I left my counselor’s office yesterday feeling absolutely awful.
It wasn’t her fault. Dr. Sarah was lovely, as always. “We’ve got to help you learn to take better care of yourself,” she said at one point.
“All I want to do is sleep,” I replied.
“That sounds like depression.”
I was/am feeling pretty beat up. Zack left for the other side of the world to go teach and inspire and help people. Also to shoot for Fuji in Istanbul. You know, cool stuff. It’s a constant battle between the two of us on this issue of his work.
He says, “It’s what pays the bills. It’s draining. It’s not glamorous. It’s hard work.”
I reply with, “Yes, but you get to do what you LOVE to do. You’re working with a camera in your hands. You get to work in photography.”
I am the mom. I do the mom stuff. I am told that should be enough. That to be a mother is the most noble thing. The best thing.
There must be something wrong with me.
I love my kids but I long to do more with my life. It’s hard to watch my husband walking in his talents and not feel left behind. To not feel shut down. To not wonder, “When do I get a turn?”
Maybe that’s selfish.
I’m being pretty vulnerable when I write this.
Maybe I’ll erase this.
Anyway, all of this was going through my mind yesterday. Like it does. A sort of endless cycle.
“Just hang on, Meg. In 11 years you’ll get to make a decision for yourself. Based on what you want to do. You can do whatever the hell you want. In 11 years.”
I miss my husband. I like the guy, he’s my — as Hawke would say it — “best priend”. Last night I started watching some of his YouTube videos just to hear the sound of his voice. While watching the Pro Photographer Cheap Camera Challenge I made the mistake of reading the top few comments.
Where I saw this:
The fat girl is me. I was the one walking around in the background with Alamby.
I saw that and logically knew that I shouldn’t be affected by it. But I was. Oh I was.
So I wept. Hard. And for a long time.
I had a moment of what I would call “weakness” where I shared the screen shot on Facebook. Normally I am not one to share something like that, but I did. A lot of people responded with kind words. Words that were a balm to my wounded little heart. They meant a lot to me, so if you were one of them, thank you very much.
I am trying very hard to pull myself up by my bootstraps — like I always have. Like I always do. But I am having a much harder time of it than I normally do.
I am tired. So so tired. I’ve been pulling myself up by my bootstraps since my mother died when I was 13. Taking care of everyone else. I don’t know how much longer I can keep up. Part of me wants to crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head, and sleep — Rip Van Winkle style — for a long ass time. Even trying to write this is hard. It feels stilted. Clumsy. Wooden.
Being a mom is hard. Being a creative mom who can’t find herself is harder. Yeah, I just said that.
I know I will make it out of this somehow; right now, though, it’s feeling pretty grim.
What are some things you do when things feel so dark? I’m telling you — I could use some insights.