I warn you, not to watch this.
And yet I have to share it.
A father breaks down while explaining one of the hardest points in his life. Attending to the very real pain of grief during the day, and wading through a career as a comedian at night.
It is a heart-wrenching story.
But I have to share it.
Because this is the EXACT feeling I have been trying to convey for months now. This feeling that everything is going swell, and yet going horribly all at once.
The feeling of knowing that although something is dying in our lives, we still have to go to work.
Even as something is passing away in us, we still have to communicate.
All the while something is breaking us down, we have to express joy in the “good” things that have come our way in the meantime.
And nobody knows what is really happening underneath.
When this video ended, I was in tears.
Not just for HIS pain.
But because he understood mine.
For the past 9 months, EVERY DAY has been an up and down roller-coaster of feelings.
I go into the doctor’s office in the morning and hear no good news, I get to work in the afternoon and get praised for something.
I excel in my social obligations on the weekends, I spend the weeknights curled in my bed.
I am kicking life’s ass personally and professionally, and it is kicking mine emotionally and physically.
And no one gets it! You can write it out, talk until you’re blue, draw a diagram, and people will still want you at work in the morning, at church on Sunday, and at their party/babyshower/ladies night on Saturday. They placate you with soft “Oh, you poor thing”‘s and emoticon you with (((hugs))), but they don’t actually get it.
All they know is that you’re in a pissy mood. All they see is that you didn’t show up to that thingamajig. All they know is that you aren’t yourself.
There is an INCREDIBLE isolation felt. A dynamic feeling that life is interfering with life. That you can’t be YOU. That life will NOT slow down and let you get your breath because you aren’t entitled to that. You just keep riding downhill in this car, even-though you know the brakes are out, and you can only pray that there is a gentle tree to stop the incline.
I finally reached a break in my menorrhagia last week. I had my body to myself for about four days and then promptly got food poisoning. LOL Because that’s how fly I am. But overall, I’m in somewhat of a better place. I’m a little less snarky this week. I feel a tiny piece of joy returning to my workday. I don’t want to retreat from human contact nearly as much.
And I’m grateful for that.
But I know that it’s only a matter of time before things start rolling down that hill again. And I’m going to have to get up and come to work, and make teenagers happy (oh, the horror), and care about eating food during the day, and make myself respond to phone calls and text messages, and make myself smile at photos, and encourage myself to listen when people talk to me.
Only this time, this video will be in my head. And I’ll be trying to make myself also remember that while I’m dying, so is the person in front of me. The cashier at the grocery store. The attendant at the gas station. That friend of mine. And yes, even the comedian on my television screen.
You NEVER know what someone is going through.
So treat EVERYONE with the same care and compassion that YOU need.
Regina Townsend is the primary author and founder of TheBrokenBrownEgg. A librarian and writer, Regina’s mission is to make people aware and active about the unique concerns of reproductive health in the minority community.