Why Messy Happy?
Shouldn’t I just work harder to clean up the mess?
If I look around at the chaos, why don’t I just do something about it?
What if we just had less stuff, more time, better organizational skills, and more gumption?
The Last Straw
Messy Happy stands for the moment when I broke. My last straw. What some might consider the beginning of the end. I had a mental breakdown last winter that sent me into suicidal thoughts, and a depth of self-loathing that I had never reached before.
I frantically folded laundry through heaving sobs, pretending not to know what was wrong while my husband pleaded with me to make the changes that he felt I needed to make.
The problem with those changes in my mind was the foundational need for a clean slate to rebuild from. I don’t have that clean slate. I wasn’t just folding one load of towels on that night, I was folding months of laundry that had accumulated. I had been intentionally skipping house chores in order to participate in activities with my kids outside of the house, and it had increasingly darkened my relationship with my husband. To some, this would be minor…a call for a date night to reconnect, but for us, this was huge. I had invested all that I could muster in managing the kids but had let go of managing the home, and so it felt like we were split down the middle. Not a family any longer.
I finish my heaving, sobbing meltdown and went to sleep a broken person that night. I thought about being in labor with my youngest and a comment my husband made after the birth was over. He said during transition he had watched me grown more and more wide eyed and he knew that I was looking all around trying to find a way to escape. He was correct too! I vividly remember searching for a window or door that I could just run through and get away from the intensity. I felt exactly that way in this present moment of panic and chaos too.
Honoring My Imperfections
So I tried. I looked everywhere for my escape. I considered throwing away my family and just leaving. I actually thought about driving my van into the river. I willed the Universe to take me, but spare my children, and I eyed my 3 stories high window nightly trying to summon up the courage to do it. I did try counseling, showing up weekly to try to make sense of why I felt so lost, but it didn’t amount to much. I clung to spring being right around the corner, knowing that my darkness is always the worst in winter.
It wasn’t until I heard Brene Brown speak about vulnerability being a strength and not a weakness that something clicked for me inside. I decided during that 25 minutes of listening to her wisdom, that I was not going to victimize myself. I realized that I had lost sight of my joy. That my creativity had been clobbered by the mess, but that the mess was only fleeting and would ebb and flow as it always had before.
I looked around at what my husband considered an overwhelming disaster, but at what I had come to just live with as acceptable and I told myself that there are much more important things in life than these tasks. I said to myself that I understood that maintaining a tidy home was important to my husband, so I was willing to put in extra effort, but I was no longer going to belittle myself for being bad at that job.
Simply put, I challenged myself to find the happy instead of dwell on the messy and through that, this blog was conceived.
I tell my story because I don’t ever want to feel that low again. I reveal these intense truths because I truly believe that through the ashes, rises the creative spirit. I honor that spirit that has been missing for so long by seeking accountability in being better to myself. I ask that you all join with me in putting love, friendship, art, learning, and passion first. I do this for my children because I don’t want them to grow up thinking that the expectations of others are ever more important than loving themselves.
A messy kitchen can be cleaned, but happy children must be cultivated.
If you ever have suicidal thoughts, even if you think you are stronger than those thoughts. Please reach out to someone. You can reach out to me and I will help talk you through it. You don’t have to do this alone.