Makeup That Makes My Heart Feel Happy

Makeup That Makes My Heart Feel Happy

First of all, before I utter a single syllable about any of these products, let me just put it out there that this is not a sponsored post. No one paid me to rave about these products; they are just genuinely the products I use every single day and they never let me down.

Okay, that’s out of the way.

So, I love makeup. Like… it’s not healthy how much I love makeup. Take me to a Sephora, hand me a vanilla latte, and you can leave for a few hours and I won’t notice you’re gone. I could swatch until my entire body is covered in little half-inch swipes of color, and blending eyeshadow is one of my favorite exercises. I’m addicted to youtube beauty videos… it’s a problem. BUT it’s not a problem I plan on fixing anytime soon, so…

I want to share my absolute ride or die makeup products that have gotten me through the hardest of times. These guys are my squad, my A team, my… whatever I just love these products and I hope you do too. I’m going to do my best to walk you through my everyday routine. Most products are available at any drugstore, Target, Wal-mart, etc. I will clarify if any product can only be found at a specific store. I am not including links because I don’t make any money off you clicking them, so what’s the point. BUT I will include pictures so you can walk into any store, point at the picture and say “help me find dis”.

Let’s get started! The first step to any good makeup day is ALWAYS washing your face and moisturizing. I don’t have a current ride or die skincare routine, so I will let y’all know when I find one. But just make sure you wash your face. Don’t skip that step… That ish is nasty.

Once your face is washed and moisturized, we can start getting our base on! The products I use for my base are:

  1. Covergirl Base Business Pore Minimizing Primer– I use my finger tips to work this into my skin, focusing on the middle of my face and working towards my chin/hairline.
  2. Ecotools Blending Sponges– I use the larger sponge for my foundation and I make sure it is nice and damp before I start! I like to run it under the water until it kind of puffs up a bit, squeeze it out as much as I can, and then go ahead with my foundation!
  3. Maybelline Fit Me Matte+Poreless foundation– I love this foundation because it has a huge shade selection and it stays ALL DAY. I use the blending sponge to work it into my skin, using bouncing motions and starting in the middle of my face working outwards! Make sure you blend into your hairline and down your neck so you don’t have any harsh lines.

After my foundation is on, I move onto concealing. For this step, I use:

  1. It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye concealer– This is available at Ulta, but usually not at drugstores. I apply this under my eyes, down the bridge of my nose, and in the center of my forehead. I use the Ecotools smaller blending sponge (also dampened) to blend the concealer out until it kind of melts into my foundation. The idea is to make these parts of your face look brighter, so use a shade 1-2 shades lighter than your foundation.
  2. Coty Airspun loose face powder– this can only be found at Walmart. It smells like old lady but it is amazing. I use one of the damp ecotools sponges to pat this onto the places I just put concealer. You can leave it on for a minute for a more matte finish, or you can buff it away with a brush right away! That’s just a matter of personal preference (I tend to leave mine on for a few minutes).
  3. Maybelle Fit Me Matte+ Poreless Mattifying Powder– I use a big fluffy brush and buff this all over my face to set my foundation and to make my skin look airbrushed! This stuff is aaawwwwweessooommme. Make sure you buy it in the same shade as your foundation.

WOO. Your base is done. Let’s get some eyebrows on yo’ face. Don’t fill in your eyebrows? Ok well… you’re wrong. Someone has to tell you. Brows are important. Here’s what I use:

  1. Covergirl Easy Breezy Brow Pencil– This little guy is so small and so precise. It isn’t too waxy but it stays on all day! I use this to shape and fill in my brows. For a more thorough tutorial, I would look up a Nikki Tutorials tutorial on Youtube. She is the queen and I can’t try to even compare, so I will let her teach you.
  2. Mary Kay Brow Gel– the truth is, I don’t stand behind most Mary Kay products as being the best (sorry…. but also not sorry) but I will stand behind this one. I use this to gel my eyebrows into submission and set all the work I just did. A little goes a long way… we don’t need crunchy brows, people.

