Down Time

November 6, 2017

CA6877DE-825E-4712-97AC-3FC2A51EA7B8I’m having a hard time relaxing. That will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me or knows anything about me, but it’s becoming a problem. Or maybe it has been a problem and is becoming more of one.

I am self-employed so I work as much as I can, for a couple of reasons. First of all, that’s how I make money, and the more I work, the more I make. I live in an area that is really expensive and I love to travel so I work as much as I can when I’m able.

Secondly, and this is the real problem, I don’t feel like I’m worth anything if Im not being productive. I dont’ have a partner and I don’t have kids, so I feel like I myself am pointless if I’m not working.

I really do see what a sad statement that is, to be relaxed or to have down time is to be worthless. But I feel it. And I know this goes back to not feeling like I’m good enough by myself. I don’t know how to change that.

And I know this isn’t good for me, to feel this way. But I still try to schedule my life down to the minute because down time is frightening.

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Here We Go With the Darkness

November 5, 2017

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The time change is tomorrow and, while many people are happy about it because they don’t have to get up for work in darkness, I am… not. that’s a bit of an understatement. Darkness affects me very, very strongly and always has.

Although I’ve been depressed in every type of weather and light, warm and sunny is best for me, as for many people who suffer from this. Dark is hard. Cold is hard. Obviously the two often go together and I tend to lose hope.

I know people who like the fall and winter. “Enjoy sweater weather!” they tell me. “It makes me want to die,” I don’t respond. Because people really start to worry when you tell them that out loud.

Some years are better than others, and this is a better one. I’m struggling hard with being single but I’m expanding my friends and community and that is really joyful. But it’s work. I have to actively be aware of all this.

It’s just that for far too much of my life, the dark cold night (and of course, I live in California so I’m a wimp) feels like a manifestation of what’s going on inside me.

We’ll see how tomorrow goes.


Well, This is Just Ridiculous

October 31, 2017

5BF5F0AE-BAF5-40D3-9C51-5D0809968CFEI’m feeling super sad and lonely today and I caught myself being really upset that I’m going to be alone on Halloween (tomorrow). Halloween is not a holiday I have EVER cared about and it’s not a holiday that feels like a real holiday to me. It’s just a Tuesday when I have less work than usual.

But the sadness and loneliness is real. I don’t want to be alone; I’m sad about being alone. I have a bunch of invitations to parties but I don’t want to go to a party. I want to be with someone and pass out candy like we’re partners, or a little family.

This feels ridiculous. I really never have cared about Halloween, never. I’m just sad. And it’s cold and dark and people are celebrating and I feel alone.


Fear of Disaster

October 20, 2017

For a very long time, I have had a fear of major disasters. Obviously we’re all afraid of them, but I’m really frightened. I have dreams about bombings, war, earthquakes, fires, and much more. I am afraid of the suffering, not as much of dying, but the suffering that is before or instead of dying. And honestly, at this point, the suffering is likely to be less horrible than what I imagine. The anticipation of suffering is really extreme in my mind.

About 10 days ago, I woke up in the middle of the night and smelled smoke. I closed my window and looked online to see if something near me was on fire. Nothing near me was, but basically all of Northern California not near me was, including areas very close to my parents’ and my sister’s house.

My family and their homes all ended up being OK but many, many people were not. In Santa Rosa alone, a city of only 175,000 people, over 3,000 homes were destroyed. This was absolute devastation.

It felt almost like a memory because I’ve had so many nightmares about this. It didn’t come close to my home, but it devastated many areas from my childhood, and for a week I was on edge, not sleeping, following the news like my life depended on it.

The fear has abated somehow. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an absolute nightmare. There are people who have lost every material possession. Thousands of people are living in shelters and over 30 people died. But the world didn’t end.

I hope that doesn’t sound callous. I’m sure there are people who feel like the world did end. But it’s still going and I’’m seeing people survive this. Maybe I could survive too. Maybe fear is actually stronger than reality.

 


Loneliness

October 8, 2017

I read this recently: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-squeaky-wheel/201708/loneliness-poses-greater-public-health-threat-obesity

It seems particularly relevant today as I’m sitting alone on a Saturday night watching a movie and planning on going out to dinner alone. Now, don’t get me wrong. I actually enjoy going out to eat alone. It seems like a luxury, both in time and money. But I still feel bad for myself when it’s a Friday or Saturday night and I’m alone, strangely, even when it’s by choice.

I am really fortunate in that I have a great community. I have a lot of people who love me and who would be there for me in an emergency. But most of them have families and all are busy so, while there’s no doubt they’d come in an emergency, it’s much less likely they’re be there in a non-emergency. And that part is important too. Really important.

I’m not sure what to do about that, and I’m not sure if married people also have this issue. It might even be harder if you’re married, because being lonely while having people around is really tough.

But I only know this from my own end. And I’ll tell you, being single in a world of families is tough. And that I’m going to go eat dinner alone this Saturday night and try to make the best of it.


Autumn

October 3, 2017

I’ve always had a hard time with autumn. I’ve described it here before.

It’s starting to be fall here – it’s still warm in the daytime most days but it’s chilly at night, dark is falling earlier, and there’s that fall smell. That smell I don’t even really know how to describe but that brings dread. Maybe only to me – plenty of people seem to love the crisp fall smell.

It’s not as bad this year. I hope that continues to be true. I feel like I have to be vigilant or it will sneak up on me.A7091F9B-0521-4173-B02A-A364E83FEA29


A Reprieve

September 19, 2017

Something has shifted lately. I don’t know if it’s meds, therapy, prayer, or what, but I’ve been feeling… content. Maybe even joyful sometimes. And much less sorry for myself.

I went to a family event over the weekend. When I spend time with my family, I go way into self-pity mode. I’m the only adult there who’s not married, who doesn’t own a home, who doesn’t have children. Mostly, I’m just the only one alone.

But something about this time was different. I got to spend time with my nephew and nieces who I love very very much. My youngest niece just warmed up to me (she’s two and VERY picky about who she spends time with) so I got to read her books and have her sit on my lap and play games with her. My nephew and I have always had a really strong bond and even though he managed to spill a whole jar of syrup all over my lap, we still had fun.

Things feel good. The tough part is that depression waits. You don’t get cured, you get reprieves. One of the triggers that has been most consistent for me is the season change from summer to fall. So here we are on September 18, and I feel like it’s tapping me on the shoulder. I don’t want it, I don’t want anything to do with it, but there’s a reminder.