Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Coming Clean

Decided maybe it's the right time to come clean with a number of you. Things have changed on this blog; the tone, the frequency, the passion. It's different.

I'm telling you all a secret I've been hiding for almost 2 years.

I'm fighting a battle with anxiety and (coming up from behind like that proverbial one-two punch) depression. The anxiety has been a constant companion since 12/15/06. I can't give you the exact time, but I pinpoint the moment.

My spouse said: When I retire, all I need from life is you and the dogs.

I haven't slept a night without drugs since that moment. Because in my life I need 95% more than I can get from this man and my dogs. I don't want to be responsible for his whole life and I don't want to limit myself to his life decisions. It all feels quite small.

I spent a lot of time trying to work out this condundrum. We've been married almost 25 years. Probably the first 3-5 were good; most of the time since then has been living by rote and habit. But it's A LOT OF TIME.

This year the anxiety has grown to the point where it's sometime overwhelming. Yes, I'm taking some meds to control it, I'm seeing a psychologist to give me someone to talk to. I'm working on it. The shrink says that the anxiety is the pent up energy from not acting on life and the fear of change; acting will eventually give this energy a source to expend and it will decrease.

I've made the clear intentional decision that if I am unhappy and dying in the life I'm living, it is my responsibility alone to change things. To work toward living a live that feels more authentic and more real. To get out in the world more; which necessarily means getting away from the safety net that is this lonely empty house and the interwebs for times each day.

It means building a life for me that IS much bigger than my spouse and our dogs.

I will be looking for work that gets me involved in helping people. I'm good at that. I will be looking for volunteer opportunities that feed my creative spirit; it's almost completely buried under the fear and loathing and fear that I battle every day.

I don't know how my life is going to change in the next few years, but it needs to change. I fear deep in my soul that a lack of change now means that I will follow my grandmother and mother who both gave up on the idea of living their lives.. and lost themselves to Alzheimers disease at ages just a few more than my current age.

My spouse? He will have to make his own decisions. Change, remain the same, move on, or die. It's his life for him to be responsible for not me.

Honestly, this is all very hard and the energy to write this and the energy to live it takes away from the power to do much more.

Let me say that I feel the support from many of you even when you knew what I what was doing. Before the first comment hits the page (or the private email hits my box), I know you stand beside me holding me to my best intentions.

Thank you for this. It means the world.

Now excuse me while I head out into the light of the world and breathe some fresh air.

I also blog at: Weight for Deb and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

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