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Friday, June 9, 2017

Just some healthy venting...

I felt like I needed to write today. I haven't done it in several months and it's for a reason I'm not proud of: I didn't want any of the "new" people in my life- new friends, guys from dating sites who are on my social media and people who might report back to my ex-husband so he could shake his head and say that phrase I know all too well- the one that makes my entire being cringe when it comes from his mouth- "She's the same Amanda. She'll never change" to see it and know my not so secret secrets. But I've had a tough week and I've been feeling a little down and if I've learned anything since my journey to "getting better" it's that allowing myself to sink down and lay in my own guilt never takes me anywhere but straight down the road to my own personal hell. So I'm not going to do that.

I'm feeling frustrated lately because I'm wondering when these feelings of hurt, abandonment and regret are going to let my heart rest. I'm tired of wishing my ex would change his mind and see that I'm a good person. I'm tired of losing friends, tired of family distancing from me, tired of people not understanding why I feel the way I do, and why I act the way I do.

But mostly I'm tired of carrying the constant burden of this thought: I am not good enough as I am. The person I am is not good enough. She is flawed, she is broken. She drinks too much, she gets too sad, she can't keep a relationship because no one wants to deal with all the different fibers woven into her personality. Obviously, I have a whole army of people behind me who don't feel that way and their support is what carries me through (that and my animals, without them I don't know if I'd be here) but when the one person in life who isn't supposed to walk out on you turns his back, and others you cared about and thought were friends do the same, it's really hard to shake off the ugly feelings. They stick to me like glue regardless of what I do. Sometimes my head is an Amanda friendly place and doesn't beat me up so much, but other times all I can do is sit and think about every single thing I've EVER done wrong, how stupid I am, what a train wreck I am, how no one thinks I have a good heart, that I don't deserve the happiness I've been chasing my whole life.

I've always felt different and at times out of control of my own reaction and emotion to things, even as a kid. I knew there was something different about me, something that was "wrong." It took till my mid 20s to be diagnosed with major depression and even then, things still weren't right. I was still "off." It took having the love of my life (or so I thought, because would the love of my life really do this?) walk out on me, claiming he was broken and blaming me for literally every single thing he had done wrong and that had gone wrong with us, for me to have the ultimate breakdown and get my second diagnosis: borderline personality disorder. I can't decide which I hate more, the BPD or the depression. The depression made my husband think I was lazy for laying in bed and not being able to move, for sometimes not having the strength to do ANYTHING, let alone clean the house. But the BPD made him and others think I was crazy, a bad person, dramatic, a heavy drinker, rude, disloyal. The way it manifested itself led people to unfriend me on social media, tell my husband he should leave me, stop inviting me to their homes. And it's almost more than I can bear. It doesn't matter that I'm the woman who stoops down to save worms from the pavement after it rains. The one who helps animals anytime she can. Who sends cards to her friends randomly, or leaves them surprises or sends them nice texts. Who fiercely loves her family and would protect them with her life. None of those good things about me matters because of something I literally have no total control over. It doesn't matter how many times I go to the hospital, how much therapy I do (100+ hours and counting since February...but I don't want to get well or anything, according to some) or what medicine I take. This is ALWAYS going to be a monkey on my back, a relationship destroyer, something that makes me a freak- someone that old circles I used to be in laugh about as they tell my ex how much better off he is. And I'm just tired of it. I try to swallow these feelings and hang onto the positive but I'm not as strong as I'd like to believe I am and sometimes I just want to curl up in a ball and have a good cry.

But I take my medicine every day. I take vitamins. I try to do things that make me happy- gardening, playing with my dogs, seeing my nieces, spending time with my friends and family, arguing with strangers on the internet. I try to look in the mirror each morning and like my reflection. I'm getting better at it but it's still a struggle at times and I really think that the place I am now, living alone with my animals, is where I'm going to be for the rest of my life. Because if he can't love this hot mess, who will?

If you're reading this and can relate, first of all I'm sorry. Second- I'm here for you. I may not always be up for lengthy conversations and I HATE talking on the phone with a passion but I'm a great texter and encourager and I will do anything I can to make sure you don't slip down where I've been. I've seen hell and I feel sick at the thought of another human being knowing how it feels. And if you're taking your medicine and/or doing whatever you need to do to be OK, I'm proud of you. You can do this.

