At this moment I can’t really believe in the notion of a “Happily Ever After”. Too many people talking about how life should have shortcuts to success or that when you hit a wall you’re supposed to not try to break through but to rather walk away. Someone is going to write about “Turning lemons into lemonade”, but that line is so hackneyed because you have to find the sugar/honey/sweetener of your choice. That’s where the struggle can become so confusing.
Last night someone asked about how I deal with shame. Or being ashamed, I’m not really sure what path they were trying to lead me down. The fact that I was willing to admit to anyone that I needed help dealing with the depression brought on by so many things going on right now, why say anything? Did I not care about people’s reactions? Was I so willing to admit defeat that turning to people for a pick-me-up was my only resort?
Look, I was willing to cut my own wrists and let the blood of my failures pore out when I thought it was going to help my ex get the help she needed in any fashion. “Tell whomever you need about how I screwed up so that they can help you figure out your own feelings.” My willingness to sacrifice my pride, my good name in the pursuit of someone else’s happiness confused my questioner.
Shame is a kissing cousin of fear. They show up at holidays and sit across the table and joke with one another and then go about they own lives until it’s time to deal with on another again. I never felt the need to hide that things hadn’t been going as well at work as they could. My ex had to see that the money was slowing down, the dumb purchases just not occurring.
The funny thing about shame is that it’s how others make you feel about yourself. They judge you for not being able to handle your business in a manner they think is appropriate. I never went to the doctors my mother-in-law suggested because she would have called them directly to get a status update. Going behind my back to gain information she felt she deserved. She’d done it with her own adult children, why would I be different? I trusted her medical opinion, just not her ability to keep her mouth shut.
Someone reading this would know I have cancer. I’m not ashamed admitting that it scares me, sometimes “to death”. The depression from the loss of my daughter and her mother leaving has me spinning as well. It more than I have been prepared to handle, no class taught me what to do. Maybe in small doses, with each of these topics solely entering my life. But all at the same time is just a cruel joke to me. You’re supposed to stay active, try to do things, but when you are needing to rest the demons get to have their day, week, month in my mind. And it on heart.
I’m a shadow of the person I was. I’s not ashamed to admit it. I am ashamed to admit that I don’t know where to turn at times, but I am working on coming to terms with that. I’m so worried about dying that I have accepted not having people in my life. Okay, there’s some guilt in that statement; I still feel ashamed that I couldn’t protect Whitney or our daughter better. For the world, from her mother, from my failures [both the real ones and the ones laid in my lap I didn’t even know about].
Happily Ever After was never an option, you work to get the things you need in life. Some are easy, others take a lifetime to achieve. For a while I thought I had it all, now I wonder.
Last night ended with a friend admitting they sometimes sleep with a knife under their pillow. The demons are taking a stronger hold on her with every passing day. Her “Happily Ever After” ended with a personal tragedy. All I could do was give her a hug, listen, and later die a little bit inside because I worry that the next time I see her will be her funeral.
I gave up on happy, let’s see if we can find peaceful?
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Happily Ever After.”