Together but Separate… Happy Anniversary

One year ago, today, we stood in front of God and all of the people we love, and we made promises… We made vows.

We made vows. Vows to honour one another, to love one another, vows to encourage, support, and grow with one another.

One year later and this is where we are in life…

You have your job that gives you time to figure out who you want to be.

I have my job that gives me more time to focus on who I am.

You have your family that gives you the freedom to live and be and do what you want in this life of yours.

I have my family that gives me the support and encouragement to be what I never thought I could.

You have your friends that bring you good times no matter the bad.

I have my friends that remind me it’s okay to have a good time.

You have your priorities and I have mine.

One year ago, we thought them to be the same.

One year later, and we know that they are not.

This anniversary of ours will always be something that I hold near and dear to my heart. It is both the best and worst day of my life- just as I know it is for you too.

Lord knows that we aged together but we did not grow together.

On this day, we made- and now have- a beautiful (almost 3 month old) son, made out of love and hope and joy.

Today, I wish all of that- and so much more for you. For us.

I wish that I could have been the love and hope and joy you so desire in this world, just as I wish you could have been the same love and hope and joy that I deserve.

I hope that I can watch your life on the sidelines as you find the love and hope and joy you’ll eventually have, and I hope that you’ll be around as I find my own.

I pray that you embrace the love and hope and joy that we gave each other in our time together with the same gratitude I am learning to.

Separate and together we will always be, but with no shortage of love between the two of us…

Thank you for giving me the greatest gift I ever could have asked for. Sharing Clark with you for the rest of our lives will be a rollercoaster (that’s for sure) but I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else… Well, maybe a Jonas Brother but I can’t have it all.

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Twenty-Two: Turning 24

As I lay here on the eve of my 24th birthday, I’m reflecting on every moment of my life that led me to where I am in the here and now.

Every reader of my site knows my life has had its fair share of highs and lows… many of the lows, I brought on myself, of course… but the highs? The highs are a compilation of every person, place, and thing I have experienced (as I believe is the case for everyone.)

I have said the following every year since I turned 18… but, I truly never believed I would make it this far in life. For the past six years, I have fought every single day just to make it through the day… until, of course, September of 2018 when I stopped fighting.

But then I woke up in the hospital, and I was horrified. I realized that even though I was done fighting for me, it didn’t mean that I could stop fighting. I had more than just me to fight for.

I had a husband, a son, a mum, a dad, a sister, every single person, place, and thing… a LIFE to fight for. 

But I didn’t know if I could live up to the life that seemed to be ahead of me. The life that I had growing up was something that I was so ashamed of, so afraid of, so… so apprehensive of… that I couldn’t imagine being deserving any better than what my birth-statistic predicted… and if I didn’t deserve that life, I certainly wasn’t going to be capable of providing anything better.

 

But, in less than 2 hours, I will not only be 24 years old, but I will be a married (to my best friend) mother-to-be that graduated high school and began to experience the life in a career I thought I would only ever dream of.

 

I’m lying in bed, reflecting on my life and everything I see and feel and know… Well, I wouldn’t change any of it because, in less than 2 hours, I will be 24 years old and my son and husband and film will have ME. Mentally stable, emotionally open, and physically here.

And that’s the greatest birthday I could ever ask for.

 

 

Twenty- One: Losing Hope

I didn’t know if I was going to write this particular post- which, yes, I realize it kind of seems like a theme with everything I’m doing lately… Yet, here I am, starting this post at 11 o’clock at night, unable to sleep more than a couple hours at a time, sick to my stomach, with my anxiety getting ahead of me. Also, the current theme as of late.

So, here goes nothing.

… I’ve stopped trying to hide my feelings and I’m done down-playing them. It’s no secret to those around me- or those of you who actually read my blog- that this past year has been the hardest of my life. And the last three (3) months, in particular, have been the worst I’ve ever had to face.

After my suicide attempt, I have been focused non-stop on my mental and emotional health. I’ve been in therapy 2-3 times a week just trying to piece every broken bit of me back together.

When my husband left us in October, I didn’t know what my future would hold. I mean. Try to imagine being pregnant and trying to recover and heal in your mental health and then the one person you needed thought was in your corner… leaving. Without a second glance.

It’s been two months to the day since he left. And some days, all I can manage to do is be so angry and hurt and shocked that I blame him. But on those same days, I’m so ashamed and hurt and heartbroken, that I blame myself.

Those are my really bad days, and the only thing really holding me together is my son and the idea of our future. When I can’t stop the tears from falling and my stomach hurts so much I’m doubled over in pain, Clark is right here with me. Kicking and twisting all about and it hurts so bad but it reminds me of everything I’m fighting for.

