special brand of crazy.

over the last week, i’ve had several moments of hearing exactly what i needed to hear at exactly the time i needed to hear it. i figured if these nuggets helped me, then they’d probably help some of you, too.

p.s. once written, i knew i could make these anecdotes flow better than this, but now it’s requiring too much juice in my brain to figure it out so just go with it.

* * * * * * * * * *

i learned last week that my oldest childhood friend is expecting twins.

she got married…let’s see…pre-sober…so…in 2005?…and is expecting her first child(ren) next summer.

she may not remember this, and i’m certainly not going to remind her (i’ll just, you know…tell you all instead…), but she told me once that they didn’t really want to have children, which i get. i myself go back and forth on the matter, which is…well, since, you know…IT DOESN’T MATTER RIGHT NOW, ANYWAY.

but it gave me hope to know that one can change her mind even on a decision as big as having babies.

it’s never too late to make a different choice.

* * * * * * * * * *

and while i’m indifferent about the matter of growing people inside my body who would be little versions of my own heart running around in the world and calling me mom, my bff-karen told me the other day that she pictures my 3-4 {future} rambunctious children with dark, curly hair and i’m barefoot in the kitchen laughing at a carton of broken eggs on the floor.

my children, whom i can’t recall ever picturing myself.

(although i’m sure she was spot on about the broken eggs because. well.)

sometimes it takes someone else sharing vision for a piece of your life before you have one of your own.

(and in mine, i’m skinny, too.)

* * * * * * * * * *

i may or may not have told a small, little, tiny white lie a few days ago to get out of a commitment, one that i should have just said ‘no’ to when i was first approached for various and sundry reasons which, if i were trying to justify myself, i’d tell you that piece of the story and you’d understand. but the fact of the matter is, i wasn’t in my right mind when i committed myself but when you’re a pleaser and, well, a martyr, saying ‘no’ doesn’t come so naturally.

so i said ‘yes’.

and then i lied about saying ‘no’.

my co-spouse said, ‘we’ve all done that before’.

my sister said, ‘well, you did need a mental health day’.

and it doesn’t take away from the part that i wasn’t truthful but it sure was a relief to know that i’m not the only one who has done that before and that mental health days are easily sick days.

y’all, i know i was wrong. i judge myself. i was planning to delete this story because, well, i like letting you…ahem…think i’m…well…a perfect christian. the truth is, i am actually a very bad christian, like anne lamott says. and if you’re only as sick as your secrets, then i’m not doing anyone any favors by not sharing it, least of all myself. plus, if it helped me to hear it, it might help someone else.  

* * * * * * * * * *

my bff-karen and i somehow ended up in a conversation the other night about relationships. i told her that my last three major relationships (and each one before those) were so completely dysfunctional, codependent and unhealthy that i wouldn’t recognize a healthy one if it were staring at me in the face.

she disagreed with me because, yes, i would. especially because it’s now been over two years since i’ve seriously dated anyone and i know better because i’m better. changed. old(er).

sometimes all it takes is one word from a soul-sister of the heart to dispel a lie with truth when we forget who we are.

she also pointed out that, while our healthiest relationships should be easy and drama-free, it’s easy to mistake health for boredom. don’t know if that’s a word for someone or not the way it was for me.

* * * * * * * * * *

i asked my cousin to have lunch with me the day after big myra died because i thought i was slightly traumatized by the night’s events. i’ve been with folks just after they died, but never with someone while they actually died, and i have most assuredly never been The Only Person Who Was With Someone As They Died.

so, i needed to process that.

my nerves were put back together again when my very smart and wise clergy-cousin said, this was but one event of many, many special ones you have had with her in your life, especially over these last few months. in an instant, the pendulum swung back to center and i gained perspective.

our relationships do not culminate in one major event, for better or worse. those most precious to us are defined by moments and milestones, both heart and hard conversations, and special glances and sweet touches along the way.

also, perspectives can change in an instant when shared with the right person.

* * * * * * * * * *

after it happened, i realize now i was in such shock that it took what felt like 30 minutes to tell the story to her daughters of how big myra died which, really, was very uneventful and isn’t a long story to tell at all.

by the time i repeated it to another daughter, my sweet sister-friend who i recruited as another of her caregivers and is also a nurse was then present.

she said, you did all the right things.

because sometimes all you need to hear is you did everything right, even on days when it seems like  you didn’t.

* * * * * * * * * *

jane lynch was on live with kelly on friday (regis retired, you know). she was talking about her new book happy accidents (which, incidentally, i am neither pushing nor promoting, neither am i not pushing or promoting it – i haven’t read it and i’m not getting anything for mentioning it). i don’t know who she is or what she stands for except that she plays sue sylvester on glee, which is neither here nor there, because i really haven’t gotten into that show not for any reason at all other than i just haven’t.


she said in passing she was intentional not to ‘take anyone else’s inventory’ in her book, which is a practice i learned early in my recovery as it is the fourth step: to take a searching and fearless moral inventory of one’s self.

not someone else’s self, just my own.

but i forget that part sometimes and i was thankful for the reminder. that, on a daily basis, it is my responsibility to be honest and truthful with myself and with others about myself. it is not, however, my responsibility to do that for anyone else no matter how justified i feel in doing so. that’s when resentments form and i get arrogant in my ways and that is a dangerous place for anyone to be.

