It’s Tuesday night, and I just finished an intense cycling class. I started getting into the routine of working out and it was feeling so good, but this past week life took over, making working out the lowest on the list of priorities. However, since stopping, I’ve been feeling down. I’m waking up in morning with a headache, struggling to get out of bed, and truly feeling unmotivated to do anything. Almost like a deflated balloon. I try to solider on, putting a smile on, acting like everything is just great, when the reality is I just want to crawl in a hole. I recognize that I don’t allow myself to be sad or express it without attaching it to some kind of scrutinizing wrongness. I always expect myself to be happy, never upset or frustrated, withdrawn or depressed. I have held myself to this standard for most of my life and it’s exhausting. I recognize fully that I am so very blessed in comparison to the majority, so I hold any upset I have with an element of shaming. Still, the feelings are real as they run through my body, infiltrating the way the world looks. When I am in this state I notice the things plaguing me come to the surface aggressively. Big glaring things, to small insecure things are all of equal importance during these dark moments.
One such experience was the feeling of pressure of an upcoming birthday dinner. A rush of insecure feelings about what I’m going to wear, how I’m going to look, if I will feel received well, if I am comfortable and safe, and moreover, why do I care so much. It’s ironic that the very things that I tell my girls not to worry about are the very things that plague me. I look at Instagram late at night and try hard not to compare myself to the beautiful, edited pictures of others peoples lives. I am surrounded by so many physically beautiful women, and as much as I don’t want to compare myself to anyone, I find myself doing that very thing. The very thing I tell my daughter’s not to do. Sure I love being included in all the fun social events, but if I’m honest, the experience causes me anxiety, because I feel so separate.
As I was cycling in my class, I kept thinking about how I just want to sit down and write, unlocking these emotions and get them out of my body on to paper. The experience is cathartic to me, almost like I’m extracting this thing that I judge so deeply in myself, and putting it elsewhere because holding it inside is just too overwhelming. When I’m in this experience, I can’t write music or sing and somehow the world that I want so much to experience daily is grey. Every failure comes glaring full force. As much as I want to be happy and live in gratitude all the time, that’s not my reality. Maybe it’s hormones, maybe its the mind and heart of an artist, maybe it’s the plight of the sensitive person, or maybe it’s just what the human experience is. It doesn’t matter, it’s real and I’m owning it. Today I’m holding all of my broken parts and sharing them as a living breathing part of me. I share this window of an aspect of myself because it is about as real as I can be. Yes, this darkness is fleeting, and while being in it feels scary and unending, I’m still sharing myself in hopes of spreading some faith, solidarity and compassion for anyone out there who may be plagued with darkness. I feel you and wish you strength and endurance as you wait for the sun to shine again, because it always does.