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Happy

Happy

‘My daughter saw a spa day on TV and asked if we could ‘belax’ and have one too. After some contemplation, I thought, ‘Why not?’

“My daughter’s face was priceless. She squealed just like a sweet little girl you’d see in a movie when I said yes. As mothers, it can feel like we’re barely treading water. But we must also remember that our children need time to self-care too. There’s a universe of emotion going on inside their heads each day that we don’t know about.”

‘Nobody dreams of being a single, middle-aged dad swiping on Tinder. When I entered Single Parent Land, half my brain was sobbing. The other half was thinking, ‘I can run free!’

“As a single parent, every decision takes on a new meaning. If I give my child an applesauce pouch made in China, will my ex bring it up in court? But back to the easy stuff. Remember naps? You know, those times when you could sleep in on a weekend without your ex coming in and yelling at you? There’s a silver lining in all this.”

‘There’s no quick fix. There WILL always be a next panic attack, a next day of self-harm or cloud of doubt. I started to feel I wasn’t enough for him. I couldn’t pray away the dark times.’

“There’s nothing I want more than to see his beautiful smile. But part of being in love with someone struggling with mental health is dealing with the ugly. It’s true what they say. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. But there’s also a damn dimmer switch in that tunnel too.”

‘If I drink beer, maybe they’ll like me.’ ‘Maybe if I smoke this.’ Their words cut deep. I was desperate for acceptance. When it wasn’t enough, I stopped going to class and flunked with all F’s.’

“I thought the bullying would stop when my mom died of cancer, but it returned full force. I remember being yanked off my feet by my ponytail, blood running down my leg. I still wasn’t good enough, so I dropped out. When I returned to school at 31, a mother of 3 kids, I thought the same failure awaited me again. I was absolutely terrified.”

‘My stepdad always told me I was bad luck. I never fit into his picture-perfect family. To avoid fights, I’d lose myself in a book or math problem. School was my safe-haven.’

“I didn’t care what school I went to as long as I could get away from home. I later dropped out of high school and started working the night shift at a restaurant. Weeks later, my school counselor called. ‘If I work something out with you, would you agree to come back?’ It was my second chance at life.”

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