Friday, October 22, 2010

Mel...One Year Later

I sat down recently and reread my entries starting in August of 2009 and going through October of the same year. Folks...I have come so far...farther than I could ever have imagined...especially if you would've told me this last year. I remember sitting in my kitchen, typing one or more of those posts and sobbing so hard I couldn't even continue. I vividly remember being barely able to function, to just get through the day...the only thing I looked forward to was going to bed. I remember being so far down I couldn't even see daylight, let alone the top of the pit. I remember being cautiously optimistic when I thought I had finally broken the surface, only to be pulled back under once again. Well, I would like to announce that not only have I broken the surface, but I am climbing the mountain. I will never, NEVER go back to the pit and will do WHATEVER it takes to be certain I never return. Not only am I on the mountain, but I have actual days where I'm able to find a peaceful outcropping to just sit, rest, and enjoy the view. For the first time in my entire life, I am comfortable in my own skin...and it shows in every aspect of my life.

Feel free to go through my Ancient Ramblings to further illustrate these points!

There were several "major events" that finally brought this excruciatingly painful, yet well worth it part of my journey to an end.

1. Jim
The death of this man whom I loved so dearly, literally stripped me of my last reserve of strength. I fully believe one must be at their weakest before they can start to rebuild.

2. Losing Grace
The character of Grace Hanadarko from Saving Grace as you well know, was an inspiration not only to me, but to millions of other women. I felt so close to this character, recognized so much of myself in her, both good and bad. When the series ended and her character was killed it sent me reeling. I've never been so close to giving up in my life...on everything.

One evening, shortly after I watched the final episode I went out for my walk. That day had been abyssmal and if I didn't get out I was going to lose what tiny bit of sanity I was still clinging to. It was ugly outside. I mean approaching Storm Chasers ugly. I didn't care. If I got wet, so what. If I got struck by lightning, all the better. Nothing was going to keep me from going for a walk. I hadn't even made it around the corner before the thunder started. I kept going. About a quarter of the way into my route it started raining and there was a wall of rain coming right for me. I walked straight into it and just kept going. I crossed the street and looked skyward. I've never seen anything so dark, so compelling, so beautiful. I stood there for the longest time, staring skyward and I finally said, "You want me? Then just go ahead and take me...I dare you." Probably not the smartest thing I've ever done...or was it? I truly believe that was the day I got my strength, or my Mel Mojo back. At that moment, I knew exactly what it felt like to Embrace My Grace. What I did was something I could see Grace doing...effortlessly. I will never forget cresting the hill and seeing a family standing in their garage who had been watching the storm look at me like I was a complete and total moron...and I just smiled at them and kept on going. The following was my status on Facebook that evening: "Ever walk headlong through a wall of rain straight into the darkness of an incoming storm...on purpose? Stare straight up at the swirling clouds...the black tendrils so close to the ground you feel like you can reach up and touch them? Stand with arms outstretched and face toward the sky with 3DD mixing with thunder in your head? I have to say it was one amazing fear...just...peace."

3. Facing Demons
Once you've dared God to snatch you up during a thunderstorm, facing old demons doesn't seem quite so scary. You can read about that here, here, and here.

So how have things changed? Everything else might want to read this post before you go any farther.

For the first time in, well, probably forever, I enjoyed the month of August. On the day school started? I was fine. I was actually better than fine. I was looking forward to it…having a little time to myself…recouping a little bit of my peace, quiet, and sanity. All the dreaded paperwork was finished…early. The day before? Just another Sunday…no stomach issues…no tension…no tears…slept great. That was all phenomenal, sure. But you want to know what the absolute best part was? Hopie picked up on Mama’s attitude, much like she always does…and you wouldn’t believe the change in her. She was excited, but not scared. She was smiling from the moment she got up that morning. And when she waved goodbye to me from the bus window? It wasn’t just her mouth that was smiling. Her eyes…her body language…she was positively radiant!

The next month? Claire started preshool. Day one and not only did we survive it but one could say we were thriving. She was happy and excited and ready to go. No tears, no tummy aches, just lots of big smiles. I didn’t cry when I left her…can you believe it? I can’t! Don’t get me wrong, I felt a big old tug, but it’s time for her to be with other kids and have somebody else leading her besides Mama. And when I went to pick her up? She came racing out of her room, jumped into my arms and cried, "Mama!!! I missed you!!!" That's some pretty awesome stuff there folks! And yes, I did cry later when I was looking at the picture posted here...she just looks so very grown up.
I have a peace...a center...that's not been there before. My smile...I've missed them...and it's so good to have them return. My life has light...and color...and warmth again. No, it's not perfect...and I'm not where I need or want to be yet. But I am ok with where I am now. And that my friends, is something to be proud of.

