Tonight I feel alone on an island with no connection to any human. I am in a tunnel that is growing narrower and narrower. The view is nil and the ride is solo. My body feels broken from the inevitable tension throughout. My breath feels caught in my throat, and my mouth goes dry. There seems to be no place for relief.
Then I remembered my friend, with whom I watched Parks and Recreation episodes when we both got freaked out and anxious, reached out to me this week. I have a tendency to forget I have friends. Sometimes, I have to make myself sit and write down names of my friends to remind myself I do indeed have friends. Even so, I still forget! I emailed my dear friend and fellow Parks and Recreation fan a bit ago to say I needed to reach out because I was feeling alone in the world. And, even in the midst of her own difficulties, she emailed back to say she was thinking of me. I cried just reading her succinct email back to me. So short, yet so everything to me in that moment. She wanted me to know she was thinking of me, of us, all of us. Sometimes that’s all you need to get through the night.
It’s been an exhausting week. Today was the first day this week where I felt stable and able to function. I was productive at work until I talked to Dan on the phone today. I asked him if I could make Christmas candy at his house next weekend. He said he did not mind having me come over to make candy, but he said that he wanted me to “make an effort in spending more time by myself at home.” He felt I needed to improve with my ability to be by myself at home.
I just started crying, and I switched. I know I switched because I started crying and talking like a child. I feel dumb in that I don’t know who I switched into. Doc is always asking, “Who’s this?” And I’m like, ” I dunno.” Really. I often don’t know. He seems puzzled when I say that. Trust me, the whole thing puzzles me as well.
Anyhow, Dan took it in stride that I switched. It was obvious to both of us that it happened. I appreciated that he just asked me if I needed anything, and he apologized for triggering me. He said he wasn’t trying to keep me away from spending time with him, that he was trying to help me. I believe him. He really sounded sorry on the phone, and I felt bad.
I am a baby, a cry baby. There is no denying it, and I hate it. I loathe it all day. It just is incredibly inconvenient to me to be such a cry baby. Today at work we were talking about the ins and outs of forming a board for an appeal that needs to be heard. I made a suggestion about one way of selecting members for this group, and this guy just said to me, “What the hell does that have to do with anything?” I was stunned. I felt metaphorically slapped. Trust me, I recognize that most peeps aren’t as sensitive as I am.
Then I had to wait while my boss spent 25 minutes talking with a co-worker about the tragedy of her Christmas tree falling over this weekend. She saw me waiting outside her door, and waved me into her office, but then proceeded to continue this personal conversation with a coworker for nearly a half hour! If I had known it would take that long I would have gone back to my desk. I was just waiting to see if she had any guidance on how to get the damn thing done. Well, by the time I was able to ask her my question about the stupid issue I just started getting all teary. I did not realize that I was still upset by the dumb guy’s comment, and that’s what probably got me teary. But … Ugh!!! I really hate that, especially since I know that she looks down on people who cry. She does not care for it. She treated me fine, but it blows that I’ve heard her make disparaging remarks about people who cry. It just feels humiliating.
It probably did not help that she had me stand there for nearly a half hour while she yammered about something else with a coworker. Still, I wish I was less sensitive. When things like this happen I start to feel like I’m in elementary school again, and even the teachers called me a cry baby.
I wish I had a STOP THE LEAKING button any time I start feeling like I am going to cry, but don’t want to cry. Such a thing would be incredibly handy to me.
Academic librarian with 15+ years of experience. Passionate about lifelong learning and student success. Interested in user experience and organizational leadership. For me, being a librarian has never been about the books--it's about the people!