Doing the best I can

Today has been hard. It didn’t promise to be hard; I felt pretty well when I got up, was fairly positive while doing all of my morning things, despite the struggle of the last few days to keep positive in the face of growing depression over feeling stuck in life. I thought I was doing all right.

But then I got to work. Once again, for I don’t know what reason, the old pressure in my chest, my primary physical sign of anxiety, was back. No concentration. Nothing getting done. Nothing to shield myself against spiraling away toward blackness, toward the hopeless thought: I’m so tired of life as it is, and I don’t know how to fix it.

An email was the tipping point. My brother, writing to ask how I was doing, because he knows I’ve been struggling. Fortunately it was near lunchtime, because his simple message brought tears, and I needed to leave.

I found a random parking lot away from my building, and sat for a while, until crying was done. I wrote my brother back, first to say I felt crappy, and later to say I was going to try to suck it up and get back to work and get something or other done, despite feeling crappy, and later again to tell him that distraction is the name of the game for the rest of the afternoon, distracting myself from feeling bad by any means available, podcasts, music, conversations with friends online, email, anything.

(I also wrote my brother, somewhere in there, to apologize for spamming his inbox with sequential messages, but I needed to tell myself what I needed to hear by also telling someone else what i needed to hear. He understood. My brother is several kinds of awesome.)

Amidst crying and praying and sending email snippets, there was a moment where I looked up and said, “I’m doing the best I can, here.” That loosened something. I left random parking lot; I found a drive-through window, where people kindly handed me food for lunch in exchange for a bit of cash, I found another parking lot with some shade. I sat with car windows open, I ate, I watched some video from iTunes, I let the breeze through. I breathed. I came back to work.

It hasn’t been a brilliant day, nor a pleasant one, nor a productive one; it’s not over, and I don’t know how the rest of it will be, or tomorrow, or the rest of the week. I anticipate more hardness to come, and pray that I may be wrong, or that I will have enough courage to bear it. All I’ve got to say for today is … I’m doing the best I can. It doesn’t look like much. It won’t win any awards. Nonetheless, it is what I have to offer the world today. Whether or not it’s enough. I’m doing the best I can.

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3 comments so far

  1. brother on

    count your wins and loses. Today – you=1 blackness=0
    very cool.

  2. sarah on

    It’s all any of us can do, all that we should be expected to do: “I’m doing the best I can” is by definition good enough. Hug you, Cris.

  3. Lisa on

    Love and hugs. Your best is all you can do, and your best will be better some days than others (if that makes sense.)


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