…No one ever said it would be this hard.
Just a little bit of Coldplay for you there. Much as people like to take the piss and call them depressing and boring, I’ve always liked Coldplay. Anyway. That’s beside the point.
It is a well known fact of life that letting go is extremely difficult. Whether that be in the literal sense, as I experienced the first time I attempted the Stand while vaulting; my brain thought I’d done it but my knuckles were white with holding on; or the mental and emotional sense. Sometimes it can mean forgetting all the rules we hold ourselves to and going with the flow, letting our hair down, relaxing and not worrying about what happens next. Other times it means thinking about what we’re trying to hold on to and realising that perhaps it would be better to cut ourselves a break and accept reality.
Regardless of what sense we’re talking about, letting go is a very hard thing to do. Something insists on telling us that we should keep holding on. For some reason, part of our brains seems to be wired to never fully give anything up. Why? God, if I knew that I’d save the world. In the real sense, not the way I do in my dreams regularly.
And so we come to the crux of the matter. Why am I babbling on about this? Because I’m in a strange place in my head. Because I think I need to let go of something, but it’s a weird thing to be trying to let go of. I feel like I need to let go of myself. Not in the giving up on the world sense, don’t get me wrong. Just in that I think perhaps I have come to a point where there is this idea in my head of who I was, who I am and who I should be. The idea of the person I want to be, or thought I was. And I think I need to let that go.
It’s a hard thing to accept, the knowledge that you aren’t who you thought you were. Am I making any sense? Probably not. Never mind, I shall plough on regardless. My concern at present is that I have become wrapped up in an idea of who I want to be and have lost touch with reality. Or, rather, that I was so determined to be a certain person that not actually being that person is making it hard to carry on trying. It would seem, dear ones, that I am not nearly as tough and strong and hard-nosed as I thought I was.
At first I thought I was letting myself down. And then I realised that no, it’s not like that at all. I have tried to prove to myself that I am who I thought I wanted to be, and it’s not that I have failed. Not at all. It’s simply that I realise that the person I thought I wanted to be, is not actually who I want to be. I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that not only can I not be that person, because I am just not that person, but also that I do not want to be that person, because I am just not that person. Still with me?
The trouble is, and here is where I start to panic and get myself all in a tizz, having established to myself that I need to accept who I am not and let go of that idea of myself, I have no idea of who I want to be. Not being the person I thought I was and thought I wanted to be is one thing, but how am I supposed to let go of that ‘me’ without having something else to reach for and hold on to. I can’t just free fall.
I am so scared of destroying myself. Of tearing apart my own reputation, of ruining my future, of making a mess of my life. And I am even more terrified of affecting the other people in my life with it. I do not want to be the person people see on their caller ID and groan at. I do not want to be a burden to my friends and family and I do not want to need to rely on people all the time. But while I enjoy being on my own, being lonely is awful. Feeling cut out of things and not knowing where you stand is a very lonely way to be, and it sucks big time. Because it eats away at your self esteem, at your belief in your own abilities, at your sense of self-worth. I have sat for hours staring at a blank TV screen without even realising that’s what I’ve been doing. In some weird, spaced out, exhaustion induced waking coma. I am so tired. I keep forgetting the most basic things.
I love horses. I do. And there are moments, quiet moments, where I stand with one and feel calm. Or when the horse I am grooming turns its head to blow in my ear or nudge my arm and I smile because the quiet request for attention is sweet. But I am not happy. Not anymore, something has shifted. I am trying to make sense of it. It is possible that having this injury has thrown my confidence off kilter. Actually, I know that is all too true. But I think it also goes deeper than that. I am fairly sure that I would still be feeling like this with two whole hands. My hand is, in fact, already getting stronger. I am down to a removable splint and taped up fingers now which makes life a whole lot easier. I am even riding again which is great. But even that isn’t enough to lift my spirits for long. Something in me still feels wrong and wonky and out of place.
I don’t know how to start finding my balance again. There’s this thought going around and around in my head, I can’t shake it off. It says, “Stop kidding yourself, you’re just a silly little girl who doesn’t know what she wants.” And the fact of the matter is, I think that’s partly true. Hence my fear, indecision and ever increasing sense of “OH SHIT”.
How does anyone do this?