It’s difficult to imagine how it would feel to have a quiet mind. For someone like me, it is borderline uncomfortable to attempt to conjure that sound. On any other day of the year I would be all-consumed by the usual whirlwind of over-analysis and negative self-talk. Today, though, my mind is gently dusting off memories instead. Because today is an escape from the grey area. Today, my soul changes colour, my eyes blur, my holiday dress fits just right, and my arms feel stronger. Today, I will remember what my grandmother looked like in 1997. Today, I will listen to music that fills me with hope. Today, I will remember the last time my sisters and I all lived under the same roof. Today, I gravitate toward my partner for affection. Today, I will lay the ground work for a new friendship. Today, my son’s antics are funnier than usual. Today is the one day, of three hundred sixty five days, that I get to spend reflecting on the bride side. Today, my mind may not be any more quiet than usual, but it’s warm, and I am thankful for that.
I have never felt anything I’ve ever read more than I feel this.
I took a pregnancy test on the morning of May 14th, my husband’s birthday. I’d had a feeling about it and I thought it would be a nice surprise. Good morning, here’s your coffee, Happy Birthday, here’s a stick I peed on. It’s got a baby in it.
I got back into bed and we both kind of looked at it, our faces lopsided with a jumbly, inchoate collision of mixed emotions. It wasn’t as happy a surprise as I’d imagined. We were both instantly filled with dread. Hope and excitement and joy, but mostly dread. Because we were not born yesterday.
I told him then that this was the last one. I couldn’t do it it anymore. If this one didn’t take, I was done. I asked him to remind me of that if needed, noting that I was at that time sound of mind and body but after…
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Once you’ve touched a mountain on the West Coast of Canada and then placed yourself in the ocean on the East Coast, you may feel as though you’ve truly made yourself a part of where you live.
Today, I had my mental health struggle medically recognized for the first time in my life. Opposite a beautiful woman, I shifted around in a chair as her words poured over me like gospel. I felt warm and my face tingled; I became dizzy, as if the earth beneath me was restless. I clung to every sound she made as she assessed the things that I had shared with her. Neither her, nor I, were feeling uneasy or defensive because I had welcomed her and her opinion; I asked for it. She spoke as if we had been close before, like we were meant to impact each other.
I was left feeling sociable, deserving, and capable. For the very first time, I feel like I have a right to identify with a particular disorder. I will likely still worry that people around me assume that I am self diagnosing for attention. I will always believe that people think I do what I do for attention. That is part of my struggle, but I have now been validated. I can begin taking educated steps forward. And while forward feels unfamiliar, today it feels real.
I tend to look into a person’s eyes only to find an answer.
What are you feeling?
What are you thinking?
Who are you?
Perhaps, I should be searching for questions.
There may have been a time when I wasn’t as confused as I am now. This state of mind is a catalyst for vivid dreaming and half-baked story ideas, but I just can’t remember ever knowing why I was feeling anything I’ve ever felt. Of course, my self-analytical nature has been there misleading me to potential causes from the very beginning. Though, it seems I just find myself with new symptoms like the ebb and flow of the seasons. Perpetually, I confuse self-diagnosis with self-medication and fool myself into believing that saying something aloud, giving a problem a name, is an effective way to take its power. I don’t forgive myself often enough to learn from my mistakes but I’ll vow to completely change everything about who I am, just like I did last week, so that I can fall asleep for 3 a.m.