…even if you haven’t figured it all out yet.
I haven’t. All I know are things I want more of or things I want less of. Things to hold, and things to let go.
To be honest, since we lost our child, it has been difficult envisioning a future. And, I suppose, in the depths of grief and alcoholism, if I could have contemplated one, it would have been simply, “anything but this”.
When I felt well enough to start working again, it was a brutal course. I was harrassed by a supervisor who knew of my PTSD, and would manipulate situations and other employees to trigger me. I was having anxiety attacks in the parking lot when I arrived for work. Needlessly to say, I walked out.
Several months after this, I began applying for jobs again, or rather, I tried to. I had no confidence in myself, no belief that I could handle the mental and emotional stress of corporate life. All of a sudden, my skills seemed irrelevant, my experience, worthless. I was scared, ashamed, full of doubt and anxiety – and at a point when I had hoped I was done with being broken.
And so, I made the “brave” choice of pursuing my lifelong passion, which is writing. I use quotes here, because whether the choice was in fact a brave one or not is a matter of perspective. Does the thought of having to go back to work outside the home still terrify me? Yes, it does. But so does the thought of writing, with nothing to show for it. I am invested emotionally in writing – whatever the form. Though I’m not prolific in any sense, it is like breathing for me. It is who I am, at my core. So, what’s my motivation here? Am I running away from something, or to something? Or, perhaps, a bit of both?
At this time, my husband and I make the decision to renew our connection with one another. We suddenly could see this huge chasm between us; the loss of intimacy for the sake of self-preservation, and we hungered to draw closer, and closer, and closer. And in the depth of this new intimacy, we discovered our capacity to include others in our love-life.
I know how very fortunate I am to live the life I do. To enjoy the freedom I do. And I do my best every day to be as grateful as possible for every blessing, because I know how quick and unexpectedly a blessing is stolen. And yet, I sit here, still writing about creating the life I want, when I know what I already have is more than enough.
So, I’m having a bit of an existential crisis. I feel raw and undone, as if layers of myself are being peeled away. It’s painful to see how much of your life is still controlled by fear. Too much still scares me; and I don’t want to run away anymore. Despite all I think I’ve learned, I realize I need to keep digging. I need to keep pushing myself to do the things that scare me…
because on the other side of all those fears is the life that I want.