Happy Sunday! I hope you're enjoying the kind of day that makes your soul glow.
I can't say that my soul is glowing, but I pray it will again soon. The fact that I am writing today (and hopefully I do this without deleting it all when I'm done) is a giant fucking step for me. In normal times, I'm writing in my head - every single day. I'm thinking about changes to the book, sentence by sentence, or deleting the whole first third of it. I write the blog in my head. It's a normal part of my day. I've done none of the above for quite some time. Every time I think about the blog, I would shut myself down. I would beat myself up. Surely, nobody needs to hear about what I've been going through. I hate it. I don’t know why anyone would willingly want to know these things, but my promise to myself has always been to write about the good and the bad. I sat across the table from one of the most important people in my life last Saturday morning and expressed some of the things I've been experiencing. It was really one of the hardest things I've ever done: to show someone who loves you just how broken you are. She is someone I've always shared everything with and there was no hiding things. She would not allow it. Still, the fear is if people know just how hard things are in that moment, they will leave. It's all a funny cycle, because being this down - I haven't wanted to be around anyone. So, having a fear people will leave, when you don't want anyone - is not rational, but none of this has felt rational or sane.
I've been feeling down for months now. I was finally able to tie it together with my hormones, last month. The spotting and stomach issues started months ago, so it makes sense that I would start to get down, and not understand where things were coming from. There has been no single event, or even group of events that have gotten me sad. It would be a million times easier if that were the case, if I had a real focus on what was causing it. Last month/this month is when the spotting just wouldn't stop. I think it was nearly 7 weeks straight. I've only quit in the last few days. Coincidentally, there were good parts to Friday and Saturday, and now today - when I find the strength to write - but not get out of bed. For a couple/three weeks it was the worst feeling I've ever experienced - especially when my actual cycle hit. It was a madness/sadness I hope nobody ever has to experience. I spent every moment I could in bed. I slept and slept but could never get rested. My body was heavy (and still is but not nearly as bad). It hurt to move at times. I would drive home from work and fight myself from falling asleep at the wheel. Getting through each day and trying to act/function as a normal person is tiring beyond belief.
It was important to a friend of mine who was turning 5-0 for me to be there to celebrate with her. I was not well as the planning was going on, but I figure it would be short lived - that I would long be better by the time of the trip. Tears would stream down my face as I played the part of the friend who was excited to celebrate. I knew my normal self would be so glad I made the plans with her. I kept thinking over and over how blessed I was to have someone want to spend their big birthday with me. I was unable to commit to going home, though. Even believing I would be better, I could not commit to going home and being around people. She decided she wanted it small, and we would leave town. So, although I was flying home, our time was spent out at a lodge an hour from where I used to live. There ended up still being some fallout from some, that I didn't visit while out that way, but I simply couldn't. To me, I felt like, disappointment, failure, burden were written across my forehead. I did not want to be some crying mess (as I was last Saturday morning sitting across from my friend), when seeing people I loved. The funny thing is, at any other time, I would have loved seeing everyone. I really have a great group of supportive, fun, loving friends and family out there. It breaks my heart that depression took that from me.
For the weeks leading up to the trip, I did not think I would be able to go. I was just trying to get through each hour, and the trip was something I couldn't see happening. If the ticket would have been for the week before, I would not have been able to go. It was not until the night before, that I knew I would go. It took everything I had to get on that plane. I just knew I couldn't disappointment my friend - even though in my mind, she would be so much better off without me there - I knew she wouldn't understand.
I met these two friends through an Autism support group. We have been through a lot together, and I really couldn't have asked for better people to be around. I was not myself but tried very hard. For the first time in quite some time, I felt real joy, when I zip lined. Zip lining generally scares the shit out of me. The last time I went, the only time I took one hand off the line was for a photo. This time, I was fearless and did everything but hold onto the rope. I felt so alive. I again felt pure joy, when watching my friend who is now divorced, light up while reading a message on her phone. I pointed to her, and told our other friend, "She's talking to a boy." She looked so happy, and that brought a real happiness to me. She deserves wonderful things. The last day, the birthday girl and I went to hike Beacon Rock. On a normal day, it's not a real difficult hike. It's pretty steep, but it's only a mile up. That day, however, the trail was covered in snow and ice. Early in the hike, my friend turned around. I was okay with her turning back, as there was another couple that turned back at the same time. I knew she would be safe. There was something in me, that would not let myself turn back. I had to get to the top. Each step was like a chess match. There were places that were a little terrifying, but I kept going. When I reached the top, I was disappointed it wasn't further up. I desperately wanted to hold onto the feeling of being alive. In the middle of all that has been going on, I think of that hike as my favorite of all time. When I was coming back down, near the end, a grown mother and son were starting the hike. I told them a couple of places that were coming up, that they really needed to watch. The woman looked at me and said, "You're so brave." It was as if she was speaking a foreign language to me. Brave, is far from how I've felt.
I turned 46 this week. I didn't want the day to come. I knew I would have to talk to people. I knew I would have to fake happiness. It was a very different birthday than most, especially recent years. I felt as alone as I've ever felt but at the same time, I was terrified of seeing anyone. I went through great lengths to spend it alone. I was happy when I woke up on Thursday, knowing my birthday was over. Depression wins again….
A good friend was wanting to come for my birthday. I would not let her, but she was persistent and came up with a band that was playing in the town I live in on Friday. I agreed, knowing it was the only way to know she wouldn't just show up at my house on my birthday. Other than the trip, I haven't done anything social in a while. We had a good time, and I was glad she got me out. I know this is huge. Even though I still don't feel right, being able to enjoy myself, was a huge victory. It means I'm getting better, much better.
I made myself get out and hike yesterday. It was a shitty day out, and not a great hike. Still, I made myself do it for me. Tomorrow I will go to boot camp. I'm not afraid of the workouts, it's the social part that scares me. Again, feeling like things are written on my forehead. I pledge to work really hard on my diet this week. I need to throw myself into something healthy. I plan on watching a couple of food documentaries tonight to get me in that zone.
I have been continuing to take Vit D drops, Evening Primrose, and a hormone cream, along with my other vitamin supplements, and continue to go to therapy. I feel like depression has defeated me. When it takes hold, I began to feel myself drowning in pain, reliving things that have healed, and my head would spin over and over until it no longer felt like I was drowning, it felt like I had drown. Still, when I could - I would fight for myself. I would get out of bed an go to work. I would drink those smoothies. I worked on my vision board, appreciating the things I removed (because I had achieved), removing something that was not healthy for me and adding things that were. I will spare you from just how bad it all was. I can't even think about it. I'm terrified it will happen again with my next cycle, or I'll start spotting again today. Still, I see the OB tomorrow and will hopefully develop a plan. I feel as if I've drown, yes, but I will continue to work to get myself healthy. I've taken a lot of steps backwards, but today, I'm thinking of those that I took that were forward.
I'm grateful to those of you who have stayed with me, even as I disappeared or have pushed away. I'm thankful to a friend who just showed up at my work on my birthday, when I wasn't making myself available. I'm blessed to be married to someone who will always be there, even though he doesn't understand any of what I'm going through. I'm glad he doesn't understand - because that would mean he would have felt this before, too. I'm happy to the both of you (ha!) that read all of this. I'm sure I lost most after the first sentence or two.
On this Sunday, I truly hope you're able to lead the kind of life you love. I'm working on it. I promise. Here's to good health.