dark and scary

Life is pretty good these days. No, actually it’s great. It wasn’t always that way though. There was a time, about thirteen years ago, when my life was a complete mess. Wait, that’s not true. My life wasn’t a mess. I was a mess. A complete disaster actually. My life was complicated and things hadn’t been going my way. Not small things either. Major life things.

Having bounced back from an ugly divorce, I had remarried a wonderful man, my son was in his first year of school and I had a great job. All was good. Then the other shoe dropped. The day after we got married in Hawaii, the company that my husband worked for relocated to Memphis, Tennessee. A great opportunity to move ahead in his career,this wasn’t something he could turn down. We made the decision that he would go ahead and take the relocation and I would approach my ex-husband on the subject of me taking my son to live there as well. Unfortunately, he didn’t agree, neither did a judge….or an appeal judge for that matter. In hindsight they were right, but at the time I was devastated. I just wanted to put the past behind me and start a new life.

So there I was, living in a rental home and sharing custody of my son with a man who not only resented me for trying to take his son away but was bound and determined to share all of that information with my son. As much as we hated being apart, the company had offered my husband an amazing position and even though it did have a finite time frame attached to it (four years) we were newlyweds who only saw each other once a month if we were lucky. I hated being alone and it wasn’t any easier for him. We had sold our townhouse in hopes of being able to make a quick move so half of our belongings were in storage. It was a nice enough place but it wasn’t home. On the outside I had it all under control. Taking my son to school, going through the motions of life but underneath I was floundering in depression, sleep deprivation and anxiety over my relationship with my son and my new husband.

dark and scary 2

At the worst of it I would lie in bed at night in the empty house and imagine that gang members were creeping down the dark driveway to break into the house and attack me. It was so dark, so specific, so violent.  Yet so real to me. I would open my eyes and tell myself how ridiculous it was. I would go downstairs and turn on all the lights, look out the window and re-assure myself that everything was okay. The coast was clear. Back up to bed I would go. Close my eyes and the exact same thoughts would invade my mind. Just as I got close to sleep I would hear a tiny creak and my eyes would fly open and my mind would be all in a whirl again. It didn’t seem to matter how tired I was, I couldn’t get the images out of my head.

I’m not sure if it was the lack of sleep or the depression but my decision-making abilities were all but gone. One day I needed to go to the grocery store for dinner. I wandered around for almost an hour trying to decide if we should have burgers or pasta. Did I want something healthy or tasty and quick. I didn’t want to have to cook so maybe should just get something frozen.

I left the store with a loaf of bread.

Half way to the car I thought this is stupid and I should go back and just buy something. I turned around and headed back to the store. Half way to the store I turned around again and headed back to the car. Sitting in the car I silently cried. It’s just dinner. Why is this so hard?

Believe it or not I didn’t go to the doctor for what was really bothering me. I can’t even remember why I was there but it must have been pretty obvious that I was a mess. After writing me a prescription for sleeping pills and an anti-depressant he suggested I go and talk to somebody. What? No, I’m fine. I just needed some sleep and everything will be good.

At that point I was still in denial.

I couldn’t even tell a man I had known for years what was going on. He was great. He said okay well just go see this friend of mine and if she says your okay then you can come back and tell me I was wrong.

It was just what I thought it would be. A couple of comfortable chairs, books on self-help and lots of candles. Close your eyes and calm your mind she said. I closed my eyes but all I saw was movement. Grey moving shapes flashed in front of me. My mind wouldn’t, couldn’t, stop moving. Try again she suggested. I closed my eyes again. No, still can’t get the world to stop spinning. Opening my eyes again I choked back tears and everything poured out. I explained the last year of my life and how I seemed to have lost any control over what was going on. I wish I could say that after spending an hour with her I had a better grasp on things but that would be a lie. It took us months to get me back on track. The sleeping pills helped. Along with antidepressants and a lot more appointments in the room with comfy chairs.

So why, when things are so good do I go back to that time?  It was dark and scary and out of control. I go back because it’s important for me to remember that all of the Best Things in My Life were with me through all of it.  And they still are.  I just couldn’t see them through all the grey swirling movement in my head.

13 thoughts on “MY DARKEST TIME

  1. Mel H January 22, 2015 / 5:11 pm

    Kudos to you for sharing the bad along with the good. Even when the topic is dark I really enjoy your writing.

  2. candidkay January 22, 2015 / 7:20 pm

    Oh, I simply love this post. You peg depression and anxiety (or so it sounds). You describe some of what I’ve gone through. It’s very tough when you have an ex who wants to trash you to your kids–and never support or say nice things. When it’s a chronic situation, it’s hard to climb out of. I love hearing that you’re in a great place–and that you now realize the best things were with you even then. I am trying to stay in gratitude and calm, even when the financial worries, etc. get me down. Thanks for hope and light.

    • bestthingsinlife1964 January 22, 2015 / 7:29 pm

      It certainly was a big dark hole to climb out of. A great person (professional) to talk to is essential to keep you focused and on the right path. Glad you liked it.

  3. Karen @ Mended Musings January 23, 2015 / 9:54 am

    It’s surreal sometimes to look back at painful times in our lives. I always wonder, “How did I get from there to here?” Your description of the indecision you faced over something as simple as dinner is something I can relate to! It’s weird how our minds shut down in an effort to cope. I really love the feeling of hope I get from this post. 🙂

  4. camparigirl January 23, 2015 / 2:05 pm

    I always find it interesting that, when we look back, the monsters weren’t quite as big and menacing as we had perceived them. I guess as we get older we learn perspective but not an easy lesson to learn and so easy to lose the thread when we are in the midst of it.

  5. Jennifer's Journal January 26, 2015 / 11:20 am

    This is a story I can relate to. I’ve had issues in the past, both recent and years ago, that led to a period of anxiety. I hope all of this is behind you now. Thanks for the follow, am following back. 🙂

  6. lovetotrav April 10, 2015 / 8:34 pm

    Almost the exact same thing has happened to me via a divorce gone very wrong and on that day, I stood in front of a teller and had no idea what my phone number was. I found that moment to be so akin to your bread. I know how dark and scary that feels. To feel like you have little control over the big things and then it seeps into the little things. Cheryl

  7. Tina Ballroom January 25, 2017 / 4:14 pm

    Oh Susan, I feel so bad that you went through this, I can relate to a number of things here apart from the ex!!!!! Your so brave. Life is so shitty sometimes and your such a sweetheart. xx

  8. Oriana January 25, 2017 / 4:17 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I saw my therapist for 5 years after the birth of my daughter. Now with the move from California to Virginia, well I easily get so down and lonely I forget about The Best Things in My Life. So I’m seeing a therapist again. Your piece is so real and really touched me. The experiences I’ve had with my therapists are some of The Best Things in My Life. In fact so much so I need a bumper sticker that says “Have you hugged your therapist today”? Hugs!

    • bestthingsinlife1964 January 25, 2017 / 5:27 pm

      I still go for the occasional “check in” with my therapist when life gets rough. We all have our demons and being honest about them is one of the best ways to fight them.

  9. Sarina January 25, 2017 / 9:31 pm

    It is strength like your that make others stronger. Your story allows others to identify they are not alone, your story allows others to tell their story. Your strength gives other strength. Thank you

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