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.

99 thoughts on “In Lumine Tuo Videbimus Lumen*

  1. I’m SO happy you’ve been able to clear away the debris. Isn’t it shocking how long we tend to let that stuff accumulate? Also, hope is close to hop, which makes me think of Dr. Seuss.

    There is only happiness with Dr. Seuss.

  2. It’s a hard day’s scrapin’, letting stuff go. I hope all those tears were cleansing. I hope you feel relieved, revived and ready for what’s next.

  3. I made it through PPD after my first. Then, after one of our children almost died due to a flu shot…it started all over again.

    I’m still not as shaky as I used to be, and having bloggy friends has made all the difference in the world.

    I was alone, I felt…no one really knew or understood or accepted why I was the way I was. But, on the internet, it’s a lovefest.

    I love all the people I’ve met.

    It has been the difference in my days.

    Thank you to everyone.

  4. I’ve so been there–not for all the same reasons, but been there. Coming out of it is amazing and freeing. Just watch out for the occasional dunkings.


  5. I find introspective and zen Aunt Becky somewhat disconcerting.

    (Note to The Daver, who handles this sort of thing: your page no longer caches email addresses; only name and website.)

  6. it’s so good to hear this. you are a strong woman and you CAN do this. i can’t imagine going through all of that and remaining sane. i think all of us would have crazy moments.

  7. (Another note for The Daver: when clicking the Add Comment button, I get a 404. Then I hit back and click it again, and I get the WP “looks like you already said that” message.)

  8. That’s great just remember we are given challenges that we can handle and you’ll be a better person for getting through it i know i have been there

  9. Thank you. Thank you for being honest, and open, and sharing that. You are a lot stronger, I think, than you give yourself credit for. Keep fighting the good fight, and remember… even when you don’t love you, there are those out there that do.

    Praying for you, my friend.

  10. You go girl!! (Still love that saying, even if it’s time has passed.) Hang on with both hands and I know you can pull yourself all the way out!! Have a super day!!

  11. (((great big hugs))) – I always knew the sun shines out of your ass! I am so glad you are feeling it too.

  12. I am with you today, sister, for reals. Somewhere underneath all the shit, we are still the same people, only we have to get RID of the shit to see that the person hiding there is damn.fucking.good.

  13. You have done some of the hardest, most painful work there is. Congratulations for pushing on when I’m sure it felt like you just couldn’t anymore. I’m so glad the light shines again. May it warm your path forever more.

  14. Oh my goodness, thank you for sharing this. I forget that we’re all human sometimes. I often feel like the only person in the world drowning in my bed at night and it’s so reassuring to hear that it’s not just me (though I certainly don’t wish that feeling upon anyone). But you’ve just described exactly how I’ve been feeling. My trials are different, but overwhelming just the same. Doesn’t it feel like the minute you pull your head above water, something new pulls you down again? *sigh*

    You give me hope. You are a brilliant person and a gifted writer. And I wish you endless happiness.

  15. I have been consciously re-discovering my own happiness lately and it’s amazing to me the layers of crud that I have to scrub through to get there. But it’s possible, isn’t it?

  16. Hugs to my Aunt Becky for demon slayage! It takes a strong person not only to slay demons but to realize they will be back on occasion. So shine on girlfriend! You deserve it.

  17. Oh Aunt Becky, you are so full of the Awesome, that there is light all around you, inside you, above you, it’s just bright as hell. We all knew that already, I think you were just unaware that the light was coming FROM YOU. Duh! There’s a reason Mimi kicks ass, you know. She is YOUR daughter (and I guess the Daver helped too, ’cause he’s pretty full of Awesomeness himself). I wouldn’t worry much about your kids, because clearly, they will be okay, just like you are. Yeah, life sometimes sucker punches you in the balls, but fighters like you will pull through and show everyone what it’s all about. There’s a reason all us pranksters hang out here and read your every word. 🙂

  18. WTF? What’s with all the Latin? I thought I left that behind in high school! 24 years ago. Shit. Now I’m depressed…

    Glad that Bringing Aunt Becky Back was an appropriate title for your quest. ‘Cause changing it to “The New and Improved Aunt Becky” would have screwed up all my stalking spreadsheets. 🙂

  19. WTF? What’s with all the Latin? I thought I left that behind in high school! 24 years ago. Shit. Now I’m depressed…

    Glad that Bringing Aunt Becky Back was an appropriate title for your quest. ‘Cause changing it to “The New and Improved Aunt Becky” would have screwed up all my stalking spreadsheets. 🙂

    And your comments are kinda broken.

