February 10, 2013

Being Present with Heartbreak

Heartbroken Truth. Collage by Alyssum Pohl
What is this feeling?  How do I feel?  Why don't I hear more people talk about heartbreak?  Is it because it's so personal that people keep it under wraps?  I have been on the verge of crying for hours, but nothing spills over.  My skin feels like it's crawling, and has for days--and I can't escape it.  I can't get out of my skin.  I feel sorrow.  My head hurts.  My chest is tight while my heart feels like it's an over-full balloon, and I have to keep reminding myself to breathe.  It's different than anxiety, though, it's not that I can't breathe, it's that I keep forgetting to.  My brows are constantly knitted, my jaw is stiff. My skin is crawling, and my muscles feel weak underneath.  I am afraid of moving on.  I am afraid of not moving on.  I am worried about the distraction these feelings will cause at work, I am looking forward to the distraction work will cause from these feelings. I want to scratch my eyes out and peel my face off, the beginning of getting out of my crawling skin.  My throat is clenched, that vulnerable spot.  Baring it brings me closer to tears.  Yes, throat bared, eyes upward into the darkness, my lips quiver, I hear a sad whimper burble from deep inside, and tears appear on my cheeks as though pumped from the pit of my belly, rivulets of molten sorrow.  I ache.  

The space around my eyes hurts, I feel a constant exhaustion.  I want to sweep up my life, and take care of myself, but first I -- I can't. The simple things take longer, weigh heavier, seem more impossible than I've experienced before.  Eating is something I force myself to do, sometimes.  I had a bowl of cereal, some peanut butter cups today, for instance.  Thank goodness a friend coaxed me out of the house and plied me with a hearty Ethiopian meal.  This constellation of fatigue, tightness, crawling skin, and expansion is new to me, makes up heartbreak.  I am alive, I am trying to encompass what this is and feel it from the inside out.  I don't understand how it works yet.  My logical explanations for why things are the way they are don't help quell these feelings.  My intermittent moments of freedom from these feelings don't lessen the intensity of them when they return.  It's not like sickness where you can sleep through it as your body processes the foreigner, and wake up well; if you sleep, the heartbreak naps too, and is there for you in the morning to experience entirely.  It's a heavy visitor, it rides my back, forcing me to trudge, bent over and debilitated.  Relief seems like a question I don't even know how to ask.

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