I have spent the last year stagnant. I have simply survived the day and kept doing the same thing over and over again. There has been very little done with passion or intention. As I wean myself off of the antidepressants I am now having to deal with a year that was very hard. While on the meds I didn’t even realize to what extent I was not paying attention to my life. Now I sit here and I’m lost. I have no goals. I have no direction. I am full of indecision and I despise indecision. And yet…and yet with a grateful heart I will look into the last year…and the coming one…and ask for more to be thrown at me.
On February 6th of last year I lost one of my best friends to a brutal murder. My chest is still so heavy when I think of it which is often. I think of the fear in her last moments. I think of the life that was cut short. I think of the laughter we shared and how she would never want me to still be in mourning. I mourn Mary Lou though, I mourn her immensely. Grief is a funny thing that while we are trying to fit it in our heart with all the love and joy that we had with that person it sometimes starts to eclipse it. Our love turns into rage and denial that someone can be gone from our life in an instant and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. Death…is the only guarantee in this life.
On February 13th my on again off again boyfriend of 9 months told me that he loved me but he “needed to figure some things out”. This after 3 months of him sometimes living with me, playing a father role in my kids life, being unemployed, and then when he went back to work he left me and got back together with his ex wife who he always said was “his best friend but he wasn’t still in love with her”. I have forgiven him. I even emailed him and told him I wished him well. My God, it still hurts. I loved him beyond all reason. It hurts to be taken advantage of, to be set aside, and to know that he is now married to someone else. I have to forgive him though or I would never be able to move on.
On November 28th my ex-husband, and the father of my youngest, died by suicide. We had not seen him in 8 years. 8 years that he sometimes didn’t pay child support, that he never contacted her, 8 years of being so mad at him I couldn’t stand it. 8 years of missing him, and knowing that I would have taken him back even knowing that he was a habitual liar and cheater. I never stopped loving him really. I mourned him for 8 years and now it seems I’ll be mourning him for a bit longer. The amount of rage I feel towards the man has grown. He left me another mess to clean up. He left her with the loss of hope. No longer can she think that maybe she would see him when she got older. He’s gone. I still miss that man and the way he made me laugh.
This past year was a year of many doctor’s appointments and the diagnosis of Celiac Disease and possibly Rheumatoid Arthritis. My health has gone downhill quite a bit and I’m so very tired all the time. I just want rest. Physical, spiritual, and emotional rest.
I don’t write all these things to show “oh look. I had a really shitty year! Feel sorry for me!” or, “oh yea? You think you have it bad? Look what happened to me!”. I write this because I will be grateful for the things that rip my heart out. If I had not lost these people, if I had not gone through this pain, would I be who I am? Stretching back through all the years when you think of all the sorrow, joy, struggle, triumphs, and sometimes the vast expanse of nothing-all of these things made you who you are. I could hate them and hate who I have become. The past few weeks I’ve been struggling to find the words and to find the emotion that I am feeling. I am feeling stagnant. Restless. Uncomfortable. These are feelings of future growth.
If I didn’t have depression would I have the compassion for others that I do now? If I didn’t have physical pain would I have the empathy for suffering that I have acquired? If I hadn’t lost loves and lost loved ones to death, would I have a heart that gives more than it ever takes in?
Most importantly, if I had not had this life would I be able to write effectively and reach so many people so that they don’t feel alone?
Feeling grateful and blessed to have felt this grief, loneliness, helpless, and rejection is what I was meant to learn. I spent most of the year in a stupor, having no clear idea of what I was doing. I still don’t really know but I am learning and I am growing. Pain is about growing. You learn from it. Sometimes you just learn that you are tough enough to withstand the pain. Sometimes you learn that you have to accept it and not wish it away. Pain will always be here while we’re alive. It’s what we do with it that matters.
Even as I am being battered by the storms of life, ridiculed, forgotten, maimed, judged, and deceived- I will lift my face to the sky and ask for more. It is not my place to be comfortable but to comfort. It is not my place to be accepted but to accept. Storms bring renewal after the damage and they reveal the truth by blowing away that which isn’t solid. Give me the storm that I will know the strength of my roots and the beauty of a life that was tested.