Today I almost got hit by a car. I looked left, saw the cars stopped at the light and began to cross. The dark grey Honda seemed to come out of nowhere. It was stopped at the intersection when I last saw it. How much time had passed from my initial street crossing look to the moment I stepped out into the street? Upon seeing the car I stopped, wide eyed, held my hand up in an apology and hastily retreated back to the sidewalk. Embarrassing.
Lately I've noticed life is becoming a bit more difficult for reasons I do not understand. Now instead of insomnia, I have a newfound habit of waking at exactly 5am every morning....going to the bathroom, and then returning to bed in an attempt to grasp an addition 2.5 hours of sleep. This new habit disrupts the second sleep cycle and before I know it I wake up exhausted.
Getting dressed takes effort. Sometimes I have to sit or even lay back down on the bed for a minute to gain the physical and emotional strength it takes to get ready for the day. Once that is done, I usually find some momentum and can get through the remainder of the morning tasks without an issue.
Then comes the walk to work. My shoulder bag is usually heavy, filled with breakfast, lunch, dinner and textbooks. Everything I need for the day. By the time I walk through the doors at work, grunt hello the receptionist, I'm agitated and exhausted. I would countdown to 5:30pm but my day never ends at 5:30. Four out of the five work days I don't see my apartment until after 8:30pm.
My mind perpetually races about things both in and out of my control. I'm forgetting my computer passwords. I'm forgetting words I used to know. I'm having a hard time keeping dates straight in my head. I journal and blog and talk to people I trust but its not enough venting to stop the world from spinning so damn fast.
Diet and exercise are supposed to help but I find myself fatigued and unfortunately weighing in at my heaviest weight. I'd like to think some of the weight is leg muscle I've built up during kickboxing and not all FAT but I can't be too sure. Then comes the guilt. The guilt of packing the weight back on. The fear of being undesirable. The fear of being criticized. The lack of compliments on my great figure because its turning down not so great lane.
The blue personal day request sits on my desk. I want to turn it in. I want to have off tomorrow so I can rent a car and drive to the Pinelands in NJ. I want to take my new bike and ride on the flat nature trails that run parallel to rivers and through tall pine trees. I want to enjoy the last warm tingle of summer as I prepare for the brisk air of fall. I want to go off the grid for one day, Chris McCandless style. I want one person to know where I am and contact no one during my time with nature. I want a break from people, my problems and the city.
But there the slip sits. Because two week ago I was sick and a week ago I took a personal day. I don't feel I deserve the time off. I don't feel my supervisor would understand that I have come up with an ingenious plan for self-care and reset and the only way I can pull it off is if I am not here tomorrow. I'm scared to turn it in. Scared she'll say no. Scared she'll judge my mental instability. It is for tomorrow. Short notice.
Yet I know if I do not turn this request in, I will hate myself for the weekend. Every happy thought I had will be replaced with an angry one. I will go about my work and weekend drudgery with the most negative of attitudes. All because I was too scared to say, "I need this to be ok."
For the past four years I volunteer at a Catholic Oktoberfest fundraiser around this time. I declined to participate this year. I'm just too overwhelmed by invisible problems and didn't have it in me to dedicate a day to helping out. That is how bad this has gotten.
I'd say "at least I have my health" but the truth is I have blood work to be drawn, specialists to see and levels of bad things in my body to bring down. I could say, "at least I have my teeth" because I went to the dentist for the first time in nearly 8 years and I'm cavity free. Yes genetics.
Things will get better. Problems will be resolved. Life will go on. I will bounce back. But to make that first step, I need to turn this slip in. I need a day to be free of everything.
Until next time...