for Alcoholics Anonymous. I don’t go to regular meetings. Hell, I don’t even have a sponsor. (I do not recommend this path – but it’s what works for me right now.) The only thing I do with any kind of consistency is I don’t drink and I don’t use. No matter what.

Three thousand, two hundred and eighty-five days isn’t really any time at all, but it’s my time. Nine years ago I was on the precipice of losing everything that mattered to me, and up until that morning, I didn’t realize that I mattered to myself.

Finality.

Of all the words that I never imagined I’d say, “I buried my dad today” are among them.

I buried my dad today, surrounded by friends, family, and strangers.

I buried my dad today, sitting with my husband and my children. My brother, his wife, and their children. My sister and her husband. Uncles, cousins, in-laws, distant relatives I never see.

I buried my dad today. We listened as the Deacon gave his sermon based on the information I had provided: “Joe had heart. He was a bit of a creature of habit. He loved his family.”

He loved his family. He loved his children.

I buried my dad today. I heard the eulogies, and I gave my own – one that I wrote over and over in my head and it was simply never good enough. Would it ever be good enough? Could it ever be good enough?

I buried my dad today. I watched as my baby brother, my husband, and four other pallbearers carried his casket from the chapel to the hearse, from the hearse to his final resting place.

I buried my dad today. Final words, final prayers; flowers placed. Casket lowered, dirt sprinkled. Irreversible goodbyes.

I buried you today, but I’ll see you in the next one, daddy.

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In Praise of my Father, Joseph G. Lamberti
03.08.1945 – 11.11.2015

“He was a good man. He was a kind man. He was a proud father. He was my mentor. He was my best friend. He was my Daddy Joe.”

When I took on the unfortunate task of calling friends and family to inform them of my father’s passing, those are just a few of the words I heard – Good. Kind. Proud. Friend. Daddy. That is a testament to the man that he was, for he was all of those things to a lot of people. And yes, he was in fact all of those things to me, but he was also so much more.

The first Christmas after my mom left, money was really tight. I remember asking for a Teddy Ruxpin. It was this creepy talking bear that “read” stories via a cassette player in his butt. I was sure I wasn’t going to get it, but even in the hardest of times, my dad did what he did best – he provided. So he went to Toys ‘r Us and found the last Teddy Ruxpin on the shelf, but it was broken.

Most people would give a sigh and find something else, something second best. But not my dad. So being the master negotiator that he was, he talked the salesperson down in price and walked out with a bear that did everything but talk; being the tinkerer he was, he brought that bear home and repaired it; being the daddy that he was, he had it ready for me on Christmas morning.

Over the years, my dad has given me a lot – my first bicycle, my first Walkman. When I was 13 and wanted to learn how to play guitar, he took me to a pawnshop and bought me a little acoustic thing that would eventually grow dust in my bedroom. He put dinner on my plate every single night for 19 years, and we ate as a family almost as often. He drove me to school, took me to the ER when I split my chin open, rushed me to urgent care after I fell off of my bike and fractured my wrist. He was there for every cold, every bruise, every break-up, and every subsequent tear. He talked me down from the cliffs of adolescent insanity – and believe me, there was a lot of that in my house. He stood steadfast through some pretty uncomfortable moments as a father dealing with a teenager daughter – emphasis on pretty uncomfortable. He walked me down the aisle at my wedding, and tried not to laugh as I swore and cursed in his ear because I was so incredibly nervous.

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He did all of these things not because he had to – he GAVE me these things because he wanted to.

And once I had children of my own, he did his best to give them what he had given me. He adored my kids and I am so blessed that although his time with them was cut short, it was time of quality and meaning.

It’s no secret that of the three of his children I was something of a black sheep. While my brother and sister walked the line, followed the rules, and were home at curfew, I was the daughter who rebelled. Growing up I made it a point to do exactly the opposite of what my father asked of me. I wreaked havoc, caused fights, stomped, stormed, and slammed doors. But instead of fighting against me, my dad fought for me.

When others would have left, my dad stayed.
When others would have given up, my dad fought.
When others would have cried, my dad laughed.

But perhaps the most significant, most important thing he ever did was give me the gift of a father who showed up, a father who was present, a father who, despite all odds, despite the times he himself felt sheer defeat, he told me I was worth something – he showed me how to believe in myself.

