There's an old adage about how it's not the fall from great heights that kills you; it's the stopping. The hitting the ground. I don't remember the punchline specifically, but you get the point.
On the TV show In.tervention, the talk a lot about the addict having to find his or her "bottom" before any real change will take place. Aside from the obvious joke about being able to find your own ass, the idea makes sense.
Is this going to be the end of me?
I don't think so. I'm not sure, but I don't think so.
It's been a really bad couple of weeks. Even as I type that, I can feel my eyes tingle with tears. The pressure is building with school, the relief of wedding drama has ended and I'm looking at the next nine months being filled with mental and emotional exhaustion.
I don't know what to do. I have two papers to write in the next 2 weeks. Ordinarily, I'd say that I know I can do this. That all I have to do is give them something reasonably coherent and I'll be okay. I can "go for the bronze" this time.
And yet I still resist. Is it that I don't think I can do it? Is it that I don't want to? Do I just want special treatment, for someone to say, "hey, don't worry about it. let's scratch all that and we'll just start fresh in the fall"?
The thing is, That's essentially what I'm getting, I just need to show good faith effort.
I can't seem to make myself do it. When I pull out the books, I cry. When I open the documents, I cry.
When I think about it, I cry.
It just occurred to me that maybe I'm just trying to pretend that none of this ever happened. The reason I have to do this now didn't happen. Isn't real. Wasn't real.
I'm really stubborn. And when I was a kid, if I didn't want to do something, I just wouldn't do it. I didn't put up a lot of fights; mostly, I'd just say, "oh, yeah, uh huh..." and then do what I wanted to.
I won't say that it hasn't crossed my mind that maybe I should just quit school entirely. That I've lost all the hope and conviction a person needs to complete something like this. That I'm really just lazy and don't want to have to do the work.
That I'm finding reasons not to complete this.
When I was little, I was very shy. I would go days without talking, sometimes. I didn't know how to reach out to people, how to make friends. How to talk to people. Being alone was relatively easy. Rejection hurt far more. If I don't try, I don't get burned, don't get hurt.
In therapy this week, I realized that I've become afraid to want anything. A baby. A career. The two biggest, most important things outside of my relationship with my husband. I can still remember that moment -- I've mentioned it here multiple times -- that I realized I was on my way to everything I ever wanted, and that I was happy. Maybe a month later I lost the boys.
I still have trouble focusing my mind on anything else. What's the point in hoping, in wanting, in enjoying anything? It's all going to go away anyway.
It sounds contrived. Self-pitying. Maybe a little suicidal. Nihilistic? I don't know. Probably.
"If I can't have that, I don't want anything."
Yeah, that's mature. Realistic. But I think that's part of where it comes from.
I can't trust in anything anymore. I don't know if I can risk investing in anything, to really enjoy anything when I know it can be snatched away. For no reason. With great pain.
Part of me wants to say "Screw that. I'm not letting the universe ruin my life." I've had loss. I've been knocked down when I was just getting my balance. I've seen my family and friends hurt by the vagaries of the universe: illness, death, other loss. One bad thing on top of another. And another.
What's the point of trying?
And I look at my husband, who despite all his pain, despite his losses and challenges, during some of the worst times in his life, accomplished great things, his degree, the beginning of his career. Head down and moving forward.
I'm not there yet. The self-pitying contrarian in me says, "Screw you. What's the point of it all?" I can't go back, but feels like too much work to find hope in the wreckage. The way forward.
Then the contrarian says, "No way, you're not going to let this be the end of you. You want to do this. You can do this. This is a great reason to get to work."
And I think, "But I can't. I don't know how to do this. I don't want to do this. I don't know what to do. I can't seem to make myself do anything."
This is stupid. I can't even form coherent thoughts in my journal.* How am I going to get anything else done?
How do you know when you've hit bottom?
*I can't tell you how many posts are sitting in my drafts folder because I just gave up on them.