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My next step is usually my eyes, although you could argue that it makes more sense to do bronzer/blush. BUT THIS ISN’T YOUR BLOG, SO. Here’s what I use for my every day eye look:

  1. Lorac Downtown LA palette– I use the tan color in this palette with a big fluffy eyeshadow brush and I just sweep it across the crease and blend until it looks soft and seamless. That’s it. The end.
  2. Maybelle EyeStudio black gel liner– I use this to add a little definition to my upper lash line. No wing, no fuss. Just an easy way to give your eyes a pop and make your lashes look thicker.
  3. Loreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara– ooohhhh bish. This stuff is the stuff. I use it every day. It doesn’t flake. It doesn’t smear. It makes my eyelashes extend to the heavens. It is beautiful. It is perfect. I WILL FIGHT YOU ON THIS. Go getchu some right now. I do 3 coats because I can and I want to, thank you.

Okay we are almost there. You are so close to being able to leave your house and look like you are wearing next to nothing even though you are wearing like, so much, makeup. Let’s finish this off. Here’s the end of my routine:

  1. Lisa Frank Bitten and Bronzed Matte Bronzer– this is a sore subject for me. It was limited edition. Lisa played me. She made me fall in love and then she took it away from me. I’m so sorry to tell you that the best bronzer in the world is no longer available. Find yourself a great matte bronzer, and sweep it right under your cheek bones to give your face an instant lift. It won’t ever look as good as mine because you don’t have the Lisa Frank bronzer, but you can at least try.
  2. Tarte “Paaaarty” Amazonian Clay blush– This. Shit. Is. Fantastic. It’s the perfect dusty rose color and it makes me look like I just made out with my husband for like an hour and I’m just flushed and adorable and in love. I wear it every day. I sweep it from the apples of my cheeks back to my hairline just above my ears.
  3. Essence Pure Nude Highlighter– got $2? Great then you can buy Essence products. They are cheap as helllll but man do they pack a punch. This highlighter is amazing and it will bless you. Sweep it on the high points of your face with a small fluffy brush (think cheekbones, brow bone, bridge of your nose, etc) and go on with your day knowing you are shining like the queen you are.

OKAYYYY so your face is looking snatched. And you’ve put in a lot of work. Let’s make sure that work stays all day so you don’t have to do this business twice in one day. Here’s my VERY LAST STEP:

  1. Maybelle Master Fix Wear-Boosting Setting Spray– spray it. Spray SO MUCH OF IT. All over your face. Until you’re like “wait this is too much”. It’s not. You need more. Spray your little heart out, and then run through a damn sprinkler because your makeup ain’t goin nowhere, friend. I am including a picture of me wearing all of these products, after doing cardio/weights at the gym for over an hour. Come at me, sweat. You are no match for my setting spray.

 

And that’s it! That’s my every day makeup routine. That’s how I go from creature of the crypt to somewhat attractive and has her shit together stay at home mom. And that’s how I keep my husband from telling me I look tired, or asking me if I’m sick. You can now go off, find these products, and keep your husband from saying those things. You’re welcome.

I hope this helps! Leave any questions in the comments, or DM me on Instagram (@thedandelionpuff). Have a blessed day, fellow makeup wearing queens.

p.s. I don’t wear lipstick often because it’s stupid and I look stupid in it. If you like it, you are a unicorn and I salute you.

xo

Ask a Puff: Marriage Edition

Ask a Puff: Marriage Edition

At the end of this month, Mike and I will be celebrating our five-year wedding anniversary. Is that right? Am I doing that math correctly? I’m not old enough for a five-year wedding anniversary….

Shit, we are getting old.

