Happy Birthday, Daddy!
Depression comes and goes in waves.
Some days, you'll be running around town visiting people right and left -- those are the "good" days. Other mornings, you'll wake up and grab a bag of Bordeaux cookies and eat it in its entirety because you're just tired of everything and that's all you can muster up the energy to do. There are days when it take ten minutes to get up and out of the house, and other days when it takes ten hours to convince yourself to shuffle from the bedroom to the kitchen to the couch and back.
Lately, it's been a bit of a struggle. I tend to fall into a depressive state anytime major transitions come my way... and trust me when I say that my life over the past eight months has been FULL of transitions. I wouldn't have it any other way -- but it can get hard.
Today is Daddy's birthday. It's hard for me to think about the fact that he's not around for certain special moments -- Rikki's wedding, meeting some guy I'm interested in, Mom's trip to Africa -- moments in which I know he would be incredibly invested (were he around).
I was lucky to grow up with a father who poured himself into the lives of my sister and I. Daddy was by no means technically perfect, but to me, he was the definition of perfection. He wore strength and kindness like a cloak, and almost sixteen years after his death, I still regularly meet people who say, "Are you Rick Lange's daughter? Your father touched our lives in such a special way." He left a mark on this world in ways that most can only aspire to.
I've recently realized that come November, Daddy will have been gone for two-thirds of my life. Perhaps it seems strange to you, but I sometimes feel that I am more the person he would wish me to be because he is gone. I find myself constantly seeking to be someone he could be proud of (be it in my friendships, my professional life, my performances, the way I interact with my closest friends or perfect strangers)... and my hope would be that I am a reflection of the man that he was.
I miss him every day. On rough days, I sometimes find myself sitting in the kitchen floor crying for my Daddy to come and give me a hug and make things better, but I know that thanks to him (and my mother, and my Mimi, and my Grandaddy), I am perfectly capable of making things better myself, and that's a gift I would never give away.
So happy birthday, Daddy. Thanks for inspiration, and thanks for loving me well. Miss you. Love you.
Folks, don't ever let yourself dwell in sadness. Sadness is a tool for learning about yourself, for processing through hard moments, for growing into the person you're destined to be. I wouldn't be myself without the sadness that has been present in my life -- but I don't allow myself to dwell in it. Celebrate your sadness. Embrace it as a part of your story, and let it mold you to be the person you're made to be... but don't dwell.
Every day is a decision. Will I get out of bed? Will I call a friend? Send an email? Go out for lunch? Spend the afternoon sleeping because I can't find energy for anything else, or put on a fancy dress and go out dancing for hours? Like I said, some days are better than others. Today, I'm sad... but tomorrow will be a beautiful day, as will the next day, and the next, and the next. Some days are much harder than others (but I'm lucky to have the best damn support system a gal could have).
If you're sad, or if you're depressed... talk to someone. Find a friend with a soft couch to sit on, a couple of mugs for hot tea, and arms that are willing to hold you if you need to cry, and then talk to them. Healing takes time (and trust me when I say that some things, you'll carry with you forever), but it's totally worth it.
I love you, friend. Thanks for reading.