A Surprise

So, I struggle… Sometimes, my friends, I feel like I struggle with every little thing. I’m tired of it and tired of myself.

I met with my therapist on Monday after 5 weeks away – 4 weeks because of an insurance snafu, and then an additional week because she had to go to court. I have a love-hate relationship with her and my doctor… Mostly because they often tell me things I don’t want to hear, they give me work to do, and – though it may take a day or two to realize – they’re usually right (that’s the most annoying of all). You would think, at 45 and with about 20 years of counseling, I’d know myself. But, you’d be wrong – like me.

I don’t want to blame anyone for who I am or where I am. At 45, I want to be in control – at least of myself. I want to be able to find peace & balance when the seas of life are rough. I want to do healthy things for myself because they make me feel good and more in control. I want to have lots of positive outlets for staying sane, being inspired, nurturing myself, and sharing joy. I want to look in the mirror and not begin a recitation of all that’s missing, too much, or just wrong – instead, I want to look at myself and admire, really admire, the human being I am, the physical body I live in (sorry for the dangling modifier), and even the visible and invisible scars that show I’ve lived my life… Even when terrified.

And that, you see, is what surprises me. That I have lasted this long. You can label me melodramatic, but that’s your discomfort, and that’s ok. Maybe you’ve never felt suicidal – and I’m honestly glad for you that you haven’t. It’s ugly and painful and ridiculously heavy – wrapping like iron chains around your lungs and arms and legs, belly and heart and head.

I can’t recall the first time I actually thought of or attempted suicide – maybe that’s a blessing. But there have been, over the years from my teens on, such risky chances, near misses, and yes, deliberate overdoses that ended in sickness, but not The End. I’ve peered over the edge, literally and figuratively. And I’m still here. Sometimes, like now, when I’m wrestling with the weather and unemployment and getting healthy and fighting my demons – recognizing them, calling them out, and loving on them until they are guardian angels instead – I look at my life and am surprised I’ve made it this long.

But I’m grateful for the daily miracles – meds that work, good doctors, friends and loved ones, art, Bingo games… Writing groups, connecting with people through my writing… Don’t have a clue where I’m going, but as a new-old friend recently wrote, sometimes it’s about trying to stay in the moment – even if just for the flutter of a wing.


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