In honor of our anniversary, I asked my readers to ask me anything about marriage, and I promised to give my best, most vulnerable answers. But before we dive into all that, here’s the quick back story on us, and a few pictures to illustrate how far we have come (thank god for that #glowup):

Mike and I met in high school. We lived in the same town but went to different schools so we didn’t have any mutual friends and we didn’t know a thing about one another. We met at a frozen custard store when I was 16 and he was 17. We both were dating other people at the time, but those relationships crashed and burned shortly after, and we started dating in June 2007. Mike had just joined the army reserves, so for the first 3 months of our dating relationship Mike was at basic training. He didn’t have his cell phone so we wrote letters back and forth. We got to know each other through those letters, and I still have every single one of them! I was pretty much obsessed with Mike right away. He was the strong, silent, delinquent boy that every parent has nightmares about and I looooved it. He drove a total beater, didn’t care what anyone thought of him, and he smoked cigarettes. On our first date, he wore a t-shirt that said “I’m with the band” and I’m fairly certain it had several holes in it. He wore flip flops even when it snowed out and his hands were almost always covered in grease from working on his car. Swoon. My little sheltered teenage heart could hardly handle it. He fit right into my rebellious phase. We did a lot of stupid stuff back then and while I hope our kids never do half of what we did, I cherish those memories because we were young and stupid and wildly in love.  I loved Mike right away because there was a depth to him that I had never seen in any other guy I had dated. I realize now it’s because he had already been through so much in his life, but at the time he just seemed so intriguing and mysterious and I couldn’t get enough of him. After dating for almost 5 years, we got engaged in February 2012 during my junior year of college.  In June of that year Mike left for a 9-month tour of duty in Afghanistan. He came home safe and sound in May of 2013 (best day of my life), and we got married that August. We have since had 1 miscarriage, 2 children, bought our first house, sold our first house, moved to another state, and built quite the little life for ourselves. I am super proud of us for making it to this point. We have defied a lot of odds and tackled a lot of obstacles together.

That’s the readers digest version of our story! Let’s dive into some questions.

Q: What has marriage been like for you guys?

A: This seems like a good place to start. Marriage for us has been… how do I put this…. tricky. My parents are divorced, so I entered into marriage with a really fun bag of weird insecurities and uncovered issues. Mike’s parents are, um, not exactly marriage goals… so he came into marriage with his own bag of weirdness. Put that together with some post deployment PTSD, 2 kids in 2 years, and a severe case of post-partum depression and you’ve got a really f***ed up bowl of emotional baggage soup. It’s been an incredible journey of self-discovery and learning to roll with the punches, both together and as individuals. I can honestly say that we are now at a point where I know we are built on a rock-solid foundation and we have worked out some of the bigger kinks that we struggled with early on. I am thankful that we both are believers, because I honestly don’t know where we would be without Jesus. I am also thankful for some incredible mentors who have helped us navigate through some of the darkest times. Our community is one of the biggest reasons we have made it this far.

Q: How has your relationship changed since you’ve been married?

A: I love this question because when we were dating and engaged, I honestly thought nothing would change after marriage. Bless my young heart. I think the biggest thing that has changed is our expectations. Before marriage, your partner is just your boyfriend. After marriage, he’s your husband. I know that doesn’t seem like a big deal… but I promise you, it is. If your boyfriend leaves his socks on the floor, he’s just a cute little messy dude who sleeps at your place sometimes and you giggle because it’s kinda fun to play house and clean up after him. But when your husband leaves his socks on the floor… he is a monster who is intentionally leaving his socks there to taunt you and ruin your day. You feel me? It happens to the best of us. I drive Mike crazy because I don’t put lids back on Advil bottles or close kitchen cabinets (I’m busy, sue me). It’s important to remember that no one, not even your knight in shining armor, is going to live up to your expectations all the time. So, we definitely drive each other crazy on a daily basis and we just have to remember to stay humble and roll with each other’s quirks.

Q: What was the hardest point in your marriage so far?

A: Man. This one is really hard for me. I think the hardest point of our marriage was the Fall of 2016. Noah had just been born, and Mike and I were both fighting our own mental health battles that were manifesting in some really destructive behaviors. I had become incredibly resentful towards Mike for some mistakes he had made, and Mike was becoming increasingly frustrated with my constant unhappiness and nit-picking behaviors. Yuck- that was not fun to write. We had a hard time even being in the same room, and every day felt like an uphill battle. It was really hard to look at this man who I had loved for so many years and not even want to be in his presence because I was so angry all the time. It kind of felt like we were living on two separate islands and we were shooting arrows back and forth at each other. I look back at that season of our life and I am really grateful that we reached out for help because I’m not sure we would be where we are today if we hadn’t. Actually- screw that. I KNOW we wouldn’t be here today if we hadn’t asked for help.

