I’ve been in a very dark place lately. It’s honestly the darkest I’ve been in a few years. I was reaching out to friends seeking words of comfort and compassion. Instead, I felt like most have been trying to “fix” me. The whole adage of “You have to want the change” or “You have the power to change your mindset” or “You should seek therapy if depressed” no longer speak to me. The power of thinking positive no longer works for me. Why?
I was on Instagram this morning. I follow a lot of writers and sites that post quotes. The post I read today is what gave me the push I needed to step back from the ledge. This one below from Digesting Grace spoke to me in the way I needed. It spoke to my soul.
Before I saw that post above, I was starting to plan how I would end my life. I’ve had suicidal thoughts in the past. I’ve battled depression since high school. I acknowledge there is a scary darkness within and work hard to push those thoughts away. So far, my sheer will, and stubbornness has kept me from stepping off the ledge. I’m a huge proponent of therapy. I’ve been in therapy for years until recently.
I realized yesterday that my stress level keeps reaching new highs. The palpable grief is either following me or crushing me. I’ve been questioning the point of my life.
I’m in many online cancer support groups. I always see posts of how their husband and kids keep them going, etc. Well, I have neither, so what is the point of my struggle? I don’t have a legacy to pass down. The items I’ve saved and treasured since I was a child through college mean nothing to everyone but me. I can talk about it with friends and their kids, but they won’t fully understand or truly have a vested interest on the level I do because I’m not related to them.
Why would they care that my college cheerleading jacket looks as pristine as the day I received it?
Why would they care about the meaning behind all my tiaras?
Why would they care about my many, many photo albums and journals?
Why would they care about my beloved scrapbooks?
I then realized the following stressors:
- The anniversary of a personal tragedy is this week.
- My three-year cancerversary of my lumpectomy/reconstruction and the nightmare of waking up in the recovery room with blood soaking my sheets behind me because none of the nurses saw a tube was loose until I sat up is this week.
- My one month of leaving the Catholic faith forever is this week.
- It has been a month since the shingles insanity and stopping the post-cancer medication with my oncologist’s approval.
- My next mammogram with MRI is on April 1st.
- I’ve been medically induced into menopause officially two years now.
I don’t physically recognize myself. I consistently struggle with this unnatural chemo-induced curly hair. It will never be naturally straight again. This is it. I’ve been struggling with my weight since I turned 30 thanks to all the different antidepressants, hormone changes and now induced menopause. I was always very thin but muscular up until my 30th birthday. Then add all the steroids from chemo and the many, many surgeries and steroids post-treatment, no wonder I’m presently the size of a southern whale!
When I make the statement the right man for me doesn’t exist in this life, I’m consistently told the right man will love me no matter what size I am. Well, that’s untrue. I’ve always been drawn to preppy or artsy men.
I’ll talk about race for a hot minute.
I’ve always been teased and bullied by the bulk of black men and women growing up and as an adult. I’m “different” and constantly told over the years that I dress, act and sound white. I’ve heard this within my own family, too. How about I dress, act and sound like an intelligent woman with a bit of flair?
Then I always hear from the bulk of white men and women that I “speak so well” and “you don’t act like you’re black.” What does that even mean?!
When I was Catholic, I would always have white men and women asking me if I go to the black Catholic church. It’s blow after blow of realizing they don’t see me as a woman of this parish. They see me as a black woman of this parish, and therefore, should go to the black parish.
The only type of men I seem to attract (except when I lived in LA) even when I was a size 6 are black thugs with gold teeth or creepy, old white guys. There was the occasional “my type” but the timing or compatibility wasn’t there. That is why I can make the statement that I won’t find love in this life.
When I look at my features (especially when thinner), I’ve always seen more than “just black.” My mother is biracial, and my father is black. My international friends are the only ones who actually notice that I’m a mix of a unique recipe in a beautiful and positive way.
I continue to deal with chronic pain, weight gain, unnaturally curly hair, soul crushing loss of what can never be, and what I didn’t know I wanted until all my lady parts were removed with zero sex drive. The enormity of these permanent and unwanted changes literally sucks my breath away.
Yet, seeing that post from Digesting Grace on Instagram this morning has given me the gentle but powerful nudge to find that miracle in my darkness. I suppose that’s what being resilient is all about.
Until next time,