Life can be serious business.

Tattered Soul.

self preservation

I open the medicine cabinet to grab some Tylenol for a headache.

If I took this, it wouldn’t be enough to kill me. I can’t do that.

With a cold chill chasing up my spine, I pick up the bottle of Flexeril. There are at least 50 tabs in it.

This would work. I could call Stacie and have her watch the kids for me. I’ll leave a note on the front door that she will see when she brings them home, telling her to take the kids to my sisters and to call the police and my husband.

I hear the kids playing downstairs, but it has no affect on me. It’s an emotional muteness, a stale sound. I’m not sure how long I’ve stood here, seeing only the bottle in my hand – my heart vacant, engulfed in despair so raw, that death felt appealing.

Should I call someone? Maybe I should start counseling again. We can’t afford it. No. Just put the bottle down.

I put the pills back and sit on the edge of the tub.

I am so fucked up. No normal person goes to get Tylenol for a headache and instead, starts planning her suicide. Why is this my life. Why can’t I just cry and feel better. I’m so sick of this. I want to end it but…the kids. I know in my heart they are better off without me, but they will never understand that.

My daughter bursts through the door.

“Mommy, what are you doing?”

“I’m just sitting here, baby.”

With begging eyes, she asks “Will you do a puzzle with me?”

“No, baby. Mama just doesn’t feel like it.”

“You never want to do anything with me.”

“That’s not true. I’m just tired today.”

“You’re always tired.”

“I just don’t feel like doing a puzzle right now, honey. Maybe later.”

Why can’t I just sit with her and do the fucking puzzle? All she wants is my attention. Why can’t I give her that?

***

This was my Monday morning. It’s my Tuesday nights and my middle of the days. This scene plays out whenever the fuck it feels like it. This isn’t my every day, but my any day. I don’t want to live this way, but my brain doesn’t give a shit. Depression is a narcissistic disease. It doesn’t care that other people are depending on me, that people love me, that I love them. Depression is spiteful. In spite of medication and my beautiful life, I struggle with suicidal thoughts.

My awareness of what suicide does to a family is almost a curse in itself (My uncle committed suicide when I was 6 years old). It imprisons me in this revolving state. Because I have seen first hand what suicide does to those left behind, I won’t make the conscious decision to end my life.

People say live life to the fullest. I feel cheated of that concept. I can’t erase the neurons that collided in my brain, due to the trauma I endured as a child. I can’t undo the damage responsible for feeding my predisposed genes.

I’ve worked on working around them. I’ve talked it out, I’ve medicated to balance life and I’ve just trudged through. I love my children with all my heart and soul. But it is with that tattered soul that I fear the damage I am doing to them. People say, “Just look at your beautiful babies.” I know how precious they are and how strong their love is for me. That’s what hurts the most.

This is my depression. This is how depression has manifested in motherhood. This is the challenge of living my day to day, surrounded by love, while being encompassed with sorrow and despair. I don’t wear a scowl on my face, as a sign that I am broken. I lace up mental combat boots and march on. I try to be the woman, the wife and the mother that I want to be, and I am most days. Not only because I am trying to protect those that love me, but myself as well.

I must have a light that shines somewhere deep inside me. It’s dim, but enough to keep me alive. It’s enough to keep me moving forward. That is what I will continue to do. That’s all I can do. I don’t know how I am going to win this internal war, but I will. I just pray there will come a day, when I will no longer be my own worst enemy, and finally be able to live fully and freely.

~Originally Published on SisterWives Speak

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Life can be serious business.

Depression, Not Suicide, Took Life From Him.

At the core of what I know about depression, is the truth that emptiness fuels it. How can a man that we see as so full of life, be so empty. That, is depression. Learning of Robin Williams suicide, I am paralyzed at the power of this disease.

In ways, his death scares the shit out of me.

I have depression. I treat it, but still battle with it. I’ve felt despair so thick that it becomes a barrier against feeling anything else. One is very weak in that moment. Love, friends, success, children – it’s all seen as existing in spite of you. Yes, I gave my children life, but in that dark space it feels like I am now the one draining the life out of them. And everyone else around me.

Even knowing the grips and lashes of depression, I’m profoundly sad and shocked that Robin Williams took his own life. He talked candidly in interviews about his struggles with mental illness and the many treatments he tried. He could have afforded to have world renowned psychiatrist and psychologists on staff. But that wasn’t enough. Sometimes it’s just not. Perhaps it’s better said that it was the depression that took life from him.

