Yesterday, I gathered my belongings, googled the best spot to get work done in Brooklyn, and took two trains to reach the Brooklyn Roasting Company. I got a delicious peach iced tea and sat in a spot that could only be described as the most ideal place for writing. I waited till I stopped sweating, opened my laptop… and nothing.
I wrote and erased and wrote and erased until I became so frustrated I was crying in the coffee shop. I closed the computer screen and thought maybe I just need to take a walk. I walked to the water, my usual happy place, and, in all honesty, I berated myself. ‘Why can’t you just write something? What is wrong with you? Are you stupid? Poor depressed Sarah, can’t even write about her own life.’ I then came to the conclusion that Tuesday was not my day to write. I felt defeated, low on energy, and pretty worthless.
I went to go eat lunch because I thought maybe that would help. As I sat in the crowded restaurant staring at the people eating lunch together, watching their conversations flow- symbiotic and mesmerizing- I felt alone, alone and sad. I got up at one point to go to the bathroom and my ass hit my neighbors cup as I tried to squeeze between the two tables. I heard the two people laugh and saw their eyes glance at one another. I was already feeling like shit, let’s pile on more. I could feel my face turning red as I sped to the bathroom. The bathroom, single stall, was where I tried to slow my breathing, hoping my red would dull. Of course, I was so embarrassed from the ass-cup incident I forgot to lock the door and my breathing exercise was not only interrupted, but my red face turned even more scarlet. “Someone’s in here” I managed to say in a high whisper. And then I began to cry again. Knowing I had to return to my booth where I had to shove my ass in between the tables again gave me anxiety. So I returned to my breathe, splashed cold water on my face, and avoided the mirror before returning to the table. I finished my lunch slowly, attempting to avoid judgment from my neighboring tables. I had this voice in my head that said ‘if a fat girl eats too fast while she is alone at lunch that won’t look good.’ Literally, no logic to this sentiment, but that’s where my head was at. As the table on my left (not the ass-cup table) was leaving they knocked their entire wine bottle of water into my lap. I smiled and said it was “no problem at all” adding in my head ‘this is just how my day is going.’ I looked at my phone and realized it was time to head to therapy. Thank yeezy.
I thought about how glad I was that I had therapy and how badly I wanted to cancel. I already knew that it was going to be tough one. Yet, I pushed myself to go. I knew it was what I needed. I hopped on the train to uptown Manhattan and arrived 40 minutes early, as someone with anxiety often does, and laid down in Central Park until it was actually time for me to be there. As I laid down it started to drizzle and I thought about how the sky is crying because I am crying. It felt like I was symbiotic with nature in that moment. Both of us rinsing our pain with water. I may not have had a lunch pal but I can always rely on nature to sit and engage with me.
It was then time for my appointment.
I went inside, sat on the couch, and burst into tears. “What’s coming up for you, Sarah?” My therapist often asks me this and I have to think about what is triggering my responses. “I feel empty. I’ve felt empty. I went to write, which is how I usually let things go, and nothing came out.” The session went on like this for about 60 minutes. Crying, exploring, crying, breathing, exploring, crying. Towards the end of the session my therapist said “Sarah, I’m scared for you. Are you scared for you? It feels to me like you are drowning.”
“Yeah, I feel like I am drowning.”
“Have you felt like this before.”
“Yeah, every few months or so. It’s just a cycle I am on. I know this will pass.”
Damn, she said that. I was taken aback, but also grateful to hear it.
“I’m sorry,” she continued “but I don’t play games in here. We tell ourselves stories and we start to believe those stories. You have trauma and yes, I am sure it feels like you are ‘stuck on a cycle’ but you are not stuck. It is up to you to end it, Sarah. You have to fight for yourself; everyday you have to fight. It’s not easy, but you have to do this for yourself.”
And with those final words she gave me a hug and whispered again ‘you have to fight’.
I left that room and felt her words echoing in my ears- “You have to fight for yourself.”
I hopped back on the train towards Brooklyn with my next destination in mind. I wasn’t headed home, I was headed to CKO Kickboxing. Why? Well, for one I had made a promise last week to try new things. Two- I walk past this place everyday and think ‘I should really try that’ so I figured today would be the day I do. Three- I am watching Riverdale still and Archie is doing boxing and it looks badass. Four- They have a 29.99 special for three classes. Five- I have to fight for myself.
It was hard. It was painful. It was exactly what I needed. Every hit, kick, run, and jump I felt myself fighting to be alive. Fighting to break a cycle, or a story rather, that doesn’t need to be my story. I sent my therapist a message thanking her and informing her of the class. She told me she was happy for me and that I can do this and to “KICK ASS”.
There are so many stories we tell ourselves yet, we forget that we wrote them and we can erase and rewrite and erase and rewrite until the very end. Yesterday, I felt defeated that I couldn’t write; my pattern of writing and erasing felt exhausting. Today, I realized that was an exercise and reminder for me- the epitome of ‘life imitating art’. Every time we write we can erase and every time we erase we can rewrite. Today, I woke up- sore from my workout- excited to rewrite.
Everyday I wake up is a chance to keep fighting and writing. I hope you all keep fighting and writing with me.
*Note: I found my new, amazing therapist from My Wellbeing – a website dedicated to finding the right therapist for you. If you’re in the 5 boroughs area and on the search for a therapist you can truly connect with, follow the link and fill out your profile today*