Some day I will begin this blog and I won’t be crying (okay, sobbing). But today is not going to be one of those days. Some day people in my life will know that I write a blog. But that won’t come any time soon. Today is not going to be one of those days that I shine. And I’ve decided that is okay. That I make it through the day and wake up tomorrow is just going to have to be enough. Generally I tell myself to do just one thing towards making my life tomorrow more pleasurable, more meaningful, more livable. Yesterday, I couldn’t even come up with that one thing, unless, of course, it was to write this blog. Today, perhaps it will be the same.
But I do promise you and myself this: today I may be full of hurt and anger, but by this time next year, I won’t be in this place. I won’t be down so low that I choose to cut myself off from the kindness of everyone I know and nurse hurts and betrayals. Bitter much? Today, oh yes.
I have 42 relatives listed on my FB page. And those are just my listed relatives (including the spouses of some of my cousins, but they count as cousins too, right?). I probably have that many more who aren’t on FB. I could be spending Christmas with one or more of any of them or my friends. I’m generally good company. Charming, cheerful, helpful. But I really don’t feel like faking it today. Not in the mood to pretend, even though I know that pretending often leads to being. I know for sure that sitting here in this empty house isn’t going to make me feel better. And for some reason I simply can’t fathom, I don’t want to feel better. Or at the very least, I don’t want to pretend. I’ve pretended so much for so very long…in order to please others. I don’t want to be dishonest with myself anymore. Dishonest to myself. I want to be able to say how I feel, at the very least to myself, and be accurate. I gave up some time ago trying to be what others wanted me to be. Now I am giving up that pretense on another level. I will not pretend that everything is okay when everything is definitely so NOT okay. My life is horrible! It sucks ass! Big time! And it has for a very long time! But I am not powerless to change that. And that is what this blog is all about.
I have large obstacles in the way of my well-being and happiness. Mental illness. Chronic depression, OCD, and a “minor personality disorder.” I wonder what I would be like without them? But they do not define me! I am not my illness! I refuse to be seen as a person with mental illness. I am a human being! I matter! Maybe not to anyone else in the world, but I matter to me! And my mama loves me! So there are two of us, at least. I know I matter to my therapist. We’ve known each other more than ten years now. I have not seen her continuously, but we’ve been a regular item these past three years. At least once a week, more often twice. She recently told a new psychiatrist in her practice that she’s kept me alive, and I had to admit that is true. I thank the gods that she is my age. I’ve told her that even when she retires she still has to be my therapist and she agreed. I make her laugh. I’m actually quite funny, to some people. And really, a lot of people like and maybe love me. Anyone who reads this gets to see the whole me, though. The crazy, effed up, zany, horrible, terrible, loving, hating, living, breathing me. We are all light and dark. To pretend we don’t have a dark side, like I used to do, is to put oneself in peril. Because those negative emotions are going to come out in ways that one can’t necessarily predict and for which one isn’t necessarily prepared or even equipped. Trust me, I know. It’s been five years, give or take, since I started falling apart, three since I blew up my life. I’ve been working on recovering for three years plus. Three years since my diagnosis. Incorrect diagnosis, thank you very much, but hey, who’s keeping track? That made me smile. I have OCD. Of course I’m keeping track. But I’m also working on forgiveness.
I’ve realized I need to make a promise to myself and to anyone out there paying attention. And that is, I will do whatever I write in this blog. Promises no matter how great or small, written here, will be kept. Let’s take it out of passive voice. I, Tam, promise to do whatever I write in this blog. If it has a date, I will do it by that date. If it doesn’t have a date, I will do it by the end of the year.
So I’ve come up with a promise I can keep. I promise to take my medications as prescribed. It may not seem like a big thing, but the along with my therapist, the pharmaceutical companies keep me alive. Cymbalta, 60 mg once daily. Neurontin, 400 mg thrice daily. Lisinopril, 10 mg once daily. Atenolol, 25 mg once daily. Trazodone, 50 mg once daily. And last, lorazepam, .5 mg twice per day as needed. I also have 150 mg of welbutrin which I’m not currently taking. I’ll discuss that with my prescribing nurse next I see him. And I do need to make an appointment. I just made a note to myself to do that. Hopefully I remember to look at the calendar where I made the note. Details are my forté, and my nemesis at the same time. Sigh.
I will make two more promises to myself. One, I will make a calendar of the shitty stuff my children’s father and step-mother do, because they are way over-stepping their bounds, and I sure as shit wish I could be the effing Karma Fairy when it comes to tallying up their wrongs, but the courts will have to do (yeah, right, but that’s a topic for another day), and they like information in writing, details, not impressions. And two, I will write every night in my gratitudes journal. Crap. I don’t know where my gratitudes journal is. Alright, I’ll write them here until I can find it. And really, I don’t particularly want to write effing when we all know that in my head I’m saying “fucking.” Well, a compromise. I’ll write effing unless I really really really want to say “fucking.”
Just when you might have thought I was a complete lost cause, I go and lose my gratitudes journal (I can’t tell you when the last time was I saw it) and decide to recount them here…
Five, I list five items.
1.) I am grateful for my son and my daughter, who are living proof that I have done something wonderful for the world at large. Thank you for being you, and for being my proof.
2.) I’m not religious, and I won’t ask for forgiveness for my beliefs. Whether Christ was the son of God or the son of man, he was a revolutionary, and changed the world with his beliefs, for the better. May those who believe in him attempt to act as he would, with compassion, love, and hope. Thank you for giving us Christmas, so that we can remember what you gave the world.
3.) For true friends, who love you for yourself, and share themselves with you. What greater gift can you give someone than the gift of your time? Your energy? Your love? Understanding? Friendship?
4.) I’m grateful for the cell phone, texting, and unlimited long distance.
5.) For dogs. Because they don’t care if you act like a complete shit-head and your life is in ruins. They’re still as comical, as exuberant, as goofy as if you weren’t and it weren’t.
My last thought for the day, which isn’t even mine, but A. A. Milne’s, from Christopher Robin to Pooh,
“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”