So I didn’t make it pass day three of “May Cause Miracles.” That’s right, it was so easy, I said. A snap. “I can do this!”
But life has a way of interrupting even the best of intentions. I mean if all I had to do was to take care of myself, just me, no one else or no other creature, or no other anything, just maybe I could make it past day 3. I don’t know.
I told myself I would catch up, or start over, I have not done either yet. My plate of life is so full right now with……business issues, legal issues, my Mother is ill, my children aren’t settled, a house in disrepair, oh and let’s not forget the tax issues they just found from 2004!
There is even more than that, but that’s about all I care to put into writing.
I think I have done it all wrong. I must have. Everything. Wrong. Since the beginning of my life I must have listened to the wrong people and taken in the wrong messages. I don’t know how else I could have arrived at this place at this time. Because how? Tell me how ? One person can really want a better existence yet can’t ever figure out how to get it?
For the most part I have tried to do the right thing. Even as a small child I knew not to belittle or mock others, I stood up for the underdog ALWAYS. I would think, what would be best? What would be nice? What would be helpful?
Yet here I am, a struggling mess.
I can be sarcastic but only in fun. You know a dry sense of humor….that alone shouldn’t have banished me to this place.
I eat healthy. Food and weight isn’t my issue. I do not long for material items. I dont want or need the latest greatest anything. I just want a simple peaceful life.
Maybe someone has a voodoo doll of me and they are sticking it with pins. That’s about all I can figure, or I was a horrible person in another lifetime. Oy Vey!
This time of year is particularly hard for me. Not to go into any depressing details, because I know everyone shares having events, both good and bad, that change the course of a life.
I, for some reason, can not get past what is no longer. I am constantly reminded of the past. Perhaps better times draw me in at first, yet inevitably terrifying times and less-than-good choices creep in my mind. I used to be able to say I live with no regrets. I am not so certain I can say that any longer.
The new year is supposed to be the time for fresh beginnings and new starts, only I am not feeling it this year. Depressing right? I know I am not alone, and I know it is temporary, but nonetheless is real. I feel as if the good and the lightness of life is sitting dormant like the woods.
Right now my count is 13. Thirteen days I have wasted away without making one single ounce of progress. I quit on myself. I slowed myself down to a crawl into a perpetual holding patterned of procrastination.
Even this post took some real effort on my part to actually write. (and I don’t care if its good or bad. ) I had to write how I was feeling or I would just breakdown into nothing for another day. (trying to avoid day #14)
In my front yard, behind the tangled bare branches of two maple trees, I can see a yellow house across the street. I have nothing against this house. However, in the summer I can’t see it. It is completely blocked by lush green foliage It’s a depressing shade of yellow. Sun-bleached-sad from a constant west exposure, even that yellow house has had better days.
I have to stop! I have to stop these thoughts that are feeding an existing “sadness path” in my brain. This path was put there years ago and it’s a well traveled path. I know I need to stop myself before I send those negative signals. I have to replace them with new more positive signals. I need to create new paths in my brain and start walking them.
I know what I have to do. My problem: I find it difficult to do.
Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful and my life is good, well good enough. It’s just some time a person feels low and these past 13 day that has been me.
Tip: Play music. Listen to it whenever you feel yourself slipping into a bad place. Skip every single song until you find one that feeds your soul.
Inspiration: “The past does not equal the future.”-Tony Robbins
One-day one thing: Take a baby step. Recognize that with every single step no matter of size, you create a path.
Realizing this is difficult. I would say, I must have thought I was super woman or something in the past because it never crossed my mind that some things are un-fixable.
At one point in my life, I was looking at that broken egg on the ground. I said, “That’s my last food, you broke my last food.”
That was so many years ago, it wasn’t my last food ever, but it was never fixed. Because food in general was replaced, the brokenness of my last egg meant very little to me. However, I never forgot the feeling of having nothing, and no way to fix it..
