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pouring my heart out

pouring my heart out

Showering has become an issue again. I just cannot force myself to do it regularly. It’s strange how things that were such a high priority once upon a time have become such an unbearable chore. For a year, I wrote and wrote and wrote. I wrote about my feelings, my fears, my memories. I wrote about the loss, the loneliness, the grief and guilt and gut wrenching pain. Literally. There was a pain in my gut I had never felt, a real and very physical pain. I wrote about life after death, and shared how I made a choice (almost) every day to get out of bed and function. I wrote about the journey one takes after losing their child, I wrote about the lack of support from my family, the amazing kindness from strangers, and the insane and unpredictable fears I had never before experienced.

I wrote my heart out.

Then a moment came when I felt like I had nothing left to say. I felt like a broken record. I felt that if I wrote one more word about my pain and grief and loss that I would just vomit.  Instead, I just drank and ate and watched TV. Months passed and I was drinking and eating and watching TV. Netflix was good for a while… I can binge with the best. Then Amazon Prime filled the gap. Then wine and more wine and some wine and new wine and more wine. Oh, let’s not forget about Pop Chips. I ordered them in bulk and ate a bag a night. The big, family sized bag designed for people who have families or people who have nothing left but wine and misery. It’s a perfect product for both. I tried every flavor and by ‘tried’ I mean ‘gorged on’ every flavor. My fave is plain. Go figure.

I ate and drank my heart out.

I survived the pouring out and I survived the pouring in. I poured out my feelings until I felt so empty that I poured anything and everything into my mouth. My tax guy gave me some advice once… He said to write less about the wine. I love him. It was probably very sound advice but I cannot possibly take it. If I am anything in this blog, it is authentic. If I say anything about my journey, it will be the truth. I am super flawed and ill-equipped to be walking down this road and I wish like crazy I was back in my old life, posting inane comments on Facebook followed by the hashtag ILML (I Love My Life). I really loved that life. I was happy. I felt free. I loved my son and he loved me. I created a great thing for us both and I miss it every single minute of every single day. But I am not there and that life is over. I am here and I will write about the real stuff, every ugly step of the way.

My heart is out. It’s really out.

I sat down today, dusted off the laptop, and started to cry. I had no idea what to write about. I quit the wine. It wasn’t that therapeutic anyway and it made me get super fat in a very short amount of time. I quit the Pop Chips too… they did me no favors although I think I will love them forever. I am still consuming more than my fair share of TV but even that is on the decline. Instead, it’s walks with my lil pup, Loosie, and water by the gallon. It doesn’t matter what I stuff into my face to dull my emotions, the huge hole is still there and will never be filled.  I might as well busy myself with things that don’t widen the load. My load.

So what then? What do I write about when I am out of words? When nothing helps? When the future seems bleak and the pain is still so very strong… what on earth is there to say?

I cried as I plugged in my laptop – it was super dead because I haven’t even touched it in weeks. I cried as it powered on and I went to the bathroom. I cried as I washed my hands. I cried as I sat back down. And then I laughed at myself. Yep. I laughed at myself because I am just such a little wreck and yet I am more together than I have ever been. Is that possible? I am learning about myself every single day. I still break, and get all mushy and teary-eyed and soft, but I am strong and clear and aware. And un-showered.

The aMasongrace project began from a position of fear. I was afraid to let Mason go, afraid that his life wouldn’t be remembered, his kind heart and funny jokes would disappear. I wanted to make sure this never happened to another family. I was afraid that other mothers would experience what I did, and I couldn’t bear that thought. I wanted to end suicides altogether. I wanted to make sure that every single person I came into contact with felt loved, felt valued, and realized that they belonged. I wanted to ensure that when faced with a moment of trouble or stress or fear, our kids have enough hope drilled into them that they make the choice to stay.

Guess what is happening? The aMasongrace project is being invited into various high schools and youth groups to start the conversation about self-harm and suicide. The conversation that no one wants to have. Students are paying attention and speaking up and getting involved. One student likened the aMg project to another project called ‘Be Kind’ but said that aMg is ‘something with teeth. It is next level shiz we can connect with.’ WOW!

I am super excited that the ripple effect has begun and word is getting out. It’s just me… a mom who lost her kid. I don’t know what I will talk about when I visit these schools and churches. It isn’t written out or pre-packaged. My only agenda is to share a message of truth, hope, and love with anyone who will listen. I want to bring focus to the 1 in 5 suicide deaths that have no warning signs. Snap decisions are my focus. I want every student who hears me speak or reads my words or sees me post on Twitter or Instagram or Facebook to know that they matter. Moments Pass.  Bad and good moments are replaced with more moments. We do get through it, and we can survive. If someone hears they don’t matter, I want my voice to pop into their heads with a resounding “Yes You Do!”