And if you're rolling your eyes and saying I'm looking for pity or "calling people out" for attention, then you really don't know me at all and maybe you shouldn't be on my blog.




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Thursday, February 2, 2017

D-Day

Tomorrow is D-Day.

Divorce Day. Tomorrow the man I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with is going to walk into a courtroom with his attorney and put the final nail in our marriage's coffin. I will be sitting at work at 1:30 p.m. when this happens and there won't be anything I can do about it. Everything I have done to try and stop this from happening is meaningless. I don't think a nuclear war could stop this. Or a zombie apocalypse. Or the Rapture.

Basically, my husband wants me out of his life and he's not going to bend. This is it.

I know I said I would consider this Independence Day, and I still do to an extent. I think I will feel better once I move into my own place and remove myself from the situation. Living with the person you wanted to be with forever and hearing him repeatedly say he doesn't want you takes its toll on a girl, you know? I'm anxious to start over but remain in Milan. You'd think I would want to leave the town that Tom and I were supposed to grow old in together, but I don't. He never liked it there. I think he resented me for us being there. He's selling our home and going back to the town he considers his own so he can sit on a bar stool whenever he pleases and not answer to anyone, especially a mentally ill wife who drives him crazy. Milan is my town. I want to stay.

There's a whole army of people who are "Team Tom." They think I'm crazy, a drunk, a drama queen, a terrible wife. These people have no idea what I've been through, what goes on in my head and what my seemingly perfect husband has done to contribute to the demise of the marriage. He's the martyr. He did "everything" for an ungrateful woman who systematically destroyed it all.

That's their take on it. But it isn't mine- nor is it the truth. I lived it and I know what really happened. What they think of me no longer matters. I'm not going to be gossiped about and torn down by people who pretended to be my friend for over three years.

They don't have a clue what it was like.

I'm giving him back to them.

They can have him.


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Ready for the next chapter

I haven't written in a bit, mostly because I don't have much to say and my creativity has been pretty low lately. Wait, that's not entirely true. I did, on a whim, buy a bunch of canvases, acrylic paint and paintbrushes and start painting shitty pictures for the hell of it. I'm not artistic at ALL but I do enjoy sitting down and mixing colors and smearing them all over the canvas. So that's something, I suppose.

Anyway, I'm going to write now because I'm bored on my lunch.

I wanted to write today to share that I'm SO ready to move on. I'm done begging my husband to reconsider his stance, to think about our marriage vows and work on things. I'm so done with it. Why would I want to be with someone who looks at my mental issues and the symptoms of them and decides he wants to bail? Why would I want to be with someone whose favorite past time is sitting at the bar for hours on end and not coming home to his wife? That's not the life I want to lead. It's never been the life I wanted to lead. I don't know how things got so fucked up along the way. Do I have my faults and have I made mistakes? Absolutely. The difference is I own mine. He just pushes blame and I'm guessing he's always going to be that way. I don't want that for myself. The person he was when I met him is gone- and I'm not sure that person was ever even real. I fell for lies and pretty promises. It's almost embarrassing.

So, starting over. I'm excited to find a new place to live. I can't wait to figure out where that place will be and to decorate it the way I want without having to ask permission to hang a certain picture or buy a comforter I like for my bed. I'm anxious to live on my own and not feel the constant, heavy pressure of his presence. The pressure of being ignored- sleeping in a separate room, being looked through not looked at, feeling completely alone even though he's there. It's also refreshing to be removed from a mother in law who couldn't stand me and criticized everything I did. I'm over the suffocating feeling this situation has brought me, completely over it.

I had to remove a lot of people from my life as a result of all this and I'm anticipating being forced to remove more, although if you're reading this right now I clearly want you to stay. I've made the cuts I needed to make but I will make more if I get attacked or accused again.

I can't explain what it's like to know I won't have to feel inadequate and not good enough in my own skin anymore. It's very freeing. It's not going to happen overnight. When it's been pounded in my head for over a year that I'm flawed, crazy, not good enough, a self-medicating asshole, not attractive enough to kiss or touch...it takes awhile to get that self-esteem back. I know it's there, though. I'm even starting to muddle through some dating...although I honestly wish there was a book on that shit because, having spent most of my adult life married, I'm definitely not very good at it. I suppose it'll make for good blog entries down the road. You'd think I would have given up on finding someone for me, but hopeless romantic Amanda isn't dead. She's just more cautious (but awkward as ever, ha).

