Friday, August 26, 2016


My hands twitch. They yearn for release.

“But I’m broken. I can’t.”

I’m doing dishes and my eyes glance again and again over to my laptop, turning in circles, tracing the edges of the keyboard.

The warm glow of the screen calls for me.

“But it’s not just about me. I can’t.”

My body aches. It demands the kneading of emotions. It must disperse the tension from my shoulders out my fingertips to function.  My neck suffers from holding in the words.

“But it’s not pretty. I can’t.”

And then my husband looks at the twisted, uncomfortable figure I’ve become and gently says, “Write, Meri. Don’t write for them. Write for you.”

“But. I hate myself. I hate who I am right now. I can’t.”

But somewhere deeper inside myself is a whisper that I can’t ignore. Over and over it begs me to let it out. “You can, Meri. You must.”

I tossed in my bed this morning. Listening to the whisper grow more resolute. And finally, my stubborn, stronger self knew that it had to be listened to for me to move on.

More than anything…I want to move on from this.  It’s very clear that nothing can change if I don’t look at this in the disgusting, snot nosed face that it has.

So Hello. I am here.

Messy, broken, ashamed.

A shadow of the Meri I was only a year ago.

This year I’ve gained 15 pounds. I marvel at the notion, as I’m sure I’ve excreted a good 1 million pounds in tears and mucus. Hard as my life has been, this past year has been the hardest.

When Ryan passed, yes that was hard, almost unbearable…but I was carried. I was assured. I had control over where my life was going to go. But now, it seems that nothing is in my hands.

Digression: I’ve now watched the curser blink at the end of the last sentence for 10 minutes. Is that true? Do I not have control over anything anymore? That can’t be true. But I’ve been telling myself this for the past 10 months now. I’ve been telling myself this as though it is gospel.

Redirection: I have a problem. When I lost Ryan, I became obsessive about some things. Subconsciously I realized that things happen…life changing, terrible, catastrophic things happen and there is nothing I can do about them. So the things I can control? I’m going to control the hell out of those.

My house? Spotless.

My schooling? Straight A’s only. Perfection, always.

My relationship? Gorgeous. Honest. Unconditional.

And then I married Doug. I moved to Indiana. And I was ready to be the happiest I ever had. I was ready to take this blended family and make us an oasis of comfort and joy.

But creating an oasis for 6 teenagers and 3 young adults is impossible. They don’t need me, or at the very least they would never admit so. Drama. Sadness. Depression. Worry.  They don’t experience things logically, and they were floundering through their own hell…some suffering from an unamicable divorce, and some from the surprise death of their father…and disease…

I couldn’t fix those things.

And I felt like a failure.

I’m a mother, I’m supposed to make things better.

Control my surroundings.



Everything seemed out of my hands.

But the house. The house was in my hands.

So I cleaned. I mopped, sometimes two or three times a day. Loads of laundry every day. I made dinners, and cried when they weren’t hungry to eat them. Do they not know that this is the only way left for me to show them love? Hours of cooking only for them to shrug and say, “I’m good.”

I broke.

I didn’t want to feel anymore. I remember saying that over and over to Doug, “I just don’t want to care.”

I was completely helpless living in a body that demanded perfection of me.


It was unbearable.

So I went to the doctor and did what I swore I’d never do: I asked for help in the form of a pill.

“I just want to stop caring.”

And the pills helped a little bit. They took the edge off my failure. But the failure remained nonetheless.

As did the chaos of Doug’s ex-wife.

The tornados of her wrath came with no warning, and left me suffering from severe anxiety, terrified of the next weather pattern, angry for not being stronger, and most importantly…the feeling of failure.

I tortured myself because I couldn’t fix problems that I didn’t create in the first place.

To be honest, I still do.

And I know that isn’t logical. I know that if I do my best it is enough.

I know these things.

I just don’t feel them anymore.

I’ve trained my body to listen to the worry, to the failure. It’s second nature for me to be angry now.

Who am I?

I’ve never thought of myself as an angry person.

But I’m angry now. Angry that I have turned into who I am. Angry that hope has gone to the wayside. Angry that all it seems I can do is endure.

Enduring is a prison. I don’t want to endure. I want to LIVE!

I want to live.

I want to live.

I am pounding at the walls of my prison. I am finally fighting back. I’ve stopped taking those pills, the withdrawal has been brutal. But, I need to feel. I need to feel to fight.

I need to accept that my best is good enough.

I need to stop beating myself up. My incessant punching has swollen my eyes shut and distorted my view of the world.

I used to walk out of the house and cry at the beauty of what God has created for us.

I want that Meri back.

I’m standing up and fighting for her again. It hurts to get up though. I’ve been punching myself for so long, I fear I’ve made permanent scars. Hopefully therapy will fade them a bit.

This blog is my first real step to healing. I need my friends, I need my family. I need my community.

I need to get better.

I deserve better than this prison.

