A Sky Full of Stars

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Life is funny. We each have these paths, unbeknownst to us, even if we think we know the path we’re on. And the things that happen to us, often the incidences we categorize as the worst, undoubtedly lead to lessons and peace. If we choose to listen.

Take my niece, for example. Stricken with cerebral palsy and a host of physical issues due to a traumatic brain injury at birth…she is walking. After prognosis upon prognosis that she wouldn’t, a surgery that said she might, and a hell of a lot of hope and prayers. A little girl who had no hope of mobility is…well…walking.

I think of it from my sister’s eyes. The worst possible thing. Your child is not well. By no fault of anyone and a seemingly impossible perfect storm of events…you have a child who may never walk, be independent, or be capable of living a full life. Its a heavy burden to bear.

And then. A little bit of science, a little bit of miracle. She’s walking. And the things that you cursed and swore against as being the worst trials of your life have made you able to be in a position to fully grasp and appreciate this miracle. Whether one of science or one of hope; it does not matter.

In my own life, this path of divorce and my entire existence being thrown into a blender on high speed, I’ve hit a weird point.

Days after my husband left, it was suggested that I try antidepressants as a way to “get over the hump” and “deal with it”. I resisted. A few months later, my family basically told me I had to, and I–being completely helpless in so many ways–agreed. I didn’t want to. I’d never in my life needed medicinal help to navigate (save for wine) and it pissed me off that now, because of PC, I did. But I figured I had no choice…I was at rock bottom, I couldn’t handle jack shit, and maybe, just maybe, it would make me feel better.

Guess what, guys? It did. It did all the things everyone said. It got me over the hump. It took the edge off of the big, frightening emotions, and it gently pulled me from the depths of the black hole that I circled. The black hole was still there, but I was able to turn my back.

It also made me fat. And it made me groggy. A year passed and I thought…maybe I don’t need this anymore.

I decided to wean myself off of it. Its been a process (apparently you cannot just stop a medication that gives you serotonin boosts) but this is what I’ve learned:

The me that always was is still there.

The girl who gets excited over simple things and feels like her heart will burst with happieness and who cries over a random facebook post: she’s still there.

Medication helped me…but it also dulled me.  It took away my ability to emote. At the time, I needed that in order to deal with life. But now? I distinctly noticed this when my 92 year old grandmother died a few months ago and I shed not one tear.

This week? I went on a date (stay tuned, more posts later) and I was giddy, literally grinning like a fool afterwards. I shed tears over a facebook post about a friend who is going through breast cancer. I got all the feel multiple times over silly little inspirational quotes. I felt surges of happiness like I used to. My brain is clear and I wake up refreshed.

And this morning? I woke up refreshed and immediately grabbed my phone. The first thing I saw was videos of my niece…walking.  I literally did the ugly cry, in bed, before I’d even risen. It was glorious.

PC has taken so much from me. But he hasn’t taken me. I feel like a resurgence has taken place. I was who I was, then I went into a protective cocoon for a year or so, and now I’m emerging and full of hope. I feel like the sun has never been brighter (please come to Pennsylvania and you will understand how incredibly optimistic that statement is) and every night the sky is full of stars. The air is easier to breathe and sleep is deep and restful. Life is a fucking mess for all of us but there is beauty everywhere.

One step closer…

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