[Originally written 05.12.14]
Saturday was strong.
On Saturday, I wore a tank top and sandals. The sun was out for most of the day. We visited with old, good friends, and we laughed.
On the drive home, it started to rain. We drove straight into the clouds, and the heavy droplets hit the windshield loudly, dribbling into one another. If I hadn’t been driving, I would have enjoyed watching them, letting them hypnotize and mesmerize as they danced down the windshield.
Because Saturday was strong, and so was I.
We drove through what must have been the worst of the storm, and the air on the other side was heavy and wet. As usual, the storm brought a sort of coloring to the world that only rain can. Greens seemed greener, the black of the road pavement more striking, and the reds of the dirt and the rocks burned.
I held Nick’s hand, and we talked about things more than we had in a while.
Monday was weak.
It was a day on which I woke up and could not garner the strength to push up from my warm bed, from certainty, from the known, from my husband, from acceptance, from assurance.
It was a day on which the mere thought of being awake, of showering, of the putting on of armor to face the day–concealer under the eyes, around the red splotchy spots, clothes and coats–made me sad, made me heavy, made me quake.
On Monday, I felt weak.
I woke up, feeling the pressing need to be covered in blankets and pillows, to be hidden from sight, and my mind was heavy and befuddled and swirling. I spent more time than usual sorting through my thoughts.
I just need time to think. I need more time to breathe. Everything is thick.
If I’m honest, the thoughts were still unsortable after 24 hours of rest, and it was all a haze, and my thoughts and words were still grey and misty, and the end of the day rolled around and I just knew I still need time.
Time doesn’t give a shit about your anxiety disorder, and neither does the weather. It will snow heavily on the day you most need the light sunshine, and the restful times behind you are never quite enough to equip you for the work that lies ahead.
You will feel vulnerable and afraid on the days that you need to feel strong and brave, and on the days when you need your words to be clear and fierce, they will come out muddled and muttered because that’s what anxiety does. Mutters and muddles.
Sometimes the sun comes up when you’re not ready for it, and it will go down just as you’ve gotten used to its presence. The sun will burn you when you want it to warm you. The snow will bury you when you want it to awaken you. The rain will drown you when you want it to wash you clean.
Time has no grace, and it knows not the meaning of mercy. Sure, you can try again another day, but another day is another 24 hours that pass, and all you can think about is how it took you the past 24 hours to remember how to breathe in and out like you’re okay.
Weak Mondays remember your strong Saturdays no more than snow remembers sunshine.
It’s mutual, you know.
Anxiety doesn’t give a shit about time either, or the weather.
Anxiety shows up on a Monday, fear and panic and doubt and confusion in two. Or it follows you to the grocery store when you just need to pick up a few things for dinner, and it will rob you of your stride, throwing kinks in your step and twisted tongue in your mouth. It will fog your mind and clatter your thoughts.
It is a toddler acting out, and it does not care if you have an interview today, or if you’re trying to make a lovely dinner for your husband, or if you have too many things to do today to deal with this shit as you trip over him on your way to run errands, or as you stumble over him clanking pots and pans together when you’re trying to cook dinner, or as you try to tune out his tantrum while you make that appointment with your doctor that you’ve put off for three weeks.
Anxiety grabs your hand without your permission and pushes and pulls, all the while dragging its feet to slow and weigh you down. It will trip you up and make you fall flat on your face, and it doesn’t care when or how.
Strong days or weak days, it doesn’t matter. What a day really is is a bunch of time. 24 hours of time.
And some times you have to take the fall, even for only hour, or 24 of them, or perhaps just for a rainstorm. There will be mornings when your first few steps are all stumbles, and your last ones, too, and during the steps in between, you won’t quite catch your footing, and you’ll fall into bed the same way you fell out of it: in shambles.
It will be sunny, or it will be stormy; but no matter. A day is just time, and weather is just weather.
24 hours may pass, and you may be no better than what you were 24 hours ago. But there are many more 24 hours to come, and they are called tomorrows.
Tomorrow brings the more time you need. Time to wrestle and fight back. Time to put on your coat for the snow, or squint your eyes toward the sun, or hold out your empty cup for the raindrops.
Even if today’s 24 hours were not enough, count on tomorrows, and stumble out of bed again because you needed time, and time came in the only way it can: tomorrow.