A black hole

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WARNING – DEPRESSIVE CONTENT, EMOTIONAL TRIGGER

I am completely overwhelmed.

I am in a very dark head space. That is why I have not been writing. I don’t want to share how I feel because admitting to it means admitting I’m losing the battle with my depression.

I have better days. I didn’t write a to-do list this past week but Monday through Wednesday I worked hard to spend time doing the things I want to be doing. Reading with my daughter. Playing with my son. Turning off the computer more. Just trying to focus on the little things.

It’s hard to keep it up….every day….when I just feel utterly miserable inside… all the time….

Most days I barely drag myself out of bed. Just the act of waking up reminds me of my pain, and all I want is to cry, yet I can’t even find relief in tears. I push them down and force myself to get out of bed and do the bare necessities of what needs doing. Get my daughter on the bus in the morning with a lunch. Do laundry so my family has clean clothes to wear. Get myself dressed.

Most days I don’t even manage getting dressed. I live in pajamas and yoga pants, and on more occasions than I’d care to actually admit to, I have worn the same clothes for nearly 36 hours straight.

As a human being I feel like a complete and utter failure.

I feel beaten up. My bruises invisible to the world so there are few words of comfort or understanding. Mostly a lot of messages of “just deal with it” and “why can’t you manage this?”, even if they aren’t said in so many words and many come disguised as words of encouragement.

I took a college course in the spring of 2013 on communication. I loved it. One of the exercises the teacher had us do was draw a picture of an object that represented how we felt.

I drew a black hole.

I drew a blackBlack hole hole because it felt like my whole life was being sucked into one and no matter how hard I fought against it, everything, including myself, was being pulled in. It was dark and angry and destructive.

Then the teacher asked us to take that same image and change it, turn it into a positive image. At the time I couldn’t do it. I just stared at the page and swirled my black pen around and around, making the black hole bigger and darker. I didn’t see anything positive in that black hole or its existence in my life.

But what if there is….

In science fiction there is a theory that a black hole is a gateway between worlds or galaxies, that while its immense gravity pulls everything into it and initially destroys it, something different is reconstructed from the pieces on the other side. Sometimes better, sometimes worse. Either way it’s a one way trip, you are changed forever.

Surrendering to the pull of the black hole is overwhelming and my first instinct is to fight against it with all my might, holding to the familiar, holding to the comforting lull of even the most destructive habits because it’s all I know, and while it hurts, it’s pain I’m familiar with.

The act of being deconstructed is violent and painful. My whole life must flex and break, shattering everything that was so that there is room for the new, and it requires a level of trust in the universe that I will admit I don’t currently possess. A trust that the universe has a better plan for me.

Does it?

I have seen glimpses of a better world for myself. I’m afraid to reach out and take it. I’m afraid to let go of the doubt, the self-loathing, the destructive voices in my head that convince me I’m not good enough, not good enough to be a doula or birth instructor, that I’m not good enough to be a mom or wife, that I’m not good enough to even be me. Failure becomes my only option because it’s the only thing I’ve convinced myself I’m good at, and the voices constantly remind me of my short-comings.  I’m just not good enough…

But what if I am?

What if accepting that I, as I am right now, am good enough, and letting go of all the burdens of angst and anger that weigh me down is the first step of surrendering to the pull of the black hole and allowing the process of deconstruction to happen, so that I can find out what I’m truly capable of?

I just have to be willing to surrender to it.

To take the risk.

To believe I can survive being pulled apart at the very essence of my soul and then be put back together again.

I really, really, really want to but I’m completely and utterly terrified…. What if the result of this cosmic deconstruction means the end of my family as I know it? What if I end up losing some really important stuff a long the way? What if, what if, what if…. There are so many what ifs…

Thus I remain trapped between what is and what could be, frozen by my fear, imprisoned by my loneliness, ensnared by my pain and betrayed by my anger. I just find myself wondering how much worse things can get before the power of the black hole sucks me in and forces the changes on me, willingly or unwillingly?

