And I received the Best Blog Award from Christine at Christine's Corner! Thank you, Christine, for this award!
Now, we enter a dark, dark place. A place full of depressed visions, sickening voices, dread, sorrow, skeletons shaking in the closet, anxiety, and suffocation. Where is this place of gloom and doom? Why do we have to go there? Well, because I can't get away from it and if I have to go there everyday, then I'm taking you with me. Where?
Yes, folks I am living in a dark, dark place. I'm not sure exactly what people are talking about when they discuss the "dark night of the soul", but I think I am there. And it is lasting much longer than "a" night.
Those of you who have been reading my blog know what a tough summer I have had. Really, what a tough year I have had. It has been the worst year of my life, and this includes the year my parents got divorced, my sister almost died from pneumonia and my great-grandmother died on New Years Eve (this all happened in 1997).
I can't find the words to begin what I am feeling....hmmm...well, let me just start from the beginning. And by the way, I'm not afraid of sharing anything, nor am I ashamed. I've never been one to hide my feelings. Here we go, internet! This could be a long one, folks.
My father worked for the Department of Human Services for something like 30 years. By the time he retired, he was the head of our county's DHS. My sister and I would play in the DHS building as kids, running down the hallways, in and out of the offices, playing in the "big room" up front with all the chairs. We always entered in the back (the employee's entrance). Never once had I ever been in the front entrance. Until last Friday.
Last Friday, I had to stand in the English-speaking line, waiting for my turn to turn in forms, forms asking for state assistance for health insurance for our son. Never as a child, did I ever think that 30 years later, I would be standing in that "big room" up front with all the chairs (now I know what the room is for), not to play and have fun, but to ask for government assistance because my son's health depends on it and we can't afford health insurance.
It was a very humbling experience, not that I think I needed to be humbled anymore, but I am now even more humble than I was before. I think it has moved from humble to low self-esteem and depression. How did I get here? I'm 35 years old. How did I get here?
After my unexpected c-section last year, long recovery, and breastfeeding disasters, I suffered from post-partum depression for about 6 months. Just when the light was beginning to break through from that, we began having money problems, broken air conditioners (plural), I needed new tires, 2 of my husband's family members died, I found out I have celiac disease, my husband lost his job on the day of his uncle's wake, we went through 2 months of unemployment stress, I had a miscarriage, we discovered we can't afford health insurance for all three of us, and now we are back to money problems. Oh, and we also have to "skip" Christmas this year, which is more depressing than all of it. Luckily, we bought presents for our son back in July, so he is covered for Christmas presents. But, for the rest of my family and for each other, well, we can't do it this year.
My husband found a job in September making much less money than he was making before (and before we were barely makin' it as it was), but we are grateful he has found a job at least! This is really just scratching the surface of everything that has happened to us this year, but those are the biggest challenges.
My dark place is this: when does it end? When does it get any easier? When does God or the Universe or whoever is out there listening say enough is enough? I am at my breaking point. I've had it. I can't take any more stress, any more bad news, I don't need to be humbled any more than I already have been. I'm tired of crying. I want to laugh again.
My husband and I can't afford clothes for ourselves so we can't present ourselves to the world the way we want to be presented. I am angry all the time. The slightest thing will set me off (our poor dogs have beared the brunt of this, I'm afraid). I am more cynical and judgmental now of others. I'm pissed that I can no longer eat many convenience foods because of the gluten, I'm pissed that coffee makes me sick because I loooooove coffee. I'm pissed that I can't afford to fix up my house. I hate my bathrooms - they are the ugliest places on earth. I'm pissed that i can't afford anything besides food. My cell phone got shut off yesterday because we couldn't afford the bill (it is now turned back on - hallelujah - how would the DHS people get a hold of me?). I'm pissed. The TV shows I used to watch in the spring...well, when they started back up in the fall, I found them to be silly and not as funny as they used to be. I've been through too much in the last few months to appreciate the unrealistic nature of television comedies.
The two worst parts of it all are that 1) there is a piece of motherhood that is missing for me. I have had so many other things to worry about since my son was born that I have a disconnect from this experience called motherhood. There is a dam blocking my ability to fully be grateful and overwhelmed by this blessing. And it has nothing to do with my son. He is perfect and I love him more than life itself. Motherhood has made me very serious and all of our problems seem worse when I believe they could possibly affect him in a negative way. I want him to have so much, so many opportunities, a life that isn't riddled with financial stress and I fear we won't be able to give that life to him.
And 2), well, this year has seriously made me doubt that there is any kind of anybody listening out there in the Universe. I have done more praying than Job and not a thing has changed. I grew up going to church, being religious and all that. And, I've always been a very spiritual person. Spirituality is from where I drew my hope, my strength. Before last year, I could always, without a doubt or a problem, cheer myself up and turn things around. I was a super-duper positive person and I NEVER had bad days. Seriously. But this year has caused a serious rift in my spirituality and I so badly want it to be healed. But, I can't find my way. I feel alone.
On a positive note, my husband and I are closer than ever before. Tough times have a way of making us join forces and become a caring and supportive team for each other. We become the other's biggest fan. And let's face it, sometimes that gets lost in a marriage. But, all this distress has brought us closer than ever. And I am grateful for that.
So, somebody hit me. Somebody give me a swift kick in the ass. Shoot me some perspective. Tell me to get a life. I need to move past all of this. I need to get my groove back. Where is Stella when you need her? I think I have cried every day for a year. It is time for it all to end!!!
I wrote a petition to God, just like the one Elizabeth Gilbert writes in Eat, Pray, Love. By the way, if you haven't read that book, go buy it. Oprah was right. It is amazing! Anyway, here is my petition. You can sign my petition in the comments if you like...maybe He will listen to us in numbers! Thanks to all and I hope everybody is having a rock star week!
This is a petition. A petition for You to please intervene in my financial situation, my spiritual drought, and my lack of purpose. Please intervene and take my husband and I toward financial abundance. Please intervene and help me find peace in spirituality. Please intervene and help me find my career path and life purpose. I am currently not contributing to the good of humanity being as miserable and depressed as I am. I am not being the best mommy I can be when I am worrying about money and wishing I had a marketable passion to call my own. My son did nothing to deserve a mommy who can't give her all. I don't want to inadvertently damage him in some way because of my misery, which in turn would damage others. Our stress and unhappiness are not contributing to the beauty and peace of this world as a whole. Our lack of finances is causing us to be burdens on others who have problems of their own. I never want to stand in that DHS office again. I never want to see that look of defeat on my husband's face again. And while we are at it, I do not believe I should have to use our few resources and those of a hospital to have surgery again in order to have a second child. I petition that You intervene and help me get pregnant without surgery. A lasting pregnancy with another healthy, beautiful child. Please intervene and take away my anger. Please intervene and help me find peace again.
My deepest regards and always yours truly,