Just dive in shall I?
It hasn’t been that long ago that I didn’t think my life was worth much.
Funny isn’t it? How I can post fun exploits here and still feel that way? How I can share with you, but, I’ve stopped sharing with those close to me after hearing ‘just get over it’ or a version of that too many times.
I’ve been suffering from such extreme anxiety and depression that even getting ‘home’ was a hit or miss. Luckily, I didn’t hit anyone.
Couldn’t breathe. Couldn’t feel my hands. Couldn’t see. Put my windshield wipers on just to adjust my eyes. Focus! Breathe!
As for the ‘ with ‘home’ – no, I’m still not settled.
It’s not my space. It’s OUR space. And while sharing one seems quite romantic, it’s a constant compromise where before I had no need for such a thing.
I have always been able to be alone and not feel lonely – and truth be told, there are days I feel lonely living with someone.
There’s also the matter of being so far from places. I have my Rapunzel moments. And I have times I don’t know what to do or where to be.
Anyway, these past months have been tough. Well, let’s be honest, past few years have.
Couldn’t wake up without my heart pounding therefore disallowing a shower.
Couldn’t lay down because ‘horizontal’ was not an option.
It hasn’t been that long ago that I thought – “What else is there? I just want to be done.”
I absolutely thought about how I’d do it.
After all, I’m well traveled, ‘been there done that’. I’ve loved. I’ve lost. I’ve experienced the most amazing of things and the worst.
Besides, ‘no one will miss me’. (Untrue, I know.)
Now I’m entering a time of my life that I’m not completely pleased with. Losing others I love.
Losing control over my own health – well, to be fair, I could have more control but I’m also in that delusional phase of, “But, it’s MY turn now!” Fuck the warnings! Why on earth would I want to miss out on anything – I could die tomorrow!
Sought out a counselor, only to discover this psychologist was a once only, prescribe drugs type of guy.
Too bad, because I liked him.
I didn’t like his two drug decision. I have been on anti-depressants before, and I hate that feeling of … ‘other’. Outside of self. No highs, no lows, just – zombie.
I reached out to his office and explained I would find another way.
My general doctor told me, “You seem very smart, but, you can’t ‘smart’ your way out of this.”
Oh, yes I can.
I watched (binged) Ricky Gervais’ After Life yesterday,
There was a quote about religion, or, rather, the lack thereof.
He responded with (and yes, I’m paraphrasing), okay, so would you stop watching a movie knowing there was an end and nothing after that even if you were enjoying the movie?
It resonated with me.
It gave me pause for thought.
I want to finish the movie.
I am someone who has ‘good’. Also, always looking for it. I can offer something to the world even with my glitches.
I can be feeling my lowest and still find beauty in something. Even at my worst, I still notice special things around me and have the wherewithal to appreciate them!
This is absolutely true.
How do I know this to be true?
Because I’ve been doing it to the person who means the most to me.
I’ve been defensive and sensitive and internalizing everything my son has said to me lately. Projecting on him my current self loathing, self-deprecation and insecurities.
One example: Yesterday I rose early, went immediately to the Laundromat and did our laundry. Yes, ‘our’ laundry. I see no point in making that trip and spending money on those machines only to do MY laundry. (See, I’m already defending myself thinking ‘surely someone reading this is going to think why isn’t HE doing his OWN laundry.’) I do this all the time. Defend my actions/thoughts/opinions. *Sigh*
I return from the Laundromat and tip toe around the house as my son had a late night with some friends.
I cleaned as quietly as I could. I made two amazing dishes from scratch. Then I had to vacuum … so I woke Nic.
It was after 1 p.m. by this time anyway.
I finally relaxed with a movie and some time later he found me in my bedroom telling me that the waist band of my jeans might be damp.
How did I take it?
I took it as a passive-aggressive remark in order to inform me that his jeans were not dried to completion.
My internal dialogue?
Well, SOR-RY! I mean, I only work full-time and support us both and YES, I knew I had only put our jeans in the dryer for 20 minutes this weekend instead of 30, because I wanted to come home on my last day off! I knew they’d dry before anyone would be slipping them on. And oh, excuse me for not doing YOUR laundry perfectly while you were sleeping and jobless and …
All of this occurred in my head. What came out of my mouth was a lesser version. Something like “So, you’re saying I didn’t dry your jeans enough?”
But it was said with snark and my feelings were truly hurt.
Was that his intention?
But I’ve felt so ‘less than’ that I consider everything an insult lately.
I’m not pleased with how I’ve been living, or rather NOT living my life.
I’m not pleased with my lack of gratitude or joy.
I’m not pleased with my weight gain or my indulgences.
I know I can change all of these things – but I just don’t have it in me right now.
I am unhappy.
And the way I’ve been treating others, mostly Nic, is a direct result of that.
I’m scared. I’m scared I will be alone.
My Nannie is passing (I’ve mentioned this before) and my mum has been out of the country with her for coming up on two months now.
