120 Days In – My Time In Jail. Chapter #17

 

Hey Friend!
There’s good news and there’s bad news. Which do you want first? I’ll give you the bad news, because by now you already kinda know… This blog series is no longer available on this website. I’m sorry! I have always dreamed of writing and publishing a book, ever since my Dad bought me a typewriter on my 6th birthday.
The good news is, It’s finally happening! My book is in review on the Amazon Kindle website, and within the next few days will be available for pre-order! I know you are probably still mad at me, but I hope that you understand that this a huge goal, that I am actually about to freakin’ accomplish, and I want you to be excited with meeee!
I will post a link to the book here as soon as it becomes available, as well as share it on my facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/jugglingthejenkinsblog
Thank you for being interested in my stuff, it really means more than you know. And thank you for being a part of my journey. You may not realize it, but it’s people like you that inspire me to get my lazy ass out of bed each day and create content.
Me love you long time…
Tiffany Jenkins

Advertisements

How I Snapped Out Of My “Lazy Housewife” Funk.

I’ve always believed in being transparent.  Honesty is key for growth.  So if I am being honest with you (and myself),  on a scale of 1-10, I am at about a 5 on the “awesome housewife” scale right now.

I have been sllllllacking.  I can’t pin point how, when, or why it started, but you can bet your ass it started, and I have the piles of laundry to prove it.

It seems I go through stages.  Some days, I cartwheel out of bed and karate chop my daily duties in the throat; flipping around my home like a gymnast with paper towels and a broom.

Other days, (like the past few days, weeks, month or so), I have been a Lazy Leslie.  I have tried to justify it to myself and it sounds something like this: “Girl, you got like a hundred kids and a big house, you aren’t super woman. Chill, relax, you’ve earned it.  Why don’t you lay down for a bit and rest your tired mom-bones”.

This self-dialogue is backed up by the fact that the bed is a mere 10 ft away from me all day everyday.  Sometimes I swear I hear it yelling at me the moment I pick up a dish to wash: “Ay! Get in here baby, I miss you.  Your hands are too delicate to be getting all pruney in that yucky sink water.  Put that down and come lay with me.” To which I usually reply, “Oh, bed. You know me so well. Here I come boo”.

In addition to my lack of enthusiasm about chores and cooking,  I have also been neglecting my body, shoveling ice cream sandwiches and Taco Bell down my gullet as if I was competing on Man Vs Food.

I have a history of depression and self esteem issues, so it’s important for me to be aware of my behavior.  For awhile now I’ve been in a funk, and I’ve been using the excuse “I’m overwhelmed” for too long.  The truth is, there is plenty of time for me to accomplish the things I need to during the day.  I just don’t want to.

I feel anxious when the house is cluttered and messy,  I am a happier person when everything is in it’s place and it smells like febreeze and wax melts up in here.  My husband had been busting his butt all day long to support our family, while I laid around for hours, occasionally moving some stuff around to make it appear as if I wasn’t indeed the sloth that I’ve been.

I wasn’t holding up my end of the deal, I wasn’t contributing as much as I could, I was neglecting my role in the family and it wasn’t fair.  I am a firm believer in taking some time to yourself to recharge, however my ass had been on the charger for long enough, and it was time to get it together for my family, and myself.  So what did I do?  I burned the house down so I didn’t have to clean anymore.   Just kidding.

I turned to my best friend, Google.  Together, Google and I did some digging and stumbled upon a website called “Organizing Made Fun”.  I threw my head back in maniacal laughter\at the blatant misspelling of the word “sucks”.

I clicked the site out of curiosity, eager to see why this crazy person thought it would be okay to put “organizing” and “fun” in the same sentence.  It came as no surprise that the website itself was beautifully organized.  It had different categories clearly displayed for everything from organizing your kids stuff to room by room cleaning/organizing tips and tricks.

If you’re like me and were addicted to opiates for ten years and never wiped a baseboard in your life and could use some motivation, inspiration and guidance – this is where it’s at! The woman who runs the blog is Becky, and she uses her site to help mom’s like me get their s*** together.

