When I began writing, it was one purpose – stop hurting myself. It was to figure out how to love myself, because I knew I had 6 eyes watching and learning from my pain. My default mode is perfectionist, even though I know it is unnatural and an illusion. My other default is to lie, obfuscate, and deny. I crashed 2 or 3 weeks ago now. I went to the mental hospital again. As much as I say I am not ashamed of mental illness, I am. It is not a shame in that “I am broken” because I have never actually believed that. Whatever my brain is or is not, I have always adored it. I love the way my mind bridges connections and creates words. Words are my home adorned with reading, learning, and inspiration. This is the world I have always existed in.
As my world grew, friendships and relationships were never easy for me. I have a few close friends, I have tons of acquaintances, and lately, I have been connecting with true beauty. Naturally, though, as I slip, I push people away and begin hurting myself in every way I can, which hurts everyone who loves me – especially the three most important hearts. Prior to going to the hospital, I wasn’t sleeping or eating again. I have never struggled like this before. It was as if I was terrified to sleep. I’m struggling with it still. I had felt how healthy things were getting, because I was remembering my dream, and I was achieving mindfulness naturally. Inspiration flowed everywhere and in everything. The terror I had before, I genuinely thought I was losing my kids. I don’t know where the fear started, but it devoured every facet of me. I have never behaved the way I did; frankly, I scared myself.
The shame that I held on to with mental illness is the idea that my illness hurts others. That my illness ruined my marriage, ruins my kids lives, ruins everything. Anxiety and depression, unstable mood (this diagnosis always changes – bipolar, atypical depression, schizo-affective disorder), PTSD, Borderline Personality Disorder, etc. The diagnoses always change, and I’ve attempted to understand this for years. Psychology has always been a fascination for me. Freud and Jung are two huge obsessions of mine. Obsession is another disorder I have, except I love it. I get obsessed with topics and read about them ceaselessly. There’s a world of trivia floating between my ears. None of this is an excuse. I am responsible for my choices and behaviors as well as the consequences. I am not perfect, but I want to be accountable to the fact that my children deserve a mother who loves herself enough to take care of herself. Eating regularly, cutting down and QUITTING smoking (sigh), relaxing, and controlling her thoughts and emotions – for herself and them.
I knew I was struggling again, but I convinced myself I would be fine. This was the biggest mistake I have ever made. I convinced myself to shut up, ignore, and push through, which I had stopped years ago. As usual, bigger messes were made. To be honest, today is the first day I’ve actually felt like myself, which is likely why I have barely written until today. Today, I started remembering the right things. My writing has been breadcrumbs for me to find myself when this happens – whatever this is. For me, it’s essentially a blurry, fucked up amnesia, where nothing makes sense, fragments come at me, and I attempt to reconnect every dot out of order. It’s why I got tattoos, it’s why I started writing. Deleting my first blog was the worst thing I could have done, because I have no breadcrumbs. No sunshine, no smiles. Pain, obsessive thinking, rumination, confusion, anxiety, and a black hole. I became The Hollow again.
Tonight, though, I was lying in bed with my youngest son and my daughter. She fell asleep while I was reading and whacked me in the head by accident. My baby snuggled up to me as I read. I reminded myself to stay on the words, in the moment, and read to him. Breaking my thought train – circular, ceaseless, unproductive chaos, and be there. Be Mommy. I was able to be Mommy all day today, for better or for worse. I was not Stepford Wife (Plastered on smile and Yes! to everything regardless of how I felt), I was not disassociative, I was not numb. I felt alive again. Kissing them goodnight, and feeling how much I genuinely love them, I remembered the song that woke me up before.
I feel genuine gratitude to everyone I have connected with, especially over the last few months. Your love, kindness, caring, and beauty are helping me to find stability and understand how to love myself. It seems odd to say that, but it is the truth. I have never been more terrified of an emotion than love. When I became afraid for and of my children, though, I knew I had truly broken my compass. Thank you for reading, thank you for supporting me, thank you for loving me. Namaste.