Eight. And One.
Five Things, Only Two of Which Are About My Pets

Like a Bird

For Ike's birthday, we booked a pirate-themed tour of the glistening green sludge better known as Baltimore's Inner Harbor. It combined everybody's favorite things: Costumes, boats, water cannons, and birthday parties that don't involve cleaning my house. 

It also involved pirate-themed temporary tattoos. I chose an appropriate skull-and-crossbones design while the girl applying the tattoos raved enviously about my oh you thought we were all overreacting didn'tcha Nolite te Bastardes tattoo. Then I pushed my sleeve up to my bicep and she spotted the semicolon. 

"Oh!" she said quietly. 

"Oh!" I said awkwardly. "That's...yeah."

"Me too."

We stared at each other in choked up silence for a minute before murmuring our respective whens and how long agos and she wiped my arm and pressed the tattoo down.

"We're so glad you're here today."

"Me too."

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The first questions that fall out of people's mouths after you do Something Like That are usually along the lines of how could you and what were you thinking and don't you know that _____ (fill in the blank some variation on your worth/value/love/rich full life with so much to live for/etc.). 

At the time I tried to answer all those questions, albeit with wholly unsatisfactory answers to anyone living outside of my very ill brain. I could attempt to explain the difference between wanting to end my life via a super-conscious, well-thought-out decision vs. what it was really like: Something more like being trapped in a malfunctioning self-driving car that's careening towards a cliff. And your seat belt has jammed and the manual override system can only be activated via a button in trunk and the car's robot voice is assuring you that this is all fine and normal so please sit back and enjoy the ride and also you're a worthless piece of trash, beep boop borp. 

That's still not exactly right, but it's the closest I was ever able to come up with. 

I had to remind myself of that tortured simile on Sunday, when the only questions that kept bubbling up in my brain were stuff like how could you and what were you thinking and oh my holy god, your children. The guilt was almost overwhelming and distracted greatly from my plans to spend the day focused on progress and healing and life and all that jazz. I cried a lot. 

But. 

I also went a bread-baking class and made fancy rolls that looked like birds and a baguette that looked (unintentionally) like a snake. I let my children eat the lopsided birthday cake for dinner. It seemed only fair, given that I didn't bring them any bread. 

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One year down. So many, many more to go. And thank goodness for that. 

Comments

Springsteen fan

So glad you're here. Beep beep borp indeed. xxxooo

flybigd

I'm sorry that you feel guilty at times. It must be hard. But forgiveness is all around us, sufficient for all the times we've made mistakes. I hope you can feel that too.

Sue W.

Me asking you why would be like you asking me why I'm fat. There are too many reasons for both of us to name and none of them are anybodies business but our own. I'm glad you are here to celebrate all the things, big and small. For many, many, many more days and weeks and months and years to come.

Heather Laura Clarke

And we are so very glad you're still here.

Sheri Bheri

I never thought of it like that. To imagine HOW BADLY you were feeling, that “oh my god - the kids” was not even a blip. That’s über-ultra bad!

I’m glad you’re still here too.

MB

Friendly reminder that you don't owe a single goddamn person an explanation or response to those RUDE questions. You were sick. You're doing better. And that's all great and we're so glad you're still here!

Lisa

Thank you. For still being here.

Eleanor

I'm glad you're still here. Thank you for being brave.

Amy A

You are doing so much for getting the correct info out on depression awareness. It’s so hard for those who have never suffered from it to understand. It’s not feeling sad, it’s feeling empty and alone and a stranger to yourself. And so very much more, as you explained.
I have suffered from depression at times, as have many of your readers. You aren’t alone, even if you ever feel you are. The guilt is part of it, but it’s not your fault. You are so very strong to be able to share your story. I’m very, very happy that you are feeling better, and that you were able to create those bird breads.

Leslie

Indeed - we are all happy you are here. Very happy.

Spookie

♥️♥️♥️

Alison

So very glad you’re here. And love the adorable bird bread.

Katie H.

I thought the bird bread was a foot... beep boop borp. :) I've got over 10 years under my belt since my own (;). It's hard, but worth it. We're all here with you .

Liz

So absolutely glad you are still here. You are amazing and awesome and I can’t imagine this world without you in it. Glad you are here.

Melyssa

I'm right in the middle of the self driving car going 100mph dodging through traffic and the seatbelt feeling more like a noose. I'm changing depression medicine for only the 2nd time in 12 years. Beginning of the 3rd week out of 6 before I'm at full strength on the new one.

Jerry O'Connor-Fix

When you're going through hell, just keep going. You is kind. You is smart. You is important. I'm with you.

Amie

❤️

Hope

I used to read your blog all the time, but my own life got super heavy and crazy and, well, time. I just happened to see your tweet today about your one year anniversary and I did a double take; then I almost burst into tears - for you? For me? I'm not sure? Probably yes is the answer.

Your car metaphor is a good one. Painful, but good. That "oh, yes" moment of shared semicolons. I feel your heart and my heart sings with yours. I'm sorry our hearts sometimes sing heavy songs. But, oh, sometimes they are also shockingly beautiful, and life reminds us in fascinating ways that we are not alone. Tonight, you were my reminder, and I needed that. Thank you.

I wish you much love, laughter, and beauty in the years ahead. <3

Brandi

I’m so glad you’re here. You brighten so many people’s lives with your blog. You have many friends you’ve never met, never forget that. I’m so glad you’re doing better. Sending you many warm hugs. 💖💖💖💖

terra

Thank goodness, indeed. ❤️

Nolite

Me too. And I'm glad you're here. And I'm glad I'm here.

Patt Schneider

Chiming in to add I'm glad you are here.

Kim

So glad you made it. <3 <3 <3

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