Oh The Truth In The Simplest Of Words….

And the words I’m thinking of right now:  Depression Hurts.

Two simple words…

But man, the weight behind them…  The weight of the truth…  It’s staggering.

And you don’t realize how staggering, or how honest those words are until you are either sunk into a pit of depression and struggling to see the light….  Or until you are walking the road beside someone who is struggling with depression and is trying so hard to keep things moving along; keep things ‘normal’, struggling to find happy.

It’s a heavy weight to bear no matter which person you are.

The only thing I think we have working in our favour is that, while I’m not a chronic sufferer of depression, I did, early on in my Separation from Wee’s father, fall into a state of depression so deep and so dark that there were days it was hard to see anything beyond the filthy little shirt that I would carry around that smelled like her.

It was horrible.

And I remember it.

So it makes it easy to look at Jeff and have compassion while he struggles; and easier to celebrate the smiles that follow the darkness.

It makes it easier for my mind to understand when he goes off the rails why he went so far off over something that, to most people, would seem minuscule….  But pushed him right to the edge, to the point where his actions don’t make sense.

It’s easy for me to understand how he can be smiling and crying at the same time; over something simple like the dishes not stacking in the drainer properly, or the cups, the damn cups, why do we use so many cups?

I can understand it.

But it doesn’t make it easier; that understanding doesn’t make the load lighter…  It just means I can comprehend what someone who has never suffered from depression can’t comprehend….  How heavy even the smallest thing can be if it hits at the right (or wrong) moment in your life.

He’s a strong man.  He’s a good man.  He’s a brave man…

He’s being very brave.

He’s just having a hard time….  He’s just feeling a little bit like maybe the clouds that cover the sun are a bit too thick…

He’s tired…  Tired of being sad…  Tired of being tired…  Sad about the fact that he’s sad…  Sad and tired about being ‘this way’…..

I can say that it will get better but I know, I know for a fact that right now, those words are just that; words.  He’s trying to hold on to them…  But he’s struggling to believe…  Because the world is a heavy place right now.

He needs love.  He needs support.  He needs understanding….

And I need that as well; so that I can continue to help him on his journey; this long road that he is on….

I’ve never been one to ask favours…  But, if you could, if you have a moment, and a few kinds words, and some advice, or even just a hug…  Some warm thoughts…  Please comment on my wall or on my Blog.  I’ll let him read them.  I’ll read them…

Sometimes a warm hug and a few kind words are all you need to show you that, yes, things suck ass right now but they will get better.

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Bravery….

There are times in life, even with all that I have seen and done in my life, that the Bravery that another person shows just leaves me completely in awe.

Despite what you may think, there is very little bravery associated with being an active member of the Canadian Forces; all you do is take the orders that are given to you.  You are taught how to do that; and how to do that well.  So all you do is keep doing what they taught you to do; take orders; do what you’re told.

True Bravery though, I have witnessed a lot of that in the last week.

But let’s back up for a moment or two shall we?

So, I’ve recently lost some pretty precious and important people to me.  They were large losses in my world.  They were losses that hit so close to my heart and soul that for a few days, I didn’t know which way was up, I couldn’t feel, I couldn’t think.

And I cried.

Thankfully, Jeff was there to help.

But that poor man, he has been carrying a load of his own.  He still struggles to come to terms with his Separation thought it has been over a year; he still struggles to come to terms with many things involving the Separation.

Even he would openly admit that he was stuck in a rut and couldn’t seem to get out.

Well, I don’t know if it was the added stress of my stress and my tears, or the fact that, despite the fact that he had never met the people who were close to me who recently died, one very tragically, he felt sorrow over the loss of those great people; or whether he had just carried his own personal load long enough and his mind was weary from the strain of it; or exactly what it was that caused it all to come to a head, but come to a head it did.

That poor man totally went completely off his rails and scared the living shit out of me.  And, in the process, I think he scared himself too.

Now, he is a gentle soul….  Not one to turn any anger or grief or negative feelings outwards onto any other person.  Unfortunately, he turned all of his feelings inward.

Fortunately, I was able to reach him and get him home, where he belonged, so that I could help him and carry him for a while, as he had been carrying me for a few days; at least until I could figure out how to get him the help he was now looking for.

And that’s where Brave comes in.

