January 24 13

I’m having one of those weeks. There is a lot of way-too-personal shit happening in my real life that I can’t share in this space.

It truly, truly pains me to not be able to write about this because I’m a writer. I write because I enjoy it, of course, but there’s a huge part about it that’s simply cathartic for me. My site is called Cheaper Than Therapy, after all, and there’s a reason for this name. I enjoy writing about my funny and silly and ridiculous little life here in the cold as balls Toronto nosebleeds, but sometimes I just need to write. The writing makes it possible for me to pour my baggage out there and then I am able to get in the proper headspace to move forward. Not to forget, but instead to forge ahead. To put the weighty stuff out there, outside of my person, it’s a good coping mechanism.

And I’m not going to lie—a simple, “Oh Ali. I have been there. It’s shitty. But I came out on the other end alive and possibly better for it,” is more than helpful, it quite literally saves me from a pit of despair.

Being vague is not my favorite. I don’t like it on Twitter (“I have super exciting amazing news…but I can’t share it with you, sorry.”) and I don’t like it on Facebook (“Sometimes I don’t even know why I bother with all this drama. The nerve of some people…but sorry, I can’t go into specifics.”) and I don’ like it here (“I have personal shit that is literally breaking me into a million pieces right now, but I can’t tell you any of the details at all.”)

See? I’m kind of a large a-hole today.

And I’m sorry for it.

But it’s part of my story this week, these past few weeks. Part of why I’m pinballing from one extreme to the other—from emotionally eating the entire bowl of cookie dough and not being able to get my ass off of the couch to not being able to stomach eating anything at all, and kicking ass at the gym. Part of why little things are nagging at me that I’d normally overlook. Part of why I have been crying in front of my children.

I don’t like to sad-cry excessively in front of them. Not because I believe that crying is weak—it’s not. It’s 100% not.

I don’t like to do it because they see it.

I see you, Mama

They see it, and they hate what it does to me.

And they just want to fix it. They want to make me smile, make me laugh, make me happy. They want to remind me that I’m awesome.

They want to cuddle me and make my hurt go away. It’s what they know, after all. They are taking a page straight out of MY own personal parenting playbook. When my children are sad, I do everything in power to make it better—to make them smile, laugh, happy. I do everything to try to remind them that they are these amazing and awesome little creatures and sometimes crap happens, but they need to focus on the fact that there’s just too much amazing in their lives—good people, good things—to let that be ruined by the crappy things.


Last night was particularly tough for me and a little dirtyblond-headed thing came over to me, tapped me on the shoulder and said,

“Do you want to know what will make you feel so much better Mama? If you come and read me a story in my bed. We can snuggle and cuddle all cozy under the covers.”

And it did.

It made me feel so much better.

It made us both feel better.

  1. Sending you big hugs. And an email.

    Comment by Sharon on January 24, 2013
  2. Oh this makes me want to have a good cry for you. I hope it does get better. I know you are surrounded by an amazing army. Thinking of you. Sending good thoughts and love. xo

    Comment by Louise on January 24, 2013
  3. I am sorry. If you can’t write about it, I see nothing wrong with the cookie dough coupled with a bag of Flaming Hot Cheetos thrown into the mix. Comfort foods. I hope it all works out.:)

    Comment by gorillabuns on January 24, 2013
  4. Oh, I hear you. The not being able to write it is like trying to scratch a bad itch on the arch of your foot through a wool sock.

    Last night my youngest said, “Know how I can tell you are tired? Your eyes, right here—” and she ran her little fingers from the bridge of my nose, under my eyes and nearly to my ears, “gets really dark, like a cloud, like a dark, dark cloud over the lake. You havta run from it ‘fore the storm. You look tired like that, mama.”

    Ummm, it hurts, they see. So we cuddled and then this morning I went and scopped her up first thing. Bookending the night with cuddles. Baby steps. Good luck xo.

    Comment by Amanda on January 24, 2013
  5. Oh man, that really sucks. I hate it when my kids see me upset, too. But the bright spot of it is seeing how empathetic and lovely your children are. :)

    Comment by Jen Wilson on January 24, 2013
  6. Thank God we have children, they are our light in our dark days, they truly are such a blessing aren’t they!