She delivers insightful articles about getting finances in order, meal planning, DIY projects, schedules, and organizing tools (which, she mentions using velvet hangers and, I don’t want to brag butttt….I already own those, so, beat ya to it Beck).

Anyway, she has a section of her website where she shows us what the inside of her home looks like. At first I was all like “Omg, #goals” but then I was like “HA! Wait a sec, this lady obviously doesn’t have kids. Okay, whew! I was starting to feel bad about my life for a second there”. As I continued scrolling through her photos, a picture of a child’s room appeared on the screen, and then another.  Damnit.  This lady is a magician.

It really got me thinking.  I can do better, I know I can.  When I sit on my butt instead of making my home a haven of peace, I am putting my own selfish needs before others.  If I had a dollar for every time I scrolled through Facebook and said to myself “Okay, 12 more minutes then we are done reading about Sarah’s time at the gym and Donald Trumps wire tap allegations” , I’d be rich.

There’s nothing on that phone that is more important than seeing my family comfortable, and happy. The only way I can improve at something is to learn to do it better.  I am not even close to perfect and need all the help I can get, so finding a site that makes it easy for me to learn to be the person I want to be was a breath of fresh air.

I spent about an hour reading advice on that site, and made a conscious decision to put the phone down and start making a change. I organized my pantry, cabinets and fridge.  It took a couple hours, but the relief I felt after decluttering and the joy on the kids faces once their snacks were all organized and accessible was beyond rewarding. 

I’m doing little things each day, but they are slowly adding up; and I honestly feel better than I have in a long time.  My husband deserves a wife who takes care of things for him, because he does so much for our family.  I want to be that wife.

Now don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying organizing is “fun”, okay, let’s not get crazy.  But being organized and tidy is much easier than scrambling each morning to find my sons infamous missing shoe and throwing random items from the fridge into a lunchbox as we are running out the door late for school.

I welcome chaos, all I’ve ever known is chaos, but from here on out; I’m gonna try to do things differently.  Will I be back to throwing random articles of clothing over my shoulder as I furiously search for a pair of matching socks in a few weeks? Possibly.  But if there is something more I can be doing to keep our home running like a well oiled machine- I’m sure as hell gonna try.

How do you keep your home organized? Do you have any tips or tricks you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments! (I need all the help I can get!)

 

 

To Love An Addict…

To love an addict is one of the heartbreaking positions anyone could be in.  You spend years building a bond with this person, and in the blink of an eye, they are someone else.

Someone you no longer recognize.  It’s their face, their voice, their hands and their smile; but the person they used to be is long gone.  It’s as if that person has been taken over by an invisible force. A force that is dragging them down dark paths that you know your loved one would never dare to venture.

To love an addict is feeling both dread and relief when they show up at your door.  You know that for a moment they are safe, because they are here with you; but you are also aware that they are probably there because they need something from you.  You subconsciously  clutch your purse tightly and tread lightly, for fear of setting them off.

To love an addict is handing them a $20 bill for “cigarettes”, despite the fact that you know all to well what the money is really for.  You now have an internal struggle with yourself, because you know you shouldn’t be contributing to their habit, but in your eyes it’s better than them selling their body or stealing to get the money.

To love an addict is having your heart drop to your knees every time the phone rings, because you know at any moment you will receive the call. The call that they are gone.

To love an addict is a rollercoaster of emotions. Hopeful elation when they enter a rehab program and heartbreaking disappointment when they run from it and relapse.

To love an addict is to spend countless nights staring at the ceiling, wondering if there was something more you could have said, or done, to keep them from going down this path, blaming yourself for them being where they are.

To love an addict is to watch a person who used to laugh, sing, dance and be filled with joy, stumble through life like an emotionless zombie.

To love an addict is trying your hardest to love them from a distance, but having your heart melt the moment you hear their voice.

To love an addict is the constant desire to grab them by the shoulders and shake some sense into them, but knowing in your heart that you are absolutely powerless over their choices.

To love an addict is feeling a pang of sadness and shame whenever someone asks you how they are doing.

To love an addict is constantly walking on eggshells, because you know that if you say the wrong thing they may storm off, never to be seen again.

To love an addict is hugging them as tightly as you possibly can – when you can – because you never know if you will have the opportunity to feel them in your arms again.

