Finding A New Normal

I’ve been overwhelmed for quite some time now, and it’s starting to get to me.

Some positive news: I’m feeling better than I have been. For all of January and a small chunk of February, I didn’t even feel like leaving the house. I had to force myself out into the world day after day and felt like garbage no matter what I did or where I went. That feeling has been walked back to something infinitely more functional. The doorway to the outside of our apartment doesn’t seem like a portal to a hellscape, it’s just a regular door. This is good. This is better. But it’s not great.

For much of my life, I have been afforded the opportunity to feel great. As a straight cis-gender white male, my hardships have been few and most have come at the result of my own hubris or shortcomings. What I’m dealing with now is no different. It began from a place of blind confidence which was swiftly met with harsh reality. The only saving grace comes from the fact that some of the confidence I felt was justified, and the storm can, in fact, be weathered. Or at the very least, I can see the shape of a path that can be taken to get to the other side, it’s just… it won’t be as easy as I had thought it might be.

Somewhere in my brain, I wanted to believe I was special. I wanted to believe that the rules… well, that the rules still applied to me, but that I could soundly beat them into submission and emerge victorious over all comers. (That’s some fucking white male privilege for you, yeah?) But as it turns out, the dark, dirty voice in the back of my head, the one that likes to take me down when I’m feeling a little too big for my britches, is right. I’m not somebody. At most, I’m anybody, and at worst, I’m inconsequential. I’m another cog. I want to be more, and I want to be different, but I often wonder if I’m not strong enough or good enough. I remember thinking back to a few years ago, and thinking about how hopeful I was, and how trusting. It’s so easy to speak from a place of strength and confidence when you don’t have anything on the line.

Today, everything I do could save me or break me. If I let this overwhelming feeling consume me, it could take a functioning life and pull it down. If I attempt to ignore this feeling, it’s just going to eat away inside of me and become… something. It’s hard to say at this point, but it probably won’t be good. So I’m confronting this. I’m talking about this, and I’m attempting to tackle things publicly, or as publicly as I can – because while I’m still trying to understand how to navigate through the mess inside my head, I know that having the support and guidance of friends and family can only help. I tried doing it on my own, trying to convince myself that I had the strength to do it all on my own… and while there are times when I do, that time isn’t now.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be trying something different. My brain wants to find it’s way back to the old normal, but I know that going back to that old place is a regression. Nothing good will come from looking backwards. What I want to do is move forward and find my new normal. A place that I’m comfortable with that doesn’t ignore the changes I’ve experienced or the growth that I’ve had. A place where I can live and be happy, where I can smile and absolutely mean it. It’s probably going to be hard, but I know with the support of my amazing wife and and friends and family, I can get there.

I love you all, and thank you so much for reading.

I’ll talk with you soon.

Brandon Schatz // Twitter // Facebook

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  1. one step at a time… breath in… breath out…. xoxo

  2. Brandon, I’ve been in that same space — for me, it was a deep, dark and muddy rut — and I know how difficult it is to climb out. Talking about it and admitting you can’t do it all by yourself is the best thing you can do. None of us are Superman. None of us can be perfect (or even function at our best) all the time. Hell, I’m lucky if I can juggle that particular ball for an hour or so. Sometimes only once a month.

    Things aren’t always great, but it does get better.

    Hugs from a stranger.

  3. Brandon, you are a lovely person. I’ve only met you once but it’s plain to see. 🙂
    I know something of what you describe, and can assure you that things do get better. Be gentle to yourself. You are loved, and you will be OK. Hugs from Toronto!

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