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Friday, December 30, 2016

Another Year Older, and A Year in Review

On the 30th of this month (December) I will turn 24. I was trying to sleep a moment ago and could not help but think how awesome this birthday is for me, and of all the things that happened this year. So, I want to reflect back on how I have grown and changed in the last trip around the sun. 
The list of this year’s events, and how they changed me.
1. Uprooted.
In January, my landlord (live-in roomie as well) relapsed on alcohol. This prompted me to pack my small family up and move home to my family’s property. With a 6 month old baby, I was not going to allow him to expose her to the angry and out-of-control individual he becomes under the influence. This put me back in a place where, historically, I only seem to get more and more depressed and anxious. It has never lasted more than a month or two before I get so depressed that I am barely functional. I spent a lot of this time wondering why it was like that. 
2. Suicide AttemptIn February I attempted on my own life. My, now ex, husband had been angrily cursing my depression and had grown increasingly intolerant of it. Surviving it changed the way I looked at myself. My sickness got worse, and I began to long to escape the world I was in. I was sure that I was a useless mother, a failure at my most basic station – that I was hurting everyone around me.
3. The Worst Mother’s Day in The History of Mother’s Days. 
My, now ex, husband had been growing increasingly frustrated and intolerant of my depression and anxiety. We had been fighting more than ever, and things were escalating pretty quickly. That morning we were arranged to have our daughter dedicated at our church. I woke up feeling sick and depressed. My husband felt, that particular morning, that he was entitled to me getting up and making his breakfast and coffee. We fought about it, he got physical. We went to church. Walking into church I find out that my mom (who adopted my first child after the state took him from me on BS allegations) has found a home in another state and will be moving. I spend the whole day being told how worthless and useless I am to my family (only by said, now ex, husband). I told him he would never touch me again. I meant it. In that moment – leaving him – I found a strength and a surefooted heart in myself that I forgot existed. I began to see myself in a two-faced light. 
4.Homeless And Alone. 
It was not an option at this point. I packed a bag, and I ran away from my family. I landed a good job and started working on getting on my feet. I was sleeping in the smoking shelter outside work, and trying to conceal serious mastitis from suddenly stopping breastfeeding. A friend of mine who was working with me stumbled upon me one morning and took me in. I worried about the day that my daughter would defy her father and press his temper. He – even to this day – has been a wonderful dad to her. But, he was violent with her mother – with me, and I worried about what time would do to their relationship. I felt like the world’s worst mother, and thought more about suicide than I ever had before. 
5. The Irish Gent. 
I met and had a wild and shortly lived relationship with an Irish migrant. Got my heart broken, moved on. What this relationship did for me, is it got me back in touch with my roots. Even after we split he wanted me to be certain of the beauty and strength in myself. I believed him and began to feel good about myself.
6. The Native. 
I got into a relationship – that is still flourishing – with a Native American man twice my age. He saw my scars and my pain at its rawest and angriest. He nurtured healing in my heart, my mind and in my body. His work healed some of my physical ailments and made major repairs in other departments. It wasn’t in the way he sang praises about me to other people, or the way that he beamed with pride every time I got better than I was before that gave me hope. It was the fact that he got my coffee right when he made it, and that he would make sure it was ready when I got out of bed. It was the leather Biker jacket he bequeathed to me. It was the little lessons he gave to me. By far the most amazing human being I have ever encountered. The strength he poured into me is still holding on to this day. I began to see myself as worthy and powerful – as someone worth being loved.
7. The Market Experience. 
I worked a Saturday Flea Market of sorts every weekend. It was my job to be the driver from our place to the market before 6 AM set in. I took my job seriously and did my best never to fail at it. I was at least good enough for that job, and unlike my failed marriage, my partner made a point to speak his appreciation of me. He tolerated the moments when my Autism would have me shutting down at inopportune moments, and he comforted me during panic attacks. I became a pretty awesome salesperson. I was interested in my work. It was here that I realized what caused my depression to worsen so rapidly on the family property. In the city, in that situation, I was challenged in a real and beneficial way every day. This challenge helped my depression to go into remission and for my mind to grow and get better. I flourished. At the farm, in the country, I don’t have that. My days are simple, quiet, and dull. I rarely leave my bedroom – for lack of anything to do. In that environment I only get sick, never better.
8. Winter Came. 
With my body being sick and weak, sleeping in an RV that had no heat or power wasn’t an option. My love sent me back into my family’s home to stay safe and warm through the winter – and to write my story. He stayed in touch and our love for one another managed not to suffer from the distance. My mental heath, however, did suffer from the move. Within two months I was sick again, getting angry more easily, staying longer hours in bed, crying more often, and even relapsing on self-harm. I stepped into this writing idea as a way to challenge myself and to push myself to be better than I was yesterday. It is helping, and I am glad for that. I am still hoping to get out of here someday soon.
A Year in ReviewThis year I was reminded on a few occasions how strong and beautiful I am, in my simplest form. I have had so many people breathe such life into me. I have made a ton of new and life-long friends. I have developed important skills. I am much healthier than I was on my birthday last year. I am stronger and more determined than I have ever been. I am proud to have survived the beast of a year that has been the year 2016. I am looking forward to what 2017 holds for me.
Peace, Love and Bulletproof Marshmallows
Mandey T
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