Well, that was harder than expected….

The last couple weeks have proven, beyond any doubt, how ridiculous my naive optimism can be. My mental state has been put to the test and has emerged with a solid D-. While Dave was out of town, it was also UEA, so the boys both had sleepovers at friends houses. I still had to work so if they could be somewhere having fun rather than staying home alone, I figured that would be better for them. This left me alone with my thoughts, for days, and it wasn’t as pleasant as I had hoped. I dealt with the madness the only way I could think of without alcohol. I put on my ‘everything’s fine’ face, overexerted myself at work (resulting in multiple mornings crawling to the bathroom due to my back being on strike) and sunk into the couch at the end of the days, waterworks running full force, trying to make sense of the state I was in. It has been a rough chunk of time for me and the visions in my head have been incredibly dark. I opened up to a couple friends but didn’t want a lot of people to know what was going on, particularly Dave. The thought of my problems putting a damper on his amazing adventure was too much for me to handle. I also didn’t want anyone to feel like they had to babysit me. I say this, knowing in my heart that not one of my beloved friends or family would ever look at helping me as babysitting. Truly, I know this. But in those moments, it took everything I had to carry myself through the day without crumbling. I couldn’t risk adding the weight of trying to talk myself out of feeling guilty because I asked for help. The one time I was invited to go out and get my mind off things, I was hit by a crippling anxiety attack an hour before the event. The thought of going out, late at night, to a place I have never been before, finding parking, finding my way, alone, snowballed pretty quickly and I had to back out. Yup, lots to do still for this girl and her therapist.

I feel like my struggles would have been much more manageable had I not been being held down by the evil back pain monster. It’s like it teamed up with the other two, pinning me while anxiety and depression proceeded to flick me, hard, on the forehead, over and over and over, slowing making me feel more crazy and trapped. When getting up and and changing your surroundings involves a considerable amount of pain and is quite a struggle it feeds the demons because you just have to sit with it sometimes, and that’s hard. When flareups like this happen, I am reminded how lucky I am that this is not a 24/7 debilitating pain. I feel for those who are bed ridden, I feel for them SO MUCH. My pure hope is that anyone dealing with chronic pain is able to be in a good place, mentally, as much as they can.

Though these last two weeks were dark, and at times quite scary, I am glad they happened. It was a good wakeup call for me. With all that I have been working on, all I have learned about myself, all that I have worked to change, there is still quite a long road of discovery ahead. I am sharing these struggles not for pity, it is never for pity. I am sharing them because I learned something new and maybe someone out there can relate or will relate in the future and can know they are not alone. I thought I was in a good, strong place when Dave headed out for is journey. I was obviously very wrong. It would appear I need to put some focus on how I am really doing, when there are absolutely no distractions. And I’m not talking meditation alone time, those are short spurts ¬†and even then I am focussing on meditating, which is itself, a distraction. I will, with the guidance of my therapist, look for ways to survive being alone with my darkness without allowing that darkness to take me. I’m honestly a little shocked it didn’t take me this time. I truly believe that the positive energy, love and support I feel from all of you, my loved ones, was the flickering light I needed to find my way out of that cave. I am sending my most sincere, heart felt thank you to every soul out there that has done so. I am also sending out all the love and hope I have to give to anyone who is struggling. You are not alone. You are not a burden. You are worth every bit of love and happiness the world has to give, and despite what things look like sometimes, there is a lot out there. You are loved, and you are strong, I can feel it. I have faith in you. I hope you all feel this!!!

Happy Halloween and here’s to brighter days for us all. Love and hugs!!!

4 comments

  1. Jen, I am in awe of your honesty and your gift of expression. Your depth of compassion and love for all who are struggling (and we all are on some level) is wholeheartedly felt. Our family is blessed that you are apart of us.
    Love you,
    Susan

  2. You did it though! I am so proud of you and am always anxious to read or text about how you are doing! Great to see you last night!

  3. You are a beautiful soul. Keep on keeping on. Brighter days ahead and you deserve every good, beautiful thing that is out there.
    You continue to help others more than you will ever know with your honesty.
    Love and peace to you!

  4. Again, I wish I had read this long time ago. You are such an example to me! I also hope that you will start to feel more comfortable about reaching out to those around you. We do NOT EVER feel you are a burden! Your gift to us and your example make us all feel we want to be more like you, and love to be in your presence, whatever your mood! Love you! Your adventure was just as impressive as Dave’s, and YOUR climb even more dangerous and daring as his. Congratulations on conquering the peak! As always, I am proud of you!

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