After obsessing (I’m being kind here) and beating my brain against the wall, trying to allow myself to get over that stupid lump in my throat and just. fucking. do. it, I manged to, this year, talk myself out of talking myself out of planning a birthday for Amelia.

(did you follow that? I barely did)

I had my reasons. They sounded good rolling around in my head. I had my convictions. I held onto them in my grubby ass hands like a bottle of vodka. I didn’t NEED to throw her a party for her – she’d be happy eating Mouse Pizza while I suffered epileptic fits near the pee-smelling ball pit as we all contracted some mysterious Oregon Trail Disease.

That much is true.

She couldn’t care less if we had a zillion people over or if we went and played SkiBall until my arm threatened mutiny. I know my daughter and that’s the truth (truth time – she’d prolly giggle if my arm did, in fact, fall off)(if my severed stump of an arm did fall off, tho, I’d like to hope it would get me 100,000 points on Skiball).

But I had to do it. It wasn’t for her. Or Alex. Or Ben. Or The Guy on my Couch. Or even The Daver.

It was for me.

It was a way to challenge myself to do something that I was entirely certain I couldn’t do. Something I wanted so badly to do. Something that meant well more than eating sugar until we passed out.

It meant that for one day – one single day – I could tell my demons to fuck off, go back to bed, and leave me be. I could drown my anxiety in my little girl’s smile. I could show the world that while I had been knocked down, I wasn’t planning to be knocked out any time soon. That my demons could threaten me all they want, but they weren’t going to stop me from living.

I did it.

It’s a small victory, for sure. A child’s birthday party isn’t exactly the penultimate of challenges, however, it was one. more. thing. I couldn’t properly do. If PTSD hadn’t taken enough away from me, it tried to take that, too.

I call bullshit.

Since throwing the party, it’s as though a minor weight has been taken off my shoulders. Certainly it’s not the first or last challenge I’ll face, of this I am entirely aware. But it is a challenge. And I took that challenge, stared it in the face, and told it that I was, in fact, going to beat it into submission, if I had to go eye of the motherfucking tiger on it to make it scream UNCLE.

It did.

I’m one step closer to kicking PTSD in the taco.

And that feels fucking great.


How do you battle YOUR demons, Pranksters?

(Also: Band Back Together (which I know many of you are a part of) as well as my own site were nominated for a Bloggie this year. If you’d like to vote for one of the many deserving nominees (myself not included), you can do so here.)

44 thoughts on “The Sweetest Thing

  1. Every small weight that you throw off your shoulders will be worth it! Good for you! Speaking as someone who has social anxiety and finds ways to get out of any style of ‘get-together’ or party, what you did is monumental. Good for you.

  2. Congratulations! The party looked perfect. I love those lollipop trees you made. Every hurdle you jump gets you one step closer to beating PTSD.

  3. I love the thumbs up!

    I battle mine by just yelling BANZAI and plowing through anything that gets in my way. Lately, that’s been a lot, but it takes a lot to bring me down.

    It happens. More often than I’d like, but that doesn’t stop me from fighting back.

    Kudos to you for going through with it. I’m hoping everyone, ESPECIALLY you & the crotch parasite, had a smashing good time. 😀

  4. I battle my demons by writing about them. It always feels like a big “Fuck You!” when I write about one of my multiple illnesses. It’s like telling them that they can’t beat me and they aren’t all there is to me. I’m the boss of them! Well, maybe not, but still…There is so much more to me than my medical problems. I’m a wife, daughter, sister, friend to a lot of people and when they/you look at me, I hope you see more than a diagnosis.

    I’m so excited for your nominations! You are so very deserving of them all. And The Band! Yes!!!

  5. You conquered a huge swath of demon infested land there. Heck, I find any party intimidating, but I know this was a Big Deal for you. And you DID it! Now celebrate! And celebrate again, until you’re done celebrating your victory! And Amelia of course, as if she would care… *shrug*
    Us Pranksters love our Aunt Becky, and cheer every step onwards and upwards.

  6. Go, sister! That’s marvelous. Whew. You rock. First steps are the hardest ones, right? What do I do to fight my demons? For longest time, I guess I denied I had them, while indulging them by not doing things I feared. That sucked. Now therapy, antidepressants, writing and exercise at least get me to acknowledge they’re there. Having my daughter and not wanting to set a sucky example for her are what get me to take baby steps today. Here’s to tomorrow and bigger strides for us all. But for now, hugs and cheers for you.

  7. I myself have many demons that I am battling. Mostly, I get these great ideas about how to better my life for the sake of my children and then I back out of them. I let the anxiety of being a little outside of my comfort zone sneak in and take control. So far already this year (2012 and yes I know it’s only been a month), I have FINALLY got my blog up and running, I’ve been going back to the gym, and have gone back to school full time! I won’t let my demons win this time!!! Good luck with yours. And, as always, you are Full of the Awesome!

  8. nice! good for you!

    listen…those parties at the mouse pizza place? they are brutal! they can try the strongest out there. whew. i avoid those like the plague. 🙂

  9. So very proud of you!!!!!! And I completely get it. I told myself I would plan a party when we got to five years post-surgery with my son. I haven’t done it yet. But it’s also not too late for me to get my act together and do it, right? 🙂

  10. First, you LOOK gorgeous! Glowing like a fresh-faced youngster – rock on!

    I procrastinate the battles, because I’m not much of a fighter. But when I get to the point where I HAVE to do something, I make lists. Little lists of baby-step goals that need to be accomplished first, step-by-steps, …not so much with the “pros and cons” type lists.

