Well it has gone. I had it for a couple of weeks and it was a wonderful thing. I got a glimpse of a different kind of life. But it has vanished into the ether again, and I am back to being without it. It has left a hole, an ache like it always does.
I am talking about self-esteem, self-worth or just plain confidence.
I hate this feeling. It is one I know well. The feelings of worthlessness, where I can't even look people in the eye. Where I feel like the whole world is against me and I feel a physical pain in my chest and stomach. The complete lack of any motivational force. Is it the onset of a depressive episode? That thought is enough to send shivers down my back and tears to my eyes. That thought is scary. The all-consuming black hole, which engulfs me and tries to force me to stop. I fight against that for all I am worth. Can't let that win. Too many relying on me.
The unfairness of it makes me angry. Why? Why am I like this? Why should I suffer, when some others around me seem to think that they are so important, that what they have to say, even if it is dull and ignorant is what everyone wants to hear. What everyone is waiting for with baited breath. I am envious of them. I look at them in a kind of awe. It must be nice.
A small voice deep down tells me, you are worthy, what you have to say and contribute is just as valuable, just as important as the next person. Why should it be otherwise?
The pressure is hard to bear. It pushes at me from all directions. It makes my breath come in short, sharp bursts. My head gets foggy and my limbs feel as heavy as tree trunks.
The bright light, the sunshine, the silver lining, that was teasing me, hinting at showing itself and bathing me in its warmth and acceptance has moved or hidden itself just out of sight.
Just when I was starting to believe and imagine that the world wasn't such a bad place, that, yes, I can do this and actually have a modicum of fun and enjoyment from doing it too. That I can step out with my head high and my chest out, meeting people's eyes with a level, calm gaze, smiling a relaxed and happy smile as I chat easily and openly about everything and anything that enters my head. Dreams are wonderful things.
Yes, I do know that it is a cycle, a flow chart. One that I have lived hundreds of times before. I just wish it would be different. I wish that this time the confidence would stay, that I would learn how to hold onto it to keep it from dissipating. The psychologists and doctors I have spoken to in the past have all assured me that they can do it, they can make it all better and 'fix me'. Easy! They say with a cocky smile. They have all failed. Supercilious simpletons. I think I may have even 'broken' the last doctor I used to see. She disappeared, an 'extended leave of absence'. I apologise to her, I really do.
Time to push it all down. Time to put it on the back boiler. Time to ignore it and pretend all is right with my world again. I am very good at it. I have had plenty of practice.
Time to cuddle my precious children. My kids are what make me believe that I can continue to do this. And that is the honest reality.