I had mentioned in a prior post that during my last check-up, the nurse suggested I try taking a daily Vitamin D supplement. I’m the one who pulled myself out of the third concentric circle of hell by my fingernails for the last year…I’ve got the burn scars to show for it. I’ve faced down more demons…and won…than I ever imagined I could. Believe me, I know, I was there. I am ultimately the one who did all of the work...and I'm not trying to take away from that in any way, shape or form. You've got to go through your fire to get to the other side. But that little white vitamin tablet, at least for me, takes the edge off, rounds off the corners a little, and helps makes my journey just a little easier.

I want to take a moment to say a few words about my friend. Perhaps a better word to describe him would be catalyst. I don't know why God placed him in my life when He did but I am eternally grateful to Him for it. I trusted this person without giving it a second thought...I've never been so open, so trusting, so comfortable with anyone before, or most probably after. He kicked down every single wall I had ever built...effortlessly...and I let him. He is the person who started this change. He taught me to trust myself, showed me just how strong I am, allowed me to see Mel as the world sees her, was there for me each and every time I needed to cry or whine or bitch or laugh or smile, and always, always knew just what to say to make me pick myself up and keep going. He shared so many wonderful bits of wisdom with me, but the one that perhaps resonates the most, was just two simple words. He said, "You matter."

He has since moved on...probably helping someone else get his or her life together. It's his gift and most likely his curse as well. I miss him...a lot. But I want not only him, but anyone else reading this to know I am NEVER going back. Back to the darkness, the fear, the self loathing, the hiding from everyone and everything, building walls...never again. Those few months that he shared himself with me, our friendship, what he taught me, mean too much to me to ever disrepect it in that way. It meant more to me than you can ever know. I'm going to honor that relationship and keep going forward, keep fighting, keep living, keep being Mel whoever she happens to be at that exact moment, and keep smiling.

Now, I simply wouldn't be Mel if I didn't share a song with you that is just scary appropriate to this post, would I? Enjoy your life like it

By Aerosmith

I kept the right ones out
And let the wrong ones in
Had an angel of mercy to see me through all my sins
There were times in my life
When I was goin' insane
Tryin' to walk through
The pain

When I lost my grip
And I hit the floor
Yeah, I thought I could leave but couldn't get out the door
I was so sick and tired
Of livin' a lie
I was wishin that I
Would die


It's Amazing
With the blink of an eye you finally see the light
It's Amazing
When the moment arrives that you know you'll be alright
It's Amazing
And I'm sayin' a prayer for the desperate hearts tonight

That one last shot's a permanent vacation
And how high can you fly with broken wings?
Life's a journey not a destination
And I just can't tell just what tomorrow brings

You have to learn to crawl
Before you learn to walk
But I just couldn't listen to all that righteous talk, oh yeah
I was out on the street,
Just tryin' to survive
Scratchin' to stay


Listen to the whole thing...the very end is my favorite part!


Jay at The Depp Effect said...

Mel, you most certainly have blossomed, haven't you? And the things that tell me so most clearly are the times you describe letting your children go (only to school, but we all know what a wrench that can be, especially with your memories) and your friend/analyst go. Letting go is the hardest thing. It seems to me that the more problems you have, the more insecurities and worries, the harder it is to let go of anything, even an envelope with your mother's writing on it. Even a stale bar of chocolate that someone once gave you .. uh ... me. Even (in my case) a virtual fish in a virtual tank in an online game, because someone you love gave it to you. Um. Yeah, right. Gave it to me.

But you've made it, haven't you? Sure there'll be problems in the future, but the determination not to go back is the important thing! You go, Mel! I'm right behind ya! *Hugs*

Mel said...

Thank you Jay...again. I've said it before, I'll say it again, "You GET it."

Ok, the stale chocolate bar? I had TWO stale pieces of candy. One afternoon? I ate them...both of them. Sat there smiling like and IDIOT. Surprisingly they both tasted fine and I wasn't rushed to the hospital for food poisoning. Now...want to guess what I did with the wrappers? HA! One step at a time...right?

jay said...

Hahahahaha! Ah, well, you see, it would be the wrappers that would be my downfall, since my bar of stale chocolate is a Wonka Bar; one of those put out to coincide with the release of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Well. When I said I was right behind you, um, maybe I'm not doing quite so well as you are. OK? ;)

But I'm so impressed with your stale chocolate achievement, I'm at least going to take it out and look at it. One step at a time, huh?

Mel said...

HAAAAA!!! Oh Jay...look at it this're farther ahead of me in a whole lot of other areas. Let's just walk side by side and continue to support each other. Hey, I'd share my candy with you...but I ate it. ; ) You wanna see the wrappers? ")

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