What Do I Do?

I am the wife of a recovering addict. Woah... that’s hard to say. The love of my life is recovering from a strong addiction to heroin and will be seven months sober in a few short days (woohoo). I’ve received numerous messages on Instagram asking how to help loved ones and I have decided to put together a post with a few things I’ve learned over the past seven months. 

The day I found out what was happening I called an interventionist. Immediately. I needed backup and guidance and I needed it now. I called Addiction Campuses in Nashville... I’m not sure I really know how I found them.  First off, they are AMAZING. They take care of you from beginning to end. They counsel you and find a rehab.. the whole 9 yards. It’s free, people. While on the call I spilled my guts to them about what was happening. Still in shock, they transferred me to the Interventionist. When I say that this man helped me get through this. I mean it. 

1. GET IN TOUCH WITH SOMEONE WHO CAN HELP (i.e. Addiction Campuses)

2. SET BOUNDARIES: The interventionist told me how I needed to decide my boundaries. What would I accept, what would I not accept? I distinctly remember him saying, would you give up if he was dying? I said no. He reminded me that if Ryan didn’t get help, HE WOULD DIE. For me, my boundary was Ryan deciding to get help. If he didn’t want it, I couldn’t make him get it.. but I couldn’t support that behavior  

3. MAKE A PLAN: This is not family vacation. You don’t have time to plan. Go with your gut. I wrote a letter to Ryan. In short, it spoke of our good times, our first date, our boys growing up and how I wanted him to be there for future times. It reiterated how much more he loved his family a than his drug of choice. When he was ready to get help, I would be there. But until then, I couldn’t do that. I left the letter, took the dog, got in my mustang and left. Then the waiting game started.

4. STICK TO YOUR PLAN/ BOUNDARIES: when the texts of hatred started flowing in, I only responded with, I love you. Are you ready to get help? I cut off all communication. Just because loved ones that are addicts say mean things... they don’t mean them. It’s the drug talking for them. Don’t give up because your feelings are hurt. Be strong.

5. THE REST IS ON THEM: If they want help, they will accept it. You can’t beat yourself up over it. It may take days, months, years. That’s where your boundaries come in to play. You have to decide for yourself what you’re willing to take. No one can do that for you... 

6. GET HELP FOR YOURSELF: You are going through this traumatic experience too. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps, be strong and go to a group/get counseling. It works guys. It’s definitely necessary and it is also completely okay to not be okay. 

7. PRAY: I’m a firm believer in Jesus Christ. He’s never left me stranded. He is always in my corner. Miracles are real and they happen everyday. Without this faith I wouldn’t be here to be saying this. 

 

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, log on to www.addictioncampuses.com for additional support.

 

XOXO,

Mackenzie Edwards

Dear World

What’s it like being on TV you may ask? Must be so glamorous, right? Let’s start from here. This is a very, very lonely life. It takes you to dark places and it forces you to find yourself and to define what you’re made of.  It’s about showing the world the “story” while knowingly opening yourself up to hatred and vile comments at your expense.

Whatever you do, it’s broadcasted. Whatever mistakes you make, they’re broadcasted. Your ups, downs, and in betweens, broadcasted. The best day of your life along with the very worst day possible.....broadcasted. But that’s what you sign up for, right? That’s what you’re supposed to expect when you do this kind of thing, right?

I think it’s commonly forgotten that behind screens, we are real people. Real people with real attitudes. We have real emotions, real families, real hurts, real love, real opinions. 

Another common misconception... that what is shown is what is 110% true. Its easy to believe that, but it’s not right. It’s easy to show the “half truth” and portray it as whole. But that’s ok because regardless of what happens, whether right or wrong, you’re considered scum.

But you did this for 15 mins of fame, right? Wrong. I do this so y’all have an ACCURATE depiction of what it’s like to be a teen mother. I do this so that it’s documented that just because you and your “baby daddy” don’t get along, you can make it work. (P.s. they aren’t Satan, they’re real kids with real feelings.... I know. Imagine that, you’re not the only one going through tough shit. You both are. Differently.)

Theres a lot of things I’d like to do for a living, lots of dreams that still sparkle when I close my eyes at night... These things are still attainable but are dimmed by a clouded mind full of empty words of hatred and lies from people I’ve never even met and from some I know well. 