My husband deserves a wife that doesn’t bow to the PTSD of past catastrophes.

My children deserve a mother or a step-mother who instead of tears in her eyes, has hope.


It’s been so long.

“Hope, my old friend. There you are.”

“Come lay with me."

"We need to talk.”


  1. Sweet Meri, I love you. The walls of my prison seem short in comparison to all you have walked through, but I can still feel myself in this post. Enduring IS a prison. It's robotic/non living. I have so many shortcomings... I never had those "before". I've taken to avoiding and angry may not describe it. I miss blogging... I was a better, happier me when I did. I hope that you continue to write. You NEED it. Anything that will help you stand up and fight your way back to your happy place. You are SO loved, Meri, Let that love give you hope.

  2. Keli Plansinis (Keli Dawn)August 26, 2016 at 7:26 AM

    You may feel alone my friend, but you are not alone. Not by a long shot. Clawing out of a hole so deep is exhausting for one already exhausted from being trapped in the hole to begin with. Stronger days will enable a bigger climb, closer to the way out and the not so strong days will serve as rest needed for future climbs. Both have value. I am crying for you. The despair can be suffocating. And then slow, focused, intentional breathing starts. Breath. Life. One slow deep inhale and exhale at a time. Hugs.

  3. Oh Meri, I feel for you! The Kord has felt it all. He's still there. Try playing uplifting music. Find a new hobby you and Doug can do or just you. Satan is using this to get to you. Fight him. You are stronger than you know and we are all here for you. You're in my prayers!!!!!!

  4. Meri. Thank you. Your words filled my heart and held my hand this day. Every. One.
    I too feel a shell of me. Empty. The light, the joy, the love, has seeped sneakedly from my soul over the past year. Why here? Why now? Why ever? Come back. Please just come back...
    The internal knowing of who and what we are, the love to give, the work to do, the hearts to fill and laughs to tell, we know they are there. But the external efforts of these things, I cannot seem to deliver. Or is the opposite? I don't even know anymore.
    Like a weight too heavy and a wall too high, I too am stuck. I cannot find my way over, around, through or under. Where is the light? The joy? The smiles and happy? Even the corner table with a best friend and gentle conversation, I cannot feel anymore. There is always something in the background, making noise, drowning out the noise, pouring in anxiety so full, there is no room, no capacity for the happy. Where did it go? Who is this life theif?
    And the water. Those tears that take over, from nowhere. I did not know my eyes were big enough to cradle so many, my cheeks now seemingly a carved stream for them to fall perfectly off my face. Where do they come from? Real ones. Big ones. The Crocodile kind. Drops and drops. They feel so comforting even in the knowing they should not be there.
    And those pills. I too do not want them. I want ME! I want to feel who I was, who I know I am. The wife, the best friend, the daughter and want to be mother. I'm escaping those things unexplainably.
    I see the eyes of the people I'm leaving empty and abandoned from the joy they once looked at me with. More tears come. I don't know how to say sorry, take back words or the scars I left. On both their hearts and mine.
    It has to happen Meri. The light will come back, the heavy becoming light and the wall turned into a path named journey. This is my wish for us. For everyone who is stuck. And for now, while yes stuck rhymes with suck, it is temporary. It has to be.
    May your tears fall more lightly as light fills your shell. And as those sweet wet droplets do land on your pages as you go, let them. Examine the smudges the make and the shapes that they take. Love them, thank them and watch as they run dry into hope.
    So many hugs. Thanks for holding my hand this morning. Cynthia

  5. I didn't know. I mean how or why would I know. It is easy to think that others lives are perfect and wonderful and joyful especially in the world of social media where the 'strong' people don't share the ugly imperfections or difficult times of our lives. I'm sorry. Sometimes I think even when we are surrounded by blessings the difficult times are easier to see and you've endured some tragic times. I love you. You are loved by all those who know you and all the stars above. It took a lot of courage to ask for medication, it takes a lot of courage to admit that plan A didn't work and it's time to try plan B. It takes a lot of courage to allow all the feeling to be felt again. But aside from love I think courage is what you have the most of. I'm sorry again for all your troubles and trials now and before. You will come out the other side stronger - you don't know how not to. Letting others help you is just another sign of strength. I love you - all of you.

  6. Oh Meri, keep at it! You've been through so much, but there is so much good left in the world (and your world). Do whatever you need to do to find yourself again, whether that means medication, therapy, or whatever. You will not only pull through, you will thrive because that's what you do! Love and hug!

