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548 Days

I don't know where to begin or what to say. It has been 548 days that I have had to keep living without the littlest love of my life. 548 days of not hearing her laugh or seeing her smile. 547 days since I last heard that little voice tell me that she loved me. 547 days of waking up without her. 18 months that has felt like a both a lifetime and like it has gone by so fast that I can't explain what this is.

I am struggling. I am struggling because I feel like I can't be the me I was before. I have crippling anxiety, so bad that I almost can't make it through a store. Just yesterday I had to leave Costco to go to the car because I literally thought that I was going to pass out. All that we had done was went to breakfast to celebrate Father's Day with Shane and then we headed to Costco to grab a few things.

I don't know who I am anymore. I don't feel like me. I am trying so hard to be a good mom to my other kids but I know that I am failing them in so many ways. I don't know how to be better than I am right now. I don't know how to give more of me when so much of me is gone. I still can't believe that it is real and the nightmares that keep me awake at night challenge that notion. They make me feel like I need to be searching for her, trying to find her, and yet I know no matter how hard I look that she really is gone from us forever physically.

I can still feel her presence so strong some days. I love long car rides by myself, but with my anxiety I am honestly also afraid to drive at all...especially long distances because I fear that something will happen while I am driving, especially if my family is with me. I have been having blackout spells. I don't know how to describe them except that it feels like my body is completely weighted down and I can't move. My mind is going to 1000 places all of the time. It skips from the memories to what I should have done different that morning of the fire. It shifts back and forth and always comes back to where I know the blame lies, even if everyone says it doesn't. I didn't save her.

The pain that I feel is so immense that I feel as though I cannot breathe still. At times, I have to still remind myself to just keep breathing. I feel as though I have cried every last tear that I can possibly cry some days and yet there are always more coming. The tears are never-ending. I don't know how to make the constant sorrow better, the constant longing for a life that was, a life that can never be again.

All I ever wanted was to be a mom, to have my children know that they are loved and to be a good mom. I can remember fears that I used to have about dying and how I wanted to make sure that my children knew each day how important they are to me and that I didn't want to go anywhere without them in case something happened, I wanted them to be with me so I could protect them. I failed her. I couldn't protect her even though she had been with me that morning.

My mind can never understand why this has to be my life, why anyone would think that I was strong enough for this. I am not. I see myself cracking and failing in all areas of life. I can't get a job...even with four degrees, I still can't find a job where I could actually earn a living. I can't find anything that makes me happy except spending time with my kids, but they are growing up and wanting to spend less time with me and more time with their friends, which makes me happy for them but also sad. Do they not want to be around me because I make them sad? Am I too sad all of the time for them to be happy around me?

I still try to laugh and joke but everything feels empty and hollow, like a shell of who I was. I want to be the best that I can. I want them to see me be the best that I have ever been, but I know that I am not anywhere near what I once was and that leaves me feeling frustrated and disappointed with myself again.

I know that I should be offering myself a grace and compassion that I offer those around me. I know that I should be better to me, but I can't help it. I can't help but think that there should have been something different that I had done that morning. That I should have done something that would have allowed for me to be with my little girl today.

Yesterday was Father's Day. I tried so hard. I got a really awesome yard card for Shane and had gifts from each of the kids. I could feel the heaviness all day long. I even tried to swim, even though the pool was cooler than I would have liked, but ultimately I got out because it was cold and I just don't like being cold. I always feel so cold these days and I crave warmth in a way that I never craved it before, even though I have never liked being cold.

I pray that somehow I can heal in ways that will allow me to be the best possible version of me, the me who can be there for my kids, my family, and my friends, but I know that I am never going to be the me that I was before. There is no way that I could be and I don't think that anyone expects that of me, but I do feel like they expect me to not be as much of a failure as I have felt in the past few months. I don't know how this has been so long.

Please pray for me tomorrow as I have a job interview for a position that I would love to have. Also, please pray for me as I will be laying to rest one of my aunts on Wednesday.

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