Monday, February 22, 2016

Dancing in the Sun

I am a 35-year-old woman. Mother of three. Wife to one. And most of my life, I have felt like none of the above. In fact, most of my life, I’ve felt like nothing.

I took my first round of SAT testing when I was twelve. I enrolled in my first college class at the tender age of sixteen. I graduated with an Animal and Veterinary Science degree—and a business minor.

I have a waiting list for both editing and tax clients—and yet, for months of the year, I feel like an utter failure.

When the leaves fall and the sun turns in early, my heart shrivels a little inside. By Thanksgiving, I’m gripping my pillow at night, staring at the walls and wishing for sleep. When Christmas comes, I see only disappointment in the mirror. I fight for my children to feel happy—and more than likely, overcompensate for my own sorrow.

But the longest night, the scariest hour is the night of my birthday in January. More years than I care to admit, I’ve been on the edge of sanity, my toes creeping over the ledge. The temptation to jump pulling at my legs.

A proper diagnosis, therapy and medication has lifted the darkness a bit, exposing only a dense fog instead of the unending night. But if I glance over my shoulder, I still see the cloud.

Instead of hiding my mood disorder, I’ve begun confiding in friends (who’ve become family). One of which is a doctor living just a few blocks away. On my birthday, she offered a present with a smile—a flower that dances in the sun.

It was a small gesture, but that little flower keeps me in the light. It’s funny what we’ll do to see a dance, even if we can’t hear the music.




7 comments:

Joan Raymond said...

Such a wonderful gift. Sometimes something as simple as a dancing flower makes all the difference in the world.
You're very fortunate to have such a special neighbor.

Annis Cassells said...

A beautiful, honest, and heart felt post, Clarissa. Thanks for allowing us in to your world and putting some light into ours. May it reflect back to you, dear one. xoA

John Harrer said...

I'm saddened you allow yourself to feel a failure. You have brought life into this world. I have no sense of bipolar, but your post reminded me of a story I heard of a woman with an eating disorder. She was 89 lbs, 5' 5" and she considered herself fat. Oh, that I wish you would let yourself see you as we (the world) sees you, a smart, capable, caring person. Oh, and the writing was pretty good too 😉

Clarissa Kae said...

John, you are so good. So kind. Thank you.

Emily Brunett said...

My heart goes out to you for those dark, winter nights you spend on the edge of sanity. Sunlight is such a powerful regenerator and motivator, and I'm glad you have a little something to remind you to rejoice in the light when it's around. Thanks for sharing your heart!

Donnee Patrese said...

Goodness, I know how you feel. I turned 32 today and I felt depressed. I get by raising my three girls and my husband (lol) with the help of my therapist and bipolar meds. some days it is hard. The dark lonely days can be suffocating. I often feel like im failing. I feel like I've accomplished nothing. I understand.

Anke H said...

Clarissa,
I belong to a multigenerational family living and loving in spite of mood disorders. I know the comfort of the steady ground the medication provides and the betrayal of positive thinking. Being well is such a complex skill we navigate on a daily basis. Thank-you for posting this.