Clark deserves more than Gabriel or myself can give him together, and even more so, he deserves more than we can give him separately.

So I spent the better part of a month and a half trying to figure out a way for us to come back together and rework our marriage and be stronger and better than we were before. I have never been an extremely hopeful person, and yet, when it came to us, all I had was hope. Even when I logically knew that hope was the most ridiculous thing I could have in this situation.

Do you know what the single most malignant symptom (of a disease) is? It’s hope. It’s recurrent, and it keeps creeping back in no matter how many times it gets ripped apart … And every time the hope goes, it takes chunks of you with it, until you can only find comfort in the one thing that you know you can count on: that this thing is going to kill you.

Greys Anatomy

After months of trying to convince Gabriel to go to counselling with me, and all of the scheduling conflicts or cancellations, I finally gave up on trying to make it happen. But then he made an appointment and I desperately did not want to go because I was done with having hope. The session was already going to be difficult for me to get through as it were, but the day the session was scheduled for has historically been one of the worst for me.

I didn’t know if I could handle going into a marriage counselling session, knowing that I was going to be leaving as a future divorcee on the same day of what should have been my best friend’s 24th birthday. So, instead of cancelling like my anxiety was telling me to do, I scheduled an individual session with my personal therapist on the same day as mine and Gabriel’s marriage session. My therapist and I tried to address just about everything I could think of and per usual… I left bawling my eyes out.

I was going into the session mentally prepared to hear Gabe saying that he was done, but emotionally, there was no way for me to be prepared for that. Not when I was going into the session with the hope that there was a chance. Knowing that I was going into the session thinking that love and promises and vows mattered more than our problems.

But, as of Wednesday, December 12, 2018, after two months, my husband made the final decision that we were done. We were in a marriage counselling session and 45 minutes into it, he had made up his mind that divorce was our future, and there was no hope for us otherwise. He was only even there because I’m carrying our child.

Gabriel made a comment in our session that he’s been made out to be the bad guy in this whole situation. It’s kind of ironic because I have felt the exact same way since the day I stepped foot out of the psychiatric facility.

The last thing I want to do is put words in his mouth or feelings in the atmosphere that don’t belong… But one of the things that I took away from the session, is that we both seem to believe we were abandoned by the other person.

His reference of abandonment, from my understanding, is back in September when I attempted suicide. Whereas my feeling of abandonment stems from October 15th, when I came home and his things were all gone and so was he.

What I have tried to convey every day since is that noI don’t just blame you. I don’t just blame me. I blame the both of us. 

We are where we are because we both gave up on ourselves, each other, and the vows we made to each other. All we can do now is move on from it all.

No matter how hard this is for me… If divorce and co-parenting are what our future entails… than that’s what we have to do. Because at the end of the day, the only thing that I have ever wanted, is happiness.

I want Clark to have every possible opportunity at happiness in his life, and that requires both of us to put our issues with each other aside, and we put our son first.

Twenty:​ To the one ​I loved befo​r​​e I loved myself…

Before anything, I want to say that I am sorry.

I’m sorry that I’m here and you’re there when we promised to always meet somewhere in the middle. I’m sorry that I’m not everything you wanted and you’re everything I always feared. I’m sorry that my past has put an end to our future before it even had the chance to begin.

I know that this has been a long time coming. You’ve been in my life for 11 years- some of them were better than others… Life constantly taking us in different directions than we ever could have planned. The last time you left, I had you written off and I was done.

But when you came back into my life, I was about to face a turning point I didn’t realise was coming my way. The past few years I had spread myself so very thin trying to make my life out to be something of a dream I had always had. I wanted to be the best possible version of myself, and I was trying to be. But I wasn’t managing.

Sure, on the outside, I seemed like I was all put together and you saw all of the good that I thought I was feeling. I was working in the career I had talked about since the day we had met. I was friends with the people I had only ever dreamed of meeting. I was living with my best friend and doing pretty much whatever I wanted without any care in the world.

We would fluctuate between talking every day for weeks … and not talking at all unless something was happening in the other’s life. But time went by and I missed you when you weren’t present- whether it be over the phone or in person- I knew that I needed you.

I spent a week in my fairytale land and even met a fairytale prince, but still, I longed for the boy at home and when I returned, there you were. It was silly, I know. I had spent so many years pushing your feelings aside and holding you at bay, while I continuously tried hiding all of the feelings… But, seeing you and being with you just felt so right when everything else felt so wrong.

So, we started dating and I was … reluctant to say the least. We had been friends for so long that I didn’t want to risk losing you when it all went wrong.

The first time you kissed me, I finally felt like I was home.

