I made it out of bed this morning

depressed woman in bed

Ever since the estrangement from my three adult children began six months ago, it’s been difficult to even get out of bed.

So I thought I’d make a list of things I actually accomplished today. Definitely not an earth-shattering day of events, but at least most of it involved being upright and out from under my bed covers (and out of my pajamas).

Today, I ….

  • got dressed (although I never did get around to putting on make-up. I hope I remembered to brush my hair before I left the house!)
  • did the dishes
  • fed the cats and fish and rabbits
  • watered the plants
  • talked to a couple of my neighbors about nothing important
  • wandered the aisles at my local store looking for nothing in particular
  • picked up prescriptions at the pharmacy
  • picked up my mail (found more prescriptions there, too)
  • ate three semi-healthy meals
  • worked for several hours on homework (I’d been procrastinating)
  • watched a few back episodes of shows I’d gotten behind on
  • diddled around on Facebook
  • … and cried … in the car
  • … and cried … in my house
  • … and cried … while chatting with a friend online

Once the crying starts, it feels as if it will never stop.  But usually it does stop.

Sometimes it stops simply from sheer exhaustion.

Sometimes it stops because I’m all cried out and the tears have done their cleansing work.

Sometimes it stops because I drink myself into a stupor (yes, I unfortunately sometimes choose to self-medicate).

Sometimes it stops because I’m distracted by something else.

The one time the crying didn’t stop (at the end of this past December just after the holidays), I ended up in the hospital on Suicide Watch for six days.  Because of that horrible awful no good very bad day, I always feel a twinge of fear that the crying won’t stop.  I never want to feel like I did that day when I admitted myself to a psych ward so that others could protect me from myself.

Today’s crying ended after I spent several minutes quietly watching the baby fish who live in my aquarium on a low shelf above my kitchen sink.  I knelt down on the floor, rested my head on the counter, and just watched the tiny living beings swim around.  At first the tears were so heavy, I could barely see the fish.  But soon I was smiling at the little lives in front of me. I realized my eyes were dry and my sobbing gone.

So today was eventful and uneventful.  Happy and sad.  Full of meds and fish, people and writing.

But the most important things today?  I got out of bed, kept busy, survived a major crying jag, and will head to bed in a few minutes.

Yes, I have made it through another day.

One day at a time.

That’s the only way I’ll survive this estrangement.

Just take it one eventful/uneventful, happy/sad day at a time.

~The Estranged Mom




To My Estranged Daughter on Her 29th Birthday

mother daughter
Photo credit: hotblack from morguefile.com

Dear ——–,

I miss you so very very much. Especially today on your birthday.

Not being able to share my life with you makes me feel incomplete. Nobody else shares my quirky, snarky sense of humor in quite the same way you do.

29 years ago today, I held a tiny little 8 week premature baby for the first time. You were so beautiful. And so small. Your diapers were the size of a Kleenex.

The nurse at the hospital referred to you as a little Peanut. That seems so humorous in light of your life-threatening peanut allergies now. The nickname, Peanut, almost stuck, too. Your dad and I actually called you that on and off for several weeks, but decided we didn’t want some random nurse we didn’t even know giving you a lifelong nickname. Wouldn’t that have been a horrible nickname for you? I’m laughing as I think about it. I think you would laugh, too.

I wish I could hear your laughter again. Or see your smile. Or watch you roll your eyes at something ridiculous.

I miss our heart-to-heart talks. I miss our Gilmore Girls’ mother/daughter relationship. I miss those days when you used to tell people I was your best friend. You were my best friend, too.

I miss calling you up when I’m on the way to the grocery store to see if you need anything, or if you just want to come along to get out of the apartment for a while.

I miss walking around the duck pond with you.

I miss talking about our homework assignments and professors.

I miss hearing about the latest books or articles you’ve read.

I miss having you and your husband over for dinner so I could give you another option for an allergy-free place to eat besides your own home.

I miss watching Doctor Who with you. We never did finish watching Torchwood. I hope you watch the rest of the series yourself someday. The most touchingly beautiful and sad moment I’ve ever seen on television happens in a later episode. You’ll need Kleenex. But you’ll love it. I’m sad that I probably won’t be there to watch it with you.

I miss sitting with you on the back deck, just talking and laughing, or reading books quietly in my outdoor “Reading Room” under the tree.

My house feels empty without you ever being here.

My entire life feels empty without you.

I’ve never cried so many tears as I have in the past few months. I never knew how sad it was possible to be. I never knew it could feel like you’re dying from a broken heart.  I never knew it was possible to actually feel like you’re drowning in your own tears.

My life, my future, my heart — all broken and empty now. I can’t imagine how I will go on living a life without you in it.

I love you. I always will. Forever. No matter what.

Happy birthday, Sweetie. I miss you so much.