Day 6

I sit here as I watch you over there
Your demons cover the both of us
Smother us; the hope of us
Kill
What was left of us

Day 5

How can you kill the part but not the whole
How can a body live without its soul
Floating
In the thick abyss of reality
In the darkness of sobriety
Drunk with the numbness that accompanies pain
Dying inside, waiting for you to do the same

My heart, I know it’s there but I can’t feel it beat
I am walking and running with no knowledge of my feet
I am shaking and shivering in reaction to the cold
I am anxious to die, too impatient to grow old
I feel everything and nothing all at once
I see the darkness of the moon, I feel the heat of the sun
There are two of us now when we used to be as one
Unravel, uncoil
I’ve come undone

Embrace the Crazy, Body and Soul

Image

After surviving the terror of high school I came haughtily into my twenties arrogant and convinced that I knew who I was and had life all figured out. I wasn’t waiting for happiness to find me, I was walking straight up to it, grabbing it by the balls and taking it home with me to reside. However, my twenties turned out to be one giant snowball of disaster until I was forced to discover that I didn’t know jack shit about life. I wish I had gone on some enlightening trip to Tibet or had an epiphany from God in a vivid dream, but I learned the truth about my life and it’s direction from the most boring and vacuous source of all: heartbreak.

Marrying at the ripe old age of 21 slowly brought out the worst of my depression and shined a spotlight on the fact that I not only had no idea who the hell I was, but I was also waking up to someone who was even less familiar to me. I lost pieces of my soul everyday, but in spite of it all I believed I would emerge from the fire like a phoenix with a singed but glistening wedding band still on my finger. As everyone knows, the marriage fell apart and so did most of my resolve and sanity. I wasn’t just a stranger trapped in my own body, I was a depressed woman discovering the absolute worst about life and my own limitations.

Image In hindsight, I probably just needed some time to recover, but my raw heart needed healing fast and I sought refuge in a man more broken than I was. Because we were so fragile, disillusioned by life and so monumentally fucked up all we managed to do was devastate each other and irrevocably bind our separate dysfunctions together for life. This isn’t Shakespearean times, star-crossed lovers no longer drink of the poison and escape the reality of love that can’t be. Instead, we are forced to be adults and we look that person in the eye everyday if we need to…and we hide our love away. The end of my marriage was a fracture, an aching—something that time and God could eventually heal. The second thing was a shattering of all the bones in my body, a holocaust of everything that I was made of and because of how these events were juxtaposed the damage was enormous and I truly have no idea as to whether I will emerge from this ok. But I’m trying…

I’m not a doctor and I don’t like to self-diagnose but I know how I struggle. I think that more time will reveal my absolute truth as to whether melancholia is something I will carry with me for the rest of my life, or if it’s been triggered by a series of events that I can’t shake. Whatever the case may be, I have made the personal decision to steer clear of mood-altering medications and to make life my drug of choice. To quote my favorite artist, Salvador Dali, “I don’t do drugs, I AM drugs!” Throughout my twenties I feel I’ve been constantly struggling with identity, cocking my head toward whoever was whispering in my ear telling me who I was supposed to be. I no longer want others to define me or my truth—not even my family. These very personal and intimate heartbreaks I’ve experienced have taught me secret things about myself and now no one can say they know me and know what’s best for me.

In my quest for healing, I only know that I want to be free. I want to laugh loudly, dance awkwardly, give freely and love openly. Just as I fear my emotions being muted by anti-depressants, I fear my heart being muted by tainted love. The concept of Embracing the Crazy is simply that; having no fear of love in any of its forms. I know that I’m a little unconventional, maybe self-absorbed, maybe abrasive but I am choosing to love myself at the bottom in a last ditch effort to rise to my full potential. I’m embracing myself as I am and trying to take life as it comes. In spite of pain and hardship I laugh and have learned to just BE and enjoy myself anyway. A few jobs, several quarrels with family and friends, countless eviction notices and many many tears later, I still feel the happiest I’ve been in a very long time.

