Should’ve, Would’ve, Could’ve…

A Poem.

Tell me something,
won’t you pretty please?
If I were lying there, bleeding,
Hand outstretched and pleading—
Would you just keep walking?
Keep on leaving?
If you saw me on the street,
A day, a week, a year from now.
Would you say hello,
Say anything at all?
If I showed up unannounced,
Would you slam the door and tell me to get out?
If I came to you with the truth,
Would you hate me for waiting so long?
For not telling you until now?
Would you even believe the words from my mouth?
Tell me something, pretty please.
If the walls came tumbling down and I lost it all,
Would you be there to catch me–should I fall?
If I told you I was sorry,
Would you say that you’re sorry too—
That you never meant to be so cruel?
If we could, would you rewind time?
Reminisce with me, of what might have been?
And all that will never be again?
Tell me, would you? If you could?
Because I’m not so sure I would…
even if I could.

xoxo MESSIE

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Rhyme-Time Goodbyes…

(Said The Pot To The Kettle)
A Poem…

Tell me…what makes them think they have the right?
To criticize my mistakes?
To tell me how to live my life?
Tell me…who died and made them God?
It’s not their place,
and it’s definitely not their job–
To decide for ME what’s right or wrong.
Tell me…what made him think he had the right?
To break my heart and wreck my life?
When he damn well knew he had no right
Asking me to go with him that night.
The one regret I’ll carry with me the rest of my life.
If I’d just stayed home, I’d be alright.
I’d be okay.
I wouldn’t feel this lost,
Or be in this much pain.
Tell me…was it worth it?
To see the tears fall down my face?
And know that you’re to blame?
Tell me…don’t you feel even the least bit ashamed?
When you’re out there walking around, slandering my name?
This is my LIFE, you know.
It isn’t a game.
I gave you what you wanted.
The out you were so damn desperate for…
But it wasn’t enough,
You just had to have more.
Tell me…why can’t you see?
That I’ve grown up,
That I’ve moved on.
That I’m not the girl I used to be.
Please, just let it go.
Set me free.
Can’t take one more day of your inflicted misery.
God knows, I’ve been doing my best,
Just to try to forget.
No, I don’t want to reminisce.
I just want to end this.
So I can have closure,
And finally some peace.
Once and for all.
I deserve that, at least.
Don’t you think?

xoxo MESSIE

It’s A Big, Big World…

A Poem…

So out-of-place. So out of touch.
Where do I fit? Where do I belong?
My life’s just one long, sad song.
Can’t tell anymore what’s right and wrong.
It’s gone on for far too long.
Gotta break away,
Free myself from all these heavy chains.
Can’t keep waiting for someday.
All I have is today.
Gotta run away.
Say goodbye to all those yesterdays.
Sick of lying. Sick of crying.
God knows, I’m sick of trying.
Inside I’m slowly dying. So I’m giving up this fight,
Seems the only way to make this right–
Is to let the truth come to light.
And let the pieces fall where they might.
For even if I lose it all and fall—
I know that I’ll have given it my all.
Starting to realize, for a while now–
That sometimes living just isn’t worth the fight—
And no matter how hard you try,
or how many tears you cry.
It’ll never be alright.
It’ll never be okay.
You saw to that when you walked away,
and left me with these words:
The ones I never got to say.

xoxo MESSIE

Break The Rules…

I hadn’t planned on posting anything today, but all that changed when I started my computer and read a news article from my internet home page. It was about a 3-year-old little girl in New Jersey who’s need for a kidney transplant has sparked a highly controversial national debate. According to the article, the issue began last week when the parents of 3-year-old Amelia, were told by a doctor on the transplant committee at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia that their daughter does not meet the eligibility criteria for the transplant because…GET THIS…because she is “mentally retarded”. The little girl was born with a rare genetic defect called Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, which can cause mental and physical disabilities. After the encounter, the little girl’s outraged (and rightly so) mother posted the details of that meeting on her personal blog, which in turn was shared nationally by thousands of complete strangers–eliciting an online petition against the hospital and the transplant committee’s rules and regulations and sparking a great deal of controversy/media coverage. You can read the mother’s blog post for yourself here:

http://www.wolfhirschhorn.org/2012/01/amelia/brick-walls/ and the news article here: http://start.toshiba.com/news/read.php?rip_id=%3CD9SBIE3G1%40news.ap.org%3E&ps=1011&page=1.

