Sometimes, often times, words are not enough, words can never be enough. Knowing this, sometimes it’s hard for me to write. But recently I’ve realized, the things I never wrote are slipping. I’m starting to forget. And that scares me more than anything ever has. I didn’t write because the memories were too ugly. It was as if writing them down memorialized them. Some memories were dark, some were scary. I was terrified that if I wrote down everything that I was thinking or had experienced in those times would make me relive through those things- and I didn’t know if I could survive round two.
But a few nights ago, I was having an insomniac episode. I did what I always do in these nights: I think. Most of the time this thinking begins to make my thoughts race, and sometimes that is very dangerous. I am fully aware that I do this, so I have learned to make lists or think of numbers. List are easy. Numbers are easy. My thoughts are still racing, but at least my mind is obsessing over mostly normal things.
7. My favorite number. Ronnie proposed on December 7th. My childhood softball number was always 7. My first travel ball team was called the Rampage. Kaitlin, Taylor, Shelby, Allie, Danielle, Spencer, Gabby, Alex. Two of those girls played on my high school team as well. Kaitlin, Alex, Alexis, Chelsea, Devin, Adriana, Courtney, Danielle. I was really in shape when I played softball. Poles, cauliflower, suicides, sprints, grapevines, bleachers. Man, I really need to get back into shape. Working out, toning up, clean eating-possibly going back to being vegan, planning our big wedding are things I need to do. 15- I would like to lose 15 pounds before the wedding next year. That is only a little more than a pound and a half each month.
I typically flow from different numbers to lists quite easily and I never know where my different lists or numbers will take me. On this particular night, I started making a list of the names of the people who were inpatients in the psychiatric hospital I was in. I could only remember two names. These people terrified me, haunted me, cried with me- these people were my lifeline. And I could only remember 2 of their names. I quickly pulled out my journal and realized I have so many gaps in it. I had one entry that claimed I was too empty to write. Throughout the journal which ranged from 2011-2016, I realized that I left out a lot of things. To be fair, I have multiple journals and write on random pieces of paper if the mood strikes and stick these pages in weird places. But I had nothing in my main journal. The months before my hospitalization and the months after were by far the darkest days. I didn’t write about them, because I was certain I would be haunted by the events and my experiences and could never forget.
But now I am two years out. I have grown so much that I don’t even recognize the girl I was back then. I used to beg God for a moment of peace, just one. That’s why I did what I did on that New Year’s Eve night. I was so desperate for one fleeting moment to have a single second of time that I could breathe, but that moment didn’t come that night. And it didn’t come until much later. I got really lucky that night, but that night was actually the easy one. The months and year to follow were ever harder. I wrote months before and months after, but I didn’t write during. I had nothing, I didn’t even have myself. I think it would have been healing to write then, and be able to reread months later to see how far I had come.
I am sitting at my computer writing this because this time around I am going to try not to leave as many gaps. Maybe if I had written more, I might have seen the signs and gotten help sooner. Maybe I could have reread how lost I was then, to realize how far I have come now. Sometimes I wish I just would have written about the small things, like the first kiss with my husband. But I didn’t, but that is all changing. I’m going to write everything down so I don’t forget anymore. My story is ugly and messy; I used to be ashamed of it, but I am who I am. My story has made me into the person I am today. I can never go back and make some of the details pretty, but I can move forward and make the whole beautiful.