Breathe, put one foot in front of the other, breathe…

I’m going to let this train of thought flow freely because it feels right and I haven’t wanted to write in weeks…

I was taught to push all my emotions down into the deep depths of myself until they weren’t there anymore. Tears were a weakness and a luxury that weren’t to be tolerated. Be realistic, be honest, but don’t forget to be emphatic. Put on a happy face and push through everything. Breathe, put one foot in front of the other, and move on. Mind over matter, mind over matter, mind over matter.

Now that I’m older and many conversations have been had with my mother, these lessons were survival techniques, passed on based on the idea of necessity. To survive, you have to be able to push past your emotions and just put one foot in front of the other… over and over until you’re doing what needs to be done.

When my great grandfather passed away a few years ago, I think that all of the emotions I had stored over the last 25 years had begun to erupt. Like a dormant volcano, slowly waking up, leaking a little of the hot stuff here and there. Things that I would worry about but be able to rationalize myself out of worrying about began to come up more often. Things like waking up in the middle of the night feeling like someone was watching me, my heart racing if I wasn’t going to be 15 minutes early to where ever I need to be, my kids walking too slowly to get into the car when we’re in the parking lot; constantly worried about someone kidnapping my children, a murderer hiding in my house or under my car, or my husband or mom suddenly dying.

Anxiety attacks are annoying for me. My brain feels like it’s two separate beings all at once. One side is suddenly terrified, crying, angry, or sad. The other side is like a machine – continuing to walk, breathe, think rationally. It’s probably an interesting sight to see. I’ll walk through Target then be struck with a wave of hot tears and a racing heart but I’ll continue picking out toothpaste and getting snacks for movie night.

Anxiety is a part of me. It isn’t crippling until it is caused by grief, until death is surrounding me again.

I feel death in every fiber of my body and I fucking hate it. I feel it in my eyeballs. I feel it in my tiniest toe. It hurts the strings of my muscles and the tiny bones in my hands. It seeps into my mind and marinates for months, no matter how hard I try to move on.

Grandpa Story passed away in October 2019, just 5 months ago. I’ve been battling depression and hard hitting anxiety since the months before then, when we knew he was getting sick and the end was near. Since he has passed, I feel heavy. Things feel different.

A week and a half ago, our three month old puppy unexpectedly passed away. He was my baby. My husband had given him to me a month prior for our 10 year wedding anniversary. I can’t even begin to describe how much I loved him. Pugs are my favorite dog breed and I haven’t lived with one since I was 18. He was my dream dog. He was spunky, loving, and a monster. He was mine.

Sometimes if you put a certain amount of pressure on a frozen lake, it will just crash into it self? Baby Vincent passing away was a that last bit of pressure on my heart. I haven’t healed from my grandfather passing and now this tiny baby is gone too. How much heartbreak can one heart handle?

I’ve wavered from feeling everything to feeling nothing. I cried for two days and didn’t get out of bed except to feed my kids. Then they’d tuck me back in and lay with me until I fell asleep. Angel got me into the car to go get food and I cried twice on the way there. I’ve felt angry, lost, hurt, confused, frustrated, and robbed. My bones hurt. I threw up a few times. My heart felt like it was going to explode in my chest. This went on for days.

It’s been a week and a half. Last night was a rough night. I was a mess again sitting on the couch after the girls went to bed, wallowing in my sadness, in the emptiness. Angel and I went on a walk to check the mail, we saw a cat eating a dead rabbit. That was a weird distraction. The circle of life is interesting.

But I can breathe today. We looked at videos of Baby Vinny this morning and I only cried. I didn’t sob or lose my shit. I cried and laughed at his cute snort. I smiled at his little jowls and the way they flared when he was biting his favorite taco toy. I hugged his Sparkle Bear that we keep on our bed now. I think we’ll be okay. I think I’ll be okay.

As I write this, I feel anxiety. My heart feels like it’s in my throat and my head feels dizzy. But it feels good to get these thoughts out. Izzy is working next to me on her math assignments. Angel and Vivi are playing games together, hootin’ and hollerin’.

I’m thankful for my tiny humans and my husband. They keep me going every day. They’re that little light at the end of the long dark tunnel.


โค La Lady Valdez

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