It’s unbelievable. I’ve re-read both at least half a dozen times already and each time, I just get more and more angry. And disgusted at the narrow-minded-ness of not just the medical world, but of humanity itself. The mother was completely justified in every thing she said in her blog post and to be honest, I don’t know how she managed to get through that conversation and that meeting at all. If that had been me, I probably would have crossed that conference table and punched that doctor and that social worker both right in the face. I really would have. Especially the social worker for saying what she did. To hell with them just doing their jobs or that they have rules they have to follow–to hell with all of it. As a doctor–as someone who takes an oath to “do no harm” and to preserve life–how do you sit there and tell someone that their child is “ineligible” to have a life-saving transplant simply because she is, through no fault of her own for that matter, developmentally delayed? HOW DO YOU DO THAT??!!! It’s absolutely unfathomable to me how anyone–doctor or not–could say that. Or that how regulations and rules like that can even be decided or made in the first place. It’s unreal. It’s cruel. And its just plain wrong.

I don’t know that little girl. Or her parents. And aside from a few words in an article and a blog post that I’ve read–I don’t know her story. So why, then, am I so emotional over this? After all, it’s not personal, right? Except that it is. IT IS PERSONAL. It’s personal because, in a lot of ways, that little girl is my niece. My beautiful, amazing little 6-year-old niece Emma. She’s the face I pictured as I read that mother’s blog post. The reason I can relate so easily to that mother’s outrage and absolute contempt–is because I’ve seen and felt the same injustice, on more occasions that I can count, happen to my niece.

My niece was born premature, weighing only 3 lbs. 14 oz. She almost didn’t make it. As small and as underdeveloped as she was, there was a great deal of doubt as to whether she would or not. Initially, I don’t think the doctors expected her to make it through the first 48 hours, let alone longer. But as she so often does, she surprised us all by pulling through. It was touch and go for a while there. Her condition would start improving and then– just like that– she’d stop gaining weight and breathing on her own and it was machines and tubes everywhere again. It was utter hell. The kind of hell that you would think unimaginable–but it was. It was real. And it was absolutely terrifying. To watch a baby that small–niece or not– have to suffer that way and have to stand there completely helpless–it’s devastating. But when it’s someone you love–it literally just tears you apart. It truly does. Going through that–it changes you. It changes your whole perception of the world, you know. Makes you rethink what you thought you knew, and question your beliefs. Religiously speaking–it really made me think. Standing there in that NICU–I couldn’t help but wonder whether there really is a God or not. Part of me thought that there must be, seeing that she was a miracle in that she existed at all. At the same time, I just couldn’t understand how anyone or anything–how God–could be that cruel…to let an innocent little baby suffer like that. I couldn’t find the answers then. And I still don’t have them. It’s difficult to believe–especially when I see nearly every day–evidence to the contrary. Whether it’s something to do with my niece or like today, with the blog post and news article–there’s always something.

We were thrilled beyond belief and of course, relieved when the hospital finally let her come home–a little more than a month after she was born. I don’t think any of us expected or could have imagined at the time that the hard part was in fact, yet to come. No one could have predicted what all that we have been faced with since. That she has been faced with. I think that because she was so little and the fact that she almost didn’t make it–it made us all over-protective of her. Since all that really mattered was that she was okay–we didn’t really notice the small things that–had we paid closer attention, we would have noticed–that just weren’t quite right. She didn’t crawl, walk, or talk at the time that babies her age should have. The doctors didn’t seem to think it was an issue, therefore we didn’t either. They just kept telling us to be patient and that she was a little behind because she was a preemie–that she’d catch up in time.

But the doctors were wrong. They screwed up and wasted a lot of time by playing the concerns down to nothing. My niece was barely a year old when she had her first seizure. Still, just a baby. It scared the hell out of everyone, it really did. The doctors down-played it, of course–using the excuse that she’d had the seizure because she’d been running a high fever at the time. “It happens” was what we were told. Then it happened again. And again. It was scary because she’d be completely fine and then out of nowhere, she’d spike a fever of 104 or higher and have a seizure. After she’d had about 3 or 4 of them, her pediatrician started calling them “febrile seizures” or fever seizures. He basically told us that there was nothing we could do about them, except to be prepared for if and when the time came. So that’s what we did. We did nothing and we waited. Every time she’d spike a fever, we’d have this little routine of ours that we’d do. We’d piggy-back the Tylenol and Motrin, give her a tepid bath, and wrap her in wet, cool towels. After that, all we could do was sit there and hold her and wait for her temp to come down–and just hope that she didn’t have a seizure while we waited for that to happen. It was horrible and scary and more than anything–frustrating. It was maddening as hell to have the doctor shrug and say it was no big deal every time. “She’ll grow out of them by the time she’s 5” he told us. Again, he was wrong.

