Saturday, July 22, 2017

#FakeHairDontCare! Why I Started Wearing Wigs!

I can't believe I'm doing this! But I've seen the looks (like, HUH?), I've gotten the sideways glances from folks out and about. I see your confusion and sense your skepticism. So, I'm coming out!

I mean, this isn't something I particularly want to announce to the world. But if ya'll know me, or have read my blog much, you know I am an open book. I like to be real with people and I like to share my experiences in the hopes it helps someone else. And I hope that by sharing my story, someone else may be brave enough to take matters into their own hands to feel pretty again.

That's why I started wearing wigs....to feel pretty.

Yes. Wigs.

I always had beautiful, thick, long hair, but I started losing it during my first year of college. So much so that my mother took me to the doctor. He thought it might be stress related, but really had no explanation.

                                                Me at 17 years old...TONS of Aqua Netted hair!


Over the course of my 20's and early 30's, my hair would have periods of regrowth, then periods of thinning, but it never recovered to what it once was. No matter what, you could always, ALWAYS see my scalp through my thinning hair. No amount of teasing or back combing helped. I just lived with it and tried to make the best of it.

Then, after I had my daughter in 2008, my hair loss increased. Maybe it was hormonal, but the thinning was out of control! I researched ways to hide it and tried extensions.


                            Me with my first extensions. Made them myself from hair from Sally's Beauty Supply!


Those gave me length, but didn't hide the thinning on top. Then I found the answer! Wig toppers!


                                                   Me with an expensive wig topper on...just adds a lot of volume on top.


A wig topper or "crown extension" is a piece that you clip in at the top of your head to give you volume on top. Since my hair was long (albeit super thin), the topper blended perfectly! But the toppers are expensive! The topper I used was over $300! And guess what? I lost it after a hotel stay. :(

I was heartbroken. But after some due diligence on youtube, I learned how to make my own!


      Me in my home made topper from a dark wig that I cut up. It blended so well and only cost about $35.00! 
Oh! And fake nails! Much more widely accepted than wigs, but still FAKE! lol

 Another topper I have in blonde. You can blend with your own hair so easily.

 Dress it up!

Pull it back.

Even in a ponytail!


Much more cost effective and easy. And no one had a clue! I just got funny looks like, "Your hair looks awesome today! Did you do something different? Sometimes I would tell, and sometimes I wouldn't. But I always enjoyed the compliments and FINALLY felt pretty again.

My husband at the time said he didn't mind that I wore fake hair. But I later found out from people he worked with that he made fun of me behind my back about it. He was also cheating on me behind my back, so I shouldn't be surprised he'd make fun of my hair loss. But when I found out, it really hurt because he had seen my struggle for more than a decade and still poked fun at something I couldn't help. My guess is there are and will be people who will still poke fun. But that says more about them than it does me. You just have to brush those people off and move along and do YOU! Ya know?

But let me just tell ya'll real quick...I am married to a man now who is secure in himself enough to just let me be me, and loves me for who I am! Fat or skinny, thick hair or thin hair, whatever! He thinks I'm beautiful no matter what and would never dream of making fun of me behind my back. That's a REAL MAN ya'll! And I'm so thankful for him. 

Anyway, after my first husband and I divorced, I took a break from wearing the wig toppers because my hair was healthy (still thin) and was looking cute after a great new cut and color. I didn't wear fake hair for about 3 years.

These are pics of my real hair when it was longer, thicker and healthier...just a few years ago...


This was my first hair cut and color after my divorce. It was so cute and I loved it! My hair wasn't thick, but I could live with it because the cut and color was so good! Thanks to Tina at "Just Teasin" in Belfry, KY!








Those were pretty great hair days...and just 3 years ago! THIS is what I hope to get back to, as I wait for my hair to grow back. Still thin and baby fine here, but this is the hair I could live with and still feel pretty. 


But after gall bladder surgery, a stroke, a second marriage, moving away from all my friends and family, a new job, a new home and a new blended family, all in one year, I guess the stress just took its toll and my hair suffered! On top of that, I got a short haircut, thinking it would look thicker, but it didn't. It looked thinner. The only way to work with it was to tease the heck out of it! But then I had helmet hair and looked like an old lady. UGH!!!!


Deep breath.....
So, his is my hair now..significant balding and not much to work with at all. :( 
THIS is why I wear wigs. I just can't do anything with it anymore. 




 I felt so ugly in this hair. :(

This was the best I could do with it just last winter. So, so thin. You can see straight through to my scalp. It was too much of an ordeal to make it look just OK every day. It's like baby's hair. 
 I felt so ugly and not like my confident self. 
Enough was enough!


