I Wanted to Call


I posted that picture not to say life is grand and that I have no problems, but to remind myself there is good, too. To try, when at my very depths I am struggling, to say, “I can reach the good, too.”

I’ve been here, there, and everywhere. The Covid blues in a bronze of racial uprising. Uncovering layers I never questioned before. Walking the whiterope of my own fragility and despair; reactivating trauma as I try to grieve and unlearn, so that I may be all that I know I can be, so that I may do all that I believe I can do, so that I can help my humans grow to be better than I. 

And yet, I feel like a failure. I relapsed, again. In all the ways but what you would imagine when you hear that word.

I reached for the phone, brought your name to the text box, but I couldn’t bring myself to send the message. What would it matter anyway? There’s too much to unpack. I could never cover all of the emotions I am feeling. A wrecking ball in bed. Wrestling with the covers of years past and future worry. Tangled by my own ways and the weight of mistake as I try, try, try to get it right. 

The look on my daughters face, etched in my mind- wishing it could be a bad dream. It feels like a bad dream, but reality it is, unfortunately so. 

I’m trying to do the very thing I am having trouble doing and maybe that’s why this lesson is here. Maybe that’s why this lesson remains. 

But I am not well. I am unstable and I walk on chunks of earth that feel like pedestals from the abyss. One wrong step, too heavy a footing, and my very ground will crumble and fall. It’s a canyon, dark and unforgiving, dark and unreturning. 

And I keep thinking about that phone call I almost made, the message I almost sent, the letter I almost wrote, the picture I wanted to post. All a call for help, for normalcy, but too afraid of who’s on the other side–unable to truly make me feel better. 

And so I wait, and time goes by and I can laugh at the mess, but it still hurts inside. Because I know the mess is really hidden under the rug, tucked in the closet, waiting to come out again when no one’s looking or I think I’m off the hook.

And I’m not trying to hide it, really. I just don’t know how to talk about it. I don’t know how to reach you all in the ways I wish to connect; it overwhelms and saddens me. Anxiety has me believe it needs to be “all or nothing.”

So I write in coded imagery because that’s what my heart sings when it’s bleeding from within. I feel a low now and I remind myself, this is ok. You are in a pandemic after all. And sometimes that works and I have grace and other times I resort to anger and frustration, rage and envy over these circumstances and over all the people who got us here. And I think, am I even really better? No, I am part of it, too. We all are; as we live here together. 

If I’m lucky a deep breath enters and I gain some mental clarity; enough of a crawl space to venture back into the light and dare to look again.