Pinpoints

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pinpointsI started this blog as a sort of diary for myself.  A way to learn through my own words who and what I am. I am and never was eager to find distinction or even any publicity like others.  It is not my way. I simply got tired of sitting up in bed each night with a cramped hand trying to make my pen flow as easily as the thoughts in my head.

I had promised myself when I started this blog that I would write in it frequently, if not every day.  I was pleasantly surprised with I was honored on Freshly Pressed, but at the beginning it was just a journey.

I suppose it still is that journey. The problem is in the last year alone the journey of my life has taken so many turns and so many dark and narrow passages that it is hard to find the energy to put it in black and white. Putting it in black and white gives it purpose, gives it a realism that I don’t want to face.

In the last year I have watched my marriage take a turn that I could never predict, my relationship with my husband becoming so much different than the girlhood dreams I once had.  I have moved, lost a job, lost a dog, cashed in literally all my retirements, watched my husband struggle to find a job, moved in with my mother, and tried desperately to keep up in a way that my disease and my own conscience could live with.  I have faithfully taken my meds, despite the lack of insurance to pay for them not because I want to, but because I realize with all this change that it is more vital than ever.

I am aware, like most people of my blessings.  I am certainly aware that I have two beautiful and wonderful journey whose life has also changed at the whim of their parents.  I am acutely aware that I have family not only willing to take me and my children in, but support my family in a myriad of ways. I know that even now that one sip of coffee that I crave every morning is provided to me because my own mother has taken over the grocery shopping.

But this journey, this rocking horse that is going out of control, makes it desperately hard to write. Despite knowing the harm, and the very real danger of convincing myself that this life has to have reached the bottom of it’s hell, each month their comes another test.  I try to hold on to the old adage that God wouldn’t give me anything I couldn’t handle, but truthfully it is beginning to come down to his definition being so far from my own as to be impossible to reconcile.  This last year has not made me a better person, but a depressed and oftentimes bitter person.  Even losing your hard earned credit score will do that to a girl.

I pass this computer, also my mother’s, everyday.  I load it up so that my children can play their games on it. I touch it, work with it, and even manipulate it everyday. But there is a lack of something in me that would allows me to sit for ten minutes and continue a diary of events that not only embarrass me, but literally belongs in some War and Peace novel. There is something in me pushing against the very real need I have always had to write my thoughts.  Almost as the depth of fear and despair that I feel waking up every morning controls my ability to type a sentence.

I sat here this morning out of guilt. Not guilt that I haven’t entertained the masses, but guilt that I have betrayed my own muse by ignoring her.  I have walked away from that need to express myself in order to wallow in my own tears. And I can’t find pride in that. Despite the absolute and incredible energy it takes to type right now, I can’t find joy that I am finally writing.  Because tomorrow I probably won’t.  Tomorrow I will spend another day letting myself down.

I recognize that my life will make a turn, that no one, not even God himself can expect me to continue as I have been.  I recognize that there is too much goodness, and faith, and simple beauty to guarantee only darkness for myself.

The one thing I have learned this year is that it isn’t the full story that needs to be bright, or the chapter that needs to be contagious.  It is simply the word that must be focused on, because otherwise there is nothing in life but darkness.  If God’s purpose this last year, and even today, was to teach me that pinpoints of light are just as important as a full sun, I think I have that one. Now if he could only give me about thirty pinpoints at once.

 

Last of Me

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Feeling broken
Barely holding on
But there’s just something so strong
Somewhere inside me
And I am down but I’ll get up again
Don’t count me out just yet

I’ve been brought down to my knees
And I’ve been pushed way past the point of breaking
But I can take it
I’ll be back
Back on my feet
This is far from over
You haven’t seen the last of me
You haven’t seen the last of me

They can say that
I won’t stay around
But I’m gonna stand my ground
You’re not gonna stop me
You don’t know me
You don’t know who I am
Don’t count me out so fast

I’ve been brought down to my knees
And I’ve been pushed way past the point of breaking
But I can take it
I’ll be back
Back on my feet
This is far from over
You haven’t seen the last of me

There will be no fade out
This is not the end
I’m down now
But I’ll be standing tall again
Times are hard but
I was built tough
I’m gonna show you all what I’m made of

