November Flowers

I consider myself to be an eternal optimist. I see the glass as half full, I roll with the punches, I have a stiff upper lip, insert other positive cliche HERE. I have bad days like everyone else but I know that they will pass. Usually.

Last Monday still haunts me because I have never been that dark before. It also haunts me because while I haven’t been unable to do anything whatsoever, I still feel like my feet are mired in the mud and I cannot pull myself out of the pit. Every day since then has seen one or five things fly at me, like life has decided to give me a cross-punch, a hook, an upper and a kick to the junk for good measure. And then it peed on my head and set me on fire.

So many things, so many things.

My head is spinning and my heart is aching and, oh. Optimism has taken a vacation and I have become someone who is just waiting for another shoe to fall. Probably on my head. And then it will crush my baby toe. And then I will trip over it and fall face first back into the miry mud.

So many things, so many things.

Here is but a few of them.

My sister emailed the family a few weeks ago to tell us that she’d had a mole removed and biopsied. It first came back clean but it turns out that it’s malignant melanoma. There’s a chance that the biopsy got it all, but there’s a chance that Dr. Google is horribly right. She’s gone for a second biopsy, and we’re waiting to hear the results. She is the one sibling with whom I share both parents, and who has the same skin type as I do. I’ve made an appointment with my family Doctor for next week for her to take a look at me, because it would be stupid not to. We’re praying that she is fine because … she’s my sister, you know?

It’s no secret that I have been struggling with my career, and while I won’t go into the details here (I did already here), it’s just not been good. I don’t know where I fit, exactly, and the communication has been sub-par. I don’t belong there, but I don’t know where I do belong, which leaves me feeling stuck. I had a few neon arrows pointing a different direction yesterday, which gave me hope, but my Debbie Downer attitude as of late (TOTALLY JUSTIFIED) wonders if it will all work out. One neon sign, at least, is pretty concrete (Hi, Kami!), and another one would be pretty rad (Hi, Amanda and Shelley!), and the other signs would be great but maybe I’m grasping at straws. (Related: Hire me.)

I missed some important filings for the company that we use for our self-employment work and got a notice in the mail that they were going to DISSOLVE OUR COMPANY. Being the government, they made it sound like it was a done deal, and I quickly did the filings and sent this wordy cover letter and all of this documentation to back up why our company still exists (BECAUSE IT DOES). I’ve been fretting over this for a WEEK, but haven’t been home during their (short) work hours. When I called yesterday to see the status, expecting them to say TOO BAD SO SAD, the girl was all, “Oh! You filed! We’re all good.” Way to freak me out, Big Brother.

Matthew and I had it out on Monday. By “had it out”, I mean “addressed some relationship deficiencies in an open and honest two-hour discussion.” The details are not for the Internet, but our marriage wasn’t firing right. We’re back on track, and are thankful that we hashed it out, but having that in the midst of everything else was not my favorite. We’re both having a rough go of it and going it alone made it even worse. So was having to deal with restoration on top of everything else. Because REALLY?

The hardest thing this week has been Nathan. My baby boy is dealing with a lot of anxiety. He’s anxious about things that happened in the past (barfing, hockey checks) and anxious about things that could possibly happen in the future (barfing, hockey checks), but when you talk about what happened/is happening today that makes him anxious, there is nothing to report. This anxiety results in a “sore tummy” and it mostly happens at school. We’ve been talking and working with his teacher (who is AMAZING) and yesterday she emailed me at lunch to say that he was having a GREAT day. Shortly thereafter, he called me in tears (again) and I went to pick him up. While he packed his bags, she gave me the rundown of the afternoon. She was in tears, I was in tears, and he was (still) in tears. I’ve used every tool at my disposal (communication, cuddling, prayer) and nothing is working.

I feel like I’m failing as his Mom, because I don’t know how to make it better. Moms are supposed to make it better.

But how am I supposed to make it better for him when I can’t figure out how to make it better for me? I don’t even know.

*NEEDTOBREATHE. This song is on repeat. The lyrics are perfect for me and the chorus is especially hitting home right now.

Give me the answer
Give me the way out
Give me the faith to believe in these hard times

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  1. Tamara February 2, 2012 12:33 am edit

    Oh lady, so sorry to hear this. I won’t give you any advice because it sounds like you just need a few more hugs (and a great job offer, hire her!).

    Anxiety in kids is so rough, just thinking good thoughts for N.


