I wrote this piece for The Huffington Post two years ago. While the particulars changed, the tenor holds true. Lately, I needed the reminding; that the bad days come, go and come and go again. But there is always hope, togetherness and tomorrow. In that spirit, included is this incredible artwork by Jared Dunten entitled "Marred." In it, I see all of us. Broken. Mended. Beautiful.
I'm writing in a darkened bedroom. It's 3:30 in the afternoon on a Wednesday. I should be at work, or taking care of my children. But I'm not. I am spent and spinning, tethered by twisted cotton and the weight of a heavy soul. Time passes like molasses, both frozen and boiled in the same pour. My head throbs with a migraine, which is like a headache in the same way urinating is like giving birth.
Unfortunately I know days like these well. The lost days. The days where I cannot muster the strength to be part of the world. This world where self-proclaimed demi-gods claim to be leaders, where concussed teenagers kill themselves alongside their brother and mother, where college freshman ballerinas will never dance again at the violent hands of another child the system failed, and where we humans can't seemingly rise to love each other no matter what the cost.
The days where my own heartache catches up to me -- the sum of what seemed small fractures over the past few months. Those deemed unworthy of mourning on their own, but as an avalanche feel insurmountable. This is a day where I would certainly cry over spilled milk, or even water. A day where I cannot be needed to tie shoes, choose a meal, partner or parent. I simply... cannot.
I'm thankful these days are less frequent than they once were. For awhile there, they could grow into weeks, even months. A darkness so deep that I believed the world was flat again.
I wish I had a secret spell we all could cast to keep these days at bay. But I don't. I know it's a combination of work and wisdom, grief and gratitude, time and tenderness. I also know perhaps keeping them away isn't the goal. For though I once saw them as punishment for unworthiness, I can now acknowledge they're wake up calls, forcing me to pause, regroup and reengage.
Yes, I may have lost myself a little, flitting right and left in attempts to center; a series of tiny steps in the wrong direction rendering my path momentarily invisible. But the difference between today and the lost days before is that I still know the path exists despite it being out of view. And I know that tomorrow I can start crawling back. It will be waiting.