And today is one of those days. I have been diagnosed as manic depressive for years now. It started back right before my senior year of high school when I pretty much had a nervous breakdown. I was the youngest kid of three... My brother had his career and life pretty much figured out. At that time he was already working as an aircraft mechanic and would be engaged to Jamie by Christmas. My sister was the smart one. She got the good grades, did all the extra work for everything, excelled at sports, basically did all the "right" things. Now, well, me...I was a conundrum for the teachers I had -- many of whom had both my brother and my sister in their classes. Trevor did enough to get by and pass while Amanda did everything extra to be the over-achiever. Me? I was some where in the middle and the teachers didn't really know how to handle me sometimes. This is something that I have brought into adulthood quite often. As I look back at my job I see the same pattern of doing just enough to garner some praise and then drop off just enough to test the waters and see how far I could push my boss. I was the perpetual 5 year old bending the rules to see how far I could push things and just what I could actually get away with. Anyways....Back to my senior year. Here I was facing what is arguably one of the most intense and life-deciding year of my education and I had ZERO clue what, where, who I wanted to be. I mean, I was barely 17 and I was supposed to figure out my life? I was in a part of the country, a part of Ohio, an area that was full of girls that got married before they could drink legally (though that age thing didn't stop us!) and would be popping out babies as fast as a baker popped cupcakes from the oven. I grew up in Small Town America where you were raised and told what you would be doing for the rest of your life because that is just how it was always done. Well, my brother and his very mechanically-intelligent mind knew that he would have a future in that somehow. My sister, the girl that always took care of things and made sick animals better, knew she'd be involved with animals somehow (she is now a vet tech, well, was until she got pregnant). Then there was me. The girl that didn't have to speak until she was nearly two because her brother did/got/fetched anything she wanted or needed. The girl that was always the "baby" when she played house with her sister. The girl that went shopping with her dad and he got her $40 shoes...when she was just 18 months old (he told mom it was because "those were the ones she wanted"... I can still use this excuse with him at 26!). The girl that spent time with her mom in the kitchen because then she felt special and like she was the only kid in the house. I was never really pushed to figure out a life plan. I was never really pushed down a path that showed where I excelled with ease. I just thought that I would end up being a stay at home mom to my 20 farm-grown kids who would grow up to be farmers just like their dad. Well, when I was 17 and facing down the barrel of my senior year, I was shocked to realize one day that that wasn't what I wanted. I wanted something....different. But, I didn't know what different meant or what I thought different should be. I just knew I wasn't going to settle. That realization through me for a loop and I had no clue what to do or where to go and I was lost. So utterly lost that I started having regular anxiety attacks. So utterly lost that I had to be so medicated and sedated that I don't even remember the first few weeks of that school year. I absolutely couldn't tell you how I functioned because I don't remember.
Well, kids. I'm lost again. How do you find your way back when you're so lost you don't even know how to breathe sometimes? When you wake up just to go back to sleep because you can't bear to face another day of feeling so lost? When you know that you should do something, anything...but you just can't. How?