Guys, I just wanted to feel like me again...to feel pretty. But I didn't. I felt ugly and old.

I decided life was too short to walk around hating how I looked every day. So I decided to take the plunge and start wearing fake hair again! My hair was way too short to blend with the toppers (I tried that first). So, I decided to just go all out and wear wigs! I watched a ton of brave women on YouTube show off their faux hair and tell their stories. So many of them sounded like me!

I have not been diagnosed by a doctor (but I am visiting one soon to discuss my hair loss), but what I believe I have is a form of alopecia. I've tried vitamins, special shampoos and vitamins, I've tried Rogaine for women, scalp massage, conditioning treatments, nothing has worked. Some years my hair will seem thicker, but it's never great. The National Alopecia Ariata website says this...

"With all types of alopecia areata, hair loss and regrowth can be very unpredictable and cyclical (happen over and over), for many years. Though for some people, hair may regrow and not fall out again. Currently there is no cure for alopecia areata. However, your hair follicles remain alive no matter what type you have. This means that hair regrowth can happen after many years of severe or widespread hair loss."

This is so me! It just happens over and over and over, but never gets completely better. Right now, protecting it with a wig and not processing it or using heat on it, etc. has made it grow a little thicker, especially in the back and on the sides. There's no hope for the top! But it is slowly coming back and maybe this time next year, I can get back to uncovering my bio hair!

But here I am now, ALL IN with the wigs! And ya'll, I am loving it! Wearing wigs has opened me up to all kinds of beautiful colors and styles that I could have never EVER had before! I get to have thick, gorgeous hair again! I haven't had that since I was a teenager!

 Love having big hair and curls again!


Just like high school...only NO AQUA NET! lol


 I mean...for real tho! 
You can't tell me that doesn't look amazing!


 Sleek and professional...


That hair every girl wants!


 Holy Rapunzel!


Love this hair! Easy and fun!


I don't walk around embarrassed because you can see my bald scalp through my hair anymore. I walk around with confidence and feel pretty again. You can't put a price on that ya'll. Self confidence is priceless!

Now, I know what some of you haters are gonna say, "Well, aren't you embarrassed that you're wearing a wig for crying out loud? That's more embarrassing than having thin hair!" And the answer is no, I'm not.

And why should I be? We've all done things to change or improve our appearance, haven't we?

Do you give women a hard time who have had their boobs done? Do you give people a hard time because they had weight loss surgery or wear false eyelashes or wear high heels to look taller, or get eyebrows tattooed on, or have lip injections, or have Botox? If you do, you're a hateful person with too much time on your hands to worry about other people's business! Get a life!

People do all kinds of things to feel better about themselves...and that's ok. I have thin hair, so I choose to wear wigs. You have flat breasts, so you choose to get implants or wear a push up bra. Another has forehead wrinkles, so they get botox injections..and it goes on and on. It's ok!

You do you, and I'm just gonna do me and lets just worry about ourselves, ok?

I am growing out my hair right now, slowly but surely and hopefully will get it back to a length and style that I can live with and feel good about. But for now, I'm wearing fake hair. And I'm loving it! It's something you have to work with to make look natural and look like your own. I have watched a ton of videos and have experimented with inexpensive wigs. I bought a hair topper for $300! But I will never do that again! Every wig I have owned (and all of these pictured here) has been less than $50!

So there it is folks! I put it out there. You can ask, you can look at my hairline, you can touch it! lol It's ok. I just wanted to be real witchya'll!

To those of you who are scared, it's ok! If you want to do something different, just know that there are millions of us out there who are doing it too! And it's awesome! And unlike me, you don't have to tell a soul! I just wanted to share and offer my support to other women out there who struggle with the same thing and let you know that if you don't feel pretty, you CAN!

And tell the haters to kiss your behind!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Deciding to LOVE Myself...Beginning a Low-Carb Diet

Love is the greatest of all things!

Love conquers all! 

Love makes the world go 'round! 

Love will keep us together! 

Love is a many splendored thing! 

Love is all you need! 

I love LOVE

But as I reflected who and what I love, I realized that there was one person who didn't get much consideration or love at all....and that person is me. 

I don't love me (which is sad, because I think I'm pretty lovable). But I will admit here friends, that I have been terribly unhappy lately. To the point where I'm wondering if I need medication or counseling or therapy, it's that profound. 

Profoundly unhappy.

Life is too short and too beautiful a gift to spend it miserable. 

I need a change.

Now, I'm not going to bore you with a long, giant explanation for why I'm experiencing despair and choosing to overhaul and revamp my life; those reasons will unfold as the days, and all I need to do to accomplish this overhaul unfolds (because overhauling a life is no small undertaking, so there will be lots to talk about)!

