First, I would like to apologize to the readers of this site. While our traffic has continued to grow (over 3,500 visits!), my posting has dropped straight off a cliff.
However, this is mostly due to my preparing for an 1,900 mile cross-country move!
As I was packing for this overwhelming trek, I realized that I was happy. For those of you who have never experienced abuse or assault, that may seem like an underachievement. I mean, most people don’t earn trophies for happiness in life, unless they’re of the participation variety.
But, I’ve just recently admitted my battle with depression. It’s a funny thing. You’re depressed, alone, and exhausted from avoiding life. You just hide away in your bubble, and let your more “normal” friends have their fun around you. You tell yourself it’s because you’re just introverted. And some of that may be true. But, really, there’s some major depression going on.
Then, when you realize you’re depressed, it’s depressing! You finally realize how much of your life you’ve spent waiting for it to just end or people to just leave you the hell alone, that when you wake up to no friends and no life, you’re even more broken. You finally realize all those rationalizations you made about your friends not being understanding enough or not liking the same things you do or how they’re just “too much” were all just ways to stay hidden.
It finally dawns on you.
It’s my fault.
Yeah. Talk about depressing. You spend months, or years, recovering from a horrible abuse on your person, only to dwell on the negatives in your life, which causes you to retreat into a safe place where nobody can ever hurt you. Which, ultimately, leaves you alone and non-existent. With everyone else going on with life, and you’re just stuck in a cave. Your friends ask themselves, “What ever happened to her?” And nobody knows.
Then you wake up from it, as if your depression was just a mindless, sleepwalking coma. You realize how much you just hated yourself and life and people and living. The everyday adult responsibilities that just seemed too much. As if you’re already worthless, so let’s pile on irresponsible. There’s no point in trying to have a good life. It’s already ruined.
And you’re just… amazed.
You missed… so much.
That’s a depressing thought. But, oddly, also an encouraging one. That’s the thought that made me get my ass out of bed and out into the sunshine again. It made me want to color with my kids and actually do my laundry. Tidy up the house, and do something besides watch T.V. with my free time.
I learned that your life is a direct reflection of how you see yourself. If you withdraw into a dark room and pretend the world outside won’t notice, you’re right- it won’t. And really, you’re doing it because you would rather not exist anyways. It’s like a living suicide.
The good news is you can come back from it. Oh, it’s not easy by any means. And it means a whole new set of things to work through. And, by all means, it’s not pretty. The hardest thing to do after being blasted with all those, “you’re not to blame” messages after abuse, is realizing that you’re still responsible for your happiness in life.
So, back to my moving across the country. I’ve planned quite the camping trip for my little family. National parks with lakes and mountains and rivers. We will go fishing and hiking and just be a family together.
I’m happy. I’m not fixed, and I was never broken. I’m just finally deciding that my life is still worth living.
I truly hope you take that step with me. One day. In your own time. Realize that your life is worth living no matter what’s in your past. That it doesn’t define your future, and that you have a responsibility to yourself to live a badass present.
Happy living, readers!