No. The answer is no.

I’m angry right now.

Very.

I am going to apologize because this is purely like my way of documenting just how fucked up narcolepsy can be. Because I’m pissed at both those motherfuckers. Joe AND this goddamn stupid disease that fucks with your brain, AND your confidence and your self-worth and your… well, everything.

I’m not perfect.  I’m not always the strongest creature.  I make STUPID ass decisions sometimes and I am straight up an ornery ugly troll sometimes.  But… those troll moments are few and far between.  Most of the time, I am kind.  MOST of the time, my heart shares sunshine wherever possible.  Most of the time, I can handle this shit.

Lately, Joe has been tripping over himself in some sort of misguided babyish whining oh-poor-me act.  He has taken on a few extra shifts at work (which means he now works forty-EIGHT hours instead of 36.  Annnnd he is taking an extra class, which means he has two college classes on his plate when he’s trying to work this ohhh-sooo-terrible schedule.  He’s doing all of this because “I” am a deceiptful, nasty wife who didn’t explain to him just exactly how much money we did not have, and still continued to pay the bills.  Let me translate this for you:  I tell him repeatedly that I need his paychecks to be X.  He repeatedly adds more and more to his 401k.  I say again – DUDE, WE NEED MORE MONEY COMING into THE HOUSE.  NOT MORE INTO YOUR 401K.  HERE.  Here.  We Need More Income Here.

But he doesn’t listen, and so I keep moving forward like we always do, and he keeps doing the same, and now we’ve managed to come up with a few thousand dollars of debt.  Joe is going to fucking stroke out about it he’s so insanely mad.  He’s furious at me about it.  He’s furious about my “lying” and my inability to really be very sorry about it.

I’m not very sorry.  Honestly.  I’m not, because I don’t know how many ways I could have explained it to him differently over the years that WE HAVE KIDS AND A HOUSE AND FOR FUCK SAKE, YOU DO NOT NEED TO PUT 12% OF YOUR INCOME INTO YOUR 401K.

So, we’ve pretty much been fighting about this for weeks.  He keeps saying to me that he “wants the old me” back.  That “the old me” had more drive, more determination to get things done, more ENERGY and URGENCY to do stuff.  Clean out closets, go train for a 5k, occasionally scrub walls, etc.  He says now I just don’t really share much urgency – like “yeah, it’s ok”, “maybe this weekend”, “if I get a chance to, I will”.  I listen to him and I’m thinking .. well, yeah.  I mean, I guess that really IS how I feel.

I spent a few years running like a madwoman.  More than a few years, really.  More like, OUR WHOLE LIFE.  Then, when I broke (because there’s no other word for it really)… and made it out the other side… I realized that all of that shit doesn’t actually matter.  I DO NOT CARE if the towels are not perfectly organized.  Maybe some time, if I’m super bored, I’ll do that.  But if I worked a fifty hour week, sorry babe – it’s just not going to happen. I don’t WANT it to happen.  I WILL SLEEP.  AND I WILL COLOR (my new addiction is adult coloring books).  But I WILL NOT BREAK Again.  Ever.  EVER.  The price paid by myself and all those who love me was more than anyone should ever pay for peace.

So after yet another fight, I had gone to bed.  I decided to get out my Doreen Virtue angel-tarot cards.  It was really beautiful, because for past, I got:

“You Are Safe”

For present, I got:

“Remember Who You Are”

And finally, for future, I got:

“Spiritual Understanding”

Joe texted back: “I’m frustrated”.

Me:   “I know.  But your frustration is at the past.  Your current is being sacrificed because you’re struggling to let go of the shitty last few years.  Just set it down.  Allow yourself to forgive … it would free up so much space and energy.”

Joe:    “Because of the shitty past few years, I need a partner that reinvents herself with me and makes a good future.”

I honestly didn’t even have to think about that one.  My immediate and solid, with no question or doubt, response is No.

