Some days I hate my life.
I say this to myself more than I care to admit. Sometimes I just lay on my couch/bed, stare into space and say this over and over in my head. I know I sound hypocritical, I know in my opening post I said I love life, and I do. I love life. I hate my life. Or rather what my life has become.
Our memories are made up of moments. Flashes of greatness, significance, or tiny droplets that we don’t even realize years later will haunt us like so many tendrils of smoke curling around our conscience.
There was this one night, before my life changed forever. I still stand outside of the memory, watching it roll through my mind like watching a movie on a loop. There’s this young girl, barely nineteen, her first and only time in New York City, drunk on liquor and high on life. She steps out of one of those little pubs you see in so many movies, dancing through the snow strewn streets of The City. Somehow she and her merry band of misfits stumble onto a set where they are filming street footage for who knows what and they dance around and run off into the night. Soon they are whizzing through the Washington Tunnel. Lights flashing past like so many seconds we never stop and catch in our hands. Fireflies we chased as kids, never catching. Of course that girl never sees the woman standing there watching all this play out over and over. Longing to go back to that moment. Longing to tell her to hold on to it, hold on to that feeling, because in four short months life will hit her so hard and there will never be any going back.
Here I am, eighteen years later, the woman watching that girl. Yes, I hate my life. I live on a couch. I can’t work, any amount of stress could trigger another stroke or aneurysm. I have migraines that are like the flu, or worse hemiplegic migraines that mimic a stroke. I’m a rape survivor, a domestic violence survivor. My eyesight is like watching TV on a channel stuck on static. And I’m intensely lonely. I’m writing all of this because today I’m not in that upbeat place.
I have Major Depressive Disorder with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and PTSD, all brought on by my last massive stroke. That girl eighteen years ago is someone who I used to know. I miss her. On days like today I mourn her. Before my last stroke I was a “Survivor” like Destiny’s Child sung about. I had gone through a lot of heartache and still smiled, because I was still that girl. People would ask me, after all those things, how I could I be so happy, and I would always tell them that there was so much more in life to be happy about. But, in the middle of the night, one night, one of my nightmares became my reality. I’m in mourning for the girl I lost when the part of my brain died.
I do love life. I am incredibly blessed by the most amazing supportive children. Unfortunately, mood disorders aren’t something ‘made up.’ I had a switch flipped when I had the stroke,unfortunately the switch was flipped to off. The ‘Survivor’ switch was turned off. I don’t smile through the pain because I no longer know how to. That girl is gone. This girl curls up under a blanket, exhausted, staring at popcorn ceilings wondering when this wave will pass. It will, like the migraines, I’ll spend a day recovering, weak like I’ve had a bad flu.
It’s important, however, to realize, I’m not crazy. I’m not suicidal, the thought would never even cross my mind. I just have unbearable moments of sadness. And it’s complicated, and different, but life is complicated and we were never meant to smile all the time. I find a certain depth in my moments of happiness that I never knew before these moments of sadness. I appreciate the loveliness of it all a little more now.