That I’m able to quiet my thoughts through meditation, even when it’s only a few minutes at a time, has deeply affected my life and sanity. I don’t constantly feel a vague sense of hopeless unease. I’m able go longer between attacks by the mean voice in my head that tries to convince me that I’m worthless, stupid, unloved and unworthy of anyone’s friendship. I can sleep most nights without nightmares. I don’t stay up ruminating and regretting. I recognize that I’m enough.
I look back at 2017 and I get the sense that there were many years compressed into one. I realized it is because I was trying to be more mindful and quiet and I was not on autopilot. I didn’t try to distract myself from what I was thinking and feeling as often. I acknowledged my emotions better than I ever have. I even accepted the uncomfortable, painful and embarrassing ones. So much life that I would have hidden from or ignored, I enjoyed. I apologized when I was wrong and forgave when I felt wronged.
2018 will be filled with more joy because of what I’ve learned in 2017. Learning to practice meditation has been key in pursuit of peace. I define who my family is, loving someone doesn’t mean I can’t let go, love isn’t a reason to allow my heart to be hurt or used. I can love deeper and stronger if I take care of myself first and it isn’t being selfish.
I will continue to work on my mental health and feel less ashamed of my illness. I am going to continue to develop positive, healthy relationships. Keep investing love, time and energy into my wife and our family. And work harder than ever to put it within my power to protect my family from financial worry.
This brain is a mess of crossed synapses and misfiring electrical impulses. The only time I feel some respite from the shame over its illness is in a deep dreamless state. Most mornings, at not having died in my sleep, I sigh with disappointment. Sorrow creeps deep into my bones, the heaviness of it pinning me to the bed. I close my eyes again desperately seeking, always seeking sleep.
The ideal family is an impossible fantasy made up of roles we’ve been delegated to play. A standard imposed upon us by a society bent on conformity.
You want to shove me into your little boxes with your cute little labels. Cut off the inconvenient parts of me, the ones that don’t fit your mold of what a perfect woman, daughter, wife should be. You want me to shut up about my feelings and quit having ‘those’ thoughts. You want a life uncomplicated by the dark blues and greys that pattern my soul and bleed onto yours.
I came to a crossroad. I’ve decided to stop trying to follow along a path that is not mine to walk. I’ve set the sadness down; it isn’t mine to carry. Fear and shame do not belong to me either; I release them.
I’ve been struggling. Much has happened since last year that has had a tremendous impact on me. It has translated into an inability to keep from breaking down into anxiety.
It is so hard for me to accept that my strength and self-denial can’t overcome depression or a panic attack. My mind can’t bully my body into behaving this time. It isn’t easy like learning not to shiver in the cold or not feel hunger.
I hate the knowledge I’ve been granted about the existence of someone fragile and vulnerable that makes up a part of me. He has a need to be handled gently, kindly and with love. He wants to be able to rest and lay down his armor without fear of attack.
I have to acknowledge his need to exist alongside all my selves.
Feeling anxious, negative self-talk, thinking the worst, hating myself, hating others for ‘making’ me feel uncertain and stupid. Memories looping thru my consciousness.
Back muscles tense, electrical jolts along my spine. I want to cut myself, pain to distract from the pain. Disrupt the signals by overwriting them with something more powerful. I freeze in my tracks as still as death.
Passion and agony, the combination forces the roar in my head to go silent. I feel the beauty of life, the wonder of being alive, every molecule in my being burns. Melting back into myself I am reborn.
Where I have no control, I let go. I am many pieces to this whole. Influenced only by those within my circle. Outside my sphere, I see those that would harm me. On guard against being vulnerable, I avoid dark spirits. Those let in are free to wander wherever they desire. I’ve no secrets inside my heart.
In the distance, I hear the groans of a society filling its loneliness with electromagnetic distractions. Anxiety inducing vibrations preventing the earth’s soothing hum from giving them peace.
I breathe. I fill my lungs deeply stretching them. Positive energy fills every cell of my body burning out the impurities of a day spent outside my cocoon. I break the connection. Silence. Again I exist in bliss.
The world does not see me beating my fist against my forehead trying to numb my mind, to silence my thoughts, a cracked record repeating, “stupiddumbstupiddumb.” A young child filled with fear of her creator, I died with the first bloody thrust of the maker’s tool. Emotions muted by thick black clouds of depression nothing can penetrate the shell around my heart. I remain as a shameful stain poisoning the soul of this broken and scarred body.
My anxiety feels like molten lava poured over an iceberg inside my skull. My brain boils and bubbles up flashes of painful memories before transforming my thoughts into a reddish-black sludge. Taking deep breaths and holding them as long as I can before my vision goes gray against the pressure building inside. I am defeated. I am not enough and never will be.