I wake with the spiders in my stomach.
Actually, it’s not spiders.
It’s a whole fucking colony of octopuses having a party.
And all I want to do is roll over and go to sleep.
Because when I’m sleeping, I can ignore the festivities – at least temporarily.
I can pretend that I’m not expected to y’know, accomplish things – that I’m clearly not accomplishing.
It’s all I can do to will my eyes to stay open.
And I lay there. The octopuses rolling, dancing, jumping about.
Scrolling through Facebook brings moments of distraction, if not relief.
A friend has posted an article about how the most successful people get up when their alarm clock goes off without hitting the snooze button.

Maybe I can be successful tomorrow.


Thirty-five minutes later, by force of sheer will, I manage to swing my legs out of bed, put my feet on the floor, and glance toward the door.
I have already started my day as a failure.
I had scheduled a swim session.
Which I have missed.
A swim session that I dread because every time I miss one, I tell myself I’m going to hear “where have you been?” from a well-intentioned team-mate.
Just fucking ignore me and let me swim.

A story that I tell myself.

It makes it easy not to go.
I didn’t go.
I shower, throw on some clothes, and head to the office.
Smiling. Hair done.
I’m dressed and coiffed, if not amazingly, well enough that no one suspects anything is wrong.
For the next 12 hours, I bury myself in work THAT HAS TO BE DONE NOW.
With a project that will CHANGE THE WORLD.
I drink coffee and eat Timbits JUST THIS ONCE.
These stories are easy to tell myself.
I go home.
Eat dinner.
Beautiful sleep.
For in you, I can forget the nothingness that I feel.
My Facebook feed tells me that:
“You cannot go faster when you’re on automatic pilot.”
“Find out how Changing your Habits can Change your Life.”
“Time to breath, slow down, & give thanks for this amazing life” (sic)
It’s not that I don’t appreciate these well-intended words of wisdom. Truly, I do.

But more often it feels like telling a starving child just to eat more.


Ever since I got back from Chicago, it’s like there’s nothing there.
I don’t know if the problem is that I lost momentum (I deliberately took 3 weeks off to rest) or that I’ve been eating crap (fair) or that work has been more than normally stressful (it has) or that the weather has changed (also true).
But for whatever reason – it’s all I can do to put on pants in the morning and show up with a god damned smile on my face.
For weeks I’ve been hoping that this feeling of “unmotivated” would just go away.
That I wouldn’t need four coffees just to get through a workday.
That I’d be back to normal.
That I’d be excited to train.
Hell, that I could get out of fucking bed without it expending all the energy that I have.
Every day that goes by like this makes it harder for me to reverse the momentum.
Every day that I don’t show up makes it harder to envision the day that I will.
Why am I telling you this?
Because I don’t believe in being fake.
I’m not going to pretend anymore like everything is okay – because it’s not.
I’m not going to pretend anymore that my everyday life is amazing – because some days it sucks.
And I’m pretty sure that sometimes your life isn’t everything you’d like it to be too.
If you’ve got ideas on how to fix this – for now – kindly keep them to yourself.
Right now, I don’t need your advice, as good as it might be.

I don’t need platitudes. 

Truthfully, I don’t even really want to talk about it.
I need to feel the pain, deal with it and grow from it.
I’m not going to put my feelings on the back burner because they make you uncomfortable.
I just need to know that when I do return to normal, that I will be supported by the same loving community that has believed in me so far.
I have amazing coaches.
I have a family that loves me and I am thankful for them.
I am grateful to an amazing network of supporters and friends that believes in me.

And one of these days…

I will be back at it, getting shit done in the way that only Karmen can.


But for now – I just want you to know that I’m not my usual high-achieving self.
I will be okay.
You can count on it.