Nic and I discussed this, and in his youth – (I hope) in his limited life experience … said: “You won’t do that will you?” Meaning want him with me as my life comes to a close and then linger.
I was shocked.
I weighed all the information I could grasp in my head so as not to lash out. Of course, ‘hurt’ won out and I said, “No, I’ll be sure to die as quickly as possible for you.”
I hope that by sharing this – getting it written down and out will be the start of ME taking action to STOP this hurtful cycle.
I want ‘happy Amanda’ back. I want to respond to others with confidence and love. I want to return self-love to those I care for.
First step: Acknowledge the problem.
Ok. I’m going to give this a go. I am keyboardless and, as well as my fingers fly over an actual keyboard, is how NOT well the touch screen thing works for me. I’m awful at it. Which I think is partly the reason my ‘pay as you go’ cell phone terrifies me. The whole’ touch’ ‘swipe’ thingy combined with auto-correct, back up and do it again thing is like a bizarre millennial hokey pokey.
I didn’t want to open like this, and if I had a keyboard, it would start like this:
I’m scaring my dog.
Then it would go on to say:
She sticks close by, unsure of my current mood. Or, like yesterday, sticks close, positive of it.
I was alone and having one of the worst spells I’ve had in a while. Ms. Agnostic hit her knees and prayed “PLEASE don’t let me die right now. Not today.”
My heart was acting up big time. I could barely walk Butters. I took the three steps down to our yard and though, “oh my god, I can’t do this.”
But I had to do it. She needs me.
It was a quick walk around the yard, and when I came in, I felt like calling an ambulance. My face was flushed, heart pounding, dizzy. Yeah, taking the dog out to pee.
I know the difference between a ‘spell’ and my ever-increasing anxiety attacks. This popped up in my news feed the other day and I thought, “Yes!.”
Used to be I had a few triggers. Now, I have an arsenal. The screaming from the house next door, a weird sound coming from my car, crowds … Any sort of dispute in my ear shot. Now, add changing lanes in traffic, Butters taking off and barking in the yard.
My poor nails try daily to grow, but I hinder them and their quest.
I’m alienating friends, scaring off others. The only time I feel comfortable is at work or with my son.
Even when I DO ‘reach out’ I can’t find the right words and come off as a psycho.
My sleeping pattern is off. I’ve gained weight, which, is a good thing … But, I haven’t been trying.
top all of this off with my Nannie who has been in the hospital for a while.
I feel like I don’t get to say how much she means to me, because someone might be offended.
I also feel like someone may be offended by sharing my current state of, let’s just say it … Depression.
I am still quite capable of seeing ‘good’, I just don’t feel capable of participating in it.
Poor little Christmas tree is barely ever lit. I’m not counting Christmas down in ‘how many sleeps!!’
I’m just here.
And mostly smiling all day and then scaring the dog when I sit on my bed and cry.
But I did just notice my purse looking like a weird octopus, so I still have that.
(Cartoon art credit to Hyberbole and a Half … Please don’t sue me.)
I hit an emotional bottom last night.
Just too much going on in the world.
Too much going on in my heart and head.
Too much going on in my immediate circle – people passing, friends and family being ill or broken with this and that. Plus my own recent health scare.
Miss ‘I can live alone’ also has to come to terms with the fact that, approaching 50, and having lost the one person I could imagine sitting in a rocking chair next to, that I may very well BE living alone in my ‘golden years.’
They’ve recently built an ‘assisted living’ home across the street from where I work. Next door to us is the administration building. I see people bringing their elderly relatives to discuss housing – knowing once they’re there, that’s it.
They gingerly enter and I want to wrap them all up in cotton wool. The sadness on their faces – it is my undoing. But, it’s a great facility. They’ll be cared for and nourished mentally, emotionally and physically.
There’s to be no assisted living for me.
Let’s face it, I can’t even afford to procure health care right now for the issues I DO have. God forbid something catastrophic happen.
I’m scared of being alone.
I’m scared that I have no nest egg.
I’m scared to die – and, I’m scared I haven’t been ‘good enough.’
Last night I reached out – because my thoughts became very dark.
I needed to hear that I made a difference in some lives. That I was loved.
I needed it like I need oxygen.
Luckily, I’m very picky on my Facebook and so when I do reach out – or if I am a total idiot, I’m accommodated/forgiven depending on what I’ve posted.
I have wonderful friends.
I need to make a point of telling them more often!
I don’t want to eulogize loved ones when they’re gone. I think people deserve to hear how special they are and what a difference they make in my life while they’re still able to hear it.
Anyway, I needed to hear my eulogy.
Because last night, I wasn’t feeling loved.
I wasn’t feeling ‘good’.
I wasn’t feeling important.
I was feeling completely broken, beaten and hopeless.
I was feeling lost and abandoned.
I was feeling used and discarded.
I was feeling like I wanted to be – done.
Just … done.
Please know, these were just feelings … I treasure my life. But the feelings were so intense they scared me.
And so – this is why I reached out.
