I was in bed for 21 hours yesterday. Literally hiding beneath the covers. I didn’t want to speak, couldn’t move my mouth to form words. I’m so tired. I’m beyond tired. I’m broken. But if anyone asks, I’m fine. Just fine.
I dropped one uni subject (the design subject) this week so I can focus on my health, my happiness, on experiencing love and joy and living the normal life of a 32 year old woman. My dad was nearly in tears when I expressed this to him; that I wanted normal things, that I wasn’t going to push myself to breaking point anymore for things that don’t matter… things that never mattered. He was so happy.
But again I find myself here in the dark place that is the flip side of the ‘up’, plagued by self-doubt. The inevitable roller-coaster plunge after a long climb skyward. Deeply hurt that I failed to fascinate, to inspire…failed to live up to expectations. Angry that I let fear and anxiety make me seem less than I am. Relieved that I had the strength to say ‘enough’. To say ‘this is killing me and it has to stop’. It’s not and never has been about grades. It was about proving to myself (and, by inference, everyone else) that I made the right decision. That I’m good at what I do. That I’m worthwhile. And acknowledging that I couldn’t sleep one more night with my heart pounding in my chest and in my ears, the anxiety so bad that I wasn’t able to function properly.
I need to reconnect with ‘me’. The ‘me’ who isn’t a designer, isn’t an over-achiever, isn’t a failure at life and love.
I’m experiencing a lot of fear as I write this but I’m writing for me. I’m writing because so often I write for others, things I think that they can connect to or enjoy or empathise with. Which I know happens because they tell me. It’s one of the reasons I still do this.
But this post is just for me. To push past the burning pain in my chest. To admit that I’m hurt. To have the courage to say ‘I’m defeated and exhausted’. To admit that my feelings will always lie a little too close to the surface and that I will always give too damn much. To accept that others will have opinions on my work ethic no matter what I do but that doesn’t mean I have to listen. I know why I do it and part of it is because I can’t help it. It’s what makes me a good daughter, sister, lover and friend. I put my very best effort into everything but in the end, does it matter?
I somehow managed to get out of bed and go to work today. I plastered on a smile and my positive attitude before getting out of the car. My A-game face. I’ve been doing it for so long now that it’s second nature. No one would have had a clue about what was really going on inside and that’s how I needed it to be.
Why is having this illness so hard? Why can I speak out so loudly (and quickly and agitatedly) when I’m ‘up’ but have such fear about admitting when I’m down? I normally have strict rules about blogging whilst in this state but I had to write something tonight. I just had to and I make no apologies for it. It just all came on so crushingly quickly and unexpectedly that my brain didn’t have time to catch up. I hope you will all understand and I will do my best to be back to my normal self ASAP.