    Comment by Sarah on January 24, 2013
  7. Hugs, mama. Love you! Think about the SUPER AMAZING STUFF. And I knwo there is some SUPER AMAZING STUFF that should be making you VERY happy.
    And I hope this problem you’re having gets resolved, or fixed, and better. I’m hopeful for you!
    If nothing works, I’ll come to TO and we go and eat chocolate and drink whatever you like and shop at Anthro. xoxo

    Comment by Loukia on January 24, 2013
  8. I’m sorry for the crap you’re going through. The bedtime stories and snuggles are your best medicine. That and kicking ass at the gym and anyplace else you want to.

    alimartell replied on

    Going to the gym this morning was the BEST thing for me. For real. At the end I was like…I can go all day. Heh.

    Comment by Kat on January 24, 2013
  9. I’m so sorry. I wish I could be there to hug you. But I will be soon!

    Love you! xoxo

    alimartell replied on

    Can’t you just come now?

    Kristabella replied on


    Comment by Kristabella on January 24, 2013
  10. I love you, friend, and you know I’m here if you ever need to talk.

    And I so get the frustration at not being able to write about it. It’s so CATHARTIC, and when I can’t write about it, I feel blocked.

    Comment by Angella on January 24, 2013
  11. I’m so sorry you are going through a hard time. And it sucks even more not being able to write about it. I hope things get better soon.

    Comment by jodifur on January 24, 2013
  12. I know exactly what you’re going through, as far as the not being able to share thing, I too have been in a hellish battle for the past 18 months that I can’t breath a word about and it sucks. It’s like suffering in silence. I hope you have an end soon and can let it all out.

    Comment by Shash on January 24, 2013
  13. Oh Ali I am sorry things are sucking right now. I know how you feel. The past week has been horrible for me. I feel like I need to talk about it but I can’t. I am resisting posting a vague status update, I really am! I hope thing get better soon. Although I am sure my crap isn’t the same as your crap,I want you to know that I feel the same way as you right now. I am glad I just read your post, makes me feel less lonely.

    Comment by Lindsay on January 24, 2013
  14. It’s a particular cruelty to be in pain and then not to be able to write about it on top of it. I’m so sorry. I hope it gets better soon.

    Comment by Marinka on January 24, 2013
  15. I hate that you’re so sad. But I know how awesome you are, and you’ll get through all of this and, if it’s possible, be even MORE awesome. I just know it.

    I’m so grateful to have you as a friend.


    Comment by Meghan on January 24, 2013
  16. I’m easy to find if you need to chat. Love you, friend.

    Comment by Katie on January 24, 2013
  17. Man that second paragraph has me written all over it. Prob. much like most of us. The 30′s suck btw – too much garbage and heavy stuff to deal with – pretty sure that’s why the show 30 Something was so weirdly popular – people could connect. I teared at the end of this because when we are at the very lowest bottom sometimes it’s the littlest hands that help brings us back up.

    Comment by cheri on January 25, 2013
  18. Dang, sometimes kids just know. And they really are the best remedy. Hang in there hon, it’ll get better. Hugs to you.

    Comment by monstergirlee on January 25, 2013
  19. I’m so sorry you’re going through hard time, Ali. This is one of those times I wish I was still just a couple of cubicles away. Sending you some virtual hugs. And a brownie.

    Comment by Tamara on January 25, 2013
  20. I’m a longtime lurker (I’m only the teensiest bit less shy on the internet than I am in real life, and that’s a remarkable amount of shyness), but I figure I should “come out” eventually, and what better time to do so when you could use a little extra support? So, lots of virtual hugs and gentle head pats for you. And you will, without a doubt, come out on the other side of this. You will be okay. Better than okay. Hang in there.

    Comment by aly on January 25, 2013
  21. [...] really want to thank you all for the kind words, emails, coffee dates, phone calls, texts, DMs regarding my last post. I am most definitely not okay, but I am getting there. I know that I will be okay. I am [...]

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  22. So sorry you are feeling this way. Be as vague as you need–we are here with thoughts and virtual hugs and sympathy bowls of sugary treats to consume alongside you xoox

    Comment by Jules on January 28, 2013
  23. I’m sorry I missed this. We all have these days (weeks, months, years…). Snuggles are the best medicine.


    Comment by pgoodness on January 29, 2013
  24. We need a wine and ice cream night, yes? I miss you. I hope evrything’s alright… *hugs*

    Comment by sam on January 31, 2013
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  26. Oh love – I feel your pain:((( I’ve had a few longstanding friendships end over the past couple of years and yes it damn well aches:((((( I guess I’m appreciating the people in my life who HAVE stuck around. My kids are an enormous comfort to me too. Chin up – YOU ROCK ALL KINDS OF AWESOME???

    Comment by Heidi on September 20, 2013
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