Because Life Was On The List

My daughter had her prom this year which was pretty great to be a part of, even though she might be the most ungrateful person on Earth. I tried to just enjoy myself around her demands, and attitude, and words, and to see through it. She was anxious, and excited, and I knew none of it was personal.

It was truly wonderful to be there, and I know that later in her life, after the bitch wears off, she'll look back and remember how I cried. She of course yelled at me to stop, really loud, in what I can only assume was an attempt to embarrass me in front of the whole town, but whatever. I wasn't embarrassed, I was proud to be bawling. I was happy to be there because that moment was on my list.

When my daughter was four years old, I attempted to take my own life. It had become beyond unbearably painful, and I could not stop hurting myself and others. I did not know what was happening, but I was pretty sure I was the victim of life and I wanted to stop it. I had probably a couple of diagnoses at this point as well as non-compliance with medication; medication that should not be mixed with alcohol. I reached my end one night after something insignificant that I had blown out of proportion and I was ready to die. I was, of course, intoxicated and sobbing because it was 2am and there weren't many nights that I wasn't. That night I was feeling overwhelmed and unable to climb out of the rubble. 

I downed a bottle of pills, and I sat down to write some letters to my family. I wanted everyone to know how I felt and how sorry I was for all of the things I was going to miss. I wrote a very long and guilt ridden letter to my parents and then started the letter to my daughter. This letter read like a list because there was so much of her life that I would be absent from. I apologized that I would not be there for her first day of school. I was sorry that I would not be around during the changes in her life and body, when she would need me most. I begged her to forgive me for missing prom, and graduation, her wedding, and the birth of her babies. I added these things to the list and tried with all of my might to believe I had no choice in leaving.

I convinced myself that I was not worthy of these beautiful moments with her, and that my presence was not necessary. Depression is a lying bitch, and without defense against her I was open to all suggestion. I was a loser, a terrible mother that couldn't show up, a waste of oxygen. Self-pity City is a dangerous place to visit, and I was living there.

So, I continued my list, and it saved my life. It was while I scratched paper with pen and made that wonderful list that hope found me. In that tiny room, surrounded by the mess I had made of my life, it was in that list that I found strength. A tiny part inside of me screamed that we should be there, that we wanted to be, and I began to fight for my crappy life. I asked for help for the first time and I received it immediately. I didn't feel worthy of it, but I accepted it for my daughter.

Many things occurred after that amazing moment; I got sober, I took action to make my circumstances better, I learned how to take responsibility for my life. I began to surround myself with people I admired and I trusted them to help me be a better woman and mother. I started to practice the changes in behavior and I started to feel better. Hope was restored piecemeal and I was able to build a life for myself and for my daughter.

So, on the day of her prom I cried. I cried for the woman that didn't know how precious that moment would be and almost missed it. I cried for the list and the joy of being able to cross off one more beautiful event, because I was there. I was not embarrassed, I was grateful and I yelled back to her,

"So what? I'm crying because I love you, and I don't care who's watching."

And I didn't.

Julie @ Next Life, NO Kids


In order to comment on, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.