when is it time to let go? that has been a daunting task since i was a kid. then as a wife and a mother, i faced a similar task. i am a bit of a serial monogamist, but largely, living with mental illness has kept me from truly coming out of my box. a friend once told me i kept my world very small. they were right. as i sat on my back porch again today, i thought "kelly, you have not written in so, so long... what's going on with you?" so i decided to write.
i am really stressed right now. i have been caring for my mother who has stage 4 cancer. i have a teenager who is going through an immense amount of teenage stuff and also social and existential stuff. not to mention, being the teen of parents who divorced when they were 10 months old. i am a gastric bypass survivor and my youtube channel has had hundreds of thousands of views on that topic. but mostly, i am a free spirit, or so i thought. when i was 38, i developed some of the worst depression symptoms i had ever know, after i was sexually assaulted. it was not easy to talk about, so nobody knew that happened. my engagement the year prior ended to dishonesty after we had bought a house and i started living my dream. when that fell apart, i turned to an old friend who then assaulted me in my home. i spent months drinking and trying to figure out what had happened to my life. i asked myself many times, why i, as someone who had endured so much, now had to face this? it would be 3 years later before i went into therapy. my therapist is my most favorite part of my story. she has been the one person who has cheered me on for years, even when i was just about to flunk out of life.
the last year has been trying, difficult, but not impossible. i have learned to live one day at a time, not getting to far into the story before have thought things through. i do have a tendency to overthink now, which makes me slower to act on what needs to change rather quickly. i had been with an alcoholic for a few years, who was sober. when things started really heading downward, we decided to separate but he drank and continued to drink heavily until i faced the decision to end it completely. letting go is so very hard. when you love someone, it can seem like a job you will never be able to complete. i had to decided to make the break and move away from all contact. when my mother got sick & came to live with me, he really emotionally bailed & i was actually fine with that. it helped me grow and be a caregiver to mom, but it also helped me to see that i wouldn't be able to depend on this person after several 'emotional check outs' so i just stopped contact. occasionally i think about it and if i made the right decision, but i always come back to a few dramatic moments that were key and free me up to feel anger and disappointment rather than guilt or sadness.
i started to make more art in that space. i started to stick up for myself and ask for more out of those around me. my teen, included. it was time for those whom associated with me, do more to be like my therapist and support me, not ignore and check out on me. that is not a demand, but it means i am now discussing what i need from people as a caretaker, parent and friend. i am no where near the romance arena. i have a lot of growing to do before that. i am in the art-making and processing [and now, writing it out] phase of my recovery. it is not easy to care for someone who is dying. especially while going through a breakup and having a teenager who needs a lot of love & supervision. but i am meeting the task most days. a few days i am troubled by small stuff, but i have no way of eliminating the small stuff. noisy neighbors, barking dogs, mosquitoes, weight gain and aging are just not the most important things any more. so i try to just take a few deep breaths and get it out on paper. [or screen, as it were]
i miss my art being a source of secondary income. i certainly miss two incomes and a shoulder to cry on... BUT i am so grateful i have stability and when i need to step away from the world, i can, by and large. i hope to keep writing, to keep letting the emotions flow. i know that is healthy. i have been discouraged from writing before due to over-sharing, so i went very quiet for many years. i became a silent social media voyeur but that has been way too stressful to watch lately. so i am returning to my blog, a small little corner of the world where i can express what is really going on with me.
this drawing is from a few weeks ago.
it's me handing it over to the universe...
and letting go.