And Further More…

What an amazing summer I had. Epic…cathartic even. I really didn’t intend on sharing such personal information. Historically, the picture that I’ve attempted to present to the world is one of perfection and anything that might be embarrassing was brushed under the rug. Who was I kidding? As if people can’t plainly read the expressions on my face. I’m so bad at hiding how I feel. I can’t be fake.

I guess there’s really nothing better than a simultaneous visit from your long divorced parents to wake up the past and force some realizations. As weird as it was to be sitting at the dinner table alone with my mother, father and baby girl, I almost wish that my brother and sister had been sitting there as well. What would it have been like to share a meal with all of the people to whom I am most closely related? How odd that I would have to ask myself this question in the first place.

I sometimes feel that I no longer know my family. Sitting at the dinner table with my parents on that summer evening, I realized that I am a complete stranger to my entire family. Maybe not a complete stranger, but I often feel that way. I’m not sure they’ve ever really known me or understood me. I’ve always been slightly alien to them. I never quite fit in and at some point, I just stopped trying to. I love them, but I know that I’ll always be the black sheep. The odd fit. To them, I’ll always be a little bit “off”. For the longest time, I thought it was my fault, or just bad that I was unable to fit into the core of the Hadfield nuclear family. I tried so hard to be like them that I was suffocating. I made horrible choices in my efforts to blend in, but always remained an outsider. How sad to be stuck on the perimeter, so doubtful of my self worth and place in the world that I wished to completely disappear. I was so angry that I was born to begin with.

It doesn’t matter how much you love someone or a group of someones, sometimes they just might not get you all. It has taken me almost 40 years to realize that this doesn’t make me weird or crazy. I’m just me and I am finally beginning to appreciate who I am. I’ve stopped trying to make them understand me because it just frustrates and angers us all.

It really is amazing how words affect people. How what I wasn’t able to verbalize 10 years ago is so easily expressed now in my writing. Maybe it’s all easier to talk about now that I have some distance between myself and rock bottom. I didn’t start my blog with the intent of divulging my deepest, darkest places but I’m not going to stop it from coming out. Consider it a bit of verbal vomiting. The best part about my recent bout with up-chucking is that I feel even better. I’ve said what I had to say and I said it for me. In the process, I  unwittingly crossed another hurdle. Either you get it or you don’t. My writing may simply be words on a page or something more meaningful. I’m not forcing you to take a position either way.

For me, one of the most frustrating parts of depression is the lack of education on the subject. If your brother/father/son was diagnosed with diabetes, wouldn’t you read every bit of information that you could get your hands on? Wouldn’t you actively discuss the disease with him and seek the best method of treatment to ensure a good quality of life? Unfortunately, there is still a huge contingent that views depression as complete and utter bullshit. Just about the worst thing that you can say to someone who is suffering from depression is, “Snap out of it” or “What do you have to be depressed about?” Really? Like we want to feel this way? As if we would choose to open our eyes on a random morning to discover that the darkness has settled over us like a suffocating blanket as we slept. Given the choice, I would much rather bound out of bed with a smile on my face and meet my friends for lunch. Instead, when I open my eyes I know that I’ll have to struggle to pull myself out of that darkness enough just to get through the day. The worst part is that the world is the exact same place it was yesterday…when I was perfectly happy. It frustrates me immensely to know that happiness has just slipped through my fingers again. I don’t choose to let it go, it just goes. Thank goodness that I rarely feel this way any more. I choose to take Zoloft to keep the darkness at bay. Thank you, Zoloft and screw you darkness.

Having spent my mid-twenties in a perpetual state of intense depression, I see things far differently now. The world I am living in is a far more beautiful place than the one I inhabited 10 years ago. How lucky my children are, to be growing up with parents who love and respect one another. Dave and I truly have an incredible partnership and our children get to witness this. With the exception of my Uncle Joe, I’ve never known a man so filled with love and support. Do we fight? Sure. We’ve had some good ones. Who hasn’t? Have we gone to bed angry? You bet. I’ve been pissed off enough to give him the silent treatment for a few days. I know there has been more than one occasion when he’s been less than thrilled with me too. We’ve been married for nine years. We have three children, ranging in age from one to six. We’re tired. We can barely spit a sentence out without being interrupted. Yet, our children see that we love one another, that we truly enjoy our time together. They see us sharing private jokes and laughter. They see affection and teamwork. They see acceptance and they know that we will nurture their interests without judgment or laughter.

So there you have it. Some verbal vomiting has led me to some brand new self-acceptance and forced me to acknowledge some painful truths. Such is life. My life is incredible and I’m glad to be alive!

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