Apocalypse

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

This past week has, without a doubt, been the single worst week of my life.

Up to this point.

Because I am not so stupid as to tempt the gods.

It has been worse than the week my mother and I said goodbye to my Nana.  It was been worse than the week we waited to say goodbye to her.  It has been worse than the week I didn’t leave my bed, and the week I wished for the end so fiercely that I thought my wishing alone might make it so.

Perhaps time and distance have affected my ability to measure worse against worst, but I doubt it.

It’s been pretty fucking bad.

And, of course, I can’t tell you why.  Because the worst weeks are never your own story to tell.  The worst weeks are as bad as they are because they are hopelessly tied up in other’s stories, other’s truths, other’s rights to share and not share and tell and not tell.

But this isn’t really the story of the worst week anyway.

This, instead, is the story of surviving the unknown.  Of enduring the things you Absolutely Cannot Handle.  This is the story of the end of the world, and living to tell about it.

The week started with the apocalypse.

Or rather, the impending apocalypse.  I sat on my back porch as the end of the world raced towards me.  It was big.  It was bad.  It would surely be… I guess I knew nothing surely.  All I knew was that I had never before been as afraid as I was in that moment.

And it was real. It wasn’t the abstract fear that you sit and torture yourself with sometimes, mentally pushing to see how far you can go.  What would I do if… and you push the limits of your emotions before you shake your head, shudder, and cry Uncle.  “I can’t even think about it,” you say, and just like that the game is over.  The Big Bad vanishes into the ether and you’re safe once again, having banished the things that could happen back into the world of please God, just no.

But there would be no banishing that night.  The harder I struggled against it, the faster it rode towards me.  The four horsemen galloped, hooves pounding on pavement with terrifying determination.  I could hear the unbroken steadiness as they stormed on, unyielding to my cries.

“I can’t.  I can’t.  I can’t.

I sobbed.  I shook my head, desperate to shake myself out of the horror movie that was intent on invading my life.  I thought, surely, that I would die.  There was no way I could imagine surviving.  There was absolutely no way that I could do this.

“I can’t.”

I screamed.  I shook my head harder.  I looked wildly for a place to run.

“I can’t, I can’t, I can’t.  I can’t.

The exits were blocked.  My legs were gone.  There was nowhere to run, and my screams offered mere seconds of relief before the weight of the end of the world came rushing back.

I had to.

The door burst open and the apocalypse came.  And there it was.  I didn’t choose to face it because I was brave.  I was, in fact, anything but.  I confronted it only because it hunted me down, pinned me against a wall, lunged at my face with its snarling jaws and growled, “here.  I.  am.”

Reality exploded in my chest.

“My God, my God,” I wailed.  I screamed and cried and pleaded with it not to take me.  I closed my eyes against the searing pain that would surely come and rip the life from my body.  I clenched my fists, waiting for the hounds of hell to roar as they ravaged every inch of my existence.  The earth groaned and doom swelled beneath its surface, surging and pushing and howling as it insisted on being unleashed.  And when the earth could take no more, it split in two.

And I drew my next breath.

There is an eerie silence that follows the end of the world.  You hear  your own words come out of your mouth with surreal clarity, completely devoid of background noise.  The contrast between the deafening fury of the explosion and the bizarre serenity of the aftermath is so stark, it’s hard not to look around you in absolute awe.

The world has ended.

And here you are.

And you draw your next breath.

And again and again as you sort through the rubble, you keep drawing breath.  You inhale.  You exhale.  You marvel at the way the oxygen slides down your throat and washes over your lungs.  And then it leaves your body again with little more than a hushhhh.

And in facing the worst, you realize you are suddenly less afraid than you ever have been.

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  1. Avitable says:

    I can’t even fathom it. By writing this and putting it in words for the rest of us, you make it seem like no matter what, it will all be okay.

  2. Shash says:

    Wow. I’m sitting here reading this wishing I could help you somehow. I hope just by letting you know that I am here ready to help gives you a small amount of comfort to you right now.

    ((bug hugs))

  3. Shash says:

    P.S. That should have said BIG hugs, not bug hugs. Sorry!

  4. chrissi says:

    Sending HUGE hugs..

  5. Hilly says:

    As I’ve shared with you, those are moments that I know all too well. One foot in front of the other, you keep walking forward…looking for cleaner air to breathe. Eventually you find it even if the smell and taste will never be exactly the same.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Hilly, now, more than ever, I am in awe that you did not wait to have the apocalypse thrust on you.

