Hello all and welcome to our continuing series of author interviews.
Today’s guest is pretty and working towards perfection Heather LeRoss. Heather writes about juggling being a mom, wife, human being, superhero and daughter and does so combining humor, self-awareness, compassion and empathy, so she’s juggling quite a bit no matter how you look at it. I’d like everyone to stand up and give Heather LeRoss a big round of applause for taking part in our exciting adventure.
Heather LeRoss’ Bio
Heather’s an imperfect human trying to raise perfect humans. She’s mom to 2 boys of her own and a step-son. She lives in the gross world of boys who argue about using soap in the shower and ensure the dog always has fun stuff to lick in the bathroom.
Heather writes to connect women who feel alone, who are missing a village of support. She writes for the mother of a special needs child who’s not sure how she is going to manage one more melt-down, one more parent-teacher conference, or one more day. She writes for the women who pee their pants when they sneeze, cry during commercials for diapers, and who still want to sometimes hear, “You’re pretty”
Her book, JUST TELL ME I’M PRETTY, MUSINGS ON A MESSY LIFE just launched and chronicles the funny, the heart-felt, and the embarrassing moments that come with her messy life.
She’s also a Life and Writing Coach for women who need more joy in their days and less negative self-talk.
Heather and I talked about women, connections, bringing value to relationships, being a masseuse, being a breadwinner, using writing to heal, the power of kindness, deciding who has plenty, being unfriended, public shaming, putting people on the defensive unintentionally and personal transformation.
You can find links to Heather’s book and her social networks on the right or at the bottom of this post (depending on your device). You’ll also find links to Keith’s sites underneath the video. And please comment both pro and pro. Okay, con, too, if something really peeves you.
Heather’s book – JUST TELL ME I’M PRETTY, MUSINGS ON A MESSY LIFE
Heather’s site – TipsyTiaras.com
A favorite blog post – My Biggest Lie
Heather on Scary Mommy – Dear New Neighbor, Let Me Explain
Heather on Amazon
Heather on Twitter
An excerpt from Heather’s JUST TELL ME I’M PRETTY, MUSINGS ON A MESSY LIFE
She woke aching for breathe, her entire body screaming for oxygen. As soon as her eyes opened, she felt a tightness in her chest that was new, unlike the tightness she’d felt in the past. This time it really was new, horrific in its intensity. It immediately stole the sleep from her body and replaced it with hot, fearful pain that caused her muscles to spasm and leave her in a ball of anguish.
These were the words that were swimming in her brain and bathing her whole being with panic. I’m really dying this time. This isn’t pain like the other times. Those were panic attacks. This. This is death. I’m going to die alone in my bed. Oh God, James. James is the only one here and he’ll find me. I can’t have him find me dead!
She tried to do the deep breathing her therapist Tina had worked with her on. In and out, deeply, slowly, a way to let her body know there was no imminent danger, just her mind going on overdrive. It wasn’t working. If the deep breathing doesn’t work then it really is death coming. I’m having a heart attack and I can’t even scream.
She kept doing the breathing as best she could but her air came in in short, fragile bursts and exhaled in a labored whoosh that left her feeling light headed. She managed to roll over in bed and kick the covers off. Her entire body was shaking. She reached for her cell phone on the nightstand but her hands were shaking so badly, she dropped it on the floor. Tears blurring her vision now, she rolled all the way over and gasped in pain as her elbow hit her nightstand on the way to the floor. She lay there, sweating, shaking, gasping for air.
She barely registered that James was now in the room with her. She knew she was going to be sick. Having been through this before, James ran to the bathroom, got a towel and was able to get it under his mom just in time for her to turn her head to the side and be sick on it.
“You’re going to be ok mom. I’m here. It’s a panic attack. Breathe. Remember to breathe. You’re ok.”
She wanted to scream, This isn’t a panic attack, I’m dying James. I’m really dying this time, but as soon as she opened her mouth, she was sick again.
James sat and rubbed her back, whispering soothing affirmations that she was going to be ok and reminding her he was with her.
“I need to go to the ER,” she managed to say, once the worst of the sickness had left her body.
“Mom, you don’t need to go to the ER again. You’re ok. This is a panic attack,. You’re not dying.”
Tears clouded everything, anger, frustration and fear were still making a home within her chest and she looked at her son and said, “You don’t know what is going on. I’m dying. I need a Dr. I need to go to the hospital NOW. NOW JAMES!” The last words came out as a sad, croaking scream.
James sighed, knowing there was not going to be a way to convince his mom to relax for this one. This was a big one and he knew they would now be spending the rest of their night and well into the morning in the ER. The Dr.’s would do all the normal tests, EKG, echocardiogram, blood oxygen levels, X-ray etc. The tests would come back negative – nothing wrong – just like they always did. He’d see the sadness in the Dr.’s and nurses eyes, the same look he sees every time he ends up taking his mom in for an episode.
“Ok Mom. I’ll take you now.” He started to get up but she stopped him., “No, I want to go in an ambulance. I might need help during the drive.”
James didn’t want to point out that she was already beginning to breathe a little slower. That she was able to move now and it would only be a matter of time before her body relaxed and she fell asleep. Deeply. He episodes where they didn’t end up in the ER usually meant she fell into the sleep of the dead and woke the next day with a migraine that would probably last a day or two. Once that cleared, she would feel normal again and feel alive. She’d comment how amazing it felt to be past all of that and she would promise him she would be better about keeping up with her breathing, meditation and medication. She hated pharmaceuticals and so it was a constant struggle to get her take her medicine for anxiety.
But that wasn’t going to be their night tonight. Tonight they would go to the ER, she would leave assured she was fine, better than fine because her tests would come back with everything looking great. Blood pressure might be up some but that’s to be expected with a panic attack. She come home exhausted, sleep for most of tomorrow and wake sad. These episodes didn’t usually end in migraines but the depression would be harder to kick and would last a little longer. In a few days she’d emerge and cry as she told him how sorry she was. How she wished he had a better mother, how grateful she was to have him there to help and how much she loved him.
They just had to get through tonight.