I’m facing demons. Well wait, not all of them are demons. Ever since I moved back to my hometown, I have found myself confronting myself. I don’t know how better to say it. I feel like I’m in sort of a 12-step self-awareness program. Shortly after returning home, it hit me hard that I had been running for years. From what, one might ask…from the person I thought I was…I guess.
I think I’m going to try to blog my way through this if for no other reason than to put it on “paper” and make them more than fleeting “ah ha” moments.
Islam: I am a Muslim woman. No big surprise there. I am a person who tends find something and jump in with both feet. I did the same with Islam. Many thought it was yet another phase in my life. It has been 15 years. I am a Muslim woman. Islam is my path. What drew me? The accountability between me and Allah (God). Period. Someday I may blog more about my religion, but not today.
Country girl: Oh, I’m a country girl. I like the wide open spaces. I like country music. (Don’t panic…I still love heavy metal music too). When I came home, my heart felt at peace. That is not to say I didn’t absolutely love the Pacific Northwest. It is probably one of the most beautiful places in the world and I hated moving away from there after 16 years. I think part of me was seeking the country life when I relocated to Phoenix.
Running away: So why did I leave? I’ve been struggling with that since I’ve been home. I know, when I left, I wanted my daughter raised in a place where all races, all religions, all ethnicities are able to interact without issues. But can I say I ever experienced racism here? Not really. It’s a small community and different people do illicit curiosity but racism? Nah. I remember hating that my mom would know what I bought at the grocery store before I even left the parking lot. But was it really THAT bad? Now that I raised two children of my own, would it have been so bad to actually have a community involved in their lives? I think, in retrospect, it would have been a great place to raise them. I think I ran away from my memories. I ran from my reputation. I thought I could reinvent myself with a fresh start. I thought the same thing when I moved to AZ. I was wrong. Who I really am always broke thru and who I am is not that bad of a person.
Depression: Ok, I hate this one. I suffer from depression and anxiety. Apparently, I have since I was little, but anxiety as an 8 year old is different than anxiety as an adult. I remember my mom not being able to tell me my dad was coming home from a business trip or that we were going to visit my grandparents because I would work myself up into a migraine or become overly hyper. I dealt with it. I felt there was something different about me because my mind never stopped. Scenario after scenario, hypothetical scenarios would play through my mind constantly. I “hear” things like the dishes on the living room table. They need put in the sink or washed. Why am I the only one who “hears” it. How do you ignore it? I started forming OCD behaviors. I started adhering to strict routines and making schedules and lists. In 2008, I lost my son. Well, back up from that….in 2004, I was involved with a man who was mentally abusive…I was a %^*-up, a terrible mother, a horrible wife, and a bad Muslim. He drove my older daughter away. He was overly strict and hateful to my younger daughter. Then we lost our son. He was stillborn. My mom died a few days later. I cannot blame him for the depression, anxiety or other issues — they have always been there — but he was the push-me-over-the-edge trigger. I started having panic attacks. I was put on medication. It helped but only for awhile. They kept increasing the dose until I couldn’t do it anymore. The medication was not enough. I had no support. So I weaned myself off after two years and started counseling. I was in therapy for two years and learned a lot about myself. Faced a helluva a lot of stuff I didn’t like to hear. I thought I was handling it. The nonstop thoughts running through my head faster than the speed of light about every single thing was stoppable, when I could focus and realize what I was doing, I could stop the “noise”. I was constantly anxious, but when insomnia took over, I had valarian to help me sleep. Then the day came when I had to see the doctor. The insomnia/valarian cycle was causing headaches. I had terribly achy joints – made it hard to stand or walk. My hands ached so bad I could not write. My lips and face tingled like novocaine wearing off. I remember that day. She didn’t give me a choice not to go back on the medication. She just asked what pharmacy to send it to. And would not listen to my protests. Her only concession was to promise to discuss it in 6 months. I burst into tears. I was a failure…again. I had it under control. Her response was “no, you do not.” She ran the whole gamut of tests. All returned negative. So back on the medication I went and damn if I don’t feel better. The point of all this…I need help with depression and anxiety and there is nothing wrong with that. I still have my OCD behaviors and I still struggle with my own self-loathing (never good enough) but I also have a helluva support group behind me in the man that is my soulmate and my “safe place” (aka my sister).
Screwed up: I screwed up. I thought I could handle legal things on my own like my divorce and bankruptcy and I have made terrible judgments and mistakes. I’d like to blame the system but it was the fact I would not ask for help. Well, I am going to have to ask for help and pray some of the mess can be fixed. But I needed to first admit that I did this.
Mental issues: I have to acknowledge that I deal with self loathing. Or, as my therapist called it, not good enough syndrome. Everything is always about me and it’s never good. If two random people are whispering, it is clearly because I have done something to upset them. Don’t even get me started about when I feel I am disappointing God. My therapist pointed out to me that this could be a form of arrogance. That stopped me in my tracks. I believe arrogance to be a sin. So this is my ongoing struggle. If I had a nickel for every time I’m told this is crazy, I could retire. I know it is. I wish I could stop. For now, I can simply acknowledge it. The mere suggestion that this sort of behavior is a form of arrogance has helped me to handle it.
Well this is a start for me. I see it in writing and it is real. Under no circumstances do I mean to imply that I am anything but happy. My life is incredibly blessed and I am where I am by the grace of God. I am part of His Plan and my issues are my tests. He has blessed me with an amazing family, a home, good health, a job, food….and so many blessing I can’t even begin to name. I wanted to write these self awarenesses down because writing is beneficial to me. It gets the noise out of my head. I suspect I will have other self realizations as my wall(s) start coming down.