Magically, some how I was able to paint, raise children, work, clean, list paintings to sell, walk the dogs and go shopping, carpool kids, plan vacations, watch sporting events, join friends for lectures, belong to book clubs and enjoy social events, all at same time. I was super woman.
What the h*ll happened to me?
Devastation and deep depression. Only the devastation was far less to be worried about, now looking backwards. The depression, which I definitely categorize as pure sadness was so real. Our business was struggling, my Mother became ill, my children were all leaving the house for college at the same time, a lifetime friend betrayed me, my other good friend died, and we couldn’t sell our house which had become to expensive for us. And don’t even get me started regarding the IRS. Dealing with all these issues was difficult at best.
So this is what I did. I started a blog just for me. I called it my sad blog. I wrote how I felt. If nothing more it provided an outlet. Every morning I would sit down get coffee and listen to two songs and I would write as they played. Sometimes I replayed them over and over again.
I played this one first: the house that built me
Then I would play this one: you haven’t seen the last of me.
These songs brought me comfort and put a voice and words to my feelings. However they also made me cry. You see I could barely speak during this time. Most times I would try to talk, tears would start flowing, all on their own. Sad slow tears would well-up and peacefully roll down my cheeks. I was a mess. I wore sunglasses to work, closed my office door, fell behind on everything I needed to do. I stared out the windows or at the screen. There was no relief. None.
During this dark period there were moments when everything was going to be fixed. Once we were close to working a deal with the bank, or the time we almost merged with a company in Connecticut. We were in final stages in both instances. Hopes were high, everything was making perfect sense, everything look good, then boom. Neither deal closed. Up and down, hope and disappointment. Repeatedly.
I was broken.
I continued to do what I could, which wasn’t much. Here is one entry from my personal blog:
Sad but True
The best part of my day is knowing it will end.
Right now I can say I am better. Much better. I have listed some of the things and people who helped me to pull myself up and out of my sea of despair. (btw- I am allergic to all antidepressants, so they ended up not being an option)
1.) I joined Cross-fit. (thanks Libby ) That helped me with my energy level, attitude and it boosted my self confidence. Plus I got stronger. Even though it was really expensive it was well worth the investment.
2.) I started to get rid of all the useless stuff in my life. Thus the birth of the “Unpack the Rat.” I was doing the work anyway and I thought I may as well write about it, so I could recognize my wins and grow though the process.
3.) I started to embrace ideas which I always admired but I never truly believed they could ever fit into my life. I made room for new ideas. In other words, I believe in possibilities once again.
5.) I stopped trying to prove myself to anyone. I am what I am, either like me or not.
6.) I let go of any shame. The financial disaster didn’t just hit our business it was global. Our business was categorized as “small enough to fail.” (my choice words for the “selected” bails-outs sound like this @#$% ^%$@#%)
7.) I stopped pretending everything was okay. Then I identified what I could change and what I couldn’t change.
8.) I learned who had my back. It wasn’t my siblings or in-laws. I acknowledge that those family members are never going to change. I stopped wishing for, hoping for and expecting something that never did, and never will exist.
9.) I looked to my husband. I realized without him I am nothing. He is the love of my life. And he is my rock. He has my back – forever and always.
10.) My children are among my greatest loves. They are my are super heroes, helping, never complaining, and always offering up the bright side of life. I can’t even list how many ways they have supported and inspired me during my life. I am so very proud of each of them.
The list could go on and on, so many other people deserve my gratitude. Some of these people I know well. Others, I don’t even know their names.
Anyway, time eventually ran out and I had to tell my kids we were losing their childhood home. I felt we let them down. I was ashamed to tell them we sold our house to the bank. (We were lucky to do that, we avoided foreclosure.)
My one son said to me, ” It doesn’t matter Mom. Home is where ever my family is.” I was stunned by his comment. I will never forget his kind and wise words.
Perspectives from those I love and those who love me helped pull me through. I take it one step at a time, and I still have a long way to go. But I have faith we will get there some day. And that “there” will be a place that we all will call “home.”
(I would like to add, this took me well over a year. Maybe as long as 18 months, and still to this day sadness creeps in. At least now I know I can somehow, some way, make it not hurt as much.)
Tip: Know who is your real family, and always keep the door open for new members related or not.
Inspiration: One of my daughter’s message of encouragement.
One-day one-thing: Getting back to de-cluttering: Sort your cosmetics, first-aid inventory and general bathroom supplies. These items expire, forget how much you paid for them, they are useless clutter.
PostScript: Just moments after writing this I was slammed with yet one more enormous disappointment. I know why people turn to drugs, prescriptions or not. I know. I am growing so very tired of the fight, but I can’t give up, I’ve work too hard to get here. I’m grabbing a beer. And maybe I’ll read my own posts, how to stay up, and faith in not knowing and then again maybe I won’t.
Cheers with a smile. :)