Sunday, August 19, 2018

Let the Sunshine

For as long as I could remember, I've wanted to start a blog. At first, I didn't know what I'd write about, or how I would actually start one. I didn't know what content I would post, where I would get it from or how I would maintain it. I procrastinated so much, I actually convinced myself that by putting it off, I'd one day have this epiphany, this magic moment where I'd suddenly have the clarity about what I wanted to write about. Well, that moment was today - and it wasn't some great epiphany, it was simply a moment when I finally decided I'd procrastinated enough.

The thing is, life is funny in the sense that for most of mine, I'd been either waiting for the next thing to come along. Whether it was some big plans, or some season of life that was going to change everything for me and how I lived my life, or some special event that'd I'd occupy my time with, I just spent my time waiting time... and the problem with that, is that while I was waiting for that next thing to come along, I was missing the moments between them by standing still. I wasn't living in the moment and enjoying my life and what it really had to offer me on a daily basis. I wasn't excited about anything... I was overwhelmed, stressed, and dare I even say depressed. Oh yes, I was terribly depressed, almost irrationally so.

So what happened? Well, things were quickly spiraling out of control for me. I kept thinking that if I set goals, if I focused on that next best thing, that when I'd gotten there I'd have finally felt satisfied or at least had a sense of some kind of accomplishment. I needed a great relationship, and in order to get that, I needed to be everything for my partner in order to believe I was worthy of what I was craving to receive from him, even if that meant neglecting myself during that whole process. Sound weird? Don't worry, it gets better. I needed to have a family overflowing with happiness, a successful career ripe with success and growth, a beautiful home filled with things I didn't really need,  and I had to have a nice car to get me around and help me fit in with all the other perfect moms, who I didn't realize were struggling just as horribly as I was. You see, I was so busy worrying about everything else, all those little glass plates - the ones with each compartment of my life neatly organized on in perfect little portions -  that I was struggling to keep them all balanced. I'd like to say that slowly, one by one, I dropped each of them to the ground and kept some perfectly intact but the truth of it is, they all fell all at once and shattered into a thousand pieces, all my perfect little portions were a blended mess on the ground, scattered around me in chaos. I couldn't tell one thing from another and the more it all blended and blurred inside my mind, the more resentful and angry I became. The more upset I became about the life I'd worked so hard to build being shattered on the floor, the more I looked to understand why'd I'd become such a failure, to begin with. At first, I slipped into a miserable depression and it wasn't one that lasted a few weeks or months either. It was years of my life, years - wasted, gone. I'll never have them back. The time that I lost can't ever be recovered, the damaged that was done in the wake I may never fully heal from. To the outside world, the one outside of the four walls of my home, outside of my husband, and outside of my children, you'd have never known. I wore a smile and those who didn't know me didn't know how loud I was screaming inside. Screaming through the smile and charm I'd worn every day.

Then, one day, it all fell apart, even my carefully placed facade. The mask I wore every day to the outside world took a heavy blow. It was a day I can still remember with perfect clarity. It was the day my body finally crashed, unable to carry the heavy burdens inside my mind and heart any longer. I'd like to tell you that that moment was the wakeup call I'd just had... but that'd be a lie too. In a way, I did pick myself up, try to get better, and fix what was wrong. My tactics though were to put a band-aid on a bullet hole. Not nearly as effective as I hoped it was going to be. I tried different things, little at first, but the intensity of wanting to keep trying wore off, and I'd fill my time with other things to occupy my busy mind, I changed the bandaid from time to time, but an infection began to form and fester... to a point where it could no longer be ignored with a simple band-aid solution.

My husband and I had hit rock bottom in our marriage, the kind where you sit down and try to figure out how the hell you're both going to survive after going through a divorce. During these talks, we decided trying out marriage counseling... I'd always been hesitant. Skeptical to say the very least that talking to a therapist could help me. Hell, I'd tried it before five years ago and it was a damn near disaster that almost killed my marriage right then and there.  This time though, things are much different and that's where this story begins.

This blog is an account of my journey through this crazy, beautiful, yet sometimes completely miserable life. By starting it, I'm hoping that not only can I heal old wounds in my heart and mind, but that by maybe someday, somewhere, I'll also help someone else going through this same exact shitstorm that I've been going through, but that maybe my weathering through it and blazing trail will help the next person find their way through the jungle storm.

Fair warning, I swear, I'm going to be blunt, and I'm probably going to say things that make you scratch your head in wonder, WTF is up with this chick? You definitely don't have to like or agree with my opinion and I absolutely welcome you to challenge me in healthy constructive conversation. I'm an avid addict of learning and debating. My husband says I have a talent for fighting... I like to think I've just had a lot of practice over the years and perfected my art of persuasive reasoning.

So, welcome! Pull up a chair and get yourself comfortable, friend.   I'm delighted that you're here, reading my story. I honeslty hope it helps bring you your own clarity...yourown sunshine. In the end, all we can do is try to be better today then we were yesterday. That's all I want for myself and I'm not holding any other expectations beyond that.

- Jen

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