Hello Me, I’m back

I’ve been away.
I’d love to say it was because I was in the places of my heart—hiking the Pacific Coast trail or the magnificent mountain territory of Wyoming, or along a highway under the clear blue skies of Iceland.
Nope. Alas, those destinations remain in my shoebox full of goals called a “bucket list.”
I’ve been away from the page because I was very unhappy—and I don’t write well at all when I am unhappy.
A part of my life had become unmanageable, like really bad hair. I left it uncombed too long, and it got matted and mouse-nested.
But instead of giving it loving care, I just gathered up my unhappiness in a bun and pretended it was okay, and made excuses for why I should live with it.
It stole my sense of things and buried it in the manure pile behind the barn.
I kept my mouth shut and my head down, and I got sideswiped by a severe case of codependency. I got lost and I didn’t really know how to find my way back to being true to myself.
I would look back at my path over the last few years and think, “Seriously? Haven’t I had enough rough patches? When is my turn for once?
“Why does life have to be so hard all the time? I must deserve it.”
I fed the bad wolf. I played the victim role to a “T.”
I wore that long, flowing black cape of unhappiness like a pro. Sometimes it was two city blocks long, double-knotted around my neck.
Sometimes my unhappiness cape was there with me in the shower, it covered my pajamas at night, and lay around my feet at the kitchen table in the morning during breakfast.
Even when I was driving in my car, my cape followed behind me billowing in the wind. And as soon as I slowed down, it snapped to a stop and fell in around me.
But let’s be clear on one thing. This was not depression. This was failure to be true to myself, and I used all the tricks and excuses and scenarios in the book to convince myself why I could not just stand up and say “No” to this black-caped sleuth.
And then something happened. That one needle in the haystack of unhappiness poked me in the toe and woke me up.
It was time for change, to follow through on difficult decisions, and be true to me. I got my wings back.
Every story starts with that first word, maybe three.
I’ve been away.