now i am quietly waiting for the catastrophe of my personality
to seem beautiful again

 

(meditations on an emergency, frank o’hara)

this is it

I have spent my entire life going through periods of extreme depression.  And, in truth, it’s gotten worse the older I’ve become.  Now that I’m facing my thirty-second birthday on Friday I find myself wanting a real change.

Here’s the thing … I know what I have to do in order to avoid the cycle of depression.  I know all the details, all the minutia that would completely change my emotional state.  And up until this point I haven’t been doing it, I haven’t been taking care of myself,  I haven’t been watching out for my own emotional state.

(Surprisingly this actually has very little to do with J.  It has everything to do with me.)

So here I am, making some goals.  I’m not going to put them down here, because I feel like that sets me up for feelings of failure.  What I am going to do is make MYSELF a promise to start taking better care of me.  I am going to stop taking the short-term easier way out and I am going to take the long-term into account.  I’m done with this struggle and I’m ready to do the damn thing.

So happy birthday, Margaret.  And welcome to your new life.

change

Do you believe that people can change?  Do you believe that it’s possible for someone to put in enough work to actually change?  And, even more than that, do you believe that it’s possible for two people to change the patterns in their relationship that they have set in place from the very beginning?

I like to think that it’s possible.  I like to think that anything is possible if people are willing.  I like to think that with enough determination people can change anything.  I like to think that nothing locks us into our patterns except for ourselves, and that if we want to change we can do it.  And that’s what I’ve been working on for the last couple months.

J and I have been attempting to get back together.  We’ve been taking it very slow, not committing to anything except for the simple fact that we are working on it.  We have been trying to figure out how to better communicate with each other … or have we?

I’m afraid that what it actually comes down to is that *I’ve* been trying to figure out how to better communicate better with J.  When we have a conflict or an argument I have been trying to approach it from a different place, a place of working towards something, instead of simply trying to battle.  I’ve been working on being very careful with what I say, with how I react, being gentle with him.

And in return?  In return I’ve been getting the same.  In return nothing seems to have changed in the way that J interacts with me.  In return because I am being so gentle with him I am ending up taking massive quantities of shit from him.  And you know what?  This is why I left in the first place.  This is what led to years and years of my frustration and exhaustion and horrible self-esteem.  This is why I stopped wanting to try at all.

So what do I do?  Do I seek out a therapist who will hopefully help us communicate better?  Do I decide that, based on almost 11 years of experience, he is incapable of changing how he interacts with me … so I should cut and run?

All I know is that I am tired of finding myself in this position time and time again.

big stuff

I haven’t written here in a long time, but this is big enough that here I am.

So, today was Darwin’s last day at the daycare where he’s been since he was 15 months old. Almost three whole years at the same place, and now he’s moving on. On January 18th he’s going to be starting at the public Montessori school in Cambridge. I just can’t believe what a big guy he is now.

So today we had to say goodbye to everybody at the school. I couldn’t figure out how to say thank you in the right way. Because really, how do you say thank you? How do you say thank you for helping me raise my child? For being the ones who entirely dealt with potty-training? Who taught him his alphabet? How do I say thank you for providing me with a place where I felt comfortable leaving the most precious and beautiful and wonderful thing in my life, for not only keeping him safe but for giving me the peace of mind that I needed to *trust* that you were keeping him safe?

I guess all I can do is to say thank you, First Steps. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for the love and the trustworthiness and the joy that you’ve brought into our life. You have meant the entire world to us. Thank you.

ripples

Every single day I realize more how much my relationship with J effected me.

I recently dealt with a situation involving addiction and a friend. I discovered that I wasn’t really able to be there as much as I wanted to, to be as present in that particular situation, because I kept getting caught up in my own battles with J and his addictions. The thought that just continuously circled my mind was “I can’t do this. I already served my time.” I found myself caught in the same web of desperation, wanting to help, doing more than I should have by all rights, and being consistently disappointed by the results. And then I was disappointed in myself for how I handled the whole thing … falling into the same patterns, the same thoughts, the same old person.

And that’s the thing of it all … I am constantly disappointed by everyone, but nobody more than myself. When will I change? When will I take these lessons and actually learn them? When will I figure it out? When will my behaviors change? When will I be better?

it’s a new dawn …

… it’s a new day, it’s a new life, and I’m feelin’ good.

So there’s a new boy. God, am I ever going to get to the point where I don’t call them boys? He’s 35 years old. I think that officially no longer counts as a boy.

And he’s awesome. He’s a nurse, thinking about going back to school at some point to be a naturopath. He’s ridiculously smart (my number one turn-on), more obsessive about music than I am (shared musical taste is *really* important to me), has brilliant blue eyes, a chocolate lab puppy, and our sexual chemistry is insane. I’ve seen him a couple times now (4 to be exact) and I actually really like him.

