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Posts tagged ‘struggle’

Noisy

People who think living in the country is quiet have never lived through an Oklahoma summer in the country. On top of the crickets, frogs, coyotes, and birds, this year we also have an abundance of cicadas.

I was sitting on the front steps tonight thinking maybe the noise would drown out the noise in my head, but it only seemed to make my head louder.

As you know, moving here was/is supposed to be my fresh start. I’m not even sure still what that means for me. What I do know is I’m sad. I’m more alone than ever even living with someone on the other end of this house.

I should be enjoying this time in my life with the person I’ll retire with. Somehow I fall for women who expect me to always be available to them, make changes to accommodate their lives, give up parts of me to fit into their worlds, and take all the risks.

What I really want to know is who is going to do that for me? More importantly; what’s wrong with me exactly as I am? I’m not hideous. I’m kind of cute even to my prejudiced eye. I’m loving. I’m giving. I’m romantic. I’m unique. I have a style that is all my own. I have a great sense of humor. I’m pretty smart. I have a decent job now, which is pretty new. I’m a little broken and bruised, but still functional. I’m affectionate. I’m passionate in the bedroom as well as in life. I stand behind my beliefs 100% until I learn differently. I love learning. I love art. I love stories about survival through the worst of times. I’m empathetic. I get excited about books, music, movies, plays, museums, and new experiences even if they sometimes scare me.

I may not be wealthy or have the right credit score or a fancy degree on my wall, but life has taught me a lot and I place value on people and relationships more than money.

Where is the person who loves all of the mess and beauty that is me? Why am I the only one who can look past what divides us to see what can unite us?

Where is my partner to sit on the steps and hear the noise of an Oklahoma summer night and make it feel like peace? Where is my quiet, soft place to land at the end of the day?

To Write Love On Her Arms

I just finished a movie called To Write Love on Her Arms and I have to tell you it touched me more than almost any movie I can remember.

Let me start by saying I do not struggle with drug or alcohol addiction. I am not bi-polar. I am not a cutter. I am not suicidal.

I am also not religious and for me this was not a story about any god or religion.

What I am is a person who battles depression and anxiety. I am a person who has struggled in life, at times, to find a reason for waking up another day. I am a person who has felt lost within herself. I am a person who believes in hope. I am a person who KNOWS beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I NEED other people in my life for me to be okay. No matter what anyone believes about themselves, we all do.

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To Write Love On Her Arms is the true story of a young lady named Renee Yohe. It all started with a blog post by her friend Jamie who, after meeting her and helping her detox, found her story to be encouraging. He wasn’t encouraged because she had already triumphed, but because she was damaged yet still not broken. She was beyond help in the eyes of most of the world but surrounded by a small group of people who loved her enough to help her put her life back together; even if they had to keep gluing the shards of her hope over and over again.

Sometimes that’s all you need in life; that person or those persons who stick. The ones who see your scars, visible or not, self-inflicted or not, and don’t flinch. The ones who love you when you feel unlovable. The ones who hope for you when you feel hopeless. The ones who see you plain as day when you feel completely lost. Everyone needs those people. EVERYONE.

There have been days when the war being waged in me felt like it could rip me to shreds. I can only thank my own fear of being controlled, by persons or substances, that I didn’t use drugs and alcohol to escape to some place away from myself.

Renee’s story reminded me just how much I depend on my people. My best friend, my internet friends, and my chosen family are all intricate stitches in the fabric of my being. When my edges are frayed I just turn to any one of them and their kindness and love and acceptance weaves the hope back in until I’m whole again. For me; that love and that hope are my religion, my higher power. I turn to these things like a flower turns it’s face to the sun.

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Some might look upon this young woman’s face and wonder how could a young life be so bad or so difficult that addiction and pain feel better than merely existing. But I get it. Sometimes just waking up to exist another day is the monster beneath the bed, the unknown thing you fear the most. Perhaps it’s true that “it’s never as bad as you imagine it will be,” but then again maybe that’s the lie we tell ourselves to get out of the bed and step foot in front of the beast waiting to devour us. Until it’s your bed, your feet, your monster, you don’t know for sure.

For many of us the thing that gets us past the monster, the fear, is the person or persons waiting outside the door for us. Our children, our spouses, our families, and our true friends give us the courage to hope that our exposed limb won’t be snatched. Not today at least. Trying to find that courage when there’s no one waiting on the other side of your fear, whose mere existence in your life is the reward for getting there, is damn near impossible.

https://twloha.com was founded by Jamie after the overwhelming response to Renee’s story showed him just how many people were in desperate need of someone in their corner. Because honestly the only thing worse than hating yourself, hurting yourself, being afraid, and suffering from mental illness of any kind is doing it all alone. There’s enough people on this big ball we all live on that no one should have to do it all alone.

My hope is that even just one of you will read or watch Renee’s story, now that I’ve told you about it, and you will think of someone who needs to know they aren’t alone in life, and you will SHOW them you are there for them; you will find time in your busy life to help someone hold their pieces together.

And if you are a person who needs to connect to someone who sees you through your own fog; who needs someone to hand you the hope and love you can’t quite grasp on your own; who needs someone to hold the pieces in place as you glue them back together for maybe the hundredth time; who needs a reason to face the monsters that lurk around the corners and behind your eyes…I beg of you…reach out.

I promise you that someone doesn’t have to have walked in your shoes to be exactly who you need. They only need to be let inside your walls. No one can be your person if you don’t allow them to be. Surround yourself with people who want to be there for you and then let them.

Have hope. Be brave. As Renee said, “The stars are always there but we miss them in the dirt and clouds. We miss them in the storms. Tell them to remember hope. We have hope.”

See the blog post that started the To Write Love On Her Arms movement here: https://twloha.com/learn/story/

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