Mommy Wants Vodka

…Or A Mail-Order Bride



I remember the tears I cried after my first son was born.

My kid hated me. I was a twenty-one year old mother. I was the approximate size and shape of a human fire hydrant or an overgrown Oompa Loompa. My friends had, thanks to aforementioned son’s screams, all but run for the hills. I barely slept. I had no idea where I was going or what I was doing – only that this wasn’t supposed to be the way of things. I had no goals. No ambitions. I barely recognized myself in the mirror.

They were bitter – these tears – because I’d spent my entire life knowing where I was going and what I was doing. There was never the slightest hint of hesitation in my step.

Finding myself lost, questioning my every decision, wondering what I was doing wrong (because clearly the problem was with me), well, these were new for me.

My life confused me.

Luckily, with a few suggestions from an old friend, I was able to figure out the What Next and Move Ahead with my life. My son was autistic – I wasn’t a rancid mother. I had to scrap medical school for nursing school. School allowed me to succeed and feel pride in myself again. Slowly, those baby pounds melted off as my son found his voice.

Once again, I was back. My steps were confident and certain, my life on a new track.

It took a lot more this time, to bring back that useless girl. Migraines. Antenatal depression. Encephaloceles. Postpartum depression. Financial instability. Workaholism. Post-traumatic stress disorder. Uncertainty. Anxiety. That purposeless feeling pervaded.

Certainly, during the day, I was fine – I had my blog, I had my Pranksters, I had three wicked cool kids, I had new friends who didn’t mind babies screaming. I had purpose then.

But at night, when the rest of the house was either sleeping or working, those feelings crept back in. Slowly at first. Soon, I spent my nights weeping the kind of soul-shaking cry that only comes with utter heartbreak. I suppose, looking back, I was heartbroken.

I had it all – everything I had worked for, and it simply wasn’t enough. The strings it came with had turned into a noose.

Everyone else seemed to be fine – flourishing even – so the problem, well, the problem was clearly my own. *I* was the problem. Broken beyond repair. Useless. My steps once again a shuffle.

I cannot tell you, Pranksters, how long I felt this way – convinced I was, indeed, broken. Months? Years? I’m not entirely sure.

I cannot tell you either, Pranksters, when that feeling dissipated. Because it has. I don’t know what happened. I don’t know when that empty space was filled for the first time in my life. My footfalls now echo with confidence and occasionally stupidity. My future is not a question of “if?” but a question of “when?”

I can see now that I was never useless. Never less than. Never without.

And never, ever, ever – not even for a moment – broken.

29 Comments to


  1. On November 14th, 2011 at 11:24 am Brandon Says:

    It’s oversimplified, but Barney Stinson had it right. Sometimes you just have to stop feeling sad, and start being awesome.

    Granted, it’s not that easy, but it can be done. You, and many others in The Band prove it on a regular basis. Major kudos to you for being a beacon to many in the dark.

  2. On November 14th, 2011 at 12:53 pm Di Says:

    I know a whole bunch of people who need to read this…

  3. On November 14th, 2011 at 11:24 pm alfred lives here Says:

    Well said… and first time I have seen “Bro” Barney Stinson quoted in a somewhat serious way!

  4. On November 14th, 2011 at 11:47 am Kathy Miranda Says:

    The whole of yourself that you share with us is humbling. I’m glad that the light has begun to shine again.


  5. On November 14th, 2011 at 11:51 am Cute~Ella Says:

    See, we always knew you weren’t actually broken or useless, but sometimes you have to find it yourself. I’m so glad today is a good day and you’re able to see it. HUGS!

  6. On November 14th, 2011 at 12:22 pm Hope Says:

    honest. i like that.

  7. On November 14th, 2011 at 12:36 pm SarahBee Says:

    Sometimes, happiness comes from seeing in yourself what everyone else has seen all along. Loves ya!

  8. On November 14th, 2011 at 1:05 pm Heather Says:

    Thank you for continuing to say what so many of us feel from day to day. {{Hugs}} to you.

  9. On November 14th, 2011 at 1:28 pm Cindy Says:

    AB, you are just awesomesauce!

