Things I keep to myself.

I have endeavored with purpose to be transparent. I have tried my best to lay it out on the table- believing that somehow that it helps and fearing that shoving emotions down, that hidden and secret things are toxic and will accumulate in time.

And so I share my feelings. I post my fears. I talk aloud because it is what I do, but it isn’t at all comfortable or natural. It is naked. It feels dangerous at times. There is always a pause between when I put these words down, and when I hit that electronic button that puts it out there. Out there for everyone.

Yet there are things that remain hidden. Hidden from you. Sometimes even hidden from myself.

And even though I do mention things, I don’t know if I really talk about it. Some of it seems crazy.

I do talk about how tiring this is, but I don’t talk about what happens to dreams. That after crashing down and shattering, and salvaging whatever remains, life becomes more and more about survival. And I might talk about the energy it takes to make it through the day. To make nice and act human, but I don’t talk about the fact that I have lost all ambition. That beyond eating and sleeping. I don’t care about a good deal of things. And if it wasn’t for meeting basic survival needs I could be content to sit in a darkened room all day, holding my knees.

Sometimes it isn’t that I don’t know what I want. It is that I want nothing.

Other times I fear that my personality has become watered down, slowed, tainted and diluted.  And that I fear few people really care to be around me.

I don’t talk about suicide– Not about those thoughts that cross my mind from time to time, or how distant they are from any emotional response. People will think I’m crazy or dangerous to myself. So I keep it to myself.

I don’t talk about how sometimes everything feels fake or unreal and how I don’t know if I am connecting or if this isn’t some kind of play and how I am going through the motions. Sometimes I fear I am playing my part poorly. I don’t talk about how lonely that feels. There is this fear that I am losing my mind. And there is that other fear, that I have already lost it.

I don’t talk about thinking over and over again about whether or not I have locked my car door. Or whether I have driven off with the pump handle still stuck in my car. Or if I drank my tea this morning or put the cup in the sink. Did I take my atenolol today? Did I latch the door properly. Did the dog get out? And then there are thoughts about punctuation… the improper use of the ellipse, and the oxford comma. Where I left things, what I lost, what I did with it, all these little things that make me feel different.

I don’t talk about songs that get stuck in my head, or lines of dialogue or poetry, or commercial catch phrases or plot lines or about multiplying numbers, rebuilding the periodic table, or by playing and replaying a game of Othello in my head.

I’ve gained weight. I’m in worse physical shape. And my blood pressure and blood sugar are high. I don’t think I spend too much time talking about that. My hair is grayer.

I don’t talk about forgetting dozens and dozens of names. Of never being certain that I have the names of people I know for years correct. I worry that I can’t recall those sonnets and monologues I once had memorized. Or that I can no longer do the calculus I once knew.

It is easier to be discouraged when all my motivation seems gone. It is easier to lose track of time when nothing seems to matter. I feel less aware of others. And that makes it easier sometimes to take people for granted. To be less careful about how I act or what I say. And I feel that a great deal of my desire to serve others has eroded and that my impulse to care, to be empathetic is faded.

But I get up in the morning and walk the dog and shower and have a moment where I drink tea and the cat sits on my laptop. I go to work and I do love my job. And I love to run into those dozens of people that make up this school. And so it isn’t so bad.

And there are things to look forward to: I paint and I write and I think about a summer trip to the Grand Canyon… of hiking rim to rim. I ran a 5k and I may run others. There is always another painting. There is always another blog.



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