Just let me say that I am maybe the unhappiest I've ever been. Some of it is external, but only because of my own doing. I firmly believe that no one has the power to make you happy or unhappy...IT'S ALL ON YOU! 

But there are some external things, namely my home environment (disorganized, cluttered), for example, that is causing a good deal of unhappiness in my life. One could say that it's probably because I am disorganized and cluttered! 

Another reason for my unhappiness, the thing that I am starting off with today is my health. It's time to change my eating and activity level. Not because I want to look good, but because, as I look to the future, I don't want to feel like I do now...and right now, I feel OLD and TIRED and I HURT. 

If I feel this way at 41, how will I feel at 61? 

Sixty isn't considered "elderly" anymore! I mean, have you seen Christie Brinkley? She's 60 and looks FABULOUS! She is going to be in Sports Illustrated again...AT 60!!! My mind is blown!

Sports Illustrated 2017

I will talk more about the specifics of my health another day, but for today, let's just talk about revamping my eating with a low-carb eating plan. I have arthritis, bursitis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even had a stroke last year (we'll talk more about that later)! Some of you may condemn a drastic change in eating, but when you've had an experience such as having a stroke, you know drastic is paramount!

I weighed 289.3 pounds this morning (I should also mention that I'm nearly 6' tall...5' 11 3/4" to be exact). 



Pics from this week...

Just a few years ago, I had gotten down to 239 on the divorce diet (don't recommend that one). 


Me at 250 lbs...much better

I jest, but going through a painful divorce cause me to lose a lot of weight...and I actually felt great! No pain, I had energy, I felt lighter, and I even wanted to exercise! I started hiking and getting outside, it was wonderful! 

But when I gained the weight back, not only did I have a stroke, but my gallbladder had to be removed (turning 40 was rough!).

My doctor recommended a low-carb diet, which I've had a lot of success with in the past. I've also read that sugar is a terrible inflammatory, which will help ease the pain of the arthritis and bursitis in my hip joints. Some days it's hard to even walk.

So, there you go...deciding to love myself, step one? Eating a low carb diet! 

THIS is what I brought to eat at work.



Boiled eggs and bacon for breakfast, coffee with cream and Splenda, pepperoni slices, diet Coke, flavored water, pork rinds for snacks, and chicken wings with blue cheese dressing for lunch (it was sooo good!). 

I know there are a lot of artificial sweeteners in my drinks, which some don't like because they are said to cause cancer. But like I said before, my situation is urgent and I have to weigh my current poor health (stroke) against whether or not a packet of Splenda may or may not cause cancer. I just can't worry about that right now. Maybe sometime down the road, because it is a legitimate concern. But right now, I have to focus on the issues at hand, and the most important thing is using what I have and getting my weight down. I know that there are other sugar substitute alternatives (I do my research people), but I will have to get those later. Right now, I have Splenda, and Splenda is what I'm using. :)

When I got home from work, I ate a cup of sugar-free jello with whipped cream (full fat!), and for dinner I had a simple salad (lettuce, tomato, dressing) because I really wasn't all that hungry. When I've done this diet in the past, that is my norm (to eat very light come dinner time). 

As an aside....it feels good to be writing again...to create and to share. I'm glad I have this little nook here on the interwebs to share with you. I hope you will comment and subscribe so we can make this journey together. :)



Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Divorce Drama and 4 Strategies to Get YOURSELF Out of the Pits!

Today I had another court hearing over child-support, visitation, blah, blah, blah. I cant adequately describe how incredibly annoying, frustrating, and out right degrading it is to have a judge dictate to you what you are going to do with your own child, your time, your LIFE! And I truly resent having EVER been put in this situation!

Today was a 50/50 kind of day for me. child support was FINALLY set to what it should have been nearly 2 years ago, but now, I've been ordered to drive long, long hours to meet my daughter's father for his visitation. I AM NOT happy about it.


Why do I continue to have to be inconvenienced because of his choices? It's unfair. VERY unfair. And I have the kind of personality that dwells incessantly over injustice. I analyze every word, all my mistakes, the things I could have done, could have said, but forgot (even though I had three pages of detailed notes)!


And this is why lawyers are useful....but I digress.


I have cried, complained, felt hurt, felt defeated, felt wronged and unheard all day. But after a nice nap, I have a new perspective! I WON'T live and wallow in my pit when I have the power to be happy...


So here are a few tips on how I changed my mood and perspective and how you can lift your own self up (cuz honey, ain't nobody gonna do it for you, and therapy is expensive!)


