Friday, September 14, 2007

What makes a mother? A woman? A person? The ability to feel certain emotions? The ability to nuture and sustain another individual? I've spent a lot of time thinking about this in the past two days. It was helped a bit by a line regarding marriage delivered by Marie Barone (Ray's mom, Everybody Loves Raymond) "You're going to have hate. Hate is real. Marriage is real."

It's like life. Marriage, parenthood, and everything else you come across in real life. Full of real things. Love, hate, preferences both strong and slightly felt. Obsessions. Fear. Anxieties. The last few can be controlled and reined in with drugs now; anti-depressives, anti-anxieties, the rest of the spectrum. But at what price? When I was deep in recovery and therapy I was heavy into the anti-everything. Pills to help me cope, to deaden the emotions, to make me not have to cope with feelings that seemed like they would rip me apart. But along with taking the bad stuff away they also took the good stuff. It was an effort. A serious effort to do or to be anything else.

I went off those pills eventually. I learned to deal with life again. The highs were so much sharper when not dulled by the meds. The lows were so much scarier. As low as I can sometimes get, even now, when the blackness comes crashing down around me... I don't want to ask for those pills again. I want to selectively lose negative feelings and keep the good ones. But that's almost an impossibility. It's not real.

You're going to be amazed and enthralled by beauty- in nature, in the ones you love. In the soft curve of a toddler's cheek when they're engrossed in discovering something new that you've taken for granted for twenty years or more. That's real. You're going to be scared and disturbed at a million other things. That's real too. We can't pick and choose when we want to be a person. Take the good with the bad and everything else. It's sweeter that way.

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