It’s 4am, and despite everything, sleep has eluded me tonight. I’ve spent the day trying to write articles, to no avail. My brain has refused to shut off, while also refusing to turn on. It’s an odd place to be in mentally.
I had thought by this point I would be back full-fledged into blogging, finding a healthy work/life balance, and simply moving forward. Blogging has been harder than I expected, not because of a lack of time, but I think, at least in part, because I’m still processing. As for a work/life balance, I’m beginning to wonder if that is even a possibility in this career.
It’s been a long time since I’ve actively blogged about things I’m facing, rather than current events/issues. My blog has been driven by the desire to provide content of value rather than content of a personal nature. As such, I sometimes wonder if I have lost a chunk of what makes blogging important to me. This fact also makes me feel slightly out of my element when writing a more personal post.
It hardly feels possible that it is already August, and yet, here we are. Two-thirds of the way through 2016, and it has not been the productive, positive year I had planned on it being. Quite the opposite, in fact. What it has successfully been is an emotional, stress-filled, frustrating 8 months, filled with confusion, a lack of direction, and lots of self-doubt.
In February, I was sent on a medical leave by my doctor. In my last post, I spoke about never thinking I would have been burnt out by 30, but there you have it. If I’m being honest with myself, I was barely functioning. I won’t go into details on what happened or how I got there, but I will say it has left me questioning everything about my work life and career goals.
I spent four months trying to recover from being mentally, emotionally, and physically drained. Four months trying to get my life back on track. Four months on learning how to be happy and satisfied, and do things that made me happy again. And in the span of a month, I feel like it’s slipping away again.
I can’t fully blame that slipping and sliding on work though. I’ve been off my game for over a month now, and I haven’t been able to get it back. One of my best friends passed away at the end of June. She had a long, hard battle with cancer, and though she was part of my life for such a short time, she made a huge impact.
You would think with all the death I have encountered in life, I’d know how to process and deal by now. But I don’t. Most of the time, I feel okay, save for that numbing fog in the back of my head. Different things set me off — sometimes I go from totally fine to sobbing for the strangest of reasons.
Every time I sit down to write, I can’t find the words. I can’t find the words to talk about her, or to talk about anything. When I sleep, most times I dream about her. I dream she’s alive again; I dream she never left.
I miss her. While I barely saw her over the last six months of her life due to her condition and frequent hospitalization, we still spoke over text as frequently as she was able. Sometimes, I still check my phone expecting for a message from her, updating me or making plans. I can’t bring myself to delete her text messages because they are the last little bit of her I have with me.
I don’t even know how to express how I feel about all this. I’m not angry with God for not healing her in the way we wanted or for taking her from us. She is finally without pain or struggle and in a place of pure joy. But I can’t deny I feel robbed. And maybe that’s selfish of me, but it’s true. I feel robbed of the chance to know her better, robbed of being able to have the time to fully enjoy our friendship before things got worse for her. I feel robbed of a friendship I’ve never experienced with anyone else.
And I feel guilty for that. I feel guilty because what I was robbed of was only a fraction of what her husband and family lost. Because the hopes and dreams and plans we made together pale in comparison to the hopes and dreams and plans she and her husband had.
I don’t know whether my grief is playing a role in my current lack of satisfaction with where I am at in life. I can’t say for certain, either, if that continued grief is the root cause of my mental fog or simply another contributor to it.
What I do know is I need to snap out of this. I need to figure out where it is I’m going, what it is I want, and how to move forward. Because right now, I’m tired and I’m still worn out. And frankly, I’m tired of being tired. I’m tired of feeling emotionally and mentally stuck.
I just want to move forward again. To feel joy that my friend is out of pain instead of hurting that she is not here. To feel like I’m not trapped somewhere where my work is meaningless and I will never move forward or up. To feel like I’m doing something of value, and actually able to focus on enjoying my life instead of feeling like I should always be working, lest I fall behind.
And truthfully, I don’t know how to do any of that without feeling guilty that I am letting people down.
It’s now 5am, and probably a good time to end this ramble before I go on too far.