It took a lot of insisting on our part to finally convince her doctor that something was wrong and to persuade him to at least run some tests–which was total bs if you ask me. We shouldn’t have had to insist on anything–he’s the doctor–he should’ve known that something just wasn’t right. But of course he had a medical degree, so there as no way he could have been wrong. Uh huh. Anyhow, after a boatload of tests, our concerns were validated. As it turned out, she has a rare genetic defect that has to do with one of her chromosomes. There’s not a lot that is known about it because it’s so rare, so the doctors could only tell us what may or might become an issue–based on the cases that have presented so far. Basically, we were given a list of possible medical issues that my niece might end up having. The list included developmental disabilities–which accounted for why she was a little behind for her age. Epilepsy was also on that list–which explained the seizures. As upsetting as it was to hear the final diagnosis, we were relieved to finally have some answers.

Since then, it hasn’t exactly been an easy journey. Not for anyone-but Emma especially. It’s been hard on her. It still is. She’s got a whole string of different specialists that she has to see. She’s got a neurologist, cardiologist, urologist–and half a dozen other -ists. She has frequent check-ups and doctor visits and tests. It’s unreal. It’s heartbreaking each and every day, knowing there’s nothing anyone can do. Because of the developmental delays associated with the genetic issue, she has learning disabilities. She goes to school, but she’s in a special needs class and has to have one-on-one teaching and care. She doesn’t really understand what is happening or why things are the way that they are. She’s on anticonvulsants meds for her epilepsy that she has to take everyday–the side effects of which make her very aggressive. She’s constantly hitting and throwing tantrums and yelling–all of which has taken a toll on everyone around her. It’s hard because you can try to tell her to not hit or be mean or to not do something until you’re blue in the face—but she will. And even though we know that it’s the meds and that she can’t help it–that she doesn’t understand that what she’s doing is wrong–we still crack under the pressure sometimes. She’s a handful, that’s for sure.

Despite it all—I still think she is perfect in her own unique little way. She’s amazing. She’s smart and willful and determined and strong. She’s gone through so much, but it hasn’t dampened her spirits one bit. Not one bit. She’s one of the happiest little girls I know. She’s always smiling–even when she’s smacking you in the face. She’s sweet and loving and has a huge heart.

It’s for that reason that I’m so angry about this 3-year-old little girl in New Jersey. What’s happening isn’t fair and it sure as hell isn’t right. She has just as much of a right to be treated and have the transplant she needs as anyone else does. For some doctor or committee somewhere to say that she doesn’t simply because she has disabilities– is totally screwed up. For them to assume or even comment on the girl’s “quality of life”– it isn’t right. It’s like what the mother said–they don’t know her. They don’t know what she’s been through, or how it’s affected the lives of those around her. Just like the doctors and teachers associated with my niece don’t know. They don’t know my niece and the amazing little girl that she is. They don’t know how hard it is on her to have to go through all that she has gone through–and all that she will continue to go through. They don’t know how difficult it is for those taking care of her–how stressful and frustrating it can be or how hopeless it may seem sometimes. They don’t know anything. That said, they have no right to say what kind of life she or that little girl in NJ or any other child with disabilities for that matter, should or will have. No right whatsoever.

So, those are my thoughts on the matter. Hopefully it will all work out for that little girl and her family. And hopefully, humanity will get better. I hope.

xoxo MESSIE

Funny-isms In Lyric Format…

Okay, so my sister gives me a CD the other day and tells me that I just have to listen to one of the tracks on it–and that I’m going to absolutely love it. I just now got around to listening to it and well…she was right. At first, the lyrics had me thinking it was one of those songs that falls under what I call “that stupid God music.” (No offense God :)) Anyhow, the lyrics turned around quickly and by the second verse, I just couldn’t stop laughing. The lyrics are so bad–in that they’re pretty mean–but they’re hilarious as hell. Soooo, I thought I’d share them and give you all a good laugh…

ARTIST: Jaron and The Long Road to Love

TRACK: I’ll Pray For You”

VERSE:

I haven’t been to church, since I don’t remember when.

Things were goin’ great, ’til they fell apart again.

So I listened to the preacher as he told me what to do–

He said you can’t go hatin’ others who have done wrong to you.

Sometimes we get angry, but we must not condemn.

Let the good Lord do His job, and you just pray for them.

CHORUS:

I pray your brakes go out runnin’ down a hill.

I pray a flowerpot falls from a window sill,

and knocks you in the head like I’d like to.

I pray your birthday comes and nobody calls.

I pray you’re flyin’ high when your engine stalls.

I pray all your dreams never come true.