When you realize that somethings cant be fixed, it’s intensely realistic. But being a mother as I have for 22 plus years now, you spend you entire life fixing things and making bad things better. Then comes the day you can’t. You can’t fix it. You can’t make it better.
On that day little pieces of you die.
She lay lifeless in the medium. Two people were standing over her without any expression, as if they themselves were not there. Four cars scattered about in the snow covered grassy area separating the westbound from the eastbound traffic. A fifth car sat damaged on the far right shoulder of eastbound lanes.
It never occurred to me that I would see a dead person on my drive to NYC. She had obviously been thrown from one of the vehicles. Her body was tangled on top the snow in an unnatural state. I could tell she was dead from a distance.
Thoughts rushed through my head; like if I had left 3 minutes earlier, I might have been in that accident. Or I bet they were just heading out to go shopping and in no shape or form did they expect this. That poor woman, her family, her children, oh my God! All because of a slippery road, an accident. No one wanted this to happen. No one.
It was the first snow of the season, and the roads had not been touched. No salt, no plowing. Actually there wasn’t enough snow to plow, but there was plenty to make it extremely slippery and dangerous driving. It was awful. As I continued on my way there were more fender benders, a pick-up that had rolled-over, and another truck that lost it’s front wheel (not just the tire – the entire wheel) – it must have hit something with high impact.
My driving speed raged between 20 and 40 miles per hour, I was considering turning around. But little by little it cleared up, the roads improved and I was decidedly on my way.
Traffic was light until I hit the Delaware Gap, from there in it got worse, much worse. Jill, my GPS voice, is
old out-dated. She doesn’t know anything about the detours and construction before the Holland Tunnel. By this time, it was dark, she directed me onto several side streets in Jersey City. Surprisingly these streets were loaded, completely packed full, with Christmas lights. It was stunning. Fast forward through the H-tunnel and Canal Street (both total chaotic messes) and I finally made my way to Brooklyn, arriving only one hour past my original ETA.
Today I cracked 100,000. miles on my Odyssey. All miles that we put on the car. We’ve never done that with any other car, so it’s an accomplishment of sorts. I knew it would happen on this trip.
However what remains is the snap shot of what I didn’t expect. Except for the two people gazing over the body, each driver stood alone motionless next to their own cars.
In my head, they are all still standing there, frozen in time.
(Post note: I have been unable to verify any details of this accident, maybe she lived)
We are all alone.
Even those of us in the best of situations are alone. It’s scary. No one really knows how you might feel at any given moment. No one can see the years of pain and suffering inside, because in our society, and probably in every other society, people put on the “face.” The face of happiness and contentment.
Even on the internet, people say things, they think will “read well” and won’t make them look like a jerk or like a pitiful sour person. Which, may be exactly how someone is feeling at the time. Facebook is notorious for this. If an alien came down to earth and used Facebook to gauge human feelings, they’d ask to smoke what all the Facebook posters are smoking right away. “I want what their having”
Life is hard for everyone, and if it isn’t hard for you now, it will be difficult sooner or later. And that’s most often when you will find yourself: alone. Just you and your thoughts.
On top of that, our society has painted a picture that being alone is bad. Having it all, isn’t being alone. Plus did you know everyone can have it all ? That is if they are rich, or thin, or beautiful or if they buy this or that. Maybe if you had college degree, you would be a more worthy person, or if you drove a certain car people would respect you. If you drink this beer, you can get laid. If you shop at this store, she will love you.
We’ve also been conditioned from an early age to worship youth, which is ridiculous. Insane even. The one truth in a life span is aging. Everyone ages it can not be stopped. And we age alone.
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So it goes to reason after hearing these twisted messages from birth, when you find yourself alone, you may feel depressed and lonely.
No one, no thing, nothing outside of yourself can make you whole. No one can repair your sadness or erase your fears. No God is going to swoop down and fix you, no secret angel has your back. There is no magic.
