Me, She, Her, and I
Writing a summary of a life story escaping death while white-knuckling life is a challenge. Lucky you! You made it in time for the third version. I believe everything is better in threes. And I guarantee this snapshot is the best yet!!
Hi. I am Candace Lynne.
And this is my story. The Rewrite.
I am 42 years young, a Sagittarius, and a horse in Chinese birth year. I am an INTJ/INFJ personality on the Briggs and Meyer, and an empath. I don’t know what my love language is but y’all will be the first to know once I wrestle that unicorn. I am from Louisiana, I cuss to emphasize passion, and I am on an arduous journey called life.
A long list of diagnoses assists healthcare professionals in guessing what is wrong with me. No solution yet but hey, I’ve got one hell of a story!
It is because of mental illness and the stigma attached that I share my personal perspective of life lived from the “ill side”. For that reason (and entertainment purposes), I will list my rap sheet.
Bipolar 1 (rapid cycling)
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
Alcoholic (in recovery)
And last but not least, I have my Ph.D. in sarcastic charisma with a Master’s in glitter sprinkling.
Now the True Story
I am the middle child of an Irish immigrant and a U.S. military brat. I am the sparkly one in the family but boy do we all shine 😉
My parents are baby-boomers and I am of the (lost) Gen X generation.
So there ya have it, folks!!
How’s that for a life summary?
Enough said, right?
Pssst. Things aren’t going to get suuuppper personal with like details and shit but here goes surface level personal.
Oh, a quick disclaimer: I am not blaming or judging my parents for the decisions they made. Raising children does not come with a manual,
I am a product of, and I quote
“a severely psychologically abusive childhood home”.
I can only imagine what my daughter’s therapist is going to label it.
Yup. If ya dish it out, ya gotta be willing to take it and I am wait’n for it. Just say’n.
If you enjoy this post, check out About Me: The Weird Stuff
I will give credit where credit is due.
I was raised in an upper-middle-class home. I never went without food. We were involved in extracurricular activities. My parents busted their asses to see to it that we got what we wanted (within reason) and my mother made a miserable home happy-ish.
With all of the above taken into account, there is an additional layer of invalidity. Having older and younger siblings not as emotionally scared as myself adds yet another.
My parents divorced shortly after the youngest graduated. Everyone went their separate ways to process the madness. Or were we celebrating? I guess it depends on who you ask.
Months prior to the divorce, I had the joy of telling my parents I tripped a fell on a penis. Not typically the worst news coming from an independent 22-year-old college student unless the penis is of another race. Ah. The life of a white southern girl who could care less.
I survived the life-threatening remarks from my father and went on to give birth to a healthy, bi-racial bundle of innocence. It was somewhere in between being disowned by my father, the divorce, infidelity, and birthing a child that I hit the make-it mode button. I lived my life entertaining and providing for a child all the while disassociated.
I’d say that is about right.
Ten years later
I vaguely remember the day when I came to. I said to myself,
“Hey, do you remember riding that cool walkway in the airport on the way to Vegas when you made the decision to not think?”.
A piece of me woke up in that moment. I hadn’t questioned, doubted, or processed a single thought or idea, pertaining to me, in ten years. My make-it mode was overrun by my instinctual mom mode without ever dropping the ball. The transition was smooth.
At the age of 33 I made a decision to not drink an alcoholic beverage.
That day in August of 2012, I was admitted into the psychiatric ward.
For the first time since I was 13, I went four days without a cigarette. This would be my first of eight medical detox(s) from a fourteen-year “functional” run of alcohol consumption. Unbeknownst to me I developed a chemical dependence to alcohol. Not only was I unaware of the risks involving alcohol detoxification, I was not convinced I had no control.
I went on to challenge this notion facility after facility. One year in and out of institutions taught me about my disease. April 20, 2015 I put the bottle down.
I have not had a drop of alcohol since.
During my inpatient stays I was introduced to medical models of alcoholism. These included opinions from psychiatric professionals. In between my medical detoxes I found myself admitted in the ward. I am fortunate to have found a local facility that allowed smoking. They specialize in behavioral health care. With each admittance I revealed layer after layer of disassociated wonder.
I am a survivor of physical, mental, and emotional trauma.
Leading us to 2021
Each day I meet myself where I stand. Some days I triumph, most days, I exist. I would be lying if I said I am not bitter. Daily I mindfully counter that bitterness with gratitude. Some days I am successful and others I am an overripe grapefruit. Ewe.
The best advice from my experience is this:
find your kindness.
Most importantly find it for yourself. Who cares how you get there but without it you are sure to sink.
I searched everywhere looking for someone to tell me where to start. I needed a starting point. It wasn’t until I found compassion for myself that I was truly able to begin my journey of healing.
No matter who you are or where you are, if you are seeking peace, Start there.
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