September 22, 2016

Letting it all hang out: Last installment for Week Five

Sad moodYesterday I had, to borrow from the children's book, a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. I was at my wit's end with a wave of emotion that had been building for two days. I couldn't snap out of my mood and just kept crying. 

I thought about my idea for live blogging and wrote out everything I was feeling. By openly discussing what I am feeling when I'm feeling it, the framework for the book becomes more honest and organic. This is how I felt, with no apologies. 

The mood passed and if I can offer any advice to people experiencing these moods, reach out to people. Talk about it, write about it, ask for help. I did and wow, I sure received it! So many notes of friendship and encouragement. I'm incredibly blessed with fantastic people in my world.

Without further ado, I present my emotional breakdown. 

I’m so tired. I just am not sure I can do this. I don’t know what to do with my days when someone else hasn’t planned them for me. And that down time is horrible. I spin my wheels trying to find new ways to fill my time.

I’m lonely. I wish I had a job. I thought I missed the kids when they went to school all day, and I did. But this is different. I have nothing that makes me get up in the morning. I have no reason other than to cook a meal, iron a shirt, or vacuum a floor that matters.

Nobody needs me for anything. I don’t know how to ask for help. Children grow up all the time. I’m embarrassed that I am so lost. I spent a month frantically filling my time and that became more work than working. It doesn’t come naturally and curling up alone feels natural, but way too quiet.

I feel so unproductive. I invent things to keep myself busy. I tidy and fix stuff. I box things. I sell things. I make food. I do laundry. I walk and count steps, I exercise. It’s empty. Nobody is asking me to do a thing and so I feel useless. I hate not having a schedule. It ruins my brain and motivation.

My daughter turned 21 yesterday. For 21 years I’ve defined myself as a mom. I took care of people. I barely know how to take care of myself. I’m not even sure I was a good influence on my kids. I actually think that they grew up determined to be as much the opposite of me as they could. I don’t know if I really did anything well raising them. I tried, I wanted to do well. I just wonder if my demons took over too often.

I am in a tailspin. I’ve disappointed my family repeatedly and sometimes cannot even face them. I am not even sure I know how to really make friends. I cry most of the days and quickly put on a happy face before my husband gets home so he doesn’t know how lost I am.

Because he hates his job. He doesn’t know how to get up and keep going and I wish I had a reason to get up and keep going. I envy his obligations. I do. I suspect he envies my shiftlessness. That’s what I feel my days are filled with. Nothing. Time killers. I want to tell him that I would give anything to have a reason to get up and out the door every day. An expectation, an obligation. A reason.

After processing that mood with words, it slowly began to dissipate instead of build. If you don't name it, you cannot defeat it. A sad mood is okay, but you shouldn't wallow. Work through it and get someone to talk to. Seek professional help if you need to. Don't let the mood linger and keep you in a dark place. I learned that your friends are going to be valuable resources and they will reach out to you, but also you ought to reach out to them. Don't sit in silence. Call the people you want to see and make a plan to do something.

I want to thank everyone who helped me through a rough day. You're all the best, truly. I appreciate your encouragement to share these thoughts in my book. I cannot wait for it to finish coming together!

Love,
Kim

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