I wrote a poem a long time ago about a bucket. I was having a pretty hard time and felt like I had broken into a million pieces. I felt like I was just spending my life picking up the pieces, all these tiny pieces of me. So I did. I picked them all up and carried them around. Some I put back together but most I realized I gave away because I thought to give them to the world was what I was supposed to do to make a better person. So, I gave and I struggled and I thought I was doing all right. I took stock of my bucket this week and realized that it was empty because somehow I have managed to give away everything I was and now I’m just spent. My husband and I don’t fight very often. We seem to have a healthy understanding of each other, how we work, what ticks the other off, and how to avoid such things. There is an immense amount of love and respect between us. When I can only give 20 percent, he gives 80 and vice versa. It is just how we work. I’ve been running on fumes lately and he feels it. So, this weekend when something happened that I should have just been able to deal with and I crumbled, his frustration came out. I wasn’t mad at him. I got it. I understood it. I was just as irritated with myself.
So, I went and had coffee with myself today. I’m getting back to my journal, to getting back to the girl in the corner who seemed to be able to figure stuff out. She may have preferred to hide from the world but she was certainly capable of taking care of herself. I thought about this fight we had this weekend, how horrible it made me feel, how tired I am of this battle within myself, and I realized my bucket was empty. Sure, I got rid of some stuff over the years that were harmful to me but I also managed to give away the things that made me strong. One of these things is my confidence and I’m not sure at what point I let that go. I have always been hesitant with certain parts of life, sure. I’ve never backed away as I have recently though. I go back to these moments of my life, picking apart the lessons that I learned, rearranging them to figure out how I came to my conclusions. I really believe that I gave these things away because the more I gave to people, the more people seemed to come to me. I made a mistake though because I gave too much away. And, now, when I look around when I need a hand, there’s nobody here. So, that morning when my husband looked at me, the way he looked at me, made me realize how fragile I had become and it’s just not me. I look in my bucket and understand I have to start over, to take back these things of myself I gave away and to stop giving my power to these things that don’t deserve it.
I would love to say that I’m going to wake up tomorrow morning and have my shit together but this is a marathon, not a sprint. I try to figure out why I started down this downhill slide but there’s no real reason. I think that over the last two years, I’ve had so many things change. While I’m good with change, I need a minute to digest. I can say it’s because of the hard times I was having with my kid or that she has grown up and moved on. I can say that it’s because the role of my husband and I changed where he is the breadwinner now and I’m in the backseat. I can say that it’s my job, the lack of reward there, the dull routine of it, the feeling that I’m 40 and feel like I’m still fighting the same demons I was when I was 20. While all of these things contribute, none of them are to blame. I don’t think I ever really gave myself a chance. I dived headfirst into not dealing, into berrading myself with do-betters and faking you-got-this mantras that I stunted myself. Now, here I am, with an empty bucket and an empty tank and no idea how to cut myself a break. Staring at this woman in the mirror, telling her to get her shit together. I am tired of being tired.
I realize that I am standing on a cliff right now. I understand that I need to make a choice to leap or to step back. I let my house fall apart, allowed myself to run dry, and gave my power away because it was exhausting trying to hold onto it. I know my blogs seem to have the same theme lately but I am just trying to find my pieces again, to put them back together so I can get back to me because I’m here. I just misplaced her for a minute. I didn’t like the way my husband looked at me, didn’t like the taste of the tears that ran down my cheek but maybe it was what I needed to wake up. I am a person who has a shit ton of anxieties, a person who is burdened by an immense amount of sadness, who lives in a world where I feel every single emotion that it throws at me and it’s a tiring cross to bear. I find people to be taxing and exhausting and bothersome. I prefer to keep you at a distance but here I sit, writing these words, parts of me all over this screen. Because inside I am also an incredibly kind, loving person who would love to let you in, who wants to help and to listen and to love. The thing is I don’t know how to do that without giving you too much. I look into this hypothetical empty bucket that I carry around and understand that I need to pick up my pieces again. This time, though, they need to be the right ones. And, once I have filled my bucket again, then I will get back to me.