So, it’s official. I have been published. Again. I know the first time was something I was going for (the whole Poetry contest thing of the 90’s), but it counts. There. I said it.
This time, though, it’s different. I was published in a book in a way I never could have imagined I would have been tapped for. Sit back and let me tell you this story, which actually comes at a very timely place, given my recent blogs about being crazy….
Once upon a time, long, long ago (5 years), there lived a young lady who was crazy…..
Wait. It sucks telling the story that way. Besides, you know all about that already.
I was in recovery. It was 2006. I was struggling. A lot. I was going through a lot of internal turmoil in my relationship with my mother. My marriage wasn’t doing all that well, either. And I knew I was to blame. Conversely, I felt like I had no control or ability to change it. I didn’t feel capable to do anything to fix things.
My mother… eh. I didn’t care about fixing my relationship with her. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I still cared what she thought. And that was what was fucking with my head. Why would I care so much what this person thought of me? That dissolved into a whole bunch of other issues: why doesn’t she love me? What have I done so wrong? I’m her only daughter and she couldn’t care less. Why am I not enough?
Truthfully, in the end I know it was/is her issue. I’ve mostly gotten past that. Some days I still struggle. But at the time, it was pretty rough. I couldn’t forgive her (which I have, finally). I couldn’t forget (I still haven’t). And as much as I wanted a relationship with her, I couldn’t imagine setting myself up for her to hurt me again.
My marriage… it was a whole other issue. I had pushed him away and retreated into my own pain. I used it as a shell to protect me. And the more I used it, the more crazy I got. I felt unloved, uncared for… I felt unwell. I accept my part in that. Believe me, I know I played a big role in it. On the other hand, it wasn’t just me. He didn’t really understand my issues. That made me isolate from him, even more. He pushed me away as much as I pulled away.
It was a slow dance of dissolution. Right before our very eyes, we were falling apart.
At any rate, when I feel lost, often times I listen to that instinctual voice that tells me to keep my eyes open for inspiration. I stumbled onto the FutureMe.org website (the premise of which is that you can send an email to yourself in the future. 3 months, 12 months, 12 years…whatever you choose). I looked through bunches and bunches of public letters. I didn’t find the answer I was looking for. So I wrote my own letter. It went like this (actually, this is exactly it): I was going to put the letter on this post, but it would have made this one post *really* long. So click here to go to the next post where I have it.
A little while later I got an email asking for permission to possibly publish it in a book. I said yes. That was sort of the last time I thought about it for a while. Recently, I was perusing the Barnes and Noble website for new books to read. One of the suggestions was the Dear Future Me book. A little serendipitous, I thought. I bought it, used, for only $5. A steal, I thought, whether I was in it or not.
I got it, flipped through it, and sure enough…. there I was. It was super exciting. So there. Now I am published. And it matters to me, for several reasons. For one, I wasn’t trying to be published. I was looking for an outlet that would help. Secondly, I meant for that letter to reach as many people as it could. If I could help someone with my pain, it would make some of the struggle of recovery worth it. Lastly, it means that someone read it. Even if it was just the creators of the website. Someone thought that what I had to say was substantial. And that was validating.
And now, 5 years later, I feel stronger, more capable and healthier than I have ever felt. I wish the very same for anyone else who is struggling to make it through one more day. It’ll get better. I promise.