Tag Archives: anxiety

Life, Therapy, and Owning Your Sh*t

*I feel it’s only fair to warn you that the following contains a bit of profanity. I would apologize for that, but in the spirit of “Myrtle”, I don’t feel an apology is necessary.¬†ūüôā

10429266_778373725578078_3388048229115365384_n¬†Own your shit. Three little words that hold more power than¬†I could’ve ever imagined.

The above picture is “Myrtle”. Myrtle owns her own shit.¬†Can I just tell you how much I love her?¬† I happened¬†upon Myrtle last week and haven’t been able to get her out of my mind. I love what she represents. Strength, courage,¬†wisdom, sass,¬†and a no nonsense, badass attitude. You go girl. ¬†¬†It took me alot of years to find my “inner Myrtle”, so to speak. ¬†Carrie Hilgert, Artist , is the creator of Myrtle, and I find¬†them (both Carrie and Myrtle!)¬†to be amazing.

“Myrtle is a badass. Obviously. I mean, just look at her. She doesn‚Äôt even own a shirt, much less wear one. She doesn‚Äôt give two fucks what you think about that either. And she‚Äôs not overly concerned what you think about her using the word fuck. Because Myrtle is smart. She lives her life for herself. She loves hard and true but has no time for people‚Äôs nonsense. Get on board or get out. Once, she worked at a 50‚Äôs themed diner and dreamed of walking on the beach at sunset to feel the peace there. She finally did that and now she‚Äôs busy making her dreams come true and owning her life.¬†“–Carrie Hilgert

It’s taken me MANY years to get to this point, where I can finally say that yes, I own my shit. Years of digging deep, letting myself feel things that I had locked away, hoping to never let resurface. I guess that was just my way of coping (or not coping) with situations I experienced through my life. Put the crap I didn’t know how to deal with in the box (in my head), lock that box and throw away the damn key. End of story. Proceed with life.

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Newsflash, friends:¬† You can only get away with that for so long, until the denial and the pretending catch up to you. And let me tell you—it can be a real train wreck.¬† I guess you could say that my box became so full of crap that it finally exploded. And as you can imagine, all of those things that I didn’t want to think about, admit, or cope with were just having their way with my thoughts and emotions. I was a mess.

I now know that there are millions of people that experience those same things at one time or another in their life, but at the time, I felt incredibly alone and vulnerable. Desperate.

I distinctly recall calling my sister at 3am and just crying. Uncontrollably crying. I didn’t know what I was feeling, or what was going on with me, but I felt like I was drowning. I remember saying that to her, that I felt like I was drowning and that I just wanted to crawl into a dark hole and sleep forever.

I wasn’t the type of person that wanted to admit that I had demons inside that I needed to put a name to. I didn’t want to accept them, own them, or work through them. I thought they made me appear weak. I worried that I would be judged. I was ashamed of them and afraid of them. But when you find yourself at a point where you can’t make sense of the chaos and struggle, you know it’s time to do something about it. When I called my sister, we prayed. I will forever be grateful for the peace that I would get from that. I know that it was a defining moment. The moment when I began to know my shit, deal with my shit, and own my shit.

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Because, let’s be honest, until you know what your shit is, you can’t own it. I started seeing a therapist, who helped me sort all of those demons out and put a name to them, so I could call them out. (Heads up to any of you out there worried that someone may find out¬†that you go to a “shrink” or think that you’re crazy— It’s time to get over it. You ARE crazy; we ALL are in some way or other. ¬†Admitting that you could use some help figuring your shit out is a sign of strength. And it’s the hip thing to do. All the cool kids are doing it.) ūüôā

Therapy for me, was like having someone crack the code to a mystery that I didn’t even know I had within me. Here’s a¬†small sample¬†of what I came to know and understand about myself. Obviously I’m greatly simplifying this, but I think¬†you’ll get the gist of it…

My dad was in¬†a fatal coal mining accident when I was 11. My mom, the most loving woman I’ve ever known, was dealing with the sudden tragic loss of her husband, after already having to cope with the death of two sons earlier in her life. I can’t even imagine what she was going through, but part of her coping was to be on the go a lot, and as a result, I found myself alone much of the time. I had anger for having lost not only him,¬†but her, as well, in a lot of ways. Then, as a young adult, I lost my mom to cancer. And as time went on, and I encountered struggles in my life, I was devastated that she wasn’t there for me, to give me advice,¬†or make me feel safe. ¬†I was angry, and felt like the people I loved the most, that I needed, weren’t there for me. Well, hello there, Abandonment. And then I felt bad for being angry. Hello there, Guilt.

