Living With My Perfect Imperfections
As I reflect back on your ups and downs, your shock value, and your political atrocities I am forced to look back on a year that brought me to my knees and kicked me in the teeth as I was down. The new year always seems to bring out the best and worst parts of a person. Reflecting on your mistakes, planning for better futures, and the hope of a fresh start. Although there were brief moments of joy, triumph, love, blessings, new friendships and forced personal growth; you, 2017 are a complete son of a bitch. Every month you threw me curveballs, tripped me up as I tried to skip in the light. With every step forward and every small win I dealt with the emotions and demons of a hot-anxious-manic-mess. Pure fuckin’ mania held inside my thick and chubby walls. You, 2017 are responsible for buckets of tears, countless sleepless nights, and in turn an inner strength I never knew I had or needed. 2017, you may have twisted my parts, sprained and bruised my bits, but I did not let you break me. Even at my lowest, darkest and scariest moments the silly, curious, and absolutely beautiful life and light that radiates off of her face saved me. She saved me from your pure jackassery.
On June 7th, after weeks of being beaten down by my own demons and feeling like the weight of my entire world was on my shoulders, something inside of me snapped. In my irrational and manic state of mind I had been obsessing over the idea of taking my own life. From the moment I woke up until the moment I fell asleep at night all I could think of is how my family would be so much better off without me. I was convinced that I was holding them back from a happier and fuller life.
For weeks I had been exhausting every avenue, desperately trying to get my family back home. He says that its not on me to get us home, but I feel and know that that isn’t true. To this day I feel the burden holding me down, barely keeping my head above water. The feeling I get every morning that I have to lace up my combat boots and get into my car and do my damndest to spread the word on how our products are what they need, and hide the fact that this job is sucking the love and joy right out of my life. After weeks of searching for a change, housing, daycares, and going over every minute detail of a huge move in my head, things sort of fell apart in a hurry. Within hours I went from believing that we would be home this past summer, to maybe it being possible in a couple of years, again. AGAIN. Again, my failure’s, my shortcomings and lack of a piece of paper to prove to the word that I was educated, was holding me back. Holding all of us back.
Along with the disappointment of not being able to relocate, on top of the feelings of letting my entire family down, paired quite horrifically with the fact that I felt my insecurities and demons ripping my body and soul to shreds. The thing is life and every day responsibilities stops for no one, and I still had to pretend to have my shit together. I still had to take care of my daughter while my husband was gone almost every other week this past Spring. I still had to do my job, put on my “sales” face and pretend my heart was in it. I still had to smile, wave, and act like a normal and decent human being when a neighbor or parent at my daughters school greeted me.
I guess I was just a glutton for punishment, because the day to day mix of overwhelming anxiety, stress, and pure shit going on in my brain wasn’t enough. I then decided to re-enroll in school, to finally graduate. Through the entire process of finding all of the necessary contacts, advisors, and courses needed to graduate all I could think about was how this was yet another thing I failed to do. It’s another one of my life’s disappointments and setbacks looming over my head over the years. If I had only finished school the first time, if I had only done things differently, what if I would have made the time then, so I wouldn’t have to make the time now…
Thoughts of could of, would of, should of’s rolling around my head giving way to the deepest and coldest darkness. It’s a pathetic existence; your mind just screwing with you at every turn. No matter how hard I was trying to be okay or how hard I was trying to find the light, every fiber of my being was just telling me over and over again how bad I just plain sucked at life. How awful I was for holding my family back. I was convinced I was just the worst human being alive. That was my reality every day, and I just wanted to end it.
So, on that Wednesday, June 7th as I was bawling my eyes out and barely able to keep my focus on the road I had made up my mind to go home and get rid of my biggest problem; me. As I got off my exit I was sure it would be the last time that I passed the cute little country store. It would be the last time I saw the entrance to the apartment complex that I lived in when I first moved to PA on my own. This was it, I wasn’t going to let my absolutely pathetic and useless existence hold my family back any longer. They didn’t need me, I just knew it. They don’t need you.
As I made the right turn onto Old Market Street someone, somewhere wanted to make sure I knew that she needed me. There was my daughters class out for a walk, a group of tiny toddlers seated in their bright red buggies about to cross the road I was driving down. I could see my daughters teacher stop, as she pointed to my car, and then she motioned to my daughter to look my way. There she was, right in the front seat, pointing and waving at me from the side of the road. I slowed down long enough for her to see me wave and then kept driving. She saw me and she was smiling from ear to ear. Her teacher that day had put her little curls up in a tiny pony tail on the top of her head, and she looked like such a big girl, but she was just a baby. My baby. My baby…
Even if I did and still suck at life, she needs me, right? As soon as I rounded the bend towards home I picked up the phone and I called my husband. He had thankfully walked out of a meeting to answer the phone, and through the most regretful and scared tears I told him everything. I told him that all I could think about was killing myself. How I was so scared and that I needed help. He stayed on the phone with me until I was home. I didn’t even go into the house. I opened up the back door to let my dog out, and I collapsed on the patio furniture. I don’t remember how long I laid out there, but I do remember that my husband called me every half hour until he could get a flight out of Canada, and get home to me.
He called our daughters daycare to let them know we would be late, and he took me to our family doctor. My entire life I was adamant about not being medicated, on anything. I wouldn’t even take tylenol unless my head felt like it was going to explode. That day though, I wasn’t given a choice, I was given a prescription and a mandatory weekly therapy appointment. I was ashamed, and I was scared that my husband was going to take my daughter away from me. In one moment of manic depression I almost lost everything. I almost lost the chance to walk my daughter into her first day of school, to watch her grow up, to see her graduate, get married… I almost lost the infinite possibilities that I still have in life.
I’m not starting this new year with false hope, big promises and annoying resolutions that are almost all but forgotten before the mess in Times Square is cleaned up. I’m just going to do my best, that’s all. Somedays that might not be enough for my husband, my boss, my family or friends, but it’s going to have to be enough. There will be days where the joy and light is pouring out of me and nothing and no one will be able to dull my shine. However, I know me, and I know that there will also be days where I don’t want to get out of bed and it physically hurts to smile. This is my scary truth. This is what my depression looks like. This doesn’t mean I’m a bad person, it doesn’t make me a bad wife, mother or friend. It also doesn’t mean that I’m weak. It just means that I have to work a little harder sometimes to see the light in myself, and be stronger than my demons are.
So, here’s to you 2017… you were the fuckin’ worst. With your political, racial and global nightmares. Your natural disasters, tragic losses, and daily reminders that a tweeting, narcissistic, orange, psychopath is the leader of the free world. 2017, I’m so over you and your bullshit. I need you to know that even though I’m a complete mess on most days, you didn’t kill me. You didn’t win. My life will go on, I’ll still have a chance to watch my little girl grow up, cherish and adore my husband every day. I’ll be able to make mistakes, make amends, gain or lose weight, laugh or cry… You, however are completely over. You’re just a walk of shame after a regrettable drunken night out that everyone is trying to forget.
You didn’t kill me.
Girl, I don’t even know what I want from you, and that’s okay. I just want my family happy and healthy, and I just want to be okay with who I am. I rang you in while wearing pajamas, sitting on the couch watching Law and Order SVU. That Olivia Benson is my hero, however, I miss me some Stabler. Anyway, instead of toasting with champagne, I was sipping tea alone while my family slept. I ended up falling asleep in my writing room until my daughter woke up at 1:30 and just wanted to “snuggle.” Maybe she knew I needed her. Well, I guess I’m writing to say, don’t be a bitch. Mmk, thanks.