The poet Stevie Smith wrote a wonderful piece with a line about a figure far out in the ocean, who seems to be waving at friends on the beach but is, in fact, drowning.
That seems to be me.
I get up every day, get dressed, take Rocco (my dog) outside, go to work, do more work, and then do more work, then I come home, do more work, watch some tv, work during commercials, and collapse sometime around midnight on my bed. Oh yes, in there somewhere I take Rocco out one or two more times. And in my dreams, I work.
I usually smile and wave at people I see down the hall, across the street, in the buildings where I am selling property, at my office. But a distance is opening up, and something is creeping into my lungs like water, slowly stealing my ability to breathe......oh yes, it's the bank account draining! An all too familiar sound these days. A friend of mine calls this separation from life - this distance or asphyxia - like living under water. I am oiling my wetsuit as we speak.
Today, I lost my health insurance. I expected it - my fabulous company has been carrying me for many months. Now I am not sick, and I can replace my current mood meds with LOTS of activity and, hopefully, more sunlight than rain, but it's always a gamble. My home looks like a warehouse as I am running an ebay business out of it; my desk is chaotic; my dog has almost become un-housetrained as he feels my pain and anxiety so I usually come home to a welcome back dog mess. I have been served with a rent demand, but no lawsuit yet - my attorney says it's imminent. And none of my listings are selling or renting. But lots of people are smiling at me. Or waving.
What's a girl to do?
Tomorrow I am taking a mental health day. No work, no real estate, a lot of dog (Rocco is wonderful), some art, some fun conversation, one great meal, and long long walks. I am going to take myself out of the medium that is drowning me and try to find new ways to breathe. So when you see me in the street, I may look a bit haggard, but it is me, and I assure you, the smile on my face is real. And I will NOT be drowning, but waving.