I’m wondering where his brilliant mind was at, and the thoughts that led him to end his life. Did he see the decision as a sacrifice for his loved ones? Was the pain finally just too much? No one can say.

So many of us are walking around these days, on the edge of whatever it is keeping our being together. Not lost souls, but individuals with dark spots on our every days. Some days we’re better at seeing through the spots. Some days we’re not.

I don’t know what to take away from Robin Williams death. I’m struggling with hope. I’m at ease for his new peace. I’m consumed with the idea that no matter who you are and how capable you are of fighting this disease, sometimes it’s just not enough.

Try to see the pain through his eyes. Take a different angle, and never judge someone else's battle.
Try to see the pain through his eyes. Take a different angle, and never judge someone else’s battle.

 

 

Don't take life too serious., Fiction

Flawed Sacrifice.

flawless sacrifice

Looks can be deceiving. The four walls around Maggie’s lifeless body, told a very different story of her life, than the one that played out in her head.

Maggie’s office housed all that anyone knew about her. Her PhD hung on the wall, adjacent to the plush couch, her patients sat on. The bookshelf displayed her best-selling, self-help books. Her children’s artwork, framed around the door.

Not even those closest to Maggie, suspected the depths of her sorrow. A pain that her silence fueled.

***

Jack looked at his wife for several seconds before asking, “Are you feeling ok, hun?”

He couldn’t help but notice a void in Maggie’s eyes tonight. He watched her clean a dinner plate, in a repetitive circular motion, for nearly 5 minutes longer than necessary. Maggie’s body and mind were locked on something internal.

“I’m fine, babe. Just thinking about Addison’s birthday party this weekend. Could you pick up what’s left on the list tomorrow after work?”

Maggie’s vibrant nature was as absent as her mind. Jack could feel his wife’s vibe, begging to be left alone. He respected the unspoken plea, answering only, “Yeah, I can do that.”

That night, as Maggie tucked the kids in to bed, her hugs and kisses were stale. Afterwards, she sat in the middle of the hallway, equal distance from the only real traces of love, in her defective heart.

Maggie passed through the living room. She stopped behind Jack’s recliner and told him she had a ton of patient’s notes to catch up on and would probably be in her office late tonight. Jack felt a pull in his heart to grab her, but decided to give her some space.
***

To my family,

I wish this wasn’t real. But it is. This had to happen. I’m not the wife and mother that you have always thought me to be. I have spent the last 20 years building on my knowledge of how to help people feel authentic and happy. That journey has been about me, attempting to heal myself. I’ve been searching over half of my life, to find a way to “fix” me. There is no where else to look.

I followed the paths that are suppose to lead to happiness. I married you Jack because your love was so strong, I thought it would help build me in to a woman that was capable of loving herself. I became a mother because I had studied and seen the power of maternal love. I failed at that too. My soul is just too broken to hold the undeserving love you kids give me.

I have become numb. Numb to the reality that there is no hope. I am numb to career and financial successes. I am numb to the arms that embrace me. I walk in stride only with fear of being exposed as a fake. A woman who masks her total void of self-worth, with drive and designed compassion.

Knowing the pills will be taking effect soon, is the only peace of mind, I have ever really had. Joy on the surface is what I have spent my entire life portraying. There would have come a day, when my make-up wore off, exposing my unhealed wounds. This was the only way to prevent it.

tree painting

Jack, I want you to look at the Piet Mondrian painting you bought me, so many years ago. Do you see how the branches are being pulled away from their foundation by a force, unrecognizable in the painting? Please understand that to be me. Remember how you loved the straight lines and bold colors? Please understand that those lines always looked bent to me, and the colors, pale and draining.

I’m sorry. I’m sorry for the burden of my false emotions, misleading arms and fractured soul. I will no longer be those burdens on you all.

Now you are free. Now I am free.

***

Jack sat in the first row, his and Maggie’s children on both sides. They wept together. It was not only a room full of grief for a wife, mother, sister and daughter; but heart ache for a woman, who was never able to truly live.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This week’s prompted writing challenge was to use the line, “Looks can be deceiving” as the first sentence of your story; as well as, make reference to the painting Avond (Evening): The Red Tree by Piet Mondrian, featured above.