Be Better Than Your Situation

Disclaimer: This is not a “poor me” post; I’ve CHOSEN a more positive life.

At 12, it’s typical to start rebelling against your mother.
At 18, it’s typical to ignore all the advice your mother gives you about college choices.
At 25ish, it’s typical to START believing that your mother might actually know what she is talking about.
At 30ish, it’s typical to admit you enjoy your mother’s company and ask for advice, help and opinions about raising kids. Eventually, becoming best friends.

But what do you when those typical moments are denied to you because your mother chose suicide over her family. (That was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever written down on paper.)

I never got to go to a mother/daughter brunch. I never got to go on a mother/daughter shopping trip for the perfect prom or wedding dress. I never got to ask her about her pregnancies. I will never get to become annoyed because she is spoiling my kids. I will never get to complain to my friends that she is driving me crazy. I will never get to tell Avery that my mother drove me crazy too, but eventually we became best friends. The last six years have been more difficult than the previous 14 combined, because I don’t think I truly grasped the “heartache” of not having a mother until I became a mother myself.

Again, this is not a “poor me” post. Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been easy. There have been many times that I’ve wanted to scream “uncle” and soak in my pity party, but what would that accomplish. Nothing!!! It would not change the fact that I don’t have a mom. Let me stop here and say I have been surrounded by love, and I thank God for all the people that did an amazing job of patching the hole that was ripped open. I have amazing friends and family, a wonderful husband, and even better kids that help me choose to live a happy life.

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After I had Avery, I started having anxiety and panic attacks about if I was doing everything the “right way”. It took me a while (and a short term prescription of Zoloft) to get back to CHOOSING to be a better mom. This is when not having a mom was the worst. I kept thinking I should have her support and advice. I should be able to call her to help me when I needed a break. My husband helped me realize that the idea of a “Perfect Mom” is ridiculous and that I was the perfect mom for our family. I eventually had to overcome the idea that “being a mother without a mom” would not define my family. I am certainly not the picture perfect mom. I yell. I overreact. I cry. But I also take any and all measures to CHOOSE happiness and that makes me the perfect mom for Avery and Bennett.

I find joy in the happiness of those around me. I’m not a jealous person. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever been jealous that someone has a good relationship with their mother. As long as I can remember, I’ve made mental notes of good mother/child bonds that I would like to emulate in my own mother/child relationship when the time came.

Another huge factor in my CHOOSING to be happy that I can’t ignore is the counseling that I have attended sporadically over the last 20  years. At first, I hated every minute of it because I was forced to go because of my mom’s death. Eventually, I realized that no one should ever be ashamed to ask for help. My various counselors have played a pivotal role in helping me identify destructive behaviors and the irrational expectations I put on myself. I can not say enough about the strength and courage it takes to pick up that phone and call someone in the hopes to improve your life. One should never be ashamed  OR feel guilty OR feel like a failure when they ask for help. The true failure is living a negative life and relying on others to fill your bucket.

My promise to my children is that I will always CHOOSE to be better than my situation. I’ve learned that regardless of your past and circumstances, YOU are responsible for CHOOSING to lead a healthier, more positive life.

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13 Responses to Be Better Than Your Situation

  1. Ruth Harb March 11, 2014 at 9:10 am #

    Thank you for sharing such a personal part of your life. You must be a wonderful mom! Your children are blessed to have you!

    • Allison March 12, 2014 at 7:55 am #

      Thank you for your kind words.

  2. corrie March 11, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

    Allison,
    Fantastic post. Keep up the bravery and the truth telling!

    • Allison March 12, 2014 at 7:57 am #

      Thanks.

  3. abby gaines March 11, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

    thank you for sharing your story. I lost my mom 5 years ago. Its a pain that will never go away and only someone who has lost their mom can understand.

    • Allison March 12, 2014 at 7:59 am #

      I feel your pain. I hope that you have people that help you smile in your life.

  4. Colleen March 11, 2014 at 8:52 pm #

    Thank you for this post. I lost my mom to cancer 6 years ago; got married 5 years ago; and had my son 2 years ago. She never got to see me walk down the aisle nor meet her grandchildren. She was a teacher and eventually a licensed social worker so her love, help, and advice for my special needs son would have made my life as a mom so much easier. I still have a lot of anger and grief that I battle every day. But it’s nice to know that others are going through the same thing. I will have to look into counseling. Maybe he or she can fix this hole in my heart and my marriage.
    Thanks again for telling us your story.

  5. Allison March 12, 2014 at 8:02 am #

    Please please look into counseling. If you work, your employeer may have an employee assisstance program. If you don’t work, your spouse’s employee might have one. This is a great resourse to get started with teh healing process. Don’t let pain, grief harm your marriage. Be better than your situation.

    • Allison March 12, 2014 at 8:48 am #

      *the

  6. Jenny March 12, 2014 at 8:39 am #

    What a wonderful post of honesty and bravery–I loved reading every bit of it. Thank you for sharing your experience as tough as it is–you are such an example. 🙂 My husband is a counselor, so I know first hand how beneficial it can be seeing someone help you through your pain. I always joke that he’s my live-in counselor, but just seeing things through their eyes helps realign your perspective. So great Allison!

    • Allison March 12, 2014 at 7:35 pm #

      Tell your husband thank you from all the people that really need him in this crazy world.

  7. Stacey March 12, 2014 at 10:58 pm #

    It is so brave of you to share such a personal story. My mom has attempted suicide twice and came very close to succeeding. This was before my children were born. She and I are so grateful that she made it through those hard times and now gets to be a grandma. I am thankful everyday for her. It sounds like you’ve made a genuine effort to be a great mom so I have no doubt that you are one. And I love your son’s name, he shares his name with my son. 🙂

    • Allison March 13, 2014 at 10:32 am #

      It is a great name!!
      I am glad that you get to experience the mother/daughter & grandmother/grandson relationship.
      Thanks for the kind supportive words.

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