I held my breath all the way home. Led Mason back into our apartment, walked to the bedroom, and collapsed on the floor. Hurt went through me like waves and I tried to ride them. Tried to steady my breathing. Say something nice or think of one good thing about myself.
Slouched over to one side, I curled my knees into my chest and sobbed. “I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.” Just one of those nights. One of those days. I started running through my list of emergency contacts. Practiced saying, “I need you to take me to the hospital,” under my breath.
Mason came into the bedroom when I started to hyperventilate and throw fists. Coaxed me onto the bed and pulled me into his chest tight. Immobilized, I softened.
“I’m trying. I’m trying. I’m trying so fucking hard and I don’t feel like anything is changing. And I can’t exist like this.”
My own words crashed over me. Each one a sharp epiphany. They pointed to my exhaustion, my self-doubt. They told me the truth about how I’ve been seeing myself lately. Torn between how I’ve been feeling and how I want to feel. Logically, I know I’m a good person who is working hard. Emotionally, I feel like a waste of space who deserves nothing lovely.
“I just… I fucking hate myself.”
And I don’t think I’d ever admitted it to someone else before. I wanted to slap my own words out of my mouth. I knew how hurtful they were, to him and to me. But I didn’t know how to say anything else. It was the only thing that seemed to hold any significance. Any weight of its own.
I didn’t backpedal, though I wanted to. Wanted to make excuses about getting caught in the moment or being overly-dramatic. But that wouldn’t be true. I said it. I meant it.
But not all the time.
Sometimes I think I’m worth the work. Most of the time I know I do good things. And that’s what’s important to remember. When my fingernails are digging into the palms of my hands. When I’m listing the things in the house I need Mase to hide from me. I have to learn to remember it is not always like this.
It usually isn’t. Even though lately it is.