Reclaiming My Smile

In the world of the unhappy, we are always searching for something we had in the past. Back then, I had a smile. I had a way of expressing myself that made people gravitate towards me. Even on my darkest days, I was able to smile. But of course I changed and it affected everything.

Most mornings, I wake up and just lay there. I don’t get the excitement of a new day being upon me. At one point, I hoped that when I opened my eyes, I would be greeted by something new, but it hasn’t been the case. My first thought is usually what do I feel this morning? Followed by what’s hurting? What’s not hurting? What’s right? What’s wrong? Still, no smile.

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So wrapped up into trying to figure out how to get through the day that I haven’t started yet, the depression and chronic pain have all the control from the moment I open my eyes. I don’t choose to wake up this way, but maybe I do. I’m so consumed by what could happen that I don’t see what’s not happening.

I’m not giving myself a chance to be happy. I’m not waking up thinking at least I have the chance to fight today. There are other people battling things far worse than I am but they smile. They are excited about getting better.

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When I go to the bathroom, I turn the light on and once again, I stare at myself. I know I can’t see the old me but I really don’t know who the new me is either. Looking back at me isn’t the woman I’ve been ok with all my life. I see this broken reflection. I see pain in her eyes, I see fear in her eyes, I see doubt in her eyes. But I don’t see why she should smile.

I look at myself in the mirror in my room. I’m never happy with my reflection anymore. There’s nothing I can see that makes me feel like the old me. As I stare at my reflection, the room is dark. I can’t see too many details in my face but I see someone who’s unhappy, unsure. There are a ton of reasons that I have to smile but what makes it so hard to do it. Some people say it doesn’t hurt to smile, but it actually does sometimes.

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When I wake up, the left side of my face is numb. Every morning, I brush my teeth over the sink because the nerve damage won’t allow me to keep the toothpaste in my mouth without it spilling down my shirt. Because I have to bend over to make sure the toothpaste lands in the sink, my back pain flares up before I can finish. In a matter of three to five minutes I’ve been in the bathroom, if I did wake up with a smile, I’m reminded why it fades so quickly. I miss smiling. I miss telling people I’m doing well and really meaning it.

I know what I have to do to reclaim my smile but it’s not that easy. I know that the pain exists and I cannot let it control my life. On the days it isn’t so bad isn’t the problem. It’s the days when it’s more than I can handle in that moment that I must work harder to see change.
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One of my biggest reminders to smile lays next to me every night. I sit and watch him sleep, especially when he’s tired. He’s so relaxed, seems to be worry free. But I know he’s not. Most days he’s up at night to be there for me if I cannot sleep. Most days, he can’t sleep because he’s so worried about me and how to be the perfect man. And in my eyes, he exceeds what perfection he’s looking to achieve.

He loves the broken me. It’s all he’s known. He loves the passion I have for healing and becoming a better me. He watches when I cannot stand on my own to assist me in finding my strength, no questions asked. No matter how bad my mood is towards him, even when he’s done nothing wrong, he never runs away. He always asks what can I do? How can I help? He doesn’t make me feel bad about the things I cannot control, but he does whatever he can to see my smile. My broken smile. The smile I don’t love. The reflection I’m afraid of. The me I don’t know, that’s who he loves.

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True love is the way I’m going to reclaim my smile. Learning to accept my days of fighting this disease alone, are over. Knowing that when I smile, there’s someone who looks forward to it, even if I don’t, is the one thing I will make sure I hold on to.

Love will help heal this chronic pain. Love will bring back my smile. Love will show me how to fight, especially on the days where fighting doesn’t seem like an option. Love is the only way out of this dark hole. He’s showing me what I’ve wanted for my life, he is providing me. He continues to hold out his hand, it’s up to me to grab and never let go. He continues to love the flaws I cannot control. To him, the broken me is perfect.

I’m going to accomplish loving me, loving my reflection and reclaiming my smile. And you’ll call her by her new name, Mrs Robinson.

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#depressionwillnotwin #iwontfightfair #depressionisreal #fightforyourself  #fightforlove #fightforyourlife

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