I Got Knocked Down.

19 days of yelling less Year 2, 448 days total

Dearest Orange Rhinos,

Oh how I wish I could write an upbeat post. I feel that the last ones have been downish and I don’t like to be all down. I think a mix of up and down is good, you know? But alas, this post is not an up but instead, another down. I am hoping it is the last one for a while because not only does it get boring for you all to hear my woes J but it also gets exhausting for me to feel the woes.

I just got some very disheartening news. Doesn’t matter what it was. It just sucked. Big time. Let me put it simply. With all the ugliness and stress going on in my life right now (read this post about marriage and then this post about parenting if you don’t know what I mean), I had one thing that was keeping me going. Well, I guess two. First, you all have kept me going. Truly. Watching this community grow and witnessing strangers helping strangers is honestly the most beautiful, soothing thing in the world. I will be having what feels like the worst day and I will log on and read your posts and I smile and my heart smiles. I only wish I could reply to everyone, that would make me even happier. But I can only do so much. I know you understand.

The other thing that kept me going, the other thing that has helped me smile and not let the ugliness of my life bring me down lately I like to call a “a dream come true.” There is something I have dreamed of for years, since I was in high school really, and it was happening. It was not definite but it was happening. I felt ecstatic. I had hope that good things do actually happen; that the saying that has been protecting me for years “It’s too good to be true” was actually wrong. So yeah, I had lots and lots of hope. Hope has kept me going these last four weeks and now it has been taken away from me. It doesn’t feel good to say the very least.

When I received the heartbreaking news I cried silently. I then said “Well, at least it is Tuesday and I have a babysitter to help me and I can go to my room and be angry and sad all by myself.” And that is exactly what I am doing right now. The anger has subsided. I do feel bad for the toilet though. I yelled really loud at it. So loud in fact I am surprised the porcelain didn’t crack. Maybe that is because my heart cracked instead? Sigh.

So I have moved on from anger and now I am just stuck with the sadness and the lost sense of hope. I will not lie and tell you that I don’t feel like I am at rock bottom. I am there. There are only so many hits a girl can take, you know? As I write that I say to myself exactly what I said to a friend a month ago when my heart broke: “Have no fear. I will be okay. I have been knocked down a lot in my life. I know how to get back up. I am a fighter. I will be okay.”

I am a fighter.

I will be okay.

I am a fighter.

I will be okay.

Yes, I have been knocked down a lot in life. That is the honest to gosh truth. I have had my fair share of blows, but haven’t we all?

Haven’t we all been heartbroken, disappointed, and angry at some point whether it is over a fight with a friend, the fight to lose weight, or the loss of a loved one? It doesn’t matter what knocked me down today; I am pretty sure you all know how I feel. Whether it be from the examples I just shared or from just being a parent or even from the obvious, learning not to yell. Oh how the process of learning to yell less can make you feel pretty knocked down at times, am I right?

When I started The Orange Rhino Challenge I went 7ish days without yelling and then I lost it. I knocked myself down. And it felt awful. But, I got back up because I didn’t want to stay down; I refused to stay down. As I sit here crying, wondering how I am going to get up this time, how I am going to stop all the tears and go make dinner, I can’t help but think of three quotes that I have shared with you all when you yelled and felt knocked down:

“If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. You may have a       fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call “failure” is not the falling down, but the staying down”.
~Mary Pickford 

Um, yes. I have fallen down. In many ways, I feel I have failed. Even though I know I am not the direct reason of my heartache, I still feel I have failed. But I will not stay down. I will not let myself be a failure.

“What looks like a loss may be the very event which is subsequently responsible for helping to produce the major achievement of your life.”
~Srully D. Blotnick 

Um, yes. I feel that I have experienced a huge loss today. A loss of hope, a loss of self confidence, a loss of enthusiasm. But maybe indeed this loss will be a gain. It has to be. It just has to be.

