By Rachel Bledsoe of The Misfits of a Mountain Mama
I am sorry I haven’t written in awhile, but it’s been a strange, wild ride since the last time we spoke. I’m a mom now; my son is almost 3. He’s really great, and he has an unbelievable amount of energy. He never sits down. Seriously; like maybe for two, possibly four minutes tops, and it’s exhausting. But if you could hear him laugh. It’s infectious. The little kid giggles will instantly fill you with joy, and there isn’t any worry in your mind. I wish he laughed all the time, but that’s an unrealistic expectation to ask of anyone. It’s not his place to fix me.
I’m not laughing much lately.
Thursday is Thanksgiving. I’m in a real dark spot again. I keep trying to find the light, the hope. The happiness in gratitude. I’m supposed to be thankful, but I’m not. I’m real pissed off all the time. Short tempered with a fuse burning too close to an exploding bomb. I’ve tried to reconcile that it’s the weather and come spring I will be happy again. And while I’m sure this is true, spring is so far away.
We’re supposed to put up the Christmas tree next weekend. I don’t want to put the damn thing up. I can see the battle now. “Toddler, stop, don’t, please… I SAID NO.” I will get angry because, let’s face it, Christmas lights suck. They are beautiful, and I try to picture the glow which makes me happy, but I only see the dirt caked on my hands and the exhaustion from working. Dragging things down from the attic. The same shit I will have to lug back up to the attic in a month. An attic already overflowing with too much junk and too little time to clean it out.
I feel as if that is all I’ve accomplished since I last wrote you. I’ve piled more stuff in an already overflowing storage space.
Some days, I want to run. I want to get in my car and drive to some hotel in a town I’ve never seen, a place near the ocean. I want to lay in the bed and not wake up for two days. I hate myself for these thoughts. I’m supposed to be happy. I’m not happy. I’m not fine. I’m tired, and Christmas is only compounding these feelings.
The husband says, “You need to go talk to someone. You’re becoming hard to live with.”
Outwardly, I agree with him. I know I’ve snapped too hastily at him, but I don’t want to talk to anyone. The last time we ‘talked’ I was given three pills a day to fix my problems. They did NOT fix anything. They made life worse. Those pills put everything inside of me to sleep. I was the walking dead. I can’t fall down that rabbit hole again. I got a kid. A little boy who depends on me…but I don’t like being the lady I am now either, so I agree. Yes, talking and seeing someone could be beneficial, but I have my doubts and my thresholds. Mainly, they ain’t allowed to mess with my creativity. I have to draw a line somewhere. This is my line in the sand. Won’t cross it again. I spent a lifetime hiding all the words I put into you. All the notebooks and Trapper Keepers are hidden. I don’t want to hide them anymore. I say to myself, “You gotta tell your story. You’re the only one who is allowed to tell it.”
That’s what I’ve been doing. I made a baby who is now my strong-willed, high-spirited child, and I’ve been telling my story.
Part of my story is I get sad. Real bleak, black-hole-swallowing depression. Christmas doesn’t feel Merry. Thanksgiving is a day where I want to go and swallow some of those blue little Xanax I used to have prescriptions to. I vowed not to touch them again, so I can’t. But I really want to.
On the night before Thanksgiving, I don’t go to bed till, like, midnight or 1. I’m cooking and cleaning, and then I get up at 5, if the toddler will sleep until then. And we cook. We cook all damn day. People come and eat, and I soak up the few minutes I get to sit down with my son. Then we clean up the plates, give our son a bath, and I pass out. I still got to get back up and go to my job on Friday morning.
That’s the thing. These holidays are all work. When you’re an adult, there isn’t any magic because there isn’t an adult creating happiness for you. You’re the one creating the magic. I guess it’s time to admit I’m an adult now.
“Oh, dinner was wonderful and tasted so nice,” they will say.
It should; I’ve been working on it for days. (Too many days to give the appearance of gratitude, to be thankful.) And in that ungrateful state I am flung into a holiday where I’m supposed to spend money I don’t have, because Jesus ain’t the reason for the season. Materialistic appearances and feeding a timeline full of happy pictures are the reasons that matter to most people. We’re all trying to compete with Dick, Jane, and Karen, who we don’t even like. But damn, she better be jealous of our happy fucking holiday and how effortlessly we pulled it off.
Every damn day is a revolving door of more work. Am I grateful for more work because the calendar says it’s November and December? No, I’m tired and depressed. I’m sad. I want to curl up in my bathtub and cry again.
But ain’t nobody got time for that.
This post originally appeared on The Misfits of a Mountain Mama.
About Rachel Bledsoe
Rachel E. Bledsoe is an Appalachian Mama and Misfit. She writes about her adventures, heartaches, and details her life’s journey on the blog, The Misfits of a Mountain Mama. She also enjoys long walks on the beach, puppies, and Marie Antoinette biographies. Be sure to follow her by visiting The Misfits of a Mountain Mama’s Facebook page or by joining her on Twitter.
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