day 12: silence is overwhelming.

ctm-0223-morning-glory-spillway

The “Gloryhole” overflow area, Lake Berryessa, California. Photo from CBS News

I have been quiet lately, and it’s not because I have nothing to say, but because I have too much to say. The image above is a good visualization of my mind lately, it’s too full, and somehow I have to open a spillway to let the excess out, but unlike this structure, which has a volume limit, and then passively lets all the gallons of water it can’t hold fall out via gravity, I have to sift, decide what to deal with, think about, let go of, and which items swirling in the morass of my mind are like a sore tooth and need to be left alone for now.

I tend to take people at face value most of the time, and allow them to be who they are. To that end, there is a saying that I keep in my mind:

“When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.” ~ Maya Angelou

This is, I believe, pretty good life advice. It falls in line with the idiom “A leopard doesn’t change its spots”. So many of us don’t heed that advice, and it is not new by any means. People can have an off day, they can have an on day, but on the whole, they are going to behave and react in a predictable to them manner, and we have to open our eyes and minds and see that.

What is the point of the above? Our little family has been dealing with some serious issues, ones that are way above and outside the pay grade of all of us that currently reside in this house. I look back at the root cause of the entire thing, and I mentally kick the shit out of myself, because I had seen the spots on the leopard, and rather than taking several big steps back, I thought I could be a stabilizing and positive influence.

I have a feeling that anyone with a modicum of common sense that is currently reading this is yelling at their computer/phone, etc. “No, no, no! You can’t ‘fix’ people!”, and if it were me reading this, I would be doing the same thing. Amazing how blind we can be while in the middle of a situation, thinking we can be a savior of a sorts. That’s not how it goes, and millions of broken-hearted people across the globe can attest to this.

Adding fuel to the fire of all the things in my head: the chinchilla we adopted from Maryland didn’t survive the trip. As a prey species, they are incredibly sensitive to stress, and go into shock somewhat easily, with death following. Waking up Thing 1 first thing in the morning with that news sucked. Fortunately there was no school that day, and we were able to spend the day mourning, discussing what happened, etc.

What surprised me the most about the chinchilla dying was how hard I took it. I spent most of the day in tears off an on, and 20 minutes in the shower sobbing. I was trying to figure out how the situation could gut me to that point, and then I realized it was the catalyst for releasing a whole host of hurt and pain. Thank goodness for bathroom fans, running water, and loud music. The kids needed to see me be sad over the death, but not nearly hysterical.

I realize in writing this I sound like a complete wreck, and in a lot of ways I am, but I am working through things with the help of a professional that holds me to account in a way that none ever have. She forces me to deal with things, helps me understand my brain, why I think the things I do, and how to move in a better direction.

I may still be a little quiet, though we all know I am not a prolific poster, but I am trying to see the good, work through the bad, and come out better on the other side for myself, and for my family. Some days are more difficult than others, and on those days, I take a quiet hour for myself and color. If you are someone that deals with depression and anxiety, or feeling overwhelmed, I can’t express how soothing a good coloring book is. My choices tend to be vulgar, but my new favorite is therapy in a pile of pages, and it is by the ever funny, delightfully forthright, and always real Jenny Lawson. The book is YOU ARE HERE and it is a great way to feel better.

In all of the anger, guilt, frustration, rage, pain, hurt, helplessness, and other negative emotions I have been dealing with, I still try, every day, to find a positive. I look for something good, I look for a golden ring to grasp on to, and every day finding that gets easier.

If you are having a rubbish day, if you are feeling helpless, hopeless, overwhelmed, find one thing. One tiny thing, nothing is too small, to be your candle, your spark of light in the dark. Right now mine is Google Play Music, and the pile of 90’s music that is streaming in my ears, and despite how broken I feel inside, I am able to smile at others, and know that I probably make someone’s day by being kind.

candle

Be kind to yourself, it’s the best gift you can give.

 

 

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