Monday, September 30, 2013

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

I am riding a very unpleasant solo teeter totter these days.  When you're at the top, you've got a long way to fall.  When you're at the bottom, you've got to expend a lot of effort to move upward.  While you teeter totter by yourself, you can't stay always end up back down at the bottom, but it's only worthwhile if you're trying to get to the top again.  So you find yourself bouncing back and forth, feeling good at the top for a second, realizing quickly that you're going to come crashing back down and then sitting at the bottom mustering enough energy and courage to try to reach the top again.

I cannot find a balance, a pleasant place in the middle when I'm not dreading the descent or struggling to rise.   More than in such a long time, I have moments of wonder, happiness, hope even.  But the highs are fleeting and the courage it takes to do the things that feel like highs right now is so delicate that when I fall back to the ground with a thud, my resolve is as bruised as my body would be.

The greatest struggle is to keep trying and not give up saying, "You just can't do it.  You're not capable."  But I feel like I just can't do it.  It's too hard.  There's too much damage.  The cycle has gone on for too long for me to change it.  I'm not even content to sit at the bottom of the teeter totter and forget trying to go back up.  I want to just climb off of the ride and lay down somewhere far away where I won't have to see the teeter totter mocking my failure.

Today, I took great strides.  I went into work.  I organized.  I spent hours here.  I went through emails and responded to some.  I brought my pup with me to keep me company and to help with my panic attacks.  I felt really good being here.  I was even brave enough to walk down the hall with the dog to get him some water.  I tried again later, needing to use the bathroom, when I thought I heard someone coming.  I didn't just take two steps back, I turned and ran.  I'm so tired of being a coward.

I remember a time when I was strong.  I was good at things.  I was funny.  I didn't want to claw off my own skin.  I want to get back there.  I want to be speaking at gatherings and planning conferences and making friends and smiling at my neighbors.  I don't want to spend anymore time being afraid of what everyone must know about me (you know, the imaginary sign I am wearing) and what everyone must think of me, and worse, that everyone wants me to be suffering for the damage I've done.

I want to be happy.  I want to take steps forward.  I want to laugh on the playground instead of thinking about how it mimics how I feel about my life.

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