“Life has many twists and turns and sometimes what looks like a very bad day can just be clearing the way for good things to come.”
– J Kim Wright

Um, heck yes. I can say for certain that today has been a very bad day. I tried to stay strong and hide my tears from my eldest who was with me when I got the news. “What’s wrong mommy?” “Oh, I am just very sad and hurt.” “What can I do to help? Can I give you lots of hugs and kisses until you don’t remember anymore why you are so sad.” “Thanks sweetie. That is such a kind offer. I’ll be okay. I promise.” Yeah, my six year old could tell the depth of my pain so I would say it was a bad day. But oh, oh that must mean that it is clearing the way for good things, right?

Yes. It has to be. It just has to be. I believe all the quotes above. And I believe the cliché that this is “a blessing in a disguise” because just today I said to my husband “something has to give, and I can’t figure out what.” And well although it stinks to not have been the one to decide what has to give, at least something did give.

Yes, I feel pretty cruddy right now but I can’t stay negative because it will not get me anywhere positive.  I have no other choice but to believe these quotes, to believe the hope they offer because right now, in this moment, I so very much need them to be true, I so very much want them to be true.

Thirty minutes ago I slammed the door to my room, screamed into the toilet, and then collapsed on the floor in tears. I have wanted to do that for a long time. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I truly didn’t think I would find anyway to pull myself up off the floor. Thirty minutes ago I was lost with no hope, no strength. And now, after writing, I have a little more hope, a little more strength. I no longer feel like I am at rock bottom thanks to those  quotes. I believe in them and I hope you do too. If you feel knocked down tonight or tomorrow because you yelled, please know that I know how you feel and my heart not only goes out to you, but it is right there next to you, getting up with you, believing with you that tomorrow will be a better day.

We can do this together, Orange Rhinos, this not staying knocked down thing. We can get up again.

Who is with me?
(P.S. Please do know that I will be okay. I feel better already after writing this. And this song is now in my head and it is making me smile!)

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26 thoughts on “I Got Knocked Down.

  1. I am with you.

    I’m good at the leaning on the bathtub part (so that is what I’ll do today while you scream and sob) and I’m pretty good at a few days later.

    A few days from now, I’ll be the one that makes eye contact with you in a public place and for a minute you see she is trying to remember if she knows you or if you just look like someone she knows. ….

    It will be ok, you don’t have to get back up yet, but do it before you start to notice the grunge around the toilet base.

  2. I am with you, too. I have heard that song in random places since I started this challenge and I find it very helpful, too. Hang in there, O.R.

  3. I am so sorry you are having a tough time right now. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.
    I have been having a terrible time the past few days with my 11 year old. It seems like he just walks in the room and it sets me off. Thank you so much for the inspiration to calm down and love him anyway. Keep up the good work! My heart is with you!
    P.S. my 4 year old came up to me today and said “Orange Rhino Mommy! No yelling!” You are making a difference in so many lives.

  4. Sorry Orange Rhino. Sounds terrible. I’d like to say something positive but I’m in a pretty dark, and fearful spot myself tonight. Maybe tomorrow will be better for both of us….

  5. I AM WITH YOU!!!
    Please keep writing; I really need this.
    Tonight my outdoor faucet broke…it was too dark to go under the house to see how bad the problem was, and no way to fix it temporarily or run to the hardware store (as it was too late), so my only option was to turn off all the water to the house. I have never replace this type of faucet or watched anyone do so (unlike the all of the indoor faucets I replaced earlier this month), but I am praying that with the internet and some advice from the store people, I will be able to fix this problem. I have to…I am the only parent here and I have no extra money to have someone else fix it, and my kids & I have to have this fixed.
    Reading your message tonight has lifted some of the heaviness I was feeling over my issue. I realize it is not life-threatening, but to me it pulled the rug out from under my feet, when I am already drowning with things that have to be done (I homeschool my youngest three, I am trying to sell my house, etc). Thank you for these quotes and for being so open. BIG HUGS!!!