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UGH……

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"It’s taking a lot of effort and energy to maintain my balance and keep putting one foot in front of the other." http://assets5.tribesports.com/system/sports/images/000/001/314/original/20130125182402-tightrope-walking.jpg

“It’s taking a lot of effort and energy to maintain my balance and keep putting one foot in front of the other.”

Yep, that’s how I feel right now… ugh! It’s such a simple sound, guttural and raw, but it imparts so much meaning.  I just feel ugh.  Maybe it’s this streak of cold weather that’s keeping us indoors again.  Or the fact I haven’t opened a window in the house in what seems like forever and the air is getting old and stagnant.  Or maybe it’s just that lull that comes after the initial push out of the gate when starting something new.  I love writing but it’s hard not to get discouraged when few people are commenting or providing feedback, even on the one article that got a lot of readership.  It was success, but it won’t sustain the blog either.  I have to keep writing, keep putting my thoughts and ideas, that are incessantly swirling around in my head, out there.

Some days I just don’t want to though…

For the last few years, my writing has been in hiatus.  Writing was always my way of processing how I felt.  I have a cousin that I used to send long letters to on a ridiculously regular basis. It helped me work through whatever was going on in my life at the time.  That changed awhile back, it was like my pen just stopped working, the words stopped spilling forth.  I would start and I would just stop because I was afraid of where the thoughts were going and didn’t want to go where the pen was taking me.  So, like a two-year-old being made to get dressed to go to daycare, I sat on the floor, crossed my arms and refused to comply.

I just didn’t want to go there.

“Going there” would’ve meant facing truths about my health, my feelings, my relationships that I was terrified to face because I saw no real solution to any of the problems, and felt like all the work I was doing was just not accomplishing anything. What was the point?

The status of my health, my feelings and my relationships haven’t changed tremendously.  We are getting some outside guidance now, which is helping to open up the dialogues that have been way overdue, but my health is still fragile, my feelings are still crazy and many of my most important relationships are walking very narrow tight ropes, suspended above a gaping abyss. It’s taking a lot of effort and energy to maintain my balance and keep putting one foot in front of the other.  Falling doesn’t feel like a real option, yet… Maybe that’s because I don’t know what falling looks like. When I look down all I see is an unknown blackness. I’m at least familiar with the struggles I’m facing currently. If I fell, what then?

2014 is my year to figure this out.  I’m tired of living like this, always feeling so ugh all the time.  Even when I take a shower, I still feel dirty afterwards because it doesn’t wash away the exhaustion, the loneliness, the frustrations and the constant feelings of being completely overwhelmed by everything around me.  I have started keeping a weekly to-do list on my Facebook page Soul Nudism, hoping it will help remind me of the various tasks and phone calls I need to deal with and, at the same time, maybe help inspire others, who may also find themselves incredibly overwhelmed, to tackle their own to-do lists.

I’m trying to stay focused on the successes, the tasks I do accomplish. For example, earlier this week I finally cleaned up my youngest son’s room. It’s been on my to-do list since before Christmas. It was a huge accomplishment and to see my son so happy because he has room to play and can find his toys again, is just amazing. Plus I can strike an item off my to-do list. Victory!

But it’s hard not to also see all the items that just seem to move forward from one week to the next and I never seem to get to. It’s not that they are not important but I forget and I get busy and easily side-tracked by the needs of others. Or I’m just tired, too mentally exhausted to pick up the phone and talk to anyone or to bundle my son up in winter layers and pop him in and out of his car seat over and over while I run errands, or even just to deal with the kids’ whining and complaining. So I sit on the couch, zoned out on my laptop or cell phone, while the kids do what they want. In the short-term it’s easier, in the long-term it solves nothing and leaves my husband justifiably annoyed with me. Heck I get annoyed with me!

So what now? I keep writing, exploring, and evolving. I keep striking items off my to-do list and working towards building better habits with my kids and setting a better example as far as things like screen time and self-care go. I also need to learn to forgive myself, to stop beating myself up for a bad day or even a bad week. They are going to happen. I can give up or I can pick myself up, pat myself on the back for even the small victories, and try harder tomorrow. Really, what choice do I have? My kids will be up in the morning looking for me, not being there isn’t an option so even on the bad days, that’s a victory!