I woke up and it was like it had never happened. Everything was right with the world – it was after all, my birthday. I made my way to the kitchen with my daughter Lydia, who was 2 years old at the time, and had great breakfast and “happy birthdays”. I decided just to brush it off as a horrible nightmare that was finally over and that I could go back to the routine as usual. I wanted to take Lydia to the movies that day but was disappointed that the theater on base wasn’t open. But I remember loving the fact that I could hold her hand, hug her, love her, tickle her and just enjoy our time together. The three weeks prior were just hell and I had felt so far away from her and from reality. I thought about the visit to the base psychiatrist who suggested medication. It petrified me and my family to even think of medication – that was for “crazy” people. I refused the help. So on my birthday – September 1, 1997 – I was just glad it was gone – the black, dark, heavy cloud that had taken over. It was a wonderful day and saved my life more times than I can remember. You see – later that night it all came back. The fear, the depression, the insane thoughts and that feeling that I wasn’t really here at all. If I knew then what I know now – I wouldn’t have gone back to “the normal routine”. The normal routine consisted of denial, anger, self-loathing, partying, holding it all in and denying help. What I would have done is went back to the psychiatrist and did anything in the world to help me so that I could be me. That day of clarity would have been just that – but I didn’t know. My mind slid back into the muck, grasping at the low hanging limbs and torn grass, and remained there for years. The thing that held me above and kept me reach was That One Day. That One Day reminded me of exactly who I am and how I could once again be me. A gift from God? A break in insanity? My brain healing if for just one moment? I don’t know – I was just thankful for it even in the darkest of moments.
Be Strong. Be Beautiful.