I just returned to my current home of Elko, Nevada from a Christmas week in my childhood home of Siskiyou County, California. After looking through all the photos I snapped (yes, I finally figured out how to use the dang camera!), I realized a few things. First, I definitely need to pay more attention to my hair. My standard beauty routine of showering, applying a little mousse, ruffling it all up, squinting into the mirror and telling myself “no one will notice” is not fooling anyone. The camera doesn’t lie.
Second, it’s so sad that I used to think I was always in the way; that the people around me would have an easier time if I wasn’t here. That’s one of the main reasons I nearly took my own life when I was seventeen. Third, it’s wonderful to be so distanced from that hopeless frame of mind that I feel only sadness, not sameness, with that despairing girl.
This trip home proved the demons wrong, the ones who fill my brain with thoughts of “You’re worthless. No one likes you. The only reason they invited you over is because they feel sorry for you. Don’t let anyone see you eat. You don’t deserve to feel good.” I went home for 9 days and was simply exhausted from visiting dear friends and family! People who love me and hugged me! They gave me the best gifts.
Susan gave me leftover turkey, Theo gave me half her bed, Jamie gave me her baby to hold during church, Smokey gave me his arm to snuggle under during a movie, Don gave me a leather scarf slide he’d made, Matt gave me a hard time about being a crazy old lady with too many cats, and Coleman gave me a compliment by asking me how to braid.
It’s crazy to remember the days I would tear apart a razor blade with a Leatherman and slice my forearm when I was left alone in an empty house. I didn’t need to despair; I only needed to migrate. Feeling worthless and abandoned and are not the same as being worthless and abandoned. The same goes for fatness. It’s unfortunate but true that wounds, whether real or imagined, are equally detrimental to our sense of well-being. We need to take control of our minds, listen to our rational brains, and believe the goodness in our lives.
I am overflowing with goodness. I haven’t slept in a week, and I stuffed every day with all the good things in life. Playing cards, making new friends, catching up with old ones, dancing ’til the wee hours of the morning, eating candy cane Hershey’s kisses, drinking gin and tonic and playing pool, sitting in a leather shop listening to old cowboy stories, watching The Pink Panther, eating homemade creme brule, and knowing I am truly loved and valued. It was an excellent Christmas 🙂