Friday, September 8, 2017

The Sarah Chronicles :: Sarah and Her Ritual



Some days Sarah skips around the edges of her depression and anxiety. Some days she manages to get on the treadmill and nourish her body. Some days she manages to touch the wisps of thoughts and swipe them aside. Some days she can throw some paint in a way that pleases her. Some days Sarah feels as though the weight is shifting. I just need to learn to love myself.

It’s not this way every day.

Sarah rolls off the couch where she’s been sleeping and hobbles into the kitchen to turn on the coffee pot. Her neck hurts and she’s got a headache. While the coffee brews she wanders to the bathroom to empty her bladder and brush her teeth. She considers doing her hair, but there’s no reason to make herself presentable, let alone pretty. She isn’t expecting any deliveries and she doesn’t plan to leave the house.

It’s the same thing every day.

She pours her cuppa, splashes it with cream and stirs in half a packet of Truvia. She knows this day will be no different than the rest as she remembers yesterday’s tears and the words that kept circling through her mind.…no one wants you here, no one cares how you feel, you’re worthless. She folds her blanket, gathers her pillows and places them back in the ottoman. She picks up her cuppa, pulls a cigarette out of the pack she keeps in her desk drawer and releases the beast from his bed. Her little companion clammers for the back door. As she makes her way to let him out she grabs a book, paper and pen. 

It’s the same thing every day.

She never gets much reading done and she cannot think of a single word to write. All that flows through her mind is how lonely she feels and how much she hates being in her life right now. All she feels is the unworthiness she’s known for most of her life. She takes a sip of coffee, another drag of her cigarette….I don’t even know why I am here anymore.

Her four-legged buddy returns indicating he is ready to go back inside. Sarah gathers her things and steps inside. She sits at her desk but it doesn’t last long. Her little beast is at her feet whimpering. She glances down and asks “What do you need?” He races to the sofa and perches himself on the armrest. He insists on lap time. After all, they’ve been apart all night. So Sarah takes her seat on the sofa, coffee next to her on the side table and Yorkie in her lap. She scans the on-screen tv guide and finds something to watch. With one hand she pets her beast, with the other she holds her phone as she scrolls through Facebook and Instagram. She’s an outsider looking into the lives of others. She sits alone with her dog and a cup of coffee having imaginary conversations in her head because she hasn’t got anyone to talk to. Sarah has never been friendless.

It's the same thing every day.

After a few commercial breaks she decides she can’t sit there all day wallowing in her loneliness. She has to get up. She needs to make art, but her art sucks. She needs to write, but her writing sucks. She’s numb and she can’t focus. Her mind is completely blank as she searches for something, anything; a word, a feeling, a color. She’s paralyzed by a pain she’s never experienced before. She’s never been this lonely. The kind of lonely you feel when you aren’t alone. The kind of lonely you feel when you don’t have a single friend. The kind of lonely you feel when no one appears to have a desire to spend any time with you, to talk with you, unless it has something to do with laundry, or paying bills, or needing more toilet paper. She has no idea why she’s here. She feels used up and worn out. Sarah wants out of this house, out of this marriage and sometimes, out of this life. But she feels trapped. Trapped by her own choices and sacrifices. 

It’s the same thing every day.

She wakes up alone; feeling rejected, abandoned, worthless and invisible. It feels clear to her that she is unremarkable and unnoticed….unless they need something. She steps out onto the back porch and smokes a cigarette. Reverberations of being called a bitch still felt months later. Anger bubbles up as she hears it’s all about you. Her defenses kick in. Of course it’s all about her. Because it never has been. She's repeatedly asked Collin for time; a coffee date, a quick lunch. He rejects her siting he doesn't have time. He has to work. Sarah has since learned that he meets with a friend regularly for coffee. 

Sarah feels crushed by the walls surrounding her. The mess and the clutter are weighing on her. Half finished wood floors and half painted walls she has no desire to work on. She resents that she’s doing it all alone. She walks through the house not knowing what to do. So much shit all over the place. It’s suffocating. The pain and loneliness in this house is overwhelming. 

She looks out the window knowing she has no place to go. She needs a job, but doesn’t know where to look. She sits at her desk and stares at the blinking curser on her computer screen. Facebook wants to know what’s on her mind. Does it really? Does it really want to know who deeply she hurts? She opens her planner and looks at the white space. She turns to her art desk and gazes at an empty canvas. She sits on the sofa and scans the television. She takes a sip of cold coffee and decides to refill it. She pulls a cigarette from the pack she keeps in her desk drawer. With coffee in hand, she steps out onto the back porch and starts the cycle all over again. Each time hoping things will be different when she returns.

It’s the same damn thing every damn day.

Sarah is paralyzed with fear, guilt, shame and anxiety. She can’t think. She can’t feel. There is an emptiness that pounds in her chest. A deep, black hole of pain. She keeps falling deeper and deeper into a never-ending vat of hollow aches reminding her she is not wanted here. Telling her she’ll never be good enough or worthy enough. So much so she often feels that she could disappear off the face of the earth and no one would really miss her.

It’s the same thing almost every day.


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