Q: What do you do when things get really hard?

A: What a perfect follow up question. When we were at our absolute lowest, we did a few key things that I think were crucial to the survival of our marriage.

  1. We got help individually. We both went to counseling for our own issues. We realized that unless we felt better as individuals, there was no way we were going to be able to save our marriage. We needed very different things, and there was no way to fix both of our issues in a couple’s therapy setting. So, we sought help in our own ways and really took time to deal with our own shit.
  2. We leaned on our faith. I can remember so many times being literally on my knees praying “God you have got to do something”. I remember scream crying in the car and saying “What the actual F*** God?!”. And in those moments, I felt so helpless, but now I look back and realize those were the moments I was fighting the hardest. Going to God was the most powerful thing I could do along with asking for help in the physical realm. When the spiritual world and the physical world meet and are both oriented towards the same goal, some really cool stuff happens. We went to church together every Sunday, even if we had been fighting the night before. We both pursued our relationships with God as individuals and that sort of naturally brought us closer together.
  3. We fought it out. I cannot stress enough that fighting (as long as it is safe and both parties feel respected) is so much better than silence. Silence breeds resentment. When we are in our own heads, everything gets worse. When we say things out loud, whether it’s in a whisper or at the top of our lungs, those ugly thoughts are brought into the light. Nothing gets better in the dark. We fought constantly. And yeah, it was exhausting and there were days I kinda just wanted Mike to live in a tent in the back yard (he probably wanted me to do the same). But we got all our words out. And we went to battle for our marriage. The effort it took to fight all those fights was an indicator of how badly we wanted our marriage to last. And I think we are still here because we dug down deep and found strength even when we were completely tapped out.
  4. We kept believing in us. I would write him short notes. He would text me “I love you” in the middle of the day. We would take advantage of pockets of time where we felt in love, or at least in like, with each other. We held hands and watched movies together even when we didn’t necessarily feel romantic. We laughed over diaper blow outs and we continued to work as a team when parenting our kids. We took turns fighting for each other and we did our best to support one another while we dealt with our own junk. We just didn’t give up. That’s what it boils down to. You just can’t give up. There were so many days I thought we might not make it. But I knew I wouldn’t ever be the one to leave. And while I was feeling that way, Mike was feeling the same way. Neither one of us allowed ourselves to be the one who gave up. And so, we both stayed. And we both fought for it. We are here today, stronger than ever, because we never seriously considered the alternative.

Marriage, man. It’s really hard. Like, way harder than people make it seem. I don’t think it’s possible to know how hard it is until you have experienced it yourself. When you make it past the butterflies and the giggles… when you get into the real shit, that’s when you find out what you’re made of. I am incredibly proud to be Mike’s wife, and I am proud of what we have accomplished despite what life has thrown at us. We are in a season of deep gratitude for each other and for our relationship, but I know this season will give way to a new season someday. Life is really good right now, but I’ve seen enough to know this won’t last forever.

What will last forever is us. I am more confident than ever that Mike and I will be sitting on rocking chairs someday, old and wrinkly, bitching at each other over the temperature in the house. When we said “til death do us part” five years ago, I’m certain we had no idea what that really meant. But now I know that I will be a pain in Mike’s ass until the day one of us bites the dust, and he will continue to leave his socks on the floor until we have a nurse who comes to take care of us and do our laundry.

Lastly, I want to say a few words to my husband, on our 5th anniversary…

Hey Beeb,

In my mind, you are still that 17-year-old bad boy who taught me to not take life so seriously. You are still the boy who never stops surprising me and makes me laugh until my sides hurt. You will forever be my boyfriend, but damn am I lucky to be your wife. You make me so proud. I respect you more than I could ever explain. I’m sorry for the 1000 Advil pills you had to pick up off the bathroom floor and I wish I could promise that it won’t happen again but I love you too much to lie to you.