He almost totally turned the reigns over to me for two straight days.   Yes, he did the work but he took the direction that I gave to him without even batting an eye.  I said call, he called.  I said go, he went.  I said do, he did.

All without question.

Those two days were rocky.  There were many tears.  There was much exhaustion.  But he stayed Brave and he pulled through.  And he did the work.

And he was HONEST with everyone.

He got HONEST.

He participated in band practice and opened up to his band mates about what had been going on. He was honest with counsellors and doctors.  He was honest with me.  He was honest with himself.

He was Brave.

He was referred to great medical professionals who could help; and he took those referrals and was honest with every one of them.

And he kept being Brave, and looking for help, and wanting to get back to living his life.

Well, it turns out this Brave man, this man who I have been so in awe of over the last few days, he’s become depressed.  He suffers from Depression.

Right now, he’s on medication for it.

His medical professionals and counsellors don’t think it will be a long-term thing; they think he just bottomed out and just needs a little bit of help.

And I can understand that.  We’ve all been there at some point.  

Some of us choose to keep quiet about it.  Some of us choose to call out for help because of it.

Thankfully Jeff got Brave, got Honest, and called out for the help he now is ready to accept.

I still worry. Of course I worry.  Watching someone go off the rails in life is never easy.  Knowing that you can’t stop it is heart-wrenching.  Hoping it never happens again, that’s hard.  It’s very hard.

But I see how Brave he is being and it leaves me in awe…

And it gives me hope that, with the help, he will become the man he used to be before his life got turned on it’s ass.

And it gives me hope that he will learn that he is much stronger than even he ever thought he was…

And that he will learn his true worth….
 

A Day To Remember….

Remembrance Day…  A Day to Remember periods in history that reshaped the world as we know it; times that opened our eyes to the evil that can exist in man; and a Day to Remember those times that the blood of brave countrymen around the world has flowed like rivers across foreign land in a desperate attempt to protect the rights and freedoms that we take for granted.

But it’s not just a Day to Remember the brave who fell….  it’s also a Day to Remember those who came home and reach out a hand in support and thanks to them.

Because their lives, no matter which battle they were in, no matter where their boots landed, have never been the same.

They, in their own way, gave their lives for the freedoms that we take for granted.

They gave their lives for the country that we call home.

They didn’t come home the person they were before they pulled on the boots.

In some cases, they came home so tormented by it all, all that they had to do, that they were nothing more than the shell of the person that they were when they left.

And on today, today of all Days, they need your compassion, support, and thanks.

And then there are those who paid the ultimate price for this country.  They paid for our freedoms with their physical lives.  They came home in a box; or perhaps nothing more than a set of tags and a few personal articles.

Or perhaps not at all.

And their families, their hearts are left bleeding.  They bleed still to this day; especially on this Day to Remember.

It doesn’t matter what the conflict was; how great or small; what part of the world; or even what part was played in the conflict.  The fact is that every conflict alters the course of the world.  And every conflict causes pain and suffering for everyone involved.  And every conflict leaves casualties behind.

Every conflict destroys life.

Please, take today to Remember that.  Take today to reflect on that.  And take today to reach out a hand to someone who is in pain because they came home and so many others didn’t.

And please, never forget.

It’s only through never forgetting that we can hope to stop the loss of blood of our bravest and most selfless citizens.

It’s only through never forgetting that we can hope to prevent history from repeating itself.    

Another Loss In The Game Of Life….

Occasionally we will meet someone in life so wise and insightful, so full of great knowledge and endless wisdom, that you would swear they have it all figured out; they have all of the answers to everything.

And those people, when you’re lucky enough to meet them, you find they’ll drop a few seeds of wisdom in your path that you will hold dear, hold near, and that,  if used properly, will change your life and give it more meaning.

I had one of those people in my life.

She was darling.  She was so full of life.   It was like the sun shone from every inch of her being.

She was a tiny little thing; small as a mite…  But her personality was immeasurable.

And the words of wisdom that she handed out; priceless.

But now she’s gone.

Well and truly before her time.

She should have stayed around forever.

But we all know that isn’t possible.

She was a good soul.  A great soul.  A gentle soul.

She welcomed me without a question and always called me ‘daughter’.  “And this is the daughter I should have had.” she would proudly announce to anyone who would listen.

