“Run. You can’t cry if you’re running. Endorphin-chemical-things make you feel good, no matter how slowly you go, even if you hate to run. That will block the tear channels. And you already cried at church this morning, so you’re out of tears. Quota is filled. Go. Lace up and go,” I told myself.
“You tell me to ‘go’ as if I could get away from it all. It will all be here when I get back.”
“Maybe it will. But wouldn’t an hour away be nice?”
And so I found myself, mad, mad, MAD, and sad and lonely and all that makes your body feel heavy and useless when you are depressed. I laced up shoes I didn’t like, wearing pants and a t-shirt that felt too tight, with tears threatening to spill behind prescription sunglasses as I waved to my still-a-stranger roommate.
“I’m off for a run!” I cried with fake enthusiasm over the roar of the lawn mower. (If you don’t mow your lawn every Sunday in North Carolina, a secret committee votes to run you out of town, you see. So roomie had talked himself into mowing today. Literally. He talks to himself all. the. time.)
Then I did that weird old-lady-mall-walker walk – elbows swinging too high, determined look on face, until I was just out of sight and I could bend over at the waist, gasping at the unbidden tears. “I just want a hug! I just want a dog who will love me! I want ice cream!” I cried.
I sucked up, pressed onward, stubborn as always. Then my ipod came upon a song that made me rage unexpectedly (Katy Perry, if you must know), and I cursed, over and over, loud and “WHAT THE WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR WHATING MECHA-WHATING-NISM?! I WHATING HATE THIS WHATING SONG!” when the dial stuck against my fingers and wouldn’t change to a new song.
I staggered to a stop, breathing deeply, willing myself to pull it together or I’ll –
“or you’ll what?!” I wondered to myself.
I walked around our neighborhood, waving to everyone, as you do in the South, in case you are related to them, I guess.
“Or what?” Or…I’ll do nothing, as I have for the last six weeks of feelings.
It’s all very complicated. All of it.
You see…..I am not feeling like me anymore. Because “me” is a happy, (somewhat) carefree, barefoot, sunset-chasing, junkfood eating, every last drop of life person. Or I was. But now I am different.
Now, I am profoundly miserable. Deeply, hauntingly, almost numb to it miserable.
I cannot get a job. I have applied to over 20 places. No job.
I have no friends here, because I have no job. We have no money, so we go nowhere to meet people.
I lash out at my boyfriend, I steal bread from my roommates, I think evil of everyone in front of me. I don’t answer the phone.
The crutches I have been leaning on – food, ice cream, wine, – all I have to show from this is eight extra pounds and lots of wine corks saved up for Pinterest projects I’ll never do.
I’ve put down The Bell Jar, turned off Adele, and (mostly) backed away from the pantry. I know what’s not good for me,
I wonder if sometimes we try to accelerate, to sprint to rock bottom, as if that would make the “afterwards, it will feel good!” part come more quickly.
I don’t know why I tell you this. I hesitate, fearing this looks like a cry for help, and I’d rather you help those more in need. While I have these weird, dark, twisty moments that harken back to worse points in my life, I don’t wish ill upon myself.
I think I write this because:
a. I have no friends here, and I need someone to “talk” to.
b. We all fall apart sometimes. But we seldom allow ourselves to put it to words.
c. I feel that people think, inside and outside of the Christian faith, that if you are a Christian, you aren’t allowed to be upset and hate everything sometimes. And that’s just not true. I love Jesus, He loves me, but I am upset. And I hate everything.
And I am mad at God. I can’t feel Him. My heart hurts and feels hard and distant.
But I made myself go to church this morning. The same charismatic, too loud, trying too hard place I went to a few weeks ago. I went alone and I was late, which I hate. But I walked in. The usher sat me in what felt like the “single ladies” section.
I willed my heart to be soft and still and responsive.
I cried for most of the service. And in the dark worship space – without self-consciousness, when and because it felt right – my arms raised, I sang as loud as I could, and choked on tears, blood pounding in my ears and eyes squeezed tight.
The lyrics sang “You are not alone, you are not alone.” And I want to believe that, despite what I feel.
What I feel is: lost, insecure, useless, lazy, worthless, unnoticed, unloved. God and my family and friends say all of that is not true, but somehow we hear our own stupid voices louder than everyone else’s combined.
I guess this is where faith, hope, love, all those intangibles come in?
so come in, come in, come in. come in, come in, come in.
I beg you, I beg you. Come in.