I’m having one of those today. An “I. Can’t. EVEN.” sort of day.
Do you ever feel like the world is closing in on every side, so that you can’t breathe and you can’t move and you want things to be different but you just don’t know which way to turn and you can’t even find a way to turn or a way out of whatever mess has become of your life? Yeah. That’s me today. I am one shallow breath away from bursting into tears, except I can’t burst into tears. I have to deal with the world today. I have errands to run and friends to see and responsibilities to uphold. It is not socially acceptable to burst into tears. Even if it was socially acceptable … even if people didn’t stop and stare at me or whisper about me behind my back … even if people gave any kind of a shit about why I was crying my heart out … they would just ask me what’s wrong. And I wouldn’t be able to tell them. There is no easy explanation for it.
How do I explain depression? And anxiety? How do I explain that sometimes I don’t even feel like a real person, and that I feel like I don’t belong anywhere? How do I explain my skin feeling too small and the world feeling too huge around me? And yet, there still isn’t any breathing space. My house is a mess. My life is a mess. I’m a mess. How do I explain that? How do I tell someone that I only want to run away — far, far away — and yet, I know I’ll never be able to run away. No matter how far I run or where I end up, I’ll still be me. And it’s “me” that’s the problem. How do I explain that?
I can’t. I mean, I can say the words. But, sometimes, words are not enough. It pains me, as a writer, to admit this out loud. But it’s true. Words aren’t always enough. Unless someone has been through this and struggled with this, they aren’t going to “get” it. Unless they have lived any of what I’m talking about, my words will be so much “blah, blah, blah” falling on sympathetic but ignorant ears. They will just be words, and the emotions will be lost.
Even if I could explain all of it — any of it — I have this sinking feeling that it would do no good. So what if someone understands what I’m going through? They can’t tell me how to fix any of it. There is no magic recipe for it. There’s nothing other than the good, old-fashioned method of pulling myself up by my bootstraps and working at fixing the things that are haunting me. Some days, I feel okay with this. I’m a big girl, and I can handle it. Today, it doesn’t feel okay. I think about all the times in my past when I’ve had to pull myself up out of the muck and chaos of my life — over and over again, it seems — and I feel … tired. And defeated. And like it’s not worth it to try. Today, I don’t feel capable of fixing or managing or changing anything.
Maybe tomorrow will be a better day. Maybe I’ll come back swinging at my chaos and anxiety and life woes and depression. Maybe I will be stronger tomorrow. Maybe I will be better. But, for today, I’m stuck with this: I. Can’t. EVEN.