I will NEVER change myself for Joe, or anyone else.  I will never forget that he ASKED me to.

I sent him the prettiest picture I could find of myself, and included the caption “I hope you never forget the day that you asked me to change myself.  For you.”

Never.  The answer is no.  Just no.

 

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Narcolepsy makes me stupid

I’m serious about this.  So I have been in the midst of this AMMMAAAAAZING project at work, and we have hit the critical month and even-more critical hour and I have learned two things.  Two very big things.

1.  Even though those fuckers at my old job managed to suck the last drop of self-confidence out of me, even though narcolepsy caused me to not only lose my faith in my abilities but also sent me spiraling madly down the ugly hole of depresssion, EVEN THOUGH.  Even though, I can be a badass businesswoman when I want to be.

2.  There is a limit to the badass businesswoman.  It’s a little like Cinderella at the ball. And Adderall is usually the Fairy Godmother. I can fucking ROCK IT at work.  I can show up for the tv filming at 5:45 am, run through 3 buildings in heels because there was an emergency code, go knock out all the other key parts to my job, turn around and become a greeter of millionaires touring this amazing thing that I have helped create, and , for the most part, I can rock it.  I only say “mostly” because I was the super classy one who had her zipper open as she shook hands with the CEO of the partner in financing the development.  Nice.  But anyway -I, ME!!, this partially-single mom of three – can do that from sun up to sun down. But by the time 6 pm Friday rolls around, the beautiful white chariot turns back to a pumpkin, my suit, heels and hose have been peeled away leaving me braless in a ratty t-shirt and yoga pants and barely speaking in full sentences.

I’m not kidding about this.  It’s like a giant portion of my brain just deflated and left me thinking in “chunky thoughts”.  I’ll be actively listening and hearing my friends start to talk about something and I’ll go to chime in – get like three words in (so now everyone is looking at me) and I suddenly completely cannot grab the word.  It was there, just a blink of the eye ago, and now it’s just gone.  And it’s so gone I can’t even try to explain it.  Or if I do try, the words come out … still chunky… but being explained in such an obtuse way that sometimes I want to give up mid sentence.  Like… “well…shit, Joe.. Never mind, I guess.”

A perfect example – I was at a graduation party and was sitting next to an old friend’s new wife. She was telling a story about her dog and I said “Is he a …” and it was just GONE.  Two milliseconds before I could picture the dog (my brother in law’s old dog) and knew the breed.  But I’m standing there frozen trying to remember the rest of my sentence… the name of that THING… I know it… it’s a …. “Saint Bernard,” she says.  Instantly, my brain goes POOF and now I know it’s not a Saint Bernard I was thinking of… but it was “one of those dogs that are like a horse … they have really long tails…” “Oh, a great Dane?” she fills in for me.  And yes, that’s what I was thinking of.  But why I was even still trying to come up with it, given that she’d already said he was a Saint Bernard, I don’t really know.  Its like I forlike yself to keep talking until I figure it out but I STILL don’t have it… Yuck.  Just ugly moments like that.  

I feel like it makes me come across like a moron. I’m NOT, I am in fact a very intelligent and competent woman. But there are moments my narcoleptic brain turns me into an idiot. I wish there’s was a magic way to know my limit… Like if I work more then “X” hours my brain is liable to turn into tapioca pudding. For God’s sake, woman, DON’T OPEN YOUR MOUTH. Just sit down and shut up.

Until Monday. 🙂

Seeing the sky for the first time

holeinground

Recently, I have been having a few eye opening moments. And when they happen, the realization of them, and my corresponding emotions, are nearly indescribable.  But I’m going to try.  The point to this whole blog was that I felt like there was no one out there like me – I seem to be a conundrum of ridiculous diagnoses, that while they may be ridiculous, they are nonetheless there, and shittily, pathetically, real.

