Yesterday was the third year anniversary of the big R. Throughout the day I was fine, then I went to my bar to hang out with a friend and it was okay…until the sun went down. Suddenly the sun went down on my day and I was in the dark, completely alone, in my own little world. I tried to play it off, push it to the back, pretend it wasn’t there, but eventually it pushed to the forefront. So there I was, sitting at the bar, suddenly on the verge of tears.
On the drive home I kept the tears back as much as I could but once I got home and shut the door to my room I couldn’t stop them. I know people have been through worse so I feel terrible for it, but I couldn’t help it. The memories are still slightly fresh and I have never had to be alone on that day. So I was alone and remembering everything and I felt violated all over again. And angry. And helpless. I let it consume me for a little bit but my friend helped pull me out of the darkness.
I had terrible dreams and woke up almost every hour but I made it through the night alone. And I suppose I will have to continue to face it alone if things keep going the way they do. (I told you I had no faith in myself being able to ACTUALLY make a relationship last.)
But today was okay. I was completely in my own world, that is for damn sure. Apparently co-workers attempted to talk to me and I completely ignored them right up until the end. They found this incredibly amusing, I found it rather annoying. Just leave me alone to do my work, damnit!
Anyway, kind of the whole point of this was that I have finally gotten good at protecting myself. I know how to handle things, no matter what, when they are thrown my way. I am very used to being left by men by now so that is quite easy to move on from – it sucks, I hate it, I want to cry and mope and…who knows what else, but when I get in that mode I always have a little voice in my head that reminds me how amazing I am. How I shouldn’t let a guy get me down. How it is his loss. And I remind myself of all the good things in my life. I have ridiculously amazing friends who love and care about me and I keep making more of them. I have a roof over my head. I have a family who loves me. I currently have a job. I have transportation. Every day I get to wake up and greet the new day. I have opportunities abounding with my writing and modeling. I have the ability to help other people and I get to in small ways each and every day. I’m alive – and that is fucking fantastic!
Sure, I get sad. In fact, I get sad a lot. But I put on a happy face and deal with it in my own special way. I rarely actually tell people when I am sad. Never tell anyone when I have suicidal thoughts anymore (which happens more often than I would like but I handle them.) I still have the urge to self harm almost daily but I deal with that as well – sometimes I come very close to letting it happen because I figure, “who will know?” but I can’t go through with it. Other times I know I WOULD go through with it so I take myself away from the opportunity. I could let it all overwhelm me like I used to but I am tired of that. I am tired of feeling sorry for myself. I have no reason to. I can only look what the future holds and all the possibilities out there. I choose to be positive, even when things are looking down. Even when I know I am facing depression smack in the face and it is just daring me to walk away. Even when I feel abandoned and alone. Even when people leave – because they always will as history consistently reminds me. Even when emotions overwhelm me; when I take on what my friends are feeling and I know I can’t help them. When I feel helpless and useless and worthless. All of that…all of that can change with the power of my own thoughts. I am the one who put the thoughts there in the first place so I can change them.
I used to miss HIM every day, thinking nobody would ever love me again and that I would never love anybody else again. And who knows, that may be true. Maybe nobody else will want me. But I like to believe that it will happen. I prefer to remember the good times, remember how happy I was and how happy I may be able to be with someone else in the future (granted they actually stick around long enough to let that happen). This is only a recent development, but it is a helpful one. If I ever see him again I’m not sure what I would do, chances are I would try to be there for him again if he wanted me because, as you know, I give people way more chances than they deserve. However, I do know one thing…I still love him. Maybe I’m not still in love with him, I’m not quite sure about that yet, but I definitely still love him and I know I always will. We were supposed to be married next year and we had named our two boys that I was convinced I would have. But now I have to look it as having a new opportunity. A new love. Possibly a new life. Hopefully something and someone who will treat me like I have been told I deserve to be treated.
Everyone deserves, you just have to keep reminding yourself of that.
Ladies, we’ve all done it. We have terrible cramps OUT OF NOWHERE so we go to google and discover…we are pregnant!! Apparently. Every. Single. Time. Or we have cancer. One or the other. It never fails. I bruise easily even though I take my vitamins like a good little girl and will wake up covered in random bruises. Now, I know I’m accident prone but you would think I would at least remember slamming my knee into something. Or my hand. Or my shin. Or my thigh. But there they are in the morning, dark and lovely, reminding me of a fun time I just don’t remember having. Maybe my dreams are more than dreams. Maybe I actually live it out in some alternate universe and I wake up with that Sara’s pain and she gets to remain perfectly perfect and intact wherever the hell she is. Alterna-Sara is a bitch. At one point I was convinced I had some form of cancer because of the bruising mixed with lethargy and a plethora of other symptoms that matched exactly. I didn’t. I had an iron deficiency. Where was that on webMD?