  6. I so needed this today. It was Day 38 for me today. I am under end of the school year stress and just got back from an emotionally and physically demanding weekend to three kids who have never dealt without Mommy for that long. In the midst of their meltdown this morning…I yelled. Not long, and not a rage scream, but definitely yelled. But, once in 38 days isn’t too shabby…and once in 39,40,41,42…..even better. Onwards and upwards!!!!

  7. I needed to hear this song tonight as I felt pushed down by too much going on and too much yelling. Thank you for bareing your soul and don’t give up on your dream. Just because now is not the time just means you have time to perfect it for when it is time. And when it comes time, it will be the right time with less plate juggling I hope. I too have a dream and often feel knocked down because it is taking to long to accomplish. Thank you for reminding me that my kids are also my dreams come true and that I need to shower them with love and not show them anger.

  8. Thank you for sharing… As painful as it has been for you, it helps me to know that even positive, upbeat, tender, loving people who work hard, and always try to do the right thing sometimes feel as I do- hopeless & sometimes an utter failure… Progress, not perfection… and, You can do hard things… both have been a mantra for me lately…

  9. I am with you!
    I am new to Orange Rhino. I’m on day 5. Ha! But I’ve got 5 days of no yelling. I know there are days ahead when I will want to yell and scream and walk away. We find support in each other though. I’m new, but I’m here behind you all the way.

  10. You are so amazingly inspiring to so many of us and have changed so many lives with your openness I just know amazing things are headed your way momma❤
    I am with you!

  11. Bless you my friend with balm for your wounded heart and soul. Strength in every particle of your being and that one ray of sunshine breaking through those dark clouds of discouragement. I DO know how you feel and believing as you do, as WE do, something WILL give. When you bless the lives of others as you do the law of the universe states that it will come back to you.
    I pray every good thing for you as you have brought so much good to me and my family through your fine example.
    Chin up! You have the faith and love of all
    of us with you.

  12. My heart hurts for you, knowing you’re in such a dark spot. Fortunately, for you, I know you’re one of the ‘see the silver lining’ type people and I’m sure you’ll be able to pick yourself back up before ya know it! We love you, Orange Rhino! >HUG<

  13. Thank you! You inspire me to be a better mother and wife everyday with less yelling and more love. We all have rock bottom hours, days, weeks, months, years (ugh!)… But here we can claw our way out and be the people we have always dreamed of being. Thank you again!!

  14. Who’s with you? Of course we all are. That is what life is all about. That Mary Pickford quote you had in your post. It is on the bulleting board in my office and has been for years. It is my mantra. I am in education and learning takes some failure. That is how we learn. That is how we get better. We pick ourselves up, we dust ourselves off and we try it again :) I hope it is a try it again day. You can do it!

  15. I understand. I have been knocked down like this, heart-broken, devastated. In a 6-month period of time about 2 years ago, my mother died very suddenly and unpexpectedly; my father was diagnosed with cancer, requiring chemotherapy and surgeries; and my husband left me for a job in other state, leaving behind a 19-month-old baby. Times since then have been difficult, but, like you, I keep getting myself back up. A lot of the getting back up is thanks to my wonderful child. He needs me so I get back up. Again and again and again. And I know you will, too. I just loved this post, though, because it demonstrates how real you actually are, how you’re right in the trenches with all of the rest of us, how you’re living life, even though it’s not always easy or fair. Thank you for sharing these hard moments with us. You are an inspiration.

  16. You know, they say we’ll be stronger after this, even though right now we feel so weak. They say we’ll be smarter after this, even though right now we feel so foolish.

    It doesn’t matter what “this” is because it can be different for all of us. But it’s that moment, that turn of events, that has you questioning everything. And you look at yourself, and you feel weak and foolish.

    But it’s a little better the next day. Keep picking yourself back up. And keep telling yourself that it’s going to be okay. Because it will, as long as part of you is still willing to say it.