I was married to an alcoholic. Years of me making excuses for him, covering up his drinking, giving ultimatums that I never followed through on, and being made to feel like a “second choice” after alcohol, took its toll on me. I had delved into the role of his co-dependent in order to keep our family together, and I¬†must say that I did a bang up job for many years. ¬†But eventually I couldn’t keep up with it any longer.¬†I snapped. I had finally been pushed to the brink and I “checked out”. It was an unconscious way of protecting myself from dealing with it anymore. Living through having someone you love hurt you over and over again, breaking promises, lying, and choosing alcohol over you and your children time and again—it wore me down and I couldn’t do it anymore. I was all¬†alone anyway, in all reality. The person that was supposed to love and take care of me wasn’t there.¬† Hello there Anger and Resentment, hello again Abandonment. Hello there Guilt.

I’m sure you get the picture, friends.¬†I have no doubt¬†there are plenty of you that can relate to some of that, and more. I¬† had a lot of shit to name, understand, and own.

Don’t cry for me, Argentina. I’m good. Really, I am. Way better than I was before I could make sense of it. I mean look at me. I’m strong, independent, and a badass, even.

Okay, badass might be stretching it just a little bit. I’m not quite sure I’m a badass. ¬†But¬†I’ve got so much Myrtle in me now that I can tell you these things about myself without shame,¬†¬†when at one point I was¬†so ashamed of it that I could barely admit it to myself.

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Cheers, and I urge you to find your own inner Myrtle!

Jill ‚̧

Oh No he DIDN’T just say that…

Let me set the scene for you.

I had just finished a long, busy day caring for kids in the daycare, and had made my way to the kitchen to make some dinner for my family. My youngest, eight year old Gino, came in and sat down at the table, and started chatting with me. Before long he had brought up the subject of my blog. I hadn’t specifically mentioned to him that I had started this blog, but he had seen my¬†Facebook page, This Wicked, Wonderful World by Jill Palilla, a couple of weeks back and was just a tiny bit fascinated by it, because he has a true love for writing stories (which are pretty darn impressive, if I say so myself), and I think that in his mind, my blogging catapults me into¬†a status of sorts.

Like¬†as in¬† Wonder Woman¬†type status. ¬†And I am¬†okay with that ūüôā

He seems particularly interested in the fact that I like to write about everyday life as I know it, by sharing things that happen to me or our family, as opposed to how he uses his wild imagination to write very detailed and entertaining fiction stories.

He asked how I decided what I was going to write about, and I explained that sometimes it’s simply something¬†funny that has happened that I think other people might enjoy hearing about, or it might be something¬†more serious that is on my mind often, or¬†a part of my everyday life that I struggle with–and sometimes writing about it helps me “figure it out” in a different way. He seemed to get that…. Maybe even more than I realized.

So¬†as we’re chatting, he says this….”Hey mom, I have an idea for something you can blog about. You could talk about how you never are able to get all of the dishes done at one time. You know, like how you’ll start to do them and then go do something else before you finish the big pans and stuff?”

What?! What did he just say? Oh NO, he DIDN’T just say that.

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Well. Reeeeeeaaalllly. That kid has a lot of nerve. Who does he think he¬†IS telling me that I need to BLOG about the fact that I can’t seem to get ALL of the dishes done at one time?! I mean, seriously, does he see all of the work that I have to do around here? I’m only one person, for crying out loud. ¬†And BY THE WAY, Mister, those pots and pans¬†NEED to soak overnight! …..

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Okay. Perhaps he had unknowingly hit a nerve.

One of the touchiest, most sensitive nerves that I have. Because he’s right. I almost NEVER finish all of my dishes at one time. It drives me crazy about myself that I do it. I KNOW this about myself, and I always tell myself to just finish the darn dishes, already.

