It is Wednesday, which is the arbitrary turning point that, for those of us who work a 9-5 job, marks the moment where the dreaded beginning of the week crosses into the highly anticipated end of the week–paving the way for the always relieving weekend.

Wednesday is, in its own tiny way, a transition.

And here I am, on a Wednesday, exactly one week away from moving into a new apartment. Waiting with bated breath for a job decision that is one month overdue, but is supposedly being sent out this afternoon. Sorting through conflict in my relationships. Sorting through conflict in myself.

I am in limbo; I am in the in-between.

And, really, I’ve been here for months.

Conflict in my friendships were hitting their boiling point months ago, in ways that I could see, and in even more ways that I was unaware of. On the same token, my housing situation was on the cusp of falling apart, and all I really wanted to do was live with my partner and begin our lives as a Real Official Duo. My job has been sucking the soul out of me for months. My mental health has been deteriorating since the early fall.

And in the midst of all of this decay, something clicked in me.

I had left work in tears–who knows if it was work-related or just me finally letting something else hit my nervous system–and ambled sadly but briskly to my car. I climbed in, and I continued crying. I didn’t want to stop, I just wanted to let the emotions move through me. I flipped down the mirror and looked myself straight in the red, wet eyeballs and croaked out,

“I don’t want to hate myself anymore.” 

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~!~eureka~!~

 

This was my Wednesday

I’ve had a lot of episodes of depression throughout my life. I’ve had weeks where I am so dissociated I can’t recognize my mom’s voice on the phone or my own face in the mirror. I’ve had months where I’m so depressed I can’t get out of bed–or maybe I can and I force myself to school or work, but I can’t eat anything aside from like, Taco Bell and McDonald’s because my brain says that if I eat anything I cook myself it will make me sadder (???).

But never in any of these episodes have I looked at myself and said anything other than, “I just want to feel normal again,” or maybe “I just want to stop hurting”.

But here I was, wailing in the driver’s seat of my vehicle,

“I don’t want to hate myself anymore.”

It feels revelatory. It feels like a breakthrough.

So, ok, before I go any further: I’m not a big subscriber of the uncritical, hyper-positive philosophies of “You create your own happiness!” and “If you’re sad, it’s your fault because you’re not practicing gratitude!”. These perspectives are negligent of how sick our social structures are, and how much is working against us socially. And it especially disregards how different people experience different weights of the oppressive force of our sick society–and how these things are deeply traumatic but so often outside of our immediate control.

Sorry, but writing in a gratitude journal won’t wash away the pain of knowing that my words, my ideas, and my expressions of pain won’t be taken as seriously as my partner’s will simply because he is a cis masc-presenting man and I am a cis femme-presenting woman.

But I would be damn wrong if I didn’t acknowledge the role that my choice and my belief in my self-worth plays in my mental health and my spiritual journey. Just as everything isn’t exclusively about personal choice & freewill, not everything is exclusively about structure & determinism.

And never before–or at least, not for a very, very long time–have I concretely felt the role of my own power in my suffering. Abstractly, I’ve understood, I need to do things to make the pain stop. I need to go to therapy. I need to work out.

But I’ve always wanted to just make the pain go away.

I’ve never wanted to actually see my potential. I’ve never wanted to actually see my role in my own suffering. I’ve never wanted to actually hold myself accountable. I’ve never wanted to actually love myself.

“I don’t want to hate myself anymore.”

This was the beginning of what I can feel in the pit of me is a massive turning point on my own path to balance and wellness.

With this revelation, though, has brought with it all of the chaos that has ensued in my life. The chaos was already unfolding, though. It’s just now I realize it’s happening, and what’s more:

I realize that my life does not have to feel this way.

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The tarot card whose energy I am channeling immensely, and whose personality I am taking great inspiration from.

But of course, you can’t change anything overnight. So, this day in my car was probably in December. Now it’s nearly March and I’m still suffering, yes. I’m still in very much the same place that I was in December:

My address is still the same. My job title is still the same. I still find myself leaving work in tears some days, and I am still working through conflict.

But my spirit is changing, and with this change is a recognition of my own power to change the circumstances that are contributing to my suffering. No, I can’t just Turn Off Pain with a Gratitude Journal.

But I can cut out that which no longer serves me. 

So as I sometimes do, I turn my mind to the tarot for clarity, for hope, for inspiration. And without much need for a second thought, I find myself thinking of the Queen of Swords. She’s a clear-headed, rational, independent-thinking queen of her kingdom. She is able to pierce clouds of confusion with her sharp, brilliant sword, revealing the truth and staying firmly directed in what she knows is best for her and those who she oversees. She has no qualms cutting out people, habits, ideas, anything that is not leading her to higher wisdom, to success, or to clarity.

And here I am in the Wednesday of it all, brandishing my sword, waiting for the moment when I can finally slice away the threads tying me to more misery than I have to endure.

In the meanwhile, though, I’m still (very literally) at work, at my desk, having to commit to 2 more work days before the weekend comes and I can breathe easy again. Ideally, though, this weekend I’m heading into is a lot longer, and the workweek I’ll have is much more satisfying (again, literally and metaphorically).

But the truth is, transitions are not always peaceful, quick things. Sometimes death of the old involves a lot of waiting for the last breath of a former life. That process of decay before the rebirth is uncomfortable and it smells weird and all you want is a breath of fresh air–but the transition is still unfolding. You know it won’t be forever (intellectually you know this, at least, though emotionally it may feel like it will never end). So for now, you must just sit with this discomfort. Sit with the decay. Sit with the clouds of confusion forming all around you.

When the moment comes to brandish your sword and cut through it all, you will be ready.

 

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