Image

Body

ImageI’ve opened up about a lot of really personal things on this blog, so it’s really a shame that this topic makes me most uncomfortable. I don’t have a self-esteem issue per se, but lately I realized that there is something not quite right about how I see myself. When it comes to attraction and the opposite sex I learned early on that looks aren’t even the half of it. A lot of it has more to do with the vibe you give off and a rockin’ ass body doesn’t hurt for some people. Because of my strangeness I’ve never had a problem attracting the opposite sex, but the older I get the more I see the importance of wanting to be able to look in the mirror and seeing myself as appealing and pretty. When men refer to my sexuality or my weirdness I get that, but once I hear the word “beautiful” or “pretty” I tune it out as random flattery. My nose is too big, one of my eyes is smaller than the other and I think my lips are too small. But you know, I’m not that into plastic surgery nor do I have the funds, so I simply work with what God gave me.

It was all fun and games until I started comparing myself to other women. I am normally not the jealous type but lately as I’ve been Imagestruggling with my weight, and dating again, and emerging from my own world and back on social media I’ve been exposed to hot bitches everywhere! I didn’t know that so many of my friends were models, or had such tight abs and fat asses! Here I am dorking it out on my computer, writing these posts and hoping it gets one comment or one “like” from someone who understands or is moved—meanwhile, a hot chick changes her profile pic and instantly gets 100 “likes”—well damn! This made me livid—honestly, fuck these vapid bitches for bringing nothing to the table but hot bodies and the Valencia filter. I am about so much more! Then I have to laugh at myself and get a grip when I’ve realized I’ve posted just as many selfies, I just didn’t get any likes :-/. What is this? This need or want to be desired by others and for others to approve and validate me?

There is nothing wrong with my desire to be attractive, but it’s hard to want other people to perceive you in a way that you don’t even Imagesee yourself. I don’t think I was ever at a point where I truly appreciated my looks or my body (especially since I can’t keep up with it as much as my weight fluctuates). Right now I’m just at the point where it’s no longer that big of a deal to adversely trigger more depression. I know what I want to fix, I just need to fix it and that’s all there is to it. If I died tomorrow I wouldn’t want to die hating myself over something as superficial as body type and looks. I don’t want to have to wait to love myself until I achieve my personal goals—I get enough of that from external sources—I want to love myself NOW. At the end of the day I just want to be pretty, look good in clothes and look good naked and that’s all vanity anyway. My body may change but my smile will always be the same—so I may as well smile and accept how I look through all stages in life.

Image

Soul

There’s a song on the radio now called “Purple Yellow Red and Blue” by Portugal. The Man, that’s super catchy, and I find myself singing it in my head because I think of it as me, personified. “All I wanna do is live in ecstasy, I know what’s best for me.” Whenever I hear it I turn it up because I do believe I know what’s best for me compared to other people. That is the kind of life I am trying to live. Then one day, I listened more closely to the lyrics and realized that the full lyrics were “All I wanna do is live in ecstasy, I know what’s best for me–I just want to be evil.”  Whoa! Pump the brakes—that is NOT what I want for my life. To desire a free soul treads on dangerous ground because it opens you up to all sorts of potentially dark things—if you seek and wander aimlessly. I don’t want to be a child’s helium balloon that detaches from the small hand and drifts into the sky without clear path or direction. I wish to be more like a kite that gets to experience the freedom of the wind but can be reeled in by a stronger force when necessary.

Though my religious friends probably think I’ve gone completely mad with my language, revealing pics and outrageous stories about casual sex; I have not. I have a relationship with the God I worship and I’m building on it throughout this journey and I feel safe and loved in it. My soul quests for freedom but not to run amok and to seek self-serving opportunities. My ties to God is what allows me to bounce back, what allows me to forgive and what allows me not to feel so alone when I’m lying awake at night tears streaming down my face and contemplating the worst. For me, a free soul is to break away from the mold of “single mother” “Christian” “young black woman” and just be what I am most comfortable being at the end of a long day. I just want to live in ecstasy, I know what’s best for me—I just want my freedom.

I share my story so that maybe even one person can find freedom in it, and know that they aren’t alone in their efforts navigating through life while embracing all the crazy that comes along with it…

Image

An Unlikely Husband

There is the saying “Careful what you ask for because you might receive it,” and it sounds like the stupidest threat.  Of course I want to receive it, it’s wtf I asked for! However, I do understand the sentiment behind it. In reviewing my virtual list of things I want from a companion, I came to the realization that most of my needs are actually being met.