The only thing you can do is stop waiting, and start growing your love. Be kind to yourself. Try to eliminate hateful and negative feelings, especially the ones you direct towards yourself. To grow your love, start with yourself.
I am starting with me. For my “new me resolution” ( which I have already started, because a calendar means nothing) I am attempting to totally redesign my life to eliminate all the falsehoods that I have grown up believing. The only thing I know is real is love. Love is limitless and timeless, and it feels good and it makes me happy. And if I am alone, which we all are, then I have to make my love grow.
So during this time of year which is heavily promoted as the best of all possible times for people who “have it all” or are trying to “get it all” – if you find yourself alone, don’t sweat it, everyone is alone.
Focus on what is real; cultivate love, be generous with your love, and appreciate any small miracles that follow.
Recommended reading: Return to Love
It’s funny this time of year how people profess wishes for Peace on Earth, Joy to the World, and Love thy Neighbor and “There but for the Grace of God go I.” Yet when push comes to shove, for many people all those sentiments seem to fly out the window without a shred of shame.
I, like the next person, falls into the trap of getting all caught up in my own life, and trying to get by and navigate some extremely tough terrain. But I don’t have it that bad. Uncomfortable, awkward, stressful, sure, but no one is trying to assault me,
silence me (I take that back SOPA) or kill me. But I have been witnessing way too many things that I find so disturbing. I have to speak my mind.
When people cheered and applaud the record number of executions in Texas, I really wonder what has happened to people? It made my stomach turn. I lived in Texas. Most people there are Christians. Is that part of their belief system? To kill? Sister Helen Prejean would peacefully disagree.
And whether you agree or not with OWS – For centuries our soldiers have fought, been crippled, killed and tortured while fighting to protect the freedoms and rights of Americans to assemble peacefully and express their concerns. Young college students who were educated that peaceful demonstration was a civil right in America, were pepper-sprayed close range as if they were cockroaches. And that’s okay?
Gingrich says to OWS: ” Go get a job right after you take a bath” and the crowd enthusiastically applauds. Last time I checked unemployment was one of the major problems in our economy. Taking a bath gets you a job? Does taking a bath and getting a job take corporate money out of politics? Does it remedy the foreclosure crises that is killing entire neighborhoods? Does it fix the healthcare cluster-f*ck? No it doesn’t.
On a main street scale; look at behavior on Black Friday. I mean seriously, how can anyone think Americans are a people with any character, dignity or integrity? Add in the ongoing of reports of adults at children’s sporting events getting into fist fights? I’ll never forget the father who was beaten to death on the ice in front of his family at a children’s hockey game. Let’s also remember the child predators who were free to abuse over and over again – or the many people over the years who turned a blind eye to the sexual assaults on vulnerable children.
And PLEASE watch this video about bullying in our towns and schools.
The unbelievable decline of civility and basic decency in our society is chilling.
Magically, some how I was able to paint, raise children, work, clean, list paintings to sell, walk the dogs and go shopping, carpool kids, plan vacations, watch sporting events, join friends for lectures, belong to book clubs and enjoy social events, all at same time. I was super woman.
What the h*ll happened to me?
Devastation and deep depression. Only the devastation was far less to be worried about, now looking backwards. The depression, which I definitely categorize as pure sadness was so real. Our business was struggling, my Mother became ill, my children were all leaving the house for college at the same time, a lifetime friend betrayed me, my other good friend died, and we couldn’t sell our house which had become to expensive for us. And don’t even get me started regarding the IRS. Dealing with all these issues was difficult at best.
So this is what I did. I started a blog just for me. I called it my sad blog. I wrote how I felt. If nothing more it provided an outlet. Every morning I would sit down get coffee and listen to two songs and I would write as they played. Sometimes I replayed them over and over again.
I played this one first: the house that built me
Then I would play this one: you haven’t seen the last of me.
