Funny how I can go from feeling invincible to fragile, grounded to floundering, and back again in the flash of a moment. I know I am on shaky footing these days, hoping that the ground will eventually firm up beneath my feet and not feel like shifting sand as the waves recede. I can look at the calender and see how it was a mere few weeks ago that I had tumbled over the edge of the abyss. Tumbled, fell, hit the jagged bottom, and crawled back onto a narrow ledge for a toehold of safety and respite. I can look at the last few weeks and congratulate myself on my recovery. My strength. My resolve. But I can look at those same weeks, day to day, hour to hour, moment by moment view and understand the fragility of any given moment. It truely amazes me. I feel like a Maple tree: dense hardwood, glorious spreading canopy, vast trunk, and yet brittle, with hollow branches that can barely support their own weight. I need to be a Willow, that can bend and flex but spring back into shape without breaking. The Willow that can hold to the banks of a raging river without losing its hold.
At least my brittle moments have lessened, and shortened, so they are easier to disguise. It is second nature to choke down panic, fear, desolation, and anxiety. Hide it from the world, keep it held tight in my chest until it passes and I can breathe again. A few brief weeks ago, these brittle moments stretched to hours and days, making it difficult to hide that face from the world. I moved through life as an automaton, going through the motions of calm and normalcy, hiding behind hats and tinted lenses. Fleeing a room for a few moments of absolute breakdown until I could regain just enough control to fake my way through the working day. By comparison, the last week has been a cake-walk. Okay, not the last week, the last few days. Okay, the last 48 hours. I find I can measure my rationality in hours. Which also, truely amazes me.
I look at life these days with the "one day at a time" perspective. To be able to get through any given moment with calm is a victory. I shield myself from some truths. I actually delude myself, knowingly. Telling myself how everything will work out, everything will be fine. Some moments this is reality, others it is complete happy horse-shit. But I am my best source of positive reinforcement. When I find myself confronted by a truth I do not want to acknowledge, I turn away, deny it until I can face it down with resolve and strength. Some truths are too painful, overpowering, unacceptable, and so I will ignore them until they do not hold sway over my emotions. I am sure most would say I need to face these issues if I am to heal, but I know my limits. I will face these truths when I am more resilent, less brittle, less easily shattered, more like a Willow, less like a Maple. Until then, it is one day at a time. Hour by hour. Moment by brittle moment.