Truth is I’m weak
No strength to fight
No tears to cry
Even if I tried
But still my soul
Refuses to die
One touch will change my life
"Take Me To The King" ~ sung by Tamela Mann
People don't ask me how I am doing as much as they used to. At the beginning of my transition, it must have been written all over my face. Truth is, I was battling debilitating depression and struggling with daily anxiety. Looking back at photos from that season in my life is both striking and sad. A profound, full-color, and startling personification of a broken heart and yet a reminder of the the sheer will to live.
Some days I could barely function. Life became a series of "must-do" tasks. Eating, sleeping, and any activities that brought even the most remote possibility of leisure was not a priority. Keeping my kids fed, clean, and clothed was Job #1. Smiles were forced and usually accompanied by a nervous giggle. It followed just about every sentence that came out of my mouth - appropriately punctuating it or not. I was scared. I'm a glass-half-full kind of gal. Of course there were reasons to smile, but faking it was the only way I knew for sure.
Then one day while we driving home from school one of the Brownies made a hilarious quip - and that's when I heard "it". A familiar, gut-busting laugh coming from deep inside of me. It started in my belly and worked its way up and out of my mouth with the effervescence of soda bubbles. Once I realized that joy had been inside of me all long, through even my darkest days - I began to weep. My bewildered children must have thought their poor mother had finally lost it completely. (Not only that, but I've developed this habit of snorting after a belly laugh, but not with any warning. So yeah, that was a fun ride).
From that day, I knew I was going to be OK. My nervous laughter disappeared as noticeably as it had appeared months prior. Replacing it was real laughter - the song of my soul. Reminding me that yes - some days it's harder to do it than others, but every single day holds the promise of delivering a real smile...
...and a sinus-clearing, child-frightening, ear-shattering, "Did my Mommy just do that?!" snort.