He was a good man. He was a kind man. He was a friend, a teacher, a workhorse, a fixer, and a fighter.

He was my constant.

He was my champion.

He was my grown-up.

He was my dad.

And I’ll miss him every single day for the rest of my life.

 

Snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails.

Annabella was with us when we found out that baby #2 was going to be a boy. She was hoping for a baby sister – a fragile, petite, precious muffin that she could mold into the perfect playmate. When the doctor said, “It’s definitely a boy!” Annabella burst out with, “AWW NUTS!” Naturally my response was, “literally!” Of course the joke went over her head, but eventually she warmed up to the idea of a baby brother. She was not quite 4-years-old – what did she know about boys? Now, at age 6, she knows a little more. Mostly that boys are gross and annoying. (Yes, my sweet daughter. That doesn’t change – write that down.)

But me? I heeded the warnings. I read the “10 Things No One Tells You About Having a Boy” articles strewn across the internet. I’ve see the pictures of toddlers climbing bookshelves and pre-teens hanging from bannisters. I am fully aware that at some point, my son will start taking longer showers and subsequently doing his own laundry. (And he will wash his own clothes because ain’t no mom has time for that.) I know he’ll eat me out of house and home and probably smell really, really bad.

What all the “Top 10” articles about boys DID fail to mention are the falls from the bookshelves, the injuries from the climbs, the random bumps and bruises that boys – my boy – is notorious for. No one mentioned the pit that would form in my stomach as I’d watch him run head first into e v e r y t h i n g. The pain I’d feel when that head-on collision with the ground would result in skinned knees and lots and lots of tears. But that’s par for the course, I’ve come to find.

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                          Skinned-knee G

Anyway, I was prepared, right? For the messiness, the rowdiness, the blatant disregard for cleanliness, the “run, don’t walk” force of nature that he is. I was prepared for the “ick” factor, the sweat, the “how on Earth did you get ketchup between your toes? You’re wearing socks!” I was ready for the head-butts and the headaches.

But boy, was I so completely unprepared for the feelings. How I’d feel when I’d look up at him sitting atop his dad’s shoulders, squealing with delight at all the things he could see. I was unprepared for the massive amount of worry about his development, or the tears that would well up in my eyes when he finally put two words together. I was not ready for the way he’d put his sister up on a pedestal and always offer her his last bits of Pirate’s Booty even though she had already grabbed some from his bowl when he wasn’t looking. I was definitely not prepared for the way he’d look at me, like I am his anchor.

Please don’t misconstrue my feelings for my daughter – she is the apple of my eye, the mini to my me, my boundless ball of empathy and emotion. When she hurts, I hurt. When she laughs, I laugh.  And I don’t know – maybe it’s not a mother/son thing. Maybe it’s a different kind of special because he is probably my last baby. Perhaps it’s unfamiliar because the post-partum depression that I experienced for so long after I had Annabella was almost non-existent this time around. But regardless of the reasons, this little boy? He has completely stolen my heart.

I recall a moment right after Griffin was born when I was telling my mother-in-law that Annabella wanted nothing to do with me – she quickly turned into a daddy’s girl shortly after she was no longer the one and only – and she never turned back. My MIL said something that I’ll never forget. She said, “That’s why we have boys, Tamara.”

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                  Thief

Embracing the Ordinary

It’s something I’ve been trying to do lately – embrace the seemingly ordinary moments that I would have otherwise taken for granted. Silly things, really. Like watching my daughter perfect a fishtail braid on one of her dolls, listening to my son make a lot of noise music on his toy keyboard, or sitting on the couch with my husband watching another movie on another Saturday evening.

How often do I find myself at the end of the day, lying in bed, silenced by the wave of guilt that covers me instead of my blanket? I’d be lying if I said rarely. In fact, it’s almost every night. Did I love enough? Did I show enough empathy? Did I practice patience? I definitely know that I yelled more than I wanted to. I was annoyed with Annabella on quite a few occasions and I’m pretty sure I made that abundantly clear to her. And good lord, if Griffin would have climbed on me one more time I might have mistaken him for a jacket and put him in the hall closet.

People say toddlers whine, kindergarteners have attitude. Breathe. Keep calm and carry on. Keep a stiff upper lip. You’re the adult. Pretend if you have to. Fake it til you make it.

