Hi, I’m Aby! Welcome to One Happy Disaster.

Aby Blum Sudds {OneHappyDisaster.com}

One Happy Disaster is a body positive lifestyle blog for mothers and femme parents living with chronic mental and physical illness.

These extra obstacles make motherhood even harder to handle sometimes, and often the first one to suffer for it is YOU. You focus so much energy on caring for everyone else, leaving nothing for yourself. It turns out that when we’re at our worst we most need love and care from ourselves.  But how do we do that when our emotional reserves are so drained we can barely function?

One Happy Disaster is my search for the answer.

I write from the perspective of a first time mom, who experienced postpartum depression and anxiety, and is still trying to figure out this whole motherhood thing. I have generalized anxiety disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, spondyloarthritis, and a very spirited toddler. So life still feels like an ongoing disaster most of the time!

One Happy Disaster is my outlet. But even more than that, my hope is to inspire you to take care of yourself with the same love you reserve for everyone else. By writing about how I’ve learned to handle the disasters in my life with grace and poise by the skin of my teeth, I hope I can help you find the happiness in your own disaster.

So … What’s Next?

Words and Phrases I Use (a lot)

Body positivity

A movement pushing for a radical change in how society perceives and treats bodies. The ideology holds that all bodies deserve the same love, respect, and access to resources, regardless of shape, size, color, health, or ability. No individual has any moral obligation to actively seek any definition of “health” in order to receive fair and respectful treatment from any other person, or from society as a whole.

HAES (Health at Every Size)

A holistic approach to health that rejects standard diet culture jargon and concerns, focusing instead on the promotion of healthy behaviors, regardless of the individual’s size or ability.

Health should be conceived as a resource or capacity available to all regardless of health condition or ability level, and not as an outcome or objective of living. Pursuing health is neither a moral imperative nor an individual obligation, and health status should never be used to judge, oppress, or determine the value of an individual. (The Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH))

Intuitive eating

A philosophy of nutrition and eating, based around 10 basic principles, that rejects the diet mentality and focuses on learning to listen to your body’s internal hunger signals.  This includes learning to eat when you’re hungry, and stop when you’re full, without worrying about calories, points, fat content, etc.

The intuitive eating model encourages you to “Honor Your Health” by making food choices that taste good and make you feel good, and moving your body in ways that make you feel good, regardless of the number of calories burned.

Spoonie

A person with chronic illness, who measures the amount of energy they have each day by “spoons”. Each spoon represents a finite amount of energy, and the number of spoons a person gets each day is limited. Those who call themselves spoonies have less energy than the average person each day, and have to be careful to save their spoons for things that really need done. The spoon theory was developed by Christine Miserandino.

Recommended Posts & Pages

I Survived Postpartum Depression & Anxiety … And So Will You

Why I’m Not Trying to Get My Pre-Baby Body Back

Things I Needed to Hear Before Becoming a Mom

Taking a Break from My Family Makes Me a Better Mom

Learn More About Aby (Me!)

Why One Happy Disaster?

After I gave birth in September 2016, everything seemed to go wrong at once. I had postpartum depression and anxiety, worsening my pre-existing mental health issues. I developed a kidney stone, and my chronic fatigue flared worse than it had ever been before. Less than a year later I was diagnosed with spondyloarthritis.

Despite holding a body positive philosophy, I struggled with a very real sense of worthlessness. I couldn’t take care of my daughter. I didn’t deserve to take care of myself.

Adding to the pressure was the fact that my little bundle of joy was actually a little bundle of constant neediness, which has thus far grown into a high-energy whirling dervish.

Spirited, they call it.

Aby (with baby Little Bit) author of One Happy Disaster, body positive blogger
Photo by Sycamore Lane Photography

And I am an introvert. By like 117%.

Needless to say, my entry into motherhood felt like a disaster.

On top of the usual sleep deprivation and self-doubt of a first time mother, I was (and still am) in nearly constant pain. I’m plagued by chronic fatigue, brain fog, irritability, lack of concentration … and so on.

With what little energy I had left, I combed the Internet for advice. How do you keep up with a high needs kid when ALL. THE. THINGS. GO. WRONG?!

The advice I found over and over again seemed so simple. Take care of yourself first, so that you’re better able to take care of others.  Sounds easy, right?

Not so much.

The problem was, most of the advice I found left me wondering how in the world I was supposed to apply it to MY life.  On top of being a highly introverted person living with chronic mental and physical illness, my partner (known around these parts as the Medic) works 24-hour shifts as a firefighter/paramedic, and is gone at least one weekend each month with the Army. He is the most amazing father I possibly could have wished for Little Bit, but he can’t come home to relieve me every evening.

When is a person supposed to recharge under those circumstances?!

Aby (with partner) author of One Happy Disaster, body positive blogger
Photo by Sycamore Lane Photography

And so I found myself piecing things together as much as I could, trying to fill in the gaps. Creating my own self care treatment plan, so to speak. And through trial and error, some semblance of peace has begun to emerge from the rubble.

I don’t have all the answers. I’m making this up as I go along, just like so many of you out there. But I hope that by sharing my story here, I’ll inspire you to incorporate self-care into your own life, and find the happiness in your disaster, too.

Free resource library for chronically ill femme parents {OneHappyDisaster.com}

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The road to self love and care is long, twisted, and riddled with hazards.  But we don’t have to do this alone!  Join me on social media, and we can travel this road together.

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