Finally posting this after days of allowing my words to linger in “drafts”. I saw these two quotes as I was unwinding from an incredibly long, anxiety filled day. This just feels right.
“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.” – Brene Brown
I took a break this week from writing because life got “too real”, and really hard, for a while and I didn’t have words to put to what I was feeling. I still quite don’t but I want to try.
Right now I feel lonely. I feel lonely all the time. I feel lonely even when I’m surrounded by people that I love and care about and I know they care about me too. I’ve been trying to stay busy and to surround myself with friends and fun but, even when I’m seeming like I’m having fun, this miserable mindset winds up creeping to the forefront. And then abruptly, nearly the instant I’m alone, it’s like as quickly as my fingers can snap, I feel defeated, isolated, disengaged. My mind goes into a compete frenzy and things start moving so quickly it feels like I can’t keep up. It’s like children are bouncing a ball on a playground (inside my mind) and the instant my eyes track the ball it bounces someplace else. That’s what overwhelmed feels like to me. And then like an elevator dropping flights too quickly, I hit rock bottom. That feels quiet and cold.
I’ve been noticing there’s a deep and loud sense of “wanting” that I can’t shake. And, I find myself continually “missing” something. It feels like I’ll never it get back. In a way, I’m grieving that type of loss. I’ve lost the spaces where I felt supported, confident, and like I had a purpose. I feel like I’ve lost control and I’m losing sight of myself over and over again. I get this feeling multiple times a day. And every glimpse of normalcy that I encounter quickly diminishes and is replaced by intense, immobilizing sadness and isolation. I can’t recognize myself anymore and, in moments where I feel like I’ve “found me” I too quickly remind myself that this won’t last long. Usually this feeling lasts just about as long as it takes to take a deep, satisfying breath and realize that for a moment I can breathe again. That realization makes even a glimpse seem like I’m watching someone else’s life from the sidelines. I miss my support networks – those things gave me more than I ever realized at the time. Those things kept me going.
And these days it’s more about “keeping up appearances” or “putting on a show” than anything else because I just can’t escape my own head. I can’t ignore what I’m experiencing. This feeling is so absolutely pervasive, so persistent. Now that I’ve given just the smallest amount of attention to and named these feelings I’m experiencing major flooding. For example, I’ll be reading for school and suddenly find myself just completely exhausted because I’m not even reading I’m just staring blankly at the page, flipping mindlessly. Slowly my pace will crawl to a halt. That’s when I realize I feel so bad I can’t even focus on my work. In those moments, I’m not even focusing on how badly I feel, I’m simply numb. My mind is blank and dark.
In an intentional effort to ignore these feelings and seek control I’m justifying and encouraging myself to add more obligations, responsibilities, and commitments or to harness control in any aspect of my life I can. Then I grip tightly so I don’t lose that thing too. I’m slowly shutting myself down completely. It’s no wonder I haven’t been able to write anything recently. I spend my days feeling so small and then I perpetuate this feeling, let it sink in, by minimizing my these negative feelings, telling myself “it’s not that bad”, expecting to just “tough it out”, and not attending to the experience I’m having.
I am taking this moment to admit that this is real and it is really hard. I’m taking this moment to own this. I am struggling.