I wrote the title to this blog 4 days ago. Four. I just had the hardest time coming up with what to say, how to say, why to say…anything.
Then, yesterday the mass shooting at Robb Elementary in Texas happened and I started crying. I cried for the children whose lives were cut short way too soon, I cried for the teachers who died trying to protect their students, and I cried for all their families, friends and community. It was like a dam had been burst. I cried for all the sadness, isolation, depression and maddening nonsense that’s happening in my own life.
I can’t precisely pinpoint when the changes started creeping into my life, but I’m guessing around 2020. Anyone else relating? Then, after my surgery in January, I thought I was back on the upswing, and I was, at first.
As I began getting out and about more, which I THOUGHT was gonna bring back so much of the joy and happiness I’d been missing throughout the pandemic, the complete opposite began happening. I found myself becoming more and more withdrawn, sad, worried, anxious and overall just…not me.
I’ve not wanted to talk to people, much less be around too many folks. Me! Someone who loves being out and about. Someone who usually bathes in the spotlight. Yeah, I’d prefer to lock myself inside my house these days and snuggle with my critters or grow my lil garden plants out back while I find ways to attract butterflies and birds.
Not that there’s anything wrong with any of that, but I’m finding that things I love and that excite me, at least for now, just…don’t.
My radio show, my podcast, my video series. Road tripping. Nothing.
Yes, I know part of my overall problem is depression and probably some (ok, a lot of) social anxiety. I think my ptsd from an incident years ago is rearing it’s ugly head. Life literally changed so drastically over the last two years.
And crying. Like I said earlier, I cried a lot yesterday, but man. I’ve been tearing up for months over any and everything. I look at my fur babies and cry. I watch tv..yep, I cry. I change the tp out…tears. What gives?
Now look. I hit menopause about a year and a half ago. I don’t know if that’s got a hand in all this or not, but I’m here to tell you, if it is…that blows. Aside from that part of it..the night sweats are over thank GOD and I’m loving the no more periods thing. Immensely.
Did I really just talk about menopause?
Maybe I’m having a midlife crisis??? I mean, in a lil over 6 months I’m turning the f word (I can’t bring myself to say it). I haven’t done most of the things I thought I would have by now. I never remarried, had children, or lived in my own home with the proverbial white picket fence. Is it too late for any of that? I mean, even Meatloaf said 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.
To most on the outside looking into my life, I KNOW I’ve got many things to be thankful for and I’m blessed beyond measure. but, those things I mentioned earlier, the family, the home, etc…well, they’ve always eluded me, and they are what I’ve always craved. To belong to someone and to feel the security of that bond.
I’ve never quite fit in anywhere. Even in my own family. I’m always on the outskirts. I feel like I’ve connected more people together than I can count, and then they all go off happily creating new adventures while I watch from the sidelines.
The truth of it is, I’m lonely, but not in a “I’m all by myself kinda lonely”. More of a deep, soul searching kinda lonely. Does that even make sense to anyone other than myself? Am I just writing nonsense? I don’t feel like I am.
I follow Britney Spears on Instagram and I have to be honest. I can relate to her on so many levels. That appearance of her seemingly living life on the edge of the cliff, threatening to spiral out of control again if the slightest thing goes wrong. Yeah, I feel that deep in my bones.
Is it just me? Am I the drama? I don’t mean to be, but I AM the common denominator in all the life events and relationships I look back on and see nothing but utter betrayal, failure and disappointment.
Having said all that, I AM starting therapy. Ironically, it was supposed to start today but the therapist moved it to next week. Sooo, I finally felt compelled to write. It’s proven to be quite cathartic.
I was lying in a bath the other night and I thought, “Am I just living life to die?” meaning…I’m not excited about anything anymore. I have no real adventures anymore. I used to travel the world, singing and meeting new people. I lack adventure. I lack the thrill of butterflies in my stomach. I miss that old me I used to be. Is she even still in there? Are there more adventures left to be had? I truly feel like there are. So, how do I get back to that life again?
Y’all. This isn’t a poor, pitiful me post. Far from it. This is me, processing my emotions and feelings. This is me, working through a possible mid life crisis, trying to find my footing in a world that’s turned upside down. There is real evil out there, just look at the senseless loss of life happening every day all around us. Even as I type this I can hear police sirens in the distance. The reminders are constant.
I have a lot to be thankful for. My fur babies are my children I never had. My home is safe and secure, even if I don’t like the neighborhood much anymore, at least I have a place to call home. So many don’t. I have a job, a new car, my health, a good job, people who love me and understand I’m going through some sort of internal hell lately and are there for me to make me smile or laugh every day. (I’ve not been that good of a friend/family member in return for a while lately, and for that I’m truly sorry).
I am also back in college. It’s scary and good. It’s my attempt to finish something I started 31 years ago. it’s also my way of improving my life by giving myself more choices. I also started a book club to meet and make new friends and believe it not, people actually showed up at our first meeting! It felt amazing. So that’s a positive, too.
Baby steps. Baby steps and therapy and being honest and not ashamed of my emotions and struggles are all what it’s going to take to get me back on the road to adventure and living life out loud again.
And prayer. Lots of prayer. I lead an online prayer group that means the world to me, and that has been a fundamental life changing thing for me as well. So, yeah, maybe my life isn’t as bad as I “feel” it is. Maybe the panic attacks and anxiety I feel will lesson as I work my way through therapy and getting back in the saddle, so to speak.
As I wrap up, my heart goes out to anyone struggling right now. Whether you think it’s just a silly thing not worth mentioning, or whether you’re on the edge of darkness feeling there’s no way out, please know you ARE loved, what you are feeling IS valid, and you aren’t alone. You can always reach out to me, or a hotline if needed. Please, don’t let the darkness envelope you. There are many many more adventures to be had.
If you or a loved one needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255.