A few of you noticed yesterday evening that I had changed the theme of my blog. I didn’t intend to permanently change it to that look, it was just the last one I was messing with before I left work for the day. A couple of my Fat Followers commented that they liked it but maybe they were just being nice.
I wanted something new for the new year. I don’t know how to design things. I’d like a theme like the Facebook banner. I could put one of my photos in, probably of the beach, add the title and my blogroll, which will be updated today. And Voyla! there’s a blog. Any ideas?
I also appreciated the comments I received on my personality and how the theme conveyed that with the springiness and sunshine. That’s really nice and I’m glad that that is how I come across. I am really happy in my life and do my best to help those in my life be happy.
That being said, I don’t want anyone to think that I am Pollyanna. I have had dark days, dark years which I’m sure is what makes me appreciate how really wonderful my life is today.
For most of my life, I was a defensive and insecure person. I hid behind good grades and a strong wall that “protected” me from being vulnerable. I acted pulled together (some would say bitchy) and self-deprecating. In reality, I didn’t think I was capable of much and was riddled with anxiety. But I was funny.
It didn’t help in 1992, when my fiancé disappeared seven weeks before our wedding only to be found 19 years later (a year ago). I had some dark years in my marriage but also very good ones. I’m not going into that here, only it wasn’t meant to be.
My father died in October, 2005. I have sensory memories from the year before he died…sights, sounds, smells that I wish I had never experienced, but I never would have missed. My father’s death was one of the most miraculous experiences of my life. A couple of days before he died, I was at the house with my mom and he was in a hospital bed in the family room. Not hooked up to any machines but failing. I believe it was a Wednesday. He was in and out of consciousness and talking to his sister, Anita, who died in the 70s. I sat with him and talked to him. At one point he smiled and said something like, “Good girl, Murph.” Dad? Are you talking to Murphy? “Yes, she’s right there.” And I’m looking around for a photo of our German Shepherd Murphy, who died in 1984. No photo and he was pointing to where she was but I couldn’t see her.
That day my mom and I sat for hours with my dad who was truly in the throes of death. He was squeezing our hands so tight and telling us how beautiful we were and how he had to go. I have never cried like that, fountains, waterfalls of tears poured out of me and my mom. And then he would just lie back and be out. I let go of his hand at one point to throw my snot and tear-drenched tissue in the fireplace and he looked at me and said, “are you crying?!” And I said yes and he told me to knock it off. Now that was my dad!
It went on for hours and at the end he was still alive! I looked at my mom, are you kidding me?? And then I said, “he’s only mostly dead!” He finally died a few days later but it was amazing. No machines, no nothing.
I didn’t cry at the funeral. I just didn’t cry. Why cry? He was 81 and had congestive heart failure. I didn’t want him living like that. Might as well get on with it. Get through the holidays, have Thanksgiving and Christmas. Move on.
In January 2006, I started crying. I didn’t mean to but I couldn’t help it. I cried about everything. I cried at the thought of leaving the house. It would take me hours of crying and planning to go do errands. The girls were 5 and 7 and I would get up in the morning and get them ready for school. I would tell myself all I had to do was drive them to school and then I could come right back home. And I would get in bed and not move for hours.
At one point, in a ten-day period, I drank so much that I threw up 7 out of those 10 days. There appeared to be some sort of problem.
I made an appointment with my doctor. I went in crying and with my hand out, give me something to make this stop. Thank you Lexapro. And I found a therapist and I started working. My mom would take the girls on my therapy days because I would be so worn out and my head would hurt so badly from crying that I would need to rest after my hour of therapy. And I was very lucky that I had my mom and Mitch (my ex-husband) to care for me and the girls.
I’m writing all this because I’m here on the other side. And the other side is really good. I learned that my soul and ego need tending to. That instead of deflecting compliments, I need to take them in and let them water my roots so that I continue to grow into a healthy, happy person. I learned that time really does heal. I learned it’s okay to be vulnerable and to be hurt.
In the end, I really like me and I enjoy being me. I hope that I give good advice and set a good example for my daughters and am able to help out my family and friends with my experience. Wisdom is hard won.
So do I keep the sunshine? or does someone know how I can just put a favorite picture of mine in the masthead and call it good?