* * * * * * * * * *

speaking of not taking anyone else’s inventory, i hesitate to tell this story, too, because it could sound like that’s what i’m doing. if anything, i’m just sharing my own brand of crazy.

my very…ahem“special” dog was explicitly uninvited to my parents’ beach condo for thanksgiving weekend; however, as i just lost a job last week, i couldn’t afford alternate plans for her.

but i cannot tell you that my feelings weren’t incredibly hurt by what was my mom and stepdad’s right to make this decision. and while my dog does require special attention, which i am used to giving after 7 almost 8 years, my sister’s family-dog was not uninvited to come.

as in, there is not a general policy on the matter, just as it relates to my dog.

even though they said it wasn’t personal, it felt very personal to me. as if they were rejecting my very, extremely, incredibly sweet but ill-mannered and hyperactive child who can’t be tamed.

so i reluctantly drove down to the beach on thanksgiving day to be with my family at my granddad’s home, resolving the whole way that i would be kind and loving as i could be and that i would turn around and leave if i just couldn’t get over myself.

zella came along for the ride and would have been content to stay in the car all day. but when i got there and saw my about seven of my cousins’ dogs, i let her spend the day outside with them.

and do you know what happened?

mine was The Only Dog Who Did Not Get Into Trouble All Day Long.

just, you knowFOR THE RECORD.

my co-spouses said their feelings would have been hurt, too, and they understood why i didn’t want to go. they also said my dog is welcome in their home any time.

some days all i need is for my closest friends to validate my crazy. (other days, i need to be called out.)

some days a girl and her dog just need to be accepted. (other days, they both need to be sent home.)

also, my dog is The Most Clever Dog In The World. clearly.

* * * * * * * * * *

my blog-friends katie & tony got married about 2 months ago. if we lived in the same town, we would totally live on the same cul de sac. i adore them, both separately and as a couple.

i really love reading about their journey and all they’re learning about marriage, probably because i recognize myself in their story. of all my married friends IRL (and there are many; in fact, most are), i probably relate most to katie’s belief systems and broken (and redeemed) path that led her to tony, whose integrity i admire tremendously.

katie’s thoughts about settling down have been sitting on me since i read them the other day. i think because i didn’t know her points are what i have falsely believed about marriage.

as much as i needed to be told i was wrong, i also needed to know i wasn’t the only one.

i woke up this morning thinking the one thing i’d add to her list also is the lie about ‘my life began the day i married…’ because…WHAT.

* * * * * * * * * *

i was catching up with katy’s blog (different katy. see? names are spelled differently. that’s how you can tell.) this morning and especially loved her most recent one, featuring special pins she’s recently found on pinterest. i was especially encouraged by some of them and thought you would be, too.

* * * * * * * * * *

and in katy’s reflections (same katy) about the women of faith conference, i was struck by something henry cloud said:

Happy people are givers—BUT there are some of you who have been giving and giving and you’re held captive by controlling people and you’re being stolen from these people who aren’t facing their issues.

i want to be a giver, don’t you? and i want to be someone who recognizes her issues so that i don’t rob other people of their own happiness. (again with the inventory.)

lord, help my happy.

and help me get away from any thieves.

* * * * * * * * * *

last week i tweeted about not being able to sleep and how i was looking forward to being awesome the next day.

catherine said, you will be awesome because you are awesome.

sometimes you just need to hear that you’re awesome.

* * * * * * * * * *

lastly, my special friend alece has said to me a couple of times over the last few weeks, i  believe in you big time.

doesn’t it do you a world of good to hear that? me too.

* * * * * * * * * *


are awesome.

and i believe in you BIG time.

and you are definitely



not the only one.


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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. HopefulLeigh
    Nov 28, 2011 @ 11:18:58

    There’s so much that I love about this post. But these are the sentences that stood out the most to me. They literally leapt off the screen.

    “our relationships do not culminate in one major event, for better or worse. those most precious to us are defined by moments and milestones, both heart and hard conversations, and special glances and sweet touches along the way.

    also, perspectives can change in an instant when shared with the right person.”

    So much to unpack on that one and probably best left for another time. But last night, you definitely helped change my perspective. So thank you again for that, friend.

    Also, I want to get in on this cul-de-sac action. All of our favorite people in the same block!

    • mary kathryn tyson
      Nov 28, 2011 @ 12:56:37

      Oh, friend.

      I want you to know that I could not find the words for all the ways you have helped and encouraged and supported and saved me over the last few months, but mostly over the last week.

      I didn’t leave you out on purpose, but the words wouldn’t come. You need your own post. And then another one after that.

      Love you.


      • HopefulLeigh
        Nov 28, 2011 @ 15:49:56

        You are so silly. I did not feel left out and I don’t need a post to tell me that. I am honored to be there for you, just as you are there for me. We make a good team. But of course, if you wrote one, I would not complain. :)

  2. Melissa
    Nov 28, 2011 @ 11:58:43

    Doesn’t matter their order, I love these cross-sections of your life right now. They are what matter to your heart.

    From my own special brand of crazy: I understand.

    PS: If I was in your neighborhood, I totally would have dog-sat.

  3. Katy
    Nov 29, 2011 @ 17:51:55

    so so much goodness in here. still letting them roll around in my head! the marriage one gets me…hmmm


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