In moments like this I feel so scared. I really have a fear of dying whenever I am happy. My thoughts turn especially morbid when I am traveling to my boyfriend’s house thinking on how blessed I am to have found someone like him and to still be enjoying our relationship after almost two years. I think about death when I’m laughing with the kids in the car, or joking with co-workers or paying off bills. Any satisfaction I get from life comes with the fear that it will immediately be taken away.
I once overheard my father, a very devout Christian man, in conversation as he told someone that God cares more about righteousness than happiness (hence the topic of the last musical post) and that comment still rocks my world weeks and weeks later. Because I suspected it all along. NOT that I believe the statement is true, but I believe that in subtle ways I have been raised to believe that there is no joy and happiness to be achieved in this world. That way of thinking led me into so many situations of learned helplessness; failed relationships, poor work ethic and crippling depression just to name a few side effects. I can’t be that way anymore.
I want to enjoy this. At one point in my life not long ago I really thought that struggling with depression and barely making it as a single mother was going to be my fate for the rest of my life. Then I made the decision to stop martyring my happiness and began to lean on others for help and support. I started to view motherhood as less of a punishment and more of a gift and a reason to keep me on my toes and force me to have my shit together. I have to be mentally well enough to teach my daughters that marriage is overrated, happiness comes from within and can definitely be achieved without a significant other. Independence is a virtue, love is just a feeling but commitment is what holds any relationship, romantic or otherwise, together. It is a debilitating thing to believe that self-actualization has only come about for me because I’ve been left to the devil and God no longer bothers to interfere in my life. It’s a very twisted thing, really.
I want heaven in my afterlife, but I no longer think it’s greedy of me to want to experience just a snippet of it in my life on this earth, as well. I have paid my dues with suffering and I am fully aware that I don’t deserve a thing—but I will strive for it anyway. To be completely honest, I thought of single-motherhood as a death sentence—I didn’t want children all alone, I wanted a strong man to hold me at night, to HELP me! Fast forward years later and it turns out I didn’t need that kind of help. I just needed to realize that life is determined to beat the shit out of me anyway, so I may as well choose to put up a fight for the full 12 rounds instead of accepting a total knock out.
I even have hope that maybe I can win.