    Oh, and when in doubt I call on the ‘rents for advice.

  11. I battle my demons by hiding at home in my pajamas in anxiety and having a beer and reading funny blogs and talking to my friends and generally avoiding the world.

    But then I get sick of it and I get up and whatever it is that scares me I just jump right into it. I get so sick of my anxiety controlling me.

  12. You are all about WIN, AB! That’s the only possible thing you can do with demons — spit in their eyes and walk right past them and pretend there’s no damn way they could possibly bite your ass off! Deep breaths. “Drown my anxiety in my little girl’s smile.” Best. Statement. Ever.

    1. Ha, you said it so well heydave.

      Well done on the BDay party! For facing a fear and making it through with flying colors. And you look Fab Dahhling..

  13. There are often things I try to talk myself out of, and then I talk myself out of talking myself out of it so that made perfect sense to me. Should be scared or proud? 🙂

    I’m glad you faced it and conquered it! You go, girl. Sometimes we just have to force ourselves into things, and I’ve found it usually ends up for the best.

  14. Good for you! It took a lot of support, literature, tears, coffee, hammers, and a shit load of years for me to defeat my PTSD. Every now and then, it wants to come over for a visit, but I’ve learned to say ‘NO!’.

  15. So glad that you were able to kick demon butt! While I was hoping that my site would have gotten in a catagory or 2 (of course it didn’t), I saw 2 of yours did and I was all *happy dance* and of course I’ll be voting for them!!

  16. I think you oughta be a fuckin party planner!! It was so beautiful! You rock Aunt Becky! I try to ignore my demons……then i procrastinate…….forever. Finally, I trick myself into believing i’m doing it for someone else. (Whatever shit it is……if someone needs my help to do it, no problem, I’m all over it….zip…..bam….all done…..So, when it’s some challenge for me, i lie to myself that i’m doing it because someone needs my help). pitiful, i know, but it mostly works for me.

  17. Congratulations! It can be hard to force yourself to do stuff like that. The last children’s party I was threatened with had me so panicked that I ended up sending my kid with her dad instead and spending the day sobbing under all the blankets on my bed. I still wish I had been able to make myself go. :\

  18. I only know the wrong way to battle PTSD and Survivor’s Guilt. I hid in a bottle from the end of my second tour in the Southeast Asian War Games up until I was thirty-eight years old. When I finally stopped drinking I not only had to fight those demons but the wreckage of my postwar life. That took another five+ years and I’m really still sorting through it.

    There is really only one way to do this. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. It helps to pray. I still don’t know if anyone is up there but just the act of prayer lets me know, inside, that the world does not revolve around me. That, my friend, was my big breakthrough.

    You had a victory. Oooh-Rah! Now, on to the next step, one foot, then the other, eventually you will come out the other side. You won’t win every time but the trying will make you stronger, And you WILL win more often than you lose. And every one of these, win or lose, will teach you.

  19. You not only kicked it’s ass honey, you buried it and pissed on it’s grave! Your party was fantabulous! Keep on keepin’ on. You inspire us AB!

  20. Pretty necklace, Aunt Becky! Plus: that much sugar kicks EVERY taco in existence. Congratulations on the taco, the gorgeousness of the party, the multiple Bloggie nods!! You crazy overachiever you. As for demons, I’m working on it as we type. I think I might need to write to the Band about it.

  21. Aunt Becky, YOU are the sweetest thing. The party was killer, and I’m in awe of your ability to tackle your demons! Get it, sista!!! And seriously, come hang in Chicago some time! (and/or I will be creeping back to St. Chuck to visit again soon) LOVE YOU!

  22. Birthday grinch here. Mother of twin girls who now have few to no friends in common … so this year I’m staring down the barrel of two parties. DREADING IT. Even though I’m the meanest mom ever who instituted “every other year party rule” despite the other kids getting REALLY COOL FUN HUGE parties EVERY YEAR. Not on your life, kiddos.

  23. Good for you.

    I think the hardest thing is when we [I] have to do those things that are terrifying for me but are, for all practical purposes, very easy for everyone else. Because when I succeed? It feels like a giant victory to me, but very few other people will understand how monumental it was for me to eat that piece of cheese that I truly thought would poison me.

  24. Getting that horse out of the barn is the best way to tackle the demons. And, no, that was not some kind of euphemism. Actually doing the things that skeer us feels awesome. It’s empowering. Baby steps…. 😉

  25. I just wanted you to know that I have been reading this blog (sometimes out loud to my boyfriend) for months now and I haven’t actually commented I don’t think. However I felt I needed to share this with you. My boyfriend at seeing your picture: “She’s really pretty who is she?” Me: “Aunt Becky you know of Mommywantsvodka”Him: “Oh I didn’t know she would be that pretty” Take it as a compliment. Because I think he meant it as one. Also he doesn’t know I am putting this up here.

  26. I had PTSD symptoms cropping up for several years after the rape and (very brief!) kidnapping, and so your word choice of ‘kickin’ it in the taco’ cracks me up extra 🙂
    Beat that fucker to the death, Aunt Becky. Karate chop Ha-YAH!

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