Wait For It

This is a Really Real Widow Post.

But also a Really Real Mental Health Post.

One of those that blur the lines because in the days after Parker died it was hard to tell where grief ended and depression began, where mania subsided and constant running for distraction took over.

That first year was probably the hardest year of my life. I found dozens of different methods to cope, trying one thing after another, some of them helping, others being left behind. One thing that kept me going was making playlists based on where I was in my grieving process. There was”Cry” and “Remembering Her” and “Joy” and the one that got the most play was the “You Got This” playlist.

One of the songs on there was “Wait For It” from Hamilton.

For me, that was my song that told me no matter how bad I felt in that moment, if I just kept fighting, things would get better. I just had to wait for it. There were nights that my suicidal thoughts were screaming in my ear, urging me to join Parker out of desperation to see her again. I would put “Wait For It” on repeat, blasting it through headphones trying to drown out the thoughts. It was one of my anthems urging me to just hold on.

I listened to the entire Hamilton soundtrack on repeat hoping that one day they’d put it on TV so that I could actually see it. Seeing it in person didn’t even cross my mind, because that was outside the realm of possibility for me. It wasn’t even on my radar. That was something that other people dreamed of, my hopes were much simpler than that.

But in the three years since then my life has changed. I’ve started seeing more of life, started seeing there is more than just survival. I knew it wasn’t likely, but just maybe, one day I’d get to see Hamilton in person. The soundtrack was such a huge part of my life, I knew the lyrics by heart, seeing it preformed would be amazing.

Tickets went on sale locally. Of course they were way outside of my price range, and they were so hard to get. I knew there was no way.

And then Wonder Woman calls me to tell me some friends were taking us to see Hamilton as an engagement gift.

What?!?!?

This can’t be real.

I spent weeks just knowing it wasn’t real. That any day now someone would tell me it was all bullshit. That I wasn’t really going. I had misunderstood, they had changed their mind, I dreamed it. I refused to get excited, I just got anxious. More and more anxious.

And then the night is here. We walk up the street and I see the marquee. Holy Shit! I’m going to see Hamilton.

Such a mix of emotions the entire show. While there was amazement and excitement and awe, there was also this mix of grief and remembrance. What if she had just realized that she could wait for it. That life could be like this. That maybe one day she could sit in a theater and see something as amazing as Hamilton.

But holding Wonder Woman’s hand, sitting beside her and feeling her emotions, feeling my own emotions, just being there. Actually being present in that moment. The audience disappeared and it was just us and the stage. My anxiety was gone, my grief was gone,

I was enthralled.

I’ve had a hard life, there’s no denying that. I’ve been through more than a lot of people can imagine. I still have a lot to process and heal. But my life is good. Honestly my life is pretty amazing and as hard as it is to see sometimes, I believe I will continue to make forward progress It might be slow progress, but it will be forward progress towards better things. And you know what?

I’m willing to wait for it.

Before and After

This is a Really Real Widow Post.

Today is that day.

The day that’s on the death certificate.

The day my new normal began.

For me, the 7th is always the hardest.  The 7th is the day the fight happened, the day she went to bed angry, the day I heard her take her meds, the day I went to bed on the couch. In my head, the 7th will always be the day she died.

The 8th is a day of quiet reflection.

In my head I see my house filling with paramedics and police. It plays out like a sick silent movie in front of me. I see their lips moving but there are no words.

The 8th is calm.

The 8th is when my new normal began.

I never would have chosen this.

I thought Parker was my Always and Forever, Forever and Always.

I never would have chosen this.

But I’m happy in my new normal, and as much as I want her back in this world, the best thing I can do for her is continue to live my best life.

Today Wonder Woman and I were going to go to the beach. It’s what we did last year and it was kind of perfect. The beach is my safe space.

But it’s a weekend and it’s beautiful out, which means everyone else is going to be at the beach, and I’m just not feeling that.

Today is a day of quiet reflection.

Instead we did some shopping for a few projects I’m working on, and I bought stuff to make a new recipe for dinner and we’re spending time together quietly around the house.

This is my new normal.

This morning when Wonder Woman took our pup out, she found a firefly sitting on a package that she was about to bring upstairs. She sent me a picture and let me know that Parker was trying to get inside.

While we were at the craft store she picked out a lantern and said I should make a firefly decal for the side and put a candle in it.

I love that she leaves space for Parker in our relationship. I don’t have to hide my grief. I don’t have to hide the love that didn’t die when Parker did.

This is my new normal.

I can’t believe it’s been 3 years while at the same time I can’t believe it’s only been 3 years. An eternity and an instant.

Today is that day.

I miss you my firefly.

Is That You?

This is a Really Real Widow Post.

Dear Parker,

Just typing those words brought tears to my eyes.

I can’t believe it’s been three years since I last heard your voice.

I can’t believe it’s been three years since I last saw you breathing.

You’ve missed too much.

Kidlet’s grown up now. He moved out to Seattle and lives with his girlfriend. You would be SO Fucking proud of the man he has become. He’s doing so much better than we ever did and I can only see him going further.