      You choose, Hilly. And that’s amazing.

  6. Sybil Law says:

    I think you’re a survivor. And I thank you for words to describe some of the worst times in my life.

  7. ADW says:

    I love you.
    I love you.
    I love you.
    I love you.

    Sometimes, you just can’t hear it enough.

  8. breathe in, breathe out. sometimes that really is all we can do. while the world seems to go on around us. why can’t it just stop for our pain?

  9. Kim says:

    Excellent. Again, I have tears. You’ll make it through. It may not seem like it, but somehow, you will. As many times as it takes. (hugs)

  10. Heather says:

    This is powerful, lady. Whatever it is, I hope you find peace and strength between breaths.

  11. Angella says:

    Wow. Hugs to you today.

  12. stephanie says:

    Hey Britt…I am praying for a resolution to whatever is happening to you right now. I wish you strength to cope and wisdom to understand. And I am sending you huge hugs for whatever its worth.

    Beautifully written, although painful to read.

  13. Finn says:

    The world ends yet we go on. Because we can. Because we must.

    Love you sweetie.

  14. Kay says:

    When you’re finally forced to deal with the end of the world as you know it – and you realize that not only are you still there, but you’re still breathing… something clicks inside you. You might not realize it right away, it might not make any sense. But suddenly, you’re stronger than you ever imagined you were, you’re far more capable than you ever thought. You’re able to turn your emotions off in order to survive. And. You. Just. Keep. Going. There is no other choice, is there?
    When you’re faced with the unthinkable, and no matter how many times you close your eyes and beg through the tears, it doesn’t go away – I promise you, you CAN do this. Because after your world ends, you suddenly find yourself in a new world – maybe nothing like the previous one, or one you’d ever been able to imagine. But it’s a new world, and you’re still here.
    Just keep surviving, if that’s all you can do right now. It’s enough.
    I’m sorry for whatever you’re going through that made this necessary to write – but you CAN do it.

  15. Mama Bub says:

    Oh. My. God.

    Now I’m holding my breath. And yet, this is about more than your incredible writing. I hope you find your way out the other side with the strength you show in everything else.

  16. Dave2 says:

    Huh? Did you forget to put new batteries in your smoke detector? I hate it when that happens!

    That being said, there’s nothing wrong with a good ol’ apocalypse from time to time. It has a tendency to clear things out so you can start over again fresh. It also helps you to remember what things are most important in you in life.

  17. charlene says:

    britt~~speaking from my heart to your heart~~life suckages allow us just to learn how strong we are~~i know when i remember to “live in the moment” and “it’s only temporary”
    enable me to get through whatever fucking life suckage i’m facing, whether it be me, family or friends life that’s sucking the hardest at the moment~~face it, life sucks, then you die~~so it is up to each person to make their life as great as it can be each day~!

    • Miss Britt says:

      @charlene, I don’t believe that “life sucks and then you die”. I do, however, wholeheartedly believe that it is up to each person to make their life as great as it can be each day.

      • charlene says:

        let me rephrase that~~ there are life suckages {things that are out of control~death of a spouse, death of a child} and thousands of other things that happens in life or in the lives of those we know

        i call them life’s suckages

        everyone has some time of life suckage that happens to the person or that person is living in a fairy tale where unicorn farts are the worst that can every happen~~~

        having lost 2 husbands {one from cancer when i was 33~and the other to suicide due to serious, soon to be fatal disease at 49}

        i believe that it is up to each person to take the sucks that just fucking happen in life and make the most of it until the day that you die~~

        so each person has a choice {or sometimes several choices on how to handle today’s life suckages}

        is that clearer than mud now? LOL

  18. I don’t know how you manage to put words to these feelings whilst in the midst of your personal apocalypse, but you described it perfectly. I hope you find the calm in the storm soon. *hugs*

  19. Poppy says:

    Yup. :)

    I wonder how you react to me smiling at your braveness. That’s what the smiles are for.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Poppy, I have not felt brave the past few days.

      At all.

      • Poppy says:

        @Miss Britt, you are going through the motions of a brave act. In retrospect you will wonder how the hell you had the strength to do it, but for now please keep letting us help you through. And don’t forget to listen to us but make your own decisions, the ones that feel right to your heart. Those you can live with.

  20. Faiqa says:

    If anyone can tell the four horseman to fuck off and live to tell the tale, it’s you. Because you? Are still a rock star.