Just know wherever you are honey, I pray for you.

VERSE:

I’m really glad I found my way to church.

‘Cause I’m already feelin’ better, and I thank God for the words.

Yeah I’m gonna take the high road,

And do what the preacher told me to do.

You keep messin’ up, and I’ll keep prayin’ for you

I pray your tire blows out at 110.

I pray you pass out drunk with your best friend,

and wake up with his and her tattoos.

Just know wherever you are, near or far, in your house or in your car,

wherever you are honey, I pray for you.

I pray for you.

**I know, I know—I’m horrible. I can’t help myself. 🙂 But you have to admit, it’s pretty funny. People amaze me with what they come up with sometimes, they really do.

Andddd on that note, I’m going to head to bed. ‘Night all.

xoxo MESSIE

Wish You Were Here…

Hello all. Can’t sleep. Just got home from work a couple of hours ago, so of course here it is nearly 5am and I’m all hyped up. Nice. Anyhow, as I was driving home, I was looking at this little laminated photo I have of my grandfather sitting on the dash of my car–and so I couldn’t help but start to think about him. It’ll be 13 years this July that he’s been gone, but I still miss him. I just wish he was here, you know? I know it’s the reality of things–death and all that–but still, I feel cheated out of so much. As did he, for that matter. It just doesn’t seem fair. But then, of course, there’s little in this world that is.

I was only 9 or 10 when he was diagnosed with cancer. I forget the specific type at the moment, but it was a rare and very aggressive blood cancer. Naturally, I was too young at the time to really understand what it all meant and what was happening. All I knew was that he was really sick. It didn’t register that he was dying. But he was. I remember that it was horrible. And that he gave a good fight. Which he did. So very much so. I remember the frequent doctor visits and the various hospital stays–especially towards the end. I remember him looking so exhausted and just plain run-down that there were times he looked as if he didn’t even have the strength to stand. He must have been in excruciating pain, but he refused to show it. He was too proud for that.

Despite it all, he was there. Every game, concert–everything–he was there. No matter what. He was selfless like that. He loved us grand-kids more than anything–something he proved time and time again. There’s one memory in particular that I recall every time I think of him. It was about a couple of weeks before my 12th birthday and before he died. At the time, Beanie Babies were pretty popular. I was an avid collector and so I’d buy them all the time. That is, my grandfather would buy them for me. Including the exclusive ones that were always the hardest ones to find. Somehow, he’d find them and surprise me with them. When he heard that there was going to be a sort-of Beanie Baby trade show at this local vendor, he decided to take me. When we got there, the line was rediculous and stretched for what seemed like miles–a couple at least–around the length of the building. Instead of saying ixnay to that, he insisted we stay. And so we did. We stood in that line for hours. All day, in fact. Which wasn’t at all good for his circulation, but he did it anyway. And when it was finally our time, he was absolutely thrilled when he bought me those exclusive Beanies we’d waited forever for. For him, it was all about my happiness. Along with everyone else’s. Never his. Since it wasn’t too long after that that he died, I blamed myself–thinking that making him stand in that line all that time had contributed to his death in some way.

I remember the night he died as clearly as if were yesterday. It was horrible. I remember it was really late when my grandmother got the call to come quick to the hospital. So she got us all in the car and we went up. I remember that it was raining so hard and that she was driving really fast to get that. I remember that there was this dead silence the entire way there and that my grandmother just had tears streaming down her face. I remember how scary and sad it was when we got there and had to walk down this long hallway to his room. Everyone was there–my aunts and uncle and cousins–and we all just piled into that one room to say our goodbyes. He was barely hanging on and just barely conscious. I remember standing back a little, terrified of how intense the atmosphere in the room was. I remember my grandmother nudging me forward and telling me to say goodbye to him and to give him a hug. He was so pale and looked so different that I was scared to even do that. And when it was over, I remember just feeling numb. Everyone around me was crying but I wasn’t. I didn’t cry. Not that day anyway. I cried after though. A lot.

When I get to thinking about him these days, it’s all just so bittersweet. On the one hand, I know and I’m happy that he’s not suffering anymore, but on the other–I miss him. I wish he was here. I can’t help but wonder where he’d be today if he were still alive. How things would be. While I’m not entirely certain whether there’s a heaven or hell, I still like to think that he’s still here somehow–that he’s still watching. Which makes me wonder whether he’d be proud or not of the woman that I’ve become. There’s so much that he wasn’t and won’t be able to see. He wasn’t there for my high school graduation or for when I got accepted into an Ivy League school or to see all that I’ve accomplished. He never met his great-grandchildren–which he would have loved and absolutely adored like crazy I think. Growing up, he was the only real father figure my siblings and I had–what with my father having remarried, moving out-of-state, and starting another family that didn’t inclus us kids much if at all. Because of that, I always pictured of having him–my grandfather–walking me down the aisle and my wedding and giving me away. Him, not my father–HIM. It just seemed right, I guess. How it should be. And the fact that he won’t be here to do that–well, it hurts. More than I can ever put into words.

