today was a bad day. and it isn't often I have a bad day. I can vividly remember…only two?
my therapist would probably disagree and say that I have bad days, I just choose not to acknowledge them. that I tuck the sad, bad and the ugly emotions away in my head somewhere and keep doing what I'm supposed to. keep feeling what I'm supposed to. because, for some reason, being a vulnerable human being with needs, wants and emotions feels like I'm letting someone down, falling short of expectation. God only knows whose.
…we're working on that.
but today, today was pretty bad.
it started when my alarm went off (yes, this is the start of a bad joke.) I rolled over, cranky and with sleep still in my eyes and thought, "I'm not ready for this day". not a great start. hungry from the night before - due to a packed work schedule and a poorly planned evening meal - I groggily stumbled into the kitchen where I was greeted with a cheerful, "good morning sleepyhead" by my beautiful very-much-a-morning-person boyfriend. I think I mumbled something back (at least I hope so) and started preparing breakfast, because, the day would get better after breakfast. only to realise 10 seconds later that I had to make my feta + spinach omelette...without feta. it's worth mentioning that I knew we had used the last of it the day before - so this shouldn't have come as a surprise to me - but for some reason, being reminded of this fact in the dark hours of the morning was more than my mind was ready or able to handle. after assembling my spinach omelette (no feta, just to be clear.), complete with avocado toast, I stare at my plate only to mumble on of those four letter words I will advise my future children against adding to their vocabulary.
you see, ever since my brother died my grief has been eating away at me in the form of prescription strength acid reflux. It's something I've been working to manage (and have done reasonably well with…except when distracted by blinding hunger), but if I don't religiously take a probiotic at least 30 minutes before breakfast each morning I can pretty much bet on my stomach burning it's way through my body until I'm face down in a bottle of TUMS. big sigh. so, I pop a probiotic, leave my breakfast to get cold and crawl back into bed, because, I've only been up for 15 minutes and I already want this day to end.
at this point, I'm upset with the circumstances, but I'm more upset with my attitude and my start to the day because, I AM JOY. I can ooze happiness on command. why is this happening!? I set my alarm to go off in 30 minutes (who needs to shower anyway), hoping that I can wake up on a better side of the bed this time. after watching this all unfold my loving boyfriend comes in to cuddle me, untucking my face from the sheets to ask me what's wrong.
we both know what's wrong. instead of coping with my stress, grief and loss in healthy ways, I pretend it doesn't exist so I can be "normal" and bottle it up until one day - at the end of a long, taxing, in-demand week, the sadness just starts seeping out of my eyeballs, screaming for recognition. but, because he's the greatest, he asks anyway. and then proceeds to spend the next 10 minutes of his morning drying my tears and reassuring me that we, everything, will be okay.
after kissing his face and apologising for allowing my sadness to leave a mascara stain on his pillow, I decide to recommit to the day with a hot shower (and a cold breakfast). but, little did I know, I'd withstand a few more blows to the body before the day was done.
- I hadn't planned to use the phrase "what the hell!?" when delivering a presentation to the entire HR department of my workplace. gulp. my brain just sort of barfed and it happened.
- because it's Friday, and Friday is grocery day and I planned poorly for how much food we would need for the week, I didn't have lunch to pack or time to go grab lunch…until 3:30pm. that guy in the snickers commercials? yep. totally.
- I thought a quick workout might be a good pick-me-up until I got to the gym and realised I forgot my sneakers. ever seen someone deadlift in ballet flats? yeah. because, this day was not getting me down dammit!
- after having gone almost 6 hours without food, I stopped to get a salad and kindly asked to have the standard goat cheese substituted with feta (because, as you know, I didn't get any earlier). ** side bar: I've been allergic to milk and have avoided dairy for over 10 years. my belly revolts at the first bite, so I simply stay away. unless, it's feta. feta is the exception. I don't understand it and don't want to. I just enjoy it. ** halfway into my otherwise delicious salad I realise that my requested substitution went unfulfilled. and thus began a very uncomfortable ride home...
at this point, I'm finally headed home and the end is in sight. I have exactly one hour and fifteen minutes before my sweet boyfriend (who at this point, had just texted me an uplifting, "I love you" because he knew I was fighting an uphill battle) gets home and we head to his parents for a family dinner (a family dinner the has been planned for at least 2 weeks. because, you know, schedules.) he walks in the door at 6:30pm only to find me back in bed (after having popped a few TUMS), trying to start this day over for the 3rd time. he takes one look at me and says, "hey. why don't you stay home? maybe journal a little and get some of those feelings out. you're hiding and it's eating at you. let it out." cue the tears. again. after a blubbering argument about not wanting to disappoint his parents, he smiles, assures me that's nonsense and tucks me back in with a kiss and his promise to be home soon.
I don't know what on earth I ever did to deserve this man. and despite just how bad this day was,
this man is completely and unconditionally good.
after seven months of suffering hard days, managing overwhelming sadness and learning how to pick up the pieces, he is always there. constant and unyielding. always.
and it's because of him that I can wake up every morning and face another day.
Patrick, I love you. #thisisnotavalentinespost #butitcouldbe