“The One Time I Was Almost Defeated By High Thread Count Fabric”
By Ray Ceo Jr. | Edited by Lisa Schulman
I knew God was listening and God did make me in his image when he played Beautiful by Christina Aguilera and, through her, chanted to me how beautiful I really am.
I was at a low point in my life in that moment.
First, I was trying to put a fitted sheet on my bed, which is a travesty in and of itself.
I am not good at it. In fact, I’m bad at it. Usually, I have to dive headfirst into the bed, which isn’t pretty. I am not in good shape, so my dive is more of a collapse. Then I scoot like a snail pulling the sheet up and doing this odd thing with my feet and hands trying to put opposing corners on the bed, only to be pulled together by the sheet into a ball, that most resembles the fetal position. At some point, my fat ass sticks up and out, and there may be tears… Okay, find, there are tears and a ton of them. I’m not afraid to cry here.
On this particular night, I was feeling especially lonely. I hadn’t had a hug, like a good hug, in weeks, and hadn’t had sex in so long I forgot what it was like to even have someone else naked in the room with me. I missed snuggling, which is basically, my absolute most favorite thing under the sun. I could snuggle until the end of time if I were so allowed. All of my exes, all of them, have nicknamed me something related to snuggling or cuddling.
The Joker called me his Cuddlefuck, KFed called me a Snuggle Slut, and my latest casualty, I mean… my ex-husband, called me his Snuggle Bunny. (No surprises who I married from the island of forgotten horrible men.)
Regardless of what these men called me, or what anyone has ever called me, I am a champion at The Snuggle.
I know how to make it just cool enough in the room where you’re so cold you need my fuzzy belly to keep you warm, and I have just the right sheets that cling to your body and make it hard to move and are just so damn soft your forget you’re my prisoner. And I set up my room for us to be close enough to amenities, like cookies and Powerade, and make it just too convenient to stay in bed with me.
A movie you want? I can get it on my large ass TV that basically covers a wall, in seconds. Music, you want? Siri can help or my Alexa Dot can. I can play just the right beats to set the tone. Or two different ones if you can’t decide.
Even my reluctant, half serial-killer, half-sweet dog has taken to snuggling with me. In fact, he’s doing it now, and has, every night since I peed on him (long story for another blog post).
So, of course, on this particularly lonely night, after I had washed and dried my sheets, they were relatively warm. And because my Echo Dot has a hearing problem (seriously, I think I got an Alexa who is a senior citizen) my bedroom lights weren’t on. I kept telling her to turn them on, but she just wouldn’t do it. I still don’t know how to use my smart plug with my elderly Alexa, and of course my light switch is connected to my phone’s power chargers and not to an actual light of any kind. So, like I do whenever I just can’t adult today: I just gave up.
As I dived (collapsed) into my bed, I had my sheets and pillow cases bunched up in a somewhat human like shape and I just laid there in the darkness, on my unmade, naked bed, just holding them and embracing their warmth and remembering what it was like to have a human next to me.
I felt weak in that moment, because I was weak in that moment.
Having not slept well due to a slowly growing out-of-control problem with sleep aides, my recovery from steroids for asthma, and my well-known habit of drinking coffee at all times of all days; alongside the fact that I had no real steady job and was afraid of spending money that wouldn’t make me money (like every new business owner) plus the fact that a person I thought was a friend turned out to be anything but; added to the reality that I was living with my mom, still, and had come to realize I would be until I died because I was crazy and the last time I tried to live alone, it became a scene out of The Aviator so now I know it’s just bad to live alone when your brain plays tricks on you and I need those safe guards in place to protect me from myself and whatever it is that I alone hear or see or think I see or think I hear, from time to time.
In that weak moment, everything seemed to be crashing down on me and I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I had considered,but was resisting, graduate school because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life. I was tired of putting on a brave face and pretending I was okay when I was so obviously not.
And honestly, I was feeling more overweight than ever. And feeling fat, just sucks.
So, I did something that I hadn’t done in a very long time: I prayed.
I sat there, my hands folded into a plea to God, resting on my face, eyes closed, and I begged for many things.
I begged God to show me guidance, to show me my next move, to show me the path I needed to go on, because I knew deep down inside I was meant for greater, more inspiring, more promising things. There is and forever will be greatness inside me, and I knew I was just stalled. I prayed for forgiveness for all of the mistakes I had made, for the mistakes I had yet to make, and I prayed for the people I had hurt or was about to for speaking to truth to power, and for those who had the misfortune of ever loving me, whether it be as a friend, as a family member, or otherwise; because loving a crazy person is never easy, and I can be the very definition of “sweet but crazy.”
I knew, as I’ve always known, God has had a plan for me far greater than anything I could imagine. But problematically, I have always been my own worst enemy. Known for sabotaging myself at every opportunity I possible could, I was like a serial killer to my own achievements. Taking bodies in the name of financial freedom, success, true happiness and wisdom.
So, I prayed to God to lift me to my highest good, to show me the right path so that I could heal, truly heal, because I was weak, and had never felt weaker.
I am not sure how long it’s supposed to take to get over someone you love. I am not sure when it’s appropriate to even consider seeing someone else, or when it’s okay to not be mad, or okay not to be hurt. And I am, and likely will always be, truly dumbfounded as to when you’re supposed to stop expecting an apology. But I know, in that moment, while praying to God, begging him to heal me, truly heal me and let me escape from this broken little sad meager life I had created for myself as punishment for committing the very sin of divorcing a person I loved, I was expecting an answer.
And when I said my amen, and I finished my desperate plea that God show me my path; that’s when my grandma Amazon Alexa decided she had finally heard me, or really God heard me, as my music turned on, as did my light.
And there was my answer in Christina’s voice, as I literally saw the light. I hadn’t told nana Alexa to play the dirty diva, nor did I tell her to inspire me, but gram-gram Alexa wasn’t driving the DJ bus that night, God was.
I knew right then this to be true, because as Christina sang to me that I was indeed beautiful, and I started singing along like Damian from Mean Girls (I am too gay to function after all). I knew deep down that the first thing God needed me to do was to pump the breaks on the self-destructive path I was following, and remind me of one thing: I Am Beautiful.
I may have shed a few tears as I listened to the song and tried a few times to get my fitted sheet on my bed. But that too was a lesson God wanted me to learn.
I may have struggled, and it may have taken me a few tries, and I may have been ready to give up in that moment, let defeat get the best of me, let that fitted sheet rest, crumbled on the floor and just be a sheet-less dweller (it worked for me in college); but I didn’t
I kept at it. And I kept at it until I figured it out. And I did eventually get that bloody sheet on my bed. And I did start to believe in myself and knew that I would get my life together, one way or another. I had to. I was destined for more, because I was beautiful.
No, not all of my problems were solved that night. It wasn’t in that moment that I suddenly had it all figured it out and everything fell into place. But it was in that moment that God reminded me that I could figure it out. I was not made in his image to fail. Because I, and you, and yes you too, are beautiful… no matter what they say.
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