  2. Sharon February 2, 2012 1:28 am edit

    Reading this just broke my heart. I’m sorry things have been so difficult lately. I think January deserves a good riddance and a swift kick in the pants. It was a tough month for so many people I know (myself included). I wish there was something I could do to help, but please accept this virtual hug, and know that I (and no doubt so many others) are thinking of you and praying for you and your family. Here’s to hoping that February will be infinitely better!

  3. Shelby February 2, 2012 1:44 am edit

    I relate to everything you wrote about. I’m sorry they are all happening at once. Really hoping things get better soon

  4. Hannah February 2, 2012 2:06 am edit

    Oh, Angella. I’m so sorry. My heart is breaking for you right now. What a lot of crap to hit the fan all at once, no wonder you are feeling so low. There isn’t much I can say except I AM PRAYING FOR YOU. And I love you.


  5. Arina February 2, 2012 8:49 am edit

    Thinking of you, on all counts. And sending you hugs…

  6. Kami February 2, 2012 9:07 am edit

    Glad I could provide at least on concrete neon sign – we are glad to have you back!

    Big hugs and prayers that all of the things you mention (and don’t mention) above work out for the best!

  7. Tanya February 2, 2012 9:08 am edit

    Hey Angella,

    I know it is like opening a wound to the world but thank you for sharing this. I feel like I have finally found someone who feels the exact same way I do. Someone who gets it! It’s not a feeling of I don’t want to be here anymore but why is my brain deciding to press pause. We know life is good and the optimist is in there but sometimes it feels trapped like its trapped in a muddy bubble.

    I also know how you feel about careers. I have taking a bachelor degree, a master’s certificate and now an HR diploma but I can’t seem to figure out where I fit. I have a general idea of what I like and I can see a vague path in the grass ahead of me but that bad muddy voice says but you’ve tried other things, will THIS make you happy? short. I get you.

  8. monstergirlee February 2, 2012 9:40 am edit

    Oh hon, all the crap is not supposed to be going on all at once – Hey world! Give Angella a break will ya?!?!

    I’m sorry it’s all so shitty right now. I’ll say a prayer for your sister, and for you and your family, to find peace. I’m glad you can find an outlet to dump some of this stuff, I hope it helps. Sending major internet Hugs to you and your family, especially Nathan.

  9. schmutzie February 2, 2012 9:44 am edit

    Oh, Angella. I’ve been avoiding writing a similar post. January has been terrible, and I’m so sorry that you’re feeling it, too.

    It will get better, though. IT WILL.

    That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

  10. Sarahviz February 2, 2012 9:50 am edit

    Oh honey, I know. I know this all too well. When it rains, it pours, right? But luckily there’s a rainbow afterwards. Hang on for that rainbow.

  11. sizzle February 2, 2012 10:14 am edit

    That’s a lot of things that weigh heavy on one’s soul/heart so it’s no wonder it’s difficult to pull yourself up by your bootstraps so to speak. These things will shift with time and care. It won’t always be like this so breathe through it all and keep coming back to center, your center where your truth is.

    My BF has issues with anxiety- even as a little kid like Nathan. He still struggles with some of it but there are ways to manage it I think. I hope Nathan feels better soon. Don’t be too hard on yourself, lady!

  12. Mrs. Wilson February 2, 2012 10:16 am edit

    Dude. All that stuff REALLY SUCKS. I’m so sorry you have to deal with it, and all at the same time to boot. Kaylie’s been having those “tummy aches” too, and I hate it so much.

    I will pray for you and I hope that you can get some of these things resolved. And by Kami’s comment can I assume that is GOOD news?!

    Much love, my friend.

  13. Kristabella February 2, 2012 10:18 am edit

    Nathan is a lot like my nephew Noah. They are too smart and know how to worry at such a young age. I know for Noah, it’s gotten better as he’s gotten older (he’ll be 10 in April), but my brother and SIL just try and calm him down and keep telling him that you can’t worry about things that haven’t even happened yet. Ugh. What a tough thing to deal with on top of everything else.

    But you HAVE NOT failed him and you’re a great mom. Don’t ever worry about that!

    Hugs! xoxo

  14. adele February 2, 2012 10:36 am edit

    Thinking of you if there’s anything you need your friends are here for you.

  15. Lisa February 2, 2012 10:51 am edit

    Its times like this that you can lean on your friends… and even people you DON’T know who live in other countries that are thinking positive thoughts and sending you sunshine and hugs! I hope and pray that things turn up soon. Sometimes you have to take it one day at a time.

    Oh Nathan, my heart breaks for this poor little dude… One thing my dad told me when I was a kid and I used to deal with negativity was a metaphor: There are people who go through life doling out negativity and bad JuJu like candy bars. If you don’t take the candy bar, (negativity) who is left with it? Those people! (It sure sucks to be them!)

