Drained and Uninspired

I am drained. If there was a way to measure the amount of energy, willpower, and motivation that resides within me it would alarm even the calmest of souls. I am not immune to this feeling, being bipolar has been a great mentor in showing me the lifestyle of the chemically imbalanced. With that being said, I thought my severe lows and my extreme highs were of the past, but it looks my brain is trying to humble me once again. 

Microdosing has truly made a significant difference in my quality of life. By reading the first paragraph this might come as a surprise, but truly, life has been better than it ever has. I have found stability, balance, and joy. I have been more introspective than I have ever been and focused to make what I desire manifest into my reality. I don’t just wish for a difference, I make it happen. When I do find myself falling into a low, I can usually get myself out pretty quickly. The same goes when I start to experience some moments of mania, although I can’t really recall my last true manic episode. So that is why this time I am scared. Because I can’t get out. 

I have been feeling myself drift for a little while now, and my depression and anxiety has been having fun trying to show me what I have been missing. I know that some of it stems from my career path. I was supposed to be an author. I have half of a manuscript that I poured my entire soul into, and now I just lack the inspiration and energy to complete it. I was working with a publisher, we were in conversation about the publication process, book tour, the art. Everything. But I needed a paycheck now, so I had to put my dream on hold. And now I feel as if my energy is being wasted. I love creating and building up a story. I enjoy nothing more than developing a twist that no one was expecting. I become giddy when I create a character that is relatable, and to show their journey. I want my readers to feel everything from the safety of a cemetery to the sadness that a character may feel to the jolt of excitement that shoots through them from the climax of the tale. I want to leave an impression on those who take the time to read what I poured myself into. That is what I love. That is what makes life sweet for me. Despite knowing this, there is not enough of me to do my job, take care of my animals, take care of my husband, take care of other tasks that I need to complete to stay alive, and take care of myself in the form of creativity. 

To make a long story short, I feel stuck. I feel stuck creatively, mentally, and passionately. I feel as though my soul has once again detached itself from this vessel and now I am walking around doing everything that I am supposed to be doing but without gratification. I don’t feel fulfilled, I don’t feel happy, and I just feel stuck.

Suicidal ideation is an unwelcome friend of mine. Although I have been able to keep it at bay for the most part since November, it recently has been at the forefront of the battle lines inside of my head. It became apparent that I was in battle once again last week when I was lying in bed, using everything I had to convince myself not to do what I really wanted to do. The problem with being suicidal is you don’t know what to listen to. Your mind is telling you that you are so exhausted that you can’t carry on any longer, but your heart is pleading for you to give yourself another chance. The thought of dying is the peace that you are looking for at that moment, but taking your last breath in this lifetime is just as terrifying. You want both outcomes, but it’s almost as if you don’t want to be responsible for that decision. 

When I say that the only reason why I am here is because of my animals, I truly mean it. Anytime I have almost done anything, my furbabies can sense it, and they shield me from myself. Last week, all six of my babies recognized the agony that I was in and did everything in their power to comfort me. My dogs are always there to put their weight on me to help soothe my anxiety. My cats are never too far away to jump to my aid and lick my tears away. When I feel them, I can breathe again. They continue to watch over me time after time. 

I think, for the most part, I am authentically me. I am unapologetically sarcastic, dry, a little cold, lazy, honest, overbearing, controlling, loving, caring, sweet, an interesting mix of spontaneous, and someone who needs to plan ahead. I am quirky and odd. I can see the big picture of the universe and use the secrets that I have access to guide me through my life lessons. I am neither a pessimist nor an optimist. I look at patterns and I tend to be realistic with my approach to things. These are just a few things that put together the puzzle of me, Brookana. 

There are certain places in my life when I feel like I can’t fully be me. I find myself masking at work, and by the end of the day, I am just absolutely fucking tired. At work, I am soft-spoken, tender, respectful, and kind. And while all of those traits aren’t necessarily bad, they definitely aren’t all of me. By not being everything that I am, I am not being authentic, and that grows tiresome. 

I know within time I will get out of this low. I know I will start creating worlds and stories again, and one day, hopefully not too far from now, my manuscript will be complete and someone will be thinking about my words after they read the final page of my story. 

Mental health is scarier than any scary story I have ever written, but I am determined to keep fighting no matter what wounds I might inflict on myself. 

Soul in Yearning: Fostering & Adoption

The world that we live in is not a world that I am happy about. You would think that as a society we would be more evolved, but the truth of the matter is that we are not where we need to be. Not just in America, but everywhere. Racism is still lingering around, causing harm and pain everywhere you look. People who belong to the LGBTQ+ community are being told by others that they love that they made “the wrong choice” or that “they are not good enough.” Women are still fighting for their rights. People who are seeking asylum in “safe havens” are being turned away for not having thousands of dollars to pay to legally be there. This world is not where it needs to be. 

As a woman, I can admit that things have improved, and I can thank the women of the past who gave me the opportunities that I now have. I can vote, I can obtain birth control, I can work any job that any man can work, and I can speak my mind. (With that being said, we cannot deny that human trafficking, child marriage, and slavery is still a horrifying reality in our world.) So because of the rights that I have, I can have any career that I want. I can be a doctor, a contractor, a history professor, whatever I want. 

Now with that being said, I don’t think there was ever a time where I have wanted to run towards a certain career path. It is interesting because there are women out there who said “I can’t wait to become a nurse” who became nurses. The same with teachers, accountants, business owners, etc. That was never me. I love to write, and I am making a career out of that, but it’s not my biggest dream. Every time I publish a piece that I am proud of I do feel my self-esteem going up, but it’s not enough where I feel like I really have accomplished a dream. 