Carmen and I have been very not-ok for a long time.  She was mad at me, or I was mad at her, or we just simply grew tired of fighting.  So it seems like we made a forced effort and trying to hang out and keep our semblance of a family unit whole, when really – it wasn’t anymore.  E and J don’t have much in common anymore, Drago and Joe were fine but Joe was very paranoid about Drago.  I thought he was just being paraoid and ugly.  I wished he would just shut up and stop saying that about Drago, because the idea of losing Drago too was just A LOT. And then there was Carmen.Carmen was just .. ugh.  She was hard as steel and cool as ice and then would explode, turning into something angry and frustrated and jealous.  Then she’d flip again and be just kind of distant – sweet and interested in texts back and forth, and then in real life, hard to engage and talk with.

So the shift is that suddenly, I changed.  I cannot explain exactly what it is that changed.  I wish I could.  I think it probably has something to do with my sister slapping the shit out of me (verbally) in January.  Or something to do with the fact that I finally was given something that I, and only I, was responsible for changing that would have a positive outcome.  Or maybe it’s that we finally got this ridiculous 40th birthday party, that no one really wanted to do, out of the way. Whatever it is, it’s FUCKING AMAZING.

We have gone out, or hung out, a few times since Jamaica.  Every time, it’s been a little more and a little more better.  And then the other night, Carmen came over and brought another woman to hang out with as well, and it was like someone just pulled a cover off of the lights.  Suddenly I could see her – the real Carmen – her funny, strong, sarcastic, LOVING self, sitting next to me, talking and telling her stories.  And suddenly I also realized that I was here too…  that is, I laughed so hard I could feel my actual (non-existent) abs.  I could feel where there would be a six pack if that were possible.   I could feel MYSELF shining through.  And I thought HOLY SHIT, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL THIS TIME??? Like for a moment I realized how pathetic my younger self would have viewed future me.  And I also realized that suddenly, I had hope  again.  Like, this felt like an actual LIFE – with energy and stars and sparkle and love… and I realized that I think quite possibly, I have been dead for a while.

I don’t know how else to describe it.  I remember my sister staring at me, holding my hand, pleading me with her eyes “Where is your strength?” she begged of me.  “Where is your inner Grandma Barb?  Find her.”  Find her.  I remember saying  in response… “I don’t know.”  And I DIDN’T KNOW.  I still don’t know!  I don’t know where the hell I’ve been for the last two years but MY GOD was it a low and dark, bramble-covered, ugly black hell with no way in and  no way out, but I had found myself there nonetheless.  I am so much better than this.  But better or no, I was there, and didn’t know I was there, and had zero clue of how to walk through it, let alone get out.

Back to the evening with Carmen, I suddenly realized two things.  One was that I had been THERE, dead and barely functioning and remote, and then suddenly I was dragging myself up and out of the edge of a well I hadn’t even known existed.  I literally could draw you a picture of the image this brings to mind.  It’s like I pulled myself out, wet, muddy, smelling of stinky groundwater, fell over the edge finally and was gasping at the beautiful sunshiny sky, deeply breathing of the clean air, and realizing how soft the ground around me was.  And I looked up to find the three of them there, still.  Exactly as I left them.  Joe – strong, combative and grinning that this hellish journey has finally turned a corner, Carmen laughing with an I-told-you-so grin and the other two.  And Drago, smart and calculating and eyeballing me with a fairly pissed off expression.

What I’m trying to say  is that I have finally realized that I tripped and fell… and fell FUCKING HARD.. .into an ugly dank dark well of misery and pain and sadness.  You cannot imagine this hell of depression unless it ever happens to you. Even if it does, it’s hard to recognize when you’re there because the sky and the sun simply cease to exist.  You can barely remember what it was like to feel the sun on your skin, because this place is so dark you lose the entire concept of the sun and sky.

