I’ve been teetering on the edge of that deep dark pit. I’ve felt it for weeks. My anxiety has been at an all time high. I’ve been struggling to not fall in. It is taking everything I have to just get by. I am going through the motions on auto-pilot. It’s a constant cycle. Just when things seem to shine with light I’m hit with that darkness.
Reading about another high profile suicide hasn’t helped. I am heartbroken. Again, it hits way too close to home.
I’m not actively suicidal at the moment, but I’ve been there. I’ve fought with those thoughts and feelings. I’ve faced those demons. I’ve struggled with the desire to just have the pain end. To be able to finally find some peace.
It’s still hard to shake that feeling of loneliness. That’s what depression does. It lies to you. It tells you that you are alone even when you are surrounded. It tells you that you don’t deserve the people who care about you. Or that the people you care about would be better off without you.
Yet, here I am, wearing my all too familiar mask. Playing out the act I perfected as a child. The one that tells the world I am ok. The one that tells the world I have it all together. The fake smile, the fake laughs, the fake happiness.
This part of the cycle is always hard. I am lucky to have a fairly good support system at home. He helps me through the struggle. He pushes me to keep fighting every time. He forces me to keep my balance on this edge without letting me fall too far in.
I will be ok again. I will continue to fight my demons as long as I can.
We need to be more open about mental illness. Not be afraid of our struggles. It’s okay to not be okay.
If you are struggling, please, open up. Ask for help. Talk to someone. Talk to me.
This is a safe place.
“Dare to reach out your hand into darkness, to pull another hand into light.” – Norman B. Rice
Well, technically they have a couple days but I rarely send them the last week so we are done. Finished. Finite!
Summer is always stressful for me because we are all together in close quarters. The kids tend to not listen. They fight with each other. They make messes they don’t pick up. It’s all a lot to deal with.
As I’ve said before I don’t handle stress very well, and all of them home all day stressing each other out stresses me out.
Yesterday was our first day of Summer and it went pretty well at first, but by the end of the day we were all maxed out. They weren’t listening, I had to yell to get them to do anything. It was a little rough.
There isn’t much to do in our area, as for family activities. We have a few small splash pads and parks but they aren’t very big and after a while it gets boring. I guess since they are finally older we may have to start going to the bigger cities around us to find some entertainment.
Anyway, we are ready to take Summer head on. I know I will stress a lot having them all home, as I always do, but hopefully this one goes better than usual. I’ve been doing pretty well and having more better days. The husband is back on his regular schedule so he will be around more, too. That helps as he is surprisingly good emotional support.
I want to have as many good days as possible. I want my little Turkeys to remember a happy mom. I want their memories to good ones.
I’ve been busy. Distracted. Happy.
Well as happy as I can be. I’m still not quite sure what happy truly is. Sure, I’ve had fleeting moments of happiness or something resembling it. It never stays though.
It has been a busy couple of months. We finished out our first year of dance and full year of tumbling. We had our first dance recital and gym show. The last week of that was hectic but worth it. The kids did fantastic and it was great to see all their hard work pay off.
We have all been sick off an on for the last month also. So that’s kept us busy trying to get everyone healthy again. These allergies really kick our butts.
I’ve been in planning mode for the littlest turkey’s birthday party. I truly enjoy planning these parties so it’s always a nice distraction.
So the hustle and bustle of the last month or so has had me in good spirits. When I’m busy I have less time to live in my head and let that dark cloud hang over my head.
Now that things are settling down some I can feel it. I’ve had a lingering sadness following me the last few days. I’ve felt its presence slowly creeping in. I’m trying hard to keep it at bay but it’s a fight I don’t always win.
I have to give him a shout out.
He’s been here for me through the ups and downs and the highs and lows.
He reads the articles I send him that describe my mental illness more fluidly than I ever could. He is willing to learn everything he can to be better for me when I need him.
Even though I usually don’t openly come to him. I tend to take my emotional pain and struggle out on him. I internalize.
Still, he is there. He recognizes. He bugs me until I open up even just a little.
Yesterday I wasn’t feeling well. I wasn’t sick but I’m still learning what foods I can handle since my gallbladder removal and the food I ate the day before was not one of them. Well, I was not eating. I was acting uninterested in eating and I was being kind of mopey.
He offered me food. He offered to make or go to town to get me food. He offered to share his food. I refused. He became concerned. He asked if I was feeling down and depressed and maybe that was why I was feeling funky.
I cleared it up that it was just tummy troubles and everything was well currently. He still set me up in bed to relax and binge watch my show and not be bothered, just in case.
I really don’t give this man enough credit.
I think I am finally figuring out who I am.
I have always had anxiety. I have always been incredibly shy. I have always had low self esteem. I have always been a people pleaser. I have always cared too much about the opinions of others.
