Monday morning I met my new personal trainer. I absolutely love her and am really looking forward to seeing her again on Friday. At long last I have someone who is teaching me how to move and improve my mechanics. It wasn't a workout in the traditional sense, but I was sore in certain areas after moving muscles in new ways. I gave her two hundred dollars happily and willingly. What she said makes sense and I can already tell that this will greatly benefit me and improve my health. Tuesday morning my new cleaning lady came over. I didn't clean anything beforehand so I could see how she approached my house. At the end of her marathon cleaning session she told me that I had a three hour house and she would recommend having her come every three or four weeks. I'm hoping that as my strength and endurance improve, and I'm able to work with my friend that I'll be able to do more so my philosophy right now is I am hiring experts so I don't waste more time, money, and effort by remaining in the same ruts.
After my cleaning lady was finished I gave her a twenty dollar tip. That's hard for me to do, but she did a bang up job and my house looked amazing. She stripped and remade beds, and got down on her hands and knees to scrub every inch of my hardwood flooring. She rearranged furniture in a couple rooms, did the baseboards, and worked efficiently the entire time. By the time she was left I was exhausted, but flying high. I had tweeted about my experiences and the responses I received were not the ones I expected. Most of the comments were very encouraging and supportive which is what my followers consistently deliver, but there was one person who told me not to break my arm patting myself on the back over the tip. My feelings were hurt, and perhaps this wasn't the best way to handle this, but I asked this person what I should have done instead. They said I should have tipped without mentioning it. That is their opinion and their view and their view, but what happened next was a clarifying and defining moment in my life.
A sports writer I know came down hard on this poor tweeter who has a grand total of seven followers. Throughout my life I have stood up to and for many things and other people. There are very few occasions where I have receieved that type of staunch, unwavering, and instantaneous support and I was dumbfounded that the conversation unfolded as it did. While I can be aggressive, I'm not very assertive, and that was a teaching moment for me because it showed me that when you stand up for people you care about, that can leave an impact on someone that touches them permanently. I've always believed in things like footwear that fits and respect for others, but to see it in action, and on my behalf was breathtaking.
What I failed to realize about having a cleaning lady over is the emotional impact it would have on me. At first I was hesitant and apologetic. Then I was helpful and industrious until I had to sit down to take things in and give my already and sore body a break. I went on a mad tweet storm, had some fun with that and then had to flee to the basement when I realized that I was having trouble breathing. I wanted to leave, but I didn't know where I could go in my grubby cleaning clothes and unkempt hair. While I was down there I did some laundry, I felt like I had dumped a toy chest out and was learning how to evaluate which toys I wanted to keep that I actually played with. During the cleaning session I wanted to take every stick of furniture I owned outside and burn it to make the resurrection complete. I had the crazed idea of hiring a crew of painters, getting a quote on having my bathroom and kitchen redone and finally having the functional and beautiful home that I had dreamed of as a child.
That afternoon a friend of mine and I started talking. A comment of hers sent me back to my private messages on Twitter and I was so angry at myself when I started reading because I had let a guy I didn't particularly care for chat me up while I was in a very emotionally fragile state. It started innocently enough, I had been tweeting about footwear and the conversation went behind the scenes when I asked if he would like to be interviewed. So we talked about uniforms and footwear and teams we liked and didn't care for, parents, and jobs. Today I am surprised that I survived the Friday after my dad left in June. I could have killed myself and I'm still not sure why I didn't go through with it so I'll have to talk to my therapist about that on Friday when I meet with her.
Yesterday I went back to read those messages and what sickens me is I was so terrified that I was grateful to have anyone to talk to at that time of night. Hindsight being what it is I realize that there are many people I could have reached out to, but when you're in that mindset help seems unhelpful. I couldn't imagine ever being free from the unstable whirlwind that was churning in my stomach or the numb and hollow half human half animal condition that I felt I was in at the time. It was a crisis, but it didn't feel like one because there was no blood and no splintered glass piercing the membranes beneath my skull in real life. It just left like someone had opened my head, dropped a cheap glass window pane inside of it and shattered it into diamond bright beads and long thin shards.
Around me people were going about their everyday lives and I imagined the insides of their heads as scrolling lines of code, or flickering ticker symbols flashing their green and red at me to indicate whether their value was increasing or dropping. The nice straight lines weren't visible on my screen, instead there was a convoluted snarl of mish mashed green and red that formed a muddy brown mess. No computer people could fix it and I had the idea that I was a modern day female Humpty Dumpty that people couldn't put back together again. I'm still not sure how I made it through my interview last night, but I did and I am thankful no one was aware of what was going on from a mental health perspective. I could have cancelled, but I thought that if I did people would realize that something drastic had happened and I didn't want inquiries or awkward questions.
The hunger for alcohol, drugs, and razor blades is incredible when I have these episodes. On a daily basis I am probably no more or less upset, depressed, or suicidal than most people. I realize that people have bad days and I get through them. But when that switch gets flipped I lose whatever anchor holds me to this earth. I'm not going to tell anyone not to worry as I can imagine how I would react to a post like this. I guess I want people to know that this is a part of my life and I would also like them to understand it in case it helps them or someone else they may know. I'm getting help, I'm doing the things that I need to, and I feel like not writing about this would be another pretense and I get pretty tired of trying to act like this doesn't happen.
When this happens I'm afraid of going to bed at night. Last night I did the dishes to avoid bed, and I can already feel the anxiety of meeting my pillow well up inside of me. I felt like a failure as a wife and mother when I had to hand over those crisp green bills to women who are going to help me reach a place I haven't seen before, and I know I'm hard on myself, but it seems like I should be capable of more than I am. I would like to end this on a positive note, but I'm not really sure what would make people feel better so I'll just close by thanking those who care and hopefully they will understand that I don't always have the words that I need to tell them that they are important and cherished. I pray that this will eventually go away, and until then I'm going to count down the days until I reach forty which seems like a milestone to cling to and celebrate when I make it there.