My lifelong battles with depression & anxiety are well-chronicled on these pages. Just words.
Last week I fired up a limping laptop that I haven’t used in a number of years, looking for specific photos to move for future use. While scrolling through a untitled album that contained roughly 1000 photos, I found a series of self portraits taken when I was in my deepest, darkest places around 2006-2008. Before the hospital, before therapy, before medication. They knocked the breath from me. So often we don’t know how bad it is until much, much later.
My photo editing skills have dramatically improved over the years, and I must have deleted the original files, as I’d edit them much differently now. Maybe that’s okay. They speak for themselves, to specific point in my life. A place I don’t want to revisit, but always lives in the fringes.
Six years ago, I wrote this blog post, titled “color”. Just another little piece of a memory regarding a tie-dyed onesie I’d bought soon after finding out I was pregnant. More or less.
And until a few days ago, that onesie still resided with my other “Kid birth” stuff. I noticed it when moving around art stuff. I shook my head at it when I picked it up. “It’s time, you”, I muttered.
A tie-dyed romper has no business being a manifestation of my loss. Who can possibly grieve wearing tie-dye? The colors spread in a pattern like a flower. It had become my touchstone of what I didn’t have, and would never have.
This is ridiculous.
My friend is ready pop with her third kiddo. The tie-dyed onesie is going where it should, to be laughed in & pooped on & encasing a little body who’s ready to grow. It should bring joy rather than a reminder of sorrow.
While I’m not ready to give up the other hospital bits & pieces, I can let go of these dreams unrealized.
therapy has done wonders for me. i’ve uttered words that i never thought would be heard by another human being. i understand myself a little more. with the new found freedom of having the Kiddo’s phone number & email address, i’m no longer reliant on waiting for Betty to pass on information. all because i picked up the damn phone in a moment of courage. while i am realistic about my therapist being a mere mortal, i feel as if the Great & Powerful Oz has shown me what i already possessed.
relieving and calming on many levels, there’s also some unease. i’ve been thriving on fury, hurt, guilt and sorrow for a long time. that’s how i roll. but the sharp edge of these negative emotions is slowly softening. not disappearing, but ebbing in super slow motion. i find myself wondering what i’ll feel next.
i feel strangely hopeful.