And she loved my Wee with a passion that not even I possess.

And she’s gone.

But she has left in her wake, in her passing, words.  So many words of wisdom.  And so much life.
I’ll never smell the breeze the same again.   I’ll never look at a tree the same again.  Even a simple flower, it will have great meaning.

She taught me a lot in the many years that I knew her.

Some lessons were lessons that really seemed silly at the time – who the hell needs to know how to milk a damn goat?

Other lessons were so profound while she was teaching them that I couldn’t breathe – a tree can’t grow to be the strong, beautiful tree it is meant to be if it is bent and tied in an unnatural position.

But all lessons, they all had a deep and profound meaning…  And they all had a wisdom that screams of lifetimes of knowledge and experience.  

Looking back, all of the lessons taught me everything that I need to know about making it through this life with my head held high and my heart in the right place.

She taught me how to be the force that I am; the person I am meant to be.

She taught me how to live the life that I am meant to live; destined to live.

She taught me how to be me.

And for that, I will always be in her debt.

People….

Humans.  Probably the most frightening species I can think of.

I would rather go head-to-head with a pack of lions than one human who is so closed-minded they can’t see beyond the end of their nose.

I would rather sit in a pit of venomous snakes than deal with one person who is so judgemental that they tear people down at the drop of a hat; usually for no reason other than to make themselves feel better, and with no evidence to support their claim.

I would rather cut my fingers and hand feed a great white shark than trust someone and believe in someone who doesn’t think others are worth their time unless they need something from them; who is so selfish that the feelings of the people that they deal with at any given moment don’t matter; especially if that person claims to be a friend.

I personally prefer to be one of those people who props up others when they’re down, who helps those who mean the world to me, who has kind words to say, and who, if I have nothing nice to say, am more likely to just shut the hell up instead of causing unnecessary damage.

I try never to judge the decisions of others simply because I don’t know.  I don’t know their story, their pain, their joy, their heart, their mind.

I try always to keep an open mind no matter what the situation.

And, when asked for advice, hells yes, I’ll give it.  Of course I will.  But I always try to be kind about it.  If my advice isn’t kind, I always try to have a kind word to say or ensure that my shoulder is there and it is strong so that I can be there.

And I always try to ensure that the advice I give is honest, educated, and well thought out.

I just wish everyone could have the same respect for not just me, but really, for everyone around them; stranger or acquaintance; friend or foe.

I wish we could all just remove the masks that we feel the need to wear, reveal the secrets we feel the need to keep, and just pass a kind word to everyone.

Let people live their lives.

Be happy for people who have found happy; even if you don’t agree with where that happy is coming from.

And shit, stop judging.

Those judging others, they have no room or right to judge.

Unless you are perfect and every aspect of your life is so pristine and perfect, you have NO RIGHT to judge another, to tell anyone how you think they truly feel, to tell anyone how to live their damn life, to build or pass on any kind of judgement on any other person in ANY WAY.

YOU HAVE NO RIGHT.

And honestly, if you think your life is that perfect that you have the right to judge,  let me poke at your closet for a minute; I am sure I can find a skeleton in there somewhere.

Priorities And Getting What You Need……

Life…

We’re all living it right now…

And while we’re living that life, we all, at various moments in time, sit back and think ‘Wow, I fucked that one right up’.

Don’t lie. We all do it.  We all have things that we do that we regret, or things that we say that we regret, or even things that we don’t do that we regret.

Hopefully as we move from day to day, we don’t carry that regret with us because, a wise friend once told me, nothing builds a heavier load than a heart full of regret.

But, while we let go of the actual regret (or should), I hope that each and every person reading this right now NEVER lets go of the lesson.

Lessons are weightless; they won’t burden you down, they won’t break your back, your heart, your soul.

But they are tools that you can use to ensure that the following days are full of fewer regrets that you have to let go of at the end of each day.

One thing I hear a lot of people regretting any more is how they prioritize things in their lives.  Even the old and frail, they seem to regret that on some level.

“If only I had….  “….

And while I think we all have ideas on what the priorities should be in our lives, I think that in the day-to-day hustle and bustle of actually LIVING our lives, we tend to let the priorities as we feel they should be slip through our fingers and out of our minds.

