It's as hot as hell here today. Almost 90degrees in the shade and climbing still. And of course, true to Florida weather, it's humid too. My hair is all frizzed out because of it. I need to move somewhere arid if I ever want to have good hair days.

I taught a violin lesson this morning and it did me a lot of good I think. It made me interact with people, and made me feel more like myself because I was teaching something I love. My student is awesome as well ~ they can't afford lessons so I'm giving them to her for free, but she has the drive and works really hard at it so I do it for fun. As long as she keeps working and keeps true to it I'll keep teaching her.

I'm really excited because as a thank-you for teaching her they're getting me a Japanese Maple tree! I've always wanted one, but have never been able to get ahold of one. They're the trees that turn that brilliant reddish-purple during fall ~ I love their colors and the shapes of the leaves. They're so different from most of the trees here. But they do okay in this climate even. I'm going to try to keep it in a pot for the time being. I want to be able to plant it in our yard when we finally buy a house, but I don't know how long that will be from now.

I keep dreaming of the day we'll finally move into our own place. It will be so nice to have our own home again, furnished the way we want it, set up the way we want it, be able to throw BBQ's or dinner parties without my mother throwing a fit about having people over. I won't get nagged all of the time about not doing this or that right, that my way is all wrong. No more enduring a severe lack of privacy in my marriage and constant complaining about our pets when hers are the ones doing most of the damage.

We spent the last of our savings remodeling the downstairs bathroom for her because there was severe water damage because the shower pan had been put in incorrectly. We did this as a thank-you to her for letting us stay for so long and having only to pay $600/month for rent, but even with that she picked at it and complained about flaws in the way it was done. I feel like she's never happy with anything we try to do for her. I don't know how to make her satisfied. Maybe I can't and that's the whole problem to begin with. I need to stop worrying about making her happy and start thinking about ways to make ME happier. I'll still do the upkeep on the house and dinner several nights a week and taking care of the animals and the chores, but beyond that I'm going to strive to take care of my son, my husband and myself.

I wonder often how much of my low self-esteem comes from the constant picking at my Mom does with me. I always felt I had to be the best at everything to win her love and attention, but didn't I deserve that love and attention regardless? I wonder too if the self-esteem issues were the budding of my bipolar disorder, looming ahead in my future. Is there a link between the two, or is it general depression that causes it? Or is it the other way around?

I find myself thinking about how many people are really out there suffering these illnesses in silence, afraid to say anything because of the ramifications. How do they cope? Are they just stronger than the rest of us, or are they the ones you hear about on the news that just go crazy and kill themselves? It always breaks my heart to hear something like that.

Sometimes I feel afraid of myself for having suicidal thoughts, but I think we all have them at some point or another. I think it's an escape mechanism designed to help us cope for just a little while in the thought of permanent peace. It's when it becomes a constant thought or a battle of wills to keep from hurting yourself that it's really serious. That's when it's time to really find help, and fast.

I only came close to killing myself once ~ shortly after my son's birth. Obviously I was not in my right mind, but I had decided to wear my wedding gown and drown myself in the pond in our backyard. I figured the weight of the gown would guarantee me drowning because I wouldn't be able to swim in it. I had it all figured out. I would wait until no one was home to finish it. And it wouldn't leave my body disfigured so there would be no mess to clean up. All the guns in the house were locked up anyways, but I didn't want my family to have to see that.

But that thought brought me back to the mess that I WOULD leave behind ~ my young son motherless and lost, my husband and mother devastated and blaming themselves for what had happened, the fact that I would never be there to see any of my son's growing up and special moments that I should have been there for. I would never get to grow old with my husband, or be there for my Mom when it was her time to pass on. The guilt of that ate me alive for days, until finally I abandoned my well-laid out plans. I decided I would take it one day at a time and get through that. That was 7 years ago, and I'm still here writing this blog right now. I never would have believed it if someone had told me that day that I would be almost happy again eventually, that I just had to keep moving forward.

It's been worth it. I won't deny that it's been incredibly hard at times, that there were days (and will probably still be in the future) that I was ready to quit and say "I'm done with it". But I know that those days will pass if I just get myself through them.

I guess the point of all this is to say don't give up. There are bad days and worse days, but there's always something to live for, to keep going for. You may not see it today, or even tomorrow, but it's there; waiting. Push yourself, do what you have to do to keep from doing the unthinkable. Tomorrow you might find a reason to smile.

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