I am finally, finally, finally, making my way back home.  Definitely not the same girl I was before.  Definitely not even kind of all the way back yet, either.  But I realized the most beaufitul thing… Joe and Carmen and Drago are exactly where I left them.  Exactly.  It’s like they saw me fall so pulled up a few chairs to wait.  It’s been TWO FUCKING YEARS.  I don’t know how anyone can wait TWO YEARS.  But they did.  The realization of it nearly brought me to my knees.  That I could have gone SO LOW, that I could have forgotten the most core aspect of WHO I AM, but that furthermore, my people have waited A VERY LONG TIME for me.  That speaks more about our love and friendship than anything else I could dream up to try and express it.  My People.

 

I AM BLESSED.

Memory loss and narcolepsy

One of the real things I hate about narcolepsy is the “stupid brain” I get.  I asked Dr. Stevens about it and she said that unfortunately it’s very common.  Joe thinks it’s just the meds.  It’s not the meds, it’s my brain.

My mom came down to see us a few weeks ago and we went shopping.  While shopping, I started to tell her a story about something that had happened the day before.  She said, “I know – you told me.”  I was like – what?  You’ve only been here three hours!  I seriously have already told you?  Yep.  I had told her, not more than a few hours before, and I TOTALLY did not remember.  At all. How is that possible??

Well, it is. And it happens all the time.  I feel like I have really early onset Alzheimers or something. But no, it’s just one of those stupid side effects of this disease.  I hate it.  It makes me feel unsure, everytime I tell a story… like what if I’ve already told this?  I’m normally a smart, intelligent, confident career woman.  (The career part isn’t by choice, it’s just necessity).  But I’m smart and successful.  This confidence that I’ve lost in my own ability to remember shit Is kind of scary.  But I guess it’s just what it is.

I went on a trip to Jamaica (WOOHOO!) two weeks ago.  My lifelong best friend was there and she pointed it out to me too.  She told me she was going to start keeping track of how many times I did it so I could tell my doctor.  Luckily, I started prefacing everything with “Stop me if I’ve told you this already”.  LOL.  I think I did it about 4 times that week.  Sigh.

Here’s another tip.  If you know that you are going to do something very exciting and fun – like go on a vacation to Jamaica, be prepared with lots of meds AND the fall-out that comes after it.  I actually slept the entire way home.  I’d wake up, of course, at our connection stops.  I’d be ok for awhile and then as soon as we boarded the next flight- OUT.  Part of that too was that I think the cleaning crew for our room stole some of my meds.  I forget, I guess, that thee meds are something some people think are fun.

Not really sure what’s fun about them.  Like at all.  What makes Adderall fun? Maybe people whose brains function normally get some sort of high off them?  I take them and it means that I can stay awake through my day and not feel that heavy, drained, sluggishly sick feeling take over.  It means I feel NORMAL, and like a human, for the day.

Anyway, I think the cleaning crew stole some.  I had packed enough to take the fully prescribed dose (I normally only take about 1/3 of what I’m actually prescribed) because I was nervous if I took more that when we landed the immigration people would think I was trying to smuggle in meds or something.  But about two days in, I discovered that like 1/2 of my meds were gone.  It was a five day trip, and I had enough left for 2 days.  By the time we got to the last day, I was completely out.  Another friend with us, who has ADHD, gave me 5 mg of whatever he takes, but it wasn’t nearly enough. So, I’m sure I was a  ball of fun on the way home for my group.  Somebody wake up Krissy – time to change planes.  🙂

On the bright side, I had a blast in Jamaica.  We snorkeled and snorkeled and snorkeled…. if you ever go to Ocho Rios, and you’re looking for a mid-level resort, I’d highly recommend the RIU in Ocho Rios.  The food sucks, the beds are pretty firm, but it’s clean and more importantly, has a natural reef JUST beyond the swim ropes.  It’s about 10 ft deep and there are just fish and more fish and plants and anemones and stingrays and crabs… and the most beautiful beach ever.  You don’t have to pay for any snorkel trips, because it’s all right there!  The staff is just ok – I mean you can only handle so many pina coladas and rum drinks, but the ocean and the snorkel reef are just the best.

