I’m so tired
but I can’t sleep,
standing on the edge of something
much too deep…
I’ve been inexplicably exhausted the past few days, a fatigue that fogs the mind and makes me want to retreat back inside, away from the cold weather, away from the early-setting sun, away from the world…back inside to comfort. I’m trying to remember the last time I felt this way, but I can’t. No, that’s not true…I do remember when, just not exactly how it felt. And maybe that’s something good, maybe that’s a secret blessing — the fact that with time, the memory fades, and though you know you experienced it, you also know you got through it and now it seems so far away.
I’m not making sense, I know I’m not.
Where am I going with this?
It’s funny how we feel so much
but we cannot say a word…
Things have been great. Better than great, actually, and while once upon a time I would have wondered when that other shoe would drop, when that happiness would be taken away, while I would have questioned if I was even deserving of it, I’ve come to appreciate it while I have it. Still, while I am full of sincere smiles and teasing laughter, while I finally feel more me than I have in a very long time, I feel like there’s something else lurking there, hidden under layers of positive thinking and happiness.
Maybe it’s just that it’s winter and the early nights have me wanting to curl up in bed and dream away the day, longing to hibernate for just a little while; maybe I’m still in that reflective stage, overwhelmed by the changes, craving my solitude so that I can think, process, imagine, and only then can I act…
There’s so much I want to say…So much I want to say right now and I don’t know how to say it.
For New Years, I went to a friend’s house for a party. There was such a huge part of me that wanted to stay home, but I didn’t, I went, and I had a blast, becoming even closer with my friend in the process. As 2010 rolled into 2011, I had vowed to myself that I would embrace this next year — I would open myself up to opportunity, go forward with my dreams, and finally, finally, break down my wall that has always been standing strong with even my closest friends.
That wall has come crashing down.
I’m refusing to build it back up.
I’m opening up, becoming more comfortable with myself and this world around me, and in that process trying to reach out to the people who mean so much to me. I know I hold back, I know I come across as reserved and shy, and as honest as I am on this blog, as friendly as I am in person and how I am an open book if you would only ask, I also close myself off until I’m certain I won’t be hurt. A defense-mechanism, if you will. But not against heartache and not against mistrust…against loss. That one fear that I don’t think will ever escape me, though I’m learning, I’m learning…I’m always learning.
So afraid to love you,
but more afraid to lose…
So I can feel these changes going on inside of me as happiness kicks the darkness down and light bubbles to the surface. But still I wonder if I’ll ever really escape it, if it will ever go away or just remain buried. I can’t help but wonder if it will remain a memory or if I’ll feel it consume me as it did some months ago, to a point that I’ve never been able to admit in this online space before.
Last year, depression pulled me under. I talked about it openly on this blog as I was going through it, but never shared the depths to which it affected me, barely touching the surface of how far under I’d gone.
I’d never used that term before here, either…It feels like there’s such a stigma attached to it, it feels like such a dirty word that can’t even begin to describe the very real emotional hell one can go through.
Once there was a darkness,
deep and endless night…
Like Jenny, and as I wrote in an email to her after reading her remarkable post, writing was my salvation; friends and family were the buoy to which I clung; Riley was my saving grace.
And this blog…This blog was that bit of light that eased out the darkness.
I was afraid then. I’ve been afraid all of my life, that fear manifesting itself into an anxiety disorder that threatened to paralyze my life until I fought back and pushed forward. But not for the first time, and I wonder if not for the last, I was afraid of life.
It’s another fact I’ve never admitted aloud — to anyone — before today. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be ready for whatever life threw my way, I was afraid of loving people because I desperately didn’t want to lose them.
But, what’s more, back then, I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to find my way out of that darkness.
Oh, I did. When you have a source of light, you hold onto it for all that it’s worth until that light grows ever-brighter, until it spills over. That’s what I did — I wrote feverishly in my journal, spilling thoughts that scared the hell out of me, but needing to get them out, so poisonous did they feel; I fell sobbing into my mom and dad’s arms and hugged Riley until his fur was soaked with tears; I showed up to work every day I could because I needed to be responsible, needed to have that purpose; and I talked with friends who were in a similar place as me, lending that light to them, realizing that helping them, someway, somehow, was healing me.
I gave you everything I had,
Oh, I gave you light…
I can’t say for sure when or how things changed, but I can feel it every single day. And I can feel that I’m still changing with every moment. There are times when I want to hide away, but I know now that’s more my reflective nature than an escape, and while the fear still resides, I’m realizing that it has only served as an unnecessary blockade to everything that’s important to me:
I can’t know what the future has in store, can’t prepare for it as that part of me wants to, can’t control it though that would make it all so much easier.
It’s not meant to be easy.
And I can’t promise myself that I won’t fall into a depression again — as someone who is sensitive and feels everything so acutely, I know that doesn’t pertain to just the good.
But I can promise to keep trying to open up, to show my loved ones how much I value them, to be me — always me, all of me. I can promise to keep fighting that fear and pushing through when it threatens to hold me back.
I can promise to always hold onto that light.
And if ever anyone needs it, we’ll cast the darkness away…