Now, I’m going to speak on one priority that I don’t believe everyone who is listening to my words right now will one hundred percent agree upon.  But it’s one that is near and dear to my heart and mind simply because, well, it has, of late, been affecting me on a personal level.

And, just because you don’t agree with my words, doesn’t mean you should close your ears…  I think everyone, agree or not, can walk away with some valuable tools that they can use in their lives to help keep their list of regrets to let go of every day just a little bit shorter.

So do keep an open mind.

Disagree.  That’s your right.   But hear me out.

I’m a Mommy Blogger.  It’s not a big blog.  It’ll never be a famous blog.   But it’s mine.   And it tracks my journey through life, as a single mom of a beautiful little girl.  It speaks of the good times, the bad times, the heartache, the triumph…

It speaks of life.

It’s honest.  It’s ugly.  And it’s there.

Just like life can be.

Recently, I was reading a blog by another Mommy Blogger:

http://familiesintheloop.com/new-and-noteworthy/15709/husband-comes-first/

and, because of my situation, it really struck home how many people prioritize things in their lives in ways that leave their lives, their homes, their hearts, their relationships on a course that screams doom and gloom.

And one of the biggest things that people tend to forget to prioritize is their relationships; their marriage, their partner, their spouse, their boyfriend, their girlfriend….

Their Other.

In amongst the kids and the work and the school and the projects and the house and the dogs and the cats and the…..  Somehow, The Other gets lost.  And the needed time for the other disappears.  And before you know it, you’re two strangers living under one roof, working through the day knowing little more than the other person’s name.

A wall goes up down the middle of the bed.

Or, you develop a ‘twin bed romance’.

Or you move into another room.

Just because it feels more comfortable for you than sharing a bed with a stranger; which is what your other became.

Before you know it every conversation is had with bitterness.

Meals are never the same.

There are no more gentle touches or hugs from behind for no reason.

There are no more tickle fights over the remote.

You’re two people…  Living…  Breathing…  Two separate lives that happen to intersect for (maybe) a few minutes every day.

It doesn’t matter if you’re married or common law or dating…  It happens if you don’t put a priority on Your Other.

And I’m not saying it’s easy.  Hell, I know it’s hard.  I’m a single mom.  And damn, babysitters aren’t cheap.

But it’s still important to find a way.

And I always try to.

I stick to my Access Schedule; not because I like having my Wee out of our home but because that time…  That time is gold.

I get a babysitter when needed to accommodate extra time away from Wee cause, as much as I love her, she can’t come first.

Oh shit…  I said it.  Here we go…  I’m just about to lose a bunch of you.

Let me say it again.

My Wee, I love her.   She can’t come first.

And that was the point of this blog that I was reading the other day…  Kids…  We love them… They can’t come first.

There is a chain of command in everything in life that we do; a pecking order; a circle of life…   When that circle gets skewed or distorted, chaos moves in.

Now, open your ears and your eyes and your hearts…..

I AM NOT SAYING that my Wee’s NEEDS do not come above my own…  Because they do. Every day.  To the point where there have been times where we have BOTH been sick but I can only afford the medication for one of us so, she gets it.  She needs milk, my needs fall further down.  She needs anything, that is my priority.

But friends, does she NEED ME there every second of every day through every breath that she takes?

NO HELL NO.

What she NEEDS is to know that if the shit hits the fan, I’m there.  And she knows that.

But for me to be the me that I am, and the best mommy I can be, and the best partner I can be for another person, I NEED TIME WITHOUT HER.

Time to devote to me.  Time to devote to my other.

Without that time, there is no Other.  There is no me giving one hundred percent to that little girl every day.

There’s only an empty shell of a person roaming through life, unfulfilled, because none of their NEEDS for personal and adult time are being met.

And if those needs aren’t being met; I’m no good for anyone, including my Wee.

So, the long and short of this is, do we love our children?  Yes.  Do we want what is best for them? Yes.  Is putting them above ourselves and our other half best for them?  No.  Because in doing that, you’re dooming the love that holds the home together.

And without that love, without that relationship, it’s just an empty house full of voices that rarely make sense because the voice is coming from a stranger.

A stranger who you used to hold in the highest regard.

Who you let slip away because you forgot to keep them where they belong…

Priority one.