I don't know if I can do this.
OK, background. After a massive breakdown some years ago I was a wreck. After losing my partner of sixteen years and my job I was on benefits for years, trying to hold myself together and generally being a fuck up. I hurt people, people who tried to help me, to love me.
Then things started t come together. Some friendships and getting an exercise regimen sorted and getting a dog - all things that only months or even weeks before wouldn't have been possible, but fell into place at a time I could handle them. Then I got back into work and a relationship. I was normal again.
It felt great. Having a job is the best therapy, it really is; it gives you self worth and self respect and all that shit - and I was able to not only start paying off my debts but actually afford stuff, going out and buying things! I started socialising and stuff; it was a transformation.
The relationship started soon after, possible helped by my new-found confidence. A steady courtship with an old flame lead to more, and it was wonderful.
But two years down the line things are starting to fall apart. In recent months the job has become increasingly stressful and I feel that I am floundering. I just don't know if I can cope; I regularly consider calling in sick or even leaving part way through the day. I feel incompetent. And cracks have been apparent in the relationship for some time. I don't know if this is where I want to be. Am I in love, or wanting to be in love, or pretending that I'm in love? I'm just going to hurt someone else who has trusted me.
Part of it is that I feel I have lost myself. In the years of rebuilding myself I had been writing - I'm not sure it was any good but I've been doing it and getting better at it - and taken up photography, at which I'd think I had become quite decent. But in the last two years I've hardly done these. The focus on the 'important stuff' has left little energy fr anything else.
The only thing that is consistently better is my fitness. I took up running (in my forties!) and run 40-50 km a week, a half marathon most months, and am aiming for a marathon in October. This is an accomplishment, yes - but it is also my drug, being able to ignore everything else and exult in the focus and muscle ache and endorphin rush. So I recognise that this, as much as it keeps me close to sanity, is my drug. Along with alcohol.
So I shall probably plug away, keep on going and hope I come out of the other side. Ignore the stress and the worry and the crying and the booze and the ideation (imaging the the cold bite of steel in my wrists or closing my eyes while I cycle to work and letting chance decide my fate). Because I don't know what else to do.