So, not a terribly interesting post but an update all the same. I'm ready for whatever gets thrown at me and on 2/6 when my divorce is final, I'm going to do something fun. Not sure what that will be yet, but I'll figure it out.

I'm not going to sulk or be depressed.

I'm going to consider it Independence Day for me. I'd suggest shooting off fireworks with friends but A) I don't know where to get fireworks this time of year and B) knowing my friends (and myself), there's about 107 ways things could end badly. Maybe some sparklers...



Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Sometimes the most life altering events happen in the places you'd least expect

I'm almost nervous to write this post because I'm afraid that my words aren't going to properly convey my experience and emotions...but here goes.

As I've stated in a previous blog entry, I admitted myself to the psychiatric unit of a local hospital in late June. What I didn't mention is that the experience was not life changing nor did it help with my problems. A portion of that was my fault- I was terrified and ashamed and spent my three day stay holed up in my tiny room, refusing to come out for groups or meals. I left my room one time to attend an "assessment" which involved me sitting in a room with about five people staring at me and analyzing everything I said...I almost felt like I was on trial. That was the only time I saw a psychiatrist during my stay.

The aftercare wasn't much better, and after one appointment (which consisted of me completing various questionnaires on a computer) I stopped going. Yes, I know this was not a good course of action. I simply did not like this particular health system but I felt I had to go there because the other option- the hospital I work at- was out of the question. I was worried someone I knew would see me there and ask questions or, even worse, judge me. I went to the "bad" hospital's psych ER about three more times over the next few months and always left feeling no better than when I had started.

Fast forward to January 3, 2017. I had spent my holiday season drinking myself to the point of not being able to feel. I did that on purpose. I didn't want to feel anything because of my (apparently) impending divorce. I had spent a lot of time trying to prove myself to my husband, to make him believe I was worthy of his love and that I could be a "good" wife, that I was just sick and needed to find a way to get better only to find myself walking in circles. I wasn't able to understand that nothing, literally NOTHING I did was going to be good enough. Nothing was going to impress him or change his views about me. I found myself wishing I had a "visible" disease, something he could understand...because then he'd stick by me no matter what. Depression, anxiety and borderline personality disorder are unseen medical conditions that manifest in unpleasant behaviors and reactions- and who wants to deal with that, right? Who cares what I'm truly like as a person? Forget her, she may exist under all those awful layers but she's not worth digging for, not worth waiting for. It was truly the lowest point in my life.

After a weekend of drinking (plus one extra day since I had Monday off for the New Year holiday), I woke up Tuesday morning feeling horribly depressed, hopeless and with very little will to live. I felt like I was still in a fog, still intoxicated. I made a decision for myself at that moment. I was going to call my mother and have her take me somewhere for help. I didn't care if it was for a month- I was going somewhere...and that somewhere was the hospital I work at. I felt I had nothing to lose at that point and I knew what the outcome of attending the other hospital would be.

My mom arrived within half an hour. I kissed my dogs goodbye and we were off. I was seen right away through the ER after explaining to the intake personnel that I essentially wanted to die- that if I had a gun I would blow my head off right now. My hopelessness, depression, anxiety and feelings of worthlessness were attacking me all at once- on top of the after effects of drinking.

After being assessed by a social worker and physician it was decided that, whether I liked it or not, I was going to be admitted to a psychiatric unit for help. I wanted the treatment so this wasn't a big deal but they made it clear that the doctor was petitioning for my admittance regardless. The next step was finding a place that had room for me. There was talk of sending me to Chelsea, MI and a few other places within about 50 miles but after checking availability the only unit that had a bed for me was right where I already was- the unit at my hospital. I didn't have much choice and I really wanted the help so I didn't protest.

A few hours later, I was whisked off to the hospital's psychiatric unit. I wasn't as nervous as the first time I was hospitalized because I had an idea of what to expect. I went there determined to make the most of it. I told myself I wouldn't hide in my room, I'd attend all the groups offered to me and take full advantage of the treatment options. The first difference I noticed is how much more welcoming and friendly the staff was. They made me feel at ease. My room was much more spacious and they didn't lock my bathroom for 24 hours like the other hospital did. I didn't feel so much like a prisoner, which was a pleasant surprise. I even attended an activity after I got situated and dressed- a pet therapy session. I was quite proud of myself for leaving my room so soon after admission- something I couldn't bring myself to do the first time.

