Feb 12, 2013

Coming Clean

I believe this is the record for the longest gap between blog posts. I'm not proud of it. I used to write weekly...maybe even more often. It drove me nuts that I wasn't writing and I actually felt guilty for such a long hiatus. Who was I kidding? It's not like anyone was waiting to read what I had to say about parenthood, work, and the stress of balancing all of that while trying to someday possibly reach my dream of becoming a published author. It was when I let go of that self-imposed guilt that I discovered that I really did have something to say.

You know the whole elephant-in-the-room phenomenon? That's pretty much what has been going on over here on my end. The more I tried to avoid what was going on, the more excuses I found not to blog. When you try your hardest to ignore something so enormous you end up becoming paralyzed. Frozen. Completely blank.

So 2012 sucked. From the first day to the very last. As Griffin likes to say, "I'm not even kidding about this." From a severely sprained ankle to a skin cancer diagnosis and surgery. From the death of my dear, sweet grandfather to the near death of my marriage. The year drained me. It robbed me. It took my soul. You know that feeling when you coast into the gas station on fumes? That was me. All the time.

I didn't want to talk about it - especially the marriage part. I  was ashamed, embarrassed, confused, and frustrated. I still am, actually, but it just depends on the day. It consumed me, though, and all those other things I already mentioned simply piled on top of that and pushed me down lower and lower. A wise person once told me that sometimes we all just need to tread water. I couldn't even do that. It seemed like every time I was able to break the surface, something stronger than me pushed me back under...and held me there.

Sometimes I feel as though I lost an entire year of my life. Physical therapy, biopsies, doctors' appointments, futile attempts at marriage counseling. I was out-of-control. A puppet. But as the year came to a close, I realized that I did have control over some things in my life, and that it was just a matter of knowing what those things were. I cannot control whether or not I develop additional skin cancers (though I would love to be able to control that!), but I can do my best to prevent them and continue to see my doctor every few months for checks. However, I can control whether or not I let all of this consume me. I could stay paralyzed, watching life pass me by, but that means missing out on everything that I love - Griffin, my family, my passion for writing, pursuing my dream of publication, etc.

Everything that happened last year will always be a part of me...a part of my history, but it is a conscious decision not to let them define me. That's the tricky part. It is so easy fall into the victim mentality. By no means have I conquered that. There are many days when I let myself stew in some sadness. Sometimes it's just what we need to do. But I have learned when to get back to life, when to suck it up and move on.

I have no idea what is going to happen this year. People tell me I have nowhere to go but up, but in all honesty, that makes me uncomfortable. Sometimes I feel like I'm just waiting for the next shoe to drop. In the meantime, though, I will continue to be a parent (a pretty darn good one, too), a maybe-wife, a friend, and as always...a writer.

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