2016 was an interesting year! Sold my home, moved to IL, quickly moved back to IA. Met and married an amazing man and nearly let him go multiple times by 2017’s arrival. Had a short staycation in the hospital for attempted overdose before ringing in the new year. However, the funk I left 2016 with, remained. No matter what I did, I could not pull myself out of the chaos that had been strangling me in 2016.
Since as long as I can remember, this is the battle that I’ve waged with myself. Now I’m not writing this as a way to get sympathy or for others to feel sorry for me. No! I am writing this because it took, I’m not sure how many years, broken relationships, and finally having someone fight for me, to realize that this is an illness. Mental illness! I am writing this to hold myself accountable; accountable for the next time when I panic and try to run; accountable for the next time I feel I am better off gone versus staying and fighting; accountable to be the person those closest to me deserve and love them as I am capable of doing, not just during the good days but, ALL THE TIME!
Mental illness, depression, anxiety….whatever you want to call it, it SUCKS!
I have read books, and numerous research articles, not to mention how many random social media posts regarding depression and anxiety. But it wasn’t until my most recent breakdown that I realized just how I’ve been to those I love and how exhausting this illness is, for everyone. I realized that although some relationships are meant to end, others are not. When you have someone willing to fight tooth and nail for your relationship, someone who loves you despite your flaws, craziness, and lack of being able to coexist in a marriage; this someone and subsequent relationship must be held on to.
I am by no means perfect in even the slightest; neither is my husband, but we both try to be and do our best. This is easier said than done. Half the time I consider things to be great, the other half, well, not so much. Although things have not substantially changed when I decide circumstances have gone from great to not so great, I become overwhelmed and unable to cope with every day life, not to mention my marriage. The saddest part here is that those we hold closest to us, in this case my husband, get the short straw at the day’s end.
Unable to determine why I feel like I do, I consult friends. Some, who I’ve realized this last go-round, were not true friends at all, but instigators and contributors to said madness. Others who don’t necessarily know what to say, but remind me of their endless support and a shoulder to cry on. The only thing is, no matter what anyone says, it is not the right answer, and I don’t know why. It took being a fraction of a second away from losing the man who loves me beyond comprehension, for good, that allowed my walls to come down, the tears to flow, and my heart to leap permanently into my throat with sadness and fear, for myself to finally become open and vulnerable. Open to being loved and to loving; vulnerable to being seen for the illness I possess, and the struggle it poses.
In today’s society it seems accepted and easier to walk away and live with the hurt and loss in the aftermath of the storm, rather than to stay and fight for the commitment you made to another person. I’m no exception to the former, given familial relationships and past commitment failures, however, as with other parts of my life that I’ve taken great pride in overcoming, this destructive pattern ends with me!
Well, it is like me to be all stoked to set this goal, or that amount of mileage to achieve as new year resolutions, but this year, I’m not setting them. Yes, I’ll still have goals in my cycling, triathlon, social and personal life; however, as I’ve said in years past, this year will really be MY YEAR! I will get on top of this illness and I will have a successful relationship with myself. On top of that, I will not fail at my marriage. This is not an option, no matter what I convince myself otherwise. I may not be worthy or deserving of my husband’s love, dedication, and commitment, and I may fault him for my sadness at times, however, I do need him. He’s committed to weather this storm with me and be my rock, who am I to tell him otherwise?
So now, nearing the end of the first month of 2017, I have to create my accountability post so not to forget my need to overcome this illness and succeed at my marriage and life in general. It’s been a long time since I felt deserving of the opportunities I’ve been given and now I am going to use these opportunities to overcome obstacles, like I know I am capable of.
With that, here’s a delayed cheers to 2017! To all of you who need the support and motivation to succeed, remember you have it within you, just keep fighting and don’t forget those who truly love you and WANT to guide you through the chaos that ensues.