So I had an ear infection, and I believe I blew out my ear drum. I can’t hear much.
I think I could imagine that such an experience could be peaceful – a brief respite from the noise and chaos of everyday life.
That’s not how it feels.
It feels really scary.
I feel like I’ve been sitting here in my own world, still a part of everything but watching it more from a distance. I can hear and I can talk, but I feel like there’s a veil up, and I can’t quite touch the world. I can’t reach beyond it to anyone else. Everyone is a hare’s breath away.
And when you are talking about isolation, a hare’s breath might as well be a continent.
I’ve been really sad lately. And anxious.
There’s no reason really. Nothing horrible has happened. Everyone is still standing.
I think perhaps it has been the stress of the last few months, and possibly most of all the acute stress during January.
I’ve come down from it; the adrenaline has lowered. But now in its wake, I don’t know what to cling to or where to turn.
I need security. I need to know what is solid and what can stand and what will be there and what can surround me. I don’t know how to go out into the world without that.
And I feel like the last few months have shaken that.
You come so close to losing so much, and you can’t go back to how things were. You sometimes can’t even find yourself in the wreckage.
And so I’m sitting here in my silence, and I can’t distract myself with a million thoughts or conversations. Even the words I speak to myself in my head are muted by the ringing in my ears.
So instead of being able to talk myself into the light, I find myself sort of stuck in the sadness.
And I know it will pass. So will the doubts and fears and insecurities and the onslaught of criticisms I shoot at myself. For awhile at least.
But for tonight they stay.
I didn’t ask for this. For TJ’s illness or for the fear or the terror or the uncertainty. Or the anxiety of the OCD or the depression. Or even for the ear infection.
And sometimes that makes me mad. I didn’t sign up for this. I don’t want it. Take it away.
But I know that’s silly. We don’t sign up for our struggles. But they are our greatest teachers. They are what will soften our edges until we emerge a better person. They are the inevitability of life.
But sometimes I still rage against them. They still overwhelm me. And I still feel they have taken too much from me.