This blog’s purpose was originally intended as an outlet to solely document my journey as a writer (aspiring author, as it were), but, as one can see scrolling through the posts, I haven’t really used it much. That particular journey has been a roller coaster and still is an adventure unfolding. I could talk for hours about it.
However, that’s not what I want to talk about today.
You see, life has a funny way of twisting and turning much the same as my writing journey has. There are highs–and, boy, when you’re there, you can see into that distance forever. I know what that feels like, the euphoria and satisfaction of being completely at peace with the path you’re on, the future stretching before you, the plans coming to fruition. It’s elation and it’s happiness, and it’s even better when you are surrounded with those you love and who love you in return. There isn’t a better feeling than basking in that love-glow, that rightness. Belonging. It adds a sparkle to your blood akin to champagne, a spark to life itself. I can vividly remember driving home from work one day and tearing up with happy tears, so content and joyful was I in my life.
What I need to talk about today, though, is the flipside of that, the deep dive into the dark that must exist for us to truly feel the deep-rooted appreciation for the highs. What I want to talk about today is that aftershock when your world gets rocked, your trust, heart, or that plan gets broken, and you’re left sifting through the pieces and wondering how the hell you got to this murky place.
The better part of the past year has been that for me.
It’s the listless, aimless, sleepless, gray purgatory one slips to when that aforementioned future, when the life you were so completely wrapped up in, shatters. At first, when my spiral first began, I told myself (and everyone around me) I was fine. I socialized. I wrote–albeit depthless, mechanical writing. I put the broken pieces back together, not even caring if they fit how they were supposed to. The illusion of being whole was what mattered. I cracked jokes, I laughed, I looked happy. Hell, I probably thought I was happy. But truth is, like that thin crust of ice that forms when the first hard freeze finally gets to the small pond, it wasn’t solid. It wasn’t real. It only took a few steps before I fell through.
The past few months in particular have been the hardest. Despite the fact I still have some amazing people in my life, I have a good job, I have my health, a cute apartment, an active social life–I am empty. The hollowness, for someone so used to propagating and feeling joy, is what I noticed first. The more I tugged on and examined that feeling, like a piece of yarn dangling from that threadbare sweater in the back of your closet, the more the illusion I’d built myself unraveled. Soon the whole thing fell apart and I was left looking at a jumble of strings that had once made up something cozy and comfortable and whole.
It’s difficult for me to admit any of this. I’ve always prided myself in my strength, my ability to focus on the positives. What I’d never taken into consideration, though, was how, in the darkness, sometimes you can’t see those positives. Sometimes they’re masked by the things you’ve lost, the things you mourn and grieve for. And I am here to tell you as someone near and dear to me told me recently–there is no time frame for grief. There is no countdown for mourning loss, whatever that word means to you. The death of a dream, an idea, a future, a person–those things sink deep down into you. It’s visceral and it’s real pain. You can bury it, you can hide it, you can ignore it, but those emotions will come clawing back out to the surface.
That looks different for everyone, too, that bubbling up of molten, gut-wrenching sensation. Sometimes, it’s a slow boil. Sometimes, it’s a sudden explosion of realized hurt. Some people react to it with anger. Some people withdraw. Some internalize or reach out for support. Some pray.
There have been many long days, long nights, during which my body feels numb and my brain feels hazy. Days where my head’s filled with tangled thoughts, and even dressing, showering, or walking feels like a monumental chore. Some days where tears seem right around the corner and it’s all you can to hold it back. There are other days I wish the tears would come, just for the cathartic release I feel they’d offer. Of course, those are the days they refuse to fall. Those days are the worst for me. The walls close in and all I want to do is scream, but that would require far too much energy. Those are the days my thoughts become self-destructive and sleeping for hours seems the safest course of action. And so I sleep.
There is no happy ending to this post. I’ve finally, very recently opened up about this to a few people I trust in my life. Each one of them asked me why I hadn’t written about what I was feeling, what I was struggling through. “You’re a writer,” they said. “So write about it. Get it out.”
Truth is, I’ve tried. I’ve tried to write for pleasure. I’ve given up that and tried to write these feelings. The words wouldn’t come. Every time I’d sit down and stare at my computer, that cursor would stare back from the blank page and shrug. How do you even begin to pick apart and try to understand your emotions when those sticky spider-web strands are wrapped around and into everything? The more I tried to understand what I was feeling, the more the emotions faded to monotony and I was left with that same hollowness.
So how do you understand it? The answer is one day at a time. Today, these words came out. Maybe more will come tomorrow. Maybe I will post this. Maybe I won’t. Maybe I will and no one will read it. But if one single person does, somebody perhaps going through what I’m going through right now, and sees they aren’t alone–then this aimless, rambling post has served its purpose. More so even than a release for me. I’ve always gotten joy from helping people, from connecting and sharing this burden that is life. Being a soft spot for others to fall and lean on brings me happiness, and, despite the melodramatics above, I know I’m not the only person to feel this lost. I won’t be the last. This isn’t the end. If I’m honest with myself, I’m sure I will be here again someday. There are those moments in life where the ground beneath us gives way and we free-fall, that swoop in your stomach, that ringing in your ears, that sudden silence in your mind. There are times we are pushed off that edge. I feel as though I’ve been falling for some time now.
But I am not alone. YOU are not alone. I don’t know how to get out of this hole yet. But what I do know is that I will. Whether it be climbing back out, being pulled back out, or digging my own damn way, I’ll make it out. You can, too.
If you made it this far, thanks for reading. If you didn’t, you won’t read this–but I don’t blame you. For those following my author social media, there will be updates to come on that. For now, this is where I am. This is the reason for my silence. Even this post is terrifying, the thought of sharing it with the interwebs in its entirety, for all eyes to see and judge. I feel very vulnerable…and at the same time, it’s oh-so-freeing.
At any rate, thank you for your part in my healing. Maybe, if you need it, this can be part of yours, too. Feel free to reach out.
Until next time,