Saturday, November 23, 2019

Beating Back the Beast

The Beast from The Sandlot. This isn't what we're talking about.

Back on Feb 1, I spoke openly about some of my struggles in life. I've tried to be as open as possible about those struggles ever since, though that comes with self-doubt.

I tell myself nobody cares and that they're sick of reading about "my crap."

Mostly, I argue with myself about appearing to be self-loathing and whiny. Those who talk the most with me about it have encouraged me to continue.

I chatted with someone today who praised me for continuing to keep the discussion open.

So, OK. Let's talk.

It can hit at any time.

Not too long ago, I was in the midst of an enormously emotional week. If there's anything I've learned, it's that while we take care of others, we have to remember to take care of ourselves. It's easier said than done.

In this case, I thought I had it under control, but I didn't.

Friday morning came along and I worked up the courage to make a phone call about an ongoing situation. The stars weren't aligned and I was looking to delay things. So I made the call...and got told no dice. I had to go.

You may call it a pity party if you wish, and I wouldn't even say you're wrong. But when you battle the beast, it can be something small that will set the darkness in motion.

The molehill then becomes a mountain. A denial on a phone call turns into being unable to catch a break. The floodgates open.

And so, I broke.

My pain doesn't manifest in the most traditional ways, but one thing that does happen is I'll always get cleaned up, groomed if necessary, and get dressed. In this case, that all took place before the phone call.

After the phone call, everything began to explode.

"I'm done," I just kept muttering and texting.

I climbed back on my bed. That was the sign. That was the manifestation.

I planned to just stay there.

In the midst of this darkness, the snowball rolls into the belief that nobody will want to see me and that nobody should see me and that I'm not worth seeing and, screw it, nobody needs to hear me on the radio either.

There's a battle waging in my brain that is saying, essentially, "Eff it," while the other side is saying, "You're going to pull out of this. Or someone will help you."

Susan tried and, eventually, succeeded.

There's no formula to fixing it. What I need to believe, and need to be told, is that everything will be OK. Now, even that is dicey because if I can't believe that, then the beast wins.

I rallied. The day turned out fine. All was saved.

There's often darkness. Heck, I had a battle with the blues as I drove home Friday. Yes, my birthday. There's a difference between loneliness and being alone. I don't necessarily mind being alone. I like solo road trips when there's nobody suitable to ride along. I hate solo road trips when I know there's someone who would be a perfect sidekick.

Big difference.

It seems so trivial. Simple rejection made me spiral. It was more than that. This wasn't just sadness. This wasn't just the blues.

It was black. It was the mean reds.

That's when it gets scary.

I know people who don't talk. We have to talk. Don't just assume (as I often do) that nobody cares or that it's trivial. Keep talking. Keep the conversation going. It's not beneath you to open up.

I realize I have many blessings. Love and friends and family and a son and the Renegades and the games that I do and the respect that I often receive. I know. Believe me, I do.

But...there's always another side.

I'm sorry if I come off as whiny. I have many good days. Many great days. Lots of living to do. But the beast hangs around.

And we live to fight another day.

*I feel like an open wound writing this. Just felt I should offer that. These aren't easy posts to write.

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