I’ve been brought down to my knees
And I’ve been pushed way past the point of breaking
But I can take it
I’ll be back
Back on my feet
This is far from over
I am far from over
You haven’t seen the last of me

No no
I’m not going nowhere
I’m staying right here
Oh no
You won’t see me begging
I’m not taking my bow
Can’t stop me
It’s not the end
You haven’t seen the last of me
Oh no
You haven’t seen the last of me
You haven’t seen the last of me

Today’s Selfishness

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antWe all know that this life is hard. We are all aware that the moment that you figure even one step of this life out, you are almost immediately crucified by the Gods, by the Universe, by the very fate that someone laughingly told you was yours. You are continually and almost spiritually slapped down over and over; and expected to either say or read some cute little saying, get up, and start over.

Life is a single straight, and often narrow, line to death.  There are corners, curves, little bumps in the road that all lead to one single thing: the end.  There is grace, there are miracles, there are small moments of joy that you must carefully and faithfully hold onto until you reach that end, in some attempt to figure out how to start over.  There are births to counter that path to death, and there are rainbows in cloudy skies.  But the truth remains, good or bad, you are on a straight line.

If you can’t read between the lines, I have had a spectacular day.  Once again that which I held onto, that which I believed in, once again betrayed me.  This is the story of my life to date; and whether I am saying that because I am in a bad mood or because it has proven true, I am not absolutely sure.  What I do know, without a doubt, is that I too will die.

There are moments in my bad days when death looks like the solution.  It looks like a path to complete darkness, but a darkness without monsters.  It looks like a way to leave the burdensome truths that I can not escape and enter into a new hope.  This is a fantasy that I know deep in my soul cannot come true, but having bad days always brings those thoughts right to my own touch.

I am not an easy person.  I recognize this and often feel sorry for the people in this life who are actually stuck with me.  I say this not out of a need for attention, or even pity, but rather a learned lesson from many years.  It is not easy to live with a mentally ill person; not for a child, not for a mother, not for a husband.  It is often a fight just to get me to eat, much less get me to breathe.  I am not an easy person.

I have to question though if my selfishness with this disease, my need for space and understanding, isn’t the reward God is giving me.  While for others he may give new paths, new jobs, new love for me it is a continual struggle simply to mentally survive today.  While for others he may show forgiveness, it often feels for my transgressions there is none.  How can one soul be so amazingly selfish as those with mental illness and expect to be loved? I  am absolutely selfish, and I wonder day in and day out if my life isn’t punishment for it.

I know my words today come from frustration.  I know that what I am speaking about is rooted in the darkest anger of my heart.  I know that I am feeling every dark emotion, and can’t expect to understand life today.  So I am not.  I am simply whining.

I am whining in this open forum because today didn’t go well.  I am whining on this great, beautiful blank screen in the hopes that typing the anger out of my fingers will keep it from dwelling in my soul.  I am whining to the world, not for pity but once again for my own selfishness.  The need to find my anger, breathe my anger, and one day let go of my anger.

Until then the burden of selfishness, the burden of this anger will follow me on the next curve in my life.  I will once again be able to eventually forget my step and fall in love.  I will once again be able to forgive my own brain, my own illness, my own world for not being the perfection I demand of it.  I will continue to walk down a path of resentment, and try and find forgiveness that I don’t deserve.

And maybe today is simply another curve in the road.  Maybe it is simply another punishment in my life.  And maybe, maybe, next time, God will let me come back as a ant.

Feeding the Demons

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demons feedingI have a disease.  I say those words often; not because I am looking for sympathy or pity but because I need to have some recognition that the norm I call my life, is in fact, not normal.  I have compared my disease to a carnival, to a tin man, even to a forest without trees.  I have worked almost daily to figure out what my precious mind will destroy next, and I have searched for ways to mitigate the damage I do to others in favor of damage I can do to myself.  I know the signs of my disease, and although I can’t often stop the actions before the deeds, I know afterwards when I have failed.

I worry constantly about failure; failing my children, my family, the employees who depend on me, those who care.  I worry about their ability to sustain kindness to me when I often can’t find the kindness I need to forgive myself.  I mentally pace and seek to find answers to questions that no one asks; to find the surcease that will bring me peace from the restless demons that constantly feed themselves on my fear.

