Once upon a time, this place was a safe haven. Between the pieces I submitted and the journals I wrote, I found a quiet space I could make sense of things. I look back now and feel a little embarrassed over how candid and open I was to a bunch of strangers on the internet, but then I remember that I haven't been that open and honest to anyone else (besides my husband) since. The past year (and maybe a little longer) has been a period of complete disconnection for me. I have lost touch with just about everything that once made me "me". I think this was necessary. There's a lot of harsh truths I needed to internalize, and I've needed time to feel and fully accept my depression and the things I've been through. I grabbed little spaces of time before to do this, but it was never enough. There was always more details to attend to, always more things to get done, always another trauma or loss to survive. Living with my in-laws and going to school online offered me the space I needed, and I took advantage of it. I didn't veer off the edge completely - I got shit done, I finally finished my Associates degree. But if I'm being honest with myself, it was a minimal effort and an anticlimactic reward.
After a year of what has felt like just wasting time, I feel starved. I feel dull, like there's a fuzz around everything and everyone. I'm not sure anymore of what's important to me. Major events (getting that Associates degree, getting married) came and went and it felt like I was just a passive spectator. I seem incapable of finding things to get excited about, but never run out of things to feel anxious or scared about. I spend so much time in my head I sometimes forget that everyone I love isn't stewing it in with me too. I lash out and don't know what to tell people when they ask me how they can make it better. I've lost touch with the things that make me feel good, that make me feel like life is worth living. And it's touched everything - my relationships have suffered the most. Particularly my relationship with myself, as corny as that shit sounds.
I guess the point of all of this is pretty simple - I need to change. I need to figure out what I have to do to get back to basics, to get in touch with what connects me to the world again.
Starting is hard. Knowing where to start, knowing what to do next. I want to follow this momentum, keep going. I want to move forward and I want to keep getting better. I've spent a long time sliding backwards, and I'm the only person who can pull myself back up. I'm scared because this isn't the first time I've had this realization, and I always end up in the same place. But I just don't want to be here anymore. There are things about me that I can't change. My past and the trauma I've experienced is not going to go away anytime soon, and certainly not without some outside intervention. But I won't get anywhere near ready to take care of my issues if I don't find the momentum to just do more than survive. And I'm not a kid anymore - there are expectations, both internal and external, that I take care of myself and contribute to my community. I have to be better, and I have to start now.
There's always going to be days where I can't quite do it, where the energy isn't there or I'm just too overwhelmed. But that shouldn't be every day.
That being said, I'd love some writing prompts. If you'd made it this far and are still reading, throw me some words or phrases or ideas in the comments. I'd be really grateful for the inspiration.