It's easy to be sad around the holidays. It's easy to fall behind, and get buried. It's easy to think you're responsible for the happiness of everyone around you.
Lemme say that one again.
It's easy to think you're responsible for the happiness of everyone around you.
Not just me, right?
::fist bump of solidarity::
Anyway, about a week ago I started noticing an odd burning on the left side of my forehead. The skin felt hot, like a mild sunburn, and there was the slightest pressure, but no redness or irritation. I figured it was a reaction to makeup at first, but after four days of annoyance I decided to google it.
Would you believe hot spots on your face are yet another symptom of anxiety? Egads, that's a new one for me.
So that, combined with the stomach aches and feelings of "AAAUUGH too much to do!!" - and of course the nightmares - finally clued me in to the fact that I needed to, you know, CHILL.
Which is easier said than done, I know. But I'm trying. Saying no to fun things with friends is hard. Letting my posts here slow down a bit is hard. Taking supplements and the monster-slaying meds I know my body needs is hard. But I'm trying.
And through all my frazzle and tetchiness, through my erratic sobby times and my more-than-occasional refusals to get out of bed, John's been here, as always, shouldering what I can't carry.
Last week John started disappearing into the garage late at night. I figured he was escaping the general fallout zone of my latest stress-plosion, but he claimed he was having fun trying to make something. He does that sometimes. Once he saw an ornate wooden bowl at an art show, came home, and made a little replica of it in an afternoon. He likes just seeing if he can do it.
So I didn't think much of it, his nightly disappearances. I had plenty of other things to think about.
Then yesterday morning, John gave me this:
She's about 10 inches tall, and her name is Hope.
When I first opened my eyes, she had this card in front of her:
Now, some people laugh when they're happy. Some people clap their hands, or jump around, or just sit there, grinning. I know I've done all those things in the past.
This time, however, I immediately burst into the ugliest of ugly, squeaky sobs. I'm talking eyes scrunched, howly hiccups, you guys. It was embarrassing. Scary, even. I mean, I'm a happy crier anyway, but this was a whole 'nother level.
For his part, John went from horrified, to amused, to straight-up sobbing with me. Let's just say the cats had a very entertaining morning.
You Instagram stalkers might remember what Hope is based on:
There's more, though.
Inside Hope's chest is a special hidden compartment:
The little scroll is a printed list of things John loves about me. It... was a lot longer than I expected.
Dangit, now I'm crying again.
Quick, let's look at more pictures:
Hope's recessed eyes mean she can look at you from different angles:
This is her, "You're having brownies for breakfast? Really?" face.
And this is her "You didn't share the brownies with me?" face.
Her neck and legs are made from heavy springs, her hands are bent aluminum, her arms are painted PVC pipe, and her feet are halved Styrofoam balls. John found the body box as-is, but the top head box he had to cut and modify quite a bit.
Her eyes are disassembled giant googly eyes, craft foam, and wooden spacers. The rest are hardware bits and pieces from our local SkyCraft shop.
And she's perfect.
You know, my forehead is still burning today, though it's less. My stomach still hurts. I still have to clean house and give Lily her pills and wrap presents, and I'm still a little worried about this weekend going well and whether I'll ever catch up on posts.
But John gave me Hope, you guys.
John gave me Hope.
So at the risk of stretching this metaphor too far, I hope someone gives you your own hope today, too. Today, tomorrow, every day. Because you are loved, and you deserve it, and it's OK to need that assurance from time to time.
Right, I'm outta here. Go have a good weekend, everyone. Just remember you've always got friends here - if you need us.