I have a disease that is in my mind, and I keep it there.  I may pace, looking for freedom, but not where others can see.  I hide so much of myself that it is a daily battle just to remember what is real and what I have made up to survive. Lies become truths, and dreams become my reality.  I forget that there isn’t a knight riding to my rescue, and I forget that no matter how much I love some realities are harsher in the light of day. I try and speak to a God that seems far away from me most days; and I try and speak to the angels that I hope have been given my care.  I sit under imaginary trees, in the laps of those not here, and cry tears as silent as desert night.

There are signs that I have reached my breaking point. Signs that I know are in front of my eyes waiting for me to see.  Signs that can be hidden from others, but are so obvious to my saner self.  I know those pills I take are not necessary.  I know those things I buy aren’t worth the money I am spending and I know deep in my heart that the need to please, the need to be the most popular, the most beautiful is a symptom of a bigger problem.  I see it, I know it; yet, I will continue to do it until this too passes.

I can work to hide the desire to be more than what I really am; I simply stop speaking.  I can hide the shopping; I simply don’t go to the stores.  The pills, those will never go away.  I take them for the same reasons I am going shopping and speaking eloquently about things I know nothing about.  The desire to misdirect, in order to survive, is too strong to ignore.  The desire to pretend if only for a moment that I am okay, that my life is okay, that my mind isn’t once again betraying me, is more seductive then the greatest lover.  It pulls me and brings to the brink of ruin; yet still, I will do it again.

I have been having a reoccurring dream.  A dream that I wanted to work out in my head before I shared it with the world, even in this forum.  It is a dream of myself, blind and not able to see the world around me.  Typically I am either driving or moving in some way; some dangerous way.  And while I can have glimpses, enough to see direction, I am always a little out of control.  I have always been able to remember my dreams, which is both a burden and a curse, and I have had this one dream over and over for weeks.

I didn’t need Google, or any other source to tell me that the dream meant that I was willfully not seeing something.  I didn’t need an expert to know that the danger of driving blind is systematic of so much more; this is as obvious to me as it is to you.  However, determining exactly what it was that I was being willfully blind about took a little longer.  This could be so many things, as there are so many things in my life.   Take away the disease and you have the husband, the children, the family, the old life, the new. But the problem with ever taking away the disease, is that the disease is the most prominent thing in my life, good or bad, and to ignore it is to ignore my very soul.  And those who ignore their souls will never live with wings.

The truth is the dream is probably about my disease.   It is probably about the reality that I am reaching my breaking point, my edge, and there is no safety harness to bring me back.  It is probably my subconscious yelling at the top of its lungs that I am about to crash; and not into another body, not into another nightmare, but into another reality.   I am about to once again fall apart and like every time before that repercussions will be felt for years.

All the work I have done to believe in myself will be destroyed by the first lie.  All the work I have done to try and make myself someone I can love, will whither half way through the bottle of pills.  And as I lose my sanity, my reality, I will also lose all that I know.  And I type this with the full knowledge that while I am blind, I will still find my way down this path. I type this with the recognition that all the confessions in the presence of God himself will not stop my soul from losing the fight one more time.  I know what I am about to see in myself, yet as there is no way to halt the world from turning, there is no way from escaping the truth.  I am willfully blind to this disease, and when I wake up finally to the truth there will be no way to stop the hatred rolling through my veins as easily as the blood I was born with. The hatred I will feel for myself, the hatred I will feel for the darkness.

And there will be hatred; as much as there will be insanity, there will be hatred.  For how can you not hate yourself for being sick? How can you not hate yourself for betraying that which you hold most dear – the truth, the fight, the inescapable reality? How can I not hate myself for not finding strength, for succumbing to a disease that I have no control over, but rather has complete control over me? How can I ever forgive my own mind for turning against me so that the things I most believe in become insignificant?

A disease like bipolar isn’t for the weak; I have been told this and in some ways I believe this.  But it also isn’t a disease for a mother, or a wife, or a friend, or a boss.  It isn’t a disease that can find and hold truth; or a disease that can do anything but fight against the very will I hold like a shield.  It is a disease that takes the very hope you finally found, and tosses it in the air as if it weighs nothing but a thought.  It is a disease; a disease of the mind – the most powerful weapon this world has ever seen.  And it will destroy that which is the most vulnerable; one’s own soul.