  16. Amanda Brown February 2, 2012 11:23 am edit

    It was so good to see you yesterday, and have a long, long lunch to really get caught up. I am sorry things have been so hard lately. Life is mean sometimes and it’s tough to take. You can rest assured knowing that you are fighting for all the right things: a strong marriage, a healthy career life, happy kids…and doing a damn good job. You are strong, and when you’re not, it’s OK to just be.

  17. heidikins February 2, 2012 3:33 pm edit



  18. Steph H. February 2, 2012 4:08 pm edit

    Diligent reader; not so diligent commenter here.
    The winter doldrums are rough. I feel pretty desperate for some sunshine soon! I hope things start to look up for you. Virtual daffodils sent your way.
    Your post (a year or so ago?) introduced me to NeedtoBreathe. They are in Vancouver in March and my hubby and I are going! Let me know if you’re going to be there and I’d love to say a “hello.”

    “If you’re lost and lonely, you’re broken down, bring all your troubles and lay them down”.

  19. Miss Britt February 2, 2012 4:45 pm edit

    Oh, Angella. I’m so sorry you’re going through this right now.

    It WILL get better. Honest. It always does.

    In the meantime, we’re here to share the muck with. :)

  20. Marie February 2, 2012 6:05 pm edit

    I’ve never commented (just sort of read some of your posts from time to time) but I just wanted to echo most everything everyone else has been saying. That’s A LOT to go through all at once. It always seems the crap hits the fan all at once which is never ever fun and quite overwhelming.

    At times like this just take things one day at a time and remember to breathe. I’m so sorry this is all happening to you. And don’t beat yourself up about being a bad mom because you are most certainly NOT!!

    I hope things ease up soon and it will all work out. Sending good thoughts and hugs your way.

  21. Lisa February 2, 2012 9:18 pm edit

    Our lives often line up meaning, I am in a deep dark pit at the moment. Marriage things, work things, a daughter just diagnosed with ADD and anxiety, some things that are up in limbo and I HATE limbo. While my daughter’s diagnosis is a relief in a way, I am still nervous and anxious FOR her. We are working on the marriage things, but they are hard. The work stuff I imagine will work itself out, but possibly not until the end of the school year. Anyway, you aren’t alone! Things last for a season…I keep telling myself that because if I don’t believe that then things will seem even more bleak. I canNOT afford an endless pit. Anyway..looking forward to your post where you tell us that your sister is ok and Nathan is doing better!

  22. Frelle February 2, 2012 11:13 pm edit

    Im so glad I happened to be on fb tonight when your update came through about a psychologist. It made me click on your page so I would come here and read this.

    My heart hurts for you. i dont know how dark things were for you, but I can sure relate to one thing after piling on top of you when you’re already feeling emotionally overwhelmed. And Im sorry you had to address relationship issues in the midst too.. and needing to be strong and have insight about your son’s anxiety. I understand weeks like that and having to dig way way deep down to just have the endurance to do what needs to get done.

    thank you for pouring your heart out. im so glad I got to read, so that I can be thinking of you and praying and encouraging you. I hope hitting publish made you feel a little lighter and know that your readers are listening. *HUG*

  23. Elizabeth February 2, 2012 11:14 pm edit

    Gaaaahhhhh, I greatly dislike bummer days and it sounds like you have had a few of them. Wishing you strength and love, Angella.
    I hope it feels better to get it out and have support in your challenges; I know it helps me out. <3

  24. tanya porter February 2, 2012 11:16 pm edit

    Angela thank you so much for telling it like it is. I have had a bad cople weeks two and no idea what has caused it . It is hard to feel alone. I know I see my baby girl at school and all the kids and moms hanging out together and her and I seem to be watching in through a fishbowl. Everything I say I feel like a huge geek. I would do anything for my baby and I to have a group of good friends. I wish the tears would make everything better . Will keep you and yours in our prayers.

  25. gorillabuns February 2, 2012 11:18 pm edit

    the fact you acknowledge Nathan and his feelings PROVES you ARE a good mom. Celia has MASSIVE anxiety and this past year has been wrought with doctors, therapy and plain old fashion hugs and love for my bear.

    I think there are some children you worry about more than others. These are the children who make you feel like you’ve failed them when in fact, you are the one trying to help them succeed.

    As for the hubby? I have no words of wisdom there. I couldn’t tell you the last time I had a “meaningful” conversation with my husband about wants, desires, etc. Mainly because it would be ALL about his wants and desires.