To love an addict is to stare at them from across the room and pray for a glimpse of the old them to show through; so you know that somewhere inside this stranger, that person still exists.

Every single addict on the face of this earth, has someone, somewhere, who loves them. Every. Single. One.

I am an addict, and was actively addicted to opiates, (and alcohol, food, money – anything that made me feel different) for over 10 years.

I put my loved ones through hell.  I forced them to feel emotions they never deserved to feel. I lied to them, manipulated them and guilted them into enabling me endless times.

I can’t imagine how incredibly difficult it must be for a parent or family member of an addict to give them “tough love”, but I can tell you from experience, it could very well be the difference between life and death.

If you constantly provide an addict with a safety net to catch them, you are robbing them of the chance to hit their bottom and pay for the consequences of their actions.

It took me hitting rock bottom without a penny to my name, and nowhere to call home to finally arrive at the conclusion that no one was coming to save me.

This next part is probably going to sting a little, but I’ve always believed honesty is the best policy.  So I am going to say this from a place of love and experience, and hope it will be taken as such.

Think for a moment, about the reason you are giving them (us) money, rides, shelter, and bailing us out of jail .  If you really take a moment and ask yourself why, the answer may surprise you.  You are not actually doing it for usYou are doing it for yourself.

You are doing it so you don’t have to worry.  You are doing it because it makes you feel better to know we are safe.  You are doing it because it brings you peace to know we won’t have to sleep on the street, beg for food, or experience the pain that comes along with withdrawl.

I am not saying this to hurt anyone’s feelings or make them feel guilty.  I am saying it because something I feel many people don’t realize is – us addicts can be pretty damn convincing when we want to be.

We are professional manipulators.  If f shedding a few tears and dramatizing our current situation will cause you to open your wallet – we will put on the performance of a lifetime.

Someone who is uncertain of how to love an addict must recognize that by temporarily bringing yourself relief, making yourself feel better for the night, you are jeopardizing our chance of recovery.  Running around following us holding out a little pillow for us to land on in case we fall is not the answer, and most times proves to be ineffective.

Giving us money, helps us stay on the carousel of addiction for longer.  Bailing us out of jail-where we are safe– puts us back on the streets to use again.  Giving us rides, makes it easier for us to complete our mission of getting high.  Providing us a safe place to sleep – tells us that we can do what we want and there will be no consequences.

There’s a saying that “If an addict is happy with you, than you’re probably enabling.  If an addict is mad at you – you are probably trying to save their life”.  When I think back to my life during active addiction, this couldn’t be more accurate. If you weren’t helping me to score, there was no place for you in my life.

Making an addict as uncomfortable as possible in their addiction is a step in the right direction.  I’m sure it made my family members incredibly uncomfortable to watch me struggle until I had enough, but I believe their choice to love me from a distance is the reason that I am alive and present at this very moment.

To love an addict is recognizing your own behavior and making some changes that may be hard now, but will pay off later.

To love an addict is to let go if you have to, but keeping hope alive in your heart.

To love an addict is…Never giving up on them. There is no such thing as a lost cause, and it’s never to late for someone to make a change. Loving them from a distance if you must, but waiting with arms wide open when they are ready to make the decision to come home…

5 Support Resources For Loved Ones Of Addicts

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picking My Battles, Saving My Sanity.

When I was 21, I went to my mothers house because my boyfriend at the time and I were having a fight.  I can’t remember now what it was about, but I can say with complete certainty that he was wrong, I was right, and it was all his fault… And he was a big idiot head.

Anyway, after spending some time yapping her ear off about his wrongdoings, she patted my leg and smiled.  “Something I have learned after many years, and multiple marriages is; you must pick your battles.  Not everything is worth losing your s*** over.  Some things are, but most aren’t.  And you will spend a lot of time being unhappy if you make the conscious decision to go to war over every disagreement or conflict.”

She was an incredibly wise woman.

My mother has given me tons of unwarranted advice, but this bit in particular; always stuck with me.

