questions without easy answers

Just the other day, I was thanking the pharmaceutical fairies for the combination of drugs I’m taking. I thought to myself…I finally feel like me.

Ha! Who am I?

I’m a wife, mother, friend, coffee lover, cat lover, compulsive knitter, an avid Seattle Seahawks fan, a cancer survivor, and a little bit of a klutz. A lover of the mountains and the outdoors. An amateur photographer, wanna-be woodworker, a daughter, sister, a niece, aunt and great-aunt. I love gin and tonic or a glass or two of wine every now and then. I have a weakness for ice cream and popcorn. An aversion to exercising, but like to take bunny hill hikes.

But, seriously, who am I?

I have spent the majority of my adult life listening to negative mind chatter, and acting how I thought others wanted me to act.Β I had a huge secret to hide, and children to raise. No room for depression or anxiety to allow others to view.

My husband told me a story this morning about a tortured soul, acting on an inner rage against another person, and ultimately themselves. My very first thought was omgosh! Both people are a husband/wife, father/mother, sister/brother, son/daughter. (I don’t know the sex of the victim or the other person involved) I tried to push the thoughts from my mind as tears spilled over my cheeks.

Gloom hung in the air.

Why do events like this happen?

I could continue to obsess over the ugliness that happens in our world, or I can choose to spend my energy helping someone else. I have to help myself first, otherwise I’m of no help to others.

Overwhelming sadness has always created obsessive type of thinking for me, which eventually turns into feelings of hopelessness. But today, my reaction is that of an average person. I’m very sad, and my heart aches for the families and friends of the two individuals, but I don’t have one foot on the edge. I’m not feeling myself slip into the pit of depression.

As I was out and about today, sporting my Seattle Seahawks fan gear, I smiled at everyone I crossed paths with…it’s all I had to offer. Because it’s considered cold in the state of Georgia, I wore a coat, but had to take it off when I was in the stores. (why must they set the temperature to bake?) An older man asked me if I was enjoying the Spring weather. We chuckled, and went on our way.Β The only gaffe of the day was knocking over a small store display.

I’m grateful for the rewards of the consistent effortsΒ I’ve made over the past two years. I may not know who I am or who I want to be, but I’m happy to be me.

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About April

I'll come back to this when I find out who I really am. I've been through some extremely rough patches but they have made me a better person. I blog if my brain is functioning first thing in the morning.
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21 Responses to questions without easy answers

  1. meANXIETYme says:

    That’s awesome that you’re doing well. Sometimes I’m surprised at how well I can handle things. Other times I’m surprised at how poorly I handle things! If I could only be consistent on the good side… πŸ™‚

    I bet it didn’t even occur to you that you might have made that stranger’s day by speaking to him and chuckling with him over something so mundane as the weather. And the people you passed whom you smiled at? Smiles are contagious…you probably made THEIR days a little brighter, too. Sometimes it’s easier to help others than we think.

    • April says:

      The smiles were to erase the sadness over the story, but it is true that I did feel better for doing it. Usually, I wander around oblivious to people around me. (I make a good target) πŸ˜€

      Keep practicing and maybe the consistency will be more of a new habit. People like you and me have to learn to forgive ourselves for minor setbacks.

  2. It is sad that we decide that negative words actually reflect who we are, especially when it is continual. People are too willing to rain on your parade and tell you it is your fault you feel so badly. Don’t let people mess up your mind.

  3. Gallivanta says:

    I loved that you smiled at everyone!

  4. I don’t always have answers about myself either April. But I sure am happy to be me. And I’m continually trying to be better at ‘it’….this being me. πŸ™‚

  5. Elouise says:

    Congratulations, April! You have a beautiful smile, too.
    Elouise

  6. Glynis Jolly says:

    Sounds like your day was enjoyable for the most part. I, too, am thinking the weather is warm even though we’ve had some snow up here in Tennessee. Most of it came and soaked into the ground. The locals here even have the hoods of their coats over their heads. They don’t have a clue. πŸ˜‰

  7. aviets says:

    Ummmm….this is actually a comment on today’s post because it looks like comments were turned off for it. So if that was intentional and you didn’t want comments on “Having a little faith in yourself,” I’m sorry!

    I love that you’ve come to this place. Though what you’ve always written has been important and I’m sure helpful for many people, it’s really uplifting to see where you are now.

    I’m currently feeling preoccupied with the mental health of our middle child’s boyfriend, who is struggling with severe depression and too paralyzed to do anything about it. I like him so much I feel like he’s one of ours, and I’m heartbroken that he’s in that place where all he can see is the negative and the self-loathing. Your words today reminded me of where he’s at now and where he could get if he can manage to do the work to get out of this dark place. I know it’s a very uphill battle, but the fact that you’re getting there gives me hope. XX

    • April says:

      urg…I don’t know how I did it, but I didn’t mean to. The comment thing has been corrected.

      I suppose, like an alcoholic, I had to hit rock bottom. I keep trying to pinpoint why I decided to fight and not give in like one too many do. I think all I needed to know is that I wasn’t in it alone. I didn’t need someone to necessarily understand, but to know I had someone to turn to, who would simply listen and I knew they had my back.

      It’s such a vicious cycle. The more we hate ourselves, the more depressed we become. The more depressed, the more self-loathing…and on and on. I don’t know if it was the therapy, or the medications which helped me think straight, but I had to recognize that I had to help myself. My therapist kept making me prove the false facts I believed about myself and to focus on my accomplishments. I could never come up with any proof to back up the way I felt about myself, and before long, I recognized how silly the negativity was. When I start to head down the road of negativity, I hear my therapist’s voice. If there is no proof, then what makes me think it is the truth?

      Maybe the boyfriend needs to hear the words that someone has his back, that he isn’t alone. Some (like my husband) believe that words aren’t necessary–we should already know that–but it can be important to verbally hear the support.

      I hope he finds a way to pull himself up to at least seek professional help. Depression doesn’t have a DIY fix-it plan–which I know you are aware of.

      Hang in there. πŸ™‚

      • aviets says:

        Thank you. The weird thing is that he has a good relationship with his parents and his dad is actually a therapist. Or maybe that’s part of what makes it harder for him…you’re right about him hearing the words and recognizing that he has support. The fact that our daughter recently went through serious depression and came out of it beautifully (with ongoing therapy and medication) helps in that she’s living proof that you can recover – and she’s not shy about talking about it with him.

  8. Cathy Bohlae says:

    Yeah April…so happy for you I don’t have many words!!!! As you know there will always be the sad events we have no control over. I just get mad and realize that I have no control…Not a long mad just angry at the lack of compassion some have…..and then go about my bad self.
    Again so happy you have found “your place”!!!!

    • April says:

      Cathy, I think I am always prepared for the regular ups and downs of life. I think what happened was that I have been insecure for my entire life and tried hard to hide it. That’s exhausting. When bad, life changing events kept happening one right after the other, I never had a chance to recover before the next wave came. I know I’m pretty strong, but I hit a breaking point.

  9. mewhoami says:

    Smiling at others is contagious, and even if it takes work to do, it helps to improve our mood as well. Happy actions bring happy thoughts. πŸ™‚

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