ON FEELING FLAT

I blame it on the moon, on my hormones or my period. On how much I am sleeping, on how much coffee I have drunk, on where Mercury is (even though I don’t know where retrograde is or what that has to do with me anyway).

I tell myself that I am tired, or not eating well enough, I’ll put it down to work being quiet, or to stress, or the negative influence of those around me. I want the wind to change.

I frantically ask my friends how they are feeling, in the hope that my mood has something to do with the seismic power of the universe and not just a failing on my part.

I watch TV, light candles, run, sleep, read, relax, work, call my friends, avoid calling my friends, listen to music, breathe, cry. I do all the things you are meant to do.

I tell myself to ride it out, that everyone goes through periods like this, all the while wallowing in a loneliness that feels so excruciating there is no way that anyone else could possibly feel like this.

I get up and I show up because that is what you do. You pretend to be happy for long enough that at some point, you won’t need to pretend anymore. I breathe through my anxieties, I fight the feelings, I talk myself down.

I cope.

I’m just flat.

I wait for the feelings to pass, because the feelings have to pass.

Just last week I was a ball of joy. Looking to the future, anticipating, impatient. And then out of nowhere the wind is knocked right out of me.

Where does all the excitement and enthusiasm go? It can’t just disappear, explode from my body in a cloud like chalk off a duster as life flattens me to the ground.

I don’t believe that. It’s in here somewhere. Buried beneath the anxieties, beyond the fatigue. I can feel it.

I’m just flat.

It’s a ball in the pit of my stomach, it gains momentum and as I think about it I feel it fluttering upwards. I feel it fighting with the weight on my chest. Like a rain drop landing on a moth’s delicate wings I feel it fall back to the ground with a thud.

I need to wait for the rain to stop.

I’m just flat.

The answer is to pull myself up and to pull myself out. The answer is to paint my smile on. I’m happy to be here. Just wait. Wait for it. Wait for the smile to reach my eyes. It can’t… tears are in the way.

They’re waiting too. Waiting for something. They’re waiting to come out although we both know that they needn’t, the suspense is enough.

I’m waiting.

And as I wait, doubt creeps in.

Don’t stand still for too long, everything catches up with you.

Why do I feel like this? When will I not? What does it mean? It has to mean something. Everything means something.

I’m just flat.

But maybe I’m right to be.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m all wrong. Maybe work is wrong, my body and my hair and my face. Maybe my friends are wrong. More likely, maybe I am. Wrong for them. Maybe it’s all wrong. Maybe my life is wrong. Nothing right can feel this wrong.

No, I’m not wrong. I’m just flat.

Wait.

I have to wait.

Wait to feel right again. I will feel right again. Wait for the rain to stop. Wait for the winds to change. Wait for it.

Do something.

Move.

Be the change. Evoke it.

Don’t wait.

Stop waiting.

Stand up. Shake the worry to your toes and force the sadness out your mouth. Smile. See the excitement around you, glittering air particles as far as the eye can see. Gather it. Seize it. Scoop it up and hold it close. Dance in it. Breath it in. Feel it rushing through you. Push it. Force it.

It’s in.

Still, the world feels grey.

You feel the sparkle dull.

You’re failing. You’re wrong. They don’t want you. They don’t like you. There is no point.

No.

Stop it.

Wait.

You’re just flat.

It will pass.

It always passes.

It will pass.

It is normal to feel flat.

To feel that the world has sucked from you the energy that you once burned through as if the embers would burn forever.

To push and push only to find that something rooted at your very core is holding you back.

To be holding it together on the outside only to feel as if every time you move something crumbles inside you.

To want to hide from the world.

To want not to be forgotten by it.

To want to disappear.

To want to be seen and noticed by everyone.

To want not to be touched.

To want those around you to hold you close and promise never to let you go.

To want, more than anything, for the flat to leave. For the lights to come back on. For the weight to be lifted. For the wait to be over.

These feelings exist often without reason and without cause for justification. That is okay. They are okay.

Exhausting, tiresome, lonely, painful, frustrating, sad, but okay.

You are frail and you are drained, but this is not what weak looks like. This is not what failing is.

So we wait. We hold our breath and bite our tongue and we wait.

Unplug. Step back. Breathe out.

Wait.

Wait and see.

Wait to see it get better. To get easier. To get smaller.

It will get better. It will get easier. It will get smaller… perspective is a wonderful thing.

It’s okay to feel flat.

But it’s important to stand tall.

To try. And to work. And to wait.


If you are experiencing any feelings of poor mental health that go beyond this, please do seek help – I’m leaving a link for the Samaritans website below xxx

Samaritans Website

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1 Comment

  1. Paige
    May 13, 2019 / 11:30 am

    Poetry. And the actual definition of my last week. Love this. So real.

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