Thursday, April 2, 2009

August 19, 2008

That day feels like it literally marks the first day of the rest of my life. The day my world was shattered, the day my priorities shifted and my strength was tested. The day that changed every thought process I had, the day that grounded me. This was truly the worst day of my life.

The day runs through my head like a film reel. I know what I was wearing, I know who I called first, I remember having to tell my mom and I remember seeing my brother cry. I remember him hugging me and not wanting to let go. And now finally the numbness is wearing off and I feel like I have to talk about it.

My dad was your typical goofy guy. Loved to travel, love to spoil his wife and kids. Loved cars and his granddaughters. He was young (only 59) with energy and health to have a fun retirement. But really underneath all that he was depressed. Really depressed and he fooled us all. I was his girl. Even at 34 he still spoiled me. He loved my daughters so much - he was their pop-pop. So why did he leave us? Why didn't he say good bye? Well I suppose he said good bye to the girls in his own way - but he didn't say good bye to me. Did he think I would understand? Did he think I could handle it? Or did he think I was too self-absorbed to notice he was hurting? Unfortunately at the same time I was in a deep depression myself and couldn't see the world around me. I didn't care about most things - maybe he thought I didn't care if he wasn't around. I wish I could tell him wrong that is - how much I cared about him. How I would have done anything I could to help if I only knew.

I really "woke up" after that. I realized there was a family history of depression and that I wasn't alone. I realized that people are afraid to ask for help. I realized that I was miserable and I had to make some changes. It was quick and drastic - but I had to save my own life. I didn't want my kids to find me hanging in the garage one day. I want to be there if my girls need help. Now that I know the strong genetic component I know to watch for it. And I knew above all that I needed help.

So I saw a therapist and then a psychiatrist (and still do). I am on some medication now (not much - but enough to keep me steady). I left a marriage that was going nowhere for a better life by myself. I have so much more interest in my children and what they do now. I feel alive. I also left the big house and bought a cute little one. Retail therapy no longer consumes me. My outlook on what is really important has totally changed. I have 2 beautiful, healthy daughters, a roof over my head, a job I love and a great boyfriend that has gone though a similar realignment of priorities.

I just wish I didn't have to lose my dad to gain some focus. If anything good has come of this, at least in his death, I was able to truly live. Thanks Dad. I miss you.

"I hope it is true that a man can die and yet not only live in others but give them life, and not only life, but that great consciousness of life." Jack Kerouac

1 comment:

Jane said...

You have the intelligence to recgonize your problem and the courage to deal with it, you'll live well. :)