I put on the stylish baseball cap that says I have it all together even though I ran out of time to do my hair, the chic exercise outfit, the running shoes, the Marc Jacobs bag that holds my Hobo wallet and blackberry, and pull up in my new oversize SUV (that we probably didn’t need seeing as we only have two children and who really carpools these days with all the car seat nonsense).  All of this to drop off my youngest daughter no excuse me, my step-daughter at Preschool.

I open the car door to let her out of her car seat. In my mind I am frustrated with her. She has been irritating me lately and I don’t even have an explanation why. I look at her coat. Her new coat that I bought yesterday at Wal-mart. I actually feel guilty for buying a four-year-old girl a coat from Wal-mart. I hope no one notices. I couldn’t handle that kind of judgment. But who really would judge me? No one really puts in the time that I do to make my step-daughters look so perfect. I am the one judging myself so harshly. I am the one judging others. I am a bad person.

I hear my cell phone ringing and so does my step-daughter. I tell her it is okay to ignore it because in the back of my mind I am thinking who really could be calling me? I rush her out of the car and into the building. I take for granite every day I get to spend with her. She is growing so fast and all I can think about is how I get to be free from her, from everyone, for 2.5 hours. I walk through the doors of her classroom with my fake smile. The smile that says I do it all and I enjoy it! I kiss her goodbye and head out to my SUV. I hate my life.

I check my cell phone before pulling out of the parking lot. I was right to ignore the call. It was my Mother calling to ask me how my day is going. No one besides a family member ever calls me. I have no friends, but I put on such a great show that nobody would ever think that. I drive home and turn into my neighborhood, my Dublin neighborhood with the huge brand new houses. I actually feel proud to give people my address. Who am I?

I walk into a quiet empty house. I look around and see so much that needs to be done, but instead I grab a box of cereal and head to watch Oprah recordings. I am a failure. I have set-up this “perfect” life. I have two children who are my step-children, but my entire life revolves around them and their needs. I have lost who I am as a person. I have lost all meaning and value in my life. I have a husband who loves me and I can’t even make an effort to take off my yoga pants in exchange for jeans in make-up. Will he leave me? Will he see how I am a failure? How do I fix this? I was once happy. Everything I am doing is everything I have always said I have wanted to do, but all I feel is worthless and empty.

I look at the clock and know I have to get it together soon. The house needs to be cleaned up before my husband gets home from work. I can’t imagine what he really thinks of me. I am home all day and it is unacceptable to leave the house a mess. Or is that my standard? What is his standard? What does he expect from me? What does the world really expect from me? I am falling apart and I can’t even express it to anyone for fear of what they will think. How do I fix me? Then I remember I just became a survivor of cancer less than a week ago and we had a miscarriage is July. Maybe I am depressed. Maybe it is all too much to handle. I just want to feel normal again. Is that so wrong?  I need a how to get happy guide. Does that even exist?

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Nov. 3, 2010 at 6:12 PM

I understand completely!  But I don't have any "How to be Happy for Dummys" books :(  

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Nov. 3, 2010 at 7:49 PM

I'd say "yes" to the depression...and with good reason. I hope you will talk with a counselor...you can be "happy"....I'm glad you are here to figure it out. Cancer...it doesn't always give you a 2nd chance.

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Nov. 4, 2010 at 12:38 AM

You definitely are going through a lot. Surviving cancer is a good thing. But it sure does takes a lot out of you.  It can give us a different perspective in life. On top of that, lossing your own pregnancy. %$*)&%$^)

You are right on the target. You have got to search within what is important to you. Definitely find a therapist to bounce your thoughts and feelings with. Sounds like you guys can afford it. When you are feeling happy again, so the family. GOOD LUCK


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