What Keeps You Going

My new therapist asked me that question during our first meeting. I was unable to answer then. I am still unable to answer.

Daily life is weighing on me heavily. The challenge of the new job has turned to more frustration than excitement. I look for ways to enjoy myself and nothing feels right. Everything feels difficult and pointless. Yes, hello, we’ve been here before.

I’ve learned to control much of my anxiety. I’ve learned to suck it up, smile and do things I don’t want to do. Still trying to find the balance.

My daughter wants a sleepover birthday party. I’ve survived 2 of those now, so no panic this time, but instead I feel a hollow fatigue. I’ll go through the motions for her, but I wish she would’ve asked for a pony. I’d rather have a pony tromp though my house, it would seem less intrusive. The thought of all the preparations, cleaning, cooking, planning make me tired before I even start.

And this marks the start of holiday season – so many decisions. After some soul searching, I realized I do not miss anyone. Ever. This is not the same as hiding, I don’t think. Like I could tolerate a get-together, but I have no desire to attend one. I saw my mom and brother again this weekend, gave hugs, but felt nothing. I have this huge overwhelming desire to be left alone, like I have no social needs right now. This used to come with a feeling of intense loneliness and self-loathing. I don’t really feel anything. Is this improvement? or another odd mood I need to examine and dig myself out of? I want to opt out of all holiday gatherings but I can’t and I won’t. Why do I go?

I’m tired of examining and digging.

Kids were invited to a bonfire at the neighbors. I don’t understand this particular social activity. I don’t get anything out of staring at a fire. I don’t like my front too hot and my back too cold. I hate forcing a smile and laughter or faking concern as the other parents chit chat. I hate smelly smoke in my face, burning my eyes and lungs, making me cough and itch. I almost forced myself to go – to make an effort – and then I stopped and asked myself WHY? What is the point? I don’t like them and I don’t care if they like me. I don’t want to be friends or even friendly. I’m totally fine with the ‘Hey there’ wave from a distance. So hubby went to hang out without me.

Am I stifling my growth? or finally doing what is right for me?

We completed several of our Thriller performances for the season and sadly I felt no joy in it this year. Has the novelty worn off? It just felt like work. Like one more thing I have to do.

Today I had a day to myself to unwind while kids were at Grandma’s. All I’ve done is eat junk food and watch an entire season of Hart of Dixie on Netflix. Escape. I have no desire to do anything except escape my actual life. The sink is full of dishes, the laundry baskets surround me. But today they are invisible to me. Today I am just an empty blobby couch potato with no ambition, watching the clock, dreading how quickly time passes and that real life will return again soon.

Tomorrow I’ll see my new therapist again, get back in to the daily grind at work and housework, filling my day and late into each night with activities I don’t want to do.

So what keeps me going?

I guess its my sense of obligation to my kids. I am driven to give them a childhood I never had and hope they don’t grow up to be like me.

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13 thoughts on “What Keeps You Going

  1. Sometimes depression doesn’t make us feel horrible, it just doesn’t allow us to feel at all. When everything feels like a chore, that’s not how life should be. When I’m in a depressive episode (I’m bipolar) I find everything a lot more difficult, doing the dishes, getting milk from the shop, everything becomes irritating to me and I just manage to look after the kids. I withdraw from the world and live inside my head, waging battles against my own psyche. Not fun. I hope you manage to work this all out, to find your hope and happiness.

    • Thanks for understanding. Sorry you have similar feelings, or lack of feelings. I’ve been wondering if I slipped into a depressive episode, and to hear you call it that makes wonder more. I’ll talk to my counselor today about it.

      • That sounds like the best idea to me, definitely get another opinion. I genuinely hope you figure it out so you can start to feel something other than nothing.

  2. When I worked for the airlines I was a reservations agent. I talked on the phone five days a week eight hours a day, unless I opted to leave early. I often did. Once home, I refused to answer the phone or talk on it. If people wanted to see me, we arranged to have lunch or dinner out. My brothers told me I need to socialize more, to which I replied, “I socialize 40 hours a week. I’ve met my quota and then some. I’m done.” I left the airline industry almost 20 years ago. I still let the phone go to voicemail, unless I’m expecting a call. By the way, I’m not a fan of bonfires either, for many of the same reasons. The only way is through. Keep fighting for you. Somedays are simply a junk food and movie day.

    • Yes I feel like I have nothing left to give and I’m so tired from the constant effort. I even hid from the door yesterday, just didn’t bother to get up and answer it to tell neighbor kids my kids weren’t home. My job is good for our budget but I’m not sure it is good for me to put in so many hours. Trying to take care of myself, but not sure the best way right now. Hoping new therapist will have some insight for me today

  3. Judy got it right … some days ARE simply a junk food and movie day, and that’s okay. It might feel like you’re hiding, or escaping, but you’re also recharging your batteries, and allowing your body and brain to rest. Everyone needs a little of that from time to time. Sending hugs.

    • Thanks ntexas. I didn’t feel guilty about my day off as a couch potato, so I guess that’s progress. Just exploring my need for it I guess. And those nothing days are so rare lately. I know I needed it, just wish I felt more ‘recharged’. seems like my battery has been unable to get a full charge for many months

  4. Doesn’t that ring clear through my being. I hear you friend. I took a four day weekend to get away from life and slept it away, despite my best intentions. I manage to avoid almost all social situations now but I’m luckier than you (?) as my child doesn’t ever want to play with other kids. Or do anything. Or go anywhere. Sigh. There’s guilt in that too.

    You and I often seem to cycle at the same time. Have you noticed? Xox. Fall. I wonder if the Impending months of cold and no sunshine are looming in your brain like they are mine.

    You know what? If the kids keep you going so be it. I think it’s okay to be
    Alive and animated for them and crash back into yourself when you can. These moments will pass. More will come but the good things will be scattered throughout. Right? (If you have a good argument for that, ignore it for now. It’s all I’ve got to hold onto as well). Xox

    • Yes we do cycle together often. Fall and all the hustle and bustle of back to school and crazy schedules is part of it, and not so much the looming cold, but the looming holidays and forced social activities do get to me.

      That’s exactly how I feel sometimes, animated for kiddos briefly, and then crash back into myself, exhausted.

      Thanks for understanding. xx

  5. I am right there with ya! Everyone needs a day to watch netflix and veg. It’s good for your soul!
    Definately a depressive episode. No motivation to do anything, it all just seems blah. I am the same way!

    • Yes I do think we all need some time to do nothing at all. I’m tired of always doing the right thing, always ‘on’, always making decisions, always planning. Netflix days I don’t plan anything more complicated than my next snack and it feels like vacation.

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