Tag Archives: depression

Letter to an Ex X

Dear X,

If I had known what I know now, we wouldn’t have gotten married. We wouldn’t have had an amazing child together. I wouldn’t have stopped trusting so openly and without cause. I wouldn’t have been carrying around baggage. I wouldn’t question myself on every single decision. It’s likely that I wouldn’t have sold the family business. I wouldn’t question my mind.

But it happened. You conned me. You fooled me, my mom, my family, and your step-son. When it comes down to it, you felt unworthy. You started using more routinely. Because, I believe you were already using. You decided that you couldn’t do it without superhuman characteristics. So you sold your soul, and your wife, your ‘sons’, your dreams, for something that made you feel so good at the time.

I have a hard time understanding, because I haven’t been there. I won’t even take antibiotics. But I have been addicted to things. I ‘needed’ cigarettes for many years, and diet coke, and sugar. So that makes me just as ‘bad’, even though I manage to hold a job, pay my bills, pay for our child’s holidays, birthdays, school functions, soccer, karate, church functions, and playdates.

I have accepted that you will never be a part of anything financial in our child’s life. That you will forever disappoint him because you cannot test clean. I’ve watched every episode of Intervention. So has my boyfriend. We have talked in great length and depth about how we will never unburden ourselves or Ethan from this massive web of destruction you have casted upon our lives. I have had nightmares about what you are doing to destroy your life, and how that affects our son. He loves you, but he accepts that you are not here. You cannot be there for yourself, let alone him.

You talk as though everything wrong you have ever done is in the past, yet you have zero proof that you are any closer to that next milestone of where you ‘should’ be. You have clued me into how you cheated on your lab tests. How you used until 3 days prior, and then switched to suboxone – the very drug that now, people are getting hooked on. The very drug that could kill someone like me. I didn’t deserve this, but no one that lives through the cleaning up of an addict does. Why should I be immune?

I shouldn’t. That’s the truth. It was God’s plan for me, and God will continue to see me through. Losing our home, my car, your job, your income, your support, is not the worst of it. In truth, the worst of all of this rests in something much deeper.

Our child has learned that he can only depend upon one of us. Now, he is happy to lean on anyone else. This creates the gang-mentality that I will likely have to always combat. I always dreamed of having the family I didn’t have. That will likley never happen because of the environment your addiction has created within our lives. But as a Christian, I am supposed to forgive you, accept you, and turn the other cheek. And this is the worst part. I hate myself for not being able to do any of that.

You have ruined my life. You have ruined our child’s life. Instead of starting from the bottom and working our way up, I am forced to start in the trenches. Our son is 8. Your addiction, you say, began when I was 5 months pregnant. You are repeating what you knew. I am a workaholic, repeating what she knew.

You had a horrible childhood. Your parents both had serious issues, and were heavily medicated. They spent most of your childhood unemployed because of it. Guess who gets lost in the shuffle?

I refuse to disappoint our child. He deserves a family who shows him love, who teaches him how to love unconditionally. I may not be able to reconcile what you have done, but I can work to improve the future of our child. And while I may have spent the bulk of my life believing that I don’t deserve more, I believe that I absolutely do.

So my plea to you is this – please work on you. With everything you are, and everything you ever wanted, work on you. Make strides in that direction. Go to meetings. Make valuable friendships, based on trust and clean living. Pray. Listen to what God has to offer. Earn a living. Be a grown-up. Show our child what it’s like to be a man.

We will take your recovery seriously when you do the same. When you’re finished with the lies, the manipulation, and the fiction. Our son wants his dad back. You told him the truth. Now live the promise. I refuse to assist in the lying, in the promises, in the fairytale. The work is yours to do. Whether you do it or not, our child will feel loved, with or without you. It’s your call. I cannot do it for you, and I cannot help you anymore.

If anyone out there is contemplating destroying their lives, consider this. When you were a child, you had those lucid, beautiful moments. You will continue to experience those, but not if you are leaning on substances. Those are lies. BE YOU. Naked. Truthful. Genuine. And vulnerable. Beauty is found in solace and serenity. Not in substance.

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Evil Ego

Between two loving beings, there is no room for ego. There is no room for impatience, nor fear. There is no room for doubt, or hurt. But inevitably, in every relationship or friendship, the closer we become, the more likely it is that the ego will try butting in and messing everything up that you’ve worked so hard to build. Why does this happen?

In my very humble, very human opinion, it happens because the bigger the love grows,  the bigger God becomes and the more the ego feels threatened.

You may have heard people say that the devil is trying to win someone over. The ego is the devil. He can destroy the strongest of castles, harden the softest of hearts, and possess the humblest of people. What he can’t do is continue to exist in the shadow of love. We have to recognize the evil ego and stop his flames before they destroy us. It’s an every day battle, and then sometimes it’s not. But when couples have been married for decades they say (and they always do), ‘it hasn’t always been easy’, this is what I feel it boils down to.

There is no reason to feel attacked by those negative feelings when the ego gets out of control. No. We should recognize what’s happening and understand that the love we feel, the glue that holds us together, must be strong and wonderful stuff if the evil ego wants so badly to destroy it. We should feel flattered.

