October 3, 2010

Doctors Orders

One of the hard things about putting your life online is that not everyone understands the reason why you put it all “out there”

I didn’t start blogging for fame or fortune.

I did it because I needed a space to be myself. I needed my own corner of the world, where I didn’t have to think about anybody else, where I didn’t have to take anyone’s feelings into consideration but my own.

I started blogging… because my doctor told me to.

It was 2007, and my Taylor, my little 8 week premature miracle, was exactly four months old.

I hadn’t slept in days, and when my kids began to stir in the early hours of the morning, I went in the kitchen to fix breakfast.

Except that I couldn’t remember how to make anything.

I tried to make oatmeal, and I burnt it.

I tried to make eggs,but I couldn’t remember how to crack them open.

I was a failure.

As my kids cried from hunger, I collapsed to the floor and sobs racked my body.

I didn’t deserve this life, I didn’t deserve these kids. I didn’t deserve anything.

I called my friend, Jill, because she was the only person I felt like I could reach out to.

She walked me through the next few hours, and kept me on one line, while she called and made a doctor’s appointment for me on another.

She called my mom for me, and arranged for a babysitter.

She even offered to pick me up and drive me to my appointment.

She was the one that kept me grounded that day, that kept me here.

When my mom got to my house, I put a ball cap on and walked out the door.

I drove to the doctor’s office, and signed my name on the list.

I stood on the scale, and had my blood pressure taken.

The nurse asked me why I was here today,

And I wept.

She gave me a hug, and called the doctor right in.

He gave me a pill, turned down the lights, put on some music, and promised to come back in a few minutes.

While I lay on the table, I began to drift outside of myself.

I watched from the corner of the room, while the shell of the person below tried to remember how to breathe.

I wanted so badly to reach out and take her hand, and tell her it was going to be alright, but I couldn’t. I was too scared to try and touch her.

That was the moment that I knew I was broken, that something was so very wrong, and that I couldn’t fix it.

I watched as the doctor came back into the room, and I heard him speak.

My other half answered the questions robotically. They went through the checklist, and he assured her that this, this, THING wasn’t her fault. They made a plan, and then I heard him ask:

“What do you do FOR YOU?”

And she said nothing.

He talked a little bit more, then asked again,

“What do you do, FOR YOU?”

I wanted to laugh. There was nothing that was mine. I got up in the morning for the kids. I made food that I didn’t eat for my family. I cleaned the house, and switched the laundry, and changed the diapers, and tried not to think about me. I couldn’t think about me…. I hated me.

He asked me about books, and about movies, and about hiking, or swimming, or anything that I might enjoy doing alone.

Finally, I offered up “Scrapbooking?” because it was something that I enjoyed, and I only did it late at night, when I was awake and alone.

But he said, “Yes, but that’s ABOUT your family. That’s not about YOU. There isn’t anything you do just for you?”

And I watched as she started to cry again.

He sighed, and patted her hand, and then he offered, “You should start a blog or something. But it can’t be about them. It has to be about you…”

He wrote some more notes on his page, and he handed her a prescription.

“You have to do something FOR YOU. Not for anyone else. Just. You.”

Then together, that shell of a girl and I, we got off of the table, and in to the car, and we drove home….

September 20, 2007.

THAT was the day I started blogging.