My post said this:
“You know how we have an impact on someone’s life and don’t even know it? I need to know it tonight. Not ‘fishing’ straight up asking, have I, and in what way, had any sort of impact in your life? I need this. I don’t need complete kudos – I just want to know – if I was in anyway ‘good’. Just trust that I’m asking for a good reason – and please don’t ask why. X”
My friends came through for me.
I was given ‘virtual’ love that I so desperately needed.
I was validated.
I was lifted.
And I was not questioned.
I was eulogized and … it made me feel alive.
I saw glimpses of myself that I forgot existed.
I remembered moments shared with far away friends that had faded from memory.
I felt warmth and love.
I felt and still feel, SUCH gratitude for the amazing people who took the time to give me their time when I truly needed it.
I am a blessed woman.
Still hurting … but not feeling so alone.
I am so glad I put my pride aside and spoke up.
It’s been a rough few weeks.
And because I must always be honest in order to feel any serenity at all – I’m sharing an ugly part of it with you.
Last month I shared that I lost my job – since then my son gained one. He’s been away a lot, staying with my mom in a neighboring State to cut down on his commute.
I on the other hand, had been home a lot, and his absence filled every room with a palpable foreshadowing.
I then received an urgent call from my landlady.
She was warning me that she had finally presented my nightmare neighbors with paperwork, and that it did not go well and they were angry with me apparently.
The truth of it was that after all the traffic, drugs, domestic violence and general disregard for the community – the community had had enough.
She tried to tell them that it was more than one complaint from more than one neighbor. But they had decided the closest to them was the snitch.
I knew what they were capable of, so to learn this was in short, terrifying.
My routine had to change – I feared they might harm Butters, my dog, in my absence. I feared another attack on my car during the night. I wasn’t so concerned about them breaking in and doing me bodily harm, but still had a hard time falling to sleep – and am keeping weapons at my bedside.
Add to this that I found myself in the middle of a triangle of toxicity when it came to matters of the heart.
I was lonely. Scared. Had too much time to think and had too many things going on – my serenity was shot and my stomach cramped with emotional discomfort while my heart ached.
Night after night I looked across at an empty couch.
It isn’t so much that Nicholas wasn’t sitting on it. He’s spreading his beautiful wings and while I miss him, I’m proud of his ability to fly.
It was that nobody was sitting on it.
Problem is, I know myself well enough to know that I don’t want anyone constantly on the couch across from me – and yet I was lonely.
I walked around the house in a fog.
One night – as I was taking my medicine, I had the thought ‘I could take ALL of my medicine.’
This thought didn’t hang uncomfortably in the air – it blended into the room as if it belonged there.
I could take ALL the medicine and cease to be.
At that moment of time, I was terrifyingly okay with that.
I felt I’ve seen and done more than 100 lifetimes. I felt my role in my son’s life was shrinking to nonexistence. I felt I would never be loved the way that I loved. I felt so completely depleted of all my hopes and energy that I had nothing further to do here.
And God how I love life!
I have SUCH gratitude for my humble shelter – the food in my kitchen – the pictures in clouds and the beauty of weeds. I seek out good everywhere I look – I love to the nth degree and I cherish every friend and loved one in my life.
And still I stood staring down thinking ‘I could take ALL of my medicine.’
It breaks my heart.
But at the same time, there was a beauty in letting myself feel that pain and hopelessness – I knew I was being what I always strive to be. Authentic.
I wasn’t brushing the thought away like an annoying gnat with a ‘Don’t be silly.’
I KNEW I would not do it. I knew this. But I knew the thought was very, very real and could not be discounted.
It forced me to look at, then let out – all my pent-up emotions.
It forced me to stop for a moment – without flitting from dishes to dog and errands to emails and look myself, literally in the eyes.
I stood at the mirror, leaned over my bathroom sink and noticed myself.
There she was.
A real person who had been wearing herself so thin and worrying herself physically sick.
Miss independent – unsure if she could provide. Miss solitary – needing company. Miss brave – afraid to go outside.
And as Butters looked sadly at me, missing her boy – and not understanding why she had to be locked in the house all day – I felt completely lost and vulnerable.
But I felt.
And I always do – so deeply.
And though sadness overwhelms me – so does joy. I love in vibrant color with a panchromatic heart.
And I am content with ‘enough’ and I do not want ‘ALL’.
I could poetically end there – but that would not be honest.
Things are looking up, they always do.
There is always hope waiting for those who can look at their lives and choose to live it.
I have an amazing job opportunity just around the corner, although, I’ll probably always have a healthy fear of not being able to provide the necessities.
I’m still sleeping with several weapons at my bedside, but so far so good as far as the neighbors go.
I’m still lonely, but this is a good thing for me! I used to think I didn’t have the capacity to need anyone. Craving human interaction is definitely a step in a healthy direction.
I have incredible friends that love me and show up.
I have a loving family that I can count on.
The world is so beautiful – and the universe is carving new paths all the time.
And I’m willing to walk them.