Thursday, December 7, 2006

The Blackest Day

Every year has one. At least one. I was trying to figure out what day it would be for last year, and I came up with two. I finally narrowed it down, but there was a definite second place. So what is the blackest day? The day of the year that is the rock bottom. The valley for which the height of the rest are measured off of. And Monday was that day for me.

I've been so stressed and anxious and upset lately. But Monday something happened, and I was finally able to cry. It's hard for me to cry. It takes a lot sometimes. Once those floodgates open, it's tough to close them. I've been crying every day since. Which is good and bad. It's good because it's a relief, a release of all that blackness that's been bottled up inside. But it's bad because it's hard to stop so for those crying days, the pain is overwhelming. That's why we cry, right? Because the pain is too much, and it starts to gush out of our pores.

The good thing, I think, is that once you can identify when you've hit rock bottom, the only way out is up. So at the moment when you feel you have no hope left for whatever it is that's causing you all this pain, you can at least have hope that things will eventually start to feel better. The toughest struggle, though, is ahead - in between the blackest day and the brightest day (the day when you can finally feel the warmth of hope and light). And that space in between, that frozen beat of time, is when you really learn about yourself - your needs, your strengths, your weaknesses.

My mom always told me not to depend on anyone, that the only person you can ever really depend upon is yourself. I always thought that was a really pessimistic view and rolled my eyes that my mom was so jaded and cynical. But she's right. People are not reliable. You have to be strong enough on your own to survive when you're all alone. (Ok, that kinda rhymed, but that wasn't what I was going for.) That is a really big challenge for me. I depend on my friends so much that when things happen in their life that take them away from me in a some way, I feel hopeless. I start writing my heart out for perfect strangers! But is there really anyone who reads this little thing?

Anyway...the blackest day means that things have gotten as dark as they are going to get. Whenever I get really upset, I can't eat. It's not about control or image. It's about the fact that my stomach hurts so much that the thought of eating makes me want to vomit. So during the dark days, I lose weight. But then things feel better because I can fit into my skinny jeans again. And maybe that's the silly thing that gets me up the hill. I eventually gain the weight back, of course, but whatever gets you up the hill gets you up the hill. And now that I know I've had my blackest day, I know that the light and the hill aren't that far away.


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