Do you take Ambien?  One of the things my family is alarmed about is that I take all of these meds to stay awake but then at night… it seems I could stay up forever.  Like FOREVERRRRR.  So I take Ambien to go to bed.  That bothers people.  Like why do I need the stimulants to stay awake if I have to take meds to go to sleep?  I don’t know the answer.  I don’t even take 1/2 of what I’m prescribed, so I don’t know why my brain is capable of being up super late.  My doctor seems to think this is all normal, and she’s one of the best in the country, so it must be just another weird phenomenon in the world of narcolepsy.

One more thing I wanted to mention and then I’ll sign off for a bit.  But I’ve thought a lot about all those poor babies (all children are babies in my book) in Europe who were vaccinated for H1N1 in 2009 who ended up with narcolepsy.  In the US in 1999, they only vaccinated the very old, or the very at-risk people for H1N1.  I was pregnant with my youngest boy that summer and pregnant moms were dying from H1N1.  Even here in Kansas City – I remember reading the papers about some beautiful young mommy who died at North Kansas City Hospital because she got H1N1.  The baby lived, but now that sweet baby doesn’t have a mommy.  But anyway, back to my point.  They would only vaccinate those who were at-risk (pregnant, like me) or medically-fragile due to age.

So I was vaccinated.  They say that those particular lots of vaccine – that were given to the children in Europe, wasn’t what was given here in the U.S.  Maybe that’s true.  But what if they find out years from now that that was really not completely accurate?  What if that’s WHY I got this disease?  I wish I could know for sure.

I recently gained a few followers – welcome — so sorry you are here, my lovies, because I know you’re only here because you too are on this journey.  But I’ll hold your hand and we’ll walk through this together.  Life goes on, narcolepsy or not.  Xoxo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now to the survival part

So now that I’ve managed to get through the initial shock, relief at a diagnosis, thankful for meds, denial of challenges and figuring out who to share or not share with, I feel like I’ve kind of arrived at the next stage.  This is the part where I figure out what the rest of this all looks like.

Pros of where I’m at right now:

  • I have an amazing doctor who has worked to ensure I have the best meds I need.  I can’t remember the last time I took my meds and then NEEDED a nap.  Sometimes on the weekends, I don’t take the meds.  And then I’m tired and sleepy and can take seriously rock-star naps for like four hours.  But these meds have been a game changer for me as far as work goes.  Sometimes I wake in the morning and I just KNOW it’s a bad day.  I can feel it in my muscles, in the slow way I move and walk, in the way my right eye kind of droops a little and my brain is “chunky”.  Joe got home from work the other day and was listing off all the things he wanted me to do: schedule vet visits, call the child psychologist, did I run to the bank yet and could I please throw that pork roast in the crockpot?  I stood staring blankly at him and then he said “Or… if you’re feeling overwhelmed… don’t worry about it, we can just talk about it tonight.”  Yeah, that.  Let’s do that.  Sometimes my brain just gets stuck.
  • I mostly feel like a normal person.  I can run errands, clean up, do dishes, take a bath, love on my babies, pay bills, AND hang out with friends… for awhile anyway… before I hit super-anxiety and shut down.  In the last few weeks we have refinanced our mortgage (YES!!), been shopping for cars for my teenager, redoing our budget, getting started on Christmas shopping and had a few date nights.  I have hit a wall this week and am now in shut-down mode, but really, for awhile there, I was a rockstar.
  • People are starting to get used to me.  That is, Joe is getting used to me. My boys are getting used to my chunky brain and are ok with it.  My family (who I’ve shared with anyway) have pretty much ALL visited me to make sure I really am ok.  (XOXOXOXO – I love my family so much).
  • I made it through a few weeks of therapy and felt very much like I was now done with that horrific depression.  I’ll leave this bullet point at that because there’s more to THAT story.