Next weekend we’re going away together. I’ve got a wedding in Vermont to go to and asked him to be my date. So we’re going to spend the weekend in a hotel, do some drinking and some dancing and some hanging out. It’ll be interesting, since we’ll be together for 48 straight hours, but I think it’ll be awesome. Talk about a chance to really get to know each other, right?

And I’m trying not to let myself get too excited. I’ve never been good at taking it slow relationship wise, but I’m going to try. It’s about time I figured out how to deal with this stuff as an adult. Now seems like the perfect opportunity.

So that’s my news. Much love, darlings.

happiness and groucho marx

I haven’t written much lately, but I want you all to know that I am doing well.  I am now finding myself on the other side of a deep depression, one that you all might have gotten a glimpse of from my posts.  It’s been a tough couple months, a period of anger and sadness and loneliness and soul-searching and finding acceptance and learning to surrender.  But here, on the other side, I am better than I was before.

And a quick note …

Groucho Marx said “any club that would want me as a member … I wouldn’t want to join!”  The same is not true for me.  Any man who doesn’t want me, who doesn’t understand how to fully embrace and enjoy every ounce of who I am, is a fool.  And someday I actually will find a partner who loves me not in spite of my faults but because of them.  Luckily I already have a few people like that in my life, so I know how good it feels.  And even if my life goes by without finding a husband who makes me feel that way, I will always have my friends.

UU

So, two weeks ago I started going to my local UU church. It’s wonderful. It’s a spiritual community, filled with people from all walks of life who gather together to improve themselves and their community. I’ve totally fallen in love with it. This passage comes from the hymnal …

Life comes with singing and laughter, with tears and confiding, with a rising wave too great to be held in the mind and heart and body, to those who have fallen in love with life.

words, words everywhere …

So here’s the email I wrote to my darling long-lost Scottish man yesterday.  Luckily my best friend is out of town, so I didn’t have to ask her permission to send it and have her say no.  Instead I took things into my own hands.

I don’t know you.  At all.  What I do know is that you made my heart sing.  And it felt so fucking good that it was kind of like crack.  All I know is that I got a little taste of something I had almost entirely forgotten existed, and I just wanted more.  So when I didn’t hear from you I bugged the fuck out and tried to force myself on you.  You, very understandably, felt smothered and overwhelmed and took off in the opposite direction.  But all I could think about was getting more of you, so I didn’t let up, and took it WAY too far.
 
So here’s the thing … I think you should agree to meet me for coffee and a walk around Jamaica Pond with our cameras.  I mean, there was *something* there, something that had the potential to be really good.  And I promise I won’t be all needy and freaky, because this right here is my moment of clarity.  I don’t need you.  Shit, I don’t even know you!  But I do want the chance to get to know you, and that’s what I’m asking for.  We could talk and laugh and I could give you that CD that I made a copy of for you and we can be generally much more mellow … not talking about our future and how many kids we should have and what our joint funeral will be like.  Just kinda talk about the stuff you’re supposed to talk about on a first date.  And then if I don’t hear from you for a week, I won’t bug out, because I don’t need you … even if I do want you like I’m a damn horny teenager.
 
Besides, don’t you think that even if dating wasn’t going to work for us, we could be great friends?  I am literally THE BEST movie buddy of all time, since I’ll see absolutely anything.  :-)
 
So what do you think?  From what I figure there are three options here:  you think it’s an ok idea and suggest a time, you think it’s an ok idea but want to wait for the school year to be over, or you still think I’m totally fucking bonkers and never want to see me or hear from me again.  I really hope it’s not the last option, but if it is, just let me know and I’ll leave you alone.  Having come to this realization, I no longer feel the overwhelming need to get something from you.  I can want and hope that you won’t think this is the worst plan ever, but if you do then there’s nothing else I can do about it.  But whatever your answer is, just tell me, ok?

And with that, my friends, I am done.  Talking to Lauren last night made me realize that I had my mind and heart so set on this guy … a guy who I don’t know at all, a guy who I felt something for, but just because he’s the first guy I’ve felt something for in a million years doesn’t mean he’s THE ONE.  Maybe he really was in my life for the express purpose of opening my heart up again.  And, if so, what’s the problem with that?  Just that I want to see him again?  If that doesn’t happen, will I die?  No.  Will I feel like I want to die?  No, not even that.  I will just be a bit broken-hearted.

I am ok.  I am more than ok … I am thriving.  Thanks for all your love and support.

i have the peace

I’ve been sad recently. Like, a lot. But there have been a few wonderful moments and beauty and happiness in there.

The other day I was sitting on the floor looking particularly dejected and Darwin came over to ask me what was going on. Here’s how the conversation went:

D: Mama, why are you sad?

M: My heart is just a little bit broken.

D: I can fix it, Mama! I have the piece!

Of course the poor boy was utterly confused when it had the opposite reaction from what he expected and I burst into tears.

Damn do I love that little boy.