They have crept in, on cat-soft feet. My demons. They taunt me with my failings, my flaws, my ineffectiveness. I let my defenses falter, allowing them the tiniest fracture through which they flowed like water. They do not need more than a hint of an invitation to come in full force, make themselves at home, to wreak havoc on my vigilant, fastidious, mental housekeeping. It was fatigue, this time, as it often is. Fatigue and feelings of inadequacy. Body has been betraying me lately, and Brain has been muddling about in a fog. The world seems brash, harsh, painful, cold, I have become over-reactive, as is my inclination. Body and Brain both suffering from Princess And The Pea Syndrome. The slightest touch, lightest pressure is like nail driven into flesh, or mind. I am overwhelmed by sight and sound, feeling battered and bruised, exhausted, battle weary.
I am assaulted by reminders of my shortcomings, those I cannot help, those who need me but who I am failing. I force myself to turn away, as my heart cries out defiance. I am told, "you can't help them all." Why not? Why can't I? I can't even help the small and innocent closest to me. Why am I not strong enough? Why am I not capable? Why do I fail? I can't even help myself, so what makes me think I can help others? I am fighting my nature, fighting against the need to crawl into my shell and hide. I am doing everything in my power to not give in to whispers that I am not good enough, not smart enough, not strong enough. It does not change my desire to save them all, save all the small, innocent, weaker beings that need a strong arm, and strong spirit. But Heart is breaking. As strong as Heart is, it cannot help but feel the bruising, abrasion, and lacerations inflicted with each perceived failure. As Brain and Body flounder, Heart tries to take the lead, struggles to keep us upright and moving forward. To keep us from laying down, giving in to despair. And yet it is Heart that is most likely to feel despair in the face of enormous odds. Heart takes the lead, for better or worse.
The Demons are clever at their craft. Whispering their malicious, vicious, abusive taunts. They know where I am most susceptible, they understand my doubts better than I do. Their adroit, facile flaying of my psyche is a marvel of their cunning craft. They are, indeed, masters of their art, fifth level black belts in the martial art of emotional and psychological flagellation. I can almost admire their proficiency and inventiveness. But I wish they would take their show on the road, and leave my psyche intact and unsullied.
I will do all I can to rally Body and Brain, to shore up Heart, to make it through one day at a time. To prepare myself for a future that is heading towards ample opportunity to finally help who I can, or to fail miserably, dramatically, horrifically. I am glad I cannot see the future, for if I could I might very well run away and hide. Instead, since I am naively heading forward, idealism held high like a beacon against the dark, I will only know success or failure when it hits me full power in the psyche. Body, Brain, and Heart have to be ready. The Demons can do their damnedest to turn fatigue into feelings of abject failure, and I may be listening at the moment, but I know I am stronger than they. I may not be strong enough to help everyone, but I am strong enough to beat back my Demons once again. That I know I can do. But g'damn, I am tired.