It’s 4:41 am and I have been wide awake since 3.

This is not the first morning I have been awake so early.  It’s become rather routine.  A day or two every week, I awaken from a dead sleep and it’s 3 am and there is no more sleep.

I assume it’s stress-related.

I have been living under a cloud of impending doom for so long I barely notice it.

There are few times in life when I have had absolutely no idea what to do, except for now.  I have some ideas, some alternatives, but I have no plan.

At the same time, I have to keep moving ahead.  I have to remain positive.  I have to keep trying.

That means I am simultaneously planning out what to wear to cocktail parties and thinking about where I am going to be living and how quickly I can move.  I am meeting with new clients about new business while knowing I have no idea if I will be doing this job in another day.  I am talking to the Long Distance Fling daily, knowing there is zero way I can afford to travel to see him and knowing too it is unlikely I will share that piece of information with him.

[He’s exceptionally well-paid, from a wealthy family, and he travels constantly for work so I am certain he has miles, but part of his attraction to me is that I am independent.]

I have to live my life knowing I am walking on a tight rope without a net, and yet, to function and survive I have to project that I am on dancing along on solid ground.

It’s exhausting.  It’s insane.

A few of my closest friends know what’s happening, but we can’t really talk about it. When we talk about it, it weakens my ability to fix it.  Fixing it requires projections of positive energy and strength.  Anything less prolongs the pain.

I am afraid — at times — that I will never recover.  I am afraid — at times — that the things that tether me to the ground will not be enough.  I am afraid — at times — that I am nearing the end of my story.

And yet . . .

I am exceptionally great at my job.  I just don’t get paid anywhere close to what I deserve or need. I am developing new skills.  Clients love me.  Just yesterday, a client made me cry by expressing how excited he is for my future and how much more successful he thinks I will be than my business partner who delights in keeping me in indentured servitude.

I cried.  Quietly.  And then thanked him.

I’ve never been able to figure out how to jump start my life the way I need to.  I’ve never been able to figure out exactly how to thread the needle to fix this stuff.

My problems are not huge, but they are problems.

And yet . . .

I am strong in so many ways.

I feel better than I have felt, despite the nagging fear that I am secretly dying, that I have done irreparable damage to my body, knowing that the seams are showing more than they have, knowing that I am more threadbare than I was.

Over the holiday weekend, I slept for 2.5 days.  Part of it was recovering from 3 weeks of non-stop parties and madness.  Part of it is the not-infrequent 3 am awakenings.  Part of it is the cloud under which I am living.

My girlfriend RA finds many things I say ridiculous, because they are.  My life is insane.  It is very public.  It is filled with men who are very public.  It is filled with girlfriends who are very public.  Yet, privately, my life is on the cusp of disaster.

I inspire confidence in people in my ability to do amazing things for them, though my life has been falling apart for so long I can barely remember how it feels to be fully functional.

The balance is harder to maintain.

This week I feel better about me and more committed to making changes to put my life back on track.  It doesn’t need to be this hard.  I should be able to make different economic choices — like buying a new phone, picking up a couple of new dresses, not stressing about the cost of a cab, buying a $400 plane ticket to go see the LDF.  Those things should be easy.  They’re not.

This week, I have to put it on the line and make the hard call.  I am getting better at that all the time.  I have a meeting coming up in 5 hours, I have meetings for the next 3 days.  I am excited for the future.  I am terrified of the present.

I really need more sleep.