Tuesday, 25 December 2018

The Art of War

My heart is heavy, it feels like it's wrapped in chains - bound and padlocked - weighted to sink to the bottom of the ocean. With each beat, I'm sure it skips the next natural one, my rhythm off kilter. This season is not for me, however much I  try. It literally makes my heart skip a beat and in all the wrong ways. I feel giddy, panicked, awake, alert, in fight or flight mode.

At times, I experience a real sadness for my children. In anticipation of the future, and on their behalf, I mourn the lack of 'magic' that myself and their father fail to give to them. We can't, it's not in either of us. The gifts, the build up, the excitement, the expense, the waste, the overindulgence. It all sits heavy, right in the centre of my pulsating chest. I find myself not writing a letter to Santa but one to myself. It's a compilation of my failings for the year, for example; not managing to connect with a bereaved friend, feeling increasingly distanced and isolated from people whom I shouldn't, not modelling self care or self discipline to my children, not knowing what I want next - either for a meal, job, or in life generally - falling for the melancholy end of year drama every frickin' year.

Happiness is knowing that in just two days, my love and I will have two whole days alone, to rest, to process, to release, relent, to celebrate and surrender. It's all that my eyes are fixed on as I write at five a.m on Christmas morning, quietly tap tapping on my phone half hidden under bed covers so as not to wake my husband. Melancholy squeezes me tight as I think of leaving my boys, and I get caught up in a kind of dramatic 'we're gonna die in a car crash whilst we're away and I've been such a beast to them recently and they'll never know how much I love them and how they complete me' kind of vibe, you know? This season is not my season. I just ... can't. And the more I tell myself I should, the more I realise I not only cannot but I defiantly will not, neither mentally nor in spirit. It is a fight. I lose no teeth but the cuts keep bleeding and each time I look in the mirror, I see them pumping out blood to the rhythm of my heart attack, heart beat. I can taste the iron and it is a love/hate affair. 'Isn't it just?' I say aloud and with that, I watch myself post fight bidding the crowd farewell. I'm amazed at my strength, I lift my arms up in the air and proudly show my belt. I did it. I'm still the champion and my heart continues pumping it's heart attack bass line. I did it. I held onto my title. 'Going in one more round when you don't think you can, that's what makes all the difference in your life.' Always, Roc, you know it.

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