I have a choice. I can navigate through the day with my hypothetical fists raised, ready to attack any conflict that arises. Upon witnessing someone’s status update that I don’t agree with I can hop into the comment section like Bruce Lee and start kicking people in the face with my own irrelevant opinion. I can choose to take a small incident that I will most likely have zero recollection of 6 years from now, and blow it out of proportion

Or…

I can choose not to.

It sounds weird, but I navigate through the world surrounded and protected by this “happy bubble”, (okay-hear me out),  I really do. When I go to the store, or an event, I go into it with a positive and optimistic attitude, (most of the time).

Every now and then someone comes along and tries to pop my damn bubble.  They poke at it, push it around or toss a couple rude words at it in hopes of getting through it.  “You should really put some socks on that baby, she looks cold”-stranger at grocery store. “We no longer carry Wild Cherry Pepsi”-Taco Bell Employee.  “I can’t find my other shoe”-unnamed child, for the 3rd time this week. 

The thing is, I am in control of what I allow to infiltrate my bubble.  I have the power, and if I give in and allow myself to be tempted by conflict – I give that power away to someone else. This is why it’s so important for me to chose who is worthy of receiving my power, and the list is small.

I can tell you this, it’s not the little old lady who cut me off in the parking lot this morning (and prompted this whole thought process). Sure,  I could have honked, and flicked her off out the window.  But what would I have gained from this other than scared children in the backseat and an elevated heart rate?  I chose to let things like this go.

I’m not saying that I skip around sprinkling fairy dust on everyone while singing “Let It Go” . I’m just saying that not everything is worthy of me defending my position. I do not think it’s a good idea to always avoid conflict,  because sometimes when I do, I end up living in it.  Stewing about it. (See my previous article about the lady from Target).

It’s incredibly easy to get swept away in the currents of drama.  Before you know it you are having an online argument with a stranger in Canada about women you don’t know marching for their rights.

So how does one decide which battles to fight, and which to let go?

There is a wealth of advice that can be found on the internet depending on issues an individual may be struggling with.

WikiHow has a hilariously illustrated article titled “How To Choose Your Battles in Marriage”Office Ninjas has one about conflict in the workplace and QuickandDirtytips.com has an article about choosing your battles with kids.

In my personal opinion however, there’s no perfect answer on any of these websites.  I am my own, unique person and things that make me tick may not bother others.  And since the internet wasn’t readily available when I was 21, I had to figure it out on my own anyway.

What it boils down to is how do I want to spend my day?  Do I want to be happy or angry? Peaceful or agitated? Composed or flustered? Do I want to scream at my son for pressing the “crushed ice” button on the fridge for the 10th time, or hug him and laugh, gazing upon the frosty mess I now have covering the floor?

Do I want to scream at my husband the moment he walks in the door because he forgot to pick up milk like I asked or welcome him home with a big hug and spend the night laughing instead of fighting?

It’s up to me.  I get to pick, and the freedom that comes along with that choice is life altering.  I will always stand up for my morals and values, but I refuse to participate in every fight I’m invited to. I’ve got more important things to deal with.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to clean up a crushed ice blizzard in the kitchen.

“You will never be completely free from life’s little annoyances, but you can become free from feeling annoyed.” – Richard Carlson, author of “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff”.

 

 

 

120 Days In-My Time In Jail. Chapter #16.

 

Hey Friend!
There’s good news and there’s bad news. Which do you want first? I’ll give you the bad news, because by now you already kinda know… This blog series is no longer available on this website. I’m sorry! I have always dreamed of writing and publishing a book, ever since my Dad bought me a typewriter on my 6th birthday.
The good news is, It’s finally happening! My book is in review on the Amazon Kindle website, and within the next few days will be available for pre-order! I know you are probably still mad at me, but I hope that you understand that this a huge goal, that I am actually about to freakin’ accomplish, and I want you to be excited with meeee!
I will post a link to the book here as soon as it becomes available, as well as share it on my facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/jugglingthejenkinsblog
Thank you for being interested in my stuff, it really means more than you know. And thank you for being a part of my journey. You may not realize it, but it’s people like you that inspire me to get my lazy ass out of bed each day and create content.
Me love you long time…
Tiffany Jenkins

120 Days In – My Time In Jail. Chapter #15

 

