Monday, September 17, 2012

Light the Match

There was an exact moment that I woke up and and consciously decided to live.  I don't mean like, "you only live once" kind of thing.  I mean I decided to live. 

I was driving home from a friends house at 5am.  We had talked literally ALL night.  I sat down with her as one person and drove away the next morning as another.  I drove away and on that 15 minute drive I decided to live.  Up until this conversation no one had told me the truth.  No one had told me what I looked like from the outside and you know what scared me the most?  I wasn't hiding it as well as I thought I was.  She knew, and if she knew then how many others knew?  So, here I was alone in the car and I had two choices.  Finally I could lay down and let the darkness take over, or I could light the match my friend had given me and start digging. 

It's obvious what I chose to do, I chose to live.  That was 15 years ago and I am still digging and I will be for the rest of my life.  You know what is so beautiful though?  Once I admitted to myself that I was going to have to work at keeping the darkness away it became easier.  Does that make sense?  Once I stopped trying to hide it and stopped fighting so hard to be "normal" I no longer had to carry it alone.  I can retreat when I need to now because there are people around me that allow me to do that.  Sharing the burden of depression, (or really anything) is key to surviving.

We'll See...

It's been a long time.  Life kept on going and I never had a moment to write.  I recently read some advice in a magazine intended for someone who wants to write.  She said to put it into your schedule as an appointment.  I thought this couldn't work for me because I usually just write when I have something that just won't stop going through my head and I need to get it out.  Then I thought, maybe if I sat down regularly with the intention of writing my thoughts wouldn't have to yell so loud to get out.  I want to try this and see what happens and I plan to attempt this here.  We'll see...

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Lost Years

This time of year I always find myself thinking back over my younger days.  I have TONS of stuff that I wish I had done differently.  There were so many things that I cried about and got mad about that were so unnecessary.  I hated school.  I had friends and wasn't picked on at all, I still hated it.  I almost didn't graduate with my class and I had no plans for what I would do after I graduated.  I wanted to sleep, that was my plan.  I had a boyfriend that went away to college and I was so sad when he left.  I wanted to be with him forever....ummm, we didn't even stay together until Thanksgiving break.  I thought he was a jerk because he basically had a life and I wasn't part of it anymore.  It was my fault though.  I needed goals and direction but I had none.  I spent the next five years wandering.  (Mostly figuratively but there was also some literal wandering too.)  FIVE YEARS!!  It makes me sad.  I wish I could have a long conversation with that girl, help her find some direction.  I met my amazing husband on May 27, 2000.  Almost exactly five years after I graduated high school.  He helped me find direction and he helped me feel loved.  I had never felt loved before by anyone, ever.  Not because no one did but because I wouldn't allow it.  For some reason he stuck around through the crazy.  He could see the other side when I didn't even know there was another side.  The fact that the years that I lost in between high school graduation and meeting my husband happens to be exactly the same amount of time it would have taken me to get a degree and probably find a job is not lost on me.  Those will always be "The Lost Years" for me.  If it was a movie it could be a hysterically funny comedy or a heart-wrenching drama depending on how it was spun.  If it was a book it would be a "choose your own adventure" because that is how I was making decisions at that time.  I took the long way around but I still got to my destination.  Maybe that's all that really matters? 

Just for the record, it will be 12 years in August and it has never been better.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Life is Good (Except When It's Not)

I have been too busy and happy lately to blog about depression.  It is fabulous!  Don't worry though, it will come back.  It always comes back but you know what is great about being where I am on this journey?  I have gone up and down so. many. times. that the pendulum swinging doesn't scare me as much any more.  Of course I'm saying this on a good day.  I probably wouldn't sound so optimistic on a bad day.   

Friday, February 3, 2012

If the Name Fits...

"The finest hour I have seen is the one that comes between the edge of night and the break of day, it's when the darkness rolls away."
No song lyric has ever spoken to me so much as this one.  I had two recurring dreams as a young child.  I won't bore you with the details of the dreams but I would wake up from them crying and shaking, spending the rest of the night throwing-up.  The only time I would feel better was when I saw that hint of sunlight in the sky.  You know that look when it's not actually any lighter out but the sky seems to have a tiny glow to it?  That is when the darkness is rolling away.  At the time I didn't really know what was going on or why this happened to me.  You know kids just live in the moment (externally at least).  Years later I realized that these were my first experiences with anxiety.  For years and years on into my twenties this would happen to me.  The dreams went away but there were other scary things that would wake me up in the night and I would sit and wait for the darkness to roll away, then I could sleep.

When I had baby #3 this finest hour took on a new meaning.  You see, my first two babies were born in the afternoon because the 1st was a c-section and the 2nd was highly medicated making him come into the world in a less than natural way.  Baby #3 was altogether different.  She came completely natural and it was a journey.  If you think labor and delivery is just about getting a baby here that was not the case for me.  Yes, that is the most important part but it also turned out that I needed to work through about twenty years of pain and self-loathing before my body would delivery this baby.  I was certain that no one had ever been in such pain ever and there was no way I was going to come out on the other side.  Towards the early morning hours I locked myself in the bathroom and was telling everyone and myself that I couldn't do this.  It was after my midwife convinced me come out for just a minute that I noticed the sky changing.  I felt almost instantly renewed.  I was still uncertain about whether I could do this or not but I was gonna try.  She was born soon after.  Baby #4 came on her own too.  This time there was no emotional journey.  I had worked that out with #3.  I could do this and I knew I could do this but I really didn't want to.  I had a "let's just get this over with" kind of attitude.  I was annoyed that it wasn't going as fast as I wanted, actually if you ask my husband he would say I was really pissed.  After 26 hours she was born.  It was 5:49am just before the sunrise on Easter morning.  The finest hour became even more beautiful and just full of all things wonderful after this.
Recently, after briefly sharing the story of my last two births with a friend she commented on how fitting my name is.  Funny, all my life I had never made that connection.  She is right, my name is pretty fitting. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I'm Pretty Sure

Me 4 years old (on the left)
Lucy 4 years old
I'm pretty sure God gave me Lucy so I could see what I would have been like without depression.  I'm also pretty sure He gave me her last so I would have the time to really pay attention to her fiesty personality.  From the beginning she was physically my twin.  I can compare pictures of us at any age and we could be the same little girl.  She was the easiest baby ever and I said all along that she would get me back at some point.  I didn't realize I would be so right about that so soon.  She is opinionated and full of personality. 
Lucy didn't walk until she was about 20 months.  She had no need for such trivial things, she was too busy dancing.  Her favorite song was, "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" by Cindy Lauper.  From the first note of that song she would start raisin' the roof and bouncing on her bum.  I am not kidding, she had it in her from the beginning.  Her taste in music hasn't changed a whole lot in her four years.  She still loves Cindy Lauper but she has added to that Lady Gaga, P!nk, Kelly Clarkson and any music from Glee.  Depending on her mood she also enjoys almost any broadway song.  She loves all the same music I do.  (She does like to occasionally head-band too, after-all she was partially made by her father.)
I watch her and wonder if I would have been like her had I felt free to let my inside out.  Lucy holds the place in my heart that was probably supposed to be reserved for loving myself.  I see myself in her in so many ways.  As I watch her I grow I am keeping my fingers crossed that she won't loose her spunk as I did.

Chillin' in her car seat

Just a regular morning at home.