Today I did the equivalent of stacking toy blocks or lining up cars. I spent a good three hours going through thirty posts on my blog, reading, summarizing, and reposting in uniform formation. I had to. There was no choice. I was on the couch, seated with my laptop until three pm, and that was most of my day. It didn’t matter that there were blue skies out, or that it was a Saturday full of possibilities. I knew I needed to retreat, if not by choice, then by necessity.
For despite my strong faith in God, my strong faith in self, and in my life and calling, I still have those days. Heck, I have those moments throughout each and everyday, where I just don’t think I can make it through. I don’t think about ending my life; I am nowhere near those thoughts. But I do imagine what life would be like if I was someone else, how that simplicity would feel.
There are times I savor the thought of simplicity. I recognize no one’s life is easy, but I too know that there are people who don’t worry from the moment they wake up if today they will be able to leave the house, if today they will be able to face the person in the mirror and recognize who they see, if today will be a day dominated by fatigue and pain.
Today I couldn’t stand myself; not in a large degree, actually not even in a small degree. And I guess it wasn’t really that I couldn’t stand myself, it was more so that I was weary and oh so tired of battling with my self. I just needed to stop, to turn off all of the decision-making, the have to’s, the when’s and where’s. I just needed reprieve.
I felt foolish at times, a mommy and wife, physically functional for the most part, but entirely incapable of doing anything but stacking her imaginary bricks, soothing herself through repetition, words, and numbers. Again and again.
When the stacking was through I wrote; I wrote to friends and then I wrote the previous post, because I needed relief. I wrote what I saw in images and heard in sounds, and I scribed until much of the angst was out of me. I realize I might be the only one that understands the prose, and I reasoned with myself that was okay, completely okay.
And I searched for the word okay further, to apply the word to myself like some special-ordered salve. I am okay. I am okay. I am okay. I kept repeating those three words to myself in scattered whispers.
I was so absorbed in not leaving the couch, I forgot to drink water and I forgot to eat. I just couldn’t move from the couch.
I don’t know why it is I was made the way I am, and why my life is the way it is. I know living can be hard. I know this. But somehow I keep going and keep trying. I keep looking at the woman in the mirror and saying bless you, if not in thought, then from a distant land, a place in the future, where I am aged and have lived long and well. A place where I am proud of where I have traveled and what I have accomplished.
Eventually I got up, showered, and went out with the family. I won’t say there weren’t moments I wasn’t crying in bed not wanting to leave. Because I did dread leaving. I listened to my thoughts, became the observer. I knew what was going on. They were familiar messages: “You are too ugly to leave the house. No one loves you. You are worthless. You are not enough.”
And I battled more and more and more. But in the end I rose. I bid the woman in the mirror hello, I woman I did not recognize or want. And despite the nagging voices, I wiped away my sadness and I tried. I tried to be this someone I am supposed to be.
Most days aren’t this hard, not this filled with doubt and struggle. I know part of my experience is hormonal. I know I will snap out of my melancholy when my chronic physical pains subsides some. And I know my brain is still processing a busy week past.
I didn’t want to forget this day though or leave this day out. Because in many ways these are the days that make me stronger, these are the days I look back upon and think I made it. I made it through again. I made it through to another day.