Waking Up with Despair

I woke up crying today for no reason and I can’t seem to stop. Drove to Tim Horton’s to pick up a coffee because coffee fixes everything, but not today.
While I write this I’m eating half a grapefruit. I don’t know why it is that grapefruit tastes better when it’s cut in half as opposed to being peeled and eaten like an orange, it just is. It’s sweet and juicy. Perfect for waking up my taste buds, which in all seriousness might be the only part of me that wakes up today.
I’m going to have some leftovers from yesterday’s breakfast. A zucchini, tomato, and mozzarella dish sprinkled with parmesan cheese and chopped basil. Delicious! Leftovers are great for days when I don’t have the energy or desire to open a box of cereal.

I shouldn’t be feeling this way. I made some big changes recently to improve my life. Changes that should make my life easier and give me peace of mind, but I feel the same. Selling my home and moving to the country was a good financial decision that also brought a decent measure of calm. I love a man who cherishes me. We have common goals and dreams, and our time together is filled with love and laughter.

It’s funny how we look outside ourselves to fix problems on the inside. I’ve looked to meds and cognitive behaviour therapy to alleviate my symptoms. I’ve turned to God, drink, and love to make me happy. I lose myself in facebook, internet games, and television to escape myself. I make plans for the future because when the future arrives I will be better. Right?

When I get right with God, when I align my thoughts, words, and actions with the universe, when I take up yoga, start meditating, eat a clean diet, practice mindfulness, find my purpose, find my passion, do random acts of kindness, etc., my world will be right as rain. But it won’t, will it?

We are a society bombarded with self-help advice that I honestly don’t have the energy or motivation to act on. If I had it I guess I wouldn’t need it.

I’m starting to feel better as I write this, that and eating breakfast. It won’t always work. There will and have been days where I get up, eat and go back to bed. And sometimes those days turn into weeks and then stretch into months. An existence, that for anyone, will take its toll on one’s self-esteem.

When I woke up today, I didn’t think I would make it past breakfast. But here I am feeling stronger and ready to do a few chores before I take a nap. My belly full, my story on paper and my tears dried. Maybe, for today, that’s all I need to find a little happiness.


The Bleak Hours

The hours, days, months, and even years of living in despair – the bleak hours.

Despair creeps in like a slow rolling fog. An insidious cloud at the edge of my peripheral vision. There are always signs that the bleak hours are coming; the flu-like symptoms, lack of interest, lack of energy and denial.

So, I sleep more, I do less, and I watch my self-esteem crumble. I can’t stay on top of my life, my simple, uncomplicated life. Most people work full-time, take care of a home, raise kids, hang out with friends and spend time indulging hobbies. I don’t work, live alone with 4 dogs, and can live my life any way I choose, and I still can’t make it happen. I have a pity-party, I feel worthless and I sleep to escape my dark thoughts.

Yesterday, I cried off and on, for no reason. I think the pain wells up deep inside of me and spills out of my eyes. I tell myself that if I don’t get a handle on the crying I will have to go to the hospital. I can feel myself breaking apart inside. I’ve been there before and when I get to the breaking point, I scare the hell out of people.

If I’m going to the hospital, I have a few things to take care of first. As I make a mental note of what I need to do I find the dark thoughts lifting. Preparing for a breakdown is too much work, so I start tidying up to distract myself. It works, and I find my internal drama quiets, allowing me to have a pleasant evening.

After a fitful night’s sleep, I wake exhausted and stumble to let the dogs out. I go back to bed for a couple of hours before I decide to get up and head for the dog park. There are other people there and we chat, but I feel detached and heavy in my body and my spirit. I can’t wait to get home.

I pick up a coffee and muffin on the way home and here I sit, browsing facebook and feeling restless. I’ll have a nap soon and sleep away the afternoon, quieting all the noise in my head. Napping is my favorite escape from mental anguish. When I wake up I will feel refreshed and in a better position to fight the chaos in my mind and body. I’ve been here before and I know this will pass, after all, God is with me and He will carry me to the other side.

The bleak hours are always there, hovering on the outskirts waiting for an opportunity to settle in my spirit. This is my reality. Time spent during the bleak hours serves to make me stronger and more appreciative of the beautiful, joyful moments. Moments that fill me with hope for a better day and a better life without the bleak hours.