The Hard Stuff

I want to talk about the hard stuff again… I used to talk so much about my struggles with depression and eating disorders and suicidal thoughts because I knew someone else might be struggling and I wanted them to know they were not alone.

Well… It’s time to talk about hard stuff again. I’ve been resisting it for a long time because it is freaking hard to be judged for your thoughts that you can’t control… But maybe there’s someone out there with similar thoughts. Maybe there’s someone out there that doesn’t feel okay most of the time that could benefit from my honesty. And I feel okay enough to share my experiences without worrying too much about my mental health.

So… Here goes…

Do you know what my biggest fear is? Well… Second biggest… My biggest fear is that I’ll end my life early in a moment of rage or depression or insanity. But my second biggest fear is that I’ll die alone, that I’ll never find somebody to love me, and my family will all be moved away with families of their own, and I’ll never have that person to come home to. And the reason it is one of my biggest fears is because I feel nothing when it comes to attraction.

I feel no attraction to the opposite sex or my own sex or any sex, period. I just do not have those desires. I never have. I mean, I have had some curiosity, and I have had people I wanted to be close to. I just never wanted to kiss anyone or hold their hand or have any sexual relations in any sense.

I found out a few months ago that I would need surgery if I ever wanted the opportunity to enjoy sex with someone. And it was difficult news. I wondered if that was why I felt no attraction towards others. It also crushed my soul to think that it might cause another barrier to someone wanting me. I mean, I know I’m already an intense person. Add no attraction and surgery to that and you have a pretty hard sale.

But anyway, I’m okay. I know I have family that loves me and friends that care about me. It’s just hard sometimes. It’s hard feeling like if you left the world, there would be no evidence that you ever existed. And who would know of the struggle it took to get you there. And maybe that’s why I am writing this- just so someone will know of the struggle.

Something Good- Day 293

I had a pretty good day today. I have been feeling a lot better about things lately and feel like things are getting easier. We did some more driving around to see Halloween decorations today. There were not as many houses in our area with large decorations, but we did find a couple cool houses. I was also able to “pay it forward” for someone today who was looking for cat litter. We had just bought some to have extra on hand, but I remembered all the people who helped us when we needed it and wanted to share the love.

Something Good- Day 281

This really does not feel like my story to tell, but my sister has been struggling with pain over the last few days. After the night in the hospital, she was told to manage the pain with medicine and wait for it to get better. Yesterday, she had a friend come over “to help out” but ended up watching movies instead. Our dishes were piling up and needed to be done soon, but she was in no condition to do them. I planned to do the dishes when I got home from work, but another friend came by to bring my sister lunch and helped with our dishes before she left. I cannot express how grateful I am for the people that care for us, check in with us, and express their love and concern. It definitely means a lot, especially when we are struggling.

Something Good- Day 146-147

We arrived home late last night from our trip. Before we left though, we were able to visit our nephew’s grave and leave some flowers. I love being able to remember him and keep him in our hearts.

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My sister had class tonight, so I decided to go outside to pull weeds. She joined me after class and we ended up trimming our trees and cleaning up dead foliage. It felt good to get so much work done and it looked great afterwards!

Something Good- Day 143-145

We have been visiting family for the last few days. We plan to return home tomorrow. This has been such a wonderful time though. My nephew hugged me and did not want to let go. I have been able to hold my baby niece. I know that the world is still not back to normal and that we really do need to be careful, but it is nice to live in a place where things are calmer. It is nice to know that our small towns can slowly return to normal. I feel for the people that live in highly populated areas where the threat of illness is much more prevalent. I know that this trip will necessitate being more careful in the next few weeks, but I am so glad I have finally been able to see family again.

Finding Hope

Grief is one of the hardest things I have ever had to experience. There are so many dimensions to grief. Sometimes it will come out of nowhere and swallow you whole. Other times it is just on the surface and the smallest reminder will make it come out in suffocating waves.

I have contemplated suicide for as long as I can remember. I am not sure why I am this way, but I have found a medication that helps me. For some reason, my brain just doesn’t work the way it should on its own.

Anyway, I have been reading a book about finding hope after suicide. My sister bought it for a friend, and I decided to read it first to see if it would be appropriate to give someone else. It brings up so many emotions in me, both because of the grief I am still trying to navigate and because of my own thoughts and experiences with suicide.

Right now the book is talking about healing. The author said that when she was a child, she felt like she had to bury her feelings to be strong. Her therapist challenged her to start sharing her feelings in order to heal from the traumatic experiences of her childhood.

