Overwhelming, hysterically desperate.
Feelings of hopelessness and despair.
Completely numb, helpless.
I was in a time in my life where a lot of responsibilities were riding on my shoulders. Moreover, they weren’t things that brought me much joy, but stress. Daughter, sister, friend; the words that were important to me all but became hollow of meaning to me by my disuse of these terms. I was a student, an employee, a coordinator; I had to pass midterms, write essays, show up to work, attend way too many meetings. The biggest drainer of my time, however, was that I was in charge of something where, if things went wrong, it was on me. And a lot of things were going wrong. Even as I tried to fix each of the broken puzzle pieces thrown in front of my path, I felt helpless. It was like fixing one part of the puzzle meant popping off another piece at another end in an endless round of ‘Whac-A-Mole'. Every little thing that worked against me sent me into a deeper abyss. I had forgotten the reason why I was doing what I was doing, and it made me so deeply unhappy.
For a while, I waded through the motions of each day like a checklist. Nothing triggered any remote feeling of happiness; thinking about the future excited a hysterical, nervous jitter. I stopped noticing how brightly the sun smiled in the morning, or the beautiful shades of green that color the variety of trees I pass on my way to class. If taking note of a rare flower was prioritized in my life, it would have been just another item with a blank box next to it, waiting to be check-marked.
Secretly, I pushed myself to go harder and longer, with less sleep, less food, less time to catch my breath. I just kept going: checking and checking and checking the next items off of my to-do list until I reached the end—but it never ended. At times, I hoped that I would collapse from exhaustion; it seemed like the only way I could finally stop.
somehow I made it out.
Or, at least, partly out.
The sun still isn’t pure gold to me, but I do remember the warmth and illumination it can bring. I’ll remember to occasionally treat myself to boba, or a cookie, or carbs, because I want to. And, although it’s still hard to find the perfect balance of everything, even in my most frenzied moments I don’t feel as frantic as I did then. I'm making an effort to bring back the important roles in my life that do make me happy, like being a daughter, a sister, a friend.
Sometimes, it’s almost even as if I’m whole again.