Today my Other Me is quiet. She has been vanquished by a good nights sleep, a day of exercise, conversation with a good friend, and snuggles from small warm animals.
Today the crisp fall air seems full of possibility. There are baked goods to be made, work to be done, children to pick up from school.
I know she will wake up again, but for now she is silent. It took me a really long time to be willing to talk about my feelings. I have a very hard time letting people know things are not okay. Even now that I am blogging about it, if you ask me in person I am likely to tell you things are fine, or that I am doing OK. I’m not sure why I have such a “stiff upper lip” mentality, but I do. (Why is having a stiff upper lip such a sign of strength anyway? What does that saying even mean?)
The truth is, I am trying to move through. I am angry and deeply sad. I miss my life. My life before illness, my life before separation. I miss struggling to fall asleep because my husband snored too loudly beside me. I miss the way he would put away things I needed while I was cooking. I miss having my kids around all the time. I miss having endless amounts of energy and confidence. I miss taking up space in my life.
I don’t want to move on. I want to move through. I want to feel everything I need to feel. I want to learn and grow. I want to heal.
The problem with healing is that it takes a long time. My hysterectomy was ten months ago and I still feel odd and have physical side effects from the surgery. Sometimes it feels like it’s been forever and I should be over it now. I hate being patient with myself, and because I hate being patient with myself I superimpose that impatience onto others. How sick they all must be of hearing about it.
Healing takes a long time. I have no idea how long. Maybe I will be better next year, maybe the following. In certain ways, maybe never. I just have to remember I can’t wake up and expect myself to fix everything that was broken in a single day. I have to learn to take it a step at a time.
Job hunt today. Exercise today. Sleep well. Eat well. Simple everyday instructions, simple everyday steps. I hope they will build themselves into something complex and fantastic, a life full of optimism and opportunity. For now, though, I just have to get through the steps.
They don’t love you anymore.
Perhaps they never loved you.
You shouldn’t bother to celebrate, no one will come. You should stay in your room with the cat.
I have a shadow self, an other self. She is my depressed self. She is the one who undermines my efforts and wins on those days when I can’t get out of bed. She got a lot stronger during my illness and the last three years of my marriage. She is still, at times, stronger than I.
My friend group is caught in the middle of our separation. Both my ex and I are working very hard to be civil, and even friendly, but we both managed to hurt each other immensely, so it’s hard. It’s hard on us, it’s hard on the kids, and it’s hard on our friends. We don’t go to the same parties and our friends are having to choose who to invite where, and when.
I know this. I know they love me, are caught in the middle, and I shouldn’t listen to the dark fucked up other me and preemptively break up with all of them because they haven’t called lately.
But she doesn’t know that. She whispers from within the depressed and struggling part of my soul. They chose him. You should let them go. They don’t want you anymore.
Which is why it took me forever to decide if I was having a birthday party.
At first I thought I should invite everyone I know to stop by and say hello. It sounded like a great idea. Then she whispered What if no one comes? How much of a confirmation of how unloved you are do you really want on your birthday? You should skip a party.
So I decided no party. Why open myself up for that kind of hurt? Especially now, in the midst of my struggle out of depression. Then I realized I am perfectly capable of not having a party and then still feeling like none of my friends love me because they didn’t come to a party I didn’t throw. She is very devious and effective, this dark and fucked up other me.
So now I am kind of having a party. It took me three hours to invite our mutual friends. Three hours of clicking the invite button, then unclicking it. Three hours of her whispering in my ear.
So now they are invited. Many are coming. She is still there whispering to me. It’s a mistake.
* btw, if you want to attend said party, and you haven’t gotten a FB invite, it’s probably because I gave up and clicked rapidly on names and then logged out. Feel free to come. It’s Oct. 18th, at my house, about 6:00 or so. BYOB and food. (email or call for directions.)