Ruts and Bolts: Piecing Together That Secret Despair
There is so much going on all around me that I want to be part of. There are friends I want to spend time with, events I promised myself I would go to, and hours wasted in front of screen after screen, telling myself I will get off the couch in just 5 more minutes.
5 more minutes.
5 more minutes.
I don’t have the energy.
Since the death in our family in 2015, the heaviness of life now makes previous years seem about as light as a my 9-pound furbaby's pinky toe. So when I got back from Standing Rock in late November, I told myself it was okay to take a couple days off from life, to veg out and allow myself to process my experience through some mindless rest.
Then a month later, on Christmas, an unexpected conversation shook my world upside down and let it vomit all over my sensitive heart.
I don’t know how to talk about this conversation yet, but it was the push I needed to sign myself up to, as my BFF calls it, “get shrunk” on a regular basis by a therapist. I’m still in search of the right one for me, but I am eager to finally get out all of the stuff I can’t make myself write about here. Yet.
Now, a week into January, and I still have yet to rediscover my motivation for...almost anything.
I'm surprised I still feel the urge to blog, and to express myself in general, but I’m even more shocked with my recent uncharacteristic lack of stick-to-it-ive-ness.
I want to accomplish feats bigger than myself, like organizing local actions for Standing Rock, volunteering to help those less fortunate, taking the time to teach children, and so many other things.
I genuinely love people. I sincerely love and feel connected to every single living thing in the universe, and I care so much about the happiness of all others.
But here I am. On my couch. 5% proud of myself for at least updating my blog, and 95% depressed and pissed off at my recent lack of action.
I am a firm believer that people can accomplish much more than they think they can, and can even create miracles, as long as they sincerely try. I was raised to know nothing comes free, and hard work shows you really care, but then why do I sit still for hours and days and even weeks on end?
Every one of us has a choice in every moment to make something of ourselves, to make the right call, and to make the world a little bit better. Call me a Millennial, but I am confident in my own ability to make a positive impact…
as long as I can make myself get dressed and leave the house; shit, even the couch.
But the truth is, I am ashamed of myself.
I am ashamed of the time (time time time time time, anxiety on loop in my head) that I have wasted wallowing in shit I can’t control. I am ashamed of not being a better example for my family, friends, and future acquaintances. I am ashamed that I haven’t made myself practice yoga in so long that I’ve gained all my weight back, and worse, gained back the stabbing pain in my kneecaps from chondromalacia patella (kneecap-cushion fail).
I am ashamed that I didn’t go back to Standing Rock again.
I am ashamed of my own body, of my lack of joy at anything but binge-eating snacks, of being gay, of spending time on Facebook, you freaking name it anymore.
And I am so upset for not forcing myself to see my loved ones more often. As we speak, I am failing to call up my sister and see if she wants company, to visit friends I cancelled plans with only two blocks away, or to even walk upstairs and have an actual conversation with my roommate.
It’s not that I don’t want to spend time with people, and it’s not that I think I have better things to do.
These decisions rest entirely on my failure to push through the abundance of anxiety that keeps my bottom rooted to this couch cushion.
But I know I am stronger than that.
I know I care more about other people than I do succumbing to fear.
I know I can pull myself out of this hole I keep digging.
But how? How do I push beyond the heavy, demeaning thoughts that relentlessly scream of the uselessness of our tragic lives, the pointlessness of existence, the unbelievable greed and cruelty in our world of souls so lost they know not what they do?
There's a constant sense of panic, impending doom, like something in the background is very not okay.
I know I’m not alone with these heavy thoughts, but I feel like I deserve to be. I assume that others who are going through an "actual" hard time will judge me for these words, and rightfully so.
I’m more experienced, mindful, and self-aware than every other time I’ve let myself get trapped by this sluggish rut, yet here I am once more. So many people have so many more difficulties in their lives, to say the least, and I can’t convince myself that I’m not a lazy fool for falling down this rabbit hole again.
I want so much to be useful, to feel proud of myself and each day that I create, but instead I feel disgusted.
It is only after grueling weeks in anger, long conversations, and desperately-scrawled blog posts that I can see the truths I’m pushing down, and do the only thing I know how to do:
Put my fingers in my ears, yell LALALALALA against the bad habits I’ve been forming, and force myself to do things again by putting one goddamn foot in front of the other.
I had a revelation the other day after spending a few hours with a friend, that I am not only deciding in every moment what to do with my time, but am I existing in the honor of taking up someone else’s precious time in every second they choose to spend with me.
With this gratitude in mind, I want to apologize to my loved ones for not being around as much as I care to, as much as you all deserve, and for saying “I don’t feel well” or “I don’t have the time” instead of being more truthful about my anxiety.
I want to thank you all for being there for me while I navigate out of this barren routine, and I want to ask you all a big favor:
If you have any suggestions, any ideas, or can simply relate to this experience, please share in the comments below, and bless your heart for taking the time to do so.
Thank you all for loving me, even when I feel so unlovable.