So many times you think of quitting, forgetting everything, dropping the torch but then there’s that quiet voice in your heart. You remember “that girl” who needed hope and encouragement and to know that she was going to be fine. That girl who was alone and trying to figure out how life works with a baby on her hip, dirty scrubs on her tired body, a shit ton of bills to pay in her back pocket and a backpack full of books for college on her back... you remember because “that girl,” was you. You can easily forget where you came from but from this experience you never forget WHAT. YOU. ARE. MADE. OF. 

Go ahead, hate me and what you think you know about me, my family and my decisions. But never forget that we are all humans out here trying to figure out life. And it’s times like this that I remember what “that girl” is made of.  And believe me, she has a lot of fight left in her.

 So to “that girl” who needs this message, keep going. Don’t give up. You can do this. Education is important, so get one. Life is hard, but you are harder, stronger and at times, smarter. Don’t let your dreams flicker in the background  Go get them. 

 

Xoxo, 

“That girl” 

 

 

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Q & A

What are your favorite hair products?

For shampoo I'm finishing up the last of my AG Conditioning Wash and I'm planning on switching to Oribe. I absolutely love the AG Tousled Texture collection. Dry texture spray will become your best friend to create volume and texture in curls.. beachy or not. Another product I absolutely cannot live without is my Bumble and Bumble hairspray. That is a must. For tools I use a Bombay 32mm curling wand. I am sponsored by them and I actually LOVE their tools.

Where do you get your hair done and what kind of extensions do you use?

I get my hair done by Gina at Parlour 3 in Nashville. I could not be any more pleased with this salon. They do amazing work and if you need proof of that, look at Carrie Underwood and Jessie James Decker's hair. They go there as well. My extensions are individually beaded and they are called Dream Catchers.

Where did you meet Ryan?

Ryan and I met at the gym here in Chattanooga. I was leaving to go to work and he was walking in. Ryan asked me if I would like to go to dinner and since I had a few minutes... I said ok...he was super cute and ridiculously charming.. couldn't resist! Little did I know that I was going on a date with my future husband. 

Did you know who he was or what he did for a living? 

No. I didn't watch MTV then. Nor do I care to now.

What do you do for a living?

I am going to school for nursing! I unfortunately had to put college off for a bit because HELLO!! BABY!! WORKING TO SURVIVE HERE!! Ryan is a lineman as well as a diesel mechanic. He went to school for both. (YES... he actually went to college)

Where do you shop?

I absolutely love Free People. But my favorite stores to shop here in Chattanooga are Ann Taylor Loft and Dillards. And I LOVE a bargain. I can't turn that down.

What color are your eyes?

Contrary to popular belief, my eyes are blue. Naturally. NO contacts. Not shit brown...(lol)

What do you guys do for fun?

We live on the lake, so we love all things WATER! An evening boat ride is one of my favorite things to do with my sweet man. In the winter, we like to go riding on our ATV which is Ryan's baby.

What is life like with the show?

In short, stressful. I'm a very mild person but I am passionate about things I believe in! I try to be very transparent and open but that usually gets translated into me looking ridiculously cold and angry. Don't cross my family and don't cross me. haha!! 

How do you get through life and deal with life struggles?

whole lotta coffee, a whole lotta lovin', a whole lotta Jesus and a whole lotta family. I can't stress enough that each day is a new day and a new journey. We are turning our struggles into our story. 

What is it like being a step parent as well as a parent to your own son?

That is a new one that I'm figuring out day by day. I love these two little guys equally. They are both so unique and so special. It is really cool to be able to plan fun things for us all to do that suit everyones needs. I treat him no different than I do my own son. When B comes over, he knows that there are rules to abide by... as does H.

Do you want more kids?

Yassssss, hunny. We both want ONE more. God's plan is good enough for us. We will have one in His timing!

What do you watch on TV?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA we literally go through a never ending battle of who controls the remote... everyday. I'm ridiculously stuck on Bravo and all things Housewives. Ryan, however, cannot get enough of American Heroes Channel. A common ground for us both is Sons of Anarchy which we are currently delving into as I type. (Slightly obsessed with Jax)

 

XOXO,

Mackenzie Edwards

 

 

 

 

Mommin' Ain't Easy

Heres the thing that everyone knows... If you have a baby, you're stuck with that other person for at least 18 years. That being said, its not easy. My son's father and I don't always get along. We don't always agree. But at the end of the day we both know that our differences don't matter. What matters is our son and his happiness. So we decided a long time ago to be fair.... and honey.... fair ain't easy. I have full custody of Hudson but I split time with his father as close to 50/50 as we can.. we split holidays, we split birthdays, we split everything, not because I have to, because I WANT to. I think every child needs structure in their life. It's made a world of difference in all of our lives.