Cons of where I’m at right now:

  • I feel like I need to “break up” with Carmen.  It’s funny I say break up.  But I think it’s really kind of like that.  Our families have been so integrated, such an individual family unit, that it’s literally like removing a huge piece of what the last ten years have been like.  My children don’t remember what it’s like NOT to have Carmen and Drago in their lives as very present figures.  But I just don’t know if I can continue with her.  She is the one creature who has zero interest in learning about this situation, has zero interest in believing it’s real and requires assistance, and furthermore, has decided that I’m a terrible friend and I’m never there for her anymore.  Now she’s just bitchy and mean a lot of the time.  For a really small example, I was talking about an option for buying a car for my son.  The four of us (Joe, Drago, Carmen and I) were all sitting around the table.  Drago gave his thoughts, Joe said his… I looked over to her and said “So what do you think?”  She barely kept from rolling her eyes and said in a really frustrated tone “Well, either just do it or don’t!  I mean really.  Whatever.”   Hmmm.  So basically, she was saying, just shut the fuck up.  No one cares.    That’s just a tiny example, but I’ve been hearing a lot of that from her lately.  And everytime Joe and I pull up to their house or whatever, I have to take a deep breath and say something like “It’s going to be fine… they’re my FRIENDS… they’re not going to hurt me.”  Joe said “Why do you say that?? Of course they’re not going to hurt you.”  Well, because every single time Carmen throws out a little bitchy stfu comment, it DOES hurt.  She doesn’t feel good in my heart anymore.  I’m angry at her and kind of want to cut that part of my heart out.  Joe also says that everyone is so used to having me be the strong one that maybe it’s just hard for her to see me NOT in a strong place, taking charge of shit.  He’s probably right, because Irine (was that her name? LOL!) the therapist said the same thing about BOTH Joe AND Carmen.  :/  I guess that’s a compliment. Kind of.

I guess that’s the really big con right now.  Just that I feel like I might have to break up with my Carmen, a girl I loved SOOOOO much.  And Drago.  I love him too, genuinely.  Ugh.  I should stop worrying about this, and just let things play out.

Swimming without water

Swimming without water.  That’s kind of what I feel like right now.  I’m swimming and swimming and swimming and at some point, I kind of just need to relax and let the riptide take me.  Because isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?  Let it take you, don’t fight it and THEN it will eventually dump you out beyond the undercurrent and then you can swim along the shoreline until it stops and then come back to the nice, warm, safe beach.

Carmen is my riptide right now.  I’ve always known she was a riptide; always known she is fire to my calm water.  Carmen is an insanely jealous girl.  It’s extreme and it’s crazy but I also kind of secretly loved it.  I loved to be loved by Carmen.

Things began to churn when my friend Marianna and Dean came to town for a weekend to visit last month.  Marianna and Dean have been best friends of mine for almost my entire life.  Marianna and I moved out together when we were 18, had our first apartment together, went away to college together, and have literally been there for each other FOREVER.  Through deaths and miscarriages and broken dreams and no money and tears and illnesses.  Now 400 miles divides us, and has for almost 15 years.  But once or twice a year, we still get together and hold each other and giggle and laugh and drink margaritas and just talk.

So, Marianna and Dean arrived on August 14th.  They do this for one weekend EVERY SINGLE YEAR.  Usually, it’s over the 4th of July.  But this year that weekend didn’t work and so we moved it to a weekend we could finally get all of our schedules to work with, and it just happened to be the weekend of Carmen’s youngest boy’s birthday party.  Carmen was totally annoyed, as I expected.  But what I did NOT expect was for her to have a complete FIT about it.  I have seen Carmen twice since Marianna went back home.