  7. Your honesty is inspiring and your soul beautiful.

  8. Oh Meri! You are not alone -- just braver than most and able to say how you feel no matter what. That takes real strength. I am in a similar pattern myself and find that I try to compensate for how I feel by being as perfect as I can where I can....and then end up feeling even worse. The truth is we ARE the best US we can be. Always. Sometimes that is different depending on where we are in life and what we are dealing with. It changes. We change. Happiness is letting go of the life we thought we were going to live and accepting the one with which we do live. They are often vastly different. We all struggle with that. It is a work in progress. Just being YOU - any version of you - you are an inspiration to many. ❤️

  9. A healing balm to an aching heart-
    Psalms 23
    The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures.
    He leads me beside still waters.
    He restores my soul.
    He leads me in paths of righteousness
    for his name's sake.
    Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.
    You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
    you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
    Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
    and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD

  10. Meri, you have been through more than most of us could ever imagine but I do want you to know that you are not alone in your fight to feel like yourself again. Almost all of us have our issues (mine certainly have no comparison to yours) and we too need help every once in awhile and you should never be ashamed of it. I have issues with weight as well, woke up about a year ago when I looked in a mirror and wondered who that almost 300 pound woman was staring back at me and have been working on it every day since. I have issues that torment me every day from things that happened as a kid to a young adult, things from yesterday, today, and the things that I know I will have tomorrow as well. Diabetes is a big kick in the booty as well. There are days when I feel like I've been kicked in the gut all over again with that diagnosis of T1D in my then 6 year old. I see a counselor regularly and it helps. I guess my point is, you don't have to be perfect, you just have to be you. I realized a few years ago that nobody is perfect, we can just be who we are at the moment. We can try every day to be a better person and remember that the things that happened yesterday or even years ago have made us the person we are today and we should never regret that, we can only move forward. Get up every day as if it's a fresh start. Reach out for a hand to hold when you need it. Cry if you need to, and be angry when you need to as well. It's okay. You are not weak and you certainly should not be ashamed of anything. If anything, you are strong for sharing this with people because there are people who need to hear that they're not alone, that these emotions are normal for everyone. Whatever happens today, just remember when you wake up tomorrow, it's a new day and a fresh start to try again. Thank you for sharing and reminding me that we are all human, we all have issues, and it's perfectly okay.

  11. We've never met. But I feel like you are a old friend that has gotten me through some tough times with my two T1D kids. I struggle has well with wanting to be perfect at eveything,perfect clean house, good neighbor, friend, spouse, mother and helping my T1D kids have perfect blood sugars. It tears you down when we put high expectations on ourselves. I'm learning it's ok not be perfect. All we have to do is try our best, that's all we are asked to do. Our Father in heaven blesses us even when we fall short. Hang in there Merri, Teri

  12. Meri, sometimes we need to scream out and let the universe know that we are tired of fighting and being so strong! The hardest thing to do is admit that you are struggling. Especially someone who has gone through what you have endured these past few years, and how strong for everyone else you have been. You have been the "rock" and you dutifully carried the burden of everything. This can only go on for so long before you lose yourself.

    This inner voice is trying to tell you that it's time for you to take care of yourself!! Take the time to come back to "you". Breathe. Find a place of stillness and let your self just be there.

    You are an amazing and loving person who is strong! You are the "perfect" person to your boys, your husband and his children always. You just need to see it yourself. You are perfect because of the love you have for them, not what you do for them.

    Not to mention how much we all love you!!!

  13. Hugs and prayers.

  14. I hear you, Meri. I too have felt those depths the last 2 years. For me it was losing that mothering role. No longer needed, but always wanted. What helped me most was releasing that almighty control I had. It was like a vice grip on my life. No less helped by trying to manage and control an uncontrollable condition. I salute your bravery and honesty in sharing your struggle. I fear it comes to more of us than imagined at this stage in our lives. xxxx

  15. I tortured myself because I couldn’t fix problems that I didn’t create in the first place. Wonderful line! I SO Feel your pain. Crazy Exes are not for the faint of heart. Be strong and allow yourself to relax a little.

  16. The strength you possess in the core of your soul astounds me, sweet Meri. Cheering you on always. Xoxo

  17. Love and miss you so much Meri. You're in my thoughts so much and will be in my prayers too. xoxoxo

  18. Meri you are amazing!! Your words felt like the ones I've been trying to say. You are in my thoughts and prayers xoxo!

  19. Oh, Meri - you are amazing! And despite you not saying it, depression, is rough! I have battled with the blue monster for years and years. The one thing that has helped me far more than any pill I ever took (those actually were not good for me!) has been meditation. I know in the bible they talk about prayer and the power of it, but I know in my bones that meditation and prayer are very similar. They are being where you are at and accepting what is and hoping for the best that can be in your future. They are feeling what you feel, knowing that those feelings aren't you - you are so much more. I hope you know that it will be okay, you can be okay and moving through all this with the knowledge that just getting up and taking the time to be honest and gentle with yourself is sometimes all we can do. Take care and know you are thought of here in the PNW.

  20. Big hugs of understanding from Cincinnati! Loss, transition, navigating a hard new relationship and taking care of everyone else has to be a giant drain. It takes a strong woman to ask for help. It takes a stronger woman to share truth of a life that's hard. I'm so glad you have Doug's love and support holding you up. Love to you.


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