I recently found a true love for Country music. I know I know. And I even went Nashville for a girls trip. The Grande Ole Opry was my favorite! Dolly is my girl. ❤
Have you ever listened to Dolly’s lyrics to Jolene? Like actually listened? She’s begging this other woman – arguably a home wreaker – to not steal her man. Explaining that she gets that Jolene is way more beautiful but she’d never find love again if Jolene took away her man. While a great song – easily one of my favs from Dolly – it’s kind of sad when you think about it.
I had a Jolene once.
I felt where Dolly was coming from at one point. I pleaded internally with my Jolene night after night, as I laid there alone. But then one day this switch flipped in me. I distinctly remember it. I hated her. Loathed every fiber of her being. I was jealous of her. She stole the heart of the man I was married to. How could she?! She ruined my life!!! Or did she? Then I felt bad for her. What if she didn’t know any better? I know of her but did she know of me? What if she was just a girl who fell for the wrong guy? I understood that. Same girl, same.
I went through all the feelings towards Jolene. Literally all. And after I had gone through all the stages of grief, got help, faced some of my demons, rode some emotional roller coasters, and did all the things…I realized I might owe Jolene a thank you. She might have done me a favor. I know you’re thinking what in the actual hell is wrong with you Sarah but hear me out.
I won’t reach out to Jolene. But here is the letter she’ll never get:
Dear Jolene, I suppose it’s odd that I am writing you this letter. You may know who I am though at this time I am not entirely sure that’s relevant anymore.
I wanted to reach out and say thank you. A while ago, you forced me to really look at my life and see how broken things were. You made me face reality and facts that I probably knew were true but didn’t want to come to terms with. Thank you for that push. Because of you I had to be stronger than I ever thought possible and stand up for myself. I’m now mentally, emotionally and physically healthier and in a better place. I can be a better mom to my kid and that means a lot to me. You contributed to that. And for that, I owe you gratitude.
There is a lot of ugly in this world and I believe what you put into it you receive back. Blessings. Juju. Karma. Whatever it maybe. I wish you nothing but the best.
I’m happy. But I’m broken. My brain is broken. It’s telling me I’m not happy, that I am not okay. Because that is what depression does. Depression lies. It tells you awful things and then convinces you they are facts. It makes you see and feel things that are sometimes not there. It’s evil. And it’s best friend is anxiety. They show up uninvited and ruin everything. Trust me, I know. I’ve been bullied by them for decades.
Truthfully – I’m in a down cycle. Things are dark in my space right now. I’m unmotivated despite having all the lists of things to do and you guys know I know love lists. My face is a leaky mess of tears and sometimes I don’t even know why I’m crying. I’m lethargic and could sleep for days if it was allowed. I get up and attempt to go through the motions because I’m a single mom and I have to. But I’m just blah. If that makes sense.
Over the years I’ve learned a lot of things about dealing with my depression and anxiety. I’ve learned to watch for signs in myself that things are taking a turn for the worse. It’s taken me a long time to recognize those things but being able to know now what they look and feel like has helped a lot. This time around my therapist has me trying something new. I think the gist is around writing out my emotions – anger, fear, guilt and sadness – and seeing how they relate to anything unresolved. Then finding any unreasonable expectations I may have for myself and flipping that expectation around. I’ll report back on my thoughts.
I’ve been in dark valleys before but that doesn’t make it any less scary. I never know how long they will last or how hard they will be to get through. I’m just focused on the things I do know to be true.
This is temporary. You’ve lived through this before and you will make it through this again.
There is light on the other side.
It’s okay to not be okay.
Give yourself grace.
You are so loved.
The other night I was reading in bed – that’s what us bibliophiles do – and I came across something that at that very moment I needed. I’m reading Broken (in the best way possible) by Jenny Lawson* and she was writing about tools that have helped her with her mental health and she said:
Forgive yourself. Forgiveness – something I never considered.
*Side note: Go out right now and buy all the Jenny Lawson books and read them. She’s amazing. She’s legit saved me. She’s my hero.
I’m sorry. For saying all the things. For oversharing my thoughts. For being in my feelings sometimes. For over communicating. For being too forward and too honest. For caring too much. For loving too hard. For wanting things that aren’t mine. For wishing things I’m unworthy of. For being stubborn. For being sassy. For giving my unsolicited opinion from time to time. For being indecisive. For being a total head case. For having anxiety and depression. For having this body and body image issues. For crying too easily. For playing with my hair too much. For having a foul mouth. For not being someone else. I’m sorry for just being me. I’m sorry.
Unusual to find a picture of just me Never confident enough to for people to see Filters used to make all the corrections Important to fix my many imperfections Longing to feel comfortable in my own skin To feel beautiful on the outside and deep within Everyday seeking some form of approval Realizing slowly that self love is more crucial Eventually I’ll show just me, bit by bit Determined to be a girl that owns her own shit