It’s hard to take courage
in a world full of people
you can lose sight of it all…
Cyndi Lauper, “True Colors”
I was afraid to leave the house today.
The positive, sunny attitude I woke up with quickly faded and the smile dissolved as the clock ticked by. I had a responsibility to my job, to others, to myself, I thought, and so I went about my routine and got ready for work. Yet the emotions kept building until they spilled over in a torrent of tears. In a matter of seconds, I found myself battling unwelcome thoughts and emotions that couldn’t be abated with “suck it up,” and “you can tough this out,” and “for god’s sake, Susan, you’re an adult.”
I’m tired. And I’m frustrated because I’m so tired and so emotional and I can’t even begin to express how not me this is.
I’m going to find that girl again. She’s there — that girl full of spunk and fire and light and life, that girl full of boundless energy and passion and heart. She’s there, though it’s so hard to find her, buried under uncontrollable emotion. And though I feel like I need to be in control of myself, of my emotions, of my body, though I feel weak and defeated and like this is somehow my fault and I should be able to control it, I know, too, that this isn’t my fault.
It’s a slow road to recovery, slower than I ever imagined as we try to find the right medications and I fight off tears and self-doubt. There are moments where I am strong and full of life, where I take joy in being around others and helping them, being there for them. But in my weakest moments, in these moments like today, I feel overwhelmed by inexplicable anger, sadness, and anxiety, only to be followed by a numbness with which I’ve never really been familiar.
I promised myself that I would quit hiding this year, that I would embrace the world and embrace myself, but that’s harder than it sounds when you see a stranger in the mirror. And it’s not anything that personal development or life changes or self-awareness and positive thinking can do, but, rather, has everything to do with the natural chemicals that run through you, that change everything.
I’m forcing myself to take a break.
I’m tired and I have no energy and the little energy I do have I spend trying to play catch up with the rest of my life. It’s hard to always wonder if you’re falling behind, feeling like you should be doing so much more. It’s hard to always wonder that if you’re not always there, you’ll be forgotten in a moment. It’s hard to know you have limits when you really know that you can go so much further.
It’s hard to have so many goals and dreams when you don’t have the energy or motivation to work towards them.
In a world where there is no later, in a world where it seems people can be just as easily replaced, in a world where someday always means right now, and in a world where dreams aren’t personal but rather competitive and something you’re supposed to accomplish right this second, it’s easy to get tired. Couple that with this chronic fatigue and persistent feelings of highly intense emotion and everyday feels like a personal struggle.
I don’t want to wonder if I’m always falling behind; I don’t want to look at my small successes and compare them to others. I don’t want to feel like I’m failing my family, my friends, and my colleagues. I don’t want to look at my life, at myself, and feel bad anymore.
I refuse to feel bad anymore.
Life comes minute by minute, hour by hour, and day by day and sometimes that’s exactly what it takes to get where you want to go. Sometimes, it takes a lot of just getting through, just getting by. Sometimes, it takes more than words of inspiration.
Sometimes it takes all you have just to walk out the door in the morning.
I love this community. Everything I’ve ever said about it still rings true and on the days where I’m feeling emotionally strong and healthy (and awake), I’ll be here (and here). I’ll always be here for anyone who needs it, and I hope that you will do the same. But it looks like my “theme” from last year is still slipping into the new year. I have a lot of healing to do. But I’m getting there. And I’m very much looking forward to the day when I can really be well, really be strong, and really embrace the world again.