My husband and I will celebrate our tenth year of marriage in 2016. For the past 5 years I have told him that I want a big celebration for our tenth anniversary. We booked a cruise for late 2016. Just the two of us. My dear friend will be watching our girls for us.
I am the type of person who does well with deadlines and end goals. If you give me a date by when to finish a project, I will do it. Naturally I took the cruise date as a goal for myself to reach my fitness and health goals.
The morning after we purchased cruise tickets I was at the gym. I quit eating added sugar. Still avoid sugar and am feeling better than ever. I reminded myself daily that I was working toward an end goal–toward my dream of being happy with myself (finally) and looking like I dream I could look.
Today was a bad day.
My eldest daughter who did not know she was being watched by me, kicked my youngest. It was just a small kick, but it set me off. I reprimanded her, she apologized to me and to her sister, and I shooed her to her dad so I could regain my self control. We had not visited the gym today and we needed to go.
It was raining all day. There was a slight break in the rain. My husband decided it would be a good time to go on a run.
We packed the car and left for our jogging trail.
While we were walking, my husband asked me if there was anything bothering me. It took me a minute to gather even a fraction of all of the problems I have had stewing in my heart and brain.
I took a deep breath and let go. I listed each thing and ranted. He was patient. I told him that I feel that I am drowning in my own home.
-The piles of mail.
-The shoes littering the entry way
-The piles of junk sitting on the counters.
-The countertop that has never seen the light of day.
-How embarrassed I am at the clutter in my house that I get seriously stressed knowing someone has to come over.
-How I cannot get rid of the crap in our house because I think about how much money that crap cost and it would be like throwing money to a fire.
-How I cannot get rid of the clothes that I have become too big for because then I would have to buy new clothes with money we do not have.
-The fact that I’ve grown too big for my favorite clothes and am stuck wearing the same 3 shirts and 1 pair of jeans because that’s all that fits.
-Feeling a huge ego kick from my daughter pushing and kicking her sister.
-Being so unhappy with myself that I lash out at others and close myself off from the world.
I had so many other things on my heart. Still do.
The common thread weaving itself through my heart and infiltrating my thoughts and leading into my actions is this: I am unhappy with myself. I am overwhelmed with unhappiness. It consumes me to the point of lashing out at the person I love most in this world. It eats me alive inside to the point where I refuse to smile in pictures because, darn it, I don’t want to smile when I don’t feel happy inside.
Oh, there’s so much to be thankful for. Truly. I have evidence each day that good is happening in my life. I believe God is blessing my art hobby turned business by providing me with customers and commissions. My husband is reaching his fitness and work goals. My daughters are for the most part polite and gentle. I have a roof over my head. We can put food on the table. I have a car to drive. We can afford internet. And then I feel guilty that my life is truly something for which to be thankful and here I am complaining.
Why do I feel like I am drowning? Off the top of my head, Postpartum depression. Regular plain jane depression. Body image issues. Perfection and the need of control.
I feel whipped back and forth between waves of anger and depression. I am sinking in my own self hatred. That’s the truth, God help me. The sky is overcast 23 hours a day. In that one glorious hour that I feel beautiful, that I feel happy with *something*, I see the sun through the clouds. I feel the warmth on my skin and I feel like I could fly out from the ocean of my problems. The hour is soon passed and I am left again in foggy gray. Not everyday does the sun shine through. Even if it is for the briefest of minutes each day that I can feel joy, it tides me over until another time.
And I don’t know what’s wrong with me. There’s a level of shame that accompanies self hatred. Why can’t I see what others see in me? Why am I sabotaging myself? What is wrong with me?
I don’t know. I do not know.
One thing I do know is this: this is an ongoing struggle. I’ve mistaken myself in the past thinking I was finally rid of my depression and self loathing. It doesn’t work like that. I struggle every day. I look for things for which to be thankful and I am sure to thank God and other people for those things. I look for opportunities to help others and I help them. Yet in all of this, I am losing myself. I’m losing it.
Maybe I’m just crazy. Maybe it’s normal. Maybe I’m just sensitive. I often hear people saying “You’re not alone” in response to a person’s dark circumstance. Yet here we all are, not alone, individually suffering in quiet or silence.
How can I become happy with myself?
What would it take for me to be happy?
What is stopping me from finding joy?
What can I control? What is in my power to change?
I don’t like being sad. I don’t like being angry. I continue to go through life being things I detest.
I’ve got to do something. I can’t continue to be angry with myself and expect to live a fulfilling life. I’m stuck with myself. This is the only life I’m given. Time for change.
It is sad. I’m crying even thinking about all of this stuff. It is tragic. How did I get here? I want to be free of all of this self imposed negativity. I want to smile again. I want to radiate light and joy and warmth. I want the sunlight on my skin. Speaking up about it is a step.
I’ve got a long way to go. I know I can get there. I just know it. Tomorrow will be a better day. Tomorrow will be the day I’ll create my own sunshine.