Hey Friend!
There’s good news and there’s bad news. Which do you want first? I’ll give you the bad news, because by now you already kinda know… This blog series is no longer available on this website. I’m sorry! I have always dreamed of writing and publishing a book, ever since my Dad bought me a typewriter on my 6th birthday.
The good news is, It’s finally happening! My book is in review on the Amazon Kindle website, and within the next few days will be available for pre-order! I know you are probably still mad at me, but I hope that you understand that this a huge goal, that I am actually about to freakin’ accomplish. I am really excited and want you to be excited with meeee!
I will post a link to the book here as soon as it becomes available, as well as share it on my facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/jugglingthejenkinsblog
Thank you for being interested in my stuff, it really means more than you know. And thank you for being a part of my journey. You may not realize it, but it’s people like you that inspire me to get my lazy ass out of bed each day and create content.
Me love you long time…
Tiffany Jenkins

In Case No One Has Told You Lately, You. Are. Amazing.

From one mother to another, I have some things I feel the need to share with you.  They are coming from a place of love, and complete understanding.  I hear the deep sighs and I see the tired look in your eyes, and I believe you are long overdue for some appreciation, so here it is.

I know the incredible amount of work you put into your home, and your family day in and day out, and you probably don’t hear the words “thank you” nearly as often as you should. Being a good mother takes an excessive amount of energy, and an endless supply of patience and love.  It takes a special person to selflessly put others needs before her own, so from one hardworking Momma to another, thank you.

You are beautiful.  I know there are many days when you hurriedly get the kids ready for school, and catch a glimpse of your reflection on your way out the door and think, “Wow I’m a mess, I’ve really let myself go”. I think it’s important that you realize what the definition of beauty really is.

What makes someone beautiful is not hair that falls perfectly into place or flawless make up.  True beauty is defined by ones soul.  The “mom bun”, sweatpants and natural face are a symbol of the immeasurable amount of love you have for the children you have created.  Anyone can slap make up on and straighten their hair, it takes a special person to be more concerned with ensuring their loved ones are ready for the day first. That’s what makes you so beautiful.

Your body is perfect. I am sure you’ve have heard the old saying “stretch marks mean you’ve earned your stripes, embrace them!”.  I can tell you as a mom who’s stomach has been stretched to it’s limits and beyond; that this saying doesn’t help me feel any sexier when my husband’s hand brushes against my stomach.

What I will tell you is this; if given the choice between having a toned flat stomach, or having your children, you would choose your babies – every time. Stretch marks are a small price to pay for a lifetime of joy.  Like a home with dashes on the wall to measure a child’s height as they grow, try to imagine these marks as a reminder for yourself, once the kids are grown up and on their own, that they were once there, that your body at one time, was their home.

You are doing great. You are! I think at times we start to feel more like servants, and less like wives and mothers. We get into a routine of cooking, cleaning, diaper changing, homework, errand running and so much more.  At the end of the day we are utterly exhausted and most times, our partners are none the wiser.  I know how hard you worked today, how much you gave, and how much you achieved.  You. Are. Amazing.

Keep in mind, that each chapter is temporary. I know there are moments when you feel that if you step on one more Lego, or hear the “Mickey Mouse” theme song one more time – that you will explode.  The sad thing is,  you will blink; and your babies will be grown ups, and they will be living on their own.  Your home will be quiet. The silence will be deafening.  The toys will be long gone, stored in the attic.  Embrace and appreciate this chaos while it’s here, because we are gonna miss the hell out of it when it’s gone.

Lastly, It’s a beautiful thing when you give your all to your family, but it’s imperative that you don’t end up losing your identity in the process. We get so caught up in the routines, and schedules and tasks that we rarely take time to do things for ourselves.  Relax.  Take a bath, go for a walk alone, meditate and give your brain a break from racing thoughts and worries. The dishes can wait.  It’s important to recharge your batteries from time to time, because you can’t pour from an empty cup.  You don’t have to feel guilty for sitting down for a bit and doing…Nothing.

Being a Mom isn’t like a regular job, where you receive accolades and promotions for doing a good job.  Sometimes even getting a thank you is like pulling teeth.  There will come a day, when your children grow up and recognize the love, strength and sacrifice that went into raising them.

