Those Dark Places


Those Dark Places

I’ve been watching the cracks form around the edges of my little life lately. I’ve been waiting for them to become large enough for me to fall into. Part of me hopes that it would provide me a bit of respite. I know it won’t.

Molly wrote about feeling overwhelmed a couple of weeks ago. When I read it, I knew that we’d been living in the very same place; a place where everything looks sudden, urgent, and necessary. Everything becomes a top priority (therefore nothing is a priority anymore). And, while I’ve been busy treating everything as a reactionary cause, I’ve been losing sight. Again.

I’ve been told more than once that I need to slow down, settle into my new role of mamahood. “Enjoy these next few months because you’ll miss them when they’re gone?”

Part of me wants to believe them.

Sure, who wouldn’t want to be eight months pregnant, suffering through nasty bouts of heartburn coupled with abnormally swollen ankles and the onset of what can only be described as “Holy Shit Mood Swings”? It does seem rather enviable, doesn’t it? I’m bipolar. I’ve never been shy about that. It’s not what defines me but it is a part of me. Lately, everything makes me cry. Lately, I’m faced with dark corners that I hadn’t thought of before.

Friendships. Relationships. Inward reflection. External journeys. Doubts. Hopes. Dreams. Fears. Failures.

Standard stuff, really.

And while part of me wants to “slow down”, the other part is terrified to.

I have too much going on right now to even consider slowing down. I give pause and think about decorating the nursery from time-to-time only to turn my attention back to more important, pressing concerns (again with the reactionary). People inquire about my excitement levels all the time. I don’t know what to tell them anymore. Most often, I lie and say, “Oh, sure. Who wouldn’t be?”

Note the verb.


I have to LIE.

In polite conversation, people want to know that my impending mamahood is the only thing that matters to me right now. In polite conversation, I have to grit my teeth and agree. My father and I have often agreed that we go around with blood in our mouths from just… biting back our responses.

So, am I excited?

Of course.

But not.

And then I get an overwhelming dose of guilt as I try to figure out why it is that I can’t seem to get excited about the baby’s arrival. It’s another one of those dark places, lovelies; a dark place where I’m convinced that I’m going to be a neglectful mother that would much rather run off to New York than attend her kids’ recitals. It’s a fucking hard place to be — this dark place — but I’m forcing myself to figure out why that place exists at all.

A few weeks ago, I watched a friendship implode. Violently. I was left reeling, in spite of my best efforts not to react. Or, at the very least, to make a conscious effort to react in a somewhat positive way. Did it hurt? Of course it did. Do I get a nasty pit in my stomach every time I think about this person? Damn straight. But was I going to sink into the same dark place this person was? No. I care about said person, in spite of the ire that was loosed on me, and it would serve no purpose (except some self indulgent rambling and raging) to hurl insults.

Inside, I was no better. I wanted to hurtle insults. I wanted to fall into that nasty place, too. It would’ve been easy — much easier than brushing myself off and saying, “I love you but I can’t do this. I wish you well.”

I was angry. I’m STILL morose.

But those cracks are starting to get bigger.

This person found a very apt way of making sure I knew that. Drawing attention to my rather sore spot of being oversensitive in the first place is an excellent way to locate a major fault line in my foundation. And then throw a stick of dynamite down it to see what happens.

Nothing says, “I love you” quite like a stick of dynamite, after all.

Our dark places are scary. Overwhelmingly so, even. It’s good to examine our dark places — in the mirror, on paper, during meditation. It’s even good to set up camp there once in a while.

I refuse to live in that dark place.

Tomorrow will be brighter.

I know it.

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