She woke up in a panic when she realized the alarm on her phone was going off. She started breathing hard and could feel her heart race. She stared solemnly at the TV. The news was on. She didn’t care what they were broadcasting. She was just thankful for noise to break the silence she immediately heard in her head. She knew the thoughts would ride in like a wave if she didn’t focus. She didn’t want to drown in her own sea of negativity. She sat up and grabbed the phone.
“Urgh,” she sighed. “I don’t feel like this shit.” The number on her email app showed 14 emails since she went to bed last night. She cleared the notifications and opened Instagram. Fitness gurus and natural hair models flooded her newsfeed. Everybody looks ready, energized. She wondered why she didn’t feel that way. Ready. She wanted to be ready. She scrolled and scrolled, double tapping on the pictures she likes. Then she opened Facebook. She cursed herself for doing that. The negativity only disgusted her more. Back to Instagram.
There’s no time left. The kids will be up in a minute. She’s got to get it together. She can’t let them see how hopeless she is. They need her regardless of how tired she feels. She doesn’t know why she’s always tired. She slept 10 hours most nights. It didn’t stop her from waking up more tired than she went to bed. She slipped in her robe and brewed a cup of coffee. The sun is rising. She set down and gazed out the window while sipping her coffee. She blinked away the tears that built up in the wells of her eyes.
“There’s no time for that,” she thought. She heard the shower. The kids are up. She slowly rinsed her mug and placed it in the dishwasher. She turned and walked idly up the stairs.
“Good morning, babies. How did you sleep?” She smiled like beauty contested an planted kisses on her children’s foreheads as they embraced her legs. She made sure they were well-groomed, dressed appropriately and fed before leaving for school.
Once they left, she cried as she showered. The anxiety rushed her. She began to pant. She could feel her heart pounding. The vein on the side of her neck pulsated. She forced herself to cleanse her body. She let the water run over her head as she wondered why she even woke up.
She stepped out the shower and got dressed. She carefully applied her makeup and styled her hair. She was impressed when she looked in the mirror.
“At least I don’t look like I really feel,” she thought as she smiled flawlessly. She hoped nobody would look into her eyes and see the truth. It was important that no one knew that despite having a man who adored her and children that made her proud, she felt inadequate. She went to work and used every ounce of energy she had being productive. Afterall, who would guess that she needed help if she was a success.
Does this sound familiar to you? Is it you, your sister or mother, your bestie? How do you survive?