As a divorced woman I can’t pretend that I don’t miss being married. Relationships can end badly but there are always good times to reflect back on even if it’s just the feel of never having to worry about being alone. I know what it feels like to be married so everyday I am very aware of what I am missing. On some level I do admit to being a liar in the dating game. Of course ultimately I just want to chill with someone and see where things go in sort of a loosey goosey carefree way—but I also want someone to help carry my groceries, to take out my trash, ask me about my day, and talk to about which bills to pay and whose turn it is to go to the grocery store. Functioning solo and always having to “hold it down” is fucking exhausting! Dating makes things harder because you slowly open yourself up to another person who initially just cares about you and doesn’t really give a damn about your children or your commute or your annoying boss. I met a guy recently and I remember feeling so relieved that he was a father. I smiled as I looked at pictures of his little son on his cell phone, but I didn’t even bother to show pictures of my girls because for men that’s cute—for women, not so much.

I have an overall feeling of tiredness in my body—and I’m seriously just going take a break from dating for a couple of weeks. Making eye contact and putting yourself out there to a practical stranger is more trouble than it’s worth to me these days. When I come home from a long day at work there is dinner on the stove, and my 7 year old is usually at the coffee table doing homework while my 2 year old plays nearby. The trash is taken out and sometimes the kitchen is even clean. If I need to run to the grocery store I have someone to consult with, and I can do so without having to pack the kids up and take them with me. Finally, I have some stability at home.– though it’s from an unlikely source.

A few months ago, my brother decided to move out of the house he shared with his roommate. It seemed kind of a hasty and ill-planned decision, so to make sure he didn’t have to move into some sleazy hotel somewhere I volunteered for him to stay with me until he figured out where he wanted to move. It goes without saying but it’s looking like he’ll be staying with me for the long haul. It is probably one of the best and healthiest rash decisions I’ve ever made in my life. We share finances, he cooks, he helps me take care of the children  and even watches the baby during the day—which saves me so much money on daycare. In the rare moments I am not in my introverted shell, we talk about our days and current events and the children and sometimes I get to veg out on the couch and drink beers with his friends and watch the game on Sundays.

Do I wish to have romantic companionship from the opposite sex? Well, of course but there doesn’t have to be a big rush about it. I think this arrangement makes my dating life so much easier because there’s no subconscious pressure coming from me to have whoever I’m involved with to fill a certain role. In the beginning stages the truth of the matter is: no one cares about you. Sometimes people just want what they want, then as relationships grow and progress that’s when they start caring about the other person as human being and not the “weird-eyed chick with the big ass”.  I am also fortunate that I have male friends who are invested in me as a person and love my children enough to ask about them and actually care enough to look at pictures while murmuring about just how cute they are.

The look on a man’s face after he finds out you have two children with different fathers is just plain taxing on my little heart and pride. Also, I like to deal with being totally up-front and honest with people and most are not on that same page. I’m going to take some time and spend it with the men who love me and accept me for who I am—and maybe in a few weeks or so I will resurface with some fun dating stories and experiences. As for now, I’m done.

 

 

 

Comfortably Numb

For more information or to sponsor my walk to prevent suicide click here.

I just finished eating dinner. I washed it all down with a gin and ginger ale in an effort to keep things cool and in control. This is a terrible habit that began years ago and I’m a bit ashamed for not being totally upfront about it. While I do not take mood-altering medication, I do drink—probably heavily. I haven’t decided how much of a problem it is. I do know, that it is frustrating for me. I am sure there are women out there that have fought similar battles and are single mothers that can deal with the same hardships in stride. At some point in my life I’ve had to accept that I am soft hearted. I don’t feel exactly like the rest and I’m not able to recover as quickly. To be strong pushes me way too far out of my comfort zone.

Image

When I was married I had an inkling that something wasn’t right about the way that I was living. I went to church, I tried to be a good wife, I tried to wrap my head around this brand of happiness for the rest of my life…but I knew that it would be less happiness and more settling for a façade and faking who I was in an effort to bring out the best in others. There had to be another way, but I couldn’t find one. I never drank and I didn’t even know how. The only thing I could remember is that women order rum and coke at the bar in a few movies I’d seen. So I bought a bottle of rum I used to keep hidden and I would mix it with anything and everything. I just needed something to keep the edge off. There was heaviness to my countenance that I couldn’t get rid of and I needed something to keep it from haunting me. It wasn’t often I did it, but when things got unbearable I had to.

