I’ve been experiencing some depression lately due to my broken leg. Really down, the kind where you look up and you see nothing but darkness. For all my issues, I’ve only felt this way 2 other times in my life… The hot mess years that I refer to as my teens and when I had my miscarriage.
Anyone who knows me, like you, knows that I’m a glass half-full kind of broad. Yep, I’m scrappy and a little rough around the edges but it’s a coping mechanism I’ve employed for most of my life. When life serves me a bowl full of rancid, rotten lemons… Chances are, I’m going to share it with you in a funny, anecdotal way that’s going to convince you that I’m going to be alright. I’ll probably even make you smile. I do it to help myself get through it.
I’m not the misery enjoys company sort. There’s enough bad, sad, no good terrible shit in the world. I don’t want to add to it. Plus, I’ve never thought of myself as a victim and I certainly don’t want others to. Nope, I’m a bootstrap girl. I pull myself up and I carry on, in fact, I’ll probably exceed your expectations because that’s just how I roll.
However, I’m human and sometimes when circumstances are beyond my control I can’t be that positive, happy person that I will myself to be. This usually happens when my body and my mind decide to both be broken at the same time. I can handle one or the other, but when it’s both… Sometimes it’s too much.
Thankfully, years of therapy, self awareness and a full capability of knowing when to accept the things I cannot change allows me to sometimes give myself over to it. There are somethings in life that simply demand to be felt, whether we prefer it or not. When this happens, all you can do is decide whether you want to be left destroyed in its wake or if you’re going to move on from the emotional, physical or spiritual hurricane that hits your life.
I’ve been in the midst of a very hard, leaky eyed ghost situation. When I say leaky eyed ghost, I mean that I’m feeling invisible and I’m finding myself crying a lot more than usual. It’s hard for me to get right side up from this injury because, quite frankly, I’m spending a lot of time these days in the vulnerable position of on my back alone with nothing but my thoughts, which have all been negative only ever so slightly peppered with breaks in the sadness.
I’ve been feeling lonely, helpless, useless and afraid. Afraid of the unknown, afraid of how this is affecting my husband and the girls and afraid I won’t fully recover. I’ve been feeling afraid of everything. The worst part is that the entire world is carrying on while I’m just sitting here watching it all, being completely unseen.
It’s very unsettling to feel forgotten and even worse to realize that you could cease to exist and your world would simply carry on without you. The world will not stop to grieve for any of us for very long. It will go on just like it did the day before. That’s a hard, sobering truth to accept. There have been days when all I can do is cry, to feel alive. There are days that I’ve kicked and screamed just to make enough ruckus to remind the people I love that I need to be heard. I need them to stop and, just for a moment, make me the center of their world. I realize it sounds selfish and childish but it’s the only thing to assuage my fear of disappearing and the fear and vulnerability that comes with that.
Sometimes when you’re engulfed in the darkness, a change of scenery can change your entire perspective even if just for a few moments, hours, days… enough to get you to survive. That’s where I’m at as I type this.
My best friend, Niki, and her family are family that we chose. Her and I found each other freshman year of college 23 years ago. We’ve grown up together. We are the keeper of one another’s secrets and our friendship is built on mutual respect, trust and 100% unconditional love. I can tell her, literally, anything and there will never be judgement, second guessing or condemnation. The friendship is simple, unconditional love and complete freedom to be ourselves all of the time. She’s my chosen sister which means we will always love each other, even if one of us does something the other doesn’t particularly like. We love each other enough to respectfully disagree on occasion.
We had a trip planned to visit her and her family on our way back from our fall trip to Disney this past week. We cancelled Disney because I can’t walk but we decided we really needed this trip to soothe our souls. But the day before we left, the kids were arguing constantly, my leg was really hurting from physical therapy and it just seemed like a lot of work lugging a shower chair, wheelchair, a walker and trying to stay comfortable. We were all over extended. The girls were being so bad that the Big guy cancelled the trip but something at my core screamed for help. This trip was our lifeline and we all knew it.
This was my way out of the darkness of my depression.
So we loaded into the SUV at 4 am on Thursday and emotionally & physically exhausted we drove east, praying it would all work out but knowing this was our road to salvation, our reprieve from the darkness…it was just enough air to keep the darkness from suffocating and killing us all.
It’s Saturday night and we’ve done nothing extraordinary, other than simultaneously coexist in that comfortable silence that only comes from being around the people who love you for real; not in words and declarations but in actions. The people who know that your heart is heavy, your soul is beaten and your body is weary and they take you into their home and make it yours. The people who love you at your worst and only see the best. Words will never be enough to convey what this friendship means to us. But I’d like to try.
Niki, thank you for always getting me and always loving me no matter what and thank you for such an amazing family that love us just as much as we love you. You are my sister forever and always, nothing can ever change that. I hope someday I can take care of you, the way you’ve taken care of us this past week. You’ve saved us by changing our perspective simply by changing our view. Where I only saw darkness a few days ago, I now see all the beauty, love and blessings that my life is filled with.
Sorry Nik, I know how much you worry about ending up in one of my posts but I had to share with the world how amazing you are 😉 Love you , hermanita!