He’s gone, so all I can do is try to live a life that he and I can be proud of I guess.

So here’s to you Papa. I love and miss you XOXO

This song says it all:

ARTIST: Kenny Chesney

TRACK: “Who You’d Be Today”

VERSE:

Sunny days seem to hurt the most.

I wear the pain like a heavy coat.

I feel you everywhere I go.

I see your smile, I see your face,

I hear you laughin’ in the rain.

I still can’t believe you’re gone.

CHORUS:

And it ain’t fair: you died too young,

Like the story that had just begun,

But death tore the pages all away.

God knows how I miss you,

All the hell that I’ve been through,

Just knowin’ no-one could take your place.

And sometimes I wonder,

Who’d you be today?

VERSE:

The only thing that gives me hope,

Is I know I’ll see you again some day.

Some day, some day, some day.

–MESSIE

Pretense And Lying Cards….A Poem

Why the pretense? 

Why the act?

Is it worth it, they ask.

Having to live this way—

Consumed with so much pain and regret?

When all those words you wish you’d said,

Keep playing over and over in your head.

How do you get through, they ask.

When life is cruel to you?

They make it seem so easy—this moving on and letting go.

But I can’t tell them, and they don’t know.

It’s not that easy…moving on. 

And it’s harder than you think..letting go.

What I wouldn’t give to go back.

To have a second chance.

A chance to make things right,

To stop all the deceiving

And simply just keep breathing.

I may have survived,

but I don’t feel alive.

I feel empty and hollow.

A unfinished life filled with far too much sorrow.

I feel so lost, so dead inside.

It’s been this way now, for quite some time.

Well, I’m sick and tired of carrying the brunt of the blame;

Of floating aimlessly in a sea of guilt and shame.

Scared to see and scared to know–

Holding on tightly, too damn scared to let go.

It’s for the best, that’s what they said.

This is how it has to be.

This is the way it goes.

Even in the light of day,

So much still therein lies uncertain.

The fear of the unknown;

Doomed from the start.

Fool that I am, I let him inside.

It’s my fault for thinking he was one of the good guys.

And I still don’t know why.

All I know is that I’d rather die,

Than keep living this lie—

Pretending to be happy, when I’m really not.

I tried. I really did. I gave it my best shot,

But I’m living in hell, and there’s no way out. 

I don’t want to fight this war—

Or do this anymore.

And to think, I could have saved myself the trouble—

If only I had known from the start

If only I’d said no.

Now I’m here, gasping for air.

Wondering why life had to be so damn unfair. 

xoxo, MESSIE

With The New Year Comes…

Sooooooo 2012–I have a feeling it’s going to be a good year. I can’t explain it–it’s just a feeling I have. Like one of those gut feelings you have when you just know that something good or great is about to happen. It’s like that. Which is pretty ironic, considering that 2012 (according to the Mayans all those centuries ago) is predicted to be the last year leading up to this so-called “End of the World” idea/theory. To that–I can only shrug and say c’est la vie. It’s like the same as my thoughts towards the existence of a heaven or hell, or even God, for that matter. Since there’s no tangible proof one way or another, all we can really do is just wait and see what happens. In the meantime–all we can do is live. So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to live and have fun, and do what makes me happy. I’m going to love with all I have and be grateful for what I’ve been given. More importantly, I’m going to cherish the moments and the time that I have left. Why? Because you just don’t know. No one does. Maybe the world will end, maybe it won’t. You never know. You can die tomorrow; or weeks or months or–if you’re lucky–years from now. In either case, there is one fact that remains the same. Which is that life is short. I see proof of that every single day. I’ve experienced it first-hand, on more occasions that I can even count. I’ve seen it in the memories of loved ones lost. I’ve seen it in the eyes of a beautiful and courageous 5-year-old little girl with stage 4 cancer–a little girl who was given only a few months to live who is now–more than a year later–alive and healthy and in remission. I’ve seen it in the stories and tributes to the thousands of other children that weren’t as fortunate and died too young. I’ve seen it standing at Ground Zero and in the tragic images recalled from that day. Life is short, and it’s not always fair. You can do everything right and still lose everything that matters most. You can love someone–heart, body, and soul–and still end up with a broken heart as you watch them turn and walk away–with no words left to say. You can have it all and still have nothing. You can hold on tight or and still have to let it go. You can be happy and still feel so dead inside. Even when you think you know everything–you don’t know.

