Places to rest

It’s 5am. I can’t sleep. I have terrible vertigo and hives all over my body. I’ve been reading blog posts by Jenny Lawson and Will Wheaton about depression and anxiety and I’m curled up in tears and feeling less crushing alone in my black pit than I have in days. I’m really, really tired. I’ve been trying so hard to find a way through this godawful smog in my head, looking for hope like a starving person, doing my best to counter the black rain of failure and despair, yearning with everything in me to be able to feel the kindness and love people are giving me. Sometimes I can, for an hour or two. Often I can’t. I want to so badly, I do everything I can to hear and receive and take in and believe, but I’m on the other side of a wall. I don’t mean to be. I don’t want to be. I promise I’m trying, but it’s bigger than me. All the want in the world isn’t making it go away.

Reading tears in rain by Will Wheaton, I felt a sense of relief. That feeling like a failure and being a failure are not the same thing. That people who have successful careers also feel the crushing insecurity I’m struggling with. I’ve collected my box of art prints for the walkathon on Sunday and I think they’re beautiful, and at the same time there’s a kind of violent rejection of them, bile in my throat, fury and exposure and loathing and a desire to destroy them, to burn down all the tiny dreams that are still breaking my heart, still leaving me vulnerable to this feeling of failure, this sense of not ever being good enough. Quivering with distress I step back from them and try to breathe.

Yesterday morning I had terrible vertigo, I was crying out and holding onto the bed because the room was flipping around me like a car being tumbled down a cliff. Rose got me a vomit bag and cold water to sip, then held me tight and sang to be until I went back to sleep.

Last night I filled her water bottle and got her a vomit bag when the flashbacks got bad, held her close and sang to her until she fell asleep. Nights are hardest for her, mornings for me. We’re limping along together. How much I love her.

Two days ago we took a friends kids to the show together and it was a beautiful day, all day. We spent the whole day on toddler time, moving gently, lots of rest, lots of snacks. We got stuck with a half hour wait for the train at the end of the night and each took a girl to sing her to sleep. Rose with the 7 year old cuddled up and dozing under her arm, me with the little one in a sling pacing slowly around them. Each of us looking at the other with stars in our eyes. A quiet place, in the night between trains. No panic attacks and hardly any flashbacks that day.

I can’t beat it from inside. I watch for the windows when it’s less and do what I can then, take in what I can. I’m so tired, and so tired of feeling guilty and responsible. It’s a bit of cruel joke to feel so awful and feel worse about failing to stop myself feeling so awful. I don’t think I’m going to make this better, just breathe inside it, don’t destroy anything, and wait to heal. I’ll bloom again.

It’s not my fault, right? I don’t think it’s my fault. I didn’t mean it. I’d stop if I could. I’d make it all better if I could. I’m trying. And trying to find places I can rest from all the trying.

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