Happy anniversary, love. You are my hero. I love you deeper than ever.

Always, M.

 

I have an (unpopular) opinion

I have an (unpopular) opinion

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Disclaimer: I am not here to come for anyone’s lifestyle. And I’m definitely not here to offend anyone who may not agree with what I am saying here. But I also have a feeling that some of these things need to be said, and I don’t think this is the last time I’ll be talking about this subject. So, haters gonna hate.

I have an unpopular opinion. It has been rattling around in the back of my mind for weeks now… approximately the same time a certain book (which will go unnamed but it has to do with washing your face. Subtle enough?) came into my possession. I started reading (well, listening) to it in the car, and I was immediately struck with this thought.

“I am so sick of personal development books”.

It isn’t about the author. It’s not even really about the book’s content. Honestly, the book itself is fine. The same things could be said about x number of other woman-targeted self-development, “be your best self” books.

It’s just that I’ve heard it before. I’ve read it before. I’ve been told it before. And I GET IT. It’s okay to not be like the other moms. It’s okay to talk about things like sex in the context of Christianity. It’s okay to be your own person and live your own life.

I’m not here to bash that one book. But I’m here to talk to a group of women that I believe exists. And I think this group of women is feeling really out casted right now. Because the way culture is going tells us that it’s okay to not have it all together (as long as you’re working on getting it together). And it’s totally fine to not be your kid’s classroom mom (but only because you have a busy career you’re pursuing instead). And it’s definitely okay to be in a messy bun and Pjs when your husband gets home (but only because you have been busy all day cleaning baseboards and folding endless loads of laundry and you’re just so selfless you haven’t had a chance to shower). Basically, it’s okay to not be okay… but like, you need to have a very clear plan of how you will someday be okay, and that needs to be tracked, color coded, and shared with your 5 accountability partners.

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So… what about the rest of us? What about those of us who don’t want to be classroom mom because we just, don’t want to? What about those of us who don’t have it together because our season of life doesn’t look like having it together, and we aren’t really sure when we will have it “together” so stop asking us? What if we are still in our PJs when our husband gets home because Pjs are effin’ comfortable, Karen, and I don’t need another explanation.

My calendar is not planned out by the half hour. My 5-year plan includes a lot of “maybes” and “it would be cool ifs”. My dreams are big and lofty and I don’t have a goal poster to chart my progress.

But just because I don’t have my shit together, doesn’t mean I don’t have my shit together. No, my kindle isn’t chock full of parenting and self-help books. No, I don’t do yoga to try to find my higher self. Yes, I am cool with not knowing exactly where I’ll be in a year. Being “bone weary” doesn’t sound like an accomplishment to me. It sounds like a sentence. And working myself to my maximum potential 24/7, 365 is not my idea of living a full and fulfilling life.

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Instead, I live my life based on God’s calendar. I don’t write my plans in ink, because I know at any moment God might say “yeah something’s come up”. My dreams are big and lofty because God delivered them to me that way, and I know they will come to fruition when He says they should. I can’t track God’s plan for my life on a poster or with an oversized thermometer. My measure of success changes with every season. And when I think about what I want to be remembered by, it has less to do with what I did and more to do with who I was.

If you are reading this and thinking “she’s just saying this because she’s always been a dandelion puff”, well- ACTUALLY. I spent 3 years in the heart of personal development and “be your best self” land. I lived and breathed self-help books. I listened to inspirational podcasts in my damn sleep and I even color coded my freakin’ calendar. I scheduled the shit out of my day. And I saw a lot of women thrive that way. And that was awesome.

But it didn’t work for me. In fact, it made my soul weary. It made me feel like I wasn’t good enough. Like my goals weren’t big enough. Like the second I told someone “I’m okay just staying where I am”, they would look at me and say “she’s a quitter”. And in fact, when I left that world, that’s what a lot of people said. That’s okay. They aren’t dandelion puffs. We can’t all be this way (that would be a shit show).

