How to be DONE with your Losing Season

Lifestyle, Motherhood

A friend of mine recently posted a beautiful photo where she was glowing! As soon as I saw the picture of her, before ever reading the caption, I started smiling. She’s someone I can relate to and someone that I am so happy to see find her voice. The caption said something along the lines of “Stop being jealous of people in their winning season. You never know what they lost in their losing season.” Wow, did that hit me hard!

In a little over a year I lost my job, my best friend, my sense of security, my marriage, my grandfather, my house…anyway you get the point. I had a pretty rough losing season. I’m in the process of finding a new therapist after moving across the country and I’m learning to cope with my trauma in healthy ways.

I promised myself a little over a year ago that I’d never lose my voice again. I’d never refrain from speaking my truth. I’ll admit, I didn’t always go about things the right way. PTSD is something that I will live with for the rest of my life. I’ve recently struggled to remember so much. I’ve researched what PTSD does to the brain and as someone who used to remember every tiny little detail…I can’t put into words how much it hurts to watch videos of my children over and over again to try and replace those hard memories with something positive. This isn’t a poor pitiful Ashlee post by the way. It’s just so if anyone else finds themselves struggling…you know you are not alone.

When I started making Tiktok videos a little over a year ago, I had no idea that people would actually follow me. I just wanted a connection. I wanted to be a part of something again. Don’t we all? At work, I was struggling to come to terms with my depression and PTSD. I was doing everything I possibly could to hold on to the life that I had, no matter how flawed it may have been.

I would have never left. It didn’t matter how worthless I felt. It didn’t matter how toxic the work environment was. It didn’t matter how many times the police were called. In the end, I had to realize that It really didn’t matter who believed me or believed in me because I knew the truth. It has it’s way of coming full circle, but I’m not the best at being patient…or at least I wasn’t until I had to be.

I moved across the country with my four girls and I discovered that no matter what I was told in the past, I wanted to stay in the present. I had to remain in reality for my girls. I had to continue to fight for them but I had to fight for myself first. After spending months wanting to unlive, I forced myself to get outside. When I did, I felt something that I hadn’t felt in a long time and honestly thought I’d never experience again…excitement. I felt the warmth of the sun and I heard my little baby’s feet waddling/running (idk what it is, but it’s cute). I let my kids get extra snacks at the grocery store and I realized that I have to be the one to teach them that life doesn’t have to be so complex all the time. Sometimes we are going to go to a new park completely put together and some days we are just going to play in the backyard looking a hot mess still in PJs. But you know what? They’ll take either day as long as I’m happy.

When I left the grocery store, for a brief moment I remember thinking that all this STUFF, the heavy stuff, the stuff that keeps me up at 1am writing this blog post to keep from shutting down again…will always be with me. And it will. There’s no denying that. But so will the lessons I’ve learned, so will the people I’ve met and the places I’ve gone along the way. Growth is messy and healing isn’t easy or pain free. To be done with your losing season, you have to come to terms with the fact that your life will never be the same again, and that’s okay. It’s not supposed to be. If you’re challenging yourself every day and you know that you’re doing the best you possibly can…you will find your people.

I used to believe that we only had one soulmate and you should stay with that person until the end of time no matter what. I still have a hard time letting go of toxic. I had a hard time providing myself closure when someone shut the door on the opportunity of a clean break. I believe that we outgrow people. I believe that things happen to us and some of us can’t help but feel every little sting. And I couldn’t heal in the same place that broke me. I couldn’t drive by the same gas station or pull up in the driveway of the place where I lost my sense of security and who I was. Moving and changing my environment was hard, but it’s hard either way. I just had to choose a path and stick with it. And every day it gets a little easier. Sometimes I feel the sting, but I know that even though that feeling can be painful and STRONG, I KNOW that I’m stronger. I just finally see it now.

You are stronger than the thing that broke you. Don’t stop. Believe in you.

Follow me on Tiktok @ashleelemay where I share my chaotic motherhood journey! Let’s connect.

Two Year Old in Tulip Town

For collabs: ashleelemay@gmail.com

I Moved across the Country when Life Got Boring

Motherhood

I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t happy with my job. I wasn’t happy in my marriage. I no longer felt secure in my home and I could no longer tell my kids that everything would be okay with a sparkle in my eyes.

See, I used to carry the desire for adventure in my back pocket. I wanted to see the world, do something important…I wanted to help people and nothing was going to stop me. Steve Jobs once said that the people who believe they will change the world are the ones that actually do…or something like that. I’m typing this in notes on my iPhone while traveling surrounded by nothing but clouds. Honestly, it’s the only place that I find peaceful nowadays.

Life is funny like that…once your worst nightmare happens in your safe place, everything else is fair game. I lost my fear of flying or being bit by a shark. Oh yeah, about that…I met a guy on my travel assignment that survived a shark attack. Maybe it was then that I realized I’m my only limit. I learned that I invested way too much of my energy into caring what others thought about me. I don’t do that anymore. We’ve all had our own shark bites. We all deal with trauma in our own way and I’m still learning to deal with mine. What I do know is that I no longer expect people to understand. As a matter of fact, I hardly have expectations anymore. Life is better that way.

I’m no longer bitter. I no longer hold resentment towards the people who treated me unfairly. No matter how much I wanted them to be, they weren’t my people. I’m special. So are you. I care. Too much. And I’ve learned to love that about myself. I feel this way when I fly. Who are you without any labels? I don’t want to know if you’re a mother, what you do for a living, or what kind of car you drive.

Who ARE Y O U? Maybe that’s why flying does this to me…because I’m above all the pain, the labels, the responsibilities. I have time to think about who I am and what I want out of life without all the other distractions. I’m a better person when I take the time to reset. Aren’t we all? Give yourself some grace…some time. And realize that time doesn’t heal all wounds. Learn that it’s okay to be a little broken. But put yourself back together in a way that matters. PTSD and trauma never completely go away, but I’ll be damned if I let it destroy me. I will rise above it. I’ll fly in the clouds as many times as it takes without offering an apology to anyone for how I choose to reconfigure the broken parts of me. I’ll swim in the middle of the ocean in a country I’ve never been, hike a mountain in a new state, and say hi to a stranger even though it makes me uncomfortable. Because being comfortable is boring anyway and I want to feel alive again.