This is going to be a different post. I wrote this a while ago when I was having a rough time and it’s been sitting in my Drafts collecting dust, never really thinking it would make it out of that folder since it didn’t really fit with the rest of this blog. But the last few weeks I’ve talked to so many different people; friends, coworkers, clients, that are going through or helping someone go through some heavy and difficult stuff. I figured it would be an okay time to revisit this post and put it out into the world.
It’s okay to feel sad. Or empty. Or so lonely in a room full of people that you feel like you could scream and no one would even look your way. That kind of sadness is suffocating. I feel and have felt that kind of sadness off and on for a large majority of my life. It’s like I feel everything too much. It’s exhausting and anxiety filled and it sucks really bad. But it’s not all the time. It rarely ever lingers more than a few days, sometimes weeks at the most. And I can honestly say the older I’ve gotten the better I am at keeping those feelings at bay.
I had my first complete breakdown when I was 24. It was a Saturday night in October. You can call it a nervous breakdown, a mental breakdown, whatever it was, it happened. And it was scary. For Matt, my parents, I’m assuming probably for my animals sitting in the room at the time. But something happened that October that set into motion a way of thinking and dealing with my heavy boots.
*Side note: “heavy boots” is from my all time favorite book “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” The main character, Oskar, calls his sadness he gets his heavy boots and since reading that back in 2010 I’ve referred to mine as the same.
You see, before that night in October I never talked about these feelings with people. I didn’t want to be a burden on anyone. So I just let it build up and up and like a pressure cooker with a blocked valve, I exploded all over our family room. We have this weird thing in our culture where girls are always seen as too sensitive. And boys don’t cry. Well, at least they aren’t supposed to, right? And both of those things are so skewed and twisted. It makes it hard to talk about your feelings without people already passing judgment before hearing you out. But after that night I started talking. Now I tell Matt when I have heavy boots, or when I start feeling even the slightest way that I did leading up to that night in October. And 99.9% of the time that helps me. And it is so damn important to find something that helps you. Because you are not alone. Ever. Let someone help you pick up your feet when your boots are too heavy for you to move on your own.
Whatever you’re going through, just know it will get better. Close your eyes. Breathe. Cry. Call a friend. See a doctor. Do whatever you need to do.
Find something or someone to help you lighten your heavy boots.
Right now I can close my eyes and hear birds chirping and feel the warm sun on my face.
I can put my hand on my chest and feel my lungs fill up with oxygen and my heart pumping blood all the way from my temples to my toes.
And I know everything is and will be okay.