And last night I needed it.
Last night I was hit with a minor case of melancholy. I was just sitting in my big comfy armchair and without reason, tears started to glide down my cheeks. Scott asked what was wrong, but I didn't know. He thought that was me not wanting to talk about it, but no, genuinely I didn't know. He could not understand what that was all about. No one cries for no reason, he said.
Yes. Yes they do.
I know I'm not alone. Sometimes feelings you don't even know exist build up inside until they have to come out. For some people they come out as anger or frustration. For others, tears and sadness. I'm in the latter category most of the time.
After crying for a little while, and being prodded by my caring husband, the reasons started to make themselves clear.
I just miss everything.
I miss the Mid-Kirk cafe on Friday afternoons with my mother-in-law. I miss dropping in on my father-in-law on a rotten rainy day for a cup of tea and a slice roll. I miss my sister- and brother-in-law and my nephew ... and the niece I haven't even met yet. I miss Craft Nights every Tuesday with Heather, Elaine and Paula. I miss hanging out with lots of kids with Maria and Robyn. I miss the love and friendship I shared with Sheila. I miss coffees with Laura, and I miss being on stage. I miss drinks at the pub and the town gossip and the Gaelic school. I miss so many people I couldn't possibly list. I miss being known and well-liked and surrounded with people to see and places to go. Most of all, though, I miss me.
It sounds so damn corny, doesn't it?
I'll just stay with the corny though. Feelings are always corny when they are typed out. This is going to sound so stupid, but here I go... because for some reason I have this insane need to share myself with the world. I don't write for pity or for cyberhugggsxxx, but because we all need to know sometimes that we are not alone in those feelings that we are wrongly ashamed of.
In Scotland, I imagined myself in bright colours. I was happy (in general), colourful, outgoing, bright, busy, active. I wore make-up and heels and skirts and warm woolly scarves and sequinned hats. I was living in technicolor.
Now, I'm grey. I'm tired, lonely, fat, grey, grey, grey. I wear pajamas and no make-up, I eat junk and nap on the couch and check Facebook on my phone. I make two outings a day - taking Fiona to school and back. In the car, not walking, because it's cold and I don't want to be cold. Sometimes I go to Walmart or Kroger. Sometimes I do see friends, and those days are the highlights of my week. I wait for Scott to come home each night with fervor because he's my only adult and he's my joy and my rock. I just feel pretty pathetic.
I want to snap out of it. Trust me, I do. But I can't. I just can't. I make these small little targets for myself every day like 'Get dressed', 'Straighten your hair', 'Put on eyeliner', 'Don't eat any crisps'. And when I meet those targets I feel awesome. Until I realise they are shit targets. Hey, well done, you just did what all normal people do without any effort at all.
I keep pushing away the D-word. I don't want to label myself. I'm sad, I'm down, but this happens. This happened when I moved to Scotland the first time, but look what a life I made! I'll make it again. Scott reminded me of how lonely I was when I first moved there; he said I was so sad he was sure I was going to leave him and come back home. I didn't though; I slowly made those same kind of targets for myself - 'Catch the bus by yourself', 'Take a walk', 'Wash the dishes', 'Stop crying'. And each baby target met was a little crayon pulled out of the box lightly colouring in a corner in my grey life. As my confidence grew and friendships started forming, the colours became bolder and covered more and more of the page until the paper couldn't hold it all and I had to draw more pictures on more paper just to keep colouring. I loved my art gallery of a life!
I'm back to my black empty line drawing on a white sheet of paper now. My crayons are sitting stubbornly in the box, as I grudgingly admit that I'm bringing this on myself. I don't want to be happy. I don't want to stop missing Scotland. I don't want to replace the amazing people in my life with new people. I haven't made an effort to settle here because I don't love it here. I'm afraid to make new friends in case I leave them too.
I've erected my own prison cell, and now I'm living inside it. And that makes me sad. But I have no strength to tear it back down. It's easier to eat a slice of cake and watch Netflix.
I promised Scott I'd set myself new targets. 'Make some friends.' 'Stop snacking between meals.' 'Get some exercise.' Today, even after we decided to skip church due to the weather, I fixed my hair and put on loads of eyeliner. I put on jeans that I like and a cardigan that made me feel cute. I didn't overeat. I had a good day with my kids and my step-mom at the cinema seeing Frozen. I let myself tear up at the sad parts. I feel okay. I'm not always depressed. I won't always be grey. I feel lonely a lot right now, but I know I don't have to feel alone. I need to give myself more time. I'm in a rush to be and have all that I was and had in my Scottish life, but that took time too. Time and tears. Tears aren't a bad thing, and neither is time.
Time is necessary. Tears are good, even the ones you don't understand. And sharing our tears is good. We are not alone. We should never feel alone.
And hey, toilet paper!