Slow Burn

Warning: this will likely depress those who are basking in the Christmas spirit. If you’re not in the mood to have your eggnog flavored bubble burst all over your LED, gingerbread sweater-skip this post, I’d rather not be the coal in your stocking.

The holidays are hard. The holidays are stressful. A crazy crescendo of chaos in one week’s time that disrupts life as we know it. I’m not a fan. I love Christmas itself because of the meaning behind the first five letters but the surrounding festivities are a little much for me. Maybe it’s like Thanksgiving where I don’t eat much because everyone eats too much and all the sudden, I lose my appetite. If I’m expected to eat a lot I probably won’t. If I’m expected to be merry I’m not sure I can be. Maybe that’s why Christmas is hard for me. It’s an unfortunate truth that I am more like the Grinch than St. Nick but lately I feel as though there’s been a flare-up in my misery. That is who I write to tonight. The Grinches, the Scrooges, the ones who want to be left in the dark because I am right there with you. The reasons for a soured view of this time of year vary; depression, loss of someone, debt, disappointment, doubt, divorce, anything heavy eventually becomes a burden. I don’t know what’s burning you up this Christmas Eve but at the end of the day pain is pain and I know it all too well.

I don’t know how to exist without ruining other’s happiness. I can’t ever seem to really get away from the pain. I can push it back. I can put on a mask. I can drown it out with music for an hour or two but it’s always there, faintly burning, like a candle with an endless wick. On any given day my pain is an eight. When you live with it you learn to get used to the hurt but if the wound is aggravated there’s nothing I can do to stop the bleeding. On any given day my pain is an eight, a seething pain in the middle of me that others who don’t know me cannot see.-Genevieve Rose {excerpt of an apology}

A little bit of the why behind the Scrooge tendencies that I struggle to shake this silent night. Why focus on it right? Why give in to the pain when it demands to be felt? Why not focus on the joy and sing Christmas songs and plan for an ugly sweater party? If you have it in you to do that I accompany your positivity with my sincere applause. I support your joy. I hope to find mine again someday. Burning pain is hard to ignore. The burn of the past. The burn of having a birthday that follows the birth of Jesus Himself. The burn of not being good enough. The burn of having dreams and watching them become nightmares. Sometimes all that makes sense is to stare at the wick and wait for it to burn out as if the beat of our heart is linked to it. Lying there, watching the flame scorch the black, hoping for smoke but it doesn’t come, it just keeps burning.

A while back I was discussing a screenplay with a dear friend of mine. We were feeling out the characters in potential settings. He described a feeling of confusion. The characters showed up but they didn’t know why they arrived or what they needed to do.

“Do you know what I’m talking about, that feeling?” He asked. I knew before he had even finished explaining.

“Life feels like a movie scene and you don’t have any lines.”

“Yes,” he said. My stomach dropped in eerie realization. At least I wasn’t alone in this. Then again, we’re all cast in a different films.

December 23rd, three days before I turn twenty-six and I still don’t know my lines in life. I’m unfamiliar with the cast of characters, none of which I’ve bonded closely with and I can’t seem to score a leading role. Still a backup, not a first choice. Always an almost. The only guarantee seems to be that this life may never be what I actually want it to be. Sigh, cry, sleep.

The pain wouldn’t burn so deep if I could win one you know? I think it goes deeper than that though. It’s not just about being happy. If happiness were the fix my stream of treat yo self purchases from Amazon would’ve done the trick. Yet here I am on the eve of merriment writing about misery. Inhale, exhale, repeat. I know little about life but what I know now is that there really is no ‘supposed to be’ there’s just whatever life throws at you and how you react to it. We still have a choice, it may not be the kinds of choices we want to make but they’re still ours. Hope is hard when dreams die. Hope is hard when plans get dashed, then trampled and then steam-rolled. Sometimes hope is just too much to ask and the only hope we have left is to get through another night and reach a morning where it won’t be so bad. A morning where that pain is a manageable six. A morning where we can manage to scream out a prayer and latch onto grace. Maybe that morning will come but we have to get through the night first. I’m with you readers of Mindless Peace. I’m sorry if my sadness ignited your sorrow. I wrote this for you to know that you are not alone, on this night or any other. Message me with your pain and we can walk through the valley of the shadow of death together because you’re not the only one who could use a hand to hold. You are loved. Keep your eyes on the light. See you in the morning.

All my love.

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