I understand the appeal of “fake it ‘til you make it.” It is a strategy I’ve employed, but I’m beginning to wonder if maybe there’s a dangerous crossover point. Does acting like you’re okay until you can actually be alright lose its usefulness when okay ceases to be a realistic goal?
At the moment I’m wavering between distraction at all costs and crying in the dark. I’m filling the days with as many fun or productive things as I can physically manage. I carry on with the wee ones; go rascalling to farms and libraries and soft play. Have lunches and chats & belly laughs with people I love. They temporarily pull my edges together. I’ve been busying myself with tidying the spare room. Organizing my wardrobe. Hanging art that’s been waiting in boxes for months. I keep going until my body screams. When I stop, I realize the calendar is still set to my due date and there is just no way I can open the curtains today.
Some days I can almost fool myself that I’m doing okay. I can keep from asking what’s the point. Push the existential thoughts aside and paint on a smile. It never lasts long. I’m still hollow. I don’t know when the forced productivity becomes a lie. Left to my own devices I am pretty sure I would lock the door and perpetually reopen my wounds. Is this manufactured well-being what people mean when they say, “just keep swimming”? I must be honest I feel like eventually I’ll probably drown.
I’m holding onto the possibility that it might get better. Time heals and so on. I’m not sure I believe that, though. I think most of the time you probably just get used to pain. Intellectually I can work out what’s happening. I’m grieving. Not just the baby I lost, but the idea of any baby. I’m grieving the entire life I wanted. All the babies I never got to hold and all the theoretical ones that might have made that easier to bear. I no longer have hope. That’s what is making it so hard.
I’m worried that this is it. My life will always be waiting for the next life raft. Clinging to a few hours of something good before I wade back into nothing. Emotion aside I don’t even have the energy to keep up this level of diversion. The recovery to doing ratio is creeping up. It is getting harder to put on makeup push myself out the door. I fear my real mood is leaking out.
How long can I keep this up? Congratulating myself on finally emptying the washing basket feels like a shallow victory when I can’t write anything that doesn’t make me weep. I really don’t know if I’m nailing the life goes on thing or just closing my eyes to reality. There are still pre-natal vitamins in a cupboard I no longer open and a box of positive pregnancy tests under my bed. The perfume I wore when my own made me nauseous remains on my dresser. I can’t sleep. I’m struggling to imagine a future that feels fulfilling. I can’t help thinking that avoiding these truths won’t change them.
I can logic this out, but that doesn’t change the problem. I can’t afford to get crazy again. I also cannot stop wondering if this is all there is. This keep on keeping on farce is wearing me out, but I don’t see a functional alternative.
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