Anyhow, with a new year–comes a fresh start. A clean slate. A chance to make things right–to make them even better. That said, I’ve started writing a new book. So far, I’m really happy with it. It’s a work-in-progress. As for my other book–it’s been finished for quite a while now. I’ve been putting off having it published for months–for several reasons. For starters, it’s a big step, you know? I mean, as a writer–you spend hours, months–working on something that–in a lot of ways–is essentially an extension of yourself and who and what you are. And once it’s over–when you see your story written there in black and white–there’s still more to be done. There’s the editing process and perfecting every little detail. To be honest, that’s the easy part. It’s what comes next that is the hardest part. I’m not talking about finding a publisher or signing releases and contracts–all of that will eventually come together in due time. Granted, all that stuff is important in its’ own right–but it’s not what is THE most important.

The hardest part, at least for me, is the reflection process. By that, I mean both personal and impersonal reflection–self-reflection and public reflection. Public reflection is crucial. You have to truly believe that not only did you say all it was that you wanted to say, but also that you said what people want and are going to want to hear/read. Basically, you have to believe in your work. Because if you don’t–your book is never going to survive out there in the world of words and literature. It just won’t.

That’s only the half of it though. The other half also–if not more so–crucial, is when it comes down to the very bottom line of it all. In the end, it all comes down to two questions: (1) Are you ready? And (2) Is this really what you want? To be a little more specific in regards to those two questions…You have to ask yourself if you’re ready to have your story published. If you’re ready to put yourself out there and risk failure or rejection. Moreover, you have to ask yourself if you are truly ready to bare your soul and put it all out there for the whole world to read and see?

For me, therein lies the dilemma. I just don’t know if I’m ready to do that. For me, it isn’t so much the fear of rejection or of failing that’s holding me back. I mean, if that happens then it happens. After all, if it’s meant to be then it will. The thing that is most terrifying to me is the whole “baring my soul” part. Which is exactly what I’d be doing if I choose to publish this manuscript. While the content is fiction–at the same time, it isn’t. Which probably doesn’t make much sense, but to me it does. In a nutshell, the book is me. My life. All the ups and downs and what-ifs and should’ves. It’s everything. It’s not that I’m worried about thousands of complete strangers knowing things about me. It’s the ones that I know and who know me that have me dragging my feet. Some people probably won’t catch on or even connect the dots at all. But those closest to me will. I know they will. After all, they know me best. That is, at least they think they do. That’s the problem. They know more than most–but they don’t know everything. There are things I’ve done, secrets I’ve kept–even from my family and closest friends. Things that I’m not proud of and would go back and change, if I could. There are truths that are going to disappoint and shock certain people–maybe even hurt them.

To be honest, I didn’t plan on writing a book when I initially started out. It wasn’t planned. It just sort of happened, you know? I just sat down and starting writing and somehow ended up with an entire book written by the time I finished. It was just supposed to be an outlet for what I was feeling and what I’d gone and was going through at the time. It was a healing process, for the most part. A way to clear my head and to face my past–to finally let it all out. And it felt good–getting rid of all the pain and the heavy burden I’d been carrying inside for so long. I truly never intended for my words to be read by anyone. But planned or not–I ended up with a book. And now I find myself struggling with this complicated decision of whether to publish or not–to share my prized and personal creation with the rest of the world. I want to publish it, I do. Especially after all the hard work I put into it. And because being a writer is something I truly enjoy and want to do–and I have to start somewhere. Whether it’s that book or the one I’m writing now or a completely new one–I have to publish eventually. I might as well get it over with, right? I don’t know. I’m still deciding. Who knows what I’ll choose. Yet again, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Well, that’s all I have for right now, so I’m going to call it a wrap. Goodnight!

xoxo MESSIE

Another Year, Here and Gone…

Well blog world, today is the first day of a brand new year–2012. That said, Happy New Year! And belated Merry Christmas. I planned to post sooner, but with the holidays and all, things have been pretty crazy.