  17. I feel your pain. Really, truly – my choices are kicking me in the tush too. My head (and life) is in the crapper in the stall right next to yours. For me, the immediate challenge is less about not yelling, and more about acknowledging the contribution I’ve made to the mess I’m in; not allowing myself to be a victim. I know rationally that finding fault with circumstances beyond my control, coupled with the elaborate plans for revenge that continue to swirl in my head, are not going to get me out of the mess I’ve made of my life. That’s not to say I’ve stopped blaming and plotting, I just know it’s not going to help me get up. brush myself off and start all over again. Here’s the best advice I have to offer, and I have no idea who wrote it (not I), but I recently made it the desktop photo on my computer, and it seems to help, if only for a moment:
    “Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
    Don’t compare your life to others – you have no idea what their journey is about.
    It’s never too late to have a happy childhood, but the second one is up to you.
    Over prepare, then go with the flow.
    What other people think of you is none of your business.
    Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
    However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
    God loves you because of who God is, not because of who you are.
    If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
    Don’t audit life – show up and make the most of it now.
    Yield.”

  18. Dearest Orange Rhino Leader/Inspiration/Motivator/Example,

    First of all, THANK YOU for this Orange Rhino Challenge. I am so glad you get as much encouragement from us as we do from you!

    Secondly, I’m very sorry to hear about your bad day. I wish I could make it all better for you.

    Thirdly, THANK YOU for sharing your bad day with us and turning it into motivation to “get back up”. You didn’t have to do that. I know on my bad days, sometimes the LAST thing I want to do is talk to anyone let alone try to encourage them.

    Fourth, I fully realize that I’m only a follower of your blog. You don’t know me personally (and some days, that’s probably a blessing for you!) But, through your blog, you’ve worked your way into my heart and claimed a piece of my life that is yours and yours alone. You’ve helped me in no small measure and therefore, I care the things you write about: the things going on in your life. So, with that knowledge, I just want you to know that you can rest. You can regroup. Take some “YOU” time. We will all be okay here in Orange Rhino Land for a few days if you need a little space. (If I’m completely out of line, I apologize. My only desire today is to be an encouragement to you. You’ve been that and MUCH MORE to me.)

    I will be keeping you and yours in my thoughts and prayers.

  19. I AM WITH YOU!! I went 12 whole days with no yelling…that was a week ago. I’ve yelled once or twice every day since. Yesterday, at a store, I was working so hard to be kind and patient with my 3 year old, and I was winning! A nice older woman came to me and said, “Excuse me, but I have to tell you that the way you are talking to your son is wonderful! It’s so cute!” I told her that it meant so much to me, as I come from a yelling home and am trying to stop being that way. She then said, “Oh! You are doing wonderfully! It’s so hard. But you will be so blessed for this! Your kids will be so blessed for it, too! Keep it up!” That was all I needed to get back up and start again. This song will be my new theme song! WE CAN DO THIS! ((HUGS))

  20. Wow, I haven’t been reading your posts because this is exactly where I am yet. I too have had to deal with some not fun situations and because of that I have lost control and yelled at my kids. With this and everything else I just wanted to quit, quit everything. Now I too feel a little stronger… I am okay and I am a fighter. That feels really good to say that and hopefully I will start to believe it deeper. Thanks Orange Rhino mom.

  21. Your honesty and authenticity is SO inspirational to me. And I am so sorry about your day and your news. Those times are so hard. All we can do is muddle through it. Sending love and positive thoughts your way.

  22. Just remember, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

    Hang in there! Praying for you :)

  23. Thank you couldn’t possibly cover what you have given me with your honesty. This has been a very difficult day, one preceeded by lots. The physical pain that comes with the guilt and self hatred that being a mommy brings when the day is over and you can only reflect on mistakes and bad results is excruciating. I’ve been reading your posts tonight, and can feel some ease, some light. Thank you.

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