So, be flattered, and then destroy it. Every last bit. We can’t control the behavior of others, but we can control our own. We can choose to feed that ego with anger and watch it overtake our lives and relationships, or we can choose to feed that love with tenderness and devotion and watch God grow instead. We have that choice.

Tracks of My Fears

I have always, and I mean always, had an unexplainable desire to go off by myself and hike the AT, or get lost in the woods for a few weeks, or get lost in a city without ever speaking to a soul. That’s not depression. That’s just me. That’s not me vying for attention, or trying to get people to worry, or trying to prove something. No! Instead, it’s quite the opposite. That’s just me wanting to become better acquainted with…well, me.

A couple of weeks ago, I almost gave up publicly posting anything to my blog, or anywhere for that matter. My boyfriend and my best friend were worried about me because of things that I had posted. They didn’t understand, and I can appreciate that. Writing has always, and I mean always, been my outlet. When I feel powerless over the direction of my day, powerless over the intensity of my emotion, or powerless over my powerlessness, I write to protect myself from becoming too sad. Since I started publicly blogging 18 months ago, I have felt an added layer of satisfaction and fullfillment with my writing therapy. Somehow, sharing what’s going on in my head with a large of community of people makes me feel less selfish, and more like a part of something much bigger than myself.

Last night, I watched the movie ‘Tracks”. If you haven’t seen it or are unfamiliar, the movie is a re-telling of a real life event where a woman takes off on a long journey with four camels and her black dog to trapse across the deserts of Australia on foot. Some movie reviewers take issue with what they consider the movie’s lack of character development or a lack of plot in general. I have to disagree, even though I am always a fan of a good character developing plot. I love getting into other peoples’ heads. It truly is my favorite thing to do. But there is something about the acting of the Mia Wasikowska and her depiction of the real life heroine Robyn Davidson that cut me to the core, and left me with a deeper understanding even though the dialogue was almost non-existant. You can learn so much from just flashbacks, expressions, and body language, and that IS the magic of fantastic acting.

I doubt that I will ever trapse across a desert, hike the AT, get lost in the woods, or get lost in a city without ever speaking to another soul. At least I doubt I will do any of these things alone. But there is something to be said for taking a pause in life to just be, and learn, and delve deeper into the whys and fears of your own mind. Getting in touch with the soul is a powerful way to denounce that pestering ego that tends to kill our happiness with all of its untrusting and demeaning ways. But, having said that, just a word of caution. TOO MUCH time alone, delving deeper into the soul, can lead to an isolated spirit, separating you from those you  love & making you feel like you’ve fallen out of the universe, and are no longer part of something bigger. As humans, we all need to feel that we are part of something bigger, whether we belong to any labeled religion or not. It’s all in how we are wired.

So take a few breaths today. Maybe even meditate your way across a mental desert, but go deeper into you, to love you, and understand you, and watch as your tracks become a guide for those who have been lost themselves.

Focus on What You Want

We all need downtime, and we should all make room for that in our lives. What that downtime looks like, is not the same for everyone, or every time. I love writing, but sometimes the juices aren’t flowing in the direction that they should, and writing becomes a burden rather than a pleasure. Downtime is not the time for burdens.

In similar news, I started the week meeting with a bunch of my favorite women at a Reiki gathering. I received and shared so much during this gathering that I could write a novel. One of the topics we discussed was how we were all in transition periods of our lives. Some of us knew where we were headed. Others of us did not. What my dear friend Carolyn suggested was that we all ‘Focus on What We Want’, even if we didn’t know what that really looks like. We know what it ‘feels’ like, and that’s where we could zoom in, and experience the emotion. I can do that so easily that I can almost ‘taste’ my dreams!!

When you really think about it, it’s easy for us all to get so wrapped up in the self-pity trap that we forget how to focus on those things for which we are grateful. We forget the blessings, or at least choose to focus on the pitfalls instead, and we do this even though we KNOW better, because we are silly humans. I get it. It’s not always easy to focus on the rainbow above you when you’re stuck drowning int he quicksand below you. We must clear it away. We must clear away the muck before we can shine the gold that is our intended purpose – the life that brings us joy.

My friend and fellow blogger Karen wrote today a very vulnerable post about a crossroads she experienced many years ago after her father passed. She wrote about losing her joy, about how she went through the motions of life, and rather than experiencing joy or zest, she had wanted to end her life at that pivotal time because without joy, life is not worth living. I’ve been there too. Sometimes because of death, other times divorce, and still other times because of financial setbacks over which I had little control.

But joy is fleeting. We cannot feel it all of the time. If we NEVER feel it, then we are depressed. If we sometimes feel it, then I think that means we’re okay, that we have balance in our lives. Still, I can’t think of any reason not to focus on JOY. I think we all should focus on joy from time to time. The more we focus on something, the more likely we are to attain that.

So get out there and Focus On What You Want, but don’t forget to savor and feel gratitude for what you already have.

