Here are just a few of the issues that I have been dealing with in the last few years:
- The death of my best friend
- A boyfriend in Iraq and then Afghanistan
- Wartime PTSD
- Child Trauma related PTSD
- The death of my boyfriend’s mother
- A DWI
- Converting to Catholicism
- A wedding
- The death of my husband’s father and grandmother
- The death of my husband’s best friend
- The fallout from grief and PTSD
- Mental illnesses (those of others as well as mine)
- People’s addictions
- House in foreclosure
- The death of my uncle
I have written out most of those before in other blog posts, but I figured I would write a refresher list in case regular readers forgot and so new readers wouldn’t have to go dig for it to get my point. We have had a lot of shit happen to us. And that is a small list. I have kept a lot of the things that have happened private, because there is more.
Something that I didn’t really realize is that my friendships started to fall by the wayside because of the constant crisis mode going on around here. I have stayed at home most of the time, I have stopped fixing my hair, I stopped wearing real clothes except to Mass, I stopped going to Mass at one point (both out of anger at God and also because I didn’t have anything that fit anymore) and I gained 70 pounds. That weight gain made me not want to ever leave my house for many reasons and most of them were based on vanity. I began to hate myself and decline invites to things. I didn’t even notice when the invites stopped coming.
I spent a lot of this time online too. I was arguing with strangers all over the interwebs about all kinds of things. I am so thankful to be able to write on this blog and to have been asked to be a part of so many great projects and write for other Catholic websites, but in the middle of all that work there was me avoiding people in real life.It’s very hard to plan things when life is crazy. Like when people are having meltdowns, getting arrested, dying and when oreos and milk in bed seems like a great way to spend a Friday night when getting dressed to go out feels like torture.
I was also sucked up in trying to fix all the things. Hello codependency! That takes a lot of energy and it causes so much pain in and of itself because there is no way of fixing anyone but myself. The frustration that came from people not doing what I say to do in order for me to “feel safe” took a life of its own. I became rude, snarky, angry and bitter. Most of all, all these things made me very self-centered. I didn’t see much else going on except what was wrong in my life with my family and my life. Me. Me.Me.
I haven’t been living life, really living it. I am not a person who goes to bed at 7pm on a Friday night with a package of oreos watching River Monsters. Not that there is anything wrong with that for people who get their life doing that, but I don’t. I hate it. It makes me depressed. I like to laugh. I like to dance. I like to be out with friends doing ridiculous things that we can’t post on social media. I love putting on make-up and fixing my hair to go out with my husband in his wranglers and stetson. There is no place that feels like home quite like a dive bar that smells like cigarettes and pee. I have said before that before. The difference this time is that my uncle’s death has made one thing so clear to me: life is a gift. And it’s short. There really isn’t time to waste being bitter.
I have let friendships die. It will not be easy to get back to life, but I plan on doing that. I am so lucky for those friends who are still around for me to invite to places and text in emojis. Most of all, I am so lucky to have my husband, who is my best friend. I said that I hated that term, but the truth is I am so glad that I was wrong about that. He is my favorite person to laugh with.
I am not writing any of this to get anyone’s pity. I have thrown a massive pity party for myself for a really long time now, but I just want anyone who feels like crap about life to know that if you do one thing when you are in crisis, go out with your friends when they invite you out! Do not stop living your life. You probably can’t do everything, but at least once a week go out with someone who makes you laugh and have fun. Don’t forget who you are and don’t let your friendships die.