You guys, I'm alive. I mean you knew that. But here's the thing. I'm ALIVE. This is wonderful, this is exciting, this is painful, this is frightening, this is overwhelming, this is hard.
Being comfortably numb (with apologies to Pink Floyd) has its benefits. It is by its very definition, comfortable. One only has to have dental work without full anesthesia to know that numbness can be a very desirable thing. It has its place. But it is no way to live.
Life is really intense lately, it's been truly uncomfortable. Sometimes barely tolerable. But there have been some freaking excellent highs sprinkled in there on a consistent basis too. Having experienced comfortably numb, uncomfortably numb and flat despair. I feel privileged to feel the burn of being alive.
Last night I was at a birthday party for an awesome friend. I was surrounded by wonderful friends. Life was good. There was laughing and dancing and happiness. This morning the demons woke me up. Problems seemed insurmountable and all consuming. I felt trapped and overwhelmed. I felt the numbness creeping in. I pictured soft earth, burrowing myself into it, curling up fetal, shutting it all out. No decisions to make, no dilemmas to solve, no painful conversations to have, no uncertainty, no anger, no insecurity, no more questions, no more feelings. Appealing. Bury it. Shut it all down.
A run was in order. I knew it. The weather is impeccable. Had to happen. But I weighed 10,000 lbs and the weakness in my limbs was profound . Extreme emotional exhaustion was my self diagnosis. It's more draining than the longest run I've ever done. I sat at the entrance to the woods willing myself to get out of the car and run. But I just felt heavier and heavier and more and more tired, the soft earth fantasy was more and more appealing. I pictured myself going home, going up to my room. pulling the blankets over my head and falling asleep. But sleep is never really a great escape for me. I dream constantly and vividly. So that kind of sucks. I feel myself detaching watching myself slipping back into the place I have clawed my way out of.
Defeated, I put my car into reverse and started backing out. I saw another car waiting to get out, so pulled forward again. I caught sight of the driver. It was a young guy, he smiled and gave me a friendly wave. He looked alive and happy, he had just been in the woods, in the fresh air and sunshine. I wanted to feel like that. I didn't want the soft earth to cover me. I pulled back into my parking spot. I made a playlist. I named it Kirsty Kicks Ass.
I dragged my 10,000 lb body out of the car, my weak limbs trailed along behind me. I cranked up my music. I told my legs to run. I thought about the conversations I have had this weekend. I thought about the friends I have.
I thought of my beautiful brave friend who has endured more shit than anyone deserves to, who encourages me even as she struggles. I thought of her echoing my question emphatically, "why is it so hard to LIVE?". How validated I felt at that moment. I thought of my friend who always reminds me that I'm in charge of my own life, who says, "I get it" and 100% does. I thought of my friend who is going through the hardest time of her life and continues to be a rock. I thought of the friends who freely express confidence in me and love for me. I thought of my son who told me
"mom you are so awesome" as I left the house. My pace increases. The limbs stop feeling weak. I think about how hard life is for every single person I know, how we are all connected in suffering. Health problems, money problems, kid problems, lonely marriages, unrequited love, insecurities, feelings we are not at liberty to express, I think about how good it feels to laugh, I think about how lucky I am to have people in my life who make me laugh every day. As I run I feel the soft earth under my feet. It is springy, it launches me forward. It is good to be alive,