The U.S. presidential election has me feeling trapped and is bringing up a lot of bad memories. I’ve been on the lookout for good things, lights to focus on to prevent my world view being cast in darkness.
I have a lot of slow brain days. Those are days when I can’t see my way out of the fog. I struggle to get simple tasks done. I lose my keys in the fridge and I forget where the cold food is kept. These tend to fall in quick succession. There is a cascade effect when I am highly anxious as I have been. I woke up this morning with a million tasks in my head. I was having a panic attack because I was afraid I had misplaced some tickets. So I employed the age-old coping skill of jotting down a list, emptying my head into Notes on my phone.
I spent the next two hours avoiding the list.
The thing is, despite waking up highly anxious, my head felt clear. I knew I needed to buckle down. I employed another age old coping mechanism–coffee. I went in my office and got to work because tomorrow may not be a great brain day. I have to take advantage of the days when I have the spoons.
I got a full list done. It wasn’t the list I typed out. I went back to that one not long ago and did complete half of it, but there was a lot of negative self-talk in my head about what I hadn’t taken care of. So then I typed up all the bonus tasks I’d completed so I didn’t feel guilty and unproductive.
I tried to sit with that feeling of accomplishment. Success! I said to myself. And I really meant it, but the sadness–that sense of overwhelm–didn’t fade for long.
I decided it was okay. It is okay. It is okay to be with sadness.
I am hurting. I am learning. I am growing.
My sadness reminded me of synchronicity and the power of multiple pains building into a fire. I am being forged. Again. And though I may not enjoy the pieces or the process, I will come out stronger.
There are many, many changes happening for me right now. Some preplanned for months, others the last two years. Some sudden and unexpected. Most joyfully anticipated. I got caught up.
I lost sight of something. My goal has always been to reach just one person through my writing. Despite the excitement of moving into new spaces, I have been in a dark period where I stopped reaching myself. The world may not have seen it, but I actually quit writing. Why? My work is based on relentless honesty. To achieve that, I have to be honest with myself first. Honest to my bones. And I didn’t want to do that. I would have to turn a seeing eye on an area of my life I was desperate to remain blind to. Transitions are never easy.
I relied on pre-drafted posts to keep my site alive. I told myself I didn’t need to write anything. Now I realize I went silent because I was trying to hold onto something I needed to let go, a deep pain around something I wanted to heal, transform and maintain. I had my teeth gritted with the effort. I grew too tired to put down my thoughts. But here I am, typing again. Coming back to who I always was. Trying to make sense the way I always have. Remembering that I am never alone unless I choose to be.
Words are my friends. If I turn my back on them, I turn my back on everything.
“Alone” was a story I was telling myself. Just as I had created a story saying I was a bad person if I couldn’t heal what and when I expected myself to. I could go on forever telling myself I haven’t done enough. I could bury myself in guilt over how my reality and the story of what I told myself would be don’t match. I could keep punishing myself for something completely out of my control. Or I could recognize what my body has been screaming with every panic attack, the hours of tremors, the nightmares, the slow brain days and the silence: This isn’t what you should be holding onto.
The release burns. It feels isolating. But I have never actually been on my own in this metaphysical shift. The words waited. They whispered, It is okay to both love and let go.
I love myself. I let go.
No more cage. I opened the door. And while it isn’t the launch I ever saw for myself, I’m free. That’s a very good thing.