Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I had a full blow meltdown yesterday. Actually, maybe a deflate is a better description because it started Sunday afternoon and I just slowly got lower and lower and lower. So yes... we'll go with deflate. Of course at my age my hormones seem to have taken on a life and nervous system of their own, therefore I never know if  I will take an unpleasant moment in stride and keep on moving and smiling or if I will melt down like a three year old in Baskin Robbins who's sugar cone just hit the floor. And as I think about my behavior yesterday I also have to consider the fact that at 39 years old I'm already at the early stage of menopause, I have 2 elementary age kids, and my husband left me with those kids, 2 dogs, a falling in house and moved far enough away so he's never around to help with much of anything. So I honestly believe I should get credit for not setting things (or people for that matter) on fire most days, but other people seem to think I need to try to be pleasant and think positively so here I am to write it all down and put it in perspective so I can move on. Of course I've probably alienated any male readers I might have had with all this talk of hormones and anything female. My guess is they are either completely disgusted OR shaking their heads dismissively at the idea that this can be a real reason for bad behavior. Oh well, what do men know anyway?!

Okay, enough of that. I'm really not a bitter, man hating, fire starting psychopath who wants to be left alone with her bad mood. A raging hormone some days? Well yes, I am that, but I still want to address my issues. So here we go... my girls are trying to learn to ride their bikes and with help are becoming successful. Unfortunately I can't help them. I'm not strong enough to hold them up. I do have friends that will help when they are around, but it's just taking longer than I would like and my kids aren't happy about it at all. And I feel like it's my fault... "aye there's the rub". I feel like it's all my fault. Every bit of it. I chose to get married, I chose who I married, I chose to have kids and now that my marriage hasn't worked out my kids don't have everything they need all the time and it's all my fault. I said it. I'll say it again. It's all my fault. NO, I feel like it's all my fault. I really know its not. And I also really don't want my husband back. I wasn't happier and really can't imagine that any amount of work could make us happier now. But when things go wrong and my little girls need something I feel like this stupid mess is going to ruin their lives and it's all my fault. That's how I feel. I wish I could make my heart and my brain come together and create some sense of reality between the two of them. I know that in lots of ways I've accomplished more in the last six months that I have in the last 10 years. I know that my daughters are seeing a better version of me now most days than they were before and will become better adults because of it. I know I know I know. I feel I feel I feel. Why is it that feel always wins? And truly I'm a HUGE advocate of saying how you feel and saying it out loud. I am! I think we should always say what we feel without fear. It's very hard to learn but very important to know that our feelings are just that, our feelings. They are not someone else's reaction to them.
Don't be afraid to say I love you, just because someone doesn't say it back doesn't mean you don't feel it. Giving love is actually so much more fulfilling than receiving it. Say it often and to as many people as you can. When you are a toddler you are prompted to tell everyone you love them and blow them kisses, then suddenly at a certain age it becomes tabu and there are strings attached. Love does not have strings.
When something makes you sad say it! Sometimes that's just the release you need to let the sadness out. Sadness is not depression, it isn't permanent. And the inability to constantly smile and pretend the world is your oyster does not make you negative. It makes you human.
Scream when you are angry and if you are angry with someone specific...scream at them. OK, maybe just tell them but get it out in the open. Anger festers and leaves deep scars.
So you see I'm great with the idea of expressing how you feel. It's the actually feeling it I have a really hard time with. I suppose it falls in line with everything else I written about myself in the last 8 months. I don't just feel. I feel and then I tend to spiral, especially if its feeling down. Here I am with my extremes again. And there I certainly was yesterday.

I know this has been a bit of a ramble, but I think I just needed to get it out. Luckily for me I do bounce back and generally quickly. But it seems to me that this is the one thing that does push my meltdowns farther apart. Acknowledging my craziness seems to be what keeps me sane!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Some days I feel like my life has changed a lot since I began this blog and others I don't feel like it has changed at all. Or maybe more exactly I know my life has changed but I don't always feel that I have progressed. While "Almost 40" is getting dangerously closer to just 40, "overweight" seems to be a battle that I will always fight. "Single" has it's good and bad days but I would say good usually takes the lead on that one for now. But "happy"... this is somewhere I said I was yet I'm always searching for what it means as if I can find something better. I read an article this week that maybe gives me some insight on what's stumping this progression.

*"Our culture has come to define happiness as an experience that blows your mind. It's as though we're somehow falling short if we don't routinely feel the way Times Square looks - madly pulsing with a billion watts of Wow!"

This is me. I've always lived in the highs and lows. And to be honest I've thought myself quietly manic often, but to avoid funny shaped jackets I couldn't get out of and less than fun bouncy house like rooms I've never told anyone. And the problem with the manic state is that when you get too high, you always fall.
I always search for the excitement: the first kiss, the most fun night out, the greatest game. Excitement that makes my heart pump makes me feel like I'm happy. Yet there is always the let down. You can only have one first kiss with someone. There is always a point after that great game when your team will lose. And truthfully while I search for the excitement I think I anticipate the fall just as often. So there in my anxiety I sit... waiting. Waiting for the really great or waiting for the really bad.

*A Pueblo Indian chief once told Carl Jung "the whites always want something; they are always uneasy and restless. We don't know what they want. We don't understand them. We think they are all mad."
I don't think we know either, we just think we are supposed to want something all the time. Well and let's move forward a few years... I don'to think it's a "white" problem, but possibly an American problem. And yes, I find myself crazy too.

I'm sure you can imagine what the advice in the article was:
"Live in the moment"
"Be here now"
And I don't disagree with that at all. It is how we all should think and live. Her suggestion to help better find your way to this was to get busy. Do things. Make things. Occupy your mind with calm happiness by occupying your hands. Here I tend to have a problem, who has time to solve their anxiety as well as live in the perpetual moment by doing new arts and crafts? I find often that people who write about making life better have all the time in the world to do so.

But I will say this about living in the moment. I can learn to remind myself that just because a kiss isn't the first, doesn't mean it's not just as wonderful for that person to want to kiss me again. And when they no longer want to, I'll being happy in my memory as well as my ability to move on, that should be my calm happiness. Keeping up with the highs and lows of the football season, not the big game, this is what shall remind me that life, as one of my friends so often reminds me, is a marathon not a sprint.

I think what I heard was to breathe, look around, enjoy the quiet just as much as the fury. Even more. And maybe when looking for my highs, I should measure how far I'm going to fall before the climb.

*from an article by Martha Beck in Feb. 2012 Oprah Magazine