Guilt-Soaked Goodbyes.

Guilt. It’s a tricky little thing. Just an itty bitty five letter word, but oh how quickly it can bring you to your knees…


I’m leaving soon; heading back home to Tennessee. I have one last follow-up with my primary care doctor next week, and then I’ll FINALLY be done with all these doctors…hopefully. As much as I would love to say that I’m cured and the headaches are gone…I can’t. Because I’m not and they aren’t. I’m still getting them on a regular basis…about every other day or so. And it really depends on the day how bad/intolerable they are. Some days I get lucky and I manage to take the meds in time either before or just as one is coming on and I catch a break and the headache’s not too bad. I’ll still have it—I’ll still feel miserable as all hell…but at least I can work through it. Unlike the bad days when I’m not so lucky and it doesn’t matter how many of those little white pills for the headaches or pain killers combined—I have no choice to suffer through it by way of hiding away in bed all day in a dark, quiet bedroom just trying to breathe through the tears and the excruciating pain that in the moment, seems endless. I refuse to go back to another ER—even on those bad days. I won’t do it. I refuse to put myself through the circus of trying one cocktail of meds after another…with only a brief, temporary period of relief—if that–and no real answers or solutions to why I’m still having these headaches—over 4 months now since the accident—and why none of the dozen or so different meds I’ve tried have worked. I don’t see the point of putting myself through that. It’s insane. Literally—it’s INSANE…the definition of insane is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. That’s what I’ve been doing. I keep going back, thinking that maybe one of these doctors will give me something for these headaches that actually works. Or at the very least, give me some kind of explanation as to why this is happening…and when I can expect all this to go away. Because the headaches will go away. Or so I’ve been told. Eventually, they will go away. I’d just like to know when, so I know how much longer I’ve got to live with the pain. Because right now, not having an expiration date on these headaches, it all just seems really hopeless. But yeah, after next week, I’m done with the doctors for a while. Other than that, I really only just need to meet with my lawyer about the case and then I can get out of New York. We were supposed to meet last week, but he was called into court the morning of our meeting and had to cancel. While I could just have him answer my questions over the phone or by email as we’ve been doing, I figure that since I’m already up here, we might as well have a face-to-face meeting at least once before I head back down to Tennessee…and I really want to get everything squared away BEFORE I go back so I don’t have to worry about any loose ends to deal with once I’m gone.


Once I’m down in TN, I don’t think I’ll be coming back up to NY for a visit for a long while. A really, really long while. I love my family, I do. But these past four months…they’ve made me more certain now than ever that what I did—moving 900 miles away to Nashville—was the best decision I ever made. And this place, this town, this entire area—it doesn’t feel like home to me anymore. Which is really weird, but it’s the truth. I don’t feel like I belong here…and a part of me can’t help but wonder if I ever did, or if that was just something that I convinced myself of. I honestly never thought I’d be the one to leave. Never in a million years. I never thought I’d be happy living 900 miles away from my family…spending holidays and celebrating birthdays without them. Away from the little ones that are–without a doubt–my heart and soul. But I did find it…happiness. In fact, I’m happier in Tennessee than I’ve been in years.


But as seems to be the case with most good things in life I’ve found–happiness is a double-edged sword. With it comes the guilt of leaving everyone and everything behind. I know that moving to Nashville was a good decision…the right decision…and I don’t for a second regret that decision. I’ve made some pretty reckless, spur-of-the-moment decisions in my life…but this time was different. I thought long and hard on the decision to move to TN before I made it. I knew going in that it wasn’t going to be easy. I also knew that I wasn’t just leaving my family and friends behind. I was leaving my old life behind. And in a sense, I was leaving the old me behind as well—the broken girl with haunted eyes and a tragic past. That was one of the hardest obstacles I had to face in moving…the letting go of who I was. But at the same time…it was the easiest, because I really didn’t like who I was…who I’d become as a result of some events of the preceding recent years. I allowed people to intimidate, bully, and mold me into someone that I wasn’t…someone that I’d always sworn I would never become…someone that I despised with every fiber of my being. I felt so unaccomplished. A failure. Looking back—at that point—there really was nowhere else to go but up.


They say you can’t start over, that you can’t wipe the slate clean…but that’s exactly what I’ve done…what I’m doing. It’s easy in Nashville. Everyone is so nice and welcoming and they make you feel like you’re part of the fold…like you belong. It’s like a breath of fresh air…a huge change from how things are here in New York, that’s for sure. I’m really lucky because I’ve made a lot of really great friends since I’ve moved to Nashville, people that I really feel like I can trust, despite having only known them less than a year. I’m not lying to them or pretending to be someone that I’m not, if that’s what anyone thinks—what with the whole clean slate and all. It’s not like that. Granted, I haven’t exactly been overly forthcoming about what ALL that sent me running down to Tennessee, but I’ve been pretty open about most everything else. My guy BFF down in Nashville—Alan—he just looooves to tease me that he’s going to write a screenplay about my life one day because of all the crazy family/personal/love life/WTF-filled stories of mine that I’ve shared with him. He thinks they’re absolutely hilarious. But what’s really funny is that he doesn’t even know the half of it. Oh, the things I could tell him…but won’t. A girl has to have some secrets, doesn’t she?


So that’s pretty much where I’m at right now. Excited to go back and see all my friends–my “Tennessee family”…and feeling guilty for being excited to leave…and of course, all sorts of anxious and stressed out about feeling guilty for being excited about leaving. It’s a vicious, vicious cycle. An unavoidable one, unfortunately. If I were one of those people that believed that everything happens for a reason—and I am—then I would have to say that there must be a reason why I moved to Tennessee…a greater purpose that I’m just not aware of yet. One thing I do know is that I’m happy there…and for now, that’s enough for me. In fact, right now…it’s everything. The rest…I can figure out later…




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