Sometimes we can get so tightly wrapped up in our own worlds, our own heads, our own stories, we cut off the outside world. Not on purpose. Not really. But it gets hard to let anyone in.
(I’m speaking for myself here although I doubt I’m alone in this).
Maybe it’s the fear of other people knowing I can’t handle everything. That I get scared. Terrified. Incapacitated at times.
And sometimes—this might sound strange—I can’t even let me help myself. I know I can breathe through things. I can meditate. Do yoga. Get involved in a project. Listen to music. Call a friend. Find a shoulder to lean on. Ask for help. But when I’m frozen tightly in that one spot, I can’t get past the dread that everything will shatter into millions of pieces.
Last night I woke up countless times. My ears have been filled with fluid for a couple of days and sleeping hasn’t been easy, especially with the memory of a burst eardrum resurfacing with every slosh (my left eardrum perforated two times in less than a year). Plus, I had taken mucinex before bed and was outrageously thirsty which led to copious amounts of pee. At one point, around 3 or so, I woke up happy. More than happy: gleeful. Literally almost giggling out loud. It was bizarre. Freaky really. I’ve woken up grumpy, cranky, put upon, annoyed, over-tired, anxious, nervous, still trapped in one of my cruise ship/hometown nightmares about not being able to get to where I’m going, but never this. I was so damn happy I had to consciously calm myself down.
And I realized being happy scares the shit out of me. Being so in the moment that I lose track of that voice, that commentator, that negative force spinning stories of doom and woe, is terrifying.
But this tiny feeling has been growing the past couple of days. Everything is ok. In fact, in spite of the doom and gloom attitude that’s my default mode, everything is fine. Even if there’s stuff to deal with, crises to handle, cranky kids to contend with, work disasters to manage, anxiety struggling to take control again I don’t have to wallow in it. I can float through and know, so down deep inside I rarely let myself go there, that I’ll be ok in the end, even if moments get really rough.
I can’t do everything, not all the time. Perhaps, in admitting both to myself and to other people that I need support, nurturing, help, I won’t have to hit rock bottom first. And in letting go of the straightjacket control I keep on myself, my heart will start to heal.
There are glimmers it’s doing just that.