  26. Elaine February 2, 2012 11:31 pm edit

    I’m so sorry all this is going on at all and at once, Angella. You’re in my prayers. Much love…

  27. Rebecca February 3, 2012 12:30 am edit

    Sending prayers and hugs your way. Sometimes we need a waterfall of them to feel like we aren’t drowning. XO

  28. Heidi February 3, 2012 1:20 am edit

    Hey Angella,
    Last year I experienced similar things with my Sam. He’s 8. Everyday his tummy hurt, he felt sick. Didn’t want to go to school. It got so bad that he had talked himself into a tizzy about the notion of going to summer camp and how he would ‘fail’ at it. I got him into seeing a children’s counsellor. She was awesome and talked about how he felt and how it’s ok but most importantly how to identify when he felt worried (tummy ache) and how to identify what exactly that feeling was and that maybe it was ok to feel it but not let it bring him down. I applaud you for contacting someone. It’s a process but kids are so receptive. Amazing little beings we all have. Sending you love and energized light!! xoxo
    Be well my friend.

  29. Heidi February 3, 2012 1:24 am edit

    PS – after counseling he was actually amped to go to camp and used his counseling techniques to rock it out for 5 nights away at camp. This year, he is a different child. I feel like he grew into himself finally. :)

  30. Pgoodness February 3, 2012 5:06 am edit

    Ok, first? Not failing as a mother. If that were happening you wouldn’t be working with him and his teacher, so cut that out.
    2nd: I was diagnosed with melanoma 3 years ago, so don’t panic yet, ok? Proud of you for going in for skin check!!!
    3rd: you’re going to be fine. I know this. You are strong, you’ve got good people and you’re not alone. You’ve taken such good steps in the middle of everything. Sometimes we fight and work it out, sometimes we cry in the shower or pull the covers over our heads – this is life. You’re fantastic and will get through this.

  31. karengreeners February 3, 2012 10:06 am edit

    I don’t know why all the heavy has to happen at once. Even separately, each of those things is worrying, exhausting, but to be hit with it all at the same time? All I can say is a) you’re not alone; we have all had times like this b) you’re stronger than you think and c) the sun will shine again. Even if the clouds linger longer than you’d like them to. I promise.

  32. Ben Stirling February 3, 2012 11:59 am edit

    I’m so sorry for you. Hope you come over your bad times real soon. I hope you get a great job offer real soon.

    Take care.


  33. Skwishee February 3, 2012 6:02 pm edit

    I’m sorry things are so hard for you right now – I hope that talking things through with your husband helped you feel less alone.
    I used to be so anxious about school (for no real reason) that I would throw up every morning. It really helped me to know that my mum was there to comfort me and wanted to help. I’m sure that, even though you feel like you can’t do anything, it’s helping Nathan to know that you love him.

    It will get better.

  34. Tia February 3, 2012 6:24 pm edit

    Two things I have been meaning to tell you, and now is the perfect time.

    1) I found out I was pregnant 9 weeks ago. My first thought “AHHH!” My second thought? I really, really hope I can be the kind of mom Angella is. True story. You have made a profound impact on me as a future mother – so thanks internet stranger! :)

    2) An online group of friends started a book club recently. Our first book was The Forgotten Garden, based on your recommendation. It was amazing! Thank you for the recommendation!

  35. Danica February 3, 2012 8:34 pm edit

    Oh Doll, (You AND Nathan)
    I ache for you guys. So rough.
    Hugs hugs and more hugs. I’ll hold you up in prayer constantly for the next while.
    You’re a GREAT mother, even when you don’t have all the solutions, because you’re there and you care and you try.

  36. Alyssa February 6, 2012 4:56 am edit

    I am not that familiar with this post but thank you for letting us know about it…

  37. Xzannia February 7, 2012 2:52 am edit

    I love the beauty of the flower here..

  38. Maegan February 7, 2012 10:09 pm edit

    Gosh! I really don’t know what to say. This is the hardest part of being a woman, to question you “how was you as a mother?”. I think you are just suffering from stress and anxiety too. Maybe you need time to be alone just to free your mind from all these questions. Or if not, why don’t you try to visit a psychologist to be able to talk about what you feel right now.

  39. Divina February 8, 2012 10:22 pm edit

    I’m so sorry this is happening to you. My prayers are with you and your family. Don’t lose hope and be strong . Keep the faith Angella.

  40. whoorl February 15, 2012 9:45 am edit

    Oh, Angella. When it rains, it pours. I know sunny days are ahead – keep your chin up. (My heart breaks for Nathan…)

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