above me, my neighbor sings absent-mindedly while doing the dishes,
her soothing voice draws out the tears I’ve been so eager to cry. this is not a perfect post, nor is it a happy one. this is a pain-channeling post, the kind that your therapist wants you to write. you’ve blocked out the emotional pain for so long. you’ve forgotten how to feel.
this is the kind of post you write when the emotional pain is so intense. you’d rather feel the physical pain. you’d rather split your wrist because anything’s got to be better than this.
this is tears rolling down your cheeks. this is rocking back and forth in the pastors’ hallway. this is convincing yourself that you will not be hit by a car if you go outside to change the sign. this is convincing yourself that, in the unlikely event an airplane flies into the church, the room you’re standing in is the safest. this is sitting in your therapist’s office. this is trying so hard to cry while in a safe place, with someone who gets paid to help you process your feelings.
this is wanting the earth to swallow you whole but not wanting to die. this is the heaviness associated with sadness. the weariness associated with tears. the emotional pain that does not equal crisis.
this is learning how to be human again. today, i felt anxious with a side of sad. a regular old smorgasbord of emotions. when all i’d rather feel is nothing at all.
this is not the kind of post you’d bring home to introduce to your family. the kind that every parent will fall in love with. this is the post you don’t talk about, you whisper about in secret. this is not an “i do” a “happily-ever after.”
what’s the word for when you have all these emotions bubbling up inside but they’re blocked. a volcano stopped with a cork.
this is channeling the pain when you’d rather slap a band-aid on it and hope no one notices the pain you’re in. the blood through the bandage.
this is the kind of post you write when you’re in pain but don’t want people to worry. because, after all, pain is inevitable. sadness is valid. or so your therapist says.
this is the kind of post you write when you promised your therapist that you’d work on self-reflection, which means feeling the emotions as they come. not ignoring them. not pushing them to the side. not making them feel invalid.
this is learning how to feel the pain in a healthy way, without the guilt, the remorse, the shame spiral.
this is the kind of post you write when your pastor is leaving and your sister’s moving to seattle. when all the changes happening in your life make the ground feel so unsettled beneath your feet. the kind of post you write when you don’t know how to put into words how you feel.
above me, my neighbors have transitioned into playing rockband. and me? well, i’m just sad. and that’s ok, too.