A few years ago, I talked about abuse I faced as a child that I had never told anyone. I wrote about it on this blog and told the person I trusted most at the time, someone who was quickly becoming my best friend. It was hard to share something so personal. My parents were shocked by my experiences. And it caused some ripples in the next few family gatherings with accusations about why it was allowed to happen. I did not blame my parents for what happened, especially because I was too ashamed to tell them. But it was healing to finally tell a secret that I had been hiding for years.

As this book talks about sharing the story of her mother’s death, I feel emotions that I have not felt in a long time. I wonder if I still have hidden demons that need to be uncovered to fully heal. I wonder if I need to talk more about my nephew’s death to cope with the grief that surrounds me. I wonder if I need to reveal more of my deepest secrets to fully recover from all the wounds I hold within me.

I have discovered over the last few years that healing is not easy, but allowing ourselves to be vulnerable can make us into much better humans than we thought possible. Healing allows hope, and hope can lead to love, and love can mean finding happiness even if the midst of painful experiences.

A few years ago, I felt like I was finally the person I always wanted to be. I was able to help people without feeling guilty or unworthy. I was patient and forgiving when others made mistakes. I could stand strong in difficult circumstances because I knew where I stood. That all disappeared when my nephew died and I moved to run away from the memories. I shut myself off from the world again because some things were just too painful to talk about.

I think that now is the time to heal again. Now is the time to talk about hard things and learn to hope again. I can find hope in my difficult experiences by sharing the things that have hurt me and allowing myself to trust in ways I have forgotten. 

Something Good- Day 131

We did church with more of our family today. It was fun to have us all together and be able to share Mother’s day. Afterwards we watched a devotional about mothers. It was inspiring, and I liked how it talked about finding happiness and sitting with others through their pain. That is what being a mother is all about- learning to balance your own needs while making sacrifices for the ones you love.

A New Year

I did not have a good year in 2019. I was angry and upset and disappointed and frustrated with life and people and God. I still don’t understand, and I still have a lot of grief and anger and conflict to resolve. But I decided to stay up last night to welcome in the new year because I want it to be better. I want to make some changes, and I want to be happier.

I have been through a lot of changes in the last 10 years. I have gone from getting off antidepressants because I felt like they did nothing to taking an antidepressant that made me more depressed than I had ever been before to finding one that actually helps and prevents me from having constant suicidal thoughts. I have been through all the range of emotions from the happiest I have ever been to the saddest I have ever been. I have felt more loved than ever before and have been overcome by my emotions several times. I forgave people I never thought I could. I got to the point where I didn’t get angry or yell when my brother accidentally scraped the side of my new car. I made significant changes to my life and became the person I wanted to be.

Then, I spiraled down into grief and depression and physical pain like I had never known before. And it was hard, and I was hurt and angry. And it eventually got to the point where my reservoirs of faith and hope and joy were depleted, and I was not sure where to turn or if I believed in anything anymore. And I am still at that point in a lot of ways.

But… It is a new year. I watched a video this morning where Kristina Kuzmic challenged people to write down a specific good thing that happens every day. She said it changed her life and helped her find the positives even in days that were terrible. I need that in my life. I need more positives. So, for the next year this blog will be turning into a space for me to put down something positive from every day because I need it, and maybe it will help someone else along the way, too.

No One Cares

I started another job this week and was asked to send a picture of myself for a badge. As I was looking through pictures, trying to find the perfect one, I had the realization that no one really cares what you look like. I mean, more people might pay attention to you if you look a certain way, but the people that matter, the ones that care about you, don’t care if your hair is frizzy or your smile isn’t perfect or you have gained some weight. I noticed that the pictures where I didn’t care what my hair looked like and wasn’t worried about the camera were the happiest ones. Those pictures where I am playing with my niece or hanging out with my best friends or spending time with my family come with the best memories.

We focus so much on being perfect- fixing our hair, losing weight, trying to fake the smile. In the end though, our friends don’t care. Our family still loves us and wants to spend time with us. And although it is good to look presentable and it can feel good to dress up at times, I think it is just as important to enjoy the moment without worrying about anything else. Don’t pass up the party because you can’t decide what to wear. Don’t stay home away from your friends because you feel like you have too many problems. Don’t let life pass you by because you feel overwhelmed by its demands for perfection. It’s not worth being perfect if it keeps you from being happy.