I was prepared for many things- the admission protocol, the types of groups I'd attend, the meetings I'd have with various mental health professionals, some possible medication changes. What I didn't expect, though, was what the next seven days were going to bring me. I didn't expect to meet a group of people that I would fall in love with...people that I'd wish I had more time with, people that I would want to keep in touch with "on the outside." People who understood me and made me feel more comfortable in my own skin than I have in many, many years- actually, possibly the most comfortable I've felt in my skin my whole life.

For privacy reasons, I can't use anyone's name nor will I use fake names in order to describe the diagnoses or issues any of my fellow patients have. None of that matters anyway. What matters is what incredible human beings they are. I've never seen such acceptance, kindness and camaraderie as I did during my stay in the unit. My very first group involved listing goals for the day on paper, something I had no problem doing. I figured I'd be turning my paper in for the social worker to review later, which was fine by me since one of my goals was a bit personal. As others around the room began volunteering to read their goals, then volunteers trickled down and people were being called on to share a slow feeling of panic spread over me. We had to read our goals OUT LOUD?

I leaned over to a man across the table from me and whispered, "We have to read these out loud?!"

"Yeah," he responded back. I felt like he looked slightly amused but I can't say I trusted my perception at that point.

"Well fuck. I don't want to read this one. I don't want to cry," I hissed, pointing to the personal goal.

"Don't read that one, just read the others or make something up," he whispered back, trying to be helpful. I instantly liked him. I had been watching him across the table as he cared for a much older fellow patient, reassuring her when she worriedly asked him if anything bad would happen today and complimenting her on the goals she had listed. I'd also heard him tell someone else to fuck off, jokingly (I think). My kind of person.

When my turn came, I bit the inside of my cheek for a split second, then read all of my goals, even the personal one, out loud. I glanced at him and he gave me the thumbs up. It felt great to let something out that I was scared to share and almost kept to myself. That moment opened up something for me and set the tone for the rest of my stay, from a participation and sharing standpoint. I attended all groups (with the exception of one because I woke up with a pounding headache and had to lay in my dark room with my eyes shut) and spent time outside my room between activities, making friends and socializing.

Each day I woke up feeling better than the previous day. There was no hangover. No stress, no weight on my shoulders, no black cloud hanging over me. I didn't think about having a drink to stifle my feelings. I found myself looking forward to getting out of bed and sitting with my "posse" and having breakfast and delving into the day's activities together. I shared my feelings in group therapy without feeling scared someone would laugh at me or roll their eyes. I felt heard and respected. I listened and respected. Each night at 7:00 we would gather in the TV room and watch the movie of the night, sharing candy and snacks and laughing while genuinely enjoying each other's company. And what's more, I was having a great time without any alcohol. Pure fun without a buzz. This was a relatively new concept to me and I fucking loved it.

I didn't want to leave. Obviously I knew I'd have to eventually, we all would have to, but I didn't want it to happen anytime soon. This was my safe place where I was accepted, mental health issues and all. Flaws and all. Scars and all. Nothing I could reveal about myself made the others dislike me or not want to be around me. And nothing any of them could have said about themselves would make me dislike them or think less of them, either.

It was like magic. I don't know how else to describe it. Not the words I'd ever have thought I'd use to convey my feelings about a stay in a psychiatric unit, but that's what it was to me. I felt free and happy. I felt more like my true self.

I am the type of person who either has all her walls up or completely down. There is no in between for me. My walls fell down on their own this past week. I let myself feel everything. I let myself make friends and not worry about whether or not they truly liked me- I allowed myself to believe they did. I also allowed myself to watch a couple movies with the guy who helped me through my first goal setting group. Everyone else had settled on a comedy on the main TV. For those hours, we watched movies and talked about our lives. Nothing I shared about myself seemed to repulse him or make him think I was "damaged." I told him about how I drank when I felt uncomfortable or sad. How I sat in my bathroom one night, completely beside myself with despair and hurt, and cut my arm with a razor- not to kill myself, but to make the pain stop. He understood. He didn't think I was a freak or a nutjob. That night, from the moment the first movie started to the moment the clock struck 11:00 and everyone had to go to their rooms and he walked with me to mine and lightly touched the small of my back and said he'd see me in the morning, is one I will not forget.

