The water is moving faster today, lake currents driven by the wind and the temperature change and the recent rainfall that we thought might drown us all. It was comforting to me. Comforting to see a visual depiction of how I feel. On the outside, I go to work and I come home and I care for my family and I talk to friends (only 2, but they count), and I look like a normal person. But on the inside I am this water, last week calm and steady, this week rushing and choppy, but trapped by the shores and unable to escape.
My chest hurts and my thoughts race and I want to run, but the running would use up the energy I have left. I see these trees and they’re swaying and bending, but they’re surviving, and I guess that’s a picture of me too. Thank God for strong root systems, right?
I’m just so tired. Tired of figuring out what to do next or which way to go. Tired of missing my mother. Tired of feeling like I’m barely holding it together. Tired of seeing my kids struggle. Tired of watching my dad suffer. Just. So. Tired. But what are the options here? Give up? I would lose all respect for myself. So I keep going, going, going. Some days it feels like I might even be doing a respectable job. Days like today though, remind me I am human.
I talked to my therapist about it, and about how I used to worry that things would never get better, but now I worry that things will get better, and I’ll actually be content, and then the bottom will fall out and loss will hit again, and the pain will come again, and I’ll be sorry that I allowed myself to feel happy because I’m not sure it’s worth the grief that follows. She told me that sounds a lot like fear is running the show. So today I’m thinking about that, and I decided she’s right. It’s absolutely fear talking. And since I’ve had so much experience lately with the things I’m afraid of actually happening, I’ve convinced myself that this is the pattern for the rest of my life.
I’ve struggled with fear for as long as I can remember. Fear leads to this need to either isolate or hold on too tightly, to run or to hide, to micromanage or to throw my hands up and stop trying. I wondered how many of the decisions I’ve made up until this point have been driven by fear, and I think the number might be a little higher than I’d like. Fear of losing someone or something. Fear of being alone. Fear of failure. Fear of being seen for who I am and having someone find me lacking. It’s exhausting.
So today, watching these currents, I decided to stop making decisions based out of fear. It is not serving me or my family or my needs. It is not healing my grief or encouraging my spirit. The point of the currents, whether fast or slow, is not their speed. The point is that they are moving. Changes are happening below the surface. Movement is being made. And it’s beautiful. It doesn’t matter if it’s peaceful or chaotic. It matters that there’s no stagnation. And all of the sudden, the wind is calm.