October 21, 2014

Forget Red. I am seeing Orange!

I grew up in a loud house. I mean LOUD. I'm sure our neighbors could tell you stories. There were 6 of us kids and that was crazy enough. Throw in alcoholism, anger and my parents splitting up when I was 11, at times it was unbearable. I promised myself that my children would have better. I was going to be different. I had two goals, I wasn't going to be a lush and I wasn't going to yell. The drinking was easy to stop. A failing liver and being put on the Liver transplant list brought all that to a stop. And for the record my love of Jack and Coke had nothing to do with my liver disease. But when you are pregnant with a child you already thought you couldnt have and you have just been told that you have a liver disease with no cure other than a full liver transplant, it can be a little challenging to get a grip on your emotions. And over time things didn't get any easier.

I can tell you the exact day it started. I cant remember why I yelled but I yelled and I even threw in a slammed cupboard door for added drama. My sister was living with me at the time and I remember her saying "Ok Dad!" I had snapped. I had scolded my boys before then. Yelled even but that was the first time I did it with anger! I've said it a hundred times by now. Being a mom is not for the weak. Being a mom and living with a chronic illness, well that's just impossible some days. That's when I started really yelling. And I'm not saying my condition is the reason I yell but it plays a very big part if it.  

This last summer was hard on me. August was brutal. And one day when I popped on Facebook, to vent about my horrible day, I saw a post about bloggers needed for the Yell Less Love More Blog Tour. I was randomly and by the grace of God chosen to review it. And it couldn't have come at a better time. I had no idea things could get any worse,but they did. September and October have gotten the best of me. But I can honestly say that without this book it would have been worse.

I had a plan. I was going to follow the plan religiously. Then on day 4, life happened. I yelled. More than once and I started all over. A few more days in I'd yell again. And it wasn't because the book wasn't working. It was just because I am not perfect. I didn't expect to be able to go a whole 30 days with out yelling right off the bat. One of the greatest things I have come away with from this book is that I don't have to be perfect and I'm not alone!  

And now after spending the last few weeks curled up in pain and dealing with mind blowing fatigue I am starting all over. I started taking notes right away. Hell, I've rewritten this post a handful of times. But my brain fog is clearing and I've decided to take this as a chance start the challenge all over and share it here with all of you. I'm would like to post once a week on my progress. I know how unpredictable my life can be so know its going to be brutal. And of course I'm sure there will be more setbacks, but even the smallest changes are steps in the right direction. Baby steps. Little orange rhino footprints leading the way.

Its nice to know I'm not the only one struggling with this. I don't know if its just me being hard on myself but I feel an overwhelming pressure to be better. What I like to call " Pinterest Perfect" That if I don't cook these picture perfect meals and throw these elaborately themed parties and always get along with my boys, then I am somehow not good enough. I tell my boys all the time " You don't have to be perfect! You just have to try!" Its about time I take my own advice.

In the book Sheila talks about triggers and suggested writing them down to keep track of them. How can that help? For me, it was quite sobering. Everything sets me off. I mean really, is an empty toilet paper roll worth hurt feelings? Lets just say I had a lot to work on. Once I wrote them down it was easy to look at a few and tell myself to get over it. Now most days I am able to look at the scattered toys and sigh instead instantly yelling that everything be picked up or its going in the trash. And the other day when there was no toilet paper in my bathroom, thanks David, and I had to run to the boys bathroom only to find an empty roll there too. I laughed and thought to myself, sh!t happens.

In the book you will find some great tips to help you not yell. One of them is to picture yourself on a beach. This is something that I did already. Its easy to do when you grew up on a beach like this. 


There are some other fun ones like repeating "I love you". I do this too, except I usually sing it. Sometimes through my teeth when things are really about to hit the fan. My not so pitch perfect song gets the boys attention quick! In the book, it's all laid out for you in easy to follow along chapters. I bought a new journal to have a separate place to keep track of the daily challenges, triggers and what I did right or wrong. I have to hold myself accountable. I've also spilled the beans to the family. I don't know why I thought I could do this the first time around without them.

I've already made plans to buy the book for a few friends and family members who I know could use it. Starting next week I will be sharing my journey through the challenge. If you haven't don't it yet check out The Orange Rhino and take the challenge today! Because if there is one thing I can promise you its that life is short and if you can yell less and love more it will be so much more worth it all in the end.

Pre order your copy of Yell Less, Love More HERE and join the club. I'm pretty sure yelling in excitement is allowed :) I know I did when I was chosen to receive a free advanced copy to review. Thank You Sheila for this opportunity!

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