I feel broken.
In truth it has been building for days. That palpable sense of unease. That dark cloud looming on the horizon. The storm that was swelling.
It just let loose. It’s flooding my mind.
Thing is, I’m not going to let it stop me from doing what I have to do. I’m not going to let my mind defeat me the way it used to even though right now I just want to curl up on the sofa.
As I’m jotting this down I’m trying to make dinner. I’ve opened the wrong cupboards looking for ingredients I know are not there. I know the potatoes are kept in the tall cupboard beside the fridge. I looked in the one that contains the canned goods. I know the vegetable oil is in the cupboard above the oven. I opened the cupboard that contains the plates. There are no cooking items or foodstuffs even in there.
My phone is buzzing. Notifications from WordPress. I know I have to be respectful. Especially to the people I do respect. I know there are comments to reply to, posts I’ve saved that I have scanned but not read. I just can’t face them this minute. I know I will.
Sometimes it’s easy to hide behind words on a screen. Words can belie how low you are really feeling. I can’t even do that right now.
So what happened?
I’ve been allowing certain thoughts to enter my mind. Thoughts I have no right to entertain. Dwelling on the past. A love that was lost.
I made the mistake of reading something about heartbreak and loneliness. I really should have waited until I was in a better frame of mind. It was a beautiful post. But like the spectre of lost love it is haunting me.
My son is in the living room waiting for his dinner. He’s watching YouTube. He has no idea how I’m feeling.
Earlier I saw a girl I know but haven’t seen in a while. She was in a hurry. Literally running past me. She smiled, said: “Hello Chris”, as she was passing. I said hello back.
It made me realise that with the exception of my soon-to-be ex-wife I haven’t actually spoken to another woman besides my mother and sister in weeks, maybe more.
I saw a few posts earlier about being grateful. The rational side of my mind is telling me I have a lot to be grateful for. I have a son who loves, and lives with, me. Few separated men have that blessing. I am in good health. I have good friends. A house. A job.
The irrational side is screaming at me to ignore all that.
Anyone who reads what I write will notice one thing. I write from the heart. Most times that heart is filled with love, life, positivity, optimism.
Right now that heart is a bit too heavy. I can feel its weight.
Dinner is almost ready. I have to go for now. The cat is still at the window. She’s telling me not to forget…
What you read above was a glimpse of what happens when things get on top of me. We all have our little demons. And mine was prodding me with its pitchfork of self-pity, loneliness, negativity and sadness.
At the same time I was trying to regain control. I still knew the daily things I had to do. I must do if I’m to make things better. I knew that at times like that the most important thing is to keep going. Keep persisting (Thanks cat). There’s a lot to be said about movement.
I gave my son his dinner. We sat and ate together and talked about Fortnite. Just as we were finished his friends called and he went out to play.
It took me longer than usual to clean up and get the dishes done. I put the washing machine on after. There was a moment where I could have easily just gave in. Said I was done for the day. The person I was before wouldn’t even have hesitated.
But I forced myself out to my little gym. The routine I have seemed harder than usual. I made a point of not cutting it short. I haven’t done that and have no intention to. I’m not selling myself short anymore.
Afterwards I had a quick shower. Normally then I do a bit of writing. Work on my blog and other little projects. Not tonight. I needed time being close to my son. We just sat on the sofa the rest of the evening. My mood had lifted.
His mother called after a while. We had a civil conversation. At the back of my mind I still felt the regret. The regret that the person I was had pushed her away. That’s on me and me alone.
When she left it was time for bed. My son and I both went upstairs. As he fell asleep I kept thinking about how I no longer have the luxury, nor time, not to get my daily tasks done.
I reminded myself of what it takes to forge the life you want. I reminded myself of all those successful people I am constantly listening to. I reminded myself.
So up I got. The frantic train of thought from earlier got typed up. The addition made to show how things went after. And now I’m going to do a little more work elsewhere.
But there is a point to the post. It’s actually a point taken from one of my earliest posts. The one entitled A Low Day. This was my first real low day since then but the message is even more pertinent now. As much for myself or anyone else.
“The biggest struggle is always going to be with yourself and your own mind. If you want to be better it means you are not entirely happy with the you now. Do you really want that person controlling you? Or do you want to endure your negative feelings and forge a better, happier you?
“These days, the low dark days, the days that are harder than most, are the defining days. These are the ones that have the potential to break you. But if you see that and realise that your biggest gift, your own advancement and growth, can be bourne from days like this you see them as something far greater. They are an opportunity. A chance to rise to your own challenge. Find the gift in them and give light to that darkness.”
It’s getting close to 12pm. It might be dark outside. But I’ve found my light. I hope anyone else who is struggling finds theirs to.