I was so afraid of burying myself in you that I said I needed time, but I knew that I never wanted to face a life without you. We were barely two months into the relationship when we started talking about our future together.

I didn’t believe in marriage or weddings so when our families started talking about what we were going to do, I entertained the idea of rings and engagements. I didn’t believe in forever but I believed in us. Marriage and weddings and families… They weren’t anything in the near future, so I held my anxiety at bay, but then you showed me that first ring and I realised that I would do anything if it meant I got to do it with you.

That didn’t change the fact that I hate surprises and big ordeals, however, so I ordered you a ring and I made a plan. Your birthday was coming up and the running discussion was “you should propose on your birthday!” And I didn’t know for sure if it was actually going to happen, but I did not want to take your birthday and turn into something more than you.

So, we lay in bed the night before your party and we were talking about what the day was going to look like. You kept asking me why I was so stressed and anxious. I couldn’t tell you that it was because your ring had arrived and I was planning on proposing to you. But you wouldn’t stop pestering me (like you know you do) so instead, I grabbed the ring and told you that “From now on, you’re the one I get to spend the rest of my life with… If you’ll have me.”

You kissed me, laughed, and we called our parents to let them know that we were engaged. But then at the party, you took me aside and proposed to me with my grandmother’s ring.

It made it all that more real. My proposal was genuine, of course, but hearing you say that you loved me and wanted to spend the rest of your life with me… And not because you were responding to me asking you… It made my heart more full than I ever thought it could be.

Unfortunately, shortly after our engagement, I spiralled into a mental breakdown and found myself admitted to a psychiatric institution. It wasn’t the first time something like this had happened- but it was the first time to happen while I was actually happy. I was terrified that this meant I was going to lose you- but you promised that you weren’t going anywhere. You said you knew what you signed up for- and when I was released, you were right there waiting with my grandmother’s ring.

After that day, I assumed that you married me because you loved me and because you were aware of my mental health, it meant that you would accept me at my best and my worst.

When September happened, I knew that it would change us forever. I just didn’t realise how catastrophic of a change it would be. I had hoped that when you saved me, it meant you wanted to save our family, too.

Look, I’m not saying that I thought this would be easy. I know how hard it is to stick around for someone when they are in a dark place that they have to be dragged out of. I definitely never imagined that any of this would be easy for you. Hell, I never wanted to be there for myself when I was in a dark place. So why do I keep blaming you for leaving when all I ever wanted to do was leave behind this side of me?

I know the answer to the question. I blame you for leaving because you saved me and left me without a second glance. You left me fighting tooth and nail, to not only save myself but to save myself alone. After promising you would always be here to save the day, you left.

And I’m so angry. I’m so angry because no matter how hard I try, I can’t stop loving you. And I can’t stop loving you because even in the darkest of days, your love showed me that I was worthy of love. And slowly but surely, I was beginning to love myself a little bit.

But now? You’ve left. And the future you saved me for is not what you promised. But that’s okay. Because even if you don’t love me anymore, even if you never really did, I love me enough for the both of us.

No, that doesn’t mean I’m any less hurt or angry about you leaving me. It just means that I don’t need your love to survive. I really fucking want it- but I don’t need it.

I can’t stop loving you long enough to get over the idea that maybe you’ll come back to me and our son.
I can’t stop loving you long enough to get over the idea that maybe you’re still the man I fell in love with.
I can’t stop loving you long enough to get over the idea that maybe you’ll realise that real love is never a waste of time.
I can’t stop loving you long enough to pray every night that I’ll wake up to a phone call saying that you still love me too.
I can’t stop loving you long enough to get over the idea that my world is a better place with you in it than it ever has been without you.

And that whats why I’m okay still being in love with the person I consider the Love of My Life- even though, I guess… For someone to be the Love of Your Life, they have to BE in your life.

Nineteen: Lucky to be Alive

I haven’t written in a long while …

Well, that’s not true. I haven’t written publicly, but I’ve been writing. I’ve written so much lately that in the past … 28 days, I’ve written 45 pages for my new book. Well, not exactly. I’ve written more than 45 pages, but I’ve deleted quite a few because I’m just not all that sure what it is I want to accomplish.

The last book I wrote was published because I thought it might help other people the way writing it helped me. But, then I was hospitalized in April.

I thought I was doing really freaking well… I was engaged to my best friend. I had the job of my dreams- and more offers on the table. I had a book published and I was great. Why did I… no– how did I fall so quickly and so hard?

I was in the psychiatric stabilization centre for a week and when I was released I faced one of the hardest decisions I ever had to face.

Get better … for everyone in my life… or keep being the person I was so used to being?

