the tunnel-vision and near-sightedness of extreme emotional pain are really quite frightening. in that moment, when you are so intensely overwhelmed, you may very well be absolutely certain that this will never get better. that you will never get over it, never be able to live with the pain.
in those moments, your pain is the only thing you know. and it is so all-consuming that you can’t imagine every resurfacing from its depths.
on tuesday, that was me.
i feel like i’m screaming into the worst headwind you’ve ever felt. screaming and screaming but not making a sound; it all gets pushed back down my throat. or maybe it’s being pushed back at the exact same rate i’m trying to expel it; in that, we’re creating this stunning equilibrium, the wind and i. a moment where movement ceases, molecules hang suspended in exquisite limbo.
there’s something frighteningly still laying in wait, somewhere deep in my solar plexus. i can feel it stir and tighten, a fetus of nesting emotion. and the longer i sit and wait, the more tightly wound it becomes. its potential energy can only accumulate so much before it explodes into a fireball of kinesis.
i don’t think i’ll be able to handle it when that happens.
i am very surely convinced that i cannot do this. not that i can’t do it anymore, which is my usual phrase. but no…i simply cannot do this. right here, right now. i cannot, in this moment, do…this. i am not a human being right now. i am a distended shell, fabrige about to shatter from the inside out. nothing appeals to me. smiling seems like the most extreme effort i can imagine. i’m exhausted in a way that sinks way deep into my bones. i feel as though, at any given moment, i could just collapse. and if i were to simply crumble…i don’t think i would care enough to expend the effort to get back up.
i was a disaster. a mess. and so deeply entrenched in my own disastrous messiness that i could see no way out. even when, twenty-four hours prior, i had been bubbling over with the giddy happiness of a new semester and beginning to teach and life in general.
how quickly it all can change.
on monday i loved life.
tuesday (monday night, really), everything came crashing down and it was a struggle to even function. and i was so enmeshed in the layers of my pain that i couldn’t see a way out. even though there was one, always will be one.
wednesday i had a sadness hangover. but i forced myself to at least smile. as the day went on, the effort involved to do so became less and less.
thursday, i felt like me again. with a little more experience and a bit of caution, yes. but the horrible apathy toward living that had engulfed me just a few days prior had lifted.
and so it goes.