#1. Trust God


I may not understand why or how or when, but HE DOES. There's no one more trustworthy than my loving Heavenly Father, and I chose long ago to trust Him, no matter what. He's never let me down. Giving Him my troubles makes me feel instantly better. But you have to actually let go of them, not take them back and then continue to dwell on them. Which leads me to....


#2. Align Your Thinking with God's Word


Maybe you have one of those personality types that hates injustice like I do. But guess what?


God hates injustice too! Isaiah 61:8 says,



"For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery and wrongdoing. In my faithfulness I will reward my people and make an everlasting covenant with them."

God will repay all injustice, and He only (not earthly judges) will decide in the end. We have that to look forward to! 


See? When you know the truth, then you have something else to dwell on. Dwell on God, His goodness and His truth.


#3. Find Light IN the Tunnel--Not Just at the End


What is good in your life right now? Sure God will repay all injustices in the end and all will be made right, etc. etc...amen! But what is good in my life right now? 

I was upset today, but when I began to look at the blessings in my life now, it was hard to stay depressed. It felt silly actually to focus so much energy and thinking on just one negative thing.

I mean, I have my daughter, my health, a roof over my head, reliable transportation, I have a job, and I am planning a wedding and getting married to a wonderful, supportive man. A lot of really exciting things are happening! Why be upset over things happening far into the future? I trust Jesus' good advice.....


"...do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34


He says instead in verse 33 to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Again, letting go of worry and looking to God and His goodness brings peace. 


#4. Do Something Good for YOU

When someone we love is hurting, we do our best to cheer them up, right? But why wait for someone else to lift your spirits when you're perfectly capable of doing it yourself?! 

Love yourself by doing something you enjoy! I got up from my nap (one thing I enjoy!) refreshed and decided to make a recipe I had been wanting to try (a knockoff Zoe's Kitchen white bean soup recipe found here). It was delicious and comforting and hit the spot...INSTANT HAPPY! 


Then I decided to write. Writing always clears my head and helps me organize my thoughts. So, I dusted off the ol' blog and set out to slam my ex, the judge, the courts, the system, 


the man, 


the machine!!!


wait...what?


...you see where this was going....


But after reading back over all that mess, I decided it wasn't me, and all that negativity wasn't worth valuable "Angie Acapella" real estate. So, I decided to rinse and repeat, but this time, with positivity! 


The Bible says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6


So be encouraged and encourage yourself! God has great plans for each of us and it is not worth our precious time here on earth to focus and dwell on what's wrong all the time. Let's honor Him by focusing on what's good and His good plans for us! (Jeremiah 29:11-13)


Thanks so much for reading and I hope to write more soon!





Sunday, May 3, 2015

My Prozac: Part 2

There was one morning sometime in October, several weeks after I had left and was drowning under the weight of the drudgery of work, moving, commuting, dealing with constant nausea, taking care of my child, dealing with the separation from my husband and the destruction of my world when I just snapped! I couldn't take it anymore. I was done.

I had to leave so very early to commute to work, usually around 5:30 am. But that night I had stayed awake until the wee hours of the night writing emails that would have destroyed my husband. It sooo wasn't me, but I wasn't rational. My thinking (and poor advice from well meaning friends) was, if I had to suffer, he should have to suffer!

I hadn't slept...

I was exhausted to say the least, and exhaustion can make you crazy!

I felt crazy.

I couldn't think clearly. I was irrational.
All I wanted was quiet in my head.

So, as I did many mornings, I fantasized about driving my car into the side of the mountain. If I did, the pain would stop. I wouldn't have to cry anymore or feel sick, or throw up, or try to make sense of it anymore and I wouldn't want to hurt anybody.

I just needed peace. I needed the racing, irrational thoughts in my head to stop.

It was hell. I won't lie.
No wonder people seek medication! Peace is invaluable and if that's the only way you can get it? I say DO IT and DO IT QUICKLY! I do not judge or criticize anyone for taking medication. Do what you have to do to get through the day friend! I just found I didn't need it.

And here's why....

I've narrowed it down to 3 P's that have sustained me through this whole hellish year (and is the key, I believe to living your life altogether).


Praise, Prayer and the Promises.


That morning, my saving grace was the worship CD, Running to You by my old church, Quest Community in Lexington, Kentucky. One song says over and over...

"From my heart to the heavens, Jesus be the center. It's all about You, yes it's all about You.."

I sang, and cried, and sang and cried (praise is key, even if you don't feel like it! Especially if you don't feel like it!). I sang to that CD every morning. But that morning, I got ANGRY! Real angry!
AT GOD!

