When faced with conflict, which do you choose: stay and fight or flight?
Over the years, my go to survival tool has been flight, I’ve listened to fear and in anxiety ridden moments bolted like a jack rabbit. I’ve since discovered something quite huge… no matter where I go there I am with all my harms and hurts injected into the mix!
There are those hurts that cause tremendous pain, which, no amount of life will prepare you to combat, engulfing you in its misery, and from the pain a defense born, right or wrong giving the tools needed for survival.
I survived for years by perfecting the art of flight; sometimes physically, and other times mentally. No matter where I go there I am… old ideas live hard; die harder!
A NOT SO MUSHY TALE, WELL EXCEPT FOR THE LOVEY, MUSHY PART…
My Our Story (and, I’m sticking to it!)
A SAILOR PASSING THROUGH TOWN; WE INSTANTLY FELL INTO LIKE AND LUST, NEITHER ONE EXPECTING IT, CATCHING US BOTH BY SURPRISE… AS THE DAYS TURNED INTO MONTHS, WE FOUND OURSELVES STUMBLING OUR WAY INTO LOVE, SETTING UP HOUSE AND STARTING A FAMILY. BEING A SAILOR WAS NOT CONDUCIVE TO FAMILY LIFE, SO HE ABANDONED THE SEA FOR LIFE ON LAND.
This past January marked my 9th (10th) consecutive year of keeping my feet, most of the time, well sometimes, firmly planted next to The Sailor. He is an incredibly loving, supportive partner and his skills as a father are rocking fabulous; we’ve shared happiness, passion, heartache, survived bumpy bumps and lots of love.
Relationships have their issues, right? We most certainly have ours; we are far from perfect. But, I needed perfect… the fairy tale of love that makes happily ever after last forever!
I did not know how to live perfect; I wasn’t exactly sure what perfect looked like, but I wanted perfect. Surely, perfect brings happy.
Only the problem wasn’t as clear to me, as it was with others… the problem more specifically, depression… who me? Depressed. I wasn’t suffering from depression… I was suffering from, if only everyone else acted right, I would be better.
I felt tired and blue, overworked and unappreciated, lonely yet crowded, angry and sad… but do not label me depressed. I could not see that every phase of tired or whatever flavor of feeling made my world that much smaller, so much so, I rarely left the house, bathed, communicated honestly or found myself interested in any activity.
After, I sobered up in October of 2001, and eventually began living sober, I believed those feelings and thoughts would go away, and it worked for a while. I felt better than ever before, sober and taking care of myself, so why did I find myself back in the throes of darkness and filled with anxiety, again?
Certain discoveries about self are extremely painful, but covering it up, avoiding and denying the emotional pain is far worse.
Depression harms not only the inflicted, but the afflicted, and when left untreated… whoa! I now have an understanding of how my family felt watching me neglect myself; it caused many heartaches and turmoil and sadness; today, instead, of feeling guilt and emotionally bashing myself, I live my amends not only to those I love, but myself.
I don’t know that I will ever completely be free from depression and anxiety; I accept that, ain’t got shame in my game, and today, I know depression filled, anxiety ridden moments pass, they do not last forever. They pass. It doesn’t last forever… rinse and repeat. I also know help is available, and I have choices… I am not scared or ashamed to reach out, to talk about DEPRESSION. DEPRESSION… THERE I SAID IT –Depression.
And, if it helps just one person… hope.
My most difficult challenges are facing truth, sadness and anger. I’m thinking these are fairly normal among the breathing and as an imperfect lot, people and life will disappoint, so coming equip with some healthy coping skills is… healthy!
Although, I believe it unrealistic to expect another person to make me better, The Sailor loves me, including the ugly parts and that makes my world a better place, not to mention he is really cute and cuddly.
Our daughters adore him, he babysits their Barbie dolls and baby dolls. He holds our daughters close when they cry. He swings them around again and again; closing my eyes, trusting with my heart, they won’t fly out a window… I hear the giddy scream of laughter, and the words “one more time, Daddy” and he does it one more time and then I sneak a peek at their cuteness, and my heart grows a bit bigger.
The Sailor is the most handsome, silliest, giving, coolest cat I know, with an amazing ability to make me laugh, until I giggle snort and he reminds me that it is o.k. to not take life so seriously.
HAPPY BELATED ANNIVERSARY, SAILOR, YOU STILL MAKE MY HEART GO BOOM!