Sharing Hope

Photo by Waqar Bukhari

Our lives – me, my kids, my husband, other parents like us, other kids like mine – are complicated and messy.  Everyone’s lives are complicated and messy but our lives have an extra added shot of complication and a healthy dose of mess more than the average life.  Trying to make the best of it is what we try and do, every day.  But trying to make the best of days full of doubt and uncertainty and chaos and anger is like trying to make chicken salad out of chicken shit.  You might be able to make it look right, but inside, it’s still shit.

I’m tired of therapy sessions and measuring meds and blood work.  I’m tired of insurance forms and IEP meetings and walking on eggshells.  I’m tired of strangers giving us dirty looks, unsolicited advice and family members that figure they know best when they haven’t got the first damn clue.  I’m tired of justifying the choices we’ve made to every Tom, Dick and Harry on the planet.  I’m tired of having to live my life according to the rules set by bureaucrats whom I’ve never met and don’t care about what’s best for me, my family, and my neighborhood, just what will get them re-elected.

I hate knowing that if I’d made different choices long ago it might be different.  I hate that not a day goes by that I can’t talk or write or think about mental illness, psychosis, PTSD and depression.  I hate that I had to sacrifice parts of other lives to save one.  I hate that I can’t do what I want because I have to do what is necessary.

I want to scream at the top of my lungs while I run frantically through the streets towards nowhere.  I want to punch and hit and kick and scratch and flail.  I want to make plans for the future and never have a contingency.  I want to be judge and jury to everyone who had the audacity to judge me, and pass a painful and drawn out sentence with impunity.  I want to be able to take a phone call without having my pulse elevate.

I’m fighting to keep a child alive. A marriage alive. A family intact. Every mother I know in a similar situation is doing the same.  We band together to try and keep each other going just one more day, like some bastardized 12-step program.  Some days we cry ourselves to sleep over our situation.  Sometimes over each other’s.  There’s rarely enough hope to go around.  All we can do is share it when we have just a little extra.  Today, I have a little bit to spare, so I’m passing it on.

You CAN do this.

You DO matter.

You DESERVE happiness.

I’m not going ANYWHERE.

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  • Jen June 21, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Thank you <3

  • Adrienne June 21, 2011 at 11:13 am

    It's hard. Really really really hard, and we're allowed to call a spade a spade. We don't have to smile and nod politely and pretend that it's not back-and-soul-breakingly hard so that other people will feel better.

    We've got way too much to deal with without also being tasked with other people's comfort.

  • Kris June 21, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Whether you meant me or not, I needed to read this last night. Thank you.

  • picklesprincess June 22, 2011 at 1:48 am

    Wow. Totally, completely…Wow.

  • Jenna July 12, 2011 at 2:50 am

    I just recently found your blog, and I just want to say thank you for this post. I'm a mom with a 21 yo bipolar son who was only diagnosed last December. We're still navigating all the waters.

    I have lots of hope to share though too.