Tonight I Am Heavy (But There Is Hope)

woman standing in front of mirror
Daniel Garcia / Unsplash

I am heavy. That is the simplest way I can come up with to try to explain it. I just don’t feel quite right. It’s like walking on eggshells, but I’m cautious of myself instead of someone else. I keep turning each corner while holding my breath. It’s like part of me is anticipating it. Part of me is expecting it to be there lurking and waiting for me in the shadows. And yet, I am not prepared. Nothing can really prepare you, no matter how many times you’ve been down this road before.

Maybe it is the weather. Or maybe it is because this is a season of transition. It doesn’t make sense, even to me, even though I am living it. I’ve been told on a multitude of occasions, and I’d like to agree, that I am a pretty self-aware individual. But this is something I cannot pinpoint. People say “what was the trigger?” I don’t know. Would you believe me if I said there truly isn’t one? In all honestly, I think the trigger might be the mere absence of a trigger.

Triggers make sense. I get them. I know strategies to avoid and prevent them. I know ways to identify them. I’ve learned how to cope when they happen.  I’m so perplexed right now though because my fingers are prepared to point, but nowhere seems right.I am heavy.

The kind of heavy that makes you move a little slower. It makes breathing a little harder. It makes the world look so fast, and makes the thought of trying to keep up with the pace exhausting itself. Getting out of bed takes extra effort. I’ve always been a heavy sleeper, but once awake I am an annoyingly peppy morning person. But right now, getting dressed feels exhausting. Putting on my makeup seems like such an accomplishment. Just showing up to class takes everything out of me. I want to call it a day before my 8am class even starts.

I think the hardest thing is, when you’re known for being nothing short of the energizer bunny on a day to day basis, you cause a scene if you are simply quiet. If I don’t make eye contact with my professor, crack jokes, and smile at my classmates, it’ll blow my cover. It’s not that I don’t want to be engaged present and joyful, it is just that I feel so empty and doing any more than just going through the motions is giving more of myself than I have to give. And yet I continue to do it.

Because what if I act the way I’m feeling? What if I slouch in my seat and stare at the wall? What if I don’t acknowledge those around me, and I embrace my exhaustion? I’ll tell you what. It causes somewhat of a scene. It causes worry. And the worry often comes with pain. And seeing those who know me on any level feel pain in regard to me, honestly just makes me heavier. It makes it harder.

What if someone asks if I’m ok? Do they really want to know? If I tell the truth, will it push them away? Will we both walk away feeling worse? If I smile and say “I’m great” does that really make their concern leave? Does it make my heaviness dissipate? Or will they feel dismissed, and I feel even more alone?

You see, it’s exhausting to even think about. My brain is so exhausting. I am tired, and I am heavy. And I can’t begin to take the weight off of my shoulders, when I don’t even know how to identify what the weight is.

My world is racing faster than ever. And I feel sluggish at best. Slow and steady wins the race they say. But it’s hard to stay steady when you are unsure if the finish line really exists.

I do not lack hope. I believe deeply in hope. Sometimes I just don’t know how to tap into it. Sometimes I don’t know how to let that carry me.

Misunderstood feels like a theme in my life lately. I feel misunderstood by the world around me. I feel misunderstood by my peers. And yet I don’t know how to help them understand, because I don’t know what is going on inside me either.

What I do know, is that whatever this is, it has come and gone before. The darkness, it is lingering. It’s even inviting me in. Honestly, it even sounds enticing on some days to surrender to the darkness, rather than crawl through life exhausted. But even when I’m heavy. Even on nights like tonight when I can’t even crawl. I will sit here. I will acknowledge the heaviness. I’ll even listen to the pleas of the darkness and hear out it’s lies that never seem to get anymore original. And even though I don’t have the strength to run far away from this madness. I won’t take a single step closer to it. I am tired. I am heavy. But being heavy makes you hard to move. And I refuse to move closer to the darkness.

I’ve believed the lies of darkness and followed them down the rabbit hole. I’ve done that many times. I know where it leads. And the familiarity of that makes it feel like maybe it is where I belong after all. But I won’t fall for that. I don’t know what lies ahead. I don’t know how far ahead I must travel to feel full and not heavy. To feel alive and free. But if I want to rebuild my life in a place where flowers bloom and not whither. If I want to bloom, and not whither,

I’m going to have to choose the uncertainty of hope, over the certainty of pain.

Tonight, I will take shelter. I’ll make camp here in the uncomfortableness. I will not regress. I will wait out the storm. And when the sun appears tomorrow, I will take another step. I will move forward. I will follow light and not darkness. I will choose healing. And I will hope. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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