I started yelling at Him!

It was ugly folks!

I asked, "Why?" over and over and over. I wanted so badly to send those emails! I tried every which way to justify why I had every right to do just that! To ruin him!

It was a war inside my soul! The Spirit inside of me whispered, "No." But my flesh was screaming "DO IT! HE DESERVES IT!"

Here's a tip. If you're wondering if the voice you're hearing is God or not, remember, God is a gentleman. His voice is generally quiet and always calm. He doesn't get in a hurry. If the voice you're hearing causes you to feel anxious, like you have to make a decision now? If it's screaming or throwing a tantrum, I can guarantee it's the flesh. The flesh wants what it wants...it gets uncomfortable easily. It doesn't want what God wants. The flesh is a spoiled toddler...a crybaby.

SO, DON'T LISTEN TO IT!

STOP!!!

WAIT!!!! (I've learned this from experience folks...trust me...wait.)



Now, back to the story....



I was the first one at school and pulled into the parking lot, mad! I stormed into my classroom still mad! I had snapped! I wasn't continuing one more second unless Jesus SHOWED UP! And I told Him so!
I yelled out, "Jesus! I can't do this anymore! I won't do this anymore if you don't show up RIGHT NOW! I am walking out that door and I'm never coming back again! And I mean it!"

I had my hard-back Amplified Bible in my hand and I threw it on my desk. Yes! I literally slammed it down!!! (I told you, I was MAD!) And I yelled out, "Show me something!!!"

I randomly flung open my Bible and threw down my pointed finger in a fury on whatever verse it landed on, and boy did it land on a doozie!!!

And guess what happened next?
I started to laugh....
Yes! I started laughing!

Jesus had met me! And not only did He meet me,

He showed me,

rescued me,

directed me,

comforted me,

reassured me and has sustained me all at the same time,

WITH THREE VERSES!

Want to know what they are?

These verses have been the promises I've stood on. I've gone back to them so many times, I have them memorized. They have been strength to me. But even more so they've been, LIFE! And when you're wanting to slam your car into the side of the mountain, a reason to live is pretty important!

1 Thessalonians 5:22-24
22 Abstain from evil [shrink from it and keep aloof from it] in whatever form
or whatever kind it may be.
23 And may the God of peace Himself sanctify you through and through [separate you from profane things, make you pure and wholly consecrated to God]; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved sound and complete [and found] blameless at the coming of our
Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah).
23 Faithful is He Who is calling you [to Himself] and utterly trustworthy, and He will also do it [fulfill His call by hallowing and keeping you].


Oh my gosh! In the first verse! Jesus sure told me! And that's why I started laughing. I knew He had met me...like for real. And I haven't been the same since!
So, right there in verse 22 was the answer to me wanting to send those ugly emails. He was saying, "I don't care how bad you feel or what's been done to you, YOU have to abstain from sinning in spite of it."
Jesus don't play y'all!
He's kind and forgiving and comforting, but He was despised for His frankness and the way He spoke the truth whether people liked it or not.
See, the Truth always convicts. And most people, if they were being honest, don't like to be exposed or corrected.
But luckily, I'm not one of those people. I happen to love correction ("Whoever loves instruction and correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is like a brute beast, stupid and indiscriminating." Proverbs 12:1...Ouch! I love correction because I NEVER want to be considered a stupid, indiscriminating beast! lol).
So, He corrected me first, which made me laugh that He was so straightforward with me.
That moment of laughter broke the ice. I wasn't angry anymore. So, I was able to really receive the rest of what He had to say.
Remember how I talked about feeling "crazy." Like I couldn't get the voices in my head to be quiet? And I didn't have peace? Verse 23 addressed that...WOW!
"And may the God of peace Himself sanctify you through and through [separate you from profane things, make you pure and wholly consecrated to God]; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved sound and complete..."
He was promising me that He, the God of peace, would keep my spirit, soul and body sound and complete. I didn't have to feel crazy! He promised to give me a sound mind through His peace. To say that I was blown away and so very grateful for that word is an understatement. I was absolutely in awe that He actually saw me in my anguish and provided a way out...Himself.
Always Himself.
He is our everything...the I AM!
And lastly, the part that spoke hope to me. The best part of all.
That while I had questions and was angry about the ugly turn my life had taken, he spoke so reassuringly...

I am "utterly trustworthy."
Those words still feel like the softest feather pillow under my tired and weary head.
He is "utterly trustworthy."
When I just don't understand. He is utterly trustworthy.
When I'm wrong and make mistakes. He is utterly trustworthy.