I’m going to continue to cry my heart out. I’ve accepted that this is just part of the deal. I am also going to continue to write my heart out, speak my heart out, and live my heart out. As my dear friend, Daisy, tells me over and over again, there are a lot of biscuits out there that need loving. (She always manages to hold my attention when she uses carb-loaded analogies!) I have a hole in my heart, in my life, and I intend to fill it with Biscuits. Young people, old people, hurting people… I want to love you and tell you how very special you are. The only thing you have to do in response is believe.

Does it take tragedy to get to this place of wanting to save the world one biscuit at a time? Does it take having your heart pulverized to let the world in and love a little harder? I really don’t know. Gosh, I hope not. It certainly is a rough road to travel. I hope we can spare each other the pain and heartache by sharing our stories and learning from each other along the way. Will the message of the aMasongrace project make a difference? Will it reach anyone? Some will listen. Some will choose differently. Some hearts will melt and lives will be changed.

For them, I’ll pour my heart out.

aMg photo

  • PETE
    Posted at 22:31h, 15 February Reply

    Tax guy here, read the comment about the wine, glad you found water. We set up the nonprofit for this reason, for YOU to make a difference. I think you are at that point. It is time to hit the road and save a child.

    I know you can do it, and I am proud of you.

    • Daisy Rain Martin
      Posted at 13:56h, 25 February Reply

      I’m proud of you too, Holly!

      • its just me
        Posted at 20:25h, 25 February Reply

        thank you for your ongoing encouragement, daisycakes

    • its just me
      Posted at 20:36h, 25 February Reply

      tax guy!!!!!!!!!!! hahaha your comment made me laugh out loud! i love that you read this and commented. you have always been a sounding board for my crazy career ideas and now, as i step into the craziest role of all, you are encouraging me and helping me to believe i can do this. i truly appreciate the kindness you have shown me during this process. i’ll call you soon… it’s that time again, isn’t it? xoxox

  • Patti
    Posted at 00:03h, 16 February Reply

    You write from your heart and that’s how you’ll share your message to others – from the heart. You’ll touch and change lives with your heartfelt and honest words. They will hear you.

    • its just me
      Posted at 20:33h, 25 February Reply

      thanks patti – i hope so! xoxoxox

  • Sarah Somewhere
    Posted at 01:31h, 16 February Reply

    Yes, it has and it will!!!! A-mase-ing Grace cannot do anything BUT change the world, one biscuit (or Pop Chip) at a time, and I firmly believe, in my heart of hearts, that Mason is with you every step of the way xxx

    • its just me
      Posted at 20:32h, 25 February Reply

      i know you believe that and i am so thankful for your ongoing, consistent, unfailing support. you cheer me on and on and on. thank you, sister-friend.

  • Nancy Menssen
    Posted at 02:16h, 16 February Reply

    As I finished reading your message today, I had tears in my eyes, and still do, as I write this. Holly, God is using you and your pain to reach others. You are a very brave woman. Your honesty about your feelings makes you a more credible example of a woman who has “been there”, and who truly cares about others, trying to save others from taking the same path Mason took. I am praying that your strength will keep getting even stronger as time goes by.

    • its just me
      Posted at 20:30h, 25 February Reply

      thank you for those prayers, nancy. i need every single one of them. thanks for reading and commenting. you always find ways to be encouraging. i love that about you.

  • Regina Murphy
    Posted at 07:00h, 16 February Reply

    Believe me Holly, there will come a time when you stop resisting and begin accepting. Accepting is the beginning of freedom. On this day you will know that Mason is helping you with your mission and closer to you than ever before. There is no normal timeframe for that and for some acceptance will never come and suffering will never end, but it is possible and I believe you will wake up one day without that pain in your stomach and crying will not be a daily or weekly event. Birthdays and holidays and anniversaries are still rough for me but I choose that.

    • its just me
      Posted at 20:29h, 25 February Reply

      i am trusting your words and agreeing with you that there is no ‘normal’ time frame. thank you for being a source of wisdom and encouragement.

  • Brandi
    Posted at 13:47h, 16 February Reply

    Yes! Absolutely, you are being heard. I’m listening. I believe my young son is at some type of future risk and your blog helps me to take an extra minute to explain things calmly, to repeat myself for the 100th time – without anger, to say “I love you no matter what” and really try to mean it. Thank you for pouring your heart out – I hope it helps me not lose mine.

    • its just me
      Posted at 20:28h, 25 February Reply

      brandi, yes!!!! love him up, give him extra! thank you for reading and commenting.

  • Daisy Rain Martin
    Posted at 14:40h, 16 February Reply

    I’m with you all the way, baby! Every day. One biscuit at a time…

  • Karrah
    Posted at 03:16h, 17 February Reply

    aMasongrace has changed many people already!! You have changed so many people already!!…all over the world! You are an incredible person, Holly! Mason has an aMasing mom and you will continue to really live, for the both of you! I can’t say anything about the road you are traveling, but there are a lot of people supporting you in many ways along the way. Love you!! if you question how you are impacting the world, just remember…. Mason Mondays and #youmatter

    • its just me
      Posted at 20:26h, 25 February Reply

      thanks karrah! you are right… this project has a lot of support. i am grateful. see you at the color run, mama!

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