Dear friend…..it’s been awhile. My fault, not yours.
Let me try and explain.
Life got kind of crazy there for a while.
Within 15 months’ time I went from being single and alone to being a wife and a mommy.
Things I had dreamt of my entire life were finally happening to me, and they happened so quickly it’s taken me a long time to digest reality. To believe that THIS is in fact my life.
I have always been a glass is half full person.
I feel like it’s somehow my obligation to always have funny, good things to share. And while it has been the best time of my life, it has also been the hardest, darkest and loneliest.
When I haven’t called you back, it wasn’t just because I was busy.
When I didn’t want to make plans, it wasn’t just because I was busy.
When I just stopped texting or posting, it wasn’t just because I was busy.
I went from having all the time in the world for myself to having my heart living outside of my body and never feeling quite like my former self.
I went from having countless hours in my own head to having a husband and a baby that depended on me, and little or no time for myself.
I went into motherhood at a disadvantage, I knew how fast the time would fly. I’d seen it happen firsthand 3 times, and I didn’t want to miss a thing. So, when I look back, it’s like I was afraid to blink.
And I have barely blinked in four years.
I have barely stopped in four years.
I haven’t had an overnight away without my husband or child since before we got married in February 2016.
I’m afraid to miss anything, but exhausted and broken and in constant need of a break, both mentally and physically.
When I haven’t called you back, it was because I didn’t want to talk about what was going on.
It’s all normal motherhood and newlywed stuff. Nothing out of the ordinary to most. But while going through it, it was dark. It was hard.
And here’s the thing. It still is.
It’s isolating. Its exhausting. You’re doing a job that feels thankless, yet you look at your child and could not be more in love with her.
When I didn’t call you back it was because…..
I didn’t want to talk about how my now 3 and a half-year-old is still waking up overnight because of her stomach issues from when she was born.
I don’t want to complain about being an exhausted zombie when my “baby” is almost 4. She slept better as a newborn. But this is my reality.
And I know it could be so much worse.
I didn’t want to discuss the PPD/PPA. I didn’t want to bother you with my “baby” weight gain and inability to lose weight.
I didn’t want to explain why I’m still hurt and damaged from Sloane’s birth experience. Physically and emotionally.
And how I’m approaching 45 later this year which changes everything.
It has become time to face reality that I really am going to be the mommy of only one amazing little girl. All those dreams of a car and house full of babies, will always remain just a dream. And it’s a tough pill to swallow.
But I have my perfect, miracle unicorn baby who I could not feel more grateful for. Every.single.day.
Somedays I mourn that she will never have a sibling. She will never wear a “Big Sister” shirt. She won’t have anyone when her daddy and I are gone. Somedays that weighs on me heavily. Other days I’m grateful to only have her and am so grateful to be able to do the things I can do BECAUSE we only have one.
I didn’t want to complain about all the things that I live with on a daily basis that one by one are not the end of the world.
So many people, have so many bigger problems, that I’ve opted to keep mine to myself.
I have a husband, and a beautiful, healthy daughter.
We are both employed.
We are able to do things with her neither of us ever dreamed we would be lucky enough to do.
We have made memories that truly are the things that dreams are made of.
And yet, in between all of those blessings has been so much loss and so much hurt.
And so many goodbyes.
I lost my Nana, the last of my grandparents, two years ago. She was ready to go. She was 98 years old. She saw a lot of things in this world change, and not necessarily for the better. She saw her great grand daughters born and learn to talk and walk. I indeed mourn her loss but find comfort in the fact that I was lucky enough to have almost 43 years of memories with her.
Not even two months later my beloved dog Riley died unexpectedly at 13. I have not gotten over it, or past it, or through it. I was not ready or prepared for it. Even now when I think I am doing okay; Sloane ends up asking when Riley Roo will be coming back.
Riley got me through so much, she was my everything for so long.
My partner, my baby, my friend, my confidante. The only other living creature I would spend my weekends with sometimes. I don’t know that you can fully grasp the relationship one has as a single person with their pets Unless you’ve been there. And I’m so glad that I got to experience it. Riley was my partner in crime and my cuddle buddy and best friend when I needed someone most. She kept me alive. Someone had to take care of her, so I knew I had to keep on living, even during times I wasn’t so sure how I could go on. She was there, that white ball of fluff, yapping at me for something, or just laying around like a cat. Even though she WAS in fact a dog.
As I’m typing this out, tears are streaming down my face.
It was all just too much.
I didn’t know how to tell you.
I didn’t know how to not be alright.
I didn’t know how to tell you about having everything I ever dreamt of and still feeling empty.
I still don’t know how to fall apart. I wish I did.
Instead I’ve become increasingly isolated. On purpose.
I didn’t want to share the non-social media appropriate parts. I didn’t want to rain on your sunshine.
I didn’t want to bother you with my pain and my feelings. None of it is your fault, so why burden you with my pain and problems that you can’t fix anyway?
I have a therapist.
I have a psychiatrist.
I take medication.
Have I mentioned that on top of everything, I haven’t slept, like REALLY slept more than one night at a time fully through the night in four years? I LOVE sleep. I have always loved sleep. Even since I was a small child. So not having sleep has broken me beyond anything I knew possible. I have just been surviving. For almost four years.
I didn’t write this to make you feel bad for me.
I definitely don’t want your pity.
If anything, I hope you’ll accept my apology for being a shitty friend.
For being selfish out of survival.
For being selfish to spare you the burden of my struggles.
I was turning 40 and I was alone.
I thought my world was ending.
I had little hope left for ever having what I have now.
And it all changed in an instant.
I didn’t want to seem ungrateful. Unappreciative. I just kept waiting and figuring it would get better. Easier somehow. HA! How funny that is to think about now.
Now, when 3 minutes of silence is an eternity!!!
Now when a minute without a barrage of questions feels like a vacation!
Now, when getting up with her in the middle of the night no longer consists of changing her, feeding her and putting her back to sleep…..I had it down to 9 minutes at one point. Now I’m lucky if it’s under an hour. And once she’s back to sleep it sure doesn’t mean I can just get back to sleep, because then I’m awake, without any distractions like right now, and I’m thinking. Which is never a good thing. I mean really. I come from a long line of overthinkers and sometimes it is definitely a gift I wish I didn’t have.
So, I’ve smiled and posted fun pictures and kept the heavy stuff locked up deep down inside. And as time has gone on, it’s beginning to take up more and more of me. And I am sharing less and less of myself which may come across as hurtful, or neglectful of a friendship and I realize that. I really do.
I DO want to be able to chat like we did before.
I want to laugh at silly things again with you.
I don’t want to feel that I have nothing to say but lately, I just don’t feel like I do.
I don’t know when, but I’m working on it, and I hope to get back to being a newer, better version of the me I was before.
I hope you’ll still love me.
I hope you’ll still want to be my friend.
I hope that you’ll understand now where I have been, and that it was never you, it was always me.
I hope if you’re going through any of this, you know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE and that is the most important part to remember. There is ALWAYS someone else going through what you are. ❤
I see you.
I am here.
writers note: *this was written before the beginning of the great quarantine of 2020.