When people are mean to me. He is utterly trustworthy.
My husband doesn't want to come back...ever. He is utterly trustworthy.
When the answer to my prayer is, "No." He is utterly trustworthy.

My family was not restored. He is utterly trustworthy.
Healing doesn't seem to be happening fast enough. He is utterly trustworthy.

My heart is broken. He is utterly trustworthy.
I cry every day. He is utterly trustworthy.

I don't know which way to turn next. He is utterly trustworthy.
I'm scared I'll never be happy again. He is utterly trustworthy.
He really is. I know it...I've proved it.
I am happy. Really!
So, there's the ugly story y'all (one of many).
But I hope you took away from it that peace, or anything else you need is just right around the corner. You can't give up. I know you want to. But you can't. So many good things are right around the corner! I found that out too!
I didn't take, nor have I ever taken medication. I didn't need it. I'm one of those crazy people that actually believes God's Word and (though I fail often) tries to live it out. And I've found...IT WORKS!
Prayer was where I found my peace of mind.
Praise is where I found my joy...
and the Promises in God's Word has been where I've found direction, hope and so much more.
And you can too.
I encourage you to get in your Bible and let Jesus start speaking to you. If you ask Him, He will...I promise.






Thursday, August 7, 2014

You Can Overcome: Part 1

Let me tell you a story. About me.

It's pretty depressing and scary actually. But I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm not the only one who's been there.

In a heap...

Helpless...

Curled up on the bathroom floor...

Really scared...

I KNOW I'm not the only one, because many of you have shared with me instances when you've been there too. And I'm so very thankful for those courageous and caring people who, very early on in my separation from my husband of 17 years, recognized that something wasn't right and reached out to me. A lot of them knew from first hand experience what I was going through and gladly offered up encouragement and prayers. It did wonders for my healing to know I wasn't the only one. That's why I feel so very passionate about being real and sharing with someone else that....

THERE IS HOPE! There really is.

I didn't believe it either...didn't believe it for a long time actually.

I think we do an injustice to one another when we glaze over our pain like everything is okay, because we all know that it's not. We all know! So why do we pretend? Some people are just so very desperate for a listening ear and for someone to look them in the eye, and with all sincerity confess, "Me too."

That night, the night he said,

and said...

and said...all those awful words...words that didn't even seem like his own...

that seem locked in tight in the deep crevices of my soul...

"Divorce...I'm not happy...I don't love you...I haven't for years...."

The abrasiveness of those words and their bindings still rub raw places on my heart.

I've learned not to let my mind wander back to that night very often, if ever. The pain there is too visceral...still. And I don't like to feel pain.

I remember walking away, my feet like cinder blocks trudging up the two flights of stairs to my bathroom where I collapsed over the toilet to vomit, heaving from the uncontrollable sobs and from the nausea of the sick reality that had forcefully and unexpectedly just punched me in the gut. And there I lay...on the bathroom floor, longing for my husband to come to me...but he never came.

I was alone, feeling like the ugliest, most unloved, rejected person in the world.

I so needed him...

but he never came.

I don't know how I managed it that night, but I got up and I went to bed. I didn't know what to do. Should I stay? Should I go? What do I do with my daughter? She had school the next day. I had school the next day! How was I going to stand up in front of 20 five-year-olds and keep it together? How was I going to face my own 5 year old and keep it together?

I prayed all night.

And the promise, as all of His promises do, rang true like the calm in the middle of the hurricane...

"...His mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning." Lamentations 3:22-23
 

The next morning I had clarity. I knew what I had to do, and from deep down mustered the strength to do it.

I left.

I called in to my work for the next few days, packed our clothes and a few belongings, I signed my daughter out of school, said goodbye to him and we left. So many things were uncertain. But as I drove away from the town where we lived, I knew it was over for good. I hoped it wasn't...but I just knew.

So, my daughter and I moved in with my parents an hour away from my job and I enrolled her in school there so that they could help me, and I commuted...2 hours every day.

And let me just say, His mercies were indeed new every morning or I could not have done it. How do I know God is real? How do I know that He's alive and working today? Because I cried out to him and He answered! He gave me 3 instructions, which, in His kindness, He knew was all I had the energy for. And that was to keep working, to take care of my daughter and to leave my husband alone. I failed miserably at all three at times (especially the last one) but I tried. And in my weakness I found myself on the bathroom floor many, many more times but He always met me there.

My husband never came.

...but Jesus did.

Jesus came.

I so needed Him and He came. In fact, He never left my side. Not once. He's with me even now, giving me the strength to write this as tears stream down my face.

He knows.

He was rejected too. He was unloved and despised and resented too.

Jesus knows pain. And He's a master at healing it.

