I don’t know what possessed me exactly, but I was going through some very old emails, and I found this:
Date: October 15, 2014 at 7:25:09 AM EDT
To: xxx1234 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I dream about you a lot. My dreams are very vivid. Last night I dreamed you killed yourself.
So now it’s Wednesday. I made it to mid week.
Here is something I wrote yesterday:
What it feels like to be invisible:
I started back at work, after ten long years. The training is long, and most of it seems to go over my head. Sometimes I find myself tuning out. I don’t care that much, it’s only a job. A paycheck. I’ll never be one of those people who lives to work. Work, to me, is more of an unfortunate necessity.
The hardest thing I find about work is once work ends. I go home to a place where nobody really cares about my day. There’s nobody to rush home to and tell them about where I was and what I did in the last eight hours. I am pretty much alone. I am invisible.
The first thing I do when I finish work is remove the fake smile I wear in order to look “normal.” Once I get home I change out of my work clothes. I’m usually crying when I do this. I put on my old and ugly gym clothes (because they are comfy), discard my daily contact lenses, and I sit out on my mother’s porch trying to catch the remnants of the Florida heat before the sun goes down. I do this in clothes that are unseasonably warm. Nobody sits in layers of clothes when it’s this hot. Well, nobody except me. I like that almost oppressive feeling, the heat plus the heaviness of my clothes. It is the closest I come near to hug. It is the closest I get to the “I love you” that I wish I could hear.
I am merely going through the motions. I don’t know how to exist without love. On a good day, I might be able to cheer myself up with some comforting words, a conversation with an old friend, or maybe something fun in my email; but for the most part, this is how I live.
That was so hard for me to read. At the time, I just started my first job in America, and I wasn’t coping well. My divorce process was in full steam. I think I was severely depressed — but I had weaned myself off my medication by this point. I didn’t have a choice. I couldn’t afford to see a doctor.
This morning, when I came across this email, I was transported back to my 2014 mindset, a mindset that doesn’t (and never did) serve me. The floodgates opened. I’m sure you’ve been here too my lovelies, when you past comes to bite you in the ass just a little too hard?
Let me tell you how to fight back. First recognize that this is the past. It’s not your present, and it will only be your future if you give it power. Remember who the fuck you are. You are that badass bitch who kicked that shit to the curb. Don’t look back. If you have looked back, and it does and will happen on occasion, look at all that you’ve accomplished since then. That pain, those tears, don’t let it be for nothing. Don’t let those bad memories lead to more bad. Tears exist to wash away the hurt, but at some point you must remember to turn off the faucet or you will drown. Although tears have their purpose, and sadness needs to be felt so that you can move on, there is also a time for stepping back into your power. Trust me, it IS there.
In an effort to banish the sadness I felt, I asked myself: okay, that’s old news, what have I done for me lately 😜? Here are some things I came up with.
- In two years I have doubled my salary.
- I’ve had, and continue to have, some excellent adventures, and I’ve made new friends to share them with.
- I can handle loss a lot better. I am no longer desperate to hold on to people who don’t recognize my value. I am enough. I have enough.
- I have learned the art of self care. I am able to stop myself when I feel myself heading towards a downward spiral (not always, but most of the time). Now I spend more time happy than sad.
- I am so many steps closer to becoming the woman I’m supposed to be.
I urge you to try this out too next time you are feeling a bit low. Let’s not give our bad moments too much power over us. What have you accomplished since D-day? Or if you haven’t experienced one, how far have you come in two years? I bet it’s a lot more than you realize, we just have a nasty habit of focusing on the negative. Let’s change that.