  21. Dee says:

    Just letting you know I’m reading and sending big hugs too.

  22. Up from the ashes you go, whenever you’re ready. Sometimes, you just have to lay about in the muck and destruction until that moment of readiness comes. Sometimes, you need a hand up out of the muck. Sometimes, you can’t do it alone, and sometimes you must.

    Whatever you need, have faith it will come to you.

  23. muskrat says:

    Do you need me to mail you a bug zapper? It might help with some of the plagues, at least.

    Hope all improves before long…

  24. Hockeyman says:

    Let us know if you need anything. Tell Ang what shows to keep on the DVR in case yours fails during this apocalypse, I’m sure she records your shows too!

    Seriously though, hugs and kisses, let s know if you need anything.

  25. Selma says:

    Sending you my best wishes and prayers. Sorry to hear you’re going through such a terrible time.

  26. greg t says:

    I just hope it is not your husband. My hope is he is standing right next to you holding on to you.

  27. Whatever is going on for you hon, I wish you strength and know that I will be praying for you from over here. Best wishes.
    By the way, amazing writing just amazing.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @J from Ireland, it’s a very cool to thing to think that you have prayers coming your way from all over the world.

      So, thank you for that.

  28. Lauren says:

    I had the worst day of my life yesterday. Probably not, but it is what it is and we all come out of it fairly unscathed. ***HUGS***

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Lauren, I’m glad you are fairly unscathed. I also know how crippling fear, anxiety, panic and depression can be. Unscathed is probably an understatement.

      Hugs back.

  29. Samantha says:

    I’m so sorry Britt. I’ll be praying for you to have the wisdom, courage and strength to get through whatever is happening to you.

  30. Just Me says:

    You have a lot of love and prayers and thoughts coming your way to help you get through…..plus a whole lotta faith that you will get through.

  31. Dawn says:

    I have no words to help you through this, but I’m here. Listening. Here.

    xo

  32. I think I have a feeling about what may be afoot here and I hope I’m wrong. That said, you always have my ear and my heart and it’s never a bad time to come to Vegas.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Nancy from Fear and Parenting in Las Vegas, yeahhhhhh… it is, sadly, not very hard to guess if you’ve been following along.

      Feel free to email me.

      And find me a cheap ticket for a weekend in Vegas. LOL

  33. donna says:

    I am a new reader, but this post has really struck me.

    My husband and I are going through a crisis in our marriage, and although I could never have written this so well, I feel very much the same as you.

    I’m thinking of you and hoping that things work out for you how you want them.

  34. racheal says:

    i have so much to say…but my thoughts are going so many places personally that my words don’t make sense.

    if it is what i think it is..

    i’m sorry.

    i am so so sorry brit.

    i’m here if you need me….if you need a stranger to vent to, to scream at, to just talk it out.

    for some odd reason, this quote has brought me a tremendous amount of peace dealing with the last couple of months..so i thought i’d share it with you.

    “courage doesn’t always roar, sometimes courage is the whisper at the end of the day that says…i will try again tomorrow”

    you just have to get through till tomorrow.

    hugs.

  35. Kay says:

    I know I’ve already commented once… but I keep coming back and rereading this. I can’t help it.
    Because right now, my life as I know it is ending. But unlike you, my apocalypse hasn’t quite been thrust upon me. I’m playing a part in making it happen. And while I want, with everything in me, to pretend it’s not real, to go back to the world I know – somehow, reading this reminds me that this apocalypse is happening for a reason – and that I need to move forward, not backwards.
    Your post, and all the comments, are what’s keeping me together, nudging me in the direction I’m terrified of. No matter how much it hurts – it’s right. And this is how it needs to be.
    So – thank you for putting into words what I can’t seem to.

  36. whall says:

    I won’t even try to be funny here… THAT’s how seriously I take you sometimes.

  37. Maria says:

    Wow, this was a dumb week to get behind on the “real life” folder on my reader.

    Hugs and worrying, woman. You know you can poke me any time, any way. Love you.

  38. I am so sorry for whatever it is you are going through, Britt. Keep breathing.

  39. melissa says:

    Just catching up on my reader. I’m fairly new to your blog ,but this post along with a few other really sums up what I’m going through right now.

    Big fat hugs to your right now.

  40. Al_Pal says:

    SO powerfully written.

    I wish you perspective.

    xox

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