I’m learning to enjoy life by seizing the opportunities and growing from the mistakes. Writing is my greatest outlet and form of expression. When I enter the shower I check the corners for spiders. Every. Single. Time.
Pandemic sucks. Divorce sucks. Who has two thumbs and went to 2020 suckfest? This guy!
I am always hesitant to share, even though I love writing. My insecurities, fears, guilts, and a fear of burdening others plagues my desires to reach out. Which makes sense now that I think about it that I enjoy creative writing. It allows me to say what I feel in an abstract form both vague and yet very detailed and personal. Sorry, that was a tangent but we will probably encounter several of these along the way. But on a serious note I hope as I share we, the reader and I, experience, rediscover, find for the first time, hope.
This year has been difficult for many and I was not immune to COVID or divorce…I got them.
Divorce is like being on a roller coaster made of flubber while riding next to a hangry grizzly. One minute I would experience manic highs – “I got this!”– turn the radio up with sad boy pop/rock and forget about it. But before the end of Senses Fail ‘Can’t Be Saved’ I would be in a pit of depression – “I don’t want to live anymore” , the music admittedly didn’t help but my issues extended beyond my dated music choices. I knew I needed help and change but every time I had tried in the past I failed, gave up, and just fed the cycle of depression and self-loathing.
I started therapy and for the first time in my entire life began to understand myself.
I used to hate being alone because I felt like a stranger in my own body, without being around someone to tell me who I was, who was I? Well, apparently this need for people is called codependency. Addicted to people sounds weird at first but then I started revisiting my relationships and realized that is definitely one of my problems. But this new discovery gave me hope that I was learning about myself which meant I could learn how to improve myself. Not only was letting my marriage go personally the most difficult experience of my life but add an itching addiction to people and you would have thought I was a junkie.
But with the help of therapy, family, friends, and a new perspective I endured and survived.
Admitting my need for help, coming clean with my weaknesses, and being willing to accept that there are things about me that even I don’t know. One would think all this would be depressing or demoralizing but it was empowering, encouraging, and again I felt a surge of hope. In weakness I experienced strength.
I take meds now, a low dose, and they serve as an aid. Sadly it took a devastating loss to realize therapy isn’t a last ditch effort, pills aren’t smarties of shame, and talking to yourself doesn’t make you crazy (the masks are nice because I can talk aloud to myself and no one knows, I’ll miss that). Speaking of talking to ourselves- I can be so hard on myself. I think I give decent advice when people need it but I am a terrible friend to myself. So on my bedroom wall I have hand written encouragement from me, to me, for me, so that I learn to talk sense to myself. On that same wall is a description of what codependency is so that each day I can remind myself to be on guard for those traits and remind myself the battle is ongoing but we are #winning.
At one point I seriously had no hope and I came close to checking out. But in the suffering of loss bloomed the desire for healthy change.
Letting go of shame, fear, other’s opinions, of people I thought I needed to survive, letting these go I gained a peace I had never had before. I began to invest in myself, addressing my problems, and enjoying life by myself.
If I could encourage anyone with one thing it would be:
: Things that are, do not always have to be:
For years I had unhealthy coping habits that fed a cycle of depression and self loathing, change seemed impossible. But like the time in third grade when I wanted to be fancy and wrote a cursive 2 but did it backwards, making it a 6, I got the answer wrong because of that (reminds me I should bring that up in therapy. Mrs G, you knew it was supposed to be a 2!) BUT yes, I was wrong.
Change is possible, hope is always there, and you are not alone.
I can say this with total certainty because I experienced them all at the brink of hopelessness. I am thankful for the community of stories shared where we grow in the joys and pains of healing. The valleys are where I discovered who I was. Climbing the mountain is how I overcame. And each day I find a new valley, a new mountain, a helping friend, and lending help to a friend. Keep going, we got this.
Pandemics suck. Divorce sucks. But 2020 Suckfest rocked my ass off!