I thought that if I just did a little bit here and there… it would be enough.
I thought:

“I’ll take my meds.”
that’s enough, right?

“I’ll see a therapist every now and again.”
I don’t really need them.

“I’ll write and get out all of the things I’m feeling.”
I wrote what I wanted people to see.

“I’ll be fine if I tell everyone I’m fine.”
If I say it enough, maybe I’ll believe it too.

 

And, I was doing okay for a little while. I felt good. 

I was admitted on April 23rd and was released on April 27th.

I bought my reception dress on May 4th with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law.

I bought my wedding dress on May 20th with my mum and my sister.

I married my best friend, who also happened to be the love of my life, on May 28th.

I found out I might be pregnant with a honeymoon baby on June 8th.

Then…

I had my pregnancy confirmed by the doctor on June 24th.

 

I struggled for… a long while about what this meant for me, for my husband, and for us as a family.

I don’t want to lie and say that I was ecstatic about this whole thing. My husband and I already had a beautiful daughter in our life. Now, I know she might not be my blood, but she is very much my kid and has pretty much always had my heart, just like her father.

I didn’t know what this would mean. I have always struggled with my mental health. I spent most of my life not knowing if I could manage to keep myself alive long enough to see the next sunrise. I already felt like I wasn’t good enough for my husband and the little light of my life that was already existing… How was I supposed to be something more than what I was already struggling to be for those two… and now a baby? My baby?

My husband, confused and unsure about everything… Was more supportive than I ever expected he could be. We both believed similar thoughts on the subject.

I was terrified. Horrified even. I wasn’t this girl. I didn’t believe in adoption and abortion was something I could never forgive myself for. I didn’t believe in bringing someone into this world only to abandon them… I also didn’t believe in ending a pregnancy just because it wasn’t apart of your plans… But raising a kid that you’re not capable of taking care of?

I was the needy kid. I grew up hungry and moving between houses because my parents were too drunk or too high to function.
I was the adopted kid. I grew up wondering why I wasn’t enough for my birth family. Why they didn’t think I was enough to get clean for.

I didn’t want to have a child that grew up questioning why they weren’t enough for mommy to be happy. I already wondered why… even when I was happy… why I still didn’t think I was good enough.

There were a LOT of days and nights filled with tears and uncertainty. Eventually, we came to the decision that we would be okay, and our baby would be everything.

 

Some days were good, most days were really bad. I struggled a lot. Mentally, of course. But, physically… I had really bad motion sickness, I felt like I was going to pass out constantly, I was horribly sore and achy… My physical issues caused a lot of strain on my mental health, of course. But, it caused just as many issues with my marriage and with my family.

 

Then… the really bad hit.

I tried (and almost succeeded) in killing myself on September 3, 2018.

There is no excuse that I can give for what I did. There are reasons and explanations, but no excuses. That day- that event is definitely not something I’m proud of, but I am grateful for it.

I don’t want to get into detail because I don’t want to trigger anybody reading this, but, I do need to be specific about some of it if I want this to be as honest and true as I feel in my heart.

I hadn’t been feeling well for weeks, months even, but September 3rd… Well, I woke up knowing that it was going to be a particularly rough day. It had been a rough day every year since my birth dad died in 2002… I just never thought that it could turn into what I turned it into.

I was so miserable waking up, I couldn’t seem to pull myself out of bed, and all I wanted to do was sleep but I couldn’t even manage to do that. When my husband came into the room to check on me, I didn’t know how to respond. I wanted to lie with him and let the world slip away because it was all just too much for me alone. Even with him right next to me, however, all I felt was lonely, so I told him I was okay and I just needed space.

Then… Sometime after that, I went into the worst dissociative fugue I’ve ever had. I apparently said some awful things to my husband and my mother- and then I kicked my husband out and instead of taking a couple sleeping pills (which is all I remember happening)… I took all of my previously prescribed medications and drank quite a bit of alcohol. I’m told that they found a knife and my husband’s gun next to me.

I was rushed to the hospital and was in and out of it the rest of the night. When I finally fully came to… I couldn’t figure out what happened.
The doctors kept asking … But I was so groggy and my memory was coming up blank. I told them that the only thing I could remember was telling my husband to go and then I was taking my sleeping pills. The doctors told me that I didn’t just take sleeping pills and that I was just lucky to be alive.

The three days I was in the hospital were awful. I was scared and alone- except for the nurse on suicide watch- and the couple times my mum was allowed to see me. But I knew that the three days in the hospital were nothing compared to what was in my future.

 

I was released from Grady into Emory’s psychiatric centre on September 6th.

