Hi, guys. I wrote a new blog post. Thought maybe you might want to read it. But don’t feel like you have to, I mean unless you really want to? I don’t know if you do or don’t, but if you don’t, it’s so not a big deal. If you do read it, not assuming you will in any way, I do hope you like it. If you don’t like it, totally cool with that too, I don’t really expect anyone to like it. So, no worries at all!! And, of course, that’s assuming you want to read it and do. Like I said, no biggie either way. Anyway, I am really sorry for bothering you.
I am failing at life right now. Like at every turn, I am failing…miserably. This is not hyperbole; I have been a fucking disaster.
Last week I got yelled at by an incredibly irate woman because I wasn’t paying attention in my car, and did something stupid that ruined her day, week and guessing by the expletives she unleashed, her entire life! Undoubtedly, she has informed her family that Christmas is canceled this year, and every year, going forward, thanks to me. Anyway, it was a low point, because, without question, I am the most cautious driver on the planet. I have been ticketed twice in my life, once for turning right and once for turning left. Apparently each time I had turned outside designated turning hours – and both times I drove straight into a sting. Like, what in the good goddamn hell is that about? Were all the drug dealers on strike that day? Taking naps perhaps? The point is, me being yelled at while driving my car is irony to the max. It was also a sign that I needed to get a grip…real quick.
You see, when I arrived home from New York and was making my off the plane, it was with a bit of New York City swagger – I was ready to grab life by the balls and run with it, full-fucking-steam ahead. I was feeling good. What I hadn’t anticipated, though, was being met at the arrivals gate by an old friend. But there she was, just waiting, leaning casually against a wall, looking thoroughly pleased with herself when I had finally acknowledged her presence. On the asshole scale, she ranks near the top, so I was less than thrilled to see her standing there.
Me: ‘What are you doing here?’
Her: ‘Aww, don’t look so sad to see me. I missed you.’
Me: ‘Well, now that you’ve seen me, feel free to leave.’
Her: ‘Oh sweetie, I’m here for you. I’m not going anywhere.’
There wasn’t anything left for me to say; I knew damn well she wasn’t. So I just glared at her and made my way out of the terminal with her trailing close behind, skipping like an obnoxious schoolgirl.
She and I were briefly introduced to each other when I was 14, just long enough for me to learn the calming effect of obsessive cleaning. We then met again and became inseparable when I was 19. As I entered adulthood, with her influence, it was with the belief that I wasn’t normal and that there was something broken inside me that would never be fixed. I also knew, that at all costs, I had to keep my relationship with her hidden.
So, though we have been friends for years, I rarely talk about her and still do my best to keep our relationship under wraps. She’s that friend. The one who mortifies you in public, who shames you and makes you apologize over. And over. And over again. She cares not an ounce about your well-being, only herself. As I said, she is a first-class asshole. I do know, though, that I am by no means special, some of you are also friends with her, and probably already know who I am talking about. Her name is Anxiety. Yeah…her.
For the last four weeks, she and I have been locked in battle. When lying awake in bed at night, I wonder how long it will take for someone to find my corpse when I inexplicably drop off the face of the earth because she has finally managed to kill me. Then I worry about not being able to apologize to the person who has to deal with my messy stench. I mean, hopefully, I can send whoever it is an apology, like a sign from the afterlife. Maybe a goat on a sidewalk wearing a cardigan with the word ‘sorry’ embroidered on it? They’ll see the goat and totally know it’s me, right? Surely they will! Without knowing, though, what options will be available to me to communicate my ‘I AM SO SORRY, I AM SO DEAD, AND YOU HAD TO CLEAN ME UP’ message, from the afterlife, it’s just too risky to die. So I lay there at night, and I fight.
And I am fighting now.
I fight to pick up the phone and make the call I know I should, but can’t. I fight the panic and dread I quietly carry inside me. I fight the thoughts that tell me everyone is too busy. I fight the apologies I feel I need to give for daring to reach out to you. I fight to keep breathing when the weight on my chest tells me I can’t. I fight my compulsion to destroy you and me, by refusing to believe. I fight to believe. I fight the disappointment I feel from disappointing you. I fight to know it’s okay to tell someone; I’m not okay. And I fight to feel normal.
And I do it all alone.
But a few days ago, I opened up to my friend about how I was feeling and the effect it was having on me. It was an awakening of sorts because she told me that she is also struggling, along with some other people she knows. And she asked me, ‘Why does life just seem so constantly hard? I don’t understand. Are we just in that cycle?’ And my response was this. ‘Life can never just be easy, it has to be messy and fucked up, but I suppose that is what makes us bloom, right? You can’t see true beauty unless you have known darkness. It would be nice to have a reprieve though, a little break from it all. Maybe it’s a cycle, or maybe it’s the ripple effect of a world gone mad. I don’t know. We just have to keep breathing and moving forward the best we can.’ The answer I gave her is what I believe to be true. And I know she does as well.
So, that is what she and I are doing. We are breathing. We are moving forward. And we are doing the absolute best we can. And shit, isn’t that enough? It has to be because there is nothing beyond our best.
When I began writing this post I had no clue where I was going with it or even what I was trying to say; I just knew I had to write the words down and hope that they form something meaningful. It certainly wasn’t for anyone to feel bad for me, don’t you dare. That’s not my point. I am lucky. I am blessed. And I am beyond grateful. My eyes and soul know beauty, and my heart feels and loves, deeply. Indeed, I am blessed.
But I have realized, that too busy is only in my head and that there is no shame in talking about what threatens my well-being. There is a demon inside me, and I will battle her for the rest of my life, but I do not have to do it in silence, or alone.
None of us do. That’s my point.
In the wake of incomprehensible horror and loss, I have been reminded once again of the value of each moment and the importance of being present.
So, today I am breathing, I am moving forward, and I am doing my very best.
I am close, you guys. She is fading. But until she is gone, please know…
I’m sorry, I’m sorry.