Bippity-boppity-bullshit. I’d need a fairy godmother to make it that easy. There are things no one shares with you when you have children and most of the time, having children is described as sunshine and lollipops, with the *occasional* diaper blowout or 2 am awakening.

That is a bold faced lie. It isn’t always comfortable. It isn’t always a bed of roses. The roses have thorns on them and you have to prune the roses constantly in order for them to grow. There will be pain. There will be guilt. There will be yelling and stomping – from me and the kid. There is always something I could have done better, some way I could have made the morning go more smoothly. It is exhausting and disheartening and sometimes I feel like I just can’t do it anymore.

That’s when I have to stop for a second. Look around myself. What do I really see?

I see my daughter who was not just perfecting a fishtail braid – she had spent literal hours trying to do so and it was a magnificent accomplishment for her. My son was not just making a lot of noise on his keyboard – he was making music and dancing his little diapered booty off. And those times I spent watching another movie on another Saturday night? It was with my husband, in the comfort of the home that we’ve built together. 

It’s in these ordinary moments that I find the mental polaroids, the pictures, that I hope succeed me. So I guess, in a way, there’s nothing ordinary about them. These are the bare bones of my life, and that’s…extraordinary.

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Like I said, extraordinary.

Fight or flight.

Mothers aren’t supposed to leave. Or perhaps I should say mothers aren’t supposed to leave on purpose. But mine did when I was 4 years old.

You know how there are moments in your life that encapsulate every single sense of your being? I mean you can literally feel the moments when you think back to them. Maybe that’s what they mean by “sensory memories” because you can see them, you can smell them, you can almost touch them, or rather, they touch you. And most of the time, those moments aren’t the good ones. They are the painful, ugly moments that you just want to forget.

I vaguely remember the time leading up to that night. To be honest, the only real memory I have of my mother prior to her leaving is the day she picked me up from preschool. It was drizzling outside, and we were walking, holding hands, and singing, “lions and tigers and bears, oh my!” all the way to the car. It must have been a short while later, perhaps the following summer, when one single instant became the basis for every relationship I’ve ever had.

It was late. It had to have been. My brother, sister, and I were in bed, or maybe getting ready for bed because I remember pajamas.

Then a front door slamming. Then yelling.
My father taking us all to the living room and turning on the TV, not concerned with what was on; his only concern was getting us out of the way.

(Enemy Mine was on. A movie starring Dennis Quaid and Louis Gossett Jr. The things we remember, right?)

The yelling turned to screaming turned to a physical altercation between the two people I trusted most. I vividly recall trying to squeeze my way between my mom and dad. I pulled them close to me, trying to get them to stop, to make-up, but I was pushed to the side.

We were all crying. My brother was only 2, and he had absolutely no clue what was going on. My sister, 7, and probably seeing a very different scene than I was. But the fighting continued and then suddenly it stopped. And my mom was gone.

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me and mom on a school bus, 1984

She never came home. She found a new place to live, with new friends and new boyfriends. We’d see her, don’t get me wrong. But seeing her and seeing her always meant different things. There were a few years of stability, years when she had a solid relationship with a solid man, and during those years we would see her semi-often. But those years were short lived.

My mother suffered many abuses. As I grew up I began to see what a very sick woman she was. She’s never consistently been the same person for long periods of time. She was always changing and I tried so hard to keep up, even when my own safety was at risk. There are stories of some of my visits with her when I was a teenager that have yet to be shared with anyone, and I’m not sure they can be.

She’s missed out on a lot of my life. She’s met my daughter a handful of times, and my son only once. Most of the time I don’t know if she’s living or dying, but the truth is I think she’s been dying her whole life. I’ve always been compared to my mom. We share  a lot of the same personality traits, and we’ve both experienced the death grip of addiction and mental illness. In a lot of ways we had lived parallel lives up until I found sobriety and a really great shrink.

I think it’s a normal feeling that moms have, to want to run away, take a breather, get some space. I’ve felt it more times than I care to admit, and every time I feel it, I wonder if everyone was right – am I just like my mom? Could I just leave, and live freely. I mean the idea sounds so absolutely epic sometimes, you know? But when that urge to take flight engulfs me, when the exhaustion and frustration and irritation become so immense that I feel like I’m going to explode, that’s when that sensory memory returns and I have to remind myself:

I am my mother’s daughter, but I am not my mother.

