Over the last week, my life has felt like it’s imploding. I work almost every day, my work life balance is non existent, my house is a mess, I have a home repair issue, and my mental health is spiralling. I’m tired and overwhelmed and I genuinely feel like my life has hit rock bottom. My life has been stressful at times, but never so much so that I’ve felt so overwhelmed I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. My thoughts have been intrusive and dark and I have to actively fight not to give into them, and the CMHA crisis line hears from me a lot at 3am. I just feel like I’m drowning in a sea of responsibility, work, and anxiety. I took a massive pay cut this year so I’m scraping to make ends meet while working as much as I can just to earn as much as I can to make it. When you are stretched so thin, you feel the burnout radiating through your pores. There are nights I stare up at the ceiling and just pray not to be here anymore. That’s where I am right now. I’m also very, very alone.
I should preface, it’s not really a romantic partner I want when I mean “I am all alone.” I date when I have time, and if it happens, it happens. I mean I just wish I had someone to jump into the trenches when I need help. I have amazing friends who listen, mostly without judgment, and it’s helpful. I love them and I appreciate them listening. But they also have their own lives, so when I want to text and say I’m at rock bottom and I desperately need help and guidance, I also know they have work and families and priorities that don’t necessarily mean “help my friend who made a mess of her life for the 800th time.” But I just wish I had a teammate. Someone who could help me when things are over my head. Someone to help me with my mom. Someone who understands the challenges that come with raising my family. Someone to lessen the load. But my own family doesn’t check in. There’s no offer to help with my mom. There’s no one to talk to when my brain is the meanest in the middle of the night. There’s no one who can help me at home so I can work the extra hours, because I can’t ask anyone to take away from their life to fix mine. I can’t ask the kids to take on the big people jobs like running the house so I work. I just finally got benefits back so I can go back to therapy, but I make too much for government aid and not enough for a maid. So it’s me, all alone, against the universe, as it’s been for so many years, and I’m tired. I also feel like if I’m honest with people about how I’m feeling, then I’m complaining. So when people ask, I tell them platitudes;
– I’ll be fine
– it’ll all work out
– it’s under control
This made me start to realize I’m all alone because I’m too proud to admit I need help desperately. I already feel defeated, so I feel like obviously all of my friends who are killing it don’t need my eternal gloomy depression and exhaustion to mess their sunny days. I feel like everyone has to be sick of hearing about how my inability to learn from the same mistakes over and over. So, I tell everyone what they want to hear; that I’ll be okay. But I’m not. I want to cry and scream and even though my traumatic life has made me hate physical contact, I just want a hug. My hippy friend gives the best hugs, but she’s so far away. My best friend from high school gives pretty great ones too, but she’s also really far away.
My role has always been the strong, optimistic friend. That’s all I ever hear “you’re so strong, you got this.” So I’m always afraid to tell people when I’m not. But I also wonder how many other people are also afraid to just admit they feel awful. Maybe they’re struggling too. Maybe we are all walking through life barely hanging on to our mental health, wondering why no one seems to care about us, it’s because we bury it until there’s nothing left of us. Then we sit up bleary eyed, crying at 3am with only Taylor Swift to keep us hanging on, or maybe that’s just me. Maybe if we were able to say “I need help,” or “I’m not doing okay,” there would be someone there for us. Basically, much like every other thing in my life, I’m all alone because I’m afraid of telling people how much of a mess things are. Maybe that’s how it is for everyone and we are all just floating through trying to hold it together while our late night ghosts keep us up.
But no matter how lonely and dark everything is, or how miserable I am, I can always count on my friends to try to help, with texts, memes, and a listening ear. I’m grateful that even if they can’t jump into the trenches and help me feel like I can get everything under control, at least I have people on my side who care, which is more than a lot of people have. And maybe everything will work out. But if you also feel like you’re drowning, at least you know there are other crazy single moms who are barely holding it together and cry in their car before they go into the house. You’re not alone, and you’re probably doing great. Even if you’re not, you’re probably doing better than me, and that’s not much, but it’s something we can drink to.