Friday, 23 June 2017
As I stroll through the different parts of each of my days and nights lately, I find myself baffled by how my life has completely shifted into something that I had no anticipation it would. I didn’t wake up the morning of January 4th, freezing and utterly alone for the first time in my life, thinking that everything was going to be okay. In fact, for dang near a month I wasn’t sure that anything, any part of my life would ever be okay again. For the entirety of January I went from my bed to my couch and back to my bed for days at a time, completely lost, fearful, and emptier than I can ever remember having felt. I would go out occasionally, usually to bumble the eight blocks to the bar in a trashy tee-shirt so I could quietly drink myself into a crying mess with minimal attention.
I spent almost the entire month of February with zero confidence in my own strength. There was none. I spent weeks at a time refusing to leave my house, eat, or socialize. I curled myself around my puppy in clothes I'd been wearing for what must have been longer than recommended and watched full seasons of shows I’d seen a billion times before so that I didn’t need to focus on anything but the ugly situation that I was allowing myself to spiral further into. February, I thought about killing myself almost constantly. February, I was certain I had lost every good part of me that existed, and that it had been replaced exclusively with gigantic heaps of anger, resentment, and sadness. Most days, if I didn't wake up crying, I started crying the moment my eyes opened and would cry myself into a coma and fall asleep for brief periods throughout the day. February was the furthest I had ever felt from believing that I might have a normal existence ever again. I believed I was so broken and far gone that there was no fixing it, so I stopped talking to people, stopped even toying with the idea of a doctor or medication, and almost completely stopped eating.
Then there was April. Suddenly, on a gorgeously sunny Saturday at the beginning of April I decided I didn’t want to feel broken anymore. I made the conscious decision to be happier, make healthier choices, and start to mend my own stuff because all the crying and sad songs in the world weren't going to do it for me. I had sat on my porch in the rain the previous day in hopes that the water pouring from the sky would wash away the pain I had been harboring for months. I watched as gigantic raindrops splashed on the table and was taken by the way they hit my cherry blossom tree and sent the petals gently gliding to the ground beneath them. I remember sitting there with my book in my hand praying that the rain would fall on me and let me start again like those petals…
I wanted to find a new purpose, a new me. Much like those petals would eventually be trampled by dogs and people and snow, compacted and pushed into the ground where they would provide tiny pink bursts of nutrients to the earth below them, I wanted to finally give up and stop fighting against myself and everything around me and fall into something more purposeful and fulfilling. Something that could make me feel like me again. The me who nourishes people, the me who feels strong, the me who knows how to fix her bad days. I closed my eyes and listened to the rain, wishing harder than I'd ever wished before, that I would be able to find the strength to come through this.
And so I did.
That night, I went out to the bar to see a friend I'd not seen in several years, despite every part of my anxiety and depression telling me not to. I went out fully expecting to completely hate it and want to come home immediately. I went out with no makeup, awful hairs, and looking fully like a lazy slob. My friend and I hugged and I met some incredible new people. I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning talking to my friend and sharing photos of cats and puppies with these beautiful new people I had met. I woke up in the morning with a smile on my face for the first time in I have no idea how long. And then everything was different. I had decided to say yes to something I had spent the past four months avoiding. And it was worth it. I took a walk the next day and felt like I was finally able to breathe again. Like I had been suffocating myself for years and my lungs were grasping at as much air as possible to make up for nearly a decade of deprivation. Everything felt different, looked different, smelled different. I walked and felt the breeze on my face as I let Andrew Jackson Jihad sing all of my most favourite songs into my ears; a concert for one as I completely rediscovered what it was to be alive.
I spent that day in utter bliss, finally able to see the light at the end of the tunnel that everyone speaks so highly of. I felt like I had been traveling down that dang tunnel for forever and the end was finally, finally in sight. And that day fell into the next week, a week of mending my heart by actively deciding to begin functioning again like a normal human being. I started cooking meals, not that I was eating them initially, but I was inviting people to my house and delighting in watching their faces eat the things I had so lovingly cooked. I started taking my puppy for walks. I started saying yes to things. I started going out and meeting people. And have since met some of the most incredible human beings, probably in the world. Some of them? I literally cannot even imagine my life without them; I can’t comprehend how I existed before they came into my life. Before I knew their hugs existed.
I have spent the past two months completely, without any hesitation, increasingly happier than I have ever been in my entire life. I, of course, have had evenings where I’ve had too much to drink, I’ve had days where I just couldn’t look in the mirror, but at the end of each of those nights? I have been goddamned thankful for the life that I have consciously decided to begin forging for myself. I chose to let go of the resentment, the anger, all the hideous things that I was clutching on to for dear life. I have spent more nights going to bed with a sore face from smiling than I ever have in my whole existence. I’ve wasted more mascara from laughing until I cried than most people could afford. I have hugged more people in the past three months than I ever did in the past thirty-two years.