I came home today. I woke up extra early this morning so I could spend more time with my new friends before my 9:30 am discharge. I said goodbye to some people I'd never see again and to others who I know I'll be in contact with. I cried as I hugged each one of them goodbye. I was happy to be feeling more like my old self and to be starting the next part of my journey but sad at the thought that none of this would ever happen again. Even if I was to be admitted again in the future (I can confidently say I won't) it will never, ever be like this particular stay. To me, it was as if all the "right" people were admitted at the same time with all their "damages" and different backgrounds so they could all come together. Maybe it wasn't as life altering for everyone as it was for me but I'm thankful for it. I'm not saying I'm "fixed." It's up to me to put the work and effort in now. But I feel stronger now, more confident and capable. I feel like I can do this.

If any of my new friends are reading this, thank you. Thank you for everything. I can never repay you for what you've given me. I hope I was able to give you something as well. Because of you (and some good medicine, ha) I am a different person. I now have hope. I feel like I have purpose. I no longer feel worthless or unworthy of friendship and love. Years of therapy couldn't have gifted me with those things.

And thanks to someone I'll call Miss S, I know one thing for certain, which I will use to close this extremely long and all over the map post: I AM a princess. I deserve a prince.












Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Seen and Not Heard

With the recent presidential election, I have seen the best and worst of people on social media and in "real life." I've read posts made by friends that make me wonder if I really know them as well as I'd like to believe. I've seen the city that I work in make national news because a white woman spit on a black man at the polls and called him racial slurs. It's not a pretty time in this country, that I know for sure. On the other hand, I have seen people trying to lift others up and encourage them during this shitstorm. I've seen friends respectfully disagree and it has made me think that perhaps all is not lost.

But that's not the main point of this blog. Something else is on my mind tonight and while this post might be all over the map, I need to get it out. For me, social media has been an extremely important part of my life (put down your pitchforks, advocates of "put your phone down and go outside). In person I am at times awkward. I don't always know what to say and I'm almost always suspicious that when I meet new people, they don't like me. I've done my best not to appear that way on the outside but if you could peer inside my head while I'm at social events you'd want to feed me a Xanax. Social media is a way for me to be to be involved while still feeling safe from the judgment I'm convinced I face when someone meets me in person. Is it all in my head? Yeah, I'm pretty sure it is. Does that make it any less difficult for me? Nope.

I have used Facebook as my outlet in many ways. I've raged about animal abuse. I've shared my (somewhat unpopular) opinions about this election. I've called people out when they try to hide behind a computer and be hateful to others. I'm not ashamed of any of these things. I've actually only been ashamed of my posts one time in my life, and that is when I shared personal information about what was happening between my husband and I. I should not have done that and can confidently say I will never do it again. I was acting out of a place of anger and hurt and neglecting to think about repercussions. I was letting myself feel all the emotions rather than stuffing them down. I'm proud of that part but not so proud of the rest. I have wanted to publicly apologize to my husband and I'm using this forum to do so. I am so, so sorry, Tom. I've made it clear to you what you mean to me and it's up to you to decide how far your forgiveness will go.

The title of this blog is "Seen and Not Heard" and that's essentially how I feel today. Today, after calling someone out for a racist, bigoted comment he made I was privately messaged and called a stupid bitch, a skank and ugly. I was told it was clear why I don't have a man. He said I loved black men (but he used to N word). He also said that "Blacks are ruining this country and stupid assholes like you talk so much shit." This stellar human being then proceeded to block me before I could respond.



I'm cool with debating. I don't even mind trading insults. But to send such a message then block me? That's cowardly. And I wasn't having it. I shared the message on my wall and told my 600+ friends that if they felt so inclined, to message Captain Fuckface and let him know what they thought of him. This isn't something I've done before. It's not me to ask others to fight my battles. However, when you block me as a way to "silence" me from firing back...that doesn't sit well.

