Today started off as usual: woke up, checked my phone, laughed at a random meme someone posted..got up, showered, decided that makeup wasn’t necessary. Tried my white shirt on first and realized that going out to eat in a white shirt (past Labor Day none the less) was likely a bad idea. Tried the black one on next: perfect. Put on my favorite gaudy necklace that I got from Torrid in August: also perfect. Did my hair, decided again that makeup wasn’t necessary and turned my head several times in the mirror to inspect the brand new long stark white/silver hairs that are now showing up on a daily basis, sighed, and went to breakfast with my Mom.
Breakfast with Mom was awesome – we tried out a new restaurant and did their brunch buffet. Great coffee, great food, good conversation, and we got to explore a brand new part of the city at the same time. It’s a gorgeous, warm day out and I was smiling and laughing like I do a lot more freely now.
And then it starts to hurt: There were a group of people standing next to us, toasting in celebration to 2 members of said group who had just gotten engaged over the weekend. I look up and it’s everywhere: happiness.
It’s slow at first, because I also feel extreme amounts of guilt at looking at others and longing for my life back. I feel that tell tale pangs in my stomach and in my heart, I feel the tears sitting just on the edge of my consciousness, and I can hear the screams in my own head. And I know it isn’t fair..so I sit with it and try hard not to let on.
The duality of it often takes my breath away…the fact that I am so happy others are still experiencing and that life does truly go on, but then also the fact that in a lot of ways I understand that my own world is still in a slow crawl. Going forward, sure, but very slowly. And that’s my fault, no one else’s. So again…I put my head down, choke back the bile rising to the back of my throat, and say nothing. It’s become my new normal: saying nothing. No broken record, no hurt, no pain, just a quick “I’m fine” and then silence. It’s not because anyone makes me feel like it’s necessary. I just recognize that everyone else’s life has to go on and there’s no point in dragging everyone back with me.
The truth is that I’m angry. I want my life back. I want the possibility of my life back. I want things that for me can never happen again, ever, and I don’t know how to make a “new normal” feel anywhere close to good enough. I can smile, laugh, put on a brave face, keep doing my job and keep succeeding but the fact remains that every success feels empty and every step forward feels pointless.
Maybe tomorrow will be better. I always hope for that. I know myself, though, and the greatest moments of joy and triumph for me are still marred by the fact that it’s hollow. I don’t know how to give things meaning for myself, and maybe that’s the biggest fail of all.