I am not the world’s best sleeper (at night). I have had insomnia for as long as I can remember. I have learned to adapt. I think the worst part of it would have to be those nights when my brain won’t turn off and I begin to worry and stress about life–both the important things and the insignificant. The daily important “How are we going to make ends meet this month and still get everything paid?” or the ridiculous “I cannot believe I said that out-loud to that person 10 years ago! They must still think I am an idiot.” Late night mental mind beatings have no time restrictions.
However, last night I was overcome with a major case of feeling sorry for myself. As the tears started to flow, I got out of bed to just let it happen. Sometimes when you keep things bottled up too long, you just have to let it go. I’ll be honest enough to say that I have joked it off, brushed off anxiety to others and given the standard “I’m fine” to people who ask. For the most part I am. I have been so busy I have not listened to that little voice inside me begging me to release some of that pent up pain and frustration. Last night I listened.
I crawled out of bed and went into my family room. I wrapped myself up in the comfort of an afghan that my mother crocheted when I was a tween. I needed to feel her with me. I wanted to know why at this moment I was feeling so sorry for myself and what I could do about it because I do NOT like that feeling one bit. If I can get to it, I can beat it. As I sat there analytically trying to come up with a reasonable explanation, the smart ass part of my brain kicked in.
“Hello? Have we met? You are seriously trying to figure this out,” snarked my wise-ass brain central. “Let’s get this straight. With the past few months you have had, you are sitting here trying to logically figure out why you might be feeling like a good cry. Excuse me, but are you a dumb ass, honey?” (You see, in the South even the smart-ass part of your brain calls you sweetheart, darlin’ or honey.)
Then the tears began to fall. At first, the angry tears. The why me? tears. The this sucks and is so unfair tears. As I raged against the world and the situations that are breaking me, the anger started to subside. I glanced at my coffee table where two new books that I recently received in the mail sat and mocked me. Both came at the same time. Both memoirs. Both mother-daughter memoirs. They mocked me.
And then the real tears flowed. The painful ones.
I know it has only been a few months since Mom died. I would be foolish to think that I would be over that already. I mean, I know that. But sometimes it still hits me in the gut like a sucker punch. I miss her. I miss her more than I would have thought possible. At 36, it feels too young to lose your mother. At what age does it feel “normal” to lose your mom? 46? 56? When I am grandmother? A great grandmother? When does the label “motherless daughter” fit? I am guessing never. I am feeling never.
But I go on. I go on because I have no choice. I go on because that is what you do. I go on because there is life to be lived. Children to raise. A home to care for. I throw myself into my work because it helps me feel better. It helps me feel like there are things I can do that are productive and make a difference. But I also know there are going to be nights like last night where it all feels so wrong and it feels as if my own skin doesn’t fit. And when those times come, I suppose I need to just learn how to wrap up in my afghan and cry it out.
And so I did.
And so I will.