The cursor blinked on the screen in front of me. I read the words that I'd taken from fragments and pieced together into a coherent whole yet again. And still the cursor blinked at me mockingly. I thought about what I should do and yet I had no answers. I read the words again - it was my life that appeared before me on the screen, but even though I'd lived it, the words shocked me a little. I discovered a tear streaking down my cheek, yet more tears in a year that was filled with them.
I couldn't read those words again, so by impulse I pushed the publish button and there it was, my thoughts on a blog that with a little work anyone could find. It would take work though, and if I told no one, no one would know it was me.
So now I stared at a screen that contained my first published entry and somehow I had survived that little impulse. And I read the words again as they appeared in the new format and I cried once more. I had felt myself regressing for a few weeks. I was no where near the level of the woman that appeared on the post, but I was in more than a funk, I was depressed again. All my work, all my struggle and all I'd really done was walk in a circle back to the starting line. I couldn't be that girl on the page again, I just couldn't. I wouldn't. And surprise, again there were tears.
And as I cried I felt a nagging at the corners of my mind that told me what I needed to do, but I had no idea why it was telling me to do that. I couldn't do what it was telling me, no way, no how. But the mind is a mysterious machine and it kept circling back to the same answer. My stomach was in knots. The tears were endless. And yet the answer to my dilemma seemed to be the same.
And so I stared again at the computer screen and I let my finger hover one last moment over the key. Should I? Could I? And then with a collective "f" it, I hit the share on facebook button. It was done, I could take it back, but not ever be entirely sure that no one would have read it. What was done, was done. I emailed a link to the blog to a few of my friends. I'd done it. I had no idea why, but I had. I'd shared the story of my breakdown and my diagnosis with the people in my world. For better or worse everyone that choose to read it would know that I was a mess. The facade was gone, the acting done - I was now a bulimic with severe depression that had sunk so low that I had at times not gotten out of bed and wondered if life was worth carrying on with any longer. Maybe no one would read it.
But then the responses began and I was overwhelmed again, but not in the way that I had expected. The words were not ones I would have used: "bold," "beautiful," "well-written," "brave," "honest," "wow," "strong," "inspired," "eloquent" ... Was this really words people were using to describe me and what I'd written? I wasn't any of those things. I didn't feel like I was any of them either. My inbox kept receiving messages from people that offered their own personal stories, ones that they weren't usually sharing with the world. I was overwhelmed. I read every comment and email with tears in my eyes. I had no idea the response would be like this.
And spurred on by the kind, eloquent, bold words from my honest, strong and inspired friends, I began to write about what happened next and after that and on and on it went. Talking about the experience in a coffee shop with a friend one day, I made the connection about why I needed to do what I did that day. I now understood the nagging voice. I now knew why I had to not only write, but share my story with the world. I'd talked, contemplated and preached the gospel of being real, of revealing myself to the world, of finally being me with the people that mattered and this was my way of doing that. And in the process it was the last step of my therapy to get me past this phase in my life. And in discovering that I always knew there would be an end. Eventually I'd catch up with life and a lot of my secrets would be out there for all to see. I was no longer embarrassed to be struggling - I'd learned that there were a lot of people in the world, my world, that were or did or had - I wasn't special, I was one of many.
And now people know the story. They know me. They know my demons. And still after all of that they are my friends. I don't have to hide anymore.
And so I face the next adventure and I get another start. I get to face the beginning ... once again.