I have reached ‘that age,’ where I am just beyond caring anymore. I don’t feel that insecure crap about myself, that once use to whirl around in my head, and cause me to hide some aspects of who I was from one group, and other areas of my life from another group, etc… I am not sure why I felt such anxiety and worry over all that?? For more years than I would like to admit, I was so overly concerned about how somebody else would think about something I did, that I had honestly never taken the time to ask myself what I think about much of anything.
I don’t live life that way anymore. When I reached my 30’s, quite a few years ago now, I had one of those “a-ha” moments. I guess you would say, I awoke to my life, seeing it in all its inglorious mess, and I didn’t like it. My kids were getting older, and I had more time for introspection… I started asking the serious questions. Firstly, do I honestly want to live my life, day in day out, dealing with emotions that ride a roller coaster. I am what’s called a “rapid cycling,” BiPolar 1. That means, in layman’s terms, really euphoric moods, juxtaposed with really terrible lows. Both could reach a psychotic state, where I could lose all touch with reality. Luckily, I found out that avoiding too much hard liquor kept that from happening to me. unfortunately, not long after I made that connection, the depressive aspect of my mood disorder took on a seasonal element. Too little sun equals, not too happy, and that comes like clockwork every late fall through spring thaw. The spring flowers and my mojo are on the same schedule, they have been for years. I have yet to take the medication which solves this issue.
And it is no small issue, especially since I developed Degenerative Disk Disorder, and Degenerative Joint Disease. Pain with cold weather, is no fun, and being down makes coping challenging some days. Luckily my ‘change of life started,’ I can blame the sudden tears on the hormones. Honestly though, my life is far more stable , and secure than it was when I was young. I have, However, noticed that with aging, and the bad mood depression brings, that I am developing behaviors I swore I would never do myself, EVER. Mostly because my mother spent my entire teens and twenties driving me nuts with some, and my dad with others. And I must confess, I have developed some all on my own.
I spend a lot of time alone with my dogs. It started with talking to them. Then I though why not, and I began responding back what they would say.. That didn’t take long to working its way up to just plain ole yammering to myself! And one day I caught my reflection in peripheral, talking to myself, of course; I can’t even share blame with dogs as they were napping in another room. I had gone and become her, that woman, who I spent the better part of nearly 2 decades sparing with, rebelling against to assert my ‘woman-ness.’ And the worst part of it was, I hated that me for all I had said and done back then. It all made sense, in a such a ‘hit-home’ sort of way. I never came close to figuring out where she was coming from back then. And of course, being menopausal, I had to cry, and cry. In fact, I was blubbering in a ball in my chair, when mt husband came home from work that day.
No, I am not even close to being that headstrong, hell bound, and half crazy girl I once was. I stay on my meds, go to the doctors. (I seem to have more of them now!) And I am honest with myself, and those I keep company with, to a fault at times. I may have to remind myself of the positives in my life, several months out of the year, but the only drama happening now is someone elses. I don’t have to be involved in it, unless I make that choice. When I forget to check myself, I have to admit that I do think about the ‘what ifs’ of my life. Thoughts such as, what if I had accepted the help, and took responsibility sooner in life, would I have done this, or that? Would I have accomplished that or the other? I try not to do that to myself, but there are those low moments, and I find myself there. I can honestly say, it is never about what others would think. It has nothing to do with my value as a person, or impressing another. There is only one reason that not having accomplished much, or not to have lived up to my potential.. (always hated that saying..) can even get under my skin, or fuel a depression, that being, because I wanted to make a difference. I was the little girl who brought my mother wounded birds, and other such hurt creatures… fashioned a makeshift nest in a check box with cotton balls; I feed it with an eye dropper. I can’t help myself. I am drawn to the hurting, I can’t stand to see any living creature suffer, or hurt. Maybe someday I will give the same acceptance, and ultimately forgiveness to me, that I so easily give to others? Maybe…