She would be so mad if she knew I were telling you my version of our story. More mad than she was when I sent her away. Because when I sent her away, I saved her life. It didn’t feel that way at the time. At the time it was terrifying, the hardest decision I have ever had to make, putting us into David’s sling-shot and letting ‘er rip and not knowing if we were going to slay the giant or if the rock would land with an impotent thump on the hot, dry sand of the Utah desert. When you make decisions like this, life changing, altering the course of all you have known for five years decisions, there is the risk it could backfire. And then there’s the grief.
Disclaimer: The day I made the decision to send my daughter away I was in the middle of tapering off of depression medication that I had been on for over 10 years. On the meds I was detached, had night sweats I attributed to Peri-menopause, little enthusiasm or passion for what I was doing, I had no energy behind setting goals and completing them and every time I missed a dose I was propelled into detox which made me think that getting off the medication was a good idea. When I told my sponsor that I was sending my daughter to a wilderness therapy program and then to long term treatment, she said, “Are you on medication?” “Yes,” I said, “for depression.” “You might want to increase the dosage,” she said. Not only is she 25 years sober but she’s a licensed marriage and family therapist who specializes in grief and loss.
I’m telling you all of this because I’m an alcoholic, sober almost 15 years, and I’m bodily and mentally different than my brothers and sisters in more than my alcoholism and drug addiction because I have major depression. I’m telling you this because everyday I say this prayer:
and perhaps in the telling of my story I can let go of my daughter and surrender more fully both her and I into God’s hands. And maybe, as I surrender my difficulties to God, I can experience some small victory over them, so that I can bear witness to others the unending mercy, grace, compassion and love of God.
Disclaimer 2: After 13 weeks off medication, spiraling down into major depression which consists of daily thoughts of guilt, worthlessness, self-hatred, loss of appetite, and making life incredibly difficult for the ones I love and adore, I am taking medication again.