We aren’t doing what we do each day for daily praise.  There is a much bigger picture that we must remain focused on when we feel like giving up. We are doing it for the day they walk across the stage to receive their diploma, the day they stand at the alter with the love of their life at the beginning of their new chapter.  We are doing it for the day they come to us as successful adults and give us a great big hug, and they say “Thank you Mom, for everything”.

You are wonderful, you are strong, you are appreciated (whether you hear it or not)  and you are making a difference. Thank you, for all that you do.

120 Days In-My Time In Jail. Chapter #14

 

Hey Friend!
There’s good news and there’s bad news. Which do you want first? I’ll give you the bad news, because by now you already kinda know… This blog series is no longer available on this website. I’m sorry! I have always dreamed of writing and publishing a book, ever since my Dad bought me a typewriter on my 6th birthday.
The good news is, It’s finally happening! My book is in review on the Amazon Kindle website, and within the next few days will be available for pre-order! I know you are probably still mad at me, but I hope that you understand that this a huge goal, that I am actually about to freakin’ accomplish.
I will post a link to the book here as soon as it becomes available, as well as share it on my facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/jugglingthejenkinsblog
Thank you for being interested in my stuff, it really means more than you know. And thank you for being a part of my journey. You may not realize it, but it’s people like you that inspire me to get my lazy ass out of bed each day and create content.
Me love you long time…
Tiffany Jenkins

120 Days In – My Time In Jail. Chapter #13

Hey Friend!
There’s good news and there’s bad news. Which do you want first? I’ll give you the bad news, because by now you already kinda know… This blog series is no longer available on this website. I’m sorry! I have always dreamed of writing and publishing a book, ever since my Dad bought me a typewriter on my 6th birthday.
The good news is, It’s finally happening! My book is in review on the Amazon Kindle website, and within the next few days will be available for pre-order! I know you are probably still mad at me, but I hope that you understand that this a huge goal, that I am actually about to freakin’ accomplish.
I will post a link to the book here as soon as it becomes available, as well as share it on my facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/jugglingthejenkinsblog
Thank you for being interested in my stuff, it really means more than you know. And thank you for being a part of my journey. You may not realize it, but it’s people like you that inspire me to get my lazy ass out of bed each day and create content.
Me love you long time…
Tiffany Jenkins

 

Quick Update

Hello friends!

Soooo, some of you may have noticed I haven’t been posting for a bit (or maybe my ego is hoping you noticed, you may have been oblivious to my MIA status because I’m nowhere near as cool as I think I am), either way, I am going to make this brief, but I wanted to fill you in on what’s been going on lately in the Jenkins household!

For starters- I haven’t had a phone for about a week now – and I’m totally fine with this.  In a perfect world, I would spend the rest of my days phone-free, however a replacement is on the way and will be here today. Booooo.

Also, my handsome hunk of a husband, started his own business about a month ago.  It’s a 24/7 on-call business, so he has been busting his butt to get this thing up and running and I couldn’t possibly  be ANY MORE proud of him than I am at this moment. He is doing amazing things for our family and I feel very blessed to be by his side through this next chapter.

So, in case some of you didn’t know,   I am fortunate enough to work from home for a carpentry/ remodeling company.  In addition to this, I recently picked up a side job writing for and working on The Purpose House website/Facebook. I am very grateful for this opportunity and hope to bring more awareness to the incredible transitional home that gave me a safe place during my transition into the real world after addiction.

Lastly, WE FLEW TO PA! We flew to surprise my sister for her birthday and it was incredible.  I am probably going to make a post with pics and stories of our adventure because it is worthy of it’s own space.

The kids are wonderful, Chloe will be walking any second now, Kaiden is loving school but hating mornings and Aubrey is my angel child sent from above.  She is such a wonderful help with her little brother and sister and I truly don’t know what I’d do without her!

So that’s it, we have been busy bees around here but hopefully in the upcoming week I will be able to catch up on my writing, because there is LOTS to talk about!

I love you guys and appreciate all of your love and support more than you will ever know!

XOXOXOX