 The Social: When I split from my ex husband I lived in a small house with just my oldest daughter (3 years old at the time) and myself. It was lonely and it was scary—the thought of cutting the grass had the power to send me into a downward spiral. I was living in a house that was meant for a family and now I was by myself, a stereotypical single mother. She went to be with her Dad every other weekend and on those weekends I partied hard. My mother calls this my mourning period but I’m not exactly sure the name that I would have for it.

 Anyway, it began with a bad snowstorm that winter. I was struggling to make the rental payments by myself, it was a pain to shovel snow off of my car in the pitch black of morning just to make it to work where I constantly battled not to have a nervous breakdown.  The snowstorm hit and I was stuck in the house alone with only the company of my thoughts. Since then I have contemplated suicide, even so much as held a blade to my wrist but I still don’t think my thoughts ever got as dark as they did that night. I’m as naïve as a little girl. I believe in unconditional love, in hope, in working things out—walking away from my marriage was the renouncing of all of those beautiful things that I thought made me ME. And after that night I had come so close in completely shutting down I vowed that I could never go to that place again.

So I drank, and I drink. When you see me out it’s most likely I appear to be the life of the party but it’s just something I need to do because that’s what’s expected of me and most times it’s an escape from loneliness. Furthermore, I can’t speak for anyone else but for me there was a complete loss of identity once my marriage was severed. I felt dirty and exposed, like someone’s tossed away garbage. I was forced out of a bond because someone did not want me. He was still alive, I saw him often but I couldn’t extract from him the answers I needed to help me cope with the loss of us. I fully expected to be married the rest of my life it never occurred to me that there were any other options! I still feel those feelings of exposure most times. When I was married I was way more secure because I knew that no matter what I did that day I would be able to come home to someone who loved and accepted me for the way I am. I lost that person and I lost that confidence in myself.

So, I still drink socially now, though I’m in a healthier place self-esteem wise, because sometimes you do have to fake it until you make it. I go out with my friends and they are all beautiful I have to get on that level and act like I’m the greatest thing in the room in order to not have my ego crushed and my mind racked with jealousy. I get in my head a lot and I revert back to that same old girl from high school that knows deep down that the same people who have love for me now would be no where to be found 10 years ago. I drink because sometimes I’m not really having fun. I just want to be at home, staring at the wall and not worrying about a thing. I drink because I still feel exposed. With the divorce hanging over my head I still have moments when I feel like someone else’s leftovers. I don’t want to be sober enough to recognize those that see straight through me and maybe even have to explain myself. I drink to avoid the eye contact of those who really see me.

Image

Image from: amithea.deviantart.com

 The Loner: After the night of the snowstorm, I did make a conscious vow that I could never revisit that place again–the darkest part of my soul where the will to give up on life lived. In an effort to do that my mind sort of kicked into survival mode—which is great for a temporary fix but terrible for the long term. Months after my separation from my husband I rekindled a former love with a broken man that did more damage to my soul than I thought was possible. While I was in it, I never allowed myself to feel the gravity of the pain of what was happening to me. I felt the bliss of survival mode. I was numb. I used to feel like it was a super power. There I was, blessed with the amazing ability of not having to deal with life because I could zone out at any time. It didn’t matter what was happening to me because I wasn’t really there and I didn’t have to be bothered with the burden of feeling. I created my own world for myself and I chose to live there to avoid feeling any unpleasantness ever again. However, reality intervened at a certain point and I had to step outside to survey the damage of the hurricane that swept through my life while I hid in my storm shelter.

 So, now I drink to remember how to feel, while most people drink to forget. It is a struggle for me to remain present and for me to feel emotions without going into my natural protection mode. I used to disappear from friends for weeks at a time–you couldn’t hold me accountable for anything because I didn’t care enough. I locked my soft heart in a safe and I refused to be held accountable for any pain I could possibly have inflicted on others because fuck them! No one had been there to protect me. I try to be aware of when I’m in that survival mode now. I sit back on my couch and I make myself a drink trying to wrap my head around how I feel about the day’s events. I most desire to be free without the help of outside substances but for now it’s about coping with the issues at hand. Writing a blog doesn’t mean I have access to all the answers.

 I drink to avoid the despair of having become so numb.