A Mixture of Life

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imagesIt is my son’s birthday, so despite the fact that I am so tired my eyes ache, I am sitting here writing.  I always try to write something on my children’s birthdays, not only to mark the milestone in way I can look back and smile on, but so that I remember to continue to celebrate all that they have taught me, shown me, and most especially, all that they have given me.

My life this last year has been marked with radical change and incredible sorrow.  I have found little peace and even less comfort in even the smallest things surrounding me.  I have been wracked with guilt, questioned everything that I am, and found myself so much less than what I thought I really was.  I like to think there were highlights somewhere in those days, but if they were, I know they could have only been given by the two gifts God designed just for me; my children.

Some might consider it strange that on my children’s birthdays I reflect so much on myself, but the truth is their passage of time has become my only time.  Their moments of glory and their moments of pure happiness, that I have come to realize only children can feel, mark my days with so many highs not matter how low I succumb.  I wish that I could find succor for the pain in my life in my child’s smiles, but I have also come to realize that while those smiles give so much, they can’t fully erase the darkness.

Life is a mixture of darkness and light; however, what most of us somehow have to learn is that the darkness is much more powerful than that single blade of hope.  It is the darkness that brings us the unhappiness and the sorrow, the death, and the guilt; the worry, the pain, the failure, even the lost success.  Darkness drives so much of life that we are forced to question everything that we do and everything that we are striving for.  Is it worth it? Was it right? Did I do the best?

For my children, I question everything.  I question what time they go to bed to what they eat for breakfast.  I wonder if the move I made across many states was truly the best for them, or what I selfishly wanted for myself.  I look at my debt and my dwindling checking account and I wonder if I am working hard enough, am I doing all that I can? And when I lose my temper I am forced to question if it isn’t simply my own exhaustion that makes my child look different tonight.

And I have found a different kind of exhaustion these days.  There have been thousands of moments in my life when I looked around and realized that my soul was tired.  I realized that I didn’t have the energy or the wherewithal to find within myself a reason.  There have been times when the covers seemed warmer, safer, and more comforting than the sweetest memory.  There have been times when the act of even breathing took more concentration than those final exams I once feared.

These days, these evenings, I no longer have my husband by my side.  To follow his own dream, which I want to state for him and everyone else, I fully support, he had to begin working evenings.  This wasn’t his first choice and certainly not something he set out to find; for no matter how difficult our marriage comes, he loves being a father more than any man I have ever seen. But those dreams mean lonely nights for me, and times when there is no one to turn to, no one to lean on, especially when it comes to those we both adore.

My children are normal, healthy children.  They whine, they play, they make mistakes, they find answers in unlucky places.  They are perfect for the ages that they are. However this also means that they can’t do for themselves most of the basic tasks we all take for granted.  Want a glass of milk? Mom has to pour it.  Want to do homework? Mom doesn’t either.  Want to wear clean clothes? Wait for it, mom has to do it. This is not the fault of my children, nor the fault of their parents, it is their age.

I have come to realize that single parents have a level of simple strength that those who have never been there, can’t possibly know.  No matter how many times us married ladies complain about what our husband does or even doesn’t do, until you have spent hours and even days knowing that you are completely on your own, you can’t possibly appreciate all that a partner gives you. I move each and every day until I fall exhausted into bed.

Yet, there are those smiles of my children.  There are the strange, and sometimes rather rude sayings that my children come up with or learn from their friends. There is the curiosity, the absolute lack of fear and belief in the goodness of their parents.  There is the ease of sleep, and the forgiveness of a kiss on the cheek. There is the adventure, the imagination, the laughter, the giggles.  There is the moments of pure joy.

It is these small things that not only hold back the darkness for brief moments, but where the darkness can find its greatest source of energy.  The darkness that we have doesn’t often come from our own lives, but surrounds the lives of those we love most; as if the were auras.  The price of the pure joy is the guilt that they will cry silent tears.  The price of our strength, is the loss of our confidence.  The price of that curiosity is the fear for their innocence.

On my son’s birthday this year, I don’t find myself reflecting on all that he has accomplished or how he has grown, but all the things that are on the precipice of being unforgivable.  It is hard for me to concentrate of the smile, when the darkness has become so dense.  I think on the last year and what I loss, what I destroyed, and even what will never be the same.

And I hate that for my son.  I hate that rather than easily celebrating all that he is and all that he has become; these days the gray mist of my future blocks all light from those beautiful candles I lit.

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