Monday, March 11, 2013

March 11. A Strange Anniversary

As I plugged my earbuds into my phone this morning at the gym, I caught a glimpse at the date. March 11.

The eleventh day of March used to mean my best friend from junior high school was celebrating her birthday. Now it means something more. It brings up really weird feelings. It isn't an anniversary per se, but it is now a day that makes me think a lot.

Today marks two years since this day:

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Two years of feeling aching and utterly crushed. In the last year my friend Lindsey has talked about the literal breaking of one's heart. I knew exactly what it was she spoke of, because I too had felt that awful break. The pain, the anguish, that only subsides with time. I felt it when we lost our baby. I felt it on March 11, 2011.

After watching this clip from The Walking Dead this week, I felt it perfectly described pain and grief. When I heard the news my husband had to share with me on that night, this is exactly what happened to me. I was so broken, I could not breath. I was Rick, right down to the stumbling in a heap on the cold concrete because all of the strength in my body was gone trying to comprehend such heartache and loss. There are still twinges of pain in my heart when I think on it too much, so most of the time I try not to.

This was two years ago. Two years is a really long, long time to try to be working through pain and heartache and grief. I have learned that forgiveness is possible, but that forgetting can be really hard. I have learned the my kids were so tiny...and I often second guess myself and some of my decisions, and oftentimes wonder if I had made different decisions would I be second guessing myself then? I don't know. I have zero answers.

Last year at this time had me with divorce paperwork in my hand. Whew. Feels so hard to say, so awful to say, but I did. I wanted it over. There were just so many mountains to climb, and we are still climbing them...but I wanted some of the pain and hard work to be done, and over with.I felt like divorce was one of those answers that might be more quick than painstakingly fixing my life with a magnifying glass and super glue.

Then I got a text from my little sister on March 11, 2012. She was letting me know that our mom was in the hospital. She tried to end her struggles on this earth, and somehow she was found before that was possible. I knew she was sick, but I had no idea how low her pain had become, that leaving this life would be preferable to finding help and happiness. So. Much. Darkness. So. Much. Pain.

Again, heart wrenching, gut cutting pain. I can still remember seeing my mother on the gurney in the emergency room. Ghost white. Over the next days after she was released from the hospital when she came home with heart began to change toward my husband, toward my mother...and family became the most important thing to me.

Today is not easy. I will honestly tell you that. There are days I don't know if I love, or still love, or want to love, or hope, or what is happening. There are a lot of days I am just here for my kids, out of obligation, because I hope and I pray for better days.

The good and happy days are beginning to outweigh the really terrible and bad ones. I am learning that broken dreams may have to stay broken and I might have to make new dreams, decide on new dreams, build on new dreams. I have learned that fairy tales do exist, but just not for me, at least not now, and I have learned to be okay with that.

Today marks two painful years. Two of the most I have ever had to endure.

Today marks another year that I have my mom.

Tonight I will make cupcakes. We will light a candle to celebrate that she is still with us.

I might light one for us as well. Two candles...hoping to burn into three, and four...and five.

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Path to Heaven Runs Through Miles of Clouded Hell

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Photo by the beautiful and amazing D'Arcy Benincosa.
I am so blessed to call her my friend.

The last few weeks and months have been clouded Hell. (I am in love with Imagine Dragons aren't you?)

Living with depression mixed in with the occasional bout of anxiety makes for some tough days. It is hard to describe to someone who has never dealt with it, or lived through it. I suppose to an outsider they might think, "Get over it!", "Life is good!", "Look at all you have been blessed with."

These are the things I remind myself each and every day as I wade through this cloud.

Two months ago my mom came to live with us. This has been challenging as well as rewarding. She was diagnosed with a severe mental illness about a year ago. Dealing with her challenges on top of my own have left me very stressed and depressed a lot of the days. My heart aches because I feel she was neglected in the home that she left. I know and see that she needs someone to love and care for her and to check in on her and make sure she is okay and handling things well. While she is mostly normal, she still needs someone to check in on her and let her know she is human...and loved. While I love her with all of my heart, it is hard to have a house guest...especially when it may be permanent. She knows how I feel, she feels similarly and understands my feelings, we talk about it and make sure that we are all aware how hard our current situation is. I just wanted to put that out there lest anyone think I am a horrible daughter.

A few weeks ago my older brother and I got in a huge argument. I hate fighting with anyone. This particular evening, when I dropped about a million f bombs left me so utterly sad. I shook for days, I was sick to my stomach and couldn't eat. It was horrendous. The argument left me not wanting to blog ever again. Fingers were pointed and I was told I was not a good person because I write about my family on my blog. I have written about my mother on my blog, and about my husband on my blog. "You're going to regret writing those things five years from now!" he said. I spent many hours crying over this. Stressing over this. Running from this. What I took away from this event in my life, was understanding. I have two parents who are very dependent upon their children right now. My brother is dealing with my father in his sad emotional state, and I am dealing with my mom in her emotional state as well as her financial state. The argument became one of comparison and feeling alone in our separate situations. I am thankful I ended the phone call before I said too many things I regret. Happily, I got a phone call from my sweet 6 year old nephew a few days later. Like a healing balm, his sweet voicemail was like superglue to my crushed heart and soul. His call had nothing to do with the argument I had with his dad, but just one asking me to bring my kids to play with him. It was enough for me to call my brother and apologize for anything I may have said that hurt him.

Still, words hurt. They can never be erased, and they ring in my mind that perhaps I don't have the right to blog so much about my life. So I have been afraid to come back because I don't want to ever feel the way I felt that evening on the phone. At the same time, I realize how much courage it takes to share your story, and have seen countless times that by doing so, it helps myself and others.

It took me a few weeks to grab my shovel and dig out, but I am trying to come back. I truly am. It is so scary, and so hard...but I am trying. Don't give up on me just yet as I continue to try and find where I fit into this world.

I am in this clouded place...running through these miles and miles of Hell. I just want to feel what Heaven is like. I have faith it gets better. I know it gets better. I know it will. For now, I am thankful for my sweet babies who are giving me glimpses of my own piece of Heaven. They will have to do for now.