  20. Well, my “name” is appropriate today, isn’t it?

    Aw, Becks. I’m so glad to know you’re seeing the light…and radiating it too. I was in a very dark place for the majority of 2008 and a good portion of 2009. Sometimes I slip back into that place. It’s a long and very private story–I might share it someday if we ever have the chance to meet face to face. It IS a struggle to get out. And it’s so easy to fall back. But we keep on fighting because we have to.

    You’re totally right about one thing: those struggles become a part of who we are. Sometimes I hate that, and other times I’m grateful. Right now, I’m grateful.

  21. When you acknowledge the elephant, he loses a little of his power. You are using the pain of your past to write your blog, which can make me laugh and cry and helps me get through my day. You are a fighter, and your little girl inherited that. If she had a different mother, she might not have made it. You are using the pain of your past to write your blog, which can make me laugh and cry and it helps me get through my day.

    When the demons come back, let us know, and your Pranksters will joyfully kick those fuckers in the balls.

  22. You know I love love love your Bringing Aunt Becky Back posts!

    You should be so proud of yourself, doing all that work and being happy. That is awesome!! You continue to inpsire me to not give up on me. Thank you so much!!

  23. It’s so great to feel that light on your face, and so much better when you break the surface.

    It’s a journey, and you should be proud of yourself.

    Congratulations on feeling better. 🙂

  24. **HUG** Wish I was as strong as you. Most days I have trouble finding a reason to get out of bed. If it wasn’t for my son Damien I not sure I would have made it through the past year. I have to remind myself everyday that things will get better.

  25. you’re a motherfucking rock star and the best damn light show in all of concert history! *holding up iphone with zippo lighter app flickering on screen*

  26. It’s so wonderful to hear that! I had been going through something similar and I have to say that it shocked me one day to look around and realize that I’m happy. I totally didn’t see it coming. Now don’t get me wrong, I still have plenty to whine and fret over, but life is good and I have every reason to believe that it will stay that way.

  27. So happy you are able to pull through this journey. Thanks for letting me lurk. You are an awesome inspiration. Plus you swear more than me, so I don’t feel so bad.

    Thanks again!

  28. Thank you for this post. I have PPD and PTSD stemming from what my baby’s father did to me. (If you don’t know, read the FAQ on my Website.) Now I find myself alone again and sinking further and further back into the depression I fought so hard to get out of. Some days I can barely function to take care of my daughter. And I literally have no help or anyone to watch her. So mostly, home alone I sit, wondering where my life went wrong and asking myself why my ex just married the last girl he cheated on me with and why I wasn’t good enough. But I’ll pull through again. It’s good to know that I’m not alone and that it is possible to pull myself back up 🙂

  29. It feels like I’ve been treading water since my 2nd pregnancy. Most days I have to drag my ass out of bed. If it weren’t for the kids I would just be in bed, sleeping & eating and weighing 500lbs. Some days I see the light, others I can’t wait to get back to bed. I know I won’t be this way forever. Thanks for your post today.

  30. Behind every very funny person is a very sad person. I’m very glad you write with your heart on your sleeve. People like you make me glad I’m alive.

  31. Behind every very funny person is a very sad person. I’m very glad you write with your heart on your sleeve. People like you make me glad I’m alive.