Anyway, I have discovered that mental dis-functionality is much similar to this phenomenon. I’m having a bad day for no reason so…it must be depression! Here’s some Zoloft! Didn’t work? How about some Cymbalta! Still nothing? Try Prozac! No, no, says a different doctor, it’s your PTSD. You haven’t dealt with all the mean men from your childhood yet. Oh yeah, and that big “r” word that happened. Should probably talk to someone about that. But I disagree. I spent several years in therapy trying to “deal” with my depression only to find out recently that most of it was derived from PTSD. Wonderul. Who wants to pay my parents back for all those therapy sessions? Therapy had its merits, but in the end, it wasn’t for me.
Let’s see, what else? Oh yes, if I start to freak out because I haven’t heard from someone in a few days I have some kind of anxiety disorder. Have some Xanax. Well…I must admit that that one does work, but do I need it? Probably not. At least not until I’m a little less than psychotic because having Xanax and alcohol under the same roof is just dangerous – you start to get ideas…brilliantly bad ideas.
Here’s the deal though, if I do have depression (which, according to various doctors, I do in fact have both clinical as well as situational depression, but what do they know?) why does it matter? Honestly, my earliest memories are of thinking I was worthless, and fat, and just downright useless. BUT! I’m still here. I’m chugging along. I’m…dealing in my own special way. When I WAS taking anti-depressants things seemed to be going well, but I didn’t feel like myself. Is that bad? Is it wrong to only feel like yourself when you are constantly battling negative and self-loathing thoughts. I’m sure most people would say yes. Bad, Sara. Get help Sara. But I did get help and all it taught me was that I need to trust myself more. I began to rely on what they said more than what I felt. Bad. Idea. I discovered that I know myself pretty well, AND I know what I want. And when I say I know what I want, I mean I have no idea what I want and I’m okay with that. My long-term goals as of right now are to be a Stepford wife/mom to six kids and at some point become a novelist. I don’t have to be famous, I just want to made a difference to someone out there.
I think if we embrace who we are, flaws and all, we can all make it. To me, it is similar to embracing your body. Few people like the way they look, but we are taught to like ourselves just the way we are. I still find that part difficult, but I sure as hell embrace my psychosis! I refuse to try any more medication because of this wonderful little tidbit, when you go off the meds, you MIGHT have psychotic episodes. This little girl did in fact have those episodes. Two. Hello ER. Talk about an experience you never want to have again. It scared the shit out of me. How do you get away from your attacker when you are the one attacking? Don’t try this at home, kids.
Depression? Check. PTSD? Check. Anxiety? Check. Self-diagnosed psychosis. Check. Proud to be me? Check! How can I not? The thoughts that bump around in my head that never make it out would scare my friends and family, but I have them, and I deal with them and don’t let them take over my life. Some days are really bad, but there is always a tomorrow. It might not have sunshine and rainbows and unicorns, but it will bring something new to the table. I’m hoping for pie. Or cookies.
As always, I have faith. Faith in myself. Faith that I will make it. Love who you are. Embrace who you are. And never let go.
I like to see my life as this wonderfully messed up story that someone is reading right now, and as they read my life unfolds before me. But at the same time, I’m the one writing the book, and I get to choose what’s in the next chapter.
Forgiveness is a funny thing. I don’t find it really difficult to forgive people their indiscretions toward myself because, in all honestly, I am strong and I know I can accept it, deal with it, and move on. I am a firm believer in giving people several chances, in starting over, and in forgiveness. Where I struggle with forgiveness is when there is an injustice done to one of my loved ones. Be it friends or family or even just a popular figure that I look up to, if someone does or says something harmful or rude I can almost feel the fire start to burn inside me. I get this urge to correct all the wrongs, to save everyone from hurt. I let it take me over and become a wrecking ball for injustice. Apparently I fancy myself a superhero – wishing I could save everyone in the world from mental or physical harm. My intentions are all well and good, but I have recently come to the realization that I can’t do this anymore. Yes, it is okay for you to want to defend a loved one, but you can’t always do that. I know that if I always let someone else stand up for me I wouldn’t be the pillar of strength I am today; that I have learned to be.
