Sometimes, you start the right thing for the wrong reason or for no reason at all. Sometimes in the midst of a nightmare, you find something to hold on to. In retrospect, the reason doesn’t matter. The reason has no meaning when that one thing is the one thing that keeps you holding onto life.
Until things get better. Or if they do.
It’s the past August and I have just realized, my life is falling apart. I have just graduated, I have an internship at a great place, and I’ve just recently fallen in love with the perfect person for me(we are still together and crazy for each other)- so you can see how that would come as a surprise. But when you realize that you’ve stopped caring enough to brush your teeth or hair, food has become a chore, and you cry all the time…that has to give you heads up.
I’m breaking down. You’re too weak to deny it anymore.
Fact, which I refuse to acknowledge pretty much until I have no other choice. It’s not until my boyfriend gets so worried from me repeating how all is pointless and crying 2 hours each night, that he suggests to come live with me for 2 weeks to help out, when it occurs to me how bad things really are. I haven’t noticed when the days have went by, I just know I’ve been pretty miserable. Something’s wrong, I finally admit, but by that point, I’m feeling so bad and so weak, that when he suggests to come, I almost don’t have the state of mind to protest. It would usually stop me, knowing that he wants to come not just to be with me, but to take care of me- it would hurt my pride to admit to needing him. But at that point I feel so bad, his statement makes me feel weak with relief.
He’s coming. I’m crazy in love with him. We are insanely happy together. So it will all be great now.
I’m hanging upon that hope like my last hope for things turning around. But it isn’t great, not even close. I’m too weak to even pretend I care whether I get out of bed in the morning. The first day he comes, I make him come with me to the zoo- a place a little at the edge of the city, which we both enjoyed visiting last time. Now, about half an hour into our visit, the hot sun melting the pavement, and the striking difference between how I felt last time I was there, and now, hits me like a lightning, and I’m physically sick, hardly able to stop myself from crying. Without a reason. Just because.
Everything just seems hard, and pointless and painful, too painful to be worth the effort. The idea that I have to do the regular things people do- take care of myself, work, order- is too painful to be worth the effort. It feels like walking through honey, as if nothing I will ever do, no matter how hard, will yield any result. And I almost feel bad, putting that on my partner, but I’m too weak to cover up the pain anymore.
So I let go. That first week, I go out for walks with him, mostly to satisfy him, or to try to order the mess in my head. I keep walking like a ghost, living like a ghost, crying constantly, and waking up from nightmares at night. Sometimes it’s hard enough to even let him touch me, I feel so breakable, and sometimes feeling his arms around me is the only thing saving me from completely loosing point in trying.
He helps me figure out that I have to start dealing with the rape that happened 2 years ago, and I somehow intuitively figure out that I need to blog, journal and research all I can find on the subject and on how people cope with that.
And with this, my recovery begins.
At first it’s not even about me. At that point I’m pretty much okay with spending my days in bed crying my eyes out, watching, and eating junk food. Working is impossible, talking to people even more so, and I don’t believe in better anymore. But me and my partner, we have a fairy tale thing going, and while I’m okay with making myself miserable, I don’t want him feeling bad. So I try, at first for him, and for one more reason.
Direction. I spend most of the days feeling like I lost my head, my sense of self, my sense of feeling at all, my sense of life and reality(all the reality twisted into a nightmare after what happened), and most of all my sense that anything has a point. When my partner tries to convince me things will get better, I nod more because I wish it will.
But in full honesty, I don’t believe it. It feels like I can trying anything, as hard as it can be, and have no result at all. It feels like attempting to put my life together from pieces is impossible. But I keep going, because it’s much harder to have no point in my days. This, trying to recover, it’s a direction. It’s a game plan. I don’t believe in recovery, but I believe that some direction is better than none, so I cling to it like a person drowning. Which at the time, I pretty much am.
So as it should, it comes as a surprise, almost as a shock, when in the midst of all the talking through my past and trying to survive the days, I stop crying when I wake up. I don’t know it yet, but that’s the first step of many.