With one word, He can change the whole trajectory of your healing with ONE WORD.

He did it for me!

Stay tuned.


Friday, July 25, 2014

How This is Gonna Go

And by this I mean, discussing my personal life online and blogging again.

As you discovered in yesterday's post, after my year-long hiatus from blogging, I am no longer a stay-at-home-mom with a husband and a child at home. I cherished the 5 years I got to stay home with my baby to raise her. But you never know from one day to the next what might happen.

My life took a swift, unexpected turn and I became the exact opposite of all the things that defined me; wife, SAHM, homemaker, in a matter of just a few weeks.

I am now working full time as a teacher, my daughter will be entering 1st grade this Fall, and I am no longer married, but divorced from my husband of 17 years.

Divorced.

Ugh. It's still hard to write that word.

I hate that word.

It was hard.

It was a punch to the gut.

I was doubled over in agony, puking my guts out (literally) and couldn't
even raise up to see straight (for months).

To express to you how I had to dig, dig, dig deep ya'll,

to pull myself up and through that transition is impossible. I can't accurately express it. I don't know how I did it. I barely remember it. I just remember crying (a lot).

I've aged ten years over the course of ten months.

The bags and dark circles under my eyes tell of the sleepless nights, the weariness, and the sadness I've felt. My face is not hiding it, but that's okay.

Life happens.

And our faces tell a story.

So, with that being said, let me tell you how this is gonna go; how I'm going to tell MY story here on this blog.

First of all, I have made A LOT of mistakes. Tons. And none of them I am proud of. You think when you act out, or vent, or let off steam, or have a crazy moment, or hurl insults, or cuss someone out, or lash out with name calling, that somehow it will make you feel better.

But it doesn't.

At least it never made me feel better. It kept my insides torn up!

But you have to give yourself some grace.

That's hard for me. I'm hard on myself.

You have no idea how you are going to react when the rug is pulled out from under your feet. You're gonna fall. You will take a tumble. And most likely, it's not going to be pretty! But do you fall gracefully and quietly? Or are you going down kicking and screaming like a crazy person who's lost their mind?

Me?

I think I've done a bit of both, but I have definitely stayed more on the sane side than the insane. And I owe all of that to Jesus, honey! Because I could have absolutely gone crazy train on some people throughout all of this...trust me!!!

But I didn't (for the most part).

However, I've said and done things out of desperation, anger, fear, anxiety, frustration, desperation that I wouldn't recommend anyone do. And unfortunately, those are the things that people see and what they remember.

Unfortunately.

But what they haven't seen are the hundreds of unsavory text messages that didn't get sent. The angry, accusatory emails that remained merely drafts. And while I have been guilty of passive aggressively ranting on Facebook (albeit, rare and relatively mild), there were hundreds more juicy, detailed, seething rants that never made it to "post" status. Not to mention the bad advice that I didn't take (and boy have I gotten A LOT of bad advice), and the times that I didn't act. Those are the things people don't see.

You don't see a person's real struggle to do the right things!

The real struggle is wrestled out in dark rooms, under covers, clutching Bibles and crosses, clinging for dear life to the only One who can save you from completely going off the deep end or really saying or doing something you'll regret. And that happens over and over and over. That's the real struggle. And it's best, I guess, that people don't see that...because it's scary!

But I want you to know that while I have been far from perfect, if could have been a LOT WORSE!

Just like a violent storm, the rains eventually clear away, the thunder stops rolling, the lightening stops flashing, the wind stops blowing. The clouds clear away and the sun shines again.

Peace. Sweet peace.

And then one day, you find that you're not struggling so much, that you didn't bawl your eyes out that day or throw something. The violent storms are fewer and further between.

Then that glorious day comes!

It comes in quietly, when you're not thinking about it.

NOT THINKING ABOUT IT (God! For once!)!!!

That seemingly ordinary day when you experience the pinnacle emotion that every jilted and rejected person hopes against all hope to aspire to.....

INDIFFERENCE.

That moment when you just don't care anymore and it feels like a baby grand piano has been hoisted off your back and you can stand up straight and tall again. You're not doubled over anymore...you can see. And not only that...

You want to see.

You have that thing called hope again.

And you can't believe it!

I still can't believe it!

Because God knows I cared so very much! God, did I care!

But I don't now.

Wow!

Do I get frustrated still? Angry sometimes? Have moments of sadness? Sure I do.

But at my core? I am indifferent. And it feels FANTASTIC!

So, that's the place I had to get to before I started writing again. I didn't have a clear head. I was way too emotional. But now I can write about those emotions and not want to jump off a bridge.

