Sometimes I feel like I have it all together. I have quit smoking. I am drinking my water. I added my vitamins in, cautiously. And there I am, taking my vitamins. I am showering every morning–that was not always a certain thing, but here I am, taking care of my hygiene properly, taking care of myself. I put lotion on every day to, I hope, somehow magically take care of the skin that seems looser with every pound I lose. I go grocery shopping. I cook meals that have protein.
Every day I think about going to the gym. I miss it, truly–physically, I miss it. Mentally, I am just about there, all sweaty and enthusiastic. Any second now I’ll be at the gym. I try to keep on top of the house; I don’t make my bed, anymore, but I am putting my shoes away, instead of letting them accumulate by the front door. Sometimes I feel like maybe I am not a total wreck, and that I can keep it together. Sometimes I have one of the worst weeks of my life and realize that I am so far from together that if I sent Together a postcard, it would arrive after I was dead. If I manage to die of old age.
This was a very terrible week. And I’ll tell you why, because I need to talk about my terrible week. Sometimes, I need to wallow. And maybe you’ll tell me, "Oh, that is not so terrible" and maybe I will say, "Oh, probably you are totally right," and then, I’ll be fixed. Or maybe a passing god will see everything sad all laid out on the table, a litany, a dirge, my oh poor me, and will take pity and turn me into a newt. Now that witches are generally extinct, I imagine that the life of a newt is a good one and not filled with any particular anxiety–except newt-style anxieties, which are very small. Proportionally speaking, maybe they would be big to me as a newt. But I am pretty sure, sitting here, feeling my heart skipping in my chest and having to remember to breathe in and breathe back out, that I would prefer newt anxieties. Oh, I’d prefer them.
A newt doesn’t have to be perfect, and my mom tells me I don’t have to be perfect either, which is a good thing, because perfection is something that I am very, very poor at. Except somehow, I got myself a job where perfection is the point. I am a proofreader, and my job is to make every single thing we put out into the world perfect, and you would be surprised, maybe, at the kind of anxiety that causes. Especially when you know you are not perfect, that you are fallible, and frequently so. Especially when you have your mistakes brought back to you and things explained to you while you burn with the shame–it feels like actual burning, it really does–of being a fuck up. And then you spend 14 hours a day at your desk in a panic, because there is so much work, trying so hard to be perfect and knowing in your heart that you are the furthest thing from perfect and that you really can’t afford to live in the street once all your mistakes add up and you are fired–for not being perfect.
I can’t take the 14 hour days for much longer. Or the calls from my landlord, telling me that this isn’t going to work out, and I’m going to have to leave. Because my rent check was late, because I fucked up my automatic bill payment when I changed the amount, because he is seizing on an excuse to evict me because he wants to redo my apartment and sell the building. I would move–I don’t mind moving. I like to find new places. I like to shake things up and nest somewhere new. Except that I got paid on Friday, and am already $300 back in the hole, because my money situation has spiraled so far out of my hands that I will never catch up, not ever, and I am so tired of being poor, and a fuck up. A poor fuck up.
At least I’m not pregnant. That’s off my plate. And so is the relationship that started with a suddenness that took my breath away, in a way that felt right and good and possibly perfect, which ended with a very similar suddenness that leaves me gasping and absolutely, stunningly bereft. How, in such a short time? And why does it have to hurt so much?
It’s an accumulation of bad luck and mistakes and things that can be fixed and things that will be OK. I know that. I know I just have to keep going, and keep trying hard to not fuck up, and keep things together and do what I can to get everything back under control. I can enjoy feeling sorry for myself, wallowing for awhile. But right now. Right this second? The idea of being drunk for a week is appealing. The idea of sleeping for a week–no, weeks. Months. Years. So appealing. The idea of curling into a ball and having someone pet my head while whispering, "It’s OK. Everything is going to be all right." That appeals to me immensely. And that is what I cannot have, because I have to be an adult, but I am tired of being an adult. Immensely, tragically, dramatically, pathetically tired of it, for fuck’s sake.