I don’t like to talk about it a lot. I hide it and gloss over it. I don’t want people to know. It’s hard to even write about it here because so many family members read this and I don’t want them to worry.
Sometimes I am not fine, though. And it sucks. It sucks a lot. Even the word suck seems like a completely inadequate description of how I feel.
There are mornings when I don’t want to get out of bed. Mornings when I feel that every single ache is a stabbing pain. I feel dizzy and shaky and sick. But I get up. I take my pills, I make my breakfast. I play with Lorelei and we watch Yo Gabba Gabba. I go grocery shopping, I bake and cook. Sometimes we go to the park. Sometimes I curl up in the rocking chair in her room and read while she crawls around playing with her rings or her stuffed animals or her books.
Sometimes, in the afternoons, when Lorelei doesn’t want to take a nap – when I spend 20 minutes holding her and rocking her until she falls asleep only to have her wake up the second I put her down in the crib – I break. I call Brian and I bitch at him. I complain about stupid shit that doesn’t matter. I get mad at him and hang up for no real reason.
But I keep going. I don’t succumb. I find a way to make it through the day, even if it’s just marking time until the end of the work day when I can hand the daughter off for a precious few minutes of just me time. I feel guilty about it. I love Lorelei more than anything in the whole entire world and I would do anything for her. But I’m so exhausted. I’m tired of the two hour increments of sleep at night. I’m tired of falling asleep during her (rarely does it actually happen) nap time only to have her wake up mere minutes later. I don’t want to be unhappy and stressed all the time because I know she can sense it. I know that when I’m tightly wound it upsets her.
But – and here’s where the deep breath comes – one time I stood alone in the kitchen in the darkness and I pulled one of the knives out of the block and put the edge against my wrist. I didn’t break the skin. I couldn’t do it. But I did stand there crying in the blackest hour of the morning. Three am, insomnia. I know I’m stronger than that. I know that I wouldn’t go through with it, even after the hardest day. I couldn’t do that to Lorelei. I couldn’t do that to Brian or my family or my friends.
It’s been better recently. I wouldn’t say it’s been perfect but I have managed to go the majority of a week without feeling the crushing weight of sadness.
I embraced the part of me that likes to be spontaneous and drove to Hannibal. The daughter and I sat in a coffee shop where she was (naturally) cooed over by little old ladies on their senior citizens bus around America tour (or something like that). We walked around the quaint little downtown and saw Mark Twain’s childhood home. We went down to the river and I saw this sign:
Dear sign, I will try to remember that. I think, for now at least, I have stepped back away from the edge but just in case I have you to remind me.