December makes me paranoid. I mentally shut down in December.
December 28, 2013 at 1:12AM we came home to something that has twisted who I am. Our home was on fire, and our dogs and cat were dead. We were out having a good time, we were bowling for Scott’s birthday, we were super drunk! Want to sober up in three seconds? Come home to a house full of thick, black, electric, smoke. Try giving your 8 month old dead puppy CPR because it might help.
I remember that night clearly, and somehow barely at all. I blame the emotional trauma and sleepless nights that followed.
Because of this and another awful event too touchy for me to talk about publicly, December isn’t a great month for me. Yes, Christmas is great and my husband’s birthday is wonderful, but I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop.
The house fire made me not really care about things. I don’t like things. I used to collect every little thing, hoard it in my room, make a big deal about the things I had. Now? I’m happy if you get me socks. Socks are nice. I mean yes, I like the idea of things, But if someone paid my internet bill for me for Christmas I would be just as happy.
I don’t sleep well in December, I stay up and smell the air. I stay up and listen to my dog and husband breathe. I count how many times I have let December get the best of me. Some people tell me I must have seasonal depression, but they don’t understand what it’s like to be sobbing while giving a dead dog CPR. To have an officer steps over you and tell you to give up because he’s already dead, and then an hour later crack a joke about roasting marshmallows on your burning home while you’re losing everything you cared about.
If I sound bitter, it’s because I still am a little bit. If you’ve been through a house fire, you may understand. It’s not something you get over, it’s a ticking paranoia that slips into the back of your mind and makes you crazy. It’s why you shut certain things off and refuse to use a specific item. It’s why nothing stays plugged in if it doesn’t have to be. It’s why you have expensive insurance even though you tell yourself lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same place.
It’s what makes you feel like you might be crazy.
Waiting and waiting and waiting for the other shoe to drop. And when that clock hits midnight on December 31 I take a deep breath, because I know the other shoe was set down with care. It’s not going to drop. It’s over. It’s a new day, a new month, it’s a brand new freaking year, and I have 12 months before I have to worry about that damn shoe again.