Peaks and Valleys

It's time for a break. Not from stress, or the outside world. From myself. No “I think” or “I guess” - no doubt in that statement. It's right in front of me, every bit of it, and I'm still sitting on the sidelines, all but waving my white flag. It takes courage- real courage- to see the reality of things, when you've built wall after wall, higher and thicker, to defend yourself, your heart, your world. And I've done that. I felt I had no other choice- I was young and dumb, then older and “wiser”, then bitter and cynical. I lost my joy, my light, my way. I lost it. No one took it from me- I let it be taken by my own damn self. Insecurities, situations, people, actions, words... whatever. I tried so hard to plan for every what if that when the unthinkable did happen-and it did, more than once- I was completely knocked off my ass. I stopped writing, talking, expressing. What was the point, right? Someone will see it, judge it, use it, laugh at it, mock it, ignore it, fake it... the reasons were endless. I hit bottom. Not from what any of you would think of- some things do stay behind the curtain, at least the extent of it. Those who do know were involved, directly. I hit bottom, because of words in a box, and didn't realize it. I've been there ever since. It's been almost four years.

It had been one thing after another for... so...long. Almost all roads leading back to the same feelings, thoughts, places.. there was time apart, there was Jake's diagnosis, adjustment, more adjustment and more emotional warfare that I fought with no real valor. I'm not proud of myself, I never was. I'm not right. I'm not wrong. I just am. I reacted, overreacted, and ran. Emotionally, I ran from everyone- it's safer that way. I chewed and chewed and chewed on it. It ate at me, consumed me, drove me nearly out of my mind. It destroyed pieces of me I never knew I had. More because I chewed? Probably. I retreated, and didn't even know it. No one else did either- no one saw. That's what's so scary- I was so good at being angry or indifferent, outwardly, that no one ever knew what was really going on.

Fast forward a little. The bottom dropped right the fuck out. Yeah, you're caught up now. Talk about surprise- no one is more surprised by my emotions sometimes than me. I had no idea, none, how it would crash around me. All the walls, all the defenses- gone. There I sat, and you could probably smell the fear coming off me. Why should I lie about it? What do I have to hide? We've unearthed every skeleton in the closet lately, and a few we didn't even think about. I'm not going to stop doing that, saying it all and laying it out. I don't care anymore- almost.

But anyway- smell of fear. Talk about a rabbit- I was ready to bolt. Anywhere, anywhere- just get me OUT of here. We've been down that road before- never ends well. Then life happened. Then people started talking, I started listening. Every word I heard, read, was a stepping stone, a shove. I fought it. Surprise right? I knew better. I knew the ending to this story, right?

Wrong. When the subtle nudges weren't enough, The Man Upstairs reared back and kicked me, full force, in the ass. Tricky fellow. You wanted it, He said. You said it was ALL you ever wanted. TAKE IT. Sometimes it's not unanswered prayers- sometimes it's we'll see how it feels after this, this, that and all of this piles on you. What now? Do you still want it? Here are all the things you wanted to hear, to see, there's that damn smile you talk about all the time. You know, that one? Now what?

This is where I say neener neener, happily ever after. Wrong again. This is where I say wary, doubting, terrified, hopeful, wistful, thankful. This is where I FEEL. Not feel, not Feel, but FEEL. This is where the walls crashed and wouldn't go back up. Did I want them to? Sure did. Do I still? Sure do, sometimes. Because my mind still won't shut up. I am my own worst enemy. Me. I know it, I own it, and I'm doing what I can. This is the hard part. This is where it takes longer to redo, or undo I suppose, than it did for any damage to be done. This is the hard work part. Trust, belief, relief, hope, faith, love- those are the scary ones. Because it could all fall apart. It could all be gone in a second- I've been there, remember?
But, see, that's the thing. It never really did, did it? I wouldn't be in this chair, in this house, with these people, if it had. That's what I don't remember. But that's what I hear. Every day. I am loved beyond anything or anyone. Every day. I shy from that, you know? Outwardly. I almost cringe from it. Inside, that dumb kid does a happy dance. And I hate her for it. Truth, right? I hate her for it, because it scares me. It drives me crazy that it's true, that it does mean something that I'm still sitting in this chair, sleeping in this bed, past be damned. It makes me feel weak. Vulnerable. Open. I don't do vulnerable very well. But I'm not blind. Friends, family, music- it's odd the people who push you harder and farther ahead by simply knowing you well enough to hand you something and letting you do with it what you will. I'm paying attention- I know who knows me and who doesn't. Another interesting lesson.

So, it's all there, all the pieces. It's just up to me what to do with it. Up to me. I say it to myself, every day. Let go. I say that to. Let it go, wipe it clean. Stop doing this to yourself. Because, I am. Doing it to myself. Will it happen? Eventually, probably. Will I get it, breathe and bask in happy? Ehhhh... I'm a worrier either way with things. Life in general- I can agonize what color to paint my toes. Seriously. So, we'll see how it goes.

But this? This bullshit that I'm letting ruin my moments, our moments? I will conquer this. I'm going to keep finding me, just differently than I really imagined. I'm going to fall and fail and mess it up as I go, but I'm not going to give up or give in. I've already realized the most important thing. The monster in the closet? The big, bad, terrible thing? That ultimate boogeyman? Turns out I was looking in the wrong direction. I was looking out the window. Turns out, I should have been looking in the mirror.

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