The 12-Step Program

19 May

Every mom and wife on Earth knows exactly what I’m talking about when I say The 12-Step Program.

Other than the two steps you take to get out of bed, these are the 12 most important steps you’ll take in the day.

You’re stressed out. Upset. Frustrated. Angry. Irritated. Maybe even hostile. A series of unfortunate effects has led you to this current state of angst and normally getting your shirt caught on the door and tearing the pocket wouldn’t burn you out, but with everything building up, it just tips you over. It could be anything or anyone really that sets you off. Usually it’s one of three: kids, mother (mother-in-law), or dude. Anyone of these could put you on the verge of starring in your own episode of Oxygen’s Snapped!

You’re ready to burst, but you don’t have the time or privacy to take part in the emotional breakdown you need or deserve.

You’re at the CVS parking lot. You’re in front of the church. You’re on the streets of downtown putting some money in the meter.

Could happen anywhere.

So what do you do when there’s no chocolate in sight?


This is how long it takes me to walk from the passenger side of my truck to the driver’s side. 12-steps.



I can’t tell you how awesome these 12 steps have been in my lifetime. I think they’ve helped me avoid numerous public breakdowns.

I was reminded of them this weekend as I saw a mom unloading her vehicle with party supplies at the park. It must have been her daughter’s birthday party because as she was packing everything in I could hear the whining and just as she closed the door a couple of balloons escaped and you heard the kids losing it and the mom hitting her breaking point. She looked like she needed to beat the crap out of that pinata.

She put her forehead up against the car … and I knew.

Yeah I knew that feeling I’ve had it plenty of times before.

12 steps. Take the 12 steps.  She stood there defeated. Maybe she didn’t know.

12 steps.

You exhale.

You breathe.

You probably pull out some of the most foul profanity in your vocabulary and then you breathe again.

You ask the universe to give you peace and just let you get through the rest of the day without killing someone.

You talk to yourself and try to be the best psychologist you can be.

You breathe some more because apparently oxygen helps calms you down.

You tell yourself you can do it, there are only a couple more hours left.

As you continue walking around your car you tell yourself that where you are now is not where you’re gonna be at the end of the day.

You keep breathing and finally making it to the driver’s side. You tell yourself things could be worse, you don’t know how, but they could. So you take another breath and try to forget about what just happened. You think of a time or place that’s made you feel like you were in that Pharrell Williams’s Happy video. For me it’s Australia. You close your eyes and see it. You take one last breath and then open the door.

These are the best 12 steps I take in my New Balance all day.

Although sometimes … sometimes you need to do it twice before you actually get in the car.






9 Responses to “The 12-Step Program”

  1. susielindau May 19, 2014 at 11:02 PM #

    I love your 12 steps!
    I remember being so frustrated, I walked to my washer and drier and pitched hangers at the wall as hard as I could! I started to laugh at the absurdity!

    • The Guat May 28, 2014 at 9:33 AM #

      Dude aren’t they awesome. I’m so glad a have a truck and not a mini cooper. I think 12 steps are so necessary. I think I walk around the truck because I don’t have enough hangers to throw at my washer and drier 🙂 Ha I can’t even picture you that frustrated 🙂

      • susielindau May 28, 2014 at 3:35 PM #

        I have my moments like anyone. Raising kids can really try anyone’s patience. It gets a lot easier as they grow up! 🙂 Yours will rock!

  2. Angelia Sims May 20, 2014 at 6:48 AM #

    12 steps, 12 boxes of chocolates, 12 days at the spa….oh yeah!

    • The Guat May 28, 2014 at 9:33 AM #

      Yes…12 boxes of chocolates … 12 massages. I like the way you think baby!

  3. cravesadventure May 20, 2014 at 8:35 AM #

    Love it and Pinatas are a GREAT idea 🙂 Happy Day!

    • The Guat May 28, 2014 at 9:35 AM #

      Oh My God! Wouldn’t it be awesome if we had pinatas on every corner just for parents who are in need of a breakdown 🙂 I’d carry a bat in the car daily. 🙂

  4. TBM May 22, 2014 at 2:05 AM #

    I know this feeling. I used to throw things, but then I had to replace the things I broke, which seemed counter-productive. So now, I walk away and I don’t suggest following me to ask what’s wrong. Wait for me to return.

    • The Guat May 28, 2014 at 9:40 AM #

      Dude I know exactly what you’re talking about. I used to break things and then I would get mad because after the meltdown I would have to be the one cleaning it up and that would just burn me out. 12 steps seems to work, although pinatas would rock too.

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