Those who didn't want to partake kept scrolling. A good portion of my friends and family did message him. Then, out of nowhere, one friend told me I was being "immature" and that I needed to "be a woman" and turn the other cheek. I'll be honest, I kept calm with her because I have believed since I met her that she needs friends, but inside I was seeing red. Turn the other cheek? Be a woman? Allow me to understand this: a male internet troll is allowed to use words like "faggot" and "nigger" and we should all just shrug our shoulders and say it's cool because we should be the bigger people? No. Hell to the fuck NO.

I will always hold people accountable for their fucked up behavior. It is not, and never will be, OK in my eyes to spew hate speech and misogyny because some cowardly fuck (who likely has a dick so small it's practically inverted) is able to hide in the safety of mama's basement and say horrible things to others without consequence. That's not what I'm about. I don't give a rat's ass if it's "just Facebook." Too many assholes are using "just Facebook" as their platform to tear down other genders, minorities, sexual orientations etc. and I frankly don't give a fuck who thinks it takes more energy to try and shut them down than it does to ignore...it's NOT OK and I will always make that known.

I feel like a lot of people want me to be quiet. I think I make people uncomfortable with how open I am, how much I'm apt to swear and my willingness to call people out when they do something shitty. Someone attacked my sister this morning and I refused to let it slide...and a family member threatened to unfollow me for "starting shit on Facebook." While I'm used to this, it still makes me scratch my head. And once again, it's over something a man said. Apparently we're supposed to shake our heads and overlook "boys being boys" because that makes us the "bigger people." If that's the case, I don't want to be the bigger person. I want to be the person who refused to keep her mouth shut. I want to be the one who inspires someone else to stand up for what's right, whether it's on social media or in person. I'm tired of being told to ignore it, to turn the other cheek, to rise above. Fuck that shit.

This is me. I am a fighter. I stand up for what I believe is right. I stand up for those with mental health issues. I stand up for anyone who has ever been bullied for how they look, who they love, which gender they identify with, etc. I will never, ever be everyone's cup of tea. People in my family don't even like me half the time. It used to hurt but to stifle who I am at my core to please those people will damage me way worse than their disapproval.

No one, absolutely NO ONE, is going to silence me.


Monday, November 7, 2016

Dear Joe

First of all, happy birthday. You would be nine today. This morning I would've opened my eyes and snuggled you (and possibly sang to you) and told you how we'd celebrate when I got home from work later. I would've brought you some cake and ice cream and a toy that I'm sure Maggie would have immediately claimed as her own. You wouldn't have cared, you always shared your toys. I would've made you both pose in silly party hats and posted the pics on Facebook for everyone to look at. You see, a lot of people loved you besides just me. A lot of people had their day brightened by a cute Joe Boxer pic. I think it's safe to say you had a fan base.

Today is going to be a little different. 11/7 will always be different, for the rest of my life. Today I woke up and thought of you as Jake and I did our morning ritual of me hitting snooze and him snuggling up on my shoulder to catch a few more ZZZ's. I finally got up and had to coax him out of bed, just like I sometimes had to do with you. We went downstairs and Jake went outside to go potty then came trotting back in and waited at the treat jar, just like every other morning. He ate his treat and we headed back upstairs. I scratched his butt as he walked and he stopped at the landing so I could rub his back, too. We do this every morning now. It's comforting to me. I like it- it's good for me. And it's good for Jake.

I was looking through old pics this morning. I wanted to remember all your other birthdays. I always tried to make them special with cake or treats and presents and party hats and singing. You were the light in my life and I wanted to celebrate you every single day. Although my memories aren't all as vivid as they used to be, I still remember so much. The time you bit Kevin's head because he wouldn't stop shaking me by the shoulders (he was joking, and I did warn him, but he thought it was funny- till he was sporting tooth marks in his forehead). When you heard my friends out in our yard late one night trying to wrap my car in Saran Wrap- I didn't hear a thing but you sure did- you alerted me right away. You always kept me safe. I remember days of working as a waitress and coming home to find something new you had destroyed (digital camera, medicine ball, remote)- that's when I had to start crating you. But you were OK with it and always happy to see me when I got home.

We went on road trips together. You were my best buddy, my sidekick. I lost track of how many nights you watched me cry from whatever man had broken my heart at that particular time and you leaned on me and licked my tears till I couldn't do anything but laugh and hug you and feel lucky to have you as my dog. I could look at you, just a look, maybe a head tilt, and you could read what I was thinking. People may not believe that but you and I know it was true. You understood me and I understood you.