But there are more of us out there. More women who are reading these books about maximizing your potential and adding hours to the day and waking up EARLIER to do MORE, and veiling it behind words like “powerhouse” and “#bossbabe”. As if the only way to be a #bossbabe is to go to bed exhausted every night. To take yourself to 0 at the end of every day.

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But I want you to know- Girl, it’s okay if you don’t “wash your face” (and I mean that figuratively, because I am very much about that skincare life). It’s okay if right now you just aren’t sure where you’re going. Or if you’re perfectly fine just being you. You don’t have to buy every self-help book just because all the other women are buying it. You don’t have to constantly want to be better than you were yesterday, but not as good as you’ll be tomorrow. You are you. And there are more of you (us) out there, living life one day at a time and waiting for the wind to take us on our next adventure. We are important too. We are not weeds, we are wildflowers and we make the world more fun.

God is speaking to me about all this, and as He does, I want to share it with you. I don’t have any final thoughts or big ideas to wrap this all up with… I am just sharing my heart, wondering if other women are feeling the way I am.

More to come on this, friends.

 

 

A Jelly Sandal Saved My Life

A Jelly Sandal Saved My Life

When I was little I was afraid of storms.
Let me rephrase that. From the age of approximately 7-11, I was terrified of storms. I’m not sure what started the fear, but it stuck around and consumed most of my brain space for those 4ish years.
One afternoon during this season of life, my mom needed to run a few packages into a FedEx store. Instead of hauling myself and my two sisters out of the car just to put us right back in 5 minutes later, she left the car running, locked the doors, and ran in by herself. This was the 90s and Facebook wasn’t invented yet so moms could do things like this without fear of going viral. Looking back, this story would definitely be the kind of stuff mom shamers feed off of.
Anyway. As my mom ran in, a dark cloud starting to make its way across the sky. I, in my current season of constant fear, decided that cloud was definitely going to be THE CLOUD that finally did me in… so I needed to get OUT of the car, go OUTSIDE, and save myself. My logic wasn’t solid.
I unlocked the sliding door of our minivan, slid it open (setting off the car alarm in the process), and went to cross the narrow street between the parking spaces and the storefronts where my mom had gone.
Now before you say “were’t you ever taught to look before crossing the street?”.. please understand. I had been to safety village. I had been to preschool. And kindergarten. And maybe even first grade at this point. I was raised by cautious parents. And YET, I did not look both ways. Instead I darted into the street… and got hit by a mother fluffing car.
I’m not kidding. This is real.
I was lying on the ground, looking at my foot.. which was UNDER THE TIRE OF THE CAR. I think I was more shocked than anything else. I had just been standing up. Now my foot was stuck under a 4 door, silver sedan and an old lady was looking down at me from the drivers seat. I can only imagine she was thinking “well, shit”.
My mom came out, saw what happened, FREAKED THE F OUT, and somehow got me out from under the car. I don’t know what happened to the old lady. I wonder if she still thinks about me. Does she wonder if I walk with a limp now?
If you’re here for a gore-fest where I tell you my foot was broken in every single place, and my skin had been torn off, and I lost 3 toes… SORRY NOT TODAY. Because guess what? I just happened to be rocking some sweet ass 90s jelly sandals that day. You know the ones. Mine were clear (only the OG style for me) with silver flecks in them. And those puppies were not only stylish- they were SHOCK ABSORBENT. Thats right. Those jelly sandals bore enough weight that my foot, which was FULLY UNDER AN ACTUAL LITERAL CAR TIRE, was fine. Scratched up maybe. But fine. My mom probably slapped some neosporin on it a few times a day and we went about our lives. The whole incident was actually kinda of anti-climactic, actually. Maybe I should have milked it more.. maybe I missed an opportunity for a free trip to Disney or something. Whatever the case, life went on and my foot healed and it became an awesome story I can tell at parties now.
As far as the fear of storms goes.. I don’t know when that fear subsided. It was probably once I realized that it was kind of a really stupid fear, since I have literally no control over the weather…. and there is no place I know of that is completely devoid of storms. So, I guess I just, gave it up at some point.
Also, I might have realized that my fear was actually more dangerous than the thing I was afraid of in the first place. By being irrational and running from a perceived threat, I had put myself in more danger than I was in originally.
There’s a life lesson in there. Actually I think there are two.
  1. We often cause ourselves more problems by trying to avoid something that seems scary… but actually probably isn’t nearly as scary as we are perceiving it to be. Maybe if we ditched those fears, and our ridiculous efforts to avoid them, we could spare ourselves from some grief.
  2. Trends save lives. Lean into them. They may not last long, but you never know when a jelly sandal, or a cropped graphic tee, or a pair of mom jeans could save your life.15-3328
Well I lost my job.

