“You look nice,” “You look good.” These are a couple of phrases; my husband tells me when I wear something that blows him away. And although it is nice to hear, my anxiety will not allow me to see it. I wish that every time I see myself, I could say those phrases to myself. I see the ugliness of my depression. I see the tiredness. I see fear. When I am out with my husband, every time a person walks pass us, I feel like they are looking at me. I make up situations in my mind that these people laugh at me or say messed up things to me. My husband, reading my mind and step in to let me know I am all he needs. He gives me the love I need, even when I am at my ugliest. Why can’t I see what he sees? I just want to see myself as he sees me. I want to love myself as hard as he loves me.
Hun, can we talk for a moment? I know that you love me, but I want to see more. I want more adventure. I want more off the cuff. I want to be knocked off my feet. I want you to love me like you did when you first realize how much you love me. I want you to blow my mind with just a glance. I want to go back to the first time we met. I want that vibe again. Can we vibe again? I don’t want this honeymoon to end. Do you? I want to romance to stay on repeat like our favorite love song. Say you want that too. I want to fall in love all over again. And again. Would you please say you want this too? I love the thought of renewing our love. A renewal that we would never forget. I don’t want to forget. I want to fall for each other again. Hun, let’s fall for each other again. Let’s get back to when it was so simple.
Someone asked me what do you need to release? Here’s my list:
I need to release fear
I need to release anger
I need to release regret
I need to release shame
I need to release losing friendships
I need to release pain
I need to release bitterness
I need to release the idea of failure
I need to release guilt
I need to release despair
I need to release tension
Will it be hard to release these things that are holding me back? Yes, but I need to release these things to become a freer me. I will work every day until I can check everything off this list.
It’s been a while since we saw each other. How have you been? What have you been doing? What made you come to see me? I thought we were over? I didn’t think I would see you again, but here you are. Causing every muscle to stiff up in my body. What can I do to get you to leave? I need this heaviness off me. With you around, it’s harder to breathe. I see nothing but doom in your eyes. You bring out the most fear in me. I look at myself around you, and I do not like what I see. It’s ugly. It’s unusual. It’s scary. I hate being scared. Why are you here? Please go away. Please? I don’t like dying. I don’t want to feel death. Please go. Please?
What if I made the wrong choice about my career?
What if I am not cut out for this degree?
What if I am not as smart as my mother thinks I am?
What if I was the cause of my long-term friendships ending?
What if I don’t know how to communicate without getting in my feelings?
What if I cannot be the mother I desire to be?
What if I never find my hope again?
What if my mental illness is too much for my husband to take?
What if I never get out of my depressive thoughts?
I could say what if over and over, but the world will continue to turn. So instead of focusing on my “what ifs,” I will focus on my journey to a better, happier me.
Me: Nothing. Trying to sleep.
Depression: You’re lame for that.
Me: How am I lame?
Depression: Aren’t you sad?
Depression: SMH. Yes you are.
Me: No I am not! Stop saying that I am.
Depression: You’re sad AF. Just come clean.
Depression: You’re worthless.
Depression: No one wants you around.
Me: Why are you doing this? Are you trying to make me cry?
Depression: Are you sad yet? I’m trying to chill with you. What’s up?
Me. Leave me alone. I don’t want to deal with you.
Depression: What do you mean?
Me: I don’t like how you make me feel when we are together.
Depression: Don’t you like feeling like crap when I tell you people think so little of you?
Me: Wrong! I don’t like feeling like that.
Depression: But that’s what it is, though.
Depression: So… Can I come through?
Me: No. I don’t need you right now.
Me: I don’t want to be with you Depression.
Depression: I am all you have.
Me: No you aren’t.
Depression: Since when?
Me: Since I started understanding that I am enough.
Depression: Stop lying to yourself and let me keep you company.
Me: I’m good Depression.
Depression: Excuse me?
Me: You’re excused. Now, if you don’t mind, I would like to get some rest.
What I Won’t Do Is
- I will not let people talk me out of my “No”
- I will not put myself last because it makes other people uncomfortable
- I will not listen to my inner critic
- I will not stop reaching my goals
- I will not let fear keep me from being my best self
- I will not let what others say impact my decisions
- I will not second guess myself
- I will not say “no” to myself
- I will not compete with anyone
Happy Birthday Ari!
We made it to year 34. I know it’s been a struggle, but we are still here. I want to thank you for holding on even though it was not an easy thing to do. I want you to know that you are stronger than you think you are.
Here are some things we will work on this year:
- We will live without limits
- We will pour into ourselves every chance we can
- We will be slow to quit
- We will be a lighthouse to people who are in need
- We will stop beating ourselves up
- We will learn to love ourselves more
- We will be willing to stand firm on the boundaries we set
- We will keep ourselves safe
- We will fight for our goals and dreams
- We will not allow outside factors to impact our being
- We will find our “why” again
- We will hope more
- We will not let our mental illness win
- We will stand strong
Depression is back to sleep on my air mattress for the next few weeks rent-free. I missed him so much. NOT. I will be 34 on May 28th, and even though I have done some great things, I still feel as if I have done nothing. Like I thought by 34, I would be a mother, but it has not happened yet. And maybe I should focus on the “yet,” but he (Depression) will not let me see Hope. Hope is my dear friend. She keeps me going. Hope lets me know that everything will be fine if only I hold on to her. Depression does not like the hold Hope has on me. He would rather see me go days without showering or loving myself before he sees me with Hope. It is so unfair. I just want to see my friend again. I want to look at my water glass and see more water than I am used to seeing. Why is he keeping me from her? Depression, I just want you to ease up some. I feel like I am running on fumes.
This week I should be with Hope, but instead, I am listening to Depression telling me how I will have another horrible year. He is such a wonderful person to be around. Jerk.
Hope if you can hear me, just know that I love you and miss you so much. I will see you soon.
Working as a Director of a childcare center, I see many touching moments parents have with their children; but this particular moment brought my little Ari out to play. One of my school-age children’s dad visits her at the center when she is not over his house for the weekend. They talked and laughed for about 20 minutes, and when it was time for dad to leave, they get up from the bench and do a playful handshake. As an adult seeing their playful handshake, I thought it was so sweet and innocent. But little Ari grew sad and jealous because daddy never did anything like that with her. This daddy-daughter duo would do their handshake about three times out of the week. This dad would leave wherever work is to sit down and just laugh and talk to his daughter. He could have called her on the phone, but no, he comes to the center to see her. My dad never did that. My dad never went out of his way to make me feel seen. The man (my dad) does have inside jokes with my sister, so I know that he has it in him. But I guess it was not for me to see that side of him. I want to say that I am not jealous of this young girl for having a great relationship with her dad. I love that this man is taking time out of his day to see his daughter without any rhyme or reason. I wish I had that connection with my dad, but I understand that it was not for me.
I have to learn to love my little Ari harder. She needs to hear daily that everything will be okay and that she is loved. I have to talk to her nicely. She deserves that from me her parent.
Little Ari, we will get through this together. Just hang on. I love you.