That's why I knew I had to let you go that day. I knew in my heart you were ready and you were done- that you had fought as hard as you could and I fought with you but we weren't going to win this one. Life has not been all that great for me since you left. I always said that it would drive me to the brink of insanity to lose you but I didn't realize how true that statement actually was. I miss you every single day and I'm not sure what I would do if I didn't have Jake to hold onto at night. I often wonder what you'd think of him...he's kind of an asshole but that's a puppy thing and I do recall you were a bit of an asshole till about age 4. Of course I say that about Jake just as lovingly as I said it about you. It's a term of endearment, it truly is.

Tonight Barb from Camp (you remember Camp, you liked to go there and play) will probably come over and share some wine with me. It's not just any wine- it's a special bottle she brought me on New Year's Eve 2015- two days after I had to let you go. It was my favorite wine and they had stopped making it but somehow she brought me a bottle. I said I would save that bottle till your birthday and raise my glass to what an amazing dog you were, and it still sits in the cupboard today. I plan to sit and think about all the ways you were my perfect boy. Jake and Maggie will wear hats and they'll get some cake. I will be as upbeat as I can but make no guarantees I won't cry. Crying is good- it means you affected me that deeply. You changed my life, Joe Boxer. I wouldn't trade one moment for anything.

Someday I hope to see you again. Sometimes I think you're still all around me. I look for signs but I can't be sure. Happy birthday, my boy. Mama loves you to the moon and back and always will.




Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Another New Beginning

I haven't blogged in awhile so I figure my lunch break on a Tuesday is as good a time as any. Before this, I had posted about my intent to write about how happy I was at how my life was going. I'm glad I didn't because I'd look like a complete fool at this point.

The depression is getting SO much better. I think I'm finally beating that and will be OK although I'll always need to practice diligent self-care to keep it "in remission" (is that even a thing for depression?). Unfortunately, my depression and all the other ways I'm not perfect have apparently cost me my marriage. I have never felt so unwanted and damaged and broken in my life. I did want it to work and I loved fiercely with everything I had- that's what I do when I throw myself into something.

I think it's time to stop wearing my heart on my sleeve and believing that everyone has good intentions, and that "happily ever after" exists with a man because honestly? I don't believe it does. Not for a second. I think that I'm just a pretty face to every man I meet (I'm not intending to sound conceited here, either). I don't think anyone sees me as anything more than that and once I show my true self, even the parts that aren't so put together and shiny, a man will always run from that or try to break me down.

I have so many things running through my mind: moving (although I do have a place I can rent), losing friends, starting over, who will kill spiders for me...how will I ever date again someday when no one seems to really want the total Amanda package, etc.

I think I'm strong and I know I won't die. I can do this. I think the problem is the person inside of me who actually wants to have a family and build a life is so disappointed that she's never going to believe what anyone tells her about love ever again. She's always going to be waiting for the other shoe to drop. And that sucks, because I miss her. She was happy and enjoyed life and always believed her "true North" would appear and she'd have her own kind of fairy tale. Now she's 34, never really goes out and does anything and thinks boxed wine is one of the food groups.

This isn't a post looking for pity. I just needed to get my feelings out. I don't need or want pity, truly. I do need and want my friends and family and I'm so thankful for the uplifting talks, people who have taken me out to get my mind off of things, just the support in general. I'm so damn lucky in that regard. I've kind of seen this coming. I tried to fight it but I have to take the gloves off now and hang them up. I'm looking ahead and I know I'll have my pets and my friends and family to help me muddle through.

I'm hoping this can be my last "sad" post for awhile. I want to go back to writing funny stories like I used to. I really, really enjoy making people laugh and smile even if it's by sharing a slightly embarrassing story or something that makes me look silly. I can laugh at myself and my sense of humor is definitely not dead. So if you're still reading, thank you and I promise things will get better after this. I had a fleeting thought to delete my old posts because what if someone new comes along and sees them and decides he doesn't want any part of that...but that would be betraying the many people who have messaged me or commented or texted saying, "Hey, me too. You said what I could not bring myself to say about how I feel. Thank you." I won't do that to those people. I'm only capable of being genuine and to delete would not be genuine.

So I'm off to put on my big girls pants and face whatever comes next. Standing on the ledge ready to take the leap. Maybe I won't fall, maybe I'll actually fly this time.