I’m smiling again.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, processing, and putting on a brave face but lately I haven’t been smiling.

Maybe it was the Vicodin, but last night I started smiling again.

Last week I was crying in public, bruising my wrist by punching a wall with the side of my fist, trying to pretend that I didn’t feel like I was giving birth to a phantom baby, and trying to pretend that I wasn’t hurt by something I witnessed.

Hot mess doesn’t even begin to cover it.

The next morning I woke up smelling like spilled vodka and regret.

I decided that it was time to take care of myself again.

The plan was to pop into the Urgent Care clinic, have the IUD issues resolved, go grocery shopping, make my meals for the week, and then go run. Instead I ended up spending the day and night in the hospital… but you already know that story.

A week or so prior I had written on my arm “In Veritas, Libera” which I forgot was mixing languages but means “In truth, liberty.” I had decided that I would not live in denial and I would accept the truth, whatever that may be, so that I could be free. Yet, even in the midst of that promise, I was unable to see a few key truths.

This week I’ve been working through those, letting my bruises heal, downing pain medicine like candy, and finding my smile again.

I realized that for the last few months I’ve been doing things for others but not for myself. My motivation for weight loss, running, dancing, and pretty much everything else I’ve done was to impress, conform to expectations, strive for approval, or become what I thought I ought to be. I’ve backtracked like crazy on this whole finding myself thing.

I’ve also accepted the fact that The Boy is long gone. Hmm… you’re probably all wondering about why I would mention him again after all this time when there’s been The Visitor, The Stoic, and a few unnamed others in the meantime.

I suppose there’s also that small detail that I was supposedly over him back in December… or was it November. Oops. Well, he and I talked again and I fell for him again. I fell and then I harbored hope… and things seemed like they were going to start again… and then I saw him kissing another girl on Friday night… and then I punched a wall… twice. Actually, three times but the third punch was a reflex due to a really painful cramp and it wasn’t on purpose.

Don’t worry; I see the hypocrisy in my emotions. I’ve been sleeping with other people but get upset when I see him kissing someone else? Whatever, it hurt. Also, I had a fever, was drunk, had phantom baby contractions, was still getting used to new hormones in my body, and ran into a series of other people I didn’t want to see that night.

The point here is that I was a mess because I wasn’t acknowledging reality.

I was in denial about The Boy, I was in denial about the IUD, I was in denial about being sick, and I was in denial about the fact that you can’t go through all I’ve been through and just bounce back like nothing happened.

Last night I sorted through a lot of my emotions and just plain felt like smiling again. I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the friends who have been metaphorically walking with me through this whole thing. I felt happy lying in bed at 9pm reading tidbits of the pile of books I had just purchased. I felt optimistic about the future again.

Oh, and then I found out that my hypothetical porn star name would be Velvet Cumberland.

Childhood pet plus the name of the street you grew up on. What’s yours?

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