Counting Other’s Lucky Stars

A friend of mine recently had a nervous breakdown. Or some other mental breakdown that required a hospital stay. Lots of my friend have had breakdowns that have required medical care or inpatient treatment. All of them are female. All of them are married. And even though I was worried about her and I felt sad for her, I couldn’t help being a little jealous of her.

Being single and having the responsibility of raising kids and having to pay all of my bills by myself, I often find myself rolling my eyes at my married friends “problems.” And I know that I must be off my fucking rocker to think that my friends’ nervous breakdowns are a lucky streak for them, but I do.

I think they are lucky because they have the luxury of getting to actually have a breakdown. I have been searching and searching for a job for the past month, even though I start one tomorrow (today), that doesn’t really help me out financially right now. But it doesn’t matter. I can be stressed. I can cry. I can feel like it’s the end of the world, but I don’t have the luxury of losing my shit. I don’t have the luxury of getting to go away and speak with a therapist or to get extra sleep while my husband gets to take on all of the responsibility that I get to get away from.

Single mothers and single people, in general, don’t get that luxury. And I know those who have ever had a breakdown and have ever spent time away from home to get treatment don’t see it as such, but those of us who just want to be able to lose our shit and go get some help can’t because we can’t miss work. We don’t have anyone else to pay our bills. We don’t have anyone else to watch our children while we check out of life to get some self-care. We have to rely on ourselves to care for us. We have to smile while we are taking care of the kids. We have to pretend that we aren’t worried about not having any lights or not having any food. We have to just go on because nobody is there to go on for us. And at times, it can be goddamn exhausting. And we don’t get to go sleep it off.

I’m not saying that I don’t think it’s right, I’m just throwing myself another pity party because I am utterly exhausted from always moving backward. And I’m exhausted from always smiling. And I’m exhausted from always telling everyone that I’m OK and that everything is going to be OK. I’m tired of repeating my mantra that “things will work out, they always do.” I know it’s true. And I know they will. But when I don’t know how, I can’t help but get in my head.

Anyway, rant over. I’m sure tomorrow I will be back to my happy, joking self. After all, I will be working with the public. That is sure to bring some kind of fun writing fodder.

Until then…


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