When I started the Bringing Aunt Becky Back project in January, I knew that I was sort of at an impasse. Things couldn’t possibly go on as they had been because I was miserable and I’d BEEN miserable for so long that I couldn’t see that the bad days outnumbered the good.
It was time to either continue sinking or try desperately to swim for surface.
A lot of that meant that I had to face the things that were tied around my legs, trying to drag me down, whether or not I wanted to admit that they were there. I tend to be a “LOOK AT THE SPARKLE UNICORN SPRINKLES, PEOPLE” because I’d rather not talk about the 400 pound elephant in the room. Hell, let’s feed him some motherfucking vodka and get this party STARTED and ignore that elephant, why don’t you because really, he just lives here.
Slowly, I had to examine the things that were tying me down and threatening to drown me, accept them, and then cut them off. Because holding onto all of those things was only making me sink deeper and at night, the demons threatened to drag me down to the bad place.
A lot of those hurts weren’t easy to let go and many of those things will forever be a part of who I am because that is what happens: the things that hurt you define you in some small way. Past events, those dictate how you will react in the future.
One by one I examined them, and carefully, I bid them goodbye, remembering that I am a better person for each of the things that I went through. I can’t tell you how many nights I sobbed, maybe not sure why, maybe entirely sure why, letting things go.
I was afraid that when I was done, the person left standing would be someone I didn’t recognize. It has been probably a good 5 years since I’ve been in a space where I’ve been genuinely happy, and when all was said and done, who would be the person left behind?
Shockingly, perhaps not-so-shockingly, the person left standing when I chipped away all of ties that bind, and finally resurfaced for air, was precisely the same person who was standing there before. Exactly the same person.
I’d figured that all of the shit of the past years: the isolation of being alone with the kids, the struggles I’ve had to find my own way, watching my parents both hit rock bottom and then get into recovery, raising a special needs kid, drama with the baby daddy, birth defects, post partum depression, miscarriages, migraines, prepartum depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, being ditched by two of my best friends, the isolation of having a husband who works 80-120+ hour work weeks, all of that, well, I figured that would make me a different person.
In December, this was my New Years Post:
“While Amelia has thrived and continued to place at or above level for every single test that she’s been given, I’ve sort of managed to tread water this year managing to keep my head mostly above water. Lately, I’ve been drinking gasoline to keep warm.
I’m not sure it’s working.
I was diagnosed with PTSD stemming from her traumatic birth and I don’t know if it’s that, or PPD or some other weird acronym, but I’m not sleeping well or eating well, and some nights I manage fight off the demons and others, I’m slain by them.
But I’m hopeful. I’ve been here before and I’ve always managed to claw my way back out of the hole and into the light again.
So I approach 2010 full of renewed hope for the future, because no matter how full of the darkness I feel, I can feel the light on my face and I know it’s all around me. Soon it will be within me.
I am hopeful.
I have hope.
Happy New Year.”
Today, I can tell you, Pranksters, that the light shines brilliantly not just all around me, but from within me, too. There will be days when my demons win because there always are, but today, my demons are at bay.
I am hopeful.
I have hope.
*In the light we shall see light.