I haven’t been here in a while. In bed, forcing myself to turn on the movie Tangled, so I can fall asleep without crying.
When this movie first came out in 2010 my sister and her family were here visiting from overseas for the summer. The first time I saw this movie I was able to watch it with my two nieces, who I only see about once a year. These little girls bring out a side of me that only shines through when I am utterly blissful. When I am with these two beauties, I completely lose my adult self, and we are constantly singing Taylor Swift, and having dance parties. It is really the happiest place on earth for me. The next time I was able to see my nieces was in 2011 when I went to visit them in Indonesia. I was able to take the movie with me as a gift for them. Every morning I woke up in Indo, we would snuggle on the couch in our pj’s, and watch Tangled. Once again, I was in my happy place.
Fast forward to 2012, the hardest year of my life. After Dad passed away I found myself crying myself to sleep too often. I quickly realized in order to sleep without tears, I needed to keep my brain occupied until I fell asleep. This movie has always brought me so much joy, and can instantaneously bring a smile to my face. It is obviously about so much more for me, than just a silly Disney movie. I began turning it on at night just to keep from crying, and it quickly became a sedative for me. Here we are 2 years later, and I can still turn it on, and fall asleep instantly.
I feel myself slipping again. Slipping into a place where I was before I took my trip to New York. A sad, distant place. I have so much happening right now it is hard to diagnose what is being caused by unusual circumstances, and what is valid emotions. I start to become distant from my friends, not wanting to spend as much time with them or engage in as many conversations. I stick by my family a little closer, and throw myself into my work. I’m noticing a reoccurring pattern with this routine every 6 months or so. Although I pull away and have more moments of tears, I honestly believe it is not depression because I still go about every day being happy. My days are full of laughter, and real enjoyment for every day. I think it has just become part of my grieving pattern. It usually lasts for a few weeks or maybe even longer, but I always come out on the other side of it.
I can honestly say I have my friends to thank for that. They begin to notice my distance and refuse to allow me to isolate myself. I know I draw closer to my family, because my family tends to be more surface level than my friends. My friends force me to dissect, and deal. Nothing goes unprocessed, undiscussed, and gets pushed under the rug. I am so thankful for my friends. Every time I feel like I’m sinking into my dark hole, they throw a rope of light and hope, and slowly begin to pull me back out.
So here I am, with Tangled in the background, processing what brought me to tears tonight. I have a long way until my full diagnosis, but I have made one step toward the light of my dark hole.