It's cool to be able to experience parenthood on both sides. I've learned that how I interact with Hudson's dad really does matter. I now understand what it's like to see things from a dad's point of view and it's totally changed my perspective on parenting!

 

Happy co parenting!

XOXO,

Mackenzie Edwards

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Wedding Bells ft. Sneak Peek

Here we go! It's time for Ryan and myself to walk down the aisle. I'm all up in my feels today about this special day... taking in every moment with my friends and family! For this occasion we totally meshed our styles together, which is difficult because we have such different tastes. Ryan is the total "manly man" and I am a total "girly girl" so coming up with a happy medium is challenging. We decided that the ceremony venue would take my style and the reception space would take his. Let me just say.... IT IS GORGEOUS. Totally rustic chic. {clearly I'm C H I C and Ryan is R U S T I C} I'm obsessed and hope my whole life takes this look..Soon, I will post all the deets! 

XOXO,

Mackenzie Edwards

Enjoy the sneak peek!

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Life Happens

 

I went to a popular private school in town from the age of 3 until my junior year. My mom was a teacher there so I always had to be on top of my school work. Although I never brought school work home, I always managed to finish it 5 minutes before it was due with at LEAST a B if not an A.  I was always trying to be Little Miss Perfect. I never got into trouble, pretty much always did what I supposed to do and everything always went my way.... Until the day I found out I was pregnant with Hudson.

Everything changed. It happened before we had to go back to school for my senior year and I remember being so scared to tell my parents. What would they think of me? Would they be disappointed? What was I going to do about senior year, let alone college? After telling my mom and dad, who were so so sad about the situation, we had to tell my school. I got kicked out of my high school. I felt abandoned. I had known these people since I was 3 years old. They were like family. Not one single time did I ever get a phone call or a text just asking how I was doing.. I saw star athletes doing drugs and failing out and they got to stay.. But I was pregnant and I couldn't?  I had to switch schools in 3 short days and it was "go mode" from there. 

My parents wanted me to "do the right thing" which turned out to be the totally wrong thing. At 17, Little Miss Perfect married her high school boyfriend, 4 months pregnant. {Funny side note: Kane Brown who is now a country super star sang at my wedding and was a groomsman...}The nick name almost seemed ironic at this point, I went from having everything to my life doing a complete 360. I always knew I was going to keep Hudson, because abortion was never an option for me. It goes against everything I believe in and never even crossed my mind. I switched schools and graduated on time.. actually EARLY! 

My "marriage" that wasn't even a marriage sunk like a ship and fast, I started working night shift at a local hospital in the Postpartum Unit and adulthood practically punched me in the face.. pretty sure I  got KO'd.. It was so tough. I felt like a living zombie. After pulling myself up by my bootstraps, I moved  back home, started to get myself together and figured out who I wanted to be in this world. I didn't have all the nice new things from Pottery Barn like I had dreamed about. I ate off the dollar menu at Taco Bell. I didn't drive some fancy new car and the simple reality was, if I didn't go to work, Hudson and I didn't eat. So I went. Every day. And I began to finally know what it meant to be H A P P Y.  I bought my first car by myself, everything I owned came from Target, and I was broke as a joke but we were finally making it.

The point of this blog isn't to make you feel sorry for me because I don't feel sorry for myself. Hopefully this can shed some light into why I may have this tough demeanor sometimes or the reason it seems one sided. I have been through a lot and I don't have time for trivial bullshit when there are real things happening in this world. Teen pregnancy is totally glamorized in todays society. The fact of the matter is that it isn't glamorous. Hot dang I wish that it was. It's not this wonderful thing where everything goes your way all the time and you never have to get off your butt and work. Thats not it at all..you struggle, you crawl before you learn to walk, you work your ever living butt off and YOU. WILL. SURVIVE. {PSA: Ramen Noodles will become your best friend} 

XOXO,

Mackenzie Edwards