Sunday, August 13, 2017

Happy Birthday

He would have turned 43 today. Maybe he'd have lost some hair, possibly gained a little belly from his late night Oreo habit.

The truth is I don't spend a lot of time imagining what it would be like if he had lived. He's gone & that finality robbed me of any sweetness in thinking about our future together. It's a cold, hard fact that I can't make sense of or explain away with platitudes. Losing him destroyed me in ways I never imagined and it feels like a slight to the life I've fought to build, the progress I've made in wanting to live again, to imagine anything else.

But I can remember all the goodness & the beauty & the love. I get to see it every single day in our kids. And on days like today I know just how lucky I am to be their mom.

Happy birthday Love. This one hit me hard. It's never going to stop hitting me and I think that says a lot about the impact you left on the world.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Long Time Gone

I haven't written in ages, I know. There are reasons for that, some good, some lazy, some just because I plain didn't want to. I tend to come to this place when I'm in pain, when the words bubble up & I can't stop them. Life has been happening & this place is somewhat a memorial for me, a shrine to chaos & gutwrench & healing.

It's been 4 years, 4 months & 16 days since our world exploded. Time has passed, the way it does, the world has moved along, and I often marvel at how incredibly different this life is than the one I thought I had ahead of me before cancer & death.

I've watched our children grow into bona fide teenagers. Our son is taller than most adults & is looking for a job. He crafts music feverishly, with the passion of someone who has both a gift & a message. I'm trying as hard as I can to help him hold on to that little fire in the face of this ugly world. Our daughter starts high school this fall. She's insanely smart & funny & a talented artist. She's going to be a force to be reckoned with with. She already is.

About a month ago, we moved about 40 minutes north to Stockton. I met & fell in love with a man who's lived here for over 20 years & all the pieces fell into place. The time was right, everybody was ready & willing, so we jumped in headfirst & made the move. It's working out wonderfully. We are making friends, adjusting to "city life" & getting settled in our new home.

I'm working part time in Modesto & have started taking baking orders again. I'm taking steps to start a new career in something, not sure what, but it'll come to me. I've recently taken up hula hooping & discovered I'm quite good at it! I'm drawing and reading and exercising and meditating every morning. I love my life. I love everything about it. And yet my brain feels like it is betraying me.

I weaned myself off my last anti-depressant about 2 months ago... so slowly. I thought things were fine, that with all my new ways of coping, with all the skills I'd learned I'd be able to handle the ups and downs and loop-de-loops & constant barrage of negative thoughts & mania that my brain seems to thrive on.

See, not once, not twice, but 6 times, I've been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Something I've just flat out rejected because I know better. "I've never been psychotic!" I say indignantly. "I'm just naturally high energy & I get depressed sometimes!" Oh you mean cycling? Like rapid cycling? Like predictable, I'm Invincible & Sure I Spend Money I Don't Have & Can't Finish Simple Tasks & Can't Find Anything & Can't Make My Words Come Out Right & Fuck Anything That Moves & Make Grandiose Plans That I Can't Possibly Follow Through On then crash, can't stop crying, can't get out of bed, can't stop repeating how stupid I am, can't return phone calls, stare at the walls for hours, don't eat, sleep all day, start thinking about how it would be better for everyone if I wasn't here, start thinking I should drive off an overpass, start thinking I should just die because I'm never going to be anything do anything I just can't.

Oh. Wait. That. Maybe. Maybe they have a point. Maybe it's a spectrum. Maybe I'm so, so incredibly fortunate to live in a time when taking that simple medication softens the valleys & peaks enough that I'm able to do all the things I want to do without it being such a struggle. Maybe I stop making it so hard on myself. Maybe I internalize all those messages about "you wouldn't tell a diabetic they were weak for using insulin". Maybe I utilize the medication in conjunction with all the tools I've learned and I'm unstoppable, I go further than I ever thought possible, because I just accept this one little thing.