For a long time, my life revolved around the roller coaster that my mental illness left unchecked had me strapped into. “Strapped in” is kind of a generous term; it was more like I knew something was wrong and I was desperately clutching the straps of the damn thing as it hurtled me through the air at breakneck speeds up and down serious slopes and around hairpin turns as I tried to decipher it. Screw destroying it, even coping with it. I hadn’t even begun to decipher it. I wasn’t given time between the ups and the downs and the spiraling thoughts that had my head racing at all hours of the night. I asked myself several times if I were really going crazy and my crazy self always answered with honesty. “Hell yes, honey.”
It took a crash and burn, a date with Death. Even Death stood me up, so I gave up on giving up on myself and I started to tackle the things in my life that I could control. My bad marriage, my living situation, my acceptance of defeat and the vow to try, try again. Four years later, I am still working on it. I am safe, and I am loved. Those are two issues of vital importance that I did not feel were covered in what I try to refer to as my past life.
As I dealt with each of these various areas of my life, I found that the roller coaster was becoming less thrilling, less terrifying, and less of a ride at all. It became a swing, carrying me on the breeze. I forgot about it when I stopped looking. I forgot about how much it hurt to be that low, and I forgot about the sick fluttery feeling in my stomach when my car gets to the top of that coaster. I let myself believe that it, like many other bad habits and ideas and failures, could be left in the past.
So I haven’t been able to write for a while. It’s bothered me immensely. I find my skin is too itchy, the firecracker neurons in my legs leave me with little relief. I am awake and exhausted. I am hungry for everything but there’s nothing I want that tastes good. I think I want coffee but I can’t find a damn shop that keeps a drink I like. So I eat ice cream instead.
Let me just say the biggest bother that’s a lead weight (HA!) on my chest. It’s breaking my heart… and well, that’s probably quite literal. I foolishly stepped on a scale at the thrift store the other day, and it caught me off-guard. I thought to myself, “YEP. That is DEFINITELY broken.”
I’m ten pounds away from being the fat girl again. The girl I almost gave up on. The girl I hid inside of and ate cake and hate. That’s right, hate cake. I ate so much hate cake that it nearly killed me. It took a divorce and a six-day workweek to counter all the weight gain from that hate cake and I can’t do those things again. Especially not where I’m working right now.
Just kidding. I love my job.
But seriously. I’ve felt off. My hair is gross, and I can’t figure it out. I cut it and I hate it. I can’t wait for it to grow out and be long again. I loved cutting it, and I loved when it would curl for me, but it doesn’t cooperate with me and I’m over it. I miss my hair and right now, I miss it because I feel like I need something to hide behind.
School is two quarters away from being finished. I ended up extending myself by a quarter because I wanted to take an extra class with two prerequisites. It doesn’t make sense to me not to have this class involved with the general business major, but oh, well. I don’t see myself getting out of this area anytime soon, anyway.
Which brings me to my next lament – this general dissatisfaction in my soul. I need to break out of this place, this funk I’m in. I had such hopes and good intentions for next year, but I need to reassess that situation and really figure out if my finances can handle that. I feel like I need to be in a better place, but then my memory reminds me that I’ve done so much with so much less, that surely I can handle the changes involved in uprooting the family and starting anew elsewhere.
I feel like I need to head home for a while. By home, I mean the place I called Home first. I feel like it is my turn to take care of some things and be there for those who have sacrificed and spent so much of their lives on me. I’ve discussed it with the girls and they love the idea, and it would be so nice to be close to family that has been put on the back burner pretty much since I started this rebuilding mission a few years ago.
I have always shuddered at those who forget their mothers. When I was visiting the 6th floor, I was in a room with an older woman who felt her family had forgotten her. She was depressed because her children had grown up and moved on and seemingly forgotten every step until the one that brought them to where they were – and she was left behind. Yet I have seen this happen in my own life as I struggle to recall the last time I had a conversation with my Grama, or as I catch sight of something on my shelf that I have been meaning to send, or as I remind myself for the umpteenth time to pick up some stationery and send Aunt Linda a letter. As I do these things, I tell myself that I did not grow apart, I grew up. I stopped holding their hands somewhere along the way and started to make my own path. I am now focused on making them proud of me, and have forgotten about them entirely in this process. For that, I am ashamed.
Throw that shame on top of the pile of sh!t that I already feel lately, and you can see why I’ve avoided this place for a while. I can’t seem to put two thoughts together long enough to get them down on paper. I’m so tired all the time. That’s one thing I know for sure I can feel. Every time I feel hurt, I remember that I am HAPPY NOW and I don’t feel it anymore. Every time I feel angry, I remember that I am HAPPY NOW and I don’t feel it anymore. Every time I second-guess myself about anything pertaining to the future, I remember that I am HAPPY NOW and I push it down. There, it’s gone and I am HAPPY NOW.
It has come to the point where I don’t remember what any of it really feels like. I’m somewhere in the middle of it all. When I find my way out, you’ll know.