Reflection on the mirror

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a reflection worth? For most of my life, I would’ve answered ‘about five cents’. I never gave much credit to my own reflection. She was too short, too stout, with chunky cone-shaped legs, a muffin top, and sagging breasts. In fact, this dialogue had gone on so long inside of my own head that I had grown quite comfortable with the discomfort of myself within my own skin. Apparently, and to my surprise, many of those around me have had the same struggle. It was always easy to accept the inside of me, to even ‘love’ myself internally without ever ‘accepting’ myself externally. When we are self-aware, we become pros at this dynamic – loving one part, and rejecting the other. 

The problem is that if we do not accept and embrace our complete selves, then can we really ever ‘love’ ourselves? When we fall in love with someone, we generally love them completely, or at least – that’s how we should love. 

We all have a choice in this. If we do not love some part of ourselves, we have an opportunity each and every day to change that part for the better, and if we focus on what we want to become – I truly believe that is what we will become. But we cannot settle for our own excuses, and that my friends, is difficult. 

As for my own story, I have been putting in the work for a few years now, the fix what was broken inside of me that caused me to linger on the negatives I saw in my reflection. That work began on the inside, the spirtitual, the psychological, the emotional, and eventually transcended to the outside once I felt stable enough to add that work. I have always worked out in some way – yoga, pilates, kickboxing, running – but I never could achieve that ‘number’ – size, weight, measurements, that I so desparately wanted….until now. I had to get to that place in my mind where the voice pushed me farther when I wanted to quit. I had to delve deep down into my ‘hunger’, into my relationship with food, to understand why my choices were sabatoging my journey. 

In our society, food is largely accepted as its own reward. We socialize around food, comfort with food, and reward with food. But food isn’t really the problem here, anymore than a gun without an operator kills. We need to fully understand our thought process, question our own ‘hunger’, and most of all, we need to stop telling ourselves that eating healthy means we are depriving ourselves of the very happiness that others around us have the joy of receiving. When we make choices, they only effect our own bodies.

I am not perfect, by any means. And as my boyfriend would tell you, I still have slight mood swings when I eat foods that are unhealthy because I still battle the guilt of those choices. But for the most part, I make good choices now because I am motivated by this new feeling of acceptance that I have for – not just the inside of me – but for the outside as well. It has taken me almost 38 years, but for the first time in my life, I believe that a reflection is worth a gazillion words, and not just pretty words, but words of strength and self-awareness. I have a deep-seeded need to help others get here, not for reasons of vanity but for reasons of acceptance and self-love, because in all reality, if we stop battling ourselves, we also stop battling everyone around us who love us. We cannot change our reality by excusing ourselves. We can only change our reality by accepting ourselves. Acceptance and self-love ripples from us and into our relationships by transforming self-doubt into self-love, which also just happens to make happinesss a little more contagious.

Under the Influence of Estrogen

So many things can happen under the influence of estrogen. Of course, one can behave like a woman, and that’s bad enough. But too much estrogen, and one woman can resemble those snickers commercials. Yes, she can turn into a completely different actress…or actor…or a different vicious animal altogether. And I know. I was there.

I wanted an IUD because I have had pretty severe emotional issues with birth control pills. I had heard, and had read that the occurrence of such issues with these magical inserts was a rare and unique thing. Call me rare and unique. I got to be part of the 1% that gets to experience IUD craziness, and I came very close to ‘inserting’ myself straight into a padded room,  or maybe even a ‘straight’ jacket. There was nothing straight about my thinking whatsoever.

For some, it’s a God-send, for others of us though, it’s a send-straight-to-hell.  And for those that must experience us rare and unique cases, it’s as if someone else, with a leaky faucet & puffy eyes, has morphed into our bodies and taken over. I have a very clear vision of Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost in mind. I also see the girl from the Exorcist, head spinning, vile green chunks spewing from chapped lips. It ain’t pretty.  I couldn’t watch children playing at the mall playground, hear a Christmas song, or read a goofy children’s book to my son. I also couldn’t take a shower, blow dry my hair, or stick my pinky toe outside of my sheets in the morning without cleansing my cheeks with sludgy estrogen induced teardrops.

And while this alien has since been removed from my body, I’m still in awe of it’s ability to transform me into mush so easily. Does that make me weak, or too impressionable? Whatever bad things you can say about such birth control, you can’t say that it doesn’t work. I never was off of my period during its five week stay. The only thing I enjoyed was crying the last few days, and I was more wishy-washy about personal relationships than I had been as a teenager.

Talk about wreaking havoc on your own life, with your own consent! Who needs alcohol, when you can have teenage-raging hormones, after all? Yes, it was effective. I didn’t want sex. And that is its secret ingredient – a built-in psychological corset. Good stuff.

If you hear of anyone experiencing these issues, and they have an IUD of any kind that includes hormones, pass it on. There is a priest disguised as a doctor, complete with a white jacket and stethoscope. She can turn back to her doctor. The same one that gave her the ‘possession’ can also take it away. And he/ she will certainly argue that it’s probably NOT the IUD. Remember,  you know your body better than any doctor or exorcist out there, and you’re not leaving till the demon has left the stage!