Backslide

I really had it cornered for a few days. I had it on the run and then I tricked it, with my cunning, healthy wiles, and it was alone and helpless in a corner.

And then I let that son of a bitch get away. 
The cluster of towering negative thoughts. The big, bad ones. The ones that threaten harm and ensure the people who say they will stay, will surely go. My mystical golem of the feelings of worthlessness and stupidity. Fears and anxieties made real. I had it trapped. And then I screwed up and I let it go. 

I had been doing pretty well. I had loaded up my Instagram feed with body positive pictures and eating disorder recovery accounts. I had practiced writing down my stream-of-conscious negative thoughts and then editing them into more realistic and reasonable fact statements. I even attended a seminar on overcoming anxiety. It was coming together. 

And then shit fell apart. 

And I don’t know why. 

It just happens sometimes. 

I spent a solid hour on Sunday crying. Now, that’s exhausting business. I forgot how mentally and physically draining that kind of weep can be. I also ran got an hour. The crying was hands-down harder. 

(Sidebar: not a doctor so not actual medical advice, but I tried treating emotional pain like physical pain. I took some ibuprofen, and that actually provided some relief. )

I took a picture of myself for some forsaken reason. But I’m not including that. I’m not at that level of self-acceptance. Ain’t nobody trying to see tears running down my red, chubby cheeks and snot dangling from the end of my swollen nose. Maybe I want to remember that moment. A place I don’t want to see anymore. Keep it as a memory. 

The thing that pisses me off the most is that I was making progress. I had a few good days strung together on my bangle band of healing. I had mornings when I woke up feeling decent and nights where I was busy and not just counting the minutes until I could respectfully go to sleep. 

Then this bullshit. That’s what it is. Not real. Not actual tragedy. Made up mind lies and bullshit. But the result and my response is unfortunately the same. 

I’m flailing. I’m pushing people away. I’m snarling and snapping at the people I should be caring for the most. I’m kinda being a self-absorbed, indulgent asshole. I don’t like it. It scares me and I don’t want to do it anymore. So I won’t. 

Tonight, I’m giving up. 8:33 is a respectable bed time, no?

Tomorrow, I stop.  I get that greedy bastard back in a corner. Try to talk. Reach out. Connect. Initiate. Attempt to take another swing. Keep fighting for things that are impossibly far away but won’t get closer just by looking at them. 

Tomorrow, I dig my heels in, stop the backslide, and start climbing again. 

Still There

Still there. Frozen. Willing to make it to the other side of the thaw.

I really can’t call myself a runner. Feels fake and pretentious and smacks loudly of imposter syndrome. Much like my feelings of calling myself a writer or actor. But let’s just go with all those for just a paragraph or two.

If you’re foolhardy and masochistic enough to subject yourself to long runs, there’s a point of absolute despair. At least that’s how my legs and mind have seen it. It’s before the halfway point. Still miles to go. But you can’t see the end, no matter how you crane and squint and struggle.

You have two choices. You stop from pain. Or you keep putting your feet down and make mental offering to the gods that if you keep moving, eventually, you will get there. And they’ll get their pins of flesh.

Because you really want to get there. You’ve put a few bucks on this and spent some hours and want to post a picture of the end with a smile.

You’re still there. Frozen. Stuck. No where to go but through or back and either one is a path of barbs and booby traps.

Same mindset for many things. Finishing a novel. Learning French. Pushing out a baby. With booby trap taking on a whole new meaning of pain.

Same, I suspect and am learning with fear, for the challenges of love and relationships.

The fates have gifted me with a truly lovely young man. Young. Man. Handsome man. My fantastic boy.  I smile when I think of him. Smile more when I get to see him. The best ones are the secret few only he gets to see.

Yes. The fates give. But, the fates also want you to work for what you’ve been given. They are a snarky mistress, the fates, and they do delight in peril of the mind and heart.

Something happens to my brain in the best of our times. I can not help but not just acknowledging but dwelling on the hard bubbling just below the soft, lucious days and moments.

There are things I can’t do for this young man. Not won’t. Not haven’t friend. Can’t. Laws of chemistry and physics. And that makes me think about running away. Let him have the space for the fates to bring him the one who can.

I am quiet and surly and brooding and a nightmare asshole the size of a Gatsby mansion.

And then he touches my cheek and I melt and any thought of running away  sounds ridiculous and I want to slap fully any stupid brain that would suggest such idiocy.

Sharp, prickly difficulties aside, It’s a beautiful place to be frozen. With this tremendous person who inspires and challenges and cares. And warms you until you can feel the icy edges surrendering and you believe it will someday be warm again.

So for today, I’m still here. Still there. Still learning to enjoy every second of light and heat among the cold. Deep enough and sinking deeper so that I’m afraid that if I last until the thaw, everything will flood and at least some of me will drown. But I’ll risk that. I’ll take my chances on swimming. And I won’t waste a second fretting on what the next season brings.

Because I have coats and shoes and hats for them all. And I’ve seen his closet. Maybe he does too. If not, I’ve loved the heat and the ice and the singing in the rain.