Girl, you’ll move mountains.

To be absolutely honest, I was dumbstruck when I found out that Annabella was going to be a girl. I believed right from the beginning of my pregnancy that I was going to have a boy. In fact, I would have put money on it. So when the doctor said the ‘G’ word, I was in shock. After the shock, the fear set in. How was I going to raise a girl? I was a 29-year-old woman who grew up without a mom. I didn’t know the first thing about french braids, fashion, accessorizing, and….tutus?

Growing up I was never told that I was beautiful. I think my Nana used to do the royal wave when I walked into the room, and she’d sing, “Here she comes, Miss America…” but I’m fairly certain that was just because even then, I had a penchant for the dramatic.

No, I was called the black sheep, the troublemaker, the daughter who was just like her mother. I was never pretty or cute or lovely. I wasn’t graceful or stunning – those compliments were always saved for my sister, or my girlfriends. I always felt like I was too much of or too less than. I was never somewhere in between.

So I retreated inside of me. I picked up a pen, some headphones, some substance to push the feelings down, and turned myself into those things that couldn’t be defined in certain terms. I believed that I could never be what they wanted me to be. Instead, I became funny and witty. The best friend. The pal. The girl who’d be “so pretty if only she lost a little bit of weight.”

I spent 30 years believing that I wasn’t worthy.

Then I had her, a daughter of my own. I look at her and all I see is perfection. I can’t imagine the idea of not telling her that she is exactly how I see her – bright and beautiful and shining and magic. I loathe the thought of her growing up thinking that if she just did this, or just ate that, or did more of [insert self-esteem wrenching comment here], then she would be better off. “Better off.” Better off being a carbon copy? A copy of a copy of someone else? Someone who has been copied so many times that the lines start to blur and distort? No! Absolutely not. But how could I help her harness that individuality, that pride, that self-esteem that I never had?

Shortly after Annabella turned 5, a few months after her brother had been born, I was lying down next to her after just getting the baby to nap.  I noticed that my shirt was still lifted from the newborn nursing session and I saw my daughter looking at my lumpy, wrinkled, striped skin. “Mommy? What are those?” she asked.

I said, “What are what?”

She said, “These.” And she traced my stretch marks with her fingers. I immediately gasped, sucked in my stomach and covered it up with my shirt. In a matter of seconds, the last 34 years flashed through my mind.

Adolescence. Awkwardness. Puberty. Birth control. Drug addiction. Alcoholism. Depression. Cutting. Anxiety. Losing 30 pounds. Gaining 40. Losing 25. Gaining 35. Sobriety. Recovery. Losing 15. Gaining 10. Pregnancy. Gaining 20. Losing. Pregnancy. Gaining. Losing.

My skin, stretched. Stomach, breasts, arms, thighs.

Over & over & over again.

Self-loathing. Food addiction replacing drugs replacing alcohol replacing feelings. Purging. Healthy. Unhealthy. Ping-ponging. Always back & forth.

Body. Body. Body.

Hate. Hate. Hate.

(Hide it. Pretend. Fake it for her. She doesn’t have to know. She doesn’t ever have to hate.)

“You know how you and baby brother grew in my tummy? My body worked really hard to make sure that you both grew nice and big and healthy. So when you were growing, my tummy grew, too. And it streeeeeeeetched like bubble gum. These lines are kind of like my body’s memory of you and Griffin.”

She looked at me and said, “Will I have those lines when I grow up?”

I just smiled and replied, “I don’t know baby, but you’ll be amazing no matter what.”

“You’re beautiful, mommy. When I grow up I hope I have lines like yours,” she said, as she curled up next to me and continued watching her cartoon.

I pulled her close and the tears began to well. No, my sweet daughter, YOU are beautiful and smart and brave and capable and talented and good.

No. Matter. What.

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just keep twirling

Non-exempt

Becoming a mother doesn’t automatically exempt you from having demons. I wish it did. No, the past – the mistakes, the regrets, the inadequacies – for me it’s been quite the contrary. I’ve become hyper-aware of the things that plague me.

I wish I could say that I didn’t wake up depressed. That some days the thought of not eating sounds better than all the chocolate and vice versa. The same goes for a line of cocaine, a pill, an upper, a downer.

