The road to wellness is paved with good intentions, a stellar support group, the knowledge gained by introspection and the lessons in courage taught by your doctors, teachers and life experience. We are given so many positive tools and maps to show us the way to being healthy and strong. But without will and desire, all of it means absolutely nothing. In the end, wellness will only be achieved if YOU want it bad enough to make it a priority.
I am sick again. More, I am tired of this seemingly endless struggle with my health and well-being. I am tired of being misunderstood. I am tired of writing on this theme. I am tired of being an issue. I am tired of understanding the source of my malaise. I am tired of having to find new reasons to justify my bad behavior. I am tired of ignoring that which makes me powerless. I am tired of feeling sad. I am tired of being angry. I am tired of the past. I am tired of distancing myself the people that reflect the versions of me that I no longer find relevant or fulfilling. I am tired of trying to explain my efforts to evolve and be a better me.
I can’t face the future because of the effort it takes to make me deal with the present.
I am tired of being my own worst enemy. I am my own saboteur.
In the weeks since beginning an incredibly fulfilling season on the road, the fizz and laughter of my being with some wonderful colleagues has long dissipated and now I feel so hollow and lost. Why? The hardest part of being away from home was coming back. The epiphanies uncovered on the road required strength to resolve and I cut off my own legs to stop from moving forward because my old nemesis, fear, rejoined my journey. And I let it.
I have so many questions to scream at the universe right now:
Why does it feel like betrayal to those when we try to break away from the pack to curate a life that is entirely our own?
Why do we punish those close to us because we refuse to add to the dysfunction that has become the dominant reality of the group?
Why is it declared selfish to want to find someone to love and be loved in return?
I explode without warning. Easier than before as no fuse is even present to ignite anymore. The insightful truths that took so long to understand have been swept aside with the impatient wave of a hand. You don’t get to say, “But what about how I feel?” or “I feel this way because…”
Instead you hear:
“It is your fault.”
“Get over it.”
“You’re such a drama queen.”
“Everything is about you.”
“Don’t be selfish.”
So, I eat. I eat to stay quiet. I eat to feel better. I eat to find some comfort. I eat to keep steady. I eat to forget. I eat to numb myself. I eat because I can’t do anything else but eat.
That’s the number of pounds gained since I lost my will. I replaced desire and passion with the desire to consume everything and anything again. Carbs, sugar, salt, material goods, all the old bogeymen from the past that haunt my house.
I am spiraling again. No pair of Gucci slippers can be clicked together into taking me back to my own private Kansas right now. The tightness of my clothes represents that which is strangling my ability to cope and take care of that which needs tending, my health. Yet, the difference from this fall from the healthy place is that I don’t want to die. I have something to achieve here. I still have my voice. And while the words that will pull me out of this morose space may not be within my grasp right now, I can see them. Even as my cowardly self says, “Run. Just run away.”
“No,” I say. “I was here first.”
We can only lead by example, right? I am not expecting to be fixed by anyone but me. As for those grappling with their own struggles, it is important to realize that people can only offer shelter from the storm for so long. Sooner or later, we all step into the healing warmth of the sun and move towards the lives we all richly deserve.
I think about the Irma Thomas song, “Breakaway,” the one that laments being unable to follow through and “leave town tomorrow” to leave a bad love behind. Earlier today, I felt that all was without hope, that I had succumbed to defeat and resignation. I thought about running away again. But as I write these final lines, I realize that is not the solution. But I do know what lies ahead is going to hurt like hell.
I know I will look back at this essay one day and smile, knowing that I did get through it. As will all those around me, the ones who represent all that I love in this chaotic world. I must break away from the version of me that revels in the mire that can only cause sickness and despair. I must not add to the 24.
And I won’t.