  10. On November 14th, 2011 at 3:11 pm Martha Says:

    It’s so hard to see at the time that you aren’t broken, you know? I wrote a post about being broken…

    Now, for the first time, I feel better. I’m not sure when it happened but I do feel better, not normal, just better.

  11. On November 14th, 2011 at 3:22 pm Maria Says:

    I can’t tell you how happy I am to read that post.

  12. On November 14th, 2011 at 4:31 pm Vinobaby Says:

    AB–you kick ass. Don’t let anyone tell you different. Including those annoying, asshat inner voices that can find the best of us when the world goes quiet and dark.

    Just think of how many people you have touched with this post. Forget broken — you helped put THEM back together.

    Cheers, babe…

  13. On November 14th, 2011 at 4:56 pm Joules Says:

    This makes me happy.

  14. On November 14th, 2011 at 7:07 pm Zak Says:

    I adore you, it’s true.

  15. On November 14th, 2011 at 7:16 pm Sooz Says:

    thank you for this post. it is very powerful. it makes me feel less alone. you’re the best. 🙂 sincerely, loyal reader

  16. On November 14th, 2011 at 7:26 pm Nicole Says:

    What Brandon said. And trust me…even when everything goes right, having a baby can knock the wind out of you. But you’ve been an inspiration to me — you manage to be a damn fine blogger and raise three kids *at the same time*. So I have hope that eventually I will be a semifunctional adult again. Rock on, AB.

  17. On November 14th, 2011 at 9:43 pm leanne Says:

    Powerful post. And ditto what the others above said, for sure. You are an amazing person. And I’m proud of you!

  18. On November 14th, 2011 at 10:17 pm katrina Says:

    i am so very happy for you.

  19. On November 14th, 2011 at 11:29 pm alfred lives here Says:

    Wow, what a post! Good for you for coming though the fire intact and understanding it, and boy do I have some people to pass this on to. And I will.

    We all feel beaten down or broken some days, and Unbroken is the path to follow and the way to be!

  20. On November 15th, 2011 at 1:36 am GingerB Says:

    Hey this sounds kinda familiar . . . wait – no it doesn’t. I didn’t get to unbroken yet. Oooh, but I will – thanks for the leg up! And well done you!

  21. On November 15th, 2011 at 4:50 am Canadian in Glasgow Says:

    I think that most women struggle, and fall apart (break) and then rebuild themselves.

    We kind of have to don’t we?

    Sometimes, it’s good to fall apart…it’s good to shatter and rebuild. As long as you are strong enough to rebuild every time.


  22. On November 15th, 2011 at 7:33 am wagthedad Says:

    This is the most beautiful thing I’ve read all month. Thank you for writing it.

  23. On November 15th, 2011 at 11:45 am Kristin Says:

    It’s like Glinda the Good Witch said, you had the power to feel unbroken the whole time, but you had to learn it for yourself.

  24. On November 15th, 2011 at 12:58 pm Wombat Central Says:

    I know that feeling–I coudn’t put my finger on what I did to get out of the grips of anxiety years ago, but I did it. Many years later, I understand the feeling of broken. Working my way back from that now. Thanks for sharing.

  25. On November 15th, 2011 at 1:44 pm Suniverse Says:

    That broken feeling is sinister and sneaky and it will hit without warning.

    I’m glad you’re back. Truly.

  26. On November 15th, 2011 at 2:00 pm Amber Says:

    Ahhh. I am familiar with that broken feeling. It is good to know it goes away. Eventually.

    I’m glad you made it through to the other side!

  27. On November 15th, 2011 at 4:11 pm Cristi Comes Says:

    This is just beautiful Becky. I’m so glad you’ve gotten through and you never really were broken. We all go through so much shit sometimes, but we’re never truly broken. It may feel that way for a time but we’re so freaking special and wonderful. YOU my friend are a true gift to this world.

  28. On November 16th, 2011 at 7:32 pm Rebecca Says:

    Thanks for sharing this! You are really an inspiration.

  29. On November 19th, 2011 at 1:54 am Stuff I Starred Saturday – Up The Awesome Ante « « LucidLotusLife LucidLotusLife Says:

    […] Unbroken   No Comments […]

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