I know I promised I was going to follow up with a general update about how I was doing. So that’s what I’m doing today.
My ADHD brain is all over the place today and I had a horrible workout this morning. I thought I would try writing and see if that helps to settle my mind. Please forgive me if this post sounds a little scattered. This is going to be more of a therapeutic exercise for me today. lol
The last two or three years have been a whirlwind of life lessons. I learned so many things both during and after my divorce. I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to manage as a single parent. I worried that I would let my kids down or never be enough to meet their needs. I would lay in bed at night thinking and stressing out so much that I was simply unable to fall asleep. I worried all the time and the anxiety was taking a serious toll on my physical and mental health. I was miserable.
As with many things in life, a little distance and some therapy helped me to finally recognize a few things that I wasn’t able to see before. I learned that I had already been a single parent, for a very, very long time. My therapist helped me to understand that just because I wasn’t living alone with my kids, didn’t mean I wasn’t a single parent. She was right. I just didn’t see it for what it was but this realization set into motion a change in the way I approached life and treated myself.
The last couple of years have been sort of an awakening for me. Almost my entire adult life had been spent lost in survival mode, struggling with PTSD, and what I would eventually learn was unmanaged ADHD.
On the parenting side, I was drowning in meltdowns, behavioral challenges, therapies, countless doctor appointments for everyone, managing my kid’s education as best I could, and fighting to literally keep Gavin alive. He had so many life-threatening health issues when he was younger and the stress from that alone was indescribable.
This blog is full of stories from that time in my life. I look back on them sometimes and honestly don’t know how I physically survived. I had no bandwidth for anything other than taking care of the immediate needs of my family. Everyone had an exhaustive list of challenging needs and I was already largely on my own in the day-to-day everything. I was lucky that I had and still have an amazingly supportive family, including my now ex-in-laws but no amount of outside help could make up for what was missing within the home. If that makes sense.
I wasn’t sleeping well and my physical/mental health was going downhill. I wasn’t making myself a priority, I was depressed, barely functioning in some areas of my life, and there were days that it took everything I had left, just to drag myself out of bed so I could take my kids to school. There were some really dark times and to be completely honest, it got so bad that I couldn’t see a future anymore. I was so worried that I wouldn’t physically survive everything and I was the only parent my kids had. If something happened to me, what would happen to them?
I don’t want to deep dive too much into that so hopefully, you get the point. Feel free to explore this blog and read more of the stories on your own.
Fast forward a few years and today I find myself in a place I never thought I would see. My kids are doing fantastic. They’ve become so independent and are healing from all the trauma they’ve been through. You can read my recent update about my amazing kids here.
I feel like I’m truly out of survival mode. I’ve thought that before but I was wrong. I still needed to learn a few things before I could begin the process of rebuilding. My life has been put on hold for so long and getting that engine running again takes some time and requires me to be very deliberate in the choices I make. Learning to put myself first is not easy to do. There’s a mindset that I needed to embrace and that involved self-care. I always put myself last and I know many of you can relate to that.
Once I began making myself a priority, focusing on self-care, and removing the arbitrary timetables I imposed on myself, life began to change for the better. I needed to stop expecting myself to bounce back overnight. It takes time to dig out of 20 years worth everything. It’s a process that takes as long as it takes and as long as I keep moving forward, I’ll get there. I threw out the self-imposed timelines and learned to allow myself grace.
Once I did this I began my own process of healing and personal growth. I started losing the weight I had gained and my mental health improved, as did my sleep. The more I put back into myself, the more I had to give my kids. I wasn’t just going through the motions anymore. I was seeing things clearly for the first time in a very long time and I was finally able to truly begin the rebuilding process.
Rebuilding my life has been challenging for many reasons. I’m not just rebuilding my life because of a divorce, but also from two exhaustive decades of being a special needs parent, and losing a sense of who I was along the way.
As I was working on myself, I began to recognize that part of my struggle was related to what I thought might be ADHD. I eventually got evaluated and was officially diagnosed with ADHD in 2022. It didn’t necessarily fix anything but it helped me to better understand myself and that allowed me to make the necessary changes in my life to better manage the condition. Knowledge is power and it’s harder to deal with something if we don’t know what that something is.
As I gained the knowledge, insight, and experience to better manage the ADHD symptoms, everything became a little easier. I was able to focus on helping my kids make some needed progress, as well as build my business, work on my neglected house, and grow as a person. It’s not been easy and I still have work to do but progress has been made.
There are times I still get lost in my head and that internal dialogue is very unkind to me. I wish I could do better in this area but I’ll just keep working on it until I get there.
Over the last few months, I’ve become more relaxed and in control of my thoughts. I’m slowly getting caught up on all the life stuff that had been put on hold. I restructured the business which wasn’t fun, fixed some things that weren’t working, launched a second podcast, and have significantly grown my social media, which is vital for the business to succeed. I’m still learning the business side of things but I’m getting better and more focused. I’m putting myself out there and doing things I have historically shied away from, like public speaking, and on-camera interviews.
I’m really pushing myself to step outside of my comfort zone because person growth requires us to sometimes be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
On the personal side of things, life is good. Actually, it’s great. I never bought into the whole the best things happen when you least expect it or aren’t looking for it but I was proven wrong and I’m totally okay with that because I’m truly happy where I am.
I’ve lost 26 lbs in the last few months and my work-outs have significantly improved as well. I went back on my meds and my mental health has dramatically improved, as has my ability to manage the ADHD. I haven’t really struggled in a few months and when I do have bad days, I don’t keep it to myself and I let people help me. That’s a big thing for me.
I know that I’m not where I should be at this point in my life had things been different and that’s okay. It can make things challenging but I didn’t get here overnight and digging out won’t happen overnight either. The rebuilding process is just that, a process. It takes time and I’m finally learning to allow myself that grace. I’ve made so much progress in a relatively short amount of time, and there is still a lot of building to do but I totally got this.
One of my big goals for this month has been to reclaim my office, and convert it into a recording studio. I’ve was hoping to have this done by the end of June but I ran into a few problems. I needed to strip wallpaper that wasn’t put on correctly and removing it damaged the drywall. I’ve had to float out all the walls and it’s taken more time than I had originally planned but I think it’s finally almost done. Then all I have to do is paint everything. Elliott picked out the colors and I like his picks. It’s been a process but it will be so worth it when it’s done.
I can’t wait to move everything in and once again have a dedicated work space. With the business growing, I need a better setup in order to keep pace. The other thing that this will help with is my work/life balance. I do struggle with that and it drives my kids crazy. lol
I feel like I’m rambling now so I’ll just say this. The take away from this post is that things are going well for me. Work is challenging, time consuming, frustrating, and rewarding, but I’m growing a business and that’s amazing to me. My health is very good and I’m in a better headspace than I can ever remember myself being in, at least in my adult life. I’m making progress on the house, my kids are doing incredibly well, and I’m truly happy.
It feels good to have finally made the time to get this written out. My goal is to write at least once a week going forward. I’m spread so thin across multiple platforms but I think once a week is a realistic goal for now.
There you have it. I feel like this pretty much gets you caught up. Life is pretty dynamic so things are constantly evolving and changing so I’ll keep you all updated.