All of this has always kept me from expressing myself. It has kept me from being who might be the true me. I still don’t know who that person is but I’m excited to be free enough to try to finally find her.
Last year I dyed colorful streaks in my hair. This is something I’ve always wanted but been too afraid to do because I feel like I would be judged negatively. Even if people weren’t actually judging me I felt that judgment. It is something I’ve always done. I perceive every thing as a judgment. I’m pretty sure it stems from the anxiety issues.
So this and the shyness has always kept me from doing things that draw attention. Like dying my hair fun colors.
I’ve made it a goal this year to step out of that comfort zone.
I am dying the tips of my hair purple soon.
I even got a tattoo. Something I have wanted to do since I was fairly young. Every time I got to a point where I might actually get one that perceived judgment would sneak in and make me change my mind.
Enough is enough though.
To see change in my life I have to be the change.
So, that is what I am doing this year.
So far I’ve managed to feel happier than I have in a very long time. My moods have been fairly stable lately, which helps I think.
Today is my youngest son’s birthday. I rejoice in this day. I go out of my way every year to make my kids feel extra special on their birthdays. No matter how much money we have, what is stressing me, or what is going on in our lives. I decorate our table with party ware, hang birthday banners, either cook their favorite breakfast or surprise them with donuts. I give them a couple of gifts and sing Happy Birthday. Every year. It isn’t much but they love it.
I love their innocence. I want to keep that magic alive for them as long as possible.
We had had a rough couple of birthdays for this little guy. Money has been tight in years past, dad was working out of state, Pop Pop died the week prior. Even through these difficult times I put on a happy face and wrap him up in all my love.
That blind innocence gets harder to keep alive each year. At school not too long ago, they had a gun safety course. One day this month they have drill for what to do if there is a shooting at their school. My sweet little innocent (now) seven year old came home asking if we have guns in the house and what he should do if he found one. It broke my heart that he has that on his mind and heart. In light of recent events, I am even more sad.
It breaks my heart that my kids are growing up in a world where we have to have safety drills for a school shooter. Or a world where we have to worry about little kids getting the family gun, bringing it to school, and accidentally shooting a classmate. We live in a world where people stalk mothers in parking lots and grocery stores trying to steal their children away to sell them to the highest bidder. A world where people go to night clubs, festivals, and concerts and open fire or set off bombs on people just trying to have a good time. Our world has gone to hell in a handbasket.
This world is the one my children are growing up in. I fear for them every single day. Each birthday signifies one step closer to when they are thrust out into this big bad world all on their own.
For now though, there is nothing I can do but love them and hold them a little longer, hug them a little tighter. Most of all, I can appreciate the moments I have with them.
Today is my day. The day I celebrate my age advancement. The day I celebrate myself. The day I celebrate when I graced the world with my presence.
I have always loved my birthday. It was the one day absolutely everything was about me. I loved that as a child. I loved the attention and of course cake and presents. Even as a young adult I still loved my day. It was my second favorite day if the entire year, only second to Christmas.
That is until I became a mom. My oldest was born just a little over a month before my birthday and I have never celebrated the same since. I also don’t love that I am getting older. The birthdays still in my twenties were a little more exciting than the ones that began my thirties. In my twenties, my friends and I still got together and went out. The last few years we haven’t.
I also spent a good part of the last few years depressed around my birthday. It has most likely been a mixture of feeling my age and all the stress of having young children. The stress itself keeps me on the borderline of having my depression rear it’s ugly head. I have also felt burnt out the past few years. I have been stuck in a rut and bored with the monotony of raising babies. I have spent nearly half my life as a mother. I began to lose myself in all this and in turn began to hate anything that reminded me of yesteryear. My birthday, a day to celebrate me, a day I once looked forward to six months out of the year, had become a day of sadness and despair.
I decided at the beginning of this year to be better. I want to be happier. I want to have more good days. I want to look on the bright side of things instead of living in that comfortable darkness I have called home for so long. I decided to embrace getting older and everything it means. Therfore, Isis have actually been excited about this year’s birthday. I didn’t have anything big planned but I knew I didn’t want to sulk about it this year. I guess my brighter self through this year has been noticeable. My best friend surprised me with a movie night for my birthday and my kids threw me a party. Well, the party was just us at home and they used things around the house to decorate but the thought really touched my heart. They were so excited about it and that I didn’t downplay my birthday this year like I have previously. I let them celebrate me and be happy about it.
And It has been a good day. He had a slight bump in the morning where things were looking rough but I tried my best to work calmly through it and not let it get to me and ruin my day. Normally, those bumps can throw off my entire day. Try as I might I can’t always pull myself up and out of that downward spiral. I’m glad today stayed as a good day.
So, Happy Birthday to me! The thirties aren’t as bad as they seem. Even though I am a third of the way to forty now.