Well I lost my job.

On this week’s episode of the Floating Dandelion Puff Diaries..

I lost my job.

To be fair, it was a part time job. And I was barely bringing in 4 figures from it per month. And it wasn’t personal. All in all, it wasn’t a huge deal.

But I liked it. It gave me purpose, it fit my passions, and I thought it was a “God thing”.

But… what the hell even is a God thing? I mean, let’s talk about that. If I believe that God is in and around and through everything in my life… isn’t everything a God thing? The hiring, the firing, the in-between time? I spend most of my life in the in-between time. So, I tend to believe that He is very much in that time. At least, I have encountered Him in that time.

But surely God can’t be in the firing-right-after-we-find-out-our-bills-are-about-to-go-up… can He?

Can He be equal parts there in the this sucks so bad as He is in the this if effin’ awesome?

And if He is, then what the heck, man? You would think you would give us some warning. If you know everything, and you’re in everything, don’t you think you would give us a clue when a wave is about to crash instead of letting us get thrown around and spit back out on the beach?

Am I being dramatic enough?

But really. That’s where I’m at right now. Wondering where God lands in all of this. And wondering if I should be waiting for the next God thing, or if I’m already in it.

The One Where I Talk About Being Suicidal

The One Where I Talk About Being Suicidal

Before I had my first child, I was sure I would be an anxious mother. Given my personality and my history with general anxiety, I thought I would be one of those moms who boils binkies and reads ingredient labels to make sure there isn’t poison in the baby food. To my surprise, after I gave birth I realized that I was not anxious in the slightest. I had heard of moms who sat up at night, staring at their children to make sure they continued to breathe. I thought that would be me, but it wasn’t. I never feared for my kids’ lives and still don’t. If you ask my friends, they will tell you I am a pretty laidback mom. I don’t let them play with fire, but I don’t really care if they eat dirt every once in a while. You get the idea.

What I didn’t expect- what completely caught me off guard and knocked me off my axis- was to be a moody, depressed, emotionally unstable mom. And I certainly didn’t expect to be a suicidal mom.

And yet, in November of 2016, just 6 months after my second baby was born, I found myself in that place. I was unpredictable. My relationships, most notably my marriage, were shaky at best. I was convincing people I was okay, but just barely. I woke up ready to go back to bed, and I went to bed dreading the morning. I was barely keeping my head above water, and I was starting to lose the will to swim anymore. When I asked my husband what he remembers about me during that season, he told me “I knew things were bad when you kept saying ‘I can’t do this anymore’ and I started to believe you”. I remember constantly saying “I’m just done”. And I didn’t mean I was done with the day, or done with the kids, or done with my marriage. It meant I was done. I didn’t have the energy it took to get through the day, and my reserve tank had run completely dry.

Over time, I found myself in a state of complete numbness. The exhaustion gave way to emotional silence. And it was deafening. Imagine living your life in a vacuum, void of any ups or downs; just being stagnant day in and day out. Now imagine doing that, but trying to keep a marriage and two children alive. I could have won one million dollars and been given an all-expense paid trip to any destination of my choosing, and it would have felt like just any other day. One night I sat at dinner with some of my closest friends and told them, “I’m not sad. I’m not angry. I’m just… nothing. I feel nothing. Day in and day out, I feel nothing”.  It was the scariest part of my journey, but unfortunately the worst was yet to come.

