A black hole

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WARNING – DEPRESSIVE CONTENT, EMOTIONAL TRIGGER

I am completely overwhelmed.

I am in a very dark head space. That is why I have not been writing. I don’t want to share how I feel because admitting to it means admitting I’m losing the battle with my depression.

I have better days. I didn’t write a to-do list this past week but Monday through Wednesday I worked hard to spend time doing the things I want to be doing. Reading with my daughter. Playing with my son. Turning off the computer more. Just trying to focus on the little things.

It’s hard to keep it up….every day….when I just feel utterly miserable inside… all the time….

Most days I barely drag myself out of bed. Just the act of waking up reminds me of my pain, and all I want is to cry, yet I can’t even find relief in tears. I push them down and force myself to get out of bed and do the bare necessities of what needs doing. Get my daughter on the bus in the morning with a lunch. Do laundry so my family has clean clothes to wear. Get myself dressed.

Most days I don’t even manage getting dressed. I live in pajamas and yoga pants, and on more occasions than I’d care to actually admit to, I have worn the same clothes for nearly 36 hours straight.

As a human being I feel like a complete and utter failure.

I feel beaten up. My bruises invisible to the world so there are few words of comfort or understanding. Mostly a lot of messages of “just deal with it” and “why can’t you manage this?”, even if they aren’t said in so many words and many come disguised as words of encouragement.

I took a college course in the spring of 2013 on communication. I loved it. One of the exercises the teacher had us do was draw a picture of an object that represented how we felt.

I drew a black hole.

I drew a blackBlack hole hole because it felt like my whole life was being sucked into one and no matter how hard I fought against it, everything, including myself, was being pulled in. It was dark and angry and destructive.

Then the teacher asked us to take that same image and change it, turn it into a positive image. At the time I couldn’t do it. I just stared at the page and swirled my black pen around and around, making the black hole bigger and darker. I didn’t see anything positive in that black hole or its existence in my life.

But what if there is….

In science fiction there is a theory that a black hole is a gateway between worlds or galaxies, that while its immense gravity pulls everything into it and initially destroys it, something different is reconstructed from the pieces on the other side. Sometimes better, sometimes worse. Either way it’s a one way trip, you are changed forever.

Surrendering to the pull of the black hole is overwhelming and my first instinct is to fight against it with all my might, holding to the familiar, holding to the comforting lull of even the most destructive habits because it’s all I know, and while it hurts, it’s pain I’m familiar with.

The act of being deconstructed is violent and painful. My whole life must flex and break, shattering everything that was so that there is room for the new, and it requires a level of trust in the universe that I will admit I don’t currently possess. A trust that the universe has a better plan for me.

Does it?

I have seen glimpses of a better world for myself. I’m afraid to reach out and take it. I’m afraid to let go of the doubt, the self-loathing, the destructive voices in my head that convince me I’m not good enough, not good enough to be a doula or birth instructor, that I’m not good enough to be a mom or wife, that I’m not good enough to even be me. Failure becomes my only option because it’s the only thing I’ve convinced myself I’m good at, and the voices constantly remind me of my short-comings.  I’m just not good enough…

But what if I am?

What if accepting that I, as I am right now, am good enough, and letting go of all the burdens of angst and anger that weigh me down is the first step of surrendering to the pull of the black hole and allowing the process of deconstruction to happen, so that I can find out what I’m truly capable of?

I just have to be willing to surrender to it.

To take the risk.

To believe I can survive being pulled apart at the very essence of my soul and then be put back together again.

I really, really, really want to but I’m completely and utterly terrified…. What if the result of this cosmic deconstruction means the end of my family as I know it? What if I end up losing some really important stuff a long the way? What if, what if, what if…. There are so many what ifs…

Thus I remain trapped between what is and what could be, frozen by my fear, imprisoned by my loneliness, ensnared by my pain and betrayed by my anger. I just find myself wondering how much worse things can get before the power of the black hole sucks me in and forces the changes on me, willingly or unwillingly?

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So what now?

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There is so much I want to write about but right now my brain has been high-jacked by the latest craziness in my life.  My car isn’t going to be fixed.  I will never drive her again.  I am grieving more than the physical loss of her, but what driving has meant for me in general.

Yes, I am getting a good pay out, but the question is do we just take a break for a while from being a two car family and save some money, pay off some debts?  Or do I go out and get another car right away?

I’m undecided.

Driving is everything for me.  It is a key to a level of freedom that otherwise is not attainable.  Yes, I have access to buses.  Yes, I live within walking distance of all major grocery stores and banks.  Yes, my parents’ live a 20/30 minute walk from my house, and my mom is willing to loan me her car if I need it occasionally.  Right now I’m not working so many weeks go by that the car doesn’t move much.  But having my own car allows me to set my own schedule, to go places that busing is inconvenient, like Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo.  It allows me to go up to the airport and sit and watch planes with my youngest son.  It means I can go for a big grocery run all by myself or with just my youngest son and not be constrained by the size of the wagon or stroller as far as how much I can buy and carry.  It means being able to leave at a moment’s notice if someone calls me, or needs me, like my kids at school.  The small housecleaning job I have on the side is made easier by having a car.  I can even meet my husband for lunch once and awhile.

That level of freedom comes with a price.  Not having a car could save us around $400/mth.  That could go a long way to paying bills and catching up our debt load.  Maybe giving up that freedom for six months or so is worth it to regain our financial stability again, and with some luck maybe even move to a more accommodating home.  I will stay on as a secondary driver on the van so I will not lose all my status as a driver, and I will be able to have access to the van in the evening and weekends, but it will leave my husband without a vehicle when I do take it.

Driving, or the ability to get away and do things without having to rely on others for help, is a huge anti-depressant for me.  Even if I don’t use the car to go anywhere, I know it’s there, the option is there.  Plus I just renewed our membership to Ray’s Reptiles and just picked up the membership to three of the big Museums here in Ottawa.  I had my youngest out to the Aviation Museum a week or so ago and he loved it.  He keeps asking to go back.  Without a car, it’s a much bigger endeavour.  Busing to the Aviation Museum is a little more complicated, and often my son is exhausted by the time we leave and is asleep in the car within minutes.  A car makes everything easier.

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So what now? I have a difficult decision to make.  To give up my freedom to make my own decisions, and go where I want to go when I want to go and not have to depend on others for getting me places?  It might free up some financial resources for us to be able to move and at that point perhaps it’ll be easier to afford another car for me.  I may also be further along in my studies and be on the point of being able to earn some money from my education, perhaps even ready to start my business.  I will need a car for my business.  So if I can look at this as a temporary suspension of my driving freedoms, perhaps I can make my way through this time and out the other side where a car will be waiting for me.

Or do I get another car right away?  A part of me feels that’s a selfish choice to make.  It’s what I need, not what this family needs right now.  And I’m a mom, so making a selfish decision is against every principle of my being!  But I have to honour my selfish need to drive, my selfish need to not be at the whim and mercy of other people’s schedules and let myself sit with it so I can release it to make room for acceptance of what is best right now, and in my heart I know what’s best.

I will have a car again, I just have to be patient. Patience isn’t always my strong point, but this will be another chance to work on it!