In the past few days I have cried oceans and oceans of tears.
Who needs botox when you can achieve a similar puffed up effect by bawling your eyes out.
Ok so the effect my leaky eyes sculpted is not so much an artistically puffed look, but more of the swollen blood shot type of puffiness.
But oddly enough when I look in the mirror at those puffy eyes, I feel more me than I have in God knows how long.
Now before you go and feel sorry for this crying blubbering puffy eyed mess, can I just say please don't!
You see these tears have been the most therapeutic tears of my entire life. They weren't all sad misery stained tears. On the contrary, they have been tears of relief and shock, but mostly relief.
When I had that meltdown last week, I triggered this whole chain of events and I kind of liken it to standing back and watching myself lighting one of those homemade bungers you made as a kid. You know the ones that you shoved into a poor unsuspecting neighbour's letter box and watched as the old rusty and weathered tin letter box blew up.
Well for a moment as you waited for the explosion to happen you stand there with your blood pumping in your ears and adrenalin roaring through your veins, the excitement wetting your mouth and making your feet jump up and down on the spot ready to bolt.
Then as the letter box explodes and all the junk mail, newspapers and cobwebs are blown into the air and start fluttering down, you are momentarily frozen and stare in awe of what you have just done.
As the shock subsides it makes way for the panic to set in and you start waving your arms around in the air turning to run this way before spinning on your heels and instinctively bolting in a totally different direction. All the while you are gobsmacked at your audacity of what you have just done, not sure of what to do next but knowing you need to get away for a moment and contemplate your actions.
That was the past few days for me, minus the bungers and rusty old letterboxes of course.
At this point can I just say that if my boys are ever reading this and ask me what a bunger is and if I ever blew up a neighbours letter box, I will totally deny everything and my answer will be "I don't know" and "I have no idea what you are talking about".
After I shared my story last week I was so incredibly touched and overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, and every time a new comment came in on the blog or a new email or text came in, a fresh wave of tears would come. Good tears, happy tears and I would sit there all watery eyed and snotty nosed saying over and over again "Oh yes you get it, you get me, you understand what I am talking about".
My husband ushered the kids quietly out of the room to allow me to relish in peace, the relief I felt that you KNEW EXACTLY what I was talking about and where I was coming from.
YOU guys with your beautiful words held me up and inspired me. YOU wonderfully brave woman of all ages from all corners of the globe, who took the time to write to a messed up and confused Aussie woman, sitting in her lounge room in her stinky slippers and puffy bloodshot eyes. YOU have given me the courage I doubted I had in myself and you showed me how the sisterhood truly works when one of their own cries out for help.
I will never be able to thank you enough for what you have done for me over the past few days.
I feel like last week I finally found my village.
YOU are my village.
All of you amazing people who I am so blessed to have in my life. Some who were already a part of my every day, and some who I have been connected to via this big old interwebs. Some who are my own flesh and blood and some whose lives are so tightly wound within my own through my children and my husband. Many of you who I have never actually met, but you fatefully wandered into my village with the kindest of words and encouragement on a day when I needed you the most.
That's how a village works.
I have never really felt like I belonged in a village before. I have seen the villagers in action and watched as they united together to support one of their own.
I would frequently wander into a village and do my part to help out, but I never asked for any help in return .... I was too proud for that and instead I would quietly leave and continue on my way. I would check back in to see how the villagers were doing, to stop for a while and share a story or two, but I always felt too rushed, too busy to stay for long and inevitably I would make a reluctant departure.
Too busy thinking I had to live a life of perfect, pleasing all but not really giving entirely to anyone.
Too busy controlling everything I could in the waking hours and too busy wallowing in my self induced guilt at night.
Too busy organising the party and never actually being a part of it.
Too busy creating the ideal life without actually living it.
How foolish have I been.
So please forgive me when I don't attempt to cover these unsightly puffy swollen eyes, or hide the tears when they begin to flow. In the past few days I have covered great distance in my journey and every tear helps to wash away the past and prepare me for what is to come.
Like a weary soldier finally returning home I will wear my war wounds proud, a reminder of the long standing battle I have waged with myself. A battle that I have finally lost, but ultimately won.
***Thank you so much for the beautiful emails and comments and text messages you have so kindly sent me over the past week. Every single one of them has made me smile in a way I haven't smiled for so long and although it may take me a little while to respond to you all individually, I just wanted you to know how precious you are and how grateful I am.