*****WARNING: Some NSFW language in this post*****
This was one of those weeks where I literally wanted to stand in front of my calendar and just….
It felt like everything that could go wrong went wrong. It was not just in one area though. Life flung bullshit my way from every which direction. Shit not only hit the fan but splattered across my face.
Over the last two weeks, my health went to shit with my worst flare up on fibromyalgia pain since I have been diagnosed. This led to missing a week’s worth of work, leaving early on another day, and dragging my carcass through the remaining work days. Spending so much time in bed was also not conducive for my mental health. It gave my thoughts an opportunity to ruminate deep into the dark abyss we dub depression. Usually, if I felt down, I would engage in one of my many coping skills like writing, playing pool or basketball, or even just going for a walk. I did not possess the physical energy to follow through however. Even on the days I went to work, I came home and crashed. All of my energy was spent just to get through eight hours.
My support system felt dissolved as well. It was due to a clusterfuck of family drama, trouble with the dating scene, and isolation. Without getting into specifics, the closest forms of support (i.e. parents, significant others) were not there. In fact, I felt distanced from them both emotionally and physically. Of course, I also was not in the mood to talk to anyone and just downright miserable even without the drama.
Even though it is stressful in nature, I can usually fall back on my work as an area of stability. Working in mental health, I pride myself on being able to help others. I like to think I am pretty damn good at it. Being out of work though makes me feel quite the opposite. I feel like I let my clients and coworkers down. It feeds right into a core belief of mine of “feeling like a failure.” It does not help that when I returned to work that there were rumors of big changes coming to my program.
My foundation was rocked. My core felt unsteady. I was standing on the fissure, as the tectonic plates shifted. Everything seemed uncertain and out of my control. So many questions crossed my mind. I was genuinely scared. My fear of the unknown had resurrected.
Fear of the Unknown.
When I thought about those words, I thought back to my senior year of high school. That was a tumultuous year for my mental health. I had panic attacks three to four times a day. I was an honors student who was at risk of not graduating. My family was in shambles, and my social support was in the shitter.
I fell back on writing, specifically poetry, to process my feelings. There was one poem titled “An Instant” that described my realization.
Her gazing eyes peer upon the very depth of your being,
The piercing blue impacts heart and soul,
A harpoon with a saturated tip,
Frozen in my tracks,
Motionless, speechless, stunned,
At once, hatred subsides,
Fear vanishes all but one,
Fear of the unknown.
You can interpret as you will. For me, this was the metaphor to describe life as this beautiful being that could cause chaos. Seventeen-year-old me was wise in the sense that he realized that change is the only constant. I could not control everything, and that it was a hard pill to swallow. The only parts I was in control of were my feelings, my thoughts, my decisions, and my reaction. However, living in a state of fear caused those exact things to control me instead.
You know what? There will be a lot of questions we ask along the way. Most of them will go unanswered. Some of them we probably do not want answered. This is life though, and that is okay. Through the ups and down, I made it this far.
Life gives us power in one regard. It gave me a choice. I could live in fear, or I can say “fuck you” and move forward.
-The Caring Counselor