No, I haven't been perfect, nor will I ever be perfect. I'm going to make mistakes. And I'm sure as I embark on this journey of chronicling my new life here on this blog, I'll be making a lot edits, and deleting posts that maybe weren't written in the right spirit.

But that's the promise I make to you. That nothing will leave this blog that hasn't been sufficiently scrutinized and thoroughly considered.

And this ESPECIALLY needs to be addressed.

I'm sure there are people who will come here thinking they'll get a lot of salacious details about my divorce. They're here to be nosey. And honestly, I get that. People are naturally curious.

But let me just say that if that's why you're reading, for fodder for gossip? Let me save you some time....YOU WON'T GET THAT HERE.

I won't be discussing details about the breakup, the divorce or my ex-husband, as much as I'll be talking about my own personal journey in dealing with it and how God has guided me through and continues to heal me.

There will be a lot of people who won't like the fact that I'm talking about it at all. And that's okay. They don't have to read it. And if you are reading it, and you take screen shots or forward it on to the people who don't want to read it, check your own heart and motives. Because you would only be causing them to hurt more, and gossipping yourself.

The spirit behind this blog is not malicious on my part...I promise you. If it's taken that way, then search yourself for hidden bitterness or hurts that you are deflecting onto me that need to be addressed with Jesus. I have just addressed my intent, and I am not a liar. So, judging me for why I'm doing this is your issue, not mine.

So, if you're tempted to be a "pot stirrer?" I invite you to not read as well. This blog isn't meant to cause anyone pain. There's been enough of that! This blog is meant to glorify Jesus and tell of the great healing and miracles that can come from devastation if one would just seek Him.

I've said this from the beginning...

This is MY STORY too.

And that's what I'm going to be discussing here...

ME.
 
MY HOPES.
 
MY DREAMS.
 
MY DISAPPOINTMENTS.
 
MY STRUGGLES.
 
MY VICTORIES.
 
MY NEW LIFE.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

I Had Dreams

So here I am back again. Just a few weeks shy of my last blog post anniversary which was a year ago, August 8, 2013. A LOT has happened since then. And when I say, "a lot." I mean, I vaguely recognize my old life, its so dramatically different now.

The only vivid, and colorful reminders of it are contained here, in the record of this blog (which is very, VERY painful to read through, so I generally avoid it). The other reminders, are the far sighted memories of dreams lost.

I had dreams.

Beautiful ones.

Dreams that once made me smile, now only bring tears from a cavernous sadness. The sadness is indescribable.

Visions of homes with flowers in beds, family sitting down to another night of meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Dates in dark movie theaters, sneaking kisses and holding hands with the one I love, our daughter's wedding day, and brightly lit delivery rooms, still grasping sweaty, nervous palms as grandchildren enter the world. I had dreams of unity, of purity (God how I crave purity), of that blessed life and that "forever" vow that I so believed in.

I had dreams.

I believed ferociously in them.

I was promised that life...over and over. He promised.

But, September 8, 2013, a month to the day of my last blog post, my husband, who I've written about so extensively here, told me he wanted a divorce.

He said he didn't love me anymore. He said he wasn't happy.

He said, he said, he said.

Words.

I vaguely remember my beautiful, old life, but I remember his words. I remember all of them. I can't forget them. But it's hard to forget a knife fight where words are the blade that cut mortal wounds into your very soul. Maybe I'm being dramatic. But there's a reason why the Bible says, "Reckless words pierce like a sword (Proverbs 12:18)."

And the wounds don't heal quickly. They don't even heal slowly. Those wounds remain raw...for a long time.

It's been nearly a year, and the wounds are still raw. The healing is slow, but I am being healed.

Dramatically!

And so we begin friends.

I've healed enough that writing doesn't make me want to throw my laptop across the room or spit venom of bitterness with my own words (which I've done...a lot!).

I need to write.

I need this community.

This community needs me. It needs my story.

Why?

Because I've walked through the fires of hell on earth and here I am.

I'm okay.

This community needs my story of broken dreams and of tremendous glories!

You need hope too!

You need to hear the reason why I didn't drive my car into the side of a mountain and how I was able to climb up out of the pit day, after day, after day.

And the reason...the only reason is...

Jesus. The sweetest name I know.

I hardly recognize my old life or the old Angie. She's divorced now. She's a working mom. She's a single mom. She's lost 70lbs, she lives in a new town, she has lots of new friends, she's stronger than she ever imagined she could be, and she's not as naive anymore.

She knows that dreams can be broken...that families can be broken.

But I also know that peace that passes understanding.

I am astounded by it. And I want to tell you about it!

Stay tuned.