The Darkness (“Tyler”)

I’m so beyond the fear of rejection right now, I can’t even take half a step because I am certain I will fall. No confidence, no voice, just fear. Fear all the time. I’m rigid and scared, stressed, and going through the motions of my daily tasks, but afraid every second of it, not taking any risks, not making any decisions, exhausted all the time, despite getting more sleep than I usually need. I feel crippled by the weight in my head.

Having to constantly attempt to forgive myself for being myself, sick of the unfortunate company I keep in my head. Why do I loath her so much? Why do I assume that she’s wrong all the time? Why can’t I trust her to do anything right? Why can’t I just sometimes leave her alone to rest?

And I can’t write. I’m not writing. I’m too tied up in my own knot to trust my creativity. I can hardly bring myself to fold laundry with these hands, how do I use them to invent, advise, make any critical points? How can I do any soul work?

I didn’t realize I was visibly struggling until the canary I sleep with told me he is worried, worried that I’m lost right now. He has noticed and he wants me to find myself again. I stopped writing, I don’t have the confidence. I lost the ability to make any decisions, to feel like an authority on anything, least of all myself. I feel lazy and lost and like I’m spinning but sitting still, making no progress. I regret the imposition on him, on anyone, for having to deal with me. I don’t feel worthy of mental illness. What in the world do I have to be sad or anxious about, really? I almost never notice the darkness has taken over until it’s pointed out to me that I’m in the thick of depression.

So, now that I know…where did I leave myself and how can I go back to pick her up? Retrace your steps, my son says, when he’s helping his little sister find something she lost.

Ok. So what’s crushing me right now? Things are fairly peaceful, I’m home way more, the sun is shining. What excuse do I have to be miserable? Why does the same amount of stress feel insurmountable, terrifying, instead of solid but negotiable, as it usually does?

The darkness makes it impossible to maintain perspective, buckling under the tragedy of what humans do to other humans (the fucking news, all of history). Also, I’m lost without an identity I see as inherently valuable, scrambling to be enough, to consider myself, my thoughts and words of some value, to answer to the nasty crowd in my head that I’m still a worthy somebody.

I feared this would happen as I quit my job as a Physician Assistant and I started running the daily operations of our ice cream business and home, spending more time with the kids, and, allegedly, writing. It means I don’t have an easy answer to “what do you do” now because I always took that as “who are you?” Who am I now? I’m a truck driver, a customer service rep, a manager….all things I’ve never done before, and for which I have no training. I feel like I’m in over my head and I worry about everything.

I’m not sharing all this to tell you I don’t like our life plan or that I intend to quit immediately, to retrace my steps back to where we started…I am not ready to quit yet. I want to be with my kids, I want to be involved in the company, I want to write. I just have to find my new me in this new set-up. I have to come to terms with her, and tell the crowd in my head to change their expectations, change their requirements for what makes me worthy of their respect.

I’m sharing it because I can now. Honestly, naming it does help to tame it. If I can write the things that scare me, maybe I can deal with them and come out of the darkness into some light. So, thanks for reading/listening. Also, I know other people are sitting in the darkness, feeling like they can’t rescue themselves. Not alone. Never alone. It feels hella lonely, though, huh?

This came up recently and blew me away. “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” tackles mental illness in a big way. Everything they do is big, I mean, it’s a musical. But this I found very relatable.

Please to enjoy.

Comments

  1. Karen Piper

    I love you Sara. I love your blog. You are so raw, so right. While I do not personally understand where you stand in your head, I do understand being the spouse. Thank you Rob for being that canary, the person at your side. You are worthy of his LOVE. It is not easy to be by your side, but it is worth it. ALWAYS…..worth it. Keep on being you, or just being….because you will find you, around the corner, I just know it.

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