I’ve had rather a bad week. The kind of week that requires a day mostly spent under a duvet.
Sometimes, just sometimes, it’s too hard. It’s too hard to put on a smile every day. Too hard to juggle competing work deadlines, the logistics of living miles away from the kids’ school, working out my finances and coming to terms with the fact that I might be single forever. Too damn hard.
If this all sounds somewhat self-pitying, that’s because it is. There is no point in lying about that. This week, I feel tired, anxious, sad and a bit scared and the tears keep coming.
But I’m not sure why. Why now? What’s changed? And I don’t think that much has, really. Perhaps that’s it. It’s been seven months since I moved in with my parents and I still feel so far away from whatever comes next. Like I’m stagnating. Swimming, but against the tide. Not getting anywhere fast enough. Progress towards my goals feels like it’s slow. (Even though I know it’s getting there; it’s in my head.) I think that my latest romantic relationship might have ended, to be replaced with a gaping space again. (Again, this could be in my head. Descartes said; “Except our own thoughts, there is nothing absolutely in our power.” Sometimes that’s reassuring, sometimes it’s not…) I know that I’m surrounded by love, but I want romantic love too. I want a partner. To feel wanted. To be in love and for someone to be in love with me, equally.
Perhaps, the way I’m feeling is just simply hormonal. As loathe as I am to admit it, especially because, god knows, the ‘hormonal woman’ rationale is used against us enough without me agreeing, but there are times when I know it’s probably that which causes the tears.
Or, maybe I have a mild case of ‘the mean reds’:
Holly Golightly: “You know the days when you get the mean reds?
Paul Varjak: The mean reds. You mean like the blues?
Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you’re getting fat, and maybe it’s been raining too long. You’re just sad, that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid, and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?”
― Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s
It’ll pass. I know that. But for the past few days, I have allowed myself to sit with the feelings, instead of trying to cover them up. I only have to look at my last post to be reminded of all the good in my life; I have a lot to be grateful for.
Whatever the reason for the way I’m feeling, the solution, apart from the duvet, is running. In running, I feel more alive than at any other point. Even though I’m slow. Even though it hurts. Even when I really don’t want to start, once I’m out there, it’s worth it. Even though it’s two inches of snow outside today and when I go for my planned run, there’s every chance that I’m going to slip and fall. The simple act of just putting one foot in front of the other and keeping going until my face is red, my heart is pounding, my lungs are working, my thighs are hurting. It just makes me feel better. Better to breathe outside, to feel physically tired instead of just emotionally exhausted. Better for having accomplished something even when I feel a bit hopeless.
So, it’s time to get out from under the duvet, pull my trainers on and run off the mean reds. Because a whole new day awaits.