What is it about October? I swear October’s always bring some form of transition and/or struggle in my life. People fall off, life throws me off my axis and I feel like I’m drowning. ¾’s of the year is over and I’ve never felt more alone, out of place and just plain confused. I feel like I’m in this “in between space”. This space between “everything is falling apart” and “everything is coming together”. It sounds strange but it really describes this time in my life. When did life get so damn hard? Every day it is a struggle to maintain my peace and my joy. I’ve found myself slipping into dark emotional spaces where self-loathing, depression and sadness live. I’m retreating from the world because it’s hard right now. I hate wearing a mask and I feel like I have to do it daily at work at then at home with my family. I’m tired of pretending I’m strong and have it all together. Right now…I don’t. I’m emotionally, mentally and financially drained. Quite honestly, my life feels like it’s falling apart and I have no idea how to put it back together again.
How do you navigate through these difficult transitions without hiding under your sheets in a sea of your own tears?
Deep down my heart knows that this is all temporary and that “this too shall pass” but my mind is filled with anxiety and stress. I have trouble sleeping because I’m stressing about everything at the same time. When I look at everything that I have to do and all the bills that I have to pay, my head starts to spin and I feel nothing but anxiety and panic. I’m lost in transition. I’ve been working hard to stay afloat but I’m still sinking. I have all of these things in the “works” but it’s not materializing just yet. I know it takes time and I have to be patient but my bills wait for no one. My kids still need me to provide for them and life doesn’t stop just because you can’t keep up. I’m questioning choices and decisions I’ve made and wondering if I invested too much into my dreams and sacrificed financial stability as a result. I’m tired of finding myself in the same financial hole again. My mind is constantly racing with thoughts of “what if” and “shoulda, woulda, coulda”. I’m driving myself crazy with overthinking about so many things. I’m running around trying to pay Peter to pay Paul and nothing is getting done. I’m failing miserably at handling all of my responsibilities. People always say they admire me as a single mom because of what I’ve been able to accomplish in the lives of my children but they have no idea the sacrifices that come with this life.
“I feel like a fraud and a loser. I’m not handling it all, I’m failing. I’m failing my children and I’m failing myself. This isn’t the woman I want to be”.
Emotionally I’m depleted. The month of October is the month I honor survivors and ask them to share their stories of survival and resilience. I have to be honest; it’s a hard month for me. As a survivor, I see myself in the women whose stories I tell. I feel that pain, that confusion, and the stress. I’m a woman still healing as well and sometimes these stories trigger things in me. You heal but you never forget. I find myself thinking a lot during October, thinking about my own patterns in relationships and the fact that I keep attracting men who mistreat and/or abuse me in some ways. One of the hardest things to do after surviving abuse is learning to trust yourself and your choices again. I can honestly say, I’m not there just yet and I don’t know how to get there. I want to get to the place where I can free to love someone again but my trust issues run deep and they aren’t just with men, I’m not sure I trust myself anymore. I’m tired and emotionally exhausted from wasting my time and energy on men who are broken, emotionally crippled and communication deficient. PTSD after traumatic relationships is real.
All of these things combined are starting to affect my physical health. I’m not eating and I’m losing weight rapidly. I’m burning the candles at both ends working and worrying. I’m losing sleep and find myself fatigued to the point of exhaustion daily. I literally have enough energy to go to work and come home and that’s only because of an unhealthy addiction to coffee and red bull. Once I’m home, I’m spent and just find myself in bed crying and overthinking. I just don’t feel like myself right now and I’m desperately trying to figure it all out and find myself again.
I just feel lost…so damn lost.
My mom tells me all the time to take care of myself but I don’t even know how anymore. When everything and everyone is pulling at every inch of you, how do you “stop” and take care of you? What does that even look like? Everything in my life has deadlines and due dates and if I don’t do them, it won’t get done. I can’t tell my kids to stop needing things because I’m drained financially. I can’t shut down and hibernate when my heart is broken and fractured. I have to work, I have to get out into the world and continue pushing my business ventures. I have to remain present and productive at a job that stresses me out with passive aggressive racism on a daily. I can’t push the pause button on anything in my life because they all serve some sort of purpose.
My life hasn’t been the same since the day I left my abusive marriage. I’ve been surviving as best as I could but now it just doesn’t seem like enough. I wish I had some foolproof plan to get out of this but I don’t. Right now, I just don’t have the answers. I’m just trying to navigate my way through this quicksand without sinking and it’s just hard….really hard. I just want to heal, be whole, love authentically, and be stable, free and happy. Why is that so damn hard?