Lately, it's been a struggle. When it started getting worse, I'm not sure. What triggered it....I'm even less sure. But what I've quickly learned from it is that I don't want to live my life on autopilot anymore. I'm being forced to realize that things have changed SO much, but at the same time, things are still SO much the same.
I don't let negative emotions surface. I just don't. I feel them lurking around, light as a feather, for days. Sometimes weeks. Then they get a little heavier, like a pebble. That's manageable, right? You can push a feeling that weighs on you with the strength of a tiny pebble down, down, down, until you can't feel it anymore with little to no effort or exertion. But in retrospect, dealing with an emotion or thought with such little emotional weight to it is far easier than dealing with the monster that emotion can turn into if you let it sit there and grow. I feel as if I have small, impulsive thoughts on a regular basis. I'll be sitting at work, and someone with a toddler comes in and without warning and without control, I'll find myself starting to think, "what if that was me and A holding hands and chattering right now?" See, that thought stings. So to avoid the sting, I push the idea out of my mind in mid-thought. I make the pain vanish before even fully feeling it.
I have spent YEARS, years pushing emotions that I felt were undesirable down. I've pushed them so far down that I don't even recognize them anymore. My feelings of sadness, unworthiness, and just plain depression have become so commonplace deep down inside of me that I do not even recognize them anymore. Ignoring something doesn't make it go away. In fact, it just makes it build and build and creates a snowball effect until you have no choice but to look it square in the face. I ignored my feelings of guilt and the hole in my heart and the emptiness in my arms until it turned into something almost tangible.
Lately, I've been held prisoner in my own mind and body. Something almost physically stops me from getting out of bed. It's as if there are invisible restraints on my body, and I'm the one that put them there. I've held myself back from being happy in SO many aspects of my life. I don't know if I'm scared to feel happy or I simply just don't even know how to feel anything anymore. When you become an expert at hiding - or THINKING you're hiding - sad feelings from your own self, it only makes sense that you wouldn't recognize other emotions as readily either.
This isn't a 'pity me' post. Not in the least. This is me realizing that the only way to 'get over' something, is to go through it, as they say. I will never GET OVER my daughter not being with me physically every day. Nothing will ever replace her. Not a degree, not my dream career, not a husband, not 8 more children. Nothing. That fact remains and always will remain. Do I miss her? There are no words that would even dignify that question. I wish she were with me. I wish she called me "Mommy." I wish it was she and I against the world, even if we were against it alone. But I also wish for her to be surrounded with love. I wish for her to be a daddy's girl. I wish for her to not have to watch her mother struggle and wonder where money for her school clothes will come from. There are days I wish I could go back in time and run out of the hospital with her and never look back. Those are the tough days. But when you know something, you know it. I know my daughter is well taken care of and I love her parents for providing her with a life I still, to this day, couldn't dream of providing her with.
I have a choice every morning when I wake up. I can wallow in depression and sadness and ruin the rest of my day - and before I know it, the rest of my years - or I can embrace the fact that I have the rest of my life to live and that I plan to do it to the best of my ability.
Too much of my life for the past three years has been spent being held back by my own mind. I've focused on my shortcomings and punished myself for not knowing then what I know now. NO ONE gets to have a crystal ball. NO ONE knew then what they know now. We only get so much energy in this life, and we only get so much time. I believe in my heart that I did - and am still doing - the best I could for my child, and until the day comes that she tells me otherwise (which I PRAY it never does), I will start there and move forward. It's high time I stop beating myself up over "being a birthmom." I am SO much more than that. I am a woman who has the capability to work through my struggles until I've broken my own chains; I just need to dig deep down and pull the strength out of the rubble inside me.