About a week ago someone close to me offered me a queen sized bed. I couldn’t believe it. My own personal queen sized bed. My bed. My own. Just another stepping stone to independence. Am I nearly 40? Yes. How long have I really had independence? About 6 months.
How is that possible? You may ask this. I did an inventory today. Someone close offered to help me and we went and got that bed. Proudly I thanked my friend because I knew that we were two chicks who moved a big piece of furniture. She drove a massive truck. But I digress. We spent the day together and I spoke of my past experiences. I realized that I had spent a little bit of time semi-independent in the dark days of my early twenties. However, when you are living with undiagnosed mental illness you are a bit of a prisoner.
I met my ex-husband at 22 and I remained with him until my…well, I will say it. I remained with him until my nervous breakdown 6 years ago. Do you know how fucking hard it is to admit that? Seriously! Anyhoo, he controlled me in many ways. Before him and my small period of living on my own I lived in the clutches of my mother.
My mother is not a woman I want to ever see again. Ever.
After my nervous breakdown I got help, but I became the most vulnerable woman. I was on higher doses of medication to stabilize myself. I went to very intensive therapies to learn how to cope and live with this illness. I moved in with my family for support, which turned out to be a very stressful situation. I simply did not know better. I thought it was all normal. I didn’t know.
Six months ago I branched out on my own. I have a wonderful living situation, and I thank the universe every moment for giving me this gift. This all brought me to today: an independent woman and mother getting her first big girl bed. I sit on it now. It feels like freedom.
My friend surprised me today. She told me that I was brave. “You did everything on your own. You did not have guidance. You were controlled by people who did not have your best interest at heart.” This made me feel good while saddening me a bit. I have done so much on my own. I can do much on my own. I will do what I need to do on my own until I need help again, and that help will come from the right people.
As the time has passed I have peeled away layers of negative behaviors. These behaviors serve no purpose and do not meet my needs. However, due to my learning curve, I do not always know what is best for me.
I remain close to my ex-husband so as to make a nice family life for my son. He had a big day planned. He had a thing. I did not need to go to this thing. However, tickets were purchased and plans were made. In all of it I eventually decided I did not want to go. I got a lot of slack. When I say a lot, I mean seriously aggravating slack. Then I got the opportunity to get my big girl bed. As you probably know, moving anything takes far more hours than one plans for. I sucked it up and I said no! He sassed me and my son guilted me, but I could not do it. I had to do what was in my best interest.
There is a little more to the story. I currently have symptoms of depression. In the realm of this illness the symptoms never really dissipate. They become manageable. We can live more mainstream lives. But time to time we feel and act a little manic or depressed. I just fall under the umbrella of depression. What does that entail for me?
I basically celebrated for a while when I received my new found independence. I drank and ate like a decadent Roman. I feel the effects now. I also feel more tired and I have more aches than usual. I get more confused and I feel more lost. I grieve the things I have lost and I think of the pain of the past. I have a hard time focusing on the present moment and I fall out mindfulness easily.
I feel this now, and I felt it today. What did I do? I got a new bed and I didn’t go to an event that would have drained me and compromised my sleep. I went through my phone and deleted those that do not lift me up. I ate well. Tomorrow will be a better day. This is the crux of this illness. While we experience the mini highs and lows we can take care of ourselves so we can snap out of it.
Now I look upon my big bed. I will put on the clean sheets and crawl under them naked. I can spread out and fall into a luscious sleep. My battery will recharge. Maybe tomorrow I will take a walk. Maybe not. I simply know that I will feel something different tomorrow. I have been in darker places than I care to admit. Scary, desolate places. I got out, I got up, and I got better. This is a night where I can reflect and know that these trials are not negative. They are the cracks of a new seed and it does hurt when new roots sprout.