Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Kick

First off, YOU GUYS. That's all I have to say. (Ok, obviously not, since I wrote a whole paragraph here....) Your comments on my last post were amazing, the kind of furry, cuddly things that dreams are made of. I savored them all. I realized in the process that feeling the immense shame of opening that candy bar is part of the draw of it, strangely enough, the kind of "Look what a bad thing I am doing!" nonsense. And as I thought about all of your words, I wondered..."If we all do this, if we all feel this pain, this draw, this strangeness, is it really all that strange?" Yeah, it's probably not. And that's a helpful thing to remember the next time I'm at the convenience store, looking to be happy.

So yesterday was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. And I'll just come out and say that I didn't eat much of anything really, except for a single Lindt truffle and half a chicken breast. (Also: vodka). I was too busy having panic attacks and dealing with explosive stomach maladies.


At any rate, I survived. I think it is important to say that. Because at times yesterday, I didn't think I would. And it wasn't in that hyperbolic way either, the way you said you wouldn't survive running the mile in 8th grade gym or ONEMORESECOND if Derek from first period didn't call. If you deal with anxiety, I'm sure you can commiserate. I found myself at points closing my eyes and trying to will myself into a coma. Anything felt preferable to the reality of life at that moment. Anything.

But here I sit at work today, lip glossed and dressed. I didn't want to get up this morning, didn't want to have to slog through the day and deal with the uncomfortable realities of life (and let me just say here that no, I did not face any kind of crisis yesterday--there was a financial oversight and mistake--nothing that we all don't have to deal with once in a while). But I am here. The panic attack I had in my shower this morning told me I would not be. It snarled at me, and told me that I was on a hopeless road, full of drama and shame and more of the same. Basically, my panic attacks are all an embodiment of Nirvana songs.

And in that moment, with shampoo in my hair, I told it to fuck off. I didn't even wish it politely adieu, which was what a good Southern lady truly would have done. I was more like, "Hey you. Fat kid in the flannel. FUCK. OFF."

My life the past year or so has not been fun. I mean, I can't complain, not really. I have a place to sleep at night, beautiful children and food in my belly. I have a job and I get the joy of laughing a lot. But I am in a place that I do not want to be, both physically and mentally. And the thought of this being my future is enough to send me into full on shuddering. Panic attack inducing is the thought of this being the future for my kids. So I've made these half-hearted pronouncements of moving, but without any real plan or really anywhere to go, and real substantive change on the horizon. In fact, Matt and I just kind of shut down talking about it. We started thinking about just moving to a new town in our same general area.

But then yesterday happened. And in the middle of it, we're gnashing it out on the couch and I'm starting to think that absolutely nothing ever will ever just fucking work. And I'm mad, and he's mad, and no one is thinking rationally. And then we went to the grocery store. And I bought us some truffles and we came home and sat out on our porch and decided to move. And while Alice ran around like a crazy person and Sam tried his best to eavesdrop on our conversation, we started hatching out a plan that just might fucking work.

And that was the kick in that pants that I needed--that we needed. And after my momentary freak out in the shower this morning, I feel like I did when I was in college. All shiny and full of hope. I'm no longer deluded enough (as I was in college!) to think that everything will fall into place like magic (LET'S GET IN THE CAR AND DRIVE TO CA WITH NO JOBS AND JUST KIND OF FIND A HOUSE AND STUFF!). But I now have the years of hard work to tell me how to make it happen.

This morning I called my college's alumni association and set up a phone call tomorrow to get info on our alumni job connection services. Matt has already gotten a good lead on a job. I took a deep breath and made out a rudimentary budget for what we will need to do to get started (and this a huge step--budgets make me gag). Will it happen? FO SHO? I don't know. But I'd be willing to bet on myself. And before yesterday, betting on me would have been like betting on a really fat horse with diabeetus.

So what's my point? That I am awesome? No. It's just that hope is really all you need. You think it is love, especially when you are young, but love can die a horrible, nasty death when there is no hope. Hope is the fuel that keeps it all alive. And really, as long as you have that, you can do anything. Even if it is just make it through one truly shitty day.

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