I have a sneaking suspicion I may be one step away from reaching my limit. I always knew I had one. I was just cocky enough to believe that mine was a hell of lot bigger than everyone elses. The Grand Canyon of limits. But of late it seems more akin to a thimble, than some humongous marvel of the natural world. Of late the continual blows seem to have reached critical.
I've always been the one who holds it together when everyone else is unravelling. I've always been realistic and practical. I have the stifling of emotions down to a fine art. I don't ask for help. I don't rely on others. I don't share my demons. I sit and hold the hands of others whilst they give free reign to their emotional wildfires. I pick up the pieces. I pat the hands. I make the soothing noises. I distance myself from reality to give what is needed. And those that receive my ministrations continue, oblivious that my need is as great as theirs. A secret I hold tightly to my chest.
But reality is a persistent cow. All my hard fought battles to be positive and hopeful are being swamped by a relentless tide of dread. All the negative thoughts I suppress so expertly, are welling up, like fetid water seeping through the rocks beneath my feet. I feel myself sinking, dissolving, into the murky swirl around my ankles and I don't even know where or how to begin to look for aid. I sabotage myself, continually refusing permission to even think of succour.
I rally against it. In vain it would seem. All those little shadowing voices. Little bites, ripping at my spirit. Normally I can beat them back. But today, today they are goose stepping their way across my being, relentless in their desire to conquer. I am but the dirt under their boots. They care not what I feel. They are as devoid of emotion as insects. Driven on by an instinctive need to consume. I fear that today they will take all that I am. Part of me wonders if submission would bring relief. Part of me wants to let that seductive darkness surround me. To lie in it's comforting embrace. To end the exhaustive war for me.
I want to curl up. To hide away. I want to cry out "no more". The emotions I have long suppressed threaten to rise up and sweep me away. I fear them as others fear death. I fear that to let them have voice I will lose the me I have long fought to create. I fear to unshackle them and reveal the truth. To expose that the long crafted façade is really a fraud. A fraud perpetuated not just on others, but also myself.
My voice cries out "This isn't me. I am not like this". But the rising tide of doubt and dark says otherwise. How do you fight an enemy that comes from within? Walls can be built but the enemy remains on the other side. It sits there patient. Waiting. It knows it's time will come. It knows that as hard as I deny it, it still exists. In my waking nightmares. It roams the corridors of my mind, seeking escape. Leaving a trail of wreckage in it's wake.
It has many names; doubt, hopelessness, helplessness, guilt, emptiness. Once released I know not whether I can ever restrain it again. To allow it free reign may let forth an endless and destructive torrent. I fear to lose myself in that moment, swept away forever in the darkness. To never regain the hard fought illusion of strength. Today it pounds heavily at the door. Today the cracks have widened. Today I fear it may gain admittance.
I never use the word 'hope'. It has never been part of my vocabulary. Hope is a thing for those who cannot bear the harshness of reality. Hope is bound tightly to it's mate, disappointment. To allow it entry is to also give admittance to more pain. Hope is for fools. But today I find myself envying those who have hope. Today I want a little piece of that for myself. Today I want to believe that things could get better. That my body may finally be healed. That the wounds to my heart and spirit may someday be less raw. I don't care if it's delusional. I only want it for a moment.