Have you ever had a dream that felt so real that it hit every one of your senses? The kind you wake up from and just can’t shake? I had one of those this week. And the aftermath wasn’t very pretty.
“I’m just done trying.” Those were the words I sent my friend B via text. I’m not really sure what I was “done trying” to do. Done trying to let go of the past? Done trying to find happiness? Done trying to believe in the fairy tale of love? All of the above? Yes. Probably. I think so. I was in such emotional and mental turmoil that I can’t even say for sure. I just know that I woke up from a dream that was too real and it felt like I had been sucker punched. And it hurt. A lot. And to be quite honest, I am a little sick of the pain.
So, B did what every true friend does. She tried to shake me out of it. She gave me the pep talk. She tried to make me laugh. She tried it all. And when all of that failed, she just went along with it. She indulged my pity party. She granted me that day to declare as my “shit day” and told me to embrace it. And I did. I embraced it in all of its tearful, painful ugliness. And I thought. A lot. About a lot of things.
And this is what I came up with. I’m done trying. Not of trying to let go of the past or of trying to find happiness. I don’t think I am even done trying to believe in that fairy tale love. But I am done trying to pretend. Pretending that I am happy. Pretending that I don’t care about P. Pretending that I don’t struggle with the depression that P’s exit left. Pretending is exhausting. I’m tired.
So, I guess in some ways, I really am just done trying. And that does make me feel unburdened. And it makes me feel better. In a weird way, it has opened up a little space for possibility. The possibility that one day I will have strung together enough happy moments that I can say I am happy again. The possibility that one day I will have made peace with my past so that I can enjoy the present and build a future.
But until then, I am going to stop pretending. As author Ellen Bass said, “There is comfort in knowing that you don’t have to pretend anymore, that you are going to do everything within your power to heal.” I have said that I am on a journey of healing. If I want to reach my destination, I guess I better put in the work.