It hasn’t helped that I’ve been nursing a horrible toothache the past couple of weeks. Rather I should say, wisdom teeth-ache from hell. It has not been fun. I found out a couple of months back that they’re impacted, which basically means that they’re not coming in vertically like teeth normally do so yeah–unlucky me. I probably should have had them out years ago before they were even a problem, but I have this irrational fear of going to the dentist. Now I wish I hadn’t been such a big baby about it because the pain is definitely an issue now. Anyhow, because they’re impacted, I was told they’d have to be surgically removed. So last month I was scheduled with the oral surgeon to have them out, no big deal. Yeah, right. They were supposed to take all four out at the same time so I didn’t have to have separate procedures. Only things didn’t go as planned. If you ask me, the way they do the procedure is just weird. They call it “conscious sedation”–which basically means that you’re aware of what’s going on, but at the same time, you’re not. They give you Valium first to essentially calm you down, then give you something in an IV that makes you sleepy. The doctor doing my procedure wasn’t too helpful when it came to explaining the process and his bedside manner completely sucked. I remember asking him before the nurse started the IV whether I was going to feel anything during the surgery or not. He gave me some glib response that wasn’t the least bit reassuring at all, then said not to worry that I wouldn’t feel or remember anything.

Well, he lied. I’m not sure how exactly or what happened, but somehow I came out of the anesthesia during the procedure. I’m a little fuzzy on the details, but what I do remember clearly is the pain. It was excruciating–which is pretty bad because I generally have a high tolerance for pain. Later on, my aunt who had been in the waiting room told me that she’d heard me scream. I guess the doctor went and talked to her and explained that there were complications and that he felt it was best that he finished the one side and wait to do the rest another time. Sooo, I’m going back under the knife again–literally–on Wednesday. It’s not exactly the way I wanted to start off the new year, but I’d rather just hurry up and get it done and over with. If for no other reason than I’ll finally be able to stop taking these stupid pain pills that keep me all doped up. They take the pain away which is good and all, but they make me feel weird. Numb.

Another place–another time–I wouldn’t have minded the numbness one bit. Until the situation with my wisdom teeth recently, I’d been doing really good. I’d been clean and sober for months. No pills. Nothing. Saying that probably makes me come across as some junkie or something, but honestly–it wasn’t like that. Not really. It was a problem though. There were things that happened and to put it simply, I chose the wrong way to cope with those things.

I was in a bad way. A really, really bad way. I wasn’t eating. I barely slept. Because of that, I started taking these over-the-counter sleeping pills. And they worked. At first. But soon one pill became two and then three and so on. Before I knew it, I was taking the pills like candy. I’d developed a tolerance for the pills, so they stopped working. I was stressed out and exhausted–physically, mentally and emotionally. I can’t explain it really, but the pills would give me this really good high. It was weird. Instead of making me feel sleepy, I’d feel really awake. Overly alert and aware. But at the same time, I’d feel completely numb. I couldn’t feel anything. If I had to describe it, I’d have to say it almost felt like I was floating. Like I was there, but not really there. I was aware of what was happening and of my surroundings, but at the same time I wasn’t. Like I said, it was a really weird feeling.

For months, I refused to even acknowledge that there was a problem. I didn’t think it was a big deal. Or that I was hurting myself. A medical doctor would say that was probably the addiction talking. That I was in denial. Looking back, I’d probably have to agree. I didn’t want to accept what I was doing and that it was wrong because for the most part, it felt good. I mean, I was numb. I didn’t have to feel anything. I didn’t have to face what had happened or what I’d done. Without the pills, I had to face all of it. I had to feel all that pain and hurt and shame and regret. It was just easier not to, you know? I hid it well. For months, no one had a clue. I guess it helped that I’d pushed practically everyone close to me away at that point–including my friends and family. It was easy with my friends. I simply severed all ties with them. With everyone. I didn’t see or talk to them in almost a whole year. As far as my family was concerned–I kept visits and calls short and sweet. For months, I kept the truth a secret from them. But eventually, they started to notice. That’s when the worry and the lectures began. Which naturally, only had me pushing them away more and more. I didn’t want to hear it. Any of it.

