I’ve had some pretty down days lately. After my last post, I spent the rest of my days in Guatemala and Belize in a depressed and unhappy state. When I wasn’t cleaning up exotic animal poop or feeding them, I was under my mosquito net reading, crying, sleeping, and thinking way too much. I wanted so badly to appreciate what I had in front of me, the opportunity to connect with people, with an experience. But fear of connecting and losing was just too great in my mental calculus – and so I disengaged from others, from myself. I decided that when I got back, I would stop traveling long distances…for I don’t know how long. I decided I need to sit in these feelings and figure out why I keep going in and out of suicidal states, why I’m afraid of letting someone love me, why I’m afraid to love fully again, why I’m so afraid of loss that I feel no interest in building anything.
So it hit me profoundly when my yoga teacher today said the statement in this title: “When you want to tap out is when the real work begins.” In the beginning of my journeys since D, running away was actually the work – confronting fear and anxiety of being alone, dealing with my own problems, living in ambiguity and uncertainty. Today, running (aka traveling, aka pushing and pulling in relationships, aka disengaging from everything that could hurt me) is bringing me deeper and deeper into a pit of despair. Staying here to deal with my shit is scary – scarier than anything I may have ever done. Staying is committing to an uncertain future. Moreover, I feel like in the end, I’m alone in dealing with the fear – and without the distraction of new places and new people and new perspectives.
I’ve just got…me. And that makes me want to tap out. I’ve always been better at forfeit than rejection and defeat. It’s probably in large part why I’ve been suicidal. It’s easier to imagine escaping from this world than sitting in it as it feels like it *could be* crumbling around me. *Could be* because the potential is what creates anxiety in me. If it actually *is* crumbling, I’m good with that – I’ll figure it out. It’s the potential for loss, for pain, for the people I most love disappearing from my life that gives me nightmares and rips at my heart. It makes me want to hide in a hole and never come out into the light again.
But then there is that part of me that knows that feeling of freedom when I can let it all go, that makes me want to push on the pain and feel it more. Because I know that is when the real work begins – when maybe I can finally fully heal the broken pieces inside of me.
Hang in there, dear reader. It might be a bumpy ride.