December 26, 2013

The View From Here: This Skewed View

On this day after Christmas, the last Thursday of 2013, we have

Erin found me on Facebook and loved that I'm also on Instagram because it's her latest obsession.
(You know I love it too!)

I thought my husband had a lot of medical issues. Of course he does, but I think Erin has a few more. What I enjoy about her is, like Mark and I, she has a sense of humor about it all. And perspective. Which is exactly what this series is about.

This skewed view

When Jen was looking for someone to write The View from here for December 26th I thought great, I can do that! It was harder than I thought. Some great friends helped me get my thoughts in order, and the grammar too! My brain was kind of scattered and arthritis flared so talk to text was a life saver, even if it did leave a lot to be desired grammar wise.

The view from here is very skewed; this is not the life I thought I’d be living.

I always thought I would be a mother. That part has stayed the same – I just thought I would be a mother of more than one. I never thought I would be dealing with infertility or pregnancy loss after a successful pregnancy and delivery. Nor was I expecting chronic illnesses to stack up, ultimately making it impossible for me to work. However, I have never been so happy with my life as I am now…chronic illness, pain, and all.

Someone recently told me that we are not the sum of our parents’ decisions. To an extent I believe this. However, my past shaped what I have become, how I think, and what I think. I don’t regret my past and I don’t wish it had been different. I don’t resent my parents’ decisions anymore. I wouldn’t be who I am without them. Everything I’ve gone through, from unmedicated ADD to infertility, to the loss of a parent, to now – every bit of that molded me into who I am right this minute. However, I don’t use it as a crutch, either. I use it to help change myself, to make the changes I want in my life.

My family is not big on self-analysis. It has taken me awhile to be comfortable with it and to be comfortable with the fact that I need it. I need it like lungs need oxygen. I need to make sure that I am not making the same mistakes that prompted me to change myself to begin with. We may be the result of our parents’ decisions, but we don’t have to be what they’ve made us. It doesn’t mean we can’t change. It doesn’t mean we can’t use our past to help keep us on our desired paths.

Sometimes, even with all my sarcasm and dry humor, depression takes hold. It’s much easier for it to take over when my body is screaming at me. It’s so easy for to me to just give in and say, “Yup, I’m a worthless pile of trouble.” To lose interest in everything and ignore everyone. To not allow my distractions of reading or watching Dr. Who to pull me from those depths.

It’s so easy for me to get caught up in the everyday struggle of functioning to ignore the warning signs. When my dreams start taking on a realistic edge, when I can’t meditate no matter how hard I try, when reading doesn’t interest me and I move from one thing to the next, desperately hoping something will help – these are all red flags. I know my mental state is okay when my dreams are sci-fi and very unrealistic. I have always been accused of living in a fantasy world, but it’s okay – they all know me there.

It took me years of battling depression to find that the best defense against it is to know myself, to not be afraid to look at those feelings and explore why I have them. To not just accept them as true. To not remain in denial about something, but to look at it head-on. It took years of therapy for me to get to that point. I can’t say that I don’t squirm when I see the therapist. I do. I absolutely hate going each month. I know I have to, though…I don’t want to go back to weekly visits. So, I try to remember that this is a narrow edge I walk, and I must be aware of it and accept it as part of who I am.

There is such a negative image of mental health that sometimes we bury ourselves deeper in an effort to be “normal.” In reality, all this does is make the problem worse. When you add chronic illness and chronic pain into the mix, it can be a disaster waiting to happen. Once I started looking at my depression as just an aspect of mental health and not an illness, I started making progress.

I always related to Grumpy Bear from the “Care Bears.” Some people are just content with being grumpy. It always made sense to me. I am not a happy, cheery, peppy person. Once I accepted that and found ways to balance between extreme Doom and Gloom, and extreme Sunshine, Happiness, and Flowers, I found myself.

I wish I could say that I don’t lose myself. I wish I could say that once I found myself, I was able to move on to different problems. I can’t say that. It’s a continual process, one that, during really bad days, I find extremely frustrating. It’s hard for me to say, “It’s okay.” It’s okay to be frustrated. It’s okay for it to be a process. It’s all just okay. It is what is is.

It’s a very skewed life…but it’s my life, and I love it.

She said, "It is what it is"! That seems to be a common conclusion those of us who struggle with adversities come to. There are things that simply can't be changed. They just are what they are.

Also, what she said about going to therapy....yeah, that.

And then I love that she says she found herself. I think I have too.

Please leave some comment love and then check out Erin's

**If you would like to contribute to this series, please go HERE**

No comments:

Post a Comment