Today is Piers’ birthday but I let him down.
I am deeply traumatised today. I am always traumatised the day after hosting a social thing. Whether it’s tea for one or a party for 30, I always wake up the next day hating myself and wanting to die of shame or horror or mortification.
I was traumatised for a week after the carpet cleaning man came and I made coffee for the first time ever. He asked for seconds but I couldn’t help thinking it was probably horrible because I had to give him instant coffee, not knowing how to use the coffee maker and it was likely too strong or too weak.
I know my brain is broken. It doesn’t matter if people said they had an amazing time or the food is great and, on some level, I can see that things went well. My brain won’t believe it. How can you believe in words when you know that nobody would say anything rude or hurtful?
Instead, my brain tells me its own truth. It replays moments in minute detail, showing me what went wrong and where I made a wrong choice, and when I said something stupid, and what should have happened here or there, and how I should not have been born.
Normally, I would have continued lying in bed in misery but today is Piers’ birthday so I made the colossal effort to get up. But I couldn’t even do my morning face routine properly. I put eye cream on twice then face cream on twice, only realising too late.
When I got downstairs Piers was cleaning up the party mess. The horror overwhelmed me. The mess and leftover food to be eaten were living recaps of my trauma. I tried so hard to keep it together. I couldn’t ruin Piers’ birthday with my nonsense. But it was like I was paralysed.
I ended up spending the whole day crying and reading and sleeping.
I craved sugar so badly. At home, there are cakes, cookies, chocolates, sweets, ice cream, coca cola, all the sugary things I love. It would have been so easy to give in. I’d already gone for more than two months without sweets so could I not just have a break for one day?
I must have magically dredged up some ancient, forgotten reserve of willpower because I survived the day without giving in to temptation.
Maybe it’s the damned logical brain. “You’ll get a sugar rush and then crash and feel much worse. Also it’s a slippery slope you don’t want to go down.” It’s the same logical brain that tells me, “The party was a disaster and everyone is laughing at you. Let me present the evidence…”
As much as I want to die, I know this trauma will fade to manageable proportions eventually. I will still find it hard to forgive myself and the world, but I must not give up. I will keep going, day by day by day.