I’ve been fighting harder than we ever did when you were alive. That’s the one thing you gave to me by leaving. The will to go on. I realized what was at stake and I gave it everything. I’ve gotten so much healthier mentally and physically. As my favorite niece on your side would put it, I’ve pulled so many damn weeds and I’ve grown a lot of flowers in their place.

Speaking of my favorite niece on your side, you should see her now. She’s doing so well, but I’m sure she writes you her own letters. She’s such an amazing writer and her voice  . . oh, her voice. I can’t wait to attend her first major concert. She’s done so much work on herself since you’ve been gone.

There’s a firefly that’s been hanging out on my porch pretty much around the clock for the past week. Is that you? I don’t even know if I believe it could be you but the thing seems to be there every morning and every night when I take Siah out and it just won’t leave me alone, so maybe, just maybe . . .

I’m sorry that our last words were so hurtful. I’m sorry I was so angry. I’m sorry we went through so much and didn’t have any outlet except for each other. I wish I could take it all back.

And I wish you could have seen that it would get better. I wish you could be here to see the other side. I wish you wouldn’t have lost your battle with this soul sucking bullshit.

But I get it, I really do.

Sometimes I’m not sure how I keep going either.

I miss you, and I love you.

Time moves slowly

This is a Really Real Widow Post.

Tick-tock-tick-tock.

This week is moving so slowly.

Friday and Saturday will be three years but the time leading up to it drags forever. I just want to get to Sunday so Parker’s Deathday can pass and I can get on with living.

Last night I was so angry, and I know it was partially related to grief and widow bullshit and it wanted to direct itself at Sarah Jane even though she did nothing wrong. I felt the need to be a total bitch so I completely withdrew.

Eventually I sent her a message telling her why, but I still felt like shit for avoiding her all night.

And today I’m replaying my last day with Parker over and over in my head. It doesn’t help that I woke up thinking today was the 7th.

I wish it was so I could get that day over with.

When I relive that last day I’m reminded why I’m so afraid to get angry with people. So afraid to want help, so afraid to need someone to do more than they naturally want to do.

I just needed more help around the house but I didn’t know how to ask for it without it turning into a fight. And no matter how much I try to tell myself that the fight didn’t kill her, I will always feel like it did. I will always feel like my need for more is what pushed her over the edge.

I’m seeing the house the way it was set up on that final day.  Seeing her in her spot on the old couch. Seeing her on her ankle scooter wheeling away from me. Hearing the last few angry words we said to each other before I came out to sleep on the couch.

And then I’m feeling the absolute silence when I went into bed a few hours later. The silence I didn’t recognize until I tried to wake her up the next morning.

It’s replaying over and over again in my mind. I can see all of the spots that I could have done something differently, something that would have saved her. I’ve thought about them a million other times.

But I also know nothing will bring her back. It is as it is meant to be.

But I can’t help wondering.

I wish it was Sunday already so this would go away.

Oh no . . . That’s today.

scientific calculator ii

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This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Mentally, I still feel like shit.

But a little less like shit then I felt yesterday, so that’s a plus, I guess.

The difference between, I really want to die

and

I just don’t want to live.

And for those who have never been here, there’s a distinctive difference.

Today is a good day for that difference, because today I have a final exam to go take for my health class.

A final exam that I may not have shown up for yesterday, but today I’ll at least show up.

I all but aced my English class.  Two points shy of a perfect score.  I’m still waiting on a few grades to come back from health, but I think I’ll pull at least a b, depends on how I do on this final that I didn’t study for.

Yesterday was rough. I spent most of the day in bed with covers over my head. I got up to cook but didn’t clean and my sink is overflowing with dishes.

We had dill pickle chicken wings for dinner which were both amazing and time consuming. Even though I baked them, my house smells like fried food, which is kind of annoying.

When I’m depressed like that I’m also super triggery, although I hate the word trigger. But the wrong sound from a video game or the wrong scene in a movie will go straight through me and I’ll need to run and hide, or I’ll want to fight back against it. But I can’t find my words to ask Wonder Woman to turn the TV down or that I can’t handle that movie right now. Sometimes I’ll put headphones in so that I’m not a bother, so that I can just zone out into my own world at the computer.

Other times I run away to the bedroom, into my safe space. Under my down comforter with the covers pulled up over my head. Just enough light filters through that it’s not completely dark in there. The sound is muffled like when there’s a few feet of snow outside.

I feel safe.

I always quietly hope that Wonder Woman will eventually come and check on me even if I can’t quite tell her all of what is wrong.

She is part of my safe space.

I also hate that I just walk away without telling her that I’m going. Words are hard when I feel like that. I want to shrink into my own skin.

I don’t want to admit that I need to hide from the world and speaking it out loud makes it too real.

Makes it too noticeable.

Makes me feel like I’m over reacting.

Like I’m being a drama queen.

But today is better. Today the sounds aren’t quite as loud and I don’t need to run.

Today I don’t want to die.

I’m just not quite sure I’m ready to live.

