Thursday, August 24, 2017

Neglecting My Self

I am not in a good place.

I'm getting mean. Bitchy. Yelling and throwing things. I'm sleeping better than I was, but I'm not sleeping well. I don't seem to be able to maintain an exercise schedule. I feel crowded, like I've woken up buried deep inside my mummy sleeping bag and I can't find my way out. It's a suffocating, panic-inducing, hopeless feeling. I'm angry all the time. Or at least a lot of the time. When I hear the word "Mom," I just want to scream. "Can't you get your own waffle? Can't you get your own glass of water?" She can, and it frustrates the hell out of me that she wants to be waited on hand and foot, and that she still hasn't picked up her damn socks off the dining room floor.

We moved into this house nearly three months ago, and but I still don't feel moved in. My biggest mistake there was not taking a week of vacation to settle in, get things organized, get some routines in place. No, I took a single day off for moving, and then I was right back to full-time work the next day. And it hasn't stopped. Every few weeks I pack up everything and drive back to Asheville for two or three days of work, and then it's back to Augusta. Three and a half hours one way, each time. It's tiring me out. I just want to settle down. To rest. To relax for five minutes.

But the house is a wreck. There are wet clothes in the washing machine that have been there for three days now. I don't remember the last time I changed the sheets. And the shower is weirdly slippery because I haven't had a chance to clean it. There's always something else I have to do. And if I mention to someone that I need to clean house, I hear comments of, "You know, there are more important things in life than a clean house." As if I'm some sort of neat freak who thinks clean houses are important. Well, they are important, I think. I wouldn't know. I haven't had once since I lived with my parents.

I write about music and creativity a lot, so I might give the impression that I live this idyllic life with hours available each day for practicing. I don't. I'm lucky if I get 20 minutes several mornings a week on guitar, and if I play piano for an hour in a week, I'm doing better than usual. I haven't written a word of fiction or journaling in months. I used to retreat to coffee shops on a regular basis for a few hours of writing and thinking. No more. It's been at least a year since I've done that.

So I'm angry. I want to go on a long walk. I want to be in a routine where I get up each morning and work out. I've done that intermittently since I moved here, but it is so hard to wake up. And I know the old adage about it taking three weeks to create a habit. But three weeks of waking up at 4:45 a.m. when I can't sleep more than three or four hours a night is a recipe for madness after a while. So I don't know what to do there.

Years ago I worked through a book on priorities, goal setting, and scheduling, and it worked pretty well for me, so I dug that book out again. The first task was to write down the things that are important to me, and then to list them in order of priority.

I couldn't do it. The priorities--meaning the priorities I wish could be priorities--were not family, God, health, work, etc. They were making music and being in nature and making the world a better place. Not bad things, but not the things that are supposed to be the most important. I totally forgot my husband and my job in the first go-around. How sad is that? I'm listing the things that are most important to me, and I totally forget the man I'm married to and the career I spend forty to fifty hours a week pursuing.

Friendships was in the list, but, in truth, they aren't all that important to me. I'm generally pretty happy with having acquaintances and nothing more, but that's partly because I have my husband to share my deepest self with ... and he didn't even make the list.

Go figure. So I take him for granted, and that's a problem, too.

Health was near the bottom of the list because I didn't think of it sooner. My health is going to find itself in the garbage can if I don't do something soon. Yesterday all I ate was half a bag of Tostitos, washed down by a Diet Coke. I don't even drink Diet Coke anymore! I crave one a couple of times a year and allow myself to indulge. But yesterday I bought a whole six-pack because I was craving it, and I've had two already.

When it's time to make the bed or fold the clothes, I just feel sluggish and a little angry. It seems I'm running from task to task to task, and just as I sit down to relax or (gasp) play the piano, I hear, "Mom!" or "Nina!" and I have to run and help someone with something.

Have I mentioned my bills? That stack of unopened envelopes that's sitting on my desk, unopened because I'm scared to look at them?

I think I'm skirting the edge of that mucky, quicksand-filled ditch called Depression. I do not want to go there, so I need to pull myself together and figure things out. I just don't know when I'm going to find time to do that. It's 6:40 a.m. and I have to get Anne up and ready for school, and then there's work, and then there's ...

It just doesn't stop. My life is wonderful in so many ways--I live in a nice house, I have my health, I have a good family, I have two sweet kittens, I have a good job, I work with good people, etc., etc. But I am seriously about to lose my mind.

I'm going to try to work through this book on priorities and scheduling because it worked for me before, and maybe it'll work for me again. I might post updates here on the blog, or I might not. I don't know. I might delete this post before long, or I might not post it at all.

I hate feeling this overwhelmed. I shouldn't feel this overwhelmed.

1 comment:

WordsPoeticallyWorth said...

Greetings from the UK. Sorry for your troubles.

Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

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