But sometimes I just don’t want to. Yeah, that’s embarrassing.

And even more often than me simply not wanting to do them, THIS happens:

I’m washing the dishes and I remember that I need to switch the clothes from the washer to the dryer, so I stop the dish washing to do that. While I’m in the laundry room, I see Gino’s basketball jersey and it reminds me that I need to check to make sure that his basketball shoes are in his bag for the game. I am on¬†my way¬†to look for his game bag and as I walk through the living room, I see little pieces of paper and debris on the carpet from a project that 11007632_10200158613324101_129608837_nVincent was working on, and remember that I need to fix the sweeper and get that cleaned up. I detour to where the sweeper is sitting, turn it over and realize that I need a screwdriver to take the bottom off, so I go to the basement to get a screwdriver. While I’m down there, I catch a glimpse of a box containing files with old receipts and bills, which then starts me thinking that I need to get bills paid, and I’m sure by now you probably already know that I never go back to finish the dishes. It’s Attention Deficit Cleaning Disorder at it’s finest. I AM the poster child for this. I admit it. It’s a big problem.

But let’s be honest. The truth hurts, doesn’t it?

You¬†MAY have your defenses¬†beefed up¬†to a level of such high beefiness that you don’t let your truths hurt you, they just anger you. I, my friends, have been guilty of THAT for many, many years when it comes to the matter of me hating, despising, and ignoring the task of washing (and finishing) the dishes. Just ask my significant other, he will attest to the fact that we’ve had more than one heated discussion about it…. I’m not proud. And then there’s the fact that he’s rather OCD about things being neat and orderly, and let’s face it…I’M NOT. You can see the struggle there, right?

And then, (as I found out last night), out of the blue, for some reason the same truth you’d be presented with many times and were simply angered by, hits that one oh so sensitive nerve¬†and the pain is shocking. Because that particular nerve is directly linked to the PRIDE. And suddenly you know. You need to change so that your truth isn’t something that hurts anymore. It’s funny¬†how suddenly something clicks and you realize that, even though it’s been put in front of you so many times.

I finally can admit that I need to work on this. He was right.

But before my mind processed all of that, though, I was still in the “Oh NO he DIDN’T say that”¬† emotional state, and I had promptly told Gino that YES, in fact the dishes WOULD all be finished at one time tonight, and this is why:

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**As a side note, and a subject matter for another day, he is incredibly intelligent but REALLY needs schooled in WHAT NOT TO SAY TO WOMEN 101.

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Disclaimer: No children were injured in the washing of these dishes.

Cheers,

Jill ‚̧

Confessions of a Clutter-aholic: I’m Giving Up Junk Instead Of Junk Food For Lent

Hi. My name is Jill, and I’m a Clutter-aholic.

If you know me, or have read through the earlier postings on this blog, you are aware that over the past year my family and I have downsized from a very large and spacious home to a small/average sized home that also¬†contains a functioning business within it. Our living and storage space is probably a quarter of what it was a year ago. It has been challenging, to say the least. I’m not sure anything could have adequately prepared me for this…my head is still spinning from all of the moving, rearranging, throwing away, selling, purging, and burning that we have already done….and my anxiety peaks every time I look at the mountains of boxes, bags, laundry baskets, etc. that still need sorted through and organized. It’s honestly more overwhelming than I can explain…

If I were an organized, Martha Stewart type neat freak, I’m sure I’d feel like I had the courage and skills to tackle it…but then again, if I were that type of personality, I wouldn’t be quite in the predicament I am right now, would I? ¬†I wouldn’t have collected all of the junk and crap. I would have thrown¬†away items of no use, donated clothing we no longer needed or used, shredded¬†old documents and¬†papers.¬†Prior to the move I would’ve had things organized, boxed, and labeled properly. That’s the person I WANT to be. That I aspire to become.

But I’m pretty much as far from that as one can possibly get on the “neat freak spectrum”.¬†I’m not going to say I’m a “hoarder”, because, that is just too scary for me to even think about.¬†I’m not like the hoarders that¬†television shows are made¬†of, at least not yet¬†(you will not find any dead animal carcasses anywhere and you do not need a shovel to be able to find my floor…so¬†that makes me feel like “hoarder” is definitely too strong of a word for me…).

