My Life, My Choice

I was already going to be writing this post today about choices when That Human Woman linked this article. Go ahead and click the link. I don’t mind if you read it first. I’ll wait.

The weather this past week has been absolutely gorgeous. Sunshine every day. Clear skies. Temperatures reaching mid to upper 70s. I believe we might have even seen over 80 a time or two. This makes me very happy. While I’ve never been diagnosed with SAD (seasonal affected disorder) officially, I have noticed over the past several years especially that lack of sunshine can seriously put a damper on my good mood. I take vitamin D supplements six months out of the year to help mitigate my symptoms. The lovely weather started me thinking about my current circumstances and what led me to get here.

Flashback about 20 years ago when I was a couple years out of high school. I had finished my two year degree at community college, and I had yet to decide if and where I’d go to get my Bachelor’s degree. I was unemployed and felt directionless. My then roommate had started doing this New Age hippie dippy group therapy thing. At first I was pretty skeptical, but I saw the changes in her. Good ones. I decided to check it out and eventually signed up. It was worth every penny and gut-wrenching moment to purge so many of my childhood hangups.

One particular nugget of inspiration stuck with me for years. I found it so profound that when I was teaching at a local massage college, I passed it on to my students.

You cannot always control your circumstances, however you CAN always control how you feel and how you respond.

Translation? You always have a CHOICE, even if what brings you to make that choice is beyond your control. Let me repeat that. You always have a choice.

You choose how you feel about what is happening in your life.

You choose how you will act in response to the situation you are in.

You choose.

Or in this case, I choose. This is my life, and I get to choose how I live it. I get to choose how to feel about what happens in my life. My life, my choice. I made a choice just a short week (!!) ago to change my circumstances. I made a choice to get the help I needed. I made a choice to dig myself out of the depression I am in. I made a choice to let my husband in and be my rock. I made a choice to be Happy.

I’m not saying there won’t be difficult days ahead. Just a few days ago I woke up with fewer spoons than I would’ve liked, but I chose to pull up my bootstraps and get on with my day despite the fatigue and pain. I went outside for some sun therapy, and you know what? It helped. I felt better.

Today I woke up with my body protesting all the increased activity, and my brain was still foggy. The sky was overcast, and there’s evidence of rainfall from last night. I chose to be happy this morning anyway. That Human Woman is coming over later to guide me through sewing new garb for myself and Kidlet. I had a lovely day yesterday with Boyfling and his kids walking the waterfront. We ran into my other boyfriend, Tek, while we were out. He text me later that seeing me made his day. I made Elixir of Life this morning, and my brain fog is clearing. I likely won’t be quite as physically active today, but I’m looking forward to doing projects I have planned.

Today is going to be awesome because I choose it to be.

P.S.–What are you choosing today? Please comment below and share…if you choose. 😉

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Who does the rock turn to?

Do you have a go to person whenever you needed advice or a shoulder to cry on? The person who’s solid as a rock and you can always count on them to be there? That “go to” person has usually been me. I’ve always been the Strong One. I have been steadfast for most everyone in my life. Lately I haven’t felt so strong. Between my health issues, raising a teenager, being a wife, girlfriend, and friend, and financial issues, life has slowly been wearing me down.

Who does the rock turn to when she needs to crumble?

Life taught me early on that if I needed an advocate, that person was Me. My mother and maternal grandmother were usually the ones who went to bat for me while I was growing up, but they weren’t always going to be there so I knew I had to learn how to self-advocate. Problem was few people were willing to hear me out (“You’re so young, what do you know?”), or they would betray my confidence, or didn’t care one lick about my well-being. So many people freaked out whenever I asked for help and support, or just simply needed a shoulder to cry on. “You’re the Strong One! Shouldn’t you be able to figure that out on your own?” Even my former partners either brushed me off or dropped me like a hot stone whenever I turned to them for strength and support.

Who does the rock turn to when she needs to crumble?

For the most part I do pretty well managing life’s challenges. I walked away from car accidents with little physical damage to myself though my cars didn’t always fare so well. I moved from my small-minded hometown to find a supportive and loving community of my own. I left an abusive relationship with my infant and my sanity. I balanced going back to school (and later going back to work) while raising a toddler (and beyond) as a single parent. I turned a loss of employment and steady paycheck into a fulfilling and enjoyable job as a stay-at-home mom. I gave my husband emotional support during the loss of his old job and his dissatisfaction with his current one. I kept being optimistic through my current health issues.

Who does the rock turn to when she needs to crumble?

I hadn’t talked much with Husband Darling or Boyfling about what’s been going on with me. Frankly, it hurt more to see the look of worry and concern on their faces than it did to hold onto all the pain and fear to deal with on my own. One of my meds for pain and fatigue was changed about a month ago which when I started really noticing how fragile I was becoming. I went looking for the side effects for the new drug to see if I might find an answer there. Things fit, so I ignored the truth yet again. I’ve been fine all this time. Or so I kept telling myself. You know what FINE means? Freaked out, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional, to paraphrase a line from The Italian Job.

Who does the rock turn to when she needs to crumble?

I have a very wonderful Heart Family who are very loving and supportive, but I did everything I could to keep all this to myself. I’m not used to having someone who has my back, much less a whole family of people who do. Too many people have abandoned me in my hour of need that it’s hard for me to let myself crumble and allow someone else to help me put the pieces back together. I could pull up my bootstraps and keep on keeping on. I always have in the past. Then I received an email last weekend that, to be honest, I had been waiting to get for a few weeks now. Granted not all the content of that email I was expecting, but I knew then that I could no longer ignore what I have suspected for several months now: I have been sinking down into the depths of depression. I no longer have the strength to swim, or even float.

Who does the rock turn to when she needs to crumble?

I’ve been kicking around going to therapy for awhile. That email told me it was time to stop putting it off. Yesterday I started seeing a counselor. The only person who’s freaked out by it is me. I haven’t been to therapy since I was about 12-13, and that didn’t work out so well for me. All those voices, the tape that plays back all the negative things I’ve been told all my life, had become too loud. Going to therapy just proves I’m broken, right? I won’t go into details, but suffice to say I didn’t have a very good night. My wonderful husband just held me through it all. Have I mentioned I totally hit the Relationship Jackpot when I met him? My Twinnie put a wonderfully positive spin on the situation while we had lunch today. I’m not broken; I’m just purging and re-organizing the thoughts in my head.

Who does the rock turn to when she needs to crumble?

I love my husband. I love Boyfling. I love my Heart Family with every fiber of my being. I know they love me and will support me in any way they can. I now have someone who’s going to help me purge and re-organize the clutter in my head. Third party professional who I pay to unburden my heavy load upon? Yes, thank you!

I’m ready to crumble, so I can pick myself back up again and keep being the Strong One whenever others have need of me.