A cigarette.

To say, “I’m not a perfect mother” would be absurd. I’m a mother, but I’m far from perfect. “I’m not a perfect person?” Eh. Let’s be real – perfect isn’t real.

So I move on to the lesser versions of perfect. Good, kind. I apply those to “mother” and “person.” And I have to get truthful with myself and say that sometimes I am not good, sometimes I am not kind.

Sometimes I am not a kind mom. I yell more than I’d care to admit. Sometimes the thought of being clung to for one more second, or listening to one more whine, makes me want to do a complete ostrich and hide my head in the sand.

Good? I’m really good at being “just okay.”

But still, I move on. I flip through my mental dictionary. Nouns. Adjectives. Adverbs. Words that describe.

And finally I come to honest. And I say, “I am honest.”

I’m honest when I say that I suffer from bouts of depression. That I’m a recovering drug addict. That I’m not sure if what I have is an eating disorder or if I’m just really, really aware of my body and what goes in it. I’m honest when I say that there are days when my anxiety is too much to bear. That my fear of abandoning my children is so intense that I’m not always present because I’m thinking about not being here. It’s a vicious cycle, really.

I’m honest when I say that I’m a mother with demons.

And I don’t believe that makes me any less of a mother. I don’t believe that makes me bad – I believe that makes me the best mother I can be.

I’m a fighter.

A mother who fights her demons – on a daily basis.

I fight them because I am a mother.

And my children will grow up knowing that I’m flawed. Because all humans are flawed and I don’t think they should grow up thinking that we’re not.

Becoming a mother has not made me shiny and pure and magical.

It makes me want to be those things.

It makes me want to be better.

Is that  enough? Is wanting those things enough? Is fighting enough?

Want < do. Fight < win.

Or.

Wanting = doing. Fighting = winning.

I don’t know, I’ve always been bad at math. I’ll probably have to hire a tutor.

Why “June Cleaverish?”

51thGz9gSkL1June Cleaver was your quintessential, suburban housewife. She polished in pearls and shopped in heels. She was a perfectly coiffed, stylish hostess. June was dedicated to her family and friends, she was an active part of her community, and was boss at needlepoint.

Here’s the thing:

June Cleaver wasn’t real.
She was fake. A fraud.
A black & white facade.

There came a point where I began to ask myself why I felt the need to strive to be the anti-me.

When I had my daughter 6 years ago, I found myself at a precipice. I had everything going against me. I was a new, confused mom. I was a tired, haggard wife. I was a recovering alcoholic. I was climbing Mt. Postpartum Depression with nary a safety net.

The expectations were mounting; and it wasn’t the external expectations – it was the expectations that I placed on myself. The expectations to perform at a level that I couldn’t possibly reach.

I refused help. I believed that a good mom, a mom that was meant to be a mom, wouldn’t need help. I had isolated myself from my friends, and I was terrified to leave the house, lest I drop my newborn while walking down the stairs. I was developing an obsession with my health, or lack thereof. Every pain became terminal, every ache meant I was one step closer to leaving this life. I was literally living in fear. I was trying to maintain the sobriety that I had worked so hard to achieve, but the fear of being seen for what I really was, the fear of having to tell the truth, made me abandon the support system I had built in Alcoholics Anonymous.

Motherhood, marriage, life – none of it was what I expected it to be and I felt like I had been punched in the gut.

In an effort to have some kind of connection to the outside world, I joined a popular blogging community, picked the pseudonym “June Cleaverish,” and began to post. I was social in the virtual world, and it was the virtual world that I believe gave me the nudge to get well. It became my venting ground, my online diary. I made friends and built relationships that I still have today. And although I wasn’t new to the blogosphere, having had some kind of blog on almost every forum since 2001, it was freeing to be able to write again about my newest endeavor: wife and mom.

Over the last six years I’ve been learning some hard lessons. Mostly that it’s okay to just be okay. It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay to struggle. It’s okay to hate your husband sometimes. It’s okay to want to call your child an asshole behind their back, because let’s be honest – kids are assholes. It’s okay to feel like you’re a square peg trying to fit in the round hole called Motherhood.

I’m learning that it’s okay to be “-ish” – the kinda, sorta, not quite, and in between.

I think I’m almost there.

Well, not really almost.

Almost-ish.

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