I shake the prescription bottle, the little orange pills clang around in the neon yellow plastic holder. The sound of it gives me relief, and even though the feeling leaves me a little embarrassed, I’m actually really glad I found a doctor who is finally listening to me.
The sun is shining through my bedroom window, and it’s pretty because the fall leaves give this burst of color against the blue sky, sometimes with this stark contrast, other times more gentle, and during the sunset there are times the layering of colors are almost seamless and I love it. I think of God when I look at things like that, taking out those quiet moments to pay attention to something with intention, with warmth. I think of God when I look at a lot of things in that way, but along side this gentle rush of joy, my heart is sick and filled with anxiety. Just like it has been every morning, for the last three years.
Back to the neon yellow prescription bottle, still sitting in my hand.If you turn it to the left, the label reads clonazepam.
Klonopin. My new best friend.
How many are left? Twenty or so. A sigh escapes my lips, as I fill the glass with cool water, and drop one of the tablets into my mouth, swallowing it down hard and fast with a deep breath. Leaning up against the bathroom counter, the pill sliding down my throat and landing in the base of my stomach as I stare myself in the eye. Most days, I don’t recognize the woman looking back at me. She’s pale. Her skin is dry, and the eyes are heavy from the med’s, sleepless nights, and let’s face it, the pain. I’m embarrassed, ashamed and I miss the woman I once was. It’s been over ten years since I took anything for my panic disorder, and if you asked me three years ago, if this is where I’d be, I’d laugh.
I’ve learned to be a little less judgemental since then.
Let me just say, I didn’t wake up this morning thinking to myself, ” I can’t wait to share my weaknesses! yay!” Not at all, I actually hate this right now, my heart is rebellious, I’m angry at my feelings and I want to slam this laptop closed, and go lose myself in my art work, but I made you a promise. I promised I would share it all, and these fragile and unsteady days are the hardest to write. Because it’s not just the fucked up story, this is me, exposing the lies I tell everyday. The little ones, that are so damn big, like… “I’m good, how are you?” or “I’m fine.” The small lies, that eat you up inside, chewing away at your heart, because after a while, that’s all you’re really saying, and in the end no one knows the truth.
This is me, saying, yeah I’m a mess a lot lately, and that’s just not something most people feel very good about admitting. At least not continuously. They may for a moment, to someone they trust, but it’s certainly not looked up upon in our society to admit the wallowing.To recognize, the coming apart at the seams and how after tragedy, it can take years to heal. People just don’t go around talking about it like that, it’s just too unbecoming to be honest about the despair. Society, even our friends, family, television and sadly even the church at times, urge us to hurry up and move on. To find the light of day, be positive and find the strength to rebuild. And as much as I agree with that, I also feel strongly, that before that can truly happen, we all need and deserve the time it takes, and it’s different for each of us, to process. To become aware of oneself, and internally work out what we’ve been through, whatever that may be. But, because it’s not considered attractive in any sense, to lurch around in one’s own suffering, many of us are left alone to do this. For many reasons. And because of these shitty reasons (fear of judgement, shame, crappy morals from a dysfunctional upbringing, religious reasons, anxiety, the fear of appearing weak and the list goes on…) it can take a really long time to reconcile within. It’s like, we’re allowed to stumble, but we’re not allowed to fall. And if we fall, we’re pressured to climb back up, as fast as we can, screaming love in the face of adversity, revived, hopeful and running toward a future that is waiting with open arms. But here’s the thing….
As I lean up against that bathroom counter, taking deep slow breaths and waiting patiently for the medicine to work…I’m still frightened of my future, of what it holds, just as much as I have hope for it. The hope and the fear are equal parts. And even though, I pray often and keep an open communication with God, I still hurt.
I still hurt, and that’s okay.
I guess what I’m saying is, give yourself, and the people you love, the freedom to be in pain, let them hurt. Give yourself, and others the time they need, to process. Of course it’s important to edify, to speak life and to support someone. But, there’s something to be said, about patient silence. Just sitting with someone. If your words are needed, you’ll feel it. Prayer, is prayer for a reason, and one of the beautiful things about it, is if someone isn’t ready to do it WITH you, you can totally do it behind their back. Choose to meet them where they are, and put down your own agenda. We can be SO selfish with our agenda’s can’t we? and they can really hurt those closest to us. Don’t be the kind of person that your friends or family cross of their list, when they’re in crisis. And don’t be territorial with your support in their life, that’s messy, gross and unbecoming. And nothing like a friend, in the way God intended friendship to be. In the way love intended friendship to be. So, with that being said…
I still hurt. I still cry at least once a day, but I laugh too, and I’m not ready to run screaming in the face of adversity yet, I’m tired, and I want to take my little orange pills, talk and write my story, and create things, paint, draw and eat. Rest and sleep. Pray and go for walks. Learn how to live once more, before I get all up in life’s face again.
Ernest Hemingway says beautiful things that I really like, so here’s one that made me smile.
“Forget your personal tragedy.We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously.But when you get the damned hurt, use it-don’t cheat with it.” ~Ernest Hemingway
God bless each of you, on your own personal journeys..brothers and sisters xo