I’ve wanted to write about where I’ve been this week but instead I’ve been crawling into bed every night much, much too early for my own good. I’ve tried to wrap my mind around what I want to express and yet I keep falling short of whatever it is I really want to say.
I’ve observed myself enough over the past few years to know that about once a month I hit this place where nothing feels right. It tends to happen around the time my body feels most alive. Everything inside me is crying out to be expressed and because I can’t quite figure out how to do that everything outside of me feels wrong, too tight, life-less even. I don’t know that we as women, or as human beings, talk about this enough—the ‘nothing is wrong but I feel so empty’ phenomenon. Maybe if we did we could help each other deal with it better…or at least help each other feel a bit more ‘normal.’ I look at my life, I see a family that loves me, a child who adores me, friends who support me, a job that appreciates me (most of the time), and creativity that is constantly growing and still I have these moments when it’s as if a great ghost is sitting heavily on my chest howling, “It’s not enough…it’s not enough…it’s not enough.” I have everything anyone could ever want and yet there is still this emptiness that sucks me into its darkness. That darkness calls for more darkness and so I tend to find I slip away from myself, my relationships, this blog, and into wherever I can hide until it passes. I crawl into bed, lay in the dark, and listen to life happening all around me, without me, and that emptiness aches. The laundry piles up, the dishes are left undone, the ‘I absolutely have to do this now’ list is ignored because all I really want to do is pull a blanket over my head and try to reach the other side by crawling as deeply into myself as possible.
For me at least I think the emptiness has something to do with wanting to voice something I can’t quite name, wanting to live something I can’t quite get to, wanting to get something out of me that I can’t seem to give form. It also has to do with knowing that I’m not living out of my fullness, that there is so much left unlived and undone. It has to do with knowing people see me but wondering if they really see me. Do they look in my eyes and see all the things I wish they could see even the secrets I’m sometimes afraid to let people see? It has to do with a fear of time slipping away, not because I fear wrinkles or an aging body, but because every day I feel like I’m loosing something I can never get back. And it definitely has to do with not being able to adjust to the way life shifts and changes before I’ve had a chance to catch my breath.
I ache because I can’t remember the last time someone told me I’m beautiful and although I know affirmation needs to come from within I can’t help but miss those words. I ache because the affection I once enjoyed has been lost to adult responsibilities. I ache because I don’t have a clue who I am and when I catch little glimpses of myself it’s never enough. I ache because that emptiness wants to be filled but it seems so insatiable. I ache because I’m so tired of fighting myself but I can’t seem to call a truce.
Lately I find myself here, in this place of emptiness, more often than I care to admit and this week has been especially difficult. I have so much that needs to get done but I have completely shut down. I have felt myself slowly disappearing. I have crawled into bed every night before the sun has set and then tossed and turned in the dark, unable to rest, because something is clawing at my gut. I have skipped my morning walks because the aching that has kept me awake at night has also left me exhausted each morning. I have raged against everything and everyone because the dissatisfaction I feel has left me feeling completely miserable. And I have turned against myself, especially my body…it’s always my body that seems to get the brunt of it all.
Nothing is wrong and yet I feel empty. I have everything and yet there is something deep within that still whispers, “It’s not enough…it’s not enough…it will never be enough…” And sometimes I wonder if what I really feel is not necessarily that “it’s” not enough but that ‘I’m’ not enough. I wonder if that emptiness is really all the things I’ve always told myself I lack and those messages have finally caught up with me leaving me wounded, broken, and unable to recognize the abundance that exists all around me.