Thursday, November 17, 2016

any day now (tumbles)

photography by
The Labour Union

Any day now, you will be here.

Those little feet and my ribs will greet each other on opposite sides; though I can tell you, my ribs will miss the nearness of your toes.

Tumbles, you have taken space and we are already so proud of how you've grown. How much more will we love to know you, once you're here?

You'll get to meet your Daddy, know love like only he can show. You're luckier for having him than you'll ever know. We're all better for being near him, and you are his; a high honor, all yours.

You have brought our hearts so much, and we haven't even met you yet. We have guessed, of course: whose eyes, whose feet, whose hands like our hands will we meet? Whose heart has been carving a rhythm, and in whose chest? Any day now, you will be in our arms and not just our imaginations, and we will live to learn the rest of you.

Any day now, you will be here. And oh, we are so ready.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Enough, now.

I made a mistake. When I miscarried last year, I didn't take care of myself. I was okay too soon, because I viewed myself as someone who needed to be okay. I viewed my tasks as those which needed to be done by someone who was okay. I did not care for me, because I told myself I didn't need to, so reliant was my self-worth on being...okay. My family and friends asked and I was okay, because I believe it is better to be okay than to be a burden. I became so good at convincing everyone I was okay, that I even convinced myself. I didn't talk about the loss, didn't grieve it properly (or without guilt for that grieving), didn't expect anything from myself other than my ability to be okay. Denial became my lifeblood. I did not take time off work. I worked with coworkers who, with full knowledge of the details, spread rumors I had made it up, that I hadn't really been pregnant; coworkers who complained to the higher-ups that my commitment to work had really lapsed lately, and I should be held to a higher standard. So when I was called in and told of the many complaints, I apologized. I stopped escaping to sleep and cry, and within weeks of the loss, was back in full swing, and I didn't look back. There was no room for my grief, even in the rare moments I took note of it. And on the story goes.

I made a mistake. I didn't take care of myself, and in so doing, collapsed. It would be a good story if I could tell you that I fell apart in private; that my inevitable mental health breakdown was one which happened and was felt by only me, or even involved only me. But so deep had my denial grown, and so had my grip on reality. This is what happens when you do not take care of yourself; real life becomes illusion, and illusion, real life. But I didn't know that, couldn't tell the difference. I woke up one morning, and I, or who I had become, swung. One large bat-crack on the legs of someone I love the most, someone who deserves it least, and in public.  I spun paranoid delusions as fact, and people believed me. Because I am okay. They took my word for it, because I am okay. But I had lost touch, in every way, with Truth. 

I still remember the sound of that cracking bat, still remember the exact feeling of the air as it rushed past my hand as I swung. I still remember the sound of the world breaking. I was not okay, I was not okay, and I didn't know what I was doing. But I broke it. I broke my world.

I call myself the afterthought composer, and as often happens, I find it difficult to write until things are gone, or resolved, or settled, so I can reflect on them. So I can find the lesson and move on. But the effects of how I started this year have written most of the story, and quite frankly, time is up. I made a mistake, and I know now, it's time to move on.

If you want to know someone's truest heart for you, let them see you at your weakest, then wait. My public mental health breakdown immediately transformed my life into a giant sieve, of sorts. Within minutes, hours, over days, and as the months have gone, there are those who have showed themselves as passing sand, and those who show themselves steady; rocks; unmoving, in my corner. I have lost a lot this year, but oh, have I gained the truth of those hearts who've stayed around me. I woke up that morning and I broke, and by nightfall, was entirely shattered. It took a lot of ruin to see where I really was, and when I saw, oh God, it was so dark. The only reason I am still on this planet is because of my husband, who held me to the earth with what little thread I had left. He clung to me, and it is because of his love that I did not slip through my own fingers. If I pray one thing for you, it's that you know a love like this.

As I look into this basket of my life, I am surprised. People I was certain would still be here, aren't. They looked at me at rock bottom, and they kept me there. If you asked them even now, you would hear it; I am the worst version of myself. They've used my lowest moment to justify their leaving, they show it to others when they can. They have no remorse for joining those who spend their breath on sabotage (after all, my weakness proved their lengthy, buried point). But, there is good here, too. Because this basket of my life is still full. Full of rocks, boulders, loving hearts and good, good people.

When I felt like I needed to leave the earth, it's because I assumed my actions had emptied the basket. And they should have. If you ask me, I'll still tell you, I don't get it. I don't understand how, in the aftermath of such a terrible display, I still have people who love me. I still have people who hold me up, see me for my bests, know there is still good in me, and point it out when I can't see it. There are still people who fight for me, invite me, stand up for me, defend me. How easy is it to notice the few who are bent on destroying, and fail to see the many who are standing in defense? How easy is it, to live afraid of what those soul crushing people will say? Too easy, but it's enough, now. I am so thankful for my village, for the shape it's taking, and for those who choose to be in it. That is putting it far too simply.

It's time to move on to better things, to let go, to shake the dust. There is so much good in the world, and I am choosing to see it, to live it, to breath it in and run full tilt into the wind of this beautiful life.  And this life is about to get a lot more beautiful. Coming soon, the most wonderful announcement my husband and I could possibly make.

Do not worry about the sand, it adds not a minute to your life. There is good here; time to accept it.