The first night I saw her after the missed birthday party was the night that she made me cry.  The night leading into the day where I cried the entire day uncontrollably and seriously thought perhaps I had just had a mental break.  I cried because she was so furious at me for having Marianna here, and because I sent her snapchats of Marianna and I hanging out having fun, and of Dean and I sharing cocktails at dinner.  “Just DON’T,” she told me.  “Just DON’T!  I don’t want to see that shit! I don’t want to hear about all the fun you’re having with someone else.  Why the fuck would I want to see that?”    I remember being stunned.  And all I could think was “….why?…” .  Like, it doesn’t occur to me that I shouldn’t send her pics.  She should be happy for me.  Happy I’m having fun with Marianna, happy that this couple loves me and came to spend the weekend with me.

Later that same week she came over and apologized.  Kind of.  She told me that she knows she’s jealous, and that she knows it’s mean of her to say such ugly things about Marianna, and that if I love Marianna then “she must be nice”.  She also made me promise that we will not ever make plans with other people on the weekends of our kids’ birthdays.

Then a week later, Draco had a gig (he’s a drummer in a few small local bands).  We had known about this particular gig for awhile, but we never know what’s going to happen with Joe’s schedule.  The day before the gig, Carmen texts me to ask if I’m going.  Yes, I think so, I told her.  Then that night I got home and realized that Joe had to work.  I texted Carmen to let her know and she said “Nooooooooo!”.

The next night, she texts me again to see if I’m coming.  “Unfortunately not,” I said.  I explained that I had to pick up my highschooler at some unknown time that evening, on top of Joe working.

“Seriously??” was her response.

I found out later that she is furious with me.  Furious at what a horrible friend I’ve become, letting all of this medical shit and Marianna and whatever get in the way of being there for her.  She says that she’s always been there for me (true) and that she thinks I’m a shit friend.  I’m never there for her.  That this gig was IMPORTANT to Draco and that they had told me about it “in FUCKING JULY.”  We have literally had maybe four very-short-to-the –point text since then.

I am at such a loss.  I tried to explain to her that we needed to get out, just the two of us, and go talk.  (Silence ensued).  I sent her a funny pic of #BaddieWinkle (if you don’t know who that is, she is FREAKING AWESOME and you should go find her on Instagram), and said I missed her.  She responded “I miss you too.”   I tried inviting her out and she declined.  Then she invited us over for a football game yesterday and I declined, because I really did have other plans.

Silence ensues again.

I tried to explain to her that I’m so sorry if I’ve let her down.  That if I’ve hurt her, I didn’t mean to.  My sending her pics of Mari and Dean were to show her I am thinking of her, even when I’m not with her.  That maybe all of this shit is really messing with my head.  That my therapist told me I have “major depressive disorder” and it’s level is “severe”.

Her response was this:

“Harsh truth here, you are blessed with family & friends that adore you, you have a beautiful house, a fantastic job that you’re great at, what the fuck are you depressed about?”

I don’t know, Carmen.  I wish I did.  I wish I didn’t feel this black hole of ugliness sometimes well up inside of me.  I wish the thought “hopeless” didn’t occur to me all of the fucking time.  I wish I wasn’t terrified of the freefall it feels like my life has become.  I wish I didn’t have to take Xanax on a regular basis just so that I can stop feeling like I have a swarm of butterflies throwing a rave party in my intestines all the time.  I wish I hadn’t let you down, and Joe down, and my kids down, and my family down, and that it didn’t feel like I was trying to feel the sun through heavily tinted windows.

Fuck it.  I wish I wasn’t swimming at all.  I’m not a mermaid, as much as I wish I was. The riptide might very well take me too far from shoreline.  I have fucking NARCOLEPSY and I’M HEARTBROKEN and SICK with DEPRESSION.  I find it hard to smile, and yes, that fucking sparkle might have been dulled for a while.

But you forget, Carmen. I am a yaya, and I am a fighter, and I am a Hill girl.  So I might be disappearing from this pretty picture of our life that we’ve spent ten years creating, but if I do, remember it’s because you quit, not me.  xo.  I hope you choose to hang on to the sister that chose you.