These songs brought me comfort and put a voice and words to my feelings. However they also made me cry. You see I could barely speak during this time. Most times I would try to talk, tears would start flowing, all on their own. Sad slow tears would well-up and peacefully roll down my cheeks. I was a mess. I wore sunglasses to work, closed my office door, fell behind on everything I needed to do. I stared out the windows or at the screen. There was no relief. None.
During this dark period there were moments when everything was going to be fixed. Once we were close to working a deal with the bank, or the time we almost merged with a company in Connecticut. We were in final stages in both instances. Hopes were high, everything was making perfect sense, everything look good, then boom. Neither deal closed. Up and down, hope and disappointment. Repeatedly.
I was broken.
I continued to do what I could, which wasn’t much. Here is one entry from my personal blog:
Sad but True
The best part of my day is knowing it will end.
Right now I can say I am better. Much better. I have listed some of the things and people who helped me to pull myself up and out of my sea of despair. (btw- I am allergic to all antidepressants, so they ended up not being an option)
1.) I joined Cross-fit. (thanks Libby ) That helped me with my energy level, attitude and it boosted my self confidence. Plus I got stronger. Even though it was really expensive it was well worth the investment.
2.) I started to get rid of all the useless stuff in my life. Thus the birth of the “Unpack the Rat.” I was doing the work anyway and I thought I may as well write about it, so I could recognize my wins and grow though the process.
3.) I started to embrace ideas which I always admired but I never truly believed they could ever fit into my life. I made room for new ideas. In other words, I believe in possibilities once again.
5.) I stopped trying to prove myself to anyone. I am what I am, either like me or not.
6.) I let go of any shame. The financial disaster didn’t just hit our business it was global. Our business was categorized as “small enough to fail.” (my choice words for the “selected” bails-outs sound like this @#$% ^%$@#%)
7.) I stopped pretending everything was okay. Then I identified what I could change and what I couldn’t change.
8.) I learned who had my back. It wasn’t my siblings or in-laws. I acknowledge that those family members are never going to change. I stopped wishing for, hoping for and expecting something that never did, and never will exist.
9.) I looked to my husband. I realized without him I am nothing. He is the love of my life. And he is my rock. He has my back – forever and always.
10.) My children are among my greatest loves. They are my are super heroes, helping, never complaining, and always offering up the bright side of life. I can’t even list how many ways they have supported and inspired me during my life. I am so very proud of each of them.
The list could go on and on, so many other people deserve my gratitude. Some of these people I know well. Others, I don’t even know their names.
Anyway, time eventually ran out and I had to tell my kids we were losing their childhood home. I felt we let them down. I was ashamed to tell them we sold our house to the bank. (We were lucky to do that, we avoided foreclosure.)
My one son said to me, ” It doesn’t matter Mom. Home is where ever my family is.” I was stunned by his comment. I will never forget his kind and wise words.
Perspectives from those I love and those who love me helped pull me through. I take it one step at a time, and I still have a long way to go. But I have faith we will get there some day. And that “there” will be a place that we all will call “home.”
(I would like to add, this took me well over a year. Maybe as long as 18 months, and still to this day sadness creeps in. At least now I know I can somehow, some way, make it not hurt as much.)
Tip: Know who is your real family, and always keep the door open for new members related or not.
Inspiration: One of my daughter’s message of encouragement.
One-day one-thing: Getting back to de-cluttering: Sort your cosmetics, first-aid inventory and general bathroom supplies. These items expire, forget how much you paid for them, they are useless clutter.
PostScript: Just moments after writing this I was slammed with yet one more enormous disappointment. I know why people turn to drugs, prescriptions or not. I know. I am growing so very tired of the fight, but I can’t give up, I’ve work too hard to get here. I’m grabbing a beer. And maybe I’ll read my own posts, how to stay up, and faith in not knowing and then again maybe I won’t.
Cheers with a smile. :)