It has become clear to me today that it is important to voice what exactly my summer has been beyond the tweets of joy, instagram images of glorious fun, and facebook posts of this may well being the best summer ever. And a bit on why it is also simultaneously just that.
This summer is the first time in my life that migraines no longer rule me. After a winter of torture and anxiety and fear of death treated with heavy drugs and a lot of quiet stillness in pools of tears, I found some solid medical care that has gifted me with a profound life change.
I will always have a migraine brain. I will always be sensitive to certain foods, light, energies, exercise, stress and fatigue. I will always need to carry certain drugs with me and keep close tabs on how far I am from medical care. BUT I am no longer ruled by pain.
Imagine (if you haven't had one) having a near death experience. Now imagine having near death experiences for your entire life, some months up to 5 times. Every single time until THIS SUMMER I have thought I was dying when I have had a migraine because the pain has been that bad. This summer when I have had migraines I have taken a pill and it has kept my brain lucid and my pain in a manageable range. This summer I have been set free of a kind of torture that has been my keeper my entire life and the sensation of that freedom is beyond anything I can describe. Ecstasy. Bliss. Calm. Huge relief.
So, yes, this summer just may be the best summer ever. And this summer is also normal life.
This summer is grocery shopping with two screaming children throwing food at each other in line while the cashier heaves huge sighs of annoyance that I am using WIC checks but for some reason don't want all 9 gallons of 2% milk. His sighs and eye rolling inspiring the rest of the people in line to either look away or stare rudely at me as I attempt to gather together my government allotted cheese and oatmeal. I say shrilly, "I'm sorry to be so inconvenient with my exhausted children and my poverty!" or at least that's what I wish I'd said, but instead I just choke back embarrassed tears of rage and run to the door as people in every line of the store stare.
This summer is rare date nights ending up in arguments after spending money we shouldn't have spent and eating food that leaves me bloated and nauseous.
This summer is thick smoky heat that suffocates every cell with kids that are stuck inside while I try to think of yet another project we can do that might not include creating more mess to clean up that I can never clean up because there is never a break from the mess making.
This summer is both kids clawing at me and whining with end of the day fatigue that cannot be battled with any kind of normal human communication or reason and instead of grabbing them by the hair and throwing them through a window, I find myself singing "She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain!" at the top of my lungs while attempting to cook the third round of dinner options, praying they will eat this one.
This summer is struggle and disappointment and loneliness and bloated guts and hangovers and thick fatigue and irritability and self loathing and bitterness and too much voiced criticism and not enough patience and just your typical hot mess of a mama doing her best which is often not enough.
This summer I made it to every bootcamp session and one early morning yoga class at the yurt in the woods. This summer is all the incredible tweets and pictures and heavenly moments you've seen on instagram and facebook. This summer is the best time of my life and it also sucks.
This summer is real life. I continue to breathe into it. I continue to breathe it out.