One day, after months of trying to survive in my vacuum, I was driving to the YMCA (because someone told me if I just worked out more, I could cure myself. God bless) and a thought popped in my head.

“If this is what I’m going to feel like for the rest of my life, I really hope I die soon”

It passed across my brain like any other thought. It wasn’t dramatic. It was a matter of fact. It was true- I couldn’t imagine living another 60+ years in the state that I was in. And in that moment, I realized: I was suicidal.

I remember being confused; it wasn’t at all like they describe it in the movies. I had no grand plan to jump off a tall building or drive off a cliff. I didn’t have any fantasies of leaving a long suicide note for my friends and family. I didn’t think about my funeral. I just didn’t want to continue to live if this was what my life was going to look like. I hoped I would get terminally ill, or get into an accident. I didn’t want to kill myself, but I definitely wanted to die. Even as I write this, I am acutely aware of how intense that sounds. It’s hard to admit that’s where I was- but it’s true. I lived in this state for months; longer than I care to admit. I was okay with the idea that this might be the thing that took me down. If I ended up dying because I just stopped wanting to live, then so be it. I could feel myself rationalizing my decision; everyone has to die somehow. This just might be the plan for me. Maybe I was never supposed to live for a long time. Everyone will figure it out.

So, how did I get out. That’s the big question. And I wish it was more of an AHA moment than it actually was. The truth is, I just did some research. I had a moment of clarity, and in that moment I googled “post-partum depression” and realized that my symptoms lined up 100%. I couldn’t believe I was reading someone else’s account of her own illness that sounded exactly like my own. I realized I needed help, and fast. I got myself into therapy. I told my friends I was struggling. And I committed to at least trying to feel better. It wasn’t easy, but I had just enough strength left in me, and enough support around me, to push towards recovery.

I am grateful that I sought help, and that the help I found was exactly what I needed. I am thankful that my diagnosis was uncovered and I was able to find a medication that helped pull me out of that pit. But I know that not everyone is as lucky as I was.

Had I not gotten help; had I let my feelings fester and tried to just keep moving forward, I’m not sure where I would be. I can’t picture myself doing anything to end my own life, but I can’t rule it out either. What I can see, is how I could have ended up there. It’s not a big jump from “I hope I get in a car accident” to “I’m going to make it look like an accident”. I don’t know how long it would have taken me to get to that point, but I’m glad I didn’t have to find out.

My point in sharing this (it’s definitely not because I just felt like writing about my history of depression and suicidality) is to help others understand the thought process that is so rarely explained. No one successfully completes suicide and survives. And so, we rarely get any insight into what goes through the mind of a suicidal person.

Before experiencing it myself, I would have told you that suicidal people are dramatic, or selfish. I would have judged them harshly and thought “how could you do that to your family”. But now, I would tell you that couldn’t be further from the truth. You cannot possibly understand unless you have dealt with it. And I’m not sure I can explain it fully. But my hope is that my story would make the problem feel less out there and more right here.  I want people to know that suicide is not always caused by external forces. It can’t be solved by anti-bullying policies and stricter gun control (although those might help). It’s deeper than that. It is a heart issue- not caused by the sufferer, by any means, but still an issue that lies deeper than we often make it seem. It is about lack of hope for any change.

I’m not convinced we can stop suicide altogether. I think it’ll happen one day, but that has to do with a certain dude (we’ll call him JC) coming back and fixing a whole lotta other stuff that is ugly in this world. Until then, I am just hoping we can find ways to talk about it more, and empower “survivors” to share their stories. If we can’t stop it, the least we can do is try to understand it.

IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE:

If you are feeling this way- or even close to what I’ve described- please know that you are not alone. And please know that, even if it doesn’t feel like it now, it can get better. It will take work, but it will be worth it. I am linking some resources below if you would like to take a step today towards a healthier you. Or, find me on IG @thrivethirtyone and send me a DM. I’m here to chat. You are worth fighting for.

 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-8255

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

 

Talk Space- therapy for all

https://www.talkspace.com/

 

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

https://afsp.org/

 

also: You can always call your insurance and ask for mental health assistance!