I had the best week at work in a long time. I owned everything I did and handled every situation with professionalism and even a little wit here and there. I have literally received praise every day this week. I, for the first time, felt like I was finally getting it.
Sucking back tears. Deep breath. Swallow.
But then, in one tiny moment, one insignificant error trashed every ounce of confidence I had acquired that week. And by insignificant, I mean I forgot a single slide in the company meeting presentation.
It was gone, my confidence, and I was left standing amongst the ashes of my former successes. The ant hill conquered Everest. The shortest, lightest breeze toppled the tallest building.
And so the saddest hymnal of every single accomplishment I have to date is sung. That nasty, unforgiving monster that rages quietly in the depths of my soul awoke and stole from me everything I had good in the palm of my emotional hand. But then it doesn’t stop there, because it’s hungry. It smells the undeniable aroma of pleasure and goodness and seeks to consume everything in it’s path. I am left hating myself. Hating my shirt, my hair, my drive home, my bleeding nails and fingers from the attempts at self-soothing. Hating my body, THIS BODY that gave me my daughter and nourished her. Hating my negative thoughts, the guilt for my negative thoughts and then the guilt about the guilt. It seems to never stop.
So then when I wake up the next morning, I aid the worst hangover of them all: drunk off of sadness. I had too much and I couldn’t stop and before I realized it I was way gone. There are no thoughts about today maybe being better or worse. Just, “I’ll wear jeans and my blazer today, because fuck everyone. It’s friday.” There were zero thoughts racing across my mind this morning.
Until I am sitting in quiet and reflecting upon the past. The wedding that didn’t turn out how I wanted it and how I think about it and that asshole every. single. day. The job that never panned out, the constant wondering if I made this correct decision or that one, whether or not I'm about to make the right decisions. What am I going to do about my family? What am I going to do about money? How will I be half the wife and mother my family needs me to be? Because I can’t promise to be 100% wife and mother…because I’m never 100% me.
I know full well that I can’t worry about the past and what i can not change. But why can’t I let it go, why does it consume me? The two most negatively life-altering days of my life grip onto my soul and suck all the life out of me. I worry about what EVERY SINGLE PERSON thinks of me and my opinions, decisions…anything public facing. But I can find quiet and solace in this. In knowing that people are aware that there is a greater suffering than what is visible.
I reach out for help, but I don’t know what that looks like. What it’s supposed to be and who I can trust. And if there really is, as I fear, no help and that perhaps this will be my everyday for all of my life, then I can only hope that the positivity I can manage will be enough to raise my daughter in a way that doesn’t leave her damaged and love my husband the way he deserves.
So that feeling: of something reaching down my throat and into my chest. It’s not meant to be poetic. I tell you now that it’s a feeling so real, as real as someone touching your temple with the business end of a handgun. It’s literal. It’s scary. It’s familiar.