She keeps striking out in the darkness,
but there is no one there to fight.
The shadows dance and slip away,
and she is exhausted to her very soul,
sparring with aggressors that don’t exist.
How to be successful in battle
when the one she fights
is on the inside?
I’m praying every chance I can get
God please show me what to do,
I’m struggling, please guide me.
In the morning I wake up thinking
I choose to love myself
because I deserve my love.
I keep telling my story.
It gets exhausting telling my story.
I tell it to my friends. Therapists.
Anyone who will listen.
They all say, You got this.
It will all be okay in the end.
But I want someone to rescue me.
I want someone to come along
and make these problems disappear.
And God, Grace, The Universe,
or is it just my luck,
continues to send me people
who listen to my story
tell me You got this
and who walk away.
I need to solve my own problems.
Apparently, I need to realize
that I’m stronger than this.
Apparently, I need to walk this path alone.
There are people cheering on the sidelines,
but I guess I need to walk this path alone.*
*And I have to tell you, it’s lonely down here in this big black hole…
I’ve been working my @ss off,
trying to boost my finances
for what will come.
I’m tired, overhwhelmed,
my body aches, my mind is fuzzy,
and I’m flooded with a sense of futility.
And it hits me…
I’m doing what my
grandmothers and grandfathers did…
I am struggling just to get by.
I thought when I married him
I’d be taken care of.
I’d raise our children
and take care of the house
and he would take care of us.
But that dream was shattered
in an ugly, unkind way.
How can my faith in life be restored?
My family struggled through
the Great Depression.
And countless ancestors before them
struggled through poverty, famine,
sickness, and endless toil…
and through it all…
they somehow survived to procreate.
And so I was given a chance at life.
Sometimes I wish I hadn’t been given this chance.
If I had known I would end up here,
wondering where I’ll live
and if I’ll have the mental fortitude to keep going,
I’m not sure I would’ve signed on.
What’s the point of living
when you’re struggling just to get by?
And I’m being asked to take on
and even greater challenge…
be strong for my progeny,
give them a reason to keep going,
pretend through it all
that I’m good at this,
that I like this,
that this is all ok.
Hats off to all the single moms out there
who managed to pull this off…
you deserve an award for your performance.
But frankly I resent being here.
I resent the weight of this burden.*
*I just want to acknowledge that in comparison to many, many people on this planet I am doing quite well. I currently have food, clothing, shelter (for now) and access to resources that could be of help. I recognize that all my whining and moaning and complaining about my situation here might elicit absolutely no sympathy at all from people who have been through far worse. I’m just sharing how I feel. I don’t expect that my feelings make sense to anyone. I’m just sitting in the middle of my own suffering wishing I could get away from it. Maybe one person out there knows this feeling. Maybe one person out there now knows that they aren’t alone.
When you’re 42 years old
with two young children,
celibate for the last two years,
yearning for human contact
but trusting no one…
When there’s just $35 in your checking account…
and your AC has been broken for two weeks
and there’s a wiring problem in your house
necessitating running extension cords
from your refrigerator and freezer
to outlets in another room…
When you’re feeling
tired, angry, and lonely,
but you’ve made a commitment to sobriety
to try to claw your way out
of this pit you’ve fallen into…
When the only direction you can go is up,
but you’re so damn depressed that breathing feels hard—
HOW DO YOU FIND THE STRENGTH TO CLIMB?
Friends, that last question is not rhetorical. I quite literally want to know how YOU, you who have made it through tough circumstances and who have come out stronger, how YOU did it. I need some hope. Please share your experience, strength and hope with me.
Alone, in the dark.
What’s the point of going on?
Swallowed up by grief.
A sense of heaviness, futility
from deep within.
Maybe it’s a simple case of fatigue.
I summon the courage and the strength
to recognize I won’t feel this way forever.
I face the demons, and I do battle.
No one sees. No one knows.
To the outside world,
I’m this cheerful person.
No one realizes the mighty battle
I’m fighting every day.
Sometimes the greatest wars
are waged within.
There is a struggle
between the old way
and the new,
an attachment to familiarity
and a yearning to break free.
My body is tired
and my mind is weary
but my soul knows
this is the only game in town,
and so it says,