  32. So, so happy for you. Big smile on my face and a song in my heart. Funny, that song is “For Your Entertainment” by Adam Lambert. But it doesn’t matter which song, right? Right? 🙂

  33. Becks- I am always so happy when you talk about your feelings. I have no idea why, but it makes me love you the more.
    I’m so glad you’re in a good place. You deserve to be.

  34. Two things. One I am happy that you are happy again. Kudos to you for asking the tough questions and forcing yourself to find the answers.

    Two. You are a fabulous writer. Truly fabulous.

  35. Very glad to hear you’re in a happy place (Did Bob Ross paint it for you?) Seriously, though. I’m so glad to hear you’re feeling like you again.

    I totally get it, as I just spent about a year and a half doing what I looked at as simply existing and treading water, and I don’t think most of the people I encountered had a clue what it took for me to do the things they looked at as routine.

    Onward and upward, eh? 🙂

  36. Kudos to you!!! You are great and filled with THE AWESOME! Even when filled with the awesome, you can get bogged down by so many things…the awesome can’t prevent that, but it damn sure will defeat it! Every time!

  37. When you have been to the dark places in your mind and back again, you can more-fully appreciate being in the light again.

    I’m so happy for you that you’re feeling good. Stand strong & don’t let the devil knock you back down again. You deserve to feel content with yourself.

    Someone else said they love it when you talk about your feelings and I just wanted to ‘ditto’ that sentiment. Thank you for keeping it real, Aunt Becky. 🙂

  38. I’m happy for you, I hope to someday reach that level. It’s been a hard year though, sometimes I just want to lay down and give up! But enough about me, I love your happy place!! 🙂

  39. This is beautiful! I’ve been following you for a while and am truly amazed by you! You write amazingly, by the way.

  40. I cannot even tell you how much of this post resonated with me. Thank you for writing it. The next time I have one of those dark nights, the ones where I feel “slain,” I will recall these words of yours and remind myself that hope is awaiting me in the morning.

    “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.”

  41. Dear Aunt Becky,

    I was moved to tears by your post. My brand of demons/challenges differs from yours, but that’s just detail. No matter which dark wood we lose our way in, dark and scary is dark and scary. To see daylight -to find one’s way out!- is a miracle only the lost can truly appreciate.

    I appreciate your struggles more than I can say. I love your writing style and your courage with the subject matter. I’ll be coming back often. Well done, honey, well done.

  42. I am definitely also someone who lives in the past, a lot. Entirely too much. There are nights I just let the memories take me back, sometimes it seems I want to live in the pain for a moment. Luckily these are just (usually drunken) moments and most of the time I am back to my old self fairly quickly.

    I applaud you for taking your well being into your own hands. Instead of laying down and letting yourself be run over, you stood up and took action. Unfortunately, no one can take care of ourselves except for ourselves. It can get exhausting, though, that’s for sure.

  43. Glad there is finally oxygen in your room again. You have been through a ton the past few years and you are coming out super strong on the other side!!! Glad you are liking who you are finding under all those layers.

    I am finally able to get caught up on months of blog reading and just saw your info on your cruise. Seriously considering it. Would be a ton of fun to go and learn some new swear words!!


  44. I think I started reading around the time of the original post – it was in the past year, anyway. I am so SO so happy for you and your newfound awesomeness!!

  45. I’m so glad you’re beating those demons. They suck. They suck the devil’s penis. (I’m allowed to say that on your blog, right?)

    Big kiss. I know and fear my own demons – I know how big it is when they stay away.

  46. Oh Becky,

    I haven’t had a chance to read your blog for awhile (got busy with my own b/s, which only keeps getting more advanced), so I missed on your blues, January post and struggle (sp?). But I’m so glad that you are out of black cloud! Have you started GRE yet?

  47. Yay! The trouble with humorous writing is that it’s hard to tell how serious something might be. I’m glad you took steps to conquer it and hope it will continue to behave.

    OK, technically it’s “In Thy light we shall see light.”

    1. I’m not so good at talking about issues as they are happening. I’m much better after the fact because only then can I give an honest perspective. While I’m embroiled in it, I can barely cope, let alone let people in.

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