Back to forgiveness. When someone says or does something hurtful to me I usually have no problem letting it go. Sure, every once in awhile I will hold on to it like a comfort blanket and keep going back to it letting my anger and rage build up, but eventually I become sane enough to see what I am doing to myself and I let go of my blanket, forgive them by remembering that no matter what they say or do I am still me and they don’t have any control over me. Other times I forgive so easily I have had people tell me that I am “too nice,” that I need to stop giving people chances. But I feel like everybody makes mistakes, and says things they don’t mean so I have trouble justifying holding a grudge. And I’m right, everybody deserves a second chance and everybody deserves forgiveness – except…except I don’t give myself the same leeway. I have the most trouble forgiving myself. I remember one time I was driving down the highway late at night, music blaring after a long day full of depressing thoughts and unhappiness and then a song came on. It have always liked the song but for some reason this time it really resonated with me and made me realize…I hadn’t forgiven myself.
I did NOT forgive me. I couldn’t forgive myself for hurting my loved ones, which I know my depression did. Watching someone you love hurt and not being able to do anything about it is really difficult, so I knew it must be hard on my family. They all tried to help but I never perked up. I felt like a flower, wilting slowly; every day losing a new petal, falling closer to earth. I couldn’t forgive myself for being raped. For letting another person take that kind of control over me. I couldn’t forgive myself for…anything. Every little thing I had done or said was weighing down on me and I wouldn’t forgive myself. I told myself I deserved it all – all the pain all the self hate all the love lost. I believed that it all happened to pay me back for all the wrongs and injusticies I felt that I had doled out in my short lifetime.
This was over two years ago. I am still on the path towards forgiving myself. It is difficult and quite convoluted and I struggle with it every day. Learning to love and forgive yourself might be the most difficult yet fulfulling journey – and one I think I will be on for the rest of my life, like I’m sure many others are. But we have to learn to do both because it is easier to forgive yourself when you love yourself. And what’s not to love? You are unique, there is only one of you out there! And you are beautiful and you have ideas and strength and power and love. You can be anything and do anything. You will make mistakes and that’s okay. We all do, but we can also move on, learn from our mistakes, make a difference.
Forgive, starting with yourself.
You know those times in life that you feel alone? When you are trying to be a better you and everyone seems to be trying to keep you down, and you feel like it is pointless, like none of your friends understand? Well sometimes those are the moments when, if you keep going, something amazing will happen. If you continue to listen to your heart and connect to yourself you will find that what you need, who you need, is out there – possibly in the most unassuming place.
The world is on your side whether or not it seems that way. Those days when everything seems to be colluding against you are simply challenges you get to overcome and later feel great about. Imagine if we always gave up…how would our self esteem look then? The harder you push when circumstances are difficult, the easier it becomes to overcome obstacles later on in life.
I was told yesterday by someone that an obstacle I over came was inspiring. I never thought of it that way and it brought tears to my eyes (not that that is a difficult feat these days, but still) and made me feel really great about myself. I hadn’t been looking for a pat on the back or even encouragement, but there it was. Offered in kind by someone I am only just getting to know. It is amazing the impact people can have on you, and it is usually from the most random and unsuspecting people in your life. Sometimes I wish it hadn’t happened, but at the same time it has made me exponentially stronger. It has helped me to realize that I can make it through pretty much anything.
I remember when it first happened going through the stage of “maybe it was my fault. Maybe I asked for it. Maybe I deserved it.” Learning to love yourself again after something like that happens to you seems impossible at first. Even though it isn’t your fault, you can feel like it is. I always thought if I had paid more attention in my one self defense class I could have prevented it. I started shoulding all over myself and soon I didn’t hate him, I hated myself. Hated my body. Hated everything and everyone. But somehow, through showers of tears, miles of soul-searching, and hours of conversation I was able to find the way back to myself. My much stronger, more empowered self. I reconnected and reaffirmed my belief in myself.
And even though I was able to overcome it, I still go through my down days. I still have weeks and sometimes months when I feel eeyorish and picture my own personal thundercloud following me around, raining on my…everything. So when out of nowhere I am on the receiving end of kind words that uplift me and help me when I didn’t even know I needed help, it is then that I remember how much the universe wants me to succeed. Wants me to have faith. To continue being me. Psychotic, sarcastic, loving, laughing, crying, caring, me. And I will, because, honestly, what other choice do I have?
Love yourself. Live your life. Connect to the best possible you.