It’s always over 100-degrees-hot and the car left outside all day is impossible to slide into without getting burned and sweat pouring out of every pore in your body.

June always hurts.

The physical sensation is heat: a red angry fire burning your body.

June grabs hold of your emotions, too: fiery red anger burning your body.

Last June on my anniversary I wrote this poem titled Drowning, instead of prose about 10 years of marriage.

None of my senses are working. I am not here. I am delicately floating on my back, the air trapped in my lungs keeping my nose above cold cerulean waters, this isn’t my life.

Dry, brittle, long brown hair conforming to each wave, arms stretched out letting water glide over and under, this isn’t my life.

Exhale. Heavy legs begin to slowly sink and with my femur bones goes my spine, rib cage, skull. This isn’t my life.

Goodbye, I think as water fills my lungs.

Goodbye, I think as I sink into the sand.

Goodbyelife.

June 12, 2020

And then, days later, I wrote this entry exactly 13 minutes after it happened.

Feet planted firmly on wooden slats. I didn’t know my timing would be so good. That the second I passed the train crossing sign, that bright light would come, like a dream. Was I dreaming? Is this real? I could see the light before I could hear the horn off in the distance. I let it come, closer, closer, am I breathing? Should I stay? Did I tell everyone I love, that I love them? The light is getting closer and I feel blinded by it so I turn my head to make sure I’m still here: I am. Now what? Walk away. Stay. Walk away. Stay. Closer, closer, I am breathing almost normally, what is wrong with me? I think this might be it. This is it. No, it’s not going fast enough. I can tell by the way the wheels sound against the tracks. Move now. Get off. But I don’t move. Why did it line up so perfectly—the timing of a sudden walk, and a mile to get here and it just happened that a train was coming at this exact moment? I’m supposed to be gone. Get off. Get off. Get off. But why?

I don’t know why my legs moved in time, but they did. And now I feel even more profoundly sad than I did before. I wish I would have died tonight.

June 18, 2020

Days after that, I struggled with creating plans of suicide. I wrestled with leaving my kids and my husband. I worried about all the people in my life who might be hurt from my demise, not because I thought they needed me here, but because I didn’t want them to find ways to blame themselves or live with anger they couldn’t ever directly resolve with me.

This month or even this season, which seems to start in March and end after the shock of the summer heat hits my body sometime in July, is historically difficult for me. Depression has, though with exception in some years, taken hold of me and last spring and summer it was the absolute worst it has ever been, the height of it all residing in June.

Tomorrow my husband and I will celebrate 11 years of marriage, and I feel incredibly grateful that I did not take my life last June. I am so excited to celebrate with him. I love him, fiercely. And I never question if that love is returned.

In the last year, I learned to listen to my body and to let love protect it. I learned my gifts are the things I was afraid of: my intuition, emotional awareness, empathy, and deep desire to connect are valuable and provide opportunities to not only heal myself but others, too. I found purpose. I learned how to trust and when to seek safety and how to find it in even the scariest places.

I have the space and ability to see the both/and, and that is an outstanding gift, though I am still working on it, that I very much cherish. I am still working on difficult things in therapy, and coping with the aftermath in life, and I feel joyful listening to my children play together in the next room. I feel excited and happy to be going on a date tomorrow night at a fancy restaurant. I am not fearful of any foods or drinks and I simply want to be present with my husband. I feel optimistic about my future. I feel generally inspired and hopeful and loved.

Depression, anxiety, trauma, and anorexia couldn’t coexist last year with any positive feelings. I was so sick.

God, I am so thankful that season is over. It brings tears to my eyes thinking about the sheer awfulness that was much of last year. I am grateful they didn’t–but I don’t know how my team survived that with me without sending me off somewhere; which would have effectively severed my relationship with my team. They are steadfast in their wolfpack fight because rough is an understatement for the depression I experienced which they treacherously walked through with me.

There was a point last June that I thought I would never experience joy again. It made life not worth living. If joy and happiness and hope are gone, then there is no purpose and it was too painful to bear for much longer.

I know joy exists for me now. I know I can get through hard things now. I know I can stand in my truth and love, and healing will inevitably come for me.

Today in therapy I had a panic attack, and I’m glad I did. I got that energy out and it was met with compassion from both myself and my therapist and I was able to come completely around, full of love, grace, trust, safety, and compassion.

It is remarkable that I can show up for myself like that and move through terrible things, and leave primarily feeling loved and hopeful, looking forward to the rest of the day and weekend.

Keep going.

Keep going, it is beyond worth it.

Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR on Pexels.com

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