I like to think of it as¬†simply having a gift for acquiring crap and keeping it. Forever.¬†I can’t even explain it. Let me show you…

The last time I cleaned out my¬†bag (or very large purse),¬†I dumped it on the table and this is a portion of the contents that spilled out:¬†10745109_4678314331874_1024699730_nSee what I mean? Crazy, huh? It’s all perfectly good stuff…but in my bag that I carry around daily? I mean how often does one need a remote control or canning jar lid when you’re out and about? How many times did you ever wish you had thought to throw an outlet cover, baggie of googly eyes or container of garlic powder into your bag before leaving for the mall? And I had been carrying it around for a couple of months, probably.

Now if you take a look at that, and then consider that I have an entire basement full of “stuff” that needs sorted through, you can imagine my apprehension. And my subsequent avoidance of it. I’m the Queen of “out of sight, out of mind”. I’m not proud to hold that title, trust me. I have fantasies about having the most organized home and life on the planet. I want to be able to go to a drawer, cupboard, closet, or box and know exactly what I will find in there.

I know. I NEED HELP.

Today, I walked to the basement. When I got to the bottom of the stairs, I looked at the catastrophic heap of clutter and literally said out loud “Oh My God, I have no idea what to do with this mess.” And I turned around and walked up the stairs, closing the door on it like I had done 100 times.

This is where I believe Divine intervention came into play.

I walked directly to the computer, sat down, and on my Facebook newsfeed was a posting from a Facebook page called White House Black Shutters, with a link to their website at http://www.whitehouseblackshutters.com, but what caught my eye was THIS picture:40bagsdecrapgraphic-700x700I’m pretty sure I heard angels singing. I mean, I HAD just told God that I had¬†no idea what¬†to do with the mess in the basement. If this wasn’t a sign, I’m not sure what it was. And I’m much too God-fearing to ignore it. So guess what? Tomorrow, Wednesday February 18, is Day 1 of my “40 Bags In 40 Days” challenge. Please click on their link and check out, in detail, how exactly this awesome decluttering challenge works. Anna Marie, the genius behind it all, has been doing this for several years now, and gives tons of great tips for the most successful decluttering outcome. She also gives ideas for organization, offers support, and provides links to other great resources within her website and facebook page.

In a nutshell, this is what I will be doing: ¬†I will go through a portion of the basement, or a box, drawer, or closet upstairs….and declutter — DECRAPIFY —¬†that one spot or space that I assigned myself for the day. If it’s a very busy day, I will still go through even one small box, bag, cupboard or drawer…to get rid of what I can’t or won’t use, and organize the remaining items. Even a small amount of daily decluttering¬†is positive progress and better than nothing. And I am committing to do this throughout Lent, through April 4th. Sundays are a “free” day, in which you can take a break from it.

Do any of YOU have decluttering and decrapifying that needs done? Let’s declutter and decrapify together…I’m not too proud to admit that I could really use a support system. Do you wish you had more order and organization in your life or home? Do you feel overwhelmed or have anxiety about crap that you’ve accumulated and need to get rid of? ¬†Woman walking across landscape of clothesIf so, PLEASE PLEASE join me. I would love to have some company on this journey.¬† I will keep you updated occasionally by posting some before and after pics with updates, and it would be beyond awesome to see some of YOUR progress and feedback as well. Let’s decrapify together!!

—make sure you¬†“Follow” me on my blog (Click the blue “follow” button” here on the blog site)¬†and¬†“Like”¬† This Wicked, Wonderful World by Jill Palilla Facebook page¬†to see my updated posts.

I’m well aware that actually getting rid of the stuff and organizing is the first step, and as big of a task as it is, the bigger and harder part of the journey for me will be the maintenance that is required to stay on the straight and narrow. I’m bound and determined to live a life of calmness, organization¬†and simplicity.

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Cheers to a “Less is More” state of mind (and never again finding garlic powder and a remote control in my purse),

Jill ‚̧