 

Being in yet another psychiatric centre within 6 months of the previous stay… I was pissed and confused and hurt. Mostly with myself, but also with everyone around me. I didn’t know how I was going to make it out of there alive. I didn’t even know if I could… I wanted to, though. That was the only thing I was sure of.

For the first time in my entire life, I knew that I wanted to be alive, no matter what was going to happen in life, I knew that I wanted to be a part of it. I had so many reasons to- reasons that I didn’t know I had.

Not because I didn’t love and appreciate all of my reasons, but because I was too far gone before I could really understand them and see them for what they are– were– and hopefully would be.

I spent every day going through the motions. I took my medications, I spoke to the psychiatrists and the counsellors, I did the groups. I prayed every night and was journalling religiously. I cried more than I thought possible. I didn’t know how to cope with what I had done and I was terrified of losing the people I love… all because I couldn’t figure out how to love myself.

My mum and sister visited a few times during my stay, but I didn’t see my husband until September 12th.

He didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t blame him. But losing him on top of everything else? I didn’t know how I was going to get through it.

There were a LOT of dark days and even darker nights while I was in the facility. I felt like I lost everything. I lost my family’s trust, I lost my husband’s love, I lost my independence… And then I lost my apartment, my car, and I even lost people I didn’t know I had.

 

I was released from the facility on September 18th.

The first month out of the facility was all kinds of crazy. Some days were good, a lot of days were bad. That seems to be the only constant on this road to recovery of mine. But, it is my road to recovery.

 

I’m going to reiterate what I said previously. I’m not proud of what I did, but I am appreciative of who it’s pushed me into being.

 

It has been ten weeks and one day since my suicide attempt. (9/3/18)
It has been four weeks and two days since my last suicidal ideation. (10/14/18)
It has been one week and two days since my last desire to self-harm. (11/04/18)

This may not be a big deal for anyone who has not been in this situation… But, until this happened, even on my happiest days, I didn’t know if I would could make it through to the next day.

I’m nowhere near where I want to be. But, I’m on my way.

 

I love my parents, I love my sister, I love my husband, I love my daughter, I love my in-laws, I love my friends and I love my soon-to-be-born son … and they are all incredible reasons to stay alive. But, they’re not my only reasons.

My parents are not always around, my sister and I don’t always see eye to eye, my husband and I are currently not together, I don’t have any rights to my bonus-daughter, my in-laws may not be mine much longer, my friends will come and go throughout life… and my son, though he is my whole heart, he is not my sole reason for living.

I am a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, and a friend.
But most of all, I am ME and I am going to continue to fight to stay alive because I DESERVE to live.
Even when I don’t think I do… I KNOW that I do…
And on the really bad days… I see my belly, and I am reminded. And it’s always nice to be reminded.

I love who I am, I love who I am turning into, I love who I have the potential to be and I love the future I have waiting for me.

 

I tried to end my life but God graced me enough with people who wouldn’t let this be the end of my story, but it is the end of this post.

 

 

I beg of you… if you’re struggling… take the steps you need to take to be better.

Do what you NEED to do- even if it isn’t what you WANT to do.
Say what you NEED to say- even if it isn’t what you WANT to say.

 

 

 

Eighteen: Shaken

Have you ever just heard horrible, awful news that shakes you to your core?

Awful, isn’t it? Finding out something that just destroys every little piece of you with no hopes of recovering from it until you shake yourself awake from this horrible, awful nightmare… That’s what it’s like every single day for me.

Well- that’s how it is as of late.

 

I’m not quite sure what it is that has every piece of me breaking as if I were a poorly made glass figurine made by the apprentice blowers at a novelty tourist shop in Helen or Stone Mountain. You know the ones.

The glass figurines designed only to be looked at behind a thick glass box with one eye shut and the lights dimmed just so you can only see it when you tilt your head far enough to the side that no movement will shake the ground your standing on.

That’s what it feels like I’ve become in the last few weeks… months… years.

A poorly made glass figurine that will break just at the wrong look being thrown my way.

 

 

My eyes can’t handle the slightest shine of the sun in the wrong direction when they were expecting to be shielded by the shadows of the weeping willow of a soul.

My nose can’t handle the whiffs of a harshly made roasted chicken that’s slightly darkened burned on the underside because it crossed the street wrong.

My ears can’t handle the clicks and clacks of the keyboard as my fingers slide across the keys when they’re used to the sound of a pencil scratching the perfectly laid papers.

My body can’t handle the unsteady ground my feet stumble upon when it’s gotten so used to the expected pace of a man-made machine with buttons to regulate speed and destination.

 

 

 

I don’t know why I’ve suddenly gone from managing and capable to powerless and breakable.