I was a fright yesterday, trudging through Trader Joe's with clumpy, just-cried-in mascara. The spider lashes, the crowning glory, the final touch to my Morticia look - a little early to be trick-or-treating. But I didn't care. I needed sweet corn for my soup, for dinner, and it was the only thing I was up to doing.
It started with a silly clerical error, no big deal. It isn't worth mentioning, and it certainly didn't warrant the sobfest. My brain knows this. But it was enough to scratch the veneer, the candy coating that holds me together. I am drowning in paperwork, and I'm not good at paperwork. I didn't get the super-organized gene, so I work at it. Still, I failed and I couldn't sweet self-talk myself out of it. Prayer couldn't dam the tears.
The mistake prompted the trickle and it all came out: I miss my husband. I am overwhelmed. My kids cry, because they miss him too. I am exhausted. My chronic illness is rearing its head. Every day, I feel like I missed the mark. And every worry, every complaint fills me with shame.
I used to cry, quite a lot, in college. It was the golden age of therapy and I knew if I just 'let it out', I would be better afterwards. I wasn't embarrassed.
What has changed? Why do I insist on being Mrs. Strong?
I don't really know. But I let it out yesterday, and I let it be. I went through the world, raw. Smudged make-up, red eyes, runny nose. Honest.
I am calmer today; tired, but calm. I think having it together may be overrated.
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