I knew I had a problem. I knew. To be honest, I was terrified. More so than I think I’ve ever been in my entire life. Things spiraled out of control really fast and I wasn’t prepared for any of it. I thought I was in control, I really did. And I guess at first, I was. But what started off as something small and harmless had, without me even realizing it, turned into something far worse than I could have ever imagined. It wasn’t just the sleeping pills. I started mixing other pills with them. Pain killers mostly. Prescription pills. From there, it only got worse. I started having panic attacks–at least, I think that’s what they were. They weren’t too bad at first. I’d mostly just start to hyperventilate for a few minutes and that was it. I didn’t like having them, but eventually I got used to them–as crazy as that sounds. I started carrying around those little brown paper bags wherever I’d go–just in case. I could sometimes feel an attack coming on–usually when I was really stressed out over something. But then they started happening more frequently and got worse. They’d come out of nowhere, with no warning–no nothing. It was hell for a while–scary hell because there was no way to predict when I’d have one or where or what I’d be doing when I did. One happened when I was babysitting my nephew, who was only about 2 years old at the time. As usual, it came out of nowhere. One minute I was perfectly fine–just taking my nephew for a walk outside of my apartment building–and the next I couldn’t breathe. The attack that day was different from the ones I’d had before. This time I felt completely paralyzed. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t even speak. Everything was spinning and I felt like I was going to pass out. I remember being terrified of what would happen to my nephew if I passed out on the sidewalk–that he’d run in the street or get hurt or god forbid, someone would grab him. I felt completely helpless. I can still see the scared look on his little face when I tried talking and telling him to get my phone out of my purse. I could hear my voice and my words sounded all slurred and jumbled up. Somehow I managed to call my sister who came right over to help. My brother-in-law had to carry me to the car so they could rush me down to the ER–that’s how bad a shape I was in. The doctors couldn’t find anything wrong, so they said it was just another panic attack. To this day–I still don’t believe it. That wasn’t a panic attack that day. It was something a hell of a lot worse. I just don’t know what. After that though, I was pretty freaked out. Naturally. I didn’t trust myself around anyone, the kids especially. It sounds ridiculous, but I was even afraid of driving for fear that I’d have another attack and cause god knows what. to happen.

The stress from all of that and the fear of more bad things happening only made things worse. It gave me even more of a reason to take the pills–to make me want to be numb and unaware even more than I already did. I thought that I could control the situation–control my addiction–but obviously, I was only fooling myself into thinking that I could. Things like that–you can’t control it. You can try–and I did–but you just can’t win. Ever. Even after I knew it wasn’t okay–when I knew that something was seriously wrong–I couldn’t stop. I didn’t know how to. It wasn’t just the pills that I was addicted to. It was the high. That numbing high that seemed to make all my problems just fade away. It was all I had at the time. I’d lost everything else.

My wake up call came one night a few months back. It was as if someone had suddenly turned on the light. I don’t know for sure what happened. All I remember is waking up one morning and getting ready to leave and go to my grandmother’s house. I remember unlocking my door and that’s it. The rest is a complete blank. The next thing I knew, I was waking up on the floor in my apartment, keys still in my hand, and it was nighttime. The only logical explanation–and I use the term very loosely–for what happened was that I passed out. Whether it was from the pills, the not eating, or just the stress from everything combined–I honestly don’t know. All I know is that it scared me senseless. I left my apartment, got in my car, and drove to my grandmother’s–shaking uncontrollably the whole way. When I got there, I just broke down completely. I confessed everything–about the pills and what I’d been doing and what was really going on with me–everything. I cried for hours. I was so scared.

I stopped completely after that. I had to. I didn’t have a choice. What happened confirmed everyone’s fears–I wasn’t okay. I was sick. I needed help. I needed to stop. I was too afraid to admit it while it was happening–but what I was doing–I was killing myself. Slowly. Literally. It wasn’t in my head. It was real. And it was happening to me.

I’m better now. I think. I haven’t had a panic attack or anything like that in months, thankfully. I stopped the pills–which was really hard, but something that had to be done. Like with most addictions, the temptation is still there. I can feel it sometimes. I can’t count the number of times I’ve almost given in. Sometimes if I’m having a really bad day or it all just seems too much, I think of how easy it would be to get that back. To feel numb again. But then I remember waking up on that floor and that scares me more than facing reality does.

I’ve come a long way since then and I’ve worked really hard to get this far to screw that up. There’s too much at stake–too much of a risk to take. Looking back, I still don’t have all the answers. I still don’t know why I did what I did or how I let it get so out of hand and go as far as it did. I don’t know whether it just happened, or if in some way, it was intentional on my part. I ask myself over and over that question–if I was trying to kill myself. If I was trying to punish myself for my role in what had happened. But no matter how many times I ask myself or think about it–I don’t know. I just don’t know what I was thinking or what I was doing. I wasn’t myself. That’s all I know. I was a different person then. A shell of someone, of a girl who was. Or, if we’re being honest, a girl who NEVER was.

That having been said, I think my greatest accomplishment of 2011 is that I survived–barely–but I survived. I can honestly say that I’ve been to hell and back–numerous times. And I have. I’m not perfect. But no one is. I’ve made mistakes and I have regrets. My resolution for 2011 was to live. And I did that. I’m still here. I’m a little more jaded, a little more flawed and damaged. But thanks to a lot of glue and well-placed band-aids–a little less broken. In my book, that’s progress. So yay me!! And goodbye 2011!!

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