Blanket Fort

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

TW: Suicdal Thoughts. Guns. Possibly disturbing descriptions.

I spent most of yesterday evening in bed, under my blankets.

Wide awake, but shutting the world out.

Suicidal thoughts swirling around, like stars in the galaxy.

I had plans and means but couldn’t hold onto a thought long enough to have the drive to put anything into action.

I guess my scatter brain saved me from becoming any real danger to myself.

Either way it was uncomfortable and I was afraid to get out of bed because then the means would be too accessible.

And when I’d lose track of my suicidal thoughts I didn’t want to get out of bed because I was just to defeated to move.

I kept hearing a gun shot going off in my head.

Not that I have access to guns, I know better, but I just kept hearing the sound reverberating in my head.

It’s what happens when the thoughts get bad. It’s been the same since middle school. The thoughts would get bad and I knew there was a loaded gun in my dad’s night stand drawer and I could hear it going off in my head.

And I’d fight against letting it happen.

I wonder what it feels like when the barrel is pressed against your skull?

I wonder what it sounds like when the gun goes off?

Does it sound different when the vibrations are right there up close?

Do you even have time to hear it?

I wonder if I would screw that up too and live and just be a burden on everyone around me.

It really is better that I don’t have access to guns.

And the thing is, I’m not actually having a horrible morning. I woke up, I measured out my food and logged it in a new program I’m trying. I’m planning on being all crafty and making shit in a little bit.

But still, the dark thoughts are just swirling around.

I’d kinda rather be dead.

I wish it was a therapy day, not that therapy is a quick fix but I always feel safer when she reassures me that these thoughts aren’t going to kill me. That I don’t need to be locked away to be safe from myself. That this isn’t a crisis.

It feels like a crisis but also doesn’t.

They are just there, quietly hanging over my shoulder.

I feel like I can almost have a conversation with them.

“Hey, what’s up? Please don’t let the cat out as you come and go.”

Quiet Voice of Defeat

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post, but also a Really Real Health Post.

CW: Talk of weight and food.

The quiet voice is back. The one that tells me it would be so much easier to just end it all.

Wednesdays are hard and even with my sister in town yesterday it was a long hard day. I came home after she left and climbed in bed without saying goodnight to Wonder Woman and pulled the covers up over my head.

I was irrationally angry over things that we just haven’t had time for.

Or maybe we haven’t made the time.

But either way I wanted to lash out and I wasn’t in a place to have a rational conversation so I climbed into bed and pulled the covers over my head and didn’t even stir when Wonder Woman came to bed hours later.

But that’s not why the voice is back.

I had a doctors appointment today and realized I’m looking for a quick fix when there isn’t one. I’m not willing to do the work right now because I feel like I have to work extra hard for minimal results and it’s just not fair.

When I was riding the wave of mania for almost a year it was hard work but at the same time it was easy. And there was all this external validation because in the midst of the hardest thing I’d ever been through I was making all these strides towards self improvement on so many different fronts.

Including losing weight.

But now I’m not manic, and now it is just hard work without all of the positive feedback and without even having anything to show for it.

I’m back in another weight loss surgery program and this one knows the problems I had with the last surgeon so I doubt I’ll have the same problem. Except the last time I was all about working the program and losing weight leading up to it, and really into how successful I was going to be pre and post surgery.

I gave a fuck and it showed.

This time I don’t really give a fuck. I just know I can’t keep living like this, and this is one program that won’t give me the amount of shit the last program gave me. It’s why I chose this program, it has minimal requirements.

See, I know surgery isn’t a quick fix. I know surgery is just a tool and if I don’t do the work it won’t work. I know it isn’t the easy way out.

And I also know that right now my heart isn’t in it.

And my heart isn’t in it because even while I was working so fucking hard, I just started gaining the weight back because I’m fighting against PCOS and I’m fighting against medications.

I don’t even know where to start with my food intake. There are so many things that need to change and I’m so overwhelmed about how to change them. I keep saying I’m going to do this or that differently but there are so many different areas that I end up not following through with any of them.

I’ve quit doing cardio at the gym because what’s the point of working myself to the point of exhaustion on the machines when I’m not getting a single benefit. I still go for strength training a few days a week because I feel the difference with that when I stop, I still walk a mile or two a few nights a week because walking made a huge difference in my life when I started, but even that I’m not all that consistent with.

I worked my ass off . . . and gained 25 lbs due to a medication change. Once that stabilized I kept working my ass off and my weight didn’t change. Now I’ve slacked way off for the last month and my weight didn’t change.

It makes me feel like the effort is useless.

I’m supposed to go for 4 more monthly nutrition appointments and then I can schedule surgery, but if I can’t get my heart into this, there’s no point in scheduling a surgery date.

Depression and poor self image are playing into this big time.

I care about how difficult my weight makes my life, but I hate my body so doing loving and caring things for it is difficult.

Self sabotage via food.

I’ve been here before, for a lot of years. Mania and post traumatic growth made it easy to overcome this cycle but it’s possible to overcome it even without that.

I need to get my heart back in the game.

I need to make changes.