My dream has always been something that you still could consider to be a “job.” And from what I hear, it is one of the most challenging jobs around. I have always, and when I say always I truly mean ALWAYS, wanted to be a stay at home mom. I remember being a young girl and playing with baby dolls and feeling as if I were on cloud nine. I remember thinking of names and sticking with those names for years. Penelope and Oliver. I even had the nicknames picked out. I used to daydream about finding out that I was pregnant and telling my partner, and us crying for hours due to the elation that we felt. (The dramatics) To this day, I still have recurring dreams of pregnancy and birth, and my husband and I holding our child for the first time. Those dreams are starting to fade though, and new dreams are starting to come forth. And I love them and yearn for them just as much. 

I found out a few months ago that it would be highly unlikely for me to conceive and carry my own child. You would think that it would hurt. You would think that it felt as if a dagger was plunged right into my heart. But I have known that the likelihood of me having biological children was slim to none since I was a young teenager. I have PCOS, which is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, which makes it very difficult to conceive. I have to take birth control in order to get my period every month, otherwise, I could go months in-between periods. I am not ovulating if I am not getting my period, and in order to get my period consistently, I need to be on birth control, which will prevent me from getting pregnant. The fucking irony, am I right?  My doctor said “sure, you can lose weight, but your body still won’t be able to carry a child safely.” At one point my husband and I went probably two years without using birth control or condoms, and yet here I am. Childfree. The woman who has dreamed about being a mother for her entire life, (well, for as long as can remember) can’t have children. I feel as if I am the leading character in a tragedy.

I made my peace long ago with alternative ways of expanding our family, and to be honest, thinking about those opportunities bring the same, if not more, excitement with the notion of bringing tiny humans into our world. There is a way where my husband and I could have a biological child, and that is through surrogacy. Not only will that be difficult in more ways than one, but it’s also costly. My husband and I are a younger couple, so dropping tens of thousands of dollars on something that is more likely to not work is out of the question. So then I started researching and looking into other options. Then I found my answer, and that was when my soul lit up. Adoption. Fostering. Foster to adopt. That is the answer. That is what I have spent my entire life looking for. My flame came back and it was brighter than ever, and I deep dived into what that world would be like and what kind of parent I could be to my child(ren.) Then I started daydreaming of new moments. I started daydreaming of the moment when Stephen (my husband) and I received the phone call that we were matched with a child. I started thinking about learning everything that there is to know about them, including their dreams and aspirations. I started to think about how I can teach them about values and morals, and how I would show them that it is okay to stand up for what you believe in, including yourself. I want to show them that this world isn’t perfect, but it sure is beautiful. I envision giving them everything that I have just to watch them smile for a few moments, and my heart starts to melt. 

I feel like I love a child that I don’t even have yet. I don’t wake up at the butt crack of dawn to wake my child up for school. I don’t hear “mommy” yet. I have five furchildren, and I know that they love me and my heart is so full because of them, but I want to be a mother to human children so, so, so badly. Instead of pregnancy dreams, I dream of a young boy. Ten to be exact. And I see him in the dead of night multiple times a week every week. And then I think about him all day long and I yearn for him. I know my son is out there in the world just waiting for me to find him. Little does he know, he is already so loved. 

For years I warned my husband that there was always a chance that we would never parent biological children, and he always would say “Don’t worry Bebe. We will be parents no matter what.” But I think he held on to hope despite his encouraging words. I think this because of his tone after my gynecologist appointment a few months back. You could hear the shock and the sadness after I told him what my doctor had said. For me, it was important to focus on how Stephen was feeling after hearing that information rather than placing focus on myself. I had already worked past that painful information. I was able to embrace our new reality with open arms and accept that we will be parents, just not through blood. Stephen, as much as he was always supportive of the idea of adoption, still was hoping that there would be a medical miracle and we would conceive. I asked him what he needed from me, I tried to comfort him the best that I could, and I gave him time to process the information before bringing up the next steps. I wanted him to work through his pain, and I wanted to help him the best way that I could. 

A few months went by and we started talking about when we should start the process of fostering. Our goal is to foster to adopt, but we are aware of how difficult and lengthy of a process that can be. It doesn’t matter to us what ethnicity our children are, it doesn’t matter to us if they are apart of the LGBTQ+ community, we will welcome any child that needs and wants a loving home. Our goal is for adoption, but we are more than happy to foster and open our home to children who need one. For a little bit, we stalled on starting the process of becoming parents simply because we didn’t know when the right time would be. The reality is there never will be the perfect time to become parents. All we know is that we are ready now, and we are willing to do whatever it takes. 

So we filled out an inquiry with DCFS, and now our journey has officially begun. I am so unbelievably filled with excitement, eagerness, anxiety, and nerves. The only fear that I have is that Stephen and I won’t be approved, but I know that we will be okay. I keep telling myself that in eight to twelve months, all of this will be in the past and I can officially enjoy the present. I can’t wait to see my children, and I can’t wait for this phase to begin. 

I love the fact that women are being so open with infertility these days. I love the fact that I don’t feel ashamed for not being able to have biological children. I want to be able to share and document this process because I don’t want anyone to feel helpless when it comes to being infertile. Also, I think it is important to know what going through the process of fostering and adoption is like. 

Whatever faith you belong to, or even if you don’t belong to any religion, could you please send out positive vibes and energy, prayers, or phrases of manifestation for us? It would be the greatest gift that you could give Stephen and me. I truly believe that one day very, very soon we will be parents, but a little extra boost would be extraordinary. 

Anyways, hearing the news that you can’t have biological children shouldn’t devastate you to the point of giving up. Depending on your perspective, it could actually be really beautiful. Your child, no matter who and where they came from, was destined to be yours. Your souls were meant to find and be with each other. Just remember that the soul of a human being is superior to blood.