Kat Inokai: Trying Times


How to Stare Down a Funk and Win, Part 1

Rock Bottom Can Be A Really Comfortable Place

Contrary to popular belief, hitting rock bottom is not accompanied by a film noir soundtrack. There is no montage of mug shots and scandalous articles fresh off the press. There is no Biography special that tours the squalor of a Vegas motel room littered with empty whisky bottles, drug paraphernalia, and interviews with a prostitute named Trixie.

Hitting rock bottom is simply what happens when the façade stops. It’s burnout. I know, because it’s taken me a month to start coming back from the metaphoric motel room (sorry Trix), stay vulnerable, and finally learn about myself instead of constructing a ‘self’ that I think will make everyone happy.


When I was a kid I used to love going for car rides. I didn’t need to go any one place in particular, I was content to just feel the hum of the seat in the back of our old Buick. The longer we were on the road, the better. I loved looking out the window, seeing all the different people, letting the blur of the houses tell me a story.

The only part I didn’t like was when, inevitably, the car would slow as we neared our destination. My stomach would start its anxious lurch, for a moment not certain of what would happen when we had to get out. And when the engine finally whispered to a stop I would feel a terrible sadness. A strange, and all consuming moment of inertia that at once petrified me and sent me spiraling into wistfulness… If only the car would start moving again. If only we could be on our way somewhere again.

Getting out of the car into the stillness of wherever we were, I would become a different child. Quiet. Withdrawn. I would eventually open up, shyly answer questions when they were asked of me, amuse myself by making up games like tracing shapes in the carpet while my parents and their friends sat sipping their coffees.

The relief I felt when I'd hear my mom say ‘We’d best be going...’ was unparalleled.

And it wasn’t the fact that I was going home that brought the flutter to my chest, it was knowing that we were going to get back in that car and be moving once again.

I’m still like that.

I’ve always loved the journey. But there’s a kind of dissatisfaction that I live with that makes me bolt really easily. I like to outrun my feelings instead of arrive at them— watch the blur of people and faces around me until I’m numb. I take on so many projects that I simply don’t have time for feelings. I entrench myself in work, in motherhood, in fun, and plaster on the biggest, prettiest smile you’ve ever seen.

The best part is that I consciously confuse the running away part as part of the journey itself. Yep. I’m good.

I’ve got this down to a science.

And I’m really, really, tired of it.

Read Part 2 here >>